Feeling the crunch: Rice Krispies release legendary Crackle

According to Rice Krispies management, Crackle (center) is no longer with the team.

According to Rice Krispies management, Crackle (center) is no longer with the team.

CHICAGO—In the wake of another disappointing season and facing the prospect of an astronomical payroll, breakfast cereal behemoth Rice Krispies announced the release of center mascot Crackle on Thursday.

“We have been looking up at Frosted Flakes, Wheaties, and Froot Loops in the standings for years, despite our league-leading payroll,” said D.B. Kellogg, general manager of the Krispies. “Our evaluation? Crackle can’t be counted on in crunch time.”

Crackle has played a key role for the Krispies for 40 years—he and fellow Krispies Snap and Pop formed the most formidable trio in cereal-aisle history. Yet Crackle’s contract was set to expire after the 2009 season, and team brass seemed reluctant to renegotiate his deal, given the team’s dismal returns of late.

While Snap and Pop signed long-term extensions before the 2008 season, Crackle and his agent, the iconic Mikey from Life Cereal, played hardball in their pursuit of riches that would rival the compensation packages of Tony the Tiger and Count Chocula.

“We knew our contract pitch to Mikey would be a hard sell,” Kellogg said. “As we all know, that kid has a real stubborn streak—he doesn’t like anything.”

The team took a hard stand, threatening to send Crackle down to Crispy Rice, the team’s affiliate in the Malt-O’-Meal League. After that threat failed and another unremarkable season passed, Kellogg sought a trade partner, and nearly pulled off an 11th-hour deal with Lucky Charms for Lucky the Leprechaun.

Might Threepio return to cereal?

Might Threepio return to cereal?

However, Crackle insisted that any deal with Lucky Charms would include a clause allowing the administering of physical harm to any young children trying to make off with his Lucky Charms. The deal fell through, leaving the Krispies no choice but to cut ties with their longtime pitchman.

“We didn’t see eye to eye with the folks at Lucky Charms,” Mikey said. “There’s no sense crying over spilled milk.”

While Crackle will seek new employment via free agency, the Krispies will look to maintain the three-player dynamic. A new middle man could come from a trade—rumor has it that King Vitamin wants to leave the throne for one shot at a championship ring—or by making a pitch to a retired legend.

“Maybe C-3PO would want to get back in the cereal game,” Kellogg said. “Our new catchphrase could be ‘Snap, Babble, Pop.'”


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