|This is Franklin (the dog).|
There are a lot of things to complain about these days:
Wildfires. The rising cost of milkshakes. Leaves.
But the stupidest thing out there right now—and quite possibly the stupidest thing in the history of Western Civilization—is the fact that the 76ers mascot, Franklin the dog, has the words “Franklin The Dog” written on the back of his Sixers jersey.
|Literally the only picture of his back I could find.|
Now, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal about Franklin the dog having the words “Franklin The Dog” written on the back of his jersey?” Or, you may also be thinking, “Based on the costs of milk, electricity and manual labor, $7.99 sounds like a perfectly reasonable price for a handmade, handspun milkshake,” and you’d be right about both. But Franklin the dog’s jersey doesn’t have to say “Franklin The Dog” on it. It can just say Franklin. Because that's his name. Franklin. Not Franklin The Dog.
I am guessing that the Sixers wanted to make it crystal clear to the public that Franklin the dog is a dog and not a human. But did they really need to? In the entire history of the NBA, not one player has ever needed the words “The Human” underneath his name. Not even Kevin Pittsnogle, who for all intents and purposes, was an inbred.
|That wasn't nice and I'm sorry.|
This is because we, the general public, know what humans look like. This is also because there has never been a professional basketball player who was also a dog. But even if there was, I don't think we'd need a constant written reminder that that dog was in fact a dog.
This leads me to believe that the Sixers organization thinks its fans are colossal fucking idiots.
And they might be.
They really might be.
But are Sixers fans really that stupid? If a giant, blue-haired mascot who kind of looks like a dog ran out on the floor during a timeout and started shooting t-shirts out of a cannon, would Sixers fans really react by saying something like, “Holy shit, Irv! That guy whose last name is Franklin isn’t paying attention in the huddle and omg is that the new Fortnite dance?!”
The only other rationalization I can think of as to why the Sixers might've put the words “The Dog” on the back of Franklin’s jersey is because they were so disappointed with the design of Franklin’s dog costume that they felt it was necessary to put the words “The Dog” on it. This would easily clear up any possible confusion. Plus, this way, people wouldn’t think that Franklin was a bear or a mouse or former San Diego State shooting guard, Jamaal “I am not a dog” Franklin.
In the Sixers defense, the Phoenix Suns gorilla has the words “The Gorilla” stitched on the back of his jersey, but that’s because his name is The Gorilla. Franklin’s name is not Franklin The Dog. It’s Franklin.
The San Diego Chicken, also known as The Chicken, has nothing on the back of his jersey. I can’t ever remember a time when people were confused by this.
My friend Ryan’s dog is also named Franklin. Never once in the past decade when Ryan was telling me a story about Franklin did he have to stop halfway through to make it clear to me that he was talking about his dog eating out of a trashcan and not his daughter.
|This is not actually LaDanian Tomlinson. |
This is the San Diego Chicken wearing a LaDanian Tomlinson jersey.
I guess it wouldn’t bother me so much if Franklin (the dog who is also the Sixers' mascot, not my friend Ryan's dog) didn’t suck so hard, or if he had one redeeming personality trait, or one signature move, but he doesn’t. I’m not even sure why the Sixers picked a dog as their mascot to begin with. I understand Swoop (an eagle) for the Eagles. I understand The Phillie Phanatic (a phanatic) for the Phillies. I even understand Gritty (an alcoholic) for the Flyers. But Franklin (a dog)? Did Ben Franklin even have a dog (dog)?
A quick Google search will tell you that (Ben) Franklin did not have a dog, but that his son William did. There is no record of that dog having a name. The same Google search will also tell you that Ben Franklin said this about dogs:
“Those who lie down with dogs get up with fleas.”
Seems silly then to name your mascot after a guy who wasn't even fond of dogs. And yes I realize that the above quote was actually just a metaphor, but still, that's not a very nice thing to say (about dogs).
This is probably a good time to mention that Franklin (the dog) is not actually a dog, but a man dressed in a dog costume.
Maybe that’s why Franklin (the dog) has “Franklin The Dog” written on the back of his jersey. To start a dialogue. To get people thinking and talking about what a dog actually is. Is it a fluffy, funny creature with a wet, dumb nose? Or a ruthless competitor who will eat your face off?
I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that Jimmy Butler is a pit bull.
And that Markelle Fultz sniffs his own ass.