It’s me, Mario!’

By Chester Hambone

U students and faculty were shocked to discover Monday that the identity of Swoop, the red-tailed hawk, is none other than Nobel Prize winner Mario Capecchi.

The Daily Utah Chronicle was able to obtain exclusive security footage of Capecchi removing the top of his costume after the gymnastics meet against BYU on Friday. When asked about his newly discovered identity, Capecchi said he was relieved that the secret was over.

“The most difficult part was hiding this from my friends and family,” Capecchi said. “My colleagues were starting to get suspicious when I would suddenly disappear for two or three hours without any explanation.”

When Athletic Director Chris Hill was asked about this unusual choice to represent Swoop, he said he had no regrets.

“Mario was our first choice from the start, and he has been a terrific mascot,” Hill said. “The talent it takes to pump up the crowd and the strength it takes to throw T-shirts into a crowd is not something just anyone can do. He was made for this job.”

This is not the first time Capecchi has been involved with sports mascots. During his employment as a professor at Harvard University, Capecchi rallied crowds as school mascot John Harvard.

As for his decision to take on the responsibilities of Swoop, Capecchi said many scientists have taken on secret identities over the years.

“Just look at Peter Parker,” Capecchi said.

After taking time off to focus on his research, Capecchi was drawn back into the world of college mascots when the Swoop job was available. The man who previously held the job was forced out because of a developing case of ornithophobia.

With his Swoop identity out in the open, Capecchi said he can now focus on his true calling.

“Science was always just a hobby,” Capecchi said. “Now that I have a Nobel Prize, I can focus on my real dream of becoming the Capital One Bowl National Mascot.”

Capecchi is also relieved that the secret is out because he can start to incorporate catch phrases into his in-game high jinks.

“I’ve always wanted to go up to little kids and yell, ‘It’s me, Mario,'” Capecchi said.

Warning: This article should only be read in the context of April Fool’s Day.[email protected]


Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi used his scientific research as a cover for his true identity as the fun loving red-tailed hawk.