It’s not easy being a mascot. Just ask this guy. But still, you never expect your team’s mascot to be attacked while entertaining children at an amusment park.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times: “[Benny the Bull] was attacked Wednesday as he was escorting a group of kids to the go-kart area at Odyssey Fun World, 19111 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, police said. As the group crossed a foot bridge leading to the go-kart area, a man and woman approached from the opposite direction. The mascot began dancing in front of the couple, according to a police report. The man became agitated and made threatening remarks to Benny. The report said the man then pushed Benny, causing the mascot to lose his balance and fall into a railing and to the ground, police said.”
Don’t worry. Benny hurt his wrist but refused medical treatment, so I’m guessing he’s okay.
This is just the latest incident in The Benny Saga. Here are a few of Benny’s greatest hits:
A Taste of the Law: On July 2, 2006, Benny (portrayed by Barry Anderson) was arrested by an off-duty police officer while performing at the Taste of Chicago. Dressed in full mascot regalia, Anderson zoomed his miniature motorcycle through the festival — be prepared to gasp — without the required permit. (The city of Chicago takes its miniature motorcycling very seriously.) When the officer, who was providing security at the event, identified himself as a Po-Po and ordered Anderson to stop, Anderson beat a very brave retreat. The officer pursued on foot and (amazingly) caught up to Anderson, who punched him in the face, knocking off the officer’s glasses and breaking his watch. (Apparently he was wearing the watch on his face.) According to Anderson, he was just acting “in character.” (Because, as everyone knows, Benny the Bull is a notorious cop-puncher.) Anderson was charged with two offenses: Misdemeanor battery and driving within the parkway. Those charges were later dropped.
When Mascots Attack: On February 12, 2008, Benny slapped palm with the wrong oral surgeon. Dr. Don Kalant, who must be made out of stained glass and peanut brittle, suffered a hyperextended arm and a ruptured bicep muscle when Benny high-fived him during a Bulls home game against the New Orleans Hornets. Kalant bravely stayed for the rest of the game but later had surgery and had to miss about four months of work. Naturally, Kalant sued the Bulls — who as Benny’s employer are legally responsible for his actions — and is seeking unspecified damages for medical bills, physical pain and lost earnings. The lawsuit claims that Benny was negligent in either “falling forward while grabbing a fan’s hand” or “running out of control” through the crowd. And I think you’ll agree that out-of-control crowd running is a menace that must be stopped. After all, our country’s greatest oral surgeons are in grave danger.
Dirty Secrets: In March of 2008, the mascot got into a fight on The Jerry Springer Show. No, really.
Benny versus Kevin Garnett: On April 1, 2008, Benny sniped Kevin Garnett and James Posey from behind with a t-shirt cannon during the closing minutes of the Celtics/Bulls game. According to the Boston Herald report: “Garnett initially had to be restrained by a member of the officiating crew as Benny stood a safe distance away.” Huh. What happens when a mascot pees themselves in terror? I guess we’d have to ask Benny that question. Kudos to Posey for finding some humor in the situation. “I don’t know. I feel threatened. I don’t feel safe. They really have tough love here, but it was definitely an inside job. They made the mascot do it. I got hit in the back walking away. That spot on my back is sore. I might have to get treatment on it.” Of course, I’m only assuming he’s kidding.