If you’re a logo designer in today’s sports world, your first duty is to make the mascot scowl—make him, as the press releases and ensuing analyses always put it, “fierce.” Most recently the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Browns have gotten the treatment, going from fierce to fiercer. In previous years it’s happened to the UConn Huskies, Charlotte Hornets, and really pretty much any team with an animal mascot. In May, the Philadelphia 76ers even committed to an angry Ben Franklin. Whatever it takes to give a team an added touch of menace.
But why is the evil eye so sought after? When did we decide every team needed to be seething with anger? Who pissed off all the mascots?