The long-awaited Oklahoma City Thunder uniforms were finally unveiled yesterzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
Okay, so I pulled that same joke when the Rays’ uniforms were unveiled, but c’mon — these things are so generic, they might as well just have “Basketball Team” printed on the front and then they could have a cameo scene in Repo Man. It’s not like they’re ugly, mind you. Au contraire, the colors are reasonably pleasing, the road jersey typography would look pretty cool on a 1960s NCAA team, and the whole package is admirably gewgaw-free. But for an NBA team rebranding itself? It’s tempting to call it a joke, except jokes are funny. This is just sad.
The most inexplicable part is the heavy use of sky blue, which is called “sky blue” because it refers to, y’know, the sky. Which you see on a clear day. When there’s no thunder. I mean, seriously, it doesn’t take a meteorology degree to figure out that there’s some sort of disconnect going on here.
Uni Watch Site Protocol Question: As you all know, I tend to list contributors’ names in boldface in the Ticker. Truth to tell, I’ve never been in love with this protocol. I only got in the habit of it because someone at ESPN.com took it upon him- or herself to start bold-ifying the name of any reader mentioned in one of my columns, so I went along with it and stuck with it when I started this site.
But the bold thing has always struck me as visually jarring and borderline pretentious. I’ve started phasing it out of my ESPN columns (where readers no longer get mentioned very often anyway, because most reader contributions end up over here on this site), and nobody seems to have noticed or minded. Should I do away with it here too? Such an earthshaking issue of such monumental import — what to do, what to do.
Here’s what I’ll do: Today I’m going to run a boldface-free Ticker, just to see how it looks. Consider it a provisional experiment. Feedback welcome, although all the usual “This isn’t a democracy” caveats apply. Further policy updates to follow.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Was DeMarcus Ware wearing the wrong pants on Sunday? Sure looks that way (great catch by L.I. Phil). … Michigan Stadium celebrated its 500th game on Saturday and marked the occasion on the field. Craig Barker notes that the typeface for the on-field logo was based on the stadium’s exterior signage. … According to a small item in this article, Reebok will soon unveil a new shoe “called ATR Talkin’ Krazy, which will come with a dry-erase marker that easily wipes clean after writing a message on the shoe” (with thanks to Seth Horowitz). … Casey Wurzbach reports that Jeopardy! recently trotted out a new category, featuring clues only slightly more difficult than “What does a ‘Stop’ sign mean?” The contestants “breezed right through it,” says Casey. … I don’t think I’ve ever written about jai-alai, in large part because I know so little about it (other than it’s wicked fast and even wickeder hard to spell). But here’s a tutorial from Steve Bevacqua: “Years back, before the fronton in Milford, Connecticut, closed for good, I used to love going over there and catching the games. When they switched uniform styles to a new, more modern look, they gave away ALL the old jerseys to the crowd, and I wound up with one of my most favorite items in my closet — a game-worn jai-alai jersey [here's the rear view]. It’s a Champion nylon mesh. The 5 is on the front, as it is on all black jerseys, 72 is the individual player number. Much like horse racing has standardized color-and-number matching, so does jai-alai — black and 5 always go together, as do red and 1, blue and 2, all the way up to purple and 8 (ick!), so each player would have eight different jerseys depending on which place he drew in the match, with his own number on the back. Does Champion still make jerseys like this?” Good question. Anyone..? … Do-over from yesterday, cuz I botched the link: FNOB being worn by BJ Scott. … Really interesting note from Michael Belling, who writes: “I work for a fireworks company and was up on the roof at Shea for Sunday’s game and ceremonies (no I didn’t jump, although I can’t say anyone would blame me). I got some good pictures from up there, one place most Mets fans never get to see. It’s definitely an experience to be up there. There are no real railings or protection from the edges, and the Mets kind of leave us on our own. Very few people outside of the Mets organization know that during Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006, we were up on the roof setting up an enormous fireworks display all around the stadium, which we would have fired had the Mets been able to clinch a spot in that year’s World Series. I had my finger on the button during Beltran’s game-ending final at-bat in that game. Alas, I was then there until about 3am removing all of the fireworks, repacking them and bringing them home.” Check out his full slideshow here. … Also from Michael: Hanley Ramirez’s batting helmet still had its All-Star Game decal all the way through the end of the season. … eBay stuff: Nice old flannel jerseys here and here, old hoops uniforms here and here, a Tiger Stadium usher’s uni here, and a different kind of tiger here. … New hoops uniforms for Wichita State (men’s on left, women’s on right). “These will also come in black version, which was worn last year, and a yellow version, which will be new,” says Patrick Chippeaux. “Also the school will be placing WU Shock at mid-court.” … The Blazers will wear a memorial strip for Kevin Duckworth this season. Here’s a closer look (with thanks to Travis Demers). … Soccer note from Max Levy, who writes: “West Ham United, who went briefly with blank spots where their bankrupt sponsor’s logo used to be, now have filled the empty space with panels featuring the player’s number. The numbers are in black, on a white panel, which is unusual for two reasons: First, teams typically do not display the player’s number on the front of his shirt in club soccer (although national teams do); and second, the white panel and black type do not have any visual relation to the West Ham United, whose colors are claret and blue with white shorts.” … Most beautiful Jets photo ever? Could be. “It was in the Mets’ final-week program, thoroughly a history-of-Shea publication,” says Scott Turner. “Amazingly for the Mets (their programs have always kinda stunk), there are lots of gorgeous photos in this one.” He promises to feed us more of them in the coming days. … Hahahaha (as forwarded by Jeff Landset). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Maryland has started using merit decals. … Also from yesterday: Michael Huff wore a black chinstrap on Sunday. … Tod Meisner reports that Tulsa stuck with their throwback helmets on Saturday, even though they went back to their regular uniforms. Also: The “TTH” on the nose bumper stands for “Tougher Than Hell” … I want to take a minute to discuss, in all seriousness, the financial crisis. As many of you know, I can actually see Wall Street from the roof of my building, so I feel I have a pretty good grip on the situation. Okay, not really, but I can see my friend Amy’s parents’ house, and they can see Wall Street from the roof of their building (even though they’re old and probably don’t climb up on the roof too often), so I figure that should count for something. Anyway, I’m not too worried, because most of my holdings are in stirrups, which I figure should be the nation’s new monetary unit in another day or three. For those who wish to barter, the going rate is currently 10 gallons of gas per stirrup, which I assure you will seem like a bargain once I’ve cornered what remains of the hosiery market. … Happy New Year to those who are celebrating (esp. Ma & Pa Uni Watch).