Recently my wife, Nancy, got hold of tickets to the Boston Celtics/Milwaukee Bucks game. It was at TD Garden, the new corporate name for what I grew up calling the Boston Garden. The tickets were part of a package deal. When Nancy told me what else went along with them, I was hooked. Not only did she score free seats, she got $20.00 off any purchase of comestibles (beverages not included). So far, small potatoes. The clincher was a chance to meet Mr. Lucky.
In the unlikely event you don’t know who Mr. Lucky is, let me introduce you. He is the Boston Celtics team mascot. He dresses like a leprechaun and leaps about like a gazelle. When the Boston Celtics march into the arena like gladiators at the start of the games, who comes flying out of the tunnel like a bat out of Ireland swirling the Celtics banner before him?
It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's Mr. Lucky.
During halftime who bounces off a trampoline at mid-court, does a double flip and slam-dunks a basketball quicker than you can say Éirinn go Brách.
Mr. Lucky, of course.
And who is that up there on the Jumbotron standing next to the foursome who won a prize because they knew that the battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed’s Hill?
Why, it’s Mr. Lucky.
And I got to meet him. I know Mr. Lucky’s first name. I am not at liberty to divulge it. When I called him by his first name, he looked like the leprechaun who’d been trapped under a basket and would have to lead me to his pot of gold so long as I didn’t turn him loose.
“How did you find out?” he said, certainly sounding trapped.
“Why do you ask?”
“I am contractually bound not to give it out.”
“Well, I won’t tell anyone.” I said. “I promise.”
And as you can see, I am herewith keeping my promise. No one will get Mr. Lucky’s name out of me.
I am, however, free to tell you that Mr. Lucky comes from Tennessee. He was a cheerleader in high school where he showed a genuine talent for the trampoline. To underscore the point, he did a back flip from a standing position, right there on the hard concrete floor of TD Garden. He just reared back and flipped. How does he do that?
Mr. Lucky is 24 years old. He majored in graphic design in college but he never finished. The call from the Celtics came and he couldn’t resist the call. I can’t blame him. He gets to cavort around the court with four young women who are as agile as he is. And then there are the Celtic dancers. The best in the league. I’m sure he calls several of them by their first names. Now is that dying and going to heaven, or what?
Aside from the games, Mr. Lucky makes 300 personal appearances a year. He loves all that, but his favorite thing is to stand right where he is now waiting for the young fans who show up before the game so that, like me, they can have their picture taken with Mr. Lucky.
Mr. Lucky rubs off. There are 18,624 seats available for a basketball game. The night we were there the place was nearly filled to capacity. So what were the odds that Nancy and I would see ourselves on TV when we got home and watched the replays Nancy had recorded?
Roughly, 18,000 to 1?
But not when you have Mr. Lucky on your side.