Tag Archives: lion

Could this be the ultimate Championship Sprint?

11 Sep

Whilst, of course, Buzz and Buzzette at Brentford would never stoop to such levels, I love a bit of ‘when mascots go wrong’. From Wolves to Bristol City; Dunfermline to Swansea and Millwall, you still can see the column (and, more importantly, the videos) on the best of mascots getting ‘carried away’ earlier on this site.

But putting the odd bit of bad behaviour to one side, my other favourite piece of mascot related action is their Grand National. This annual race between the mascots of our football clubs, along the final furlong of Huntingdon (and more recently, Kempton Park) race course has been up and ‘running’ since 1999.

But what was, initially, a fun event for charity when it started has met with controversy in recent years.

2001 saw winner Freddie the Fox disqualified when it transpired that beneath the suit was hurdler Matthew Douglas – a semi-finalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2010 many clubs boycotted this after more ringers had made appearances and the field become opened up to ‘mascot’s from any walk of life. There have been streakers and even athletes in running spikes rather than the novelty oversized football boots so beloved of our anthropomorphic friends.

The 2005 event included Buzz (aswell as some non football mascots)

 

These days, there seem to be numerous variants of the mascot race. A quick search of the interweb reveals the Mascot Grand National (open field) still takes place with this years event due to be at Kempton Park . The Sue Ryder charity also hold a ‘Gold Cup’ but, again, this is an open field.

Thankfully, the ‘football only’ mascot race has made a resurgence. Again, for charity, with an event held in 2012 raising funds in the fight against prostate cancer. However, even that ended in controversy when Chaddy the Owl of Oldham Athletic (initially third) and Mr Magpie in fourth had to have a rematch after Sky cameras produced sufficient evidence to call the initially declared podium places into doubt.

Even worse, as the footage of this event shows, neither Buzz or Buzzette seemed to be involved in the action

 

So today I’m appealing on two fronts:

Firstly, to the Football League. Despite the 2012 event clearly taking place , I can’t see any evidence of a 2013 or 2014 race. Hopefully this is just down to my poor interweb skills rather than the event being officially terminated. Regardless, please announce a date and get this back in the public eye.

Secondly, to Brentford. Should the event reappear on the calendar then please can we ensure Buzz and Buzzette are involved. Even if it needs an on-pitch qualifier at Griffin Park to see who will go forward to represent the club.

Forget the tedium of sponsored walks. Who wouldn’t give funds to a good cause to see Buzz or Buzzette and the rest of our football league friends going head to head at Aintree?

Buzzette may not, currently, race but she still makes time for fans - of all ages

Buzzette may not, currently, race but she still makes time for fans – of all ages

Don’t do it Buzzette – when mascots lose their head.

4 Mar

It would be fair to say that Brentford mascots Buzz Bee and Buzzette are two of the better behaved in the football world . From Wolves to Wolfsburg and Dunfermline to Swansea, the age-old matter of mascots getting ‘carried away’ was brought to the fore again at the weekend.

You’ve probably seen the video clip sweeping the Internet from Sunday’s Bundesliga encounter between 1899 Hoffenheim and Vfl Wolfsburg. The game has since attracted the public interest  – less for the 8 goals and more for the ‘accident’ that befell the home team’s mascot, Hoffi the Moose, as they notched their fourth goal of a 6-2 win.

Rushing to celebrate with the players on the pitch, rather than leap the barriers Hoffi managed to trip over them and, quite literally, lost his head . For those who’ve had theirs buried in the footballing sand – which is almost where Hoffi ended up –  you can see the incident here.

Seeing this has put my in mind of some of the more infamous mascot moments. Whilst the downside of the next clip means you need to sit through a few seconds of Angus Deayton, stick with it. It’s the moment where Brentford’s League one rivals Wolves,  saw their ‘Wolfie’ take on all three of Bristol City’s ‘little pigs’ single-handed.

Sadly (for research purposes), I’ve been unable to unearth any footage of Swansea’s ‘Cyril the Swan’ who, amongst other misdemeanours, once performed a pitch invasion that culminated in his ripping the head off Millwall’s Zampa the Lion.

Cyril then proceeded to drop kick it into the crowd. That said, you can still read the original BBC report (check out the ‘old school’ internet) here.

Image

Cyril – about to punt Zampa’s into the back of the Cyg-net

However, my particular ‘lowlight’ of mascot mayhem is, almost certainly, Dunfermline’s Sammy the Tammy. Back in April 2011, he took to the field in a derby game with local rivals Raith Rovers in a home made tank before marching to the half way line and appearing to take pot shots at the opposition fans.

All this accompanied by the subtle soundtrack of ‘Two Tribes’ (go to war)., by pop music’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

The moment has been recorded for posterity, with Tammy losing his head (metaphorically rather than literally) about three minutes in.

Whilst there is nothing positive to be said about football violence, there is something mildly amusing about a punch up between a six foot anthromphised Wolf and some equally weighted piglets.

However, even I would draw the line at Buzz Bee, in a home-made Sherman, taking aim at the Fulham fans next season.