Dog Day (Sunday) Afternoon: Cleveland Browns to introduce live canine mascot
In a move that has everything to do with capitalizing on the hype surrounding the arrival of Johnny Manziel and a term often used to describe the brash, young rookie quarterback, the Cleveland Browns announced that it plans to introduce a live canine mascot before the start of the 2014 NFL season.
The name of the new mascot and how it relates to Johnny Football you ask? Swagger. That’s well played. Because the term “swagger” epitomizes the personality of Manziel almost as much as “bottle service.”
Browns vice president of fan experience and marketing Kevin Griffin announced during an interview with Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan on Sunday that instead of simply having a costumed mascot dog named Chomps pumping up the crowd on game day, a bullmastiff that will go by the aforementioned name of Swagger will become the live animal face of the franchise as well as part of the in-stadium experience.
Swagger will lead the team onto the field during pregame introductions and should prove to be a formidable and intimidating sight — as much a live dog mascot can be such a thing — as the breed typically ranges in size from 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 100 to 130 pounds.
Also, it looks like this:
It certainly seems to be a fairly astute marketing move by the Browns — who doesn’t love dogs (other than weird cat people) — as it does take advantage of the team’s identity, specifically the use of the term “Dawg Pound” to describe the end zone seats in FirstEnergy Stadium (not to mention a similar term used to describe a fan section at Cleveland Municipal Stadium before the franchise packed up and moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens).
But it could be argued that if the Browns truly wanted to capitalize on Johnny Manziel Mania with a new and improved canine mascot — albeit not a live one — wouldn’t Scooby-Doo had been a better choice? You know, because of Manziel’s go-to Halloween costume of choice.
Just saying. Although odds are there would have been a ton of red tape involved with that move, what with all the red tape and licensing agreements to navigate with Hanna-Barbera and whatnot. So, a real dog probably was a better choice in the end.