HUGS WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM MY CRITICISM, COYOTE. - (January 23, 2008 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport)
In the actual final installment of this series, Drums discusses how the mascot is not exempt from blame for last season's meltdown.
As an addendum (Epilogue? Follow-up? Whatever) to J. Gomez's otstanding You Can Do Better series, here's the hard-hitting critique you've been clamoring for, of the oft-forgotten member of the team: the Spurs Coyote.
It makes sense that Gomez would forget him -- the guy doesn't say a word. Ever. Kawhi could learn something from the Coyote.
Now, wait. I know what some of you may be thinking, "How dare you criticize the Spurs Coyote? He's the best doggone mascot in the NBA, and possibly in all of sport!" First, you're wrong, because he's not. I have a soft spot for the Phillie Phanatic, because he reminds me of the mating rituals of the planet Koozebane. But more importantly, even if I'm wrong, and the Coyote IS the best, it does not mean he's not overrated and does not bear some responsibility for ending our playoff hopes last season...just like everybody else.
So here, as much as it pains me, are some unsolicited tips for the SC to raise his game this upcoming season:
1. Increased Musicality
I don't want to start by bagging on the sound team (though I think we can all agree that Bon Jovi never needs to be heard again at the AT&T Center), so let me first address how the Coyote can better play the hand he has been given. It is common practice for the SC to rush out to the court during timeouts and clap along to every overplayed rock/dubstep song coming over the speakers, but I want him to take a more active role in the in-arena musical entertainment. Instruments I want the Coyote to play include: upright bass, baby grand piano, saxophone, tam-tam, glockenspiel, viola, bagpipes, sitar. All of which will be better than Bon Jovi.
This can translate to dance, as well. Maybe something like this.
2. Upgraded Technology
Seriously. Trampolines and paper signs are SO 1990; the Coyote needs 21st century flash to stay ahead of the game. The fact that he can only move around the arena by walking/riding means that he can only interact with a small group of fans at a time. Teleportation has actually been around since the 1890s, so I don't think it is too much to ask for him to quickly appear at different points around the AT&T Center.
By the way -- we're still doing t-shirt cannons? Come on Coyote, get out of that rut! A silo of t-shirt ICBMs are all that stand between you and legend.
3. Bigger Stunts
When the Utah Jazz mascot -- who does his thing for a team no one cares about -- is putting you to shame, changes need to be made. And I'm not just talking about needing more explosions (though more explosions are a must), but having larger and more creative stunts than are in the current rotation.
Since people love tying things into the pop culture zeitgeist (and by people, I mean me), the Coyote can look ahead to the slate of upcoming films this winter. Perhaps build a giant barricade in the center of the court and defend it against the forces of Team Energy (our French players will love it), while singing operatic ballads? Or crash a helicopter into the Fan Zone and descend from it via parachute (with the Queen of England, if available?) Or (and this is definitely my best idea; Peter Holt, you're welcome) flood the arena at halftime, and reenact history's great naval battles. Hey, it worked for ancient Rome, and look at how strong they still are today!
4. Diversified Wardrobe
Hey Coyote --you've been called out nationally. Put on some pants; you're making me uncomfortable.
Maybe you guys think I am being too harsh on our beloved mascot; after all, he is just a mascot. He doesn't score points or grab rebounds or win games. However, he does score points in the hearts, minds, and souls of Spurs fans, which is important, even if he is the only one competing and therefore guaranteed victory.
Also, I have been to a medium number of Spurs games in my life, and I have never -- not once! -- won a free thing. Not from one of the Coyote's cannons, not descended from the catwalks, not a raffle, not from anything. And that, above everything else, is his biggest weakness. You can do better, Spurs Coyote. Notice me. NOTICE ME!