Solar Power

I’ve been planning on this being the Mascot of the Day for a week now, but as you’ve seen, it hasn’t been happening.  No, I wasn’t on some sweet vacation- I’ve just been so busy that there has been no time.

But I must change this!  Life priorities!!!
All over the news there’s politics these days, to which we get to hear about women’s rights, taxation, public policy, environmental issues, and more.  But there is one Florida team who has it right.  Long before Donald Trump was on air dissing the Mexicans, the East Coast Hockey League’s Orlando team has been been advertising their love of alternative power.
This thing cracks me up every time!!! Maybe because he’s a polar bear with a hockey stick wearing shades.  Look, he’s got mega-guns for arms, and it’s all because he’s powered by the sun!  How is that not hilarious?!?!
This team feeds into the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, and has existed since 1995, though it did have a shutdown from 2001-2012 .
Named Shades, he’s probably the coolest bear (only bear?) in Florida.
Just know that he believes in sun safety.  He is always wearing his sunglasses, and wears sunscreen- so you should too!


Biology- that class where you cram into your short-term memory random animal facts, but the only thing you really remember is ‘kings play cards on fuzzy green stools.”  But let’s go back to it, because evidently I suck at it so much, that I thought a ‘saber-toothed tiger’ was a thing.

First of all, there was never such a thing.  There was a saber-toothed cat that is sort of the same shape as our current tigers.  But in many ways, they were more so related to modern marsupials than felines.  Second, the saber-toothed cat died out about 11,000 years ago, after an estimated existence of 42 million years.
Really, though, this photograph tells me that they do look extremely like tigers, and the sabertooth name is dead on.  Plus, who knows historical and current biology better than the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres?  This is Sabretooth, and he is quite the popular looker.  Born in the late 1980’s, this guy has been rocking ever since.  Seriously, he loves jamming to rock music on the ice, along with driving a 4 wheeler around the rink, bazooka’ing t-shirts at fans, and dropping from the ceiling.  Really, repelling upside-down from the ceiling
He’s so popular that back when Buffalo tried to have a lacrosse team, the Bandits, he was their mascot as well.  I doubt that team would have made it 6 years without him.
Sabretooth is even cute on PS4’s NHL15.
Because of this insane level of tough-yet-adorable, you should root for this awesome team who’s often overshadowed by the Islanders and Rangers, even if they did finish 23-51-8 last year, and and therefore last in their division.  It’s not the players or scores or standings that count- it’s the mascot.

The Nation of Mascots

Reading an article about some of the oddest mascots of Japan- because that’s what I do with my free time at work; I decided it is time I move to said nation.  Or at least visit, for gosh sake.  The opening paragraph went as follows:

“Japan loves mascots. I mean, anything and everything gets a smiling, fluffy, easily recognizable official symbol for bumper stickers and keychains and whatever other marketable venues there may be. The police have a mascot, the newspapers have a mascot, the national broadcasting association even has a mascot.”
There are mascots everywhere?  That sounds like the best thing that could ever happen.  Ever.  The thing about Japan’s mascots, though, is that they are not just for fun- they are for sales.  Team’s don’t have an animal to represent them, but a product to sponsor them.  Like Hokkaido, Japan, has a baseball team called the Nippon Ham Fighters, named after the ham-producing company Nippon.
This is Fighty, a pink pterodactyl.  Yes, I have been waiting months to use a word with a hilarious silent ‘P’.  But back to the story, Fighty was not well-received because 1.) he has nothing to do with the name of the team, and 2.) he still looks all pink like a ham does, so you still think unhappy thoughts about eating that thing.  Also, the person who was in the Fighty costume felt that the mascot should live up to his name, and actually got into a lot of fights.  Again, not a crowd-pleaser, so he was phased out a few years ago, and replaced with a bear.  Was a pig ever considered, because it’s a ham company?  Nope, never.  They did also consider a crab and narwhal, though.  Random.
He was a good bobblehead and booty shaker, though, so I don’t really know what else people expect out of their mascots.  So needy!
And just as a side note, this team plays at Sapporo field, which we’ve all drank once or twice.
Sapporo Beer
Middle-class Japanese beer is high class in the United States.  Oh the label of an import- how fancy of us.

Epitome of the 90’s

Thus far in the mascot chronicles, you’ve learned of 3 Chicago-based teams: Sky, White Sox, Cubs.  But how dare slack on the most important one of the ’90s kids- the Chicago Bulls.  It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what sports you like, what you think of the individual athletes- you watched the Bulls.

These superstars dominated for the majority of a decade.  It’s not just that the players were some of the best ever; it’s that they were there at the same time.
Look, personally, I am now a Hornets fan, but especially after draft time, I cannot name the starting 5 for next year.  But I can still name the starting 5 for the 1996 Bulls- Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Longley, Kerr.
Benny the Bull original1
Honestly, it’s depressing to think that’s what stays in my brain, but evidently those games mattered.  So today we will celebrate Benny the Bull, and his team being permanently etched into my memory.
Benny has been around since 1969, cheering on this awesome Chi-town team.  Just like you and I have (or will) age between age 0 and 46, so has Benny.  Here’s some previous photos of him:
I guess it’s true what they say- we all look awkward as teens (his body hasn’t quite matured with his head.)  And we all look best in our 20’s and 30’s, because honestly he looks adorable.  But I gotta say, for 46, he looks damn good- though maaaaaybe he should go for covering the greys with something a little more natural.
Benny can dunk and wave flags like the rest of them, and he can also be a bowling ball!
Not sure why that’s making me laugh so much!!!
And to end the workweek on the best possible note, I bring you the traditional, always wonderful, inflatamascot.
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Spring Break Mexico

Remember spring break?  A scheduled week where flights, hotels, and car rental prices would be through the roof thanks to schools having off.  Where did you go?  Were you the uncool kid who just sat at home watching cartoons, or were you the really cool kid who went to a different country?

It was such a stereotype- somehow the most popular kids went to Mexico, got all tan, their hair in braids, photos of them parasailing and waterskiing.  But most of them missed the best thing about the nation, Abierto Mexicano, and in particular, the TelCel moose.
The Mexican Open got a major upgrade when they were sponsored by TelCel, a huge cellular communications company based in Mexico City.  Each year, the company sends the moose down to Acapulco, and though he remains pretty anonymous, with no name, no back story, and no media coverage, he gets his happiness from the fans who excitedly post photos after meeting him.
You can dance with him!!! He’s got the moves!
He wants you to have a good day- thumbs up everyone!

Boomer Forever

Hey adults, yeah you, why must you always go dirty with things?  Why can’t things just be what they are?  Why are we all Freudian worshippers, where every single action we make and thing we say in some way relates to sex? Boomer, of the NHL team the Columbus Blue Jackets, rocked.  He was freaking awesome.

That cute stache and angry eyebrows make an excellent mascot.  But you just couldn’t get over the fact that he’s supposedly ‘phallic in stature.’  Guys, he’s a cannon.  He bombs the competition!  He’s waving at you, because he likes you!  How is any of this an issue?!
Boomer was born in 2014, and thanks to your gutter mind, he also died in 2014.  He was phased out mid-season to ensure that nobody would think poorly of the team and their sex-advertising ways.
The team still has Stinger, a cute unknown creature who is formally described (on the team site) as a cross between Big Bird and Bart Simpson.  Born in 1999, it looks like Stinger is in it for the long haul, unlike poor Boomer.
Goo Stinger!  But maybe you should celebrate a #tbt by wearing a Boomer shirt.  He has feelings, ya know?!

Like Father, Like Son

There are big moments that define a new stage in your life.  In childhood, adolescence, and even early adulthood, they’re easy to define.  You graduate middle school, high school, college, get your first full-time job.  Those each define an era of your life in some way.  But do you ever feel like a small change has somehow affected you way more than it should?

Today I had a surprising shock come to me… it was the end of an era.  Nick, the guy who basically taught me everything I know at my job, is suddenly now the boss of another team.  And I fully congratulate him, but at the same time, I’m like, lost.  I know what to do, but I’ve always been doing it under his wing, and now suddenly, I have to fly on my own.

But the one good thing about this whole change is that I no longer have to see his Clemson-themed desktop background every time I turn around.  The Clemson Tigers are his favourite team and his alma mater (and somehow mine), and boy is The Tiger uncreative.  No seriously, they named their mascot The Tiger.

With his frighteningly creepy eyes, I guess he does scare the competition.  And I’m sure he can claw out the eyeballs of most others.  But couldn’t they come up with anything more imaginative?
In 1896, football coach Walter Riggs joined Clemson.  He was a fan of the Princeton Tigers, and so decided to make Clemson also be the tigers.
Look, I would love to drink the haterade of this lack of creativity with his name and idea, but The Tiger is so good with his son, obviously named The Cub.  So I gotta have some love.
They play tail tug-o-war!
But watch out, Cub likes to hang with the ladies…
Clearly Cub gets his good looks from the other parenting half, though she is unknown and will probably be discovered later on as some sort of scandal.  Goo Cub!
And Gooo Nick!  Congrats!