The New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the New Orleans Hornets, formerly the Oklahoma City Hornets, formerly the Charlotte Hornets) are being criticized once again for unveiling a terrifying mascot. In the past it was the “Pierre the Pelican,” who was accused of haunting the nightmares of children and adults alike. This time, of course, it’s their ghoulish Mardi Gras-themed “King Cake Baby,” who is undeniably one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen.
But rather than suggesting that the New Orleans mascot designers are “doing it wrong,” I want to argue that they’ve really hit on something here. We live in an era dominated by the presumption that mascots should be cute, cuddly, and cartoonish, that they should appeal to young children. Why not, instead, use your mascot to strike terror into the hearts of your enemies?!
In that spirit, I say, “Well played, New Orleans, with your horrifying, soul-swallowing baby and pelican.”