By Phil Hecken
The Daytona 500, one of the most famous of all the American stock car races, is today. In fact, the Daytona 500 is often referred to as the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing” and the “Great American Race.” Unfortunately, yesterday afternoon, a really scary crash took place, injuring at least 28 spectators (one or two of them critically). According to the Halifax Medical Center, where most of the injured were taken,
“One adult is in surgery with life-threatening head trauma, and a 14-year-old is in critical, but not life-threatening condition.” (update, as of midnight last evening, none of the injuries was considered life-threatening — phew). It’s a dangerous sport, for drivers and fans. Here’s some video, shot by fan who was seated near where some of the wreckage flew through the fence and into the stands. Scary stuff:
While those events will cast a pall over today’s race, most fans and drivers know that accidents like this are a possibility. If you’re interested, you can see more crash photos in this photo gallery. My thoughts and prayers, as I’m sure all of those involved with the race, go out to the injured.
Before the big wreck made big (unfortunate) news, the big story of this year’s Daytona 500 was its pole-sitter — that Go Daddy Girl herself, Danica Patrick. It’s not only the first time a female will sit on the pole for NASCAR’s biggest race — it’s actually the first time a female won the pole for any race in what is known as NASCAR’s “Sprint Cup Series.” I’ll certainly be rooting for her — as I’m sure will millions upon millions of NASCAR and non-NASCAR fans. I almost wish I had a ticket to the race. Hopefully some intrepid UWer(s) will be there to give us a detailed rundown following the event.
I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not, unlike
John Kerry Maureen Dowd, a NASCAR aficionado, although I have watched the Daytona 500 before. And I will certainly watch at least some of the race today, not the least of which is because I’m hoping to see history.
I’d hoped to be able to bring you a post similar to this epic preview from UW Webmaster John Ekdahl (who will be at today’s race) in 2011. Unfortunately, I’m not proficient enough to do so (but I’ll have a few historical notes below). I am hoping the race fans among the Uni Watch readership will comment today and talk about the race down below. I find I learn more from the UW readership than I could possibly hope to glean from a dozen articles on the Interwebs. That 2011 post that Ek wrote contained this amazing nugget from UW mainstay Terry Proctor, who, in the comments that day, wrote:
The rice burners have been in NASCAR since 2007. We still don’t know what engine they’re running. Is it a race-tuned truck engine out of a Tundra? Or is it a 350-cid GM block with Toyota components? Whatever it is it should not be allowed to run in NASCAR. FORD uses a race-tuned 351-cid block, Chevy uses the 350-cid block. They’re all bored and stroked to 358-cid, the maximum size for NASCAR.
You know I’ve been a FORD man all of my life. I’ve followed racing for more than 50 years. So let me explain a few things to you about racing. First, if not for the innovations pioneered and invented by people involved with FORD racing NASCAR would still be a bunch of rednecks running their ‘shine cars on Sunday at the county fairgrounds.
The Wood Brothers, who have run only FORD products since they started in the early 1950s created the modern pit-stop choreography that is now a part of all motor racing.
The chassis set-up of every NASCAR vehicle running today is based on the modifications that the late Ralph Moody of Holman-Moody made to the 1965 FORD Galaxie that won 48 of 53 NASCAR top-series races that year.
When “Litle Joe” Weatherly was killed at Riverside after his head struck the retaining wall in an otherwise minor crash Holman helped devise the window netting which keeps a driver’s head inside the cockpit.
Moody also helped develop the fuel cell following Fireball Roberts’ untimely death in 1964 after his car exploded at Charlotte, NC.
And following Tiny Lund’s death in 1975 Holman-Moody helped develop drivers’ door bracing as part of the roll cage structure for added safety.
Bud Moore proved that a FORD 351-cid engine could run at NASCAR speeds in the early 1970s when the horsepower/cubic inch wars were at their zenith. Ol’ Bud took a 351-cid FORD block, put in the allowable heavier rods and piston rings, tuned it and showed up all the brainiacs at Chevy, Mopar and NASCAR. NASCAR finally figured he was right and now the maximum size for an engine is 358-cid.
And today every vehicle running in NASCAR’s top three series receives its rear power from a FORD 9-inch rear end. Jimmie Johnson, Jeffy-poo Gordon and Little EEEEEEEEE all have FORD rear ends covering their pretty-boy posteriors!
But are any of these FORD-associated people whose technical advancements have allowed NASCAR to grow into the sport it has become receive any credit? No! All you hear about is Dale Sr., Jimmie Johnson, Junior, Gordon, Harvick ad nauseum.
And now I see where the government wants to stop the Army from spending money to sponsor a NASCAR team. If that’s the case then why doesn’t Chairman Obama tell the boys at GM and Mopar (that’s Chrysler to you uninformed) that since we, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for these two companies that they stop wasting money that they (and we) don’t have and pull out of NASCAR racing completely.
FORD could then go head-to-head with Toyota. At least those two own themselves!
That’s the kind of knowledge you will only find on UW! So bring it on folks — teach the rest of us about NASCAR and the Daytona 500!
And now, a few of my own recollections of the race:
The first “true” Daytona 500 was run in 1959, (although shorter races had been run on the beach near the track previously, where “early drivers used windshield wipers and radiators to combat the sand”). It was won by Lee Petty (a surname even non-NASCAR fans should recognize) and featured photo finish. Originally, Johnny Beauchamp had been declared the winner, but that call was reversed after “several days of poring over finish line photos.”
The Petty name, as mentioned above, is pretty much synonymous with Daytona. While Lee won the first Daytona, his son, Richard, won the race 5 years later and kept on winning. The 43 car and Daytona go together like, well, Petty & Daytona. Richard Petty, who drove some pretty cool looking cars at Daytona, won in 1973 and 1974 (first driver to win back-to-back), won the race a record 7 times, in three different decades. He’s pretty much the undisputed king of NASCAR, and the most successful driver at Daytona.
And of course, in one of the saddest days in all of racing, in 2001, when Dale Earnhardt (another king of NASCAR), was killed while racing at Daytona. I actually watched a portion of this race (although I did not find out about his death until the next day), while snowed-in on a ski trip with my then-wife.
If you want to know more (and more than I could ever tell you) about the history of the 500, you can look here or here. But, I’d rather hear from you, Uni Watchers — talk to the rest of us non-NASCAR folks about the race. Any of you ever been there (or are planning to go)? If you are there today, make sure to send us some first-hand reports, k? And some cellphone pics!
The race will be shown beginning at 1:00 (ET) on FOX. Weather is iffy, and scattered showers are expected throughout the day. It probably won’t be enough to cancel the race or even delay it till Monday however.
Some Actual Uni News…
(click each image to enlarge)
Yesterday afternoon, Kansas threwback against TCU:
They were honoring the 1988 National Championship team (which was led by Danny Manning). More photos here. And there is a closeup of the jersey here. I remember that NCAA final against OU (watched it at college) and twas a great game. For those of you old enough to remember that (or even if you’re not), you can read more about the 1988 team & championship here.
Friday, the Orioles unveiled their Earl Weaver Memorial patch. Here’s how it looks on the sleeve of Buck’s half-sleeve warmup and the O’s on-deck circle:
The patch will be on the right sleeve of the jersey this year — here’s a (not so great) view of it in action.
Earlier this year (or maybe it was last), the Mets unveiled their 2013 All Star Game Patch, which they are wearing on their left sleeve:
Here’s a smaller but better photo.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Adam Hainsfurther, who has a new crest for USA Soccer (make sure you view it at full magnification for maximum constitutional effect — trust me):
So early this week Paul mentioned how USSF introduced its “new” centennial shield which sucks about as much as anything else associated with US soccer. I took it upon myself to mock up a new crest.
Description: The Eagle, the national symbol of the US as we all know, is prominently featured in the new shield clutching a red & white ball. I added 13 stripes that come out from the bottom of the Eagle. Gone is the italics, goodbye stupid looking stars. Hello beautiful new US Soccer shield/logo.
Danville Register & Bee
Next up is Max Allen, with an Astros concept:
Dear Uni Watch:
My name is Max Allen, I am from Prairieville, Louisiana. That’s right on the outskirts of Baton Rouge. I’ve been a reader of Uni Watch for about two years now. I’ll have to admit it’s become an addiction. Uniforms have been a passion of mine ever since I began playing Little League Baseball. I also helped in the design of the new uniforms of my peewee football team(I still didn’t like the final product, but they kept all the colors right). Thanks to you guys at Uni Watch you have kept my OCD running long enough to notice the slightest misspell of a name. I love your website and like to thank the whole Uni Watch crew for keeping the public up to date and informed on Uni do’s and Uni don’ts.
PS: this tweak was inspired by the new uniforms the Astros unveiled and the classic look of the BP jerseys. Hope it’ll get featured.
Next is David Firestone who enjoyed tweaking the one year NY Giants logo:
For this concept, I took the 1975 New York Giants logo from Chris Creamer’s page, cleaned it up, and tried some color changes with that logo.
David G. Firestone
Next is Paul Robinson who has 3 AFC South Concepts:
I’ve just started doing a series of concepts for NFL teams as though I worked at Nike and got a pass from the league to just go nuts. I was in a bit of an AFC South mood to start with so these are my ideas for the Titans, Texans and Colts.
I’ve gone with the flame from the primary logo on a white helmet, and the sword from the secondary logo on the shoulders.
I incorporated the horns from the logo into the shoulders, put a sublimated star under the number on the front, and incoporated the Texas flag into the pant stripe.
This ones a bit of a departure (maybe more than a bit), I originally mocked up this design before last season, back then it was just blue and white though. The silver kind of worked its way in after I reworked the horshoe logo and included silver.
The plan at this stage is to do one for each team by the time the Draft comes around, so I’ll probably send some more through as I complete them.
And we close today with Anthony Huynh, with a Texans concept:
I photoshopped a possible Houston Texans uniform design. In my opinion, the Texans’ uniforms currently look to conservative, just like how they play ;), (I’m not saying they should go oregon style), but I think they should do a more BOLD uni. Photoshop made the uniform look to chrome, but I think you’ll get the idea. Please don’t hesitate to critique it.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Although two of the big three colorizers have been busy (or at least they haven’t sent me anything), today is still chock full because John Turney has been very busy. So busy in fact, that we might be able to call today’s installment “John Turney’s Colorize This!”
Click on each image to enlarge.
Every colorization today (except as noted below) is by John Turney.
NY Giants versus Yellow Jackets
#22 is Hap Moran. Did my usual colorization and guessed at the colors of the signs. Followed Gridiron Uniform Database for uni colors. Then added a 1936 Kodachrome filter
Green Bay Packers versus Salinas Iceberg Packers
Research from PFRA suggests the Iceberg Packers wore Silver and Blue, on far left is a young Don Hutson.
I included the original of the colorized one for comparison
Another NFL game versus an independent team
Byron Whizzer White carries the ball Pittsburgh Pirates in a 14-14 tie with the Los Angeles Bulldogs
Red Grange with New York Yankees of AFL versus Boston Bulldogs in Yankee Stadium
John also included a colorization he did not do, to compare techniques of colorization from different eras:
This is from the cover of a Sports magazine, and I think this is a colonized photo done with airbrush over a black and white shot. Shows that it was being done a half a century ago.
We also have a photograph that perhaps one of the more intrepid colorizers might want to take a shot at. It comes from James Ashby:
Dear Paul or Phil,
USA Hockey posted this great photo of Times Square in New York City being renamed Youth Ice Hockey Square ca. 1968. The mix of jerseys is great and it might be ripe for colorizing.
The next colorization candidate you should all be familiar with, since Paul featured it as a splash photo this past week. And the request comes from him:
See above — lots of early Mets in that photo, which might be a good colorization candidate.
I’ll put it in the Ticker next week, so please don’t use it tomorrow. But anytime after that is fine.
And finally, what follows is not exactly “Colorize This!” nor a request for colorizations, but it still falls under this sort of purview. This comes from Mike Clary (looks like the first three auctions have ended):
Here are some ebay auctions for colorizations with production codes, done by the people over at Topps
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Roy Campanella DODGERS
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Mel Otto New York GIANTS [Mel "Otto"??? -- PH]
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Jimmie Foxx ATHLETICS
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Jackie Robinson DODGERS
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Duke Snider DODGERS
2003 Topps Tribute Baseball Match Print Photos. Babe Ruth YANKEES
Phew! That’s it for today. HUGE thanks to John Turney for his efforts. OK, folks, lets keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!
I am usually pretty good at these, but I haven’t been paying as much attention this year as in the past. Still, gonna pick my top six. Here goes:
Best Picture: Argo
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Director: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
No huge surprises there (and isn’t there always one?) but that’s my call. Feel free to pick your own six below.
That’s all for today folks. Sorry there wasn’t more “uni” news — I know I can’t please everyone even if I tried, so there you go. At least you got a break from a certain topic that a number of you feel is played out. Everyone have a great Sunday — enjoy the Oscars and/or the Daytona 500. Or maybe both.
“In my eyes, the Earl Weaver patch is all kinds of terrible. I feel badly for the Weaver family. If he’s really famous and beloved enough to feature the number, then all the text is gratuitous and ruins the design with busy-ness. If the text is needed for people to know why the team is wearing a no. 4 patch, then the number needs to be secondary and the text primary. And even accepting the mistake of having all that text, it’s too small, the letterforms too thin, and the serifs too busy. Shoulda stuck with the 4 by itself, or a text “EARL” or something simpler and more direct.”
–R. Scott Rogers