'Champion Plaque' seeks to call attention to inauthentic people and situations with them in which we may sometimes find ourselves. Inauthenticity can manifest in a variety of forms: purposeful ethical lapses, dishonesty with ourselves and others, privilege, and shady music dealings, among others. 'Champion', in this context, does not relate to ego or self-righteousness; rather, it is an exhortation for all of us to be 'winners' by being our most genuine, honest, and ethical selves.
The cover art, by Cincinnati-based illustrator/painter/muralist Derek Toebbe, offers a strong visual representation of this theme. In it, he flips the idea of a wolf in sheep's clothing by presenting a sheep in wolf's clothing, as if to say that the world is pretty harsh, and people are pretty harsh, and sometimes we have to put up a hard exterior so we are not taken advantage of by the aforementioned inauthentic people; in reality, we can be peaceful and friendly, like a lamb. The laurel wreath, consisting of an olive branch and an oak branch, plays on the 'champion' connotation while, as the sheep's folded arms indicate, suggesting that authenticity requires that we not rest on our laurels. The olive and oak branches represent peace and strength, respectively, just like the lamb and the wolf.