Friday, January 22, 2010

AFC and NFC Conference Championship predictions

This Sunday, four NFL teams play to determine who will be going to the Super Bowl. The NY Jets will play the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC Conference Championship, and the Minnesota Vikings will play the New Orleans Saints for the NFC Conference Championship. Those of you betting on these games, take note: I’m about to tell you who will win these Championships.

Believe it or not, I like football, but since I haven’t paid much attention to it for a few years now, I’ve decided to base my predictions solely on the teams’ identity designs. I’ll be using the following factors to determine not only the winners, but the scores: the name; logomark/iconography; logotype/typography; color; and helmet graphics.

First up, the AFC. Jets vs. Colts:

NAME: The name “Jets” really has nothing specific to do with NY (except maybe West Side Story), but neither does “Colts” with Indianapolis. But “Jets” is kind of aggressive and tough, where “Colts” is kind of a funny word that isn’t used much colloquially. People just call them horses. The Jets just won the coin toss and have opted to receive.

LOGOMARK/ICON: Here the Colts have a huge advantage. The horseshoe, while a missed typographic opportunity as a letter C, is over-the-top iconic with lots of old school cred. The Jets, oddly, have no icon to speak of, except maybe Gameface. But really, no jet symbol? The Jets have fumbled the kickoff return, and the Colts have recovered it for the touchdown.

TYPE: No question here. The Jets have a highly considered typographic identity (by Michael Bierut, m’kay?). The Colts type is, well, horsey by comparison. The Jets have rallied and drive down the field, eating up the clock, and scoring a touchdown of their own.

COLOR: Blue and white. Green and white. Both simple and unassuming. Blue has nothing to do with horses. Green has nothing to do with jets. But I think the Jets green is a nicer color (by a bit). They’ve battled back and forth, with lots of head to head football. It’s now late in the third quarter and the Jets have managed to kick a field goal from 45 yards out.

HELMET: It’s down to this. The Jets logotype vs. the Colts logomark. That horseshoe is just so damn iconic. Sorry Jets. Peyton Manning just threw an effortless down field bomb for a huge touchdown in the final seconds of the game.

FINAL SCORE: Colts: 14 – Jets: 10

Next up, the NFC. Vikings vs. Saints:

NAME: This is a tough one. “Vikings” certainly suits the nordic history of Minnesota. And vikings were pretty badass. But “Saints” is such a nice sounding word. And they have organized religion on their side. In an unprecedented coin toss, the coin lands on its edge on the turf, wobbles momentarily, and the noise of the Superdome crowd causes it to topple, miraculously, in favor of the Saints who choose to receive.

LOGOMARK/ICON: While there are worse NFL team logos, the Viking character cannot compete with the long (and I mean long) iconic history of the fleur de lis. It’s been a steady and calculated first drive for the Saints, and they march into the end zone halfway through the first quarter.

TYPE: I don’t exactly love the Saints’ typography, but let’s face it, the Vikings’ is effing abysmal. Are they vikings or cattle? The Vikings have fumbled and the Saints capitalize with a field goal in the second.

COLOR: Ordinarily I don’t dig on gold as a color. But I think it works for the Saints, especially paired with the black. The Vikings once again are at a disadvantage... honestly, purple? Are they Vikings or big goofy dinosaurs? The Saints, fresh from half-time, waste no time scoring a decisive and demoralizing touchdown early in the third.

HELMET: There’s no question, the fleur de lis is powerful iconic, and the Saints do themselves a favor by just running with it. But the viking horns are truly inspired. Good on ya, Vikings. Brett Favre is the consummate leader. He rallies the team for a stunning series of passes down field. But the resulting touchdown late in the third only serves to bolster the Saints defense in the remaining quarter, which ends scoreless.

FINAL SCORE: Saints: 17 – Vikings: 7

There you have it. Place your bets.

If any of this turns out to be remotely correct, I’m quitting my job and becoming a psychic. Maybe I’ll read people’s business cards instead of their palms.


  1. That was pr*tty clever. Bravo. I'd like to see the follow up for the superbowl.

    Now I know people are going to hiss and boo at me, but the NY Jets identity seems somewhat generic to me (sorry Mr Beirut). Not that it needs a jet on it, but the football looks like clip art. Just a little boring is all.

    A photo of David Beckham should do the trick.

  2. I agree with the outcomes and the fact that the Jets' helmets are boring, but so are the Colts'. My score is Colts 24 - Jets 10...causing Rex Ryan to go on a hoagie binge. Good, hard hitting game, 110% from everyone on the field.

    Saints 36 Vikes 31 - shoot out time. There's going to be a kicker who ends up being the goat at the end for the Vikes.

  3. that was awesome... good work as usual rother. love it.

  4. Judging based on design... Jets all the way.

  5. A clever and fun post to read. Good stuff. My predictions and three cents:

    The Jets identity is generic and dull. It doesn't say anything about either New York or the Jets. Italic type is the only possible conceptual part of the design that is apparent. Otherwise it's just sans serif type above a football icon (how creative). The Colts type is hokey for sure but it fits with the horseshoe and feels so throwback that it's classic, unlike all the other aggressive, italic type of expansion teams with aggressive names.

    Colts thrash the Jets, 35-10.

    NFC game: Purple and yellow are an ugly combination but damn, those Viking horns are excellent.

    Vikings edge the Saints, 17-7.

  6. the name Jets comes from the planes that used to fly over shea stadium after taking off from la guardia. they used to be called the titans and work dark blue and yellow. yea they did have something to do with ny when they played here.

  7. Here's a page with the Jets logos through the years. If they wore their throwback Titans jersey, I say they go all the way.

  8. Colts over Vikes

    It would be great to see these two master Q backs play.

    I'm rooting for the old guy though!

    Missed a Vike "identity": the horn they blow. Love it.

  9. The majority of people are taking the Colts to kill the Jets this
    week but you have to consider how well New York matches up against
    Indy. Indy has the worst running game in the league, and is ALL
    Peyton. The Jets have the #1 pass-defence and if they can put the
    clamps on Peyton early… it could very well be a Jets win. TheCoach
    isn’t calling a J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS win but they will cover the
    spread. I know Indy shut down Baltimore’s running game last week
    but the Jets strive on being quick and elusive.. something Ray Rice

    Minnesota and New Orleans is going to be such a good game. I was
    hoping all season long these two would meet up in the NFC
    Championship and honestly.. either team could team this game. The
    Saints are -3.0 favourites and historically home team get given three
    points for the home-field advantage… so basically this game is a
    pick-em and there is ONE thing that I like about the Saints and its
    that home-field advantage. Last week Warner and Romo combined for 7
    sacks and 4 fumbles largely in part to not being able to communicate
    with their offence. The SuperDome is NUTS and I don’t care how much
    experience Favre has, the crowd can help a team and also hurt the
    other so much.

    Feel free to check out my picks with scores (and of course
    cheerleader pictures) @

    Best of luck to all this week,

  10. Check out this proposed Vikings redesign I did late last year:
    I think we can count on purple to go the whole way this year ;)

  11. Nice predictions! The scores were off, but the Colts and Saints are going to the Super Bowl!

  12. Well whadda ya know. Scores were definitely off, but clearly the better designs won today. Woot.

  13. "The Jets have a highly considered typographic identity (by Michael Bierut, m’kay?)."

    Basically, if you had any reservations about thinking the Jets logo is quality, just remember Michael Beirut created it.

    The need to attach a name to the logo for justification is almost as horrible as the logo itself. If some no-name of in-house designer created that mark, you'd be saying how jumbled and visually confusing it really is.

    Cute article though. reminds me of the episode of Cheers where Diane picks football games on whether a Bear could defeat a lion, etc.

  14. Have you ever thought of the Cleveland Browns Identity.
    Logo = Non-existant, Superbowls = Non-existant.

  15. The vikings also have a mullet sporting reciever...