By Phil Hecken
Bet you thought I was going to lede with Penn State’s “new” uniforms. You’d be wrong. They get a ticker mention at best. If you don’t want to read that far, the unis will now have NOB and a blue ribbon. That’s it. Moving on…
Thus far, UW has avoided covering Olympic basketball (with the exception of Jim Vilk’s 5&1 this past Monday), but you knew it couldn’t be kept quiet for the entire two weeks, right? Of course not. So today, my Olympic Correspondent is Michael Kemezis, who has the full run-down for hoops. The article was written a couple days ago, so the info may be a tad dated, but hey, it’s the uniforms we’re concerned with — not the standings. Right? Right.
So, here’s Mike with the …
Olympic Basketball Uniform Rundown
By Michael Kemezis
With the Olympic Men’s Basketball tournament nearing the end of the group stage, everything seems to be going as planned (well for the US anyway). This current “Dream Team” is rolling over everyone and could possibly have given the real Dream Team a run for its money. But I think we can all agree the Dream Team was much better dressed than the 2012 squad. Heck, the “Other Dream Team” (the one that made Jim Lampley cry) is better dressed than the US men this year. My personal favorite was the US unis from 2008. Why must Nike try to reinvent the wheel?
Anyway, back to 2012. There are two groups made up of six teams each in London. The top four from each group makes the quarter-finals and then its one and you’re done (but don’t ask me how Tunisia has 4 points but has yet to win a game). Lets have a glance at each group shall we?
Players you might know: Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola
Argentina is wearing jerseys made by Chinese based company, Li-Ning. They wear white with horizontal sky blue stripes as their “home” kit and dark blue with the stripes as their “away” get up. Nice, clean and simple. Much better than this.
Players you might know: Toni Parker-Longoria, Ronny Turiaf
Players you might know: Linas Klezia, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Jonas Valanciunas
The fighting Lithuanians are wearing the Nike Hyper-allergenic elite strike force jerseys worn by some other teams in the tournament as well. I do love the design of the white and green jerseys, but I wish Nike would focus more on branding these international teams than making up the newest lightest fabric known to man. And also, what’s up with the short striping? Imprinted on the fabric on the back appears to be part of the coat of arms of Lithuania, the Vytis.
Players you might know: Al-Farouq Aminu (Hornets)
Players you might know: Ah, well maybe you know a few, I don’t.
Players you may NOT know: Andre Iguodala (well my dad had no clue who he was)
Players you might know: Patrick Mills, Matt Dellavedova (St. Mary’s)
Players you might know: Leandrinho Barbosa, Nene (Hilario, yes he has a last name apparently)
Brazil has a nicer green jersey than the Australians and a very nice white kit as well. They have just a simple diamond shape imprinted on the backs of their Nike jerseys as far as I can tell. But it might have something to do with the Brazilian flag. I have not been able to get a good enough view.
Players you may know: Jianlian Yi
Not so Ronald McDonald looking as years past (I think it has to do with the elimination of the yellow trim), the Chinese don’t look too terrible in red or white. They have Chinese script imprinted in the fabric on the back of their jerseys, but I cannot find a picture of it for the life of me.
Players you may know: Luol Deng
Do they even play basketball over there? Apparently yes. And in apparently some hideous blue jerseys to boot. The white isn’t too awful. Adidas seems to be trying too hard to add things to spice up their designs.
Players you may know: Timofey Mozgov, AK47
Players you may know: The Gasol bros (Pau and the other one), Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez
Now, I am sure there is no question about who is going to win the gold medal. The only question is, would the 2012 team beat the Dream Team when they wore these uniforms? The playing field just became a while lot more even now.
Oh and Go Lithuania! Valio!
Great job on that roundup, Mike. Well readers — there’s your healthy heaping of Olympics Basketball uniforms. Better, worse or “meh” in comparison to unis from years’ past?
This 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”.)
More observations from Uni Watch faithful, and more…
* “Just saw the tail end of the China v. Germany doubles match and I am loving the Chinese Men’s jerseys! Here’s a crappy photo of the red one they wore against Germany. Here is a better view of the shirt in black. That dragon just screams China, and it’s nice to see some flair on a country’s Olympic uniform for once!” (Coleman Mullins)
* “Nice adidas ad, eh?” (Brinke)
* “Watching Men’s Field Hockey for the first time ever, and noticed something interesting. When a penalty shot(?) is awarded, the defensive team grabs a bunch of gear from behind their goal to help defend, including these giant masks. I can’t think of any other sport where gear is put on and just as quickly removed for only specific times. This is one of the few things I still enjoy about the Olympics. I get to see and learn about sports I’d otherwise never get to witness.” (Coleman Mullins, in yesterday’s comments)
* “Interesting” (Mike Styczen, also in yesterday’s comments, in response to the above)
* “In watching the Track & Field events, I’ve noticed that the athletes’ bibs don’t include hyphens, even though their last names should be hyphenated. Take a look at the attached screen grab of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (NBC got it right, but LOCOG didn’t). I did a quick Google Image Search and Fraser-Pryce has had a hyphenated bib in past races. This same problem happens for Sanya Richards-Ross (Olympics, U.S. trials).” (MJ Kurs-Lasky) [The irony of your last name is not lost on me — PH]
* “I don’t understand why the track and field athletes still need to wear huge bibs that block out the name of the country. Why can’t they print the names and numbers on the uniforms like every other sport? There is adequate time between the trials and the Games to customize the singlets. If they can put a name and number on a beach volleyball bikini top, I think they can put it on a race singlet. I understand for lesser events the bibs serve as another form of advertising, but there are no ads for the Olympics. … New this Olympics are Last Name On Front Bib (LNOFB), although they still assign a number for the back. Elite marathons have been doing this for years. What purpose does the number still serve if they use a name? And what is up with the lane stickers they put on the legs of the runners? Any true analysis of whether a runner doesn’t stay in lane will use video and I can’t image they actually have utility for a photo finish. The stickers usually fly off and anyway. What if another runner actually steps on a stray sticker and affects performance?” (Harvey Lee)
* “Big Olympix News: Olympic Rower Denies Boner During Medal Ceremony: ‘I Swear It’s Not Erect’” (Paul Lukas)
* “Don’t you find it amusing that those skimpy Brazilian beach volleyball tops say BRA on them?” (Gregory Koch)
#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 20
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 & rebuttals to their form response:
You are making a terrible mistake by allowing ads on the NBA’s uniforms. By doing so, you will be damaging your product’s recognition.
Let me give you an example of what I mean: think of Michael Jordan. You cannot help but also see in your mind’s eye the word “Bulls”, the word that was written on his uniform in so many pictures. Think of Larry Bird. You see the word “Celtics” in your head.
Now think of David Beckham. What word comes into your memory? That word would be “Sharp”, since that is what was on his uniform during his glory days. Think of Thierry Henry. You see “O2”.
And this is how it will be in basketball. From now on, when we think of a great basketball star, we will inevitably recall the name of the company whose ad appears on his jersey.
You as managers of a business ought to recognise this as a distraction. From the standpoint of branding, the only logo that belongs on a uniform top is that of the team itself. Anything else dilutes the brand.
In addition, the use of ads on jerseys is unnecessary, as basketball games have many in-game commercials. Soccer matches do not have this; so the justifications by way of comparison to soccer clubs’ shirts are not valid.
Let me speak as a fan for a moment, from the heart. The companies who buy this space are not merely acquiring a spot on a jerseys; they are acquiring a spot in our memories for the rest of our lives.
This is sad. It’s a kind of pollution. It’s ugly in a profound sense, far beyond the aesthetic. It is a cultural crime.
Please don’t be party to this.
I wanted to express my extreme disgust and displeasure with your league’s decision to allow ads on game uniforms and then to cram it down your fame’s throats by having the ads on retail jerseys as well. I could give you many reasons why this is a bad idea but you have heard them all I am sure. I just would like you to know that if on opening day 2014 there is even one team wearing a uni ad I will not support the Nba in any way. I will not watch the games or the corresponding advertisements. I will not buy merchandise and I will do all I can to convince others of the same. We don’t need to watch this sport…we like to. I think you do not realize the capability of people to just shut you off.
I am sending this email in regards to the new NBA policy allowing corporate sponsorship logos on uniforms. No doubt this was a policy implemented with much research and in the hope of generating additional revenue for the league. I am hoping however, that as a life-long fan of this great association, my opinion, and the opinion of thousands of fans such as myself might be taken into account.
I am emphatically opposed to the idea of adding corporate logos to the uniforms of basketball players. When I think of teams such as the Knicks, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, and others, their uniforms are associated with history, tradition and esteem. A corporate logo advertising a product that may have nothing to do with those teams or the game itself, but is simply there because it paid an advertising fee, defiles what is left of the purity and essence of the game of basketball in the NBA. Fans watch the game because they have already bought into the product that is the NBA and its teams, we do not need to be sold another product that is present on their jerseys. I understand that the goal of any good business is to earn a profit and I am sure profit models have shown that this may increase the profit margin that the NBA already enjoys. However, each organization within the NBA represents a brand in itself and in no way needs another brand’s logo competing for space on uniforms, regardless of how small it may be.
I was extremely disappointed to hear the news of the likelihood of this policy being adopted. It tells me that the NBA is not concerned with how to make its product better for its consumers (the fans) but for itself. No business can remain sustainable if it adopts policies that alienate their consumers instead of focusing on their wants. Needless to say, I will refuse to purchase any jerseys or other memorabilia that advertises a corporate logo along with the team logo. I invite you to poll fans, search twitter (#nouniads), or even conduct your own focus groups to see the overwhelmingly negative response to this by the fans of the association that you serve. I hope that the NBA will do what is right by its fans and for the long term sustainability of its league.
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.
What, no love for Brooklyn Decker?…
Click to enlarge
Uni Watch News Ticker: New revolutionary Andrew Seagraves writes, “thanks for reminding me of Commrade Marshall and his awesome stirrups. I took your advice, put my money where my complaining mouth was and bought a pair of 1969 Padres stirrups from Robert. They are gorgeous and I have worn them to the ball park a few times. I use soccer socks as my ‘sanis’. I also talked to @cubeemaker about using his template to create a cubee for my fantasy football team and share it with you. He said it was alright and here is the template (I give him all credit) and my cubee for my fantasy team the Rapid City Badlanders.” I happen to know there is a new order for stirrups coming and the site has been updated so feel free to check it out early if you are so inclined. … The newest Major Indoor Soccer League franchise, Chicago Soul FC, has unveiled a logo (thanks to the only MISL fan on UW, Jim Vilk). … BADG-KERS or HUSK-GERS? Jon Gates writes, “I like the effort of adidas to make a style statement, however, I don’t think either of the uniforms are specific to their respective teams. So I swapped the letters on the uni’s and can’t tell the difference between the two teams.” … Raymie Humbert notes, “With the new NFL contract, the Arizona Cardinals couldn’t use last year’s practice jerseys. Solution? Donate them to a high school. Mountain Pointe received the white ones, while the red ones went who knows where.” … Apologies if this is something everyone already knows (or that I’m supposed to know), but Andrew Bottrell says “the Broncos are wearing Buick patches on the lower left shoulder in training camp.” … With thanks to Rocky Lum, there was chance to vote for “Rock or Odor? Vote for the Minors’ Best Name” but apparently the voting has just ended. … A submission from a guy(?) who goes by “Onion Bucking Ham” notes “Not to be outdone by those guys in Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois has changed their helmet design: From This – To This. They are apparently moving away from the traditional blue/gray school colors to blue/black.” … Eric Bowser attended the Pirates game Monday night, August 6, against Arizona. I stood above the bullpen to watch the pitchers warm up and “noticed a jersey mixup that was quickly corrected before the game but managed to get a few shots. Erik Bedard, the starter last night, bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade and pitching coach Ray Searage came out into the outfield for some long toss and all were wearing the regular white home jerseys. A few minutes later Rod Barajas came out into the outfield and was wearing the black alternate, you could tell they were all laughing and at this point it seemed like Barajas might be the one wearing the the wrong jersey. A couple minutes later a staff member came out with an armful of jerseys and alternate caps for Bedard, Andrade and Searage. Bedard continued warming up in the outfield in the white jersey and switched when he came into the bullpen for warm ups there.” Bedard eventually made the switch. … Tom Konecny reports that Bowling Green has new football unis. Only four combos? How quaint. … Ryan Delgado alerts us to “a game once a year run by Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald called the Oldtime Baseball Game. I play in it, and we have to wear back in the day uniforms ranging from the 1910s-80s.” Game takes place on August 13th. … Sunsplash7777 noticed an Eagles Training Camp jersey nuance: “It seems that the names are screen-printed on the nameplate on the practice jerseys. The game jerseys have each letter in two-layer twill sewn to the nameplate which is then sewn to the jerseys. Customization is done by a company called Rubertis’ located in West Chester, Pennsylvania.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Paul and I both hope the Olympics never come to New York (as in, New York City, which really doesn’t need the “City” monicker), but would we be open to New York (as in Buffalo, which may as well be Cleveland)? — yes, before you start with the hate comments, most of that statement was tongue-in-cheek. … “Augusta State is now Georgia Regents University,” says Frank Mercogliano, “and folks ain’t happy.” … Not uni-related, but interesting nonetheless: Historical menus from famous NYC restaurants (thanks to Stan Olechowski). … The Adirondack Phantoms, the minor league AHL affiliate of the Flyers, will be wearing throwback jerseys in honor of the Glens Falls Civic Center’s former tenants — the Adirondack Red Wings — during their home opener on Oct. 13. (from Nick Menta and also sent in by Erik Autenrieth). … Slowly but surely: PSU will wear uniforms featuring a blue ribbon “to support all victims of child abuse.” Also, for the first time, the names of each football player will adorn their jersey in “recognition of their resolve and dedication to the team and the University.” … The 2013 “All-Star logo is official.” (thanks to Steve Dodell). Also, is this an Orange MLB logo? It is if you were at the Mets press conference announcing the new ASG logo (thanks to Shannon Shark from Mets Police). … Mr. James Ashby saw this article on Mr. Morris Levin’s ice cream store, which got some national attention (make sure you watch the commercial). CONGRATS Morris! Your ad agency deserves some kind of award. … Chris Flinn notes, “Looks like they’re changing logos on the practice jerseys on the tv show Necessary Roughness. This week’s show had tons of Under Armour, but in the past, Nike was on their practice uni’s. Here’s the Nike version, and here’s this week’s episode, the UA version.” Gorgeous grab from Alan Chandler who writes, “Check out the Prescott Cardinals baseball uniform. What a placket!” Indeed — that may be one of my most favorite uniform elements — the vertical placket lettering. Here’s another look at the uni. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments (c/o Ted Kerwin) “NY Giant season tickets will feature the Jersey and trophy from each of the 8 championship years the franchise has had. Pre-Season looks like Kieth Rivers #55 home and away.” … “Here are a couple of shots of Johan Santana in the bullpen after he finished three innings for the Single-A Cyclones this past Sunday evening. I am not sure why he discarded his uniform top, but he left on the Brooklyn cap.” (thanks to Marc Viquez). … Rookie callup Luis Avilan for the Braves saw action last night. David Ryan noticed something amiss: “Some serious crooked numbers on the rookie tonight. Geesh.” … “Sergio Romo (SF Giants) has initials on his cap,” says Sean Robbins. “I don’t know who ‘LM’ is. I’m gonna ask him about it on twitter. Hopefully he’ll reveal its meaning.” Anyone? … And one more for the researchers: Buctracker Jerry Wolper had the Pirate game on the radio last night, and during the eighth inning, Bob Walk mentioned that when Kirk Gibson was his teammate in Pittsburgh at the beginning of 1992, Gibson would come into the clubhouse angry and tear off his shirt, with buttons flying all over. Before long, the buttons on his jersey were just decorative, and the shirt was held closed by Velcro. “I don’t know if there are any photos, or any other kind of confirmation, out there, but I figured I’d send it to you in case there’s any reporting to be done.” Readers? Anyone can help or confirm? Sounds like a good story.
And that’s all for this fine Wednesday. Thanks to Mike Kemezis for his Olympic hoops coverage, and all you fine readers who’ve helped by contributing to this fine board. Everyone have a good one and I’ll catch you tomorrow.
“Schools who change uniforms a lot are like teenage girls with bright blue hair: they’re suffering from severe inferiority issues, and their desperate cry for attention is just a sad plea for love. The exception to this is Oregon, who’s like the nice, shy girl who falls for a cocky dude on a motorcycle. he gives her lots of money, and tells her she’s pretty, and gets her to “do things.” Eventually, he’s going to leave her, pregnant, living in a trailer on the edge of town, but for now, she’s enjoying the ride and ignoring the whispers from respectable folk.”