New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: Tomorrow is November 11th, which is an important day in many countries, because it’s the day World War I ended, as Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies. For decades most of the Allied nations celebrated November 11th as Armistice Day, but after World War II the holiday changed: The United States began observing November 11th as Veteran’s Day, and the British Commonwealth nations — one of which is Canada — began observing it as Remembrance Day (which is closer in spirit to America’s Memorial Day).
So what does this all have to do with Uni Watch? Plenty, as reader Dave Glen explains:
In Canada, as Remembrance Day approaches, we wear poppies to honour our fallen from past wars. This past week, the Toronto Maple Leafs coaches and training staff wore the poppy while on the road in Florida. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell has been wearing it, too. And the the custom isn’t limited to Canadian teams — several hockey coaches of American teams will wear a poppy while on the bench in Canada, and classy American-based coaches of Canadian heritage will wear them as well.
I wasn’t aware of this practice until Glen brought it to my attention. But once I started looking, I found that quite a few NHL coaches have been poppy-clad over the past week or so, including Bryan Murray, Jacques Martin, Glen Hanon, Barry Trotz, Craig MacTavish (whose assistant coach, Craig Simpson, is also poppy-ized), and Bob Hartley.
A nice custom. Do CFL coaches do this too? Does the poppy play any other visible role in Canadian sports? What about in other Commonwealth countries? All you non-U.S. readers, please fill us in.
Tattoo You: As promised a week or so ago, Uni Watch temporary tattoos, designed by Uni Watch design director Scott M.X. Turner, are now available. And I don’t mind saying that they look pretty damn cool.
This fine product, which holds up for days under the rigors of modern life yet rinses off easily with a bit of rubbing alcohol (and also gets lots of laughs when applied to, say, your baby nephew’s forehead), is now available for sale to discriminating readers like yourself — five bucks for the first tattoo, and a buck for each additional one.
You’re probably thinking, “Whoa, $5 is way too much for a temporary tat!” And you’re right, it is. But here’s the deal: Webmaster Johnny Ek and I work our asses off on this site, and we could use a bit of scratch. I don’t wanna get all NPR on you, but let’s face it: We’ve all got a pretty special thing going on here, what with the fresh content every day and the lively Comments section and let’s not forget all that scintillating info about poppies. Surely that’s worth a few shekels, no?
I’d never ask for a flat-out donation, but I’ll happily overcharge you for something as cool as a Uni Watch temporary tat. If everyone reading this buys just one (and if the very tattoo-friendly Mike from Queens buys, oh, a few hundred), I’ll be able to afford all those vintage uniform catalogs on eBay and buy Ek a nice Christmas present to boot. And speaking of Christmas, the tats make cool stocking stuffers, right? Right.
To order, PayPal me at paul_lukas at earthlink dot net (please note that this is not the Uni Watch e-mail address). If you’re not PayPal-ish, send those piles of cash to Paul Lukas, 671 DeGraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217. Either way, be sure to list your address. Shipping is free, because I’m such a generous guy (and because temporary tats weigh hardly anything). Thanks!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Good site devoted to college hockey jerseys here (courtesy of Bryan Long). … In case you missed it in yesterday’s Comments section: Women’s hoops coaches in the Patriot League will wear lapel pins this season in memory of former Army head coach Maggie Dixon, who died in April. … Tom Venutolo says, “I would love to know how ‘game worn’ can be used to justify this.” … Good article here about high school football uniforms (with thanks to Tim Snyder). … And here‘s an article about college football merit decals. … Yesterday I mentioned that Air Force and Notre Dame would be wearing memorial decals this Saturday (details here). Here’s what it will look like. … Highlights from the 1980 Holiday Bowl (BYU’s amazing comeback against SMU) are available on YouTube, which has prompted the following observations from Kurt Crowley: “Jim McMahon and several other BYU players sported blue facemasks, but the rest of the team had white facemasks. The helmet logo in the end zone depicted a blue facemask. According to The Helmet Project, ‘both blue and white faceguards were used by different players on this helmet in games from 1979 to 1983, although blue was always the predominant color.’ McMahon also took the ‘Y’ logo off at least one side of his helmet to accomodate all his merit stickers. I also noticed the SMU players mostly had blue trim on their numbers, but not Eric Dickerson, who appears to have worn a tearaway jersey.” … The subject of this article really ought to be a Uni Watch reader (as pointed out by Dave Miller). … Matt Smith asks: “What gives with Reggie Wayne’s mouthguard? It has added lip protection, sort of like a baby’s pacifier. My friends and I recently became embroiled in a heated debate over its aesthetic appeal and practicality — I argued that the pacifier mouthpiece gives Wayne some added lip protection and is much safer than wearing no guard at all.” Anyone who’s actually played the game care to weigh in on this? … Jose A. Frontanes notes that Under Armour is getting into the visor market (which would be more like outer armour, no?). … I’m going to be out of town for the rest of today and all weekend, so you’ll be in Johnny Ek’s capable hands until then. See you next week.