An unconscious Denver Nuggets mascot is lowered to the arena floor as frightened fans look on (He’s OK)

So yes, this is rather horrifying.

At the beginning of the Denver Nuggets’ home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, the team’s famed mascot Rocky was lowered to the floor from the Pepsi Center’s arena as per custom. The issue here is that, along the way, “Rocky” suffered a dizzy spell, or “had the wind knocked out of him,” and was completely motionless for the entirety of his descent.

Once he reached the floor, he collapsed, frightening the 19,155 in attendance to no end. This was no Halloween prank, no rope-a-dope goof – Rocky was out. From Denver’s 7News, via BuzzFeed:

The plan was for Rocky to be lowered in a harness, with a spotlight on him, just before the home opener.

Fans were horrified when a lifeless Rocky was lowered to the center court where he immediately collapsed. The spotlight was quickly turned off.

Rocky was checked by medical personnel before he walked off the court under his own power.

Word from the Nuggets was that Rocky had the wind knocked out of him and would be out for the remainder of the game.

The camera angle during the live broadcast made it appear Rocky was hanging by his neck, but the line went to a harness on his back that was hidden by the mascot's large head.

Goodness, gracious, sakes alive.

Here’s his fall from another angle:

You can briefly see Rocky’s entrance here:

Rocky, because this is 2013 and mascots are on Twitter, released this message to his fans after the game:

A lifeless mascot being slowly lowered to the floor in front of thousands. We know Rocky is OK – I’d be more concerned about the thousands that can’t un-see that image. Yikes.