Just days from Homecoming, one of the men who put the spark in Sparky is reflecting on his time behind the mask.
Alan Wald remembers starting the tradition of pushups after touchdowns and being the first Sparky to jam a basketball at halftime — and the time his flaming pitchfork broke off as he was jabbing it at an opponent.
This year, those memories are especially sweet because one of the freshmen experiencing his legacy is his son, Kyle, a member of the Class of 2020.
Alan Wald was Sparky from 1980-83 and still has his original costume, complete with the rubber mask that he said was made for him by Disney Studios.
Few things stand out for Wald as much as the pushups he pumped out in the end zone. He said the game would stop as the fans counted off his reps and that it was rush like no other. Wald also said football players would jokingly ask him how many he thought he could do, and during a game against Stanford he said he ended up pressing a pec-pulverizing total of 317.
There’s been no word on whether Kyle Wald will try to take up the mask his father helped make famous. But then again, Sparky’s true identity remains a mystery — so one never knows.
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