After ranking the primary logos of all 123 teams in the four major sports leagues in North America (1-40, 41-80, 81-123), it only made sense to put them all into a bracket and have a tournament. So, that’s just what we did.
To fill out the field and get to 128 teams, five wild cards were slotted into the field: the defunct Hartford Whalers, Montreal Expos, Quebec Nordiques, Seattle Pilots, and Seattle SuperSonics.
Two of those legacy teams now square off for the championship, and why not? We live in a world now where it feels like time has no meaning, and the logos of the Whalers and Expos are timeless.
But that’s not going to be the only vote of this final round: We’re also putting on a third-place match that will decide the champion of the current crop of primary team logos. In that one, it’s another duel of hockey and Canada, as the Detroit Red Wings face the Toronto Blue Jays.
Voting begins today on Twitter.
Let’s look at the matchups…
Red Wings: d. (113) Vancouver Canucks, 81-19; d. (49) Edmonton Oilers, 77-23; d. (17) Philadelphia Flyers, 70-30; d. (1) Los Angeles Dodgers, 62-38; d. (9) New York Mets, 62-38; d. by (WC) Hartford Whalers, 58-42
Blue Jays: d. (111) Brooklyn Nets, 92-8; d. (82) Miami Dolphins, 79-21; d. (15) Pittsburgh Steelers, 67-33; d. (WC) Quebec Nordiques, 52-48; d. (23) Baltimore Orioles, 54-46; d. by (WC) Montreal Expos, 60-40
To start things off, here’s an absolute abomination. Much cooler is that current Red Wings forward Sam Gagner took batting practice with the Blue Jays a few years ago, and once made Jakub Voracek wear a Marcus Stroman jersey for a week to pay off a bet. While the Red Wings have five players from Ontario, the Blue Jays also have a couple of Michiganders on their roster, and Anthony Bass, from Dearborn, is a self-described “big Wings fan.” Matt Shoemaker, from Wyandotte, has only ever tweeted about the Red Wings in relation to the 2016 Kentucky Derby, but that’s worth something, right? Anyway, here’s another absolute abomination.
Whalers: d. (4) Boston Celtics, 76-24; d. (68) Nashville Predators, 90-10; d. (29) Green Bay Packers, 81-19; d. (52) Buffalo Sabres, 77-23; d. (101) Milwaukee Brewers, 70-30; d. (16) Detroit Red Wings, 58-42
Expos: d. (3) Las Vegas Raiders, 72-28; d. (67) Cincinnati Bengals, 91-9; d. (30) Chicago Bulls, 71-29; d. (46) St. Louis Blues, 67-33; d. (11) Calgary Flames, 70-30; d. (18) Toronto Blue Jays, 60-40
Neither of these teams exists anymore, but that doesn’t stop the franchises that stole them away from their original homes from stealing their valor. We’ve had Whalers Night with the Carolina Hurricanes and Expos Day with the Washington Nationals. Well, the Whalers had Joe Day and the Expos had Boots Day, and that’s got to count for something. While the Whalers played plenty in Montreal over the course of their existence, the Expos never did play in Hartford — although the Hartford Dark Blues were one of the original franchises of the National League in 1876, boasting a two-man pitching staff of 31-game winner Tommy Bond and Hall of Famer Candy Cummings, who is credited with inventing the curveball. Much like the Expos and Whalers, they did not win a championship and then left town in 1877, heading south to become the Hartfords of Brooklyn, though a year later they also became defunct. And to think, when you read “Hartford Dark Blues,” you were thinking about Pat Verbeek.