Interesting move yesterday by the Brewers, who announced that they’re inviting fans to submit designs for a new uniform. The winning design will be produced and worn on the field for one game, although there’s one big caveat: That game will take place in March, during spring training.
Several readers got in touch yesterday to say they thought this was a real Mickey Mouse move for a big league team. But I disagree — I think it’s great, at least in theory. There’s certainly plenty of design talent out there in the fan base, as I’ve learned by running various team-redesign contests on ESPN. The key is whether the Brewers’ panel of experts chooses four good finalists from among all the designs that are submitted, and whether the subsequent voting on the finalists produces a good outcome. (For full details on the contest, look here.)
Near as I can figure, this is the first time a major-level pro team has solicited a fan-submitted uni design since the White Sox put out the call for entries back in 1981. (For more on that chapter in uni history, look here.) The Ottawa Senators recently began using a fan-produced design for their third jersey, but they didn’t solicit that design — it was posted on the web and went viral among local fans.
With their Spanish- and Italian-language jerseys, the Brewers have been one of the more uni-innovative teams in recent years, and this contest just reinforces that status — good for them. My only gripe is that it’d be a lot ballsier to use the fan-designed uni for a regular season game. If the design turns out to be a hit among fans and players, maybe that’ll happen.
Question Time: Time for another round of Question Time (or, as some other sites like to call such endeavors, Ask Me Anything), which means all of you are invited to send me a question, and I’ll try to answer as many of them as possible in a future blog entry. The questions can be about uniforms, sports in general, me, or anything else. (You can see the first two rounds of Question Time content here and here.)
Nothing is out of bounds, although I may opt to ignore questions that I decide are too personal. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get to every single question, but I promise that I’ll do my best to address as many of them as possible.
The only rule is that each reader is limited to one question per Question Time segment. Send your question (again, only one) here. Please do not post questions in the comments. Thanks.
College hoops update: I’ve written a follow-up piece to last week’s ESPN column, with about two dozen more college basketball uni changes. Look here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Everyone who said the Mets would have a blue alternate jersey in 2013 was half-right — they’ll have two blue alternates, which of course is in keeping with the Wilponian protocol that states “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Word through the grapevine is that there’ll also be an orange-brimmed alternate cap. … For the final game of the 4 Nations Cup in Helsinki, the American and Canadian women’s hockey teams went color-on-color (from Brandon Peterson). … Update on the NBA Xmas uniforms: Contrary to some early reports, they will not be worn for weekend home games in the second half of the season. Only on Xmas. … Rugby news from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “The Leicester Tigers played a midweek game against the Maori All Blacks (formerly NZ Maori) Tuesday. As is their practice on such occasions (i.e., games not ruled over by a competition or league), they used letters instead of numbers. Great tradition.” … Maryland football will wear solid black this weekend. And no, I won’t be referring to this uni by the name that Under Armour and UMD are using, since that’s yet another unacceptable example of military lingo creep. … Allentown’s new hockey team will be called the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (from Gary Mattox). … New uniforms for the Hudson Valley Renegades — that’s the Rays’ short-season single-A affiliate (from Adam Schechter). … Here’s next season’s All-Star logo for the New York-Penn League (from Yancy Yeater). … The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre minor league baseball team will now be called the RailRiders. Uni details here. Mike Slesinski attended last night’s launch party and took these pics. … Southern Illinois’s football jerseys will not have conventional NOBs this Saturday. Instead, the team auctioned off the NOBs to help fund cancer research. Further details here. The team did the same thing last year (from Riley Swinford). … The NFL has published a timeline of the football helmet (thanks, Brinke). … Multiple sources indicate that the possibility of the Dolphins updating their logo next season is no longer a possibility — it’s a done deal. The new logo is supposedly a relatively minor revision, not a drastic overhaul. It will include all of the team’s current colors, including navy. … Great example of how the whole “ribbon for a cause” culture has gotten way out of hand: A Colorado kid named Alex had leukemia, so the local high school football team wore orange socks and his initial on their helmets, among other things. But nobody had ever seen Alex or his parents. And now it turns out Alex never existed. Oopsie.