Who Knew Barry Allen Was a Hockey Fan?

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My, my, my. We’ve certainly come a long way from the days of the illegible uni numbers and the thunderstorm alt jersey, haven’t we?

Here’s the thing: When we assess a uniform, the first thing we ask is whether it’s good (or stupid, or whatever). But that isn’t really the right question. The proper question is whether it’s good for this team. Understated minimalism? Great for the Tigers, not so hot for the Diamondbacks.

And that really strikes at the crux of this new Lightning uni set. I love the home design, at least in a vacuum. It’s classic and straightforward, the crest feels iconic (which is why the same concept of a lightning bolt in a circle has been used in so many other contexts) — what’s not to like?

This: It doesn’t feel like the Lightning. The simple two-color palette feels too subdued, too much like a venerable northeastern team with an 80-year heritage, not a Sun Belt team that’s still so young. Ditto for the lace-up collar. The trad-style shoulder patches feel forced. The one really cool thing about their existing set — the lightning bolts on the pants — has been scrapped. Now, I’ve never liked this team’s blue/black color scheme, or the illegible numbers, or the “Bolts” alt jersey (which is being retained, by the way), or the gimmicky “championship stripes” or whatever the fuck they’re called, but hey, that’s the Lightning. They’re proudly garish, they dare to be stupid, they’ve carved out their own little niche of bad design.

And now they want to be … what? Traditional? Too late. Tasteful? Fat chance. Respectable? That has to be earned. You can’t just hire a designer to create it for you via fiat. (And in case you’re wondering, the designer in this case is SME Branding, a New York company that’s done a lot of sports design.)

So when viewed in isolation, the new home uni is clearly an upgrade. But as an expression of this franchise, it’s a failure — maybe even a betrayal. They should have upgraded the crest and left most of the rest alone.

As for the road jersey, putting the city name (yes, I know Tampa Bay isn’t really a city, but work with me here) above the crest is so gloriously stupid, it almost makes up for the home jersey. But not quite.

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

Since the Big Game® is this Sunday, this week’s edition of Collector’s Corner is heavy on the Steelers and the Pack. Here we go:

• Not much corporate branding on this seat cushion from SB I.

• Reader Michael Koch sent in this Super Bowl breakfast flake. Sorry, auction’s over. Kicking yourself, I know.

• Need a case of Terrible Towels? Thought so. Or maybe a case of Iron City beer cans from 1976? That’d make a good package deal with this cap.

• Speaking of the Terrible Towel, here we have a Terrible….Shirt. Brand extension gone amok. [But they deserve bonus points for truth in advertising. -- PL]

• Here’s a swell 1940s Packers pennant.

• Join Franco Harris’s Italian Army!

• Here’s a Lambeau Field cheese crock — cheese not included. It isn’t very old, but I cherish that Lambeau logo.

• Who knew Bart Starr had his own signature line of sneakers?

• Here’s the famous Steelers logo in its original incarnation.

• I love this 1970s Packers helmet bank.

• Even if you’ve never seen Fighting Back: The Story of Rocky Bleier, you can wear the T-shirt.

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

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my story + video on the Wilson football factory is here. My thanks to the many of you who told me how much you liked it.

Incidentally, after reader Vince Vincenzo checked out the story yesterday, he wrote in with a great little anecdote:

I found out about the Wilson plant last year, when the official NFL football my wife gave me years ago developed a leak. Before I dropped more coin on a new football, I was trying to figure out if there was a way to fix it.

Somehow I found out that you can send any Wilson ball to Ada plant and have them replace the bladder, re-lace the lacing, and ship it back to you, all for $15.

Three weeks later, they returned my football as good as new.

That fits in perfectly with the spirit of that factory. Good place, good people.

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Pro Bowl update: Last night I spoke with Ember Morr, the NFL’s Director of Product Development, about the long pants in the Pro Bowl. Here’s what I learned:

• The long pants were issued to all of the players. Players wearing knee-length pants either cut theirs short or folded them up. “We pretty much expected that,” said Morr.

• The long pants were a one-time experiment. At present, there are no plans for the long pants to be used in a regular season game.

• The reason behind the experiment was twofold: First, the league thinks one reason so many players are going to the biker-shorts look is that the elastic cuffs are pinching them around the knee area. So by bringing the cuffs lower, they think they can stop the players from raising them higher. In addition, the recent chatter about thigh and knee pads possibly becoming mandatory has gotten the league thinking more seriously about pant length.

• The idea for all of this originated with the league, not with Reebok.

In the end, it probably won’t amount to much. But at least now we know the backstory.

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Giveaway results: The winner of the Super Bowl football is Greg Allred — a proud Packers fan. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered.

Signal flare: Jeffrey Sachse, please get in touch. Thanks.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Some enterprising workers at Jon Solomonson’s local grocery created a Pepsi display that looks like the NFL logo. … Check out this completely amazing jock strap display that I scored yesterday on Etsy. Yes, those are real athletic supporters mounted on the cardboard! Can’t wait to get it in the mail (big thanks to Kirsten, who pointed this one out to me). … Ole Miss will wear red at home tonight (with thanks to Michael Martin). … Now that’s a Band-Aid (thanks, Brinke). … Rob Ullman wants your advice on which jersey to wear in an upcoming hockey tourney. … Lots of photos of the WVU Coliseum being built in this thread (with thanks to Jason Bernard). … Hey look, Nike actually did something nice. Good for them. … You know those cool NFL-themed soccer jerseys that I linked to in yesterday’s Ticker? Jimmy Nutini says they were all done by him. Here’s his web site. … Someone in Oklahoma has used a shitload of bowling balls as yard art. If you want more, there’s a video here (big thanks to Paul Deaver). … “The AMA Supercross series stopped in Oakland over the weekend, and a couple of riders went with Raiders-themed lids,” says Sean Clancy. “Here’s Ryan Dungey’s.” … Here’s a video of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist talking about his gear (with thanks to A.J. Frey). … Last week I linked to some old catalog pages showing 19th-century baseball caps and stockings. Terence Kearns liked them so much that he printed them out and created this fantastic display. … New lacrosse gloves for UNC and Cornell (with thanks to Connor Wilson). … A little birdie tells me the Wizards are going to a modern version of the old Bullets uniforms with the stripes on the chest next season, and the Knicks are ditching the black and going to a very simple design, à la the Cavaliers. … Ryan Connelly’s latest DIY Invaders project: a truly awesome-looking hockey jersey.

 

266 comments to Who Knew Barry Allen Was a Hockey Fan?

  • aflfan | February 1, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    Circle and the Lightning bolt are popular lately. First the Omaha Storm Chasers and now Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • KT | February 1, 2011 at 8:05 am |

    So, wait….

    What you did before sucked and was shitty, but if you go try and change to be not sucky and not shitty, I’m going to rip you for that, too?

    Holy cow.

    • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 8:15 am |

      Yes.

      Turning your music up to 11 will piss off your neighbors, so that’s bad. But turning it all the way down means you can’t hear it. That’s also bad. You wanna be somewhere in the middle.

      They’re the Lightning, they should look more exciting than that.

    • Bernard | February 1, 2011 at 8:57 am |

      I’m with KT on this one. I think the ‘Ning should be roundly applauded for simplifying what was always a gaudy, overwrought design.

      • Broadway Connie | February 1, 2011 at 9:15 am |

        Yeah. I usually line up behind Paul, but not this time. Hard for me to buy the notion that ugly and gaudy outfits from an expansion franchise in a part of the world not known for understated taste means that they have to stay gaudy forever. No; even the Diamondbacks and the Coyotes have a right to classy conservatism.

        Personally, I would have liked it if the Lightning (man, do I hate singular team names) introduced the same design, but in black and white, or maybe midnight-blue and white. Agree that middle-hue blue is overused in the NHL and that this outfit skates too close to Toronto as well.

        • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 9:58 am |

          I know a few of us talked about it yesterday on the comments. I love the crest, but my (and seemingly some others) biggest problem is Tampa is a black team, not a blue team. Where’d the black go?

      • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

        KT, it seems as though you’re not a fan of unpredictability. How are you with spontaneity?

    • Chris Holder | February 1, 2011 at 9:37 am |

      I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with Paul as to these particular uniforms, as I’m not much of a hockey fan and I would be stepping into an arena I don’t know very much about. However, I think I understand his premise on a larger scale.

      What I decipher from his comments are, while obviously most (but certainly not all) of us on this blog seem to generally prefer “classy”, “understated”, or “traditional” uniforms, or at least ones that aren’t garishly offensive, doesn’t there in a sense HAVE to be those out there that are everything but? It’s the whole yin and yang thang. How would we be able to appreciate the Yankees, the Penn States, and for a hockey example, the Maple Leafs, if we didn’t have the (original) Diamondbacks, the Oregons, or the Lightning (Lightnings?).

      While Tampa Bay didn’t seem to have a uniform that appealed to the traditionalists among us, they were a relatively new franchise that had the ability to “own” a more outlandish look. And you need that kind of balance in a sports league. Lucky for us, someone will inevitably come up with something even dumber to fill the void.

    • Ry Co 40 | February 1, 2011 at 10:22 am |

      my $.02

      this is tropicana rebranding their OJ cartons. these new lightning jerseys just look bland. i want to love them, for the clean look… but i just can’t. TB had a great logo/”kit” to work with, and a great identity to “tweak” into something with real lasting power. the “bolts” alt is just a fail, but the primary unis weren’t all that bad to build off of. maybe a sleeve stripe, maybe a bottom stripe, maybe ditch the name of the city you’re actually playing in on the home (one of my BIGGEST pet peeves), and maybe ditch the silver (maybe), and you’re dancin’. i can’t get on board with this new uni set. i agree with phil, in this case less is less. and i agree with whoever said the lightning’s main color is black.

      • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 10:29 am |

        They’re trying to look like the Rays.

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 10:57 am |

      I agree with Paul on this one. I tend to prefer traditional, or at least simpler designs, but this was a team whose very name evokes flash and a striking visual image. The team should maintain that philosophy.

      And like others have pointed out, their colors were black and silver. It’s not BFBS or extraneous to wear a lot of black if black is your color. The Raiders wear black because the Raiders cultivated that image. The Giants and Orioles have black trim, because they have black in their colors. The Lightning spent the last twenty years with black and silver uniforms. They should keep their black and silver uniforms.

    • Brownie | February 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

      I have to say that this is the worst article Paul has written. We can debate whether a uniform design is aesthetically pleasing. But it isn’t fair to blast a team that comes up with a nice uni design (IMO)on the basis that that team shouldn’t have that style of uni. The argument makes no sense.

      • ek | February 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm |

        This is probably the first time I read something by Paul where I thought “That makes no sense at all.” I’m a Lightning fan, I’m not crazy about the new uniforms and logo, but why can’t a new franchise have a classic look? Dumb.

        ps tidbits from the FAQ at the Lightning webpage:
        We also found when studying the current mark that the black eats the blue and the silver turns gray in most applications and on television.

        and..the 3rd jersey stays, but get simpler (which should look awesome):
        What will happen to the “Bolts” third jersey? We still have the option to wear the third jersey moving forward if we so choose. The jersey would need some minor alterations (ie shoulder patch) if we elect to move forward with it, but the blue jersey with the white B-O-L-T-S lettering would remain as is.

  • Damian | February 1, 2011 at 8:15 am |

    Another, less nice use of the lighting and circle: http://en.wikipedia....

    • warren thompson | February 1, 2011 at 10:26 am |

      That British Fascist insignia could be a lightning bolt. At the same time, it could be a tarted-up Runic “S,” similar to what the Hitler Youth wore.

      Or perhaps it could be both ….

      • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |

        The runic S the Hitler Youth and SS wore were designed to look like lightning bolts. I imagine the blackshirts had the same idea.

  • The Angry Greek | February 1, 2011 at 8:27 am |

    As a former season ticket holder and diehard fan, I actually prefer the Bolts wear a blue jersey; I would like to see black and silver kept, if only for accents, and a black alternate jersey.

    Black breezers would work, and absolutely the bolts should be on the sides of them; going with only blue and white limits this uniform’s potential.

    If the franchise had been founded in the 1940s, it might have worked; the concept may be noble, yet the execution is poor in my opinion.

    Unoriginal and uninspired, I hereby christen these uniforms with the name DETRONTO MAPLE WINGS.

  • Joe DeAngelis | February 1, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    Re: Lightning new unis …

    Can wait to see the “scrimages” when they face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    ditch the black from the lightning and you’re left with this

    but ditch the black from the knicks and you’ll be left with this

    sometimes less is less…sometimes less is more

  • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    What is the logic behind showcasing uniforms that will not be worn until next year? Is there some sort of incentive for ticket sales or trying to move old jerseys or just the fact that there’s nothing else going on?

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 8:39 am |

      d) all of the above?

      —Ricko

    • Ryan B | February 1, 2011 at 8:48 am |

      You short-circuit leaks that way.

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 8:52 am |

        Of course, those leaks tend to get people talking and throw more attention at the team… so, short circuiting them may or may not be a good thing. Depends on the team I suppose.

    • aflfan | February 1, 2011 at 9:02 am |

      They mentioned during the press conference that they knew the uniforms were going to get leaked so they went ahead and made the announcement yesterday. They said they will not be available for a couple of months.

      Other notes, I gleaned from the press conference.

      1) Tampa Bay’s new slogan (at least to me): Tampa Bay Lightning…All In

      2) Every full season ticket holder will get a jersey with a special season ticket holder patch on the right front. There will also be a lightning bolt on the sleeve with a chip to track who comes in for the games but also gives them 25 percent off all concession stand items and 35 percent off all merchandise.

      • Rob S | February 1, 2011 at 9:14 am |

        As I suggested yesterday, this could also open up a chance for feedback, to allow for any possible adjustments (or even postponement should the team receive overwhelming negative feedback).

      • Eric | February 1, 2011 at 9:26 am |

        The Chicago White Sox are currently using the “All In” marketing campaign as well. There is a large billboard on your way into the city on the Brown Line ‘L’ train.

  • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 8:34 am |

    IMPROMPTU INFORMAL UNI-WATCH GATHERING…

    Scott Rogers will be back in the Twin Cities next tweek. He and I are going to meet at Bunnys (where Paul and I watched the Vikings-Saints on Deep Freeze Weekend last year) at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 10.

    Any U-W’rs are more than welcome to join us.

    We promise not to get into a fistfight over whether the Nationals should, or should not, wear Washington Senators throwbacks.

    Bunny’s Bar & Grill
    St. Louis Park, MN
    (On Excelsior Blvd., just west of Hwy, 100 and east of Methodist Hospital)

    —Ricko

    • RS Rogers | February 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

      I make no promises about refraining from fisticuffs, but I do hope to meet some folks from the large Uni-Watch Minny contingent. Thanks to Ricko for putting a shindig together. I’ll take and post pics.

  • Seth H | February 1, 2011 at 8:34 am |

    Question on that seat cushion from the “First Super Bowl Game.”

    I always thought that there was no “first Super Bowl game” because it was not called the “Super Bowl” until the second year. The first year was the AFL-NFL Championship game. It is now referred to as “Super Bowl I,” but it was not called that at the time. My recollection is supported by the NFL’s Super Bowl History page: http://www.nfl.com/s...

    Is the cushion a fake?

    • Kevin G. | February 1, 2011 at 8:43 am |

      You are correct. I was going to say the same thing. It has to be a fake.

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:00 am |

      Not commenting on the seat cushion at all, but let’s make something clear once and for all.
      Everyone CALLED it the “Super Bowl” right from the get-go. The first game was nicknamed that almost from the moment it was announced.
      It wasn’t officially TITLED that until Super Bowl III.

      The first two, officially, were the “NFL-AFL Championship Game.”

      —Ricko

      • The Angry Greek | February 1, 2011 at 9:36 am |

        Actually, it was Super Bowl IV.

        http://en.wikipedia....

        • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 9:46 am |

          http://en.wikipedia....

          That says otherwise.

          It’s also possible that the tickets said one thing and the game program said another.

        • The Angry Greek | February 1, 2011 at 10:23 am |

          Ah, so it does! I stand corrected; confusing, isn’t it?

          Ricko, I apologize… YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR! (in my best Ed McMahon voice)

          http://en.wikipedia....

      • EMD | February 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

        What’s also interesting, looking at those Wikipedia pages, is to see who sang the National Anthem and who did the halftime shows of those early contests.

        Woody Herman and the Michigan Marching Band aren’t exactly The Rolling Stones.

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 9:01 am |

      It’s more complicated than that. Although that first game was not called Super Bowl I, Lamar Hunt *did* come up with the term “Super Bowl” prior to that first game, and it was used informally. So the seat cushion, which does not say “Super Bowl I,” COULD be legit.

      • Bob B | February 1, 2011 at 9:50 am |

        Ricko and Paul have already commented on this, but for the still unconvinced, here is a link to an SI article from January 9, 1967 that refers to the upcoming Green Bay vs. Kansas City game as the Super Bowl.

        http://sportsillustr...

        Sorry about beating a dead horse, but I was so proud of myself for finding this I had to post.

        • Komet17 | February 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

          Great line from the article:

          “Frank ran a zig-out and post move,” Meredith said later in the dressing room, slouching sadly on a bench in front of his locker and trying to find solace in a cigarette and a can of Dr. Pepper.

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |

        I’ve heard a version that it was Lamar Hunt’s wife who suggested “Super Bowl.”

        Seems to me, however, it was appearing in sport copy almost immediately upon rumblings of a merger, that such a merger would mean the two leagues’ champions meeting in a “Super” Bowl.

        So who knows who first really coined the phrase.

        —Ricko

        • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:03 am |

          Lore says it was Lamar Hunt’s daughter who was playing with a Super Ball and told her dad how much she liked it. No one knows if that’s actually true, but it seems to be the NFL’s “official myth” for the etymology.

        • =bg= | February 1, 2011 at 11:03 am |

          i think Lamar got the idea from watching his kid play with a “Super Ball.” Seriously.

        • =bg= | February 1, 2011 at 11:05 am |

          One of the conditions of the AFL-NFL Merger was that the winners of each league’s championship game would meet in a contest to determine the “world champion of football”. According to NFL Films President Steve Sabol, then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted to call the game “The Big One”. [citation needed] During the discussions to iron out the details, AFL founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had jokingly referred to the proposed interleague championship as the “Super Bowl.” Hunt thought of the name after seeing his daughter playing with a toy called a Super Ball. The ball is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

        • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

          hey =boinke=

          you forgot the citation

  • Eric Romain | February 1, 2011 at 8:35 am |

    The new lightning unis are vibrant, refreshing, and devoid of black or dark colors. This is an extension of Yzerman’s mission to turn the team into a respectable traditional franchise. Those simple and broad arm & sock stripes are beautiful, and there aren’t many vibrant 2 color designs in the league. My only real criticism is that they stole the Leafs’ colors. I think this design is really going to grow on the critics.

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am |

      Said this yesterday. In all of the Big Four sports leagues, only the Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Jets and Colts (and the Yankees, too, I suppose) wear one-color-and-white.

      Now we can add the Lightning to that short list. Not sure that’s bad.

      Although I kind of agree about picking a color so close to the Maple Leafs.

      Know what might have been intersting? Go navy blue, instead. That’s what you get you mix royal and black (sorta) and then make the lightning bolts (and ONLY the lightning bolts, nothing else) bright yellow (Michigan yellow). Yeah, it would be bit of steal from the Rays’ sunburst…but in the case of Pittsburgh, for example, people seem to like it when teams in the same city use the same colors.

      Then again, I suppose that would mindful of one of the Florida Panthers’ sets, wouldn’t it.

      —Ricko

      • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 9:07 am |

        Celtics? (OK, so they occasionally wear the set with black trim, but I prefer to pretend that doesn’t exist.)

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:13 am |

          Ah, but it does.
          I listed only those that resolutely stick to one-color-and-white.
          The others are “sort of a virgin”.

          —Ricko

      • EMD | February 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

        Silver and Black (simple, and Oakland Raiders style) would have been cool.

      • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

        What about the Coyotes? Does the logo ruin it?
        The Colts have gray face masks.

    • traxel | February 1, 2011 at 9:01 am |

      Royals? Kinda. The powder has worked it’s way in and fortunately the black has gone away.

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:06 am |

        Not when they wear powder blue jerseys at home.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:16 am |

          and now powder blue hats, too.

    • traxel | February 1, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      Hmmm. Rockets?

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 9:36 am |

        No, they’ve got silver trim. (I think)

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:55 am |

          They do.

  • Joe DeAngelis | February 1, 2011 at 8:37 am |

    Me thinks Steve Yzerman had alot to do with these changes…where he was so gloriously respected playing in a rather plain uniform of the Detroit Red Wings.

  • Don Gale | February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am |

    I like the new Lighting sets…but I’m no hockey fan, so I could care less about tradition, etc.

    This may have been mentioned before, but did you guys see this article about the Lighting season ticket holder shirts? I think it’s a neat idea, even if it is just a marketing trick.

    http://lightning.nhl...

    ” a microchip will be inserted in the sleeve, thereby allowing season ticket holders to be identified at concession stands and merchandise shops throughout the St. Pete Times Forum. By scanning these embedded sleeves, fans will receive a 25% discount on all concessions in the arena and a 35% discount on all merchandise purchased at the Times Forum during Lightning games.”

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |

      It’s an interesting idea, but it’s going to flop in practice. People who can afford full season ticket packages are usually outside the demographics that would normally wear a jersey to a game. My guess is that a few extra people will wear jerseys to the games and might buy a few more concessions, but the move won’t raise any extra money or goodwill on its own. The only thing I can think of is that a few more sets could get sold or package buyers will bump up to get the sweater, but I imagine the deal is more of a loss leader that will go away after one year as part of the rebranding.

      • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 11:15 am |

        “People who can afford full season ticket packages are usually outside the demographics that would normally wear a jersey to a game.”

        Maybe that’s true in other sports, but not in hockey.

        • Bob A | February 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm |

          Been to two NHL games since Christmas. Sharks in Chicago and Rangers in Dallas. Sat in expensive seats both times. The majority of fans that were near me in both arenas wore home team jerseys.

      • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 11:45 am |

        Isn’t anything that would get that demographic wearing jerseys or other more “fan-like” clothing to games a good thing?

        Also, like JTH said, I’m not sure it’s as big of an issue with hockey, but it still irks me.

      • Brownie | February 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

        Wow, when i go to hockey games, my impression is no fans are more passionate about wearing their team’s sweaters, and this includes season ticket holders.

  • bill | February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am |

    The Tampa Bay jersey looks nice, but the team doesn’t hail from the venerable Northeast. Didn’t you forget Canada as part of the ‘real’ hockey tradition or the upper Midwest? So a team has to be in existence for 80 years (maybe 70, 60, 50?) in order to have an understated and reasonably pleasing uniform? By that standard no recent team unis can ever be of a ‘traditional’ design. How do you earn ‘respectable’ status? If it’s by winning over a sustained period, a number of the ‘traditional’ teams have lost respect and need to earn it back. One has a sneaking suspicion you earn respect by being from the Northeast (again, you forgot Canada and the Midwest). Seems to me you are setting up an impossible standard for any recent team, outside the Northeast, to qualify for a reasonably understated yet overall decent design.

    • Broadway Connie | February 1, 2011 at 9:19 am |

      You betcha. D’accord.

    • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 10:06 am |

      I don’t think that’s exactly what was said. Yes, that’s part of it, but the other part was TB has been garish since their inception, which while young, wasn’t yesterday, either. That garishness has been part of their identity that has been just tossed away. If they’d been understated from the start, nobody would have mentioned the geography.

  • Bad2Worse | February 1, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    Toronto Lightning? Tampa Bay Maple Leafs? Toronto Rays? Very confused. I mean come on NHL. When you have the chance to add a little “color” into a bland current identity how about a yellow touch? Orange? Neon Green?

    Did the Lightning ever consider a “T” logo… a simple top cross bar with a lightning stem as the primary ligature? I mean it’s so obvious so just go with it.

    • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

      Yeah, I’m lovin’ this new Lightning jersey but the similarity to the Leafs is the only drawback.

      If I view it in a vacuum, where there are no other teams, and where there is no past history of the team’s jersey and the fact that its a recent expansion team in Florida, then I absolutely love it…

      -Jet

  • Mike V | February 1, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    The Tampa Bay unis are not the worst ever. They actually are not that bad, however, I have to say I kinda preferred the old set (perhaps a uni guilty pleasure). I liked the sorta’ sparkly silver in the crest and liked the black in this set (something I can’t say about most teams that try to use it). They were more exciting to look at. These, while not ‘ugly’ in any way, just feel a bit bland. I can’t help but look at them and feel something is missing. I hate to sound like a jag-off, but this set kinda looks like a rec league jersey (especially the away uni).

    • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

      I see your point, but what would make this a rec league jersey (in my eyes) is if they left off the waist stripe — like Toronto has in recent years. Or eliminated the arm striping.

      Maybe just a little bit of black trim around the white waist and arm stripes to distinguish them from the Leafs jersey?

      -Jet

  • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:21 am |

    You can now buy a pink handgun (“for Breast Cancer Awareness”; honest, that’s what the guy said).

    Stars and Stripes, too, if your taste in personal weaponry runs to the patriotic.

    (trying to find images; saw network story on Fox affiliate local news)

    —Ricko

    • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 9:30 am |

      the gun manufacturers have actually been designing pink guns since 2008 (i shit you not)

      no…they don’t shoot white bullets

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 9:39 am |
      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 9:52 am |

        True, I guess. But wasn’t it nice of Fox to give the pink handguns some publicity in time for Valentine’s Day gift giving.

        “Here you go, honey. This sends a clear message to mauraders: ‘Mess with me and I’ll shoot your tits off.’”

        —Ricko

        • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 10:15 am |

          the new “pearl necklace”?

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:14 am |

      Doesn’t seem like that would be any different from nickel- or gold-plating a handgun or dipping a hunting rifle in a camo pattern. Was the secondary headline “Slow News Day Forces Fox to Manufacture Story”?

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |

        Concern is that children might mistake them for toys, and also that law enforcment personnel in the field might have the same problem.

        It does blur some kind of line somewhere, that’s for sure.

        Comes down to the line from JURASSIC PARK, I guess. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.

        —Ricko

        • RS Rogers | February 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

          I’ll admit that I’ve lusted after a Kimber 1911 pistol ever since I got into sport shooting almost entirely because it’s brown and tan. (You know, to go with my Padres jersey.) But bright colors are dangerous for precisely the reasons Ricko mentions. A 1988 federal law requires that toy guns be sold with bright markings. For realistic toy guns, this usually means a neon orange marking around the barrel, but it’s also led to toymakers opting for less realism and more bright colors overall in toy guns. Even Star Wars blasters are often sold in bright colors now, rather than the black that they mostly are in the movies.

          So the danger is that if it becomes more common for actual firearms to be toy-colored, cops (and maybe even armed civilians) will be more likely to open fire on people who merely have toy guns. Which was a significant enough problem in the 1980s to have prompted the federal law mandating bright colors on toy guns in the first place.

          Besides, given the compensatory issues so often associated with handguns, shouldn’t they really be prostate-cancer blue instead of breast-cancer pink?

  • DJ | February 1, 2011 at 9:26 am |

    Yzerman is following the move that Wayne Gretzky did with the Phoenix Coyotes — take a contemporary (for the time), multi-colored design and replace it with a simplified, “old school” uniform and logo.

    Generally, I like it. It’s plain, perhaps a bit too plain. I might have considered a bit of silver or metallic gold as a trim color. I’m not too sure the blue is the same color as the Leafs — IIRC the Leafs use a slightly darker shade of blue. Not navy or midnight blue, but one similiar to that of the University of Toronto.

  • Bad2Worse | February 1, 2011 at 9:51 am |

    The Tampa Bay Lightning are to hockey what the Tampa Bay Rays are to baseball. A navy blue and white color scheme with a plain simple boring execution. Dull might be the worst criticism of a team identity.

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |

      It’s a truism in sports marketing that it doesn’t matter whether your fans love you or hate you as long as they feel something. What kills teams is apathy. This is a shift to the low profile by a team in a market that’s known for forgetting about its sports teams. Bad move in general.

  • interlockingtc | February 1, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Hats off to Tampa Bay for taking the big leap. They admit the error of their ways and start fresh. Sure, a little silver trim somewhere would be nice, but what an improvement.

    This thing surely will not be missed…

    http://www.jerseys-o...

    • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 11:11 am |

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that, TC.

    • LakerPride | February 1, 2011 at 11:55 am |

      Funny, I actually kinda like their current set, with the updated logo

  • Ry Co 40 | February 1, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    i must say, Kearnsie (TK), is a clever dude! that classic baseball picture frame is pretty damn cool

  • Brandon | February 1, 2011 at 10:33 am |

    Hey Paul,

    I’m sure you saw your SB ball’s article was on the front page of ESPN. Good collectors corner today, btw.

  • Jason H. | February 1, 2011 at 10:34 am |

    On the heels of the football-themed soccer jerseys, here are some soccer-themed football helmets: http://www.mediotiem.... These are all Mexican national or Mexican Primera Division teams, and most are real doozies — lots of stripes, and not in a good way.

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:24 am |

      There’s a team in FMFA called the Students? I know that’s derived from an old nickname and not a deliberate marketing move, but how did they get that nickname to begin with?

    • Bernard | February 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |

      I just went a little weak in the knees for the Pumas, Cruz Azul and Santos lids.

      • Mike Edgerly | February 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

        Pumas is the bomb! So great to see that classic design on a football helmet!

        As for the “Students” usage, once upon a time “Pumas” (proper name UNAM Pumas) was affiliated with the UNAM university in Mexico City and “Estudiantes Tecos” is still affiliated with UAG in Guadalajara. In Argentina “Estudiantes de la Plata” was named after alumni of the Buenos Aires English High School.

        • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |

          So “Estudiantes Tecos” is kind of like the Mexican equivalent to “Aggies” here in the states? Interesting, thanks for the info.

  • tommyd | February 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |

    I wish there were more “executives” like Steve Yzerman to inject some sanity into the branding of teams.

    Lightning uniforms are a 10,000% improvement. Well-done.

  • Roger Faso | February 1, 2011 at 10:43 am |

    I understand what Paul is saying about a traditional, simplified design looking “forced” on a newer franchise, but if that were the case, then the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays shouldn’t have switched to the button up jerseys and stuck with the double knit pull overs.

    Hopefully, the new Tampa Bay unis signify a change to more traditional, simplified uniforms and the death of the super hero look, across the board.

    • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

      Here, here! Death to superheroes~!~

      -Jet

  • johnj | February 1, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Funny timing for me after commenting on the Flash comic over the weekend… Although usually its just Ricko and Phil who are around on weekends as much as I so I suspect no one else saw it

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

      Yeah, I saw that after the fact. Didn’t know about the Black Flash until you brought it up. Didn’t know they brought Barry Allen back, either.

      • johnj | February 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

        Frank Miller did a series revamp in 2000-2002… Pretty good read and something that christopher Nolan drew heavily from for his movies. (Though it doesn’t exactly follow canon)

        Sent a pic of the panel to Paul so hopefully he’ll put it up tomorrow, pretty neat

  • mmwatkin | February 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    I wish they would have made the shoulder patch the primary logo.

    I am a sucker for circular logos.

    • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

      They might have… if Minnesota, St. Louis and a few other teams I can’t recall hadn’t already gone with circular logos in the past year or two…

      -Jet

  • possum | February 1, 2011 at 10:53 am |

    The Pepsi case NFL logo is nice, but why would they use Cowboys & Giants inflatable goalposts on top? That’s neither apt nor geographically logical.

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 11:29 am |

      I wanted to know why they used Dr. Pepper for the red. It’s not made or bottled by Pepsi. Plus, the shade of red Dr. Pepper uses is way too dark, closer to burgundy than the scarlet or candy red the NFL uses. I’d have gone with Mountain Dew Code Red.

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 11:52 am |

        They probably didn’t have enough Code Red to do the display and still have any on the shelves. Stores don’t typically have very large quantities of the secondary flavors like that.

      • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 11:53 am |

        I had that initial thought about Dr. Pepper, but I couldn’t come up with a good alternative (I was assuming Coke was not an option). Did not think about Code Red, that’s probably as good as a Pepsi product is going to get.

      • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

        Dr. Pepper is bottled/distributed by Coke operators in some markets and by Pepsi operators in others. Ditto for 7-Up. They’re sort of orphan brands.

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

      That display is at my store, too, so I’m sure it’s all over the country.

  • DJK | February 1, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    Knicks ditching the black = very good.

    Wizards going back the Bullets unis? Not so sure. I really actually like the Wizards blue unis right now.

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

      Nah, it’s all good. Looking forward to those.

  • tomservaux96 | February 1, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    Love the simplicity of the new Lightning uniforms, but i’ve always been a sucker for the Leafs unis. Perhaps a shade of blue that’s closer to what the Nordiques used to have would make them stand out from the Leafs.

  • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |

    Yeah, despite what the eBay seller claims, this is not a Steelers button.

    It’s a Steelmark button, which, of course, was used on the Steelers’ helmets for one season.

  • Bob Sullivan | February 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Has anyone posted yet that the Lightning unis are now Detroit Red Wing uniforms with “Tampa Bay” blue for red and the circular bolt replacing the winged wheel. Do you think maybe Steve Yzerman was involved a bit?

    • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 11:32 am |

      no…you must be the first

    • Ry Co 40 | February 1, 2011 at 11:49 am |

      the wings have collar ties now? the wings home unis now have a white collar? the stripe on the wings home jersey has moved up a bit? the wings now have shoulder patches? the wings C and A designations are moving back to the left side? the wings road whites are now gonna have white sleeves? the wings roadies are now gonna say “detroit” across the top? wow, that’s HUGE news!!!

      \\

  • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    I have a few pairs of those Bart Starr sneakers, but mine say “Jack Purcell”.

    • jdreyfuss | February 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

      My first thought too; those are the exact same shoes, down to the tread pattern. The Starrs have different labels saying they were made by a company other than Converse though. There’s one on the shank and another on the sole. I’m too lazy to check back for the name though.

  • Bob Sullivan | February 1, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    And oh by the way, I’m betting they have vertically arched name plates at some point.

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 11:49 am |

      Nothing new there if you think about it. New owners, coaches, GMs, etc., have been doing such things for years.

      Didn’t some guy named Lombardi pull that, turning the Redskins into Packers East? Don’t remember anyone giving him shit. Quite the opposite. They now rave about those Skins unis and their immediate descendants (with the burg. helmet, et al). as if they were something original.

      —Ricko

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 11:56 am |

        Uni Watch didn’t exist in 1970. Our uni-watching ancestors didn’t like it then either, they just didn’t have a central location to complain at.

        • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

          sure it did…it was just six years old at the time

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

          ’tis true. And I’d have been one of them.

          So I guess my core issue is that it happens every once in a while, which means when it happens again it isn’t an “Ah-HA!” moment.

          —Ricko

    • A.J. | February 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

      But not for preseason games. And 3458923457923 people will e-mail Paul telling him that they’ve discovered something that nobody has ever noticed before!

  • Flip | February 1, 2011 at 11:45 am |

    Black in the Knicks palette has bothered me more than black in the Mets. Maybe the Knicks willingness to lose it will encourage the Mets to do the same. Good move.

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 11:51 am |

      Could do that to the Red Wings, too, I suppose.

      • Chris M | February 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

        Could. But I didn’t.

        The Red Wings at least have their two colors in the logo which helps make it look not so boring. The Lightning will be the only team in the NHL with just one color in their logo.

        Just needs a tad more color, IMO.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

          “The Lightning will be the only team in the NHL with just one color in their logo”

          So there’ll be just a blank space when it’s shown on a white background?

      • aflfan | February 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

        Ricko, you are dead to me for that suggestion.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

          no, no, no…
          I meant what would be the point?
          That black makes anything better?
          Not.

          —Ricko

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

      They do?
      http://upload.wikime...

      Oh, I see what you mean. Well, I guess that begs the question, Hpw is the logo rendered on the white jersey? (I haven’t seen the whites).

      —Ricko

      • Anotherguy | February 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        Or Elvis.

        TCB in a flash.

        :-)

        • Anotherguy | February 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

          Sorry, that belongs below Ricko’s 12:21 comment.

      • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

        The white jersey has a blue logo, and Tampa Bay written above it. Don’t you click links? The white jersey is pictured in the very first link of today’s entry.

        Essentially, they have 2 logos, both of which are single colored. I’m guessing we’ll see a white outline added to the blue logo in order to use it on things like black t-shirts.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

          Duh. Did a total brain fart on that. Hadn’t clicked on today’s links, and couldn’t call the whites to mind from yesterday until you mentioned the, to me, unnecessary little “TAMPA BAY” on the roads.

          Still don’t see this as all that horrific, although a little imagination would have avoided a blue lightning bolt on the road (yeah, yeah, I know, lighting has a bit of blue in it, I suppose).

          —Ricko

    • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

      Ha, I just proposed that a few posts up, before seeing your post!!!!

      Good job!

      -Jet

  • Chapeau Noir | February 1, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    Less is more, and in the case of the Tampa Bay Lightening, less is waaaaaaaaaaay more. Well done.

  • Chapeau Noir | February 1, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    Lightening? Ugh. Lightning.

  • Noelski y que! | February 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

    What does Gatorade have to say about all this?

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

      Or Captain Marvel (SHAZAM!)
      Or Ray-o-Vac.

      At this point I’d imagine it’d be real tough to claim ownership of anything but a speoific interpretation of a lightning bolt.

      —Ricko

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

      Not to mention Roy Hobbs.

  • Bobby Orr | February 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

    I like it.

  • Beardface | February 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

    Tampa Bay Lightning 2011-2012 took a big step backwards in their branding and their design. It is bad, and completely neuters what made them them in the past.

    They are now the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NHL. Bland for the sake of being bland. If this was their original set, maybe I would think its good, but its not, and they have had 14 years and a Stanley Cup title to develop their brand, and they wiped it all away. Blue, black, and silver worked FOR THEM. The bolts on the pants worked for them, and the stripes under the arm had become their thing. Now, they are all gone. Why? Because they want to look traditional? They aren’t traditional, and never will be. Now they just desperately look like they want to be the Red Wings, and its pathetic.

    There is something to be said for simplicity, but at the same time, when you’ve had something for as long as the bolts have been around, you can’t go screwing around with it. They are not the same team without black. They certainly aren’t the same without their iconic under arm stripes. I’ll put it this way, I do think the Carolina Hurricanes could go through a redesign, but at the same time, I can’t imagine them not having the flag pattern at the bottom. Its their thing, and the team would be completely neutered if that was taken away. I think this is what Tampa did, and I’m not a fan.

    • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

      I can’t imagine them not having the flag pattern at the bottom

      ~~~

      except what carolina did with their alt was actually to get rid of the flag on the hem — that black and white set of squares is now simply a design, not a hurricane flag — even if you don’t consider it BFBS, it’s still taking away their one distinctive design element — all they needed to do was keep the hurricane flag colors and it would have been better

      • Beardface | February 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

        In a way, they did, because they still kept the pattern, even though it was greyed out, but I completely 100% agree that they should have kept the original colors…

        I just threw this together with the bolts… didn’t add in the victory stripes, but I recolored the main crest and added black to the stripes, and I think it looks 1000x better than what they came out with yesterday. It keeps the Lightning look while looking cleaner and simpler.

        http://www.brinkleys...

        I just think they really dropped the ball on this revamp. Yes, simple is good, but they took it too far and completely ruined what made them who they were.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

          But, if the decision had been made to go one-color-and-white, then that’s the parameters of the uni design.

          So really there are two debates here.
          1) Opinion of the uni
          2) the choice of new team colors.

          And, no, they AREN’T the same thing.

          —Ricko

      • Beardface | February 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

        And another thing… when it comes to hockey jerseys, simple jersey design looks best with an overly complicated logo. Look at all the detail in the logo in the following:

        Red Wings – http://www.nhlunifor...
        Blackhawks – http://www.nhlunifor...
        Classic Blues – http://www.nhlunifor...
        Toronto (3rd, which is the best IMHO) – http://www.nhlunifor...

        Heck, even the Bruins, Flyers, and Canadiens have more complicated crest logos, and it makes their simple design look better.

        When you combine overly simplistic logo with overly simple jersey, it just doesn’t look good, which is what the Bolts managed to do.

        • The Jeff | February 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

          Um, what’s complicated about a silhouette of a leaf with text on it?

        • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

          It’s not just a silhouette. It’s got more detail than that (veins, double outline).

        • Simply Moono | February 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm |

          @THE Jeff: Late to the party, but… behold…

          http://scrapetv.com/...

  • Komet17 | February 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    Link to info about getting your Wilson football repaired at the Ada, OH factory:

    http://www.mycusthel...

  • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

    Barry Allen? You’re showing your age, Paul. These days Wally West is the Scarlet Speedster.
    http://www.hyperbore...

    Actually, I’m a Jay Garrick fan myself.
    http://www.hyperbore...
    Now that’s a nice suit.

    As for the Lightning, I’d wear that. Don’t see any problems with it, but then again I’m not an NHL fan, so what do I know?

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

      Apparently I’m showing my age, because I didn’t realize Barry’s back for the time being. Too hard to follow the storylines…especially when one hasn’t been in a comics store for a few years.

      • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm |

        I was waiting for someone to bring up Wally West. I was also waiting for you to mention that you’re a Jay Garrick fan.

        Bonus: I got both things in the same post.

        And you forgot to mention Bart Allen.

        • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

          Not to mention Johnny Quick, Max Mercury and Jesse Quick.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

          “3X2NYZ4A”

          Say that and, if you’re right guy, you turn into super fast Johnny Quick (which, btw, was drawn far better than either the Golden Age Flash or his Silver Age reincarnation; shoot me, I was never a big fan of Carmen Infantino’s work…although “Detective Chimp” really was something special, well worth digging up).

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

          Lest anyone think I’d fabricate an idea as brilliant as “Detective Chimp”…
          http://www.thefifthb...

          —Ricko

        • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

          That inspired by Lance Link, Secret Chimp?

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

          Vice versa, if anything. “Detective Chimp” was a decade more more before ol’ Lance (which remains on of the funniest Saturday a.m. TV shows ever, btw.

          D.C. was big on thinking animals.
          REX, THE WONDER DOG…
          http://images2.wikia...
          At least that was drawn by Gil Kane.
          And, who knew, apparently there was a pilot made for a TV series back in 2006…
          http://www.byrnerobo...
          (would that be an actual photo of a “lucky dog,” btw?)

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

          Well crap…Let’s try these links…
          http://fantasy-ink.b...
          http://4.bp.blogspot...

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

      The truth: I’m not a Flash (or DC) fan at all. I had to consult Wikipedia to check the alter ego’s name and was surprised to learn there are FOUR of them. I chose Barry Allen more or less at random among the four.

      • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |

        Well, you had a 75% chance of getting it right. Any of the four would have worked except for Jay Garrick. He never wore that costume/logo.

        Barry Allen’s the one most people think of as the Flash’s alter-ego.

        • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm |

          Wasn’t one of them named Gordon?

      • Rob S | February 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

        To be fair, Barry Allen was the identity chosen for the live-action TV show back around 1990 or so, starring John Wesley Shipp in the title role. So you’ve got that going for you, Paul…

    • Rob Ullman | February 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

      Ricko’s mention of Johnny Quick’s mathematical speed formula gets him a +1 from this nerd.

      • Rob S | February 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm |

        On a side note, one of my all-time favorite cartoon moments was in “Justice League: Starcrossed” when the League had to go underground:

        Flash: What about the whole secret identity thing? I mean, I trust you guys, but I’m not sure I–
        Batman: *points to Flash* Wally West… *points to Superman* Clark Kent… *pulls off his cowl* Bruce Wayne.
        Flash: (beat) … showoff.

  • Anotherguy | February 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    So is there a difference between BIKE shorts and BIKER shorts?

    Do the Hell’s Angels have a specific length of short pants that identifies them vis-a-vis the Outlaws or some other group?

  • Terence M.K. | February 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    RyCo,
    Thanks for the kind words. Just sorta threw it together, now your ‘Vaders Alternate?! THAt is clever and totally Boss! Great DIYing as usual, man.
    TK

  • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

    “Need a case of Terrible Towels?”

    If you only need one, I have that particular Myron Cope memorial towel.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/...
    Well, mine doesn’t have the Heinz Field or Steelers logos, but the rest of it is the same.
    Anyone want it?

    Not to be confused with the original.
    http://1.bp.blogspot...

  • Mike Edgerly | February 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    About 3/4 down in this article it states that Manny will wear #24 with the Rays, no word on Damon
    http://www.tampabay....

    • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

      “I have two numbers,” Ramirez said. “In the NL, I’m 99 (which he wore with the Dodgers). In the AL, I’m 24.”

      Yeah. Obviously.

      • rpm | February 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

        jimbo, shouldn’t you be out shoveling snow, or have you guys not been hit yet? we are getting slammed here, every hour i have been going outside shoveling the walks and car holes of me and my two neighbors “dirty-mattress” joe, and “8-dog” klaus, so we don’t get iced in.

        • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

          I’m at home now. They closed our office at 1. It’s already announced that all the schools are closed tomorrow (well, “all” meaning the two schools that matter to us).

          I’ve shoveled twice already (once when I woke up and a touch-up job when I got home). We haven’t really gotten hit with the worst of it yet. I’m going to wait a few hours and then break out the snowblower.

        • rpm | February 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

          snowblower? way to be a cheat jerk,i thought chicago put hair on your chest. i use a toothbrush, and only wear stirrups. the pit bull-bumpases and the guy who has made sport of collecting dirty mattresses on the side of his house better bake me some freaking cookies. well not the mattress guy. it’s about time for the hourly shovel.

        • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

          Cheat?

          I can clear the entire alley from my garage to the street, then come around and do the entire sidewalk from the alley, all the way around the corner and down the entire block if necessary.

          C’mon… even chimps (of the non-detective variety) use technology to their advantage.

        • rpm | February 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

          oh. my. corn. my brother is so smart, i should use stick-tools. didn’t he design the “bolts” jersey too?

          it’s coming down sideways, i am putting off the next walkway/car hole shoveling until 4. i need to decide what to wear next time i go out, you never know which one of these will be the heart attack, and i want to be wearing proper hosiery and clean underroos.

    • Chip B | February 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

      Per an article on mlb.com, Damon will wear number 22 with the Rays.

  • Kyle Allebach | February 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    I love those NFL soccer jerseys. It’s too bad there wasn’t the entire league (or even just the Iggles for me), but my favorite out of the set is probably the Patriots.

  • Samuel | February 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

    The Warriors have announced the dates for their Hardwood Classic Nights. They’ll be wearing throwbacks from the 75-75 season.

    http://www.nba.com/w...

    • Samuel | February 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

      *74-75 season. Typo

      • Frankie | February 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm |

        Along with a tribute to Alvin Attles:

        http://www.nba.com/w...

        • Frankie | February 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

          Correction: The tribut to Alvin Attles is prior to one of their games. The patch on the jersey is for former owner Franklin Mieuli.

        • JTH | February 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |

          You sure it isn’t for Detective Chimp?

  • Sam D. | February 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    THE KNICKS ARE DITCHING THE BLACK?!?! YEEESSSS!!!! THEY ARE AN OLD SCHOOL TEAM AND THEIR OLD BLUE AND ORANGE UNIS ARE THE BOMB!!! THANK GOODNESS!!!!! :-D

    • Sam D. | February 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      I will always associate their current uniforms with Isiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, and Eddy Curry. ENOUGH!!!

      • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

        Agreed, Sam.

        • Broadway Connie | February 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

          Agreed. Wonderful look. Added bonus that Blue and Orange are the official colors of NYC, derived from of the Dutch flag in 1625. Especially appropriate for a team named after a (make-believe) Nieuw Amsterdam Dutchman.

          I know that I’ve only mentioned this NYC/Dutch thing 17 times, and I’m already finding myself quite tedious. Can’t help it. Did you know that the early Dutch settlers gave us “boss” and “stoop”? Did you?

          Stop me, someone, please.

  • Chris Mayberry | February 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

    Rarely disagree with Paul, but I have to chime in on this one: The Lightning franchise is caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation here. They can’t win. If they come out with another garish design, they get ripped for that. Yet, if they make a strong upgrade, as they’ve done, it’s wrong because they’ve been garish in the past. I think they should be applauded for unveiling a helluva decent set. But I agree with Paul on placing “Tampa Bay” on the roads. Stupid and unnecessary.

    • timmy b | February 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm |

      ummm…Nashville Predators??

      • Broadway Connie | February 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

        Now there’s a stupid name. Predators! C’mon Nashville. Nashville Pickers? Nashville Gnashers? Nashville Plateau Dwellers?

  • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    Why am I scared that “ditching the black” for the Knicks will result in something like this: http://cdn1.iofferph...

    • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

      That would be sweet.

      • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

        And result in burnt-out corneas all over the tri-state area

      • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

        no…that most certainly would NOT be sweet

        however, render that in navy/royal with orange tiled stripes…and it’s a winner

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm |

          Bring back Willie Naulls!!!!

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

          Okay, serious question.

          When did the Knicks officially shorten their name from “Knickerbockers”?

          Cuz as a kid of 7 or 8, I thought that was a great nickname.

          I think it helps if you’ve heard an announcer or sportscaster SAY it, not just read it somewhere.

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

          For perspective, for a long, long time back then, “Knicks” was used much the way “Phils” was/is used as short for Philllies…or “Celts” for Celtics…or “Cards” for Cardinals.

          You can disagree with me…but only if you’ve be alive long enough to remember the era I’m talking about. ;)

          —Ricko

        • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

          Ricko – you mean like this? http://cgi.ebay.com/...

          FYI – legally, they’re still the Knickerbockers. Marv Albert still called them by their full name on TV until he got canned in 2007 or so.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

          Was thinking more of the white home version. Nice looking uni, that.

          —Ricko

        • Flip | February 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

          Not this? http://www.google.co... Please no.

        • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

          i think ricko’s thinking of the carl braun era jersey

          that shit was the shit

        • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
        • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

          I have no faith at all in Dolan/MSG making a competent decision, but it’s an interesting debate. Do you keep the horizontal arch w/orange text/numbers & white/blue outline that is wholly associated with the Clyde/Willis championship era. Or do you harken further back, to the 50′s/Guerin/Sweetwater Clifton teams.

          Ditching the black is a great 1st step, but I’d favor the former/play it conservatively (and yes, I’m assuming the Nix are going to call me any minute now and ask my opinion). The tiled shoulder trim could look great or they could be an abomination.

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

          Yeah, that one…with the tiles.

          Don’t really need the belt business, but an updating would be cool.

          Does Temple have the tiling on their hoops unis, too? Seems to me they used to, anyway.

          —Ricko

        • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

          Ricko – Temple used to, but ditched them a few years back. The only teams I can think of to re-introduce them are/were the Cavs and Marquette.

        • A.J. | February 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

          Who’s to say they can’t do both? It wouldn’t exactly be unheard of for an NBA team to have more than one uniform set. And after seeing the Rangers thirds, I have complete faith in MSG making a good decision about uniforms.

        • Jim Vilk | February 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

          Nah, Temple’s been BFBS’n it for a while.
          http://cache.daylife...

          Home unis are nice.
          http://cache.daylife...

          Actually, both unis are a lot nicer than what they’ve had in the recent past. But yeah, they need the tiling.

        • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

          Good point, AJ. Clearly the MSG design/marketing team is on a “Back to the Fifties” kick. The ‘Bockers Then/Now ads that Turturro narrates (“From Dick McGuire to Stoudamire”) are in a similar vein. A third jersey w/tiles that accompanied the 70′s classic duds would be OUTSTANDING.

        • Flip | February 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm |

          Was there another Knicks jersey that had “Knicks” or “Knickerbockers” on it?

    • Broadway Connie | February 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

      Yes, yes, yes. Paul once called our attention to an even better close relative of this uni, but God (or Phil) knows when or where…

  • Doug S | February 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

    That flash looks pretty familiar. Do you suppose that TB cleared it with:

    http://www.lightning...

    I’ve raced mine on Tampa Bay itself.

    The class has been around since the 1930s, long before anybody probably thought of professional hockey in Florida. I seem to recall that the Lightning Class “flash” used to have the tip pointed down like TB’s, but the tip now points up.

    Something for the trademark guys to figure out, I guess.

    • Ry Co 40 | February 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

      you honestly think those logos can be confused with one another?

    • Aaron | February 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

      Umm. . . .yeah. . . Somehow, I don’t think the trademark guys are going to get a call.

    • Bernard | February 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |

      I think Lightning Class should be more concerned with these guys.

      • StLMarty | February 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

        Malt liquor works quicker
        Too much will make you sick

        R U down with The GOATS

  • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

    Does anyone prefer the bolt-in-a-circle from their shoulder patch over their bolt-in-a-circle on the front of the jersey?

    They’re not the same. I think I prefer the way they’ve rendered it on the shoulder (sans text) because I don’t like how the bolt juts out of the upper right part of the circle on the current jersey front. That player with the “A” for assistant captain – the bolt almost touches the A.

    I think I’d like the jersey crest better if the upper right part of the bolt ended with the perimeter of the circle.

    Thoughts?

    -Jet

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

      From a uni design standpoint the chest logo decidedly is the stronger of the two. It allows the bolt to “be” larger, which helps recognition over distance.

      Also, because the bolt extends beyond the circle it does two things…
      1. makes the bolt appear even larger with frame-of-reference (the circle) in the background
      2. eneergizes the bolt because it tracks as too powerful to be contained by the circle, an explosive flash of light, far more visually dynamic than the encircled version.

      Might souund like hooey, but it’s chapter and verse Comic Book Illustration & Logo Design 101.

      —Ricko

      • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

        Not hooey to me, I’m a sign designer myself and your explanation is spot on. I just kinda like the shoulder one.

        -Jet

  • Jet | February 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

    Or maybe the Lightning could have included contrasting shoulder bars on both home and road jerseys, i.e. white shoulder bars on the blue jerseys….

    -Jet

  • Dane | February 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

    Minor league hockey teams showing support for Super Bowl teams that there sorta close to:

    Milwaukee Admirals paint the face-off circles green and gold:
    http://www.milwaukee...

    WB/Scranton Penguins put the Steelers logo at center ice:
    http://wbspenguins.c...

  • Nick E | February 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

    anyone know what the steelers are going to do with their captain patches? i saw a little of media day buy it looks like a lot of steelers came out in hoodies.

    • Nick E | February 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

      im assuming they dont wear them.

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |

      They never wear them.

  • Christopher | February 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    Not uni related, but Rob Neyer left ESPN??

    He’s a friend of yours Paul?

    Wow- wonder why. He’s one of the guys I really liked reading there.

    • Nick E | February 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |

      hes going to SB Nation, i guess thats a big deal for them.

    • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

      1. Rob is more of an acquaintance or a comrade-in-arms than a friend. I don’t say that in any negative sense — I just haven’t spent that much Quality Time in his company.

      2. I didn’t know he’d left ESPN until just now.

      3. I had never been to the SB Nation site until just now.

      • Christopher | February 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

        All good. The article by the way:

        http://www.sbnation....

        I don’t know Rob, but a few years ago he was nice enough to link to a Baseball related site I do on his ESPN.com column. (Paul was nice enough to do so here too.)

      • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

        Paul, I will give you twelve dollars, my mp3 player, my game-worn Ken “The Animal” Bannister Knicks jersey from the ’85 season, a half a pound of really good pancetta, and my everlasting gratitude if you’d be willing to leak any more details on what the ‘Bockers new duds are going to look like.

        Fair trade?

        • Paul Lukas | February 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm |

          I honestly don’t know anything more than what I put in the Ticker.

          But I’ll take the pancetta anyway. Thanks.

        • Robert S. | February 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

          Deal.

  • Pflava | February 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    As much as I generally hate blue and black together, some of the Lightning mock-ups posted above that added black trim to the new set look really nice. I kinda wish they’d done something more like that. That being said, they still upgraded from the Edge redesign look.

    I’d like to see someone do a mock up of the new set in black instead of blue.

    • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

      ok…so it’s not quite what you wanted…

      but here

      seriously, it won’t look that much different

      • Rob S | February 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm |

        Funny, Phil… XD

  • Christopher | February 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

    They don’t number the photos, so hopefully this makes sense:

    Look at column 2, row 1. Barely see the gold.

    Look at column 2, row 2 and you can clearly see the green.

    • Christopher | February 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

      My reply didn’t seem to pop under your comment Paul. The reply was for you asking where the green and gold circles were.

  • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | February 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    So when Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning – they will be essentially a grand total of two colours represented – a mid shade of blue and white – when is the last time that has happened in the four professional sports – maybe you can argue in baseball – but I can’t think of a combo in the NBA, NHL or the NFL.

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm |

      Rams and Colts during the Rams’ royal and white era would be my guess.

      They had a number of memorable games.

      —Ricko

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

        Actually, that’s one of the reasons I’ve never been a huge fan of the Rams’ royal and white.

        On it’s own a nice uni. In the context of the NFL West (where they played the Colts twice every year), not so much.

        —Ricko

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

        Prior to that in NFL likely goes back to Chicago Cardinals and 49ers in mid-50s, before Niners added silver/gold and when they weren’t using the black dropshadow numbers…the white helmet 49ers of ’56 or so.

        Unless, of course, the kelly-white (white helmet) Eagles of the early ’70s played the kelly-white Jets shortly after the merger.

        —Ricko

        • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

          Nope, couldn’t have been been. But ’70 Eagles had added a bit of black trim to that uni.

          —Ricko

        • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | February 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

          I had thought maybe the Calgary Cowboys (a WHA team that lasted two seasons) – and the Detroit Red Wings might have played an exhibition game – but per some WHA website – that combination never happened. (It wouldn’t really count anyways)

          I would say Colts and Rams are it. Back to the Future.

    • Douglas | February 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm |

      If the Los Angeles Rams in their Navy and White days ever played the Dallas Cowboys in their Navy and White days.

  • 80s_HURRICANES | February 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    I don’t give a rat’s *** if tradition is earned and not manufactured.

    I LOVE the simplicity of these things. Just because they’re a sun belt expansion franchise doesn’t mean they have to offend the eyeballs. Not sure I get here you here, Lukas. The current set is just bad bad bad and slapdash.

    Top marks to Vinik and his boys.

  • Noelski y que! | February 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    just found this on craigslist

    http://sfbay.craigsl...

  • The Red Dog | February 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

    You just can’t win. If you go with three or four colors you get ripped, and if you go with one color you get ripped.

    It reminds me of the Seahawks, when they had the blue jerseys and silver pants and plain silver helmets in 1976. Everybody complained the uniforms were too plain – especially in light of the bright colors featured in Tampa Bay.

    So they add the helmet logo in year to and start incorporating more green – and eventually that ends up in a neon green jersey forty years down the line…

    What can you do?

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm |

      Riiiight.
      And the green was added to match the mysterious dot on the quarterbacks’ helmets.

      —Ricko

    • Gusto44 | February 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

      Red Dog,

      I can’t speak about the Seahawks 1976 preseason uniform, but Seattle had the complete uniform going for the regular season that year. The green and helmet logo were present for
      the opener versus St. Louis.

      • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

        gusto

        please do not encourage him

    • The Red Dog | February 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm |

      Interesting. I thought for sure we didn’t have any logo on the helmet in that first season. I have even seen pictures of us in a plain silver helmet.

      I’ll have to do some research. Thanks.

  • Joseph Gerard | February 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm |

    “For the first time in NHL history, an organization is being permitted to phase-in a new logo during the season.”

    I’m sure the Penguins will have something to say to the Lightning for that remark. Yes, the Penguins kept the Skating Penguin logo intact in 1980, but they did change their jersey colors midseason from blue & white to black & gold.

    Also, I read on Wikipedia recently that the Chicago Bears had block numbers on their white jerseys in 1971. Anyone want to confirm this?

    • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm |

      Yup. Been discussed here several times.
      Navys were sans sleeve stripes but with the typical number font.
      http://www.flickr.co...

      —Ricko

      • Ricko | February 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

        In ’72 the navys were sans stripes.
        Didn’t make that clear.
        http://www.flickr.co...

        —Ricko

    • The Red Dog | February 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

      Kind of like in the AFL when the Broncos switched from the brown helmet sticker to the white one.

  • Jordan Sogn | February 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    Sooners to wear to throwback style baseball uniforms in 2011…

    http://www.soonerspo...

  • SoxStephen | February 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm |

    Tonight’s Ole Miss – Kentucky game is color on color…

  • Kurt Allen | February 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm |

    Ticked on two things – first why is Packers painted on right side of the field, home team has always had the left end zone. Second, end zone is green, like previous appearances, but in Madden sim Packers end zone is gold. NFL can’t get it right, and EA Sports can’t get it right

    • Johnny O | February 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm |

      Why are the Packers listed first on the official Super Bowl ball? Weird stuff going on in North Texas this year.

    • LI Phil | February 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm |

      all part of god goodell’s grand plan

    • The Red Dog | February 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

      Yeah. The NFL is totally bias.

  • John | February 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

    Simple Lightning Fix:

    Use the “patch” as the logo.

    Works for the Wild!

    http://www.soldsignb...

    And looks darn good. The patch fits the “old-school aesthetic” much more than the italicized logo.

  • Nick E | February 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

    new ryder cup logo…
    http://www.brandchan...

  • MartyB | February 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm |

    Chipper Jones says he’ll be wearing low top cleats this year because he’s blown out his left knee twice while wearing high tops. He’ll also be going high-cuffed to accompany the low tops.

    Last couple paragraphs in this article:

    http://blogs.ajc.com...

  • MartyB | February 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm |

    By the way, I’ll be sending Chipper some of Rob Marshall’s Braves stirrups to replace his silly solid blue Mizunos.

  • Jim Vilk | February 2, 2011 at 12:06 am |

    I’m assuming it’s for other reasons, but tonight’s color vs. color Ole Miss vs. Kentucky game was the SportsCenter highlight of the night.
    http://a.espncdn.com...

  • Joe D | February 2, 2011 at 12:29 am |

    According to Tiki Barber at Packer’s media day, the “G” in the Packers logo does not stand for “Green Bay”, but rather “Greatness”

    http://sports.yahoo....

  • Matt Williams | February 2, 2011 at 7:35 am |

    Paul, thank you for the heads-up on the Steelers button. I just bought it and, if I am lucky, it may arrive in time for the Super Bowl. :)

  • Cindy | February 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    Thanks for linking to my blog post about the Oklahoma bowling ball yard art. It generated the most visitors in one day to my blog ever!