The Strangest Sports Mascots
Mascots are meant to enhance the fan experience at a sporting event.
They can help energize the crowd to support the home team or provide comic relief for fans whose teams are not performing well and need a boost to enjoy the game.
But not all mascots are created equal.
Some are well known. Others are bizarre. And a few are just plain odd.
Here are the 30 most unique mascots in the history of sports.
#30: YoUDee, University of Delaware
The University of Delaware’s mascot is a blue hen named YoUDee.
Legend has it that YoUDee’s great-great-great grandfather served in the American Revolutionary War alongside the 1st Delaware Regiment. Capt. John Caldwell and his troops started staging cockfights in 1775 to entertain themselves.
In 1911, the University of Delaware adopted the Fightin' Blue Hen as its mascot to honor the regiment.
#29: Raider Rusher, Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders unveiled Raider Rusher as a new team mascot on Sept. 22, 2013.
He has a big head with arms, legs, and no torso.
Geared toward an NFL initiative with Nickelodeon for kids to promote safety, the mascot gives some people the creeps.
#28: Benny the Bull, Chicago Bulls
The official mascot of the Chicago Bulls is Benny the Bull, a red, fluffy bull with orange hair.
He has been the team's mascot since 1969 and was named after the Bulls’ first public relations manager and public address announcer, Ben Bentley.
Benny the Bull is one of the most entertaining and fun mascots in the NBA. He also is one of the longest-tenured mascots in the Association.
#27: Billy the Marlin, Miami Marlins
The official mascot of the Miami Marlins is a marlin-like fish named Billy the Marlin.
This marlin has human extremities and can be found at every Marlins game.
Billy the Marlin made his debut on Opening Day in 1993.
John Routh played the original Billy the Marlin for 10 years and reportedly earned $80,000 a season before the team made budget cuts and fired him in 2003.
#26: T-Rac, Tennessee Titans
The official mascot of the Tennessee Titans is a raccoon-like figure named T-Rac.
He was chosen to be the team's mascot because raccoons are the state animal of Tennessee, and has been known to zip-line from the top of Nissan Stadium, the Titans’ home.
T-Rac also does community events and birthday parties when he is not at Nissan Stadium entertaining Titans fans.
#25: Southpaw, Chicago White Sox
Southpaw is the official mascot of the Chicago White Sox.
Named Southpaw because the word "southpaw" means left-hander, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher, he made his major league debut for the White Sox on June 13, 2004.
The anthropomorphic frog-like man with green fluff loves to visit kids and families at Guaranteed Rate Field, the White Sox's home park.
#24: Sebastian the Ibis, Miami Hurricanes
The University of Miami’s official mascot of the athletic program is a white bird named Sebastian the Ibis.
The ibis was selected to appear in the 1926 yearbook because of the breed of bird that shows bravery during a hurricane.
He made his debut as the school mascot in 1958.
Many people have donned the Sebastian the Ibis costume, but the most notable name was John Routh, who was the mascot between 1984 and 1992.
#23: Rocky the Mountain Lion, Denver Nuggets
The mascot of the Denver Nuggets is a yellow mountain lion named Rocky, his name coming from the Rocky Mountains.
His NBA debut was on Dec. 15, 1990, and he performs athletic stunts and skits that make fans and players look forward to his unique brand of entertainment.
Rocky also makes appearances at community events, schools across Colorado, and even NBA All-Star Games.
#22: Orlando Magic “Stuff the Magic Dragon
The mascot of the Orlando Magic, an NBA team, is Stuff the Magic Dragon.
Stuff is a light green anthropomorphic depiction of a magic dragon with two large white snouts for a nose and pink ears.
It was first introduced in 1989, when Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic, came out of an egg for its birth.
The mascot's name is a play on the song, "Puff the Magic Dragon," and replaces "Puff" with "Stuff," another basketball term for slam dunk.
#21: Chico, El Paso Chihuahuas
The mascot of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, is a chihuahua named Chico.
He was first introduced on Oct. 13, 2013, and is a wide-eyed chihuahua with big ears.
Chico is ready to entertain at any game or party.
#20: Stormy, Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes’ mascot is named Stormy.
Stormy is a brown pig with a pink nose and was born in 1997 to a family of Ice Hogs.
For a region famously known for its BBQ, choosing a pig to represent the ice hockey team is either bizarre or genius. Your call.
#19: Iceburgh, Pittsburgh Penguins
Iceburgh is the official mascot of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins mascot since 1922, Iceburgh leads cheers and dances along the aisles during Penguin home games.
This black penguin with a big yellow beak and large round eyes popping out of his head also attends community events and makes hospital visits.
#18: Big Red, Cornell University
The prestigious Ivy League school, Cornell, has an unofficial mascot called Big Red.
The school did not have a name for its teams until Romeyn Berry, a graduate, wrote a new football song in 1905 with the lyrics, "the big, red team."
The bear has been a longtime symbol of Cornell athletics and appears at several football games.
But recently, the bear was replaced with a "red man" in a red suit.
#17: Sparky the Sun Devil, Arizona State University
The official mascot of Arizona State University is Sparky the Sun Devil, a maroon-colored devil holding a trident.
ASU alum and Disney illustrator Berk Anthony designed the mascot in 1946.
Sparky performs at sporting events, and it is said that his facial features are similar to those of Walt Disney, Anthony’s former boss.
In 2013, Disney worked with ASU to redesign Sparky.
#16: Peter the Anteater, University of California at Irvine
The UC Irvine mascot is an anteater. It was adopted in 1965, when the university was established.
His name is Peter the Anteater. Peter wears a gray anteater costume and performs at many university events, including athletic events.
Students have a popular chant, “Zot zot zot,” because that is the sound that an anteater makes.
#15: Pierre the Pelican, New Orleans Pelicans
Pierre the Pelican is the official mascot of the New Orleans Pelicans.
He made his debut on Oct. 30, 2013, in a home game against the Indiana Pacers.
Fans chose his name by voting on the team website.
The mascot’s original fluffy and feathery head scared some fans, and then the head was redesigned in 2014.
#14: Colorado Rockies “Dinger”
The Colorado Rockies’ mascot is named Dinger, which is a purple polka-dotted triceratops.
The mascot was inspired by the discovery of dinosaur fossils, including a triceratops skull, during the construction of Coors Field.
Dinger made his debut on April 16, 1994, at Mile High Stadium. He is named “Dinger” because of the slang term for home run.
#13: Brutus Buckeye, The Ohio State University
Brutus Buckeye is the official mascot of The Ohio State University and its athletics programs.
Brutus made his debut in 1965. He has a buckeye head, which is a kind of nut. He wears a hat with the Ohio State “O” on it and a striped shirt that says “Brutus” on it.
Both male and female students act as Brutus Buckeye.
#12: Coyote, San Antonio Spurs
The Coyote is the official mascot of the San Antonio Spurs.
He was first introduced at a Spurs game on April 13, 1983, and was inducted into the mascot Hall of Fame in 2007.
He is known for his slapstick comedy routines and funny interactions with referees during games.
He participates in more than 400 community events per year.
#11: Burnie, Miami Heat
Burnie is the Miami Heat mascot.
It is an anthropomorphic depiction of a flaming fire ball with a full body suit. The body has orange fur and feathers for hair. The “nose” is a green basketball.
He appeared during the 2012 playoffs with the Heat theme of “White Hot Playoffs” and temporarily changed his appearance from orange to white to match the playoff theme.
Burnie has gotten into some legal trouble because of his hijinks. In 1994, he was sued for $1 million for an incident in Puerto Rico, and the team was found liable for $50,000.
More lawsuits have been filed and adjudicated since then.
#10: Horned Frogs, Texas Christian University
TCU's mascot is a horned frog, which is a horned lizard and native to Texas.
The reptile became the school mascot when it appeared in the university's first yearbook and was named “The Horned Frog” in 1887.
According to legend, the name was selected for the first yearbook after some “horny toads” invaded the football team’s practice.
#9: The Mad Ant, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, an NBA G League team, has a mascot of a muscular red ant with a menacing smile and long antenna.
It won a 2007 mascot contest with fans voting on Coyotes, Fire, Lightning and Mad Ants.
The Mad Ant won because of the tribute to the namesake Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne, a U.S. Army officer during the American Revolutionary War who became a statesman after his military service.
#8: Gritty, Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, is one of the most unique mascots of all time.
Gritty is a muppet-like character with an orange beard and googly, crazy-looking wide eyes that make him seem a bit alarming.
It is the first mascot the Flyers have had since 1976.
#7: WuShock, Wichita State University
The Wichita State mascot, WuShock (or just Wu for short), is a crop of wheat, or "shocking," which refers to the harvesting of wheat.
It has been the Wichita State mascot since 1948.
Wu has a “shocking” history of getting kicked out of games and other rowdy behavior.
#6: Syracuse Orange, Syracuse University
The Syracuse Orange is the official mascot of Syracuse University.
Its name is Otto the Orange, which is an actual orange costume with holes for arms and legs.
In the summer of 1990, the name Otto became official as the cheerleaders began calling the orange, “Otto.”
#5: Stanford Tree, Stanford University
The Stanford Tree is the mascot of the Stanford band and the unofficial mascot of Stanford University. The Cardinal (the color) is the official mascot of the school.
The Tree made its debut in 1975 and appears at many sporting events, including football games and basketball games, or wherever the band is playing.
The Tree represents the city of Palo Alto and appears on the official university seal.
#4: Banana Slug, University of California at Santa Cruz
The mascot at UC Santa Cruz is a banana slug with arms and legs, which students took as their own in 1986.
This unique mascot is bright yellow, wears a blue UCSC shirt to represent the school and puts other mascots to shame.
His name is Sammy the Slug.
#3: Philadelphia Snake, Philadelphia Union
The Philadelphia Snake, named Phang, is the new mascot of the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team, the.
First introduced in September 2018, Phang is a blue snake with arms and legs, and looks like it can be from the longtime children's show, "Dragon Tales."
It is unique because of the extremities part, since a snake does not have arms or legs.
#2: Phillie Phanatic
The Phillie Phanatic is one of the strangest mascots of all time.
Representing the Philadelphia Phillies, the Phanatic is a green furry bipedal bird whose name comes from the fanatical Philadelphia fans.
The Phanatic also is originally from the Galapagos Islands, according to his official biography.
He does various stunts and routines at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies, and sometimes makes road trips.
#1: San Diego Chicken
The San Diego Chicken is the most unique and strangest mascot of all time. It is also known as The Famous Chicken, played by Ted Giannoulas. The mascot originated from a TV commercial for KGB-FM radio in San Diego. The Chicken appeared at several hundred San Diego Padre games and San Diego Clippers basketball games.