Have you ever really taken a good look at your favorite sports team’s logo? Or, maybe you’ve spent far too much time glaring angrily at your least favorite sports team’s logo as you jab at its effigy with voodoo pins. Either way, it should come as no surprise that many of the sports teams out there have some form of hidden message or symbolism that represents part of the heritage of either the city, the owner, or any other piece of its history.
This topic has been covered in the past, with other sites pointing out some of the more obvious hidden imagery in popular sports team logos. However, this research was much deeper into the World Wide Web, and found logos (past and present) with hidden symbols and meanings that you never even knew were there.
Detroit Red Wings
For a logo that’s been around since the “Original Six” back when hockey was played with a whale’s shin bone and hunks of maple switches, not too much has changed. This distinct symbol of the once-booming city of Detroit is also designated as “The Feathered Firestone” for point blank reasoning, but did you know that each piece of the plume on this Winged Wheel has a very special meaning? There are seventeen of them which represent the number of players killed during the 1916 season when hockey players tried to skate on sharpened shovel blades.
New York Islanders
Although we can very easily spot and decide the Y in NY (which stands for New York, duh) is a hockey stick, there is heavy debate between the splotch across the middle of their logo. Supposedly, some believe that the center icon is, in fact, Long Island itself, with the I of Islanders pointing to the exact spot of Long Island where the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is located. However, some may say the image is a spreading pool of blood, poking reference to the Islanders deadly ways on the ice. In NHL records, during the first four months the Islanders were around, players bludgeoned, stabbed, and whacked twelve opponents resulting in the ice often times running red from blood.
Now this "hidden image" might seem like a pretty obvious one to some people. But if what's hiding isn't as out there to you as it is for others, you can admit it. Looking at the image, the falcon with its wing and outstretched claw, it creates the letter F.
Unfortunately this logo is no longer in use by this Milwaukee baseball team, but that doesn't mean we can't still talk about it and have it on our list. What can be seen as a catcher's mitt holding onto a ball, is really a lowercase B as the palm and thumb and a lowercase M where the webbing of the glove would be. Although retired by the Brewers, fans still love and respect the logo today.
National Football League
The NFL logo is pretty much recognized everywhere, whether someone watches football or not. Unless you're a tremendous football fan, (even if you are) the change made to this logo in 2008 wasn't that large of one. The top of the logo holds eight stars cutting out 25 of them previously that held no meaning. These new eight stars each represent a division within the NFL. The area with the stars is now also identical to the Vince Lombardi Trophy top, the prestigious trophy handed out to winning team of the Super Bowl each year. (Go Patriots!)
New York Mets
There’s a lot going on within this New York Mets logo and many of them are really obvious. Clearly seen is a bridge and several of the actual buildings that make up New York City’s iconic skyline. Nonetheless, the real hidden message is maybe something that goes unnoticed to most people, and it has nothing to do with the logo itself but rather the team’s colors. The Mets chose two very specific shades of blue and orange for their uniforms. The two colors seen are “Dodger blue” and “Giants orange,” respectively. The Mets decided to use those colors as an allegiance to the teams that played in New York before heading out west and maintaining their bitter rivalry in California.
This not so long used Washington logo was at least a fun one while it lasted. Clearly seen is a red, white, and blue wizard holding a basketball. Within the bearded magician himself, thanks to his white beard against the blue of his possible shirt, a W is created to stand for the team's name. The basketball to the left is also a crescent moon shape, where he seems to be the man jumping over the moon.
At first glance, this logo of the now-defunct Canadian baseball team looks like an "M" in the colors of the French flag. Officially, the letters stand for Montreal Expos Baseball. A large stylized ”M” for Montreal, a lowercase ”e” for Expos in red on the lower left of the logo, and a ”b” for baseball in blue on the right-hand side. A popular theory says that the letters are actually "ELB," the initials of Elizabeth Bronfman, the daughter of a former Expos owner. Or, is it an ELB for “Expos League Baseball?”
Someone could look at this logo and for the longest time not even realize what may be staring them right in the face. The Minnesota landscape actually makes up this logo’s outlining bear shape. A setting sun fills the ear portion and a running river doubles as the bear’s mouth. Most interestingly, the eye is meant to be the North Star. The star could be a budding nod at Minnesota’s previous team, deemed the Minnesota North Stars.
The Rockets logo has changed four times since primarily showcasing in 1971. This one being the most uncomplicated one of them all. The "H" and the "R" of the words each have rockets within the letters. The main focus is the center "R" which is a rocket blasting through a hoop, all while creating an "H" from the rim of it.
Most of the Arizona Diamondbacks logos throughout the years have featured great usage of subtle messaging and one of them in particular is terrific. The secondary sleeve patch logo that was used from 2008-2015 was a snake’s head that was formed by the lowercase letters “d” and “b” back-to-back (an obvious reference to “diamondback”), and the forked tongue. In 2008 they added eyes into the empty space between the letters to make the snake more apparent. Their primary logo currently in use is a capital “A” and holds several references to a snake: a diamondback pattern along the left side, a forked tongue being the bridge between both sides, and the inner perimeter being shaped like yet another snake.
After coming back to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011, the Jets got a new logo. They didn’t just resort to using their old “hockey stick” logo. That one was pretty outdated and their newer one is much cleaner looking overall. There is a not-so-hidden maple leaf behind the jet. There is a notch taken out at the top of the circle the turns it into a compass. This then indicates the direction north and is an imaginable wink at True North Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Winnipeg Jets.
(Bonus: FIFA World Cup 2014)
There's good chance the creator of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy did not mean for the trophy to resemble the Internet beloved Jean-Luc Picard meme but it does!