Animal mascots are better than you in every conceivable way. Everyone loves them—well, almost everyone—they've probably accomplished more than you, and everyone showers them with praise simply for existing.
Not only do they get into games free, they get a front row seat, and if you're in that seat, you better get up. And that beer? It's theirs now. And so is your girl. And don't look now but your wallet has crap in it.
Consider that an autograph, and you're lucky to have it.
It's considered a privilege to be in their presence, and odds are, you're not worthy. If you're blessed enough to see them, you better pay your respects.
This isn't an article about ranking which mascots are best. No, I reckon there's plenty of those already. This article is about why you'd be better off born as a sports mascot.
Let's get started with one spoiled son of a...
Well, I guess I can cross this off the long list of things an animal has accomplished before I have—being pampered at a Spa.
The Butler University mascot was treated to a shampoo, nail trim and was even brought a couple of doggie girlfriends. As if that wasn't enough, he got his own seat on a chartered plane to Houston for the national championship game as well, where I assume there was a few more doggie hookers waiting for him.
Nevermind, there was just a four-star hotel room and his own security team. We call these things consolation prizes, people.
Now, I don't know if it's the re-heated pizza crust I'm eating, or the "shirt" I'm currently wearing made from a pillow case, but there's something about seeing this that makes me lose some faith in life.
Oh, I'm sorry Blue 2, I believe I was supposed to say "ah, how cute."
I hate you.
Look, it isn't funny when an animal dies, but how is it possible that Bill XVI and XVII were both killed when weed killer was sprayed too close to their pen? They didn't learn their lesson when the first Bill died?
No wonder PETA doesn't care for live animal mascots.
By the way, they're up to Bill XXXIII now. Good God.
Then there's this video, which just might be the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Seriously, should I call the FBI? Just watch it.
I'm sure when he's not being kidnapped by weirdos he's being treated like a king. This is the Naval Academy after all, they know a thing or two about respect.
Not all of the Peruna's had a great life, mostly because a few of them were hit by cars, and I know one of them died from a liver ailment—I think we all know what that was from—but when they were alive it was good times man. Good times.
Peruna I has his own plaza named after him at Ford Stadium, where you can see a statue made in his honor. Of course, the statue was made after Peruna ran into the road and, well...Let's just say a wet bikini contest didn't ensure.
Damn divas. I too someday hope to use an elevator. And maybe somebody can explain to me what this "washbasin" is.
Peruna VII received free healthcare after breaking his leg, when most horses would likely be euthanized. And the current Peruna even led the Mustang Band in President George Bush's Inauguration Parade.
Where I'm assuming Peruna was hit by a car...
Dubs is the current mascot for the University of Washington, and boy does he get around. Just take a look at his blog, where he apparently roams the state doing whatever the hell he wants.
When a human does that they're called a "slacker" or "lowlife," but not here. Take a look and you'll see Dubs walking around the campus, making snow angels, trick-or-treating, getting ready for a photo shoot, and eating a big ass bone for his birthday.
You know what I got on my last birthday? My health insurance was cut off.
Now how am I supposed to pay for my meds?
Handsome Dan is quite the sophisticated chap, as one has to be at Yale. Plus, he's not so handsome, as his name would suggest.
He's apparently "not the sharpest knife in the drawer," but that didn't stop him from getting into Yale. Everyone knows life is about who you know. Whatever the case, his degree is probably better than yours.
He too has met former President Bush, and he even posed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Oh, and he met Sir Paul McCartney; that's kind of a big deal. He's also allegedly the first live mascot in sports, though that hasn't been confirmed.
You can check out a stuffed version of Dan here. Frankly, I don't know why they don't just carry this out to the field. Just seems easier.
Especially if you consider they're now on Dan No. 17.
Reveille, the Texas A&M mascot, can be seen looking prestigious as hell in the photo above. And I suspect she's out right now saving some kid who fell into a well, or possibly a toilet. Or a well that looks like a toilet. Or a large hole that can be used as a toilet.
Look, there's a lot of places for kids to fall.
In addition to being a five-star general—you read that correctly—Reveille is easily the most revered dog on campus. How revered is she? Well, if you're a cadet and she wants your bed—she gets it. When you see her, you better refer to her as "Miss Rev, ma'am," and if she barks in class, the freaking class is dismissed.
Now that's what I call reverence. Also, psychotic.
People are crazy for football in Texas, and they're crazy for Bevo. Here's a video of him crapping in the endzone, because why not? Bevo does what Bevo wants.
For starters, he has his own museum in his honor, so he's got that going for him. Plus, he gets to lead the storied Texas Longhorns onto the field from time to time, and he even has his own posse—the Silver Spurs.
Oh, and you better believe he attends weddings. It aint a party till Bevo shows up.
He has his own 9,000-square-foot indoor facility and a 7,000-square-foot outdoor facility, where he can eat, crap and role in mud and do other generally disgusting things.
I'm sure he's plotting your death too. Never mind, that was a previous Tusk—Big Red III—who went on a rampage that one, fateful day that should never be talked about. Now lets eat some cookies.
Tusk III also rolls deep with cheerleaders when going to football games in his own custom truck, which is essentially every mans dream, and he gets more than enough attention from the fans, as you'll see here.
Truly, Tusk is an American hero. Unlike that Big Red III, who went on a cookie eating rampage, as I now remember it...
CAM does what most live animal mascots do—attends games, pep rallies, various events around the state. But when he's not being adored, he's mad chillin' in his 20-by-75-foot pen, feasting on 4.5 pounds of alfalfa and flaked corn.
It's not all perfect though; he does have a roommate—a younger CAM-in-training. That's okay though, I'm sure his 35-foot Featherlite aluminum trailer makes up for his lack of privacy, especially on those lonely nights...
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it had hydraulics too.
He also has his very own handlers, who have to put in about two to three hours a week taking care of him. Must be nice.
Let's just say that Traveler is...well traveled. And there goes half of the readers.
For those of you left, Traveler is USC's famous mascot, and he has the duty of getting the Trojans riled up for football games. There's also that guy on top of him, but who cares about that guy. I heard he's not even a real Trojan.
Traveler doesn't just appear at football games though. You can find him at charity events, in the Rose Parade—where he's a fixture—and even on your television, especially if you're watching the Rose Parade!
He's met many celebrities, some of which include Janet Jackson, Jamie Foxx, LeeAnne Rimes, Fabio and Fred Roggin. Don't worry, I don't know who Fred Roggin is either.
There's also a myth going around that O.J. Simpson decided to go to USC solely because of Traveler, after he saw him on TV.
I wonder what Simpson saw on TV just before he went and ki--
Baylor mascots Joy and Lady are a bit different from the other mascots on this list, largely because they're bears and can kill you. You won't find them leading any Baylor team out onto the field, put it that way.
Though it'd be funny to see the other teams faces if they did.
They serve a different purpose—the educational type. They have their own area at the school where they're kept and are pampered as much as one could pamper a bear. You know, the kind of pampering that involves neither petting nor hugging.
Both bears have their own caretakers and are fed a steady diet of specially formulated omnivore food, consisting of apples, oranges, peaches, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, lettuce, and chicken. This, of course, is in stark contrast to what I wrote in my latest book, Bears Exist Only to Eat and Kill You.
In stores now. Whoa, hold up, let me write it first, damn.
Look at them, so majestic.
Like Joy and Lady, they aren't the type of mascot that you take onto the field or bring home to mother, but they do their rallying duties from the comfort of their 12,674-square-foot facility, otherwise known as the George Carroll Lion Habitat.
Apparently their habitat is even climate controlled, whatever that means. I'm inclined to believe UNA captured Storm and are forcing her keep the lions comfortable, hopefully in a string bikini.
X-men fans, back me up here. Tell me my childhood wasn't wasted.
The university even held a birthday bash for them with cake, cookies, soda, face painting, a bean-bag game, bucket toss, pin the tail on the lion and other cool stuff.
Did I mention I don't even have insurance? That's good for them though. I'll just keep sanding down every sharp edge in my house.
Smokey the mascot has had one hell of a life. I say "Smokey the mascot" because, as I'm sure you know, there's been multiple Smokey's, so even though each didn't have the same experiences, it still essentially goes down as having been part of a single life.
Good, we have an understanding. It's kind of like Snowball on The Simpsons. Let's continue.
Smokey II was once kidnapped by Kentucky students in 1955, but they later returned him without asking for money or anything—kind of a wasted kidnapping if you ask me. He was also almost mauled by the Baylor bear, Judge. (This was back when Judge attended games in 1957; it was a different time.)
Smokey VI suffered heat exhaustion in 1991 during a game vs. the UCLA Bruins. They would even put him on the injury report. Now isn't that just adorable? And Smokey IX was accused of biting an Alabama player in 2006 but got away with it, because mascots always do.
Just like that time Smokey killed...oh, nevermind. You won't believe me.
You can find him leading the Volunteers onto the field, surrounded by future professional athletes, a lively crowd and, of course, cheerleaders.
For a full list of "accomplishments" from each Smokey, click here.
The university claims that Tiger "fans can take pride in the fact that TOM III receives a level of care unsurpassed by any private facility in the nation."
And they're not kidding.
Tom is only to be appreciated from the private facility in which he's housed, but he gets spoiled in there plenty. He has a veterinary team that monitors everything he eats, his owner personal Tiger Handler—which, by the way, is one of the greatest occupational names ever—and his own personal police escort when he travels in his climate-controlled, soundproof trailer.
So let's recap. He has his own personal chef, a servant who tends to his every need and an entourage that packs heat. Plus, he doesn't even go to games, so he doesn't have to deal with people.
I want to be a tiger, or at least a Tiger Handler.
If you're going to role with Ralphie, you better be fast, strong, and willing to die. The school only requires the first two, but it's best to consider the third.
Ralphie, and all his glory, can be seen running across the field at the start of Colorado football games. You'll know it's him because they'll be about eight poor human beings, otherwise known as the Ralphie Handlers, being dragged behind him.
Don't worry though, they're in complete control, I'm sure.
Apparently they consider this a privilege, and it's taken very seriously. Ralphie's a celebrity around the Colorado campus, so if you see him, buy him a steak or beer.
And don't forget to buy your inflatable lawn Ralphie! What life would be complete without it?
Funny thing how Rameses the XVIII came into power—he killed his father.
I think I'm starting to understand why there's been so many Rameses before him. They say the lifespan of a ram is about 10 years, or is it that that's simply what they'd like us to believe?
Yes, I think I'll go with the latter. It's logical in every way, like most conspiracy theories. Now if only ESPN would admit that Bomani Jones is actually a robot, or at least some kind of cyborg...
Rameses is supposed to be a good luck charm, but considering the UNC football team sucks, one could argue he's not doing his job. But that's okay, because they love him nonetheless. On the bright side, basketball thrives.
He gets parties thrown for him too, complete with face painting, radar pitch games and an inflatable moonwalk.
I don't know what an "inflatable moonwalk" is, but I'm betting it's awesome and probably made of gold.
Yeah, another bulldog, I know. But people just love them so much, enough to keep appreciating them in statue form.
Bully is cared for by veterinary technician Lisa Chrestman, who is sure to follow his health closely so that he can continue to rile fans up on Saturday at full strength.
He eats a nutritionally balanced diet, complete with plenty of doggie treats and popcorn. And you better believe he gets massages. In fact, he has his own canine physical therapist.
Here's him getting a bath of some kind if you're in to that sort of thing.
Mike has it all.
I'm talking 100,000 visitors a year, E-Cards, screen savers, 15,000-square-feet to roam, complete with lush planting, an oak tree, a freaking waterfall, and an Italianate tower.
I don't even know what the hell that last thing is, man! And that doesn't sit well with me.
Look, I didn't want to say this, but the thing about Mike is...he's kind of a virgin. That's right, he seemingly has everything in the world, but no one to share it with.
Now let's all point and laugh at Mike the powerful tiger that can easily eat you.
He even has a, uh, facebook page dedicated to getting him some, uh, loving. Yeah, "loving" is a good word for it. It'd make, "give me some love" make more sense. "Shower me with love" and...
Sorry Bulldogs fans, but Uga easily has the worst name of all the above mascots. It sounds like some kind of burp, fart or stomach growl or, I don't know, surely it's a sound made deep within the bowels.
Believe me, I get the logic behind the name, but someone needed to veto this one. Plus, he's been dying a lot lately.
As we've established earlier, we're working under the illusion that these mascots live forever under the same consciousness. Snowball, remember? Well, recently Uga "died" again. Give it time though; coming back to life isn't easy.
I mean, there's only one person that I know of that's ever pulled that off. I speak, of course, of Jimmy McNeilly front up the road. You don't even want to know what happened.
I know, it's the Auburn Tigers, not the Eagles. But there's a reason this happened. One day, a tiger gave birth to a glorious eagle, so says my brain, which then sent a signal down to my fingers to type this.
Mystery solved. Truth is, their answer is just as absurd and sounds equally made up.
The war eagle is used to, surprise, pump up the crowd before games. We do know how college kids love to WOO! Excuse me, its been about a year. I apologize.
Auburn's fight song is also called War Eagle. Now that's what we can respect. You can watch his ass soar here. And the rest of him is up there too.