The Story Behind Every NFL Mascot

Source: chrisinphilly5448 / Flickr

26. Philadelphia Eagles
>Mascot: Swoop
>When mascot was debuted: 1996

Swoop is the mascot for the Philadelphia Eagles, a white-headed bird who wears an Eagles jersey. Swoop debuted as the mascot for the Eagles in 1996, 63 years after the Eagles joined the NFL.

Source: Jgera5 / Wikimedia Commons

27. Pittsburgh Steelers
>Mascot: Steely McBeam
>When mascot was debuted: 2007

The Steelers joined the NFL the same year as the Eagles, and like their fellow Pennsylvania team, they did not adopt a mascot until many years later. The character Steely McBeam, a nod to the city’s steelmaking past, debuted in 2007. Steely McBeam was the winning entry of more than 70,000 that were submitted for the “name-the-mascot” contest.

Source: virtualsugar / Flickr

28. San Francisco 49ers
>Mascot: Sourdough Sam
>When mascot was debuted: 1994

Sourdough Sam is a caricature of a 49er, a prospector who went to California hoping to strike it rich in the 1849 California Gold Rush. The San Francisco 49ers adopted the mascot in 1994, nearly 50 years after they joined the All-America Football Conference.

Source: zaffi / Flickr

29. Seattle Seahawks
>Mascot: Blitz
>When mascot was debuted: 1998

The mascot Blitz is a large, blue bird that debuted on Sept. 13, 1998, at the Seahawks’ home opener at the Kingdome in Seattle. Blitz has been joined by feathered sidekicks Boom and Taima — the latter is a real hawk. The Seahawks name was the result of a fan contest that drew 20,365 entries who suggested 1,742 names.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley J. Johnson

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
>Mascot: Captain Fear
>When mascot was debuted: 2000

Captain Fear is a caricature of a pirate, in acknowledgment of the buccaneers who marauded ships in Florida’s waters in the 17th century. The blue-eyed, black-haired privateer replaced a parrot mascot named Skully in 2000.