By Phil Hecken, With Noel Basnight
A couple weeks ago, reader Noel Basnight (who posts as the pseudonymous “Leon”) noticed the recent reference to Super Bowl patches on the blog, and — as fate would have it — Leon attended Super Bowl XXIV. As fate would further have it, a patch from that Super Bowl was discussed on Uni Watch.
That sent Leon scrambling into the depths of his sock drawer, where he rediscovered a wonderful item from the bottom of that treasure trove. I’ll let him regale you with both the following album and and it’s accompanying story. Here’s that story:
It has been my good fortune to attend one Super Bowl, number XXIV (24) in New Orleans, where the 49ers and Broncos squared off. I didn’t have, and still don’t have, any rooting interest in either team, but I like football and what could be more compelling than a hard-fought, down-to-the–wire contest between the best the NFL had to offer? However, my story is not about that nail-biter, but about my introduction to Super Bowl schwag.
The recent UW item about Super Bowl patches (specifically the image of the album) reminded me of something that had been placed under every seat in the Superdome that Sunday twenty years ago. Inside that “Special Collector’s Edition” were 40 trading cards displayed in clear plastic pocketed pages. Naturally, most of them were of the players from both teams. There was also a Superdome action shot, an AFC card, and an NFC card, with the 1989 standings on the reverse.
Something that was new to me (I last collected cards circa 1963) were coaches cards (Broncos Coach Reeves and 49ers Coach Siefert). I can’t imagine Lombardi and Paul Brown had their own cards, but maybe I’m wrong. I was also curious about two rookies for the Broncos, Bobby Humphrey and Steve Atwater, who were shown in their college unis, Alabama and Arkansas, respectively.
I’m not a card guy, but this would seem to indicate the cards in this album weren’t hot off the press and may have been recycled from the previous season. The entire album can be viewed here.
While putting this entry together, I began to wonder about other Big Game giveaways. These are a common site at Fedex Field and before that at RFK. Was GTE (or whatever it’s called now) the only sponsor of this stuff or had others done it, as well? Diving into the popular reference work, E-Bay, I found some answers.
It appears seat cushions are the most popular premiums, as I found 13 various Roman-Numeraled years available. The oldest was from Super Bowl XIX. This doesn’t seem like the first time there would have been a giveaway, but it’s the earliest I could unearth.
Hopefully, these were not given out this year in lieu of cushions. Its availablity mere days after the game are a measure of it’s worth. I know the economy’s bad, but c’mon Bridgestone. Just two years ago, you presented the ticket buyers these pleather beauties. (Wonder if Andy Rooney still has his)? A gallery of my findings can be found here.
By the way, I didn’t discover any other years where trading card albums were the schwag of choice, but my search is admittedly incomplete and I’m hoping others can fill in some of the blanks.
Returning to 1990, I would be remiss if I didn’t include an image or two that I snapped at the event. Of course, the people who are in attendance are a story unto themselves: I never saw the recently deceased Denver Broncos Barrel Man, but did run into this duo. Oh yeah, couldn’t leave town without going “under the helmets.”
Well, thank you Leon, for that great little story and for keeping all those cards and that album to this day (after all, they’re older than some of our readers — seems like yesterday, tho). Any of you guys and gals collect Super Bowl memorabelia or other swag? Let’s hear it!
From The Squiddie Files: After a smashing return last weekend, Lance Smith (“Squiddie”) checks back in with this fantastic look at the bobsleigh from the 1956 Winter Olympics:
The 1956 Olympics were held in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomite Mountains of Northern Italy. Being on home ground, the Italians dominated the bobsled (or bobsleigh) events taking gold and silver in the two-man and silver in the four-man. The current track at Cortina d’Ampezzo is named after Eugenio Monti who piloted both the two-man and four-man silver medal winners.
Let’s take a look at some photos:
Looking like they’re straight out of central casting, The British team arrives in a clapped out Bentley
Clifford Schellenberg and John Rainforth model helmets with visors more often associated with motor sports of the time.
One of the Swedish sleds with minimal fairing and a steering wheel. Leather helmets were looking dated by 1956.
This Norwegian sled looks like it was designed by a Swedish automotive engineer.
Waightman Washbond and Piet Biesiadecki in USA 1 with football like headgear. Arthur Tyler & Edgar Seymour in the second US sled wearing slightly different helmets. In this (reversed!) shot for Life, the helmets are slightly different than the mixture worn on in the event.
The Swiss I sled took bronze. Max Angst (yes, that’s the pilot’s name) looks like he got his equipment from a World War I flying ace.
Specialized footware not always required. Chucks (or the European equivalent) will do.
The Polish team went with leather jackets and light goggles/helmets. Nice socks on the brakeman.
Andre Robin and Lucien Grosso wearing horizontal tricolore striped sweaters in France I.
Thanks for that awesome look-back, Lance. Since the bobsleigh events are being held in Vancouver this weekend, this was an extra special treat!
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Bit of a departure from the “normal” major sports (or even hockey) scoreboard today — and in a way, it’s extremely timely. Enough of a hint? I think so. Guess The Game From The Scoreboard. It’s definitely possible to find a link for this, so please do so. Date, location and final score, please, and be sure to link to your answer. And, as always, if you enjoy the game, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!
Back again with more Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Taking a look at all sports from here on out, so, if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
One of our ‘multi-tweakers,’ James Comfort, is back with a new batch today, concepting the Jags, Broncos, Eagles & Cards:
For my next trick, I will make the Jaguars… reappear. Their uni change left them with very little character, so step one was inserting some gold back into the mix. After that I updated their classic look to a far more new school set. Home. Road. Alternate.
In keeping with the birds, I decided the Cardinals needed to gas up the Delorean and find some uni’s a bit more old school. I love their matte finish red, and with a design like this they’d really look terrific. Home. Road.
Next up is Shane Milberger, who also has some NFL tweaks for the Bills, Browns, Steelers and Broncos:
Hello, I have four tweaks for four different teams. Here they are:
Bills: I thought the Bills’ uni wasn’t particularly ugly, and took away a few things that had made the uniform ugly in the first place.
Browns: The Browns have a classic uniform, but they do need a few tweaks, so I changed the lettering, the pants, and made it a bit more modern than it is now.
Steelers: I didn’t bother messing with the home uniform since it was perfect, but I did change the away pants to black and has a gold stripe, and added an alternate all gold jersey.
Broncos: These Broncos uniform was the most drastic change, I changed the home uniform to orange, changed the away uniform, gave it blue pants w/ orange stripe and made an alternate with blue jerseys and orange pants.
Hope you like it, Thanks!
Moving along, we find “a different sort of tweak” from Caleb Borchers:
This isn’t so much a tweak (unless a team gets moved to Tokyo), but after playing a little Super Mario Brothers Wii, I just couldn’t help myself. The face mask mustache is totally unlikely, but still fun. And of course, brown cleats.
That will conclude today’s Uni Tweaks — you may have noticed they’re all NFL today — still have a few more of those, but tomorrow, we’ll begin phase one of the NFL “Design-A-Uni” Contest, so we’ll take a break from the NFL in the “tweak section” until we’re through with the contest. Keep your uni designs coming! You know where to send them.
fashion uniform critic, the ubiquitously sinuous closet ice dancing affectionado, Jim Vilk, has graciously compiled a cornucopia of figure skating fashion wins and faux-pas’ for our viewing pleasure. Today, Jim shares with us not one, but TWO editions of his ever-popular “5 & 1.”
PAIRS SHORT PROGRAM:
5. Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig, USA: Bright, tasteful, restrained…everything you expect from America…isn’t it?
4. Nicole Della Monica/Yannick Kocon, Italy: Very nice. You’ll see them again.
Bronze: Ekaterina Kostenko/Roman Talan, Ukraine: Wouldn’t want the Arizona Cardinals to adopt this look, but it works here.
Silver: Annabelle Langlois/Cody Hay, Canada: Love that color.
Gold: Maria Sergejeva/Ilja Glebov, Estonia: Very bright, very fun.
And “Don’t come near my podium wearing that”: Tatiana Volosozhar/Stanislav Morozov, Ukraine: They looked more like speed skaters than figure skaters.
FREE SKATE PROGRAM:
5. Maylin Hausch/Daniel Wende, Germany: Figure skaters aren’t tough? Say that to him and he’ll go all gladiator on you.
4. Vanessa James/Yannick Bonheur, France: These outfits just seemed to say “Winter.”
Bronze: Maria Sergejeva/Ilja Glebov, Estonia: 19th out of 20 on the ice, but they nailed the wardrobe part twice.
Silver: Annabelle Langlois/Cody Hay, Canada: No host-country favoritism here — they earned both of my silvers.
Gold: Nicole Della Monica/Yannick Kocon, Italy: Very, VERY nice…even with the rhinestones on Yannick’s pants.
And “Don’t come near my podium wearing that”: Anais Morand/Antoine Dorsaz, Switzerland: Norway’s curling pants I like — these outfits, on the other hand, were a bit too much.
Thanks there Jim. But you still didn’t answer the question that must be on everyone’s lips — how many of those outfits would you wear?
You may have noticed, as several readers did, that there was no “Benchies” last weekend. Well, unfortunately, there was a rather sad reason why that was, as Rick let me know early Monday morning. Rick explains:
My cousin Ron grew up in San Diego, but came to Minnesota for college and stayed. During our childhood, his family drove back here every summer so, me being an only child, he was the closest thing I ever had to a little brother. In 1976, we were watching the White Sox and their new tails-out unis. He said, “They look like a dispirited softball team.” And I thought, “That’s a pretty good premise for a comic strip.” When I finally got to noodling with it, I picked “Bub’s Pub” because when Ron was little everyone called him “Bub” or “Bubber.” Last Saturday night, Ron collapsed at his home and died in the ER. He was 61. So, thanks for the inspiration, “Bub”, and RIP.
Thanks Ricko, and please accept everyone’s heartfelt condolences on your loss. “Bub” sounded like a wonderful gentleman. Rest in peace.
And on that note, here’s Today’s Benchies.
OK, folks, let’s put this one in the books. Enjoy the Olympics and whatever other sports you may find on your schedule today. Tomorrow I’ll have the first batch (35 out of 69) of the NFL “Design-a-Uniform” contest entries, so it’s going to be a big day.
Everyone have a great Saturday. Peace.