My Scottish friend Lindsay Hutton (the man behind the awesome Next Big Thing, don’tcha know) is in town, and yesterday morning he wanted me to come out with him for coffee. I was going to explain to him that I don’t drink coffee, but you can’t tell a Scotsman anything, least of all the Scotsman named Lindsay Hutton, so I went ahead and took him to a local café, where he sipped an espresso and I managed to consume a mocha with lots of added sugar.
When I got back to Uni Watch HQ, I found a large package waiting in the vestibule. My downstairs neighbor has been receiving and returning a seemingly endless series of large Zappos boxes (I think she’s trying about 18 different kinds of boots), so I figured it was just another of those. Then I realized it wasn’t addressed to her. It was addressed to me. The return addressee was unfamiliar to me, and I wasn’t expecting any large packages, so this was a head-scratcher.
The box was fairly heavy and unwieldy, and I had a hard time getting it up the stairs. Once I finally wrestled it into my apartment, I opened up the box and found the following (like all of the images in today’s entry, you can click on these two to see larger versions):
Yowza — a deluxe Notre Dame promo kit, for tomorrow’s game against Maryland. I’ll get to the helmet, jersey, and gloves in a minute, but first let’s take a guided tour through the rest of the box’s contents, beginning with this little vial containing 1 ounce of gold dust:
According to a note enclosed in the box, the gold dust was “reclaimed from the Golden Dome on the Notre Dame campus.” After I took that photo, I tried to get those tiny bits of dust back into the vial, but the dust instantly smeared. Yes, that’s the same piece of paper that the dust had been on. Magic!
Next up: a box with two pieces of logo-shaped chocolates (one of which had broken in transit) covered in edible gold leaf:
No word on whether the edible gold leaf was recovered from the Golden Dome, but I prefer to think that it was.
Next: a gold-toned 8GB flash drive, etched with the Notre Dame and Adidas logos:
I plugged that drive into my computer and found that it contained much more professional photos of the promo kit than the ones I was taking. If you want to see, I’ve grouped them all here, but I warn you: Caitlin isn’t in any of them.
Next: a pair of gold-toned headphones:
What do headphones have to do with Notre Dame football, you ask? Beats me, but I guess they’re meant to pair up with 16GB this greeen-and-gold iPod Nano (thoughtfully pre-loaded with the Notre Dame fight song):
Believe it or not, I’ve never owned an iPod before. I’d like to say it’s because I always knew Adidas would eventually give me one for free, but it’s actually because I work at home, where I already have access to all my music, so it’s never really seemed necessary. But hey, I have one now!
According to this item (note the name of that site — cute), Adidas made only 11 of these kits, to symbolize Notre Dame’s 11 championships, to jibe with today’s date, to honor Nigel Tufnel’s amp, etc. Mine is No. 4. Darren Rovell got one of the others, and one is going to be given away to a lucky Notre Dame fan (because anyone who gets free chocolate is lucky, am I right?). Who got the other eight? Dunno. If all 11 of us eventually get together in the same room, arrange our 11 kits in a circle, and play this album, will the kits suddenly be linked by green-and-gold lasers, followed by the opening of a wormhole that showers us with gold coins and emeralds? Dunno. But hey, anything’s possible.
Okay, so what about the actual uniform components? A few thoughts:
• I hadn’t really said anything about Notre Dame’s shiny/buffed helmet until now (aside from saying it validated my longstanding point about 17-year-olds responding to shiny objects), mainly because I wasn’t sure what I thought of it, wanted to see how it looked in the game, etc. Having now seen it in person, held it in my hands, etc., I can say it looks better in person than it does in photos. Of course, that doesn’t help you much if you’re one of the few million people who’ll be watching it on teevee, but I’m just sayin’. I’ll bring the helmet along to the Uni Watch party on Saturday so people can see. (Of course, that doesn’t help you much if you’re one of the thousands of readers who won’t be able to attend the party, but I’m just sayin’.)
• Another interesting thing about the helmet: All of the decals are underneath the shell’s exterior finish. In other words, you can’t run your fingernail against the edge of a decal and peel it off. Is this as unusual as I think it is?
• As for the jersey, I’ve seen lots of super-stretchies before (in fact, I think I was the first journalist who ever saw them, back when Joe Skiba gave me an early peek at them a few years ago), but this is the first time I’ve worn one. It’s an odd experience, because it really does conform to your — or at least my — body. The compression factor is significant but not uncomfortable. This jersey is tagged as a large and, obviously, was meant to be worn with shoulder pads, which means it should be way too big for me, but it fit fine. I have a feeling it would fit a very wide range of body sizes. As for the lack of sleeves, well, at least it was a warm day here in Brooklyn yesterday.
• Hey look, now I can do the glove-palm salute, just like all the cool kids:
It’s fine, I guess, except it’s a little odd not to be able to see the pattern on the palms while making the gesture. (And no, I did not practice in front of a mirror first.)
And there you have it: an
utterly ridiculous waste of money elite promotional experience from our friends at Adidas. My only gripe: What, no cleats?
I kinda like that my day segued right from the Scots to the Irish. I know they can’t bloody stand being mistaken for each other, but it still seemed somehow apropos.
Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard: Maryland will be wearing their flag-based uniforms for this game. I assume my deluxe promo kit from Under Armour will be arriving any moment now.
(Special thanks to my pal Matt Weingarden for taking photos of me on my front stoop.)
Gift Guide reminder: I’m about to start working on the annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide column for ESPN. If you have suggestions for good uni-related gifts, do tell.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Marlins will finally unveil their new wardrobe tonight, and I can confirm that the image shown at right, which began circulating yesterday, is indeed the home uni. You can click on it for a larger view, but it’ll still be blurry and unsatisfying, so just wait for the unveiling and do something productive with your day until then. Phil will have full coverage tomorrow. … You know what Tulsa really needs? Another helmet, that’s what. Hey, it’s only their fifth of the season (so far)! Frankly, I like this one. Kinda wish more teams would experiment with the forehead-positioned logo (from Matt Spencer). … You know what Virginia Tech really needs? Another helmet, that’s what. I think that’s their fourth one this year (so far), but my abacus just broke, so I’m not positive. … Here’s a bunch of city-specific sports logo mash-ups. Most are so-so, but a few are really good. Wish they were larger so we could see more details (from Nam Ho). … Ooooh, now here’s a truly gorgeous hockey sweater. Dave Hembree found it while poking around on this site. … New soccer kits for Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic (from Kenny Loo). … FIVB is bringing out a new volleyball. Further info, including a video clip, here (from Jeremy Brahm). … I’m still calling it St. James Park — and I’m not the only one. … The surge of gray uniforms in college hoops prompted Martyn Beeny to send me two articles about the time Manchester United wore gray (or, rather, grey, since it was in the UK). Look here and here. … Here’s an article — although not a particularly good one — on mean/angry/etc. team logos (from Jason Trapp). … Latest school engaging in patriot(ism) games: Wyoming. … You know how NBA shorts now have that silicone inner waistband strip, to help keep the jersey tucked in? I thought of that when I got this note from Collin Wright of Houghton College: “Through a packing error last year, we were forced to wear Malone University’s road uniforms when we went to their place. They had new Adidas uniforms that had the rubber material on the inside of the shorts to keep the jerseys tucked in, and our players loved it. That was their biggest request for the new set this season. So our new shorts have the rubber strip.” … Here are the jerseys that Mako Mameli designed for Eric Bangemann’s rugby referee society. Nicely done! … More Mets uni gossip, mostly confirming what most of us already know, here. I’m told that we’ll see the real things by this time next week. … More reconnaissance from 49ers beat reporter Sam Lam: “Players were trying out the new jerseys and pants [for next season] today. Nothing too groundbreaking. But I did ask one of the equipment guys what the difference is between these jerseys and Reebok. He said that the different cuts of the jersey are the main difference. I asked if these jerseys are the same ones used by college teams, and he said they were.” … Fun note from Eric Vogeler, who writes: “I was watching SportsNation today and Colin Cowherd had a segment similar to Pictionary, where he drew pictures and Lomas Brown graded them. There was one he drew that included a pair of shoes that Brown graded a B, saying he marked him down for adding the swooshes.” … The NFL is running a new contest. Top prize: two tickets to the Pro Bowl. Rumors that second prize consists of
four tickets to the Pro Bowl the rest of the tickets for the entire fucking stadium are almost completely untrue. … No, corporate influence hasn’t spread too far in American life, not even a little bit. … Rough time last night for Raiders coach Hue Jackson, who was auditioning for a spot in a Kiss cover band but didn’t make the cut. … The Vancouver Giants — that’s a junior hockey team — have a cool new throwback jersey (from Geoffrey Holland). … I’m pretty sure we’ve covered this before, but just in case: Casey Hart notes that Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has extra-thick sleeve stripes. What’s that about again..? … Someone at a retail shop on the Penn State campus made a small but telling adjustment to the logo in their window (big thanks to Ben Harris). … Italy’s new soccer kit will be unveiled on Monday. … Dom Lewis notes that the Bountiful High School Braves in Utah have managed to poach multiple Florida State logo — not just the helmet, but also look at the rear neckline. ….”I know it’s a too late, but this is the best Winnipeg Jets jersey concept I’ve seen,” says Brent Jensen. I don’t know if I completely agree, but I sure do like the name of that guy’s web site. … Today is, of course, the biggest day ever — and the biggest day there will ever be, at least for the next century — for the Corduroy Club. Further details here.