49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (aka the man most likely to suffer an aneurysm during a Super Bowl) has had more than his share of uni-notable moments this season. First he wore one of his old Stanford sweatshirts with a Niners cover-up patch. Then he wore his mock turtleneck backwards.
Interestingly, several readers have recently gotten in touch with me to ask where they can buy a Harbaugh-style sweatshirt. My answer to such queries, of course, is always “I have no idea,” because I don’t follow or care about the merchandising or retailing branches of the uni-verse, and I’m disturbed by the increasing tendency to conflate fandom with consumerism, but I still find it interesting that some people actually look at Jim Harbaugh (or any NFL coach) and think to themselves, “I’ll have what he’s having.” I mean, I realize that’s the whole idea, but it’s rare that I’m confronted with a concrete example of it. Then again, Harbaugh’s sweatshirt is better-looking than what most NFL coaches wear, so maybe that explains it.
Anyway, one of the people who wanted to purchase the Harbaugh sweatshirt was our own Brinke Guthrie, who writes the weekly “Collector’s Corner” column here on Uni Watch. He actually went so far as to ask Nike about the sweatshirt’s availability. Here’s the response he received:
I’m glad to hear that you’re interested in getting a Nike 49ers sweatshirt.
As it turns out, our 49ers sweatshirt that you see Jim Harbaugh wearing is an SMU (Special Make-Up) model, not released for retail sale, but created specially for the coach to wear [presumably so he could stop wearing the Stanford shirt with the cover-up patch — PL]. I’ve gone ahead and submitted feedback to our Leadership Team to let them know that we have consumers like yourself who would like to see these become available on the market, as our policies, procedures, and product lineups are heavily driven by consumer feedback. …
I was fortunately able to find a couple of alternative options for you to check out with our authorized retailers, that are similar to the sweatshirt you see Coach Harbaugh wearing.
Anyway, it’s definitely interesting that Nike would miss a retailing opportunity like this. I mean if you’re making something especially for one of the NFL’s highest-profile young coaches, wouldn’t you also put it in stores? Maybe there wasn’t time to get it into the retail pipeline.
Meanwhile, as long as we’re talking about the Super Bowl (sort of), here are some additional tidbits:
• Yesterday we saw how the Super Bowl patch will look on the Niners’ jersey. Today we have the Ravens. That article also confirms that the Ravens will be wearing black pants.
• Niners running back Frank Gore has been fined $10,500 for going bare-legged in the NFC Championship Game.
• “A friend of mine works for FedEx freight in Tennessee and came across these shipping pallets of Super Bowl paint,” says Dustin Semore. “They’re from World Class Paints out of Leland, Mississippi. From looking at their web site, 90% of college and pro fields are painted with their paint. Looks like they design the special stencils, too.” Fascinating find!
• Some Intellectual Property Isn’t All That Intellectual, Part 1: The NFL has bullied a fan into abandoning his move to trademark the terms “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.” Douchebags.
• Some Intellectual Property Isn’t All That Intellectual, Part 2: You know that idiotic move where Colin Kaepernick looks like he’s sniffing his armpit? He’s named it after himself and is looking to trademark the term.
PermaRec update: Personal effects found on the bodies of migrants who died in the Sonoran Desert (some of which are shown at right) are the subject of the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Hornets will reportedly announce their rebranding as the Pelicans, complete with a uniform unveiling, this afternoon. … Yesterday we had a look at the NFC Pro Bowl jersey, and today we have the AFC — or at least a rear view. Looks like the game will be color-on-color. … “Rugby seems to be going through a major shift,” says Caleb Borchers. ” This is how the teams looked for Six Nations tournament in 2011, and this is how they look this year. As you can see, teams are switching from white shorts to colored shorts.” … Pro cyclists are racing the Tour Down Under this week and their numbers are made of cloth. “Sweet!” says Sean Clancy. … The Charlotte Checkers (AHL) will be wearing auto racing-themed jerseys (from Adam Jackson). … Here’s a piece on the story behind UNC’s argyle design. … Lee David Wilds got his hands on a 1949 Indians scorecard and was nice enough to scan the whole thing for us. … Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was wearing black socks with the team’s red jersey the other night (from Tim Donovan). … Ooh, check out these old Quaker Oats booklets featuring Babe Ruth (from Gordon Blau). … York City — that’s an English soccer team — is offering new jerseys to fans who trade in their old ones (from George Chilvers). … We’ve covered this before, but it’s been a while, so it may be new to many of you: Check out the Bills’ mismatched pants striping in Super Bowl XXVII (from John Roshell).