As you may have heard, the defending World Series champs visited the White House a few weeks ago. Most accounts of the event focused on Brian Wilson’s mohawk or Tim Lincecum’s long hair, but longtime Uni Watch pal Tyler Kepner noticed something else: “It looks like Willie Mays forgot the last loop on his tie. I guess when you’re Willie Mays, you can dress however you want, even when you meet the President.”
When Willie Mays and Herb Tarlek have something in common, I figure that’s news. So I consulted my friend Jon Hammer (rhythm guitarist in the mighty Susquehanna Industrial Tool + Die Co., don’tcha know), who knows a thing or two about neckwear, to see if he could shed some more light on this situation. Here’s his response:
I have seen this knot before, and you have to be damn slick to pull it off. Someone needs to tell Willie, “Say, hey, tighten that tie, man.” It’s basically the same knot that you should tie for a proper ascot, except you are using a conventional necktie. Kind of a half-Windsor where you flop the big end over the knot, rather than through it.
Faaaaaascinating. The Onassis knot seems like one of those things that’s all well and groovy if you happen to be the world’s richest man or the greatest ballplayer who ever lived. But anyone else should probably heed the words of the guy in this message board thread who wrote, “You could tie a perfect Onassis, and 95% of people will just think you’re a dumbfuck who can’t tie a tie.”
Still: Aristotle Onassis, Willie Mays, and Herb Tarlek — the world’s most unlikely troika, joined at the neck.
(One postscript: Shortly after I finished writing this piece, I discovered that a small style blog was way ahead of me.)
Picking your brains: I’m kicking around a few ideas for fun, list-based ESPN columns and would welcome your input. Here are two that I’m pondering at the moment:
• Uniform mythbusters: This idea was inspired by the ongoing misconception that the MLB logo is based on Harmon Killebrew, which it is not. Other myths: The Mets took blue from the Dodgers, orange from the Giants, and pinstripes from the Yankees (the first two of those statements are true, but the Mets’ pins never had anything to do with the Yanks); the White Sox wore shorts for a whole season (they only wore them for a handful of games); and … what else?
This category could also include legendary stories that are true, such as the NBA logo being based on Jerry West. So I could present a commonly believed uni-related statement and then proclaim it to be True or False (ideally with a big-ass rubber stamp).
• Underrated uniforms: We’ve all seen lists of the best uniforms, the worst uniforms, the most outlandish, the classiest — but what about good ones that have largely flown under the radar without getting the positive response they deserve? Topping my list would be this Jags design and this Rays design. Others? What about the most underrated design currently in use?
If you have good ideas for either of these, feel free to post them in the comments, and/or contact me directly.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Patriots are adding a memorial patch for Myra Kraft. … Bit of a kefuffle in New Zealand, where Adidas is being accused of price-gouging on the new All Blacks rugby jersey. Details here, here, here, and here (with thanks to Doug Mulliken). … Speaking of rugby, Eric Bangeman reports that England debuted their solid-black kits over the weekend. “Very strange to see them wearing this,” he says. “Also an odd font.” … New football uniforms for Marshall (with thanks to Christopher McComas). … In other Marshall news, Andrew Brown reports that the basketball court has been changed from dark green to kelly green. … Derrick Mason of the Jets will supposedly be wearing pink cleats all season long in honor of his mother, although I suspect the NFL may have something to say about that. … Jack Krabbe sent along a good shot of Wyoming’s three helmets. … “I found an old Marvel comic of mine from 1970,” writes Ronnie Poore. “Inside was an ad for an NFL mini-helmet set.” … Speaking of comic book ads, check out this totally boss O.J. Simpson ad for Spot-bilt shoes (major thanks to Erik Powers). … Paul Watson has a friend whose sixth grade son will be wearing this unusual helmet design this season. “It seems to depict steel plates nailed together, almost like Frankenstein,” he says. … Back in late June, I Ticker-linked to a photo of a Brewers logo made out of coral in Hawaii. Rick Thiel, who’s from Wisconsin, says he and his sons created that logo on Father’s Day — and he has the time-lapse video to prove it. “It took about two hours to complete the logo,” he says. “We have friends that live near Kona and they said that the logo was still there as of last Friday.” … Ricky Williams will be wearing No. 38 for the Ravens. … Also, Tyrod Taylor has apparently changed his number from 6 to 2 (with thanks to Andrew Cosentino). … Why was Raiders coach Hue Jackson wearing DayGlo sneakers the other day? According to this piece, “Jackson lost a bet with running back Michael Bennett at some point. The payment came in the form of Jackson wearing neon-green tennis shoes for practice” (big thanks to Mako Mameli). … Fans attending the Aug. 18 Brooklyn Cyclones game will get to choose from a free Jets-themed jersey or a free Giants-themed jersey (as noted by Ed Westfield Jr.). … Lots of speculation about a new Blue Jays uni for next season (with thanks to Andreas Papadopoulos). … It was Grateful Dead Night in San Francisco last night, so Phil Lesh and Bob Weir sang the national anthem, along with third base coach Tim Flannery, who wore a special sleeve patch for the occasion (thanks, Brinke). … Ryan Albright notes that several Penn State players have been wearing white shoelaces. “Paterno has used white laces in his standards shoes forever, but I’ve never seen players sport the white laces,” says Ryan. “Is this new, or have i just missed something?” Anyone care to enlighten us? … New logos for Manhattan College (courtesy of Michael Gleba). … Here’s what Nike’s golfers will be wearing for the PGA Championships. “It’s interesting to see how the same shirts will be worn during the tournament with different golfers,” notes Wade Harder. … Speaking of Nike, here’s a hamburger I have no desire to eat (from Justin Verrier).