Who NU? A Q&A with Johnny Jet

JOHHNY JET LOVES hanging out with students, going to community events and singing with the Troubadours. Courtesy Photo, Johnny Jet

You know him. You love him. And admit it — at least once or twice you’ve wondered what’s going on behind that somewhat disturbing, unblinking gaze.

This week, The Vantage caught up with Johnny Jet, he of the blue space suit and bushy eyebrows, and probed the person inside (whose identity is a guarded secret) for his (or her?) deepest thoughts.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cheering on the Jets?

A: I love hanging out with students or going out to community events. Sometimes, I get to go out and sing with the Troubadours or hang with students at Jet Friday. Community events are one of my favorites, too, like the Thunder hockey games or a Wichita Chamber of Commerce banquet. I love spreading Jet pride out into the Wichita community. 

Q: Do you practice your moves — your crowd waves, cheers, etc?

A: Living with only four fingers, sometimes I have to teach myself how to do certain hand signs…like a peace sign or ‘rock on’ sign. 

Q: What would your day job be if you could have one?

A: Well, a pilot, haha. When not flying airplanes, I often think of becoming a personal trainer due to my motivational ways and massive pecs. 

Q: What’s your favorite Newman cheer?

A: A good, hard, loud defense cheer. You know “defense” clap clap, “defense” clap clap. 

Q: What’s the most important thing to do to get the crowd excited?

A: Well, it depends. The moon has to be aligned just right with the other planets, the temperature of the gym has to be perfect, and students have to be ready for a game. 

Q: Do you have any mascot buddies?

A: I mean, not to toot my own horn, but I’ve played b-ball with T-Dog and WuShock before. Here soon we’re actually getting together for T-Dog’s birthday. 

Q: Is this a family business or are you the first in the family to go into the mascot profession?

A: I like to spread my own wings (haha, love me some Jet puns) and do my own thing, but who knows? Someone might follow in my footsteps.  

Q: When people are taking pics with Johnny, do you smile inside the head?

A: Every. Stinkin’. Time. Don’t know why I do it, nor do most mascots. Maybe it’s just a force of habit. 

Q: Is it possible to eat or drink with the suit on?

A: No. 

Q: What’s the most annoying thing about the suit?

A: People trying to rip my head off or peek under my jumpsuit. That and the fact that the zippers are along my back. Keep your friends close. You need them to get free. 

Q: Have you ever fell/tripped/has something embarrassing happen while in the suit?

A: Because of my lack of depth perception, I miss a lot of small kids who are waving or up close trying to get a high five. Sometimes with adults too, it’s hard to see what hand stunt is coming your way, like fist bumps or high fives, it’s embarrassing when you mess those up!

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2017 issue of The Vantage.

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