Ah, summer. For most people, it’s the time of year we most enjoy. It’s the time to head “up north” for fishing and relaxing at a lakeside cabin. For some of us, it’s to take the much-anticipated family vacation, whether home or abroad. And others of us, use it as time to get caught up on much needed home improvements. As seen in the above photo, I spend a week every summer on the Canadian side of Rainy Lake, making the border crossing at International Falls. However you spend your summer, most of us can agree that it speeds by, and before you can even blink, fall is upon us. Being that we’re heading into the second week of August, it means that the new school year is just around the corner. Here where I live, the first week of practice for our high school football team is complete.
Yes, summer is essentially over. But for hockey fans, it can feel like summer, aka the off-season, is simply dragging. Now the first part of the off-season, we’re still basking in the glow of the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Entry Draft, and Free Agency. Truly, the most exciting part of the off-season only lasts about two weeks, and somehow those two weeks have to keep us content until the pre-season kicks off in September. Hockey, unlike the other major professional sports (football, baseball, and even basketball), doesn’t get quite the same coverage in its off-season. For bloggers and die-hard fans alike, it feels like by this time of the off-season, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for hockey news.
And it’s not just amateur bloggers such as yours truly looking for even the smallest thing to write about. Yes, even the bloggers at The Hockey News are having to resort to puff pieces to keep hockey even remotely relevant. Case in point, they’ve decided to rank the logos of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League. Somehow the people at THN have managed to rank the Minnesota Wild’s logo at #11. THN’s Matt Larkin must have drawn the short straw to have to write about the Wild’s logo. One thing I am appreciative in THN’s analysis of Minnesota’s logo, is that they haven’t pulled out the typical criticisms that we as Wild fans have had to endure. Trust me people, we are aware of the ambiguity of the animal shape. Yes, we know it relies heavily on Christmas colors. We’ve heard all of the criticisms, yet the people leaving comments on Larkin’s entry seem to think they’re the first ever to point out the usual complaints. But then, most of the comments are from those who are upset that their team is ranked lower.
I should admit, while I am a die-hard Wild fan, I’m not a die-hard fan of the logo. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate our logo, far from it, but I’m not overly-enamored of it either. I’m more a fan of its uniqueness and its story. For those of us who spend any amount of time at a northern lake, we recognize the horizon on the logo. We’ve all seen pine trees or water defining our view. And whether the animal is a bear or a large, wild cat, we know those animals are present as well, sometimes visiting the shore of the lake we’re staying at. Yes, the colors scream Christmas, but they’re also the colors of our state. The green of forests and fields, the red of (rusted) iron ore, and the gold of wheat and corn. Yes, it can be a bit random, and as Larkin stated, “controlled chaos,” but it’s our controlled chaos. Personally, I hope no one at the Wild’s offices decides to change the logo to some new monstrosity just to change it. I’d rather keep it than to change it just to change it. I don’t care to invest more money into merchandise just because the team wanted something new. When teams make changes just to make changes, you end up with something like these:
I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that my Christmas-inspired logo has never resembled a garden slug or the cringe-inducing, health class diagram of the female reproductive system. Yes, I realize these were short-term logos for both teams, but they are logos that never should have happened. Making change just to make change is often a bad idea, and these two logos simply prove that. With the midway point of August soon upon us, it means that we’ll be getting real hockey news before we know it. Of course, once the 2014-15 NHL Teams Preview issue of The Hockey News lands in our mailboxes, it will be the indication that the season is soon upon us. And it cannot come soon enough.