Wouldn’t it be great if you could just show up in a city far from home, announce your presence, and have a bunch of cool strangers come out of the woodwork to play with you? That’s what happened to me in Milwaukee on Thursday night, as about a dozen Uni Watchers joined me for drinks and good times at the very wonderful Art Altenburg’s Concertina Bar (where, yes, there was a live polka band, along with lots of polka-themed signage and promotional props). Seriously, how lucky can a fella get? Like I always say, Uni Watch readers are the coolest, and no writer could ever hope to have a better or nicer readership. Here’s to everyone who came down.
Among the highlights:
• Here’s Dave Mann, wearing the Manitoba Moose jersey that he designed himself (along with the rare chest patch that never went into full production because, as he explained, “it had too many colors”). Mann also delivered a blistering critique of the Milwaukee Bucks’ new logo, which we’ll get to in a sec.
• Wisconsin punk diety and longtime Uni Watch contributor the Rev. Nørb came down from Green Bay — and brought along a slew of purple jerseys, just to fuck with me (he was actually wearing them all when he arrived). For good measure, Nørb also brought me a purple pen, a purple floor tile, and a scrap of purple carpeting (the latter two left over from a recent home “improvement” project), all of which were, of course, confiscated by airport security just prior to my flight back to New York.
• This is Mitch Teich, who came down to interview me for WUWM’s “Lake Effect” radio show. Not sure yet when the interview will run, but probably around the middle of next month — details to follow.
• At left is Nicole Haase, who runs the Cute Sports blog (and who generously served as the local coordinator for this shindig); at right, Tim Adams, who came up from Chicago and joined me for pre-gathering frozen custard at Kopp’s (best ice cream in America, don’tcha know) and some kickass ribs at Speed Queen BBQ.
• Tavern owner and national treasure Art Altenburg got plenty of attention from the ladies, including Stephanie West (here’s another shot) and Mary the Birthday Girl (who also had fun with her newly purchased Concertina Bar T-shirt — complete with accordian straps).
• A few more random shots: A.J. Zydzik and Stephanie West; A.J. and me; Nørb and Tim Adams; Nørb, Tim, and me; the Concertina Bar’s highly sophisticated Lost and Found department; and the rare Concertina Bar sign that doesn’t mention polka.
So that was Thursday night. On Friday morning, I was supposed to have breakfast with Bucks vice president John Steinmiller, but it turned out that he wasn’t able to make it. This was tragic on several levels, not the least of which was that I wasn’t able to present Steinmiller with Dave Mann’s deconstruction of the team’s new logo. But I can still present it here (and hopefully I can also arrange for Steinmiller to take a look at this blog entry), so here it is, in Mann’s own words:
What follows is a nutshell synopsis of the major problems with the Bucks new primary logo. These are by no means all the errors in their entirety — some are only visible at huge sizes, such as when printed on the team van (yes, I stalked the promo van) — but this covers the more egregious ones.
Note #1 — The vertical yellow line would appear to divide the (symmetrical) image in half, yes? The line is evenly spaced between the antlers at the top and cuts the apex of the bottom of the red triangle dead-center. Great. Or is it? Look closely at the white shapes that make up the nose and mouth. They are WAY off-center to the right. To be fair, this problem appears to have been present even prior to the change. Still odd.
Note #2 — This is meant to illustrate the glaring difference in silver stroke (industry term for outline) width. It’s nearly twice as wide on the right as on the left. Closer inspection reveals varying stroke width EVERYWHERE. Look at the difference between the stroke width on the deer’s right cheek vs. left — yikes! The stroke around the antlers is thinner than everywhere else. This is NOT a subjective issue. Illustrators use varying line weight for different reasons all the time. But it almost never appears in sports logo design, NEVER appears in symmetrical artwork, and also NEVER appears in differing weights around the very outside of the shape. Outlines in that manner are meant to separate and contain the artwork from distractions around it. While there is a 1% chance the inner linework is intentionally varied, there is NO chance the outer, containment outline should be of different thicknesses.
Note #3 — This is meant to illustrate that the triangle also appears to not be centered. On the right, the triangle/shoulder intersection comes to a point; on the left, there’s an obvious gap.
I never expect any of these issues to be addressed. After all, who’s gonna notice? But what I expect — nay, insist! — on getting corrected is this.
The top example is exactly how the team’s full wordmark appears on the baseline of the Cousin’s Center [the team’s practice facility]; the lower example is what it SHOULD look like. There are lots of missing bevels, which I’ve highlighted in blue. Once you’ve seen it, I hope it’s as obvious to you as it is to me. It’s like a car wreck — I can’t turn away. If they paint the Bradley Center game floor like that, I’ll honestly never be able to attend a game again.
The rest of my Wisconsin trip wasn’t particularly uniform-oriented (unless you count the rad outfits worn during the Porch Honkees photo shoot I sat in on [NSFW: check out their cool new hit, with me cheering in the background, here]), although I did see a nice old high school baseball uni in a vintage shop. Overpriced, though, so I passed.
(A big pickled egg jar full of thanks to Tim Adams and A.J. Zydzik for their photographic contributions, and to Todd Krevanchi for so ably filling in for me on Friday.)
Speaking of Uni Watch gatherings…: Looks like there’s room for another couple of bodies at the Uni Watch bbq party, slated for this Sunday in Brooklyn, New York. If you’re interested, send a note to unibbq at earthlink dot net. I’ll get back to you regarding address, time, etc.
Uni Watch News Ticker: In case you missed it in the Comments section a few days ago, Troy Polamalu was wearing some gonzo socks in practice the other day. … Twins news from an anonymous source in Minnesota: “I work at a Minnesota Twins Pro Shop. We are owned and operated by the Twins, so we get a bunch of game-used jerseys and stuff in. With the trade-deadline trade of Kyle Lohse, we received a few of his game-used jerseys. One of them was that new style of all-mesh with the vents under the arms [i.e., the Cool Base model]. I was asking my boss about it, and he said they’re planning on switching to those jerseys for all of their different styles for next season. He said the players really liked them so they’re making the switch.” … Good catch by Chris Rosa, who notes that the MLB logo on Carlos Delgado’s batting gloves appears to be teal and black — “clearly a holdover from his Marlins days,” says Rosa. … I actually liked Cuba’s red pants during the World Baseball Classic, but check out the faux white stirrups they’re now being paired with during the Pre-Olympic Baseball tourney — ugh. … Looks like Ryan Shealy has something written on his underbill. … Brad Hennessey appears to be the latest pitcher to be wearing a glove that looks impermissibly pale. … Looks like Fred Smoot was wearing no whites with his purple socks the other day. … Our recent discussion of players wearing stick pins prompted a note from Chris Marcinko, who points out that Joey Cora used to wear pins in his cap but was then told to cease and desist by the league office (scroll about two-thirds of the way down that page for the appropriate segment). … Nike’s asymmetrical-sleeve concept has now spread to the high school level (with thanks to Nick Zajicek). … Stunning NFL development on Saturday night, as the Rams went white-on-white. … A recent New York Times article about a 42-year-old U.S. Open ball “boy” includes a tidbit I’d never heard about before: During a 1990 doubles match, a frustrated Ilie Nastase was playing so poorly that he asked the ball boy to find a tennis skirt for him to play in — and the ball boy found one for him. Can’t find a photo yet, though. … Speaking of the U.S. Open ball boys, they’re wearing some nasty jerseys. … Good catch in yesterday’s Comments section by Ryan Real, who notes that Ben Roethlisberger’s wristbands appeared to have a blacked-out logo on Friday night. Turns out it’s made by Neumann, which isn’t an approved NFL licensee (read: isn’t Reebok). … After several Seattle players wore those neon green gloves in the Super Bowl, it’s not surprising that we’re now seeing stuff like this. … Soccer note from Jeremy Brahm: “I was watching Gol (a weekly highlights show on soccer leagues from around the world) on GolTV tonight and saw a game from Portugal between Sporting Club de Portugal (Sporting) and Boavista FC. Boavista traditionally wears a checkered shirt, and Sporting wears white and green stripes — but for this game, both teams wore their white uniforms to start the game. The referee made Sporting change colors for the second half.”