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February 12, 2010

We Really Need to Find Out Who the Cartoonist Was

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Last Friday I linked to this super-groovy Penguins patch. A few readers sent me links to a few other teams’ patches from the same series, but reader Gordon Fall went above and beyond, determining that the patches were produced for the 1972-73 season and tracking down almost the entire sixteen-team set. I was able to fill in the few remaining blanks that he left out, and the result is that we now have photos of the whole set in one place.

Are they amazing or what? Allow me to point out a few of the finer details:

• I assume the facial hair on the Flames patch was supposed to evoke Southern good-ol’-boy-ism. The irony, of course, is that this guy later became the face of the franchise, so to speak.

• And speaking of a patch prefiguring a team’s iconic look, what about the Habs patch? Note the lace-up collar on the patch, too!

• Stick save, and a beauty! My god, is that total genius or what? (The Isles version isn’t quite as successful, although they get bonus points for the mask.)

• I think it’s safe to say that this qualifies as the Seals’ finest moment. Even if the cartoonist did show the player wearing black skates.

• Interesting that the Blackhawks patch character is a paleface — literally. Note the subtle “Chicago” lettering on his headband.

• Smiling mascots are almost always more fun than snarling, angry, nasty, bad-ass mascots, am I right?

• Odd that they got the Sabres’ colors wrong. Still looks pretty good, though.

And so on. You can see the rest for yourself, right? Right.

Gordon’s research turned up some other info, some of which is quoted here:

• I have not found an official name for the patches so far. The ones offered on eBay are usually called either “All Star Emblems” or “pic a patch.”

• The patches came in two different sizes. The larger, more common version is about four inches high and sewn on tackle twill like a uniform crest. The edges are also sewn in a nice-looking ridge. A plastic backing has been glued on for added strength. The smaller and rarer version is around 2.5 inches high and sewn onto felt with nothing on the border and some plastic mesh on the back (I’d compare it to the sticky mesh put over a drywall hole before patching).

• Another variation seems to be slight differences in manufacturers, as you can see in these two Red Wings patches. Note the distinctions between the lips, the red-to-white ratio on the wings, the trim on the wheels, the way the lettering fills the box sign, and so on.

Want to buy some of these? A bunch of them are available here.

Giveaway Final Call: Today’s the last day to enter your name for the NFL football giveaway. Details here.

ESPN Reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, you can find my latest ESPN column here.

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Shopping Project: For reasons not worth explaining, at least for now, I’m very much in the market for a vintage curling sweater, size 38 or 40. I found this on eBay, which isn’t bad (note the super-cool label/tag), but it’s a little long for me — it’d come down too far below my hips.

So: If anyone knows of a good outlet for vintage curling cardigans, please let me know. Thanks!

Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s a doozy: The Orioles, like many teams, used to play charity basketball games. Here’s one of their old warm-up shirts! (Amazing find by Bruce Menard.) … More and more people in Buffalo are putting ice rinks in their back yards. … Here’s what the Cubs wore in 1941. But here’s what Cubs pitcher Claude Passeau wore in the 1941 All-Star Game — looks like he wore the home undershirt with the road vest (awesome screen shots by Jeff Spry). … There’s a lot of chatter about UNC wearing this helmet against LSU in the Kickoff Classic, although I haven’t been able to confirm it yet. … The Globetrotters played — and won, of course — on ice the other day. … 150th-anniversary uni for TSV 1860 Munich (with thanks to Jim Westrich). … New alernate cap for Pittsburgh’s new rookie league affiliate, for the Bradenton Marauders (as noted by Bill Barnes). … Cool item at the Chicago Auto Show: a Blackhawks-themed Camaro (with thanks to Michael Gargano). … If you go to the 4:20 mark of this 1963 video clip, you’ll see some great color footage of old Yankee Stadium and the Angels’ old halo-stamped batting helmets. The whole clip is worthwhile, with great old NYC footage (awesome find by Chris Rocco). … New mask for Mike Smith (with thanks to Matt Pesotski). … Chris Ashworth found some odd 1980 video clips of Phillies players shilling for a local TV station’s programming, including Greg Gross for Good Times and Tim McCarver for Welcome Back Kotter (which almost certainly qualifies as the least annoying McCarver footage in existence). … Here’s the USA World Cup home kit (with thanks to Terence Kearns). … Whoa, look at those belt loops! That’s a 1947 Dodgers/Phillies game at Shibe Park. The baserunner is Jackie Robinson, but those belt loops are the real attraction (nice find by Ken Stephon). … Did you know the Pittsburgh Pirates are now calling themselves the “Pirates of the Burgh”? That’s the Buccos’ spring training truck (big thanks to Ryan Connelly). … Here’s another early piece of Jaguars merch with the team’s original prototype logo. Jon Solomonson’s wife bought it in 1995. … John Moist recently visited Cuba as part of tour put together by Cubaball.com and took a bunch of photos documenting the island’s uniform scene. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: This week’s Kentucky typo has plenty of precedent (as posted by Jim Vilk). … Of course, typos aren’t limited to Kentucky uniforms (with thanks to Zac Neubauer). … Excellent observation from Mark Springer, who notes that last night’s Cavs/Magic game saw the Magic wearing a throwback design that someone on the Cavs — namely Shaq — had previously worn. I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened, but I can’t think of any other instances. Anyone..? … “I am a University of Houston student and we have a great Hall of Honor, ” writes Bobby Malvaez. “I stopped in the other day and decided it was time to take pictures of the various warm-up suits and programs from UH athletics.” … Rob Leavell pointed me toward this faaascinating article on dazzle camouflage, which was used for battle ships during World War I. Imagine if the Padres went with that kind of camo uniform! … The White Sox are expected to announce that they’ll retire Frank Thomas’s number today.

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By far the best thing linked on this site today: A month or so ago I mentioned a 16-minute animated movie called Logorama, which looked intriguing. The film has now been nominated for an Oscar, and reader Steven Winner has informed me that it’s available for viewing on the web. Let me put this as simply as possible: It is TOTAL FREAKIN’ GENIUS. Once you see it the first time, you’ll want to watch it several more times to catch all the little references you might have missed (I’m currently on my third viewing, and counting). Easily the best 16 minutes you’ll spend today — trust me. Shit, it’s been taken down. Dang. Try it here.

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February 11, 2010

The Bluegarss State

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The great thing about being the best player on a top-ranked team is that Nike is always making a fuss over you, coming up with new designs for your team, and so on. Sometimes they’ll ask you to be part of a photo shoot for a new uni design. And sometimes they’ll even spell the name of your school correctly.

But not yesterday.

(And no, that’s not a Photoshop job — it went out over John Calipari’s Twitter feed yesterday.)

New ESPN column today — look here.

Giveaway reminder: I’m currently in the process of giving away 10 game-used NFL footballs. Details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: If I had a list of sports figures whose shirtless torsos I’d least like to see, Rex Ryan would rank fairly high. If you agree, don’t look here. Okay, I know you looked, so you may as well look at this video analysis too. … Latest college hoops teams to get new uniforms with sublimated designs on the back: UConn and Syracuse (video coverage here). Both uniforms made their on-court debuts last night, as the two teams played each other. … The bathroom signage at the Cavs’ arena shows the familiar little figures holding a basketball (great find by Jason Hillyer). … Here, finally, is our first look at the Devils’ throwbacks (with thanks to Matt Harris). … Weird item here: Alex Ramirez of the Yomiuri Giants tried kendo (that’s Japanese stick fighting) while wearing his giants uni (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Always interesting to see Lou Brock as a Cub, Satch as a Brave, Joe Morgan as a Phillie, Roger Maris as an A, Glenn Hall reading fan mail, or Andy Messersmith playing with a yo-yo. Those images come from a great collection of MLB, NFL, and NBA slides and negatives, all being sold by this guy (good find by Trevor Williams). … Good article about the Olympic hockey jerseys (with thanks to Jerry Duke). … Stephen Wongnotes that those pinhole dots on Nike’s new college hoops uniforms are also showing up on World Cup soccer designs. And speaking of the World Cup, here’s England’s road kit, along with their goalie design. … New masks for Marc-Andre Fleury, Craig Anderson, and Christobal Huet (that’s Tony Esposito depicted on one side of his mask and Murray Bannerman on the other). … Bradley did the blackout thing on Tuesday, wearing black at home and forcing Illinois State to wear white on the road (with thanks to Joel Hackler). … The Orix Buffaloes have been doing that thing where they hang the deceased player’s jersey in the dugout. In this case, the deceased player committed suicide, so it’s extra-poignant (as noted by Jeremy Brahm). … “Puma has been sponsoring many of the African national soccer teams leading up to the World Cup,” writes Justin Funderburk. “In one campaign, they’ve developed a ‘Unity Kit’ for the national teams of Angola, Ghana, and Cameroon to wear during a practice together. The only problem with this kit is that it looks like shit, literally.” I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but I do recommend watching this video to get the full effect. … New logo for Central Arkansas (with thanks to Chris Buttgen). … “I don’t know what scarier,” says Mike Hersh, “this catalog’s title or the images.” … There’s a really good thread on the Chris Creamer board right now about 1990s NFL prototypes. Among the highlights (some of which I’d seen before, but it’s still nice to see this all in one place): (1) If the St. Louis Stallions had come into existence in 1995, their proposed uniform would have looked like this. (2) Similarly, the Baltimore Bombers would have looked like this (yes, the guy who took those photos could really use some art-direction, but he owns what may be the only Bombers prototype in existence, so we’ll cut him some slack). (3) We all know the Jags were originally going to go with the leaping jaguar concept until a certain car company threatened legal action. What you might not know — although I guess it isn’t so surprising — is that they made caps based on that design. … Did you know there was such a thing as Wiffle Ball trading cards? I didn’t, until I saw this. … Here are the masks and backplates for USA Olympic goalies Jonathan Quick and Tim Thomas (with thanks to Tyler Hull).

February 10, 2010

Putting Fannies in the Seats by Putting Jerseys on the Seatbacks

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As you know, Jeremy Brahm sends me a lot of material. I pass along most of it in the Ticker, but I confess that I don’t always look very closely at every Japanese soccer uniform or volleyball tournament logo he sends my way. Most of you probably don’t either.

Every now and then, though, Jeremy sends something that really jumps out at me. That was the case last weekend, when he sent news of a marketing campaign by the Uni-President 7-11 Lions (that’s a Taiwanese baseball team), who are doing something really clever: Season ticket buyers get to have a jersey with their name and chosen number printed on their seats.

I love this. So much better than the little name tag on the seat or on the railing or whatever! It’s like the season ticket version of a Uni Watch membership card, right? Genius!

I know lots of marketing/promo guys for various major and minor league teams are reading this. Have any of you ever considered anything like what the Lions are doing? If not, what do you think of it? I think it has serious potential.

Football, you bet: In case you missed it yesterday, I’m currently in the process of giving away 10 game-used NFL footballs. Details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Uni Watch intern emeritus Vince Grzegorek has written the definitive account of the Browns’ unused “CB” logo. Well done, grasshopper. … Dig these spectacular socks! Let’s just hope the wardrobe manager stayed true to the poster (nice find by Nile Smith). … Willie Gabel likes the “simple elegance” of this old Raiders sweatshirt, and it’s hart to disagree. … Very nice throwbacks for Penn State hockey the other night (with thanks to Jesse Weidaw). … Speaking of throwbacks, I neglected to mention the ones worn by Colorado State last weekend. The “Aggies” refers to the days when the school was known as Colorado A+M, although I’m fairly certain they didn’t wear NikeWorld collarbone horns in those days. Also, note the umlaut on Arthur Bouëdo’s NOB (with thanks to Ted Phillips). … Music/hockey crossover note from Dan Bewley, who writes: “Rush drummer Neil Peart recorded a new Hockey Night in Canada theme song and video. His drum set was specially made for the video with NHL logos painted on the drums. The whole process is explained on this page.” … New logo for some new soccer league I’ve never heard of (as noted by Mike Edgerley, who also notes that the Rays have been embroiled in a controversy over possibly naming their Florida spring training stadium after the community’s biggest corporate polluter). … Okay, we all know NBA players used to wear Chuck Taylors way back when, and even NFL players wore them back in the ’40s and ’50s. But it looks like a Georgia linebacker was wearing them in the 1977 Sugar Bowl! How could that be?? (Amazing find by Mark Arnold.) … New uniforms for Oregon State baseball. Those images are screen shots that Steve Crouser took from this video. … Latest victims of Nike’s plot to slap sublimated designs on everything that doesn’t move: Miami and Kentucky. Still to come: Gonzaga, Michigan State, St. John’s, Syracuse, and Uconn. … Yesterday’s link to this Willabee + Ward album of Super Bowl patches prompted some interesting commentary from patch maven Brad Bierman: “The W&W album patches are similar to the patch given to VIP/media. The only two jersey patches similar to W&W patches are SB 25, which is identical, and SB 36, with the jersey patch ending up smaller than the W&W version (this was the SB logo that changed following 9/11). Two other notes that I have never substantiated: I remember talk around SB 21 that the Giants/Broncos would wear what is the W&W patch. I also remember word that the teams would wear jersey patches in SB 31, but it didn’t happen until the next year. The would-be jersey patch can be seen within the W&W design from that year. SB 31 was also the game in which the Packers/Patriots wore “Pete” decals on the back of their helmets in memorial to Pete Rozelle, who died about seven weeks before the game. I enjoy contributing about patches.” Indeed. … The Falcons will keep wearing their throwbacks for the next several seasons (with thanks to Britton Thomas). … Last week I mentioned that Ray Whitney of the Hurricanes never seems to have the NHL logo on his jerseys. Matt Kuekes was intrigued by this, so he did what I was too lazy to do: He e-mailed the team’s media relations department. Their response: “Ray removes the logo because of the way it hits his neck. It’s a comfort issue. A lot of other teams have more of a dip in the neckline, but ours is straighter across.” … “Either Louisiana Tech has switched to silver helmets or the graphic artist at KFXK (FOX affiliate in Tyler, TX) is lazy,” says Chris Mycoskie. “I’m going to guess the latter.” … Here’s a gallery showing all of the hockey uniforms for the Vancouver Olympics (big thanks to Tyler Hull). … Someone has taken it upon himself to rank all of MLB’s ballpark statues (interesting find by Matthew Algeo). … You like these? Then join me in making an extra batch of raisin toast in memory of for Clifford Nahser. RIP, buddy.

February 9, 2010

And They Lost Again Anyway

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As if the Longhorns didn’t have enough problems on the court lately, last night they became the latest college hoops team to wear one Nike’s sublimated rear-jersey designs. If you can’t quite see the details of the design there, that’s okay — Nike helpfully did a media blitz earlier in the day, so these photos were bouncing around all over the web. (Note that the text at the top of the page says Nike is claiming that this uniform is “70 percent lighter” than other uniforms. Now think about that. Seventy percent is, like, a lot. And you know the previous uni was billed as being 30 or 40 percent lighter than its predecessor. I’m assuming we’re now down to a uniform that weighs about half a gram.)

Although the sublimated design is going to get all the attention, this uniform has other details worth mentioning, especially the new insignia font. Not bad on its own terms, but it totally doesn’t work with the block uni numbers. Compare the team’s standard SoD uni and it’s clear which lettering/numbering pairing looks better. They should either go back to block lettering or else change the number font to match the insignia.

Also, see those dots on the sides of the shorts? Someone on the Chris Creamer board who had courtside seats for the game says the dots are actually little holes that “show the color of the spandex underneath.” I guess that’s how you make a uniform that’s 70 percent lighter — shoot it full of holes.

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Who’s got the ball?: Giants equipment manager and all-around swell guy Joe Skiba recently sent me two boxes of game-used NFL “Duke” footballs. Each one is stamped with “Giants” and most of them also have a handwritten official’s mark.

Joe sent me a dozen of these balls. I’m keeping one for myself and giving one to Phil, which leaves 10 balls to give away to the rest of you. To be eligible to win one of them, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to this address by this Friday, February 12th, 7pm eastern. Only one entry per person (remember, Uni Watch Membership Program enrollees are no longer eligible for bonus entries). I’ll announce the 10 winners next Monday.

Big thanks to Skeebs for generously providing the Dukes!

Attention DIYers: Stephen Andon is a doctoral student in the Communication Dept. at Florida State, and he’d like your help with his dissertation. Here, I’ll let him explain:

I’m writing a dissertation on sports memorabilia in all of its many forms — from game-worn stuff to packaged dirt. Seeing as much of that is out of my price range, the DIY movement has always been intriguing to me. As a result, one chapter of my dissertation will be dedicated to sports fans making/creating their own stuff. I’m interested in e-mailing and/or talking with anybody who’s willing to share their thoughts.

Steve interviewed me yesterday, and I can attest that he’s a sharp fella, so I encourage all you DIYers — or even anyone who just has thoughts to share about the DIY phenomenon, positive or negative — to make contact with him. You can e-mail him here.

By the way, Stephen, your membership card is mailing out today.

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Speaking of which: A handful of other cards are mailing out today (including Dave Rakowski’s vintage Packers helmet treatment, shown at right), but about two dozen of you have been awaiting your cards for several weeks now — and I’m sorry to say you’ll have to wait a bit longer. As I mentioned on the site last week, Scott Turner is in the process of moving to Seattle — he’s going by car and left Brooklyn three days ago. In the run-up to his departure, he wasn’t able to finish all the card designs in the hopper, and it’ll probably be another week or two before he gets settled enough to catch up with everything. He and I both apologize for the delay and thank you in advance for your patience.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Let’s begin with some follow-ups from yesterday. (1) I mentioned that it might be fun to see a colorized version of this photo. Larry Bodnovich took me up on it. So did Steven Wojtowicz, who added a bit of commentary. (2) I asked what the patch on Willie’s jacket was for, and Paul Wiederecht promptly informed me that it was for the 75th anniversary of NYC’s incorporation. “The mets were the only NYC team to wear it, and only on heir jackets,” says Paul. “It shows up mostly in photos from Willie Mays Night and the ’73 Series.” (3) I also asked about the right-sleeve patch that the Red Wings were wearing in this shot (not the V — the other sleeve). Teebz quickly identified it as a war bonds patch. … Super Bowl stat I hadn’t heard until yesterday: The NFC has now won the coin toss 13 straight times! … Here’s something you don’t often see: Dave Stewart as a Phillie (good find by Andy Chalifour). … Sharp observation by Logan Light, who writes: “I know we’ve seen a lot of NBA players do different things with their mouthguards — stick them in their socks, behind their ears, in their headband. But Rajon Rondo spits his mouthguard into his jersey. It stays there because the jersey is tucked in. Then he reaches in and pulls it out when he needs it next (sorry, the angle’s a bit off on that shot). Odd.” … The White Sox are un-retiring Luis Aparacio’s number for newly acquired Omar Vizquel (with thanks to my longtime Chicago buddy Tim Adams). … On man, some tremendous stuff available in this 1938 NHL scrapbook. Be sure to click on the photo and then click through all the other images — amazing stuff (awesome find by Mike Hersh). … A Virginia newspaper accidentally reversed the Super Bowl score in yesterday’s editions. … Here’s a fun little item about Joe McCarthy’s sleeves (with thanks to Mark Sullivan). … Cool article + video on the loading of the Indians’ spring equipment truck here (with thanks to Eric Bunnell). … And here’s a similar article about the White Sox. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Check out these awesome Bears sweatshirts. … Penn State wore throwbacks the other night. For photos, go here and click on the Feb. 6 game. Note that there was no maker’s mark on the shorts. … Douchebaggery alert: Saints LB Scott Fujita kept a Super Bowl diary, in which he revealed that Nike dropped him for spatting over his swoosh (with thanks to Brad Denny). … An Orix Buffaloes player recently committed suicide, and players wore black ribbons at his memorial service. “No word on whether they’ll wear them in the regular season,” says Jeremy Brahm. … Here’s a weird one: a Super Bowl patch album. Of course, the early Super Bowls didn’t feature any jersey patches — and if you look at the photos, you’ll see that the patches from more recent seasons aren’t the same ones that were worn in the games. Were these patches created specifically for this album or what? … Is this a new Minnesota police badge? Nope — it’s the logo of a new soccer team (with thanks to Nathan Haas). … I’m spending today with my Mom, so Phil is minding the store — treat him right. I’ll see you tomorrow.

February 8, 2010

There’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol.4

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That was a pretty uni-uneventful Stupor Bowl (unless you count Pete Townshend’s pale white underbelly repeatedly peeking through his shirt, which I definitely could have done without), so let’s bid adieu to the NFL season and turn our attention to another round of wire service photos. Our last batch featured images of historical significance; this time around we’ll be looking at photos that are simply interesting.

• I really ought to know this (esp. since I have the nagging feeling we’ve covered it before), but what’s that patch on Willie’s jacket?

• Love this Hebrew sign that went up during the Twins’ 1965 stretch drive.

• If you think the Gazoo helmets look weird, check out this Giants batboy working at Wrigley Field, circa 1970. Note the inconsistent use of Dymo Tape labeling.

• And if a batboy can wear stacked helmets, why not a first base coach?

• Here are the Mexican Little League champions from 1968. Interesting to see that a Little League team had piping on its belt tunnels.

• Here’s an awesome shot of the Tiger Stadium grounds crew installing new sod in 1970. And here’s a similar shot from ’72.

• Here’s another Tiger Stadium groundskeeping shot, this time from 1958. There’s something really perfect about the composition of this one — the juxtaposition of the old guy next to the young player. According to the caption, he’s dying the grass, not watering it. Also, note that high rate of belt-loopage on the Tigers’ pants, a style that the team still uses today.

• Look at all those striped stirrups hanging in the St. Looey clubhouse — tasty.

• Speaking of striped hose, look at those Sabres socks!

• Always good to see John Riggins in his mohawk phase.

• Who’s that on the lanes? It’s golfing great Sam Snead. Looks like they didn’t enforce the “You must wear bowling shoes” rule on him.

• Here’s Jacques Plante as a Ranger. Interesting to see that the sleeve number was applied over the yoke seam, which seems a bit counterintuitive to me.

• You rarely see good photos of this Pirates uniform, circa 1941. (Here’s how it looked in color — anyone wanna try colorizing the photo?)

• I’m not sure which is better: Al Kaline’s kid in a child-sized uni (with vertically arched NOB lettering!) or Paul Foytack’s kid in a full-sized uni.

• According to the guy who was selling this photo, that’s a minor league team, not the NHL Habs. Interesting to see the “CH” logo as a sleeve patch, though. Love the cardigan on the guy at top-right, too.

• Here’s one of Charlie Samuels’s predecessors. Interesting to see that they painted the helmets with a brush instead of a spray can. Judging from the way all the helmets are sitting flat, it appears that they’re all flapless.

• In the words of Jim Vilk, I’d wear that.

• Can’t decide if this shot of Connie Mack with a batboy is sweet or creepy.

• To understand the significance of this 1954 photo, you need to see the caption. Hadn’t heard that story before.

• Lots going on in this 1940s Red Wings shot. The “V,” obviously, is for victory, to support the Allied war effort. Underneath it is the Morse code for V — dot-dot-dot-dash. But what’s that patch on the other sleeve? Anyone know? Also note that the V — but not the other patch — is visible in this shot. Not sure if these two photos are from the same season, but there’s enough info in the two captions to figure it out. I haven’t had time to do that myself, but maybe someone else would like to tackle that? (It’s worth noting, incidentally, that NHLuniforms.com doesn’t list any sleeve adornments for the Wings during this period — another reminder that we shouldn’t take online databases as gospel.)

That’s it for today. I’ll have another batch of wire service pics within the next week or so.

Giveaway results: The winner of the Jaguars jersey box is Scott Callahan. As for all the rest of you, we’ll have another raffle on tap tomorrow.

Hawkeyes contest results: We received over 50 entries for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes logo contest, and team owner Tom Hickey has chosen the winner, which was designed by Kevin Bennett. “I was really impressed by every single one of the submissions,” says Tom. “It was a very difficult choice.”

We can’t show you Kevin’s design yet, because there’s some legal paperwork that has to be dealt with first, but I’ll soon be posting all the non-winning entries in a Flickr gallery. If you submitted a design and don’t want it shown in that gallery, let me know asap. Thanks.

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Culinary Corner: If you’re human, you like bacon. If you’re not a wuss, you make your own bacon at home instead of just ordering it when you go out for breakfast. And if you’re smart, you save the rendered bacon fat to use in other cooking projects.

But here’s something you may not have thought of: Use the bacon fat to pop popcorn. Simple. Delicious. You can thank me later.

Uni Watch News Ticker: On Friday I linked to this awesome Penguins patch, which prompted the following note from Dan Anderson: “I used a similar patch to make a DIY North Stars sweatshirt. The NHL must have released a series of these patches at some point.” Indeed, someone in Friday’s comments section turned up a Sabres version. We definitely need to see the entire set of these. Hey, Jon Helf, should the Fleer Sticker Project be all over this one? … Hmmm, the Hackensack Water Company’s logo looks a lot like a certain NHL mark, no? (Good sot by Trevor Kruger.) … New goalie gear for Sebastien Giguere (with thanks to John Muir). … Nick Wojciechowski’s brother-in-law works for a company that makes knit caps based on NCAA football helmet designs. … I’m pretty sure we’ve covered this before, but note the inconsistent Bills pants striping in Super Bowl XXVII (with thanks to Sean Kautzman). … Mark Bolding saw this 1964 AFL All-Star Game program on eBay and thought he spotted something important in these photos from the front and back cover. Note how the Chiefs’ helmets have more of an arrow than an arrowhead — never seen that shape on a Chiefs helmet before. But as I then pointed out to Mark, the pics appeared on the 1964 all-star game program cover, which means they’re from the previous year’s all-star game, which was played in Jaunary of ’63. Lamar Hunt didn’t announce that he was moving the Texans to KC until May of ’63, so those players would still have been wearing Texans helmets in the ’63 all-star game. They must have touched up the photos because they didn’t want a defunct logo appearing in the ’64 program. Odd that they didn’t just find photos that didn’t show any Texans players. … See the “Quicken Loans Arena” logo on the Cavs’ court? Jimmy Dembski says the logo is sometimes situated in another spot on the floor for certain games. Vince is my go-to guy for Cleveland questions, so I asked him, and he asked one of his Cavs contacts, who told him this: “For nationally televised games we are required (by the league) to change the in-floor, under-scoreboard, basketball goal pads, scorer’s table, and baseline signage.” … New uniforms for the San Jose Giants (with thanks to Zachary Charles). … A Texas Rangers fan has broken down the team’s uni number history. “One observation he made is that #21 hasn’t been worn by the same player two years in a row since 2000,” writes Greg Stamps. “In fact 13 different players wore 21 from 2001 to 2009.” … In a rare rebuke to the Swooshkateers, Michigan State has decided not to revise its primary logo after all. Additional details here. … Michael Kinney was Senior Skills Challenge and noticed that the Nike and Adidas logo creep was consistently covered up by the event patch. Interesting. … Trevor Williams found an old Sports Illustrated article about uniform laundering and another about football helmet logos. … Scranton-Wilkes Barre Penguins did the camo thing on Friday night (with thanks to Chad Sitler). … The Brooklyn Cyclones are doing a bunch of Thursday jersey giveaways this season. Further details here (with thanks to Terence Kearns). … New uniforms for the Kia Tigers (as noted by Dan Kurtz). … Korean soccer news from Jeremy Brahm, who reports that there are new uniforms for FC Seoul and the Suwon Bluewings. … And in Japanese soccer news, Jeremy also sent along the new uniforms for Shonan Bellmare. … Moving over to Japanese baseball, Jeremy reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have new road uniforms. … Still more from Jeremy: Bit of a controversy over the Aussie Olympic team’s banner in Vancouver. … Nice little batch of old MLB patches available here. … My latest vintage uniform catalog acquisition is this groovy 1940s Goldsmith catalog poster. I took close-up photos of the various sections, logos, and illustrations, which you can see here. … Here’s what the medal platforms and medal-bearers’ uniforms will look like in Vancouver (Jeremy Brahm yet again). … Oooh, check out this old satin baseball uni. … Hakim Warrick has quite a look going with those socks. … Saturday night was the first Thrashers home game since Ilya Kovalchuk was traded, in case you couldn’t guess (as spotted by Jonathan Trapp). … The Jeremy hits keep on coming: New green uniforms for the SK Wyverns and the Chinese national baseball team. Look at the dragon-shaped C! And yes, that’s Brian Cashman on the left — that’s because the Yanks are taking the Commissioner’s Trophy on a tour of Asia. … Darth Brooks (a pseudonym, I assume) designed a bunch of NFL fields for an online game he participates in. “It’s called Goal Line Blitz,” he says. “It’s a MMORPG based on football. They show the football games being played, and if you use Greasemonkey you can replace the fields with ones you make.” … An Expos cap might not be Andre Dawson’s cup of tea, but apparently it’s a big hit with the ladies. … Mild hilarity in Sweden, as a hockey player forgot to remove his skate guards before hitting the ice (big thanks to Chad Todd). … President Obama hosted a Super Bowl party yesterday, and Riddell made him a helmet for the occasion. There’s a very short video about the helmet’s manufacturing here (with thanks to Joe Nguyen). … Matthew Hackethal picked up some football cards that show today’s players in yesteryear’s uniforms. … Matthew also picked up a 1973-74 New York Rangers program with some interesting ads, including one featuring Willis Reed wearing his jersey backwards (the advertiser didn’t have licensing deal with the NBA) and one featuring, well, lots of odd stuff, but note that the goalie appears to be wearing a football helmet. … The Hornets’ the Mardi Gras alternates are every bit as awesome on the court as I’d hoped (yes, even with the two-tone action and all that purple). … Chris Heintzelman is the latest reader to create his own team jacket by starting with a blank coat and having a bunch of patches sewn onto it. … Some web site is conducting a poll/bracket to choose the best college football uni (with thanks to Spencer Seaner). … Very late-breaking notes from the Senior Bowl: Rashawn Jackson had four Virginia decals on his helmet, and there were some major sock inconsistencies (screen shots courtesy of Patrick Karraker). … Blondie — the one who’s married to Dagwood — was wearing genuie NFL-style zebra stripes in yesterday’s strip (as noted by David Teigland). … Totally digging this old Shorpy photo, esp. the pinned-on numbers (big thanks to Larry Bodnovich). … Great shot of Gary Simmons’s old snake-plastered goalie mask in this 1977 Kings/Canadiens clip. … Chris LaHaye was attending a game at Plaquemine High School in Louisiana the other night when he spotted these awesome comics-style illustrations on the wall. “Their boys’ basketball coach told me they were done by Phil Neel of Birmingham, Alabama,” he says. … Okay, okay, you want Super Bowl coverage? There were interesting uni notes from two of the ads: The Flo-TV spot (the one where the guy has gotten a “spine-ectomy”) showed two different views of USFL footage (“That’s a Michigan Panthers home game from 1984, against either the Houston Gamblers or the Pittsburgh Maulers,” says Doug Brei), and the first of the three Denny’s ads included this scene. See those helmets on the wall at far left? David Shucosky I.D.’d them as being from the WLAF — the Orlando Thunder and Montreal Machine, specifically. … I watched the game at a Manhattan party hosted by No Mas. Reader Giancarlo joined me, and at one point he mentioned that he’d recently noticed something interesting while watching YouTube highlights of the 1953 NFL Championship Game between the Lions and Browns: “On kickoffs, the receiving team always had one player who ran straight ahead toward the placekicker and tried to take him out of the play.” After we both got home, he sent me the video link, and sure enough — see for yourself here, here, and here. Of course, in those days the kicker usually doubled as a position player, not a scrawny little fella like today’s kickers, and was therefore a genuine threat to tackle the returner, so I guess that blocking strategy made sense. … Uh, right.

February 7, 2010

When The Saints (& Colts) Go Marching In

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By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson and Tim Brulia (with photo assistance from Larry Bodnovich)

The Big Game is today, or the Super Bowl, as most of us call it. Which means, it’s time to take a look back at the uniforms of the two combatants in today’s contest: the Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts and the New Orleans Saints. Now wait, you’re about to say, “Didn’t Paul already do that on ESPN.com this past Thursday?” Well, yes he did, and a splendid job he did. But, having enlisted the aid of uniform historian Tim Brulia, the original Uni Watcher himself, Rick Pearson, and with several photos provided by Larry Bodnovich we’re going to take a much more in-depth look at just how closely the uniforms the two teams playing today resemble those of their predecessors, and how what they’re wearing today came to be.

Tim, as usual, has provided us with the parameters, studiously denoting all the minor (and major) changes of the teams throughout the years, while Ricko will handle the finer points of the uniform progressions. Since the New Orleans Saints are the new kids on the block, playing in their first Super Bowl (and the “younger” team in terms of service time), as well as the “designated road team” and decided underdog, we’ll take a look at them first, followed by the Colts. Let’s go!

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SAINTS:

The New Orleans Saints entered the NFL in the 1967 expansion, playing in Tulane Stadium until their current home, the Superdome, was constructed for the 1975 season. Frequently the laughing stock of the league, the Saints often sported horrible teams and frequently had fans showing up wearing bags over their heads. Frequently referred to as “The ‘Aints”, they were born wearing black and gold, and a design which has remained remarkably unchanged since it’s inception. But changes have been made over the years, often what we refer to as “tweaks” rather than wholesale revamps. Let’s see where they began, and how they got to today. Ricko and Timmy present this wonderful timeline:

1967: Brass gold helmet with black fleur-de-lis logo outlined in white, black/white/black stripes; jersey: Black with gold numbers with white outline on front, back and shoulders. Sleeve stripes Browns-like, white/gold/white/gold/white; white with gold numbers with black outline on front, back and shoulders. Sleeve stripes on road: black/gold/black/gold/black, and on home: white/gold/white/gold/white. Pants: gold with black/white/black stripes. Socks: black with stripes as on black jersey. Wore numbers of two different thicknesses. The SI “debut” cover (with the training camp helmets) shows the thicker ones. Note that these uniforms are *NOT* copper, as some have believed — it’s due to a poor scan of the SI Cover — that image is from Ricko’s original SI Issue, and shows the color much more properly than other photos on the Internet. Saints wore both thick and thin at same time. Bonus pic: check out Sir Saint in the endzone!

1968: Preseason games featured no sleeve stipes at all. Early in season, switched helmet stripe to white/black/white and also stripes on the pants to white/black/white. However, many players kept the old black/white/black striped pants. Both styles worn simultaneously. (*Note, this photo is from 1967 — apparently at least one player had the “reversed stripe” pattern [white/black/white] prior to the changeover in 1968)

1969: Preseason wore black helmets with a gold fleur-de-lis outlined in white and stripes were white/gold/white, but reverted back to 1967 helmet style when regular season began (in training camp, helmets had been solid black). Early in season, they wore a black jersey with white front/back/shoulder numbers that featured Packer style sleeve stripes of gold/white/gold/white/gold separated by a sliver of black. They later reverted back to 67-68 style black jersey later in season with thicker numerals. The white jersey also featured thicker numerals. The pants were gold with the 67 stripes for all players. Socks were black, but sanitaries had separated stripes of gold/black/gold. 50/NFL patch worn on left sleeve between TV number and stripes.

1970: The early season 1969 black jersey was now normal jersey. The white jersey now had black numbers on shoulders and sleeves. For the first time, NOB’s were added, matching number color.

1971: The Saints started wearing white shoes.

1974: Wore white jersey for every game.

1975: Added black V neck to white jersey, TV’s moved to sleeves, sleeve stripes narrower, gold outlined added to numbers. Black jersey added a gold V neck and gold outline to the numbers. Gold pants ditched for white pants with black/gold/black stripes. Socks black with stripes like the stripes on black jersey.

1976: Changed helmet facemasks from gray to black. Added black pants to be worn with the white jersey. Gold/white/gold stripes on black pants.

1983: Gold numeral outlines on jersey now separated by jersey color. high socks now solid black.

1986: TV’s move back up to shoulders. On white jersey, state map of Louisiana in black with fleur-de-lis inside northen half of LA on sleeves. On black jersey, state map of Louisiana in gold with fleur-de-lis inside northern half of LA on sleeves. Pants gold with thick black stripe on sides with outline of Louisiana in gold with fleur-de-lis inside northern half of LA in gold on hips. Black socks add a thick gold stripe.

1990: NOB’s got really squeezed tight.

1991: Wore a 25th season patch

1994: Like all other NFL teams, wore the 75/NFL patch on the left collarbone area. Wore 1967 style throwbacks for the NFL’s 75th anniversary.

1996: Wore a 30th season patch. Black jersey saw LA state sleeve patch replaced by gold fleur-de-lis with micro thin black/white outline. Numbers and NOB’s gold with white outline. White jersey also saw LA sleeve patch replaced by gold fleur-de-lis with micro thin black/white/black outline. Numbers and NOB’s gold with black outline. Pants saw LA state outline replaced by gold fleur-de-lis on hips. Socks now solid black.

1999: White jersey saw black numbers return with gold outline. NOB’s back to a normal size with black outlined in gold. Fleur-de-lis on sleeves black with gold/black outline. Black jerseys just changed NOB’s to more normal size and gold fleur-de-lis on sleeve to a slightly thicker black/white outline. Black pants worn with white jersey with thick gold stripes and black fleur-de-lis with white/black outline on hips. Pretty much the prototype jerseys worn to this day.

2000: Helmet logo noticeably smaller, with white/gold/black outline. Same outline adopted for white jersey sleeve logo. Gold pants worn with both black and white jerseys.

2001: Black pants return and are worn for all games. No stripes, just a gold (with black/white outline) fleur-de-lis on each hip.

2002: 1967 black throwback worn for a game. Gold jersey worn with black pants for a game. Black jersey/gold pants, white jersey/black pants and white jersey/gold pants were combos worn.

2003, 2004 and 2005: Gold pants worn all season.

2004: Black cleats return.

2006: Gold LA state Gold LA state map patch on collarbone area of jerseys worn.

2007: LA patch removed. Pretty much the same uni since.

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COLTS:

The Colts franchise was officially created in 1953, but can trace its roots to pre-NFL days. The franchise began as the Dayton Triangles, a founding member of the NFL that was originally created in 1913. The Triangles wore blue and white jerseys. They are seen here, in 1926, playing the Frankfort Yellowjackets.

From there, the Dayton Triangles relocated to Brooklyn and were renamed the “Dodgers” in 1930, (here, the Dodgers are playing the Giants in 1938) and changed the name to “Brooklyn Tigers” in 1944. In the same year, the Boston Yanks are founded. A wartime “casualty,” the Tigers merged with the Yanks in 1945 and were simply known as “The Yanks” (the Yanks player is shown at left). The franchise was cancelled in 1945 by league and the team’s “temporary” merger with the Boston Yanks was made permanent.

Meanwhile, a new league (the AAFC) formed and created the “New York Yankees,” which was founded by the Tigers’ former owner. Another team in the newly formed AAFC, the “Miami Seahawks,” were purchased and relocated to Baltimore and renamed the “Colts” (whose original colors were green and silver). This franchise was dissolved by the league on January 18, 1951. The Colts were gone, but not for long.

Back in the NFL, the Boston Yanks would relocate to New York in 1949, becoming “New York Yanks” (interestingly, they absorbed much of the AAFC Yankees’ roster the next year). Those New York Yanks, much like the Yankees, Dodgers and Tigers were unable to compete with the New York Football Giants, and moved to Dallas in 1952 where they were renamed the “Dallas Texans.” The Texans’ colors were blue and white. Unfortunately, the Texans found themselves without a stadium in which to play, about halfway through the 1952 season, and were dissolved shortly thereafter. Here’s a great shot of the Texans versus the 49ers from 1952.

What had been the “Dallas Texans” franchise (not to be confused with the later, original AFL Texans) was moved to Baltimore on January 23, 1953. The Texans couldn’t really keep that nickname upon moving to Baltimore, so they adopted the “Colts” nickname, and kept the Texans team colors of blue and white. Thus began the current Colts’ 30 year run in Baltimore, which, as we all know, ended badly. The Colts would relocate to their current home in Indianapolis in 1984, and continue playing there to this day. Now, let’s take a look at the Colts (1953-present) uniform timeline.

1953: The Colts started out with a white helmet with criss-cross blue stripes. After one game, they took the criss stripe off. They also wore a plain blue helmet for a day game and a couple of night games. The jerseys were rather generic; white had blue front/back numerals with blue NW sleeve stripes, while the blue jersey had white front/back numerals with white NW stripes. The Colts also wore for night games a plain RED jersey! Pants were white with a thin white stripe down the sides. Socks were solid blue.

1954: They started with the white helmet, but early in the season, they switched to a blue helmet with a white stripe and a small white horseshoes flanking the stripe on the back of the helmet. The 53 white jersey stayed the same, but the blue jersey had a stripe tweak to 3 even sized white stripes. The socks went from plain blue to blue with three white stripes as on the blue jersey. The plain red jersey was worn for night games.

1955: White jersey sleeve stripes changed to match the style on the blue jerseys. White socks with the sleeve stripe pattern worn with the white jerseys.

1956: Helmet changed from blue to white with a blue stripe with the horseshoes turning blue and staying on the back of the helmet. Like 7 other teams this year, the Colts added TV numbers to the sleeves of both jerseys.

1957: Another overhaul, but this turned into the classic Colts uniform. The horseshoes were now proudly displayed on the sides above the earhole and made much larger. The 3 sleeve stripes (who’s that guy? glad you asked) were replaced by two shoulder loops on both jerseys. A second blue stripe was added to each side of the pants. And blue socks with two blue stripes were worn with both jerseys.

1958: Interesting program produced by the 49ers depicting the Colts wearing a combination (blue/purple helmet with gold shoulder loops) that never existed.

1959: Medium sized players’ numbers were added to the back of the Colts helmets.

1964: No changes to uniforms, but Colts would make it to the championship game versus the Cleveland Browns (note the handwritten helmet number), ultimately losing to the Browns in what would be the Browns last NFL championship.

1969: 50/NFL patch worn on shoulder above shoulder loops.

1970: NOB’s were added to all NFL jerseys, and the Colts’ NOB’s were serifed until Super Bowl V where they became sans serif and remain so to this day.

1973-74: Gradually changed to white cleats.

1977: Changed facemask color from gray to white.

1981: Chagned to solid blue socks.

1982: Added silver in between the blue shoulder stripes on the white jersey and also added silver outline to blue numerals to that jersey. Wore white pants with blue/silver/blue stripes with white jersey. Wore silver/gray pants with single blue stripe with a blue horseshoe with player’s number on both hips. Sock stripes returned with two silver/gray stripes.

1988: All silver/gray is removed and back to 57-81 look except for white socks with two blue stripes worn with both jerseys.

1993: Solid blue socks return and worn with both jerseys.

1994: 75/NFL patch worn on collarbone area of jersey. Didn’t really wear a throwback for the occasion.

1995: Changed facemask color from white to blue. Wore blue pants with two white stripes on sides for a couple of early games. Wore white socks with two blue stripes with these pants.

1996: Switched back to black cleats.

1997: Wore a horseshoe on the left collarbone area of both jerseys; blue on the white jersey, white on the blue jersey.

1998: Horseshoe removed from jerseys. Back to white cleats.

2002: 50th season patch on collarbone area of jersey. Shoulder stripes noticeably truncated.

2004: Gray facemask returns. Sock stripes return. Black cleats return. Also wore white 1956 style throwback for T-Day game with Lions.

2006: Back to solid blue socks. Pretty much the same uni since.

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OK, everyone. Hope you enjoyed this “little” lookback on how the Colts and the Saints got to where they are today, uniform wise. Now, when you attend your Super Bowl parties, you can show off your intimate knowledge of the teams — and don’t be surprised if everyone looks at you a little differently when you do.

Thanks again to Timmy, Ricko & Larry for their assistance with this monumental undertaking.

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rays 2010 powder blue altIn probably the worst kept secret in alternate jersey releases in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays have officially offered for sale their new alternate powder blue jersey. Of course, there has been no actual official announcement yet, but it will be coming. After earlier unveiling their powder blue BP cap, (they will have both a navy and a powder blue BP cap this year), speculation quickly followed that they’d be introducing a powder blue alternate.

Is is good or stupid? Well, it’s not a bad color, but it’s unnecessary. It is my firm belief that a powder blue alternate will only look good if it’s paired powder blue pants. Now, before you dismiss the idea out of hand, here’s how that would look on the field of play. Not so bad, right?

See, I’m not ONLY a white at home/gray on road kinda guy — I just hate the softball look. There were some powder blue teams whose looks I rather enjoyed. I grew up when powder blues were not necessarily the “norm,” but they weren’t foreign either. Of course, back then, stirrups were worn and unis were properly fitted — now…they’d probably wear the powder blues like the Jays and I’d hate it. So maybe it’s best if they just keep the alt and wear it never rarely.

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Mardi_Gras_sign_jpgIn honor of the Saints making the Super Bowl, or maybe just because it’s on the schedule, last eveing the New Orleans Hornets broke out their special purple Mardi Gras uniforms.

No…wait. Last night the New Orleans Hornets broke out their special green Mardi Gras uniforms. Wait…that’s not correct either.

Anyway, last night the Hornets debuted their purple, gold AND green Mardi Gras uniforms. You remember them? Paul had a small bit on Uni Watch (so we could comment) and a much larger piece on ESPN, detailing all that went into these, um…beauties.

We won’t rehash all that here (although, feel free to comment), as Paul has done an outstanding job covering all the ins and outs of the design and thought process that went into the unis. Personally, while I love the concept and the execution, the “two tone” nature of the uniform offends my OCD. I “get” why they’re green, gold and purple. I understand the colors and accoutrements and the beads and masks and costumes and general licentiousness and drunken debauchery that goes into all these uniforms stand for. I really do.

I just don’t like two three-toned uniforms. I can overlook this, because of the spirit of the holiday, however. But just how awesome would the uni still have been if they just went with one color or the other?

If you’d like to see more pics of this game, I put 40+ pics in a Flickr album. Enjoy.

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benchies headerWhat is it they say about an irresistable force and an immovable object? Here’s Rick:

Super Bowl Sunday. A perfect time to be reminded that, when it comes to its unfortunate conclusion, a wardrobe malfunction can make you feel like…well, like a real boob.

Here’s your full-color, Super Bowl sponsored, Sunday Benchies.

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scoreboardGuess The Game From The Scoreboard: Today we have a ‘guest’ scoreboard being brought to us by reader Chris Rocco. While the location may be familiar, the clues are all right there in the picture itself. Ready? Guess The Game From The Scoreboard. Date, location and final score, please, and be sure to link to your answer. And, as always, if you enjoy the game, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!

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the who super bowlAs if you needed another reason to watch the Super Bowl, now you do:

As you all know (or should), the Who will be performing the halftime show. In the comments below, the first person to correctly name each song in the correct order the Who play today will win a prize. So, make sure you post your guesses — if someone has already made a guess — be sure to post a different one, ok? Remember, it’s the first person who identifies EACH song played and in the EXACT order.

I have a whole bunch of uni-related materials lying about the place, and I’m itching to give something away (the prize is as yet undetermined). So, take a guess, and maybe you’ll walk away with something cool. Or not. But you gotta be in it to win it.

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uni tweaks headerBack again with more Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Taking a look at all sports from here on out, so, if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

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First up is Tom Dempsey(!) who was inspired by the Pro Bowl piece last Sunday, with some Pro Bowl unis:

Hey there,

I was inspired by your column about the Pro Bowl unis and decided to give them a shot. Both have the conferences primary colors with the contrasting color as the secondary, so the game would be color on color. I also added some gold piping to represent the special meaning of being chosen to play in the pro bowl. On the pants, the colors are reversed for each team.

Hope you enjoy,

Tom

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Next up is James Comfort, who has some revisions for the Packers, Bills and Panthers:

For my first batch of uni tweaks i started with my favorite team, the Packers. Their uniform is, in my opinion, the best in the league. But I’ve always wondered what it would like like with metallic gold. Home. Road.

Next to tackle the second worst uni in the NFL – the Bills. I went with a modern uni, but still very clean and free of bumper stickers. Home. Road. Alternate.

Then the Panthers, whose uniforms are very nice, but just nice. And they’ve remained unchanged for a long time. Not a big fan of the silver, so I took it out. The NFL needs a team with a powder blue helmet. Home. Road. Alternate.

Much more where that came from, including a makeover for the Browns and Bengals, as well as a new and different approach to the Cowboys. Stay tuned!

-James Comfort

Moving along, we have some MLB tweaks from Dennis (from Philly, and who would prefer I don’t use his last name), who has taken on your National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies:

Hello — long time reader, first time contributor. I have a few issues with the uniforms of my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, so I decided to go ahead and give my best shot at a slight alteration. Specifically, my two biggest gripes are the cartoonish NOB/number font and the number on the sleeve. I started out by creating a uniform set using the current team colors, changing the font back to the Helvetica style font used in those Vet-era uniforms (with vertical arching for the name) and moving the sleeve number to the front of the jersey. To replace the sleeve number, I added a Liberty Bell patch to the left sleeve. I’m a fan of the Phils’ current alternate unis, especially their use of blue, so I incorporated the color more than it’s used now. The alternate jersey bears a passing resemblance to the current alt and uses the same cap, but is white instead of cream and has some piping. I also made a fauxback alternate with the ‘P’ on the chest, in the current colors and outlined by blue (and sans pinstripes). One of the options is a white cap with a red bill and red piping (worn in the early 20th century), giving this uniform facets of those worn throughout the Phillies’ history.

I also think red (and to a lesser extent, blue) is overused in MLB. The old maroon uniforms worn in the 70s and 80s give the team a good opportunity to break away from this mold and claim a unique color combo, so I tried to envision what a modern take would look like. I also think the maroon went well with the power blue uniforms worn during that period, so I used this as an accent color in my mockups. The NOB and numbers are outlined in powder blue, and the color is used on the sleeve and sock stripes. The alternate features even more powder blue and the white hat with maroon accents. Lastly, I made a vest design based on the 70s/80s Phillies jersey with maroon sleeves and a dash of powder blue. This is the most ‘out there’ of my designs, but I think it works for an occasional game or two.

-Dennis from Philly

PS- I apologize if the color or design elements are off when you open the file – I made these in MS Paint and it is my first time doing something like this. If you do decide to use this, please only use my first name. Thanks, and I hope you like it!

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That will conclude this round. Already, I have more for next weekend, so keep them coming. You know where to send them. Thanks!

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*PHEW*

That’s (finally) going to end this Super Sized Super Bowl piece. After going a stellar 7-3 (which would have been 8-2 had I picked the ‘boys over the Iggles) by “picking the winner based on the better uniform,” I will have to pick the Colts to win today. As of late last evening, the spread was 5 points. So, giving the five, we’ll take the Colts to win. Be nice to close out the season with another “uni win.”

Don’t forget to post your “What will the Who play?” guess down below. Just pick the songs, in the ORDER THEY PLAY them, and you’re good to go. OK? OK!

Oh, yeah. There’s still the matter of a game. So — enjoy the big one today. Cheers!

February 6, 2010

Fields (& Logos) of Dreams

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By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk and Michael Malinowski

With Super Bowl Sunday only mere hours away, we’ll kick off Super Bowl weekend with a look back at the fields and logos of the past games. Today, I’m joined by Jim “I’d wear that” Vilk, and Michael Malinowski, better known by his nom-de-post MEMAL. Jim will begin the show with a look back at the past Super Bowl fields, since each offers an unique snapshot of the most important game of the football season, and Michael will give his take on the logos of the past, and, in rather Vilkensian fashion, offer up a “Top 10 and 5 Worst” list of past Super Bowl Logos.

Jim has won the toss, and elected to receive, and Michael will start the second half:

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Fields Of Dreams
By Jim Vilk

From its very beginnings, the Super Bowl has been a spectacle — the ultimate “look at me” event from “the ultimate team game.” Everything is bigger at the big game … well, the field is the same size, but it’s always been done up quite nicely, thank you. For those of us who enjoy the aesthetics of athletic uniforms, here is what hopefully will be an equally enjoying look at the fields of Super Bowls past.

It all started in January of 1967, with the AFL/NFL Championship Game at the LA Coliseum. The “Grand Old Lady” was tarted up for the affair with endzones painted with the Packers and Chiefs’ names and colors, and their respective league logos on each side of the names. At midfield was a football with a crown on it, with “1967″ printed above the crown, and “NFL–AFL” printed on the crown. Also, for this Super Bowl only, there were yard-line numbers printed every five yards instead of every ten.

For the next two years, the Orange Bowl hosted the game. The endzones now had team logos on the left side of the names and league logos on the right. As for the midfield, in Super Bowl II, the Packers and Raiders’ helmets faced each other at the 45-yard lines. In Super Bowl III there was a Super Bowl trophy inside a blue rectangle. These two midfield designs merged the following year in Super Bowl IV, but it was hard to see in the mud at Tulane Stadium.

With the AFL merging into the NFL, there came more field changes for the next Big Game. The new artificial turf at the Orange Bowl had the trophy with “Super Bowl V” painted at midfield, while the colored endzones now featured team logos on the left of the names and either AFC or NFC logos on the right. For VI and VII, the trophy at midfield was replaced with the NFL logo.

Super Bowl VIII saw one more change — helmets were now painted in the endzones on either side of the names. The left one looked just like the team helmet, but the right one had the conference logo in place of the team logo. This endzone style would remain unchanged for the next 22 years. In Super Bowl IX, the only difference was the league ruling that season which moved the goalposts from the goal lines to the end lines.

Starting with Super Bowl X, there has always been a logo of some sorts between midfield and the goal lines. With kickoffs then at the 35-yard line, there was a small NFL-like shield at that point with an X in it. The next year, the shield had “Super” on top of “XI” over “Bowl.” The twelfth game featured the same type of logo, only in the Broncos and Cowboys’ team colors.

Each Super Bowl has its own logo, but it was never shown on the field until Big Game number XIII. The following year, the logo was painted inside a white football at the 35. Then a great peace settled upon the land, for the fields were designed the same way for the next eight years. The white footballs were not used for XXIII and XXIV — just the logos.

For the 25th Super Bowl (at this point I got a little tired of the Roman numerals thing, so I will just use numbers now), they put the game logo at midfield and the NFL logo at each 35. If you squint you can see that in this photo. Games 26, 27 and 28 reverted to the style of games 23 and 24. Game number 29 saw two changes — kickoffs were moved back to the 30, so the game logos followed, and the NFL’s 75th anniversary logo was placed at midfield. In Super Bowl 30, the NFL logo returned to midfield and the game logos were at each 30-yard line.

After more than two decades, the NFL decided to shake up the Super Bowl’s field design. Games 31 through 36 saw the game logo moved to midfield, team helmets now faced each other from the 30-yard lines and the endzones featured conference logos to the left of the names and the NFL logo on the right. For Super Bowl 37 the helmets were moved to the 25, even though kickoffs are still from the 30 — probably a symmetry decision more than anything else. Not content to stay with this design, In games 38 and 39 the NFL logo returned to midfield, the game logo was painted at each 25, team helmets went back to the left side of the endzones and conference logos filled the right side.

For the last four Super Bowls there have been no helmets painted on the field, breaking a 32-year trend. The NFL and game logos stayed in place from the previous year. In games 40 and 41, however, team logos were painted on the left side of the endzone and conference logos with a grayish background were painted on the right. For games 42 and 43, the grayish background was removed.

As we have seen over the years, there have been many ways to show off the playing fields that show off the two best teams in the NFL. I’d like to know what your favorite design was. Personally, my favorite was the style from games 14-22…until they came up with the design from games 31-37. Maybe bring back those yard-line numbers for every five yards as well? That would be…well…super, don’t you think?

~~~

Logo-a-GoGo
By Michael Malinowski

As everyone endures the nonstop media blitz that Super Bowl weekend has become, you will be certain to see this logo everywhere the next two days. Some will be preparing for a party, some will be preparing to party and others will be reflecting back on Super Bowls past and recounting the tales of magnificent triumphs and glorious defeats. As uniform aficionado’s and observers of the finer, non-athletic details of the games, some of us will find ourselves focusing on other aspects of past Super Bowls. One thing I have grown fond of lately is the Super Bowl logo itself.

There was something about the balance and symmetry, the large and imposing size of the XL of Super Bowl 40’s logo that seemed to add some kind of added importance and prestige to the game that managed to dump an extra bucket of butterflies into the stomach of this Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Strangely, though, I found those extra butterflies to be absent last year when the Steelers returned to the big game. Could it have something to do with this lamer, not as imposing and intimidating of a Super Bowl logo? I certainly saw it all around Pittsburgh and on the television as much, but it didn’t have the same affect on me as SB 40’s did.

This year, I remember thinking to myself when I saw the logo for SB 44, “Are you serious?” The letters and numbers look like those plastic, blow up, freestanding advertising signs you would see sitting on one of those parking lot island dividers outside of the stadium advertising a radio station or something.

Today I am going to exhibit my list of the top ten best and 5 worst Super Bowl logos in Super Bowl (SB)chronological order. I’m making my determinations according to originality, design, reflection of the location the game and how it uses the Roman numerals. I am also leaving the game out as a determinant for my logos since sentimentality can get in the way of objectivity. Another thing to note, the first twelve SB logos(with the exception of one) don’t have much to them. Of course, the SB was young then and still growing in popularity, so we can understand just why not as much artistic focus was put on these logos. Because of that, I’m basically excluding them from either list since they would fall in the middle anyways. Alright, enjoy the article and for sharing your own thoughts as well!

Top Ten

Super Bowl III: This logo is simple, like most of the first twelve logos are, but the simple addition of stars in the letters add so much more character, which is lacking early in SB logo history. Another big factor to the inclusion of this logo is that I feel this logo could be(dare I say it) reused in the future. Think about it…invert the colors to white letters with appropriately colored stars….update the roman numerals and maybe make them black…you could even outline the whole logo in a symbol of the host city (rose, peach, bridge) and Voila! The NFL just saved itself some thousand dollars.

Super Bowl XX: Like the logo for SB 3, the style of this logo could be replicated again in the future to make another timeless logo, especially if it’s played in New Orleans. That is because, in one of my favorite elements of any SB logo, the outline of the logo almost mimics the outline of the Superdome(save the bottom) itself, a subtle reminder of where the game was played. I tried to look up and see if this was intentional or if I am just imagining things but I didn’t find anything.

Super Bowl XXVII: Beautiful. That’s all you need to say about this logo. Its elements are simple and stylish, the colors are beautiful and the effect is tremendous. This logo looks as though it borrowed a shield logo of the Rose Bowl for its own use, though one doesn’t actually exist. For the designer to compliment the location of this game in such a way with the logo pays a tremendous amount of respect to that hallowed facility. It’s a shame the NFL rules forbid playing games in cities that don’t have NFL teams, so until a team moves to LA we won’t be seeing any more beautiful rose adorned Super Bowl logos.

Super Bowl XXVIII: Can you feel the southern style emanating from this logo? There’s just something about those letters flowing slowly on the light blue ribbon (note how it kind of looks like a blue ribbon from a fair?) that feels laid back. And just like the rose for the Rose Bowl, the peach tells us all the location of the game so simply that those who had forgotten now instantly can recall without another hint.

Super Bowl XXX: The colors. Just by looking at those colors you can tell that this game was going to be played in the southwest. Overall, the logo is bold and balanced and those Xs just look so strong and, dare I say it, prickly like a cactus?

Super Bowl XXXI: Like the SB logo that proceeded it, the colors! There was no doubt when you saw those Mardi Gras colors where this game would be played. The logo looks festive, yet I feel an intensity when I look at the X’s of the logo. Perhaps some subliminal messaging towards death (Xs in the eyes of cartoon characters)?

Super Bowl XXXII: The logo that started the tradition of affixing logos to the jerseys picture for any big game that we see everywhere today, this is probably one of the most original logos. To a casual viewer the letters seem kind of abstract, but that helps them to really pop out at the viewer’s eyes! I am not sure if it was the intent of the designer to have the compass points allude to the naval base, but the overall effect is great.

Super Bowl XXXIII: I remember the first time I played Grand Theft Auto-Vice City. I stole a hot looking car and started to cruise down at night time while Billie Jean played over the radio in front of all the hotels with the neon’s all a glow. I just had a feeling I was in Miami and that something great was going to happen, and that feeling of excited anticipation is a character that I’ve found is not easy to achieve through look alone for a SB logo.

Super Bowl XXXVIII: Houston: The Space Town: Home of the Eighth Wonder of the World. The bold roman numerals allude to something grand, while the letters for the Super Bowl look as though they were stolen from Space Invaders. Add that Saturn-eqsue (the planet) ring and you got yourself a space themed logo! The whole logo itself is balanced and looked great on the team’s uniforms.picture

Super Bowl XL: I liked this logo even before the Steelers made it there for the reasons I mentioned previously.

Five Worst

Super Bowl XXI: This makes the list because I feel that there is a mismatch of styles that doesn’t work and the layout of the elements doesn’t help. Three things specifically that turn me off about it are: 1. The blocky rose. The Rose Bowl’s symbol isn’t treated very well here, it’s all block and abstract and make it look like the ugliest rose I have ever seen. Now, the Super Bowl font mimics it and helps to complement the style, however… 2. I don’t like how “Super Bowl” covers up the rose and where it’s located. Also… 3. The Roman numerals don’t match the style of the other two elements. This makes the logo feel unbalanced and if it had been designed to look like the same kind of font style as the rose and the word “Super Bowl” it would have better complimented the logo as a whole. Good idea, just missed excellence with a few details.

Super Bowl XXIX: I understand that Florida is the Sunshine State and that’s why a sun is peeking over the Roman numerals, but the colors are just ATROCIOUS.

Super Bowl XLI: This logo is not only very plain, but they also included an end zone pylon, which is the last thing anybody thinks of when they think of the game of football. I like the curve on the bottle of the Roman numerals, but overall this logo needs something more.

Super Bowl XLII: Remember how awesome SB 30’s colors were? Well, these designers decided to do the exact opposite with the SB logo when it returned in Arizona. Maybe those from the southwest might relate to those colors better than someone from Pittsburgh does, but to me they ruin what otherwise is a good design (I really dig how those shooting stars create an upper and lower border for the Roman numbers).

Super Bowl XLIV: For all the previously mentioned reasons, plus, not to be crude, but can’t you kind of see someone giving you the “red eye”? Yucky.

~~~

Thank you both, gentlemen. Quite an impressive look at the fields and logos of the Super Bowl. What will next year’s logo look like? Will it even compare to some of the beautiful logos that have gone before? Well, if first impressions are anything, the answer is decidedly “meh”. That’s our first glimpse at next year’s logo, for the game to be played in Jerry Jones’ new palace. It’s being described as a “simple, monochromatic design featuring the Lombardi trophy.” If you know me at all, I like simple design, but when “monochromatic” and “football” are used in the sentence, it’s generally not a good thing. But wait, it gets better worse. When separated from the “host city base”, the logo alone looks like this (which is good). It’s a nice image.

But the NFL has embarked on their “genius” logo move by declaring, for all intents and purposes, that the design seen above will remain a constant for the next several Super Bowls. Starting with Super Bowl XLV, the template of all Super Bowl logos will virtually remain the same. The only differences from year to year will be the stadium backdrop and the Roman numerals for the game. So for Super Bowl XLV, Cowboys Stadium is featured and “XLV” signifying the forty-fifth Super Bowl game. The next game, to be played in Lucas Oil Stadium, will feature the identical logo only with some kind of graphic representation of that Stadium.

Several readers remarked in Thursday’s comments that the design of the logo is a bit cumbersome, and will make for an either large or awkward jersey patch, and likely both. While there are good years and bad years for color schemes and such clashing with the uniforms, this may actually eliminate that problem — but at what cost? While I find the patch completely unnecessary, it’s become an unavoidable uniform accoutrement now, and we can look forward to at least the next few Super Bowl jerseys all having basically the same treatment. To use Paul’s favorite “Is it good or stupid” test, I wouldn’t say it’s completely stupid, but on the sliding scale (good being on the left and stupid being on the right) — this one trends Republican.

So how will the “patch” look on a uni? If they go with the typical “square” patch, probably not very good. However, should the NFL braintrust actually use the “outline” of the trophy with the Roman numeral designation? It might not look too bad. I would expect to see this on the uniform of the NFC representative next season.

However, knowing the NFL, it’s just their way of telling us what they think of us fans — and now they’ve just taken the next logical step — right?

What say you, Uni Watchers? Did you have a favorite logo or a favorite field? What do you think of Michael’s ratings? Is next year (and beyond) a pass or a fail?

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blackhawks winThe NHL White Jersey Poll Results are in, and I’m now joined by UW Pollster extraordinaire James Huening who is here to bring you the rundown. Any surprises? About what you thought? Did the “Original Six” score, well, in the top six? Let’s find out. Here’s James:

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It will probably come as no surprise to most of you that the six highest scores went to the Original Six. They were, in order:

1) Chicago Blackhawks
2) Montreal Canadiens
3) Detroit Red Wings
4) Boston Bruins
5) New York Rangers
6) Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rounding out the top ten were:

7) New Jersey Devils
8) Philadelphia Flyers
9) Vancouver Canucks
10) Washington Capitals

Also, the Blackhawks were named most often as best uniform and the Canadiens did not receive a single vote for worst.

What about the other end of the spectrum? For the NFL surveys, Buffalo earned the dubious distinction of having the worst home AND road uniforms. Could the Sabres suffer a similar fate?

The bottom five looks like this:

26) Florida Panthers
27) Anaheim Ducks
28) Buffalo Sabres
29) Nashville Predators
30) Atlanta Thrashers

So the Buffalo three-peat was not to be.

The Thrashers collected the most nominations for worst uniform as well. The Ducks were not chosen by anyone as having the best.

One thing I noticed in these results was that there seemed to be a disproportionate number of Blackhawks fans that responded. It made me wonder if that skewed the results at all, so I threw out the votes from Hawks fans and recalculated the numbers to see if it made a difference. As it turns out, the results were virtually unchanged.

As for the burning question of whether white should be worn at home, a whopping 53% said yes, the home team should wear white. 29% felt that it should be the home team’s decision as to what color to wear. Only 14% felt that the home team should always wear dark jerseys. As for the remaining 4%, the general consensus is that white jerseys should be worn at home for half of the season and dark jerseys for the other half.

Once again, thanks to all of you who took the time to vote and thanks to Adam Walter for putting the data in a user-friendly PDF, which can be found here.

Also, if you’d like to see the raw data, you can download the file as either an Excel spreadsheet or comma-delimted text.

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uni tweaks headerBack again with a full batch of Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Taking a look at all sports from here on out, so, if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

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Starting off this week’s show is Ronnie Poore, who has a look at the Patriots, Cowboys and Chargers:

What if the Patriots went retro, except with blue jerseys?!

What about a Cowboys alternate with a silver jersey and white pants?!

Chargers with gold pants.

Chargers with powder blue pants.

Ronnie Poore

~~~

Next up is Ryan Bowman, who, with spring just around the corner, has some Colorado Rockies tweaks:

Phil–

After working tediously on a tweak for the official contest, I fear I may have become addicted to uniform tweaking. If there’s some kind of 12-step program for such people, please let me know as soon as possible.

Haven’t the slightest clue what gave me the urge to do this, but I believe I was inspired when someone posted in the comments yesterday about how abysmal the Colorado Rockies’ uniforms look. Being of like mind and inspired to help, I think I’ve created a much more distinguished set for the Rockies without even modifying the color scheme at all. (I know keeping purple would make Paul very happy.)

The new home uniform is a derivative of the pinstriped vest with the “CR” insignia the Rockies have worn as an alternate previously. Probably the most notable change is that insignia. I modified it so that the C is purple and the R is silver. It really stands out and creates a cool, almost interlocking feature. That same insignia appears in modified form on the hat, with a purple bill. This is the only hat provided; it’s for both home and road games.

The home uniform still has pinstripes, but they’re black pinstripes; no more purple pinstripes. On the back, the only major change is that the player name and number are now purple outlined in silver; they used to be black with silver.

The pinstripes are (finally!) gone from the road uniform, and the team name now appears in similar fashion to the previous home uniform. The mark “ROCKIES” is in purple, outlined in silver, but the R in Rockies is still in silver, as it is in the new cap insignia. I thought that would make for a rather unique and interesting road uniform — so many teams really give nothing unique or special when it comes to the road set.

Last, and quite possibly most important…mandatory stirrups. :) Two images attached; first image is the proposal, and the second is a comparison between the proposal and last year’s set.

Once again, thanks for everything you do for the site. Seriously, look into that 12-step thing. :P

Ryan Bowman

~~~

Closing down the show today we have the one and only Rick Pearson, who has put together many of the tweaks he’s attempted all season long:

No redesigns here. Just honest-to-god tweaks.

SAINTS. Standardize the gold (preferably more the real old gold of the original Saints, not the Vegas gold shown here) and add white to the pants stripes. And lose the black pants. Look like a frickin’ ballet class, which women notice, but the players don’t seem to see. Go figure.

BILLS. They want to wear navy, that’s obvious. Okay, but ditch the navy pants because they make ‘em look like they work at Valvoline Oil Change. Deep six all the yokes and side panels, all that gingerbread, bumper sticker stuff. Go with a “super graphic” on the shoulders (same size as helmet logo).

BENGALS. Bye-bye black pants and jerseys. A Bengal Tiger is an orange and white animal with black stripes…and no one in NFL uses orange as their primary jersey anymore. Stop beating us over the head with the tiger stripes. Leave ‘em on the helmet and shoulders as signature elements. This look would, finally, separate them from the Browns, too.

VIKINGS. The side panels mask the “Viking horn” suggestion on the shoulders. Get rid of ‘em. Pants panels are disjointed and relate to nothing.

REDSKINS. Go back to Super Bowl look. White shoes. Stop farting around with combinations. No monochrome, no leotard. White high socks with the burgundy pants.

PACKERS. Lose the striped neck trim. It’s just too much of a good thing.

JETS. Fix the shoulder panels. It isn’t that tough. Just look at a Namath era jersey and try to come a bit closer to it. I’d like to see the green pants go away, but can live with ‘em (just not the mono green). Don’t mind the white socks with white jerseys and pants. Kinda old school. And, since only they and the Bears do it, not like it’s a look that’s running rampant through the league.

TEXANS. Shoulder stripe/loop so small almost might as well not be there. Go for the full-on USC arch. And lose the red pants. Please? Texans threatening to become the Oregon of the NFL. Not a good idea. NFL doesn’t need an Oregon. In college is kinda fun and funky. In the pros is comical.

COLTS, COWBOYS, 49ERS. Go back to stripes on socks (2 white on Colts & Cowboys, 3 on Niners). There is no expanse of blue or red on their unis that goes without some interface with white numbers or trim. Except socks, which are a huge mass (glob?) of color. Particularly evident when wearing white jerseys. Maybe white shoes for Niners, too.

LIONS. Five words: Barry Sanders. No blue pants.

BROWNS: I’ll be a smartass on this one. Didn’t address truncation, disappearing sleeves, etc., cuz apparently can’t fight City Hall.

~~~

Well — there you have it. Another set of Uni Tweaks. Keep them coming. You know what to do. Send ‘em in.

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benchies headerWhen “The Pump” goes bad, part the next. Here’s Rick:

Speed, if we’re unaccustomed to it, is both exhilarating and frightening. Especially when created by unexpected developments. But for that moment or so, there IS that wonderful rush.

Here’s your Saturday Benchies.

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scoreboardGuess The Game From The Scoreboard: Despite today being an article on the Super Bowl, today’s scoreboard deals with a different sport. Of course, that will be fairly apparent the second you click on the link. Kinda ties in my team and my “new favorite” team, at least after the Deep Freeze. Ready? Guess The Game From The Scoreboard. Date, location and final score, please, and be sure to link to your answer. And, as always, if you enjoy the game, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!

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mailBagAnd some more hockey news/questions comes to me via the Email Bag, this one from Timothy Tryjankowski, who writes:

In the NHL the pro-jersey has a neat shoe string for a neck lace…It is about 12 inches long…and hardly anybody ties it

Yet, when you buy a replica jersey the strings hang so long…about 20 inches…and look foolish.

Now try and find/buy a 12 inch athletic shoe lace…I can’t find any.

So the question is ..why? Why would Reebok make one jersey with a players lace..yet the replica jersey looks…well dumb.

Thanks for the question, Tim. Any hockey guys want to take a shot at the answer? Think there’s a market out there for guys who buy a replica jersey and want to replace the 20″ lace with at 12″ one?

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Well, that’s going to put a nice shoelace on this post. Hope you enjoyed the beginning of the pre-Super Bowl festivities — back tomorrow with another round of uni goodness to prep you for the Big Game.

Everyone have a great Saturday.

February 5, 2010

Putting the Y in DIY

diy.jpg

Got a note the other day from Terence Kearns, who wanted to tell me about his latest DIY project. Along the way, he raised an interesting question. Take a look:

Here’s another one of my hybrid DIY varsity jackets — a 1930s-inspired Chicago Blackhawks jacket. Just like my last one, I found all the patches on eBay and the jacket was right off the rack, so the whole thing cost me about $120.

When you posted my ’86 Mets jacket last month, someone in the comments said, ‘It’s not DIY if you pay someone to sew it on for you.’ JimV suggested calling it DIO (Do It Oursleves). Now, I don’t have the skills or equipment to attach chain-stitched or chenille patches to thick wool melton or leather sleeves, so I outsource the sewing, and I’ve still created a one-of-a-kind, quality sports schwag in the DIY spirit that I think is awesome. And that’s the point, isn’t it?

It’s an interesting question, one that reminds us that everything is relative. After all, if you really wanna make a DIY jersey, shouldn’t you sew the shirt together yourself, instead of buying a blank one at Wal-Mart? For that matter, shouldn’t you grow the cotton from which you make that shirt? If you’re making a DIY wool jacket with leather sleeves, shouldn’t you shear the sheep and tan the leather?

Obviously, that’s an unreasonable standard to impose. But those examples are useful reminders that almost every DIY project includes elements that have been, as Terence puts it, outsourced. Does it matter? Is there a hierarchy of DIYness?

This debate reminds me of something I used to hear back in the 1990s, when I published a zine. At that time, zines had been around for many years but desktop publishing software and internet networking were starting to make some zines look more slick, like “real” magazines. This led to a lot of chatter about whether something deserved to be called a zine if it was professionally printed instead of being xeroxed at Kinko’s, or if it had any full-color content, or if it had advertising, or if it had corporate advertising, and so on. Lots of litmus tests.

My feeling, then and now, is that a zine is an independent publication whose subject matter, voice, and point of view are largely a reflection of one person’s distinctive sensibility (preferably an interesting, articulate person with an eccentric sensibility, but you can’t always have everything), and all the rest is a big gray area. Similarly, I think a DIY uniform project is anything conceived and executed by one person’s vision, even if some of the execution is done by someone else.

Would it have been “better” if Terence had sewn the patches onto his jacket himself? Sure. For that matter, he could have made his own patches, instead of buying them on eBay. But he wanted pro-level patches, and that’s fine. He also didn’t have the resources to sew onto leather, and that’s fine too. Still counts as DIY in my book.

Then again, maybe I’m not the right one to be offering that assessment, since I’ve never made a DIY jersey myself. And I understand that someone who does all his own sewing, like Bryan Justman, might take a dim view of Terence’s approach. What do all you other DIYers out there think?

Giveaway Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter to win the Jaguars jersey box. Details here.

Scott Reminder: Remember, Scott Turner’s going-away party is tonight at Rocky Sullivan’s. Don’t miss.

ESPN Reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, here’s my Super Bowl column on ESPN.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Ladies and gentlemen, your new, semi-permanent Super Bowl industrial complex logo. Key quote, from the NFL’s huckster-in-chief: “We feel that 45 is a special year. It feels like it’s the perfect time to launch it.” It must be very interesting to be the sort of person who can give that kind of quote with a straight face. … I meant to post this earlier in the week but forgot: Nike’s “Pro Combat” marketing campaign has gotten out of hand. … Latest organization holding a logo-design contest: the National Endowment for the Arts (with thanks to Todd Radom). … Here’s something we missed from last weekend: The Maple Leafs wore camouflage jerseys during pregame warm-ups last Saturday. “I believe they were honoring Canadian soldiers who had come home from Afghanistan,” says Jenn Walsh. … Interesting longjohns controversy in the soccer world. … Some interesting Rochester Red Wings pics from Paul Bielewicz: First, these 1960s shots of Joe Altobelli and Boog Powell show the team’s “ball with wings” logo wrapping around the sides of the batting helmet. … The Fleer Sticker Project has hit the holy grail, the mother lode, the pièce de résistance: NFL Chiquita Banana stickers. Full details here. … More Fleer Sticker goodness: NFL soft drink promotions. … The good folks at Strictly Fitteds are celebrating their third anniversary with a giveaway contest — one lucky winner will win 100 fitted caps! Details here. … You can see Chuck Bednarik strapping on a leather helmet with a facemask here (great find by Giancarlo). … You probably knew this already, but it’s always good to be reminded: That Reebok jersey you’re wearing was probably sewn together by woefully underpaid Third World labor. … R. Scott Rogers sent along some awesome jersey photos he took at the Cedar Rapids Kernals ballpark museum, plus he pointed me toward a nice little photo gallery of historical team photos. … Bruce Genther collects vintage uniform catalogs, just like I do (read: We often bid against each other), and lately he’s been scanning the most uni-relevant pages from the catalogs in his collection. First up: 1962 Wilson and 1973 Rawlings. … Last week’s issue of Fortune magazine (which I was once the marketing columnist, believe it or not) has a nice little piece on concussion-sensing football helmets (as forwarded by Joe Nocella). … Here’s a cool article about Vermac, the Belgian company that outfits lots of cycling teams (with thanks to Sean Clancy). … Also from Sean: “SpiderTech, the prepackaged kinesiology tape, is sponsoring a road bike team in Canada, called SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy. At the launch, Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer auctioned off one of his yellow tunics from the Tour de France. The team sported the tape while dressed in full kit at the official team launch, so they were all taped up and just standing around in sneakers. … Major development on the package design front, as Heinz has revamped the single-serve ketchup packet (big thanks to Adam Brodsky). … Some goot chatter about hockey stick taping here (with thanks to Ken Juba). … Good catch by Eric Trout, who noticed Michigan State’s Draymond Green wearing Sacramento Kings practice shorts underneath his game shorts. “With MSU being a big Nike school, they probably wouldn’t be thrilled with the three stripes flashing underneath their uniform,” he notes. … Ugliest sneaker ever? It’s certainly in the running (with thanks to Austin Chen). … According to this article, Colorado football ” will likely wear 1990 throwback uniforms throughout next season” (as noted by Matthew Robins). … Whoa, check out this totally groovy Penguins patch! Never seen that one before. Anyone else? (Awesome find by Jason Bernard). … You know how medical journals always have stories about people who show up at the emergency room with Coke bottles up their ass or crayons in their urethra or whatever? Here, at last, is a uni-related version of that kind of story (blame Paul Wiederecht). … Rob Harrigan wrote up a nice ode to his favorite bowling shirt. … I’m several days late with this, but RIP, Jane Jarvis — you were a crucial part of the soundtrack to my childhood.



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