Top 10 Terrifying Mascots in World Sport

Joe Gallagher@joesgallagherFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2016

Top 10 Terrifying Mascots in World Sport

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    Bleacher Report

    Last week, Japan's new Super Rugby franchise guaranteed their debut season would receive plenty of attention off the field by unveiling their team mascot.

    Rugby: Sunwolves unveil creepy mascot -

    — nzherald (@nzherald) February 28, 2016

    The Sunwolves sure got the internet talking, the first words to come to mind along the lines of terrifying, intimidating and, well, "pinging."

    The sleep deprived, out-partied wolf also got us thinking; is it the scariest in world sport?

    We've taken a look around the globe for the world's most terrifying sporting mascots, and ranked them from 10 to one.

10. Criciuma

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    Alan Pedro/Getty Images

    Brazilian football club Criciuma haven't wasted messed around with this one. The team, known as the Tigers, have gone all in on a giant...tiger.

    Now, anthropomorphism is nothing new in the thriving field of sporting mascots, but usually designers will try to tone down the more intimidating aspects of the animal in question.

    Not here: Criciuma's tiger is snarling right at you.

    Criciuma went through a period of crisis in 2012 but survived, perhaps due to the fact that nobody was willing to confront their mascot*.

    *But probably not.

9. Fort Wayne Mad Ants

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    Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

    A basketball franchise known as the "Mad Ants" haven't failed to disappoint with their mascot.

    The Indiana Pacers' D-League affiliate describes their mascot as "young at heart" and "solid as a rock." Can't disagree with that.

    What's essentially got us worried is that the expression on his/her/its face makes him/her/it seem criminally insane.

8. Wichita State

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Wichita State University's own website describes WuShock as "a big, bad, muscle-bound bundle of wheat."

    How on earth does a "bundle of wheat" ever become scary, you ask? This is how:

    @LostLettermen Previous editions of WuShock would have won going away.

    — Adam Cole (@colewhirled) November 16, 2015

    A long history of creepiness will do the trick.

7. Chivas USA

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Troubled Major League Soccer team Chivas USA folded in 2014, but not for lack of an intimidating mascot.

    ChivaFighter boasted the cold, unblinking eyes of, well, a foam mask, and wore a camouflage shirt over the red-and-white stripes of the ill-fated franchise. Why? What was he doing after the game?

    MLS is worse off for his absence and we can only hope that ChivaFighter returnsone way or anotherwhen a relaunched franchise joins the league next year.

6. New South Wales

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    Mark Nolan/Getty Images

    Queensland's "Cockroaches" nickname for their New South Wales rugby league rivals isn't quite as nasty as it might first sound.

    Former Maroons coach Barry Muir coined the term after watching NSW on television in the 1970s and it has stuck like glue.

    The side has embraced it, too, producing a deformed, green-eyed mascot for the annual three-match State of Origin series.

    If you ever see a cockroach like this crawling out of your drain, it's probably time to move.

5. Southern Illinois Salukis

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    If you're not quite sure what a Saluki is, you're not alone.

    It's the Royal Dog of Egypt and gives its name to the area known as "Little Egypt"Southern Illinois.

    However, the breed bears very little resemblance to the razor-toothed mascot of Southern Illinois University; I wouldn't bother patting it.

4. Partick Thistle

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    Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

    World, meet Kingsley (if you haven't already).

    It's very hard to put into words just what exactly Scottish Premier League club Partick Thistle's mascot embodies.

    Comparisons have been made to the sun and Lisa Simpson, but in truth, we don't really know; and maybe that uncertainty is just what makes him quite so haunting.

    Of course, Kingsley's intimidation factor has been softened somewhat by a shameless display of desperation on Valentine's Day when he went in search of a "Queensley." No, that really happened.

3. Cairns Taipans

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    Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

    It's an Australian basketball team called the "Taipans," and they've not held back with the design of their mascot.

    Limbs and a muscular physique are all that venomous snakes really need to take over the world, and the ANBL franchise seem well aware of this.

    And hey, if a giant snake with arms isn't terrifying enough, maybe him handing you and your family fluorescent snake sweets at half-time might do the trick.

2. Providence Friars

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    Michael Heiman/Getty Images

    The history of Friar Dom can be traced back to a far less creepy Dalmatian dog.

    Those days have long past, and the contemporary sides at Providence College are cheered on by one of the most terrifying elements of American sports.

    But it looks as though a PR campaign to soften the image of Friar Dom is in the works, with dancing and hugs top of the strategy. It hasn't yet worked.

1. New Orleans Pelicans

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    A mascot once described as "basically a war crime" actually has good origins.

    The New Orleans Pelicans' King Cake Baby is a shout out to the city's culture and heritage, where King Cakes are eaten at Mardi Gras. So far, so good.

    But did a franchise whose primary mascot has already had to undergo reconstructive de-terrifying beak surgery really have to produce a giant, unblinking baby?

    NBA Fans find New Orleans Pelicans Mascot very SCARY. So they made up a story that it has to undergo Plastic Surgery

    — O B L I V I O U S . (@JarrarM) February 16, 2014

    If you think it's staring right into your soul, that's because it is. Good luck sleeping tonight.