Last week, I had someone ask me why the Cleveland Cavaliers have a dog as a mascot, when they are the Cavaliers. I thought it brought up an interesting point. Sometimes the mascot suit itself doesn’t go along with the nickname of the athletic team. I know this might be common to some teams, probably your favorite team does this too.
First off, what are the purposes of mascots themselves? It’s to bring entertainment to the casual fans and everyone alike. I bring up the casual fans just because the people there to watch their teams won’t notice the mascot unless they do something to interrupt the game itself or walk right by them. It also brings an additional feel to the environment, to make it the team’s own. Are mascots needed, by any chance? Not entirely. Like I mentioned before, the casual fans love them and children also love mascots as well.
There’s probably a lot more teams that I don’t mention here, but I’ll mention a few. Of course, I should mention that this isn’t the important thing of sports, but it is an interesting topic.
Indiana Pacers– If you don’t know what a Pacer is (I didn’t either when I first saw a game in 2009), it’s a combination of horse racing pacers and the pace car used in the auto racing field (moreso at the Indianapolis 500.) Both of those things have rich histories in Indiana, and there’s an interesting story on wherever to call the team Indiana or Indianapolis, but more on that later. That said, here’s Boomer and Bowser. Boomer is a cat and Bowser is a dog. Boomer, born in 1991, saw the beginning of the Reggie Miller era, while Bowser (2001) only saw a few years of the player now on TNT. If you look at their bios, it talks about what they like and don’t like (the one that made me laugh was “Bowser’s Salary: 365 Dog Bones.) Besides what I mentioned above, with the environment and the children, what does a dog and a cat have to do with a nickname based on an object in horse racing and auto racing? Granted, having someone dress up as a race car probably wouldn’t be something to remember, but it does raise an interesting a question.
Cleveland Cavaliers– The Cavs are currently rebuilding to replace their former star LeBron James, who is now playing for the Miami Heat as you know. One thing that never be taken away from the city of Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enter Moondog (the picture you see on the article.) Disc Jockey Alan Freed coined the “Rock and Roll” phrase, as well as the “Moondog” nickname. If you want to see something funny though, check out Moondog’s profile on CavFanatic and look under favorite types of music. There is no mention of rock and roll but classical, jazz, and “sassy.”
Stanford University- This school from the PAC-10 calls itself the Cardinal (no ‘s’.) It’s different from Cardinals because it’s not referring to the bird but rather a color in the color palette. Until 1972, the school had a nickname of Indians. When that was dropped, the nickname was the Cardinals, but not representing the bird. In 1981, the school decided to drop the ‘s’ and stick with Cardinal. This is an interesting case, since the school itself does NOT recognize the tree as an official mascot. Granted, it is a representation of the El Pato Alto and the redwood trees. However, the media (sportscasts and college games) will still have the tree as their official mascot.
Troy Bruins- As you might know, I am an internee with the Bruins. Also, I wrote an article about Troy’s hockey team earlier in the year. One thing I didn’t mention is the mascot suit. If you are a Dayton Bombers fan back in the day, you might recognize the tale (no pun intended) of the squirrel who couldn’t fly since he broke his tail so he flew planes instead. It made sense, since the the Bombers were based on Dayton’s history of flight and had a logo of a fighter in their last logo. It kind of makes sense in Troy since it’s in the same area of Dayton and there is Waco Field, just a few minutes outside Troy’s limits.
Ottawa Senators- When you think of the term “Senators“, chances are you are thinking about Politics in America. If you’re in Canada or you love some NHL, you think about the hockey team. The past few years have been splendid for this team born in 1992. This second-franchise of the Sens (first one played until 1934 and won 11 Stanley Cups) has yet to win a Stanley Cup but did come close in the 2007 Finals. The term Senators does not represent what we Americans think and hear about on those news networks, but rather a form of a Roman General. The mascot suit itself is “Spartacat“, a lion that is proudly recognized within the city of Ottawa. Its rival is Carlton the Bear, the mascot of the Toronto Maple Leafs (originally I thought about talking about Carlton, but I decided to leave him out just because I didn’t want to have a super long article and bore the readers.) Spartacat has been with the Senators since 1992 as well.
Those are only a few examples of nicknames that don’t match with the mascot suits. Like I said earlier, it’s not a huge deal if this happens, but it can be common. This might warrant a few sequels (by sequels I mean future posts) on the subject, since I left out a few examples out.
It doesn’t matter who/what the mascot is, it just matters who you root for. The players make the team, not the mascot suits.
Until next time,