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Not Even If You Paid Me: Super Bowl Media Day

Yesterday was Super Bowl Media Day (aka the annual Big Fuss Over Nothing). Here’s a look at some of the event’s uni-centric aspects:

• Most players wore those Media Day uniform jackets. But some players, like Pats running back LeGarrette Blount, were in full uniform. Anyone know why?

• Bill Bellichick wore mandals.

• Pats cornerback Brandon Browner wore Nike Hypervenom soccer cleats.

• For reasons that aren’t clear to me, a lot of the players arrived wearing knapsacks. Was this a sponsorship thing (the official knapsack of the NFL, or whatever)?

• Many Pats players wore Flying Elvis caps. But cornerback Darrelle Revis wore this black cap, which looks really odd to me. Like, what Pats wordmark is that?

• Speaking of caps: If you’re wondering about that cap Marshawn Lynch was wearing, look here.

• NBC Sports correspondent Karim Mendiburu Contreras was wearing — uh, you tell me. Bizarre.

• Not sure what the full story is here, but one dude found a new way to wear neon green.

• The event was sponsored by Gatorade, which presumably explains why each player’s chair was accessorized with a Gatorade towel. As you know, sitting and answering questions is really strenuous, so you have to towel off quite a bit. Douchebags.

• Speaking of corporate nonsense, Richard Sherman’s headphones were confiscated.

• Finally, here’s an interesting tidbit: Media members (or at least some of them) were given earpieces that let them choose which players they wanted to hear.

(My thanks to Jason Eich and Phil for their contributions to this section.)

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Sneaker Report
By Owen Dillon

[Editor’s Note: As longtime readers are aware, I’m not a sneakerhead. But today we’re going to try something new — a sneaker-centric guest column by Owen Dillon. If it’s well-received, it may become a semi-regular feature here on the site. Feedback welcome. — PL]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is obviously an important holiday from a historical and cultural standpoint, but it’s also become a big day in world of sneaker culture, where it presents an opportunity see the new sneakers being debuted by NBA players. When combined with Black History Month, it makes this an important time of year for new sneaker designs.

This year Nike decided to go with a black and white patterned look, which was present throughout all of its models, including the most recent Jordan silhouette, the Jordan 29. LeBron James also got his LeBron 12 in a Black History Month/MLK Day edition featuring multiple patterns throughout the upper and lower, with a grey sole.

Kobe Bryant is now out for the year, but before that he was given an MLK Day edition of his very popular Kobe 9. This particular shoe comes in the high-top version of the Kobe 9, and is primarily black on the outside, white on the inside, providing a very nice contrast.

Then there’s Kevin Durant. The Durant 7s also received the Black History Month treatment, but I don’t much care for the two-panel multicolored concoction. Personally, this was my least favorite BHM shoe from any brand.

Kyrie Irving also has a signature shoe from Nike, and the Kyrie 1 also got a Black History Month makeover. This is one of the most entertaining shoes from Nike in the BHM line, and is my personal favorite.

Adidas also join in on the Black History Month theme. The John Wall 1 was shown in a variety of browns with a gold lower; Damian Lillard’s first shoe got an MLK treatment; and the Derrick Rose 5 also debuted a new edition for MLK Day. Unlike the Nike models, all the Adidas models featured words and quotes from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, obviously one of the inspirational athletes of recent memory.

Under Armour has only one signature athlete, and only one relevant non-signature shoe, but that didn’t stop them from taking part in the MLK celebration. The Stephen Curry 1 was featured in grey and black, much like the Nike models.

Finally, my favorite pair of kicks worn during the past few weeks was a special edition of the Nike LeBron 8 Soldier worn by Danny Green of the Spurs. The shoe paid tribute to the late Stuart Scott. In addition to being a very nice gesture, the shoes looked very good with the Spurs’ road jerseys.

• • • • •

Baseball News: New commish Rob Mandred’s signature has been added to the official MLB baseball. … The A’s are giving away a bobblehead with audio this season. … Here’s a visual timeline of all the Topps baseball card designs from 1951 through 2015 (from Jonathan Daniel). … Tequila sunrise jerseys on tap for the Fresno Grizzlies (from Jared Buccola).

NFL News: Odd scene from the 1993 Pro Bowl: Moose Johnston from the Cowboys wearing a Packers helmet. Johnston says it’s because his helmet was stolen the night before the game, so he had to wear Brett Favre’s lid. … The big neon “R” at the Rainier Brewery in Seattle is changing its colors to blue and green for the Super Bowl (from Markus Kamp). … EA Sports’ Super Bowl simulation shows Tom Brady with elasticized sleeve cuffs, which is something Brady doesn’t actually wear on the field (thanks, Phil). … The 1976 Bucs had Maulty Moore and Manfred Moore on the roster, so at least one of them wore FNOB. Look at the spread on that lettering — it practically extends onto the sleeves! “That’s from this site, which has some other cool stuff from the early days of Tampa pro sports,” says Cork Gaines. … On Thursday the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards (NIST) and Technology will participate in a news conference in Phoenix on health and safety in the NFL. NIST will join the NFL, GE, and Under Armour to announce an open competition to identify innovative materials for protective sports equipment. … Here’s the annual story on that company that makes the Super Bowl jersey patches (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a discussion thread on how Super Bowl field designs might have looked if the teams that lost the conference championship games had won. “The one for Super Bowl XIV, with the Oilers versus the Bucs, would cause seizures,” says Eric Dearden. … Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel says the team will be celebrating its 50th season in 2015, which presumably means a patch is in the works (from @JJHarkins). … Robert Morris University has totally ripped off the Eagles’ logo and wordmark. Yeah, they’ve made slight adjustments to both, but come on (from A.J. Frey). … A few days ago I showed you the Super Bowl uniform being worn by that statue in downtown Phoenix. That uniform was made by Patsy Elmer of Big Time Jerseys, who’s shown here posing with the statue. “All the tackle twill name and numbers are 25% larger than on a normal-size jersey,” she says. “The statue’s chest measures 65”, which is only 5” bigger than Shaquille O’Neal’s. When Shaq played with the Phoenix Suns, he wore a size 60 jersey, which to my knowledge is the largest size any Suns player has ever worn.”

College Football News: Here’s some 1980 footage of Bear Bryant talking about some very specific aspects of his hats (nice find by Chris LaHaye). … Here’s a one-minute video of Clemson’s football equipment staff going through all the gear players are issued during the season (from Scott Moody).

Hockey News: Good story about the NHL’s partnership with GoPro helmet-mounted cameras. … The Powerchair Hockey International Committee is launching a logo design competition. … The Penguins misspelled Sidney Crosby’s name on their own program. … The Blackhawks are auctioning off a seriously ugly jersey as part of a meet-and-greet with Marian Hossa. “Yikes,” says Ryan Lindemann. … Always kinda weird when a team uses an anniversary logo as its main jersey crest. That’s the 15th-anniversary uni for the Tri-City Storm (from Jason Johnson). … Stars C Jason Spezza changed from a jaw guard to a conventional visor at some point during last night’s game against the Habs. “The Canadiens’ announcers suggested that it was because he had trouble inserting his mouthpiece,” says Matt Larsen. … Here are Miami’s uniforms for the upcoming Hockey City Classic (from Jason Eckerle).

NBA News: The Pacers will wear 1990s throwbacks tomorrow night against the Knicks. … Charlie Panian recently picked up this 1972-73 Bucks media guide. Among other things, it lists the official team colors for each NBA club. The funny thing about this is that it has “red and white” for the Hawks, even though the accompanying photo shows Pete Maravich wearing the blue/green uni. You can see more of the interior pages here.

College Hoops News: North Carolina Wilmington’s new logo will be revealed prior to tonight’s game against Elon. … Akron did a purple-out for pancreatic cancer yesterday. The “Peters” NOB is for former assistant coach Dan Peters, who died of the disease about three months ago. … Pink-trimmed uniforms last night for Georgetown. … Some sort of bizarro sneaker on tap for Maryland (thanks, Phil). … Arkansas G Anton Beard normally wears No. 31, but someone puked on his jersey during last night’s game, so he had to switch to an old No. 15 jersey with outdated fonts (from Jason Yellin).

Soccer News: Here are the Women’s World Cup jerseys for Sweden (from Mira Muikku). … Here are some updates on MLS and international kits (from Trevor Williams). … Barcelona may end its sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways.

Grab Bag: Did you know there’s a band called Uniform? It’s true! Not really my bag music-wise, but ya have to like the name. Now let’s see a band called Stirrups. … There are lots of species of “white-crowned” birds — the white-crowned sparrow, the white-crowned pigeon, and so on. But the recent snow has left me with a white-crowned bird feeder. … Under Armour may design new uniforms for the Baltimore police department (from Adam Marcus). … The Super Rugby champions NSW Waratahs have extended their sponsorship agreement with CMC Markets. … Cycling news: Menswear designer Paul Smith has designed the leader’s jerseys for Dubai Tour (from Sean Clancy). … Here’s a fun slideshow of Syracuse-area high school wrestling singlets (from Tony DiRubbo). … Another company outfitting an Aussie Open tennis player in neon green: Uniqlo, which sponsors Kei Nishikori (thanks, Phil).

Snow Day

As you may have heard, we’ve gotten a wee bit of snow here in the Northeast. My thanks to everyone who’s expressed concern about my well-being, but no worries — while we certainly got our share of the white powder, the doomsdeay forecasts turned out to be a false alarm (at least for NYC, although other areas may still get walloped), and I’m happy to report that everything is fine here at Uni Watch HQ, where the power is still on, the radiators are clanking away, and Uni Watch mascots Tucker and Caitlin are purring contentedly by my side. My morning commute (from the bedroom to the living room) was unaffected by the storm, and I have plenty of Cheerios, Diet Coke, and cat food — you know, the essentials — so it’s pretty much business as usual around here.

“Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie — who lives in California, 3,000 miles away from the snow — has taken an unusual interest in this storm. At one point yesterday he wrote to me with a suggestion:

Here’s an idea for tomorrow: Compare the parkas used by news teams from CNN and Weather Channel. TWC has long had a deal with LL Bean, while CNN has its own branded gear.

I liked that idea — a Uni Watch approach to the blizzard. But why limit ourselves to CNN and TWC? So I put out a call, which prompted a bunch of good responses (many of them, as you’ll see, from Chris Howell — thanks, Chris!): (Continue reading)

Monday Morning Uni Watch

Click to enlarge

It was neon/higlighter kind of day yesterday, as the NFL and NHL both dressed their best players in garishly bold colors for their respective all-star games. Here’s a look at some of the games’ finer uni-related nuances, beginning with the Pro Bowl:

• All Chiefs players in the game wore a “29” nose bumper for Eric Berry. I can’t recall any kind of similar gesture ever taking place in a Pro Bowl. Anyone else..?

• Bears tight end Martellus Bennett’s Pro Bowl jersey patch was coming loose. Ditto for Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.

• One of the players from the Dolphins — I think it was offensive lineman Mike Pouncey — wore a blue visor.

• Speaking of the Dolphins, cornerback Brent Grimes went with biker shorts and bare legs — a brutal combination.

• Instead of wearing the usual white towels, the players wore — of course — higlighter-colored towels.

• In the “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me” department, the balls had neon laces — or maybe the laces just picked up some tint from the players gloves and jerseys.

• The uniform mock-ups released last week had indicated that both teams would wear white shoes, but quite a few players wore other colors.

• Someone — not sure who — was wearing some bizarre-patterned tights. (Update: I’m now told that the player in question was Cardinals defensive back Antonio Cromartie.)

• As you can also see in that last photo, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had the hashtag “#Royal” on his cleats. Not sure what that’s about (and I suspect I’d rather not know), but I see the word “royal” does appear quite a bit on his Facebook page.

• Here’s something I didn’t know: The cheerleaders were drawn from teams throughout the league, just like the players. But they got to wear their usual uniforms instead of being forced to wear ugly Pro Bowl uniforms.

• One interesting note: The officials used iPads tablets for instant replays. I wouldn’t mind seeing this become the go-to replay format, instead of having the ref go under the hood.

• Turning to the NHL All-Star Game: Frankly, I couldn’t find anything particularly uni-notable about that game, except that it looked awful. It’s worth noting, howver, that all-star jerseys for sale at the NHL Shop in Manhattan had cheapo iron-on nameplates, instead of the sewn-on ’plates used in the game. Lame.

• For the more historically minded, here’s a look at some key moments in NHL All-Star Game uniform history.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Alan Kreit, Jerry Lawless, Jon Saddler, Jeff Shirley, @TJN3, J. Walker, and of course Phil.)

• • • • •

Busy fella: There’s been a lot of activity on my other websites over the past few days. Let me bring you up to date:

• It’s been nearly a year since I posted anything on My Pet Troll (which, for latecomers, is the site I created last winter to document the Big Cock Johnson episode that originally took place here on Uni Watch). But now another writer has confronted and her troll — a troll who was a lot more belligerent and hateful toward her than Big Cock Johnson was toward me — with fascinating results. Get the full scoop here.

• Over on Permanent Record: a New York City woman was poking around in her building’s basemenet and found an old ledger that showed who’d been living in her apartment 55 years ago. She became obsessed with her home’s former occupant and began researching everything she could find about her — including, as it turns out, a story about a botched illegal abortion. Get the full story here.

• Also on PermaRec, the story of an 1880s rifle that was recently found leaning against a tree in a national park — and may have been sitting there for over a century. Details here.

• • • • •

LAST CALL for the February shirt: Today is the last day for ordering the February offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. The shirt will be available until 11pm Eastern tonight. After that it’s gone for good. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Excellent news from new MLB commish Robert Manfred, who says he doesn’t foresee advertising on MLB unis. Key quote: “There was more chatter about that in the game 10 years ago than there is now. It’s just not a hot issue for us. I think people have great respect for the way our uniforms look. I don’t foresee that one; I really don’t.” Kudos to Tyler Kepner for asking the new commish about this. Maybe Manfred should go have a heart-to-heart with Adam Silver. … Gotta love this: The Brewers now have a live Barrel Man mascot (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an hour-long film that the Astros put together back in the 1980s to celebrate their 25th anniversary. “It features some stadium goodness (like a home run over the scoreboard at Crosley Field) as well as uniforms, from Colt .45s jackets to, of course, tequila sunrises,” says Jerry Wolper. … Jack Krabbe’s son Max knows the first rule of a good uniform: Don’t forget the stirrups! … Little-known fact: The Giants always honor their New York roots by bringing the World Series trophy to NYC. Robert Brashear went to check it out and wore New York Giants gear for the occasion. … Whoa, look at the size of the chest insignia on this jersey. Huge numerals on the back, too. … The Cubs have begun flying an Ernie Banks memorial banner above Wrigley Field. … Good news from John Kimmerlein, who attended the Mariners’ fanfest event over the weekend and was told by a store manager that the team’s new striped socks will be available for sale (although it’s not clear when). “No idea if they will offer stirrups as well as normal socks,” says John. … “Check out Al Bundy’s jersey from a 1994 episode of Married…With Children,” writes Tristan Ridgeway. “His team is the Chicago Cleavage, which is part of a league sponsored by NO MA’AM (National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood), formed in the wake of the 1994 MLB strike. On the back he had the NOB ‘Birdie’ (which a reporter carelessly used instead of ‘Bundy’) and No. 38DD.”

NFL News: Intentionally deflated footballs or just some old balloons? Either way, this is pretty funny (from Duncan Wilson). … And here’s a similar display from an Indianapolis shop (from Colin Short). … Hmmm, Pro Bowl or Pro Bowow? Pretty weak job of glove alignment there (from Chris Flinn). … The Madame Tussaud’s outlet in Orlando now has a wax figure of Dan Marino. But they botched the uniform — that jersey was never worn with those pants or that belt. … Oooh, check out this old Nut Bar ad featuring Red Grange (big thanks to my pal Karen McBurnie, who knows what I like). … Is this a hint of the Browns’ new uni? If only. … I didn’t watch The Simpsons last night, but Tyler Kepner did and said that Homer said (incorrectly) that the dolphin on the Dolphins’ helmet is also wearing a helmet, which hasn’t been true for several years. … Fans didn’t wear jerseys to games back in 1970 — or did they? That’s a shot of the Kezar Stadium scoreboard at the 49ers/Saints game on Oct. 18, 1970. There are clearly two fans in the back row wearing jerseys! “They’re either wearing game-worn jerseys or they’re time travelers!” says Jeff Flynn.

College Football News: “Many people jokingly ask if Auburn University is the Tigers or the War Eagles, but of course we all know ‘War Eagle’ is just their battle cry,” says Dustin Semore. “But West Carroll High School in Tennessee really does call its teams the War Eagles.” … Hmmm, is UTSA getting orange turf? (From Bob Johnson.) … I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m seriously underwhelmed by the design of the College Football Playoff trophy, and I don’t think much of the logo either. What I didn’t know until now is that they were both designed by the high-end NYC design firm Pentagram, which usually does outstanding work. Very surprised to learn they were the ones behind this. There’s a good backgrounder on the designs here (big thanks to Greg Franklin).

Hockey News: Here’s more on those computer tracking chips that were embedded in the players’ jerseys during the All-Star skills competition. … Always fun to see the Sabres-inspired design worn by the Cincinnati Swords, back when they were a Sabers affiliate in the early 1970s (from Terry Proctor).

NBA News: The Bulls wore sleeved black jerseys at home against the Heat yesterday. They also had different black shorts than the ones they’d worn a few days earlier, because everyone knows you can’t have just one pair of black shorts, wheeeee!

College and Other Non-Pro Hoops News: Pink gear yesterday for Virginia Tech. “It’s really odd that it’s not even their normal uniform template,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Different font, different side striping. It’s a completely ‘built from scratch’ uniform with no ties to their normal template. I’m sure other teams will wear the same design, just with a different university name on the front. It’s just a strange uniform from top to bottom.” … Kentucky State Policemen traded in their police uniforms for basketball uniforms the other day for a charity basketball tourney. … Duke players wore “1K” caps and T-shirts to mark Coach K’s 1000th win. … Pitt is going BFBS on Feb. 7.

Grab Bag: “During the recent Adelaide Strikers versus Sydney Sixers Big Bash T20 cricket match, Adelaide player Craig Simmons snapped his bat in half when playing a shot,” reports Graham Clayton. … Longtime Uni Watch pal David Frost is selling tons of old jerseys from his extensive collection. … David Firestone has written about the uniforms in the video game Team Fortress 2. … Also from David: “During the coverage of the Rolex 24, Fox Sports mentioned that their pit reporter firesuits were provided by OMP. I don’t know if this will cross over to NASCAR, but it wouldn’t surprise me because their pit reporters wear no fire protection at all, which is odd, since fires on pit road are a common occurance. NBC has their pit crew uniforms made by Alpine Stars, and ESPN uses Impact, which also created what I think is history’s first maternity firesuit for Jamie Little.” … Tennis pro Andy Murray’s been wearing Under Armour apparel but Adidas footwear at the Aussie Open. Word I hear is that his new UA shoes are still in development (from Noah Crouch). … “KLM Royal Dutch Airlines employee Cliff Muskiet has a collection of nearly 1,000 different air hostess uniforms,” says Graham Clayton. “Here is a selection of approximately 100 uniforms from his collection.”

• • • • •

What Paul did last night yesterday afternoon: There’s a new documentary out called The Search for General Tso (see trailer above), which is all about the ubiquitous Chinese restaurant dish General Tso’s chicken. Part of it is about trying to determine who created the dish and how it spread across America; part of it is about trying to find out who General Tso was and how this dish was named after him; and part of it is about the history of Chinese immigration and assimilation in America.

The movie recently had a short theatrical run here in NYC, but it’s also available on demand. So yesterday some friends and I convened at my friend Howard’s house to watch the movie. We each picked up an order of General Tso takeout on the way, all from different restaurants — you know, just to get into the spirit of the occasion. We also wanted to see if there were any significant differences between the various restaurants’ versions of the dish, see if we liked one version better than the others, etc. — a Tso-off, as it were (click to enlarge):

IMG_1215

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It’s a little hard to see in that first photo, but all the restaurants served the chicken on a bed of broccoli, which seems to be the default format. All of the renditions tasted pretty much the same — one was a bit sweeter than the others, but not radically. It really does seem to be a very standardized dish.

After chowing down, we watched the movie, which is really good. Smart, funny, informative, and with some really good graphics and animations. Definitely worth seeing, if your cable system offers it on demand.

Lucky Seven!

20150115_vegas_seven_cover
Cover Art by Rob Ullman – click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

If the artwork on the cover of the January 15, 2015, edition of Las Vegas Seven, pictured above, looks familiar to you, that’s because the artist has been featured on Uni Watch many times before — it’s by none other than UW fave Rob Ullman. You probably best know Rob for his “Atom Bomb Bikini” sketches of ladies in sports jerseys. Many of you have commissioned Rob to sketch your own significant others.

Well, back on the 15th, I noticed that in a tweet Rob posted:


Intrigued, I asked Rob the story behind it and if he’d be interested in sharing it with Uni Watch readers. He was happy to oblige — this is awesome, and I’m really happy for Mr. Ullman, as this is a huge deal. So, without further ado, and of course, click on any images below to enlarge, here’s Rob with …

. . . . . . . . . .

Black Jacks
By Rob Ullman

Back in early December, news broke that the NHL might seriously be looking at placing a team in Las Vegas. As I walked through Target one afternoon with that in mind, the idea struck to send an email to Ryan, an art director for a weekly Las Vegas magazine whom I’ve worked with in the past, DEMANDING that should they run a piece on the topic, I be given the assignment. I quickly dismissed the idea, deciding that such a thing was too presumptuous for even as shameless a self-promoter as myself.

So imagine my delight and surprise when, a couple weeks later, none other than Ryan himself emailed me out of the blue, inquiring about my availability to create an illustration…for the COVER, no less…on the subject of an NHL team in Las Vegas! “Who else would I go to?”, he asked. Who, indeed. It was like something out of “The Secret”.

He had few details about the piece itself, as it was still being written, but he envisioned a collage of pertinent elements: a hockey player, the proposed arena, some desert imagery, and of course, some pretty girls.

I did up a few sketches with different layouts, they chose one they liked, and I set to work.

SevenSketches

It was a pretty tight deadline, so I didn’t have a ton of time to fuss over details, but I did want to bring a little extra effort to the jersey the player would be wearing. I began with a color scheme of red and black, representing the two colors in a deck of cards and many other table games. And at the risk of being hacky, I also decided to make gambling front and center in the fictional team’s identity, both as a challenge to do it in a fun and dignified way, and because it’s gambling that makes Nevada what it is.

I didn’t want to do too much research, lest I influence my design too heavily, but I remembered a vintage team called the Quebec Aces using an image of a poker hand in it’s crest, and that it made for a cool look. As I was sketching it up, however, I thought it was a little too boring for a primary logo. Then a bit of inspiration hit: I moved the cards to the shoulder, and dropped the amount to 2, an Ace and a 10, and decided I’d call my fictional team the Black Jacks. I sketched up a round poker chip, perfect for the jersey crest, and added the number 21 in the center. I had my identity.

Vegas_Player

For the jersey’s striping pattern, I wanted to do something classic, but with a little more menace to it, befitting the city’s tough origins. I played up the black, making three bold stripes on the sleeves, socks and waist, with just a little white between them. I briefly considered replacing the middle stripe with side-by-side squares that looked like dice, sort of along the lines of the Hurricanes’ old storm warning flag motif, but decided it would be too over the top. A solid black collar and black neck laces complemented the look nicely. For the one of the girls in the background of the composition, I created a white away jersey, which is basically a mirror image of the red home version.

fangirls

As to the super fans in the background…I briefly considered adding a male fan to their group but I thought a third figure might get squeezed out, or worse yet, demand that the girls be smaller and throw off my balance. While I realize a pair of boozy ladies in thigh-high socks and short shorts might strike some as sexist or worse, girls in sports jerseys are what I’m known for, and their raucous expressions and overfilled beer cups speak to the heart of what hockey fans and Las Vegas are all about!

Finally, I added an image of the still-to-be-built arena, bathed in a glorious desert sunset, and I had a cover! The response has been fantastic, and I’ve come around a bit on the idea of a team in Sin City, which I admittedly thought sounded like a disaster at first glance. Provided they’re called the Black Jacks, of course!

. . . . . . . . . .

Fantastic stuff Rob! And congrats on the cover. I’ve been a big fan of Rob’s work for years (for those of you who aren’t familiar, he’s got his Old-Timey Hockey Tales, he’s been featured in The Hockey News Big Book, and even though I’m not a Penguins fan, his This Week in Penguins History strip is amazing (I still wish the Pens would return to their powder blue days, but I think I’m in the minority there).

And how about that for a design for a future team for Vegas? As Jim Vilk would say, “I’d wear that!”

Anyway — big ups for Mr. Ullman — loved the cover and the story behind it — so thanks for sharing it with us!

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Leo's NHL
Leo Strawn Goes To Columbus…

…and reports back

Reader and awesome UW contributor Leo Strawn had the opportunity to visit the NHL All Star Game festivities (the game, as you’re all likely aware, is this afternoon). Below is a neat write-up on his experiences there:

. . . . .

NHL All-Star Weekend Events
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

Went to the NHL All Star Weekend events on Friday in Columbus. The Blue Jackets did an amazing job at giving fans lots to see and do!

The lighting in the Fan Fair was meant for aesthetics, not for photography, so a few of these are a bit blurry, unfortunately.

Historic Ohio hockey sweaters:

• Columbus Chill wore these ghastly jerseys at one time during their 1991-99 ECHL days.

• Cleveland Barons has been the name of multiple clubs. This beautiful jacket comes from their 1947-48 AHL Championship season.

• Johnny Bower won this plaque during his 1957-58 season with the AHL’s Barons.

• They wore this awesome sweater during the 1960s in the AHL.

• Norm Locking represented the Barons in the 1942 AHL All Star game wearing this beauty!

Cleveland Barons AHL jersey from 2005-06.

• The NHL’s Cleveland Barons (who had moved from Oakland and eventually merged with the North Stars) used this logo for their short history.

• After moving from California, the Barons used these pucks (sorry for the poor quality photo) with Golden Seals logos for their inaugural game in Cleveland, on October 6, 1976.

• After two short seasons the Barons merged with Minnesota. These prototypes, which were ready for the 1978-79 season, were never worn.

Cleveland Lumberjacks IHL jersey from 1995-96.

• The World Hockey Association was well represented in Ohio. Here are WHA jerseys from (l to r) the Cincinnati Stingers, 1979 WHA All Star game (worn by Stinger, Mike Gartner), and (sorry for the blur) the Cleveland Crusaders (who, ironically, also moved to Minnesota).

• In 1981-82, Cincinnati Tigers played in the CHL.

• 1996-97 IHL Cincinnati Cyclones sweater.

• Sadly, I did not see any Cincinnati Swords jerseys. Apparently, the HOF does not have any Dayton Gems sweaters, either.

Toledo Goaldiggers 1981-82 IHL sweater. Love it!

Toledo Storm from ECHL in 2005-06.

• Also from the ECHL, 1991-92 Dayton Bombers jersey.

Mascots:

• One section of Fan Fair was the Mascot Clubhouse.

• Bailey was wandering around showing off some bling.

• I also saw Louie making some memories for the young fans.

Misc. sweaters/jerseys:

• What NHL event is complete without the Whale?! (I counted no less than 4 different people wearing Hartford jerseys!)

Upper Deck had their own unique look.

Great Chi-sox! (See what I did there?)

• These two would get my vote for best dressed. She is wearing a sweet 1911-12 Club Athlétique Canadien replica.

Signs:

The Zamboni was dressed and ready.

Oscar Meyer was ready to drive to “Hockeyville.”

Stanley Cup history signs.

• Giant snow slide going down Nationwide Blvd. was covered in corporate signs and ASW logos, with ASW banners hanging from street poles. Nationwide Arena is on the left in both pics. (Okay, those pics were just an excuse to show off the snow slide!)

Misc. ASW signs/banners, including the Ice Haus’ amazing signs! (Ice Haus has an NHL-sized rink for Jackets practices and local league games.)

. . . . .

Great stuff, Leo! Thanks for the report and taking all those great shots!

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

Been a while since we had any of these (sorry to all who’ve sent in, I shouldn’t keep these on the backburner) — but a couple of these are timely, so here we go with them today:

And so, lets begin:

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First up today is Andrew Daniels, who has some concepts for the NHL All-Star Game:

Atlantic Jerseys - Andrew Daniels Metropolitan Jerseys - Andrew Daniels

Pacific Jerseys - Andrew Daniels Central Jerseys - Andrew Daniels

This concept is mostly, though not completely, uni-centric. The intent is to fix both the format and look of this year’s NHL All Star Game. Instead of two teams chosen by a school yard pick, we now have four teams, one representing each division. The uniforms keep the color scheme of the recently revealed Reebok atrocities, but have a more tradition layout. Within the waist stripe of each jersey, there is a star to represent each team in the division.

I will say that I was a bit handcuffed by the fact that I was bound to MS Paint as my medium. I think they turned out fine, but they do leave a little to be completed by the imagination.

Thanks!

–Andrew Daniels

. . .

And we close today with Jim Vilk who has an idea for how to tweak the Leaves…er, Leafs:

Leafs Concept - Jim Vilk

Phil,

I know the Rangers are famous for the downward-slanting name on their sweaters, but there’s another team that should try that look. Leaves fall off of trees, so why not have a Falling Leafs sweater?

Leafs Concept - Jim Vilk

Here’s how it looks on an actual player.

–Jimmer

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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QBC Uniform Panel

Last weekend, I had a small section featuring the “Uniform Panel” at the Queens Baseball Convention, which Paul moderated (and on which I participated), with some photos and audio. Paul ran the audio again on Monday. Well (and I didn’t even realize it at the time), there’s actual video of the panel as well. So, if you didn’t catch (or listen to) the audio, or if you did and want to see the panel in action. It’s here:

QBC15:UNI PANEL from Media Goon aka Keith Blacknick on Vimeo.

Big big thanks to Keith Blacknick, who goes by @MediaGoon and who basically ran the show with UW friend Shannon Shark, who runs @metspolice.

Hope you enjoy.

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Week 21 & 22:

EPL Tracker Weeks 21 & 22

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s February design is now available, but only until Monday night — then it will be gone forever. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Neat stuff from Paul Stave, who writes, Hey guys. Ran across these (old baseball pennants) when looking for some Seahawk memorabilia. I forgot I had them. Some 35-40 years ago my folks bought an old cabin. Left behind at the time were these pennants, which even at an early age I knew I had to keep. Some were already tattered when I obtained them, but I have kept them in good shape since. Of course my fav it the Pilots one. These are full size, not the minis.” … Tweakin’ Wahoo? “The Indians are making a sljght change to their 2015 Wahoo caps,” writes Chris Marcinko. “The home and road alt caps for this season will now be a darker navy, making them the same shade as the block C fauxbacks. The past few seasons the Wahoo caps were a lighter shade of navy. You can see the difference between the models at the Indians page on mlb shop.com where both last years models and this years are for sale.” … You guys know I love those old school jerseys with the TNOP (Team Name on Placket). Well, this isn’t quite Team Name, but it’s close: 1913 Pittsburgh Filipinos Federal League jersey (thanks to @UniformCritic). … Cubs fan Tim Shay writes, “I, like a lot of Cubs fans, thought the world of Ernie Banks, and in the wake of hearing of his death, took some time to design a prototype for a patch that could be worn as a memorial to the simple, elegant, classy representative of the Cubs – and really all of baseball – that Ernie was. Knowing you are a design guru, I thought you might like to see it.”

NFL News: A bit of non-deflategate “news” from Tom Roddy, as the Patriots posted this pic to Instagram Friday. Says Tom, “And clearly this is an image of a Super Bowl patch on a piece of white mesh fabric or an old Reebok jersey since the only piece is mesh fabric on the Nike costumes is around the nameplate on the back. Unless the visiting team’s SB patch has been relegated to the back of the jersey this year? Ha! Sloppy social media post on the part of the Patriots.” … Hmmm, speaking of the Patriots — Rudy Gutirrez sent in this photo taken at the NFL Experience, and asks, “are the pats gonna wear different socks???” Notice those socks show plain low whites and blue undersocks, not their standard white three striped socks. Paul and I are both pretty sure the Pats will wear their “normal” socks, but this is still interesting. … OK, what the hell is this? Well, it’s a set of pads containing skittles, but why is a fan in a Cardinals jersey wearing it? Shouldn’t that be a Seattle beastmode thing? … Speaking of Seattle, looks like the Seahawks will expand the Link by 1,000 seats for next season. … In preparation for SB XLIX, Mickel Yantz has updated his Seahawks Uniforms site.

College Football News: This is amusingly bizarre: “Recruits often receive cookie cakes on official visits, but Ole Miss just took its fondant game to the next level.” That’s some cake (thanks to Christopher C. LaHaye). … The multi-talented Jim Harbaugh (new coach of UM) is apparently quite the piccolo player (or maybe not). Via Lost Lettermen. … At yesterday’s Senior Bowl, Baylor teammates were allowed to choose which helmet they wanted to wear (via Samuel Brooks). … Hmmm, did anyone who watched the Senior Bowl think it reminded them of a certain hockey matchup, uni wise? (h/t @jeffreybigmoney). … Speaking of the Senior Bowl, what genius decided both teams should wear black pants? Isn’t this supposed to be one of those times the uni maker (in this case, UA) shows off all sorts of “cool” looks? But overall the unis aren’t that bad. … And what’s with different makers for baselayers and tops? (thanks to Tres Lawless). Shouldn’t UA make everything? (OR…are those just Russell pads sticking out, and not a baselayer???). … In a recent rendering for new facilities, is this an inclusion of possible University of Colorado uniforms (nice spot by Joe Mueller).

NBA News: The City of Seattle has been on a bit of a roll lately, what with their football team in their second straight Supe and their baseball team getting some sweet new Sunday creams, so this is icing on the cake: Pearl Jam has some sweet Sonic themed warm-ups (thanks to Douglas Ford). Now, if they can just get a hoops & hockey team, their sports Nirvana will be complete. … We’ve seen a ton of alternate logos and mashups before, but here is a link to some NBA logos as video game characters which submitter Tom Currie doesn’t think we have seen before. … Mike King tweeted this photo of a Brooklyn Nets ‘Blue Nights’ with the sleeves cut off and professionally hemmed. Looks great!

Hockey News: Last evening, the Grand Rapids Griffins played the Iowa Wild, and wore these jerseys designed by Mark Roberts. That’s a fan-designed jersey and they’ll be auctioned off to benefit some charity (thanks to Matt Batchelder. … The Utah Grizzlies played a “Guns and Hoses” game yesterday — the front of the unis repped the police, with the back being for the firemen (thanks to ɹɐʌoʇ (@MHTID85)). … “I am sending an article that I found, highlighting the ‘brightest cheerleaders of the KHL’,” writes Alex Cohen. “It’s not necessary to know Russian in order to appreciate the uniforms, or the ladies themselves.” … Pretty cool ice projection technology at the All Star Game yesterday (h/t Pam Chvotkin). … The AHL Rockford Ice Hogs did a pink in the rink thingy (via Brant D Hulsebus). … More hockey pink, this time it’s the refs, in yesterday’s BC/UConn game (thanks to Stephen Hayes). … At the skills competition last night, the Blue Jackets Ryan Johansen took off his Columbus jersey to reveal an Ohio State jersey underneath (thanks to Chris Flinn). … The Spokane Chiefs wore military support jerseys last night (from Brandon Rose). … Hmmm, check out what’s on the inside of Jaroslav Halak’s leg pad (h/t @BruinsLou).

College Hoops News: Oregon State got some really bright orange script shooting shirts (via Beavers Equipment). … Lebanon Valley College did some sort of pink out yesterday, and the result was a color on color game (via LVC Athletics). … Also going color on color yesterday was Akron and CMU (h/t Zach Liles). … Men also went color on color yesterday, with S. Illinois vs. Evansville doing the deed. Evansville also went sleeved. Not a fan of this matchup (thanks to Joe Ringham). … Last night, the University of Missouri/Kansas City was rocking some gorgeous throwbacks (thanks, Paul). … Also from Paul, yesterday the coaching staff of Northwestern State was wearing some amazing pants (those look like they’re from LoudMouth Golf). Here’s another look. … After wearing 1970s throwback uniforms last Saturday, Houston Baptist wore 1980s throwback uniforms in last night’s victory over Lamar. The Huskies are celebrating their 50th season this year and announced their 1960s and 1970s All-Decade Teams last week and the 1980s team last night. Here is a link to a gallery from the game (big thanks to Russ Reneau). He adds, “I have attached a photo of senior guard Tyler Russell that shows the uniform pretty well and a photo of Anicet Lavodrama that shows the road version of (last) night’s uniform back in the 80s. The only difference is the number was centered to conform to NCAA standards, so we can wear them again.”

Grab Bag: Looks like George Washington Lacrosse has new helmets with skyline graphics (thanks to Jared Buccola). Also from Jared: Possible new lax uni’s for Maryland? And this: a confirmed new helmet for Notre Dame, “better bring your sun glasses,” he adds. … Heh. “The Onion goes Uni Watching,” writes Douglas Ford, as he sends in this uni-related spoof article. … I don’t watch staged, fake sports (aside from maybe the Pro Bowl for a couple plays) so this is news to me, but Josh Claywell points out the logo for WrestleMania 32 in Dallas next year. … A Connecticut brewery says it will rename Gandhi-Bot beer, according to John Dankosky, due to a “kerfuffle over offensive marketing.” … Couple of racing items from David Firestone: The story about how Jeff Gordon’s Rainbow Warrior scheme came to be, and at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Delta Wing, a brand new design debuted. David adds, “Sadly, transmission issues kept it from winning. I’m watching all 24 hours.” … Oooohhh, check out this beautiful 1950’s Wash. St. Letter Sweater and jacket and this anti-Ducks homecoming float (from Jeff Hunter).

. . . . .

EBLPT

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Whew! That’s going to do it for today. Fantastic stuff from Rob and Leo, and thanks to the concepters, Alex, and all you fine readers and submitters as well. Enjoy the NHL All Star Game and NFL Pro Bowl Today, or whatever it is you may be watching.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“[I]f you think you should wear a horrendous looking jersey just because you’re on a winning streak, or if you refuse to wear a great looking throwback because you used to have a bad record when you wore them…then you deserve to lose.”

–Jimmer Vilk

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