Man, I go away for a week and an entire league goes down the toilet.
The trouble started just a few hours after I put up the “Gone Fishing” sign, when the Predators unveiled their new jerseys. I don’t mind the stripes on the sleeves so much (indeed, I’m on record as being a fan of this), but the piping down the front of the jersey is ridiculous. Even worse, check out the back. Oh, great — as if a big Reebok logo weren’t bad enough, now it has to be showcased in its own contrast-colored panel (you can bet someone at Reebok got a nice Christmas bonus for coming up with that one). What an embarrassment.
Bad went to worse a few days ago, when the new Panthers jerseys were bestowed upon an unwitting populace. Hmmm, look familiar? Same utterly pointless piping down the front, same contrast-colored logo creep on the back. And can someone please explain the point of having horizontal sleeve stripes that don’t even wrap all the way around the sleeve?
Unfortunately, there’s more to come. I’ve seen another team’s new design that’s based on exactly the same template (sorry, I’m not at liberty to disclose which team, but it’ll be unveiled soon enough). When I first saw it, I thought, “Man, you’ve gotta work pretty hard to come up with something that stupid,” but that was before I’d seen the new Preds and Panthers jerseys.
The thing that makes all of this unforgivable is that it’s empirically unnecessary — despite Reebok’s new tailoring, the Bruins are going with an old-school design, and the Blue Jackets concept is a case study in how to modern can still be tasteful. So don’t blame this one on Reebok. Blame the teams for being too weak and lemming-like to come up with anything decent, and blame the league for allowing this template nonsense.
Oh what the hell, let’s blame Reebok too.
I’d like to come up with a good name for this front piping. Some folks are already referring to it as an “apron,” but I think we can do better than that. Anyone care to contribute another term?
Uni Watch Demographic Study: Many of you folks are apparently very
nosy curious about each other, so Joe Drennan has generously volunteered to compile a Rolodex-style spreadsheet of the site’s readership. Completely voluntary, natch. If you’d like to participate, please list your name, the name you use when posting comments (if applicable), occupation, and location. If you want to include your e-mail address, and/or if you have a personal web site, feel free to include that info as well. Send all of this data to Joe (not to me, please) at jpdren99 at smumn dot edu. A copy of the resulting file will be sold to every marketing firm I can think of made available to all participants.
Indy Frock: Got an interesting membership card request the other day from Dan Netser, who wants his design patterned after the 1973 Indiana Pacers. This presented something of a challenge: Should the center and outer stripes be truncated (which matches their height on the actual jersey but looks kinda weird on a rectangular card) or extended (which looks less awkward but doesn’t really match the original design)? Scott prefers the former, I’d go with the latter, but we both agree that each option has its pros and cons, so we’ve decided to get input from you folks. What say ye, people — which option do you prefer? Is there some other solution we’re overlooking?
As long as we’re on the topic: Last week’s travels have left me a bit behind on mailing out membership kits, but I expect to catch up this week — thanks in advance for your patience. Meanwhile, there’s lots of good new stuff in the membership design gallery, including this (based on the early-’60s Reds) and this (mid-’90s Canucks alt, don’tcha know). Check out the full gallery here, and remember, you can click on any design to add a comment, read others’ comments, or explain what the design is based on.
Meanwhile, congrats to Vernona Elms, who on Friday became our 300th member. We probably won’t get to 500 before A-Rod does, but maybe we can beat him to 756. Friendly reminder: If you join by tomorrow (or if your snail-mailed order is postmarked by then), you’ll have a “Charter Member” seal added to your card when you renew next year.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Remember our rundown of all-stars who wore the wrong helmet? Here’s another one: Johnny Callison of the Phillies wearing a Mets helmet while winning the 1964 ASG with a 9th-inning homer. … Spectacular shot here of the 1921 Seattle Metropolitans. Dig that chest insignia! … Good two-minute video segment here about how the Tour de France jerseys are
stocked with drugs in secret pockets prepared for each rider (with thanks to Brendan Hunt). … Big surprise. … Annual AIDS awareness game in San Francisco last Friday, with the Giants and Marlins wearing red ribbons. … Reprinted from Saturday: The Pirates style John Van Benschoten’s two-word surname as one word on his nameplate (presumably because they don’t have room to add a space). Turns out they’ve done this consistently throughout his career, as seen here and here. Poor guy can’t even have his accurate name on his jersey. … In a related item, check out this note from Todd Davis (reprinted from yesterday’s comments): “[According to] the Cubs/Reds WGN broadcast, Reds SS Dave Concepcion was issued jersey number 57 when he came up in 1970, but they couldn’t fit his name around the 57 (the Reds had those massive name letters) so they changed it to 13 in order to have enough room.” The thing is, lots of other Venezuelan players have worn 13 in honor of Concepcion (including Edgardo Alfonzo, Ozzie Guillen, several others), so the Reds’ early-’70s player-name typography had a ripple effect that was felt for decades. … Matthew Lepke notes that the Vikings are wearing gray facemasks, but it’s just a training camp thing. In a related item, the Vikes will be wearing throwback attire on Sept. 30th, to coincide with Chuck Foreman’s induction into the team’s ring of honor. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: Looks like Vlad Guerrero is slitting his right sleeve. … Ken Tobler reports that the U. of North Texas will have a new uniform this season. They’re revealing the various components one element at a time, and gee, do you think you can figure out who the manufacturer is? … “Eat my bike shorts!” (Thanks, Vince.) … Vince also found this photo of Liverpool goaltender Bruce Grobbleaar, who wore a mask when he played with Southampton after breaking his nose. … Yesterday’s Mariners/A’s throwback game was a mix of good and bad (additional pics here, here, here, here, and here, plus Beau Lynott sent along a bunch of screen grabs, which you can see in this slideshow). Most obvious mistake: Both teams should’ve been wearing elasticized waistbands, not belts. Subtlest mistake: The A’s player names should have been straight, not arched. Nicest touch: The A’s coaches wore white caps. … NFL note from Lee Wilds, who writes: “The Titans have added a fourth jersey color this year [for training camp]. They have previously worn navy for defense and white for the offense while QBs wore red, but this year the defensive unit is rotating in a light blue version.” And yes, that’s an advertising patch on the Titans’ practice attire — nothing new there, as they’ve been wearing it for several years now. … Tom K notes that Alex Cintron had helmet decal issues yesterday (and that was his first at-bat, which means the equipment staff was totally asleep at the switch). … The always excellent Helmet Hut has just come out with a line of Florida State reproductions, including several designs I’d never seen before. The full listing is here.