I’ve developed a soft spot for the Royals and their fans in recent years. The team’s home whites and road grays are among the best in the game (especially now that they’ve ditched the black) — plus Mike Sweeney’s captain’s C is smaller and more tasteful than Jason Varitek’s — but they’ve been so bad for so long that it seems like nobody ever pays any attention to them. I get the feeling that a KC pitcher could toss a perfect game nobody would even notice.
So maybe it’s not surprising that I (and apparently everyone else) completely missed a bit of uni-related Royals news from last Sunday — until Erik Wilhelmi brought it to my attention yesterday, that is. To wit: The team wore thin, light blue ribbons on their wrists (additional views here, here, and here) in memory of Kelsey Smith, the local teen who’d recently been kidnapped and murdered. According to this blog entry, “The decision to wear the ribbons was made after Manager Buddy Bell met with Kelsey’s relatives Sunday morning.”
Coupla thoughts here: First, I love the simplicity and subtlety of this tribute. No logos or inscriptions on the cap, no sleeve patch, not even a black armband — just a small, tasteful gesture. I realize this is at least partially due to the fact that the whole thing was done on very short notice (and some might also view it as a reflection of the Royals’ low-budget approach to everything), but I think it’s gorgeously understated.
Secondly, in an era when ribbons have become all-purpose symbols of anything and everything — and are usually represented by embroidered “ribbons” (which aren’t actually ribbons) and magnetic “ribbons” (which aren’t actually ribbons) — it’s a pleasure to see someone using ribbons that are actual, bona fide ribbons.
Only question now is why the Royals had a spool of light-blue ribbon floating around their clubhouse to begin with. Was somebody wrapping a birthday present? Or did they have to send out one of the clubbies to K-Mart?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Hot off the presses: Reader J.J. Carton was at the UCF merch unveiling this morning and got these pics of the new helmets. … Just when Mike Nolan was about to tie his necktie into a noose, the clue train finally made a stop at the NFL’s offices yesterday, where it was announced that coaches will be allowed to wear suits for all home games. This landmark in sports decision making was achieved after several Reebok execs and NFL commish Roger Goodell locked themselves in a room with nothing but a case of Diet Coke and a 10-pack of Twinkies and vowed not to come out “until we’ve settled this, by god!” They were thisclose to hammering out language that would also have allowed coaches to wear suits during road games, but that part of the deal collapsed when they ran out of Twinkies.