Whether it’s a live animal or a human dressed in a sometimes creepy-looking costume, the majority of National Football League (NFL) teams have a mascot present on the sideline during games. Seen as a good luck charm of sorts, the mascot tradition really kicked into gear around the early 20th century, although most mascots back then were actually dressed-up children or real animals. Pro baseball was the first sport that really caught onto this practice though, with professional football joining in on the fun decades later.
Today, it’s more common than not for a football team to proudly display its mascot and use it to keep the crowd engaged in games. Often, mascots are selected and named by fan contests, memorably done when Baltimore fans chose the raven as an homage to renowned poet Edgar Allan Poe, who died and is buried in the city (Poe famously penned the poem, “The Raven”). In fact, of the 33,000 votes cast in the naming contest, a whopping 21,000 picked the raven!
It’s not all touchdowns and field goals for the NFL mascot industry, however. Some teams have come under serious fire for the continued use of mascots of Native American origins, with some taking offense to the use of “Redskins,” often considered a racial slur.
Still, for the most part mascots are considered lighthearted fun, and as much a part of a football game as hot dogs and beer. How much do you know about the NFL’s prized mascots? Take the quiz to see if you’re the star QB of mascot trivia!