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What Is the Proper Response to a Disaster?

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Life is always full of tragedy. But there are some tragedies that transcend the ordinary and become part of our larger collective consciousness. Sports uniforms, oddly enough, are a good measure of this: If a disaster is big enough to affect uniforms — not just for one team, but for multiple teams, or even multiple sports — then you know it’s serious.

The most obvious recent example is Hurricane Katrina, which prompted a wide range of uni-driven responses in September of 2005. MLB teams wore Red Cross helmet decals, the Yankees wore Salvation Army sleeve patches (bet you forgot about that one, right?), and lots of college football teams — mostly based in the South — added helmet decals featuring hurricane warning flags and a map of the affected states.

Another recent example: the Virginia Tech shootings. I wrote about the wide range of uni-related responses to that tragedy several years back (lots of link-rot in that entry, sorry).

The current crisis in Japan is shaping up as something similar. Reader Jeremy Brahm brought two developments to my attention yesterday:

• The J-League — that’s Japanese soccer — has responded to the tsunami disaster by creating a new slogan and logo for this season, called Team as One. “The five people holding hands represent the J-League, the 38 teams, the players, the fans, and the people in the devastated Tohoku region,” explains Jeremy. Nice enough, although these “Let’s all hold hands” logos are getting a bit clichéd.

• Valencia CF — that’s a Spanish soccer team — printed its players’ NOBs in Japanese on Sunday. “The team even created a PDF, so fans could figure out who each player was.”

It remains to be seen whether the tsunami disaster will inspire further uni-driven gestures, but I suspect it will.

Meanwhile, the recent Christchurch earthquake has had several uni-notable effects as well:

• In my last ESPN column, I noted that several cricket teams and umpires have been wearing simple black armbands.

• In Super Rugby, several teams wore red and black tape armbands — the colors of the Christchurch-based Crusaders team — a few days after the quake.

• And in rugby, it now turns out that the All Blacks may swap their signature silver fern for a red fern. “This seems a bit much,” says reader Caleb Borchers. “The silver fern on the All Blacks jersey is iconic. Also seems weird to give up a national identity marker for a local one.”

Caleb raises an interesting question: Is there a point where such gestures go too far, either because they compromise the team’s own identity and/or because it all just gets to be too much? My own feeling is that this is a case-by-case thing, plus I find that I’m much more likely to instinctively say, “Sure, why not?” if we’re talking about a sport I don’t follow (like, cricket, rugby, Japanese soccer, etc.), because I have no emotional stake in the purity of the uniforms. In any case, I think this is an interesting topic for discussion — what do you think?

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Some 1920s film footage of Babe Ruth has been rediscovered. … Here’s an excellent view of the unusual helmet design for the 1974 Montreal Alouettes (with thanks to Mike Hersh). … Brendan Hunt notes that Caps defenseman Karl Alzner was wearing clear skate guards last Friday. … While looking for something else, I came across a photo of Ken Griffey Sr. wearing what appears to be a mesh-backed cap. Caption says it’s a regular-season game, too, although I have my doubts about that. … The Dayton baseball squad is another unusual case of a baseball team wearing football-style UCLA stripes. … Speaking of Dayton, yesterday I was interviewing their baseball coach, Tony Vittorio, for an ESPN piece I’m working on. At one point he mentioned that he wanted to switch his team to pullover jerseys, and then he said this: “The button-front jersey style, that’s been ‘in’ for a while now, but I’m kind of an old-school guy, so I’d like to go for the pullover.” Pretty interesting that someone would view button-fronts as a fad and pullovers as old-school. In case you’re wondering, Vittorio is 44 years old, so he grew up in 1970s and ’80s — the pullover era. … Ever wonder what an MLB contract looks like? Take a look here (with thanks to Chad Todd). … Remember those White Sox logo stirrups that Ozzie Guillen was wearing? Now Juan Pierre is wearing them too (big thanks to Dan Cichalski). … The L.A. Kings will have new uniforms next season, at least according to this item. Further analysis of the situation here (thanks, Teebz). … Way better than Fatheads: Check out this super-cool wall treatment (big thanks to my Scotland travel partner, Amy Fritch). … USA soccer’s third jersey has been leaked. … Sensational article about pre-Seahawks pro football in Seattle here — highly recommended (major thanks to John Doodigian). … Last week I mentioned that the Rhode Island baseball team was wearing a rip-off of the Rays’ uniform. Turns out they’re not the only ones. That’s Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida. “At least they bothered to change the colors!” says Nick Hanson. … The Kansas athletic dept. is auctioning off a yellow uniform from the 1988 championship season. “This yellow uniform set was worn only once,” explains Brad Barker. “The negative response from fans caused coach Larry Brown to vow to never wear it again. I don’t recall anyone wearing #3 on that team — must be a just a spare jersey.” There’s further info on that yellow uni design here. … “So much has been made this week of former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl’s single-handed creation of the university’s hoops jones, right down to his blazer selection and swagger,” says the always articulate Scott Gleeson Blue. ” But I (and many other Vols fans) would argue that Pearl simply resurrected the spirit and enthusiasm of Tennessee’s Ray Mears era, right down to the blazer selection and swagger.” … A.J. Frey reports that Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) played goalie in the Congressional Hockey Challenge and wore a Brooklyn Aces jersey. … Here’s a really fun project: A Texas gal went to Cooperstown and liked it so much that she’s doing a drawing of every Hall of Famer. I really like her style (thanks, Kirsten). … Ooh, the Say Hey Kid looked even suaver than usual in this tux (with thanks to Doc Ginn). … Cool DIY project by Alex B, who enlisted his Mom’s help to create a series of porch-style banners. “You can see that the threads are fraying a little bit after all those years,” he says. “Do you know of any tips to keep them at bay?” Nope. Anyone else? … And still more DIYage, this time from Frank Bitzer, who wanted to make a gift for his friend Steve’s elderly father, Nick Shundich, who was one of the captains of the Sid Gillman-coached Cincinnati Bearcats back in the early 1950s. After starting with this photo of Shundich, he came up with an excellent reproduction. “Steve told me that when his father was presented with the jersey, it changed his personality,” says Frank. “He’s old and his health isn’t what it used to be, but Steve told me Nick sat up telling him all types of stories from his college football days that he had never heard. It turns out Nick had an opportunity to play for the L.A. Rams upon graduating, but he took a higher-paying job as a manager trainee at a local bank in Cincinnati. My how times have changed.” … The package of NFL rules changes approved yesterday includes this: “One proposal was adopted unanimously, giving the commissioner the power to approve or deny requests to change the color of the playing field from green. Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said the concern was that sponsors could approach teams and suggest a deal that involved altering a field’s color.”

 

124 comments to What Is the Proper Response to a Disaster?

  • DJ | March 23, 2011 at 7:45 am |

    The J-League is Japanese soccer. Baseball in Japan is in the Pacific and Central Leagues

    • Paul Lukas | March 23, 2011 at 8:10 am |

      Oops. Fixing now.

  • RS Rogers | March 23, 2011 at 8:05 am |

    If that sticket wall treatment were a Fatheads design, then Fatheads would be cool.

    • RS Rogers | March 23, 2011 at 8:06 am |

      “ticket.” Apparently, it’s Add The Letter S To The Beginning of Random Words Day.

      • JTH | March 23, 2011 at 11:22 am |

        …for savings.

  • Flip | March 23, 2011 at 8:09 am |

    Now why can the Dayton baseball team pull off full-loop UCLA stripes and they’re not possible on football jerseys?

    • Terry Proctor | March 23, 2011 at 9:08 am |

      Amen.

  • Flip | March 23, 2011 at 8:11 am |

    Hooray that Arthur Blank has his noodle on straight.

  • Ilana Hardesty | March 23, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    Re fraying threads: maybe just a dab of clear nail polish??

    And in an unrelated item, New Balance has Dustin-Pedroia-branded merch available: http://www.shopnewba...

    • Shane | March 23, 2011 at 10:01 am |

      You just made my day. Those are infinitely cooler than the Pedroia shirts you see hawked outside Fenway after games.

      More expensive, but cooler + charity.

    • possum | March 23, 2011 at 10:08 am |

      If clear nail polish won’t work, perhaps Liquid Skin (first aid skin glue) or a good brand of super glue will. Those flags can get expensive, the DIY way looks like fun.

  • Geeman | March 23, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    I was at the game that Kansas wore the gold uniforms. It was in December 1987 at Western Carolina. Kansas barley won, thanks to Danny Manning, and went on to win the national championship while Western did not even qualify for its conference tournament.

    Larry Brown, the Kansas coach, said gold was an unofficial color of the school and that is why they wore the uniform, and in fact Kansas’ regular blue and white uniforms that year had gold trim.

    Kansas players wore the original red, white, and blue Barkleys in that game and I eventually bought a pair, I liked them so much.

    • Geeman | March 23, 2011 at 9:02 am |

      Also, I believe there is a picture of that Western Carolina-Kansas game on the wall in the athletic department in the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina, maybe of Danny Manning.

      The next year, Western Carolina (whose colors are purple and gold) broke out uniforms in the same shade as the Lakers and wore them home and away.

    • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 10:18 am |

      Nike Air Alpha Force:

      http://only-sneakers...

      Nice choice, Geeman!

      • Aaron | March 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

        I like how MPowers’ bat signal goes off when shoes are mentioned. It’s awesome.

        • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

          Thanks, Aaron! We all have our niche…Teebz with Hockey, Brinke with Tennis, Joe Hilseberg and Frosty with anything jersey related and Ricko and Terry Proctor with EVERYTHING!

          As said last week, I am a simple steward, helping to mind the wing just as Mark Mihalik, Todd Krevanchi, and Pretty Boy Paulie always did.

        • Teebz | March 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm |

          I’m rarely around these days thanks to school. I am up to my eyeballs in homework, and instructors are still piling more on.

          But I try to find hockey info when I can!

    • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 10:38 am |

      Larry Brown is usually the sharpest dresses guy in the frame, but check this 1988 pic out:

      http://www.corbisima...

      That’s a young Alvin Gentry looking sharp in spats, while Brown is wearing mismatched coat and pants.

      • Chance Michaels | March 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

        Those aren’t spats – they’re two-tones.

        Still, the man’s looking smart.

      • BurghFan | March 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |

        Sometimes Larry dressed better than others.

        • BurghFan | March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

          This link belongs on “others” above. My apologies.

    • The Ghost of Ross Gload | March 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |

      KU’s blue jerseys from 87-88 did have a touch of gold in the trim, but I own one of the whites from that season, and there is no gold on it.

      FWIW, those gold unis were worn by the best-dressed JV team in the land for a couple of years after Larry Brown left.

      • NickV | March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

        Yellow/Gold is perhaps an actually a KU color – If I am not mistaken, in the 1950s the KU football team wore Yellow/Gold helmets for a stretch of multiple years.

        Then again, Tulane wore Black Pasnts and Silver trim during the Tommy Bowden era, and neither are truly Tulane colors.

        Any thoughts?

  • Shane | March 23, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    Figured you guys would be happy to know…I got an email yesterday from Kickstarter. Betheny Heck’s Eephus League project was fully funded!

    (and yay, I get a poster)

  • LI Phil | March 23, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    RIP cleopatra

    • Bernard | March 23, 2011 at 9:34 am |

      Little late on that one, Phil.

      • Kenny Jacobson | March 23, 2011 at 11:59 am |

        Liz Taylor, dude.

        • Bernard | March 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

          Phil, I thought you fixed these sarcasm tags…

        • seven | March 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

          To make it uni-relevant.

          All American – http://www.life.com/...

          Apparently she dated Heisman trophy winner Glenn Davis.

    • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm |

      Zza Zza is now on the clock.

      • JTH | March 24, 2011 at 12:41 am |

        The shot clock?

        And that’s just two Zs (not four), Bonke.

  • Rob Ullman | March 23, 2011 at 9:33 am |

    Great stuff today. Love that wall treatment.

    • Ry Co 40 | March 23, 2011 at 9:57 am |

      that wall treatment is AMAZINGLY clever!

      and the DIYs today are making my head spin! great work.

      the “fraying” material/threads: i’d talk to frosty and joe h about that.

      and really nice touch on the embroidery for the Cincy jersey!

  • The Jeff | March 23, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    In any case, I think this is an interesting topic for discussion — what do you think?

    I think that it needs to stop. In most cases, the “tribute” always seems to say “look at us! look at how much we care!” without actually accomplishing anything.

    A Spanish team using Japanese NOBs for a game? Really? Because, you know, anyone from Japan is even going to see that, right? How about asking the fans for donations? That might actually help the Japanese in some small way.

    • Chance Michaels | March 23, 2011 at 9:52 am |

      I agree completely with The Jeff. With very few exceptions, these types of tributes are more about a cry for attention.

      Just like the “dress up as a soldier!” days.

    • Steve Naismith | March 23, 2011 at 9:55 am |

      Well said. I was drafting my response before yours had been posted, and I agree completely.

    • Paul Lukas | March 23, 2011 at 10:20 am |

      For what it’s worth, that Spanish soccer team has some ties to Japan, as explained here:
      http://www.valenciac...

      Not saying this does (or doesn’t) justify putting the NOBs in Japanese; just saying that it isn’t a completely random act by a random team.

  • Steve Naismith | March 23, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    I’m sure this will be an unpopular opinion to many, but I don’t believe uni disaster responses are appropriate – and this is one of my biggest pet peeves.

    To me, patches or uniforms commemorating 9/11, Katrina, VT, or whatever other tragedy seem more selfish (“Look at us! We’re sensitive, we care about bad things happening to innocent people!”) than genuine. I also think it’s gotten to the point where we are overwhelmed with tragedy responses, and teams feel as if they are forced to provide a unique acknowledgement of a tragedy on their uniform – be it large-scale, or the death of one significant personality. Whatever happened to a simple black armband? I suppose it’s one thing if the commemoration is directly linked to some fundraising effort, which I still feel is misplaced, but I fail to understand how a uni decoration is supposed to make a victim feel better after a tragedy.

    • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 10:53 am |

      It’s a really complex issue. But I keep thinking it boils down to a couple things…

      1. Everything is about image, making sure you look good, which leads to a torrent of shirt-sleeve beliefs and emotions.
      2. We seem to have become a society that is shocked—absolutely shocked—to learn that, yes, bad shit happens sometimes. Evidently we simply cannot figure out how to deal with that. Disasters do occur indiscriminately. Lives are ruined. People die. And sometimes, OMG, they even get season-ending knee injuries.

      Well, welcome to the real world. Not the one that gives out participation trophies.

      —Ricko

    • jdreyfuss | March 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

      I can understand it as a show of brotherhood when a team or even an entire league commemorates a death or a tragedy, but I always temper that feeling with the idea in Judaism that periods of mourning have a codified length. The idea is that you honor the person’s memory for an appropriate time, but don’t let a tragedy become a barrier to your own life.

      For anyone other than a parent, the longest prescribed period of mourning is 30 days, after which it is only appropriate to display mourning on the anniversary of the person’s death. For a parent, it is appropriate to mourn for twelve months.

      In the same way, I would say it’s appropriate for a team to mourn a loss or a local tragedy for a year and for a league to mourn a major loss or tragedy for a month or two. After that, it’s only appropriate to do that sort of thing once a year and only if it doesn’t interfere with the game itself.

      As such, things like the flag patches and “God Bless America” were appropriate immediately after 9/11, but really should only come out on July 4th, Memorial Day, and September 11th itself. A more local tragedy, like the I-35 thing in Minnesota, would be appropriate to commemorate once a year by the Twins, but no one else.

      Similarly, I could understand teams across Japan commemorating the tragedy for a defined period and then perhaps wearing a patch once a year after that.

      • Chance Michaels | March 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

        As much as I find the Tragedy Patches distasteful, the notion that they should be dragged out once a year, such as the Twins with I-35, is even worse.

        It’s ghoulish, the notion that the Twins should twenty years from now be reminding their fans about the bridge collapse once a season.

    • RS Rogers | March 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

      Whatever happened to a simple black armband?

      Amen, brother.

      I fail to understand how a uni decoration is supposed to make a victim feel better after a tragedy.

      But here’s where I cut some slack. Who says that making the victim feel better is the only valid purpose of such a thing? I was in Amsterdam when al-Qaeda bombed the Madrid subway, and I went and left a lit candle with the hundreds of others that Amsterdamers had left outside the Spanish consulate that evening. Did a single victim of the terrorist attack in Madrid see my candle several hundred miles away a few hours later? Obviously not. If one had, would it have given her even a smidgen of meaningful relief from the trauma? Almost certainly not. I’ve been a bystander to two of the major terrorist attacks of the last decade, and thinking of all the flowers laid the next day doesn’t make the memories any happier. If providing succor to the victim is the only valid purpose of such tributes, then we would have a moral duty to go grab our torches and pitchforks right now and burn down all the funeral homes, because no funeral ever held has helped a single person to stop being dead.

      To a greater or lesser degree, all human tragedies affect everyone who learns of them. Expressing one’s sympathy is just a normal, human response. So where a gesture seems genuinely to express the feelings of the players and/or team management, and especially where it’s accompanied by some gesture of material aid, such as collecting donations or encouraging giving through third parties, then I’m all for it. (I’m OK with journalists who choke up at bad news, too. You’re allowed to be human, or a citizen.)

      But there is a tricky line between a genuine display of sympathy and mere schtick or exploitative milking of tragedy for vanity’s sake. It can be hard to see that line, but if you’re still wearing red-white-and-blue caps on the eighth or ninth anniversary of a terrorist attack, then you’ve crossed that line.

    • Jim TN | March 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |

      I took my kids to the Mississippi State-Vanderbilt baseball on Sunday. Vanderbilt came out in their Stars and Stripes uniforms–blue jerseys with red trim and white stars on the sleeves. Plus blue hats with the flag behind the “V.”

      Great idea, because when I think of days to honor America, I think of July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and a randomly selected Sunday in March. (?)

      My 7 year old son saw Vandy take the field and asked “Why are they dressed like Ole Miss? Aren’t they supposed to wear black and gold?” I couldn’t have been more proud.

      • Jim TN | March 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

        Great idea, because when I think of days to honor America, I think of July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and a randomly selected Sunday in March. (?)

        Forgot the obvious sarcasm tag.

    • Snowdan | March 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm |

      I don’t think the jestures are wrong, just don’t sell the damn jerseys! or if you do, give 100% of the proceeds to disaster relief or charity of sorts.

      • RS Rogers | March 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

        Bingo.

  • Lew Holst | March 23, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    During the Valencia match, the English-language announcer was talking about how they were very close to completing some plays which would have likely led to goals – and referenced the different weighting of the names on their backs as the potential reason (in jest obviously, but still uni-relevant…)

  • Bando | March 23, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Related to the group deal on Chucks, am I the only one who has noticed a marked change in the quality and fit of Chucks since they stopped making them in America? I swear, every new pair I’ve bought since then have made my feet hurt and broken down more quickly, while the last few American pairs I have are not only holding up, but comfortable.

    • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 10:23 am |

      I do not wear Chucks, but my daughters ALWAYS have multiple pairs. I have noticed that they do in fact come in different grades and are either higher/lower quality and durability.

      Among us sneakerheads, this is a huge topic, especially when it comes to the flagship of sneakers the Air Jordan as well as ANY retro release. Nike is VERY guilty of raising the price while decreasing quality.

      It might seem like blasphemy coming from me, but I can attest to it!

      • LI Phil | March 23, 2011 at 10:32 am |

        Nike is VERY guilty of raising the price while decreasing quality.

        ~~~

        and yet you still buy a boatload of them

        • JohnnySeoul | March 23, 2011 at 11:38 am |

          Well, they do look good on the feet. I’m guilty of buying just about every retro J’s when they are released. Those and the hard to find Nike Dunks (i.e. Nike Dunk High Strap Questlove edition). Can’t help it, I’m a kicks addict.

        • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 11:44 am |

          Bought…a boatload of them…economic downturns affect everyone!

          I am actually in the process of selling or givibng away many of those that I rarely wear, if at all!

          I have already donated many pristine cleats and turfs to the sports program where I teach.

          It’s tough becoming a grown-up!

        • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

          Johnny Seoul, you are always welcome in the sneaker wing of UW!

          Zigtechs are all the rage now:

          http://www.epayshoes...

          That’s the new “it” shoe at the gym that I go to.

          I actually considered getting the baseball trainer version for umpiring this Spring but realized that cleaning them would be a nightmare:

          http://img2.prospere...

        • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

          Questlove Dunks:

          http://alldunks.org/...

          I’ve always loved the Reese Forbes, Heineken and Newcastle special editions:

          RF:
          http://www.kixstores...

          Heineken:
          http://www.sneaker-s...

          Newcastle:
          http://www.arockalyp...

      • JGoodrich | March 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

        It’s funny – just last week my 11 year-old daughter told me how “Converse” (she never refers to them as Chucks) are girls’ shoes. Apparently no self-respecting 5th grade boy would be caught in anything but Zigtechs or whatever they’re called.

        • jdreyfuss | March 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

          My mom has been trying to convince me that I’m stupid for preferring both the high tops and ones with laces instead of the John Varvatos ones with the tongue stitched to the vamp. My answer to that is that I prefer the ones as close to the original design than someone else’s idea of “customized.”

      • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

        would love to wear Chucks but they are just a flat bed of foam rubber on the bottom- no support, so can’t do it.

      • Coleman | March 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm |

        Forget the Zigs, I picked these up a few days ago and they are the lightest shoe I have ever worn (other than my soccer cleats).The wind blow right through them too, ClimaCool all the way.

        http://i1205.photobu...

  • Mike V | March 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |

    I don’t really have a problem when teams, even the ones with a long uni heritage, change things up a bit when responding to a tragedy. Mainly because it’s only temporary and that those games usually are trying to raise money for some cause/organization that would directly help those affected. It’s a short term change that is meant to help others, so although the change might make the uni look odd, it’s easy to look the other way. You have to look at the big picture…I can ignore a bad patch or odd color combos for a few games if the end result is that some guy and his family that may have just lost their home in an earthquake can be better supplied with life essentials (i.e. water, blankets, food, shelter, etc.) while I shove nachos supreme and shredded pork down my gullet.

  • BSmile | March 23, 2011 at 10:28 am |

    Cool footage of the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig barnstorming tour! I have a panoramic of all the players that was taken the previous day in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Check it out here: http://www.baseball-...

    Cheers!
    ~B

    • teenchy | March 23, 2011 at 10:54 am |

      I enjoyed that footage but also the Pathé footage of Ruth, Cobb and Johnson linked in that article. Even in warmups it always fascinates me to watch Walter pitch, and to try to figure out how much of his success was due to his motion versus his physical attributes.

  • mmwatkin | March 23, 2011 at 10:38 am |

    “Valencia CF — that’s a Spanish soccer team — printed its players’ NOBs in Japanese on Sunday. “The team even created a PDF, so fans could figure out who each player was.””

    If only there were some sort of numeric identification system for teams to use.

    • LI Phil | March 23, 2011 at 11:29 am |

      heh…

      was thinking the same thing when i read that

      i would think that footy fans, in particular, would know their team members by number, probably more so than other sports…

      all of which leads to the inevitable quandry as to whether the name on the front (or in this case, the ad) is as important as the NOB

  • Broadway Connie | March 23, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    “… Here’s a really fun project: A Texas gal went to Cooperstown and liked it so much that she’s doing a drawing of every Hall of Famer. I really like her style (thanks, Kirsten). …”

    ****

    I can’t begin to say how great this is.

  • Mike | March 23, 2011 at 10:55 am |

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

    This video shows the Michigan Lacrosse team in Maize on Maize with a winged helmet…kinda interesting to use this image to think how Michigan football would look with a Maize on Maize jersey combo.

    • StLMarty | March 23, 2011 at 11:29 am |

      Not uni related, but that lacrosse video took me to several animal videos. I had to stop after “Cat Reacts to New Puppy”. So cute. RIP, Lexi.
      http://www.youtube.c...

      • Mike | March 23, 2011 at 11:35 am |

        (tear)

  • Prentice | March 23, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    @ Frank Bitzer or anyone…….where did you get that Russell Athletic long sleeve cotton(?) jersey with the gussets? Awesome DIY!!

    • Paul Lukas | March 23, 2011 at 11:22 am |

      From Frank’s original email to me:

      “Finding the old long-sleeve cotton jersey was not as hard as I thought it would be. I called various manufacturers (excepting the evil empire) and Russell Athletic advised me that they still manufactured them in small production batches. Then they told me something really cool, the make them for the Cincinnati Police Department which uses them as standard issue wear for personal defense training. They call them ‘wrestling shirts.’ Russell told me what local sporting goods store carried them for the Cincy Police (Koch Sporting Goods), so I went down there and asked if they could help me with my project.”

      • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

        I’ve seen alot of DIY’s on this site, but that might be the best of all. great work, Frank!

        The old stories are priceless. I love asking my wife’s grandfather about the war years and his recollections of Crazylegs Hirsch and how he used to just walk into Fenway and catch the ballgames!

      • Prentice | March 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

        I just called Koch and all of the the shirts they have are already emblazoned with “Cincy Police” print. If anyone has another line on where I can get these Russell shirts blank, send me a note. Every now and then I am able to find one one eBay, I had no idea Russell still produced them.

      • Ry Co 40 | March 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

        i LOVE Russell and Champion for DIYs. both great quality and reasonably priced

  • DAP | March 23, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Not technically “uni” related, but my favorite memorial/tribute was Ferrari running with no ads and a black nose at Monza after 9/11: http://www.f1fanatic...

    Another Katrina related patch worn by both LSU and Tulane: http://www.tulanegre...

  • JTH | March 23, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    A couple Saturdays ago, I was in a bar and some Serie A match that was getting started was on the TV (I think it was Juventus vs. some team that started with a C).

    Anyway, I don’t know which team it was or maybe it was both teams, or possibly just one guy, but a closeup was shown of a player wearing a warmup shirt that had “FOR THE JAPAN” printed in huge letters on the back.

    • KT | March 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

      I’m surprised they didn’t do that in The MLS.

  • Mark | March 23, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    for the fraying threads there is a product called “Fray Check” that is for precisely that problem. you can get it at most fabric stores.

    http://www.joann.com...

  • inkracer | March 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |

    The US 3rd Jersey has been leaked for some time.. I’ve seen it (and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned and linked to it in the comments here) since before the last World Cup.

    • Broadway Connie | March 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

      Hate that diagonal.

      • Coleman | March 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

        There was some discussion about the sash on this uniform and others yesterday in the comments. Why, may I ask, do you hate it?

        • Broadway Connie | March 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

          Sorry, Coleman, missed that yesterday discussion… That Man City two-color sash isn’t so bad as the US sash, but I’m still just, well, resistant to that diagonal element. I’m usually strongly biased in favor of early-20th Century uni designs – and the sash was certainly common then, especially in my favorite sport, international track and field – but for reasons that I find difficult to articulate, I just don’t like it. It could be that I prize symmetry… Well, you’ve got me scratching my head, I admit, so maybe there’s just some kind of hard wiring issue… I wish all US national teams would adopt the (modestly-sized) national shield.

  • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    March snowstorm made today’s a.m. rush hour here a bitch.

    One of my younger co-workers said, “Jeez, had to drive like an old man this morning.”

    Another co-worker smiled and replied, “Oh, you mean drive defensively, don’t text or talk on your cellphone, and don’t go over the speed limit by more than 5 or 6 miles an hour?”

    Ah, the head-butting (ever-so-gently) of generations.

    —Ricko

    • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

      Just be happy that my generation and those younger than myself are paying your social security!

      • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

        I won’t be taking your money, I’ll be taking my own, plus interest. I’m gonna assume I’m entitled to it. After all, I put it in. And I’ll be paying taxes on it when I do take it.

        Now, had Congress left it as a sort of escrow account as originally mandated there’d be more than enough money. But, nooooo, they couldn’t keep their hands off it, and moved it to the general fund.

        So don’t blame me. Blame politicians in general.

        (and, yes, I know, that’s the overly simple explanation…but the general point is entirely true. Had it been left alone, it now would be a monster fund.)

        —Ricko

        • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

          Well, as has been stated, this isn’t the place for this discussion. But, I didn’t insult anyone or call anyone names, and you did (my entire generation, in fact). So I suppose I should offer SOME kind of response.

          FYI, it was the generation BEFORE the Boomers–-our parents and grandparents—-that raided Social Security.

          You could look it up. The oldest of us were barely in grade school.

          And it sure as hell isn’t our fault that there are so many of us.

          A question: If your money is in a bank that has been brutally mismanaged, are you still entitled to withdraw it…and the interest accrued?

          Me, I’m planning on the living the high life on my $1,500 a month, that’s for sure.

          —Ricko

      • LI Phil | March 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

        Just be happy that my generation and those younger than myself are paying your social security!

        ~~~

        really matt? i know you’re *joking* (at least i hope you are)…but really…that’s just the kind of crap that really makes me think the new *LOOK AT ME* generation really doesn’t get it

        ricko’s absolutely right — he paid in all these years, and the man deserves what is his, and not have to worry about the money he was forced to pay in not being there

        ~~~

        alright, enough of this shit

        • Coleman | March 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

          alright, enough of this shit

          ~~~

          Agreed.

          I would totally have this conversation, but not in the comments section of a uniform website…

        • MPowers1634 | March 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

          Oops, next time, I’ll just e-mail or text my buddy with the jab!

          It is our civic responsibility to pay into SS.

          Coleman is correct, sorry for instigating. We’ll stick to the unis:

          I loved the Katrina patch that LSU and Tulane wore as well as the katrina LSU uniform:

          http://members.cox.n...

        • Jeff P | March 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm |

          Yeah, that generation took what was theirs. And more. Notice that big gaping deficit? The boomers took all the money and billed everything to us. You paid into social security, sure, but you took much more money out then you put in elsewhere.

          Sorry, but you’re not flat out entitled to it. You took your share already, just in other forms.

          From where I’m standing, the boomers are looking like a bunch of selfish jackasses who decided to ruin the futures of their kids so they didn’t have to pay for all the entitlements they voted themselves. And people are surprised that we butt heads with them?

          Perhaps describing it a different way would help. Generations are defined by a common set of circumstances and culture that they grew up in. For the politically aware of the millennial generation, we’ve grown up seeing people- mostly boomers- run amuck with corporate greed, political asshattery, disregard for science, fact in general, an unwillingness to pay their share for government, and a complete and total disregard for the future in just about every conceivable way; a future that we have to live in and they don’t.

          I’d say our generation’s hate for the boomers is pretty well justified.

        • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm |

          Well, as has been stated, this isn’t the place for this discussion. But, then again, I didn’t insult anyone or call anyone names, and you did (my entire generation, in fact). So I suppose I should offer SOME kind of response.

          FYI, it was the generation BEFORE the Boomers–-our parents and grandparents—-that raided Social Security.

          You could look it up. The oldest of us were barely in grade school.

          And it sure as hell isn’t our fault that there are so many of us.

          A question: If your money is in a bank that has been brutally mismanaged, are you still entitled to withdraw it…and the interest accrued?

          Me, I’m planning on the living the high life on my $1,500 a month, that’s for sure.

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm |

          P.S. Y’know, come to think of it, for a generation that hasn’t had to sweat the military draft as part of your citizenship, that’s a pretty self-absorbed comment.

          —Ricko

    • jdreyfuss | March 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

      I wouldn’t consider driving any faster than ten MPH under the speed limit to be old-person driving. I also consider driving with awareness to be more important than driving defensively. If someone isn’t aware of what’s going on they’re going to get into an accident no matter how defensively they’re driving.

      • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

        Semantics.
        Driving defensively IS being aware of your surroundings.
        Unfortunately it has come to be thought of as “driving timidly” or “driving like you’re scared.”
        Not the same thing.
        At all.

        The phrase came into existence hopefully to suggest the obvious insanity of “driving offensively” (“Get off my road and out of my way, people!”) So while it is the perfect ying-yang for writers, it doesn’t accurately describe the mindset.

        —Ricko

      • KT | March 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm |

        “I wouldn’t consider driving any faster than ten MPH under the speed limit to be old-person driving.”

        Nope. But doing it in the left-hand lane is.

        • jdreyfuss | March 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

          I’d put that under “unaware” unless the person is doing it on purpose, in which case it’s “pacing,” one of my top ten signs of a bad driver.

  • KT | March 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    LOVE the Alouettes helmet, just because it’s so different. That logo eventually made its way to the side of the helmet by the time I first became aware that there even was a CFL in the late 1970s. Always dug the Als’ uniform look. Now CFL uniforms are such a mishmash of colored panels and sponsor patches and logos that it’s hard to like them.

  • Eric | March 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    The Giro d’Italia unveiled the Maglia Rosa (pink leaders’ jersey) at a Milan martini bar. Can’t think of any other pro sport that would unveil a leaders’ jersey or championship trophy in a martini bar…those wacky Italians!

    http://www.velonatio...

  • Big Al | March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    [i]the Yankees wore Salvation Army sleeve patches (bet you forgot about that one, right?)[/i][br][br]
    WOW, I don’t remember seeing those at all, and I catch at least part of every Yankee game… Was that for one game only?

  • Ken | March 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Let’s not forget the NHL’s response to Hurricane Katrina by wearing the Katrina Relief Fund patch. “The jerseys were worn by the players in the first period of their opening night home game of the 2005-2006 NHL season. The jerseys were donated by Reebok, and all were put up for auction to help raise funds for the city of New Orleans.” (BTW: Thanks Teebz ~ the above is from you website )

    • Teebz | March 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

      Glad to be of service! ;)

  • adam | March 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    have you seen this japanese relief logo? it’s not unirelated but still.

    http://cloud.globalg...

  • Mickel Yantz | March 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    THANK YOU! A wish came true for me and the posting of the Seattle Kings history. I have been searching for a long time for information and this article is wonderful and an important piece of Seattle football many forgot. Thanks again.

  • Tim E. O'B | March 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

    Ok, so here’s where I started to get the blue out of the NBA.

    • Jim Vilk | March 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm |

      Love that green with blue trim.

  • John parker | March 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    No photo yet but Andrew Brown of the Cardinals has no name on back and a double flap helmet against the Mets on ESPN right now

    • Paul Lukas | March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

      Lots of double-flaps in spring training games, because many of the players are minor leaguers.

  • Tim E. O'B | March 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    BTW, has this ever been talked about here? And has something this comprehensive ever been done wit bobbleheads before?

    http://www.nba.com/m...

  • urbanleftbehind | March 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

    I would not doubt that the Reds had their players in mesh hats. After 1976, they were in a constant state of salary slashing. The characteristic cheapness carried over into the Schott era; in fact the Reds, along with their small market riverfront brethren the Pirates, were the last of the NL teams to wear waistbands and pullovers (1990). Griffey was one of the last of the Big Red Machine holdovers, so this probably was in the strike year of 81 or around then.

    • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

      um…the Reds wore pullover jerseys starting in the 71 or 72 season.

      • pushbutton | March 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm |

        The OP meant the Reds were the last NL team still wearing them….I believe through the 92 season, actually.

    • Valjean | March 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm |

      And though the mesh cap is horrid, I can *almost* see it for practicality: Riverfront in mid-summer was often an oven and all-wool caps certainly wouldn’t help. And there *was* a time a few decades back when mesh-back caps were not considered the absolute height of dorkiness.

      That being said Reds management then were notorious cheapskates — saving a little coin would be my bet too.

  • JenInChicago | March 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    Update from Cubs camp via Paul Sullivan’s (beat writer) twitter feed:

    “Carlos Silva has pulled his socks up to just below the knee, apparently in his effort to change his luck.”

    While, I’m all for stirrups and properly worn uniforms, I have a feeling this might not look too good with ol’ Carlos!

    If anyone posts a pic, I’ll post it back here.

  • JenInChicago | March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

    Wow….Coach cardigans from Mitchell and Ness! via Darren Rovell’s twitter feed:

    http://www.mitchella...

  • Big Al | March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    Darren Rovell tweet re: Mitchell & Ness Coach Cardigans

    http://twitter.com/d...

    • JTH | March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

      He probably thinks they’d look better with sponsorship logos on them.

  • LarryB | March 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm |

    Nice story and job with the Cincinnati Bearcat jersey for Nick Shundich by Frank Bitzer

    That was very cool to do that.

    • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |

      Mr. Shundich also happened to me one of my soccer coaches growing up in Terrace Park! Small world.

  • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm |

    I’ll bet that the jersey was done @ Koch Sporting Goods–they can do -anything.- PL would love that place. If you do a Cincy UW gala—it’s a must.

  • Ricko | March 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm |

    FYI, it was the generation BEFORE the Boomers–our parents and grandparents—that raided Social Security.

    You could look it up. We were barely in grade school.

    And it sure as hell isn’t our fault that there are so many of us.

    A question: If your money is in a bank that has been brutally mismanaged, are you still entitled to withdraw your money…and the interest that’s accrued on it.

    Me, I’m planning on the living the high life on my $1,500 a month, that’s for sure.

    —Ricko

  • =bg= | March 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm |

    ah just saw the earlier post–yup, Koch’s “cooks” is the spot.

  • Ethan | March 24, 2011 at 1:05 am |

    NASCAR Night in Charlotte.

    Alternate Unis, Sports crossover, and color vs. color.

    My head hurts.

    http://sports.espn.g...