NCAA March Madness is here, but what if the bracketology of the madness was applied to the NFL? Of course, the only sensible way to go about this would be to place every NFL mascot in a bracket to determine the best mascot in the NFL.
So that's what we did.
The ultimate NFL mascot bracket is the result. Not every team is fortunate enough to have a mascot, but we let them participate anyway (hint—they didn't do so well). Fortunately, most NFL mascots are creative, so it made for one heck of an entertaining tournament.
Let's take a look.
The idea behind the bracket itself is simple. Regions are split up into two matching divisions from each conference. The AFC North and AFC South share a region, as do the AFC East and AFC West. Rinse and repeat for the NFC.
Seeds within the regions are based on popularity, outside of those NFL squads unfortunate enough to not have a mascot. Those unlucky few were blessed with an eighth seed and act as a bye week for the No. 1 seeds.
Results of matchups are determined by popularity, appearance, creativity and overall quality of the mascot. We'll break down the first two rounds in each region before moving on to the Elite 8, Final Four and Championship.
Read on to see how the ultimate NFL mascot bracket played out.
You can also view the bracket here.
AFC North & South Region
No. 1 Seed: Jaxson de Ville (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. No. 8 Seed: Steeley McBeam (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Not much of a competition here. The Steelers get credit for Mr. McBeam, but Jaxson de Ville is an old-school mascot notorious for his kicker distractions and energizing a fanbase that needs any chance it can get to ignore what's happening on the field.
No. 4 Seed: Poe (Baltimore Ravens) vs. No. 5 Seed: Who Dey (Cincinnati Bengals)
Tough one here between Poe and Who Dey, but the edge has to go to Poe. Both are, of course, replications of their respective logos, but Poe is the only survivor of a mascot trio that at one point was cleverly named Edgar, Allan and Poe.
No. 3 Seed: Blue (Indianapolis Colts) vs. No. 6 Seed: Chomps (Cleveland Browns)
Upset alert! Blue's a nice idea in principle, but Chomps perfectly represents a ravenous fanbase loyally dedicated to a fault—no matter what it gets put through each year.
No. 2 Seed: Toro (Houston Texans) vs. No. 7 Seed: T-Rac (Tennessee Titans)
For a newer franchise, it's hard to hate what the Texans are doing mascot-wise. Toro is creative and has some impressive zip-line entrances to go with it. No contest. Sorry T-Rac.
No. 1 Seed: Jaxson de Ville (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. No. 4 Seed: Poe (Baltimore Ravens)
Poe's creativity can only last so long. When compared to the strength and endurance of Jaxson, there isn't really a debate over which mascot will be advancing here. Poe simply emulates what Jaxson has been doing for years, minus the suffering.
No. 6 Seed: Chomps (Cleveland Browns) vs. No. 2 Seed: Toro (Houston Texans)
The Cinderella run for Chomps has already come to a screeching halt. Chomps is old school and personifies a fanbase perfectly, but Toro is on the rise after entering the league. Toro wins in a landslide.
NFC North & South Region
No. 1 Seed: Ragnar, Viktor (Minnesota Vikings) vs. No. 8 Seed: None (Green Bay Packers)
There's nothing cooler than an actual human mascot dressed as a Viking. It helps that the Packers are too cool for school.
No. 4 Seed: Sir Purr (Carolina Panthers) vs. No. 5 Seed: Freddie Falcon (Atlanta Falcons)
Rejoice, Panthers fans! Here's something you can consistently beat Atlanta at—having a cooler mascot. Freddie's cool and all, but you really can't beat a name like Sir Purr.
No. 3 Seed: Gumbo (New Orleans Saints) vs. No. 6 Seed: Roary (Detroit Lions)
Gumbo? A dog, representing the Saints? At least Roary, horrendous, laughably bad name and all makes a tad bit of sense. It's a shame too, because Gumbo looks cool, but being named after a popular food dish in New Orleans isn't going to get you very far here.
No. 2 Seed: Staley Da Bear (Chicago Bears) vs. No. 7 Seed: Captain Fear (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Tampa Bay botched a good opportunity to have one of the NFL's more creative human mascots. Instead, we get Captain Fear (yikes), which essentially boils down to a clown in a muscle suit wishing the team would relocate to a colder city. Staley by default.
No. 1 Seed: Ragnar, Viktor (Minnesota Vikings) vs. No. 4 Seed: Sir Purr (Carolina Panthers)
Can we have a tie? Someone ask Donovan McNabb. No? Well, Ragnar it is. Dude rides a motorcycle into each game dressed like a Viking. A name like Sir Purr can only get you so far, especially when it looks about as intimidating as the Panthers were on the field last season.
No. 6 Seed: Roary (Detroit Lions) vs. No. 2 Seed: Staley Da Bear (Chicago Bears)
At some point, we're going to get Staley some competition, but maybe next round. Roary got off easy last round against a dog named after food representing some saints, but this one's over before it started.
AFC East & West Region
No. 1 Seed: K. C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. No. 8 Seed: None (New York Jets)
Don't worry New York, we'd rather watch Mark Sanchez butt fumble on a loop than have to deal with any mascot you could dream up.
No. 4 Seed: Gorilla Rilla (Oakland Raiders) vs. No. 5 Seed: Boltman (San Diego Chargers)
Toss-up here, just like predicting which team will hit the five-win mark. Boltman gets the nod not for creativity, but because dude's dressed like a football superhero. He's the hero San Diego deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Or something like that.
No. 3 Seed: Miles (Denver Broncos) vs. No. 6 Seed: Billy Buffalo (Buffalo Bills)
Billy Buffalo? The blue guy's less creative than a Chan Gailey offense. On the other hand there's Miles, whose flaming orange hair is enough to advance to the next round.
No. 2 Seed: Pat Patriot (New England Patriots) vs. No. 7 Seed: T.D. (Miami Dolphins)
Fish out of water. Next.
No. 1 Seed: K. C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. No. 5 Seed: Boltman (San Diego Chargers)
K.C. Wolf is old-school. He's named after a section of fans in the stadium and ride an ATV into the game. He's even helped security take down streakers. Seems like he's the only superhero in this matchup.
No. 3 Seed: Miles (Denver Broncos) vs. No. 2 Seed: Pat Patriot (New England Patriots)
Here it is! Manning vs. Brady. Miles vs. Pat. Unfortunately for Miles, this is the playoffs, and we all know how those Mannning-Brady duels go in the postseason. We'll take a patriotic dude over a horse 10 times out of 10 anyway.
NFC East & West Region
No. 1 Seed: Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. No. 8 Seed: None (New York Giants)
Oh look, another New York team too sweet to have a mascot.
No. 4 Seed: Blitz (Seattle Seahawks) vs. No. 5 Seed: Big Red (Arizona Cardinals)
In a battle of the birds, you have Big Red, who looks innocent enough. Then you have blitz, who looks like he'd punch you in the face if you ran on the field. At least both avoided corny names. Blitz for the win.
No. 3 Seed: Rampage (St. Louis Rams) vs. No. 6 Seed: Sourdough Sam (San Francisco 49ers)
San Francisco shaved Sourdough Sam and fixed a hole in his hat a few years back, and it cost him the matchup here. Besides, Rampage has an awesome name and matching horns to go with it.
No. 2 Seed: Rowdy (Dallas Cowboys) vs. No. 7 Seed: Chief Zee (Washington Redskins)
Chief Zee may or may not be an official mascot, but he's not pulling off an upset here anyway, nor may he exist much longer with the controversy over the team's name. Rowdy's horrendous face survives this round.
No. 1 Seed: Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. No. 4 Seed: Blitz (Seattle Seahawks)
Birds are pretty popular in the NFL. Unfortunately for Blitz, his run is over. Swoop is well-rested from his bye, has an awesome name and is one of the most recognizable mascots in sports. Too easy.
No. 3 Seed: Rampage (St. Louis Rams) vs. No. 2 Seed: Rowdy (Dallas Cowboys)
Time's up for Rowdy, who just smiles too much and strikes fear into the hearts of children on the ridiculously big screen in Dallas. Rampage is intimidating, and in the battle of obvious mascots, he comes out on top.
No. 1 Seed: Jaxson de Ville (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. No. 2 Seed: Toro (Houston Texans)
On one side you have the last of a dying breed in Jaxson, who has been one of the most recognizable faces in the mascot world for years. On the other side you have a newer mascot who takes entrances to the extreme. Toro has Jaxson beat in appearance and entrances, while Jaxson simply has experience. The nod goes to Toro.
No. 1 Seed: Ragnar, Viktor (Minnesota Vikings) vs. No. 2 Seed: Staley Da Bear (Chicago Bears)
Again, there are not many things that ooze awesome, but a Viking riding a motorcycle out of a tunnel qualifies. Staley gets points for have "Da" in his name, because all the cool kids are saying it these days, but that's about the only thing swinging in his favor here. Ragnar advances yet again.
No. 1 Seed: K. C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. No. 2 Seed: Pat Patriot (New England Patriots)
K.C. Wolf is old, crazy and tackles streakers. Pat has a massive jaw line and the rest of his appearance makes him look like he failed a Captain America audition. Pat has the right idea, but his repetitive name and appearance are sending Wolf to the next round.
No. 1 Seed: Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. No. 3 Seed: Rampage (St. Louis Rams)
Two great names, two great appearances and overall great track records. So how do you decide the victor? Well who would win in a fight, of course. Rampage has horns, and Swoop has no wings to fly away. Simple choice, really.
No. 2 Seed: Toro (Houston Texans) vs. No. 1 Seed: Ragnar, Viktor (Minnesota Vikings)
As is the case every once in a while with brackets, the best matchup may be here in the Final Four rather than in the championship.
On one end you have Toro, who rides ziplines and ATVs into the stadium, and on the other you have Ragnar, who rides a motorcycle. Both lead their respective teams into battle, and have for years now.
In the end, the victory has to go to Ragnar. He pulls off the Viking look to perfection with horns, gigantic beards and all. Did we mention the motorcycle?
No. 3 Seed: Rampage (St. Louis Rams) vs. No. 1 Seed: K. C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs)
Rampage's impressive appearance and clever name have got him this far, but he may be over-matched by a veteran like K.C. Wolf.
Wolf is one of the oldest mascots and has been through his fair share of events. He's named after a section in the stands and rode various vehicles on the field before it was the cool thing to do (no, he's not a hipster).
It's the end of the road for Rampage, but rejoice, Rams fans. At least you got to sniff a championship at something.
No. 1 Seed: Ragnar, Viktor (Minnesota Vikings) vs. No. 1 Seed: K. C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs)
It shouldn't come as a surprise that these two were ranked as No. 1 seeds and made it this far. Both have set trends as mascots over the course of NFL history, and experience is difficult to beat in a tournament.
Wolf has made it this far for the same reasons Ragnar has at this point. However, only one has a jaw-dropping list of achievements to his name.
Not only has Wolf aided security on the field, he's acted as one of the world's best mascots since 1989. There's a reason he's the only NFL mascot in the Mascot Hall of Fame (per Mascot Hall of Fame).
Sorry Ragnar. Nice boots, beard and motorcycle, but you're playing a Hall of Famer. Game over.
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