Bottom 10: Worst current logos in professional sports
Bad logos are a part of sports. Most likely, your favorite team will have one at some point or another. For example, my Bruins messed up big time when they chose to go with the Winnie-the-Pooh looking bear years ago. As a fan, you learn to accept it. Most of the time. With that said, here are the 10 worst logos currently displayed in professional sports, in my opinion. And to any fans I may upset, let’s agree to disagree.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers – Let me start by saying this; Pittsburgh gets a lot of respect for sticking to such a basic logo and color scheme over the years while other teams modernize every five years it seems. But look at their logo, and then at their jersey. The black and gold color scheme is fine, but notice the red and blue star in the logo. Neither of those colors appears anywhere else on the jersey! I get that the logo is based off the original U.S. Steel logo, but to have the colors in your logo and then not include them anywhere else is just baffling to me. It’s worked for Pittsburgh, though, as the team has won six Super Bowls.
9) Anaheim Ducks – It all went downhill for Anaheim’s logo when Disney decided to sell the team in 2005. From the 1993-94 season until 2005-06, the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks had one of the most fun sports logos of all-time. That’s what made the change to their current logo so disappointing. It’s plain. It’s boring. I like that the D is supposed to be the webbed-foot of a duck, but that’s about all the logo has going for it. Anytime you change from such a classic logo like the Mighty Duck, there’s going to be disappointment. The team won the Stanley Cup in their first season as the Anaheim Ducks.
8) Miami Dolphins – Miami changed their logo this off-season, and look to follow in the steps of Anaheim (regarding a championship following a logo change). I was never really high on their old logo anyway, but after seeing the new choice, please switch back. At least the old dolphin was ready to play some football, wearing a helmet (although the lack of a face mask may have caused injuries forcing him into retirement). When I look at this new Dolphins logo, I don’t think football. Not in the least bit. I feel like I’m at Sea World. Congratulations Ray Finkle, you are no longer the worst thing to happen to this franchise (Ace Ventura reference for those of you who are unaware).
7) Toronto Raptors – This logo used to be one of the coolest back in the Vince Carter/Tracy McGrady glory days. Watching the two throw down, specifically in the 2000 Dunk Contest, made the purple, red and black Raptors logo one all the kids wanted. After all, it is a raptor, and dinosaurs are great. Being a little older now, looking at that logo befuddles me. First off, why get rid of the purple? It helped create distinction. A raptor playing basketball should be awesome no matter what color it is in. Having only red and black, though, doesn’t make the logo pop as much. And what’s up with the shoes? Is that the future of the Jordan brand, open-toed shoes? Or did the raptors claws cut through the shoes? In which case, how come the ball didn’t pop? So many unanswered questions. Just bring back the purple, Toronto. And, if possible, the 15-year-younger versions of Carter and McGrady.
6) Buffalo Bills – Like many of you, I had no idea what the Buffalo Bills’ team name even meant. So after some snooping around, I found this article by Yahoo! Sports’ Taurus Londono. Ah, yes! Of course the team name is in reference to “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a famous American showman. With a name like that, was there ever really a chance for this team to have a good logo? Heck, their logo from 1970-73 had a buffalo hanging his head, probably ashamed to be tied to the franchise. Now, the logo might be worse. The first thing that comes to mind when looking at it is what’s up with that red stripe? Is the buffalo bleeding profusely from his head? Are the Bills trying to promote Red Stripe beer? Likely, it’s just to add color, and they do have one of the better color schemes. But this list is based on logos only. Do us a favor and just change your name to the Buffalo Buffaloes.
5) Minnesota Wild – Well, there’s sure a lot going on here. Too much. Let’s create a setting here. So we are supposed to be in the woods and there are some trees. The moon is out in full and shining…yellow? That is the moon, right? Or is it a cheese wheel? The sky is looking quite ominous. In fact, I’ve never seen a more scary sky then this one here, which is blood red. Are those green clouds cutting in front of, what we presume is, the moon? Well, at least we have that shooting star and a nice stream. Take a step back and look at this as a whole. See anything? The outline is actually the skull of a bear. Okay, now I’m freaked out. An angry looking bear, a blood red sky, and in the forest… If that’s what Minnesota is like, I’ll make sure not to visit. Oh, and just a reminder, this is a hockey team’s logo, not the setting of a book.
4) Utah Jazz – There’s really not too much to say about this one. Jazz music and Utah are pretty synonymous. That’s sarcasm if you couldn’t tell. When someone mentions Utah, I think of a salty lake, Mormons, and mountains. Speaking of mountains, the Jazz logo has those. Mountains in the background, with script in the forefront define Denver’s logo. Hold on, we’re talking about Utah’s logo! They are basically the same to my eye. The reasons Utah makes this list over Denver is the ridiculous name and logo combination (jazz music in the mountains?) and that horrendous color scheme. Denver stays basic with blue and gold, while Utah goes with a combination of green, dark blue and yellow. Go back to the original logo, Utah.
3) Cleveland Browns – What the heck are the Cleveland Browns? Easy answer; an unsuccessful franchise on the field. Okay, jokes aside, where did the Cleveland Browns name come from? According to Sportsecyclopedia.com the name comes from the franchise’s first coach, Paul Brown. Owner Arthur McBride put out a contest in the local newspaper to name the team, with the winner getting a $1,000 war bond (this is in 1946 by the way). The winning entry was the Panthers but a semi-pro team already had that name, so eventually the Browns was settled upon. So, like Buffalo, they are named after one person. At least Buffalo has a logo. Cleveland’s logo has just been an orange helmet since 1970. It reminds me of those generic logos in football video games. While generic, it is pretty tough to create a logo with a team name like that. They tried this elf for a few years (until it decided to walk away from the team and pursue a career in the Keebler factory). They’ve also used a dog as a secondary logo since 2003 and have the dog pound fan section. I really have no suggestions for what to do with this logo. Maybe just use a B or a football? Good luck.
2) Miami Marlins – This is the biggest example of modernizing gone wrong. From their inception in 1993 until the name change in 2011, the then Florida Marlins had one of the better logos in baseball in my opinion. There’s a cool looking marlin jumping through a circle, with a baseball set as the background, and team name in the ring of the circle. Plus, the colors were different and fun. Specifically in little league, I remember kids wanting to be on the Marlins to wear that uniform. The use of teal was the first MLB logo to feature that color. The Miami Marlins were set to move into a new stadium in 2012, and with the stadium change came a name change in an attempt to create more buzz around the team. And boom goes the dynamite. What the heck happened? Similar to the Anaheim Ducks, they went from great to, I don’t even know the word to describe what I’m looking at. The new logo looks like it’s getting ready to go to a strobe light party with all those bright colors. This is the logo’s description on Sportslogos.net:
“An orange and blue marlin leaping over a black, orange, yellow and blue M with a silver outline and MIAMI below in black.”
Well then… And in case you were wondering, no, it hasn’t created any more buzz. The team is currently in last place in their division and in attendance, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were last in merchandise sales either.
1) Pro sports teams in Tennessee – If you’re a fan of professional sports teams in Tennessee, you must wonder what you did to deserve this. Look, I get it; sometimes teams mess up on their logos. But to have all three professional sports teams in your state have awful logos is just on another level.
Let’s start with the Memphis Grizzlies. When the team originally came over from Vancouver, they carried the same logo along. That grizzly just screamed don’t mess with me or bad things will come of it. Just ask the team script. The claw marks within the script is original and fun. The team adopted a new logo in 2004 and really missed on this one. For one, I’ve never seen a grizzly, but I’m pretty confident they aren’t multiple shades of blue. And why yellow eyes? I’m still not sure if this bear is vicious or just pouting because its parents wouldn’t let it go out on a Friday night. It can’t be vicious, though. Look at the shape of its head. It’s a heart! Forget the colors and all else, the team wanted to go with a vicious looking bear, yet the bear’s head is shaped that way. Maybe he’s not mad at all and just in need of a hug. Come here, little bear.
Next up is the Nashville Predators. At first glance, this logo is pretty intimidating. Until you realize it’s a saber-tooth tiger. Here’s a quick fact of saber-tooth tigers; they became extinct about 10,000 years ago. So here come the Predators, with their extinct cat logo. Too bad there’s no hockey team named the Woolly Mammoths. That would be a game to see. Well, at least Nashville acknowledged they were using an extinct animal with this secondary logo. Also, and I forgot to mention this with the Grizzlies, but why use a saber-tooth tiger and the name Predators when you’re based in Nashville? The Utah Jazz approve of this decision. For hockey fans in Tennessee, let’s hope your team doesn’t suffer the same fate as the saber-tooth tiger.
And the third wheel of Tennessee’s failed logos belongs to the Tennessee Titans. After the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997, the team used the Oilers name for two seasons before switching to the Titans in 1999. I like that they kept the Oilers colors in the Titans logo, but it’s the logo itself that gets me. So it’s a shield with three stars, coming from the Tennessee state flag, with a T on it. But why is it on fire? And why are the flames dark red and blue? Yes, I know there are occasions when fire is blue (I was afraid of going near a lit stove for years in fear of fire), but is this the right place for it? The titan who was holding that shield must have melted away since he is nowhere to be seen. It’s a shame they use that logo when they have such a great secondary logo.