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Fiorentina fans voted on their new mascot and whoo boy did we pick a doozy

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But...but...but...why?

‘Kibulu’ The African Lion Photo by Toby Zerna/Newspix/Getty Images

We’ve been keeping a very close eye on Fiorentina’s recent competition to pick a new mascot. We were initially interested, in an unconvinced sort of way, but mostly pivoted to incredulous and amused horror after the club released the 20 designs (drawn by students at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics), which were based on the Medici lions that Ferdinando I de’ Medici installed in the family villa back in 1594.

Only holders of an inViola card were allowed to vote—which seems like an unnecessary step to disenfranchise those of us with strongly-held opinions about cartoon lion design—and it turns out that people who hold an inViola card have very different opinions about how a mascot should look than the good folks at Viola Nation. To whit, behold your new mascot.

With all respect (especially since I absolutely could not come up with anything a tenth as good), this is sort of disastrous. The lion is wearing a Viola kit and a cape, which is just inexplicable, but the real issue is the hair. Why in the name of il Re Leone is this fella wearing an orange innertube around his noggin? Why does he have a ponytail or bun or whatever? Why does he have a soul patch? What is going on with those eyebrows?

On the plus side, we’ll always have Tuscan Garfield’s “Not Even Once” to fondly reflect on.