[Editor's Note: Today's entry is guest-written by Jim Wagner, who'll be filling us in on a project from his youth. -- PL]
By Jim Wagner
Back when my younger brother and I were growing up, we made up imaginary football teams that we “played for” in the back yard. The games usually consisted of me vs. him running pass routes, with my dad or one of our older brothers serving as the full-time quarterback.
We’d make up team names and I’d draw helmets for them (I remember receiving some art-direction from my brother on his teams). I recently found eight of these early logo drawings drawn on leftover paper from my mom’s State Farm office (with a wonderfully tacky autumn-theme heading). Here are the teams:
• Castle Bay Warriors: There is no city called Castle Bay in the United States — I just liked the way it sounded, so I went with it. The symbol that “appears on other side: is heavily influenced by the Honorary Warrior claws used in Mic-O-Say, a honors program at the Boy Scout camp in Osceola, Missouri.
• Honolulu Islanders: Some LSU/1980s Illini influences.
• New Orleans Cajuns: An unappetizing blend of the day-glo Bucs and the Saints. This was another team whose design evolved (I love the details like the addition of the long string tie and the crawfish located in the hat).
• Redwood Devils: Another name that I thought sounded good before checking to see if it existed. I assumed there had to be a Redwood, California. Once I found out that there was a Redwood City, I added a small black C to the R in the logo.
• Rhode Island Patriots: My brother wanted a “P with a tail,” which is what I drew. It became more refined over time.
• Virginia Bay Bulldogs: We didn’t have a dog at the time, so I wasn’t sure if they had three or four toes on their feet.
As other teams came into the mix, my attention was diverted more toward drawing the logos than playing in the back yard. An earlier version of the Anchorage Eskimos design (which I can’t find) had a graphic of the lining of a parka hood around the helmet vertically, just in front of the ear hole.
Finally, I scanned in a complete 30-team league that I drew sometime in early high school (it’s in three parts — here, here, and here). There are some blatant rip-offs of NFL, World League, collegiate, CFL, and USFL helmets there. But I also had some interesting and good ideas, if I do say so myself.
Paul here. Obviously, some of Jim’s early helmet renderings were a bit amateurish, but there’s something very endearing about childhood scribblings like these. Personally, I can’t get enough of this stuff. If you’ve saved similar material from your youth, let’s have it.
Small Masterpieces: Got a major, major contribution yesterday from Todd Vaughn, as follows:
My grandfather worked at Chatham Mills, a textile mill in Pittsboro, North Carolina, after World War II. He collected labels in a scrapbook (dating from perhaps the 1940s to the 1980s), and I just recently got my hands on it and snapped pictures of a few dozen of them. (I also included some items from his WWII scrapbook, because I felt they would pique your interest.) There are hundreds more, but I exceeded my Flickr allotment for the month.
I also have an old catalog that the facility put together, but I’ll will wait till next month to upload images from that.
Oh, man — I’ve gotta get my hands on that scrapbook. Can’t wait to see more of this material. And Todd, I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Upgrade to the no-limit Flickr account!”
April Raffle: Our friends at SoccerPro.com are back on board for another raffle. The winner will get his or her choice of any soccer jersey shown here, home or road. To enter, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to the raffle address (not to the usual Uni Watch e-mail address, please) by next Monday, April 13th, at 10pm eastern. One entry per person, but anyone enrolled in the Uni Watch Membership Program at the time of the drawing can send four entries. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday.
NCAA Contest Winners: Our five winners are, in order, Retro Beermaker (169 points), RyanKMD (167), Chuck Nottheshow (165), Tequila Sunrise (163), and Peanbo1 (159 plus tiebreaker). Several of you winners had hidden e-mail addresses, so if you haven’t already heard from me, please get in touch pronto to claim your prize. Thanks. Oh, and if anyone out there thinks they got shafted in the scoring, blame Vince.
Uni Watch News Ticker: SSUR founder and longtime Uni Watch confidante Donovan Moore, who probably knows more about team colors than anyone alive, has started a new blog called ColorWerx. Strongly recommended. … Video highlights of the 1960 Masters — the first one shot in color — here. … PNC Park has a new field surface, plus they’ve installed a portion of the old Forbes Field outfield wall in the stadium. … Speaking of ballpark design, Rich Thorne reports that there’s a new feature on Fenway Park’s exterior: a bunch of logo signs celebrating each of the franchise’s World Series titles. … More patch issues for Ty Lawson: His Final Four patch was missing in the first half on Monday night, then it reappeared in the second half, and by game’s end it was gone again (as spotted by Chris Warfford). … The A’s memorial patch for the fallen Oakland Police Department officers will look like this. They’ll be wearing it on their home jersey, beginning with their home opener this Friday. … Speaking of the A’s, I asked equipment manager Steve Vucinich why they’ve been wearing their home batting helmets on the road. His response: “We’ve added more black pieces to our alternate #2 uniform ensemble (helmets, sleeves, belts, socks). We didn’t think we needed three helmet colors, so we eliminated one.” Hmmm, black socks — that means Corey Wimberly would be wearing black stirrups when wearing that uniform. “You’re right!” said Steve. “I better call Twin City and order some black stirrups, just to be ready.” … The most recent episode of Ace of Cakes featured a Bar Mitzvah cake that was made to look like Lincoln Financial Field. James Huening got a bunch of screen grabs. … Ryan Miller has a new mask (with thanks to Matt Bachovchin). … Here’s another masked softball shortstop. Not sure of her name, but she plays for Long Island University. LIU media rep Shawn Sweeney says the team also has a masked third baseman, making for a fully masked left side of the infield. He hopes to get us a photo of both players soon. … Good catch by Fran Fried, who spotted Chris Spier wearing an Astros helmet during the 1972 All-Star Game. … Ay yi yi (blame Mike Lipinski). … HNOB alert — that’s “Hulk” NOB (with thanks to Dan O’Connor). … White-on-white alert. “That’s Australia’s ACT Brumbies and South Africa’s Free State Cheetahs in their Round 8 Super 14 rugby union clash,” writes Liam Hawkins. And Caleb Borchers adds, “The stadium PA even announced that the Cheetahs would change at halftime. When the teams came out, however, no such luck.” Details here. … The Philadelphia Phantoms wore Spectrum-patterned stripes. Additional photos here. … Casey Wurzbach notes that NESN was using the old Devil Rays logo in commercial bumpers yesterday but had the proper logo for the in-game score thingie. … And speaking of teevee blunders, here’s the typo of the year. … Hull City kit review here (courtesy of Les Motherby). … Surprised we haven’t seen the return of the Elmer Fudd caps on the diamond this week, with one exception: Rays skipper Joe Maddon. The media has noticed, too (with thanks to Justine DeCotis for the screen grab). … Speaking of the Fudds, isn’t it odd that they’re not for sale at MLB.com? According to one of my ESPN colleagues who spoke to someone at MLB, that’s because the MLB folks think the flap-caps “wouldn’t send the right message” for spring and the start of the season and all. Yeah, unlike all the other crap they sell, right? … DIY update from Matt Powers, who’s made himself a throwback Brewers sweatshirt. … With longtime NHLer Jim Dowd having announced his retirement, the Asbury Park Press created an illustration showing him in all 10 NHL jerseys he’s worn (with thanks to Steve May). … How much mileage can one trading card company get from one photo? This much (great work by Joe DeAngelis). … Two SF Giants notes from Ricky Foley: First, they’ve had several uni number changes; details toward the end of this page. And second, “Capt. Chelsey Sullenberger threw out the first pitch on Tuesday. He was wearing a No. 155 jersey (to represent the number of lives he saved) with a ‘Sully’ NOB” (photo from Laren Richardson, who was at the game). … Former Blue Jackets goalie Fredrik Norrena is wearing his old Columbus mask for the Russian Ak-Bars Kazan team (good find by Paul Richard Cook). … What’s that little red cover-up patch? It’s the uniform world’s latest corporate douchebaggery story, of course. Details in the shaded sidebar article on this page (with thanks to Alana Goulden). … Larry Bodnovich was poking around the SI archives and found some good stuff, including the Pistons wearing Lions colors, an amazing-looking game between the Lakers and Knicks, and a great electric football ad. I like how the Electric Sports Car Race Game looks like an ant farm. … You’ve probably seen this year’s Stanley Cup Finals logo already, but someone on the Chris Creamer board posted a shot of the actual stitched patch. … Man, that’s a very blue chest protector. … Ohio State’s wrestling singlets have a big O, but not on the chest — it’s on the side (as reported by Greg Trandel). … NHL linesman Tim Nowak, who was working last night’s Blackhawks/Predators game, was wearing a jersey with no number. “I couldn’t get a good look but I think it did have an NHL logo on the front,” says AJ Brandt. Anyone know the story behind this? … Apostrophe catastrophe, the long version.