A logo is what defines a team. From the classic Raiders’ silver and black, eye-patch wearing pirate to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Chief Blackhawk head on their fantastic red jerseys, there are certain logos around the sporting world that have stood the test of time. This list is not for those logos. Yesterday we did the greatest retro logos, these are not these logos. Due to rebranding and the endless quest for people to make more money off of merchandise sales and whatever else, logos change, and in this case, with terrible results. To make this list I simply took logos from the four major American sports just to make it easier, but other than that there are no other rules. They can come from a team that is in their current city, a logo no longer used because the team moved, or even logos for teams that no longer exist anymore. As long the team plays or played in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL and the team no longer uses the logo as their primary one they are fair game. If you get to number seven on this list I commend you because they logos could possibly hurt your eyes. Let’s get into it.
10. New York Jets
Not so much an ugly logo as it is a lazy logo. The Jets original logo is not the best either but this one really is just a boring logo. I kind of understand where they were going with with the sleeker, italicized logo but it really just does not work on the side of a helmet and looks rushed when compared to their current logo.
9. Winnipeg Jets
Way too much going on in this logo. Before moving to Phoenix they removed the plane for a sleeker, somewhat better look but we are not here to talk about that. The Jets lettering is the main focus of this logo however it is the other two parts of this logo make it brutal to look at. The silhouetted plane looks forced on the random red circle and the Winnipeg underneath the Jets is also pretty forced aspect of this logo. With the new, current Jets logo, it is much simpler.
8. Calgary Flames
This logo is pretty brutal and does not make a lot of sense. The Flames have one of the best logos in all of sports which they borrowed from their original logo from when they were in Atlanta. While it was not used as the primary as the Flames felt it was necessary to get a third logo before the 1998 season. Maybe it is to pay tribute to the huge popularity of the Calgary Rodeo but even still, there is no need to mess with a classic logo or even just make another one.
7. Chicago White Sox
Another unneeded logo change came in the late 1970s for the Chicago White Sox. A play on the MLB logo, the player looks took much like a person you see when you are figuring out the different between the male and female restroom. It is an awkward position for the batter to be in as well as he seems to be reaching really far back. Finally, what is that red thing at the end of the bat? His hands? The ball? Who knows.
6. San Francisco 49ers
People may forget that the 49ers had any other logo than their signature logo that they still use to this day. However, from 1946 until the mid-1960s, San Francisco used this as their logo. It looks nothing like a miner whatsoever and looks like he belongs more on the sidelines at a Dallas Cowboys game then as the logo for a professional sports team especially the 49ers.
5. Denver Broncos
The Broncos famous Denver D logo made the list for one of the best retro sports logos, but the Broncos first logo is just a mess. The man riding the bucking bronco is looks out of place and not intimidating whatsoever. The color scheme is also ugly looking like the colors that make up brown mustard to go along with with arguably the worst jerseys for any sports teams ever (yes the Broncos really wore these).
4. Atlanta Thrashers
Hockey in Atlanta has never really worked starting with the old Atlanta Flames who moved to Calgary and then continued once the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. While the Thrashers were in existence they had one of the worst logos in sports. First off, what is a thrasher in the first place? This logo really does not help in defining that as it looks like a cross between an eagle and the Tasmanian Devil. The forced hockey stick does not help either.
3. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets were another team that made the list of greatest retro sports logos with their rainbow city but this logo is a mess. Trying to play on Denver’s mining history this logo looks like it belongs on Saturday morning cartoons instead of representing a professional sports team. A disgrace of a logo, especially for a new team in the NBA.
2. Phoenix Coyotes
From the clashing colors to it looking like there should more to it this logo had potential but fell very short of its mark. Designed in the Kachina-style, the coyote logo was meant to be something new and innovative and it turned out to be confusing and not really fit well for a professional sports team.
1. New York Islanders
The New York Islanders have one of the most iconic logos in all of sports with the NY of making a hockey stick over the shadow of Long Island and for two years, they absolutely ruined it. Many were quick to point out that the logo was a close resemblance to the Gorton’s Fisherman with New York’s other team, the Rangers, chanting “WE WANT FISHSTICKS.” The Islanders immediately changed back to their original logo but not after three seasons of the worst logo in all of professional sports retro or not.