I asked AI to reimagine all 32 @NFL mascots and that may have been a serious mistake.
— GG (@GarryGates) May 1, 2023
A Las Vegas-based gaming consultant named Garry Gates recently got the idea to have an AI bot create costumed mascots for each of the 32 NFL teams, and the results are somewhat horrifying and completely hilarious. Let’s take a look, one division at a time:
Scariest patriot ever (and in the team’s old Brady-era uniform!), the Gang Green guy looks genuinely gangrenous, the dolphin has an oddly spiked tail, and it’s gonna be hard to find a four-legged human to fit into that Bills costume.
Love the potbelly on the Browns’ mascot. In fact, I think I love everything about that one, except maybe the little notch on the left side of the “6.” Mr. Bengal is fine, Mr. Raven is actually pretty good, and I find Mr. Steeler to be oddly endearing. A strong division!
The Colts guy appears to be, um, hung like a horse. In other news, that wouldn’t be a bad new logo for the Texans, I’m in favor anything that brings more gold back to the Jags, and that’s the best uniform any Titan has worn in years.
Have you noticed that in any era, any format, any context, the Chargers always look good?
So the Commies guy has a powdered wig, Native American feathers, and a loincloth? Uh, okay. Meanwhile the Giant looks like Shrek, the Cowboy is cross-eyed, and the Eagle looks like his feathers got ruffled (literally and figuratively).
Anyone else think this Packers guy looks like Alfred E. Neuman?
Man, the Bucs have come a looooong way from Bucco Bruce, eh?
I like how the Seahawks guy kinda looks like a Sleestak in a Seattle (Sleestakkle?) uniform. Also, what uni number is that supposed to be?
And There’s More…
Gates also posted these four bonus images — one each for the Seahawks, Cowboys, Cardinals, and Bills:
Thus concludes our descent down the AI wormhole, at least for now (Gates is already hinting at a similar set of NBA mascots). But let’s give the bot some credit: Its designs are certainly no worse than Nike’s. And let’s thank Garry Gates for this brilliant project.
(Big thanks also to John Flory for bringing Gates’s project to Uni Watch’s attention, and to Michael Malinowski for suggesting that this project should get its own entry instead of being buried in the Ticker.)
Yo can we talk about that VIKING THOUGH??
The best of the whole lot.
That Vikings’ mascot knows all the Shouts from Skyrim.
Easily the pick of the litter.
Haha fun and awesome!
And I agree, “Its designs are certainly no worse than Nike’s”.
that was awesome. thanks for sharing.
Fingers crossed for a Poonats-Rawereds Super Bowl!
Poonats rockin’ the double ad-patched onesie!
But why is the 49ers’ mascot wearing a diaper?
Yeah. Steve Young should be pissed.
Maybe it’s a jock strap. We can’t see the back.
Some of those are really good. Others are going to give me nightmares for years.
Great work. Can’t wait to see the NBA set (if it comes to fruition).
The Browns, Bengals, and Bears need to become reality like now, especially the Browns’s one.
I’m a Browns fan and love the mascot idea but I think they got the wrong Brown. Really looks to me like they took Mike Brown from The Bengals and made him the Browns mascot.
The Raven totally works…and all the felines turned out really well.
The bonus ‘Boy looks like a cross between Otto from Airplane! and the Mayor of Halloween Town from Nightmare Before Christmas.
While the Commies treatment is beyond description, that color scheme/white W would look great as the basis for new real-life uniforms.
The Ravens one could also pass for the product of the AI prompt, “Image of a crow after it hits a window in mid-flight and falls to the ground, stunned or possibly dead.” Made me laugh out loud. It’s such a terrible mascot design that it would be absolutely beloved by fans to the level of the Phanatic or Gritty if it existed. The Packers mascot doesn’t make much sense to me, though it sorta kinda resembles a Hodag, northern Wisconsin’s distinctive mythical cryptid.
Must be the same way the Seattle Kraken mascot was “ideated”, as the kids in marketing would say.
Jesus Christ those are terrifying.
Anyone else get “Power Ranger villain” vibes off like every single one of these?
This is art
The Giants mascot is yelling “It turned me into a Newt!”
The Jets one is actually not so bad. What does the text say, though? Looks like Mastrs ‘Tader with a little TM, maybe? It surprises me that most of the words here aren’t, well, words. GO POONATS!!!
The Cowboys mascot looks like a fauxback mascot. Something that could’ve plausibly existed in the past, and it makes it even creepier because of it.
Also that Raiders mascot could’ve been seen from a mile away. If it were real it’d probably be one of the most popular mascots in sports, because a skeleton for a full-time mascot is super rad.
All hail the Silver Skeleton.
That logo on the Falcon mascot’s chest is really nice. It captures the movement of the wings really well. The Atlanta one is also probably the best of the bunch overall.
Is the 49er one wearing a diaper?
The alternate cowboys mascot is amazing. Also a big fan of the Browns, Seahawks, and 49ers. Nothing like a diaper on a mascot!
As a long time reader and a subscriber to UniWatch Plus, I’m a little sad to see AI art featured on the site. As you know, creatives are scared of what AI would mean to their livelihoods. I know it’s becoming more widespread, and ignoring it is probably impossible, but featuring it with a dedicated article today really let me down. I really hope you reconsider it in the future.
Happy to have this discussion, Steve. As a creative professional myself, I’m well aware that AI poses a threat to some writers’ jobs, potentially even my own.
But honestly: So what? Advances in technology have always rejiggered jobs and professions. That’s the nature of technology. A writer losing their job to AI would be a drag for that writer, but is it any worse than, say, a stableman losing his job as cars replaced horses? Or a metal-type typesetter losing her job after the development of digital type? Or all the people at Kodak who lost their jobs as digital cameras replaced film? Or any of the jillions of other examples I could cite?
I don’t mean to sound indifferent to those job losses, of course. I’m just pointing out that AI is a tool, and new tools tend to make certain tasks, and the people who performed them, redundant. That’s life. I do have some serious concerns about AI, mainly regarding its potential use by bad actors (deepfakes, etc.), but I see no reason to ignore its existence or to impose a blanket boycott of all AI-generated projects (as long as they’re clearly labeled as such).
Creative people have had to adapt in the face of other technological advances, and I have faith that they’ll be able to do so this time as well.
I don’t mean to be dismissive of your concerns, though. If you’d like to respond to my points and carry on the discussion, please do!
Well, it is your site, so feel free to publish what you please as you wish. I think you make a bunch of false equivalencies, comparing changing tools and skills to a machine whose main function is to cobble together new ideas from other people unattributed and sometimes stolen work. I’m not a “AI is always bad” absolutist, as I think some AI tools have a place (and are used by almost every artist who opens Photoshop), but I think AI created wholesale art is a net negative, and of UniWatch continues down this path, I’ll probably reconsider my membership in the future.
Fair enough! I don’t necessarily plan to keep publishing more AI-related posts (just as I didn’t plan to publish this one until the mascot project came across my field of vision), but I also don’t plan an AI boycott. We’ll see!
I just ordered a black alternate POONATS 0 Panthers jersey.
The Falcons mascot looks like the long lost love child of Harry the Hawk (NBA Atlanta Hawks mascot).
Looking through these a second time, noticed for Washington that there is a second block white W in the background on the door sign that is of a different font from the block white W on the mascot.
If Mike Tyson had fangs and lived in Green Bay …
Anyone else more freaked out by the backgrounds than the mascots? The fact AI seemed to generate such realistic backdrops has me geeking out. Like casual people just passing by? Power lines. Outlets on walls. I get if AI just made a mascot against a blank wall–but the inclusion of such random and detailed backgrounds has me tripping out.
The Eagles mascot in what looks like an apothecary is top notch.
Anyone else freaked out by the backgrounds more than anything else? The fake writing on shirts. The faces in the backdrop of the Cowboys mascot rendering. The detail that is all fake–outlets, power lines, people walking by. Why did Ai make the Steelers mascot out in the open–and other other mascots are on concourses. What? Has me geeking out.
The Lions’ mascot is brilliant. The rest of you are competing for second place.
Nightmares, all of them. But interesting nightmares. This proves we still need a human designer touch to go with AI at this point in order to really make these work (except for the Falcon whos is readt to fly).
By the way, I think the NYG Newt is standing in front of Fenway Park. Which is odd, to say the least.
The eyes on that Jaguar! Seriously, the whole thing was worth it just for that detail.
Why is the Jaguar so bashful? Poor kitty…
Cowboy 1 is walleyed, not cross-eyed.
Cardinal 1 needs to switch to decaf, as do the Bill and Seahawk. Cardinal #2 looks like an Angry Birds castoff. The Jet wears #10 on the front and #24 on the sleeves? The patriot is #(UPSIDE DOWN J)2? I would love to see the source photos that led to this.
I know I’m late but I just wanted to say I needed this laugh so much, thank you.