By Phil Hecken
Late last evening the Toronto Raptors released their new uniforms for 2015-16. They’ll begin wearing them in the pre-season of this year. As was widely rumored, there will be four new uniforms: a home, a road and two alternates. They were unveiled by Rapper Drake, who actually wore the OVO uniform top last evening during his own OVO Fest at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre. Drake collaborated with the Raptors on the redesign.
According to the press release, “The new look pays tribute to the City of Toronto as well as being the lone Canadian club in the National Basketball Association. The main colours will remain centred on Canada’s national colours of red and white. Black and silver will continue to be used for trim on the home white and red road uniform. The club will also sport two alternate black uniforms. A version with red, silver and white trim will return, joined by a special alternate featuring gold and white trim.”
Let’s take a look at those (click any image to enlarge):
Not much needs to be said description-wise, as all the details are pretty much listed in the four graphics below the uniform photo (same for all of the remaining uniforms).
Alternate 2: (The “Drake” OVO Alternate)
Not bad! As you’ll note from the small descriptors of the home (basically repeated for each of the uniform sets), there are changes from the previous uniform set. You can see those and previous uniforms here.
From the press release:
• The chevrons on the side of the jersey will now point “north” to align with our slogan of “We The North.” The chevrons had pointed downward since being introduced as a uniform accent in 1999.
• The fonts are accented with silver lining, a throwback to our past.
• Player names on the back will now be arched rather than straight across.
• At the waist-level hem of the jersey is an upside-down tag with our “We The North” slogan.
• It will be visible to players when they tuck in their jersey, and will serve to remind them of what they represent.
• Engineered mesh finish with a subtle design to emphasize a more aerodynamic feel that follows the contours of the body.
• The front of the waistband dons a Maple Leaf, incorporating our new look and feel with the symbol of our nation.
• The shorts have a shout-out to Toronto, sometimes referred to as the “T Dot.” “T.O.” is stitched on the side with our new logo representing the “O.”
There weren’t a lot of details as to when these would be worn, but one could probably assume they’ll wear all four (or at least the two alternates plus the white uniform) at home, and the red and possibly (probably?) the two alternates on the road as well.
There isn’t a huge difference (other than already noted) between their previous set and this new one, save for the “Drake” alternate, which features gold piping and accents. The logo (previously revealed) is also new. The wordmarks and numbers are new, and you can see the differences here:
One little detail too, captured nicely by this tweet — whether intentional or not, the waistband, stripe and logo form “TO” (h/t Paul Lee):
Found this neat, "T.O" is on the side of the shorts. pic.twitter.com/JjKyoeEWnc
— Kevin Rashidi (@KevinRashidi) August 4, 2015
I’m not sure there is a need for two alternates, especially since both are black and not all that different — but there is, of course, a jersey market, so those who are ‘true’ fans will, of course, need to buy more jerseys. I didn’t mind their old set, and I think these are a slight improvement (if not entirely necessary). Fortunately the Raptors didn’t try to incorporate purple into this set, although they’re more than welcome to continue wearing the throwback they busted out several times this past season. Best to keep that one solely as a throwback and not try to force purple into the red/white/black (and gold) colorscheme.
As I said, I like them — although they’re only a slight upgrade from the prior set. What do you guys think?
Cincy Bearcats Get New Unis — UA Calls Them “Ungrabbable”
Big news out of Under Armour yesterday, as they released one set of new uniforms for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (who switched from adidas to UA earlier this year), and immediately touted these uniforms (as well as those of Notre Dame, Utah, Auburn and Maryland) as having ‘ungrabbale’ properties. More on that later. Let’s take a look at Cincy’s new uni set (click on any photo to enlarge):
Not bad, all things considered. The first thing you should notice is that (at least on the one set revealed) they are not that different from their previous set. Gone are the red collar and piping (and adidas treatmarks), replaced with a new “stripe” on the jersey, and (more importantly), the claw marks on the pants. Those have also been replaced with the Cincinnati Stripe, which is also replicated on the helmet. TV numbers have been moved from the sleeve to the top of the shoulders. Some more looks at the new unis:
The most prominent feature, seen throughout the uniform, is the “stripe.” What exactly is the stripe? Well, thankfully, we have a handy-dandy guide:
I actually like the stripe as a design element — and that it is repeated throughout the uniform. It seems uniform makers these days are always searching for a “story” to tell as a feature of the uniform (in most cases failing from a graphic standpoint), but in this case, I think it works. If UA gives them a red and white set (and certainly a red and white helmet), these should work well. Much of the uniform is unchanged from that worn under adidas, from the number font to the wordmark. The Cincinnati logo remains on the helmet, as the second “C” in the jersey wordmark and on the pants. The centrally-located adidas logo has been replaced with the UA logo on the left side of the chest:
Purely from a design standpoint, I think UA has done a good job with these.
But, like competitors Nike and adidas, Under Armour has (claimed to) create a uniform that will make it impossible for defenders to grab onto, by developing a
faster, stronger, tougher, lighter space-age fabric amusingly named “ArmourGrid”. The corporate-speak is at full blast…to wit, it’s the “toughest” jersey UA has ever made:
The UC unis were unveiled as part of a roll-out of (supposedly) new uniforms for four of its other schools, all of which were touted as having this fantastic new uniform:
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) August 3, 2015
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 3, 2015
— Maryland Football (@MarylandPride) August 3, 2015
Auburn didn’t (as far as I could see) have as polished a twitter presentation, but they did still plug the new technology:
— Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobsauad) August 3, 2015
This would all be wonderful if this was indeed “new” technology — thing is, the only new school actually getting it is Cincy, since the other schools have used it before (albeit not on a full-time basis). Maryland has actually had it for several seasons.
— Ry (@UtahRy) August 3, 2015
Auburn student and uniform aficionado Clint Richardson reports that Auburn has had this technology for a while as well. He notes, in a series of tweets, “I don’t know if Under Armour is claiming this or if people are assuming – Maryland was not the only team to test the new template last year. Maryland, Texas Tech, Utah, and the Notre Dame alternates were all on the new template last season. Notre Dame and Auburn just transitioned fully to the new template this year. Cincy was a new design. The others were last year’s uniforms.”
So, like every other uniform that has come before it, the technology is
bullshit just UA’s way (and Nike and adidas do this as well) of claiming it’s superior to all others. Frankly, it’s off-putting — can’t they just release the unis and leave it at that? I’m sure Nike, adidas and UA all make fine uniforms, and none of them is probably any demonstrably faster/stronger/lighter than any of the others. Between this and the cleats,
Auburn revealed new cleats today. As did Notre Dame and Cincinnati pic.twitter.com/lTENC3wYZH
— Clint Richardson® (@Clintau24) August 3, 2015
it’s just become more noise.
But hey, the recruits are attracted to bright, shiny things and these deliver. Even the “story” each company spins to make a certain school’s uniforms “unique” is becoming trite (although I do like the new UC stripe). But the pride unis, the sweatbacks, etc… The more unique each school becomes the more the same they stay.
I’m pleased UA showed *restraint* with these uniforms — there are going to be some good new unis this fall (along with some awful new ones like UCLA). I’d say UC is among the good ones (at least based on this black set).
What do you guys think of these uniforms? Let’s have your thoughts in the comments section below. (H/T to Uniform Nation Blog for some of the images used in this writeup).
By Brinke Guthrie
Got a few game programs to look at today. Cool looking Mets game program from their Miracle season of 1969. And notice on the top left of the cover- this was the second game of a twin bill . July 13th, 1969: Mets 9, Expos 7. Cal Koonce in relief of some guy named Nolan Ryan picked up his third win of the year against a like number of losses. Shea attendance, 40,653. Game time, 3:06. Now onto the rest of the week’s stuff:
Staying with 1969: don’t think I’ve seen this before- a 48 page magazine created to celebrate the 50th Season of the NFL in 1969.
Check it out- the 1969 NFL/Honeywell Action Photography Guide! tips on film, lenses, filters and focus to help you capture all the action with still, movie, and flash photography. And look who created this: Dave Boss, Creative Services Director for National Football League Properties. I don’t think I knew The Man ever held that title- what a gig that must have been!
Like the Detroit/Washington helmet depictions on the cover of this 1965 Hall Of Fame Game program. Never seen the facemasks drawn like that.
This classic looking 1970s San Francisco 49ers helmet plaque will take you back to the days of Ken Willard.
Guaranteed to make you smell like a Yankee: a sealed bar of soap from the 1950s, from Mickey Mantle’s very own Holiday Inn in Joplin, Missouri.
This 1970s NHL Mini-Sport Kit for the Eastern Conference is “unused in the box.”
Just shoot par, baby: this 1970s Ray-duhz golf ball has a logo that’s just a bit off.
This 1970s Montreal Canadiens mug has held up well- slight bit of chipping around the name, though.
Saints fans will really geaux for this Superdome ceramic bank.
Follow Brinke on Twitter @brinkeguthrie.
Uni Watch Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Brewers pinch hitter Elian Herrera wore striped stirrups last night (from Zach Weber). … In case we haven’t seen them, here are (probably) the MLB’s postseason and World Series logos for this year (from Alan Borock). … At one point, Purdue emulated the Atlanta Braves’ jerseys. Pretty creative! (from Mick Conwah). … Some players, including Kris Bryant and Steven Souza, have their names on their elbow guards. … Rangers C Bobby Wilson wore a red catchers’ helmet while his teammates wore blue caps (from Brett Murphy, Jr.). … The short-season Class A State College Spikes gave away team-branded cups last week (from Brian Cox). … The Spokane Indians added the Salish language to the 2015 Northwest/Pioneer Baseball League All-Star uniforms (from Phil). … The Tampa Yankees will have a Star Wars Night on Saturday (from Benjamin Mead). … A vintage Base Ball game was played in Gettysburg, Pa., last month. The participants played with 19th century uniforms and equipment (and facial hair). Cool stuff, though I guess not everyone got into the old-timey spirit. … Lots of good color shots of the 1959 Red Sox in this film (from Jerry, who didn’t give his last name). … A Mets fan (not Paul or Phil, I assume) received some snazzy customized Keds shoes with Mets designs on them. … Cort McMurray was definitely in St. Louis this weekend, as he spotted this barbecue joint’s logo. … Within this piece, a blog by social critic James Howard Kunstler, is this “Historically, it was never before the case that US soldiers went about in battle dress at home. This disgusting trend has even been adopted in major league baseball. The New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone on TV wearing camo baseball uniforms. What are they trying to prove? That we are all at war all the time?” (From Matthew Lawrence).
NFL and College Football News: Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill ditched the Speed Flex’s ratcheted chinstrap and went back to snap buttons. … Texas A&M is hinting at unveiling new Adidas uniforms (from Phil). … North Carolina put an argyle stripe on its helmets. Nice! (From James Gilbert). … Got a note from Kenny Abbey that said that an Arizona State player showed up to a recent football practice at a high school in his hometown, and the player mentioned ASU will wear camo against Oregon. … New white helmets, with a large cartoon Pistol Pete logo on them, for Oklahoma State. … Florida will not wear black uniforms this year. … New unis for the Colorado School of Mines (from Phil). … New helmets and jerseys for some MEAC schools (from Phil). … Folks are guessing at what changes are in store for Kansas (from Phil). … USC has the No. 1 spot in this ranking of Pac-12 uniforms (from Phil).
Soccer News: Here’s a look at all the Premier League’s shirts for 2015-16 (from Phil). … Before the club could officially unveil its new uniforms, Fulham’s new kit was shown in a television commercial. … New away kit for Lazio. I really like the design and the black-and-light-blue color combo (from Ben Whitehead). … Yesterday was the anniversary of David Beckham wearing a misspelled jersey (from Brendan Jones). … The Chicago Fire wore BFBS jerseys on Sunday (from Steve Johnston). … New kits for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners (from Alan Evans).
NBA News: Adidas is trying to lure James Harden away from Nike with a $200 million (over 13 years) endorsement deal. … The Dream and Mercury went color-vs.-color in the WNBA on Sunday. “None of the photos there depict that the Dream’s pink jerseys did not have numbers on the back, which created some issues for the officials,” says Sean Kerwin.
Grab Bag: Two Canadian students invented an audible puck to aid visually-impaired hockey players (from Cassian Wykes). … Something new is being unveiled at San Diego State today. Unclear which sport that even is (from Phil). … An Ohio mayor’s re-election logo looks a little like the Gmail logo (from Mark Dziak). … David Firestone wrote a piece on NASCAR napkin rings. He also found a Montreal Canadiens jersey that was customized in honor of Patrick Carpentier, who is from Quebec.
And that will do it for today. Good thing there wasn’t any uni news yesterday/last night, huh? Thanks to Brinke for the Collector’s Corner and Mike for compiling the Ticker. Catch you guys and gals tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Let’s just let the Millenials wear what they want. This is what 6th place trophies will get you.”