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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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.

Chicago on Fire

It’s only Monday, and I’ve hit the wall.  Evidently my brain is not feeling the 8-8 tax season hours, and wants me to know that the next 5 days are not going to be very peaceful.  It sucks- why can’t we all just have more energy?  Why can’t all humans have the energy of mascots?  Some of them are out there for 4+ hours, jumping up and down constantly in a heavy, non-ventilated costume.  How is that possible?!  Some of them, like Sparky here, even have the energy to sprint with a cumbersome flag.

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Sparky is the mascot for the MLS team the Chicago Fire.  They’ve been around since 1998, and had early successes winning 4 U.S. Open Cup championships between their start and 2006.  However, the past 10 years have not been so lucky, with no championship wins and only 1 appearance.
One of The Fire’s most heated rivalries(get it? haha) is with Cozmo and the LA Galaxy, who they often battled in the playoffs.  But Sparky has some buddies to stick up for him, thanks to the many teams of the Chicago area.
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Sparky is also friends with Tony the Tiger, though the reason is not explained.  Oh well- They’re GRRREEEAAAT!!!!
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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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Stereotypes Are Okay?

In the United States, society teaches us from a young age that it’s bad to stereotype; that stereotypes are wrong.  Stereotypes are mean, incorrect, de-individualizing assumptions.  This is especially true when paired with race/nationality – NEVER stereotype about a those!  Which is why it is mind blowing to even consider that Mexico did this back in 1986:

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As the host country for the World Cup, Mexico was given the task of creating a mascot for the biggest sporting event in the world.  Their decision making method?  Putting together every single stereotype of Mexico, and shoving it into character form.  So Pique, a picante pepper, grew out his mustache, put on his airy, brightly coloured v-neck, woven shoes, and sombrero and cheered with the best of ’em.
Yes, there was a physical mascot too, but unfortunately not a costumed one.

Pique, the official mascot for the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

Some nations were not very happy with the stereotype approach, and refused to endorse the event if this was the image.  So the official image was this:
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Even though this idea would have been much better (though less informative):
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Citrus Trio

When this is your team photo, how can you not be great?

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This is Ehime FC, the soccer team for Matsuyama, Japan, where evidently they don’t believe in kneeling.  In all of their pictures, they’re doing this awkward, butt-out, need to be shorter than the person behind me but still standing pose.
Founded in 1970, this team has been successful enough to get to the later rounds of the Emperor’s Cup, and has absorbed some of the smaller, less successful soccer teams.  What does this mean to me?  Absolutely nothing.
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I chose this mascot because they have three hilarious oranges that crack me up.  The main is tough and mean looking, and can probably put up a pretty good soccer fight- but then you remember, he’s an anthropomorphized orange.  He’s a piece of fruit!  You can just peel and eat, and gain some good vitamin C!
They each represent one necessary part of a sports team.  You need the rough, the fun, the exciting, the battler.  The one on the left is the angry, we’re a tough team mascot.  Cool.  The one in the middle is the nice, sweet, I’m good with kids mascot.  Also cool.  The one on the right, though?  What is that?  He’s just weird.  What sports emotion does that represent?  Maybe the words underneath say what he is, but we will never know.  Someone, translate!
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