Giving Fans a Piece of the Uni-Design Action

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

135 comments to Giving Fans a Piece of the Uni-Design Action

  • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 7:59 am |

    That NFL helmet timeline is a little funky, showing a Packers helmet with G next to the 50′s section when the G didn’t exist until 1961. Also no mention at all of the transparent plastic masks that were used briefly before the single & double bars. …and thirdly: 1998 – NFL requires facemasks to be transparent. What the hell is that about? Surely that must be visors or something, not facemasks.

    • Dumb Guy | November 15, 2012 at 8:12 am |

      Agreed. And I know I saw someone this past weekend wearing a dark visor. I was thinking it was *supposed* to be clear. Either a fine is coming or that rule has been repealed??

      • Dumb Guy | November 15, 2012 at 8:21 am |

        OK, in doing some goooogling, it appears that a player CAN wear a tinted visor if a doctor prescribes it. whatever.

    • J.D. | November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am |

      Yeah, the terminology isn’t very descriptive. How are “molded polycarbonate shells” different than “polycarbonate helmet & face mask grill”? Also, it’s strange that the picture for the ’00s, “Riddell develops the Revolution helmet…”, features Kurt Warner wearing a non-Revolution helmet. Oh well.

  • Drew | November 15, 2012 at 8:04 am |

    http://www.nicekicks...

    This is a pretty cool story/interview with 17 year old Matthew Walzer, who has Cerebral Palsy.

    “Matthew Walzer wrote a letter to CEO Mark Parker about manufacturing a sneaker that would help with Cerebral Palsy. Living with Cerebral Palsy, a major hurdle for Walzer to overcome is simply putting on his own sneakers.”

    Top Nike designers got in contact with Matthew and created a shoe specifically for him. the cool thing is it was only a prototype and the designers are taking in Matthew’s insight on what can be improved with the shoe and they’ll be sending him an improved pair in the future. thought it was cool.

    • Coleman | November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |

      That is really a great story. Good on Nike.

  • Phillipwilson | November 15, 2012 at 8:05 am |

    JWhite watching abc’s the middle last night, I noticed they had a color on color football game in their story ( blue on blue/purple?). I couldnt find an image from last night, but it looks like they like to go color on color based on a previous episode.

    http://cdn.media.abc...

  • Shane | November 15, 2012 at 8:06 am |

    Pennsylvania minor league teams are really capitalizing the market on insanely wordy team names.

    And on that note, why is the baseball team “Scranton/Wilkes-Barre”, but the hockey team (Pittsburgh’s AHL team) identifies as “Wilkes-Barre/Scranton”?

    • scott | November 15, 2012 at 8:17 am |

      Probably because the hockey arena is actually in Wilkes-Barre, while the baseball stadium, in Moosic, is closer to Scranton?

  • Johnny | November 15, 2012 at 8:09 am |

    Looks like guy on the left doesn’t like his “belly script”

    http://www.flickr.co...

    • Johnny | November 15, 2012 at 8:11 am |
      • Dumb Guy | November 15, 2012 at 8:14 am |

        Couldn’t they–at least for this modeling gig–give them jerseys that fit a little better???

  • Iain | November 15, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    Toronto FC (MLS club)let fans design a kit for the 2012 season. You had to use an online template so you were limited in what you could design.
    http://www.partnersh...

    • ThePonchat | November 15, 2012 at 8:43 am |

      LA Galaxy did the same thing through facebook.

    • Phillip | November 15, 2012 at 8:52 am |

      The LA Galaxy did it for next years (2013) “third” uniform.

      It was also an online template system so was pretty limited in what you could create.

      The winner was supposed to be announced this year, but it was pushed back until the start of next season.

    • Phil P | November 15, 2012 at 9:41 am |

      Well, Paul did say major sports league lol

      I kid, I kid. I’m a soccer fan, just not an MLS fan

  • Carl | November 15, 2012 at 8:12 am |

    Does anyone else get the Nike.com ads between posts of Uni-Watch? I have to giggle each time they show up.

    • JimWa | November 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |

      My ads are for New Balance … but, since I work for New Balance now, it makes me smile, too.

    • Dumb Guy | November 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |

      No ads for me.

    • JTH | November 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

      I have a Sheraton ad right now — probably because I was looking at rates for a Sheraton hotel earlier today.

      • JTH | November 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

        And now the ad is for Marriott. Same reason.

  • scott | November 15, 2012 at 8:14 am |

    So the NBA’s Christmas uniforms are just one-time uniforms and will only be worn on Christmas?

    • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 8:18 am |

      Xmasploitation at its finest.

      But also a merciful reprieve for all Americans that these jerseys will only be worn once.

  • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 8:15 am |

    Might have to try to work up a “Grúdairí” jersey for the Brewers, since the jersey will be worn so close to St. Patrick’s Day. But I’m looking forward to seeing the actual good ideas that fans submit. I hope the Brewers will show us more of the entries than just the final six.

    • bill | November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm |

      I am also interested in seeing the ideas submitted by fans. I hope the Brewers will permanently replace their current uniforms with the winning design instead of featuring it once for a meaningless game during March.

  • Joe | November 15, 2012 at 8:15 am |

    The SWB Railriders rebranding is embarrassing for a Triple-A team. They’re about 20 years too late for the 1994 Denver Nuggets color scheme and the red vest (with blue sleeves, c’mon).
    Someone said here before…why do the minor leagues have to look so “minor league”?

    • scott | November 15, 2012 at 8:18 am |

      Lehigh Valley IronPigs are also a AAA team – and they’ve been a successful embarrassment for several years. :)

      • Gary | November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |

        If there were going to try to compete with the IronPigs for embarrassing, weird names, they should have gone all in with Trolley Frogs. It has the same connection to the area that area that IronPigs has to the Bethlehem/Allentown area, and its equally as ridiculous.

    • WFY | November 15, 2012 at 8:38 am |

      They should have gone back to Red Barons. If I recall correctly, they choose that because there had been the Scranton Red Sox and Wilkes-Barre Barons minor league teams in the past.

      • Gary | November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |

        I agree, they should be the Red Barons. That name was distinctly S/WB, and the uniforms were great. I guess the problem is that too many people associated that name with them being Phillies affiliates, but that’s BS. The identity was all S/WB, and the Yankees were dumb to change it when they became affiliates with the team.

        • scott | November 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |

          And yet the newly rebranded Yankees played before full houses every night during the 2007 season, so it couldn’t have been that dumb a move, at least initially.

      • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

        OMG no. No more Red Barons. That team is gone. When they Yankees came in they should’ve just rebreanded right from the start. They got a surge of attendance from all the Yankee fans (and a few big name rehab games) but once the shine wore off only the Yankee fans would go out to the games. And by that I mean about 50 or 100 a night at times. The rest of the area refuses to root for “Yankees” so we wouldn’t go.

    • walter | November 15, 2012 at 9:10 am |

      …why do the minor leagues have to look so “minor league”?

      I’m convinced that isn’t an accident. Teams in the minors change their addresses and affiliations pretty frequently, so a full-on, substantive branding program might be looked upon as energy wasted. A classic uniform belongs in the majors, where it can be seen year after year. Minor league identities are more mascot-oriented, with a push on involving the kids, who after all are less critical-minded.

      • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 9:27 am |

        why do the minor leagues have to look so “minor league”?

        I say the exact same thing. Why does EVERY team have to look like some cartoon crap that Disney churned out? Don’t they know adults & adults without kids follow these teams too? Incidentally I own a minor league jersey, and it’s this one. Clean logo, clean design, nice color scheme.

        That Hudson Valley Renegades home cap looks like something a hot girl in a cat costume would wear at a Halloween party. It looks very girly.

        • scott | November 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |

          Brandiose appears to be completely out of control when it comes to redesigning minor league teams. Do they have some sort of deal with minor league baseball to overhaul every team every five years, and give them more ridiculous looks each time? The two rebranding efforts in Hudson Valley have been major downgrades from their initial appearance in the mid-1990s.

        • -DW | November 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

          “Brandiose appears to be completely out of control when it comes to redesigning minor league teams.”

          I agree 100% with this statement.

          When the Cincinnati Reds went with them a few years ago, I said “oh, no…”

          The original numbers were bigger and thicker on the back of the uniforms, which looked good. The CINCINNATI on the front of the roads is now just a red blob.

          Brandiose redesigned the Lexington Legends uniforms for “13 and they are hideous.

          A handlebar mustache on a cap for a logo??? Really???????

  • DonS | November 15, 2012 at 8:34 am |

    I subscribe to the Wilponian protocol that says anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed and fucking it up.

    • walter | November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |

      …If by that, you mean returning to the number of options the Mets had when black was in their palette.

  • Simply Moono | November 15, 2012 at 8:42 am |

    Those uniforms for the Hudson Valley Renegades look like the official uniforms of Sly Cooper.

    • Skott S. | November 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |

      Why is the S a different color than the rest of the script?
      Other than that, I like ‘em. Minor league teams are supposed to be campy.

  • JamesP. | November 15, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    Maybe the Astros can weat their orange alts and the Mets wear one of the blue alts when they meet during Spring Training.

    • JamesP. | November 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |

      …can wear…

      Damn touch-type…

  • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 9:12 am |

    LOL @ Briana Augustenborg’s prank. That’s on par with sending fake questions to Dear Abby.

    “My name is Timmy O’Toole and I fell down the well!”

    • Brian Jud | November 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

      I did a Ctrl+F for “timmy” in hopes that I could be the first to bring up Timmy O’Toole. You win, concealed78. I commend you.

  • Cort | November 15, 2012 at 9:12 am |

    Is “RailRiders” a fancy way of saying “Hoboes”? Because I like “Scranton Wilkes-Barre Hoboes” a lot more than “SWB RailRiders”.

    • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 9:29 am |

      That was exactly my first reaction too. The SWBRRs have taken the elements of about three different identities and mashed them all together. Has all the signs of very good designers working for an indecisive client who decides at the end to keep everything.

      “Rail Riders” = hobos, and the basic script, colors, and train-track elements work nicely for a rail-themed identity. Take away the porcupine and the lightning motif, and this could have been on a par with or even better than the Round Rock Express.

      The porcupine is also pretty good for a minor-league animal mascot. Take away the railroad motif and the lightning bolts, and this had the makings of a nice Porcupines identity that would have had good potential to break into the youth-league market. But the Porcupines probably needed different colors.

      The lightning bolts are the least developed element; it feels like it may have come from a Fireflies concept and the team owner just fell in love with it because, hey, lightning means energy! And sports are about energy! Or something. Doesn’t belong at all, and the little lightning bolt completely ruins the home cap logo. Still, its use as a sort of underline element elsewhere is a subtle but very strong visual statement, or would be if it had any relation to the team’s identity.

      • Eric B. | November 16, 2012 at 11:25 am |

        The lightning bolt, I would assume, comes from Scranton being dubbed “The Electric City.” I agree the lightning bolts are out of place here, but just for background info, I’m almost positive that’s where it would have originated.

    • Ben D. | November 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |

      I’m sorry, but the name “RailRiders” just makes me think of someone getting run out of town on a rail.

      • Bernard | November 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |

        And all I think of is whores.

  • Dan Ullsperger | November 15, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    Speaking of the Brewers, they announced their bobblehead schedule for 2013.

    http://www.jsonline....
    Polish Sausage, June 23 vs. Atlanta. As the Brewers host Polish Heritage Day, one of the Famous Racing Sausages gets his due wearing a “Piwowarzy” jersey. Yes, that’s the Polish translation for Brewers.
    Based on recent history, I’m guessing we’ll see the team in a Piwowarzy jersey as well. All the sausages will have been represented by a heritage jersey now. (German ‘Bierbrauers’, Spanish ‘Cerveceros’, Italian ‘Birrai’)

    • Matt | November 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |

      It is also worth noting the other uni-related bobbles – Corey Hart will be featured in the old minor league Brewers throwback the team will wear that day and Stormin’ Gorman Thomas will be be bobble-ized in a Seattle Pilots uni, as he was the first player drafted by the franchise. Of course, he never played for the big club while they were the Pilots. Are there any other examples of bobbles featuring players in unis of team they never played for?

  • Anon | November 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |

    Oh, God, Renegades. Why? I knew I should have bought a cap when I had the chance. My impression of the new set and color scheme:
    http://www.fybertech...

    • James A | November 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

      My first thought on Hudson Valley’s new look was that the Carolina Panthers had become a baseball team. Then, I was reminded of this East Coast Hockey League team:
      http://www.worthpoin...

  • trevor | November 15, 2012 at 9:40 am |

    I’m looking into writing a guest article on the history of BFBS. Based on what I’ve found, the start of BFBS for each league has been:

    1988: LA Kings
    1990: Atlanta Falcons
    1991: Chicago White Sox

    Does anyone have a link to a good NBA jersey history website?

    • Phil P | November 15, 2012 at 9:52 am |

      I’d guess the Heat would probably be one of the earlier BFBS in the NBA, but I could be wrong

    • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |

      Well, sportslogos.net does have what appears to be a mostly complete uniform history on each team’s logo page.

      I think the NBA was a bit late to the BFBS party. I know that the Detroit Pistons sold black & silver “Bad Boyz” gear (I actually had a black basketball with silver trim and a skull logo on it) during their championship run, but nothing that made it onto the court. You had the Heat and Magic joining the league in ’88 and ’89 and wearing black, but I don’t know if that actually counts since it was an inaugural team color in both cases.

      • Rob S | November 16, 2012 at 6:59 am |

        The Pistons NEVER officially spelled “Bad Boys” with a Z.

    • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |

      ebay & its basketball cards is probably your best NBA uni source. NBA.com has some uni history pages as well.

    • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |

      I just can’t agree with the 1991 White Sox as BFBS. The team adopted a new identity with black as the major team color. And doing so made – makes – sense with the team identity and history. Black maximizes the impact of the White in the team’s name, and the team also has an infamous historical reputation as the “Black Sox.” That’s not BFBS any more than the 1948 Pirates were BFBS for throwing out their traditional blue and red in favor of black and gold.

      Now, it’s true that the new black White Sox caps instantly became nationally trendy, as (briefly) did black Rockies caps even before that team took the field. But I think it’s more fair to say that the White Sox led the trend, rather than following it. Teams like the Mets later in the decade that went BFBS were chasing the merchandising popularity of the White Sox. Whoever was the first team to try to jump on the White Sox bandwagon, that would be the first BFBS team in baseball.

      • DB | November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am |

        The argument could be made that the White Sox went BFBS in 1949! They had black as a primary color from 1949-1963. The 1949 uniforms look similar to the current home, without the pin stripes.

        http://exhibits.base...

      • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |

        If you count the LA Kings switch to black then you have to count the White Sox as well – since they both did essentially the same thing. If that doesn’t count, then you’re looking at whichever team first wore black as an alternate without changing team colors. Good luck figuring out who that was.

        • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |

          That sounds like a perfect definition of BFBS, The, and I’m sure that the UW community is more than up to that challenge.

          Seriously: If the 1991 White Sox are BFBS, then why aren’t the 1948 Pirates also BFBS?

        • pflava | November 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

          Agreed. Perfect definition, The. Adopting black while not changing team colors – that’s what we should be looking for.

        • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

          Because no one followed them? Adding or switching to black didn’t become a trend in 1950.

          It’s a hard to define line, it seems. Would you call the 1997 Bucs pewter for pewter sake? Or was that just an isolated color change? Unlike what we’re calling BFBS, we didn’t see a bunch of teams start using pewter.

        • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

          I think I’ve said it before, but you almost need to have different levels of BFBS.

          There’s wearing black when it isn’t a team color (Oregon, Stanford, most NCAA teams with black alts) Then there’s adding black trim while keeping the other team colors intact (Mets, ’90s Jets, Lions, etc). Then there’s the complete makeover to include black (Kings, White Sox, mid 90′s Pistons, Brow..err.. Ravens, etc).

          Perfect definition, The. Adopting black while not changing team colors – that’s what we should be looking for.

          I wasn’t really trying to define it, but the problem with this definition is that it basically removes professional sports leagues – if a pro team starts using black, then black becomes a team color. When the Mets added black trim, black became a Mets color, no matter how much certain people hated it. The only real exception that comes to mind is the A’s and their ridiculous black jersey of a few years ago.

        • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

          Excellent points, The. But I do think we can see a clear distinction between a team that revamps its identity and, after the total redo, has black as a primary team color (White Sox) and a team that just out of the blue adds black uniform elements, and then as a result black is retconned as a team color (Mets).

          I don’t think the White Sox (not BFBS) or the Mets (the acme of BFBS) are hard cases here. But even in baseball, there are a number of gray areas, such as the Blue Jays, who did add black as part of a total revamp, but seemed to be doing so just to chase black merchandise dollars like the Mets. Also, even though the Marlins were born with black as a team color and even a road cap, the team’s rapid shedding of all significant teal in favor of black feels like BFBS for me. The black Marlins cap always seemed to sell better than the teal, and lo and behold the team very quickly ditched the teal to wear the black full time. That’s a red flag for me that the merchandising tail was wagging the uniform dog, and that’s BFBS.

      • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

        The White Sox definitely did go BFBS because black was a very hot color in 1990. I read it somewhere, but when the White Sox were designing their new 1991 uniforms, they chose between the current black version and a navy blue version much like the 1964-68 homes. Why they didn’t keep/go with the red that looks so much better than black & silver, I’ll never know.

        The fact that one of the most beloved teams in Sox history happened to wear black & red was a convenient coincidence that created the perfect storm. The 1991 marketing campaign “Good Guys Wear Black” & “Black Sundays” seals they were riding the BFBS trend.

      • Phil P | November 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

        I’m seeing a couple of trends here: the suddenly introducing black into the fold of an already existing color pallate, and the adoption of black from the get-go for a lot of expansion teams (Rockies, Marlins, Devilrays, Heat, Magic, Carolina Panthers) because black became cool in the 90′s. Seems like there could be multiple forks in this road

      • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

        And doing so made – makes – sense with the team identity and history… and the team also has an infamous historical reputation as the “Black Sox.”

        Nothing makes sense about it. Why would you want to reference/color your team after one of the worst incidents in MLB history? For shit’s sake, the White Sox should NOT be wearing black socks; ever. But apparently it flies because black sells & socks and stirrups are irrelevant in baseball anymore. I would call it marketing/style & BFBS over logic.

        But I think it’s more fair to say that the White Sox led the trend, rather than following it.

        They led it in baseball, but not in trends/fashion. And many, many teams after had to suffer through it.

    • John English | November 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |

      Raiders, anyone?

      • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 11:55 am |

        The Raiders are not BFBS. They were, however, a likely inspiration for it. 1987. Bo Jackson. The entire “Bo Knows ____” advertising campaign.

    • quiet seattle | November 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

      The year is 1981, when, from out of the blue, the North Stars–so perfect in their green, gold and white uniforms–take the ice wearing…ugh…this:

      http://www.nhlunifor...

      ….Why? I’ll never understand.

      This is the origin of BFBS

      • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

        They ruined that great NHL white home jersey. My guess is somebody in management took a black ballpoint pen and started doodling on the North Star’s logo and went, “holy SHIT is that good”.

        Which brings me to another Hudson Valley Renegades comment: what is so wrong/bad about only having two team colors? Mets: you don’t need silver & don’t need black. Royal & orange is all you need. On the blue road softball top the wordmark being silver makes absolutely no sense & muddies it up. They should have copied the home version & be done with it. You know, like somebody did on Uni Watch awhile ago.

      • Rob S | November 16, 2012 at 7:01 am |

        They were actually planning a black road uniform, but that got scrapped.

    • Rob H | November 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

      Does anyone have a link to a good NBA jersey history website?

      Somebody should make one.

  • JEDI54 | November 15, 2012 at 9:56 am |

    Maryland….That’s how you do black on black. It’s awesome baby!!!!!!

    • concealed78 | November 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |

      Oh come on. That’s ass-ugly. Black numbers on a black uniform offers zero contrast & poor legibility. It fails the function test.

      • JEDI54 | November 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

        I like it.

    • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 10:02 am |

      Hey, we look kinda like the Oregon Ducks of 2 years ago… we’re so cutting edge…

    • Douglas King | November 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

      They’re on a covert operation, they don’t want to be too obvious (hint the difficult to read numbers) and they they are trying to be deceptive (hoping to confuse their enemies into thinking they are playing Oregon)

      How else do you explain playing a Linebacker at QB… and don’t give me that injury crap that’s just what they want you to think.

      What’s puzzling is why they called the white version White Ops… That’s not a thing.

  • King Louie | November 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |

    Word through the grapevine is that there’ll also be an orange-brimmed alternate cap… Royal blue lid with the orange visor. Reminds me of NY Kinicks Sports Specialities caps from the ’90′s…

  • DavidAlan | November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |

    My initial thought was the Maryland “Black Ops” was a product tie-in to the video game that was released this week, not necessarily a direct military reference. Of course, either way it’s ridiculously tasteless…although I visually like this version of Vader look.

  • King Louie | November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  • Alex | November 15, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    As a Mets fan I’m very pumped about both blue uniforms. The orange lettered one has been long overdue, and while the “New York” one is a little funky with the letter coloring choice, I think it’s a nice change of pace. Looking forward to seeing how they execute the orange brimmed cap. As for the HV Renegades, I’m extremely disappointed. They had one of the classiest sets in MiLB, and now they look clownish. Maroon and Navy was a much better combo then blue and black

    • Ben Fortney | November 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

      Same on the Mets changes. I like the orange brimmed cap idea, should compliment the blue jerseys well (and hopefully erase the black/blue cap debacle that was the 2000s.) Kudos for a following historical precedent with the gray letters on the away too.

  • Jonathan Ford | November 15, 2012 at 10:14 am |

    RE: Brewers contest…. Everyone will be incorporating the Beer Barrel Man, right? RIGHT?!

    Seriously, I’m not one for wearing ball caps anymore but I’d totally wear the Brewers TATC hat that had the Barrel Man Head on it.

    http://farm5.staticf...

    • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 10:33 am |

      That hat right there is pretty much my holy grail.

    • Cort | November 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

      This is a one-off uniform, to be used in a meaningless exhibition. So why not let the freak flag fly?

      Instead of numbers on the back of the jersey, how about a Beer Barrel man, rendered in chain-stitching? And he could be different on each player — a Beer Barrel pitcher for the pitchers, a Beer Barrel going into the hole for a second baseman, a Beer Barrel stretching and scooping for the first sacker.

      And yellow — there should be lots of yellow. It’s a glorious color, and underused.

      There are going to be about 4.7 million variations on the dog’s paw logo, and at least that many that incorporate black. This should be more fun than than that.

  • Gary Alexander | November 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    Regarding the Brewers fan designed uni contest Paul says “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.” That may be true, but should they give away their talent for free?
    I own two small computer places. I opened up after spending 25 years as a radio disc jockey. Vinyl records to CD’s. Then came computers. I adapted.
    Now, five times a week, someone will bring in a computer with a virus received while illegally downloading music. I point this out, and their response is, “I’m a DJ. Where else would I get my music?”. “Free” music has made everyone DJ’s, and now no one can make a living as a DJ. Mobile or radio. Everyone has a “friend” that will do it for less.
    Your phone has a 27 gazillion gigapixel camera. Now everyone is a “photographer”.
    When everyone is something, like a designer, they all have to do it cheap or free. Like a friend of mine. He is a DJ in Second Life. He gets paid in “Linden dollars”.
    If we all keep going down this path, how much longer till we all get paid in WalMart dollars?

    • Ryan F | November 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

      If designers/fans feel like they will be “used” in this process of making the design then they simply shouldn’t enter it. I personally feel like there is plenty of rewards for working on this design. Between the free trip with hotel and game tickets, spending money, jersey, hats, and t-shirts there is a lot going on. Plus for a young designer the press and chance to put Milwaukee Brewers in the client section of a resume or portfolio speaks volumes. Now if they were to rebrand their entire organization with the designers brand identity thats another story. But for right now its a big league, spring training game and an overall awesome opportunity. Nobody should feel used by entering and you sure as heck aren’t doing it for absolutely free.

      • Gary Alexander | November 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

        “Nobody should feel used by entering and you sure as heck aren’t doing it for absolutely free.”

        My point is, you SHOULD feel used. You ARE being used. And you may be costing a trained professional his profession.

    • apk3000 | November 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

      But really, what was the difference between a professional photographer and an average joe twenty years ago? Pretty much just equipment and experience. Well, now that equipment edge, which used to be huge, is gone, meaning we’re re-evaluating what the position is worth. Same with design. Contacts, familiarity with customer relations, experience, that’s the separation now.

      • Gusto4044 | November 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

        The gulf between a professional photographer and amateur is every bit as huge as it was 20 years ago, and it will remain so in the future. Equipment has certainly improved, and become more user-friendly, but you just can’t compare a novice to a pro. A perfect analogy would be comparing a high school football player to an NFL player.

        • Gary Alexander | November 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm |

          Right. We as a nation no longer value experience.
          We would rather have something done cheaper, than done well.

    • Arr Scott | November 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

      I agree with the sentiment that businesses ought not try to farm out real work for free. However, the Brewers thing isn’t an example of that. This does not seem like a case where the Brewers needed somebody to design them a new uniform, and then decided that instead of paying for it they could get fans to do it for free. (Which, by the way, is more or less how the Brewers got their ball-in-glove logo.) Rather, this seems like the thinking went the other way around: the team set out to engage fans, and settled on the idea of letting the fans design a uniform for the team to wear in a circumstance where it’s OK for the team to wear something that’s not really its uniform.

      In short, this isn’t design work that’s being shopped out to gullible fans to do for free.

  • Kevin Allen | November 15, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    Couple of interesting finds in this pic. First, another Militia Uniform from a couple weeks ago. That is Pitt State (KS) wearing the camo. Secondly, the opponent, Lindenwood Univ. seems to be wearing a faded, Black to Khaki (ok maybe it’s gold) motif for a helmet. I’ve seen the the fade before, but never with those two colors.

    http://www.teamkong....

    • ThePonchat | November 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

      Some of the ugliest uniforms EVER put on the same field together.

  • not osama | November 15, 2012 at 10:54 am |

    Boo, hiss, expletives, etc. for the Miami Dolphins for not taking the opportunity to return to simplicity in their uniform (ala the Buffalo Bills). !972 perfect season and uniforms as far as the Dolphins go. Ditch the navy trim already as well as the aqua facemask!

    • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 11:10 am |

      I won’t disagree about ditching the navy, but leave the freakin facemask alone. The aqua facemask is PERFECT. There’s absolutely no freakin reason for them to go back to gray, even if they did revert to a 70′s style uniform. Enough with the god damned “retro” gray facemask crap. Teams wore gray masks in that era because it was the only freakin color available, it was NOT a design choice.

      • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

        I’ve said that forever. No need to go back to gray. Unless you’re the Giants that actually wear the color in the uniform it looks awful. But I’ve always liked the updated look the Dolphins have as long as they don’t permanently shelve the aqua pants on the road. I never liked their 70′s look. Too plain for me. But if they want to go into the past go back to the look they had before they current look. That looked great as well.

    • pflava | November 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

      The Dolphins very quietly have uniforms that are SO close to perfection. Drop the navy and I believe you’re there. Keep the aqua facemask, though.

    • Douglas King | November 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm |

      Yeah they should return to the simplicity of their old uniform like the bills, get rid of the drop shadow and make it a 3rd outline so the numbers and stripes pop more (exactly like the Bills).

  • Coleman | November 15, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    So has anyone else seen one of the newer Silver Linings Playbook commercials? I saw one a couple nights ago and Bradley Cooper was wearing an actual Eagles jersey. It had the eagle on the sleeve, the wordmark on the chest below the collar, AND it had an NFL shield on it. I don’t have DVR so I couldn’t pause to see if there was a maker’s mark anywhere.

    • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |

      Well, I don’t know about the commercials… but I checked youtube and found a trailer – in one scene there appeared to be an NFL shield on the collar, in another it was clearly whited out, no wordmark on either one.

      Also, the movie looks stupid.

  • Gus | November 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    I totally agree about keeping the facemask the same. Gray shouldn’t be a facemask color at this point unless it is a team color. The Browns helmets, for example, looked sharper with the white mask and matched perfectly with the entire look of the uniform. I give the Chargers a lot of credit for going with a more retro look but not automatically switching the facemask to gray just because that’s the thing to do. The one exception I can think of where the gray looks better is with the Colts.

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

      I’ve said this forever as well. It’s not the 60′s anymore. They make facemasks in team colors. Use them!!! Unless you have gray in your team colors it looks terrible. Although I disagree about the Colts. Blue looked better. As it would if Buffalo went with blue.

    • Tim H | November 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

      Thank you! I am glad others agree. The only teams where the gray face masks work are the Raiders and Cowboys. Think the Giants should go back to white but, can live with the gray there. Would love to see the Browns go back to white and I think the Colts should bring back the white on white (A underrated look in my humble opinion). Bills should be blue, the Niners back to red and have the Cards go yellow (whole beak thing).

  • suvo | November 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    as an otherwise proud alum of maryland, i can’t wait to go home and incinerate my degree.

    • The Jeff | November 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

      You do realize that burning it will just make it turn black, right?

    • James A | November 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

      Wouldn’t it be more consistent to drag some furniture out to Route 1 and set it on fire?

    • Douglas King | November 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

      But Ralph you did that last season when you got unfairly pushed out.

      • Douglas King | November 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm |

        For those unaware, Ralph Friedgen is a UMD Alum, he has coached at 2 schools for a majority of his career (offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, and Head Coach at UMD). Last year in a radio interview he claimed he had destroyed his degree out of disgust with how he was pushed out (9 win season, won ACC coach of the year and got replaced because the new AD wanted to have someone they hired in that spot, the team then went 2-10).

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    In case it was missed. From the local paper’s article I linked to in the comments yesterday here’s the reason for the awful RailRiders name and porcupine logo from their GM:

    The RailRiders won convincingly, Mr. Crain said, in the voting that came from a Name The Team contest, distancing itself from the Blast, Black Diamond Bears, Porcupines, Trolley Frogs and Fireflies. Although it didn’t win after first-place votes were tallied, Porcupines appeared on the most number of ballots, Mr. Crain said. So the RailRiders mascot will be a porcupine.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    I guess they only counted 1st place votes and not overall voting? Based on the mostly unanimous negative feedback from the name I’m thinking they were going with RailRiders all along and decided to try to make the fans happy by using the porcupine which just makes it awkward. I’m thinking RailRiders might have a shelf life about as long as that 49ers helmet/logo prototype did and it’ll change over to Porcupines at some point. Most people here still want Trolley Frogs or Porcupines.

    And please, please, please no more Red Barons. Let them go into the past. That team is now in Allentown not here. Leave that behind. Or if they have to come back can we at least update the look and get the right plane in the logo?

    • Gary | November 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

      Actually, the team that is in Allentown now is the Ottawa Lynx. Affiliation swaps were made, and that’s how the Yankees ended up in Scranton instead of Columbus. The actual team you have in SWB is still the Red Barons, at its core.

      • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

        At it’s core yes that is true but the Red Barons name and identity is still owned by the Phillies. No way they’d give that up to let them become the Red Barons again. Especially with us being so close to Allentown.

        • Gary | November 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

          The ownership rights of the name are the biggest problem. I realize that the Red Barons name had become associated with the Phillies, but there’s a reason they didn’t take the name with them to Allentown – its tied too closely to SWB.

          All in all, its a move the team had to make – the Yankees name is too polarizing for baseball fans that want to support an SWB area team, but really hate the Yankees. Taking on their own identity allows them to appeal to a larger group of area fans. But man, I think the branding is terrible. I think Trolley Frogs would have been a lot better, strictly for the uniqueness of the name and its ties to the SWB area.

  • Graf Zeppelin | November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    I actually kind of like the fact that the Mets adopted two separate blue jerseys instead of just one, but mainly because I like the road version so much better. That’s not to say I don’t still think they should really have only one home uniform, one road uniform and one cap, period, but given what the uniform situation was from 1999-2009 the current rotation is a vast improvement.

    What would make it better still is if they did three things:

    1. Shrink the ASG patch about 40% and move it to the right sleeve, putting the primary logo back on the left sleeve where it belongs.

    2. No alternate cap. Just don’t release it. We won’t tell anyone.

    3. Eliminate the plain-white home alts. There’s just no need for them anymore; they should have been eliminated in 1998 when the BFBS were adopted. Changing the home pinstripes from off-white back to white would be a bonus.

    3a. As an alternative, if you absolutely must have the three home jerseys, make the pinless home alts off-white and the pinstriped jerseys white. The former would be a nice fauxback.

  • John M | November 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    Re Railriders: Notice how very low the lettering is on all the jerseys? Some of the numbers are just above the belt.
    And a team called the Railriders has a porcupine as a mascot? How about the old Brooklyn Bums?

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | November 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

      I think the lettering and numbers will be higher up on the actual jerseys. The ones they had tonight looked a lot lower. I love everything about the new look except the train tracks and the RailRiders name.
      Like I said based on how overwhelming the negative feedback is towards the RailRiders name expect to see the name last a very brief time. The GM here came from Omaha where he was GM and they went through a similar situation where people hated the Golden Spikes name. I’m hoping they learned from that mistake and will give the fans what they really wanted, Trolley Frogs or Porcupines.

    • James A | November 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

      I’m not blown away by the RailRiders design. I like the red hat the most, although I think the “SWB” should be a little smaller. I’ll be interested to see a better image of the pillbox hat.

  • Hollywood | November 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    Forgive me if this was mentioned today, but didn’t Paul have a re-design contest on ESPN.com involving the Brewers not too long ago? Could someone please link that for me? I remember some of those being pretty good.

    Oh, and for those submitting to the Brewers for this current design contest, PLEASE make sure the Barrel Man is involved somehow.

    • Paul Lukas | November 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

      I have done redesign contests for a variety of teams, but never the Brewers.

      • Hollywood | November 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

        Now that you mention it, I think it was one of Phil’s re-designs on one of his weekend posts. Is that right? Or am I just misremembering?

        • Dudam | November 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

          I think that was a general redesign contest for any team…just so happens one of the best designs and finalists was a Brewers jersey. I couild be mistaken, though.

      • Phil Hecken | November 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

        great memory…i almost forgot about that, and boy were those primitive…

        but…

        here ya go –

        part 1

        part 2

  • Tim H | November 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    One thing I noticed from Monday Night’s Steelers/Chiefs game that I haven’t seen mentioned is Byron Leftwich wearing one of those old-style 3-bar Marino facemasks:

    http://scores.espn.g...

    Wasn’t aware anyone was still wearing those. I know Peyton had one when he first came into the league but he then switched to the Riddel Revolution. Not sure why but, it has always been on of my favorite facemasks.

  • Brian | November 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

    An interesting look at the changes in the number of decorations that military leaders wear vs. what used to be worn…

    http://andrewsulliva...

  • -DW | November 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    “My only gripe is that it’d be a lot ballsier to use the fan-designed uni for a regular season game.”

    Could that be because it takes two years for MLB uniforms to go from board to on-field?

  • Paul Lee | November 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

    Hey all, random question here. What does “heat-debossed” mean? On the Miami Heat jersey they have the “Commemorative heat-debossed repeating pinstripe pattern on front and back” that says “2012 NBA Champions -” but does this mean that it’s sublimated, or another fancy way to say “screened”? Just wondering. Thanks.

  • James Craven | November 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm |

    Refs at 2K Classic at MSG with stripes on camo.

    America. Fuck yeah.

  • Erich | November 16, 2012 at 1:22 am |

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the new Cardinals third jersey…

    http://www.stltoday....

    • Iggy Blissful | November 16, 2012 at 1:43 am |

      this needs to be the roadie sans navy cap.

  • Derek | November 16, 2012 at 3:00 am |

    The MLB shop is blowing out BP caps as part of a Black Friday sale. Does anyone know if new caps for 2013 are coming? How would that factor in the Brewers design contest?

  • Andy H | November 16, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    Re: the Brewers redesign and an MLB team never using a fan developed uni.

    Does that include logos as part of the uni-redesign? Only reason I say that is the ball and glove Brewers logo was created by Tom Meindel, who was a friend of my aunt’s in college at UW-Eau Claire. The Brewers had a contest in the winter of ’77 and he sent in the entry and his was picked and is basically the most recognizable Brewers logo out there, and perhaps one of the more recognizable logos in sports. The Crew ended up using that logo for 16 years.

    You should do a follow-up feature/interview with Tom (who was an art history major).