[Editor's Note: Today we have a guest entry from John O'Leary, who proudly wears the Whalers neckties shown above. (If you're reading this on a mobile device or are having difficulty seeing the slideshow, click here.) Enjoy. — PL]
By John O’Leary
I have been a Whalers fan since I was born. My uncle had season tickets from the beginnings of the New England Whalers up through the team’s last season in Hartford in 1997. I vividly remember sitting in section 119 for all the classic games against the Bruins and the home playoff victories over Montreal.
Over the years I’ve assembled a collection of rare and unique New England and Hartford Whalers neckties. I acquired them at estate sales and on eBay. I don’t know when or why they were made, however. I’ve asked the people who sold me the ties, I’ve asked around with various Whalers contacts, and I even got in touch with Rivetz of Boston (the manufacturer of one of the ties), but nobody knows the backstory.
I wear the ties everywhere. Birthday parties, holiday events, networking receptions, etc. Living in Connecticut, I get stopped and asked about them a lot, especially by former season ticket holders or any fan of the Whale. I am also down in New York and up in Boston frequently to visit friends, and I get stopped by Bruins fans, Rangers fans, Islanders fans, and transplanted Whalers fans and asked about the ties. They’re great conversation starters and I wear them proudly.
I have also worn the ties overseas. I was fortunate enough to go abroad as part of my graduate studies at the University of Hartford, so I wore the ties in Prague, Singapore, Thailand, London, and Dubai. I wore one of the ties to a Tottenham-Hotspur vs. Everton football match last January in London and was asked about it during halftime. I wore the tie at Jagr’s sports bar in Prague and got into a heated debate with the bartender (and several patrons) about the Ron Francis trade from Hartford to Pittsburgh. I wore one of the ties in front of the Merlion in Singapore and was asked stopped and asked about it by an American businessman from who was eating his lunch. I also wore it when I toured the Relaxing Buddah in Bangkok, and again while my wife and I were in Dubai at the Burj-Al-Arab (the world’s only seven star hotel) for dinner.
So I love the ties, but I don’t know their origins. Were they given only to players, management, or boosters? Were they for a special event? I am still searching for answers. Maybe some Uni Watch readers will know.
By Brinke Guthrie
Thanksgiving’s just two days off, so we can begin giving thanks for football right now! Now if I’m not mistaken, Jerrah rolled out the (in)famous double star jersey for the 1994 Thanksgiving Day game, and I don’t think anyone knew about them beforehand. Gorgeous, and one of the dumber things I’ve ever done was sell my Aikman 8 home double-star on eBay. So check out this Emmitt Smith version in all its NFL 75th-anniversary glory.
Here are some more things to be thankful for:
• We’ve got a 1970s KC Chiefs helmet plaque with the de rigueur white facemask.
• Here’s a nice set of framed 1970s NFL patches.
• Got Jazz? You will with this vintage original New Orleans Jazz T-shirt.
• I don’t think I’ve seen an electric football brand besides Tudor, but here’s a vintage 1969 NFL game from Marx (the same folks who brought you like every cool spaceship toy ever in the 1960s).
• This is a terrific SF Giants Majestic jacket. It’s from about 2000 or so. The reason I bring this one up is that it has a unique kinda rubberized surface to the material. I had one of these, and I loved it! So one day I hung it on one of those fancy Aeron mesh chairs and sat down in it. Somehow my leaning back on it repeatedly shredded the thing. When I got up at the end of the day, it looked like I had fed it to the wolves!
• Speaking of the Giants, this 1981 bendable figure doesn’t quite resemble “Stretch McCovey,” but he can still stretch!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are the special Ohio State uniforms we already knew about for the game against Michigan. … “I found my old Tudor Electric Football game at my parents’ place,” says Art Savokinas. “I’d forgotten that I put a Steelers decal on the field to personalize this game. I guess that Uni Watch mentality started in my youth.” … Here’s a close-up shot that clearly shows that the Cardinals’ new jersey insignia is still chain-stitched. That photo is linked from Birdbats blogger Jeff Scott’s report on the new unis. … Most soccer teams that wear poppies for Remembrance Day use screened-on poppy graphics. But at least one club, Everton, used direct-embroidered chain-stitched poppies — nice! (From Trevor Kraycik.) … WFAN radio yakker Mike Francesa delivered a blustery rant about the Steelers’ bumblebee thorwbacks yesterday, calling them “the worst uniforms in history” and generally making it pretty clear that he didn’t realize they’d already been worn a few weeks ago. … The St. John’s IceCaps went G.I. Joe the other day (from Chris Hernandez). … You know how soccer jerseys usually have a mini version of the league’s logo at the base of the uni numbers? The U. of Florida women’s soccer team does something similar, only they use the school’s gator head logo (nice spot by Kevin Wright). … If you don’t already know the story of the Adidas/Puma family feud, this article isn’t a bad place to start (from Christopher Falvey). … Pretty cool Hires Root Beer 1939 football booklet (from Don Montgomery). … Quick, what design do you think the Maryland goalie uses for his pads and blocker? Yup, exactly. Pretty cool (from Adam Heili).