Every now and then a debate breaks out in the comments section about the precise definition of logo creep. As the guy who came up with the term, I feel reasonably qualified to define it as follows: Logo creep is visual clutter formed by the unnecessary proliferation of logos where they don’t belong. This can include maker’s marks, league logos, and other sorts of gratuitous logotypes. And have I got a doozy of an example for you today.
Here’s the scoop: As you no doubt recall, the NFL instituted a new rule last season requiring the one radio-equipped helmet on the offensive side of the ball to be adorned with a green sticker (which led to my receiving an endless stream of “What’s that green dot?” e-mails last season, but that’s another story). As you may also recall, there was talk a few months ago of allowing one defensive helmet to be radio-equipped as well. That led many folks to wonder if a corresponding green dot would appear on the defensive side of the ball.
Judging by this photo from the first day of Giants camp, the answer is yes. That’s Antonio pierce wearing the telltale green sticker. But it looks a little smudgy, no? Is there some dirt on the dot, or maybe something printed on it?
It’s tough to tell for sure in that photo. Fortunately, I’m able to provide you with a better view. Here’s what the sticker looks like up close.
This isn’t the stupidest thing the NFL has ever done, but that’s only because they tried to keep Mike Nolan from wearing a suit. Like, seriously, do these people have the NFL logo tattooed on their dicks or what? Do they sit around an NFL logo-shaped table while munching on NFL logo-shaped macaroons and ponder new places to apply the NFL logo? Are they aware that the average NFL player already wears the league’s logo on his jersey, pants, helmet, gloves, towel, wristbands, and those little stretchy bands that Jeremy Shockey likes to wear on his biceps to show what a studmuffin he is?
There’s something about this whole enterprise that reeks of everything that’s wrong with the NFL (and with a lot of other corporate enterprises that spin out of control). For starters, who needs radio-equipped helmets anyway? Larynxes and hand signals and worked fine for decades. Then radio-equipped helmets begat the problem of multiple radio-equipped helmets, so they came up with the rule that there could only be one electronically wired helmet on the field at a time. Which in turn meant they had to come up with the green dots, which looked like shit because they didn’t match any team’s color scheme except the Seahawks’. And now the green dot has been imprinted with a design that looks like a smudge from a distance and looks pathetic up close.
The technology-driven progression here reminds me of instant replay, which seemed like a good idea until it led to lengthy delays, coaches who didn’t know which plays were and weren’t reviewable, teams that would hurry to the line and snap the ball just to prevent the opposing team from asking for a review, bad calls that couldn’t be challenged because the coach had already used up his allotment of challenges, refs who didn’t remember where the ball should be placed after they’d ruled on a challenge, and little red flags that revealed the horrible truth about NFL coaches (namely that they all throw like girls, at least when tossing a red challenge flag). It’s like there’s something about the NFL that makes them take every idea to its most ridiculous extreme until they’ve sapped every ounce of potential enjoyment from the situation. I still like football, but they’re making it harder and harder.
In happier news, I attended yesterday’s Mets/Cards game in the company of my good friend The Rev. Nørb, who’s smarter than everyone at NFL HQ put together — a fact clearly demonstrated by the two installments of his seminal food and drink manifesto, “Rev. Nørb’s Keen Cusine,” which you can enjoy here and here. It has nothing to do with uniforms, but it’s brilliant in precisely the same way that a logo-emblazoned green dot is idiotic, and therefore serves as a handy antidote for these troubled times.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Any further discussions of “the worst baseball uniform ever” will have to reckon with the uni that Dylan Horowitz has turned up. Look, if you dare, here. … Really interesting article here about the guy who makes Ichiro’s gloves (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … My recent ESPN column on the 1998 futuristic game between the Royals and Mariners inspired gumball helmet maven Bill Jones to create these. He’s also got lots of updated logo sheets available for sharing, as you can see here. … More Iowa State Baseball Tourney observations from Jesse Gavin: a cool, kinda Negro Leagues-esque cap worn by Grandview Park Baptist; award decals being used by Johnston; and lots of very flat brims. … On the subject of logo-emblazoned socks, Karl Krekeler found these UPS hose. … If you go to this link and then click to page 32, you’ll find an article on the designer who created the Astros’ tequila sunrise design (with thanks to John Weghorst). … Brad Foster nominates the CFL’s now-defunct Memphis Mad Dogs in the “worst jersey ever” sweepstakes (here’s another shot). … Pretty damn cute. … Get this: The first time an Atlanta police detective solves a case, he’s rewarded with a fedora. Additional info and photos here (great find by Brent Hardman). … Last year I wrote about how Carlos Gomez had worn a cap that was a weird hybrid of the Mets’ road and alt caps (blue brim, but that version of the “NY” logo usually appears only on the solid black cap; details here). I assumed it was a one-time manufacturing glitch by New Era, but apparently it’s at least a two-time glitch, because Casey Moses found the same hybrid design in a store (additional pics here, here and here). “It was the only one of its kind at the store, so I bought it as a novelty, even though it’s not my size,” he says. … This story about former Czech president Vaclav Havel includes the following: “And what, if anything, disappoints Havel with the state of contemporary capitalist culture, whose forces he helped unleash as a dissident? ‘I do not like the ads on the shirts of hockey or football players,’ he said. ‘You’d think Coca-Cola is playing against Pepsi Cola.'” I assume he’s talking about European hockey and soccer there, and he’s right (great find by Bryant Robinson). … Hmmm, got logo creep? Looks like they worked in just about every manufacturer (with thanks to Wayne Yeung). … Speaking of logo creep, David Sonny points out that the Reebok logo is front and center on this Sporting News cover photo, which is interesting because the MLB undershirt license actually belongs to Nike, not Reebok — wonder whether it was Yunel Escobar or TSN who was responsible for that little maneuver. … On Friday I quoted a reader asking whether any football teams had replaced their primary helmet logos with anniversary logos. But as many readers immediately pointed out, lots of college teams wore the NCAA’s “100” mark in 1969, including Ole Miss, ’Bama, ASU, Navy, and many more (thanks to Jim Parker for those pics, and please let’s not have everyone posting every single example — we all get the idea). … Lots of really cool old-timey sports T-shirts available here. I especially like this one (with thanks to Dusty McGowan). … Big news from Steve Dewing (whose baseball photo site remains essential viewing): He’s got a new site devoted to old hockey photos. Check it out here. … Some great new baseball revelations from Steve too, including Chris Spier wearing an Astros helmet in the 1972 All-Star Game and Denny McLain as a Brave. … Interesting NOB here (courtesy of Johnny Garfield) — note that it’s “Miller, M.” instead of “M. Miller.” Anyone know more about this? … Brinke Guthrie notes that several of the Giants’ recent call-ups seem to have their uni numbers riding a tad low. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: Cool slideshow of the Oklahoma football equipment room here. … Also from Saturday: Indiana assistant hoops coach Bennie Seltzer wore the team’s candy-striped warmup pants to get recruits’ attention at a recent summer camp. Details here. … Interesting note from eagle-eyed Josh Edney regarding yesterday’s Phils/Braves game, which had a two-hour rain delay: “The umps started out the game in their powder blue shirts, including home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, whose shirt was No. 61, even though his number is listed on the MLB web site as 72. When the rain delay concluded, the umps returned to the field wearing black shirts, and Marquez’s had his proper number.” … Mark Mihalik‘s footwear site has an interesting tidbit regarding Bronson Arroyo’s swooshes. … Mets-hating Phillies fans should dig this and this, both available here (with thanks to Morris Levin). … The B.C. Lions will be wearing a memorial decal in honor of former team exec Bob Ackles. Details here (courtesy of Alex Tepperman). … Jeremy Brahm reports that the Japanese volleyball team will be wearing this in Beijing. … Several jillion readers wrote in to tell me that Xavier Nady’s uni number and helmet number didn’t match on Saturday. Also, the last item on this page reads like so: “The [Yanks’] new left-handed reliever Dámaso Marte was issued No. 34, with the blessing of the injured pitcher Phil Hughes, who had no luck with the number early this season. Xavier Nady took No. 29, last worn by pitcher Kei Igawa, who was dropped from the 40-man roster.” … Becky Taylor has crated a huge gallery of Georgia high school sports photos — some that she’s taken herself, some scanned from yearbooks she’s collected. … And Hadyn Green has scanned a bunch of photos from old rugby almanacs. … “I was going through some old issues of Pro magazine,” writes Michael Princip. “The Aug. 17, 1978 issue had an article on George Brace and the portraits he did of 1931 Chicago Bears players. Great read [here and here], as well as photos [here and here].” … Terry Proctor along a bunch of pics of the 1956-57 Rochester Royals — note the striped shorts. “Sort of a ‘Globetrotters-meets-NBA’ look to the whole set, he says. … Latest team to wear their BP jerseys for a regular-season game: the Rays yesterday. Even worse, they did while playing the Royals, who were wearing their powder blues, resulting in a pathetic spectacle that was unworthy of MLB status. … Lots of news (much of which we’ve already heard) regarding NHL alts here. … Good story here about America’s last remaining baseball glove factory. … Against all reason (but much to my delight), graphic artists continue to depict baseball players wearing stirrups. Latest example is here. … Absolutely stomach-turning sight, at least for me: Bowie Kuhn wearing a Mets cap. … The more you look through the Sporting News archives, the more you find that the old mag was way into uni-watching, as seen in this 1969 clipping regarding Ken Harrelson’s NOB (great find by John Schaefer). … Two interesting field hockey shots from Tris Wykes: First, rather unusual socks on display here. And what was Kecoughtan High from Hampton, Virginia, thinking when they outfitted their goalkeeper? … Jeremy Sowers looked particularly sharp yesterday. … “So I popped open my Hockey News this week, and the contents page showed Brian Rolston’s nameplate being applied,” writes T.J. Leibowitz (who also sent along some pics of Japanese Little Leaguers wearing stirrups and Asian uni numbers). … “This article seems to argue (midway down, right around the white jersey with LUFC in cursive) that Leeds United’s manager at the time (Don Revie) started manufacturer’s logo creep on soccer jerseys in Britain,” says Andrew Connor. … “Here is a pic of my grandpa, John Novosel, who played for the 1941 Springfield Browns, writes Scott Novosel. “They were a minor league team for the St. Louis Browns that played in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. That year he batted .302 and a scout from the New York Giants came down to see him play. The scout asked the Browns how much it would cost for him. The Browns said $60,000, and the scout said, “No thanks, for that much money, we got a guy who is pretty good in right field.” He was referring to Mel Ott.” … By now you’ve seen that Aquafina commercial with Lou Piniella a few dozen times (if not, it’s here), but Doug Simpson noticed something that nobody else had brought to my attention: The pitcher who’s backing up third base at the very beginning of the ad has no uni number. … The Red Sox have previously flown a Jolly Roger flag in their bullpen, but now they’ve modified it somewhat, as seen here (with thanks to Randy Williams). … “I took this photo at Fenway Saturday,” writes Jere Smith. “As you can see, Ortiz seems to have a flame/torch decal on his bat. He had this bat in BP and, as shown here, on deck during the game. It appears to be red, yellow, and green from left to right, like the Rastafarian flag. I’ve never seen any decal like this on a bat during a game before.” … Speaking of Big Papi, it’s one thing to mark your helmet with a memorial tribute to a deceased family member, teammate, or friend. But I think doing it for a family member of a former teammate, as Ortiz did on Friday night, is pushing it. That inscription on his helmet read, “RIP 45,” for Pedro Martinez’s father — well-meaning, yes, but I say it’s a bit much. … Tigers and Chisox wore Negro Leagues throwbacks on Saturday (additional pics here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). … What the hell is this? Did the Twins really wear this in 1968, as the seller contends, or — as I suspect — is it just a scam? Details, please (as found by Jeff Barak). … Eric Sun notes that Geno Espineli doesn’t just have picture-perfect stirrups, he’s completing the old-school look with a Spalding glove and Puma spikes.