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Huntsville Stars 31

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2009 June 20
Update added 2010 June 23

It's gone now, but several years ago there was a website that had a list of every single professional sports franchise in the history of sports in the United States and Canada. I can't say that it had every last franchise, but it definitely had some really obscure stuff in there. It had things like a lacrosse league from the 1960s that lasted two seasons before folding. It had a professional volleyball league, for crying out loud. So it was thorough. And on one page they had some "curiosity" statistics. One of them was the list of the most (over-)used nicknames in sports. Coming in at number one? These guys, along with something like fifty (seriously) other teams that call/called themselves the Stars.

Unlike most other teams with that moniker, the Huntsville Stars at least have some vague semblance of a valid reason to use that name. Marshall Space Flight Center, the original home of NASA and still home to numerous NASA projects, is on the outskirts of Huntsville. (Incidentally, the Google Maps view of Marshall Space Flight Center looks really damn cool. Notice the space shuttle and the various rockets on the campus.) The flight center's presence has influenced several of the area's past and present team names, including the Huntsville Lasers (Global Basketball Associaton), Huntsville Blast (East Coast Hockey League), Huntsville Flight (NBA Development League), and Rocket City United (National Premier Soccer League). When a city has this many teams named named after one thing, I usually wonder why the city can't find anything else to name teams after. I'm not going to do this here for a couple of reasons. First, they do have quite a few other teams whose names have nothing to do with the space program. But more importantly, when you can name a sports team after the space program, why wouldn't you? Huntsville has nothing else as cool as the space program. This isn't a comment on Huntsville; this is a comment on the space program. You could put the space program in the middle of Manhattan, and New York wouldn't have anything else as cool as the space program. You could put it in the middle is Disney World, and Disney World wouldn't have anything else as cool as the space program. In fact, let's just generalize this a bit and say that the planet Earth has nothing else as cool as the space program. So I don't blame sports teams in Huntsville the least little bit for naming themselves after the space program. Everything in Huntsville should be named after the space program. I mean it: every damn thing in town. The streets should be named after astronauts (there is an Armstrong Street, but that's the only one I could find). The schools should be named after space shuttles (one of them is Columbia High School, and there's also a Grissom High, but that's it). The lamp posts should all look like rockets. The police uniforms should look like spacesuits. If I was mayor of a town and could lord this sort of connection over the nearby cities, you better believe I would. The fact that all the nearby cities are in either Alabama or Tennessee would just make me want to do it more. That there is so much as a single fire hydrant in town that isn't shaped like a space shuttle is, as far as I'm concerned, evidence of restraint which should not have been used.

But in spite of all this, I'm not crazy about the name Huntsville Stars. The connection is a little too tenuous. Besides, apparently no one has ever actually named a team the Huntsville Rockets. What? How on earth did that happen? The name is perfect. It's a great name no matter where the team is, and the fact that it's in Huntsville makes it even better.

Furthermore, the logo they currently use works better for a team named "Rockets" than for a team named "Stars". Yes, dummy, I know they'd have to replace the word "Stars" in the logo with the word "Rockets". My point is that the rocket being launched behind the word is a more prominent part of the logo than the star being used in place of an "A". And I do like the logo, so I wouldn't want them to get rid of it. I especially like the retro look of the rocket (although the grey line near the top — see the detail at the right — is a bit odd; is a piece breaking off?). Best of all, changing the name would get rid of the red star in the logo. That thing has no business being there. There shouldn't be a red star in the logo for a team named after the American space program.

But of course the name of the team isn't the Huntsville Rockets. It's the Huntsville Stars. And for a team with that name, it's not the best logo. Like I said, the rocket is a more prominent part of the logo. You shouldn't do that.

But I'll go easy on them. Yes, it's a hackneyed name. And yes, it's an only vaguely relevant logo. But so what? It's the space program. That makes it cool, and there's not a damn thing that'll change that.


UPDATE: Reader Ed Dravecky informs me that there has indeed been a team called the Huntsville Rockets. The Rockets played in the Dixie Professional Football League and Southern Professional Football League in the 1960s. That's good to know; it's too good a name to have never been used. But even so, I still think the Stars should change their name to the Rockets.


Final Score: 34 points.
Penalties: Equipment, 13 pts; Irrelevance, 39 pts.
Bonuses: Logo, -12 pts; Local, -6 pts.


This page Copyright ©2009 Scott D. Rhodes. All rights reserved