What you see above are the wonderful star-spangled socks worn by the Philadelphia 76ers four decades ago. They’re my favorite detail in a 25-minute promotional film called New Faces of the NBA, which was made early in the 1971-72 season. Narrated by Charlie Jones and produced in a very NFL Films-esque style, it’s a fucking gold mine (or in the words of reader Tom Farley, who found the film on YouTube, it’s “a uni watcher’s delight”). You should definitely watch the whole thing, which is available here.
But if you want a sneak peek, here are some of the film’s most uni-notable details and moments:
• Oh baby, dig these amazing Houston Rockets nickNOBs (click to enlarge):
• Can’t get enough of that old Baltimore Bullets stripe-o-rama design:
• And look, they even had a similar design for their warm-ups:
• And if you like striped uniforms, how about the old Buffalo Braves:
• Speaking of the Braves, Walt Hazzard wore a captain’s “C” back in the day:
• Blazers coach Rolland Todd had a, um, interesting look for practices:
• Golden State had some pretty massive uni numbers:
• The Suns had a very large, very rounded NOB font:
• The Cincinnati Royals had drop-down NOBs:
• I’ve always had mixed feelings about that weird below-the-waist stripe on the Sonics’ shorts, but I love the white uni numbers paired with gold NOB lettering:
There’s more — I haven’t even provided any shots of the Hawks’ racing-stripe uniforms — but you can discover the rest of it on your own. Again, the full 25-minute film is here. Enjoy.
A few notes regarding last night’s NFL draft festivities:
• Nike posted a bunch of photos showing how they lettered and numbered Andrew Luck’s jersey at the draft. I don’t really get the point of that, since everyone has known Luck would be the first pick, so they had days — weeks, months — to make that jersey. I’d be more interested in seeing how they scrambled to letter up some of the surprise picks on the fly.
• Speaking of which, Brinke sent me this shot of a nameplate being whipped up for 49ers draftee A.J. Jenkins. Not sure if that was actually taking place at the draft, but I like the Niners-branded sewing machine.
• Several readers noted that the NFL Network apparently didn’t get the memo about the Seahawks’ new logo.
• Adidas made a set of Redskins-colored socks for Robert Griffin III.
• Someone showed up wearing a jersey with RQBBOB — that’s Redskins QB busts on back. (My thanks to Rex Henry for that one.)
The photo on the left is from the report card of Rose Baggini; the one on the right is Rose Vrana today, at age 95. She is the first — and so far only — living link to the Permanent Record project, which makes its long-awaited return to Slate today. Check it out here.
The plan is for me to keep doing new PermaRec features for Slate on a roughly monthly basis. Meanwhile, I’ll keep posting short dispatches on the PermaRec blog. I’ve also created a PermaRec mailing list — if you want to be included on that, let me know.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like we won’t get to make fun of the Pro Bowl anymore. It’s a sensible move, but I’m feeling a bit misty about it all the same. Thanks for the memories, Pro Bowl — you be missed. … This is major: We’ve seen photos of the A’s wearing green-on-green before, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen Reggie wearing that combo. Jon Helfenstein of the might Fleer Sticker Project came across that photo. Check out his full report here. … Shame on the city of Miami, which may sell advertising on hydrants, lampposts, and other public fixtures (from Josh Paster). … Good conspiracy theory from Frank Bitzer, who says there’s a lot of radio chatter in Cincinnati about how the Cardinals’ pitchers may be adding a white substance to the baseball — possibly rosin — that makes it harder to pick up the laces. … Adam Jones has a new kind of NOB: name on bat (from Jason Hicks). … New home kit for Celtic. “Smaller Sponsership?!” asks a shocked Gerry Muir. “What’s the world coming to!” … Miami of Ohio is apparently considering a rebranding (from Todd Peak). … This Nike video shows Brian Orakpo of the Redskins giving a ’Skins jersey to the rapper Wale (it happens at the 1:45 mark). The thing is, the jersey has TV numbers on the shoulders, not the sleeves. That’s not what was shown at the recent unveiling, and it’s not what Nike is selling online either (good spot by Antonio Bradley). … Two good contributions from Tommy Turner: a very entertaining assessment of the NFL’s new pop-up retail shop in Manhattan, and an article on potential draftees getting fitted for their draft-day suits. … Good article on how to wear a cycling cap (from Chad Todd). … “I picked up a photo of my favorite baseball player, Jim Rice, wearing an interesting yet very troubling shirt,” writes Craig Mellish. “I think I now understand why his career took a steady nosedive after the ’86 season.” … UCF baseball is playing G.I. Joe tonight. … New kits for Juventus (from Griffin Whitmer). … New third kit for the Houston Dynamo. “Don’t you hate it when marketing suits talk about “maintaining brand integrity?” asks Kenn Tomasch. … Remember the inscription on Brandon Phillips’scap? I’m now told it’s for a family member. No other details. … “The Brisbane Lions (which came about from a merger between the Fitzroy Lions and the Brisbane Bears) will be wearing a special jumper to coincide with the club’s Hall of Fame celebrations later this season,” says Leo Strawn. “The design is based upon a throwback jumper of the Fitzroy Lions (‘FFC’ monogram for ‘Fitzroy Football Club’).” … This is rumored to be the new home shirt for Manchester City (from Tim O’Malley). … Jeremy Brahm was watching the BYU/Stanford volleyball match last night and noticed that the sponsor tape on the net was upside-down. “Normally it would be on top of the net,” he says. … “The Colts encourage their fans to buy season tickets for next season with a graphic showing the helmets of the teams they’ll be hosting,” writes Vincent Delestree. “Problem is, they do not seem to know the Bills do not have those awful red helmets anymore.” … Wondering if Petr Sykora still wears his wedding band on the ice? Yup, he still does (screen shot by Dave Scimeca). … Just what the world’s been waiting for: a 3-D soccer jersey (from Kenny Loo). … I’ve occasionally referred to “the Color Mafia” — the group of designers, fashion bigwigs, color consultants, Pantone executives, and textile magnates who decide which colors will be trendy a few years in advance. Here’s a great article showing exactly how they do it.