Mascots

As I am prone to do, I was thinking about Crackers and Salty Pete today.

Crackers and Salty Pete

Magnificent

The reasons to like Crackers and Salty Pete are obvious and plentiful. (There are two of them [presumably BFFs], one is a pirate and one is a parrot but they are both the same size, Salty Pete’s badass beard, and of course their names are “Crackers” and “Salty Pete”.) What’s not to love?

While I tend to like mascots, not all mascots are as awesome as Crackers and Salty Pete. Some mascots are totally wrong.

Key Bank Key

I just hate him so much.

Now, I’m sure Key Bank is a fine establishment, but this Key Bank mascot makes me angry. How is he supposed to walk with his legs all wrapped up in a key body? Look at his TEETH! Look at his weird lopsided eyes! Look at how he appears to be holding a freaky mascot-sized SYRINGE in this photo! LOOK AT HOW THE “KEY” PART OF HIS KEY DROOPS PATHETICALLY! ARGH! I can’t even DEAL with this guy.

The Phillie Phanatic is the undisputed greatest mascot ever.

300px-Phillies_Phanatic

My kind of man mascot

First of all, the Phanatic is all-around hilarious. Second of all, he goaded Tommy Lasorda into writing what might be the greatest unintentionally funny blog post of all time. (Thanks to andrew for the Lasorda link) Third of all, I have a good story about him. I’ve told this story many times, but I told it the best in the IPB threads last summer. Because Schnookie rocks, she tracked it down for me so that I may republish it here:

True Story:

One time I was playing a gig with a boys choir in Philadelphia. I think it was a fundraiser for their group, because the show was very gimmicky and chock full of local “celebrity” guest stars (think weathermen and local politicians). We were clicking along, nearly to the end of the show, when out of no where, without any sort of reasonable warning, the Phillie Phanatic comes barreling through the orchestra. And I mean barreling. Stand and musicians were flying everywhere. I didn’t even really see the Phanatic until his hulking green furry body knocked over my music stand on his way to the podium. It was utter chaos. The musicians were giving absolutely no warning that the Phanatic would make a destructive appearance. Many of us were holding valuable instruments that could have been easily damaged, so a lot of musicians were pretty peeved, but the audience thought the whole thing was hilarious (which it was). A friend of mine told me later that one of the highlights of the entire debacle was hearing me say loudly onstage “Oh my God, it’s the Phillie Phanatic” in a tone tinged with both horror and reverent awe.

I’ve always wondered if the Phillie Phanatic somehow knew he could dramatically (and to great comedic effect) navigate himself through a cramped orchestra without doing any real damage, or if he was just drunk that day.

In closing, mascots are a hoot.

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22 Responses to “Mascots”


  1. 1 Kathee July 31, 2008 at 8:19 am

    And that Key Bank Key looks entirely too “phallic” to be a mascot!

  2. 2 Anne July 31, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Yo that key is creepy as all get out. Why does he have a comically oversized syringe but a normal sized stethoscope? Those teeth are freaking me out. My personal favorite (well local) mascot is the Perry’s ice cream cone that wears sunglasses and seems to follow Danny Paille around. There’s a picture of them at a school and you can see the ice cream cone in that new Camp Good Days video.

  3. 3 Schnookie July 31, 2008 at 9:36 am

    You know what I love best about that story about the Phanatic? Ever since you shared it with us, I no longer think of him as “The Phillie Phanatic”. I think of him as, tones laced with horror, “Oh my god. It’s the Phillie Phanatic”.

    I personally really like that key. I love when mascots are anthropomorphised objects that never should have ended up that way. And I think his teeth are AWESOME. (When Pookie and I drove up to Ottawa, we passed a Key Bank and completely cracked up, thinking of your aversion to their mascot. We tried to take pictures, but alas, we were laughing too hard to hold the camera steady.)

  4. 4 Shari July 31, 2008 at 11:02 am

    That story is hilarious but at the same time, jeeeez, what a jerk!
    I saw Sabretooth try an pick pocket some guys jacket and the guy was not playing along. I thought for sure he was gonna deck Sabretooth.
    Sabretooth can be such a wiseass.

  5. 5 Jeanne July 31, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I hate to say it, but the Key Bank mascot’s eyes look like Ryan Miller’s eyes!

  6. 6 Amy July 31, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Now its bothering me that the Key Bank mascot has one round eye and one oval eye.

  7. 7 Pookie July 31, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a key right behind you!

  8. 8 CrotchetyOriginalSam July 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Two quick stories:

    #1) I once was at a Phillies game before which the Phanatic actually got Lasorda to come out of the dugout and try to beat him up. The Phanatic had driven his little four-wheeler over right in front of the Dodger dugout, and removed a life-size Lasorda doll from the back, which he proceeded to lovingly place in a sitting position on the ground, lovingly dust off to be sure it was nice and clean, and then lovingly run over it with the 4-wheeler about ten times in a row. Lasorda finally lost and came charging out screaming, which was the funniest thing I ever saw at a ballpark.

    #2) My orchestra once played an outdoor concert sponsored by Best Buy, and the sponsor had decided that it would be a good idea to have a bunch of costumed mascots around to amuse the kids and promote Best Buy. So the mascots were all giant yellow and blue Best Buy tags, and there were about ten of them, and they obviously couldn’t see very well, so they were sort of clustering together a lot and almost walking in a single file line, which was very dangerous, because their costumes had no arm holes, and all it was gonna take for disaster to strike was for one of them to trip, and the others would all go down like dominoes. Our personnel manager physically restrained me from going over to the back of the mascot line and giving the last tag a little push…

  9. 9 danielleia July 31, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I didn’t even get that it was supposed to be a key until you pointed it out. I thought it was a weird cloud with legs or something. Salty Pete and Crackers are 100 times cooler.

    I almost got run over by Sabretooth at an open practice once. I gripped the chair and was about to stand up when I heard “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” He came pouncing out of no where down the isle. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. If I didn’t get distracted by Danny Briere, I would’ve been trampled.

    (Phillie Phanatic sounds like fun!)

  10. 10 Patty (in Dallas) July 31, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve only seen highlights of the Phillie Phanatic but I think he’s hilarious. I assume he’s not that funny ALL the time. Highlight reels always make a guy look better than he is. :D

  11. 11 Shari July 31, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Sam..damn your personnel manager! I’d love to see Best Buy price tags go down like dominos!

  12. 12 Heather B. July 31, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a key right behind you!

    A GIANT key! (:^::::::::)

    I hate that key. At the Bisons game we went to there was a dance competition where fans were paired up with mascots. They girl that was with the key was dancing her heart out and all the key can do in that stupid costume is swat his lower arms around like a t-rex.

  13. 13 TheTick July 31, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I love how the (phallic?) Phanatic looks to be giving a very serious interview in that picture.

    all the key can do in that stupid costume is swat his lower arms around like a t-rex.

    “I have a big head and little arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through.”

  14. 14 CrotchetyOriginalSam August 1, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I assume he’s not that funny ALL the time.

    He actually pretty much is, believe it or not. I grew up at the Vet, usually in the lower deck cheap seats, where the Phanatic spends a large portion of his time, and his shtick just never gets old. I’ve never seen a mascot work so hard. (Second best memory: the time he goosed Darryl Strawberry during soft toss before the game. Straw stole his 4-wheeler and drove it off the field in retaliation.)

  15. 15 Schnookie August 1, 2008 at 12:55 am

    It’s true — the Phanatic is consistently hilarious. He is BY FAR the best mascot on all of sports. There’s a reason he’s a legend.

  16. 16 Katebits August 1, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Sam, I’ve been giggling to myself all day imagining those Best Buy tags. Why didn’t they get arm holes?! If a tag is going to be out walking around, it might as well have arms. I mean, honestly.

  17. 17 Courtney S.F. August 1, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Does the BPO have a mascot? The San Antonio Symphony has a mascot that joins us for Young People’s Concerts and Family Concerts. The mascot is basically a giant, furry, walking bass (with arms) and his name is Count Basse. The best part about Count Basse is that everyone thinks my husband is the person in the costume, but he’s not.

  18. 18 Katebits August 1, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Are you SERIOUS, Courtney?! No, we do NOT have a mascot and I am now CRAZY jealous of Count Basse. (You can admit it’s Dave in there. I won’t tell.)

  19. 19 andrew August 1, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Oh my god! I had completely forgotten about Lasorda brawling with the Phillie Phanatic! Too freakin’ funny! Thanks for digging that one out of the archives Kate.

  20. 20 Patty (in Dallas) August 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Count Basse?? That’s GENIUS.

  21. 21 CrotchetyOriginalSam August 1, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Does the BPO have a mascot?

    MN Orch occasionally employs an actor in a powdered wig who is supposed to be Beethoven to walk around the plaza and irritate people. But that’s miles away from equaling Count Basse…

  22. 22 CrotchetyOriginalSam August 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    By the way, I only just noticed that my Lasorda/Phanatic story is the same one Lasorda wrote about in your link above. My bad- I need to click through those links more often…


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