"In professional wrestling, a heel (also known as a rudo in lucha libre) is a wrestler who is villainous or a "bad guy", who is booked (scripted) by the promotion to be in the position of being an antagonist."
Today is a special day. It's the debut article for The Soccer Heel. Before you get into reading this article, I want to give you some fair warning.
First, The Soccer Heel does not reflect the views of everyone affiliated with the AP.
Second, The Soccer Heel, like The Stig on Top Gear, will always be anonymous. This means anyone could be writing under The Soccer Heel pseudonym. A player, a coach, team owner, staff member, fan, or one of the three writers of this blog.
Third, this column will only cover controversial or rarely discussed issues in soccer, primarily concerning the lower, or non-league, levels of American Soccer.
Fourth, don't be surprised if you find yourself both agreeing with the point being made while also being offended by the way it's said. All Heel writers are encouraged to write freely and honestly, without restriction.
You've been warned. Feel free to recommend topics by Tweeting at AP with the hashtag #TheSoccerHeel. Now, see what the first Soccer Heel has to say.
Well, well, well. I've finally found a metaphorical microphone and platform from which to speak, and a captive audience to hear what I have to say.
A few weeks ago, the AP Twitter held a contest of sorts. Design a logo for a team in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Kevin Walker, who submitted the logo to the left, was the winner. Congratulations, Kevin. Maybe one day the guys running this site will figure out what your reward is, though it seems like there might be a bubbling groundswell of support around you to start a Vicksburg based team, so that could be your reward in the end. An actual soccer team.
Now, let me clear my throat and get into things.
Call it whatever you want, pay for it, or let it be 'organic and natural.' But for the love of all that is good about this sport, act like you care at least a little bit. I mean, what am I looking at here?
Seriously. What is this? The only reason I know these are for soccer teams is because I follow the sport. And when I look at these, it makes me think someone did these using Clipart on Windows 95.
If I, an avid fan of lower league soccer in the US, see your logo and don't take you seriously, why on earth would someone who isn't an avid fan take you seriously either? I've done better with crayon, on a napkin, at a Cracker Barrel. As a teenager. A few more examples for your viewing 'pleasure.'
Behold! Comic sans, in Italics. A rip off of Orlando City. And whatever the heck that mockery of the state of California is. Can you at least pretend to care? Or act like you give a crap? Is it that hard to find a good graphic designer?
No. No, it's not.
Guess how much the guys at AP paid for their logo. $100? $50? $75?
It was $0. That's how much it cost. Because there are a lot of talented guys and gals at their who do graphic design that are more than happy to do things for free or at low cost in exchange for the exposure.
Not it's not all doom and gloom at the lower levels. Behold!
Now here are two examples of teams that really care about appealing to potential fans!
Every team says they care, and pays lip service to that desire to care, but a logo is a darn good indicator of just how much they care.
Think about it: if they don't care enough about their own team to get a quality logo done, how much do they really care about you, the fan? Like the quote in an old interview with Chattanooga FC, 'if you don't take your team seriously, why should anyone else.'
Even though I'm The Soccer Heel, I'll leave you with a lifeline. Michael Taylor is the guy who did the AP logo! You can check out his Behance portfolio, along with his work on Dribble. Get in touch with him, and get yourself a quality logo.
For all the crap people give the internet community in American soccer, it can make or break team. Do the logo right, take yourself and the game seriously, and people will talk. If you don't, people will still talk. But not in a good way. And that's how you wind up getting trashed by The Soccer Heel.