Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Mascot for Silver Spring

I've written before how Silver Spring has too many symbols. Yesterday the Gazette dedicated an article to there NOT being an effort afoot (aflipper?) to make the penguin Silver Spring's "official" mascot. What authority would even have the power to designate anything in Silver Spring official? The county?

The regional service center at Wayne and Georgia obviously doesn't give a damn about their penguin, as they had the sculpture banished to the empty grass island at the intersection of Ellsworth and Spring Street, where it looks really pathetic.

"Where the hell should we dump this thing? I don't feel like hauling it all the way to the dump."

"Uhhh, well I think there's an empty spot a few blocks away where no one will notice."

Outside of a mural, what does a penguin really have to do with Silver Spring? Presumably, real penguins would die from heat exposure or dehydration during Silver Spring summers. A Silver Spring penguin is about as appropriate as the "Utah Jazz". If they have to go with a penguin, at least make it cartoony, not ornithologically correct like the birds they use now. Or just get completely shameless and make it a cute-as-hell baby penguin.

Personally, I prefer the designation of an acorn as the "official" mascot. The acorn gazebo was in Silver Spring waaaay before the penguin mural. The mascot could be an anthropomorphic acorn named Corny McNutt who lives in a tree in Acorn Park. His nemesis would be a nefarious white squirrel, a criminal mastermind in the Lex Luthor mold, always hatching evil real estate schemes. He would have designs on Corny's tree, wanting to bulldoze it in order to make way for more luxury condos. (Why would a squirrel want to destroy trees? That's what would make him interesting - he's complex.) It would be his singular obsession, much like Gargamel with the Smurfs.

Or perhaps, with the express written consent of Lucasfilm, Ltd., a mascot could be created named Luke Jaywalker. Using his Jedi powers, he would be able to cross major roadways at any point by effortlessly weaving through oncoming traffic (even at night while wearing all-black). He'd have an evil deadbeat father named Carth Evader.

No matter what, don't let kids pick the mascot. Then you end up with stupid team names or mascots that have absolutely no relevance to the team or area they are supposed to represent. Mascots in this area are generally terrible. Look at "Screech", who I guess is supposed to be a bald eagle, but looks more like a fat, poorly dressed, effeminate chicken.


Anonymous said...

Mascots should in some way relate to the city. What does a Penguin have to do with Silver Spring (other than perhaps Discovery has made some documentaries about them). Maybe we could come up with a cute Silver Bar with arms, legs and a head...and name her (what else).....drum roll....Silvie!

Corny, yes, but no worse than a geographically incorrect penguin in the mid-Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

Great post today, Sligo!
I like our penguin mascot and that it doesnt really make sense- it adds to the quirkiness factor of Silver Spring at a time when the town is becoming more gentrified (not that theres anything wrong with that)

Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Luke Jaywalker. Oh, my God, that's rich. Thanks for the smile!

Debbie Cook said...

Sligo, The Penquin has been around a while now. In the beginning I felt the same way about it, now I think it's caught on and I kind of like it. Even though anonymous is right, it is not geographically correct, it does fit the requirements of a logo - it is cute and catchy, it stands out, it has caught on. The only other things I can think of are: 1. Something Silver ( A SILVER ACORN? or a classy looking SILVER PENGUIN?) 2. A Spring that really looks like a SPRING (not that funky looking geyser logo we have now) 3. Last, but not least, how about THE HORSE named SELIM (the one that Blair fell off of when they discovered the silver spring) There is already a tiny street named after that horse just over the EW Hwy/Phildelphia Ave Bridge between Georgia Ave. and Fenton St.
It could even be a silver horse, SILVER SELIM?

Anonymous said...

i think we should have SMURFS as the mascot because they are so cute

Anonymous said...

How about a big "S" in a circle with a slash through it. We could have it pulled in a trailer during parades. You know, "No trailing 'S' people! It's Silver SprinG! Not 'Springs'!!"

WashingtonGardener said...

Anon. - I'm with you on that - sounds like a new tshirt design! Just yesterday heard that extra "S" on the lips of a local executive - argh!!!

Debbie Cook said...

Anyone who uses the S at the end of Silver Spring (excused the first time or just once or when from another state or country)loses all credibility with me, I hired a web designer from Georgia once I thought he was going to be incredible, the examples of his work were fabulous. After the third Silver SpringS came out of his mouth and almost landed on my website - I went for a different web designer in California who never made the mistake of calling it Silver Springs. It makes me cringe when I hear it, especially from a local executive.