The most uni-notable moment of the past 24 hours didn’t take place on the diamond in St. Louis, or in any of last night’s NHL games, or anyplace in North America. It took place in Libya, where Mohammed al-Bibi — he’s the younger guy in the photo shown above — captured Moammar Gadhafi while wearing a Yankees cap.
It’s not often that a major international news event manages to encompass so many elements of the uni-verse: rampant merchandising, counterfeit knock-offs, and really bad design. And although it’s somewhat quease-inducing to imagine how this episode will go down in the annals of Yankees jingoism, you have to hand it to them: They really do have a global reach, and an unmistakable symbolism that no other team can match. Like, would anyone care if the guy who captured Gadhafi had been wearing, say, a Brewers cap? It’s a moot point, because there probably isn’t a single Brewers cap in Libya. That’s the power of the Yankees: Even in places where most people wouldn’t recognize a baseball game if you plopped one down in front of them, everyone knows about the Yankees.
Personally, I wish Gadhafi had been taken alive (I prefer to have my deposed dictators stand trial), but it is somewhat delicious to imagine that the last thing he saw before being dispatched from this world was a Yankees cap. The Lockerbie bomber taken out by the Bronx Bombers. Or, if you prefer, an evil-doer done in by the Evil Empire. Either way, I’m sure the Red Sox are planting an operative in North Korea to take out Kim Jong Il as we speak.
Meanwhile, it seems inevitable that the Yankees will honor Mohammed al-Bibi in some way. Will they let him throw out the first pitch at Opening Day? Give him his own Yankeeography segment? Hell, let’s have John Sterling give him his own personalized home run call: “Mohammed hits a mountain of a shot!”
Oh, and then there’s the cap. Why does something tell me that design is about to become a big seller?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Hmmm, new Nike helmets for the NFL? That’s the first I’ve heard of that (thanks, Skeebs). … “Nike has placed a yellow canary on the inside of the Brazil soccer jerseys, just behind the crest,” says Jonathon Binet. “The Brazilian team is sometimes referred to as the Canaries because their primary kits are yellow.” … If you needed more proof that the Rangers can’t decide whether their primary team color is red or blue, just take a look at this photo (from Kenneth A. Hinrichsen). … NASCAR teams are adding a Dan Wheldon memorial decal. Further details here. … New mask for Peter Budaj (from Jeff Czuba). … If the NBA ever gets back on the beam, looks like the Thunder will have a new court design. Here’s the old one (from Matt Spencer). … “USA Rugby posted the new USA Rugby Sevens jersey for the Pan-Am Games,” says Eric Bangaman. “It’s a combo of the stars-and-stripes we saw in the Churchill Cup and the Canterbury bib template.” … Good video feature on the Iowa State football equipment staff (from Corey Munson). … Here’s something you don’t often see: a high school using an XFL helmet logo. That’s Heritage High School in Virginia, using a repurposed NY/NJ Hitmen logo (good find by James Noone). … Old-school bullpen buggy in the works for the Sugar Land Skeeters (from Jeremy Kendrick). … We had previously seen Florida’s road sweatbacks; here’s the home version (from Josh Coney). … The Iowa high school football teams are wearing a really big memorial decal in remembrance of a teen who was killed in a car accident (from Jesse Gavin). … No photo, but Chris Fraterrigo says Daymond Langkow of the Coyotes had the vector logo, instead of the Reebok wordmark, on his jersey last night. … New logo for the NC Dinos — that’s a new Korean baseball team. “They’ll begin play in the Futures League in 2012 (minor league) and officially begin play in the KBO in 2013,” says Dan Kurtz.