Battle O' Logos: Rating the NFL's NFC Teams
A little over a week ago I debuted a new series rating sports logos, beginning with the best and worst of the NFL's AFC conference.
While the Steelers were my pick for the AFC's best logo, it is now time to take a look at what the NFC has to offer.
Right away, I can tell you that the NFC has a much more old-school appearance and naming the number one club logo was very difficult.
Click through the slide show, take a look at each team's logo and let me know what you think!
No. 16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There's two major problems with Tampa's current primary logo.
First, it is a bit too cartoonish and seems to be inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney World.
Secondly, it is a blatant copy of the Oakland Raiders logo (No. 2 on my AFC list). It's a wonder why Al Davis hasn't sued the Bucs for copyright infringement.
There is a lot of potential with Tampa's nickname, but they would be best served moving away from the Raider-like logo in the future.
Some solutions could include giving the old "Bucco Bruce" logo an updated look and new colors, or redesign the current secondary Galleon logo and turn it into a satisfying primary logo.
No. 15 Philadelphia Eagles
I even surprised myself by putting the Eagles this far down on the NFC list, but I'm sticking to my guns in the belief that this is a bad logo.
Philadelphia is the only major sports team in North America to have the nickname Eagles, and it is also the national symbol of the United States.
And this is the logo they have come up with?
While it may not be a downright ugly logo, there is too much potential here for this to be given a higher grade.
I can't help but think that it looks like a logo from a mid-major basketball program in the MEAC conference or something.
No. 14 Carolina Panthers
In my last slide show rating the AFC, I mentioned that it is difficult to design primary logos of large feline animals.
Here is yet another example of this folly.
There's something that many designers need to figure out, and that is, either give us a picture of a cat's face only, or give us the whole body.
The face of this Panther isn't too bad (it could be better), but why is there a portion of the body also part of the design? It looks as though the Panther's head was stuck onto a marble base and made to look like a bust.
No. 13 St. Louis Rams
I didn't like putting this logo so low on this list, but the truth is, the NFC really brings it when it comes to quality designs. This one just ended up falling towards the bottom.
This logo does suffer a bit of the large cat problem, having the body missing but still including a stump to put the head on, yet St. Louis pulls it off with a sharpened tip and an otherwise decent design.
It may be bordering on the side of cartoonish, but the Rams shouldn't be ashamed. Just as long as they don't replace the horns on their helmets in favor of this, they should be just fine.
No. 12 San Francisco 49ers
Coming from a luke-warm supporter of San Francisco (thanks to Montana and the team's colors) I have to say the 49ers logo is pretty pedestrian.
It has a lot of originality and it's easily recognizable, but it doesn't have the same old-school feel that a lot of other teams possess.
With that said, it is still a nice little logo and you'd be hard pressed to come up with something better given the organization's nickname.
My biggest problem? The modern addition of the gold outline to the inside of the circle. It looks fine when the logo is by itself, but on the helmet it looks better with just a black border. Just like when Joe Montana wore it.
No. 11 Washington Redskins
This is one of the more controversial logos in the history of American sports, but all political correctness aside, this is a pretty decent design.
Part of me liked the brief switch to the "arrow" logo and helmets (similar to Florida State) the Redskins wore a few years back, but I don't see them changing again anytime soon.
In reality, it is the teams name that draws a lot of criticism, not so much the logo itself. I wonder what different name the team may have in the future?
No. 10 New York Giants
In a lot of ways, the Giants logo reminds me of the 49ers design. They are both very conservative and original, yet they don't give off that classic old-school feel they way teams founded decades ago should.
Still, one look at the past logos and secondary logos for the Giants makes it abundantly clear that New York should stick with what they have today.
I was excited that the Giants switched from their terribly boring Phil Simms era logo to this more traditional look. And the gray pants were a big addition too.
No. 9 Detroit Lions
Sometimes logos can be funny things. When Detroit unveiled their "new" logo with an updated more sleeker and fierce-looking Lion, I didn't like it.
But then, I went back and looked at the old logo and thought it was much more lifeless and crappy then I had previously remembered.
At any rate, Detroit scores a lot of points for being able to pull off the full-bodied large cat logo in a nice traditional way.
The best possible solution to improve this logo is to combine the features of both the old and new designs.
No. 8 Minnesota Vikings
A lot could be said about this logo, but let me say this: you will not find a more impressive moustache on any other logo in North America.
I like this logo because it is instantly recognizable and also because it is not used on their helmets. Sometimes, a primary logo is best used everywhere but on a football helmet and I think Minnesota's design is one of those instances.
The Vikings join the Bengals, Browns, Eagles, and Rams as the only teams in the NFL to not have their primary logo on their helmets.
That is a good thing because the Viking horns currently on Minnesota's helmets are a great look. Although, the modernized look introduced a couple years ago takes away from some of that glory.
No. 7 Atlanta Falcons
I have to admit that my favorite NFL logo as a child was the Falcons. I could never get enough of drawing it whenever my mind wandered in school.
Today, I look at this Falcon in the same way as the Lions logo. I didn't like the modernized new design, but then I went back and found my old beloved Falcon more lifeless and dead then ever.
Again, the solution is to probably combine some aspects of each and create a better logo that can satisfy both parties. I know it can be done.
Also, switch back to red helmets and gray pants please.
No. 6 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks join a small list including the Buffalo Bills, of teams who have really good logos but downright disgusting uniforms.
This Seattle logo is a really great example of how to modernize a logo without making it look too silly or cartoonish. Before this redesign, the Seahawks logo was pretty good, but this new one really brings it to life without sacrificing the original.
I can't even imagine how nice this would look with a return to the brighter green and blue colors the team used to wear.
No. 5 Chicago Bears
This one is a shout out to all of the old-school people in the world of football.
You really can't get much simpler or traditional than this Bears gem.
Still, this specific logo has been used by many different teams cutting across many different sports so it is more difficult to define it as a true classic.
But I think I speak for most Bears fans when I say that this one is a keeper.
No. 4 Arizona Cardinals
Some may be surprised to see the Cardinals this high in the competitive NFC conference, but I think it is deserving.
We could probably put Arizona in the select company of teams with great logos but poor uniforms, but they did a great job tweaking their old logo when they redesigned their uniforms a few years back.
This is just an all around great logo and it looks even better as the only design on Arizona's white helmets.
Too bad those uniforms spoil the party.
No. 3 Green Bay Packers
This logo pretty much defines tradition in the NFL. From Starr and Favre to Rodgers and Driver, it has always been the same.
A definite candidate for the top spot in the NFC, I had to hold it back only because it is used by so many other teams and schools across the country (University of Georgia and Grambling most notably).
Still, there is no denying this great design that fits the Packers uniforms so beautifully.
No. 2 Dallas Cowboys
Simple, effective and perhaps the most recognizable in American sports besides the New York Yankees.
Not much more to say about the Cowboys and the star, other than it works and it works well.
No. 1 New Orleans Saints
Riding the success of the post-Katrina Saints, I have put the magnificent fleur-de-lis as the top logo in the NFC conference.
This logo has a great combination of uniqueness and history, as well as great colors and design. Others may be more recognizable, but no other logo may sum up a city as much as this one does for the city of New Orleans.
That's why the Saints are No. 1 in the NFC!