Listen—it’s been a tough year. But have you ever said to yourself “I wonder how many tiny children in helmets it would take to tackle a stuffed purple triceratops?” If yes, I have a large section of YouTube for you to explore.
I had never seen a video of sports mascots playing football against pee wee football players until today, so allow me to get excited about it for a moment. Mascots playing football with children is apparently nothing new. But it’s come into my life at a time where I—nay, America as a nation—have never needed it more. We need to see grown-ass people dominating children at football under the thin veil of sports mascot fun. Watching adults crush children at sports is generally kind of sad. Put on some oversized animal costume and it becomes the best sports highlight package of the year.
There are some excellent moments of individual athleticism on display in the video above. Marvel at the closing speed of the Indianapolis Colts mascot as he overtakes and plants a child into the turf two yards short of the end zone. “He really Blue by that kid!” you think and chuckle to yourself while you nervously check your 401k. Blue later pushes a child between plays for no reason. The kid spins like a top. Everything is going to be OK.
Watch as Cincinatti’s various sports mascots break contain and crush the poor young running back that thought they could find room to the left off tackle. A cup of noodles gang tackles a small human being with some sort of eagle. A large Bronco blows down the sideline past a handful of small, slow-moving defenders.
And check out the taunt game from Rocky the Mountain Lion after tackling a runner near the sideline.
“Get that trash run game out of here,” the anthropomorphic lion seems to say as he prepares to crane kick a developing child back to a life of video games and fantasy novels.
There are too many of these to watch, but I’ve decided it’s almost better when the kids score and the camera pans back to confused-looking mascots wondering what went wrong. Sure, the Geico Gecko had poor inside technique on that pass rush and allowed the pee wee offensive line to seal off the right side. But you try explaining that to a bunch of angry, embarrassed adults sweating off 10 pounds of water weight in a fur suit.
This is how the NFL fixes its ratings problems. Just try it out for a game. Put the Browns in mascot costumes and let the Bills’ children play next week. I’d watch every second of that game.