Spelling O-R-I-O-L-E-S with a P-S-Y-D
It’s the bottom of the ninth. With two outs on the board, the Orioles are down and gloom is settling on Camden Yards. It’s time to rally the crowd.
An impossible task? Not if you’re Steve Butz, Psy.D. ’05—and you’re the Oriole Bird.
When Butz steps into the black-and-orange skin and pulls on the smiling beak, he takes on the Bird’s strut, his wordless sense of humor, and his talent for turning a silent stadium into a frenzied flock of fans.
“You feel like you become a different person,” said Butz, who—in his eighth season—still feels the transformation when he puts on the costume. “I’m not just me. I’m the Bird. Your movements and everything you do just change.”
As one of three men who portray the Bird—and a lifelong O’s fan—Butz naturally enjoys the part-time job most when the Birds are winning. “Our job is much, much easier the more the crowd is getting into it,” he said. “You feed off of that energy.”
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