Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summit League Logo Battle: Oral Roberts

When it comes to The Summit League, we have some of the best nicknames in all of college sports. And what better way to embrace our team monikers than to take a look at their visual equivalences: the team logo. For all of our analyses, we used the primary logos for each team listed on the venerable website SportsLogos.net. (Please note that any digs thrown at the schools are just for fun and do not necessarily represent our true feelings about them!)

Program: Oral Roberts

Nickname: Golden Eagles

Origin of Nickname: The Golden Eagle was first introduced in 1993, presumably the result of an identity-changing phase. The name of the university's mascot, ELI, is an acronym standing for education, lifeskills, and integrity, or the three traits that an ORU student represents. (h/t: The Summit League)

Philosophical Take: According to the ORU mission statement, it is a "charismatic university, founded in the fires of evangelism and upon the unchanging precepts of the Bible." With that said and considering ORU was founded by one of the world's foremost evangelists, there is no doubt that spreading the Gospel is one of the tenets of the Tulsa-based university. For this reason, we believe the animated Golden Eagle is a cover-up for a much larger mission. In fact, this eagle was chosen in an effort to align itself with the bald eagle, the national emblem of the United States. By doing this, the university is sending a symbolic message about its desire to see the US adopt Christianity as its official religion, outlawing the free practice of other religions and those who are non-believers. This would go down as one of the largest forced evangelistic missions ever in this country, and it would all be done under the guise of a pretty little cartoon character. These ulterior motives are what describe the golden eagle's crooked grin.

Final Judgment: Aside from the colors, this logo leaves much to be desired. Basically, it's a cartoon character with a questioning facial expression. Also, who wears vests? I seriously think the idea outlined in the philosophical take is more fitting for this logo than anything remotely connected to sports.

How We'd Fix It: The best thing Oral Roberts has going for itself is that many in the general public know what "ORU" means (unlike, say, the wildly popular "OU"). Because it is relatively well-known in the country as a university and from several appearances by its basketball team in the NCAA Tournament, people generally won't confuse these three letters with another school. It is for this reason that simply ORU will do on any logo version, though it should be the main feature and not relegated to "placement on an out-dated vest" status. After this, all one needs to do is update the feathery creature. I borrowed the bird from Morehead State for the following rendition, if not only to show that a golden eagle can look a lot more intimidating than one might imagine.

On Feathers and Fonts:
See our other Summit League Logo posts thus far: Centenary College, IUPUI, Southern Utah, UMKC, North Dakota State, and Western Illinois.

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