The New England Patriots may have been the best team in pro football last season, but the team's logo apparently isn't very impressive - at least in the eyes of sports fans.
According to a year-long Internet survey of sports fans, the classic interlocking NY symbol of the New York Yankees is the best professional sports logo of the 20th century.
More than 7,200 people completed the online survey, which debuted at the Section 219 website (www.Section219.com) in August 2004.
Four of the top five logos on the list belong to Major League Baseball franchises, including the Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. The only non-MLB logo to crack to the top five was the NBA's Boston Celtics.
Section 219 sponsored a panel of graphic designers, branding experts and marketing professionals to analyze thousands of primary and secondary professional team logos created between 1901 and 2000, including those from the American Basketball Association (ABA), American Football League (AFL), Continental Football League (CFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), North American Soccer League (NASL), World Football League (WFL) and World Hockey Association (WHA).
Of those, the panel selected a list of 250 logos judged to be the most "powerful, memorable and distinctive." Fans were then invited to vote on their 10 favorite logos.
"We were overwhelmed by the interest," said Chris Anderson, a self-proclaimed "logo-ologist" who initiated the project. "The list is really intended to serve as a discussion point for fans and historians. It's highly subjective, but the logos that made the top 100 really capture the color and personality of American sport."
The "flying wheel" logo of the Detroit Red Wings is the top-ranked hockey logo on the list, coming in at No. 6. The highest-rated football logo is the eye-patched Raiders logo, which ranks seventh on this list.
The 20 Best North American Professional Sports Logos of the 20th Century:
1. New York Yankees - interlocking "NY" (MLB)
2. Chicago Cubs (MLB)
3. Boston Red Sox (MLB)
4. Boston Celtics (NBA)
5. St. Louis Cardinals - birds on a bat (MLB)
6. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
7. Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (AFL/NFL)
8. Cincinnati Reds - "C" logo with "baseball head" inside (MLB)
9. Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
10. New York Jets - "NY Jets" set inside an oval (AFL/NFL)
11. Chicago Blackhawks - classic Native American profile (NHL)
12. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts -- (NFL)
13. Dallas Cowboys - simple blue star (NFL)
14. Boston Bruins - block "B" (NHL)
15. Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers -- interlocking "LA" (MLB)
16. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
17. Miami Dolphins (NFL)
18. New York Rangers - Rangers shield (NHL)
19. Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
20. Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland A's