We watch... so you don't have to.

My Heroes Have Always Been Elephants

I am watching ESPNews early Saturday evening because sports momentarily fill the empty, gaping maw where my personality should be when I notice that ESPN is airing highlights from the All-Star Game FanFest from Chicago. More specifically, ESPNews is showing highlights of the sporting event all of America was talking about this past weekend -- the MLB Mascot Home Run Derby, in which men and women dressed in funny costumes attempt to bash wiffle balls a great distance for valuable cash prizes. All the mascots are there -- Mr. Met, Bernie Brewer, even Lou Seal, the San Francisco Giant mascot who delights children of all ages despite sporting a pair of very un-seal-like feet. Also in attendance was the mascot from my hometown Oakland Athletics, the fun-loving elephant Stomper.

Only one problem with that -- before spending my evening tuned into ESPNews, I had spent the afternoon watching the Oakland-Baltimore tilt at the Oakland Coliseum... and so did Stomper. The elephant was there clowning around on the field, delivering free prizes to lucky fans and generally entertaining children of all ages. And he was doing all this in Oakland. At the same time ESPN News cameras were capturing him frolicking with Dinger and The Swinging Friar and even the thrice-damned Mariner Moose.

There's only so many logical ways to explain Stomper's apparent mastery of the time-space continuum. Either he has access to some sort of high-speed jet or time machine. Or he has the ability to appear in multiple places at once, not unlike Jesus. Or -- and I hope I'm not just being cynical here -- there's more than one elephant costume, and multiple people can go around dressing up like Stomper if the need arises.

Because if it's that last one, I swear, it's like they just told me Santa Claus is a big, fat phony.

For the record, the MLB Mascot Home Run Derby was won by Junction Jack, the mascot of the Houston Astros. Junction Jack is a bunny, abnormally large even by the standards of mascots and dressed like a train engineer. The Houston Chronicle reports that this year's victory marked the second consecutive year that Junction Jack captured the title.

Perhaps the Detroit Tigers can work out a trade -- Junction Jack for Carlos Pena, Shane Halter and cash considerations.

After a weekend noodling over all of this, I still haven't decided what the most disturbing aspect surrounding the ESPNews coverage of the MLB Mascot Home Run Derby. Is it:

A) the fact that anyone with an elephant suit and an Oakland A's jersey can apparently show up at Major League Baseball events claiming to be the one, true Stomper?

B) the fact that a wiffle ball-hitting contest merited not only a modest write-up in the Houston Chronicle but coverage by a major cable sports channel? or

C) the fact that the Houston Astros' mascot is a bug-eyed rabbit who dresses up like a train engineer?

Upon careful reflection, I'm going to go with C), by just a shade over A). I mean, it's the Houston Astros -- at the very least, the mascot should be some sort of space bunny.


TeeVee - About Us - Archive - Where We Are Now

Got a comment? Mail us at teevee@teevee.org.

* * *