Back around 2002, I wrote a column about collectibles for a magazine too embarrassing to mention. The column was eventually discontinued because the editor felt I wasn’t coming up with enough “found in the attic” stories — i.e., stories about amazingly valuable collectibles that had been gathering dust in someone’s attic until they were discovered and then sold for many thousands of dollars. I tried to explain to the editor that stories like those don’t grow on trees, but somehow he was unmoved, and that was the end of the column.
Too bad I didn’t know about this game-worn Jim Brown Syracuse helmet back then. Here’s the deal: The helmet was originally given to the father of a young Syracuse family by a close friend of former Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder shortly after the 1956 season. It was a gift to an expectant father, who put it away for what he was sure would be his new son. When his wife gave birth to a girl instead, the helmet stayed tucked away in the family attic, where it remained until the daughter, now grown and caring for her elderly father, discovered it more than four decades later.
The helmet was eventually acquired in 2001 by Curtis Worrell and Jim Parker of Helmet Hut. It was the crown jewel in their helmet collection, but with Parker’s recent death, Worrell has decided to sell the helmet and give the proceeds to Parker’s widow. It’s currently up for auction at Game Used Universe (which, as you may have noticed, is a new Uni Watch sponsor, although that’s not why I’m writing this piece — the helmet is a great story, and the Helmet Hut folks are great people).
The auction runs through this Thursday, just in case you have an extra 30 grand burning a hole in your pocket. And even if you don’t end up bidding, you can check out these great Jim Brown pics here.
New ESPN column today — my annual college hoops season preview, and it’s a doozy, with coverage of over 50 teams. Major thanks to all of you who provided info. Here’s the link.
Raffle Reminder: Today’s the last day for the poster raffle. Details here.
What’s it worth to ya?: Remember last Wednesday’s discussion of the value of design? Scott Misner, whose comment a few days earlier prompted that discussion (but who did not participate in the Wednesday dialogue — he was busy with work-related stuff) has checked in with a lengthy essay in which he expands on his original comment and responds to some of the points made in Wednesday’s comments. Check it out here.
Mooooo!: Yesterday’s Brooklyn Beefsteak was a smashing, gut-busting success. Thanks to all the Uni Watch readers who said hello! I’ll post my photos tomorrow, so send me yours if you want them to be included.
Your productive day is now over: Dave Holz sent me a link to some absolutely stunning 1930s color photography from the Library of Congress. It’s not uni-related, but it’s flat-out the most compelling imagery I’ve seen in ages. Be warned — once you click on this link, you won’t get anything else accomplished all day. Enjoy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: In case you were under a rock for the past 72 hours, we now know what a bunch of the Nike
rivalry revelry riflery designs look like, including the full Ohio State uni, the Virginia Tech jersey, the TCU uni, most of the gloves, and probably a lot more stuff that I’ve missed. Oh, and each riflery school gets its own stupid-ass comic book slogan, and Nike helped prime the pump for today’s Virginia Tech uni unveiling by parking this unassuming little buggy on campus. Nicely done. … Now that’s a uniform, as worn by Jon Solomonson, circa 1973. The other kids’ helmets had only one stripe, but they had to find a smaller lid to fit Jon’s noggin, and it had three stripes. He says he later removed the extraneous striping so he could match his teammates. … Now that the Yanks have won their 27th title, Joe Girardi plans to change his uni number. … Best Twitter feed ever (thanks, Kirsten). … 11/11 isn’t just Veterans Day — it’s also “the date that most closely resembles corduroy,” at least according to these folks, who’ll be holding their annual Grand Meeting on Wednesday right down the avenue from my house. … Nice story about a Sidney Crosby jersey here (with thanks to Nate Budziszewski) …. Jay Danbom lives in Dickinson, North Dakota, where those college softball players recently drowned. He responded to the tragedy by designing a memorial ribbon (“Ashely Neufeld’s initials are in red because she was from Canada,” he explains), which was worn by his rec hockey team. … Bit of a poppy controversy in Old Blighty (with thanks to Mark Coale). … Okay, so this is pretty damn cool. Details here (with thanks to Braden Lerwill). … Check out the major helmet-stripe damage on Alphonso Carreker’s helmet, circa 1988. … Many college football refs wore blue sleeves on Saturday, for prostate cancer awareness. … There’s gotta be an easier way to represent your team on your goalie pads than this (with thanks to Laura Pond). … Bruce Menard was looking through an auction site and turned up a really nice 1911 Cubs jersey and an even nicer 1920s Cubs jacket. … This is a gown made of Arizona Cardinals jerseys. Lots of additional details here (with thanks to Chad Todd). … Interesting discussion on the Chris Creamer board: Someone pointed out that the far-right Lightning player in this photo isn’t wearing the the NHL collar logo. That prompted someone else to post that Robyn Regehr has never had the NHL logo on his collar since the league went to the Edge template. … The Japanese women’s volleyball team will be wearing new uniforms — including a very odd upside-down pouch design — at the Grand Champions Cup next week (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Super-cool collection of bicycle chain guards here (great find, Kirsten). … More excellent info on the nature of flannel fabrics here (with thanks to Dave Grob). … Double sock stripes! Additional creamsicle pics here. … New soccer kit for Argentina (with thanks to Tomas Abrate). … Torn helmet decal yesterday for DeAngelo Williams (screen shot courtesy of Corey Davis). … “Jesuit High School of Portland, Oregon, has a successful cross country team that has the athletes put a cross on their face,” reports Jeremy Brahm. … Sorry there’s so little NFL info in today’s entry. I was off the grid all day yesterday due to the beefsteak. Priorities, priorities…..