By Phil Hecken, with Brian Kerr
I’m joined today by reader Brian Kerr (who just celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday, incidentally), and who plays a sport many of you have probably played, or a least are familiar with — Ultimate. I played, or at least attempted to play, while in college myself, 100 years ago. Back then, it was actually still called “Ultimate Frisbee” because, well, we used an actual “Frisbee” flying disc. I guess they use one made by someone else now. A quick check of the always accurate Wikipedia reveals there’s quite a bit to know about this sport. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a quick perusal.
But we’re not concerned so much with the sport itself as we are with the uniforms (and yes, they do wear unis for Ultimate). So Brian has graciously volunteered to lead us in this rather in-depth examination of the uniforms of Ultimate. So without further ado, here’s Brian:
A little background on me. I play for the Iowa State ultimate frisbee team. Though the sport is a club sport, it has a good following, and a season which has a national championship. One of the big things about frisbee is having a good looking jersey, and trading jerseys with other players. A lot of frisbee teams also make their own logo’s because licensing their schools logo is too expensive, which makes for team names that are different than their own school, and use of different colors.
Thanks Brian. Now, with great assistance from Mr. Kerr, lets explore a bit about the sport and the jerseys/uniforms of Ultimate.
Ultimate Frisbee is a sport that generally has a strong intramural presence at colleges, and local leagues around the world. Ultimate is played on a field that’s 120 yards long, 40 yards wide, with 25 yard end-zones at each end. Teams play with 7 players at a time on the field. Ultimate can be best describe as a mix of football and soccer, with the disc being advanced by passing it to other players on the field and you can’t run with the disc.
Besides intramural presence at colleges, most schools also have a club Ultimate team that will play other teams from across the country competitively. Between May 22nd and May 25th, the 20 best open and women’s college teams in America, Canada, and Mexico played for the UPA (Ultimate Players Association) National Championship. To get to nationals teams had to go through a series of tournaments to qualify (Sectionals -> Regionals -> Nationals).
Brian will be breaking down the best uniforms in the open, and women’s divisions.
Without a doubt University of California at Santa Barbra had the best jerseys in the entire tournament. UCSB is nicknamed the Black Tide because of oil spills off of the coast of California, near Santa Barbara. Their jersey design dates back to 1986. The Black Tide on the front is extremely easy to read. Here’s a shot of the back.
The University of Virginia Night Train had a nice uniform set. They had two uniforms that they wore during weekend, a green one and a grey one. The green jersey is clean and easy to look at. They also had a grey jersey. The grey jersey would have looked great with just the yellow, blue, and green horizontal lines, but they also had the attention to detail to put trains on the lines. This was a fantastic touch.
Kansas had a great uniform. They were white, and very easy to look at. Brian loves the way the black numbers are outlined in red; it makes it extremely easy to read from a distance. The front was also clean and easy to read.
Next up is the Wisconsin Hodags. Wisconsin came in as back to back national champions. Wisconsin wore a baby blue and black uniform. Their uniform last year was a lot simpler, however this year they have a lot more going on. They have an HL script representing “Hodag Love”, stars on their left arm representing their three national championships, and finally a big Patagonia advertisement on their back. The Patagonia advertisement doesn’t bother Brian too much: “It doesn’t look too out of place, and as a college ultimate player, I understand anything you can do to make uniforms more affordable is a good thing.”
The award for best uniform on the ladies side has to be given to Dartmouth. Their nickname is Princess Layout and they do a good job of incorporating elements of that in their uniform. Their uniform says “Princess Layout” in two places, on the right shoulder and on the back. On the right shoulder, it is hard to see, but it’s there. On the back it is clear and easy to read. They also include a crown, which is the point where all of the stripes work off of.
The National Champions on the women side had a great look. Like their male counterparts, the University of California at Santa Barbra Burning Skirts had a great look. They went with a simple black, and yellow uniform. What set them apart from all the other women’s teams, was their pleated skirts; it’s just a great look. The skirt looks a lot better than the skirts worn by other women sports teams.
Next up, is the women’s team from the university Brian attends, the Iowa State University Women Scorned. The name “Women Scorned” comes from the William Congreve poem, The mourning bride, (1697). They wore a black and a red uniform. The red is fantastic looking; it’s the perfect color of red and the screen printing fits well on it. They also have one of the more unique number fonts. These are not the usual block numbers you see in sports. The also had a unique short issue. Some players had their shorts turned into skirts, and others kept them as shorts.
The final team is Element, from the University of Washington. They got second place in the women’s division. They wore a simple purple jersey, and then they had a sublimated jersey that had a lot going on. Their back looked weird with the number in the top right, and their team name and school at the very bottom. They were one of the few teams that had player names on their backs.
Other sights and sounds from the tournament:
The University of Oregon football team isn’t the only sports team that has a look that hurts your eyes. Their women’s ultimate jersey was pure Oregon. The Pitt men shared a look with their football team. Some other teams joined Wisconsin in having advertisements on their uniforms: Michigan women, Colorado women, and the Colorado men. Three fans also made DIY Dartmouth uniforms. They felt the need to put the logo for the company that makes their uniform in the bottom left of the jersey.
That’s the end of this Ultimate uniform review. My great thanks to Brian Kerr for his tremendous assistance with this. With the warmer weather here (for most of us anyway), don’t you just want to go toss the disc around some now? By the way, most of the photos for this post (and some you didn’t see) come from this gallery; if you’re so inclined, check it out.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Another toughie. The clues are all right there. As with yesterday, there are slight changes to the “rules” as well: DON’T email me with your guess, but don’t put it on the board either. Instead, if you wish to take a shot at the answer, go to Baseball Almanac or Retrosheet and copy the URL of the game that’s about to follow. Just say something like “I GOT IT” and post the link as your “answer” in the comments. This way, those who wish to guess can still do so without seeing the answer in the comments. Ok? Ok! Here we go: Guess The Game. Remember, I want the date, location and final score (all of which can be gleaned by posting the link from one of the reference sites). Let’s see how long this one takes you.
*If you have a scoreboard photo you’d like featured, please send it to me. I’m compiling a pretty good “stash” for your guessing pleasure, but I can always use more. Make sure to include the date, location and final score! Thanks.
The Wrong Cup? After the Penguins captured another title for Pittsburgh, with their Stanley Cup Victory (“Titletown, USA”?), a couple of people have pointed that the actual cup may not be the “true” trophy. Eric Buzard noticed last night that the base of the Stanely Cup was markedly different from years past. Last night, the Pens paraded with a Stanley Cup that had the Hockey Hall of Fame logo on the bottom. To his knowledge, this is the first time that’s happened. It’s been well noted that there are 2 Stanley Cups: one that’s “the” Cup & the other that takes its place in the HHOF when “the” Cup is traveling. Buzz asks, “So, were the Pens skating around with the “dummy” Cup last night? Or did the league have the base of “the” Cup changed? Either way, I’m not a fan of it!”
Another reader, Jon Alviani writes, “So I was watching the Stanley Cup Finals last night and I noticed something different. For years the bottom of the cup has had a gold insignia on the bottom. I’ve never seen it up close, even though I did some searching.” Jon produced the following photos: here, here, here, here and here. He continues, ” It looks to be some kind of maple leaf with a torch in the middle and two banners underneath. But last night, the insignia had changed. It now looks either white or silver and has a hockey player inside a circle or ring.”
Readers? Any insight on this?
Couple more uni-trackers keep trickling in. Here’s Tim Stoops who has been tracking the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres feature five different uni combinations in this 2009 season. If they’re lucky enough to appear on “Sportscenter” you’ll see them in home whites, road sand, home alternate (blue softball), road alternate (blue softball), or the Sunday camos.
There’s really no rhyme or reason to the uniform choices for every game. In the late 1990’s, it was up to the starting pitcher to decide the uniform. I haven’t heard confirmation of this in years. I’m going on the assumption that they do. If the choice is still up to the SP, the days they absolutely have no say are home Sundays. The camouflage uniforms (worn with road sand pants) show up every Sunday as a tribute to the military. They also designate one night during the opening homestand as Military Opening Night and wear the camo uniforms. In 2007, Military Opening Night featured a live video feed of the crew of one of San Diego’s aircraft carriers saying hello on their way to Iraq.
If the Padres were paying attention to uniform performance, I would not be surprised if they left the blue softball tops at home for all road trips. Through June 12, they are an abysmal 5-13 when they show off the the blue tops for cities across America. Josh Geer has only worn the blue tops on the road. Chad Gaudin also seems to prefer it, selecting it for 5 of 6 road starts. Run differential is a whopping -30 when the blue alts appear on the road.
At home, the blue alternate has shown up only four times for a 3-1 record. Chris Young never selects the blue alternates at home. In the home whites, the Padres have amassed a 13-6 record.
Something that has always bothered me is the lampooning of the Padres camouflage jerseys. It’s impossible to grow up in San Diego and not feel the military’s impact. You can see bases right next to our highways, jets and helicopters constantly fly over homes and businesses on their way out to training missions, school friends move away because their mother or father was deployed to another US location. The Padres take the military very seriously. I love the camo uniforms because they represent the team honoring those that serve our country. During those home games, an entire section of the upper deck is filled with the military’s newest recruits, all in uniform. In between the 4th inning, the Padres play the Marine Hymn. The recruits stand at attention, and everyone in the park stands and applauds for the whole song. It’s truly incredible to see. I don’t often get on a soapbox, especially on the Internet, but it always strikes such a nerve when the camo unis are referred to as a gimmick.
I’m happy to be doing this unitrack for the Padres is just another fun way for me to get involved with my favorite baseball team. When I post in the comments section, I just go with my name – Tim Stoops. Take care everybody!
That’s all for today folks. Have a great Sunday.