Walk-Off

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  1. As boring as that logotype is, I give credit to ViacomCBS for at least trying for a "merger of equals" approach to the wordmark. On one hand, "VIACOM," in addition to coming first in the basic name of the merged company, is in a more eye-catching shade of blue (at least on light backgrounds) than "CBS." On the other hand, the logotype is in a font that CBS has used almost continuously since 2010 or so, and a bit of the negative space that hugs the outside of the "C" in "CBS" covers part of the "M" in "VIACOM."
  2. Part of my impression of the Raleigh MLB initiative is that it has a hyperlocal "Raleigh first and only" focus, so I definitely do not expect the leaders of that group to want the MLB team of their dreams to have any identity, no matter how historic or popular, that is so connected to Durham -- Raleigh's longstanding primary economic rival within the near-eastern section of North Carolina. The fact that every potential ballpark site being considered by the Raleigh MLB organization happens to lie within the City of Raleigh's boundaries should be proof enough of the provincialism of that campaign. The Raleigh MLB group seems to be giving serious consideration to not only Captains, but also Capitals (a nickname used by multiple former minor-league baseball teams in Raleigh) and even RallyCaps, so having just plain Caps as the primary, official nickname is far too ambiguous for my tastes. On the other hand, "Mets" is clearly short for "Metropolitans" (which happened to be the nickname of a late-19th-century professional baseball team in New York City), "Phillies" is the plural of a definitely established nickname for the City of Philadelphia, and "Twins" is a fairly obvious reference to the "Twin Cities" of Minneapolis and St. Paul and their shared metropolitan area. ("A's," meanwhile, is simply a shortened variant of and secondary alternative to Athletics, the Oakland MLB team's official nickname.)
  3. Know Rivalry does not seem to have been updated since the first half of 2013 at the latest. Not only are the NFL's Rams and Chargers still listed as playing in St. Louis and San Diego, respectively, but multiple college sports programs are still assumed to be in conferences to which they no longer belong (Maryland in the ACC, Tulane in Conference USA, UMass as a football-only member of the MAC, etc.).
  4. The irony is that while most New Englanders seem to pronounce "Worcester" in a way that has the first syllable's vowel matching the "short 'oo'" found in "good" or "wood," the announcer in the video revealing the WooSox's identity seems to pronounce the vowel in the first syllable of "WooSox" as the "long 'oo'" that is heard in "food" or "mood."
  5. Orlando has already had one professional baseball club nicknamed the Juice. The team played one full season in the Senior Professional Baseball Association, a Florida-based winter league that had a minimum age of 32 for catchers and 35 for all other players, debuted in late 1989, and folded nearly halfway through its second season (1990-91, after the Orlando Juice had disbanded). Yes, a juicer is a thing. The word is used usually for a device, either manual or electrically powered, that extracts juice from fruits and/or vegetables. Yes, I was thinking about the use of "juice" as slang for performance-enhancing drugs and of "juicer" as slang for a user of PEDs when I suggested Juice as an Orlando MLB team's nickname. No, I do not condone PEDs, but I am still very able to imagine how a nickname with potential for an association with PEDs could intimidate opposing teams and their fans.
  6. A Raleigh-based professional sports team wearing "Carolina" (read: UNC-Chapel Hill) blue would run a high risk of alienating those with loyalties to Durham's royal-blue-wearing Duke University or to Raleigh's own red-clad North Carolina State University, just to name a couple of schools. I think that a better choice of color scheme for a Raleigh team would be a pairing of red (for both NC State and the City of Raleigh itself) with a shade of blue that is darker than that of UNC-Chapel Hill but lighter than that of Duke (e.g. the Charlotte-based NFL Panthers' kind of blue).
  7. Ruby Legs might help to distinguish the Worcester team from the Boston Red Sox, but that nickname is similar enough to Red Sox that the Worcester club would be an awkward position should the team's ties to the Bosox ever disintegrate. Wicked Worms makes for a definitely independent identity and also employs a distinctly New England slang word, but also seems to be far too tailor-made for the Brandiose formula.
  8. Ever since the PawSox announced their move to Worcester, I have been under the impression that they would become simply the Worcester Red Sox, or "WooSox" for short. Not only is the team relocating from one area that is close to Boston and has a large Boston Red Sox fanbase to another community with those two attributes, but the AAA team's principal owner also is or was a holder of a minority stake in the parent club.
  9. Unless I am mistaken, the Atlanta Braves organization is the Danville Braves' actual owner; while every Appalachian League team takes the nickname of its MLB parent club, at least some of those teams are owned separately from their parent clubs. Therefore, as dire as the Appy League's future seems to be, the Atlanta Braves probably have much more of a luxury in updating the Danville club's logos than do the Appy League team owners or ownership groups that are separate from their parent clubs' ownerships. If nothing else, the Atlanta Braves organization could modify the Danville team's emblems for one of the remaining clubs in the Braves' farm system if and when the D-Braves and the Appy League are ejected from the established MiLB framework.
  10. If the St. Paul and Sugar Land indie-league teams are indeed earmarked for moves to MLB-affiliated minor leagues, then the latest plan seems to be that: the St. Paul Saints would take the Fresno Grizzlies' place in the AAA Pacific Coast League, the Grizzlies would then replace the departing Lancaster JetHawks in either the existing High A California League or a new West Coast-based lower-level minor league that would include the Cal League's remaining teams, the Sugar Land Skeeters would follow the Saints into the PCL, and a second PCL club would then be forced to move to a lower-level minor league. However, I remember reading at least one earlier story that suggested that the Skeeters would head instead for the AA Texas League. Oh, well, if the Skeeters wind up in the PCL and the Astros make the Skeeters their AAA affiliate at the first possible opportunity, then the Round Rock Express might gain a chance to reunite with the Texas Rangers -- who, for the time being, have opted for the Nashville Sounds as their AAA representative largely because the Rangers organization (a) regards the now-PCL-member San Antonio Missions' current venue as too decrepit and (b) sees too little, if any, progress being made toward a new ballpark for the Missions anywhere in the San Antonio area.
  11. Instead of Dreamers, I think that Williams would be wiser to have the team be nicknamed the Juice -- which came in second behind Magic in the then-proposed Orlando NBA franchise's naming contest in 1986.
  12. Orlando Dreamers? More like Orlando Dream-Ons if you ask me! Hey, Mr. Williams, 1990 called. It wants its branding consultant and its graphic designer back.
  13. In the span of a relatively small number of hours, Pat Williams and his lieutenants have not only devised that seemingly lazy choice of nickname and that hideously clip-art-like logo for their proposed team, but have also set up a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and an Instagram feed for their campaign. Also, according to this article on TampaBay.com, Williams has made an apparently face-saving claim that he and his organization would rather land an MLB franchise for Orlando via an expansion than through a relocation of the Rays. With apologies to any ordinary resident of Central Florida who really wants a local MLB club, I find it way too easy to take a skeptical view of this whole effort. Even with more well-thought-out proposals for both a nickname and an emblem, an Orlando MLB franchise initiative still faces daunting questions as to whether the Orlando area -- a smaller media market than either the Tampa-St. Petersburg area or the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area -- could be and would be demonstrably better at supporting an MLB franchise than either (let alone both) of the sections of Florida that already have regular-season big-league baseball. The fact that Central Florida in general has such a seemingly horrible history with both minor-league baseball teams and spring training facilities is another problem that Williams and those working with him need to overcome if they are to realize their dream (pun somewhat intended) of an Orlando team in North American baseball's uppermost echelon. Just as I fear that anyone seeking an MLB franchise for the Las Vegas area is overestimating the ability of such a team to sway lots of tourists to pay profitable sums of money to attend games during their trips to that region, I am concerned that Williams et al. are letting themselves be afflicted with a naïvely grandiose expectation that an Orlando-based MLB club can depend enough on sales of game tickets to vacationers to make up for any difficulty in convincing the locals to spend adequate amounts of money to attend those same games. Then there is that X factor ... that wild card ... that is The Walt Disney Company. With more than sixteen years having passed since Disney sold the Anaheim Angels to Arte Moreno and with the Atlanta Braves no longer conducting spring training at the Walt Disney World Resort's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, how willing would Bob Iger and his minions at The Mouse House be to add a major-league-specification and major-league-capacity baseball park to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex -- even as an on-speculation endeavor akin to the St. Petersburg ballpark known now as Tropicana Field -- and do so with only the company's own money, but without any cooperation with or other participation from Williams and his particular group?
  14. I, for one, hope that if and when Major League Baseball banishes all of those teams from the established minor leagues, the owners of the displaced MiLB teams will reject involvement in any new league organized at least partly by MLB, whether it is an "independent" professional league like the "Dream" league or a summer collegiate league. Instead, in my opinion, those owners who are willing and financially able to transform their MiLB franchises into independent pro teams should either try to get their clubs into established independent pro baseball leagues or band together to form one or more new truly independent pro leagues that would have no involvement with MLB whatsoever. Likewise, I think that those owners who believe that their MiLB clubs could survive without an MLB team affiliation only with a switch to unpaid college players should either try to secure places for their teams in existing summer collegiate baseball leagues or join forces to create one or more new summer collegiate leagues that would keep well away from any connection with MLB.
  15. I remember some discussion of Vancouver as a potential site for an MLB club during the late 1980s and early 1990s. If what I have read about BC Place is correct, that stadium hosted a handful of PCL Vancouver Canadians games and occasional preseason exhibition games between MLB clubs during its first twelve years of existence. (At the very least, if BC Place has retained an ability to accommodate a full-size baseball field since the venue's 2010-11 rebuild, then a Vancouver MLB team should be able to use that stadium as at least a temporary home.) Also, I definitely remember Vancouver's profile going through an upward surge during and after the World's Fair that the city hosted in 1986 (Expo 86). During that era, the criticisms of the idea of placing an MLB franchise in Vancouver seemed to stem from both a concern that the Canadian dollar was too weak to enable an easy profit for a Vancouver MLB team and a general skepticism of the ability of an MLB team based anywhere in Western Canada to amass a fanbase comparable in size to the followings of the Blue Jays, the Expos, or especially most of the US-based MLB clubs. As for a nickname for a Vancouver MLB franchise, if an ursine theme is desired, then I think that Kodiaks is definitely the choice that has the most professional look and sound.
  16. In my opinion, Reebok is wise to revive the vector logo (a clearly more memorable emblem than the delta pattern), but is foolish to bring back also the rather 1970s-like (e.g. Starsky & Hutch) wordmark that accompanied the vector design.
  17. Part of my reasoning about how the NFL might realign the AFC if the Chargers move to London is a belief in the notion that if the league is so eager to do something as risky as put a team in London, and especially if the league's powers that be are wondering nowadays if they can resolve the Chargers' lack of fan support and revenue as a Los Angeles team by steering that franchise toward London, then Goodell et al. might be feeling a lot of pressure to make sure that a London-based version of the Bolts play in a division with teams that are (a) the most desired regular opponents among gridiron football fans in Greater London, (b) in markets which Londoners would have the greatest desire to visit for an away game, and (c) in markets whose own teams' fanbases are large enough, geographically close enough, and wealthy enough to be the most likely sources of people traveling to London for rivalry games. Therefore, I think that, within the AFC (if not in the NFL as a whole), the best possible trio of divisional rivals for a London-based franchise may well be: the Patriots -- a perennial championship contender since 2001, the league's closest team to both the British Isles and continental Europe, and a team based in a part of the United States with a particularly rich history and high income per capita; the Jets -- who play near a city that is not only the largest in the United States, but also London's main rival worldwide as a center of finance and culture; and the Dolphins -- who play close to a glamorous and cosmopolitan city that, particularly in the winter, draws many middle-to-upper-class visitors from the across the British Isles and the European mainland. On the other hand, while I am a Titans fan, I have strong doubts that the AFC South would be a smart choice of division for a London NFL team resulting from a relocation of the Chargers. Jacksonville may be in Florida, but its attractiveness to the average Londoner might be hampered by its having cooler winters, having noticeably fewer tourism draws, and being generally less sophisticated than Miami. In the other direction, I have at least the impression that the average person in the Jacksonville area is poorer, and thus less able to attend an away game in a place as far away as London, than the typical resident of the Miami area. Nashville might be comparable to Boston in terms of appeal and popularity among travelers from the London area. However, it seems rather obvious to me that the country, bluegrass, and Southern gospel genres of music -- the bedrocks of the contemporary global image of Nashville -- are decidedly acquired tastes, particularly among Europeans. Meanwhile, the Nashville area is more populous and possibly richer per capita than the Jacksonville area, but is still very much in the shadows of the New York City, Boston, and even Miami areas in terms of both population and income per capita. Indianapolis anchors a metropolitan area with a population size comparable to that of the Nashville metro area, and it would not surprise me one bit if the Indianapolis area enjoys a higher income per capita than either the Nashville area or the Jacksonville area. However, I suspect also that the Indianapolis area's income per capita is, at best, no higher than that of the Miami area. Furthermore, what can Indianapolis really offer to a visitor from Greater London, especially in the fall and winter months?
  18. I am torn as to whether Captains or Owls would be the best nickname for a Raleigh-based MLB team. On one hand, a Captains identity (a) goes well with Raleigh's status as the closest North Carolina city of its size to where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first successful flight and (b) conveys a position of leadership (i.e. "captaincy") to which any self-respecting sports team desires. On the other hand, any species of owl makes for a surprisingly fierce bird of prey, and Owls is definitely a more understated choice for a nickname that "strikes fear in the hearts of opponents" than Reapers or Revenge. With all of that said, alliterative appeal notwithstanding, I prefer "Raleigh Captains" over "Carolina Captains" and favor "Raleigh Owls" above "Oak City Owls." Tied for third in my mind are Hounds and Oaks. A domestic dog of any breed, like a wild canine of any species or an owl of any species, is a carnivorous animal, and pretty much any animal in the dog family is known to hunt well as a member of a team, so a Raleigh Hounds identity has the potential to inspire an image of players who are very dedicated to one another and very eager to hunt together for a common goal and to fight together against a common foe ... and that is not even mentioning the likelihood of a "Release the Hounds!" custom among the team's fans. Meanwhile, the oak tree is not only a long-recognized symbol of Raleigh, but is also known as a symbol of an enduring strength such as what a professional baseball team must have in order to succeed over a season with usually no more than one day off in any given week. What I would rank fifth is Nobles. In a vacuum, a Raleigh Nobles identity works due to its connotation of leadership, like Captains; to its connection to North Carolina's history in general, like Captains; and to having a clearly stronger tie to the history of Raleigh specifically than does Captains. However, for Nobles to succeed as a Raleigh-based MLB club's nickname, the logo(s), wordmark(s), uniforms, and overall visual identity would have to be much less gaudy than what Gino Reyes is proposing for such a team on the Raleigh MLB campaign group's website.
  19. @Red Comet, while I think that this is the most sensible way to structure the AFC should the Chargers head for London and be allowed by the NFL to stay in their present conference, the Miami Dolphins' long history of pandering to Northeasterners visiting South Florida and especially to South Florida residents who used to live in the Northeast has me wondering about how likely it would be that the Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills fight each other over which of those teams gets to stay in the AFC East. If the Phins win -- and the Bills lose -- the privilege of playing in an AFC East with the New England Patriots, the New York Jets, and a London team that may or may not have the Chargers nickname, then the league's best choice for realigning the AFC would be: to put the Houston Texans in the Chargers' position in the AFC West, as you suggest; to make the Baltimore Ravens replace the Texans in the AFC South, and thus not only revive the Ravens' former rivalries with the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars, but also foment a twice-per-regular-season grudge match against the Baltimore-turned-Indianapolis Colts; and to have the Bills replace the Ravens in the AFC North, where at least the Bills would have rivalries with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns. Finally, the fact that Miami International Airport has scheduled nonstop passenger flights to and from the London area's largest airport on three airlines and scheduled nonstop passenger service to and from the London area's second-largest airport on a fourth airline -- whereas the closest airport to Buffalo with scheduled nonstop passenger flights to and from any airport in or near London is slightly over 94 miles or 151 kilometers away by car, and across an international border, in the Toronto area -- might help give the Dolphins an edge over the Bills in landing a place in an AFC East with a London-based franchise. While scheduled nonstop passenger flights to and from London may not matter so much to players, coaches, executives, and other team personnel who would enjoy the privilege of going across the Atlantic in a chartered aircraft, such flights or the lack thereof could be a big deal for local fans who are willing and able to attend an away game on the other side of "the pond" and local media personnel who are tasked with traveling those thousands of miles to cover such a game.
  20. Hmmm ... I thought that the change from Wiz to Wizards stemmed from a trademark infringement suit by an East Coast electronics store chain called (Nobody Beats) The Wiz. Based on one article that I read, the original plan was to name the Kansas City team the Wizards in the first place, but the use of the Wizards nickname by a minor-league professional soccer team in a state well away from Missouri led MLS to go with Wiz instead.
  21. @Gothamite, if your assessment of Kroenke is correct, then it seems to me that he is to today's NFL what Jerry Jones was to the league thirty years ago -- a "new money" owner who is decidedly wealthier than most of the more established first-generation owners of NFL teams and/or most of the owners who inherited their respective franchises, and thus has an easy time provoking high levels of jealousy and fear among his fellow NFL team owners and within the league's leadership. In that case, Kroenke probably needs now -- and Jones probably needed in the past -- to outthink, not just outspend, his way to respect and leverage within the NFL. The competition for the Los Angeles market was a situation in which Kroenke's stadium plan outthought that of the Davis and Spanos families enough to earn the blessings of nearly every other NFL owner and Goodell ... just as the conflict between Jones and then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the mid-1990s over sponsorships, as best as I can remember, ended with Jones outthinking Tagliabue, and thus gaining concessions from the NFL on that matter, by revealing actual and/or supposed examples of the league enforcing its sponsorship policies more stringently against the Cowboys than against some other teams.
  22. Which company concocted what I regard as the worst original name of any of the original MLS clubs -- the Kansas City Wiz? I still remember the frat-boy-like remarks that certain sports reporters made whenever the Burn and the Wiz played each other. As for which team ends up being affiliated with Precourt's Pet Project FC, I think that any club based in San Antonio might be just as unwilling as Austin Bold is to partnering with an Austin-based MLS club, albeit for a different set of reasons. At this point, Precourt and his underlings might have to look to a place like Waco for a developmental affiliate.
  23. Just to be clear, as popular choices for nicknames for a Seattle NHL team go, I think that Sockeyes is, at worst, a lesser evil than Kraken. However, I regard Emeralds, Metropolitans, Pilots, and maybe even Evergreens as better choices than either Sockeyes or Kraken. Furthermore, the only genuinely plausible justification that I can see for the team being named the Seattle Kraken is a desire for an association with a menacing creature (even if it is fictional) for the sake of (for lack of a more accurate term) challenging the Canucks' C-shaped orca emblem and the name and logo of the Sharks. With that said, I wonder about the extent to which the people in charge of the Seattle NHL franchise are considering any not-so-obvious inspiration for the team's nickname. For example, have bones or fossils of any predatory animal from the Ice Age ever been found in the ground underneath Seattle? The Nashville Predators' primary logo was inspired a by a saber-toothed cat's skull that was excavated during the construction of a downtown Nashville skyscraper in the 1970s. So, while Nashville has cornered the saber-toothed cat motif in the NHL, have the remains of, say, an American lion (Panthera atrox) ever been extracted from the ground in or near Seattle? If the answer is "yes," then that could give a very different meaning to a "Seattle Sea Lions" identity.