The other day I got a note from the pseudonymous Hungry Hungry Hipster (probably not pictured at right, but hey, you never know), with the following subject line: “Lots of great hockey stuff for Ticker.” After looking through his finds, I decided they were too good for the Ticker and deserved to showcased on their own. Okay, one at a time:
• Did you know MLB.com sells tape that you can use to customize your hockey stick blade with an NHL team logo? Not only that, but they have it for teams that no longer exist, like the North Stars and Nordiques. What the hell is this hockey product doing on MLB.com? If you’ve ever believed that the four major sports leagues are all secretly in cahoots (not really the sexiest conspiracy theory, I know, but it’s all I got today), this would be Exhibit A. Okay, Exhibit G. But seriously, anyone know what’s up with this?
• And as long as we’re playing “Did you know?” and talking about hockey sticks, here’s something else that was news to me: Did you know that the global warming debate includes something called the “hockey stick controversy”? It’s true! No word yet on whether economic policy hinges on the waffle blocker theorum.
• There are lots of sites out there devoted to vintage goalie mask reproductions, but I hadn’t encountered this one before. Lots of great stuff, plus HHH says he hadn’t been aware of Mike Liut’s old bumblebee mask from his days with the Cincinnati Stingers. “I have a vintage Liut Whalers jersey, and it just got a lot more special to me now that I know he wore such an amazing mask,” says HHH.
Meanwhile, reader Luke Rosnick has been keeping a close eye on the Rangers and says, “I’ve seen enough to summarize some questionable practices in equipment management of my favorite professional sports team.” Here’s his analysis:
Last year was the debut season for the Rangers’ navy blue “heritage” sweater, and they wore navy/red/white gloves with it. (these were distinct from the royal/red/white gloves that they wore with their regular home and away uniforms). They also had “New York” wordmark decals on their navy helmets, which matched up with the heritage sweaters (and, again, were distinct from the royal helmets they wore with their home jerseys).
This season, we’ve had the introduction of the Winter Classic uniform, which appears to have screwed some things up. My first Ticker submission this year was that the Rangers had been wearing navy/red/white gloves for every game, no matter which uniform they were wearing — home, away, or heritage. This may have been to simplify things, or to leave things open for another pair of gloves for the Winter Classic uniform. Nobody but me seemed to be notice or care, since royal and navy are pretty close.
Sure enough, we did see new gloves for the Winter Classic uniform, and new helmet stickers for the navy helmets. I know that Bauer took the game very seriously, and even supplied city-theme sticks for the outdoor game. You can see the Boyle (who likes Bauer) was wearing nicely cream-color-matched gloves for the game.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist also got cream-colored trimmings for the Winter Classic. The thing is, all of that cream-colored stuff would look much better with the navy heritage sweater, instead of the white pads he’s been wearing. Same goes for the navy/red/cream gloves from the Winter Classic, instead of the gloves with the white trim. According to the Rangers’ web site, they’re scheduled to wear the navy jersey four more times this season. If they don’t go with the cream-accented gear, it’s a huge wasted opportunity to make the cream-accented heritage uniform look that much better.
I’m actually attending the Rangers Casino Night fundraiser on Feb. 28, and I’m going to ask some players about this to see what their thoughts are.
Good luck with that, Luke — I have a feeling you’re not going to get much satisfaction from the players on this one. But hey, I’ve been wrong before, so do let us know what they tell you.
Research Query: Simple question: Do any of you out there actually like to wear MLB batting practice caps? If you’re one of those people who obsessively collect every single cap your favorite team has ever worn, that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m looking for people who actually enjoy BP caps, for aesthetic and/or performance-related reasons, and go out of their way to purchase them. If that’s you, I’d like to hear from you. Why do you like BP caps? Do you like them better than regular game caps? Go into as much detail as you like. Thanks.
Party reminder: Uni Watch gathering this Saturday, 6:30pm, at the Devil’s Den in Philly. See you there.
Uni Watch News Ticker: According to a Chris Creamer thread, Nike’s new NFL jerseys will all have a team slogan on the inner collar. Lame, but mostly harmless. … Ozzie Guillen thinks the Marlins’ new uniforms “look bad” (from Ben Gordon). … The Philadelphia Wings — that’s a lacrosse team — went THOB on Sunday. That’s Twitter handle on back. … I’m told that the upcoming HBO movie Game Change, about the 2008 presidential election, shows Sarah Palin — or, rather, an actress playing her — wearing several NHL jerseys: Rangers, Avs, and Red Wings. … Best Maple Leafs outfit ever. “I really hope that was Photoshopped,” says HHH. … New baseball uniforms for Tennessee (from Chase Scott). … Cross-dressing alert: 1970s NHLer Rod Seiling wearing a football-style neck roll (from J.R. Gain). … Major find by Bart Miller, who found another photo of those clear plastic faceguards, only this one was Rawlings-branded. “Safe-T-Vue” — love it! … The National Federation of State High School Associations has issued its new football rules for this fall. Key passage: “The Football Rules Committee also cleared the way for state associations and their member schools to place corporate advertising and/or commercial markings on the field of play. These types of markings previously were only allowed in the end zones and outside the field.” Why note just sell ad space on every kid’s ass and get it over with? “Sad, just sad,” says Nick Hanson (who happens to be a high school football coach). … Here’s a video clip of Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth showing off his new mask. … The Wild wore white at home on Tuesday, because the Ducks wanted to wear their alts at home on national TV (from Casey Common). … For reasons we can only
laugh at imagine, someone out there has gotten himself tattooed with all of the MLB mascots (from im Walaitis). … Jamie Costello sent along a “mediocre column” (his term, not mine) about NBA teams wearing color at home. … Snazzy new lacrosse helmets for for Oregon State and Stevenson (from Dan Kaempff and Jeff Brunelle, respectively)… The Mets were briefly selling a T-shirt that said, “Est. 1862″ (from Chris Flynn). … “Stevie Taylor, a freshman on the Ohio men’s basketball team, has already amassed quite a collection of school apparel,” writes Tom Valentino. “The highlight is his stash of game-day socks he’s bought from the campus bookstores, including a pair with green & white stripes and another with an old-school OU paw-print logo pattern.” … Remember all those Super Bowl soda displays? Here’s a Mardi Gras version, spotted in Louisiana by Terry Duroncelet. … Cooperalls and a Zamboni — two great tastes that taste great together (big thanks to Mike Raymer). … New jersey sponsor for the Columbus Crew (from Brandon Ponchak). … There was another pink-vs.-red women’s hoops game on Monday: SIUE vs. Southeast Missouri (from Scott D. Slarks). … Emirates vs. Emirates! That’s Arsenal in yellow, taking on A.C. Milan yesterday (from Andrew Peterson). … Several versions of the new USA away kit have leaked over the past few days. Christopher Peterson says this one is legit. … A reader who doesn’t want you to know that he was watching the latest episode of Smash notes that the show included some sequined Yankees uniforms. … The title track on Chuck Prophet’s excellent new album, Temple Beautiful, includes the rhyme, “She got so excited / Manchester United” (and also has a song called “Willie Mays Is Up at Bat,” although that one is actually one of the weaker tracks).
My thanks to everyone who sent nice notes yesterday about Uni Watch boy-mascot Tucker. He wasn’t the happiest camper yesterday, but he got through everything OK and is physically fine (if somewhat emotionally frazzled). He’s also, as you can see at left, several teeth lighter. We’ll be putting those under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, who I’m sure will happily accept them in exchange for some catnip.