Your piece reminded me of an amazing part of my life that happened during my high school years and helped me figure out what to do when I got out in the real world. It had to do with my dad, who was deputy director of communications at CBS sports from late 1976 to mid-1978. … This was when CBS was in its heyday, just before overreaching corporate diversification and cable started to erode the stature of the place.
When dad had to be at the 57th st. broadcast center on game days during the NFL season, I would often drive down to pick him up, mainly as an excuse to get on-set in Studio 43 and see a little of the post-game show live. Even in those primitive days of live production, it was really thrilling to see it all work. I actually had a chance to wander around the set in those clips you featured.
At one point I had a chance to get an audience with [CBS art director] Lou Dorfsman in his office two floors from my dad’s office. For me, it was like meeting the president. Having seen so much of his work on-air and in print advertising, and knowing his contribution to CBS’s Black Rock HQ building, I must have sounded like Ralph Kramden on the $64,000 Question when showing him my high school portfolio. Believe it or not, he said the computer graphics were “a toy.” Never could figure out if he meant that or not.
One day Dad asked me to work up mechanicals for new letterheads for the sports division. Even though what he wanted was similar to the stadium banners at the time, I jumped at the chance. I’ve attached the sketches that he gave me and the final product. Still got ’em after all these years.
Having access to all this made it obvious to me that design for broadcast was a stimulating (if not harrowing) career path to take. So every time I see those old clips or hear voiceover announcer Don Robertson’s voice, it takes me back.
Very cool stuff. Paul later sent me scans of some other in-house design itmes used by the CBS Sports Dept., including a three-foot-long Christmas card! (Paul, did Seymour Chwast do those illustrations? Looks like his work.) You can see those scans here.
I’ll take Lyndon Johnson plus the points: There’s a brilliant web project currently underway — so brilliant that I’m completely jealous not to have thought of it myself. The short version: Barack Obama is our 44th President and we’re on the cusp of our 44th (or XLIVth) Super Bowl, a convergence that has never happened before and, unless Obama leaves office within the next year, will never happen again. Writer Don Steinberg has spun this numerical coincidence into pure gold. For details, check out this piece I wrote for Page 2 yesterday.
Last-Chance Membership Reminder: Scott Turner’s going to be busy for a bit with some traveling and other projects, which means the membership program will be taking a temporary hiatus beginning tomorrow. So if you’ve been meaning to sign up, the day to do it is today.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I said I couldn’t find a trailer for Logorama — the short animated film about branding — but James Huening found one. Look here. … Another follow-up from yesterday: I asked why John Tavares’s USA jersey had holes in the back, near the nameplate area. The answer comes from Ken Rosenblatt: “I read somewhere (still trying to track it down again) that the Team USA jersey procured for Tavares was taken from the wardrobe of the team mascot, Sparky the Dragon. So the two openings in the back? Those are for Sparky’s wings.” … The NFL is putting the squeeze on small merch retailers. … Here’s a weird one: Eric Belanger of the Hurricanes got his jersey snagged on the glass (with thanks to Matthew Bohman). … Chase Wagner sent along this shot of his grandfather’s TWA Airlines baseball team. Interesting to see how they had the zipper bisect the W like that. … Several contributions from Jeremy Brahm: First, the Japanese speed-skating suits will look like this (“Japanese speed skaters in the past had worn black as their main color, but the shift to gold is to focus on getting gold metals,” says Jeremy). Second, new soccer uniforms for the J-League teams the Kashima Antlers, Urawa Reds, and Tokyo Verdy. And third, NPB — that’s the Japanese equivalent of MLB — “has just announced today that instead of using four different manufacturers for their game balls, there will now only be one manufacturer. In the past, teams could choose whichever manufacturer they wanted — the balls were the same in size but may have had different feels to the ball. The contract will be awarded next month.” … Here’s a slideshow that documents 20 years’ worth of Milwaukee Bucks cheerleading uniforms (with thanks to Nicholas Honeck). … Several L.A. Kings players have begun wearing cut-resistant Kevlar undersocks beneath their hockey socks (with thanks to Matt Gamboa). … Greg Stamps reports that the Shoal Creek Saloon in Austin has a Saints helmet made out of a VW. … Anyone know the story behind the apparently backwards sweater in this 1942 Canadiens team portrait? (As found by Doug Stringham.) … Surprising to see that Academy of Art University, a D2 school in San Francisco, sends its women’s hoops team onto the court in mismatched jerseys and shorts. I dunno, maybe it’s an arty thing (as noted by Travis McGuire). … Here’s a good look at the actual patches — not the digital patch designs — that will be worn by several MLB teams this season (with thanks to Brad Bierman). … Throwbacks on tap in a few weeks for Penn State hoops (with thanks to Chris Flinn). … Speaking of college basketball throwbacks, you’ve gotta love the ones Indiana State wore last night. … Monday’s note about the weird end line at the Metrodome piqued the interest of Rob Leavell, who has a blog devoted to playing fields. You can see his investigation of the situation here. … Cycling news from our old pal Bryan Redemske, who writes: “Cadel Evans, the current world champion, changed teams for 2010. Formerly of Silence-Lotto, he’s now donning the rainbow stripes for BMC. Along with that switch is a whole new batch of sponsors, which means different gear. For the past couple of years, Evans has worn custom shoes made by Gaerne. But in the first stage of the Tour Down Under on Tuesday, he was wearing what appeared to be a pair of beat-up old Diadora shoes. Why the change? According to a BMC team official, most pro riders like to keep one ‘touchpoint’ when changing to new gear. Evans is breaking in new pedals currently, so he’s sticking with a familiar pair of shoes. When he’s cool with the pedals, he’ll get new shoes. Here’s betting they have something to do with rainbow stripes.”