So you’re a Winter Olympics “athlete.” You’ve spent years training for “sports” like curling, or ice dancing, or rhythmic biathlon, or whatever it is you specialize in, you’ve made sure to ingest only the fancy new designer steroids that the doping tests can’t detect, and you’ve even learned not to snicker when someone refers to “the Olympic movement.” So it’s perfectly understandable that you were a little peeved yesterday
when some snot-nose kid and a balloon got more attention than you’ll ever get to discover that the medals you’re competing for — the medals you will surely win! — look like a bunch of heat-warped records.
Actually, I think they look pretty cool, but the best thing about them, clearly, is that they’ll probably piss off a lot of people because they look like factory rejects. You can learn a lot more about them in this article, and there are some truly wonderful interactive features available here, but here’s a quick primer:
• The warped surface — sorry, undulating surface, as the press notes repeatedly state — is an Olympic first and is the result of a year’s worth of work by the Royal Canadian Mint. I give it about a week before someone says we can’t have Canadian-style national health care “because those Canadians, their fucking mint can’t even make a flat medal, what a bunch of losers, FAIL!”
• Each individual medal will have a distinct abstract design etched into its surface. Each individual etched design is taken from one of two larger composite designs that depict a whale and a raven, so think of each medal as part of a jigsaw puzzle (okay, a warped jigsaw puzzle). Haven’t seen the full composite images yet, but I’m sure they’re floating around on one of those interactive pages.
• Everyone seems to be going to great pains to point out that the medals are “among the heaviest” in Olympic history. I find something a little sad about this. I mean, I could understand if they were saying they contain more metal, or a higher grade of metal, but “heaviest”? That’s like Spinal Tap being “one of England’s loudest bands.” Let’s try to retain a bit of dignity, shall we?
• As usual, the silver looks way better than the gold or bronze. Go for the silver!!
And so on. But really, can you imagine winning one of these and then having to explain to your great-aunt, “No, really, it’s supposed to be that way”? Too much bother. May as well just score some hash, scarf down whatever looks good at the buffet, and have a few trysts in the Olympic Village with those cute Scandinavians (unless you’re already Scandinavian, in which case you can go trolling for cute Asians). Am I right?
Remember the orange sleeve debacle from a few years back? A little birdie tells me Nike has something similar planned for Nov. 14th, involving at least one school and probably more:
The uniform will be all-white with some kind of gradient checkerboard fade on the sleeves and pants. The helmet will be white with that checkerboard fade and the school logo. The gloves will have a [one part of the school’s logo] on the left-hand palm and [the other part of the logo] on the other hand, so when they’re combined they make the full logo.
Well, that sounds like a real boon for mankind. Let’s avoid the rush and start hating it now.
And speaking of warped records…: I’ve put another half-dozen or so old indie singles up for auction on eBay. All of them are flatter than those Olympic medals. Remember, every record I sell gets us closer to the day when I, uh, won’t have any records left to sell. So bid already!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Nice batch of vintage gumball helmets available here (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … New uniforms for the U.S. lacrosse team (with thanks to Thomas Langan). … Oh man, pure gold here: an old Colt .45s mail order catalog. That’s from Mike Hersh, who also pointed me toward this 1913 Spalding catalog (too bad about all the missing swatches) and this amazing uni fabric catalog. … Very interesting NOB. That’s David Van Der Gulik from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, whose name has been rendered in a variety of styles during his stints with the Heat, the Calgary Flames, the Quad City Flames, and Boston University (great work by Teebz). … More white-at-home news, this time from Zachary Charles, who says he recalls the 49ers wearing white at home for preseason games when he was growing up. That appears to be confirmed in the following passage from this Wiki page: “From the 1980s until 2005, the 49ers nearly always wore their white uniforms at home for their two preseason home games (and thus usually wore white jerseys the whole preseason).” Yes, I know, it’s Wiki — a starting point, not the last word. But Zachary found this photo — note the baseball diamond, which indicates they were playing at Candlestick, unless it was from the two seasons that the Rockies played at Mile High. … As several readers have noted in recent weeks, Dwight Feeney’s shoulder stripes come to a point. Weird. … According to this item, Kentucky may soon get a Lebron-branded uniform and shoes (with thanks to Chris Edwards). … The Islanders will be wearing “spooky” practice jerseys for Halloween, which they’ll then auction off for charity (with thanks to John Muir). … Junior Seau got his old number back, as explained in the third graf of this page. … I used to play softball with this guy who’d briefly been a professional tennis player, and I remember how freaked out I was when he showed me how his racket arm was about two inches longer than his non-rack arm — creepy. But that’s nothing compared to this arm wrestler (pretty gross, Kirsten). … We had some discussion yesterday regarding whether this item is a baseball uni, a softball uni, a basketball warm-up, or what. The definitive word comes from, of course, sporting goods historian Terry Procter, who writes: “The top is actually a SandMark 13 basketball warm-up jacket made of a heavy-weight stretch nylon fabric . The top has a baseball-type neck and front placket, but it is a snap-front, not a button-front as most baseball shirts would be. And the lettering is all wrong for baseball. No front name or back numbers (back numbers are required for high school baseball). Yes, the pants are baseball pants. What I think happened is that the seller got the top and the pants from a source and assumed that they were from the same set of uniforms. Completely innocent assumption. Aren’t you glad you have me around to point out these things to you?” Indeed. … New Era is running a cap design contest, and Kevin Hayashi has already come up with a pre-inside-outed rally cap design. … According to the third-to-last graf of this story, WVU hoops will unveil a new alternate uni today (with thanks to Joshua Exline). … New hoops uniforms for Pitt. … Good article about a Canadian hockey logo designer here (as posted on the Creamer site by Chris Creamer himself). … Oooh, check out the Penguins’ championship ring design (with thanks to Matt Harris). … Matt Harris spotted a pair of white loafers behind Charlie Manuel last night. Was ol’ Charlie getting ready for a quick getaway? Nope — “It’s a tribute to the late Harry Kalas,” says Matt. “The shoes and (not pictured) blazer are in the dugout for all games.” … Shouldn’t this guy be playing baseball? (As noted by Jesse Strauss). … Remember Owen Schmitt’s little pregame mishap last Sunday? It has become the unlikely inspiration for this T-shirt (big thanks to Michael Princip). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: MLB is selling some T-shirts based on uni history. I’ll let the rest of you figure out if the jersey designs in the illos are accurate. My gripe is more nuanced: Was it really necessary to print “Jersey Evolution” (or the Majestic logo) underneath each illustration? Like, duh, we can SEE that the illo shows the evolution of the team’s jersey. I can’t tell if the Majestic people are idiots or if they think everyone else is an idiot, but it’s miserable design either way. … Traveling calls — or lack of calls — have been unofficial joke in the NBA for years. Now they’ll be an official joke. … If you scroll down past the Limbaugh commentary on this page (let’s please not discuss that today, thanks), you’ll find some coverage of the Blackhawks Ice Girls’ new uniforms (with thanks to Kasey Ignarski). … USF wore white helmets last night, and I think they looked really good. … Small road uni change for Wisconsin hockey, going from this to this (with thanks to Nate Neumann).
Oot and Aboot: I’m not going to be near a computer for most of today or tomorrow. So please take it easy on the Ticker submissions for the next 48 hours, so I don’t go into cardiac arrest the next time I log in for my e-mail. Thanks.