No one really knows when or why it happened, but mascots have become a vital part of people’s lives today. You cannot go to a sporting event without seeing some kind of mascot cheering the crowd on in a hopeful attempt at helping the home team get a win in whatever game they are playing.
After doing a bit of research as to where the use of mascots became popularized, we still could not pinpoint the spot where the mascot was created. Who knows? Maybe cavemen were using mascots back in their day to cheer on hunters. We could, however, pinpoint the spot in our era where mascots started becoming weird. Before, they were mostly animals that represented the place where a team was located or powerful creatures that people felt would intimidate the opposition. However, after the invention of the Muppets in the late ‘60s, sports teams started making their mascots weird.
The Muppets were different from other puppets, and they were so popular that sports executives and publicists could not help but try to cash in on that trend. The only problem was that, more often than not, whenever they tried to create a fictional character to represent a sports team, executives and publicists came up with monsters that did more to scare the fans than help cheer them on. To prove that exact point, we have separated a list of 15 creepy sports mascots that will give you nightmares. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself cheering against some of these teams by the time we are done with this list.
15 Wichita State’s WuShock
Located in the heart of Kansas, Wichita State University is widely known for its excellent sports teams. Over the past few years, the men’s basketball program has become a powerhouse in the NCAA. They made it to the NCAA tournament in each of the last six years and even had a final four appearance in the 2012-13 season. That is not too shabby.
The only problem with Wichita State’s athletics is that, by the sidelines, they have a little yellow guy cheering the crowd on who goes by the name of WuShock. The nickname of the teams are the Shockers, so it is not all that surprising that their mascot is shocking. No, we are not sorry for that pun. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, WuShock is supposed to be “a big, bad, muscle-bound bundle of wheat.” We don’t know how they came up with the muscular bundle of wheat, but one way or the other, this is a terrifying mascot.
14 New Orleans Pelicans’ King Cake Baby
Some things are just wrong. Remember how we said in the introduction that executives and publicists do terrible jobs from time to time? How they try to create mascots and end up creating monsters instead? This is the paramount example of their monstrous creations. We don’t know who the hell greenlit this project, but we just hope that the person was fired on the spot. Thankfully, the King Cake Baby is nothing more than a seasonal mascot that New Orleans came up with to represent the city during the carnival season. He is supposed to be a tribute to the King Cake, a widely-popular Carnival season food in southern Louisiana.
We don’t know why, but the sight of a baby that size just seems wrong. The proportions are all creepy and terrifying. And beware, if you go to a New Orleans Pelicans’ game during carnival season, there is a good chance that you could to run into this freak.
13 Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The NBA G League is the developmental league for players who are not quite ready to make an NBA roster. Several guys who were drafted into the NBA but didn’t make the cut after training camp are sent to this league to develop and hone their skills while still playing the game at a high level until their number is called, and they finally get that chance to play in the NBA. An interesting aspect about the G League is that the teams are located in smaller market towns that don’t have NBA teams. And let us just be happy that these are small markets because that means fewer people are being scared by some of the most terrifying mascots in all of sports.
For this list, we decided to go with The Mad Ant from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to represent the G League. Do we really need to point out the problem here? Their mascot is a human-sized muscular ant.
12 Partick Thistle’s Kingsley
Kingsley is a hard mascot to describe. The first reason for that is no one really knows what he is. We don’t even know if it’s a he or a she. Well, it is probably an IT.
The mascot for Scottish football team Partick Thistle, Kingsley, is just odd. The man behind the creature is an artist by the name David Shrigley. And while we think this guy was hired to do a job but forgot about it and just did a doodle in 20 seconds before his presentation, which ended up becoming Kingsley, David does have an explanation for the weird mascot.
“He represents the angst of being a football fan – which anyone who has supported Patrick Thistle over the last few decades understands,” Shrigley said. “People are saying: ‘He’s terrible, he’s a disgrace to the good name of mascots.’ Do mascots have a good name? Do they have a union? If you look on the internet, as I did yesterday, you can find a far scarier mascot.”
11 Oklahoma State University’s Pistol Pete
Unlike most of the other mascots on this list, Oklahoma State University’s Pistol Pete is actually based on a real figure. The mascot was apparently inspired by the classic cowboy attire and headpiece that were worn by Frank Eaton. Whether or not that is true, you should ask the people at the university, but they have been using this guy as their mascot since 1923.
At first glance, when you just check out the logo for Pistol Pete, it doesn’t make much sense for him to be a part of this list. The reason why he’s here is the costume. We don’t know how, but the people who made the Oklahoma State University mascot costume must have had the intention of scaring the hell out of other people. There was no need for too much. Just putting a mustache on a guy and handing him the clothes would be enough. But no, they had to come up with a helmet that could probably scare the hell out of Frank Eaton himself.
10 San Diego Chargers’ Boltman
Perhaps the most political of all the mascots on this list, Boltman was not even an official Chargers mascot. The man behind the yellow mask and the fake lightning muscles is a guy named Dan Jauregui of Ramona. Jauregui is a self-proclaimed number one Chargers fan and has been attending the team’s games for decades.
The guy is such a huge fan that he created the Boltman mascot and had the costume designed by Hollywood people. There was even some legal trouble in which he thought the Chargers would at least reimburse him for the costume. According to The Voice of San Diego, Jauregui’s losses tallied up to more than $100,000.
He was also a vocal opposer to the relocation of the Chargers, but failed in that battle. Most recently, he became a headline because he was stopped by StubHub security when trying to enter the new Chargers’ stadium in Los Angeles wearing the Boltman costume.
9 1986 FIFA World Cup’s Pique
Well, if the mascots we have presented to you so far were not enough nightmare fuel to make you wary of falling asleep tonight, don’t worry. With this next entry, we are sure you will spend at least a good part of your dreams tonight running away from the terror that was the mascot of the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
The tournament held in Mexico gathered the 24 best national football teams in the world and was one to remember. The tournament solidified Diego Maradona as one of the greatest players ever to play the game, as he led Argentina to their second and last World Cup title. The savvier soccer fans out there will remember that this was the World Cup in which the hand of God (or Maradona) helped Argentina defeat England in the quarterfinals. But none of that seems important as long as you take a good look at the mascot of the competition.
Pique seems to have been the result of mixing every single Mexican stereotype there was at the time. It was a jalapeno pepper with a mustache, wearing a sombrero that looked like a taco. Racist? Uhhh...too racist!
8 New Orleans Pelicans’ Pierre (Original)
With their second appearance on our list, we can pretty much deduce that the New Orleans Pelicans are the sports franchise that comes up with the worst and most terrifying mascots by far. If we take into account that the franchise was just rebranded as the Pelicans in 2013, proportionally, no one will ever make up terrible mascots at the same pace that they have over these past four years.
Either way, we have already presented to you King Cake Baby, who was arguably the most terrifying mascot in the history of all sports. But there was a close second, and as fate would have it, it was also a Pelicans mascot. We are talking about the original conception of Pierre the Pelican. This monstrosity has since been rebranded as a less terrifying giant bird, but no effort that the Pelicans might put into it will ever erase the nightmares that were fueled by the first coming of Pierre.
7 University Of California, Santa Cruz’s Sammy The Banana Slug
Another college mascot that doesn’t really seem to fit in anywhere, the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Sammy the Banana Slug is just a weird mascot. First of all, it just seems like people have run out of animals to turn into mascots. Banana slugs, seriously?
Apparently, this was a popular decision by the students of UC Santa Cruz. We say that because they actually had a vote in the ‘80s when the Chancellor of the school was trying to rebrand their mascot and change it from the banana slugs to the sea lions. And come on, sea lions are way more awesome than banana slugs. Nevertheless, the students had the final say, and the banana slug remained the mascot of the University.
Do you want to hear something even more surprising about UC Santa Cruz’s mascot? Well, this thing has been representing their university for almost 30 years now. These are some proud banana slugs.
6 University Of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Lil’ Red
Lil’ Red seems to be one of the most normal mascots we have on this list. But that does not mean he is not terrifying in his own right. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a Big Ten school with several successful college sports teams. Lil’ Red is one of two mascots that represent the university. The oldest mascot is Herbie Husker, who represents the school name since they are known as the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Herbie stood on his own for quite some time, until the school decided to try and be more appealing to younger fans. That is how Lil’ Red came to reality in 1993. And believe it or not, this mascot has received a few awards, as it was the national champion at the 1999 NCAA National Mascot Competition. It was also introduced into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007. Nevertheless, that creepy smile has undoubtedly made many kids cry since 1993.
5 London Olympics’ Wenlock And Mandeville
Since we have already mentioned the World Cup, it would not be fair to leave the Olympics out of the fold. A competition that happens every four years and has happened for as long as the Olympics have been around, it is bound to have made up some terrifying mascots along the way. Thankfully, for us, we didn’t have to look too far to find a pair of shocking mascots that could very well represent the Olympics on this list.
We are talking about the London 2012 Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. Let’s just add a little more here, saying that some of the best parts about Olympic mascots are how people try to explain what they mean. And, as you can imagine, we were almost too excited to find out what these two Cyclops could possibly mean. It turns out that all of the reasons are the classic Olympic clichés they give out every four years about world unity and fair play. One of them symbolizes the world coming together in London, and the other symbolizes friendship.
4 Cairns Taipans
Before returning to the US and showing you a few more college sports mascots that will make you cringe and want to stay awake at night, let’s stay abroad for a bit longer and take a trip down under to Australia, most specifically, to the city of Cairns in Queensland. That is the home of the Cairns Taipans, a professional basketball team that plays in the Australian National Basketball League.
As you must have figured out by now, their mascot is a snake. And they love snakes so much in that region that the arena that fits 5000 people, the Cairns Convention Centre, became popularly known as The Snakepit. Yes, you don’t need to say it, we agree. This is by far the greatest nickname an arena ever got. Nevertheless, snakes are not always that awesome, as is the case when we take a look at the Taipans’ mascot. Their mascot is literally a giant snake that looks like it came out of an Ophidiophobic’s worst nightmare.
3 Pepperdine University’s Willie The Wave
Now, this is one fresh mascot. Sorry, we can’t control ourselves when these jokes are right around the corner. You know who also can’t control themselves? The people at Pepperdine University. Waves? Their mascot is a wave, as in a water movement, or that thing a boat leaves behind as it speeds through the waters.
Now, it is understandable that the people at Pepperdine would have a close relationship with the ocean. After all, the University is located in Malibu. But still, we cannot get past the idea that their mascot is actually a wave. This is just moving water, guys. If you wanted to do it so bad, why not try something more powerful like the Pepperdine Tsunamis? Either way, if the name doesn’t sound terrifying, the mascot sure looks scary. You can pretty much pick and choose the most frightening wave. It could either be the 1940’s Roland the Wave or today’s Willie the Wave.
2 Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Gompei The Goat
Perhaps the good folks at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute did not get the memo that goats are usually linked to the image of Satan. Yes, goats are evil. They are also those little animals that are amazing at climbing some of the steepest mountains in the world. And we are sure that when they decided to make the goat their mascot, they had the second definition in mind. But, after taking a look at the actual mascot on the sidelines of one of their games, you cannot help but wonder if this is not really just a bizarre Satanic cult.
No, we are just kidding. We are sure that these good people in Massachusetts are not devil worshipers. Still, they should try to recreate that goat costume because it is absolutely terrifying. Another interesting fact about this mascot is that the tradition of the goat started in 1891, when a group of students stole a real goat and used it as a mascot.
1 Rhode Island School Of Design’s Scrotie
If there was ever a mascot whose place on this list needed no explanation, it would be Scrotie the Scr*tum. No, we are not kidding. This is a legit College sports mascot. It was first given birth at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. And we said given birth because everything about this mascot is weird. It was back in 2001 when Scrotie made his big debut, but it was in 2008 that he appeared to the world in one of the most legendary YouTube videos that you will ever watch.
Needless to say, the lucky fellow who was wearing that costume had already won the game of life by the time he was stopped. You seriously cannot outdo that in college. That being said, Scrotie might be the funniest, but he is also the most disturbing mascot in the history of the world.