Paul here. Technically speaking, I’m still on vacation from the blog until Thursday, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idling about. On the contrary, I’ve been working my ass off on the Uni Watch Power Rankings, my comprehensive uni-based evaluation of all 122 MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA teams, which is launching today.
It’s been a huge project, and it’ll unfold over the course of this week, one installment per day. Today is Day One, so we’ll be starting at the bottom of the chart — the teams that rank from 101 through 122. Can you guess which team clocked in at rock-bottom?
The Power Rankings project has been interesting, in large part because it’s forced me to think hard about each team and re-examine a few things I’d long taken for granted. For example, for a long time I had mentally slotted the Edmonton Oilers somewhere in the middle of the pack — not an awesome-looking team, but certainly not a bad-looking one. But once I actually spent some time on the project, it hit me that the Oilers’ logo is dreadfully outdated. It looks soooooo 1970s, which is not an era you want to remind people of. I ended up ranking them near the bottom of the chart.
You may disagree, of course, and that’s fine. We’re inviting everyone to give feedback in the Power Rankings’ comments (you can also comment here on the blog, natch), and we’ve also encouraging people to participate on Twitter with the hashtag #UniRank. I believe the plan is for me to do a live web chat on Friday — the day we’ll crown the best-looking team — so you can get in on that as well.
The Power Rankings kick off a particularly busy period for Uni Watch, incidentally. My annual college football season-preview column will run on ESPN next week (it’s shaping up as the biggest one ever, so we may split it up over two days), my NFL season preview will appear the week after that (I’ll try to cover all the Nike elements that have appeared during the preseason), and I’ll reclaim the blog from Phil this Thursday.
Speaking of Phil, he’s done one seriously kick-ass job over the past four weeks, so please join me in giving him a standing O. My thanks also go to Ricko, Morris Levin, John Ekdahl, and all the other contributors who’ve kept the blog going during my hiatus. There’s no way I could have done the Power Rankings without this break from the blog, so I’m grateful to all of you.
I also want to give a shout-out to several people who’ve helped me with the Power Rankings project. Readers Michael Barreras, Jared Hartung, Mark Meeks, and Zack Tanner generously volunteered to assist with photo research; Kevin Ota in ESPN’s PR department conducted an interview with me to help promote the project; and my longtime editor and friend Thomas Neumann gets my biggest thanks of all, because the Power Rankings were his idea to begin with, and he’s worked as hard on the project as I have. Thanks, buddy.
Okay, that’s it for me for today — here’s Phil with the rest of today’s content.
By Brinke Guthrie
• The kickoff to the regular NFL season is getting closer! Let’s start off with this terrific set of 1969 NFL helmets, shall we? You get two oak cases filled with the Pocket Pro double-bar facemask style helmet. And let’s stay with the ’69 season, for this rather strange Chiefs decanter, and this box set of NFL Films music–on vinyl no less.
• This seller has a lot of individual NFL Gatorade caps for sale, right here.
• Before he was “Yogi,” he was Larry.
• Packer fans, you’ll want this vintage Dave Boss poster!
• Stickers–did I say–stickers? Had this exact Cowboys sticker on our Ford Station Wagon back in the day. Then, we moved to Cincinnati. Off came the Cowboys, on went the Bengals. We’ve also got stickers here for the Browns, Patriots, Giants, Chiefs, Niners, and Expos.
• The title of this book takes on an entirely different meaning these days, unfortunately. You hear me, Cabrera?
• Ah, this game program takes me back. I was there for sure! Red Sox and Reds in the 1975 Series.
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Now there’s that optimistic attitude that made America great…
Click to enlarge
#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 32
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.
Now, more of your letters to the NBA:
I understand that the NBA is considering placing ads on player uniforms. I further understand that one of the stated rationales for doing so is that English Premier League clubs feature uniform advertising, with “jersey commercialization” generating $178 million in revenues for EPL clubs.
Fair enough. Nearly every one of the twenty stadia in the Premier League is a privately built, privately owned and maintained facility, with little or no public dollars behind it. Based on figures compiled by Drs. Charles A. Santo and Gerard C.S. Midner, about $4.5 billion in public monies has funded the arenas in which your teams compete.
My modest proposal is that you repay, in full, every penny of every public dollar that was applied to the construction of your arenas. Once that money has been repaid, feel free to turn your players into walking billboards.
I appreciate your recent announcement that you feel you have found your niche among American professional sports leagues. When I think of the NBA, I have traditionally aligned your network of teams with the likes of the NFL, of Major League Baseball, and – to a much lesser extent – the NHL.
It appears, however, that you don’t see it this way. You seem to have decided that the NBA and it’s players perform at a level more consistent with organizations like – and athletes from – the NBADL, the WNBA, PGA, MLS, and NASCAR. This shocks me, to be honest with you. I thought that NBA players would be likely to hold your league to a higher level than the other “major” professional sports. Instead, you are telling your fans that the NBA is – at best – a second tier league, and soon the players will begin to look like those athletes from those other second- (or third-?) tier teams.
I know that many others have asked – some have probably begged you to reconsider uniform ads in the NBA. I’m not going to do that. All I’m going to ask is that you consider very strongly who you would rather align yourself with as a league – NFL/MLB/NHL, or NBADL/WNBA/PGA/MLS/NASCAR? Do what you feel is right to represent your league, your players, your fans, and yourselves.
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!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Cricket anyone? asks Leo Thornton, as Nike unveils innovative T20 cricket kit for Team India. … Pete Simko notes, “Haven’t seen this before: Emmanuel Stephens gets his pant leg pulled down far enough to cover ones set of sock stripes on a play Thursday.” … Great spot by Ryan Connelly, who asks, “have we ever seen this logo before? The bear hugging the Twins guys? Anyway, lots to love in the team pic! Glasses, ‘rrups, outdoor MN baseball, etc.” Ricko? … Tom Konecny knows Paul’s on vaction, but says he’ll dig the 4th paragraph of this article about an Olympian from my area who was on Letterman Thursday night. … We broke this on Friday, but Jim Weber shares this article on the new Oregon lids. … Mark Weinstein says, “Forget for a moment that this piece-of-shit grey alternate doesn’t exist. The better question is who is Curz?.” … Um…ewwww? “Chiefs fan with team logo on his glass eye” (thanks to Don Schauf). … On Friday, Joe Palmucci sent in this: Bridgeport Bluefish will be wearing these uni’s tonight for Hawaiian Night and giving 50% off field tickets if you wear a hawaiian shirt to the game. “Not the worst theme jersey I suppose” (also submitted by David Hirx). Uh huh. … Not uni related, but cool anyway: The objective of this project is to develop one or more graphic designs for NYC parkway route signs legally meeting the requirements of a “facility signs” for parkways in NYC. (thanks to William F. Yurasko). … Richard Osgood asks, “why the extra plastic thing on the shoulders?” … Steve (no last name given) says, “I’m a diehard Redskins fan but come on. Preseason game??. $35? Geez.” … More from Jim Weber, “Meet Tinker Hatfield, The Man Who Started CFB’s College Uniform Craze.” … New logo for Bradley University, notes Joe Ringham. From this to this. More on Bradley from David Nelson, who informs us “my alma mater Bradley just unveiled their new logo and wordmarks a couple days ago. Nothing special, but wayyyy better than what we had before in my opinion, at least it’ll be a consistent look now. Here’s the link with the article about it, and here is the official style guide.” … … “In Friday’s edition of the ticker you linked to possible AFC throwback jerserys including the Bills and Patriots,” writes Brian Belcher. “Here are the NFC jerseys. This is the first time I’ve seen the Redskins alternate and the Seashawks grey jersey.” … “JRod3737″ saw this “on my Facebook wall and thought of UW. Waupaca is my alma mater. Check out the striping on the sleeves and collar. And those girls are wearing red stirrups, but the tops are above the bottom of the pants. Nice pinstripes on the pants too.” … Chris Cruz says, “JR Hildebrand, who drives for Panther Racing, will sport a 49ers livery during the upcoming Sonoma race in honor of Panther Racing founding partner Jim Harbaugh.” … Here’s a Gatorade Ad that seems to be poking fun at all of the ridiculous sponsoring moves at the Olympics (good spot by Archie Troxel). … More on they Olympics from James Ashby: One of the Olympic rules on advertising that was mentioned previously on Uni Watch is coming into play. … “This sucks,” says Ryan DeFilppi. “Newly acquired Mets catcher has black side panels on his new catchers gear.” … Gregory Koch writes, “Saw the attached plaque in the mark Edward freitas ice forum where I am currently stuck during a lightning delay at the adjacent soccer stadium. How many different uniforms are there?” More from Gregory: This is the 1973-74 UConn hockey team. “Cool facial hair.” … Chet Miller notes, “I’m sure you got this already but in case you didn’t here are Kentucky’s 18 (yep 18) uniform combinations for this year’s football team.” This was also noted by Drew Roberts, who said “Kentucky had a soft announcement for their new uniforms for the 2012 season.” … More from Leo Thornton: “My high school (Arcadia, CA) has copied my college’s (University of Arizona) logo. I approve of this thievery.” What are the odds. … Thanks to Brinke we know that the San Francisco 49ers’ Ted Ginn Jr. is thrilled with NFL’s new jersey rule. … “Beautiful, classic kit. My Peru,” (gracias to Kenny Loo). … This is James McClean of Sunderland. His name is spelled wrong (good spot by Blair — no last name given). … My buddy, and Wisconsinophile Johnny Okray writes, “Who doesn’t love a good time lapse? Here is one showing the construction, so far, of the new Lambeau Field South End Zone seating.” … And our Yinzer buddy Douggie Keklak “thought of Paul when I saw this little graphic on my most recent issue of SI!” … “Tyler Brule’s distaste of purple” notes Marc Malfara. … “This is the new University of North Dakota alternate uniform,” says Dan Ullsperger. I wouldn’t call it BFBS because black is sort of an unofficial alternate color for all UND athletics. The team picture was taken in kelly green jerseys and white pants (traditional home uniform) so I think this is definitely an alternate to be worn for a special game(s).” … Kevin Clark writes, “This is Barnegat(NJ) High School Bengals baseball uniform. Gotta love the stirrups and the orange sanitaries. Note the swoosh on sanitaries however.” … Timothy O’Malley notes, “Manchester City puts up a ‘tunnel cam’ for each home game, here is someone with vip access or works for the club wearing this years home kit without the sponsor on it.” … Sigh. This explains a lot. Mike Vick writes right (thanks to Adam Brodsky for that.) … More bats that probably don’t belong to their user: Will Edge was watching Yankees Red Sox last night, and noticed Eric Chavez (number 12) had a 22 on the knob of his bat. … These are the stirrups that the American legion team I coached this summer wore, seen in a charity game with the local special Olympics softball players. We wore them all season (coaches as well), with thanks to Chris Batzinger. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Shorpy strikes again (boy, that would make for a fine colorization). … Rob Leavell, writes, “Sorry for the quality, had to pause my cable box. Fox Soccer channel was showing ’94 FA cup Man Utd v. Wimbledon Sunday night. Man Utd away jerseys look like they were sponsored by sprite. The laces on the front of the ManU jersey. And, Cantona with the popped collar–classic!” … “The prime candidates include the Chargers and, remarkably, the Rams and Raiders. Jacksonville…” — Prime candidates for what? Read the article (thanks for the tip to MoVi). … Some interesting thoughts on the Nikefication of the NFL, by my “SMUW” buddy Terry Duroncelet: “Even the Houston Texans have been assimilated into the herd (no pun intended). Here’s the source of the second “Texans” logo. Speaking of Houston, I noticed that the Steelers have the same collar that the Texans have: Elite 51 collar base without the Flywire. Also, I have a theory as to why Iowa has all of their sleeve stripes (and those are Nike Pro Combat 2.0 jersey tops), but the Steelers don’t. Iowa’s sleeve stripes take up the entire “sleeve” section on their uniforms, but the Steelers have about 1.5-2 inches of space above the top stripe, where the maker’s mark would go. You would think that Pittsburgh and *maybe* Nike would have a better plan sorted out by now, like shrinking the stripes. Again, this is just a theory.”
That’s it for today. Thanks to Paul for taking the lede — I am actually pretty pumped for this ESPN series, and I’m trying to guess what his *worst* uniform will be — the dreaded #122…gotta think the Vikings, Preds, Raptors and either the Astros or Rockies have the outside shot at the booby prize (but I’m sure I’ll be wrong). What do you think?
“If the Seahawks swapped the neon snot with a respectable silver or gray, these unis would actually have something going for them. Who are they marketing to? Laser tag enthusiasts???”