It’s been 20 years since the WNBA was born. But as the league has grown, the furry, foam-covered mascots who pump up all 56 fans in attendance have remained shrouded in obscurity. In the spirit of equality, let’s focus on the well-intentioned but misguided decisions the teams have made in creating their mascots.
Freddy Fever – Indiana Fever
Fresh off a cocaine binge inside a microwave, Freddy Fever can be seen traveling the court on either a scooter, a motorcycle, or something that looks dangerously close to a toilet on wheels. Quite possibly the ugliest lesson in primary colors, Freddy Fever is what happens when you ask a kid to draw Sonic the Hedgehog from memory but give him way too many crayons. I can’t deny Freddy’s enthusiasm for the fans, mostly because I’m scared to.
Maddie – New York Liberty
Maddie is the pet you dressed in stupid outfits for way too long, before she got sick of your BS, and her anger transformed her into a monster, Hulk-style. It’s slightly disappointing that Maddie is just a dog with a Statue of Liberty crown on her head, but you can’t exactly shoot, pass, or dribble in a gown and sandals.
The Fox – San Antonio Stars
According to his bio, The Fox earned a degree in mischief from ACME University, which likely isn’t accredited, because, as Wile E. Coyote has shown us, nothing with “ACME” on it is remotely reliable. And if you wanted more evidence of just how crappy WNBA salaries are, his home is a “small but cozy pothole” on the city’s east side. A fox with The’s (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis) academic credentials should have least upgraded to a trash can by now.
Volt Fox – Tulsa Shock/Dallas Wings
At some point, WNBA teams kind of threw up their hands and said, “Alright, let’s just pick another fox. No one will notice.” As the Shock transition into the Dallas Wings, images of Volt Fox flying through the air for dunks at Shock games will soon be distant memories. But his love for acrobatics makes a lot of sense; I’m getting a real Miles “Tails” Prower vibe from him. Yes, I just wanted to see if I could cram two Sonic the Hedgehog references into one article on WNBA mascots.
Blaze – Connecticut Sun
Blaze is a Fraggle on HGH. That’s it. I don’t have anything else to say.
Sky Guy – Chicago Sky
I don’t want to be that person who says, “This should have been a woman instead,” but dammit, it’s the WNBA, and they had ONE JOB. But I guess that’s okay. You see, Sky Guy grew up with five older sisters, and his love for women’s basketball was so great that he created a jetpack and flew around the world in search of the best talent. Of course, if a woman had invented the jetpack, we could’ve made more young girls think about STEM careers and KILLED TWO BIRDS WITH ONE GENDER-EQUALITY STONE. Alas.
Scorch – Phoenix Mercury
I have so many questions. Is it a fox stuck in perpetual asphyxiation? What’s with the pear-shaped body? Is it frustrated at its inability to keep the weight off? Unsurprisingly, Scorch’s bio doesn’t answer any of these questions, but it does provide some useless facts. Among these is its favorite catchphrase: “It’s a scorcher out there!” So Scorch is that random guy who, on a summer day, says “is it hot enough for you?” and laughs and laughs. That has to be maddening when you live in the literal scorched earth that is Phoenix.
Prowl – Minnesota Lynx
Prowl has piercing blue eyes that captivate your soul, and a signature sly smile that lets you know she can disembowel you in under 60 seconds. While Prowl’s bio was (surprise!) unavailable, I can only assume her hobbies include feasting on Freddy Fever’s cottony entrails after beating Indiana in the 2015 championship, and pouncing on fans who attend games in Timberwolves gear.
Doppler – Seattle Storm
I get that Seattle’s rainfall is old news, and that a guy in an oversized water-droplet suit wouldn’t exactly excite the fans. But, as Weather Channel fans well know, Doppler is a type of radar. It’s not a pair of wool socks you forgot to unroll before laundry day. A real AMS-certified meteorologist who could dribble a ball would have made more sense.
Pax – Washington Mystics
Obviously having zilch to do with mysticism or wizardry, Pax was the Washington franchise’s cheap way of capitalizing on DC’s obsession with pandas; his “birthplace” is even the National Zoo. He’s also a sobering reminder that DC residents will stand in line for an hour to maybe see an animal before they will spend one minute inside Verizon Center to see the Mystics—and let’s face it, even the Wizards—play basketball.
Star – Atlanta Dream
One can’t help but feel a bit sad when looking at Star, as he clearly should have hung out in his mom’s nest a little bit longer. Judging by those antennae, he’s likely a distant relative of Twink from Rainbow Brite. Just like Pax, Star was born in a zoo. His parents threw him into a world of halftime-show giveaways and cheerleading, because being a zoo attraction wasn’t enough.
Sparky – Los Angeles Sparks
Congrats to Sparky for not being owned by a fire chief. In a recruiting process akin to that for “Soul Train” dancers, Sparky “started out modestly after being spotted on a playground doing tricks and dancing as a young pup.” Yet, in the oversight to trump all oversights, Sparky’s favorite movies are All Dogs Go To Heaven, Benji, The Fox & The Hound, and Turner & Hooch. Not Air Bud, for some reason! YOU KNOW, THE ONLY MOVIE ABOUT A DOG THAT PLAYS BASKETBALL. Sounds like someone’s bitter he wasn’t considered for the lead role.
Natalie McGill is a writer who has to admit Star is kind of cute. You should follow her (Natalie, not Star) on Twitter.