The Cleveland Browns are preparing to open Training Camp soon. So many questions are left unanswered including the status of Josh Gordon, although the latest arrest seems to seal his fate, who will be the starting quarterback and just how high should the fans expectations be. One question that may have just been answered is what mascot will the team use as its primary one?
Browns VP of Marketing Kevin Griffin telling me that the Browns will unveil a LIVE bulldog mascot named "Swagger" this season.
— Chris Fillar (@ItsFillar) July 13, 2014
Swagger? Bulldog? Live?
It is an interesting choice if true. Swagger seems like an attempt to be relevant and cool while trying far to hard. Swagger doesn’t seem to fit the blue collar town of Cleveland either. Some can imagine the dog coming out with an outfit on trying to prove how cool it really is. Swagger is also not cutting edge, instead is about 5 to 10 years behind modern vernacular. Much like cupcake only shops that joined the movement recently, 5 years after the fade started, Swagger already seems a bit outdated.
Choosing a bulldog is also an interesting choice. While some previous iterations of the Dawg mascot printed on shirts and hats has had the bulldog look to it, current mascot Chomps seems decidedly mutt like. Bulldogs are also small animals so the live crowd will struggle to even make out the mascot as he trots around the field, which will take a long time given the size of their legs. Obviously the new video scoreboard will allow them to see him clearly but that is often not the same. Bulldogs are also a highly used name or mascot that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. Georgia is perhaps the most famous version while other name schools Georgetown, Butler and Yale also use the mascot.
Finally having a live dog at games can create issues quickly. Dogs have to use the restroom, and could do so on the field in the same place that players land face first after being tackled. They are also animals, no matter how well trained, who could easily be startled by the crowds, noises and people moving all around them. No better example then this video of the Georgia bulldog going after an Auburn player:
Even this video creates concern as a trained police dog, some of the best trained animals in the world, bit another Auburn players hand (Do dogs just not like Auburn?):
We have reached out to Kevin Griffin for confirmation and to get more information on the decision. We also are seeking information from Griffin on the future of Brownie the Elf who was unveiled last year before being shelved quickly. Did Swagger kick the Elf out of First Energy Stadium? Will the Elf be the dogs handler, bring together the two different mascots in Browns history? Important questions still need to be answered.
What do you think of the new mascot idea?