The Jersey Score: Memphis Grizzlies

Monday, 16 January 2012, 22:36 | Category : NBA, The Jersey Score
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I love watching basketball.  I hate watching players in ridiculous uniforms.  The Complete Graphic Designer informs us that “sports team brands help identify players on the field of competition, but to be truly effective, they must be marketable as both memorabilia and merchandise.  They evoke spirit and unity among the teams, fans, and community.”  I created a point system to grade all 30 NBA teams on their overall branding (nickname, colors, logo, and jersey), giving us The Jersey Score.  For me, less is more.  Clean, simple, and retro are the way to go.  For more on my grading, read this(A special thanks to, which I reference heavily.)

Memphis Grizzlies, Rudy Gay dunk

Really, anything is better than what they wore in Vancouver.

In honor of MLK Day, we’re going to take a look at the Memphis Grizzlies.

Nickname: Grizzlies is a solid nickname (tough and cool), but has absolutely nothing to do with Memphis, Tennessee.  I suggested last fall that the Grizzlies should return to the northwest and the Sacramento Kings could replace them.  Kings would make sense because of Elvis (the King), B.B. King, and Martin Luther King Jr.  This pays homage to their the city’s culture and history.  Grizzlies is still good enough to score them 18/25.

Colors: While the team kept the nickname in it’s move to the southeast, it fortunately scraped everything else from that miserable franchise.  I actually really like their colors, even if it breaks my rule of having too many.  The differences in their three shades of blue are slight enough that it works with that highlight of yellow.  Their blues are even relevant to the city.  17/25

Logo: In the move, they did an excellent job of taking what they had and minimalizing it perfectly.  I really like their logo.  The grizzly face they use isn’t too real, nor is it cartoony.  They even kept the same secondary logo while improving it.  Even the font, while nontraditional, is pretty cool.  It’s original without going overboard.  22/25

Jersey:  It’s biggest knock is the stripes down the sides fans out at the bottom of the shorts and at the sleeves under the arms.  But even that isn’t that bad.  If they stayed straight, it would be hard to improve upon this jersey.  The collar isn’t the best, but it’s far from the many goofy options out there. 20/25

While these marks are only good enough to get the Grizzlies 77% (C+), I probably would’ve given them a B- to B.  Where they really get hurt is having a completely irrelevant nickname when the city has so much culture to name a team after.  The also take a hit for getting caught up in the trends just a little by doing some funky stuff with the stripes 9maybe a small thing to most people) after they did such a good job of keeping everything else so clean.

But anything is better than what they wore in Vancouver, which scored 53% (F).  While I would’ve probably given it something closer to a mere 25%, the Vancouver Grizzlies benefited greatly from having a relevant nickname, which is what damaged their score in Memphis.  Even after I calculated an adjusted rating, their scores were only a few points different.

Overall, I like what they did.  However, even though it would be messy, I still think relocating them back to the northwest and bringing the Kings to town would make sense.  Something to consider.

What do you think of the Grizzlies’ branding?

Bowl Picks and Picks Winners

Monday, 9 January 2012, 22:49 | Category : College, Football
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The college football season has come to an end.  It’s weird how anti-climactic it was for me.  There were a lot of great games I really enjoyed, but there was nothing on the line other than my picks.  I liked watching but just didn’t care who won.  There were a couple games I cared about (and both were very exciting), but there were no greater implications.  Yes it’s great to have a bowl win, especially classics like the Sugar Bowl, but it really doesn’t mean anything.

The only game that truly had anything on the line was the championship game, and I don’t like either of those teams.  And even though Bama thoroughly thumped LSU, even my wife (who doesn’t care much for sports) asked why does this game mean more than the one LSU won.  Why don’t they have a third game to decide the winner between the two?  But I already went into great detail on my thoughts on a college football playoff.

On to the winners.  We’ve been making picks (10 per week and bowls) all year long.  Out of a total of 175 games, we have our final scores: Jimmy-111, me-104, Lindsey-99, Spencer-96, and Karl-93.  Jimmy owned us.  Everyone else was really close, except for Jimmy who ran away with it.  (Note: Karl missed an entire week, which could have taken him up to third.)

In our Bowl Mania group, my buddy Jayson won for the second year in the 94.3% on  I’ll have to get him to write a guest post on here.  For the record, Jayson guessed 25 out of 35 correct.  That ties Karl, but Jay won by 14 points.  I like the confidence picks for Bowl Mania because it adds another element to the picks.  Nice job, Jayson!

Finally, here are our bowl picks.  This was also very close, but Karl redeemed himself with a nice victory.

Jimmy Trevor Spencer Karl Lindsey
Record 24/35 23/35 24/35 25/35 18/35
Temple vs. Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming
Ohio vs. Utah State Ohio Utah St Ohio Ohio Utah St
Fla Int’l vs Marshall Fla Int’l Fla Int’l Fla Int’l Fla Int’l Fla Int’l
Nevada vs. 21 So Miss So Miss So Miss So Miss So Miss So Miss
Missouri vs. UNC UNC Mizzou Mizzou Mizzou Mizzou
W. Michigan vs. Purdue Purdue Purdue Purdue WMU WMU
Louisville vs. NC State NC State Louisville NC State NC State Louisville
Toldeo vs. Air Force Toledo Air Force Air Force Toledo Air Force
Cal vs. 24 Texas Texas Texas Texas Texas Cal
Notre Dame vs. Florida St FSU FSU FSU ND FSU
Washington vs. 12 Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor Baylor
Rutgers vs. Iowa St Rutgers Iowa St Iowa St Rutgers Rutgers
Miss St vs. Wake Forest Miss St Miss St Miss St Wake Wake
Iowa vs. 14 Oklahoma Okla Okla Okla Okla Okla
Texas A&M vs. N’western A&M A&M A&M A&M A&M
GA Tech vs. Utah Utah Utah GA Tech GA Tech Utah
Cincy vs. Vanderbilt Cincy Cincy Cincy Cincy Cincy
Illinois vs. UCLA Illinois UCLA Illinois Illinois UCLA
Virginia vs. 25 Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn UVA Auburn
19 Houston vs. 22 Penn St Penn St Houston Houston Houston Penn St
17 Michigan St vs. 16 Georgia Georgia MSU Georgia MSU Georgia
20 Nebraska vs. 9 So Carolina Nebr. Nebr. So Car So Car So Car
Ohio St vs. Florida Ohio St Florida Florida Flordia Florida
10 Wisconsin vs. 5 Oregon Oregon Wisc. Oregon Oregon Oregon
4 Stanford vs. 3 Oklahoma St OSU OSU OSU OSU Stanford
13 Michigan vs. 11 VA Tech VA Tech Michigan VA Tech Michigan Michigan
23 West Virginia vs. 15 Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson
8 Kansas St vs. 6 Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
SMU vs. Pitt Pitt SMU Pitt SMU Pitt
Arkansas St vs. No Illinois NIU NIU NIU Ark St Ark St
2 Alabama vs. 1 LSU Bama LSU LSU Bama LSU

GOP Playoffs

Tuesday, 3 January 2012, 20:26 | Category : Other
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Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, battle, GOP presidential primaries, Iowa Caucus, battle, Ron Paul, Barrack Obama

It may not look all that athletic, but campaigning has more in common with sports than you think.

Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, independent, or a member of some other party, you’ve got to be intrigued by the field of GOP presidential candidates.  If you happen to be completely indifferent to politics altogether, you may find that it’s not so different from sports after all.  And as Karl puts it, it’s the only competition that actually matters.

Since last spring, six (of nine) different candidates have surged in the polls at different times.  Newt Gingrich thought he was getting hot at the right time, but it turns out he was about two weeks too early.

Now Rick Santorum, of all people, is peaking at the right time as the post season begins in Iowa tonight.  (Who knew being 8th out of nine would pay off?)  But much like many Cinderella stories in March Madness, the little guy just may not have enough to sustain a deep run.

Ron Paul has a strong backing from very passionate, mobilized supporters.  I compare him to the Portland Trailblazers.  Maybe nobody really believes he’ll be the last man standing, but at the same time, nobody wants to face him in the first round.  With his passionate fan base, he just may pick up the momentum he needs to cause some real havoc.

Romney, on the other hand, is more like the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Just like Romney, they both made good runs last year but just didn’t have enough to do what it takes to make it to the finals.  He is now more experienced but for some reason is not the powerhouse he and his supporters feel he should be.  He has been slow and steady, and whether he wins the nomination or not, just about everybody expects him to be in the mix.  Maybe Mitt and the Thunder aren’t as “sexy” as some of their competition (unless hair’s your thing), but they know they’re the favorites this time around.

Sports and politics are both about perception.  While Obama seemed untouchable when he entered office, he no longer looks as invincible as a champion that everyone expects to repeat, a la Green Bay Packers.  He now looks more like the Dallas Mavericks, older and weaker (although he’s probably in better shape both metaphorically and literally).  But the Mavericks surprised us all last year when they peaked at the right time (maybe there is a chance for you, Santorum!), so don’t count them or Obama out just yet.

Obama is not in the GOP “bracket”, but he knows he’ll be up against the winner.  His administration makes attacks on Romney like they’re already looking ahead to the rivalry game at the end of the season.

As of right now it is a three man race tonight with Paul falling a little behind.  Will the winner of tonight’s competition have the momentum to win it all?  Can one of the little guys pull a Butler?

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