Dance, Monkey! The Top 5 Best Mascots in Sports History

By TK Kelly February 12, 2013 View all posts (228)
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We all have certain sports teams that we truly love. There are certain coaches we’d stake our life on, and certain players we’d follow to the ends of the earth. But where would our favorite teams, coaches and players be without a great mascot? Well, realistically, probably in the exact same place, but still… mascots are funny. A truly great mascot will not only keep you entertained between the action, but he’ll so thoroughly impress you that you’ll completely forget about the sweaty, nauseous, severely depressed man that’s living inside him. These are the top five mascots in sports.

5 Milwaukee Brewers – Klement’s Racing Sausages

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They aren’t so much mascots as they are a promotion for a local Wisconsin sausage company, but we’re including them here anyway because the sausage race is easily one of the most fun traditions in baseball. After all, what’s more entertaining than watching five people in 7-foot foam sausage costumes run around a baseball field? Nothing, that’s what. The sausage races are held at all Brewers home games and feature a heated competition between Brett Wurst the Bratwurst, Stosh the Polish Sausage, Guido the Italian Sausage, Frankie Furter the Hot Dog, and Cinco the Chorizo. And yes, all of them are dressed in accordance with a stereotype of their respective sausage’s ethnicity… priceless.

4 Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillie Phanatic

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The Phillie Phanatic has to make the list because he is the unquestioned leader of the genre of mascots that you look at and say, “What the hell is that thing supposed to be, anyway?” Like the Syracuse Orange “Puffy Ball” or the Boston Red Sox “Faux Muppet,” the Phillie Phanatic isn’t really anything at all. He’s a strange, fur covered, green monster with a bulbous a$$ and an extendable tongue. And you know what? He’s great. We don’t know why. He just is. He’s made appearances on the Late Show and 30 Rock, and he was even the inspiration for the timeless Simpsons character, the Capital City Goofball.

3 University of Georgia – Uga the Bulldog

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If you haven’t seen Uga, look him up. He’s the man. Well, they’re the man. Or, they’re the dogs… wait, let us explain. Uga is the live English bulldog mascot that can be seen patrolling the sidelines University of Georgia football games, but there have been many incarnations. Back in 1956 a man brought his bulldog to a home game and the coach asked to make it the team mascot, since then there have been nine Uga’s, all owned by the same family and each a descendant of the original! Besides just being a generally awesome dog, Uga makes this list in particular for the time Uga V tried to bite an Auburn player back in ’96 (YouTube that!).

2 Phoenix Suns – “Go” the Gorilla

If you’ve been lucky enough to encounter the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, you saw much more than just a man in a monkey suit. You saw a true performer. He does everything; comedy skits, runs the stadium stairs to the Rocky theme, and unleashes nasty trampoline dunks before every 4th quarter. He’s a true renaissance ape. Sure a gorilla has next to nothing to do with the Suns, but he doesn’t let that complete lack of correlation hinder his performance. In fact, Go has been blowing minds in Phoenix since 1980, and is the only mascot in franchise history since their ill-fated attempt at putting a guy in a sunflower costume (true story).

1 San Diego Padres – The San Diego Chicken

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The San Diego Chicken tops this list because he’s the Granddaddy of them all. He’s numero uno. The original gangster. The San Diego Chicken is the original pro sports mascot, and he set the precedents for all great mascots who followed. If you need examples of just how amazing the chicken’s resume is, know that he was once sued by Barney and Friends for beating up a Barney lookalike, and in 1979 he recorded a cover of Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” The Sporting News even named him one of the most powerful people in sports for the 20th century. Plain and simple, for a dude in a chicken suit, he’s a total badass.

There you have it. When it comes to grown men (and one dog) wearing ridiculous, oversized suits for you entertainment pleasure, it doesn’t get better than those five. Care to argue? You’re welcome to make a list of your own, but don’t you dare try to tell us the Washington Nationals giant-headed President’s Race is better than the sausages. That’s madness.

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