Why a mascot?
While watching a pro game on TV at a restaurant last week, I noticed something fascinating about the people around me. For some bizarre reason, everyone was wearing the logos and colors of their favorite teams while watching the game. They were avid fans. Passive participants, but their passion for the team was exemplified by their willingness to become associated with them through uniform colors and images. They became one with the players and even chanted phrases associated specifically with the sport or that team. They defended the honor of their teams. They cheered and cried for their teams. In fact, they were in love with their teams. It was mesmerizing. It was something that our sport desperately needed.
The uniform makes a difference. All professional sports have a uniform look. Football has jerseys. Basketball has tank tops. And hockey has really long jerseys. Even volleyball has a distinct uniform that sets them apart from other sports. All professional sports have a distinct look. But what does knife & axe throwing have? Plaid shirts and beards? Circus-stripe tights and handlebar mustaches? Or cowboy hats and boots? What is an official, distinctive look for knife throwers?
The answer is none of the above. This has never been established and therefore knife throwing is NOT considered a professional sport. Why? Because our fans can’t be passive participants. We have no official colors. No official uniform. Not even a mascot.
The Blade Aces organization’s mission is to make knife & ax throwing a professional sport that is worthy of being included in the Olympic Games. This is no small task. The requirements for making a sport into an Olympic sport are lengthy. And they have to be done by the numbers. I’s dotted and t’s crossed. Inclusion into the Olympic Games is for the very best sportsmen and women in the world. There’s no denying that fact. And in order to even be considered for that honor, a sport has to be operated by professionals for professionals.
Several knife throwers have proposed a collared polo shirt with team colors and logos. While others, such as Blade Aces Las Vegas uses an athletic, color-panel, t-shirt with Sport Fit fabrics due to the arid desert climate. Therefore, shirts with short sleeves, such as polos and athletic tees are acceptable as long as they are clean and matching.
Long pants would be preferable especially since it would help deflect those errant bouncing blades. Closed-toed athletic shoes are essential for traction and safety. And ball caps would be acceptable wear especially when outdoors. Special events such as the Texas State Knife and Tomahawk Championships in Huntsville, TX requires period clothing and would, therefore be an exception to the athletic wear rule.
Color choice would be completely up to the individual leagues and their members, such as the black and white color scheme of the Full Tang Clan. The eagle wings logo of the FTC with their personalized names gives them a polished, team appeal while keeping costs down. Other leagues/clubs may choose to use more elaborate designs and fabrics, like the different team uniforms in the movie “Dodgeball”. However, uniformity and personal branding for the league is the start of establishing a recognizable look for presenting the sport.
So when asking the initial question, “Why a mascot?”, one must acknowledge the fact that ALL professional teams and sports have a symbol that represents the virtues and qualities exemplified by the players and the organization.
Blade Aces has chosen Ram-bo, the bighorn black sheep. This heavily muscled, hard-headed animal represents the edgy, rebellious nature of our organization. Just like other black sheep, we revel in our inclusive nature as we accept all styles of legitimate throwing and projectile sports in the hopes of establishing camaraderie and cohesiveness in these, otherwise, dangerous sports. We’re different and we like it. The animal is also reminiscent of the US Marine Corps bulldog, a symbol that represents several members of our Advisory Board. Ram-bo carries a throwing knife, ax and archery bow. He will later be shown carrying other indigenous weapons as they become integrated into our events.
The symbolism doesn’t stop there. The colors used by Blade Aces are also very representative of our mission. The color black signifies professionalism and seriousness. The color red stands for innovation and energy. Silver stands for reflection and transparency. And white stands for truth and clarity. The Blade Aces Bad Asses Alliance or BABAA represents the black sheep of the throwing world whose power, strength and influence will propel the sport into the Olympics and into the public’s eye for what they truly are. It is our identity and our brand. And we are bad ass to the bone!