The nice thing about co-owning an NBA team is that you can work out with the players whenever you want. And of course you’ll get an official team practice jersey to wear — hey, you’re a part owner, you can raid the pro shop for whatever gear you want. High-five! But wait, the practice jersey features the logo of the company that manufactured it, and you have a longstanding promotional arrangement with a rival company. That’s a slight dilemma, but everyone knows what a savvy businessman you are, so you’ll come up with a smart and elegant solution.
That was the situation facing Michael Jordan yesterday. And here was his smart and elegant solution: He slapped a piece of white tape over the Adidas logo on his chest, although I think it’s fair to say that this maneuver went straight into the “Not fooling anybody” file, especially since he didn’t bother covering up the Adidas stripe treatment (presumably because they ran out of white tape).
I don’t know if Jordan’s still contractually forbidden to wear non-Nike gear, or if the very idea of flashing a non-swoosh logo simply gives him a rash, but this little episode really highlights the continuing absurdity of how sportswear companies have become entangled with leagues and athletes. Did Jordan really think nobody would notice the piece of tape, or understand why it was there? Didn’t this actually draw more attention to the fact that he was wearing Adidas gear than if he hadn’t worn the tape to begin with? Couldn’t he have avoided this problem altogether if he’d just turned the shirt inside-out or worn a some other shirt? Oh, but then the Bobcats logo wouldn’t have been visible, so he wouldn’t have been promoting his team and its merch. What a mess — the whole situation reeks.
I’ll have more to say about logo creep tomorrow. Meanwhile, how much you wanna bet that some kid out there is gonna start wearing a piece of tape over the Adidas logo on his Bobcats jersey, just like his idol, MJ?
Raffle Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter the holiday raffle. For details, scroll down to the middle of Friday’s entry. As always, you can increase your odds of winning by joining the Uni Watch membership program. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.
And hey, speaking of raffles: Are you excited about the Pro Bowl? Right, me neither. But the NFL is raffling off a free trip to its annual
snooze-a-thon all-star game, and let’s face it, a free trip to Hawaii is a free trip to Hawaii, even if it does entail watching the world’s lamest football game. Plus the Pro Bowl is a uni watcher’s dream (assuming you dream about the really bad design), so it’s a win-win. To enter, look here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Vikings’ solid-purple look will not be repeated (that good news brought our way by Chad Burma). … Weird sequence of events yesterday, beginning when Kenn Tomasch sent me a note reporting that Steve Young’s orange jersey didn’t have stripes in 1985 like the rest of the Bucs had. Upon further investigation I discovered several other anomalies, to wit: Young appears to have ghosted sleeve stripes here and here; some of Tampa’s linemen didn’t have sleeve stripes either; kicker Donald Igwebuike (one of my all-time favorite sports names) had stripes, but his sleeve connected to his jersey down around his belly; if you factor in the sleeves, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen another NFL jersey look as mesh-y as this. … Michael Vick may not be in the NFL anymore, but he’s leaving quite a trail in his wake. … Looks like a Georgia Southern player was wearing a one-sleeved undershirt the other day (with thanks to Bob Jaye). … The Rutgers football team’s equipment manager is retiring (with thanks to Bruce Soltys). … Greg Riffenburgh notes that Minnesota’s Anthony Herrera appeared to be violating the NFL’s “only one footwear trim color allowed” rule the other night. … If you can’t prevent a concussion, at least you can know if you’ve gotten one. … Todd Krevanchi notes that Houston is using different font sets for its front and back uni numbers, and you can see in the 2s here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Awesome old newsreel footage shot in the Red Wings and Rangers locker rooms here.