No Torso

When I think of Oakland, California, a certain sense of fright comes to my mind.  Maybe I’ve watched too many of Discovery Channel’s “Drug Wars,” but this city just makes me think of violence, racial and economic tension, and high crime rates.  Or, maybe it’s because when I searched “Oakland” in Google, here’s what comes up:

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Of course, Oakland has an NFL team that carries along this vision with the following logo:
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Evidently, this raider-guy is so tough, he carries two swords everywhere he goes, absolutely ready to fight, even though he already got one eye stabbed out, and should probably be more protective of the one he has left.
I guess the management caught on to how this team was seen as absolutely frightening, and decided to make something that might be a little more kid-friendly.  So this guy was made in 2013 for just that:
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Okay, what position does he possibly play?  Helmet spikes tell me ‘offensive linesman,’ but single bar tells me ‘kicker.’
Raider Rusher was born in 2013, to make the team more family-friendly.  But he may not be as huggable as the team wanted to portray- he has no torso!!! Literally head and then legs, so where do you hug?!?!
But this little girl doesn’t seem afraid of him at all, so maybe I won’t be either.    Take down that dummy, girl!
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The Other Gophers

Not only is it Friday, I also have a colouring book here at work, so I am a happy camper.  Do you not want to give all of the princesses the stereotypical beige colour, with bright red lips, and neon yellow hair?

You know who else is neon yellow?  The Mascot of the Day, of course.  Little did I know that there is more than just Minnesota who loves gophers- we also have Towson, Maryland, home of the Goucher College Gophers.
This school of 2000 happy students has this tough guy fighting for them 24/7.
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Founded in 1885, the Baltimore Methodist Episcopal Church wanted a seminary, but Bishop Andrews was a little ballsy, and stated:
 
“I would not give a fig for a weakling little thing of a seminary. We want such a school, so ample in its provisions, of such dignity in its buildings, so fully provided with the best apparatus, that it shall draw to itself the eyes of the community and that young people shall feel it an honor to be enrolled among its students.” 
 
Minister John Franklin Goucher agreed, and so they pushed forth to found a college with both seminary and liberal arts.  They also wanted it to be architecturally groundbreaking, and spent much time, planning with many builders, to create what would be seen as a modern, forward-thinking campus.
I love that they planned so much for so many different aspects of the college, but why would you not spend as much time coming up with a story for the mascot.  This college has nothing for this gopher- not even a name.  But this is how he lives on, cute and tough.
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Except his costume version, which is the opposite of that.  Those eyes, they’re burning into your soul.
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Original>New

Lincoln, Nebraska- home to probably the most well-known inflatamascot there is, Lil Red.

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But just one hour northeast of this dreamy balloon is Warren Buffet’s quasi-reasonably-sized house, and home of the Creighton University Blue Jays.  Creighton considers Nebraska to be its biggest rival, though maybe they shouldn’t because this guy looks damn good in blue (and with Cinderella’s carriage, what?!).
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This Jesuit Roman Catholic university was founded in 1878, thanks to an old lady donating a lot of money after her husband’s passing.  Their official colours were blue and white, and so they were referred to as the “blue and whites” or “white and blues.”  Creative.  So in 1923, they had a write-in asking students to choose a mascot for the school.  200 suggestions were made, with the president choosing the blue jay, because it went along with the colours.  In 1941, a professor and alumni decided to make an official sketch of the mascot.
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This is Billy, and he has stood the test of time, with his cute/tough/angry/sad face confusing the opponent.  Later on, this matching cutie arrived:

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22:  The Creighton Bluejays mascot performs on the court while the Bluejays take on the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 22, 2013 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 159452657

Both the logo and mascot stuck around until 2013, when someone really uncool came along, and decided that a switch from the Missouri Valley Conference to the Big East should mean a team rebrand.
You had an adorable buddy who has been loved for 72 years, and you replace him with this guy?
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Those are not nearly as cute!  Bring the old Billy back!!!
Just a random side note… if old, cute Billy and new, ugly Billy had a kid, what do you think he would look like?  I think he would look exactly like the MLB Toronto Blue Jay’s mascot.
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The AFL Strykes Back

I used to have a job where I would much rather be sick at home than actually go to work.  My current job is not that job.  I am absolutely hating being stuck at home, despite the wonders of watching Dr. Phil and Maury, because I am missing coding on some awesome projects.  But the other thing I do at work is look at mascots, and thankfully, mascot pictures go with me anywhere that I want… because they’re just an internet search away!

Today’s mascot comes from the internet search ‘weird professional football mascots.’  Thank you, Yahoo, for finding what completely matches this description.  This is Styker, of the AFL’s Arizona Rattlers.

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He represents one of the longest-running and most popular AFL teams, being founded in 1992 and often selling out their games.  Granted, their stadium is only 15,500 at capacity, so selling out is not exactly a sign of popularity.
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In 2009, the AFL filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, because let’s face it, none of us watch it.  But the Rattlers and three other teams decided to try and keep arena football alive, by making a new league called Arena Football 1.  By 2010, Arena Football 1 had been granted all of the logos and naming rights of the original AFL, and therefore, none of us even noticed that the AFL had disappeared in the first place.  In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the team earned the title of ArenaBowl champions, but lost in 2015 to the Sabrecats 67-70.  Wow, I didn’t know AFL had such high scores and such little defense.  And rattlesnakes.

Rubix Mascot

Italy has a lot going for it, and that makes me proud to be a Palermo (yup, it’s Italian, for real.).  They claim some of the yummiest foods that we eat too much of- pasta, pizza, calzone, tiramisu, yummy! They are home to some of the most beautiful architecture- Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Colosseum, The Pantheon.  While technically a separate city-state, it is basically home to the religious mecca of The Vatican.  Sounds like there’s nothing it can’t do!!… Except for mascots.

In 1990, Italy hosted the World Cup and watched their team finish third overall, losing to Argentina and West Germany (the Berlin Wall didn’t come down until 1991!).  This World Cup was known for defensive play, with few goals scored, and dependency on shootouts.  There were also a record number of red cards awarded to those who don’t care to follow the rules.  But the real red card should have gone to whoever created this mascot:
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It’s pretty much half of a busted Rubix Cube with a soccer ball balancing on top.  How was this the best that they could do?  The icing on the cake?  It is named Ciao.  Ciao= hello, and therefore shows a cutting-edge level of uninspired.

Thankfully, nobody was forced to dress up as a multi-coloured box mannequin , but there was a sculpture for the event.  That soccer ball head better be regulation!
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CMA’s 2015

Yesterday was the CMA’s, and boy do I hate country music.  Or at least I thought I did, until Brad Paisley came along and rocked it out with the mascots.  Not just a few mascots, but like, dozens upon dozens of NCAA mascots.  How cool is that?!?!  These cuties walked the red carpet and everything!!!  Though the question ‘who are you wearing?’ did not come up as much, it was still the most fashionable red carpet walk ever.

This lady lady lived my dream:
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She got to wear a pretty dress, have a perfect hair day, and talk to Purdue Pete!
Purdue Pete- aka buff guy in a creepy plasticky mask, who lives in middle of nowhere, West Lafayette, Indiana.  He comes second to the official Purdue mascot, the Boilermaker Special:
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It seems like it would be terrible to be unofficial because they have a love for this mini-train, but Pete has really embraced it.  He is now the train’s engine, I guess.  Who needs coal when there’s world’s strongest legs in awkward ankle socks!?
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Purdue Pete was born in the bookstore at Purdue back in 1940- meaning he looks so plastic because he’s had a little work done.  But man, he is in great shape for being 75 years old- those arms are ridiculous!  He keeps them in tip top shape to swing this hammer around.
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And, because this came up in my random image search, and I found it hilarious, there is 100% a relation of sorts between Pete and Steeler’s Steely McBeam:
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