By Phil Hecken
When today’s Olympic Correspondent approached me for a discipline, after a brief discussion, he asked me if anyone had decided to cover “Beach Volleyball.” My reply was “no, if you want it, it’s yours,” realizing there probably isn’t much in the way of uniforms for this particular sport, but then I thought…that’s probably why it’s so popular. Assuring me he’d cover the event tastefully and gracefully, I gave him my blessing. What follows may or may not meet those guidelines.
Our correspondent filed his report before the Games began, so he could not have anticipated the early matches would feature chilly weather, causing the athletes of both sexes to engage in some nighttime coverups worthy of Watergate. But when the sun shone during the daytime hours, normal beach attire returned.
Please be assured that the views and photos below represent those solely of the author of this report, and not necessarily those of Uni Watch. But do be aware, that we’re talking about beach volleyball, and most of the daytime photos are going to focus on body parts, for the most part. Our correspondent is Nate Kurant, who graciously offers his twitter handle at the end of this piece, where you can send him your cheers AND jeers — and here is his report on the wonderful uniforms in the sport of…
Olympic Beach Volleyball
By Nate Kurant
Beach volleyball is one of the more interesting sports at this year’s Olympic Games. The 2012 batch of participants may more closely resemble these dancers from Beijing in 2008 rather than the athletes on the court, all thanks to a big cover-up that is possible in the London competition. The hard journalism that follows will reveal more details.
Beach volleyball was first included as part of the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Since then, the sport has become one of the hottest tickets during the Summer Games, combining world-class competition with tanned hard bodies. The game also transfers well to the television audience, and often draws large viewership. The 2012 Olympic beach volleyball tournament will be held at Horse Guards Parade, which will offer an incredible visual backdrop to a sport already full of nice views.
It’s no surprise that beach volleyball draws a large audience because of the high level of competition bikinis, but because of the climate, the beach volleyball tournament will be one of the most interesting from a uniform perspective. The forecast will affect the visual aspect of the tournament, as Olympic officials have announced some very interesting uniform news since London isn’t exactly known for its sunny weather. Athletes will be able to wear special uniforms for cold weather, which means that instead of this, we might get something that looks like this. Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. More likely, the event will look something like this in cold weather.
Here is a graphic, if you can use it, scroll to the bottom.
However, the interest in the beach volleyball attire is definitely at the forefront for the British women’s team. At a press conference recently, a Sun reporter implored the team to “promise to wear bikinis even if it rains.” Salacious or not, the interest is there. Kerri Walsh of the USA team is on the record as being a fan of the bikini as a uniform, saying “I’m not a sex symbol, I’m an athlete. I want to be streamlined out there.”
Beside the fact of the weather, there were previous recent changes to the uniform standards of beach volleyball by the International Volleyball Federation. Of particular uni-interest, competitors are now allowed to wear shorts paired with sleeved or sleeveless tops during play, an amendment made with the goal of showing sensitivity to certain countries’ cultural or religious beliefs. Traditionally, the bikini is beach volleyball canon. Even with the new guidelines, it is likely that most players will bypass the “modest is hottest” uniform and opt for the more viewer-friendly bikini.
There is plenty of aesthetic interest in the beach volleyball competition. Whether the athletes wear bikinis or bodysuits, there will still be plenty of interest in the competition. If people willingly sit without shirts at Lambeau Field in December, though, then certainly some of the world’s best athletes can tough out a London summer in a bathing suit.
Also of note, there is apparently a men’s beach volleyball tournament during the Olympics. There is very little news regarding any of the male attire, which will consist of traditional bathing suits, paired with tank tops and hats, when desired, like so. Unlike the women’s side, there is no debate as to the sexual apsect of the men’s uniform choices, no uproar against covering up for the weather. While unlikely, the most exciting uni news from the male side would be from an athlete sporting some Karch Kiraly neon pink.
The event, bikinis or not, will began July 28th for both the men and women. The final match on the women’s side will take place August 8th, with the men’s gold being awarded the following day. The USA spiked their way to both gold medals in Beijing, but the Brazilians go into the 2012 Games as the favorites on both sides.
And for all the Uni Watch faithful, I offer you this final photo as a dilemma. Good or bad?
Nate Kurant is a jack-of-all-trades. He currently works with the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League as an in-game emcee, broadcaster, and writer. He also assists with the creative marketing for the team. Nate also works as a Public Address announcer for the University of South Florida for multiple sports, does freelance voice-over work and recently received his master’s degree from USF in Journalism and Media Studies. You can follow him on Twitter @NateKurant.
Well played, Nate (I think). That was quite a report.
Monday Morning Football:
Our resident Brit, uni watcher, and colourizer extraordinaire George Chilvers has prepared for our edification a review of the
uniforms kits in opening games of the men’s soccer football at the Olympics.
The football tournament started on Thursday and I’ll review here what was worn.
Group A – Old Trafford Manchester
Uruguay played UAE and wore their Puma traditional sky-blue shirts with a white trim, black shorts and socks. UAE wore a change strip of all red with white trim made by Errea. Both very neat.
Great Britain played Senegal. Team GB made their appearance in their first choice blue kit and we have had enough analysis of it. Opponents Senegal stuck to all white with national colours trim. Puma again provided the necessary.
Group B – St James’ Park, Newcastle
Mexico and South Korea kicked off the tournament in the North East. Atletica, a name new to me, designed the Mexican all green kit, with an interwoven Mayan design and red trimmings. Korea stuck with Nike, and their all white kit had an interesting red and blue “swooshy” diagonal.
The second game featured outsiders Gabon and Switzerland. Another Puma-fest, both sets of kits were simple but stylish. The Swiss had their usual red shirts and white shorts, with slight white trimming. The African Under-23 champions making their first appearance on the World stage had yellow shirts and blue shirts, giving them a bit of a Brazilian look.
Group C – City of Coventry Stadium and Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Belarus versus New Zealand was played at Coventry, the stadium renamed from the Ricoh Arena for sponsorship reasons. Very simple kits on show, Belarus in an all red ensemble from Umbro with white trimmings, while the New Zealand “All Whites” lived up to their nickname and, unlike their ladies, wore all white trimmed with black just around the neck.
Brazil took on Egypt in Cardiff, and Brazil wore the most recognisable kit in football – yellow shirts with one of Nike’s current design elements, broad green trim to the sleeves. Blue shorts and white socks completed the familiar outfit. Their opponents Egypt turned out in their national colours of red, white and black in a simplistic design, the Adidas shirts being trimmed with black and having white panels under the arms.
Group D – Hampden Park, Glasgow
Up north to Scotland, where Honduras took on Morocco. Morocco stuck with a fairly basic red and green kit – with the same white underarm patch on the shirts as Egypt had. Honduras had a very striking design of shirts with blue shoulders above a white band bearing the Honduras national five-stars in blue, above blue and white stripes. Joma, a Spanish company are the producers.
The second game provided a little head-scratching for Japan v Spain, an all-Adidas clash. Spain chose to wear their second kit instead of their normal red, and so we ended with a blue-on-blue. Japan had their all dark-blue kit (the shirts having two tones) with the narrow red vertical stripe down the shirt and socks. Spain wore light blue with a darker blue sash. White shorts and light-blue socks with the Spanish national colours completed the look.
Thank you George. Nicely done, sir. Nicely done.
#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 11
This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.
And now, a personal note from Paul:
It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.
More of your letters to the NBA:
Ive been an NBA fan since watching Dr J beat the then-Bullets at a Christmas Day game years ago. The players have changed dozens and dozens of times over. But, happily, the uniforms of the great teams (Lakers, Knicks, Celts) have stayed the same and many of the others have returned to their iconic pasts. This has been a great consistent that makes it easier to root for teams and cities when the players can’t always be determined without a scorecard. It’s especially nice at a time when advertising is ubiquitous that the uniforms we root for remain tied to team and city, not sponsor. The last thing I want for myself or my kids is to root for the VW Wizards (or Barclay’s/CitiBank/Enron?). The NBA has thrived because it’s been able to strike a lucrative balance between sponsorships, advertising, and other ways to leverage its brand and tapping into the tradition that dates back 70 years and close ties to many cities. It’s done that even with players changing teams, teams changing cities and other disruptions of the modern world. The last thing we need is to have one of the remaining few pieces of entertainment real estate tied clearly to a city and team sold off to corporate sponsors. You’re already making great amounts of money. Keep that up! You run a great business. But, please, give us fans a little break when we watch and preserve the last link between team-city-fans.
Please do not taint the integrity of the NBA uniform with the addition of ads. This has NOTHING to do with the game and screams of money. Isn’t this what the latest CBA agreement sought to fight against? Please reconsider your position.
I just read of the NBA’s plan to start allowing ads on uniforms in two seasons. I am vehemently against this move. Not only will this look tacky, it sullies the tradition of the NBA and its member franchises as standing for sporting and competition, above all else. I realize this is yet another revenue stream, but the uniform should remain pure.
I strongly urge the league to reconsider its position on uniform advertising. Some things should remain free from advertising. We are constantly being marketed to and at some point enough is enough. This will most definetely affect my ability to watch or purchase products of the NBA. There is so much advertising already during a game. Leave the jerseys alone.
Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.
Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Depends, is it inside or outside the Beltway?…
Click to enlarge
This new section will feature updates, lesser news, and reader submissions from the XXXth Olympiad — keep the Olympic news coming in! (Usually in the order in which I receive them — think of it as an “Olympics Ticker”.)
* A gambling site has won its battle with London Olympics over sneaky advertisements. “Pretty awesome win, even if it is for a gambling firm.” (Graham Bakay)
* ‘It’s What We Have’: Spain’s Athletes Sigh, And Put On Olympic Uniforms. (Brinke)
* “Super suits records to be broken?” (Jeremy Brahm)
* Uniform Fail Number 1: “I found a picture of the uniform fail. I didn’t notice until later that number 3 of Belgium later got her jersey right, see other pic with red number and NOB. (Mitch Hendriks)
* Uniform Fail Number 2: “It seems the Kazakhstanis can’t reach consensus on how their country name is spelt, or at least their Olympic outfitters can’t! These are two of the women’s weightlifting coaches, with differing amounts of vowels on their polos.” (“Les” [no last name given])
* Sophomoric humor: “I don’t know if this is hilarious or unfortunate… this was a women’s team badminton match between China and Russia. One of the Chinese athletes had quite the NOB.” (Aaron McHargue)
* “Saw this after the U.S. beach volleyball team’s win over Australia on Saturday. Misty May-Treanor (left) has the Nike logo on her top, while teammate Kerri Walsh-Jennings (right) has some type of “O” logo on her top.” (Terry Duroncelet)
* “Olympic Humor: Thought you might get a kick out of this, if you haven’t seen it yet.” (Ryan Raymond)
* Empty Seats: At London Olympics, empty seats have organizers scrambling, giving away tickets to children and soldiers. (Paul Lukas)
* “This weekend for the opening games for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams they used different shorts then what they used during the exhibition games. Instead of having the two-toned white in front and color in the back (men’s team blue, womens’ team red) they had both wore solid white shorts with color striping on the side. What gives? I have three theories: (1) The women opened against a Croatia team wearing red uni’s and they wore all so there wouldn’t be confusion. The same story with the Men’s team and France, who wore blue. (2) Some obscure olympic rule. (3) The two toned white shorts were just too ugly.” (Derek Hummel)
Reminder: Paul is on summer break until Aug. 23. Phil Hecken is handling the weekday content and John Ekdahl is running the show on weekends; contact info for them is available here.
The Uni Watch e-mail address is being auto-forwarded to Phil, so any Ticker submissions or story ideas sent to that address will go directly to him. If you have a question or comment for Paul, go ahead and send it in, and Phil will make sure Paul receives it. We’re particularly interested in keeping up-to-date with college football uniform unveilings, so definitely keep submitting those. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Robert Griffin III began his first real Redskins practice with “HTTR” written on his cleats — that’s “Hail To The Redskins” for those of you who don’t speak in the language of acronyms (thanks to Paul for kicking off the ticker). … The 1987 Trappers 25 years ago set the all-time baseball record for consecutive wins. So they wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the feat. Naturally, they lost. (from Tim Haslam). … OK, so it’s not quite Benchies, but there is a sports related comic called “In The Bleachers,” which ran this this comic showing a bullpen cart on Friday (spotted by both Wayne Koehler and Brett Gaul). … Bradley Wasserman is “a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and I came across this story (Friday). The font they used on the jersey are off of Bruce’s new album cover art. New uniform for the night for the minor league team.” … A town was forced to remove a cross from logo after facing lawsuit threat. John Muir thinks the new logo looks poached from Oregon Trail. … Couldn’t they have bought the rights to a bowl game instead? Tom Van de Kieft notes this Florida High School hopes to sell school stadium naming rights to Nemours Children’s Hospital for about $100,000. … Noah Goodman comes through with “3 Finds” (at least two of which I wish were still hidden): Oklahoma State Grey Jerseys, NBA Retro nights, and new black jerseys for San Diego State! (Exclamation point his). … Thanks to Joshua Pryor, we now know “The Jaguars seem to be the first professional team to openly encourage people to bring in their own food now.” … It’s a good thing Paul is on vacation, because Kyle Pellet thinks “Nike is taking over the weather now.” How so? See for yourself (that shot was taken by a Belgian photog covering La Tour de France). … The B1G has a nice post, including a Uni Watch twitter quote, summarizing the 2012 uniform changes. IU’s sticking with #LaFlamaBlanca for big games (gracias to Tim E. O’Brien). … When the New York Red Bulls face Tottenham on Tuesday, Chester Baker notes, the Red Bulls will have the names of season ticket holders on their jerseys, adding them onto their jersey numbers. … The Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League unveiled their uniforms (Home, Road & shoulder patch) for the upcoming 2012 – 2013 season (with thanks to Stephen Tihal) — White at home, as God intended. … Beautiful rups on Red Schoendienst (and more pics in that flickr set), with a big round of applause for Chelsea Madden. … Speaking of Cardinals and as God intended, it looks like the bat boy gets it™, since Kevin Malarkey notes, “apparently the batboys haven’t gotten the memo that the Cardinals wear blue caps on the road (though the red undoubtedly looks better).” … An “article in the San Diego paper about a local 8th-grader who signed with U-W to play football,” says Brian Hilemon. “Uni-related item here is the photo of him in a pretty spot-on Chargers uni in something called the throwback league.” If, like our tipster, you’ve not heard of the Throwback League, some guy wrote about it about two months ago. … Zac Neubauer says, “In this article you’ll see Fulham FC has just signed a player by the name of Moussa Dembele while actively shopping one of their current strikers…Moussa Dembele. If the current Moussa stays, it’ll be interesting to see who wears what on their shirt.” … Another one from Paul: Here’s a fun, interesting article about podium/lecturn placards in the prexy campaign. … Brock Lusky simply sent me this EA Sports Dolphins screenshot and asks, is this a new Dolphins alternate? … Larry Bodnovich thinks this Nebraska uniform from the 1930s would have been a better choice than the new adidas pseudo-fauxback (and he colorized it too!). Keeping that theme, and also from Larry, “nice old artwork from 1932-33 Nebraska yearbook. Red jersey with white N.” … Jeff Seals spotted two logos/unis that borrow from the pros, from the 2012 Nevada State American Legion Tournament. 1) Bishop Gorman HS – a local high school powerhouse is wearing its version of Houston’s Tequila Sunrise jersey. 2) Coronado HS – a local high school has already copied the Houston Cougars new logo & placed it on its baseball jerseys. … A Jags rookie is posing with a pre-suckitude Jags jersey: Roarke (who provided no last name) found this picture on Topps Facebook from the Rookie Premiere in May. He asks, “What’s up with this jersey? It looks Nike, right? It would have to be if it’s for a rookie in 2012 like Blackmon. But this is different than the jerseys Nike revealed for the Jags.” … Beau Schott found a couple strange things — At Seahawks training camp, the offensive linemen and several defensive players have been wearing a type of “screen protector’ clear plastic sheet on the front of their helmets. He suspects it is used to not scuff the matte finish on the helmets or sticker stripe on the front. It is only contact players that wearing while receivers and quarterbacks are sticker free. Also, a trading card he noticed on ebay. TOPPS is claiming that this jersey card was used by Robert Turbin. However this piece of jersey is from last years old style. “Kinda fishy and shame on TOPPS. I could understand if the jersey was from the pro day photo shoot but it is not.” … No photos, but Dennis Hasty has a question, “I was at the Lexington Legends-Hagerstown Suns game yesterday in Lexington and they were completing a game that had been halted on Friday night due to storms. The Legends wore ‘Military’ red white and blue style uniforms because it was military appreciation day that Saturday. The problem is this game was a completion of the Friday night game in witch they wore their basic style uniform, the Legends then must have decided to wear Astro rainbow uni’s for the regular scheduled game that night that they were going to wear the military style in. The question I have is when do you ever remember or has this ever happened when a team wore two different uniforms for the same game??? I don’t think anyone noticed this at all.” … James MacNeil (checking in from Western Australia) has been regularly scouring Google images for the past couple of months to see if the Brooklyn jersey’s have been leaked. One fan design has been often linked and multiplied, but interestingly to the point where Chinese merchants are making knock-offs. His question, “Is there a precedent for this?” Anyone? … The Greater Western Sydney Giants were wearing a special jumper v Collingwood Magpies this weekend as part of the Building Australia promotion (thanks to Leo Strawn). … Samuel Allison notes that with the passing of Jim Carlen this past week, focus has returned to one of WVU’s finest teams, in 1969. What’s uni notable is that WVU never wore white jerseys on the road. … Iowa assistant coach Brian Ferentz tweeted out a picture of the new Iowa jerseys. They’re mostly the same, with the exception of the addition of a B1G logo patch (H/T to Jesse Gavin and Kyle Becker). … The Wheeling Nailers are switching up jerseys and colors to more align with the Penguins, their NHL affiliate (thanks to Yancy Yeater). … Jason Bernard was at the “Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer” on Sunday, basically a cool flea market in a local theater. He picked up this serving tray — featuring an original portrait of coach Bill Cowher – for $3. … Robert Silverman writes, “Through a strange labyrinthine internet journey, I found myself at the site for the fictional team, “The Gotham Rogues” that’s in The Dark Knight Rises. On their webpage, there’s an editorial/explanation of why the team’s Gun logo (not pictured) was replaced. I’m still stunned by the fact that someone went to this much trouble to make a website for a fake team (Aside from the fact that there’s a link to Under Armour’s page where you can buy real merch for the fake team, natch), but to have a uniwatch-esque debate on the merits of gun/violent logos? Unreal.” … From the, “I smell a lawsuit” department: Tony Crespo wonders which came first the Big Ten logo or this sale. … More from Jeremy: Japanese Super Featherweight WBC Champion Takahiro Aou throwing out the ceremonial first pitch with his championship belt on! Also, Here is the Japanese triathlon team in their official uniform … Michael Lampert has been hearing tons of rumors about new unis for this upcoming season, and came across these shirts on fansedge.com. He asks, “Do you think its safe to say the home and away unis will be similar to these shirts with the new straighter ‘NEW YORK’ font and new alternate logo on the back?”
Just a small post to start off your work week. Everyone have a great Monday.
“Kerri Walsh still looks pretty good after having kids since the last Olympics.”