Following the principle that the only thing more terrifying than a hand puppet is a life-sized puppet that an entire person fits inside, I bring a tale of mascots. Mascots like Crazy Crab--- the short-lived crustacean who represented the 1984 San Francisco Giants.
As related here, Crazy Crab was conceived as an anti-mascot--- a pitiful rather than positive character. You did not root for Crazy Crab; you joined your fellow Giants fans in persecuting him.
The marketing department failed to realize that sports fans, when united by shared hatred of a fictional crustacean, are a force too powerful to control. The '84 season was a disaster for the Giants--- they ended up losing 96 games--- and Crazy Crab paid the price. Some fans verbally abused Crazy Crab. Other fans threw bottles at Crazy Crab. Giants players took to emptying their drinks on Crazy Crab. Things got out of control. When the 1985 Giants took the field, Crazy Crab was gone, presumably never to return.
Flash forward to 2005: after several respectable seasons, the Giants are melting down, and a surprising grass-roots movement emerges: fans demand the return of Crazy Crab. People are marching in the fucking streets:
Only in America, my friends. Only in America.
While we're on the topic, does anybody have other chilling mascot or mascot-related images?
Here's Dazz, the mascot for the Roanoke Dazzle:
And here's Pat the Patriot, mascot for the New England Patriots:
The child pictured here with Pat is on a Make-A-Wish-Foundation-type trip. He suffers from something called chronic granulomotous disease.