It’s not that I’m against change, but I don’t like changing stuff just for the sake of changing it.
And it’s official: the Miami Dolphins have changed their logo, which for my money was one of the most enduring, and endearing, left in sports today. They went from this:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, …I get what an image overhaul will mean for the owners: lots and lots of new sales of logo’d hats, shirts, jerseys, kids’ pajamas, trailer hitches, bathroom plungers, breath mints, and everything else you can manage to slap a logo onto. But c’mon, did they really HAVE to go this route? What about introducing it as an “alternate” logo for a couple of years first?
I mean, it’s not as if they were stuck with the New York Islanders’ horrific (and thankfully short-lived) “Gorton’s Fisherman”, after all….
Perhaps I’m just nostalgic about the sports logos I recall from my youth, when I’d get a package of No. 2 pencils before the start of school, with each pencil sporting a different NFL team. Or maybe it was the fun (and occasionally funny) icons that adorned the corner of my hockey and baseball cards which made them more fun to collect. Whatever it was, I know that tossing yet another classic like Miami’s helmet-wearing dolphin won’t get me more excited to watch a game.
There’s a relationship that a sports fan has with their team’s helmet/sweater/jersey, which is a central reason why we root for the team and not individual players. Messing with the logo (or worse, the team mascot itself), amounts to a level of treachery which only a true sports fan would fully understand.
With that in mind, I’ve included some of my favorites below. This is by no means an attempt at a 100% complete listing, so please feel free to include the ones you feel I’ve “overlooked” in your comments.
In no particular order:
Baltimore Orioles – This one is simply wonderful. An animated bird which looks like it was drawn by the guys at Disney, wearing a baseball cap and swingin’ a bat? How do you look at that little guy and not smile?
Montreal Canadians – A true Classic, and I say this as a lifelong Boston Bruins fan. I even enjoy it when a non-hockey fan asks what the “H” stands for…
San Diego Padres – Great depiction, instantly recognizable, and fun. Remember fun in sports?
Oakland Raiders – One of the meanest-looking and best team icons ever. Rooting against this team just feels right (sorry, Raiders’ fans). It’s like rooting against Darth Vader, ’cause you CAN’T feel sorry for a team whose logo is this cool.
Detroit Red Wings – One of the most iconic in all of sports.
New York Yankees – The logo goes with the pinstripes, and it needs no alteration. Yankees fans would likely tar-and-feather the bright boy who ever decides to mess with this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers – I was never a Steelers fan, but you can’t say anything derogatory about their logo. Simple, and hearkens back to the industry from which the team derived its name. Plus, having it on only one side of the helmet makes it even more unique. (***Hint to folks in Miami: being unique is a GOOD thing…).
St. Louis Cardinals (football) – I don’t care where this team currently resides: they’ll always be from St. Louis to me (even though they hailed from Chicago prior to 1960). The cartoon Cardinal has just enough of a touch of menace to work perfectly.
Boston Bruins – Great lines and, in my humble opinion, the all-time best logo for a hockey puck. It just fits…
Milwaukee Brewers – It has the team initials as a baseball glove. What else could you want for a baseball logo? Simple (there’s that word again), effective and memorable.
San Diego Chargers – The lightning bolt says it all.
Washington Redskins – Yeah, I know all about the huge push to rid sports of American Indian nicknames, and I couldn’t care less. I’m in the camp that believes being the namesake of a team is a point of honor, and not ridicule. Do Notre Dame fans hate the Irish? Do Winnipeg fans deplore air travel? No, and no.
And if that puts me at odds with the Politically Correct nannies, so much the better.
Okay, that’s enough. I could have easily included two or three dozen more, but you get my point. Maybe someday each fan will be able to use CGI to superimpose their favorite logo onto their own team’s uniforms, sort of like a Green Screen in reverse.
Or, even better, maybe the bright folks in the owners’ boxes will leave well-enough alone and let us keep the logos we like.