The weirdest sports mascots, past and present
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The weirdest sports mascots, past and present

A variety of professional and collegiate sports mascots are iconic figures, some of which are famous on their own. The San Diego Chicken, or The Famous Chicken, may be the world's most well-known mascot even though he has no single team affiliation. ESPN and other outlets have used Mr. Met in television commercials. The Penn State student section chants for the Nittany Lion at every home game. 

Not every mascot is a gem and a hit that lives on for generations. Some are downright weird and, truth be told, creep us out. With that said, many weird and unconventional mascots are beloved by local fans and those who pose for pictures with the furry creatures. Others, however, have faded from our memories. 

May they never return. 

 
1 of 30

Izzy

Izzy
Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS via Getty Images

International sports competitions such as the Olympics seem to delight in creating weird mascots. In the summer of 1996, Izzy served as the mascot for the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Per Max Blau of Atlanta Magazine, a committee worked to create Izzy. Those meetings must have been fascinating. 

 
2 of 30

Steely McBeam

Steely McBeam
George Gojkovich/Getty Images

We understand the idea behind Steely McBeam, the mascot of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is supposed to represent the blue-collar workers of the region. We're guessing Pittsburgh fans couldn't produce a look for a "Yinzer," so we got McBeam instead. 

 
3 of 30

Cozmo

Cozmo
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We blame Major League Soccer for this one. The legend goes that the LA Galaxy were named because the city is filled with so many Hollywood "stars." Thus, we got Cozmo. Be careful criticizing this mascot, though, because Cozmo will come at you on Twitter

 
4 of 30

Raymond

Raymond
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Once the Tampa Bay Devil Rays decided to ditch that name, the club should have started  from scratch. Instead,it merely shortened the nickname to Rays, which left fans with Raymond Ray, a dog-like creature that sounds similar to a World Wrestling Federation jobber from the 1980s. 

 
5 of 30

K.C. Wolf

K.C. Wolf
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are the first franchise spotlighted in this piece that had to carefully select a mascot for understandable reasons. Perhaps a horse would have been better than K.C. Wolf, even if the Denver Broncos would have had something to say about the Chiefs going down that route. 

 
6 of 30

Stuff the Magic Dragon

Stuff the Magic Dragon
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when you first learned about the alleged meaning behind the song "Puff, the Magic Dragon?" Stuff the Magic Dragon brings those feelings back to fans on a nightly basis. The Orlando Magic can say whatever they want about how "Stuff" is a reference to rejecting, or stuffing, a shot. This is still one weird mascot. 

 
7 of 30

Gunnersaurus

Gunnersaurus
Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA

The terms Arsenal and Gunners bring to mind visions of toughness, grit and taking the field of battle. Gunnersaurus reminds us all that Barney the dinosaur may have done society more harm than good in the long run. Back in 2015, Vice Sports spoke with the man who created Gunnersaurus as a boy. We'll let him explain himself. 

 
8 of 30

Blue Blob

Blue Blob
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Per Carol Motsinger of Cincinnati.com, the Xavier University Blue Blob arose in 1985. That means the school has had 30 years to right this wrong. You're known as the Musketeers, Xavier. Do better. 

 
9 of 30

Gapper

Gapper
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Most curious about the Cincinnati Reds giving fans Gapper is that the club could just go with Mr. Redlegs, a tremendous mascot with arguably the best mustache in the game. Even the Reds don't define what Gapper is supposed to be. Apparently, Ohio baseball loves weird mascots. 

 
10 of 30

Mavs Man

Mavs Man
Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Sipa USA

You've probably heard this one before, but Mavs Man looks like what you'd expect to find at the end of a Mega Man level. We imagine the mascot for the Dallas Mavericks attempts to dunk oversized basketballs on poor Mega Man's head as a finishing move. 

 
11 of 30

Ragnar

Ragnar
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As ESPN Senior Writer Arash Markazi wrote, the man who played Ragnar, an unofficial mascot for the Minnesota Vikings, priced himself out of that gig in 2015. The club replaced Ragnar with Viktor the Viking, who, we assume, is on a more cap-friendly contract. 

 
12 of 30

Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Desaturate the rabbit outfit from "A Christmas Story," give it sunglasses and put a Philadelphia 76ers jersey on it. You have Hip-Hop, a mascot Rich Hofmann of Philly.com referred to as "never-beloved." 

 
13 of 30

Sly Fox and Mini Sly Fox

Sly Fox and Mini Sly Fox
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In fairness to the Garden State, Sly Fox and Mini Sly Fox are not why the New Jersey Nets relocated to Brooklyn. The Brooklyn franchise learned its lesson when it retired the horrendous BrooklyKnight character. Some teams just shouldn't have mascots. 

 
14 of 30

BJ Birdy

BJ Birdy
Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays fans will remember BJ Birdy for the time he got himself sent to the showers early. As Chris Jaffe of FanGraphs explained, Birdy earned an ejection from a game in 1993 after he attempted to influence an umpire's decision. We respect the dedication to the cause. 

 
15 of 30

The Coyote

The Coyote
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's the eyes, eyes that appear to have witnessed unimaginable horrors, that land the San Antonio Spurs mascot on the list. According to the team's official website, The Coyote won 2014 NBA Mascot of the Year honors. Voter intimidation tactics may have been involved. 

 
16 of 30

Blooper

Blooper
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

"Hey Cleveland Indians, can we copy your homework?" "Sure, Atlanta Braves, just change it up a bit so it's not obvious." 

 
17 of 30

Huddles

Huddles
George Rose/Getty Images

Per CBS Denver, every NFL franchise had its own version of the Huddles mascot back in 1986. Take one look at them, and you'll quickly understand why the league abandoned the idea. 

 
18 of 30

Kingsley

Kingsley
PA Images/Sipa USA

In June 2015, the Telegraph's JJ Bull called Partick Thistle's new mascot "utterly terrifying." Kingsley looks like the evil sun character that would chase Mario and Luigi in "Super Mario Bros. 3," but with legs. Anybody have a turtle shell we can borrow? 

 
19 of 30

Thunder

Thunder
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder taking that name resulted in the Golden State Warriors losing their mascot, Thunder. No disrespect to the individual who played the character (a Bay Area hero in his own right), but all within the NBA community, other than those in the Seattle area, are better off for it. 

 
20 of 30

Rowdy

Rowdy
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are supposedly "America's Team" and a franchise with a pretty cool name. Why, then, does the team's mascot look like he is more prepared to sell me a discounted hamburger at a chain restaurant than dominate a game of football? At least he has a sweet hat. 

 
21 of 30

Squatch

Squatch
Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images

The Seattle SuperSonics really dropped the ball by using Squatch rather than a speedy character as their mascot. Sure, Squatch did some cool dunks back in his day, but could he run around loops while collecting rings without falling victim to gravity? We didn't think so. 

 
22 of 30

Youppi

Youppi
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2014, Sean Newell of Deadspin told us that Youppi, the name of the mascot used by both the Montreal Expos and Montreal Canadiens, means "yippee" in French. That's sweet and all, but we still don't know what Youppi is supposed to be or why he is particularly Canadien now that the Expos are a thing of the past. 

 
23 of 30

Burger King

Burger King
Jason Merritt/WireImage

Of course, the Burger King was not originally meant to be a sports mascot. That changed once the he was inserted into NFL Films-esque commercials. The King was even part of Floyd Mayweather's entourage ahead of the fight between "Money" Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. 

 
24 of 30

Slider

Slider
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not you think the Cleveland Indians copied the Phillie Phanatic when creating Slider is a matter of opinion. We hesitate making fun of the mascot since he suffered an injury while attempting to entertain fans during the 1995 American League Championship Series. Credit Slider for getting back on the horse, or wall, in this instance. 

 
25 of 30

Wenlock and Mandeville

Wenlock and Mandeville
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Summer Games were back at it in 2012 when London presented Wenlock and Mandeville, the city's Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Apparently, a pair of walking Big Ben figurines weren't terrifying enough in the eyes of organizers. These mascots are reasons for a city to pass on hosting any Olympics. 

 
26 of 30

NHL HockeyBird

NHL HockeyBird
Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Fans know, deep down, that teams are businesses and that sports are largely about money and profits. They don't need those facts thrown in their faces. That's what the NHL did when it introduced HockeyBird in partnership with the makers of the Angry Birds games. Hard pass, NHL. 

 
27 of 30

King Cake Baby

King Cake Baby
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans would probably say that the King Cake Baby mascot has ties to the city's famous Mardi Gras celebrations. Some ideas are good on paper but not in execution. This is somebody's nightmare come to life. 

 
28 of 30

Brownie the Elf

Brownie the Elf
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Brownie the Elf has nothing to do with Paul Brown, the Dawg Pound or winning games since 1999. Knowing all that we know now, those in charge of bringing pro football back to Cleveland after Art Modell moved his franchise to Baltimore should have embraced a fresh beginning. 

 
29 of 30

Chirpy

Chirpy
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

The Tottenham Hotspur logo is a cockerel standing on a football. Tottenham's mascot is Chirpy, which has gone through some horrible redesigns throughout its history. Don't worry. Nobody else gets it either. 

 
30 of 30

Phillie Phanatic

Phillie Phanatic
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It's understood there are many local fans who adore the Phillie Phanatic. Some people prefer using provolone instead of Whiz for their cheesesteaks. That doesn't make it right. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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