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Mascot Power Rankings: The rise and fall of the Toronto Raptor

Apr 18, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

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It’s the Mascot Power Rankings, with mayhem, gratuitous violence, drug use, and decapitation! Not for the meek.

1. Raptor, Toronto Raptors. Generally considered on of the best mascots in all of sports, Raptor’s stock goes way down when he appears in his plastic, inflatable version. The video below is from 2010, but it’s the first time it’s been featured here — and since it’s one of those things you can watch over and over without it ever getting old, it takes this month’s top spot. Enjoy the video, but for my money, the animated gif below that is the real treasure.

This will never, ever not be funny.



source:  2. Donny the Dog, Tel Aviv Maccabi. The mascot for this pro basketball team from Israel gave the Raptor a real run for his money this month, and finished a close second. Where else are you going to see a mascot dog chase a real cat across a basketball court, except here in the Power Rankings, or in one of your fever dreams?


source:  3. Marijuana Leaf, Toronto Blue Jays. As the song says, it’s hard out there for a guy dressed as a marijuana leaf. It happened at the Blue Jays home opener, when Mr. Cannabis (I had to name him, because he didn’t appear to have one) was ejected from the game by security. But it was a gentle ejection, filled with love. Not sure what he was promoting or why he was there … is weed legal in Canada? He was last seen hitchhiking near an offramp to the 410 in Brampton, and I assume his ride will be free.


source:  4. Easter Bunny. Thank you, Good Day Sacramento, for ruining Easter. Here we have a TV reporter dressed as the Easter Bunny, entertaining a group of children. Things are going well until the Bunny stumbles, and loses his head. Then it becomes a scene from your darkest childhood nightmare, as he reels about in deranged fashion, with his head on backwards … screaming kids running into the streets, the sounds of police sirens in the distance … (meanwhile, the dog has eaten the Easter ham).


source:  5. Kermit the Frog. Meanwhile, at the Yankees home opener, Kermit the Frog was the guest of Mayor Bloomberg, occupying a perfectly good field-level seat that could have been used for a human who could have appreciated it. Besides, it’s rumored that Kermit was abusive to Yankee Stadium attendants, insisted on drinking vodka from a flask, and was ejected in the third inning for a profane tirade aimed at Albert Pujols.



source:  6. Rockey the Belly Bouncer, Memphis Redbirds. Not only do the Redbirds (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League, Cardinals affiliate) have the largest scoreboard in Minor League Baseball, they also have the largest mascot. Rockey is 60 feet x 60 feet, and actually has a bouncy castle in his stomach. And if that’s not fun, I don’t know what fun is.



source:  7. Moondog, Cleveland Cavaliers. I think we’ll all remember where we were the day that the beloved Cavaliers’ mascot (is he beloved? I don’t live in Cleveland) was accidentally punched in the eye by forward David West. Consider this a cautionary tale about playing grab-a** during warmups. We’re not sure whether a lawsuit is planned: is there a mascot version of Gloria Allred?


source:  8. Rall E. Camel, Great Lake Loons. The only mascot (to my knowledge) to have been delivered in a box during the winter, this auxiliary mascot for the Great Lake Loons (Class-A, Midwest League, Dodgers affiliate) is destined to climb higher in the rankings once he establishes some street cred. One thing that would help is a theme song: My Humps?



source:  9. Castle, Real Valladolid. Real Valladolid Club de Fútbol plays in Spain’s Segunda División, and is based in the autonomous community of Castile and León. Therefore, in honor of Castile, their mascot is the castle-shaped rook, a chess piece. Unfortunately, it is the only sports mascot that cannot move diagonally.



source:  10. Jünter the Foal, Borussia Mönchengladbach. Not only is this a hilarious photo (closer look at it here), Junter makes the list because he is the only horse mascot with his own column on his club web site. Borussia Mönchengladbach plays in the top German soccer league, and Junter is named for Borussias legendary player Günter Netzer. Wikipedia: He has a column in the club’s magazine “Fohlen-Echo”, where he gives his view on current football related topics. He also has the section “Jünter hat’s gesehen” (“Jünter saw it”) on the clubs homepage, where current or historical matches are reviewed.

Don’t see your favorite mascot? Nominate him at Twitter: @Rickchand.