Saturday, January 30, 2010

ACC's Uniformity of Wordmark in Key

On many college basketball courts, the design will feature the logo of the home team's conference in the key. Many conferences appear to leave it to the discretion of each team how to handle the league logo. In the Big 12, for example, Iowa State has the conference logo in each key (just inside the free-throw line), whereas Texas Tech has solid red keys with a "XII" logo below and to the right of the center-court Double-T.

As I started looking into this issue more closely, it seemed that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) might be one in which all member teams have the conference logo (or in this case, wordmark) in their keys. After looking at several YouTube videos and doing screen captures, I can now document the big "ACC" letters in all the teams' keys...

Whether it's a league policy that all schools feature the "ACC" in the key or just each school deciding independently to do so, I don't know. Most hardcore hoops fans will be able to recognize all the schools. For the record, though, they are (clockwise from upper right) Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Virginia Tech, NC State, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Clemson.

Among other conferences, the Big East seems to have a lot of uniformity in the use of the conference wordmark in the key. The Big East has 16 teams. I have not checked all of their courts, but I've checked several and they all have the conference wordmark (here, here, and here).

If you know of other conferences that have complete uniformity on logos in the key, please share this information in the Comments section. If you could verify your assertion first by going to YouTube or other sites and viewing visual evidence from each court, that would be helpful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Huge Midcourt Design: South Carolina

In watching the telecast of South Carolina's upset of No. 1 Kentucky last night, I couldn't help but notice the huge logo and wordmarks at center-court of the Gamecocks' Colonial Life Arena (screen capture from South Carolina thus joins the large-logo pantheon, already inhabited by schools such as Syracuse, Kansas, and Cleveland State (see earlier entries on this blog).

Back in 2002, when Colonial Life Arena was being built, the school actually held a fan vote to determine the original court design. Today's court decorations, however, are far more outsized than the options available in 2002.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NBA Live (video game) Depictions of "Classic Courts"

While searching the web recently for pages on basketball court design, I came across the posting of video game images of roughly 25 "classic" courts used in NBA Live (from EA Sports). Included among the visual depictions are the Capital Centre (former home of the Washington Bullets, now Wizards), Hemisfair Arena (San Antonio), Kingdome and Seattle Center Coliseum (Seattle), Mecca (Milwaukee, with the famous "M" design), and Omni (Atlanta).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lakers Courts of the 1960s and '70s (Sports Arena and Forum)

While visiting my parents in Los Angeles over the holidays, I found some Lakers' team pictures from my childhood and teenage years, in my old room. As shown below, the pictures pretty well capture the Laker courts of the 1960s and '70s (you can click on the photo montage to enlarge it). Having moved to L.A. from Minneapolis for the 1960-61 season, the Lakers played their first seven seasons in La-La Land at the Sports Arena. They then moved to the newly contructed Forum in 1967, which is where they stayed until 1999 (team history).

The Sports Arena floor can be seen in the 1966-67 picture (white home uniforms with blue trim). The latter two photos are from the 1970-71 and 1977-78 teams, who sported yellow home uniforms with purple trim at the Forum. By clicking on the year-specific links, you can see the roster for the respective season.

The close-ups of the Forum center circles are from two of the team pictures. The major change in the floor from the early to the late 1970s was the shift from black trim with the focal yellow to orange trim (neither black nor orange being a team color, by the way). The Forum court changed a little more during the 1980s and '90s, primarily the out-of-bounds area becoming purple (instead of the prior yellow), but the center-court area didn't appear to change much (see the ending of the final game at the Forum, in the 1999 playoffs, in this YouTube video).

Starting with the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers moved to the newly constructed Staples Center in downtown L.A., where their center-court decoration is simply the team logo (a basketball with "LAKERS" on it).

Monday, January 11, 2010

U. Michigan's Crisler Arena, Mid-1980s

In recent years, the center-court area of the University of Michigan's Crisler Arena has been dominated by a big block M, with little color of any kind on the court. Over the holidays, my sister Lynn gave me an old photo (shown below) from when she visited me at UM during my graduate-school days there. The picture was taken circa 1986, definitely in summer! Back then, the court design made more extensive use of the school's famed Maize and Blue colors (if you go to this page and look at photo 14, you'll see that the keys were painted maize, as well).