Thousands of Twitter users are poking fun at college and professional sports team mascots using the trending hashtag #MoreAccurateMascots.
The social media users are posting their idea of a more “accurate” mascot name to better represent a team or region. Most are snarky and not so kind.
For example, user @knishbitch tweeted:
— Nicole (@knishbitch) January 13, 2015
User @AaronCDuncan tweeted:
— Aaron Duncan (@AaronCDuncan) January 13, 2015
Peter Shankman, a social media consultant and author of “Zombie Loyalists,” tells Foxnews.com that social media users readily use Twitter trends as a chance to voice their opinion or reveal their inner comedian.
“If you give anyone on Twitter the chance to mock anything they will find a way to do that,” Shankman said.
The trend comes as the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the University of Oregon Ducks in the college football national championship game on Monday. While the Buckeyes are the winners, the Ducks’ mascot “Puddles” walked away a star.
Puddles’ wobble dance onto the field instantly set Twitter ablaze with adoring tweets about the cute, stuffed Mascot who once was almost scrapped for a modern, muscular mascot “Mandrake.”
In the early 2000’s the Oregon team introduced Mandrake as a potential replacement for the classic Puddles mascot. It appeared to be an effort to modernize the team’s look with a more athletic and intimidating brand. It didn’t work and soon fans demanded the return of Puddles.
Now, #MoreAccurateMascots is becoming a worldwide trend with a similar concept: fans pick the mascot they think works the best.
Shankman says the trend could indicate sports fans’ sincere dislike for a team’s name or mascot but could also be just a little fun.
“Sports trends are definitely growing as more sports teams embrace what they can do,” Shankman said. “When you give people an outlet and order to create something, you’re forgetting that people inherently want to be funny and want to be seen.”
The hashtag isn’t limited to individual sports teams. Like most trends on Twitter, it’s expanding into the political realm.
New Jersey Giant Governors #MoreAccurateMascots— Marky Mark (@Doh_Is_Me) January 13, 2015
Shankman said the #MoreAccurateMascots trend is a reminder that organizations should have a savvy social media consultant or expert in their meetings to analyze Internet campaigns that could end up hurting the team.
Shankman pointed out the recent tweet Bill Cosby sent out trying to make light of his sexual abuse allegations. The comedian asked his followers to make a meme using a picture he posted. Twitter users ultimately used his request against him by insulting and mocking him.
“Brands, whether they be teams or businesses, do need to stop and think where the negative can go,” Shankman said.
Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC