Golden Hurricane (seriously)

Yes, I am aware that mascots have not happened in a very long time.  But I need to write one right now, or I will go crazy.  The project I am working on has thousands of problems, and I cannot find what causes any of them.
None. Zero.  Does that sound bad? Because it is.

But, it is not as bad as a golden hurricane.  What is a golden hurricane, anyway?  Am I the only one picturing urine going every which way?  That, frankly, does not sound pleasant, so I can see how it may deter the competition.  Even if it is supposedly sterile, it’s still just, eww. But, leave it to Oklahoma to use pee as a weapon.
The University of Tulsa does not see it that way at all, though.  Captain Cane has a few version, and only one of them really relates at all to a deadly storm.
I have mad respect for the old version.  He is what he says he is.  Sure he is a little doofy looking, but this is a golden hurricane. and that’s awesome!
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But then they got rid of him for something that there is no logical reasoning behind.  He’s happy, he’s cute, he’s got a huge buttchin; I respect all of those things.  But, how is he at all related to a golden hurricane?
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And bring it to today.  The one thing they had going for this guy was cuteness.  But now… nothing.  Nothing.  Bad costume.  Lumpy faux-muscles, scary face.
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So there ya have it.  The University of Tulsa.
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Where’s Swannie?

Where's Waldo Wallpaper

You looked at the image above, and immediately knew what you had to do.  Find Waldo!  Where is he?!  Are you searching?  Because you should be.
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As a child (and now), I loved these books.  They were extremely entertaining, and so amazingly detailed.  Waldo had quite an adventurous life, and I am glad he wanted to share it with us.
But Waldo is not involved in a sport, so he cannot be the MOTD.  If Waldo was to be transformed into sport-mode, I believe this is what he would look like:
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This is the uniform of the Sydney Swans, an Australian Football team where there is no shame in showing a lot of leg.  I mean, do they really run around in those?  Because it seems pretty, umm, risky.  So much leg!
But it doesn’t matter how much was revealed, because I would not be paying attention to them anyway.  I’d be searching for Syd Skilton, nicknamed Swannie, who is oh so cute!  He’s worried-happy (Is there a better word for that?  Teach me!).
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He’s rolling on the grass!  That’s skill!  How can that not make you smile?
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But before you go thinking that he is all fun and games, see his logo.  Dag.  He’ll punch you out with those guns.
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Geeky Nerdy Dork

In our culture, childhood is seen as this fun time of having no responsibilities and no accountability, while adulthood is viewed as serious and constrained by authority.  But to me, this doesn’t seem correct at all.  Adulthood contains 9 hours of resigning to corporate law, and the other 15 of doing whatever the heck is desired.  Eat 3 servings of ice cream, stay up late to watch baseball, don’t fold the laundry – none of it matters!  Childhood is 7 hours of classroom etiquette, and once that’s done, going to 17 hours of parental oversight.  Do your homework, finish your dinner, clean your room.  If you were like me, the work never ended.  Honours, AP, Accelerated, SAT, ACT, all meant that the assignments were difficult and often, and the stress would accumulate.  That said, yes, I was quite the nerd.  Or geek?  Or dork?  Which is it?

Dork, Nerd, Geek: often used interchangeably, but argued as being different.  I might call a WOW player a nerd one day, a geek the next, but I’m meaning the same thing.  Yet, I’d argue that there is definitely a difference between them.  As it turns out, they are kind of the same but kind of different.

Close your eyes. Reminisce to about tenth grade.  Walk into your precalculus classroom.  Turn to the chapter on logic.  Find a conditional statements section, and find Modus Tollens.  If P, then Q.
A dork is “a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.”  A nerd requires this same thing, but also requires the person be “very interested in technical subjects, computers, etc.”  Finally, a geek must have both the dork and nerd qualities, but not only does the person need to be very interested in the technical subject, they must also “know a lot about [that] particular field or activity.”
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I’d say to build a robot, a person needs to know quite a lot about sciencey-things, and therefore they are a geek, and de facto the other two.  Which makes the NFL a total geek!! Ya know the Transformers-like mascot that is always on the NFL intros during FOX games?  That’s Cleatus, and yes, he’s real.
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Made back in the 2005 NFL season and named by a fan write-in, he’s kind of awesome.  He appeared one day with no story, no reasoning, they just thought a mascot would be good.  And he is! Though he does not look good in a suit.  Wow those are some shoulders.
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He’s also hung out with Friday’s MOTD – Paws.  Small world!
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D12

To wrap up music week, I bring you the artist who saved me, who helped me make sense of the hardships in my world, who explained the dark feeling I have in my soul, when nobody else could.

As much as your pride tries to hide it
You’re cold, your touch its like ice
In your eyes is the look of resentment
I can sense it, and I don’t like it
(How Come, D12)
 
So many of us in Gen Y were raised on Eminem, with his pushing-the-limits material about taking drugs, getting drunk, sleeping with girls, and basically causing mayhem.  Related to this musical movement, but with more serious topics and deeper meaning, was D12, the rap group containing Eminem, Proof, Kon Artis, Bizzare, among others.
My love of this dark music is often seen as paradoxical to my outward life of mascots and stuffed animals.  I try to find happiness where I can, and try to look happy on the outside, but inside, am decently broken.  This is not a request for sympathy or a cry for pity; rather a proclamation of reality.  We are not always as we seem.
My wish is for people to be as D12 was: free to openly express their feelings within, to not always pretend that life is good and happy and positive when really there’s pain and downfall all around.  Upset and together is better than upset and alone.
Mascots bring people together and put smiles on their faces, if even for only the 3 hours of the game.  I see this as one of the best things that can be done in the world, and am thankful for such.
From Detroit itself, the home of Eminem and D12, is Paws, of the MLB’s Tigers.
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Paws loves blue and orange, eating stadium food, and taking vacations to Lakeland, FL (home of Tiger’s spring training.)
He looks like a weird version of Tony the Tiger, from Frosted Flakes, but hey, both are happy, so why not keep them both around?!
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Paws, Roaryof the NFL Lions, and Hooper of the NBA Pistons, are bffs!  Isn’t that cute?
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Tina Turner

Problems.  We all have them, and each time one pops up, it feels like the toughest one we’ve ever faced.  And it makes sense, because the problem we have right now is the only problem we’ve ever had that hasn’t been solved.  The pain we feel now is the only pain we’ve not overcome.  While it’s simple and logical to say that everything just needs to be put into perspective, it’s a lot tougher to minimize the feelings that go along with it.

Today is just tomorrow’s yesterday

some will die for you, some will lie to you
there’s all kinds of people in this world

(All Kinds of People, Tina Turner)
 
When you’re having a bad day, I mean, a really bad day, just remember that today is almost over: that tomorrow is a new day.  Remember that there are both good and bad people in this world.  You just have to find those who are good for you.
Tina Turner, of all people, has experienced this pain. Having an abusive father, mother who ran away when she was 11, and high school sweetheart who she broke up with after learning he was already married, her younger years were not exactly easy,  By age 23, she was married to her violent husband/musical partner of 16 years, Ike Turner.
After surviving all of that, she went on to have an extremely successful solo career.  For the next few decades, Tina’s accomplishments amassed, with top 10 hits, movies, and a net worth of $350 million.  In 2013, she got remarried, and moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where she loves it so much that she gained citizenship, and relinquished her US citizenship.  Good for you, Tina!  I am glad you found happiness!
Besides being the new home of Ms. Turner, Zurich is also where this guy lives:
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This is Cooly, the mascot for the 2014 European Championships, and while he has a crappy name, he is super cute and super athletic.  Is he gonna clear that hurdle?
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Yeah, I think the hurdle went well.  But crowd surfing- not so good…
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It’s okay Cooly!  We love you!!!!

Elvis

And when memories haunt me
And the tears starts to flow
I’ll just think of the sorrow
You caused me to know

No more for the past
To return will I pray
Gonna live for tomorrow
Starting today

(Starting Today, Elvis Presley)
 
Life is a series of hardships, of pain.  Whether it was designed this way from the beginning, or a tragedy of modern society, I cannot know.  But it’s what we’ve been born into for centuries at the very least.  It’s simple to think that the person next to you, the one who has more money, who has a spouse, a child; the one who has the answers, that their life is simple.  But the one who sang the above, who had the beautiful wife, the daughter, the fandom and fortune, was one with little happiness at all.  Elvis Presley, King of Rock and Roll, Army Sergeant, cultural icon, died at age 42 due to complications stemming from barbiturate and pain killer addictions.  The difficulties of life left him with a desire to cover pain with narcotics, sedatives, and amphetamines: 10,000 doses prescribed in the 8 months prior to his death.  Society’s fond remembrance is of course due to his musical influence, but should maybe be more than that.  To understand that there is no easy solution.  To be optimistic- think of the wondrous loves tomorrow could bring- easier said than done.
Southend United FC, a League One English Football Club Team, tried to embody Elvis’ legacy, nobility, and spirit in their mascot.  The team first decided on an eel, but was unsure of how to ensure this eel was popular, and therefore wanted to personify an already popular celebrity.  And here’s what the got: 
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Elvis J. Eel is, quite personally, one of the biggest mascot failures.  And I’m not exactly sure why he’s still around, except that the team’s previous mascot, Sammie Shrimp, was seen as equally ugly, but more phallic.  
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But their logo has the shrimp guy in it!  AHH!
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Elvis Presley, we’re sorry.  
       

Mercury

Since people seemed to enjoy the mascot post pertaining to Prince, I have decidedly made this “Music Week.” So another day, another notable artist.  Happy Tuesday!

When asked who you think the best musical artist of all time is, do you have difficulty choosing just one?  There is much talent out there, of course, and so deciding on the ultimate greatest might be challenging to some.  But for me it is easy – Freddie Mercury.  He can sing, write, and perform, in such different genres, without the A -Chorus – B – Chorus – Bridge -Chorus format that is almost every modern song.  He vastly outshines even David Bowie in ‘Under Pressure,’ and David Bowie’s talent was no laughing matter.

We often think of Freddie Mercury as a British talent, but in fact he is from Zanzibar, which is modern-day Tanzania.  He lived in Zanzibar until age 17, when the Zanzibar Revolution (overthrowing the Arab minorities in power) took place.  Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, relocated with his family to Middlesex, England, in 1964, where he went to school and held various jobs while continuing his interest and post-secondary studies in music.  That is until 1970, when he formed the band Queen.  The rest is history, forever being remembered for his theatrics, 5 octave vocal range, ingenius songwriting, gender bending, and AIDS awareness.
If I could only reach you
If I could make you smile
If I could only reach you
That would really be a breakthru
(Breakthru, Queen)
 
Hopefully between the release of this song in 1989, and his death in 1991, he was made aware of just how much of a breakthrough he’s made to so many of us, and the impact he’s had on the culture, both musically and socially.
Mercury, to me, you are the king of the musical jungle, the lion of composition, the simba.  Known mostly as the son from the Lion King, simba actually means ‘lion’ in Swahili.
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Which is likely why Tanzania’s most popular soccer team is Simba Soccer Club. Founded in 1936, the popularity is strong as ever, with a stadium for 60,000 fans.  And yet, none of those fans have suggested there be a mascot.  Lame.  So here is the logo:
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It’s cute and all, but will never be as memorable as Mercury.