Monday, December 31, 2007

Winter Classic...and Happy New Year!



Look at that. Are you kidding? And Larry Quinn has the smug audacity to put this uniform on moth balls? It is such a beautiful uniform and an outstanding representation for the team and city. Do not let it be put on moth balls. Is there any doubt that this uniform kicks the living crap out of the angry yellow penis that adorns our current uniforms?

No. Hell no. SHIT NO!

Go Sabres!

Friday, December 21, 2007

By the Way...A Cool Bills concept

It would really clean up the Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Nickel, and Red mess that is the teams current uniform all the while providing newer design elements with paying true repsect to the royal blue that the team predominantly wore for 40 plus years.

It probably about time that the Bills consider a re-branding anyway because the current crap they wear is over five years old now and was a vision of Tom Donahoe. I think it would be a good idea for Marv Levy to inject some class back in to the team's look.


Anyone remember the one thing Tom Donahoe did right with the Bills? Not using this logo on the helmets. Some even say that the slug is a rehashed, recycled version of this:

Washington Capitals revert to uniforms of non-RBK Edge material...All of them

Obviously the NHL and RBK screwed up when a team, the ENTIRE team opt for uniforms made from non-RBK Edge system perfromance fabrics....

http://capitals.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=346406

Autumn Sweaters – Given the choice to return to using the same fabric that was used in hockey sweaters prior to this season rather than the ultra-hyped “uniform systems” that were introduced league-wide prior to this season, every single member of the Caps went with last year’s fabric. Wednesday night marked the first time the new (old) sweater fabric was made available, and every member of the Caps had the new model sweater with the old fabric hanging in his locker prior to the game.

That matters to Buffalo because they were the first teams along with Anaheim to have their uniforms redesigned and inspired by the RBK Edge Uniform System...and that included all those late changes that included all the design elements (possibly no circular logos, vertical piping, less horizontal striping)that made the uniform required to be tucked in (idea later scrapped by the players association or owners).

So where do the Sabres players stand on this? I'm sure there are others out there

Have they quietly switched uniforms and knowing the sensitivity of the uniform/logo issue quietly did so without mentionioning it to the fans?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Get out of my head Tim!

TIM SCHMITT: Sabres-Amerks split makes Quinn, Donner look foolish

By Tim Schmitt
Greater Niagara Newspapers

Before Friday, I was sad. Sad that two franchises as interwoven as the Sabres and Amerks couldn’t settle their differences. Sad that two or maybe three egos were finding a way to foul up what’s been a special relationship for almost three decades.

Sad that sister cities with few other ties would be further estranged.

But after leaning on a rail in the south end of Blue Cross Arena on Friday, enjoying a couple beverages and watching the Amerks duke it out with the Toronto Marlies, I’ve pushed beyond sad.

Absolutely ticked is more like it.

Nail this down to one simple sentence — both Larry Quinn and Steve Donner are incompetent. If you haven’t noticed, Quinn’s second term near the top of the Sabres food chain has included a number of peculiar decisions, including a since-reversed policy to avoid negotiations until after the fact. He appears to be the mastermind behind a recent power play that either tried to stiff-arm Donner into selling the Amerks or forced a new set of rules on the franchise.

That’s the way Quinn works. Think about most of the decisions he’s had a hand in. Buffalo fans didn’t want a new logo. Quinn didn’t care.
Buffalo fans wanted the team to soften its stance on dealing with Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Quinn didn’t care.

And Buffalo fans want to travel an hour to see their farm team.

Quinn obviously doesn’t care.

But let’s not give Donner any sort of free pass here. Not even close. He’s taken one of the most successful minor-league franchises in history and cannonballed it into red ink.

When I watched the Amerks drop a 5-2 decision to Toronto on Friday, the crowd was announced at 8,702. I stood in a line about a half-dozen deep to get a Blue Light at the end of the first period. Parking wasn’t easy to find.

And this guy can’t make money?

Donner’s most recent application for a $100K loan on the heels of the half-million he already owes the city of Rochester shows what a keen business sense he has. Rochester has the third-highest attendance in minor league hockey. The city is big enough that corporate sponsorships are attainable. And the history of the franchise, and its proximity to the big club, should make marketing a snap.

Yet Donner has the Amerks more than a million bucks in debt and keeps claiming that the Sabres’ desire to stock a roster with young prospects has hurt his ability to sell tickets.

Interesting. I hit the I-90 at 6:15 p.m. with the intentions of seeing Marek Zagrapan, a former first rounder who’s confounded me. Zagrapan scored after a nifty give-and-go, making me wonder why he can’t do it more consistently.

I’ve been making such pilgrimages every season, dating back a couple decades when I remember watching Rob Ray score an overtime playoff goal. But I won’t be going to Blue Cross next season, no matter how many veterans Donner signs.

A copy of the complaint filed by one of Donner’s co-owners had some interesting claims:

n Donner failed to reimburse a trainer $800 for needed supplies that were purchased out-of-pocket. Classy.

n Donner went to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in March, saying the team wouldn’t play there any longer without a more favorable lease. But he neglected to inform any of the team’s board members that he was about to make the statement. In fact, the complaint says Donner didn’t even inform the board that the team was $80,000 behind on payments to the American Hockey League, and at one point Donner met with AHL officials to avoid “involuntary suspension or termination.”

n Donner refused to listen to minority owner Randall Latona’s request to cut the salary of the team’s top salesperson and of general manager Jody Gage, who both make more than $100,000. The salesperson works part-time for Donner’s other ventures, including Rochester’s soccer and lacrosse teams, and is paid from those entities as well, the complaint said. Gage, meanwhile, is unnecessary, since the team gets its players from Buffalo and Florida.

n And my personal favorite — Donner forced the Amerks to carry an account receivable of about $100,000 because his other ventures were short of cash.

Is Donner Rochester-ese for Rigas?

No matter who’s responsible, here’s what it comes down to — again. A few people have power. Those people do not have your and my interests at heart. Those people have little oversight.

And those people will hold cities hostage as long as they deem fit.

As I walked through a corridor at Blue Cross Arena, I saw signed Amerks jerseys of Paul Gaustad, Ryan Miller and Jason Pominville. I asked people what they thought of the Sabres, and to a person, they said they felt like the NHL club was partly their team.

Maybe they will someday feel the same about the Florida Panthers. I doubt it. Soon, the connection will be gone. A few men could’ve changed that.

But egos, power and vengeance seem to outweigh loyalty and civic pride every time.

Contact group sports editor Tim Schmitt at 282-2311, ext. 2266.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NY Post Addressing RBK uniform issues...

Thanks to John for sending me this article!

New unis were a big mess for NHL

LARRY BROOKS
New York Post, Updated 13 hours ago STORY TOOLS:

The price for an "authentic" team jersey as listed on Shop.NHL.com, is $249.99. We wonder if there will be a 50 percent discount once the players complete their change into replacement jerseys featuring the old-style material on the front and the new-era material on the back.

No replacement players in the NHL, but replacement jerseys supplied by and for Reebok, which is doing the right thing here in readily reacting to widespread dissatisfaction with the product the company supplied this season.
We're told an immense amount of the credit is due Sidney Crosby, the out-front paid endorser and representative of the company who displayed great allegiance to the integrity of hockey and lobbied Reebok to adapt.

Remember all the league-prompted hoopla over the new aerodynamic improvements this new-era jersey - no, that's right: uniform system - were going to bring the game?

Now, after a couple of months during which most players found moisture no longer absorbed by their jerseys' material instead soaking their gloves, skates and equipment, they are quietly changing into their half-retro jerseys.

This could have been avoided, of course, if the uniforms had been tested for a season in the AHL, the way various rule adaptations and the shootout were studied in the AHL before being adopted by the NHL. But not this time.

Yankees, Mets. Giants, Jets. Knicks, Nets. Rangers, Islanders, Devils. For all the latest and greatest about New York-area sports, check out the New York Post.


This wasn't about improving performance, even as those charged with developing the jersey did so with the best interests of the game at heart.

This wasn't even so much about generating merchandise sales, for at least 55.5 percent of it will go to the players, anyway. This was about changing the look of hockey because that's the ultimate goal of the administration.

Even as Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Scott Stevens on Monday separately advised the league about further changing the game, you can be sure the people running the NHL are going to lobby to increase the size of the net next year in order to create a surge of goals.

Scoring is appreciably down in this, the third year of the post-lockout offense-friendly rules that coaches (and unnecessarily inflated goal equipment) already have conquered.

A mass introduction of new-look jerseys was designed to re-brand the NHL, again, three seasons after the hard-salary-cap, new-rules re-branding that immediately followed the lockout.

The pity is, the old look of the NHL was classic and should have been sacrosanct. The NHL should have under- stood that. This wasn't about modernizing the sweater as if they were leaving wool behind; this was about eliminating the sweater.

Now, however, the players whose concerns were given voice by Crosby, they have been heard. They apparently did not feel the urgent need to go 9 percent faster, as advertised.

Which begs the question: If Dave Kara had been wearing the new material on his back in his day, might he have been 4.5 percent quicker defending the odd-man rush?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Praise for Great Skate

Hello to all you slug-salting fans out there, it's my first post for the blog. Thanks, Charlie, for inviting me on.

It's not much, but I think that Great Skate deserves a lot of praise for being the company that broke the news about the classic uniforms for at least one reason - you may not know it, but the distribution company is located on (I believe) Sheridan in Amherst. Kudos to a local company for building the frenzy around the jersey rumor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How to hold a great jersey hostage...

Mr. Quinn, along with the last game at The Aud and The Winter Classic, please do not let these be the last times we see the Buffalo Sabres play in the white vintage uniform. Now we hear your how the Winter Classic maybe the last time fans will see the white vintage on ice. What a terrible selling point Larry...Please don't turn that vintage logo into a relic...Bring it back, put it on the current jersey, or update it (ala New Blue and Gold project)...but you or some other Buffalo Sabres earth shaker need to realize that sewing that embarassing slug logo on a hockey jersey was a terrible mistake.



I don't want this to be one of the last memories of that awesome jersey...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Winter Classic Vintage Musings

From Sabres.com:

"Wearing the classic white jersey is the perfect fit for a classic outdoor game," said Buffalo Sabres Managing Partner, Larry Quinn. "Our future retro jersey will be the dark blue sweater, so this maybe one of the last times our team wears this jersey. One more historic footnote to the game."


Oh, Larry. I wish I could quit you.

I think you all know how we feel about this statement. What say you, Sabre faithful?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sabres white vintage jerseys to be worn at the Winter Classic?

As scooped on the Sabres board there is an interesting link being passed around to a store selling what they call the January 1st, 2008 special edition jerseys for the Winter Classic. It's from a company called GreatSkate. Check it guys and email me @ info@SabresNotSlugs.com or comment if you have any more info. Thanks!!

Sabres Winter Classic Jersey?



Product Information:

Special Edition for January 1st, 2008
Winter Classic Clothing Line From RBK
Cheer on the NHL and watch the Buffalo Sabres VS. the Pittsburgh Penguins in this onetime outdoor game.
Order now for November Delivery. Make a Great Holiday Gift!
RBK Vintage Sabres Jersey - White
Buffalo Sabres Logo on front and Shoulders - As Pictured
Air Mesh w/Poly knit neck trim
Tackle Twill Applique w/emb.
As Pictured Above
Sizes Small - X-Large

Of course and as usual, there has been no confirmation by either the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres, or RBK International.

The only thing I didn't ask if Pittsburgh would be wearing a throwback as well. There is no indication of that on their products list on the website either...

****UPDATE****

The company's customer service told me when I asked about the uniform for the game "Absolutely yes...white vintage."

And he replied when I asked about an official announcement from any organization and he replied "They haven't announced it yet but we definitely know about it...wanna get in your pre-order today?"

He also said that the jersey is made by RBK but is NOT in an RBK Edge cut uniform. It will simply be the same style cut as our alternate thirds from last year. According to them, there will be no NHL emblem on the neck. It is a replica jersey that they are selling as well, NOT the authentic.

***************

Well I hope this is true because for me, this may be the big step and finally a hint that the Sabres got the clue that the vintage is the more visually appealing and more profitable look long term jersey to go with. Hopefully they will realize that, get smart, make the vintage the primary logo again and keep the slug as the third to not generate dissent among fans who spent good money on the current look.

This is the organization's chance to make right and make the vintage jersey the number one selling NHL jersey in the league for next season when it comes back. Which I hope they already thought of...using the slug in the old bait and switch move in favor of the vintage.

People have an emotional connection to that vintage look way more than for the slug. Even non-Sabres fans respect the vintage look of the Sabres. Just like buying a new car, if you get emotion involved, you get higher sales and more profit.

Now then...just a thing for the Sabres owner, Managing partner, Creative Services Director, and Marketing department to keep in mind as they are now in the process of "modifying" the third jersey for its re-introduction next season.

DO NOT DARKEN THE BLUE OF THE JERSEY. Don't be cheapskates and just buy some lighter blue pants and helmets that match. The rumor out there is that there are inconsistencies in the blue fabric that require the change...well if Vancouver can wear a royal blue color with their new Edge jerseys, then the Sabres' version of that shouldn't be hard to match.

If you darken the jersey anyway, please don't use that color fabric inconsistency line as an excuse. If you want to darken it to make it the primary uniform and logo again and match the outfitted color scheme of the HSBC arena and it makes that transition back to the classic logo more cost effective, then I'm all for it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Slug on a football helmet...

Being that I am still reeling from the "Buffalo being Buffalo" Monday night debacle and am enamored with the Bills right now I came across this and became quite horrified.

The slug or any permutation officially does not work in any application whatsoever now...I'm deeply sorry that I gave it one ounce of validation as an acceptable football logo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why did the Bills have to lose that way...again?

In my short existence on this earth I have had to live with more than our fair share of bad sports luck in Buffalo.

Wide Right, 4 Super Bowl losses, No Goal, Music City Miracle, Week 1 vs. Denver, and now last night. Instead of earning respect as a young and tough football team, the Buffalo Bills gave even more people reason to laugh at them...plus they gave away another football game. I didn't think I could have felt as awful as I did vs. the Broncos week one. But history repeats itself again...and all Dick Jauron can do is be bashful about it. At least last year with the same type of game between Chicago and Arizona, Dennis Green had some better sound bytes during the post game press conference.

Even with the Kevin Everett tragedy, I thought the Bills could play some inspired football and they did last night for 59 minutes and 59 seconds.



Of course I'm gonna fish my Poz jersey out of the trash but it needs to enjoy the stench for a bit and then I might hang myself with it in the garage to complete my Bills fan experience in this plain of existance.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Opening Night Musings - Banners, the Game, and More

Well, I see why they did it, and I can deal with it. The black and red banners have been changed from their original white to now being literally black and red. They now match the alternating color scheme of the blue and gold banners that came before them, as in "blue, gold, blue, gold, black, red."

Sadly, the new banners for last season's division title and Presidents Trophy are clad in slug. One is blue, the other is white. Odd that they felt the need to change the previous white banners to match the alternating theme, only to string up a new white banner. Likely because the flaccid gold slug on a matching gold banner wouldn't work.

But I must say the video packages before the game were great and really stirred up the right emotions. The player introductions were exciting, though quite awkward in places. Hearing them announce Teppo Numminen when he was unceremoniously suspended because he needed heart surgery was a little uncomfortable (hey, they had to get the money for the scoreboard somewhere, right?). Also, as we loudly cheer Max, Vanek, Miller, and the bunch, only to hear Daniel Paille and Mike Ryan's names announced right along with them, the gap left by Chris Drury and Danny Briere was never more apparent. But, we're all moving on. I guess that will all pass in a few games.

That said, the game was great for the first 20 minutes. Roy and Vanek look like they'll live up to the lofty expectations placed on them due to their immense contracts. Spacek had a great game, and looks to be in better form than last season.

But, we're still lacking in size and strength. Hitting was almost non-existent. Dimitri Kalinin still has a job despite playing his usual sub-par game. And our special teams were horrid.

So essentially, we're the same team as last year. Minus the leadership.

That's ok. This team thrived on the underdog role before. Looks like they might have to do it again.

But in the end, we're off and running, and it feels so great to have hockey back! GO SABRES!!!

The biggest reason (out of many) why I hate the slug.

Totally unoriginal and offensively similar when compared to the iconic logo of the Buffalo Bills.



I would have to question Frank Cravotta's (Sabres Director of Creative Services)comment that "starting from scratch" was a sound idea as he was working closest with RBK during the design process. Amputating and then bleaching the Bills logo isn't what I would call starting from scratch.



Even worse when adding the mockery factor.

It's beating a dead horse obvious that better options were on the table to update the logo besides the slug. Our realistic shot are as fans with a collective voice is to demand that management return to the vintage logo as a primary uniform and logo for the team. Demote the slug to the mailroom and make it a third jersey.

From a sales and business standpoint I think they would be FOOLS to not to do so. Let the fans suffer with just the slug this year, and drop the vintage FULL TIME back on the team and enjoy the revenue.

IT WOULD BE AN ABSOLUTELY ABSENT MINDED DISPLAY OF INDIFFERENCE TO THE FANS IF THEY BROUGHT BACK THE VINTAGE FOR ONLY 15 GAMES AGAIN FOR THE 2008-2009 SEASON!

Let these people know how you feel. Write the team or better yet their emails would most likely be in the email format of FirstName.LastName@sabres.com

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT
Owner B. Thomas Golisano
Managing Partner Larry Quinn
Chief Operating Officer Daniel DiPofi

MARKETING
Director of Marketing Rob Kopacz
Director of Game Presentation Martin McCreary
Database Marketing Manager Tom Matheny
Promotions Manager Rich Wall
Website Manager Brian Wheeler
Promotions Coordinator Jacqueline Tollar
Director of Creative Services Frank Cravotta
Graphic Artist Vicki Sitek

MERCHANDISE
Director of Merchandise Mike Kaminska
Merchandise Manager - Inventory Control Glenn Barker
Merchandise Manager - Event Sales Jeff Smith

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Banner Alterations???

I have no specifics yet, but I am getting word that the Sabres have altered their banners in HSBC Arena.

Does anyone out there have pictures they'd like to share? Before I get too deep into this topic, I'd like to know specifically what is being done.

But let me just say that no matter what they're doing, even if it's conservative, I think it's a bad move.

History should not be revised. History should not be forgotten.

I'll keep an eye on this. Again, if anyone has specifics, please, let us know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

RBK Edge "template"

Now that we have the whole package available to look at, we can now see how RBK ran out of creative steam when redesigning the NHL's uniforms.

It's an obvious look at the RBK templates, styling, and design bleeding over on to other teams. It's lame and annoying that these teams have to share each others design and look and makes me think that RBK's grand research and developement stressed heavily on teams drawing designs out of a RBK Edge water repelling top hat.



Edmonton and Florida can enjoy a custody battle over their Half sleeves, and vertical piping.

Moving on to Ottawa and Pittsburgh...Notice their cuffs. "Weaksauce" as they say on the urban dictionary.



Function over form here and the function sucks right now...but that should change soon and hopefully before player safety becomes an issue.

At least the NHL or RBK are beginning to listen to its players and RBK is fixing the problem regarding the wicking of moisture into gloves and skates...This after all is the NHL and RBK's hopeful cash cow and they simply don't have the money or public relations wiggle room of the NBA to handle its own version of the New Ball controversy.

Article: New sweaters here to stay
"The biggest issue focused on the water resistant coating on the fabric of the sweaters. It was designed to keep moisture out.

It did that, but also trapped the moisture in which led to soggy equipment and unhappy hockey players.

To correct that problem Reebok says it has developed a treatment that permits sweat to escape through the fibers, yet still manages to stay reasonably dry.

This new sweater is being shipped to teams around the league, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Reebok's spokesman Sidney Crosby likely to debut the modifications as early as Friday.

Despite the public outcry from the game's fighters, the NHL doesn't see the need to alter the design to accommodate their needs, other than to further investigate whether the sweater's tie-downs have to be improved."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Scoreboard... Swords, Huh?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So, if you'll notice, there are crossed swords behind the slug on the lower part of the new Sabres scoreboard. I'm sure many fans are excited by this, and might even be thinking "that would help our logo out a lot!"

Pardon my bluntness, but when I see that, all I can think is "PHAIL."

The lack of crossed swords is only one part of my hatred for the slug. While their inclusion on the scoreboard is nice, and reminds people of the actual team name (you know, the SABRES), the slug is still as impotent and silly as ever.

So if Larry Quinn thinks he can fool people into accepting this new idea as some sort of compromise, I hope that you'll be smarter than that. Remember, a polished turd is still a turd.

So help me if that ends up on our third jersey next year... *gag*

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Swords behind the Slug on the awesome new scoreboard?

Slugbres...You're getting there Larry, my hat's off to you!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Here's how you fix it...

Sorry to steal your title, Chris!

"It was easier to start from scratch," said Frank Cravotta, Sabres director of creative services. "When your old logo is such an icon, it's hard to redo it."

This was a quote taken and recorded by the Buffalo News at some point last season during the logo leak. What bothers me most is that there were over 80 logos to choose from and the slug is what RBK and the Sabres thinktank settled for.

So in regards to that quote I would disagree. I could not imagine the current logo's merchandise ever outselling the examples below if a new logo is professionally done to mirror what regular joes have done with paint and photo shop...









Or if someone makes it into the real thing...



And here...





Saturday, September 22, 2007

Greetings Sabre Faithful!

My oh my, what a year it was! I wanted to take this opportunity to chime in on a few matters.

First, thank all of you who contacted me during the last year. Your passion and support were greatly appreciated, and I hope that you all have kept up the good fight in your own way.

Secondly, I want to thank Charlie for keeping the protest alive, and for his excellent work on digging up hard numbers and information about how the slug came to be.

Finally, an overall update.

We are a year removed from the Fix the Logo drive, and while some of you have "gotten used to it," or let it "grow on you," I myself am still insulted and disgusted by the incredibly weak, trendy, and downright ridiculous logo that the Buffalo Sabres have chosen to represent them.

For any who are wondering what happened to me and the protest, when the season started, and our worst fears proved to be true, I decided to stand back, and enjoy what was a wild ride of a season. It was no sense being the lone wet blanket as the entire Western New York community, and even abroad, was swept up in Sabre Fever.

The 15 home games in our true uniforms brought a smile to my face, and only cemented my belief that our original uniform and logo remain our best to this day. Here's hoping the Sabres "brain trust" (and I use that term very loosely) don't screw up what should be a no-brainer for our retro third jersey next season.

Lastly, if you are still looking for somewhere to point the finger on the origin of the slug, I am here to reaffirm that the blame lays squarely on Reebok.

I have been privy to a plethora of information and history on the uniform and logo development in recent weeks. I have even seen a locally-designed logo design that tested extremely well, among fans and Sabres management alike, that was all but approved prior to the 04-05 lockout. I wasn't looking at a graphic on screen either. I was looking at the actual physical crest that would have graced a jersey. Believe me when I tell you that it would have been FAR greater than the slug in every respect.

It was during the lockout however that Reebok swept in, and all of the work that was done locally was shot down, and full control was seized by Reebok. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, more than ever, I believe that while the company line is that "teams have final say" on all logo and uniform decisions, it is in fact Reebok who holds most of the cards. The Sabres current uniforms were not very well received when Reebok unveiled them to management and players. Sales might have changed their opinion, but if teams are so involved in the process, why should they have been surprised and disappointed in what they got? When a team like Chicago openly states that it had to fight hard to keep their uniform intact, that is telling.

Here's hoping that the NHL asserts more control over their own image in the future, but given who runs the show, it's doubtful.

In closing, I just want to encourage everyone who still loathes the slug to never give in. Don't buy anything but the vintage merchandise. Leave the slug sitting on the shelf. There is plenty available if you know where to look. Ice Jerseys has some nice items on sale, and they will be getting in vintage jerseys in October. Check out their current Sabres selection here.

So here we are, after quite a tumultuous off-season, Larry Quinn is still in charge, and the slug remains. Vote with your wallets, and don't let management nor ownership off the hook. Take them to task at your every opportunity. Call into the cheerleading "Voice of the Sabres," WGR550, and voice your opinions. Write the Buffalo News. Write on hockey forums. Stay vocal.

But whatever you do, don't be complacent.

Go Sabres.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Top logo design don'ts

From logodesign.com:

1. Designing a logo that is too trendy. Your logo needs to have some longevity.

2. A logo that arouses unwanted associations. Does the logo look like a falic symbol, or some other unintended shape?



Looks like number 2 is a no brainer...

(I have the original copy at home, but that was given to me by a fellow coworker who isn't even a hockey fan but is a fan of safety scissors and sharpie markers.)

3. Doing your logo yourself. (Unless, of course, you're an experienced designer)

4. Forgetting about your customer.

5. Looking too much like your competitors.

6. Thinking that colors and fonts don't matter.

7. Trying to communicate too much with your logo.

8. Stay away from gradients and blends of color.

***If you go by their criteria, the Sabres seriously ignored at least 6 of the 8 points and could be argued for ignoring all of them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We are all Sabres fans no matter which logo you love.

In all of this and I never wanted to categorize people in different levels of "fandom" in this whole logo dispute nor should anyone be slapping ultimatums on each other and labeling those as bandwagoners...there are slug haters, slug lovers, indifferent fans, and those on the fence. But we are ALL Sabres fans and shouldn't be trying to undermine someone by which version of blue and gold they prefer...but more for me I take issue with the logo and it's poor representation of the team and was only trying to outline there are better alternatives both from the past and potentially in the future if fans who dislike the logo actually extend beyond a message board and do something about it.

Instead of buying slug crap, I spent my time and money and tried to inform others of a pracitical and potentially more profitable and long term solution for the Sabres. A logo that offers an updated throwback look to it, designed by a guy who loves the team. And this has been available since 2003 and somehow is still very popular to this day.

I look at the slug and see no inspiration or emotional connection when I try to imagine the donkey or donkeys who drew it up. It was just an account dropped in some design firm's lap thousands of miles away. Maybe I shouldn't have brought John Slabyk back into the limelight because now all of these people call him some egomaniac. He is a talented man who doesn't need the Sabres logo for his big break. He is very successful on his own accord and I would consider his New Blue and Gold project as his passionate shot at rebranding the team during it's transistion from Adelphia into it's current ownership because he cared and had the talent to try to bring back blue and gold to Buffalo before anyone else. No one solicited me to do this, I was motivated by the lack of insight the Sabres gave fans in this whole process, John's work no doubt, and also offended that his work or a likeness was not used by the Sabres in the update. Drew Celestino as well had over 30,000 people in collective agreement early on with his petition. And while I enjoyed every win, a 10-0 start to the season ignited everyone's amnesia about the issue. Drew stepped back and let people enjoy the season, I enjoyed the season but Larry Quinn said it was alright to yell at him if we didn't like the logo identity he slapped on the team and more or less shoved down your throats. I gave it a year and still didn't like it, I didn't get used to it, or bought it even though I hated it. And so I am yelling now. Politely and constructively.

Besides deep down, how is the managing partner of the team so truly confident in the "new" look that he is quoted last season as saying that they would wear the vintage uniform in a Stanley cup clinching game situation?

I suppose my fatal flaw is that I happen to hold a little more weight that no matter how good or bad a team plays, they have a right to look good whether they play poorly or not. What is a team to do for extra revenue from merchandise if they play like crap and look like it too?! I feel that way about all pro sports teams.

What has always bugged me about the logo is that I hear all the time how fans either hate it and feel helpless about it, don't like it but bought slug merchandise anyway, and those who naysay and offer no constructive comments to the discussion other than, "give it up" or "I hate it but it's here to stay"...only because you LET IT STAY.

Big picture...think about what that logo will mean to the team 10 years from now...look around, our own team and other teams' fans don't even call us Sabres anymore. We are only one year deep in this thing. This RBK Edge Uniform system leap of faith the NHL and RBK Executives are bridge jumping also are expecting a robust shelf life for their new love child. Remember that the Sabres uniform design and logo was the NHL's initial guinea pig for this new uniform "innovation".

The logo draws an embarassing association. We already have folks calling out for the vintage during the Winter classic at the Ralph. I totally agree. Anything with "Classic" in the title should be handled appropriately in my opinion. The current logo is a yellow Bills logo ripoff to me. Can Marshawn Lynch skate and man the crease? Can Ryan Miller run a 65 toss power trap? The current Sabres logo absolutely sucks and ruins what to me is a otherwise fantastic uniform! Whether you agree or not in my eyes does not make people any less of a Buffalo Sabres fan. And whether or not if you choose to buy the slug or vintage gear you can still support the team with or without your wallet.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The new NFL expansion Buffalo Mollusks...

This logo almost works on a helmet...or better yet the Univerisity of California at Santa Cruz could use this for some inspiration for their football uniforms...if they ever get football. Remember, they wanted to be called the Banana Slugs ON PURPOSE and that's why I hug their slug.



I must say whoever designed this, I want to send you a gift certificate to Red Lobster, my treat. That's a promise.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RBK "Edging" the Rochester Americans...

Why?

Adding the shoulder star and if they will still have the sleeve numbers with all that piping in way makes this uniform too crowded.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Maple Leafs uniforms (and Marlies too)

Although it looks like Under Armour made this jersey, Toronto still protects their house with a very simple, somewhat plain look...but that works for Detroit and it works for me as well. Maybe Leafs guys were too afraid to change the uniform...I'm not sure the uni will fly with Leaf fans.

Sneak peak of the new RBK Edge uniform...

Please pay attention to this quote from Brian Campbell and it's something I touched on previously:

“Our fans are probably going to enjoy it because we haven’t changed very much,” Campbell said. “It’s almost exactly the same. I’ve seen other teams unveil their jerseys and there are changes to the logos, but the nice thing is our fans can keep wearing our same type of jersey and they don’t have to go out and buy more.”



The orgainization and their marketing staff is actually sharp on this one (besides who designed the logo).

The team made more than enough money last season is sales to weather "sluggish" (pun intended) sales this year and are paitently waiting for the end of the vintage third jersey moratorium and everyone else also waiting for the vintage Edge jersey in 2008-2009...

It's a brilliant strategy and move to protect merchandise revenue...not that they had a choice with the NHL scrapping third jerseys for the time being.

At this point the simple alternative is for Sabres fans who hate the logo to DEMAND that the vintage becomes the primary uniform and logo of the team when they come back...IF THEY COME BACK!

While I support the designs of the New Blue And Gold project which clearly offer a far SUPERIOR design than the current logo, the least cost alternative and most realistic solution for fans and the team over this logo debate is what I outlined above. At least with the new HD scoreboard (which is awesome) they can easily scroll either logo to display for the fans.

Be sure to note the results of the best Sabres logo in history voting at the NHL Tournament of logos...

Best Sabres Logo in History.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Go Bills!

Just wanted to put up another Celsius design. I put some red eyes into it and I think for just a head, it doesn't get confused as a goat head and looks a lot meaner than a mollusk with different colored horns and raccoon eyes.



And this is no disrespect to the goat head at all, while it was questionable decision back in 1996, I actually grew to live with this logo...It took 5 years to finally live with the goat. Learning or growing to live with the slug will not happen for me. That concept does not compute.

I'd love to see it on a T-shirt.

Anyone else stunned/shocked/sad/happy for Michigan getting beat AGAIN today?

Tomorrow, God has declared a day of rest for slug hating as the Buffalo Bills circle the wagons on Travis Henry, his nine kids, his nine baby's mommas, and the rest of the Denver Broncos at the Ralph.

Bills 31
Broncos 28

It won't be pretty but it will be a "W"

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Norfolk Admirals RBK Edge Jerseys...

I was a little disappointed in the new jerseys as they have a bit of a Florida Panthers look to them which is not good from where I sit. They are not bad but they did not change the logo at all really to match into new affiliate Tampa Bay's blue color. It reeks of RBK Templating as well. I've been told that RBK Templating smells like wet money and rusty coins.



The previous uniforms closely resembled their old parent team, the Chicago Blackhawks. These were very sharp as well were their blue and gold uniforms from the ECHL days and inagural AHL season back in 2000.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pittsburgh RBK Edge jersey unveiling...

Clearly the new poster boy of the NHL and the RBK uniform agenda is mega talented Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Branded "The Next One", he along with the rest of the Pittsburgh faithful await their new jersey unveiling...



Again minor changes are forcasted for the Pens jersey such some modifications to the striping, the shoulder areas, the pants and the socks. Otherwise colors and logo will stay the same.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sabres RBK Edge jersey unveiling...

In what should be a rather non-spectacular event without the hacking of www.Sabres.com to unveil a secret jersey photo, the team will release the new RBK Edge slug sweaters to the public on September 15th.

That is terrific. Are fans out there who do like the jerseys going to be persuaded to fork over either $110 or $250 dollars for another jersey...in consecutive years...and another jersey that is essentially no different than what people purchased last year? It makes me wonder why the Sabres unveiled the new logo last year, a full year before the manadory NHL change to the RBK Edge jersey. The Anaheim Ducks had a decent reason, they fell under the new ownership of Henry Samueli while the Walt Disney Company held the rights for the Mighty Ducks name and uniforms. To keep as an identity, Samueli would have to purchase licensing from Walt Disney.

But I would personally purchase a home and away slug if they tweaked the logo a bit...



At least there is a Sabre now along with the stylized charging yellow phallace.

And remember there will NOT vintage thirds will be avaiable until at least 2008-2009. If indeed the slug is to stay...please hold off and WAIT for the vintage to come back in 2008-2009. I'm holding on to the idea that MAYBE for the NHL game at the Ralph vs. the Penguins the Sabres can rock the vintage. But it's more than likely Larry Quinn would have had to ask the NHL permission for that at least seven years ago. Fire up the De Lorean and Flux Capicitor...

Anyone else think this will be the number one selling jersey in the NHL again this season? [crickets]

BUT be mindful of the rumors having the vintage be darkened to match the blue of the current uniforms because of what I have heard mumbled as inconsistencies in the royal blue fabric stock to produce the jerseys and uniforms. That's a mindbender...you have that iconic look for 20 years and all of a sudden people can't make royal blue stay royal? Whatever...they just want to save money and not have to buy matching helmets, socks, and pants for the team.

Also the new RBK Edge jersey will be available for pre-order...I'll do my part for all the slug huggers out there and lock in my pre-order of ZERO jerseys.

Friday, August 31, 2007

1 Million Dollars for the Canucks' new look?

Rumors only said the price tag for the Sabres awful logo design and implementation was tagged at only $200,000 dollars (and that included putting the charging angry yellow penis on the HSBC scoreboard).

For Canuck fans I think the jersey looks pretty good. The wordmark actually helps out the Orca in my eyes, but the wordmark itself is way too big in typeface and no doubt will crowd the jersey of Captain Markus Naslund. But after watching a day full of college football teams with awkward piping and wordmarks on the front of the jersey, I think NHL designers are trying to follow suit and make this the norm in design from now on.

Reactions for the latest RBK Edge design are again...Mixed.

Really only time will sort this out but if the Canucks play well, just like the Sabres last year, will only boost sales and provide a rather false validation for the look and logo.

So to keep that from happening, if you hate it, DON'T BUY IT and stick to your guns! It doesn't make you any less or more of a fan if you purchase it or not as long as you root for the team and put your butt in the seats.

But if the majority of fans approve or not of the new look, 1 million dollars to spend on a logo is rather absurd.

I always love a good mockery. Thanks to Chirs from the NHL Tournament of logos for putting up this redundant beauty of redundancy.



Pfizer, the guy who is now in the business of logo genetics and breeding...and brought us this very humorous "mating" of all Vancouver's logos. Notice how the Orca has evolved into a skating machine and is toasty warm wearing Johnny Canuck's beanie.



He did the same thing for the Sabres as well at my request...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Primitive RBK Edge uniform designs...

RBK initially designed the uniforms for the 1975 crap cult movie smash "Rollerball" as rollerballin' thespians wanted a performance enhancing fabric while throwing their elbows during filmaking. Said James Caan of the jerseys, "The material is lighter and it doesn’t absorb water like the other jerseys we were going to use, so you don’t feel like you have 10 pounds on your back by the end of shooting for the day. You feel faster.”

Take a look at the genesis of cutting edge fabric technology...A double super secret peak at the RBK drawing board.



And now the finished product in action. Check out that form fitting goodness:

video

Sabres Not slugs FAQ

What is the goal of Sabres Not Slugs?

It has been well over a year since the new Buffalo Sabres logo was released to the public, and on a personal level, and I remain extremely dissatisfied with the organization's decision to put this on their uniforms. I noticed that a lot of the people out there on the internet who were dissatisfied with the logo and the overall return to blue and gold in shape or another some suggestions on how we can specifically go about getting the Sabres to eliminate the logo as soon as possible. I wanted to offer additional support to Drew Celestino's FixTheLogo.com website by adding a potential direction that fans could follow in regards to getting rid of the current logo. The solution the site orginally promoted is to implement John Slabyk's logo from the new blue and gold project on the current jersey with the idea the NHL will continue to offer the vintage third uniform in 2008-2009 or use the vintage as a primary jersey and the current uniform with John Slabyk's logo as an alternate third uniform. But now as reality set in, the most realistic cost effective idea for the team is to bring a full time return to the vintage and make the current jerseys the alternate third.



Whether John's hard work can see reality or not, the goal of it is to see that slugo disappear from every jersey, t-shirt, mouse pad, pint glass, and license plate and have justice done to creating a time tested identity for the team or going back to the classic crest that was iconic and never broke to begin with. If the Sabres insist on keeping the "slug" by all means please make the vintage the primary jersey and have the "slug" as a third alternate and wear it a grand total of ZERO times for games from here to eternity.

I also was disappointed that the Sabres and RBK International never had the courtesy to respond to my letters asking for insight and answers into the Sabres logo and uniform design process, in particular, how the Sabres uniform design was influenced or restricted by RBK's now failing "Edge Uniform System."

Why do you dislike the logo?

From an aesthetic standpoint, the dark blue updated logo or the classic logo itself would most likely help the current white uniforms' clarity on television as well as in print, while the current yellow logo causes the jersey front to appear blank from a distance, due to an overuse of white space. The original logo would better contrast with the white of the away jersey, while its yellow border would have the same effect on the navy-blue jersey. It's a real head scratcher as to how this white-space effect of the current logo wasn't noticed in testing. The Washington Capitals went through multiple TV-camera tests with Comcast Sports, simply to verify how the uniform would look on television. We have no idea how (if they did at all) the Sabres tested their uniforms for television... In general, very few details and explanations have been offered by the team.

In a calculated public-relations gesture designed to placate the fans, Larry Quinn merely offered a vintage-style third jersey, paired with the non-matching, dark-blue pants of the current uniform, which was to be worn at fifteen home games. All the while, they continued to evade questions and criticism regarding the logo controversy, such as why an updated variant of the classic Sabres' crest could not be used on the uniform. Quinn has been quoted as saying that they tried to incorporate the original emblem, but vaguely concluded that they "couldn't make it "work". Larry Quinn dismissed the fans' uproar "passion." We are indeed passionate about the Sabres, but scores remain extremely embarrassed by the logo. Did it really take the Sabres and Reebok three years and over $200,000 to invent the brand identity that we see on the ice today?

Do you think that the league will review the logo situation?

There are mixed reviews regarding the league wide adaptation of the RBK Edge jersey so far. The biggest concern is that will logo tradition and integrity be maintained by the league, RBK, and individual design firms who are at the drawing board. I would say teams like Detroit, Chicago, and Montreal should be untouched and rightly so because any drastic changes and fans might set the cities on fire. Other issues are as new teams unveil is that RBK appears to have done a "template" on teams by restricting horizontal stripes in implementing vertical striping and piping of various uniforms. We may soon enough find we have legions of upset fans of what RBK and/or design firms have done to tarnish teams identities for the sake of function over form.

In regards to Buffalo, I've received no solid answers from RBK or the Sabres. I can only speculate that the Sabres design launched a year early of the league wide adaptation is a guinea pig and litmus test of RBK's functionality and styling of the Edge uniform. The logo itself could have been a victim of RBK's vision and constraints to tuck in the uniform and thus limit the logo size. That could be an acceptable explanation but no doubt that the bottom line in the approval of the logo fell on the lap of Buffalo Sabres ownership and the "managing partner" Well that has been squashed since we see classic circular logos with teams like Boston (who look fantastic!) and recently the New York Islanders. The astute folks out there can appreciate the functionality of the RBK Edge uniform for players on the ice but regular fans at a game could care less if their beer soaked jersey (that they paid either $110 or $250 for) weighed a couple ounces less because of an innovative fabric design.

Is this issue still alive, potentially, and by what mechanism can this logo still be reviewed, if at all?

I think it is still alive. But It's a tough question and answer.
Essentially why would you want to get rid of a uniform on a logo that allegedly was selling 600% higher than the previous year's "Goat head" era jersey? Again the Islanders in 1996 boasted their fish stick logo as high as number four in league sales and most fans know what happened. Remember that was for an awful team at the time with a very rich history. The "slug" was a fluke cash grab perpetuated by eager and genuinely happy fans in anticipation to return to the blue and gold, and coupled by the outstanding play of the Buffalo Sabres during the course of the season. Those huge sales figures posted make no distinction between sales of the "slug" jersey and the sales of the vintage thirds as well.

I think the only eye opening factor to initiate review is for the "slug" merchandise's sales to diminish dramatically and for fans who are concerned to get active in generating consistent feedback and correspondence with the team and media outlets. And why would fans who paid good money for their Drury and Briere and other "slug" jerseys last year want to pay a substantially higher price point AGAIN this season in consecutive years for an RBK Edge jersey that essentially will still carry the "slug" with no tangible changes? Additionally, the Sabres and all NHL teams will be without an alternate third vintage jersey until it's available in 2008-2009. So Sabres fans will have a whole year to watch only the "slug" with no hope for relief by a game with the vintage uniforms. Again that is where I see sales dropping off and an opportunity for management to re-think the logo's feasibility long term and get it right and focus on establishing or returning to a long term brand identity comparable to the Red Wings, Bruins, or Canadians. That seems to be the trend anyway in all professional sports; leaning toward modern throwbacks as primary uniforms. Knowing when not to change is a good thing. And it's a best practice of logo designers to never create something that has drawn unwanted associations with its image...creating a logo resembling a goat head or mollusk is simply a total failure in that respect.

I'm all for the Sabres generating revenue, filling the HSBC arena, and enjoying economic profit but management and ownership should have put more consideration into the blue and gold return and not mislead the fans about not delivering what I would call a complete return to the blue and gold. That means offering a vintage logo or an acceptable updated variant of the original crest as a PRIMARY uniform and identity. I think this idea would far outsell and exceed the shelf life their marketing geniuses anticipate for the "slug". I do not believe that a team who has sold over 14,000 season tickets in an 18,000 seat arena would be struggling by any means.

All I can say is look at the excellent new Boston Bruins design and wonder as a Sabres fan why couldn't have something like that be offered. I personally would purchase a Boston jersey rather than a "slug" jersey and day of the week. Who knows, the Sabres could be one awful team away from repeating the history of the New York Islanders fish stick logo and face dozens of Chiquita bananas thrown on the ice from fans both opposing and home alike.