Top 10 defunct MILL/NLL logos

Top 10 defunct MILL/NLL logos

With the influx of new franchises in the National Lacrosse League, I thought it would be a great time to take a look back at some defunct teams and where they ranked on my Mount Rushmore of old logos.

Who knows, with the NLL planning to add expansion teams 15 and 16 in the next few years, maybe we'll see one or two of these logos make a comeback in some capacity in the near future.

Authors note: Two teams not listed are the original iterations of the Philadelphia Wings and Rochester Knighthawks. While their previous logos would have most certainly landed them in my Top 10, I decided to stick with squads that many fans may have completely forgotten about.

10. Vancouver Ravens (2002-2004)

Having a jacked raven with a tattoo in honor of the city his team plays in was certainly going to find its way onto my list. The late 90’s/early 2000 saw a number of cartoonish mascots as the figurehead of franchises’ insignia. The Ravens were the first of three franchises to find their way to Vancouver. The Vancouver Ravens walked, so the Warriors could fly. I wasn’t sure if the Ravens would make my list initially. I think living in Baltimore is rubbing off on me a bit too much.

9. Baltimore Thunder (1987-1999)

The Baltimore Thunder were around the second longest (13 seasons) of any team that made my list. Baltimore's original logo was simple, but the subtle lighting strikes were a nice. touch. The logo's second iteration made sure that people knew what sport they played with “PRO LACROSSE” emboldened at the bottom. In a way, they were ahead of their time with so many pro teams using the “lacrosse club” moniker nowadays. As Michael Scott would say, these logos are right brain-left brain, or duality of man.

8. Arizona Sting (2004-2007)

While the Arizona Sting were only in the NLL for four seasons, they made the championship twice during that period. Maybe it’s because I was an impressionable middle schooler at the time, but this is one of the logos that I always think of when I reminisce about my earlier fandom. I always thought an underrated aspect of the Sting was their adoption of the same color scheme as the Arizona Coyotes when they rebranded in 2003/2004. Definitely liked this one more when I was younger, but certainly deserves a spot on the list.

7. Albany Attack (2000-2003)

While ranking, I found myself choosing a good number of teams that also had cool jerseys. The Albany Attack were a lucky recipient of that. I’ve always been a sucker for the two-tone blue color scheme and Albany pulled it off really well. There is certainly a lot of detail in the wolf and font, most likely more than we would see if it was created today, but they wouldn’t have made my list if they were still around. And who wouldn’t like a team promoted by Mick Foley.

6. Rochester Griffins (1974)

The Rochester Griffins only played for a season, but man, did they make the most of it count. The Griffs won the inaugural championship in the original NLL. Despite calling it quits after just one season, their logo always seems to be a fan favorite when the retro logo conversation comes up. I think this logo could easily be used in today’s league and I was curious if we would see it resurface when the original Knighthawks moved to Halifax. You could definitely put this one in the timeless category.

5. Syracuse Smash (1998-2000)

This will likely be the most controversial of the ranks on my list. It’s absurd. It’s too cartoonish and the font is ridiculous. It even has, what I’m pretty sure, is one of the Syracuse Smash’s original players highlighted on there. I wonder what it was like for Paul Gait to have his face on the front of everyone’s jerseys. It’s the epitome of the late 90s and that’s why it’s one of my favorites. No, I don’t think anyone would choose this logo for an expansion franchise today, but that’s not the exercise at hand.

4. Portland Lumberjax (2006-2009)

Do you like plaid? Well, you came to the right place. The Lumberjack in Portland’s logo puts the Brawny Man to shame. While the Lumberjax only lasted a handful of years in Portland, they left us with one of the more iconic jerseys in league history. Not only was their red and black plaid jersey one of the best, it also featured one of my favorite secondary logos. I tend not to be a big fan of logos with illustrated sticks so prominent, but the wooden one in the Jax’s logo just works.

3. Maryland Arrows (1974-1975)

I get it. Their logo is pretty straight forward, and the font is somewhat generic. Here’s the thing…have you seen that A on the front of their jerseys? It's perfection. Their green, blue and white color scheme is crisp and isn’t currently being used in the league might I add. A youth box team based out of Bowie, MD is rocking the name and logo and their jerseys look great. They even have a secondary logo that you could do a lot with. The Arrows rank #3 because of their overall score, rather than their performance in just one category.

2. New York Saints (1989-2003)

Landing at #2 on the list is the second professional box franchise to play on Long Island. The Saints moved to NY after a successful two-year stint (1987-88) across the Hudson, where they won a title in their final season in New Jersey. I had a really hard to not putting the Saints at #1. Their logo is absolutely timeless. I was bummed when the now-Riptide franchise didn’t come back with the Saint Bernard on their unis (throwback night anyone?). While the New York Saints may have be associated with losing in their later years (six straight losing seasons before folding), the logo is an absolute winner in my book.

1. Quebec Caribous (1974-1975)

Landing at #1 on my list is another member of the original NLL, the Quebec Caribous. The Caribous may have only played for two seasons (including winning a championship in 1975), but the logo makes a lasting impression on me every time it resurfaces. Some may not be fans of the original brown and orange color scheme, but I think with a little cleaning up, this logo could still be used today. With Quebec’s name being rumored in the consideration for potential league expansion, I hope that the Caribous are at the top of the list to make a comeback, logo included, after nearly a half century hiatus.

What do you think of my picks? Did I leave one of your favorite defunct MILL or NLL logos off the list? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Honorable Mention

While my list was capped at ten, there were a handful of other logos that I contemplated adding to the docket.

New York Titans (2007-2009), Boston Blazers (1992-1997), Detroit Turbos (1989-1994), San Jose Stealth (2004-2009).

What do you think of my list? Is your favorite defunct team missing from the list completely? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on social media.

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