Closing out the first week of our San Jose Earthquakes advent calendar is a name some Earthquakes fans would rather forget: San Jose Clash. For the unaware or for those suffering from selective memory loss, the Earthquakes were known as the San Jose Clash from the inaugural 1996 season until the 1999 season when they switched over to the well-known Earthquakes we all know and love.
The reason for that unique name was a deal made by early MLS executives and Nike in which the sportswear giant would design kits and logos for half of the teams competing in the first MLS season. The Quakes had the unfortunate luck of being one of those teams and what was produced was forgettable at best. There was a good article about how the Quakes and D.C. United ended up with those logos and kits that is worth a read. I’m sure there are some people that like those old kits whether for nostalgic reasons or just because they have bad taste but my opinion is obvious.
I actually kind of liked the scorpion on the logo even though I had no idea how it tied into San Jose or Bay Area culture. I did some research and found out that the Bay Area is actually home to seven different types of scorpions! Doing that research I was reminded of another thing from that time most Quakes supporters would rather forget: Jose Clash. He was the mascot during those early years and took the form of a red, muscled scorpion sporting a mohawk that was straight out of an Allen Ginsberg sketchbook.
About the only thing left over from those days is a supporters group that call themselves “The Casbah” who got their name from the 80s hit “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash. The San Jose Clash never reached the heights of the British punk band but their fortunes changed after making the name change in 1999, winning the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003.
Check back tomorrow to see what is behind door number 8!