Guest Post: The USMNT Needs A Mascot!

Wow, looks like TSG just found a loophole….

Remember this bit of secrecy?

A few months back TSG actually considered putting together a top-secret brief to send to Sunil Gulati and the United States Soccer Federation suggesting a new name for our beloved USMNT. The “Yanks” had too much baggage, and not enough uniqueness.

Yanks’ supporters around the web got wind and–as TSG is not a dictatorship but a great democracy where all our welcome–voted to retain the Yanks’ moniker (see bottom of the linked post above).

The argument over the USMNT’s national identity sat dormant for a while, but the rumblings of Eyjafjallajökull must have awoken something.

So today a guest post from Matt Biggerstaff of Constantly Offsides. Let the record state unequivocably that we are not lobbying for a name change, but what about…..

(..and you may notice some stunning similarities to the former piece.)

Give Us Liberty and Give Us a Mascot!

The mascot. It can make or break the public affection for your team.

Not a single orange has ever been grown in Central New York...but WHO CARES?!

Considering it’s often the first thing anyone thinks of in association with the squad and it directly influences how your fans dress and act, it is often overlooked unfairly.

Currently the USMNT does not have an established mascot.

Today, that changes.

From this day forward, my humble opinion, combined with TSG’s previous research, will be the defining breakthrough in American soccer “mascotdom.”

Is “mascotdom” even a word?

Whatever, if I’m defining the National Team mascot for the future, I must be important enough to make up words too.
At least that is what I keep telling myself. So we are off to the races. Even though Racers aren’t even one of the options. Because it isn’t good enough for the national team, which, like a classy lady, deserves only the best.
The Militia

I just like the sound of the Militia. It’s intimidating. Makes me want to be a part of it. Sounds militaristic, but in a cool way. Sounds like The Crew, which I think is the best MLS mascot, partially because it is so vague and because they have a sick logo.

The guys' name is already Sam, just throw some Stars & Stripes on that git up...

Pros: Sounds awesome. I don’t think I can state that enough. Being a part of the militia would be cool. Guru (RIP), he was all about the militia….so we have a song….that is timely and honorary. Sounds organized and compact, like the USMNT. It’s threatening; could strike fast and out of nowhere.

Shirts and matching outfits would be easy to manufacture. The fans could organize the militia. Would help rally fans because who doesn’t want to join a militia. Defined as a military force of ordinary citizens, which describes our national team as they defend our nation on the pitch.

Cons: Competes with the Outlaws in terms of theme, which I don’t really like. The militaristic theme has some negative connotations. When I think of militia I automatically think of a website called whiskey militia. How does one dress in a militia? Do girls like guys who are part of a militia? Slightly nerdy, sounds video game-esque. Apparently you need a drummer?

The Rattler

Snake attack. Watch out.

Rattlers are fierce, deadly and strike with power and accuracy. Sounds like the counterattack heard around the world.

Pros: Both primarily indigenous to the US and fearsome, the rattler is dirt nasty. Do you know what kills a lion or three? How about a desert fox? The Lipizzaner Horse?

Ohhhh that rattlesnake does. Most rattlers control their poison. Not the baby ones, which is fitting for the USMNT, as they are like a baby snake. Sometimes all over the place, but when they strike it is full of venom and it is deadly. The Join Or Die logo? A snake. The Don’t Tread logo? A snake. It’s a perfect fit. They look good on a scarf. Strike with power and deadly accuracy? Another brilliant characteristic the rattler and the USMNT share. Sneaky, fast and deadly. The underdog. Hissing at opposing fans, stealing cobras chant from “Dodgeball”.

Cons: Arena league football? Fortunately they went out of business. A certain AZ baseball team? They are the Diamondbacks more than the rattlesnakes. Plus, who would you rather cheer for? America or Arizona? That’s not even hard. TSG’s Matthew originally picked this one, so it is going to inflate his ego even more, which no one needs. Hissing noises all the time. Snakes are not the most endearing things to be associated with when chatting up the ladies. Could be confused with baby toys.

The Dirty Deuces

Clint Dempsey aka Deuce is the player most likely to stand out at the World Cup for the USMNT this year. So let’s expand on his nickname and make it the mascot. Clint does dirty things on the field, breaking off the opposition. He’ll be the mascot, Demps and his band of Dirty Deuces.

Pros: Quite applicable to the team. Deuce got that fire fire fire. Especially on the dance floor after he dimes some goals. It’s got attitude. Who wouldn’t want this man as a mascot along with the team stud? Will inspire Clint to play better. You can run around talking about your Dirty Deuces without getting slapped by any female nearby (this is not a promise, I am not responsible for imminent head injuries). Who doesn’t want to cheer for the Dirty Deuces?

Cons: Dirty Deuces have an, uh…slightly less appealing affiliation already. Dempsey won’t be around forever. Maybe he plays worse; gets insulted by being the team mascot. Will be shocking appropriate if and when the team plays like sh…..you get the picture.

Isn't this what Will Ferrel wore in Blades of Glory?

Liberty

There is exactly one thing good with this mascot. Nothing else.

Cons: It’s dumb as a mascot. It’s a statue. It’s not threatening. It’s not exciting. It’s green. There are so many problems here…

Pro: …but the pro is epic. The outfit. Imagine 50,000 USMNT fans swarming a stadium in these outfits. It would be awesome. A giant mass of LIBERTY! Plus these outfits are only in use once a year, so they would be easy to borrow from the tax place. No USMNT games in April though. Cheers being led by our on field, sword carrying, steroid infused mascot Liberty.

Legendary.

The Outlaw

Sounds like the wild wild west. Gotta love it. Fierce. Out of control. A little dangerous. You could do worse with a mascot for sure. There is only one small problem here that we will address. Tiny, little problem.

Pros: Just like the USMNT, this mascot has some unpredictability. What is an outlaw? Is it a white-collar criminal who cheats on his taxes? No.

It’s a rebel, someone who might rob a train one day and spend the next week at the saloon imbibing on the finest liquids. Maybe next week it will be a bank. Or a brothel. Or both. An outlaw does what he wants and does it well.

Cons: Being an outlaw sounds awesome. Unfortunately, I already am one. The American Outlaws have claim to this name and from what I have seen from them, outlaw is a perfect tag. I’ve never had as much fun at a game as with them.

This means the team can’t have this mascot though, because we don’t want a competition between the team and the fan support battling over the outlaw tag. Plus, I’d rather grow a sweet mustache to be an outlaw then watch Sasha grow one. Cuz when he does, I’m pretty sure he has to stay at least 500 feet away from any school when he does so.

The Five Lions

Five Lions....better than Three Lions (easy slogan)

Simple. England has the Three Lions. Little brother America has decided to one up them. What is better than three lions? Five Lions. Five lions play three lions in soccer, beat them. Badly. Then eat the three lions.

Really, what is a better mascot then something that straight up one ups your competition? You are the Panthers? We are the Super Panthers. You are the Banana Slugs? We are the Salt Spreaders. You are the Spiders? We are the Black Widows. You are the Cheetahs? We are the Cheetahs with Jet Packs. In other words, BRING IT.

Pros: One upping, especially with a direct reference, like this one, is awesome. Especially right before the World Cup. It shows England that we intend to beat them, be better than them, and rub it in their face all at once. It encourages dressing up like a lion and making roar noises. Who doesn’t like going ROAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR especially at soccer games.

Cons: Not exactly unique. Or creative. Doesn’t really fit in with the US so much. PETA will likely protest USMNT. Have you ever dressed up like a lion in the middle of summer in Los Angeles? Many of you are saying “no,” but inside you’re saying “Well there was this one furry party….”

Do we really need another reason for England to hate us? We already beat them in a war and became a world superpower.

Sam (the Eagle) I Am

It is times like this that I don't want to be named the "Natties"

Uncle Sam gone flossy (TSG note: I am too old to know what “flossy” means).

Everyone in the stands in red, white and blue would be incredibly intimidating to the other team, especially looking like a bunch of old men gone mad. How can anyone get mad at you when you look that ridiculous? Uncle Sam is the personification of the United States. Maybe give him some bling, an Altidore jersey and a hammer (or s0me shin guards) to Pimp-My-Sam USMNT-style.

Pros: All the ad work needed is already done.

“I Want You for the US Army!” easily converts to “I Want You for the USMNT ARMY! and has a nice ring to it as well.

“Defend Your Country” becomes “Defend Your Backline” very easily as well.

Another fun dress up exercise. That hat. Uses both the US colors and motif quite well. After clinching World Cup berth, Timmy could wear the Sam hat instead of the cowboy one which would look much better. Halloween costume would no longer be hard.

Cons: Do you wear the stilts like they do in parades? Red and white striped pants are not the best for talking to women. Always pointing at someone.

Uncle Sam is used for all sorts of advertisement and wouldn’t primarily be associated with the National Team.

Constantly having to dress up like an old man. Having an old man as your mascot isn’t exactly scary on paper, when in person it is a different story. Sam is often the personification of the US government which not everyone is a fan of. That outfit looks sweaty.

—————-

Other cool mascots, like the Revs, Screaming Eagles, Titans, Patriots and such have already been adopted by other major teams that have an established link and following.

If DC United ever gives up the Screaming Eagles fan group tag, I think it should be instantly snatched up, adopted, copyrighted and sealed in a vault by the USMNT, because it is straight ballin’. Until then, there are still some good options to choose from.

I’m torn between The Militia and Rattlesnake. I think both are pretty awesome.

I feel like the rattlesnake pushes ahead based on the imagery, the way it ties in with American history and with current American soccer trends, and the fact they are fearsome.

The Militia is “cool,” but too close to the American Outlaws and is too militaristic for a mascot, even though I really like what it stands for, with ordinary citizens fighting the good fight, as I feel that the USMNT is just that.

Makes me think of Charlie Davies, a bunch of knife fighters.

The Five Lions is dandy, but too specific and driven to own Ingerland and George Cross specifically.

The Dirty Deuces sounds too much like what I call the team when they play bad and I just can’t get past the thought of the baby rattler attacking with all its venom in the bite. It’s just too applicable for the USMNT, homegrown and fierce, fast and ready to bite your as….

About these ads

36 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by 723FootballFilms on 2010/04/26 at 3:54 PM

    I vote for The Bear Jew to be our mascot.

    Reply

  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/26 at 3:55 PM

    Five Lions….brilliant:

    Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?

    Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.

    Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7… Minute… Abs.

    Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you’re going.

    Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin’ there, there’s 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?

    Ted: I would go for the 7.

    Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.

    Ted: You guarantee it? That’s – how do you do that?

    Hitchhiker: If you’re not happy with the first 7 minutes, we’re gonna send you the extra minute free.
    You see? That’s it. That’s our motto. That’s where we’re comin’ from. That’s from “A” to “B”.

    Ted: That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you’re in trouble, huh?

    [Hitchhiker convulses]

    Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.

    Ted: That – good point.

    Hitchhiker: 7’s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.

    Ted: Why?

    Hitchhiker: ‘Cause you’re f*ckin’ fired!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Greg on 2010/04/26 at 3:58 PM

    Personally I like “The Yanks” because it usually involves the word ‘damn’.

    Ex: What the Brits will be saying on June 12th, “Those damn yanks beat us!”

    But from your previous posts I also liked “The Rebel Yanks” and “The Sons of Liberty”

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/26 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks Greg…

      We’re strictly mascot here…no need to rock the boat so close to the big dance, you know!

      But thanks for the stroll down memory lane…we had so much energy in our younger days. :>

      Reply

  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/26 at 4:03 PM

    Just an idea…think about it:

    Reply

    • hahaha both the deuces and the gooch have very non soccertastic connotations. it might just be california based but both create awesome double entendres that make me laugh really hard. and WTF is that thing?

      Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/04/26 at 7:43 PM

      the FIGHTING PERINEUMS!

      Reply

  5. Sam I Am gets my vote

    Reply

  6. Actually he is just Sam the Eagle, Sam I Am is a Dr. Seuss character

    Reply

  7. Biggy, you try so hard to hate on England, how disappointed you will be after June 12th…

    Reply

  8. Posted by Phil on 2010/04/26 at 5:06 PM

    THE SCREAMING EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Posted by MJ on 2010/04/27 at 1:24 AM

      Actually, isnt our rather well known 101st Airborne, the boys who jumped into Normandy on D-Day, known as the Screaming Eagles? They have a sweet Eagle logo to boot. Though I understand the desire to perhaps lean away from militaristic imagery given the political climate. But then again, the Eagle on the Federal seal clutching the arrow (for war) and olive branch (for peace) is pretty slick too. The Eagle faces the olive branch side to show it’s a peaceful enterprise or ditch those two symbols altogether and have both feet clutching a soccer ball. Ooh I like that one… just free thinking here.

      Reply

      • Posted by MJ on 2010/04/27 at 1:28 AM

        But with the feet clutching/piercing a soccer ball maybe? Doesnt help us in the fan department though since a bunch of people dressed as eagles might have a less than intimidating effect.

        Reply

        • Posted by Len on 2010/04/27 at 3:23 AM

          American Outlaws actually have a pretty good looking t shirt inspired by the US Seal with two eagle heads, one towards the olive branch and the other towards the arrows. Agreed that feathered fans would probably invoke laughter rather than fear. Too much plumage. Eagle head hats perhaps? (In the same vein as Green Bay cheeseheads) Diggin this eagle mascot idea for sure.

          AO t-shirt:

          Reply

  9. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/26 at 5:18 PM

    Does the US have a Coat of Arms?

    Reply

  10. Posted by Hank on 2010/04/26 at 6:30 PM

    How about a double bacon cheeseburger holding a gun?

    In all seriousness, with our international reputation the way it is, we should probably avoid the “militaristic” route. The Statue of Liberty is also not great due to the fact that it was constructed by a Frenchman. I would look more to the areas where we still garner respect, such as science, and try to adapt some American discovery into a mascot (queue joke about a glow in the dark Asian costume).

    For instance, an astronaut may not be the most intimidating mascot, but opposing fans will still be reminded that we’ve been to the moon. Alternatively, we could have the biggest Hollywood movie character and switch it out on a yearly basis. Like about now we could be replacing Heath Ledger’s Joker with a giant Na’vi. Actually that is a terrible idea, never mind… Maybe we can steal the Mountie since Canada won’t be able to use it in many international competitions….

    Reply

  11. Posted by cesar on 2010/04/26 at 11:21 PM

    can’t do a snake. I have ophidiophobia. I can’t get merchandise with the emblem of something that strikes the fear of the devil in me every time I see its likeness! so no snake. no can do.

    Reply

  12. Posted by mhikaric on 2010/04/27 at 1:15 AM

    Why reinvent the wheel? I say we steal another sweet name currently held by our best – say, the Thunderbirds (yeah!) or the Blue Angels (yeah!)

    i even made a quick – very quick – mockup in paint (yes, MS paint) – checkit http://bit.ly/aHGFBZ

    Reply

  13. Posted by mhikaric on 2010/04/27 at 1:16 AM

    other than that, i vote militia!

    Reply

  14. Just fantastic…

    “Really, what is a better mascot then something that straight up one ups your competition?… We are the Cheetahs with Jet Packs.”

    LOLz…

    “The Five Lions is dandy, but too specific and driven to own Ingerland and George Cross specifically.”

    L-M-F-A-O

    “Always pointing at someone.”

    Brilliant post… just brilliant.

    Oh, and Rattlesnakes. We can all wear camo.

    Love the AO name drop also…

    This post gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. One more jab at GeorgeCross and it’d have put you over the top…

    Reply

  15. Posted by matt on 2010/04/27 at 8:09 AM

    I vote for something like a predator drone, or an atomic bomb. something that’s projects strength and is vaguely offensive.

    Reply

  16. Posted by itally on 2010/04/27 at 9:59 AM

    Team America, F-YEAH!

    Reply

  17. Posted by Tim on 2010/05/28 at 9:46 PM

    Some one said Sons of Liberty. I like that. But i dont think it would work for the same reason Liberty wouldnt really work. What if we did Sons of Sam or something like that? i mean, our official fan group is called Sam’s Army so it would play along the same lines…

    Reply

  18. [...] shirt – check. Free Beer Movement shirt? Check. Traitor gear? Indeed. Lion carcass for new 5 Lions mascot – [...]

    Reply

  19. Posted by Annie on 2010/07/10 at 3:47 PM

    A long time ago you posted on this and I really liked a commenter’s suggestion of adapting a somewhat stale “stars and stripes” with an update: “stars and bars”. It’s visual, it is a little more grit-evoking… Yeeeeah.

    In response to other old suggestions, I work at a school where we are the Rough Riders… You think it’s going to be tougher but it never is.

    What kind of name could we generate that evokes a sense of newness and growth? Soccer/football isn’t really NEW but we are going to be carrying this “upstart” mantle for a loooong time. Let’s work with that.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 252 other followers

%d bloggers like this: