Campus celeb pumped for Homecoming

by Steven Orbuch | 10/29/04 5:00am

Jesus did it over 2,000 years ago. Tupac did it in 1997. Keggy's doing it at Homecoming.

Keggy the Keg, Dartmouth's unofficial rogue mascot, will be resurrected at a major campus event this weekend, according to sources close to the giant beverage container.

Jeffrey Wagner '06, who, along with the Dartmouth Jack-o-Lantern humor magazine, was left in charge of the caricature mascot, declined to comment regarding what event Keggy will appear at and on who will wear the costume in the absence of former Keggy Andrew Argeski '06, but promised that he would make "a big splash this weekend, particularly for the '08s who haven't seen him yet."

Argeski, who has performed the role of Keggy since he first appeared at the 2003 Homecoming, is currently on the off-campus Environmental Studies program informally known as "The Stretch."

Following his first appearance at last year's Homecoming game against the Columbia Lions, in which Keggy was helped onto the field by Safety and Security for an impromptu performance alongside the Dartmouth College Marching Band, Argeski found a dedicated following as he appeared at various campus sporting events.

"I liked the way he united the student body and how people got behind him ... even when the team was losing," Wagner said. "Keggy also proved how we can be a great school, yet not take ourselves too seriously."

Then on Dec. 5, 2003, Keggy's stint as a campus celebrity came crumbling down, with his future placed in jeopardy. On that day, Keggy's co-creators Nicolas Duquette '04 and Chris Plehal '04 announced that the Keggy costume had been stolen from the Sigma Nu fraternity library, and that the Jacko had received a threatening e-mail and photo from the "kegnappers."

Within the week, the Keggy costume was voluntarily returned with damages to its nose and mouthpiece. Keggy was ultimately repaired and made more notable appearances at campus events through spring 2004, including a well-attended lumberjack competition on the Green.

One year later, a member of the "kegnapping" crew, who wished to remain anonymous, reflected on the incident, expressing that it was a "joke at heart."

"We always planned on returning the keg," he said. "Also, everyone I spoke to, except Jacko members, thought that it was funny. This even includes a Safety and Security officer who stopped by our room during the investigation."

Nevertheless, the kidnapping clearly contributed to the wear-and-tear of the costume, which was in "rough shape," Wagner said, when he was bequeathed the role of Keggy's caretaker this fall.

Since then, however, the costume has received a new coat of paint and mouthpiece, in addition to a "re-crafted nose," ensuring that when Keggy appears, he will look like the Keggy of old, Wagner said.

Wagner also expressed that although Keggy's reappearance promises to be an exciting event, it will also be somewhat bittersweet because it will be the mascot's first appearance in the absence of Argeski and its recently-graduated creators.

"I think that though they are gone, they are still really happy to see that what they created is still happening," Wagner said.

They would also be happy to hear that word of Keggy's return has set students outside of the East Wheelock residential cluster abuzz heading into the big weekend.

Former Big Green Sports Update editor David Wolkoff '05 said that he was looking forward to the fact that "Keggy's presence energizes the Dartmouth fan base, making it easier for our teams to dominate on the field."

First-time Homecoming weekend participant Alexandra Mesa '08 expressed similar enthusiasm for her first encounter with the King of Kegs.

"I heard Keggy is the unofficial mascot because our real mascot is kind of lame -- the Big Green?" Mesa said."So I am definitely looking forward to encountering the mascot during festivities."

Since his first appearance, Keggy the Keg has been a media darling of sorts, drawing coverage on various cable news stations and ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, as well as in publications including The Washington Times, Playboy and Sports Illustrated On Campus.