Being a professional sports team mascot is, well, monkey business. That’s what makes the Gorilla the perfect man, or is that primate, for the job.
Despite being born for his role in the NBA, one news outlet doesn’t think he’s the best mascot in the league, let alone in all of sports. That source is Forbes, which put out its “Most Popular Sports Mascots” list – as opposed to its “Most Popular Corporate Mascot” list? — on Monday.
The list ranks GO as the seventh-best mascot in sports behind some questionable characters.
While names like the San Diego Chicken, Mr. Met, Benny the Bull (no, not the Dora the Explorer character) and the Philly Phanatic all deserve to be ahead of the Gorilla on the list for blazing the trail in the world of professional tomfoolery, the others don’t.
For over 32 years Phoenix’s favorite primate has entertained the masses at both the Madhouse on McDowell and the US Airways Center with his high flying dunks and his hilarious hijinks. He’s been in one of the greatest video games of all-time – NBA Jam Tournament Edition – starred in numerous national commercials and has also been inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.
Can No. 5 on the list boast of that? No, the Red Sox’ “Wally the Green Monster” isn’t even the most famous thing in the Fenway Park on a nightly basis with that moniker. That and he’s only been around for 15 years.
And how about the group at No. 6 on the list, the Milwaukee Brewers “Racing Sausages?” They’re technically not even mascots – that distinction goes to the mustachioed “Bernie the Brewer.” What they amount to is mutant deli counter leftovers that run around for 90 seconds. Honestly, have you ever seen sausages with legs, arms and facial hair? They aren’t exactly the long standing quality entertainment that the Gorilla has provided.
In all seriousness, though, we love all our fellow felt-based friends, but the Gorilla’s stellar reputation and impressive resume should put him higher on the list. Who’s better to professionally monkey around, than someone who is related to one?
Your Turn: Where would you rank the Gorilla among mascots and what do you like most about him?