By my count, this season marks the 10th time the Jays have worn a special design for Canada Day. Let’s take a look at the previous ones (with thanks to Bill Henderson’s jersey guide for the images; click on all images to enlarge):
1996: The Jays’ first Canada Day experiment looked a lot like this year’s jersey, except that the lettering had blue inlining, which I wish they’d used this year as well:
1997: This year the Jays switched to a vest — an odd choice, since the team had never worn a vest as part of its wardrobe before:
1998: Another vest, but this time it’s white, with a red undershirt. Personally, I like this approach better than the red jerseys:
1999: Kind of a lazy effort, as this design is just the team’s regular home jersey with the headspoon piping changed to red and a Canadian flag tossed onto the chest almost as an afterthought:
2001 and 2002: After taking a year off (the Jays were on the road for Canada Day in 2000), the Canada Day jerseys reverted to red in 2001. The next season’s design was almost identical, except that the team logo on the front was replaced by a front uni number:
2006: Seriously, can it be that hard to schedule the one Canadian team to play at home on July 1? Apparently so, because the Jays found themselves on the road on that date for several years before getting to host a Canada Day game again in 2006. And judging by the horrific design they chose for the occasion — clearly the worst of the bunch — maybe they should have stayed on the road:
2009: After another hiatus, the Canada Promotion returned in ’09 with a new version of the red jerseys:
2011: Essentially the same as 2009, but with BP-style white side panels — ewww (big thanks to Martyn Bailey for these photos):
And that brings us to this season’s design, which brings things full circle, since it’s so similar to the first Canada Day jersey from 1996. After 16 years and 10 designs, I have two major thoughts:
1) Most of these designs suck. The blue and the red are always clashing, the solid-red jerseys are embarrassing, and the whole thing feels like a minor league promotion. The only exception, as I noted above, is the 1998 design with the white vest and the red undershirt — that works, at least for me.
2) When American teams try to market patriotism, I usually refer to it as pandering; that’s certainly what I’d say if any other MLB team wore a special uniform for Independence Day. So what are we to make of a Canadian team pulling essentially the same stunt? Granted, Canadian culture isn’t as self-aggrandizing as American culture tends to be, so these uniforms don’t feel like they’re part of an ingrained pattern of jingoistic pandering. Still, if we say, “Oh, it’s okay, they’re just Canadians,” that’s patronizing, condescending, etc. Also: Is there a single Canadian-born player on the Jays’ roster at the moment? Isn’t there something weird about making foreigners dress up to honor your flag? Can’t you just have a nice pregame ceremony and then play the game in your normal uniforms?
So my questions today for our Canadian are these: What do you think of these uniforms? Do the garish designs bother you? How do you feel about seeing Americans and Dominicans and Puerto Ricans wearing your national colors? Any other thoughts about all this?
What the fuck is going on here? Kirsten just tipped me wise to something very strange on YouTube. It’s a 10-minute video clip from a Japanese TV show that’s completely bizarre yet oddly compelling.
Here’s the deal: A very delicious-looking raw fish — like, sushi-grade fish — is shown to the audience. The fish is then put on a scale and weighed with great fanfare. A white-jacketed technician then places the fish on the ground in a clearing just outside of a wooded area. A cat then emerges from the woods, picks up the fish in its mouth, and takes the fish back into the woods, occasioning wild applause and laughter from the audience. A new fish, heavier than the previous one, is then produced, and the entire process repeats itself. Then a heavier fish, and a still heavier one, until the cat is trying to lift something close to its own weight, much to everyone’s amusement. A pair of announcers breathlessly describe the proceedings (in Japanese, of course), and there are slow-motion replays of the cats’ more noteworthy fish-hoisting maneuvers.
The whole thing is surreal, and it’s also weirdly entertaining — and I don’t think it’s just because I’m into cats (although that certainly doesn’t hurt). Here, see for yourself.
Jeremy Brahm, Mark in Shiga, and anyone else out there who speaks and/or reads Japanese, can you enlighten us as to the finer points of what happening here?
Why did someone write “Pay this” on the back of a slip of paper nearly 70 years ago? Find out in the latest entry on the Permanent Record blog.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Lightning have revealed their 20th-anniversary patch. “Not bad,” says John Muir, and I agree. … Maryland apparently tested out some gray football turf before deciding on green. … Tom Shieber found a 1974 Sporting News item that mentioned an Indians uniform error. … What’s the deal with the choppy number font used by the Czech Republic on Thursday? “It looks like they got a shipment of blank jerseys and had to apply the numbers with strips of white tape,” says Jim Mason. … Jim also reports that his neighbor is selling this Cleveland Browns-themed Jeep. … WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen says the team’s new gray uniforms are a recruiting thing (from Joshua Exline). … Holy moly, look at this proto-Zamboni! (Great find by Duncan Wilson.) … The Diamondbacks will wear purple for their throwback game last this season. … Note to self: If you’re gonna go on a crime spree, don’t have a team logo tattooed on your face (from Chris Flinn). … It’s nice that Roy Oswalt is back in the bigs, but would it kill him to button up? …. The 49ers’ draft class went on a boat tour of San Francisco Bay the other day — and wore Reebok practice jerseys (thanks, Brinke). … New uniform for the Toledo Mud Hens (from Harlen Rife). … The Saints are auctioning off, among other things, 100 nameplates (from Russell Goutierez). … All WNBA players wore No. IX on the front of their jerseys on Saturday — but their regular numbers on the back — to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX (from Scott Cummings). … “Interesting soccer uni goof from Saturday’s World Soccer Masters (Leo Messi’s charity soccer match),” writes Eric Vieira. “Not sure if Nene was a late addition to the roster or what, but his jersey was missing the sponsor and crest on the front and had some pretty piss-poor name and numbering on the back. He definitely looked out of place compared to the high-quality screening on the rest of the shirts.” … Doozy of a jersey malfunction during Saturday’s France/Spain Euro match (from Jason Heminger). … O’s and Nats played an orange-vs.-red game on Saturday … Here’s something I don’t think I’ve seen before: The outfield at Fenway has been mowed with a Northwestern stripe pattern (from Dave Rakowski). … Interesting article about the efforts by Jeremy Lin and others to trademark “Linsanity.” … Look at this super-cool 1966 Chicago Bulls stirrup (big thanks to Bruce Menard). … Pro golfer Ryo Ishikawa has been wearing something similar to an NBA shooting sleeve. “Never seen that on the tour before,” says Joshua Edney). … Royals catcher Sal Perez has a light blue helmet with a royal brim (from Brandon Foley). … New football uniforms for Eastern Michigan. … One way to avoid that annoying Nike logo creep on MLB undershirt collars: don’t wear an undershirt. That’s Mike Napoli from last night. “Also, he and Josh Hamilton were chewing on toothpicks the whole game,” says Blake Parker. … Very nice stirrups and an old-school number font for Matt Shortall of the San Luis Obispo Blues, a college summer team (from Cameron Songer). … Oooh, look at the completely awesome striped socks that Baylor women’s hoops wore back in 1972 (big thanks to Matthiew Mitchell). … Here are the Japanese Olympic uniforms for track and field and beach volleyball (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: a timeline of Mizuno baseball gloves.