I most certainly had not. And my initial instinct was that it was that it might be a joke, because c’mon, a team called the Does? That’s just setting yourself up for boatload of “Doesn’t”-oriented wisecracks.
But as I quickly learned, the Does were a very real team that played in the short-lived Women’s Professional Basketball League, which existed from the fall of 1978 through the spring of 1981. I was in high school during that period, so you’d think I’d remember the WBL, but I don’t (I think it’s safe to say they weren’t marketed as aggressively as the WNBA). Lots of other people do, though: There’s a WBL Memories site, lots of information at Hoopedia (which is hosted by NBA.com), and even a book (much of which you can click through at Google Books).
So what about their uniforms? Here’s a rough summary of what I’ve discovered:
• Almost all the teams went untucked (a very conscious choice, as clearly shown in their promotional materials). At least one team, the New Jersey Gems, used the lower portion of the jersey for the team name. Other teams used contrast-piped hemlines, and still others left the lower-jersey area plain. At least one team, the Houston Angels, appears to have been afflicted with an inadvertent team-wide case of Philly tag.
• One team that did not go untucked (but maybe should have): the Iowa Cornets.
• The most interesting uniform was worn by the Chicago Hustle, whose jerseys had these cutaway semi-sleeves and johnny collars. According to that book I mentioned earlier, these uniforms were not popular with the players. (The rest of that page has more info about the league’s uniforms — recommended reading.)
• The aforementioned Does had these contrasting V panels sewn into the lower side areas (not sure what’s going on with the New York player in the center of that photo — almost looks like she’s wearing a zippered sweatshirt).
• Some teams went NNOB, others had NOBs. The Philadelphia Fox (yes, that was really their name) highlight the player names with horizontal rules, and at least one team the Does, used nameplates — unusual for a basketball uniform.
• The league had its own ball, courtesy of Wilson.
If you want to see more, I strongly recommend poking around this site — lots of good info and additional photos.
Bonus May Raffle: Our friends at SportsCrack.com have invited me to raffle off one of their shirts — winner’s choice. 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 this next Monday, June 1st, at 7pm eastern. One entry per person, except for Uni Watch membership program enrollees, who can send four entries. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday.
Chat-a-tat-tat: I’ll be doing a live web chat today at 1pm eastern on ESPN.com. Here’s the link, but do us both a favor and don’t start submitting questions now, because I’m going to give preference to questions submitted during the chat. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Hmmmm, who do you suppose made the jerseys for Michael Irvin’s new 4th and Long show? (With thanks to Brendon Yarian.) … “Superfund”? Explanation here (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Sierra Leone’s new soccer jersey is, in Donald Wine’s words, “epic.” … Nate Boulton and his family spent the holiday weekend at a Michigan fishing cabin, where they found this jigsaw puzzle. … “We put it together and determined that each team should have to go back to its 1995 helmet design,” he says. … Joshua Edney notes that Jermaine Dye has his initials on his batting gloves. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Alarming news out of Pittsburgh, where Nyjer Morgan abandoned his high cuffs for a game, as a slump-busting maneuver. … Here’s a good view of the shamrock decal that Joe Mullen used to wear (courtesy of Kek). Hey, Teebz, how long did he wear this for? … The NBA is concerned about counterfeiting. … They Might Be Giants are sponsoring a Little League game (with thanks to James Huening). … Here’s something new: Braille jerseys (with thanks to Bryan Collings). … You know how the dolphin on the Dolphins’ logo wears a helmet? How would other NFL logo animals look if they were helmeted? Here’s how one guy envisions it (with thanks to Scott Marcusky). … What do you get when you mix the smell of watermelon with the smell of a sweatband? I don’t know, but we may soon find out. … Yesterday I wrote that Juan Pierre wore a blue cap under his batting helmet on Monday, rather than the red cap he wore in the field. But as pointed out in yesterday’s comments, he actually did red the red cap for his first at-bat before switching to blue. … Several readers have sent along these photos of James Worthy wearing mismatched shades of purple. … Lengthy uniform discussion on SNY during last night’s Mets/Nats game. Mostly boilerplate stuff, but at one point Ron Darling said (I’m paraphrasing here), “One year during the 1980s, for some reason our uniforms were really tight. And the most important piece of equipment in the clubhouse that season was this big garbage can, which we used to stretch out our uniforms.” … From that same game: Maybe this has been going on for a while and I just never noticed, but I was surprised to see plate ump Dan Iassogna wearing a mock turtleneck with the MLB logo on the side. Probably the most casual shirt I’ve ever seen an ump wear. … Good NBA gossip from Justin Kerr, who writes: “I was talking to a local sporting goods store manager and asking where his Sixers merchandise was. He mentioned all he had was some black road jerseys with Elton Brand on them and that he originally thought he’d have to wait until next year for them to sell given Brand’s injury. But then he said, ‘Now, that ain’t gonna happen ’cause they’re getting new uniforms. They’re ditching the black.’ Not sure if that means just the black jersey or what, but the NBAstore.com site seems to back this up to some degree. Every team’s draft cap is available for purchase — except the Philadelphia 76ers.” … The Twins insignia being installed at the team’s new stadium doesn’t quite match their current logo, suggesting that some rebranding is in the works. Further details here (with thanks to Owen Kinsky). … Gorgeous old baseball jersey available, pretty cheap, here. … Other eBay finds: a really nice full baseball uni set and an awesome police department baseball team uni.