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Syracuse Chiefs 88

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 2011 September 5

I have no idea why the Syracuse Chiefs have a train in their logo. I know why they don't have a chief in their logo — another case of trying to avoid native American imagery — but why they settled on a train is beyond me. I thought maybe there used to be a train in the area that had the word "Chief" in its name, but not so. (There were several trains with the word "Chief" in their name, but all in the Southwest.) Syracuse isn't renowned for train travel; indeed, one of its defining characteristics historically speaking was the Erie Canal. Trains do look imposing (even if you put baseball stitching on the front of the train the way the logo designer here did), but there are lots of imposing things in this world. Some of them are even vaguely related to the word "Chief".

I'm also vaguely confused by the letters of the word "Chiefs". It looks like the nametag of a car from the 50s. I'm not saying the wordmark looks bad, but it's just as out of place as the train is, and doesn't even match the train. If they were going to use this wordmark, the least they could have done is put a '58 Buick Limited in the logo instead of a stupid train. Everything would still be irrelevant, but it would at least be consistently irrelevant.

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is so obvious and so many teams don't seem to get it: If you're embarrassed to put native American imagery in your logo, you should be embarrassed to put native American imagery in your name! Say what you will about the Washington Redskins name; you have to acknowledge there's a certain truth-in-advertising quality to their logo. They're named after native Americans. They have a native American in their logo. If they were to put a train in their logo, people would think Daniel Snyder has lost his mind. Most people think Daniel Snyder has lost his mind anyway, but even this lunatic is sane enough to refrain from using a logo which has nothing to do with his team's name.

And it's not like a team called the Chiefs switched to using a train to avoid the politically incorrect connotations. The adoption of the train in their logo actually coincided with changing their name to "Chiefs". They had once been known as the Chiefs, but switched to the "SkyChiefs" in 1997 before switching back to "Chiefs" in 2006. Having already moved a bit away from the "Chiefs" name, they could have simply changed their name to something completely different. ("Syracuse Locomotive" comes to mind; I can't imagine why.) But no: they switched back to the Chiefs name, despite being unwilling to put a Chief in their logo. That's. Just. Stupid. Either be politically correct, or be politically incorrect. Trying to split the difference like this doesn't work and doesn't satisfy anyone.

Final Score: 88 points.
Penalties: Equipment (the baseball-stitching on the front of the locomotive), 13 pts; Letter, 24 pts; Irrelevance, 39 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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