Irv Moss, The Denver Post
Posted: 07/04/2013 12:01:00 AM MDT
When 59-year-old Ted Giannoulas hears the laughter in the crowd, it makes him feel like he is 21 again.
Once as big a crowd favorite as the players in the game, Giannoulas, better known as the San Diego Chicken, will be at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs as part of the Triple-A Sky Sox's night games Thursday and Friday.
"I'm still communicating with the crowd," Giannoulas said in a phone interview this week. "I see myself as a comic and when I hear a stadium come alive, it inspires me. ... My bones creak a little more now, but I still can get plugged into the energy of the audience."
Giannoulas is 5-foot-4 and 160 pounds. He considers himself the "godfather" of the mascots that have become part of almost every team's roster.
"When I started, I threw myself into it," he said. "Sometimes, I'd sleep in the office. It always was the first thing I'd work on in the morning. I always was adding new things. I devoted every second to the chicken act. I pretty much limit myself to a summer schedule now."
Giannoulas agreed to work the Sky Sox games after a request from general manager Tony Ensor, a longtime friend.
The San Diego Chicken isn't a stranger to events in Colorado. He once conducted the Denver Symphony Orchestra in a concert and has performed for most of the area's sports teams, including the old Colorado Rockies of the NHL.