Friday, January 20, 2012

Mascot misadventures!

(Attention, all not-interested-in-sports readers: This is amusing. Trust me.)
Long-time, attention-paying visitors to this site may recall that I have something of a history in the ol' professional sports mascot biz. I don't do that anymore (one of the few jobs I don't currently have) but it still picques my interest when something noteworthy involving these lovable furry anarchists comes across the newswires. The other day, something happened right here in Tampa.
Our hockey team's mascot is known as ThunderBug. We're the Lightning, he's a bug...get it? Well, the other night he was spreading his special brand of merriment around the arena and hit a fan of the visiting team with some silly string. The fan got upset, shoved T-Bug (from behind) and was ejected.
Here are a couple of things you need to know about this situation:
  1. Here in Tampa, everybody is from somewhere else. This means a lot of people who attend sporting events root for the visiting team. Some of these people...not all of them; really a very small minority, when it comes right down to it...are a royal pain in the ass from a trouble making standpoint.
  2. Since there's video (check it out below!), this is a relatively big deal. And many people who are weighing in with commentary say TB deserved it and worse, that assault charges should be filed (against the mascot, not the fan). These people are also a pain in the ass. Plus stupid.
  3. Silly.
  4. String.
Nothing about those last two words as presented are threatening in any way shape or form. We're not talking about some weaponized form of bio-hazard silly string loaded into missles to be fired into a children's hospital from an attack helicopter.
The stuff of nightmares: hilarious, giggle-inducing, horrifying nightmares
Say the words aloud yourself and try to sound menacing. I dare you. It's an impossible task. But this guy was ready to go to battle, with a living cartoon character, over being stringed silly.
The only thing I can imagine going through the minds of those who see this as some sort of assault is that they watched that video with the assumption that ThunderBug suddenly appeared at this location with the sole intent of attacking this one man, as though the participants and location didn't exist in time nor space until the person who shot the video pressed "record".
Being someone who has worked in the industry, specifically with mascots, and as someone who understands that events and their participants don't just spontaneously occur, I'm pretty sure that ThunderBug was in that section of seats, spraying people with silly string (the can is already present), when Boston Fan saw what was happeneing and started mouthing off (you can see him in mid-mouthing when the video begins), probably something along the lines of, "Hey, you! Don't even think about coming up here and spraying me and my really dumb t-shirt with that silly string! I'm serious, man. Don't you do it! You'll be sorry! I will give you such a shove! So do not...DO NOT...come up here and spray me with that!" This, as any of us who grew up in a neighborhood where there was a mean dog knows, is what's called "asking for it". Think about it: why else would anybody even record it if they didn't think something might happen. Watch it and see if you don't agree...

I guess this guy felt he needed to take a stand. Well, good for him. If he ever winds up in jail, all he has to do is tell the other inmates about the time he went nose-to-nose with somebody wearing an enormous fuzzy insect head without backing down, even with little bitty pieces of pink and green string on him, and nobody will mess with him!

1 comment:

OnidaGirl said...

THIS is why we hate the Boston Bruins and their fans. Ridic! :oP