Uni Watch Profile: Stefan Fatsis

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(Photo: Andrew Mason/Denverbroncos.com)

In 1963, the writer George Plimpton (known to the younger ones among you as “that guy who keeps saying, ‘And a hot plate!’ during the spelling bee episode of The Simpsons) worked out with the Detroit Lions during their training camp. This experiment became the basis for his book Paper Lion, which was later made into a movie.

More than 40 years later, writer Stefan Fatsis (who covers sports for the Wall Street Journal, and also authored the definitive book about Scrabble, Word Freak) tried something similar: Last summer he worked out with the Denver Broncos as a placekicker in their minicamps and training camp. His book on the experience, tentatively entitled A Few Seconds of Panic, is slated to come out in the fall of 2008.

Stefan (who turns 44 this Sunday, continuing our recent birthday theme) is a longtime Uni Watch supporter, and I figured his little adventure might have entailed some interesting uni-related tidbits, so I gave him a call the other day to get the scoop.

Uni Watch: So how’d you decide on this particular concept for a book?

Stefan Fatsis: I needed something new to write about. It took two years to figure out what to do after Word Freak — I tried out a lot of ideas. And one day I was thinking, “It’s been 40 years since Paper Lion. I wonder (a) if the NFL will let me do it, and (b) if my editor and readers would be interested.”

UW: Did you have any placekicking experience? Like, did you do it in high school?

SF: No. I played soccer in high school, and as an adult. But I’d never learned how to kick a football. And I probably hadn’t actually kicked one since high school.

UW: And when you were coming up with this Paper Lion-esque idea, were you intending right from the start that you’d be a placekicker, or did you just think it’d be cool to work out with the team in any capacity?

SF: Y’know, I’m five-foot-eight, and when I started the book I weighed about 155 pounds, so placekicker was kind of the default. I actually thought about other sports, but I ultimately came to the conclusion that there was nothing else where an armchair weekend athlete, approaching middle age, with no college experience, could walk out on a field and not be completely humiliated. What else could I do, except maybe golf? Kicking was the one thing where I could be at least vaguely competent.

UW: So how did you set it up? Did you approach the NFL?

SF: Yes. They said, “If you can find a team to do it, go ahead.” It took me well over a year to find a team.

UW: How many teams did you approach?

SF: I initially approached the teams near where I live, which is Washington, DC. And I thought I had an agreement with one of them. But after the 2005 season, their plans changed, and that didn’t work out. So it was back to the drawing board.

UW: So then what?

SF: I used my contacts as a sports reporter. I called owners, GMs, and so on. And over the course of several months I finally got to Pat Bowlen, the owner of the Broncos. Most of the other people I’d contacted had said, “It’ll be a distraction, and it won’t help us win the Super Bowl.” But Bowlen’s response was, “That’s a pretty cool idea. Let me talk to Mike Shanahan and see if he’ll go for it.”

UW: And when was that?

SF: About a year ago — early last March. And then, about a month later, Shanahan gave his OK. So the plan was for me to come to the first minicamp in early June. And if it went well, I’d go to the next minicamp, and then training camp. And it went fine, and they invited me back for the whole summer — two minicamps plus the full camp.

UW: When you realized you’d be training with the Broncos, did you think to yourself, “Oh good, the thin air will help my distance”?

SF: In an ironic way, maybe. In reality, it doesn’t really help you much on 30-yard kicks.

UW: We’ll get to the uniform stuff in a sec, but here’s something I’ve been wondering: What did the “real kickers” think of you?

SF: Depends on which ones you mean.

UW: Well, what did Jason Elam think of you?

SF: Jason was great. He’s a terrific guy — he was helpful, he was funny, he was generous with his time.

UW: And of course he’s got the team made, so he can afford to be all of those things.

SF: Yeah, he’s a grown-up. But there were other kickers, too —

UW: Right, you’ve got guys who are actually fighting for a job. And here you are, sort of making light of the whole thing.

SF: Nobody really minded. Everybody was totally into the idea — they liked having me around, they thought it was funny. And some of the guys were incredibly generous with their time. There was one punter who didn’t make the team, and he’d routinely hang out with me for half an hour after practice, just working on technique to make me a better kicker.

UW: Were you coachable?

SF: Yeah, I was coachable. I first had the idea for the book in 2005, so I had spent a year with a personal trainer, getting into shape. I put on 10 to 15 pounds. I found a kicking coach who worked with me. So I went out there knowing some of the principles. I had a pretty good grounding in the basics of kicking. The problem is, as with any specialized skill — and kicking is one of the most specialized skills in all of sports — you need tens of thousands of repetitions to get the technique and muscle memory so that you don’t have to keep thinking how to do it. And I was thinking about how to do it the whole time. I’m not gonna tell you how well or poorly I did, because, well, you’ll have to read the book.

UW: Can you tell me your longest field goal?

SF: My longest was over 40.

UW: Really? That’s pretty good! What had your longest been when you went into camp?

SF: About the same. It’s hard to tell, because a lot of my practice was done on a baseball field. I think in the end — and the players would probably laugh if they heard me say this — I felt comfortable from inside 30, I felt OK between 30 and 35, and anything over 35 was a function of whether my groin was sore, or my hip flexor was killing me, or I had any confidence left. It was much more of a crapshoot.

UW: OK, now let’s talk uniforms and equipment. What kind of helmet did you have?

SF: Hold on, let me check…

UW: Do you actually have it right there?

SF: They sent me a helmet after I left, but it’s not my helmet. They ended up keeping and recycling the one I used, which I’m actually pissed off about. I’m gonna try to get it back.

UW: I assume it was a Riddell.

SF: Yeah. Basically, during my first day of minicamp, the very first thing they did was escort me into the equipment room. And the first guy I spent any serious time with was the Broncos’ equipment manager, Chris Valenti. He was great. Frankly, it was pretty simple — you have this image that the fitting process will be more complicated than it ended up being. Chris literally had a tape measure, and he measured my head. Then he went and got a plain helmet — no facemask, no decals, right out of the box — and had me try it on. And then it’s a question of fit. As you know, these helmets are fitted with air bladders. Chris would feel the snugness, and then he’d fill it up and check the fit.

UW: Cool.

SF: Then he gave me a tour of all the different helmets, and explained why the players avoid the Riddell Revolution —

UW: Yeah, that was my next question, whether you wore a Revolution.

SF: I tried on a Revolution. But I figured I was gonna take enough abuse as it was. And I was never gonna get hit, I hoped.

UW: So you didn’t wanna look extra-dorky.

SF: Yeah. And I’m already tiny — the last thing I needed was to have a helmet that looked like it was the size of the Goodyear blimp.

UW: Did they also measure you for everything else at that time — pads, pants, and so on?

SF: There are no pants in minicamp. As for the other things, the NFL equipment managers have done this so many times, they can just look at you and guess. They actually guessed too small on pants for me — they gave me 34, and I need 36, y’know, cuz I’ve got huge kicker legs.

UW: Of course. What about your facemask?

SF: I requested a single-bar, but they refused to give me one. I ended up with a Schutt RKOP — that stands for “reinforced kicker oral protection.” It’s a kicker’s facemask. Low drop, high visibility. I really wanted the single-bar, and they had a couple of them, but Chris was afraid that if I wore it, another kicker would want it. It was really disappointing — I was crushed. I begged. But he wouldn’t do it.

UW: What about shoulder pads?

SF: Again, he pretty much eyeballed me and asked if I wanted large or extra-large. And for the jersey, it’s pretty much one size for the lower-numbered players.

UW: What was your uniform number?

SF: I wore 9.

UW: And did you request that?

SF: I had a choice of 8 or 9. Everything else was taken.

UW: Did you check to see who had been the previous Bronco to wear No. 9?

SF: I did, and it was David Treadwell — another kicker. In fact, he’s the only Bronco ever to have worn No. 9.

UW: Well, except that lots of guys like you might have worn it in training camp.

SF: That’s true.

UW: Any interesting or surprising uniform- or equipment-related revelations?

SF: The socks. I never felt totally comfortable with the socks. In the NFL you have two choices: There’s a thick sock and a sort of sanitary sock, and there was nothing in between. A lot of kickers — and other players too, but especially kickers — will wear their own socks, to get their own comfortable fit. And then for games, many of the players — including me, because I dressed for preseason games —

UW: You did?

SF: Yes, they let me dress, and I got to get on the field during pregame warm-ups. But anyway, for games you’ll wear the shell that runs from the top of the shoe up to the calf, or higher, especially for wide receivers and defensive backs, who as you well know like to keep their pants up above their knees.

UW: So what did you end up wearing?

SF: I got used to wearing a thicker NFL-regulation base sock, which went all the way up to my knees.

UW: So basically a tube sock.

SF: Yeah. And then for games I would slip the shell on over that.

UW: Which is a sleeve, basically, or a leg-warmer.

SF: Right. You have the choice of actually getting the full sock with the team colors, but I chose to go with the base sock and the sleeve. Because y’know, I’m a kicker — sensitivity, what you’re used to, and so on, these are all sensitive issues. Jason [Elam] wore two pairs of socks, which I thought was interesting, because what you usually hear is that, as a kicker, you want to get your foot as close to ball as possible.

UW: So he’s actually building a barrier of sorts. Was that just about cushioning?

SF: I think it was just comfort. I think for most kickers, it’s what you’re used to. Jason’s been doing this since high school, so he does what makes him feel comfortable. During practice, when most guys had their practice shorts hanging down below their knees, because it’s cool, Jason’s shorts were above his knees, so he had no intrusion or impediment when he was kicking. But that was just him — the other kickers had the longer shorts. Jason was sort of the John Stockton of the kickers.

UW: Now, the Broncos wear white shoes, but kickers often wear black shoes anyway, even on white-shod teams. What did you do?

SF: Well, I had a Reebok contract.

UW [incredulous]: Really?

SF [laughing]: I did.

UW: You scored an endorsement contract just for the book?

SF: I did. They didn’t pay me anything, obviously, but they sent me kicking shoes, training shoes, and shower shoes.

UW: So did you go with white or black, for kicking?

SF: Oh, black. But the ones Reebok sent me were way too small, so I ended up using a pair of Adidas Copa Mundials, which have very thin leather and are great — a lot of NFL kickers had worn them for years. So for the purposes of the story and the book, I wanted to see what it was like to get a shoe deal, but I ended up telling the Reebok rep that just on the basis of comfort, I had to go back to the Adidas.

UW: So why did you choose black — because that’s what kickers wear?

SF: Actually, Jason wears white. But I’ve always had a problem with white shoes. When I see a World Cup soccer team wearing white shoes, I think they’re gonna lose — they’re just something psychological about it. It might have something to do with having grown up in the ’70s and Charley Finley and the A’s — the dawn of the garish white shoe. It just never sat well with me. It’s like there’s something imprinted on my brain that says, “Your footwear should be black.”

UW: Now, when you suited up for the preseason games, did you insert the thigh and knee pads into your pants?

SF: Oh, no. I was like everybody else on the team.

UW: Meaning, no pads.

SF: No pads. We’ve talked about that before [Stefan wrote a great article two winters ago about how more and more NFL players are going without pants pads. -- PL]. And the reality was, I wasn’t going to get hit.

UW: Right. But I was wondering if you wanted, y’know, the sort of gladiator feel of putting on the armor.

SF: Kickers don’t want armor — they go padless. I understand it with kickers. I don’t really understand it with other players. Like, is this pad the size of a coaster really going to be an impediment to your 250-pound frame? But because I wasn’t a “real” player, the pockets were still in my pants — they hadn’t been removed.

UW: Your pants had pockets?

SF: To insert the pads.

UW: Oh, the inner pockets.

SF: Right. And most players will have those removed, if they’re not wearing the pads. I didn’t feel I was in a position to ask for the pockets to be removed from my pants — particularly given that the Broncos didn’t practice much in pads.

UW: Did you wear the little Broncos logo sleeve over your belt buckle?

SF: Um… It was built in, yeah, so I did slide it over. Yes, my memory is that I did.

UW: What kind of shoulder pads did you have?

SF: I didn’t have completely tiny shoulder pads. Had I been a real player, I would have done what most kickers do — and what many other players do, frankly — which is to cut out the lower pad. There’s the larger top pad and then the smaller pad that goes against your shoulder, and they’ll usually cut that out. The equipment managers hate that, but they will doctor the pads to make them as small as possible.

UW: Any interesting quirks you noticed among other players? Like you’re sitting at your locker and you look across the room and you see someone doing something you’ve never seen before, like doctoring his equipment a certain way?

SF: Huh. Hmmmm, let me think about that for a second. Y’know, I’d have to go through all my notes. But off the top of my head, no.

UW: Now, obviously, for these preseason games you had a real jersey with a real nameplate.

SF: Yes.

UW: Had you ever worn a jersey with your name on it before?

SF: No.

UW: And, at the risk of bringing up a sensitive subject, you have a rather unusual last name.

SF: Yes.

UW: So while you were standing on the sidelines or whatever, did people call out your name?

SF: Usually fans yell out your number, but I did hear my name a few times, yeah.

UW: And were these derisive shouts, or shouts of encouragement?

SF: I think people figured out pretty quickly that I wasn’t, y’know — I mean, I wasn’t listed on the roster, so fans coming to training camp for the first week were like, “Who’s No. 9? Who’s that little guy? Why’s he out there? And he’s not very good — what’s going on?” And then word kind of filtered through the regulars that I was a writer and why I was there. And once they figured that out, I had a fan club, which was really cool. The regulars were totally on my side and would always shout encouragement, and I signed autographs — it was very cool.

UW: Anything else?

SF: You know, the thing that surprised me the most was how unobtrusive the uniform felt, particularly the shoulder pads. I mean, I hadn’t worn shoulder pads since I was 11 years old, but it didn’t feel as cumbersome as I thought it would.

UW: What about the helmet?

SF: That was harder to get used to. It weighs a lot, at least compared to what’s usually on your head, and you sweat. And if you haven’t spent your whole life doing it, it’s a weird sensation. But it does provide a degree of anonymity, which I found very comforting at times, believe me.

UW: Before this all happened, did you have strong feelings about the Broncos, either positively or negatively?

SF: No. They were just part of the pack. My strongest feelings about them, actually, were regarding the uniform.

UW: Well, that was my next question, since their uniform is among the more unusual ones.

SF: Yeah. I like them. I thought the old static “D” logo was kind of dull, and very dated. I remember the feeling when the new uniforms were introduced, like the team have been Nike’d, with the giant swooshes running up the sides of the uniform, but I feel like that’s been mitigated now that the league is all Reebok now.

UW: And of course you, as a kicker, you were never in a three-point stance.

SF: Right! So it didn’t feel quite as obvious anymore. And because of the way they’ve modified the uniforms, because they’re not Nike anymore, so I think you don’t get the sense that they’re just 11 giant swooshes running down the field.

UW: Wait, how have they modified them?

SF: Haven’t they? The stripes don’t feel as hook-y as they did.

UW: I don’t think they’ve changed at all. And I actually think it’s more insidious now that Reebok is the supplier, because they’re stuck manufacturing a design that’s basically a giant ad for their biggest rival.

SF: Are you sure? They didn’t change the design at all?

UW: I’m pretty sure, yeah.

SF: Hmmm, I was never really conscious of it. Maybe we’re just used to it now. But I guess it is kind of weird, now that you put it that way.

UW: Did you get any good stories from the equipment managers?

SF: What sorts of stories?

UW: I don’t know — just hanging around, watching them, talking with them. Like, did they have a sewing machine to do on-the-spot tailoring alterations?

SF: Oh, yeah, definitely. The equipment operation was truly amazing to me. Just the breadth of stuff available — it’s incredible.

UW: Like a single-bar facemask.

SF: Yeah, that they still had a few of those gathering dust at the top of a shelf. I mean, these guys are the ultimate service people. When you think about it, the diversity of equipment is so much greater in football than it is in basketball or baseball. Hockey’s probably the only sport that compares. But the equipment guys, their preparation level and how they cater to the players is just phenomenal. I mean, these dudes work just unbelievable hours. They’re the ones that are loading the trucks, unloading them. When you’re a player and you get to the stadium, everything’s waiting for you — your bag is unpacked, your helmet is hanging up, your pads, your jerseys, everything is perfect. These guys are the unsung heroes when it comes to taking care of the players.

======

Indeed they are — gotta get one of them for this interview series, instead of pantywaist journalists acting out their midlife crises on the gridiron…. Oops, just speaking hypothetically there, Stefan. Big thanks for the interview and the insights, and don’t stray too far from the phone — everyone knows placekickers don’t stay unemployed for long.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Meant to post this yesterday: Todd Krevanchi reports that the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have unveiled their new logo. Uniforms to follow, but the team name and logo are so good, I’m inclined to give them a free pass even if the uniforms suck. … Jason Norris was recently in Amsterdam, where he toured the Ajax museum (that’s the Amsterdam soccer team). “They had a case devoted to all of the ‘kits’ that Ajax has worn over the years,” he writes. “They’ve kept the basic red and white throughout their existence, only changing once from the candy striper look to the single vertical red stripe. And when it came time for them to put a sponsor’s logo on the jersey, I think they kept it clean and classy.” … Rare American uni update from Jeremy Brahm: “My home team, the Portland Trail Blazers, just announced that Kevin Pritchard would be their new GM. Here’s a photo of Pritchard getting a jersey with his name on it from Paul Allen, the owner. He is not going to wear this jersey ever, it just looks weird. Maybe they need to give him some office keys or something.” … Hall of Fame researcher and longtime Uni Watch pal Tom Shieber has come up with two additional pics of a cap with built-in flip-up sunglasses — look here and here. … Back in mid-February I linked to this Q&A page, in which it was revealed that Dodgers reliever Takashi Saito wears toe socks (for details, scroll down to the question asked by “bluebleeder1977,” midway down the page). Turns out Dice-K wears them, too — for more info, look at the third paragraph of this page (alertly spotted by Paul Beaulieu). … “I was at the Arizona vs. Arizona State baseball game Wednesday night and noticed that the shortstop for ASU was wearing green sleeves under his sleeveless grey road uniform,” writes Dan Pritchard. “None of the other ASU players had this undershirt. Very odd.” I’m pretty sure the green sleeves are a holdover from ASU’s St. Paddy’s Day game, but that still doesn’t explain why the shortstop was wearing them. … Teams in the NBA’s D-League will wear the uniforms of the NBA affiliate teams during a 13-day promo period. Details here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: According to a small item on this page, “Andruw [Jones] took batting practice wearing a jersey with ‘Dos Cinco’ instead of his name above his No. 25″ last night. … Also from yesterday’s comments: Check out the “Captain” sock (or maybe it’s just a “Captain” armband being worn on the calf). … My deepest sympathies to all in the Granite State (especially Frank Marhefka, who brought this sad news to my attention).

 

128 comments to Uni Watch Profile: Stefan Fatsis

  • WVU Tom | March 30, 2007 at 7:30 am |

    NIT Championship last night, WVU vs. Clemson. Both teams wearing home colors, WVU in gold, Clemson in white.

    Link

  • Ed | March 30, 2007 at 7:46 am |

    Nice logo for the Iron Pigs. Too bad they won’t be playing the team with my fav minor league logo, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (AAA vs. short-season A). There would be a kind of rust-belt theme there.

    ed

  • Zachattac | March 30, 2007 at 7:48 am |

    Great interview. It would have been a greater experience with the single bar face mask. I think the captain of that field hockey team is someone I wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley.
    ZG

  • Original Jim | March 30, 2007 at 8:06 am |

    I thought UNH was already a Nike school. The football team and hockey teams already wore the swoosh, and I’m pretty sure the basketball teams also were branded the same.

  • nycmal | March 30, 2007 at 8:08 am |

    Nice interview! I’m gonna make sure I buy this book when it comes out.

  • Brian from Short Island | March 30, 2007 at 8:14 am |

    Yes, that is an armband worn around the calf. It’s frequently worn there in soccer when it can’t be worn around the arm (like in the youth game when the kids’ arms are too small). With the sleeveless jersey, I’m sure that’s why it’s there.

  • nycatl | March 30, 2007 at 8:21 am |

    First post!! NIT Post-Game celebration, West Virginia’s Championship T-Shirts had Virginia spelled incorrectly…VIRGINA

  • Matt from the 'Ville | March 30, 2007 at 8:36 am |

    [quote comment="64418"]First post!! NIT Post-Game celebration, West Virginia’s Championship T-Shirts had Virginia spelled incorrectly…VIRGINA[/quote]

    Here is a picture related to your finding….

    This is sad….

  • Natron | March 30, 2007 at 8:37 am |

    [quote comment="64418"]First post!! NIT Post-Game celebration, West Virginia’s Championship T-Shirts had Virginia spelled incorrectly…VIRGINA[/quote]

    Nice catch.

    Why you were paying attention to the NIT is beyond me, but the shirt was spelled incorrectly.

  • Toro | March 30, 2007 at 8:47 am |

    From the STL Post Dispatch:The Cardinals jerseys will also feature some new detailing for the season-opening series against the New York Mets. The jerseys will have gold stitching, outlining the players’ numbers on the front and the players’ names and numbers on the backs of all the club’s jerseys. The championship logo will be worn on the home uniform’s sleeve all season and — for the first home series only — be featured on the caps the Cardinals will wear.

    I’m efforting a peek…

  • Steve | March 30, 2007 at 8:49 am |

    Anybody have any screen shots from yesterday’s college slam dunk contest on ESPN? Brent Petway, from the Michigan Wolverines, a guy who always has things shaved into his head, still had remnants of the Michigan helmet shaved into the side of his head, but he also had the Air Jordan logo shaved into the back of his head.

  • WVU Tom | March 30, 2007 at 8:52 am |

    [quote comment="64427"][quote comment="64418"]First post!! NIT Post-Game celebration, West Virginia’s Championship T-Shirts had Virginia spelled incorrectly…VIRGINA[/quote]

    Nice catch.

    Why you were paying attention to the NIT is beyond me, but the shirt was spelled incorrectly.[/quote]

    Wow–I didn’t even notice that! Granted not many pay attention to the NIT (including myself usually), but when your team is playing in the championship (after getting robbed of an NCAA bid), you might as well tune in to watch and show some support for the team.

  • Jason | March 30, 2007 at 8:52 am |

    [quote comment="64418"]NIT Post-Game celebration, West Virginia’s Championship T-Shirts had Virginia spelled incorrectly…VIRGINA[/quote]

    Oh my God! That’s hilarious!

    Great interview, btw. Anyone who’s ever even recreationally played Scrabble should read Word Freak. Very interesting, and well written.

  • Amy | March 30, 2007 at 9:04 am |

    [quote comment="64417"]Yes, that is an armband worn around the calf. It’s frequently worn there in soccer when it can’t be worn around the arm (like in the youth game when the kids’ arms are too small). With the sleeveless jersey, I’m sure that’s why it’s there.[/quote]

    She probably is trying to avoid having a “captain’s tan line”

    And great interview, I will definitely be watching for his book to come out.

  • BCrisp | March 30, 2007 at 9:08 am |

    Texas A&M players Acie Law IV and Marlon Pompey wore their black jerseys last night at the slam dunk 3-point shot contest.

    Also a few months ago did we have a discussion about cheerleaders on ice? Here’s a link to one.
    Minnesota Cheerleader on ice.

  • Sir Jock Strap | March 30, 2007 at 9:21 am |

    Where do I get me a pair of them Japanese Toe Socks?! Dammit! I’m tired of wearing the ones sold here in the states. They’re all girlified. I have a pair of rainbow ones. I have to wear them with boots so as not to be ridiculed, but they’re so damn comfortable.

  • WVU Tom | March 30, 2007 at 9:29 am |

    [quote comment="64454"]Where do I get me a pair of them Japanese Toe Socks?! Dammit! I’m tired of wearing the ones sold here in the states. They’re all girlified. I have a pair of rainbow ones. I have to wear them with boots so as not to be ridiculed, but they’re so damn comfortable.[/quote]

    Did you try a google search? First try and I saw a few sites offering them online.

    example

  • Brian from Ohio | March 30, 2007 at 9:33 am |

    Great interview, Paul.

    Out of curiousity, was there a deeper/longer answer about this?:

    SF: Then he gave me a tour of all the different helmets, and explained why the players avoid the Riddell Revolution –

    Or do the players simply avoid it due to the size?

  • Metsfan AZ | March 30, 2007 at 9:36 am |

    [quote comment="64429"]From the STL Post Dispatch:The Cardinals jerseys will also feature some new detailing for the season-opening series against the New York Mets. The jerseys will have gold stitching, outlining the players’ numbers on the front and the players’ names and numbers on the backs of all the club’s jerseys. The championship logo will be worn on the home uniform’s sleeve all season and — for the first home series only — be featured on the caps the Cardinals will wear.

    I’m efforting a peek…[/quote]
    Are these going to be the WS Series rings acceptance jerseys? When Boston opened 2005 they did the same thing, with gold accented jerseys but they had their regular jerseys for the actual game. I learned that from the one and only Paul Lukas.
    BTW the Cards are going to lose, LETS GO METS!

  • Anthony Verna | March 30, 2007 at 9:39 am |

    This morning at the bank, there was a white guy wearing a New York Black Yankees cap waiting for a teller.

    I forget if this came up yesterday or two days ago – but white people are wearing Negro League memorabilia.

  • Ethan | March 30, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    As a regular reader and sometimes contributor to this site, I have come to the conclusion that uniwatch is slowly taking over my brain. It is impossible for me to look at anything now without pondering the aesthetic implications, much to my wife’s chagrin.

    This morning I made a startling discovery that perfectly illustrates my neurosis. While waiting for the school bus with my daughters, a Sears delivery truck drove by and I noticed for the first time that the Sears logo typography is eerily similar to the old Blue Jays uniform typography. I’m sure others have noticed this (hell, it might have been mentioned here someplace for all I know), but it’s been bugging me for hours. I think this officially proves I’m a uniwatch junkie, and I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    Can anybody think of any other corporate typography that mirrors, intentionally or unintentionally, uniform typography?

  • Kim | March 30, 2007 at 9:43 am |

    I’m not one to complain as much as other about logo creep, but I was watching the USC-ASU baseball game last weekend and USC’s batting helmets have a swoosh towards the front and above the brim kind of over the batter’s left eye.

    Haven’t been able to find pictures, though.

  • Ray | March 30, 2007 at 9:44 am |

    PL – Thanks for a great interview with on of my favorite WSJ and NPR columnist/commentators. I loved the part about kickers wearing black shoes instead of white. When I played soccer in high school I felt the same way about the guys who wore white shoes. I have the same imprint on my brain, it just not the way its supposed to be done.

  • Matty L. | March 30, 2007 at 9:48 am |

    There was an SI article before the 2005 (I think) MLB season where a reporter did spring training with the Blue Jays. It made for an alright read if I recall. No real uni-related tidbits unfortunately.

  • wooster, oh | March 30, 2007 at 9:49 am |

    Paul,
    A suggestion for you. You should go to shelfari.com and sign up. It’s a place to put all the books you own online and anybody can look at your virtual bookshelf. It’s free. (And no, I don’t work there or have any ties with it, but I tell everyone I know). It’s pretty sweet. You can recommend books, write opinions, have a top-10 list.

  • Paul Lukas | March 30, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    [quote comment="64457"]Great interview, Paul.

    Out of curiousity, was there a deeper/longer answer about this?:

    SF: Then he gave me a tour of all the different helmets, and explained why the players avoid the Riddell Revolution –[/quote]

    There was no deeper/longer answer. Some players don’t like the Revolution because it looks dorky and the facemask looks like a lacrosse mask.

  • Stuby | March 30, 2007 at 9:51 am |

    At what point does logo creep become something else entirely?

  • Sir Jock Strap | March 30, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    [quote comment="64464"]As a regular reader and sometimes contributor to this site, I have come to the conclusion that uniwatch is slowly taking over my brain. It is impossible for me to look at anything now without pondering the aesthetic implications, much to my wife’s chagrin.

    This morning I made a startling discovery that perfectly illustrates my neurosis. While waiting for the school bus with my daughters, a Sears delivery truck drove by and I noticed for the first time that the Sears logo typography is eerily similar to the old Blue Jays uniform typography. I’m sure others have noticed this (hell, it might have been mentioned here someplace for all I know), but it’s been bugging me for hours. I think this officially proves I’m a uniwatch junkie, and I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    Can anybody think of any other corporate typography that mirrors, intentionally or unintentionally, uniform typography?[/quote]

    Sega logo has the same look.

  • Mark Mihalik | March 30, 2007 at 10:02 am |

    Can anyone tell me what kind of cleats Gary Sheffield is wearing now? He’s been a Nike guy for a few years, then stopped wearing swooshes all together, was seen in adidas cleats for a few days last year, wore a pair of Jeter’s Jordan cleats for a while, and then settled on Puma’s for the rest of the season.

    He started out this spring in Puma’s, but now he’s wearing this mystery brand every game. He has two pairs… one with white/silver accents for home games, and one with orange accents to match the away uniforms. His velcroed-down pants hide any logos that appear on the sides of the cleats. I can’t find anything that resembles them on Eastbay or Baseball Express…

    The missing piece might be the logo that he has on sewn on his neoprene wristbands above the “3”. What is that? A new company? A signature logo?

    Any inside information about this would be greatly appreciated.

  • cliff rancho | March 30, 2007 at 10:14 am |

    All of the japanese players wear toe-socks. All of their japanese translators wear toe-socks.

  • Anthony Verna | March 30, 2007 at 10:14 am |

    [quote comment="64464"]As a regular reader and sometimes contributor to this site, I have come to the conclusion that uniwatch is slowly taking over my brain. It is impossible for me to look at anything now without pondering the aesthetic implications, much to my wife’s chagrin.

    This morning I made a startling discovery that perfectly illustrates my neurosis. While waiting for the school bus with my daughters, a Sears delivery truck drove by and I noticed for the first time that the Sears logo typography is eerily similar to the old Blue Jays uniform typography. I’m sure others have noticed this (hell, it might have been mentioned here someplace for all I know), but it’s been bugging me for hours. I think this officially proves I’m a uniwatch junkie, and I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    Can anybody think of any other corporate typography that mirrors, intentionally or unintentionally, uniform typography?[/quote]

    Try being a trademark lawyer and seeing something like Nantucket Nectars and wondering, “How the hell did that one get through!?” and THEN thinking “Ugly font.”

  • Brooks | March 30, 2007 at 10:16 am |

    I don’t get it where does Nantucket Nectars come into play?

  • Anthony Verna | March 30, 2007 at 10:23 am |

    [quote comment="64482"]I don’t get it where does Nantucket Nectars come into play?[/quote]

    Only because once you start doing something, you think about it all the time. You read this site and you start to think about uniforms and typeography/fonts and colors. Once I started practicing TM law, I realized I was thinking all the time about that. (And the two are related.)

  • Kim | March 30, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    [quote comment="64465"]I’m not one to complain as much as other about logo creep, but I was watching the USC-ASU baseball game last weekend and USC’s batting helmets have a swoosh towards the front and above the brim kind of over the batter’s left eye.

    Haven’t been able to find pictures, though.[/quote]

    Found a USC picture. Not the best, but you get the idea.

  • bj in gainesville | March 30, 2007 at 10:25 am |

    [quote comment="64441"][quote comment="64417"]Yes, that is an armband worn around the calf. It’s frequently worn there in soccer when it can’t be worn around the arm (like in the youth game when the kids’ arms are too small). With the sleeveless jersey, I’m sure that’s why it’s there.[/quote]

    She probably is trying to avoid having a “captain’s tan line”

    And great interview, I will definitely be watching for his book to come out.[/quote]

    I thought the same thing about the tan lines.

  • Banker Bill | March 30, 2007 at 10:30 am |

    [quote comment="64406"]Nice logo for the Iron Pigs. Too bad they won’t be playing the team with my fav minor league logo, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (AAA vs. short-season A). There would be a kind of rust-belt theme there.

    ed[/quote]

    No, but I get to see the Scrappers – they play against my Hudson Valley Renegades, who USED to have a cool logo, but they changed it recently. NOw it’s just an HV with a raccoon tail underneath (our mascot is a raccoon)

  • Jeff I | March 30, 2007 at 10:34 am |

    That NBA D-League thing is strange because all teams have split affiliations with NBA teams.

    For example, the Austin Toros are also affiliated with the Boston Celtics, but appear to be wearing just the Rockets uniforms.

  • Andrew | March 30, 2007 at 10:39 am |

    Howard has the blue stripes on his shoes again

    Anybody here anything new on the new NHL jerseys?

  • Kim | March 30, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    [quote comment="64494"]Howard has the blue stripes on his shoes again
    [/quote]

    Apparently it’s a blue shirt -> blue stripes, red shirt -> red stripes thing.

    I wonder what’ll be during the season when he’s wearing white/red pinstripes, and grey unis.

  • Ethan | March 30, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    Love the NYPenn league conversation with Mahoning Valley and Hudson Valley. I personally enjoy the Jamestown Jammers new grape logo, but lets not forget the pride of the city of my birth, the Batavia Muckdogs.

  • Matt R. | March 30, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    [quote comment="64467"]There was an SI article before the 2005 (I think) MLB season where a reporter did spring training with the Blue Jays. It made for an alright read if I recall. No real uni-related tidbits unfortunately.[/quote]

    This week’s SI has an article by the same journalist in which he umpired a spring training game. IIRC, no uni-related tibits in this article either.

  • Ethan | March 30, 2007 at 10:44 am |

    Bonus points if anyone can tell me why they’re called the Muckdogs.

  • Beefalo | March 30, 2007 at 10:48 am |

    The new MLB 5950’s hit the market today at retailers. Are they really selling the version that the Padres only wear on Camouflage Jersey day?

    Before anyone says that is only a fashion style cap, it did come from this retailer’s page where they are only selling the 5950’s…just sayin’.

  • Ryan Real | March 30, 2007 at 10:48 am |

    Baron Davis apparently decided to complete the look and wear an actual knee brace from the 1966-67 season last night. Seriously, just looking at him last night, you’d think he’s the old guy who runs point during games at the Y.

  • Johnny O | March 30, 2007 at 10:55 am |

    I’m glad we are talking about Minor League teams today. I got a star struck catalog in the mail the other day, and I never heard of the Montgomery Biscuits before. What a weird nickname and logo. I just happen to like it cause it is different and out of the ordinary.

    Can anyone explain why they are the Biscuits?

    Biscuits

  • todd krevanchi | March 30, 2007 at 10:55 am |

    a. wow…
    someone with outstanding photoshop skills could seriously do some nice word play with the VIRGINA part of west VIRGINA..

    it will make me think differently about the west F’N virginia hoody too…

    b. i wonder how the d league teams chose which nba jersey to wear, as they represent usually 2 or 3 different teams…

    c. kevin pritchard looks A LOT different than he did in his playing days (middle)…
    http://www.kusports....

    d. oh, so that was a DUNK CONTEST last night? i thought it was a dance competition… they were more concerned with their dancing than they were making their dunks…

  • wooster, oh | March 30, 2007 at 11:08 am |

    [quote comment="64507"]a. wow…
    someone with outstanding photoshop skills could seriously do some nice word play with the VIRGINA part of west VIRGINA..

    it will make me think differently about the west F’N virginia hoody too…

    b. i wonder how the d league teams chose which nba jersey to wear, as they represent usually 2 or 3 different teams…

    c. kevin pritchard looks A LOT different than he did in his playing days (middle)…
    http://www.kusports....

    d. oh, so that was a DUNK CONTEST last night? i thought it was a dance competition… they were more concerned with their dancing than they were making their dunks…[/quote]

    My parents live in WV and there are quite a few people there who say ‘The great state of Wet Vagina’ rather than West Virginia. These are the same people that believe WVU and Marshall are the only two schools in the world and that nothing else matters.

  • Jonathon | March 30, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    More info on Andruw Jones’ “Dos Cinco” jersey:

    No go para Dos Cinco: Before Thursday’s Grapefruit League finale, Andruw Jones asked Cox if he could play at least one inning at shortstop.

    “It’s a free-agent year, I don’t think I should,” Cox playfully responded to his Gold Glove center fielder, who is in the final year of his contract.

    “[Forget] free agency,” Jones said. “It’s just a word; it don’t mean anything.”

    This caused Cox to chuckle and say, “That’s what I say. We’re on the same page, Andruw.”

    All of this happened while Jones was wearing the batting practice jersey that Cox didn’t want him to wear. It’s the one that has “Dos Cinco,” which is Spanish for his jersey No. 25. He got the idea from Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who had a jersey that said “Ocho Cinco” above his No. 85.

    http://atlanta.brave...

  • Alex | March 30, 2007 at 11:23 am |

    [quote comment="64470"]At what point does logo creep become something else entirely?[/quote]

    I dunno, but that puma hat is pretty rad

  • kevin | March 30, 2007 at 11:26 am |

    The photo has already been photoshopped

  • kevin | March 30, 2007 at 11:27 am |

    w w w . w v u . e d u

    Check out the photo on the main page, it is correct there.

  • Jonathon | March 30, 2007 at 11:28 am |

    [quote comment="64464"]As a regular reader and sometimes contributor to this site, I have come to the conclusion that uniwatch is slowly taking over my brain. It is impossible for me to look at anything now without pondering the aesthetic implications, much to my wife’s chagrin.

    This morning I made a startling discovery that perfectly illustrates my neurosis. While waiting for the school bus with my daughters, a Sears delivery truck drove by and I noticed for the first time that the Sears logo typography is eerily similar to the old Blue Jays uniform typography. I’m sure others have noticed this (hell, it might have been mentioned here someplace for all I know), but it’s been bugging me for hours. I think this officially proves I’m a uniwatch junkie, and I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    Can anybody think of any other corporate typography that mirrors, intentionally or unintentionally, uniform typography?[/quote]

    Try the Puerto Rico uniforms from this year’s Caribbean World Series. They looked a lot like the ESPN logo.

  • Seattle Matt | March 30, 2007 at 11:46 am |

    The umping article by Tom Verducci on SI had one uni-esque comment from MLB ump Tim Tschida:

    “There was one time years ago when I bought a patent leather belt and thought it looked just great. Well, I wear it in Yankee Stadium for the first time, and those people know how to wait so that you can hear them. This one guy, a real New Yorker, gets up and yells, ‘Hey, Tschida. How can you make a call like dat wearin’ a patent leathah belt like dat? And hey, what accessories came with dat?’ As soon as the game was over, I go in the locker room, rip off the belt and throw it in the garbage.”

  • Ed | March 30, 2007 at 11:46 am |

    [quote comment="64506"]I’m glad we are talking about Minor League teams today. I got a star struck catalog in the mail the other day, and I never heard of the Montgomery Biscuits before. What a weird nickname and logo. I just happen to like it cause it is different and out of the ordinary.

    Can anyone explain why they are the Biscuits?

    Biscuits[/quote]

    Wikipedia wimps out with this non-explanation:

    [quote]The Biscuits’ owners selected the team’s nickname from an entry in a “name the team” contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun possibilities.[/quote]

    http://en.wikipedia....

    Oh well…

    ed

  • Greg Riffenburgh | March 30, 2007 at 11:56 am |

    The Broncos’ unis have definitely changed. The point on the pants curls toward the inside more than the Nike ones did. Also the point on the shoulder isn’t as consistent throughout the team like it was when Nike made them. Like John Elway’s looked just like Bill Romanowski’s even though their jerseys were tailored very differently. The back of the underarm gusset is also sharper than it was. Nike’s curved smoothly down to the pants, but Reebok squares it off. Minute differneces, but they’re there.

  • jesse | March 30, 2007 at 12:02 pm |

    [quote comment="64496"]Love the NYPenn league conversation with Mahoning Valley and Hudson Valley. I personally enjoy the Jamestown Jammers new grape logo, but lets not forget the pride of the city of my birth, the Batavia Muckdogs.[/quote]

    Holy New Your Penn League Batman!

    The boys from my hometown, the State College Spikes have pretty cool uniforms as well. I like the middle deer head logo the best. I thought that there may be a uni shake up in State College this year, the red stripe was supposed to honor the Cardinals, the teams original affiliate, but they switched to the Pirates this year. There were alot of affiliate switches in the NYP offseason.

  • Metsfan AZ | March 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm |

    “It might have something to do with having grown up in the ’70s and Charley Finley and the A’s — the dawn of the garish white shoe.”
    Wait, so what’s the histroy of the A’s and white shoes? It sounds like it’s a relatively recent phenomenon. Did the Reggie Jackson era A’s have white shoes? Did they wear black shoes in Philly? Since I brought it up, did the Mets ever wear white shoes? I know that’s been addressed and I’ve forgotten the official UW answer.

  • patrick | March 30, 2007 at 12:18 pm |

    [quote comment="64467"]There was an SI article before the 2005 (I think) MLB season where a reporter did spring training with the Blue Jays. It made for an alright read if I recall. No real uni-related tidbits unfortunately.[/quote]

    it was paul verducci, and hes at it again except this time as an umpire. Its up on SI.com frontpage

  • Dave from Jersey | March 30, 2007 at 12:21 pm |

    Forgive me Uniwatch Gods, but the BP hats are growing on me.

  • stefan fatsis | March 30, 2007 at 12:32 pm |

    hey uniwatchers. thansk for the nice words on the interview. just thought i’d answer a couple of questions in the posts.

    on the Revolution helmet: as many of you know, it’s intended to provide more protection against concussions. but the league hasn’t mandated its use and players do avoid it because of 1) it makes you look like the Great Gazoo and 2) they’re not used to it.

    on the Broncos unis: i haven’t researched the change. but i think Greg is right. i felt that the swooshiness had been subtly minimized since Reebok took over the NFL uni contracts. i’ll ask the equipment manager and get back to you.

    on white cleats: Jason Elam wears white and he kicked a 63-yarder. he told me the color never bothered him and he’s stuck with the same model shoe for years and years. but i still think they look weird.

  • patrick | March 30, 2007 at 12:33 pm |

    also, i found it interesting that Stefan mentioned gonig to copa mundials because of the light weight. I played sccer for years and I think anyone that has will agree with this. Cop mundials, while most certainly a classic, are certainly NOT lightweight. Neither the kangaroo leather, nor the sole is lightweight. Just ot give an example, the copa mundial weighs in at 11.7 ounces, The nike mercurials are 8ounces. I can’t understand his logic on that one…

  • Eric B | March 30, 2007 at 12:35 pm |

    regarding the broncos unis, the curves on these two pics i found look to be about the same. can anyone show pics of the change? the davis pic is from one of the super bowls and the cutler pic is obviously from this past season.

    http://www.sdhoc.com...

    http://web1.denverbr...

  • BA | March 30, 2007 at 12:37 pm |

    Does anyone ever watch the show on Spike TV “Pros vs Joes”? I know its a cheezy show, and they are working with some seriously washed up athletes in some shows, but its a good show to throw on the tivo and watch when there is nothing else on.

    I wish I could get some screencaps of the show because there always some interesting things going on as far as the uniwatch world goes.

    Its pretty apparent that they are sponsored heavily (by starter I believe…), but when some athletes come on, they wear their own gear. (Roy Jones Jr. wore jordan brand gear)

    I was watching the one from last week recently…It was washed-up athletes (Darryl Strawberry, Kobi Jones, Spud Webb, and Andre Reed) vs NCAA mascots (Wisconsin Badger, Penn state Lion, and the Notre Dame Leprechaun. A quality show…obviously.

    The leprechaun (who was the only well-rounded athlete of the Mascots)had the starter logo covered up by a piece of tape, and wore Addidas shorts, gloves (when playing goalie), and shoes in various events. Does the leprechaun have a deal with Adidas? I know ND does, but I didnt think that would include the mascot…

  • Dave A | March 30, 2007 at 12:38 pm |

    [quote comment="64531"][quote comment="64506"]I’m glad we are talking about Minor League teams today. I got a star struck catalog in the mail the other day, and I never heard of the Montgomery Biscuits before. What a weird nickname and logo. I just happen to like it cause it is different and out of the ordinary.

    Can anyone explain why they are the Biscuits?

    Biscuits[/quote]

    Wikipedia wimps out with this non-explanation:

    [quote]The Biscuits’ owners selected the team’s nickname from an entry in a “name the team” contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun possibilities.[/quote]

    http://en.wikipedia....

    Oh well…

    ed[/quote]

    I remember an article when the team was named that the name was selected because “it was representative of the region”. I don’t know if that means Montgomery has a baking industry history or a reference to that southern delicacy, biscuits and gravy.

  • Anthony | March 30, 2007 at 12:39 pm |

    Watching the Yankees-Tigers spring training game today, and ti looks like Justin Verlander’s wearing the regular caps while the rest of the Tigers are wearing the BP caps. No pics yet,though…

  • stefan fatsis | March 30, 2007 at 12:41 pm |

    patrick: the Copas were lighter than what i had (an old pair of Umbros). and they came recommended by a few kickers over some of the newer (and lighter) shoes. i’d only asked Reebok and Nike for a “contract” because Adidas at the time hadn’t been added to the official NFL list (which happened last summer). the Reeboks that the company — very generously, i should add; their rep used to be the Broncos equipment manager, clearly had a sense of humor, and was a very nice guy — just weren’t as comfortable.

  • Eric B | March 30, 2007 at 12:42 pm |

    as far as minor league logos, i like the river city rascals.

    http://www.rivercity...

    the throwbacks at the top of the screen are killer! the field isn’t really underwater as depicted in the pic.

  • Kenny | March 30, 2007 at 12:44 pm |

    [quote comment="64554"]also, i found it interesting that Stefan mentioned gonig to copa mundials because of the light weight. I played sccer for years and I think anyone that has will agree with this. Cop mundials, while most certainly a classic, are certainly NOT lightweight. Neither the kangaroo leather, nor the sole is lightweight. Just ot give an example, the copa mundial weighs in at 11.7 ounces, The nike mercurials are 8ounces. I can’t understand his logic on that one…[/quote]

    He only had the choice between Adidas or Reebok…I don’t think he wanted to get fined ;)

  • Jerico | March 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm |

    The Broncos’ unis have definitely changed. The point on the pants curls toward the inside more than the Nike ones did. Also the point on the shoulder isn’t as consistent throughout the team like it was when Nike made them. Like John Elway’s looked just like Bill Romanowski’s even though their jerseys were tailored very differently. The back of the underarm gusset is also sharper than it was. Nike’s curved smoothly down to the pants, but Reebok squares it off. Minute differneces, but they’re there.

    Nike Broncos jersey vs. Reebok Broncos jersey. For some reason, I used to think that the blue on Nike’s jersey was darker than the blue Reebok employed, at least when watching the Broncos on TV. Here, it’s indistinguishable, though the Nike blue looks like a duller blue than the one Reebok employs.

    Also, on TNT’s “Inside the NBA”, there was a discussion going on between Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley regarding the Warriors’ “City” uniforms. EJ loves them; Charles…not so much.

  • Sir Jock Strap | March 30, 2007 at 12:48 pm |

    [quote comment="64541"]“It might have something to do with having grown up in the ’70s and Charley Finley and the A’s — the dawn of the garish white shoe.”
    Wait, so what’s the histroy of the A’s and white shoes? It sounds like it’s a relatively recent phenomenon. Did the Reggie Jackson era A’s have white shoes? Did they wear black shoes in Philly? Since I brought it up, did the Mets ever wear white shoes? I know that’s been addressed and I’ve forgotten the official UW answer.[/quote]

    It’s a Charlie Finley thing. He liked the way they looked, so they stayed. They were even incorporated into their official logo, at the time. (BTW, my favorite A’s logo.) Growing up in the East Bay, I remember white cleats being everywhere. As a matter of fact, I sure they outnumbered other colors.

    I always thought that white was the default color for athletic shoes and black was “old fashioned.”

    However, my view has changed. When players started wearing their pants down past the ankle, it made the A’s look rediculous. Mark McGwire and Matt Stairs looked like they were wearing footsy pajamas.

    http://espn-att.star...

    BTW. The A’s rule. Just incase you didn’t know.

  • Harry | March 30, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    I just hate the single sock in softball/baseball. Here’s Western Michigan softball going to stirrups

  • Mike | March 30, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    Check out the picture of Verducci’s pants. Clearly not tailored at the cuff.

  • Mike | March 30, 2007 at 1:02 pm |

    Trying link to pants photo again

  • Banker Bill | March 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm |

    [quote comment="64459"]This morning at the bank, there was a white guy wearing a New York Black Yankees cap waiting for a teller.

    I forget if this came up yesterday or two days ago – but white people are wearing Negro League memorabilia.[/quote]

    Are you kidding? I LOVE NEgro league memorabilia – some classic looking stuff – and regardless of your color, wearing Negro League memorabilia shows that you can be a true baseball fan AND historian. I would love a Homestead Grays jersey.

  • Banker Bill | March 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm |

    [quote comment="64540"][quote comment="64496"]Love the NYPenn league conversation with Mahoning Valley and Hudson Valley. I personally enjoy the Jamestown Jammers new grape logo, but lets not forget the pride of the city of my birth, the Batavia Muckdogs.[/quote]

    Holy New Your Penn League Batman!

    The boys from my hometown, the State College Spikes have pretty cool uniforms as well. I like the middle deer head logo the best. I thought that there may be a uni shake up in State College this year, the red stripe was supposed to honor the Cardinals, the teams original affiliate, but they switched to the Pirates this year. There were alot of affiliate switches in the NYP offseason.[/quote]

    They can get away with it because if you remember our lesson from the esteemed Mr. Lukas, the Pirates have added red to their color scheme this year!

  • Banker Bill | March 30, 2007 at 1:21 pm |

    [quote comment="64561"]as far as minor league logos, i like the river city rascals.

    http://www.rivercity...

    the throwbacks at the top of the screen are killer! the field isn’t really underwater as depicted in the pic.[/quote]

    Good God – THAT’S what Spuds McKenzie is doing now!

  • Robert | March 30, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    [quote comment="64459"]This morning at the bank, there was a white guy wearing a New York Black Yankees cap waiting for a teller.

    I forget if this came up yesterday or two days ago – but white people are wearing Negro League memorabilia.[/quote]

    When the Texas Rangers hosted the All-Star Game years ago, I won a t-shirt at their festival. The shirt honored the Negro League and featured the names of many of the teams. It was a nice shirt.

    Some time later, I was wearing the shirt at a local grocery store, and I was bitched out by a store employee (who was a generic white guy like myself) for wearing a racist shirt. I then had to go to the trouble of explaining to this guy what the Negro League was, that the shirt was honoring it, the team names were real, blah blah blah.

    I stopped wearing the shirt in public thereafter, for fear that someone else might misunderstand the shirt as well, and beat my ass.

  • Kerry | March 30, 2007 at 1:31 pm |

    [quote comment="64558"][quote comment="64531"][quote comment="64506"]I’m glad we are talking about Minor League teams today. I got a star struck catalog in the mail the other day, and I never heard of the Montgomery Biscuits before. What a weird nickname and logo. I just happen to like it cause it is different and out of the ordinary.

    Can anyone explain why they are the Biscuits?

    Biscuits[/quote]

    Wikipedia wimps out with this non-explanation:

    [quote]The Biscuits’ owners selected the team’s nickname from an entry in a “name the team” contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun possibilities.[/quote]

    http://en.wikipedia....

    Oh well…

    ed[/quote]

    I remember an article when the team was named that the name was selected because “it was representative of the region”. I don’t know if that means Montgomery has a baking industry history or a reference to that southern delicacy, biscuits and gravy.[/quote]
    I think it’s more of a southern reference like you were saying.

    Personally, I’ve always liked the CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS logo and name. Also, just found the LOGO for the SOUTHERN LEAGUE. I think it looks excellent.

  • stefan fatsis | March 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm |

    i just exchanged emails with Broncos equipment manager Chris Valenti, who says: no modification to the unis since the original changeover in 1997. so i stand corrected.

    also, one other point, re shoulder pads: it’s the kickers who clip out the smaller inside pad. not so much other players. just wanted to make that clear.

  • Jon | March 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm |

    Just wanted to say WORD FREAK rocked, and I also enjoyed WILD AND OUTSIDE, and for some reason I’m not surprised Fatsis would join the UniWatch Profile alumni.

  • Nat gal | March 30, 2007 at 1:39 pm |

    Who does the holding for kickers? Isn’t it other kickers? Did Stefan have to practice that, too?

  • patrick | March 30, 2007 at 1:48 pm |

    [quote comment="64568"][quote comment="64554"]also, i found it interesting that Stefan mentioned gonig to copa mundials because of the light weight. I played sccer for years and I think anyone that has will agree with this. Cop mundials, while most certainly a classic, are certainly NOT lightweight. Neither the kangaroo leather, nor the sole is lightweight. Just ot give an example, the copa mundial weighs in at 11.7 ounces, The nike mercurials are 8ounces. I can’t understand his logic on that one…[/quote]

    He only had the choice between Adidas or Reebok…I don’t think he wanted to get fined ;)[/quote]

    I only pointed out the mercurials because I knew for a fact that they were light. I dont blame him for not wearing reeboks though, theyve never came out with a cleat that deserved to be worn… I couldn’t find a pic but does anyone recall the HORRIBLE sidewinder cleats they came out with in the mid 90’s. They had this odd stud system that was sort of swirly strips rather than individual studs, be they long or circular. The only comapany worse than reebok would be….. FILAAAAA official supporter of tab ramos.

  • Ray | March 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm |

    Stefan — 3 posts in one day. Thankks . Hope to see you back here often.

  • Korch | March 30, 2007 at 2:06 pm |

    Looks like Ryan Howard is going to be color coordinating his stripes this year.

    http://www.post-gaze...

  • Mike | March 30, 2007 at 2:07 pm |

    I am headed to my local Sports Seasons store to buy a new Reds MLB hat today. I spoke with a girl who worked there a few days ago…she said they’ve had the hats for about two weeks now but were forbidden from showing them to anyone. I wonder if this order came from New Era or directly from MLB. I tried on one of the BP hats as well; as much as I despise the different colored panel over the ear, the hat was actually pretty nice.

  • Mark | March 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm |

    Apparently the NIT is also the lesser at making championship shirts

  • Joe | March 30, 2007 at 2:10 pm |

    [quote comment="64519"]The photo has already been photoshopped
    [/quote]

    actually it wasnt photoshopped, the company making them messed up.

  • Ethan | March 30, 2007 at 2:13 pm |

    I’m on my way to New Era’s new flagship store here in beautiful downtown Buffalo NY(65 degrees and sunny today). When you pick up those new New Era caps, say a little thanks to all the proud Western New Yorkers hard at work here.

  • Joe | March 30, 2007 at 2:14 pm |
  • jones | March 30, 2007 at 2:17 pm |

    has anybody played MLB 2K7 for xbox 360? the uniforms look great to me, and there are a ton of throwback options. this game is really worth playing not only because of the great uni detail, but its a fun game

  • Minna H. | March 30, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    Great interview, Paul. He’s literate, a Scrabble freak, interested in sports and good-looking. It doesn’t get much better than that. It was interesting to hear some of the ins and outs of training camp, even if only through the eyes of a place kicker (just kidding, Stefan).

    I, too, thought there were subtle changes when viewing pictures of the unis from last year and from a few years prior. It goes to show what perception will do to you.

    Anyway, I am off to purchase Word Freak, and I can’t wait for the new book to come out so I can buy that one as well. Be sure you post it, Paul, when it does.

    P.S. I saw a guy wearing a Wild! jersey yesterday. Because of the proud teaching of Teebz, I am pretty confident in saying that it was a cheap reproduction rather than the real thing. Thanks, Teebz. Your hockey uni manifesto came in handy!

  • Philly Bill | March 30, 2007 at 2:28 pm |

    [quote comment="64474"]Can anyone tell me what kind of cleats Gary Sheffield is wearing now? He’s been a Nike guy for a few years, then stopped wearing swooshes all together, was seen in adidas cleats for a few days last year, wore a pair of Jeter’s Jordan cleats for a while, and then settled on Puma’s for the rest of the season.

    He started out this spring in Puma’s, but now he’s wearing this mystery brand every game. He has two pairs… one with white/silver accents for home games, and one with orange accents to match the away uniforms. His velcroed-down pants hide any logos that appear on the sides of the cleats. I can’t find anything that resembles them on Eastbay or Baseball Express…

    The missing piece might be the logo that he has on sewn on his neoprene wristbands above the “3”. What is that? A new company? A signature logo?

    Any inside information about this would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

    Let’s get this solved, people!

    At first I thought they might be Jordans because they’re pretty understated… plus the sole seen here — are those turf shoes he’s wearing on grass? — reminded me of the Air Jordan 7.

    But the only Jordan model I could find was the signature model of none other than Cap’n Jetes.

    The search continues…

  • WVU Tom | March 30, 2007 at 2:31 pm |

    Technical question for Paul and/or the webmasters:

    I notice the time on the comments section seems to be displaying central daylight time (or at least five hours behind GMT). I believe in the past the time posted was in Eastern time, and with Paul based in NY, that made sense. Is this due to the new hosting servers, or are you just refusing to accepted the new Daylight Savings rules?

  • Miguel | March 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    [quote comment="64595"][quote comment="64568"][quote comment="64554"]also, i found it interesting that Stefan mentioned gonig to copa mundials because of the light weight. I played sccer for years and I think anyone that has will agree with this. Cop mundials, while most certainly a classic, are certainly NOT lightweight. Neither the kangaroo leather, nor the sole is lightweight. Just ot give an example, the copa mundial weighs in at 11.7 ounces, The nike mercurials are 8ounces. I can’t understand his logic on that one…[/quote]

    He only had the choice between Adidas or Reebok…I don’t think he wanted to get fined ;)[/quote]

    I only pointed out the mercurials because I knew for a fact that they were light. I dont blame him for not wearing reeboks though, theyve never came out with a cleat that deserved to be worn… I couldn’t find a pic but does anyone recall the HORRIBLE sidewinder cleats they came out with in the mid 90’s. They had this odd stud system that was sort of swirly strips rather than individual studs, be they long or circular. The only comapany worse than reebok would be….. FILAAAAA official supporter of tab ramos.[/quote]

    Thierry Henry started wearing Reebok boots this year…maybe that’s why he’s so injured.

  • Jonathon | March 30, 2007 at 2:54 pm |

    Here’s some pics of the Puerto Rico jerseys from the Carib. World Series – notice the “ESPN-effect.” The numbers were also Espn-esque, but I don’t have any photos.

    http://www.rpaniagua...

  • Teebz | March 30, 2007 at 3:08 pm |

    [quote comment="64619"]
    P.S. I saw a guy wearing a Wild! jersey yesterday. Because of the proud teaching of Teebz, I am pretty confident in saying that it was a cheap reproduction rather than the real thing. Thanks, Teebz. Your hockey uni manifesto came in handy![/quote]

    I do what I can, Minna. Glad to know you can recognize a $100 jersey from a $250 one. :o)

  • Minna H. | March 30, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    [quote comment="64635"][quote comment="64619"]
    P.S. I saw a guy wearing a Wild! jersey yesterday. Because of the proud teaching of Teebz, I am pretty confident in saying that it was a cheap reproduction rather than the real thing. Thanks, Teebz. Your hockey uni manifesto came in handy![/quote]

    I do what I can, Minna. Glad to know you can recognize a $100 jersey from a $250 one. :o)[/quote]

    And it’s all in thanks to you.

  • Minna H. | March 30, 2007 at 3:18 pm |

    [quote comment="64636"][quote comment="64635"][quote comment="64619"]
    P.S. I saw a guy wearing a Wild! jersey yesterday. Because of the proud teaching of Teebz, I am pretty confident in saying that it was a cheap reproduction rather than the real thing. Thanks, Teebz. Your hockey uni manifesto came in handy![/quote]

    I do what I can, Minna. Glad to know you can recognize a $100 jersey from a $250 one. :o)[/quote]

    And it’s all in thanks to you.[/quote]

    Of course, the beauty of it is that I am right in my mind whether I am right or not in real life.

  • Tom | March 30, 2007 at 3:21 pm |

    Paul getting a head start on his April Fool’s Day jokes… the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have unveiled their new logo. Uniforms to follow, but the team name and logo are so good, I’m inclined to give them a free pass even if the uniforms suck. … and this logo and name don’t suck… Iron Pigs…okay.

    http://www.ironpigsb...

    Huh? Great quote.

    “Take one step into the old Bethlehem Steel mills and you instantly know you’re at the birthplace of much of America,” said Plan B’s Jason Klein. “Our goal is to capture this heritage and communicate it through the look and feel of the IronPigs brand.”

    Birthplace of much of America…okay.

  • PSU | March 30, 2007 at 3:28 pm |

    Stefan, I mentioned your great interview on Zack Hample’s snagging baseball blog today, and he said that he does know you, and that the last time you two guys played scrabble together, he beat you. Say it ain’t so!

  • Beats in Buffalo | March 30, 2007 at 3:41 pm |

    Ethan is right the New Era store in downtown Buffalo is amazing it has the largest collection of hats I’ve ever seen. The best part is they converted the old Buffalo Federal Reserve building for their new downtown store and offices and hats not kept on the shelf are kept in a vault some serious protection for hats.

  • todd krevanchi | March 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm |

    [quote comment="64639"]Paul getting a head start on his April Fool’s Day jokes… the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have unveiled their new logo. Uniforms to follow, but the team name and logo are so good, I’m inclined to give them a free pass even if the uniforms suck. … and this logo and name don’t suck… Iron Pigs…okay.

    http://www.ironpigsb...

    Huh? Great quote.

    “Take one step into the old Bethlehem Steel mills and you instantly know you’re at the birthplace of much of America,” said Plan B’s Jason Klein. “Our goal is to capture this heritage and communicate it through the look and feel of the IronPigs brand.”

    Birthplace of much of America…okay.[/quote]

    F’N A RIGHT IT IS!!! the majority of all the steel used to construct ships, buildings, factories, towns, etc came right from here in the lehigh valley. you are more than welcome to deny this part of your history…

  • =bg= | March 30, 2007 at 4:27 pm |

    a better shot of the West Virginny shirts..
    http://msn.foxsports...

  • Dan | March 30, 2007 at 4:40 pm |

    Did anybody pick up a new 5950 cap yet, and if so how does it fit, did you buy your normal size?

    I got two Mets ones, and the new material is much better than the wool… but I’m worried that since it won’t shrink, maybe I bought them one size too big. Hmm…

  • =bg= | March 30, 2007 at 4:43 pm |

    test

  • =bg= | March 30, 2007 at 4:44 pm |

    For some reason, I cant quote a post. Tried 2x. ANyway, I think the answer to the Shefffield question is: ‘Verdero.” Pudge wears them.
    http://a712.g.akamai...

  • BA | March 30, 2007 at 5:41 pm |

    Did the Dodgers change their helmets? It looks like they went with a combo of metallic and old dodger blue (kind of like the Mets black and blue on the coolflo helmets).

    I thought I noticed it on Russell Martin’s catching helmet too last night…

  • Paul Lukas | March 30, 2007 at 6:04 pm |

    [quote comment="64592"]i just exchanged emails with Broncos equipment manager Chris Valenti, who says: no modification to the unis since the original changeover in 1997. so i stand corrected.[/quote]

    And I feel vindicated.

  • Buckeye Mike | March 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    [quote comment="64620"][quote comment="64474"]Can anyone tell me what kind of cleats Gary Sheffield is wearing now? He’s been a Nike guy for a few years, then stopped wearing swooshes all together, was seen in adidas cleats for a few days last year, wore a pair of Jeter’s Jordan cleats for a while, and then settled on Puma’s for the rest of the season.

    He started out this spring in Puma’s, but now he’s wearing this mystery brand every game. He has two pairs… one with white/silver accents for home games, and one with orange accents to match the away uniforms. His velcroed-down pants hide any logos that appear on the sides of the cleats. I can’t find anything that resembles them on Eastbay or Baseball Express…

    The missing piece might be the logo that he has on sewn on his neoprene wristbands above the “3”. What is that? A new company? A signature logo?

    Any inside information about this would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

    Let’s get this solved, people!

    At first I thought they might be Jordans because they’re pretty understated… plus the sole seen here — are those turf shoes he’s wearing on grass? — reminded me of the Air Jordan 7.

    But the only Jordan model I could find was the signature model of none other than Cap’n Jetes.

    The search continues…[/quote]
    how did noone notice that shef is wearing a home batting helmet with his road uni in that last pick? what is that all about?

  • Billy B. | March 30, 2007 at 7:32 pm |

    [quote comment="64702"][quote comment="64620"][quote comment="64474"]Can anyone tell me what kind of cleats Gary Sheffield is wearing now? He’s been a Nike guy for a few years, then stopped wearing swooshes all together, was seen in adidas cleats for a few days last year, wore a pair of Jeter’s Jordan cleats for a while, and then settled on Puma’s for the rest of the season.

    He started out this spring in Puma’s, but now he’s wearing this mystery brand every game. He has two pairs… one with white/silver accents for home games, and one with orange accents to match the away uniforms. His velcroed-down pants hide any logos that appear on the sides of the cleats. I can’t find anything that resembles them on Eastbay or Baseball Express…

    The missing piece might be the logo that he has on sewn on his neoprene wristbands above the “3”. What is that? A new company? A signature logo?

    Any inside information about this would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

    Let’s get this solved, people!

    At first I thought they might be Jordans because they’re pretty understated… plus the sole seen here — are those turf shoes he’s wearing on grass? — reminded me of the Air Jordan 7.

    But the only Jordan model I could find was the signature model of none other than Cap’n Jetes.

    The search continues…[/quote]
    how did noone notice that shef is wearing a home batting helmet with his road uni in that last pick? what is that all about?[/quote]
    The Tigers have only worn their home hats and helmets in spring training.

  • Dave A | March 30, 2007 at 7:40 pm |

    [quote comment="64591"][quote comment="64558"][quote comment="64531"][quote comment="64506"]I’m glad we are talking about Minor League teams today. I got a star struck catalog in the mail the other day, and I never heard of the Montgomery Biscuits before. What a weird nickname and logo. I just happen to like it cause it is different and out of the ordinary.

    Can anyone explain why they are the Biscuits?

    Biscuits[/quote]

    Wikipedia wimps out with this non-explanation:

    [quote]The Biscuits’ owners selected the team’s nickname from an entry in a “name the team” contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun possibilities.[/quote]

    http://en.wikipedia....

    Oh well…

    ed[/quote]

    I remember an article when the team was named that the name was selected because “it was representative of the region”. I don’t know if that means Montgomery has a baking industry history or a reference to that southern delicacy, biscuits and gravy.[/quote]
    I think it’s more of a southern reference like you were saying.

    Personally, I’ve always liked the CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS logo and name. Also, just found the LOGO for the SOUTHERN LEAGUE. I think it looks excellent.[/quote]

    Love the Lookouts, but the Lake Elsinore Storm rocks, and I’d be remiss for not mentioning the team named after the “inventor” of baseball, Abner Doubleday.

  • Stuby | March 30, 2007 at 7:47 pm |

    Magic are playing the Pacers in Orlando. Both teams are wearing retro uniforms, but the Magic are (is?) wearing black at home.

  • Steve | March 30, 2007 at 7:57 pm |

    Starting this spring, the Texas Rangers are hiring six ball girls – women, actually – who will chase down foul balls on each side of the field.

    The ball girls will be dressed in baseball jerseys bearing True.com logos and modest uniform shorts, Ms. Nevins said. HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.dallasnew...

  • Aaron | March 30, 2007 at 8:09 pm |

    Nice Q & A here with the Rangers equipment manager about how numbers are assigned and how which jersey is decided on to play with on game day.
    http://www.newyorkra...

  • Sage Confucius | March 30, 2007 at 8:41 pm |

    [quote comment="64606"]I am headed to my local Sports Seasons store to buy a new Reds MLB hat today. I spoke with a girl who worked there a few days ago…she said they’ve had the hats for about two weeks now but were forbidden from showing them to anyone. I wonder if this order came from New Era or directly from MLB. I tried on one of the BP hats as well; as much as I despise the different colored panel over the ear, the hat was actually pretty nice.[/quote]

    I have seen several comments recently relating to the new 5950’s. The stores where I live have had them in stock for about a month. I didn’t buy one, mainly because they didn’t have the Astros and I have a tiny noggin, but I did check them out. The new ones actually feel like a heavier material than the wool. I don’t like the black underbrims though, especially on the dark hats.

  • GoMac | March 30, 2007 at 9:46 pm |

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this yet..but apparently “West Virgina” won the NIT and not “West Virginia”

  • schuby | March 30, 2007 at 10:13 pm |

    [quote comment="64745"]I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this yet..but apparently “West Virgina” won the NIT and not “West Virginia”[/quote]
    Were you in a cave the last 14 hours?

  • schuby | March 30, 2007 at 10:35 pm |

    Looking back at the archives, and i forgot how much I love the Bears’ stripes. LOVE THEM!!

  • Eric B | March 30, 2007 at 10:47 pm |

    [quote comment="64745"]I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this yet..but apparently “West Virgina” won the NIT and not “West Virginia”[/quote]

    and i hear there’s some sort of new mlb cap, too. can any of the previous posters in this very thread confirm this?

    thanks in advance.

    btw….we now have 50 states

  • =bg= | March 30, 2007 at 11:11 pm |

    the worst baseball caps ever. EVER.
    GET EM NOW.
    http://shop.mlb.com/...

  • Minna H. | March 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm |

    [quote comment="64796"]the worst baseball caps ever. EVER.
    GET EM NOW.
    http://shop.mlb.com/...

    AWWWWWW, they don’t have a Twins’ one. I’m crushed!

  • Stuby | March 30, 2007 at 11:45 pm |

    [quote comment="64796"]the worst baseball caps ever. EVER.
    GET EM NOW.
    http://shop.mlb.com/...
    I think I’ll wait for the paisley version.

  • Minna H. | March 30, 2007 at 11:54 pm |

    [quote comment="64802"][quote comment="64796"]the worst baseball caps ever. EVER.
    GET EM NOW.
    http://shop.mlb.com/...
    I think I’ll wait for the paisley version.[/quote]

    Or houndstooth….

  • Jeff C. | March 31, 2007 at 12:22 am |

    the ugliest thing i’ve EVER seen.

  • Eric | March 31, 2007 at 12:28 am |

    David Treadwell was not the first Bronco to wear #9. Mark Hermann, from Purdue. wore it for the two years he spent backing up Craig Morton and Steve DeBerg. Hermann was traded to the Colts as part of the deal that brought John Elway to Denver.

  • Mark in Shiga | March 31, 2007 at 5:35 am |

    You macron buffs in the audience might like to know that Ōsaka Tōin High School even extends their spelling correctness to their equipment bags.

    (Technically speaking, Osaka should have a macron on it too, but it’s spelled without one so often that I guess we can forgive them for only getting the Tōin perfect.)

  • =bg= | March 31, 2007 at 11:37 am |

    [quote comment="64809"]the ugliest thing i’ve EVER seen.[/quote]

    wont argue that.

  • stefan fatsis | April 1, 2007 at 8:21 pm |

    David Treadwell was not the first Bronco to wear #9. Mark Hermann, from Purdue. wore it for the two years he spent backing up Craig Morton and Steve DeBerg. Hermann was traded to the Colts as part of the deal that brought John Elway to Denver.

    eric: the list of Broncos players by numbers in the team media guide includes only Treadwell under #9. is it possible Hermann was on the practice squad only (in which case he wouldn’t be listed)? but i’ll check. thanks.