Remember that April Fool’s joke I pulled exactly two months ago? Maybe it wasn’t a joke after all. Or maybe it gave somebody some ideas.
That’s the question floating around the web at the moment, because a Madden video preview released on Friday shows the Seahawks wearing the same neon green jersey design that we had whipped up for the April hoax. I got a ton of e-mails about this over the weekend, and it’s also attracting attention in the blogosphere.
So is it real? Personally, I don’t think so. I’m not aware of this design being in the works for on-field use, plus unusual alternate jerseys have shown up in Madden before, plus-plus this particular design has already been for sale as a fashion jersey, so it wouldn’t be such a leap for them to plug it into Madden. Still, I’ll try to contact the Seahawks today and see if they’ll comment on this, just in case.
As dire as a green Seahawks jersey would be, something potentially worse is unfolding in a league most of us don’t pay much attention to: The Arizona Replublic is reporting that the Phoenix Mercury — that’s a WNBA team — has inked a seven-figure sponsorship deal with an identity-theft security company (which I won’t name, cuz why should I give them free publicity unless they give me a seven-figure sponsorship deal?). The crux of the deal is that “Phoenix” and “Mercury” will no longer appear on the team’s jerseys. Instead, the jerseys will carry the name of the corporate sponsor, much like a European soccer team. All of this will supposedly be announced today at 1pm. Other WNBA are reportedly pursuing similar deals.
I realize this move probably says more about the WNBA’s desperate financial straits than anything else. I also realize the WNBA isn’t exactly a trend-setter that sets the bar for other pro leagues. Still, it’s disturbing to see professional basketball team — one backed by the NBA’s muscle, at that — going this route. It would be one thing if they were just wearing ad patches, but the full jersey-sponsorship routine? Feels like a small but telling breach in the wall between North American sports uniforms and advertising.
I’d call for a boycott, except nobody reading this attends WNBA games anyway.
Gross Research Request: John Maine and Brad Penny have both vomited in between innings within the past week, and now I’m trying to compile a list of athletes who’ve tossed their cookies during a game. I’ve already got Donovan McNabb, Cade McNown, Jahvid Best, Pete Sampras, David Beckham, Larry Holmes, Dorenzo Hudson, Tom Gordon, Jay Buhner, Ray Oyler, and Glenn Hall (pregame, but close enough). If you know of other examples to add to the list, please get in touch. Thanks, and apologies to anyone skeeved out by this topic.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s one of the greatest panoramic team portraits I’ve ever seen. That’s the 1909 Browns — not sure which I like better, the caps or the sweaters (courtesy of Bruce Menard). … Josh Hamilton has an interesting way of personalizing his batting gloves (with thanks to Nick Hanson). … Two good shots from the NASA archives: First, German-turned-American rocketry whiz Dr. Verner von Braun visits the Huntsville Boys Club, and here’s a shot of the 1943 Glenn Research Center team (with thanks to Zac Neubauer). … Former Lions player Terry Barr died last week, and Matthew Earle notes that his uni number often appeared to be off-center. … Umpiring note from Brian Profitt, who writes: “I recently attended a PCL game in Las Vegas and noticed a chest protector-shaped patch, with ‘CC’ in the middle, on the umpires’ left sleeves. I’ve been to numerous games this year and this is the first time I’ve noticed this.” Anyone know the story behind this? … The Mets traded Ramon Castro over the weekend, just as Ed Hoyt had noticed something interesting about his catching gear: “Older photos show him wearing his name and number on the collar of his chest protector. But in this more recent photo, taken on May 27th, his collar reads, ‘BMNM 11.’ He apparently has worn this before, as seen in this shot from when Willie Randolph was still managing the team. The only meaning behind that abbreviation that we at the Crane Pool Forum [a Mets discussion site] were able to find were (1) Bimini Capital Management, which trades under BMNM, and (2) ‘Barcollo ma non mollo,’ which translated from the Italian I think means ‘I stagger, but I don’t give up.'” I have a hunch that neither of those is the right answer. … Pretty wild Canucks sweater here (with thanks to Greg Buchanan). … Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad discusses his pants and socks here (with thanks to Nathan Eberhardt. … Noel Basnight sent along some really cool cartoons devoted to specific ballparts, including Metropolitan Stadium, County Stadium, and Shea. … Frank Albanese was watching the 1980 NLCS and noticed that Joe Morgan appeared to have a C instead of a G on his NOB. … Cool Wisconsin throwback helmet decal set here (as spotted by Nicole Haase). … Jason Dulin found this Pirates jersey at a thrift shop for $5. The tagging suggests that it’s the real deal, as does the ghost of the now-removed nameplate, suggesting the jersey had been recycled in Pittburgh’s minor league system. … Why bother having striped socks if you’re gonna wear the socks so low? That’s the Chicago Machine lacrosse team (with thanks to Steve Johnston). … Tim Graham says this is what he wore to Friday’s night’s Orioles game. … Possibly the most nauseating instance of stirrups ever can be found three seconds into this video clip (no thanks to Johnny Garfield). … Good hockey jersey site here. … As several readers have pointed out, the Magic will probably scrap their anniversary patch to make room for the O’Brien Trophy patch in the NBA Finals, just as the Lakers did last year. … Boise State will unveil new football uniforms today. …