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In Which I Stare Way Too Hard at Lots of Men's Legs

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Way back in April, I asked readers who wear pajama-style baseball pants to tell me why they go low-cuffed. The responses were extremely informative, and I’ll finally be making use of them next week, when I’ll have an ESPN column about the evolution of baseball pants.

But here’s a question I have: Back around the early to mid-1990s, I started seeing — or at least I thought was seeing — players wearing shin guards under their long pant legs. I’m not talking about catcher’s shin guards, natch, or even the shin protectors worn by some hitters at the plate. I’m talking about something more like these.

It seemed to me that many players — mostly pitchers but also some infielders — were wearing these types of shin guards under their pants. Look at Scott Erickson’s left leg in the photo shown above, for example. And look at both of Michael Tucker’s legs, Bobby Jones’s left leg, Robin Ventura’s left leg, Luis Lopez’s right leg, or John Franco’s left leg (sorry for all the Mets examples, but that’s the team I’m most familiar with).

I’ve always thought this was an overlooked but important reason for the move toward long pants. If you’re gonna wear a shin guard — and I can certainly see why a player would want to wear one — you’d want your pant leg covering it, right? (Yes, soccer players just cover their shin guards with their socks, but that would look really bad on a ballplayer).

But lately I’ve been wondering if I was wrong about all that. For one thing, none of the people who responded to my initial “Why do you go low-cuffed?” survey mentioned anything about shin guards. For another, I feel like I don’t see the outlines of the shin guards so much nowadays, and I’m beginning to question whether that’s what I was actually seeing back in the 1990s.

So: Have any of you low-cuffers ever worn shin guards under your pant legs? Do you know of any ballplayers who’ve done so? Or am I just way off the mark here? Please fill me in. Thanks.

Last call for Wilco tix: Today’s the final day to enter the giveaway for the two pairs of Wilco tickets. Details here.

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

Here’s our latest selection of eBay items:

• Remember the Cleveland Barons? Sender-inner Andrew Mocella does. He also found a great batch of Expos merch.

• I hope this beer stein wasn’t supposed to resemble Jim Bunning.

• Never liked the big plain white cap look!

• On the other hand, I always liked this Niners logo.

• Johnny Bench used to have two restaurants: Home Stretch in Northern Kentucky, and Home Plate (which I ate at) north of Cincinnati.

• If you’ve ever wanted a big old box full o’ stuff, here it is. I see a World Football League sticker in there.

• Speaking of the WFL, I always liked the name “The Hawaiians.”

• Remember when the Cowboys had their double-star rollout (on a Thanksgiving, I think). A pal at Apex sent me one of these.

• From Ryan Connelly: a set of game-used Pirates bumblebee pants!

• From Eric Cernech: a nice assortment of big MLB signs.

• Finally, this Mr. Met tee screams, “Lukas.” [Or it would if I were about 50 pounds heavier. — PL]

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I linked to this Buffalo Braves card, which prompted Matt Beahan to send along a much better view of the jersey in question. “That was a one-year design, used for the inaugural season,” he says. “The home jerseys had a similar script that said, ‘Braves.’ I’ve only ever seen half a dozen pictures of these unis, most not in color. For the 1971-72 season, the Braves changed logos, colors (to black, burnt orange, and white) and unis, switching to the awesome set with the diagonal stripes.” What this discussion really shows is how desperately we need a decent NBA uni resource. … While looking for something else, I found a 2008 photo of Pedro Martinez wearing those annoying Phiten-branded socks. … Kevin Hastings has found what may be the most subtle logo creep ever in Umbro’s new kit design for the EPL team Sunderland. Look at the second photo, with the close-up on the crest — looks like little Umbro logos on the border between the stripes, no? … Just in case you’re already looking ahead to the 2014 World Cup, here’s its logo. … An Arkansas high school is getting the smackdown for poaching the Florida Gators logo (with thanks to Allen Pointer). … The WNBA has released its list of top-selling jerseys. “It’s notable that the top three jerseys and the top two teams in apparel sales feature logos of corporate sponsors,” says Kevin Brown. “Since the corporate sponsorship appears to have had no negative impact on sales, I suspect the NBA and other larger leagues will view this as one less argument against sponsorship in higher-profile sports.” Yeah, except that the top “top-selling” WNBA jersey only moved about 17 units. … Not as good as “A-Rod Goes Deep; Wang Hurt,” but reasonably close (with thanks to Terry Duroncelet). … Now there’s a good NOB (with thanks to Jake Hannah). … Jerry Wolper found an old 1982 article about a guy who devised a new football uni-numbering system. … Saw Phosphorescent last night, and I strongly recommend that you do the same if you get the chance. … I’ve been a fan of Rob Ullman‘s tremendous sports-themed pin-up illustrations for years now but have never met him. That will change this evening, when he comes over to Uni Watch HQ for a small dinner party being thrown in his honor. Welcome to town, Rob — see you tonight.

 

114 comments to In Which I Stare Way Too Hard at Lots of Men’s Legs

  • Mike Wissman | July 9, 2010 at 8:23 am |

    I’m sure I’m the last one to find this, but figured I’d post it anyway. At the 11 second mark on this video, sure looks like the kid’s wearin’ a Dallas Cowboys ‘varsity’ jacket(minus the sleeves) that Sears used to have in their Wishbooks. I had the Eagles jacket–kelly green base with silver sleeves. The sleeves tended to crack and my dad patched them with duct tape after a while. Anyone ever see those old jackets on ebay??

    • Ricardo Leonor | July 9, 2010 at 9:52 am |

      When I was kid I had Giants one of these. It was blue with red sleeves…and yes the “leather” sleeves used to crack after a while….

      What was more popular, at least where I grew up, was the NFL winter coats. They were the team color, had the team name on the back and had a hood which you could zipper open and would lay on the back of the coat….

    • marc | July 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm |

      I had the Cowboys jackets back around ’77 or ’78 and I recall very clearly the sleeves cracking. Clearly the finest pleather Sears could find.

  • Mike Wissman | July 9, 2010 at 8:24 am |

    Be nice if I added the link…. http://www.youtube.c...

  • Dan King | July 9, 2010 at 8:25 am |

    Paul, the other thing with shin guards is that they’ve gotten a lot thinner over the years. I used to wear the huge ones and when I switched over you could barely tell I was wearing them, so that might be why its not as noticable

  • Jeremy Brahm | July 9, 2010 at 8:42 am |

    Logo has been release for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    http://www.fifa.com/...

    • RS Rogers | July 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |

      I know this makes me a terrible person, but all I can think of when I see that logo is that Brazil has made it to second base.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 9:25 am |

      Either that or some kind of green Wink Martindale wig.

      —Ricko

    • Dane | July 9, 2010 at 11:37 am |

      It looks like a guy is covering his face in shame for his bad combover.

      • marc | July 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm |

        Or the world is still covering it’s ears four years later from the vuvuzelas.

  • JB Early | July 9, 2010 at 8:44 am |

    Lawyering up to nail a HS is TBS. It’s a High School! in ARKANSAS. Most of the US can’t even spell Arkansas, much less buy some HS merch. Gators need to lighten up.

    OH yeah those Blue Jay caps w/the white front with no logo? the worst. Maybe slap a Gators logo on it?

    • Chance Michaels | July 9, 2010 at 10:50 am |

      I cannot agree.

      The University of Florida may be legally required to oppose all infringements, lest they lose their control altogether.

      Besides, theft is theft. It’s as simple as that. Doesn’t matter who’s doing the stealing.

      • mtjaws | July 9, 2010 at 11:44 am |

        That makes me wonder if they’ll go after Palm Beach Gardens and Glades Day (also here) high schools here in Florida.

        While I like the Gators and their logo, I think high schools should show some creativity and create their own logo. Changing colors just isn’t enough.

        While looking up these school names, I found this site that has so many logos, and you can see how many have been “borrowed” from pro/college teams.

        http://www.preplogos...

        • Ricardo Leonor | July 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm |

          I am not a lawyer ( and dont play one on TV ), but at what point does something become copyright infringement? Let say their is a High School in upstate New York with the mascots being the Giants, would having GIANTS on their helmets be illegal…

          Some school in Montana with a blue Star on a Silver Helmet…is that ok?

          Some little league team called the orioles, cardinals, blue jays etc.?

          Seriously…does Florida State really care that a school in the sticks always draws a pic of a gator!!!!!!

  • brad northstar | July 9, 2010 at 8:57 am |

    “Finally, this Mr. Met tee screams, “Lukas.” [Or it would if I were about 50 pounds heavier. — PL]”

    From the listing – Also Available M, L, XXL ($1.50 for XXL)

    • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm |

      so there’s still nothing in his size …

  • Jeremy | July 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |

    Kevin Hastings has found what may be the most subtle logo creep ever in Umbro’s new kit design for the EPL team Sunderland. Look at the second photo, with the close-up on the crest — looks like little Umbro logos on the border between the stripes, no?

    West Bromwich Albion’s (Eric Clapton’s favorite club, fwiw) new kit has the same striped pattern- referred to as “zig-zag detailing” http://www.footballs...

    • S. Bennett | July 9, 2010 at 10:07 am |

      Nike, Umbro’s parent company, is doing something kinda similar on its striped kits:

      http://farm5.static....

      ADIDAS did it too! It appears pretty subtle, but it was the first thing I saw – from across the room, no less- when I saw the argentina kit in person.

      http://www.soccer.co...

      The materials – or at least textures- are different in the whites vs the blue stripes and looks sewn together. But it’s not.

      The big problem is, how the hell do you do something original and convince people to spend $100 USD every year or two when the club in question wears stripes and you can’t do anything but minimal changes to the shirt? The striped Juventus shirt from the Kappa years looks a hell of a lot like the Juve shirt from the Nike years. With hundreds of millions of dollars floating on sponsorship deals and sales, that’s where a lot of these little “innovations” come in.

      SB

      • Kevin Hastings | July 9, 2010 at 11:25 am |

        Yeah, now that I think about it, the Umbro stitching probably has more to do with their “tailored by” campaign and less about logo creep. http://blog.umbro.co... Though the diamond shaped stitches might be a happy coincidence.

        Either way, Umbro’s making the best football shirts in the world these days…

        http://www.flickr.co...

        I think the jagged Nike stripes are down to an attempt at a mild 90’s lightning bolt revival. Yeah, I just used “90’s” and “revival” in the same sentence, we’re all getting old!

        http://www.oldfootba...

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 11:08 am |

      Clapton’s a Baggies fan? I figured he was kinda cool.

      Love that jersey…except for that logo. It just ruins it. I’d rather wear one from the ’02/’03 season:
      http://www.oldfootba...

      Of course, a sponsorless one would be even better:
      http://www1.pictures...

      • Jeremy | July 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |

        He’s wearing a West Brom scarf on his “Backless” album- although it just looks like “THE” and some adidas stripes to me. http://media.musicto...

        • Kevin Hastings | July 9, 2010 at 11:45 am |

          “The” is probably followed by “Baggies” or “Albion”

      • Mike Edgerly | July 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm |

        Wasn’t George Harrison a Baggies fan too? Or was that just because of E.C?

        • Jeremy | July 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm |

          not sure about that- I do know that Robert Plant is major supporter (he may even be minority owner or on the board of directors) of West Brom’s chief rival Wolverhampton (Wolves).

        • Mike Edgerly | July 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm |

          I believe I read in Pattie Boyd’s book (yes I read a chick book) that at one point in their marriage it was hard to break George away from watching West Bromwich Albion matches. I’ll go look it up.

  • JamesP. | July 9, 2010 at 9:09 am |

    Paul, Nick Swisher looked to have been adjusting shin guards while on base.

  • Danya | July 9, 2010 at 9:24 am |

    I’m sorry if I sound like a sanctimonious ass, but I don’t see what the point of making fun of the WNBA is. This blog reports on sports that are many orders of magnitude less popular than the WNBA and I don’t see snide putdowns of them. The WNBA is not very popular as far as pro sports go. Obviously I know that, and I don’t follow it at all myself. But when I see it made fun of as if it was the XFL, as if it is laughable and has no reason for being, it makes me uncomfortable. It’s not a gimmick, and it’s not extraneous; it’s the only professional basketball league for women in this country. I think that’s pretty important, and if it doesn’t necessarily deserve our attention, I think it at least deserves our respect.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 9:47 am |

      Got to agree with Danya. The WNBA has never claimed to be the equal of any other league. It exists solely to be what it is, women’s professional basketball. In the grand scheme of things, specifically where does it rank? Who knows.

      What we CAN say is that on the professional level there are the big four, and then everyone else all kind of jumbles together: soccer, lacrosse, women’s softball, etc., etc. Each has its loyal audience, but none clearly has a following and interest base so much larger that anyone could point to it and say, “Ah, they’re the best–and others the worst–of the second tier.”

      Personally, I think D-League basketball (which someone actually has deemed worthy of cable airing) is a huge waste of time compared to the WNBA. For better or worse, at least the WNBA can claim to have the best of the best when it comes to players.

      Now, if we’re taking the WNBA to task for slamming a “LoveLock” (whatever) logo across the chest of a uni, then, yeah, the league deserves some shit.

      —Ricko

    • James Craven | July 9, 2010 at 11:47 am |

      Damn it Ricko it’s “LifeLock” not “LoveLock” (as in Phoenix LifeLocks). To Ricko, LoveLock is a chasity device! And don’t forget the Seattle Bings take on the LA Farmers Insurance Groups sometime this season.

    • Lee | July 9, 2010 at 11:55 am |

      I couldn’t agree more Danya. The snide comment wasn’t necessary.

      Lee

      • Robert Eden | July 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm |

        C’mon, lighten up.

    • Andy11 | July 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm |

      The LFL is the only professional lingerie football league for women, but I don’t think that’s important, nor do I respect it.
      Sorry, but I guess I need a better reason to respect and/or see the importance of the WNBA…

      • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm |

        For one thing, Andy11, the WNBA is based on the game, not on what the players wear.

        I’m not sure MLL is important, either. Or any of those second-tier leagues. But that’s not the issue, is it. They exist. But not to please me. Everything that exists doesn’t need to relate to me. They can exist for the fans who seem to love them. For that I should put them down? Suggest that because they aren’t as popular as the NFL they’re irrelevant jokes? If it’s meaningless to me it’s automatically stupid and worthless?

        Unless, of course, you’re contending that women’s basketball is a gimmick, like midget wrestling or something. If that’s the case, then you probably should check out how much attention NCAA women’s basketball receives.

        —Ricko

        • interlockingtc | July 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm |

          I went to an WNBA game a couple of weeks ago.

          The uniforms are terrible (“Bing”?) with those the templates (ick) and colors and nicknames based on their NBA masters. The lingering corporate shadow of the NBA is present, no doubt.

          But I’ve got to tell you–and this comes from a one-time NBA, ABA pro basketball geek of the world–the game, the atmosphere, the general sense of fun and honest competition…blows the NBA away. I’m serious. When I watch an NBA game (which is never, anymore, admittedly) it feels like punishment, like a trial to get through. It all feels so pointless. Egos run amok. It’s just no fun anymore.

          At the WNBA game there were kids and families at the arena, the dance team was comprised of kids, fans (kids, mostly) got to run out onto the court during a break in the action and do some funny kind of conga dance. It was funny. It was fun. It didn’t feel like penance to be there.

          But the fans were into the game, too, they booed the refs, the competition was intense, some of the players are really good (Lauren Jackson).

          Is it compelling enough for me to follow? No. Will it ever compete with the NBA? No. Could it survive on its own, without the NBA financing it? No……

          …but at least, independent of the NBA, they would have some leeway in designing their own uniforms (for better or worse).

  • Mark K | July 9, 2010 at 9:58 am |

    On si.com why is there a black rectangle on the Heat jersey?

    • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 11:43 am |

      Hole left from where they removed his heart, perhaps?

  • Paul Lukas | July 9, 2010 at 10:09 am |

    Personally, I think D-League basketball (which someone actually has deemed worthy of cable airing) is a huge waste of time compared to the WNBA.

    Agreed. Which is why I almost never mention the D-League and sometimes poke fun at it.

    I almost never mentioned arena football except to poke fun at them (until the league, uh, folded).

    I’ve stopped reporting “news” on the UFL altogether, because it’s just too ridiculous.

    But I’ll say this much for the UFL and the Arena league: At least they are/were independent organizations trying to carve out a niche. It would be a lot easier to take the WNBA seriously if it were an independent operation too, instead of being subsidized/carried by the NBA. Would the WNBA even exist (from a position of financial viability, I mean) if not for its corporate parent? Doubt it.

    • RS Rogers | July 9, 2010 at 10:44 am |

      But the same could be said of most of the MLS franchises for much of that league’s history. Anyway, what does the underlying corporate structure of the league have to do with the aesthetics of the unis & logos?

      I don’t like basketball as a sport, and I like the pro game least of all, and I’ve only ever seen about five basketball unis I didn’t hate, and most of the WNBA team identities feel like gimmicky retreads of their NBA equivalents to me. But on game nights here in Washington, I see a lot of little girls and a lot of dads heading to the game, and I’ve gotta say that of all the things in the world I would ever consider spitting on, that’s comes very close the last on the list.

      (Though the last couple of seasons, I’ve seen lots of obvious father/daughter groups going to Caps games as well, for what it’s worth.)

      I know it’s not the case with Paul, but most of the derision of the WNBA expressed by male sports fans is based almost entirely on the fact that the athletes are women. So even the rare case where WNBA derision is not based on pure, chauvinist sexism, that’s company I’d rather not keep, you know?

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 10:46 am |

      Other side of the coin…

      As the father of daughters now 35 and 23, I know that the expansion of women’s athletics (and the coverage thereof) has been hugely positive in the lives of young American women, overall, in the past three-plus decades. The younger of the two just loved Rebecca Lobo and the NY Liberty, and still goes to Lynx games whenever she can.

      And, yes, we all know the the NBA is underwriting the WNBA for self-promoting reasons, to broaden the fan base for the game of basketball. But it’s also doing some good, and we should at least give them credit for not just pulling the plug on that money pit of a league. They sure as hell aren’t making very much (if any) dough on it.

      Also tough not to see some similarities to the history of college and pro football. Far. far more public interest in the college game, and the NFL was the afterthought. The WNBA just hasn’t yet found it’s Red Grange yet, I guess. Or had it’s equivalent of the Sudden Death GGEP. Maybe it never will. But it deserves to exist, even if people poke fun at it. The NFL was still being dumped on (even degraded for “tainting” the game by being “professionals”) consistently for decades, even as late as after WWII.

      Things change. Honestly, who thirty years ago saw the emergence and popularity of the X Games coming? Snowboarding as an Olympic event? Who (other than snowboarders) would have predicted that in 1980?

      —Ricko

      • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 11:32 am |

        You made a subtle point there that I think may have been too subtle, Ricko. The NBA CAN’T win with the WNBA.

        If the NBA supports it for the good of women’s sports and it loses money year after year, David Stern is a fool for trying to support a losing cause and should be heckled.

        If they support it, find their Red Grange, popularity takes off and makes millionaire female athletes, then David Stern is a greedy bastard for making women’s basketball corporate.

    • StLMarty | July 9, 2010 at 11:30 am |

      I’ve always felt that the WNBA should shake off the NBA and move to smaller markets. I think smaller cities/towns would be more supportive.

      • Bernard | July 9, 2010 at 11:35 am |

        I’m not sure how they could be LESS supportive.

        http://en.wikipedia....

        • JTH | July 9, 2010 at 11:45 am |

          It really surprises me that they haven’t gotten a franchise going somewhere in Tennessee.

        • StLMarty | July 9, 2010 at 11:56 am |

          Or Springfield, MO.

        • ab | July 10, 2010 at 3:04 am |

          The team with the poorest attendance out of all of them is the Chicago Sky, the only WNBA team in an NBA city that is not supported at all by the NBA team.

          And to add insult to injury, they moved from the 6000-seat UIC Pavilion to the twice-as-big Allstate Arena. If those are the true 2010 attendance figures (so far), it looks like the move hasn’t affected the attendance in any way.

    • Kevin Brown | July 10, 2010 at 1:15 am |

      You know, Paul, I sent along that list of top selling WNBA jerseys (knowing that you have some kind of issue with the league) because it relates to something I know you are concerned about, the inevitable addition of corporate logos to uniforms in the larger sports leagues. I expected a gratuitous swipe at the W, because that’s the knee jerk reaction of nearly every male associated with ESPN. It’s just part of the corporate culture there.

      I like the WNBA. I’m not fond of the jersey logos, but they’re a minor distraction at worst.

      I don’t understand what difference it makes whether it’s an “independent operation” or not. That’s like saying you can’t take MLB seriously because they have an anti-trust exemption.

  • Jeremy | July 9, 2010 at 10:11 am |

    From the comments at JeffPearlman.com

    “The text of Dan Gilbert’s letter is already fantastic, but the fact that it was originally done in Comic Sans just pushes it over the top.”
    http://www.nba.com/c...

    • JTH | July 9, 2010 at 10:28 am |

      I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE

      To quote another Ohioan, albeit a fictitious one: “Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will.”

      • James Craven | July 9, 2010 at 11:48 am |

        Hey, if you look up “narcissictic” in the dictonary, there’s a photo of Dan Gilbert as an illustration!

      • Chance Michaels | July 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm |

        Nope, not even this tantrum can eclipse LeBron’s wading in Narcissus’s Pool.

        • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm |

          More water to walk on around South Florida, too.

          —Ricko

  • Matthew Robins | July 9, 2010 at 10:37 am |

    Colorado State trying to at “Winning Ugly” this season: http://www.csurams.c...

    • teenchy | July 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm |

      Oh, that’s horrible! I’ve always liked CSU’s color scheme and that just does not work.

  • John English | July 9, 2010 at 11:16 am |

    The high school logo in question?

    http://tworivers.k12...

    • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 11:49 am |

      Green open mouth gator facing to the right.

      That’s where the similarities end. I’ve seen copyright infringement, and you, sir, (in my non-law-trained opinion) are no copyright infringement!

      • JTH | July 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm |

        I think that’s an updated logo.

        The article said the district was moving ahead and implementing the change and that they were notified back in May.

        It’s tough to see, but go to the Two Rivers homepage and look at the favicon. Looks very similar to the Florida Gators logo to me.

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 11:57 am |

      I’m still amazed that anyone thinks high schools (and small colleges) appropriating logos, and sometimes customizing them a bit, from pro teams is big news.

      There are no “Ah-HA!” self-congratulatory moments of discovery anywhere in any of it.

      Certain entities suddenly deciding to get pissy about it is news, yes, largely for the same reason: “You just discovered this kind of thing? Hello, where’ve you been?”

      —Ricko

      • Chance Michaels | July 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm |

        So teams should just ignore the theft when they find it, just because this isn’t “big news”?

        Shoplifting isn’t exactly cutting-edge, either. But you stop the criminals where you find them.

    • Andy | July 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

      I kind of doubt it. My guess is they are using a appropriated Albert Gator as their main athletic logo, because that, in no way, can be justified to be infringing on the University of Florida’s athletic mark.

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 11:22 am |

    Ricko said:

    The WNBA just hasn’t yet found it’s Red Grange yet

    ~~~

    there is just so much to love about that statement, on like six (even if unintentional) levels

    COTD nominee for sure

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 11:49 am |

      (no choice but to do this, sorry, everyone)

      Hey, Phil, my email provider has been skitzy the past few days.
      Did you get e-mails from me in the past 24 hours or so?

      —Ricko

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm |

        yes rick…got it — you didn’t get my reply i guess

        thanks sir

    • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm |

      ‘Tis true, you know.

      NFL had Grange.
      AFL had Broadway Joe.
      NBA had George Mikan.
      ABA had Dr. J.
      WHA had The Great One.

      They all eventually found someone people wanted to see, needed to see.

      Soccer, lacrosse, women’s hoops and others, not yet, not so far.
      And the new leagues that have come and gone never did, either.

      USFL tried, and had some great candidates, but didn’t stay in the spring long enough to ever learn who it might have been.

      Beckham? Nah, he’s a import, a hired gun.

      —Ricko

      • Ken | July 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

        I don’t think The Great One did muchfor the WHA. He came into that league when it was on the way out. Wayne only played 1 season before the legue folded. Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe were more “the Grange” for the WHA.

      • marc | July 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm |

        Non-soccer fan, here. The closest soccer seems to have gotten lately is Alexei Lalas. I say that not because he was good (I don’t even know that for sure) but because he is the only male American soccer player I’ve heard of in recent years.

        • Andy | July 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm |

          Lalas was a defender, scoring 9 goals in his international career.

          Landon Donovan is the king of American soccer. If you haven’t heard of him, provided you like sports, you’ve been living under a rock for the past 8 years. He is the all-time leading scorer as well as the all-time assists leader in U.S. International soccer history.

  • Schmeltzer | July 9, 2010 at 11:29 am |

    I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to read uni-watch in a couple weeks, but I came across this today and couldn’t resist sharing this hilarious photo which includes an apostrophe catastrophe.

    http://ffffound.com/...

    • mtjaws | July 9, 2010 at 11:49 am |

      pretty much NSFW too, just so you’ll all know.

      • Schmeltzer | July 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |

        If that’s NSFW, your workplace sucks.

  • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 11:40 am |

    No doubt it’s a shin guard, but was I the only one who looked at the lead picture and thought the lead story would be about textured three-striped stirrups/socks that are covered up by long pant legs?

  • Bob A | July 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

    Paul, the links to the Jim Bunning and Big White hat portions of BG’s section are sort of mashed together. The Bunning link ‘bleeds’ over to the next one.

    • Paul Lukas | July 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm |

      Thanks. Now fixed.

  • jim greenfield | July 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm |

    The shinguard revelation would explasin the baggy bell bottom fad. Today’s players are wimps. They don’t even wear spikes anymore. Pitchers don’y pitch inside. Millionares protect each other, there’s too much fraternazation.

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

      Yeah…we don’t want people getting along…realizing it’s just a game…and all that sportsmanship nonsense…

      (do the dots count as a sarcasm tag?)

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm |

        gotta side with jim…greenfield here

        im not sure i buy the shinguard argument, but he’s right about the rest

        i took a LOT of shit from a few buddies who watched mcgwire’s 62nd in 98 … when i SCREAMED at grace and every other cub for “congratulating” mr. andro on his trip around the bases…WTF?

        you’re trying to win the damn game and you’re congratulating the guy who just took your pitcher deep? i don’t give a fuck if it was a historic moment — save the congrats for after the game

        of course, the pitcher was steve trachsel (no relation to ben)…so i could see how his teammates might be congratulating an opponent…but still

        there are just things you DO NOT DO in baseball, and fraternizing with the enemy is one of them — or it used to be

        now, like the lovefest that is leboshwade in miama…it’s all just one big sideshow in which a game will be staged

        perhaps mr. vilk would feel better if the results of the game were given out to the players ahead of time so they could wwe it

        can the players “get along” and is it “just a game” — of course, but your attitude is pretty much falling into the everyone gets a ribbon territory

        there is far too much fraternization today

        • traxel | July 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm |

          LI Phil said:
          of course, the pitcher was steve trachsel (no relation to ben)…

          Uncle Steve? I’m not related to Uncle Steve?

  • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm |

    Interesting article about the proposed new numbering system for football. Glad it didn’t take off, though. I really don’t see the claims that you could instantly tell who the players were without a program.

    The idea was like the article – interesting at best. Definitely not worth the time, effort and expense of trying to get it patented.

    Besides, it would have been like a giant board game. “L-1 gets to Q-3…you just sank my quarterback!”

  • chowderhead von meatsackerface | July 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

    love the 2014 brazil logo, except the odd red 2014 mark,why not blue? speaking of 2014, i will have a copper st pauli(my first jersey made after 1862) to wear as i wave the eagle for the DFB. beware die mannschaft in 2014 gents, brazil goes down to der nationalelf, book it. as heartboken as i was wednesday, i can’t wait until the finals, should be a great ending to a great tournament. and seriously, i never get to high or low about my teams, it is sports after all, who cares really, but i was as depressed as i have ever been about a loss on wednesday, and it was Fußball for corn’s sake. (side note for shag: had we not been rained out last minute, i for sure would have given some shit-bird the roofus-goofus at my first opportunity, i was fargin seething with an axe to grind. i was counting on that clown zelwin in game 1 too, he was going to feel my wrath as soon as he gave me his trademark “you’re bullshit” over the most random event. don’t poke the bull, you might get the horns)

    while i am at it…shin guards like batting gloves are for sucks, grow a pair. my brain~pan is dented over this, i totally see the shin guards on those players.

    no 55 best ever? what the heck?

    • Jeff S. | July 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

      But why are there hands on the trophy? You can’t even use your damn hands in the sport!

      • chowderhead von meatsackerface | July 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm |

        point well taken, but i would imagine it is symbolic of reaching for the trophy. and some players can use their “damn” hands sport. in fact, the most important player on the pitch, the one who keeps you out of the net uses his “damn” hands freely, sooooooo nice try, thank you come again.

        • inkracer | July 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm |

          The goalie only uses his hands freely when he is inside the penalty box, unless he gets the ball passed to him from a teammate, so it’s really not all that freely..

  • Adam | July 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm |

    LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh jerseys already in at NBA Store…is 00 Bosh’s new number or just a filler until they figure it out?

    http://store.nba.com...

    • Andy | July 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |

      Shouldn’t they wait until contracts are actually signed? I mean, he could still realize how dumb this whole thing was and re-up with the Cavs, right? How funny would that be? Miami fans would feel like Cleveland fans do now! Except.. they can fall back on the titles their teams won in 1972, 1973, 1997, 2003 and 2006, I suppose.

    • DJ | July 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |

      I read somewhere that Bosh will wear # 1

      • inkracer | July 9, 2010 at 11:26 pm |

        From the video on ESPN.com about the “party” the Heat had to welcome Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, Bosh had #1.

  • JimWa | July 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm |

    From the “forgive me if this has been posted before” department:

    http://sports.yahoo....

    Not every day you see a home run land in the catcher’s mitt.

  • b-t-p-h | July 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm |

    Does Paul feel this way about Astros stirrups?

    http://www.youtube.c...

  • parrotmocho | July 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm |

    I just don’t UNDERSTAND I love Comic Sans!

  • KT | July 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm |

    Man, you REALLY have a thing against the WNBA, don’t you?

    In other news, MLS’ Columbus Crew will apparently wear a new shirt against Houston. For no reason that I can discern. But here it is:

    http://twitpic.com/2...

    • DJ | July 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm |

      That’s their change kit. First time they’re wearing it, I guess. It was unveiled with their yellow kit back in January, with the rest of the MLS uniforms

      • inkracer | July 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm |

        While the MLS section of my heart will always remain with the Revolution, I’ve always liked the Crew uniforms, especially since (until the Sounders came around) they were the only team that didn’t (usually) have a white uniform.

        Since I’ve pretty much grown up with color TV, I like when teams don’t have a white uni. As long as the teams have contrasting colors, let them play color on color.

  • Matt | July 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm |

    LSU did something similar to the suggest from the guy in Pittsburgh for a season, I believe 1952. The positions were by letter, with the number being odd or even indicating the left or right side of the line. Might take me a while, but I’ll see if I can track them down.

  • JTH | July 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm |

    Good to see that Dan Gilbert has decided to start taking the high road.

    • Andy | July 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

      I don’t know what’s embarrassing Cleveland more right now: The James LeBacle as the latest in the line of terrible Cleveland sports happenings, or Dan Gilbert’s childish pranks and attitude. Move on. Now it’s the Cavs turn to dump salary and sign a max-level player next season. Honestly, I think their current roster could slide them right into the 8-slot for a first-round matchup against the Heat. On topic, I heard that LeBron left because he didn’t like the Cavs’ new uniforms.

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |

    so…did cj wilson just win the lottery?

    or will lee wear 31 or 34 or something else with the rangers?

  • Justin Bates | July 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |

    Exciting to hear you went to see Phosphorescent. I am planning to go see them in Memphis in August. Turns out all their gear got stolen last night after the show. Hope that doesn’t cause show cancelations.

    http://www.brooklynv...

  • Gusto44 | July 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm |

    Has anyone heard anything about uniform changes in the NFL this upcoming season? Heard something about Washington returning to yellow pants, and Philly going with a kelly green throwback, but that’s about it.

    • tenz | July 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm |

      Was on the Eagles site today and saw that they’ll wear throwbacks uniforms of the 1960 championship team for their opener against Green Bay (their 1960 opponent), commemorating the 50th anniversary of that Eagles title. The helmets of that era look great. Best Eagles helmet ever in my opinion, though I like the stripes of their 1964-68 uniform as the all-time best Eagle uniform.

      I also noted on the Patriots website that one week after they solicited votes for Pat the Patriot vs. Flying Elvis, Pat’s lead has increased to 44% to 27%, with 29% voting to use both. A pretty amazing outcome. I wonder if there’s another team in sports that could elicit that much support for an out-of-date logo from the team’s losing years. I hope the Patriots take the hint and increase use of or switch entirely to Pat.

    • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 10:15 pm |

      well…you know about the eagles, but im assuming you also know about the bears and the pack wearing throwbacks as well?

      and i believe the bucs will be wearing the creamsickles again…and the jets WON’T be wearing the titans unis again

      i think the giants will be wearing some kind of throwback this year as well

      there are probably several others that mr. lukas will apprise us of when the time comes…

  • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm |

    Jeremy | July 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    not sure about that- I do know that Robert Plant is major supporter (he may even be minority owner or on the board of directors) of West Brom’s chief rival Wolverhampton (Wolves).

    Yet another reason to not like Zeppelin…

    • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm |

      “Yet another reason to not like Zeppelin…”

      why does that not surprise me

  • SteveSmith | July 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm |

    I’m watching NBA summer league and how come one ref has black shoulders and the other two have blue?

  • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm |

    LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    gotta side with jim…greenfield here
    im not sure i buy the shinguard argument, but he’s right about the rest
    i took a LOT of shit from a few buddies who watched mcgwire’s 62nd in 98 … when i SCREAMED at grace and every other cub for “congratulating” mr. andro on his trip around the bases…WTF?
    you’re trying to win the damn game and you’re congratulating the guy who just took your pitcher deep? i don’t give a fuck if it was a historic moment — save the congrats for after the game
    of course, the pitcher was steve trachsel (no relation to ben)…so i could see how his teammates might be congratulating an opponent…but still
    there are just things you DO NOT DO in baseball, and fraternizing with the enemy is one of them — or it used to be
    now, like the lovefest that is leboshwade in miama…it’s all just one big sideshow in which a game will be staged
    perhaps mr. vilk would feel better if the results of the game were given out to the players ahead of time so they could wwe it
    can the players “get along” and is it “just a game” — of course, but your attitude is pretty much falling into the everyone gets a ribbon territory
    there is far too much fraternization today

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Once again you put words in my mouth. I neither espouse to the everyone-gets-a-ribbon theory (that’s your boys who want 75 bowl games), nor the farce that is the WWE.

    Is this another one of the 70,000 stupid unwritten rules of baseball – you can’t be a good sport while trying to beat your opponent? I swear baseball players make this stuff up to overcompensate for the fact that they couldn’t make it on a football field. Your batter gets hit? Throw at their batter next. Oooo, so tough. The other team is the enemy? It’s sports, not war. The other team is the opponent. Make a bad call, ump? I’ll come out of the dugout and kick dirt on your shoes. Oooo. Step on my mound? I’ll berate you for crossing my sovereign kingdom. Grow up.

    I used to see free safeties lay out a receiver, then help them right up after the play. I suppose if there’s a collision at the plate, the baserunner wouldn’t do that to the catcher, huh? Whatever.

  • Joe D | July 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm |

    Has anybody seen these schedule t-shirts yet?

    http://news.steelers...

    I think it’s pretty creative to make a jersey for each date and the home jersey for home games, road for road games.

    • Mike Engle | July 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm |

      What, they couldn’t mark the dates for the alternate jersey? :-P

  • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

    Senor Vilk said:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Once again you put words in my mouth. I neither espouse to the everyone-gets-a-ribbon theory (that’s your boys who want 75 bowl games), nor the farce that is the WWE.

    whoa yerself, buddy…back the truck up

    i don’t want 75 bowl games — although i was talked out of wanting a playoff by herr rpm, who does enjoy his 76 bowl games

    ~~~

    Is this another one of the 70,000 stupid unwritten rules of baseball – you can’t be a good sport while trying to beat your opponent? I swear baseball players make this stuff up to overcompensate for the fact that they couldn’t make it on a football field. Your batter gets hit? Throw at their batter next. Oooo, so tough. The other team is the enemy? It’s sports, not war. The other team is the opponent. Make a bad call, ump? I’ll come out of the dugout and kick dirt on your shoes. Oooo. Step on my mound? I’ll berate you for crossing my sovereign kingdom. Grow up.

    talk about putting words in someone’s mouth — the hit-batsman is indeed a good unwritten rule — sadly, the children who now play the game don’t understand it … just like it’s understood that you DON’T charge the mound (unless it’s roidger, then it’s ok, because he threw at you for no reason)…it’s also understood that the guy who got hit is going HARD into second on a possible DP…so your second baseman better be on his toes when he pivots

    and after the machismo is over, everyone dusts themself off and has a beer AFTER THE GAME…

    but as far as the shenanigans with the arguing with the ump (you ever actually hear the play-by-play on those? even earl weaver’s “classics” — guys sound retarded…that’s pure theatrics i could do without … and that idiot who said “don’t cross my mound”? puh-leeze

    don’t put words in my mouth with those — there are unwritten rules and then there’s shit people just make up…

    I used to see free safeties lay out a receiver, then help them right up after the play. I suppose if there’s a collision at the plate, the baserunner wouldn’t do that to the catcher, huh? Whatever.

    if it’s a clean play, there’s nothing wrong with sportsmanship — i see NFLers helping the other team up occasionally — doesn’t mean they should, but the catcher argument is apples to oranges…for the most part, baseball is a non-contact sport, and the rare play at the plate resulting in a bo jackson-esque takeout cannot be equated with an every-down situation in football

    look at hockey — guys beat the crap out of each other for 60 minutes, and then end it with (obviously not every game, but they would) a handshake — AFTER THE GAME IS OVER

    that’s the difference…is it war? of course not, im not saying it is, but there’s sportsmanship (good or bad) — and in baseball it’s poor sportsmanship to show up any one, especially YOUR OWN PITCHER

    but part of it (and i think you’ll agree with me on this one) is that the free safety who lays a receiver on his ass and helps him up is shown once and forgotten…the guy who lays a receiver out and dances around like a clown gets his 15 seconds on sportscenter…sometimes more

    the idiot who kicks dirt on a ump, or throws a base, or kicks over a watercooler gets the press…the guy who legitimately argues a bad call (think joe torre) and retires to the dugout? we never see that, because that’s not what interests the 15-second-attention-span viewer

    ~~~~~~~~

    anyway…sorry to ramble, but it’s one thing to show good sportsmanship and another to be a hot dog, showman and general douchebag; but good sportsmanship doesn’t equate to fellating your opponent while the game is going on

    • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm |

      The difference is, you put my name to an assumption, where I was just spouting off some of the unwritten rules of the game. I wasn’t saying you said all that; I attributed it to baseball in general.

      Anyway, we’re cool, and we can agree to disagree. It’s just when I played, I played hard but I could still laugh with an opponent, even congratulate him during a game if he bested me. Doesn’t mean my desire to win was any less. But if that means I’m better suited to wiffleball than baseball or softball, so be it.

      • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 9:20 pm |

        mothervilker…

        if you ever take me deep at your field of dreams, you better know the next one’s heading straight for your head ;)

        • Ricko | July 9, 2010 at 9:24 pm |

          “Look for low and away…
          but watch out for in your ear.”

          (Shoeless Joe to Moonlight)

          —Ricko

  • Jim Vilk | July 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm |

    And I wouldn’t charge the mound. I’d just take you deep again after the obligatory chin music.

    Maybe it’s my poor depth perception that makes me sensitive to the hitting batters issue. Dad and I have argued this for decades. He’s the “throw at his mother if she’s crowding the plate” type, while I’m well aware that one slip can ruin a career, or worse. I know the guys in the show shouldn’t have a problem getting out of the way if they suspect it’s coming, but it just seems like a wasted pitch to me. I’d rather just strike the guy out to get back at him.

    But then again I’m a veritable baseball heathen. I hated taking first pitches, because if it’s a nice fat one, you may never get another one in that at-bat.

    • LI Phil | July 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm |

      “And I wouldn’t charge the mound. I’d just take you deep again after the obligatory chin music.”

      oh, it wouldn’t be chin music — you’d be wearing a spalding (or would it be one of these?) tattoo…and then i’d pick you off

      • inkracer | July 9, 2010 at 11:43 pm |

        Well, if you do use chin music.. might as well make it Sweet Chin Music..

        http://www.youtube.c...

  • JTH | July 9, 2010 at 10:48 pm |

    I didn’t know the meaning of the words “take the first pitch.”

    Literally — I clearly recall my coach yelling at me for fouling one off. He had told me to take the first pitch because the kid on first was going to steal second. I thought what I was supposed to *take* was a swing.

  • ppc | July 13, 2010 at 4:29 am |

    Always a pleasure reading your posts, will add you to my bloglists and RSS feed