Almost every day I get e-mails from readers, telling me about this or that uni development that they’ve noticed. But Zach Smith, who wrote to me yesterday, went a step further — instead of just telling me about something, he investigated it first, and came up with some revealing information about the inner workings of a big-time college hoops program. Here’s what he sent me:
I’m a student at Wake Forest. At our basketball game Wednesday night against Clemson, we wore a throwback uniform that at the time I didn’t recognize. It also had a patch that I couldn’t quite make out. I haven’t been able to find any pictures of it, but the still shot from ESPN.com’s video highlights shows it reasonably well.
I was curious, so I sent e-mails today to several people in the athletic department, including Mike Muse, Director of Basketball Operations, and Dean Buchan, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations asking about the uniforms. Here were their replies [and my exchanges with them]:
Dean Buchan: Uniforms are modeled after 1962 Final Four team. We wore them once last season as part of our 100th season celebration. The patch documents the 100th season (we just left the patch on there from last season).
Zach Smith: Thanks for the information! Were they worn last night just for fun, or was there some special reason for breaking them out again? Whose decision was it to wear them?
Buchan: They just wanted to try something new and they like the look of the uniforms.
That wasn’t a great response, since it clearly wasn’t “something new” in any way — they’re throwbacks and they wore them last year. But Mike Muse’s response was a bit more helpful:
Mike Muse: Patch was for the 100-year anniversary that took place last year. Uniforms were a throwback to the 1962 year — that was the final four team.
Zach Smith: Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, whose decision was it to wear them? Was there any kind of special occasion or was it just for fun?
Mike Muse: Coaching staff decision! As a tribute to our past history.
I actually really liked the uniform, although I found it a little interesting that they would just recycle something like that from last year and leave the 100-year patch on it. I can’t recall any other times when teams randomly wore throwbacks and didn’t mention anything about it or plan it out or anything. The whole thing seemed pretty spur of the moment.
Coupla thoughts here: First, kudos to Zach for taking the initiative to investigate the situation on his own instead of leaving it up to someone else (read: me). And I’m impressed that Muse and Buchan both answered him so quickly, even if their responses left a lot to be desired (welcome to my world).
But what’s the deal with using last year’s throwbacks? Something doesn’t add up. Like, if they saved the uniforms, that means they were intending (or at least considering) to use them again, so why wouldn’t they remove the 100th-anniversary patch? And since last year’s roster wasn’t the same as this year’s, would they have to make adjustments in sizing, uni numbers, etc.? Something doesn’t quite add up here. Hmmmmm….
Extra! Saturday Edition on Tap: Webmaster John Ekdahl will be contributing a bonus entry tomorrow. You’ll either be excited or appalled, depending on your viewpoint, to learn that the subject will be NASCAR (a sport I know even less about than soccer). John is down in Daytona at this very moment, in fact — he said something about siphoning jet fuel from Michael Waltrip’s car — so he’ll be delivering the on-scene uni news as the racing season kicks off. Assuming there are any drivers left who haven’t been disqualified by then, that is.
Monday’s a holiday, but I’ll probably do a small entry that day anyway. Uni Watch never (well, rarely) rests!
Uni Watch News Ticker: As most of you have probably heard by now, the Yankees will wear a black armband in honor of Cory Lidle this season. … Looking to customize a jersey? “You can order yards and yards of tackle twill and other cool things from this site,” reports Joe Hilseberg. “They even have a custom cut center where you can order pre-made transfers with vinyl names and numbers that, for those of us who have heat presses, can be used to make quick personalized shirts.” … Jason Isringhausen appears to be wearing his faux-stirrup socks down at his ankles (as spotted by M. Keegan). … Hahahahahahaha. … Steve Johnston reports that White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson is changing his uniform number from 44 to 32. … According to Josh Yetmar, this is what the 1978-79 Cleveland Barons would have worn, had they not merged with the North Stars. Further details here. … Hilarious article here about Scott Schoeneweis’s reaction when he showed up at Mets camp and found he’d been assigned uni number 36, instead of his longtime 60.