The photo you see above, from the Nov. 17 Baylor/K-State game, ran in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated. Only problem is, Baylor didn’t wear green jerseys for that game — they wore black. Indeed, the original photo SI used, by US Presswire shutterbug Matthew Emmons, shows Baylor wearing black. But SI for some reason chose to change the jerseys to green. Why?
That question was ricocheting around the media world yesterday. The story was originally floated by the Dallas Morning News, after which it was picked up by media watchdog Jim Romenesko and then, of course, Deadspin (which has a nifty little photo slider, allowing you to compare the black and green versions of the shot). As you can see in the updates to those stories, SI is blaming the whole thing on an unspecified “production error” and seems unwilling to address the matter any further.
Obviously, the green jerseys look better; just as obviously, that’s not the point. Lots of people seem to be piling on and accusing SI of nefarious photo manipulation, but it seems to me that something’s missing: a motive. Why would SI do this? What do they have to gain? It doesn’t make sense.
Could it have been an innocent mistake? Sure: Maybe someone at SI (a) didn’t realize that Baylor was wearing black, and (b) mistakenly thought that some trick of the light had made the green jerseys appear black, and then (c) mistakenly color-”corrected” the jerseys to make them look green again. Except why would SI, a magazine whose very name stands for photographic excellence, use a photo that supposedly required such extensive color-correction in the first place? Why not just find another photo? Again, it doesn’t make any sense. But one thing’s for certain: All this trouble could have been avoided if they hadn’t worn those miserable BFBS jerseys.
That last sentence also applies to yesterday’s Notre Dame/Kentucky basketball game, which found the Irish wearing some of history’s worst-conceived hoops uniforms. Check out this photo gallery and this photo gallery, and see how often you can read the lettering and numbering on Notre Dame’s jerseys. As several people have said to me, “How is that even legal?” Good question. But maybe we can get Sports Illustrated to provide us with green versions of the photos (or at least get Deadspin to provide a photo slider).
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Falcons wore their throwbacks last night. And as you can see in that photo, Roddy White got a little creative with his socks. … Here’s a classic spring training shot: Nick Swisher wearing a home top paired with road pants. I’m sure the photo was meant to be cropped above the waist (from Johnny Bruno). … Not sure which game this is from, but Colin Kaepernick had some serious uni number issues at some point this season (from Chris Flinn). … If you’re an NHL goalie, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! (From Alan Kreit.) … Now that Russell Martin has left the Yankees and is headed back to the world of NOBs, it’ll be interesting to see if he revives his old “J. Martin” NOB. As you may recall, he added the “J.” for his mother back when he was with the Dodgers. … South Carolina hoops player Michael Carrera apparently thought his shorts were too long, because he rolled up the waistband several times over last night (from Scott Novosel). … Chan Ho Park held a press conference for his retirement and they displayed every jersey he’s worn (from Dennis Abrams). … Lots to like in Martin Hick’s NFL Xmas tree. … If the Hornets choose a more Louisiana-ish name, as has been reported, the Bobcats might rename themselves the Hornets (from Mike McLaughlin). … Jon Helfenstein has found some more photos of the Orioles wearing solid-orange in the early 1970s. Also: He’s found a solid-orange Frank Robinson figurine!