Sometimes, the entertainment isn’t just confined to the game.
As long as there have been mascots, there have been mascots doing crazy stunts to wow crowds at pro and amateur games and events. Some mascots, like the San Diego Chicken, transcend their acts and become world famous. Heck, there is even a Mascot Hall of Fame, which is in the process of moving to Whiting, Indiana (near Chicago).
The good ones drum up enthusiasm with high flying dunks at basketball games, dancing during the seventh inning stretch at baseball games and running the sidelines at football games. Mascots are also ambassadors for their teams, mingling with the crowd for handshakes, high-fives, hugs and selfies with little kids.
What really gets the crowd going wild, though, are the times over exuberant mascots attempt a crazy feat, and fail miserably. Sometimes, its well-scripted and intended to get the crowd laughing. But, there is the odd instance where not all goes according to plan.
Here are the 10 most hilarious mascot fails.
10. Bango misses skateboard dunk
Milwaukee Bucks’ mascot Bango is legendary in NBA circles. The cartoonish deer has been doing his schtick for 36 years and is a former NBA Mascot of the Year. Not too shabby. He’s been sling-shotted on roller skates for an awe-inspiring dunk and even flipped off a 16-foot ladder to throw down, all to uproarious applause. But, even the legends are known to screw it up. And did Bango ever. In the GIF below, Bango hops on a skateboard and races headlong for a mini-trampoline. All goes well, and he hits the mark, but his attempt at a high-flying slam didn’t have quite enough speed, or air, and he flips unceremoniously short of his target. Oh, Bango. The fail is at 3:19 of the video.
9. Mascot dumps Jamaican runner
When Berlin, Germany hosted the 2009 World Track and Field championships, they employed a mascot named Berlino the Bear. Like all sporting mascots, he was cute, cuddly and harmless. Unless your name was Melaine Walker, of Jamaica. Walker had just won gold in the 400 meter hurdles and instead of a victory lap with a flag in her hand, she accepted a ride on Berlino’s back. Big mistake. Berlino ran gamely, with Walker enjoying the ride and waving the flag, but he forgot to look up and smashed right into a trailer full of hurdles. Zu lustig!
8. Barkley downs mascot with left hook
Charles Barkley is a basketball hall of famer famous for shooting from the lip. Rocky is a hall of fame mascot employed by the Denver Nuggets, who never seemed to get out of Sir Charles way. From his playing days, Rocky was always a thorn in Barkley’s side, and always tongue-in-cheek. Barkley once stepped all over Rocky when he was with the Houston Rockets, all caught on camera for laughs. Years later, in retirement, Barkley was at center court in Denver when Rocky bounced out, oversize boxing gloves and all. Barkley offers a handshake, but Rocky wants to spar. But the Round Mound of Rebound floors him with a left hook, just like Apollo Creed.
7. Oregon Duck dukes the Houston Cougar
As we said, mascot hi-jinks are often staged events. However, in 2007, the Oregon Duck got way out of hand objecting to a rival mascot’s imitation of his moves. The Oregon Ducks were entertaining the Houston Cougars in a NCAA football season opener. The Duck would do push-ups for total points in front of the student section after every touchdown. The Cougar thought it would be funny to mock him and do the same. He thought wrong. The Duck immediately began a shoving match and would eventually throw real haymakers, which got him suspended for a game. What a quack.
6. Harvey the Hound glass fail
The Calgary Flames couldn’t exactly have a lit match for a mascot, so they came up with ‘Harvey the Hound.’ The canine mascot has been known to stir it up with provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. One episode not long ago, he was taunting the Oilers’ bench when coach Craig MacTavish grabbed Harvey’s oversized tongue and yanked it out of his mouth. Undaunted, he donned a red scarf as a replacement, to an ovation. But, the tongue theft wouldn’t be his darkest hour. In another game, Harvey was standing on a t-junction of glass, dancing to Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, when he lost his balance and, uhh, nearly “neutered” himself.
5. Mascot moonwalks off dugout
We guess that even mascots have to toil in the minor leagues before their shot at “the show.” Five years ago, the Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks’ AAA affiliate) were hosting the University of Nevada at Reno Wolf Pack in an exhibition game to kick off the season. The Aces’ Archie and the Wolf Pack’s Wolfie good naturedly shared the top of a dugout and started a high-kicking dance to entertain the fans between innings. Wolfie, though, decided to throw in his own version of the moonwalk. Only thing is, he ran out of dugout, and ended up inside of it. Back of the bus, kid.
4. Red’s mascot loses his head
Mr. Redlegs and Gapper are fixtures during Reds’ games at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Mr. Redlegs looks like an old-time ballplayer, complete with stovepipe hat and curly moustache, while Gapper is a big, fuzzy, something. In early 2008, Redlegs and Gapper figured it would be a good idea to take out an ATV and get the crowd buzzing. The furry guy drove and Redlegs stood on a fifth wheel at back, waving a cartoonish bat. Gapper negotiated the warning track well, but when he turned a small corner, Redlegs was sent for a tumble — and promptly lost his big ‘ol head.
3. Georgia Bulldog attacks
The rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers doesn’t just end on the football field. In 1996, one of the most iconic near-bites ever delivered came courtesy of Uga V, the very real Georgia Bulldog mascot. Robert Baker of Auburn, who would play some pro and is now serving time for drug-related offences, had just scored a touchdown to give the visiting Tigers a 14-7 lead. As he made his way to the back of the end zone to celebrate, he got a little too close to Uga V. Straining his leash, Uga V jumped and narrowly missed biting Baker in the nether regions. Down boy.
2. Rockets’ ‘Clutch’ gets kicked
‘Clutch’, the Houston Rockets mascot, is a bit of a card and prankster, but also has a soft side. In fact, the big cuddly bear-looking mascot once had to console a lovelorn potential groom, who was stiffed during a courtside marriage proposal and was given a hug and a beer from Clutch. The prankster side of Clutch would be his undoing. In a video sequence, he is shown standing stock still in the concourse at the Toyota Center, only to launch himself at unsuspecting fans. After a few good scares, he frightens the bejeezus out of a little girl. Not taking any of his guff, she walks over and delivers a kick right to Clutch’s groin. Way to go, kid!
1. Toronto Raptor roller skate spill
This is a mascot fail in two side-splittlingly funny parts. The inflatable dinosaur has been entertaining the crowd at the Air Canada Centre for years, but never could he have imagined what would happen in late 2010. Roller skates were involved, but he wouldn’t confine himself to a nice, smooth basketball court — until the end of his wild ride, that is. He started his trek on a set of stairs and wouldn’t get very far, falling hilariously on his butt. That should have been it. But it was only part 1. He got helped up and continued on down the stairs, making it court side. Unable to keep his balance, he lurched crazily to the left and fell unceremoniously on his big old inflatable face. End of act 2, night, night Mr. Raptor.