The 50 Lamest Logos in Sports

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJune 19, 2012

The 50 Lamest Logos in Sports

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    During countless centuries of athletic competition, fans have seen it all. From flying human heads and gladiator bloodbaths to Gatorade tables and slaughterous commentators, the ever-changing current continues to flow.

    But as the world of sports has matured under the watchful eye of society, one potent method for gaining an edge has remained the same. Creative intimidation.

    Forget the snarling 300-pounders galloping across the gridiron, the thrifty seven-footers stomping over the hardwood and the pad-less bruisers prancing about the pitch. A team's emblem is the only visual that can truly put fear in an opponent's eyes.

    While some have clearly achieved artistic brilliance, others seemingly lost their touch along the way. Or even faltered as they approached a masterpiece.

    Let's take a look at the lamest logos in sports, only those currently in use.

    Welcome to Kindergarten.

50. Phoenix Coyotes

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    Before jumping to conclusions, let's quickly note that this mundane Coyote depiction is still a major improvement over the old presentation.

    With that said, the current Phoenix logo is still quite disappointing. Not even an epic, mind-boggling backdrop? For shame.

    At least a few curvaceous mountains would add a nice touch.

49. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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    This simplistic emblem has an essence about it that reeks of defeat.

    It's almost like the mighty Hilltoppers are tossing in the towel before they even take the field. Almost.

48. Calcio Catania

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    There's no denying this Italian club's affinity for the obscure, and props on the clock.

    But in reality, the frightened elephant could use a quality touch up. Perhaps even a drop of red in the pupils might add some necessary fear.

47. Albuquerque Isotopes

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    As the Triple-A affiliate of the sky-colored Los Angeles Dodgers, we'd expect a confident mixture of blue and white for the Albuquerque Isotopes. Maybe even a powder blue infusion.

    Instead we have to control the nausea that results from spinning around in circles. We're staring at the Angels logo before it's had its morning coffee.

46. Arizona Cardinals

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    While it's actually breathtaking on the side of a cookie-cutter piece of architecture, the Arizona Cardinals' main visual needs a slight overhaul.

    Perhaps some birdseed or a thick piece of bark could help.

45. Tennessee Titans

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    Considering the old-school Houston Oilers offered a magnificent powder blue oil derrick, this juiced-up asteroid may seem like an intricate disaster. 

    And it sure is.

44. Portland Trail Blazers

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    So while we're really feeling the twisty whirlwind creation that's shadowed the Blazers for years, that's about all this piece has going for it.

    Perhaps we remove the superfluous text and enhance this memorable design. It's oozing with potential.

43. Stanford Cardinal

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    Instead of a stoically crisp logo that reeks of a peaceful forest, it's about time Stanford hires some aggressive talent to paint their masterpiece.

    Having the magnificent tree intertwined in the "S" could be an artsy improvement.

    Only one word needs uttering as of today. Bland.

42. South Sydney Rabbitohs

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    Based in south-central Sydney, the Rabbitohs would seem better off calling themselves the rabid rabbits.

    Instead they possess the label of a rabbit salesman (Rabbitoh), instead of the murderous rabbit they yearn to become.

41. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    We've seen the possibilities, the blossoming potential behind several color-and-scripture changes.

    This current presentation just won't cut it anymore.

40. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Instead of a steroid-using hornet warming a fiery backdrop, the Blue Jackets decided to go with the sluggish flag.

    Nice start, but it resembles too much of the disturbing Buffalo slug.

39. Detroit Pistons

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    When the Pistons merged from ferocious thoroughbred to plain ball-and-words following the 2004-05 season, it was clear they were headed for disaster.

    Their majestic horse gave opponents and fans pregame jitters. And not the good kind.

38. Bowling Green Falcons

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    Before we approach criticism, let's note that this new bird is a vast improvement over its recent ancestor.

    On the other hand, adding several regal and calm-looking features might just comfort the enemy.

37. Washington State Cougars

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    Taking three letters and meshing them into one majestic trademark deserves a round of applause.

    But there's no oomph, no eye-popping explosion. Not exactly a winner.

36. Campbell Fighting Camels

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    Rarely have we seen the existence of a camel in the sports world. And we're excited about the opportunity to get reacquainted.

    On the other hand, a salivating beast-like shot may take precedence over this drool-lacking cartoon.

    Or maybe just a picture of Pau Gasol.

35. Milwaukee Bucks

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    Just in case the threatening antlers weren't enough, these passionate designers decided to add a little muscle to the presentation.

    In retrospect, toss this team some fruit and nuts and you've won.

34. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    There's nothing like centering one magnificent letter inside of a glorious star.

    And of course doing nothing else.

33. Akron Zips

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    After careful study, we've finally discovered the meaning behind the stellar kangaroo.

    Assuming it's a female marsupial, this mascot represents the fear behind postnatal development.

    The Zips must metaphorically stuff their opponents in their pouch after every victory.

32. Nashville Predators

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    It's painful to include this piece of art when it's also moments away from greatness.

    But it's difficult to feel intimidated when you're facing a pack of extinct saber-toothed cats.

31. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    An epic backdrop can make any mundane emblem immediately scintillating.

    But the Thunder need more crisp curvature if they want to leave any kind of aesthetic mark on today's hardwood.

    Dare we say they look better in green and yellow?

30. UMKC Kangaroos

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    As the kangaroo continues to garner attention throughout the entire sports world, teams keep using him incorrectly.

    A hopping kangaroo with a baby marsupial in his pouch isn't very intimidating. And it certainly isn't creative.

    Hopefully Round 2 goes better.

29. Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins

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    If it wasn't for their misguided emblem, this Tier III Junior A ice hockey team would still be unknown to most.

    Only the inclusion of powder blue is keeping this one from the top spot. And their new logo may be worse.

28. P.E.I. Rocket

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    The look on Dane Phaneuf's face perfectly sums up our feelings about this one. And you can bet that's Dion Phaneuf's little bro.

    Memorable rocket, rich colors, nothing much else.

27. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Sure it's "nice" (barely), but this Rays masterpiece isn't catering to its public.

    Fans prefer looking at abstract manta rays than reading the word "Rays." Fact.

26. South Florida Bulls

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    This is a quality start, but far from finished.

    Some intricate designing and a touch of color would only help these prestigious Bulls.

25. Cleveland Indians

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    The longer we stare at this smiling Chief Wahoo, the more inclined we are to surrender.

    But there's far more controversy beneath the quirky exterior.

24. Kansas Jayhawks

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    While an established program on the field, the University of Kansas needs an infusion of talent away from it.

    We respect the happy-go-lucky bird that's always seen prancing in place, but we certainly couldn't give it more than a single nanosecond of our time.

23. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    From turquoise-and-purple boring to red-black-and-gold putrid. What an unfortunate transformation in Arizona. 

    Let's add some cacti and several dying rodents and we've got a winner.

22. Miami Dolphins

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    We often associate dolphins with the adjectives kind, playful and intelligent.

    Perhaps Miami's football designers should've flipped the script.

21. Anaheim Ducks

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    There's a fine line between boring and simple.

    The Anaheim Ducks are fiercely scraping the edge.

20. Toronto Raptors

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    When the ancient Chris Boshasaurus played for Toronto, their logo was perhaps the most amazingly-perfect display in sports.

    But without a dinosaur on their current roster, this is beginning to seem ridiculous.

19. Cleveland Browns

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    An orange helmet? That's all you've got for this legendary, hard-nosed Ohio-based franchise?

    It's about time for a fresh new doggy look.

18. Maryland Terrapins

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    It's been said that a turtle living in fresh or brackish water is called a Terrapin.

    And since when is a harmless turtle intimidating? They'd be better off with the anthropomorphic rebels idolized by most children.

17. Winnipeg Jets

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    Let's review the transformation from old school to new school one more time.

    When in doubt, throw it back.

16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    We get that Leprechaun's get tired of making shoes and storing all their coins in a hidden pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but enough with the moodiness already.

    Notre Dame deserves something classy, solid and vibrant. Eric Johnson's brilliant work takes the cake.

15. Miami Marlins

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    Sure it's a step up from the airborne Florida Marlin, but Miami's new insignia doesn't exactly scream future dynasty.

    But they'll certainly get noticed.

14. Columbus Crew

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    At first it feels like we're preparing for Dick Tracy's 1990 film. A second glance reveals three hard-hitting, hard-hatting individuals with a stoic stare on their faces.

    And that's about it.

13. Baltimore Ravens

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    At this point we'd take the flying shield over this overly-beaked creature.

    It is a solid beak though.

12. Stetson Hatters

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    There's no way Stetson University let's this selection hinder their success.

    They've undoubtedly learned one magical truth during their quest for greatness.

    Hatters gonna hat.

11. Richmond Spiders

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    Sure eight legs and venomous fangs can make any creepy arthropod somewhat intimidating.

    But do you really want your fans prancing around in tights?

10. UAB Blazers

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    When someone utters the word "Blazer," some envision a classy sport jacket, others the movie Dodgeball.

    But rarely do they picture a hilarious dragon in the midst of heating up dinner.

9. Carolina Hurricanes

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    Perhaps Will Ferrell described this logo best in Kicking & Screaming...

    "They're like 4-foot whirling dervishes. I don't even know what a whirling dervish is but that's what they're like."

8. Baltimore Orioles

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    One of the more unique fails in sports involves the fluttering Orioles. Let's review the contrasting finish. 

    Colors: Orange, black and white mesh for a breathtaking finish. Vibrant, rich, smooth. A+

    Mascot: Solid drawing, but too cartoonish. B

    Feel: Hard to take seriously. F

7. Saint Louis Billikens

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    Word has it that the Billiken was a charm doll created by American art teacher Florence Pretz of St. Louis after she allegedly spotted the figure in a dream.

    That dream became a winking-elf nightmare once sports teams began adopting it.

6. Modesto Nuts

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    This advanced Class-A minor league club seems eager to dethrone their affiliate Rockies as the system's bumpiest-looking team.

    With a pair of nuts gracing the cover, only a couple of disturbing smiles can possibly hinder the presentation further. Job well done.

5. Charlotte Bobcats

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    If they want to escape the NBA cellar, the Bobcats will need to dig deep for artistic prowess.

    Or perhaps turn back the clock.

4. Everett Aquasox

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    Introducing the G-Rated version. And here's the full-blown logo for this fishy affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

    Too much to handle all at once, and far too disturbing.

3. Valparaiso Crusaders

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    There's only one famous line we're thinking about during a time like this.

    "Put 'em up, put 'em up." - Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz

2. Jamestown Jammers

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    As a short-season Class-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, the Jamestown Jammers are expected to stretch the limits with their fashion sense.

    But a grumpy pack of grapes seems a bit desperate. Even a jar of jam would intimidate better.

1. Montgomery Biscuits

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    As the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Montgomery Biscuits have helped produce some serious MLB talent.

    And helped garner plenty of intrigued, baffled and hungry eyes.