For a Quick Smile

I am completely risk averse in my life; I’m the government bond of humanity- it takes a long time to completely become a part of my life, but I am guaranteed to give you back something and not abuse and lose what you’ve given me.  But in a world of the instant gratification that is Twitter, YouTube, and accurately named Instagram, snail mail isn’t so fun anymore.  Who wants to wait days to receive a letter when they can get a Snapchat in two seconds?

That’s why I love stuffed animals and mascots so much- they’re made for happiness and are reliable and loving and don’t ditch you for something easier and faster.  They’re dependable and loyal to their team, which I’m coming to realize is of utmost importance to me.
Recently, the NBA allstar game was on, which I have no interest in watching, because what kind of score is 196-173?  Is every quarter 25 minutes?  Is it just an hour of unguarded dunks?!  But the good thing of it, I’ve heard, is that it was mascot-heavy.  Which means it was filled with happiness, some from a guy named Boomer, of the Indiana Pacers.
Boomer is a cat born in 1991, and his life is dedicated to ensure that a smile is on your face, whether it’s by performing hilarious dance moves, riding a tricycle, or dunking like a champion.  How amazing is that?!
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Thanks for making me smile today, Boomer, and you freaking rock on a tricycle.
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Now go eat catnip and watch Tom and Jerry to think of more practical jokes to play on people.
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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.
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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.
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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:
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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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Gooo Kristaps!

Yesterday was NBA draft day, which shows hopefuls their ranking, fate, and home for the next year.  Hosted in the wonderful NYC, there were of course a looot of Knicks fans there.  Which meant that when the Knicks made their pick, the reaction, good or bad, would be big.  Boy was it big, and like the wolf, also bad.

Poor Kristaps Porzingis, hearing the boos and jeers immediately after one of the best moments of his life.  Finishing as the second worst team in the NBA last year, the Knicks took a gamble.  It’s not a bad idea, really.  He did extremely well playing in EuroCup basketball.  Will it translate well to the NBA?  We’ll see in the next year.
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But to celebrate Kristaps’ awesome name (and his amazing fluency in the English language, that was WOW), and fight against the booing, today we will celebrate Jerome, the mascot for Baloncesto Sevilla of Eurocup basketball.
Jerome was inspired by the Disney character Ferdinando, from the 1931 movie “Ferdinand the Bull”.
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Jerome was born in 1998 to pump up the crowd and be involved in more children’s activities around the country.  But really, he looks a bit too scary for kids.  Nice calves though.
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And he’s doing the Lebron thing pretty well, but with free stuff instead of powder.  Good call!
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The Golden Champions

Okay, I’ve put it off for two days, but I guess it’s necessary.  Congratulations to Golden State on becoming the 2015 NBA Champions.  It’s not that I hate them, per se, I just have a few problems with the team.

1. If I have to hear about Steph Curry’s personal life anymore, I swear, I will lose it.  I don’t care that your mom is hot, that your kid is loud, that your wife is a “hard working woman” because she writes a blog.  I don’t care that you’re from Charlotte.  Just, go away.
2. I’m sorry that your team hasn’t won in a long time, and I get that this was big, but guess what?  Cleveland hasn’t won IN EVER.  Cleveland is known for it’s failed sports- the Browns, the Indians, nobody has had a championship in 50+ years.  This would have been great.
3. You don’t have a mascot.  You had one, and then one day, the guy decided he didn’t want to do it anymore, so you just got rid of it.  You didn’t hire someone else to fill the role, didn’t come up with another mascot, you just got rid of it.
This is Thunder:
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Some say the team got rid of Thunder because of the Oklahoma City Thunder.  But, get a new one!  Mascots are the best!  Instead, they just get a million different logos.
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Logos are not nearly as good as mascots.  However, when you search Golden State mascots, this also comes up, and I found it to be oddly hilarious.
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The Palace of Auburn Hills

When you think of Detroit, what comes to mind?

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But did you know that they actually have an ADORABLE mascot?  Who would have thought?!?!
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This is Hooper. who represents this unfortunate, broken team.  Their poor trades, unfortunately high contract offers, coaching changes, low team net-worth, and waiving of Josh Smith has lead to a decade of failures.  But Hooper is still smiling.
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Hooper was born in Lucky, Kentucky, and was bred to be a racehorse. However, with his natural acrobatic talents, he knew he wanted to do more than race.  He ran off to Michigan to become a mascot and stuntman, and The Palace of Auburn Hills became his new home. And yes, that name sounds very fancy- it is a nice, wealthier suburb of Detroit, and probably a lot less ‘hood’ than what we usually think of with Detroit.  But I still wouldn’t mess with him- one of his talents is being able to break bricks with his bare hooves.
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King Lebron

Lebron James- love him or hate him, he’s pretty good at what he does.  By ‘what he does’ I mean having a big ego.  It’s not that I don’t think he’s a good player, but he just comes with a Cavaliers-can’t-be-the-champions curse.  Last night he lead the Cavs to a non-entertaining romp over the Hawks, easily finishing their 4-0 conference title series.  But will the domination continue, or will the curse endure?  We’ll just have to wait and see.  But for now, we’ll take a look back at the team who jerseyed-up, showed-up, and played, only to lose each time.

The Atlanta Hawks were only only underdogs by 7.5 last night, and yet lost by 30.  Ouch.  But Harry the Hawk still loves you.
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Harry is a great sport, and remembers the big picture- they did end as up the #4 team in the league.  And to keep the frustrated crowd smiley, he makes funny faces…
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…And rides tricycles…
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…And takes a sweet dunk while growing out his mohawk.  Kickass.
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If You Had Fun, You Won

The “Greatest Generation”, as described by Tom Brokaw, went through a few wars, the Great Depression, and really just lived through a lot of tough years without much reward.  Therefore, they are often coined as hating the later generations’ celebration of mediocrity.  You got a ribbon for participation?  In the real world, just showing up is not good enough.  You have to win.

And yes, we celebrate winners, and to an extent mediocrity, but what about complete failures?  They seem left out.  Sure, they’re participants, too, and all participants are equal, but some are just more equal than others.
So today we will make sure to pay attention to the failures, and congratulate the worst team in the 2015 NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves.  When the season contains 82 games, how do you only win 16?  How can you possibly lose 15 games in a row?!
You’ve made Crunch the wolf very sad.
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Sure, he’s still smiling, but that’s because unlike the team, he has had great success this year with his flying slam dunks.
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Since this is a not-uncute, not-cute mascot, we move on to the backup version, the inflata-mascot.  And look, he’s racing Hugo!
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