[Editor's Note: Today we have guest entry from Chad Fette, who's going to educate us on a sport that's never been covered before here on Uni Watch. Enjoy. — PL]
By Chad Fette
When the classification of the sport you compete in is determined solely by the uniform you wear, it needs to be featured on Uni Watch. Competitive powerlifting is that sport.
Powerlifting is traditionally a sport focused on three weightlifting movements: the bench press, the deadlift, and the squat. The goal is to lift as much weight as possible one time in each category. That process is much more complicated that you might think, and in large part it is due to the uniform-related issues.
One of the first decisions that must be made when entering into the sport of powerlifting is whether one wants to compete “raw” or “geared/equipped.” This choice is based on which type of uniform you chose to wear while performing your lifts. If you are going to compete raw, it means you perform your lifts with very minimal uniform support. Raw lifters typically compete in an amateur wrestling singlet and are only allowed to wear knee wraps, wrist wraps, and a weightlifting belt to enhance safety. These are all regulated by the competition’s sanctioning body (there are multiple federations and sanctioning bodies, much like in boxing, which can make for murky rules and inconsistent standards).
Geared lifters are more interesting. There is too much nuance of the gear to list in one post, but geared lifters wear a bench shirt, squat suit, and/or briefs. These three primary uniform components can be used singularly or in combination, and with the addition of belts, wraps (both knee and wrist) and shoes, can significantly increase how much weight a person can lift. How much of an increase? Consider this: The raw bench world record is 722 pounds; the corresponding geared record is 1,102 pounds.
All of the geared equipment is designed to store energy in the negative portion of the lift and use that stored energy in the initial phase of the positive portion of the lift. Let’s use a bench presser wearing a bench shirt as an example: As the weight is taken out of the rack and the lifter holds the bar in position with arms locked before descent, the shirt has minimal tension and is doing very little (except being very uncomfortable). As the lifter brings the bar down, the shirt begins to stretch and becomes very taught. Once the bar touches the lifter’s chest, the shirt is stretched to its maximum capacity. The lifter then aggressively begins to push the weight away from his body, capitalizing on the stored stretch at the bottom of the lift, and drives the weight up through lockout and completion of the lift.
The shirt is engineered to create this effect. Some shirts are worn as typical shirts, needing to be pulled on overhead, while others have an open back, similar to putting a blazer on backwards. The shirts are constructed from multiple materials, but popular ones are made of denim or canvas. They are triple- and quadruple-stitched at all seams and can be single- or multi-ply, which refers to the layers of materials in the shirt. The more layers, the more energy the shirt is capable of storing and the more the lifter is able to press.
To many, that sounds great — put on a shirt, bench more weight. But there are caveats. For starters, everything about them hurts. . Just putting them on can take up three people. You need to cover your arms and torso in baby powder, as every follicle on your body that emits sweat becomes a sticking point. Once they’re on, you are locked in that position until you’ve finished your workout. And the shirts can be dangerous — just because the shirt gives you the ability to handle more weight doesn’t necessarily mean you should handle that much weight. Also, people who wear these shirts in competitions can miss lifts because the weight they are attempting is not heavy enough to “break” the shirt. That means the shirt gets so tight toward the bottom of the lift that the bar physically cannot touch the lifter’s chest, which is a missed lift. And then there are the blowouts — among the scariest things in lifting. A blowout occurs when the shirt fails. The weight is too much and a seam gives out. When you have hundreds of pounds over you, the tear happens so quickly that it can literally sound like a gunshot, with the weight free-falling onto the lifter. Spotters at these events are trained to handle this situation, but sometimes it doesn’t matter.
There is also a great debate within the powerlifting community between the raw and geared lifters. Raw lifters think using gear is cheating, and that a geared lifter’s numbers are therefore artificial. Geared lifters think raw lifters are jealous and just not capable of handling those kinds of weights (lifting geared is whole different training regimen and does take special skills). This debate will likely get more heated as technology and skills improve, which will lead to bigger and bigger numbers and a greater gap between the two categories.
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ESPN reminder and ASU update: Paul here. In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about the use of religious imagery on uniforms. Check it out here.
Even if you read the column yesterday, you may have missed an update that we added at about 1pm, which is that there’s a new development regarding the cross decal on the Arkansas State helmet. After the Liberty Institute — a religious advocacy group — complained about the school removing the cross, the school has issued a new policy, as follows: Individual players will now be permitted to voluntarily wear the cross if they choose, as long as they pay for the decal themselves and apply it to their own helmets. You can read the university’s full statement on the matter here. (My thanks to Arkansas State journalism instructor Larz G. Roberts for providing that letter.)
• As I noted yesterday here on the blog and also in that ESPN column, Tennessee wore a black cross in 1965. But it turns out that the Vols also wore a cross on one other occasion: After Tennessee alum Reggie White passed away in December of 2004, Tennessee added a small cross memorial for the 2005 Cotton Bowl. (Kudos to Jared L. for that one.)
• Reader Robert Shears pointed out an additional example of an athlete wearing religious imagery: Canadiens goalie Carey Price has worn a cross on his mask’s backplate.
• Another goalie with a cross on his backplate: Cam Ward. (Courtesy of Mike Engle.)
• Alvaro Muñiz notes that Red Sox slugger David Ortiz wore a Catholic saints bracelet in 2008.
• And Tony David Potter pointed out that Trinity University has had a Sikh basketball player named Darsh Singh who plays while wearing a turban.
Great stuff, people. I’m really fascinated by this topic — my thanks for all the contributions.
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Click to enlarge
By popular demand: You asked, I delivered. The Uni Watch 15th-anniversary logo is now available on a high-quality vinyl sticker, suitable for plastering on your laptop, your file cabinet, your car bumper, your brother’s forehead, or whatever. The circular stickers measure 2.75″ across (or 3″ if you include the little extension for the magnifying glass handle) and are priced like so: $2 for one, and an extra dollar for each additional one.
To order, send a check, money order, or well-concealed cash, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to Paul Lukas, 671 DeGraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217.
Big thanks to Ron Roza and his crew at Sticker You for doing such a nice job with these.
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’Skins Watch: Bruce Anderson is in a fairly unique position: He’s a member of the Coquille Tribe and he played for the ’Skins in 1970. He thinks the team name perpetuates negative stereotypes. … The editor of a Pennsylvania high school newspaper and the award-winning journalism teacher who serves as the paper’s faculty advisor were both suspended for refusing to print the name of the school’s teams, which is Redskins.
Baseball News: Buried within this story is the news that the Doubla-A Chattanooga Lookouts “will soon get to work on a uniform makeover” (from Michael Vines). … Looks like the addition of the MLB postseason sleeve patch will mean the removal of the Orioles’ 60th-anniversary patch (from Wes Reichart). … Several readers noted that the Gatorade ad for Derek Jeter that everyone’s talking about shows Jeter holding a cap with a white sweatband, which isn’t New Era’s current style for 5950s. Must be an old photo. … Interesting piece about Bud Black wearing someone else’s glove on his 1991 Donruss card (from Chris Cruz).
NFL News: Some spectacular illustrations among these early-1960s Dallas Texans program covers. So much FUN in those illos — something sorely lacking in most of today’s sports graphics (big thanks to Bruce Menard). … A Thursday-morning SportsCenter report on Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer featured a photo with the advertising patch on his practice jersey blacked out. Then they went to a different graphic that included the same photo with the ad patch left untouched (good work by Matt Spencer). … McDonald’s Happy Meals now come with NFL figurines. “Looks like the Bengals are the only team to get proper helmet graphics,” says Steve Jacobson. … CNN apparently can’t tell one sport’s Cardinals from another’s (thanks, Phil). … If you liked Ray Rice so much that you bought his overpriced polyester shirt and then came down with a case of buyer’s remorse after you learned that he’s not such a great human being, the Ravens will let you trade it for someone else’s overpriced polyester shirt this weekend.
College Football News: Here’s an interview with a guy who collects Minnesota Gophers jerseys. … New Mexico has some new jerseys, although I’m told neither of them will be worn this weekend. … Here are this weekend’s uni combos for UNC, Louisiana Tech, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Washington, and West Virginia. … Tennessee might or might not wear gray this season, and definitely won’t wear gray against Florida on Oct. 4 (thanks, Phil). … This is pretty cool: Duke’s throwback game will also feature a throwback scoreboard! … BYU will retire Jim McMahon’s jersey on Oct. 2 (thanks, Phil). … As promised, Florida State has adjust its helmet shell and facemask colors (Phil again). … It’s not like Boise State really needs another helmet, but I have to admit that their latest one looks pretty good. … LeBron James apparently wanted to dress up in an Akron football uniform. But Akron is outfitted by Adidas, while James has a deal with you-know-who, so you can guess what happened. Douchebags. … Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was apparently using his jacket from last season’s bowl game last night (from Mark Emge). … Oooh, check out the gorgeous sweater worn by Indiana trainer J.D. Ferguson in 1931 (big thanks to Jay Sullivan). … Wisconsin is bringing back the black-striped helmets this weekend (Phil, of course).
Hockey News: New mask design for Devils goalie Cory Schneider. Here’s a video clip where he explains the design (from Kevin Clark). … The Tampa Bay Times, which recently took its name off of the Lightning’s arena, may not even exist three months from now. … “In recent years, Dartmouth teams and athletes have been using the ‘Lone Pine’ logo more often,” says Tris Wykes. “Here it is on goalie James Kruger’s new leg pads.” … New masks for Blues goalies Jake Allen and Brian Elliott (from Ed Bauza). … The Capitals have been quietly collecting the hats thrown onto the ice for hat tricks for the past six years and have now used them to create a new hat trick display — nice (from Mike McLaughlin).
Soccer News: Montreal Impact midfielder Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé has an unusual abbreviated NOB (from Sean Kautzman). … Tuesday’s match between Liverpool and Ludogorets was red vs. green, creating a nightmare for colorblind fans (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Several Nike-outfitted European teams have some seriously garish new uniforms. … “AC Fiorentina (Florence, Italy) is currently playing without a shirt sponsor,” notes Billy Duss. “I think it makes the front look a little empty.” … “The badge of Mönchengladbach’s Patrick Herrmann faced in the wrong direction during his post-match interview on Thursday,” says Tim Ruschkowski. … And From that same match: Villarreal normally has an Xtep maker’s mark on the upper-right chest area, but they used yellow tape to cover it up. Why? “Shoe company Brax, a Borussia sponsor, is currently suing Xtep over the similarity between Xtep’s stylized ‘X’ logo and the ‘X’ in the Brax wordmark,” explains Bernd Wilms. “Villarreal avoided wearing the Xtep logo so as not to allow for the lawsuit to move into German jurisdiction.”
Grab Bag: New college hoops unis for Oklahoma (thanks, Phil). … As sponsors continue to distance themselves from the NFL, Skott Daltonic points out that this might have implications for the larger issue of advertising on uniforms. Basically, companies might think twice about having an ad patch on a team’s jersey if they think one of the players might end up as a criminal. … The Colombian women’s cycling team with the faux-nudie uniforms has decided to keep wearing them (thanks, Phil). … Aussie footballers wear shorts, but a 1980s player named Michael Reeves wore padded pants more like American football pants to prevent bruising on his legs (from Graham Clayton). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a gallery of high school football helmets from Michigan (from Jason Axel). … Good article on the Museum of Brands (thanks, Phil). … Longtime reader Gordon Donovan is a professional photographer and has taken some spectacular photos of rusting and decaying ships moored off of Staten Island. Powerful stuff. … Sheer genius: Beer cans designed like Pantone swatches (big thanks to my pal Friederike Paetzold). … Eric Frein — the guy who recently ambushed a pair of Pennsylvania state troopers, killing one and wounding the other — had served jail time back in 2006 for stealing World War II uniforms from a reenactment event. … Consistency problems: The famous Stone Pony rock club in Asbury Park, N.J., has three different pony logos on its exterior (from John Calabrese).
Courtesy of the Tennessee Athletics Dept.; click to enlarge
When I wrote last week about Arknsas State modifying a cross-shaped memorial decal due to Constitutional issues, several readers noted that the Tennessee had worn black crosses in 1965 after three coaches died in a car crash. Unfortunately, none of those readers was able to provide a game photo, but I recently procured one from Tennessee, as you can see above.
That’s one of many examples teams and athletes wearing religious imagery, which is the subject of my new ESPN column. Check it out here. — Paul
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NFL Superhero Project
By Thomas Correia
Thanks for all the positive comments on last week’s NFL superhero installmet. We’re going to do this every Thursday, with superheroes representing the Thursday-night NFL match-up. Here’s the one for tonight’s Bucs/Falcons game:
With the focus being on the skull, Ghost Rider seemed like a good choice to represent the Bucs. To carry that through, the crossed swords became motorcycle handlebars. Also, I turned the orange football into the flames around his head and included the penance stare eyeballs. Lastly, the large sword holding the flag became Ghost Rider’s chain weapon.
For the Falcons, I went with — duh — the Falcon. Using the throwback Atlanta logo is an ideal fit for the throwback look of the Falcon’s original costume. Obviously, the name and the red, white, and black colors fit perfectly with both team and hero. All it really needed was a new head and to replace the claw with an arm. Wish they were all this easy.
Next week: Giants vs. Washington. Which characters do you think will represent them?
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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
We definitely like more than just sports aesthetics around here, of course. What’s your favorite non-sports logo? I always loved the colors and simplicity of the Union 76 ball. I’m also fond of the 1970s and ’80s Pepsi logo, the NBC peacock and Vinnie, the Vitner’s Chips bag.
Any non-sports logos or characters that you hate? And, are there any logos that are so successful that they overinflate the product’s value for you? For instance, Punchy makes me want Hawaiian Punch even though Hawaiian Punch is marginal at best.
As always, post your responses in today’s comments.
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Bryan Cranston did a commercial for MLB Postseason on TBS and he wore a bunch of uniforms for it. … Bud Parks attended the Orioles’ division clincher Tuesday night and got a cap with the postseason patch on it. It’s not a chromaflex patch, he says. … Umpire Joe West was suspended one game for grabbing Jonathan Papelbon’s jersey during an altercation Sunday. … The Padres will wear brown this Saturday (from Brady Phelps). … Barstool Sports is selling an Orioles Natty Boh shirt. Check out Mr. Boh’s stirrups. … Speaking of the Orioles, here’s a photo that shows some old versions of the cartoon bird that you might not have seen before (from Kevin Walsh). … Astros OF Jake Marisnick dove for a ball last night and broke his belt. You can see it coming loose here. Someone had to run out from the dugout to give him a new one (from Sam Selker). … Mariners 1B Justin Smoak has some kerning issues on his NOB (from Stephen Hayes).
NFL News: Nike suspended its endorsement deal with Adrian Peterson (from Phil). … The Dolphins are holding an aqua-out for Sunday’s 4pm game against the Chiefs. “What makes this particularly interesting is that the Dolphins have not worn aqua jerseys at home for a day game since Joe Montana’s final game, December 31, 1994 — the AFC Wild Card game, also against the Chiefs,” says Bob Gassel. … Titans DE Derrick Morgan posted a photo on Instagram of him wearing black tights that have some sort of design on them (from Josh Williams).
College/High School Football News: Red jerseys for Cincinnati (from Phil). … A writer named Joshua Kagavi set out to find the jersey worn by Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first black player, when he died after sustaining injuries during his first game in 1923 (from David Cline). … Rutgers will wear American flag helmets against Navy (from Phil). … Oklahoma will wear alternates Saturday (from Phil). … Fort Knox High School (Kentucky) is gearing up for Pinktober (from Josh Claywell). … Maryland is auctioning its Star-Spangled uniforms will all proceeds going to the athletic department’s scholarship fund (from Phil). … SMU will wear chrome helmets against TCU. I say BFD.
Hockey News: The NHL will not have uniform ads. For now, at least (from Phil). … New logo (kinda) for the Regina Pats (from Phil). … The Rangers will wear jerseys with computer chips in them to track player movement and speed (from Phil). … In recent screenshots and clips from the NHL 15 video game, the Blues’ jerseys have not been updated to the changes they made this summer. “In fact, they are wearing the uniform worn by the Blues pre-Reebokification (circa 1998-2007),” says Mark Richter. “Maybe EA knew about the switch to more traditional striping but didn’t have the specifics in time, so just used the old uniform instead?” Perhaps the game will have a downloadable uniform update.
Basketball News: NBA 2K15 will allow gamers to add 3D renditions of their faces onto created players within the game. … Here’s a cool interactive graphic on NBA travel (from James Comfort). … New court for UC Irvine (from Phil). … “I play club team handball at Illinois State, and we practice in Horton Field House, which used to house ISU basketball until Redbird Arena was built in 1989,” says Chris Frank. “During most of the year, they leave the old court out in the building for extra practice space. Tonight after practice I realized our only really good player, Doug Collins, played on that court and so I decided to take some pics.”
Soccer News: MLS has unveiled its new logo. … The Los Angeles Galaxy has commissioned artists to create posters to commemorate each match this season (from Yusuke Toyoda).
Grab Bag: The French sports paper L’Équipe is holding a poll to determine the best-looking jersey in the French Rugby Union Championship (from DTE). … Brown will wear throwbacks in six sports in honor of the school’s 250th anniversary (from Joel Mathwig). … The Rugby Football Union is being criticized for incorporating the Victoria Cross into its new kit (from Eric Bangeman). … Star Wars: Episode VII will reportedly rely more on practical effects rather than CGI, so the actor who plays C-3PO will wear the character’s costume on the set (from Brinke). … Great shot of KISS playing touch football in the mid-1970s (from Jim Vilk). … Members of the Republic of China Military Police go through insane amounts of discipline to maintain their uniforms, posture, and form (from Brinke). … Burger Kings in Japan are releasing a BFBS burger (from Kary Klismet). … “Here is the 1975 Scanlens footy card for Ken Fletcher of Essendon,” says Graham Clayton. “Note the orange shorts, which are definitely not official uniform.” … Mental Floss compiled a list of “strange and wonderful” niche blogs, and Uni Watch didn’t make the cut. Perhaps we’re not strange, wonderful or niche-y enough.
Yesterday afternoon I took part in a panel discussion as part of an NYU sports business class. One of the other panelists was the buyer for a well-known chain of sporting goods stores — let’s call him Mr. Buyer — and he had some very interesting things to say, chief among them the news that the NFL will be dialing back the throttle a bit this year on Pinktober. This has nothing to do with the recent domestic violence issues that have been in the news — Mr. Buyer said the league had already planned to soft-pedal the pink months ago. There’ll still be some pink, but not as much. It won’t be used for any nationally televised games, for example.
On the other hand, Mr. Buyer said the NFL plans a bigger push this year for G.I. Joevember. He didn’t specify what the bigger push would involve, but it can’t be good.
Other tidbits from Mr. Buyer included the following:
• The NBA’s sleeved jerseys are not selling well.
• In general, jersey sales strongly correlate with winning — the better a team does, the more jerseys it sells. The big exception is Maryland football, whose jerseys sell regardless of how the team is performing.
• In terms of NFL merch, Reebok was much easier to do business with than Nike is, because Nike “is all about Nike.”
• Related to the above: Nike doesn’t like to promote non-Nike athletes. For example, they don’t like to push Robert Griffin III jerseys, because Griffin has a deal with Adidas.
• Mr. Buyer nonetheless wishes NFL owners would turn Nike loose on NFL uniforms, because “we’d sell a ton of them.” He doesn’t expect that to happen, though, because NFL owners are too tradition-bound.
• Mr. Buyer doesn’t think Nike will make a run at the MLB uniform contract, for two reasons: (1) MLB requires that all of its on-field uniforms (the ones actually worn by the players, not the retail authentics) be made in the USA, and Nike wouldn’t want to do that. (2) Nike is already getting good brand exposure from its MLB undershirt contract, because of all those collar logos. In fact, Mr. Buyer says customers routinely call his stores asking for “that new Nike Mets jersey” or “that new Nike Pirates jersey,” because the undershirt collars make people mistakenly think that Nike makes the jerseys.
• Regarding the snafu with the Eagles’ green jerseys: With the Eagles wearing white at home and also wearing white for at least some road games, Mr. Buyer worries that he won’t have enough white Eagles jerseys in stock. His biggest fear is that the Eagles will win their first six games wearing white, because then they’ll probably keep wearing white for the rest of the season and everyone will want to buy a white jersey and he’ll be screwed.
• Mr. Buyer often has to engage in “blind buying” — ordering jerseys even though he doesn’t know what they’ll look like. Case in point: He had to order a bunch of Washington Capitals jerseys for the upcoming Winter Classic game, but the Reebok catalog didn’t include a visual of the jersey — it just said “TBD” (“to be determined”). The unveiling for that jersey is slated for next week, but Mr. Buyer still hasn’t seen what it looks like.
• Socks like these have been very popular lately, but Mr. Buyer thinks socks “may be the next tech bubble,” so he’s not ordering too many of them.
• Mr. Buyer hopes the NBA doesn’t put advertising patches on its jerseys. He already has to worry about players getting traded or injured or arrested (all of which can leave him stuck with worthless inventory), so he doesn’t want the added complication of corporate brands thrown into the mix. Just asking for trouble, he says.
• Mr. Buyer says Under Armour will never be able to recoup the financial investment they had to make in order to land the Notre Dame contract, at least not in merch sales. The deal was more about establishing UA’s credibility as a national player on a par with Nike.
• Signs of a generational shift: Sales of soccer “hard goods” (i.e,. balls and other equipment) are outpacing baseball sales.
There was probably more, but that’s as much as I can remember.
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Mets logo update: The kerfuffle over the Citi-fied Mets logo, which I wrote about yesterday, made it all the way to The New York Times. Mets brass claimed ignorance and said no changes are planned for the official logo.
The more I dug into this story, the more it looked like the logo switcheroo was just a mistake, and now reader Steve Dodell has come up with fairly convincing evidence of that. He found a promotional graphic that was posted on the Mets’ Facebook page back in July, and it shows both versions of the logo — original and Citi-fied. I suspect the Citi-fied version was just floating around on someone’s computer (or perhaps several someones’ computers) and was used interchangeably with the original logo without anyone even realizing the distinction between the two.
But it remains unclear when the altered logo was created, or why, or by whom, or at whose direction. I’d still like to know the answers to those questions.
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath
Baseball News: Following up on yesterday’s entry about the Mets’ logo, Todd Radom has imagined a revised logo reflecting a more contemporary NYC skyline (thanks, Paul). … The Atlanta Braves’ new stadium will be called SunTrust Park (thanks, Brinke). … The curly “W” logo on Nats’ mound has changed from dark brown to red (from Mike Donovan). … The King of Gifts: In addition to a kayak, Derek Jeter got a Don Zimmer jersey from the Tampa Bay Rays before their game yesterday (thanks, Phil). … Yanks 3B Chase Headley, who took a pitch in the face a few days ago, is now wearing a faceguard on his batting helmet when bating right-handed. No attachment when he’s batting left-handed, however. … Division championship caps are now being produced by ’47 Brand, not New Era (thanks, Phil). … Bryce Harper was wearing a personalized DC Fire Dept. helmet during the Nats’ postgame celebration last night. He apparently traded some gear for it (from Brady Phelps). … If you look at all the Cubs cards on this page, you’ll see that the Cubbies were wearing a logo patch on their left sleeve — except for Lou Brock who had it on his right sleeve (good catch by Phil Chua). This is awesome: Giants infielder Matt Duffy’s bat knob decals show Duffman from The Simpsons (from Phil).
NFL News: The Cleveland Browns new uniforms will not include a logo on the helmet (thanks, Phil). … Nike stores in the Twin Cities have pulled Adrian Peterson merchandise off the shelves (thanks, Brinke). … The Arizona Cardinals are wearing alternate black unis this weekend (thanks, Phil). … “Has anyone noticed that the Packers sideline hats have a small uniform number embroidered on the right side?” asks Shane Canup. “I did some research but couldn’t find anything about it on your site. This picture of Aaron Rodgers has it, and it’s apparently from last year, so they’ve been doing it at least that long.”
College Football News: History is fun: an insightful and inspiring article by someone trying the find the lost uniform of Iowa State legend Jack Trice (from Nathan Gruber). … Adidas has hinted at a possible 1939 Texas A&M throwback uni (thanks, Phil). … Georgia Tech Athletic Department has added its website URL and Twitter handle to the goalposts. … BC will wear those red bandana tribune uniforms for the rest of the season (thanks, Phil). … Throwback helmets for Duke this weekend. … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned players wearing helmet decals showing their flags of national origin. One previous example: Rice had several Canadian players in 2012, and they wore the Canadian flag on their helmets (from Mark Hamilton). … North Crowley High School in Texas has poached UNC’s logo and color (from Jason Brown).
Soccer News: Two from Yusuke Toyoda: Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp wore a number from the club’s loungewear collection, a hoodie with the text ‘”Borusse!,” for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Arsenal. … Bayern München is temporarily switching sponsor logo from the usual Deutche Telekom “T” to a magenta pink “1” to advertise a new service from the sponsor.
Grab Bag: You know hockey season is getting close when teams start debuting new designs for their red lines (thanks, Phil).Reunited rock band the Replacements wore Saint Paul Saints jerseys at last weekend’s Twin Cities show (from Jimmy Lonetti). … “In the halls of UW-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena (Eau Claire, WI) are Blugolds basketball team photos,” says Lukas Hoffland. “Most of the men’s photos have them in regular unis, but the 1978-79 photo had warmups: done with the classic tequila sunrise template on the shirt and pants.” … Here’s a NCAA-style bracket of Catholic mascots (from Nicole Haase). … Here’s an Aussie football match featuring yellow vs. yellow! “That’s West Coast Eagles with blue wings, shorts and socks v. Hawthorn with brown bars, shorts and striped socks, from Round 5, 1987,” says Leo Strawn Jr.
An odd little storyline unfolded last night on social media, as fans noticed a subtle change that had been made to the Mets’ classic skyline logo. Here, see if you can spot it (ignore the color differences and the trademark symbols):
Can you see it? Look at the blue skyline, and zero in on the building just to the left of the trademark symbol. In the old version, the top of that building is squared off. It represents the United Nations building. In the new version, the top of the building is diagonal. And what might that represent, you ask? If you’re a New Yorker, you probably recognize it. For the rest of you, here, take a look.
That’s right. The Mets adjusted their logo to include the signature building of their stadium’s corporate sponsor. It’s disgusting. No, wait, it’s pathetically predictable. Okay, it’s both.
I’m going to shift into FAQ mode now:
Is that, like, an official change to the team’s official logo?
Apparently not. The MLB Style Guide still shows the classic version.
So where is the Citi-fied version of the logo being used?
On social media. For the past few days it was being used as the avatar on the team’s Twitter and Facebook pages. After a bunch of fans and bloggers noticed it last night and began chattering about it, the Twitter avatar went back to the proper logo and the Facebook avatar was changed to a white flag (I made a screen shot of that, in case they change it again this morning),
perhaps a tacit admission from the team’s social media staff that they couldn’t slip a rogue logo past us. Update: I’m now told that the white flag is the default icon for a Facebook page when no image is designated.
So they just created that logo a few days ago and swapped it in on social media?
It’s more complicated than that. They apparently uploaded that image to Facebook on Nov. 11 of last year, although they didn’t necessarily start using it as an avatar then. So this logo has definitely been floating around for a while, although it’s not clear where or how or to what extent it’s been used.
So that building with the diagonal top — that’s Citigroup’s corporate HQ?
That’s the weirdest thing about this. Quoting here from Wikipedia:
In 2001, Citicorp sold its controlling stake in the building for $755 million (cost of building adjusted for inflation: $569,794,069) to Boston Properties. Citigroup relocated its headquarters to 399 Park Avenue.
In 2008, building owner Boston Properties began the process of renaming the tower “601 Lexington Avenue.” Renovation of the lobby resulted in relocation of the tower’s entrance from 53rd Street to Lexington Avenue. All signage for Citigroup was removed from the building and surrounding block.
So even though the building is still colloquially associated with Citi (everyone still calls it the Citicorp Building or Citicorp Center), Citi no longer has anything to do with it. It’s sort of like how Chrysler no longer has anything to do with the Chrysler Building, but it’s still the Chrysler Building.
If Citi has nothing to do with the building, why would the Mets want to add it to their logo?
Could this just be a low-level employee having fun, and maybe he doesn’t even realize that Citi is no longer tied to the that building?
That’s one possibility, sure.
Even if the team really did change its official logo to include the building, would that be so horrible?
I think you all know how I feel about the relentless incursion of corporate culture, branding, and sponsorship into every facet of American life. So yeah, if the Mets changed their logo to accommodate Citi, I think that would be pretty despicable (just like I think it’s pretty awful that the Brewers’ “M” logo is obviously based on the Miller Beer script).
But you just said yourself that Citi isn’t tied to that building anymore!
I know, I know! That’s the what’s so odd about all this.
Fucking Mets — they can’t even sell out properly.
(Special thanks reader Steve Dodell, who was the first one to bring the logo change to my attention, also to Phil and Mets Police honcho Shannon Shark for their assistance on this one.)
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By Brinke Guthrie
Ah, NFL TV show opens from the 1970s. Who can forget the terrific intro for Monday Night Football with How-ard, Frank, and the Danderoo? (And here’s an extended version of that song, called “Score,” by Bob’s Band.) Something about that music has stayed with me all these years, and I still get a shiver hearing it, ’cause right after that, it’s time to play. I feel the same way about this later MNF theme and this CBS “NFL Today” open. Timeless stuff.
With all of that in mind, this 1970s CBS Sports shirt would fit right in with those Sunday-morning CBS pregame shows, eh? Or this 1970s crew jacket for ABC’s MNF.
Here are the rest of this week’s vintage finds:
• Terrific styling on this 1970s Chicago Blackhawks jacket! But then, it’s a DeLong.
• Strange to see a white St. Louis Cardinals baseball helmet, of undetermined origin date. This was a Hot Wheels promo item.
• Vintage NFL logos adorn this 1967 framed Coca-Cola ad.
• Helmet Buggy Alert! This one’s for a 1970s NY Football Giants, with the GIANTS logo on the side.
• According to the listing this NBA watch belonged to a former NBA ref.
• Colts fans, Namath was right. But you can still commemorate that legendary Super Bowl with this cool pennant. [Love how the player on the pennant is clearly from an old college football illustration. — PL]
• I like the MLB patch on this 1970s-1980s Cubs jacket from an unknown maker.
• Love the classic look of the 1970s double-bar facemask on this L.A. Rams serving tray.
• Nice mixed assortment of 1970s NFL and MLB plaques from Kentucky Art. I had this very Bengals plaque, too.
• Weird to see the name under the number on this 1969 Sam Huff throwback.
• Anything Denny McLain-related is always pure gold, and that goes double for this McLain latex paint can. Autographed, no less! [Knowing Denny, the "latex" was probably watercolor and the autograph was forged by the clubhouse kid. —PL]
• Lone Star Staters, customize your car with this 1980s Houston Oilers hood ornament.
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Baseball News: The Mets held a pregame ceremony yesterday to honor their top minor league players of the past season, all of whom wore No. 14 jerseys. I get it, it’s 2014, but come on — that number’s retired and doesn’t belong on a Mets jersey (from Todd Radom). … The padded cap worn by Padres reliever Alex Torres is going to the Hall of Fame. … “I tied the knot on Aug. 31 and supplied my groomsmen with a set of jerseys made by David ‘Frosty’ Frost, says Mike Colvin. “The premise was each man’s last name in Dodgers script with an 8 in front and 31 in the back, to be worn at the rehearsal dinner. This led to more than one ‘Why are they all wearing Mike Piazza jerseys?’ We also had a custom cake featuring my Giants and Heather’s Steelers, in memory of one of our first dates (and a bitter home loss).” … Jacob deGrom, he of the long tresses, was pitching for the Mets yesterday, so Mr. Met got long hair to match.
NFL News: See that Radisson logo on the Vikings interview backdrop? You won’t be seeing it anymore, at least for a while. … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to that awesome NY Giants letterhead from 1943. Here are some great photos of Harold Gutke, the player being offered a roster spot in the letter (big thanks to Alan Kreit). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Robert Griffin III had to turn his “Know Jesus, Know Peace” T-shirt inside-out at Sunday’s postgame press conference because the tee wasn’t a Nike product. Douchebags (from Rob Daniel). … Here’s a really good view of how many of the Bears were wearing white tights with striped leg-warmers, not socks, on Sunday night (from Scott Thomas). … Latest evidence that jerseys make fans act like morons comes from yesterday’s column by Peter King. Key quote: “As veteran Panthers scribe David Newton pointed out, not many fans own [convicted domestic abuser Greg] Hardy jerseys anyway. One who does: Randy Samuelson of Charleston, S.C. ‘I thought about not wearing it,’ the 62-year-old Samuelson said. ‘But the home team is in white, and gotta support them no matter what'” (from Hugh McBride).
College Football News: Some Iowa fans don’t like the design of the school’s new live mascot (from Nick Pfeiffer). … “As a four-year letterman of Auburn University’s football program (06-09) and an avid supporter of AU’s athletic department in general, I periodically receive a letter entitled Auburn Athletics Confidential, which comes directly from the desk of Athletics Director Jay Jacobs and is aimed at keeping program stakeholders up to speed on certain aspects of the athletics department,” says Andrew McCain. “The most recent letter addressed Auburn’s uniforms: ‘I get asked when Auburn might come out in orange jerseys or pants,’ Jay writes. ‘The answer is not anytime soon. Why would we?'” … A trucking company called South East Carriers has a logo that looks a lot like the SEC logo (from Grady Harmon). … New memorial decal for the Coast Guard Academy. … This is interesting: UNC has a player from Canada and another from the Ivory Coast, and those players will now wear helmet decals of their native countries’ flags. Is that a college football first? … Don Schauf was looking at the Cal Stadium on Apple Maps and was surprised to find that the satellite image caught the field installation in progress.
Hockey News: The Capitals will unveil their Winter Classic jerseys on Sept. 23. … Flyers goalie Steve Mason’s new mask design features a zombie version of Al Capone (from Andrew Rader). … This article has some uni-numerical fun regarding Jesper Fast of the Rangers: “Fast was a little sheepish when told that he, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares all wear No. 91 now in the National Hockey League. ‘Please don’t compare me to those guys,’ laughed the 22-year-old Swede. ‘The Rangers called me this summer and offered a bunch of different numbers because Lee Stempniak took (number) 12 (which Fast wore last season),’ Fast explained on Monday. ‘They were all high numbers, 40’s and higher, so I chose No. 91 because I was born in 1991 and it’s the only one that had any connection to me'” (from Chris Flinn). … Predators goalie Pekka Rinne’s new mask has a Gladiator theme (from Daniel Lavender).
College Hoops News: New uniforms for Drake. Man, when’s the last time you saw a team switch to that Lakers-style wishbone collar? … New unis for Arizona, too — blue and red.
Soccer News: FC Bacelona’s new third strip features two different shades of yellow (thanks, Phil). … New third kit for Manchester City (from George Chilvers).
Grab Bag: Crazy mix of NOB fonts in this photo of Massachusetts State Police trainees (from Brian Mazmanian). … You probably heard about the controversy involving Urban Outfitters’ “blood-stained” Kent State sweatshirt yesterday. Here’s the latest on that. … The new England rugby shirt features rubber grips along the chest area (to keep the ball from bouncing) in the shape of Victoria Cross, a British military medal (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Students at a New York City high school are protesting the school’s new dress code. … You like a mud game? Then you’ll love this. That’s from the 1963 Rugby League grand final between St. George and Western Suburbs. “Due to heavy rain the week before, the Sydney Cricket Ground was an absolute quagmire, and it became impossible to distinguish one team from another,” says Graham Clayton. … A Minneapolis woman want to turn the Metrodome’s roof into mittens (from Zach Wartes). … Wichita’s new indoor football team
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will go belly-up in a year or two, guaranteed will be called the Force.
FYI: Today I’m going to be part of a discussion panel for an NYU sports business class. We’ll be discussing the excellent “30 for 30″ film Untucked, which of course is right up my alley. Between that and some errands that I have to run, I’ll be off the grid from about 11:30am until this evening, so everyone play nice while I’m out. See you tomorrow.