9 Other Mascots Who Were Given a Facelift

The New Orleans Pelicans announced this week that the team's mascot was undergoing "beak surgery," a coy euphemism for making the much-mocked pelican slightly less horror-inducing.

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Pierre isn't the first mascot to get a facelift (or total transformation). Here are nine others who underwent an update.

1. The Pirate Parrot

Pittsburgh Pirates/Getty Images

When the Pirates introduced a Parrot as their mascot in 1979, he was designed to resemble the incredibly popular San Diego Chicken. The original Parrot wore the typical tri-corner pirate hat, complete with skull and crossbones. That year, the Parrot led the Pirates to a World Series victory, an impressive feat for a rookie.

The effort went unappreciated though, and the team opened the 1980 season with a revamped Parrot patrolling the stands. The new mascot was rounder and more cartoonish. The beak was curved with a pair of oversized googly eyes perched on top. However, this friendlier-featured Parrot has struggled to find postseason success. The Pirates haven't been in the World Series since.

2. Bernie Brewer

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The Brewers' mustachioed mascot has undergone a makeover during his 21-year tenure, but both incarnations are true to the adorable origin story. After one year in Seattle, the franchise had moved to Milwaukee in 1970—but the crowds were not quick to follow. One dedicated fan, 69-year-old Milt Mason, took it upon himself to rally the masses. Under the auspices of the team and dressed in lederhosen, Milt set up camp atop the scoreboard and vowed to stay there till the team drew 40,000 spectators. It took 40 days, but when the stadium was finally sufficiently full, Milt slid down a rope to celebrate the Brewers' fans and a well-timed win.

The stunt was so popular that it was immortalized with the creation of Bernie Brewer as the mascot in 1973, and Milt was honored as the original Bernie. The first mascot memorial to Milt was just a man in a costume that resembled Milt's German attire topped off with an oversized head. Bernie was phased out in 1984, but in 1993, Bernie was reborn as a full-body costumed, cartoonish mascot.

3. Giants' Crazy Crab and Lou Seal

San Francisco Giants/Getty Images

When the Giants got into the mascot game, the team chose to forgo fearsome animals and adorable creatures. Instead, they created Crazy Crab in 1984, an "anti-mascot" that looked as much like a slice of sandwich meat as it did a crustacean. Rather than elicit cheers, the hapless crab was designed to draw jeers as a satirical comment on the state of mascot-dom (or something).

It worked a little too well. In a 96-loss season, fans and players alike relished the opportunity to vent their frustration on the blameless mascot. They lobbed not just insults but food, trash, and even resin bags at the crab. The team decided to put Crazy Crab out of his misery after just one season. It would be over a decade before the Giants attempted to get back into the mascot game. Lou Seal, named in a KNBR Sports Radio phone-in contest, debuted in 1996. The sunglasses-wearing sea mammal was an instant hit.

4. Nationals' Screech

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When the Expos left Montreal behind to become the Washington Nationals, they didn't bring Youppi!, their Canadian-minded mascot. In need of a new face for the franchise, the team solicited contest entries from D.C. public schools for what the mascot—who students were told would hatch from an egg and fly over the city—should look like. Fourth-grader Glenda Gutierrez's drawing came closest to the stout, fuzzy eagle chick that "hatched" on the field on April 17, 2005.

Most mascots who get an update are made less intimidating and more lovable. But bucking the trend, the Nationals decided that Screech was too cute and needed an edgier look. So just a few years later, a leaner, meaner Screech debuted to start the 2009 season. Nationals PR explained that Screech was just growing up (naturally) and that this was his teenager stage.

5. Expos' and Canadiens' Youppi!

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But what about Youppi!? The orange hairy giant joined the Montreal Expos in 1979, but was abandoned when the team moved to Washington prior to the 2005 season. Youppi! was not out of work long, though. He became the first mascot to make the switch from MLB to the NHL when he was picked up by the Montreal Canadiens, making his hockey debut on October 18, 2005. As for an appearance change? Well, all he had to do was switch jerseys.

6. 49ers' Sourdough Sam

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In the early days, the 49ers' logo showed a gritty gold miner with a droopy mustache, a fallen hat, and a pair of pistols. When they first debuted their mascot, Sourdough Sam, he was designed to be reminiscent of that early emblem. His ten-gallon hat had a chunk missing and much of his chubby face was hidden behind a wild brown beard. A slimmer Sam showed up for the 2006 season. Brown eyes had become blue and in place of a beard he now sported a clean shaven—and incredibly chiseled—chin. His hat was flawless and his smile was wide and toothy. Sam has stayed trim ever since, but he brought back the facial hair a few seasons ago.

7. Padres' Swinging Friar

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No one knows when the clergyman with a violent streak first became associated with the Padres. In fact, the emblem predates the Padres joining the ranks of Major League Baseball in 1969. Originally, the lovable logo came to life at the games in the form of an actual man dressed in appropriate garb. However, following a World Series appearance (and loss) in 1984, then-owner Joan Kroc thought the Friar wasn't professional enough and replaced him with a pared-down baseball-based logo. Fans missed the Friar, however, and he was reborn in the late-1990s, this time with a proper mascot costume to bring the beloved logo to life.

8. Seahawks' Blitz

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Blitz burst onto the scene in 1998. An unnaturally muscular bird, Blitz's feathers have changed slightly during his career to suit the shade of teal the Seahawks are sporting in any given year. However, he underwent a major update in 2004 to make his snarling facial features less snarl-y. [The first person to find a 1998 photo of Blitz and link to it in the comments gets a mental_floss t-shirt.]

9. Braves' Chief Noc-A-Homa and Homer

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Long before the debate raged about the Washington Redskins, the Braves retired their Native American "mascot." Chief Noc-A-Homa was the name given to the "screaming Indian" sleeve patch worn on Braves jerseys. A teepee was set up in the bleachers where the Chief "lived" and after every home team homer or victory he would send up a smoke signal and perform a celebratory dance.

There were three Chief Noc-A-Homa's during the mascot's Atlanta existence. The longest lasting and final incarnation was played by Levi Walker, an Odawa Native American. But after 17 years in costume, the Braves declined to bring Walker back for the 1986 season. At the time, the team claimed it was a mutual decision stemming from a disagreement about pay and scheduling. However, no one was brought in to fill the role. Years later, Walker said criticism over the character was to blame: “They were overly sensitive about being politically correct.”

The team later debuted the undeniably inoffensive Homer the Brave, a Mr. Met-inspired baseball-headed humanoid. Homer's race-less perma-smile has graced the games ever since.

9 Curses for Book Thieves From the Middle Ages and Beyond

It may seem extreme to threaten the gallows for the theft of a book, but that's just one example in the long, respected tradition of book curses. Before the invention of moveable type in the West, the cost of a single book could be tremendous. As medievalist Eric Kwakkel explains, stealing a book then was more like stealing someone’s car today. Now, we have car alarms; then, they had chains, chests … and curses. And since the heyday of the book curse occurred during the Middle Ages in Europe, it was often spiced with Dante-quality torments of hell.

The earliest such curses go back to the 7th century BCE. They appear in Latin, vernacular European languages, Arabic, Greek, and more. And they continued, in some cases, into the era of print, gradually fading as books became less expensive. Here are nine that capture the flavor of this bizarre custom.


A book curse from the Arnstein Bible, circa 1172
A curse in the Arnstein Bible
British Library // Public Domain

The Arnstein Bible at the British Library, written in Germany circa 1172, has a particularly vivid torture in mind for the book thief: “If anyone steals it: may he die, may he be roasted in a frying pan, may the falling sickness [i.e. epilepsy] and fever attack him, and may he be rotated [on the breaking wheel] and hanged. Amen.”


A 15th-century French curse featured by Marc Drogin in his book Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses has a familiar "House That Jack Built"-type structure:

“Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.”


A book curse excerpted from the 13th-century Historia scholastica
A book curse from the Historia scholastica
Yale Beinecke Library // Public Domain

In The Medieval Book, Barbara A. Shailor records a curse from Northeastern France found in the 12th-century Historia scholastica: “Peter, of all the monks the least significant, gave this book to the most blessed martyr, Saint Quentin. If anyone should steal it, let him know that on the Day of Judgment the most sainted martyr himself will be the accuser against him before the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Drogin also records this 13th-century curse from a manuscript at the Vatican Library, as notes. It escalates rapidly.

"The finished book before you lies;
This humble scribe don’t criticize.
Whoever takes away this book
May he never on Christ look.
Whoever to steal this volume durst
May he be killed as one accursed.
Whoever to steal this volume tries
Out with his eyes, out with his eyes!"


A book curse from an 11th century lectionary
A book curse from an 11th century lectionary
Beinecke Library // Public Domain

An 11th-century book curse from a church in Italy, spotted by Kwakkel, offers potential thieves the chance to make good: “Whoever takes this book or steals it or in some evil way removes it from the Church of St Caecilia, may he be damned and cursed forever, unless he returns it or atones for his act.”


This book curse was written in a combination of Latin and German, as Drogin records:

"To steal this book, if you should try,
It’s by the throat you’ll hang high.
And ravens then will gather ’bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming 'oh, oh, oh!'
Remember, you deserved this woe."


This 18th-century curse from a manuscript found in Saint Mark’s Monastery, Jerusalem, is written in Arabic: “Property of the monastery of the Syrians in honorable Jerusalem. Anyone who steals or removes [it] from its place of donation will be cursed from the mouth of God! God (may he be exalted) will be angry with him! Amen.”


A book curse in a 17th century manuscript cookbook
A book curse in a 17th century cookbook

A 17th-century manuscript cookbook now at the New York Academy of Medicine contains this inscription: "Jean Gembel her book I wish she may be drouned yt steals it from her."


An ownership inscription on a 1632 book printed in London, via the Rochester Institute of Technology, contains a familiar motif:

“Steal not this Book my honest friend
For fear the gallows be yr end
For when you die the Lord will say
Where is the book you stole away.”


One of the most elaborate book curses found on the internet runs as follows: "For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change to a Serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted. Let him languish in Pain, crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no surcease to his Agony till he sink to Dissolution. Let Book-worms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment let the Flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.”

Alas, this curse—still often bandied about as real—was in fact part of a 1909 hoax by the librarian and mystery writer Edmund Pearson, who published it in his "rediscovered" Old Librarian's Almanack. The Almanack was supposed to be the creation of a notably curmudgeonly 18th-century librarian; in fact, it was a product of Pearson's fevered imagination.

5 Things We Know About Deadpool 2

After Deadpool pocketed more than $750 million worldwide in its theatrical run, a sequel was put on the fast track by Fox to capitalize on the original's momentum. It's a much different position to be in for a would-be franchise that was stuck in development hell for a decade, and with Deadpool 2's May 18, 2018 release date looming, the slow trickle of information is going to start picking up speed—beginning with the trailer, which just dropped. Though most of the movie is still under wraps, here's what we know so far about the next Deadpool.


The tendency with comic book movie sequels is to keep cramming more characters in until the main hero becomes a supporting role. While Deadpool 2 is set to expand the cast from the first film with the addition of Domino (Zazie Beetz), the return of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and the formation of X-Force, writer Rhett Reese is adamant about still making sure it's a Deadpool movie.

"Yeah, it’ll be a solo movie," Reese told Deadline. "It’ll be populated with a lot of characters, but it is still Deadpool’s movie, this next one."


Fans have been waiting for Cable to come to theaters ever since the first X-Men movie debuted in 2000, but up until now, the silver-haired time traveler has been a forgotten man. Thankfully, that will change with Deadpool 2, and he'll be played by Josh Brolin, who is also making another superhero movie appearance in 2018 as the villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. In the comics, Cable and Deadpool are frequent partners—they even had their own team-up series a few years back—and that dynamic will play out in the sequel. The characters are so intertwined, there were talks of possibly having him in the original.

"It’s a world that’s so rich and we always thought Cable should be in the sequel," Reese told Deadline. "There was always debate whether to put him in the original, and it felt like we needed to set up Deadpool and create his world first, and then bring those characters into his world in the next one."

Cable is actually the son of X-Men member Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey named Madelyne Pryor (that's probably the least confusing thing about him, to be honest). While the movie might not deal with all that history, expect Cable to still play a big role in the story.


Although Deadpool grossed more than $750 million worldwide and was a critical success, it still wasn't enough to keep original director Tim Miller around for the sequel. Miller recently came out and said he left over concerns that the sequel would become too expensive and stylized. Instead, Deadpool 2 will be helmed by John Wick (2014) director David Leitch. Despite the creative shuffling, the sequel will still feature star Ryan Reynolds and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

“He’s just a guy who’s so muscular with his action," Reynolds told Entertainment Weekly of Leitch's hiring. "One of the things that David Leitch does that very few filmmakers can do these days is they can make a movie on an ultra tight minimal budget look like it was shot for 10 to 15 times what it cost,"


No, this won't be the title of the movie when it hits theaters, but the working title for Deadpool 2 while it was in production was, appropriately, Love Machine.


The natural instinct for any studio is to make the sequel to a hit film even bigger. More money for special effects, more action scenes, more everything. That's not the direction Deadpool 2 is likely heading in, though, despite Miller's fears. As producer Simon Kinberg explained, it's about keeping the unique tone and feel of the original intact.

"That’s the biggest mandate going into on the second film: to not make it bigger," Kinberg told Entertainment Weekly. "We have to resist the temptation to make it bigger in scale and scope, which is normally what you do when you have a surprise hit movie."


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