Aside from conference logos and the like, it’s not often that you see two players on different teams wearing the same jersey patch. But that’s the case with Kansas State’s Ian Campbell and Army’s Mike Viti. What are they wearing? A Kansas State fan who prefers to remain anonymous explains:
K-State is very near Fort Riley, home of the Big Red One and now the 28th Infantry, known as the Black Lions. The football team has been partnering with them in several ways since Coach Ron Prince arrived last year. The latest is the Black Lion Award, which traditionally has been given to high schools all over the country. It is currently given to only two universities: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and, now, Kansas State.
What is the award? It honors Don Holleder, a West Point All-American who was asked (and agreed) to change positions his senior year despite losing any chance at individual honors. He later was killed in Vietnam while attempting to rescue other members of his unit — the Black Lions. The award is given to one player each year who represents this unselfishness, courage, leadership, and the act of putting the team before the individual.
When you win the award, you get a certificate and also a jersey patch. Our winner at K-State this year was Ian Campbell, a very successful defensive end for us who’d been asked (and agreed) to change positions for this year. He will be wearing a Black Lions patch on his jersey all season. In addition, coach Prince has been wearing a Black Lion collar pin.
Interesting stuff. But listen, while I’m sure all the recipients of this award have been very deserving, could someone please explain exactly what’s so remarkable about changing positions when your coach tells you to? Like, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Just askin’.
Iggles Exposed as Dangerous Left-Wing Radicals: As has been discussed here several times, last Sunday’s Eagles throwbacks were based on the Philly city flag, which was in turn based on the colors of the Swedish national flag — or at least that’s what I thought. But reader Jonathan Nussbaum has just contributed some new insights, courtesy of a recent lecture in his American history class:
In 1933, one of the first acts of the New Deal was to establish the National Recovery Administration, which sought to stem unemployment by coordinating prices and wages in certain industries. Participation was voluntary, and companies who did participate would display the Blue Eagle symbol of the NRA.
That year, over 250,000 people marched in Philadelphia to support the NRA. Lud Wray and Bert Bell, who had just bought and resurrected a Philadelphia football team, were so inspired that they named the team the Eagles in honor of that Blue Eagle symbol. The blue and yellow on the NRA symbol happened to match the city flag, so that is how the team’s uniform was designed.
Big thanks to Jonathan for that insight. Now let’s sit back and see how many malcontents complain about the New Deal reference constituting “inappropriate political content” on the site.
(Oh, and speaking of the Eagles’ throwbacks, they’re the basis for a little video rant currently running on Yahoo Sports.)
Raffle Reminder: You’ve got until Tuesday, 10 p.m. eastern, to get in on the raffle for the game-used futuristic Royals jersey. To enter, send an e-mail to uniraffle at earthlink dot net (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch address). One e-mail per person, but everyone enrolled in the Uni Watch membership program at the time of the drawing automatically gets three bonus entries. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday.
Membership News: We had a software glitch yesterday on the membership roster. I’ll spare you the details, but the practical result is that about 90 enrollees got wiped off the page. We are (read: John is) restoring them, but it may take a few days, so don’t be alarmed if you suddenly don’t see your name listed. Actually, that brings up a question I’ve been pondering: I know people like to keep up with the latest additions to the card design gallery, but does anyone even look at the membership roster? Or do you just check it once to see that your name is there and then never look at it again? Just wonderin’.
Uni Watch News Ticker: As you can see at the top of the page, we have a new sponsor, Jersey-Joe, which is offering a discount to Uni Watch readers. A fine operation that I’m proud to have represented on the site, just like our other display advertisers. Check out their stuff. … The Hornets unveiled a new alternate logo yesterday — not bad. It will be worn as a patch on the team’s uniforms and will be called — wait for it — the Fleur de Bee. Read-it-to-believe-it details here. … Who knew there was an NFL Alumni logo? (Robert Eden did, actually.) … UGA linebacker Dannell Ellerbe’s helmet has gone askew or come off completely several times this year, so he plans to wear a different helmet model this weekend (with thanks to Brent Hardman). … Amazing case of logo creep discovered by Andy Head: “My wife is taking an online business course through a local community college, and she just got her textbook yesterday. Look what’s on the cover! And the spine, too! I thought, well, surely the author is somehow connected to that company, but no, she’s a proffessor at Lehigh U. Well, maybe there’s a major Nike business case discussed inside, right? It’s a business book, so they are discussed, but the sections on, say Starbucks and Wal-Mart are much, much more substantial.” Incredible. … Not hard to guess what Sunday’s Open Thread photo will be, because New Mexico State will be wearing pink tomorrow. … Throwbacks aren’t limited to sports: James Yeh reports that the Navy is testing some old-school khakis that haven’t been used since the Vietnam era. … Jason Marquis’s helmet logo was AWOL on Wednesday night (with thanks to Ryan Kendall). … Spectacular article here on the varied styles of pinstriping. Although written with the collectors’ market in mind, it’s filled with worthwhile info for any Uni Watch reader — highly recommended (with thanks to Todd Radom, who sent me the link over a month ago but it got buried in my in-box until I discovered it yesterday — sorry, Todd!). … The Astros have been wearing their brick red road jerseys on the road for months now, because owner Drayton McLane prefers them. But last night was the final road game of Craig Biggio’s career, so the team honored his request to wear the road grays one last time. A team source tells me they had to make road jerseys for all the September call-ups — just for this one game. … Speaking of the ’Stros, Brian Crisp attended a recent game at Minute Maid park and noticed that the ushers had ad patches on their right sleeves. And what was the ad for? Here’s a closer look. “And just so you don’t think it is a coincidence, that dealership is owned by THE Alex Rodriguez,” says Brian. “It’s a good thing he doesn’t own dealerships in Boston. Can you think of another active player sponsoring another team?” … The Vikings will be wearing 1970s throwbacks this Sunday. … Yusuke Toyoda notes that Chivas de Guadalajara has been wearing off-center uni numbers. … Here’s a better (i.e., non-Photoshopped) look at the new Iowa State helmet (with thanks to James Ferguson). … By the time you read this, I’ll be headed upstate for a long-weekend getaway on the lovely shores of Lake Seneca. Vince will be minding the store until Monday, so if you have any site-related issues (spam filter acting up, abusive commenters, etc.), let him know. Ticker contributions can still come to me. See you Monday.