For nearly 20 years, Dominic Davila has worked alongside the Rockets mascot, Clutch. Davila is a man you may not know, but has probably made your Rockets game day experience much more memorable.
"When they leave here, we want them to have a lasting impression that they had a good time," Davila said.
Making the lasting impression has its challenges when you're tasked with working with the mascot.
"Sometimes, I do babysit, because they're like kids on a sugar rush," Davila said.
On game days, Davila is found in satin silver, with "Rocketman" draped across his back. Rocketman is Clutch's sidekick character that not only takes photos, but puts himself in hilarious situations.
A few years ago, he participated in Clutch's birthday party dunk contest. He planned on dunking in nothing but shorts, but when he unzipped his Rocketman jumpsuit, he realized he forgot the shorts and had to dunk in front of a packed Toyota Center in spandex.
"I made it," Davila recalled. "That was actually pretty funny."
There's also the moment in which he surprised fans while hiding in a trash can. The skit went viral, but Davila says it wasn't easy to create.
"I went to two different stores, and I was literally jamming myself inside a trash can. And the people came and said, 'Sir, can we help you?' And I said, we're trying to fit a body in here," Davila recalled.
Davila added Rocketman wasn't inspired by the Elton John song. Instead, the character is meant to pay homage to Houston's space background.
He's worked five All-Star games and traveled the globe.
"I've been to China more times than I thought I would be," Davila said. "I got to go to South Africa."
It's not just about sports either. Davila helped develop Clutch's school shows.
"The biggest thrill I get is seeing little kids enjoy themselves," Davila said.
It's a thrill he's not planning on losing anytime soon. As he enters his second decade, Rocketman said there's still plenty of fuel in the tank.
"As long as people keep coming to the games, you'll see me either here at the Toyota Center or out in the community," Davila said.
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