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Arkansas Travelers 86

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 July 25

I'm not 100% certain I'm actually reviewing the right logo here. This is because I can't find definitive proof what the official Arkansas Travelers logo is. This is the logo you will find if you visit just about any reference site (sportslogo.net, Wikipedia, et cetera). It is also the logo shown on the Texas League website. It is not, however, the logo shown at the top of the team's own website (that just shows the word "Travelers" written in baseball script). On the other hand, in the section on the Travelers website that shows the next game, this is the logo used. In other words, I'm not completely convinced that anyone knows what the official logo is. But this seems more likely than not to be it, so we'll go with it.

Of course, I do understand why there would be confusion on this point. I have to imagine just about anyone's reaction to seeing this logo for the first time would be to say "This can't be right, can it?" That was definitely my reaction. How could it be right? Surely the team's logo doesn't really have a slogan in it! Surely the team's logo doesn't really have a shortened version of the nickname instead of the actual nickname! Surely the team's logo doesn't really have—

You get the idea. But as I said, this does in fact appear to be the official logo. I'll give them credit for trying something different. But that only excuses a team for the first season. After that, they've had plenty of time to think about it and decide whether or not it's worth keeping. Better still, they get to revisit this decision every winter. And yet, year after year they decide to stick with this. Apparently this has been their logo since the late 1980s. That's roughly twenty chances to change the logo, and not once have they taken that chance. Yeesh.

The slogan is even older, having debuted in the mid-1970s. I suppose it could be called vaguely clever, as long as your idea of clever is ripping off a circus' slogan. In fact, it was originally the "Greatest Show on Dirt" until the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus caught wind of it and threatened to sue. Apparently the circus was willing to let it go if the team changed it to "Greatest Game on Dirt". Why? I'm guessing they figured that "Greatest Game on Dirt" was such a ridiculous slogan that the team would change it pretty soon anyway. Heck, most teams come up with a new slogan every season or two. But this isn't just any team, and not only did they keep it, they emblazoned it on their logo. I wonder if the circus would have been so forgiving had they realized how long the team would be using the slogan.

And the name? That's really old, having first been used back in either 1957 or 1895, depending on how you count it (they were the "Little Rock Travelers" from 1895 to 1957, becoming the "Arkansas Travelers" that year). The origin of the name is an old song called, predictably enough, "The Arkansas Traveler". You've probably heard this song. If you're as familiar with old Warner Brothers cartoons as I am, you've definitely heard the song. You just don't know it by its name. But head over to the Wikipedia page for "Arkansas Traveler" (without the "s" at the end) and you can listen to a clip played on what sounds like a Casio keyboard from 1983, only cheesier. The rendition is laughable, but it's good enough to recognize the tune. I'm not certain precisely which cartoons I've heard it in, but I've definitely heard it. I'm guessing it was common in Foghorn Leghorn cartoons, but I could be wrong.

In any case, even with that connection the name is ridiculous, and the only real justification for the name is that it's been around for over a century, having first been used in 1895. After a while even the dumbest names become too established to argue about. Look at either of Chicago's major league baseball teams. Neither of those teams are any good, but now we're stuck with them. We're also stuck with hockey's Toronto Maple Leafs, football's Green Bay Packers, and basketball's Los Angeles Lakers (the name "Lakers" was stupid even when they were in Minneapolis). Would these names not provoke gales of laughter if they debuted today? Of course they would. But they're all decades old, and just not worth arguing about anymore. So if you're offended by what I just said, just pretend I never said it. Let's just agree to disagree and move on.

In any case, it still comes back to the logo (as it always must on this site). Regardless of the quality of the name, the logo is, quite simply, a new horizon in suck. They can't be bothered to even put the team name on it, for crying out loud. The "A Travs" trapezoid (trapezoid? I suppose they at least deserve some credit for not using a diamond) looks like the logo of some off-brand gas station. But instead of being stuck on the top of a pole so it can be seen from a mile away on the interstate, this logo is for some reason moving in a swirling pattern as if being flushed down an invisible toilet.

And that sums it up right there. It's swirling down a toilet bowl. And given the perspective the viewer has of this swirling, we are apparently sitting near the bottom of the bowl. Doesn't that say it all? The team is even admitting it to us in a coded way. They're not just admitting that the logo is shit. They're actually admitting that we are being shit upon.

Final Score: 86 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious), 17 pts; Wordplay, 23 pts; Letter, 24 pts; Name, 10 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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