Photo by Jesse Buccafusco
Remember Jesse Buccafusco, who made that great stirrup card catalog for her husband, Marty? Jesse and Marty are from Georgia, so they’re big Falcons fans, and of course I’m a 49ers fan, so I invited them over to Uni Watch HQ for yesterday’s NFC championship game. As you can see in the photo above, Marty and I both dressed for the occasion.
Not the most uni-eventful pair of games, but there were a few items of note:
• 49ers running back Frank Gore has been wearing biker shorts for several years now. But he compounded the problem yesterday by going bare-legged. Let’s hope he doesn’t do that in the Stupor Bowl.
• Referee Bill Leavey, who was working the Pats/Ravens game, didn’t have a position designation on the back of his jersey.
• Tom Brady was wearing a cap with Pat Patriot, not Flying Elvis, prior to yesterday’s Pats/Ravens game (and I think I saw him wearing it during the game, too).
• CBS’s two sideline reporters for the Pats/Ravens game both had tape covering up some kind of logo creep on their jackets. Hmmmm.
Naturally, I’m pleased that my favorite team is going to the big dance. And they’re be playing a purple-clad team to boot! Rarely has the line between Good and Evil been so clearly delineated, my friends.
(My thanks to Ethan Hopkin, Rich Paloma, and Dave Rakowski for their screen shots.)
About freakin’ time: The long-delayed NHL season finally got under way on Saturday, and there were some uni-notable details worth breaking down here:
• The Kings raised their Stanley Cup championship banner prior to Saturday’s season opener and then, in a move that hadn’t been previously announced (at least not to my knowledge), they also wore a jersey patch that was essentially a miniature version of the banner. As you may recall, the Bruins did the same thing for their season opener last season, so maybe this is the new normal for Stanley Cup champions.
• In another move that received no advance notice, the Capitals have inverted their sock design! Or maybe they’re just using last year’s socks and wearing them upside-down. They apparently plan to do the same thing with their home hose, at least judging by this scrimmage photo from last week, but we should find out for sure at tomorrow’s home opener.
• Here’s the memorial decal that the Sharks are wearing for original team owner George Gund III.
• Surprising to see Derek Morris of the Coyotes wearing a jersey with the Reebok vector, instead of the wordmark.
(My thanks to Brent Bollmeier, Garrett Heller, and Luke Rosnick for their contributions to this section.)
Membership update: Eight new card designs have been added to the membership card design gallery (including Jacob Kubuske’s card, based on this year’s Ohio State uniform for the Michigan game, shown at right). The printed and laminated versions of these cards should mail out in a day or two.
As always, you can order your own custom-designed membership card by signing up here.
Busy fella: There are times when life is basically steady as she goes, and then there are times when the air starts crackling and popping with new developments. I’m happy to report that I’m in one of those latter periods at the moment, as a bunch of new projects are in the works:
• Starting around the end of this month, I will begin writing a short weekly column, called “One-Man Focus Group,” for The New Republic’s web site (and maybe for the print edition as well, if the column is well-received). The concept is straightforward: I’ll be reviewing new products, services, and phenomena that wouldn’t normally receive reviews from a critic. This could include anything from Heineken’s new bottle design to MLB’s new initiative to use cell phones in the dugouts. This may sound familiar to those of you who read my “Inconspicuous Consumption” work in the 1990s, and yeah, it’s in that vein, although I hope to bring a different kind of voice to it. Should be fun, and I’m excited by the possibilities.
• I’ve never written for a car magazine before, but that will soon change, as I’ll be doing a Uni Watch-ish piece about auto racing liveries for Road & Track. If it goes well, it may become a regular gig. I’ve never been a car guy — I mean, I own a car, and I love road trips, but I’ve never been into car culture per se — so the idea of writing for a leading car magazine is kind of a hoot. (Yes, I know a true car enthusiast would never use a word like “hoot.”)
• Some of you have recently asked me about the Candela Structures project, and there are some new developments on that front as well, as Kirsten and I are writing a story about the structures that will run in the Sunday Metro section of the New York Times, probably in May or June. It should summarize everything we’ve learned about the structures over the past four years, including how an enterprising upstate New York family managed to transform one of the structures into an unlikely summer cabin.
• It’s too soon for me to go into any details on this one, but there’s also a chance I’ll soon be doing some work for a rather well-known radio show. (Spoiler: Not Glenn Beck’s.) Even if it doesn’t work out, the initial discussions have been really illuminating and interesting, so I feel like I’m already ahead of the game. Anything else will be gravy.
• Another one that I can’t yet explain fully: I’m working on something that will involve collections and the collectors who collect them. Can’t say any more than that for now.
• Finally, if you’re an editor and are open to an offbeat project that’s sort of sports-related but sort of not, I have something to pitch to you. Curious? Shoot me a note and I’ll tell you more.
That’s enough for now. I’ll have more info (and links, of course) as these projects go live.
Browns contest reminder: I’m currently running a contest to redesign the Browns’ uniforms. Details here.
Super Bowl logo contest reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Phil announced the five finalists for his his Super Bowl logo redesign contest. Go ahead and cast your vote.
New sponsor shout-out: As you may have noticed, we have a new advertiser in the right sidebar — Athletic Trend, a site dedicated to covering the latest developments in team apparel (jerseys, T-shirts, caps, the works). Check them out.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Last season the White Sox wore 1972 throwbacks for Sunday home games. This year they’re going with the 1983 beach blanket design. … Gonzaga hoops wore new uniforms with bulldogs fore and aft on Saturday night. Personally, I like ’em. Unfortunately, they appear to be part of a Nike program that will soon bring us lots of similar uniforms, so it’ll all end up looking like Team Swoosh. Further details here. … Holy moly, look at Baylor’s new gold chrome helmet. That’s from running backs coach Jeff Lebby’s Twitter feed (from Ryan DeFilippi). … New helmets possibly in the works for Houston, too. … Gussie Moran, who caused a sensation in 1949 by wearing a short skirt at Wimbledon, has passed away. … This is odd — look at this jersey. What do you think that “G” is for? Weird. … New uniforms for the Japanese soccer teams Nagoya Grampus, Vegalta Sendai, and Jubilo Iwata (all from Jeremy Brahm). … Maryland hoops wore black “pride” uniforms on Saturday. Game photos here. … Interesting note from Michael Rich, who writes: “I was looking at the FAQ for Final Four volunteers and noticed the following: ‘Q: Will food/drinks be provided during my shift? A: Meals will not be provided to volunteers given the short duration of most shifts (3 – 5 hours). Please make sure you eat before your volunteer shift. Volunteers will be allowed to bring Coca-Cola products and bottled water to consume during their shift.’ So you volunteer your time, and not only do they make you bring your own drinks, they specify which brand you’re allowed to bring.” … Montana men’s and women’s hoops teams wore throwbacks over the weekend. … Christopher Jones points out that BYU hoops has been wearing new home uniforms.” It appears they introduced the new uniforms against Eastern New Mexico on Dec. 18 but then reverted to the old uniforms for the next home game against Northern Arizona,” he says. “They’ve worn the new design in every home game since. Oddly, their road uniforms are still the old design.” … New basketball uniforms for Buffalo, too. “It looks like all the back-ordered Systen of Dress kits are starting to filter in now, and the jerseys that they wore in non-conference play were just temps,” says a reader who prefers not to be named. … New cycling kits for the Radio Shack team (from Sean Clancy). … Here’s a video on how to attach one of those “big grill” facemasks (from Ronnie Poore). … Someone has started an online petition to get the Eagles to return to kelly green (from Adam Szumski). … This is interesting: a glass basketball floor. Further info here (thanks, Kirsten). … New mask design for Jaroslav Halak. … Kenosha, Wisconsin, is getting a new minor league baseball team, and fans are being invited to help name the team (from Geoff Poole). … Here’s a not-very-illuminating Q&A session with the NFL’s senior VP of consumer products. … New uniforms for the Buffalo Bisons. … Gavin Orobko has finished painting the players for his MTS Centre table hockey game. … Auto racing innovator Bill Simpson is the latest to try to come up with a concussion-proof football helmet (from Blake Pass). … There’s a mystery facemask in the National Lacrosse League (from Connor Wilson). … “I purchased what appears to be a vintage Houston Cougars basketball warm-up shirt,” says Kevin Visentin. “The seller said it was from the ’70s, but I was hoping you or someone from your community of readers could help me narrow it down to a specific season or seasons.” Anyone..? … I’m not sure President Obama can ice skate, much less play hockey, but the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) are having an Obama bobblehead night this Friday all the same (from Andy Rawlings). … Cal plans to unveil new football uniforms in April-ish (from Kyle Mackie). … Latest college hoops team to go GFGS: Purdue (from Drew Arnson). … “Here’s something you don’t see every day,” says Travis Chell. “A basketball court with the Penn logo at mid-court and Atlantic 10 logos at the free throw line and one baseline.” … Someone at the scorer’s table at Saturday’s Michigan State/Ohio State basketball game was wearing a sweater with an outdated Big 10 logo (from Jerry Kulig). … New mask design for Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (from James Ashby). … Can’t recall if we’ve already covered this, but U.S. Soccer released a centennial crest a few weeks ago. Many fans apparently don’t like it (from Chris McFarlane). … Something else that might have been mentioned earlier, but just in case: Matte helmets possibly in the works for Washington (from Kyle Hanks). … Yesterday’s New York Times included an illustration of President Obama in a “POTUS” baseball uniform — high cuffed, thankfully. … Kinda dig this vintage Rawlings script sweatshirt. … “Saturday was Hockey Day Minnesota, which featured two outdoor high school hockey games in Grand Rapids, Minnesota,” says David Caruso. “One of the games — Grand Rapids vs. Benilde St. Margaret’s — was throwback-on-throwback, color-on-color (red vs. orange!), and was also played in the snow.” … The Senior Bowl, which’ll be played next weekend, appears to have some NOB consistency issues, at least judging by this photo of Texas seniors Marquis Goodwin and Alex Okafor (from Mike O’Malley). … The 49ers’ new stadium may not have a corporate douchebag name, which is A-OK with me (thanks, Brinke). … New font set for MLS (from Patrick Runge). … FSU safety Nick Moody will have a new facemask for the East-West Shrine Game (from Robert Daniel Lim). … Yet another new helmet in the works for Tulane. … NC State hoops went BFBS yesterday, creating a color-on-color match-up against Clemson (from Paul Rapsawich). … This is interesting: a company that specializes in phony products for TV shows and movies, so the producers don’t have to pay royalties (thanks, Kirsten). … Very sorry to hear about the passing of Stan Musial and Earl Weaver, the latter of whom was particularly uni-notable because of the little cigarette pocket sewn into the inside of his jerseys. Personally, I’d love to see the O’s incorporate that pocket into every player’s jersey this season, which would be a much more fitting memorial than a patch. Meanwhile, this is a good time to recall Weaver’s finest recorded moment — the justly infamous prank version of his “Manager’s Corner” pregame show, which still cracks me up after all these years. Enjoy (audio NSFW):