PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 30: The Phoenix Suns mascot, Gorilla performs during the opening night NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center on October 30, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Trail Blazers 104-91. Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
So here I am, covered in candy corn, glitter and regret. What’s that? Because of Halloween, you ask? Yes… yes, that will do for an excuse. Anyway. Halloween strikes a chord with us here at Tailgate Fan. It essentially suggests that people in costumes make everything better. But, can this work on tailgates?
In other words, we already know for a fact that tailgates are pretty sweet. But can mascots make them even better? Put another way — if given the choice, which mascot would you drink with? We’ve crunched the numbers and put together our 10 favorites from across every sport. Check it out!
10. The Phoenix Suns Gorilla
I can’t believe I have to justify having the Phoenix Suns gorilla on this list. You’re telling me that if someone offered you the chance to drink with a gigantic gorilla that’s a member of the Mascot Hall of Fame, who can also slam dunk, that you’d say no? He’s like a meeting point between all the best characteristics of Donkey Kong and Spiderman.
9. Philly Phanatic
Because every good tailgate needs someone who represents “chaotic good.” Based on your point of view, the Phanantic is either the funniest guy at the tailgate, or the guy with whom you’d rather engage in fisticuffs. And no matter what you think of him — wouldn’t that make a tailgate even better?
UGA is the name of a cute little bulldog who reps the University of Georgia. I don’t know any particular characteristics about him, other than the fact that he’s a bulldog who wears a shirt. I refuse to believe that a clothed bulldog would do anything but make your tailgate better. Maybe I’d scratch the scruff of his neck and tell him he’s a good boy. Maybe he’d lick my face and take a little nap next to me.
…brb, gonna go put a shirt on my dog.
7. TheBoilermaker Special
Technically speaking, the mascot of Purdue University is a train, which is a weird thing to request at a tailgate. But consider — with a name like “Boilermaker,” these folks probably know a thing or two about drinking. Specifically boilermakers, which are whiskey and beer. And if that sounds gross, clearly you’ve never gone to college in Indiana. Some winter nights, a whiskey-beer is the best part of your year.
Now, to be clear, Georgia Tech tech-nically (a heh. heh) has two mascots: one is some kind of angry bee-looking thing. The other? A 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. You know. A car. So why would we co-opt a vehicle for our tailgate?
Easy. We’ve gotta transport the beer and brats to the parking lot somehow. It’s a tailgate, remember?
5. Ragnar the Viking
Representing one of the only two human mascots in pro sports, Ragnar the Viking is a big, bearded, sleeveless nordic warrior who reps the Minnesota Vikings. First of all, drinking with a viking sounds pretty radical. If there’s one thing those people do well, it’s invading England. If there’s two things, it’s invading England and having bitchin’ funerals. If there’s three things — well, that last thing is “drinking.”
Anyway, I’d drink mead with Ragnar the Viking any day of the week.
Photo Credit: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
4. Bernie Brewer
*Grabs megaphone* THE MAN IS NAMED AFTER A BREWER AND HE USED TO CELEBRATE HOME RUNS BY SLIDING INTO A VAT OF BEER. Bernie Brewer could make even a lame tailgate turn into a party of epic proportions. Don’t agree with me? How many calm, measured people do you know who have jumped headfirst into beer over a minor victory?
Quick, what nationality do you think of when you think of drinking too much? The Irish, right? There’s a whole Americanized holiday derived around that entire concept. So it stands to reason, then, that a Leprechaun would make for a big-drinkin’ addition to your football tailgate. Now, as an alum of Notre Dame, I must disclaim that I’ve never seen the Leprechaun drunk, nor did I know who he is or was. However, that said, expecting a Leprechaun not to save your tailgate is basically to stop believing in drinking magic. And I refuse to give up on drinking magic, drinking or magic.
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
2. The Stanford Tree
I refuse to believe that heavy alcohol consumption had nothing to do with the creation of this monstrosity. He’s like a mix between Mr. Potato Head, Frankenstein and my AA sponsor. And looking like he does, I bet he’d be awesome at partying.
If you’re a fan of this article, you knew this was coming. Keggy is my mascot hero. He could make a tailgate at a chess tournament more exciting. The look on his face, the bulging eyes — how do you not trust your tailgating fate to this superhero of the parking lot?
Words won’t do justice here. Just take a look at all of Keggy’s glory here.
So there’s our top 10. Any other candidates we missed? As always, tell us in the comments section.