Upon announcing the unpopular decision to move from San Diego to Los Angeles, the Chargers franchise unveiled the even more unpopular logo that would accompany their move. Looking like an italicized Dodgers logo struck with Voldemort's curse, the sizzling LA became the Crying Jordan of sports logos. Eventually the Chargers changed the color scheme (back to the familiar powder blue and yellow) and then eventually abandoned the whole thing, acting as if the entire affair was a "temporary" thing. Yeah, and moving to Los Angeles is going to be a rousing success. This shelved logo is one of the worst sports has ever seen. Here are the 25 others, ranked from really bad to the worst ever.
Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1993-2006)
The craziness of Disney buying an NHL expansion team and naming it after an Emlio Estevez movie that's basically the hockey version of The Bad News Bears, minus the underage beer drinking, cigarette smoking and Walter Matthau is an underrated part of sportslore. Anyway, this logo quickly became one of the best selling in sports even though it's just Donald Duck in a hockey mask. If the team really wanted to lean into the Donald Duck theme, they shouldn't have worn pants. Now that would have drawn a crowd.
Denver Nuggets (1959-60)
You never jump with a pickax.
Carolina Panthers (1995-2011, alternate)
Look at this Panther. Check out his prowl and facial expression. He thinks he's better than you and me. I mean, he might be right but I don't like the presumption.
Miami Heat (1990-2006, alternate)
You know those pictures where you see can a lamp and a silhouette or a rabbit or a duck? This is kind of like that. If you look at it one way, it's a horrible logo. If you look at it another way, it's a horrible logo on fire.
New England Patriots (2000-present, alternate)
This is a current alternate logo for the Patriots that I've never seen before, a fact for which I'm thankful.
NFL Pro Bowl (2002, unused)
Pro Bowl logos - yes, such things exist - used to always be a little cheesy with three-grade fonts and a Clipart quality that looked like a pre-Photoshop collage. This one had a cartoonish Hawaiian image, the NFL logo, a palm tree, waves, mountains and a lei-like letter pattern. The NFL ended up going with a classier, more patriotic logo after 9/11.
Vegas Golden Knights (2017)
The new logo for the Vegas Golden Knights, the horribly named, horribly placed NHL expansion team -because no hockey team has ever failed in a warm climate city with no previous hockey tradition. Anyway, the horrible name led to a horrible logo, although one that would have been kinda cool for West Point.
Buffalo Bills (1992, unused)
If the Bills had gone to this logo, the Super Bowl losses would have suddenly been the second-most painful part of the '90s.
Denver Broncos (1997-present, alternate)
This horse seems to be in some sort of transformative agony, kind of like the Beast at the end of Beauty and the Beast, when he's changing into the feminine-lipped prince who, frankly, didn't deserve another chance at love after what he did to that old lady - and especially not with such a jewel as Belle.
My daughter is three - why do you ask?
Tennessee Titans (1999-present, alternate)
Like the Bills logo from earlier, this looks to be a committee design with one-third of the room pushing for the sword, one-third of the room pushing for the shield and the other one-third wondering why the hell they went with "Titans" in the first place. Alliteration always awful, all.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1982, anniversary)
There are hundreds of awful season-specific anniversary logos but this one gets special attention for the two capitalized S's at the end of "Steelers" and "Seasons" (I'm amazed they didn't try to make the 5 in fifty an S too) and the yellow triangle, which is weird given that there's one specific shape completely identified with the team. I looked and looked for an explanation and the only thing I can figure is that the S's represent Pittsburgh's four Super Bowl titles?
Nashville Predators (2011-present)
This predator has such an overbite that, I believe, if you drew the rest of his body, he'd be stabbing himself with his own teeth when his mouth was in a resting position.
Baltimore Bullets (1947-54)
That's a bullet shot into a basketball, basically predicting Gilbert Arenas a half-century early.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-2012, alternate)
It's a shame the Jags never bit and signed Tim Tebow because this alternate logo depicts his throwing motion exactly.
Detroit Lions (1952-60)
Well, that's just unfair.
Boston Red Sox (1950-59, alternate)
a. Just because you have an inanimate object as a team name doesn't need you need to anthropomorphize it.
b. Is the red sock really big or is his hat really small? Think on it - it's like that stupid dress that's totally blue. (Also, congrats to Bill Clinton for having the Wikipedia entry for "The Dress" not be about him. A nice upset there.)
c. The batting stance is pretty good.
d. I already used up my innuendo card with the Clinton mention, so use your imagination.
Dallas Mavericks (2001-present, alternate)
This looks like a horse in utero, photographed by a colorized sonogram. "There, Mr. Cuban, look, right there! Those are the fingers that'll soon be shaking hands after playoff defeats."
New England Patriots (2000-present)
Despite the silver-faced John Kerry, the Pats logo at least kept red, white and blue in the color scheme. And that's the only positive thing that can be said of the Flying Elvis design. Don't be fooled into thinking it's good just because the Patriots are.
Philadelphia Eagles (1996-present)
You know why newspapers put their lead story on the top right corner of the paper? It's because that's where people's eyes naturally look. That's why almost every logo goes from left to right. But Philadelphia and our next entry opted for the Hebrew style right-to-left, which is fine for a written text but not so much for a logo, as it makes it feel like it's going backward. And the fact that the Eagle is plummeting down is a metaphor all too familiar for Philly fans.
Washington Capitals (1997-2002)
At least this dive-bombing bird has his talons exposed, ready for battle. Why is this worse than the defenseless eagle? We'll explain when we get to another Washington team with an ill-advised logo transition.
Columbus Crew (1996-2014)
What can I say about this that I didn't about the New Kids poster my sister had on her wall for way too long? Show this to 100 people and 95 would say this depicted a boy band that won a reality show hosted by Diddy. The other five would say it was the cover of an objectifying "men at work" calendar. (I like the smoldering one.)
Cincinnati Reds (1954-59, alternate)
What happens when you play catch with a dog that has rabies? The baseball turns into this mustachioed ether aficionado. But the weirdest part isn't how the Reds had a mascot that clearly wanted to kill you - it's that he's actually a decapitated version of himself. The previous logo was this dude with a body. Then one day they just decided to lop off the body and just make him a disembodied head.
Washington Wizards (1997-2007)
The five worst parts of the old Washington Wizards logo, ranked.
5. Remember that Capitals logo? It was changed in tandem with the Bullets/Wizards', going to a black and blue color scheme that have nothing to do with Washington except for the beat downs administered when good basketball teams play the Wizards or the Caps make the playoffs.
4. The Wizard's beard helping form a W on his shirt. Cloak? Smock?
3. A finger roll? Dude's a wizard and he decides the coolest way to score is by doing something George Gervin did better 20 years before?
2. The crescent moon is a basketball and represents the sun setting on the Wizards season
1. It's not the old Bullets hand logo.
New England Revolution (1996-present)
The only way this would be remotely acceptable is it was for a specific event - say, the 1994 Women's World Cup. Its continued existence seems like an oversight, like how Warner Bros. never took down the original Space Jam website, only this doesn't have the misplaced nostalgia that makes people think it's cool. The Les Miserables poster! Yes. That's what it looks like, except that there was an actual revolution in that play, not an intended soccer revolution that didn't really pan out.
San Francisco 49ers (1991, unused)
The Chargers aren't the only California NFL team to have introduced a logo, heard the feedback and were all "my bad" a few days later. In 1991, at the height of Bill Walsh's dynasty, the 49ers inexplicably released the comically bad logo that looked nothing like the classic Niners logo of the present and instead looked like a logo for a small-town restaurant you'd see on a sign while driving down I-95. Fans flooded the switchboards of the team's headquarters (switchboards operated landline telephones, landline telephones were phones with cords) and after six days the Niners capitulated, ditching the logo and announcing that of all the feedback they'd received, only a single fan liked the logo. Probably was the dude who designed that Revolution logo.