Three years out from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, it's time to start talking intangibles, and our friends at Fourth-Place Medal have an exhaustive ranking of the proposed mascots for the games. In a startling departure from past years, several of the candidates are actually identifiable creatures. Never fear, though; this is still the Olympics and the pool isn't without the requisite left-field creations. Our picks for hits and misses:
• The Bullfinch. Reminiscent of Twitter, which will make for easy Fail Whale jokes if complications arise in getting the sites ready.
• Snowflake. Will animate nicely on television and not likely to frighten children. These are qualities not to be underestimated in a mascot.
• The Dolphin. It's a dolphin on snow skis. Your argument is invalid.
• Matryoshka! Nesting dolls are an inspired choice. There ought to be five of them, though, to correspond to the rings, right?The Bad
• Santa Claus. Wait, what? The Winter Olympics are in February, so it's not like his busy, but ...
• Fire Boy. Seems like wishful thinking for the environment these games are going to be taking place in.
• The Leopard, the Bunny, the Polar Bear and the Brown Bear. Completely nondescript, utterly forgettable, and at least two of them look like title characters in furry fan fiction.
• The Sun. No, seriously, it's just the Sun with pigtails. It's entirely nonsensical and thus must be the frontrunner. See you in Sochi, cutieface!