Lightning Strikes Twice

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NHL conference championship merch leaked yesterday. And that prompted several readers to raise a point about the Lightning. Gordon Fall summarized it best:

As you know, the Lightning are introducing a new logo for next season. They’re already using it everywhere but on their uniforms, which has created some confusion.

Take the NHL conference championship products, for example. The new logo is featured on the locker room T-shirt, the commemorative beer glass, a framed autograph piece, a pennant/pin set, and keychain.

But the old logo is being used on the locker room cap and the commemorative puck.

And the Highland Mint gold coin features the new secondary logo, which will be used as a shoulder patch on next year’s uniform.

You’d think the NHL would be on top of something like this.

You sure would. And as reader Jay Winkler points out, the new logo is shown on the Lightning’s web site, and the site’s background image — partially visible in the left and right margins — is a photo of a player wearing next year’s uni, even though the team has never worn it on the ice.

All of which raises a few questions. For example: What’s with the inconsistent logos on the merch? If you’re gonna use next season’s logo and uni design in so much of your branding, why not go ahead and wear them now? And what’s the point of unveiling next season’s logo in the middle of the current season if it’s just gonna cause confusion?

Are there any other examples of teams doing a mid-season unveiling for the following year’s uni? I know the White Sox did a late-season unveiling in 1990, and even wore their ’91 home uni for the final few weeks of the 1990 season. Any other examples?

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Spring cleaning reminder: I still have a few T-shirts featuring a logo based on a certain team and a certain protein-based foodstuff. If you’re interested in purchasing one, get in touch.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Players are complaining about the balls at the French Open. … Dan Gustafson has a cool site devoted to hockey infographics. “My favorite one so far is probably this one,” he says. … Uniform historian Dave Grob has written a good article about MLB’s transition from flannels to knits. … “Logo creep has found its way to a wooden stool at my child’s doctor’s office,” writes Bob DelanoPatrick Newman has put together a report on Japanese baseball uniforms. … Several readers have noted that Colby Rasmus of the Cards has been going high-cuffed for the past few days — sort of. His pants are at a weird in-between length, and he’s apparently wearing solid-red hose, instead of the team’s usual striped socks. … Just what the world, uh, needed: a brief history of Zubaz (with thanks to Aaron Parrish). … Very nice stirrups being worn by New Mexico State (with thanks to Ward Black). … I didn’t see The Black Swan. If you did, you’ll probably appreciate this Black Swan-themed soccer kit more than I do. Further info here … Always good to see new pin-up art by Rob Ullman. … Still more Rockies undershirt shenanigans. That’s Seth Smith, with his uni number on one sleeve, the Nike baseball logo on the other, and his nickname on his chest (big thanks to Steve Foster). … Here are the caps that will be worn for some throwback games this next month. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The 49ers are adding a memorial helmet decal for Joe Perry. Too bad they didn’t incorporate his unique facemask into the design. … Here’s a shot I hadn’t seen before of the Hollywood Stars’ shorts (big thanks to Jonee Eisen). … Want to see something amazing? Go to this auction and check out the photos of the striped sweaters that are being sold along with the uniform. Obviously, those sweaters were never worn with the baseball uni — they look more like hockey sweater blanks — but they sure are gorgeous. … If you’re gonna take a Sharpie to a baseball cap, you might as well go all in (with thanks to Matt Aballi). … Here are the uniforms for the Atlantic League All-Star Game. “Ugh,” says Dan Cichalski. … You know what’s really fucking cool? Hats made from hockey socks, that’s what (awesome find by Dan Patterson).

 

146 comments to Lightning Strikes Twice

  • Patrick | May 25, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    I don’t have a pic, but it appeared that Jordan Schafer was wearing a double-flapped Great Gazoo helmet last night in his first game after being called up from AAA Gwinnett.

    • Chris Holder | May 25, 2011 at 9:50 am |

      I saw that too, and he looked pretty ridiculous if you ask me. I don’t think anybody else on the Braves wears a Gazoo helmet, right? If only that helmet could somehow help him hit (not that he’s really any worse than McLouth).

      • Patrick | May 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |

        On the radio today they said they didn’t have a helmet small enough for him on the road trip. I bet he gets a “normal” helmet when he gets home.

    • Seth F | May 25, 2011 at 9:51 am |

      Yes sir, MEGAMIND was playing centerfield for Atlanta last night. Also, the helmet had some type of logo or writing just above the brim on the left side. Anybody know what that was?

      That was a good looking game I thought……..the black alt for Pittsburgh is really sharp and by them wearing it, forced my Braves to leave the navy t-shirt top in the suitcase. Even better.

    • Jim Vilk | May 25, 2011 at 10:45 am |

      No wonder most players won’t wear these…

    • -DW | May 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

      There is one over at the lovely Bethany Heck’s site eephus league:

      http://eephusleague....

      • Patrick | May 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

        Proof that all people who take HGH don’t get emormous, Bonds-esque heads.

        • Patrick | May 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

          “enormous”

    • Silver Creek Doug | May 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

      In the post game comments last night, David Ross (backup C) galled him Marvin the Martian.

      All Schaefer’s teammates were giving him grief about the helmet.

      He wore it again today too.

  • scott | May 25, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    So the Padres’ 1936 throwback cap just has a blank navy front?

    Atlantic League All-Star Game jerseys are bad enough on their own, and then they have to add all sorts of advertising patches, too? “Ugh” says it all…

    • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 8:19 am |

      I’m more intrigued by the concept of freedom versus liberty. As something of a philosophical conservative, I favor liberty, with its attendant structures of order and responsibility. But freedom, in all its anarchic messiness, does seem to be on the march around the world. I’m hoping there’s a future press release detailing the game’s racing mascots, giant foam caricatures of John Locke (team Liberty) and Thomas Paine (team Freedom).

      • SkinnerAU | May 25, 2011 at 9:20 am |

        Now that would Be an All Star Game! Team Lock Versus Team Paine! May the streets run black with spilt ink.

    • LI Phil | May 25, 2011 at 8:22 am |

      re: ’36 pads = yup … they did this before (at least once) on 6-25-05

      henderson has a bit of a write up on that game/look

      here’s a better look at the orig. 1936 pads

      • Kevin Hastings | May 25, 2011 at 9:49 am |

        ’36 Senators – http://exhibits.base...

        Assuming that, as in most throwback cases, the cap lettermark ‘W’ is far too large. Still will be a neat look for the Nats.

        • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 10:04 am |

          Here are some photos of the Senators cap from that era:

          Boston Public Library Flickr feed

          Boston Public Library Flickr feed

          Buddy Lewis autograph photo

          Photo on his Baseball Reference page

          All in all, I’d say that the New Era treatment is too large, but not particularly further from the original than the too-small logo on American Needle’s version of the same cap. I have a New Era Cooperstown Collection cap from circa 2004 that seems to nail the size and proportions pretty exactly; shame New Era couldn’t have used that logo instead of creating a new one whose larger size appears to be dictated by the use of foam-core embroidery. That, the puffy foam-core embroidery, not the size, is the real problem with the cap.

          Is it just another coincidence that the Nats are throwing back to the year of Harmon Killebrew’s birth?

        • LI Phil | May 25, 2011 at 10:16 am |

          “Is it just another coincidence that the Nats are throwing back to the year of Harmon Killebrew’s birth?”

          ~~~

          nice pics, scotty

          actually, i think they planners knew harmon would pass a scant few weeks before the game and be talked about on UW and other sites ad nauseum, making them prescient and the throwbacks a delightfully timed event

          either that or it’s just coincidence

        • teenchy | May 25, 2011 at 10:25 am |

          ’36 Nats cap is more than a bit wrong; not only is the block “W” too large, the original was pointed in the middle. It was also made of felt. Contemporary photos don’t always make it easy to tell but given the times, variations probably existed – after all, look at all the variations in the curly W on Nats v2.0 caps.

          I’ve seen Wm. Arlt and the former Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. criticized here in the past. However he made a ’36-37 Nats cap for me and got the “W” down right. (I should take a pic and post it here…)

        • teenchy | May 25, 2011 at 10:31 am |

          @ RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 10:04 am: Apologies for possibly duping some of your links. I was off looking for the same at the time.

        • Kevin Hastings | May 25, 2011 at 10:43 am |

          Thanks for the research and links, fellas. That Cooperstown Collection cap is a nice one – and looks very accurate (been meaning to buy one for ages).

          http://shop.mlb.com/...

          Though I think the Cooperstown and current New Era versions might be slightly on either side of historical correctness. Cooperstown ‘W’ looks a bit to squat, New Era a bit too tall.

        • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 10:51 am |

          Funny thing is that I look at the same links as teenchy and I see stronger evidence for the W being flat, not pointed, in the middle. Only one photo suggests a point to me, and it’s a very weak suggestion at that, what with the underlying fabric being folded in that exact spot. Also, I’ve seen several photos of Cooperstown Ballcap’s treatment of same, and all have been flat across the top. Such as this. Not saying teenchy’s wrong and I’m right, just that we’re both looking at the same evidence and coming to very different interpretations of this one detail.

          Man, does the Hall of Fame need to make its entire artifact collection available online or what? So many questions would be so easy to answer if only we could view photos of artifacts we can be pretty sure the HOF has in its archive.

        • MPowers1634 | May 25, 2011 at 11:39 am |

          1951 Senators…hmmm

          Was Joe hardy on that team?

          http://en.wikipedia....

          Makes me proud to have helped to designed the Senators uniforms for our school’s version of the play…check out the rups:

          http://i256.photobuc...

      • teenchy | May 25, 2011 at 11:15 am |

        RS: I agree that we’re looking at the same things differently, hence my weasel words about possible variations.

        I have a lot of Nats info from that era on file (in the medium of ink on paper) and will investigate further. I also know some folks who have contact with our host and will query them as well.

      • Jason | May 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |

        What’s with the one guy in the picture above of the Padres wearing what looks to be a Hollywood jersey?

  • Not Jon | May 25, 2011 at 8:16 am |

    Players are complaining about the balls at the French Open. … (cue Groucho Marx voice) …and not just on Venus Williams!!

    (No I dih-int!!)

    • Mike V | May 25, 2011 at 8:51 am |

      Well played sir ;)

    • Jim Vilk | May 25, 2011 at 10:51 am |

      Do they really need to make an even faster ball? Pretty soon you won’t even be able to see them serving it. I can appreciate power in sports, but too much is boring. Make a slower ball instead, then maybe we’ll see more spin shots and more finesse…maybe even less grunting…

      • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 11:55 am |

        Or they could make the ball much, much faster by making it smaller and heavier. But that would be too dangerous to hit at another person, so they could eliminate the opponent and make it about hitting the ball toward a target of some kind. And of course, the faster you can hit the ball, the farther it will travel, so they’d have to take the game out of stadia and play on open ground. So maybe make the target a hole in the ground to keep it simple. Then, to keep it challenging, they could lengthen the field so that it takes multiple hits to get the ball into the hole, and also shrink the size of the racket to just a few square inches. And since the faster ball will make a best-of-six format too short, they could make it a best-of-18 game. Not sure if there’s a market for a sport like that, but the good news for us is that the players wouldn’t have to change their uniforms much.

        • The Jeff | May 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

          Yeah but who the heck would want to watch that?

  • Joe D | May 25, 2011 at 8:20 am |

    The Altoona Curve won the Eastern League championship last year and then announced there new logos several weeks later. They have some merchandise available of their 2010 championship with their 2011 logo…

    http://altoonacurve....

    http://altoonacurve....

    http://altoonacurve....

    http://altoonacurve....

  • Adam | May 25, 2011 at 8:22 am |

    I believe that the 1990 White Sox also wore their 1991 road unis for a series.

    • pushbutton | May 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

      Yes, and the 1985 Rangers previewed their new grey roadies, which were the first Ranger unis with belts and buttons.

      I assume we know the 1970 Pirates did a mid-season unveiling when 3 Rivers opened.

  • Laurence | May 25, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    It’s quite common for English Premier League clubs to unveil next season’s kits before the current season is over. Many teams, though I don’t think all, will even wear the new ones for a match or two at the end of the current season.

    But then again, European soccer teams tend to update their uniforms every year or two, so it might be apples and oranges.

    • Tim | May 25, 2011 at 8:53 am |

      I was going to post this.

      Chelsea every year will wear their new home kit in the last home game of the season.
      Everton this year wore both new kits in the final two weeks of the season.

      The merchandising cycle for European Soccer is very interesting and in need of analysis.

      • Shane | May 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

        Bolton Wanderers wore their new home kit last weekend too, but I’m not posting a picture because it’s an atrocity.

        • Shane | May 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

          Adding on to my own comment, I believe Newcastle United had the 2011-12 shirts on as well.

    • The Red Dog | May 25, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      It’s not just England but all throughout Europe.

      I know FC Bayern Munich and AC Milan did it and I’m sure there are many more.

      As a matter of fact, Bayern wore this season’s new home shirt last season in their final home game, the German Cup final, and in the Champions League Final.

      Obviously, it is to boost merchandise sales during the offseason, but it is definitely a unique thing.

      • timmy b | May 25, 2011 at 9:30 am |

        Wolfsburg, Hamburg, Champions Dortmund (pin stripes to dots), Kaiserslautern at least also unveiled new 2011-12 kits on their last home games of the season in addition to FC Bayern.

        • Matt B | May 25, 2011 at 10:09 am |

          Barcelona just released their new gear…the new gradient stripes are dreadful.

  • The Jeff | May 25, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    Didn’t the Baltimore Ravens have kinda the opposite problem? Super Bowl merch in 2000 with the B-shield logo on it after they’d already started using the B-bird? Then again that might have only been bootleg fan-created stuff and nothing officially licensed.

    …and I really ought to buy a couple pairs of Zubaz pants. They’re comfortable, and visually speaking, they’re no worse than say, Norwegian curling pants.

    • Jim Vilk | May 25, 2011 at 10:37 am |

      My brother loved/loves the Zubaz, but I could never see myself in them. Now the curling pants? That’s another story. They look more orderly, while Zubaz pants give me that same queasiness I get when I see tie-dye.

    • -DW | May 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

      I play in a men’s house hockey league and Zubaz pants were worn for several years instead of the standard breezers. They actually were great for playing hockey in. They weren’t as slick as Cooperalls.

      There was a sporting good store going out of business that sold Zubaz for $3 a pair during their closing sale. I had several pairs.

  • Broadway Connie | May 25, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    “… You know what’s really fucking cool? Hats made from hockey socks, that’s what (awesome find by Dan Patterson).”

    Indisputably so.

    PS Hey Scott, let me know when you have a few spare weeks to go over the freedom / liberty thing.

    • Steve Naismith | May 25, 2011 at 9:31 am |

      Hats made from hockey socks are “really fucking cool,” yet everything purple is despised here… mind-boggling.

      If you think hats from hockey socks are cool, let me tell you about my new line of soup bowls made from protective cups…

      • Broadway Connie | May 25, 2011 at 9:56 am |

        Sounds promising, Steve.

      • Aaron | May 25, 2011 at 11:40 am |

        Wait, why aren’t those hats awesome? I would totally wear one.

  • Mark in Shiga | May 25, 2011 at 8:41 am |

    Love Patrick Newman’s report on the NPB uniforms!

    (And I’m very happy to see that the Hanshin Tigers will be wearing their truly-awesome all-black road outfits again. That’s one of the best uniforms ever.)

    • Jim Vilk | May 25, 2011 at 10:41 am |

      “Rakuten has only been around for seven seasons, so they don’t exactly have throwback uniforms… but that isn’t stopping them from running out these 1980′s Houston Astros knock-offs.”

      What would you call those – tequlia rising suns?

  • dan g | May 25, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    Before the North Stars switched to black and the “Stars” only logo, in 90-91 they used the logo below on the ice and all over the Met Center:

    http://www.sportslog...

    I feel like it happened later on the season too. I thought it was just a new secondary logo at the time, something for the shoulder patches next season. Then of course it became the full time logo the next season with some tweaks.

  • Lloyd Davis | May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am |

    “Are there any other examples of teams doing a mid-season unveiling for the following year’s uni? I know the White Sox did a late-season unveiling in 1990, and even wore their ’91 home uni for the final few weeks of the 1990 season. Any other examples?”

    In 1967, the Toronto Maple Leafs introduced new unis for the Stanley Cup playoffs. They switched from the 35-point leaf logo to one with 11 points that looked more like the one on the Canadian flag (it was Canada’s centennial year) and Northwestern-type striping on the sleeves. They continued to wear this uniform through the end of the 1969-70 season.

    The Leafs brought in all-new uniforms in 1970.
    http://nhluniforms.c...

    But the blue “centennial” unis made an appearance during a western road trip. I’m told it was the expansion Vancouver Canucks who requested this.

    • Lloyd Davis | May 25, 2011 at 8:46 am |

      Sorry, I managed to delete the reference to the two ’66-67 uniform styles:

      http://nhluniforms.c...

      • timmy b | May 25, 2011 at 9:46 am |

        Not sure if this would count, but the 1972-73 Black Hawks added outline trim on their then solid numerals for the 1973 playoffs.

        The Islanders also tweaked sleeve stripes on their blue jerseys in either 1977 or 1978 (can’t remember exact year)for the playoffs.

        And, in the 1977 SC Final, both the Bruins and Habs added NOB’s to both sets of their previously unnamed sweaters.

        • scott | May 25, 2011 at 10:15 am |

          The Boston Red Sox unveiled their new uniforms in 1972 at the All-Star Game in Atlanta, I believe.

  • ScottyM | May 25, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    College basketball programs introduce “next year’s” uniforms at the end of the current year all the time.

    I remember Georgetown doing it for years … dating back to the early 90s. Same with Kentucky. Remember, they’d do it when their conference tourney or NCAA tourney would roll around, switching to new sneakers, as well.

    Not sure how to prove this. But I distinctly remember those two programs gearing up toward the end of the season. Maybe Syracuse, too.

    • BuckeyeChief | May 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

      Ohio State, Florida, Syracuse and another team did it with Nike’s SOD at the end of the 06-07 Season.

  • Bernard | May 25, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    I’m going to go ahead and say that the Portman Kunis United jersey is the greatest thing in the history of ever. Seriously, that logo/crest is genius.

    • MPowers1634 | May 25, 2011 at 9:41 am |

      I agree, clever!

    • Tim E. O'B | May 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

      If they sold that, I would pay upwords of $200 for it.

  • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    Could the Lightning thing be a loose form of A/B testing? I know the team received an immediate flood of negative feedback, but a team could go from looking like the Blue Jays to looking like the Tigers and most of the fans who care enough to have an opinion will complain. Because we are, as a species, stupid. (In fact, Jays-to-Tigers is pretty much what the Lightning are doing.) Selling merch with both logos might give team management a more accurate view of true fan sentiment about the change beyond the ranks of the first wave of complainers. If the whiners are representative, fans will pass on the new-logo merch and seek out the current-logo merch. If at the end of the day it’s the current-logo merch that’s collecting dust, then the team will know that the early wave of complaints was just the typical wave of unrepresentative whiners that every change, from sports unis to newspaper headline fonts, provokes.

    (I should add that I’m not belittling the first-reaction complainers; I’m often that guy myself. But I’ve been on the receiving end in my career, too, and it can be hard to tell whether the hundred complaints you get on the first day of the change represent a majority of your audience, or whether it’s just that the majority who like the change aren’t bothering to let you know. Usually it’s the latter.)

    • The Jeff | May 25, 2011 at 9:34 am |

      That makes too much sense, so I’m going to have to disagree with it.

      They were going to phase out the old logo at the end of the season – because who’s going to buy anything with the old logo after the new one is unveiled? – then they made the playoffs and threw a wrench in their plans. So now they’re using both because they don’t have a clue. Do we phase out the old logo anyway or do we keep the merchandize accurate for the year? I don’t know, let’s just do both.

      • Chris Holder | May 25, 2011 at 9:55 am |

        Well I confess to watching little hockey (ok, none), but why in the heck would you assume your team isn’t going to make the playoffs – especially if you (obviously) still had a chance? Talk about stupid, faithless ownership/management. They should have just done like most other franchises would have done, and waited until the off-season. Apparently they not only didn’t have faith in the team, but didn’t have faith that their new logos/uniforms wouldn’t suck enough to turn off fans. Brilliant.

      • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 10:09 am |

        Or how about different playoff merch being prepared on different production schedules, and at some point in the process the Lightning requested that the NHL have manufacturers use their new logos on playoff merch, but some in-progress merch had already been made or was too far along to change mid-stream using the old logos that the NHL would have regarded as the current, official set? No malice or mismanagement necessary for this explanation, just a question of timing and supply chain. And as Napoleon famously said, it always comes down to supply chain.

    • Brian | May 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

      As a Lightning fan who lives in the Tampa Bay area, the fans that I’ve seen and talked to absolutely love the new logos/jerseys. There aren’t a lot of places around that are selling new logo shirts and hats, but those that are stocking them are having a hard enough time keeping them on the shelves that I’ve only managed to get one t-shirt, and I got that in a free giveaway at last Tuesday’s Game 2 watch party at the Forum. While I was there, there were tons of fans wearing the new stuff, including one wearing a new jersey, which I didn’t even know were being sold yet. So the team is sold on the new look, and the fans seem to be too.

      As far as why the team isn’t wearing the new uniforms on the ice yet, I thought the NHL ruled that they weren’t allowed to wear them until the 2011-12 season. At least, that’s what I’ve been reading in newspapers/online.

  • ScottyM | May 25, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    PS, how dumb can you be to acquire the Zubaz trademark and business … bankrupt it … and allow the originators to acquire it back and re-open for business?

    That’s just plain dumb. Kudos to the founders, though. Talk about an American Dream.

    • Aaron | May 25, 2011 at 9:53 am |

      It seems like there were an awful lot of, um, questionable decisions on Zubaz’s part. Though that one is probably the worst, admittedly.

    • Snowdan | May 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

      I was at a golf tournament yesterday and the Zubaz guys were there. They had a short bus that was completely Zubaz’d out. The one guy said they were “close” to contracts with the NFL & MLB.

      So they’re not going away anytime soon!

      • LI Phil | May 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

        oh good lord…

        is this what you saw?

        short bus, indeed

    • Aaron | May 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

      Just a random thought, but is there any precedent for a company getting so huge, then so totally crashing, only to be resurrected under the original management?

  • Joe | May 25, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    In 1997-98 the St. Louis Blues ditched the red-heavy jerseys in favor of some new threads that would be worn in 1998-99. The Blues wore the new uniforms for a few games in 97-98 as an alternate jersey. I can’t find pictures, but I think the Blues switched the center ice logo for the new logo.

    Here’s a pic of Brett Hull playing in the new uni: http://stltoday.myca...

    Hull was a member of the Dallas Stars for the 98-99 season, the first year the Blues wore those unis full time. (http://www.sportslog...)

    • Rob S | May 25, 2011 at 10:14 am |

      The Blues only wore the white jerseys as alternates in 97-98, but still wore their slanted jerseys through their 1998 playoffs.

      A number of teams have promoted thirds to full-uni status, but St. Louis and San Jose were the only ones who introduced thirds with the intention of promoting them in their second seasons. The Stars had the star-pattern jersey for two seasons before promoting them (starting with the 1999 playoffs), and the Penguins promoted their thirds twice after two seasons (although only one got a matching white version). Calgary promoted their black third after a couple of seasons, but then demoted it with the home-road switch of ’03 and the reintroduction of a red jersey. The Flyers and Capitals also promoted their black thirds after a couple of seasons.

      • Rob S | May 25, 2011 at 10:20 am |

        I was certain about the Blues wearing their older white unis in the 1998 playoffs, and I’ve got video to back it up now: http://www.youtube.c...

        I can only assume the striping on those 1994-98 unis were meant to represent a musical staff? Never cared for the way the diagonal striping mutated the numbers, though.

  • Terry Proctor | May 25, 2011 at 9:40 am |

    Spalding actually stopped making athletic uniforms around 1955. We supplied the Rochester Red Wings their uniforms from Spalding in 1957, but they were actually made by Rawlings.

    So I’d say those ’72 Twinkies unis were actually made by Wilson with a Spalding label. The numbers use Wilson’s standard Full-Block font which is completely different from the numbers used on the Twins’ flannels that were “Spalding by Rawlings” (although not labeled as such).

    BTW- That Colby Rasmus looks like he got his uniform from Goodwill. His pants look like they’re ready to fall down while his all-Red socks look like he**. Those shoes look like a pair of WalMart sneakers. And he’s supposed to be a Major Leaguer?

    • MPowers1634 | May 25, 2011 at 9:53 am |

      Colby Rasmus warrants the ire of Terry Proctor…I would daresay that someone better help the young man out.

  • MPowers1634 | May 25, 2011 at 9:44 am |

    The undershirt that Seth Smith is wearing can be had by anyone…it was made on Nike ID.

    http://farm6.static....

    http://nikeid.nike.c...

  • MPowers1634 | May 25, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    On the sneakerhead world, one of the most famous uniform previews was when Michale Jordan wore the Air Jordan XIV against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals.

    http://www.nba.com/h...

    http://i714.photobuc...
    http://media.onsugar...

  • DJ | May 25, 2011 at 9:50 am |

    Adam is correct — the White Sox did wear their new black/white/gray away uniforms for a late season series in Boston in 1990 (as well as the final two home series of that year). They did so, as it was reported at the time, having gotten special permission from the Commissioner’s Office to roll them out early.

    Considering how much the Lightning are pushing the new logo set (even to the extent that NBC is using it in their graphics packages), one wonders why they didn’t ask for permission to go new for the playoffs. But, as discussed here, it appears the Lightning are still tinkering with the final design (returning the bolt to the pants, adding some black trim to the numbers, etc).

  • GoTerriers | May 25, 2011 at 9:51 am |

    As a Bruins fan, and being somewhat superstitious, I’m very pleased that the vast majority of premature Conference Championship merchandise featured in today’s main entry is Lightning-related.

  • DJ | May 25, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    For the 77 Stanley Cup final, might the adding of names to the backs of the jerseys been at the request of TV?

    • timmy b | May 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

      Perhaps, though the Final was on CBC (as usual) and the syndicated NHL Network. But it would tie in with the mandate for the following season for all teams – well, there was a spot of bother with Harold Ballard in Toronto -to go NOB in 1977-78.

      One of John Ziegler’s first moves as new NHL President, succeeding Clarence Campbell.

  • Matt Beahan | May 25, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    Back in 1990 the Indiana Pacers unveiled their new logo & unis just before their first-round playoff series – the new logo was used (along with the old logo in a rather inconsistent manner) for TV graphics, etc.

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

  • Mike Engle | May 25, 2011 at 10:16 am |

    I think the Buffalo Sabres closed out the Aud with a sneak peek of the goat head uniforms…

    • Mark K | May 25, 2011 at 11:20 am |

      Not in the final game or in any game that year. There was some kind of unveiling before the end of that season, though- I do remember that.

  • Rob S | May 25, 2011 at 10:23 am |

    Those sweaters with that Fort St. John uniform look like uncrested 1927-34 Chicago Black Hawks sweaters. That’s definitely the stripe design they’ve been shown wearing in that era.

    • Jet | May 25, 2011 at 11:18 am |

      WOW! GREAT FIND!!!

      -Jet

  • Phil | May 25, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    “Here are the caps that will be worn for some throwback games this next month.”

    Glad to see that the Pirates and Orioles will go with throwbacks next month, I thought they might but I hadn’t heard or seen anything until now. Last year when the Pirates played the A’s I hoped that they would go with their 71 unis since I had always wanted to seem them bring them back as a throwback. Hopefully both teams will wear proper http://cache2.allpos... hosiery http://www.sportsmem...

    • Phil | May 25, 2011 at 11:00 am |

      Bad link sorry here’s a shot of the Orioles ‘rups…
      http://www.sportsmem...

  • Phil | May 25, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Dammit! Well we know what they look like.

  • Jet | May 25, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    Since Dave Grob brought us his excellent analysis of the ’72 Twins uni, I never really paid all that close attention to it until now.

    That uni is probably considered “iconic” today and brings back memories of Rod Carew… but if that uni never existed until 2011 and just came out this year, would we think it all that great?

    My big problem with it is the awkward, clumsy script. Start with the “T”. You can dial up any script font and you won’t find any that looks like that. It looks like a grade schooler’s attempt.

    The lower case letters do not flow well from left to right. First, there’s too much space between the “T” and “w”. The connecting stroke from the “w” to the “i” should lead up at an angle into the “i”, not horizontally into it. And the stroke was forced to be made even longer on the button-down version.

    And what’s with that hook at the end of the stroke that underlines the whole word? (the swash)

    Lastly, those three stripes at the end of the sleeves don’t seem to go with the uni either.

    -Jet

    • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 11:37 am |

      Particulars of the wordmark aside (you don’t see them closeup in the course of watching the game in progress, only between pitches), the problem was that the Twins didn’t stick with that classic look gray in the new doubleknit sansabelt unis. Instead, after a year they got aboard the Wild Powder Blue Yonder train, subsequently adding a red-crowned hat and, for one season at least, red cleats at home.

      What started as a one-year decent transition to double knits became a bizarre hodge podge of afterthought on top of afterthought, an early example of “one more bumper sticker” thinking that resulted in the low ebb of Twins unis and, perhaps not uncoincidentally, the low of the team’s performance on the field.

      By the end of that era, those unis had become a sort of visual representation of how really badly run the final Griffith years were, and led to general relief and rejoicing among both players and the team’s fans when the 1987 redesign came along.

      (Again, not talking about the specifics of the wordmark or the letter on the hat, just the general look of the new uniform).

      The 1987 unis were the first time the Twins unis had not be created by someone with the club. I believe their ad agency designed them. Prior to that, the Twins unis pretty much were ordered off pages 52, 57 and 73 of some catalog (so to speak). And they looked like it. From Calvin Griffith on down, the guys in that organization were no threat to end up on anyone’s best dressed list, trust me. They knew baseball for sure, but together in a room the Twins’ front offfice personnel looked like Ralph Kramden’s bowling banquet. And until 1987 that sartorical cluelessness showed in the team’s unis.

      There is nothing “iconic” about the Twins unis from 1973 through 1986. Unless “iconic” includes being the Wal-Mart unis of MLB, on the Wal-Mart team of MLB.

      • Jet | May 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

        Good analysis
        -Jet

      • pushbutton | May 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

        Happily ignorant of team politics, I always liked the Twins unis, from the 60s right up to 1986. There was something…corporate-looking?… about the ’87s.

        I loved when they seemed to put belts & buttons on the 86s for a throwback recently. That was sharp.

      • RS Rogers | May 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

        Too right, Ricko. Heck, calling the Twins the Wal-Mart of the league may even give the last decade of the Griffith era too much credit. Wal-Mart may be cheap and shoddy, but it also knows how to win. The Twins in those years could do nothing right. And there was a correlation between on-field play and uni quality: Both were symptoms of a penurious amateurishness that pervaded the organization from the top down. Amateurish not in the sense that the junior Griffith didn’t know his business, but that what he knew was 50 years out of date for his industry.

        Clark, after all, was the guy whose plan for rebranding the Senators consisted of slipping fifty bucks to the local newspaper cartoonist to make a single drawing. The episode is a pretty good metaphor for basically everything Griffith ever did as owner, from designing the Twins script and unis to assembling a roster.

      • Geeman | May 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

        Ricko, I disagree in one respect. The Twins’ tri-color helmet of the mid-1970s is iconic. When they went to the red hat for home and kept the blue hat for the road, they picked a helmet that was different from both. I think Milwaukee did the same thing (blue hat for home, gold-fronted hat for road, white-fronted helmet for both). I am not sure other teams had ever done that before.

        –G.

        • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

          Looks good in retrospect, I suppose. At the time it looked like one more disjointed move that had nothing to do with any kind of preconceived plan. Just another, “Let’s try something else. How ’bout…

          “…red hats at home?

          “I know, red CLEATS at home!”

          Amateur night all the way.

          Every team loses sometimes, has down years. But to not realize it almost looks like you’re trying to see how bad you can look while you’re doing it is just…ignorant. Or obtuse. Whatever, it was lame.

          How many MLB teams that wore navy as the dominant color (hats, sleeves, etc.) ever went to those intense powder blue roads of the double knit era? How many failed to realize that, on TV (especially at night), navy turned to black when paired with that powder blue?

          Answer to both questions is: One. The Twins.

          Not the Yankees, or Tigers, or Red Sox, or Angels, or Indians…

          And don’t say that made the Twins look unique. It made them look blind.

        • Geeman | May 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

          A lot of teams had hats that did not match the helmets back then (Braves, Expos, Pirates, etc.), but the Twins, Brewers, and, come to think of, the Pirates were probably the first to have a helmet that did not match either a home or road cap. I collecte helmets as a kid and still have many of the teams, but always regret that I didn’t buy the Twins helmet when I could have. It only lasted from 1977-79, I think. I have the red one.

        • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

          Gotcha. But in most all those instances, the helmets didn’t match because matching would have required additional helmets or additional detailing.

          In the case of the Twins, that more complex helmet paint job came into being when they still were wearing the same basic navy hat design—home and road—they’d been wearing since 1961.

          “Let’s make our helmets really flashy.”
          “Why?”
          “I dunno, kinda like flames on the fender of a hot rod.”
          “Oh, you’re right. Those ARE great. Let’s do it.”

          The Mobile Home Park School of Cool.
          Or people who thought it must be great to be Shriner and get to wear a fezz and stuff.

        • Geeman | May 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

          You’re right, of course, but to the 11-year-old’s eye they looked great. And I’d scoop a replica up now if I saw one.

          Funny how Joe Mauerer wears one to catch but wasn’t even alive when the Twins wore them.

        • LI Phil | May 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

          well played

  • KT | May 25, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    The Lightning also started phasing in next year’s logo by putting it at center ice not long after it was unveiled. They also started subtly using it in transitions for their TV broadcasts and it’s been sneaked into some of their advertising. In one of the playoff games, you could see groups of people who’d obviously been given the “new” t-shirt (blue, rather than black) with GO BOLTS on them. Kind of a rolling roll-out, I guess.

    The only other roughly analogous thing I can think of is the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, which completely revamped its identity upon the arrival of a certain English midfielder. They didn’t do it before the season started, and didn’t do it for 2008, they did it midseason when he arrived. My GUESS is that part of it was to avoid the rash of knockoff #23 Beckham jerseys that would have sprung up had you just been able to buy an existing jersey off the rack and customize it. You were forced – if you wanted a Beckham shirt, as many did – to get a brand new one because he didn’t wear the old one.

  • Steve_May | May 25, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    Did anyone notice that the Canucks conference championship hats had the NHL shield (in some cases poorly cut) instead of the Stanley Cup from the Yahoo Puck Daddy story from yesterday

    Puck Daddy – http://sports.yahoo....
    http://mit.zenfs.com...

    Canucks hats from last night – http://www.gettyimag...

  • Joe J. | May 25, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    After reading the article today about the Tampa Bay Lighting and their new logo, my instincts brought me to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

    http://tarr.uspto.go...

    The link is for a pending trademark applications by the Lightning. IT was filed as section 1(b) intent-to-use. Meaning that the owner want to claim priority of the mark, but has yet to use the mark nationally for its various goods and services. I believe the Lightning ownership are making the T-shirts, coins, hats, etc to fulfill their use of the mark in inter-state commerce so the mark can be registered as being used globally.

    • The Jeff | May 25, 2011 at 11:58 am |

      I’ll admit I don’t know much about the specifics of trademark laws… but why would it make any difference if they start using it now rather a month from now?

  • Carolingian Steamroller | May 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

    Its possible that they wanted to get priority before DC and Warner Bros. entered their own applications for the Flash movie which is in development for 2013. Claiming priority would mean that if push came to shove, the Warner would be unable to revoke the Lightning’s trademark.

    Or it could be just one owner’s attempt to put his stamp on the team as rapidly as possible.

    • -DW | May 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

      “Or it could be just one owner’s attempt to put his stamp on the team as rapidly as possible.”

      This is the answer.

      The new owner of the Lightning want to distance the 2010-2011 team as far away as they can from the 2008-2010 teams.

  • jim greenfield | May 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    When did the upward slanting team lettering begin? It looks bad and should be changed to straight across script.

    • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

      It’d done in order to let the lettering be as large as possible without appearing to tuck into either armpit the way straight across would.

      Most every slanted wordmark would have be made smaller (or condensed) if perfectly horizontal…in order to avoid that.

      If that needs further explaining then I guess we’re in “What’s with the black on top and bottom of the screen on Letterbox movies?” territory.

  • Chris | May 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    I am a teacher and I can tell you that up in these parts (Southern Ontario), those hockey sock toques are extremely popular…and yes they are cool!

    I have been trying to find one for myself but its been difficult to find one for my large melon.

  • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |

    Well, the Weather channel just showed up in town and is setting up shop here in Poplar Bluff, calling us the most likely place to get hammered by a tornado this afternoon. You remember they were just here less than a month ago broadcasting live during the floods. Schools have closed, everyone on edge like I’ve never seen before. Strange days indeed for Missouri.

    • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

      Just saw Jim Cantore. That can’t be good!

      • Jim Vilk | May 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

        Don’t let him out of your sight. He never gets hurt on location, right?

        Stay safe, buddy.

      • LI Phil | May 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

        “Just saw Jim Cantore.”

        ~~~

        holy shit…there he is in your yard!

    • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

      Been wondering how you’re doing, Ben.

      It’s one thing to worry about a tornado (can’t live in Minnesota without being familiar with that concept)…but to try to get your head the idea of around another one (or high winds) ripping through the fresh, loose debris of a previous tornado is unbelievably horrifying. Facing that new storm would be like looking into a Claymore mine a quarter-mile wide.

      Wish you the best, my friend. I sure we all do.

      • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm |

        Thanks Ricko. Just heard about a tornado at 435 and State Line Road in KC. That’s within a couple of miles of RPM.

        That Joplin disaster is on the other side of the state but, wow, that’s one incredible catastrophe. Know plenty of people over there and heard all kinds of personal stories already. Simply devastating.

        • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

          “That Joplin disaster is on the other side of the state”

          Knew that. Was imagining the overall atmsophere of Missouri apprehension. The “caught in the maelstrom with nowhere to run/it can actually get WORSE?” feeling must be almost palpable.

        • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

          Just emailed rpm to ask if things were a little tense there. Got this reply a moment ago…

          “the worst of it passed about 15 minutes ago. but i was directly in the path of the worst cell, so yeah, i had the cats in the basement and was tracking things very closely.”

      • Broadway Connie | May 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

        I think the least we could do is build some kind of indestructible shelter (Minuteman silo?) convenient to Moose. We couldn’t afford the loss of any leader so indispensable to the Stirrup Revolution, the Bobblehead Renaissance, and overall quality control of UWatch. Well, maybe scratch that last one.

        • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

          I just got out of a one hour seminar on FEMA Safe Rooms. It was schedule a while back for today of all days.

    • Chris Holder | May 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

      From Chattanooga, TN, where we saw eight deaths in the county when an F4 tornado hit (a rural area) back on April 27th… and from someone who is originally from Alabama and has been to Tuscaloosa too many times to count… good luck and Godspeed today. I have a friend in Tulsa who was thankfully spared yesterday. This tornado season cannot end soon enough.

      • Gusto44 | May 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

        Have to wonder if there are any sports teams in that region with “Tornadoes” as the nickname(not counting the ISU Cyclones). If so, this would be one of those awkward times in the face of this disaster.

        I recall a high school in Florida with the nickname of Tornadoes, and there are other schools with the name Hurricanes outside of UM.

        • Silver Creek Doug | May 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm |

          I earned an AA degree from Brevard (NC) College and they are the Tornados.

      • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

        One of the destroyed houses outside Chattanooga was my cousin’s in Ooltewah, TN. He and his dog were in it when it blew up around them. They are fine but everything was destroyed.

        About 15-20 years ago, Springfield MO was trying to get a minor league baseball team. They were going to be called the Twisters. This was around them time the Twister movie came out and it was hollywood hot. I bought a t-shirt that had their logo but the team never arrived. Wasn’t for at least a decade until the AA Cardinals showed up.

    • Aaron | May 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

      I just came back from Dexter last weekend from seeing my family. I hope nothing too bad happens.

      • traxel | May 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

        Well, we have all been spared. Just a touch anticlimacticly. Thanks for the concern everyone. Like Jimvilk said, as long as Jim Cantore is around we should be safe. He (Cantore) has been broadcoasting live all night from downtown PB – and stretching the truth a touch I might add – but Poplar Bluff and Dexter are fine. Ellsinore (not the brewery from Strange Brew) got a big one but not in much of a populated area. That is about 20 miles west of here.

        Okay. Back to uniforms. Think…….uniforms. Sports ones. Or stewardesses.

  • Ry Co 40 | May 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm |

    i have a size 7 Ryberto’s hat left over. if anyone is interested in it, e-mail me for details. thanks

    • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

      “Attention, Zippy the Pinhead…”

  • Joel | May 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    New Lightning logo resembles the “Transsexual Transylvania” logo from The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
    http://bit.ly/ifoKjy
    Do the Time Warp on ice?

    • Ricko | May 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

      Well, considering there are SO many different ways to draw a lightning bolt.

      Pointed top.
      Flat top.
      One zig.
      Two zigs.

      Um…

      Well…

      • -DW | May 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |

        [i]New Lightning logo resembles the___________logo…[/i]

        I would like to have a nickel for every time that sentence is posted on this board in 2011.

        I would be, as Forrest Gump would say “a gazillionaire.”

        All I want to say is no shit Sherlock, it’s a lightning bolt. And as Ricko stated, there are so many different ways to draw one.

        • Joel | May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

          Or, you and Ricko can move out from your parents’ basements and get a life and a girlfriend.

  • Jake | May 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

    love the black swan messy kit! much better than some of the new adidas jerseys they’re launching for the 2011/12 Euro soccer season e.g. http://footballfashi...

  • Ren Maritn | May 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

    http://mlb.mlb.com/v...
    If you look at the 18 second mark, you will see that Ted Lily is wearing a bwhite undershirt. i didnt even know nike made those…

  • Simply Moono | May 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

    “Players are complaining about the balls at the French Open.”

    Wait a minute… the French have balls? o_O

  • Paul Gaiser | May 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm |

    http://www.ecapcity....

    the o’s cap has the mlb logo on the back. sort of buzzkill.
    maybe it’s a tribute to harmon killebrew? kidding, kidding

    • Chris from Carver | May 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

      It also uses the wrong logo. Is this, should be this

  • Jay Shelton | May 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    I believe the Rangers unveiled their 1986 road gray uniforms in mid-to-late season in 1985. 1984 and 1985 were the years the Rangers wore white pants (red-white-blue waistband and solid blue stripe down the pant leg) with a combination of white, red, or blue button down jerseys, and the cap worn with each was the “throwback” blue body with red bill and block “T” in white outlined in red (worn since 1972). When they unveiled the new gray road uniforms in 1985 (and worn full-time in 1986), they wore the solid blue cap with block red “T” outlined in white. Incidentally, they also removed the red paint from the bill of the batting helmets for road games at this time, too.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning | May 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

    Official response about the timing of the release of the logo:

    http://lightning.nhl...

    The logo change is emblematic of our entire brand and business transformation. It stands for who we aspire to become. As we begin to make our vision a reality, this logo will stand the test of time.

    Additionally, normally we see teams make these changes in the middle of the off-season while nothing is going on with the team. We like the idea of getting the logo in front of our fans while they are focused on the team. We think fans will embrace it and look forward to wearing it proudly.

    • Gusto44 | May 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |

      Just can’t get past the fact the Lightning jersey looks like a blue version of the superhero Flash. I think they could have could up with something original using the lightning bolt, maybe using more than one bolt.

  • Simply Moono | May 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm |

    The Pirates did this in the 70s when they wore their flannels in warm-ups, but introduced the double knits at the start of the game mid-season.

    There’s also that one food company that’s putting a small image of their new packaging on their current packaging, so consumers won’t be all “Where the hell’s my favorite food?! Someone’s gonna pay for this tragedy!!!” *shoots up the place*

    Then there’s Nikegon Oregon in the late 90s when they introduced the Nike rebrand U of Zero uniforms during a bowl game (correct me if I’m wrong on the bowl game thing).

    That’s all I can think of right now.

    • Paul Lukas | May 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

      Pirates example isn’t the same thing. They didn’t introduce NEXT year’s uniforms in the middle of the current season; they CHANGED IN MID-SEASON. Different animal.

      • Simply Moono | May 26, 2011 at 12:46 am |

        Huh, didn’t know about that. Thank you for the clear-up. Two out of three ain’t bad, though…

      • Simply Moono | May 26, 2011 at 12:52 am |

        The Pirates did this in the 70s when they wore their flannels in warm-ups, but introduced the double knits at the start of the game mid-season.

        There’s also that one food company that’s putting a small image of their new packaging on their current packaging, so consumers won’t be all “Where the hell’s my favorite food?! Someone’s gonna pay for this tragedy!!!” *shoots up the place*

        Then there’s Nikegon Oregon in the late 90s when they introduced the Nike rebrand U of Zero uniforms during a bowl game (correct me if I’m wrong on the bowl game thing).

        That’s all I can think of right now.

        • Simply Moono | May 26, 2011 at 12:54 am |

          Sorry, that was a rushed comment. Forgot to cross out “Nikegon” and re-italicize “new” and “current” for the food thing. But a fixed comment overall.

  • Kevin Z. | May 26, 2011 at 12:31 am |

    Was it ever mentioned here that both teams in the NCAA Women’s BBall championship had NOB below the number?

    http://www.daylife.c...

  • Tim E. O'B | May 26, 2011 at 1:42 am |

    Since when is this Uni-Watch.com?

    • Simply Moono | May 26, 2011 at 3:11 am |

      That’s what I’m wondering…

      • Tim E. O'B | May 26, 2011 at 3:12 am |

        I should totally get credit for noticing this first.