In the world of sports mascots, there are bound to be accidents, due to the nature of the large, cavernous costumes and the lack of peripheral vision. Some of these are naturally very funny, and tend to make the sport goofball reels that local news affiliates use to close their 11 ‘o Clock News Sports Report.
Bobby Bryant, who has been playing the role of the Toronto Raptor for nearly 10 years, stuck in a routine of pumping up the audience, dancing with 50-year old women, and flirting with cheerleaders, decided to spice things up one night and strap rollerblades to his feet. The results were horrifying:
While thankfully Bobby was not hurt in this incident, it did raise the eyebrows of a particular group located in New Albany, Indiana who take specific interest the risks that sports mascots take upon themselves. This group is named SMSF (Safety for Mascots in the Sports Field).
“It’s a dangerous game some of these guys are playing.”, said Director of Affairs, Kent Lowbaum. “We tend to overlook the occasional mascot dancing on the dug out, or even the mascots getting involved with some of cheerleading, but the days of these guys just going AWOL and deciding to try doing a backflip off of the catwalk onto the jumbotron just ain’t gonna churn the butter no more.”
The SMSF has a system not unlike the Union, providing teams with an individual to play the mascot and demanding certain conditions for those people. “Back before us, times were different. They would just drag any old bum into the stadium, give him a few shots or a hit to help him come down from the shakes, and throw him into a costume. The 70’s were really bad for this. There were more cases of violence, sexual assault, and unintentional manslaughter in sporting arenas than any other time in sporting history, outside of the gladiatorial period. We wanted to put a stop to that.”
The SMSF is putting new regulations into effect in any stadium that uses their services. These will restrict what were normally areas in which the person could show some discretion, even reaching into what will happen at what point in the game.
“At the beginning, the mascot will come out in a jovial manner, but not too jovial. It is not our place to upstage the players and their immense egos, which has led to incidents in the past. Rather, the mascot will raise his arms in the air in a clapping motion and walk in a half-circle 4 times. No more.”
These new regulations will extend even into their interaction with the crowd. “The mascots will not touch anyone. This especially includes grown men, children, and the elderly. These three groups have caused more grief than any others. Whether it’s the fist of a drunken 40 year-old man who’s personality is so wrapped up in a team that he views their failures as his own, the screams of a child who’s parent has not exposed them to any sort dead-eyed furry monster dancing aggressively towards them, or Grandpep who’s blood pressure is a little too high from the exposed mid-riffs of 18-year old cheerleaders and the 3 hot-dogs he just put away to be able to physically handle a purple mustached cowboy drag him out onto the court floor and attempt to gator over him into a pool of men. We have to draw the line somewhere.”
Kent hopes these new measures will cut down on mascot-related incidents by 70%, cutting down mishaps such as Bobby’s rollerblading gauntlet. “You’re still gonna have your hotshot who thinks he can ride a tiny car off a ramp and slam dunk. We can’t prevent all of these things. But they can rest assured that if they choose to do that under our watch, that’s the last time they’ll earn their check sweating themselves into a coma inside an asbestos-lined suit….which we are looking into changing that as well. Rome wasn’t built in a day, alright?”