Year-End Review: Power Ranking The Top 10 Mascot Incidents Of 2015
Ever wish that you could be a sports mascot? You'd be adored by thousands and get paid the big bucks, while being able to hide your true identity and live a normal life away from the madding crowd. But sadly, all is not as it seems.
In reality the mascot game is fraught with intrigue, danger, and much heavy drinking. Come with us now as we investigate the Top 10 incidents of 2015.
1. Man Steals Dragon Costume, Takes Rickshaw To Hooters
Homer is the beloved mascot of the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, where he is known for his lovable dragon-related antics, but not his late-night carousing -- until this night in August. Actually it was Knights' fan Joe Gillespie who passed out at the stadium due to too much booze, woke up after everyone had left, and found Homer's costume in the mascot room. He then put it on and went on a drinking spree in downtown Charlotte, where he 1. Rode around in a rickshaw; 2. Convinced a cop he was on duty as Homer (even though it was 3:30 a.m.); 3. Talked his way into a club; 4. Ended up at Hooters. Gillespie was eventually arrested for theft and the case is pending.
2. Drunk Lion Mascot Invades Field, Passes Out
Ruining all the good will created by late, great hunting victim Cecil the Lion, an Austrian soccer mascot celebrated his birthday by getting stinking drunk and stumbling onto the pitch during a Bundesliga match in May. Medical personnel and security had to help him off the field.
3. Lee Corso Banned From Wearing Chief Osceola Costume Because Bill Murray
Back in October, Lee Corso was doing his old-man, aren't-I-a-funny-grandpa schtick ahead of the Florida State-Clemson game by wearing the FSU mascot gear, when Bill Murray injected actual humor into the College GameDay segment. Murray tackled Corso, and the two wrestled around -- resulting in FSU banning Corso from ever wearing the costume again.
4. Anthony Ujah Celebrates By Yanking Goat's Horns, Apologizes To Goat
Bundesliga FC's Koln (Cologne) has a goat for a mascot, which stays on the field during games. Weirder still, its name is Henry VIII. When Nigerian international Anthony Ujah of Koln-Frankfurt scored a goal, he rushed over and yanked on the goat's horns, causing much controversy. Ujah later apologized and attnded the goat's birthday party.
5. Sweet Jesus No
Partick Thistle FC of Glasgow, Scotland, now plays in the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League, and so figured it needed a new mascot to replace Jaggy Bee. This was the result.
— kenny (@mct1602) June 22, 2015
6. Orbit Cavorts In Underwear, Hits On Kate Upton
Lost in the commotion of the New York Mets' pennant run and the Royals' World Series title was the fact that the Houston Astros had possibly the best mascot in baseball. Topping the list of Orbit's shenanigans were the time he went streaking in the Minute Maid Park outfield in only his underpants, and the other time he trolled the Tigers' Justin Verlander after the pitcher's split with Kate Upton.
— Houston Astros Orbit (@OrbitAstros) August 15, 2015
That tweet occurred just before the Astros met Verlander and the Tigers in the opener of a three-game series. The Tigers won in 11 innings, 4-2, with Verlander giving up three hits over seven innings.
7. Mascot Joins Celebration
— ❂ Yübbîę Umoh ❂ (@Yubbie007) December 20, 2015
8. The World Aquatic Championships Mascot Steals Children's Souls
In July of 2011, Guadalajara, Mexico was awarded the 2017 World Aquatic Championships, and there was much rejoicing. But then, buyer’s remorse set in. Upon actually budgeting the event and figuring it would cost about $100 million, Mexico pulled out. In March of this year, Hungary stepped in and said that Budapest would host the event. And the first thing they created was this horrifying mascot. (Shivers). So far all it does is stand in the corner of the room and stare into your soul.
9. Ragnar The Viking Fired Over Contract Dispute
— Boston Dave (@PatsFan1280) October 21, 2015
Joe Juranitch had played Minnesota's motorcycle-riding NFL mascot, Ragnar the Viking, for 21 years -- until mid-September. That's when he approached the Vikings with a new contract demand. Ragnar wanted $20,000 per home game for 10 years, which adds up to $200,000 a year and $1 million over the life of the contract. The Vikings said no. He had been making $1,500 per game. Despite a Change.org petition calling for Ragnar's return, he's still at home on Sundays watching Vikings games on TV.
10. Wichita State Shocker Confronts Chris Webber
While calling the Indiana-Wichita State game last season, Chris Webber called the Shockers mascot "SpongeBob's angry twin brother." So the mascot confronted Webber at the broadcasting table.
“He came over, had some words,” Marv Albert said. “Mascots are not supposed to talk but I heard — I heard some bad words.”
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