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SF on Ice

September 30, 2011
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Good news, San Franciscans of northern and eastern extraction! Minor League hockey is returning to our fair city! (Well, technically Daly City — the Cow Palace actually touches the SF city line.) They’ll be playing in the ECHL, an mid-level league with ties to the NHL.

While I am excited to watch hockey, even in a 1940s era arena, there are a few marketing issues to discuss. First is the name of the team. Minor league teams often have strange or uninspiring names. Consider our neighboring ECHL teams– the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Ontario Reign, the Stockton Thunder, the Bakersfield Condors. Meh.

The San Francisco team will be named… (wait for it…)

The San Francisco Bulls!

Get it? Cow Palace? Bulls? Or perhaps this is a nod to the Spanish-era rachos and the cattle hide industry? (Unfortunately, the Cow Palace is not in the jurisdiction of the old Bernal Rancho — Visitacion Valley and south belonged to Señor Ridley.)

While the logo itself is not bad, it’s not exactly screaming San Francisco. Something a little more local would be nice.

Consider a former ECHL team, the Victoria Salmon Kings. Lots of salmon around Victoria! And I like salmon!

(Wait, I think I like eating salmon more than watching salmon.)

Anyway, I have decided to lead an effort to rename the Bulls to something more appropriate to San Francisco.

The San Francisco Fog


  • iconic, readily associated with San Francisco
  • fog is fast
  • opposing teams will find it hard to get away from all encompassing nature
  • other weather related teams in the ECHL (Stockton Thunder, Cincinnati Cyclones)


  • potentially too literal
  • SF is foggy in summer, not winter (despite hockey playoffs going through June)
  • uncertain mascot costume
  • uncertain home vs away uniforms

(When I was a kid, NHL teams wore their more colorful jerseys on the road. They wore white at home — I thought this was what gave teams a home ice advantage (ice and the boards were white… hey, come on, I was 4.))

Derivation with more action and aggression:

The San Francisco Fog Eaters

(tip of the hat to Trail, BC.)


  • indicates an ability to eat things


  • fog seems to be primary component of diet (as opposed to animal-branded teams)

Those with long memories will remember the California Golden Seals who played in Oakland from 1967-1976 (then becoming the Cleveland Barons, which merged with the Minnesota North Stars, that moved to Dallas. However, the former owner of the Seals sold his shares in the Stars and helped found the Sharks).


  • seals do well in cold environments


  • seals get eaten by bears when on top of the ice
  • potential confusion with Lou Seal

Clearly another logo is required. This brings up the obvious and awesome possibility of…

The San Francisco Sutros

(via Jeff/@theoverheadwire)

Alternate logo, taking a page from the Giants:

Adding a bit of a hockey motif:

(Note: it is hard drawing Sutro Tower using hockey sticks. However, this clearly indicates we are serious about hockey.)


  • can communicate over long distances our utter awesomeness
  • reflects the majesty of the hockey stick (the Canadian ceremonial sword)
  • “Suuuuuuuuu-troooooooooo” is a very good cheer


  • none

Please welcome the San Francisco Sutros to the Cow Palace in 2012-2013!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 4:00 pm

    The hockey-stick Sutro is the best thing ever.

  2. September 30, 2011 4:04 pm

    Ha! When I was a kid, “San Francisco Fog” was always the name of the teams I’d make up.

  3. September 30, 2011 4:08 pm

    yes, please, and thank you.

  4. David Glasser permalink
    September 30, 2011 5:00 pm

    The SF Fog is a rugby team, I hear!

  5. csparsons permalink
    September 30, 2011 5:20 pm

    Great post. I admire your devotion to Sutro Tower. The fog logo was pretty good too.

  6. September 30, 2011 11:16 pm

    I’m convinced! You ARE serious about hockey!… Go Sutros!

  7. SimonSays permalink
    October 2, 2011 12:56 am

    Terrible name and logo. Such a shame. It must be due to the shortage of creative talent in the area.

  8. October 2, 2011 3:07 am

    Summary of last week’s press conference:

    The coach, Pat Curcio, had 10 years in the minors, 5 years coaching. Mainly an assistant coach but teams mainly had decent records.

    He played in Germany his last few seasons, including two years in Hannover. I actually saw a Hannover Scorpions (yes, named for the band) game a few years ago. My friend and I were in town for the CeBIT trade show and we were both wearing suits so I think everyone thought we were NHL scouts. But the fans had those inflatable sticks, along with annoying eurocheers. Pat, please don’t encourage that (oh, and rename the team, kthxbai).

    I’m curious who his backers are.

  9. shanners permalink
    October 2, 2011 3:56 pm

    i am really, really into the sutros logo. kudos!

  10. October 3, 2011 11:12 pm

    Genius. Really.

  11. lucydeecy permalink
    October 4, 2011 12:56 pm

    I remember the SF Spiders at the Cow Palace mid-nineties, IHL. Sutro is cooler.

  12. October 4, 2011 1:36 pm

    Uh oh, an update. This is the t-shirt they are giving away with a season ticket purchase. Let’s justt can be easily and unfortunately misinterpreted.

    @sfhockeydude has some excellent color commentary.

  13. Julian Lozos permalink
    October 5, 2011 9:49 am

    File “Sutro Tower wielding a hockey stick” under “things I will have to draw as soon as I finish the calendar.”
    (Along with “555 California Street vs. Transamerica Pyramid dance-off.”)

  14. GregG permalink
    October 5, 2011 11:07 am

    What’s funny is that if you look at the seating chart that is a part of the season ticket form it says “Sharks shoot on this goal twice”. Looks like they just stole the seating chart from when the Sharks played at the Cow Palace.

    • October 5, 2011 3:37 pm

      I noticed that too! I’m guessing it’s been photocopied about 12 times.

  15. October 24, 2011 7:29 am

    I like “Fogheads” better than “The Fog” or “Fog Eaters”, but I suppose KFOG probably owns that one.

  16. TUA permalink
    August 9, 2012 10:55 pm

    SAN FRANCISCO BULLS sounds way more better…. looks way more CLEAN and the name sounds just right for it’s COW PALACE HOME.


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