Favorite

Playing possum 

/p>

When the Arkansas Travelers announced the first phase of rebranding last fall — which included unveiling a new logo and a "swamp camo" jersey — the team promised to later unveil a new mascot that team officials described as "a legendary creature, an omen known to bringing good luck." The big reveal came last week. Shelly, the goofy, buck-toothed horse that served as the team's mascot since 1996 was "upgraded" to Ace, a menacing, 7-foot horse. But Ace didn't fill the "legendary" good luck charm role. That's left to a second new mascot, Otey the swamp possum.

Has there ever been a more misguided mascot selection? Custom Characters of Glendale, Calif., who has created characters for the likes of Disney and DreamWorks, definitely didn't take a cue from Pogo. This swamp possum is all sharp claws and rat face. True to form, his backstory includes growing up "watching Travs games ... from underneath the stands" at Ray Winder Field. He's named "in honor" of former Travs infielder and groundskeeper R.C. Otey, who passed away several years ago. We're sure his family is touched.

The selection drew immediate jeers throughout social media and the web. National sites Deadspin and SBNation lampooned it. Look for Otey to join the Geoduck of Evergreen State (a green, phallic-shaped mollusk) and the Banana Slug of the University of California-Santa Cruz on worst mascot lists on the web.

Here's a sampling of a few of the mostly critical comments from the Times Facebook page:

Carey Voss How can there be so many problems with one tiny swamp possum? 1. perputuates hillbilly/ignorant redneck stereotype 2. creepy Clockwork Orange bowler hat (ready for some ultra-violence?) 3. the giant red bat suggests that we should all go out and club a bunch of possums after the game 4. WTF is up with the giant teeth and weird nose?

Daniel Green Once, someone's grandpa brought in a possum he caught to a "science class" at my elementary school. Thing proceeded to hiss, shit everywhere and play dead.

Yes. Let's compare a competitive professional sports team with that.

Beau Golden The marketers in California just have a great feel for what would appeal to people in Arkansas. What do we think of, when we think of Arkansas? Hillbilly Opossums.

Robbie Gill Run it over and leave it for the vultures.

Sharpe Dunaway I may be in the minority here but renaming the team to the Arkansas Swamp Possums would be pretty cool! Also an awesome band name.

Ed Caldwell Just say no, or consider Gary the Rabid Raccoon.

John Pettie How about the goddamn Arkansas Traveler as a mascot? Would that be so terrible? A man on a horse. There you go. That's the mascot. Not a stupid Bullwinkle horse with a Shell logo on its back or a disease infested, club-wielding marsupial.

Will Churchill Otey looks like a great mascot for a sweeping compound or a line of floor buffers.

Israel Rogers What, was rabid nutria already taken?

Favorite

Speaking of Otey The Swamp Possum, Arkansas Travelers

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Inquizator: Holt Condren

    Holt Condren is an explorer and entrepreneur based in Maumelle, the founder of Ink Custom Tees and the author of "Surf the Woods: The Ordinary Man's Trail Map to the Extraordinary Life." He's also featured in a new documentary, "Finding Noah," which follows a team of archeologists and theologians to Mount Ararat, in Turkey, on a search for Noah's Ark. The film will premiere with a multicity one-night-only screening at 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • The devil is in the details at the Arkansas state Capitol

    The proposed Ten Commandments monument vs. the Satanic Temple's proposed Baphomet statue.
    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in The Big Picture

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Their home, too

    Rasha Alzahabi is one of thousands of Arkansans whose families have been impacted by President Trump's travel ban.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation