The 18th Annual Celebrity Mascot Games was held this past weekend and was, as usual, a display of the best talents in the world of Stuffed Sports.
If you are like me, most sporting events are long, boring stretches of sweaty dudes trying steal a ball from each other while you wait for the mascot to run out and entertain us. The Celebrity Mascot Games is the only event in the world that eliminates that wait for you by bringing together the thirty best mascots and running them through competitions to determine which group of mascots are the fastest, the strongest, the smartest, and–well, they are mascots after all!–the best at “bending” the rules.
This year’s event featured some pretty intense American Gladiators-style events and really kicked the intensity up a notch. I know what you are thinking: We live in Orlando and therefore have the BEST mascot in sports, Stuff the Magic Dragon, so how can these games possibly be fair with Stuff on his home turf? Stuff is a very gracious host to the other mascots and doesn’t flaunt his home-field advantage over them……much! (Except for his rapelling-from-the-top-of-the-arena entrance–the crowd went CRAZY!–and using a motorcycle for some of the events, you would hardly even know it was Stuff’s house!)
I always come away from the games with a new favorite mascot and this year was no exception. I remember my first Celebrity Mascot Games and encountering for the first time the University of Nebraska’s mascot Lil’ Red and literally losing my breath with laughter at some of the tricks he could pull. (This year he flipped upside-down and did the YMCA dance with his feet….which inspired Stuff to try the same trick….on top of a 30 foot ladder!)
This year I was very impressed with some of the local mascots: Tommy Tar from Rollins College and Thunderbug from the Tampa Bay Lightning both did great jobs. Raymond from the Tampa Bay Rays was very low energy, but somehow made it work for him. Knightro the UCF Knight also made an impressive showing, and Albert and Alberta from the University of Florida were crowd favorites as usual.
I was excited to see Globie from the Harlem Globetrotters for the first time. Fin from the Vancouver Canucks always seemed to be in the middle of the action and here’s a special nod to Harry the Hawk from the Atlanta Hawks; he walked EXACTLY like a bird, that can’t be easy to pull off for several hours in an outfit like that!
All of this craziness came together at the Amway Arena to raise some money for an outstanding charity, New Hope for Kids, a local charity that offers support to children and families who have lost a loved one and also grants wishes to kids in the Central Florida area who have life-threatening illnesses. New Hope is a great charity and 90 cents of every dollar goes toward program services.
This post was by Guest Blogger Extraordinaire Ross, Superproducer of SomaCow, the Greatest Internet Talk Show, Ever! Tune in to SomaCow on Fridays or Sundays to listen live, or relive the experience with a podcast. Ross can be followed on Twitter @Elross.