Meet Big Mike: The SU Junior Who Wears Shorts 365 Days A Year


For most students at Syracuse, shivering through the brutal winters is one of the biggest drawbacks of attending this university. For others, it is an opportunity to pursue the limits of human endurance and set a new standard for athleticism. The Kumquat sat down with SU Junior Michael “Big Mike” Stevenson, one of those few brave enough to welcome the winter like a noble opponent and smash campus records from the knees down.


The Kumquat: So, Big Mike, we are humbled by your journey to truly give yourself over to the sublime power of the Earth and Mother Nature. What inspired this awe-inspiring quest to wear shorts for the duration of the Syracuse winters?


Big Mike: I’ve been going to ‘Cuse for 3 years now. I’m from outside Boston. I know what winter is. It’s not a big fucking deal. People need to stop being pussies about it. It doesn’t affect me at all, so why wouldn’t I wear shorts? Less laundry to do.


The Kumquat: We can tell you are fully committed to your craft. What is your usual training regimen in preparation for each winter?


Big Mike: Train? I don’t need to train. Like I said, I’m used to it. When I DO train, it’s not for this. You can catch me at Archbold at least 5 times a week. I live for the grind. And getting consistent results is made a whole lot fuckin’ easier if you’re always in shorts. Then you’re always ready.


The Kumquat: Wow. It really sounds like you are pushing your body to its limits. In fact, it reminds us of when the man slips into the comfortable and satisfying sleep of death at the end of Jack London’s To Build A Fire. The pain that comes with you practice is one of meaning – gratifying your desire to become close to the world. Have you sustained any injuries over the course of your career?


Big Mike 1: My mom always says that I’ll get frostbite and need an amputation, but I don’t give a shit. It’s literally never as cold as she thinks it is. I’m hot-blooded. I don’t care. I’ve never had an issue. I’m indestructible.


The Kumquat: The courage you have is unparalleled. What has been your greatest obstacle since the beginning of your undertaking?


Big Mike: One time, I couldn’t find a clean pair of shorts to wear, which really pissed me off because my last pair my roommate used to wipe up puke in the kitchen because his girlfriend couldn’t handle her liquor. Instead I took my old varsity baseball sweatpants and cut them into shorts, which worked out fine and actually looked pretty good with my Timbs.


The Kumquat: You are truly an inspiration to us all, Big Mike. Any plans for the future to continue mastering your art?


Big Mike: I’m gonna get hammered at the Dome tonight and watch ‘Cuse destroy Notre Lame, and then I’ll probably go to Chucks with the boys.


The Kumquat: Thank you for joining us.