Mascot madness: Fur flies in for Crunch's party
FEB 08, 2013 6:50p ET
Same with the Raptors, and it's a quick flight from Minneapolis to their next destination, Indianapolis.
The Magic, too, are playing nearby on Saturday, in Cleveland.
The Wild have a quick break on their homestand. The Lynx are mired in the offseason, as are the Twins and the Vikings, and the Gophers had time for a quick trip across town.
And that right there, that trick of scheduling, is how eight mascots managed to get to the Target Center on Friday night to celebrate the 24th birthday of the Timberwolves' mascot, Crunch. It might have been easier, you'd think, to pack up the costumes – at least the out-of-town ones – and carefully ship them up north. The Timberwolves could easily have hired three people to inhabit them, to jump around and scare children and generally act like large, furry, slightly intoxicated clowns.
But apparently the occasion of a mascot's birthday, which so conveniently falls in early February, in the drudgery of the season, is one for which no expense is spared. That's why the Timberwolves flew in Hugo the Hornet, Raptor the Raptor (creativity points for you, Toronto) and Stuff the Dragon, both costume and human inside, all the way from New Orleans, Toronto and Orlando for the big event.
The result was said mascots running out at various intervals in the game, delivering presents to the court in the first quarter for the Timberwolf's 24th birthday. There are definitely questions involved in the whole thing, questions of the food chain being temporarily suspended and what on earth might be in those boxes, and for anyone with even a vague fear of the anthropomorphic, it might have been a bit disconcerting.
But this is February in the NBA in Minneapolis, a month when wins have been hard to come by in recent years and temperatures induce thoughts of agoraphobia. So why not have a mascot party?
Happy birthday, Crunch.
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