The Story Behind Every NFL Mascot

Source: blueyeda73 / Flickr

6. Chicago Bears
>Mascot: Staley Da Bear
>When mascot was debuted: 2003

The Chicago Bears, one of the charter members of the NFL, adopted Staley Da Bear as their mascot in 2003. The mascot takes its name from the team’s original sponsor, the Staley Starch Company. The Bears owe their name to owner George Halas, who figured that football players were bigger than baseball players, and since Chicago was home to baseball’s Cubs, Bears would be the logical name for the town’s professional football team.

Source: Tyler Barrick / Getty Images

7. Cincinnati Bengals
>Mascot: Who Dey
>When mascot was debuted: Unknown

Who Dey, the Cincinnati Bengals mascot, is a playful character clad in black and orange stripes who good-naturedly harasses the team’s rival mascot. Who Dey does not speak and communicates via pantomime. “Who Dey?!” is also the name of a chant shouted by fans of the Bengals.

Source: Joe Robbins / Getty Images

8. Cleveland Browns
>Mascot: Brownie the Elf
>When mascot was debuted: 2013

Brownie the Elf first appeared as a mascot for the Cleveland Browns in 2013, but his lineage goes farther back. He was the emblem of the Browns dating back to 1946, when the Browns were in the All-America Football Conference, before they joined the NFL. The Browns also have another mascot, Chomps, a reference to their fans who occupy the “dog pound” at home games. Chomps is a 6-foot-1-inch Labrador retriever who wears jersey number 00.

Source: Bigcats lair / Wikimedia Commons

9. Dallas Cowboys
>Mascot: Rowdy
>When mascot was debuted: 1996

Rowdy, the official mascot of the Dallas Cowboys, was developed by NFL Properties in the early 1990s as a character called Big D as part of the league’s mascot program. The Cowboys made him their official mascot in 1996 and changed his name to Rowdy.

Source: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

10. Denver Broncos
>Mascot: Thunder
>When mascot was debuted: 1993

Thunder II is the second generation of Arabian horses to serve as mascot for the Denver Broncos. The original Thunder debuted on Sept. 12, 1993, in a game against the San Diego Chargers. After each Denver touchdown, Thunder would gallop across the field. Denver also has another mascot, called Miles, an orange-maned and orange-tailed character who prowls the sidelines.