The Chicago Cubs unveiled a new mascot yesterday:
As it often does in situations like this, the internet mocked this development. Articles were written to ridicule the mascot and disparaging Tweets were plentiful. Deadspin challenged its readers to photoshop the mascot, and the results were predictably hilarious. It seems that most people are not fans of Clark the Cub, and he’s probably not helping matters with Tweets like this:
Still figryuing out how 2 tyype with these big pawz. Will gett lessons from @Cubs. Come back soon!!
— Clark the Cub (@ClarktheCub) January 13, 2014
This got me wondering: What would people think about the Phillie Phanatic if he was introduced today?
We all recognize the Phanatic as a city institution and one of the greatest mascots ever. But what if the Phanatic hadn’t been around for 36 years? What if, instead of the happy-go-lucky late 70’s, the Phillies decided to introduce their new mascot in 2014?
Can you imagine what would have happened yesterday if the Phillies announced that they had created a new mascot, and that new mascot was a giant, anthropomorphic green bird from the Galapagos Islands?
I think it’s safe to say that Phillies fans would have gone nuts. Here are some of the comments we would have likely seen:
“Why is our franchise being represented by a giant green blob?”
“Phillies offseason: Marlon Byrd and a giant green bird. We suck. #FireRuben”
“Instead of getting a new mascot, why didn’t they sign Jacoby Ellsbury?”
“David Montgomery won’t pay the money necessary to get a real mascot. FELONY FRAUD.”
The national media would have assuredly chimed in as well. I can just picture Tony Kornheiser grinning on PTI saying something like, “They probably just did this so Phillies fans will have someone else to throw snowballs at instead of Santa!”
Fortunately for the Phanatic, he’s been around so long that nobody considers him to be stupid looking or even questions why a giant bird represents the Phillies. He should be thankful that he was created in the seventies, back before Al Gore got around to creating the internet. Back then, the only sign of disapproval would have been a few crudely spray painted messages on bed sheets.
He should also be very thankful that he wasn’t created as a rabbit. Apparently, the people in Philly have zero tolerance for rabbit mascots.
Who knows? Maybe Clark the Cub will eventually gain a similar level of acceptance by the people of Chicago. In a few years, we might be able to look back and laugh at all the initial mockery he received. But I wouldn’t count on it. I mean, look at this thing!