For my friends who are fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes and have some interest in my uniform re-designs, this entry is for you. ESPN.com's Uni Watch column is running another design contest, this time to suggest a look for the expected Seattle NHL expanson franchise. Luckily for me, the deadline came after the Thanksgiving weekend and I was caught up enough on things in general that I was able to devote the necessary time to pull an entry together -- in fact I couldn't narrow it down to just one concept and managed to do two entries.
Part of the issue was that it popped into my mind to suggest hockey adopt one of the best designs in sports history, and one that's criminally left ignored and unused these days, the uniforms for the beloved 1969 Seattle Pilots (who were moved after a single season to Milwaukee, where they've played ever since as the Brewers). And once I got that idea for a Pilots hockey team in my head, I had to go with it, even though it felt like it wouldn't get full consideration as a "real" entry but rather a kind of novelty entry (even though I personally would 100% love to see the name and design actually take to the ice in the NHL). And in any case, a Pilots concept would be based on somebody else's long-ago design rather than something completely original on my part.
So I felt compelled to do a second totally original submission. And when I thought I abouy doing something that showcased the neon green color Seattle sports fans have so embraced, I tried to think of a name that suggested a green uniform, and with Washington being the Evergreen State, the name "Evergreens" seemed like a natural, especially when I then saw in my mind an unabashedly joyous pine tree cartoon character playing hockey. If I needed one more nudge to go with an Evergreens concept, I got it when I also saw in my mind a big capital "E" like what Legion of Super-Heroes member Element Lad used to wear in his early days (in the case of the Evergreens, I'd add a lower-case "s_attle" to that big capital "E" to spell out Seattle). With these different ideas feeling rightand falling into place for me, I felt like this, too, was a design I must get down on paper.
So that's Legion reference #1, with a second one coming later on.
So first, here's that Evergreens design, home and away (or I guess actually away and home since I guess the NHL is currently using dark jerseys at home in a switch they made several years ago that I still haven't really gotten used to)...
Here's a close-up of that happy Evergreen mascot, then, it's kind of hard to see, but the Element-Lad "E" logo that also says "Seattle" in neon green lettering, and finally the inaugural patch that was required in the ESPN.com contest...
For the opposing teams, versus the white-jerseyed Evergreens, I finally put down on paper the idea I had back in the 1990s when I failed to enter the local contest to name the Erie minor-league hockey team -- at that time I should
have suggested a team identity I made up with some of my brothers (Bob and / or Jim?) for a fictitious hockey league we were playing, the Erie Specters. Here for the first time in 45 years or so I'm updating whatever visuals we may have created for the Specters back then and a giving them team colors of gray and white and a wordmark and numbers in the kind of dashed lines comics used to use to illustrate phantoms and invisible characters.
Versus the dark-jerseyed Evergreens is a re-design of the Calgary Flames.
And I think I'll do a separate post for the Pilots artwork.