It’s Time to Dump Sir Purr: A Fan’s Call to Action!

The Carolina Panthers have made some subtle changes to the team's logo to reflect a more athletic, powerful, modern vibe. This is a small change in re-branding the Panthers, and as a Carolina fan I like the new look. But if the team wants to get bold in making the brand look more appealing, subtle changes to the logo are not enough. Yes, Panthers fans, it's time to go nuclear:

It's time to dump Sir Purr!

Sir Purr, the Panthers mascot, is quite possibly the worst mascot in the NFL. With the excitement of Cam Newton and the suddenly dangerous Carolina offense, it is time to get a mascot worthy of the Panthers franchise.

"Because I'm Fat, I'm Fat, You Know It…."

Sir Purr's portly figure looks like it was modeled after Weird Al's body shape in the classic music video for "Fat." Either that or the Panthers organization found an old Barney the Purple Dinosaur costume and painted it black. Sir Purr's midsection is so soft that I would not be surprised to see him take the field with a half-eaten bag of donuts in one hand and a syringe filled with insulin in the other. In an age of rampant childhood obesity and the NFL's Play 60 campaign, why does Carolina continue to have a fat, out-of-shape mascot? While I'm not advocating a steroid-juiced new mascot like the San Diego Chargers Boltman, the Panthers need a more athletic-looking mascot.

Plus, how many fat panthers have you ever seen on Discovery Channel or at the zoo? Zero, right? That's because PANTHERS ARE NOT FAT! Panthers are among the most powerful, sleek, muscular animals in the world. The awesome panther statues outside of Bank of America Stadium perfectly illustrate this, their taut muscles gleaming in the sunlight, just ready to spring to life and take down a mule deer or an antelope something. Rather than muscles, Sir Purr probably giggles like the Pillsbury Doughboy when you touch his soft, giggly midsection. Carolina management, it's time to send your mascot to the Biggest Loser ranch and have him come back looking more fit and athletic, which better represents an NFL environment and the Panthers up-tempo offense.

"Jeeves, Please Fetch My Bentley…"

Next, the "Sir" part needs to go. The last time I checked, Her Majesty the Queen of England has never bequeathed the honor of knighthood on Mr. Purr. And those who rightfully attain the status of "Sir" are not normally the - how shall I put this - best representation of NFL fans. Take, for example, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir David Attenborough, Sir Richard Branson, etc. The most "manly" person to receive this distinction that I can find is Sir Mix-A-Lot, so I guess the queen gets it right every once in a while. Most men who have achieved the status of "Sir" are elites who have butlers, drive Bentley's, and are generally out of touch with the mainstream. In these difficult economic times I don't want an aristocrat like "Sir" Purr representing my franchise any longer.

"But the Children! Won't Somebody Think of the Children!"

Okay, I get it. In our emasculated, politically correct, gender-neutral society, some people like having a pudgy pansy for a mascot because they think the less threatening the mascot looks, the more children will like him. As a father of three young children, let me share my perspective on this matter as delicately as I can. If you believe this less-threatening-is-better logic, you should be committed to a mental institution for the rest of your life, never being allowed to associate with any member of the human family again. I say that with the utmost respect, of course.

If a mascot does not appear to be threatening, it does not automatically mean children will like him. As a parent I often go to Chuck E. Cheese's. Now, the Chuck E. Cheese's mascot is about as non-threatening as a man in a furry suit can look, and children are generally terrified of him when he comes out on to the gaming floor. You can tell how long it has been since Chuck E. visited the game area by how many fresh urine puddles are visible on the floor. Just because Sir Purr looks like a pansy does not mean children will like him by default.

The two most popular mascots among my children are Rufus Lynx and the Utah Jazz mascot, Bear. Guess what these two mascots have in common? They are both trim, athletic, dunk basketballs, and ride loud motorcycles on to the court amidst flames and fireworks. They repel from the rafters and jump off trampolines. They wear shades indoors. In short, Rufus Lynx and Bear are cool! Kids - and adults - want cool. If Sir Purr attempted a trampoline dunk like Rufus or Bear, Sir Purr would probably rim check, fall flat on his back, burst into tears, and not be consoled until he received his participation trophy and a warm glass of milk.

Now, I'm not advocating a terrifying Panthers mascot either. I don't want the new mascot to have Freddy Kruger-type claws on his hands or blood on his fangs. But sometimes even terrifying mascots are beloved by their fan bases. Take, for example, the Lakers unofficial mascot, Jack Nicholson. Now that dude is terrifying. Have you ever seen The Shining? And yet, Lakers fans still love their creepy, scary mascot because he's cool. People, including kids, want cool, and Sir Purr just doesn't deliver.

A Call to Action

My bold solution is to replace Sir Purr with a mascot more like Rufus Lynx or Bear. The new mascot would be trim, athletic and muscular, giving proper respect for what Panthers represent in the wild. Unlike Sir Purr, the new mascot would not need to hit the oxygen canister after running the forty. The new mascot would be more exciting, cool, and unpredictable and able to walk that fine line between entertaining children without annoying adults.

So, Panthers fans, if you want to join the cause to replace Sir Purr with a better mascot, just leave a comment here indicating your support. Also, include in your comment what the name of the new, slimmer, more athletic Panthers mascot should be. Individually we are weak, but united we can change the world.

Viva la revolucion!

Andrew Sweat is a North Carolina native and loyal Carolina Panthers fan. More from this author:

"Dang It" - Five Games the 2011 Carolina Panthers Should Have Won

Class vs. Crass: The Firings of John Kasay and Steve Williams

Gamers & Lamers: Panthers vs. Saints Week 17 Game

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Updated Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012