Mascots come from the French vocabulary meaning lucky charm. The tradition of having mascots for teams or sports events dates back to history. The glitz and glamour and the line of merchandise the mascots influence are a thing of recent past. Earlier we had a tradition of making live animals the mascot of teams.
Let’s dive a bit deep into the strange and weird history of mascots and how they have changed.
In the Beginning
In the USA, the Chicago Cubs began the tradition of mascots with a stuffed baby bear in the beginning. But due to reasons unknown, they turned to a live bear during later seasons. IN 1932, the first Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles also had a live Scottish terrier as its mascot. Though the dog called Smokey is not recognized officially, he can be seen in pictures.
Still today the NFL team of Denver Broncos in Colorado uses a live Arabian stallion as their mascot. But as is the case with any living creature, the horses get old or die. They keep changing horses identical in looks to their first mascot and new horses get a chance to be their mascot!
Things begin to Change
Soon the teams and organizers realized that animal mascots of live animals were not a feasible idea. Since then people have dressed in animal suits and dresses and entertain and serve as the mascot of their team.
1968 Winter Olympics held in Grenoble started off the trend of mascot suits. Known as Schuss, the mascot also led to a line of merchandise developed around it. Down the years we have seen several mascots some of which were tasteful while others have been outright strange!
The FIFA World Cup of 1986 based their mascot on fantasy cartoon which looked really beautiful on the paper. But when the costume was created it looked really creepy with glowing eyes and oversized hat. We really cannot say if it entertained people or made them feel uneasy!
South Africa seemed to follow the same creepy trend with their mascot Zakumi in 2010 FIFA World Cup. You are bound to feel the creeps at the sight of the leopard with a cheesy smile and green deadlocks! Even the mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup looks as creepy as Zakumi and you can compare both to see which one makes you more scared.
Weirdest of All
If you want to witness the weirdest mascot, take a look at London 2012’s Wenlock and Mandeville characters. You must have seen the strange logo and the mascots were even stranger with strange inflatable cyclopses that were attached to the characters.
The idea of spreading awareness about names of Olympic Games was drowned outright in the creepiness of the mascots!
Mascots do have a history of their own, and you would either love a Mascot or hate it. What was your favorite and not-that-great- moment with a mascot? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your story!