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Brian in Boston

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Everything posted by Brian in Boston

  1. Yes, I'm sure that the imagery the Atlanta Braves are trying to conjure up in the hearts and minds of their fans with this logo... ... is that of a truly courageous outdoor enthusiast wandering the aisles of his local Cabela's in preparation for a hunting or fishing trip with his buddies from work. Those Native Americans who take umbrage with the symbols of their culture being callously appropriated in order to serve as part and parcel of the branding systems of sports franchises and athletic programs will be greatly comforted in learning that the depictions of flint and stone arrow heads they see adorning the uniforms, venues, marketing materials, and licensed products of such teams may, in fact, have been insensitively co-opted from "primitive cultures all over the world".
  2. What has long left many people - myself included - feeling uneasy about the use of sports branding derived from Native American culture is that the names and symbols have, more often than not, been chosen by non-Native Americans. Further, when asked to explain why a particular Native American-themed name or symbol was selected to brand a sports team, the non-Native Americans who have chosen such branding have usually claimed that the names and logos were meant to "honor" Native Americans. How so? Well, the folks doing the choosing would be of the opinion that it was by recognizing such attributes as the bravery in combat, fighting spirit, or physical strength displayed by Native Americans. Eight years ago , I was invited by a friend who works for the Smithsonian Institution to attend a symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian. Said conference dealt with "Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports". I have a notebook filled with the comments that I rapidly wrote down as speaker after speaker - panelists and audience-members alike - shared their thoughts, opinions, and heartfelt convictions that day. Here are a few that stand out to me: "I'm a sports junkie, but I don't think the owners understand that they're not honoring us. 'Honors' like that we don't need." - Robert Holden, National Congress of American Indians "It's part of viewing Indians as a dead culture, a plaything that's essentially become part of the public domain. If something is dead, you can use it however you want." - N. Bruce Duthu, Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College "It's just like Indians have always been depicted in movies - stupid, violent, yet oddly noble in their savagery. Why is it that Native peoples aren't chosen to represent qualities like intelligence, piety, generosity, and love?" - Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian Many people are tired of Native Americans and the cultural hallmarks of their varied nations being reduced to logos, mascots, and nicknames for something as frivolous as adorning professional, collegiate, and interscholastic athletic teams and their venues. They're fed up with seeing Native Americans "honored" in recognition of their battlefield bravery and warrior spirit. They're sick of the same symbols of Native American culture - arrowheads, spears, and tomahawks - being trotted out again and again in combination with purportedly "inoffensive" names such as Braves and Chiefs, as though the tools of warfare don't carry with them a not-so-subtle message that Native Americans, regardless of their station, are all "noble savages". Or, as Professor Duthu so eloquently put it, Native Americans are over being viewed as "a dead culture, a plaything... part of the public domain" that can be used as sports logos, mascots, nicknames, or "however [non-Native Americans] want."
  3. If I'm being honest, I didn't see there being much chance that Cleveland's MLB team was going to change colors when they dropped the Indians name. After all, Cleveland's MLB team wasn't seeking to jettison all of its history through this rebrand. Rather, it was recognizing and choosing to distance itself from the continued day-to-day use of a divisive team name and a former team logo that was so grotesquely exaggerated in its depiction of supposed characteristics that it crossed the line from caricature to racially-insensitive symbol. That said, Cleveland's AL franchise has taken the field representing said municipality in every season of American League competition since the circuit was recognized as a major league in 1901. If I'm not mistaken, it is one of just five MLB teams - Cleveland, Boston, Chicago and Detroit in the AL, Chicago in the National League - to have taken to the field in every season of competition in their respective leagues without relocating from their original markets. Maintaining some semblance of a tie to that legacy is important. So, how does a franchise that's committed to changing its name and logos maintain a tie to 121 seasons of history? Well, Navy and White have been featured in Cleveland's uniforms for each and every season of the team's tenure in the American League since the circuit's elevation to Major League status in 1901. Red first appeared in the home uniforms of the Cleveland Naps in 1904, disappeared from the franchise's set until resurfacing on the home jerseys for a single year in 1928, then joined Navy and White for an unbroken 89-year run beginning in 1933. All of that being said, I completely understand the decision on the part of team ownership and management to maintain a color scheme of Navy, Red and White under the Cleveland Guardians brand. Said palette is as intrinsically linked to the history, identity, and legacy of Cleveland's MLB franchise as any other aspect of the club. As such, I'd argue that those colors need not - indeed, should not - be cast aside.
  4. Dissolution, as in the act or process of dismissing, dissolving, ending, or separating an assembly, body, or partnership into component parts. Of course, I'm quite sure that many fans of the Big XII and its member-institutions besides Texas and Oklahoma are feeling mighty disillusioned right now.
  5. For an ice hockey team, the toque is definitely a plus.
  6. The venality surrounding the "revenue sports" in major college athletics - particularly, "big time" college football and basketball - is both an embarrassment and an outrage through and through. That said, there's sadly nothing laughable about it.
  7. #*&% the Southeastern Conference, #*&% Power Five football, and #*&% conference realignment. #*&% the avarice of conference commissioners and university athletic directors, #*&% the egotism of "prestige" coaches and jock-sniffing boosters, and #*&% the ineffectual effort of NCAA officials and so-called university "leaders". In short, #*&% "big time college athletics". A plague o' all their houses.
  8. Hanks spent several summers involved with Cleveland's Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, later the Great Lakes Theater Festival, and now the Great Lakes Theater. He credits his time there - which included earning his Actors' Equity Association card and winning a Cleveland Critics Circle Award - with convincing him to pursue a career as an actor. He's been instrumental in raising money for the company, particularly during the campaign to renovate the Hanna Theater in Playhouse Square into its new home. I bumped into Hanks in Santa Monica a number of years ago while I was wearing a Great Lakes Theater t-shirt (a friend had just appeared in a production with the company and I'd picked up the shirt while in Cleveland to attend her performance). He immediately wanted to know if I'd attended the festival or performed at either the Ohio or Hanna Theaters. I explained the circumstances behind my sporting the shirt and asked if he'd been involved with Great Lakes Theater. He couldn't have been more enthusiastic in reminiscing about his experiences and heaping praise on the institution. His time there certainly made an indelible impression upon him.
  9. Bingo! Frankly, the argument can be made that Oakland was lucky to have ever landed major pro sports in the first place. If the ownership group behind the American Football League's planned Minneapolis-based franchise hadn't announced that it was bolting for the NFL just eight months before the upstart league was set to kick-off, AFL leadership wouldn't have been forced to find a replacement market on short notice. Further, Los Angeles Chargers owner Barron Hilton wouldn't have been afforded the opportunity to throw his weight around and insist upon said replacement market being a California city that would provide his team with an in-state rival and help to somewhat reduce his travel expenses. In which case, Oakland doesn't land its first major pro sports franchise. Which means that civic leaders may never become convinced to pursue more teams... and teams on the move may never become convinced that Oakland could support them. By no means was Oakland a "get" market for any major pro sports league in 1960. At the time, the city's population of 367,548 marked it as the 33rd largest municipality in the United States. The only less-populated markets playing host to major pro sports in the AFL, NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL at the time were Syracuse (NBA's Nationals) and Green Bay (NFL's Packers). The Nationals would relocate to Philadelphia by the start of the NBA's 1963-64 season. As for Green Bay, the city served as an NFL market in 1960 - indeed, continues to survive as an NFL market today - due to the existence of an iron-clad legal agreement dating to 1923 that establishes the Packers as a publicly owned, non-profit entity. Today, Oakland's estimated population according to the U.S. Census Bureau is 424,891... ranking the city as the 46th most populous in the United States. As you point out, it isn't the largest city in its metropolitan area or Nielsen DMA, trailing behind both San Jose (#10 nationally - 1,013,616) and San Francisco (#17 - 866,606). In fact, it's the 8th most populous city in California behind Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, and Long Beach. Akron, Anderson, and Canton. Dayton, Decatur, and Evansville. Fort Wayne, Hamilton, and Hammond. Hartford, Kenosha, and Louisville. Massilon, Moline, and Muncie. Newark, Omaha, and Orange. Portsmouth, Pottsville, and Providence. Rock Island, Rochester, and Sheboygan. Staten Island, Syracuse, and Tonawanda. Troy, Waterloo, and Worcester. All played host to major pro teams at one time or another. All have seen major pro sports move on. Like each of said cities, Oakland may be a major pro sports municipality that time and circumstance have passed by.
  10. St. Louis has lost four NFL teams, an NHL club, a single MLB franchise, and a pair of NBA teams. The St. Louis All-Stars folded after the 1923 NFL season. The St. Louis Gunners played three games as a replacement for the Cincinnati Reds during the NFL's 1934 season, then promptly suspended operations. The St. Louis Cardinals relocated to Arizona following the NFL's 1987 campaign. The St. Louis Rams returned to Los Angeles after the 2015 NFL season. The NHL's St. Louis Eagles folded following the 1934-35 season. The AL's St. Louis Browns relocated to Baltimore in the wake of the 1953 season. The St. Louis Bombers folded after the 1949-50 NBA season. The St. Louis Hawks relocated to Atlanta following the league's 1967-68 season. And those eight franchise losses don't even take into account the folding of the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis as part of the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 and the relocation of the NASL's St. Louis Stars to Anaheim in the wake of the 1977 season.
  11. #*&% Dave Kaval, #*&% John Fisher, #*&% the A's, and #*&% Major League Baseball. If I'm Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff and the Oakland City Council, I'm telling ownership and management of the Oakland Athletics that they have until 5:00 PM PST on July 30, 2021 to accept the proposed term sheet that the council approved today, or get cracking on finalizing a stadium deal elsewhere. After all, good ol' "Take It or Leave It" Kaval and the A's brass must have a surefire, ironclad, can't miss ballpark deal all sewn up someplace else by now, right? Otherwise, why would they so confidently be holding a "gun" to the collective head of Oakland's municipal leaders and rather cockily demanding, "Approve our term sheet exactly as we've unilaterally drawn it up, or we're 'pulling the trigger' on a relocation."? The A's presented their proposed term sheet and insisted that it be voted upon exactly as presented. So, call their bluff, Oakland. Let's see how quickly a ballpark deal can be finalized in Las Vegas, Henderson, or Summerlin. Or is the new home of the A's going to be located in Charlotte, Montréal, Nashville, Portland, or Vancouver? You know, I hear Michelle Willard with the Greater Sacramento Economic Council is willing to take their call. #*&% 'em.
  12. Just the November 11, 1998 Jaguars-Buccaneers game featured those exact uniform combos. The October 28, 2007 match-up saw the Buccaneers wear their white jerseys and white pants. I prefer the contrast provided by the pewter pants.
  13. Underwhelming? It pays homage to the "skating Admiral" logos that the team sported in the 1970s and '80s. It marries a retro vibe reminiscent of said era - indeed, it wouldn't have been out of place in the 1950s or '60s - with a more polished, modern rendering style. It strikes me as being the best logo a hockey team dubbed the Milwaukee Admirals has ever sported, hands down. If the Admirals adopted it as their regular logo, it would - to my mind - be the best primary mark in the AHL. This is some outstanding craftsmanship on Dan Simon's part. I've long been a fan of his work and this is no exception. Frankly, it's one of my favorite sports logos... period. I'd love to get my hands on a jersey!
  14. My problem with this logo... ... is the complete lack of detail on the entirety of the hawk's lower jaw. No mouth line... no lower mandible... no detail whatsoever. Minimalism taken to the extreme. In the photo of the hawk at rest which you shared... ... one can still discern details such as the mouth line, the separation of the upper and lower mandibles, and the feather-covered rear portion of the lower mandible. They're all plainly visible here... While the artist who designed the Winterhawks' alternate logo had every right to design a more minimalist mark, I feel the choice - and its execution - leave something to be desired aesthetically. It strikes me as a bit too stylized. There's something "robotic" about the hawk. Certainly attractive, but not what I'd choose for a team dubbed the Winterhawks.
  15. There's little question that the Canadian Football League's leadership has to figure out what needs to be done in order to ensure the circuit's sustained existence. League-wide average attendance has decreased for seven consecutive seasons, with said average hitting just 22,917 fans through the turnstiles in 2019. Particularly vexing is the league's growing irrelevance in Canada's three most populous metro areas, with the CFL teams representing said markets - the Toronto Argonauts, Montréal Alouettes, and BC Lions - generating the three lowest average team attendance totals amongst the league's nine franchises in each of the last five seasons. In fact, over the past ten seasons the Lions have escaped the CFL's bottom three in average attendance just three times, with the Alouettes having managed the feat just once. The Argonauts' "greatest" attendance achievement during said decade? Twice finishing second-to-last in average attendance.
  16. While a solid logo, this has always struck me as being a depiction of a cyborg hawk from the distant future that was sent back to 21st-century Portland in order to prevent the erasure of major junior hockey in said city from our timeline. "I'll be BEAK."
  17. I'm going to go out on a limb and say some combination of team ownership, team management, and the graphic designer responsible for the logo.
  18. Though the team won't actually be taking to the pitch until next year, the USL League One expansion side based out of Windsor, Colorado's Future Legends Complex has unveiled its name and logo. The club will be known as Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, Hailstorm FC for short. The crest was designed by Christopher Payne. Personally, I'm not a fan.
  19. Well, the logo in their website banner was up about 20 to 25 minutes before they'd officially posted the story or released the unveiling video.
  20. It would appear that the Portland Winterhawks' new logo may be hiding in plain sight in the banner atop the team's web page. Very nicely done. Kudos to Brian Gundell.
  21. Had this Portland Winterhawks logo been unveiled yet, or could the team's new mark be hiding in plain sight on their web page?
  22. I can just see the Review-Journal banner headline officially announcing the relocation: Viva LA's Vegas!
  23. In the Euro 2020 final, Italy played to win and they won. England played "not to lose"... so they lost.
  24. I prefer no outline around the yellow circle.
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