Remember our recent discussion of high school teams that use pro or college logos? Reader Larz Roberts has been wondering just how many high schools do this, and which teams’ logos get used most often. So he recently embarked on the rather Herculean task of finding out.
In order to start on a project like this, you need a breakdown of high school logos. Larz used the the state-by-state high school helmet logos posted at MG’s Helmets, which isn’t necessarily comprehensive or definitive but is a good starting point. Then he tallied how many schools from each state used logos from NFL and Division I college teams. He explains his methodology like so:
I counted current, past, primary, and secondary logos for each NFL team. If a high school team used two different team logos for its helmet, I counted for both. If a high school team changed or modified a logo enough so that it didn’t really look much like the logo it might have been based on, I didn’t count it.
As for the college teams, I counted the winged helmets as Michigan because, frankly, that’s the team I think of when I see that design. Any paw helmet that had the paw shaped exactly like Clemson’s was counted for them, with or without what little cut-out notch at the base of the Clemson paw. (And yes,there were a few with that notch cut out.)
Larz’s record-keeping method isn’t exactly on the level of a spreadsheet, but the results are still interesting. Let’s start with his tallies for how many high schools are using AFC team logos (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):
As you can see, the Patriots are by far the most popular logo source among AFC teams, with the Chargers, Broncos, Colts, and Chiefs also doing quite well. Now let’s look at the NFC:
Interesting to see the Eagles’ logo as the top choice here. I would have guessed the Bears’ wishbone-C, which finished fourth. Meanwhile, it’s disappointing to see how many high schools are using Washington’s logo.
Now let’s look at Larz’s numbers for high school teams using Division I college logos (yes, he used an out-of-date list of teams, but cut him some slack):
In the course of his research, Larz also found high schools that had borrowed others sorts of logos. I’ll let him explain:
What made me laugh were the miscellaneous logos that some high schools made their own. They took logos from NBA, MLB, and NHL teams. There are Van Halen helmets from Illinois and Texas, and Wu-Tang Clan helmets in South Carolina and Utah. There are multiple Superman helmets. There’s even a school in Illinois that uses the Shell Oil logo.
You can see Larz’s tallies of these logos here:
And there you have it — a very interesting research project.
As for the high school redesign project that I mentioned a few weeks back: The good news is that dozens of you chimed in with good advice, suggestions, and feedback. The bad news is that a lot of that feedback was of the “This is never gonna work, and here’s why” variety. I’m not giving up, mind you — I’ve already broached the topic with my ESPN editors and will be having further discussions with them shortly — but I now realize that this may be a steeper mountain than I had anticipated.
Ho-ho-ho: With the December holidays approaching, here are a few items of note:
• If you want to buy a Uni Watch Membership for someone as a gift but don’t know what that person would want for his or her card design, you can buy a Membership Gift Voucher. For details, look here.
• I’m now working on my annual Uni Watch holiday gift guide column for ESPN. If you have suggestions for uni-related items I should include, speak up. Thanks.
Pre-Thanksgiving treat: I wrote a piece for ESPN yesterday about my memories of a certain famous Thanksgiving football game. Enjoy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: What does a hockey writer do during the lockout? One option: Ask the Penguins what they think of the Steelers’ throwbacks (from Jerry Wolper). … New logo and uniforms for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows (from Jeremy Brahm). … A European soccer fan who wore a jersey with “Osama Bin Laden” as the NOB has been prosecuted for defending terrorism (from Marc Coale). … Fascinating article about NFL quarterbacks’ play-calling code. Highly recommended (big thanks to my buddy Rob Walker). … Neglected to mention yesterday that 49ers defensive lineman Aldon Smith will likely be fined, because he wasn’t wearing red socks on Monday night (kudos to Pinch Santos). … Some Pasadena residents don’t want an NFL team coming to the Rose Bowl, so they staged a protest — but their placards had the wrong NFL logo (from Jose Niebla). … Check out the Washington Huskies’ basketball warm-ups from 1989 (from Al Cummings). … “Based on the diagrams in this article, NASCAR may be reducing the amount of area that can have sponsor logos on its cars next year,” says John Goodrich. “Hopefully the NBA is paying attention.” … New logos for the West Michigan Whitecaps (from Tom Meyer Klipsch). … We often talk about the Tigers’ belt loops. But look at this 1971 photo of Johnny Bench — loop-o-rama! … Check out these little Adidas soccer shoe charms. They were on a key ring that Brinke’s father brought back from a trip to Germany many years ago. … Got a very nice note from Rob Ginocchio, who just discovered Uni Watch and has this to say: “The baseball league I currently run in Springfield, Missouri, has about 200 kids, aged 9 to 19. We play in an old 4000-seat semi-pro stadium that was vacated about 10 years ago. In 2011 I decided to do the whole league in retro style to the 1950s and ’60s with throwback uniforms of MLB teams of the era. We may have been the only place to have championship games featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers and Yankees, and the Senators and Colt .45s, in a long time (if ever).” … I’m seeing the orthopedist today for the two-week checkup on my wrist. I believe the plan is to remove the splint wrap I’ve been wearing and replace it with a cast (which I’ll have to wear for four more weeks), and I expect he’ll also take X-rays to see how the bones are healing. Wish me luck.
Holiday schedule: The site will be open for discussion tomorrow, although content from my end will likely be minimal. We’ll be open for business as usual on Friday, although possibly with light-ish content, and Phil and his contributors will have their usual assortment of weekend content.
Everyone have a great Thanksgiving. Be safe, be good, and save room for pie.