Over the past two months, I’ve told about 20 different interviewers that the current trends in college football uni design basically boil down to the fact that 17-year-olds respond to shiny objects. As you can see above, the folks at Notre Dame have apparently taken that concept a bit more literally than I’d intended. That’s the helmet they’ll be wearing against Maryland this weekend. Green jerseys, too. Hmmm, I have a feeling I don’t want to know what Maryland will be wearing.
And as long as we’re talking about college football: Rutgers has already worn three different helmet designs this season, but apparently that isn’t enough. It’s a well-intentioned gesture, but I always think these stunts do more to cheapen the flag than to honor it, plus the “Me too” factor is now off the charts. Disappointing.
New ESPN column today — the annual college hoops season-preview edition. Enjoy.
Very sad to hear about the death of Joe Frazier, a proud man who deserved better than to spend most of his adult life being cast as Muhammad Ali’s straight man.
From a uniform standpoint, Frazier is an interesting case. He’s generally perceived as the meat-and-potatoes alternative to Ali’s flash and showboat antics. But Ali wore the plainest of plain attire for the vast majority of his fights (usually white trunks with black trim), whereas Frazier wore some of the flashiest gear of his era. In his first fight against Ali in 1971, Frazier wore green trunks with a gold pattern — outlandish for its time.
If you look at that photo, you’ll see both fighters were wearing standard brown gloves. But by the time Frazier defended his title against George Foreman in 1973, he was wearing orange gloves with green thumbs — unheard of!
By most accounts, Frazier was bitter about laboring in Ali’s shadow and never felt he got enough credit for his achievements. But I’ll gladly give him credit for being a pioneer in boxing attire, as well as for his prodigious talents in the ring. R.I.P.
By Brinke Guthrie
Today happens to be my 13th wedding anniversary, and I received a singing Giants Tony Bennett bobble. It’ll make a nice addition to my bobblehead collection. This one, however, is a bit out of my reach financially. Say Hey, indeed.
In other eBay finds:
• Nice Bucs/NFL Alumni sweater here. Wonder who wore this? With a size of 21″ armpit to armpit, it must have been a kicker.
• Had this! A 1970s MLB magnet standings board.
• Had these! Great NFL goalpost/helmet set. Is that Herschel Walker on the box front?
• Had these too! The “Americana” ABA sneaker from Adidas. And my mom paid $29.99 for ’em in 1972. I thought she was nuts to pay that much.
• Remember these 1970s MLB and NHL patches from Kraft? Had these too!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Remember that Dodger Stadium 50th-anniversary logo that surfaced last week? The Dodgers will indeed be wearing it as a patch next season, but with slightly different colors (from Michael Smith). … Here’s the latest Winter Classic speculation. Hope this one’s accurate — the Rangers design is a beauty, and I like that keystoned captaincy designation on the Flyers jersey. … Christoph Niemann, one of the best illustrators out there, produced a series of New York Martahon illos while running the full 26.2-mile course. … “I noticed on Saturday that many of the Longhorn players were wearing small awareness ribbon stickers on the back of their helmets,” writes Jason Willis. “Some were pink, some yellow, some blue, and some green. There may have been a few more colors, but these were the ones I saw the most. I believe the stickers are for various forms of cancer that have affected the players’ lives. Info on what the various colors mean can be found here.” … Here’s a really interesting breakdown on the history of the YMCA logo. It doesn’t include the current logo, however, several variations of which can found here (from HHH). … Derick Gallagher pointed out something I’d missed regarding the Bills’ white-at-home move two days ago: Although they were wearing their usual road uniform, they wore their home socks. … Antrel Rolle of the Giants was risking a fine on Sunday by wearing Miami eye-black stickers (screen shot by Ryan Perkins). … Great DIY project from Anthony Pellegrino, who writes: “My son was recently diagnosed with a condition called plagiocephaly, which is basically a flat spot on the back of his head from sleeping on his back, and so he is wearing a corrective helmet to allow the head to grow correctly and round out. The helmet comes only in white, and thus looks pretty medicinal and serious. So I decided to spruce it up and turn it into a Giants football helmet. As you can see, I first taped off the striping and logo, then touched up the logo and painted the striping, and then covered the whole thing in a glossy sealant. Not bad, huh?” … Tim McNulty spotted a bizarre passage in this article about design Trace Hurns: “He called them ‘First Love Bats.’ The idea was to have infants hug the bats long before they ever hugged their mothers. They would bond with the bat over their first two months. The bats would be filled with luck and positive energy and then sold for over five thousand dollars each. Many of the best hitters in the 1970s used these bats claiming that they felt a sort of pure joy when they used them.” Hmmm. Sounds fishy, on several levels. Anyone know more? … News flash reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist. … Whoa, check out how Brown’s football team used to have pin-on uni numbers (nice find by Dan Ulrich). … How bad are things for the Redskins right now? This bad. The heart on the nameplate is a nice touch (from Jason Mott). … And how good are things right now for the Packers? This good (from Brady Phelps). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The L.A. Galaxy had an NOB typo the other day. … Here’s a video clip showing Michigan State hoops players wearing their Carrier Classic camo uniforms (from Todd Tindall). … Here are Puma’s soccer kits for the Africa Cup of Nations (from Stephen Wong). … Yesterday I mentioned that California University of Pennsylvania had worn two different jerseys in their game against Edinboro last Saturday — the first half in black and the second half in red. According to this article, the team’s 20 seniors were given the chance to vote on what the team would wear that day, and they split right down the middle, so the coach decided to do the halftime switcheroo. Personally, I’m surprised the officials allowed it. … Mary Hassett reports that fire trucks in Anaheim all carry an Angels-esque logo. “Made me think of the Green Bay cops and their Packers badges,” she says.