By Phil Hecken
Paul’s third installment of the “Uni Watch Power Rankings” is now available for your enjoyment.
Whew — the long, national nightmare of me filling in for Paul ends today. Trust me, no one is happier Paul will be retaking the reins of Uni Watch than yours truly. It was a long, fun month, and I couldn’t have done it without the great support of the entire Uni Watch readership (and too many guest writers and correspondents to even name). Major props to Ricko, Morris Levin and everyone who contributed an article, a ticker mention, a letter to the NBA, a suggestion, barb or even quip. As Paul is wont to say, “You’re all aces.” Thanks to one and all.
And what a better way to return the rightful place of Paul at the helm than to have Oregon introduce their new uniform set (at least that’s the plan, it’s not a 100% certainty) — I can almost smell tomorrow’s lede…and it won’t have my by-line on it. Today, dear friends, the U of O is supposed to break out their next iteration of uniforms — the team that broke the mold and set the standard (can I use more cliches?) for the craze that is multiple uniforms and multiple helmets is set to do it again. After a decade of innovation and crazy designs (both aesthetic and technological), Nike University will give us a look at their newest set.
In a way, the unveiling will be almost anti-climactic, because the new set is essentially what they wore in the Rose Bowl, only with different colors (so far, they’ve shown us black, white, thunder [green] and lightning [yellow], but who knows if that’s all they have in store). Gone are the “Bellotti Bold” fonts that graced Oregon’s unis for several years. In are much more legible numbers and even more sweat
boxes polygons. What else is new?
With the last iteration, Nike introduced gray to their colorscheme — setting off another trend in NCAAFB. Will there be more gray in the new sets? In addition to the rather drab, almost olive Rose Bowl green, it looks like they’ve added in a much brighter and shiner kelly green to the mix — and we all know the kids love shiny things. Speaking of shiny things, in that Rose Bowl, Nike also introduced a pretty funky chrome helmet — when they do unveil, they’ll add green one — will there be more? We’ll just have to wait and see.
When I started writing for Uni Watch in 2008, I knew and loved Oregons uniforms, but I didn’t know much about college football (I still don’t, but I know more today than I did then). Still, I’ve always waited with baited breath to see “what would Oregon do next?” I don’t have quite that same sensation today, but I’m still pumped — kind of like Mac fans must have felt whenever Steve would debut a new Apple product — it’ll be something we never knew we needed or wanted. Yes, I’ll admit to drinking the Duck Kool Aid years ago, and I’ve been addicted to quack ever since. It doesn’t seem like today’s expected unveil will be quite the mindfuck it’s been in years past, but I’m still looking forward to the fashion show. And if they do introduce today, someone else gets to write about it tomorrow.
So, I’ll end today’s final lede (and possibly the shortest of the entire monthlong run) on that note. Below I’ll have a few updates on what’s going to take place on the weekends this fall and beyond — there will be some changes and some returning faces. Paul back on weekdays…me on the weekends — yeah, it’s much better that way. Thanks for humoring me the past month — it’s been ducky.
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Y’know, some days you gotta keep going no matter what…
Click to enlarge
#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 34
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 (or until Paul takes back the weekdays…so this may be it for a while).
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.
Jeff Mayer tips us wise to this entertaining op-ed on the NBA’s evils. It’s a good article, and worth the read. Some of the more potent prose:
Advertising on the uniforms … will become an NBA staple starting in the 2013-’14 season when two-inch-by-two-inch sponsorship patches will be sewn onto the jersey of each player in the league. It is, clearly, the first step to turning every future LeBron and Kobe and Carmelo into something looking like your basic stock car, church bulletin or minor-league outfield fence.
Baseball’s pitching rubbers will be made to look like tubes of anti-fungal cream, football’s end zones will be painted to look like Snickers bars, hockey’s goalies’ pads will be fashioned to look like so much canned fruit. And even your basic college experience, which is supposed to evoke images of ivy-covered walls and not barkers along a midway, will feel more like an infomercial than a sporting exercise.
And a bit of disheartening (at least on the surface) news comes from Greg Kupka, who reports, “Either the NBA has gotten tired of our emails or the Adam Silver (asilver@NBA.com) address wasn’t supposed to be public. Just got a “return to sender” saying my letter violated their “email policy.” I guess their policy is now to just ignore the fans outright.”
Now, one last letter to the NBA:
As a long-time American sports fan, and a traditionalist in American sports uniforms, I was shocked and appalled by the NBA’s recent announcement that starting in 2013, small sponsor patches would be implemented. I am of the belief that tradition of sponsor-free uniforms should be upheld.
The theory that teams would benefit from “sponsor revenue” makes no sense whatsoever, when you take into account all of the revenue teams get from merchandise, concessions, stadium naming rights, ticket sales, and commercial sponsorship. Furthermore, there is a soft salary cap in place, which keeps teams within the $58.44 million dollar rage, and players frequently get sponsorship deals for basketball shoes, and other equipment. Any team that needs to sell ad space on uniforms to “increase revenue” is either poorly run, or needlessly greedy.
An arguement can be made that association football, or “soccer” as Americans refer to it has numerous sponsors on uniforms at the professional levels, and that teams can earn a lot of revenue from these sponsorships. That argument, while valid, flies in the face of tradition. Did Dr. J, Wilt Chamberlin play with Chevy ads on their jerseys? Did Pistol Pete Maravich, Bill Russell, or Jerry West play with Budweiser logos on their chest? Did Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, or Magic Johnson sport Pepsi on their uniforms? Of course they didn’t!
That takes me to another point. The uniform ads can and will come into conflict with personal sponsorships that players have. For example, LeBron James is endorsement by McDonalds, and let’s say the Miami Heat get a sponsor patch for Burger King. What would happen there? Derrick Rose has an endorsement from Powerade, and what would happen if the Chicago Bulls got sponsored by Gatorade? At what point would the team sponsorship take a lucrative endorsement out of a player’s pocket? It really doesn’t seem fair to me to take money from an individual because the team wants an endorsement from a rival.
Please, we need to stop this uniform sponsorship rule from being implemented!
Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure. Don’t let the crusade stop during my absence — Paul may not continue this segment, but it doesn’t mean that the fight is over!
Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!
I return to the weekends beginning over the Laborious Day Holiday weekend, so that means we’re back with some of the “favorites” that haven’t been seen for a while, and, as mentioned above, there will be a few changes.
‣ Benchies will return to the weekends, and Ricko will (of course) still be doing it.
‣ Colorize This! will be back, and better than ever — our stalwarts Gary Chanko, George Chilvers and John Turney, plus a few others, have already sent in submissions. They’re fantastic.
‣ Uni Concepts will also return with a vengeance, as a few of you submitted over the past month, and I had a few left over from before I switched to weekdays — keep them coming!
‣ Uni Tracking, which made a very brief appearance just prior to Paul’s summer break, will also be back — if you’ve been tracking the uniform combinations and machinations of your favorite baseball teams, begin sending in those reports just before the Labor Day holiday, so they’ll be up to date — and I’ll be sure to run them.
‣ Sunday Morning Uni Watch, ably undertaken by Terry Duroncelet last fall, will again return for the college football season.
‣ The Duck Tracker, started three years ago by Mike Princip (examples here and here), and adopted last year by Jake Hurley (see here), will be taken over by Tim E. O’Brien for 2012. Tim’s already got his template ready, and he will always have it ready for us on Sunday mornings following a Ducks game this fall. Tim is also tracking other college teams, although those will remain on his board.
‣ After 27 years of faithful service, Jim Vilk will be retiring from his College Football 5 & 1 duties, citing exhaustion, dementia and an overbearing weekend editor. He’ll grace us with one final salvo on opening weekend (and he’ll stick around for a few 5 & 1’s here and there, mostly for college hoops and figure skating). I have found an able replacement for him in Catherine Ryan, who served as one of my Olympic Correspondents this summer. We may break her in with a “dueling 5 & 1” along with Jim on opening weekend, before she assumes the duties full-time.
‣ Stirrup “Fridays” will become a feature on the weekends, as I will feature those dedicated revolutionaries who sport stirrups on Fridays (like Coleman Mullins just did with the Pack). Make sure you send me in a picture of your Friday rups and a brief blurb on what team they are and why (as if you needed a reason) you chose those particular rups. Don’t have any rups? Well, then make sure you pay Comrade Robert Marshall a visit (e-mail him at email@example.com and he will provide you with a pair or three of the hosiery of the revolution.
‣ “50 Years Ago”, Ricko’s look-back at the college football “Game of the Week” from 50 years ago will also make a re-appearance.
Plus, there will be the usual non-recurring surprises and some gags, goofs and features. Make sure if you read during the week, you stick around for the weekends as well. It’s gonna be a great fall!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Both Jeff La Haie, who noted Tuesday night “Tim Lincecum pictured in Giants dugout wearing wrong hat during the game. Not unusual to see players wearing their Sunday caps instead of similar BP caps during pre-game, but never seen someone wearing it during game.” and David Taub, who wrote “Wrong Cap Lincecum!” spotted Cy Lincecum in the wrong lid. … Terry Mark saw this Indiana basketball: So, what’s in a uniform number? article in the Indy Star. … While Chuck Beech remarks this “Article from April on possible Ole Miss alt helmets; I did a quick search to see if this has been previously submitted, and if so, sorry,” neither Paul nor I could remember them being shown on UW. … For all the crazy alts and helmets Notre Dame has, Jerry Kulig doesn’t think this helmet on ND Media Guide will ever be worn. Fortunately. … John Fusco Went to the Wilmington (DE) Blue Rocks game the other night and noticed the ENTIRE team (including bat boy) was High Socked and Stirrupped. The downside was a pinstriped shirt with plain white pants. (Which may be hard to see in the photo…Sorry, only a cell phone!) They’ve recently been wearing stripped stirrups as their standard uni as well. … “Buried in this article it mentions my alma mater is getting Wounded Warrior Project uniforms for a game on ESPN2,” writes Christopher Ashley. “They use Under Armor for the regular unis so, I am guessing UA will do these also.” … It sounds like Georgia Tech could be getting new uniforms from Russell that were designed by someone other than Russell, says Brent Beck. Brent also notes, “I submitted a helmet design that I made myself with no response from GT.” … Paul will of course be back tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from sending this my way yesterday: “Just what the world needs: Nike’s first sneaker priced over $300.” … Two stories from Chris Mahr today: 1) Jeff Samardzija Gives Thumbs Down to New ND Unis; and 2) Maryland’s Crazy Football Helmets Back in 2012?. … Speaking of “new” helmets, is this a “new” helmet for UW? (Thanks to Jake Moorhead, I think, for that). … “Nice little slide show for the Top 14 (French) rugby league,” writes Josh Jacobs. … After the NY Rangers traded for Rick Nash their media people quickly mocked up a calendar wallpaper with him in NYR gear, notes Alexis Melendez. “Only problem is they used a pic of Brad Richards (including his gloves, gear) and were even too lazy to remove his name and number off of the stick. Also take a look at Nash’s ‘61’. It looks like they took Richards’ ‘19’ and flipped it, also not fixing the drop-shadows going to wrong direction.” … Good spot from Kenneth Guckenberger, who asks “Has anybody commented on the size of the numerals on the new Nike uniforms? I know in Denver, they look tiny. No way the announcers are going to be able to tell between a 6 and an 8. I think they even looked smaller in the new orange jerseys.” They look fine to me, but Jim Vilk is already penning his “AMEN BROTHER” reply. … Robert Silverman asks if these are the new Knicks unis? “Taken from an NBA13K screen shot. The article points out that they could also be a placeholder. The non-contiguous shoulder piping is problematic, but looks like a fine retirn to form.” … “Coachie Ballgames” loved yesterday’s debate on franchise identity and civic prideand writes, “Thought you might dig this post I wrote awhile back about how the far more democratic system soccer-playing countries use ensures that cities keep their teams. Also discuss the one exception of a team that moved in England.” … Great play on words from Jay Sullivan, who intones “Red Sox in 6” (in honor of Johnny Pesky). “Even the Angels participated in the tribute wearing a patch on their chest.” (thanks to José Niebla). More photos here. … Rudy Gutierrez says, “So you know how Drew got traded to the A’s, I guess his D-backs bats come with him.” … Here’s a full gallery of Iowa uniforms, sent in by Jack Coyier, who adds, “Looks like the new throwback helmet.” … “According to Darren Rovell at ESPN, this will be the student shirt available for the Badgers this upcoming football season,” writes Johnny Okray. “So many things wrong with it. The twitter handle on back, of course… but the three stripes making up the face mask is corporate douchebaggery at its finest.” … And finally (FINALLY!!!), Keenan Bailey sends a link to a “Uni Watch inspired article” (his words, not mine).
Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnddddddd that, folks, is THE wrap!
Thanks again to everyone — each submitter, correspondent, helper, writer, and reader — for making the past month run so smoothly. Honestly, I don’t know how Paul keeps this up on a daily basis, but all I can say is we’re all the richer for it. You guys enjoy this fine Wednesday, the rest of the week, weekend and next week — and I’ll be back with more weekend shenanigans over the Labor Day weekend, as we kick off the College Football Season. It’s been a blast, but now I need my UW vacation. Back atcha soon. Cheers & Peace.
“I’m annoyed that my taxes go up because of lots of things that I don’t personally like. Unless you’re Paul Ryan, and looking to re-write our society from the ground up in some sort of Ayn Rand fantasy, that’s a really tough argument to make.”