Indianapolis Colts Mascot Trey Mock Shares History & Life of Blue
Photography Provided by Amy Payne & the Indianapolis Colts
When Trey Mock attended freshman orientation at Auburn University, his eyes immediately gravitated to Aubie the Tiger, the university’s mascot who was both athletic and entertaining.
“He was hilarious, and I thought that looked like fun so I set out to learn how mascoting works,” says Mock, who, his sophomore year, auditioned and landed one of four student slots who shared the costume.
“I learned a lot about how to become a mascot and performer while at Auburn,” says Mock, who, in 2003, won the Collegiate Nationals Mascot championship. Since Auburn’s rule only allows a student to act as mascot for a two-year term, when he finished his second year, he didn’t want to quit.
“I felt like I had more in the tank,” he says.
A number of former Aubies had gone on to become professional mascots so he followed in their footsteps and became the Atlanta Falcons mascot in 2004 and the Buffalo Bill’s mascot in 2005. Neither felt like the right fit for him, however, so he moved back home to Marietta, Georgia, and was considering going back to school when the phone rang in March 2006. The Indianapolis Colts had plans to launch their own mascot and encouraged him to apply for the position. Mock was flattered but uninterested and declined the offer. They told him that if he changed his mind to submit his resume by a certain date. That night, he found himself sketching out Blue on a legal pad, and over the next few days, he felt conflicted.
“The night before the application due date, I had this overwhelming dread wash over me that I had made a mistake,” Mock says.
He shared his regret with his dad, who told him to get his resume together. He then drove his son to the Atlanta airport so he could ensure his package made it on a FedEx plane to arrive in Indy the next day.
“That’s a small ounce of the support my parents have given me through the years,” Mock adds.
Reviewing resumes and highlight tapes, the Colts narrowed the field down to 58 people, then from there cut it to 12. They flew in their top five to perform a two-minute skit and impromptu session, followed by an interview. The next day, they offered him the position.
Mock shared his sketch of Blue with the organization and explained the type of character he envisioned.
“They initially wanted a rough, tough, mean mascot because that’s football, but I got them on board with my vision of Blue,” Mock says.
That vision was an approachable anthropomorphic horse with blue fur and big eyeballs. Blue was first introduced on September 17, 2006, in the Colts’ first home regular-season game.
People may assume Mock has little to do in the off-season, but the truth is he stays plenty busy.
“This is a 365-day-a-year business,” he says. “We work on content creation and new promotions, not to mention community day events and schools shows.”
Through the years, Blue has presented shows about anti-bullying, energy conservation, literacy and authenticity. By next year, Mock will have performed 2,000 school shows in the state of Indiana.
He cultivates each show to be meaningful for children while still interesting to adults.
“I go for that Pixar movie vibe where there is something for everyone,” Mock says. “People mistakenly assume my demographic only serves kids but really my demographic is the kid in all of us.”
In 2016, he published “Blue’s Road Trip Through Indiana,” a story that shares all the hidden gems in the state that many people may not be aware exist such as Amish Acres in Nappanee or the Grissom Air Museum near Peru. He’s now working on his second children’s book about Blue, an anti-bullying story scheduled to be released in 2021.
Over the past 14 years, Mock has earned a number of accomplishments, including winning the NFL Mascot of the Year in 2016 and 2019. In addition, Blue was scheduled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in June of this year. Nevertheless, Mock maintains that it’s not these accolades that mean the most to him. In fact, he recalls how years ago, he was always chasing a thrill that seemed to elude him.
“I loved interacting with fans and throwing footballs from the upper deck and all of that, but after the game was over, I’d feel empty inside,” he says. “It’s like I was creating joy but not finding true fulfillment.”
Then in 2010, a Make-a-Wish appearance changed his entire outlook on life. Karen’s wish was to have access to the Colts field so her family could play on it. She added, “If Blue could come down to the field and take a picture with us, that would be the icing on the cake!”
Mock still recalls running through the tunnel of Lucas Oil Stadium and seeing a mom, dad and twins and wondering which of the kids was Karen. He then learned Karen was the mom.
“Her one wish was to create the perfect day for her family,” says Mock, who spent two hours dancing and throwing the football with the family. “When I waved goodbye, I had the most amazing feeling wash over me, and that feeling stayed with me for weeks after.”
Several months later, while at a Colts game, a policeman told Mock that there was a woman in the stands who was begging to see him. Though he usually doesn’t venture into the stands for fear of creating pandemonium, something told him he should go. When he approached the lady, she threw her arms around him and started crying, then said, “You don’t know me, but you met my daughter Karen. I wanted you to know that she lost her battle with cancer, but Blue, I’ll never be able to thank you for what you did for my family that day.”
Mock says that, at that moment, the thousands of fans around them melted away.
“I don’t remember if we won or lost that game, but I remember the light switch that flipped in my head when I realized that my purpose in life was not to get laughs or applause from fans but to give them my time and my love,” Mock says.
He cites renowned psychologist Karl Menninger, who had stated that the best way to overcome depression is to find someone in need and do something for them.
“I get to do that every single day through a silly blue horse, and it’s not lost on me that that is a massive blessing and responsibility,” Mock says.
Mock, 39, says he’d like to continue playing Blue for as long as possible, though he admits that the wear and tear on his body is not inconsequential.
“I’ve had four surgeries due to Blue — both knees, shoulder, a staph infection in my right hand,” Mock says.
But he feels he owes so much to Blue, including his career and his wife Ali, a former Colts cheerleader. Now their family has grown to include two children: Tegan (4) and Gunnar (7).
He’s eternally grateful to represent the Colts as a goodwill ambassador.
“I love impacting other’s lives in a positive way,” Mock says. “It’s been a great life.”
Fun Facts About Blue:
- The weight of the mascot head is 5.9 lbs. (everybody guesses 10 lbs.).
- The costume is 7 ft. tall and Mock looks out of the mouth section of the head.
- The hoop inside the costume is collapsible like an accordion. The fur body goes on top of that.
- The costume can go through the washing machine (a true blessing as some mascots don’t smell very fresh!).