Champ V.S. Challengerrr May 25, 1998

Champ V.S. Challengerrr
- Saturday May 25, 1998 -

Famous Chicken and Sluggerrr will share mascot spotlight tonight at Kauffman Stadium.

by Jeffrey Flanagan
Staff Writer

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As the man says in the ring, "Let's get ready to rummmmmble. "
In one corner tonight at Kauffman Stadium, you have the favorite, The Famous Chicken - bird-legged, but with a feathery touch and a decided edge in wingspan.
In the other corner, you have the challenger, Sluggerrr- lion-hearted with cat-like instincts, now clawing his way around a lion's share of the mascot jungle.
Wait a minute. A chicken vs. a lion?
"Everyone keeps asking me what I'm having for dinner tonight," growled Sluggerrr. "That's easy. chicken dinner. "

Just pass the salt. And the french fries.
But what if Sluggerrr happens to find the Chicken in a, ahem, fowl mood?
Sluggerr has already hinted he might resort to trash talking.
"I'm thinking of asking him 'Which came first? You or the egg?" cracked Sluggerrr.
So the stage is set for the Great Mascot Square-off as The Chicken makes his annual invasion into Kauffman Stadium for the 7:05 game tonight between the Royals and the Texas Rangers.
And all bad puns aside, Sluggerrr, who really is Byron Shorez under all that fur, is anxious to meet Ted Giannoulas, who has made a lucrative career out of bird imitations.
"I've only seen him on TV," Shorez said. "He's been sort of the Dr. J of mascots. He's the guy who really convinced teams that mascots would be popular, the way Dr. J sold the old ABA and got those teams into the NBA. "

And despite having to share his turf for the first time this year, Sluggerrr isn't exactly fur-ious.
"Oh no, there's no jealousy," he said. "This is his one time here. I've got 80 other games. "

In fact, together they're hoping to make chicken salad out of you-know-what.
"We're going to have skits together, because the main thing is to give the fans a good time," Shorez said. "That's what it's all about. "
"I am kind of curious, though, to find out if he really sweats under the costume like the rest of us. Or maybe its made of gold or something. He is a legend. "