Chickens! fish! Giant Baseball Heads! If you could just slide down your ropes into your seats, we're ready to start. Uh, Phillie Phanatic, could you do me a big favor and put the two busboys down? Terrific. O.K., welcome to the emergency meeting of Mascots Organized for the Protection of the Species (MOPS). As you all know, we are here to discuss the recent increase in abuse of mascots. Suddenly people act like we're cartoon characters. They think they can whap us over the antlers with hockey sticks, and we'll just spring back like Daffy Duck.
We've always been punched, kicked, flattened, tweaked, pinched, pushed, hosed down and torn up, but lately it's gotten worse. Last month a professional miniature golfer got a measly $25 fine and a 30-day suspended sentence for punching Diamond Duck, the Richmond Braves' mascot, in the stomach. The guy said he never thought it would hurt. How would he feel if somebody put a bend in his putter?
Benny Beaver of Oregon State, are you out there? Right. Benny got smashed twice by football players last season, once by a 6'6" 330-pounder from Cal. And all Benny did was tap him on the head with an inflatable hammer. This is the kind of stuff that sends a guy to Disney on Ice. Last August a woman dressed as a shark mascot took a right cross in the gill from boxer Gentleman John Sully at a New Haven sports complex. Sully says he was just playing around, but Sharkie got whiplash and couldn't work again.
Burnie, the Miami I leafs mascot, has been through hell. Poor Burnie pulled a woman out of the stands to dance. She said he jerked her arm or something and sued him for $1 million! Burnie also had a gig at an adult birthday party, and some of the more overserved guests pushed him into the pool. You get in a pool with that woolly suit on, it starts filling with water, and you sink like a piano. If Burnie hadn't been near a ladder, he would have been extinguished forever. People have to understand that just because a guy is 7'6", covered with orange leathers and has a green honking basketball for a nose doesn't mean he can walk on water.
Do I see Swoop, the Philadelphia Eagles' mascot? Better watch yourself. Before you were around, the Eagles had unofficial mascots—fans who dressed up in feathers. One was set on fire by an irate Dallas Cowboys fan with a Bic lighter. Ace Ventura punched another one for laughs in a movie. When Him stars can go around punching innocent fowl, what kind of message is that? It's a lack of respect, is what it is. Crazy Crab, the San Francisco Giants' old mascot, quit because he got sick of fans throwing things at him, including golf balls, carrots, beer bottles and balloons filled with substances from the men's room.
Look, the job is hard enough as it is. In summer, temperatures in our costumes reach 115°. The suits are scratchy, and you can't see out well, and once a day some kid comes up and sticks his finger in your blowhole and you've got a black eye for a week. Slider, the Cleveland Indians' mascot, fell six feet from the rightfield wall and tore up his knee. The Seattle Mariners' Moose Rollerbladed into the leftfield wall and broke his ankle. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Wild Wing tried to leap over a barrier of flames and didn't quite make it, setting his feathered suit on fire. You think anybody sent him flowers? Or even barbecue sauce?
We shouldn't be surprised when bubbleheads abuse us, but we shouldn't be doing it to each other. Is the Stanford Tree in the house? You and Cal's Oski the Bear tangled at a basketball game two years ago, with Oski cutting you down with a cross-body block during the game! Guys, it's got to be solidarnosc, paw in branch, forever!
Anyway, the Grievance Committee has put together a list of demands for you to take back to your team: 1) We want each home club to run our antiabuse message on DiamondVision every 30 minutes during every game. Our new slogan is This has gone fur enough! 2) When we're injured we want no replacement mascots. The Phillie Phanatic had a Phil-in a couple of years ago who tackled some old codger from behind and practically broke the guy's back. Now everybody thinks the regular Phanatic did it. 3) A hug cap of 100 per game.
If management refuses our requests, we go to Plan B: the fun slowdown. Remember, this means a) loosening the springs on your minitramps for a noticeable lack of height in your stunts, b) a drastic cutback on zaniness and c) a halt to rubbing bald guys' heads. Remember, if there's any rough stuff, you've always got your giant slingshots.
Hey, if anybody wants to mess with us, they'll pay the price. After all, we weren't sewn yesterday. O.K., that's it! Everybody to the back room for a free shampoo and vac!