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Greetings from Ithaca, New York, where the Tugboat Captain and I are spending Thanksgiving with her brother and his family.

I have a lot to be thankful for, including the many partners and collaborators who help make this website what it is. So please join me in giving thanks to Mike Chamernik, who does the Tuesday and Thursday Tickers and the Question of the Week; “Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie; T-Shirt Club designer Bryan Molloy; membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner; webmaster John Ekdahl; weekend contributors Gary Chanko, Terry Duroncelet, and Joe Ringham; and of course bench coach and deputy editor Phil Hecken, by far the hardest-working collaborator and most loyal friend anyone could ever hope for.

However you’re spending the day, I hope it’s a good one. Peace. — Paul

Talking Posters With Blue Jackets Designer Anthony Zych

Paul here. I’m on vacation this week, but before I left I interviewed Anthony Zych, the guy who’s designing those awesome Blue Jackets posters that I wrote about a few weeks ago (that’s him above). Here’s the link.

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Phil here.

I received an e-mail from Brice Wallace, who has a great little pre-Thanksgiving story that’s perfect for today. Enjoy and click on any photo to enlarge.

Here’s Brice:

. . .

Thirty Thanksgivings ago, football helmets weren’t used just during that holiday’s games. A few also served as musical instruments.

The Pioneer Red Regime, the nickname for the Wayne High School band in West Virginia, performed a two-part sports-themed show during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 1985. In front of the NBC cameras, the band first performed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” with the majorettes wearing bright yellow caps and using yellow Whiffle bats as if they were batons. That part of the show concluded with the majorettes being called “out” by a pair of trumpeters.

That quickly was followed up by “You’ve Got to Be a Football Hero,” during which the band’s four snare drummers wore – and played – football helmets, sans facemasks. During the baseball tune, they had the helmets resting on the drum heads but tucked in so they could still play their instruments, and then put them on quickly for “Football Hero.”

playing helmets 1

playing helmets 2

playing helmets 3

It’s difficult to see in this video, but you can catch glimpses of the drummers playing their own helmets and the helmet of the drummer to their right – while wearing them.

For the drummers, playing the helmets was fun but also had its drawbacks. Smacking the shoulder of a wooden drumstick onto a football helmet shell is deafening to the performer.

Band director David Perry had used the baseball and football tunes as elements in marching band competition repertoires several years earlier and condensed them for the Macy’s performance. For the parade, he also was able to retain an eight-count trombone solo near the end of “Football Hero” that’s from “Sons of Marshall” as a shout-out to his alma mater, Marshall University, which is the nearest university to Wayne.

I was a volunteer percussion instructor for the band and carried the helmets from the parade starting point along Central Park, all the way to just before Herald Square for the NBC performance. Let me tell you, there is no easy way to carry four, facemask-free football helmets during that long of a march. I also helped out by making the script-with-tail decals on the side of the helmets, meticulously cut from red contact paper (better than paint for adjusting alignment and covering up nicks and scratches). Each decal sported the name of the drummer: Tom, Shelley, Lisa and Camille. Each helmet also had hand-drawn merit stickers on the front, noting awards the drum section had earned during that autumn’s marching band contests. The day of the parade was too wet and cold for the drummers to wear eye black, which we fashioned from short strips of black electric tape. I also designed a couple of hand-drawn logos that were used on band member T-shirts that fall, and both had sports connections: The city silhouette was inspired by the New York Mets’ logo, and the face on the balloon logo was inspired by the Cincinnati Reds’ Mr. Red logo used in the ’70s.

We knew it then and we know it now: Performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We all feel very fortunate to be involved, especially with a slightly different but nonetheless crowd-pleasing performance.

I’ve included a photo of the band during the performance, a helmet close-up and images of the logos.

Tom's helmet used in 1985 Macy's parade

Wayne High in Macy's parade 1985

Wayne High secondary Macy's parade logo

Wayne High Macy's parade logo


Brice Wallace
Roy, UT

Thanks, Brice! Great stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker
A Mini-Ticker for Your Turkey-Day Getaway
By Phil

Baseball News: Oooohhhh… Check out this photo of the 1950 “Wisconsin” baseball team. Says submitter Johnny Okray, “Gorgeous uniforms.” … Here’s the latest DIY tie from Wafflebored. … Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman has lasik surgery and, thus, will no longer need to wear goggles. “It’s too bad!” says Andrew Cosentino. “I loved the look.” … Yesterday, Willie Mays received and Yogi Berra’s son accepted (posthumously for the Yogi) the Prexydential Medals of Freedom, and of course, The Say Hey Kid was wearing his favorite cap (nice spot by Jordan Mayblum). … The Cubs released renderings for the Wrigley renovations, which include a new plaza and clubhouse (thanks to Mike Chamernik).

NFL News: Seems as though the World Wide Leader is still using the old Browns *logo* on its banner ads for Monday Night Football (h/t Larry Napoli). … Yesterday, the Minnesota Vikings Facebook posted a link to their team photos for their start. “I found the 1981 photo to be very interesting,” says Ryan Hickok. “In it you can distinctly tell that the players are wearing 2 different shades of purple jerseys. I thought it was interesting.” … If you scroll down to the bottom of this article on the Washington football team, you’ll see an interesting question about the burgundy pants (from TommyTheCPA). Also in there is a question about the SpeedFlex helmet.

College Football News: Here’s a look at all of the helmets Virginia Tech has worn in 2015. Note the 1987 throwback on the right (from Andrew Cosentino). … And here’s a look at the helmet and jersey the Hokies will wear for their final regular season game under Frank Beamer (h/t TurnDownForFrank). … Last night Bowling Green wore a new combo, and for the first time this season, a stripeless helmet (h/t HustleBelt).

Hockey News: This is kinda cool: a gif showing the history of all NHL logos (from J. Walker). … Yesterday the Chicago Blackhawks revealed their Stadium Series sweater. Meh. Here’s more on that. And here’s the full “explanation” of all the shit going on (h/t Chris Creamer). … And here’s the Minnesota Wild Stadium Series uniform. Here’s another view. And here’s the jerseys the refs will wear for the Stadium Series games (h/t Bizbo). … The Arizona Coyotes will wear their black kachina style uniforms on ‘Throwblack Friday’ on Nov. 27 (from JC Crawford).

NBA News: The Philadelphia 76ers will be honoring the late, great Moses Malone with a tribute game on Tuesday, December 1 (h/t ThomPucks). The “Chairman of the Boards” passed away on September 13th of this year. … An Atlanta reporter made a rap video about his favorite basketball team (the Clippers), and makes a reference to their uniforms (from Eric Wright). … Reader PK Richardson “Was watching the NBA games on TNT last night via the Sling TV mobile app and noticed that the Graphics Team over there apparently couldn’t get an updated graphic and think the games are part of the Opening Night 2014′ series.” … Color vs. non-Color alert: Last evening, the Hawks wore red at home against the Celtics. Boston wore gray sleeved jerseys (from Mike). … In a real color vs. color game, the Warriors in “The City” throwbacks played the Lakers (via Cody).

College/High School Hoops News: A basketball player at Evanston Township High School, just north of Chicago, was shot and killed before the 2012 season. On Monday night, Evanston honored Dajae Coleman by wearing warmups with Coleman and No. 3 on the back. The team’s seniors were classmates with Coleman (from Mike Chamernik). … New basketball court for UC Davis (from Eric Lee Bankston). … Southeastern Louisiana has some serious candystriping going on, on their warmup pants (from Doug Smith). … This is kinda odd: Wake Forest vs Vanderbilt were using an Indiana basketball last evening. Anyone know why? (h/t Nick Burt). They’re all playing at the same tourney in Hawai’i, so maybe that’s why (but even so, wouldn’t they use one or the others’ balls)?

Soccer News: Manchester City FC will be changing its badge. How so? After “conducting a consultation with all of its Cityzens members,” so “The Club has therefore been working with our designers to establish a badge which most authentically reflects both Manchester City Football Club and the city of Manchester and which takes into account the feedback received during this consultation,” (from Mitch Homie Quan). … FC Santa Claus (yes, that’s their name) have new kits that make a ton of sense (h/t Zed Minor). Here’s a bit more on that (from Randy Williams).

Grab Bag: The Republican National Convention, which will be taking place in the summer of 2016, in the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), has introduced a new logo. Here’s more on that. … “The Battle at Bristol will be sponsored by Pilot Flying J.,” writes Andrew Cosentino. “I guess that everyone needs that corporate money grab!” … Reader TommyTheCPA sent this in. Posted without comment. A Pair of Boxers for $400? Men’s Underwear Goes High-End. … A local design professor is proposing a new city flag for Columbus due to the poor design of the current one (from Kevin Mueller).

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OK guys — that’s it for today. Don’t forget to check back for the link to Paul’s interview (coming soon)! Paul will be back tomorrow for a Thanksgiving blessing, so I’m going to take the opportunity right now to wish everyone a Happy Turkey Day (or at least those of use living in the You Ess Aaaaa). White meat may be for suckers, but … well, I’m a sucker, OK!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. Peace

— Phil

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Auction Action

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation this week, but he prepared this entry for today. Enjoy.]

As you’ve probably noticed in the left-hand sidebar, our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are currently running their annual holiday auction, which features a dizzying 2057 items. Fortunately, I’ve already sifted through the catalog to bring you the most uni-notable entries. Here they are:

• Whoa-whoa-whoa, look at this amazing 1984 Padres BP top — it’s more like a basketball warm-up! Couldn’t recall ever seeing this before, but sure enough, it’s in Bill Henderson’s guide.

• So many interesting things about this old Reds jersey. First, I wish they’d go back to using navy instead of black. Second, always so weird to see that modified wishbone-C without the point on the left side. And third, note the black piping on the armhole. The Reds’ vests originally had no armhole piping. Then they added the black piping to the left armhole in 1961, as a memorial to owner Powel Crosley. They decided they liked the look so much that they added piping the right armhole the following year.

• Cesar Cedeño went through most of his career without a tilde on his NOB. But he got to wear one in the early 1980s with the Reds.

• It’s funny to see how many teams’ jerseys in this auction used the old McAuliffe number font, including the Yankees, A’s, and, of course, the Red Sox.

• Here’s something that’d be cool to have in your house: an old Yankee Stadium turnstile.

• I’m always blown away by how those 1960s Phillies jerseys had chain-stitched numerals, which must have taken forever to embroider. That’s from this listing.

• Here’s something you don’t often see: a dugout jacket with FNOB. Looks more like a the lettering on the back of a boxing robe.

• This is very cool: The 1969 Mets were sponsored by Rheingold beer, which produced these keg-themed cufflinks to mark the team’s miracle championships. Love the little red mark on the calendar, denoting the date when the Amazin’s became world champs.

• Did you know that the official scorer at the MLB All-Star Game gets a ring? I didn’t, until I saw this one from 1988.

• This 1961 Browns jersey once worn by Lou “The Toe” Groza is notable for three reasons: First, note the crotch extension panel. Second, that panel has a cool little label for a Cleveland sporting goods shop I hadn’t heard of before. Third, there’s no denying that this jersey is miles better than what the Browns currently wear. And finally, it’s always fun to say, “Lou ‘The Toe’ Groza.”

• Here’s something you don’t often see: a 1968 AFL all-star jersey. I like the simple distribution of the stars — nice.

• And as long as we’re talking AFL All-Star Games, check out this helmet! What’s up with that ghosted Houston Oilers logo on the shell? According to the listing, “This is an old Riddell suspension Houston Oilers helmet that was fitted and worn by Jack Kemp in the last AFL All-Star Game in the Houston Astrodome. This Oilers helmet was stripped by the Houston & All-Star equipment manager and then he added the AFL logos for the game.”

• Shifting over to the NBA, I love this 1952 all-star uni, complete with belted satin shorts and Northwestern-striped stirrups!

• You guys know by now that I can never get enough of old basketball warm-up pullovers, and this one is particularly sharp-looking.

• Here’s a similar warm-up top, but this one is even better, because it’s from the Harlem Globetrotters.

• One more beautiful warm-up pullover, this time from the Knicks. Love that this one came from Max “Slats” Zaslofsky (which is almost as much fun to say as Lou “The Toe” Groza).

• I’m usually not as much of a fan of snap-front basketball warm-ups, but I might make an exception for this 1963 Phillips 66ers beauty.

• Oh baby, check out this amazing All-American Redheads uni. Jackpot!

• This is interesting — a Pistons warm-up jacket with the Tigers’ “D” logo on the front (jersey version, not cap version) and a cool logo on the back. Love that the car’s wheels are little basketballs.

Want to see more? You can look through all 2057 items here.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Lots of people sent this in: new color scheme, logos and uniforms for the Louisville Bats. The team is ditching a dated purple and black look. … In addition to a Notre Dame football game, Fenway Park hosted a hurling match this weekend. … Readers can vote for on-field fashion awards from this year, including the best minor league novelty uniform and the player with the best socks.

NFL News: Oh jeez: Texans cheerleaders wore altered military uniforms to support the troops on Sunday (from Phil). … In this week’s MMQB column, Peter King shared his thoughts on how the NFL has bastardized its uniforms, and how the league is hypocritical when it comes to fining players for small uniform infractions. I enjoyed his take. … The Panthers started breaking in their Color Rash pants in practice (from Phil). … A reporter wore a Vikings cap to Sunday’s Ottawa-Hamilton CFL playoff game. It’s not the same league, but I’m fairly certain that journalists wearing team logos is frowned upon (from Colin MacIntyre).

College Football News: The Washington Post published a piece on big time college athletics, stating that even though schools are pulling in more money than ever, many schools are operating at a loss (from Phil). … Oregon will wear this uniform when the Ducks play Oregon State for the Civil War on Friday. … Here’s a good look at the Battle Line trophy for the game between Arkansas and Missouri. As you can see, the border bar’s color will be changed to the winning team’s primary color (from Phil). … “Georgia Tech QB Matthew Jordan took quite a beating at Miami on Saturday,” says Michael Rich. “First, he chipped his helmet decal, and then three tears opened up in the back of his jersey.” His jersey was repaired at halftime.

Hockey News: The Red Wings unveiled their Stadium Series jerseys. The will play the Avalanche at Coors Field on February 27 (from Phil). … The Blackhawks will unveil their Stadium Series jerseys today. The Hawks will play the Wild at Minneapolis’s TCF Bank Stadium on February 21.

NBA News: The Pistons will retire the jerseys of both Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups a little later this season. … Tyus Jones lost a bet to fellow Timberwolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns, so he had to wear a Kentucky jersey to practice. Towns was a Wildcat last year, while Jones went to Duke. … John Wall is now a sneaker free agent after his shoe deal with Adidas expired. … The Clippers are planning a Hello Kitty scarf giveaway. … Marc Burgess found a photo of what looks to be an NBA pajama shirt that has NHL tags and NHL logos on the left sleeve. Odd.

Soccer News: Paris Saint-Germain will wear “Je Suis Paris” shirts and patches for two matches. More info here (from Phil). … “Rather than wearing plain black armbands to honor the victims of the attacks in Paris, Chelsea players wore black armbands with small French flags on them,” says Chris Cruz. “One problem with this was that the flags often weren’t visible, the armbands fell off (Matic at the right is missing one), and the subs (or at least some of them) didn’t have armbands.”

Grab Bag: At the University of Maryland, students have painted Under Armour logos and slogans onto the dumpsters (from Zach Spencer).

Monday Morning Uni Watch

Hiya. I’m on vacation this week, but I still put together Monday Morning Uni Watch from the road. How’s that for dedication? Anyway, odd scene yesterday in Minnesota, as Packers wideout Jones wore a hoodie under his jersey! Lots of people asked me if I’d ever seen that before — can’t name any specific names, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen placekickers and/or punters do it on occasion. Probably not a “regular” player, though.

Before the game was over, the hoodie already had its own Twitter account. There are additional photos of the hoodie here, and you can see Jones explaining why he wore it here.

Was the hoodie legal? Yes, according to NFL officiating guru Mike Pereira:

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• There were several interesting things about yesterday’s Chargers/Chiefs game. For starters, the Chargers wore their powder-blue alts. In addition, the Chiefs went mono-white with red-topped socks for the second consecutive week. That’s a combo they hadn’t previously worn since 1994, and hadn’t worn in a non-throwback, non-preseason situation since 1967. Also, The Chargers retired LaDainian Tomlinson’s number during a halftime ceremony. The surprising thing, at least to me, was the team’s retired-number banner design template, which I hadn’t noticed before:

This is the same design that the Chargers use for all of their retired number banners. Surprising that there are no lightning bolts, no? And those polka dot gradations look awful.

Meanwhile, Tomlinson’s number was also featured on the midfield helmet logo:

Finally, I’ve always loved the old logo that the Chargers put in the end zone yesterday:

The thing is, that’s a throwback logo, and the Chargers’ powder blues are not throwbacks — they’re just alts. They use the modern, non-throwback lightning bolt designs on the shoulders and pants, and they don’t have the uni numbers on the helmets. If you’re gonna use the retro end zone logo, great — but then make the uni a proper throwback to match.

• Speaking of the Chargers, why did safety Jimmy Wilson have these little yellow bands around his shins?

• The Dolphins wore white at home, which forced the Cowboys to wear blue for the second consecutive week.

• Texans cornerback Charles James was wearing argyle Texans socks prior to the game.

• The G.I. Joke-isms now extend to players’ pregame headphones. Sigh.

• No photo, but I have it on good authority that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was missing the Al Davis perma-memorial decal on his helmet.

• Washington wideout DeSean Jackson wore leopard-print shoes.

• And speaking of Washington, defensive end Jason Hatcher said after the game that the team is on the receiving end of so many penalty calls because the refs don’t like the team’s name.

(Big thanks to Jake Copp, Chris Flinn, David Kendrick, Gene Sanny and, especially, Phil for their contributions.)

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RSS news: If you’ve been having trouble with the Uni Watch RSS feed, look for it here. Let me know if you encounter any further problems.

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Holiday T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it last week, we’ve launched three new designs that are not technically part of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club (no sleeve patch, no month designation) but are very much in keeping with the spirit of the project. Take a look (click to enlarge):

Each of these three designs — “Vertically Arched,” “Radially Arched,” and the plain script with nothing on the back — is available in all three colors shown (white, black and grey). In addition, each design and color is available in three formats: short-sleeved tee, long-sleeved tee, and sweatshirt. Plus the plain script design is also available as a hoodie with pockets.

These shirts are available here from now through Dec. 9, which means they’ll deliver in time for Christmas.

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Collect ’em all reminder: Meanwhile: If you ordered all 12 of the T-Shirt Club designs and qualify for the year-end prize (which, in case you missed it earlier, will be an embroidered patch featuring this design), please prove that you’ve collected ’em all by either (a) taking a photo of all 12 shirts or (b) taking screen shots of your 12 order-confirmation emails from Teespring and putting the 12 shots into a folder. Then email the photo or the folder to (please note that this is a new address — do not send your proof to the regular Uni Watch email address), and be sure to include your mailing address so I know where to mail the patches once they’re ready to go.

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Holiday advertiser shout-outs: As you may have noticed, three longtime Uni Watch allies have new ads running on the site for the holiday shopping push. All are worthy of your consideration:

• Jeff Suntala, working under the name There Used to Be a Ballpark, produces beautiful posters of past and current baseball stadiums.

• For years now I’ve been featuring Rob Ullman’s pin-up-style illustrations of women wearing sports jerseys. If you’d like to hire him to do an illo of your partner — or of yourself! — he’s accepting commissions.

Oxford Pennant produces beautiful wool felt pennants — so much nicer than the stiff, synthetic ones typically sold at stadiums. Made in the USA, too.

I’m proud to have all of these advertisers associated with the site. Please consider them for your holiday shopping needs.

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Sorry, no Ticker today, cuz I’m on vacation (I’m dedicated, but there are limits). We’ll definitely have a Ticker tomorrow; not sure about the rest of the week. Hectic time, with Thanksgiving and all. Thanks for understanding.