Culbreath: Rooting against laundryWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll admit, I tuned in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game last weekend.
It’s been so long since we’ve seen organized football, I just wanted to see if they still remembered how to play it. Sure enough, there were the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins, playing football. In pads and everything! And Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were there, and they were talking about football! Granted, by the time I got to the game in the second quarter, the third stringers were already in, and Al and Cris were spending more time talking to folks who had recently been enshrined in the Hall rather than talking about the game proper. But it was there! Football!
That got me thinking about how the NFL is close to coming back, but that means college ball is coming too! And high school!
As I watched the game, I did what anyone under the age of 35 does now when they watch sports: They open Twitter on their phone to riff on the game along with everyone else. Not a lot of people were talking about the game proper, but one point kept coming up: the Dolphins’ new jerseys.
See, Miami finally brought its look into the 21st century by retiring the old logo. No more helmet-wearing dolphin — they stylized the marine mammal and saturated the colors. The Internet, as it is prone to do, immediately took to criticizing the look. They called those uniforms everything from a Carolina rip-off to CFL jerseys.
I know that sports nowadays has been compared to “rooting for laundry,” but now we’re discussing that laundry to a point of ridiculousness.
As more and more people become enamored with the art of design, more and more people become critical of that design. When the New Orleans Hornets announced that they were resurrecting the Pelicans name from an old baseball franchise, people tore up the name without even thinking about its history in the organization. By the time the logo, colors and uniforms were introduced, it was already too late: The team was a lost cause. When the Dallas Stars introduced a new look, everything from the shade of green to the shape of the star was put under the microscope.
I’m also guilty of it; I’m still not that fond of the Walleye name and logo. It’s grown on me, though, particularly after they introduced that third jersey with the real fish logo. But I thought the Bullfrogs imaging for the never-seen arena football team looked so much better.
One lone Twitter user (who said it, I can’t remember) put it all in perspective for me, though, with one comment. If a new baseball team were announced today, and given the name the Red Socks, the world would lose its mind. Even worse if they were intentionally going to misspell it, going with Surge-level extremes by spelling it “Red Sox.” Sports fans would be apoplectic! What, did we return to the XFL suddenly?
Truth is that these names, colors and designs only need the approval of the region they represent. It’s their laundry, let them design it.
Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath is sports director at 1370 WSPD.