Adams: My dumbest pro sports mascots
Hayden Adams | Monday, March 2, 2020
I haven’t yet taken over as Sports Editor, but as the time approaches for me to do so, I feel compelled to send off my predecessor, Connor Mulvena, by writing a tribute sports authority to his old piece on the dumbest pro sports mascots. So without further ado, in no particular order, here are mine.
Los Angeles Clippers
You may be wondering what a clipper is. Excellent question, one that I had to google. According to nba.com, after the original Buffalo Braves franchise moved to California, “a contest decided on Clippers because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay.”
Yeah … no. Clippers sounds like the team works at a salon clipping people’s fingernails. Or maybe, if they’re lucky, it connotes cutting hair, since that seems a little better. I feel like this name flew under everybody’s radar, as a lot of these did, back when people weren’t into flashy sports names, and because this particular team has been owned by the “Big Brother” Lakers for almost its entire tenure in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers
I’m not going down the rabbit hole on this one, but I assume they’re called the Lakers because the franchise was in Minneapolis, where there are lakes. Clever.
Sure, they had George Mikan Jr. and were successful, but I don’t think they had enough success to warrant sticking to a name like the Lakers when moving out to Los Angeles, where there are no lakes, and in fact today there is basically no water at all (sorry, not sorry).
Just wanted to throw this one in here because it’s no longer appropriate. They should change their name to the “Stealers” (a la Pittsburgh). You’re welcome.
You know why.
Green Bay Packers
I hardly know her. In all seriousness, when you google “what is a packer,” the first thing that comes up is a Wikipedia page on “packing,” which I don’t think would be appropriate to discuss in this piece.
Apparently Green Bay got their name from the Indian Packing Company, which used to process meat and had a factory there. Could they at least pick a factory that packed cheese? You’re embarrassing the heartland.
Cincinnati Bengals/Jacksonville Jaguars/Carolina Panthers
I get that the Tigers and the Wildcats are two of the three most overused mascots (along with Bulldogs), but we don’t need this many cats in the NFL. And to those who would argue that there are too many bird mascots, an eagle is the national bird so I give it a pass. And take it from someone who has a pet cat, one is plenty.
Calling yourself an “athletic” is a dead giveaway that you are anything but athletic, especially given that the A’s had to use applied mathematics and economic strategies to become successful. Coming from a nerd, that’s pretty nerdy.
It’s also incredibly pretentious. Given that people who compete in sports are called “athletes,” it’s like they thought “I don’t want to be a barbaric ‘athlete,’ I want to be an ‘athletic.’” It’s like Gwyneth Paltrow calling her butler a “house manager” (something she actually did).
Whenever I think of dumb mascots I harken back to an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where Sheldon enlightened me by saying the point of a mascot is to intimidate your opponent, then said no animal matches the strength pound-for-pound of an army ant. Jokes aside, I get the pride teams and cities take in their mascots, but let’s not forget the power a name holds.
Something generic like the “Flyers” can result in you having too much leeway in your physical mascot, so you wind up with something like Gritty, who was sued for (allegedly) punching a kid. C’mon guys. We can do better than that.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.