Is That NNOB? Or GNOB?

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Most of you are probably familiar with the story of the Maple Leafs’ GNOBs (that’s ghost names on back) from 1978. The story usually goes something like this:

“The Leafs’ owner, Harold Ballard, didn’t want to add NOBs to the team’s jerseys. So when the league started mandating NOBs, Ballard ‘complied’ by adding white-lettered NOBs to the team’s white home jerseys and blue-lettered NOBs to the blue road jerseys, thereby rendering the names invisible.”

That’s pretty much how I’ve told the story myself over the years. The problem with this version is that it gives no indication of how long Ballard got away with this stunt. Did he do it for a full season? Most of a season? A few weeks?

The answer, as it turns out, is two games. And they were both on the road. The white NOBs on the white home jerseys never happened — they’re apparently a mythical outgrowth of the GNOB tale.

The reason we now know this is that longtime Uni Watch stalwart Teebz recently dug up all the details on the GNOBs — including video from one of the two GNOB games — and published them on his own site. Check it out and see for yourself. Highly recommended reading.

It’s interesting to see how the GNOB story has grown. I suspect I’m not alone in thinking the GNOBs were worn for much more than just two games. Frankly, I don’t recall how I first heard about the GNOBs, but I definitely had the sense that it was a bigger, longer-lived phenomenon that just a two-game fluke.

Big kudos to Teebz for setting the record straight, and for providing a strong reminder that a good storyline is no substitute for solid research.

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Wanna make a hundred bucks? Most of the rugby-related news on this site is forwarded by either Caleb Borchers (who guest-wrote the Rugby World Cup uni preview entry that Phil posted on Sunday) or Eric Bangeman (that’s him at right, “30 pounds heavier than I currently am,” he notes). Eric recently approached me with a design project that could provide a minor payday for one of you designers out there. I’ll let him explain it:

We need a new uniform for the Chicago Area Rugby Football Union Referee Society. None of the template jerseys offered by the companies that make rugby jerseys really work for us, so we’re offering $100 to the Uni Watch reader who provides the best jersey design.

The jerseys will be mesh with the design sublimated. The preferred primary colors are yellow, teal, or purple, and the accent or trim color needs to be black (to match our black shorts and socks). Please avoid hoops, horizontal stripes, and any other designs that would emphasize referee rotundity. Everything else is fair game.

Simple enough, right? The deadline for the contest is next Wednesday, September 14. Send your designs directly to Eric, and feel free to contact him with any questions you might have.

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Short-attention-span blues: Here are some late-breaking FBS changes:

• See that little black spot to the left of Syracuse’s rear helmet striping? According to reader Brad Bierman, that’s an “88″ memorial decal, for John Mackey.

• Miami (Ohio) has added a pair of helmet stripes.

• In last week’s ESPN column, I reported that Oklahoma’s Austin Box memorial decal would look like this. But it turns out that it’s actually like this.

• Detail of the year: Penn State has changed its shoelace color from black to white. It’s actually discussed in this video clip.

(Crazy day yesterday and I lost the names of the people who contributed this info — you all know who you are, and please also know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.)

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My Exciting Life™: I was a guest yesterday on All Things Considered (goddang librul media…), and I’ll be appearing today, around 3pm Eastern, on Outside the Lines. For the OTL segment, I’ll be in a remote studio, not live on the set, so you’ll only be able to see me from the chest up. Just between us, though, I’ll be wearing nothing below the waist but a Maryland flag wrapped around my hips and a pair of striped stirrups. Happy viewing!

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Remember that shoulder patch that showed up on a Rangers jersey the other day? “It’s the Garden of Dreams Foundation logo,” says A.J. Frey. “I’d assume they just wear these jerseys for their charity events, since they don’t want their gamers out there in the public.” … Someone has come up with a Jim Thome-themed T-shirt design and is throwing in a free pair of socks with every order. It’s a nice-looking shirt. However: (1) Thome wears solid socks, not stirrups. (2) Thome has never worn striped hose of any kind, at least on the baseball field. And (3) Thome does not wear “high socks”; he wears high cuffs. Why do so many people have trouble grasping this simple concept? (From Tony Crespo.) … This is cute: a series of posters telling British Royal Mail carriers what to wear with their uniforms (thanks, Kirsten). … New super-stretchies for Rhode Island (from Tim E. O’Brien). … Schutt is giving away a free helmet each week of the football season. … Very cool bobsled patches available here and here (from Dan Cichalski). … Mako Mameli spotted something we’d all missed during the NFL preseason: league-branded crew socks. Really hope that doesn’t catch on. … Knicks uniforms in the preview of NBA 2k12 are black-free (from JK Schneiderman). … Now that’s a football uniform! More where that came from here (awesome stuff from Larry Bodnovich). … I didn’t hear this myself, but there was apparently some chatter during last night’s Mets/Marlins broadcast that the Marlins will have a “rainbow look” next season. Hmmmm (from Anthony Salvaggio). … Here’s Notre Dame’s throwback helmet for this Saturday’s game (from Warren Junium). … Remember Justin Christian, the Giants call-up who got stuck with the NNOB jersey the other night? According to an item on this page, the jersey “was on loan from special assistant Joe Lefebvre, who is assisting hitting coach Hensley Meulens this month.” Christian now has a proper jersey, No. 51 (from Chris Schoenthal).

 

167 comments to Is That NNOB? Or GNOB?

  • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 8:06 am |

    Hey Kyle Allebach!

    Here’s those retro Eagles wallpapers you asked for…

    helmet:
    http://thegreatktulu...

    bird:
    http://thegreatktulu...

    • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm |

      These are nice! Thank’s THE!

  • Pierre | September 8, 2011 at 8:06 am |

    Great vintage photos of McKinley (HS?). They serve to illustrate that fancy, colorful football uniforms have always been around.

    But what I find most amazing is this was an integrated team…in 1934! In the South, where I am from, that would have been absolutely unheard of. In the late sixties LSU football not only did not have one African American…it had not one African American scholarship athlete in any sport. Can you imagine that…the SEC? Look at the SEC today…

    • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2011 at 8:10 am |

      what exactly are you saying? LSU was slow to integrate? this is news?

      • Pierre | September 8, 2011 at 8:19 am |

        What I am saying is that integration was slow to take hold everywhere in the South. And that’s a shameful part of our heritage.

        Look at the number of African Americans today in the SEC and it’s hard to imagine that within the lifetimes of many of us there weren’t even black athletes at SEC schools.

        I always thought Alabama was the first SEC school with a black football player. Actually it was Kentucky…in 1967.

        • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2011 at 8:44 am |

          “Look at the number of African Americans today in the SEC”

          ~~~

          ok…is it disproportionate to the number of african americans in those states where the SEC schools are located? of course, prior to 1964, i’d wager there weren’t but a handful of blacks in any of those schools…took the civil rights act of 1964 to change things

          or are you saying “look at all the african american’s on the football teams of the SEC” today?

        • Pierre | September 8, 2011 at 8:59 am |

          What I am saying is look at the huge number of exceptional black athletes who have played in the SEC in the past forty years…and then consider that prior to that there were no black athletes whatsoever in the SEC. That is an amazing turnaround…that schools that didn’t want any part of black athletes in the past now field teams with large amounts of black athletes. (And, pssssst…it’s all about winning.)

          The other thing is that the McKinley photos were mostly from an integrated 1934 team. In the South there were actually laws that would have prevented that. It wasn’t just a matter of custom of practice. Segregation was essentially the law.

          Have I explained myself sufficiently…?

        • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2011 at 9:05 am |

          more than sufficiently

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 8:12 am |

      Yeah I think those are just as much of a “superhero costume” as anything today.

      • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 8:15 am |

        I completely agree.

        “Costume” is not a pejorative term per se. Just a descriptive term. There are good costumes and bad costumes, just like anything else. I think those 1934 designs are really good costumes.

        Have to get ready for the teevee now….

        • Pierre | September 8, 2011 at 8:20 am |

          Don’t forget your makeup..good luck. ;>)

      • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 10:27 am |

        Are those satin pants or is it a trick of the lighting?

        • M-N | September 8, 2011 at 11:18 am |

          Does the mother ship require that you wear a tie?

      • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 11:56 am |

        I also just realized that not only is that a superhero costume, but he’s also striking a superhero pose four years before Detective Comics #1 came out. I know the idea of a superhero basically goes all the way back to Gilgamesh, but costumed paragons weren’t really ingrained in pop culture until Superman, right?

        • Ricko | September 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

          I know you meant ACTION #1, so I’m guessing that Detective reference is just a flat-out “oops.”

          :)

        • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

          Yeah I did. Detective Comics was Batman. I fail at nerd. :-/

    • M.Princip | September 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

      We just need Larry to colorize these, and all will be right with the world.

      http://cantonmckinle...

      • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

        I was thinking of that. I will see if I can find a good one to give it a shot.

    • Jim Vilk | September 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

      To answer Pierre’s question: yes, McKinley is a high school. They play in Canton’s Fawcett Stadium (until this year, site of the Hall of Fame game), and their legendary rivalry with Massillon’s Washington High School goes back more than 100 years.

      • Jim Vilk | September 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

        Speaking of said rivalry, Paul Brown once coached at Massillon, while Marion Motley (pictured in this gallery)
        http://cantonmckinle...
        played for McKinley. Of course, they would work together in the future.

        • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

          That Jim V knows his stuff.

          McKinley and Massilon are 2 of the more famous schools in Ohio. Their rivalry is a very historic one.

          Wayne Fontes also played. at McKinley. I just thought they had some sweet looking uniforms. As somebody else said the 1930′s were a cool decade for uniforms. The 1950′s was the most boring.

  • Dave R | September 8, 2011 at 8:40 am |

    A couple of alternate FB uni concepts for Iowa, reported by the blog Black Heart Gold Pants (scroll down for the 2nd):

    http://www.blackhear...

  • Desmond Jones | September 8, 2011 at 8:43 am |

    I was watching the TAMU SMU game and I realized that SMU wears the super stretchies now… and that means their lovely sleeve stripes are damn near on their shoulders!I can’t find a good picture of it, but it creates a bad cluster with the TV numbers also being on the shoulders. Does anybody know exactly why adidas wants to eliminate sleeves from football jerseys?

    • walter | September 8, 2011 at 8:56 am |

      I’d wager it’s because the players don’t wan’t them, but that isn’t exact.

    • Andy | September 8, 2011 at 9:28 am |

      In addition, lineman have been wearing sleeveless jerseys long before adidas created the tighter, stretch-mesh version.

  • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 9:03 am |

    Is the facemask on the throwback ND helmet some form of green or am I just crazy?

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 9:05 am |

      I’m afraid you’re just crazy… that’s definitely gray.

      • Tim E. O'B | September 8, 2011 at 9:13 am |

        How pissed are you it isn’t green/is gray?

        • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 9:16 am |

          It’s a throwback. The gray is accurate, so it’s fine.

          If it was new design, then the gray would be stupid.

        • Tim E. O'B | September 8, 2011 at 9:20 am |

          So, mildly pissed. Got it.

  • Tim E. O'B | September 8, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    I don’t know who sent in the super-stretchies for Rhode Island but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.

    Don’t want to take credit for somethin’ that ain’t mine.

  • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Very Tim! Haha.

    I’m reading from my phone today though. So I’m not surprised really.

  • Shane | September 8, 2011 at 9:21 am |

    “rainbow” and “Marlins” is making me think silver/teal/black rainbow guts.

    Funky.

    • Chris Holder | September 8, 2011 at 9:35 am |

      Haven’t blue and orange been rumored to be possibilities for the new color scheme (harking back to the old Miami Marlins)? I’m not saying they would mix teal with blue and orange (yuck), but maybe it will be some combination of all those colors? Black/silver/teal/orange/white maybe? Not exactly rainbow, but still.

      • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 10:31 am |

        I thought it was green and orange, or more properly a deeper version of the Dolphins’ aqua, like the color every Ford Escort in existence is painted.

        • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 10:38 am |

          If only every Escort was that color… my parents had a purple one years ago. Yeah, it was quite hideous.

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2011 at 10:17 am |

      The logo for the new ballpark has a rainbow in it, perhaps this is what was being referenced.

      • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2011 at 11:56 am |

        Some inside scoop from a Marlins blogger: “Loria is not a fan of teal, so expect that to disappear completely. ”

        Orange and green, like “The U” maybe?

  • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 9:28 am |

    My bad. I see your question was aimed at The. Hard to tell in the mobile version as all comments go straight down vs. “Reply” options.

    • Tim E. O'B | September 8, 2011 at 9:29 am |

      if you turn of mobile mode you can see the page ‘normally’.

  • scott | September 8, 2011 at 9:28 am |

    Paul’s prediction that the Yankees would wear the flag caps yesterday didn’t come to pass. Do the Yankees only wear those caps when MLB mandates them to?

  • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am |

    Yeah, but that’s too easy!

  • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    New post at the Butcher’s Case:
    http://butcherscase....

  • Lloyd Davis | September 8, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Regarding the Leafs’ SNOBs (stealth name on back), my memory did the opposite — I was certain the ploy only lasted one game, not two! But it makes sense — then-NHL president John Ziegler wasn’t exactly the most authoritative sports league administrator in history.

    • Teebz | September 8, 2011 at 10:08 am |

      Zeigler had been on Ballard’s case all season during the 1977-78 campaign. All of the other teams had put names on the backs to start the season, but Ballard claimed that he would lose a ton of money on program sales.

      It happened in Chicago and on Long Island only. Once the Leafs hit MSG to play the Rangers, names appeared white-on-blue. The Leafs at home didn’t have names until the start of the 1978-79 season.

      • Lloyd Davis | September 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm |

        A little after this (Don Weekes’ “The Best & Worst of Hockey Firsts” places it at March 1, 1978), when Ballard’s purchase of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team had gone through, he had the Tiger-Cat logo painted on the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens.

        Again, he locked horns with President Ziegler. Those were still the days when on-ice advertising was not allowed.

        Not sure how long the cat was there before it had to be removed. I do recall Ti-Cat logos being placed above the tunnels leading to the concourse for a while.

    • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 10:21 am |

      To be honest, I never thought the GNOBs would’ve lasted particularly long, but I was surprised that it took until February to get Ballard to put names on the back at all.

      • timmy b | September 8, 2011 at 11:52 am |

        GREAT WORK on the 77-78 Leafs NOB’s, Teebz and Co!! I knew about the game in Chicago as I listened to that game on WMAQ and remembered the commentators (Bud Kelly?) saying that the names were blue on blue. I too, had originally thought that the whites had white NOB’s, and found that NOB’s were never applied until 78-79. Teebz confirms this with some dogged leg work.

        Much appreciated.

        • Teebz | September 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

          Thanks, Tim. It may never have come up had it not been for Rob Ullman, so I’m happy to share the credit with Rob. His research for his own project led me to looking into it.

          Thanks for including me in this, Rob. As soon as the Old-Timey Hockey Tales is released, I’m buying one to show you my thanks.

    • hugh.c.mcbride | September 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |

      I heard a rumor that the Leafs also had a stealth blue horse on their away unis, too. Too bad they never got to break out the orange alts …

  • David T | September 8, 2011 at 9:52 am |

    Nice work on ATC, Paul. Robert Siegel is the consummate voice of NPR so it must have been pretty cool to talk to him.

    • Rob H. | September 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

      Which begs the question – who’s cooler to talk to, Paul? Robert Siegel or Bob Ley?

  • DW95MVP | September 8, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    From what I can tell in that video, the Knicks uniforms are the same and the players are still wearing black accessories suggesting that nothing has changed.

    • Corey | September 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

      Agreed, the only uniform they show at length is the home and that is the same. You do catch a glimpse of the road uniform though and it still has the black stripe on the side.

    • word is bond | September 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |

      Agreed. Amar’e was wearing a black shooter’s sleeve, but Turiaf had on a blue one.
      Still black trim…

  • JTH | September 8, 2011 at 10:23 am |

    The Thomenator
    A Cleveland Original

    Originally from Peoria.

    .

    .

    .

    I kid. I kid. Sorta.

    And he hasn’t always worn the solid socks, or gone high-cuffed. (But the point about he stripes still stands.)

    • JTH | September 8, 2011 at 10:25 am |

      *the* stripes

    • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 10:38 am |

      I want to say when he started going high-cuffed he wore low cut stirrups over colored sanis. It looks like there’s some lip showing above his shoes in this photo.

      • JTH | September 8, 2011 at 11:31 am |

        I had a small debate with Paul via e-mail about this photo of Thome wearing a White Sox 1983 throwback uni. It sure as hell looked to me like he was wearing stirrups over colored sanis. Paul disagreed.

        • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 11:48 am |

          Those are definitely stirrups. You can see some separation about an inch above the shoe on his left leg.

        • Ricko | September 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

          Either that or, if they told him he HAD to wear the stirrups, he pulled a red tube OVER them.

          But there definitely seems to be a sort of “hem”—in the shape of a stirrup—in there somewhere. Also, the shade of the red changes (also in the shape of a stirrup) near his Achilles, which usually is the result of a slight alteration in the angle of the fabric toward the light source.

  • Will S | September 8, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    Why the insistence on “high-cuffed” instead of high socks? I’ve never heard a player call them anything but high socks, and often, the guys who go with their pants down don’t even wear socks up to the knee, because there’s no need if they won’t show.

    • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 10:41 am |

      I think that’s a pet peeve. I think the two terms are perfectly valid metonyms, since there really can’t be any confusion over what someone means when he or she says “high socked.”

    • Mike Engle | September 8, 2011 at 10:50 am |

      If you’re high-cuffed in baseball, you’re absolutely wearing high socks as well. If you’re not high-cuffed in baseball, you’re probably wearing high socks anyway to prevent slide burn, but we’ve seen Jim Edmonds wear merely “dainty little socky poos” on the site.
      So I guess “high socks” is one of those misnomers where we all know what it means, but it’s so easy to use the right term that it’s a wonder that the proper “high cuffs” isn’t used more often.

      • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

        Lots of players wear high sox under their pajama pants. So the term “High socks” is ambiguous at best.

        The term “high cuffs” is NOT ambiguous. It gets to the point: Hiking up your pant cuffs.

        I fail to understand why anyone should find this so hard to grasp.

        Off to the teevee studio….

        • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

          I get what you’re saying. I just disagree that it’s as ambiguous as you say it is. When someone says “high socks” without qualifying those socks as being under long pants they almost invariably mean “high cuffs.” I say high cuffs and I understand why it bothers you; it just doesn’t bother me and that’s why.

  • Michael Kramer | September 8, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    ESPN Soccernet has an article of interest today about the origins of several clubs’ colors and kits.

    • Connie | September 8, 2011 at 10:40 am |

      Thank you!

  • Mike 2 | September 8, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    I grew up as a Leafs fan so I remember Harold Ballard’s shenanigans well.

    Firing Roger Neilson, then rehiring him but asking him to wear a paper bag over his head to coach to build suspense.

    Trading Lanny MacDonald to spite Darryl Sittler. Sittler ripped his “C” off right before the next game, played the game with a hole in his jersey. (I’d love to see a photo of that)

    And the worst stuff, the stuff we didn’t hear about until after Ballard died.

    As a teenager, I had *no idea* that our team was so screwed up and that every NHL team wasn’t run that way.

    • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 11:25 am |

      Ballard served time in freaking jail for stealing money from the Leafs. That Clarence Campbell let him back into the NHL is a freaking disgrace.

      I’m still amused by the Ballard memorial patches.

      • Mike 2 | September 8, 2011 at 11:49 am |

        That’s awesome! I’d never seen those before – using the memorial patch as a tribute to the stealth-name-on-back experiment.

      • Mike 2 | September 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

        Also, I’d forgotten he’d gone to jail for stealing from the Leafs – I was thinking it was tax evasion. Had him mixed up with Steinbrenner.

        • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

          Tax evasion was part of it as well, but he swindled money from the MLG operation; apparently one of the things he did was write off the purchase of motorcycles for his sons as “equipment for the Marlboros”.

        • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

          And, obviously, if you’re leeching money from your company, you’re not going to report it to Revenue Canada…

        • Teebz | September 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

          Ballard was simply a sonuvabitch.

          He was estranged from most of his family, and once cancelled a minor hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens when he found out his grandson was a member of one of the teams scheduled to play.

          He was found guilty of 48 out of 50 charges of theft and fraud involving the misuse of $205,000 – including $82,000 of Gardens money used to remodel his home.

          He was notoriously cheap, as I wrote in my article. The double-booking of the The Beatles on the same night, the thermostat trick combined with cutting off the water fountains so people bought soft drinks, only having “large cups” available that night – all of it shows he was a completely unethical man.

          Former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington claimed that Ballard proposed swapping cities for their respective teams in 1980. Ballard and the Leafs would play out of the larger Northlands Coliseum while the Oilers would play out of the smaller Maple Leaf Gardens.

          Punch Imlach had gutted the Leafs through trades, and MLG was 50 years old and needed a lot in the way of upgrading. Ballard made the suggestion to Pocklington and demanded $50 million to make it happen. Pocklington was all for it as he saw the dollar signs, but Ballard backed out at the last minute as he got Molson Brewery to sign on as a partner in the Leafs.

          The guy was a complete jerk for the vast majority of his life. But he was highly entertaining as a hockey personality.

        • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

          And don’t forget the trashing of the Foster Hewitt broadcast gondola. He could’ve gotten money from selling it to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but instead just had it completely destroyed. Total dick move on his part.

        • Lloyd Davis | September 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm |

          Tax evasion *and* fraud. And both he and Stafford Smythe were up on charges, but Smythe died before the cases went to trial. They were kind of like Scrooge and, um, Marlie.

          Speaking of which, there’s an apartment complex next to the Gardens where they had a place leased under the alias S.H. Marlie — S for Stafford, H for Harold. They used it for, um, their assignations.

      • Lloyd Davis | September 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm |

        Campbell’s hands weren’t exactly clean, either. In 1980 he was convicted of conspiring to pay a Liberal senator to help him and his partner get an extension to their lease on the duty-free shop at Dorval (now Trudeau) Airport in Montreal.

    • J-Dub | September 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

      Wasn’t there a time back in the 70′s when Ballard threatened to move the Leafs to Sakatoon? I recall an interview where he said “I’ll take the team to Saskatoon by dogsled if I have to!” (or words to that effect).
      Apparently the joke at the time was that it wouldn’t happen because they couldn’t find any dogs willing to do the job :-)

  • Suvo | September 8, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    as a proud maryland alum, i fully support paul’s drapery of flag around hips and such. looking forward to catching you on the teevee.

  • Mike N. | September 8, 2011 at 11:25 am |

    Any wagers on how soon the Oregon football team gets a cleated version of these?

    http://mashable.com/...

    • Ricko | September 8, 2011 at 11:30 am |

      Great.

      The final hurdle has been cleared.

      Now teams can recruit guys who don’t know how to tie their shoes.

      • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 11:51 am |

        Denard Robinson doesn’t tie his shoes. He just spats them all the way down the vamp.

        • Ricko | September 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

          Actually, he just leaves them untied.
          No spatting.
          http://jerseychasers...
          http://www.osuhomeba...

        • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm |

          I’ve definitely seen him spatted all the way down. Perhaps at some point someone ruled either for or against his right to be foolish? I just remember seeing a game where the commentators were talking about his nickname and showing how his shoes were untied but taped up.

        • mmwatkin | September 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

          Robinson spats his cleats when Big Ten season rolls around. He gets hard so many times it prevents his shoes from flying off

        • JTH | September 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

          “He gets hard so many times it prevents his shoes from flying off”

          Umm… what?

        • Jim Vilk | September 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

          “He gets hit hard so many times…”

          I’m assuming that was what he meant to type?

  • Simply Moono | September 8, 2011 at 11:44 am |

    Random question: I’m seriously considering getting a tattoo of this Zildjian graphic on my right arm (but not where it starts to say “A Zildjian & Cie”) for my 21st birthday (which isn’t until March of next year). My question is: how many people have tattoos of company logos in some way, shape, or form, not for “ad space” reasons, but simply because they like how the logo looks? I think this would make a really interesting topic.

    • traxel | September 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

      I was playing basketball this morning and noticed one guy had a swoosh tattooed on his ankle. No other visible tats.

      • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |

        There’s a jogger in Prospect Park, where I bike every day, who has the same thing. I shudder every time I go past her.

        • Ricko | September 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

          Howcum nobody gets the “SPAM” logo tattooed on their ankle?

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

      I’m sure there are plenty of sports team logos branded into flesh the world over… this one is classic though

    • hugh.c.mcbride | September 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

      “My question is: how many people have tattoos of company logos in some way, shape, or form, not for “ad space” reasons, but simply because they like how the logo looks?”

      Not sure of the number, but I gotta believe that Harley Davidson leads the world in this category.

      I also believe that Nike will be makin’ a run at that title in the next generation.

      And this makes me sad.

      • Kyle | September 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

        A quick Google search also shows an alarmingly high number of Apple tattoos

        • Simply Moono | September 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

          My friend Eric actually has one of those glow-in-the-dark tattoos. In the dark, it’s the Apple logo.

  • pflava | September 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    How not to display your new football uniforms…

    http://www.gorhody.c...

    Take away the number, and it looks like those guys are wearing sleeveless compression undershirts with bicycle shorts.

    • Simply Moono | September 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

        …and here I thought this might be one corner of the interwebs where ponies wouldn’t invade. Dammit Moono!

    • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

      I’ve said it before, it looks like shite without pads.

  • Sean | September 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Does anyone else think the backs of football helmets are getting pretty damn crowded? That picture of the OU player, showing the Austin Box decal made me just shake my head. Can’t the move some of those to other areas? It looks awful. I know you can’t really do much about the player’s uni number back there and the rear bumper but damn.

    http://cache.daylife...

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

      Definitely. The only thing that should be on the back of the helmet is the back bumper and the player’s number, if the team wants it there. All that other crap needs to go. No NCAA or NFL logos, no flag, nothing.

      • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

        Just be thankful that certain companies haven’t gotten into the helmet production market. Otherwise we’d be seeing giant swooshes and whatnot pasted all over the sides…

      • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

        I think the safety certification sticker should be back there too. It’s kind of important to be sure the helmet was inspected before use.

    • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

      Yep I thought that too. Is it all necessary?

  • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Rob S | September 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

      Damn it, that was supposed to be in reply to Coleman’s post above! I thought I’d hit the “Reply” up there, but I guess I missed it.

    • Coleman | September 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

      no, more like this….

      http://i1205.photobu...

      Took me a few minutes to work that beauty up in PS!

  • Andrew | September 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    uh oh:

    Matthew Hasselbeck:
    NFL Kickoff Weekend cleats from Reebok.
    http://t.co/ty2bAnD

    • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

      At what point do those violate league rules? Doesn’t the shoe have to be at least 51% white or black?

      • Desmond Jones | September 9, 2011 at 6:51 am |

        Unfortunately, it is… Look at the white accents that go around the cleat, that is a half white shoe.

  • buttonpush | September 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

    A new spin on the Maryland uniforms is that high school players are attracted to shiny things, even uniforms… where the F did that come from? A chance to blow Phil Knight and Kevin Plank out of the water Paul, and all we get is “recruiting” is why teams are creating abysmal uniform designs?

    Swing and a miss…

    • Fred | September 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

      What else is he gonna do, broach the issue of capitalism and how Nike and UA are taking advantage of the system to the fullest? He’d be laughed off every media outlet. Gotta start somewhere but I agree, the recruiting approach wasn’t the best way to do it.

      I would’ve brought up the problem of how NCAA and sports companies should have more of a clear cut boundary between the two. That the NCAA should do more to promote education for the athletes rather than prepare them for the professional levels. That is essentially what UA is doing to UMD.

    • Pierre | September 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

      Flashy uniforms might attract some players…but money still works best on the very good ones.

      • James Cr aven | September 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

        And now, they’ll auction off ten helmets ($500 minimum) and ten jerseys ($100 minimum) for their athletic department!

  • buttonpush | September 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    EKINS are official company storytellers employed to evangelise about the Nike brand and its sports technology. Before being unleashed on the world, Ekins are required to undergo an almost military-like training regime comprising a nine-day rookie camp at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon and a full day’s running at the Hayward field track where Bill Bowerman worked as a track coach. Almost unbelievably, as a further sign of their devotion to the brand, each Ekin is then invited to have the Nike ‘swoosh’ tattooed on their ankle ahead of their ‘graduation’.

  • Jim Vilk | September 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

    “Just between us, though, I’ll be wearing nothing below the waist but a Maryland flag wrapped around my hips and a pair of striped stirrups.”

    Oooo, got an idea – Maryland stirrups! Robert, you think TCK can make them?

  • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

    The Jeff has me ready for Sunday!

    • Fred | September 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

      Got a Lexmark printer huh? Recognize the icon. :)

      • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

        Used to have Lexmark. Never uninstalled it (lazy), and got a Kodak one. Its about six months old.

    • jdreyfuss | September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

      Man, Risk II used to screw me over. I don’t think I won a single roll of the dice for the first six months I had it.

      • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

        I would win about three matches, but then I would lose at least 5. There has to be a curve in that game.

      • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |

        Aaaannnndddd mentioning Risk II has made me start playing it again :D

  • Adam W | September 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    I’m looking forward to the Maryland Man Comic Book series…

  • Brad | September 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    Nice job on ESPN. Can’t believe you didn’t hit first with the Joker comparison. Hopefully you’re right and Auburn has some sense.

  • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

    I think the OTL report hit the entire Maryland issue on the head. I DON’T like that it was a 30 minute commercial for the uniform maker. 18 year olds like shiny objects. Maryland has shiny objects. The uniforms won’t be the reason why students sign with Maryland over other schools, but they WILL be the reason that they notice Maryland over other schools (that aren’t top performers on the field).

    • Fred | September 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

      “I love shiny graphics and industrial doodads, and ball knobs were an irresistible combination of the two.” -PL

      http://observatory.d...

      If UMD had these shiny tap handles, we all know where 18-year-old Paul would go. :D

  • buttonpush | September 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  • buttonpush | September 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    I think the OTL report hit the entire Maryland issue on the head. I DON’T like that it was a 30 minute commercial for the uniform maker. 18 year olds like shiny objects. Maryland has shiny objects. The uniforms won’t be the reason why students sign with Maryland over other schools, but they WILL be the reason that they notice Maryland over other schools (that aren’t top performers on the field).

    My younger cousin is a highly recruited football prospect here in Chicago… I called him after listening to the OTC interview and asked him about the Maryland uniforms and as a recruited athlete would a team like Oregon or Maryland have an upper hand over other schools? He laughed loudly and said in fact no it would have the opposite effect… he said that why would I want these “silly hipsters uniforms” to detract from my performance and my hopes to maybe someday play in the NFL? He said Maryland to him came across like a bunch of clowns and if he was on Miami would have loved to start chirping when they took the field… again a complete backfire for Maryland..

    I then said if Maryland or Oregon was recruiting him would those unis work against their ability to recruit him and he said NO. It’s not that big a deal either way…

    nd 18-year olds (with any taste) shop at some of the most fashion

    • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |

      Again, I don’t think the unis are going to make Maryland THE destination, I just think it’s going to make them A destination to consider that may not have been noticed by some recruits previously. Just ask Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, and Lindsay Lohan … it’s better to be in the spotlight than out of it.

    • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

      Paul’s comment about Auburn made me think. I agree that Auburn has one of the more traditional uniforms. I hope they do not change to multi helmets and unis. Also I bash Penn State’s uniforms as being way to plain. Auburn has dark blue and white. But Auburn’s look is far far better looking.

  • Kyle Allebach | September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

    Does logo creep in photos (like, logos where they aren’t supposed to be) as bad as logo creep in uniforms?

    /dumb question

    • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

      Assuming that you’re referring to the AP on PM’s elbow, I’d chalk it up to “whoops! we were going to distribute a cropped version, then changed our minds at the last second” kind of excuse. However, if that is part of a trend, then I think there’s some discussion to be had.

  • Joe D | September 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

    All USF athletic teams will wear the initials LRS for Lee Roy Selmon for the school year. That and more details here:

    http://www.gousfbull...

  • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    For the Iowa post which I read but can not find right now. I like how they said Kirk Ferentz said No and No when asked about a Maryland deal. Outside of another throwback game.

    See Iowa did things right honoring the 1939 Nile Kinnick era team and the late 50′s Hawkeyes. They wore throwbacks. Not creations.

  • LarryB | September 8, 2011 at 7:39 pm |

    hahaha I just found the Iowa state pride mock up. Ooohboy.

  • Phil in Joplin | September 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm |

    Okla state vs Arizona uniforms: black jerseys, black pants, white helmets.

  • Pat | September 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm |

    Just saw Drew Brees on my tv with the C in his captain patch colored in gold. I’m assuming that’s how they are designating the 5th year of captaincy.

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm |

      Yeah, but what about players now in their fourth (or less) year of captaincy? Their patches aren’t gold? Haven’t caught a glimpse of one yet.

      Also: Is it just a coincidence that the fifth-year patch is gold and that gold is a Saints color? What about for a team like, say, the Jets — will their fifth-year patch also be gold, or will it green, or something else?

      • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

        The stars have been colored in using gold, correct? It would only make sense to me to make the 5th year captains’ Cs also colored in gold for all teams. Then again, I would also make it sense to make the patches used consistently themselves, so I suppose anything is possible.

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

          I’ve sent an email to my NFL contact (the same one who was of exactly zero help when I asked about the patches 10 days ago), asking for clarification. We shall see.

      • Brian | September 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm |

        Let’s hope that’s the case. If so, that will probably be the best aesthetic option, besides taking them off altogether. But I suppose if we have to have them, I’d rather see them in a team color than just gold.

      • Kevin | September 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |

        Just saw Jon Vilma on the broadcast. His patch was the same as it has been in previous years. White “C” and three gold stars. Hope this helps.

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm |

          That does help — thanks! Still doesn’t answer the question of whether fifth-year captains wear (a) a gold patch, or (b) a team-colored patch. But I’m trying to find out.

        • Kevin | September 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

          Well Sunday will help answer that or if your NFL contact responds. It could be team colors seeing as the old patches had the team colors in the background. (example: the Colts had a blue background). http://www.riskipatc...

        • traxel | September 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm |

          What happens if someone has been a captain since before the “program” started? Do those years not count? Why don’t they get recognized? Why is it referred to as a “program”? Why does it need to be standardized? What happens next year? The whole thing is dumb dumb dumb.

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm |

          Pre-patch years don’t count. The very concept of pre-2007 captaincy was expunged from the history books.

          Yes, it’s very, very dumb. The only thing dumber would be if the patch included an NFL logo, and I’m still amazed they haven’t done that.

        • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm |

          that’s for the sixth year patch

        • traxel | September 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm |

          How about a sponsored captaincy patch. The Chick-fil-a captaincy program. Can only be worn on Monday and Thursday games though.

      • Kyle | September 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

        I thought when the captains patches were first announced they said that the 5th year and beyond they would just color the C. Could have sworn I read it here when it came out.

      • Pat | September 9, 2011 at 1:26 am |

        I had the exact same thought about the team colors. I was pretty sure that the stars were in gold on everyone’s patches so I was thinking ok that means gold “C” on everyone’s patches too. Then I thought how awful that would look on anyone with “athletic gold” as a color on their team and it made me shudder. Like the Chiefs, Steelers, Chargers, Redskins or Vikings. I saw the Packers didn’t wear them, is their a list of teams somewhere that don’t wear them?

  • Johnny O | September 8, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

    BREAKING NEWS: The new captaincy patches are the same as they have been. The big “C” with four stars underneath, but all gold in color.

  • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    Man, Clay Matthews’ jersey looked *really* mesh-y during that sideline interview, no?

    • Johnny O | September 8, 2011 at 11:24 pm |

      Not any more than usual in my opinion.

      http://www4.picturep...

      • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm |

        how bout a little warning before posting something like that, johnny?

  • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |

    Several members of the Saints secondary are wearing white shoes.

  • nobody | September 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    Arizona state is really going all out for the blackout tomorrow. Theyve changed the background on our student page to black. All the text is still contained in white boxes, so it looks quite hideous.

    • Kyle M | September 9, 2011 at 2:38 am |

      I know this is really late, especially for the east coasters, but here’s a screenshot.
      I dont go to ASU, so I don’t know what it looks like in other pages and screens, but I assume this is an intro/splash page.

      https://fbcdn-sphoto...

  • Patrick_in_MI | September 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm |

    Wow, Florida A&M/Hampton on ESPNU. This may be the “&1″ by the Vilkinator this weekend. At least the Rattlers aren’t wearing this get-up tonight: http://alt.coxnewswe...

  • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm |

    OK, so, you’re a defensive lineman. The opposition marches down the field against you, and they score. Stink. The opposition kicks off to you, and your team runs the kickoff back for a touchdown. Your team scores. Does this make you happy, or make you want to kill the kick returner?

    • Simply Moono | September 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

      A little of both.

    • jdreyfuss | September 9, 2011 at 12:01 am |

      I don’t know if I’d be that pissed off. Between the various TV timeouts in there you still got a break for ten minutes of commercials, the twenty seconds or so the touchdown return took, the fifteen seconds the second return took, and then the sixty second dead ball play clock.

  • Simply Moono | September 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

    A lot of the Packers’ cleats look even blacker than normal. Obstructive black spatting notwithstanding, it’s a good look.

  • JimWa | September 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

    Wow. That made ME tired!

  • Mark in Shiga | September 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm |

    Good to see Justin Christian get a proper jersey, and one with a less egregious number.

    It’s too bad his callup didn’t come while the Giants were at home, where their jerseys have only numbers on the backs — then the problem would never have arisen: he could have just borrowed Lefebvre’s #70 jersey until his was ready and no sticking would have had to be removed and not one would have looked at him funny.

  • Kris Bazen | September 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |

    Way to give a shout out to the fresh Canton- McKinley football uniforms… That’s my high school!!!