About a month ago I mentioned that I had to go see a podiatrist, and that he turned out to be uni-aware, which was nice. I had to see him again yesterday, and the first thing he said to me was, “My daughter says the Marlins are wearing the ugliest uniforms she’s ever seen. I haven’t seen them play yet this year — are they really that bad?” So we spent a few minutes talking about the Marlins, and at one point I said, “They actually have this orange cap that they haven’t even worn yet. Maybe your daughter will like that — or maybe she’ll think it makes them look even worse.”
Fast forward about 10 hours. I’m at last night’s Mets/Brewers game with my friend Emily, who’s driven down from Connecticut to watch the game with me. The game is a blowout, so we’re talking about pretty much anything other than baseball, and I begin to mention my trip to the podiatrist. Just then, the scoreboard shows a highlight from the Marlins game — Giancarlo Stanton crashing into the fence while making a sensational catch in right field — and I notice that the Marlins are finally wearing the orange cap. I will now forever associate this cap with my podiatrist.
Last night marked the Marlins’ 36th game of the season, incidentally. I wonder what the record is for the longest a team has gone before wearing a new uniform element for the first time. (The Mets still haven’t worn their black jersey this season, even though it’s technically part of their wardrobe, but of course they’ve worn in many times in past seasons.)
Meanwhile, since some of you have asked, I’ve been going to the podiatrist because I have a mild case of bunions. They don’t look too severe (read: I can’t ditch my writing career and make a fortune as a circus freak, at least not yet), and I have zero discomfort, but the Dr. Uni-Aware said I needed orthotics to keep the situation from getting worse. So he made a cast of my feet — an interesting experience — and now I’m fully orthoticized.
Such a funny word — bunions. Bullwinkle had one, and it could forecast the weather, but not mine. Dr. Uni-Aware says they’re mostly genetic (unless you’re in the habit of wearing super-restrictive high-heeled shoes, which I’m not), so I was probably pre-programmed to get them. I was worried he’d tell me that I’d have to stop wearing Chucks and start wearing some kind of godawful orthopedic footwear, in which case I was fully prepared to say, “Nah, just amputate my feet instead, I’ll make do with bloody stumps, no problem,” but he said Chucks + the orthotics = fine. Phew.
I have to go back and see Dr. Uni-Aware one more time in a few weeks (sort of a 100-mile check-up for the orthotics). I look forward to discussing the Marlins’ orange caps with him.
Cue the Allen Iverson monologue again: The NFL Equipment shield keeps showing up on jerseys and shorts in NFL rookie training camps (even though the new Nike game jerseys just have the basic NFL logo), leading many readers to speculate that the players have been wearing old Reebok stock with the vector swapped out for the swoosh.
I finally got around to asking Nike about this, and here’s what publicist Brian Strong told me: “The NFL shield is reserved for anything worn on gameday (including uniform, sideline, etc). The NFL Equipment logo is placed on anything worn outside of gameday (training, practice, workouts, lifting, etc). So what you’re seeing in training camp is definitely not old inventory.”
So there you have it.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s an overview of the 2012 Premier League kits that have revealed so far (from George Chilvers). … In a related item, Chelsea decided to wear their 2012-13 kit for the last game of the 2011-12 season (from Matthew Denver). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Good piece on this season’s Texas Rangers throwbacks. … Also from yesterday: Sad news for NOB enthusiasts, as Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has retired. … FNOB alert! That’s Brice Queener (duh) of the Hamilton Nationals of Major League Lacrosse. “His younger brother, all-star Brett Queener, is on the same team, but Brett just has ‘Queener’ — no first name or initial or anything,” says John Sheehan. … The Padres will be wearing 1978 throwbacks this Friday. Nice, but the NOBs should be vertically arched, not radially. Disappointing. … One of Mike Francesa’s “the big difference nowadays” hobby horses is that books are written about certain athletes before they’ve accomplished anything of note. He did a long riff on this when a book about Jeremy Lin was published about two months ago, and he went off on it again yesterday when he learned that there’s a new book about Bryce Harper. I’d be the first to agree that it’s kind of silly to publish a 340-page book about a 19-year-old who’s had something like 60 big league plate appearances, but it’s even sillier — not to mention disingenuous — for Francesa not to realize that the real difference in sports media from, say, 30 years ago is that we now have
geeks who actually get paid to write about uniforms radio stations completely devoted to sports 24/7, blowhard sports radio hosts who blather on about nothing for hours at a clip, and sports radio shows that are simulcast on cable teevee (now there’s some compelling television). In other words, Francesa himself is a huge component of the hype machine he loves to critique. I don’t begrudge him his success — hell, more power to him — but it would be nice if he had even a shred of self-awareness about being part of the problem. … New uniforms for two Omaha high school marching bands (from Sean Gierke). … Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush has probably been teased about his surname for decades. And the kerning on his NOB doesn’t exactly help (screen shot by Laurence Holland). … Here’s what the yellow, green, an polka dot jerseys will look like for this year’s Tour de France (from Kenny Loo).