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Premier League Kit Review 2017-18 (Part II)

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through Aug. 25, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

(If you want to jump to the Grand Rapids Griffins Fauxback Contest Voting, Scroll Down)

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

I’m back, once again, with Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who last week brought you a look at half the Premier League — and now they’re back with the remainder EPL for 2017-18. If you’re not familiar with their ratings, Kyle goes on a 0-5 star scale, while CJ is in the “good” or “stupid” camp. You can click any photos to enlarge. Take it away, lads…

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Manchester City

Kyle: Manchester City has an updated version of their classic sky blue over white primary, an all-maroon secondary, and a leaked Nike camo third. Beautiful primary, the secondary color is somewhat unique and mostly works, and no thanks again to this camo template. Rating: 5 stars primary, 4 stars secondary, 2 stars third

CJ: Can’t beat the simplicity of either the primary or secondary, though the color choice is odd for the secondary. Both rate a good from me. Camo, on the other hand, is always stupid.

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Manchester United

Kyle: United have a red primary that has already been worn over white or black shorts, an all-black secondary with a sublimated pattern taken from a 90’s jersey that is not visible on the field, and a multiple grays third featuring a light image on the jersey of the “United Trinity” – a statue outside their stadium of three famous players who played for the club in the 60’s. The primary look is great with either color of shorts, I’m not a fan of the design on the secondary so I suppose it’s a good thing that it effectively can’t be seen, and as in the case of Everton, I don’t like mismatched grays, but I at least appreciate the historical ties here. Rating: 5 stars primary, 3 stars secondary, 2 stars third

CJ: If it ain’t broke…good primary, push secondary for more 90s shenanigans, and a definite stupid on the third. I don’t like this gray (grey, since we’re talking Brits I guess) phenomenon at all. Especially the multiple shades kind.

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Newcastle United

Kyle: Newcastle returns to the Premier League and comes with their classic black and white vertical stripes for their primary, a light blue over navy secondary, and a very dark gray and black vertical stripes third with some gold accents. As you may have noticed, I like any looks that are classic to the team, and I like the third more here because black is one of their colors. The secondary is necessary to contrast with opponents, but it’s on the boring side for me. Rating: 5 stars primary, 3 stars secondary, 4 stars third

CJ: I do love the Newcastle primaries, which rate a good from me, but the secondary looks too much like Man City for me. Stupid. As for the third, it incorporates team elements while being a useful change kit, so I’ll reluctantly call it good.

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Southampton

Kyle: Southampton take a step away from their traditional red and white vertical stripes in favor of a red primary jersey with a large white front panel and use the vertical stripes on their navy and teal secondary jersey. It may not be their classic look but I really like the primary look and the color combination on the secondary isn’t my favorite, but the design works. Rating: 5 stars primary, 3 stars secondary

CJ: Southampton out here trying to be mirror mode Arsenal or something with that primary. And giving up stripes? A crime. Stupid. As to the secondary, stripes cannot save you from that color combination. My eyes. Stupid.

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Stoke City

Kyle: It’s the classic red and white vertical stripes for Stoke’s primary jersey, and their other two jerseys follow the same template (including collars) and horizontal gradient stripe, but with colors swapped. Great primary and I like the consistency of the other two jerseys, but don’t care much for the gradient although I think it works better on the white jersey. Rating: 5 stars primary, 3 stars secondary, 4 stars third

CJ: The primary is a classic and well executed, including the little touch on the collar. Good. The secondary and third give off an 80s vibe to me, and that’s perfectly fine, even if the evil gradient makes a reappearance. You know I love collars. Good for both.

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Swansea City

Kyle: Swansea have a traditional all-white with black accents primary, an all-red with green accents and a sublimated design secondary to match the colors of the Welsh flag (Swansea is the only Premier League team that plays in Wales), and an all-black with gold accents third. Primary could use something else, I would like the secondary more without the sublimated waves and triangles, and black and gold seems to be the third kit trend this year. Rating: 3 stars primary, 3 stars secondary, 3 stars third

CJ: Not a huge fan of the collar designs on the primary and third, but nothing here is too offensive. In this modern world of gradients and shades of gray, that’s a win. Good for all three.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Kyle: Tottenham move to Nike and have a simple white over navy primary, a navy (over white or navy) secondary, and also have a leaked Nike camo third. I really like the consistency with the first two looks, and even without being officially released yet, enough with this camo template already. Rating: 5 stars primary, 5 stars secondary, 1 star third

CJ: Similar templates, similar responses. Classically designed primary and secondary rate a good while the camo corruption continues with a stupid.

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Watford

Kyle: Watford have a yellow over black with red accents primary, and an all-red secondary using an Adidas template with a slight diagonal black and white stripe on the bottom of the front of the jersey. I’m not sure why, but it feels like something is missing on the yellow jersey, and the red look is so similar to Middlesbrough’s secondary kit last season making it seem more “template-y” to me. Rating: 3 stars primary, 1 star secondary

CJ: I’ve always liked Watford’s combination of colors, but the primary seems to be missing something as Kyle stated. A collar might spruce things up a bit. The secondary is adventurous without being offensive, which I’ll take. Both rate good.

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West Bromwich Albion

Kyle: West Brom have their classic white and navy vertical stripes along with navy shoulders and white shoulder piping on their primary jersey, and a white over red with red shoulders/sleeves secondary look. I don’t really understand the cross shoulder piping and the navy accents are off-putting on the secondary. Rating: 4 stars primary, 2 stars secondary

CJ: The garish shoulder piping and contrasting adidas logo on the primary are not enough to make me hate it, but it’s pretty close. Good. Personally, I can’t find anything too wrong with the secondary. As has been said before, I’ll take simple over ridiculous any day. Good.

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West Ham United

Kyle: West Ham’s primary jersey is their traditional claret and blue, but with a couple of added features – a darker maroon portion on the top of the jersey representing the crossed hammers in their logo, and the Umbro diamonds design on the sleeves. The Hammers also have an all-black with neon blue accents secondary, and a leaked third jersey which is a “very light blue”. I could do without the extra design elements on the primary, but the overall set of kits work well together. Rating: 4 stars primary, 4 stars secondary, 4 stars third

CJ: I agree with Kyle here on the primary; slightly overdesigned, but still okay. Good. The secondary is a bit boring, almost like a training top of some kind, but it isn’t bad either. Push. That third though, my goodness. A collar and buttons? Clean logo design? Sign me up. Good.

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Thanks lads. Great stuff — thanks for both overviews!

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Today we vote on the third group of contestants for the Grand Rapids Griffins “Fauxback Design” contest. In case you missed it, the contest parameters and rules were laid out here.

I received a whopping 119 Entries in this contest, so the voting will be broken down as follows. Thursday: First 30 entrants (you may click here to view that post); Friday: Second 30 entrants (click here to see that post); Today: Third 30 entrants; and Tuesday: Final 29 entrants. As in previous contests, the submissions will be listed alphabetically. The TOP THREE contestants receiving votes in each group will move on to the final group (for a total of 12 finalists — three from each group), from which the Griffins will make a decision and declare the winner who I will announce on Friday, August 25.

We’re using a new polling system, which we hope will eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) any fraud or shenanigans. You will be permitted to vote for as many designs as you would like, but you may only vote ONCE. As you glance over the designs, be sure to write down the name and number of your favorite(s) and then cast your votes in the poll which follows the submissions. The poll(s) will close approximately twenty-four (24) hours after being posted — the TOP THREE vote recipients will move into the final group (the winner of which will be chosen by the Griffins).

REMINDER: The Griffins set out the following parameters for designing an alternate (fauxback) jersey. Please use them to guide you as you make your decision(s) below:

Design Guidelines:

• Create a brand new design for a Griffins alternate jersey (remember: you are ONLY designing a jersey, not a full uniform).
• DO NOT USE current or previous Grand Rapids Griffins logos or previous Griffins jersey design contest winning logo designs. Your work must be original.
• The jersey color must be red or black.
• This jersey will be part of an ’80s Fauxback Theme Night. If the Griffins existed in the 1980s, what would the jerseys have looked like?
• Use official team colors – CMYK Colors: Red 12/100/92/3, Gray 31/25/26/0, Gold 43/49/76/21, Black 75/68/67/90, White 0/0/0/0.

And now, the third 30 contestants (click any design to enlarge):

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1. Jason Mildren

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2. Randy Miller

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3. Hunter Mills

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4. Derek Mohr

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5. Greg Montique

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6. Alex N2B

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7. Laura Nekola

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8. Grant Newton

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9. Katie Nietling

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10. Mark Nolte

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11. Charles Norenberg

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12. Sean Nowosatka

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13. Douglas O’Leary

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14. Niklas Otte

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15. Jonathan Owen

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16. Blake Pass

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17. Kevin Pazdernik

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18. Bryan Phillips

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19. Ryan Plachta

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20. Tyler Plachta

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21. Clark Rasmussen

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22. Melissa Redder

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23. Spencer Reynolds

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24. Wes Rickards

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25. Jason Rogers

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26. Taylor Roy

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27. Zach Rueger

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28. Jordan Santalucia

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29. Jacob Saylor

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30. Layton Scarbrough

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GRIFFINS FAUXBACK JERSEY CONTEST
VOTE BELOW

GROUP 3: You May Select As Many Designs As You Like

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Well, that wasn’t THAT bad…

Last evening, as part of a tie-in with the Little League World Series (LLWS), the Cardinals and Pirates played a game at historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA (home of the Williamsport Crosscutters
— the Class-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies). It was also the “test” run for the bright and shiny “Players Weekend” uniforms (which all teams will wear next Friday through Sunday). Thankfully, my last day doing UW (until after Labor Day) is Friday, so this may be the only time I watch a game in which these uniforms are worn. Thankfully, this one wasn’t too bad.

The Pirates and Cardinals each had special caps and jerseys for the occasion. The caps (as we’ve known for some time) were…bright:

The jerseys, also created especially for this promotion were pullovers with color contrasting sleeves — the Cardinals had navy for a base color with red sleeves, while the Pirates were black base with gold sleeves. Each player (well, almost all — some chose not to play along) had NickNOB, and the players were allowed to wear special shoes and socks.

I confess I didn’t see too much of this game, and when I had it on, I was actually doing other things, so I didn’t pay super-close attention, but I have to say it wasn’t a terrible looking game — at least not in the way I had envisioned it. The Cardinals wore their uniforms with gray pants, while the Bucs wore white pants.

While the Cardinals had special caps (if you scroll up, you can notice a tinge of blue outline around the StL, but otherwise they looked like normal red caps. The Pirates caps were definitely a brighter shade of gold, dare I call it yellow? Both teams wore their normal helmets (thankfully), so the Pirates didn’t actually look that different from their regular black tops. Except for the bright yellow sleeves, with with helmets the still looked like the Pirates. Of course, with the yellow caps it was another story.

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Some of the players wore funky socks

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But most of the Cardinals went with “Cardinals” socks:

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The jerseys, aside from being pullovers, had special thick collars in red/white (on the Cards navy) and yellow/white (on the Bucs’ black):

You can also see the special “little-to-big-league” chromaflex patch on the back of the jersey above the NickNOB.

Of course, the bases had the Little League Classic plate on them:

The players also had a special patch on their right sleeves where they could write the name of someone who “inspired” them growing up.

Special bats were allowed in the game (I saw a couple Pirates players with bright yellow bats) but by far the coolest were Cardinals bats painted to “match” their hose:

Both teams watched LLWS games earlier in the day and then those LLWSers all came to the big league park to watch the MLBers play their game. After the game, the Cards & Bucs adopted a “Little League tradition” and did a whole “nicegamegoodgame” handshake/high five, which I have to admit, was pretty cool:

If you can handle the “homemade” highlights, there is some good video of the game here:

Lots more photos of the game here.

This would have been a very cool thing if it were one night only and just between these two teams. But with three FULL days of this coming up, with all teams involved, many of them wearing ‘barely’ team colors, I’m not looking forward to that.

And luckily for you all, I won’t be around to bitch write about it.

But as long as I have you, what did you think of this?

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The Franchise Returns Home

Besides the solar eclipse, today is the 40th anniversary of Tom Seaver’s first appearance at Shea Stadium in a Reds uniform after the June trade which sent him to Cincinnati.

I got a wonderful note from Bill Moss the other day in which he captured, on his own camera (with film!) the return of Tom Seaver to Shea. I’ll let Bill take it from here:

Here’s … a Super 8mm film I made that day. It includes general scenes of Shea Stadium before and during the game, and shots of NY Mets players Jerry Koosman (36) , Ed Kranepool (7), John Stearns (12), Steve Henderson – who was acquired in the Seaver trade (5), and Manager Joe Torre (9). Cincinnati Reds include manager Sparky Anderson (10), Johnny Bench (5), Dan Driessen (22), Ken Griffey (30), and Pete Rose (14). Lindsey Nelson can be seen doing the pre-game show in the WOR-TV booth. Karl Ehrhardt, the popular “Sign Man” who was a fixture at Mets games in the ’60s and ’70s is in his regular spot on the third base line. There was a big crowd that day, more than 46,000.

Seaver pitched a complete game, defeating Koosman and the Mets 5-1. The boxscore and game summary can be seen here.

My mother and father are also in film. She was so upset by the trade that she refused to wear a Mets cap, and insisted that my father buy her a souvenir Reds batting helmet before the game. He passed away in 2008, and she almost exactly a year ago. It’s nice to see them both looking so young and healthy!

Sorry for the poor video quality. The film itself is clear, sharp and vibrant. It was shot in Super 8mm, so there is no sound.

Thanks so much, Bill — this was awesome — and a very sad trip down memory lane for a then-eleven year old who didn’t quite understand the machinations of baseball and how our favorite stars could be summarily dismissed. It bonded New Yorkers (or Mets fans, anyway) in ways heretofore unknown, and cemented in our hearts what we’d always suspected: that M. Donald Grant was a piece of shit the greatest villain in Mets history, a sentiment which most Mets fans of a certain age still share to this day.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Sonny Gray is still using his Oakland glove with the Yankees. He wore #54 in Oakland, he’s #55 in NY (from David Feigenbaum). … On Saturday, umpires took the field wearing white wrist bands to protest escalating verbal attacks on MLB umpires. Here’s more on that. The Tigers’ Ian Kinsler wasn’t happy about that (from Stephen Santangelo). … On Saturday, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had small antlers added to the TR logo because it was Milwaukee Bucks Night (from Zach Loesl). … Also from , new LA Dodger Curtis Granderson tweeted, “Each game, I wear my socks high in honor of #JackieRobinson. Today I did it in a @dodgers uniform -and it felt really special.” … On Saturday, the Baltimore Orioles wore 1992 throwbacks for the 25th Anniversary of the opening of OPACY (Oriole Park at Camden Yards), from Andrew Cosentino and Will Shoken. Andrew gives us “Three unfortunate notes about the 1992 throwbacks that the Orioles.” (1) They did not wear throwback batting helmets; (2) The New Era logo is on the left side of the hats; and, (3) The 25th Anniversary patch is on the right side of the hats. … Back in the old days, Bat Boys worked really hard (nice find by TK). … The Astros ‘mixed it up’ yesterday wearing blue caps with the blue tops. Ignacio notes “Sunday’s usually the orange cap with blue bill.” … The Wilmington Blue Rocks wore TMNT jerseys yesterday (from Gregory Koch). … Prior to last night’s LLWS-tribute game, Andrew McCutchen was rocking a cap with a bazillion Stargell Stars (from Nicholas Schiavo).

NFL/CFL News: Check out this photo of the Argos and Alouettes, send in by Wade Heidt. He notes (1) The Toronto Argonauts wore white at home; (2), they introduced solid light (Cambridge) blue socks which they haven’t worn for about a decade; and, (3) the Montreal Alouettes wore an alternate uniform combination of their road blue pants with the red jerseys. … “Jeremy Zuttah used to wear #53 for the Ravens,” notes Andrew Cosentino. “However, he was traded to the 49ers earlier this offseason. He has since been cut by the 49ers. Subsequently, the Ravens signed him. Unfortunately, his #53 was taken by undrafted rookie linebacker Bam Bradley, so Zuttah will now wear #64; this was the number worn by the recently retired John Urschel. My gut tells me that Zuttah will eventually wind up back with #53 before the season starts.” … There is an NFL helmet/uni related moment in this “technical difficulties incident that plagued part of the opening moments of the Eight Is Enough episode ‘Ten Ships in the Night’ (Season 4, Episode 4) on WLS Channel 7,” from Ray Hund. … The Houston Texans have removed their blue end-zone fill (from Garret Heinrich). Here’s a good before/after (from Patrick). … Since they don’t have socks with actual stripes the Cleveland Browns have updated their uni graphic to show solid color socks (from Luke Corbett).

College Football News: Paul’s college preview is coming Wednesday, but my pal Clint Richardson has just published his yearly post documenting every uniform across all levels of college football. Be sure to check that out! … The Virginia Tech Hokies are getting a new 3D bumper on the back of their helmets (from Andrew Cosentino). … Harding University has a new alternate uniform (from DallasEmpire78). … I’d have to agree with this tweet (from William). … New helmets for Mercer (from Bo Childers).

Hockey News: The Erie Otters unveiled new uniforms. Wade Heidt notes they showed off their new white jersey and gloves, and it “Does appear that their yellow jersey with the same template is becoming their new primary dark jersey. The yellow jersey had been an alternate previously. Red has been removed as a trim colour.” … Looks like new Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc Andre Fleury is wearing his old Penguins sweater inside out at practice (from The Goal Net). … New mask for Cal Petersen (from Denis Costello).

NBA News: What would happen if every team were the Toronto Raptors? Not following? OK, check out this Reddit (from Mike Chamernik). … There is already a movement underway in Akron to keep the Chosen One in Cleveland (h/t Jimmer Vilk).

College Hoops News: Here’s a terrific time-lapse of Virginia Tech resurfacing the basketball court floor (from Andrew Cosentino). … “I thought you might enjoy this photo I came across from 1977,” says Nic Waldron. “It turns out Marquette wasn’t even the only college basketball team in their own city rocking an off the wall look. Across town, the Milwaukee Panthers not only had their own untucked tops. They also featued a FNOB across the bottom!”

Soccer News: “We have a NNOLT (Nickname on Lineup Tweet),” says Greg Franklin “‘Ox’ = Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Note that his actual NOB is ‘Chamberlain’.”

Grab Bag: Terrence Crawford went into the ring wearing a red Nebraska Cornhusker jersey with the number 140 on it, before the title bout with Julius Indongo, writes Richard Giron. He adds, “around the same time the 49ers debuted their Nebraska jersey (sarcasm) against the Broncos.” … Here is “a link to the reveal of new athletic logos for my wife’s alma mater, Freed-Hardeman University,” says Wade Harder. “It’s a nice little one minute video that shows close-ups of sketches, the embroidery of the new logo, and finally, the reveal.” … Winston-Salem State University unfeiled a “fierce” new logo & mascot (from James Gilbert).

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Astros Throw Back To 'Killer B' Era

By John Ekdahl

The Houston Astros celebrated their 1997 NL Central division-winning team last night, with Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell in attendance. Larry Dierker, who managed the team, threw out the first pitch.

It’s time to break out the DunkAroos and jelly sandals … the ’90s are back, and they are better than ever. The Astros honored the 1997 NL Central championship team before they hosted the A’s on Saturday, bringing out former manager Larry Dierker with members of the team on hand.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Shane Reynolds, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and first-base coach Jose Cruz were in attendance during Legends Weekend.

“The ’97 team was the Astros’ first division championship since winning the NL West in 1986,” said McTaggart, “and it began a span where they won four division titles in five years.”

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Michelle Wie wore the wrong outfit for Friday’s play at the Solheim Cup. She was supposed to be matching her partner Danielle Kang, but accidentally wore the morning outfit instead of the afternoon one.

Wie:

“I went all day not knowing or noticing. I was blissfully oblivious I was wearing the wrong outfit. I just found out 20 minutes ago. I looked down and I was like — it was kind of in the back of my head: Her skirt looks different, maybe because she’s wearing a skirt and I’m wearing shorts. And, yeah, I’m wearing the wrong outfit and this is not my first Solheim and the rookie is wearing the right outfit.”

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Researchers are now developing “energized” fabrics that heat up when powered, as well as a particle layer which would absorb sweat. According to the article, most of the military’s cold-weather hand gear is over 30 years old and so poor that soldiers often buy their own gloves.

Soldiering in arctic conditions is tough. Protective clothing can be heavy and can cause overheating and sweating upon exertion. And hands and feet can grow numb despite wearing such gear. To keep military personnel more comfortable and battle-ready in bitterly cold climes, scientists are now conducting research aimed at creating high-tech fabrics that heat up when powered and that capture sweat. These fabrics could also conceivably make their way to consumer clothing in the future.

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When the “Ladies Gridiron League” launched in Austrailia in 2015, it was met with controversy over the revealing uniforms. There were complaints of sexism and the players themselves criticized the look, which was not exactly ideal for a full contact seven-on-seven version of American football.

A new league, the Gridiron West Women’s League, is starting up now with traditional football uniforms instead of the “sexy” ones.

Rhyanna Edbrooke plays linebacker for the Perth Blitz and is WA’s only member of Australia’s Outback Women’s National team.

She said playing in a skimpy uniform in the ladies league was the only way she could get a taste for the sport.

“I prefer the uniforms we have now, most definitely, but that was the only option we had to play gridiron,” she said.
The controversial Ladies Gridiron League only lasted a year and Edbrooke believed fans were now looking for athleticism.

“Aussies want to see sport played for athletic reasons, they are not looking to see it as a sex exploitation,” she said.

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From Paul, new Nevada unis:

Braves Honoring Hank Aaron This Weekend

By John Ekdahl

This weekend, the Atlanta Braves are honoring Hall of Famer Hank Aaron by wearing their 1974 uniforms for ‘Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend’. Today’s attendees will receive a commemorative ticket and mini-bat, along with a donation to the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation.

From the Braves:

For many Hank Aaron is just known as ‘Hammerin Hank’, the homerun king, but many don’t know Henry Aaron the man.

Whether it is through continuous philanthropic efforts, working as a front office baseball executive, or being a successful entrepreneur and businessman, Henry Aaron measures each step to ensure he impacts his community, country and the world for the betterment of social change.

Each year during Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend, the Atlanta Braves honor the on-and off-field accomplishments of Henry Aaron, while saluting individuals that have positively affected the advancement of social and human rights within their communities.

Additional shots below:

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Yesterday Notre Dame unveiled uniforms that will honor Knute Rockne for their November 18th game against Navy. The Notre Dame Twitter account teased it yesterday with the quote “What do you say men?”, which wasn’t a subtle hint.

Reveal video:

Although Notre Dame Stadium has a new face, at its core it maintains the same heart: Rockne. As the Fighting Irish move forward in a new age of technological advancement, Notre Dame stands by the importance of respecting their traditions by donning jerseys that pay homage to the forefather of Notre Dame football.

Under Armour Design Director Nick Billiris shared his take on what makes this game and these new uniforms so significant as Notre Dame starts a new era.

“I think it is a unique opportunity with this uniform to celebrate the past while creating the future,” Billiris says. “That’s why we incorporated some of these elements that harken back to the 1920s and 1930s when Knute Rockne was there, but we did it with cutting edge fabrics and technology. The whole idea is that this uniform is a time capsule of Notre Dame football from when Rockne first grew the football program into the national power it has become today.”

Additional photos:

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Be on the lookout for these today.

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Paul highlighted some changes to TCU’s uniforms yesterday:

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SUNY Plattsburgh unveiled new logos yesterday.

Cardinal Country got a new look on Friday, Aug. 18, with SUNY Plattsburgh’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics unveiling a new visual identity for “Burghy” that will be seen across all teams and the campus as a whole beginning this fall.

“These updated marks create a consistent approach we can easily use across all of our branding channels – from uniforms and playing surfaces to social media,” said director of athletics Mike Howard. “We worked to preserve the historical aspects even as we added new set of tools that will serve us well in the years ahead.”

Uni Phoropter: Milwaukee Brewers

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through Aug. 25, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken

>>>FOR GROUP 2 OF THE GRIFFINS FAUXBACK JERSEY CONTEST,
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN!<<<

OK, I’ll be the first to admit I had to look up “phoropter”, which Wikipedia describes as “an ophthalmic testing device, also called a refractor. It is commonly used by eye care professionals during an eye examination.” My pal and contributor R. Scott Rogers suggested that for the title of an article which follows. Scott recently reached out to me with the following:

I had an idea for a short but interactive UW article built around a series of two-choice polls to determine the collective wisdom of UW readers on how the Brewers should bring back the ball-in-glove cap logo to full-time status within a navy and gold uniform set.

With that set in motion, here’s Scott:

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Uni Phoropter: Milwaukee Brewers
By R. Scott Rogers

One, or two? One, or two? Two, or three? Two, or three? Time to lean in to the Uni Phoropter (that black metal device with the flippy lenses your optometrist uses to test your vision) for a little A-or-B testing of variations on the Milwaukee Brewers’ retro cap logo.

I’ll admit I haven’t always been a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers’ ball-in-glove logo. I mean, it’s a great logo! For a baseball team in Myrtle Beach. Anyway, the Brewers brought the ball-in-glove (B-i-G) logo back …

… into their uniforms in 2006, and have been slowly elevating the status of the B-i-G within their uniform set. It seems inevitable that the Brew Crew will soon wear the B-i-G again as their primary cap logo, possibly in a navy and athletic gold color scheme as the team seems to be evolving away from metallic gold in its uniforms.

Two recent moves have led me to adopt the Brewers as “my” baseball team. First, the Brewers named Craig Counsell, my favorite player of his generation, as their manager in spring of 2015. (I didn’t say “best,” I said “favorite.”) Second, I moved to Wisconsin in fall of 2015. So the resurgence of the Ball-in-Glove has become personal to me. I’ve come around a bit on the B-i-G, but I’m not sure that the current use of navy blue on navy with gold outlines is the best way for the Brewers to wear the logo.

Since pretty much everyone else loves the Ball-in-Glove logo way more than I do, I figure pretty much anyone else would have better judgment of any variations on how the Brewers wear the B-i-G. So, what follows are some A-or-B polls to tap into the collective wisdom of Uni Watch readers. Lean in, close one eye, and look at the Brewers logo over the doctor’s shoulder. From the results of these polls, we should be able to establish which is the ideal future cap logo for a Ball-in-Glove embracing, navy-and-gold wearing, Brew Crew.

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Color: Navy on Navy, or Gold on Navy?

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Color: Gold on Navy, or Royal on Navy?

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Color: Royal on Navy, or Navy on Navy?

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Gold on Navy: Outline or No?

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The “Webbing” in the Glove: Navy or White?

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Thanks Scott! Great food for thought — the answer to “When should the Brewers return to the BiG logo?” will always be “Immediately,” so let’s hope the team makes the addition permanent. I’ve often thought (and said) that I personally think the Ball in Glove logo is the best in baseball, and possibly in all of sports, so the sooner the club returns to it, the better.

Readers? Please vote and let’s have your thoughts!

*Stay tuned for a SPECIAL “raffle” from Scott immediately following the Griffins Fauxback Jersey Contest, which is below.

GRIFFINS FAUXBACK JERSEY CONTEST:
GROUP 2

Today we vote on the second group of contestants for the Grand Rapids Griffins “Fauxback Design” contest. In case you missed it, the contest parameters and rules were laid out here.

I received a whopping 119 Entries in this contest, so the voting will be broken down as follows. Yesterday: First 30 entrants (you may click here to view that post); Today: Second 30 entrants; Monday: Third 30 entrants; and Tuesday: Final 29 entrants. As in previous contests, the submissions will be listed alphabetically. The TOP THREE contestants receiving votes in each group will move on to the final group (for a total of 12 finalists — three from each group), from which the Griffins will make a decision and declare the winner who I will announce on Friday, August 25.

We’re using a new polling system, which we hope will eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) any fraud or shenanigans. You will be permitted to vote for as many designs as you would like, but you may only vote ONCE. As you glance over the designs, be sure to write down the name and number of your favorite(s) and then cast your votes in the poll which follows the submissions. The poll(s) will close approximately twenty-four (24) hours after being posted — the TOP THREE vote recipients will move into the final group (the winner of which will be chosen by the Griffins).

REMINDER: The Griffins set out the following parameters for designing an alternate (fauxback) jersey. Please use them to guide you as you make your decision(s) below:

Design Guidelines:

• Create a brand new design for a Griffins alternate jersey (remember: you are ONLY designing a jersey, not a full uniform).
• DO NOT USE current or previous Grand Rapids Griffins logos or previous Griffins jersey design contest winning logo designs. Your work must be original.
• The jersey color must be red or black.
• This jersey will be part of an ’80s Fauxback Theme Night. If the Griffins existed in the 1980s, what would the jerseys have looked like?
• Use official team colors – CMYK Colors: Red 12/100/92/3, Gray 31/25/26/0, Gold 43/49/76/21, Black 75/68/67/90, White 0/0/0/0.

And now, the second 30 contestants (click any design to enlarge):

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1. Brian Gfroehrer

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2. Kory Goldsmith

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3. Kurt Gorecki

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4. Zach Grantham

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5. Dylan Gray

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6. Ian Griffiths

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7. Aaron Handel-Kutz

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8. Brent Hatfield

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9. Michael Henry

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10. Marcus Hershberger

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11. Joe Hilseberg

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12. Cayden Holman

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13. Brandon Homrich

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14. Calvin Hyde

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15. Christian Jackson

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16. Ted Jauw

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17. Devin Johnson

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18. Steven Karnes

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19. Laura Knisley

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20. Tyler Krasofsky

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21. Meah Krcatovich

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22. Josh Kremers

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23. Jeff Kruger

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24. Dave Kuruc

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25. Nick Larisch

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26. Ian Lee

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27. Hans Leisman

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28. Andy Losik

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29. Scott Markiewicz

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30. Kate Meeuwsen

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GRIFFINS FAUXBACK JERSEY CONTEST
VOTE BELOW

GROUP 2: You May Select As Many Designs As You Like

Lake County Captains Lake County Captains New Era 59Fifty MiLB Hats
FREE SHIRT!

And now, Arr Scott would like to gift a reader a nifty jersey…but you gotta be ‘small’:

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Oh Captains, My Captains!
By R. Scott Rogers

Because this was one of my favorite minor-league caps of all time, I’ve long been a fan of the Lake County Captains. Earlier this summer, I won an eBay auction for a Captains jersey for $1.75 shipped. While the jersey, pictured below, is in terrific condition, with velcro behind the placket and everything, it’s nowhere near the advertised size of adult L. The size tag is worn beyond legibility, but I’m reasonably confident that it’s either an adult S or a youth L or XL.

I literally cannot button the jersey around myself, so it’s doing me no good. It’s a beaut of a jersey, though, with a script that combines tackle twill with stitching. And unlike most Captains jerseys over the years, it has no Chief Wahoo on the sleeve. Shame to let it go to waste, so instead I’m going to give it away to a fellow Uni Watch reader.

I’ll ship the jersey, gratis, to whoever makes the best case for why they should have, or what they’ll do with, a tiny but crisp white Lake County Captains jersey. Drop me a note via email to arrscott at gmail dot com, subject line “Captains Jersey Giveaway”, and include your name, shipping address, and the reason you should get the jersey. I’ll announce a winner and ship the jersey next week, so you have until midnight Sunday to get your entry in.

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Thanks, Scott! Very generous of you — ok readers who might fit into this gem, you know what to do!

About Those NBA Uni Ads…

First — check out this full tweet stream:

(click on tweet and scroll down).

From Paul:

If true (and the guy is the lead sports reporter for ABC’s Atlanta TV affiliate, so I’m inclined to believe him), this is a quasi-big deal. It means the NBA’s “three-year pilot program” may not be for just three years after all, and that it’s already a done deal that they’ll keep doing the ads after that.

Most of us figured that would probably be the case anyway, but it’s interesting to see it play out in public like this.

Color me shocked.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Here’s an article on how MLB players picked their uniform numbers. Submitter Goldburger adds, the “most interesting bit here is having to buy out the inventory to change uni number!” … Whoa, check out Philadelphia A’s catcher Cy Perkins trying on an early experimental batting helmet (1921) – from Bruce Menard. … Here’s a uni quirk we may have missed: Catcher Sandy Alomar used a single knee-saver following knee surgery (h/t Alex Williams, Scott Snow and Dakota Flake). … Um. “Braves bit mojis in Snapchat have the poop emoji on shirts for some reason when you search,” says Joe Farris. … Everyone’s getting into the “spirit” of the “MLB Players Weekend” (where players wear special jerseys with NickNOBs), so former Cincy Red and current MLB Network contributor Sean Casey wore one with “The Mayor” as his NickNOB. … I’m not sure if the Astros themselves are selling this, but you can purchase an Astros jersey for Jeff Bagwell, in the current iteration — a uni he himself never wore (from igTXSalazar). Obviously the hook here is the HOF patch (Bagwell was inducted this year). … The Bowling Green Hot Rods and West Michigan Whitecaps will wear special “Solar Eclipse” jerseys on Monday (from Eric Leach). … Speaking of eclipses, a bunch of MiLB teams have special jerseys and promos for that day. … I’ve mentioned this before, but the Rochester Red Wings Plates will wear those jerseys every home Thursday next season (from the Rochester Red Wings). … LLWS teams have a Little League World Series patch on them (from Finding Nostalgia).

NFL/CFL News: “Was watching the video of the Redskins/Packers game you linked [yester]day and noticed this abnormally spaced last name on #77’s name on the back of his jersey,” notes Brad Eenhuis. … A guy who runs a twitter account called DB_UniWatchFansFB has posted a series of polls to rate helmets worn by NFL teams. … The CFL planned a week where all teams would promote diversity. “The BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders decided to don their sideline gear last Sunday. TSN noted that the team decided to do it now based on the events in Charlottesville,” notes Kurt Crowley. … “Apparently crock pots are a thing for tailgating?” observes Jimmer Vilk. “You can get quite a variety in Kent, OH

College/High School Football News: The Arkansas team will do something this season to honor former coach and athletic director Frank Broyles. The only question is uni patches, helmet stickers or something else. … Athlon sports has taken it upon themselves to rank College Football’s Top 25 uniforms. … The University of North Carolina Tar Heels join the growing ranks of schools with 3-D raised bumper logos (from David Roeder and James Gilbert). … Texas A&M has introduced special edition “Bright Lights” Alternate Uniforms (from Paul Murphy). That uni will be worn 10/28 vs Mississippi State. Helmet fades maroon-to-black. … New turf field for the Kent State Golden Flashes (h/t Paul). … Tweeter Luke Hillin asks if a high school team is wearing recycled Carolina Panthers pants? … Not sure if it had been announced previously, the the Pitt Panthers will wear their gorgeous throwbacks on October 14th. They will also wear them November 9th. … Eastern Michigan University has a new gray helmet with a ridiculous nickname. The team also has new white tops as well. Last year the white jerseys had Eagles wings on them. … Will Notre Dame be revealing an alternate jersey today?

Hockey News: The NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights probably don’t have much of a loyal fan base built up (yet). But that hasn’t stopped them from reaching out to attract new fans who they hope will fill their arena with Knights jerseys. … The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team has new sweaters for this season. … It is a centennial for the Regina Pats. The oldest, continuously operated junior hockey club has unveiled their 100th Anniversary Logo and Centre Ice Logo for upcoming season (thanks to Wade Heidt).

NBA News: Will the Denver Nuggets have a rainbow skyline for an alternate uni this year? (from Alex Wolf). … The Atlanta Hawks have secured an advertiser on their jerseys for 2017-18, Sharecare. … As far as I’m aware, the New York Knicks haven’t officially unveiled their new uniforms, but here’s an article with a breakdown of the blue uniform. … The Boston Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 at some point this season (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a good look at the Cavaliers new red uniform (from Rusty Flynn).

Grab Bag: USA Volleyball tweets, “Here is a preview of the AWESOME court that @sportcourt1974 has given us for #USAVcup this Fri & Sat at the Sears Centre” (from Jeremy Brahm). … Apparently “Scores of white men dressed in crisp polos and khakis” are “turning the uniform of business casual blasé into a white-hot statement.” Also, wearing white polos with tan pants indicates you might be a member of the white supremacy movement. … “I finally saw The Karate Kid this month,” says Jimmer Vilk. “2 uni-moments: Ralph Macchio in a Chargers jersey & a punk in a Senators cap.” … Reader Gary Moore writes, “A graphic artist friend of mine in Louisville, Gary Guthrie, and his colleague came up with some fun items that are Kentucky-centric that they call The Uncommonwealth of Kentucky. Among the shirt designs are some for the defunct AAA Louisville Colonels and from the KITTY League, the latter of which I believe you’ve covered before. (KITTY being an acronym for Kentucky/Indiana/Tennessee minor league).” Here’s the link to those shirts. And, if anyone needs a refresher course on the league, this is as good a place as any. … Here’s a really good article on Chicago’s “lost” sports venues (from Mike Chamernik). … Check out the new butterfly valve decals for NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett (from David Firestone). … “There is a new logo for Canada West Universities Athletic Association,” says Wade Heidt. “Just commonly referred to as Canada West (i.e. I will be watching Canada West football this fall). This is the conference for the western universities under U Sports Athletics.” … On Thursday, Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools confirmed the Willoughby South Rebel is gone. The mascot depicted a man dressed in a uniform with an “X” on his hat (thanks to Ben Miller). … Some very cool stuff here from Dennis Healy: ” I came across an old imgur album of retro baseball and football desktop wallpapers I made years ago and figured maybe and figured maybe other Uni-Watchers might wanna take a look at them too.”

And…that’s it for me for this week. Thanks to everyone who helped out with various posts and I appreciate all the patience from the readers. You guys are all aces.

Johnny Ek will take you through the weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday for my final set of weekdays, including GROUP 3 of the Griffins Fauxback Jersey contest and much more. For those of you in the path of the total eclipse, I hope you have good viewing weather! Have a great weekend all.

Peace.