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.
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.
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.
(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.)
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!
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).