Welcome to the doldrums of the NFL off-season. Specifically, that portion between the NFL Combine/Free Agency and the Draft. That's where we stand today and so that's what led me to ranking every team's mascot. Actually, what started it was this story on Ryan Asdourian, also known as Blitz.
Asdourian suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but that has never stopped him from his important duties as Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, or his job making buckets of duckets (cash-money) for Microsoft. Hey Ryan, ever try to be less Seattle? How many cups of coffee did you have while watching Bill Nye the Science Guy this morning?
Of course, it's pretty awesome that the Hawks have a good mascot to match with their fanbase and team, and that the person inside the suit is an activist and has a pretty sweet job. Clearly, the Seahawks have the greatest mascot in all of the NFL! Or do they?
Ahhh, now you see how I get to where I get with these silly articles. Except that beyond simply pondering, I must find the true answer, even if it takes me minutes! Yes, minutes, I say! (Nahh.. this isn't going to take me minutes. This damn exercise will take awhile. And I was going to watch Dora the Explorer :( or is it Explora?)
With further ado, I give you... The Rankings of the NFL Mascots!
Did you know that five teams don't even have a mascot? That's why I couldn't say "All 32 NFL Teams!" and saying "All 27 Mascots!" would have sounded weird.
I told you that there was further ado.
Now, withOUT further ado... here we go!
I've lumped them into categories for easier consumption.
Rankings 28-32 - "We're Too Cool For This Party"
The following teams belong to the hipster portion of our rankings. These teams were into mascots before you were except that they recognized that mascots "are so lame, dude" and decided to opt out of it. When mascots become lame league-wide, then that is when the Packers, Redskins, Giants, Raiders, and Jets will finally get mascots.
They didn't assign themselves mascots... so I did.
The Packers - Discount Double-Chuck
Discount Double-Chuck is a former cheese factory worker that lost both of his arms in a sharp cheddar accident. The arms were re-formed using a combination of American, Swiss, and Pepper Jack cheeses and now he roots for the Green Bay Packers. He will milk his fame for all it's worth until you never want to hear "Discount Double-Chuck" ever again. Just don't call him Charlie.
The Raiders - Ghost of Al Davis
Al Davis never wanted a mascot, but for one simple reason: Only Al Davis could ever be the mascot of the Oakland Raiders and now that his body has finally passed, it is the Ghost of Al Davis that will roam the Overstock.com Coliseum. It was rumored before that the Ghost of John Madden was the true mascot of the Oakland Raiders, but recent biological studies done by researchers at Stanford University have unveiled results that apparently reveal that John Madden is alive. But is it possible that they were thinking of Mohn Jadden?
The Raiders wikipedia page cites "The Black Hole" as the Raiders mascot, but that's just a section of fans. The Raider Nation page is far more revealing with this sentence: "Why the Oakland Raiders would have such a dedicated fan base is not clear."
The Washington Redskins - Totally Appropriate, Politically Correct Native American Larry
Larry is of the Piscataway Tribe, originally from the Chesapeake Bay area. He is proud of his Native American roots and cherishes the moments he can spend with his grandparents as they recount what it was like growing up in the Piscataway Tribe and how things have changed. He's also a junior executive at the Washington-area investment firm of Farr, Miller & Washington.
He's just a regular guy with Native American roots that he is very proud of.
New York Giants and Jets - Ned and Nate New Yorkington
They share a city (two cities) and a stadium, so why shouldn't they share mascots?
Ned and Nate New Yorkington are brothers that grew up in constant competition of each other, vying for their parents affections. Ned is the older brother and the one that his parents often compare to Nate, explaining that "I wish it was you that had gone to Vietnam, Nate."
Ned has always enjoyed more success and is always picking on his little brother Nate, a boy who could never please his parents. Ned's awards line the mantle for everyone to see as they come in. Nate's 1968 Championship Trophy sits in a box in the attic, nestled between Christmas ornaments and a Joe Cocker record.
Nate spends his whole life trying to compete with Ned, but has consistently fell short for the past forty years. Their parents, now long in their retirement and relaxing in Florida until the good Lord takes them, are still curious about Nate's relationship with that Mark Sanchez boy.
Rankings 20-28 - "This Ain't No Place for Humans!"
So I just previously gave those five mascot-less teams a human as a mascot, but that is only because that's what they deserve for not having any actual mascot. Because the last thing you want as a fictional mascot, is an actual person. Having an actual human be your mascot is like having an actual dinosaur run your family ice cream shop:
Sure, it'll attract some publicity, but it's just not a sound business move. Dinosaurs don't have the mental capacity or opposable thumbs necessary to run inventory or make up schedules. Likewise, human mascots don't have the child-like wonderment necessary to root for the home team even when you know that you're two months late on your rent and that your wife is spending an awful lot of time lately with Donna, her friend from the roller derby team.
First of all, there is Ragnar, the sports only actual HUMAN mascot, one that does not wear a human suit above his human skin. Ragnar is the Vikings mascot. I was going to put him at the bottom of this section, because he is an actual person and therefore that should make him the most human of all the human mascots, but I read about Ragnar and God damn it do I respect him!
Still, it's funny that on Sundays you're like this:
And on Mondays, you're like this:
"Ragnar sell insurance!"
Rounding out the group are humans that are Less Human Than Human:
Captain Fear - Probably the least menacing pirate since Rico Suave
Sourdough Sam - He wishes to drink your milkshake
Sourdough Sam lost three fingers in a mining accident in 1885. It is said that along with his three middle digits, Sam left three fellow prospectors alone down in the hole to die. He still roams San Francisco with that shit-eating grin, knowing that they'll never be able to prove that he left those men there to die, but researchers are still hoping to find those three fingers lying next to the corpses of "Goldie" Tom, "Dirt Rub" McGraw, and "Ass Rash" Hannahan. Then Sourdough Sam's next public appearance will be on "I (Almost) Got Away With It."
We know what you did Sam.
Sir Saint - Will work for New Orleans until they remove the tumor
Mr. Saint's position is shared with Gumbo the Dog, which only goes to show how little the Saints care for either mascot. Choose one! Even if it's "Sir Saint's Enormous Goitre."
Rowdy - You've got to give Tony Romo credit for being a QB, holder, and mascot all-in-one
I'd recognize those dimples anywhere.
The only thing scarier than seeing Nate Kaeding pissing on the sidelines is seeing BOLTMAN on the sidelines.
Serious question: When did Duke Nukem and Jim Carrey from the Mask conceive a child together? I know that there was a sequel to the Mask starring Jamie Kennedy but I never saw it. In that movie, "Son of the Mask," did Duke Nukem take advantage of Jamie Kennedy while he was wearing the mask and did Kennedy later give birth to Boltman?
Because then this would all make sense.
Pat Patriot - That Seth MacFarlane is one busy dude...
Real talk, I think he looks like American Dad. That is the crux of that joke. Though it is funny that MacFarlane is also a Patriots fan (I am educated guessing) I don't think he designed Pat Patriot and I hope he would have come up with a more clever name than "Pat Patriot."
It's far less clever than Doug E. Doug and that's saying something.
17-19 - "I Wasn't Feeling Super Creative That Day"
As usual, I lump the Browns and Bengals together. They both exist. They are both in Ohio and yet I never think, "Oh yeah, those teams are from the state of Ohio." They both are the C.B.'s. They have similar colors. They usually occupy the same two spots in the AFC North division except that sometimes the Browns are third. I will confuse the two teams until the day that I die and their lack of mascot creativity does not change that in one bit.
Who Dey! Who Dey! Who Dey Think Gonna Eat Dat Doggie!
And rounding out the trio of "Well, I had Pilates AND a soccer game to go to on the same day they wanted me to create the team mascot!" is Rampage the Ram
16 - "Roary the Lion Meets His Dad"
Roary was a normal teenager. Normal, at least, for a human. Except the only problem was that Roary is not a human, Roary is... a lion.
Abandoned as an infant, Roary was adopted by The Jorgenson's in Flint, Michigan.
The Jorgenson's raised Roary like he was any one of their other children, human and alike. Tom Jorgenson went to all of Roary's baseball games, all of his tryouts, all of his recitals. They had Thanksgiving and Christmas and Halloween... the whole family had a laugh when Roary went as Timon the meerkat and his sister Katie went as Pumbaa the warthog, while it was human Tom that dressed up as Simba.
Still, Roary knew that there was something missing in his life. How would he ever know who he was if he didn't know where he came from? Tom Jorgenson could see this in Roary's eyes and he took him back to Africa to find Roary's real father.
Roary was so excited! He told all of his friends from the Rotary Club...
Tom and Roary searched all over Africa, asked around, paid bribes to African militia. Finally, they found his real father and Roary was beside himself.
"Awww, geez... Is that really you, papa? Oh, Papa, my Papa, how I have waited for this moment! The endless nights that I've spent dreaming of this very moment, I just can't believe it! I know we have never met Papa, but when I look into your eyes, I can see how you and I share the same blood, the same mind, I am clearly a chip off of the old block, my Papa!"
"Well, Papa, don't you have anything to say?"
"Papa, are you not proud of me? I am the mascot of the Detroit Lions, papa! I was captain of the dance squad, my Papa! Can you not be proud of your son and his accomplishments? Check out my "Power Stance!""
"Okay, Papa. I understand. Maybe you'll just need time to adjust. This is my adopted- I mean, just father. This is my FATHER, Tom. I still hope that all of us can enjoy tea some day and talk about the past, the present, and hopefully... the future."
"Hi there, I'm Tom Jurgenson. It's a real pleasure to meet you. Having Roary in our lives has just been m- OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD, NO!! NO!!! PLEASE STOP!!"
"DAD, NO! PAPA PLEASE DON'T EAT MY DADDY!!!! NO, WHY?! WHY DID WE HAVE TO MEET LIKE THIS!! WHY GOD, WHY!!!!"
And that's the story of how Roary the Lion lost both of his dad's.
Remember kids, real lions are real. They eat people and they eat mascots. DON'T confuse real Lions for mascot Lions or it could be the end of your world. And that's today's lesson from Roary the Lion. ;)
Coming up later, we'll finish the Top 15 of the NFL Mascots countdown. Remember to follow/hate me on Twitter because I said your mascot was some number not to your liking on this final list that will be submitted to the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Another C-word city in Ohio that I'm bound to confuse with the Bengals and Browns. Hey Ohio, ever hear of the other 25 letters?