MASON, Ohio — When kids do great things, parents naturally want to talk about it. But a Mason mom and dad had to watch what they said… kind of.
“We’ve always said, ‘It’s a secret except for the 2,000 people Dave and I have told,’” said Lee MacKenzie.
You can understand why it was hard to zip their lips when you take a look at the photos on their fridge. They have all kinds of pictures of them with Brutus Buckeye from The Ohio State University, and the Bearcat from the University of Cincinnati: Their twin sons were Brutus and the Bearcat.
“This is such an incredible and rare story to have two brothers, twins at that, at two competitive schools in the state of Ohio,” said coach Chris Helmers.
And now we can reveal the mascots’ identities because the twins just graduated, as is custom.
Duncan MacKenzie was Brutus. Family friends who’d been in the Brutus lineage inspired him to try out right from the get-go.
“There’s really nothing like it,” said Duncan, “To be in a stadium with fans…and to get to be the leader of a chant for all those screaming people, to really embody that pride and passion for OSU is really the greatest experience of my life.”
His brother Charlie saw all the fun he was having, and decided to follow in Duncan’s footsteps – just in a different place.
“I have a hard time saying it to his face, but my brother inspired me,” said Charlie with a chuckle, “I saw him…travel all over the place, and do some amazing things.”
In his shorter stint as Bearcat, Charlie says he wore the suit about 100 times – everything from games to public appearances. And he did it in a banner year: UC football had a fabulous season, finishing in the College Football Playoff.
In fact, the brothers posted a video to TikTok when their teams both made the Top 4. It went viral, and you’ll see it in the video story with this article.
“It is really special. It’s my most interesting fact for sure, getting to be a mascot. My brother as well. And us being twins? Such an amazing year,” said Charlie.
He’s moving to Chicago for a job to make the most of his business degree. Duncan is going to medical school. No pro mascot plans in the immediate future, but Duncan didn’t rule it out.
As they take their next steps in life, their father couldn’t help but reflect on their college time, and their special roles with their universities.
“We’re so proud of them,” said Dave, “We really are. They’ve done great!”