Chief Zee Loses. Man the Barricades
This being the Battle of the Beltway Mascots, things pretty much ended in the only way they could: with disputed election results, claims of foul play and some doubt as to the winner's mandate.
In the role of Al Gore, meet Zema Williams, better known as Chief Zee, the longtime Redskins fan icon from Oxon Hill, who had patiently waited his national ascendance for decades. In the role of George W. Bush, meet Poe, the Baltimore Ravens' upstart mascot with a name that echoes through generations but a relatively brief record of service. In the role of the hanging chads, meet computer scripts planted on team message boards, which flooded CBSSports.com's "Most Fierce NFL Mascot" contest in recent days, forcing voting to be cut off one day earlier than planned.
And in the role of the Supreme Court, meet this Editor's Note, which accompanied today's explanation that Poe was being declared a 52 percent to 48 percent winner:
Some voters compromised the integrity of this contest by jamming votes for either team by way of automation in an attempt to either sabotage or assist a team in the process. As such, we pinpointed when this occurred after doing some research and have made a decision to use the voting percentages prior to the automation of votes. As such, we concluded that Poe won based on the percentages displayed below. Congratulations on winning this year's contest.
It's that simple? Weeks of elimination rounds, with our two local entrants surprisingly marching through their respective conferences despite shockingly low seeds? (A 16th seed for Poe, and an 8th seed for Chief Zee.) An all-out Redskins Internet mobilization for Chief Zee in this far-fetched D.C.-Baltimore NFL final? More than one million votes being cast in the finals? And it ends in electionese?
"I don't know nothing about it, man, but I was loved and supported and I'm grateful for the support I got," the Chief said in an interview today, a few hours after the decision was announced. "It could have been a whole lot better, but then who am I to say who did what? It's over with. He won."
The Chief, of course, was well aware of the voting improprieties. He asked whether the contest couldn't have been halted, fixed and then re-started. He heard from countless fans who came back from July 4th holidays, logged onto their computers and found themselves prematurely disenfranchised. (As for his own voting, "I'm not a computer person. I don't know nothing about no computers," he said, but he managed to log on and vote for himself about once every other day.)
Zee was chosen over the Hogettes as Washington's representative due to his seniority, CBSSports.com writer Eric Kay explained in an e-mail. The Battle of the Beltways was clearly unexpected, based on the seeding, but "D.C./Baltimore residents clearly love their mascots--probably in a mildly unhealthy way--more than other regions," Kay wrote.
Rival NFC East fans were apparently ganging up on the Chief, and Poe--who is on the Ravens' payroll--had team-sponsored promotion and media blitzes in Baltimore to support his cause. Whether Poe is fiercer remains somewhat contested; "He's in a costume, he won't show his face, so how fierce can he be?" Zee noted.
But this is America. We are not Sore Losermen. We have our elections, and we dispute our results, and then life moves on.
"Any time you lose, man, you're disappointed somewhat," Zee acknowledged. "But what you do is you tighten up the belt and go on with it, because it is what it is."
(For a purple-hued Ravens version of this, go here.)
Posted by: Mike | July 8, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ron Burgandy | July 8, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RedskinsSucks | July 8, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StetSports.com | July 8, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rob | July 8, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fushezzi | July 9, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: G20 FdaCowboys | July 9, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Keino | July 9, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: je suis un pizza | July 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sitruc | July 9, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hailskins21 | July 11, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sally | July 12, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: eddie | July 22, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.