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How this dancing football robot took over Fox Sports

You may know him simply as Cleatus, but he’s so much more than that.

Cleatus is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Cleatus has danced for Homer Jay Simpson.

There is a monster truck named and stylized after Cleatus.

And there is absolutely no chance Fox foresaw all of those possibilities when they created our football overlord mascot back in 2005. All they really wanted to do was create something different, something fun, something no one else would think to make. So, in order to do that, they turned to a drawing made by the 8-year-old son of a member on the animation team.

They snuck him into our lives on an unassuming Sunday and his roots of power have only expanded from there. And, honestly, the work should be applauded even if he has become a capitalistic wet dream. They built a mascot who can’t say no to any promotional deal that comes their way. He made it possible to interact with Iron Man. He can live in the same world as the titular king from Burger King. Brands don’t have to rely on Terry Bradshaw to promote them, they can let a charismatic, energetic robot do the work.

For something named Cleatus, it’s pretty smart.