Uni Watch stalwart Leo Strawn, Jr. has a very cool DIY project he shared with me (and which is described below), and which I want to share with you today (for any inline images, click to enlarge). I apologize for the lack of a more “uniform” related lede, but I’ve been extremely busy this week. But below there is plenty of good stuff, including the return of the uni concepts and a pretty full ticker, so enjoy! — PH
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By Leo Strawn
I had an idea for a footy table and kept an eye out at yard sales to locate a good, yet cheap, table. Just had to be sturdy; looks, of course, didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t terribly banged up. Found the perfect table for a couple of bucks and proceeded to completely forget about it. It was an ugly wood, needed resurfaced, but actually a nice enough table just needing a bit of attention, and since I wasn’t doing anything with it, my significant other went ahead and painted it gloss black, one day.
I finally got motivated and started it a year later, just a few months ago. First, I sanded and primed the top; the rest of the table was in good enough shape as far as I was concerned. Then I had to get the dimensions of the footy ground I wanted to model the table after; the most hallowed of all footy ovals: Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Then came the boring math. Essentially I had to take the dimensions of 173.6 m long x 148.3 m wide, from fence to fence, and scale that down to fit on smaller than a 20″ x 24″ table top, because the top edges are beveled leaving a bit less than that in actual flat surface area. The boundary line at the MCG is located five m inside the fence.
I located the center of the table top, discovered that the width was the dimension that mattered on this particular top, and made the width equal to 19″. That 19″ width accounted for 7.8 m/in on scale, so I divided 173.6 by 7.8, giving me a length of 22 1/4″. There would be a little bit leftover on the long ends of the table. I then lightly drew my axis off the center and placed push pins in the ends of the long axis. Now I was ready to create the ellipse.
I took a compass stretched across half of the long axis, then placed the point on the ends of the short axis, drawing arcs through the longer axis. Next step was to stretch and tie a string taut between the push pins. Once the string was secured to the push pins, I moved the pins to those intersections I drew with the compass earlier. Pushing a pencil to the limit within the string and moving it around the outside of the pins created the dimensions from fence to fence.
Finally, the painting began! I started by painting black up to the edge of the “fence”. Then, I painted the red and blue lines of the 50 meter arcs and painted white areas…:
…with a few coats of paint, large enough to cover the lines that would be white, also. Then, the green for the grass…
…and finished with a few light coats of polyurethane for protection, and voila, a table-sized MCG!
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Great stuff, Leo! That’s a neat-o project, and one that even the less DIY-inclined among us (like myself) could probably even come close to approximating. Thanks for sharing.
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
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Classic Football Scoreboards – Second in a Series by Gary Chanko
The early 1920s saw an explosion of new collegiate football stadiums in California. The Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and California Memorial Stadium were built during this period.
This edition of Classic Football Scoreboards looks at California Memorial Stadium, still today one of the best venues for watching college football.
California Memorial Stadium
Home of: University of California Golden Bears, Berkeley, California
Opened:1923 Renovated: 2010-2012
Inspired by the Roman Coliseum, Cal’s 75,000 seat Memorial Stadium was built surrounded with controversy. The uproar was caused by the proposed location the scenic area known as Strawberry Canyon.
Memorial Stadium opened just in time for the Golden Bears last game of the 1923 season – The Big Game against cross bay rival Stanford.
The graphic captures the scoreboard at the end of that inaugural game.
A Few Things to Know
• The $1.4 million (about $20 million in todays dollars) stadium was funded entirely by seat subscriptions (and you thought that funding concept was a 21st century invention). The $100 subscriptions sold out in ten days. What you got was a $10 voucher for ten years to purchase game tickets.
• The original scoreboard architecture reflected the neoclassical style of the stadium. Besides the game score, the scoreboard layout provided ball field position and distance to go for first down – all manually operated. It must have been a frantic exercise to keep the game information current. The process used to rely information to the scoreboard operators, located in the end zone, would be interesting reading.
Next time the series heads about 375 miles south to visit another classic scoreboard from the 1920s, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
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If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Uni Tweaks Concepts
It’s been a while since I ran this, but I still have a bunch of concepts (and they do continue to trickle in — and concepters, please keep them coming)…
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up today is Cole Hammers, who has a concept for the Houston Texans:
I never liked how Texans logo faced the wrong way on one side of the helmet, so I drew up an alternate with the horns on the side a-la-Vikings. The rest is just a slight tweak on the standard away uni.
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And we close today with Kyle Geralds who has some Detroit Tigers concepts:
Detroit Tiger Concepts – No Sacred Cows
Tigers have maintained a lot of tradition limiting uniform concepts. The Tigers have only worn an alternate jersey once, they use two different Old English Ds and they only wear orange on the road.
I wanted to see what it’d be like using just the ball cap D on the uniform, using orange at home, creating an alternate, using a script Tigers instead of the home D and an orange only (no navy) road uniform. Here are 10 concepts (above). I am a traditionalist and never want the Tigers to change their home uniform or use an alternate, so killing these “sacred cows,” was morally challenging.
• 1927-1931 was the 1st time the Tigers wore orange (home and away) then stopped for 16 years.
• 1947-1951 Tigers wore the orange D on their home cap but a white D on the road (opposite of today).
• 1952-57 they wore the orange D on their home and away caps.
• 1958-1971 the Tigers did not wear orange at all and in 1960 the Tigers script was used in place of the English D on the home uniform.
• Since 1972 the Tigers have only worn orange on the road. Interestingly, 1972-1982 the Tigers road cap featured an orange D with a white outline.
• 1994 the Tigers wore stripes down the sleeves of their road uniform and an orange bill on the cap that lasted 4 years and included the Tiger wiggling through the D for three.
• In 1995 the Tigers wore an official alternate for only one game. They were smoked by the Red Sox and the owner, John McHale, ended the alt saying, “That uniform just didn’t say Detroit Tigers to me. We’re open to trying new things, but those didn’t do it for me.”
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And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Unfortunately due to an unforeseen labor strike, fire, and theft of uniforms, due to the personal commitments of both Rob Holecko and Andrew Seagraves, the UWFFL will be taking a one-week hiatus this weekend from Uni Watch. There are still games to be played, however.
Apologies to any/all who were expecting the usual UWFFL fare here.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
NFL News: Interesting cover for The New Yorker next month. (This would usually be reserved for the ‘skins Watch section, but it’s getting too much pub to wait a week.) … Did you know that the old Browns mascot, Brownie the Elf, has a tail? Neither did I until I saw this picture (with enlargement by The Real Kub). Whoa. Who knew elves had tails? When I retweeted that image, Johnny Okray posted a different image of Brownie, and in that one it appears the “tail” is the shadow of his shirt. But if you go back to the first image the shirt/tunic (whatever Brownie is wearing) is different — almost a two-piece, so whatever it is, it’s not a shadow or outline of a shirt. I asked Todd Radom if he knew more and he thought it might be an outturned pocket. … “More Nike fun,” says Britton Thomas. The Falcons have apparently adopted a new motto for the season (something about trying to go 1-0 each week). “Can’t have a motto without a shirt.” … If you take a look at this video, you’ll see Freddie Mercury wearing a Cowboys t-shirt that Jeff Wilk has never seen before. He adds, “There’s the spot you get the first good look at the front, but let it roll on and you get other great views at 6:40. It’s the star logo in the D that makes me wonder what kind of yellow Cowboys shirt is this?”
College/High School Football News: USC and UCLA will play color-vs-color today (as God intended), so here’s a good look at the rivalry. Also, check out this beautiful ticket stub from the 1956 UCLA/USA game (from Jeremy Formo). … Pretty sure this isn’t unique, but on Thursday night, a K-State player was wearing a shirt with built-in pockets (from Steven). We’ve definitely seen it in the pros (h/t Noel Blaha). … The Illinois Illini will be wearing white/orange/white today, the only combination they’ve worn more than once (they’ve worn it five times) – thanks to J.P. Young. … The UM Terps have a new ‘vision’ for the Cole Field House, which includes a new locker room (thanks to Mark Johnson). … Here is a good slide show of the uniforms and also the evaluation of uniforms through the years of the Lehigh Lafayette rivalry. Says submitter Jason Ricles, “I, as a Lehigh alum, and uniform enthusiasts love looking through the slide show and see how they changed through the years. So upset I decided I didn’t want to freeze my butt off this weekend to see what they pull out this Saturday in person but will def see on tv.” … Special helmets this weekend for Montana against Montana State in the “Brawl of the Wild.” (thanks to @CubbyTheKraut). Also noticing this was Brett Clark, who believes the team will also be putting the names of Montana counties on the back of the helmet. (Jackson Wagner later confirmed that it’s the name of the County for the player wearing it – h/t for that last pic to Nick Mills). Not sure if any non-Montanans play for the team or how that will be handled. … This was in yesterday’s ticker, but here is a side by side comparison of the 2012 chrome helmet and the 2014 chrome helmet for UNC (which they wore Thursday night vs. Duke). Thanks to Todd Gaines. … Baylor will be going all black with their uniforms vs. Okie State (thanks to Andrew Lind). Also from Andrew, Mississippi State will be wearing their anniversary uniforms against Vanderbilt. … Florida State will wear a helmet decal to honor the victims of Wednesday’s library shooting (h/t B.J. Lanier). … Jim Vilk would approve of these “comically large” numbers for a high school football team in Salem, VA (thanks to David Jordan). … Jeremy Langford’s thigh pad has a Spartan helmet imprinted on it (grab by Cory Fisher). … Want to own one of those special blue chrome UNC helmets from the Duke game Thursday? You can, but it wall cost you $1,195 plus an extra $29.95 for shipping and handling. … If you scroll down to the bottom of this article, you will note that Clemson will wear the accursed color of death purple today (first time since 2013). … Fun article on how “MIT Engineered a Football Team Out of Scrap”, from the Wall Street Journal. … Ever wonder what the SEC would look like if someone did military/patriotic uniform concepts? Wonder no more (thanks to Andrew Daley).
Grab Bag: In college lacrosse news, the Florida Gators wore these new helmets (with simulated gator skin logos in their matchup with Florida State last night (thanks to Dave Doop). … “Forget Kim Kardashian,” writes Douglas Ford, “this pic of (Bill) Cosby will break the internet.”
OK, that will do it for today. Big thanks to Leo for helping me out in a pinch with his DIY, and also to Gary for another stellar installment of the Scoreboards series. I’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Sunday Morning Uni Watch fare.
Remember, if you see an NCAA game today you think would qualify for the “5 & 1″ let Catherine know about it by e-mailing her at UW5and1@gmail.com — if you don’t let her know what you think is a good (or bad) candidate for the Five and One, you shouldn’t be complaining about her choices tomorrow, right? Right! I mean, we all know the USC/UCLA game will be tomorrow’s #1 (as it should be), but there will be fierce competition for 2-5, and surely there will be some bad looking games out there. Catch you guys tomorrow.
“The argument I’ve always made is that fancy new uniforms are akin to corporate perks like happy hours and foosball tables and comfy chairs. At the end of the day, an engineer might choose his workplace based on the wages and the long-term prospects of the company and the type of projects they’d work on, but the small perks do make a difference because they signal how an employer views its employees.”
[Today we have a sensational guest entry from Sean Egelhardt, who’s written a superb analysis of a little-noted uniform element. You’re gonna like this one. — PL]
By Sean Engelhardt
Henrik Lundqvist, like most NHL goaltenders, has a new mask this year. The design resembles the one he’s used in years past, but this year the cage — by which I mean the bars in the center of the mask — is blue rather than the white he’s previously used. More interestingly, the inside of the cage is white, creating a two-toned effect he uses on his secondary mask (which he wears when the Rangers wear their third jerseys) and which he used in the Sochi Olympics (click to enlarge):
I believe this marks a performance/style intersection for Hank. I think he likes the way the blue looks from the outside but believes white bars work best for his vision, which plays such an important part of goaltending.
Having grown up playing goalie myself, I can recall the topic of preferred cage colors coming up now and again, but I’ve never heard it discussed on TV or elsewhere. I always preferred a white cage, because I thought the white blended in with the ice and was less distracting. I felt that white bars let your brain do what it does when you watch a choppy animation — fill in missing information with what should be there. I felt that this allowed me to track the puck a bit truer, rather than having a dark puck blend into a dark cage and possibly introduce milliseconds of uncertainty about which side of the bar the puck was on. That might sound questionable, but hockey moves very quickly, and any advantage, even if it’s imagined, can help.
So how does Lundqvist’s cage stack up with those of his fellow NHL goalies? About half of the league’s netminders currently use a white cage, half go with chrome/stainless steel, and a few others go with team colors. Only Lundqvist’s cage has a different color inside than out (click to enlarge):
As long as we’re taking about cages, let’s turn to the issue of bar configuration. Most professional goaltenders prefer the cat-eye style, which has two large curved openings in front of the eyes. The cat-eye cage is illegal in junior hockey, because it lacks certification from the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) — not, as many people mistakenly think, because the puck can fit through the openings (it can’t), but because the butt-end of a stick can. As a result, young goaltenders always start their careers with a grid (much like a normal skater’s cage) or “Certified Cat Eye” (a hideous-looking design meant to entice goalies who want the pro look but require a HECC-certified mask). You can see the three primary styles here (click to enlarge):
The added bars on the certified cat-eye make the cage legal but defeat the point of the high-visibility cat-eye, so most goalies graduate to the professional cat-eye as soon they can.
In the modern goalie-mask era, a few notables have strayed from the cat-eye cage. Tim Thomas and Don Beaupre opted for custom, high-visibility, non-HECC-certified grids, while John Vanbiesbrouck went with a tight grid in what I believe had to provide the worst visibility of any mask in the modern era. You can barely see Beezer in there! But what do I know? He has 374 more wins than me.
The Overanalyzed Hockey Equipment Details Hall of Fame also includes such staples as which direction to tape your stick so that the puck rolls off smoothest; whether black tape makes it harder for a goalie to pick up the puck coming off a stick blade; if shin pads should sit above or below the tongue of the skate; whether to tape shin pads; and how many notches to tighten your leg pads. Any of these — or all of them! — would make good topics for future Uni Watch entries.
Paul here. Please join me in thanking Sean for his spectacular work here. First-rate! And as for those other topics he brought up at the end: Sean, if you want to tackle any of those, please consider yourself invited to do so.
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Membership update: Another eight designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Harry Michelson’s Steelers bumblebee throwback treatment, shown at right). These cards haven’t yet been printed or laminated, but that should take place over the next few days, and the finished cards will mail out early next week.
As always, you can order your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see the process by which we produce the cards here.
NFL News: I think we’ve covered this before, but people keep asking me, so here it is again: The Lions will not be wearing throwbacks on Thanksgiving. … Small uni-related moment in yesterday’s installment of Sarah Koenig’s excellent Serial podcast, which is about the 1999 murder of a Baltimore teen-ager named Hae Min Lee. Koenig was listing a few things people remembered about Lee, including this: “The Dallas Cowboys were her favorite team — not because she cared about football, but because she liked the colors blue and silver.” Insert obligatory comment about the Cowboys’ multiple shades of blue and silver here. … Why Stadium Sponsorships Suck, Part 739: Some poor soul who works at the Oakland Coliseum had to cover up the old sponsorship logos on the sideline benches. Douchebags (screen shot by Andy Bartsch).
Hockey News: Which Tampa Bay Lightning jersey should you own? Take this quiz and find out. … Years ago I did an entry about the wonderful children’s book The Hockey Sweater. Here’s an interview with the book’s author. … Key passage in this article about T.J. Oshie of the Blues: “When [Oshie’s father] was a child, he moved to Anoka, Minnesota. … [He] was the organizer of the street, gathering kids and assigning them to baseball or football teams that would play against other kids from other streets. They’d fashion uniforms out of T-shirts with logos and names written on them with marker.” … Batman- and Riddler-themed uniforms upcoming for the Toledo Walleye and Evansville IceMen. … The Flyers have inducted Eric Lindros and John LeClair into their Hall of Fame and marked the occasion last night by wearing both of their numbers on a patch. “For some reason, I’m craving a black-and-white cookie,” says Mike Engle.
NBA News: Corporate Bullshit Dept.: Nike was planning on a sneaker that was sort of a wink-wink tribute to (or exploitation of) Allen Iverson, but they’ve now scrapped the idea because Iverson, who has an endorsement deal with Reebok, objected (from Douglas Ford). … More corporate nonsense: Clippers G Chris Paul taped over the Jumpman logo on his socks last night. One might ask why he was wearing Jumpman-logo socks to begin with, or why any socks need to be logo-emblazoned, but those queries would clearly make the Earth spin off its axis.
College Hoops News: Here are some thoughts on UMass’s sleeved alternate jerseys. … Here’s a weird one: UAB players are wear mismatched shoe colors this season. “A lot of variety with it, too,” says Justin Semore. “Most have green on the left foot and white on the right. Others have a grey right foot. Some have shine on the shoes, others don’t; some have green laces, some have white, some alternate. As far as I can tell, they are all Nike. It’s to raise awareness of childhood cancer (Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a part of campus).” Can’t say I understand what mismatched footwear has to do with cancer awareness, but whatever — it’s certainly an interesting look.
Soccer News: The La Liga team Valencia is being sued by DC Comics because the team’s logo is similar to the Batman logo. … This movie review of the new documentary about the UK rock band Pulp includes the following: “The band’s longtime drummer, Nick Banks, coaches a Sheffield girls’ soccer team, of which Pulp is a partial sponsor — the band’s name is emblazoned on the jerseys. Banks’ daughter is on the team, and her father says that when some of her teammates asked her what, exactly, this ‘Pulp’ might be, she referred to it as her ‘dad’s crap band.'” … Argentina’s and Colombia’s Copa America kits have leaked.
By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to deal with a personal matter that’s going to keep me off the grid for most of the day. Play nice while I’m away. Phil will handle the weekend, as usual, and I’ll be back on Monday. See you then.
For all of today’s images, you can click to enlarge
Heard yesterday from a trusted industry source, who shared the new Nike/NFL 2015 youth catalog with me (the cover of which is shown above). This isn’t as good as seeing the adult catalog, natch, but it nonetheless offers some interesting hints regarding what’s in store for next season.
Let’s start with the colored jerseys:
The most obvious thing here is that there’ll be a new Browns jersey — something we already knew, of course. And no, there’s no way to unlock that image. Even my source doesn’t yet know what the locked designs will look like.
Also, the catalog shows the Eagles wearing midnight green. So if they’re really switching to kelly green, as has been rumored, it’s not happening in 2015, at least if this catalog is to be believed. (Note to Nike: You might wanna stock up on midnight green dye this time.)
The other thing worth noting here is that the Titans’ light-blue jersey is still shown. As was noted two days ago in the Ticker, Titans CEO Tommy Smith recently stated that we’ve probably seen the last of the light-blues, at least for this season, and ESPN’s Titans beat reporter, Paul Kuharsky, says this means they’ll be redesignating the navy jerseys and their primaries. I asked a team spokesperson about that and he confirmed for me yesterday that the team will wear white for the rest of this season’s games but said the team had no other uni-related news to announce at this time. So if they do plan to make navy their primary, then the catalog is wrong (or perhaps simply hasn’t been updated to reflect the team’s current thinking).
Now let’s look at the white jerseys:
Nothing remarkable there, except that we once again see mystery design slated for the Browns.
The next set of listings is where things get interesting — the alternate jerseys. Let’s take a look:
Lots of items worth noting here. One thing at a time:
• Looks like there will be new alternate designs for the Browns (duh), Dolphins (orange?), 49ers (beats me), and Packers (what, no more Acme Packers?).
• The Titans’ navy jersey is shown here as an alternate. As noted above, it’s not clear how this plays in with the team’s current thinking.
• As you can see, they’re showing a red Patriots throwback. My initial thought was, “A-ha! If they’re bringing back that throwback, then they must be planning to scrap the one-helmet rule.” But then I double-checked with my source, who said the red throwback youth jersey has been available for sale all along. Ditto for that white Colts throwback. So those don’t necessarily indicate anything regarding on-field jerseys.
So the real news here — aside from the Browns stuff, which we already knew — is that the 49ers, Dolphins, and Packers appear poised to unveil new alternate jerseys that we can’t see yet. Okay, so that’s not completely satisfying, but it’s still fun to look through these catalogs, right?
Membership update: A bunch of new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Bobby Hoekstra’s Tim Duncan-era Wake Forest design treatment, shown at right). Some of those new cards have already been printed, laminated, and shipped out; the rest should be in the mail at some point next week. And we have about two dozen additional new enrollees whose card designs should be available for your viewing pleasure soon. My thanks everyone who responded to my “Now or possibly never” call over the past week.
Meanwhile, I’ve made a simple change that I probably should have done ages ago: The membership card gallery now has the newest designs at the top, instead of at the bottom. Much easier to see the most recent designs this way.
As always, you can see how we make the membership cards here and sign up for your own here.
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NFL Superhero Project
By Thomas Correia
Did you hear the big news this past weekend? Underoos have officially made a comeback — and they’re now for adults! Although it’s highly unlikely, I’d like to think that our little project here played a small role in the return of this sorely missed element from undergarment history. So let’s strike while the iron is now even hotter and bring you this week’s NFL superheroes, which are based on tonight’s game between the Chiefs and Raiders (click to enlarge):
I have to give a shout-out to a commenter from last week named Winter, who guessed that the Chiefs would be represented by Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy. He would indeed be a perfect fit, but I opted to use a more famous DC hero who also wears red and gold: the Flash. I incorporated the Flash’s logo and some speed lines into a slightly skewed arrowhead to give it a sense of motion, which is what the Flash is all about.
When I got to the Raiders, one character immediately came to mind: the Punisher. The Raiders of yore and lore were always out to punish teams for entering their stadium. Victory was had by any means necessary. Also, Raiders fans are diehard and menacing, just like the Punisher when he’s dispensing justice to those who break the law.
Next week will be a special holiday edition featuring four of the teams that will be playing on Thanksgiving: the Seahawks, 49ers, Eagles, and Lions. Guess which heroes will represent each team in today’s comments.
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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
Which failed uniform trend are you most glad went away? Here’s mine: In the mid-2000s several NBA teams wore sleeveless T-shirts instead of the standard tank-top silhouette. I didn’t like the look, but I thought they were the wave of the future. Fortunately, I was wrong, as they’ve mostly disappeared.
We have a ton of options here, from the pullovers in baseball to cut-off jerseys in college football to short shorts in basketball, and everything in between.
Also, which contemporary trend should disappear? [Editor’s Note: If you’re thinking of saying anything other than “baseball pajama pants,” please remain where you are. The reprogramming truck will be arriving momentarily. — PL]
Baseball News: Louisville Slugger makes camo bats now (from Jonathan Daniel). … A Nats fan made a nine-foot Jayson Werth gnome out of canned seafood (from Andrew Hoenig). … Ben Fortney found a cool Texas Rangers program cover on Pinterest. … A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will switch to No. 22 as newcomer Billy Butler will take Reddick’s former No. 16 (from Rich Paloma). … We’ve seen this before, but it’s still cool to check out this gallery of 19th-century baseball players in game-action poses (from Chris Flinn). … Semi-related, here are some turn-of-the-century sports photos by photographer George Grantham Bain (from Jonathan Daniel).
Hockey News: The Rangers wore white at home last night. … “Arturs Irbe is the Sabres’ goalie coach and was forced into the backup role Tuesday night due to an injury to starter Michal Neuvirth,” says Mike Monaghan. “He wore team’s terrible third jersey, but a nameplate from the regular home blues.” … The Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets swapped jerseys.
Soccer News: The San Jose Earthquakes’ new stadium has a corporate sponsor. … Here are some colorizations of some old soccer photos (from Jack Coyier).
College Hoops News: We discussed college players (specifally those who wear Under Armour unis) rolling up their shorts at the waistband yesterday. Kendrick Nunn from Illinois, a Nike school, also does it (from Ben Zoss). … San Diego State will wear turquoise against Bakersfield tonight (from Phil). … New home, road and alternates for Southeastern Louisiana. Isn’t that where Bobby Boucher played foosball? (From Chris Mycoskie.) … Houston Baptist is wearing a patch to honor 50 years of basketball at the school (from Jeff Sutton).
Trolls are a fact of life on the internet. And while trolls can be annoying, I can respect a good troll, the same way I can respect a good villain in a movie. In fact, there’s one troll — Joe “Big Cock” Johnson, who bedeviled this website for several years — who I respected so much that I ended up interviewing him and eventually even created a separate website for him.
Joe Johnson admittedly set a pretty high bar — you don’t come across a troll like that every day. (The Jeff doesn’t count — he’s a contrarian, not a troll.) Still, I’d like to think we can do better than the copy/paste hack who showed up here on the site yesterday morning. He fired his first salvo at 8:50am (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
It went on like that for about another two screens’ worth. Pretty tedious, eh? Obviously, I deleted the comment and blocked the guy who posted it, but not before he added this:
That one scrolled on for another few screens’ worth. Now, it’s possible for juvenile name-calling to be effective, or even entertaining (“The Ballad of Jerry Curlan” comes to mind). But “Paul is gay,” times a thousand? Seriously? Come on, man — I’d like to think Uni Watch readers are more creative than that.
Based on his IP address, this little shit is apparently a student at UMass. Son, I hope you’re better at your classwork (or beer pong, or getting laid, or any of the other things college students are supposed to be doing) than you are at trolling, because you’re never gonna make it in this game with that lazy-ass approach.
I wouldn’t have bothered to mention any of this except that another Uni Watch troll emerged yesterday, and on a new platform to boot! Check it out:
That’s a screen shot from the home page of a new Twitter feed called Uni Watch Watch, which apparently launched yesterday afternoon. For now it’s mostly just retweets of my tweets, with a short put-down appended to each one — okay, so that’s kinda meh, but I still feel it has potential! Frankly, I wouldn’t have even known about it except that Phil and reader BSmile both spotted it yesterday and brought it to my attention. (Unfortunately, Phil also “reported” it to the Twitter authorities, so it’s possible that this troll account will be deleted by the time you read this, but I’ll try to deal with that as we go along. Here, see if this link to the troll account still works. If it doesn’t, blame Phil!)
Let’s take a closer look at Uni Watch Watch:
• The “Uni Watch Watch” handle: I like it! The double-“Watch” effect works nicely, and the troll gets bonus points for knowing that “Uni Watch” is two words, both capped, with a space in between (which is more than I can say for, ahem, lots of you non-trolls out there). On the standard Uni Watch spectrum of Good to Stupid, I’d say this handle is very, very, Good.
• The troll’s name:“Luke Paulass”? Dude, you just undid all the good work you’d done with the handle. “Paul is gay” looks like literature compared to this. Should’ve just stuck with “Uni Watch Watch.” Very, very Stupid. Hey, he just changed it from “Luke Paulass” (awful) to “Watchy McWatcherson” (not great but definitely less cringe-inducing)! I like this — a troll who takes advice. Still pretty Stupid, but he’s getting there.
• The avatar: Looks like he just used a stock illustration for the little guy with the magnifying glass (it’s clearly watermarked). Still, the idea of his avatar looking at my avatar is pretty clever — a good visual representation of “Uni Watch Watch.” I like! Good.
• The little statement of purpose: This wasn’t originally part of the guy’s page, but then he added it a few hours after creating the account. It’s a pretty straightforward manifesto: “The only thing worse than watching minor changes to sports uniforms is watching the tweets from the guy who watches the changes to sports uniforms.” I like that — you get in, you say your piece, you get out. Good.
• The header design: The baseball diamond and basketball net feel pretty random, but whatever. The real issue is that he used green, my favorite color. Come on, dude — if you want to fuck with my head, you know which color to use! Seriously, hello!!Stupid.
• The tweets: Normally, I’d embed a few of the tweets here for you to see. But again, it’s possible that the troll account may have been taken down by the time you read this, so I’ve taken screen shots of the first five tweets and gathered them into a Flickr set (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):
As you can see, the best tweet was the first one. After that, he just came up with weak put-downs (“Don’t care” and “So what?!”) and tacked them onto my tweets — pretty uninspired. Also, most of my tweets include photos, but those photos are missing from his retweets of those tweets, which kinda ruins the effect. Like, if you’re gonna critique what I’m doing, at least show the full thing I’m doing and then critique it. I feel like this account has some decent troll potential, but he’s gonna have to try harder. Hey, it’s still early days, but for now it’s pretty Stupid.
All in all, I’d say Big Cock Johnson’s place in the Uni Watch pantheon remains secure. But a fella can dream, can’t he? If the Uni Watch Watch account hasn’t been taken down yet, I urge everyone to follow it, if only to give the troll some incentive to work on his craft. Meanwhile, you can track the account here:
A final thought: I’m sure some of you are thinking, “This is exactly why I don’t bother with Twitter.” And you’re right! That’s actually one of my favorite things about Uni Watch Watch — I feel like it’s trolling Twitter as much as it’s trolling me, and that’s a good thing.
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Uni-centric movie review: Frequent Uni Watch commenter BvK1126 checked in with the following in yesterday’s comments:
Last night I went to a screening of the documentary Red Army, which is about the Soviet Union’s domination of the sport of ice hockey for the better part of four decades. It’s an engrossing film, especially for anyone who remembers those seemingly unstoppable Soviet Red Army and national teams from the ’70s and ’80s.
It’s also a feast for a Uni Watcher’s eyes, with lots of footage and photos of various versions of what may be the most feared uniform in sports history. One of the most intriguing to me was this jersey, which features two very distinct shades of red. (The brighter shade looks almost highlighter pink in the film footage.)
A guy in the front row of the screening came decked out for the occasion in a jersey that looked like this, except that the lettering on the back was in Cyrillic and the letters and numbers were screened on in white instead of black. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite close enough to get a decent shot of him in the dim lighting.
Sounds good, right? If you live in New York, Red Army is currently playing at the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square; it’s due to open in other cities in late January. Here’s the trailer:
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Roll your own: Reader Scott Novosel spent a good chunk of yesterday obsessing over (and peppering me with emails about) an admirably esoteric uniform detail: college hoops players who roll up their shorts’ waistbands in order to make the shorts a bit shorter. He spotted players from three different teams doing this yesterday — South Carolina, Manhattan, and Utah (click to enlarge):
The interesting thing about this, as Scott noted several times during the course of the day, is that those are all Under Armour schools, which led Scott to speculate, “I wonder if UA is making the shorts too lengthy.”
NFL News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Titans CEO Tommy Smith said on a radio show that we’ve probably seen the last of the light-blue jerseys. I asked a team spokesman if this means they’re redesignating the navys as their primary jersey or if they’ve getting an overhaul — no response. I’ll keep poking around to see what I can find out. … Stan Capp was watching Monday Night Football at a hotel in Mexico, which had several of these handmade-looking NFL logo banners on display. … “The Giants still get their duffles from Gerry Cosby in New York, which has been supplying the team for well over 50 years,” says Mark Gonillo. “They no longer have NFL logo rights, hence the generic ‘Football Giants’ stencil. It’s refreshing a team staying loyal to a longtime supplier.”
Hockey News:The Hockey Newshas been sold from one media conglomerate to another. … “While looking through the Google newspaper archives, I found this 1945 article about some of the innovations made by the original Maple Leaf Gardens superintendent, Doug Morris,” says Will Scheibler. “One innovation was the penalty clocks, so I looked and found this 1940s photo tat shows the clocks, and this 1965 close-up. In that last photo, Eddie Shack of the Leafs — No. 23 — is serving a penalty.” … The anthem singer at last night’s Ducks/Flames game wore a jersey with a musical note instead of a TV number on the sleeve — not bad! Is this a standard thing for the Flames’ anthem singers? (Thanks, Phil.) … Previously unnoted change for this season: The Bruins’ helmet numbers have changed from black to gold (thanks, Phil).
Grab Bag: This interview with Under Armour founder Kevin Plank includes an explanation for why he spelled “Armour” with a “u”: “I was skeptical at the time about whether this whole Internet thing would stick. So I thought the phone number 888-4ARMOUR was much more compelling than 888-44ARMOR. I wish there was a little more science or an entire marketing study behind it, but it was that simple” (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s a look at the evolution of the Virgin logo (thanks, Brinke). … Last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had a long list of innovations and technologies that either failed or fell out of favor. Of interest to us here is the entry on decorative German military helmets. … Fox Footy is asking fans to vote on which AFL team has the best clash jumper. “Only problem I see on the list is that Collingwood’s main jumper is featured, rather than their clash.” … A “bobblehead hall of fame” is hoping to open in Milwaukee in 2016, and look, there’s Brinke ordering his plane ticket already! … If you’re going to go color-vs.-color, you may as well use the greatest colors available! Those are members of the Australian and South African cricket teams, which are currently playing a one-day international series in Australia (from Graham Clayton).