I have nothing against mascots and no mascots were harmed in the writing and research of this article. That being said, I’m not a fan of them either. Who is in there? They don’t speak, sometimes they’re annoying, and ultimately they’re there for the kids, no? Mascots are a little creepy and an NHL mascot has to be one of the most useless.
This brings me to something Jo Innes of the Score’s Backhand Shelf blog brought up last night on twitter. The Carolina Hurricanes mascot is Stormy the pig. Yes, a pig. Some mascots make complete sense like S.J. Sharkie for the San Jose Sharks, and Iceburgh the penguin for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now, one would say eating a mascot would be wrong, disgusting, in some cases illegal, but in North Carolina barbecue rules. Smoked pig? Bingo, let’s make that our mascot. I’m sorry, what?
I understand what you’re thinking – How do you give a hurricane a mascot? I have some ideas. Frankly, a hurricane would be hard to personify or anthropomorphize as an animal. Let’s just consider the options, then, because there has to be a better alternative for a mascot than using an animal that is frequently eaten.
Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina with the second largest population. We can work this this. Raleigh is known for its oak trees as the “City of Oaks”. Well, a pig has to be better than an oak tree as a mascot. I’m having technical difficulties thinking of something that makes sense for Raleigh, that can’t be eaten.
Alas, the official bird of the state of North Carolina is the Cardinal. That’s a better option. There are also three types of bats, a flying squirrel, and a red wolf that are all endangered animals in North Carolina.
These have to be much more viable options. A bat is weird and creepy, and they’re blind so let the jokes roll in when an unfortunate goal slides in or a defensive play goes awry. Not to mention one of the bats is called the “Townsend’s big-eared bat” which is concerning considering you’d think aerodynamics would be important to a bat… Although, if anyone remembers the movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest, where Robin Williams played a long eared bat “Batty” and did a rap it could be awesome. My mascot raps, what does YOURS do?
So maybe a bat isn’t the best thing, or an oak tree. How about a flying squirrel? They’re quick, they can jump, they fly – from tree to tree – and they’re also quite scary. But a squirrel, right? Road kill. I can see the headlines now.
Maybe the best thing for a mascot would be a beaver… stay with me on this one. The pelt trade in North Carolina was very important to their economy well into 1800s. They were hunted to extinction and have now been reinstated into the state with a thriving population. A HA! They made an entire species extinct, and brought them back to life. Might as well make a beaver the mascot of the Carolina Hurricanes, right?
I’m sold. Just… no pig, it’s wrong.