Almost every sport has its own group of "SuperFans" and the USCC is no different. In fact, if you've attended the 12 Hours of Sebring any time in the last 20 years then there's a good chance you've seen some beer drinking cows walking around on their hind legs. No, it's not the hot humid air and yes, you might have had too much to drink, but that doesn't change the fact that there are walking, talking, beer drinking bovines strolling around the track hoping you will "moo for a brew". This year, the race isn't the only one celebrating an anniversary at Sebring. ALMS SuperFans, The Sebring Cows (Team Bovine to you and me), are turning 20. We reached out to the cows on Twitter to ask a few questions and here's what they had to say.
PP: What is the history of the cows?
Cows: [In] 1992, Original Cow and a few of his fraternity brothers later to be known as, Old Cow (should not need ask why), Stunt Dick Cow (do you really need to ask?) and Stingy Cow (yep, squeezes boogers out of Lincoln's nose), were at yet another Sebring and this year he brought along his Halloween costume because he would, "never wear that again."
As Original Cow and Co. were walking around Green Park, several good looking young ladies wanted a picture with the "cow guy". Being the enterprising men that they were, one of them thought that a beer should be offered in return for the photo. Thus, moo for a brew was born.
As they continued around, attentions were drawn, photos were taken and beers were consumed. The very next year the herd was born. To the herd was added those mentioned above and Big Cow (my father). Slowly, over time, a core group of the cows [came to] exist. Big Balls Cow (its his beads), Holy Cow (beer be with you!), Zoo Cow (from the nearly world famous Animal Section of Dick Howzer Stadium at Florida State University where baseball is played), Builder Cow (he builds stuff for a big corporation), Wrestler Cow (was a wrestler, not professional), Dr. Cow (he's our vet), and Dalmatian Cow (his suit is handmade and looks more like a dalmatian). This year, rejoining the herd after a brief absence will be Wisconsin Cow (from duh!) and Bionic Cow (one leg!). If ever we have a first year cow, he is given the moniker of Virgin Calf. Big Balls Cow was the first Virgin Calf. There have been others who have come and gone and their names shall remain nameless (because we cannot remember them).
PP: When did you start?
Cows: Me personally, Holy Cow, I started going to Sebring in 1984 at the ripe age of 6. I was raised just south in Lake Placid, FL. I was to remain a non-cow until 1999 when I was of age to join the herd. The cow with the most experience at Sebring is Old Cow, who began attending in 1959 [but not as a cow]. The majority of the herd were fraternity brothers and started attending in the late 60's early 70's. Most were present when the race did not run in 74! My generation of cow started in the mid-80's, we had to wait to be cows till the late 90's for obvious legal, ethical and moral reasons. Three other of my generation began attending in the late 90's as they were not raised in the area.
PP: What inspired the cow suits?
Cows: See above. The original cow suit has been donated to the Sebring International Raceway Museum.
PP: How many cows are there?
Cows: Since 1992, there has never been no cow at Sebring. After 1992, at least one and as many as 18 (we decided that was too many). This year a Baker's dozen are expected with a Virgin Calf.
PP: Do you do this for yourselves or is it charity related? If charity related, who do you raise money for and how do you do it?
Cows: We do this because people will give us a beer or two. We wear the cow suit at Sebring because we are the cows. Happily, we need no further reason. We do this for fun's sake. So that we can have fun, spread fun, and enjoy fun. We wish to be respectable (somewhat), fun, honest and safe. The suit is easy to wear, but hard to live up to. Other philosophical drivel, blah, blah, blah.
PP: Are there any misconceptions about the cows you would like to clear up?
Cows: Happily, we do not work for nor are endorsed by Chick-fil-A, Dell computers, the Wisconsin, California or any state's dairy boards. We are just cows, not pawns in the grand scheme of some corporations marketing plans.
PP: What would you want people to know about the cows?
Cows: The commercials are lying. The happiest cows come from Green Park!
PP: What's the strangest things you've ever been part of at Sebring?
Cows: Often, young ladies will feel enticed to show us their udders. Well this urge to share udders is not just restricted to the younger ladies. Some of the seasoned citizens of the Sebring Nation got together to give the cows a good showing of udders. There were about 6 of them... ladies I mean, not udders. Anyway the short of it was one of the most spectacular showing of udders that many of us have ever witnessed. That, and I was almost thrown on a bonfire for BBQ...
PP: Do the cows attend any other races besides Sebring?
Cows: The cows did make an appearance at Petite LeMans in October of 2010. Only 5 or 6 were present. They report that it's a totally different event. We have plans on attending the 24 Hours at Le Mans, however we are unable to secure sponsors at this time. Anyone???
PP: Do you hang out with the Drunk Monks of Sebring or is there a rivalry between you two?
Cows: There are some of us who do hang with the Drunk Monks. In fact, as far as I know, I am the only ordained Cow Monk. Therefore, Holy Cow. They are a more diverse group of folks (allowing women into the order) and we like them a lot. The Cows have no beef with them. In fact we share a motto. Be respectful, have fun, be honest and be safe. [Editors Note: We too have been ordained into the "order" and have the towel to prove it!].
PP: Has anyone ever tried to "tip" a Sebring Cow?
Cows: UMM... see the video below. The cow in question is fine, he was a cow the following year and has yet to rejoin the herd. His name is forgotten to time.
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