Bigtime jersey snafu at the start of the final Tour de France stage yesterday, as Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team planned to wear black jerseys, all with the number 28, as a tribute to the 28 million people living with cancer. But Tour officials were not amused and insisted that the cyclists wear their regulation red jerseys, which then caused additional problems because the red jerseys didn’t have proper uni numbers.
Jeremy Brahm was watching all this while it happened and posted excerpts from the Tour’s web site in yesterday’s comments. For those of you who missed that, here are those excerpts again:
UCI Make Ruling on Jerseys:
“The special black jerseys that are being worn by RadioShack will only be used in the neutral zone. The UCI has insisted that the nine riders who are leading the team classification must swap the black jerseys for the traditional red colors otherwise they won’t be allowed to start.”
Part of the UCI Rules:
“The UCI commissaire has announced that RadioShack MUST (their emphasis) change their jerseys and wear the official race number. If they do not swap their black tops for the red ones, they will not be allowed to start the race. It’s a gesture for a charity but now all riders have to wait for the change over because of this publicity stunt.”
The Longest Neutral Ride:
“The peloton is sauntering to the site of the official start. The reason for the late start is RadioShack’s antics a publicity stunt was conducted and now the riders have to remove their special-edition black jerseys, remove their race numbers and do a road-side swap with their official jerseys. The riders are now sitting in the gutter doing what the rule book says they should have done all along.”
Lance Objecting to Regulations:
“Lance Armstrong has his red RadioShack jersey on, but it’s over the black one with ’28′ on the back. He is yet to swap the race numbers and he’s riding along while teammates are changing their ‘dossards’. The start of Lance’s last day of competition is beginning with controversy.”
Lance to be left behind
“The official start is going to be called while Lance Armstrong is riding without the regulation outfit.”
Numbers flapping in the wind
“Lance Armstrong’s numbers have been pinned on in such a rush that they’re flapping in the wind like a first-year juvenile rider might start their first race. He is yet to arrive at the site of the official start but he has Popovych alongside for assistance should the peleton decide to start racing.”
Crazy stuff, and a sad ending for Armstrong. But really, he was kinda asking for it with that grandstand play, no? Good cause or no, the whole thing smacked of “I’m Lance, and I’ve made cancer my personal crusade, so I can do whatever the hell I want” entitlement. Good for the Tour officials for putting the kibosh on it.
Meanwhile, one additional cycling note: Team Garmin-Transitions unveiled an unusual skin suit for Saturday’s time trial stage. Good coverage of that is available here.
I’ve been on the road for the past few days and will be traveling back home today, so I won’t be active in the comments or responding much to e-mails. Back in the saddle tomorrow at Uni Watch HQ — see you then.
How many fingers am I holding up?: Very interesting article about NFL helmets and head injuries in yesterday’s New York Times. I recommend reading the entire thing; the sixth-to-last graf is particularly notable.
In a related item, the latest attempt to design a safer, more concussion-resistant football helmet comes from our own Michael Princip, who’s come up with something called the Bulwark American Football Helmet. “I absolutely love the vintage Macgregor E and H helmet models, as well as the lines and forms of rugby helmets,” he says. “So I’ve been tinkering with an idea in which newer technology polymers and urethane rubber are used on the outside of an inner hard shell, similar to how the ProCap was used. However, I do not feel that it has to be as bulky, or ugly — hence, the beautiful lines of those vintage Macgregor helmets for inspiration.”
Michael says this is an ongoing project that he’ll be updating in the weeks and months to come, so stay tuned.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Usain Bolt recent designed his own track outfit for a meet in Paris (with thanks to Cody Dannen). … Remember how people complained that the Cubs’ mid-1990s road jersey looked like it said, “Cuba”? Now Ebbets Field Flannels is selling an old Cuban design that looks very Cubs-inspired (as noted by Douglas Hirschman). … Steven Hom found some shots of Mike Piazza wearing a BP jersey and BP cap that I don’t recall having seen before. The jersey isn’t shown in Bill Henderson’s guide — the closest thing is this, but that has an NOB and no drop shadow, while the one in the Piazza pics has a drop shadow and is NNOB. Can’t say I’ve seen that cap before, either. Hmmmm. … Were you wondering what the USA team handball squad’s uniforms look like? Me neither, but here they are anyway (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). … Daytona Cubs catcher Michael Brenly played most of last Tuesday night’s game with a hole in his pants (photo by Nick Hanson). … Henrik Zetterberg had people dress rather oddly for his recent wedding (big thanks to Michael A. Gargano). … Everyone’s telling me I’m gonna love Manchester City’s new socks — and they’re right. … New football uniform for Kansas State. “They seem to be reverting back to the old Bill Snyder-era unis, which I love,” says Jack Wilson. “Now if they would only start winning 11 games a year again.” … Jim Bouton’s classic Ball Four includes the following passage: “What baseball players do to each other is punch each other in the groin and say ‘cup check.’ Norm Miller pulled it on me today. Fortunately I was wearing it. When I was in the minors I got caught short a couple of times.” Ballplayers must not do that anymore, because Carl Crawford doesn’t wear a cup. … New Twins call-up Anthony Slama wearing stirrups and a moustache. “Tell me this kid doesn’t look like he should be pitching in the ’70s,” says Luke Kalland. … You know which sports used to have freakin’ huge uni numbers? Rugby and Aussie football (with thanks to Mike Hersh). … New football uniforms for Northern Illinois (with thanks to Erik Hanson). … With his extremely short-sleeved undershirt beneath his sleeveless jersey, Miguel Olivo came close to channeling Big Klu (or maybe just an NFL player) on Friday night (screen shots courtesy of Alex Higley). … The Cardinals are retiring Whitey Herzog’s No. 24. … As Phil noted yesterday, the Astros wore 1986 throwbacks on Saturday. But Doug Keklak points out that they also used tequila sunrise beverage cups for the occasion. … Hmmm, where are the white hoods? (Disturbing find by Nick Spehar.) … Why would someone bring these priceless 45s to the ballpark? (As noted by Tim Burke). … You know how most catchers now wear those little shoulder-flap attachments on their chest protectors? Buster Poset took a foul ball off that pad on Saturday, dislodging the pad and “causing it to sail, frisbee like to the backstop,” reports Sean Robbins. … The new issue of SI shows Miles Austin of the Cowboys on the cover — with holes cut in the toes of his cleats. Toenail problems, or just trying to channel Ed McAffrey? (Good spot by Keith Kimball). … 2011 MLB news from Michael Burnett, who writes: “I was at the Diamondbacks’ season ticketholders meeting, and President Derrick Hall said that sometime next season the Diamondbacks will wear a throwback uni to celebrate the 10th anniversary of winning the World Series.” … All six teams in the Japanese Central League will be wearing throwbacks for two upcoming mid-week series. The designs being showcased include the 1954 Chunichi Dragons, the 1995 Yakult Swallows, the 1989 Hiroshima Carp, and the 1948 Hanshin Tigers (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … The Bills will be wearing their throwbacks in Weeks 4 and 12. … I guess this training method went out of vogue once athletic directors started asking about the big budget line for axes (photo of the day, or maybe the year, from Scott Little). … Georgia Tech players wore gold jerseys for ACC Media Days yesterday, which is odd, since no gold alt was shown when they recently unveiled their new all-white set (with thanks to Clark Ruhland). … If you look at the second item on this page, you’ll see that someone recently hit the Lotto jackpot by picking the uni numbers of his favorite players (with thanks to Anil Adyanthaya). … Portsmouth had to borrow a set of uniforms over the weekend when their kits went missing (as noted by Rob Leavell). … The West Michigan Whitecaps wore Star Wars uniforms the other day. “Alas, the force was not with them — they lost to the Beloit Snappers,” says Dave Murray. … Marshall, which had switched to a green helmet last season, is switching back to white, but with a revised logo decal (as reported by Jake Keys).