Joe Blake the Snake has Magic Bite with Fans…
As a proud sponsor of the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans, our team at Rydges Hotels and Resorts in Cairns is keen to bring you news on how our city’s local NBL basketball team is faring while introducing some of the key players and team members. This month we are delighted to feature the only two-time, NBL, All Star mascot in the National Basketball League, Joe Blake!
Joe Blake – he’s a snake by the way – is a much loved, fan favourite at the Cairns Convention Centre who has many claims to fame – most importantly, his prowess at entertaining kids and adults from the sidelines since the club’s early days.
Joe, tell us a little bit about yourself….
I’m just a normal Snake who enjoys long walks on the baseline and the soulful sounds of 5000 screaming Orange Army fans!
Is there a Mrs Blake or indeed, JBjnrs??
I prefer to keep some mystery about myself; I’d hate to disappoint all the lady snakes out there.
What about life as a mascot…..is it something you always aspired to?
Not exactly. I’d always wanted to play for the Taipans, but it’s hard to make it as a pro basketballer when everyone’s worried about your lethal bite. So I stayed on the sidelines and focussed on my lethal sense of humour instead.
How do you keep yourself fit and looking good?
(Blushes)Why thank you! It’s all about diet really. I’m partial to Crocodile sandwiches with a side of Hawk and Violet Crumble for dessert. I’ll also eat Wildcat for a snack on the run…
What do you love the most? The pre game entertainment or random acts of humour to rouse the crowd during breaks in play?
I love playing off the crowd during the game and targeting opposition players and coaches that ask for it on any given night. In the past few seasons Shane Heal has been easy prey, as well as those grubby NZ Breakers. But I still love getting around the arena and throwing out those Snakes lollies!
Are you just a funny snake or do you have to prepare and rehearse your antics well in advance of game night?
I like to think I’m funny, but I do have to rehearse. Particularly when dressed up as a lady-Snake – high-heels are difficult to walk in!
What would be your greatest claim to fame?
I once made it onto ESPN’s Sportscentre for crash-tackling an unruly fan who pushed me off my scooter mid-act.
What about if your team is on a losing streak, how do you keep your fans motivated and inspired?
Usually by reminding them that at least we don’t live in Townsville. Enough said!
When you are not performing, where can we find you and what will you be doing?
Again, I’m a mysterious Snake, but I’ve had some good fun this season spending time with my sponsor, Cairns Hardware. Although I’m not allowed near the power tools any more…
Rydges is an event partner for your team – how important is a good night’s sleep after the game? What do you personally like in a hotel room??
It’s very important, and I’m thankful to have Rydges to look after me after games. The rooms are very comfortable, although I discovered that the opposition teams also stay here; I hope you guys don’t make them too comfortable!
What do I like in a hotel room? I’m a big fan of more eccentric décor, like hawk plumage or crocodile leather furniture. Other than that, a nice big bed to slither into after a game, and hearty breakfast the next morning.
Which reminds me, did you guys get my feedback card about adding Wildcat to the breakfast menu?
Readers, please note – we will take all of Joe’s feedback on board and report back. And, of course, Rydges has all your Cairns accommodation needs covered at Rydges Tradewinds, Rydges Esplanade Resort and Rydges Plaza Hotel.