The second half of our list of NFL mascots begins with one of the most controversial mascots of the past decade and ends with arguably the most famous and beloved mascots in the National Football League. One was involved in a fight with Eagles fans, while the other was the subject of a complaint to the league office by the Colts GM.
So we continue with our study of the NFL mascots, including one out of Pittsburgh who seems roundly mocked by Steelers fans themselves. But let’s first start in Jacksonville.
Jaxson De Ville – Jacksonville Jaguars Mascot
Jaxson De Ville started out as a stray cat found during construction of the team�s stadium. Since that time, he�s added sneakers and sunglasses and has become the team�s most popular cheerleader. Making his first appearance on August 18th, 1996, Jaxson can often be found riding a golf cart or motorized scooter.
His antics have drawn the ire of other teams in the past. One year, he brought a life-sized stuffed doll of Kordell Stewart onto the field and began beating and stomping it only feet from the Steelers� offensive huddle.
After the game, Steelers coach Bill Cowher said Jaxson De Ville’s behavior �Has been banked in my mind.�
Following a 2007 showdown with Indianapolis, Colts president Bill Polian filed a complaint with the league about Jaxson�s behavior. During the following home game, Jaxson spent much of the game locked in a fake cage.
His favorite song is �Stray Cat Strut,� and he hates any movie with the word �horse� or �colt� in the title. Jaxson stands 8.5 paws high and weighs 403 pounds. His favorite colors are teal, gold and black (which also happen to be the colors of the Jaguars).
Kansas City Chiefs Mascot – K.C. Wolf
K.C. was first introduced in 1989 as a replacement for Warpaint, which was a horse being ridden by a man in full Indian regalia. Named after the �Wolfpack,� a group of rabid Kansas City Chiefs fans, K.C. has been portrayed from the beginning by Dan Meers.
Besides cheering at football games, K.C. Wolf appears at baseball games, parades and other community activities. Meers also acts as a motivational speaker, and K.C. Wolf became the first NFL mascot selected for the inaugural 2006 class of the Mascot Hall of Fame.
K.C. gained some extra attention on September 23rd, 2007, when he helped security stop a man who had made his way onto the field. K.C. tackled the man, then flexed his muscles for the crowd while security escorted the man away.
T.D. – Miami Dolphins Mascot
T.D. was born April 15th, 1996, in the Atlantic Ocean. He attended college at Atlantis University and was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference Mascot in 1996. He majored in Marine Biology with a minor in Deep Sea Theater. He graduated top of his class with a �sea� plus average.
He was signed by coach Jimmy Johnson on April 18th, 1997, as a free agent. After completing training camp, T.D. made his debut on August 10th, 1997, in a home game against the Chicago Bears. In 2001, he became the first NFL mascot to participate in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. He has been selected to numerous Pro Bowls. In 2005, he was invited to China to participate in their New Year�s Day Parade.
T.D. lives at Dolphins Stadium and enjoys surfing, playing pool and deep sea diving in his spare time. His favorite movies are Jaws and Finding Nemo. When he�s not appearing at community events in the Miami area, he can often be found hanging out at the Miami Dolphins team weight room.
Minnesota Vikings Mascot – Viktor the Viking
Viktor the Viking was born on January 28th, 960 AD. After the Norse god Odin caused an immense storm, the ship carrying Viktor sank to the bottom of modern-day Lake Superior. Frozen in ice, Viktor did not thaw out until 2007.
When he did emerge from the depths of the water, he heard of a group of purple-clad Vikings who made war every Sunday. Viktor sought out this tribe to join, but later learned that they were a professional football team.
While his inexperience kept him from making the team, the Minnesota Vikings front office asked Viktor to stay around and lend his fighting spirit to their cause. Since that time, Viktor has prowled the sidelines, waiting for the day when he finally has the football skills to make the roster.
Pat the Patriot – New England Mascot
Pat the Patriot is a revolutionary minuteman who dresses in the fashion of the team�s logo. His jersey is #1, although he wore #0 until 2001. It was during this year that the Patriots signed linebacker Bryan Cox, who decided to wear #0 until his usual #51 became available after the pre-season.
Confusingly, the traditional New England Patriots helmet logo of the minuteman snapping a football is also called Pat the Patriot. I love this picture of Pat, where he’s celebrating yet another Brady-to-Moss touchdown with the Pats fans. The guy on the left appears to be waving a Patriots towel, but it looks like he’s wiping Pat’s nose.
The next team mascot isn’t nearly as likely to go into the stands to fraternize with fans, as most of Steelers fandom seems hostile to the poor guy.
Steely McBeam – Pittsburgh Steelers Mascot
Steely was created in August of 2007, his name being selected from 70,000 entries. The name was submitted by Diane Roles of Middlesex, Pennsylvania. According to Mrs. Roles, the name represents Pittsburgh�s industrial heritage, the Rooney family�s Irish roots, the steel beams produced in Pittsburgh and her husband�s favorite drink, Jim Beam.
Steely looks to be a modernized version of the team logo used during the 1950s. Many fans have claimed that his face looks similar to that of former coach Bill Cowher, but the organization has stated that it is only a coincidence.
The new mascot has not been popular with fans of the team. In a poll of over 33,000 voters, Steely received less than 10% approval ratings.
Some Steelers fans have started referring to him as �Steely McStupid,� while Tony Kornheiser of Pardon the Interruption quipped that it sounded like a porn star�s name.
New Orleans Saints Mascot – Gumbo
The dog known as Gumbo has been a fixture with the Saints since their inaugural 1967 season. Originally, he was a real Saint Bernard dog dressed in Saints apparel; a gift from the Louisiana Restaurant Association. This breed was chosen because Orleans Parish (which contains the city of New Orleans) borders St. Bernard Parish to the east.
Gumbo took a few years off to learn to walk upright and then returned to the team. Since that time, he has made several Pro Bowl appearances and traveled to China for their New Year�s Parade.
Standing nine paws high, Gumbo loves to eat Fried Falcon, Panther Stew and Buccaneer Brownies. A couple of his favorite films are All Dogs Go to Heaven and Beethoven.
Swoop – Philadelphia Eagles Mascot
Looking like a giant Eagle, Swoop delights fans at Lincoln Financial Field. During the regular NFL season, an animated version of Swoop hosts the weekly Eagles Kids Club TV show. Swoop also makes appearances year-round at various charities and functions throughout the Philadelphia area. As the picture below depicts, Swoop also apparently enjoys hanging out in sports bars and/or arcades with Philadelphia Eagles fans.
Sourdough Sam – San Francisco 49ers Mascot
Born a �long time ago� in �dem dare hills,� Sourdough Sam goes by the nicknames �Sam,� �Sammy,� �Samster,� �Sammiester,� �Samarama,� and �Samalamadingdong.� He is the only NFL mascot to be selected to five Pro Bowls, and he�s appeared on MTV, Nickelodeon, Monday Night Football, Extra and Evening Magazine.
Prior to the 2006 season, he appeared with a scruffy beard, brown eyes and a ten-gallon hat with part of the brim missing. He now appears clean-shaven and has a new hat and blue eyes.
His favorite movie is Jerry Maguire, since the 49ers appear in it. And since actor Robin Williams is a passionate Niners fan, Sam lists him as his favorite performer.
Seattle Seahawks Mascot – Blitz
Blitz made his debut on September 13th, 1998, at the Seattle Seahawks‘ first home game of the season. After being born in the Kingdome, Blitz has since joined the team in moving to their new home at Qwest Field. Due to his spirited efforts, Blitz has been selected to the Pro Bowl.
Blitz�s color scheme has changed since his first appearance, and he was remodeled in 2004 in an effort to seem less menacing to children. Since 1998, Blitz has been heavily involved in the team�s �Ready, Set, Goals!� reading program for children.
When he�s not appearing on the field, Blitz appears at hundreds of charity and community events throughout the year. He also enjoys fitness, reading and bird watching.
Captain Fear – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mascot
On June 2nd, 2000, Captain Fear was rescued by the Clearwater Coast Guard after his ship was struck by lightning and he was thrown overboard.
Meanwhile, his unmanned ship drifted to the shores of Tampa Bay and ran aground at Raymond James Stadium. It has since been permanently docked there, and Captain Fear helps pay the monthly dock rental expenses by cheering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to victory.
Whenever the Bucs score these days, Captain Fear’s ship fires off its cannons to celebrate the victory and strike fears into the hearts of the team’s latest victims.
T-Rac the Racoon – Tennessee Titans Mascot
When T-Rac�s parents heard the Titans were coming to town, they re-located from the Great Smokey Mountains to Centennial Park in Nashville. T-Rac was born in the city�s Parthenon (since Nashville is known as the �Athens of the South,� due to the number of higher learning institutions).
He spent his early years hunting for jaguars and ravens along the Cumberland River while watching the construction of the Coliseum. During this period, T-Rac began to dream of living in the Coliseum. In 1999, he graduated with honors from the Mascot Academy in Athens, Greece.
On his way to see the team�s first scrimmage at the Coliseum, T-Rac was run over by the Titans bus while pushing his sister out of the way. Luckily, he only suffered a broken claw and smooshed tail. After arriving at the Coliseum, he became fast friends with owner Bud Adams.
T-Rac got a job changing the light bulbs at the top of the Coliseum, as he seemed the only one crazy enough to do it.
Eventually, though, the Tennessee Titans started searching for a mascot to represent their team and state. Since the raccoon is the state animal of Tennessee, T-Rac was offered a three-figure signing bonus, which he happily accepted.
In the offseason, T-Rac used to have a job delivering pizzas, but after delivering too many empty boxes, he was fired. Now he makes appearances throughout the Mid-South.
His heroes are John Wayne, Ranger Rick, Goofy, Ricky the Raccoon and Yosemite Sam. He makes his home inside the Coliseum�s north scoreboard, thus fulfilling his childhood dream.
Washington Redskins Mascot – Chief Zee
While not the team�s official mascot, most fans of the team accept Chief Zee (aka Zema Williams) as such. He is locally famous for wearing his Indian headdress, red jacket and rimmed glasses. Chief Zee has attended Washington Redskins games since 1978.
He was hospitalized in 1983 after attending a game against the Eagles at Veterans Stadium. He was attacked by Philadelphia fans and suffered a broken leg in the process.
November 7th, 1985 was declared �Chief Zee Day� in Washington. In 2000, he was included in a Canton exhibit which featured the biggest fan of each NFL team.
To read more about all these big, lovable guys, read the first half of our articles on NFL Mascots.