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First and foremost, mega-thanks to Phil for covering for me yesterday (I had spent the weekend working on a story in the northern Adirondacks and didn’t get home until late on Sunday night). I owe you bigtime, buddy.
Now then: Lots of NBA news while I was away. Let’s start in Portland, where the Blazers unveiled a new alternate uniform yesterday. They’ll wear it for about 10 games, including their home opener on Oct. 31. In the grand scheme of things, it’s fine, but I’m particularly interested in two aspects of the design:
1) The team’s signature diagonal striping has been tweaked. I’ve always been a fan of the diagonal stripes, but I don’t mind the update, which feels suitably modern (although the official description that the striping has “been updated to represent speed and aggression” is seriously cringe-inducing). Will the home and road uni striping eventually get the same treatment? My hunch is yes.
2) Interesting decision to put the pinwheel logo above the chest wordmark. Feels like too much. Between the pinwheel, the “Portland” lettering, the uni number, and the striping, it ends up being overkill.
So is it good or is it stupid? It’s not perfect, and I hate that partial piping on the armholes, but on balance I’d say it’s good.
The Nuggets unveiled a new alternate uni yesterday as well (additional photos here). It can basically be summed up by this handy mathematical equation, which ran yesterday on the Basketball Jones blog (click to enlarge):
Seriously, is that a weird mix-and-match job or what? It’s cool to see the return of the rainbow skyline design, but why poach Marquette’s shorts? They’ll be wearing this design for 18 home games, starting with the home opener on Nov. 6, and I’ve like to see it on the court before rending a judgment, but I suspect it will go down as stupid.
Meanwhile, everyone’s been asking me what I think of the Nets’ new design, which was “unveiled” onstage by Jay-Z on Friday night. When prototypes of this design were first shown to me at the NBA offices last winter, I was stunned by how minimalist they were. I’d expected something much flashier. But once I recalibrated my expectations, I liked the designs just fine. I don’t love them (the black/white color scheme feels like a cop-out), but I’m fine with them. Kudos to all involved for having the discipline to show so much restraint. Good.
About face: For everyone who doesn’t like the direction the swooshes are facing on the right sleeves of NFL jerseys this year, you should all start a fan club for Cowboys punter Brian Moorman, whose right-sleeve swoosh was facing to the left last night.
And in an even weirder (and unprecedented!) development, Bears linebacker Geno Hayes had a rightward-facing swoosh on his left sleeve. Tsk-tsk — it’s like the swoosh version of dyslexia. All you Nike people reading this, what’s going on over there? Better crack the whip on the quality-control proles before your vaunted branding schemes come undone.
Meanwhile, October used to be my favorite month, but not anymore. Sigh.
(My thanks to Reed Spiller and Chris Hortness for their screen shots, and to Tim E. O’Brien for doing the mirror-image version of Phil Hecken’s original Nike/NFL logo.)
Opinións Wanted: We’ve often discussed the two approaches to Spanish-language translations on uniforms. There’s the direct-translation method (Cerveceros, Gigantes, Nueva York, etc.) and the definite article approach (El Heat, Los Mets, etc.). Since we’re currently in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to hear from Hispanic readers on this. Which method do you prefer? Do you even like the Spanish-language jerseys in the first place, or do you find them patronizing? What about your friends and family members — have you ever discussed this with them? If so, what do they think?
Send your thoughts here. Again, this is Hispanic readers only. Thanks.
By Brinke Guthrie
Just take a look at this 1960s NFL Western Conference helmet kit, and hurry. Ends tonight. Notice in the bottom graphic, the Browns helmet has the “CB” logo, the box helpfully tells you the color of each team’s helmet so you match the sticker with the helmet, and “The Steelers helmet has only one emblem, right side.” Very nice.
In other CC finds:
• Here’s another helmet kit that needs some TLC, but it looks like there’s enough there to put a good set together.
• I usually don’t include homemade items in Collector’s Corner because the quality tends to be inconsistent. But as I zoomed thru eBay this week, this cool shelf with home plate below it caught my eye. This one’s for the Phillies, but the listing says the seller will make them for other teams. He has other styles, too. On top of the shelf, that’s where you put your team mug collection, like this one!
• Looks like the seller’s husband painted the shoes of this 1960s Joe Namath bobble.
• Got a game-worn Chicago White Sox jersey from the clam-digger era right here.
• If you’re a Bengals fan and think the current look is a bit, uh, gaudy, here’s the real deal: a game-worn Isaac Curtis jersey that comes complete with a high price tag!
• This 1960s-70s suede SF Giants briefcase was given away to VIPs or team officials.
• Vintage NFL twin bedsheet over at Etsy. I bet that’s Ray Guy in the third photo.
• These Packers folding seats look to be in great shape given their age (late ’60s or early ’70s).
• Reader Manzell Blakeley submitted this awesome late-1970s North Dakota “nodak” basketball jersey — in Uni Watch colors!
• Finally, here’s one for Paul. Not even gonna bother with a description — just click. [I don’t like mesh jerseys, but that design is definitely killer! — PL]
Uni Watch News Ticker: Zack Greinke was victimized by a misspelled NOB for the first four innings of his start on Sunday. That prompted Sports Illustrated to trot out a big slideshow of classic uniform typos. We’ve seen most of them before (in fact, many of them were first reported here on Uni Watch, and SI even poached some of my screen shots ), but it’s still fun to see them all in one place. … The Astros will unveil their new uniforms one month from today. … I just got a review copy of The Hockey Hall of Fame Book of Jerseys. Full assessment to follow shortly. … Awesome find by Jeff Ash, who was looking at photos from a 1971 Packers/Giants game and spotted these amazing Giants ponchos! … Jeff Wilk picked up a 1969 Padres program at a garage sale and scanned the whole thing. Pages 20 and 33-35 include descriptions of the National League’s uniforms for that season. … Neil Strawmyer was playing Madden 13 on Sunday night. “At midnight, when the calendar turned to Oct. 1, all the in-game player accessories turned to pink,” he says. … Springboks wore a “46664” sleeve patch during last weekend’s rugby match against Australia. “46664 was Nelson Mandela’s prisoner number, and is now the name of a large non-profit in South Africa,” explains Daniel McLaughlin. … Arizona State’s colors are gold and maroon, but their club hockey team’s new uniforms are gold and BFBS (from Kenn Tomasch). … I’ve been championing Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan’s writing for a while now. If you like his work as much as I do, you’ll want to check out this e-mail interview with him. … Donald Bulters has an outdated Chargers wordmark on his neck bumper (good catch by Chris Maples). … Weird scene in last weekend’s New Mexico football game, as defensive back Vershad Jackson had his facemask pop off during a play (big thanks to Frank Mercogliano). … Remember the Play-O-Graph, which allowed crowds to follow the progress of World Series games back in the day? Mark Schubin has written an excellent history of them. … Omar Jalife notes that assorted Ravens coaches were wearing a yellow cap, a red cap, and a green cap on Sunday. Anyone know what the color designations stand for? … The White Sox included deceased batting practice pitcher Kevin Hickey’s jersey in the team portrait that they gave away at Sunday’s game (from Tom Nichol). … Here’s a short video clip of a young Chipper Jones as a high school pitcher (nice find by Jack Purdy). … Jets QB Mark Sanchez is, to my knowledge, not yet married. But he’s wearing something — either tape or a taped-over ring — on his left ring finger (good spot by Derek Linn). … The Wild’s contest to find the best hockey jersey in Minnesota has been narrowed down to 32 designs. “My money is on the Cloquet Lumberjacks,” says Tony Tengwall. … Also from Tony: Adrian Peterson was wearing shin pads on Sunday. … “For the last two games, Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls has been wearing a black and red armband,” says Bill Reese. “I sit with the Empire Supporters Club behind the south goal, and we were all puzzled by his choice of armband. Normally he wears a MLS standard captain’s armband with the RBNY team logo. It eventually became clear to us that Henry’s choice of armband was a reference to the old MetroStars colors, red and black.” … The worst-kept secret in college football — namely that BYU would be wearing a pathetically lame-o BFBS uniform at some point this season — is now official. … Here’s an excellent visual timeline of 3M logos (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a rare sight: a cricket player wearing No. 100. That’s Raza Hasan of Pakistan (from Peter Della Penna). … This is too good: The “guess which cap the thing is under” game at Shea may be rigged, or at least botched. A perfect proxy for everything that’s wrong with the Mets. … We all know about eye black, but what about nose black? That’s DJ Moore of the Bears, from last night’s game (screenshot by Garrett Schabb). … Also from Monday Night Football: Tony Romo appears to have a cover-up decal on his nose bumper (good spot by Caldwell Bailey). … As the A’s celebrated making the playoffs last night, Rudy Gutierrez noticed that they have bathrobes with numbers and NOBs. … RIP, Barry. Hope we can eventually learn the lessons you were trying to teach us.