For the past year or so I’ve been toying with the idea of getting green/gold striping tattooed onto my calves, to mimic the look of tube sox. But reader Adam Walter beat me to that idea. As you can see above, he has a nice Northwestern stripe pattern on his right leg. “I got it done done the day after we closed on our new house, back around April of this year,” he says. “You’re the first person I don’t need to explain it to.”
I asked Adam if he could provide us with the backstory, and he readily complied:
I went with the Northwestern stripe design for a couple of reasons, the most prominent being the symbolism it has with Chicago. Also, while I’m an extremely casual sports fan, I have always been obsessed with uniforms and old-school designs, so Northwestern stripes just made sense. Finally, the one sport I do follow is hockey (my teams are the Hawks and Habs), so the design on my leg reminds me of classic hockey socks.
The sitting lasted a little over four hours. I brought in this picture, and I knew the specific dimensions I wanted (half-inch top stripe, quarter-inch gap, 1.5-inch center stripe and repeat). The tattoo artist said he thought it looked like a tribal design, but I quickly became known as “sock guy” around the shop.
As far as the color, I think simple tattoo designs like this are like Harley Davidsons: They should come in any color as long as it’s black. I never gave any serious thought to adding any other colors. There was no particular reason why I chose my right leg; if and when I get my next tattoo, it will be on my left arm, to balance everything out.
I get a ton of stares. Lots of comments, too, which usually go something like this: “Excuse me, I just wanted to tell you I was staring at your leg because I thought you were only wearing 1 sock. Do you know your tattoo looks like a sock? Do you really like socks?” Depending on my mood, I either tell them about Northwestern stripes and hockey socks (at which point they then tell me it’s one of the best tattoos they’ve ever seen) or I tell them I wanted a tattoo of tube socks on both legs but that it hurt too much so I stopped after one.
But I don’t mind the attention. I travel extensively for work (over 200 flights a year), so I’m often in first class, sitting directly opposite the flight attendant. I believe every flight attendant has asked the story of the tattoo, and it’s usually a pretty good conversation piece.
Very cool. There’s a lesson here for all of us: Wearing your heart on your sleeve is nothing compared to wearing it on your shin.
It’s a corporate world, we just live in it (if you call that living): Reggie Wayne, the Colts receiver, went to college at Miami, so he sometimes likes to wear a Miami cap. Nothing wrong with that. But Wayne has a Reebok shoe deal. So when he wears a Miami cap, he has to cover up the swoosh on the brim.
And there you have, in a nutshell, everything that’s wrong with the corporate influence in sports. Number one, what the fuck is a swoosh doing on the cap brim to begin with? And doesn’t covering it up end up calling more attention to it?! And seriously, would anyone at Reebok really get their boxer-briefs in a twist if Wayne just let the logo show? Actually, they probably would, and that’s messed up too. This is the world that Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and the rest have wrought — and the world they’ve foisted upon us. A pox on all their houses!
All we need now is for the company that makes the black cover-up tape to start printing their own logo on the tape. Hey, Mr. Cover-Up Tape Maker, you’re missing out on a valuable branding opportunity! (Seems appropriate to address him as a person since that’s what corporations are.) The sad part is that someone out there probably thinks that’s a good idea. Sigh.
Meanwhile, here’s something even more absurd: Remember yesterday’s Ticker mention of Steelers pants with a black Reebok logo instead of gold? According to an eBay listing, that black logo was occasionally used to cover up a swoosh! Sure, that makes a lot of sense — a Nike tag on the inside and a Reebok logo on the outside. Nice planet you got here, but I could I please go back to Earth now?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was some filter that just eliminated all these logos? In fact, there is, sort of: A German newspaper has decided to blur out all the sponsor logos and makers’ marks in its sports coverage. Hmmmmm. Maybe I should try that here at Uni Watch.
(My thanks to Alex Melendez for the Wayne screen shot, to Charles Kaprielian for the eBay listing, and to Hunter Franks for the German newspaper item.)
And speaking of corporate shenanigans…: Coupla new Amateur Pacifist costumes were presented yesterday, a tale of ebony and ivory. I had previously heard (and reported) that the Boise costume would be blue, creating a color-on-color match-up for their corporate sandwich game against Georgia, but that info was apparently erroneous.
Meanwhile, speaking of Boise, get this: Some high school in Michigan has installed a blue football field. They’re referring to it as “blue turf” — because it has, you know, blue turf. See how that works? But now Boise has sent its lawyers after the high school, because Boise says it has a 25-year trademark on the term “Blue Turf.”
I swear, take all of these clowns — the branding douchebags, the marketing douchebags, the so-called designers, the boardroom suits, the school officials who allow all of this shit because of all the revenue the games generate (all of it tax-free, incidentally, but that’s another scandal for another day), the moronic fans who lap all of it up like it’s candy laced with crack — and send them all to Chechnya or something. Like, yesterday.
No logos involved: There’s a new post on the Permanent Record blog.
Uni Watch News Ticker: This might be the ultimate mix of baseball and design: A new bat company has a product line that looks like a Pantone swatch book (big thanks, Kirsten). … Man U has struck a monster sponsorship deal for its practice jerseys (from Doug Mulliken). … The single-A Frederick Keys will wear jerseys designed by a local artist tonight. … Bruce Menard sent along a spectacular team portrait of the 1914 Louisville Colonels. Love those sweaters! … Bit of a spacing issue — or maybe just a literacy issue — on the Tennessee football locker room doors (from Yogi Combs). … More pics of Ilya Bryzgalov’s mask (from Matt Pesotski). … Anyone know what’s up with these red uni numbers? … Ya think maybe Fred Wilpon uses this logo on his letterhead? Terence Kearns spotted that while walking around Manhattan yesterday. … Rich white guys sure do like it when their black employees don’t have tattoos, have a nice haircut, and say, “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” (from Tom Mulgrew). … Speaking of Cam Newton, Matt Shilling got a screen shot of him and Carolina’s other two QBs on the bench last night — check out their uni numbers. … Jeff Ash reports that the Green Bay Chill of the Lingerie Football League are wearing Packers colors. … Also Packers-inspired: this Indy Car racing helmet, which was worn at the Milwaukee 225 back in June (good one from O.J. De Castro). … Jemile Weeks wears one of those sliding mittens, similar Scott Podsednik’s, which I wrote about last year (screen shot by Matt Harris). … Here’s another team that used Confederate flag imagery — the Salem Rebels, who were a Pirates farm team in the late 1950s and early ’60s. That image is from their letterhead. Is that logo character the nicest-looking, sweetest-seeming traitor you’ve ever seen or what? (From Todd Radom.) … Redskins plus the Grateful Dead equals Deadskins (from William Yurasko). … The wonderful baseball uni historian Dave Grob has written a superb piece about how shirttail and sleeve lengths are noted in jersey tagging. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Goshen College, a Mennonite school in Indiana, will no longer play the national anthem prior to sporting events, because it’s been deemed too violent. Whatever your take on this (I don’t know much about Mennonites, and I suspect most of the people reading this don’t either), it might surprise you to learn that the tradition of playing the anthem before every single game is a relatively recent one, at least in terms of baseball. If you’re curious, look here. … Here’s what this season’s Redskins tickets look like. “Their tickets have always featured current players, so this is a bit of a departure,” says Chris Tank. “I suppose after this many down years they’ve decided to embrace the past. Can’t say I blame them.” … Not sports-related, but check out these super-beautiful 1920s-’30s Japanese posters (Kirsten again). … Still more wonderful news from the boardroom: A landmark Buenos Aires café, dating back to 1917, is being converted into a Nike shop, whee! (This day-brightener courtesy of Mike Menner.) … We’ve talked before about how freshmen at Marshall have to wear a red helmet stripe until they “prove themselves,” whatever that means. But according to this story, Joe Johnson had to wear a yellow stripe last season, because he wasn’t “going hard all the time” in practice. “That is a first,” says Jake Keys.
Hope all our eastern seaboard readers manage to ride out Irene okay, and my thanks to all of you who’ve expressed concern about the status of Uni Watch HQ. My part of Brooklyn is reasonably far inland, and my Mom now lives on the northern side of Long Island, so I think we’ll be okay (although I fear for the house I grew up in, which is on the south shore). Phil is well inland from the shore as well. We’ll all get a shitload of rain on Sunday, but hopefully that’ll be the extent of it, and I’ve laid in a good supply of essentials, just in case (bacon, bone-in ribeyes, mocha brownies, Diet Coke, cat treats, etc). Wouldn’t hurt if you kept your fingers crossed for us, though. Thanks.