The great thing about being the best player on a top-ranked team is that Nike is always making a fuss over you, coming up with new designs for your team, and so on. Sometimes they’ll ask you to be part of a photo shoot for a new uni design. And sometimes they’ll even spell the name of your school correctly.
But not yesterday.
(And no, that’s not a Photoshop job — it went out over John Calipari’s Twitter feed yesterday.)
New ESPN column today — look here.
Giveaway reminder: I’m currently in the process of giving away 10 game-used NFL footballs. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: If I had a list of sports figures whose shirtless torsos I’d least like to see, Rex Ryan would rank fairly high. If you agree, don’t look here. Okay, I know you looked, so you may as well look at this video analysis too. … Latest college hoops teams to get new uniforms with sublimated designs on the back: UConn and Syracuse (video coverage here). Both uniforms made their on-court debuts last night, as the two teams played each other. … The bathroom signage at the Cavs’ arena shows the familiar little figures holding a basketball (great find by Jason Hillyer). … Here, finally, is our first look at the Devils’ throwbacks (with thanks to Matt Harris). … Weird item here: Alex Ramirez of the Yomiuri Giants tried kendo (that’s Japanese stick fighting) while wearing his giants uni (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Always interesting to see Lou Brock as a Cub, Satch as a Brave, Joe Morgan as a Phillie, Roger Maris as an A, Glenn Hall reading fan mail, or Andy Messersmith playing with a yo-yo. Those images come from a great collection of MLB, NFL, and NBA slides and negatives, all being sold by this guy (good find by Trevor Williams). … Good article about the Olympic hockey jerseys (with thanks to Jerry Duke). … Stephen Wongnotes that those pinhole dots on Nike’s new college hoops uniforms are also showing up on World Cup soccer designs. And speaking of the World Cup, here’s England’s road kit, along with their goalie design. … New masks for Marc-Andre Fleury, Craig Anderson, and Christobal Huet (that’s Tony Esposito depicted on one side of his mask and Murray Bannerman on the other). … Bradley did the blackout thing on Tuesday, wearing black at home and forcing Illinois State to wear white on the road (with thanks to Joel Hackler). … The Orix Buffaloes have been doing that thing where they hang the deceased player’s jersey in the dugout. In this case, the deceased player committed suicide, so it’s extra-poignant (as noted by Jeremy Brahm). … “Puma has been sponsoring many of the African national soccer teams leading up to the World Cup,” writes Justin Funderburk. “In one campaign, they’ve developed a ‘Unity Kit’ for the national teams of Angola, Ghana, and Cameroon to wear during a practice together. The only problem with this kit is that it looks like shit, literally.” I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but I do recommend watching this video to get the full effect. … New logo for Central Arkansas (with thanks to Chris Buttgen). … “I don’t know what scarier,” says Mike Hersh, “this catalog‘s title or the images.” … There’s a really good thread on the Chris Creamer board right now about 1990s NFL prototypes. Among the highlights (some of which I’d seen before, but it’s still nice to see this all in one place): (1) If the St. Louis Stallions had come into existence in 1995, their proposed uniform would have looked like this. (2) Similarly, the Baltimore Bombers would have looked like this (yes, the guy who took those photos could really use some art-direction, but he owns what may be the only Bombers prototype in existence, so we’ll cut him some slack). (3) We all know the Jags were originally going to go with the leaping jaguar concept until a certain car company threatened legal action. What you might not know — although I guess it isn’t so surprising — is that they made caps based on that design. … Did you know there was such a thing as Wiffle Ball trading cards? I didn’t, until I saw this. … Here are the masks and backplates for USA Olympic goalies Jonathan Quick and Tim Thomas (with thanks to Tyler Hull).