One of the best things about living in NYC is the annual New York City Marathon, which takes place on the first Sunday in November. The route passes a mere half-block from my apartment (my block is one of the side streets on the left in this photo), so Collateral Gammage and I spent about 90 minutes on the sidewalk yesterday cheering the runners on. The sea of humanity that goes by is amazing and inspiring (39,000 runners this year!), and many of the runners put their names and/or countries of origin on their shirts, so you can yell, “Go, Tricia!” or “Lookin’ good, Simone!” or “Viva France!” or whatever. Almost invariably, the runners’ faces light up when they hear themselves being singled out, so the whole thing feels very communicative and interactive. It’s always one of my favorite days of the year, even though I normally couldn’t care less about running.
There’s also lots to check out from a Uni Watch standpoint. Yesterday’s race featured the usual assortment of runners dressed up in Santa outfits, prison stripes, and man thongs (ewwww). And with Election Day right around the corner, there were also lots campaign T-shirts. One guy ran past me wearing a navy tee with red “Obama” lettering in a familiar font, and it took me a second to realize that he was wearing a Red Sox-themed tee from Obama of Dreams, reader Morris Levin’s short-lived T-shirt project from earlier this year. When I got home, I wrote to Morris to let him know one of his shirts had been worn in marathon, but I felt bad that I hadn’t gotten a photo of the runner in question.
Several hours later, however, reader Lars Russell e-mailed to let me know that a slideshow of campaign-related marathon shirts had just appeared on the web. And sure enough, in the middle of the slideshow, there’s the Obama of Dreams guy, immortalized for all to see. Whatever your politics, I hope you’ll agree that it’s totally cool that this Uni Watch-related garment ended up in the marathon.
Membership News: Lots of ground to cover before we get to the Ticker, beginning with the news that I expect to mail out about 30 membership kits this week (including Chris Warfford’s UNC-themed card, shown at right — nice job by Scott with the argyle trim, right?). Interestingly, three separate people opted for the Phillies alternate uni design in recent weeks, and that was before they won the Series. As always, the full gallery of card designs is here, and info on how to enroll is here. And remember, all new enrollees (or existing members ordering new card designs) will get a $10 gift card from our friends at Distant Replays — a great deal when you consider that the membership fee is only $15 to start with.
Election Night Research Project: As longtime readers may recall, two years ago I enlisted readers’ help to document the horrifying phenomenon of TV talking heads trying to appear non-partisan on Election Night by wearing purple ties or other purple attire (for details, look here). I’d like to do this again this year, so if you’ve got a DVR and a digital camera, please send pics of any purple-clad talking heads you notice tomorrow night. Thanks.
Uni Watch Personnel News: It’s rare that a reader will go out of his way to praise another reader’s comments, but that’s what happened on Friday, when the pseudonymous shadoquad had this to say about L.I. Phil: “Phil, I’ve really enjoyed your contributions to the blog recently. I don’t make posts in the comments section very often, but I wanted to commend you on the stuff I’ve seen over the last few weeks. It’s been really terrific.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment, and so I’m happy to announce that Phil (whose “No, I ain’t gonna smile, no way” mug is shown above, and also here) will soon be taking over for Bryan as the new Uni Watch bench coach. I’ve been impressed with Phil’s commentary and uni acumen for a while now, so he was a natural choice for position. Please join me in welcoming him aboard, and let’s also have a nice round of applause for Bryan, who’ll continue to contribute on an ad hoc basis.
Phil’s “L.I. Phil” nickname, incidentally, isn’t just an internet pose. But in the interests of accountability, he’ll now be known around here by his real name, Phil Hecken (unless he writes something really stupid, in which case he’ll be known as Joe Morgan or something).
Uni Watch News Ticker: Lots of readers wrote in over the weekend regarding Saturday’s Oregon/Cal game, but I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow. … Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that Cal wasn’t the only team wearing solid yellow on Saturday — check out Wyoming. … Look at the huge SNOB lettering (that’s school name on back) that Ohio University wore in 1965. … Someone on the Chris Creamer board posted this photo — note the two-tone helmet. That’s UConn, whose helmet was half white, half blue in 1965. … My longtime friend David Brown was recently poking around at a flea market up in the Catskills and found this. As he said when he sent it to me, “It’s got everything going for it.” … Jason Siewert reports that the Wisconsin hockey team’s outlined letters are no longer outlined this season. … Spencer Merritt of New Mexico went NNOB on Saturday. Not clear if his nameplate got ripped off or if he never had one to begin with (good spot by Brett Crane). … Trey Phillips reports that several U. of Florida players were wearing Band-Aids underneath their left eyes on Saturday. … Logo creep alert from the aforementioned Phil Hecken, who notes that Minnesota’s cymbal players are wearing Under Armour gloves. … Several cool eBay finds by Scott Turner, including two great hockey jerseys and killer football jersey. … That’s some belt buckle on Japanese golfer Chie Arimura (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: Japanese baseball player Yasuyuki Kataoka recently his uniform at the team hotel and had to borrow a teammate’s uni, which led to a confusing situation. … Chuck Miller is a frequent contributor to Toy Collector magazine, and his latest article is a superb look at electric football (i.e., the old games with the vibrating field). To check it out, go here, replace “1 of 78” with “31,” and then click the arrow tabs to page through the article. … Here’s Bill Henderson and his son Michael at the Phillies’ championship parade last week. “I loved Pat Burrell on the beer truck, writes Bill. “I asked Michael if perhaps he had to ride there because he didn’t have any friends to stand next to, and Michael told me to shut up. Not good to make fun of Pat Burrell.” … Mississippi State wore a pink helmet ribbon for breast cancer awareness on Saturday. … Anyone know why the Hornets wore blue at home on Saturday night? … Remember how all the soccer federations had to remove their logos from uniforms during the Olympics? That same rule may now be applied to hockey (with thanks to Jonathan Deery). … Phil got some screen grabs of a Titans equipment staffer applying the green dot to a helmet. … Reprinted from Sunday’s comments: Check out the logo socks being worn by West Virginia Tech. … The Lions’ 75th-anniversary patch was missing from QB Dan Orlovsky’s jersey yesterday (with thanks to Greg Licht). … Last night’s Simpsons episode had a bit where Bart goes to the 99¢ store for a last-minute “bargain” gift. Among the overstock goods: an Expos jersey (thanks, Phil). … Kansas players attribute Saturday’s big win over Kansas State to — wait for it — spatting. No, really (with thanks to Clayton Snodgrass). … The Welsh rugby team is sponsored by Brains, a beer company. But they can’t wear alcohol-related sponsorship logos when playing in France, so they change their jerseys to Brawn (with thanks to Alan Lai). … Last week I mentioned that I’d won this old basketball jersey on eBay. It arrived in the mail on Saturday, and I couldn’t be happier, although it looks a lot better on the galpal than it does on me.