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Mascots are everywhere – commercials, breakfast cereal, even dang car dealerships – but a good sports mascot is hard to come by. Philadelphia is blessed with the best mascot corps of any four-sport city in the country, and sometimes I take that for granted.

But not today.

Today, I have to defend Eagles mascot Swoop from a grave injustice: being named the second-best mascot in the National Football League.

The Athletic assembled a ranking this week of the NFL’s 28 mascots, a top-to-bottom assessment of football’s fuzziest and fluffiest characters. It’s not Wentz vs. Dak, but for offseason chatter, you can do much worse.

I assumed Swoop, the best mascot in the league, would be ranked No. 1, but when I reached the bottom of the list I found another mascot in the top spot: the Seattle Seahawks’ Blitz.

…what?

Here’s the rationale for Swoop being No. 2, and Blitz being No. 1:

Swoop

It pains me to write this a little bit knowing my best friend is going to never let me live this down – he’s an Eagles fan. But Swoop looks the most realistic of all of the mascots and gets as close to looking like the logo as anyone. He’s definitely as scary as an eagle actually looks.

Blitz

I love the name, Blitz. I love the design of his costume – it’s futuristic and well done. I think without question, Blitz is the clear winner here.

Here’s a look at Blitz, circa 2020:

And here’s a reminder of how cool Swoop is: 

It’s not close: Swoop is so much better.

Swoop debuted multiple years before the original Blitz design was unveiled, and if you don’t see how much the Seahawks ripped off the Eagles’ mascot design, you’re lying to yourself:

It’s a clear copy-and-paste job. You can’t blame the Seahawks for channeling the Eagles’ talented (talon-ted?) mascot creators, but you have to give points to the original star.

Plus, where’s the love for longevity? Swoop’s design – perfect, iconic, unbeatable – has been refined here and there, but it’s remained largely the same for a quarter century. The current Blitz design, just six years old, bears almost no resemblance to the original mascot. No staying power? Must not be an iconic mascot.

The current Blitz is way too cartoonish. Swoop looks like a dang bald eagle, which is scary. Blitz looks like a bit character from a Cartoon Network series. Not bad, but not scary!

Oh, and the names? Don’t even get me started. Swoop is what an eagle actually does. Swoop is both majestic and aggressive; the name is all intimidation and potential. Naming your bird mascot Blitz doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t capitalize on anything cool about the osprey, an objectively cool bird. Blitz is just a football word. Do better!

I could go on for hours – maybe discuss the brilliance of inflatable Swoop – but I’ll stop here, because we’re still months away from actual football season. 

Swoop is the best mascot in the NFL, and I will not be dissuaded.

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