It’s official: The Hornets will become the Pelicans next season. There’s a press release here, and you can see the team’s five new logos here. Unfortunately, the team says uniforms won’t be shown until “the coming months,” so we can’t assess the club’s full identity yet. But there’s certainly enough to discuss based on what they’ve shown us so far.
As soon as the logos went public, I whipped up some quick reactions and posted them in this short ESPN piece, so that’s a good place to start if you want to know what I think.
A day later, the two major thoughts that I expressed in that piece have hardened and solidified: I really like the team name (I know some of you probably think pelicans are insufficiently intimidating or some such, in which case I heartily recommend that you read this piece) and I really dislike the logo. The color scheme is the very definition of uninspired, and the overall approach feels very minor league. Given how cool-looking pelicans are, I’m really disappointed by the results here.
Of course, a bad logo doesn’t necessarily correlate with a bad uniform (although it doesn’t bode well). I hated the Nets’ logo when it was unveiled and like the uniforms just fine. So we shall see.
Meanwhile, everyone wants to know if the Bobcats will rebrand as the Hornets. That would present an interesting situation for NBA recordkeeping, which is spelled out here.
Tee-ing off: Many of you may not realize or remember this, but when the Uni Watch membership program was launched in May of 2007, it originally had a bunch of different membership levels, at prices ranging from $25 to $1000. Certain membership levels entitled you to assorted premiums, including the T-shirt shown at right, which was designed by Scott Turner and was available in a variety of colors and styles. After we scrapped the multi-level membership format in March of 2008, the shirt was no longer part of the membership package, and I’ve never made it available for regular sale since then, because I wanted it to be an exclusive thing for the first wave of membership enrollees.
Some of you have recently gotten in touch to say that your membership T-shirt has faded or torn and that you’d like to get a new one. I think enough time has gone by that it’s okay to make this design accessible to everyone, so that’s what I’ve done. It’s now available for purchase in the Uni Watch shop in the following formats:
I’m sure some of you are already thinking, “What a hypocrite! He always says he’s against merchandising, but he’s happy to push his own merch!” So let’s address that now: The reason I’m opposed to most sports jersey/cap/etc. merchandising is that I think it’s bad for uni-verse, because it ends up becoming the tail that wags the on-field dog. If jerseys weren’t available for sale, we wouldn’t have BFBS, or teams with four alternate uniforms, or all the other crap we have to look at while watching a game. That’s very different from a Uni Watch T-shirt, which has no bearing on anything other than, you know, the shirt itself and the person who wants to wear it.
In any case, I’ve never pushed the Uni Watch merch very hard, and I don’t expect to push these new T-shirts very hard either. Also, if you know how Zazzle works, then you also know my cut is about $2 per sale, so this isn’t exactly profiteering. Just wanted you to know they’re available.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Brewers’ “lager”-colored jersey format, which we’ve occasionally seen for special occasions, is now an official alternate jersey. For those scoring at home, that means the Brewers now have four alternate jerseys: blue home, blue road, throwback, and gold. … A federal judge has ordered the city of New Orleans to cut back the size of its “clean zone” — that’s the area in which only authorized vendors, signs, and banners can be exist in the days leading up to the Stupor Bowl. “The original restrictions would have prohibited simple dive bars from displaying chalkboard signs mentioning drink specials or what bands are
playing, etc.,” says New Orleans resident Chris Falvey, who adds that he plans on staying “far, far, far away from downtown until the game is over.” … I was wondering if the 49ers would keep the Sandy Hook Elementary School memorial decal for the Super Bowl, since that’s also where the Super Bowl logo decal would normally go. So I checked with the team and was told, “Yes, we’ll keep it. We will move the ‘S.H.E.S.’ decal down and put the SBXLVII decal above it.” This isn’t an issue for the Ravens, because they haven’t worn the Sandy Hook decal during the postseason. … Here’s how the Sharks’ George Gund III memorial patch looks on the jersey (thanks, Brinke). … New hockey arena in the works for the Oilers. … Speaking of new sports facilities, here’s a shocker: Most stadiums built for the Olympix end up empty and weed-ridden. … “I was watching Fox Soccer News, and during highlights featuring Sevilla FC (Spain), the host commented on Sevilla’s lack of a jersey sponsor,” says Matthew Dowell. “He said, ‘They just look weird without sponsors, like they are wearing practice tops.’” … Ricky Sanders had really wide-spaced TV numbers in Super Bowl XXII (from Todd Herzog). … Good photos galleries from the 1962, ’63, and ’64 AFL All-Star Games available here (from Rocky Lum). … Mercer University in Georgia is fielding a football team for the first time in 70 years. You can see their new uniforms in the video on this page (from Josh Ringer). … Alabama safety Robert Lester, who’ll be playing in the Senior Bowl, changed the TV numbers on his helmet to his home area code in practice the other day (from Adam Kelley). … Aussie rules football note from Kerry Hudson, who writes: “In a recent match between the Palmerston Magpies and the Tiwi Bombers, both teams wore seat belt graphics on their jerseys to promote road safety.” … The little Nuggets logo patch on the back of Ty Lawson’s jersey was upside-down the other day (from Mark Smith). … Really good piece on the history of the Presidential seal (from Matthew Algeo). … There’s a photo gallery from the ECHL All-Star Game here. “The game’s format was All-Stars vs. Eagles,” explains Peter Einersen, who attended the game. “It was a surprisingly great experience. Hard to explain, but there was just an earnest sense of excitement and a truly explosive energy in the crowd that I hadn’t experienced at a sporting event in a long time. Add in a vague sense of ‘Slapstick LIVE!’ and you have yourself a great night.” … Colorado State’s basketball jerseys have a little “A” at the base of the collar — a shout-out to the school’s old days as Colorado A&M. But guard Wes Eikmeier was missing his “A” the other day (good spot by Jaryd Marquez). … Akron hoops is apparently going BFBS on Feb. 2 (from Nicholas Popczun). … Amar’e Stoudemire was wearing a Man U hat yesterday (from Caldwell Bailey). … Here’s an absolutely sensational piece about how to DIY your own NBA jerseys using fabric markers (big thanks to Enrico Campitelli Jr.). … Remember all that Super Bowl paint I showed yesterday? Here’s some of it being put to good use (from Charles Bowman). … The Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC currently has a fantastic-looking exhibit on old photos of women in sports (big thanks to my pal Karen McBurnie). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a good look at the White Sox’s 1983 throwbacks, which as you can see are pullovers. The MLB Style Guide calls for traditional belted pants, however, which isn’t historically accurate. The belted pants will have the number on the left thigh, however. … UNC guard Dexter Strickland posted photos of the team’s breast cancer awareness footwear options. He also doesn’t know how to spell “eeny,” but that’s another matter (from Jordan Woodson). … In a related item, Utah wore pink-accented uniforms last night (from Trent Knaphus). … Sox on sox! Pricey, but still very cool (from Mark Lackinger). … Budweiser ran a uni-driven Stan Musial memorial ad in the current issue of Sports Illustrated (from John Rael). … The Philadelphia Wings — that’s a lacrosse team — will be wearing some kind of godawful camo design this Sunday (from James Ashby). … The Chiba Lotte Marines are the first team in Japan to have team-branded license plates, but they’re only for motorcycles or scooters (from Jeremy Brahm). … Canada’s newly redesigned $20 bill has the wrong maple leaf on it. … New mask design for Senators goalie Ben Bishop (from James Ashby). … Meanwhile, Red Wings goalie Tom McCollum’s new mask features the late comedian Chris Farley (from Mike McLaughlin). … Here’s a little item from 1969 about how several Jets players had to wear Bengals jerseys after their own jerseys were stolen (from Bill Schaefer).
Looking ahead: I’ll be off the grid starting at about noon today and extending at least through the weekend, and maybe for most of Monday too, so there’s a chance that the site will be closed on Monday. If that happens, I trust the five or six of you who actually care about my thoughts regarding the Pro Bowl (or anything else regarding the Pro Bowl) will somehow persevere. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next Monday (maybe) or Tuesday (definitely).