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The Commercial Appeal February 23rd 1995

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  1. A couple of months ago, Kathleen Smith, her nine brothers and sisters and some of their friends were brainstorming for names for her dad's new Canadian Football League team.
  3. Wednesday evening, Kathleen, 15, and head coach / managing general partner Pepper Rodgers were standing in front of a crowd of 600 or so at The Racquet Club, revealing the logo and the nickname she blurted - Mad Dogs.
  5. "This was done in a very scientific manner with focus group sessions and a lot of participants," a proud Frederick W. Smith, the team's owner, jokingly said during the unveiling.
  7. The name Kathleen Smith suggested is depicted in a logo - designed by Michael Edward Design, Inc. of New York - picturing a dog wearing a spiked collar and snarling through clenched teeth. The primary colors are dark green and yellow, with burgundy, black and white serving as outline colors.
  9. Helmets and home jerseys will be dark green.
  11. "We were just sitting around, and I just kind of thought of it," said Kathleen, who said Quakes was one of the other names considered. "My brother, Richard (17), kind of liked it. He's the oldest, and he convinced everyone else."
  13. The invitation-only crowd - consisting mostly of political and corporate leaders - appeared convinced immediately after the gimmick-free announcement / press conference. A stock of about 200 caps sold out within 90 minutes, and T-shirts and canvas "doggy" bags were sold as well.
  15. Memphis Mayor W.W. Herenton and CFL commissioner Larry Smith addressed the crowd.
  17. Smith said the logo is part of the CFL's increased marketing emphasis. The Toronto Argonauts announced a new logo and colors Tuesday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers plan to change logos for 1995, and the league is looking at doing updated designs for other teams.
  19. "The logos that we're trying to drift toward are more sort of coming at you, more action-oriented," Larry Smith said.
  21. "We want logos that relate well to young people and people of all generations. Clearly, I love the Mad Dogs' logo and the name just drives me crazy."
  23. Michael Edward Design Inc. also designed the new Argonauts' logo, as well as logos of baseball's California Angels and Seattle Mariners, hockey's Florida Panthers and basketball's Toronto Raptors, an expansion team that begins NBA play next season.
  25. Guests said they enjoyed the combination of aggressiveness and sense of humor.
  27. Becky Parker, who said she was a University of Tennessee fan, said the logo will never be mistaken for Smokey VIII, a puppy who will take over as the Volunteers' mascot this spring. Still, she likes the Mad Dogs.
  29. "I thought we would be called the Hound Dogs," Parker said, referring to the proposed nickname when Memphis unsuccessfully sought an NFL franchise in 1993.
  31. "Mad Dogs has a little more pep to it."
  33. The team has looked at several jersey ideas. One with a large dog covering most of the front of the uniform and a small number on the upper-chest area was rejected. The Mad Dogs are considering having a spiked collar design around the neck opening.
  35. Tim Cofield, an All-CFL defensive end with Hamilton the last two seasons, said a real spiked collar would be functional.
  37. "Then offensive linemen can't hold you," said Cofield, a free agent the Mad Dogs hope to sign.
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