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May 31, 2014

Saturday: Conference Finals Reach Finale

Hello everyone! We've got a great post this Saturday! We have inter-league concepts with MLB and NFL teams, and more. I promise no one is featured seven times this week, so that's a plus.

We're on the eve of an epic Western Conference Final game seven, with only three teams currently left in the postseason, so who do you pull for when your team is out of it? My team is the Predators, who missed the postseason by only a couple points...ugh. At the outset of the playoffs, I found myself cheering for teams that I normally would not. That got me thinking, what makes us adopt other teams when ours are eliminated? Here are some reasons I think are common:

The Family Connection: You don't like the team, but you're close to someone that does, so you cheer for them because you want to share in that person's excitement. For me, that was the Blues. I live in Missouri currently, and have a couple family members through marriage who know hockey really well, which is rare around here.

The Underdog: Who doesn't love a good underdog story? A few years ago, I think the Kings fell in this category. They came in as a low seed, and then mopped the floor with everyone; watching them, they just looked unstoppable. They were all effort, work, and physical play. I love watching that kind of hockey. Columbus fell into that role this year. Watching Brandon Dubinsky hound Sidney Crosby was very entertaining.

The Old Guy: There's always that one old guy that you want to see hoist the cup. If he hasn't won it before, this becomes even more potent. Lanny MacDonald is a good example. Old guy hasn't got a cup, wins cup, and everyone cheers. This year, Jarome Iginla and Teemu Selanne fell in that category. I didn't pull for the Ducks, though. As much as I love Selanne, it's negated by how much I loathe Corey Perry.

The Former Player: You know the one, the guy your GM traded/let go. You didn't like him at the time, said "good riddance" when he left. You bought the spin that the salary cap savings/assets brought in would make the team better in the long run, and maybe it will, but right now that guy is going deeper in the playoffs than your team did. So now you cheer for this guy with a grimace. Time to eat a little crow. Great example: former Preds defenseman Kevin Klein, traded to the Rangers for Michael Del Zotto earlier this year. Consensus in Nashville was that he was overpaid, but now he's in the Stanley Cup Final and everyone in Nashville supports him. IRONY.

The Jerseys: This only truly applies to people like us, and maybe your friend's girlfriend who doesn't watch hockey (interesting cross-demographic there). I think this is probably where you're scraping the bottom of the barrel and just want to have a dog in the fight at all. Dallas fit this bill for me. I just love that green.

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend: Some teams you pick up because you just flat our hate their opponent. You start thinking of how irritating their fan base would be next year if they visit your arena, with Stanley Cup final patches on their new jerseys. Maple Leaf fans turning Bruins shippers to spite the Canadiens is a prime example. Here I go by a simple acronym, ABCD: Anyone But Chicago or Detroit.

Can you think of any more reasons? Did you adopt a team for a different reason? Let us know in the comments section! In the meantime, here are the last of the HJC Open Logo Competition entries:

Dylan A. - Entry 1


Dylan A. - Entry 2


Dylan A. - Entry 3


Steven G.



And now for today's concepts!

St. Louis Blues Concept - Kevin D.


What I like: Kevin's execution is almost flawless here. I really like the yoke/hem/arm striping on the home and away jerseys. Colors are balanced nicely on those two jerseys as well.

What I dislike: The alternate just isn't different enough for me to get behind. The St. Louis roundel isn't a bad logo, but not one that I want to see promoted to primary status on their home/road jerseys. The Blue Note is fine as-is, in my opinion. Minor execution error: I'm no fan of the Blues,but I wouldn't want them to "resign." Not a big deal, Kevin, I just thought it was funny.  (Side rant: They're a team named after a style of music that isn't played in that city anymore - if you want to hear real blues music, go to Memphis, New Orleans, Austin, or Chicago; not St. Louis.)

Overall: Change the logos on the home/away jerseys to the normal blue note, and I wouldn't mind seeing this replace their current set at all. (8/10)


Anaheim Ducks Concept - Mario A.


What I like: Mario is definitely thinking outside the norm.

What I dislike: This is what we call a "Fill Tool Concept" in that it primarily just uses the fill tool to color in areas of the template instead of actual striping. The bad thing about that is: first, it takes about 1 minute to do at most, and second, it ends up looking more like a quilt than a jersey. Mario goes a little heavy on the wordmarks and logos here; almost making it feel like a European hockey jersey in that respect. The light gold/tan-ish color doesn't blend well with the darker gold of the Anaheim logos. I'm not a fan of the gray, either. There are loose pixels in areas. Also, there's too much color on the road jersey for it to be useful on the road. They have to be primarily a light color to provide contrast on the ice, and there's just not enough white on that jersey. Take the trademarks off the logos as well.

Overall: There's effort here, but this design needs to go back to the drawing board. (4/10)


Anaheim Ducks alternate concept - Mario A.


What I like: The helmet treatment here is interesting, as is that number font.

What I dislike: Many of the issues from the above concept persist here. I think the number font is just a bit too small. The large pants logo has a lot of loose white pixels around it. Take the trademarks off the logos. Again the two shades of gold just isn't working well.

Overall: I'm interested to see more from Mario, but less of the fill tool. (4/10)


Ottawa Senators Concept - Christian L.


What I like: The striping on the away jersey looks great. The side-facing Senator looks good with chest striping. Christian does a great job with the placement of secondary logos on the shoulders, pants, and helmets.

What I dislike: All three jerseys wouldn't use the same helmet. The away jersey would need a white helmet. I wish the pattern was sublimated on the away jersey as it is on the home jersey. The black on the logo of the home/away is different than the black used on the logo. The striping on the alternate isn't bad, but it is a bit much. Sublimating that pattern, like the red jersey, would help tone that down a notch. The primary logo on the alternate jersey looks better as a shoulder patch.

Overall: Some really good elements here from Christian. A few tweaks and this is ready for prime time. (7.8/10)


Arizona Cardinals Concept - Steve M.


What I like: Steve's done a great job with his NFL/NHL mash-up series. The Cardinals' NFL set goes heavy on the piping and random splotches of white/color, but this looks like it was designed by Reebok to begin with. That can be good or bad, but in this context I think it's a good thing.

What I dislike: The Cardinals' black jersey is one of the worst in the NFL. It looks a little bit better here, but it still makes no sense for a team named after birds that known for being bright red.

Overall: Good translation and slight improvement of a bad NFL set. (8/10)


Atlanta Falcons Concept - Steve M.


What I like: The best jersey here, like in the Falcons actual set, is the throwback black third. The Falcons font, though, is one of the better fonts in the NFL. It does drop shadow perfectly. Speaking of fonts, has anyone ever noticed that the wordmarks that the Falcons, Cardinals, and Ducks use have similar serifs? I just noticed that writing this post. Must be the avian connection.

What I dislike: The drop shadow on the Falcons font seems to have gotten lost in translation. The striping isn't as creative the NFL jerseys. I could do without the black trim on the hem and cuffs of the red jersey.

Overall: Steve's series continues, and is going well so far. (7.8/10)


Tennessee Titans Concept - Steve M.


What I dislike: I grew up watching the Titans. When they came to Tennessee, and made it to the Super Bowl in 1999, that was a state-wide holiday/day of painful defeat. I like that Steve used the sword logo. I much prefer it to the Flaming Thumbtack. 

What I dislike: Not a huge fan of the alternate. I know the logos use some red trim, but I'm not in favor of included more red into the uniforms. I'm not big on contrasting hem/cuff trim in general. Maybe Steve made this a few months ago, but Chris "CJ2YardsPerCarry" Johnson isn't on the team anymore.

Overall: Not a bad translation of Tennessee uniforms. (7.8/10)


Bloomington Thunder Concept - Garrett F.


What I like: The Thunder just pulled off one the best logo redesigns in recent memory. Just look at the old logo compared to the new one. It's a huge improvement. I think this color scheme is really underutilized in sports. The Seattle Seahawks showed that it can really work well. 

What I dislike: I'd take the laces off. The color scheme and logo are too modern for nostalgia-inducing design cues such as that. I was hoping for something a little more radical and bold to pair with that logo. Sometimes there are certain colors in a scheme that shouldn't touch because they don't have enough contrast. That's what's going on with the gray and green here. I would make the number and captain's 'C' white. There's not enough white on the dark jersey, anyway, so that would help.

Overall: I'm hoping to see more Bloomington Thunder concepts with that logo in the future. This concept, with a few minor tweaks, would look great on the ice. (8/10)


Toronto Blue Jays Concept - GKennedy


What I like: I really like the way this concept is presented. We see several inter-league concepts, especially during the summer months, but this is a great way to present a mash-up. The striping looks great paired with the Blue Jays' number font. 

What I dislike: Both jerseys are pixelated, which makes it a little difficult to see some of the details, but I think the trademark symbols were left on the logos. You can take those off. I would have liked to have seen this logo. I think that would have related more to the Maple Leafs, and fit better in the "jersey math" theme with the maple leaf featured so prominently. That's my favorite Blue Jays logo, so I may be biased.

Overall: Looking forward to more jersey math. (7.5/10)


That's it for today's post. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Want to see a concept in our Concept of the Week voting? Nominate it in the comments section! Disagree with some of my assessments? Let's discuss it! This is one of the few places on the internet where civil discussion exists, and Godwin's Law does not apply, so feel free.

Have you heard about the HJC live chat during the Stanley Cup finals? If not, click on the banner above for details or click this link if you don't like scrolling. They were a lot of fun last year, so I'm excited about this year's live chat! See you all there!

4 comments:

Steven Maurer said...

Caz, thank you for your kind words!

Yeah, looking back I should have changed the Titans player before sending in the concepts.

Mario Ardais said...

Caz, thank you for the feedback on my Anaheim Ducks concepts. They're not my best works, as i have much better ones that i sent a while back XD.

Caz said...

Mario, we didn't have the rating system when I started, but if we had, I probably would have gotten a few 4s myself. We all like seeing people improve.

Mario Ardais said...

Caz, good to know i'm not the only one. i'll be sure to use less fill and more stripes and lines in the future.