Growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, and going to an elementary school called Precious Blood, we all thought we were pretty tough kids. One thing that everyone seemed to neglect, though, was the logo we wore on the front of all our jersey’s was one similar, no, exactly the same as the one the Florida Panthers bear.
The Precious Blood Panthers were a large part of my life playing soccer every year since my eligibility in grade one, until my retirement in grade 8. Wearing that red t-shirt with a white logo of the pouncing panther – sometimes with the broken hockey stick in its paws – was used for every jersey I ever wore for PBS.
Now, as a hockey fan growing up, I knew the Panther’s logo was pasted on the front of our PBS athletic uniforms – if you can even call a screen printed fruit of the loom t-shirt athletic wear. With the franchise coming into the league in 1993, and my elementary school built in 1953 on property purchased for $1.00, yes, these facts still drilled into my head, somebody was a Panther’s fan.
My dad attended this elementary school, we lived in the same Flynn family house he grew up in, and the logo before the stolen panther was like a Yankee’s logo; The P, B, and S, one on top of the other.
So when did this blasphemy take place? Who knows, but since my enrolment and outstanding contributions to the indoor soccer league age bracket grades 1-2, we’ve been the Panthers. And of course we’ve played soccer, ran track, played basketball and softball for years with a Panther holding a broken hockey stick in it’s paws, it just makes sense.
A lot of questions arose from the hockey stick in the paws of the Panther. Most kids said “Our hockey team sucks, why does it have a hockey stick?” And of course, the tomboy said “It’s the Florida Panther’s logo” to which every other kid looked at me like I was an alien. I knew the school’s secret. The laziness to google “Panther” and say “Yep, that looks good, print ’em up!”. I’ve actually gone over this scenario in my head and I’m 100% sure those are the exact words spoken.
I guess you could say I’ve always had a connection to the Florida Panthers as my elementary school, The Precious Blood Panthers, fraudulently stole a trademarked logo and threw it on a bunch of student athletes aged 6-13. Oh well, that’s Scarborough for you.