On June 22, 2007, Ted Leonsis unveiled new uniforms for the Washington Capitals. The team dumped their five-starred eagle and Capitol Dome logos and returned to their original red, white, and blue color scheme.
During that faithful day, the team also unveiled two new marks, including a secondary logo which would be nicknamed by Capitals fans as the Weagle (an eagle that had a W shape with a subtractive silhouette of the Capitol Dome on the bottom).
On Thursday night, Icethetics noticed an interesting jersey up for auction on eBay. The user manonthemoon12345 described the sweater as a “rare authentic” Washington Capitals prototype jersey. On the tag, it’s dated November 16, 2005, and there is a note that this is a second of six versions of the jersey.
While we can’t be sure this sweater is 100% authentic, the way the Weagle is designed and the timing of this auction (seven years later), seems to indicate that this is probably real. I went ahead and created a GIF, where we can see the first version of the logo morph into the one that is still on the shoulder of the Caps’ primary uniforms today.
The final version of the Weagle gives off a much more distinguished tone. While the original Weagle is cartoonish and has exaggerated wings, the finalized version is much sleeker: the wings are lowered and the W shape of the bird is much more abstract. Remaining almost exactly the same however is the subtractive silhouette of the Capitol Dome.
As Icethetics notes, the design and color of the jersey itself is very close to the final product that was implemented during the 2007-08 season.
Many of you are going to make conclusions on which logo is more successful. I think they both work in certain conditions. The current Weagle design is much more sophisticated and perfect as a complementary shoulder patch. Meanwhile, this first concept seems like it would carry a third jersey better (with some changes) because of its size and exaggerated features.
It never ceases to amaze me though, how much time and effort the organization has put into creating the logos and jerseys that represent the team. They are universally loved for a reason, and that’s because so much thought was put into them. And if anything is taken from this article, that’s what should be celebrated.
Thanks to @Jawsh71 for tweeting us the story.
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