Today I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite logos from teams that no longer exist. Sports history is littered with great teams from the past who are no longer around, and there are hundreds of great defunct logos out there. Here are a few of my favorites.
5. Houston Oilers-NFL
The Oilers had one of the classic uniform and logo looks from the 1970's to the 1990's before the team moved to Tennessee. Who can forget the sight of Earl Campbell thundering through defenses in the powder blue uniforms with the oil derrick on the helmets. The days of Bum Phillips and Ken Stabler provided some of the most entertaining teams in NFL history. They even had their own theme song! It was a sad day when the Oilers moved to Tennessee and changed their name to the Titans. The powder blue and white was a true NFL classic.
4. Memphis Tams-ABA
I have no idea why I like this old logo from the ABA so much. I think it is because it is one of the unique examples in sports logo history when the team's mascot was a hat. This logo captures the essence of the league and the design styles of the time. The colors are true 1970's and the Tam is just a great visual image. The team spent part of its existence as the Memphis Pros, but nothing compares to this classic Tams logo.
3. Houston Colt 45's-MLB
For #3 we head back to Houston for this classic Colt .45s logo. I know my Astros bias may play into this one, but the logo is great in many ways. You just don't see logos any more that feature a gun in them. It is not particularly politically correct to have a firearm as your logo in today's sports world. After a few seasons, the Colt .45s became the Houston Astros, who are champions in the great logos of all-time category. The Colt .45s logo and it's unusual imagery land it on my list at #3.
2. Boston Breakers-USFL
At #2 on the list is the Boston Breakers from the USFL. This logo served three different cities over the course of it's existence. Boston was the first home of the team, followed by New Orleans and then Portland. The team had a really great helmet design with the multi-colored blue waves going down both sides. I kept my eye on this team because they took one of my favorite Bengals, Dan Ross, away from my home team. Despite the team residing in three different cities, the logo is a classic from the realm of defunct teams.
1. Hartford Whalers-NHL
The logo that takes the top spot on my list is the Hartford Whalers. I am by no stretch of the imagination a big hockey fan, but I am a sports logo fan and this logo is the all-time defunct classic in my book. I love the way the negative space of the logo between the whale tail and the W make the Hartford H. Unless you really look at the logo closely, you may not even see this great design element. The color set was great and the logo was the clear winner in my list of top 5 classic defunct logos.
I'm sure you all have many favorite defunct team logos. There are so many to choose from over the years, and this list is just my group of picks. Are there other classic out there that you like? Feel free to discuss your favorites in the comments. I'm sure there are many classics worth taking a look at that I missed on my list.