Ray Bentley, Pump Fake Staff Boating Expert

Twenty-one teams entered. Eleven teams left, having been mercilessly profiled in their mascot representation by yours truly. Ten remained, hoping not to get slammed by the Pump Fake dodgeball of journalism. Unfortunately for them, they were up against the undefeated, eagle-eyed and deadly accurate Myself. Slowly but surely each team fell before me, spilling their mascot secrets until there were no more standing. Victory had been claimed over each of the teams in the league, but as I stood over the broken and battered bodies before me, the question arose… at what cost? And, possibly more importantly… what was for lunch? Oh, right, also, here are the mascot facts I viciously beat out of the teams:

Baltimore Vultures
Round Two begins at the tip-top of the Chesapeake Bay with the Baltimore Vultures. Originally the team was represented by Snippy the Crab, a fun-loving crustacean mascot who brought joy and Old Bay seasoning to fans and rivals alike. With the team re-branding to become the Vultures, devotees were fearful that they had seen the last of ol' Snips, but team owner and noted skinflint Tim Johnston assured them that he had never even considered spending a dime to update the mascot, who scuttles about the sidelines delighting crowds to this very day. Pincers up, Baltimore!
Tallahassee Pride
Since Season Five, the Tallahassee Pride have been a constant force in the Simulation Football League, and part of their success can be directly traced to owner Frank Goodin's decision to have his team represented by not only a living, breathing lion, but to continue adding lions every season to the "Pride's Pride." Currently standing at nine extremely confused, agitated veldt felines, this group of cats is considered extremely effective in getting crowds on their feet, as well as scaring the absolute pants off of opposing teams, whom they are housed directly behind.
Chicago Wildcats
"There's no way Ray would make a large jungle cat joke twice in one article," says the reader, fresh and green and unwilling to look the harsh truths of the world in the eye. Fortunately for you, Shann Varner's Chicago Wildcats are a smarter team than I, and knew that allowing a mountain lion free reign of the stadium would be both foolish and litigious. That's why during home games in the Windy City, Tim Tebow can be seen running wildly around the sidelines, replicating his time in another league - though Varner has asked him to stick to one sport, as him menacing away team fans with a baseball bat has not gone over well in recent seasons.
New Orleans Pharaohs
New Orleans and Egypt combine to produce what some have called "the most terrifying mascot in human history," as the Pharaohs have King Baby Tut amping up home crowds and making scores of children weep in abject, unabashed terror. King Baby Tut has been banned from most places of business, worship, and all schools in the New Orleans metro area, so the only place to go to know the true meaning of fear is at a Pharaohs home game!
Alaska Storm
Alaska has a problem on their hands. Even though the defending back-to-back-to-back champions are enjoying a winning season and a competitive schedule, they just can't seem to get rid of Jim Cantore. The Weather Channel superstar, upon hearing of an unstoppable storm in Alaska, ventured north and hasn't looked back since. "He's a very nice guy," says team halfback J.W. Doyle, "but he's constantly getting buffeted by hurricane-force winds that we honestly have no idea where they're coming from. Sometimes it just dumps 10 inches of rain on him as he yells at a non-existent camera. Please, someone, anyone from the Weather Channel, come get Jim."
Houston Hyenas
Everything is bigger in Texas, and Eddie "Two Scoops of Original Dawg" Gauge knows that a team like the Houston Hyenas needs a larger-than-life mascot. That's why it's only a little perplexing that he and team owner D.R. Sim chose Paul Bunyan and his giant blue ox, Babe, to represent the team. Bunyan's presence is undeniable, however, as on home game days he can be seen precipitously towering over opponents, with Babe occasionally stomping on and crushing them beneath his heel. Yee-haw!
Tulsa Desperadoes
Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a city that's seen it all (in Tulsa, to be specific). How do you amp up the stadium then, if the crowd has a seen-it-all attitude? With the Desperados, the answer is to have a man (dressed suspiciously like their team logo!) prowling the stands demanding money, jewelry and valuables from the patrons. However, their mascot does come with a caveat, directly from team owner Dion Hawkins: "Please, folks, the man demanding you 'stick em up!' is NOT, I repeat, NOT our mascot! We, much like the Renegades, cannot find something in Oklahoma culture to celebrate and represent our team faithfully. If you see this man during a game, please call security, I beg you!"
Las Vegas Fury
Sin City. Whatever happens here, stays here, with the exception of the Fury, who have 6 away games a season. During the home games, however, the Oasis of Sin has an effective trump card up their sleeves to get home crowds jazzed: lounge crooner and occasional James Bond villain Wayne Newton has fans saying "dankeschön" as the 77 year old gingerly moves around the sidelines, rhythmically swaying his hips and displaying the puckish charm that's made him a staple of the Strip for so many decades. Wayne is replacing Cher, whose show "Here We Go Again 2: As a SFL Mascot" just ended its very popular run last season.
San Francisco Sharks
The Sharks are a team that's always moving forward, constantly on the hunt for their next vicious, frenzied win, and also, they absolutely can not stand street crime. That's where Ripster, Jab, Streex and Big Slammu come in - a jawesome foursome of anthropomorphic man-sharks (some might even go so far as to say Street Sharks) who cheer up game attendees as well as fight the devious plans of the evil Doctor Paradigm! The Bay City's streets and stadium stands have never been chummier... in this editor's opinion, gross!
Carolina Skyhawks
Finally, we come to Charlotte, North Carolina. A city already besieged by hornets and panthers and lord-knows-what-else. That's why James Cline knew he couldn't bring just any other bird to a city already inundated with animals. Instead, he chose to bring the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk jet (nicknamed by fans 'Paul'). This delta-winged, single turbojet engined Skyhawk can be seen flying in low circles around the stadium on game-days, deafening crowds with its just-under-Mach-1 speeds and noises. Some have complained that Paul's escapades have cost the Skyhawks team several wins this season - most notably in Week 3 of Season 13, when Paul's targeting system mistook Carolina WR Harish Prasad for an enemy combatant, taking him down with frightening ease.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Pump Fake series is a series of articles poking a little bit of fun at the league. Nothing contained in them is real or serious in any way, though Ray is completely serious when he asks for suggestions as to what he should have for lunch. Please send suggestions to [email protected].