Arthur Farrell’s Hockey: Canada’s Royal Winter Game, published in 1899, is thought to be the first book ever written about hockey. Only four copies are known to exist, none of which are currently held in Canadian libraries.
As several readers have excitedly told me in recent days, one of those copies has now been made available on the web. Each page has been scanned and the uploaded version has been Flash-configured so you can “page-turn” through the book. If your browser has trouble with the Flash version, there’s also an HTML version, although I think that one isn’t as much fun. But whichever version you view, there are some amazing photos that showcase the rather genteel uni stylings of day, as you can see here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Too old and musty for you? Fast forward to yesterday, when I got a note from reader John Muir, who’d stumbled upon a cache of photos from, as he puts it, a “second-tier (or third, who knows) Swedish hockey” league. Most of the pics feature the Haninge team, which proudly wears a turkey on its jerseys. Their opponents include Väsby, Skå IK, Värmdö (note the Dallas Stars-esque design), and — brace yourself — Vita Hästen, whose socks and shoulder yoke are reason enough to cancel that trip to Stockholm you’d be been planning. Additional pics from this same photographer are available here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: While poking around the Ponyfans.com message board, Matthew Self came upon a discussion of an interesting photo from the 1936 Rose Bowl between SMU and Stanford. “Check out the official’s knickers,” he writes. “Puffy doesn’t even begin to describe them.” … On Friday I asked if any other NFL team besides the Chiefs had uni-numbered ski caps. John Okray came up with one: the Packers. … Bizarre photo reprinted here from Friday’s Comments section: NASA astronaut Donald A. Thomas posing with Cleveland Browns regalia (great find by Jeff Lindquist). … Just when you thought the Mets had run out of ways to fail the “Is it good or is it stupid?” test: An inside source says the team is thinking of adding a metallic/glitter finish to its batting helmets next year (like the Dodgers did last season). … While basketball shorts keep getting longer and baggier, volleyball shorts are getting shorter and tighter, a trend examined in admirable detail in this article (you’ll have to register, but it’s free; thanks to Bryan “Two Line Hed Here” Redemske for the tip). … New uniforms for the Colorado Rapids (courtesy of Tony Payne). … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: If you check out the video of the Jeff Bagwell’s retirement press conference, at about the 14-minute mark he talks about a 1991 spring traning game during which his boyhood idol, George Brett, made fun of his baggy uniform (good catch by Brian Crisp). … And from Sunday’s comments: Apparently the NFL is considering having the on-field officials wear helmets. The mind fairly boggles. … Speaking of which, NFL officials’ socks usually have a thick black stripe at the bottom (like the sock shown at the right in this photo). But referee Gerry Austin, who was working yesterday’s Jints/Iggles tilt, had much much thinner black stripes on his socks, which kept upsetting my equilibrium all game long. … Bryan Redemske has turned up another women’s hoops team with racer-back jerseys: Mississippi State. … Not quite uni-related, but this article about hockey dentistry — including the immortal subhead, “No teeth? Part of hockey” — is a great read (score an assist for Karl Anderson). … The Chiefs’ Lamar Hunt memorial decal — which was also worn by Herm Edwards — turned out to be exactly the same style as the one they wore for Hank Stram. And according to sideline reporter Andrea Kramer (who could use some serious uni advice herself), the Chiefs wore white-on-white because it was Hunt’s favorite combo. … Someone over on Chris Creamer’s board has noted that the “7” on Channing Frye’s jersey is different from the numerals the Knicks have previously used. … Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson was wearing a necklace yesterday. … College hoops note from Dan Bingham-Pankratz, who writes: “Just watched Georgetown play Winston-Salem State last night, and everyone noticed that WSS’s uniforms all had ‘C.E. Gaines’ nameplates. It’s a tribute to Clarence Gaines, their coach for 47 years who died last April. They’re apparently wearing them all season.” … Not uni-related, but this has been bugging me for years: If the QB is hit in the pocket by a defensive player and fumbles, why does the defender get credit for a sack? Like, the QB hasn’t been tackled (or, in many cases, even knocked down) — he’s just fumbled. So why isn’t the defender simply credited with, um, a forced fumble?! Makes exactly zero sense. I anxiously await the manipulations of quantum physics that will no doubt be needed to explain this one.