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Can This Fisherman Be Saved?

Fisherman hed

By Phil Hecken with Shannon Shark

A couple weeks ago, news began spreading that the New York Islanders, whose lease with Barclays may terminate (either by the Islanders or by Barclays — both of whom have opt-outs) sooner than expected, the City of Hartford made a pitch to host the team’s games (at least on an interim basis), should the team find itself homeless in the future. Sadly, the Islanders haven’t so much resembled a professional hockey team over the past several decades, between sucking, having hustler’s “own” the team, and a aging arena eventually deemed unfit for play. The team packed its bags and moved from the once proud (and home to the Four Time Consecutive Stanley Cup Winners) Nassau Coliseum a couple years ago, joining the Brooklyn Nets in Barclays. That hasn’t worked out all that well either: amazingly, when Barclays was designed and built, no one thought to make the place fit for hockey.

Anyway.

I tweeted something about the Islanders and Hartford, and my buddy, Mets Police head honcho Shannon Shark and I began to have a little back-and-forth about the Islanders, a possible move to Hartford, and … if they were to move, what kind of uni changes might the team make. Very quickly, the conversation turned to…

New-York-Islanders-Fisherman-Jersey-1995

…the “Fisherman.”

For those of you who are millennials (kidding), that’s one of those really bad jerseys introduced in the 1990s (1995 to be exact) that was so awful, it was hated almost from the get-go. It’s actually gained “cult” status in some circles, and I love it in the “it’s-so-bad-it’s-good” kind of way. In fact, it’s actually the basis for my Uni Watch Membership Card:

LI Phil UW card

The jersey itself is awful — the colors, the “waves,” the asymmetrical numbers and non-aligned nameplate. So hated was it from the introduction that fans almost immediately called for a “return” to the classic Islander jersey, with the even more classic orange and blue “island” logo, complete with NY (and the “Y” forming a hockey stick). The team at first balked, but eventually relented, swapping out the “Fisherman” logo for the classic NY logo midway through the second season:

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They’d keep that for another year and a half, eventually returning to the more classic logo and colors.

As a HUGE Islander fan growing up (and not only did I grow up literally 10 minutes from the Coliseum, I went to dozens of games during their Stanley Cup years), I was one of those clamoring for the return of the classic logo and colors. But I realized, with time, that maybe the team was onto something — the awful jersey did produce two very good logos — the “fisherman” logo itself, and the secondary “lighthouse” logo (which depicts the Montauk Point light). The problem was, the team jettisoned their classic (associated with four Stanley Cup wins) logo and put the new logos on one of the worst sweaters ever to grace NHL ice. Predictably, almost everyone hated them.

Back to Shannon — we started discussing the fisherman at length, and could it be possibly “reused” — but in classic Islander colors — should the team move to Hartford? In the course of our discussions, Shannon actually mentioned he owns a “fisherman” jersey. I said, “Ok, we gotta put something together for Uni Watch” and one thing led to another. I’ll now turn this portion of the post over to Shannon, with this thoughts on the jersey:

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The Potential of the Fisherman
By Shannon Shark

Phil, I’m here to defend the potential of the fisherman. Not the actual fisherman, but the potential of it.

Before we go further, I am a traditionalist. The New York Islanders should play on Long Island, and wear what they wore when they were born (we can argue about minor tweaks, but blue and orange with the crest that has Long island on it.)

That being said, the fisherman was not as bad as some other things we have seen in sports (the 49ers black, the Islanders black).

I bought this jersey in 2015 off eBay when the Islanders brought the fisherman back for a warmup jerseys.

image1 (48)

I would have bought a new one if they had made them available for sale (they might have auctioned them, but I just wanted to go to NHL.com and hit click). I’m a fan of what I call uni-corns — the one-off uncommon jerseys. I have several in my closet (several New York Giants throwbacks that the SF’s did, a Rays fauxback, several Cubs throwbacks from their Wrigley 100 celebration season, and of course Mets everything) that we should cover some weekend. Anyway, since I couldn’t easily get this uni-corn, I solved my craving by going on eBay and grabbing this replica.

As a goof it is fun to wear. As a good looking piece of attire, it is not. However, the fisherman has potential. Where it went wrong was the color swap and the wavy lines. It looked like a jersey that was trying way too hard to be 90’s cool.

Let’s break down the individual pieces. Let’s look at just the fisherman without the distractions of the colors and the waves.

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It’s kind of a cool idea. The fisherman looks tough (the actual Gorton’s fisherman that it was compared too isn’t as rugged). It’s nautical which works with Long Island. The stick in his hand looks right. You aren’t scoring on this guy.

There’s probably a way to keep the traditional Islanders word font, but the I and the S do give nice balance.

Now let’s look at the lighthouse:

image4 (6)

It’s nice. Probably would have made a nice chest crest.

COLORS: What if we did the fisherman on the traditional Islanders colors? Well, that looks even worse.

What if we did the fisherman in the Hartford Whalers colors? That could be interesting, especially if the Islanders spend some temporary time there before someone figures out a new permanent home. Do they have lighthouses in Hartford? Maybe the lighthouse on a crest in Whalers colors.

THIRD JERSEY POTENTIAL: My first choice is no third jerseys. If we must have one, yeah let’s do the fisherman. Someone with better photoshop skills can help us out here and mock up what it might look like in either traditional Islanders colors or in Whalers colors if that happens.

Islanders, just go home to Nassau and dress properly. Otherwise we need someone to mock up the Quebec City Insulaires (they have lighthouses) or do the fisherman in KC Royals blue.

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks, Shannon. I agree — the fisherman and the lighthouse BOTH have potential. Now, my photoshop (or really “GIMP”) skills have disappeared since I switched to a Mac back in 2011 — and I never really picked them back when I returned to using a PC a few years later. But my MS Paint skills aren’t too shabby. Let’s see how the fisherman or the lighthouse would look on a traditional Islanders jersey:

Isles Fisherman 1

OK — not too shabby. How about the lighthouse?

Isles Lighthouse

We appear to be cooking with gas here.

Now, neither of these is as classic as the original Islanders’ NY logo — but (especially if the team were to move to Hartford) either could probably used there, especially since a logo with the outline of Long Island probably won’t work for an inland city in another state. True, there aren’t any lighthouses in Hartford (nor is Connecticut the State an island), but barring a name change, this could certainly work.

It just goes to show you that a bad jersey can still contain a good (serviceable anyway) logo. And a decent logo on a good looking jersey works quite well.

I’m with Shannon on this point though: the Islanders should play on Long Island and wear what they were born in. But it’s kind of fun to speculate on the “what might have been” or “what could still be” as long as the team’s future home is in flux. Maybe the fisherman can’t be saved, but let’s hope the once proud franchise can have a good, permanent home on Long Island in the foreseeable future.

One last thought: this exercise was interesting an another way — and might be worth exploring more fully in the future — what OTHER logos (on any team in any sport) are no longer being used that might be resurrected on a “better” jersey in the future? Have there been any “good” logos that simply jettisoned merely because they were part of an overall overhaul that was lousy? There have got to be some out there, right?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments down below.

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Pens & Flyers Stadium Series

Last night, at Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers), the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers hooked up on an outdoor game. We’d already seen both teams’ uniforms (special ones, of course, for this game) revealed, so that wasn’t a surprise — but I did watch most of the game and it was actually quite good looking.

Because a football (or baseball) field is obviously much larger than a hockey rink, teams will do different things in the area surrounding the rink to “fill in” the empty space. I loved how the Penguins created a sort of visual “Clemente Bridge” EDIT: Per the comments, it’s meant to honor the Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges:


The Penguins wore gold sweaters, socks and helmets, and black pants. The numbers were done in “Steelers” number font with a similar, kind-of military NOB font.

They had the SS patch on the right shoulder and a “keystone” City of Champions patch (featuring four “Stargell” stars — for their four Stanley Cups) on the left shoulder:

The Flyers went with all black uniforms, with orange nameplates and black numbers outlined in white. I thought they looked good, but I will admit it was difficult to make out the numbers on long shots. They might have done better to make the numbers solid white (or even orange outlined in white):

It was easier to read the Flyers’ giant TV numbers (since they were mostly on the orange arm stripe). Both teams, of course (and is the tradition of the stadium games) had huge TV’s:

Tweeter The Goal Net noticed the Flyers’ helmet manufacturer’s logos were orange:

Good shot here from Funhouse of the (standard) varsity jacket worn by the Penguins coaches:

All in all, a fun game (maybe not so much for Flyers’ fans) to watch, with good contrast, and decent lighting and conditions. I always enjoy these outdoor games.

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Gotham
Shout Out To Gotham

Uni Watch reader and friend, Mark Healey, started a project back in 2005, with the goal of bringing “true independent coverage” to New York baseball: Gotham Baseball.

Over the years, GB has been and is many things; a print magazine, a popular website and message board, a podcast, and a multi-platform product with a digital magazine and podcast component. But really, it’s a celebration of New York Baseball. The “past, present and future of the New York game”, as their tagline goes.

Mark explains, “We had our fans from the get-go, as Amazon.com tabbed us as one of the Top 10 New Magazines of 2005 (and the only sports magazine on the list), We published as a print-omly product from 2005-2008, and to out great pride and joy, the entire run was selected and is now part of the permanent archive at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center in Cooperstown, NY. Over the years, projects have come and gone, but Gotham Baseball is still here.”

Mark’s current publishers at The Wave newspaper have agreed to give Gotham Baseball a home in print; a weekly column in The Wave newspaper, and he’s in the process of re-designing GothamBaseball.com and bringing back the Gotham Baseball LIVE podcast.

If you don’t already (and I’m guessing not a lot of you do), why don’t you check it out and give Gotham Baseball a few more followers: on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

OK? OK!

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T-shirt reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it this past week, our latest T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom, is now available. Check it out (click to enlarge):

The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.” Please note that we’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and the dark parts of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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icymiIn Case You Missed It…

Earlier this week (Thursday, in fact), Paul released his latest ESPN column, “What have we learned so far from the NBA uniform ads?,” which (as the name implies), looks at five things we’ve learned so far from the NBA’s uniform ad program.

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: The Alma College “Scots” have some interesting uniforms: their uni numbers and letters have a plaid pattern (via Paul, from Alma Scots Baseball). … Ron Santo’s birthday was yesterday, and Bruce Menard posted one of the best photos I’ve ever seen of him from a Spring Training game. Love the palm trees and windbreaker under jersey. … The Tampa Bay Rays broke out their new ST caps yesterday (from Drew Gentry). … Dear God I hope this isn’t a new trend: UMich baseball pants have stripes that only partially go down the leg (from TJ Hudge). Didn’t we learn anything about truncated stripes from the D-Bax, who already jettisoned that look? … For the first time yesterday, Eastern Michigan broke out the pinstripes (from EMU Baseball). … Think this year’s MLB “St. Paddy’s Day” caps are going to be bland and boring? If these are correct for the National League and the American League (from Ed Kendrick), then the answer is “yes.” What ever happened to creative, team-specific SPD caps? It’s not like they’ll look any worse with regular ST jerseys. Let’s hope these are just “for sale” and not necessarily what teams will wear on March 17. … Here’s a great shot of the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) of Los Angeles first ever spring training (from Bruce Menard). … Looks like the home plate umpire was wearing a Postseason patch in yesterday’s Mets/Nats spring training game (good spot by [insert name]. … Will the Baltimore Orioles have an all black helmet option this year (notice, those are both double flappers however). Still, good spot by Cory Forsyth. … The New Era ad in the Mets dugout shows the “defunct” spring training cap (from Will Goldman). … Not sure how official this hoodie for Long Beach State Baseball is, but I like it (from Finding Nostalgia). … “Oof that @NewEraCap logo on @MLB caps has to go,” says Eric Trager, who asks, almost rhetorically, “Why does a company with a product monopoly need that placement?” … Probably (like the Yankees) just a ‘first ST game thing,” but the Cubs wore their white pins and regular season (no “AZ patch”) caps yesterday (from Jake Smith). … Here’s a pretty good look at the “detail” on the numbers of the Spring Training jerseys (from Missouri Locker Room). … Here’s a really nice vintage Dodgers “8 Pennants” pin (from Dave).

NFL/College Football News: CROSSOVER ALERT (also posted in hockey): Steelers equipment Manager Pat Noone and Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze created a special Steelers/Pens hybrid helmet for the Stadium Series (from Mike Slavonic). … How would a USC baseball logo look on a USC helmet? No, not that USC — the Gamecocks. … “regarding your recent post about a team from Wales with an Auburn logo, many British teams reuse American team logos,” says Andy Reed. “There is a Leicester based team (home of socccer champions) which is inspired by the Texas Longhorns.” … The Detroit Lions won’t unveil their new uniform set for a couple months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some new concepts out there. Most of these suck, but the Lions would do well to do something similar to this the great Brandon Moore has come up with. … Dan Pfeifer tweeted, “Even pylons are doing everything possible to avoid concussions nowadays,” and his linked story showed a helmet atop a pylon. But the linked story, “Arizona signee My-King Johnson will be the first active openly gay scholarship player in FBS history,” is interesting too: not because Johnson is openly gay, but it’s news because he’s the first openly gay player in FBS history. … Holy crap — check out Richard Sherman’s jersey swap collection (from Keyvon). … “At the Pittsburgh airport” (there is a Franco Harris mannequin commemorating the “Immaculate Reception”), says Wayne Jones. “It kills me that the TV numbers are the wrong font on Franco’s Steelers jersey.” Here’s a still of that jersey in action. … “Came across an interesting photo of Raiders defensive lineman Charles Philyaw from the ’70s showing him with a headband that appears to attach to his sunglasses,” says Bill Kellick. … Ohio State will certainly wear alternate uniforms this fall, but what will they look like? A few options (from Andrew Lind).

Hockey News: CROSSOVER ALERT (also posted in football): Steelers equipment Manager Pat Noone and Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze created a special Steelers/Pens hybrid helmet for the Stadium Series (from Mike Slavonic). … Not quite a crossover alert, but Kris Letang’s new candy bar has the Pittsburgh Pirates 1990s road wordmark on a Pittsburgh Penguins sweater (from Derek Reynolds). … Yesterday, the Johnstown Tomahawks wore Johnstown “Chiefs” (from Slap Shot) sweaters (via Alan Saunders). This must be a thing now, as the Milwaukee Admirals did the same thing about a week ago (from Keïth‏). … This is cool: Look at how the Buffalo Sabres crest changed slightly over the years (from TheEichelTower). … Was Brooks Laich wearing #23 sweater but #22 on helmet? (from Tyler Stern).

NBA News: Anthony Morrow won’t wear ex-Bull Derrick Rose’s No. 1 after backlash (from Kelby Phillips). According to this article, “Anthony Morrow says he wants to change his jersey number after receiving angry tweets from fans. … This is the second time this season a new Bulls player has dealt with anger from fans, via social media, for trying to wear Rose’s old number.” … Did the Wizards inadvertently reveal a uni advertiser? Conrad Burry found this picture of the Wiz’ mascot featuring an ad for “Clean Well,” and notes it could be an ad patch, but also cautions the company is not local. … Here’s the Saturday roundup from Zach Loesl: Color-on-color between Cleveland and Chicago; Color-on-color between Atlanta and Orlando; Color-on-color between Charlotte and Sacramento; Color-on-gray between Minnesota and Houston; and, Brooklyn wearing white on the road.

College Hoops News: Yesterday, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels wore white on the road at Pitt (from Ben Trachtman). According to a retweet from James Gilbert, Pitt requested to wear retro blue uniforms on Sr. Day.”Jimmer Vilk thought it was a great matchup, other than his “I LOVE BIG NUMBERS” hangup. … Yesterday’s ticker included this shot of possible new UCLA and Cal unis (unconfirmed at this time — they may just be placeholders). Timothy Phillips writes, “Here are some screen shots out of the upcoming season UA catalogue. Both Cal and UCLA are only featured once in the same jersey that ran in Saturday’s ticker but it appears they will become an UA school in the future. The UCLA jersey is known as the Retro, not sure if they will stick with a classic look or be forced to don some of the atrocious unis like they had under adidas.” … ISU and Baylor went color vs. color yesterday (from Sedge). … The Rhode Island Rams had a “unique” look yesterday — almost looks like part of their Rams logo is on the waistband (from Clint Richardson). … Yesterday, Boston College had the numbers of their three seniors on the court: #2, Connar Tava; #5, Garland Owens; and #15, Mo Jeffers (from Andrew Cosentino). … Kansas had some 1950’s “inspired” throwbacks last night (from Bill Stevens). Here’s some pics. … Nevada and UNLV went color vs. color last night (from Bill Nutt). … Tweeter Brandon saw this photo and asks, “Possible new Nebraska red uni to the right of the stage. A companion to their white script jersey?”

Grab Bag: There was a good story on the history of the sports bra on Only A Game on NPR yesterday, points out Joe Makowiec, entitled “From The ‘Jockbra’ To Brandi Chastain: The History Of The Sports Bra.” … “If you are interested in stories about banners for non-athletes. I’m spending my Saturday afternoon at a concert,” says Mike Styczen. … “The sports/talk radio station where I work at in Eau Claire, WI, just got a new logo,” says Lukas Hoffland.

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Shannon Shark for all his contributions to the “Fisherman” article — give him a Follow on Twitter; and don’t forget to give Gotham a follow on your preferred form of social media. I’ll be back next weekend, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“At first I thought Vancouver’s jerseys had polka dots on them. When I zoomed in I said to myself, “Ah, polka *triangles*…”

If they’re supposed to signify raindrops, why not just use raindrops?”

— Jimmer Vilk

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A Look At the New 2017 Western Conference MLS Kits

MLS 2017 Part 1 550
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By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Hey guys — it’s that time of year again (no, we’re not quite ready for baseball yet, but we’re close). No — it’s Major League Soccer season, which begins next week. I’m pleased to again welcome back Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who have been my “go-to reviewers” for soccer kits in various leagues (as well as the Olympics) for a while now. Today and next weekend, they’ll bring you a look at the new kits for the 2017 MLS Season (Western Conference today, Eastern next weekend) and offer their critiques and commentary. Let’s get started! Here’s Kyle & CJ:

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Thanks Phil! Kyle and CJ checking back in for another season of new MLS uniforms. We’re up to 22 teams in the league now as Atlanta United and Minnesota United enter as expansion teams and the new season kicks off Friday, March 3rd. Seattle will enter the new season as reigning MLS Cup champions and will wear a gold star on their jersey above their logo to reflect that and Dallas will enter as reigning Supporters’ Shield winners.

Remember that MLS uniforms are on alternating 2-year cycles meaning that each year, each team releases either a new primary or a new secondary uniform. In other words, between this year’s preview articles and last year’s preview articles here on Uni Watch, you can see all of the current uniform sets in the league.

With a new season also comes a new Adidas template that each new jersey (with the exception of Minnesota) uses. The main differences this year are that the “Adidas 3 stripes” have moved from the sides of the jersey to the top of the shoulders until the sleeve, and that the stripe at the end of the sleeves has become wider and uses one color rather than thinner and using two colors.

We’ll start with the Western Conference, with expansion Minnesota and their uniform sets coming first, followed by the 5 teams with new secondary uniforms, and then the 5 teams with new primary uniforms.

. . .

Minnesota United

Minnesotahome1 Minnesotaaway1

Minnesotahomeaway

Kyle: Defending conference champions Seattle and Toronto will start the season with a target on their backs while expansion Minnesota will start with one on the front (sorry I couldn’t resist). Me being me, the first thing I noticed was the use of the Adidas templates from the past two seasons rather than the new template that the rest of the league is using. Templates aside, the primary is simple enough with a color scheme that is uniquely theirs in the league and a light blue sash mimicking an element from their logo, and the white over white secondary is fairly safe with team colors on the shoulders. Rating: 4 stars primary, 3 stars secondary

CJ: I love sashes. Much like the Revs new split design, MLS needs to start adapting some more traditional kit designs. The Target logo is quite garish, though, and the away shoulder color blocks are questionable. Good home, borderline stupid away.

. . .

Colorado Rapids (secondary)

Colorado1 Colorado2

Kyle: Modeled after the state flag of Colorado, the only real change to the new secondary uniform for the Rapids is making the sleeves blue, similar to the contrasting sleeves on their current primary jersey. I like the move to the colored sleeves and even though this isn’t the team’s main color scheme, I think they’ve done a nice job of owning it the last few years. Rating: 4 stars

CJ: I have to second everything Kyle said. Contrasting sleeves, great look, great design base, all good.

. . .

FC Dallas (secondary)

Dallas1 Dallas2

Kyle: Inspired by the night sky of Texas, the new secondary jersey for FC Dallas features a blue gradient with stars (11 – for players on the field – to be exact) and white sleeves and back. The cosmic effect doesn’t do much for me here, leaving this effectively as another gradient design I could do without, and I’m not a fan of mismatched fronts and backs either. Rating: 2 stars

CJ: Can we just stop the gradient train? For real now. Stupid. Stars are an interesting idea, at least.

. . .

LA Galaxy (secondary)

LA1 LA2

Kyle: The Galaxy’s new secondary is all-navy with minimal lighter navy/blue accents on the sleeves and shoulders and similar to their previous secondary jersey. I’d like to see a bit more in terms of design elements and color, but it complements the primary well and LA is a team that wears their primary the vast majority of the time. Rating: 3 stars

CJ: Could certainly be worse. That advertising is a little rough on the eyes; the simplicity pushes it to the forefront. I think I just hate the font. Good, but begrudgingly.

. . .

Real Salt Lake (secondary)

RealSaltLake1 RealSaltLake2

Kyle: RSL’s secondary is all-white with blue (template) shoulder stripes and four sublimated vertical stripes on the front. With the number of effectively all-white kits in the league, some combination of red, navy, and/or yellow with the white would be nice to make RSL stand out. Rating: 2 stars

CJ: Safe and boring is better than daring and ridiculous. Good.

. . .

Seattle Sounders (secondary)

Seattle1 sea

Kyle: The Sounders’ new secondary jersey is a modern remake of a jersey worn by the team back in the 80’s when they were a part of the old NASL. While I do like the historical connection and their unique use of cyan, this does add to the growing list of all-white uniforms in MLS, so I hope they pair the top with the cyan shorts from their current third uniform at times. Rating: 3 stars

CJ: Boring, but I like the almost throwback aesthetic. Good.

. . .

Houston Dynamo (primary)

Houston1 Houston2

Kyle: Orange/white/orange with light blue stripes on the jerseys, shorts, and socks? I like it a lot, and this might be the best ever look for the Dynamo. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: Count me as a fan as well. Love the small striping, it’s an understated look. Good.

. . .

Portland Timbers (primary)

Portland1 Portland2

Kyle: The Timbers essentially took their previous designated third uniform, tweaked a couple of elements, and moved it to their new primary uniform. This is by no means a bad thing because even though I loved their previous primary with a lighter green and the chevron, this is also a beautiful look. Rating: 5 stars

CJ: I’m baffled by the buttons but mostly consider this a good design.

. . .

San Jose Earthquakes (primary)

SanJose1 SanJose2

Kyle: I’ve mentioned before that what’s bothered me about San Jose’s uniforms over the years is that they’ve never felt distinctive enough. This changes that, as the new primary jersey incorporates a design element from their still new-ish (2014) logo. Similar to how I enjoy flag elements in international team uniforms, I really like logo elements in club team uniforms. Would be 5 stars from me if not for the gradient part of the design. Rating: 4 stars

CJ: I have to disagree with Kyle here. I don’t like the essentially gradient design on the stripes. Stupid to me.

. . .

Sporting Kansas City (primary)

SKC1 SKC2

Kyle: SKC’s new primary is light blue with four thin vertical stripes and a white collar and shorts. The kit itself is pretty straightforward, but my observation here is about the color scheme. Their primary looks over the years have consistently incorporated light blue and navy rather than light blue and white, and this change comes at the same time as the opposite change in NYC’s primary look. Coincidence or coordinated? Rating: 4 stars

CJ: Agree with Kyle yet again. Where’s the navy? I’d say that color scheme is a distinctive SKC look. But, they could do much worse, and I like the collar. Good.

. . .

Vancouver Whitecaps (primary)

Vancouver1 Vancouver2

Kyle: Vancouver’s all-white primary is designed after the region’s climate, with light blue triangles meant to represent rain. For me, these fall squarely in the average category as the triangles won’t be too visible and I already miss their previous primary. Rating: 3 stars

CJ: Thank God you can barely see the triangles from a distance or this would be another 1990s complaint. They almost look like pajamas to me. Stupid.

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Sweet. Thanks fellas! Nice roundup heading into the season. I’ll have the boys back next weekend as they look at the Eastern Conference.

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icymiIn Case You Missed It…

Earlier this week (Thursday, in fact), Paul released his latest ESPN column, “What have we learned so far from the NBA uniform ads?,” which (as the name implies), looks at five things we’ve learned so far from the NBA’s uniform ad program.

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here ya go. Definitely worth the read if you haven’t already.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: What’s better than old photos of players wearing jackets under their spring training unis? Not much, that’s for sure. Here’s Warren Spahn and Duke Snyder at Mets’ ST camp (according to Bruce Menard, those are from 1965 and 1964 respectively). Always fun to try to date unis worn in ST — since the Mets went to front numbers in 1965 and wore the World’s Fair patch in both 1964 & 1965. … Speaking of patches, here’s the “Mr. I” patch the Tigers will wear this season, in memory of former owner Mike Ilitch (h/t David Raglin). … Here’s more on the Ilitch patch. You’ll note these are just spring training patches (and also note the orange border on the “road” jersey) — but they may go with an entirely different patch for the regular season on their regular uniforms. … “We didn’t have any of the problems we currently have when teams wore powder blue on the road,” writes J Daniel. “Just sayin.” … Yesterday was Eddie Murray’s 61st birthday, and the Orioles tweeted out this photo. Submitter Andrew Cosentino notes he “gets it.” … Also from Andrew, Matt Wieters will wear #32 for the Nationals. … “The university that I work out is currently one of the finalists for the ‘Best Uniform in NCAA D3 Baseball’ from Hero College Sports,” writes Jason Chapman. He adds, “I found all of the finalists pretty interesting, but the tequila sunrise look our Pirates sport, along with the Texas flag on the cap is a unique and sharp look.” … If you like to purchase patches, the Emblem Source has opened their first dedicated fixture at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. … Look closely at this photo of Andrew McCutchen (from Zach D’Ulisse‏). Lots to like, including the socks. But if you look closely, it appears he’s wearing a Stargell Star! (good spot by Chris). … Good question from Jon Partlow who is curious about the new Reds ST caps: “Why did the Reds switch from the whole body (which I like a whole lot better) to just the head?” I don’t know the full answer, but I bet it rhymes with “funny.” … Check out this rare and awesome 1942 “PHILS” road jersey, which was worn by newly named 1943 manager Bucky Harris (from Bruce Menard). … Yesterday, Eastern Michigan University wore these throwback jerseys with pins (from EMU Baseball). … Check out this 1969 photo of the Cleveland Indians Submitter 216 Sports History asks, “is this the first time we’ve seen this uniform (vest style) without red sleeves”? Judging from that photo, I’d say that is from Spring Training, and it’s a jacket, probably being worn over sleeves. Still, interesting. … The Cubs’ Javier Baez already has the MLB logo tattoo on his neck. Now he adds the Cubs World Series tat to his arm (from Eric Spoonmore). … Looks like Matt Holiday is going with white cleats this year (or at least for the first Spring Training game of the year). From Chris Howell. … Tyler Danish has a custom Wilson glove for this year — like how he peeps the UA shoes too (from Sean Jankowski). … The Official World Series coloring book shows “generic” pitcher in Cubs uni, but it’s clearly Mariano Rivera (nice spot by Tyler Kepner)! … Check out some of the upcoming Bowling Green Hot Rods promos (from Minor League Promos). … Some rites of spring are still alive, like the Yankees wearing their regular pinstripes and caps for their first ST game (pic from Todd Pratt). … Of course, some of the coaches were wearing the awful ST caps with pinstriped brims (from Samuel Lam). … I think we’ve seen this before, but not in patch form: The Orioles will wear this patch to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Camden Yards (from The Emblem Source). … The Minnesota Gophers baseball new home whites are based off of the classic 1980s uniforms (from Zach Thole). … Interesting shirt for Team Israel in the WBC (from Lee Wilds). … If you thought that what baseball needs is black unis with red pins vs. dark gray, you’d be wrong (from Porth by Northwest). … Is a blue alternate on tap for the Dodgers? “The new MLB The Show uniform stream shows the Dodgers as having a blue alternate,” says Seaver Sheets. “It is not the BP or spring training uniform it is an actual alternate uniform. The developers said they included every uniform in the style guide, and that the MLB does not allow them to use uniforms not in the style guide. That means that these are in the style guide. I think MLB The Show accidentally leaked the Dodgers alternate unis.”

NFL News: “Just noticed in (yester)day’s posting of Bronco’s DL Pete Duranko, that the Raider’s center is wearing double zero!?!? I know you’ve done null-roundups from time to time, but I don’t remember Jim Otto… or should I say Jim 0tt0,” writes Ryan Keberly. “On another side note, I played football in high school in the early 90s. There were still a few guys on the team wearing the outdated belt with tailbone and hip pads. The majority of fellas had boxer-short length girdle with pockets for the pads.” … No, this is not the missing Brady jersey, but, oh, the ignominy: Georgia Mayor Forced To Wear Tom Brady Jersey Because The Patriots Won The Super Bowl. … “I came across this great picture of Paul Hornung running against the NY Giants in the 1961 NFL Championship game,” writes Bill Moss. Giants tackle Dick Modzelewski (#77) is missing the decal on the right side of his helmet. He adds, “I thought you would like to see it, if you haven’t already.” … “Bernie Custis, a former CFL player with the Hamilton Tiger Cats died (Thurs)day,” notes Ted Arnold. “He was the first African American to play quarterback. Paul Brown didn’t want to use him as a qb in Cleveland and wouldn’t release him to any NFL team. Brown sold Custis to Hamilton.” Here’s a nice video about Custis and other black qbs who starred in the CFL. Some nice old footage in the video too – at around the 2:33 mark there is a “great photo of a few players in game action who are not wearing any face masks which was apropos for the time but still odd to see.”

Hockey News: Looks like our pal Wafflebored is nearing completion on his next project. Looking forward to that! … And that didn’t take long, here’s his new goalie jersey project: a cheater jersey. Read about it here. … This Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks will wear Pride-themed jerseys for their warmups. Not only is it a good cause (“You can play”), those actually look pretty good too. More here. … It’s not *just* Tom Brady’s Supe jersey that’s missing these days: Winnipeg police are searching for a suspect behind the theft of Winnipeg Jets memorabilia (including a signed Dustin Byfuglien jersey) that was destined for charity. … The Predators are allowing fans to bid on “Hockey is for Everyone” signed jerseys and sticks — @M__n__R___ notes these are the “old number style.” He notes the difference here. … Back in the day, Boston College (the “Eagles”) had some pretty sweet sweaters: here’s one from 1973, and some from the mid 1980s (from WalterMcKinleyBetts). … How about these old Minnesota State Hockey tournament covers? (from Michael McGivern). … Here’s an update on the St. Lawrence women’s hockey LAH patch from John Muir. The LAH patch will be worn by every women’s hockey player to wear #16 in honor of the late Lisa Arcand Hoy ’91. Lisa passed away in 2013. The patch was added (see second photo) after the women’s new change room was dedicated in her honor last season. … Weather permitting(?) the Penguins & Flyers will play a Stadium Series tonight. Here’s a peek at the Pens unis (or at least the warmups) on ice. … And here are Your Philadelphia Flyers. … The Vancouver Canucks will wear Pride Jerseys in warmups on February 28th.

NBA News: So…why didn’t Steph Curry wear a headband the other night? It’s quite simple, really (from Mike Chamernik). … Do you know what the most popular jersey number is in the NBA? I didn’t either. But apparently it’s the Number 5. That and a few other jersey facts can be found in this article. … Today’s (short) NBA update from Zach Loesl: The Miami Heat wore white on the road and also the Memphis Grizzlies wore white on the road.

College Hoops News: The new “Air Jordan 31 Low” is set to debut for March Madness. Here’s your first look at the “UNC” colorway (from James Gilbert). … Not sure if this is official, but here is a look at UCLA and Cal with UnderAmrour unis (from Nick). These could just be placeholders (like other schools have done when there is a uni manufacturer change on the horizon, but the actual uni isn’t revealed until a later date).

Soccer News: Looks like Toronto FC have revealed their new primary kit. Here’s a bit more on that. … The Columbus Crew have also revealed a new kit, and it features a new sponsor advertiser, Acura.

Grab Bag: The subject line of the e-mail to UW read: “Seinfeld Episode Signs Changed By Corporations.” Adam Foxman notes, “Coca Cola, Modela and Snapple signs changed in the scene from ‘The Chinese Woman’ episode of Seinfeld.”

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Kyle & CJ for their Western Conference review of the new MSL kits — they’ll both be back next weekend with the Eastern set. Hope everyone has a great Saturday. Back atcha tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Pretty much every MiLB logo of the 1990s looked like clip art. Pretty much every MiLB logo of the 2010s looks like Brandiose. Very different phenomena.”

— R. Scott Rogers

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Daytona 500 Preview

[Editor’s Note: With the Daytona 500 set for this Sunday, today we have a guest entry from Joseph Dawisha, who’s going to bring us up to date on the new paint schemes in this year’s race. — PL]

By Joseph Dawisha

A new era in NASCAR will begin this Sunday with the 59th running of the Daytona 500. NASCAR is looking to reach a younger audience, which explains why Monster Energy is taking over the premier series sponsorship and a new race format is being implemented. Many of the new paint schemes on the track this season reflect that goal as well. Today we’ll look at some of the new primary schemes set to run in the great American Race and throughout 2017.

• No. 1, Jamie McMurray — Cessna/McDonald’s Chevy. For the past two years, the 1 team has combined its two primary sponsors for the Daytona 500 scheme. They continue that trend this year with the Cessna/McDonald’s Chevrolet.

• No. 3, Austin Dillon — Dow Chevy. Austin Dillon’s 3 car no longer has the geometric style of previous years. It now has a more simple, mostly black scheme.

• No. 4, Kevin Harvick — Jimmy John’s Ford. With Stewart Haas Racing moving over from Chevy to Ford, the only change on Harvick’s Jimmy John’s scheme is to match the contour of the new body. The big change for Harvick comes in his Busch and Busch Light schemes, both of which match the new logo and can design for Busch Beer.

• No. 6, Trevor Bayne — Advocare Ford. In his fourth year under Advocare sponsorship, Trevor Bayne will run a colorful yet simple scheme. The colors and styling represent the various flavors and packaging of Advocare Spark.

• No. 10, Danica Patrick — Aspen Dental Ford. Just a couple weeks ago, Patrick’s primary sponsor, Nature’s Bakery, dropped out due to a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Aspen Dental has stepped in to fill some of the races originally scheduled for Nature’s Bakery. They bring a sleek, tooth fairy-themed scheme for the 500 and beyond.

• No.11, Denny Hamlin — FedEx Toyota. For the first time since 2005, black is no longer included in the 11 car’s main colorway. It has been replaced with an extra dose of Paul’s favorite color and a touch of orange.

• No. 14, Clint Bowyer — Mobil 1. The newest member of Stewart Haas Racing gets a clean and simple Mobil 1 scheme for 2017. Bowyer’s SHR teammates (Harvick, Busch) will all run the same scheme in different colors sometime this season.

• No. 19, Daniel Suarez — Arris. Following Carl Edwards’s unexpected retirement, 2016 Xfinity series champion Daniel Suarez will take the reins of the 19 car. His 2017 car is a watered-down version of Carl’s 2016 Arris “Surfboard” paint scheme.

• No. 20, Matt Kenseth — DeWalt. With DeWalt covering most of Kenseth’s 2017 races, the sponsor returns to a basic “standard” style paint scheme (unlike his 2016 FlexVolt and patriotic schemes).

• No. 24, Chase Elliott — NAPA. In his sophomore year, Chase Elliott will keep his 2016 scheme with an additional touch of yellow.

• No. 31, Ryan Newman — Caterpillar. Unlike any other CAT scheme in recent history, Ryan Newman’s 2017 ride will use white as its primary color and significantly reduce the once-primary yellow color.

• No. 48, Jimmie Johnson — Lowe’s. Despite ditching the iconic yellow door numbers that Jimmie used in 6/7 Championship seasons, the 48 car will once again have neon yellow highlights. The last time yellow was found on the primarily blue scheme was in 2008.

• No. 55, Michael Waltrip — Aaron’s. In his final Daytona 500, two-time winner Michael Waltrip will run a scheme that’s a tribute to his career in NASCAR. The car includes a photo collage of images from Michael and his brother Darrell’s NASCAR careers.

• No. 77, Erik Jones — 5-Hour Energy. Cup Series rookie Erik Jones will run a sleek 5-Hour energy paint scheme for most of the season.

• No. 78, Martin Truex Jr. — Bass Pro Shops. With only a few changes, the neon orange and camouflage return to Truex’s Bass Pro Shops scheme for 2017. In two years of sponsorship, this is the third different primary scheme for BPS on the 78 car.

• No. 88, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — Nationwide Chevy. Nationwide has had three paint schemes in as many years. For 2017 they ditch the primary silver color and go with a clean, retro white and blue look.

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Thanks, Joseph. Everyone enjoy the race on Sunday.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday (and you probably did, because it didn’t post until late in the afternoon), my latest ESPN column looks at five things we’ve learned so far from the NBA’s uniform ad program. Check it out here.

RSS update: For those of you who’ve been having trouble with the Uni Watch RSS feed, webmaster John Ekdahl says to try this or this, both of which appear to be working. Let me know if you have any further problems. Thanks.

• • • • •

And the crown is a nice touch: My friend Tom Lupoff just told me about this sign for a bar called Luka’s (see above), which is in his hometown of Oakland. Not bad, right? It’s not often that I get to see my surname on display like that.

Okay, so there’s that pesky apostrophe, but it’s so badly placed that it’s easy to ignore it. All of which recalls a topic we explored in 2015: the eternal conundrum of where to put the apostrophe in a vertically lettered sign.

• • • • •

T-shirt reminder: Our latest T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom, is now available. Check it out (click to enlarge):

The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.” Please note that we’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and the dark parts of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Pirates have changed the name of their spring training ballpark from McKechnie Field, named in 1962 after former manager Bill McKechnie, to LECOM Park, after the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Problem is, nobody told Bill McKechnie’s daughter, who was not happy about her father’s moniker being removed from the facility (thanks, Mike). … New name, but less drama, for the Mets’ spring ballpark as well. … Here’s a round-up of the latest Brandiose slop this season’s MiLB makeovers (thanks, Phil). … The White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle’s No. 56 on June 24. … Some Iowa players wore gorgeous striped stirrups, while others went with pajama pants, for the team’s home opener the other day (from Jesse Gavin). … The World Baseball Classic had advertising on players’ jerseys and helmets in 2013, and they’re doing it again this year (from Jesse Agler). … New Royals- and Monarchs-themed package design for the KC-based Boulevard Brewing Company’s KC pils beer (from Sean Patton). … Whoa, some players in Indians camp appear to have vertically arched NOBs (from Robert Hayes). … Here are the Bowie Baysox’s original logo specs from 1993 (from Blake Pass).

NFL News: Check out this 1973 footage of Broncos DL Pete Duranko. He appears to have had his tailbone pad attached to a belt or girdle. I always thought those pads snapped into the pants (good spot by Scott Mason). … We’ve all seen helmet carts before, but did they all come complete with the suspension webbing like this 49ers model? (From Bill Kellick.) … If you miss Giants Stadium, there’s a 20′ x 17′ replica of it in Blairstown, N.J. (from Jon Volpe).

College and High School Football News: A university in Wales has a football team whose helmets use Auburn’s logo (from Andrew McCain). … A beautiful 1909 Alabama letterman sweater is up for auction (from Mark McCollister). … Jerry Kulig recently visited the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, where a few uni-related items caught his eye. “This is Willie Totten’s jersey from Mississippi Valley State,” says Jerry. “He threw a lot of passes that were caught by Jerry Rice. They probably chose those unique shoulder numbers due to no TV exposure. And this is a repro of a 1962 helmet that Navy wore against Army. It reads ‘Beat Army’ in Chinese, designed to mock the Army’s then-famous swarming defense, nicknamed ‘The Chinese Bandits.'” … The National Federation of State High School Associations has approved a bunch of football rules changes. Key passage: “[E]ffective with the 2021 season, ‘the jerseys of the home team shall be a dark color that clearly contrasts to white.'” A source quoted in the article explains, “The committee revised the rule to provide schools and manufacturers more clarification regarding the game’s current trend of utilizing lighter gray shades.” … There’s a new Virginia Tech uniform tracker on Twitter (from Andrew Cosentino).

Hockey News: NHL and AHL team logos reimagined as My Little Pony characters, and put on T-shirts? Sure, why not (blame Rob S.). … P.K. Subban of the Predators warmed up with rainbow-themed pride tape on his stick for the Preds’ “You Can Play” night (thanks, Alex). … The Flyers surprised two local youth teams by showing up at their rink and providing them with Stadium Series jerseys with the youth players’ NOBs (from John McMunn).

NBA News: The Pistons are announcing some sort of partnership with Ford this afternoon, but it will apparently not involve a jersey ad. … “Looks like the Celtics experimented with a new number font late in the Bird/McHale era,” says Matt Simpson. “Here’s the traditional font, here’s Bird with the traditional font while McHale has a different font, and here’s the whole team with the new style.” … Boogie Cousins apparently chose to wear No. 0 with the Pelicans to symbolize his “new life” with a new team (from Zach Loesl). … The Cavs wore burgundy at home last night, with the Knicks wearing white on the road (thanks, Mike). … The Pelicans wore their sleeved purple Mardi Gras jerseys last night, with the Rockets wearing white on the road.

College and High School Hoops News: Oh man, look at the awesome Idaho State jersey the defender is wearing in this photo (big thanks to Sean L). … Dustin Semore was watching footage of the old Bobby Knight chair-toss incident and noticed that someone at the scorer’s table appears to have been wearing a zebra-striped pinny. … Moorehead State has a very busy court design (from Justin Schmidt). … A guard on the Northwestern women’s team was bringing the ball up the court and stopped to tie her sneaker, leading to a steal for Rutgers (thanks, Mike). … According to a video report on this page, short shorts are becoming a trend for Iowa high school teams (from Jesse Gavin).

Soccer News: The Columbus Crew will announce a new jersey sponsor advertiser today at 11:30am Eastern (from Paul Zielinski). … New “heritage kit” for the Seattle Sounders. … Speaking of the Sounders, championship stars will now appear on their replica jerseys, not just on the authentics (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Toronto FC’s home jerseys were briefly leaked.

Grab Bag: Interesting times in the newspaper biz: The Washington Post has a new motto, and The New York Times has a new marketing catchphrase. … The police department in Newtown, Conn., is changing its uniforms from grey to dark blue. … The Mirfield Stags, a rugby league club located in Patrick Stewart’s hometown, have been wearing Star Trek: The Next Generation-themed jerseys (from our resident rugby expert Eric Bangeman). … The city of Orlando has announced a contest to design a new city flag (from Tom V). … A United Arab Emirates figure skater competing at the Asian Winter Games wore a hijab on the ice.

Salty Brings His Road Show to Toronto

Click to enlarge

Jarrod Saltalamacchia and his MLB-record 14-letter surname are in Blue Jays camp this spring. As you can see, the Jays are taking the around-the-world approach to his NOB.

Toronto is Salty’s seventh big league team. How have the other six handled his prodigious NOB? Let’s take a look, going in chronological order throughout his career (for some of these, you can click to enlarge):

Braves

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Rangers

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Red Sox

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Marlins

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Diamondbacks

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Tigers

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It’s interesting to see how some NOB fonts are more conducive to long, clunky names than others. Also, I always find it startling to see Detroit’s one-color home lettering/numbering juxtaposed with the three-color road typography. It’s like two completely different teams. (And as an aside, that last Tigers photo shows the road uni with the home helmet — a telltale sign of a spring training game.)

• • • • •

NBA ads — what have we learned so far? We’ve now seen the corporate advertising patches that will be by worn next season by five NBA teams, plus there’s a reputable report of what a sixth one will be. That amounts to 20 percent of the league’s teams, which is a sizable enough sample to draw some preliminary conclusions regarding the ad program. I’ve come up with five takeaways and written about them in a new ESPN piece. Check it out here.

• • • • •

T-shirt reminder: Our latest T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom, is now available. Check it out (click to enlarge):

The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.” Please note that we’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and the dark parts of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Braves great Dale Murphy is in favor of uniform ads. It’s funny — or maybe sad — that he suggests “tasteful” ads and runs of an image of this monstrosity (from Patrick Lasseter). … Adam Wainwright gave an interesting interview about how he’s been wearing Velcro-closure cleats since he nearly got injured covering first during a game in 2013. His shoelaces got tangled up in the baserunner’s spikes, and he decided not to wear laces anymore. The kicker is that his shoe company didn’t want to provide him with Velcro cleats because they said they’d never be able to sell them. Nice (from Erik Spoonmore). … A fashion designer created colorful baseball jerseys to promote equality and protest President Trump (from several readers). … Everyone can stop holding out hope: The Yankees will indeed have a New Era logo on their caps, just like everyone else (from @mike3783) … When the Rays switched to Flex Base jerseys last year, they made the sunburst in their logo slightly larger. Here is the current home jersey, and one from a few years ago (from Brian Cheung). … The Las Vegas 51 have patches for their 35th season (from @shockz81388). … Don’t like those big “FL” and “AZ” patches on the spring training caps? Colin Valada removed his with a hair dryer set on high. … Texas A&M’s alternate unis have matching sleeve and stirrup stripes (from Glenn Stern). … Here’s something I didn’t know: Softball pitchers wear toe protectors since they put so much pressure on the foot that pushes off the rubber (from Andrew Lehman). … The Royals’ Drew Butera has a red, white, and green catcher’s mitt for Team Italy in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. … Baseball-reference.com underwent a redesign and one of the cool new features is period-appropriate logos from SportsLogos.net. … UAB wore new road greys yesterday (from Ted Chastain). … Check out this 1980s shot of White Sox owner Eddie Einhorn wearing pullover that’s basically a reverse-field version of the team’s beach blanket jersey.

NFL News: I didn’t see the episode so I don’t know if there was a joke behind it, but an awful Jets helmet mailbox appeared on the sitcom Kevin Can Wait earlier this week (from Chris Flinn). … Reader Ryan Connelly created his own NNOB Steelers jersey. He customized it with block numbers and a 50th anniversary patch. More photos here. … A few items have caught Gene Sanny’s eagle eye lately, including he goalposts and tiny Browns wordmark in this photo; Tim Rossovich of the WFL’s Philadelphia Bell with a poof of hair out the back of his helmet; and a few old Wishbook Catalog pages with NFL jerseys, helmets, and T-shirts. … Cardinals kicker Jim Bakken kicked with an unbuckled chinstrap (from reader Chris T). … CNN showed a group of Guatemalan refugees arriving in America, with one of them wearing a phantom “Patriots Perfect Season 19-0” sweatshirt (from Bob C.).

Hockey News: Here’s a brief history of the goalie mask (from Phil). … We saw the Maple Leafs’ new St. Pats throwbacks yesterday, but now we can see the unusual back numbers (from Moe Kahn). … A junior hockey team has been accused of altering replica jerseys to make them look game-worn, and then selling them to collectors (from Tris Wykes). … A girls’ team in Connecticut wears uniforms modeled on the Rangers’ home design (from Josh Fisher). … The cover of a 1954 issue of Blueline magazine has a good shot of Gordie Howe with the pennants of the Red Wings’ rival teams. Note Chicago’s unusual hawk logo, and that Blackhawks was one word. It was Black Hawks until the mid-1980s (from Kevin Vautour and Eric Zweig). … Jerry Wolper took a bunch of photos at a Penguins history exhibition. You can see them by scrolling down through his Twitter feed. “I’ve always been fascinated by the ill-fated Ottawa Civics of the WHA,” says Justin Mckinney. “I had read that after moving from Denver they played in the same uniforms with the Denver Spurs logo removed. I did some digging and found this nice blog that details the account of the club and includes photos from the club’s two home games in Ottawa. Sure enough, they are wearing the Spurs uniforms with the logo.”

Pro Basketball News: Dwight Howard’s Atlanta high school will retire his No. 12. He wears 8 with the Hawks. Quick aside: I wanted to double-check his current number, so I Googled “Howard Hawks.” I didn’t expect the Wikipedia page of a famous filmmaker to turn up. The second sentence reads “Critic Leonard Maltin called him ‘the greatest American director who is not a household name.'” Evidently! [He’s definitely a household name here at Uni Watch HQ. I have three all-time favorite films, and one of them is the Hawks-directed classic His Girl Friday from 1940. — PL] … Omri Casspi’s new Pelicans jersey had an upside-down 8 yesterday. It may have only been used for the introductory press conference (from Rich Rauch). … Another BIG3 team has been announced: The Ghost Ballers. … Cavaliers F Richard Jefferson wore a Flat World Champions T-shirt, in reference to the theories teammate Kyrie Irving shared on Jefferson’s podcast last week.

College Hoops News: Louisville wore black alternates last night. … NC State wore black alternates Tuesday night (from Rex Henry). … The logos for the annual ACC Tournament incorporate the host cities’ tallest structures (from James Gilbert). … Kansas retired Brandon Rush’s No. 25 last night. … Throwbacks last night for Maryland.

Soccer News: A designer in Manchester makes creative alternative kit concepts (from Ryan Keberly). … Gambling is much more prominent and socially accepted in the UK, but there are still some issues with betting companies advertising on pro soccer kits (from Saurel Jean). … Hertha BSC is letting fans design their 125th anniversary jersey (from Ed Żelaski‏).

Grab Bag: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Monster patch was upside-down during a TV spot the other day (from Dave Buchanan). … Arthur Savokinas came across a coffee mug store shaped like a coffee mug. … A minute-long video shows every front page of the New York Times since 1852 (from Jon Solomonson).