CFL Colts get touch of patriotism

March 10, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

Jim Speros wanted a sense of patriotism, a touch of history and a horse in mid-gallop.

Lenny Rosenthal gave it all to him in royal blue and white.

The logo of the Baltimore CFL Colts is finally out. Two weeks after he embarked on the project, Rosenthal, vice president in charge of design at Trahan, Burden & Charles, Inc., has produced a fitting emblem for Baltimore's Canadian Football League expansion team.

A sleek horse head, with ears pinned back, dissolves into a rippling flag of blue and white (red was considered, then scratched).

Three stars in the image represent the three eras of pro football in Baltimore -- the All-America Football Conference (1947-49), the NFL (1950, 1953-83) and the CFL, which kicks off in July.

The new logo is considerably different from the previous one that depicted a chess-like horse head. Which was exactly the point with Speros, owner of the Colts.

"I wanted something a little more patriotic, I wanted history and I wanted a horse," Speros said yesterday. "The chess piece was static. I wanted movement, something that looked like it was running."

Speros took those requests to TBC two weeks ago. Rosenthal's initial move was to collect six books on horses at the library. Among his first designs was the rough form of the horse the Colts will carry into the CFL.

"Sometimes, what comes out first is your best instinct," said Rosenthal, 37, a native of Baltimore who lives in Eldersburg. "I was trying to merge a flag icon with a horse head. We have so much history here with Fort McHenry and 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' To merge those images into one icon was my mission."

Rosenthal had a sports background to lean on. He helped redesign the Orioles logo two years ago, and more recently did work on the Bombers in the city's futile NFL expansion bid. With the Bombers, he said he did some 200 layouts before arriving at the final choice. With the Colts, he did some 20 layouts, and got input from graphic designer David Gillis.

"It was for civic pride," Rosenthal said. "I wanted to make a great mark, as far away from the old horseshoe as I could . . . We're going to rebuild the Colts dynasty."

Speros said the team's uniform design is virtually complete, although some minor adjustments might be made. The Colts will wear royal blue jerseys with silver pants at home. On the road, it'll be a white jersey with blue numerals outlined in black, and silver pants. The helmet will be silver, and the logo royal blue. The horse head will appear on the jersey sleeve and on the socks, as well.

"I'm very pleased with the logo," Speros said. "I wanted a horse that had our own identity, and we did that."

In other developments:

* The Colts announced the signing of four more players yesterday, including former Maryland strong safety Andre Vaughn of Oakland Mills High in Columbia. Also signed were free-agent linebacker Ken Benson, who led the CFL with 103 combined tackles (80 defensive, 13 special teams, five sacks) while playing for the Toronto Argonauts last year; former NFL place-kicker Ian Howfield, who will compete with Donald

Igwebuike for the job; and former All-America guard Jeb Flesch of Clemson.

* The agent for free-agent nose tackle Jearld Baylis says there hasn't been much negotiation with the Colts so far. "They have an offer on the table, but I haven't had a chance to counteract it," said Lucy Baylis -- Jearld's wife. She said they are also talking to the Las Vegas Posse and the British Columbia Lions. Baylis was the CFL's defensive player of the year last season.

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