Another All-Star Game has come and gone, and as much as the NHL would like us to believe that Ovie was the star of the show, and as much as Chara attempted to prove the league wrong, we believe the true winner of the weekend was Stinger. Katebits brought some fabulous pictures of him to our attention, and the Versus feed showed footage of him cheering rinkside at least five times. It got us thinking back to the lock-out, when (along with Morgan, Boomer, and our friend Paul) we wrote a fake season to make up for the one we lost. One of Schnookie’s assigned match-ups included the Blue Jackets, and halfway through a hockeyless year, it was tough to find inspiration; she turned to the first logical place — the mascot’s bio on the Blue Jacket’s website. The following is the content from the bio (circa 2005) along with Schnookie’s commentary (in italics). It’s as timely now as it was then. (Also, the only updating done to the bio for 2009 is that “Marc Denis” is replaced with “Pascal Leclaire”. We’re pretty sure Mason checks it out before every game, waiting to see his name in the bright lights of Stinger’s bio.)
Height: 6’9″ (from the bottom of his feet to the tip of his antennae)
Weight: Don’t ask
Birthdate: 7/4/1999 [My God. I feel so old.]
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Foods: Shark Flambe, Thunderburg Soup [Who doesn't love Thunderburg soup? Now, Thunderbug soup, on the other hand, is much more of an acquired taste.], Predator Purée and Broiled Duck
Drink: Bug Juice
Book: Any books from the “Brady Brady” series by Mary Shaw
Movie: “A Bug’s Life”
Car: Blue Jackets FANBONI [Henceforth my Prius shall be known as a FANBONI. That is not a word that gets enough everyday use.]
Hobbies: Buzzing around the interNET, Brushing his teeth [This almost doesn't warrant a comment. I just wanted to make sure you noticed Stinger's hobby is BRUSHING HIS TEETH. Do kids actually fall for this?], Reading [Which is not as favorite a hobby as brushing his teeth…] and Visiting boys and girls at schools and hospitals.
Player: Marc Denis (#30) — because he’s as quick as a bee and plays like a butterfly [and he's the only Blue Jacket anyone has ever heard of]! It doesn’t hurt that Stinger was showcased on Marc’s helmet for the first three seasons. [Maybe Marc Denis could fill up some of that spare time he's so notorious for by brushing his teeth more often.]
If Big Bird and Bart Simpson collided in the rink, the resulting character might just be Stinger. [O-kaaaaay…] Kids will love his hug-ability. [Shouldn't that read: "BUG-ability?"] Adults will take to his irrepressible irreverence. Stinger has something for everyone!
While Stinger is definitely mischievous, we can’t lose sight that his antics are always focused on the opponent’s mascot. [Harvey the Hound, I'm looking at you. And Thunderbutt. But good old T.B.'s antics tend to be inwardly focused, bordering on scary self-hate…] While he certainly interacts in a fun, positive way with home team supporters, the other teams’ mascots and fans are always the recipients of his impish charm. [Is that what the kids are calling it these days?]
Just take a look at him. Slender and fast as can be, Stinger projects a fun and engaging image-almost a Jim Carey like quality. [Oh my God!! A Jim Carey sighting! Someone call the Capitals – I'm sure they'd love to have him back.] And what Stinger lacks in stature, he makes up for in attitude-and that attitude just screams “Rock Star.” [Uh huh. That's exactly what I was thinking. I think it's the brushing his teeth that gives him that edge.] He’s the center of attention wherever he goes!
He may taunt and tease the opponent, but he’s a regular do-gooder when it comes to his hometown, whether he’s supporting Children’s Hospital or rallying behind youth hockey.
In his case, being a bug has its advantages. Through his antics, Stinger buzzes, flies and stings, just like his real-life counterparts. Fans will see him as friendly and michevious. [Sic. I'm hoping kids will be inspired by Stinger's tooth-brushing ways and overlook his propensity not to spell-check documents he is posting on an NHL team's official website. His mouth may be hygienic, but his professionalism is sorely lacking. Also, I'm really drawing a blank trying to think of a real-life bug I think of as "friendly" and "mischievous" that isn't a lightning bug (already taken, her mate already served up in a soup in Stinger's "Favorites" section) or a lady bug (kind of girly for a hockey team, even one based in Columbus).] Opponents will fear his “sting.”
And while Stinger is a tough guy, he’s also an underdog. [Umm… How? Is this an admission that he sucks, even by modern-day mascot standards?] This adds another aspect to his likable nature. It’s through his “tough but tender” persona that Stinger is sure to succeed in winning over fans.