No one knows why football clubs have mascots, nor how the concept of them ever first came into existence – but have them they do.
You will be hard-pressed to find a side without one nowadays. These oddly dressed figurines are usually found pacing around the pitch during matchday but they vary in shape and size: some lanky and happy, some stumpy and grouchy, while some are just plain bizarre.
However, this latest mascot has come to public attention because of it’s uncanny resemblance to quite a famous footballing star.
Last weekend Scottish Championship team Inverness Caledonian Thistle (ICTFC) unveiled their own mascot named Lionel Nessi.
You see, if you didn’t realise the gag here, it’s almost like the player and global superstar Lionel Messi’s name, only the N has replaced the M, with reference to the Loch Ness monster, Nessy- a thousand year multi-ton monster which, somehow, some people still bewilderingly believe is actually a real thing.
Ah, maybe we’re being too cynical in our moderately youthful age.
The name is actually a fairly cute idea and one that originated from a couple of supporters at the club’s fan forum.
ICTFC Chairman Graham Rae explained that loyal season ticket holders Bob and Kath Fraser conjured up the name Lionel Nessi – further proof that all the best ideas start with the fans and rarely in a boardroom.
“I was immediately taken with the idea,” said Rae. “Nessie lives right on our doorstep and draws thousands of tourists from throughout the world to our area every year. For the football context, Lionel Messi is one of the best players ever to have played the game. Messi rhymes with Nessie – and so we have the splendid combination of Lionel Nessi.”
It’s not the first time Scotland has received national attention through their football club’s mascot. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Partick Thistle’s mascot, Kingsley.
If you have never stumbled across this little fella before you might be in for quite a shock. We don’t know what’s more concerning: the fact that Kingsley’s still going, or the fact that people once sat in a room together and conceptualised this absolute monstrosity.
Even still, there are no signs of the mascots ever weaning, particularly not in Scotland.