Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top Five Worst Sports Logos (Number 3 Will Destroy Your Sanity and Render You a Hopeless Human Derelict)

About once every six months I make the mistake of clicking on one of those "list" articles that have infected the internet like a severe herpes outbreak (or so I'm told, cough, cough) for the last few years. The outcome is always the same: a plague of advertisements, a list of seven items that must be reloaded twenty-four times to fully read and a general feeling of emptiness and malaise after #7 failed to be amazing, as promised. We all know about this and we can all agree how much this is Not Good. This is not what I'm here to talk about.

When I descended into plugin container hell by clicking in between "celebrity thongs" and a new super steroid that helps actors play their characters better somehow I encountered writing and logic that was so completely awful, devoid of effort and insulting that I feel the need to create a sand-line with my big toe and say "You ain't crossing this, Big Internet." Yes, I'm angry at the low quality of a "click bait" article. No, I am not a crank.

What was offered was the ten worst sports logos. What was delivered was completely bereft of wit, literary skill, and cultural value. I was honestly wishing I'd opted to watch pictures of famous person butt-floss struggle to load thanks to the competition of three dozen flash ads.

Before I ruin this thing worse than 1945 Dresden or today's public schools I'm going to show you how it's supposed to be done. It's very important that a critic establish his or her credentials, after all. Proper accreditation of wise-asses, that's what I'm all about. So here are two logos I personally consider ungood.

Horrible colors. A faddish reference to a forgotten movie (Billy and the Clone-o-saurus, if memory serves). In said movie the "raptors" couldn't even kill vegetarian children, which you would think would be the easy tutorial level and not the final boss. The artist can't decide if the cloned lizard is supposed to be a dopey cartoon or actually intimidating. It's not even properly centered thanks to the tail throwing off the symmetry. Everything about this logo is horrible. It is objectively bad. If you like it, please seek help.

Do I even have to say anything? Well, yeah, that's the point of this. We've got an ethnic stereotype created by an artist who apparently can't tell the difference between Native Americans and Japanese as depicted in World War 2 propaganda posters. It's so inept I'm not sure if it's offensive or just sad. Let's start slapping that all over merchandise and you'll buy it because you're a moron.

That's how you do it. Now let's consider what's raising the big money on heavily monetized web honey traps.

The main argument against this one was it failed to depict "Bills" and instead is a stylized Buffalo. It's also called out for being "boring." I'll concede this one won't win any awards, but you can't really call it an embarrassment like High Chief Tojo or the killer dinosaur that was once defeated by a gymnastics routine. The colors are good, it has a certain minimalist charm and a wad of cash or a depiction of Wild Bill murdering the Cleveland logo would not be much of an upgrade. At worst this one's a C-, but we need a list of ten and putting in actual effort is a waste for something that will be half-read by droolies who will probably be promptly diverted by all those amazing personally-tailored and slow-loading commercials.

Instead of making some obvious corrective dentistry joke the big problem with The Predators logo, we are told, is that no one knows what a saber-tooth tiger looks like. This means the proles will get confused and, I guess, refuse to cheer this Ice Gang. Yes, in the age of information we live in the argument against this one boils down to massive societal ignorance in regards to Ice Age Mega Fauna. Even if you didn't know what a smilodon was, which I doubt is the massive problem the list-maker insists it is, you'd still look at this and think "Hey, that's kind of cool. It's like a tiger with severe overbite issues." Granted the colors and overall presentation aren't exactly top tier, but that's not the argument we get because even the most basic discussion of aesthetics is way too intellectual and what the heck kind of thing is this crazy critter poppin' up on mah sex box?  

After the last debacle I was not expecting the case against Tennessee's logo. The author explains what Titans are, using nice small words thankfully, and then wonders why an awesome Titan wasn't depicted instead of the flaming Tee. I mean, just imagine how righteous that would be! We could have Father Time (Cronos) or Mother Earth (Gaia) on our football helmets! What about Prometheus? Imagine the slammin' halftime show where an eagle will fly down to devour his regenerating liver!

Yes, that was the argument that was made. I'm confused by animals with slightly bigger teeth but I want to see literal representations of Greek Mythology. Consistency, is it too much to ask?

Despite the good colors and solid presentation this one is also dismissed as "boring," followed by a lament that "alcoholism" remains something of a taboo subject for baseball squadron iconography. And let me tell you, your average alcoholic favors 5% American piss-beer and not the bottom shelf hard liquors. So please, Brewers, be more exciting and maybe promote underage drinking. That would be a massive improvement, according to words I struggled to read as pop-ups kept covering them.

We conclude with some more good-ole ignorance. The reviewer thought the "Cardinal" would be a bird, which is something I also thought when I was nine and was first exposed to one of America's most famous universities. The disappointment that it's actually a tree apparently impacted our hack writer as if he found out about Santa or something. I mean, here we were, all fired up for red birds and instead it's a plant. Refund, refund! It's then explained that trees are not intimidating, which having seen "The Happening" I'll readily concede, but I don't think they're trying to scare you. It might, just might, be part of school tradition. I know it's crazy. After all, college mascots and supposed to be nightmares made flesh, like the Ohio State Buckeye or the Maryland Turtle.

There were five more, but my hard drive had caught fire by this point and I think the point has been made. You truly do get what you'll put up with.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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