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Raising a Stink Over Pink: Were Bat Makers Hoodwinked?

Yesterday was MLB’s annual pink-out. You know the drill: pink ribbons, pink bats, pink cleats, pink wristbands, pink batting gloves, etc. Ugly as shit, worthy cause, blah-blah-blah — nothing new here.

Or is there? There’s a company in Ohio called Phoenix Bats. I’d never heard of them before yesterday, but their bats are used by a few MLBers, including Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Billy Butler of the Royals, along with several top minor league prospects. Here’s what they posted yesterday on their Facebook page (with thanks to reader Jason Whitt, who brought this to my attention):

So we’ve been asked all week about players who will be swinging our pink bats in big league games and in the minors today. It’s the one day of the year pro players can swing a bat other than the allowed colors (black, brown, clear, natural, and variants thereof) as an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer.

Unfortunately, the answer is none of our players. Why? Because the powers that be have told all the pro-approved bat manufacturers, except one, that we can only provide pink bats without our logos and without any markings that would identify it as our bat. Plus they have told us that we must make a donation to their charity of choice. As an approved bat manufacturer, who has provided these pink bats, at no cost, to our players for years to help awareness and research monies, we find this to be a slap in the face. Not just to us, but to our players, our fellow pro-approved bat companies, and most importantly to those we are trying to raise awareness for.

But to do nothing is not the answer either. So in addition to our continued support of such causes outside of professional baseball, we have chosen to respond today by donating a portion from each sale of any full-size game or trophy bat purchase, from now until next Sunday, to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Just use coupon code PAINT IT PINK or consider making a donation directly to the Foundation or to a charity of your choice.

Thanks for your support to raise awareness and of our stand.

Interesting. Also disappointing. The one bat manufacturer exempt from the rule was obviously Louisville Slugger, whose logo was plainly visible on lots of pink lumber yesterday. Pretty fucked up that any outfitter or licensee would claim (or be granted) brand exclusivity for a charity venture. If that’s really what went down — and it’s worth noting that I haven’t had time to confirm or clarify any of this — then I’d say MLB and Louisville Slugger have some explaining to do.

If Louisville Slugger did in fact try gain marketing leverage over their competitors yesterday, that would make them the latest in a long line of corporations that have exploited breast cancer for commercial purposes. By handy coincidence, there’s a new movie about this very topic that’s about to be released, called Pink Ribbons, Inc. Here’s the trailer, which includes a passing reference to the NFL’s pink promotion (with thanks to reader Caleb Borchers):

Faaaascinating. Although other forms of cancer have decimated my family, I’m happy to say we’ve managed to avoid breast cancer. For those of you who’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with this disease (either directly or through someone close to you), what do you think of the pink? What do you think of Louisville Slugger — or any other company — having favored branding status yesterday?

Only 34 days until Father’s Day!

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Brennan Boesch of the Tigers took things a step further yesterday by wearing two pink ribbons — one on his chest and one on his sleeve (from Samuel Lam). … Blue Jays pitcher Luis Perez was forced to change his undershirt on Thursday night because the one he was originally wearing had distracting stitching on the sleeves. Video of the incident is available here (from Justin Huyck). … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Nike is adding golf ball-style dimples to a track suit. … Good story on how the WVU logo was developed (big thanks to Joe Sewash). … Here are the Olympic uniforms for the Japanese men’s and women’s gymnastics teams (from Jeremy Brahm). … Here’s a slideshow of the Broncos’ rookies getting fitted for their gear (from John Gagnon). … Frank Albanese DIY’d himself a 1979 Doug Flynn jersey. “I cheated a little because I purchased the wordmark and lettering kit,” he says. “The sleeve and neck piping were sewn onto a plain gray two-button jersey. Picked it up at Joanne’s fabrics. I had a little trouble with the neck piping, but all in all I think it came out okay.” … Over on the Sons of Sam Horn site, Peter Greenberg recently conducted a poll in which readers voted on the greatest Boston athletes to wear each uni number. You can see the results here. … Remember that Jetsons episode where pro football is played by robot players whose movements are controlled by coaches who push buttons and move levers? That future is now (from Dan Cichalski). … Another place that the NFL Equipment logo is still showing up: the Pats’ T-shirts and sweatshirts. The real question, of course, is whether the logo will still appear on Belichick’s hoodie (from Tom Adjemian). … Mark Armour posted this on the SABR-L listserv last Friday: “According to a Sports Illustrated story from 1963, Warren Giles ‘designed the first emblem for the National League, a device of ball, eagle, bat, gloves, stars and stripes, that he is currently revising. He must squeeze in two stars to represent the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s.’ A brief Google image search leads me to some newer [National League] emblems, and no mention of Giles. The current emblem has 16 stars, likely for the 16 (for this year, at least) teams. Did Giles design the first emblem, did he revise it, was it revised again with the addition of other teams, and how best can I see examples of the various versions?” All good questions. Anyone..? … Here’s a really superb look at Wellington Castillo’s forward-facing catcher’s helmet brim (big thanks to Matt DeLeon). … Check out the little name/number decal on Packers rookie Nick Perry’s helmet. Looks like other players have it as well. Not sure if this is just a rookie i.d. thing or if the Pack will be using that on all helmets this season (from Will Lemke.) … Here’s a very close look at the Giants’ G.I. Joe pandering cap. Gross (from Eddy Ayala). … Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen was wearing orange stirrups prior to a recent game. I don’t think I’ve seen him (or any other Marlin) wearing anything hosiery color other than black up until now (from Taylor McGillis). … You know how a backup catcher will often warm up the pitcher between innings if the main catcher is busy strapping on his gear? Mets backup backstop Rob Johnson did that twice during Saturday’s Mets/Marlins game, but with a twist: When warming up R.A. Dickey, he wore full gear — chest protector, mask, shinguard, the works — because he didn’t wanna get hit by a wayward knuckleball. Never seen that before. When warming up reliever Bobby Parnell later in the game, he did it the usual way, just wearing his catcher’s mitt and no other gear. … Joshua Ringer found a coffee mug with a Michigan logo I’d never seen before. … Three soccer notes from Jon Forbes: Man U’s new set has the home kit in red, keeper in green; Liverpool’s new keeper kit includes a collared jersey; and there’s a new home kit for Wigan Athletic. … Oregon track wore Prefontaine-era throwbacks over the weekend, but the effect was ruined by the mark of the beast. More photos here (from Jim McDonald). … “I always loved the WFL’s 1974 game ball, writes Leo Strawn. “But I’d never seen a WFL football like this one until just now, although it’s obviously from some sort of a press conference in 1973 or 1974.” … Also from Leo: New “debt reduction guernsey” — a reference to the fundraising campaign to reduce the team’s debt — for the North Melbourne Kangaroos. According to the team’s web site, the guernsey “features names of every Bronze, Silver, Gold and Royal Blue contributor of the ‘Invest in Success’ campaign and will be worn by the team for the Round 22 home match vs. Fremantle on Sunday 26th August 2012.” … The Brewers have called up Brooks Conrad, who doesn’t wear batting gloves. “Looks like he went bare-handed when he was with the Braves, too,” notes Jordan Cutler. … Hmmm, do the Miami Dolphins have a moving company? “I saw that truck in an alley in northeast DC,” says John Muir. Either the owner figures no one will notice or else the Fish are pimping their logo for a few extra nickels.” … New kits for the Chicago Red Stars (from Kenn Tomasch). … Broncos rookie Danny Trevathan was wearing a Nike jersey and Reebok pants the other day (from Chad Back). … The answer is: This game show host has a Maple Leafs jersey with a question mark instead of a uni number displayed in his home. Who is Alex Trebek? (From Marc Malfara.) … A soldier in Afghanistan has been customizing his fellow soldiers’ helmets by painting their favorite sports team logos on them. “The artist, Spc. Chris Smith, is an avid Alabama Crimson Tide fan, and he states that he’ll do any sports team except the Auburn Tigers,” says Gary Dincher. … A Seattle T-shirt designer has created a series of tees featuring Seattle neighborhood names with NBA team logo themes. They’re available from these guys (from John Wokas). … No matter how many times I see Illinois baseball’s G.I. Joe design, it still looks like the Bengals to me. … Sebastian Vettel, the current F1 champ, wore a helmet with more white than usual for the Spanish Grand Prix (from Omar Jalife). … The U.S. volleyball team had been wearing a UPS ad logo throughout the NORCECA (North, Central and Caribbean) Confederation Olympic Qualification Tournament in Long Beach, California. But for the final round match against Canada, they dropped the ad. If Jeremy Brahm doesn’t know why they did that (and he doesn’t), what hope do we mere mortals have? … Ever heard of tabletop croquet? Neither had I, until Marty Hick sent me these photos. A friend of his found the set at his grandparents’ house. … RIP, Duck. I’ll never be able to play like you did, but I’ll strap on the Precision today and play a little bit for you all the same.

 

186 comments to Raising a Stink Over Pink: Were Bat Makers Hoodwinked?

  • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 7:56 am |

    Sure enough, the google ad I get at the end of the article is in pink, and features a pink ribbon.

    It’s for a brand (owned by a larger insurance company) which offers ‘female cancer insurance’. I did a little research, and found that they donate £1 (I’m in the UK) for every policy purchased.

    So that’s profiteering from breast cancer, offering a paltry token sum to the charities themselves, and still feeling able to daub your article with the pink ribbon imagery.

    (Not to mention the fact that they’ve been criticized by cancer charities for not covering other forms of cancer such as bowel or lung cancer, as they do not see these as female-specific.)

    • Arr Scott | May 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |

      Some people really are internet-illiterate. The way most online advertising works is that ads are served up to each individual viewer based on his or her individual browsing history. So you’ve been scouring the internet looking for breasts or whatever, and you get a pink-ribbon ad. Me, I get an ad for Mobil Super engine oil. Has nothing to do with Paul.

      • The Jeff | May 14, 2012 at 8:10 am |

        Ads? What ads?

        …something Adblock something NoScript something something…

      • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 8:16 am |

        Whoa. I didn’t say anything about Paul. I know how Google ads work and I know he can’t control them.

        The ad never actually uses the word breasts, it says ‘female cancer insurance’. I’ve never searched for ‘female cancer insurance’.

        I know it’s 8am over there, but you really need to have a coffee and calm down before you start insulting people on the internet.

        • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 8:19 am |

          Just re-read the comment, where I said daub the ‘article’, I meant ‘ad’. Perhaps that’s where you got the idea I was criticizing Paul. Far from it, Mr. Scott. I think it’s an interesting subject.

        • Arr Scott | May 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |

          No, I blame the coffee. I was much more levelheaded when I could drink giant glasses of OJ in the am. Apologies – I misread your comment as the typical “ha, but Paul runs ads on his site so he’s a big hypocrite” prattle. Not sure “insult” is right though – obviously Google thinks I’m in need of car porn at 8am, so getting breast-related ads probably says something better about a person’s character!

          But man, female cancer insurance: Ick! Reads like a particularly nasty scam.

          Anyway, sorry to be the troll.

        • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 9:17 am |

          Don’t worry. I can see how you’d get the wrong impression from the wording.

          The really objectionable thing was that they covered their ad in the pink imagery and ribbons, but only donated £1 per policy.

          Would it be a crazy idea for the charities themselves to offer insurance? That way, you’d be sure that all profits would go toward funding further research.

        • Arr Scott | May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am |

          I don’t know – I find the lines of insurance that groups like AAA and AARP try to sell their own members to be icky too. I’d be uncomfortable with the degree to which insurance would put a medical charity in bed with market actors who have incentives contrary to the interests of the charity.

          Question: Why would this kind of insurance be sold in Britain? Don’t y’all have that socialized healthcare we’re all so afraid of over here? Does NHS not treat “female cancer” or something?

        • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |

          Good question. The NHS definitely treats it. Some people still have medical insurance over here so they can be treated privately – because its quicker and usually a better standard.

          My reading of their website indicates that they do not pay for private treatment, they just give you a fixed sum of money. To quote:

          ‘…the lump sum cash payout can pay for childcare, help at home, allowing you to have some time away, or even the small things like getting a taxi to the doctor or being able to go away for a holiday to help with your recuperation.’

      • brendan | May 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

        You weren’t looking for breasts like the rest of us? Loser.

  • Pierre | May 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    Regarding Nick Perry’s Packers helmet, it’s always interesting to see equipment, or photos of it, up close because you can pick up details you can’t see from the stands, such as how modern helmet designs do not lend themselves well to some traditional helmet stripes and stickers. Look at the way that the stripes at the base of the Ridell Revo Speed helmet are pulled away…and the way the stripe was cut to accomodate an air vent on top of the helmet.

    • teenchy | May 14, 2012 at 11:00 am |

      What surprises me about Perry’s helmet is how raw and unfinished-looking the vent hole behind the “G” looks.

      • Dumb Guy | May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |

        Yeah. That’s ugly.

    • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 11:20 am |

      The Packers have used those name/number decals on the back of their helmets since 2010. Sometimes they put them across the Braisher stripes, sometimes they put them off to one side.

  • Yurtle | May 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    We all know Pre wore adias….

    • Desmond Jones | May 14, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Desmond Jones | May 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

      That picture is from 1972, but in 1973 (Nike itself had not been formed until ’78), he wore Blue Ribbon Sports’ running shoes.
      http://30yearstoolat...

    • The Happy Rower | May 15, 2012 at 12:52 am |

      Pre began wearing Nikes in competition in April 1973. Before that he was an Adidas wearer from 1965 until Apr 1973, with a few rare events in which he wore Onitsuka Tigers and Pumas. He only wore Nikes for just over two years until his death May 30, 197. See this link for Pre’s shoe history: http://www.flickr.co...

  • Yurtle | May 14, 2012 at 8:03 am |

    So question about the NBA-themed Seattle T’s…how come certain people when making satire or parody of certain NYC baseball teams on a shirt, that’s not ok, but someone in Seattle can blatantly use NBA logo’s & designs…is there a fee somewhere…

    • Mike Hersh | May 14, 2012 at 9:12 am |

      I would think they’d be getting a cease and desist letter pretty soon.

    • Too Tall Paul | May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |

      I found it amazing that one of the shirts was a play on the OKC logo. Do they really think that’ll be a big seller in Seattle?

      • teenchy | May 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |

        Exactly.

    • CoachKing | May 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

      These shirts remind me of the Pearl Jam concert shirts from 2009 that had the date as the uni-number and were done in a sports motif of the town they were playing in. I have been trying to get a San Diego version for years.

      • ChrisH | May 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

        Jimmy Buffett played CPB in Philly a number of years back (I think his was the first-ever concert held there) and some vendor was selling t shirts with his name done up in the Philles font on the front and the locale/year printed on the back(clearly unlicensed, but rather authentic-looking)…I regret not parting with the $10 to this very day.

  • Mad Adam | May 14, 2012 at 8:04 am |

    The Cubs catcher with the front facing brim is Wellington Castillo, not Castro.

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 8:22 am |

      Thanks. Now fixed.

  • Dumb Guy | May 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |

    Michigan coffe mug:

    That’s a wolverine???

    Bad kerning. Wrong colors. Clearly a knock-off. Looks like it’s sitting on a Goodwill shelf.

    Paul, didn’t know you played. Cool.

    • Simply Moono | May 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |

      That mug will haunt me for a while >.>

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |

      Paul, didn’t know you played. Cool.

      Very poorly. But yes.

  • Jimbo | May 14, 2012 at 8:07 am |

    Anything that is colored pink has become BIG business. The Susan G. Koman foundation has become so large that they spend $1 million dollars a year on legal fees, which includes suing anyone that uses the phrase “…for the cure.” Watch Stephen Colbert explain: http://www.huffingto...

    Support your local cancer hospital or research center by donating directly to them. Don’t buy pink things unless you know how much of the money is actually going to fund cancer research.

    • Connie | May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am |

      Yes, sir. Let’s put it this way: most people want to do something about Lamentable Problem A (walk, write a check), but they don’t want to investigate the efficiencies of the various organizations who can turn money into research. I don’t blame them at all. You can’t get knowledgeable about everything in your life. There are exceptions for sure, but as a general rule, any well-know, multi-corporate-sponsored disease association will have a very high overhead. If you really want to maximize your charitable investment, you can follow Jimbo’s good advice about supporting local private hospitals and research institutes (although THEIR overheads are growing as the fundraising departments at each institution wage wasteful ad campaigns touting the particular virtues of X, Y, or Z. Sloan Kettering is blowing huge wads on glossy advertising these days).

      The most efficient, lowest-overhead, high quality centers of disease research are to be found (cover your eyes, free-market-does-everything-best people) in the federal government. Send your check to NIH.

      • Whirling Darvish | May 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |

        …And I thought the best way to support disease research was to buy lots of fried chicken.

        http://www.causecata...

        • Jimbo | May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |

          Amazing! Is that pink KFC bucket real, or something from The Onion? What’s next, pink cigarettes?

          Last year our youth football club wanted to show support for one our player’s mothers, who has breast cancer. We looked at the prices of pink wrist bands, gloves, etc. I could not determine how much money actually went to fund research, so we added a pink stripe down the middle of each helmet. A role of pink tape is really inexpensive and not an official “for the cure” item, but it showed the kids support very well.

        • The Jeff | May 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

          They put pink trim on bags of cat food, so I’d assume the KFC bucket is real.

        • Arr Scott | May 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

          The brand of rice I usually cook with, Texmati, went all pink last fall. I was sorely disappointed that the giant ribbony text on the label did not change the vowel to read,

          Rice for the Cure

    • flowergrl | May 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |

      On a personal level, as someone that is 6 wks out of active treatment for bc, for Mother’s Day I just wanted to watch my team. I really didn’t want to be constantly reminded (but then I was diagnosed in Oct. so..). I hate the pinking of this disease: the marketing, the patting on the back, the profits from this exploitation.
      Give local-if its not going to research it is most likely going for grants to help women pay for their treatment. Give to research facilities. But mostly give direct.

  • Arr Scott | May 14, 2012 at 8:09 am |

    Phoenix Bats has long been one of the main suppliers of bats to Vintage Base Ball teams. They have a nice line of period-specific reproductions.

    https://www.phoenixb...

    Didn’t know they were an approved big-league supplier.

    • Bando | May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      Yep, and they make a great product for the vintage game. When I was playing vintage ball, I had two of their bats, and just about every player and/or team had them, too. Easy to work with on custom jobs, durable, and unique designs.

  • Ed | May 14, 2012 at 8:19 am |

    Re: Miami Dolphins truck: the words “Official movers of the Miami Dolphins” are on the rear doors of the truck…

    ed

    • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |

      If only the Baltimore Colts had thought of that…

    • Ben Fortney | May 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

      Harris Teeter is the official grocery store for the Washington, DC Football team. Their delivery trucks feature logos and logotype all over them.

    • Jennifer Hayden | May 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

      I’ve seen trucks with the Bulls, Bears, Cubs and Sox logo in the city before…..Not at all unusual in Chicago.

  • Connie | May 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |

    “… Here’s a really superb look at Wellington Castro’s forward-facing cather’s helmet brim (big thanks to Matt DeLeon …”

    I think that’s spelled “catheter.”

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 8:23 am |

      Indeed. Now fixed.

    • Dumb Guy | May 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

      Catheter helmet. So much for being discreet!

  • Joe O. | May 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    All My Sons Moving is the “Official Mover of the Miami Dolphins” hence the branded truck. I’ve seen them around town (Orlando) before.

    • KT | May 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

      They probably got a lot of business from Ricky Williams.

  • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    … the Pac-12 logo is now considered the “mark of the beast”?

    (Yeah, yeah, I know what you really meant, but it’s worth noting, at least I believe so, that there wasn’t a conference logo on the original either.)

  • Hank-SJ | May 14, 2012 at 8:57 am |

    Nice moves by the running-bot in the first robo-football clip. The pause at the goal line was a nice touch, too.

    • Dumb Guy | May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |

      What? They couldn’t build one that could high-step it into the endzone?? :^)

      NERD ALERT!!!

  • Jeremy Brahm | May 14, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Interesting that Hiroshima Sanfrecce of the J-League got the 3-tone pattern, albeit in purple, before Manchester United.

    http://japansoccer-j...

    • Ryan | May 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that shirt would be considered a gingham print the way Utd’s is (by Nike). On Utd’s shirt, the deepest red is made by the intersection of two medium red lines; on the Sanfrecce shirt, the intersection of the lightest purple lines appear to create both medium and deep purple blocks.

      I understand that Nike chose the print for the Red Devils because the textile originated in Manchester.

      That away shirt for Sanfrecce is pretty cool, too.

  • David T | May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am |

    Hi Paul, on the Phoenix Bats website I noticed a scroll of the players and teams the company outfits. One is something called the Midland Redskins, with a Chief Wahoo logo prominent. I searched for them and apparently they’re a locally famous amateur team near Cincinnati (Ken Griffey, Jr., is an alumnus). The site says the team was named after the Miami Redskins (who are, of course, no longer called that). Pictures of the team’s facilities have several depictions of the logo on the field, press box and all sorts of places…
    http://midlandredski...

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 9:26 am |

      Yes, I saw that too. Pretty nifty trick to rip off a racist team name while simultaneously ripping off a racially offensive team logo. I actually put a note in the Ticker about it but then removed it, thinking we could all use a break from the Native American thing (at least for a day)…

    • Brinke | May 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

      oh yeah, Midland is bigtime locally there. HUGE.

  • Kevin | May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am |

    Yeah, the illinois jersey is an eye-sore, but so is that field. I hate the new fields that have turfed in baselines. It’s just weird that there is no dirt. I guess it keeps the camo uniforms clean though.

    • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 9:24 am |

      Dirt. Colored. Turf. Truly, truly disappointing.

      • Jon | May 14, 2012 at 11:20 am |

        As a aesthetics dork, yes, hate the new turf fields. As a catcher, they are INCREDIBLE. My infielders have nothing but good reviews, and the pitchers still get a dirt mound.

      • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 11:41 am |

        Yeah it is disappointing but the maintenance cost for the field goes down to zero. The very least they could do is use green colored turf along the baselines and brown at the bases. I imagine the batters areas have to be replaced regularly.

        • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

          I was thinking that – rather than a full fake-looking infield, just do the “cut-out” areas like traditional artificial turf fields so it doesn’t look so weird.

    • Tim H | May 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

      I’ve never seen a diamond that was all field-turf. Agree that they should at least have the dirt cut-outs around the bases. Probably cost less to launder the dirty uniforms than is does to replace pants worn out from sliding on fake dirt.

  • walter | May 14, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    Had a thought during my vacation, Paul. Where you come down regarding the SDSU Aztecs? Fair iconography or cultural rape?

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |

      See above. Not going there today.

      • Connie | May 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |

        Interesting question!

        Lots of stuff going on here.

        First, there is no ethnic group in contemporary Mexico who call themselves Aztecs. Nor did the Aztecs call themselves Aztecs back in the day. They were the Mexica (may-SHEE-ka). It is hard today to guesstimate the number of contemporary descendants of the Mejica. Most have assimilated into the great Mexican mestizo citizenry. Certainly many of the current Nahuatl speakers in Mexico are Mejica descendants, but I don’t know the fraction.

        Second, when Cortes came, Mesoamerica was a densely-populated civilization. Spanish-borne diseases carried off millions, but millions remained, and most of them interbred with the Spanish to create the mixed-race tapestry that makes up Mexico. There remain many Native populations, especially in the South, but they’re way in the minority.

        Third, the Mexican national myth is that the Europeans did not subdue and extirpate the Indians, but that a name national people were created (La Raza), with heavy emphasis on its aboriginal roots. To some degree, of course, this was a convenient myth by which a white aristocracy could rule brown masses, but withal, it’s a popular, deeply-felt myth grounded in genetic truth.

        Fourth, most Mexicans like “Aztec” as a sports nickname, and I’m not aware of a vocal minority that doesn’t because it conjures images of historical exploitation. If there were such a minority, it should be heeded. From what I know, however, I think Aztecs for Mexicans are like Spartans for Americans: brave warriors from the misty past and inoffensive to all. Except maybe the Persians?

        • Ryan | May 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

          Never thought about “Aztecs” before. The part about Mexicans identifying it as a sports nickname reminded me of Estadio Azteca in Mexico City; I believe it’s one of, if not the largest soccer stadium in the world. I wonder if it’s potentially less offensive, as something like 4 of every 5 Mexicans can trace their ancestry back to indigenous peoples. The majority of these, of course, are mestizo, but, as compared to the US, a fairly sizable indigenous population remains.

        • Connie | May 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

          “…I wonder if it’s potentially less offensive, as something like 4 of every 5 Mexicans can trace their ancestry back to indigenous peoples…”

          Probably, right?

  • Gus | May 14, 2012 at 9:18 am |

    The Packers have used the name and number decal for a few seasons now. It is just difficult to see on tv. When they were in the Super Bowl, the decal was moved to the bottom of the white stripe and the Lombardi trophy logo took its spot.

    • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

      Actually, the decals started out on the white Braisher stripe. At some point, some players started wearing the decal on the gold shell, but not all. I think that became the standard placement in 2011, but can’t confirm off the top of my head.

  • TOMtiger | May 14, 2012 at 9:28 am |

    haha that michigan logo looks like man-bat from the batman comics http://ryanlb.com/im...

  • TOMtiger | May 14, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    My Griz lost a brutal game 7 yesterday. it was a throwback to the 90s NBA when the refs swallowed the whistle.

    earlier in the series, we all got made at the clippers for flopping…esp paul and griffin. here’s a logo someone made for the clippers:

    http://thesportsgeek...

    congrats on winning the series LAC. they got a tough team

    • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 10:01 am |

      Ehh, I’m not big on the NBA, but I would like to see a Lakers-Clippers series. I’d be stunned if it wasn’t Spurs-Thunder in the WCF, though.

    • Jim Vilk | May 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |

      The Griz aren’t *my* team, but I have kind of adopted them recently (mostly because they have one of the best unis in the league, but they do play well, too). Sorry to see them leave in the first round.

      I caught a glimpse of that sign yesterday and laughed. Hope they don’t end up playing the Heat, who are getting a reputation for that as well (as if they need it).

  • Kevin | May 14, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    Luis Perez was forced to change his undershirt because of….distracting stitching? It’s official, we’ve lost our minds.

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 9:50 am |

      There’s precedent for it, with the Nikepox sleeves. They should’ve cut off the sleeves right there on the mound, since there’s precedent for that too:
      http://farm1.static....

    • Perry | May 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |

      No doubt a bit of gamesmanship by the opposition (unless the umps did it on their own), but the rules clearly say that undershirt sleeves must be a “uniform solid color”.

  • Joseph Gerard | May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    Gulf Oil just posted on their official Facebook page a photo of the Gulf logo at Fenway Park with a pink ribbon wrapped around the “L”. According to this press release, they are going to do the same thing in Arlington, Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Can you say, ultimate douchebaggery? Somehow, Pittsburgh (the home of the legacy Gulf Oil and one of the few areas where Gulf has maintained a presence at between the 1985 merger with Chevron and the recent national relaunch of Gulf) dodged this bullet, but then again Sunoco and GetGo are sponsors at PNC Park for gas stations. Meh, I don’t go to Gulf that often anyways, I like going to Exxon or Marathon.

    • ChrisH | May 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      Gulf’s adding of a pink ribbon to their own ‘bought and paid for’ logo signage, their donation of Red Sox tickets to 2 programs which assist cancer victims and their families, and their “making a financial commitment through our national foundation to a cause that continues to impact the lives of so many families”(from that press release) is worthy of the ‘douchbaggery’ label?

      • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 11:18 am |

        I think a bunch of folks are quick to jump on the “pink ribbon-corporate douchebaggery” bandwagon without actually knowing the facts.

        Secondly I am glad Paul brought up the question of what families touched by BC think about it. A family member was diagnosed 6 years ago and came through it, I subsequently asked her what she thought of all the pink in the NFL and she said she loved it. She’s real outgoing and is active in the events around her community.

        Thirdly, having overhead and a well paid CEO of your non-profit are not bad things as long as the profits are going to the cause. Many times CEO’s are paid well because they can get the donations and have connections to money. If you wanna pay your CEO $500k and bring in $5M versus pay them $100k and bring in $1M, thats the choice. If that CEO can bring in that much for BC they can bring it in for starving kinds in Africa, etc. So you have to pay them the competitive rate if you want their connections.

        • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

          Secondly I am glad Paul brought up the question of what families touched by BC think about it. A family member was diagnosed 6 years ago and came through it, I subsequently asked her what she thought of all the pink in the NFL and she said she loved it.

          FWIW, I’m rather close to a family that is dealing with BC. And the reaction to the profiteering, attention-seeking pink-outs is overwhelmingly negative.

        • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

          Well thanks Chance Michaels, I’ll let her know that. I’ll let her know that she should really be mad at the friendship and bonds and the support that her “sisters” and the organizations behind it have given her.

          Seems like we just know different people.

        • Joseph Gerard | May 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

          Different people handle it differently. Like I said, I’m just tired of charities in general getting commercialized and seeing celebrities act like they’re better than everybody just because they slap their name to a charity that in reality they probably could care less about.

        • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

          Well Joe, tha’ts just marketing. Pay celebrity X $50k to appear in some charity ads and that brings in $200k. Ads or charities they simply couldn’t care less about like you said.

          I can buy that some of these celebrities/musicians/athletes truly care about the charities they’re involved in. But I think anytime you endorse something like that you’re gonna get 50% for you and 50% against you.

          Like I’ve always believed though, althletes: shut up and play the game. Musicians: shut up and sing. Actors, shut up and act. And from what it sounds like, they should stay off twitter too.

      • Joseph Gerard | May 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

        You know, my cousin’s wife is a breast cancer survivor and had a double mastectomy at 29, so it’s not like I’m saying that I DON’T know what it’s like.

        With that said, though, I’m kind-of getting tired of charities becoming commercialized in general and overemphasis on breast cancer research when there are God knows how many other charities around. What about diabetes research? That affects a LOT MORE PEOPLE than breast cancer. Or ALS? Or AIDS? Or Chron’s disease? You get my point.

        I’m also tired of celebrities acting like they are better than everyone else (see: Bono) just because they donate to charity. I take the John Lennon route and NOT donate because, to quote him, all charities are crooks anyways.

    • Ryan | May 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

      St. Louis, you say? I know I’ve seen their logo at Busch before, but now that I think about it, I’m not aware of any stations around here. We’ve mostly got BP, Shell, QT, & Phillips 66.

      • Joseph Gerard | May 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm |

        Cumberland Farms, who owns Gulf Oil LP, bought a license to the Gulf brand from Chevron in 1986 (a year after the infamous merger between the two companies), but it only applied to 11 states in the Northeast from Maine to Ohio, which Chevron had to divest due to antitrust reasons–weird, since Chevron doesn’t have stations in the Northeast, but yet were able to keep stations in areas where there was a sizable Chevron presence before Gulf. (Chevron still has some corporate offices in Pittsburgh despite Tennessee being the closest state to Pittsburgh having a Chevron station.) Just two years ago, when Chevron pulled out of parts of the Southeast and Ohio, they sold the full U.S. rights to the Gulf name to Cumberland Farms, and they’ve started expanding the Gulf name elsewhere.

        Gulf still has a decent presence in Pittsburgh, which was the original Gulf Oil’s home market, but this area is dominated by Sunoco and BP–in the latter’s case, many of the BP’s are former Amoco’s and Mobil’s in addition to Boron’s. (Sunoco has always been popular here, though a few are former Atlantic’s as well.) Sheetz (which dominates the c-store market), GetGo, and Exxon also have a decent presence here, so Gulf is probably on the same level as Shell and Marathon here. Gulf has been replacing Citgo at a lot of the 7-Elevens here and there are a few former Texaco’s that became Gulf after Chevron bought Texaco (again, Chevron seems to avoid having stations in Pittsburgh for some reason), but there’s still a lot of Gulf stations here that have been Gulf dating back to the original, Mellon family-backed Gulf Oil.

  • Johnny O | May 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |

    The Packers have been wearing those clear ID stickers since at least 2010. Here is an image of Aaron Rodgers From January of 2011 after he came back from his concussion wearing a different helmet:

    http://new-football-...

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |

      Gotcha. Thanks!

      • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 11:25 am |

        Darn it! Should have read all the way down before commenting.

        FWIW, as I said above, sometimes they put the decals across the Braisher stripes, and sometimes they put them off to the side. There doesn’t seem to be any real system for the placement.

  • Geen | May 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |

    Some more corporate douchebaggery over the weekend: Major League Lacrosse is apparently being very, very diligent about having all of its players use Warrior or Brine equipment.

    http://www.pointstre...

    Note the start of the fourth quarter: Rochester defenseman Will Koshansky was spotted wearing Under Armour socks by the Chesapeake coaching staff, and the referee not only ejected the player, but sent off the coach.

    • TOMtiger | May 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |

      wow.

      illegal equipment is supposed to be if the pocket is too deep or the shaft is too long. never heard of it for socks

      • Dan | May 14, 2012 at 11:43 am |

        was 5 rows away from Koshansky when he was penalized. Ref first checked his stick’s pocket, then looked at his socks and ejected him. We were scratching our heads about how socks can get you ejected.

        • Geen | May 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

          Two words: “corporate douchebaggery.”

  • JerryB | May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    The pink ribbon issue is a conundrum. Some real good things have come from it but the profiteering is disturbing. Way too much to wade into here but let me throw this at you.
    I spotted a kid last year at a pop Warner football game wearing a pink wristband that had the
    words “save the boobies” printed on it. Now I doubt (hope) this was not “officially” licensed pink apparel, the point is this pink stuff in mainstream and 10 year old kids think it is cool.
    Probably 1/3 of the kids playing in that Pop Warner game were wearing pink apparel trying to look like their NFL heros.

  • Josh | May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    I have seen sports teams have “official movers” before. It is my understanding (I may be off base here) that the amount of equipment required for an NFL team doesn’t fit (or is too heavy) for the charter plane, so the teams transport it to visiting stadiums by truck.
    These “official movers” actually transport the team equipment to visiting venues.
    Or at least, that’s what used to happen. Again, not sure if it’s still the case.

    • Geen | May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |

      Is Mayflower still the official mover of the Indianapolis Colts?

      (yah, boo!)

      Too soon?

      • Matthew Radican | May 14, 2012 at 11:58 am |

        Hopefully not too many Baltimore citizens are reading the blog. ;o)

      • Ed Hughes | May 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

        Yep, too soon! :-> And I’ve been out of Baltimore for even longer than the Colts.

      • Brinke | May 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

        ooooooooo rimshot here.

      • KT | May 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

        Would you believe it won’t be long before the Colts will have been in Indianapolis longer than they were in Baltimore?

      • Adam R. W. | May 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

        Not at all too soon. The Colts were in Baltimore for 30 years, and 2012 will be their 29th season in Indy.

        And it’s not as if football was gone from Baltimore forever… 2012 will the Ravens’ 17th season in Baltimore.

        Enough is enough. The Colts are now Indy’s team, and the Ravens are Baltimore’s team.

        • Rob H. | May 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

          And the fact that the Ravens won a Super Bowl six years ahead of the Indianapolis Colts probably helped soothe them too.

  • Coleman | May 14, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    Always love seeing more detailed info about my Mountaineers!

    Great link with the Flying WV story. Believe me, here in WV you hear all kinds of stories about how it came to be. Whatever the roots, you can’t deny its iconic.

    • Coleman | May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |

      Side note on that story, Leo Dicaprio wore the WVU cap because he was with Jennifer Garner, who is a native, like the journalist mentioned. Real in-depth research he did there…

  • Jet | May 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    Didn’t know you played bass, Paul. What year might that Precision be?
    -Jet

    • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |

      Honestly, no idea. Bought it used in 1986.

  • ChrisH | May 14, 2012 at 10:55 am |

    Re-the greatest Boston athletes to wear each uni number:

    I wonder if Ricky Craven would have garnered more votes if he was not placed in the #99 bracket and was put where I remember him best…in the #32 or #25 (there’d bve no way he’d get more votes than Mchale or Conigliaro IMO).

  • Shane | May 14, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    I should love the new Man United home shirt, but it’s doing absolutely nothing for me.

    • Ryan | May 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

      It screams “picnic table” cover to me.

  • Kyle Allebach | May 14, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    The pink bats would be a nice way to raise “awareness” for Breast Cancer if that was the only thing used. The addition of ribbons on the uniforms and any other ribbons added is unnecessary.

    But for MLB to only allow one company to have pink bats on the field? Really? I think I’d prefer the pink uniform garnishes as opposed to corporate douchebaggery during fundraising.

    • Coleman | May 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

      Unless I misread that info, any company could provide pink bats. What’s messed up is that only LS could brand theirs, all other companies had to leave their pink bats blank.

      • Rob H. | May 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

        “Sure, we’ll make you a pink bat. Oh, we can’t put our logo on it? Then never mind, I’m sorry we can’t make you that bat after all.”

  • Anthony Verna | May 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

    I have seen it happen many times. If you try to register ” for a cure,” as a trademark for any goods/services, Komen will try to stop it.

    Whether or not you like it, counseling clients is tricky when they want to do good, but you know what the reality of the situation is when the client wants to use a mark.

    • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

      Komen is a terrible organization that cares more about it’s image than the health of women. This is just item 175 on reasons why that NFP should be investigated (and probably shut down).

      I will never give them or an affiliated NFP a penny of my money.

      • Chance Michaels | May 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

        I think people now realize how awful an organization Komen is, now that their unrelated agenda has been exposed.

  • Anthony Verna | May 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

    That was supposed to be “… insert blank here …” for a cure. . .

  • Brandon Davis | May 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

    Max Bats posted some photos on their Twitter feed (@MaxBatBaseball) of pink bats in production. They weren’t finished so I don’t know if they had logos. However, they did post a few pics of players using their bats that were normal color but had pink Max Bat logos.

  • Kyle Allebach | May 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    I hope everyone here who has a twitter is following Andy Gray from the SI Vault. Mostly because he just posted this awesome pic from a Cletics-Sixers game from 1965.

  • mmwatkin | May 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    So Phoenix Bats is only donating a portion of each sale to cancer research? Why won’t they tell us how much?

    This is corporate douchebaggery on a New Era level.

    • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

      They should be donating 100% of the profits. There is still a cost associated with manufacturing the bat, marketing, paying the employees, CEO, etc. By time most normal products hit the shelves (not giantly marked up like $250 NFL jerseys) the profit is small compared to overall cost. But again, if it costs you 90 cents to produce something (after all costs) and you sell it for $1 that entire dime should go to the cause.

  • mike 2 | May 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    Because someone has to, I’ll defend pink ribbons.

    My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time in 2004, beat it with a mastectomy and chemo, was diagnosed again in 2008 with metastatic breast cancer (primarily bone) and died a horrible, painful death in 2009.

    Why do I think pink ribbon campaigns are important? Because breast cancer (and women’s cancers generally) have a history of shame associated with them. They were something you didn’t talk about. Women would get lumps in their breast and not see their doctors. When they were finally diagnosed, it would often be too late for treatment.

    And the medical community has been, until reasonably recently, stunningly indifferent to women’s cancers, both in terms of their attitudes towards women and the dedication of resources to prevention and cure.

    Its only been very recently that women have been allowed or encouraged to be open about cancers such as breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. To form support groups (and until you’ve been through it, you don’t know how important support groups are). To encourage one another through diagnoses of cancer and the aftereffects, and most importantly, to discuss with one another the importance of early diagnosis and not ignoring symptoms – like was the rule for so long.

    Its easy to say “we all know about breast cancer, move on” but don’t forget that the current state of affairs is very recent. Its only been a few short years since the attitude has moved from stigma and shame, to support, and the message hasn’t reached a lot of people yet.

    I’m not saying that the pink ribbon foundations are all sunshine and light, and that there’s not another side to the story, I just wanted to make a case that a lot of good comes out of these awareness programs and there’s a lot of work still to be done.

    • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

      While I understand and sympathize with your story, the crux of the issue here and today is the Komen organization proving, yet again, that the last thing they care about is women’s health.

      Support and awareness are vastly important things for those directly and indirectly affected by cancer, but Komen – by shutting down other pink bat producing companies, by suing other breast cancer awareness NFPs, by stopping funding to one of the most important organizations dedicated to women’s health in the history of the world – been nothing but a blight on breast cancer research and awareness.

      They embarrass themselves and they hurt others with their selfish aggrandizement, their willingness to kill whatever other NFPs gets in their way and their activities and policies that are detrimental to women’s health.

      “3: something evil or malignant that spreads destructively”

      They are literally a cancer.

      • Paul Lukas | May 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

        Komen – by shutting down other pink bat producing companies…

        Easy, Tim — we don’t know that Komen stipulated that. Maybe it’s part of Louisville Slugger’s deal with MLB.

        • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm |

          You’re right,

          I should’ve given them the benefit of the doubt on this particular case, but if you know Komen’s track record, perhaps you can understand why I jumped to that conclusion.

          Sorry.

          “It was a “*Jump* to Conclusions” mat…”

        • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

          Yeah, that would seem, to me, to be most likely between MLB and Hillerich & Bradsby, the company that makes the Slugger.

          And given that the Komen people pretty much want to sell as much pink merch as possible, to bring in as much money as possible, it seems, to me, to run counterproductive to drop restrictions on manufacturers that otherwise have relationships in place with the partnering organization (MLB in this case).

      • mike 2 | May 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

        Tim – I was responding specifically to Paul’s question “For those of you who’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with this disease (either directly or through someone close to you), what do you think of the pink?”

        I was talking about the broader issue of pink branding, not bats specifically.

        I haven’t followed Komen very closely because they don’t operate in Canada – here, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation runs the “for a cure” name and they haven’t been fascist about its use, or the use of pink, by other organizations.

        • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

          I apologize if it seemed I was arguing against you or talking you down, it’s just this topic makes me sick and angry.

          You’re story is an important one that reminds us of why we need awareness for these diseases.

          I didn’t know you are a Canadian so I didn’t know your background with Komen. I just want people to know that that organization has nothing but their own interests at heart.

          Sorry if my comment seemed out of place.

        • mike 2 | May 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

          No worries Tim – your comment was perfectly in place. The internet is a far more interesting place when people disagree and raise different perspectives.

    • Tony C. | May 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

      standing golf clap. well said

    • Christopher F. | May 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

      Ok, I apologize if I seem out of place here… because you clearly have more experience.

      But in the 2000s, I never heard of shame being attached to cancer. Seriously, I’ve never heard of anyone embarassed to have it- as compared to AIDS, or maybe a disease that was clearly self-inflicted from smoking or drinking or whatever.

      My father in law currently has in-operable (eventially) terminal stage-4 lung cancer (not self-inflicted, he never smoked)

      It sucks… but “shame” has never really anyone has ever thought of. He’s never got a bad reaction to it from discussing it with anyone.

      I also have experience with AIDS in my extended family. And *that* got some nasty reactions, because he was gay and got it doing drugs when he was down-and-out decades ago.

      He got it in the early 80’s, so he had all the stories of people thinking they’d catch his AIDS by simply touching the same doorknob, etc.

      But cancer? Never heard of such a thing.

  • George Chilvers | May 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    Sorry I’m late on this but I was watching my team’s final game of the season.

    A question was asked yesterday “With teams in two different cities, playing at the same time, having a chance to win the English Premier League title today, did the Premier League make two trophies for this year? If Manchester United had won, would they have had a trophy-less celebration?”

    The answer is that in fact there are numerous copies of each trophy, one of which is the “real thing”. I would suspect that the real trophy was at City yesterday (as that was the most likely outcome) but no-one would have questioned the authenticity of a trophy at Sunderland had United won it.

    Many years ago I used to steward for Wigan Athletic, in charge of the tunnel area. One year we were at the top of the old Division 4 (now confusingly called League 2) and it was between us and Fulham on the last day. We were told on that occasion that (as most likely winners) the “real” trophy was in Wigan, a replica at Fulham’s game.

    There are trophies that appear in TV studios, go “on tour”, are displayed here there and everywhere – all allegedly THE trophy. No-one questions it (normally) in the same way we don’t question how Santa Claus can be in ALL those stores :)

    • Anthony Verna | May 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

      Nor do we generally question which Stanley Cup is visiting your arena.

      • Ken | May 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

        But with the Stanley Cup..if you are close enough you can tell. Some of the errors have been corrected. (If I wasn’t in the middle of a meeting I would be able to give a better answer)

        • diz | May 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

          fake trophies? In my day we had to make do with helicopters on the final day of the season

    • name redacted | May 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

      I believe I heard yesterday that two sets of winners’ medals were made, so they would have them at the Ethiad or at the Stadium of Light for the post-match ceremonies.

      I noticed a number of players did the “bite the medal” gag too.

      On a related note, any thoughts on players for a club team wearing their home countries’ flags? I understand it for an international tournament like the World Cup or Olympics, but it seemed odd for Man City players to be parading around with Italy and Croatia etc flags.

    • cab647 | May 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

      Same is true of the Rugby World Cup, from what I’ve read. There are two, and they split the time 50/50. Not sure if even the IRB know which one was at which event throughout the years.

    • Rob H. | May 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

      It seems there has been a lot of coverage on Manchester City winning the Premier League. Don’t they have a post-season, or is the ultimate goal for Premier League teams merely winning the regular season title? No playoffs? No multi-billion dollar Super Bowl like extravaganza? So winning the FA Cup and League Cup and Europe Champions league are all secondary to winning the Premier League’s regular season title?

      I don’t get it, but then I’m an American.

      • mike 2 | May 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

        The two-time defending Presidents Trophy champions Vancouver Canucks are very interested in this theory.

      • Jim Vilk | May 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm |

        No playoffs in the Premier League. The lower leagues have a small playoff to see who gets promoted, but the Premier League is 38 games and that’s it.

        I’ll defer to an actual English person, but I think Premier League title > FA Cup title > League Cup title.

        With all of those, plus the Champions League and the Europa League going on, I can sort of see why they made this:
        http://www.youtube.c...

        • George Chilvers | May 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

          Your order of merit is correct, Jim.

          Winning the Premier League title is the be-all and end-all. And there are no play-offs etc for the Premier League title. If you’ve done well enough after 38 matches to be top of the table then that is honour.

      • Ryan | May 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

        When it comes to the Super Bowl of soccer, the UEFA Champions League Final has become that. More eyeballs around the world, in fact. As for the Premiership, I have conflicted feelings about it. It is nice to reward the team that was best in the league all season. And the fact that every team plays the exact same schedule (2 against every other team, one home, one away) gives it more legitimacy because no team can complain they had too many tough games against a particular division or opponent.

        On the other hand, yesterday’s finish was about as climactic as you’ll ever see. Only thing to top that would have been in Utd had scored enough goals to make up the goal differential over City (something like 8) and thereby go top of the table. I’m sure it’s happened on many occasions that the champion has been all but crowned a month in advance of the last day. And playoffs are one way to build on the drama.

        Of course, with the simultaneous domestic and continental competitions, plus any international commitments top-tier players might have, soccer as a whole needs less and not more.

  • Donald | May 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    I watched the slideshow of the Bronco’s equipment fitting. One thing jumped out at me. Numerous players were fitting their shoes while wearing casual or business socks. Usually these are drastically thinner than your average athletic sock. This could make their cleats unusually tight when paired with the proper socks and things like braces or tape. You would think the people responsible for fitting would think of this.

  • Mark in Shiga | May 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    Regarding the National League logo:

    Paul, yes, they’ve added stars each time new teams have been added to the league. A few days ago when people were talking about old team logos still being used by media outlets, I went off in search of the Chicago newspaper that had still been using the 12-star NL logo nearly two decades after the league had taken in its 13th and 14th teams, but couldn’t find it. (I remember seeing it last year.)

    I wonder which hand Warren Giles threw with. The NL logo eagle has its glove on its right hand, which means that the NL logo is one of very, very few to feature a left-hander. Almost all logos with handedness (such as the otherwise-beloved Brewers glove logo) are made right-handed.

    All the more reason to love having the NL logo on my Cubs’ blue jerseys. If any team should have it, it’s the Cubs: they’re the first of the 16 stars, and the only one that’s been in the league every year since its inception.

    • Donald | May 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

      Unfortunately while the eagle may be holding the glove in his right talon. It is a glove intended for the left hand. we see the inside of the glove with the webbing on the right side. if it was intended for a lefty the webbing would toward the outside portion of the glove not the inner. I base my assertion that this is the inside on the fact that there are no stitching or other details on the glove. Most have few if 0 embellishments on the inside portion. There is also a mark on the thumb that would indicate an inward fold not an outward.

      Just my take on the log :)

      • Donald | May 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

        logo :)

  • AUHookd | May 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    I finally noticed last night that the Phoenix Coyotes have a forward-facing coyote logo in the left side of their helmet. Earlier in the playoffs, it had bugged me that the Predators logo faced backwards on the left side of the helmet. If you look closely, you can see the comparison here: http://sports.yahoo....
    Obviously, the Coyotes have mirror-image decals printed so their logo always faces forward while on a helmet.

    So the question is: how many teams go all-forward vs. non-mirrored image? Obviously, the 3rd category is wordmark on helmet, which I almost universally hate.

    • ChrisH | May 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

      The skating penguins on Pittsburgh’s helmets always face forward IIRC.

    • The Jeff | May 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

      I don’t know about hockey, but the only NFL team I can think of that didn’t mirror a logo without text is the old Dallas Texans, who obviously kept the state it’s proper shape on both sides.

      It’s quite rare to see a non-mirrored non-text logo.

    • ChrisH | May 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

      After Murray Bannerman’s Blackhawks mask, Wayne Stephenson’s Flyers one is a personal favorite of mine:

      http://www.hockeymas...

      Forward facing Flyers logos never looked so good?

    • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

      Pittsburgh and Phoenix are the only two that flip their logos on their helmets.

      The commercially available Red Wings helmet decal sets have included a flipped winged wheel (going back to the 1990s when I first saw them at local pro shops), but the Wings themselves have never used it, sticking with the wordmark.

      • Rob S | May 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

        Should be noted for clarity – “only two NHL teams that currently flip their logos”.

        • KT | May 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

          And the Kansas City Chiefs flip the arrowhead but (obviously) not the “KC” inside it.

      • Mark K | May 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |

        Buffalo flipped their logo as recently as 2010 (throwback logo).

  • Another Jeff | May 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    Well, as someone whose longtime girlfriend was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with breast cancer (at just 34), seeing the pink accessories and gear at the baseball games and PGA event yesterday was kind of strange, particularly at a time when we’re both trying to get our minds off the disease as often as possible these days.

    By the end of the night, though, I was able to feel good about how ugly some players’ shoes looked and, ultimately, be really thankful for crap like this because from the sound of it, the shitloads of money that have gone into breast cancer research over the past decade are going to give the girlfriend a much better chance to come out of this healthy.

    I’ve always liked wearing pink shirts, anyway. But I certainly won’t argue when people complain about the ugliness/tackiness, even now.

    • mike 2 | May 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

      Wishing you strength and resilience.

    • SDot | May 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

      Jeff, all the best to you and your girlfriend in your days ahead. I lost my mother to cancer last year and feel the pain of so many millions before and after me.

      But I have to point out something disturbing about Komen and its pink For the Cure campaign.

      Only 20% of Komen’s expenses are related to funding research, the largest chunk, about 40% goes towards public awareness. The remaining 40% is split between administrative, fund raising and health screening costs.

      IMHO they could be changing their priorities a little and actually doing more “For the Cure”.

  • Charles | May 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

    Not liking the look of those extended pants stripes on the Broncos’ uni (side note: has there ever been a less athletic looking NFL QB?)
    http://i4.photobucke...

    Also, about the volleyball ad patch: Not that I know the first thing about pro volleyball, but when you lock your fists in front of you to hit the ball, it looks like that ad would get in the way right between your forearms where its placed. Maybe they removed them because of this issue?

    • Andy | May 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

      Not liking the look of those extended pants stripes on the Broncos’ uni (side note: has there ever been a less athletic looking NFL QB?)

      Yep.

  • Charles | May 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

    Sorry, bad link. The pic I referenced is in an adjacent album to the Broncos rookies, of Peyton Manning’s uniform

  • Jim Vilk | May 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    I try not to model my life after Kramer, but in one case he got it right: I will not wear a ribbon. Doesn’t matter what the cause is.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t care, or that I don’t do anything, but I prefer to do my homework, make sure my money/time is used effectively and do it as quietly as possible. I’ve also had more than enough experience with the big-box charities in the past that I prefer doing things on a local level. Even then you have to watch out, though.

    • Tom V. | May 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

      He said it best when he said “Hey, I’m walking aren’t I?”

      Exactly. When I give or I do things for charity, I do it because it’s what I believe in, not so I can see my name on some list. And “thanks” is certainly not required. I helped because I felt it was the right thing to do.

  • Chris K | May 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

    Noticed a few comments on that Illinois baseball field. I’m horrified that this is the state of our national pastime. Seems the field is going the way of the wooden bat. Talk about getting rattled out a nice afternoon. Feeling a little dirt around your spikes and that crunch of the occasional pebble, is just as much a part of the game, as spitting in your glove, or properly blousing your pants. Or…Errr…I mean….OK…never mind.

    • Chris K | May 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

      Ooops. Going the way of the wooden bat, meaning most, if not all colleges, opt for the aluminum variety, in some attempt to save money.

  • Christopher F. | May 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

    Wow, thank you Paul for noting that documentary. I’m a documentary nut, and I can’t wait until Netflix stocks this.

    Been waiting for someone to do a documentary on this subject for years!

    Regardless of your opinion, thanks for alerting us to what looks like a really good film.

  • Christopher F. | May 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

    RE: Donald “Duck” Dunn. I have no idea why these are connected, but I both learned of his death and learned my neighbor’s dad did the epic sax solo on “What’s Goin’ on”

    Must be strange to go into local bars, because that’s one of the more over-played songs as people start getting a little too drunk into the night.

    • Connie | May 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

      “Let’s Get It On” was more of the mainstay at the (riotously sexy) parties I frequented …

  • Mike Gocsik | May 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

    I’m a daily reader but have rarely posted. I found today’s lead quite entertaining and very thought provoking. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this past February. Coincidentally, I was sitting in the waiting room during her reconstruction procedure when I pulled the article up this morning on our i pad. Before I go further please know that my wife is doing very, very well, has a great prognosis and we have access to world-class care and all the family love and support one could ask.

    This whole pink deal obviously has hit home for us. It’s been fascinating to take note of how crazy it has all become just in the past few months. The day after my wife was diagnosed, I took our car for an oil change at the instant place down the road and after service (and the mechanic with no knowledge of what was going on at home) offered me pink windshield wipers with the extra buck going to “fund research.” Over the past few weeks, my eyes have been opened to all of these pink products.

    We love our privacy and the focus being placed on her and us has been by far the greatest adjustment we have had to deal with as a family. All that being said, we have found a great deal of comedy relief in all the pink ribbon propaganda and merchandise. As I told her during her first office visit after diagnosis, “I think you have just become a member of a cult.” It’s been a crazy experience and continues to be. In our experience, we’ve come to see the pink ribbon stuff really has come from people who know us and just want us to know they are supporting us. Even though we see the commercialization side of it, we have adjusted to appreciate the sentiments of family and friends that are just trying to communicate their love and support. I think loved ones feel very powerless when a diagnosis comes out of the blue like it did in our case and we have had to adjust our attitude and simply appreciate the kind gestures of pink and products.

    In full disclosure, I did purchase a pink shirt and wore it the day of my wife’s first surgery. My wife looked at me, laughed, and said, “you’re an idiot.” For us, laughter has been the best medicine and we have plenty of ammunition. Great topic Paul and gang, keep up the fantastic work!!

  • Glenn Simpkins | May 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

    I Must say that the so called “GI Joe” caps the Giants will wear this year will look better than the “Flag Desecration” caps of years past by a LONG shot!

    • SDot | May 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

      All of them are FUGLY and DISRESPECTFUL to so many beyond words.

      • Glenn Simpkins | May 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

        True.

        A better tribute would be a three inch black armband on the jersey and a flag patch on the cap

        • Phil Hecken | May 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm |

          i don’t think there’s a market for armbands and cap patches

          better to just make some abortion and force teams to wear it

          stupid/gullible fanboys will buy any on-field shit

    • Tony C. | May 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

      wonder if the Rockies hat will make Paul’s head explode http://www.lids.com/...

      • Simply Moono | May 15, 2012 at 12:33 am |

        Why does that cap’s crown look more “dome-y” than usual?

    • Phil Hecken | May 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

      no, they’re not

      instead of just retiring the tasteless promotion, the ratchet was turned another notch…

      disgusting

      • Glenn Simpkins | May 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

        Hey, at least it matches the uniforms better that red

        I’d just as soon it not exist either

  • christian | May 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

    Anybody else think that the pink ribbons were placed oddly for the Giants D-Backs game? I know everybody had the ribbons on the left chest, but for the Giants and D-Backs, wouldn’t they have them on the right chest, so it doesn’t look too weird? Here’s the photos for both teams:
    http://l.yimg.com/j/...
    http://sports.yahoo....

  • Jim Vilk | May 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm |

    Orange Caps Held Hostage: Game 35
    http://scores.espn.g...

    The 4th series vs. other teams with black caps…and yet, contrast takes a back seat to sameness.

    • Phil Hecken | May 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm |

      how come the bucs didn’t wear their gold caps?

      • The Jeff | May 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm |

        Because the Bucs wear pewter. Duh…

        • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

          I’d say it’s more of a mustard with a hint of chartreuse.

        • Tim E. O'B | May 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm |

          Dijon, of course (though, the only mustard worth eating is good old fashioned yellow http://www.scspopcor... ).

        • Jim Vilk | May 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm |

          Funny thing…when the Bucs wore the stadium mustard-colored hats, you could only get Heinz yellow at the stadium. At least as far as I remember…not that I ate either type back then.

          Man, I miss these. Free the mustard caps!

        • Phil Hecken | May 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  • Paul Q. | May 15, 2012 at 3:52 am |

    Is it just me or does the SF logo on the Giants’ G.I. Joe pandering cap look horribly off center?