Friday: Bad Mascots

Hello folks!  I hope you're all enjoying the NHL Playoffs as much as I am.  I love the intensity of the games this time of year.  I also love the intensity of former HJC writer Dylan Alexander, last week he got mad at me simply for excluding the Blackhawks' Tommy Hawk from my list of best mascots.  Today I might anger a few more people, because I'm calling out three teams for having bad mascots.

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Leafs mascot Carlton the Bear is about as generic as you can get, he's basically just a life sized teddy-bear.  However my problem isn't that the Leafs use a bear as their mascot, after all a leaf would be an awful choice, I just don't like the execution.  His face is completely expressionless, he's naked from the waist down, and he has a bigger beer belly than Phil Kessel (apparently Leaf fans think Kessel is out of shape).  I hope the Shana-Plan includes giving Carlton a makeover.

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Wild mascot is relatively new, Nordy was unveiled in 2008, but in this case newer doesn't equal better.  He has a creepy smile, his number is super gimmicky, and that patch of green on his forehead looks ridiculous.  I'm also scared the advertisement on his jersey is a sign of what's to come.  Maybe Minnesota should release Nordy back into the wild.

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
I get that mascots are for kids and they're supposed to look friendly, but the Hurricanes took it too far with Stormy.  I look into his big blue eyes, and I see someone (something) who would back down the moment things got tough.  He looks like someone would need to hold his hand out in public, he looks like he'd be scared of thunder, he looks weak.  The Hurricanes need to make him look tougher before he ends up as bacon in someone's BLT sandwich.

If you happen to be a fan of these mascots, don't be afraid to get mad and leave a comment telling me how stupid I am.


Voting is extra important this week as we're deciding the best concept of March.  The winner of this vote will be part of the 1st Quarter vote, and if it wins that it will be only two votes away (semi-finals and finals) from winning the 2016 COTY.  There's also the regular COTW vote.

COTW-March vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pmn Eastern)
COTW Apr 3-9 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Additionally, the HJC Podcast has been up since Monday, you should go listen if you haven't already.


Florida Panthers, by Jonny A:
We'll begin with this Panthers concept from Jonny which doesn't look bad, but I can't say I'm a fan.  There's nothing wrong with the design, it's just generic.  The white jersey is very similar to the Devils road jersey, and the red jersey isn't that different either.  However I do like the number font, if I remember correctly they used this font on their old double-blue alternate, and I'd like to it return for their new jerseys next year.  The name should be shrunk though, at this size any long name wouldn't fit.  There should also be sleeve numbers.
Rating:  7/10

California Golden Bears, by Zeke G:
Next up is Zeke with a concept for the Golden Bears.  The design of both jerseys is nice, I like how the two jerseys aren't identical.  They still look like a set, but by changing the striping and adding a number outline on the white jersey each jersey looks it's best.  However, execution errors drag this concept down.  There are loose pixels in the collar, around the numbers, and along the side on the back view.  The back numbers also look too big, if they were smaller you could make the hem stripes the same thickness as the arm stripes which I think would be better.
Rating:  7/10

San Jose Sharks, by Ryan C:
If you've ever wondered what the Sharks would look like with contrasting shoulder panels, Ryan is here for you.  The contrasting shoulders look good here, honestly I think they'd would look good for any team.  I think the hem needs some black though, there's black everywhere else so it looks out of place without black.  Although I guess they'd be near black pants, so maybe you could leave the black out and just move stripes right to the bottom of the jersey.
Rating:  7/10

Team USA, by Zack R:
People's opinion of the World Cup jerseys were very hit and miss, and I could see this concept from Zack being similarly received.  On one hand the design is very paint-by-number-ish, yet I think it sort of works in this case, since the design is clearly inspired by the American flag.  The sublimated stars in the yoke and pant stripes are also a cool feature.  The pant stripes should stop at the hip though (see Zeke's concept for a good example), and the sock stripes are too high, the top red stripe would be covered by the pants.  I also think the sleeve numbers need a white outline.
Rating:  7/10

Blink-182, by Glen W:
I had to Google to figure out who Blink-182 was, so I'm not the best person to review this concept (sorry Glen).  The colour usage is really interesting on this concept, some features are black and white, some are colourful, and some are a combination.  I wouldn't have expected that to look good, but in this case it works remarkably well.  I also like the asymmetrical arm design, the Thrasers style wordmark on the sleeve is a good idea, but it might look weird since the text isn't oriented vertically.  Execution wise, the name on the back is too small, it should be about 50% bigger.
Rating:  8/10

Flint Firebirds, by Brooks F:
Brooks always makes interesting concepts, this Flint Firebirds concept is a good example of that.  Here he uses a unique sleeve-length-yoke design with tapered orange stripes and a cool grey cuff area, and it looks great.  That striping pattern combined with a unique font creates a very sharp home and road set.  However I think the third jersey would be better suited as a special event jersey, as I'm not a fan their logo in the Tropics colours, but I do like the striping pattern.  I have two minor complaints, first the sock stripes are a little high and I'd prefer if the name on the primary jerseys didn't overlap the striping.
Rating:  8/10

Arizona Coyotes, by Lucas D:
Last but not least is Lucas with his take on the Coyotes.  I love the design in the stripes, sometimes I think the pattern on their original jerseys was too intricate, so I really like how it was simplified here.  This pattern is bold enough that it would look good at any distance.  I also like how there's no white, the Coyotes are a team that can use this vintage-white/sand/wheat colour without it being gimmicky.  My only complaint is that the numbers are too thin, I think they'd look better if they were bolder.
Rating:  8/10 and a COTW nomination!


That's all folks!
Friday: Bad Mascots Reviewed by Steven Grant on April 15, 2016 Rating: 5


Unknown said...

Blink 182 for life! Cotw nom to Glen

Zach E said...

Props to Glen for the Blink concept. Always been my favorite band of all time. Cool to see their image mixed with my favorite sport. Here's to the new album and playoff hockey!

DBro Alexander said...

I won't get as intense as I did last week.... But 2 things.

1. Nordy's head trees are kind of weird, but I noticed this at the Stadium Series game this year, and he automatically gets like 1,000 cool points because HE HAS A MULLET. HE'S GOT FLOW!

and 2... Not a big Blink 182 fan but you'd never heard of them!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING?! DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT?!

JJ Anderes said...

Brooks F. for COTW

winnipegjets96 said...

I'll 2nd Lucas D. for COTW

Ryan said...

I'll 2nd Brooks for COTW!

Steven Grant said...

@DBro Alexander: I've heard their music before, but I didn't recognize the name at first. That's how I am with a lot of bands, partly because I'm terrible at remembering names and partly because I mostly listen to music on the radio and I don't pay attention whose song it is.

And yes, I want to fight.

DBro Alexander said...

This is going to be such a fun fight.

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