It was another one of those Uni Watch red-alert moments last night, as about a dozen readers e-mailed me all at once and another half-dozen or so posted all at once in the comments section. The cause? Jason Strudwick of the Rangers got in a fight and his nameplate came loose during the fisticuffs, revealing some nasty-looking adhesive residue on the underside.
All of which is very entertaining. But here’s my question: Since when have the Rangers been using nameplates? I always thought they used direct-sewn NOBs. NHLuniforms.com has always shown them that way (compare that treatment to this one), and so do most pre-2007 game photos (here’s another) and game-used jerseys (the most recent of which that I could find is from 2003-04 — definitely no nameplate there). Hell, we’ve even made sure to go nameplate-free when designing Rangers-themed membership cards.
But if you look at photos from this season, sure enough — they’ve suddenly got the telltale fabric strip. It’s on the white jersey, too. Is this a previously unnoticed additional reason to loathe the new Reebok jerseys? Have other teams made similar switches? If anyone knows more about this, please fill us in.
And as if the deficiencies of nameplates weren’t already clear enough (extra seams, loose threads, puckering, etc.), now we can add an additional problem to the list: They come loose during fights.
Meanwhile, speaking of the Rangers, the story of their re-hemmed jerseys has finally been picked up by a local beat writer. For the full scoop, scroll down to the “Hems stops haws” section of this page.
And in further NHL news, Rich Eakin reports that the Penguins will be giving new, non-moisture-repellant jerseys to all of their players — not just to the select few who ask for them. For details, scroll down to the “Replacement jerseys” section here.
(Special thanks today to Matt Harris and Doug Walton for their Strudwick screen grabs, and to Aman Loodu for pointing out the hemming story.)
And Next Week We’re Installing a Hot Tub: Lots of new site-related developments to report today. For starters, for those of you who are into the social-bookmarking thing, you’ll find buttons for Digg, Del.icio.us, Facebook, Furl, Spurl, Newsvine, Technorati, and YahooMyWeb at the bottom of each post. And in response to reader demand, we’re now offering a full RSS feed, instead of a partial feed.
But the biggest news is that my new right-hand man has been chosen. It’s Bryan Redemske, whose name is probably familiar to many of you because he’s a longtime Ticker contributor. He also wrote most of this entry about the College World Series back in June. The depths of his Uni Watch-ishness can be measured by a note he sent to me last night: “Be sure to mention that all of my cycling T-shirts have ‘Bryan’ embroidered on the left sleeve.”
Bryan is, if anything, overqualified for the position. He works in the sports department of the Omaha World-Herald, where he does some copyediting, some page layout, and a bit of writing (and where his ready access to wire-service photos will no doubt come in handy). In other words, he’s already a seasoned media professional, so I can’t very well call him my “intern.” We’ll have to come up with a new title for him, like
research monkey assistant editor or something like that. By any name, he’ll be easing into the job over the next two weeks or so, and his first lead entry will probably run later this week. Please join me in welcoming him to the Uni Watch team.
The timing of Bryan’s hire is perfect, because intern Vince Grzegorek has some big news, too: He’s scored a staff position with Cleveland Scene, the city’s alterna-weekly paper, and will be starting there in two weeks. He says he’ll still contribute Uni Watch entries, which will be great if he can swing it (I suspect his new bosses will be keeping him pretty busy). Here’s to you, Vince — big congrats on your new gig.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I linked to this photo of Tamba Hali’s chinstrap popping off. That prompted Doug Simpson to send me what he described as “the mother of all chinstrap blowups,” from September’s ’Bama/Western Carolina game. … In another follow-up, yesterday I asked why Remembrance Day poppy pins had switched from green-centered to black-centered in recent years, which led Lorne Giesbrecht to send me to this page, which has lots of good info (and also led Jeff Ingalls to send me a photo of his poppy tattoo). … Also from yesterday: I asked what was up with these leg sleeves, prompting this follow-up from John Simmons: “He appears to be wearing a cut-off version of Adidas Powerweb shorts. You can even slightly see the yarn at the bottom of the calf sleeve from where he must have cut it.” … Brent Hardman notes that UGA captain Knowshon Moreno’s captain’s “C” suffered from a bit of a tight squeeze on Saturday (additional views here and here) — a problem not shared by teammate Matthew Stafford, because his single-digit uni number allows for more space. … New Mexico wore practice jerseys for a recent exhibition game because their new unis weren’t ready yet (with thanks to Rob Montoya). … Decal impresario Chris Willis reports that Marshall will wear this memorial helmet decal this weekend. In addition, he says CFL teams may wear poppy decals this weekend. … I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Louisiana Tech sure does have small nameplate typography. … Chris Drouin notes that the Oakland Christian High soccer team in Michigan has “Christian” on their shirttails. … The FIVB has worked with Mikasa to produce a new volleyball for the Beijing Olympics. Details here (courtesy of Jeremy Brahm). … Kenn Tomasch recently visited Max’s Sports Bar in Glendale, Arizona, which claims to have the nation’s largest collection of football helmets (including some real doozies). He’s put together a fantastic account of his visit here. … Indiana coach Bill Lynch was wearing a National College Football Day pin — nearly lost among a sea of logos — the other day (with thanks to Todd Usher). … Man, Joe Torre’s cap at his press conference yesterday was right off the shelf (additional holographic view here). And Bryan Redemske, paying immediate dividends, notes that Torre’s dress shirt had “Joe”-monogrammed cuffs. … Yet another player with an upside-down 8: Ryan Gomes (with thanks to Josh Feldman). … Mike Raymers found something interesting: a Roanoke Valley Rebels jersey from the Eastern Hockey League, circa 1970s. I think it’s safe to say that logo would never get off the drawing board today. … Want to make cake shaped like a jersey? Then you’ll want this (genius find by Ryan Thompson). … I could definitely get used to this. … Check out the nameplates in Pakistan.