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Posted 2003 January 26
Some people just can't leave well enough alone.
The team name is the Grizzlies. That says it all. Anyone in his right mind would prefer not to encounter a grizzly bear unless a) said grizzly was in a zoo and had not escaped from his enclosure, b) he had a large gun (preferably fully automatic) and good aim, or c) he was watching "The Jeff Corwin Experience" on Animal Planet.
So what do you do for a logo with such a name? You play it straight. This isn't like the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where you have to give the bird outrageously large muscles so he can look fiercer than real live penguins are capable of. Grizzlies are quite fierce on their own, and a straight rendition will work perfectly.
Unfortunately, whoever designed the logo for the Utah Grizzlies didn't understand this. He thought a grizzly wasn't scary enough. So he gave the thing red eyes.
Now, I will concede that it works. I'm not entirely sure what the red eyes are supposed to indicate, but it's something to make you worry. Maybe the red eyes signify the tremendous rage the creature feels. Maybe they indicate that this isn't a grizzly, but a demon that has taken the form of a grizzly, in the same way that guy from the Wonder Twins was always taking the form of an icicle. Or maybe it just means the grizzly has bloodshot eyes because he hasn't had his morning cup of coffee...and if he's anything like my coworkers before they've had their morning cup of coffee, he is in one seriously grouchy mood. Whatever the explanation, the creature in the logo does indeed look like something I want to run across even less than I want to run across an ordinary, run-of-the-mill grizzly. But it just wasn't necessary to add that touch.
Aside from the eyes and the broken stick which seems to be de rigueur for any logo with a bear in it, it's not a bad logo at all. The mountains in the background are a nice touch. The front paw is either foreshortened oddly or just placed wrong, but it does a good job of reminding us exactly why it is that we don't ever want to run across a grizzly bear, regardless of the bear's mood, religious affiliation, or caffein level.
Interestingly, my copy of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals does not show Utah as being part of the grizzly's range. Nor is Denver, where the team first picked up the name. I don't really care about that, however. What I care about is the fact that they're nowhere near Raleigh, North Carolina. This is a good thing. I once had a car totalled by a white-tailed deer, so I don't even want to think about what a grizzly could to do my Chevy. Or to its driver.
Final Score: 12 points.
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