Last week I Ticker-linked to a photo of Heritage High School in Virginia wearing the logo of the XFL’s NY/NJ Hitmen. That led to a bunch of people submitting similar instances of the Hitmen’s stylized “H” being used by high school teams. Add those to a few additional instances that I found in the site’s archives and you end up with a pretty substantial list:
• Hillcrest High in South Carolina wears the Hitmen logo on their helmet and jersey.
• Hebron High in Texas wears the Hitmen logo on their helmet.
• Hammonton High in New Jersey uses the Hitmen logo as the symbol of their athletics program.
• Hayti High in Missouri uses the Hitmen logo on their helmet.
• Heritage High in Tennessee uses the Hitmen logo on their helmet.
• Wentzville-Holt High in Missouri uses the Hitmen logo on their helmet.
• Hidalgo High in Texas has the Hitmen logo on their field (which, as you can see, is dark blue).
• Headland High in Alabama uses a vertically extended version of the Hitmen logo on their helmet and their field.
• Hoover High in California uses the Hitmen logo on their helmet and on banners.
• A different Hoover High, in Alabama, uses the Hitmen logo on their Twitter feed, their cheerleader uniforms, their championship rings (yes, a high school has championship rings), and on the back of their jerseys. But hey, not on their helmets!
• The fictitious Hudgins Hawks, who were beaten by East Dillon beat in the final episode of Friday Night Lights, used the Hitmen logo on their helmets.
• And just to show that the XFL consisted of more than one team, a youth league team in Nebraska is using the Orlando Rage logo on their helmet and sweatshirts.
Granted, if you’re going to poach someone else’s logo, it makes sense to choose a defunct team, since you can’t be sued by an organization that no longer exists. Still, I find this all a bit strange. The Hitmen existed for exactly one year (2001, when most of today’s high schoolers were still using crayons), and they stunk, going 4-6 and finishing third in the XFL’s four-team Eastern Division. How has their logo become the go-to “H” among so many high school teams? It isn’t even a particularly good-looking “H,” at least not to my eyes. Is there something I’m missing here?
Meanwhile, it would be interesting to know who designed the Hitmen’s logo (I’m assuming one branding firm handled all of the XFL team marks). Whoever it was, they’d probably be surprised to know that the HItmen design has had such a prolonged afterlife.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Doug Brei, Matt Dieckmann, David Jones, Daniel Smith, Rob Tate, Ben Whitehead, and Andy Zak.)
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