Mascots Are Everywhere


Baldwin the Boston College EagleRecently the internet pipe trucks have been full of mascot news and stories, and I’m not one to buck the trend. But before I get into the links I have a story. Back in my college days, I had a terrible job. (Well, maybe job isn’t the right word because the only “payment” I received was a pair of pants. And not good pants, maroon warm-ups — like the athletes that are sitting on the bench wear.) So, back in college I had this terrible work-like activity I did.

I didn’t gain any recognition for what I did, but everyone got to see me (sometimes even on TV). I had to work at random hours. I was punched by kids of all ages, but I also got my picture taken with even more kids. I did get to wear cool credentials that gave me access to the secret underground tunnels. Sometimes there was even some free food. I had to ride in a bus with either the cheerleaders or the band. It was my choice, but how do you make that choice? On one hand, you have some decent looking women who are completely vapid and only want to talk about which members of the football team they’ve slept with. On the other hand, you have a group who barely dates outside the group and have limited social skills. (I usually went with the band — a nerd really can’t fault someone too much for their social skills.)

I was Baldwin, The Boston College eagle.

Maybe this is a secret that no one should know. I don’t really know. I know by posting this another 15 or so people know. You know that the Beanpot had the best press room food. You know that I told my friends they could tell it was me if Baldwin was skating between the periods of the hockey game and looked like he know what he was doing. You also know that most NCAA mascots were guys, but there were a few girls. I remember a nice girl that was the Syracuse Orange, and she could but her whole body inside the orange part of the costume. But for the links I’m going to share, you should remember that being a mascot is not an easy task. (Remember when you were young and your parents would wrap you up in tons of clothes when it was cold out. Then you would try and act normal when, in fact, you could barely move your limbs. That’s what it’s like to be a mascot.)

This is what happens when a news anchor tries her hand at being a mascot. Some mascots can do high flying trick. High flying tricks over Terry Francona. Other mascots can’t do fun tricks so they just hump random things. I was lucky; I got to dress up like an eagle. There are a lot of worse things out there — like Mr. Testicles.

Oympic Mascots Quatchi, Miga, and SumiThe reason I got to thinking (and writing) about mascots is mainly because, on Wednesday this past week, the Vancouver Olympics announced their mascots. I realize why I haven’t done too great on this geography flash game — It’s because Vancouver must now be in Japan. Quatchi, Miga, and Sumi are the fictional, somewhat animal-like Pokemon (it’s not difficult to be confused… I mean the only thing they can seem to say is their name) mascots.

Each of the creatures is distinct and special – both in personality and in appearance. One is big, gentle and shy . . . one is small, mischievous and outgoing . . . and one is a natural-born leader with a passion for protecting the environment. All three are mythical creatures with roots in local legend. One is a sasquatch. One is a sea-bear. And one is an animal guardian spirit. They are all, to say the least, unique.

But Vancouver wasn’t content with 3 wacky creatures, they also need a mascot sidekick. The redshirt freshman of Olympic mascots.

A fourth character was selected as a ‘mascot sidekick.’ “We never intended to have a sidekick,” said Gardiner, “but Mukmuk was so cute and such a perfect friend to the other characters that we had to keep him!” So history was made – the Vancouver Games is the first to have an official mascot sidekick.

If you want to hear them talk (and you should) head over to the official site. I wish I could have Quatchi saying his name as my ringtone. While you’re there you may also take the “which mascot are you like” quiz. Be sure to answer honestly, especially when they ask which Olympic sport you would want to compete in — Hockey, Snowboarding, or I’m sorry you’ve lost the ability to walk. I know when I dream, I dream of being confined to a wheelchair.

For more on the Vancouver mascots check out: What do their names mean?, or The Meaningful Collateral for further information. If you think these guys are bad, you ain’t see nothing yet. 100% Injury Rate gives us the worst Olympic mascots ever. (Soo many sperm mascots… Maybe they should hang out with Mr. Testicle?)