Event the friendliest of furry mascots have a breaking point.
A man dressed as the unsanctioned Chicago Cubs mascot "Billy Cub" apparently reached his breaking point this weekend in a now-viral video that shows him throwing a vicious-looking punch at a bar patron who removed the costume's head.
Patrick Weier, the man wearing the Billy Cub costume, told NBC Chicago the short video clip of the Saturday altercation inside the popular John Barleycorn bar near Wrigley Field doesn't tell the whole story.
"About 30 seconds before that video starts, I was standing there taking a picture with a guy and all of a sudden the guy I ended up hitting blindsided me and tried to tackle me from behind," Weier told The Big Lead.
Weier said the man, reportedly out with a bachelor party, had been bothering him before the situation came to blows.
“He assaulted me first,” Weier told the Tribune. The 36-year-old is one of three men who wear the costume on Cubs game days and pose with fans hoping to score tips. Weier insists the Billy Cub mascot is popular with fans, though admits the men have also "taken our fair share of abuse."
John Barleycorn bouncers reportedly kicked out the man Weier punched, and tossed out a second man who knocked over the cooler used to carry the tips. Police were not called to the restaurant.
"This is the first time it’s escalated to that point," Weier noted, according to NBC.
Weier's younger brother John Paul Weier, who invented and also wears the Billy Cub costume, told The Big Lead he worries the fight will give the Cubs the excuse he says they've been looking for to "come after" the brothers. The organization has made no secret of its disapproval of Billy Cub and just last season, sent the brothers a 100-page cease-and-desist letter.
The Weier brothers have been dressing as Billy Cub for roughly seven years, in hopes of becoming the team's first official mascot. To their dismay, the organization debuted Clark the Cub in January, which quickly became the subject of negative reactions and some very non-PG-13 Photoshop jobs.
Days after the incident, Patrick Weier told NBC, "I do want to apologize to those at Barleycorn for letting that happen. I lost my head. Ninety-nine percent of the people that we come in contact with love interacting with Billy Cub. We take pictures with people, we make their day. Every once in a while you get a person that tries to mess with you."