OUR STORY SO FAR … Everyone agrees that the 1962 Broncos wore a white
mule donkey burrrro oh okay, it’s a horse on their helmets — except during the preseason and possibly the first game or two of the regular season, when they clearly wore a non-white decal. Most helmet-history sites (the Helmet Project, Helmetpix, the Broncos uni-history page, etc.) show or describe this non-white pony as being brown, but our own Richard “Ricko” Pearson, who unlike most of us was actually watching football games in 1962, has maintained for years — for decades — that it was actually blue.
The search for definitive visual evidence one way or the other has become one of Uni Watch’s great white whales. The problem, of course, is that the only photos of this helmet up until now have been black-and-white shots. Wouldn’t it be great if I could resolve this thorny issue by presenting a color photograph?
Yup. And maybe one day I will. But today is not that day.
What I do have today, however, is a newly discovered black-and-white wire shot that brings us a bit closer to the answer. Behold:
Reader Mark Peterson recently spotted that photo on eBay and sent it to me. As you can see in the vague caption, the new uniforms are described as being orange, blue, and white (no mention of brown), but although the helmet decal is mentioned, its color is not. It’s tantalizingly, maddeningly close. Or as Mark put it when he forward the photo to me, “Fuckity fuckity fuck fuck!”
A few days ago I showed the photo to Ricko and Phil. Phil responded first:
If the Bronco was brown, you’d think they’d mention that, right? Why mention the uniform colors and the helmet’s main color but then exclude the most important part — the color of the horsey — unless the horsey was blue [i.e., one of the colors they’d already mentioned]?
This is not the 100% proof Ricko is right, but it’s closer than anything we’ve seen so far.
I basically agree with that analysis, at least to the extent that the caption’s writer was rational, logical, etc. As a journalist, however, I can tell you that captions (and articles, and headlines…) are often written by people who are total goofballs.
Ricko, however, took the argument a step further: “As I’ve said many times, had the Broncos kept the brown [from this design], for any trumped-up reason, they’d have been laughed at, booed, and generally benn the brunt of some serious jokes [i.e., because that previous uni was such a league-wide laughingstock — PL]. That would have made the papers back then. Guarantee it.”
But here’s the thing: Most folks seem to agree that the reason the horse changed from colored (blue, brown, whatever) to white is that the colored decal didn’t provide enough contrast against the orange helmet and was therefore hard to discern. Phil takes up the argument from there:
If the helmets were indeed Texas orange and the pony was brown, it might have been difficult to make out [so it makes sense that they’d change it]. Not so if the horse was blue — they wouldn’t need to change it, or at least one wouldn’t think so. In fact, I’d argue that the white, which is what they changed to, would be less clear than the blue against an orange background.
I basically agree with that analysis too. Hmmmmm.
The tiebreaker in my mind is that it doesn’t make a whole lot of design sense to impose a brown helmet decal on a color scheme that’s otherwise dominated by blue and orange. So I’m leaning toward this.
But we aren’t quite there yet.
Coming soon: Exciting news about another Uni Watch white whale. Full details in a day or three.
And stuff your bra while you’re at it: Jeremy Brahm informs me that the Badminton World Federation, in an effort “to raise the profile of women in badminton,” has issued new clothing standards. You can guess where this is going, right?
Here’s the key passage:
The BWF has received feedback from various parties with regards to the introduction of Rule 19.2 of the General Competition Regulations, which require female players to wear skirts or dresses for Level 1 to 3 tournaments. This specific regulation has its genesis in the extensive review into the marketing and events structure conducted by an external international marketing agency in 2009.
The BWF has developed guidelines to go alongside the new Regulation, to ensure that it will not in any way discriminate against any religious or other beliefs and respects women. Players will continue to wear shorts if they wish but simply wear a skirt over the top of the shorts, as is often practiced already by some players.
How wonderful that an “external marketing agency” decided that these athletes should wear skirts or dresses, and how comforting it is to know that the BWF will ensure that this rule “respects women.” As for the religious angle, Pakistan has already decided not to follow the new guidelines. I guess they don’t care about marketing.
Membership update: About ten new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Tim Fogarty’s brilliant request, shown at right. If it doesn’t look familiar, that’s because it’s based on this White Sox beach blanket prototype. There’s only one rear-view image of this jersey that I’m aware of, and it’s pretty sketchy — literally — but I think you’ll agree that Scott did a great job anyway.
As for printed/laminated versions, some of these new cards will mail out later this week; the rest, I hope, next week.
As always, you get your own custom-designed membership card by signing up here.
Save the date — full details: Take a bunch of people associated with This American Life, Radiolab, Wired, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, toss in a few highly regarded artists and authors, mix them all together, and you’ve got — I’ll go out on a limb here — all the kids who were picked last in gym class. So why would they want anything to do with ESPN?
Beats me, but that’s what’s happening on May 11, as Pop-Up Magazine and ESPN [The] Mag are teaming up for an evening of sports-themed
revenge of the nerds performance, presentation, and, storytelling. As you can see, I’m on the list of participants, and I’m actually pretty stoked about it.
A few details:
• Tickets will will go on sale tomorrow, noon eastern, at the Pop-Up Mag web site. I’m told the price will be $25. Yes, I know that’s a bit steep, but hey, it’s live entertainment (and it’s still cheaper than Lombardi). I expect this will sell out pretty quickly, so act fast if you want in.
• One of Pop-Up Mag’s rules is that there will be no photography, no video, no simulcast, no webcast, no podcast, no recording of any kind. So you’re either there for the live event or you’re not, and that’s it.
• The venue is the Skirball Center, which is a theater on the NYU campus. Never been in there myself, but I hear it’s nice.
• There will be additional participants besides the ones already listed on the Pop-Up Mag site. I don’t know who any of them are, but I hear the Pop-Up folks like to keep some big surprises under wraps for the event.
• I can’t tell you what any of the other people’s presentations will be about, because I don’t know. I also can’t tell you what my presentation will be about, because I’ve been asked not to.
And there we are. Hope you can make it.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Latest team to wear green for environmental awareness: the Astros. Anyone know what the little logo on the side was? … Ocean cruise vacationers may once again be able to hit golf balls into the ocean now that the U. of Maine has developed a golf ball made of lobster shells. No, really! … “The IIHF World Championships start on the 29th,” writes Moose Richards. “Players can be added after their teams are eliminated from the NHL, AHL, or European playoffs, so they need to be able to change nameplates throughout the tourney.” Additional uni info here. … The Indians have designed a logo to mark the 3000th game of the guy who beats the bass drum at the Jake (thanks, Vince). … New football uniforms, apparently for Indiana (with thanks to Josh Hallatt). … In conjunction with Morgan Spurlock’s new movie about corporate sponsorship (which we should probably all go see together), the town of Altoona, Pa., has sold the naming rights to itself. Similar things have happened several times before, including the case of a North Dakota town that renamed itself after a brand of peppermint schnapps, which I happened to write about back in 1999. … Nice striped stirrups being worn this season by St. Mary’s College (big thanks to Mark Chiarucci). … “In honor of the San Jose Sharks’ 20th anniversary (and hopefully in celebration of a Stanley Cup), I’ve decided to break out my cache of arcane-but-cool stuff relating to team’s marketing launch,” says a very exuberant Russ Havens. “I’ve posted a few items already, including the season seat package for the first year and the logo-unveiling press kit.” … Wondering how sleep affects athletic performance, and/or how much sleep some leading athletes get? Check out this ridiculously large infographic. … Speaking of infographics, here’s one showing how Real Salt Lake from MLS has advanced through the Concacaf Champions League, to play a final game tonight (big thanks to Matt Carlson). … “I was watching the Man.U/Schalke game on Tuesday and Man.U goalie Edwin van der Sar switched his kit at halftime because they listed his jersey on the roster sheet as yellow and he was wearing green. Unfortunately I don’t have a screen shot.” … Here’s something you may not have seen before: Miami football wearing solid orange in 1985 against Florida (with thanks to Kyle Wooster. … Is this Louisville’s new football jersey? Hope so, cuz it sure beats the hell out of last year’s (with thanks to David Merrill). … Here’s a doozy: black (or navy?) tequila sunrise pants. The seller’s way off-base about the ’Stros actually having worn these, natch, but it’s still an interesting item (with thanks to Trevor Williams). … The Lakers wore black shoes at home last night. “Haven’t seen them do that other than on MLK Day earlier this season,” says Josh Jiron.
Oh bondage, no more: RIP, Poly — glad your pain is over. You’ll be missed.