Whenever there’s an NBA throwback game, I inevitably get a few e-mails from people complaining that they should have shortened the shorts for maximum retro effect. The Lakers must have been listening, because last night they took the court wearing short shorts, just like in the old days. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the courage of their convictions, because they switched back to full-length shorts in the second half.
So how did it look? Some people have already complained about the compression shorts that were peeking out from beneath many players’ trunks, but that didn’t bother me (especially since compression shorts are often visible on players wearing full-length shorts too). My gripe was that the jerseys were too billowy — they should’ve been tailored snugger, to match the shorts.
Once the Lakers went back to the contemporary shorts in the second half (which I think they did just because everyone likes to do that idiotic MJ shorts tug), everything turned predictably sloppy-looking — the baggy look just doesn’t work, people. Memo to David Stern: Make everything two sizes smaller, go buy a Val-U-Pak pack of tube socks, and get back to me in 2008.
Membership Update: Speaking of the turning of the calendar, if you made a new year’s resolution back in January to join the Uni Watch membership program in 2007 (an unlikely scenario, since the membership program didn’t yet exist in January, but still…) — or if you’d just like to ring out the year on a high note — today’s your last chance.
Meanwhile, there’s a bunch of new designs up for your perusal in the membership card design gallery, including today’s showcase design, which is based, of course, on the back of an Ohio State helmet.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Zazzle is running a 20% sale on all apparel from now through January 7th, making this a good time to snag yourself a Uni Watch T-shirt. … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Bizarre (and bizarrely appealing) eBay item here. … More eBay stuff: some amazing old basketball unis, vintage sliding pants, an old Wilson baseball uni ad, and an incredible baseball uniform in Uni Watch colors. … Robert Gelles is a neckwear designer. He’s also a daily Uni Watch reader, which explains why his company is selling this (here’s a more detailed view), this (detail), and this (detail). … “This picture is from the 3A Texas High School football State Championship game,” writes Tory Humphries. “The orange team is the Celina Bobcats, and the word on their socks is ‘Bobcats.’ ” … I knew the Dodgers were wearing a 50th-anniversary patch next season, but I didn’t know what each element of the patch symbolized until Austin Chung sent me this. … Jim Burt always stretched his jersey as tight as possible. But Chris Flinn notes that in this shot, it almost looks like his nameplate has been stretched (or, more likely, they spaced out the lettering to match his stretch-spaced number). … According to the last paragraph of this item, Syracuse will have new football uniforms next season (so what else is new?). … Ever seen a hockey player wearing eye black? I never had, until Cullan Foote sent me this 1967 shot of Kent Douglas. … Several readers noted that Maryland’s punter was wearing a yarmulke during the Emerald Bowl. … If you skip to the halfway point of this video clip, you’ll see BYU kicker Mitch Payne peeling the “Y” logo off his helmet to give to a young fan at the conclusion of the Las Vegas Bowl (with thanks to Chris Flinn). … Ryan Perkins reports that the NFL Network ran a commercial with this image prior to Saturday’s Giants/Pats game. Too bad the Colts no longer wear white facemasks. … Totally bizarre gold shorts stripe being worn by one of the teams in the BJ League (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm, who also passed along some frightening pics from the Master League, the league for retired Japanese baseball players — look here, here, and here, ). … No sooner did I write about basketball players wearing sleeves than Evansville broke out their old sleeved jerseys on Saturday night. Details here. … “The 1988 A’s had a pitcher named Todd Burns,” writes John English. “He wore No. 54, and for some reason his uni numbers were different from everyone else’s on the club. The 4s were thicker and the 5s looked like upside-down 2s [as opposed to this]. This has bugged me for 20 years and while I don’t expect anyone else will know why this happened, it doesn’t hurt to ask.” … Bryan Widell reports that Manchester City captain Richard Dunne had problems with peeling numerals on Sunday. … Buried on this page is the following tidbit of Pittsburgh Pirates news: “The gold ‘P’ on the Pirates’ cap suddenly is taking the place of the angry, bearded pirate on just about all of the team’s printed matter.” Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for the pirate logo, who’s always struck me as too cartoon-ish (good catch by Timothy Collins). … The Penguins’ goalies plan to wear old-school brown gear for tomorrow’s Winter Classic game. Details here (with thanks to Steve Laga). … And according to an item on this page, Penguins execs “are so pleased with the look of the retro-themed uniforms the club will wear in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day that the Penguins will seek permission to make that design their alternate look [next season]” (as spotted by Mike Reilly). … Reprinted from Sunday’s comments: Several people have mentioned to me that Daryl Johnston was forced to wear a Packers helmet during the 1994 Pro Bowl, after his own helmet was stolen. But I’d never seen visual confirmation until Nolan Brett came up with this. I’m gonna see if my ESPN photo editor can get us a full-size version. … Good view here of Vince Young’s blue chinstrap cozy, which is team-branded. … And we close out the year with a communiqué from Miguel Durón, the winner of our last raffle. He chose an Earl Campbell-era Texas Longhorns helmet from Gridiron Memories as his prize. “Here‘s a pic of my 18-month-old daughter rocking it,” he writes. “She looks much cuter with it on than I do.” That’s so damn adorable, I’m not even gonna say anything about the purple shirt. Everyone have a happy and healthy holiday, and remember, New Year’s Eve is for amateurs.