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A Brief History of Olympic Swimming Uniforms

speedo_fastskin_2004_4

By Phil Hecken

Despite Mitt Romney’s prognostications, the 2012 London Olympics seem to be moving along swimmingly through the first full four days of competition. So it’s only fitting that today’s Olympic Correspondent, David Grindem, is focusing on the history of swimming at the Games. For Americans used to having swimmers win every race (though no longer, quite possibly due to questionable training practices), the fields for both men and women seem to be wide open this year. There are also no controversial swim suits, so records set in prior years are not falling. But there’s still plenty of excitement in the deep end.

Join me now as our Olympic Corrspondent guides us through…

. . . . .

Swimming at the Olympics
By David Grindem

Like many other Olympic sports, swimming is transcended by a few star athletes. These famed Olympians include Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe, and most recently Michael Phelps. Most of us can’t remember their events or times, but they certainly have cemented their place in sports history. But unique to the sport of swimming is the uniform, or rather lack there of, which creates a particularly interesting retrospection into the uniform history.

As swimming lore would have it, the first competitive swimsuit commercially produced was created in 1913 by Jantzen Knitting Mills. Made of wool and weighing nine pounds, it’s safe to say that it was no technological marvel and itched like hell. In 1914, Speedo branched out from underwear to produce swimwear. Speedo’s first major contribution to the sport was the introduction of the Racerback style which increased both speed and flexibility. Today the Racerback remains a very popular cut for female swimmers.

The woman’s event was added to the Olympic games in 1912 and up through the 1930s, the suits continued to get shorter, but were worn with a modesty panel. After World War II, nylon replaced wool and silk as the major fabric of competition. In 1964 colored suits were for the first time cleared for competition and the modesty panel was eliminated for women in 1973.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the primary suit was the infamous speedo brief and basic woman’s suit still used today by many amateur swimmers. It was in the 1990s that the major technological revolution began for competitive swimming. With the introduction of more modern fabrics such as lycra, the suits became much faster. Rather than suits becoming smaller, suits began to increase in coverage.

First came the jammer and in 2000, Speedo created the full-body FastSkin. The engineering of the suit mimicked a shark’s skin in a way that caused the water to bead away from the suit in a zig-zag pattern. Additionally, the stitching on the suits was designed to isolate muscle groups and reduce vibration in the water. This new suit resulted in a dramatic drop in times and resulted in an astonishing number of world records during the 2000 Sydney games and beyond.

In the same way that other sports have been plagued by the advancement of technology – think tennis rackets and metal baseball bats – it had come to compromise the integrity of the sport. Fabrics continued to evolve with the use of rubber and polyurethane being incorporated into fabrics which was creating suits that were much faster than human skin. The tipping point came when speedo introduced suits that looked like bondage at the 2009 World Championships in Rome where 43 world records were set. In 2010, the swimming governing body outlawed non-textile suits and the amount of coverage. Limited to between the waist and knees for men and not past the shoulders or knees for women. Since, there has been an enormous reduction in record swims, with the first being by American Ryan Lochte. This has prompted some to reconsider the new rules because of the difficulty in trying to break records set prior to the ban.

The suit that will get the most recognition at the London Olympics is the Speedo FastSkin3, which also includes a redesign of the cap and goggles that apparently mimic the lines of a barracuda. While every apparel maker feeds their consumers ample bullshit the occasional marketing ploy, the science supports the reduction in drag with the new shape. As for the current Olympic cycle, swimming doesn’t offer much in terms of team uniforms for most countries. However, the traditional powerhouses sometimes get their own design . Many swimmers are sponsored individually and the rest are least offered free suits. As a result brands are often specific to a swimmer and suits devoid of any team markings. Rather, team identification is limited to swim caps during actual races and team warm-ups in between events.

Since the 2012 games have just begun, and since actual swimsuits designs get very little media attention, hopefully there will be some design surprises in London.

. . . . .

Thanks for the article, David. Very nicely done!

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149534926Tuesday Morning Football:

Our resident Brit, uni watcher, and colourizer extraordinaire George Chilvers has prepared for our edification a another review of the uniforms kits in the second group games of the men’s soccer football at the Olympics.

Here ’tis:

. . . . .

The excellent Historical Football Kits site has now set up an illustrated Olympics set of pages, so my job is made significantly easier.

The second group games were played on Sunday and I will just highlight the changes from the first set of games – see Monday’s article.

In Group A at Wembley Senegal wore green shirts and yellow shorts against Uruguay who stuck to their sky-blue, while Team GB and UAE kept the kits they wore in their first games.

Coventry’s Group B games started with Mexico v Gabon, and despite Gabon staying with their “Brazil-look” yellow and blue Mexico seemed to think they needed to change from all green to all red. Korea took the field in their usual red shirts and blue shorts against Switzerland who wore their change kit of all white.

I was at Old Trafford for Group C. An amazing game between the “All Whites” of New Zealand and Egypt (who wore black shorts instead of the white from the first game) preceded Brazil v Belarus. Brazil wore their iconic kit while Belarus had all red. I didn’t know Manchester had so many Brazil supporters though as the stands were full of replica shirts.

Finally Group D saw the biggest shock so far in the tournament on the pitch. Japan kept their dark blue kit against Morocco, who again apparently unecessarily changed to all white. Then the big news saw Spain (playing Hondouras), reigning World and European champions, knocked out of the tournament after two defeats. In a rather acrimonious match Spain had their usual red shirts and blue shorts, while Honduras wore all white.

. . . . .

Thanks (again) George! Bloody good reporting.

~~~~~~~~~~

Collector's Corner 2Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This past weekend had it’s ups and downs. On the upside, I loved the 007 intro to the Olympics. On the downside, the Giants were downright wretched in losing three at home to LA. Well, let’s pick up the pieces and proceed with another edition of Collector’s Corner, shall we?

Need to vent a bit more- I’ll list this one first.

• Primo Item Alert. Check it out- a 1960s NFL United Airlines poster.

• Nice 1970s Bucco Bruce helmet shadow box plaque.

• Fan of the old Expos? This auction is for a custom-made Expos bobblehead. Choose the numbers, skin and hair color, etc.

• PL sent in this KC Royals ticket taker shirt.

• Here’s an entire NFL iHOP helmet display board from the 1970s, and it’s missing just one helmet.

• NFL camps are open, and if you’re a Rams fan, you’ll want this vintage Rams camp shirt from Champion.

• Here’s a complete set of 1967 Heinz NFL buttons.

BG has started writing for Cute Overload.com, so if you’re an animal lover, this is the site for you. A collection of his posts so far is here. thx =bg=

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olympics-london-2012More Olympics:

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”.)

. . . . .

Just a few submissions today.

* “Lets just say Usain Bolt would smoke whoever Thomas Burke was.” (Stan Olechowski)

* One interesting detail about the U.S. women’s soccer jerseys … “Normally, the women wear the U.S. soccer crest with the two stars (symbolizing their two World Cup wins) on the chest. … But because they’re playing for the country, and not the U.S. soccer federation in the Olympics, they are sans crest. Which I still think is kind of weird.” (Adam Yarnevich)

* “I am fascinated by the Independent Olympic Athletes and how they got their gear, who arranged it or coordinated it, the situations behind the status, etc. At any rate, here is a link to pics of their uniforms, pretty sweet jacket I think!” (Ted Robertson)

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 12

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 (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

~~~

More of your letters to the NBA:

Stu Taylor:

Ads on uniforms have no place in the NBA or any other self respecting league. In the U.S., the leagues that use jersey ads are the ones who couldn’t survive otherwise. They’re not on the same level as the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL and it shows. It’s an amateur move and will bring down the integrity of the league. There is enough advertising woven throughout the game experience from logos on the court, ads in the programs, commercials, the “Bud Light halftime show”. Pining for this little extra bit of revenue while completely disregarding the sanctity of team uniforms is a classless move.

Geoff Poole:

Advertising patches on NBA uniforms? Are you serious? Advertising is already rampant in the arenas, on broadcasts and everywhere else. Is this what the Board of Governors wants the NBA to look like? Get that crap out of here. NO ADVERTISING ON UNIFORMS.

Drew Porter:

I’m going to say this flat out. If you include ads on uniforms intended for retail sale you will have lost a household of customers. I will not buy any jersey with any add or permit any other persons to buy my children jerseys with adds.

Mike Wissman:

No Uniform Ads. Please. Doesn’t the league make enough from sponsorships already? Is it really about making every single dollar possible versus maintaining a tradition that jerseys are about the team, not the sponsor? Take a look at that mess of a jersey the Philadelphia Union wear, all because of a clashing sponsor logo. Why not go all out and just name the teams for sponsors, like Japanese baseball? This development is most disappointing and I hope not to see it come to fruition. I will not purchase an NBA product adorned with a sponsor logo.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

~~~~~~~~~~

Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

Descartes, we will recall, wrote something about that. Only better…

7-31-12 tank Greg

Click to enlarge

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: The Cleveland Browns will be wearing this set on September 9, 2012 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Shane Milberger. … From the “we can never have too many of these pics” department: Rick Rutherford says, “This ski cap has been mentioned many times on your site but it never gets old.” … Another look at the new Seahawks helmet covered in clear plastic (from Beau Schott). … Mound shenanigans were spotted this weekend in Arizona by Steve Dodell, who writes, “I hate mound logos…would Bob Gibson pitch on a mound with a Met logo, or immediately rub it out? Anyway, on Saturday, the Diamondbacks used this mound logo. On Sunday it was replaced with this. What is going on? Is MLB starting to tell teams to use the MLB logo? Bears watching…league logo creep?” … Tony Crespo is not sure if anyone has submitted this site before. It lets you costume make shirts for some NCAA teams, defunct pro sports franchises and even high school teams. … Rob Ullman writes, “the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, are gonna be sporting new sweaters this fall. It seems they’ve gone along with the Pens’ affiliate in Wilkes-Barre and adopted a jersey style that is virtually identical to the parent team. I’m not as vigorous a hater of the NHL Pens current look as a lot of other yinzers are, but there’s no way it’s worthy of being worn by three professional teams!” … Joe DeAngelis stumbled on this odd photo of the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky wearing the uniform of the Chicago Blackhawks. Apparently, he wore it celebrating Chicago hockey history at Gretzky’s most recent fantasy camp. … “The band Wilco used this poster to promote their show in Cooperstown July 28th,” says Ryan Lindemann. “Love the waistband!” … Many of you sent in E-mails regarding this perfectly awful Wyoming football camo uni. Not a single one liked it. … Uniform “fail” — Sam Belk snapped a quick picture of this during the US Youth Soccer National Championship on Saturday night. Looks like red duct tape in place of the “1” on this guy’s back. Chalk another thing up for things duct tape can be used for. … Possible new Illini football uniforms? According to Jonathan Mayer, this picture was tweeted by Coach Tim Beckman. … Thanks to Deadspin, John Muir and Dave Rakowski, we now know that the Official SEC Store Is Now Selling A “Texas A&M Bulldogs” Hat. … From the “things that cannot be unseen” file, Tim E. O’Brien writes, “So for a photo shoot for ESPN, it looked like Arian Foster was wearing a blue Nike jersey but a white Reebok jersey with swooshes on it (not the-flywire collar).” That was a unicorn, right? … Who you gonna call? SLUMPBUSTERS. Britton Thomas writes, “It looks like every Braves starter (with the exception of Tommy Hanson) is going high cuffed tonight. I’m guessing they’re doing it to try to break their Monday slump. The Braves are winless on Mondays this season.” More photos here. (Dan Murphy also noticed this.) And Nicole Haase found it’s a hit on Twitter. … Hmmm…celebrity uni gaffe? Tommy Gough notes, “in Toronto Wil Ferrell and Zack Galifinakis were visiting to promote their new movie and while they were here they visited the Hockey Hall of Fame and met with our Super Dumb-Ass Mayor. Seems Ferrell got the ol’custom jersey treatment- an LA Kings jersey with name and number. But judging by this photo, and UPSIDE DOWN number.” … Chris Fernandez got a screen grab of “Kmo without his batting gloves” vs. Texas on Monday. Took me a minute to realize he was referring to Kendrys Morales. … Speculation is the Knicks will ditch black — in the ticker yesterday there was a link to a possible new wordmark. Steve Dodell (again) went to NBA.com and this jersey is the current authentic jersey for sale…note they did ditch black, and just made the orange thicker. They don’t let you see the sides too well, but he assumes the same. The wordmark has not changed. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Beginning in 2014-2015, Manchester United’s jersey sponsor will be Chevrolet. … Nathan Wadman “Just wanted be sure you saw these.” Yowsa…how could we miss? … And finally — mistake or custom job? Here’s a screen grab of NYM catcher R. Johnson with no logo on helmet (thanks to Mike Mattison).

~~~~~~~~~~

There you have it. Thanks to my Olympic Correspondent, David Grindem, and all the fine readers and protesters in our #NoUniAds campaign. Keep those letters going to the NBA. And if you have any olympic news, keep sending it my way. Have a great Tuesday, all.

~~~

“Aw, crap that’s not supposed to be here. Damn, I hate Mondays.”

–Rick Pearson

 

120 comments to A Brief History of Olympic Swimming Uniforms

  • Scott Davis | July 31, 2012 at 8:23 am |

    “Aw, crap that’s not supposed to be here. Damn, I hate Mondays.” –Rick Pearson

    Ricko, that’s racist!
    http://bleacherrepor...

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2012 at 8:28 am |

      What the… uh, ok, sure.

      I guess that puts an entirely new spin on Garfield, doesn’t it?

      • Scott Davis | July 31, 2012 at 8:45 am |

        Wasn’t it Jim Davis who once said “If I knew black people read the newspaper, I would have never drawn Garfield in the first place”?

        • Nick | July 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |

          This made me laugh out loud at my desk. Well done, sir.

    • walter | July 31, 2012 at 9:14 am |

      Gee, language is becoming more and more fraught with peril, isn’t it?

    • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |

      Geez, then tomorrow’s “Benchies” probably is gonna really piss off another group. Or two, even.

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |

      Who would have thought, after all he has done for Africa, that Bob Geldof was a racist :0

      http://www.youtube.c...

  • Michael Emody | July 31, 2012 at 8:23 am |

    I’m glad the Braves won last night going high-topped. But think of what might
    happen if they
    wore actual Braves socks. Or stirrups!

    Any one else notice that the Japanese women’s Olympic soccer team has a pink stripe down the center of their jerseys, whereas the men have a red one?

    • Chris Holder | July 31, 2012 at 9:36 am |

      I wish they HAD used those socks. Damn, those things are beautiful.

      • Michael Emody | July 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

        It seems the Braves were issuing them up until, maybe 6-7 (?) years ago. At some point a new batch was needed, and the general ambivalence toward stirrups played out: “Hey I’m ordering a new box of those socks things. We just wear the blue ones, right?” “I dunno…”

        I used to look forward to spotting one or two pairs during Braves telecasts, then one season they went plain and it’s been that way since. Don’t know the exact season it happened.

        • NAT1138 | July 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

          If I recall correctly, the Braves wore the striped stirrups/socks in the 2000 season only. Sadly, most of the players disliked them and some players who had previously gone high cuffed (most notably Chipper Jones) began sporting the pajama pants look in order to cover up the stripes. In 2001 they went back to the plain blue socks.

        • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

          They did. But as I recall most players wore navy tube socks with the stripes positioned high as on soccer socks.

          Some did wear stirrups, though…
          http://4.bp.blogspot...

    • possum | July 31, 2012 at 9:39 am |

      Yes! Go Braves and high cuffs!

    • Le Cracquere | July 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |

      Here’s hoping. Hope the slump breaks in some way that reinforces the behavior.

  • Gary | July 31, 2012 at 8:47 am |

    Correction please. Romney made no prognostications about the Olympics. He did make valid comments on security based on facts about preparations before the start of the games.

    • Arr Scott | July 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |

      No, “prognostication” is fair enough in this context. Romney said, “You know it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

      “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out” is, in plain English, a prediction that the thing may not turn out well.

      Look, it’s easy to understand that people are passionate in their support of one or another candidate, but it’s even more important to remember that in America, it’s supposed to be OK to poke fun at powerful people. Even – especially – the ones we intend to vote for.

    • DJ | July 31, 2012 at 10:27 am |

      He blundered by his lack of diplomacy. He could have said all that he did say, and added something like “but I know Britain has a lot of experience in staging big events, and they have a great team at LOCOG; I’m sure things will turn out just fine in the end” and avoided the furore.

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

      The world of US politics is a mystery to us over here. I have no idea about the respective merits of one candidate over another. And don’t wish to – I can’t influence it.

      But, and I state this as a fact, Romney is now viewed over here by many observers as a bit of a buffoon who has no idea about diplomacy. Anyone who can have insults hurled back by both David Cameron and Boris Johnson will be so viewed.

      We are your allies. You say “jump” and we say “how high”. All he had to do was say “special relationship” a few times, and “very impressed with the preparations and I’m sure they’re going to be a great Games” and he could have gone off to harder parts of his tour with a tick in the box. We were the easy bit.

      • ChrisH | July 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

        There’s nothing Romney said that can’t be remedied with some Region 1 DVD’s and a pre-loaded IPod, right?

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

          I can hack my DVD player to play Region 1 – I’m sure the PM could :)

      • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

        Maybe it’s his Press secretary’s fault:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk...

        The big thing is, of course, if he hadn’t made those comments over here then there is no way we would have been bothered with this or have it reported

    • Cort McMurray | July 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

      Mitt is a pious Don Draper: impeccably dressed, painstakingly coiffed, and weirdly clueless about the world around him.

      • Winter | July 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

        At least Don knows the universe is indifferent.

      • pflava | July 31, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

        Except Mitt is the anti-Don Draper when it comes to speaking.

  • Adam w | July 31, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    Not to be “that guy” but the dark Wheeling unis have not changed…just the white.

  • Terry Proctor | July 31, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    Phil, the proper term for that Habs “ski cap” is “toque.” Jacques Plante, the late, legendary Canadiens gardien de but and a knitter of toques in his spare time is looking down on you and shaking his head in amazement.

    Now that Manchester United has inked a deal with my all-time unfavorite car maker Chevrolet I will never watch or support them again.

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |

      Support Wigan Athletic instead – far more fun and excitement. Sometimes more excitement than we would wish, actually ;)

      • Mike Edgerly | July 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

        April 11, 2012 – Wigan 1-0 Manchester United

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

          And I was there :)

        • Cort McMurray | July 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

          City 3 – QPR 2, and the Rags finish second.

          Did you see that Vincent Kompany has said his goal is six more championships? I don’t think that will happen, but even if it doesn’t, at least City will never take the pitch looking like ten red Chevettes and a green 1973 Vega…

          Our shirts will be sponsored by a shadowy Middle Eastern airline that no one outside of Dubai has ever heard of. As God intended.

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

          Don’t say that, Cort.

          My daughter is flying back to Abu Dhabi, where she lives, tomorrow morning on Etihad.

  • Matt | July 31, 2012 at 9:11 am |

    submissions still go to uniwatching@gmail.com?

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

      I’ll reply if Phil isn’t looking – yes. Phil’s picking them up.

  • Todd Peak | July 31, 2012 at 9:28 am |

    Flip Flop Fly Ball’s infographic of MLB team colors:
    http://blogs.thescor...

  • Geen | July 31, 2012 at 9:31 am |

    Forgive me, but two things about the Manchester United deal.

    1) Does Chevrolet exist in a brand name other than North America? What about other GM overseas brands such as Vauxhall?

    2) Does General Motors even have $300 million to give away?

    • Phil P | July 31, 2012 at 9:37 am |

      I saw something that the chief marketing officer (or whatever he’s called) was fired after making this deal. So I guess that didn’t go over well in the organization.

      But yeah, the chevy brand exists in europe, here’s the portuguese site http://www.chevrolet... they have the aveo, volt, and apparently the camaro

    • Chris Holder | July 31, 2012 at 9:40 am |

      Actually Chevrolet has rapidly expanded throughout Europe in recent years (and other parts of the world). It has been marketed as sort of a true entry-level brand, so as not to step on the toes of Vauxhall/Opel (same brand with different names depending on where you are). With the trouble Opel has been lately, including the possibility of GM spinning them off, this is probably part of the strategy of continuing to build the Chevy brand in Europe.

      Not saying it’s a wise use of their perhaps limited resources, but even to a financially struggling company like GM, I doubt $300 million is a drop in the advertising budget.

      • ChrisH | July 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

        Clever and prominant marketing campaigns may fool some (first time?) buyers initially, but when the product fails to perform/deliver as advertised, that usually means they won’t be back for seconds.
        Go City!

    • MG12 | July 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |

      Someone should’ve told Chevrolet that Manchester United plays international football, not American football.

      This seems like a strange relationship for Chevrolet. Chevrolet prides themselves on being an American company and seems to appeal most to blue-collar Americans. Signing a 7-year deal with an English football team does nothing to help resonate with their consumer base, if anything it starts to alienate them. We are told here in the States, to “buy American”, to keep our dollars here in America. Why would this croud want to continue supporting Chevy when they are shipping $300 million dollars over the pond.

      It’s no surprise that the GM marketing cheif was canned over this deal.

      • ChrisH | July 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

        I think Man U is owned by Americans (The Glazer family…they also own the Tampa Bay Bucs).

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

          That’s true Chris, a situation that is not popular with the United fans.

          A sponsorship deal with a company that is clearly American does not go down well in the circunstamces with the die-hards.

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

          To clarify – if you don’t already know.

          Man U was a successful debt-free enterprise, when the Glazers came along and borrowed money using Man U as credit in order for them to buy Man U, thereby putting Man U in debt. Not a popular move at all.

          No, I don’t understand how that works either. It’s a bit like a mortgage I suppose…..but..

        • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
      • Rob H | July 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

        Maybe they just want to practice being a sports franchise jersey sponsor with all this NBA stuff on the horizon over here.

  • Anthony N. | July 31, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    I loved the spots for eBay and the Olympic swimming uniforms. It’s always interesting learning about the history of the Olympics, as well as the science behind those swimming uniforms.

    Stu, while I respect your opinion, plenty of self-respecting leagues use uniform ads, most notably ever major football (or as most Americans call it, soccer) leagues such as the Barclay’s Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, etc. Trust me, just because you might be biased against uniform ads in all respects doesn’t mean many successful sports leagues don’t feel the same way. Also, for the record, I don’t support the uniform ad campaign of the NBA.

    • Connie | July 31, 2012 at 9:45 am |

      Anthony, if I thought ads on uniforms came within a package of no commercial interruptions for 45-50 minutes at a clip (as European soccer does), then I might consider a Faustian bargain. But to have uni ads in the context of frequent and lengthy commercial messaging (both live and on TV) is unmitigated badness.

      • Anthony N. | July 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |

        That’s true Connie. However, I also think certain sports require certain amounts of length for commercials due to the game itself. For example, in the case of actual football, when players are moving and playing for 45 minutes, it makes no sense to take a commercial break. However, in sports such as American football and basketball, the action happens within certain quick time periods. Therefore, when timeouts are called, that becomes the opportune time to run commercials. How many fans want to watch the full process of time-outs? I don’t think many would.

        • The Jeff | July 31, 2012 at 10:40 am |

          I dunno… I think I’d take a couple minutes of cheerleaders dancing or watching the mascot shoot t-shirts into the crowd over that same couple of minutes of ThisBudsForYouBuiltFordToughDrinkYourOvaltine

  • Connie | July 31, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    Thanks for swimsuit rundown. When I was a kid, I competed in an Ocean Champion brief, which gave way to the teensier Speedo of the 1970s, which I adopted as the norm for recreational swimming as I aged, and I gotta say, aging recreational swimmers in Speedo briefs don’t always present themselves in a flattering light. To say the least.

    George Chilvers’ updates on Olympic soccer unis gratefully received. My favorite topic. I still can’t believe how Mexico, one of my favorite teams (and favorite countries), has traded in a classic kit for contempo crap. Very sad. Senegal’s green-and-yellow is the new fave.

    • TA | July 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

      Mexico has a somewhat different situation in that it’s Olympic committee has a deal with Atletica to outfit all teams in all sports, so the soccer team is wearing Olympic-only uniforms, rather than the Adidas uniforms the national team usually wears. Most of the other teams are wearing their regular national team designs from their regular suppliers, modified only to remove the national federation logos.

      Now, Mexico’s Adidas uniforms have a BFBS change kit, so maybe that wouldn’t really be better.

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

      Do you mean these aren’t official swimsuits?

      http://www.flickr.co...

      • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

        Whoa. Comic-con has come a long way since 1919, huh.

  • Simply Moono | July 31, 2012 at 9:40 am |

    -Had to set MLB Fan Cave straight a little bit on the terminology.

    -The woman 5th from the left in this shot looks like the result of Kristen Stewart and Rihanna using the fusion technique.

    -I actually don’t have a problem with team logos on the mound, but league logos are ridiculously stupid.

    Do. Not. Want.

    This is actually the Texans’ practice jersey. All practice gear and most (if not all) off-field gear will still have the NFL Equipment logo. You can also tell by the screened numbers *blech*

    Speaking of, this is why soccer teams should use tackle-twill numbers on their kits.
    >INB4 “The .002 ounce numbers will slow the players down to dial-up proportions!”

  • brian e | July 31, 2012 at 9:40 am |

    i’d be surprised if that knicks jersey is fully accurate, since it has the now-outdated token logo on the back neck. i’m sure it’s just a mock up sans black trim, but there may be more significant tweaking.

    • Steve D | July 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |

      Anything is possible…let’s see if the NBA would let someone pay $200 for an “authentic” jersey that doesn’t exist and ship something totally different. I’d demand my money back. Better yet…wait till the season starts.

      • Mike Engle | July 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |

        Unfortunately, I’m predicting that the “straighter” wordmark (as seen on the j-shirts) will be more accurate.

  • possum | July 31, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    All that about Olympic swimming and no mention of the fact that they wear two caps? Some US swimmer whose name I couldn’t remember if I cared to had the US cap with flag and name on top, then the goggle straps, then the base cap below. They mentioned it briefly during a woman’s run when the winner’s top cap was left on the bottom of the pool during the race. Sorry I don’t have more details, I was too busy trying to stay awake for the Winter Games to start.

  • Azrael | July 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |

    That’s not “clear plastic” on the Seahawks helmet, it’s a gouge guard. It protects helmets from, well, gouges.

    • Tony C. | July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am |

      don’t you just had when people leave the protective plastic guard on their new devices.. drives me nuts

      • Shane | July 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |

        It’s like leaving the plastic on the pickguard on a new guitar. Don’t do it!

    • JimWa | July 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

      So what exactly is the gouge guard made of?

      • Mark K | July 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

        Clear plastic.

        • M.Princip | July 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

          Yep, same shit you get stuck on new electronic gear, clear plastic vinyl decals.

      • Brian F. | July 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

        Clear plastic?

    • Lew Holst | July 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm |

      If they would just go back to the 1976 plain silver helmets they wouldn’t have this problem since they could just repaint them a few times during the season like Noter Dame does with their gold.

      Come on, Seahawks!

  • BrianC | July 31, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    “the Penguins ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, are gonna be sporting new sweaters this fall.”

    I love how the call the sponsorship patch a “special patch”.

  • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |

    Not Uni=related, but a bit of fun:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk...

    Apparently I’m most like Nicholas Catlin, Team GB Men’s hockey team – which seems OK – and Bishindee Urantungalag – a female archer from Mongolia. Not too sure about that one :)

  • JenInChicago | July 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    Link issues –

    Within the Swimming portion: However, the traditional powerhouses sometimes get their own design . Many swimmers are sponsored individually and the rest are least offered free suits.

    The “design” link is pointing to an image of a spacer.gif (i.e. no image at all)and the “sponsored individually” link is not working.

    Missing link here: Uniform “fail” — Sam Belk snapped a quick picture of this during the US Youth Soccer National Championship on Saturday night. (Unless the next sentence that shows the duct tape number is to what this sentence is referring. If so, never mind.)

    Nitpicky: It should be “custom”….Tony Crespo is not sure if anyone has submitted this site before. It lets you costume make shirts for some NCAA teams, defunct pro sports franchises and even high school teams. …

  • Casey (Davis, CA) | July 31, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    Nice to see that American taxpayor bail-out money is being spent buying advertising on soccer shirts.

    • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

      Advertising is a legitimate cost of doing business in consumer goods. One can pretty much neither gain success nor maintain that success without it (here’s where people list exceptions supposedly disproving that contention).

      Whether that particular decision regarding advertising dollars was legitimate is a separate discussion altogether.

    • DJ | July 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

      Except that GM has paid back, in full and on time (if not sooner), their bailout money.

      • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

        That’s what I thought (and said without doing research yesterday, hehe…).

      • Silver Creek Doug | July 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

        No they have not. Still about $26 billion short in that regard.

      • ChrisH | July 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

        The spin about the taxpayer having been paid back is untrue. All that was paid back was the accrued interest on the gov’t loans of taxpayer dollars…that’s it.

      • Arr Scott | July 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

        The simple fact is that GM has fully repaid the federal bailout loans. The loans were made with certain terms of repayment, and those terms have been fully met. Where some partisans try to spin this is that the loans called for GM to repay the loans in part with GM stock, which the Treasury now owns (representing about 26% of the company). But because GM’s stock price is low at the moment, the cash value of that stock is below the cash value of portion of the loan they cover. GM doesn’t owe the Feds any more money; the loans have been repaid in full as a matter of both fact and law. But for the government to realize full repayment (and hopefully a profit), it will have to hold its GM stock until it appreciates more. Which was always the plan, and which is also kind of the whole point of insisting on getting part of the loan repaid in stock.

        So no taxpayer dollars are being spent on this sponsorship deal, and if GM succeeds in increasing sales in Europe (and Asia, whose consumers I suspect are the real targets here), then its stock value should increase and the Feds can finally realize a profit on the bailout.

        • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

          Boom! You just got ECONOMICED!

        • Nathaniel Hix | July 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm |

          Looks like Arr Scott is the person to see for the Democrat party line.

          The truth is that the only people who made out on the Government motors mess was the unions. Regular taxpayers got screwed.

          http://reason.com/ar...

          Keep up the good work, Arrr!

        • Nathaniel Hix | July 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
        • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm |

          No matter your opinion on the bailout, you still have to admit that spending money to grow Chevrolet’s brand in foreign markets is *at minimum* a good idea that wont work and *at maximum* a GREAT idea and a great thing for the entire US.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

      They have a fixed advertising budget, if you think they wont spend that, that’s a waste of money. This isn’t bull shit bonuses to people who bankrupted them, this is money being spent *to make more money*.

      Wouldn’t it be nice to take *English* money by selling them cars and then paying off the American taxpayers with that ENGLISH money? Ya, know, rather than an American buying a car he already sorta paid (in part) for?

      You can’t consider your self logical and post that kind of sentiment.

  • ThresherK | July 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    As an uncurable Expos fan I had to click on the link to the bobblehead.

    Funny thing is, the first thing I noticed about the example is that it’s a brown-haired white bobblehead wearing number 10. And all us fans know they retired two number 10s in 35 years, but this has to be customized, because it can’t be either Andre Dawson or Rusty Staub.

  • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this:
    http://www.dailymail...

  • DJ | July 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    US women’s soccer wearing white shorts with the navy shirts and socks. With the white sleeves, it has the look of an Arsenal kit (except, of course, Arsenal wear red). A very nice combo.

  • Chris F | July 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Morales goes no batting gloves and hits 2 jacks from both sides of the plate in the same inning! Only the third person in history to accomplish this. After the game Jose Mota interviews him and asks what was the difference was for him at the plate today. He answered “IT WAS BECAUSE I WASN’T WEARING BATTING GLOVES” So look for him to bat without them more.

    • kyle | July 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

      something i’ve also noticed about Morales lately is that his right sleeve looks shorter than his left, custom tailored for him that way.

  • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm |

    Yet another uni that reminds of my Aunt Christine’s couch…
    http://assets.sbnati...

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

      Your aunt has wonderful taste in furniture.

    • George Chilvers | July 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

      Can’t be comfortable to sit on :(

    • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

      Damn, always forget have to be blindly specific around here.

      Another uni with inserts featuring designs and/or patterns that remind of my Aunt Christine’s couch, or the throw pillows thereon.

    • Cort McMurray | July 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

      This uniform screams of defeat.

      I don’t mind the brown and yellow — it’s actually sort of nice. The flowery insets are bad enough, but the “WYO” just looks like they lacked the will to spell out the state’s whole name.

      Wyoming loves that whole bronco bustin’ image, but if they really wanted to convey the spirit of the state, the helmet would feature a big bellied, bearded guy, giving the finger in the general direction of Utah.

      And would have killed the kid to wear a cup?

      • Simply Moono | July 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

        “The flowery insets are bad enough, but the “WYO” just looks like they lacked the will to spell out the state’s whole name.”

        “WYO WYO WHY is this uniform a thing?!”

        • Ricko | July 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

          When’s that camo pattern useful, for hiding out in Beefaroni, maybe?

  • James Craven | July 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    Here’s what UEFA Champions League referees will be wearing:

    http://www.refereewo...

  • RWhelan | July 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Breaking photos from SriLanka.

    https://www.facebook...

  • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

    This has prompted some to reconsider the new rules because of the difficulty in trying to break records set prior to the ban.

    Suit-aided records should have their own category, apart from other years.

    Better yet, less emphasis on records and more emphasis on medals. You can’t really compare athletes of different eras, so why try? Just go for the gold and forget all that other stuff.

    The IOC should supply standard issue suits for everyone.

    Good article, David. Thanks.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

      I say the Olympics just supply all competitors with the same suits and make Speedo an official sponsor.

    • Brendan Burke (bwburke94) | August 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

      No more asterisks in the record books. Seriously.

  • James A | July 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

    I’ve enjoyed watching the 2012 Olympics from London so far while I drink Pepsi products. I eagerly await the IOC’s cease and desist order.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

      Are you eating non-McDonald’s fries outside of the fish and chips exemption too? Naughty, naughty boy.

  • James Craven | July 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

    Corporate Douchebaggery Scam Artists on FC Dallas jersey:

    http://www.fcdallas....

    Okay, it’s a month late, but I dunno if UniWatch had an item on it…

  • Ted | July 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

    I would probably buy from Prep Sportswear, but they don’t have the correct template for my university’s full name. I’ve contacted them twice about correcting it, and I’ve been ignored. I went to Auburn University at Montgomery, but their template only picks up the Auburn part, which results in Auburn shirts with the wrong colors and wrong mascot. Some of the stuff they offer is nicer than what we can get at the bookstore, if they’d just fix the template.
    http://www.prepsport...

  • RWhelan | July 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm |

      Not really. No one cares. Stop advertizing in the comments and stop trying to get freelancers to work for free.

      • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

        that reminds me tim…i need you to take over the ducktracker this year

        • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

          DUCK TRACKER! I’m already Hoosier Tracking and NU Tracking and I’ve got an NBA tracking website I’ve been neglecting.

          Let’s see if we can’t outsource this. Actually, we need to talk. Email coming tonight.

      • RWhelan | July 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

        https://www.facebook...

        Freelancers (truckdrivers) should work for free.

  • ChrisH | July 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

    Aloha, Flyin’ Hawaiian:

    http://losangeles.do...

    Mattingly wears #8…what’ll be Shane’s #?

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm |

      Probably #50, a number Victorino wore in the WBC, a stereotypical Hawaiian MLBer’s number (see Sid Fernandez and Benny Agbayani), and a number that was unavailable when Victorino came up, due to Jamie Moyer.

  • Geen | July 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    A strange sight for an Argentina sports team. Instead of wearing navy for a “second” strip, the Argentina women’s field hockey team wore purple and lost to the United States:

    http://www.fih.ch/en...

    But Argentina, seemingly, has a history of purple. In the video game FIFA ’98, Argentina’s second jersey is purple instead of the solid dark blue they wear when they can’t wear the Carolina blue and white stripes. Any Argentine folks know the significance of purple in the sporting culture?

  • Patrick_in_MI | July 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    In regards to the Diamondbacks/MLB logo on the pitcher’s mound: perhaps they put the MLB logo on because the game was on MLB Network? I don’t get that channel so I can’t confirm. Seems like it would be overkill anyway. As it is, these logos are really getting out of hand to the point of distraction. Do all 30 teams have a logo on the mound now? Which team started it? And I’m just waiting for the day some visiting pitcher gets so frustrated that he scuffs out the logo.

  • Brinke | July 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm |

    Hunter Pence to wear #8 for the G-Men.

    • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

      Hunter Pence plays football for NY?!

      • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm |

        who did the astros get for him?

        • Tim E. O'B | July 31, 2012 at 10:42 pm |

          All I’ve heard was that it was a Diehl.

          (I’m sorry…)

  • Ron | July 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

    My question on the 60’s football poster…what did Minnesota and Houston do to United to get excluded from the poster. (I assume it is pre-1967 season based on the 1966 Denver helmet and the inclusion of the Miami Dolphins, a 67 expansion team)

    • Patrick_in_MI | July 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm |

      Maybe Minnesota had a deal with Northwest (Orient) at the time. As for Houston, I dunno.

  • Martin Colloby | August 1, 2012 at 12:31 am |

    The ref and at least one assistant in the GB-Brazil women’s soccer match yesterday were having issues with the patches on their left sleeve. It looked like the patches were rigid and has not adhered to the jersey, as they were sticking out on both sides. Not the best screenshot, but it’s the only one I could find

    http://www.flickr.co...

  • Coleman | August 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |

    US men’s basketball team narrowly escaped with a win…..

  • Andy Warhol | August 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    Pity Robert Pattison – all those adoring fans to choose from and he picks possibly the only girl in the world who isn’t obsessed by him to play house with. Doh! :-)