RapidMan is back!
We had to bring the legendary blue mascot back ahead of our 25th season. After retiring 13 years ago, RapidMan has been seen only a few times but he made his return last night during the 2020 Season Kick Off Party at Dairy Block as part of the club’s week-long celebrations. Fans will see him this season around DICK'S Sporting Goods Park cheering on the Rapids and pumping up the crowd.
John Polis documented the history of the best mascot in MLS history back in 2015. We dug the piece out of the archives, because who doesn't need more RapidMan in their life?
Back in the day before cool was cool and an attitude of true hipness had not creeped into the personalities of American sports mascots, there was RapidMan. He was dashing. He was cool. He wore shades.
Slightly edgy, truly affable and wearing an ever-present Crest-white smile, he looked like a cross between a muscular man-smurf and a steroid-enhanced Bart Simpson who had just emerged from taking the polar plunge.
Everyone’s man-about-town, RapidMan popped up on the morning news, at public events, greeting fans, noshing with the tailgaters and, in general, being the must-have on everyone’s guest list. Indeed, during peak season you’d hear so much about RapidMan, it would make you blue in the face.
He was the Colorado Rapids’ first mascot from the team’s first year in 1996 until the Fourth of July, 2007, the day he officially retired. RapidMan, whose true identity remains a mystery to most (and will because he wants it that way) eventually realized that it was time to move on. That night in 2007, when he stepped down, just three years before the team won it all, he had served the club for 12 seasons.
That night, they had a “testimonial match” at halftime to pay tribute to his dozen years of service. On hand were several of the blue-profiled hero’s fellow mascots from around Denver, who wanted to participate in his last event.
A quick look on the Internet reveals an upbeat, strutting, high-fiving RapidMan, whose presence went far beyond MLS games. Archived TV clips show him on the ski slopes, at tailgate parties, up on stage with performers at various concert venues, entertaining the kids, ambling through the red rock countryside and even out skateboarding.
The creators of RapidMan, members of that first season’s Rapids marketing team, described him in the following terms:
“RapidMan was born a small drop in the natural springs high in the Rocky Mountains. As he grew, RapidMan traveled by brook, stream and river where, in 1996, he flowed onto the scene of Major League Soccer. He started out as the Colorado Rapids water boy, but in an official tryout and subsequent competition, RapidMan prevailed. After all the other runoff had evaporated, RapidMan emerged as the team’s true mascot.”
On his back he wore was the name “RapidMan,” which arched over his official team jersey number, H2O.
And the rest, they say, is just water under the bridge.