By Bill Tamburrino
I am often amazed by the plethora of facts and anecdotes that football announcers, game commentators, football experts and former players come up with. They throw more useless information than all of the NFL quarterbacks combined throw passes.
“Ohio State wins 100 percent of the games it plays when they outscore their opponents.”
“When leading by more than 45 at half, the Snakes win 71.678 percent of the time.”
“The team that controls the time of possession usually has the ball more than the other team.”
“The home team usually has more fans in attendance than the visiting team and therefore has an advantage.”
“When the crowd gets into the game, the other team can’t block them all.”
“The Eskimos travel well to bowl games.” Yeh! Because their fans would do anything to get out of town in the winter.
“The Saints are a good team and the Patriots are a good team. That makes two good teams.”
Yogi Berra would be proud. His malapropos remarks at least made sense.
“The game ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” What if she sings the National Anthem?
NFL teams and coaches leave no leaf unturned when getting ready for a playoff game. They bring every type of shoe that could be of use: shoes for rain, shoes for snow, shoes for ice, high tops, low cuts, etc.
They make sure that they have enough ice even if it is snowing. They bring enough water buckets to float the team home. They have sideline heaters. They have sideline cooling systems. They have communication devices. But do they think of everything?
The visiting team doesn’t bring their cheerleaders. This gives the home team a decided advantage. Colleges bring their cheerleaders and their bands and, most importantly of all, their mascots! The pros don’t.
Until just recently I was under the opinion that mascots had as much importance in the outcome of a game as the night watchman. That was until I was made aware of some very enlightening facts and statistics.
Obviously collegiate mascots could have a big affect on the outcome of a game.
If Texas turned Bevo (its longhorn) loose on the other team, it could be devastating. Ditto with Colorado’s buffalo, Baylor’s bear, LSU’s tiger… you get the picture.
ESPN even had a battle of the mascots' competition. Who wins when a bulldog fights a lion? I used to get upset when I saw two bubble-headed mascots fake fights before, during or after a game. That was before I saw the video of Boltman fighting Raiderman/Predator on the Internet.
I would pay to see Hawaii’s human mascot fight Monty Montezuma or West Virginia’s Mountaineer fight Notre Dame’s Leprechaun. It would be totally politically incorrect to even mention Florida State’s mascot fighting Wyoming’s mascot or to mention that USC’s Traveler is a gelding.
That gets me to the NFL and it’s never-ending pursuit of never leaving a stone unturned in preparing for a playoff game. I was made aware of some mind-boggling facts last week by a local Charger fan as the Chargers prepared to travel to Denver.
It made me ponder the question. Does the NFL do any research or compile stats on the importance of mascots in determining the outcome of a playoff game? Does the NFL factor in the ferocity of its mascots with the success rates of its team? If not, WHY?!
Do the Chargers know that Boltman unveiled his “new look” in 2004 and attended the Charger games in that uniform from 2004 until 2009, and then retired? In those seasons the Bolts made playoff appearances in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Five out of six seasons! An amazing 83.333 percent success rate!
After Boltman retired, the Chargers were absent from the playoffs for three straight years. That’s correct — the Chargers did not go to the playoffs in 2010, 2011 or 2012. They missed Boltman. The Chargers are a mind-blowing 6-1 (85.71 percent) when Boltman attends Charger games.
Then Boltman made a comeback. And, so did the Chargers. Yes, in 2013 Boltman came out of retirement and returned to Charger games. The Bolts were 5-3 with Boltman charging up the fans with his endless supply of energy and 3-5 without him.
Well Boltman didn’t take the trip to Denver and the Chargers won’t advance to the AFC Championship game next week. That may be a coincidence or somebody didn’t turn over every stone. We may never know the answer.
Boltman’s creator and the energy inside Boltman is Ramona’s own Dan Jauregui.
Jauregui enjoyed his comeback this year and thinks that the Chargers are moving in the right direction. Some day Boltman would like to lead the Chargers onto the field in a Super Bowl.