The other night Rachel Maddow interviewed John Stewart. It’s about 7 minutes long, but interesting if you care about this sort of thing:
What started out as a gimmick to entertain fans during breaks in the action has become an ultra-important component for major- and minor-league sports teams looking to market at the grass roots by nabbing new fans at increasingly earlier ages…
Bring a second-grader to a football or baseball game, and there’s little chance he’ll understand what’s going on down on the field. But that muppet-like dinosaur or blue horse roaming the stands will draw his attention immediately. It’s what will stay in his memory long after the game is over, all but ensuring an upbeat first impression. Presto: a fan for life.
Maybe you can see where I’m going with this. In political terms, the mascot would be the guy who gets out the youth vote. Sort of like all those young hip people who watch the Daily Show and turn out for rallies on the mall.
Speaking of rallies, in southern California where I live we have a mascot called the rally monkey. He’s part entertainment and part genuine attempt to rally the base. The two go hand in hand. It can even change the game on the field. I’ve seen it happen. Each and every game, usually when the fans are feeling a bit slack and dispirited, this appears on the jumbotron:
Jon Stewart can claim he’s not part of the game all he wants, but if that were really true the President of the United States wouldn’t have stopped by in the final inning of the big game…er, election. So no offense, Jon, but from the White House’s point of view you’re the left’s rally monkey. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.