Wow, looks like TSG just found a loophole….
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.)
The mascot. It can make or break the public affection for your team.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
There is exactly one thing good with this mascot. Nothing else.
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.
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
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
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….