Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Maine Mariners Hockey Team's New Puffin Mascot

I was 9 when the Maine Mariners hockey team played their last game in the Cumberland County Civic Center. I wasn't there or anything, but I had been to a game or two and at one point had owned a t-shirt featuring their endearingly-80's "cyborg radiator" logo.

The Mariners left and were replaced by the Portland Pirates, who played until 2015 before leaving for the greener pastures of Springfield, Massachusetts (lol). But time is a flat circle etc. etc. and a new team is back to knock pucks along Casco Bay: the Maine Mariners.

Not the old Maine Mariners, the new Maine Mariners, with a new trident logo instead of the radiator. Not an improvement, if you ask me, but I'm rooted in nostalgia and there's not stopping it.

Nostalgia won again in the choice of the Mariners name, which was decided via a public vote. Mainers chose between Mariners, Lumberjacks, Wild Blueberries, Watchmen, and ... wait for it ... Puffins.

Can you guess which name I voted for? Here's a hint, in the form of a potential logo I child-scribbled with colored pencils:

Yeah, the Puffins. The Puffins would have been a radical name, and showcased one of Maine's most iconic wildlife species, a bird with a cool color scheme, and a chunky little cutie pie. Alas, Mariners won the day.

But there's more to this than just a name, and just this week the Mariners unveiled their new mascot: Beacon the Puffin. Right on. 

Looks pretty good! It's an Atlantic Puffin -- the species found in the Gulf of Maine -- and all the colors appear in their right places. You never with these sports logos whether they'll mix up colors or use the wrong species or something.

Sounds like the Maine Mariners have done it right. The "facts" about Beacon on this page tell us that he was born in Machias Seal Island, an important but controversial island in the Gulf, and that among his hobbies is raising awareness of Project Puffin

Welcome to Maine, Beacon the Puffin!

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