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Just Let Mike Nolan Wear the Suit Already

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Wondering what NFL coaches will be wearing this fall? Okay, so you probably aren’t, and neither was I, until I got this note from Rachel Bicicchi a few days ago:

“I was channel-surfing this afternoon when I happened upon the Booz Allen Classic golf tournament. Leader Ben Curtis, who I believe is paid to wear NFL gear on the golf course, was wearing Washington Redskins attire, since the tournament is in Maryland. From the front, the shirt appeared to be a normal polo shirt; but a few seconds later, I got a look at the back, which had some sort of gold arch on it. The front shown here is a little different from what Curtis was wearing, but you’ll see the full back. If you ask me, the gold area looks a bit like a flipper. WHAT is that? How could anyone possibly think that looks good on a shirt? What really scares this reader is that the NFL Shop has these shirts available for all 32 NFL teams. For example, Chicago Bears versions are shown here and here. And here’s Curtis wearing the shirt in Uni Watch’s favorite color (apparently he wore Baltimore Ravens gear on Thursday). My question, then, is this: Is this the shirt NFL coaching staffs will be wearing on the sidelines this season? Are we going to have to look at this atrocity all season long?”

Good question. And here are some more: Given the flipper motif, will we now get to refer to Andy Reid as the Great White Whale? Also: Why the hell would anyone actually watch the Booz Allen Classic?

Return to Japan: As regular readers will recall, last week this space featured a pair of first-hand reports on Japanese baseball from readers Ken Clark and Scott M.X. Turner. Good stuff, but Uni Watch was a bit concerned about the reaction of reader Jeremy Brahm, who’s become Uni Watch’s unofficial go-to guy for Japanese baseball matters. Would he feel snubbed? Would he spot any glaring errors?

Fortunately, both these fears were unfounded. Brahm quickly checked in with a thumbs-up reaction, plus he provided some additional info:

Regarding Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s name on the scoreboard: Players are required to “register their name” with Nippon Pro Baseball before the season starts. This is how the player’s name will appear in statistical listings, in newspapers, magazines, etc. When Shinjo played in the past [before his stint playing in America], his name was in Kanji, but now he’s chosen to have it spelled in Romanji. Look at his name on this roster listing — Shinjo is player No. 1.

Foreign-born players have tried to do different things with their registered names. The majority of players just use their last name. But Frank Ortenzio, who played for the Nankai Hawks in the late ’70s, had the following kanji: ???. It was only in the papers and on the scoreboard [and on listings like this one], but not his uniform.

Dave Nilsson, former Milwaukee Brewer and Australian native, called himself Dingo when he played for the Chunichi Dragons in 2000, in preparation for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Some players use initials: Doug Jennings, Ichiro’s teammate with the Blue Wave, called himself D.J.; Chris Donnels called himself C.D. And Jeremy Powell used Powell in 2004, when he was playing for Kintetsu, but when that team merged with Orix in 2005, he called himself J.P. This season he’s with the Yomiuri Giants and has gone back to Powell.

Big thanks to Jeremy for all that info. Meanwhile, coming up tomorrow: Your big chance to help Iowa State create a new logo.

 

39 comments to Just Let Mike Nolan Wear the Suit Already

  • Brandon T. | June 28, 2006 at 8:16 am |

    Apart from the back motif, I like the polos. I wonder if the “arch” is made of some different material, to wick away sweat or some other similar function.

    If it were up to me, I would have Ben Curtis get rid of his girly-man visor and upgrade to a real hat, as well as force him to wear 49ers gear from here on out. Wait, I’m not sure I want the ‘niners represented in this way…maybe put him in Cowboys gear or something.

  • Kevin | June 28, 2006 at 8:52 am |

    Wow, that is gawd-awful. Almost as bad as most of the baseball caps the quarterbacks wear on the sidelines.

  • Micah | June 28, 2006 at 9:26 am |

    Ok, I go to school at Iowa State and we are creating a new logo?? For what? I guess it’s summer and I am in Florida for an internship so I am out of the loop. Could someone shed some light on this for me?

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 28, 2006 at 9:33 am |

    is it just me or do the “naming freedoms” allowed by japanese professional baseball remind anyone else of the xfl?

    its not really “uniform” when players on u.s. sports teams like ichiro and yao have their first names on their backs (forgive me if i dont understand japanese nomenclature and which name comes first)

    it just seems bush league if i were to see a “jimmy” on the back of a #11 phillies jersey or “johnny” on the back of a #18 yankees jersey.

    [quote comment=”1659″]Wow, that is gawd-awful. Almost as bad as most of the baseball caps the quarterbacks wear on the sidelines.[/quote]

    absolutely! whatever happened to the days with a draft or sideline hat was a solid color with a wordmark or single logo?

    the nba and nfl have gotten a bit crazy over the last decade with their contrasting colors, simulated flames, asymmetrical patterns on the brim and cap and awkwardly placed logos.

    http://www.lids.com/...

    the 06 draft hat to be seen tonight at the draft isnt too bad with the exception of that blob in the back
    http://www.lids.com/...

  • John Ekdahl | June 28, 2006 at 9:39 am |

    [quote comment=”1663″]
    absolutely! whatever happened to the days with a draft or sideline hat was a solid color with a wordmark or single logo?

    the nba and nfl have gotten a bit crazy over the last decade with their contrasting colors, simulated flames, asymmetrical patterns on the brim and cap and awkwardly placed logos.
    [/quote]

    Didn’t it all start with the “zubaz” designs, or was it before that in the NFL?

  • Justin | June 28, 2006 at 10:14 am |

    I was wondering if Mike Nolan could just wear a suit as long as it was Niners colors or featured a NFL approved logo, much like Hank Stram was known to wear here.

    Why wouldn’t he be allowed to do this? Because its not NFL approved?

  • DrBear | June 28, 2006 at 10:16 am |

    The first time I remember seeing a cap with a different-colored front panel was the 1969 Expos; that was also the year Seattle had the “scrambled eggs” visor. So could we say it started about then?

  • Scott Turner | June 28, 2006 at 10:45 am |

    I think we’re confusing “uniform” with “regimentation.” The uniform is supposed to clearly mark players on each squad, and to exude, presumably, some pride among the players and fans. More recently, it’s become a marketing bonanza.

    Regimentation of that concept, for instance, forcing all names to be surnames, bleeds sports of cool eccentricities that we’ve largely lost over the last couple of decades.

    In other words, there’s plenty of room for both “uniform” uniforms and the colorful personalities whose reworking of those uniforms adds color to the game.

  • SD | June 28, 2006 at 10:46 am |

    “it just seems bush league if i were to see a “jimmy” on the back of a #11 phillies jersey or “johnny” on the back of a #18 yankees jersey.”

    I think I’d be upset if I saw ANYTHING but a number on the back of a Yankees jersey…

  • BStu | June 28, 2006 at 10:51 am |

    As I recall, Nolan wasn’t blocked from wearing a suit because it wouldn’t feature logos. Rather, the league has a contract with Reebok that requires the coaching staff to wear Reebok branded attire. I rather wish the whole thing got more attention and Reebok was inspired/intimidated into allowing Nolan a dispensation.

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 28, 2006 at 11:11 am |

    not anything uni-related, but for those of you who have been paying close attention to world cup, i could use your help.

    at the end of each match, you can hear the p.a. system play a song. it is after every match, at every location. same song.

    it sounds similar to a national anthem, but its not. you can tell its played by an orchestra.

    another reader mentioned it may be “stand up for the champions” but i did some research on that song, and that is definitely not the song.

    any input would be great.

  • Rico Suave | June 28, 2006 at 11:14 am |

    “Yao” is the family name… In Western naming traditions, he would be known as “Ming Yao.”

    But he’s not.

  • C.J. Andringa | June 28, 2006 at 11:17 am |

    [quote comment=”1662″]Ok, I go to school at Iowa State and we are creating a new logo?? For what? I guess it’s summer and I am in Florida for an internship so I am out of the loop. Could someone shed some light on this for me?[/quote]

    Micah —

    There’s no plan for a new ISU logo. Since it’s summer, all the ISU message board folks have been debating the pros and cons of the current logo/helmet/uniform design against other possibilities (including rehashing things from the pre-Jim Criner era). You ask me, and I say what else is there to debate in June/July?

    At the same time, there is also the realization that nobody outside of Iowa State fans has any clue as to why there are a tornado and a bird combined. Here are some links for those who are curious:

    Why “Cyclones”?

    Why the bird?

  • Nolan | June 28, 2006 at 11:30 am |

    A batting glove mystery solved:

    Quote from Dallas Morning News on Tues 6/26:
    Gary Matthews Jr. on why he wears batting gloves to bat left-handed but none when batting right- “My Dad noticed I was getting the bat in my palm when I batted right-handed. He had me take off my gloves to feel my fingers around the bat. I was hitting better and just stuck with it.”

    There we have it one mystery solved. I was hoping for a more creative answer like pine tar only feels good on your hands from the right side of the plate.

  • Andy Head | June 28, 2006 at 11:32 am |

    the 06 draft hat to be seen tonight at the draft isnt too bad with the exception of that blob in the back
    http://www.lids.com/...

    The NHL draft day hats from Saturday were very similar, except that only the front panel was colored, with the rest being white. This really accentuated the “blob” on the back, and, in my opinion, looked really bad.

    http://shop.nhl.com/...

  • Greg | June 28, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    Is it just me, or do those Reebok shirts look a little familiar? Poor Reebok, they can’t come up with anything cool and unique unless Nike’s done it before. I mean, have you seen what Reebok’s come up with when left to their own creativity?

    Houston Rockets
    Cincinnati Bengals
    Arizona Cardinals
    Minnesota Vikings
    Utah Jazz
    Anaheim Ducks
    Bolton Wanderers

    This company should not have the complete control it does have with the NFL, NBA and NHL. They ruin the look of the leagues!

  • whiteshark17 | June 28, 2006 at 12:07 pm |

    Those new coaching shirts are pretty ugly, although I am going to check them out because I have a feeling some won’t look TOO bad. I think the Chiefs and Packers will end up taking the cake for ugly though. Also, I like how the NFL has gotten creative with it’s sideline caps and think last years were the best ever for some teams (namely my Cardinals).

  • Jason | June 28, 2006 at 12:54 pm |

    Team up the Ben Curtis shirt with the new sideline hat and it looks like a crayon box threw up

    http://www.hometeams...

  • Jeremy Brahm | June 28, 2006 at 1:07 pm |

    Leron and Leon Lee, brothers both played in Japan at the same time and had different “declared names.”

    Leron came to Japan first and used the last name of Lee as his declared name.

    Leon came second and chose his first name as his declared name.

    They even played together for the Lotte Marines when they were in Kawasaki.

    Now batting Lee (Leron).
    Now batting Leon (Leon Lee).

    This is what the annoucer would say in my estimation when they came to bat.

    This prevented confusion for fans and media alike.

    As for the Ortenzio kanji thing, that was an idea of the marketing/PR people of the Nankai Hawks.

  • Raul | June 28, 2006 at 1:25 pm |

    The tail of a whale is called a fluke, not a flipper. Flippers are the side fins of wales. Obsessiveness shouldn’t just stop at unis.

  • Mark | June 28, 2006 at 1:25 pm |

    The origins of the alternative names also traces back to the fact that there are a lot of the same last names, aka Team Japan’s roster for the WBC. I read in “The meaning of Ichiro” that the PR department changed Ichiro Suzuki to “Ichiro” in the early years and never looked back. This seperated him from the dozens of other “suzukis”

  • Brandon T. | June 28, 2006 at 1:32 pm |

    A little off subject, but not too far off base, I found this website today…

    http://www.golfknick...

    Talk about stylin’ and profilin’! Definitely gonna have to purchase some of these argyle socks!

    http://www.golfknick...

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 28, 2006 at 2:12 pm |

    [quote comment=”1682″]Team up the Ben Curtis shirt with the new sideline hat and it looks like a crayon box threw up

    http://www.hometeams...

    interesting how reebok took the pant piping of the uniform and incorporated it into the sideline hat.

  • a arauz | June 28, 2006 at 2:25 pm |

    Obsessiveness shouldn’t just stop at unis.

    Or spelling for that matter, uh, Raul?

    By the way, the music on the PA you hear at the end of all the world cup matches is the theme song of the tournament. I’ve no idea what it’s titled.

  • Micah | June 28, 2006 at 3:14 pm |

    C.J. thanks so much for the clarification on the ISU logo. And I agree: There is nothing to debate in June! It’s funny because I was thinking nobody would reply since no one would know anything about Iowa outside of the state itself.

    Greg, great comparision. Reebok jacks not only designs from Nike’s apparel, but also their shoes. They incorporated the Air Jordan XVII design straight into one of Allen Iverson’s sig shoes and have basically jacked straight-up the Air Force One design. Their control in 3 of the 4 major sport leagues is awful!

  • JTH | June 28, 2006 at 3:26 pm |

    [quote comment=”1663″]it just seems bush league if i were to see a “jimmy” on the back of a #11 phillies jersey or “johnny” on the back of a #18 yankees jersey.[/quote]

    Does anyone else here remember Vida Blue?

  • Mark | June 28, 2006 at 3:49 pm |

    [quote comment=”1693″][quote comment=”1663″]it just seems bush league if i were to see a “jimmy” on the back of a #11 phillies jersey or “johnny” on the back of a #18 yankees jersey.[/quote]

    Does anyone else here remember Vida Blue?[/quote]

    –NICE PICK-UP!

  • Brandon T. | June 28, 2006 at 4:24 pm |

    Excellent uni point made here about the explosion of multiple alternate jerseys in baseball…

    http://sportsillustr...

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | June 28, 2006 at 4:52 pm |

    Like Chinese names, Korean names usually have the family name first. However, sometimes the order of the names is reversed when Korean players go to the West. An example is the Major League pitcher who was called Park Chan-Ho in Korea, but is usually called Chan-Ho Park in the U.S.

    Another example of this is South Korean footballer Park Ji-Sung, who plays for Manchester United. He is most frequently called Ji-Sung Park by English media and fans.

    The jerseys of both of these players show their family name (“Park” in both cases, though I don’t believe they are related). In Park Ji-Sung’s case, his Manchester United jersey says “J.S. PARK”, showing his family name, but reflecting Western ordering.

    However, at the World Cup, all the players on the South Korean team had their GIVEN names on their jerseys, so Park Ji-Sung had “JISUNG” above his number.

    Of course, the reasoning for this may have been similar to the case of the Japanese baseball players — that some family names are extremely common. The South Korean team had 8 players with the family name “Kim” and 5 players with the family name “Lee” (not to mention 2 named “Park”) on their 23-man roster.

  • Micah | June 28, 2006 at 5:41 pm |

    Nice link Brandon, even though the number one thing they talk on there about disses ESPN hardcore!

  • Matthew | June 28, 2006 at 5:47 pm |

    While I agree that no company should have full control over the uniforms of any one league (think if Nike had all college football contracts…every team would be playing with diamond pattern on the knee pads and one sleeve a different color from the other), in some cases the establishment choice for a new uniform is better than what the fans and/or team came up with.

    Case in point: the Houston Rockets uniforms from 1996-2003 were designed by the team with input, including a basic logo design, from fans. (these were ones that combined purple, blue, with think black pin stripes, broad red panels on the sides of the shorts, and an atrociously large and ugly logo centered on the center of the jersey as if the uniform wasn’t busy enough already).

    The red and white uniforms they’ve been wearing since then are INFINITELY nicer than those fashion abortions were.

  • junkland | June 28, 2006 at 6:13 pm |

    Ortenzio would be pronounced “oh-ten-jio” in Japan and it so happens that 王天上 could be read as such.
    BTW, 王=king,天=heaven,上=up or above… so it’s a pretty registered name

  • Chris In CA | June 29, 2006 at 12:30 am |

    [quote comment=”1680″]Is it just me, or do those Reebok shirts look a little familiar? Poor Reebok, they can’t come up with anything cool and unique unless Nike’s done it before. I mean, have you seen what Reebok’s come up with when left to their own creativity?

    Houston Rockets
    Cincinnati Bengals
    Arizona Cardinals
    Minnesota Vikings
    Utah Jazz
    Anaheim Ducks
    Bolton Wanderers

    This company should not have the complete control it does have with the NFL, NBA and NHL. They ruin the look of the leagues![/quote]

    Incorrect assumption Greg. This years NFL designs, as well as all other years, were conceived 12-18 months ago. And the teams are the ones who come up with their own design ideas with some input from Reebok. Do you think Reebok just says “Hey Bill Bidwell, this is the jersey we have come up with for your Cardinals and you WILL wear this or else!!”

    If you don’t like the polo or crew, then you’re not going to like the players sideline fleece and jackets because it’s more of the same. It’s all about the color blocking brother!!!

  • Sam | June 29, 2006 at 1:02 am |

    Anyone else dissapointed in the Bucks new logo? It’s more or less the same (boring) logo…only in red.

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 29, 2006 at 9:52 am |

    [quote comment=”1701″]While I agree that no company should have full control over the uniforms of any one league (think if Nike had all college football contracts…every team would be playing with diamond pattern on the knee pads and one sleeve a different color from the other), in some cases the establishment choice for a new uniform is better than what the fans and/or team came up with.

    Case in point: the Houston Rockets uniforms from 1996-2003 were designed by the team with input, including a basic logo design, from fans. (these were ones that combined purple, blue, with think black pin stripes, broad red panels on the sides of the shorts, and an atrociously large and ugly logo centered on the center of the jersey as if the uniform wasn’t busy enough already).

    The red and white uniforms they’ve been wearing since then are INFINITELY nicer than those fashion abortions were.[/quote]

    tom o’g, any input on this?

  • whiteshark17 | June 29, 2006 at 12:08 pm |

    Hey, why are we dissing on Rebok? I don’t know why everyone hates the Bengals jerseys. If it wasn’t for the ugly white panel, they would be the coolest jersey in football. As for the Cardinals, I am a fan of the team and love the new unis (the white on white looks best). Their is nothing wrong with the Jazz uni and the new Ducks unis, like Paul mentioned, could have gone the route of the Oregon Ducks (done by Nike) and looked a whole lot worse.

  • sflcards45 | June 29, 2006 at 7:39 pm |

    Am I the only one who thinks the polo with the colored back looks like a bowling shirt?

  • Isra | June 30, 2006 at 1:56 am |

    Another unusual name registration by a foreigner in Japanese baseball: Former MLBer Benny Agbayani, now with the Chiba Lotte Marines, has his first name on the back of his jersey, and the team displays “Benny” (in Japanese characters) on the scoreboard.

  • acc (the brain) | January 30, 2007 at 9:44 pm |

    Anyone think it’s time for Knicks to change their logo?