The Philadelphia Eagles NFL mascot and cheerleaders take part in pre-race ceremonies for the 2017 Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Eagles NFL mascot and cheerleaders take part in pre-race ceremonies for the 2017 Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania (Photo by Bruce Alan Bennett on Shutterstock)

Nothing compares to going to a professional NFL football game in person. The electrifying atmosphere, the roar of the crowd, and the energy that fills the stadium are unparalleled. Witnessing the incredible athleticism and skill of the players up close adds an extra level of excitement and appreciation for the game. The team mascot adds even more to the experience, interacting with fans and hyping up the crowd. But not all NFL mascots are created equal. The best NFL mascots truly connect with the fans and create a memorable experience for everyone at the game.

In the dynamic world of NFL mascots, a few stand out as the best in the league, bringing joy and excitement to fans of all ages. From the charismatic “Gritty” of the Philadelphia Flyers, who effortlessly blends humor and sportsmanship, to the iconic “Poe” of the Baltimore Ravens, symbolizing the team’s namesake with grace and flair, and not forgetting the electric “Jaxson de Ville” of the Jacksonville Jaguars, known for his daring stunts and boundless energy, these mascots embody the essence of their respective teams and have become beloved symbols of NFL fandom.

Aside from sports teams, mascots can be used in many other areas. Researchers from Mount Sinai Heart report that implementing school-based programs teaching healthy cardiovascular habits as early as preschool can help students live healthier and avoid heart disease for the rest of their lives. To ensure the program worked for preschool-aged children, researchers used a heart-shaped mascot named “Cardio” to help convey their healthy messages. Additionally, the “Sesame Street” character Dr. Ruster (a Muppet based on Dr. Fuster) introduced children to new healthy activities. 

But let’s get back to the variety of crazy, intimidating, fun, and comical NFL mascots. StudyFinds did the research, consulting 10 sports review websites to find the best NFL mascots to get you hyped up for your favorite team. As always, we would love to hear from you. Is there an NFL mascot that riles up your stadium? Please share with us in the comments section below! 

NFL logo and a wall of footballs
NFL logo (Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash)

The List: Best NFL Mascots, According to Sports Experts

1. Billy Buffalo (Buffalo Bills)

When it comes to the best NFL mascots, Billy Buffalo tops the list. Instead of being named after the city, this mascot’s name is the team‘s name reversed. “He’s a big, blue buffalo, even though the team name is technically a pluralization of a famous cowboy. Wrap your head around that,” explains Mandatory.

Honestly, the Bills should’ve named their mascot Billy Bison because bison is the correct term for buffalo. Battered Blog elaborates, “While buffaloes are based in Africa and Southeast Asia, a bison is like a bull on steroids. Standing at around 6’5 and 2,000 pounds, it’s the largest animal on our continent. The mighty bison once roamed our great nation in the millions, and now there are about 350,000 of them left.” 

With some of the highest-paid NFL players around, Billy Buffalo could be in for an exciting season. “Billy Buffalo is a monster. Yes, he is child-friendly, but the Buffalo strikes fear in his rivals. The name isn’t exciting in the slightest, but Billy is a top-tier NFL mascot,” says 888 Sport.

2. Big Red (Arizona Cardinals)

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t adopt an official mascot until 1998, and he has been loved for two decades. “Big Red is a well-known figure in the league: he is a cardinal-like bird figure, draped in white and maroon. Marketing Lesson: Birds are a widely popular choice for brand mascots, both in the business and sporting realms. The Cardinals made the obvious choice to choose a cardinal as their mascot, but there is also the symbolism behind the bird woven into the team identity: loyalty, tradition, and luck! The eagle, for example, symbolizes freedom and independence. The dove, as another example, indicates peace and peacemaking (and perhaps also serves as an example of a mascot that you’d unlikely find on a football field!),” offers Hogtown Mascots.

Big Red is a favorite NFL mascot among most of the expert sites. They all say that he is everything you want in a mascot. “Big Red is fun, fierce, and flashy, and that is why he takes the top spot in our NFL mascot rankings. The Cardinals have one of the strongest teams in the league, and Big Red is a mascot worthy of a successful franchise,” states 888 Sport.

If there is a mascot that can be called athletic, Big Red certainly can. “I’m convinced Larry Fitzgerald has two jobs. He plays wide receiver, and then runs off the field and portrays Big Red, the mascot of the Arizona Cardinals. He stands at 6’4″ and has a seven-foot wingspan. He would easily be the first receiver taken in most fantasy drafts,” offers Bleacher Report.

3. Staley Da Bear (Chicago Bears)

The Chicago Bears were charter members of the NFL, but they didn’t introduce a mascot until 2003. “Staley Da Bear only became the football team’s mascot 20 years ago. The mascot’s name is derived from the Bears’ initial sponsor, The Staley Starch Company. But why is the team called The Bears? The owner believed that football players had to be larger-than-life characters, at least when compared to baseball players. Because Chicago was home to the Cubs, the owner, George Halas, in a sort of power play, appointed The Bears as the city’s professional football team,” shares Hogtown Mascots.

Staley was named after Chicago’s original franchise owner, A.E. Staley of the Decatur Staley’s. “This mascot gets several thumbs up for its nod to history, a tribute to SNL’s Superfans, and for having orange in his eyes. Though they could have had a stuffed Bill Swerski, and we would have been fine with that, too,” informs Sports Illustrated.

Despite his simple costume design, Staley the Bear is imposing. “I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with this bad boy. When I told my sister I might give Staley the top spot, she asked incredulously, ‘You’re going to give it to Smokey the Bear?!'” shares The Athletic.

4. Blitz (Seattle Seahawks)

Apparently, the Seattle Seahawks have the loudest stadium in the NFL, so Blitz must be doing something right! “For a Seahawk, he is pretty intimidating-looking. I would certainly give him my French fries if he came swooping down from the sky at the beach!” offers Bleacher Report.

It sounds like Blitz has the award for being the cockiest and most intimidating. It sounds like the perfect recipe for a team’s biggest cheerleader. “This seahawk already knows he has you beat. He has that cocky grin and pushed-out chest of an older brother that constantly asks you why you keep hitting yourself. We would not be surprised to see Blitz co-star in the next ‘Expendable’ movie,” explains Sports Illustrated.

Blitz actually isn’t a seahawk. He’s an osprey, an equally beautiful and aggressive bird. “From the looks of it, Blitz is one feathered fowl that you wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with. Those furrowed eyebrows and daredevil antics help him pump up the stadium crowd and make any opposing mascot tremble in their cleats,” informs Hogtown Mascots.

5. Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles)

It’s not easy being a mascot in a city that booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus during an Eagles game, but Swoop is a favorite. “Swoop the Eagle has won over Philadelphia Eagles fans and become one of the most popular mascots in the NFL. The name ‘Swoop’ fits perfectly, and he is known for his stunts during Eagles games, such as zip-lining across Lincoln Financial Field and parachuting into the stadium,” says Sports Keeda.

Swoop is a fun-loving, patriotic bird with oversized shoes and a personality to match. “Swoop’s biography humorously notes a diet consisting of smaller birds such as Cardinals, Falcons, Ravens, and Seahawks; and of course cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. Swoop is often referred to as one of the most eager NFL mascots and is known for his wild stadium stunts. He’s also made film cameos in ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective‘ as well as an NFL Shop commercial,” explains Play Tenn.

According to the sports reviews, Swoop the Eagle is a reliably good mascot. “There’s even an inflatable version of him. He’s got the middle-of-the-road intimidation factor. He’s not too scary or too cute. Kind of like Eagles fans,” says Darcy Magazine.

You might also be interested in:


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Janelle Davis

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor