Bats aren’t bugs!
Posted on February 22, 2008 8:42 pm
Suggestion from jamesey from the comments on the previous thread.
When MLS first rolled off the assembly line, many of us dewy-eyed innocents thought this was the most outside concept we had ever seen:
…which, yeah, it was.* But it wasn’t unprecedented – in fact, the Mutiny could have claimed to be the first MLS team to truly follow the tradition of a European power. Nike sent out press releases saying that the mascot was not actually a bat, but a futuristic cyber-mutant that controlled the ball with its mind…but other than that, it would have totally traditional. (The next time it’s a slow Friday, I’ll clip and post more stuff from the 1996 MLS Yearbook. Stuff was funny AT THE TIME, and trust me, it’s aged BEAUTIFULLY. We’re talking Sophia Loren/Katherine Helmond here.)
Valencia’s logo, like so many European logos, based on a coat of arms that usually supplies the wackiness. (Another time when it’s a slow Friday, we can talk about Coventry’s elephants.) Explanation of the Valencia bats here, as well as the picture of the coat of arms that inspired the badge. (This explanation is also on the Wikipedia page, which will probably start some sort of scandal as to whether Wikipeida ripped off the Dutch heraldry site, or vice versa.)
Maybe it’s just Spain, but their weird logos aren’t nearly as annoying as weird American logos. Not only does this badge get six or seven colors to work where Nike hurt 90′s eyeballs with a mere three**, but notice how the curve of the shield works in seamlessly with the bat to make a perfect teardrop shape. Even if MLS designers had managed such an aesthetic trick, they would have given in to the tempation to fill in the curve on top of the bat’s head, wrecking the subtlety of it. Nike’s idea of subtlety was to break the Tampa bat’s wings to make the shape of an “M.”
Valencia’s nickname, according to Wikipedia, is “Los Che,” which translates to “The Che.” Oh, come on, you expect me to use Wikipedia AND Google AND Babelfish? That’s, like, all three pillars of Internet scholarship! On a Friday afternoon! DREAM ON!
*The “Mutiny” name actually lives on. A WPSL team with an altogether more rational logo is run out of Agawam, Massachusetts. They even justify the “Mutiny” name – it’s a shot across the bow of the W-League.
**Although perhaps I’m subconsciously remembering the Mutiny’s actual uniforms.