Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Top 10 Oklahoma City Sports Franchise Logos/Team Names

With the unveiling of our new logo less than two weeks away, I figured it would be a good time to take a look back on the logos and team names that Professional and Semi-Professional teams have had in the past.

The Criteria for selection is quite simple.
A. The team must have played at least one game in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. (This eliminates teams such as the Lawton-Ft.Sill Calvalry (ABA) and the Oklahoma Outlaws (USFL).)
B. The team must have paid its players legally. (This eliminates university teams.)
C. If a team has changed it's league, it is considered a separate team. (This separates the 89ers/Redhawks and the Wranglers/Yard Dawgz.)
D. The Team must have not shared its name with another city. (This eliminates the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.)
E. If a team has two logos (past and current) each will be graded 0-5. (Think Old and New Blazer Logos.)

So, this leaves the following teams:
Oklahoma City 89ers
Oklahoma City Ballhawgs
Oklahoma City Blazers
Oklahoma City Cavalry
Oklahoma City Coyotes
Oklahoma City Dolls
Oklahoma City Lightning
Oklahoma Redhawks
Oklahoma City Stars
Oklahoma Wranglers
Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz

Both the name of the team and its logo will be graded on a scale of 0-10. The combined score will result in their rank. Without Further Ado, here are the rankings!

T10.Oklahoma City Dolls
All-Woman American Football League
Name: 0
Logo: 3
Overall: 3

For a team trying to overcome feminine stereotypes in an incredibly conservative state in the late 70s, could you have a more insulting name? The Logo wasn't much to look at, either. It was just a picture of a woman in a football uniform. Could you get any more unoriginal? Still, for such a low-budget team back in the 70s, the drawing is pretty good, which salvages the only points that this team gets. Still, congrats to them on getting Oklahoma City its first ever Semi-Pro title in 1976 (well, a tie for a title) and real titles in 1978 and 1979.

T10.Oklahoma City Ballhawgs
ABA (Post 2000 version)
Name: 0
Logo: 3
Overall: 3

This team played one game before folding, not much unlike other ABA teams. Their logo and name were also ABA quality. The name actually opposes teamwork, and compares the players to one of the sloppiest members of the animal kingdom. The logo is also bad, depicting a hog grabbing a ball....about to hog it. Still, its decent artwork gets it a 3. Just....bad.

T8. Oklahoma City Coyotes
RHI Roller Hockey
Name: 4
Logo: 4
Overall: 8

This team failed miserably, and so did its respective roller hockey league. Reguardless, it did play some games, so here goes. The name is pretty good, but it's also used heavily. Still, it's arguably one of the better heavily-trafficked names. The logo largely follows the "cartoon" trend of 90s logos, and it's far removed from those Dallas Cowboys Tazmanian Devil shirts that I used to see as a kid. It looks good, but the style just looks ripoffy. Overall, a 4 seems appropriate.

T8.Oklahoma City Stars
Central Hockey League Team
Name: 5
Logo: 3
Overall: 8

The precursor to the Blazers didn't do well in the logo or name department. Stars is often used for bad universities and kids soccer teams, but not for professional teams. It's a pretty bad name, anyway. Whats a star going to do? Sit there? Provide warmth? The logo doesn't get much better. The text, while cool at first sight, is a complete ripoff of Star Wars text. Don't tell me that it was before Star Wars was made, because I won't listen! The Star is almost an afterthought, and could have been drawn by a shaky-handed math loving Russian. Still considering the time period (late 60-mid 70s) it does alright.

7.Oklahoma City Lightning
National Womens Football Association
Name: 2.5
Logo: 7
Overall: 9.5

Certainly better than the Dolls, but nothing is particularly impressive here. The Lightning is about as unoriginal as Wildcats. Boring. But the colour scheme and drawing of the logo are professional grade, especially if you consider how low on the chain womens football is.

6.Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz
Arena Football League 2
Name: 5
Logo: 5
Overall: 10

Our AFL2 team is kind of a dissapointment after losing the Wranglers, but Oklahoma City fans can cope. The name is completely ridiculous. So ridiculous that in fact, it has a certain charm. It's better than calling it "Bulldogs" or "Dogs", that's for sure. The logo tries to be gangsta or something, but it looks better than most generic "Bulldog" logos. Overall....I miss the Wranglers logo.

T4.Oklahoma City Cavalry
Continental Basketball Association
Name: 7
Logo: 4
Overall: 11

A team that existed for some time throughout the early to mid 90s, they finally won a league championship in 1997....and then disbanded. The new incarnation continued the winning tradition by winning the CBA championship, but they play in Lawton, so they don't count towards our list. The name is pretty good and has multiple meanings. "Bring in the cavalry!" comes to mind. But, it has a fatal flaw in that it is shortened to Cavs, which coincidentally was also the name of the Cleveland Cavaliers of that era. The logos were also very similar. The flame of the Cavalry logo kind of separates it, but it doesn't get away from the fact that this team had an identity crisis.

T4.Oklahoma City 89ers
American Association Minor League Baseball
Name: 10
Logo: 1
Overall: 11

This was our main baseball attaraction throughout the 60s-90s, before becoming the Redhawks after moving to the Pacific Coast League. Still, never have I seen such a discrepency between the name and the logo. The name is excellent, exemplifying Oklahoma history and taking off of the 49ers schtick. But the logo is bad. I mean, the text is okay, but where's the mascot? A baseball diamond? Just yuck all around.

3. Oklahoma Redhawks
Pacific Coast League
Name: 6
Logo: 7.5
Overall: 13.5

The Redhawks were the "continuation" of the 89ers, and they got a new logo and name to go with their shiny new ballpark and new league. Their new name is okay, but arguably a de-provement over 89ers. It's really just a variation of "Cardinals" or "Redbirds". The Logo is pretty clever, incorporating an O, an R, and a redhawk logo. It loses points for putting a uge hole inside of the bird. They're getting a new logo soon along with adding "City" to their title, but they weren't fast enough to make this list.

2. Oklahoma City Blazers
Central Hockey League
Name: 8
Old Logo: 5
New Logo: 1
Overall: 14

The Blazers were arguably the main attraction of Oklahoma City sportsfans throughout the 90s, and early 00s, but once they got a taste of the NBA, the Blazer attendance was never the same. Still, they did have a great name. Blazing isn't exactly original, but it's a good name overall, and I suppose it meant blazing as in fire rather than blazing as in trail blazing. The original logo was really awesome, and exemplified the best of 90s logos. The new logo was just an overreaction of our state capitol becoming the 49th state capitol to get a dome. Today, it looks extremely dated.

1. Oklahoma Wranglers
Arena Football League
Name: 8
Logo: 10
Overall: 18

Our Arena Football team for the two seasons before Arena Football actually became popular. Reguardless, we all have fond memories of the Wranglers, and their name and logo were extremely great. The name is original and relates somewhat to Oklahomas cowboy culture, without being absolutely rediculous. It loses points for encouraging sterotpyes of Oklahoma, though. Also, what is so great about Wranglers themselves? It also clashes with the brand of jeans. The logo is equally excellent. It shows a stylish detective type guy on a horse wrangling the W in our sleek maroon text. Pro-League caliber, right there.

Okluschen has his own take on these rankings, and his on brand of witty comments below:
T-1. 89ers- very nostalgic to long-time OKC natives. Classy,
basebally. 9/10
T-1. Yard Dawgz- I like it. It's original, intimidating
(for lack of a better word), and fun all at the same
time. 9/10

3. Redhawks- Redhawks replaced the classic 89ers well.
Theres not much like it out there, and its cryptic. 8.5/10

T-4. Ballhawgs- kinda humerous to look at. I like seeing that
they're not taking their team too seriously. Still, I think they
could have done more. 8/10
T-4. Coyotes- I love the coyotes logo, and the idea of a
rollerhockey team even more. 8/10
6. Lightning- Not bad at all. Doesn't spark (pun not intended)
with originality, but neither does the nickname. 7/10

7. Blazers Puck- Grew up with this one, and love it; classic. 5/5
Blazers Dome- What do domes and blazers have in common?
8. Wranglers- Not too bad in my opinion. A tad collegeish. 6/10
T-9. Stars- What is there to say? Did a proffesional do this
one? 3/10

T-9. Calvary- Uh, not that original really 3/10
11. Dolls- Doesn't even look like a logo, more like a saturday
evening post cover. A girl running? Maybe if she was hot. 2/10

What are your rankings? What do you think is the best logo?
Vote in the Poll, or post a comment below if you'd like.


Mills Thrills said...


yard dawgz 4 life

Zorgon said...

Thanks, my spelling was off yesterday. :-/

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