Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Meet the New (Rams) Logo. Same as the Old Logo

As we recover from the Packers' heartbreaking loss in the desert, let's look at a subject absolutely, totally free from any hint of negative emotions - the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis back to Los Angeles.

The Rams recently unveiled the logo they'll be using in their new/old home:

If it looks familiar, it should. It's the same logo they've been using since early 2000, with a city name swap.

The Rams also unveiled a throwback-ish wordmark (seen at the top of their revamped website):

This is a slightly-tweaked update of their 1970s/1980s wordmark.

Personally, I prefer the wordmark that followed it, cleverly superimposing "LA" over the first two letters in "RAMS".

In any case, it's a small tip of the cap to their history. But this minor change may beforeshadowing a much larger one.

Since 2014, before the move was official, the Rams have been hinting that they may adopt a throwback uniform, possibly the blue-and-whites worn by the "Fearsome Foursome" in the 1960s.

Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, Jack Pardee","captionBlurb":"Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame defensive linemen Merlin Olsen (74) and Deacon Jones (75) with linebacker Jack Pardee (32) during a 17-16 loss to the Chicago Bears on December 8, 1968, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (National Football League)
They had a blue jersey as part of this set, but since they wore white at home, it was only worn a handful of times. When the Packers went to LA for their late-season swing, they packed the classic green jerseys.

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Lamar Lundy (85) and Hall of Fame defensive tackle Merlin Olsen (74) drop Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr (15) for a loss during a 27-24 Rams victory on December 9, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (National Football League)
I think there's a more likely option than blue-and-white, though.

Since at least 2009, there has been a growing grassroots "Bring Back the Rams" movement in Los Angeles. This movement is driven entirely by fans in California, some of whom are too young to remember the team playing anywhere but Missouri, but almost all of whom have chosen the LA Rams' royal blue and athletic gold as their signature color scheme.

Deliberately or not, this choice has consistently provided a clear visual contrast with the muddy navy and metallic gold color scheme the Rams adopted during their time in St. Louis. There has been no mistaking those fans, wherever we have seen them.

Everywhere these fans gather to promote their efforts, from parking lots to Inglewood City Council meetings, the LA fans are there in their royal and gold.

For "Bring Back the Rams" rallies in 2015 and 2016 held at the LA Coliseum, the LA fans were there in their royal and gold.

When the Rams practiced in California last season, the LA fans were there in their royal and gold.

When the then-St. Louis Rams played the Chargers in San Diego, the LA fans were there in their royal and gold.

It's really quite striking.

At owner Stan Kroenke's press conference at the Forum, the Rams logo was projected behind the dias.

Many on social media noticed that the bright projection gave the logo an appearance of the old colors. And it could easily be re-colored without losing any of its impact.

It certainly seems likely that the team will bring back this color scheme, as a way of connecting both with their history in California and with their emerging fanbase. They almost have to, to honor the fans who have devoted so much time to lobbying for their team's homecoming.

So what does that leave for the Rams? One easy option would be to bring back the classic uniforms.

The Rams wore royal and gold with horns on their sleeves from 1973 through their last season in LA and all the way to Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000. After winning their only Super Bowl to date, the Rams changed to the drab colors they still wear today.

I mean, come on. It's not even close.

The classic unis were also immortalized in the 1978 Warren Beatty/Buck Henry film Heaven Can Wait, about a backup quarterback taken to the afterlife before his time. Allowed to return to Earth in the body of the team's owner, he gets his new body back into shape and leads his team to the Super Bowl.

We've seen how teams return to uniforms from the 1960s as a way of tapping into the sport's glory period and borrowing a little of that old-school glory for themselves.

That would certainly be welcome in the NFL. As would another team wearing Braisher stripes.

The Green Bay Packers play the Los Angeles Rams before a crowd of 57,796 at Leambeau Field in Green Bay, December 20, 1992. the Packers won, 28-13. (Photo: John Biever/Sports Illustrated)
If Kroenke wants to do something else, gold jerseys are always an option. The Rams wore gold in the early 1950s, and they looked great.

This was the same period when the Packers also wore gold jerseys, leading to a gold-versus-gold matchup in 1957.

The Rams recently wore gold jerseys as part of the NFL's Thursday Night Football "Color Rush", and even in the dingy dome they looked pretty good.

Under natural light on a Sunday afternoon, that color would be dazzling.

With popular styles swinging back from the "everything navy" of the 1990s, this seems to me an opportunity to own a bright, vibrant color. Not to mention that gold would be a particularly good fit for the bright California sunshine.

According to the team, they'll keep wearing the drab St. Louis uniforms for at least their first season back in La-La-Land. They may then choose to introduce a new look right away or wait for the new stadium in 2019.

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Linebacker Kevin Greene #91 of the Los Angeles Rams looks to put a hit on Green Bay Packers quarterback Don Majkowski #7 during the game at Anaheim Stadium on September 24, 1989 in Anaheim, California. The Rams won 41-38. (GEORGE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES)
Personally, I'd like to see the Rams back in their classic colors as soon as possible. It only seems right, for the fans, for the city, and for the sport as a whole.

No comments: