Football, America’s game, is in full swing. I am not a football-head, nor do I follow a particular team but football is truly something fascinating to behold. This 9 billion dollar industry is the most successfully marketed sports industry and this does matter, especially for those who have any visual cultural wherewithal. Not only does it have the most revenue of any US sport it also has the most eyeballs with 66,957 spectators in its meager 16 game season. Compare that to the 30,135 for baseball’s 162 game season and basketball’s 17,149 visitors in their 82 games. The disparity of the length of the seasons for each respective sport speaks volumes to this marketing blitz as well as the nature of the game. Many critics of the sport think that football is no more then mindless violence. Some think that it represents all that is wrong with this country and with the shockingly base need for its citizens to see a form of combat on the field. To be sure it’s a physically unforgiving game but football, like all sports, has moments of spectacular form and bodily accomplishment. Those that cannot see even a bit of wonderment in this game lack poetic openness and basic admittance that human beings require many things that this sport allows.
As previously admitted, I am a novice to football. I enjoy watching all sports as it makes me giddy to see perfection of form. Because I do not know much about the players or the rules of the game, at many points of the game I linger on the uniforms, the colors, and the formations before the ball is released. From this activity I will now list some choice teams in the National Football League and reflect on their colors, logos and also the history of their names in brief. In addition I will suggest an artist who may function as a cultural mascot. People who think arts and sports are un-mingleable need to just loosen up.
Baltimore Ravens – This most poetic of teams calls themselves the Ravens after their most notable resident Edgar Allen Poe. They have a ghastly designed logo as does so many of today's teams who seem to be using the same horrid graphic designer who makes the mascots and logos look like a 7 year olds lunch box, but I digress. Their colors are predominantly purple and white with a few dashes of yellow. Although they have a perfect literary reference, an additional cultural mascot could be Rirkrit Tiravanija, their purple color makes me think of grape juice or jelly.
Cincinnati Bangles – They have fab uniforms, orange and black and white and they have Tony the Tiger stripes on their helmet and pants. Very sexy. They are named from a pervious team called the bangles and also from one of its early couches previous gig at a high school with the same name. Their art icon would be Kehinde Wiley, bangle wallpaper, grrr.
Cleveland Browns – They have no logo at all, they are just the color orange and a strip here and there. Their name is from the couch Paul Brown, totally boring back story in a way but one can appreciate the minimalism of it all. Art coach would be Barnett Newman.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Now this is a team with good colors and a logo. Black and yellow is the pride colors of all Pittsburgh teams, just love that matchy match. The logo is the steel industries seal of red, yellow and blue star form. Sadly, they don’t make logos like that anymore. They have a fab ratio of black and yellow in their uniform and I just love the yellow pants. Also love that they don’t have cheerleaders. Art guru would be Chris Burden, sorry Warhol but your just too fey for this town.
Detroit Lions – Fab colors of a more saturated sky blue, white and gray. The logo is just fantastic, a blue lion in full kill mode. Detroit is a hard-knock, no frills city and there art guide should be no different, I name Richard Serra.
Green Bay Packers – Obviously fab-tastic uniforms and color. They are bold and bright in yellow and green and they leave little room for white. The name derives for a wonderful little back story of one of its founders, Earl Lambeau, getting funds for the uniforms from the Indian Packing Company in 1919. I give you Kippenberg, if you’ll have him.
Minnesota Vikings – Their purple and yellow ratios are just perfect. Love the mean looking mascot of the blonde braided Viking. The horns on their helmet are just the best as well. Nodding to the large Scandinavian population in Minnesota the Vikings posses that great folkloric touch. Their patron would be Marina Abramovic, not sure why but she seems like she could handle a horn.
Indianapolis Colts – Love the horseshoe. The blue and white are nice to look at. They were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. Hmmm. A lot of teams have used the name colts in the past, but with the horse culture in Indiana, it seems the best fit for this team. Their art gal is Georgia O’Keeffe.
Buffalo Bills – The wild west in the cold east coast, what’s the deal with that? Well anyways, the blue buffalo with the streak of red to indicate its awesome fast charging is interesting symbology. Their cheerleaders are called the Buffalo Jills, cute eh? Their art pal would be Jasper Johns
Miami Dolphins – They have odd but delightful aqua and orange colors. Their dolphin wears a helmet making the porpoise look lean and mean. They are from the sunshine state that grows the oranges so the color choice is apt. Their art avatar would be Elizabeth Murray.
Dallas Cowboys – A most fantastic uniform of silver and a blue star, simple yet to the point. Being from the lone star state the team does two at once with the star badge. Their cheerleaders are the best in town and its hard not to like their guff. Their art star would be William de Kooning.
New York Giants – Their stadium is in my home state so there is always a bit of partiality there. They are the USA colors of red, white and blue and they don’t need no stinkin logo besides NY in all caps. Silly that they are actually in NJ but NJ is the type of state that will take that slap in the face with pride. To them they get Robert Smithson.
New York Jets – This team too is fair-weather to its actual location, sharing the Giants stadium but know one really cares. The green and white is classic. The logo includes both NY and the name Jets in case you don’t remember what team is playing at the meadowlands that night. Taking its name from it closeness to the airports, the Jets are truly a Jersey beloved team. Their artist would be Mark Di Suvero.
Philadelphia Eagles – From the constitution capital the Eagles have a darker green and white and have a mad looking eagle as their logo and eagle wings on their helms. This not New York City is burly and they are serious as hell about their football. They used to even have a court inside the stadium for unruly fans. Yikes. Their artist would be Vito Acconi.
New England Patriots – This is the most patriotic of teams with a colonial man as their mascot and a truly red, white and blue all over attire. Being from the refined area of the North East there is a snowy stodginess but the fans are resolutely, if not as boisterous, in their support of this leading team. Their artist would be Matthew Barney
Oakland Raiders – This is the prisoner batch of the NFL. They are rough and tough in black and silver and they have an old-timey, patch-wearing pirate as their logo. Their artist is Carl Andre.
San Francisco 49ers – In 1849 there was an influx of those seeking fortune in this area, becoming known as the gold rush. With gold and red they are a uniquely colored team. The manifest destiny history of the team is charming. Their artist would be Alexander Calder.