What if The Browns Called Baltimore Home?

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By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson and Jerry Wolper

Day Two of Paul’s “Uni Watch Power Rankings” is now up and running.

Meanwhile: We’re going to go a bit “off-uni” today, during my penultimate weekday post during Paul’s well-deserved hiatus. And by off-uni, I mean that the subject matter deals primarily with something besides the “Obsessive Study of Athletic Aesthetics.” That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not a subject we haven’t broached on Uni Watch before. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to explore for some time.

“Civic vs. Corporate,” for lack of a better phrase — or, to what extent do the owners of a professional sports franchise “owe” the fans of a certain city? It’s a subject that frequently gets brought up when we speak of the Cleveland Browns precedent of relocation to Baltimore, but not being allowed to take any of the uniforms, colors, logos, records, etc. with them — in essence, creating an expansion franchise with an existing team. But franchise relocation and name changes (or keeping names) have been going on for decades. Do the Dodgers belong to Brooklyn or Los Angeles? Do the A’s belong to Philadelphia, Kansas City or Oakland? What about the Senators/Nationals? And that’s just baseball.

dodgermoveDo teams “belong” to the cities that have loved and supported them for decades — and should their names and records remain a permanent part of that city forever — or are they, like any other business, free to move and take all of their property (and the cachet the franchise name carries) with them if they move? Is there even a concrete, pat answer, or do circumstances dictate the proper course of action? Although I was not alive when it happened, New York lost both the Dodgers and Giants in the same year, and I feel no attachment to either team — but my Dad lived and bled Dodger Blue, so of course, he was affected in 1958 and beyond. Before he died last year, I asked him if he felt any ‘attachment’ to the Dodgers (of course he did), but did I think the Mets should have been allowed to take the Dodger name or records when they were born in 1962 (of course not). Why then, did Cleveland make such a stink about the Browns? What is it that drives fans and fan bases to feel “their” team should never be allowed to leave, and if they do, no other team should ever be allowed to have their name and colors?

It’s a debate that re-opens itself in strange places, and following articles that sometimes have nothing to do with “Corporate” or “Civic” entreaties. And a good example of this can be found in the first comment string of this article. Emotions get heated, and we get arguments like the following:

The Baltimore Colts ended when they moved to Indianapolis and the franchise SHOULD have changed its name. I’m not looking at the accounting books or the legalities, etc., but at the notion of a club representing a city or region. You move: you assume a new identity. It’s just the civil thing to do, right?

or

Why? Should the Raiders have changed their named when they went to LA? Then changed it again when they went back to Oakland? What about the Rams? They were in Cleveland first. The Los Angeles Rams should’ve never existed? Should the LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants should have different names as well?

and finally

I believe you are looking at this from a legal and economic point of view. The business side. The side of the team ownership.

I am looking at it from an emotional point of view. The psychological side. The side of the fan left in the wake.

There are more impassioned pleas than this, of course, but for better or for worse, I feel it’s a debate worth having. I have on several occasions entered this debate, and I’ll conclude this segment with my own views. But first, today, I’m joined by Jerry Wolper and Rick Pearson (whose birthday is today, dontcha know?), who will debate the “Civic vs. Corporate” responsibilities team have and should consider with regard to the cities (and their fans) in which they play. And to what extent those teams “owe” their fans should they ultimately consider relocation. We’ll begin with Ricko:

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It is what it is.

This entire discussion always turns into a classic Subjective/Objective, Emotion/Logic, Truth/Fact confrontation. That means, of course, that it never will be resolved except to go with, “Okay, what does it say on paper? What’s the law?”

“But that takes the spirit out of it,” you claim with alarm. Yes, it does. It’s supposed to. That’s the whole point of many rules, regulations and laws. They provide benchmarks to resolve issues that sometimes get emotional. Justice wears a blindfold, not a team jersey.

What a privately held professional team accomplishes, what it wears, its “heraldry”, et al, are its property, a part of its equity…for whatever they’re worth. They belong to the organization that paid for them, even individual records by dint of having paid those who amassed them. Unless some sort of agreement is made to the contrary such as the Cleveland Browns anomaly, if a team/franchise relocates those things go with them. A new team nickname doesn’t change that. As long as that company continues to exist, such things are part of its holdings, whether used or not. Sure, the owners can surrender them if they choose. But they certainly have no legal obligation to do so, and neither can ownership of those things simply be appropriated.

SenatorsMoveUsing the recent Nationals throwback event as an example, the fact is that the team/franchise that left town after the 1960 season won the 1924 World Series. Not the city of Washington. Not its people. The team/franchise won it; the people watched. That’s fact. “But, but, but…” But, nothing. That’s fact.

“Okay, how about cities helping pay for ballparks, etc.” So? One way or another, the state of Minnesota shoved millions upon millions of dollars at Northwest Airlines over the years. And it isn’t alone in such efforts. Local and state governments choose to sort of “co-invest” in private businesses all the time for the public good. But that doesn’t mean they gain any ownership in them. What the community gains are the benefits—real or perceived—for as long as the assistance aids the company.

“Fan”, of course, is derived from “fanatic”, a clear indication that emotion rather than logic is likely to lead any discussion from them. That’s why, for those arguments to the contrary of objective/logical/factual, we can pretty much do a universal copy-paste-replace using, “But it’s what I want.” That’ll work just fine (and save time) because it’s essentially the core of virtually every argument they make.

. . . . .

And now to Jerry:

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This is a complicated question.

Somebody owns the intellectual property. It hasn’t always been important, though. Many NFL teams borrowed the local baseball team’s nickname (the Giants are the only survivor). When the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis, they didn’t change their name, and the baseball team didn’t take action. Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres were all in use by minor league teams (and major, briefly, in Baltimore) before the current major league clubs adopted them.

Now, when apparel sales are such a big part of the business, those rights are more valuable.

If the problem is individual owners hoarding their intellectual property, the league or its Properties subsidiary can actually own the logos and uniform designs and then license them back to the team. They could even own records if it’s important. It’s not much different than the NFL owning a local exhibition broadcast where the rights have been sold by the team and the station produces the broadcast.

baltimore_colts_movingThe larger issue, though, is the emotional one. Part of what makes sports what they are is the shared civic experience, and that doesn’t move with a franchise. (Phil suggests, correctly, that it’s different in a multi-team market where part of the city isn’t along for the ride.) The 1964 NFL Championship works well as an odd example because the winner ended up in the loser’s city, but no Cleveland or Baltimore fan thinks of it that way, and no Indianapolis fan really cares. No LA Dodger fan could ever feel the excitement for the 1955 Dodgers finally winning a Series that Phil’s pop and other Brooklyn fans did. Similarly, the name Rick Monday will never disgust Nationals fans the way it does Montreal fans. And I doubt that Kirk Gibson’s homer caused much special response in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, or Kansas City.

In 1996, I flew out of and back into Pittsburgh between the AFC championship game and Super Bowl. USAir, which had a hub there at the time, allowed their agents to wear Steeler sweatshirts instead of airline uniforms if they so desired, and I enjoyed seeing that as I walked down the concourse. (I’d probably have appreciated similar Cowboy apparel if I’d flown through DFW.) This kind of civic response has nothing to do with ownership, any more than the local lingerie shop that puts a Terrible Towel in the window with the bras when the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. It’s just a kind of pride that no other local business generates, and it doesn’t move with the franchise.

These emotional ties are what make logos and team names valuable. Time and accomplishment have an effect, too. I don’t know that there are many Clevelanders who still have an attachment to the Cleveland Rams’ legacy, but the Browns’ success in much more recent times matters there. Yeah, there’s something to be said for consistency, but the NFL also means a lot more now, and even when the Browns joined it, than it did when the Rams were in Cleveland.

There are several statues outside the ballpark in San Francisco. All of them are of players who played in San Francisco. It’s not that the organization doesn’t care about what McGraw and Mathewson accomplished, but that history is less important to Bay Area fans than the history that actually happened in the Bay Area. The statue of Johnny Unitas is outside the stadium in Baltimore, and that seems right for fans in Maryland and Indiana.

The 1950s wave of baseball moves was secondary teams in two-team markets moving to be top dog in their own markets, and there was no real reason for the team that stayed behind to adopt their erstwhile competitors’ records in the other league. In other sports, movement was usually because of lack of support. Over time, leagues stabilized, and most moves of the last few decades have had more to do with an owner who couldn’t cut a deal for a new facility than because nobody wanted to watch his team. As we see leagues move back into those abandoned markets, there are many people who fondly remember the team that left, and would like to see the new team adopt the old name and colors.

modell-blameBaltimore would have been thrilled to have the Ravens be the Colts, but it was not to be. Winnipeg, on the other hand, got exactly what it wanted. Because the city of Cleveland was immediately negotiating with the NFL, they were able to officially “keep the history”.

New York is an especially odd case because two NL teams left, so there wasn’t one legacy for the Mets to latch onto, and choosing one would have alienated fans of the other. Hence the blue and orange.

In terms of throwbacks, I think they mean more to the city than the franchise. The Devils might be the rightful owners of the Rockies’ NHL legacy, but there would be a much better response to those sweaters in Denver than there would be in Newark. (Unless there was a game in Kansas City, only the uni-obsessed would get excited about seeing Scouts throwbacks.) Regardless of where you think the Senators’ history belongs, it apparently means more to Washingtonians than to Minnesotans or Texans. And if we say that teams can only throw back within their franchise’s history, does that mean they can’t do Negro League or minor league unis? If the rationale for those is that they’re public domain, can any team wear Minneapolis Millers unis?

If this was about what people want, Seattle basketball fans would still have the Supersonics. What they have instead are memories of Slick Watts and Downtown Freddie Brown and Shawn Kemp and a championship against the Bullets. Oklahoma City fans have their own moments with Durant and Westbrook and Harden, but those are in blue and orange. The green and gold were in Seattle, and those are the fans to whom Sonics history means something, regardless of who owns it legally, or, if the NBA puts another team there, what the new team is called.

Like I said at the top, it’s complicated. I remember reading that when Carroll Rosenbloom traded the Colts for the Rams, he kept the Lombardi Trophy that his team won in Super Bowl V. It was his property, but that didn’t mean that anybody else in LA (or St. Louis now) would feel any pride in that trophy. And while the Ravens, the St. Louis Rams, and the Indy Colts have all won their own trophies since, to the delight of their fans, that SB V trophy means the most in Baltimore, regardless of where it resides now.

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Thanks Rick and Jerry. After all has been said and done, I come down (slightly) on the side of Ricko, but that doesn’t mean Jerry hasn’t made excellent points. There is, of course, no “right” or “wrong” answer here — just opinion. I tend to agree, especially in the early 2000’s, that while we certainly live and die by our teams, franchise relocation, player movement due to free agency, the advent of 24/7 television and the ability to watch any team at virtually any time, there is slightly less “civic” responsibility now than there was back a half a decade ago. But really — one of the best quotes on this matter, offered up by Jim Hamerlinck above, boils the matter down to this:

I believe you are looking at this from a legal and economic point of view. The business side. The side of the team ownership.

I am looking at it from an emotional point of view. The psychological side. The side of the fan left in the wake.

And while it isn’t uni-related, isn’t that really the essence of what this is all about? What say you, dear readers?

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not Benchies

Today is the real “Mick’s” birthday. Even though he’s sixty-six, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t always been funny. Phil, on the other hand, was never funny.

. . . . .

Never mess with the guy who had Phyllis Diller when she was Phyllis Driver…what, too soon?…

birthday benchies 2012

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 33

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

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Now, more of your letters to the NBA:

Michael Hall:

I am writing to express my opinion that I feel it will be a mistake if the NBA goes ahead with its decision to add advertising to the uniforms. As a sports fan, I am bombarded with advertising from every direction whether attending the game, watching on TV or listening on the radio. The uniform has been the one saving grace. The uniform is the connection the team has with its fans. It is the one constant that links generations and serves as a timeline for a franchise.

It is most shocking that a league that has been very self aware about its history would make such a misstep. If you go ahead with this decision, I will not spend another dime on anything related to the NBA nor will I continue to support the team that has decided to eliminate this connection with the fans.

One more point to consider… Just for the sake of argument let’s say you made this decision 2+ years ago and allowed BP to sponsor the New Orleans Hornets. How would that have looked if your New Orleans basketball franchise had an emblem for the largest polluter in US history? How would the New York Knicks looked in 2009 with a NYSE logo? How about the Chik-Fil-A Hawks in Atlanta this season? Once you allow an outside entity to alter your image, you are no longer in control of how you are perceived.

I am truly amazed that this is being considered. It is greed in its purest form and it is disgusting.

Please reconsider.

Terry Proctor:

I am a 65-year-old man that grew up and still lives in the Rochester, NY area. I never got to see the Rochester Royals play before they moved to Cincinnati in 1957-58 but was fortunate to meet several Royals stars through my work. I worked for one of Rochester’s premier sporting goods stores from 1967-88. Through my work I met former owner-coach Lester Harrison, Bobby Wanzer, Bobby Davies, Arnie Risen, Arnie Johnson, Al Cervi and George Glamack. All but Davies stayed in Rochester after they retired. Davies was the area sales rep for Converse Shoe Co. Wanzer became men’s basketball coach and athletic director at St. John Fisher College. We sold Bobby Wanzer basketball uniforms for his teams at Fisher. They chose the basic Celtics style in their colors.

I did attend many Buffalo Braves games during their tenure in the Queen City. Although I’m a Celtics fan I would purchase the 10-game ticket plan for the Braves and got to see some wonderful basketball. Through my work I got to go into the Lakers’ dressing room in Buffalo. After the Braves left Buffalo we would go to Toronto a couple of times a year to see the Raptors.

Which brings me to the point of my letter. The store I worked for sold many, many basketball uniforms local high schools, colleges and church-league teams during my years there. And the majority of these uniforms were made using NBA or ABA-style uniforms as the template. The most-popular team uniforms chosen were the Celtics, the Bulls, the Lakers, the Cavaliers multi-striped pattern, the Sonics horizontally-striped short pattern and two Hawks patterns. The original pattern from the 1950s-’60s and the pinstriped trim pattern of 1972-73.

How proud these schools were of their new uniforms. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well with the number of pro-styled uniforms we sold I feel that the schools in the Rochester area were in love with the NBA.

So the very thought of desecrating a Celtics or Lakers or Bulls jersey with an advertising logo (irregardless of size) sickens me. Knowing how influential corporate marketing people can be when offering large sums of money and how some owners (can you say Mark Cuban?) would sell ads on the players’ athletic supporters if they were visible the eventual scenario would evolve to something like this.

The ads start out a 2″ x 2″ on the upper-right chest. But after a year the XYZ Corporation decides that the small ad just isn’t working. So XYZ tells the team that if you let us put a full-size logo on the shirt front in place of your wordmark we’ll up the ante by big bucks. Then ABC Corporation decides that they want to get in the act. ABC offers to pay for their ad on the back of the jersey over the numbers where the name would normally go. And on and on it goes until the pristine Celtics or Lakers or Bulls uniforms end up looking like a bunch of Euro teams where ads are even on the socks and the arse end of the shorts.

Therefore I emplore you to not go down this slippery slope. My fear is that if your league does it then how soon will MLB, the NFL and the NHL follow suit? Your leagues that make up the “Big Four” of North American (and don’t ever forget that your league was born and bred in the USA, not Europe or Asia) professional sports should stay above sullying your classic uniforms with advertising. You and the other three leagues set the standard of competition and prestige in each of your particular sports. Stay at the pinnacle of that sport that we fans have helped you to attain by keeping the uniforms pristine. You really owe us fans something for all our years of support. It’s the least that you can do for us.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

The “Karma Khameleons” are on the clock…

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: We begin today with George Chilvers, who says this is the area for visiting fans at a Polish Second Division football team, Znicz Pruszkow. Yes, he knows its not uni-related, and no, I don’t read Polish. Here is something uni related, also from George: The Premier League Handbook for 2012/2013 which has now been published online. It contains everything you need to know about PL clubs (including registered kits) and the rules they work under. … Tony Crespo says, “I know how a lot readers feel about putting your own last name on the back of a pro team’s jersey(personally think it’s the smartest move in this day and age of free agency), so I can imagine how many people’s head will exploded once they start to see fans putting their Twitter handle on jerseys.” … Ken Singer brings up a point we’ve addressed before, but still continues to generate comments: “I am not if you have addressed this before. It looks like the 49ers field players have two shoulder stripes, the QBs have 3 shoulder stripes and the punter has 0 shoulder stripes. Do you know if there is significance to this? If it was just based on the length of the sleeve the punter should have 3 stripes. The QB pictured is Alex Smith, but Tolzien (no photo) also had 3 stripes, so it is not any kind seniority thing.” … Paul checks in with this: This new SDSU helmet photo has been circulating in recent days. I checked with the school’s media office and was told that this is one of several designs that have been considered for 2012, with a formal announcement expected next week. … Couple rugby kits from Caleb Borchers: “The good news is that Nike did replace the horribly ugly jerseys they gave Argentina for their June Test Series. The bad news is that the replacement is also horribly ugly. Diagonal stripes? Different colored sleeves? Pattern cutting off 2/3rds across the front? They must be missing Adidas.” … John Sheehan sends this: “Thought you’d get a kick out of this (Natty Boh helmet).” That sound you just heard was Robert Marshall beating, um, a path to John’s door. … According to Joshua Ringer, there are new uniforms for Valdosta State (Valdosta, GA). He say they look like the West Virginia-style template. … Paul isn’t the only one making lists. Chris Mahr brings us College Football’s Top 10 Ugliest Helmets. … “No idea where my husband found this, but felt that as infographics go, it’s concise and to the point!” says Ilana Hardesty (I’m guessing Flip Flop Fly Ball, but I’m too lazy to check to be sure). … Two submissions today from Brendan Slattery: Life Magazine (1968). Promo for “NFL Training Table Foods.” and Life Magazine (1968). Bob Lilly strips down for Chap Stick. … Here’s another one I think we had in the ticker before, but I’m not sure we ever got an answer. Ian Henderson asks, here is a “picture which appeared on the marquee of MLB.com’s homepage today. I was curious: what is that object on David Prices’ hat from the fauxback night the Rays hosted a little while back? Is it a pin? A photographic artifact? I was wondering if you could provide any insight as I am curious about its identity.” Anyone? … James Kim notes that at some point, “Everton player #7 Nikica Jelavic lost his NOB and number during yesterday’s match against Man Utd. I’m pretty sure I saw him wearing a proper kit earlier in the game so I’m not sure what happened.” Interestingly, Thom Armitage saw the same thing and here’s his writeup: “Just finished watching ManU/Everton and there was a strange jersey mishap. Croatian Nikica Jelavic, who started the game wearing #7 for Everton, took a nasty elbow to the face around the 60th minute and had to leave the match due to blood on his jersey. This happens quite a bit in the EPL and they just put a backup jersey on and re-enter. For some reason, Jelavic had no backup shirt with his name on it as he came on wearing a blank jersey, creating a strange scene when the camera pulled out to show various players’ backs at once. Had a bit of a rough game, did Jelavic, as he got injured later and had to depart – that was the only closeup I was able to snag off my laptop, somebody with DVR can probably get a better closeup from when he first re-entered the game.” This soccer must be pretty popular because Timothy Burke noted, “Two Everton-Manchester United uniform snafus today — Anderson’s NOB misspelled, and Jelavic had to put on the blood shirt. … Jake Hurley sends a photo of Rockies Rookie Patrick Johnson #17. “In his hands are a pair of white tube socks and a 9 inch pair of my black stirrups. I knew it all along but I proved to myself that it’s much easier to work the minors, especially the Pioneer league.” … “City’s under shirt message,” says Kenny Loo, “Using premiership league’s font article.” One more from Kenny (also seen above): “Man u game Fail NOB” … Clint Richardson notes “The Facebook pictures of all the Kentucky uniforms strike me as odd. All the jerseys have the OLD pennant SEC logo, versus the new circular one, that even Kentucky was sporting not too long ago. Are these old jerseys used for the pictures? Or old pictures just now released?”

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And there you have it. Lots to discuss today — for those of you who don’t like these long posts, fear not, for tomorrow will be my last weekday post on UW for a while (possibly until next Summer). We’ll have part 2 of Paul’s UW Power Rankings shortly, and that will certainly be basis for even more discussion. And of course, don’t forget to wish Ricko a Happy Birthday!. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.

~~~

“The NFL really needs to get over this Los Angeles thing. If they wanted a team in LA, they should have told the city of Cleveland to STFU back in 1996, and the 1999/2002 expansion should have consisted of Houston and Los Angeles.”
—THE Jeff Provo

 

240 comments to What if The Browns Called Baltimore Home?

  • Dumb Guy | August 21, 2012 at 8:21 am |

    I love the old Wilson masks on the Bears helmets (LIFE magazine 1968).

  • Paul | August 21, 2012 at 8:22 am |

    Right or wrong, I sure wish people had sued to keep the North Stars nickname and logo in Minnesota. Instead we’re left with one of the worst nicknames in sports.

    • Cort McMurray | August 21, 2012 at 8:28 am |

      “Minnesota Wild” is either a fishing show on OLN or a gentleman’s club in Duluth.

      It’s not a hockey team.

    • WFY | August 21, 2012 at 8:31 am |

      Minnesota deserved better than the “Wild.” Wasn’t Northern Lights a finalist?

      • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |

        I was heavily emotionally invested in “Voyageurs” at the time, which was a finalist. I think “White Bears” was also on the list, but it would have been odd to effectively name a team after a suburb best known for its car dealerships.

        • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 9:39 am |

          And I’d be willing to bet more than one person pointed out that Voyageurs could look a bit like “Voyeurs.”

          I don’t think either of those other two names ever were seriously in the running. They were there for the sake of the PR program. I think “Wild” was a done deal.

          Personally, I was hoping for Blizzard…using “Bliz” in caps, lower case on the jersey with a snowflake dotting the “i”. Maybe with royal, white and powder blue as the team colors.

          Ah, well, you can’t always get what you want.

        • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 10:05 am |

          Wasn’t “Polars” also in the mix? I think I recall that one too, though maybe it wasn’t a “finalist.”

          And yeah, I think you’re right about the fix being in. Which is probably should have been, since fan polls always produce worse team names than the team owner choosing one. Democracy is great for many things, but corporate branding ain’t one of them.

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

          Fan polls are always fixed, in my opinion.

          It seems as if teams will put their mediocre suggestion on a ballot, along with four other choices that are so bad, the fans end up “agreeing” and selecting just what management wanted in the first place. If they somehow select one of the worse options, “Well, the fans demanded it…”

          Just come out and say, “This is what we’re naming the team. If there are no widespread objections within two weeks, we’re submitting the name to the league office.”

          “Polars” would have been a decent name for Minnesota. Same with “Blizzard.”

    • Ted Machnik | August 21, 2012 at 8:46 am |

      I agree that “Wild” does not suit the Minnesota hockey club, but one has to admit that the logo is very clever. Still, the North Star logo was iconic.

    • walter | August 21, 2012 at 9:31 am |

      It created one of the all-time best headlines, though: “Jacques Lemaire to coach Wild in 2000.”

  • Dumb Guy | August 21, 2012 at 8:22 am |

    RE: Stripes on SF shoulders……

    It’s like the stripes inside your necktie. The more stripes, the higher the quality! B^)

  • Mark in Shiga | August 21, 2012 at 8:23 am |

    I’ve got to say, I’m on the “history = city + franchise” (nicknames don’t matter) side of the argument. When you change cities, you’re basically switching out one fanbase for a whole new one.

    I admit to being a little biased — I was born in New York and know nobody who, a generation before me, continued to love the Dodgers or Giants when they left town for the opposite side of the country.

    And as a Chicago Cubs fan, I’ve got a team that has played in the same city for every year of its league’s existence, so when I see people argue that the Cubs’ record for most wins by any franchise is behind that of the New York/San Francisco Giants, well, that’s just silly. The New York Giants’ records came to a close in 1957 when they stopped being the New York Giants.

    Also, thinking about this makes me even more convinced that the Cubs should continue to have the National League patch on their blue jerseys like they do now. That’s not just a quirky design element; it’s a symbol of their storied history as a founding member of the oldest extant sports league in the USA.

  • Cort McMurray | August 21, 2012 at 8:24 am |

    This has been the best post of the year: great, thought- provoking comments from Ricko and Jerry; Terry Proctor reminding the world that there was a time when Western New York was one of the best places for sports in North America (I was at a lot of those Braves games, too, Terry!); and ticker shout-outs to both the insane, hooliganized and borderline personality disordered world of lower division Polish football AND Man City legend Les “Chappy” Chapman, a very funny guy and a genuinely nice person.

    Economics plays a big part in the way a community “owns” a team. The Oilers left Houston under much the same circumstances as the Colts left Baltimore. Baltimore was struggling: the Colts were not only loved; they were a crucial source of community pride. When the Oilers left, Houston’s unemployment rate was something like 4%. People were mad, but they got over it quick (the fact that many Houstonians are really Cowboys fans is probably another factor).

    Happy birthday, Ricko!

    • Terry Proctor | August 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |

      Cort, then you’ve got to remember those heady days before luxury suies when Buffalo Braves owner Paul Snyder would show up with his burly bodyguard as he and Mrs. Snyder de jour would make their way to their courtside seats. It was all peaches-and-cream until the reports of the Braves being sold or relocated began to surface. Then Mr. Snyder became a no-show and the rest is history.

      • Cort McMurray | August 21, 2012 at 10:00 am |

        Remember John Y. Brown? Remember bumper stickers that said “Jocks Aren’t the Only Braves Supporters”, or the “In the Land of the Free, We’re the Home of the Braves” jingle on WBEN?

        When I was maybe 14, we showed up a couple of hours early for a game between the Braves and the Warriors. Tickets in the Orange seats cost $3.

        We wandered down to the court, and stood on the baseline during a pregame shootaround. Rick Barry was doing a live radio interview. My friend and I walked up to him, to ask for an autograph. He took my program, signed it, and handed it back in mid-interview. He never said a word to us, never even looked at us. I still have that program.

        You can’t do stuff like that anymore.

        • Terry Proctor | August 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

          I went down to the scorer’s table one night and got Johnny Most’s (legendary Celtics broadcaster) AND Danny Neaverth’s (Braves PA guy and Buffalo radio legend on WKBW 1520). My visit to the Lakers dressing room was arranged by Barney Tiernan of Galbraith and Tiernan Athletic Wear of Inglewood. We were in the process of taking on the G&T line and Barney set it up for me to get into the Lakers’ room to look at their uniforms. Man were they nice. Barney made the Lakers duds from their start in LaLa Land in 1960 until SandKnit got the exclusive NBA contract. I still much prefer the uniforms that Barney made to Sand, Champion or adidas. There was more pride in a uniform made by the local company. It was taking YOUR product around the country for all to see. I know how proud Barney must have been to see the Lakers or the original Los Angeles Chargers wear the stuff that he and his people had made usi ng the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants technology of 1960. We even felt the same outfitting the Rochester Americans. The downfall of the uniform business all goes back to money. Sad there’s no more originality, just cookie-cutter templates that frankly suck.

  • Scott Davis | August 21, 2012 at 8:24 am |

    Happy birthday, Ricko!

    • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 9:31 am |

      Hear hear! Happy navidad, Ricko! Great run of Benchies, too; second only to what the Nats are doing night after night, daily Benchies has been the highlight of Paul’s summer interregnum for me.

  • Tony C. | August 21, 2012 at 8:25 am |

    i asked this question a month or so ago and figured Phil and Paul would end up being on opposite sides of this one

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 8:31 am |

      i wouldn’t say we’re diametrically opposed, and my views on teams owing their communities has actually evolved a bit more towards paul’s position recently…still…i have to recognize that unless you’re the packers (and they’re no where close to some of the european teams), you can’t become attached to anything, and if the mets up and left town tomorrow, the sun would still rise in the east

      sports are great, sports are fun, and “our” teams are something we can all live and die with as a community — but they’re JUST teams…not life and death

      • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 9:34 am |

        Yup. Teams owe nothing to their communities. If they want to move & set up shop in another town, that is their right.

        If anything, teams use & abuse the local fans. They ask for free stadiums, GMs tell their fans to “show up or else“. It’s insulting to the fans who do show up already. They pester us with tons of advertising, flood the market with cheesy merchandise & think fans will buy any ‘ol piece of crap with a team logo stamped on it. Or for christ’s sakes, spray paint lawn logos

        When it comes down to it, the teams need us fans more than we need them. We’re the ones buying tickets and merchandise & helping them achieve a profit. It’s just an entertainment option.

        I think it’s silly when fans refer to teams in terms of “our”, “us” & “we”. You have to be rational about it. The Packers shareholders gives fans the “illusion” of owning the team when it’s really just another revenue generating scheme. From the Packers website: http://www.packers.c...

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 11:08 am |

          I don’t think the Packers have ever denied that the stock sales are for the purpose of raising revenues. That is, in fact, the purpose of every stock sale.

          But the public shares do more than that for the Packers. They ensure, first and foremost, that the team will never be moved. Tell that to fans in Duluth, Canton, Hammond (Indiana), Racine, Rock Island (Illinois), Columbus, Dayton, Akron, Louisville and Rochester, all of whom had teams in 1923 and whose teams moved or folded in the few years after the first stock sale saved the Packers from going under.

          The corporate nature also guarantees that the Packers can’t be raided by a wealthy owner looking to pad his pockets with the profits or the payroll with his shiftless kids. It guarantees that fans have a limited (but real) amount of control over the franchise, with the ability to vote for the board of directors.

          I’m cynical about a lot of things, but I have a hard time being cynical about the Packers’ stock sales. Even when I don’t participate, like the most recent one.

  • Joe Hilseberg | August 21, 2012 at 8:28 am |

    I do have a Baltimore Browns hat!

    • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

      I had a Baltimore CFL Colts hat. Should have held on to it…

      • duker | August 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

        I grew up just outside of Baltimore. I was 3 years old when the Colts left. Somehow I became a Bills and Browns fan when I started watching the NFL.

        I remember wearing my Browns sweatshirt to high school after they announced that they were moving to Baltimore. I remember getting such shit from classmates and even a teacher for “jumping on the bandwagon.” They just hadn’t noticed that I’d worn that sweatshirt over the past 3 years.

        • walter | August 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

          It never pays to be ahead of the curve.

      • James A | August 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

        Still got CFL Colt hat and t-shirt (As well as a Stallions Grey Cup champs tee). I knew the CFL Colts thing would likely get hammered in court, so I picked it up just because.

  • Dumb Guy | August 21, 2012 at 8:47 am |

    I think it’s OK for a team to keep its name when it moves. It’s the Team name. The city just defines *which* team it is. I know, I know, there is only ONE Rams, Cardinals or whatever in the league. But why couldn’t there be more than one?? What if Washington changed its name to the Washington Bears? They’re still the NFL team from Washington, they’re just called the Bears now. Not the Chicago Bears–the Washington Bears.

    • ChrisH | August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am |

      The AHL has 2 franchises called the Admirals, right? I think the fans in Norfolk and Milwaukee can make the distinction; around the league…could be a bit confusing.

    • DenverGregg | August 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |

      There are plenty of Tigers-Tigers, Bulldogs-Bulldogs and Wildcats-Wildcats matchups in NCAA. Heck the SEC has the first two covered in conference.

      Denver and Phoenix got the dishonorable mentions for current four-sport cities. No surprise there. Chicago should get the best average mark for four-sport towns.

      • Komet17 | August 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

        THREE Tigers in the SEC now, with the addition of Mizzou…

  • WFY | August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am |

    In sports, civic history > corporate history.

    • Tony C. | August 21, 2012 at 9:00 am |

      you know based off the tone of this blog most of the time, you’d think that would be the how the majority would side

      • Memal | August 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

        I concur with both of these opinions,

  • Mark K | August 21, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    I love the look on that Dawg’s face. Hilarious.

  • Michael Churchill | August 21, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    Re. the comment about the Super Bowl V trophy.

    I’ve seen a Super Bowl V trophy in the sports museum outside Camden Yards in Baltimore and remember thinking “Oh! The Colts didn’t take that to Indianapolis with them”. Now you’re telling me that their owner took it to Los Angeles with him?

    Was what I saw only a replica? Does anyone know the full story?

    • scottj | August 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |

      Can’t vouch for the accuracy, but apparently the one at Camden Yards is a Pete Rozelle-authorized replica.
      http://jacksonville....

      • WFY | August 21, 2012 at 9:23 am |

        I think the NFL authorizes selling Lombardi Trophies to participants. I remember reading/seeing something about it a while back.

    • NickV | August 22, 2012 at 4:48 am |

      I remember seeing a Super Bowl/Lombardi Trophy on display in downtown Baltimore in 1973 – I believe that it was in the glass showcase in a large Department Store. Anybody know what that was?

  • BSmile | August 21, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    Happy B-Day Ricko!
    Cheers!

  • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Pfff @ QotD. Yeah, because putting NFL teams & building new stadiums is easy & like *magic*. The investors & money wasn’t there in Los Angeles. That’s why Houston & Cleveland got their teams.

    If the NFL REALLY wanted a team in Los Angeles, they would invest the money & build the stadium themselves, but of course they’re too greedy & want taxpayers to foot the bill. Every year they keep waiting, the higher the cost to build it. They want some elaborate palace that can host multiple Super Bowls & will cost well over $1 billion.

    • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am |

      While I’m sympathetic to that argument, it doesn’t really hold in Los Angeles, which has two proposed stadiums that are intended to be built largely with private money.

    • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |

      I think economists call it the “greater fool” theory. The NFL has always been betting that in a city like L.A., full of vainglorious tycoons with deep reserves of $$$ and gall, one of them eventually won’t be able to resist the cachet of being an NFL owner. The league knew that if they waited it out, someone with more dollars & vanity than sense would do their work for them, and sleaze the local politicos into a co-financed stadium. It finally looks as if it’s happening, and could justify the NFL’s strategy in the long run.

      In other words, “if you don’t come, he will build it.”

  • Ted Machnik | August 21, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Regarding the link to the photo showing fans in a cage, the team is “Znicz Pruszków” located in Pruszków, a city in central Poland. The story states that the two photos demonstrate why Polish stadiums are not up to European standards. The caption under the first photo identifies the “incarcerated” fans of Zagłębia Lubin who came to watch their team. I always thought fences make good neighbors!

    • Cort McMurray | August 21, 2012 at 10:03 am |

      The big worry for Euro 2012 was that eastern Europe is the last bastion of violent soccer hooligans. The Poles kept saying, “You think we’re bad? Check out the Ukranians!” to which the Ukranians basically said, “Yeah, we’re nuts.”

  • Coleman | August 21, 2012 at 9:04 am |

    Happy Birthday, Ricko!!!

    Today’s Benchies, very good as always. Today’s NOT Benchies? Hilarious. Way to go Phil.

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am |

      “NOT Benchies? Hilarious. Way to go Phil.”

      ~~~

      srsly? blind squirrel/acorn

      • Coleman | August 21, 2012 at 10:10 am |

        Yeah, “srsly”. Haha. Maybe it’s my sometimes childish humor, but I just had to laugh at the “your mom” joke!

      • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

        Both were very funny. Maybe you two should collaborate on a spinoff to Benchies.

        Happy Birthday, Ricko!

  • Joe from Eagle Mills | August 21, 2012 at 9:09 am |

    One of the arguments frequently heard for these multi-million dollar stadium boondoggles is ‘civic pride’, right along with ‘keeping the money in $MUNICIPALITY’. If that’s the case, shouldn’t $MUNICIPALITY have some say when the team in question packs up and moves?

    • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 9:47 am |

      Somebody Gets It™

      Yes I love sports, but not with my taxpayer dime. Private enterprises = privately invest in selves; not publicly.

      If anything, the taxpayers should get discounts or free tickets since they helped build that stadium; like if it were a public park. Make the tourists pay full price. And I know it wouldn’t work.

      Sports stadiums do not create new revenue in a local economy, it merely redistributes it.

      • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am |

        And in reference to Ricko’s (happy bday btw) piece, I know governments lure & contribute to private businesses, but I would most definitely rank things like a grocery store, an airport, trains, libraries, fire & police stations & roads much, much higher than say theaters, museums or sports stadiums – that being essential & important services over entertainment options. If I was a non-sports fan, I would be annoyed as hell that my taxes and/or cable bill going up solely because of sports.

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 11:14 am |

          And I’m annoyed that my taxes go up because of lots of things that I don’t personally like.

          Unless you’re Paul Ryan, and looking to re-write our society from the ground up in some sort of Ayn Rand fantasy, that’s a really tough argument to make.

        • James A | August 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

          Well, I could make an argument for museums. Depending on the museum and locale, you may actually have free admission (or at least designated days with free or discounted admission). Granted not all the art in the museum would interest me, but it serves as something to take the family to and maybe even learn something. I generally agree with your argument. If a government is going to pour money into developing a parcel of land, couldn’t they generate more year-round, full-time jobs by helping to build, say, an industrial park than a stadium and its parking lots? As much as I love sports, I don’t need a team(s) in my area if it has to be on my dime. I have other interests; I can get by.

    • Tom V. | August 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |

      “…when the team in question packs up and moves?…”

      Team? Here in Orlando they built a team and arena for one person who now plays for the Lakers.

  • Paul Stave | August 21, 2012 at 9:11 am |

    Always thought the Mariners should have been named the Pilots. Hell they had the same colors at the time….and the same as the Brewers. But I got over it, as times and colors have changed.

  • jesse | August 21, 2012 at 9:17 am |

    Just wanted to say, nice job to whomever designed the round UniWatch rankings logo. Very nice.

    • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

      Yes, it is. Can’t believe we haven’t talked about that.

      Who did it?

  • scottj | August 21, 2012 at 9:24 am |

    Re yesterday’s ManU-Everton tilt, the ESPN2 commentators speculated that Jelavic elected to use a NNOB short-sleeve jersey b/c the back-up jersey he brought with him was long-sleeve. Temperature in Liverpool yesterday was in the mid-60s (Fahrenheit), so that’s at least plausible. No idea if it’s accurate, though.

    In Sunday’s ManCity-Southhampton game, both Tevez & Nasri wore “message” shirts beneath their jerseys that (dadgummit!) they each had an opportunity to display.
    http://uk.eurosport....

    • Cort McMurray | August 21, 2012 at 9:42 am |

      I’m a City supporter, but the message t-shirt thing is rapidly getting out of hand.

      Balotelli’s “Why Always Me?” shirt was Mario being Mario. Tevez’s “Fuerte Apache” shirt was a tribute to his home, a hardscrabble district of Buenos Aires. Nasi offered best wishes for Eid to all of his Muslim fans. Tevez’s second shirt was the address of the apartment building he’d grown up in.

      Where does it stop?

      • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

        It stops when the League comes to its senses and stops it.

        Mayhaps we need to educate our English cousins in the use of “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

        • diz | August 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

          Samir Nasri *was* punished for it. Did you not do the research or something?

    • weefuse | August 21, 2012 at 10:05 am |

      Jelavic was hit in the mouth and bled on the NOB jersey he was wearing to start the match and it had to be changed before he could return to the field. Not wanting to waste time getting a player back onto the field many clubs will have a NNOB shirt ready so that they can give it to any player immediately. You may have also noticed that the NNOB shirt he put on was too big for him- again, this is just the club making sure that any player can wear the shirt if need be.

  • Alex Wolcott | August 21, 2012 at 9:28 am |

    Yes, it is not well remembered but the original plan (for a very short time) of Modell was for the team to indeed be known as the “Baltimore Browns.”

    I’m surprised that actual merch came out of that, as the legal firestorm that erupted over the move put pretty much everyone involved into heavy “no comment” mode almost immediately.

    • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

      I’m not surprised at all.

      Merchandising was in its relative infancy, but far enough along that the Browns would know they could capitalize on the initial rush of enthusiasm in Baltimore.

      I’m surprised that more of these things haven’t leaked out.

      • Joe Hilseberg | August 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

        People would bring in existing Browns stuff and have “Baltimore” added to it. The city was so excited to have the NFL back that nobody wanted to wait for “official” merch to hit the shelves.

  • Pierre | August 21, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    Two words: Utah Jazz

    (gag)

    • walter | August 21, 2012 at 9:35 am |

      That’s the sort of jazz they play in Branson.

      • Pierre | August 21, 2012 at 9:45 am |

        I believe they have jazz in Utah…I’m just not sure if they’re allowed to listen to it.

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

          Smooth Jazz, perhaps?

  • tom | August 21, 2012 at 9:35 am |

    Just a thought about the relocation piece:

    the reason why the Dodgers moved to LA was for the expansion of the game. If MLB really wanted baseball to catch on at the West Coast, why not give LA a famous team, a team with history. I know it sounds shallow, but establishing the Dodgers franchise in LA prob helped sell more tickets than if the team was named the Seals or Rasins.

    With Cleveland, Baltimore was already hurt by relocation. I doubt the ppl of Baltimore would get behind a team that stole the name from another city…I mean Baltimore still brings up the Colts.

    • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |

      Um, the Dodgers & Giants moved because they wanted new stadiums to make more money.

      MLB did put expansion teams out west, they were called the Angels & Padres.

      Technically Baltimore did “steal” another team away from a city – a really liked team, too. But they got over that pretty quickly. They just put it in different logos & uniforms.

      • tom | August 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |

        true, but the Dogders were in LA in 1958. The Angles in 1961. isnt the expansion of and professional sports league about money?

        • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 10:10 am |

          I mean is, they did it for themselves, not solely just to expand the MLB brand. It doesn’t matter if it was L.A. or S.F., it could had been somewhere else in New York, or Boston, D.C., Cleveland, Detroit, or any pre-existing MLB town that wanted a N.L. team.

        • tom | August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am |

          yea, o’malley, or whatever his name was, wanted a new stadium cause ebitts wasnt cutting it

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 11:16 am |

          More to the point, O’Malley wanted a city to use eminent domain to seize private lands on which he could build a stadium.

          New York wouldn’t do it, Los Angeles would. In the end, that’s the only reason why the Dodgers don’t wear a “B” on their caps today.

        • DJ | August 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

          More to the point, O’Malley wanted a city to use eminent domain to seize private lands on which he could build a stadium. New York wouldn’t do it, Los Angeles would.

          That “private land” was underdeveloped land along the Atlantic Railyards, very near where the Barclays Center is today. O’Malley wanted Robert Moses to use his Title I power to condemn the land for the public good — a baseball stadium for Brooklyn. Moses wanted the Dodgers to move to what he saw as the geographic center of NYC: Flushing, Queens.

          In the end O’Malley figured he’d rather have 100% of a brand new market than 33% of a well-worn one. But he couldn’t go alone. He knew the Giants were leaving, and Minnesota was building the stadium. He suggested San Francisco. Bill Veeck wrote that the Giants knew damn well that San Francisco was the fastest growing area in the country; THEY didn’t want to go alone.

          Enter Tom Yawkey, owner of the territorial rights to SF. He swapped them with the Giants for the territorial rights to Minnesota, straight up. Everybody happy. Except the people of Brooklyn.

    • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |

      And the moment that Baltimore welcomed Art Modell with open arms, its fans lost any moral standing to complain about a damned thing that the Irsays ever did. This makes it hard to use the ’84 Colts relocation to any convincing rhetorical effect.

      • tom | August 21, 2012 at 11:33 am |

        it was probably a PR move

        “oh dont feel bad for Cleveland. they get to keep the “browns” name. this is actually good for cleveland- they’ll get a new stadium…yada yada yada.”

      • duker | August 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

        Le Cracquere, If you’re ever in the Baltimore neighborhood of Canton stop in a bar called Nacho Mamas. In there you’ll see a petition signed by Baltimore residents to keep the Browns in Cleveland.

        Baltimore really wanted an NFL franchise (and should have got one instead of Jacksonville) but they didn’t want to steal team from another city.

        Of course once we did, we went to the games (every single home game in the teams history has been sold out) but saying that “Baltimore welcomed Art Modell with open arms” isn’t quite accurate.

        • Joe Hilseberg | August 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

          Also, Modell tried to keep the team in Cleveland until the very last minute. They just assumed that he didn’t have the guts to leave. He came looking for us. Baltimore did not go “steal” him.

          PS – Nacho Mama’s Crab and Gouda quesadilla is awesome!!!

        • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

          If that’s so, then I apologize wholeheartedly. At the time, I didn’t see any signs that the folks in Baltimore had any qualms about the relocation, and from an outsider’s perspective, it’s been hard to detect any since. Glad to hear it’s not as it seemed.

        • James A | August 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

          When the NFl was deciding between Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Balmer, didn’t Modell (and the Redskins) play a role in discounting the Charm City? I thought that was the cae (I may be wrong)? If so, did Modell do so because he was already eyeing Baltimore for relocation? And, to make things simple for Le Craquere, if a Ravens fan ever says Clevelanders should just get over it, just ask him how the Colts are doing. Works every time.

  • Gusto4044 | August 21, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    Good topic today, and uniform related, since most sports teams have the city name or first letter of that city on a uniform somewhere. I think we also have to admit many cities lost their teams because of lack of support. And in a perfect world, nicknames would stay with the cities in which teams resides for decades. Looking back, it would have been better if the Giants became the Seals and the Dodgers became the Stars(or something else. Jackie Robinson has nothing to do with the City of Los Angeles. It was smart for the NFL to require the Browns logo and history stay in Cleveland, this should have been the policy all along across sports for longtime franshises.

    The decider for me has always been the fact sports teams aren’t like Holiday Inns, which are virtually identical across the country. Team accomplishments and memories are always tied to where they occurred, regardless of what trophies the owners take with them.

    • TA | August 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |

      Jackie Robinson does have something to do with Los Angeles, given that he grew up in Pasadena and went to UCLA.

      • Gusto4044 | August 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

        Granted, Robinson played college ball there, but that doesn’t have any relation to playing MLB for the home fans of LA

  • BeTheBall | August 21, 2012 at 9:40 am |

    Recognizing that I’m biased after the Whale left Hartford, I say a team should forfeit the team name and colors. The team name, the logos, the colors are all tied with a municipality that the team is turning its back on. The team is off to a new start; transform entirely. We all root for laundry anyway, but I’m not going to root for laundry that left.

    The brand equity argument is a non-starter for me. Does an owner not think that the team will sell boatloads of hats, tee shirts, sweatshirts, etc., etc., etc., when it moves? Part of any move is the expected jump in merchandise sales. I completely understand the I/P argument, but please, moving a team is strictly a business decision, so updating the brand should be, too.

    I feel particularly strong about this when the team takes public funds to build its newest money-maker, I mean stadium or arena. It’s disingenuous for a team owner to first say that a team is a tremendous source of civic price (a phony lie just to get the city and/or state to cough up millions for a new stadium) and then say that the logos and colors are the teams when it leaves.

    • Teebz | August 21, 2012 at 11:44 am |

      The team colors can go if a franchise choose to move, in my opinion. It’s the history associated with the city that makes a huge difference. Having experienced the Jets leaving town for Phoenix, I’m 100% sure that Bobby Hull’s history and Dale Hawerchuk’s history never once included donning a Phoenix-based team’s jersey. Therefore, those banners should never fly in Phoenix.

      Take the players. Take the colors. But the logo and the history of the team that moved remains as a chapter in the city’s history that lost the team. You start with a fresh slate in a new city as a franchise, and so does your history and team nickname. Stop claiming something that isn’t yours, especially if you’re a fan in the new city. I saw Dale Hawerchuk skate on home ice. Phoenix fans never have.

  • Graf Zeppelin | August 21, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    This may be a cop-out of an answer, but in terms of whether a relocating team should keep its name and statistical history, I don’t think there’s necessarily one rule that should apply in every situation. The Browns situation was a one-off; I actually liked the idea at the time, and still do, but I don’t think every team that moves has to do that. Whether there are criteria for when that has to happen and when it doesn’t, I don’t know.

    One thing that’s notable is that prior to the 1990s, with the exception of the Raiders to L.A., we really didn’t see established teams moving into cities that had previously been abandoned by other teams. There were some expansions into abandoned cities (KC Royals, Washington Senators) and some other odd situations (Seattle had the Pilots for just one year, they then moved to abandoned Milwaukee, then “abandoned” Seattle got the expansion Mariners), but basically expansion and relocation was mainly into new markets that had never had major teams in that sport.

    Then, starting in 1995 we had the Raiders moving back to abandoned Oakland, the Rams moving to abandoned St. Louis, the Browns moving to abandoned Baltimore, the Nordiques moving to abandoned Denver, the Hornets moving to abandoned New Orleans, and expansion into abandoned Minneapolis, Houston and Atlanta. Now we even have expansion teams replacing expansion teams that moved to abandoned cities (Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats), and teams that expanded into abandoned cities moving to other abandoned cities (Thrashers/Jets).

    It’s so confusing and each situation is so unique, and there have been so many iterations over the years (some teams keep their names, some teams adopt the names of the departed teams, etc.) that there’s simply no authoritative precedent. Some teams that moved and kept their names should have left them behind (Lakers, Jazz) because they didn’t make sense in the new city; others we only wish in hindsight had done so because of subsequent events (Colts, North Stars); others changed their names without really needing to (Supsersonics/Thunder, Thrashers/Jets).

    So, in the end I don’t think there’s one rule that would be right for every relocation/expansion situation.

  • Graf Zeppelin | August 21, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    A couple of interesting anecdotes relating the Baltimore:

    I think most of us would have preferred that the Colts name, colors, logo and history would have stayed in Baltimore and the Irsay franchise adopted a new name in Indianapolis, like the “Indianapolis 500’s” or some other auto-racing motif. Then the Browns could have become the second Baltimore Colts. But what if they had been able to become the Baltimore Browns? Remember, when the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore, they changed their name to Orioles. I’m not sure why, but they could just as easily have been the Baltimore Browns as well. Just an interesting coinkydink.

    And let’s not forget the Baltimore Colts of the CFL. The Irsays, of course, sued the CFL expansion franchise and forced them to go without a nickname while the litigation was pending (they were officially just “Baltimore,” but their fans still called them the Colts; the P.A. announcer at Memorial Stadium would announce, “Ladies and gentlemen, your Baltimore….” and the crowd would yell, “COLTS!” Of course, the Irsays won that litigation and the team was renamed the Baltimore Stallions, until the CFL gave up on U.S. markets and the franchise moved to Montreal, becoming the second (or third?) incarnation of the Montreal Alouettes.

    • TC Lofton | August 21, 2012 at 10:51 am |

      Having grown up in Indianapolis, I would have been absolutely fine with this… The horseshoe wasn’t as important as the fact that we actually HAD A TEAM, and I’m very curious as to why Robert Irsay didn’t go this route… probably because he was an awful monster of a drunk… and we all knew where he stood in this debate.

      At the “Welcome to Indianapolis” rally that we threw for the Colts when they came to town, he famously reminded everyone in attendance that “It’s not your ball team, it’s not their (Baltimore’s) ball team. It’s my family’s ball team. I paid for it, and I worked for it.” Guess the name and prestige was something “he worked for”, too, right??

      However, now I can’t imagine the Indianapolis team as anything but the Colts. C’est la vie, say the old folks…

      • Graf Zeppelin | August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |

        Well, the Colts have been in Indianapolis since I started following pro football avidly in 8th grade, the fall of which was their last season in Baltimore and the spring of which saw them move. I always wondered why they went with the tongue-twisting seven-syllable “Indianapolis Colts” instead of “Indiana Colts” which is easier to say.

        The Dodgers have now been in L.A. longer than they played at Ebbets Field, which is amazing to me even though I’m too young to remember the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pretty soon the Colts will have been in Indianapolis longer than they were in Baltimore (if you trace the current franchise as the “Baltimore Colts” back to 1953).

        • tom | August 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |

          the colts are a BIG deal in Indianapolis. all the shops downtown have colts stickers on the windows.

    • scottj | August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am |

      The reason the St. Louis Browns changed their name upon relocating to Baltimore was that “Orioles” it was twofold: first, and most importantly, it was the name of the one of if not the greatest team of the 19th century, and almost certainly the most colorful. That particular franchise now goes by the name New York Yankees.
      http://en.wikipedia....(19th_century)
      Second, it was the name of the minor league team that thrived there for nearly 40 years, and that relocated to Richmond when the Browns’ franchise relocated.

      That’s in addition to the Oriole being Maryland’s State bird, of course.

      • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |

        I’ve long believed that if Bill Veeck had been allowed to move the Browns back to Milwaukee (as he wanted to before Baltimore became the new home), they would have become the Brewers.

        Some places have traditional names for their teams. These are two of them.

        • Terry Proctor | August 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

          And the Toronto Blue Jays should have been the “Maple Leafs” from the get-go. And there are some compelling reasons. The Toronto baseball team had used the sobriquet for at least 40 years before Constantine Falklands Kerry Smythe bought the St. Pats and re-christened them on Valentine’s Day 1927. The minor league baseball Leafs and the major league hockey team co-existed for forty years until the ball club moved to Louisville in 1968. The Toronto IL franchise is now the Pawtucket Red Sox.

          When the baseball Leafs bought went bye bye a local sportsman named Jack Diminico bought the naming rights and placed them on his local semi-pro team. When the Jays were hatched in 1976 the owners, Labatt Breweries refused to pay Jack money for the Maple Leafs name. Plus they saw it as a marketing coup for their “Blue” brand of suds. That’s why we’ll

        • Terry Proctor | August 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

          I accidentally hit the submit button. As I was saying that’s why you’ll never see a TBTC game at Rogers Centre as Toronto Maple Leafs host Baltimore Orioles. There’s still some hard feelings between Jack and the Jays. Too bad. The Leafs’ baseball cap is one of the game’s all-time greatest.

      • Graf Zeppelin | August 21, 2012 at 11:31 am |

        Thanks for that. I figured it was along those lines; they wanted to change the name, but didn’t need to.

      • Joseph Gerard | August 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

        scottj, the 19th century Baltimore Orioles haven’t existed for 113 years: they were part of the 1899 NL contraction. The team that started out as the AL Orioles but became the NY Highlanders (the predecessors to the Yankees) in 1903 were established in 1901. Ditto with the numerous 19th century Philadelphia Athletics teams having no association with the team that became best associated with Connie Mack & Charlie O. And the Cincinnati Reds, despite claiming otherwise, have only been around since 1881, twelve years AFTER the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first fully-professional baseball team.

      • duker | August 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

        scottj, you’re confusing your Orioles. The National League Orioles were one of the greatest teams of all time.

        The 1901-02 Orioles that later became the New York Highlanders/Yankees weren’t very good.

        I would love for the current Orioles franchise to recognize the 19th Century Orioles. The Baltimore Sports Legends Museum does but there is nothing in Oriole Park at Camden Yards itself that does.

        • duker | August 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

          …and I should refresh before I post.

    • Jim Hayden | August 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

      The Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts issue becomes even more clouded when one realizes the “Colts” name was “traditional” to Baltimore as the name of the defunct AAFC/NFL franchise and adopted by the ex Dallas Texans (of course “Baltimore Texans” sounds pretty silly) – who had been the New York (football) Yankees and originally the Dayton Triangles. IF the franchise had been named “Colts” when the first moved to Baltimore, then remaining the Colts when they left would make since – like the Racine/Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland/Los Angles/St. Louis Rams and, of course, the Raiders.

      I would feel that any franchise that re-locates should want a name change – if merely to make a fresh start in a new town and avoid potential silliness (I’m thinking Utah Jazz as a particular example and it certainly would have alleviated the whole Boston/Washington Redskins issue a long time ago).

      In theory, if the Nationals can’t be the “Senators” because they would actually be the “Expos” and the Twins or Rangers can only be the “Senators” – than how exactly can ANY Major League franchise dress up as ANY Negro League team – those names belong to either a specific city or a defunct corperate entity (with minority ownership no less) in a defunct league and obviously not to any Major League franchise or MLB Inc.

      Oh, and IF the “name” belongs to the corperate entity, as opposed to the municipality/region then, based on corperate history, shouldn’t a couple NFL teams be called the “Pittsburgh Eagles” and “Philadelphia Steelers”… (just sayin’)

  • Graf Zeppelin | August 21, 2012 at 9:50 am |

    BTW, there’s a picture of me in that Sports Illustrated issue with the Art Modell cartoon on the cover. You can see me in the background of a shot of a college basketball game at MSG, engineering the broadcast. :)

  • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 9:52 am |

    There’s really no wrong here. Yes, Ricko is right about what teams can do. Yes, Jerry is right about what teams should do. The one doesn’t contradict the other.

    Two key points. First, good team names are specific to the location and character of the team. If a team has a good name and identity, then relocation will usually render it a bad name in the new location. And if the name makes as much sense anywhere else, then it’s a crappy team name to begin with. In either case, it probably ought to be changed when relocating. This isn’t about salving the fans’ delicate little egos, it’s about the aesthetics of team names. Utah Jazz? LA Lakers? Crap names. It’s not about the poor poor Nawlins or Minneapolis fans, it’s about giving the new Utah and LA fans a good team identity of their own to root for.

    Secondly, memory and history are not scarce resources. The stuff that happened in Washington happened in Washington, and fans (and future teams) are perfectly in line to celebrate and honor that history even if the team that actually did the stuff has itself moved away. The team may go, but the memories stay. Especially in cases like the Twins and Senators where the departed franchises hardly recognize their pre-relocation history at all. (Still waiting for Ricko to show us the photo of the 1924, 1925 and 1933 pennants flying next to the 1965 pennant at Target Field.) The Twins would have every right to insist that the Nats themselves not mention or honor 1901-1960 American League ball in DC, but the organization clearly doesn’t mind. What little the Twins do to honor their pre-1961 history doesn’t take anything away from anyone’s memories or loyalties in DC, and what the Nats do to honor pre-2005 baseball history in Washington takes nothing away from the Twins or Senators ability to fully celebrate their own franchise histories. This is not a zero-sum game; history doesn’t get used up like the marbles in a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

    • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 10:01 am |

      I would, though, come down like a ton of Ricko-sized bricks on the Nats if they really were appropriating Twins history as their own. I’m a Twins fan first and foremost, and I would not put up with anyone pissing on Twins franchise history.

      Aside from Bud Selig’s little “Est 1905″ idiocy in 2005, the Nats simply have not claimed Twins or Senators history as their own. I have every Media Guide since the Nats came to town, and they’re quite explicit about distinguishing between Washington baseball history, 1969-present franchise history, and 2005-present Nationals history. Even on throwback events where the Nats wear Senators I, Senators II, or Grays unis, the team is generally quite good about distinguishing between celebrating or honoring civic history and any claim of actual institutional continuity with other relocated or defunct teams.

      If anything, the Nats’ real failure has been the lack of recognition paid to its own Expos heritage. But in that regard, the Nats have somewhat improved, and now are about on par with the way the Twins (barely) acknowledge their own pre-Killebrew existence, and well ahead of teams like the Rangers or Orioles.

      • scottj | August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am |

        “But in that regard, the Nats have somewhat improved, and now are about on par with the way the Twins (barely) acknowledge their own pre-Killebrew existence, and well ahead of teams like the Rangers or Orioles.”

        Two things, Arr Scott. One, Killebrew played parts of seven seasons in Washington, even leading the AL in HRs one of those years. And second, although the St. Louis Browns had a storied and interesting history pre-Baltimore, it could hardly be called successful; while the Washington Senators v2.0 had next to none – Hondo and a 4th place divisional finish under the helm of The Splendid Splinter, that’s about it.

        • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:31 am |

          Right, and as far as the Twins are concerned, the Washington Senators played parts of seven seasons in Washington before moving to Minneapolis.

          There’s nothing wrong with the way the Twins mostly ignore the bits of pre-Minnesota history that aren’t relevant to Minnesota fans. But by the same token, there’s nothing wrong with the way the Nats do recognize the bits of Washington history that are relevant to local fans.

      • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |

        It’s also too early to close the book on Washington’s attitude to its Canadian past. Even now, emotions still run pretty high among the fans up there who followed the Expos. I know it’s been six years since the move, but even now seeing the Nats in a Montréal throwback uni might actually rouse painful memories and sore feelings, rather than appreciation. (I’m from Atlanta originally, and if I saw the “Winnipeg Jets” swan around in a Thrashers uni at this point, it’d feel more like rubbing it in than anything else.)

        Sometime in the next half-decade or so, the Nationals might feel more comfortable–and see it as more tactful–shouting out to its Expos past.

        • Will S | August 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

          Le Cracquere

          Curious to hear if you would feel the same way about Calgary wearing Atlanta Flames throwbacks. If not, would it be because enough time has passed for that?

          The Nordiques were my 2nd NHL team – stopped being a fan when they moved to Colorado (and also because I don’t like Patrick Roy). At this point in time would have no problem having Colorado wear Nordiques jerseys for throwbacks.

        • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

          Will: Yeah, I’d be totally fine with Flames throwbacks at this point, but even as recently as the ’80s it would have roused more hurt memories in Atlanta than grateful acknowledgment. I can’t speak for Montréal, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the same slow-to-heal dynamic took place. (And getting them at least a AAA team would help a lot.)

      • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

        like a ton of Ricko-sized bricks

        “Brickos”?

    • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 10:14 am |

      “(Still waiting for Ricko to show us the photo of the 1924, 1925 and 1933 pennants flying next to the 1965 pennant at Target Field.)”

      Ah, but it is the Minnesota Twins franchise’s decision to display them or not…and ONLY theirs. If they choose NOT, that in no way means Washington (in some nebulous form or another, can reclaim them).

      How would it work otherwise? Would we have the established legal points but, when necessary, drag out the Official Big Book of Sports-Related Exceptions?

      Would someone file a class-action suit attempting to apply Eminent Domain to team nicknames, colors, uniforms, records and accomplishments? Good luck getting a court to even HEAR that case.

      Not being contentious, just saying the “deciders” already exist. Right there, in our laws and in the particulars of the organizations to which the franchises belong. That was the point of the position paper Phil asked me to write for today.

      Memories belong to the people who have them, absolutely. Pretty much all the other stuff is private property.

      If 3M moves its corporate headquarters to Texas, it’s still the same company. And despite all the dough the state of Minnesota gave Northwest Airlines one way or another, “we” got neither a break on plane tickets nor a vote regarding the sale to Delta.

      • BeTheBall | August 21, 2012 at 10:25 am |

        Ricko, when was the last time someone from Minnesota puff out his or her chest to say, “I’m from Minnesota, home of Northwest Airlines, Target, and Best Buy”? Or Memphis and FedEx? Or Charlotte and Bank of America?

        Sure there are I/P considerations here, no one denies that. Sport, though, offers a very emotional connection – and allows for a very emotional response – that corporate America will never be able to generate.

        • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 10:30 am |

          when was the last time someone from minnesota puffed out their chest and said “i’m from minnesota, home of the vikings (or wild or t-wolves)”?

          exactly

          doesn’t change the fact that the vikings are still a business…a different kind of business, to be sure…but still a ‘corporation’ (which of course, are people) in the strictest sense of the word

        • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 10:39 am |

          Indeed. But teams aren’t LEGALLY different.
          Emotionally, yes. Legally, no.

          So I ask again, do we drag out the Official Big Book of Sports-Related Exceptions?

          Would YOU buy a company if you weren’t going to get to own all the images, etc., that you either paid to buy from the previous owner or paid to develop yourself…if you were told, “But if you ever move your company to another state all that stuff doesn’t belong to you anymore, you forfeit it all”?

        • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am |

          …including the name you do business under?

        • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am |

          Playing fast and loose with terms here. Ricko says “business”, but the correct word is “franchise.” And yes, as a matter of fact and law, if I own, say, a McDonald’s franchise in Cleveland, and then decide I want to move to Baltimore, the McDonald’s corp has every right to tell me that I cannot use the McDonald’s name or colors at my new restaurant in Baltimore, and to award the rights I’ve given up to a new franchisee in Cleveland.

          Pro teams are not independent businesses. They are franchises whose leagues effectively function as a franchise grantor slash cartel. You but a team, you accept the arrangement.

        • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

          Um, I said…
          “Right there, in our laws and in the particulars of the organizations to which the franchises belong.”

          And McDonalds CAN pull its name from a franchisee. That would be a corporate decision, not a government edict.

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

          And McDonalds CAN pull its name from a franchisee.

          Just had me a McDowell’s flashback:
          http://www.youtube.c...
          Ah, first date with Mrs. V was to see “Coming To America.” Pretty good movie, actually.

        • George Chilvers | August 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:34 am |

        Yes, Ricko, the deciders do exist and have decided, and they have decided (A) Not to celebrate pre-Killebrew franchise history and (B) Not to object to the Nats honoring elements of pre-Minnesota franchise history.

        You’re trying to be more Catholic than the Pope on this, and in so doing you contradict your own legalistic argument. It’s not the guy who’s most upset about anyone else honoring pre-Minnesota franchise history who sets the standard, it’s the franchise itself. And it has, and it doesn’t agree with you.

        • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 11:35 am |

          scotty…i love you man, but you’re totally saying it’s ok to have one’s cake and eat it too

          pick a side and stay on it buddy

        • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |

          What I’m saying is there is no cake! When I eat X amount of cake, everyone else has X less cake to eat. If the Nats eat all of the cake, there’s no cake left for the Twins.

          But memory and history are not like that. The Nats honoring the Senators does not prevent the Twins from honoring the Senators, and the Twins honoring the Senators does not prevent the Nats from honoring the Senators. There are right and wrong ways for the Nats to honor another franchise’s local history, and Ricko is right about the governing authority here. It’s just that the Nats do in fact obey those standards, and the Twins do not in fact object as Ricko wishes they would.

        • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

          I said they could voluntarily share it, and have no problem when they do. Just said they can’t be compelled by some municipality TO share it.

      • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 11:50 am |

        Even if it belongs to them legally, the Twins and Rangers may–at their discretion–decline to invoke their “ownership” of the trappings of Washingtonian history. And if they so decline, they need not get on the Nationals’ case about it unless they want to. In other words, Washington certainly CAN “reclaim” such memories if the Nats don’t assert any legal or quasi-legal claim upon them, and if the legal “owners” don’t care.

        And it’s unclear why those AL clubs would want to throw their weight around, since it’s never much mattered to them before, and since it’d probably do little but garner negative PR for them. So unless THEY’RE interested in taking it up with a judge, I’m not sure that your argument actually addresses that much.

  • Alec | August 21, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    Re:Rockies hockey ownership rights

    John McMullen owned the team rights for the Colorado Rockies IP and sat on them for years, was forced to relinquish the rights to the NHL as a condition to approve the sale of the team to Vanderbeek.

  • tom | August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am |

    anyone know if these were really baltimore brown prototypes?

    http://www.cnddesign...

    • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am |

      Whoever made those, sure likes chocolate. Of course they’re fakes/concepts.

    • Tony C. | August 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |

      i wouldn’t think so, according to Sportslogos.net, the logo was an official Browns logo from 2003-current

    • Chris Holder | August 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

      Is it wrong for me to say I actually LIKE that concept? I’m not usually an earth-tone kind of guy, but I think that’s a good set for a team trying to pass off a bulldog as a mascot.

      I’m not saying Cleveland should ever wear it, necessarily (though maybe the helmet would make THE Jeff happy?). But if that had moved to Baltimore I think that uniform set would have been great.

      And I understand that it’s probably fake. Still looks good to me.

      • Tony C. | August 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

        it’s actually similar to a design i was tinkering around with and submitted a year or two ago

        http://imgur.com/a/7...

        if i could have gotten EA’s team builder to do creme for the away unis i would have done them too

        • Attila Szendrodi | August 22, 2012 at 2:52 am |

          Those are good. The plain helmet works with a wordmark and interesting number font on the jersey.

  • Bernard | August 21, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    Great job on today’s lede by Ricko and JWOL. Very well thought out and presented by both of you.

    And Happy Birthday to Ricko. You are a shining superstar in the UNIverse. That’s fact. “But, but, but…” But, nothing. That’s fact.

  • Shane | August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am |

    Huh, in the EPL handbook that was linked, Aston Villa’s short numbers aren’t in the official EPL style. It actually looks more like what the three divisions below the Premier League wear.

    • Shane | August 21, 2012 at 10:42 am |

      And by the Phil, we get it, you don’t like soccer, but apparently a ton of us do. So ease up a little, please?

      • Shane | August 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |

        by the way*

        Complain before you have your eggs in the morning, see what happens?

      • George Chilvers | August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

        “And by the way Phil, we get it, you don’t like soccer, but apparently a ton of us do. So ease up a little, please?”

        Oh I think he does more than he admits, Shane – after all, everyone does, don’t they? :)

  • Paul Lukas | August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am |

    Day Two of the Power Rankings — now up and running:
    http://espn.go.com/e...

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |

      wow…the brewers are ahead of the gnats

      i definitely did not see that one coming

      • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |

        I actually like both the Brewers and Nats unis, but I think Paul is right about both. The Nats are close; they have the elements of a great and lasting identity, but they just don’t execute it anywhere near potential. The W on the chest is such an iconic DC baseball element that the Nats have that right, but the road uni shares no elements with the home, and the road cap is pointless, and while the red alt is one of the better softball smocks in baseball, the blue alt is an absolute clown jersey, bro.

        • Le Cracquere | August 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |

          I dunno … I’d say that road cap is easily the best thing about the uni, and should be worn both at home and away. They really ought to embrace the red/white/blue if any team should, but otherwise Paul’s observations are spot-on.

      • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

        If the Brewers color scheme wasn’t its downfall (tho they look much better in royal & Athletic Gold) it’s their very Miller-looking graphics. It looks like the Miller Brewing Company put out a baseball team. I highly question the motifs behind the design.

        Barrelman (borrowed) & MB-glove were great original ideas, Motre Bame (which looked like a city of Milwaukee Germans uni) & Milwaukee Millers, not at all. You’re damn right the Brewers belong as low as they are with the Padres, Rockies (born as BFBS & should had been primary purple), Marlins, D-Backs (tho I don’t see the Astros yet). Definitely MLB’s bottom of the barrel. The biggest problem with the Nationals is they have the feel of an expansion team going through all the notions of a merchandise grab. There’s just too many options.

        Personally I like the Bucks green & red. It’s miles (or kilometers) better than purple & green which is a terrible color scheme.

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

          I hear “Miller Brewers” an awful lot, but it strikes me as a bad comparison. There is a superficial similarity, but the Miller graphics are much, much better.

          Bring back the Barrelman – we were talking upthread about historical names, and it’s time that the Brewers remember where theirs came from – and let’s start the overhaul there.

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

          It’s OK to look like Miller, but get a better number font. Brighten the colors up a little, too. Until then, this uni is almost as bad as Arizona’s, which is my MLB worst. The Nats look SO much better than both of them.

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

          And as for the Bucks, I don’t hate the green and red, but it can’t hold a candle to the “50 Shades of Green” jerseys. Those were beautiful, unique and utterly identifiable. Pretty much everything you could want in a sports uniform, save perhaps merchandiseability.

        • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

          I think the gold is bright enough (although I don’t understand why they use such a drab brass in print materials), but I would love to see the Brewers adopt the dark royal used by the Dodgers.

          The Brewers look great in the sunlight, but drab in every other application.

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

          Yeah, at least change the blue. When you play in dome (retractable or not), drab isn’t something you should be shooting for.

          Man, I miss those green and green and green Bucks unis!

        • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

          I hear “Miller Brewers” an awful lot, but it strikes me as a bad comparison. There is a superficial similarity, but the Miller graphics are much, much better.

          This doesn’t help. Put them side by side, of course it’s not a carbon copy, but it’s what comes to mind. There’s nothing fun or great about the Brewers current set. It’s boring, looks corporate & like an advertisement. That slanted Miller “M” is the first letter you see, and when put against the cap logo, that’s a tad bit subliminal. Not perfect of course, but close.

          Again, why use barley with short & fat clunky letters with too many outlines & a blockshadow that doesn’t work for a cursive script when you can use mascots & something better?

          It’s OK to look like Miller
          Why would you want to look like Miller?

        • concealed78 | August 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

          but it can’t hold a candle to the “50 Shades of Green” jerseys

          I almost see a Tequila Sunrise in those.

        • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

          The Brewers may be the one franchise that would do well to build an actual identity around its TATC uniform. Specifically, this treatment of the beer barrel man:

          http://i9.photobucke...

        • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm |

          Why would you want to look like Miller?

          Beats tasting like Miller…

        • Wheels | August 22, 2012 at 1:23 am |

          Don’t be dissing the High Life.

        • concealed78 | August 22, 2012 at 11:51 am |

          Hit almost any microbrewery or import in a liquor store, you will certainly beat the High Life.

          Life is too short to waste on cheap beer.

        • Wheels | August 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm |

          Sometimes I just want a cheap beer.

    • M.Princip | August 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

      Thank you, yes the Saints look the worst in those Nike “disco collars”, and needed to be called out.

    • Jim Vilk | August 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

      The Grizzlies? Aw, man…that’s gotta be my favorite modern uni design. This would be in my Top 25 easily – probably in my Top Ten. Especially the alt. The Griz and the Nats are my only “what are they doing here?” teams in today’s list.

      I was going to point out that the Marlins have an orange cap, but as you said, one-offs don’t count. OK, they’re two-offs so far, but as long as Ozzie’s the skipper I’m not holding my breath on seeing them again.

    • phillipwilson | August 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

      Curious if Arizona is the lowest average of the multisport towns.
      76 Coyotes,
      77 Suns,
      90 Dbags,
      114 Cardinals

      89.25 Average Score. Tough to beat. 2nd Lowest Baseball Team. Our town sucks in so many ways.

  • odessasteps | August 21, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    I dont know about anyone else, but i cant read pauls espn rankings on my phone browser. The text info on the right is cut off.

    • BF | August 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |

      You’re not alone.

      • Paul Lukas | August 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |

        Thanks, guys — I’ll alert the authorities.

    • Coleman | August 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

      Maybe turn off your “mobile” version and go to full browser version? That’s my go-to fix for that stuff anyway.

  • BKLYN Solly | August 21, 2012 at 11:05 am |

    Not really relating to sports but relocation, I was thinking about this and George Washington was president in NYC and Philadelphia, not DC. To think of history always omitting him because he was not president in DC and not counting his records and accomplishments.

    • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |

      This is precisely why, other than the Washington Monument (and, you know, the name of the city), there’s actually very little George Washington to be found in DC. There’s an equestrian statue nobody knows about, but really, if you want to learn about Our First President when you come to DC, you’ve got to drive to Virginia, where he lived and where all the history is preserved.

    • ChrisH | August 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

      You won’t learn much about President Washington from a visit to the President’s House in Philly either.

  • mmwatkin | August 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |

    The ESPN comments section on the rankings are pretty pathetic.

    Apparently not liking the uniforms of someone’s favorite team makes you a gay moron.

    There is a reason I avoid the WWL when it isn’t college football season. They tend to mold the dipshit fantasy football goons that populate those comments.

    • Paul Lukas | August 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |

      I actually haven’t read any of the ESPN comments — good to know they’re maintaining a, uh, high standard.

      Some of the emails I’ve received from ESPN readers has been fun, though…. It’s all OK. Comes with the territory. Makes me appreciate the level of discourse we have here on this site.

      • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

        I think if you read some of them (even the non-incisive-idiot ones), you might puke in your mouth a little bit:

        “The all white uniforms with the purple is great plus you can’t beat the black on black.”

        • Johnny O | August 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

          I would encourage everyone to read the comments from the #UniRank article. It really puts a lot of things in perspective.

          I got into it yesterday with a guy from Ohio calling Paul gay, and referring to the Bengals uniforms as “sick” and “dope”. I am kind of in my element here at Uni Watch, and agree with a lot of people here about uniforms, but is absolutely shocks me to see all these people loving the progressive uniforms designs, and also their love for black trimmed uniforms, or black alts.

          A lot of people are assuming uniforms like the Red Wings, Yankees, Packers, and Braves will be among the top of the list. Most of the commenters are calling those uniforms “boring”, “for old people”, and “gay”. I guess people who don’t get it, don’t get they don’t get it.

    • Tom V. | August 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm |

      I actually enjoy the comments, in that it gives me a broader spectrum of what folks think. Sure there a bunch of immature folks on the comments, but there are plenty with their own reasonable point of view, a few jumped on with Chief Wahoo comments today, and someone asked Paul to show some damn respect for the military camo uniforms yesterday, so it is good to see the other sides of the arguments as well.

      • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

        ” Sure there a bunch of immature folks on the comments, but there are plenty with their own reasonable point of view, a few including those who jumped on with Chief Wahoo comments today, and someone asked Paul to show morons who demand some damn respect for the military camo uniforms yesterday.”

        ~~~

        (fixed)

      • Tony C. | August 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

        actually surprised with Paul’s hatred for Chief Wahoo that they weren’t closer to the bottom of the barrel

        • Paul Lukas | August 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

          I don’t “hate” Chief Wahoo. Strictly from a design standpoint, I think it’s a good piece of work (as are many racist caricatures from that era). I just think it’s time to retire him.

        • ChrisH | August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

          Maybe Chief Wahoo would have been retired had the Tribe relocated to Seattle (an idea that was kicked around in the 60’s)?

        • TA | August 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

          Seattle Indians was the name of the PCL team until it got corporate-branded by Rainier Brewing in 1938, so who knows?

    • Pat | August 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

      I have commented on a couple of different things over the years on ESPN and generally speaking the people commenting on there are both idiots and homers. When you combine those two things together you get some ridiculous statements about things that make absolutely no sense. The same people who like some of those putrid designs are probably wearing some awful shirt with cats on it(no offense to cats Paul just cat shirts). On another note you ruined my day yesterday Paul as I spent the majority of my afternoon making my own uni power rankings. I am a big soccer fan so I also added the MLS teams into the mix making it 141 teams. I’ll save everyone the time and just post my bottom 5.
      137- Carolina Hurricanes: Those awful squares are just horrible.
      138- Arizona Cardinals: Paul already said it all.
      139- Minnesota Timberwolves: The sad thing is that these are somehow worse than the tree trim era.
      140- Sacramento Kings: Definitely worthy of Paul’s bottom spot.
      141- Anaheim Ducks: I think I just vomited in my mouth.
      I think I’ll post my top 25 when Paul comes out with his.

  • TheBeezer | August 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    The city/team ownership story reminded me of something from a few years back.

    In the late 1990’s, I worked for the Bronx Borough President’s office. It was during that time that Steinbrenner was constantly threatening to move the team to New Jersey (which was really just a ploy to try to get NYC to build a new stadium on the West Side of Manhattan). New Jersey, always willing to try to lure a New York team to their side of the Hudson, had some meetings with Yankee officials and discussed several locations for a potential stadium.

    While we never saw New Jersey as a threat, we felt that we needed something to counter the Yankees’ posturing. And that something was the interlocking NY logo.

    The history of the logo dates back to the 1800’s when the NYPD commissioned Tiffany’s to create a medal to decorate honored officers. At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Yankees adoped it on their uniforms.

    Throughout the back-an-forth over a potential Jersey move, our office was quietly gathering information stating, generally, that the logo was the property of the City of New York, being used by the Yankees with permission, and could not be taken should the team move out of state.

    Obviously, the situation never got to that level, but today’s entry reminded me of that time back then.

    • Arr Scott | August 21, 2012 at 11:50 am |

      This needs to be a UW lede interview!

  • Jet | August 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

    Happy Birthday, Rickster!

    You’re the straw that stirs the Uni Watch drink!

    -Jet

    • Paul Lukas | August 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

      Seconded!

    • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

      Unfortunately, you’re one of those old school paper straws, and you’ve been in the drink for a while, so you’re starting to disintegrate and become useless, plus you don’t even have the bendy thing so we’re thinking about just taking you out and drinking straight from the glass.

      Kiddin’ Ricko, hope you have a good one!

      • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

        Let’s don’t be talking about things that do or do not bend the way they used to, okay?

  • Joseph Gerard | August 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    Ha, I actually created that Wikipedia article on the Modell move.

    Happy birthday Ricko!

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | August 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    I don’t like the idea that the two poles consist of emotion and the technicality. I actually have a strong emotional attachment to the concept of franchise continuity. For me, it is a matter of simple intellectual honesty, as well as of a respect for history.

    When, as a child, I learned that the San Francisco Giants had originated in New York, and that their championship history predates that of the Yankees, I sure did develop a spot for them in my heart. I was a Yankee fan; but the Giants became my second team, and “my team” in the National League.

    I take a hard line on this. The team is the continuous entity, which exists regardless of which city it plays in. The Cleveland Browns’ situation is an abomination, an infantile act of playing “let’s pretend” with the facts of history.

    Respect for history demands that we acknowledge the facts; and unpleasant facts are still facts. The fact is that the original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore. Even if the new team were to take the same nickname (a la the new Washington Senators), there should have been no question of assuming the old team’s records.

    The original Senators’ records are part of the Minnesota Twins’ history, and the expansion Senators were a different entity entirely; and that’s the way it should be. And so the original Browns’ records should rightfully be part of Baltimore Ravens’ history, and the expansion Browns should be considered a different entitiy.

    It galls me that this was not done; for me, the ridiculous “technicality” is the NFL’s legal fiction of keeping the records in Cleveland to be adopted by the expansion Browns. This is a crime against history, which was repeated in MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes, and may well be repeated in the NBA in Seattle.

    At least the NHL is doing it right: the original Winnipeg Jets are now the Phoenix Coyotes; the new Winnipeg Jets are the former Atlanta Thrashers, a different entity.

    We need a respect for facts and for history — which means a respect for franchise continutity.

    • Teebz | August 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

      We need a respect for facts and for history — which means a respect for franchise continutity.

      Dale Hawerchuk never skated for the Coyotes. Teemu Selanne never skated for the Coyotes. Should they get to trumpet their accomplishments?

      History shows that pages are turned all the time. Change is inevitable. If history and continuity were related, all of America’s accomplishments should be credited to the British. After all, the 13 colonies were British colonies before becoming their own entity.

      Sports needs to follow the same path. History of the NHL shows that Selanne’s records still stand as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. But the history of the franchise says that team no longer existed post-1996. The Coyotes did, and they start with a fresh slate for their own history. The Thrashers ceased to exist post-2011. The new Jets began writing their own history in 2011-12.

      I know the leagues won’t go along with that, but, given the opportunity to correct history, that’s what I would do.

  • Anthony S. | August 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

    My aunt lived in Baltimore when the Colts moved (still stills in Maryland today) and she always told me that the people of Baltimore never wanted a new team to be named the Colts. “Baltimore would have been thrilled to have the Ravens be the Colts, but it was not to be”

    There are only one Baltimore Colts, and they play in Indiana now.

    • BurghFan | August 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

      With all due respect to your aunt, you know that (1) there were Colts in Baltimore before the franchise that moved to Indianapolis – people who’ve seen Diner remember that their colors were green and silver, and (2) the CFL team called itself the Colts until they were legally enjoined? (See Graf Zeppelin’s comment at 9:49 for how the fans played along.)

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    My father has been a Steelers fan all of his life. He has never once called the Ravens franchise “Ravens”. To him ever since they moved to Baltimore they’ve been the “Baltimore Browns”. When Baltimore and the Cleveland Browns play each other now he’ll always say the Baltimore Browns are playing the Cleveland Browns. Then he’ll mumble about how much he hates both of them of course…

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

      Let me correct an error…
      When Baltimore and Cleveland play each other I was incorrect. My father will say the Baltimore Browns are playing the Cleveland Clowns. I forgot that he calls Cleveland the Clowns and not the Browns. Glad that’s cleared up.

  • daveclt | August 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    Paul, I’m glad someone finally spoke up about the Coyotes cubist sweaters. I loved those. They fit in perfectly with the Phoenix area.

    I do disagree with your comment that the Ravens logo is “cool”. I actually think it’s the worst logo in sports. My reasoning is that the “B” doesn’t make sense at all. You can’t “tattoo” a letter on feathers. All other sports logos with a letter on/in them make sense in some way (“M” on Dolphins helmet, old-school Bronco jumping through a “D”).

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

      That’s always been my big issue with that logo. The “B” by itself looks good as does the Raven head. But the two together don’t work. I wish they’d drop the B on the helmet and just go with the Raven head.

    • duker | August 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

      Maybe it’s little hat, with a “B” on it. Like the Raven mascot wears a little vest with a Ravens logo on it: http://www.flickr.co...

    • quiet seattle | August 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

      Yeah, if ever a team deserved an eery, dark logo, it’s the Ravens, what with the Poe associations and all. That thing on their helemt has no point of view–it’s neither ominous or playful. It’s just…there (and, yes, the B on its head is ridiculous).

      Their brethern, the Orioles, do it right. When they wanted to depict and actual bird, they did. When they wanted to be playful, they did. No ambiguity.

    • Tim | August 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

      The “B” is on the Ravens head because after the Senators left, the Orioles stopped putting Baltimore on the road uniform, afraid to alienate Washington fans. Baltimore fans felt as if the team was ashamed of the city and call-in shows at least once a week would have a caller wanting Baltimore back on the road jerseys. When the Ravens arrived, they had to have a B on the helmet, to prove they weren’t like the Orioles. The Orioles have since restored Baltimore to the road jerseys since 2009.

      • daveclt | August 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

        The B is not the problem. The placement is the problem. Put the raven head superimposed over a larger B. Or put the raven head coming out of one of the loops of the B.

        • Dumb Guy | August 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

          I HATE the Ravens helmet logo. Well I hate the one on the LEFT side of the helmet. The one with the f’d-up “B” on the bird’s head.

          The right side looks fine.

    • phillipwilson | August 22, 2012 at 9:23 am |

      As a Phoenix native, I hated the cubist uniforms. They more fit to the idea of Phoenix that people outside the area think of it.

  • Rex | August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    Those Argentina jerseys aren’t horrible. Think of the alternating sleeve colors meeting stripes in an interlocking pattern.

    • walter | August 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

      I was thinking, critics of rugby uniforms are unduly harsh. Neither of those kits is bad.

    • James A | August 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

      I agree with Rex. The first thing that came to my mind on those kits was the Enron logo (God help us all).

      • James A | August 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

        Read that wrong, sorry. I actually disagree with Rex.

  • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    So my favorite comment from the ESPN article thus far is the guy who listed his problems:
    One –
    Second –

    Why not just start off with number A and then switch to letter 2.

    • Pat | August 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

      Whenever I am making a three pronged point I always say
      A
      2
      D
      But that is done as a reference to the movie Home Alone.

  • quiet seattle | August 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

    I have nothing to add to today’s lede discussion. But I will say it’s nice to not be the lone gunman this time around. ;)

    Happy Birthday, Ricko!

  • rpm | August 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

    first and foremost, happy birthday mr. pearson, we are all very lucky to have you as part of out community.

    as for today’s topic, two things 1) i love it when people claim logic and right is on their side, and B) who says it is an either or proposition? let’s take the name out of it, and look at a couple things. why can’t john unitas be both the player who passed for the most yards in NFL baltimore and the colts NFL franchise? he should be in both record books. same goes for Otto graham or anyone else, he could be cleveland NFL, and browns franchise . why does their have to be a one or the other situation? same with statues, if the giants want to put up a mathewson statue in san fran to celebrate their history, great, but there is also nothing wrong with the mets throwing up a statue of the mlb new york and celebrating that. i just donsee why it has to be a this or that function when it can very easily be a this and that function.

    as for the team name, the browns were promised a franchise immediately, so more or less what happened was model was granted the baltimore expansion franchise, or the keys to a new factory in baltimore if he allowed cleveland to reopen his factory. i have little problem with this, and he shouldn’t either. for one reason it was a win win that kept the fans in cleveland happy and also made it a bit easier for fans in baltimore who were stung by their own loss to accept that franchise. he won by this subtraction, if he thought he wouldn’t, he would have kept the team. does this mean every team has to do this? no. but not every team chooses to keep or change their name either. some like the twins change, and some like the athletics don’t, it comes down to the situation. so again, why does it ever have to be a one or the other situation?

    basically i feel there is a place for both approaches. i could get into what you do about say senators or oilers gear, that isn’t that tough either. but i already yapped longer then 2 cents.

    • Ricko | August 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

      “i love it when people claim logic and right is on their side”

      I said logic and legal.
      Never got into right and wrong. :)

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

      My biggest issue with that whole move was that Cleveland was promised a new franchise immediately and keep all their history and everything else and Baltimore was basically going to start “new”. To me (who had to pay exactly 0 cents in this either way) it would’ve made sense then to actually KEEP everything in Cleveland.

      Why did the team with a history have to start completely over and the “new” team get to keep everything but the records and uniforms? The NFL should’ve told Modell he can go to Baltimore but leave behind everything. Modell then would have to hire a new GM, new marketing staff, team employees, coaching staff, and conduct an expansion draft for the RAVENS and actually become an expansion team. The existing Browns franchise including front office, coaches, players then would’ve stayed in Cleveland and a new owner would be found for them allowing them to continue on as was in the Mistake until their new stadium was built. Had things happened that way instead of how they did it could be the Ravens that are the yearly joke and the Clowns could have been the ones with that nice history the past decade or so. Would it have worked? Probably not but in my twisted mind that would’ve been the best way to do that whole situation.

  • ChrisH | August 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    Take a peek at the condition of some of the venues built for the 2004 Summer Olympics:

    http://www.businessi...

    • Teebz | August 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

      That would fall in line with the economic struggles of Greece. Non-priority municipal entities were either sold off or left in disarray. Since the economic woes affect both the public and private sectors, there’s good reason why these venues have fallen into disrepair.

    • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

      It’s Greece, they wait until things look like this to start taking care of them: http://static.ddmcdn...

      • ChrisH | August 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

        “European Socialism: Building Tomorrow’s Ruins…Today!”

        • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm |

          Exactly which European country is socialist? I woulda thought I got that memo…

          Social Security, good socialism.
          Socialized Medicine, bad socialism.

          Got it.

  • Joe Hilseberg | August 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    this just seems appropriate today

    http://www.youtube.c...

  • Ry Co 40 | August 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    i refuse to post the link, or name the party involved, but some jerkoff in the soon to be overly-advertised minor league pro basketball league is going to have his shoes for sale at about $300 a pair…

    $300 fuckin’ dollars…

    i only posted this comment to say something much more important:

    happy birthday ricko!

    • tom | August 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

      there’s a market for them. next years edition will probably cost $500.00

    • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  • Jim Greenfield | August 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

    I think the relocated team name issue has to be taken on an indivual basis, although I am against teams moving at all with a few exceptions. The Dodgers move benifeted one man at the expence of an entire city but I’m glad they kept the historic name. Although the Los Angeles Dodgers is meaningless without the trolleys its sounds right, as does the equaly meaningless Lakers. On the other hand the Utah Jazz is absurd, especially with so little history behind the name.

    • TA | August 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

      After 33 years and 4 Hall of Famers, is there really “so little history” anymore?

  • umplou | August 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    Happy B-day Ricko!! LOVE Benchies, and it has been fun having it daily this summer! Need to throw a couple of umpire situations in there, have more than few good actual gags/stories you could use there..

    • M.Princip | August 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

      Whatever happened to the Benchies T-Shirt…..contest?

      Happy Birthday!

  • JenInChicago | August 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

    Rumors about the Blackhawks black alt jersey making a return:

    http://www.rantsport...

    • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

      I hope it’s not the 96 or the 09 I hope they go more fauxback http://img.photobuck... or based off of the home reds rather than the whites http://img.photobuck... or something better.

      I’d prefer 96 over 09 but the Hawks can do better. http://img.photobuck...

      • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

        One of those first two links should be to this http://img.photobuck...

        • JenInChicago | August 22, 2012 at 10:57 am |

          I don’t mind this look…..I kind of like it…..I really didn’t care for the winter classic one they wore and I really didn’t like the black one they wore for a few years…..

          BTW, what the heck does it take to get into the ticker? I put up 2 pretty good bits of info and this one gets ignored and I mentioned the Red Sox Pesky tribute first………!

      • Ryan Lindemann | August 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
        • Tim E. O'B | August 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm |

          I agree!

          (wait…)

  • George Chilvers | August 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

    I found the Google Earth image of that football “cage” in Poland – really puts in context how they are separated from (for which read “treated as pariahs”) the home supporters who are in their quite reasonable looking stand.

    Put into the Google Earth search box
    52 10 06.69N, 20 48 49.90E

    If you want to, that is :)

  • Jon | August 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

    Two quick points:

    1. When MLB expanded in 1969, there were bitter disputes over the PCL’s loss of the Seattle Rainiers and San Diego Padres and their territories. Lawsuits were filed, including one in federal court by the Portland Beavers. The PCL did roll over. Merchandising and team names were a part of heir grievances.

    2. When/if Seattle gets an NBA team back, the new team will the SuperSonics’ name and colors team available to them. The intellectual property of the old Sonics (owned by the NBA/Thunder) will be transferred to the new Sonics.

  • Ben | August 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    In relation to the Senators move from DC, I did a grad paper on the topic a few years ago. The reincarnation of the Senators got all the historical papers of the old Senators in 1961. When they moved to Texas, they brought the archives with them.

  • JenInChicago | August 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

    Not sure if this means that all the players will wear #6 tonight for the whole game or……

    http://content.usato...

    • JenInChicago | August 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

      Sorry, should have explained that better…

      “In honor of the late Johnny Pesky, the Boston Red Sox will wear his retired uniform No. 6 in tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.”

      • DJ | August 22, 2012 at 12:19 am |

        And the Angels had the Pesky memorial patch seen onto the front of their jersey as well. Nice move.

  • Memal | August 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    Happy birthday Ricko!

    Great discussion topic. Though there is really only a legal right to a name, I feel that owners should have more common sense then to try and carry over a teams well established identity over to a new city. Sure, the Dodgers wanted to keep their history going and the North Stars team name kind of fit with a Texas theme, the example set by the Thrasher’s was the only right one. Although, they had a much easier time of it then those other teams, since there was history already, but you get the point.

  • Skycat | August 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm |

    Knicks new unis? Haven’t seen this posted yet, so here goes:

    http://theknickswall...

    • The Jeff | August 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm |

      Those are kinda lame, if they’re legit. I know everyone around here hated the black trim, but surely they could have just made those side panels orange or white instead of removing them entirely.

      • concealed78 | August 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |

        Side panels suck.

    • Paul Lee | August 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm |

      Unless it’s unfinished, the half piping looks weak! Everything else is a solid “meh…”

  • Paul Lee | August 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

    I know they say that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, but for some reason it just bugs the heck out of me seeing the word “irregardless” used in an otherwise perfectly crafted letter. Of course, I’ll probably be guilty of using the exact word few years down the road (unironically) and hate myself for it. I’d like to apologize in advance if anyone’s offended either by the word itself or by my pet peeve.

    By the way, does anyone know if the NBA will switched to the new ball they’ve been experimenting with in the D-League and at the ASG? Thanks.

    • Paul Lee | August 22, 2012 at 3:24 am |

      Speaking of karma… make that “will switch,” not “will switched.”

    • concealed78 | August 22, 2012 at 11:57 am |

      I know they say that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

      I’ve never believed in that. Whoever came up with that line wanted life candy-coated & obviously resented constructive criticism.

      Unpossibly… :P