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  • Writer's pictureJed

Blob: History of a Mistake

"Unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room, and continued a long time traversing my bed-chamber, unable to compose my mind to sleep." You may be thinking, wait a second, is that quote something I’m half-remembering from Mary Shelley’s magnificent novel Frankenstein? Or is it something I’ve heard more recently? Is it, in fact, what the designers, or perpetrators, of the animate thing known as Blob said, once they gazed in horror upon the misshapen mascot of the Philadelphia Stars?

Philadelphia Stars mascot, Blob, during the inaugural USFL game between the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions on April 16, 2022, at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL.

Strictly speaking, these people, whoever they were, did not in fact name Blob. Its creators, like Victor Frankenstein, left their monstrous creation nameless. It was the people of Philadelphia who, given that their choices were guided in a poll, gave this thing the most fitting name it could have. Blob: formless, pointless. Like the drunken unofficial Christmas Tree mascot from Stanford, but minus the charm.

Actually, I think there is a better, and preexisting, name for Blob. It’s already referred to in the literature as the Mystery of Desolation, desolation here referring to the total absence of inventiveness, good taste, and competency.

Here is the actual transcript of the public relations meeting where the thing which would one day be known as Blob was brought up and discussed:

Bro: Alright, let’s keep this quick. I’m trying to get out of here early for lunch. Here’s my idea: it’s the Stars, right, so: Alien! Easy. And make it red, for the Stars’ color. Done. Let’s get out of here, my guys!

Thoughtful Person: What type of alien are you thinking? We wouldn’t want it to be scary. Like, ah, Alien. Do you mean googly eyes on stalks?

Bro: Bro! Come on. That’s the beauty of this. It’s Philly! They love mascots that don’t make any sense. Make it like a big red blob— like a starfish. Right? Star! And an alien! It’s perfect, bro!

Thoughtful Person: Like Patrick from Spongebob? How would that look like an alien? Would we put him in an astronaut suit? I’m pretty sure this is copyright infringement.

Bro: No way, man. Look: you make him dark red, and more like a nothing shape than a clear starfish. And forget that spacesuit look. Give him some big dots to show he’s an alien. And, like, horns. That’ll be clear. And look, he’ll wiggle his gut like the Phanatic. They’ll eat it up.

Thoughtful Person: You’re saying something red with horns? Are you suggesting the devil?

Bro: Look, I just drew you an idea.

Thoughtful Person: That looks precisely like the devil.

Bro: Give him big googly eyes!

And at that point, the desire to get to lunch was stronger than the desire to not attach an idiotic twerking smirking devil fish to a professional sports organization. Let’s be clear. The Phanatic, who is inarguably the greatest mascot in the history of sports, and Gritty, who is a strangely satisfying orange Phanatic on ice skates, are not hanging out on weekends with their own dollar store knock off.

The Phanatic and Gritty are off-the-wall fun and cool. Blob looks like apologetic chili vomit.

The USFL got a lot of things right, including having mascots for their teams. It needs to get things more right as it moves forward: if the Stars exist at all in future years, they need to send Blob to the cartoon low intensity hell from whence he came. His replacement, you say? Well, apart from literally anything, how about a spacesuit style track outfit with an opaque fishbowl helmet? Then you paint the whole thing Stars yellow and pay a guy to breakdance in that thing. Done.

And the Bro who came up with the Blob thing in the first place has to give breakdance astronaut his salary.


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