One week, one wedding, two days of record-breaking Portland heat (one of them spent in a jacket and tie — ugh), one Uni Watch party, one astonishingly large cinnamon roll, one visit to a vacuum cleaner museum and another to a kite museum, too many hours spent shopping at various thrift and vintage shops (resulting in one very odd 1960s clock-radio-lamp purchase), many beers, one afternoon spent at a National Volcanic Monument, way too many failed attempts to pronounce “McMenamins” without stuttering, one one visit to a reader’s home, and one giant frying pan later, I’m back.
But more on all that tomorrow. Today we’ve got serious uniform news to discuss, because the Hornets unveiled their new design yesterday. Here’s the scoop:
• The team’s basic colors — blue, purple, and gold, have all been tweaked slightly. Largely irrelevant.
• A new secondary logo has been introduced. Man, does that say, “AAA baseball” or what? What a waste. (You can see various treatments of this logo, the new primary logo, and the “fleur de bee” logo here).
• In a nod to the franchise’s original Charlotte-era design, design, the uniforms are now pinstriped — you know, because basketball players are short and need to accentuate the vertical. I’m generally fond of the new typography (compare to this) and not fond at all of the neckline and ass-crack logo positioning (it’s practically a rule now that every new design has to have these). Still if the overall effect ends up looking more or less like this NBA 2K9 leak, I’d say the world will keep on spinning. A masterpiece? No. But reasonably palatable? Yeah. (Additional details on all this can be found here.)
While we’re at it: As most of you know by now, the Timberwolves have a new design as well. Now, if you were redoing this team’s design, what’s the first thing you’d address? The illegible number font, right? The good news is that they’ve got a new typeface; the bad news is that it’s only marginally better than the last one. On the plus side, shortening the home wordmark to “Wolves” seems like a good move; on the other hand, there’s more rear-logo silliness, and the tree motif on the side panel and shorts seems forced. And c’mon, the collar just looks embarrassing.
But here’s a new wrinkle: The league invited me to participate in a conference call regarding the Minnesota uniforms on Monday. I was busy traveling but asked if they could provide me with a transcript of the call, which they did. It features some predictably rote recitations of corporate marketingspeak but also includes a fair amount of interesting inside info — much meatier than I’d expected. So I’ve posted it here. It’s lengthy, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I’m late getting to this, but Mark Mihalik‘s excellent PlayerExclusive.com footwear site has some cool team recaps, plus he’s been building an excellent footwear gallery. The site is so smartly designed that even a non-footwear-obsessive like myself can dig it. Highly recommended. … Latest awesome old baseball photo from Dave Eskenazi shows the 1935 Dayton Ducks. … “I’ve been up in Wisconsin at the Chiefs’ training camp at UW-River Falls,” writes Jason Gomez. “Jon McGraw and Dustin Colquitt gave away their shoes along with autographs, which led to the players signing autographs in their socks — which turned out to be NBA socks. Also, the Chiefs have Trek bikes to get around in — pretty cool.” … Not uni-related, but fascinating all the same (thanks, Kirsten). … Wondering why some countries’ Olympic uniforms have the country names printed in English and others in foreign languages? Look here. … With college football about to start and college hoops not far behind, this is a good time to mention the excellent Pollspeak site, which covers everything related to college poll rankings. … Major NOB possibilities for the Mets, who may soon have three Reyeses on the 25-man roster. … Nyjer Morgan is back in the bigs for Pittsburgh, which means one more pair of stirrups on the diamond. Thanks to Chris Hilf for the tip, and to Bryan for the blurry screen grab. … Here’s a follow-up from Tuesday’s Air Force PT note in the Ticker, from an anonymous contributor: “I read the Ticker posting about the Air Force PT uniform, and I can say wholeheartedly that it’s true. I normally wear a large, but have it up to an XXL in order to have something that reaches mid-thigh and doesn’t feel like spandex. Either way, it reminded me of a story that might interest you. I work on the E-4, an airborne command post that the Secretary of Defense uses for overseas trips. Well, former Secretary Rumsfeld was known for wearing an Army PT coat as his ‘casual’ wear in-flight. But on a flight right after the Air Force’s new PT gear came out, a member of our crew walked up to Mr. Rumsfeld with an Air Force PT coat and asked him to wear it, because ‘we are the ones that take you where you need to go.’ From then on, he wore that coat.” Many thanks for the contribution.