Houston Texans’ Toro named 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year

His work during the pandemic is just one reason to love him

Toro, as seen on Instagram with his 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year trophy.
Toro, as seen on Instagram with his 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year trophy. (Houston Texans/Toro/Instagram)

HOUSTON – The Houston Texans mascot, Toro, has been named the 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year, the team announced Thursday.

The Texans said in a news release that the award is voted on by all 26 NFL mascots at the NFL Mascot Summit each year and given to the NFL mascot who achieved the highest success overall.

Toro also took home the 2021 Anchor in the Community award for the mascot who had the greatest impact on the community.

This year’s NFL Mascot Summit (um, what is this amazingness?) -- where NFL mascots share best practices and begin preparations for the upcoming season -- was held virtually and concluded with the NFL Mascot Awards.

Each mascot reviews submissions for a variety of awards including Skit of the Year, Video of the Year, Stunt of the Year, Social Media of the Year, Blooper of the Year, Anchor in the Community and Mascot of the Year.

An image from the Aug. 4, 2021 TORO photoshoot at NRG Stadium. (Houston Texans)
An image from the July 15, 2021 TORO photoshoot on the field at NRG Stadium. (Houston Texans)
An image from the July 15, 2021 TORO photoshoot on the field at NRG Stadium. (Houston Texans)
An image from the July 15, 2021 TORO photoshoot on the field at NRG Stadium. (Houston Texans)

Toro was selected for these awards based on his ability to adapt and innovate during the 2020 season including a strong gameday presence, social media presence and community impact. Most notably, Toro innovated the concept of virtual classroom visits at the start of the pandemic, which impacted nearly 10,000 area students through 200 virtual classroom visits and was quickly adapted by sports mascots across the country.

The Texans will celebrate the NFL Mascot of the Year Award by having Toro wear a 2021 NFL Mascot of the Year patch on his jersey all season long and a celebration during the Kids Day game versus the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.

Toro debuted as the official mascot of the Houston Texans on April 23, 2001 and is celebrating his 20th anniversary with the team this season. Toro is most known for his high-flying stunts, hilarious hijinks, and ability to create the Homefield Advantage inside NRG Stadium during Texans home games. The Texans mascot has been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl 10 times.

You can follow Toro on social media on Facebook at TORO, Twitter at @TexansTORO1, Instagram at @texanstoro1, TikTok at @texanstoro1 and YouTube at @texanstoro1.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.