Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weekend Round Up: MLB Throwbacks, Timbers Revise Logo

On Saturday, I did a recap of the two new MLS teams for next year. I link to some reports and a video of the Portland fans booing and hating their new mark. Well they've already revised the new logo so here is the new, new logo. Changes they made: #1 They took away the yellow and green shadowing on the ax, going with just a plain, white ax. #2 They removed the line slashes that were pointing into the word mark. #3 They toned down the thickness of the outer yellow outline. As I stated before, I thought the new logo was fine and I don't feel any differently about this updated version. I guess after looking at it, the old, new version didn't need all that detail on the ax. The plain ax is still bold looking and gets the point across. But really I could go either way. I think their fans were being too picky but when they are drawing 3 times as many people as the Triple A baseball team, they care a lot (the Timbers draw 15 to 20 thousand people to their matches pre MLS).

The Brewers and Mariners broke out the old duds for a game in their weekend Interleague series. Now this isn't new for the Brewers who have a throwback alternate already, but the Mariners wore a version they don't go to very often. And really, this is another team that after years of using the "S" compass logo, might really need to look at going back to this old school beauty. Or at least incorporate it somehow. I see the trend of a lot of teams finally realizing their old look. I would like the Mariners to take that step.

The O's and Nats put on the throwbacks as well. The Nationals had to of course use the Senators, which is weird they are allowed to use them since the Texas Rangers were the result of the Washington franchise moving. The Senators uniforms are kind of boring but the work. I have to say that the Orioles look great. That old template looks fantastic and I love the cartoon bird. I don't know why the O's insist on using the actual oriole bird as their primary cap logo. An oriole is such a pacifistic bird so why not cartoon it up? I love the smiling bird on the cap and combine that with the O's cap, that the combo they should have. And don't get me wrong, I like the current Orioles look. But that cartoon bird is great. Which is strange because I hate the Indians Chief Wahoo guy on their cap.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A's-Buccos Break Out the 70's

The Athletics and the Pirates broke out into solid color 70's uniforms on Saturday. Both looked so awful, they looked fantastic. The A's were in all gold and the Bucs in all Black (link to photo gallery). After seeing the A's on Saturday in the gold and then they wore those stupid black uniforms on Sunday, I wish they would go with an alternate gold with the A's logo. The Bucs should think about the same thing. Although I don't care about their black alternate because they have black in their color scheme. I'm not a huge fan of the black alternates, I do kind of like the white outline. And I don't get why they kept the sleeveless pinstripe alternate. If they want to go pinstriped, go with this. Anyways, back to Saturday's game. The teams looked nice but I wish they both would have went with different colors for either the jersey or pants. The A's could have went with green pants, gold jersey and the Bucs black jersey, gold pants. It was a little too much solid colors. And I couldn't find a decent picture but I couldn't tell if either team was wearing real stirrups or if they were made into the socks. And the A's starting pitcher Cahill had the fake stripe socks on. Come on this ain't softball. It looked awful

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two New MLS Teams For Next Year

Starting in 2011, two new expansion teams will be joining the MLS. Those two teams have unveiled their logos. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been around in some form for over 30 years. The team name has been the pro soccer team moniker by deflate for 6 teams in 4 men's leagues and is also the current women's league name. The current Whitecaps of the USSF will move up to North America's highest pro league with the logo pictured left. The new logo is a welcomed change from their current logo, which is very cartoonish. It's not bad, very sleek but not much character. I like the baby blue and I don't know if the meant to but the almost have a interlocking "VW" formed on the bottom blue. If they did mean it I wonder why they didn't complete the formation of it?
Now the other team scheduled to make their debut, will move up from the USL to the MLS. The Portland Timbers unveiled their logo with only one minor problem: the fans hate it. Well not all of them but it seems a lot of people preferred the old one. I personally like it. I also like the old one. I guess that's the conundrum. Did it need to be changed? Some are calling the new one too cartoonish, unfinished looking, too busy, and many other negative things. It doesn't start well for a franchise when after it's unveiled at a public video display, the crowd chants vulgarities and boos. Watch this video on YouTube. At first they cheer and awkwardly applause then it's like it hits the crowd what they are looking at and then turn on it. Relax Portland. It's not that bad.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cavs Change Their Colors Slighly

The Cleveland Cavaliers went public with their already leaked color change (link to Cavs press release). Nothing ground breaking. In fact it's almost the same. But they are going with what they are claiming are the original wine and gold to embrace their history. Took them long enough. Like I said nothing ground breaking. It looks good but I wouldn't say it looks better. I nothing this change. I don't hate it, I don't love it. I practically have no opinion about it. No word when we will see the new uniforms and no word whether Lebron is swayed to stay with the new colors. I wonder if Lebron picked them out? Here are the alternate logos below:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Warriors Don't Look Terrible Anymore!

The Golden State Warriors went with what is the new school thing to do; go old school. On the day of the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers Game 7, the Warriors showed their new, old colors, logos, and potentially what their uniform will look like. I like the new primary, a lot. It's cool, it's classic and it's not the RoboCop lightning thrower anymore. I'm definitely going to have to move them up, way up on my ranking list but I'm going to wait because I don't want to over react with it's initial release. They have several alternate logos as well with one with the standard basketball inside the NBA logo (which almost every team does), a state of California with a W on it, and one that doesn't make too much sense to me. If you look they have a logo with "SF" on it. I'm assuming this is for San Francisco however they aren't the San Francisco Warriors anymore and they play in Oakland. I would think GS would work better. My other complaint is the font. That font is Copperplate Gothic which can be used by anyone with Microsoft Office applications. So really, anyone can use the Warriors new font. I would have like to see something a little more creative. And the new uniforms they have displayed looks like they are going to use the whole logo on the front and put the players number inside the logo next to the bridge. Very throwback to "The City" uniforms from the 70's. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet though. I need to see the real thing. Overall, major upgrade and I'm glad to see it.

Maple Leafs Fix Their Sweaters

The Toronto Maple Leafs, where hockey is 1 and then family is 2, unveiled their new jerseys. Well I wouldn't call them new, they just fixed them to the design before Reebok took over the NHL. What it boils down to, they added the stripes back to the hem and put the classic Maple Leaf on the shoulders, replacing the "TML" logo. It really isn't that big of a change but when they removed it, it was noticeable if not down right bad. The RBK designs did that to a few teams. Unnecessary changes where made to the Leafs, Oilers, Avalanche, and Penguins. Those are the four I consider that didn't need to be changed from the pre-RBK era. And it's not like every team got a makeover. The Red Wings, Rangers, Canadiens, and Blackhawks got to keep their designs. The Maple Leafs should have been in that group as well. They look good now. It's amazing what a little hem striping can do.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jazz and Magic Release New Logos

Well the Jazz and Magic unveiled their new logos. Both are okay; upgrades for both. I wouldn't call it a total win though. Both teams upgraded their looks. Last month I ranked all the NBA logo's. With these changes really am not inclined to improve either's rankings. I had the Jazz #28 and the Magic at #10. You would think that the Jazz bringing back the old music note, they would surely move up. But let me breakdown the changes.
Utah Jazz
I love the music note logo. The Jazz brought back the look but not fully. The primary color is navy blue instead of the traditional purple. I am in the camp that purple is a fine color when used properly. But the NBA has enough team using purple: Lakers, Hornets, Suns, and Kings. So a change to purple wasn't necessary. It keeps them seperated a bit. They added the yellow and green which was apart of the original color scheme and they fixed the basketball so it now has proper striping. So why is this not a total win? Because this is their secondary logo. The Jazz kept their old primary "snow mountains" logo and just recolored it. So now they have to completely separate logos that don't match each other. I have no idea which one they plan to use the most and they didn't release their new uniforms. The music note logo is supposed to decorate the Jazz home floor. I'm guesing they are going to use the new music note more , but who knows? Stupid.

Orlando Magic

The Magic basically matched thier logo to their current jersey font. It's a more streamlined look and the reduced the number of stars being used. I like the new logo but not in love with it. They kept the swooshy magic basketball which I like. As I stated before, I'm not sure how else you illustrate magic without being silly. I will say the new logo lost a little character. At least everything matches now. That's always important and it's something the Jazz completely ignored.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nike ruins the World; Bucs-Tigers go Negro League

Well Nike and the World teamed up and decided everyone is supposed to look the same. Much how Nike has ruined college football and basketball, they've taken their crap show on the road and took over the world. It was over the weekend team USA unveiled their new uniforms for the FIBA World Championships. And they also unveiled the other participating Nike countries, shocker, they all have the same cookie cutter design. Italy, China, Puerto Rico, Brazil, France, they all look the same. Just awful. At least we don't have a University of Oregon in this bunch.

Also over the weekend, my beloved Buccos (who are awful) played in Detroit, and the were swept. Here is a video link that shows the tragic highlights. It's a shame Ryan Doumit looks so nice. The Pirates wore the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Tigers represented the Detroit Stars. Here is the Wikipedia history behind the 2 teams (Crawfords, Stars). I like these sets that MLB teams wear. I wanted one of the Crawfords jerseys and it could have been mine for the low, low price of $275 at the Bucs team store. Going to have to wait on that.

The Utah Jazz release their new logo and uniforms Tuesday morning. I will have a full report on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Best and Worst World Cup Kits

I hope you have been enjoying the World Cup as much as I have. I love the fact it's on when I get up and goes through out the afternoon. I wish more sports were set up like that. Wouldn't it be great to have live sports on all day. It's like a Saturday or Sunday of football but every day. Anyways, the action has been good albeit low scoring and a few too many draws. I haven't seen a clear cut favorite but Germany looked impressive on Sunday. And the U.S. although not what I would call a favorite to win, it looked respectible in their match even if they got a gift goal. But hey you got to be lucky sometimes. Anyways, lots of colorful kits (love that they're called kits). Let's go through the best and worse kits I've seen so far. These aren't rankings btw, just the best and worst.

Best World Cup Kits
Cameroon - Home/Away Colorful and bold. They look great on the field.
Argentina - Home/Away The baby blue homes are fantastic. The away kit is solid too. 
South Korea - Home/Away Looking good in their victory over Greece.
England - Home/Away Classic looks even if their goalie cost them a game.
Serbia - Home/Away You stay classy, Serbia.
Portugal - Home/Away Love these Kits. Might be my favorite.

Worst World Cup Kits
Chile - Home/Away These just don't work. Awful Logo on the left chest.
Slovenia - Home/Away You can't play soccer, Charlie Brown.
U.S.A. - Home/Away Nothing says America, like Miss America.
Denmark - Home/Away  Bad pattern, Adidas corporate look, and then black...yuck.
Mexico - Home/Away Why go black? Mexico used to look good. The green is okay.
Ivory Coast - Home/Away One is boring and the other too much.
Hondorus - Home/Away If you're one of the poorest nations in the world, you don't have to look it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stretching the Term "Throwback"

This past Saturday, the Mariners and Angels hooked up for one of their many divisional games that will happen through out the year. It was also decided that both teams would brand themselves in throwbacks from the famous 1995 season. This was the season the Angels choked away a 13 game lead  and lost to the Mariners in a tiebreaker game, pitched by Randy Johnson. This is also the season the Mariners then shocked the Yankees with the famous slide to score the winning run by Ken Griffey Jr in game 5 before bowing out to the Indians in the ALCS. The Angels wore the old California Angels uniforms, as they were known then complete with the interlocking "CA" logo. Really this wasn't a bad look for them. I like their current duds and logo but the Angels and the Texas Rangers seem too similar (seriously, am I the only one to pick up on this?). Someone is copying someone here. The Mariners wore "throwbacks" as well. However, the only thing throwback about them is that the jerseys were teal. The Mariners only wore the teal for one season. This makes me ask the question, are they really throwbacks if the still use the same logos and color set? Isn't this just more of an alternate? I think the M's were stretching the term throwback. Now if they wore these old dandies, then yes I would consider that a throwback uni. But the teals jerseys, not so much. You can't throwback on one color. A complete makeover is necessary. Let's make that a rule from now on.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Logo Drenched in History

NEWS FLASH! For those of you residing in America, there is a sports out there that is more popular globally than in the USA. It's called soccer or futbol. And there is an entire league of these "soccer" teams that play here in the States. It's called the MLS and if you've never been to a game, I recommend going sometime. I went to a Columbus Crew game a few years back and had a blast. It's really great to watch in a facility that is made for soccer. And I am way excited for the World Cup to begin. Anyways, that brings me to an expansion team that started in the MLS this year, the Philadelphia Union. I don't care for Philly that much being from around Pittsburgh all my life, but I have to say I love this logo. I read the break down of it and it is packed with historical meanings. I quote from the ultimate source, Wikipedia: "The Union's colors are navy blue and gold, representing the primary colors of the Continental Army's uniforms during the American Revolutionary War. The team's primary logo is circular, symbolizing unity. Its thirteen gold stars represent the original Thirteen Colonies, while the shield's contour derives from the Philadelphia coat of arms. The rattlesnake pays homage to a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin that was featured in the 1754 Pennsylvania Gazette. The rattlesnake eventually became a national symbol during the American Revolution, representing the danger of disunity, and was featured on the Gadsden flag.The light blue in the middle of the badge is a tribute to the Sons of Ben, and is further derived from the civic flag of Philadelphia. The team's secondary logo is a simplified version of the above design that consists of the blue shield with the rattlesnake, augmented with a gold border and a ribbon bearing the team's official motto: "jungite aut perite", a Latin translation of the phrase "join or die", which was also used in the 1754 Benjamin Franklin political cartoon mentioned above. The home jersey is midnight blue, with a gold strip down the center with light blue piping in the color of the Philadelphia flag. The away kit is the reverse of the home kit – predominantly "natural khaki" with a midnight blue panel and blue piping

Wow, now that is a logo. I couldn't believe all the stuff that is packed into a simple, yet beautiful, logo. Stunning. I know the Union will never surpass the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, or Flyers in popularity but the Union represents the city better than any of them. Very cool stuff. (Side note: One thing I really like about the MLS, they aren't teams but listed as clubs. Makes them sound special. Like at your office you can put together a "team" to brainstorm or whatever. But a club? That's a privileged.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Flying Squirrels...Really?

Ahhh yes, the minor leagues of America's past time, baseball. Crazy promotions, wacky mascots, beer and hot dog specials, and yes, crazy logos and team names. For every bears, tigers, and cat related names there are just as many crazy names like the biscuits, iron pigs, and yes beginning this year the flying squirrels. The Connecticut Defenders who tried everything to make it work in Norwich, formally the Norwich Navigators, were purchased and moved to an empty stadium in Richmond, VA after the Richmond Braves in AAA packed up and left for Gwinnett, GA. And the funny thing about how they got their name, according to Wikipedia, was the ever popular name-the-team contest and this was a finalist, but not the winner. Two of the more popular names were Hambones, which the NAACP said is a derogatory name towards African Americans and Flatheads, a derogatory name towards Native Americans. So when two out of 5 are racists names in nature the owners just went with the safest and zaniest possible name, the Flying Squirrels.

They actually have a pretty good array of logos.
As you can see in thepicture to the right, they have the primary flying squirrel, a decent full script but the font is a little busy. I really like the R's with the bushy tail completing the the bottom of the letter. The acorn logo is okay but really I could do without it. It has a baseball inside of it. I think the R clutters it up. I would like to see it without the R blocking it. Overall it may be crazy but I like it. There are so many sports teams out there it's getting tough to come up with an original name, anymore. God bless the minor leagues for trying. If you want to check out their shop here is a shortcut to their online store. If you get a chance look at their jerseys. They aren't the best. as I said, that font is tough on the eyes. But they have some cool hats, t-shirts, and other apparel.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Buffalo Sabres...Will They or Won't They Change?

I got a NHL catalog in the mail and nothing ground breaking inside. I did notice the Sabres put their old logo on their 2010 Draft Day cap. Rumors have been flying around that the Sabres plan to go back to their original logo after the "buff-a-slug"  logo was about as popular as AIDS in the 80's (Actually it was really popular but think like breast cancer awareness today. It was everywhere). But there are some good things that came out of these changes.

1. The Sabres paid attention to the fans. This is so important for owners and the front office people to realize. Yes, they make the decisions and they may refuse to do certain things. And they can do that if they want. But good teams and good owners pay attention to the fans and their wants. Bad owners and management have the "it's my team and I'll do what I want with it." They listened to their fans and they want the old logo. Kudos to them for that.

2. The Sabres re-found their identity. Some times teams think that a redesign will make over their franchise. Aesthetically they sometimes do that. More often they end up screwing around with the past and then come back to their roots. At least a lot of teams are appreciating the history and realize that is what the fans cheer for. They cheer for the soul of the team. Dad's want to take their kids to see the current Yankees in the same uniforms that they saw them as. And I'm sure this is what happened in Buffalo. The team has been around since the 70's. Those fans watched them, rooted for the, and loved them for who they were. But it means more when you do it in the same uniforms that their heroes did it in. Can you imagine the Red Sox having completely altering their look when they finally won the World Series? And how weird it was when the Diamondbacks or Marlins won it? Seriously, didn't you say to yourself "That doesn't look right?" I felt that way when my Pats finally won the Super Bowl. It was awesome and I loved it but I would have really like to have seen Pat Patriot celebrating more then the flying Elvis logo.

3. They learned what doesn't work. When teams do this they learn the hard way (think of the Pistons, Brewers, and Islanders). Actually it wasn't all bad. The first redesign wasn't that awful. The mean snorting buffalo head was kind of cool. I owned the red 3rd jersey for a while before I finally put it on EBay. The one thing it didn't do was represent the team name. It's Sabres not Buffalos or Bisons. Why they couldn't put a couple sabres behind it, I don't know (doesn't look too shabby). I get it, the city name is Buffalo. I wonder why they never tries the old colors with that logo. The change to red, black, and silver was radical and didn't quite go over but why not try that instead of developing the "buff-a-slug". Tie the new into the old.

Anyways, the Sabres are starting to look like the Sabres again. And that's all that matters. It doesn't look like they've completely committed (scroll down on the page) yet, but in time they will.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MLB Teams Go Old School

Well after focusing so much on NBA logo's for the past month, a lot of other things have been going on too. For us Pirates fans, we know, painfully, it's another season in Major League Baseball. Since opening day, a lot of teams planned to don throwbacks, something that has very popular and trendy to do. For some teams it represents a nice reminder of the past and for other it reminds us of what some some teams need to look like again on the field. Hopefully, I don't forget anything that has happened so far...

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to wear their original baby blue throwbacks for Friday home games. These are nice reminders however, I still think they need to go back to when they won their World Series Championships in the 90's. For god sakes could a team with the word "blue" in their team name go back to wearing blue and ditch the black over tones.

The Brewers Have done a couple different throwbacks, solidifying that they don't like their current uniforms either. They recently wore Negro League era uniforms against the Mets (Mets also wore them and btw this is the only time in it's acceptable to use the word "negro" anymore). They've already been wearing this version for the last couple years now, so that's old news. Then there was the throwback match up versus the Phillies, with the Phils wearing the baby blues. I personally like the pinstripe duds they've been wearing the last couple years the best.

The Padres have been having Throwback Thursdays and break out the old mustard and yellow set they wore for the first twelve years of their existence. Well actually they wore that version in their first year. They add and then replace the yellow with orange back in the 80's. Wonder why that color combo didn't catch on? Who wouldn't want to wear the colors of poop and pee?  Definitely not the prettiest color set but it's original and for some odd reason, I like it. Not too many teams use brown at all (except the Cleveland Browns). I hate their current logo. They need to bring back the "swinging father" logo.

If you check out the Brewers Gallery above you'll see that the Phillies joined in the throwback fun and donned their 1980's baby blues. Baby blue is the new black, where in every team is trying to figure out a way to get in on it. The Phillies though did actually wear those at one point. Some teams looked better in the blues, but the Phillies? I actually think their current duds are a better look. Maybe if they just threw in a splash of the baby blue somewhere as a complementary color. Possibly an outlining color or something but those uniforms are a nice reminder of a point on their history.

The Braves also joined the Padres in the throwback festivities and put on their baby blues from the 80's. If you check out they Padres link about you'll see them in baby blue throwbacks too. Another cute reminder of the past but I'd stick with the Braves current unis. Although isn't weird about the Braves. They were all over the place with uniform designs including a really good one when Hank Aaron played for them. Then they came up with their current design and stuck with it for the past 23 years.

I think that's it so far but they're are more to come this season. If I missed one let me know.