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Let’s Look at These Weird Mid-1990s NFL Mascot Characters

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Reader Mike Monaghan spotted a listing for these 1994 NFL erasers on his local Facebook Marketplace page. As you can see, they feature a line of cartoon mascot characters called “NFL Team Heroes,” all of whom wore No. 0. I couldn’t remember ever seeing the erasers or the mascots before, so I did a little digging on eBay and elsewhere. Sure enough, these erasers were a thing:

After combing through eBay listings and a few other sources, I was able to find the erasers for 21 of the teams. Here they are (apologies for the crummy image quality on some of these):


Would George “Papa Bear” Halas enjoy having his nickname attached to such a goofy-looking character? Maybe!


Obviously, the Bengals’ mascot character had to be a tiger. I’m stumped by the name, though — anyone know what “Sarge” might be referring to?


Good one! The name fits nicely.


Could be worse. I gather the name “Miles” was meant to refer to Denver being the Mile High City.


A Dawg Pound character, but with Brownie the Elf’s name — odd.


A creamsicle parrot! Love it.


Really? I mean, I get that a bull charges, and the team is called the Chargers — but you already have a bull representing the Bills, and the Chargers are known for their lightning bolts. Weird choice here. (Update: As several folks have quickly pointed out, the Bills’ character is a buffalo, not a bull. Duh — stupid Paul. But I still think this is an odd choice for the Chargers, even if it isn’t Bills-redundant.)


Good character, but the moniker feels kinda lazy. Couldn’t you name him Furlong or something like that?


Shouldn’t he be wearing a helmet, like the dolphin on the team’s old logo?


Not bad. Clever name, too.


Not sure why they gave the Giants a robot character. Was he supposed to be gigantic? They should have included something for scale!


The Jags hadn’t even played a game yet in 1994, but they were still included in the erasers program. And look: They used the original leaping-jaguar logo, which ended up being scrapped!


Now, wait a minute — a rocket is not a jet, am I right?


Why do I get the feeling that no actual hip-hop fans were involved in the creation of this character?


This is probably my favorite one of the bunch. An Oilers mascot named Derrick is really good!


The Panthers, like the Jags, weren’t yet an on-field presence in 1994, but they still got their own eraser. I’m assuming the name “Charlie” referred to the city of Charlotte.


As if Pat Patriot and Flying Elvis weren’t enough, the Pats had another patriotic mascot character. (Also: This is the part where I point out that cartoon characters must always have four fingers, not five, because that’s just the way it is, the end.)


Seems kinda sedate for the Raiders. Should’ve been more Black Hole-esque, no?


This is the one I find most puzzling. A dog? For the Saints? What am I missing here? (Update: As several folks have quickly pointed out, it’s a Saint Bernard.)


Hmmm — shades of Foghorn Leghorn with those feet!


Another robot, this one clearly modeled on the Steelers’ old Steely McBeam character.


In addition, there was apparently a product line of plush dolls based on the same “NFL Team Heroes” characters (but with the logo on the jersey chest, instead of No. 0). These were made by a New Jersey company called Stuffins. Some match up with the characters shown on the erasers:

But I also found the plush toy for the Cowboys’ character, who looks like, duh, a cowboy. No indication of what his name was supposed to be, unfortunately,

And here’s the strangest thing I found: It’s the Bucs’ parrot, but wearing the colors and logo from the team’s 1997 redesign — even though the tagging on the doll carries a 1995 date! Check it out:

In addition, Stuffins apparently made a line of pillows featuring just the mascots characters’ heads. Here are the ones for the Packers and Vikings (two teams I was unable to find in any other product format):


Anyway: I’m now officially intrigued by the NFL Team Heroes program. Anyone know more about it?

Update: Wait, there’s more! It turns out that there were actually live, costumed versions of these mascot characters at the 1995 Pro Bowl! Full details here.

Also, there was apparently a line of Team Heroes baseball caps. Here’s one showing KC’s character — a wolf.

(Big thanks to Mike Monaghan for sending me down this enjoyable rabbit hole, and to Anthony Sperando for that hat link at the end.)



The Day After

People, words cannot express how blown away I was — how blown away I still am — by the response to yesterday’s announcement that I’ll be leaving Uni Watch in about five months. Frankly, I was worried about how the news might be received, and my heart was actually thumpa-thumping when I clicked on the “Publish” button yesterday morning.

The outpouring of love and support (not just in the site’s comments section but also on social media and in the emails that many of you sent) was incredibly humbling and, frankly, a bit overwhelming. I knew Uni Watch was important to many of you, but I think I might not have realized just how important it is for many of you. I don’t mind saying that it made me feel really good to know that something I created has made such a positive impact. But I couldn’t have done it without all of you — your support, your contributions, your encouragement. So while you’re saying all those nice things about Uni Watch and about me, give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it.

I’m still processing all the thoughts and feelings I’m having. I’ll try to write more about this in the near future, but for now please just accept my sincere thanks for all the kind thoughts yesterday — it’s something I’ll never forget.



Membership Update

Reader Jack Daley won a free membership card in our recent year-end raffle, and he’s chosen a Georgia Bulldogs motif for his card. Looking good, Jack!

Speaking of membership cards: A few people asked me yesterday if they could get cards with our new 25th-universary logo on the back of the card, and the answer to that is yes! You can order that design just like any other design.

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch, and fun to boot. And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in the Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.



Too Good for the Ticker

Reader Dan Brookens spotted this photo in a Facebook thread about South Dakota basketball. Not sure I’ve ever seen a team that had its full name spelled out on the waistband!



Can of the Day

Here’s a can configuration you don’t often see! I really like it.

• • • • •

Please join me in wishing the happiest of birthdays to Deputy Editor (and soon to be Editor) Phil Hecken, who’s celebrating another trip around the sun today. Enjoy your special day, buddy! — Paul

Comments (38)

    I don’t remember these erasers. Couple of things:
    1. The Bills mascot is a buffalo, so the Chargers having a bull isn’t redundant.
    2. The Jet mascot is wearing a jet pack, maybe?
    3. Since my Eagles aren’t represented, I will have to go with a tie for first between creamsicle parrot and Derrick the Oiler in my fully-subjective ranking.

    Could not locate the rest of the NFC East, but here’s a few more (LAR, KC, SF, MN) to consider:
    And here’s a near-mint Seahawks lead mark remover:

    And, according to Wikipedia:
    “The reason for choosing this breed of dog is the fact that Orleans Parish (where the City of New Orleans lies) shares a border with St. Bernard Parish to the east.”

    I think naming the dog “Bernard” would have helped everyone make that connection.

    There was the “Huddles” in 1983 (I have the whole card set somewhere) which were literal anthropomorphized mascots (the Jets were my favorite).

    Those erasers look such like a 90s expansions / re imagining of those.

    I had a set of those Huddles cards. For some reason the set was a promotion through AVON of all places. Complete with football-shaped soap on a rope!

    I suppose these are an update/evolution of the 1980s NFL Huddles cartoon mascots? I had a set of cards and a plushie of the Huddles when I was a kid but have never seen the Heroes. Neat!

    Derrick is my favorite character indeed, followed by Rhett. A robot for the Giants? Very strange. Also strange is cushions of your favorite team to sit on. I would ask for the mascot of my fiercest rival to park my behind on. All the eraser mascots have a Hanna Barbera style of depiction, were they involved in the designing process? I love those basketball shorts: shirt must be tucked in to read the team name.

    The Chargers have had horse-themed logos in the past. Why not go with that? Jackson and Miles are currently being used for mascot names although they look nothing like the eraser versions. Also, as a cartoonist, I agree 1,000 percent with your assessment of the number of fingers cartoon characters should have. Seems like The Patriots’ mascot is the only outlier.

    Isn’t the Texans mascot a bull named Toro?
    Yet another aspect of their current/future branding that they got/plan to get from someplace else!

    Looks like the plush parrot is wearing Bucco Bruce-era pants.

    Perhaps the Bengals’ mascot is named Sarge because, like tigers, Sergeants wear stripes?

    This seems the most logical explanation. Growing up in the greater-Cincy area, “Earn Your Stripes” was a common enough slogan the Bengals would use. Not common enough that it clicked as soon as I saw the name “Sarge”, but as soon as I saw your comment it clicked. Strange name, really, but maybe it was a Friday afternoon at the think tank and they were ready to go home.

    Could Cincinnati’s “Sarge” be a reference to then-Reds owner Marge Schott? At least it rhymes.

    Happy Birthday, Phil!

    Those mascots give me the same vibe as the ones you’d see on the 60s/early 70s pennants, so I like.

    Thanks for the b-day wishes everyone!

    As for the Chargers, I’m surprised they didn’t use a horse, seeing as how “Chargers” (I believe) had a dual meaning from the get-go.


    The Chargers’ original owner was hotel heir Barron Hilton, son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton. Hilton held a contest to find a name for his team, with the prize being a trip to Mexico. A man from Hollywood named Gerald Courtney submitted the name “Chargers” and won. Conrad Hilton said, “I liked the name because they were yelling “charge” at the stadium during the games. Hunt said he thought Hilton picked the team name from the first batch of letters as publicity for his new charge account business Carte Blanche.

    As someone else mentioned, surprised the Chargers’ mascot isn’t a horse. Also, I believe the Lions’ mascot’s name is based on Motor City, not a hip hop reference

    MC is definitely Motor City.

    The musical link would be MC5 who were from the Detroit area and very much not hip-hop or rap. MC5’s biggest hit was 1969’s “Kick Out the Jams.”

    Many critics love them and they are one of those bands that were more influential for future bands than popular with the general public.

    Wow! Between the Huddles and this, it’s amazing to me how much time and effort the NFL put into trying to create a league-wide mascot program that never stuck. It seems like they finally got it right by just allowing the teams to create their own mascots if they wanted them.

    This video shows some additional mascot erasers at the end. Hard to get screenshots. Looks like the following mascot names:

    Packers – Bayer
    Vikings – Thunder
    Rams – Ramster
    Chiefs – KC Wolf
    49ers – niner or miner


    Additional mascot names:

    Eagles – Blitz
    Commanders- DC
    Cowboys – Big D
    49ers – niner

    Very interesting and quirky marketing idea. The cartoonish appearance seems to be marketed towards children yet I was 9 at the time and never saw or heard of any of this. Maybe that’s why it didn’t last long?

    Many happy returns, Phil!

    The bucs used to have a parrot mascot (along w/ a pirate, waaay before Captain Fear) at games in the 80’s that was exactly that design.

    Also, mid-90’s Saints had a dog that retrieved the kick off tee (named Fetch Monster iirc), so maybe that’s part of the dog character.

    Only reference I could think of for the NY Giants is the Iron Giant. Also, M.C. Leon as in Motor City Leon.

    Just looking at these erasers, I know that they would sooner rip through your paper than actually erase anything

Comments are closed.