Does the Phillie Phanatic have some new competition in the world of sports mascots? And could that competition be coming from the Oval Office?
Saturday Night Live thinks so. During Saturday night’s “Weekend Update” segment on SNL, Colin Jost reported on President Trump’s visit last week to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The Trump administration faced criticism for its slow response to the natural disaster, which killed at least 34 people and at one point knocked out power to all of the island after a Sept. 20 landfall. Most of the U.S. territory’s 3.4 million American citizens are still without electricity, many roads are still impassable, and communication in many parts of the island is all but impossible.
When the president visited the island on Tuesday, the criticism only got louder. He minimized the impact of the storm, expressing gratitude that the island had been spared a “real catastrophe” like the one that struck New Orleans and Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina made landfall there in 2005. Later, he tossed paper towels into a group of Puerto Ricans desperate for supplies as if he were playing a game.
That’s the moment that drew Jost’s comparison to the Phanatic, who has been repeatedly hailed as the best mascot in baseball, if not in all of sports. “You know, I realize Trump might not be the best president,” Jost said, “but he would be the best mascot.”
Good Morning America, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated have all recently named the green creation from the Galapagos Islands the best character in MLB. Deadspin ranked him No. 2 in all of sports, behind only Mr. Met. (Deadspin is based in New York, so forgive its staff for its bias.)
The president, who has been known to lash out at SNL — among many other things — on Twitter, has yet to tweet about last night’s episode.