ANDY'S FAVORITE SUPER BOWL LOGOS
ANDY'S LEAST FAVORITE SUPER BOWL LOGOS
Hey guys, there's a football game this weekend. It's the biggest game of the year.
Something interesting about said game: The coaches of the opposing teams are siblings! Crazy, right? Man, it's such a good thing nobody's said anything about it. Or made jokes about nobody saying anything about it.
While I had originally planned this Super Bowl column to be a resentful bit of dreck about how the Harbaugh boys have ruined it for everybody who has parents who expect things out of them, I did a little bit of digging and have uncovered an even greater Super Bowl injustice.
This Super Bowl column is a resentful bit of dreck about the neutering of the annual tradition of a logo.
You see, even when the Super Bowl wasn't the Super Bowl (instead, the AFL-NFL Championship game), there had always been a logo to go along with the game.
At first, the logos were relatively simple -- plain type with some color to alert people that yes, those are letters, but they're also numbers -- but as the math in the Roman numerals got more complicated, the logo designers grew more creative.
Some letters stomped their way through the logo, others sashayed around it; sightlines flowed, clashed; local imagery and typography were incorporated so that every Super Bowl logo retained the attitude and atmosphere of the city in which it was being played. The logos might have ranged from beautiful work of art to garish eyesore, but regardless of how pretty they were, all created an image that served not only as the mark of the games they represented, but also a timestamp of the visual trends of the era.
As a kid, the annually dynamic logos got me excited about the oft-confusing Roman numerals, for which I still hold affinity, and had me anticipating what the artists would do with specific future combinations: XXXVIII (so long!), L (so short!), XL (bad T-shirt jokes!), XXX (giggles). I attribute part of the fact that I'm a professional graphic designer for this very newspaper to the interest I developed from those Super Bowl logos.
Which is why the NFL's 2010 decision to standardize the logo is such a disappointing one. If you have noticed, starting with XLV, every game's logo has been a standard silver display featuring a prominent Lombardi Trophy and rounded, inoffensive type. The only things that change are the number of the Super Bowl and the shape of the stadium in the background.
The NFL might have prevented the risk of a logo being a dud, but it also rendered that logo obsolete. Neutered. Blah.
There is not a yawn on earth loud enough to express my rage.
On Sunday, fans will be looking for the coaching brothers -- one apoplectic and one temperate; for the aged linebacker -- complicated, or redemptive?; for the young quarterback -- and the guy he replaced.
It will be exciting.
I will be looking for those things too. Then I'll look at the logo on the field beneath their feet.
It will be boring.