I love Cozmo. In fact, there are very few things on this planet that bring me more joy than the sight of that alien. I am not alone in this. The entire league loves Cozmo, as evidenced by him coming out on top of the league's mascot power rankings.
Cozmo's appeal is a wide one, and no matter the club allegiance or enthusiasm or disdain for mascots, people pretty universally just seem to dig Cozmo. And how could you not? He's goofy, eccentric, and most importantly, engaging.
The Galaxy have created something incredibly special in Cozmo. If you follow him on twitter, you probably already know all the inside jokes-- the taco stand excursions, the car chase alerts, the #soccer #fun hash tagging, etc etc. This in itself is extraordinary social media branding, but it's through twitter interactions with fans that Cozmo takes things to a whole new level.
Now I'm a cynic in nature and my natural inclination should be to brush Cozmo's twitter account aside as nothing more than a vehicle for quirkily packaged Galaxy marketing, however, I simply can't do that because what the Galaxy do with Cozmo on twitter is so much more than that.
The Cozmo twitter experience is a personal one. If you engage with Cozmo, he will engage you back, and, if you engage with him enough, he'll legitimately get to know you. It's basically everything we were promised in a Furby, minus it being a piece of junk.
Few if any mascots in sports interact with fans on the level that Cozmo does, and, thanks to recent events on twitter, it recently struck me just how unique this relationship is in the world of sports. Let me explain:
At the beginning of the year, we here at LAG Confidential decided to start an MLS Fantasy league for our writers and readers. Cozmo saw us advertising the league on twitter and, being the awesome little alien that he is, decided to join.
When I created the league, I opted for the weekly head-head format instead of a cumulative point table. I did this solely because I wanted to avenge my previous season's head to head loss to editor Mike Gray (I did not), but when Cozmo surprised us all by joining, the head to head factor became all the more cool because it meant that everyone in the league would get to go toe to toe with the Galaxy's mascot at some point during the season.
I was excited. When the league schedule was generated, I immediately circled round 19 as that would be the first match-up between my team, Soccer Daikessen!!, and Cozmo's team, Los Taqueros.
Well round 19 has finally arrived.
Hoping to score a few free tacos off him, I proposed a "taco wager." Now, if you've ever seen Cozmo's wardrobe then you know that Cozmo is not a fan of doing things small, so it should be no surprise that Cozmo not only accepted the challenge but upped the ante tenfold.
⚽️ (@CozmoLAGalaxy) July 7, 2015
Now, my team happens to be 12-0-6 (although I'm pretty sure Mike Grey cheated by using a psychic, so let's say 13-0-5), while Cozmo's team is 5-1-12. Reasonably, I shouldn't have all that much to worry about. But Cozmo is a master tactician. Cozmo knows that deep down I know two things: Nothing is a sure thing, and nothing could be more terrifying than interviewing Bruce Arena in a taco suit.
The Alien was in my head, but what could I do? I try to live my life by a certain code, and I'm fairly certain that code involves not chickening out when a sports mascot accepts my invitation to rumble in a game of pretend soccer. I couldn't back down.
It was at this point, finding myself engaged in a bizarre taco suit bet with the mascot of a professional sports team, that I realized just how special the Cozmo experience is. Now some might say that my case is a special one because, as a blogger, I am more visible in the Galaxy twitter-sphere. They might claim that the average Galaxy fan could never find themselves in a similar situation simply by tweeting with Cozmo.
This couldn't be farther from the truth. This isn't happening because I cover the team. This is happening because Cozmo and I are, to you his terminology, #soccer #friends. This is happening because the Galaxy have created in Cozmo something that fans can not only be entertained by on the field, but legitimately become friends with off the field.
And this isn't some superficial claim. This is the type of friendship where you can find yourself embroiled in a bet involving a taco suit. This is the real deal. I, like many Galaxy fans, can honestly claim that I am friends with my team's mascot, and when you think about it, that's remarkably special.
So thank you, Cozmo. You are the absolute best.