Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 9/4/12

How would you like to scare and delight children, fly through hoops of fire and see every Phoenix Suns home game to boot. Sounds too good to be true? It isn't. The NBA team is looking for someone to perform as the Phoenix Gorilla — the iconic, hairy mascot for the Suns NBA franchise.

If you want your mom see your actual face on a magazine cover, don't bother trying out. The identity of the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, aka "Go," is kept more secretive than Mitt's tax return.

The Suns placed an ad looking for a new body to fill the gorilla suit and the requirements of the job:
Mascot - Phoenix Suns (Phoenix, AZ) Position summary:
Be a world-class performer and ambassador for the Phoenix Suns organization both on the court and at appearances (charities, schools, hospitals, local businesses, etc.). Continue the great Gorilla "Go" tradition of making people smile, leaving them with long-lasting/positive memories, and representing the team with pride and passion. This is a full-time, salaried position reporting to our Vice President, Game Entertainment.
The world-famous Phoenix Suns Gorilla has been around since 1980 and was one of the first mascots inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. If you thought the odds of becoming a professional athlete were slim, try becoming a professional sports team mascot. There are only 30 in the country. Besides pumping up fans and riling opponents at games, Go hits dozens of charity events around the world. The job is not just dragging your knuckles around like an ... ape. Other job qualifications the team is looking for from candidates include:

  • College degree
  • 2 years mascot experience
  • Acro-dunk experience
  • Weekend and extended hours
  • Withstand and perform under extreme heat
  • Great sense of humor

What happened to the old gorilla? The Phoenix Gorilla was involved in an altercation at a Tempe, Ariz., restaurant when a Miami Heat fan punched him in the nose. That gorilla was a backup performer named Robert Woolf — and not the regular Go seen at games.
The new Phoenix Gorilla won't be working for bananas either. Woolf said the Suns' simian makes up to $200,000 a year.

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