Staying grounded - life as an infamously chaotic college mascot

Staying grounded – life as an infamously chaotic

Grayson Armour takes the field as the Stanford Tree mascot. Photo provided.

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer-Democrat Reporter

Those who know Grayson Armour might use a variety of words to describe him: intelligent, kind, funny. Armour has even described himself on one occasion as a “professional goon.” It seems fitting then that Armour has been afforded the opportunity to be a lovable, wacky, character for fans across the country, if not the world.

While he might not be getting paid in money for his expertise in antics and mischief, Armour is no doubt gaining experiences, connections, and memories that are invaluable.

Most recently Armour has been able to take the field, or at least the sidelines, as the Stanford Tree mascot, his tree has lovingly been dubbed ‘Herman’.

After waiting over a year after his selection as The Tree, Carlinville native Grayson Armour has donned a tree outfit once more. Armour was chosen in March of 2020 to be Stanford University’s next unofficial mascot, the Stanford Tree. His only event was the NCAA tournament in Las Vegas before schools and events shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now Armour is present at every home game for nearly any sport. He attends all home volleyball matches, all home boys and girls basketball games, all home football games, PAC-12 tournaments, and NCAA tournaments.

Armour acknowledges that being The Tree takes a lot of time, commitment, and organizational skill. Armour said this year has been busy already, stating, “its been 0-100 really fast.”

When the recent Stanford vs. Oregon football game was mentioned to him, and described as the ‘upset of the week’, Armour responded, “The craziest day of my life you mean?”
He explained that not only were his parents there, watching him be The Tree, but the game itself was very close between unranked Stanford and third-ranked Oregon.

The upset came when Stanford scored in the last seconds of the fourth quarter bringing the game into overtime. After going head to head in overtime Stanford won against the previously undefeated Oregon team. Students stormed the field after the win, and while Armour celebrated with his classmates his crazy day wasn’t over yet.

“I was able to meet the women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, she is like one of the greatest coaches of all time in the NCAA. I also got to see hall of fame quarterback Jim Plunkett…. Also Stanford was honoring Stanford students and alumni who had gone to the Olympics in Tokyo…. Three girls who go here were on the Olympic Water Polo team and they were getting honored so I went up to them and asked if we could have a picture, and they put the medal on the tree, and they let me hold the medal and it was so surreal…. It was one of the greatest days of my life.”

Read the full story in the October 7th edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.