Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Masks, Meh Tehs and a miracle chicken: meet the 'cryptids' of Austin FC

Austin FC's supporters' section has become a breeding ground for dedicated fans with wacky, "cryptid" personas. (Claire Partain/Austonia) (Austin FC/Twitter)

One could say that the hero of Austin FC's 3-2 comeback win wasn't one of the team's three goalscorers. Instead, the hundreds of fans who flew from Austin to D.C. for their team found an unlikely martyr in an inflatable rubber chicken.

Dressed in his own Austin FC jersey and painted in the team's signature Verde hue, "Pollo FC" has been seen swinging above the Austin FC supporters' section since last season. But it wasn't until he was confiscated, and later freed, by D.C. United security shortly before a three-goal Austin FC comeback that his name became synonymous with sweet Verde victories.

Since his mouth is stuck in a permanent "O," Pollo's thoughts were interpreted through Trevor Blow as he took a break from the crowd at the San Antonio FC match to talk about the origins of the club's favorite chicken.

Pollo FC can be seen alongside his keeper, Trevor Blow, at just about every Austin FC game. (Austin FC/Twitter)

"It started as just a drunk idea...I thought it would be around for like a day or two, but people kept loving it," Blow said. "It really just drew the best, childlike nature out of people."

Easier to spot than Bigfoot (feet?) or the Loch Ness Monster, but often just as mystical, Austin FC "cryptids" like Pollo FC are multiplying in the Austin stands with that same agenda in mind.

Drawing from a cryptid of wintry legend, Austin FC's "Meh Teh," which is another word for Yeti, isn't sure if he'll hibernate for the sweltering Texas summer since this "isn't the natural environment for a Yeti." But the man behind the furry mask but had a more straightforward answer for his motives.

Austin FC's "Mei Tei" is far from his wintry home but still shows up to each Austin FC match. (Claire Partain/Austonia)

"I love the game, I love the team," "Figured I'd show up in a Yeti suit."

Like Mei Tai, fellow Austin FC cryptid Verdiloko dons his Verde and Black mask (and cape) each week for more than just himself.

"I'm not just Verdiloko, I'm a voice," Verdiloko said. "I'm the voice of every single fan in the stadium, the voice of passion and love for the team."

Austin FC's Verdiloko is a self-proclaimed voice for the team's fans. (Claire Partain/Austonia)

Aside from embodying the team's jersey sponsor YETI, Meh Teh has found a purpose in posing for pictures with young Verde supporters.

"It's fun for other fans, it's fun for little kids," Meh Teh said. "That's what it's all about."

Each cryptid has also gained a presence on social media. Ever the philanthropist, El Pollo has used that newfound fame to do more than change the results of Austin FC games; all proceeds for his stickers and merch go to local animal shelter Austin Pets Alive!

"There was a significant momentum change as soon as he got freed," Blow said. "He's become legend."


Lone Star scuffle: Austin FC takes back its 'Pride' in 2-2 comeback draw to rival FC Dallas

Austin FC kept rival FC Dallas to a draw Saturday night as it pulled off a 2-2 comeback. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.

Keep ReadingShow less
PHOTOS: Hundreds protest for abortion rights in Austin amid Roe v. Wade ruling

(Bob Daemmrich)

Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.

Keep ReadingShow less