New York football Giants equipment director Joe Skiba recently sent me a serious blast from the past: a 1976 Giants program. Naturally, it’s full of interesting tidbits, so let’s take a look:
• Here’s my favorite ad in the program. Love the sight of those two players running around the gridiron with giant musical instruments. Also, it’s interesting to see that the league was marketing the NFL Films music at such an early date.
• And here’s my second-favorite ad.
• Remember when it seemed like every single company on the planet would slap its logo on helmet and jersey to create cheesy ads like this?
• This ad troubles me. The facemask is too short, no? Looks all stubby and Pop Warner and shit. And look, this facemask is even shorter! No wonder the mid-’70s Giants sucked — they couldn’t even control their own brand, much less their own team.
• Whatever you think of O.J., this is great photo.
• The back of the program has a bunch of really nice Giants illustrations, which I think they’d been using over and over again in every program for years. I grouped about a dozen of them into this gallery.
• Weirdest thing in the program: an illustration of FDR in a National Recovery Act uniform.
• I was stunned by the amount of liquor advertising in the program. Not beer, mind you, but hard liquor. I counted 14 whiskey ads (including one for an industrial-sized bottle), plus three more for gin and two for vodka. But hey, the ’76 Giants, who went 3-11, would’ve driven any fan to drink.
• As for the beer ads, the best one wasn’t even for a particular brand of beer — it was for the local bottle-blowers union. So damn cool.
• And as long as we’re talking about vices, I really liked this cigarette ad, which has the feel of a giant league logo surrounded by lots of smaller team logos.
• I love how this ad boasts that Craig Morton will be showing up at these restaurants “from time to time.” Must’ve been a very loose promotional arrangement.
Doubleplusthanks to Skeebs for bestowing this treasure upon me. I promise to treat well in the months and years to come.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Lots of new pin-up illos from the incomparable Rob Ullman. Among the new treatments: Sixers (commissioned by Sixers PR director Michael Preston), Eages (for Brad Minerd), Orioles (for Katelyn McCann), a Sharks vs. Wild catfight (for Jesse Mullan, who moved from Minnesota to the Bay Area), and Blackhawks (for Dave Zalatoris, who got a tattoo of the illustration!). Rob also did a Penguins portrait of his wife, Brooke, for her birthday (“She criticized me for making her look too good,” he says), plus he created the season’s best St. Paddy’s artwork. … When Kevin Werther saw Robert Marshall’s Natty Boh cornhole set on Wednesday, he decided to share photos of his own DIY cornhole set, which matches Miami (Ohio) against Ohio State. “At least in cornhole, my Redhawks have a chance at victory against the Bucks!” says Kevin. “I was able to buy custom bags online that matched my set, too.” … Speaking of Marshall, he rightly took me to task for not including this photo of him in Wednesday’s entry. “Separated at birth?” he asks. “Perhaps. FYI, that shot took about 15 takes to get the timing right. I even bloodied my lip on about take six. I think it was the last shot in this progression. Now that’s dedication.” Quite. … Survey of English soccer kits here (with thanks to Kent Green). … The Hofstra roller hockey team is holding a jersey design contest. … Here’s a new one: TNOL (team name on leg). Those are the Yokohama Baystars. Note the the uni number on the catcher’s helmet, too. The other pant leg just has a partial stripe, no team name (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Reprinted from Wednesday’s comments: Info on the Panthers’ upcoming third jersey here. … The Cubs are retiring one number for two players. Interestingly, Ariel Shoshan saw this coming more than a year ago. Back on 2/28/08, he was quoted in the Ticker as follows: “I just returned from a Cubs practice at Hohokam in Mesa. The main gate now features 6 ‘batting circles’ — one is a Cubs logo, and the others are Santo 10, Banks 14, Sandberg 23, Williams 26, and Jenkins 31. The thing is, the Cubs haven’t retired Fergie Jenkins’ number. Fans have long thought that they would retire 31 for Fergie and Maddux when the time came, à la Berra and Dickey.” Hmmm, wonder if they’ve now added a designation for Maddux. … New football uniforms for North Dakota (with thanks to Kelly Hellman). … A few days ago I linked to Jordan Wiley‘s listing of the best logo treatment for each letter of the alphabet. At the time, I said, “I wish he’d put all his letter choices side by side in one big composite alphabet (get working on that pronto, Jordan!),” and now he’s done just that. … The Gwinnett Braves, relocated from Richmond, have an inaugural logo, which is a disaster of clashing typefaces. … “I was at the Rochester Amerks vs. Manitoba Moose game on Wednesday night,” writes Chris Markham. “There’s a scrolling billboard of ads, one of them for a company that does day trips down to NYC to watch the Mets or Yankees. I guess they’re not too fond of the Mets’ new stadium name.” … Super-cool 1959 Steelers program available here. Note that the little symbol at upper-left appears to be the Pittsburgh bicentennial logo (nice find by Larry Wiederecht). … Joe Barker has been fixating on the Blues’ goalies, both of whom wear pre-Edge socks (yes, I know lots of other goalies do this as well, because the Edge socks are so slick that the leg pads won’t stay put). First, Chris Mason: home, road, alternate. And now Manny Legace: home, road, alternate. … Todd Radom and I celebrated our respective 45th birthdays (his was a few weeks ago, mine is tomorrow) by having lunch on Wednesday at Peter Luger, where our steak for two hit the spot and then some. Among other things, I learned that Todd had designed last month’s NBA All-Star logo, which I hadn’t realized. … And speaking of weekday diversions,my friend Shane and I drove out to New Jersey yesterday to do a bit of pin-bashing at my favorite bowling establishment. I love the name, natch, but that’s really just a small part of the attraction, what with the super-cool parking lot sign, the bowling-themed stained glass, and the four picture-perfect lanes in the back room. Toss in a few post-bowling rippers at Rutt’s Hut and you’ve got a perfect day. … Would you trust this electrician? “I know that there are many varieties of three-prong plugs around the world, but I’ve never seen one with that configuration,” says James Huening, who snapped the photo on his way to work yesterday. … Crummy photo quality, but it’s interesting to see that the Racine Saint Catherine’s h.s. hoops team wears striped socks. Better photo quality but poorer views of the stripes here and here (with thanks to Chris Burks and Geoff Poole). … A New Mexico artist named Paho Mann has a great project: He photographs people’s junk drawers and medicine cabinets (you know just what I like, Kirsten). … The Lusophone Games — the Portuguese equivalent of the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth Games — have unveiled their new logo (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Nick Armstrong notes that Memphis had the following five players on the court at one point yesterday: #1 Willie Kemp, #2 Robert Dozier, #3 Roburt Sallie, #4 Pierre Henderson-Niles, and #5 Antonio Anderson. … Sensational DIY story, of sorts, here. … The Knicks didn’t play on St. Paddy’s Day, so they wore green on the 18th. … Some absolutely amazing — amazing — Steelers/Redskins shots from 1940 can be found here (major discovery by Larry Wiederecht). … Another logo design contest, this time for the Edmonton Capitals. Details toward the bottom of this page (with thanks to Bill Jones). … The PGA’s Memphis tournament is changing its name (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Jockeys who were fined and suspended for wearing advertising patches during the 2005 Kentucky Derby have successfully challenged those sanctions.