Professional athletes must be extremely grateful for their team mascots. During moments of intense pressure, it must really inspire them to see a six-foot-tall fuzzy animal dancing on the sidelines. Especially knowing that underneath the costume lurks a teenager who probably still sleeps with a nightlight on because he’s afraid of the dark.
Teams should aim to intimidate their rivals with more frightening mascots. Someone should choose Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, or at least the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph. Or imagine coming on to the field and seeing the Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. That would send any team running to their mommies. Mascots should not be something you would find at a petting zoo.
Maybe the players themselves should try to look more intimidating. I don’t understand why teams choose names that wouldn’t even intimidate a grandmother. With all of the amazing animals out there, I’m still questioning the Anaheim Ducks. It was better when they were the Mighty Ducks, because at least they sounded like the opposite of the Feeble Ducks.
Some other perplexing choices:
Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. Spelling issues aside, the major problem here is trying to frighten your opponent with hosiery. The Red Sox have the slight edge here, giving the impression that they may make your team’s white uniforms turn pink.
New England Patriots. We all love patriots, but they conjure up images of people like John Adams, a great man, but hardly a fearsome athlete. When you play a team of Patriots, your major threat is having your tea thrown into the harbor. The good news is that they were not named the Boston Baked Beans.
New York Yankees. Again, there is no threat here, just the fear of someone sticking a feather in your helmet and calling you “macaroni.”
Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, etc. Birds twitter, chirp, and flitter. Do not choose an animal that can be devoured by a house cat. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for choosing a fierce bird. Anyone who has read Edgar Allan Poe can attest to the frightening image of the raven. If you have to use a bird, at least pick one that can peck your eye out. Flesh-eating vultures would be another obvious choice.
Toronto Maple Leafs. Are they trying to incite a fear of being dismembered by a leaf blower?
Milwaukee Brewers. If they would rather be out having a beer, they should just say so.
Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds. Ohio needs a little help, but at least they didn’t pick Chartreuses.
Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Miami Dolphins. Too cute and playful.
Some teams have hidden meanings behind their names that actually make the choices more acceptable:
Green Bay Packers, named after a meat canning company. Canned meat can be scary if it is past the expiration date.
Detroit Pistons. Many people have had heart attacks after receiving their bill from the auto repair shop.
Denver Nuggets. Have you ever seen the ingredients in Chicken McNuggets? Scary.
New York Mets. A metropolis is extremely scary for a pedestrian trying to cross the street during rush hour. My theory is that New York was trying to keep things simple by rhyming their teams. Jets, Mets….
Los Angeles Angels and New Orleans Saints. Last time I checked, angels and saints do not run around trash talking, tackling, and breaking people’s collarbones. However, the major advantage these teams have is that their holy names could put the fear of God in the hearts of their enemies.
The goal here is to choose things that scare you and give you nightmares. The following teams are my Top 5 favorite picks for name choices:
San Jose Sharks