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NASCAR Turns Back the Clock for Sunday’s Southern 500

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry by Jory Fleischauer, who’s going to fill us in on Sunday’s throwback-themed Southern 500 race. — PL]

By Jory Fleischauer

Darlington Raceway in northwestern South Carolina is NASCAR’s Wrigley Field. Built in 1950, it is one of the most difficult ovals in the country — egg-shaped (due to a promise not to disturb a neighboring farmer’s minnow pond) and high-banked. It is almost a rite of passage each year for a car to make contact with the outside wall.

Darlington is the site of the Southern 500, NASCAR’s oldest 500-mile race, first run during Labor Day weekend in 1950, and has become a premier event during each NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Starting in 2004, the Southern 500 was moved from its traditional Labor Day date to Mother’s Day weekend in early May, but this year it returns to its rightful spot on Labor Day weekend. As part of the festivities, officials are making the event retro-themed — a first for NASCAR. The initial plan was to have eight or ten teams running throwback paint schemes, but now it has exploded to more than 30 teams running retro-inspired cars. In addition, TV partner NBC and radio partner MRN are bringing back classic announcers, clothing, and graphics packages, and the track is bringing back classic concessions like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese sandwiches, with Grand Funk Railroad performing pre-race and Tanya Tucker singing the national anthem.

Here’s a driver-by-driver look at the throwback designs (for each of these, you can click to enlarge):

2. Brad Keselowski

Miller has enjoyed decades of success in NASCAR, and this weekend Keselowski will run a scheme based on 1983 Winston Cup champion Bobby Allison. Already this year Keselowski has donned another historic Miller scheme, running the Miller Genuine Draft colors made famous by Rusty Wallace in the early 1990s.

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3. Austin Dillon

Prior to being a successful car owner, Richard Childress was a well-known owner/driver in the then-Winston Cup series in the 1970s. Dillon’s scheme is based on one of Childress’s last schemes sponsored by CRC in 1980.

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4. Kevin Harvick

Harvick’s car is inspired not by a historic scheme but rather by his sponsor’s historical lineage. Budweiser elected to represent theirfirst can, which was introduced in the 1930s (although some fans have noticed a resemblance to another famous No. 4 car).

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5. Kasey Kahne

Prior to becoming the behemoth known as Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick’s fledgling team was known as All-Star Racing. Kahne will represent Hendrick’s very first paint scheme, run in 1984 by Geoffrey Bodine.

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6. Trevor Bayne

In 1998 Roush Racing unveiled one of the most visually dynamic paint schemes the sport had seen at that time for longtime driver Mark Martin. The base possessed a fade utilizing Vs , in reference to the sponsor. For Darlington, Bayne resurrects this scheme, replacing the Vs with As to reflect current sponsor Advocare.

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7. Alex Bowman

Team owner Tommy Baldwin’s father, Tom Baldwin, was a well-known and successful modified racer. For Darlington, they decided to honor “Tiger” Tom by running one of his old paint schemes, complete with decals to make the car look like a modified.

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9. Sam Hornish Jr.

Roush Racing driver Mark Martin dominated the Busch Grand National Series, a tier below the then Winston Cup Series, in the 1990s with sponsor Winn-Dixie. This sponsor returns to the sport after a more then decade-long absence, emulating the scheme that went to Victory Lane a total of 39 times.

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10. Danica Patrick

Darlington is nicknamed “The Lady in Black”, so GoDaddy thought it fitting for Danica’s scheme to be primarily black to represent that moniker.

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11. Denny Hamlin

For the second time in his career, Hamlin will run a scheme honoring three-time Winston Cup champion Cale Yarborough’s 1974 car. In 2012, Hamlin ran a scheme representing Cale’s 1978 paint scheme.

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14. Tony Stewart

Stewart’s paint scheme represents his sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, whose very first Bass Tracker boat package appeared in 1978. His car is painted in the same style as the original Bass Tracker boats, complete with retro logos.

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15. Clint Bowyer

NASCAR recently lost one of the greats of the sport in Buddy Baker, but plans were in motion prior to his death for Bowyer to represent Baker’s 1974 scheme. In true retro fashion, the team elected to hand paint the entire car for this weekend. You can view a clip of the process here.

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16. Greg Biffle

Biffle’s scheme for this weekend is a combination of history for both the sponsor and the car number. Ortho’s first company sales cars used this exact shade of red, while the stylized No. 16 is the same as the one run by former Daytona 500 winner Tiny Lund in 1968.

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17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Invoking one of the most iconic paint schemes of 105-time winner David Pearson, this scheme has been a fan favorite ever since the announcement that Stenhouse would be using it.

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21. Trevor Bayne

The Wood Brothers’ current paint scheme is a direct homage to their look of years past, so instead they have taken one of their modern schemes and emblazoned it with 60 years’ worth of photographs outlining the team’s history across the sport, including their first Darlington start in 1961.

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22. Joey Logano

Logano and Penske Racing bring the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the Southern 500, with their paint scheme highlighting the same colors and general design as the one run by Mario Andretti in 1988.

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23. Jeb Burton

This scheme honors Jeb’s father, Ward, who was the 2001 Southern 500 winner and 2002 Daytona 500 winner.

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25. Chase Elliott

Chase’s father, 1989 Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott, wore this design on his Ford Thunderbird during the peak of his career in the late 1980s.

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26. JJ Yeley

Yeley invokes a classic car design trait from the 1950s with this retro-inspired ride.

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27. Paul Menard

Menards has a strong tie to motorsports, dating almost to the company’s inception. This scheme was designed in part by Paul and references the design used by the company’s marketing department in the early 1970s, as well as the early schemes carried by a variety of race cars.

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31. Ryan Newman

Caterpillar has chosen to utilize the logos and designs from their heavy machinery equipment of the 1970s on Newman’s car.

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32. Josh Wise

One of the most famous finishes in NASCAR history occurred at Darlington in 2003 and involved this scheme, then run by Ricky Craven.

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33. Mike Bliss

The Skoal bandit graced NASCAR events for nearly 20 years, with this particular scheme representing the final years of the original bandit, Harry Gant.

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40. Landon Cassill

For the first race after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, virtually every team ran a patriotic paint scheme. This weekend Cassillwill drive a car based off of the Sept. 11 scheme of former driver Sterling Marlin.

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41. Kurt Busch

Prior to becoming Stewart-Haas Racing, the team was simply known as Haas CNC Racing. This weekend they’re representing their first Winston Cup scheme from 2003.

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42. Kyle Larson

This scheme was first made famous by Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder and then brought to Victory Lane multiple times by Kyle Petty in the early 1990s. The reveal of this scheme has seemingly garnered the largest excitement from the legions of NASCAR fans, and especially from its former driver.

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43. Aric Almirola

STP and the famous No. 43 return to Darlington, with Almirola running the same design Richard Petty ran during the 1972 season.

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46. Michael Annett

Pilot/Flying J has chosen to highlight their logos and color scheme from the 1970s.

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48. Jimmie Johnson

While sponsor Lowe’s has been in the sport since 1995, they chose to delve even deeper into their history by utilizing their logo and colors from the original Lowe’s store in the 1940s.

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51. Justin Allgaier

While A.J. Foyt is most often remembered for running the No. 14, it was the No. 51 that he piloted between 1977 and 1984 in his selected Cup series starts.

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55. David Ragan

Ragan’s scheme is probably the most personal of all of those running, as it is a replica of the same scheme his father, Ken Ragan, raced in the Cup series in the late 1980s.

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88. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Valvoline has been in the sport long enough to have a plethora of classic schemes. For Darlington, Junior has chosen to honor the schemes run during the early 1980s in the Cup series.

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Not every driver is getting in the throwback spirit for the race. Retiring NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon elected to run a throwback to his very first paint scheme two weeks ago in Bristol. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. has poked a bit of fun at those not participating.

Additional details, like Goodyear decaling their tires as if they were from the 1970s and many contingency sponsors utilizing old school logos, should make the event even more interesting. If you have not watched a NASCAR race in years (or if you’ve never watched one, for that matter), this is a good one to check out. Coverage starts on NBC at 7pm Eastern on Sunday.

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T-Shirt Club update: The maroon-based design was the overwhelming winner in our poll to choose a powder blue T-shirt concept the other day. But several of you suggested that the maroon design would be stronger with gold outlining. I liked this idea, because (a) gold is a Uni Watch color and (b) it would make the design less Phillies-like. So here we go (click to enlarge):

Definitely an improvement over the previous version — my thanks to all who suggested it.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: A Tulsa artist has weighed in on the Native American mascot debate by painting a bunch of famous white people onto football helmets (from Kevin Allen). … “I had an interesting side conversation with a friend of mine who’s a freelance cameraman for the Kansas City Chiefs in-house video,” says Alan Bloomquist. “He said they will get fired immediately if they show anyone in any sort of ‘war paint’ or Native American imagery. They had one case where they had to get approval to show a kid wearing a Chiefs helmet with half his face painted red. Apparently national broadcasts are only discouraged from showing anything by the league, but in-house video is strictly banned from showing any fans dressed up in that way.”

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Baseball News: A St. Louis teen has created an amazing Rubik’s Cube mural of Stan Musial (from Jonathan Daniel). … Bat flipping is considered bad form here in America, but it’s no big deal in Korea. … Follow-up to yesterday’s entry on infield design: U.S. Cellular field has a rounded corner, instead of a convex cutout, at second base (good one from Andy Bartsch). … In a related item, you can see how every infield looked in 2011 via these cool overhead shots (from Patrick O’Neill). … Interesting article on uniform numbers in the Korean league (from @MyKBO). … The York Revolution will wear Little League jerseys (from Bryon Brinson). … Show Me State land art: a Royals/Cardinals corn maze (thanks, Mike).

NFL News: Tracking sensors will soon be embedded in NFL pads and uniforms. … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and RB John Kuhn both dressed in military pilots’ uniforms for the team’s welcome-back luncheon the other day (from Dennis McMillan). … A Pats jersey with a “Super Bowl XLIX Champions” patch just showed up in the team’s online pro shop. Not clear if they’ll be wearing that patch for the season opener. … Lions K Matt Prater put himself in the discussion for the shortest biker shorts ever last night.

College Football News: Last night’s North/South Carolina game was color on color, and it looked great (screen shot by Kade Witten). … Speaking of South Carolina, they have a pretty cool new nose bumper design (from Joel Mathwig). … And S.Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wear a visor with his own signature sewn into it. … Meanwhile, UNC sure had a lot of rear-helmet decals (from Dave Garabedian). … Hmmm, do Syracuse’s season tickets tell us which jerseys the team will be wearing? (From Phil.) … Also from Phil: Michigan’s AD has seen the new Nike/Jordan football unis that will be worn next year. This is pretty much the definition of dog bites man — it would be news (or maybe dereliction of duty) if the AD hadn’t seen what the unis would be before inking a big apparel contract. … Oooh, check out these tickets from a 1971 Tennessee/Vanderbilt game. Very nice (from Wade Harder). … New helmet for North Greenville University (from Andrew Tranum). … Pretty brutal homecoming costumes for Cincinnati (from @giggitygreg). … We already knew Virginia Tech would be wearing a memorial decal for the recently murdered TV journalists, and now it turns out that their opponents on Labor Day, Ohio State, will also wear the decal (from Andrew Cosentino). … Last night provided our first on-field look at Michigan’s new white-over-white road uni. I like. … Speaking of Michigan, they appared to be using NFL helmet placards for play-calling signals. Also, if you look at that photo you can see that Jim Harbaugh is wearing a different “M” than everyone else. That’s because he requested a Bo Schembechler-era logo (from @SirPsychoT). … New helmets for Tulane. … Utah WR Tyrone Smith somehow ended up with two mouthpieces last night. … Each Miami player will wear personalized cleats for the Sept. 19 game against Nebraska (from Rich Friedman). … Hawaii DL Kennedy Tulimasealii had some serious bike shorts for last night’s game against Colorado.

Hockey News: Not exactly a surprise to hear that the Islanders will have an Al Arbour memorial patch. No visuals yet, but maybe they’ll reveal it on Sept. 21, when they’re slated to unveil their new black/white alternates. … Speaking of which, Icethetics has our first look at what the crest on the new alts will look like. … And hey, now the whole jersey may have leaked. Not sure how legit that is. I wish the Isles weren’t going to a black/white jersey (I’ll get into the reasons for this in more detail later on), but if this is the design, it’s better than I expected. I like the sleeve stripes, and the little orange stripes on the “Y” make a surprisingly large difference. … And the hits keep on coming: A little birdie, who I happen to trust, says he’s seen the helmet decal that will be worn with the Isles’ alt uni. “It’s ‘BKLYN’ in white block letters with the ‘Y’ done in the traditional Islanders logo hockey stick style, including the four orange stripes.” I’m figuring that will probably be the team’s new secondary logo. … New uniforms for the North Dakota women’s team. … The four teams of the new National Women’s Hockey League have unveiled their inaugural jerseys. Too bad about the American flag shoulder patches, but the Riveters and Whale designs are pretty good (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Here are a bunch of 1990s soccer jerseys reimagined using today’s templates. “They look absolutely incredible!” says Bernd Wilms. … MLS players will wear “Soccer Kicks Cancer” pregame T-shirts in September (thanks, Phil). … A rundown of the 13 greatest kits of all time? Sure, why not. … Jacksonville Tea Men throwbacks on tap later this month for Armada FC (from Eric Scott). … Twelve years’ worth of San Jose Earthquakes jerseys in this GIF (from Tim Cross).

Grab Bag: An additional note about this weekend’s NASCAR event at Darlington: Fans will be able to trade in Confederate flags for American flags. … New basketball uniforms for Wisconsin (from @max_ethridge). … Cycling item regarding the Tour of Britain: According to a note on this page, “From 1960-1993 the Tour of Britain was known as The Milk Race. The Milk Marketing Board originally agreed to pay for ‘Drink more milk’ to be embroidered on the riders’ jerseys.” … New airline uniforms for Ryanair. … Here’s a look at the Texas Motor Speedway’s pace car designs through the years (from Gabe Flores). … Hot, humid conditions at the U.S. Open have led the players to pack many changes of clothing for each match (from Tommy Turner). … Also from Tommy: Cycling caps are making a comeback. … Jimmy Lonetti notes that PF Flyers recently introduced a new line of sneakers that are made in the USA. … Interesting look at the old Saab logo. … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called on Texans to wear blue today in support of law enforcement officials (thanks, Phil). … “In 2017 Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday,” says Charles Fisher.
“The Royal Canadian Mint held a competition for Canadians to submit designs for coins to be issued in 2017. They are now holding an online vote for the finalists.” … All Tulane teams will wear a “Katrina & Beyond” patch in 2015-16 (from Andrew Lopez). … Petra Cetkovska was mixing Nike and Fila in her U.S. Open match yesterday — plus she had Asics sneakers (sneaker observation from Alex Melendez). … Josh Claywell covered a black vs. black high school volleyball match last night.

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Holiday schedule: Phil is taking a well-deserved break this weekend, so I’ll be on board for Saturday’s and Sunday’s posts. Content will almost certainly be light on those days (and ditto for Monday), unless a big uni-related story breaks. Sorry, that means no Sunday Morning Uni Watch for the first weekend of college football games, but Phil and his contributors will be on top of that starting next weekend.

If you’re traveling this weekend, travel safe. If you’re working, please accept my thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us get to enjoy a long weekend. And if you’re an NFL player, see if you can get through this holiday with all of your fingers intact.

Some Thoughts About Infield Design

Got a note a while back from reader Robert Brashear, who pointed out something interesting about Yankee Stadium. The infield dirt used to have a pair of triangular cutouts near the first and third base coaching boxes (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

This year, however, the cutouts haven’t been there:

Bob’s observation reminded me of something regarding New York’s other MLB team. During Shea Stadium’s last several years, the infield had cutouts in the “upper-left” and “upper-right” corners, so to speak, for the first and third base umpires to stand in:

But those cutouts have never been included at the Mets’ new stadium:

Of course, there are lots of other infield anomalies lurking out there: Chase field in Arizona has the dirt path from the mound to the plate; Comerica Park in Detroit has that same path plus a plate-shaped cutout around the plate area; and so on. Also, some fields have curved cutouts around the bases and others have square, and there are other small distinguishing details.

What other infield anomalies are lurking out there? Is there a visual compendium or database of MLB infield designs? If so, I’m not aware of it. That would be a good project for someone who’s so inclined, hint-hint.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

Between Bernie Brewer, Barrelman, the real and fake Hank the Dog, and the five racing sausages (and mini-sausages!), the Brewers have like 14 mascots. As a Brewers fan, I love them all.

Mascots are a mixed bag, for sure. They’re dopey, they distract from the game, they can, uh, hurt people. They embody a gimmick. But, they still have a certain charm. They’re meant to make an already enjoyable sporting event even more fun, and they often succeed, either by performing impressive athletic feats or making people laugh.

The Cavs’ mascot, Moondog, made an appearance at a wedding a few years back and it really looked like the most enjoyable time ever. The most bizarre mascot moment of my lifetime was in 2002, when Randall Simon hit an aforementioned racing sausage with a bat. Simon was even arrested for doing that. Robin Lopez has been terrorizing mascots around the NBA for the last few years, but he’s hardly the first player to interact with them. Charles Barkley feuded with mascots, too.

What do you say — yea or nay to mascots? If you like them, what are your favorite mascots, and why? What are some of your favorite mascot moments?

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The Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Basketball Hall of Famer and Brooklynite Chris Mullin threw out the first pitch at last night’s Mets game. He wore St. John’s cap and a No. 20 Mets jersey. Mullin is the head coach of the Johnnies and wore No. 20 when he played at the school (from Alan Kreit). … Gregory Koch asks a good question: “Before Jacob deGrom and Travis d’Arnaud paired up, has there ever been a battery where both pitcher and catcher had a last name beginning with a lowercase d?” I’m going to make a conservative guess and say no. … New logos coming for the Charleston RiverDogs. Here’s the team’s alternate hat — the “HC” stands for “Holy City” (from @willchitty4). … Here’s a look at how minor league baseball’s wackiest team nicknames and logos came to be (from Kevin Mueller). … Astros OF Carlos Gomez received some hot new spikes (from Chris Overholt). … Orioles 1B Chris Davis had a tear in his pants last night (from Andrew Cosentino).

NFL News: With Robert Griffin III’s status with the Redskins uncertain, his jerseys are on clearance throughout the DC area (from Phil). … Not uniform-related, but Deadspin dug up the very interesting backstory behind a surprise military reunion at a Rams game last weekend. “Shocking? Not in the slightest I’m sure,” says Drew.

College & High School Football News: Lots of people sent this in: James Madison will wear a helmet memorial decal for the Virginia TV news team that was murdered. … Virginia Tech is going all maroon with orange helmets against Ohio State on Monday. Also, VT will wear white-topped helmets next Saturday (from Andrew Cosentino). … Kansas will wear all-blue on Saturday (from Phil). … Syracuse will wear blue-over-orange this weekend against Rhode Island and all-orange in Week 2 against Wake Forest (from Phil). … New uniforms for Elon (from Dan Wyar). … New uniforms for sports teams at Canada’s Concordia University, including the football team. The school has a new logo too, and it’s pretty good. More info here. … A Florida State fan created a Google Chrome extension that changes the current Seminoles logo back to the old one in his web browser (from Brinke). … We’ve seen lots of high school players wearing those padded anti-concussion guardian caps in practices, but an Ohio high school player recently wore one during a game. … Elena Elms sends in a collection of North Carolina game program covers. … Scott Kneeskern attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The last time he was there he snapped a few photos of what is in the school’s trophy case. … Colorado will reportedly be wearing this uniform combo for today’s season opener (from Matthew Robins).

Hockey News: The Islanders will unveil a black-and-white third jersey later this month. The look will have the same color scheme as the Brooklyn Nets, the Isles’ new co-tenants (from Phil). … Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky is looking for a game-worn jersey of his that might have been purchased by or given to a fan at some point (from Alan Kreit). … The Sharks announced their promotional and 25th anniversary events schedule, including the dates when they’ll wear their yet-to-be-unveiled heritage jerseys (from Phil).

Basketball News: The Clippers are considering adding a team mascot. … Looks like Gonzaga has new home uniforms (from John Richey). … Dakota Wesleyan will wear late-1970s throwbacks this season (from Beau Eriksson). … Here’s a new one: St. John Vianney High School in Missouri unveiled its new basketball uniforms by having the principal model them (from Patrick, who preferred that his last name not be used). … New court design apparently in store for the Bulls.

Soccer News: Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista saw a fan wearing a Messi jersey and offered to swap jerseys with him. The fan agreed (from @Stumpy7780). … New third kit for Italy. … FC Barcelona will wear insignias on their shirt as five-time winners of the Champions League (from Griffin Smith).

Grab Bag: New logo for Verizon (from Tim Dunn). … As synonymous as rugby’s All Blacks are with New Zealand’s culture, the national team’s silver fern will not be on the nation’s new flag (from Phil). … New cross country uniforms for Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook, Ill. “I’m sure one look at the stripes and you’ll guess who makes them,” says Steve Johnston. … Students want the University of North Dakota, which recently dropped the Fighting Sioux nickname, to reconsider an idea that they the school would go nicknameless. Teams would be known only as “North Dakota” (from Matt Larsen). … “I’ve been doing some VHS to DVD transfers of old golf tapes and was watching the ’86 Masters highlights,” says Scott Throndson. “On Saturday/Sunday Seve Ballesteros wore a visor with two Nike patches on it. It struck me as odd, and I realized what must have happened was that he wore a Masters logo visor the first two days, and then Nike covered it up with 2 small patches.” … Speaking of golfers’ visors, John Senden lost the “m” on his the other day. … There’s a change.org petition to change the handicapped parking sign logo (from Jeffrey Sak).

A Museum Piece, in More Ways Than One

Photo by Karen McBurnie; click to enlarge

I mentioned in yesterday’s entry that I had scored a remarkable flea market find during my August blogcation, and here it is: a spectacular 1940s “Duribilknit” jockstrap display, complete with four sample jocks. It must have looked awesome in an old sporting goods store way back when. I flipped out when I saw it, because it’s precisely the kind of vintage item that I like to display in my apartment, but the seller wanted way too much for it, so I initially thought I’d just take a few photos and then walk away. After a bit of haggling, though, we agreed upon a price that I could live with and the display was mine. Turns out it was an even better find than I initially realized, as I’ll explain in a minute.

The basics: The display is made of wood and is pretty damn big — four feet long by one foot wide. Here’s a better look (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

Now let’s take a closer look at the individual elements, beginning with the top graphic:

I love the term “Duribilknit” and also love that this design is called the “Bub.”

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There are four different models shown on the display (running from smallest to largest), each of which is accompanied by two white boxes of text. Here’s the first one:

I didn’t realize swimmers wore jockstraps, but whatever.

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Here’s the next model, which has a slightly wider waistband:

There’s something amusing about the phrase “For average support.” Wouldn’t they have been better off using “standard” or “basic” instead of “average”? Also: It’s incredibly frustrating that there was no “explanatory booklet” included with the display. (More on that in a sec.)

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Here’s the next one, which has an even larger waistband and two diagonal support bands:

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And here’s the last one, which looks more like a truss than a jockstrap. The little white box at lower-left is worth the price of admission all by itself:

The “Energy Region”! I don’t often have any occasion to talk about my crotch, but I’m definitely going to start using that term from now on.

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Each of the jocks has a beautifully designed tag that qualifies as a mini-masterpiece. Dig:

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Finally, there’s a little bonus lurking on the back of the display, which features this weathered label:

I like how the label says the display has to be “returned when no longer needed.” That’s fine in theory, but come on — who could ever stop needing this?!

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After I bought the display, I had to carry it nearly a mile back to where my friends and I had parked our car. I passed lots of other flea marketers along the way, many of whom offered me a tight-lipped smile and a small nod — the silent acknowledgment of a nice score. Later that night I had to take the display home with me on two NJ Transit trains and then two subways, where various train conductors and passengers gave me lots of weird looks. At one point I was waiting to transfer at the W. 4th St. subway platform and was standing there with the display (it was too big to fit in a bag and there was really nothing to do with it but stand there with it). A guy walked by, looked at the display for a few beats, and then said, “That’s cool, man. I mean, it’s weird, but it’s still cool.” Indeed.

The display is now hanging on the wall in my bedroom (where I’m sure it’ll be, uh, a big hit with the ladies, eh?). I’m sure some of you think I’m nuts to have such a thing in my home, but check this out: I was curious about the display’s background, so I did a bit of Googling and discovered that a Duribilknit/Bub jockstrap and its box are part of the permanent collection at … wait for it … the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Now, I didn’t need a fancy-shmancy museum to confer its imprimatur of legitimacy on my display — I already knew it was beautiful. Still, it just goes to show that great design is where you find it (and that I know a great flea market score when I see one).

A few other things I’ve discovered:

• Vintage boxes of Duribilknit/Bub jockstraps can be found on eBay. The box design matches the graphic on my display, and many of the boxes come with a pamphlet (here’s the other side), which is presumably the “explanatory booklet” referred to on the display.

• The Duribilknit/Bub product line also included wrist supports.

• The manufacturer, the J.B. Flaherty Co., was run by one John. B. Flaherty. His son Bryan later founded his own operation, the Bryan J. Flaherty Co. — which, of course, made jockstraps.

• The Duribilknit name lives on in jockstraps made by the Flarico brand. (“Bub,” however, appears to be extinct.)

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T-Shirt Club update: There are only three designs left for this year’s Uni Watch T-Shirt Club program. One of them will be a completely amazing shirt that I still can’t show you because we’re still finalizing some of the details. Another one — which we might do for October or possibly for November — will be a powder blue design. And I’d like to get some feedback from you on that one.

One approach to the powder blues would be to keep our usual Uni Watch colors, like so (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

On the one hand, I kind of like the audacity of sticking with our normal colors, even though they don’t completely mesh with powder blue. On the other hand, there’s no denying that green and powder blue aren’t a natural fit.

Another approach would be to take the one Uni Watch color that does go well with powder blue — maroon — and use that:

Strictly from a design standpoint, I think this one is better. But it’s also less interesting, plus it looks sooooo Phillies-ish.

What do you think? Vote here:

For the powder blue shirt, I prefer:

 
pollcode.com free polls

Thanks for your feedback. More T-Shirt Club news soon.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Good story about the Danville Braves’ mascot, Blooper (from Tommy Turner). … Travis Shaw of the Red Sox is using an Ohio State buckeye merit decal on his bat knob (from Jordan Mayblum). … Virginia Tech is naming its baseball hitting facility in honor of former AD Jim Weaver, who recently died (from Andrew Cosentino). … Long, spectacular article about the origin of the “Yankees Suck!” T-shirts (thanks, Mike). … “On Monday night I was out at a bar and had a lengthy chat with a guy named Will Hoover, who is a former Kingsport Met,” says James Cropcho. “I thought you’d enjoy knowing that he is a fan of yours. He seemed very well versed in your canon and became quite animated while discussing some uniform change or other.” Nice to know. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a profile of the MiLB design house Brandiose (from R. Scott Rogers). … Reds P Burke Badenhop was wearing a mouthguard on the mound last night (from Chris Mitchell). … Great story about a pair of twins who own the URL twins.com despite the MLB’s attempts to purchase it for the Twins. … After Cubs P Jake Arrieta threw a no-no at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers gave him the pitching rubber and some dirt from the mound — nice (thanks, Mike).

NFL News: Funny article about Eagles QB Sam Bradford’s sleeves (from Michael Trautman). … The Texans have posted their home uniform schedule, including pants, for the upcoming season. … The Titans are selling a Marcus Mariota T-shirt with a Hawaiian lei printed on it (from Andrew Cosentino). … Oooh, look at these awesome NFL pencils. … Hacked emails indicate that Sony Pictures altered the upcoming Will Smith movie Concussion to avoid getting on the NFL’s bad side. … This photo of former Titans scout C.O. Brocato shows a Titans helmet with a grey facemask. “Never seen that before,” says @MaxTE34.

College and High School Football News: Florida is adding a Ray Graves memorial decal. Interesting that it’s grey instead of the usual black — more GFGS, perhaps, or just a play on Graves’s surname? … Nebraska’s top defensive players earned their blackshirts the other day. … “A week before the season, Nate Ford, a player from Maricopa High in Arizona, was killed when his vehicle struck a cattle hauler on a highway,” says Raymie Humbert. “At their first game, against Agua Fria, all Agua Fria players wore 42 on their helmets, and the Maricopa players had both jersey patches and helmet decals in remembrance.” … Texas Tech has added a memorial decal for football administrative assistant Jenny Bailey, who passed away in June after working in the program for 28 years (from Justin Barsotta). … New helmets for Weber State. … Bowling Green will wear new helmets with metallic orange this weekend. … Oregon State doing the pandering thing this Friday with their helmet and midfield logo. … Liberty University is another school adding a memorial decal for the murdered Virginia TV journalists. … Oregon QB Vernon Adams has FIOB and JrOB — a rare combination. … Texas A&M receiver Speedy Noil was wearing a watch in practice the other day — odd (from Dave Wilson).

Hockey News: New uniforms for Clemson. … The Ducks have changed the top stripe on their dasher boards from red to black. … Good article on the Kings’ ice being prepared for the season (from Chris Bisbee). … New pads for Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford. … The Jets apparently have a fifth-anniversary logo, which seems like a bit much. No word yet on how/if they’ll be wearing it.

Basketball News: Michael Jordan’s uniform from Space Jam is going up for auction (from B. Garrity). … Here are one blogger’s picks for the perfect 76ers jersey collection. … New uniforms upcoming for the Harlem Globetrotters. Key quote, from the designer: “My goal for this collection was to reimagine the look of the legendary Globetrotters uniforms by infusing elements of the team’s rich 90-year history with New York City vibes and basketball-inspired swagger.” Uh, great. … The Hawks will retire Dikembe Mutombo’s No. 55 on Nov. 24 (thanks, Mike). … Todd Radom and I are both quoted in this article about recent NBA redesigns. … New sweatbacks for Kansas State (from Sean Kautzman).

Soccer News: Here’s a gallery of NBA players wearing soccer jerseys (from Phillip Foose). … New third kit for Minnesota United (from Clayton Blickenstaff). … Here’s a good look at the 2018 World Cup qualifying patch.

Grab Bag: Here are the four finalists for the new New Zealand flag design. … Here’s an article on clothing at Burning Man. … Faaascinating article/slideshow about attempts to republish an old NASA style guide. Recommended. … Temple and Under Armour have announced a 10-year extension of their apparel deal. … New logo for Google (thanks, Brinke). … A designer has redesigned all 50 U.S. state flags using only red, white, and blue. I don’t really like that premise (certain colors are closely associated with certain states and regions, so why limit that?), but some of the designs are striking, particularly the one for Kentucky (from Andrew Greenwood). … One day in and the U.S. Open is already unwatchable (thanks, Phil). … New uniform regulations for the U.S. Navy. … Auburn and Florida A&M played an orange vs. orange volleyball game last night. … The Punjab Armed Police apparently have a problem with their uniforms not being sufficiently uniform. … Residents of Tacoma, Washington, are being encouraged to wear yellow shirts today to show support for wildland firefighters, whose uniforms typically consist of yellow shirts and green pants.

Back in the Saddle

Hi there. Miss me?

Before I get started, please join me in giving a standing O to deputy editor Phil Hecken, who did a great job of keeping the site running smoothly in my absence. He’s too nice a guy to complain about my annual August break, but I’m sure he finds it stressful and then some, and I can’t even begin to express how appreciative I am. You’re the best, buddy — thanks so much. (Big ups also to assistant editor Mike Chamernik, who pulled more than his usual weight during my absence.)

Last year I had a list of very specific goals for my month-long blogcation, but this year I decided not to make a to-do list. In retrospect, that was a mistake — the month ended up feeling too unstructured, too directionless, and I actually went through much of it in a bit of a funk. It’s good to be back on board here at the blog.

Still, a recap is always useful (at least for me), so here’s a breakdown of what I did over the past 31 days:

1. I worked my ass off. I spent a good chunk of the month working on three ESPN projects: the Uni Watch Power Rankings feature on the best-looking cities, my annual college football season preview, and my annual NFL season preview (which will run either later this week or next Tuesday — not sure yet), each of which entailed a substantial amount of time and effort. It was nice to be able to work on them without having to worry about the Ticker or other blog-related issues.

2. I had fun rooting for my team. August was probably the best month to be a Mets fan in eight years. Two seven-game winning streaks, the return of the captain, a rejuvenated offense, and a healthy lead atop the N.L. East. I attended two games (and am going to another one tomorrow), watched most of the others, and remembered what it’s like to root for a team that has its shit together. Nice.

3. I went upstate. Early in the month some friends and I spent six days upstate. First we convened at friend’s house near Ithaca and spent two days doing, you know, upstate things: swimming in a pond, thrifting (I got a nice vintage shirt), eating hot dogs and ice cream at an old-school roadside stand, lakeside drinking, making a nighttime bonfire, feeding our friends’ chickens (one of which later tried to feed herself) — that sort of thing.

Then we drove a few hours northeast to the upstate town of Rome, home of the annual Capitolfest, a three-day film festival consisting of about one-third old silent movies and two-thirds early talkies, plus assorted shorts, cartoons, and newsreels. My friends had all attended for the past several years, but this was my first time. It all takes place in a gorgeous old theater, and the silent films have live accompaniment on an old Wurlitzer pit organ:

I'm spending the weekend at Capitolfest, an annual film festival in Rome, NY, featuring movies from the 1920s and '30s — some are silent, the others early talkies (see link below). It takes place in the Capitol Theater, which was built in 1928 and is an absolute gem. It features a gorgeous old organ, with musicians providing live accompaniment during the silent films. They also play during intermissions. Here's a snippet.http://www.romecapitol.com/capitolfest.html

Posted by Paul Lukas on Friday, August 7, 2015

Interestingly, three of the early talkies featured my namesake, the old Hollywood actor Paul Lukas (who I’ve written about before). There’s no family relation, we look nothing alike, and he was a bit of a McCarthy-ite prick, but I can’t help getting a kick out of seeing him onscreen. I gently applauded each time he appeared, and it was also also fun to see his/our name in the credits.

4. I bought something really cool. On the day after the film festival, I went flea-marketing and came away with an amazing find that deserves its own blog entry. More on that soon.

5. I cooked some meat directly on the coals. This was actually a Culinary Corner entry a few weeks ago, so you may have seen it already. But if you missed it, here are the basics:

Earlier this summer, the Times ran a story about cooking steaks and chops directly on the charcoal (see article link…

Posted by Paul Lukas on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

6. I fell in love with a new record. Every now and then I like a new album so much that I play it over and over again for weeks. That was the case last month with Green Lanes, the second album by the UK group Ultimate Painting, which became the soundtrack of my August. Ultimate Painting aren’t breaking any new ground (their sound is a pretty obvious nod to late-period Velvets) but they really know what they’re doing and make it sound easy. Here are three of the album’s best songs (you can buy the full album here, or stream it via the usual sources):

7. I saw a really good movie. I also saw a few not-so-good movies (like many New Yorkers, I take refuge in air-conditioned movie theaters when the weather gets beastly), but never mind about those. I really loved Cop Car, which is about a pair of 10-year-old boys who find and take a police cruiser. There are all sorts of B-movie tropes and homages that will be familiar to anyone who likes the Coen brothers, and Kevin Bacon clearly had a lot of fun playing the corrupt sheriff trying to get his car back, but the real attraction is the interplay between the 10-year-old boys. Having been a 10-year-old boy myself, I found their interplay and dynamic to be dead-on authentic. You only get a small sense of that in the trailer, but here it is anyway:

8. I did a grown-up thing. Actually, I guess I did have one goal for the month, and that was to sign up for long-term care insurance, which is what responsible, forward-looking people are supposed to do when they get to be around my age. Much like setting up a will, LTC is something that’s no fun to think about, plus it costs a monthly nut, but I’m generally a responsible person, so I went ahead and did it. Sort of an “eat your vegetables” kind of thing.

9. I took a hard punch to the gut. A few months ago I flew out to the Midwest to visit a close friend/hero who was terminally ill and in hospice. We both understood that it was the last time we’d see each other, which was sad and surreal and bizarre, but we tried to concentrate on what a cool friendship we’d had and how lucky we were to have known and loved each other. In late August I got the news via email that she had died. This wasn’t unexpected, and on some level it was a relief to know that her pain was finally over, but I was still devastated.

This news happened to arrive while I was spending a day with my 91-year-old mom, who lives in a retirement community. She had never met this particular friend of mine, but she was aware of the situation. As I explained that my friend had finally passed away, I realized that Mom deals with death and loss on a near-constant basis. That’s one of the drawbacks to living in an all-elderly community: Your friends and neighbors are constantly declining and dying. Mom has told me that she’s become a bit numb to it over the years, and she’s also learned not to get too emotionally close to her neighbors as a result.

We’ve had some death in our family (I’ve lost my father, a brother, and two sisters-in-law), but this is the first time I’ve experienced the death of a close friend, and it definitely feels different — it’s shaken me up in a completely different way. But being in Mom’s presence when I got the news, and realizing how she copes with death in her community, kind of put everything in perspective. It made me realize that in a way I’m fortunate to be this upset about my friend’s passing, because it means I’ve had the luxury of not having dealt with too many friends’ deaths up until now. A humbling thought.

Thanks for listening. We’ll get back to more conventional Uni Watch content tomorrow.

• • • • •

And as long as I’m talking about non-uni stuff…: Twenty-some years ago I edited a book about caricatures, and ever since then I’ve been fascinated by that particular sub-niche of the illustration world. So I kinda flipped out when I sas last week’s issue of The New Yorker, which featured this absolutely sensational caricature of Donald Trump by the great illustrator Christoph Niemann (click to enlarge):

Man is that awesome or what? Look how simple it is — just a few rudimentary shapes and some judicious use of negative space — but it’s still instantly recognizable as Trump.

One of the funniest things about this is that Niemann had already done a great Trump caricature, of a sort, several years ago. In 2010 he did a book of NYC-themed Lego constructions, which included this brilliantly minimalist entry:

Trump, of course, invites caricature because he’s already a self-parodying cartoon, but I still think these are really good. I have no interest in discussing Trump himself (let’s not have any comments on him or his candidacy, thanks), but any dialogue about these caricatures, or about the art of caricature in general, is more than welcome. Also: Is it just me, or is this a rather fallow period for sports caricatures?

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This copy of Finley’s Heroes, the story of Oakland’s 1972 championship season (I was sitting right above Joe Rudi when he made THAT catch) is signed by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers. Of course, you’ll need a record player for this. Kids, ask your parents. (I settled for this copy of Fleetwood’s New Red Machine.)

Now let’s see what else we have this week in Collector’s Corner:

• This pair of 1970s Chicago Blackhawks extra absorbent wristbands has never been opened.

• It’s back-to-school time for lots of students. Back in the day, I always brought my dependable Cowboys (or later on, Bengals) binder. Dolphins fans, this one is for you!

• Check out this 1971 Packers jigsaw puzzle!

• Ah, let’s go back to some smash-mouth football, eh? Colts. Browns. By the lake, Late December of 1968. Forecast? SNOW. The winner would go onto Super Bowl III, and the Colts ended up taking the Brownies to the woodshed. This is a poster repro of the game program artwork.

• Absolutely had this: a 1971-1972 Pro Football Hall of Fame Appointment Book, from NFL Properties. I mean, I was in sixth grade — I had no appointments. But that was hardly the point. Fairly sure I wanted it purely because of the cover art.

• A few items today from reader Mike Powers. First off, this Chicago Bears youth jacket, supposedly from the 1930s. “What I especially thought was great was that it was tagged from George Halas’ sporting goods company, May & Halas,” says Mike. He also sent along an ABC Monday Night football T-shirt , a Pat Patriot lamp by Tim Wolfe (“there are several additional bronze NFL lamps by Mr Wolfe if you search”) and “a beautiful college all-star sweater.”

• Look at this 1971 NFL Slider Calculator Schedule, sponsored by Camel.

• Big selection of 1968 NFL posters here.

• Here’s a nice-looking 1967 Saints “Musical Lighter,” featuring Sir Saint!

• Nice cover artwork to this 1967 Steelers media guide. Now, have they ever used this design as a throwback? They should bring back that jersey design as a throwback!

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

The Ticker
Compiled by Phil Hecken

Baseball News: Research query: “I have been conducting a research project on a vintage Pony League uniform I was gifted when I was younger,” says Tim Caisse. He believes the uniform falls in between the early 1950s (black tags with bronze lettering used in the 40s and early 50s) and early 1960s (cleaner white and blue tags with red lettering). Anyone out there able to ID/help with the years? … After tossing a no-no Sunday night, Cubs P Jake Arrieta posed in pajamas covered in mustaches for his no-hitter press conference (h/t The Cauldron). Later, the whole team posed in PJs (h/t 120 Sports). … “Saw an interesting matchup last night in Salem, VA,” says Sam Lev. “The Salem Red Sox hosted the Potomac Nationals in a game where both teams sported the same shade of red top. Frustrating game to watch from the stands.” … Here’s a roundup of 2015 minor league jersey promos, and trends to watch for in 2016. … Here’s a very cool article about the 1960 Yankees batting helmets, which referred to them as “Spaceman Decor” (from Todd Radom). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Check out the alt unis of Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg of the German Baseball Bundesliga – they broke these out for a playoff game against the Solingen Alligators (from Eric Jaffe). …”I thought you would be interested in this aspect of the Braves new park under construction, SunTrust Park,” writes Kevin Tamosaitis. “They have a restaurant in it called the Coors Light Chop House — combines corporate sponsorship and a bit of an insensitive theme. Also, notice the ‘animated’ tomahawk on the light structure.” … The Frederick Keys, an O’s affiliate, will sport jerseys with crabs and black-eyed susans. … “I was watching the 1988 NLCS,” says Matt Ryburn, “and Dodgers pitcher John Tudor used what looks like magic marker on his sleeve to ‘honor’ Jay Howell, who was suspended for three days as the commentator called it.” … Jon Lester’s month by month ERA chart looks like the Cubs’ W flag (from Mike Chamernik).

NFL News: “Thought y’all’d enjoy this primo example of unnecessary Photoshoppery,” writes Chris G.. “Mathis is clearly sporting an Eagles jersey colored in with Broncos orange — except for the shoulders.” … Saints coach Sean Payton wrote an “X” with the letters “N-O-L-A” as a Hurricane Katrina tribute on his pullover Sunday, then he thought a patch “or something” might have been more appropriate (via Russell Goutierez). …Starting with Week 7, NFL sideline gear will feature gold-trimmed team logos, as part of Super Bowl 50 golden anniversary (thanks Paul). … The ‘NFL on CBS’ has a new set design (thanks, Brinke).

College/High School Football News: “I’m a high school football official and this year the National Federation had all of us switch to larger stripes,” says Joseph Bailey. “Also, we now have our state chapter logo over our chests along with the US flag on our sleeve.” … It looks like Virginia Tech might be wearing orange pants next Monday versus THE Ohio State (h/t Andrew Cosentino). Also from Andrew, here’s a look at VT’s new orange chrome helmets. Or…are they just fucking with us with the orange pants? The orange helmets are a definitely go, though (via Keith Leventhal). … Over on CBS Sports, carrying a story by Saturday Down South, they have ranked helmets, and you can probably guess which ones come out on top (hint: shiny shit & gimmicky patterns are tops). … Here’s a look at Louisville’s home, road and alts for 2015 (h/t Louisville Sports Live). … Vanderbilt had its theatre costume shop manager review Vandy’s new unis. Here’s her verdict. … Do you want to buy one of those sweet NIU throwback unis they’re wearing during their season opener on Saturday? You can. … Here’s a look at the VT helmet sticker helmet sticker honoring Alison & Adam (two journalists assassinated last week during a live shot). H/T Walk Left Stand Right. … Ball State’s helmets for Thursday night’s opener feature a camouflage Cardinal for military appreciation and a Muncie150 sticker (h/t Mitch Purcell). … Here’s a uni preview for Auburn & Louisville, by Clint Richardson. … Ole Miss will be wearing powder blue lids again (h/t Connor Caligiuri). … Check out this crazy bent facemask. Submitter Brice Wallace notes, “This was put on Facebook Friday night by the Tolsia High School football team in West Virginia. Apparently a hard-hitting game against in-county rival Wayne. I’ve seen facemasks bent before, but not that much. And look how the helmet is deformed, too.” … Here’s a story about a Colorado HS art teacher who took his district to task over logos he designed for his school. Submitter Oscar Raab notes, “Sad to see such a dispute over original logos when so many schools poach professional and college logos — the school apparently lost the right to continue using them.” … Washington Huskies coach Chris Petersen doesn’t think Boise State has an advantage on blue turf (they’re playing Friday night). In a related story, the Boise State Broncos will be wearing all blue uniforms against UW. And here is what the Huskies will wear (I’m pretty sure that’s a white uni, with gold lights). H/T Andrew. … Here’s some video of the Marshall Football equipment staff fully assembling a helmet for this weekend’s game (thanks to Jake Keys). … Temple will be doing a slow peek of their new unis this week (from Georgey The Greek). … New helmets for Sweetwater Wildcats football this season (h/t Josh Walker). … New uniforms for the UNC Bears (via Matthew Brinton). … “I guess North Dakota hasn’t yet made a choice on its name?” asks Tim Dunn. “In the game notes for the Wyoming vs. UND football game this weekend from Univ of Wyoming, the game is referred to as The Wyoming Cowboys vs. The University of North Dakota.” … Penn State is doing their first ever stripe-out (from Chris Flinn). Here’s more on that. … THE OSU coach Urban Meyer makes his players do push-ups if they wear blue (thanks Mike). … Looks like Notre Dame will wear the Fr. Ted decal for the season opener against Texas. “I am trying to confirm if it’s just for one game or for the entire season,” says Warren Junium. Update: They will wear it all season long.

NBA/College Hoops News: Here’s a cool animation of Shaq’s jerseys throughout his pro career (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Oops — Paul took a screenshot of the UMD Bulldogs giving a Twitter shout-out to UnderArmour while their wallpaper features Nike logo. … Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis got a customized NY Red Bulls jersey (via Mike Chamernik).

Hockey News: Cross-sport Promotion Alert! The St. Louis Cardinals are teaming up with the St. Louis Blues for the first-ever St. Louis Blues Theme Night at Busch Stadium on Monday, September 21. … The Islanders will be nixing their Ice Girls as they move into their new Brooklyn digs. … The Colorado Avalanche have a new center ice logo (h/t Patrick Thomas).

Soccer News: Here’s a look at MSU Denver Men’s Soccer home kits for 2015 — looks like gradient is the thing for college soccer this year (h/t Metro State Sports).

Grab Bag: Pitt will ditch the block logo and reinstate the Pitt script logo as its primary mark across all sports (from Adam Greenberg). … Dave Battafarano lent Jason Levine three sets of stirrups and a pair of sanis prior to a recent podcast. “So I just had to model a set (and wear them for the rest of the day, much to my kids’ embarassment).” … Western Kentucky and Russell have announced a five year extension on their apparel deal. … Sunday night was a sad day for bowling alley aficianados, as the Lincoln Square Lanes burned down. Says submitter Thomas Juettner, “I’m not sure if it was ever featured on the site, or if you’ve ever been, but it was one of the oldest still operating bowling alleys in Chicago. It recently had gone through a major renovation including restoring an old Illinois mural.” … The city of Richmond hoisted flags from almost 70 nations outside Main Street Station in a bid to welcome the world ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in 17 days. The flags were hung upside down (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a look at Novak Djokovic’s custom US Open kicks (h/t Michael Ehrlich). … Which brands made the podium the most in Beijing? Chris Bisbee sends this article tracking shoe brands at IAAF World Championships. … The logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been scrapped following persistent allegations that it was plagiarized (from Ryan Bugaj).