Sometimes the world just feels a little bit … off. You can’t put your finger on what it is, but you know something is wrong. It’s not something big — more like a tiny itch that keeps eluding you no matter where you scratch, like when you balance your checkbook and can’t figure out why the totals are off by three cents. You know things weren’t always this way, but you only have a faint memory of how they used to be, and now it’s gone and you can’t quite figure out what’s changed. And however minor this discrepancy may be, you know the universe will never quite come back into proper alignment until this small detail is addressed.
And that’s why, brothers and sisters, I’m so happy to announce that Ben Wallace will be allowed to wear his headband this season.
In case you’ve forgotten (and it was such a surreally idiotic episode that I wouldn’t blame you if you’d blotted it out of your mind), Wallace was benched early last season for violating Bulls coach Scott Skiles’s “no headbands” edict. So Big Ben spent the season looking like this and this, instead of sporting the more familiar forehead-accessorized look he’d cultivated in Detroit. It looked wrong, like it was some other guy instead of Wallace. Now, thankfully, this small rip in the cosmic fabric will be mended.
For those keeping score at home, the moron here is clearly Skiles (who, thankfully, never coached Wilt Chamberlain). I’ve yet to hear him present a rational, sensible explanation for banning a league-sanctioned and -branded accessory. And headbands aren’t just fashion statements — yo, Scott, they keep sweat out of your eyes.
Skiles made things worse yesterday by giving an all-time clunker of a quote: “We still have a no-headband rule. I just left it up to the guys who have been here if they wanted to make an exception for Ben.”
This is like the Mets insisting that they’re a really good team despite their last-season collapse, or Charlie Brown standing on the mound in the rain and shouting, “It’s just a little shower!” while everyone else scampers home and Snoopy goes by on a raft (plus it puts makes Skiles the rhetorical heir of Elaine Crispen; if you don’t remember who she was, look here). Dude, wake up: You ain’t got no no-headband rule no more, which is a good thing, since it was a bogus rule to begin with. Now sit down, shut up, and let Big Ben do his thing.
Raffle Results: The winner of the futuristic Royals jersey is Ryan Etgen. Big congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered.
Membership News: As a big fan of horizontal stripes and the color green, I’ve rarely been as excited about a membership design request as I was when Michael Doucette requested Celtic FC the other day. Scott’s execution, as you can see, was dead-on. This and other new designs now on display in the membership card design gallery.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Lots of other NBA changes in the offing besides the return of Ben Wallace’s headband, including a new bronze trim for the Wizards (here’s a rear view), new throwbacks for the Warriors (which apparently mean no “The City” throwbacks this season — dang), the return of the “New Orleans” insignia for the Hornets (along with the new fleur-de-bee patch), and an anniversary patch for the Lakers. Plus, as already noted in yesterday’s Ticker, anniversary patches are also being worn by the Pistons and Heat. … We’ve talked before about how Red Sox uniforms sometimes have an upside-down 8. Turns out the Sox aren’t the only Boston-area team with this problem. The Patriots’ numeral 8 is supposed to have a smaller loop on top, but Randy Moss’s 8 was upside-down two nights ago. On the back, too. Great side-by-side comparison here of Moss’s and Donte Stallworth’s respective 8s. … Two days ago I ran this photo. Now Dave Bloomquist has come up with this (which dates back to 1956). Separated at birth? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Bill Belechick’s sweatshirt says, “QUIPMENT” — the E is missing. … Breakdown of great soccer uniforms here. … The Blackhawks will be wearing a memorial patch for Bill Wirtz. Insert internet/web site joke here. … Not uni-related, but am I the only one mildly surprised that Rick Ankiel didn’t win the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award? Yeah, he only played about 25% of the season, but Stretch McCovey won Rookie of the Year in ’59 based on virtually the same number of ABs. ’Course, nobody ever accused Stretch of doing HGH, but still, have you ever seen a more impressive comeback than Ankiel’s? Dude completely reinvented himself, made it all the way back, and was a legitimate power threat during the latter part of the season. … Good spot by Matt Englander, who writes: “After the Red Sox acquired Curt Schilling in 2004, they made adjustments to the banner the top of their home page. Because they didn’t have an action pic of Schilling in a Sox uniform, they cropped his head (presumably from a shot from his D-Backs days) and put the head on another Boston pitcher’s body. If you look closely you can see that the edges of Curt’s neck are a dead giveaway that this was a crop job. That was 4 seasons ago…and you’re telling me they couldn’t pull out that placeholder and put an actual Sox action shot in there? Ridiculous.” … While researching something else, I stumbled across this. I don’t even wanna know. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Great little item here about how the Seahawks have a staffer whose job is to keep track of Seneca Wallace’s green-dotted and dot-free helmets, depending on whether he’s playing QB or WR. … Also from last night: French law prohibits alcohol-related jersey sponsorship, so Glasgow Rangers FC, whose jersey usually looks like this, blacked out the Carling logo during yesterday’s match in France. … Roberto Luongo has a new mask. Lots of additional pics here, further info here, and a short video is here. … New mask for Chris Mason, too. Photos here, details here. … Rugby World Cup note from Eric Bangeman, who notes that the countries that have won the World Cup in the past (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and England) are wearing a sleeve patch that depicts the William Webb Ellis trophy, which is awarded to the winning nation.” … UConn’s new hoops unis will look like this (with thanks to Matt Edwards). … Life-altering photo here of the 1920 Dartmouth hockey team (with many, many thanks to Cullan Foote). … Very, very sad news out of Milwaukee, where Art’s Concertina Bar — site of a Uni Watch party last year, and my favorite tavern in America — has been sold. The new owner plans to only minor changes, but the biggest loss will be Art himself (shown at the Uni Watch party with Stephanie West), a national treasure who’s simply irreplaceable. Enjoy your retirement, Art — I’ll miss ya.