Late last Wednesday, the southern California sports landscape had a major shift, as we learned that the San Diego Chargers were officially moving to Los Angeles. A major U.S. city that just a couple years ago had zero football teams all of a sudden had two, and all of a sudden it became the talk of the town. Everybody had opinions or takes on it, ranging from frustration and anger all the way to elation, and everything in between. There was some serious buzz, that’s for sure.
On Thursday, that buzz grew exponentially, although it was not in the way that the Chargers would have hoped. The team had released a new logo to celebrate their new hometown, and the internet proceeded to drag them for it...big time. The story of how much people disliked this new logo practically became a bigger story than their actual move, as every blogger, writer, fan or Twitter comedian all got their shots in. It was pretty brutal.
One of the most peculiar segments of people taking this new design to task, though, were Dodgers fans. If you do a quick search through Twitter, you’ll see a ton of Dodgers fans mocking and meme’ing the Chargers logo into oblivion, but not because they’re so appalled by a font choice or color scheme or basic design issue. No, Dodgers fans seemed to hate it because they felt that it ripped off their beloved baseball team’s logo.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Chargers "Can I copy your homework?"— Micah Trauger (@MicahTrauger) January 12, 2017
Dodgers "Sure but don't make it too obvious" pic.twitter.com/1inTk85y2z
"Hi, we're the Los Angeles Dodgers and we have DIRECTV"— Michael Amato (@amato_mike) January 12, 2017
"And we're the Los Angeles Chargers and we have cable" pic.twitter.com/jg7BryBb90
San Diego Chargers: "Hey can I cheat off you for the exam?"— A$AP PAPI (@TWEEAAASYY10) January 13, 2017
Los Angeles Dodgers: "Sure, but make sure you get one question wrong." pic.twitter.com/AJ4VY72c9E
BREAKING: LA Chargers announce new logo. https://t.co/8QV9O3n9a3— DodgersReddit (@DodgersReddit) January 13, 2017
The LA Chargers logo looks like some just peeped the Dodgers logo, clicked 'italicize' and turned it in. I'm sick pic.twitter.com/TzZoSSY4W1— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) January 12, 2017
Obviously, there’s a strong, strong resemblance between the two logos. I get that. There is no denying that the Chargers attempted to rip off the Dodgers a bit here, and I can understand why some would be quick to join the fun of bashing an NFL team’s graphic arts missteps.
But here’s the teeny, tiny problem with this shade being thrown the Chargers’ way: the Dodgers logo itself was literally ripped off from the Angels. Call me crazy, but I think that if you’re going to levy a bunch of rip off claims towards another pro sports franchise, because their new logo looks just like your favorite team’s logo, it’d be best if that team themselves weren’t guilty of the same crime.
The interlocking LA logo was first used by the Los Angeles Angels of the PCL league, going all the way back to the early 1900’s. Some people will point to a letter from a Boston uniform designer as the genesis of the Dodgers’ logo, and some will point to a famed letter from a young boy to then-Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, but those are just pieces of revisionist history.
What actually happened was O’Malley bought the PCL Angels in 1957, and then relocated them out of town the following year, allowing him to then use the interlocking LA design for the Dodgers in their move to Los Angeles. He just changed the colors, is all, but that logo belonged to the Angels first and foremost.
Sorry, Dodgers fans. You just don’t have much moral high ground to stand on when it comes to calling other franchises out for ripping off designs. If it weren’t for copying logos, you’d probably be rocking some gear that has a logo even uglier than the one the Chargers proposed, so be thankful that the Angels existed and that Walter O’Malley was smart enough to steal that design.
As for the Chargers’ new logo...well, it was fun while it lasted: