The sports world has been in full kvetch mode this season as on- and off-field incidents have landed on the front page news. But some of the biggest offenders of morality are on the field in a way you’ve might not have noticed before: The Mascots. From Ebola flags to misplaced flaming references, sports mascots have had a rough go of it in 2014. Sure these furred, feature performers are there to make us smile, but under the comedy lies some dark and twisted behaviors. The Brooklyn Knight might be gone, but here are 13 others that deserve to finally be put to pasture.
13. The Racing Presidents
Don’t let the location of Washington DC or the prestige of former Presidents as their avatars fool you. These four scrap with a fury that would make the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia blush. The former statesmen treat the friendly between-inning races as a blood sport.
The Kansas City Royals mascot is a lion with a crown for a head (note: not a crown on his head, but his head is a crown), and the team he mascots for is currently in an unprecedented baseball playoff run. But back in 2010, Sluggerrr was sued by a man claiming Sluggerrr fired a hotdog at his eye while recklessly shooting the culinary delight into the stands. You know the old saying, “Physical anomaly, hotdog to the eye, three strikes, you’re out!”
As if problems in St. Louis weren’t in our face enough, the mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals is known for “breaking” the heads of supporters. It looks like the long lineage of brutality in the Gateway City starts right in the ballpark.
10. Pierre The Pelican
Although he has yet to committed any crime, Pierre is the stuff nightmares are made of and should be avoided at all costs.
With a name that sounds like an STD symptom, the Miami Heat mascot has had a mostly benign career, but it didn’t start off that way. In a 1994 exhibition game in Puerto Rico, Burnie grabbed an unwilling female spectator from the stands, dragged her to the floor and proceeded to try and dance with her in the center of the court. The woman tried to get away and wound up falling and hurting herself. Burnie was charged with assault and battery and sued for emotional distress. A plea agreement was eventually met, but the fire should’ve been put out then and there.
08. The San Diego Chicken
The Chicken has a long list of crimes, from trespassing at football games to assault on other mascots in front of a crowd. So how does he get to roam freely? Big connections such as Ray Kroc, owner of McDonalds and former owner of the San Diego Padres, always seem willing to grease the wheels so The Chicken is back out on the street by dinnertime. Possibly the Chickens biggest crime? A 1979 cover of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
07. Scrotie (Yes, real)
Rhode Island School of Art & Design is not a place known for sports, but Scrotie has been terrorizing denizens of Rhode Island with his constant indecent exposure. Scrotie tries to hide this fact by claiming he is cheering for the sports teams the “Balls” (basketball) and the “Nads” (hockey) but don’t let his smooth talking confuse you, it’s illegal.
06. Brutus Buckeye
Concealing the distribution of marijuana by claiming it’s a native plant ,“The Buckeye” has long been a cover for criminal mastermind, Brutus Buckeye. Not only does he hide in plain sight with his illegal behavior, he even gets the local college football team to wear the “Buckeye” on their helmet!
05. Ithaca College Bombers
Oh wait, they don’t have a mascot. Good call.
04. Sebastian The Ibis
The Ibis is a marsh bird known for its bravery as a hurricane approaches, but Sebastian The Ibis is known as a vigilante who is backed by some of the most feared group of athletes in the country. In 1989, Sebastian took it upon himself to put out a ceremonial flame placed by the opponent Florida State Seminoles. Sebastian was initially handcuffed, but when the officers saw the number and size of University of Miami players willing to defend him he was released.
03. Keggy The Keg
The unofficial mascot of Dartmouth, Keggy routinely serves alcohol to underage students in New Hampshire. You would think with an Ivy League education Keggy would be smart enough not to be embroiled in frat culture, but his routine of law breaking has never been curbed.
02. Stanford Tree
Often known to be in recurring fisticuffs with Cal mascot Oski, the Tree is not without its own problems. Coming from a hippie enclave in northern California and sporting a costume that looks like it was slapped together by 5th graders, the Tree was arrested in 2006 with a blood alcohol level of 0.157, twice the legal driving limit in California.
01. The Phillie Phanatic
Possibly the biggest menace in all of sports, the Phillie Phanatic has had numerous occurrences of documented of assault. He shoots hotdogs into stands from an ATV, he pours popcorn on broadcasters, he sprays them with silly string, he casts hexes against opposing pitchers and buffs the heads of any bald fans that are subject to be seated near him. The Phanatic also holds the distinction of being the most-sued mascot in all of sports, yet he still manages to run free. Once and for all, it’s time we put this pant-less monster to rest.