Got a really interesting note the other day from reader Matt Frost, who clued me in to a uniform category I hadn’t previously been aware of. Check it out:
I was watching a show about the Highland Games on the Discovery Channel. Tucked in amongst all the kilts was a small bit about the tug of war. Surprisingly, there was a high degree of uni-related detail.
In these photos, you can see that it more or less looks like they’re wearing rugby shirts. But there are some peculiar bits, starting with their boots. In fact, there are actually companies that produce tug of war boots. They look like ice skates with no blades.
Getting back to the shirts, they’re definitely modified. The more basic ones are simply rugby shirts with an extra layer of fabric. The pullers have it under the arm and along the ribs, and the anchorman has it over the shoulder as well. Some of the more hardcore teams, though, have more intense padding. Here it looks like some kind of rubber. A lot of teams seemed to have quilted padding sewn in to the inside of their shirts, but I couldn’t find any images of those.
Faaaaascinating. Remember when they used to tugs of war on The Superstars, or Superteams, or whatever it was? I mainly recall the Steelers tug team, anchored by Ernie Holmes, engaged in a seemingly endless t-o’-w against some other team (probably the Cowboys, but I no longer recall the specifics). Anyway, that’s about the full extent of what I know about this sport. After some very quick research, however, here are a few other things I’ve noticed:
• Here’s a rear view of one of those reinforced panels.
• Most teams have matching socks.
• The sport’s youth program could use some uniforms.
And so on. Anyone know more about this sport? Fill us in.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Someone’s trying to have it both ways (with thanks to Ryan Connelly). … Amusing rant here on umpires’ uniform numbers. Not sure how accurate it is, though — it claims that No. 2 has been retired twice (for A.L. ump Nick Bremigan and N.L. ump Jocko Conlan), but as Jeffrey Soderberg points out, that number is currently worn by Jerry Crawford. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: People are always asking me where they can buy stirrups. Here are some nice ones on eBay. … Here’s another shot of Omar Vizquel wearing No. 42 during his rookie year — and also sporting a double-flap helmet! … A gem from the photo archives? Nope — it’s the Rickwood Classic, which took place just the other day. Details here, and additional pics here (big thanks to Mark McCollister). … A team logo on the back of the mound is bad enough, but Dustin Pomprowitz reports that the Brewers have taken it a step further. See that light-colored lettering? Here’s a closer look. Should only be a matter of time before we see real advertising there, at which point we will have officially reached a low point in human civilization. … As you may also have noticed in that last photo, the Braves wore their alternate caps yesterday. First time they’ve worn them with something other than the solid-blue alternate jersey. … Ah, product placement (with thanks to Jason Dulin). … Eagle-eyed Joe Hilseberg notes that Orioles coach John Shelby appears to have an upside-down 8 on the front of his jersey. … Bob Andrews attended a Texans season ticketholder event last night and got lots of cool uni-related pics. “They apparently are really promoting the secondary logo,” he writes. “It was worn by everyone.” … Sleeve observation from Mike DeCaro, who writes: “I was watching a game between the White Sox and Indians on May 28th, when I noticed that Rafael Bentancourt seemed to have a wide discrepancy in the length of his sleeves on his jersey. His pitching sleeve looked a few inches shorter than the other. The best pictrure I could find was from spring training.” … Chaz Norenberg notes that the MLB logo is missing from the back of Josh Hamilton’s jersey. … Good article here about the Mariners’ Marineros jerseys, which will be worn tomorrow. … Thanks to everyone who came out to KGB last night — good times. … And big birthday wishes to Milesofsparks, who makes my world stripey and happy. Just FYI, you’ve got one more present waiting for you, which you’ll get this evening.