Atmosphere

Cool it, Cat

The Nuggets mascot's strangely vicious shtick

February 2009

In an age of boring mascots—paging Dinger!—Rocky is one of the few entertaining holdouts, spending games enlivening Nuggets crowds with dance numbers, trampoline dunks, and backward half-court shots. Outside of the dunking and dancing, though, his other shenanigans have become more violent. We're beginning to fear that Rocky has rabies.

In recent years, we've watched Rocky knock a small child off a frozen turkey during a Thanksgiving-week version of musical chairs, steal or upend trays of goodies from vendors, and wrestle shoes from women and fling them across the arena. Earlier this season, he smashed a cake into the face of a Utah Jazz fan so hard it knocked the man backward into his seat, leaving him dazed, confused, and covered in frosting. And at November's Bulls game, Rocky starred in a video that concluded with the Chicago Bulls mascot being crushed—apparently, to death.

Listen, we like Rocky—outside of the Kiss Cam, he's the only thing stopping us from getting another beer during time-outs. But his antics too often straddle the line between cartoonish fun and violence. Stan Kroenke needs to give Rocky a nice belly rub before some unsuspecting Lakers fan really takes it on the chin.