Five For FRiday: Nasty Team Mascotery, Namery, Logo-ery, Madly, Deeply.

No.  The answer is no.

Travis: The Columbus Blue Jackets

Expansion hockey teams have had some bad names, logos, and color schemes, but the woeful Columbus Blue Jackets may take the cake. I assumed a Blue Jacket was some sort of fictional or obscure insect, you know, like a yellow jacket, except blue, but I guess, via Google, that is not the case. It instead has to do with the Union Army. I guess that’s a little less lame than a fictional insect. Maybe.

Nathan: Atlanta Thrashers 

As noted in the previous edition of Five for Friday, the sports gods have created justice in this world by allowing Winnipeg to have a hockey team again and have it named the Jets. But before we tickle ourselves with joy at this recent event, let’s take a moment to pause and remember one of the most nonsensical names in this history of sports. Yes, I know it is a reference to the brown thrasher, Georgia’s state bird, but please people.

Also the logo made me think of a bowl of ice cream with a hockey stick garnish.

Tyler: The Bengal “B”

We’re ferocious!  We’re tigers!  Grr and roar!  Let’s make our logo a letter.

(Of course, the alternate bengal-head logo ain’t much better.  Stunning.)

Travis: The Phoenix Coyotes

The ‘Yotes weren’t technically an expansion team (since the franchise moved from Winnipeg to the Sun Belt and dropped the old name, the Jets), but they fell pray to both the crummy name and the awful jerseys prevalent in hockey’s often-terrible nineties.

Nathan: Detroit Pistons logo 1995-2005

The Pistons took a good thing and turned it into a true debacle.

They’ve returned to sanity with this, their best logo yet, but 1995-2005 were some hideous years for fans of the Pistons logo. In light of the 2004 season, I’m willing to forgive.

Tyler: “THE Ohio State University”

Yeah, okay, we get it.  THE Ohio State tattoo parlor/den of iniquity.

Addendum.  I still have my Ohio ID (for the moment, as it expired a week or so ago).  Living in Ann Arbor, whenever I get carded (which is often), I await the inevitable.  “Ahhh, Ohio, huh?  Guess we gotta charge you more.”  No.  God damn it, no.  I don’t care.  You are all lunatics.  Fin.

Travis: The Arizona Diamondbacks

Maybe what I’m getting at here is that Arizona should not have professional sports teams.

Nathan: Miami Marlins 

Marlins is not a bad name for a Miami franchise. The new logo, however, is an atrocity. Its neon color scheme does violence to the eyes like few sports logos have ever done.

Here’s my suggestion to the people in Miami. Either 1.) go back to your original logo and color scheme, which didn’t really need improvement anyway, or 2.) embrace your new color scheme and the hiring of Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano, and rename your team the Miami Clowns.

Right now I’m leaning towards option #2. And hey, you’ve already got this to make the circus theme complete.

Tyler: Carolina Panthers/Jacksonville Jaguars

Maybe when the Jaguars complete their inevitable move to FR’s West Coast bureau, they’ll change their name to something, y’know, actually original.  Until that day, they and their expansion partner Panthers remain a constant reminder of the roaring nineties, when every pro league thought it wise to expand beyond their means and name the expansion teams by throwing darts at an NCAA tournament bracket.

Travis: The Utah Jazz

Sometimes sports teams move from the city where they originated. The Utah (formerly New Orleans) Jazz are proof that a lot of the time, the name should stay behind. It’s hard to imagine a state that’s less “jazzy” than Utah, though I suppose John Stockton’s floor-control style at the point was pretty improvisational. I’d put the Lakers in this category too, since they moved from somewhere with a lot of lakes to a place with no lakes, but I live in a part of Los Angeles with Lake in the name, so I can somehow pretend the name is less stupid than it actually is.

Nathan: Toronto Raptors

Jurassic Park was released to enraptured audiences in 1993. I went to see Steven Spielberg’s nightmare theme park movie four times in the theatre. The raptor, a former dinobscurity, suddenly became the coolest extinct animal ever. Children were no longer interested in the ferocity of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. They wanted that shrieking demon dinosaur that scared the shit out of you in the electrical room.

Given all of that, it seems shameful to make a bunch of grown men run around on a basketball court with this plastered across their massive chests.

Never name your team after an animal that does not exist.

Tyler: Washington “Redskins”

Do I really need to explain?

Travis: The Alabama Crimson Tide

The BCS title-winning college powerhouse has a name that just makes me think of Cher from Clueless talking about “surfing the crimson wave.” Yeah, I’ve seen Clueless. More than once.

Nathan: Anaheim Mighty Ducks / Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 

It seemed stupid when Toronto got a team named after an extinct animal that was the subject of children’s fantasies. But I can’t imagine the embarrassment in being a professional hockey player and also being forced to wear this while attempting to strike fear into your opponent.

The good people who run that franchise have in recent years come to their senses and shortened the name to Anaheim Ducks. They’ve also made the jersey a little classier. But the stench of those early years still lingers.

They named their team after a Disney movie.

Single worst sports team name/logo combination in history.

Tyler: The Toronto Black Jays

Despite nomenclature honoring one of the more ferocious birds in the “you can actually see them outside your window from time to time” category, the Blue Jays–led by hyper-ineffectual GM J.P. Ricciardi–turned their logo and style into a big fat joke in the late nineties, an injustice that only was remedied just recently.  “Blue” is in the team name.  The team has a rich history of contention.*  But, y’know, black unis are what the kids are all about these days.

Eugh.  Also, what in the HELL was this shit?

*To end on a positive note, seriously, still one of the greatest moments of my life, ever.

One thought on “Five For FRiday: Nasty Team Mascotery, Namery, Logo-ery, Madly, Deeply.

  1. I’m always a sucker for posts about logos/unis, and job well done to point out some horrendous errors in judgement. Two comments to share:

    1) Your comments on the Jazz remind me of a line from the opening of 1998’s BASEketball: “Soon it was commonplace for entire teams to change cities in search of greater profits. The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles where there are no lakes. The Oilers moved to Tennessee where there is no oil. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City where they don’t allow music.”

    2) I can’t imagine how you left off the logo from your hometown: the Cincinnati Cyclones old logo was consistently rated one of the worst in pro sports during its time. I give you, the “tornado goalie”…

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