Can You Match the Sports Team to Their Real Mascot?

By: Gavin Thagard

After watching his team come off a loss in Super Bowl 50, Sir Purr was on his game the next season as he tried to help the Panthers reach the championship again. Though the Panthers faltered in making the NFL Playoffs, Sir Purr was named NFL Mascot of the Year.

According to Tampa Bay, Raymond was discovered by scouts for the organization during a fishing trip to the Gulf of Mexico in 1998. When Raymond smelled hotdogs on the boat, he jumped on board and immediately put on display his comedic antics.

From mocking opposing players to starting a feud with a WWE wrestler, Bailey constantly puts himself in the center of controversy. He's also mastered the use of Twitter, where he vehemently supports his team.

In a game against the Portland Trailblazers in 2013, Rocky was involved in a pre-game stunt that left him unconscious when he was supposed to be lowered from the ceiling with a spotlight on him. On the descent, his body came down limp after he got the breath knocked out of him, causing him to pass out.

Screech was introduced as the Nationals' mascot in 2005 when the team moved from Canada to Washington D.C., the first MLB team to play in D.C. for 34 years. To show off their new mascot, the Nationals had him hatch from an egg in the middle of the field, giving the bird quite the entrance.

Depicted as a steel worker, a traditional job in Pittsburgh, Steely McBeam is more of a caricature of the city than a representation of it. One of the mascot's most memorable acts was releasing a parody song in 2012 of "Call Me Baby" that is performed with his deep and creepy voice.

From his original inception, no fan has been able to determine what type of animal Nordy is, though they accept him none the less. Cheering for his team while wearing number 18,001, Nordy has found a permanent home in the Xcel Energy Center.

Hugo first became the Charlotte Hornets' mascot in 1988, the year that the franchise was founded. In an odd turn of events, a deadly hurricane hit the Carolina coast the next year that was named Hurricane Hugo.

Depicted as a king penguin, Iceburgh appeared in the movie "Sudden Death," which was released in 1995 and filmed at the Civil Arena in Pittsburgh. In the movie, the mascot is played by Faith Minton.

Jersey swapping with opposing players has become all the rave in the NBA, particularly for Dwyane Wade who announced his retirement following the 2018-19 season. When Wade's Miami Heat played the Bulls in early 2019, it was Benny who came to Wade after the game looking to swap jerseys.

By working with the Cardinals, Fredbird created his own team in 1995, known as Team Fredbird. They don't play baseball, however, as they prefer to spend their time interacting with fans in the community.

Unlike most mascots, Gorilla didn't come about through fan voting or an executive meeting. Instead, he started as an accident when a man named Henry Rojas delivered a singing telegram at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1980 while wearing a gorilla costume. Fans bought in immediately.

After the Philadelphia Phillies released their own mascot in 1978, their cross-state rival, the Pirates, introduced Pirate Parrot a year later. With Pirate Parrot cheering from the sidelines, the Pirates went on to win the World Series that season.

Over 1,000 years old, Viktor the Viking was a Viking explorer who was frozen in the bottom of Lake Superior. When he finally thawed out in 2007, Viktor discovered a new age for Vikings, one where they played football.

Wally the Green Monster is named after the left field wall in Fenway Park, the oldest park in Major League Baseball. The wall stands just over 37 feet high and has proven to be a difficult target for home run hitters.

Though they try to be playful, not everything a mascot does is fun and games, and Burnie proves that as much as any mascot. The Miami Heat have been sued several times because of Burnie's antics, including one incident where he tore a teacher's hip trying to help her dance.

K.C. Wolf received his name from a group of wild Kansas City fans who called themselves the "Wolfpack." First used in 1989, the mascot has been worn by the same man, Dan Meers, since it was introduced.

Deputing in 1979, Youppi! celebrated his 40th birthday on January 12, 2019 inside the Bell Centre, the home stadium for the Canadiens. Many other mascots were in attendance, including the mascot for the New York Mets of MLB.

One of the most controversial mascots in the NFL, Jaxson de Ville has received several complaints from opposing teams for interacting with their players and coaches. In fact, he's the reason that the NFL initiated a rule change requiring all mascots to stay behind the six-foot white border around the field.

Once listed as the most sued mascot in sports by the Cardozo Law Review, Phanatic makes being a Phillies' fan more dangerous than it should be. Of course, those fans still appreciate their oversized green mascot, who was once attacked by Tommy Lasorda, a former manager for the Dodgers, after mocking him.

The first song Louie ever got to play on his saxophone for Blues' fans was "When the Blues Go Marching In," one of his favorite songs. That first performance went over well, and the team asked him to stick around to entertain fans.

Poe was once one of three mascots used by the Baltimore Ravens, the others being Edgar and Allan. The latter two mascots were retired prior to the 2009 season, leaving Poe the sole responsibility to entertain fans.

Clutch was named for the clutch performance put on by the Rockets to win the 1994 NBA championship over the New York Knicks. With their new mascot on the sideline, the Rockets would repeat as NBA champions in 1995.

Billy the Marlin received a new look prior to the 2019 season. Since the Marlins were eliminating their orange jerseys, the color was cut completely from Billy's attire. He also appears to have lost a good bit of weight.

Unlike most mascots in this quiz, Al the Octopus is not a costumed mascot. Instead, he was started from a tradition of throwing octopuses onto the ice, which originally signaled the eight victories needed to win the Stanley Cup.

According to the Denver Broncos' organization, Miles was born during Super Bowl XXXIII, when the Broncos defeated the Falcons. However, he didn't officially make it onto the field for the Broncos until two years later.

Based out of Detroit, which was a major auto manufacturing center in the United States, the Pistons adopted their name from the engine component of the same name. When they were thinking of a mascot, the team decided to go with a horse, a reference to horsepower.

Blooper can be found dancing with the Tomahawk Team during Braves' games at their new stadium, SunTrust Park. Occasionally, he even jumps into the famous Home Depot Tool Race, where he competes against four other tool-themed mascots.

The Coyote became the only NBA mascot to work a double-header when he entertained Spurs' fans for two games against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 13th, 1983. The first of the two games also marked The Coyote's first-ever appearance in the NBA.

Mirroring the rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators, Carlton the Bear has a fierce hatred for the Senators' mascot, Spartacat. Luckily, since deputing in 1995, Carlton has watched his team defeat the Senators four times in the playoffs.

Staying true to his roots, Blue apparently loves the song "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones and "Blue" by Eiffel 65. This witty entertainer is known for firing up the Indianapolis crowd with his dance moves, which won him a break dancing contest in fifth grade.

With Clark's great-grandbear being Joa, the first mascot in Cubs' history, Clark made his claim as Cubs' royalty by taking up the mantle as the team's new mascot. This bear is so dedicated that he shows up before games to hang out with fans on Gallagher Way.

Known for promoting exercise, Sourdough Sam spends his offseason at youth camps hosted by the 49ers organization. He teaches kids to maintain a healthy diet and to practice as much as they can if they want to make it to the NFL.

The Philadelphia Flyers claim that Gritty was hiding in their arena, where he fed on snow and hot-dogs. He finally revealed himself in 2018 and quickly gained the support of fans, even racking up over 240,000 Twitter followers.

Rumble the Bison has a heroic origin story in which he saved a herd of fellow bison who were lost in the Arbuckle Mountains during a storm. Staying behind so the others could escape, he was later struck by a bolt of lightening that transformed him into a creature who's half-man, half bison.

Blitz isn't the kind of mascot to be afraid of heights. Proof of his bravery lies in the fact that's he performed multiple stunts from the air, including skydiving and jumping off of CenturyLink Field.

In 2018, Stomper was part of a local public art event, where 50 life-size statues were made of him and placed throughout Oakland. All of the statues were created by local artists across the city.

When he's not cheering for his team, Crunch the Wolf can be quite the trickster, especially to opposing fans. In one game, he talked a Nuggets' fan into taking off his shirt for a free jersey. When the fan agreed, Crunch walked away, leaving the fan shirtless.

Coming off another Super Bowl victory at the end of the 1995 season, "America's Team" needed a mascot that could mirror the energy let off by their crazy fans. Capable of leading "Let's Go Cowboys" chants while also mocking opponents, Rowdy was the perfect choice for the franchise.

T.C. Bear was the first mascot for the Minnesota Twins since Twinkie the Loon made his final appearance in 1981. Unpopular with fans in Minnesota, Twinkie only lasted for two seasons before he was abandoned.

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Image: Wiki Commons by. Philip Robertson

About This Quiz

From the Miami Marlins of MLB to the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL to the Toronto Raptors of the NBA to the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL, there are a ton of jobs around the sports' world for mascots to fill. How well do you know these entertaining and comical jokesters? Here's your chance to find out just that. 

From an outsider's point of few, mascots may seem like an insignificant part of a game. After all, they're just costumed pranksters who rile up the other team's players, occasionally to the point of anger or violence. (Just wait until you hear about the Philadelphia Phillies mascot.)

The reality, however, is that mascots have a very important role in their communities. Aside from attending games, where yes, they can be annoying, they also take part in community events, such as going to schools and charity fundraisers. Some mascots will even put on dangerous stunts, like jumping off of arenas, to entertain their fans. 

Are you ready to match all of these mascots to their respective teams? Can you get them correct across all sports, or will you have to rely on the hints when you get to the hockey questions? 

When you're ready to test out your mascot knowledge, get started and see if you know some of sports' greatest entertainers!

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