Jack Cogswell does not consider himself to be overly extroverted.
“If people don’t know me that well I might come off as, at first, a little bit quiet, but I’m usually pretty outgoing,” Cogswell said.
Though this might be true on any typical day, upon entering the lower bowl of Breslin Center, Cogswell, a supply chain management and Chinese sophomore, is transformed from an MSU student into superfan, Izzone member and, perhaps, most notably “Green Man.”
Cogswell, who regularly dons a skintight, bright green bodysuit at men’s basketball games, said the get-up helps him express his love of Spartans sports.
“As Green Man, I definitely dance a lot more and I guess that that’s basically the biggest difference,” Cogswell said. “I’m just a crazy fan either way, I just dance a lot more as Green Man.”
Cogswell originally bought his Green Man outfit as a Halloween costume to portray the character Charlie from the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The suit attracts quite a bit of attention, although not always the type that Cogswell would prefer.
“My favorite memory overall would have to be on Halloween,” Cogswell said. “I was walking home and a cop car was driving right next to me, then they rolled down their window and were like, ‘Hey, come over here.’ So I was like, ‘Oh, crap,’ then I walked over to them.”
After explaining the origin of the costume and its character, Cogswell said he had little left to do other than fulfill the officer’s request.
“So I did the dance for cops, like on the side of the road. People thought I was about to get arrested,” Cogswell said.
His devotion and support has given him a number of special opportunities, such as a chance to compete in the cash crawl contest and to have a piggyback ride from Sparty himself.
“(Sparty) came over and pointed at his back so I went and hopped on and he just took me around the court and that went over pretty well with the crowd,” Cogswell said.
Genna Cousineau, a zoology and Chinese sophomore, met Cogswell in a Chinese class and attends basketball games with him. Cousineau said Cogswell is a high energy fan whose crazy dance moves attract a lot of attention.
“He’s always full of energy and doing crazy stuff,” Cousineau said.
Cousineau was with Cogswell when he debuted his costume in the Izzone.
“We were really excited to see everbody’s reaction,” Cousineau said, “It turned out great and everybody loved him.”
Although a devout Spartans fan now, growing up in Kalamazoo, Cogswell was raised to support the cream and crimson of Indiana University.
“I was born a Hoosier and raised an IU fan,” Cogswell said.
His passion for Spartan green came later when his older brother decided to attend MSU.
“I started making the transition quickly, became a Spartan fan and rooted against IU when they played each other. Been a Spartan fan ever since,” Cogswell said.
So what is it like to covered from head to toe in the green, stretchy fabric? According to Cogswell, it is actually quite comfortable.
“I was a lot more comfortable in the Green Man suit because it’s really breathable, as opposed to jeans where my legs would get hot and nasty,” Cogswell said. “So it’s pretty comfortable; you can breathe through the hood really easily actually, so there’s never a problem with that.”
Although the suit is a comfortable fit, when the game is on, Cogswell has his priorities straight, preferring to remove the face mask in order to have maximum visibility of the game that inspires his school spirit.
With an estimated three years until graduation, Cogswell said that Green Man is here to stay, although he thinks that this particular form for fandom will stay at Breslin.
“It’s definitely better at the Izzone. I was thinking about it for football but, I don’t know, I don’t think it would be the same,” Cogswell said. “I don’t know, it wouldn’t be special.”