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Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

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Just now, IceCap said:

Some people like to precise.

 

I don't think so. I think names like "Lions," "Cardinals," or "Penguins" can work (almost) anywhere because they are themselves generic names. With something like "kraken"? We're talking mythology, specifically the fact that the kraken was never a real thing. It was a myth before Erik Pontoppidan and Herman Melville applied its name to another mythical creature that turned out to be real.

So unlike actual animals which are just around and existing in the world? "Kraken" is one of those sorts of mythological monsters that only exists in story. And story is something you can trace. So people do that, end up in early medieval Scandinavia, and go "wait, why are we applying that to the Pacific Northwest?"

 

How much you care, or let that bother you, depends on how you stack "Kraken" up with stuff like "Knights," "Eagles," "Bengals," "Cavaliers," etc... For some, the fact that kraken is mythological will make it stand out and scrutinize it harder. For others? It's all the same, and any name is up for grabs anywhere. There's no right or wrong answer, but there's the answer to your question.

 

Another possibility is the nature of hockey. Hockey, unlike the other big four sports in North America, tends to lean into localized names. Just look at the Original Six. Four of the six O6 teams had very localized names. Whereas early football and baseball names tended to be relatively generic early on. I think that spirit has carried on through newer teams, who see replicating that as a way to gain a feel of "legitimacy." The Predators were even named after a skeleton that was unearthed during the building of their arena.

So I think that aspect of hockey culture might play into it. You see "kraken," find out where its origins lie, and go "hey, that doesn't fit with Seattle." It doesn't help that other names like Evergreens, Emeralds, Rainers, and Sockeyes all have specific local connections.

I guess this is just a fundamental difference in perspective. To me, naming a team in Detroit the Tigers is significantly more absurd than a team in Seattle the Kraken. There are no wild tigers wandering around Detroit. Myths are fluid, and shaped over time as you've pointed out. You can take heavy leeway and direct them however you want, and the Kraken idea befits a nautical city like Seattle. 

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27 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

I know I've said it before but it really just escapes me why this board seems to have such an fixation on the name Kraken having Scandinavian origins, and therefore can't apply to Seattle.

Part of it is admittedly that I've been exposed to so many people on places like Reddit who just say Kraken would be the best name because of the meme factor and usually not much else. "Release the Kraken is funny, therefore good name!" gets thrown about a lot there, but it's a bad name that gets propped up by people using very loose connections when we have a much more locally-relevant and much more real Pacific Northwest-based marine animal to be using if we want to go that route.

 

Well, technically there's two, but I somewhat doubt Sea Lions gets the nod as the name because of the association it might have to the Oakland/California Seals. A new expansion team really shouldn't want to essentially make themselves easily comparable to one of the most infamously terrible franchises in the history of the league. 😛

 

8 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

You can take heavy leeway and direct them however you want, and the Kraken idea befits a nautical city like Seattle. 

So does a name like Sockeyes, and it's also much more locally-driven. That's the problem; "Kraken" doesn't really have anything over "Sockeyes" when it comes to Seattle besides letting people spout dead memes on Reddit and think they're still funny. It's kinda the ":censored: Pigeons" of the names the team's considering, honestly; a meme that spiraled out of control and has basically overrun discussion.

 

A brand should ideally be appealing to the local market primarily, not necessarily focusing on the global market first. After all, the local market's where a good chunk of the ticket sales, concessions revenue and merchandise sales will come from, and you really want to root yourself there with a name that the locals will immediately find appealing.

 

A name like "Kraken" sounds cool to someone in, say, Kansas City; but would it resonate with Seattleites as well as a more culturally-relevant name could? I don't think it would, given we've seen "Sockeyes" seems to be far and away the local favourite for the team name.

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19 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

I guess this is just a fundamental difference in perspective.

Yep. Which is fundamentally subjective, and not a case of "right" or "wrong." However much some want it to be.

 

19 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

Myths are fluid, and shaped over time as you've pointed out.

I mostly pointed that out to disprove @sparky chewbarky's false claim that the original kraken myth was based on the sightings of giant squids. They weren't. I was explaining to him (and anyone else who cared to read) how the kraken myth drifted from giant fish to giant squid, mostly as the result of one or two guys.

 

19 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

You can take heavy leeway and direct them however you want, and the Kraken idea befits a nautical city like Seattle. 

You could, but in actuality the kraken's origins are Scandinavian and fish-esque. So putting a team with that name in the Pacific Northwest, with a squid-based logo, is just a bit too far removed from the myth's origins to make it a good use of the name. That's my take anyway. Which again, is subjective. It is, however, how I feel about the whole thing.

It's also primarily associated with a meme from a decade ago, which is a whole other problem.

 

Which is an issue I have with the pro-kraken side. They dismiss the meme argument by saying the myth is more than just a Clash of the Titans or Pirates of the Caribbean reference. Those movies are what made Pontoppidan and Melville's squid-kraken relevant in modern pop culture though. If you take the movie references away you're left with the writings of a Danish explorer and an American author who was super into whaling. And it's not that far back to get to the original Scandinavian giant fish myth.

So are we discounting the influence these pop culture touchstones have the name's popularity or not?

 

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3 minutes ago, IceCap said:

 

 

You could, but in actuality the kraken's origins are Scandinavian and fish-esque. So putting a team with that name in the Pacific Northwest, with a squid-based logo, is just a bit too far removed from the myth's origins to make it a good use of the name.

 

You can't make it a good use of the name because its not a good name to use. Irrespective of where it comes from, the current idea of the Kraken in our culture is of a big cephalopod that eats ships, whether its pure or original or not, thats the current "myth". The Seattle hockey club would be working from that premise. 

 

The real misfortune here is that all the people clamouring for the name "Kraken" because its sick as hell bro are the same ones who will be laughing at it 10 years down the road.

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2 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

You can't make it a good use of the name because its not a good name to use.

That's true 😛

 

2 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

Irrespective of where it comes from, the current idea of the Kraken in our culture is of a big cephalopod that eats ships, whether its pure or original or not, thats the current "myth". The Seattle hockey club would be working from that premise. 

I'm aware, but I'm also a history teacher with a MA in the subject, with a soft spot for medieval Scandinavia. The idea of further pulling the myth from its origins bugs me. In part of sentimental reasons, and in part because it contributes to misunderstandings. Such as Sparky claiming the original sightings were based on giant squids.

I'm not pretending this is anything but my opinion and preference, but this is the sort of place to share those sorts of opinions.

 

4 minutes ago, Chromatic said:

The real misfortune here is that all the people clamouring for the name "Kraken" because its sick as hell bro are the same ones who will be laughing at it 10 years down the road.

Yeah, that's the kicker. Whatever reason people pull out, the name "Kraken" has pop culture currency because of Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean. There's a very real chance that a NHL Seattle Kraken identity is gimmicky out of the gate. Those rarely stand the test of time.

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Well you can keep yelling I. The corner that “that isn’t was the Kraken originally was in the myth” while everyone else goes ok sure but this is what it has morphed into in the hundreds of years since. People learned what whales were, so that meant nothing on the seas matched the description of a kraken any more, then sailors started seeing tentacles and the like hang from off the sides of there ships and lines so then they started calling that the kraken and believed that it was the mythical beast that would take ships down. So that’s what the current meaning is and that’s what most people think of when they hear kraken.

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50 minutes ago, IceCap said:

Yeah, that's the kicker. Whatever reason people pull out, the name "Kraken" has pop culture currency because of Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean. There's a very real chance that a NHL Seattle Kraken identity is gimmicky out of the gate. Those rarely stand the test of time.

Are "Pirates" and "Titans" even still considered current pop culture? I mean, if this was like 2007 or something, then I could see the relevance. But 2020? Is this team living in the past? Like did time stop when the Sonics left and now is starting up again?

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6 hours ago, IceCap said:

The Predators were even named after a skeleton that was unearthed during the building of their arena.


Close. The skeletal Smilodon remains that inspired the Predators' identity were unearthed during early-1970s construction of the First American Center - today, the UBS Tower - in downtown Nashville. They were on display in the office tower for nearly 35 years. Said remains were moved to Bridgestone Arena in November of 2016.  

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The franchise needs to be named the Sockeyes (or something besides Kraken) very soon so we can put this all to rest

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I want to mention one thing about this Kraken comes from Scandinavia so it doesn't mean anything to Seattle business.  There's a strong Scandinavian community and history in Seattle, with immigrants that came during the 19th and early 20th century.   Here is the Seattle tourist website that showcases this, and points out the museums and festivals that they have.

 

https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/cultural-heritage/nordic/

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4 hours ago, dont care said:

So that’s what the current meaning is and that’s what most people think of when they hear kraken.

And it has very little to even do with Seattle, hence the umbrage we're taking with the name. Why should the team be named after a mythological creature that originated in the North Atlantic when they're nowhere near the origin of the myth itself? Even if you use the "current meaning" excuse, the mythological kraken is still only said to be found in the north seas of the Atlantic, not in the Pacific where the city of Seattle actually is. Giant squids may have contributed to the kraken myth, but they are not the origin of the myth; as seen by early texts describing kraken being more crab-like then cephalopod-like.

 

So it's still geographically unfitting, especially considering the fact that you have actual local marine fauna that are right there to use and that would be way more tied to the area this team is actually placed. This team isn't in Stockholm or Oslo, where that name would be actually appropriate due to cultural ties, it's in Seattle.

 

Not to mention that it doesn't even roll well against the city name, which most of the older unrelated names in the league do; and a brand's goal should ideally to be long-lived, not to eventually be getting seriously looked at for replacement. "Boston Bruins", "Philadelphia Flyers", "Pittsburgh Penguins"; all three sound great rolling with the city name and have lasted for 50+ years because of that. 

 

"Seattle Kraken" doesn't roll with the city name at all, and it's raison d'être for most people is tied to film. It's why you see people on places like Twitter or Reddit defending "Kraken" as their choice for the team's name not by bringing up potentially legitimate reasons the name works, but by saying things like "Well, it'd be cool to shout RELEASE THE KRAKEN at a hockey game!"; it's justifying a name with the fact that it references other media.

 

And ideally, one shouldn't build their professional franchise's brand on a reference. Look at how the Raptors nearly ended up rebranding when Masai took over the team; what happens to all the "Kraken" support if the team ends up not being another Vegas and ends up being mediocre or even outright bad their first handful of years? Would the name still be considered cool then? Or would it, like "Raptors" once was, become associated with mediocrity and a lack of success?

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6 hours ago, Ridleylash said:

 A new expansion team really shouldn't want to essentially make themselves easily comparable to one of the most infamously terrible franchises in the history of the league. 😛

The Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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4 hours ago, McCall said:

Are "Pirates" and "Titans" even still considered current pop culture? I mean, if this was like 2007 or something, then I could see the relevance. But 2020? Is this team living in the past? Like did time stop when the Sonics left and now is starting up again?

They're not incredibly current, but they made enough of an impact that they still linger. And as far as the name "kraken" goes? They're still incredibly relevant because they're probably the reason most people even know the term. 

 

5 hours ago, dont care said:

Well you can keep yelling I. The corner that “that isn’t was the Kraken originally was in the myth” while everyone else goes ok sure but this is what it has morphed into in the hundreds of years since. People learned what whales were, so that meant nothing on the seas matched the description of a kraken any more, then sailors started seeing tentacles and the like hang from off the sides of there ships and lines so then they started calling that the kraken and believed that it was the mythical beast that would take ships down. So that’s what the current meaning is and that’s what most people think of when they hear kraken.

 

5 hours ago, IceCap said:

I'm aware, but I'm also a history teacher with a MA in the subject, with a soft spot for medieval Scandinavia. The idea of further pulling the myth from its origins bugs me. In part of sentimental reasons, and in part because it contributes to misunderstandings. Such as Sparky claiming the original sightings were based on giant squids.

I'm not pretending this is anything but my opinion and preference, but this is the sort of place to share those sorts of opinions.

EDIT- Also? You're wrong. I explained the history of the kraken myth on the last page of this thread. The association of the word "kraken" to mean giant squid is thanks to two specific people. 

 

21 minutes ago, thaipod said:

I want to mention one thing about this Kraken comes from Scandinavia so it doesn't mean anything to Seattle business.  There's a strong Scandinavian community and history in Seattle, with immigrants that came during the 19th and early 20th century.   Here is the Seattle tourist website that showcases this, and points out the museums and festivals that they have.

 

https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/cultural-heritage/nordic/

We're all aware 😛

Edited by IceCap

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I think my biggest gripe with the name Kraken isn't that its a mythological beast with little association to the area or even that it is a non plural team name, but rather it is a singular creature. This would be like naming your hockey team the Tusla Godzilla. How about the Boise Harry Potter? 

 

However, I did a little (very little) more research into the name and discovered an English language usage message board discussing if Kraken can be pluralized. The users there cited ancient Norwegian standards, common standards, and the way that would translate into English to determine that Kraken CAN be pluralized as Krakens. They cited uses in more recent SciFi and Fantasy novels as well including one about a Galactic Football League that used Krakens as a team name. 

 

Kraken is a nonstarter for me, but I think I could live with Krakens. 

 

Go Emeralds!

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9 minutes ago, ZapRowsdower8 said:

I think my biggest gripe with the name Kraken isn't that its a mythological beast with little association to the area or even that it is a non plural team name, but rather it is a singular creature. This would be like naming your hockey team the Tusla Godzilla. How about the Boise Harry Potter? 

 

However, I did a little (very little) more research into the name and discovered an English language usage message board discussing if Kraken can be pluralized. The users there sited ancient Norwegian standards, common standards, and the way that would translate into English to determine that Kraken CAN be pluralized as Krakens. They cited uses in more recent SciFi and Fantasy novels as well including one about a Galactic Football League that used Krakens as a team name. 

 

Kraken is a nonstarter for me, but I think I could live with Krakens. 

 

Go Emeralds!

 

Same. I HATE singular names (Wild, ugh). It sometimes works, like Lightning, because it still describes the plural form. Avalanche sort of falls in more with Wild, but I guess it works because it's a destructive force of nature. 

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I like how the dictionary feels the need to specify that it's fabulous.

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18 minutes ago, IceCap said:

I like how the dictionary feels the need to specify that it's fabulous.

I’d imagine that fabulous in this case refers to being from a fable and not the commonly used definition. 

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10 hours ago, Chromatic said:

I guess this is just a fundamental difference in perspective. To me, naming a team in Detroit the Tigers is significantly more absurd than a team in Seattle the Kraken. There are no wild tigers wandering around Detroit. Myths are fluid, and shaped over time as you've pointed out. You can take heavy leeway and direct them however you want, and the Kraken idea befits a nautical city like Seattle. 

There no Tigers in Detroit or Cincinnati, nor Bears in Chicago, etc. The Tigers were named becuse they use to wear Orange n Black striped socks back during the beginning of baseball. So they they thought up the name the Tigers. Back then, people weren't as factual or technical like they are today.

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Correction: Navy n Orange striped sock.

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