For most media outlets, the big NBA news yesterday was David Stern’s announcement that he’ll be stepping down as commissioner in February of 2014.
But they all buried the lead. The real NBA headline yesterday was that the owners have officially backed off from their uniform advertising plan. This essentially confirms what I reported last week.
I think this one calls for Q&A mode:
Does this mean the uni advertising initiative is officially dead?
No. According to Darren Rovell’s story, linked in the first graf, the owners “put off” or “tabled” the program because “they needed more time to study it.” So the whole thing could be revived later on.
When will that be?
There’s no indication of that so far.
The plan was originally supposed to go into effect next season — a year from now. Could that still happen?
I doubt it. The final vote to approve the plan was originally supposed to take place in September. We’re now about to enter November, and the additional time to “study” the plan will likely push things into the new year. Even if they worked out the kinks by early 2013, I don’t think they’d have enough time to implement the plan by the start of the 2013-14 season. For one thing, it was widely reported a few months ago that the ad patches would go where the NBA logo is now positioned, which would force them to move the NBA logo to the rear neckline (like on MLB jerseys). That may seem like a small change, but it actually has implications that ripple throughout the uni-supply pipeline, from manufacturing to retail. And as you know, uniform changes, even small ones, need to be set up well in advance. I just don’t see them getting their shit together in time to launch this initiative next season.
What about the season after that?
That makes more sense. Stern, who opposes uniform advertising (but said he wouldn’t “stand in the way of it”), will officially step down in February of 2014. His replacement, Adam Silver, is the guy who was directing the uni advertising program, so that should tell you the scent in the wind. If they choose to go ahead with this plan, it would seem plausible for them to get started at the outset of the 2014-15 season — Silver’s first full season as commissioner. It would be a strong way for him to put his personal stamp on the league, to show that he’s not Stern.
But again, that’s if the owners resolve their differences and concerns and decide they want to go ahead with it. As Rovell and I have both reported, they’ve hit some speed bumps, and it’s not yet clear how, or if, they’ll deal with them.
Rovell’s article says they were worried about endorsement conflicts, but last week you said the big problem was that the owners couldn’t agree on how to divvy up the cash. Who’s right?
I suspect we’re both right. The two claims certainly aren’t mutually exclusive.
Did the #NoUniAds campaign have any impact on the owners’ decision?
Not sure. I do know we got their attention (sorry, can’t go into details, but trust me, they noticed), but I’m not sure to what extent, if any, it factored into their thinking.
If they’re just gonna revive the plan in the near future anyway, and if you don’t even know if #NoUniAds made a difference, isn’t today’s headline a bit misleading?
Hey, when the Martians die in War of the Worlds because they can’t survive Earth’s atmosphere, it’s still a victory, even though the humans didn’t directly defeat them. When Dunder Mifflin decides not to close the Scranton branch after all in this episode of The Office, it’s still a victory, even if Michael and Dwight’s “Please don’t close us down” expedition had nothing to do with it. In short: You take what the enemy gives you, and right now the enemy just retreated.
And even if they revive the plan, I think we probably just bought ourselves at least a year. A lot can happen in a year — circumstances can change, minds can change. (Hey, maybe my mind will change and I’ll suddenly come to be in favor of uniform ads! But I doubt it.) And even if they end up instituting uniform ads in 2014, that’s still better than 2013 (just as 2013 would have been better than 2012, and so on). Like I said, you take what they give you.
I know a lot of you invested time, energy, and emotion in the #NoUniAds campaign. Go ahead and enjoy the moment — you’ve earned it.
Race to the bottom, continued: Remember Atlantic High School’s two-tone uniforms from a few weeks back? The same company that made those, Futuristic Woo, has now designed uniforms for another Miami-area school, Carol City High. This what they’ll be wearing in 2013 (click to enlarge):
As you can imagine, I’m not too thrilled with the use of Native American imagery (and I’m not the only one), but that’s the least of the issues here. The rest of the internet is already going ballistic over this design, which of course is exactly what the school and the manufacturer want. I’ll limit my comments to this: It’s not often that you see a pant design that gives such literal meaning to the term “dick for brains.”
Meanwhile, according to a Futuristic Woo press release, schools across the country are clamoring to have the company design their uniforms, so get ready for the brave new world of costume design, wheee!
Fun with pumpkins, continued: From now through Halloween, I’ll happily post photos of any uni-related pumpkin carvings you folks come up with. Here are today’s submissions:
• “My wife and I are both Clemson fans,” says Benji Boyter. “We did their ‘Tiger Paw’ logo last year, so we did something different this year. And by ‘we,’ I totally mean ‘her,’ because I don’t have the patience to do all that intricate carving.”
• Kevin Driscoll carved this Iowa Hawkeyes jack-o-lantern.
• “Here is my attempt at the UMD Bulldog logo,” says Chad Kaddatz.
• I really like this one: Alan Bloomquist’s brother, Barton, carved a Randy Johnson pumpkin.
• Greg Boaz carved this Alabama pumpkin. “I realize I screwed up the E,” he says.
• “My friend Sam made this Kansas State pumpkin,” says Stephen Berry. “I told him he has to keep it on his porch until they lose a game. So, as gross as it may be, we’re all hoping this is still molding on his doorstep come Christmastime!”
• From Jon Beckmann: “In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Twins winning their first World Series, I based this year’s pumpkin on a design from a T-shirt I have.”
Uni Watch News Ticker: Will the Warriors’ as-yet-unrevealed alternate uni look like this? Could be, according to a former Adidas employee. “That photo was taken in April, so tweaks may have been made,” says my source. “They were playing around with the idea of short-sleeve jerseys too. Also saw a Cavs jersey sample that spelled ‘Cleveland’ with every font in their history — pretty damn ugly.” That sounds like this season’s Cavfanatics jersey. Intriguing. … A few follow-ups from yesterday: First, I asked what Mike Jenkins was wearing under his jersey. Several readers explained that it’s a shoulder harness thingie. … I also mentioned that I’d never seen NFL players trading jerseys after a game, but Rob Stukenborg pointed out that Arian Foster and Ray Lewis did it last year. … Oregon’s football stadium has a flag telling fans which color the Ducks will wear that week — and, implicitly, which color the fans should wear (from Jay Sullivan). … The official typeface for the 2016 Rio Olympics has been unveiled (from Cody Dannen). … This is pretty interesting: USC has been having players change their uni numbers — not just between games, but sometimes within games. And apparently there’s no rule against that. Fascinating (thanks, Brinke). … Gotta love this Edmonton Eskimos paper helmet (from Jon Solomonson). … Gerry Dincher was watching a 1978 Ohio State game and noticed an interesting midfield logo. “Is there a hidden meaning?” he asks. “Are the Buckeyes saying they are the Big One in the Big Ten?” … Lots of good photos and interesting analysis in this article about memorial venues in general and Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in particular (big thanks to James Ashby). … “My brother, Brian, interned with the Chiefs a few years ago,” says Brett Gaul. “He was Lamar Hunt’s fill-in for the team picture — you can see him to the right of Herm Edwards in the second row. They then put Lamar’s head on Brian’s body. One of the coolest things ever. Trent Green and Jared Allen kept calling him Mr. Hunt and asking if he needed anything.” … As you may have heard, sprinter Lolo Jones is now a member of the U.S. bobsled team. “I noticed that she covered up the Nike logo on her top,” says Anthony Gonsalves. “She is sponsored by Asics. Also, she’s wearing a track top.” … Robert Griffin III, John Wall, and Bryce Harper — all of whom play in DC — have bonded over some striped socks (from Max Weintraub). … New uniforms for the Lexington Legends (from Eric C. Leach). … Mike Wissman is really annoyed by that guy in the Marlins jersey at the World Series. … Angel Pagan keeps ending up with torn pits (screen shot by Sean Robbins). … New sweatbacks for Vanderbilt (from Will Edge). … The animation sequence at the beginning of this 1966 Chargers highlight clip is priceless (major thanks to Bill Kellick). … Good article about NFL coaches’ attire (from Jeff Flynn, Jr.). … Here are some more photos of Boston College’s flag-desecration costume. … Tim Gambill notes that Clay Matthews is wearing Nike but the Pats player is wearing Reebok in a current Gillette commercial. … “The Bears are running a ‘Believe in Monsters’ costume contest — as in ‘Monsters of the Midway’ — for Halloween,” says Jerry Kulig. “This guy titles his entry as ‘homemade 1920s era.'” Very cool.
As you may have heard, those of us here on the eastern seaboard are supposedly staring down the barrel of a loaded hurricane. So I’ll be spending most of today stocking up on bread, meat, batteries, meat, candles, meat,
Diet Coke beer, meat, and cat food, not necessarily in that order.
I’ve been through a few ’canes in my day. In 1976, Hurricane Belle forced the postponement of my Little League All-Star Game (or as my mother put it when I asked if she had washed my uniform, “Paul, trust me, you are not going to be playing baseball tomorrow”). We lost power for a few days and our big willow tree forever. Naturally, I thought it was all very exciting, especially the part where I got to eat all the ice cream because it was just gonna melt anyway. In ’85, I was away in college while Hurricane Gloria was bearing down on Long Island. I remember being at my girlfriend’s place, doing the things college students do (let’s not go into details), when it occurred to me that I should call my parents and make sure they were okay. We chatted for a few minutes and then the line went dead. That was kinda creepy. They turned out to be fine, although we lost a few more trees.
My Mom was always terrified of a hurricane destroying the house. When she and my father moved to a retirement community in 2003, it took a few years before she stopped saying, “Well, at least we don’t have to worry about a hurricane taking the roof off the house anymore.” (Sometimes for good measure she’d say, “And we don’t have to worry about that tree falling on the car, either.”) Now she lives in an apartment tucked inside what is essentially a glorified hotel. She has a million-bazillion aches and pains to keep her occupied and can no longer be bothered with hurricanes. But I’m sure she’ll call me this Sunday to make sure I’m ready for the storm, and we’ll end up talking about Belle, and Gloria, and the other hurricanes we’ve been through over the years. See, that’s how you know you’re getting old: When you’ve been around long enough to get sentimental about hurricanes.
But before the storm comes, I have an epic Saturday planned: At noon, a tour of Bannerman Island; at 6pm, a beefsteak at an American Legion Hall in New Jersey; and in between, I hope, some bowling at my favorite pin-bashing emporium in Paterson. That’s my idea of hurricane prep.