Just a friendly piece of advice to any expansion team out there, on the doorstop or deep in the future:
Your new team name or logo doesn’t have to mean something. We’re not that impressed.
And actually, this isn’t just for expansion teams – because existing and historic franchises often try to spin us some bull about their new alternative jerseys or third logos or commemorative occasions, too.
It’s just that Bill Foley and his Strip-based company, about to bring ice to Nevada, unveiled their Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. And although the logo itself is pretty cool, even though the promising gold-and-navy colour scheme looks a little flat, it came with a story of inspiration lamer than anything Elaine wrote for the J. Peterman Catalogue.
Said Foley, the team’s owner:
“We selected ‘Knights’ because knights are the defenders of the realm and protect those who cannot defend themselves. They are the elite warrior class.”
Yeah, we know what Knights are, bud.
The team’s colors – steel grey, gold, red and black – reflect the community and the focus of the team:
Steel grey represents strength and durability
Nevada is the largest producer of gold in the United States, it is a highly-valued precious metal and is a color seen in the Las Vegas terrain
Red is from the Vegas skyline, the desert and the beauty of the Red Rock canyons; red is also a color associated with the readiness to serve
Black represents power and intensity
So, your colours are black, red, gold, and steel grey – also known as ‘grey’. These are common colours for sports teams, colours we’re all already familiar with.
And you’re telling me they’re more than just colours now? They each have their own hidden meaning, their own destiny of definition just for you?
“Red is also a color associated with the readiness to serve.”
Christ… why not just spell it ‘rediness’ and hit that nail right on its head?
Now, to clarify, I’m just giving Foley and the Golden Knights’ promotions team a hard time. Every franchise does this – sometimes it’s stupid, like when Columbus called themselves the ‘Blue Jackets’ and made their logo a bug on meth, and sometimes it works out, like when Columbus abandoned the bug on meth and said that ‘Blue Jackets’ was in honour of Ohio’s role (the ‘Blue Coats’) in the American Civil War all along. (Much better. And fuck you, slavery.)
And, if Vegas is really going to have a successful hockey franchise, they’re going to need to have some fun and get goofy. They’re going to need to turn the Strip’s frozen athletic experience into something as unpretentiously entertaining as how Will Ferrell marketed the Flint Tropics. The franchise’s existence, as a business and brand, will revolve around its place on social media, its community marketing, and its ability to steer with the so-called skid. Don’t pretend you’re an Original 6 club with history; don’t pretend you’re living and working in a hockey hot bed. Go full Vegas and make it a good time. Embrace your place as the newest kid on the block – not just as the newest team in the NHL, but as the only major league franchise in Vegas.
So, I’m pulling for them. But I’m also laughing a little bit, too.
Both at you and with you, baby.