Let’s try this again…

Some six hours ago (as of this posting), Paul Lukas of Uni Watch reported that the Indians were changing their official primary logo from Chief Wahoo to the Block C.

Then, TJ Zuppe of 92.3 the FAN in Cleveland reported that Paul Lukas is a dirty, dirty liar.

Who to believe? As usual, the answer probably falls somewhere in the middle.

In the last post I made (that assumed Lukas knew what he was talking about), I shared a story of my experiences as an usher down at the ballpark in the mid-aughts. Let me expand on this story a little more:

Both years that I worked for the Indians began the same way: with a mass orientation for all gameday staff that involved the protocol changes for the new season. Interestingly, both orientations had a little spiel on Chief Wahoo and how recognizable he is to the average fan and how the team has absolutely no interest in changing the team name, mascot, logo, or anything. It kind of stuck out at the time and seemed to smack of the team over-emphasizing a point that no one was really questioning at the time (outside of the Opening Day protesters, there wasn’t a big sentiment at the time to change the team brand).

So now we’re apparently hearing the same line from the team again (referring to TJs tweet), which intrigues me.

I think the Indians are probably facing the inevitability of a re-branding operation. The team knows it has to happen eventually, Lukas has heard some things that led him to believe the team was taking the first significant step in that process, and he erroneously ran with it. While he’s probably wrong right now, he’s probably right in the long-term. Will the Indians someday not be the Indians? Most likely. Is this change going to start happening today or tomorrow? No, it appears not.

The question I pose to the readers of IPL, however, is the same: If the team decided it was going to re-brand itself, what are some ideas you might have for the team? Go back to the Spiders? Maybe the Naps? Steal the Rockers moniker from the defunct WNBA squad (a HORRIBLE idea, by the way)?

Let’s hear it!


  • Adam Hintz says:

    For what it’s worth: I have my own idea on this topic and I’ll be exploring it later in the offseason, but I’m really interested to see what kind of alternate ideas are out there.

  • Patrick says:

    For what it is worth, the block C is currently the main logo for mlb.com websites including extra innings. Espn still uses the chief wahoo logo, but I don’t think the remember where they keeobany of the Indians files or archives as they hardly care about Cleveland sports.

    • Adam Hintz says:

      It’s worth quite a bit, actually.

      Think about it: the team is saying “CHIEF WAHOO IS OUR LOGO” and the league itself and ESPN are saying “nah, we’ll use your alternate logo.”

      It’s why I think Lukas is right, long-term.

  • Earl says:

    The NIGHTHAWKS…..I’ve seen them around the stadium in the evening hours. Cool animals. Would make a cool logo. I know people avoiding the Wahoo logo. A new logo would be great for sales and couldn’t hurt the team’s rep.

  • Sean Porter says:

    If the Indians were to change their nickname, I’d either go with the “Spiders” or, an ode to the 1984 classic ‘The Natural’, the “Knights”.

    The Spiders merchandise, if done right, in my opinion would be very popular, perhaps nationwide. It has vast marketing potential.

    The Knights is just a classy, old-school name with built-in instant recognition. I loved the uniforms they came up with for the movie.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    The letter C is bland and has no character. I fail to see how that makes anything better, just boring and unoffensive. Quick, let me off the planet before I offend somebody.

    • The Doctor says:

      the block C, if adopted as the primary logo, would easily be the worst logo in the mlb.

      going from something as instantly recognizable as chief wahoo to something as generic as the block C is a terrible idea.

  • #savechiefwahoo says:

    If we are forced to lose the chief, I would like to see them go one of two ways. One way would be to revert back to the spiders. The other way would be create an entirely new name and mascot. Go all in and change it all, including the team colors.

    I prefer to keep the chief.

  • Swift says:

    If I had to guess, I would guess we would lose Chief Wahoo pretty soon (it actually surprises me that it hasn’t happened yet), but the Indians stay the Indians.

  • Duane says:

    I liked the bent up C. It looked like an arrowhead. Don’t remember when it was used but it was kinda cool. Just don’t let a small fraction of the population dictate millions on fans what we want- tradition!

  • Brian Yoder says:

    I think it should be the Indians. It’s not a name that is insulting, it’s a name that is representing history. Are Native American’s not happy people?? That’s the only thing that could be seen as insulting! I mean seriously though, I have Amish heritage and if the Indians changed their name to the Cleveland Amish, I would be ecstatic!! They would be my favorite team times 1000%!!! Why is everyone so damn sensitive about everything these days??!!!

  • J Baker says:

    It is just ridiculous!!!! Should Notre Dame be forced to change their name from the fighting irish because people of irish heritage are offended??? Ridiculous!!!!I am sure that 98% of all people with American indian blood lines could care less. I just pray that some bleeding heart judge does not make this happen!!!!

  • J Baker says:

    How about Paul Brown’s family suing the Browns to change their name because they are offended!!! Sound ridiculous, so does changing Chief Wahoo!!!!

  • D.P. Roberts says:

    Here’s my radical idea for the most unique nickname/mascot in all of sports:

    Don’t have one.

    Just be Cleveland.

    Think about it. The Winter Olympics are about to start. What is the nickname for the US Olympic team? There isn’t one. I think international soccer is a better example – each club is usually just named after its city. Sure, many of the teams have nicknames, but just as with human nicknames, they’re EARNED, not sold as corporate logos.

    The greatest sports nicknames over the past few decades – from teams (The Dream Team, The Kardiac Kids) and individuals (Air Jordan, Johnny Football) to fans and stadiums (The Dawg Pound, Pronkville). The best nicknames are ones that ebb and flow over time, ones that reflect the fans and the players of that time.

    Do you actually NEED a nickname anywhere? The official standings and most sports scores just list the city names. If necessary, the uniforms can just say “Cleveland”. Even better, the uniforms can be logo-free -is anyone really confused by which team is actually on the field?

    Sure, names like the Spiders have some history to them, but not for the average fan. To many Americans, “Cleveland” is still that place where the river caught fire. By eliminating a nickname and mascot that are getting more controversial by the day, the Indians have a chance to bring some positive attention to a city that really needs it, and an opportunity to do something really bold and unique in American sports.

  • Sean Porter says:

    I made this comment the last time Chief Wahoo was the topic of conversation: If a sports team had a 1940s/50s depiction of a black man as their logo, this wouldn’t even be questioned.

    Think old school Tom and Jerry, Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima depictions of black people…

    If anything, the Indians should get rid of Wahoo just on the fact alone that they haven’t won a World Series since the current version of Wahoo was introduced. Hell, maybe he’s a jinx! haha

    • Bob Cobb says:

      Thank you for this comment. To my knowledge, indigenous groups have never sanctioned the use of the “Indian” as a symbol for the Cleveland baseball team. The logo itself portrays a tired stereotype that reduces the wide diversity of indigenous peoples to an ridiculous, red brave. This racist symbol shouldn’t be acceptable in a free-thinking society.

      I’m a life-long fan of the team and only recently has my perspective on this matter changed. The franchise has at times been a progressive force, e.g. signing of Larry Doby, and should take a stand now and be a leader for a just society that resists doing what’s easy for doing what’s right.

  • The Doctor says:

    perhaps this is all a smokescreen – they’re actually going back to the even more offensive wahoo they used from ’46-’50. i’d love to see paul lukas blow a gasket over that one.

    on a real note, if they’re actually serious about phasing out wahoo, why not return to the script I they were occasionally using from ’02-’10? that’d be much better than the world’s most generic looking C.

  • Weston says:

    Keep the Chief