Everyone loves a good logo.
Whether you go classic and timeless or quirky and "unique", a good logo can make or break a jersey and more extensively, a whole team identity. It's essentially the rallying point for your players and fans, the banner under which you all unite, your battle flag.
A good one has players willing to die for it. A bad one...well, a bad one makes you look silly.
The World Cup of Hockey has seen teams announce their logos at the same time as the new rosters, and...well, here they are:
We're going to go round the puck in a clockwise direction, starting with the Team USA logo (top left), and assess which teams are hot, and which are not.
TEAM USA (5/10).
It's a shield with the letters USA in it. I mean...yes it's simple and yes it's probably going to have the traditionalists drooling over how TEAM USA DON'T NEED FANCY PICTURES TO SHINE...but in terms of actually raising any sort of emotion it's basically about as effective as mayonnaise on white bread.
Where is the eagle? Where's any sort of reference to hockey? Where is ANY SORT of the sheer AMERICA FUCK YEAH bravado that the country's sports fans are famous for? Where are stars and stripes, 4th of July fireworks, people yelling FREEDOM and a healthy dose of putting one up on Canada?
Like I said - it's a shield with the letters USA in it. Make an effort, America.
TEAM CANADA (7/10)
This. This is a little more like it. The Canadians COULD have just gone with the normal maple leaf, or CANADA written boringly in capital letters.
They didn't. They went with an EDGY LEAF. A leaf that looks like three Star Destroyers placed in a circle. A leaf that says "sure, I may only be a extraneous part of a tree, but I WILL CUT YOU.".
Considering they were given hardly anything to work with, Canada didn't do too badly.
TEAM CZECH REPUBLIC (7/10)
Lions. Lions are always a good thing. There's a reason pretty much every European country has a shield with them on somewhere either in its coat of arms or elsewhere woven into its identity.
The Czech team logo is actually the shield of the republic of Bohemia, which is one of the main three regions of the Czech Republic and is famous for being warlike...notably when they had a king, John of Bohemia, who met his death fighting in one of the bloodiest battles of the Middle Ages, the Battle of Crécy. John fought in this battle and many others despite being BLIND FOR A DECADE.
That's pretty damn hardcore. If you wanted an example of fighting spirit, carrying the mark of a king willing to charge into battle wielding a bloody great sword to hack people to pieces while not being able to see ANYTHING is not a bad standard to set.
TEAM EUROPE (3/10)
What is that? It looks like someone saw the Enron logo and thought "hmm, we could stick a bastardised version of that on a shield"
That logo is so uninspiring, it's not even going to inspire revulsion. It looks like the king of thing you'd see on a non-descript office supply company letterhead, or a VERY minor British public school uniform.
No. Hang your head in shame, Europe.
We said before. Lions are good. This is the Finnish coat of arms. It's a lion with an armoured paw, balancing on a sword blade while working itself up into a battle rage so furious it can stab itself in its own head while not feeling any pain.
Finns do not muck about. Just like the Czechs, their lions are furiously angry and you do NOT want to mess with their mythical beasts.
TEAM NORTH AMERICA (10/10)
Yes, we know that's just the letters N and A intertwined. It could've been incredibly boring. They could have just gone calm and simple.
But they didn't. Whoever designed the Team NA logo clearly just went "METAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL!"
That font. The colouring. The triangle logos. The vague whiff of Satanism.
Team North America, your logo is METAL AS ****. Well done.
TEAM RUSSIA (6/10)
In Russia, team logo wear you.
It's nice and all...but it's basically the "coat of arms plus team name" template they go with every time. It's weird to have the Cyrillic writing AND the coat of arms. Go one or the other. Make a decison, tovarisch.
Although there is at least a faint whiff of surprise that Vladimir Putin hasn't just gone "WEAR MY FACE FOR I AM RUSSIA!", given his love of sporting escapades.
TEAM SWEDEN (10/10)
Let's face it. When your team name MEANS "three crowns" your logo is pretty much always going to be three crowns. There's no wiggle room.
But with Sweden, it just works. Three crowns is all you need. Simple. Classic. Timeless.
Perfect to wear while being beaten by Belarus, or not being quite as good as Finland.
THE TOURNAMENT LOGO (2/10)
Erm...what is that? It's presumably meant to be some sort of banner thing with colors and unity and all the other buzzwords. Or maybe the trophy.
But it looks like a sheaf of wheat (if you're being charitable) and a weird flowing version of an upside-down...female sanitary product...if you're not.
Also-why does the 2016 have to be upside down AND back to front?
Must do MUCH better, IIHF.
Basically, the logos range from "minor British public school" to "METAL AWESOMENESS" on the scale. But as usual, it appears that when it comes to most teams...classic is best this World Cup.