We all know how I feel about sock stripes, and we all know what a lousy era this is for them, especially in the baseball, football, and basketball realms. Fortunately, there’s hockey, where every player wears long socks, most of the socks have stripes, and the stripes are right where they belong, at calf level.
But Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel apparently has his own ideas about sock stripeage. As reader Garrett Malcolm points out, Sopel’s been wearing his stripes down around his ankles (that’s him at upper-right). “Not only does this put the stripes in an unusual location, but it makes his calves look wide and trunk-like,” notes Garrett. “It also kind of gives the feeling of baseball players who let their pant cuffs cover their shoes.” Indeed.
Sopel’s been in the league for a decade now, so I assumed this must be a new thing with him. But some quick photo research revealed that his sock stripes have been feeling gravity’s pull for a long time, dating back to his days with the Islanders and Canucks, and even his brief training camp stint with the Red Wings. (It’s harder to be sure about his time with the Kings, because their stripes were so wide that he couldn’t have worn them much higher.) Not sure how I never noticed it until now.
When alerting me to these hosiery highjinx, Garrett said Sopel was wearing his sock upside-down, but that doesn’t make sense — if he did that, the stripes would be up on his thighs. Seems more likely that he’s using extra-long hose and cutting off a few inches at the bottom. I plan to call the Blackhawks and ask them about this, but before I do, does anyone know of any practical reasons why Sopel might want to do something like that? Do any other players do it? Details, please.
Raffle Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter the raffle for the Ernie Davis Syracuse helmet from Helmet Hut. So if you haven’t already done so, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to the raffle address (not to the usual Uni Watch address, please) by 10pm eastern tonight. If you’ve enrolled in the Uni Watch membership program, you can send up to four separate e-mail entries; non-members are limited to one entry. I’ll announce the winner in the next day or two.
And Now a Word from Bryan: Back when I was in high school, lo those many years ago, we frequently played a team called the Midgets. Why make note of that? Because it’s an awful team name that nobody should have to be saddled with. Whoever came up with it, what were they thinking?
That’s the gist of an e-mail we recently received from reader Leon LaVigne, who attended a high school whose teams were called the Goslings (yes, baby geese) and suggested that we compile a list of really bad team names from around the country. He even got the ball rolling by contributing some examples from the Division III MIAC, which features the St. Thomas Tommies, St. John’s Johnnies, Augsburg Augies, Gustavus Adolphus Gusties, and St. Olaf Ollies.
So, let ’er rip. Send your worst submissions here (not to Paul’s address) and I’ll try to group them geographically or by high school/college levels or something. And just for the record, I’ve already got the Watersmeet Nimrods and the Sigourney-Keota Savage Cobras (which sounds utterly terrifying).
Uni Watch News Ticker: Stunning sight last night in Foxboro, as Patrick Ramsay’s sleeves were completely logo creep-free. That sound you just heard was someone in Reebok quality control getting fired. … Meanwhile, can anyone explain why Richard Seymour showed up for the postgame interview in a fake military outfit? (Scren grabs courtesy of L.I. Phil.) … Video footage of Kevin McReynolds losing his shoe after hitting the outfield wall here (as first reported by Can’t Stop the Bleeding). … Check out the super-wide number spacing in this old Seahawks photo (with thanks to Douglas Kyed). … Anyone got a photo of the Steelers’ Ike Taylor from October 5th? According to a small item buried in this report, he was fined $5000 for “wearing the wrong socks” in that game (good spot by Chris Hilf). … “I attend Lewis University and worked for their homecoming festivities,” writes Jeff Bethune. “One of the displays had old sweaters, a jersey, patches and a beanie from the 1950s.” Gorgeous stuff, viewable here. … Helmet observations from Matt Powers, who writes: “As long as I’ve been watching college football, I have disliked BC’s uniforms, mainly because they’ve only worn Riddell helmets. Their Saturday-evening game promised to be an all-Riddell matchup, because VaTech is also a Riddell-exclusive team. However, I saw a handful of players wearing Schutt Air XP. Also, Tech QB Tyrod Taylor was wearing the Riddell Revolution Speed.” … Also from Matt: “Jason Kidd’s deal with the Chinese brand Peak is official. He has left Nike.” You can see his new sneakers here and here. … What’s wrong with this picture? Look at the two different 2s (good spot by Drew M. VanNess). … NSFW: Great bowling shoes. My longtime pal Kelly Hogan, who I stayed with after the Forewords show in Madison, gave me that old Playboy tearsheet cuz she knows I love bowling. … Matt Irving sent along these shots of a Peterborough Petes jersey with a front fight strap. What’s that all about? … This is really handy, because you can just hate both of them at once — efficient! … “I photograph the Coolidge High School Colts here in Washington, DC,” writes Michael Starghill Jr. “Last Friday they broke out solid orange unis with black/orange striped socks to complete the ensemble.” … Contrary to what I’d been led to expect, it looks like the Tommie Agee home run marker at Shea was successfully excavated after all (with thanks to Ed Ra). … Max Steinberg sent me this shot of Patrick Roy wearing No. 22. What’s the story there? … Mike Lindsey notes that Patrick Kane has a habit of chewing on his mouthpiece. … The Sports Poster Warehouse folks have a very cool new product: an NFL uniform timeline poster (available for order here). … This short video clip includes a segment that shows how the World Series patch is applied to caps (with thanks to Tim Burke). … Always fun to see a hyphenated NOB (courtesy of L.I. Phil). … The new Wales rugby kit — Under Armour’s first venture into the rugby market — looks like this. “No big catastrophic changes,” says Pat Sokolowski, but it appears that Wales will now be wearing green socks (apparently taken from their logo), a departure from the typical red.” … Mike Rich notes that each name in Clemson’s ring of honor is accompanied by a period-approporiate helmet.