When a Sock is More Than a Sock

Lance Allred

[Editor’s Note: Today’s post was penned by Vince Grzegorek, Web Editor at Cleveland Scene and “Intern Emeritus” at Uni Watch. Enjoy! — Phil Hecken]

By Vince Grzegorek

Lance Allred isn’t the most memorable career D-Leaguer/Euro player, but he’s got a good case for being the most interesting. For one, he became the first legally deaf player in the NBA when the Cavs handed him a couple of ten-day contracts a couple of years ago. Oh, and there’s more.

Allred was raised in a fundamentalist polygamist sect (which he and his parents left many years ago), dealt with major-league asshole Rick Majerus at Utah (where Majerus would call him a cunt by spelling out the letters with his fingers, even though Allred is a dynamite lip-reader and could have done without the mock signing, and qualified himself for untold number of humanitarian awards when he told Allred, “You’re a disgrace to cripples. If I was a cripple in a wheelchair and saw you play basketball, I’d shoot myself.”), penned a critically acclaimed first book on his childhood upbringing and his journey to the NBA, and dabbles in Jane Austen-era fiction when he’s not writing memoirs.

Clearly, someone could use a hobby.

Last week Allred released his second memoir (Basketball Gods: The Transformation of the Enlightened Jock), self-published this time on his website, and downloadable to a host of convenient platforms (Kindle, PDF, etc.) for the low, low price of $0.99. Coverage this time picks up in 2008 when Allred is signed by the Cavs, focusing on the life of a ten-day contract guy in the NBA and all the fun waiting in the Euro leagues once that brief stint in the league is up, along with his personal and religious growth through the ordeal.

Don’t let the fact that the tome’s coming without the endorsement of a major publishing house scare you away — this one is as good as the first; Allred is consistently thoughtful, literate, and a damn fine writer. Turns out the market for deaf D-League authors isn’t quite what it used to be, especially once they’ve already broken the seal on their polygamist upbringing once already.

Are there uni-notable moments? Of course. Here’s one of the passages that caught my eye through the first read.

LeBron: “Look at this guy!”

Ben Wallace: “What?”

LeBron: “He’s wearin’ his D-League socks. Someone get this sumbitch a new pair of socks.”

Me: “Thanks, Bron, but I am okay. I wear these socks to remind me where I came from.”

LeBron: “Man, if I was doing that, my socks would have no toes.”

Ben Wallace: “I would be playing basketball in the dark. Don’t you dare turn on that light boy! Wasting the electric bill and all!”

Me: “All apologies, fellas. A comparison of socioeconomic backgrounds was not my intent. Your shot, Mr. James.”

For the people and everyday workers behind the scenes of the Cavaliers organization, I had grown into somewhat of a fan favorite. I was approachable and I talked to them. I was also the basketball player who had requested that my car be downsized from an SUV to a more environmentally sound Ford Fusion. What? No stereotypical Escalade?

I didn’t realize for sometime just how many supporters and friends I was making from within the Cavs organization: from the security guards, to the chefs, to the interns, to the secretaries and the ball boys. I suppose speaking and being kind to people who don’t immediately benefit us is a foreign concept for most of us athletes. To me it is not hard to do, as I never saw my parents treat and behave different from one person to another, regardless of social standing. As well for me, having toiled in the slums of professional ball, meandering in those dark corners of the earth, to forget those experiences and where I came from would have been the greatest travesty of all.

Hence the D-League socks.

Well that deserves a follow-up, no? So, I called Allred for a chat about the socks, the varying degrees of equipment-related plushness between the D-League, where I assume players are made to sew up holes in their socks, and the NBA, where I assume metric tons of free socks are shipped to facilities on a weekly basis, the extras of which are used as tinder at Fourth of July parties, and other stuff.

Uni Watch: You really liked those D-League socks.

Lance Allred: [Laughs] I wore those things until they got too ratty to wear, sometime around the playoffs. I wore them every game in the D-League that year. We are superstitious creatures. So when I got the call from the Cavs, I said, “I need my lucky socks.” I think they lasted me two months in Cleveland, ’til there were holes in them.

UW: Were you ever worried about getting fined? I’m sure D-League socks aren’t approved NBA gear.

LA: They were probably illegal, but I was just a lowly D-League call-up. I’m not making that much money.

UW: Your fine might have been more than your paycheck at that point.

LA: I’m not sure what they would have fined me. Maybe if I had been playing more and under more scrutiny, they might have noticed. But usually I was just sitting there on the bench in my warmups. As I wrote in the book, though, I was worried about my shorts being too long.

UW: The difference between equipment supply and quality between the NBA and D-League is probably pretty self-evident, but tell me what the differences were.

LA: It’s just insane, all the stuff they have in the NBA. In the D-League, each team gets, like, a box of stuff — a box of socks, a box of compression shorts, etc. — and they’re supposed to last the whole season. The team trainer appropriates them appropriately, so you have to use it sparingly. You have to be careful what you take. If you get to the NBA, you don’t have enough bags to take all the stuff they’ve given you. Sadly, at the time, I just gave most of it away. Now, three years later, I realize I should have given away so much stuff.

UW: And the D-League is like the NBA compared to the Euro leagues?

LA: It’s bad over there. You have to buy your own stuff — buy your own shorts, buy your own ankle braces, your shoes. Nothing is provided for you. Sometimes a team does have a contract with an equipment provider for shoes, but not often. One team I was on had a deal with AndOne, and they just make the worst shoes ever. So, I got a doctor to give me a note saying I needed better shoes with better arch support or something. The only things they provide are practice uniforms and game uniforms.

UW: With some NBA guys considering signing with Euro teams during the lockout, your book has a lot to offer as far as warnings and first-hand knowledge of just how badly things can go.

LA: You head in there with eyes wide open. Eventually, you just don’t get upset about things anymore. But these NBA guys don’t know what they’re getting in to. In Europe, they play one game a week, and they think, “Hey, one game a week is great.” What they don’t realize is you’re doing two-a-days the other six days of the week.

UW: Any other Euro-related warnings?

LA: They should be concerned. There’s nothing guaranteed about playing over there. Josh Childress and other guys in the NBA who went overseas, they last maybe one season, if that. There are two things: 1) Euro owners expect NBA guys to come in and dunk on people. But there’s no spacing and no illegal defense, everyone’s just standing in front of the hoop, so you can’t go through the lane. The owners get impatient then. And, 2) They NBA players at home, they’re used to a posh lifestyle — living in 4-star hotels, nice restaurants, chartered jets, all the towels they want. In the Euro locker rooms, well, those a pretty sketchy. Plus the pay isn’t coming. Most of the guys who’ve played there only get about 50% of what they were supposed to be paid.

UW: And the lockout…?

LA: It’s the worst time in the NBA to have a lockout. The fans are struggling, struggling to hold a job or keep a paycheck. To have both sides arguing over ridiculous amounts of money is ridiculous, and a lot of players are aware of this, a lot of people on both sides are aware of this. They know the timing isn’t right. But there’s the people who don’t care, too.

As you could guess, Lance has plenty of knowledge to share about the lesser lives of minor and foreign league basketball players, and another load or two about the actual game of basketball. Check out Sports Illustrated‘s interview with Allred for more conversation on those topics. Also, go buy his book.

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card.jpg

Membership update: Paul here, surfacing just long enough to mention that membership cardback designer Scott M.X. Turner has returned from his assorted summer-break activities, which means that the Uni Watch Membership Program — which had been on a short hiatus — is once again open for business. Although I’m still technically on summer break myself, I’ll still process any orders that come in and will get your membership cards shipped out super-timely-like.

As always, you can see all the cards we’ve designed here, and you can sign up here. Have at it!

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Benchies Beginning logoBenchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson

For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.

7-20-11 d-position

And as always, here’s the full-size version.

~~~~~~~~~~

IU2011Tim E. O’B’s IU Review

Yesterday, Indiana announced a new football uniform set for 2011. While anything is an improvement over this, I’m not sure just going back to this was the best idea ever.

A few weeks back, I had hopes that this would be IU’s uniform next year. Aside from that silly collar, that’s almost exactly what I wanted out of the Hoosiers’ unis.

But, alas, the Hoosiers disappointed me yet again. The uniform – seen here – along with the helmet (at the bottom) are basically throwbacks to the Terry Hoeppner era.

And actually, except for the numbers on the compression sleeves, and the candy-striped pants, the new IU unis look a lot like my over-the-top IU concept – down to the overly fat uni numbers.

Compare: 2011 uni vs. O’B. Candy-stripe.

I like the white facemask but the jerseys are too boring. Maybe add some stripes to the bottom of the sleeves, or maybe go with sleeve numbers rather than pad numbers, or go for what IU fans really want, the double stripe theme all over.

The Hoosiers were just shoulder stripes away from that design two years ago and they were a pair of pants (and that stoopid side blotch on the jersey) from having it last season. Keep it simple but don’t make us an Oklahoma knockoff again.

And please, for Christ’s sake, remove the “For the Glory Of Old IU” from the inside of the collar.

Final Grades:

* The Helmet – Love the facemask, hate (like, loathe) the lack of stripes. Grade: D | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Seriously Stupid

* The Jersey – No side blotches, but no stripes whatsoever. Grade: B- | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Good but could be great

* The Pants – Back to the ol’ double stripe. Grade A+ (so long as they wear red pants on the road) | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Great

Overall, two steps forward, one step back: B (which is a vast improvement from the D- that was last year.)

Tim E. O’Brien

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker (compiled by John Ekdahl): A French impostor dressed himself in a team’s full kit and made it out to the field at kickoff, but was promptly escorted off (Andrew Kendall). … Here’s a shot of Ryan Madson on Phillies photo day with his shirt on backwards (Edward Lafayette). … Stephane Bergeron of La Griffe Originale has just released the latest mask for Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (Ryan Rearick). … Check out these great football photos from U.S. Army Camp Darby in Italy during the 1940’s (Jeff Wilk). … Ian T.L. Henderson noticed on a recent trip that a certain liquor store in upstate Pennsylvania is using a familiar MLB logo. Maybe it’s been around since they played in Philly. … Southern Illinois will be wearing “special one-time only black Under Armour jerseys” for the Black Out Cancer game on November 12th (Paxton Guy). … “I think you’d have to admit this shirt is pretty brilliant. Even if it does bear the mark.” – Tim McNulty. … Monday night was “Until There’s a Cure Night” at AT&T Park. San Francisco Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was the only player not wearing the red AIDS ribbon on his jersey, which offended some fans who noticed. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Henry Schulman tried to put the controversy to rest in this article (Laren Richardson). … Well, it looks like someone has decided to blatantly rip off our buddies at No Mas (Brian Geiger).

~~~

“How on earth did the design team at Adidas find a way around all that state of the art technology to place some simple pants striping? Is there nothing they can’t do?” — Patrick Woody

 

96 comments to When a Sock is More Than a Sock

  • Jonathan Sluss | July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am |

    Who!? Who will not wear the ribbon!?

    • Rufus | July 20, 2011 at 10:16 am |

      This is exactly what I thought of when I read that. I hope those dudes didn’t beat him up.

  • Chad | July 20, 2011 at 7:45 am |

    Should not be surprised with the Indiana return to the Oklahoma look… their new coach, Kevin Wilson, was on the Oklahoma staff for 10 years prior to to taking over at IU.

    He probably just wanted to make sure he could identify his new team on the field.

    Although if recent history tells us anything their uniforms will be about the only thing on the field that will resemble Oklahoma Football.

    • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 7:53 am |

      And if recent history tells us anything, bad things happen to your program after hiring an ex-Oklahoma coach.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 20, 2011 at 8:52 am |

      From my TimEOBrien.com (slightly longer) version:

      “I like the white facemask but that’s where my love affair quickly ends. The only redeeming feature of the 2010 uniforms was the double stripe helmet.

      Originally a one game throwback with a block I, the double stripe helmet from recent Hoosier past was so popular it was the new standard uniform helmet THE NEXT GAME and then continued to be for the next three seasons.

      While the Hoosiers aren’t the only red cap in the BigTen (Minnesota flirts with a red helmet), IU could at least continue having a unique red lid while they’re at it.”

      • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 10:39 am |

        Tim,

        The game with the throwback helmet logo and stripes you’re talking about was in 2007. They wore white pants (the way God intended it) in that game.

        I think the pic you linked to was from the 2005 Bucket game.

        • Tim E. O'B @ work | July 20, 2011 at 11:06 am |

          Come to think of it, I thought that was how I remembered it but I was so drunk at that game I just assumed I remembered the pants wrong.

          Again, my bad. (but people still get the point.)

    • Aaron | July 20, 2011 at 10:10 am |

      I know on ESPN radio in Indy last night they were trying to figure out if IU has had more uniform changes than winning seasons since 1949. I got home before they came up with the answer, but my gut says yes.

      • LarryB | July 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

        Now that is funny.

    • odessasteps | July 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

      I’d like to see them return to the unis of the Bill Mallory era, the last they were “good.”

      Good here means going to the things like the Liberty Bowl and winning the Old Oaken Bucket.

      I miss Anthony Thompson

      /sad IU alum

  • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 7:48 am |

    I said pretty much this same thing last night, but there was exactly one thing that the IU football program had going for it: a distinctive helmet.

    Now what do they have? Nothing.

    Also, it looks like there’s a link missing from this sentence of the write-up:

    “A few weeks back, I had hopes that this would be IU’s uniform next year. “

    • LI Phil | July 20, 2011 at 7:52 am |

      thanks…now fixed

    • Tim E. O'B | July 20, 2011 at 8:57 am |

      Also:

      No side blotches, but not stripes whatsoever.

      Should be:

      No side blotches, but *no* stripes whatsoever.

      my baaaaaad

    • Bernard | July 20, 2011 at 9:38 am |

      Yep, all I see here is Oklahoma. Not a bad look, just somebody else’s look.

      That said, I imagine this change will vault Indiana past Auburn into Phil’s top 5 college football unis.

  • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2011 at 8:18 am |

    That liquor store sign as an Athletics logo? Uh, no. It’s just a sign with Old English type. The A itself doesn’t actually have the key characteristics of the team’s insignia, either the simpler forms the team wore in Philly or the more ornate forms that the logo has evolved since, and the A’s have never used Old English for the “S”. Sometimes, as Freud said, an Old English A is just an Old English A.

    Dollars to donuts what this is is a liquor store with a name chosen for phone book placement. I’d further bet that the sign is from the 1980s or very early 1990s – it bears the hallmarks of having been made with Windows 3.0 technology – and that if the same store had made its sign ten years later, it would have used Comic Sans instead of Old English.

    • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 8:41 am |

      There used to be a place that I would pass on my way home from work called “A’s Bar” that featured an olde English A that was very similar to the Oakland Athletics’ logo but it always reminded me of Arnold’s Drive-In rather than the baseball team.

      • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Jim Vilk | July 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

      If anything, the store looks more like the
      Akron Black Stockings than the Athletics.

      • traxel | July 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

        “Akron Black Stockings”

        Exactly what I was thinking. Yep. Sure was.

  • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    I almost wish Vogelsong had meant to leave the ribbon off. Nothing to do with the specific issue of AIDS, but the whole issue-tribute thing should be troubling. Imagine if your employer told you that it was now mandatory for you to put a bumper sticker on your car, or a button on your lapel, or whatever, supporting some particular cause or issue. Most of us would regard that as an offensive intrusion, even if we agreed with the cause in question. In a democratic society, the idea of being compelled to express a particular opinion is odious. It’s a violation of the most basic freedom of conscience.

    The government cannot require a citizen to display a message she disagrees with on her license plate; an employer ought not require an employee to display a message upon his person.

    • LI Phil | July 20, 2011 at 8:46 am |

      what if one of the twins doesn’t want to wear a “3” on his sleeve (for whatever reason) or an NFLer doesn’t want a flag sticker on his helmet?

      or, someone doesn’t want to wear a green cap months after earth day, or doesn’t want to wear a swoosh on his collar?

      why do we get upset at some forms of “individual” expression but others we either applaud or shrug our shoulders at?

      clearly, anyone not sporting a ribbon hates gays, or without an american flag sticker hates america, right?

      is there a fine line here? should any (or all) of these additions to the uniform be required? what if some guy was a real a-hole, but he died in a plane crash…should all his teammates, especially those who hated him, be *forced* to wear a memorial patch or armband? what about the american flag (please don’t cite the flag code to me — im talking about the “requirement” the NFL has [or had] a few years back)?

      • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2011 at 9:21 am |

        Of course there’s a fine line here. Everything is a fine line; to say that we’re dealing with fine lines is exactly as meaningful as to say that air is mostly nitrogen.

        But even acknowledging that there are fine lines, it’s also pretty easy to sort team displays into broad categories. First would be team identity. The team’s name, your name and number, and standard elements of team identity are as much part of your job to wear as is the fact that I am expected to wear a suit and tie four days of the week, or a UPS driver must wear brown. That’s unobjectionable, in that a player literally cannot perform his job without wearing the uniform.

        Second would be the realm of merely commercial or civic/commemorative displays. There’s nothing inherently political in, say, a “Gigantes” jersey. Nor in a memorial patch for a colleague, or in a patch commemorating a local disaster or anniversary. The very idea of being “for” or “against” your city’s 400th anniversary, for example, is meaningless. The hypothetical about a memorial patch for a colleague you actually don’t respect is easily resolved: That’s true of every memorial tribute for everyone who has ever died, and always will be. This is not a novel idea – it is a fundamental reality as old as human society that we express respect for the recently departed whether we mean it or not. Requiring a player to wear a memorial patch, whatever he thought of the deceased, is no different than requiring players to smile and say pleasant things to fans when signing autographs even when they actually resent the fans’ banal imposition on their time.

        And that leaves a third basket of everything else, and it’s here that teams generally ought not tread. Now, I grant that it’s possible to argue most potential tributes into either of my first categories. A Reasonable Case Can Be Made and all that. But the fact that some things clearly would be out of bounds – that we ourselves would find some mandatory expression unacceptable – should make us err on the side of caution. This means leaning toward “no” rather than “yes” when considering doing any tribute. Besides, shouldn’t the first and most important question be, “What does this have to do with playing a ball game?” Mostly, tributes have nothing to do with playing a ball game, and as such, they don’t belong.

        • hugh.c.mcbride | July 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

          There’s nothing inherently political in, say, a “Gigantes” jersey.

          Somewhere in Arizona, thousands of Republicans just felt a cold tingle run up their spines …

    • Tom V. | July 20, 2011 at 9:35 am |

      If my employer paid me what the league minimum is and told me to wear an AIDS ribbon for the day, I’m pretty sure I’d have no problem with it. Besides, I probably already signed something in my contract that said I had to anyway.

      • Ry Co 40 | July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am |

        “Besides, I probably already signed something in my contract that said I had to anyway”

        bingo! ’nuff said…

      • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am |

        So the issue isn’t that your conscience is not for sale, it’s that you just haven’t been offered enough money yet to sell out your integrity? Nice. And the question isn’t what is in their contract, or what is or is not league policy, but what should be in their contracts or league policy. The question isn’t what is, it’s what’s right.

        By the way, the league minimum is about $414,000. Do all people earning $400k forfeit the basic rights of American citizenship, or just the ones who play baseball?

        Then again, I actually do approve of the AIDS ribbon, and I’m a fan of the Giants’ participation in the “It Gets Better” campaign, and I generally praise teams for community and charitable involvement, and I’m a huge booster of teams wearing Spanish-language jerseys for Hispanic nights and whatnot, so I may just be a giant hypocrite who’s doing nothing more than finding fancy excuses for a curmudgeonly plea of “Stop messing with the uniforms!”

        • Bernard | July 20, 2011 at 10:43 am |

          RS, could you please explain all of these views in more detail? I’m trying to break in a new mouse.

        • pushbutton | July 20, 2011 at 10:47 am |

          Only issue I care about is a baseball team endeavoring to tell me what I should care about. Play the damn game and be entertaining if you can. That is the extent of your importance.

          I wish they could be more comfortable in their skin, fer chrissakes.

        • Ry Co 40 | July 20, 2011 at 10:51 am |

          so supporting for example cancer research, autism awarness, cure for aids, relief funds, past players/employees that have meant so much to an orginazation, as a team would be “selling out my integrity?”

        • Craig D | July 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

          Players sign contracts with the team. The team is a member organization of the league. I assume that part of any standard contract in any of the professional leagues is language regarding how you represent that league. If any player wishes to opt out of a particular cause recognition, that would have to be collectively bargained. This isn’t forfeiting civil liberties. This is a private organizations setting rules that are agreed to by the players through their respective CBA’s. If no such “opt out” clause exists, then if a player chooses not to participate, he opens himself up to a fine or some form of discipline.

          I can’t wear shorts to work because we have a dress code that I agreed to as part of my taking this job. I believe strongly in shorts during a heat wave. I’m not selling out by wearing dockers. I’m following the rules I agreed to follow in exchange for, you know, getting paid.

        • Christopher F. | July 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

          Basic rights of American Citizenship extend ONLY to the government’s relations with you. The government cannot tell you that you cannot say this or that. Or force you to say this or that. Your employer can, and their recourse is your job or whatever your contract states.

          I’m allowed to run a blog that bashes Microsoft. If I were a Microsoft employee, I would not be allowed to do so.

    • walter | July 20, 2011 at 10:58 am |

      I remember a similar debate when Allan Iverson issued a rap CD. As an American citizen, you enjoy unlimited free speech; as a company’s employee, or in this instance, a representative of a professional sporting league, your freedoms are somewhat curtailed. In exchange for compensation, you are obliged to push the company’s line.

      • Jason Shane | July 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

        This is exactly right.

        And to say that players are “selling out their integrity” by wearing ribbons supporting battling various diseases is ludicrous.

  • jtv108 | July 20, 2011 at 8:39 am |

    I think the review on IU’s uniforms is a little harsh. I agree the uniforms especially the helmets looks too much like “OU” with no stripe, but the overall uniform is a HUGE upgrade from the joke they wore last year.

    • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 8:44 am |

      The pants are an upgrade. The jerseys are a push. The helmet is a downgrade.

      So, when viewing the full uniform, it’s a lateral move.

      But since the players will be viewed from the waist up more often, overall, it’s a step backwards.

      • Tim E. O'B | July 20, 2011 at 9:00 am |

        JTH, the jersey is better than BlotchFest ‘010 but just too boring.

        jtv108, just because something doesn’t smell like rancid shit doesn’t mean it smells like roses…

        It’s better, but it’s not as good as it easily could be.

        • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am |

          Last year’s jerseys? I liked the shoulder stripes. The diamanoid thingies on the sides didn’t bother me. Sure, I hated them at first, but after a couple games, I stopped noticing them.

          This year’s jerseys? Nothing wrong with them, but not really an improvement.

        • Gusto44 | July 20, 2011 at 10:35 am |

          I wish Indiana at least would have scrapped the double pants striping in favor of the single stripe used during the Anthony Thompson/Vaughn Dunbar era.

          A good sized single stripe on the pants is rarely used in college football anymore, Arkansas replaced theirs several years ago.

        • Jim Vilk | July 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

          “Sure, I hated them at first, but after a couple games, I stopped noticing them.”

          Never stopped noticing them last year. That’s why they went from frequent 5&1 participants in ’09 to being shut out in ’10.

        • Tim E. O'B @ work | July 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

          Never stopped noticing them last year.

          – couldnt agree more Vilker.

  • Scott Gleeson Blue | July 20, 2011 at 8:43 am |

    Tim: great assessment of IU’s new unis. Gotta say, there is no program so long on uniform promise and so shy on delivery. They usually have uncompromisingly outstanding fan wear and of course basketball’s look is PennState-ian in all the best ways. However, football? IU SHOULD BE OWNING the double stripe look. Conversely, when the Sam Wyche cream and crimson design begins to look the most interesting, watch out.

  • Craig D | July 20, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    You stay classy LeBron!

  • Andy | July 20, 2011 at 9:18 am |

    Why the hate for the text inside the collars? It adds a premium, bespoke touch to the garment. Without it, this jersey is genericville on the rack. From the outside it’s still genericville, of course, but it feels better knowing you’ve got some IU pride inside the jersey.

    Regarding the last item in the ticker: Executing the same concept in a much different way is completely different than a blatant ripoff. This is not a blatant ripoff.

    On top of it, people have been saying, “I’m still calling it ___.” and “It’s still ___ to me.” ever since corporate naming rights for stadia have come into vogue. Just because you’re the first person to put a common phrase on a t-shirt doesn’t give you complete ownership of the concept as a whole.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 20, 2011 at 9:28 am |

      “Just because you’re the first person to put a common phrase on a t-shirt doesn’t give you complete ownership of the concept as a whole.”

      Actually, nope, it does mean that. Read the constitution. Amendment 8.

      • David | July 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

        Amendment 8:

        “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

        Maybe I’m missing it, but how, exactly, does that pertain to original ideas?

        • Tim E. O'B @ work | July 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

          The Internet: Where obvious sarcasm goes to die.

    • Craig D | July 20, 2011 at 9:29 am |

      “I’m still calling it Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Not Billy Joel

    • Tom V. | July 20, 2011 at 9:50 am |

      There’s always the case of two unrelated entities coming up with the same idea at the same time. I never referred to Citifield as Citifield, I always referred to it (the baseball stadium in Flushing, new or old) as Shea , although I never uttered or coined the term “I’m still calling it Shea”. I imagine many folks still call it Shea whether or not they’ve seen the shirts.

      • Chris Holder | July 20, 2011 at 10:15 am |

        That brings up an interesting question. I wonder how often new names for stadiums are actually preferred by the fans? I guess it would have to be a situation where the old name was generic, tied to a dark (losing) part of the team history, or just plain sucked. As a Braves fan, though I have no love for the man, “Turner Field” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than “Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium”. What are some others?

        Camden Yards over Memorial Stadium?
        Jacobs Field (when it was called such) over, um… Memorial Stadium?
        Yankee Stadium over Yan… nevermind

        I guess this doesn’t have to be limited to baseball, but is preference of the new name (amongst people that care, like us) a pretty rare thing? Seems like it may be.

        • Matt Beahan | July 20, 2011 at 10:45 am |

          Well, Manchester City have just renamed their ground to Etihad Stadium, after their jersey sponsor, but I’m refusing to call it that.

          In fact, I may get a shirt made up for the next home game I go to saying “I’m still calling it Eastlands”…

        • pushbutton | July 20, 2011 at 10:57 am |

          I rather resented the new White Sox stadium being called “Comiskey”. Intelligence-insulting as well as confusing for future historians. That mallpark deserves the most bland corporate name possible, and United Cellular is perfect.

        • Tim E. O'B @ work | July 20, 2011 at 11:09 am |

          Pushbutton it’s U.S. Cellular.

        • Geoff | July 20, 2011 at 11:40 am |

          I’d say Miller Park sounds better than Milwaukee County Stadium, but not by much.

          If ever a corporate giant had to name a stadium in Milwaukee, it’s only appropriate that it’s Miller.

        • Shane | July 20, 2011 at 11:49 am |

          Pssh, could’ve been PBR Field.

        • Craig D | July 20, 2011 at 11:52 am |

          Old names for new stadiums makes no sense. Shea is no longer. I would never think of Great American Ballpark as Riverfront. It isnt Riverfront. PNC should never be called Three Rivers. Three Rivers was blown up.

          It’s different for Jacob’s/Progressive Field or the others that just changed names. THAT is where “I’m still calling it _____” fits.

          You may still call MinuteMaid Park “Enron” but you cant call it the Astrodome.

        • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

          PBR Field? Maybe that’s what they’ll rename Dodger Stadium.

        • pushbutton | July 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

          Coolest thing about Camden Yards: the word, “Yards”.

          We’ve had our fill of “Fields” and “Parks” now. How about some “Dells” or “Groves” or “Flats”…let’s get creative with the part of the name that won’t change seven times before they tear it down!

        • Tom V. | July 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

          There’s always “the Grounds” too.

    • Jeff P | July 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm |

      I’m not sure that bespoke means what you think it means…

      It’s still an off the rack jersey. It just has a little detail on the inside.

      Bespoke means that a pattern is custom made and fitted for your body. Slapping a bit of embroidered tape in the back of the neck does not come close to rating that word.

  • Bobby Fenton | July 20, 2011 at 9:41 am |

    I don’t understand this infatuation with putting stripes and numbers and crap on freaking compression undershirts with long sleeves. THAT’s supposed to solve the (minor) problem with guys who tuck their jersy sleeves further up than others and the tighter modern sleeve cuts on jerseys? That’s asinine. Putting decortion on undersleeves seperate from the jersey looks like shit snd is not the answer. Nevermind the fact that if you make a longer-sleeved compression shirt part of the uniform, then everyone has to wear it that way, and not everyone needs or wants an undershurt down to their elbows.

    It was a dumb idea to begun with, and I have no idea how it got any traction at all. Luckily, I don’t think it is getting much and will hoprfully be going away soon. Just stop with it already. Comically bad.

    • RS | July 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

      I agree, I was wondering if I was the only one who was bothered by numbers/stripes on compression shirt sleeves. I get the problem it’s trying to address, but it sounds a lot better in theory than in practice. It looks terrible and no one wears compression shirts with that length of sleeve anyway.

      As far as the UCLAish striped on the IU uni’s, that’s absolutely what they should go with except that they’re going to be wearnig that stupid adidas shrink wrap jersey. Do we really need any more of this or this?

  • Capital Z | July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am |

    “special one-time only black Under Armour jerseys”

    BFBS…but, “it’s for a cause.”

    Actually, the most interesting aspect of this is seeing Under Armour turn into over-armour and now get into position to take on Nike, Adidas, Reebok and (please let it be so) Majestic.

    • Jeff P | July 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

      Please? UA makes the ugliest shit of them all.

  • AnthonyTX | July 20, 2011 at 10:33 am |

    Aston Villa unveiled their new uniforms for the English Premier League: http://farm7.static....

    Something I’ve noticed recently in soccer uniform unveilings is the players often wear running sneakers, not soccer shoes. There are tons of styles of soccer shoes that don’t have cleats; indoor and turf shoes are either flat on the bottom or have those little turf nubs. Why wouldn’t they wear those? The running shoes just look dorky, in my opinion.

    • JTH | July 20, 2011 at 10:52 am |

      Nice. Any chance those will be available for purchase without the sponsor logo?

      (Don’t they do that sort of thing when the sponsor can be considered “morally objectionable” to some?)

      • AnthonyTX | July 20, 2011 at 11:09 am |

        Not as far as I know. There are some countries that don’t allow alcohol and/or gambling ads, so if Villa get a chance to play in European soccer (would have to be next year), they may have jerseys with no sponsor or a different sponsor, but that will just be for on-field, probably not for sale.

      • Shane | July 20, 2011 at 11:46 am |

        Maybe the youth versions.

        • George Chilvers | July 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm |

          Wigan Athletic were sponsored by 188Bet last season, and kiddie replicas didn’t have a sponsor. All others did.

          Changed sponsor this season though.

          Now 12Bet :(

    • Pat | July 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

      It does look dorky but my best guess is that maybe Nike didn’t want them wearing Adidas shoes or something if they have a contract with Adidas. Other companies do this as well so don’t jump on the Nike=Evil campaign with it. By the way, what’s with the black socks. They need to be a team color or white.

      • Macca | July 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm |

        Villa used to wear black socks from the mid-1920’s through to the mid 1950’s. There’s a real thing in the UK at the moment for football teams to hark back to their past and to have more of a heritage feel to their kits.

  • Samuel | July 20, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    I came across this image from what looks to be like Joe Montana’s first year with the 49ers. He’s wearing #19 in the photo though. Anyone know about this story?

    http://espndeportes-...

    • Samuel | July 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

      Never mind. Looks like he wore that briefly in training camp his rookie year.

    • Rob H. | July 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

      actually I think it was mentioned on Uni Watch a little while back — it wasn’t his rookie year, it was the week before Super Bowl XVI, and his #16 was dirty or something.

      • Samuel | July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

        OK. Thanks.

  • Jet | July 20, 2011 at 11:59 am |

    The French imposter is Remi Gaillard; he’s well-known for this sort of thing. He has dozens of videos on Youtube of all different kinds of absurdist gags that he pulls, and 90% of them are hysterical. If you doing a search, make sure the video is from user “nqtv”, which is Gaillard, because other Youtubers use his name in their titles in order to get viewers for their lame videos…

    -Jet

  • Anthony | July 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    Allred sounds like a really cool, intellectual guy. I’ll download his books.

    Also, why isn’t anybody spamming the comments on that article that promoting those thieves who stole the Naming Wrongs idea?

  • Douglas | July 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    It looks like Adidas has abandoned trying to put UCLA stripes on their uniforms. Instead of trying to find a solution and avoid your other teams looking like crap (UCLA, Indy, ND Throwbacks etc.) you take the option off the table and allow your teams to look like crap.

    I may be jumping to conclusions here, the terribly done UCLA striped jerseys may have been shown to Indiana and consequently declined. Either way Adidas is not addressing this issue with their new cut.

    I was hoping that the Adidas ad (which surfaced a while back, and included Louisville’s new uniforms)showing the clean IU jerseys (with UCLA stripes) made it into NCAA 12 (with the UCLA stripes appearing as they should and not so disfigured by the cut), but they didn’t and are likely several years away from being included (hopefully they will go to the UCLA stripes down the line). They really were just a removal of those nasty panels away from having one of the top uniforms in the country.

    • Tim E. O'B @ work | July 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

      I was hoping for those unis too. Unfortunately it looks like we’re back to being OU knockoffs. Write Greenspan a letter, JTH did and I’m going to tonight.

    • Geeman | July 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

      Isn’t there an easy way to fix the UCLA stripes on the shrink-wrap jerseys? Just have them go all the way around the shoulder except for maybe in the arm pit?

      • Douglas | July 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm |

        You’d still have distortion: the stripes would then be on 3 different pieces, which would all stretch differently causing a worse look.

        The shrink-wrap jerseys are just a nightmare for any kind of uniform design, even the most simplest of designs are distorted by them, and this site has chronicled to death how crummy the nameplates look.

  • JenInChicago | July 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

    Ugh….from Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan

    http://twitpic.com/5...

    Pennant giveaway (?) today at Wrigley. Shameful.

    • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

      Worse: The Cubs logo is only the fourth-most prominent logo on the pennant.

  • Ry Co 40 | July 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

    geno malkin, from bottom to top: adidas, asics, nike, nike, reebok

    http://translate.goo...

    • Fred | July 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

      Some nasty knee scars there. Two more of them on his right knee and he should get an Adidas sponsorship.

  • C. Thiele | July 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    Not Paul’s favorite person, or lifestyle brand but I think he’ll like the news that Rovell shared on twitter:

    “@darrenrovell FB teams wearing Nike Pro Combat Jerseys in ’11: Army, Boise St, Georgia, LSU, Mich St, Navy, Ohio St, Oregon & Stanford.”

    Finally, a team that should have always had a ProCombat uniform gets one – Army!

    • David | July 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

      Here’s Army’s press release about the ’11 Pro Combat unis:

      http://www.goarmyspo...

  • Cardinals24 | July 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

    In the newest sports illustrated, i noticed a depressing feature. on page 50, the beginning of the baseball story, they show a picture of the red sox’s in their 1918 throwbacks. look at the socks and you’ll see on the guy third to the left with black nikes on the front of his socks. you’ll also see the guy fourth from the left (#12) with a white nike at the top of his left socks. this is the only reason i wouldnt want to see a player wear high socks. :(

  • Douglas | July 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm |

    What are the odds that UGA will be wearing silver helmets with their Pro Combats (I’m guessing it will be silver head to toe, but nike may show some restraint and give them red pants to avoid the monochrome look, not that that would look good).

    Also I’m certain the Tree will be a big part of Stanford’s Pro Combat. I’m hoping that’s the case because otherwise it will just be another BFBS nightmare.

  • Jim Vilk | July 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm |

    Gotta say I didn’t know about Lance Allred until today. From the Shawn Kemp era to the LeGone James era, I just didn’t follow the Cavs that much. Thanks for today’s post, Vince.

    Hopefully the NBA players will read Lance’s book and realize that, instead of bolting to Europe, they and the owners need to settle things soon.

  • traxel | July 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm |

    Kyle McClellan, pitcher with the Cardinals, started the first inning with his jersey spelled C A R D E N A L S. By the fourth inning they either did some quick chain stitching or gave him a new shirt. Cardinals post game just featured it with circles and arrows (but no paragraph on the back of each one as Arlo Guthrie used to say).

    • BurghFan | July 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm |

      They couldn’t have come up with that for Jose Cardenal?

  • Stan Schenher | July 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm |

    Must you use the Lord’s name in vain when discussing a simple uniform change? How low can you go? I bet you would not use a racial or ethnic slur in your column would you? Be more respectful.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 21, 2011 at 12:36 am |

      Seriously? I have a very strong urge to use many naughty words just to piss you off even more but I shall resist.

      What can I say, 13 years of catholic schooling beat the Christ out of me (no vanity there).

      And I am not Paul or Phil so please don’t take my language as theirs, that was me speaking, not Uni Watch.

      Also, even if there were a “Jesus Christ” his name was almost certainly Yeshua, not Jesus, and was never referred to as the anglican/english word “christ”. He spoke Arabic, Greek, Latin and/or Hebrew not “the king’s”.

      • LI Phil | July 21, 2011 at 12:53 am |

        personally, i think you should have said “for fucks sake” instead of “for christ’s sake”

    • Simply Moono | July 21, 2011 at 2:48 am |

      I see no iteration of the Big 3: The ‘N’ Word, the homosexual ‘F’ Word, and the female ‘C’ Word. Plus, Tim didn’t use the word “gay” or “retarded” as a commodity, so what right do you have to censor him?

      If you don’t like his review (but read through it), then count your losses and move on. Commenting on your dislike of his verbiage when he said nothing wrong just makes you look like one of these:

      (http://images.huffin...)