Big day in the NBA yesterday, as two teams came out with new logos. There wasn’t too much suspense on these, as various leaks had been floating around for a while, but let’s take a look now that the designs have been officially unveiled.
We’ll start with the Magic, who’ve basically gone from funky to streamlined (further details here). On the one hand, the old logo had at least one star too many (I would’ve eliminated the one that dotted the i), but it also had an appealing pop-art appeal, sort of like old comic book graphics. The new version feels like a bad mismatch of elements, because the type feels so different from the basketball graphic. The main thing this new design has going for it is that the typography matches what’s on the jerseys, so at least there’s some consistency. But the type on the jersey is snoozeville — who wants to be consistent with that? There’s nothing particularly objectionable about the new design, but there’s nothing particularly good about it either — it just completes the sterile makeover that began with the new uniforms two years ago. So is it good or is it stupid? Pretty stupid.
Moving on, let’s take a look at the Jazz (further details here). You all know I hate purple and love green, so this is obviously an upgrade. But that design, despite being listed as the primary logo, doesn’t really mean anything and will probably be phased out in another year or two, because they’re also reviving the music note logo, which will be appearing on the floor and, I’m pretty sure, on the new uniforms, which are slated to be unveiled on August 16th. Now, if we’re simply talking about aesthetics in a vacuum, I’ve always liked the music note design and also like the new colors (plus it’s nice that they added the missing line to the basketball. But for a franchise whose team name already presents an identity crisis, this mish-mash of logos and colors from different eras just adds to the confusion. Face it, guys, it’s time to admit defeat and start over. Blow the whole thing up — new team name, new brand identity, the works. Stupid.
Also, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird for teams to be trotting out their new designs while the NBA Finals are taking place? Like, wouldn’t the draft be a better time? Just sayin’.
The Rally Monkey, 2010 edition: My buddy Rob Walker, who runs the excellent Murketing site and also writes the “Consumed” column for The New York Times Magazine, is intrigued by
those incredibly annoying horns the vuvuzela phenomenon. “What I’m looking for is, basically, anybody who’s sort of become pro-vuvuzela, maybe even buying one,” he says. “Given that there is a connection between certain sport fans and obnoxious behavior (not you, of course!), it’s not hard for me to imagine people showing up at Yankees games with these things.”
Are you pro-vuvuzela? If so, feel free to contact Rob directly. Thanks.
Stirrup Club Update
By Comrade Robert Marshall
I regret to report that I was recently ambushed by a battalion of rogue pajamists. My injuries were serious, and as I lay near death and delirious in my hospital bed, the specter of Saint Lajoie hovered over me, telling me it was not yet my time to stop fighting the pajamist, and that I would be guided back to health by the spirit of past stirrupists, many of whom had fought for the right to wear proper hosiery in times much more challenging than our own. As I convalesced, I could feel the presence of these stirrup stalwarts of years past. I felt the torture they had had often endured as punishment for holding fast to their hosiery principles, from the ancient Persian empires and Chinese dynasties to the Inquisition and the New World, and even in Norse mythology. Thus inspired and fortified by the struggles of these noble warriors, I fairly leapt out of bed, ready to rejoin the great cause.
How will we honour these brave fighters this month? Our first design is a stirrup I have been meaning to offer since last summer: the Milwaukee Braves. Next we will offer a rare phantom stirrup: the design that the 1962 Mets were supposed to wear, although they never did. And in honor of the recently completed Stanley Cup Finals, I find it fitting for our final two stirrups to honour the hard-fighting Flyers of Philadelphia and of course, the champions from the Madhouse on Madison, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Giveaway Reminder: I’ve currently giving away an Africa Unity soccer jersey from Puma. Full details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: My pencil sharpener collection, which I began in January, is complete! Here it is from the other side. … Did you know the Yankees used to have an amazingly goofy-looking mascot? He was called Dandy, and there was an absolutely brilliant story about him in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, of all places. Trust me, you’ll want to stop what you’re doing and read this right now. … “Karen Allen is so cool, says Kirsten, quite accurately. … Looks like Rutgers may have new football uniforms, at least judging by this video game screen grab (with thanks to Jacob Kubuske). … Good article on the history of soccer goalkeepers’ gloves here (big thanks to Matt Schudel). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Kareem at a charity softball game. … Nate Neumann notes that umpire Laz Diaz has the U.S. Marine Corps logo on his chest protector. Diaz has served in the Marine Corps Reserves, but it seems like umpires are the last ones who should be wearing unauthorized uniform elements, no? … I might be more inclined to watch the World Cup if it were all conducted in Lego (with thanks to Matt Shevin). … Bowling facilities almost always have an even number of lanes — two lanes, four lanes, six lanes, 24 lanes, 40 lanes. So I was intrigued when Uni Watch’s own Bryan Redemske sent me this shot of a three-lane venue in Ellsworth, Nebraska. “Check out the cards hanging from the ceiling,” says Bryan. “Those are the brands from the nearby ranches!” I totally need to bowl there immediately. Road trip! … A couple of guys in Baltimore have started a sports brand-marketing firm with a great name: Two Man Advantage. … It’s overpriced, but this is one cool wastebasket (great find by Ben Traxel). … Oh baby, here’s a real gem: a bound set of 1920s Spalding college football guides. Scroll down and click through the photos — look at those cover designs! Someone please snap that up. … Hey, Michael Princip, are you gonna get one of these Seahawks charcoal grills? … Terry Duroncelet was picking up some milk at Albertson’s yesterday and was intrigued by his cashier’s unusual Lakers jersey. … According to the EA Sports Teambuilder site, Arizona’s new uniforms will look like this. Not sure I’m in love with those fade-away stripes on the pants and helmets, but I’ll reserve judgment until we can see a real-life version (with thanks to William Abbey Jr.). … Mike Rowinski reports that the A’s will be wearing these 1970s throwbacks a week from Saturday. Looks like they really botched the design — the jerseys have drop-shoulders (unheard of in the ’70s), the sleeves are too long, the V-neck is cut way too low (should look like this), the “A’s” insignia is the wrong shade of green, the snaps on the pants should be off-center and should also not be white, I don’t think that kelly-collared undershirt ever existed back in the day, and thank god the lower-leg portion of the photo is cropped off. But hey, they guy on the right is wearing an afro wig and big gold chains, so all that really matters is that they’re treating the whole affair as a ’70s kitsch-fest, wheeeee! … Interesting note about the Red Sox’s alternate caps at the very bottom of this Q&A page (with thanks to Jesse Rogers).