By Phil Hecken
Little bit of a different entry today. While I don’t normally have readers contact me with requests for my graphical talents, mainly because I don’t have any, (usually the fantastic graphics in my pieces are done by others), what follows was one of those rare times. Shortly before Uni Watch went on Summer Vacation, I received an e-mail from Jerome Nemanich, who is the head baseball coach in Sartell, MN. Jerome approached me with a most intriguing idea — help him design a cap for his baseball team. Flattered though I was, I immediately thought this was a job for you guys. Here’s what took place in that original e-mail and how this contest came to be:
My name is Jerome Nemanich, I’m the head baseball coach in Sartell, MN. I was wondering if you could help us with a possible new hat logo for the 2010 season. I follow your work on Uni watch.
I enclosed our alternate hat mock-up from the game from last year (look here and here.). Our main hat had the same S, just all Royal with white “S” and white eyelets. I’ve also enclosed a couple of ideas I’ve had. The old Spokane Indian “S” and possible going with the UVA look. Our nick name is the Sabres.
We have three uni tops-
Grey — Same as blue, a different font. Piping is Blue/White/Blue.
I can’t offer cash but will offer a lid if you come up with a cool idea.
Tempted as I was to try my hand at designing a cap logo, I wrote Coach Nemanich back and asked if he thought the “design a cap” might be something the graphic designers (and readers) who frequent UW would like to try their hand at. Jerome wrote back that he’d have to check with his AD, but thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Turns out, he thought a “Design A Cap Contest” might just be a great idea. I also asked him about his teams uniforms, sensing perhaps a “design a uni” contest might follow, but alas, ’twas not to be. Jerome wrote:
I like all the work that I’ve seen you do on Uni watch, we won’t get new Uni’s for 3 more years but I may be ok with a contest down the road with Uni’s too. I just got the new Russell catalog for 2010 today, boy are there some ugly uni’s coming out. They also have a pullover mock button down jersey so they can sew the artwork across the jersey better. There are actual buttons on the front but they don’t open.
Ah well, the unis will have to wait, but he gave the go-ahead for the Design A Cap contest.
So, lets see what you guys can come up with! You’ve seen what they have worn, and you see the ideas that Jerome has in mind. That leaves a pretty open canvas to give it a shot. You could probably use the templates Coach provided or you could always use one of these.
I won’t set a time limit on this contest, but I would hope everyone could get me your submissions within the next couple of weeks. And if Mr. Nemanich likes your design, he’ll send you a cap for your efforts! Pretty schweet, huh?
So get your crayons out, fire up your computers, or use your protractors — as long as you can come up with a design, and you can e-mail it to me, it will be considered. You can also send me multiple submissions. In a couple of weeks (or whenever the contest appears to be over), I’ll post your submissions.
Send them to me and please put in the “SUBJECT” line “Cap Contest”. If you have questions about the contest, post them in the comments (that way others who may have the same questions can see them) or you can always e-mail me. Obviously, Coach Nemanich will be the one with the final say in the design.
OK, last weekend Ricko and I gave you our five NFL uniforms most in need of a tweak (or one less bumper sticker), and tomorrow you are going to be treated to an OUTSTANDING new uniform idea from Ricko. But today, I’m going to bring you a few more NFL teams whose uniforms don’t really suffer from the OMBS (“One More Bumper Sticker”) syndrome, but are oh so close to being just right — at least as far as their uniforms go. Some of these teams are just missing one small detail, others suffer from perhaps one too many details (OMBS), and others simply just don’t quite “get it.” With that, then, here are a few more teams who could use a teensy tiny fix or two:
New Orleans Saints: The Saints have some classic unis, and i really like them. They’re not BFBS, but there is just one little problem. Maybe two. First, when they wear black pants, the pants are devoid of any kind of stripe, and they like to wear black leggings, giving them the leotard look. They also have the propensity towards the monochrome leotard look (although, to my knowledge, this season they haven’t broken out the black pants yet). But we know they will, it’s only a matter of time. So, to fix the Saints, I propose they place a simple stripe on them, and ditch the black leggings in favor of white striped socks. It’s not even a new concept, they used to sport a similar look. And there was nothing wrong with that look. One other slight tweak I would offer for the Saints (other than never wearing monochrome black), would be to add a white stripe to the thick black stripe on their pants (they currently look like this). Finally, the fact that the old gold on the helmet or the pants does NOT match the old gold numbers really bothers me. So, as long as we add the stripe to the gold pants, lets get that gold on the jersey to match the gold on the helmet. See? Minor tweaks can really make that uni sharp!
Carolina Panthers: Most, if not all, of you will disagree with me on this one, I’m sure, but I really dislike the pointy, truncated pants stripe. I know, I know, they’ve always had this look. I also greatly dislike how some players have truncated sleeve loops, while others sport full loops. The full loops look much better. So what’s my tweak? It’s real simple: Eliminate the pointy pants stripes, and just make sure everyone has full shoulder loops (even if you have to taper them). And as far as uniforms go, I think that all white uniform is one of the BEST in the NFL. All it needs is real pants stripes.
St. Louis Rams: I never really liked the Rams switch in color and uni scheme after they won Super Bowl XXXIV. However, in the past couple of years, they gone away from wearing their standard gold pants and have begun wearing blue and white pants. The blue pants are worn with short white socks and blue leggings, producing the dreaded leotard look, and both the blue and white pants have stripes while the gold ones do not. Some of you may like this quirkiness, but I do not. I’m fine with them having three sets of pants to choose from, so long as they don’t pair the blue pants with the blue top. But lets get some consistency. The fix? Lets put a stripe on the gold pants. Much better. For the blue pants let’s narrow that stripe a tad and give them some white socks with a complimentary stripe. Finally, for the white pants, lets put a classic Rams stripe on there. There you go — three pairs of pants, not quite identical, but with much more consistency. I’d still like the yellow-gold and royalish blue to return, but keeping the current colors, this works better.
Cleveland Browns: I’m not going to touch their sleeve striping — Ricko will take care of that tomorrow. But, I do need to get to work on those “new” brown pants. Remember last preseason when the Browns broke out the brown pants? Well, Coach Mangenius apparently likes them, and he plans on having the team wear them on a semi-regular basis this year. But, unlike the leotard look, at least he’s had the good sense to put them in white socks. But, they’re still wearing those godawful brown pants. The solution? Well, a stripe on the pants is a start. But, should the order be orange-white-orange, or white-orange-white? Neither one of those looks all that great. What about simply two orange stripes which would replicate the brown-orange-brown-orange pattern on the sleeve and the socks? It’s a tough call. Maybe they just shouldn’t wear brown pants. That’s what the football gods are saying anyway. But if they ARE going to wear them, they need some kind of striping. And for the love of god, whatever they do this year, don’t go brown over brown. We’ve already heard the Mr. Hankey jokes. Let’s not let them come to fruition. (And on a completely unrelated note with the Browns, they were one of the few teams to sport the beautiful and classic white over white look — can’t they just stay with that as often as possible? That has to be one my my top-10 all time great NFL looks)
New England Patriots: Ok, here is what they should wear full time. But that’s not gonna happen. The Pats are one of those teams who feel that a side panel (even worse on the road uniform) is necessary. It’s not. I’m also not a fan of those weird, wide pants stripes. Solutions? First, lets remove that garish side panel. If you noticed the pants striping pattern in the throwbacks, it consisted of three thin stripes. Well, they could sorta go for that look or even “thinify” the wide stripe on the pants? Even if we keep the total stripe width the same, adding more red and white to them is a better look, IMHO. The home jersey just needs the red ‘pinstripes’ removed, but the pants stripe is still a little too arena league for me. So, we can simply add one strip of silver down the middle, or thinify the stripes with two blue stripes or keep a nice patriotic blue-red-blue pattern. Frankly, I think the red-blue-silver-blue-red looks pretty sharp.
Baltimore Ravens: Moving towards the penultimate tweak, the Ravens tweak is simple. They have a black-purple-black stripe on the white pants, but like the Saints, their black pants are stripeless and they like the leotard look. They also like the all-black leotard look. Solution? Simple, some kind of stripe on the pants, and white socks. It’s not like they didn’t sport that type of look at one time. Hell…they could call it their fauxback uni.
Tennessee Titans: OK — the final tweak. I don’t really so much mind the navy over white and I LOVE the white over powder blue. I really think that’s one of the all time good looks in the game, even though it’s relatively new. However, I hate their other looks, no matter if it’s navy over navy, powder over powder or mix and match. So I’m not touching those. But for the two combos I do like, how about we simply remove the “yoke”? Now that’s a classic look, right? How about on the white over powder? Man, that looks like an NFL uniform right there. I won’t say I love their helmet (a few teams sport the “fading stripe” look), but just imagine what would happen if they went with a solid center stripe? Too Penn State-ish? Not for me.
Mercifully for you, thus endeth my uni tweaks. But I think you’d have to agree with at least a couple of them. Each team still retains it’s unique color scheme, but I simply remove or tweak what I feel is the one or two things wrong with an otherwise excellent or pretty damn good uniform. I’m sure you’ll disagree, at least on a couple. That’s fine. If teams would just knock off the monochrome look, or the leotard look, I’d be happy. And if those few teams who feel stripes are anthema, well, I took it upon myself to correct that. Feel free to tell me where to go. I’m ready. Fire away.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Once again, I gotta apologize in advance if I gave you today’s Guess The Game game already. I don’t think so. Even so, it would have been a while ago. Pretty sure also that this one came from Squiddie. Anyway, you know what to do. Date, location and final score. Please link to Retrosheet or Baseball Almanac if applicable. Ready? Guess The Game. Got a couple new ones from SlimandSlam (he’ll be doing the honors tomorrow), but I’m still always looking out for new scoreboard games. If you have one, send ’em my way. Thanks.
Ricko’s back with Benchies, but I’m pretty sure this one come from his “way back machine.” But that’s OK, because they’re all new to us. And even Ricko’s oldies are still goodies. So, now, we take you back in time when the greatest two-sport athlete ruled the ad world too. I think you know who I’m talking about. Enjoy your Saturday Benchies.
“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” Groucho Marx
Whew. Another short post. But if you made it this far, you made it to the end. Don’t forget to try your hand at the “Design A Cap” contest — maybe you’ll win a prize. Don’t worry about the quality of your work or the skill of your craftsmanship. But do give it a shot! This should be a really fun contest and I bet we get a number of great submissions.
Have a great Saturday. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow — got a really kick-ass post with Ricko you will NOT want to miss.