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Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm Going to Need You to Calm Down, Mr. Mascot

General rule of thumb: Mascots are creepy.

Young kids usually don't like mascots.  There's just something about a grown person in a costume running around making an ass of themselves that seems unnatural, even to small children.

Gavin has never been a huge fan of mascots.  Once, when I took him to a high school basketball game, I causally walked over to the mascot (a lion) expecting that Gavin would want to give him a high-five.  Well, that didn't go quite as planned; there was clawing, screaming, and crying (and none of it was by the lion).  To this day, he still says, "Remember that lion at your school?  I don't like that lion."  Point taken.

Things on the mascot front improved slightly over the summer when he gave his beloved Paws (the Detroit Tiger mascot) a high-five.  That, to say the least, was ground-breaking.  Prior to that moment, he loved to see Paws on television, look for Paws at the game, but refused to go anywhere near the over-sized tiger when the opportunity presented itself.

Even though he was on good terms with Paws at the end of the summer, the mascot-love doesn't extend to all mascot-kind.  On Saturday night, we went to an amateur hockey game - the Grand Rapids Griffins, to be exact.  On our way to the restroom, we encountered Griff, the oh-so-friendly-mascot, who attempted to give Gavin a high-five, but Gavin shook his head no.  No tears, no screaming, no problem.

image c/o

Later on in the game, however, Griff wandered over to our section.  He waved at Gavin down the row of seats, motioned for him to come over, but Gavin still declined.  Griff tried again and again, but Gavin still wanted nothing to do with him.  So, either in a desperate attempt to win over Gavin's affection, or to release some of his pent-up-rage, or maybe even because he was that into the game, what did good ole Griff do?  He started pounding on the glass.  Banging and pounding and shaking the glass.  He shook the railing near the seats; he threw a milk crate in the air.  This went on for no less than five minutes.

And then?  He tried, again, to get a high-five from Gavin.  And when Gavin declined (because any rational human being would clearly be skeptical of Griff at this point in time), he tried to climb over the railing and come towards Gavin.

You can probably guess how that went . . . lots of screaming, clawing to climb onto my lap as quickly as possible, and a sad little chant of "I want to go home."  We spent the rest of the game keeping an eye out for Griff's location (who, by the way, didn't give up on the high-five).

Maybe he was drunk.  Maybe he was on drugs.  Either way, what mascot really thinks a kid (or even an adult) wants to be anywhere near him after acting like he was about to bust down the hockey rink?

Dear Griff,

I'm going to need you to calm down.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


The Parent of One Extremely Terrified Child


  1. Ha! Oh my gosh, that is one persistent mascot!! And really, what was he trying to prove?! Your poor kid.

  2. Poor Gavin! Mascots are scary (even, ahem, to some adults) :)

  3. Oh my. I think you need a refund on those tickets, because clearly they gave you the "Focus of the Mascot" seats. On second thought, they should donate your ticket money to the mascot's therapy so that he can handle rejection in a less rage-filled way and not terrorize other little children.

    Probably the sweat and B.O. smell in that suit has driven him to madness. -Ellen

  4. That mascot clearly was in dire need of acceptance. Your child should have taken pity of the poor griffin and at least given him your purse or something. Anything to show he cared.

    In all seriousness, that is completely creepy. I wonder if an anonymous call about that behavior could lead to a random drug test by his employer. The Grand Rapids Griffins will finish their season just fine, with or without the obsessive mascot.

  5. You had me on the first sentence - mascots ARE creepy.
    I didn't realize this until my first child was 2 and terrified of the Chik-filet cow.
    She's still terrified of it.
    Then it morphed into the Easter Bunny - but really, what kid would be comfortable sitting on a stranger's lap who is obviously dressed up like the easter bunny??
    Anyway - I agree - mascots are creepy.

  6. The Phillie Phanatic always has and always will creep me out.
    Did you say anything to anyone at the game about their mascots behavior? Or next time will you simply bring your own tranquilizer gun?

  7. Awww that's not cool of the mascot. I was a shy kid, I'd be just as terrified.

  8. When I was just a wee lad, I couldn't stand being anywhere near mascots, or Santas! My parents always tried to get me to take pictures with them (esp Santa), but I usually put up a very big fight. One time, at my dad's company Christmas party, they were so determined to get a picture of me with Santa that my dad picked me up and put me in Santa's lap.

    I instantly began screaming out of terror and, when Santa didn't let go, I turned to his shoulder and bit it as hard as I could. Needless to say, Santa let me go and my parents never again forced me to take pictures with either mascots, or Santas.

  9. Like Gavin, I've never been a fan of mascots. What type of person gets inside a hot outfit and bounces around trying to build the crowd into a frenzy? Not me, that's for sure. Glad your little guy held his ground. The mascot should have left him alone and moved on. Get to know your crowd, Griff!

  10. Wow. Either Griff has some strange obsession with scaring little kids, or he's completely clueless. I'd say he could be drunk, but really, it's hard enough to balance in those things, I'm sure, even when sober. Good luck getting Gavin to take to another mascot in the near future. What a jerk, Griff!

  11. What a weird mascot (and that's saying something)!

  12. That is one deranged mascot. I don't blame your son. I would want to go home too.