Being shunned at Shea Stadium all week takes a lot of time out of one’s blogging schedule, which is why CSTB’s SMD (Special Mascot Division) is a little late to the party on the top news stories of the week.

Firstly, FIFA is pleased to announce a glam-leopard of some variety as the 2010 World Cup Mascot. His or her name Zakumi, which in assorted African languages means “ten pizzas”. In loving gestures towards the sport, Zakumi has a sort of pentagonal-shaped eczema on his or her forehead, and his or her mane appears to be styled by cleats.

Secondly, those (perhaps the Mets’ relief pitchers) looking for a fallback career in the current economic downturn may wish to consider a move to scenic Oakland, California: auditions are now open for Stomper. Admittedly an elephant isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one tries to envision the living, polyurethane, clowning equivalent of “Athletic”, but it’s at least as good a leap of marketing logic as the five anthropomorphic penises the Pennsylvania Lottery picked to represent its new Quinto lottery game. Thank you to the Keystone State for reawakening a horror not thought upon since the Ziploc Finger Man campaign of the early ’90s.