The Famous Chicken


If you would have told Ted Giannoulas in college that a short term job paying him $2 an hour would have turned into a career he would have laughed at you. Especially since that job entailed dressing up in a chicken costume. The people of California took to the chicken though, and he has become a baseball staple. I decided to go to the Silverhawks game Thursday night to see the chicken in person. I had seen him perform once before, but I was in middle school at the time. I should not have been as thrilled as I was to see him, but at the time the Baseball Bunch was still fresh in my mind. Along with Johnny Bench he was a staple of the show. The visit in middle school was good, but I wanted to see how I would react to him with adult eyes. The answer was very simple. I enjoyed every minute of it. Maybe it is the kid in me coming out again, but he really does a lot to keep the crowd into the game. The picture above and to the left shows him with his famous eye chart giving the home plate umpire an impromptu eye exam. He also led a brigade of mini chickens around the field who would do whatever he did. Part of what makes the chicken so fun to watch is not what he is doing, but what he gets the fans to do. In the picture to the right you can see the look of wonder on a young child’s face just after he had lifted his leg on the umpire. He also interacts very well with the fans. Much like Myron Noodleman did a couple of weeks ago he kept emphasising that a game was in progress, and you should pay attention to it. Balls and bats into the crowd can be dangerous. In between the innings is when the chicken performs his magic. He is so popular that these young kids in the minors will willingly let him make fools of them for the chance to interact with the chicken. That is the kind of excitement that the chicken brings to the table. Without the chicken we would not have had all of these entertainers making the rounds of the various ball parks all summer long. He was a pioneer. It would not surprise me one bit if he ends up in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday. I know that sounds crazy, but he was a visionary. The San Diego Chicken has given us a lot of enjoyment over the last thirty years or so. He has talked about hanging up the beak at the end of this year, but we can only hope that he will continue to make children young and old laugh for many years to come.
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