29 August, 2007

Mascot of the week 3

Name – Paisley Panda

Affiliation – St. Mirren

Animal – Panda

Colour – Black and White

Level of ridiculousness – 5 (the use of a panda as a mascot for purely alliterative purposes is admirable but simply stealing a WWF animal outfit and putting a home shirt on him is lazy at best)

Most common missile pelted with – Actual knives

Crime rating (sponsored by 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records) – 7

As well as being home to the 8th worst university in the country, according to the Times Good University Guide 2007, Paisley is also the residence of the once-notorious Paisley Panda. Now a much tamer beast, the Paisley Panda’s on-field antics caused uproar amongst rival fans and resulted in the St. Mirren mascot becoming the most infamous in Scottish football.

Well known for doing absolutely anything to wind up visiting fans, the Panda’s moment of infamy came in 2003. After being warned for whipping Queen of the South followers into a frenzy by pretending to shag an inflatable sheep in front of the rural supporters, Paisley Panda finally went too far in the eyes of his employers when he stole a Falkirk strip from the visitors’ dressing room prior to the game and proceed to pretend to use it to wipe his arse in front of the enraged Bairns fans. Complaints to the police ensued, leading to the resignation of that particular incarnation of the Paisley Panda.

A special mention ought also to be made of Paisley Panda’s spectacular hard work in baiting followers of Greenock Morton. The rivalry between the two clubs has always been fierce, with those from Greenock being stereotyped as stinking soap-dodgers on the social (with some good reason), and this provided the Panda with particular ammunition. Emerging in front of visiting Morton fans at St. Mirren’s Love Street home armed with a bar of soap and long-handled brush, Paisley Panda proceeded to “wash” – presumably to teach them how to do it themselves. On another of Morton’s visits, he even produced a giant pine tree air freshener which he placed in front of their supporters, almost sparking a brawl with Morton’s own mascot before the police intervened. No one-trick-pony, he also been known to dance in front of the visitors with a banjo whilst playing the theme from Deliverance, and join in with Morton’s warm-up to lend a disruptive hand.

Though no longer as wild as he was once, mainly thanks to the advice of the local constabulary, Paisley Panda is still present at the Buddies’ games, along with his ‘son’ Junior P. His inspirational deeds have passed into St. Mirren folklore, and thus surely earn him his position as Mascot of the Week.