[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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
26. JJ Yeley
Yeley invokes a classic car design trait from the 1950s with this retro-inspired ride.
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.
One of the most famous finishes in NASCAR history occurred at Darlington in 2003 and involved this scheme, then run by Ricky Craven.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pilot/Flying J has chosen to highlight their logos and color scheme from the 1970s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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:
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.
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).
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).
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.”
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.
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.)
Here’s the next one, which has an even larger waistband and two diagonal support bands:
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.
Each of the jocks has a beautifully designed tag that qualifies as a mini-masterpiece. Dig:
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?!
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).
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:
Thanks for your feedback. More T-Shirt Club news soon.
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
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…
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.
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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?
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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:
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).