Blake Campbell of Friday Night Design was the first to submit a Roughnecks design. It was very popular and the commissioner was a fan. But the clay color he used could be mistaken for something a little too close to Longhorn burnt orange.
So, Mr. Campbell came back with a slightly different shade of clay that is closer to Oklahoma's red dirt than burnt orange:
Our latest design submission for an Oklahoma City NFL team comes from George Burnett. Mr. Burnett found our contest on SportsLogos.net. He named the franchise the Spirits:
"Here is something that I did last year around this time. There are several images to build the case and they will be in order.
Burnett did a good job letting his images speak for themselves. Overall, I like the concept. He also broke the cardinal rule by not naming the team Roughnecks. But he presents something that would be uniquely Oklahoma. The colors match well with the state flag, the Native American influence is noticeable without being offensive, and the name is not used in any other professional sports league.
Because he did such a thorough job explaining his concept through his images, I will just post those with little comment.
I like that the Native American influence is based on genuine examples of that culture and not a caricature of the people that Oklahoma was named for (Oklahoma is a Choctaw word meaning "red people"). I should note that this looks genuine and respectful to me: a lily-white male with zero percent Native American blood. I can't speak for Native Americans, so I'd be interested in hearing other opinions on the design from that aspect.
We asked for logo designs for a hypothetical Oklahoma City NFL team. And, after 12,000 unique visitors over three days, we received our first Roughnecks design. It came from Blake Campbell, who saw our contest link on OperationSports.com. Mr. Campbell owns and runs Friday Night Design. His Web site is still a work in progress, but he has some great work he plans to display under the Fantasy tab.
But Campbell had his reservations about Roughnecks. It's understandable for anyone who is not from oil country. Campbell worked through his apprehension though:
"I must admit, I initially felt the task of branding an NFL team on men in the oilfield was a daunting one. But the more time I spent pondering the idea, the quicker my imagination began to run wild. I hope you and your readers will enjoy the design that I've put together. Let me explain my design.
I love the idea. My only criticism is that the clay color looks a little close to the burnt orange used by the University of Texas. The Longhorns are not very popular here. I shared this concern with Campbell, and he agreed to modify the clay color to more accurately represent the "red dirt" that is famous in Oklahoma. But I love the overall design, so I'm posting the submission anyway. Back to Campbell's design though:
Campbell's helmet design is clean and simple.
After Uni-Watch linked to our logo submission post again, our site traffic went through the roof. By 2100 CST, over 5,000 unique visitors read our site.
And we received our second design submission. David Firestone also broke the first rule of the contest (by not naming the team the Roughnecks), but that's just fine. We're happy to have another submission.
Mr. Firestone chose the name Crazy Eights:
"I created an Oklahoma City design called the Crazy Eights. The theory behind that is that Oklahoma is the 8th largest city in the US by area, and the 8 is a graceful and simple design. The white and silver color scheme is based on the Oklahoma Wranglers, as they were the last pro football team to play in Oklahoma City. I couldn't choose between red over silver, or silver over red, so I went with silver over red on the right side, and red over silver on the left."
Thanks to Mr. Firestone for his submission. Love it? Hate it? Tell us in the comments. And don't forget to share the contest page on social media. Send your own submissions to OklahomIraqis@gmail.com.
We recently discussed the possibility of an NFL team coming to Oklahoma City. UniWatch was kind enough to link to our post asking for uniform and logo design submissions.
We received our first submission this week. Tom Bierbaum of Erie, Pa. said he'd been thinking of an Oklahoma City NFL franchise named the 89ers for decades:
"The name probably sounds funny to most ears, but the old minor league baseball team from Oklahoma City used to be called the 89ers (after the people who rushed into the state when it was opened to settlement in 1889) and I actually saw that team play at the Tacoma Cubs in old Cheney Stadium in the summer of 1968 as a field trip with my Colt League baseball team. For whatever reason, I was fascinated by that visiting team, the city and the name, so that fall, when us Bierbaum kids decided to "add" expansion teams to our pretend pro football league, I came up with the improbable idea of creating an Oklahoma City 89ers in the pro ranks."
I also remember the 89ers. They're now named the Redhawks, and I cannot express enough how much I hate that name. The 89ers was local, unique and historical. I deliberately ignored the name when it came time to name our hypothetical NFL franchise though. It is too close to 49ers to be a viable name for an NFL team in my opinion. Mr. Beirbaum admitted straight away that he violated the only rule of the contest: naming the team the Oklahoma City Roughnecks. But he had his reasons:
The last two posts on the OIL blog discussed the possibility of a future NFL franchise in Oklahoma City. As a reminder, the OIL's hypothetical OKC NFL team is named the Oklahoma City Roughnecks.
Because the end is nigh, I have been thinking about this hypothetical team more than I should. What would it look like? How would it be marketed?
I reached out to Paul Lukas at UniWatch to see if he would help start a design contest for the logo or uniform of this hypothetical franchise. I chose UniWatch because: 1. it has the largest audience of uniform-obsessed fans; and 2. their design contests are legendary. Just look at this one UniWatch hosted for what became the Thunder. Well, UniWatch obliged and linked to our post on its blog dedicated to "the obsessive study of athletics aesthetics."
Located in the Grab Bag section of its February 1 blog post, UniWatch does the OIL a solid:
So, there you have it. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For reference purposes, we are talking about oil field roughnecks.
I will post updates as submissions come in. I hope to see many different stylings on the theme. But this is a small blog dedicated to a small group of soldiers who love fantasy football, so I don't expect too much.
And, who knows? Maybe the contest winner will receive officially-licensed OklahomIraqis merchandise as a prize. Everyone else will have my eternal gratitude for indulging this hobby of mine.
by Justin C. Cliburn
Note: This post now has a permanent home on the OIL Web site that is continually updated.
The other day I rambled about Super Bowl stories that interest me (few do other than the game itself). Somehow I ended up discussing what the chances were that Oklahoma City could one day land an NFL franchise, what the name should be, where they might play, and more.
For the record, I ended up settling on Roughnecks for the team mascot. But all that was buried in a post about the Super Bowl, so it was easily overlooked. So let's consider Oklahoma City's NFL chances in a post all its own.
I generally laugh at suggestions that Oklahoma City could be granted an NFL franchise, but I used to scoff at the prospects of a successful NBA team here too. Plus, a couple recent lists of potential NFL cities included OKC. It made me strongly consider what the authors of the lists saw and make the case for OKC. It's actually not a hard case to make. Sure, there are plenty of markets that are as deserving or more, but that's always the case. The slam dunks already have NFL teams (well, except for one), so why not OKC? After all, the OKC media market is larger than four current NFL cities. Well, here's the case for OKC:
Cover32 lists 10 possible NFL cities on page two of its article discussing which NFL teams should relocate. EliteDaily just listed 10 potential NFL cities back in November. And both lists include Oklahoma City.
The OIL is made up primarily of Oklahomans, so we know how much OKC has grown. An NFL team would be fantastic from a personal standpoint. Plus, it's not a stretch to think that it would attract season ticket holders from:
That's a pool of over 3.5 million people to sell tickets. And when you tally the populations of Oklahoma as a state, Fort Smith/Van Buren, and the Amarillo, Wichita, and Wichita Falls metros, the number comes to over 4.9 million potential ticket-buyers. Are you telling me savvy marketers in charge of an NFL franchise couldn't sell 50,000 tickets in a market that large?
There are tons of Super Bowl stories making the media rounds, but I couldn't care less for most of them. We've spent an entire season discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
Instead, I like to read stories that delve into a little NFL history or discuss issues that the talking heads are not covering. I found a few of those stories, focusing mostly on Seattle and wanted to share them.
Apparently, the original Seattle NFL expansion bid was to be named the "Kings." Over at SportsLogos.net, there is a great story about that ill-fated expansion bid. It also takes a stab at guessing what the Kings logo would have evolved into after rebranding in the 1980s and 2000s.
And, even after being awarded a franchise after all, Seattle almost lost that franchise in the 1990s. The Seattle Times wrote a lengthy article on that issue back in October. It is also worth checking out.
I hope SportsLogos.net or some other site publishes an extensive history of the 1993 expansion that gave us the Panthers and Jaguars. Baltimore, Memphis, and St. Louis were the other candidates that year. While looking up information about that expansion era, I found a great site for archiving NFL expansion candidates for each state.
I highly recommend checking out that site and following SportsLogos.net if you're into the history and evolution of sports uniforms and logos.