18 March, 2008

Mascot of the Week 17

Name(s) – Mooie and Donny

Affiliation – Milton Keynes Dons

Animal – Cows

Colour –White and Black

Level of Ridiculousness – 5

Most common missile pelted with – 1988 FA Cup memorabilia

The performance surrounding Wimbledon’s demise and MK Dons’ subsequent birth is unparalleled in English football, and was rightly compared to the franchise mentality of American sports teams. To soften the blow for ex-Wimbledon fans who stuck with the club, and to attract new local followers, the powers-that-be decided that they needed to pull out all the stops in showing that the move to Milton Keynes was not purely a selfish money-saving one.

Given the appropriate nickname of ‘Franchise FC,’ Milton Keynes seemed to fit the American mentality, designed as it was in the style of so many US cities with 1 km grid squares making up blocks and districts, but the icing on the cake was two brothers-from-different-mothers, Mooie and Donny, who joined the club from struggling college basketball team, the Minnesota Moos. The two streetwise cows became friends against all the odds in a tough inner-city high school, where they were surrounded by all the typical teen issues, such as cheating on tests, peer pressure and dealing with school violence. They got into all sorts of adventures, it was great: Mooie dated an older girl who tried to take advantage of him with rohypnol; Donny became a black militant for a short time after a visit from his ex-Black Panther uncle; a friend of their’s was killed by a drunk driver; Mooie started working a company that made toys, but when he was asked to advertise toy guns, he had a change of heart after seeing his younger brother and sister pretending to shoot each other. All good wholesome fun! If all this starting to sound a bit familiar by the way, that’s because the pair were actually the inspiration for little-seen Saved by the Bell rip-off City Guys.

Anyway, they arrived in the UK after a smoking controversy had them kicked out of Minnesota, and Milton Keynes was obviously their first port of call, armed only with mascot expertise and a shared copy of Swank magazine. Like an unseasonal downpour that soothes the pain of drought, the MK Dons’ board could see the hand of god at work as Mooie and Donny stumbled upon the football club looking for work. Representing a yin-and-yang of ethnicity and entertainment specialities (Mooie is very much a pure physical comedian and dancer, whereas Donny has magic and dirty limericks in his locker), the pair have sky-rocketed the MK Dons back towards the success of the early 1990s. With Mooie and Donny on board, the Dons now regularly get crowds of over 6000 again, after several years where the fanbase had completely deserted to the extent where the majority of the 1500 attendances they got were away fans. In short, Mooie and Donny do everything; they’ll make you laugh with a balloon animal, and then make you think with a cautionary urban tale of drug-fuelled suicide.