Monday, September 26, 2011

A little too much time on my hands.

What do you think?

Are those not two of the most pissed off cartoon birds you've ever seen? Chicken and stars, they look mad.

As irritated as he looks, a salty cardinal doesn't exactly get my knees a knockin' the way a bear or lion might. And what's up with green part of the seahawk's eye? Last I checked, that section of the eyeball should be white without exception; any other hue is highly distracting and signifies profound avian liver failure if I'm not mistaken.

At any rate, that's my souvenir from Sunday's National Football League clash between the hometown Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West battle of angry birds. My friend Corey and I rendezvoused three hours prior to kickoff at FX McCrory's, a Seattle institution located in the shadow of Seahawk Stadium (the facility's corporate moniker has been redacted due to the ridiculously high monthly cost of my telephone land line), on the south edge of the city's historic, and charmingly sketchy, Pioneer Square.

I pulled up a stool in the already packed bar and sipped an IPA while waiting for Corey to show. Pennants of every NFL franchise hung from the ceiling, displaying each teams' nicknames, colors and logos.

I studied each squad's branding. Most teams are represented by the city in which they reside, which makes perfect sense—the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, yada yada. Three teams, including the Seahawks' opponent, Arizona, have chosen entire states as their turf. Fine, but a little greedy.

And two teams have elected geographical regions: the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Come on, though. There's no such thing as "Carolina." That's like saying that the combination of North America and South America is America. It isn't. If it were, we'd have a lot of confused Republicans trying to decide where to put that big fence.

I suppose I understand why the entirety of New England claimed the Patriots. You'd need a lot of defenders for this logo:

This dude looks like a cross between Halloween night at King County Jail and my grandpa trying to pick up his keys.

While we're on the subject of NFL mascots, this one is supposedly the most imposing of all:

The Oakland Raider helmet decal.

Sorry, but even the cardinal looks fiercer than this guy. When the helmet, which appears to protect a nasty closed head injury, combines with that missing eye, we're just hoping he's eventually able to recite the alphabet and feed himself a couple of Ritz Crackers.

Some themes are even more confusing:

This is the Cleveland Browns helmet. First of all, it's orange, and secondly, Cleveland, you are pretty much the oldest team in the league. You had your choice of all the names and colors. You decided to name your team after a color.

Nice work.

Finally, this is the what's going on in our nation's capital:

The team is known as "The Redskins."

Can you believe that in the year 2011 Anno Domini, a professional sports franchise is named the "Redskins?"

Why aren't more people upset about a team with a name equally as insulting as "Slanty Eyes" or "Black Skins?" Unbelievable.

I finally broke the trance and peeled my eyes away from the pennants when Corey arrived. As he settled onto a stool in the crowded bar, we talked about football and life, of work and family. I've known him for forty years, so we didn't have to worry about small talk.

Especially when two pissed off cartoon birds were waiting for us down the street.

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