BY Art Thiel 04:48PM 07/23/2020

Thiel: From Beast Mode, Seattle goes Beast Cold

Nobody wants a small fish that gets eaten by bigger fish. Totems? Out of fashion. Metropolitans? Ineligible. How about remorseless sea menace? Yes. Kraken.

The color of the eye in the in the Seattle Kraken’s logo is called “red alert.” / NHLSeattle

Let’s deep-six right now the complaints about naming a sports team after a mythical being. We have plenty of Giants, Titans, Devils, Thunderbirds, etc. In the land that propagated Bigfoot propaganda for profit, let us Sasquatologists not heap scorn on Kraken.

Hey, we once had an NBA team named after an airplane that never came to exist, the Boeing Super Sonic Transport (SST).

And let’s perform cancel culture on all pedestrian animals (Bears, Lions, Eagles, etc.) because they are trite. Did you know there’s no such bird as a seahawk? Osprey comes ornithologyically close, but the word is hard to say drunk. Although I did think about firing up a campaign for an ignored, under-appreciated, indigenous species — the Banana Slugs.

In a league that has the San Jose Sharks, as well as the arch-rival team in Vancouver whose symbol is an orca, nobody wants to be a sockeye or a steelhead, otherwise known in the marine world as breakfast.

The Totems? Native American symbolism is done. The Metropolitans? A good idea, a nostalgic throwback to the days when Seattle had a vibrant downtown as well as the name of the team that won the 1918 Stanley Cup. But it’s also the name of a division in the NHL. Non-starter.

Kraken: Unique.

Fanciful, farcical and a figure in literature. Herman Wouk, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Alfred, Lord Tennyson all waxed eloquent over the sea monster. Here’s Al’s little ditty:

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millenial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

I mean, if ESPN can’t take that heavy literary ordnance and make it into a 10-part semi-documentary, it may as well pack it in and stream kitty videos.

And of course, Kraken is a cinematic force. Who can forget Liam Neeson, who, in Clash of the Titans, unknowingly over-acted and launched a hockey franchise:

More recently, the Pirates of the Caribbean film series launched the Kraken into the pop culture stratosphere as the cephalopodic antagonist to Johnny Depp’s captain Jack Sparrow.

The connection seems obvious when hockey fanatic Jerry Bruckheimer, executive producer of Pirates, is also part owner of the NHL Seattle expansion franchise. Joining hockey and the Kraken together must feel to Bruckheimer like the first time Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced in Top Hat.

Perhaps the coolest element of Kraken is the sense of remorseless menace. That was the theme of the club’s hype video released Wednesday with the announcement. No narration, no appearance by the beast. You just know.

All of the foregoing suggests that there was no real option, not after Kraken kept popping up high in fan voting and polling. CEO Tod Leiweke has made quite a career out of listening to fans, even if they were telling him something he didn’t want to hear.

A story that made the rounds last year quoted Leiweke, formerly the NFL’s No. 2 behind Roger Goodell and the Seahawks/Sounders boss from 2002-10, as saying, “I didn’t leave a good job to come back to Seattle and run a hockey team called the Kraken.”

As he did earlier in Seattle, when he heard many fans of the expansion MLS franchise say they didn’t want any part of a team that wasn’t named Sounders, he changed his mind. In the 597 days since the Dec. 4, 2018 announcement that Seattle was the NHL’s 32nd franchise, Leiweke felt the urge again to accept the public’s will.

According to a story exclusive to ESPN, the club had decided on the name by around Christmas, but had to work through trademark issues that concluded only a week ago. To much praise and some scorn, they landed on an original name — and kept the secret until Wednesday.

“We hope today’s proof positive that we’ve been good listeners,” Leiweke said in a live-streamed announcement from the Seattle Center worksite that will be Climate Pledge Arena. “A single survey resulted in 100,00o fans weighing in with more than 1,000 names. We read every name, but we listened to more than that survey for the last two years.

“We’ve listened in coffee shops and in meetings, and to calls at our previous center. If we did listen, we couldn’t go wrong . . .  A great brand reflects who you are, where you are, and ultimately the passion of your fans . . . It can access our hockey history, it connects us to our maritime heritage and it also connects us to the great mystery of the sea.”

The club nailed the look of the logo, the jerseys and the colors — midnight, icy blue and “red alert,” a combo not found elsewhere in the NHL. No white, no green. For fashionistas, an explanation of the design and color details can be found here.

Let the skeptics lament and the carpers carp.

It’s not Banana Slugs, but there won’t be a better public-address intro call than “Rrrrelease the Krrrraken!” Capt. Jack Sparrow, you best be there on Dec. 1, 2021.


YourThoughts

  • “Carpers carp”: truly, journalism is the best of all possible jobs. Well-played as always.

    The primary logo is fantastic with the nod to the Metropolitans’ capital S, as well as the negative-space tentacle. It took me some staring at it and then I also noticed that the negative space below the eye also looks like a cruel grin. Sports logos are some of the hardest things in the world to design; someone is very, very good.

    The secondary logotype is to me the best of all. Obviously the stylized anchor has the Space Needle in it so that’s automatically cool. But it also hints at (a) the Starbucks logo, (b) the Rebel Alliance (“Stanley Cups are built on hope!”) and, my favorite, (c) the Sonics Rising logo! I’m hoping whoever the designers were intended all three nods.

    The only missteps I can see are: (a) Do Krakens destroy anchors, or do anchors destroy Krakens? and (b) the boat-anchor-related headlines for any future lousy seasons will get really old really fast.

    • art thiel

      Good for you, Laird, seeing around corners to Da Vinci Code-level clues. I don’t quite see the anchor as a threat, more like a snack for the Kraken. But keep going, there may be a clamshell in there as an homage to Ivar.

  • LarryLurex70

    I’ve been supporting the Canucks as the “home team” since the mid-‘90’s and decided about a year ago that it’d be great to be able to support an actual “home team” in the NHL rather than an out-of-market one. And, switching loyalties is something I RARELY do, if ever. Seriously, I’ve liked the same MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL teams for decades. Hell, the NBA squad I like doesn’t even exist anymore! As far as I was concerned, NHL Seattle had but 1 job in order for me to abandon the Canucks in favour of the true hometown NHL squad: do NOT name the franchise the Kraken. That’s all. I preferred Totems (a nod to our actual, albeit abbreviated NHL history, unlike a certain name from a century ago that no one in this forum was alive for when it was active, and some of who’s advocates believe really did play in the NHL, whilst busying themselves reminding us all for the 579th time in a week they were the first American team to hoist the Cup), but, in today’s cultural climate, that wasn’t happening. I resigned myself to that at least 6 months ago. Hell, I would’ve even settled for Sockeye(s), and was certain last night after news of today’s announcement broke, that the colour scheme at NHL Seattle’s official site was a dead giveaway for that. “How could it NOT be?”, I thought, and went to bed last night fully convinced NHL Seattle would have the stones to resist the temptation to NOT fall into Seattle’s predictable and tired need to always be “different” and “unique.” Not following the herd is normally a truly admirable trait. But, there ARE times when doing so opens oneself up to embarrassment. Now, ultimately, the naming of a new pro sports franchise isn’t really THAT serious – nor should it be, unless you’re going the cultural appropriation route – but, I believe that as of approximately 9-something this morning, Seattle – in another ridiculous attempt to show how “different and unique” they are – crossed full speed ahead over into the “embarrassing” category yet again. I honestly find it difficult to believe that those who initially floated the name Kraken did so with a straight face. It was so outrageous a name, that, OF COURSE it would gather steam as a suggestion. And, more importantly, as a joke. Online trolls being what/who they are, why wouldn’t it? I’m just seriously amazed that Leiweke – himself an early opponent of the name, and rightly so – and OVG actually fell for it. With all due respect to those who are genuinely stoked right now behind the name Kraken, OVG had 1 job and couldn’t even manage that.

    But, it’s totally my own fault for expecting anything different from the firm and city behind “Climate Pledge Arena.”

    • art thiel

      Jeez, Larry. Tell us how you really feel.

      I’m sure you have much company. But my finger-in-he-wind guess is you’re in the minority. That’s OK, I’m in the minority loving raw oysters, and am glad others don’t. More for me.

      It’s a matter of taste. No right or wrong. That’s too bad you feel embarrassed; I think other things are more worthy of that. What I can say from is from a dining point of view, sockeye is a low-end salmon, which is what OVG and Leiweke would be trying to explain away today to a puzzled nation. Most everyone into pop culture knows Kraken is a bad-ass sea creature. That is enough.

      • LarryLurex70

        Obviously, I’m not “into pop culture”, and had no idea until reading this article that someone had bothered to remake Clash of the Titans.

        • Seattle Psycho

          Sorry it is now on your radar. It was absolutely terrible.

    • James

      If provided the opportunity to vote for “Boaty McBoatface”, they will.

      • LarryLurex70

        They’d better not. Too similar to what happens in Detroit. If Seattle “hockey fans” are as knowledgeable as they like to think they are now, they wouldn’t dare.

  • SeattleSince57

    To make a mythical creature such a huge criteria, in name of team,
    Sasquatch is much more local based.. but still not loved by me..
    but go figure, … the movie guy owner gets it his way.

    I will warm up to kraken, it just wont be today.
    I do like the ‘S’ logo with the red eye..i could wear that

    • art thiel

      I don’t think mythology was a criterion, it was just popular, and others were trite or stale.

      Hey, take your time. Buy the hat. Women will think you’re cool.

  • 1coolguy

    I grew up in Seattle supporting the Totems – to heck with your being PC and the Cancel Culture – I vote for the Totems.

    • art thiel

      Well, as long as you grew up with it, coolguy, it must be right. Anything after that, must be wrong. Gotta admit, life is easier that way.

      • 1coolguy

        Yours is a tacky retort Art. Having worked and lived with Alaska natives for over 40 years, both Indians and yes, Eskimos. I have world’s more insight into this issue that you have made of team names than you ever will, as it concerns Alaskan natives.
        North Slope Inupiats are fine people and I have heard them refer to themselves as Eskimos, very naturally. Of course, that most likely doesn’t fly with the suddenly woke and PC whites from Seattle and of course, Portland, who apparently have a lot of spare time on their hands these days.
        And the Indians I lived and worked with in Southeast are fine with the TOTEMS they are expert at carving to this day – it is a part of their heritage, as are totems in BC and OMG, western Washington.
        So I suggest you learn a bit about history and native cultures as I have for many years Art. And please, get off your “wokeness”, it’s not appealing.

        • StephenBody

          Art’s reply has little to do with wokeness and more to do with the facts that A) nobody objected to Totems on a cultural misappropriation basis or as racism. “Totem” is a term that dates back to ancient Egypt. It is identified with Native Americans but not invented or owned by them. I get it: you don’t like Kraken and wish you could have had your fave name applied to the team. I submitted about 25 names, all of which I liked better than Kraken. But the name IS Kraken, now, and you can either pout or watch hockey. Gonna be kinda hard to do both.

          Oh, and you lecturing Art for a tacky retort is sadly ironic after you indulged yourself in possibly the most tacky behavior possible for a rational adult: setting yourself up as some sort of final authority, based on some peripheral proximity to a culture OF WHICH YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER.

          Also, not for nothing, Totems didn’t become the team’s name because B) it is BORING; just another one of those knee-jerk names that Seattleites adopt because they can’t or won’t Think Outside their little Fish-Tossin’ Box. It’s a boring name for boring people and the people who own and run the KRAKEN are not boring.

        • art thiel

          You said you suspect they like it, coolguy. You don’t know for sure. But if even some are offended, that’s enough.

          I haven’t spent the time you have in the north, but made numerous trips. I’ve seen a fair amount of bad situations in BC, NWT, Alaska and Western Washington that speak to active and passive discrimination against indigenous people, particularly the conquered ones.

          The fact that you are magnanimously wise and woke to one minority people doesn’t mean the names and symbols we whites have appropriated for our amusement are helpful or respectful.

          We whites just don’t need to do that. But I don’t expect you would understand.

    • CHAZHX

      Don’t worry, Art Thiel and this trash PC BLM website will be cancelled soon enough. There’s currently a deep dive investigation underway exploring Art’s background and past transgressions (we’ve discovered some whoppers so far—and not just from his past trips to BK). There’s also a genealogy deep dive currently underway to expose any and all Black slaves his ancestors owned. I warned Mr. Thiel this was going to happen, and he thought ignoring it would make go away, It’s not. The ‘dossier’ is being worked on Mr. Thiel, and with my contacts and and the power of the internet, EVERYONE is going to know everything about you and your skeletons.

    • DB

      It’s hard being a contrarian, Cool Guy. No one want to hear that the majority of Native Americans still aren’t offended by the name of the Washington Redskins.
      That finding is from a recent survey and — as you probably remember, even if you’ve tried to forget — falls in line with what a Washington Post poll found three years ago and an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found 12 years before that. Or, that the majority don’t refer to themselves as ‘Native Americans’ or ‘First Nations people’. This sign hangs on a street in Ketchikan… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77a10c36d72293eb53c53cfb90a8351c26c3e0f6a586c4a73959ffc2e11e95b7.jpg

      • art thiel

        DB, it’s one thing what members of a group/tribe/people call themselves. It’s another thing when non-members use the same terms. It is often a term of brother/sisterhood to members, often a term of derision when used by others. It’s a basic code of language usage.

        • DB

          Of course. I agree. However, that’s not the question the 3 surveys were asking, nor is it that kind of usage by the Tinglit Tribe, who are publicly proclaiming themselves as Red Men vs this being an ‘insider’ term. This is what they publicly named their organization. Life has fascinating contradictions.

          I think your earlier piece on the Redskins hit the mark when you referenced the idea that team names are meant to unite. If even a small minority are offended, then the name fails in its mission. It’s just interesting to me that most of those who object are apparently not the folks that the objectors assume should be offended.

      • 1coolguy

        Uh, did I mention the Redskins??? No, I didn’t. So go take your PC BS and put it up where it should stay.
        In your next post, how about staying on subject, not what you think you see.

        • DB

          Obviously, you missed my point entirely, Cool Guy. It contained some sarcasm related to PC culture, which seems to have confused you. Let me dumb it down for you.
          Your comment: I like Totems and think the Tlingits would be fine with it.
          My comment: Cool Guy has a point. 3 surveys conducted over 12 years showed that the majority of Native Americans don’t object to the name of the Washington Redskins. Further, the Tlingits publicly call themselves ‘Red Men’ on their sign in Ketchikan. So, all of that would strongly indicate that the Tlingit, and Native Americans generally, wouldn’t have an issue with Totems.
          Get it now?

  • Seattle Psycho

    There is not one thing I don’t like. The colors, meaning and throwback to the Metropolitans are incredible. Hopefully the team can keep it up through the expansion draft and put a great product on the ice from the start.

    • art thiel

      Good to hear from the lamp-is-lit crowd.

  • jafabian

    This day has been a long time coming. There was a vast amount of choices for a name that could represent the state and a professional hockey team and it was a win-win scenario for fans. Already the club has the best mascot in the league in Liam Neeson, or at least will get a sound bite of him reciting his famous line from Clash Of The Titans to use every match. I’ll even take Jack Sparrow, I mean CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow, saying “Hello beastie”. I now hate the Canucks and Canadiens. But so glad Seattle got an NHL team before Portland.

  • woofer

    The obvious reality subtext here is that the depths of Puget Sound are the home of the world’s largest octopus, the Giant Pacific, which can have wingspans up to 30 feet across and weigh over 600 pounds. Not kraken dimensions maybe, but the closest available approximation. Apparently they love to congregate under the West Seattle Bridge. There just has to be a great joke in there some place, but it has yet to surface.

    Of course no one should accuse the NHL moguls or most Seattle fans of actually knowing about the Giant Pacific octopus and cleverly making the obscure connection. But the connection is there, and on some deeper level it has managed to seep through.

    • Husky73

      Yeah, except the Kraken were (supposedly) from Scandinavia.

      • Bob Kershner

        It might be important to recognize the Scandinavian presence in the city. Ballard is prominently Scandinavian, with many other areas as well. You don’t get more Scandinavian than “Nordstrom” – the original Seahawks owners. Just food for thought.

        • Brent Hannon

          I thought of that too. Seattle was largely settled by Scandinavian loggers and seafarers and fishermen. the dark cold waters and gloomy skies apparently reminded them of home.

        • art thiel

          True, but the last 20 years have greatly reduce the knowledge of uff da.

      • art thiel

        So were my grandparents. That OK?

    • art thiel

      Yes, it’s obvious. Cephalopods are generally mysterious, and scary to some. And I do think the NHL moguls know where Seattle is — the location of a lot of wealth.

  • Brent Hannon

    it took me all day to kind of get used to it, but yeah, Kraken, why not? The colors are cool, I like the anchor, and that official video is kick ass. now all they have to do is teach those Canucks how to play hockey. or, as they say in Quebec, ‘ockey.

    • art thiel

      Tres bien, ‘annon.

  • Kirkland

    As if I thught this NHL saga couldn’t infuriate me more, with the hijacking of SoDo, the smarmy Tim Leiwicke and putting the arena and practice facilities in the absolutely worst places, they so it again with this wretched nickname. I don’t care what the jerseys or logo look like, that nickname which I refuse to type and have muted on Twitter is horrible. I slowed down watching the NHL in May 2016, and am now completely done with the league. I’m sticking to junior, college, minors and European hockey, and I hope this franchise moves or folds.

    • art thiel

      Wow. Scorched earth.

      I get the location and transpo complaint, but do keep in mind this all private funds and helps keep Seattle Center afloat. Liking the name is mostly a generational thing, and the youngsters are with it.

      But if you don’t like the NHL, the mute button is your best pal.

      • Kirkland

        The Seattle Center and City Council seem more interested in concerts and their revenue, than in a sports anchor tenant. And the mute button is working very well.

  • Husky73

    What an embarrassment. I’m reminded of the plumber, Phil M’Kraken. Will the fans be Krakheads? Will they play in the Krak house? Will a 7-1 loss be termed a full scale Krak up? Do you spend $2 billion to be ridiculed? Absolute. Freaking. Disaster.

    • DB

      Good insights. I hadn’t really considered Krakheads or Krakhouse. Made me laugh…

    • tor5

      I’ve already heard these terms being thrown around. Art made a good case for liking Kraken, but the association with crack (as in cocaine) seems inevitable and unfortunate. Maybe we should have gone with some sort of marine prey after all.

      • art thiel

        Yeah, there’s a poor taste issue there. I shall attempt to resist.

    • James

      Don’t forget Krak pots.

      • art thiel

        It’s the first days, so we should get all of our word-plays out now, m’kay?

    • art thiel

      I know you’re over 40, but did you have to make it so obvious? :)

  • Chris Alexander

    I like the name … especially the fact that it doesn’t end with an “s” like almost every other professional team (Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Trailblazers, Patriots, Bruins, Lions, Cowboys, Dolphins, Astros, Angels, etc., etc., etc.).

    And whoever designed the logo(s) NAILED IT! Absolute perfection as far as I’m concerned.

    • art thiel

      See Stephen Body’s list above for singular subjects.

  • John

    Well someday, before long, I will have a Kraken puck and sweater, to go along with my Totems puck and sweater, and my Silvertips puck and sweater. I have mixed feelings about the team name but I do like the look of the sweater. I will have to see what I can do to see the first game in 2021.

    • art thiel

      Two years from now, your man cave will be adorned with Krakenania.

      I’m just here to see the frontier of language.

  • CHAZHX

    “The Totems? Native American symbolism is done.”

    Then the geriatric fraud and hypocritic Art Thiel better get to work on his next article demanding the ‘Seahawks’ name and logo be cancelled, since it’s obviously racist being based on a Native American face covering and all..

    https://www.burkemuseum.org/news/mask-inspired-seahawks-logo

  • CHAZHX

    “The Totems? Native American symbolism is done.”

    Then the geriatric fraud and hypocritic Art Thiel better get to work on his next article demanding the ‘Seahawks’ name and logo be cancelled, since it’s obviously racist being based on a Native American face covering and all…

    https://www.burkemuseum.org/news/mask-inspired-seahawks-logo

  • wabubba67

    Admittedly, I was rooting for Sockeyes (a fish coiled in an ‘S’ with a black eye as the logo would have been incredible), sounds appropriately violent for hockey, regional, and alliterative…..but I’m starting to warm to Kracken. It also sounds violent and they nailed the logo and the colors. I can adjust.

    • art thiel

      Sockeye was a finalist, but as I wrote, they went to the top of the marine food chain.

  • StephenBody

    All these people bitching about #Kraken: Tony Korhheiser says it’s from Norway – so is about 1/3 of Seattle. Michael Wilbon says it doesn’t say “Seattle”: Lotsa Titans in Nashville, are there? Blue Jackets the required uniform in Columbus? Lotsa assaults in Montreal, the Impact?

    People here crabbin’ because there’s no “s” on the end?
    LA Galaxy
    Miami Heat
    Utah Jazz
    Orlando Magic
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Minnesota Wild
    Chicago Fire
    LA Galaxy
    Houston Dynamo

    This is not to even mention all the minor league teams like Wichita Wind Surge, Visalia Rawhide, Winston-Salem Dash, and the legendary Martinez Sturgeon.

    It’s like this: Get Over It. This is the name. It has a LONG history. It’s an apex predator. Best of all, it pisses off all those calcified, Wonder Bread old men who would name EVERY sports team the Bears or Lions or Colts or, far worse, the fuggen Sockeyes or Steelheads or Chinooks. I love Seattle to death but people here are NOTORIOUS for embracing the old and tired in a death grip. (UW black helmets, anyone?) Even Seattle Sasquatch would have been okay and nobody has that, anywhere.

    As a life-long Blackhawks fan (there’s a nickname that has just about the shelf life of milk, eh?) I’m ambivalent about Kraken. It would NOT have been my first choice. Or tenth. But it could have been a lot dumber and duller. At very least, it’s stimulating a TON of comment. And it is RIFE with possibility for wordplay, even beyond Krak Head and Krak House (which are slam dunks). “Let’s Krak the Playoffs!”. Season ticket drive: “Get Kraken!” (not that they’re going to need a season ticket drive) “Kraken the Code”, bags of “Kraken Peanuts”, “Spine Kraken Excitement!”, etc., etc.

    I’m the West Coast distributor of crankiness but I can’t find it to get all hot about this. The team has a name and unis and a GM and soon an arena. Focus on the big stuff and get used to Kraken.

    • Husky73

      Get used to Banana Slugs.

      • art thiel

        Getcher own, pal.

    • DJ

      Dude – Spot on. Just imagine the reaction if one of the long standing names in sports hadn’t existed and was just introduced. NY Giants for example. Way less relevance than Kraken to Seattle.

      The national media has rarely gotten the Northwest right. Maybe to them the (software) “Debuggers” would make more sense.

      • art thiel

        This controversy alone elevates the team profile. and everyone wants the jersey.

    • art thiel

      You line up with The Ringer, a more enthusiastic national voice:

      https://www.theringer.com/2020/7/23/21336242/seattle-kraken-nhl-team-name

  • Alan Harrison

    I like it and, more importantly, so do 100% of the people under the age of 35 with whom I’ve talked. Even my NY friends called about it – they’re so tired of Rangers (what is so New York about Rangers) and Islanders (yes, we get it, Long Island, right?). It’s unique (note to all: never say “very unique”), inspired, and dare I say it? FUN. Can’t wait to get the sweater, even if I’ll probably never be able to afford the tickets.

    • art thiel

      Thanks for pointing out the generational divide. It’s a salute to pop culture, which is typically people under 40. Traditionalists aren’t likely to get it, even if Tennyson did. And the logos and colors are killah.

      And I’m going to tell Servais, who last night used “very, very unique.” I’m glad I’m not the only one who cringes.

      • Husky73

        It’s either unique, or not.

  • BD

    Here’s the thing…

    When you name a child, one of the things you have to do as a thoughtful parent is go over all of the mean things the other kids are going to come up with regarding that name. Like, if you name a son “Win”. Well, that kid better have a very thick skin for every time he doesn’t. And when the dad that named you is a future Hall of Famer? Man, you better not get into XBox and Funyuns. If you’re naming a sports team, that’s quadrupely important.

    So, Kraken. In the whitest professional sport in North America? In one of the whitest areas of the United States? In a time, uh, well, when being white is about as popular as a herpes sore on the lip of a SI swim suit model? Now, replace the “n” with an “r”. Or just erase a little bit of the outside leg of that “n”. Is it just me?

    Then there’s the whole drug reference thing. In homeless, drug infested Seattle? Really?

    I mean, just sayin’.

    Go Krakers!

    • art thiel

      A real stretch, DB. Not buying at all.

      • DB

        Not DB.

  • Husky73

    “This is the worst nickname in all of sports. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” (Kornheiser and Wilbon).

    • art thiel

      I can google Konheiser and Wilbon and find things they said dumber than Kraken.

  • Williec

    So l just gave my wife a 2 minute synopsis of the story and commentary. She said, “So kracken heads and kracken sticks.”

    • art thiel

      I bet she spelled it better than you.

      • Williec

        Of course. She also got the concept right away, i.e., hockey’s gonna be crackin good around here. Also, I grew up with the Totems playing in the Armory, saw Guyle Fielder one time. This name, Kracken, is way better. I love the creativity that went into the logo and uniform design.

  • DJ

    Thanks Arrrrrrt! Blymie! Well, well, RIP Totems, from when I was a little kid and understood hockey (or thought I did). I had a babysitter that took us to a few games; that and roller derby ;^)

    Kraken makes sense, and thanks for the extensive background review. Although, I’m more apt to relate “Release the Kraken!” to rum ads, that memory is slipping away as I stream more and more. Seems like a potential sponsor?

    • art thiel

      The Totems die-hards dwindle, and I as I wrote, Native American iconography’s time in sports is fading.

      I never tried the rum, but now I feel obligated.

  • SeattleSince57

    Will the ‘Krak’ House Arena have a smoking room?

    • art thiel

      You buying?

  • Hockeypuck

    I give the team credit for having the guts listen to fans and choose a name/logo that is avant-garde, inspired, and most importantly marketable (this coming from a 60ish self-described crank). That the always supercilious Gary Bettman was lukewarm (at best) to the name makes it all the better.

    To those that don’t like it: get used to it.

    As I recall, Dori Monson I believe – never one to shy away from a manufactured morality play – was the first local journalist to bluster sanctimoniously that the abbreviated “Krak” name lends itself to all the obvious drug-related double entendres. And yet in his most recent interview with the team last Friday, he managed to laugh at himself by suggesting anyone whose parents named their son Dori probably shouldn’t criticize team nicknames. The point being it’s a sports team nickname, so let’s have a sense of humor about it, okay?

    My dad was a medical professional who was associated tangentially with the Seattle Totems. So I went to probably 35 games a year. Sports – especially as a kid – are evocative, much like the music we grew up with. I still remember the game when the Totems defeated the Red Army team – at that time considered the best team in the world. Or when my Dad and I were at school in the late spring one afternoon, and there was Bill Dineen, who was in the latter stages of his career with the Totems. A very reserved man, he had a grin on his face from ear-to-ear. He had just been named player-coach of the Denver Spurs, so Bill was transitioning into the next phase of his hockey career and he couldn’t have been more excited. He proudly gave me a Denver Spurs hockey puck – which I still have 50 years later.

    Many people on this thread presumably of “my generation” have expressed frustration that a name as seemingly benign as the “Totems” could evoke such opposition. I suspect that some of this anger stems from a genuine feeling that their evocative childhood experiences and memories are being dismissed and trivialized. And the fact that those objections are often raised by those they consider to be the snotty, self absorbed snowflake generation -with no appreciation or respect for “my generation”, history or tradition – makes it (to them) all the more infuriating.

    While it could be said the idea of cultural appropriation is occasionally (frequently?) overplayed, it’s clearly a Pandora’s Box issue. On my way to Sequim recently I stopped by Native American art gallery. They had many absolutely beautiful paintings, carvings, etc. including eagles, totem poles etc. In checking their drop-down menu this morning, one of the carving choices was “Totems”. Local artists choose to sell their cultural and associated spiritual beliefs as art objects. No one would accuse those selling (or buying) this art as “cultural appropriation.” The Florida State Seminoles apparently have a close working relationship with and the support of the local Seminole tribe – a relationship that involves scholarships for Seminole tribe members, and in all likelihood other financial support. I recall seeing their pregame festivities on TV where a (presumably) local tribe member rode into the stadium on a horse out and planted a flaming spear in the middle of the cartoonized Seminole likeness at the 50-yard line. So does this constitute partnership, cultural appropriation, bribery, racism, or some combination of all four? FSU could easily support the local Seminole tribe WITHOUT pasting a characterized likeness on their helmets and other sports paraphernalia . Hence the Pandora’s Box-ness of this issue.

    I don’t know the absolute truth on this issue. So although my pride – along with some minimal amount of wisdom accumulated from life experience – makes me reluctant to cede this issue to those whose sanctimony, judgment and social-media bullying on many issues is misguided (IMHO) the bottom line is this: at this point in my life I only have so much energy for this type of debate/conflict . So I will acquiesce, set aside whatever frustration I harbor and hopefully have the energy/humility to engage (those not like me) constructively on social/justice issues going forward. And of course enjoy the name and jerseys – which absolutely rock.

  • np425

    Bigshot Hollywood producer buys Seattle’s new hockey team and names it after a monster from his own movies. That’s gotta hit every local’s “the Californians are coming” nerve at least a little. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but the name lacks the Seattle touch of most other options.

    I do look forward to a St. Paddy’s tradition of Irish music and Guinness so we can all have a good craic with the Kraken. I hope that importing beer doesn’t conflict with the venue’s values.

  • Hockeypuck

    I give the team credit for having the guts listen to fans and choose a name/logo that is avant-garde, inspired, and most importantly marketable (this coming from a 60ish self-described crank). That the always supercilious Gary Bettman was lukewarm (at best) to the name makes it all the better.
    To those that don’t like it: get used to it.
    As I recall, Dori Monson I believe – never one to shy away from a manufactured morality play – was the first local journalist to bluster sanctimoniously that the abbreviated “Krak” name lends itself to all the obvious drug-related double entendres. And yet in his most recent interview with the team last Friday, he managed to laugh at himself by suggesting anyone whose parents named their son Dori probably shouldn’t criticize team nicknames. The point being it’s a sports team nickname, so let’s have a sense of humor about it, okay?
    My dad was a medical professional who was associated tangentially with the Seattle Totems. So I went to probably 35 games a year. Sports – especially as a kid – are evocative, much like the music we grew up with. I still remember the game when the Totems defeated the Red Army team – at that time considered the best team in the world. Or when my Dad and I were at school in the late spring one afternoon, and there was Bill Dineen, who was in the latter stages of his career with the Totems. A very reserved man, he had a grin on his face from ear-to-ear. He had just been named player-coach of the Denver Spurs, so Bill was transitioning into the next phase of his hockey career and he couldn’t have been more excited. He proudly gave me a Denver Spurs hockey puck – which I still have 50 years later.
    Many people on this thread presumably of “my generation” have expressed frustration that a name as seemingly benign as the “Totems” could evoke such opposition. I suspect that some of this anger stems from a genuine feeling that their evocative childhood experiences and memories are being dismissed and trivialized. And the fact that those objections are often raised by those they consider to be the snotty, self absorbed snowflake generation -with no appreciation or respect for “my generation”, history or tradition – makes it (to them) all the more infuriating.
    While it could be said the idea of cultural appropriation is occasionally (frequently?) overplayed, it’s clearly a Pandora’s Box issue. On my way to Sequim recently I stopped by Native American art gallery. They had many absolutely beautiful paintings, carvings, etc. including eagles, totem poles etc. In checking their drop-down menu this morning, one of the carving choices was “Totems”. Local artists choose to sell their cultural and associated spiritual beliefs as art objects. No one would accuse those selling (or buying) this art as “cultural appropriation.” The Florida State Seminoles apparently have a close working relationship with and the support of the local Seminole tribe – a relationship that involves scholarships for Seminole tribe members, and in all likelihood other financial support. I recall seeing their pregame festivities on TV where a (presumably) local tribe member rode into the stadium on a horse out and planted a flaming spear in the middle of the cartoonized Seminole likeness at the 50-yard line. So does this constitute partnership, cultural appropriation, bribery, or some combination of all three? FSU could easily support the local Seminole tribe WITHOUT pasting a characterized likeness on their helmets and other sports paraphernalia . Hence the Pandora’s Box-ness of this issue.
    I don’t know the absolute truth on this issue. So although my pride – along with some minimal amount of wisdom accumulated from life experience – makes me reluctant to cede this issue to those whose sanctimony, judgment and social-media bullying on many issues is misguided (IMHO) the bottom line is this: at this point in my life I only have so much energy for this type of debate/conflict . So I will acquiesce, set aside whatever frustration I harbor and hopefully have the energy/humility to engage (those not like me) constructively on social/justice issues going forward. And of course enjoy the name and jerseys – which absolutely rock.

  • Hockeypuck

    I give the team credit for having the guts listen to fans and choose a name/logo that is avant-garde, inspired, and most importantly marketable (this coming from a 60ish self-described crank). That the always supercilious Gary Bettman was lukewarm (at best) to the name makes it all the better.
    To those that don’t like it: get used to it.
    As I recall, Dori Monson I believe – never one to shy away from a manufactured morality play – was the first local journalist to bluster sanctimoniously that the abbreviated “Krak” name lends itself to all the obvious drug-related double entendres. And yet in his most recent interview with the team last Friday, he managed to laugh at himself by suggesting anyone whose parents named their son Dori probably shouldn’t criticize team nicknames. The point being it’s a sports team nickname, so let’s have a sense of humor about it, okay?
    My dad was a medical professional who was associated tangentially with the Seattle Totems. So I went to probably 35 games a year. Sports – especially as a kid – are evocative, much like the music we grew up with. I still remember the game when the Totems defeated the Red Army team – at that time considered the best team in the world. Or when my Dad and I were at school in the late spring one afternoon, and there was Bill Dineen, who was in the latter stages of his career with the Totems. A very reserved man, he had a grin on his face from ear-to-ear. He had just been named player-coach of the Denver Spurs, so Bill was transitioning into the next phase of his hockey career and he couldn’t have been more excited. He proudly gave me a Denver Spurs hockey puck – which I still have 50 years later.
    Many people on this thread presumably of “my generation” have expressed frustration that a name as seemingly benign as the “Totems” could evoke such opposition. I suspect that some of this anger stems from a genuine feeling that their evocative childhood experiences and memories are being dismissed and trivialized. And the fact that those objections are often raised by those they consider to be the snotty, self absorbed snowflake generation -with no appreciation or respect for “my generation”, history or tradition – makes it (to them) all the more infuriating.
    While it could be said the idea of cultural appropriation is occasionally (frequently?) overplayed, it’s clearly a Pandora’s Box issue. On my way to Sequim recently I stopped by Native American art gallery. They had many absolutely beautiful paintings, carvings, etc. including eagles, totem poles etc. In checking their drop-down menu this morning, one of the carving choices was “Totems”. Local artists choose to sell their cultural and associated spiritual beliefs as art objects. No one would accuse those selling (or buying) this art as “cultural appropriation.” The Florida State Seminoles apparently have a close working relationship with and the support of the local Seminole tribe – a relationship that involves scholarships for Seminole tribe members, and in all likelihood other financial support. I recall seeing their pregame festivities on TV where a (presumably) local tribe member rode into the stadium on a horse out and planted a flaming spear in the middle of the cartoonized Seminole likeness at the 50-yard line. So does this constitute partnership, cultural appropriation, bribery, or some combination of all three? FSU could easily support the local Seminole tribe WITHOUT pasting a characterized likeness on their helmets and other sports paraphernalia . Hence the Pandora’s Box-ness of this issue.
    I don’t know the absolute truth on this issue. So although my pride – along with some minimal amount of wisdom accumulated from life experience – makes me reluctant to cede this issue to those whose sanctimony, judgment and social-media bullying on many issues is misguided (IMHO) the bottom line is this: at this point in my life I only have so much energy for this type of debate/conflict . So I will acquiesce, set aside whatever frustration I harbor and hopefully have the energy/humility to engage (those not like me) constructively on social/justice issues going forward. And of course enjoy the name and jerseys – which absolutely rock.