Mascots. You love them or you hate them. If you love them, you wonder what it would it be like to be one. If you have always wanted to be one since childhood, you actually make the dream a reality.
Most mascot articles that I have read over the years come from people “on the outside”. People who have no idea what it’s like to walk a mile in a pair of overgrown shoes. People who think that all we do is stand in front of you during a game and block your view. People who think that mascots are there to grope girls and scare little children.
Well, buckle up campers because your old pal Whistler is gonna share with you his thoughts and opinions about a matter near and dear to his heart.
Shall we begin?
EASTERN CONFERENCE – Southeast division
Atlanta Thrashers THRASH
When I first look at Thrash my thoughts take me to an elderly like gentlemen on the way to the store to pick up some prunes. He’s mean and more than likely forgotten the last time he’s had a quality poop.
From the neck down he’s a bird that has probably done more steroids than Fabian and WWE combined.
Am I supposed to be scared of this bird? Will he peck my eye or will he drop a load on my car windshield (after the prunes kick in or course).
Because of the team name, The Thrashers were pretty much locked into this type of character. I think in trying to compensate for a such a wuss-tastic name the team went the way of the NBA and tried to put a little bulk on this bird. This is where they went wrong. He’s too mean looking. (see old constipated man comment from 10 seconds ago.)
So in other words...move along, nothing to see here. Thrash brings about as much interest to the NHL as well, hockey in Atlanta. I think you get my point. Even his bio on the team’s website put me into a Thanksgiving inspired coma.
Bird Type: Georgian Brown Thrasher
Weight: Light as a feather!
Hatch date: Sept. 4, 1999 at Zoo Atlanta
Nesting Place: Philips Arena
Years pro: 6
Most frequent penalty: Pecking
Favorite team: Who else? The Thrashers!
DIVISION RANKING #5
SUITABLE REPLACEMENTS : Head Coach John Anderson’s mustache. Have you seen this thing? It could probably jump off Anderson’s face and attract a crowd all by itself.
Carolina Hurricanes STORMY
Out of all the mascots in the southeast division Stormy is my favorite. I mean c’mon.. he’s a friggen Pig. How brilliant.
When a team has an animal for a name you would automatically assume that the mascot in some shape or form will resemble that name. (ie, Penguins, Panthers, Sharks, etc. ) In this case the same frame of mind would make you hard pressed to come up with something that is resembles a Hurricane. A giant red plastic cup filled with alcohol? Or how about the Gordon’s Fisherman? (oh wait, the New York Islanders already tried that on their jerseys in the early 90’s)
No. they went with a pig. A pig who lives in the south. That’s like a cat being the spokesman for a Chinese restaurant.
There really isn’t much to find wrong about this guy. He’s a cute looking character that brings about a unique dimension to the team.
DIVISION RANKING #1
SUITABLE REPLACEMENT: - In a few years when Stormy is past his prime, I’d suggest sticking with the Pork family and sign a McRib sandwich to a long term deal.
Miami Panthers STANLEY C. PANTHER
Let’s see folks, you have a team called the Panthers. Yup, a panther for a mascot seems about right. Luckily enough the fine people that brought you Thrash from Atlanta Thrashers were not consulted when this mascot was created.
Shackled with a totally lame name, Stanley C. Panther flat out works. He looks to come across cute, but also seems to have the potential to show off a cocky side as well.
*Edit. Upon further review, it has been decided that Stanley C. Panther resembles Urkel from the TV show "Family Matters*
The one thing that Stanley C Panther has going for him is someone who works in the Front Office with a sense of creativity. Check out a few of these videos.
Golf clap good sir. Golf clap.
DIVISION RANKING – 2nd
SUITABLE REPLACEMENT – Someone the Florida Panthers fans would instantly recognize. Matlock.
Tampa Bay Lightning THUNDERBUG
Thunder? Lightning? A Lightning Bug? Sure. Why not. It works and works quite well.
He’s a cute lovable cuddly bug. An excellent idea and a well created character.
But wait a minute. In doing some crack journalistic research I have come across a startling discovery.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
It has been brought to my attention that as of this season Thunderbug is no longer a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. There seems to be a trend in the current economic model of the NHL to make cuts to save money. I can understand that. But what I don’t understand is this.
They cut Thunderbug but decided to keep the Lightning Girls.
Let me repeat that for those of you following along at home.
They cut Thunderbug but decided to keep the Lightning Girls
Are you freaking kidding me?
I could bang out some long and winded tirade how I think this is a mistake but I’ll sum it up like this.
A mascot is a link between the organization and the public. You don’t need a skank-ho squad of ice dancers to run around giving guys chubbage to promote your team. If you want chubbage, go follow an NBA team.
So the performer inside ThunderBug wasn’t cutting the preverbal mustard. It happens. The right course of action should have been to terminate the employee and bring on someone that would not only capture the spirit of the character but also bring in some business savvy and market the hell out of it.
“Wow, Whistler, if I’m not mistaken I think you just made a little business sense there.”
I’d stand up and shake your hand, but I’m too busy looking at the website for the Lightning Girls. Ifyouknowwhatimsaying.
DIVISION RANKING – TIED FOR 3rd
SUITABLE REPLACEMENT – A new mascot after all the Lightning Girls have been fired because they’ve all either been knocked up or kicked out of Jenny Craig.
Washington Capitals SLAPSHOT
Arriving on the scene in 1995, Slapshot was a much needed replacement. The Capitals previous mascot suffered the fate of being the illegitimate off-spring of Gonzo from The Muppet Show.
Trying not to make the same mistake twice, the Capitals came up with an Eagle. Yawn. He’s not an ugly looking character but as far as a character goes doesn’t leave you much to work with. Kinda puny looking and not something that makes me smile when I see it. I realize we are talking about the Washington Capitals, but still.
To this very opinionated writer, there will only be one Slapshot worthy of the name.
Suck on that birdbrain..
DIVISION RANKING – 4th
Owner of the Washington Capitals. (Comes complete with his own fat suit)
So there you have it. The mascots of the Southeast Division of the National Hockey League. Next time we’ll focus on the mascots of the Northeast Division.