Where does the iconic Dallas star sit on our rankings of the 30 best logos in sports? Which sport dominates? The NFL? MLB? Hockey?? Find out.
What's different about the Raiders logo? What makes it unique from the 91 other logos in the big three American sports? (Besides the fact that it's basically a picture of a star of old movie Westerns - Randolph Scott - wearing an eyepatch.) The Raiders logo is enclosed within a shield. For as famous as the NFL's shield is (so much that "The Shield" is a term used, often derisively, to describe the league) no other team in any big-three sports has one. The irony of the symbol of Al Davis's team sharing a key feature with the symbol of the NFL is delightful, by the way.
A jet and a maple leaf, along with what appears to be a compass pointed north, as if the jet and maple leaf weren't enough to let us know the identity of this hockey team.
Indiana State Syacmores
We're a sucker for map-based logos, like this one from Larry Bird's old school that has a star on its Terre Haute location. The scripted, arched Sycamores is great too.
You have to give the Browns respect. So many teams would have succumbed to pressure from marketing dopes clutching numbers from focus groups and PowerPoint presentations showing skyrocketing annual projections, all if the team would change their logo from that terrible shade of brown to something cool, like a grizzly bear or Drew Carey. But the Browns hold firm. Respect. (Since this one could reasonably appear on people's "worst" lists, here's a list of the actual five worst logos in sports, listed in no particular order: Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Wild, Milwaukee Brewers and New England Patriots.
Blue buffalo with red streak signifying power. It's everything a logo should be.
New York Knicks
The perspective makes the Knicks, and the city they play in, larger than life. And the blue/orange combo is a classic.
Austin Peay Governors
Austin Peay is named after former Tennessee governor Austin Peay who, at least from the pictures I saw, wore neither a monocle nor tophat.
Why the orange drop of oil turns into a blue streak on the "OILERS" I don't know. It looks pretty sweet nonetheless.
Virtually untouched since 1967, the Flyers logo is sleek, evocative and has nothing to do with anything Philadelphia related. Win, win, win.
Cornell Big Red
I like to imagine the bear got caught in the C and is frustratedly watching DiCaprio run away.
Buffalo. Sabres. Buffalo Sabres. It's like a game of Win, Lose or Draw. As far as I could tell, no other sports team pictorally identifies both its city and nickname. And this just looks cool anyway.
According to the Bucks, the four key changes on this new logo are: The buck now has 12 antler racks instead of eight. Maturation. There's a basketball hidden in the antlers. Well, a basketball that's about to get popped, anyway. There's an M hidden under the buck's chin. And "with hard edges that appear almost cut from metal, and industrial but classic proprietary font juxtaposed against the curvature of the logo represents a symbolic union of urban and rural Wisconsin." Okay.
Other teams have oddly named mascots and ignore them when it's time for a logo. (Duke's blue devil and Wake Forest's demon deacon come to mind. The logos of those schools are a D and WF, respectively.) KU embraces its jayhawk as well it should. Rock, chalk.
After having one of the coolest logos in sports history (The City), Golden State finally went back to that tradition, borrowing from that iconic image and using the Bay Bridge as the focal point for its new logo. That the team instantly got better is no fluke. I'm serious. Look good, play good.
New York Islanders
Not on the background map of Long Island: Brooklyn, where the team now plays.
The Pirates had a pirate in their logo (as it should be) from 1934-2013, however I'm feeling the simple, gold P. Maybe that's just my old fondness for Andy Van Slyke.
The more I see this one (so, once a year) I like it, even if the name has nothing to do with Calgary and, in fact, has so little to do with Calgary it makes Utah seem like the birthplace of Jazz. (Flames comes from Atlanta, for obvious reasons.) Still, the on-fire C is old school and excellent.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers logo was so great that the University of Georgia asked if they could use it, changing the colors of course. Green Bay should have demanded compensation like, say, Herschel Walker. Today even, given the team's running back problems.
Eight spokes connecting to the B in the center. A simple wheel, no? Come on, this is Boston. Everything must be attached to self-congratulatory takes of yore. Hence the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote used unironically on the team's official logo page. Boston is (was?) according to Holmes, "the hub of the solar system." Hence the spokes going toward the B, which declares Boston, tucked all the way up in New England, the center of America.
New York Mets
Those buildings aren't just there because they look good. The church spire represents Brooklyn (did TORRES first play church basements?), there's the Williamsburg Savings Bank (where I hope the Wilpons didn't have any money), the Woolworth Building, some generally skyline buildings in New York centered by the Empite State Building (my only problem with the logo: if everything else has meaning, give these buildings meaning too) and the UN at the right. Oh, the bridge. It signifies what fans want to jump off after every season.
Red Auerbach's brother, Zang, designed the iconic Celtics logo of the leprechaun who knows something you don't, with his shillelagh, pipe, winking eye, crossed legs and ability to hold a basketball on his finger without spinning it.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Carolina Blue is the prettiest color in all of sports.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs logo has basically been the same for 100 years, except for a 40-year sojourn with a monochromatic leaf and more modern font. Thankfully, this season the franchise went back to that old-school typeface and leaf designs too this season. The intricacies of the leaf are a little too mysterous (17 veins to represent 1917, the first year of the franchise), 13 veins on top (for the franchise's 13 Stanley Cups) and the 31 points of the leaf (Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931). Whatever. Still looks good.
Detroit Red Wings
Despite the clear association with wheels and Detroit, the Red Wings logo actually comes from Montreal, where Detroit's original owner had played for the Winged Wheelers.
New York Yankees
It's hard to discern the difference between great and ubiquitous. The Lakers logo immediately conjures so many memories - from Kareem to Magic to Shaq to Kobe to Jack Nicholson to, of course, Smush Parker - because we've seen it for a half-century. But is it good? Sure, but not one of the best. The Yankees, on the other hand, have one of the most recognizable logos in sports and it's most undeniably one of the best. The baseball, the bat, the way the bat forms the long stroke of the "k" and the jaunty way the yankee cap rests on the barrel. All that's missing, oddly: pinstripes.
Prior to 1972, the split U logo didn't exist. It was a "UM" instead, which would have made it a lot less cool with Clinton Portis played on Sunday Night Football and declared he was from "The U ... M. No, not Michigan."
Major League Baseball
So many stories involving the genesis of logos and mascots and team names have some serendpitous twist, their version of the story of the little girl telling Abraham Lincoln to grow a beard. Not the MLB logo. This was a creation, designed to be great. The league commissioned New York's Sandgren & Murtha in 1968 (Sterling Cooper lost out after one exec cried and kept talking about Kodak) to design an original logo that would bring MLB into a new era. Jerry Dior came up with the now famous, oft-imitated silhouette that was not modeled after Harmon Killebrew, he insists. When the NBA would use the same agency to create its logo the following year, it specifically requested that it look like baseball's and the silhouette ended up being based off Jerry West.
It's the most recognizable logo in college sports, hooves down. Perfect. Symmetrical. Clean. It's actually fairly uncommon to have a college logo that's simply an illustration with no signifying text or letters. (Clemson, Florida, Penn State, Iowa, Kansas State and Louisville are a few examples. Another logo from the Big 12 - Kansas - is higher in our list and the Jayhawk should stand on its own, but somebody must have thought others would confuse it with the Tiger from Mizzou so they slapped a KU on it.)