Elsewhere I have spoken of the tendency in the rugby world to take plants as mascots, a habit which I thoroughly approve of. It’s part of the ethos that makes rugby a “hooligans’ game played by gentlemen”. And I always approve of tempered masculinity, or that is to say, I approve of true masculinity.
Brazil Rugby is choosing its mascot. They’ve put the question up to a vote, although I don’t know whether the vote is simply a marketing gimmick or if they’re actually going to simply select the most popular one. You can, if you are willing to go by image alone (since the page is in Portuguese), vote here.
(Readers may not know that I am Brazilian.)
Brazilian rugby clearly stands at a crossroads. A mascot can be a defining thing. There are no plants as options to vote for, perhaps because the giant of South American rugby are Argentina’s Pumas. So I can see how it’s tempting to select something bad-ass. All the choices have some sense of dignity, but I’m a huge fan of the least “dignified” of the choices, for the same reasons I love rugby teams represented by flowers.
The choices are 1. an anaconda, 2. a Tupi Indian warrior, 3. a macaw.
The snake option could definitely be worse. I’m not a fan of overly aggressive mascots, and poisonous snakes are a little over the top, in my opinion. It’s very arena football of one to name one’s team the “rattlesnakes” or “cobras”, I think. There’s a “Roll Tide” inexorability to the Anaconda choice that I kind of like, but the logo’s very aggressive.
The Tupi choice is also okay. I’m a fan of naming your team after a specific warrior people, it does honor to the folk and makes you part of a story. The NFL’s Redskins, for example, are horribly named. That just says “hey, we’re savage warriors, b*****s.” But being a Trojan or a Seminole is awesome. The real Seminoles always jump to Florida State University’s defense whenever some overly liberal white person suggests their mascot is racist. FSU is proud to be associated with the Seminoles, and they are proud to be associated with the school.
All that being said, I do think the choice, and particularly the execution of the logo, is a little hackneyed.
People, vote for the Parrot. Actually, it’s a Macaw, which sounds better in English anyway. The Macaws of Brazil. Os Araras. Love the idea. Here’s the logo.
The text says “A bird that carries our colors in its plumage and is a symbol of Brazil! They’re light, but strong. Small, but agile. As in Rugby, they live in a group and their song can be heard well beyond our borders!”
Snake? Warrior? No thank you.
Loud, flamboyant bird? Yes please. Well suited to one day competing against Palm Trees, Ferns, Oaks, Wallabies, and Springboks.
And since we’re on the topic of Brazilian mascots, expect a post soon on one of the potential logos for the upcoming Olympics in Rio. A one-legged black man with a red cap who’s always smoking a pipe.