In case you didn’t figure out from the hint Killer Sperm (not a reference to AIDS patients, or as I call them Weaponized Semen) the #1 defunct logo in sports is the one and only WHALE! The Hartford Whalers. I still to this day have no idea why the NHL would put a team in between two of the original 6, the Rangers and Bruins; it was like an extended death sentence. Anyone with a bit of wit knew they would never last, didn’t even make it twenty years. The Whalers played from 79-97 before packing it up and moving down to Hockey Heaven: Raleigh, North Carolina. In case you can’t tell Marge, I am being sarcastic. Why, oh why, would the NHL open up shop in NASCAR’s backyard? It makes as much sense as a football team starting in Oakland, moving to Los Angeles, and then back to Oakland. Screw your corpse, Al Davis! I hope a necrophiliac is having a field day. But enough anger; a little history on the team and the sweetest logo you will ever lay your eyes upon!
Originally the New England Whalers in the WHA (World Hockey Association), they became the Hartford Whalers in 1979 when they were gobbled up by the NHL. They were never a popular NHL team, but had some moderate success. Unfortunately, anytime they made the playoffs it would mean going up against powerhouses like the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadians. That is a big ouch. It would be like your local softball team going up against Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr., and Kirby Puckett. Throw in hall of Fame murderer OJ Simpson, for giggles. Eventually the nail in the Whalers coffin hit in 1997 and the team relocated to Carolina and became the Hurricanes. Before leaving, though, they did have some notable players skate for their franchise. The most popular of which was Ron Francis. He was also joined by Hall of Famers Paul Coffey, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull.
The logo is sheer genius. The ‘W” being a green sea with the blue whale tail breaking it’s plane. Of course, between the tail a “W” and “H” is formed. This is as brilliant as the #2 Brewers logo, but gets extra points as it is hockey-related and never worn anymore. I proudly own a blue Whalers jersey and show it off whenever possible. When I do, I am hounded by “Bring Back the Whale” calls, “Southern Hockey Sucks”, and “Keep Your Hands of my Sister!” One of the most interesting facts about the Whalers though, is we might not have ESPN if not for the Whale! ESPN started covering Whalers games and grew into the Fascist sports conglomerate it is today! Cool, huh? Especially because ESPN treats hockey like a red-headed step child today. I could almost hear the reports last nite, “The Blackhawks win the cup, but first we are going to watch Lebron James clear out his locker for 15 minutes and then break live to watch Tim Tebow shave Tom Brady’s back.” Screw ‘em!
And as Brody so elegantly puts it in MALLRATS: “Breakfast, shmreakfast. Look at the score, for Christ’s sake. It’s only the second period and I’m up 12 to 2. Breakfasts come and go, Rene, but Hartford, “the Whale,” they only beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime.”
That wraps up the list of Greatest Defunct Sports Logos. Sorry it took so long, a lot going on around the homestead with friends, beer, job interviews, beer, a girl, beer, storms knocking out power, beer, the dog, whiskey, and a new fence. I offer this as an apology. GIGGITY: