Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
"Don't tell MJ I told you, but this isn't really that hard."
As you may have heard, Zampa the Lion (the mascot for Millwall FC) ran the London marathon Sunday (and set a world record)! That’s 26.2 miles folks, in a big furry suit. Stamford ran the race in 6 hours, 25 minutes (remember, furry suit) and he did it to raise a bunch of money for the Help a London Child charity.
Not to be outdone, Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot, climbed what had to be a 50-foot ladder (OK, not really but it was tall), then did a backwards flip off of it, dunked the ball, and landed safely on a mat. It got us thinking about some of our favorite mascot feats of strength (or stupidity, depending on how you look at it) across the pro sports leagues. There are trillions of examples, of course. But here are a few of our favorites.
Rocky’s Backboard Slam
Rocky, the Denver Nuggets’ mascot, is famous for his fights with Charles Barkley in the 90s. Particularly for the time he challenged Charles to a boxing match and Charles responded by punching Rocky in the head. But our favorite gutsy move of his? Attempting this trampoline dunk, with a blindfold on. How did it end? About as well as picking a fight with Charles Barkley.
Wild Wing’s Roasted Duck
Wild Wing, the official mascot of the Anaheim Ducks (yeah we were bummed to find out their mascot wasn’t Coach Bombay, too) gained fame for becoming the first mascot in NHL history to descend onto the ice from the rafters. What impressed us, however, was his attempt to skate through a ring of fire (Wild Wing’s attempt, not Coach Bombay’s). Sadly, Wild Wing’s adventure went over as well as the Mighty Ducks sequels did.
Jaxson de Ville’s Jaxson de Oops
Jaxson is the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, and he's known for his ability to consume tons of pizza in one game (56 is his record) and for his ability to rappel off high scoreboards (175 feet is his record). We love his zip line antics, even if this particular attempt didn’t go as well as Jaxson may have liked.
Phoenix Suns Gorilla’s WWExtravaganza
The Suns Gorilla is an inaugural inductee of the Mascot Hall of Fame and pioneered the art of trampoline dunking. His feats of strength are pretty much unmatched, whether he’s jumping through fire, dunking over cacti, or, um, doing a swimsuit calendar shoot. But his gutsiest move thus far, as far as we’re concerned, was stepping into the WWE ring with Kane. Why do we think the Gorilla left the ring with a better appreciation for how the ball feels after he dunks it?
Benny the Bull’s Springer Moment
Benny the Bull, who made his first appearance at a Bulls game in 1969, has done all the usual mascot shtick over the years. Dancing, dunking and riding motorcycles are all no problem for Benny. But his riskiest move to date, in our opinion, was appearing on the “Jerry Springer Show.” Because you never know what can happen on the set of that show.