My annual college football season-preview column is up now on ESPN. Of all the designs featured therein, the most intriguing one is this Virginia Tech “Fighting Gobblers” helmet, which the Hokies will wear on Sept. 8 against Austin Peay. It’s nobody’s idea of a good design, but it’s impressive to see a high-profile school pull a uni-related move that isn’t rooted in intimidation, militarism, machismo, BFBS, comic book costumery, and so on (all of which perhaps explains why they didn’t have a kid posing with the helmet while trying to look all rough and tough, or flexing his muscles, or any of the other stock poses that have grown so tiresome). In short: It’s a bad design, but at least it’s not bad in all the usual pathetic ways, and you know all the lunkhead morons out there will absolutely hate it. I actually count this as progress.
Speaking of college football, my ESPN colleague Dave Wilson recently asked all the SEC coaches for their thoughts on the current state of uniform design. The answers are illuminating.
My adoring public: As you might expect, last week’s Uni Watch Power Rankings project generated no small amount of hate mail, much of which was rather amusing (the guy who said, “You are everything that is wrong with America” was particularly entertaining). It had slowed to a trickle by Monday and had pretty much stopped by yesterday, but then last night I received the following note, which is too good not to share:
you’re an asshole. i hate you and your job as a jersey analyst is complete bull shit. I hope you lose you job. you look like you have had facial surgery done by a blind dog. your beard looks like my ass hair. you have a simple job that you did terribly. ill keep emailing you until you respond. thank you for your time
If there’s one thing I like, it’s a polite, respectful hate mailer (even if he knows what his own ass hair looks like, which is pretty creepy).
Show & Tell update: Show & Tell, the monthly storytelling series I’ve been hosting here in Brooklyn for nearly two years, now has its own web site, whoop-whoop!
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Knicks will unveil their new uniforms next Thursday. I’ll attend the event, but there isn’t much suspense, because the new design will reportedly match what we saw last week in those video game leaks. … Here are this season’s Premiership rugby kits. “As you can see, the away kits do not always resemble the home kits and can be completely different colors,” sasy Josh Jacobs. … A fast-“food” chain is now producing a Ragin’ Cajuns-branded burger (from Tom Mulgrew). … USA Hockey has unveiled the uniforms for the Top Prospects Game (from Erik Sundermann). … Because We Can Dept.: That company with makes all the fancy-shmancy helmets has produced a gold Jags helmet (from Theo Manning). … England’s soccer kits will now be made by Nike, not Umbro. Yes, I realize they’re the same company (from Mark Emge). … Check out this trucker-style Astros cap. Must’ve been a spring training photo (good find by Mike Hersh). … Bizarre cross-sport, cross-city turf news from A.J Frey, who writes: “The Charlotte Copperheads of the new indoor Professional Lacrosse League apparently managed to find the old New York Titans carpet that was used at MSG and the Nassau Coliseum to put down on their floor, at least for now.” … Bethanie Mattek Sands’s latest, uh, unusual look on the court included red high-tops, eye black, and — although it’s hard to see — a green ponytail. … A’s beat writer Susan Slusser still calls it the Jake — in her byline! (Great spot by John English.) … The Boston College hockey jersey now has five stars on the back, to reflect the school’s five national titles (from Dave Levy). … Ron Roza is (a) our contact at StickerYou, the company that makes the membership card stickers, and (b) a huge Chicago Bears fan. So he recently decided to make himself a Bears-themed bike helmet. “I added the Payton tribute and the SBXX logo, but other then that I tried to be a true to the current helmet decals,” he says. … Matt Lesser notes that Joey Votto went high-cuffed in his first rehab game with the single-A Dayton Dragons, which is odd, because it doesn’t look like the whole team goes high-cuffed.
For our readers in and around southern Louisiana, Phil and I hope you’re all okay today. Hang in there, and if you have a free moment, let us know how you’re doing.