Sunday Sports Round-up: Bird Logos

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Jan 18, 2009 | by Adrian Binns

The names of birds feature prominently in major American sports. Did anyone notice that 3 of the last 4 football teams vying for the Superbowl have bird names? I am not sure how the Eagles could not beat the Cardinals – it should not even be a close matchup, but that is another story.

A quick rundown of the four major sport franchises shows that no fewer than 14 of the 122 teams, or 11%, are named after birds! Along with the name, artists have used their talent and artistic freedom to design all types of logos.

In football you have the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons. In baseball there are the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals. In all of these, the artists have done a good job in that all of the logos resemble the bird. Without being totally biased, the Eagles have the best one. Well they have to win something.

Now in basketball things begin to get a little strange. The Atlanta Hawks have an all red raptor and the Toronto Raptors feature a T-Rex dinosaur look-alike. Surely Archaeopteryx would have fit the bill!

In hockey we have the Anaheim Ducks. They once were the Mighty Ducks, when their logo was a duck’s bill protruding out of a Hannibal Lecter mask. They now have just the word “Ducks” spelt out – boring. Then there is the Detroit Red Wings, surely that counts but it is stretching it a bit. In Pittsburgh we have the Penguins. This certainly looks like the coolest logo but then again he is on ice. Finally, we come to the Atlanta (once again) Thrashers (top photo). You see, the Brown Thrasher (below) is the state bird of Georgia, but have you ever taken a close look at their logo? You know Sibley did not draw this one. It looks more like a fierce raptor than a gentle spot-breasted passerine. But that is just how I see it.

all photos © adrian & jane binns

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