Got a note the other day from reader Chris Hurley, who describes himself as a lifelong Indiana University basketball fan and appears to have discovered an interesting detail on the team’s footwear. Here’s the scoop, in his own words:
Some of Indiana’s players wear what appears to be adidas’s “Lightspeed” line of shoes (mostly white with some red accents), and these players seem to have a replication of Indiana national championship banners on the inside of the right heel.
I first noticed it when I was reading the most recent copy of Sports Illustrated, which has a shot from the Indiana/Kentucky game from 12/8/07. If you look at Lance Stemler’s shoe here, you can see what looks like a rectangle with one side as an arrow pointing down.
I’ve never seen a college team commemorate its championships like this, but I’m pretty sure that’s what’s on the white shoes. In contrast, the players who wear the all-red adidas shoes do not appear to have a similar image.
I’ve never seen anything like this either, but then I’m neither a sneakerhead nor a particularly big college hoops fan, so I may be behind the curve on this one. In any case, I contacted Indiana’s athletic department, where media relations director J.D. Campbell confirmed that the graphic on the white sneakers is indeed the composite banner that Chris was referring to, and that the sneaker design was just introduced for this season.
Of course, the graphic on the sneaker isn’t an exact match of the banner. Just to refresh your memory, the banner design is here — and here’s a close-up of the sneaker. As you can see, there are several differences, but I trust you can all guess which one I find most interesting.
Research Project: I’m looking to compile a list of interesting memorial patches (or memorial decals, or other memorial gestures). No simple black armbands or anything routine like that — I’m looking for things that were more inspired. Historical examples are good, too. All contributions welcome here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fun article here about old NASL jerseys (with thanks to Joseph Spak). … Speaking of NASL jerseys, there’s a good site devoted to them here (as found by Harry Roth). … Good query from Bernie Langer, who writes: “The Phillies just signed free agent Chad Durbin. Since they already have J.D. Durbin on the team, this probably means a first initial on the back for Chad. But what about J.D.? One initial or two?” Hmmmmm. … Meanwhile, Steve Francis notes that brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, who play for the Canadiens, are both initial-free. … The Rams retired Marshall Faulk’s jersey last night. Unfortunately, he chose purple neckwear for the occasion. … Ryan Burns sent along this shot of Donnie Baseball. “My best guess is it’s the 1984 International League all-star game,” he says. Anyone know more about it? … All this speculation about the Browns supposedly getting new unis next year (occasioned by a Kellen Winslow interview in Penthouse, which I’d say are a source and a venue of roughly equal repute) is getting out of hand. It’s all bullshit — the Brownies got new unis last season, which means they’re locked into their current design for at least three more years. But since we have a Clevelander on the non-payroll: Hey, Vince, could you please get an official comment from the team? … Great view here of the differing sleeve stripe treatments worn by the Redskins’ two QBs (thanks, Bryan). … Here’s something you don’t see every day: Ben Wallace wearing Zeljko Rebraca’s warm-ups (good find by Doug Mooney). … Think logo creep is inevitable? Then check out this article about a store specializing in unbranded, label-free products. … Latest installment of Joe Skiba’s video series, devoted to cold-weather preparations, is available on the Giants home page. … There’s a bit of a controversy about Roberto Luongo’s pads. … Here’s a first: The Grizzlies are going to wear a patch on their warm-ups in support of their mascot actor, who’s out with lymphoma. Details toward the end of this page (with thanks to Jon McKay). … If you need a last-minute Xmas gift idea, you could do a lot worse than this.
Holiday Schedule: We’ll have our usual weekend discussion sessions, and an open disucssion on Christmas Day as well (mainly so all the Jewish readers can post comments about movies and Chinese food). Not sure yet about Monday — might post a regular entry, might just toss up a discussion photo, depending on how my weekend goes. Either way, regular content will definitely resume on the 26th. Okay? Okay!