Friday, July 06, 2007

A Badge Of Honour

I've got something of a soft spot for Shrewsbury Town, and the reasons for this are many and numerous:

1. They were involved in an FA Cup Quarter-Final against Leicester City in 1982, when Leicester won 5-2 in spite having to use three different players in goal (only one of whom was actually a "goalkeeper").

2. They play in blue and amber (the choice of the right thinking football club - though, obviously, the amber is replaceable with yellow).

3. Their old ground, Gay Meadow (which they end of last summer), was one the most aesthetically pleasing in the Football League.

4. They beat Everton in the FA Cup and contrived to somehow get themselves out of the League at the same time (not that they stayed in the Conference for very long, mind).

5. Derek Smalls wore a Shrewsbury Town shirt whilst being body-searched and eventually relieved of an aluminium-wrapped cucumber in "Spinal Tap".

6. They knocked Franchise out of last year's League Two play-offs.

7. Their badge has loggerheads on it - the symbol of the town of Shrewsbury. A three-headed leopard/lion motif which is significant because the three animals concerned, as you may have noticed, have their tongues sticking out, which obviously improves it ten-fold.

The reasons are now down from seven to six, after Shrewsbury chose to change their badge in order to "protect their brand". As you may have noticed from this article, the badge has, according to the club, "one that has passed all the necessary searches and so is able to be registered in 14 trademark classes - covering a full range of club activities both current and future" (meaning that you will have to have their permission should you wish to use the old one). The design came from a Shrewsbury-based company called "Brooks Design". So far, you might think, so good. Never mind the fact that Shrewsbury have nothing to do with lions, and that their new badge merely looks like a copy of the old Millwall badge. They have to protect their copyright, after all. You never know - if Scunthorpe United and Blackpool can be playing at a higher level that Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, then anything is possible. However, the story is complicated by this thread from the Riverside Chat Shrewsbury forum.

Started at the end of March, the discussion took a turn for the strange when one of the Shrewsbury supporters noted a striking similarity between their new badge and a piece of Microsoft Clipart. This raises all manner of fascinating questions. Is this all an amazing coincidence, after all? I mean - you've seen one lion and you've seen them all (providing they're all of the same sex, that is). If, however, it is a piece of clipart, are they paying royalties for the rights to use Clarence The Clipart Lion (as I have chosen to call him) to Microsoft every time he gets used in the public domain? Hell - Bill Gates isn't a charity case. Are they going to change their nickname from "The Shrews" (which, while endearing, is a little, well, weedy) to "The Lions" (raaaaagh!) or "The Cliparts" (ooohh - very twenty-first century)?

Shrewsbury may end up learning a lesson about the commercial world, here. Microsoft may find about this and crush them like ants. They may just not care about it in the slightest. One thing is for certain, though. You upset a loggerhead at your own risk. That tongue could do a lot of damage.


Gary said...

For "aesthetically pleasing" read shit hole.

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