That One that Got Away
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a rough go of 2018. We at PressureLife think the loss of the most influential Cavalier ever is finally beginning to catch up to them.
We’re, of course, talking about Whammer, the polar bear bastard child of the Cleveland Cavaliers mascot pantheon. The frat life hype man may have been sent packing in years since, but the character still remains active on Twitter @CavsWhammer to an impressive following. From self-promotion to conspiracy theories, he held nothing back during our recent conversation.
PressureLife: Thanks for talking with Pressure, Whammer. Start at the beginning. How did you get to Cleveland in the first place?
Whammer: Work trip. I ended up going to a Cavs game back in 1993. One thing led to another; I dunked on a trampoline and a guy pulled me aside and said “you’re not going home. You work for us now.” I worked until 2003. Until Moondog came in.
PL: Was it an amicable split or do you feel Moondog pushed you out?
W: Oh, for sure he pushed me out. Moondog and I go back. We used to be friends. Moondog was sabotaging me in the last few years. If you go to the Cavs website about the mascots, there’s actually a pretty slanderous description of me. The smear campaign came from the inside, from Moondog. The next thing I knew I woke up and I wasn’t the mascot. My ex-best friend Moondog was.
PL: Do you have a better working relationship with Sir CC?
W: (sighs) You know, probably the biggest thing you could put against Sir CC is that no one cares about Sir CC. I don’t give him much thought. For him to side with the guy who took my job, I don’t look too fondly on that. He made his choice.
PL: Are there other mascots out there that you respect?
W: I started the Mascot Preservation Society for maligned and forgotten mascots to find new work. The one mascot that I’m especially proud of was Youppi! from the Montreal Expos. I was pretty crushed when the Expos left for Washington and Youppi! was left without a team. I worked with the Canadiens of the NHL for him to get brought on there. And a different sport! That’s tough to be a two-sport mascot.
And I’d be remiss not to mention Gritty, who’s been a breakthrough. Really, our rookie of the year.
PL: Did you come in with the Ray-Bans and the headband or was that a focus group?
W: No, that was me. I knew what I was going for and what was going to look cool. I said “it’s this or nothing.” They knew my talent and they were willing to roll with it. They saw the creativity and spark that I brought to the franchise.
PL: Did they let you keep your costume?
W: I do have the sunglasses, the most important piece of the ensemble, on my mantle under glass. I framed my jersey, but I’m always willing to break it open if they were to call me.
PL: Do you think you’d be a good fit for the new LeBron-less Cavs?
W: I don’t want to speak in hyperbole, but the Cavs would be undefeated and have a better record than the Warriors if I was there. I think that’s just a fact. That’s just stating truth, right there. You could see it in the players’ eyes. Moondog just isn’t doing it for them.
Our thanks to RobotButt editor and Whammer’s personal life coach, Steve DiMatteo, for his help with the interview.
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Robin Adam is a fiction writer and messy painter. With a background in journalism and psychology they’ve researched UFOs, Bigfoot, and other unsolved mysteries which have featured in PressureLife. They know more about Twilight Zone and R.E.M. than is actually useful. Robin Adam has created Smear and Splatter Studio, a line of original paintings, art prints and apparel. They also produce Strange City Digest, an independent arts and fiction digest with contributors from around the world. To check out Strange City Digest, visit: Facebook and Instagram @strangecitydigest Keep up with Robin and their ongoing projects, including Smear and Splatter Studio art and apparel, on Facebook and Instagram @smearandsplatter // email: [email protected]