Shouldn’t the Wizards’ unveiling have included a misspelled NOB, or a hastily lettered jersey that looked like it was done by a 12-year-old at the mall, or a player wearing his shorts backwards?
Kidding. Although as reader Matt Harris points out, it is a little weird that they had Jordan Crawford and John Wall both wearing No. 11 jerseys at the unveiling, given that neither of them wears that number on the court. Yes, I realize they used 11 to align with the calendar, but since when do teams give new numbers to players at unveilings? Just another DC oddity.
Anyway: Not bad, right? It isn’t a 100% win, but it’s definitely an improvement. Let’s go one thing at a time:
The typography: I want to make this as clear as possible: I hate this typeface. I hate the little serifs, I hate the little notch in the eye of the “a,” I hate that the “d” looks like a “cl” ligature, I hate how the numerals look. But I’d also like to make it clear that I love how they made the ascender on the “d” into the Washington Monument (ditto for the “h” on the road insignia), and I especially love how the secondary logo echos the old Bullets insignia, but I especially hate how that secondary logo draws attention to the ligature problem. So is it good or is it stupid? A seriously stupid font, but someone did some nice work with it all the same.
The home uniform: Pretty nice. Can’t say I’m in love with that vertical navy stripe on the side of the jersey or the Ree-box-ish treatment on the back neckline, but overall it’s a very solid look. And as several readers have noted, they even worked a subtle “W” shape into the bottom of the shorts. That doesn’t really do a whole lot for me, but it doesn’t hurt, and it shows that they’re paying attention to small details. Speaking of which, I also like the collar and armhole trim. Good.
The road uniform: I can’t put my finger on why, but I don’t like this one as much. I think part of it is that “Washington” is a long word that has to rendered in a small-ish type size in order to fit on the chest, and part of it is probably that the Bullets’ old road jersey were based on blue, not red. It isn’t a bad design, but it feels several notches below the home uni. Good enough.
The alternate uniform: There isn’t one, at least not yet, which seems unusually sensible for a new design program. Smart move. Good.
So overall, a major upgrade. I have to tell you one, thing though: While I’ve never particularly cared for the Wizards’ uniforms, I’ve always liked the Merlin logo. Great use of color field design, and awesome use of negative space. They’re keeping him around in a recolored version, but now he’s a guy wearing a red outfit and a white beard, so he feels less like Merlin and more like Santa Claus. I have a feeling they’ll be phasing out this logo anyway, and it’s just as well — he doesn’t work with this new uni package.
They could’ve beaten Bill Veeck to the punch: Remember our recent post about the Austin Braves’ one-game experiment with red shorts? Dan Cichalski, who came up with that photo, recently spoke to former MLB pitcher (and NBA player!) Ron Reed, who was on Austin’s roster at the time. Reed had an interesting tidbit of news regarding the shorts:
The shorts were worn in that first game as a trial to see if they would be appropriate for the Atlanta Braves players. Summers in Georgia are rather hot, so some genius figured shorts might be better for the players rather than the wool uniforms they wore at that time. After a couple of our Austin players came back to the dugout with giant strawberries on their knees and thighs from sliding into second, third, and home plate during that first game, the shorts idea was abandoned, thank god.
Try to imagine Hamerin’ Hank wearing shorts — ugh.
Membership update: What’s that at right? It’s Bryant Robinson’s new membership card, which is based on this auto racing livery — an inspired request (and a super-inspired execution by Scott, I think you’ll agree). That’s one of half a dozen new designs that have been added to the membershihp card gallery.
Meanwhile, eight printed/laminated cards mailed out yesterday afternoon, so recent enrollees should watch their mailboxes.
As always, you can make the membership scene by signing up here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Big shout-out to Cubs PR guy Jason Carr, who sent me some nice souvenirs from last week’s Cubs/Dodgers throwback game: a pair of socks and a striped-sleeve undershirt (it’s an XL, which is way too big for me, so this one will go into this year’s reader-appreciation raffle in December). And hey, check out how the stripes were sewn onto the sleeve — looks like Bob Halfacre and his crew actually opened up the sleeve seams and then sewed them back up after applying the stripes! Impressive. … Sad news about another abandoned, dilapidated ballpark, this time in Atlantic City (with thanks to Mark Wolven). … Hey, check it out, Ryan Connelly’s DIY design got featured in a Yahoo article about beer league hockey jerseys! … USC football will reportedly wear alternate uniforms — including a BFBS helmet — for the season finale against UCLA (with thanks to Jim Weber). … Dan Cichalski was on the field for BP prior to Saturday’s Mets/Dodgers game and spotted Matt Kemp breaking in his pink Mother’s Day batting gloves. … Brandon Acree has found what may be the best page of Joe Namath memorabilia ever! … Check out the eyeglasses Sean Avery is wearing on his ESPN player page (as noted by Garrett Schabb). … “Last weekend New Zealand and Australia played a test in rugby league (different than rugby),” says Caleb Borchers. “The Kiwis are apparently serious about promoting the team brand, even down to their underwear.” … The Lakewood Blue Claw will become the Bluepaws for Saturday’s Bark in the Park promotion (with thanks to Kevin Clark). … “The University of Florida encourages student involvement at baseball games by giving a lot of stuff away,” writes Dana John Hill. “One of the coolest giveaways is this Captain K T-shirt, which is awarded to the student who hangs up the ‘K’ signs after each strikeout recorded by a UF pitcher.” … Matt Powers notes that MLB ump Mike Everitt favors an unusual pairing: a Wilson MLB Titanium mask with a throat guard that is made for the Wilson Shock FX hockey-style helmet. … Louisville baseball held a “Patriotic Night” promotion last night — as opposed to, you know, all those treasonous nights they usually have — which of course meant they had to desecrate the flag (with thanks to David Merrill). … Last night I was listening to my favorite radio talk show, WFMU’s Thunk Tank (their slogan: “When you have to much to drink, they put you in the drunk tank, and when you have too much to think…”), and it was particularly good last night because they interviewed the guy who created an assault rifle made of bacon. … Rod Black reports that Alabama’s baseball and softball teams have been marking the recent tornados by wearing houndstooth ribbon decals on their helmets. “The baseball field put a huge ribbon icon out in centerfield as well,” says Rod. “That ribbon has been kind of the most popular logo for remembering the events of April 27, it seems.” Interesting that something specifically related to the football program (Bear Bryant’s hat) would end up being adopted by other sports. … The Arena League is letting fans design and vote on the logo for the next Arena Bowl (with thanks to Joe Miller).