Updated, March 13, 2021 at 8:40 p.m.: I need to get something stupid off my chest. It’s been bugging me for years. And the unlikely title won tonight by Coach Paaaaatrick Ewing and No. 8 seed Georgetown, repping the old school Big East, over the more new-school, reshuffled conference squad Creighton, seems the perfect opportunity to do so.
Can we please ... PLEASE (note the italics!) … get … a ding-dong … new … Big East logo … for the love of Marco Baldi?
I mean, look at this relic dug up from the ruins of Pompeii:
That’s not from today — it’s from 2013. And the ghost of typography past is jangling his chains demanding it back. It is ensconced in amber, stuck forever in 2005 when it was first introduced more than a quinceañera ago.
It just screams mid-aughts “well it’s not the hot-pink 80s or teal-or-purple 90s anymore, but not yet the cutting edge, computer-powered super-design of the 2010s … so we give up: give it a red swoosh.”
It’s also essentially freaking italic, which — lemme let you in on a little secret — is graphic artists’ code for, “We are fresh out of ideas: Slant the fucker and beer me.”
And that stylized sharp G — uGh.
The Big East came into existence in 1979 and ushered in the era of the super conference, and we now live in a ’roided up version of that era. But putting the bloat argument aside, a conference logo should tell a story. The original Big East logo did:
That thing is of a time. It says “Hi, notice us. We’re a big deal now. And we have the blocky-letter drop shadow to prove it.” An entire generation of basketball memories lives in that logo. Bloody, WWOR-TV, Monday night slugfests. Ewing and Mullin and Pearl and a relevant Boston College (zing!), and shitty UConn starring as the then-DePaul pulling up the rear annually (my how times have changed).
But when that era had passed, it was time to move on.
So now check out the 1993 update:
Okaaaaay. Not great, Bob. This generic varsity jacket lettering meets Big Top Pee-wee wasn’t a step in any right direction. But again, it was of a time and was a bold move from a conference that was exploding in both number of teams and its geographic breadth across a nation. It was also the shortest-lived Big East logo, because it didn’t represent anything for very long and conference brass realized it. Ergo, in 2005 they conjured up what still burns my retinae today.
In the meantime, the conference imploded on itself and in 2013 rebirthed a more old-school conference, composed mainly of smaller, non-football Catholic schools, making it one of the more niche groupings of teams in collegiate athletics. It should have a logo that at least sniffs in the vicinity of that sweet, sweet truffle. Instead, we have a 16-year-old typographicasauras.
How would I improve it? Do literally anything. For fuck’s sake, just use freaking Times New Roman — voila, cleaner!
I tease, but this isn’t rocket surgery. It’s not like I suggested Comic Sans:
No, no. Definitely don’t do that.
But look at this thing of beauty. This monument to the color wheel, this Pantone pinnacle of the form:
I understand that isn’t the everyday Big 10 logo. But it’s just so imaginative. It tells the colorful story of every team in the conference with nary a word. That’s the level of thought I am imploring Commissioner Val Ackerman and the Big East to contemplate.
Also just for the record, the Big 10’s actual logo uniquely kicks ass:
And the Big 12 has its smooshy roman numerals:
I could go on and on. Subjectivity would eventually kick in. But objectively for the Big East … It. Is. Time. Time to embrace the 2020s, and shake off the COVID-19 era of college hoops, with a new look. It is bad enough I have to trot out to the Garden every second Thursday in March as a St. John’s fan only to glumly march back down 32nd Street after yet another loss (now 21 seasons without reaching a Friday — futility that can legally drink!). Give me something new to look at, at least! Something that doesn’t mire me in bizarre memories of caring about Virginia Tech and South freaking Florida.
The first “BE” lasted 13 seasons. The second only 11. It’s now been 16 and counting.
Don’t let a current high schooler born the day the Big East introduced its current logo step foot on a court with it.
Sometimes a fresh lick of paint is all it takes to brighten up a 19,000-seat room.
Grab a brush.