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September 21, 2023

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Birds revealed: 3 Freddies, 3 Friedas show their faces

Six BGSU birds were revealed at the Stroh on Saturday, after men’s basketball lost to Western Michigan 67-78

The birds faced the student section and were unmasked in pairs of one Freddie and one Frieda, each met with roaring applause from the crowd.

The Freddies were:

  • Jordan Egbert, senior dietetics major from Gibsonburg, Ohio;

  • Danny Howard, senior flight technology and operations major from Cincinnati, Ohio;

  • Brenden Dean, senior political science major from Clyde, Ohio

The Friedas were:

  • Hailey Kurtz, junior biology major on pre-med track from Hilliard, Ohio;

  • Alison Kaiser, junior public relations major from Westerville, Ohio;

  • Mary Baird, senior tourism, hospitality and event management major from Cleveland, Ohio

Each bird said one of their favorite parts about their roles was being able to give back to the university through school spirit, all under the guise of giant, anthropomorphic falcons.

“How do you give back to a community that has given so much to you? Like this,” Kurtz said, lifting her feathered arm.

“It’s not about any of us six (birds),” Howard said. “It’s all about serving the community.”

For Baird, the secrecy of their identity allows her to have extra fun while not in costume.

“You get to see all these people you don’t even know, but then you see them when you’re not (dressed as) a bird and you’re like, ‘oh, I know this about you,’” Baird said.

The birds also shared stories of their favorite memories.

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Kaiser said she had an ongoing game of ‘rock paper scissors’ with Riggs, a younger kid she often saw around campus while in costume.

“(Riggs) absolutely lights up when he sees us. He runs, full force, straight ahead, and he’s like, ‘rock paper scissors,’” Kaiser said, excitedly slapping her fist into her palm.

Despite facing six different opponents whenever he sees them, Riggs handily has a winning record over the BGSU Birds.

Baird said her favorite memory is attending the University Dance Association National Championships with BGSU’s UDA.

Dean’s favorite memory came from running the Freddie and Frieda 5K at homecoming in the fall semester of 2021, a first for the BGSU Birds.

“It was hot and I probably won’t (run in full costume) again,” Dean said. “But it was definitely worth it in that moment.”

Kurtz and Egbert both said promoting school spirit at lively sports games was a highlight.

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Kurtz said the weekend hockey doubleheader against OSU on Dec. 16 and 17 was a particular favorite.

Egbert said BGSU football upsetting Minnesota on Sept. 25 “was absolutely an amazing experience to be a part of.”

“Also, all the times we were hiding in bathrooms taking breaks and I would accidentally flush the automatic toilet with my tail,” Egbert said.

Howard’s favorite memory was standing on the turf of the University of Tennessee’s field at BGSU football’s season opener.

After their reveal, the stadium crowd stormed the court and the birds took pictures with friends, family and old Freddies and Friedas.

The deadline for BGSU Birds applications is March 4.

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