Friday, July 28, 2017

THE NOWHERE-NEAR COMPLETE GUIDE TO ADVERTISING MASCOT SUPERHEROES : PLAY BALL! (Part 1)

Sports which use mascots are invariably well-suited for a stuffed-head superhero. Competitive sports, relying heavily on conflict, strength, strategy and teamwork against an equally-outfitted opponent are practically the definition of the American superhero, if only they had adamantium claws in football. Check in around 2024, things are changing fast in this nation and I can't even begin to tell you where it's gonna end.

There are probably hundreds of superhero sports mascots (feel free to um,actually, you-forgot me in the comments for once, lord knows I'm nowhere near complete on this one), but here are a few which caught my eye...

"Rise, my beautiful creation!"

Mandrake or Roboduck or something (University of Oregon)
I'm not even sure if this assistant mascot was meant to be a superhero or a speed skater or a pervert or what, but the stupid-sexy-Flanders duck creature was apparently intended to update (and maybe replace) the image of U of O's familiar duck mascot. Famously based on Donald Duck -- to the degree that he was frequently called Donald for a long time, if I remember my lore correctly -- the long-serving mascot was ultimately addressed as "Puddles." Mandrake was, I guess, sent from the future to kill Puddles. It's hard to say. Attempting to tap into America's "goddamn let's make everything terrifying and aggressive" adolescent post-9/11 stage just didn't bear fruit, and Mandrake was consigned to the scrap heap of history. Good. More squashy duck mascots eating bags of Tostito's and napping on the field and stuff. Puddles is great.

He looks so uncertain.

Cloudman (Trenton Thunder)
Despite resembling a bastard lovechild of the Michelin Man and a Smurf, the unimpressively-named Cloudman is more than a mere mascot: He's apparently a genuine American hero? His press release describes his unfettered patriotism in this way:

Cloudman has been on a life-long quest to find and honor the heros [sic] of our community. He seeks out these brave individuals who have risked and given their lives for the safety and well-being of our community and brings them to the light for all of us to thank and honor. 
"Cloudman has been on a remarkable journey honoring the everyday heroes of our world," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "He is a true hero who will partner with the heroes in our area to promote better and safer communities for all of our fans."

If I read this correctly, Cloudman finds and honors true heroes, and he is himself a true hero, so I imagine he spends a lot of time honoring himself. Replace "Cloudman" with "Joss Whedon" and "hero" with "feminist" and I think this gets to the core of canonizing the man's writing. You truly are a hero, Cloudman!

"I fucking rule!"

Captain Arsenal (Arsenal FC)
Apparently this middle-aged superhero mascot -- whose costume is, I think we can all agree, hot fucking fire that owns actually --  has been considered as something of an embarrassment to the fans of Arsenal in the UK. This is hilarious, since Captain Arsenal basically is the fans of Arsenal in the UK. Just have him yell "you fucking cunt" at the screen every five minutes in order to somehow intimidate the ref through the medium of television broadcast and you have a spot-on rendition. Plus the costume, I guess.

Highest comedy is that Captain Arsenal evidently put a beloved mascot in danger of retirement, that being "Gunnersauraus," a huge dumb dinosaur designed by a kid in the 90s. "Only Nineties Kids Will Remember Creating the Arsenal Mascot," evidently. But, to Gunneraurus' credit, he actually recently attended the kid's wedding. That's great. Captain Arsenal is much better.

5 comments:

Calamity Jon said...

I fucked up an accidentally deleted the following comment, which came to me by way of "Unknown":

Not sure if it counts or not, but back in the 90s the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team had Neal Adams draw their players as superheroes for print ads and some animated commercials were done as well. Just looking around YouTube I could find two, one featuring Shawn Kemp as Reignman and one where they fought Shaqzilla. Pretty sure they made more than that, though.

neofishboy said...

So Cloudman seeks out brave individuals who have "given their lives" and "brings them to the light".

Ew.

Miko said...

They did one for Gary Payton "The Glove" and one for Sarunus Marciulionis "Sarunus of Marciulionis". The second one was a Superman takeoff where his planet was destroyed, and as he traveled to earth he learned to dribble a basketball and "take it to the hole". I may have one of those on an old VCR tape somewhere. >.> Can't remember any more than the four.

Unknown said...

I think they also had one for the coach of the Sonics as The Brain.

I was the unknown whose post was accidentally deleted.

Keith Morgan

Ted Craig said...

Not a mascot, just a dedicated fan:

http://www.michigansuperfan.com

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