Uni Watch has a highly sophisticated readership, so I’m sure you all know about furries. But just in case: Furries are people who like to dress up as animals — sometimes just “for fun,” often as a sexual fetish (further details here and here). Like most festishes, this one is generally harmless but baffling to outsiders. Think of it as an intense devotion to a very particular kind of uniform.
For the past several years, furries have been holding their annual convention in Pittsburgh. And that led to a positively surreal exchange between Mets broadcasters Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez during yesterday’s Mets/Pirates game. It all started when the camera lingered for a moment on the Pirates’ mascot. Here’s how it went from there:
Gary Cohen: There’s the Pirate Parrot, entertaining. One of many, uh, animal figures in town today.
Keith Hernandez: Saw a few around the hotel, didn’t we?
Cohen: The strangest convention I’ve ever seen is at our hotel here in Pittsburgh. You know, you travel around the country and you see parts of our society and our culture you never would’ve encountered anywhere else. There is a group of people, about 4,000 strong, convening in Pittsburgh this week. People who dress up as stuffed animals.
Hernandez: They’re cuddly bears. They like to cuddle.
Cohen: Bears, birds, dogs…
Hernandez: What are they called..?
Hernandez: Ferriers..? All’s I know is I got in the elevator with four of them and the odor was horrific. [Camera shows the Pirate Parrot again.]
Cohen: Not the Pirate Parrot. He’s a natural mascot.
Hernandez: I had to get off. I’m not lyin’. I was on the 17th floor, goin’ down. I had to jump off on the 10th floor. I almost passed out.
Cohen: Guess those costumes don’t breathe very well. But it was, it was something, we walked into the hotel last night, comin’ from Milwaukee, and there was a, a, person in a wolf’s costume. And another person in a dog costume.
Hernandez: I saw a guy with, with his pet beaver. He had his hand, he was stroking it, he was petting it. [Long pause.] I’m serious! It was a, like a stuffed animal, and he was comforting it. Very bizarre.
Cohen: It’s a different world.
In case you missed that rather obvious cry for help, Hernandez said he “had to get off,” was “goin’ down,” and that he saw someone petting a beaver. Keith, Keith, no need to speak in code! You’re among friends here — nothing to be ashamed of. Just come out and admit you’re a total perv who fantasizes about banging the Philly Phanatic and then we can all move on with our lives.
As it turns out, this isn’t the first time a visiting team has been put in the same hotel as the furries. Meanwhile, a few hours after Cohen and Hernandez had their little exchange, this story broke in Denver. Hernandez’s whereabouts could not be ascertained.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Two items from Vince: First, a Little League manager is sending signals to his base coaches via text message. And here’s some good stuff about the history of Cavs uni numbers. … “On Wednesday night, MLS Seattle Sounders FC faced USL Portland Timbers,” writes Markus Kemp. “Both teams usually wear green, but there was an apparent uni snafu when the visiting Sounders ‘forgot’ to bring the secondary blue jerseys, forcing the home Timbers to switch to black. Gamesmanship?” … We all know Earl Weaver had a cigarette pocket sewn into his jersey. But look at this — supposedly a game-worn 1979 Frank Robinson jersey with a cig pocket. Was Robinson an Orioles coach in ’79? And did he smoke? Or is this just a scam? … Nike has struck a 10-year deal with UNC (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Chris Mycoskie points out that the Cowboys’ new stadium is not in Dallas, as I said yesterday. It’s in Arlington. Duly noted. … Odd that the Benglas use this font for their locker nameplates. I’ve never seen it anywhere else in their graphics program (good spot by Matt Lesser). … Phil, forced to watch the Yankees last night because the Mets had already played a day game, notes that Melky Cabrera had something scribbled on his arm. Yo, Tyler Kepner, what’s it all about?