Back in the feather-fluffing days of the San Diego Chicken, there might have been some allure to being a professional mascot. You're famous, ostensibly, because you make thousands of people happy. Many people are eager to have their photo taken with you. Children idolize you. Plus, you get to hang around sporting events all day, albeit dressed in a sweaty costume. But as mascots became more and more ubiquitous, with seemingly every team — from college, to pro, to semi-pro, to high school — having one, well, it has lost its luster a little bit. If you still have an overwhelming desire to be a mascot in this era, it's a telltale sign of emotional distress. If you want to be in the entertainment business — as many current mascots cop to doing — this seems like a very crooked path to take. But what do I know — maybe an ICM agent will be impressed by the way someone performs a somersault while wearing an oversized blue animal head.
Given the current state of mascots in the cultural landscape, it was not surprising at all to read the story about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Grump mascot performer getting arrested for trying to solicit sex from a teenage boy. Mascots getting arrested for lewd, inappropriate behavior is commonplace. And with the "Furry" phenomenon in full swing, it seems odd that most teams don't do deeper psychological profiling for all prospective mascots. Especially at the minor league level, which seems to always have its fair share of deviants dressed in animal costumes.
So, this week, I'm mucking, I'm muddling, and I'm wearing my freshly ironed Anthrocon tee-shirt, and placing odds on the next minor league mascot to be arrested for dirty mascoting.
Let's yiff the shit out of this, after this jump.
Part jackhammer, part Fraggle Rock reject, you can't go to anything in the Joliet area without running into the minor league Jackhammers' mascot. It seems that anything important that happens in the Joliet area, Jammer is there; from Dairy Queen openings, to used car super sales, to radio promotions, Jammer can be found bouncing around in his usual jackhammery way. However, parents beware: Do not leave your kids in the vicinity of Jammer because he may autograph their protective cups.
Sure, the name is a dead give away, but I find it more troubling that the fella beneath the green stove top who prances around the Altoona Curve baseball games is so active. He loves square dancing. And he also draws caricatures. He teaches cartoon classes to children. He is a square dance caller. He teaches Special Olympians to square dance. He has a letter of recommendation from Fred Rogers posted below his resume page. He is not a real person; he's a trippy humanistic hologram created by someone during the deepest throes of DMT-induced hysteria. He must be stopped.
Rocky Bluewinkle: 2/1
Long regarded as the most famous mascot in the minor leagues, Rocky's notorious for flaunting his shapely horns and bulbous blue moosedom to all of those unassuming Wilmington Blue Rocks fans. I don't know what happens to people when they put on the Bluewinkle costume, but it brings out the sexual savagery in them. Take a look at this profile of former Bluewinkle, John Farrell and his odd little statement: "They may tell you different but chicks really do dig fur." I give John credit for trying to be both self-deprecating and suave while donning the Bluewinkle costume, but then, at the same time, I really don't. Forget the Celery, fear the Bluewinkle.
Never trust a mascot with a MySpace page, especially one that openly solicits dates, still in character at the end of last year's season:
"Now that baseball season is over, i have some soul searching time, some relaxing time, and some sleeping time ( i need at least 12 hours a day) However, living at a stadium that is only used for baseball is somewhat lonely. I want to make some friends, so i heard about this "my space" on the news, and i figured what the heck. I tried a few online dating servies(sic), but it seems that i am the only cat who knows how to type and talk, making it difficult to meet people. But i do love humans, and i hope to make a lot of new friends here."
Yes. Rooowwr. It could very well be possible that the Lynchburg Hillcats mascot is just out for fun and games, but read a few of the comments and it tells a different story. Like Lindsay Jamila, who simply says " I know who you are." Something tells me Southpaw enjoys his kitty cat costume a bit too much.