The Oakland Raiders unveiled their new mascot, Raider Rusher, courtesy of ESPN’s Darren Rovell via Twitter yesterday. He later tweeted minutes before the uproar began that the mascot, which features a massive head with a spiked helmet, was only a character on Nickelodeon’s NFL RUSH ZONE.
Unfortunately, Rovell tweeted today that the Raiders will indeed be using the new mascot to get more kid friendly.
While each team has its own character in the children’s television show, the Raiders will be the first team in the NFL to actually use the character inside the O.co Coliseum. According to team spokesman Mike Taylor, the mascot will be used to enhance their youth initiatives and community relations:
“He’s the latest addition to the silver and black’s community relations roster. Our goal is to continue to enhance our youth initiatives and add to our community relations assets.”
The Raider Rusher will be introduced to about 100 local elementary school students on Tuesday afternoon at the Raiders facility. After that, the mascot will appear at home games and will be found inside the stadium at Kid’s Zone, but the team currently has no plans to use him on the field.
With the Raiders taking on the Denver Broncos tonight, there is new optimism for a team that has finished last in the league in attendance for three out of the past four seasons.