Giving the Oak Logo a Second Chance

Giving the Oak Logo a Second Chance

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou


We were reaching max altitude around the time it happened; I fell asleep.

Was I trying to fall asleep? Not on this flight. No way.


I was flying United Airways, and these dummies were cramming us into the back rows of the plane, six people to each row, elbow to elbow! I petitioned to move passengers into the fifteen or so empty rows in front of our lot, but, strictly following the perverse laws of “the Friendly Skies”, the stewardess informed me that moving to one of those seats would be “stealing from the company”. What sort of infectious death-tin had I just come aboard?

This vessel wasn’t suited for napping. No, sir. I was staying vigilant in case a spring breaker or “fake news” champion tried to narrow the one foot distancing rule United forced on me. COVID-19 is not something I want to be dealing with right now.

I started listening to the latest episode of the Precourt Sports Ventures Austin Anthem Podcast, to pass the time, when I fell into what I can only describe as an audio-induced coma.  I‘ve always found this podcast tedious, but this episode felt like a terrible chore. Who needs Ambien when you have this crap?

The original trio of hosts have been replaced by one dulcet-voiced whiffet and a failed radio disk jockey from the 90s.  Podcasting is a scary business, certainly not because the stakes are high, but because any talentless moron with a microphone and computer can start one, at any moment, about any subject at all.  No topic is sacred. Thus, this episode exists.

“Docile Don & the Spin Daddy’s” first segment went over a laundry list of Austin FC news tidbits — a boring appetizer served dry.  The piece I cared to remember concerned our single celeb owner and his perceived involvement with the team.  Failed radio guy kissed McConaughey’s Texas lovin’ behind, while the meek one expressed apprehension towards an actor pretending to know much beyond…well, acting. Point: Docile D.

They droned on a bit after the McConaughey talk, their ramble triggering my sudden hibernation.  I regained consciousness in a panic. My defenses were down for only a short while and there was now a bottle of water and snack bag in front of me. Perhaps, I judged the stewardess too quickly. After convincing myself I hadn’t compromised my immune system in my sleep, I calmed myself down and started the podcast over from the beginning of the Butler Bro’s interview.

Catching you up to speed, I haven’t always been kind towards the Butler Bro’s work.  Short version: The Austin FC logo isn’t unique enough for a town like Austin, and I did an ample job of proving our logo to be little more than a generic/ready-made.  While I had already formed an opinion about the design, I re-opened my mind to the possibility of the B-Bro’s changing my perception if their story proved to be compelling enough.  I have to admit, they succeeded…kind of.

The Butler Bro’s answered questions about their background and company history, but I was only interested in logo talk.  They should have thrown caution to the wind and given us all of their other design ideas to pontificate over, but I’m understanding in that the legal ramifications wouldn’t be worth the risk.

Shame.  It’s worth noting that the logo design project they were approached with was secretive in nature and operated under the name “Project B.A.T. (“Be Austin’s Team”).  I enjoyed this for obvious reasons…

Copyright? What do you mean?

While speaking about their self-enforced parameters for the design, the Bro’s mentioned how they had to determine if the logo should be a “big tent” or “niche idea”.  Essentially, this is where the Bro’s and myself divide.  They opted for the generalized “big tent” idea. Cowards.

Admittedly, the logo does stand out. For that, the designers deserve kudos. Docile Don made this point, and I couldn’t agree with him more.  Do a quick eye-scan of the banner on top of Major League Soccer’s website; your gaze will naturally lock on Austin. Docile Don strikes again.

However, the logo colors are a big reason why it sticks out so much, and it’s not a coincidence they are identical to the the “MLS2ATX” color scheme. Taking that into consideration, it’s reasonable to assume the Butlers had no choice regarding the logo’s palette, but they did make the oak tastefully prominent.  The design would be bold (Austin Soccer pun LuLz) with any bright verde shade, and that can’t be said for something like the brittle Inter Miami United FC SC Logo.  Miami’s colors are appropriate, but the two flamingos are begging to be snapped in half at the knees. I say the look of the oak is slam-dunk #1 on the B-Bro’s part.  Can we still be friends?

I knew the story of the downtown Treaty Oak needing restoration after it was accidentally poisoned, and the Butlers made me aware that a second smaller oak tree was placed under the original to aid in its growth/recovery.  This anecdote from the Treaty Oak’s history served as inspiration for the intertwined oaks in the Austin FC design and made me look at the Austin FC logo in a new light. The club & city analogy (found in the “explanation graphic” I’ve become so fond of) is still lame, but this multiple oak tie-in is a really fun Easter egg they thoughtfully chose to not jam down my esophagus.

This episode didn’t have much else to offer, and it was around this time where I began waving my credit card at the stewardess in an attempt to purchase mid-flight cocktails.

Am I going to hang a one-sided Austin FC flag above my bed and touch myself to it every night?  No.

Do I totally despise the B-Bro’s work? Not anymore.

After listening to the Butler Bro’s speak about their work, I’ve moved from a position of disapproval to indifference.

Either way, they managed to change my mind a little.

And that’s what life is all about friends.




Cheers to you Butler Bro’s.  You did a fine job, but at the end of the day, I don’t have to love it.

Oh — and fuck you United Airways.

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