They come emblazoned with eagles, buffalo, horse shoes, stars and vikings. But one National Football League team has no logo. They are the Cleveland Browns of the AFC North Division and when they run on to the grid iron they wear orange helmets. Helmets with no icon, no crest, no letters – nothing. How does a major league sports franchise not have a team logo? And why are they emphasizing the color orange?
For thirty-five years the Cleveland Browns boasted that their team was named after legendary boxer Joe Louis, whose nickname was “The Brown Bomber.” The organization wanted to be associated with a winner and Joe Louis, the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937-1949, fit the bill. The thing is – the story was completely made up. The truth is that the team was named after its first coach – Paul Brown. After rejecting the name “Cleveland Panthers,” picked through a fan contest, owner Mickey McBride decided his football team would be named after the coach. Paul Brown was extremely uncomfortable with this decision and invented “The Brown Bomber” story to deflect attention away from himself. Perhaps this awkward history explains why the Cleveland Browns choose not to have a logo. If only they could get the color of the helmet right.