Ranking the Mascots of the National Football League

Chris Dela RosaContributor IOctober 11, 2011

Ranking the Mascots of the National Football League

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    In recent years, the NFL has not been known for its mascots.  For the most part, team mascots have belonged to college sports teams, baseball teams, but not the National Football League.

    Of the 32 teams in the NFL, only five do not have mascots.  For the majority of these five teams, it is obvious why it would be hard to come up with a mascot for their team.  This list includes: the New York Jets, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.

    Of the 27 remaining mascots, I have taken them all into consideration by how they look, act, originality and creativity and have ranked them all for your entertainment.

    As always, feedback is welcome.  Enjoy!

27) TD (Miami Dolphins)

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    Sorry to all the Dolphin fans, but this mascot is in dead last because of it's unoriginality.  There's no problem with making it look like a Dolphin since that is the obvious way to go with a team name like the Dolphins.  

    The problem arises from calling it TD, using a football term like touchdown to describe your team is kind of arrogant and unoriginal. It also does not make much sense this year since the Dolphins are in last place in the AFC East with a 0-4 record.

26) Freddie Falcon (Atlanta Falcons)

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    Beauty has to come before age with this one. Although Freddie Falcon is one of the oldest NFL mascots, he is one of the weirdest and cheapest looking mascots.  As you will see later in the slideshow, some teams made changes down the line to their mascots, and there's no reason the Falcons should not have given Freddie a face lift.

25) Gumbo (New Orleans Saints)

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    This one was a contender for the worst two as it was just poor creativity by the Saints.  It makes sense that they would name their mascot Gumbo after the dish that is very famous in the Louisiana area, but making the mascot a dog makes absolutely no sense.  To improve their mascot's relevance to the team, the Saints recently created another mascot, Sir Saint, who is made to look like the man in the old New Orleans logo.

24) Captain Fear (Tampa Bay)

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    After taking one look at this mascot, what was the first thing that came to your mind?  For me, it was depressed.  

    Captain Fear is supposed to put fear in Tampa Bay's opponents, but instead he looks like he is the one who has fear.  Perhaps he is afraid the Buccaneers will have another meltdown like they did during Week 5. 

23) Sir Purr (Carolina Panthers)

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    Slightly less intimidating than Captain Fear is the Panthers' mascot Sir Purr.  Obviously he is supposed to be a panther, but other than that, there is not much else very special about him.  On top of that, he looks like a mascot that has no level of intimidation at all, kind of like the Panthers before they got Cam Newton.

22) Roary (Detroit Lions)

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    Going into this season, it would have been a tie between Sir Purr and Roary considering that both mascots are animals that should have some intimidation factor yet have absolutely none.  

    But in light of how the Lions have played this season, Roary gets the edge in the battle since his team is 5-0 and has probably developed some swagger like the rest of the team, while Sir Purr still sticks his head in his hands as he watches his Panthers lose each week.

21) Big Red (Arizona Cardinals)

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    Big Red is one of the mascots that is average; there is nothing outstanding about him and there is nothing that is really negative about him.  While the 21st spot really isn't the middle on a list of 27, there is one thing that moves him down in the rankings.  The Cardinals could not have gone with a name as obvious as Big Red, but why are they using the name of a gum made by Wrigley's as their mascot's name?  The Cardinals could definitely have come up with a better name.

20) Sourdough Sam (San Francisco 49ers)

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    Had this slideshow been done six years ago, Sourdough Sam would be higher on the list.  Prior to his change a few years ago, the San Francisco mascot had a scruffy beard and a big chunk missing from his hat.  Now, he is clean shaven and has a nice fresh hat.  

    Sure, the previous Sam was not the kind of person the 49ers wanted representing their franchise on the field as a mascot, but he looked cool and was appealing to the fans.  Although I do not agree with Sam's face lift, he still comes in at a solid number 20 on the list. 

19) Rowdy (Dallas Cowboys)

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    This is one of those cases where a team has a weird looking caricature mascot that is supposed to be "human."  Rowdy has been the official mascot for the Cowboys since 1996, but as of late, he has not been much of a presence at games.  But he does have a pretty awesome outfit and has been involved in many charities the Cowboys are also involved in like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

    While he may not be at games, his outfit and involvement in other things besides football keep him out of the bottom group of mascots and leave him near the middle like Big Red.

18) Who Dey (Cincinnati Bengals)

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    Nothing good nor bad that really stands out for the Bengals mascot.  He is somewhat of a Tony the Tiger ripoff, but I won't hold that against him since most Bengal tigers that are used as mascots look like him.  

    As for the name, it is a pretty cool background since he was named after the chant Cincinnati fans would sing during the 1980's at Bengals games called "Who Dey."

17) Chomp (Cleveland Browns)

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    Similar to Who Dey, there is not much special about Chomp, who is the mascot for the Cleveland Browns.  His name and design comes from the group of loyal fans that sit in a section called the "Dawg Pound" at Browns games.  

    For Chomp, he was good enough not to be included in the bottom tier with mascots like TD, but not good enough to be included with some of the top tier mascots coming up.

16) Blitz (Seattle Seahawks)

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    Moving on from the somewhat average and terrible mascots, we have Blitz, the Seahawks' mascot.  Unlike the Dolphins, Seattle chose a better football related name that would fit a mascot.  As to why it is still ranked relatively low at 16th, a few years ago, the Seahawks changed Blitz's look to make him more appealing to children.

    In my opinion, the Seahawks should scrap the whole Blitz mascot idea and make the mascot a fan.  Wouldn't it be cool if the Seahawks had a different fan as a mascot every game? It makes sense since the fans play such a huge role for the team; they almost ended up on the cover of Madden as the 12th man because of how loud their stadium can get.

15) Rampage (St. Louis Rams)

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    Just about halfway through, and we have reached the newest mascot, the Rams' Rampage.  Introduced in 2010, Rampage is the perfect medium for a mascot; he has just the right mix of everything.  To start, his name is pretty intimidating, which was a great call by the many fans who voted for it.  Also, he is not too scary for children and he is not too friendly looking to the point where he looks like Sir Purr.

14) Steely McBeam (Pittsburgh Steelers)

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    And the award for most creative name goes to.....the Pittsburgh Steelers fan who came up with the name for her favorite team.  Diane Roles chose to include history in her process for coming up with the name for the new Pittsburgh mascot, "Steely" represents the city's industrial background, the "Mc" in "McBeam" is to represent the team owners Irish Heritage, while the "Beam" is for her husband's favorite Alcoholic beverage.

13) Boltman (San Diego Charger)

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    Although Boltman is not the "official" mascot for the San Diego Chargers, he is still very prevalent in Chargers' culture and makes the cut for this list.  Obviously, his name comes from the electricity realm since the team's name is the Chargers.  

    Although it cannot be fully seen in the photo, Boltman's costume is pretty cool, as he is dressed like a football superhero, he wears a Chargers jersey with football pants, he even has football gloves on.  As for why he makes it onto the list at number 13, his name is somewhat average and puts him in the same area as Chomp and Blitz, but his garb pushes him up the list.

12) Billy Buffalo (Buffalo Bills)

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    One number describes Billy Buffalo, and that number is eight.  For those of you that know about Billy, he is the eight-foot mascot for the Buffalo Bills.  His outfit and name may be a little plain, it is also somewhat random that the team would choose their mascot to be eight feet, but no other team has that kind of standout quality in their mascot, putting at an above average ranking of twelfth.

11) T-Rac (Tennessee Titans)

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    Its a pretty cool aspect that the Titans chose to go with their state animal (raccoon) as their mascot rather than a person who could be dressed up as an actual titan.  T-Rac is great mascot; he is interactive with the fans, he rides around the field on vehicles sometimes and has even zip lined into the stadium.  

    You may be asking, if he's so cool then why is he only eleventh?  I'll tell you why, he ruined an NFL career before it even began.  In 2006, during a preseason game between the Titans and Saints, T-Rac drove into former New Orleans quarterback Adrian McPherson during halftime, and because of the injury McPherson suffered, he could not play and the Saints released him shortly after.

10) Miles (Denver Broncos)

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    Cannot really see why they would name their mascot Miles, but as a whole, the Denver Broncos have a pretty great mascot.  First, he matches with a lot of the scenery in Denver, as he is snow white and then he also dresses up in a full Broncos uniform, except for the helmet.  

    Not only is he very present during game days, but Miles' biggest role is to promote the Broncos reading program called "Read Like A Pro."

9) Pat Patriot (New England Patriots)

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    Here we have another heroin type mascot with Pat Patriot.  In 1993 when the Patriots switched to their current logo, they wanted to keep some aspect of their old logo (which is now on their retro uniforms), so they took the man who looked like a Patriot from the logo on their helmet and used him to design Pat Patriot.  Since then, Pat has been at Foxborough cheering on the Patriots.  

    As for why he is so high on the list, it is nice to see a historical aspect going into the thought process of creating this mascot, and his design as a whole is great.  His face is intimidating enough that it appeals to everyone, as he looks like the kind of guy who would be a super hero, and he loves the United States of America.

8) Toro (Houston Texans)

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    Toro is yet another one of those top quality mascots for the fans and the players.  Before games, he will lead the Texans onto the field while driving his four-wheel ATV or sometimes zip-line onto the field with an American flag (photo).  While Toro does all of these great things to get the crowd pumped up, he is not the first to do so, but have to give him so credit for executing what has already been done so well.

7) Blue (Indianapolis Colts)

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    Blue may seem like an awkward and creepy mascot, but he is very entertaining.  Before the games, he will do a skit where he involves "fans" just to kill time while lightening the mood in the stadium, to entertain the kids and to prepare everybody in the game with some team spirit.  If you don't believe me, check out what he did last year.  

    The only real downside to Blue, besides his costume, is that his story does not really set a good example.  According to his website, Blue ran away from home and saw the Colts were having mascot tryouts and now Lucas Oil Stadium is his new home.  How would you feel if your child ran away and said they did it because they wanted to be like Blue?  The Colts should probably find a new back story for Blue, one that does not encourage children to run away from home.

6) Sir Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles)

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    Although Philadelphia fans may not deserve a mascot as cool as Sir Swoop, he is still a top mascot in the league.  There is nothing too flashy about Swoop, but there are also no drawbacks.  It makes sense that his name would be Sir Swoop since he is an eagle, he does a good job of leading the team out of the tunnel and throughout games when trying to keep the fans excited.  Swoop's high quality all-around puts him right outside the top five, as there are only a few mascots left.

5) Staley the Bear (Chicago)

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    Similar to Sir Swoop, Staley the Bear is an all-around quality mascot.  His outfit is simple yet not so simple that it would put him with mascots like Freddie Falcon, but he is also intimidating while still looking approachable.  He may not be the most well-known mascot, but his quality outweighs his fame.

4) Poe (Baltimore Ravens)

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    Possibly the most history-related mascots is Poe of the Baltimore Ravens.  His origin goes as far back as the 19th century.  For history and poetry buffs, knowing who Poe is named after is fairly easy; it is Edgar Allen Poe, the great poet from Baltimore, who also wrote a very famous poem entitled the Raven.  

    Not only is Poe's history pretty cool, he is the mascot for a very physical and tough team, so it only makes sense that the team's colors are black and purple.  Aside from his slightly innocent face, there is not much else negative to say about Poe, as he is a great mascot to have.

3) Ragnar (Minnesota Vikings)

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    If the NFL were to take a poll to vote for the top mascot, without a doubt Ragnar would be a top candidate.  While the Minnesota Vikings have not gotten lucky when it comes to players like Tavaris Jackson or Brett Favre, they were able to find a pretty great mascot.  

    Ragnar rides out of the tunnel during every home game on his motorcycle in full viking garb, getting the crowd loud and ready to go.  He also has an incredible horn he can use to get the crowd hyped and is the only actual human mascot in the NFL.  Ragnar makes a great second-runner up, but with more to come, the mascots only get better.

2) Jaxson De Ville (Jacksonville Jaguars)

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    Although things might not be going exactly the way they want them to in Jacksonville, at least they have one good thing going for them: their mascot Jaxson De Ville.  

    Since 1996, De Ville has done as much as possible to help entertain the fans and help the Jaguars get a win.  He will interact with opposing players before games, he used to disrupt huddles and try distract kickers, and has even been the root of several mascot rule changes in the NFL.  Not only that he does crazy stunts like jumping off the lights of the stadium (as seen in the photo), he is a solid runner up for the mascot coming up next.

1) K.C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs)

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    Well, for those of you keeping track at home, the last and final team that has a mascot that has not been mentioned until now is the Kansas City Chiefs, with their mascot, K.C. Wolf.  Before Toro rode into the stadium on ATV's, KC Wolf did it, before the Browns named their mascot after a fan section of their stadium, K.C. Wolf was (named after the wolfpack, a group of fans that sat in the bleachers section at municipal stadium).  

    On top of all of these aspects that other teams and mascots copy Kansas City for, to use with their own mascots, he does crazy stunts and even does security from time to time (helped security guards take down a man who ran on the field at Arrowhead Stadium in 2007 - photo).  

    If there is one mascot who represents their team and fans as a whole and does a great job of being a mascot, it is K.C. Wolf. If only the Chiefs were as good of a team as K.C. Wolf is a mascot, then maybe they would win some more games.

     

    Hope you enjoyed the slideshow.

    Don't forget to follow me on twitter: @chris_deezy