When Mascots Attack!
Match report by Tim Mahoney:
In the mascot match at halftime of the Sounders - 86ers match, Sammy Sounder's All-Stars beat the Mighty Mascots 2-1 thanks to a goal each from mascots more used to another sort of football.
Harry Husky and the Seahawks' Blitz each found the net to counteract the Mighty Mascots' controversial "Paw of God" goal as Mitzel Bear's paw ball set up Butch the Cougar's goal.
Surprisingly absent was the Vancouver 86ers' mascot, Looney Bird, rumored to have been removed from the Vancouver bus at the border crossing and detained. His absence prompted the Seattle fans to chant to the Vancouver fans, "Where's the Looney?"
The match, played with an oversize ball larger than Tony Meola, started out with more confusion than a Maryland Mania match. But it was Blitz who set up the first serious challenge on goal with a Beckhamesque cross from the right side to Sammy Sounder in the middle.
Sammy's shot would have been on target, but the Tacoma Rainiers' Rhubarb came up with a novel defensive tactic: He grabbed the goal and dragged it away. But Harry Husky, showing the fine footballing mettle present at Washington (alma mater of about half the Sounders), nailed a perfect shot into the goal while it was being moved back.
After Sammy and a couple other mascots tripped over each other in an apparent homage to WTO protests, Rhubarb stopped an All-Stars' breakaway with a slide tackle, proving that when it comes to stealing second, Rhubarb would be ready for the majors if it weren't for that pesky Mariner Moose ahead of him in the depth chart.
Blitz then scored the second goal with a perfectly executed shot from the right side, a mirror image of Ante Razov's goal for the USA in Guatamela the past Sunday. Surprisingly, the fans did not start singing "Are you Norm Johnson in disguise?"
The Ivar's Clam then suddenly found itself playing inspired goalkeeping to stop the Mighty Mascots, no mean feet for a clam blessed with legs but no arms. The Clam stopped one shot with a clammer (as opposed to a header), then cleared it with its feet.
Matters quickly got ugly at the other end as Blitz and the Seattle Thunderbirds' Cool Bird crashed into the goal, then got into a fight as Cool Bird effectively advertised ice hockey. Cool Bird then topped matters by blocking a shot by Blitz on goal.
Harry Husky kept the Mighty Mascots' goal under pressure with arcing shots over the defense, and the Tully's Cup -- who came ready to play with shoes and green socks to match his costume -- got in some good blocks with his costume.
A giant box of popcorn then enraged Blitz enough to prompt him to go after him with a plastic traffic cone while the fans chanted "Popcorn's a thug!"
Then Mitzel Bear, either showing his hero to be Diego Maradona or under some confusion as to whether this was soccer or basketball, used repeated handballs to get the ball downfield, where Butch the Cougar followed through on Mitzel's shot for the only Mighty Mascots goal.
With time winding down, Sammy Sounder and Rhubarb engaged in a surprisingly good ball control battle in the corner. Then Butch, imitating a Mike Price recruit, picked up the ball and broke downfield with it -- only to get nailed by Harry Husky, imitating an average Apple Cup.
The whistle blew. Fans either cursed Memorial's lack of beer or used their cell phones to call for counseling. The mascot game was over for the year.
Blitz: 12.362 -- Mascot of the Match. Good crossing, good shooting, not afraid to mix it up.
Harry Husky: 8 -- Solid and inventive up front, scored goal on moving target, lifted shots over defense.
Tully's Cup: 7 -- Solid on defense. Also rich, flavorful and hand-roasted.
The Ivar's Clam: 7 -- Surprisingly good in goal for having no hands. Tony Meola, are you listening?
Brown Bear: 2 -- Came off with injury, went back on after fans booed him.
Mitzel Bear: Negative pi -- Completely ineffective without his constant pawballs.
Popcorn Box: 4.0182439667 -- Did the same number on opponents that a movie theater concession stand does on your wallet. Are you Bruce Willis in disguise?
Rhubarb: 8 and 1/3 innings -- Inventive on defense. Brought a new dimension to the idea of "goalkeeping" -- more like "goaltaking." Played better than Mike Burns did in France.
Sound Transit Guy: 3 -- Captain Gridlock or something like that. Sent in his match from Northgate.
Pet Shelter Pete: 1/8 -- Invisible and ineffective. Will have to do better than that to get adopted.