The video you segment see above was taken from TV coverage of yesterday’s Kim Jong-il funeral in North Korea. It features a lot of what you’ve probably already seen on the news — people crying, people marching, more crying, etc. But if you skip ahead to the 6:47 mark, you’ll see something truly remarkable. It only appears for a moment, but I’ve made these two screen shots:
That’s right — a North Korean woman (wearing a pretty sharp uniform, it’s worth noting) dressed her little boy in a Yankees hat for the funeral. (Update: It’s now been brought to my attention that there’s a much better view of the boy and his hat at the 5:04 mark of the video.)
This is the second time in a little over two months that Yankees headwear has intersected with the demise of a dictator. Back on Oct. 20, Moammar Gadhafi was captured by a guy wearing a Yankees baseball cap. But seeing a Bronx Bombers chapeau in Libya is one thing; seeing one in North fucking Korea — the most God-forsaken place on Earth, where virtually any trace of Western culture (to say nothing of American League East culture) is anathema — must surely qualify as one of the least likely uni sightings in history. I’d think it must also qualify as an act of high treason, especially when worn during the Dear Leader’s funeral procession. Compounding matters, Chan Ho Park pitched for the Yanks in 2010 — and he’s South Korean.
This shows yet again the extraordinary reach of the Yankees, whose brand seems able to penetrate even the most remote corners of the globe. Hell, equip a few Yanks caps with embedded microchips, drop them over Pyongyang, and we’ll probably have all the intelligence we need by the time pitchers and catchers are due to report.
Then again, maybe the Yankees cap wasn’t so unusual after all, because there was another iconic totem of Western culture on display at the funeral. As you may have heard, the vehicles of choice for the procession were mid-’70s Lincolns. Maybe next time they can get one of these.
(Special thanks to eagle-eyed Scott Szymendera, who spotted the Yankees hat in the funeral video.)
Research query: Franklin & Marshall is the name of a small college in Pennsylvania. It’s also the name of a popular European sportswear line, founded by two Italian guys who found one of the college’s sweatshirts in a London thrift shop. They didn’t even know that the sweatshirt was for a college — they just liked the logo. A decade later, their clothing is trendy all over the continent.
I’d never heard about any of this until yesterday, when my ESPN boss, Lynn Hoppes, sent me this article, which spells out the full story. It’s a pretty fascinating tale.
Do any of you know about the Franklin & Marshall phenomenon? Do any of you have any of their clothing? I’m sort of picturing it as a Euro version of Abercrombie & Fitch, but what do I know. If you can clue me in, please do.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s a better look at Oregon’s Rose Bowl helmet. I think I liked it better when I couldn’t make out all the details. … And here’s an article about the company that makes the helmets (from Mike McLaughlin). … “Brett Connolly of the Lightning is on loan to Team Canada, but it appears the equipment guys screwed up his NOB for the Finland game on Dec. 26 by skipping an L,” says Teebz. “The weird part is that Connolly played in all three pre-tournament games with no misspellings.” … British troops don’t like their new combat fatigues, in part because they look “too American” (from Jeremy Brahm). … This is pretty good: a “Dressed to the Nines”-style breakdown of Batman costumes through the years (great find by Kyle Allebach). … Ross Clites has ranked something we don’t often see assessments of: the best pants in the NHL. … Toledo wore a completely illegible stars/stripes helmet logo in last night’s Military Bowl, while Air Force went with the very nice stars/stripes lightning bolt we’ve seen before. … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to this Kellogg’s poster about the evolution of the baseball uni. Turns out they also made one on the evolution of the cap, a copy of which is in Alex Shuman’s collection. … A Manchester City fan has made her wedding dress out of old jerseys (from Joe Hollomon). … Texas A&M and Northwestern, getting set to face off in the Car Care Bowl, will both wear a memorial decal for Aggies lineman Joey Villavisencio, who died in a car wreck on Thursday (from Glenn Stern). … Yesterday’s post about the 2012 prexydential candidates in uniform prompted Matt Fedorka to send along these shots of John Kerry in a hockey uni and a young John Edwards as a Clemson football player. … Is Sporting KC getting a jersey sponsor? At least one writer thinks so (from Ben Traxel). … “The Nike Team Uniform Builder has an area where you can buy crazy helmet designs — not through them, but through other companies,” says Terry Duroncelet. “Quote from the top of the page: ‘Nike does not manufacture or sell helmets or graphic films. Shown on niketeam.com for display purposes only, pricing and availability of helmet graphics is solely the discretion of helmet graphic providers. Available through non-Nike companies.’” … Although I haven’t been able to find a close-up photo, it appears that the “Mr. D” memorial for Bill Davidson is no longer on the Pistons’ back collar (good spot by Jay Winkler). … Here are Notre Dame’s cleats for whatever silly-named bowl game they’re playing in. I like them — a lot (from Warren Junium). … New swimsuit designs are being tested for the Olympics (Jeremy Brahm again). … New article on rugby kits here (from Caleb Borchers). … The NFL’s changeover from Reebok to Nike may soon result in some jersey shortages (from Tom Sullivan). … Really interesting little video clip about Viktor Stalberg suffering a cut in his skate (from Tim E. O’Brien):