Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Super Bowl Prediction: Industrial Workers to Beat Birds

I caught up on The Stranger's blog recently, and found lots of good stuff (like the composite-blob artist I posted about yesterday), but I'm trying not to lean on them too heavily for material this week. I imagine at some point I would have to start paying them a fee. Or start agreeing with all of their politics.

One more for now, though, because it involves sports mascots, and there are a few of you out there who can attest to my insane love of all things mascot: I love when they fake fight, when they gather for group photos, and especially when they're knocked out cold by careless baseball players swinging bats at them. (Best of all is when they fight for real, but I couldn't find any images of that. I know that a few years ago, a hockey coach scurried over the plexiglass boards to get at a mascot who was irritating him.)

The Stranger's analysis of the forthcoming Super Bowl centers on the fact that no team named for a bird has ever won the event. Bad news for the Seahawks, of course. (Give the page a few seconds to load; it's been taking a while to skip to the right archived post, but it eventually gets there.) The Ravens did win it a few years back, and the piece lamely dismisses that, but it's still a thought-provoking take -- if you're provoked to think, like I am, by underpaid men and women in foam costumes and their effect on athletic contests.

(Since I posted this, my reliable friend Jason -- or "Mandrake" -- has peppered the comments board with material that's far more useful, entertaining, and interactive than anything I wrote above. Go there now and feast.)


Anonymous Dread Master-P said...


But despite the Plexiglass cocoon that encases the game, there have been hassles between participants and fans.

Iginla was a rookie in '96-97 when a cup-wielding fan in Edmonton leaned over the glass and gave Calgary assistant coach Guy Lapointe an impromptu shower. Enforcer Sasha Lakovic was literally climbing the walls in a bid to exact revenge.

"It just exploded," Iginla recalls. "Some fans were reaching over and our players were there. It was quite an incident."

Boughner was involved in a similar episode in Atlanta when he played for the IHL's Cincinnati Cyclones. On that infamous night, the Atlanta mascot was amusing himself by taking running leaps into the glass behind the Cyclones bench. The impact repeatedly jostled Cyclones coach and former Oiler Don Jackson, who finally decided he had had enough.

"So he went after the mascot," says Boughner, "and a couple of fans started getting after our coach. So I scaled the glass and I had one leg straddling the top of the glass behind our bench and I was trying to get at the fan who was going after Donnie Jackson."

2:54 AM  
Anonymous pirate said...

Attacking a Mascot: Jackson made headlines when he climbed over the glass and went into the stands to punch the Atlanta (IHL) mascot during Cincinnati's Feb. 4, 1995, game in Atlanta. The mascot, known as Sir Slapshot, was actually a 26-year-old man named Mike Centanni. Wearing a nine-foot inflatable mascot suit that made him look like a vertical blimp, Centanni, who was working as a substitute for the regular mascot, had been slamming his body into the glass behind Jackson during the game. Jackson lost his balance and fell on top of his players as the mascot made fun of him. He was so infuriated that he went after Centanni. The IHL suspended Jackson for 10 games and fined him and the Cyclones each $1,000 for the attack on Centanni. Footage of the attack was shown on ESPN throughout the following days, and Centanni became a local Atlanta celebrity.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Pirate said...


August 1988 -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda exchanges fisticuffs with the Philly Phanatic after the mascot does a routine using a doll of Lasorda as a punching bag.

September 1989 -- Miami's Sebastian the Ibis leads the Hurricanes onto the field for their annual clash with Florida State carrying a fire extinguisher -- intending to douse the Seminoles' famous flaming spear. Five police officers surround the mascot, slam him against a wall and empty his extinguisher.

January 1991 -- The world famous San Diego Chicken grabs a Chicago Bulls cheerleader, dances with her and rolls her on the floor. She later sues and is awarded $317,000 in damages.

October 1992 -- A fight between mascots breaks out during Northeast Louisiana's homecoming game against Northwestern State, with Northwestern's Vic the Demon landing a series of haymakers after Chief Brave Spirit rips off his head.

April 1994 -- Arizona's Wilbur Wildcat blows out his knee tackling Arkansas' Razorbacks from behind during a Final Four game.

May 1994 -- At the opening of a paint store, Charles Donoghue suffers back injuries from being hugged too hard by the Philly Phanatic. He later sues and is awarded $2.5 million.

August 1994 -- Colorado Rockies radio announcer Jeff Kingery shoves and curses Dinger the Dinosaur after the team mascot falls down a step and bumps into the broadcaster during game action.

October 1994 -- At an exhibition game in Puerto Rico, the Miami Heat's Burnie pulls a female spectator onto the court by her legs. The woman, wife of a local Supreme Court justice, is not amused. Burnie is convicted of aggravated assault and later sued for $1 million.

February 1995 -- Don Jackson, coach of the International Hockey League's Cincinnati Cyclones, is suspended 10 games and fined $1,000 for climbing over the glass and attacking Atlanta Knights mascot Sir Slapshot, who had hit the glass while Jackson was leaning on it.

February 1995 -- During an ESPN-televised timeout, the Stanford Tree and Cal's Oski engage in a legendary wrestling match after Oski apparently taunts the Stanford student section. The two have to be separated by police, but no charges are filed.

April 1995 -- In what will become a running feud over the years, Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky the Mountain Lion challenges the Phoenix Suns' Charles Barkley to a friendly boxing match -- only to get clocked in the face.

October 1995 -- In separate incidents less than a week apart, Seattle's Mariner Moose roller blades into an outfield wall, breaking his ankle, and the Cleveland Indians' Slider falls six feet off an outfield wall, tearing his knee ligament.

October 1995 -- Cal offensive tackle Tarik Glenn slugs Benny Beaver on his way into the locker room after the Oregon mascot -- a 5-foot-9, 135-pound woman -- taps the 6-6, 330-pounder on the shoulder with an inflatable hammer. Later that season, Arizona's 6-5, 305-pound Frank Middleton punches Benny in the head.

October 1995 -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Wild Wing performs a stunt in which he he jumps a "wall of fire" ... but doesn't make it all the way over and is set aflame.

October 1995 -- Maine mascot Bananas is slugged in the head and stomach by a player ... from his own team.

November 1996 -- Wisconsin mascot Bucky the Badger is arrested and issued a $141.50 ticket for crowd surfing in the student section. When asked by the booking officer to spell his name, the student begins by saying, "Badger. B-A-D-G ... "

May 1997 -- During Game 5 of a first-round NBA playoff series, NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, 69, takes offense to the Miami Heat's Burnie spraying him and the rest of the Orlando Magic's cheering section with a water gun. He clocks the mascot with a right hook.

September 1997 -- While waiting inside a zamboni machine as part of an unveiling ceremony before the Carolina Hurricanes' first preseason game, the person playing the mascot Stormy has a major anxiety attack, never comes out and is taken to the hospital.

May 1999 -- The Baltimore Orioles' mascot falls 15 feet and breaks his left ankle after a Philadelphia electrician shoves him off the right-field wall at Camden Yards. The mascot sues and wins $59,000 in damages.

July 2000 -- Florida's Billy the Marlin accidentally hits an elderly man in the eye with a tightly wadded T-shirt launched out of a pressurized gun, temporarily knocking him unconscious. The man later files suit but it is unsuccessful.

January 2001 -- The Miami Hurricanes suffer a 15-yard penalty during their Sugar Bowl game against Florida when Sebastian the Ibis runs onto the field and taunts the Gators after a Miami touchdown.

January 2003 -- Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, fed up with Calgary mascot Harvey the Hound dangling over his team's bench, rips the dog's fabric tongue out of his mouth and tosses it into the stands.

March 2003 -- A scuffle ensues between the Oregon Duck and Utah's Swoop during halftime of a first- round NCAA tournament game when Swoop accidentally rips off the Oregon mascot's head. The two are sent to a room beneath the stands to make peace, later hugging center court to a standing ovation.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Dread Pirate said...

AHA! Footage of Oski and Tree fighting!!!

3:04 AM  
Anonymous One more comment said...

3:14 AM  
Anonymous and another said...

Wiscosin Badger getting taken out by MSU cheerleader

3:17 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

Pirate, you are the master of the known world. Thanks for these amazing links. Oski and Tree fighting is priceless. Your info in the comments is so much better than my actual post that I'm going to have to go back and amend the post to draw people's attention here. I'll do that tonight. You beautiful bastard.

4:54 PM  

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