Worst Sports Team Names & Sports Team LogosSunday, June 27, 2010 21:36
The worst sports team logos and names in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL.
Logos and Names
Most of my readers have probably figured out last week’s column was really another way for me to continue my never-ending rant on the blatant racial insult that the NFL team playing in our nation’s capital foists upon every living and dead Native American.
Being the stubborn Sicilian I am, I wanted to end this multi-part series on logos and team names by starting a letter-writing campaign to Daniel Snyder complete with your suggestions for re-naming his team.
I’ve come to realize that the effort would be futile.
Really, what good would it do? The way Snyder runs his team, it’s obvious he’s too stupid to care.
The Nature of Logos
My extensive research on logos quickly brought me to this conclusion:
- The four major American sports spend the money to create memorable, desirable logos–and the names that go with them. We would be hard pressed to examine an NBA, NHL, NFL, or MLB logo that doesn’t sell in terms of connection to the city/region the team represents, has a coherent linguistic structure, and is easily marketable.
There are real histories to classic names like the Yankees, Knickerbockers, and Dodgers. Even the Mighty Ducks logo has a valid connection to Anaheim, even if duckies have no remote relationship to hockey or, if exposed to ice cold weather, would quickly become Mighty Dead Ducks.
However, we did find a few nicknames and logos even on the major league level that are downright silly.
I’ll pick one from each professional league, explain why the team’s current nickname and logo stink and what their new name and logo might be instead.
Worst Logo and Name in the NBA
When a name and logo from one state follows a team to a completely different state–as the logo and nickname from the Minneapolis Lakers followed the team to Los Angeles–the logo and name have to “work” in its new city on some level.
For example, the “L” sound makes the Lakers’ name bearable semantically; otherwise the purple-lettered L.A. Lakers over the golden basketball is eminently senseless as logos go.
Didn’t anyone ever tell the Lakers’ brass Los Angeles is a desert community?
While the Lakers’ logo and name are somewhat goofy, the silliest NBA logo and name belongs to THE UTAH JAZZ.
The UTAH JAZZ… Think about that…
Seriously, what does a lily-white, dry (alcohol free) state filled with masochists–they marry more than one woman–have to do with the history of a uniquely American form of music born in the predominantly black nightclubs of New Orleans, Chicago, and St. Louis?
The very word “Jazz” defines a personal, rebellious, free, interpretive style of music–and a social mindset–where individual expression is revered.
There couldn’t be a more tight-assed, conformity-centric, and conservative state in the union than Utah.
Suggested name change: THE UTAH SALTERS
Salters relates to the region geographically, i.e. The Great Salt Lake.
The New Logo: An albino dressed in white underwear looking into a hat, you know, to attract the Mormon demographic.
I can’t believe I’m giving this stuff away for free.
Worst Logo and Name in the NFL
You mean, of course, besides the Redskins?
So many candidates. I mean, there are no Rams in St. Louis and no Cardinals to be found in Arizona.
Where are the marketing people for these teams?
THE ST. LOUIS ARCHERS? THE PHOENIX FIREBIRDS?
In the NFL, it’s close, but my nod for worst logo goes to THE MIAMI DOLPHINS.
Yeah, I know, dolphins are indigenous to the Florida coast and thay are smart, cute and cuddly–but those facts serve only to support my argument that “dolphins” is an idiotic nickname. I mean, who wants to root for an NFL team that has a warm and fuzzy mascot?
It’d be like rooting for, say, the MIAMI COCKAPOOS?
C’mon, the Detroit Lions will win a Super Bowl before we ever see the headline “Angry Dolphin Nuzzles Swimmer to Death”.
Suggested name change: THE MIAMI ‘CUDAS
The New Logo: A crazy-eyed barracuda chomping down on a… a dolphin?
Some NFL teams are over-paying their marketing people.
Worst Logo and Name in Major League Baseball
MLB has cornered the market on cool logos, even if too many teams are named after footwear–Red Sox, White Sox, Reds.
Major League Baseball doesn’t have the ego problems of the NFL. There will never be a pro football team called the “Padres” or “Angels”. Football players can’t be holy.
Cleveland’s caricature of an Indian is almost as offensive as the nickname “Redskin”. However, the city does have a river named after the Cuyahoga tribe and–NO! The “Chief Wahoo” logo is cringe inducing and blatantly racist. But, no one wants to hear that rant again.
How about this? I have never understood the name or logo of the “Athletics”. A generic term that covers almost all physical activity, it’s singular form is used more as an adjective. I don’t like it because it’s too damn long. People abbreviate the name and the logo itself becomes the letter “A’s”, which seems kind of lazy to me.
Worst MLB logo: THE OAKLAND A’s
Suggested name change: THE OAKLAND BAY BRIDGERS (which could be neatly abbreviated to B.B.s)
The New Logo: A burly ballplayer climbing a bridge, bat in hand.
Worst Logos and Names in the NHL
The maple leaf’s status as Canada’s national symbol is the only reason why Toronto doesn’t win hands down. Leaves wither and die and change colors, they are fun to jump on…
Definitely the gayest professional logo… Speaking of gay…
Penguins can barely walk, let alone skate. They can’t hold a stick or deliver a hip check (probably because they have no hips). The first thing out of a woman’s mouth upon seeing just about any Penguin is “Oh, how cute.” Pittsburgh nearly takes the honor because the Penquins recently went retro and brought back the Tennessee Tuxedo logo they had abandoned in the ’90s. Every time I see it, I imagine the Don Adams voiced Penguin saying, “Let’s go Chumley, we have to save the world!”
However, my vote for Worst NHL Logo goes to:
THE MINNESOTA WILD
First, WTF is a “Wild”? There is no satisfactory answer to that question.
Second, I was unable to see the detailed logo until I went here: http://www.hockeytalk.biz/images/images_nhl_logos/minnesota_wild_2001.gif
Obviously, the designers had no focus or were instructed to fit every cool feature of Minnesota into one logo. What they ended up with is a silhouette of a cat or wolf–maybe a bear–head with red, inverted pine trees for sinuses, a sun for a brain, and a North Star for an eye. I think…
Even more disconcerting, the further the viewer gets from the logo, the more it looks like an upside down sombrero after a night of binge drinking with Jose Cuervo.
Suggested name change: THE MINNESOTA NORSEMEN
The New Logo: Leif Erickson caricature based on his statue in Iceland.
Tell us what teams get your vote for the worst names and logos and how you might improve them.
Next week we really have fun with minor league logos.
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