Uni Watch Profiles: Chris Creamer

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I may have been the first writer to cover uniforms and logos as a legitimate journalism beat, but there were several web-based pioneers who were obsessively documenting the uni and logo scenes well before I got started. One of the first, and almost certainly the most successful, is Chris Creamer, the founder of SportsLogos.Net.

Founded in 1997 (two years before the first Uni Watch column appeared), SportsLogos.Net began as a simple compendium of logos and then spawned what remains the web’s liveliest set of uni-driven discussion boards. More recently, Chris has upgraded the site so that it’s now geared more toward breaking news.

SportsLogos.Net has its limitations (I’m sure Chris feels similarly about Uni Watch), but I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for what Chris has accomplished and the passion with which he’s pursued it (I’d like to think those feelings are mutual as well). Judging by his site’s Alexa ranking, he does significantly more traffic than Uni Watch — much of it, I’m fairly certain, from those discussion boards — and good for him. He deserves it.

Chris and I have never met, or even spoken on the phone (the interview you’re about to read was conducted via e-mail), but we’ve been in touch periodically over the years — sometimes to help each other out with a question or a favor — and I’ve always found him to be a decent guy. With his site evolving into a much more wide-ranging project than it had once been, I thought this would be a good time to do something I should have done a long time ago: interview him. He readily agreed. Here we go:

Uni Watch: First, please tell me some basics about yourself: How old are you and where do you live?

Chris Creamer: I’m 30 years old [the photo shown above is from Chris's 30th birthday — PL] and have recently moved from Toronto to a small and very quiet town about an hour outside the city.

UW: Do you make a living from your web site? If not, what do you do for a living?

CC: Up until a year ago I was a full-time web developer for a Toronto-based media outlet. After eight years there, I decided it was time to take a chance and left to become the Internet’s “other” full-time logo and uniform reporter.

Making a decent living from the at-home job I love would be a dream come true. The ads running on the site basically take care of the site’s high server bills, and I have taken on some freelance gigs in the last few months — doing blog posts for other sites — to help with the bills when necessary.

UW: Are you married? Any kids? What does your family think of your logo and uni work?

CC: My wife and I have been married nearly three years now; we met on a popular online dating site and were actually included as one of their “success stories” in their marketing materials shortly after the wedding. They sent us His and Hers baseball jerseys as thank you gifts. Mine reads “GROOM ’10” across the back. Our wedding featured all the groomsmen wearing various baseball and hockey team logos as cufflinks, and the reception was interrupted by a “Seventh inning stretch” rendition of “OK Blue Jays.”

As of today we have no kids, but we’re currently expecting our first child — a boy. He’s due in a few short weeks and already has his first Blue Jays jersey, crested with his name and year of birth, waiting for him in his crib. I also have a wiener dog named Howard.

My family has always been supportive of the logo/uni site, even from a young age with my parents. My dad and I were (and still are) both big nerds for computers, sports, and history — the site is a perfect combination of the three. My wife has been very patient and supportive as well, she’s even allowed me to miss family events if it clashes with some team unveiling a new logo or uniform.

UW: When you were growing up, were you a big uniform and logo fan? Were you one of those kids who doodled logos in their notebooks when they were supposed to be taking notes in class?

CC: I was a huge logo and uniform fan growing up. I remember trying for hours to decipher what that old-timey Maple Leafs patch on their jersey was on my set of 1991 Pro Set hockey cards (turns out it was a Harold Ballard memorial patch). I kept all my school notebooks and they’re full of all sorts of sports team logo doodles in the margins and a lot of stick figures wearing team jerseys and caps. It’s amazing I made it through with the marks I did. [You can see more of Chris's childhood doodlings here, here, and here. — PL]

UW: Can you think of any particular childhood moment that captures your youthful enthusiasm for sports design?

CC: At a young age, maybe seven, I started to create fake sports leagues with the rosters filled with family members and other kids in the neighborhood. These leagues were complete with fake teams with fake nicknames, logos, and uniforms. I would make up newspapers and trading cards and draw photos of the fake action with the team uniforms carefully detailed to the point where, for example, games in the league final included special patches on the uniforms. Championship banners hung from the rafters of my bedroom celebrating the winners of this league. My parents must have thought I was nuts.

When I was in the fourth grade, my teachers noticed I had really improved in my art skills. To encourage this, my parents took me out and bought me a bevy of art supplies, sketch books, paints, pencils, you name it. Instead of using those supplies to further polish my skills, I used them to do league-wide logo sheets, team logo timelines, concepts for teams that didn’t yet exist. For years my parents had a Florida Panthers logo I sketched framed and hanging up in our living room. I mean, c’mon that was a tough logo to draw!

UW: Did you play youth sports? If so, were you very particular about how you wore your uniform?

CC: I played baseball from ages 9 to 15 and wasn’t particular about how I wore the uniform, say to the point of high socks or stirrups. But I did get excited about things like every team wearing a special white cap one week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the league, or even getting my mom to sew on a playoff patch they handed out to us before the tournament (no, we weren’t supposed to sew them on the uniform but I couldn’t pass up the chance). I even played one season longer than I originally planned to, because my team was wearing a team anniversary patch that next season.

UW: What about now — do you currently play sports, and do you have any specific uniform protocols?

CC: Not much of an athlete these days. But when that rare time comes when I hit the ice for some shiny, I’ll only wear a jersey that accurately matches the color of my gloves, helmet, pants, and socks, the same way the pro club does.

UW: Do you collect jerseys, or any other sports-related stuff?

CC: I have a closet of about 65 jerseys from all over the sports spectrum, but mostly hockey and baseball. My first jersey was a Florida Panthers road jersey, a Christmas gift from my parents in 1993. I’ll collect anything with a logo on it, really — pennants, caps, bobbleheads, pins. Hell, I even have a small collection of team-branded garden gnomes.

UW: What are some of your favorite and least-favorite uniforms? And are there any uniform elements (baseball stirrups, hockey socks, whatever) that you’re particularly fixated on?

CC: I’m a sucker for uniforms that are simple with a lot of history behind them. In hockey it’d be ones like the Habs red, Red Wings white, Blackhawks red; in baseball, seeing the Yankees pinstripes in person is always a special treat. Outside those traditional teams, I do love the Washington Capitals road (white) uniform, and I really miss the Tampa Bay Devil Rays road greys from 2001-04 — I thought that was a terribly underrated set, and so much more enjoyable to the eye than the bore they now wear away from home.

If I had to choose one element I’m fixated on more than the others, it’d be the boring choice: the actual jersey itself.

UW: You started your site in 1997, right? That’s two years before I started Uni Watch (although I didn’t become aware of your site until later, I think around 2000). At the time, there was very little uni-related content on the web. How did you get the idea to start your site?

CC: When our family signed on to the Internet for the first time in 1996, the first thing I had to figure out was, “Just how exactly these websites work and how do I make one myself?” My first site looked a lot like most other sites did back then — a random collection of things that I personally enjoyed. But I felt an obligation to represent where I was from, so I included sections on local sports teams, photographs of my hometown, and a small section of Canadian football logos (despite my lack of interest in the league itself). About a year later I grew tired of that page and, based off the suggestion of my dad, dedicated my next site to nothing but sports logos.

UW: Were there any early hurdles or difficulties you faced in getting the site up and running?

CC: I lacked both money and Internet etiquette in those early days.

I originally would hotlink to logo images on other people’s websites — not because I wanted to save on bandwidth but because I didn’t know any better. Over time, this would lead to entire leagues becoming broken images, angry emails from web site owners about their inflated hosting bills, and one time someone even replaced all their American Basketball League logos (a women’s league in the late ’90s) with pornographic images, giving viewers of my site an eyeful. Lesson learned.

The first several incarnations of the site were all hosted on free hosting services like Tripod, Angelfire, Geocities, etc., and they would just pepper the site with pop-up ads, making them difficult to navigate. It wasn’t until we got bigger and started having people donate hosting space that we were able to move away from this.

UW: The name of your site refers to sports logos, not uniforms (although it has content relating to both, obviously). Do you draw a strong distinction between your feelings about logos and your feelings about uniforms? Were you originally only interested in logos?

CC: The original idea of the site was to have a collection of sports logos from all around the world, throughout history. I didn’t consider having uniforms up there because the only way to show them — in my 14-year-old, early-Internet mind — was via photographs. The idea of re-creating the uniform electronically on a template never occurred to me. I don’t draw any distinctions between my feelings toward the two categories. My interests have always lied equally between team uniforms and logos — love ’em both.

UW: What were your original goals, if any, for the site?

CC: The only goal I had was to amass as many logos as I possibly could, mostly for my own enjoyment. Frankly, the idea that the site could become popular in any way just wasn’t even a consideration.

UW: The site’s discussion forums are extremely lively. Did you always have a discussion forum included on the site, or did you add that at some point along the way?

CC: I added the community forums two years after the site launched. Before that, Guestbook entries were the only way people really interacted. It was originally added because I was simply interested in the technology and code required to get a discussion forum going. But once people started participating and it started to grow and grow, I really got to enjoy meeting others, actually having intelligent, in-depth conversations about a topic that few others in my personal life could even begin to understand. Seeing that I wasn’t the only logo and uniform obsessed nerd out there in the world was a real shock.

UW: How much do you personally follow all the forum threads? Like, are you constantly keeping track of everything all day long, or do you just check in occasionally, or what?

CC: I find myself unable to check the forums as often as I once was able to, I look in maybe three or four times a week and see what’s going on. Since I’ve taken to running the site full-time, I’ve been spending most of my hours doing the news section, adding logos to the site, improving the code, building new site features, doing our social media accounts. There’s a lot happening.

UW: How aggressively are the discussion threads moderated, and who handles that?

CC: We have a friggin’ amazing team of moderators and administrators who take care of issues like spammers and trolls. If someone’s a pain in the ass after a few warnings, they’re banished. We also have a set of separate mods who do a good job handling the fantasy leagues that run within the site. They all do a fantastic job, and the forums would eventually crumble without them volunteering their time and energy.

UW: Have you had any trouble with recurrent trolls? (I have a few on my site. One of them is really persistent and has sort of raised trolling to the level of online performance art, but most of the others are kind of sad.)

CC: Oh absolutely. You’ll find that over time many trolls will actually stand out as memories you just laugh about while sharing the more ridiculous moments you had with them with other board members. However, you do get your share of the really sick people out there. More than once I’ve gotten phone calls to the house and e-mails threatening me because a member has been banned or a certain item wasn’t correct on the site.

UW: Over the past year or so, you’ve made some major upgrades to your site. You’ve modernized the home page, expanded your coverage, brought in a bunch of contributors, and so on. You’ve also become much more of a news site, instead of just a fan’s site. What’s the thinking behind all of this? Have you done all the design upgrades yourself, or have you had outside help?

CC: Adding news was something I’ve always been interested in doing and this stems from always wanting to be a sports journalist while growing up. When it came time to give the site a makeover, bringing a news feel to it was a high priority to me. Now that I’m doing the site full-time, I knew I’d have the time and resources to actually keep it up to date, while doing some good old-fashioned research to make it worthwhile. The site was redesigned by a couple of graphic designers I worked with at my previous employer.

UW: How have you found your contributing writers? Like, are they people who’ve shown themselves to be good writers on your discussion forums, or what?

CC: For the most part, yes, many of our contributing writers are people like JR Francis, who showed he could write a good post on the forums and then I got to know him better through social media channels over the years. Writing skills and knowledge of the subject are obviously very important, but so is being reliable and trustworthy. Other writers have approached me offering their services, and if I like what they do, I’ll usually give them a shot.

UW: Have you ever been approached by a sports media company (Yahoo Sports, the Sporting News, etc.) that wanted to partner with you, or have you write for them, or anything like that?

CC: I was approached by theScore.com, which is the site behind an all-sports cable channel here in Canada, about a year ago. I do a guest uniform- and logo-related post on their baseball blog every few weeks.

UW: Have you ever been approached by an outside party who wanted to invest in, or even purchase, your site? If not, would you be open to such overtures? (For the record, I don’t mean to suggest that I’m interested — believe me, I have my hands full with my own site!)

CC: People have made offers to purchase SportsLogos.Net but never anything close to a number worth taking seriously. I’m not looking to get out from running or working on the site — I love it — but if someone offered me enough money that my family and I could go through the rest of our lives without working ever again, I’d be a fool not to consider it.

UW: Uniform and logo changes used to happen fairly infrequently, and often they weren’t very well reported. Now they happen fast and furious, and they’re all over the web, all over Twitter, etc. Has this made it harder and more stressful to keep your site up to date? Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Enough already”?

CC: When it’s an actual change to a new logo or a full-time new uniform set — say a home and road uniform, or even an alternate — I’m okay with that. It’s a lot of these one-game-only specialty jerseys that I find myself getting tired of reporting and chronicling. I know it’s the minor leagues and that’s what they do, but look through some of our AHL team pages and you’ll see what I mean. Halloween jerseys, Thanksgiving jerseys, Christmas jerseys, New Year’s Eve jerseys, cancer jerseys, military jerseys, St Patrick’s Day jerseys, etc., etc., etc.

UW: Can you foresee a day when you won’t want to do this any more? Or do you think you’ll always want to keep the site going pretty much indefinitely?

CC: It’s hard for me to imagine life without SportsLogos.Net. It’s been a daily part of me since I was in the ninth grade. Having said that, I have no idea what changes lie ahead. With my first-born on the way, that could really alter my outlook and my priorities — it’s entirely possible I simply won’t have the time or energy to keep the site as up-to-date as it should be while looking after my children. I hope I’m still able to continue contributing as much as I have been. I truly enjoy it.

UW: I’ve always respected what you do, and our communications over the years have always been friendly. I don’t see our sites as enemies or rivals, I don’t view you as a competitor, and I certainly think the uni-verse is big enough for both of us (and plenty of others, for that matter). What about you? Do you see Uni Watch as a rival? Be honest!

CC: I’ve never had any legitimate issues with you beyond odd flashes of jealousy — “How come he got invited to that event and I didn’t?” or “I wish our Twitter could be in the new Madden game!” (Seriously, congrats on that, that’s friggin awesome!) I only consider your site a (friendly) rival when it comes to breaking news (which is a helluva fine line to dance along when it comes to keeping leagues and teams happy, as I imagine you’ve experienced). It’s nice to be first with a leaked logo or whatever, but aside from that I think ultimately we really help each other out a lot by finding little details the other may have missed. In the end, between the two of our sites, the user gets all the information they could ever possibly want and probably even more.

UW: My site is very much an extension of my personality. But you don’t have as strong a personal presence on your site. I assume that’s a conscious choice, yes?

CC: Aside from my name all over the title? :) But you’re right, it might lead back to the days of the schoolyard kids saying I talk about myself or brag too much, since then I mostly just keep my personal stories, my thoughts, and some of my opinions to myself (unless I’m asked, of course), out of fear of coming across negatively.

UW: What are you into besides sports? Any hobbies, obsessions, etc.? Do you have any other web sites about other things?

CC: I’m big into flags, which if you think about it are kinda just logos for countries. I have a large flagpole in our backyard and I’ll put up flags based on current events, holidays, etc. Very visible within the neighborhood. The neighbors either enjoy it, don’t notice it, or think I’m crazy. I’m fine with any of those three. In honor of the new Pope, I’ve had Vatican and Argentina flags flying together for the past week.

Other interests/hobbies include travel, photography (which I’ve started incorporating into the site oh so slowly), collecting vinyl (nothing better than listening to an old record to start your day), I’m a big history geek outside of sports as well. Lots of little obsessions, I’m probably forgetting a few.

The logos site is currently the only site I’m running. Over the years I’ve had sites dedicated to my sports photos but in the end decided to just focus all my energy on the one that actually gets traffic.

UW: Anything else about your site or your work that you want to discuss? If so, feel free to address that here. The floor is yours.

CC: We’re always adding new features and focusing on making the database at SportsLogos.Net as complete as possible. Teams on the site will be getting photo galleries (here’s the Blue Jays one, for example), which will be focusing the uniforms, logos, and patches in the photos more than who’s actually in the photo, allowing you to actually see what that uniform looked like when it was in use. We’re also in the process of bringing back our annual logo guides, which showed every team’s primary logo in any given league and season. Plus all sorts of other surprises we’re not quite set to announce yet.

———

And there you have it. Big thanks to Chris for sharing his thoughts and stories (and big congrats to him for cutting the cord and working for himself, which is a great accomplishment).

+ + + + +

My thanks to everyone who sent birthday greetings yesterday — I was overwhelmed and humbled by the avalanche of kind thoughts and words. I was out of the house all day and night, so no Ticker today. Sorry about that, but I’ll try to include most of your submissions in Monday’s Ticker, okay? Okay.

 

77 comments to Uni Watch Profiles: Chris Creamer

  • Dave R. | March 22, 2013 at 8:01 am |

    Great stuff & Happy belated.

  • Jim | March 22, 2013 at 8:09 am |

    Belated happy birthday. Your record of inclement weather on your birthday resonated with me. I was born in winter, and the weather is never ideal in my opinion. Just once, I’d like to have a cookout or picnic, something outdoors and warm for my birthday. Maybe I should start celebrating on my 1/2 year birthday instead.

    • Brian Jud | March 22, 2013 at 9:22 am |

      I’m a December baby so I can also relate for the most part. I love baseball, so I’d love nothing more than to have a birthday party at a baseball game (I could I guess, I just don’t feel like having to go to Arizona or Mexico!).

      But we can at least take comfort in knowing that no matter how bad our winter birthdays can be, they won’t be as bad as Justin Bieber’s “worst” 19th birthday! http://gawker.com/59...

  • Hodges14 | March 22, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    PL, a belated happy birthday. Sorry I couldn’t get to it yesterday, but I had an interview to do and I just lost track. Anyhoo, nice interview with Chris Creamer. Definitely compensates for no ticker today.

  • BurghFan | March 22, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    The link right after “These leagues were complete with” is missing the front angle bracket.

  • fiesta | March 22, 2013 at 8:36 am |

    Great interview! And congrats to both Chris and Paul for doing what they do…and what they want to do!

  • Joe | March 22, 2013 at 8:42 am |

    Creamer doesn’t have the vainglorious windbag self-interviews that Mr. Lukas has.

    • Paul Lukas | March 22, 2013 at 9:06 am |

      If you’re referring to “Question Time,” those aren’t self-interviews. Those are all questions submitted by you, the reader. Couldn’t do it withoutcha, Joe!

      But your presumed underlying point — that Chris’s site is much less ego- and personality-driven than mine — is accurate. Different strokes and all that.

      • Connie DC | March 22, 2013 at 9:20 am |

        PL can take care of himself, obviously (see above), but “vainglorious?” No way.

    • JimWa | March 22, 2013 at 9:53 am |

      Nicely stated, Joe. Good to know this isn’t the site for you. Odd, thing, though, is to see your comment. See, I don’t like Oprah, and assuming she has her own website, you won’t see my comments there about why I don’t like it. Do you know why? It’s because I don’t go there. Because I don’t like it. I have a choice. Bummer for you if someone forces you here against your will.

    • Tom V. | March 22, 2013 at 10:16 am |

      Lighten up fellas, any time you read “online performance art” like that in a post and see the posters name some incarnation of the name Joe, rest easy, for it is presumably Joe BC Johnson having some lighthearted fun at Paul’s minimal expense.

      • Paul Lukas | March 22, 2013 at 10:20 am |

        Not the same Joe, Tom.

        In any case: As noted above, Joe’s basic point — that this site is much more personality-driven than Chris’s — is completely accurate. And there’s nothing wrong with him critiquing that.

        At ease, everyone.

        • Odessasteps | March 22, 2013 at 11:35 am |

          Did you ever hear from the other Joe?

  • Fight | March 22, 2013 at 8:46 am |

    Excellent interview! I always knew of SportsLogos.net’s presence but never explored the site. I have a feeling I may be doing that today at work. The passion from both your site and Chris’s site is awesome. Paul – happy belated birthday!

    • Brian Jud | March 22, 2013 at 9:23 am |

      I frequent Creamer’s site quite a bit. The revamps in the past year or so have been phenomenal. It’s a really impressive site (and it’s perfect for customizing things like desktops and phone backgrounds and the like!).

  • Vin Eethy | March 22, 2013 at 8:52 am |

    Seems a lot of us spent our youths creating fake teams for make believe leagues.

    • DenverGregg | March 22, 2013 at 9:18 am |

      Yep. And occasional radical makeovers of existing leagues. I remember an NFL concept where the Albuquerque Apaches, Idaho Impalas, Phoenix Roadrunners, Portland Pioneers, Rapid City Jackrabbits, Seattle Totems, Spokane Sparks and a few others replaced several northeastern teams – obviously after I figured out that the Redskins didn’t play in Washington state but before the Seahawks came about.

      • Vin Eethy | March 22, 2013 at 9:24 am |

        There is a box filled with teams and leagues in my Mom’s attic. I just need to find it. Haha. I used index cards for team profiles. Then I created these RPG style games where I used coins with predetermined values and eventually led to dice. Then I would draw the championship game. Real cheesy and awful stuff.

    • apk3000 | March 22, 2013 at 10:06 am |

      For me, it started with creating maps of alien worlds, then naturally giving the cities sports teams, then coming up with logos and stuff. Thanks to Earl Weaver Baseball, the baseball league had the most detail, since you could create players, stadiums, leagues, schedules and sim seasons.

    • teenchy | March 22, 2013 at 11:23 am |

      I have to admit one of my college roommates and I created a fake league based on the APBA football game. This was in the early 1980s and you can imagine our surprise some years later when an actual NFL team having the same city and nickname as one of our fictional teams was formed.

    • Lee | March 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

      And adult hoods, as sad as that may or may not be… What started as the 8 team North-American Football League in 1981 has persisted to this day in some form. It was a dice & chart type league. Roll some dice, consult a chart for the result.

      My league once boasted as many as 30 teams playing 14 games each. As I started having an actual social life, I could no longer play that many games, and after many many fluctuations, I now run a 16 team league playing 16 games each.

      Originally I put lots & lots of time into the uniforms & helmets, but now its mostly a statistic generating engine, and collating & compiling the stats is a major goal. (The early years of the league, the stats aren’t very well kept).

      Original 6 teams (1981):
      Jacksonville Sharks
      New York Empires
      Toronto Royal Canadians
      Memphis Meteors
      San Antonio Wings
      Los Angeles Waves
      Phoenix RoadRunners
      Vancouver Rockies

      Current 16 teams (2012):
      Jacksonville Sharks
      New York Empires
      Tampa Torpedoes
      New England Blizzard
      Carolina Hornets
      Baltimore Nationals
      St. Louis Stallions
      Tennessee Thunder
      Minnesota Huskies
      Toronto Guardians
      Portland Privateers
      Seattle Evergreens
      Los Angeles StingRays
      San Diego Blaze
      Oakland Tremors
      Houston Outlaws

      My membership card is based on the Minnesota Huskies, a team I “played” for (I made myself one of only 4 civilians to play in my league)
      http://www.flickr.co...

      I could go on about this all day…
      Lee

      • The Jeff | March 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

        I demand that you rename Baltimore. Nationals is one of the worst team names in sports history. Call them the Bombers, after the proposed NFL expansion team, or relocate them to Indianapolis and make them the Racers or something. Anything is better than Nationals.

        • Lee | March 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

          Heh… I named them that in about 1988 or so. I will admit if I was starting over, there are a LOT of different things I would do about the names I gave my teams.
          And incidentally, there was a team named the Indianapolis Racers in my league for a long time. They were one of the teams that eventually got cut when I realized I couldn’t commit enough time to the league.

          Some other historical teams:
          Southern California Suns
          Honolulu Storm
          Phoenix Fury
          Arizona Solonos
          Denver Grizzlies
          Kansas City Comets
          Dallas Drillers
          New Orleans Wings
          Miami Toros
          Atlanta Generals
          Cleveland Claws
          Chicago Crescents
          Chicago Wind
          New Jersey Challengers
          Detroit Defenders
          Philadelphia Independents
          Montreal Olympics
          Toronto Northmen
          Pittsburgh Rhinos

          Probably a few others…

          Lee

      • Komet17 | March 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

        I had a 12-team league back in the early 1970s; can’t remember all of them, but I can remember:

        – Kalamazoo Thunderchickens
        – Steubenville Stupes
        – Phoenix Thermos
        – Jersey Bombers
        – Fresno Yellow Sox
        – Thunder Bay Lightning Eagles

        Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my drawings, etc. I could draw the Thunderchicken logo and post it some time, though–it was pretty cool, in my 12-year mind…

        • The Jeff | March 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

          Ok, seriously, Thunderchickens needs to be an Arena Football team. If Madden ever gets a decent create-a-team again, I’m totally stealing that team name.

        • Vin Eethy | March 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm |

          Yeah thunderchickens is pretty good. I used an old firebird logo in NCAA teambuilder and named them the firechickens.

  • Brian Jud | March 22, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    Paul Lukas and Chris Creamer interacted significantly and the world didn’t explode? Good for us!

    • ChrisH | March 22, 2013 at 11:30 am |

      Perhaps I’m showing my age…
      Creamer’s site is like a set of encyclopedias that never goes out of date and requires no salesmanship, while UW is like that morning newspaper you hope is at your door before you go to work because you’re less informed without it.
      Great work Paul and Chris!

      • Brian Jud | March 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm |

        I like the way you think.

  • Connie DC | March 22, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    Let’s get right down to the Big Story from the West bracket of the NCAA basketball tourney: the poetic justice inflicted upon UNM for taking one of the greatest of all college nicknames – Lobos – and debasing it with a silvery snarly wolf head logo unworthy of the school’s graphic tradition. That the basketball coach is a mouthy braggart may also have played a role in God’s decision to intervene.

    The All-Merciful Supreme Being apparently forgave the Crimson for relegating Harvard’s color to trim duty on the all-black unis that the Harvard roundballers and their undergrad fans seem to favor. I certainly would have preferred crimson with white letters and numerals outlined in black – the look so attractively sported by the Cantab gridiron squad – but the satisfactions of upsetting the bracketologists and spoiling this morning’s coffee for Steve Alford are considerable.

    I would also like to acknowledge Phil’s early-early morning congratulatory whoop. Mortgage the house, PH, and call Vegas: no way Harvard can lose now. Trust me.

    • Phil Hecken | March 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm |

      “I would also like to acknowledge Phil’s early-early morning congratulatory whoop. “

      ~~~

      You magnificent bastard.

  • Flip | March 22, 2013 at 9:30 am |

    Flag fetish, who knew! Nice interview.

  • yh | March 22, 2013 at 9:31 am |

    I’ve had the pleasure of Chris’s cyber-acquaintance for well over a decade now and I can say without hesitation that his passion for sports design is rivaled only by his incredible sense of decency and level-headedness, qualities which are difficult to maintain when managing a busy discussion-driven website full of sports fans. As a member of the CCSLC “mod squad” I’ve had innumerable occasions to witness very ugly incidents and exchanges and Chris has never failed to maintain composure in an effort to do the right thing. I’m thrilled that UW has chosen to profile him and his site. Well done, Paul.

    • Original Jim | March 22, 2013 at 10:47 am |

      ^^^^^

      What he said. As another member of that “mod squad” it seems like a never ending battle of weeding out trollers and spammers, and trying to keep peace and order around there.

      It’s sort of a double-edge sword. With increased publicity comes increased membership, and also more people joining just to cause problems. Chris has shown a lot of trust and patience with the moderators to help clean things up, because above all else, his name is on the site, and his reputation is on the line as a great reference site and discussion forum.

      And as he mentioned in the article, both his and this site can peacefully co-exist, and even help each other with news and information. While Chris’s site has a lot of industry experts as members when it comes to new logos and uniforms, this site does as well, and it’s great to see things from an insider’s perspective.

  • Ryan | March 22, 2013 at 9:33 am |

    I go to CC and UniWatch every single day. They are both “must reads” for me. Great interview and happy belated birthday!

    • DJ Doc | March 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

      Same here! A day without PL and CC is…well…I can’t even begin to imagine…

  • M.Princip | March 22, 2013 at 9:49 am |

    -….or “I wish our Twitter could be in the new Madden game!” (Seriously, congrats on that, that’s friggin awesome!)-

    What’s that about? Or, how does Paul’s twitter feed work within Madden?

  • Rob S | March 22, 2013 at 10:00 am |

    Great article. Creamer’s story reminds me of my own youth, and while I spent a lot of time making fictional maps for no particular reason other than me being a map and road geek, I did dabble in fictional sports logos in the early 90s.

    I once attempted to create my own fictional hockey league, the Canadian-American Hockey League (a name used by the precursor of the AHL; I’d originally used “North American”, but then found there was a real NAHL). It never got any further than league and division logos, though, but the divisions were certainly alliterative: (Gordie) Howe, (Bobby) Hull, (Tim) Horton, and (Bryan) Hextall. The logos were done up in Dazzle Draw for the Apple II series (I had a //c back then).

    Around 1995, I also did up some fictional hockey uniforms for my high school, dating back to the 1940s, even though they didn’t have a hockey program yet (they started one in 1998). Those were done up as ink drawings, which I don’t have anymore, nor do I have my drawings from the mid-to-late 90s of some uni concepts I thought up.

  • BF | March 22, 2013 at 10:02 am |

    I read uni-watch for Paul’s opinion and when I worked in college athletics, I used Chris Creamer’s site for reference almost regularly. If I couldn’t get a logo from a colleague at another school, I often went to his site. Or if I was looking for something historical. They do really provide two different results for the end user.

    Watching March Madness on Demand yesterday, I had an odd situation to occur. Waiting for Marquette/Davidson, I ended up with an interruption of Mets/Cardinals during what was the lead up to the college game. Link below:

    http://www.flickr.co...

  • Matt B | March 22, 2013 at 10:20 am |

    Great interview. I’ve been following Chris’s sites pretty much since the beginning, back when it was one of the only places to find a comprehensive selection of logos & info, and it’s nice to see what goes into making that site.

  • Jeff | March 22, 2013 at 10:20 am |

    Brewers wearing fan-designed uni vs. Cubs today. Photo from Brewers PR guy’s tweet. https://twitter.com/...

    The game will be aired on WGN, per Johnny O.

  • quiet seattle | March 22, 2013 at 10:50 am |

    The two premier and very different powerhouse uniform/logo sites in conversation.

    Nice!

  • PG-13 | March 22, 2013 at 11:17 am |

    I apologize if this is old news, but it looks like Samsung is looking to sponsor the headsets in the NFL.

    http://www.sportsbus...

  • pflava | March 22, 2013 at 11:22 am |

    Great interview!

    For the past thirteen years or so I’ve found Chris’ site to be a great resource. He’s always seemed like a really good guy, too.

  • Dudam | March 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm |

    The St. Louis Cardinals premiered a new 2013 Scorecard cover on their Facebook. The illustration shows a Stan Musial memorial patch. Has the patch already been released?

    https://www.facebook...

    • Paul Lukas | March 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm |

      They have not officially unveiled the patch. I can confirm, however, that the patch will indeed look like the one shown in the program cover illo.

    • Arr Scott | March 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

      Now that is a memorial patch.

      I was at a Cardinals-Marlins Grapefruit game on Sunday. Although it was a Marlins “home” game, both teams share the stadium in spring, and I doubt more than 50 of the 5900 fans were cheering for the Marlins. (I was, and it was like the sound of one hand clapping when I’d applaud. Clap. echoclap. Clap. echoclap. Silence. Birds chirp. Cardinals player does literally anything. Roaring, stadium-filling applause.)

      Anyhoo, I was surprised by how many of the new St. Looey fauxback jerseys I saw. Definitely outnumbered ordinary Cardinals home jerseys among the Redbirds fans I saw. It’s a beautiful jersey, too.

  • Coleman | March 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    Great interview. I cant say his site is a morning ritual like this one is for me, but it is certainly the first place I go for logo information.

  • Dumb Guy | March 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |

    Glad to see I’m not the only one couldn’t draw the Saints, Seahawks, or Rams logos worth a damn!

    Who thought they’d be so “hard”??

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | March 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

    Love the interview today. Brings back memories to the days before I found the sportslogos site back when I’d spend hours on the old dial up pouring through leagues on Yahoo and Lycos going from league to league and team to team to check out their pages to see all the uniforms and logos they had on there. I think during a browsing of the CFL I managed to find the early version of the sportslogo site and have been there frequently ever since. Never got around to the forums yet but I guess I should some day.
    Also nice to see so many people did the league creating thing. I had leagues I made starting in the late 80’s or early 90’s for a few football, a baseball, a hockey, a basketball, a few arena football leagues, and I think I even did a soccer one that never got much past the logo stages. All but the soccer I did full logos, uniforms, etc (you’ll all hate this but they had alternate uniforms/logos/softball tops way before they were popular). Even though I hate throwback stuff I even kept most of the old looks when I updated logos and uniforms so they can occasionally have a “throwback game”, turn back the clock I guess I called it back then. I would make schedules and play seasons laying out uniform combinations for each game that was being played I even drew trophies for the leagues. Some of the leagues I even created stadiums and courts for as well. I still have most of it boxed up somewhere I should see if I can dig them out and throw them all on flickr.

  • Kevin W. | March 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |

    An interview between two of the biggest names in sports aesthetics. Hmm… I’ll have to read the rest when I get back home.

  • Gusto4044 | March 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |

    I made up a game with paper triangle “footballs” back in the 1970s, called “Fieldball”. Here are some of the fictional teams I came up with:

    Phoenix Heat Wave
    Las Vegas Blackjacks
    Dallas Gunfighters
    New Orleans Cruisers
    Houston Scorpions
    Hawaii Volcanoes
    Kansas City Cyclones
    Indianapolis 500’s
    Atlanta Defenders

  • Shane | March 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |

    The New England Revolution just tweeted that because of Sporting KC’s home (light blue) and away (navy) shirts both clashing, they’ll be forced to wear their away white jerseys for a home game tomorrow.

    Ugh.

  • HHH | March 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

    SportsLogos.net is invaluable when you want to immediately look at a large image of a sports logo at a moment’s notice, but what sources does Chris use to verify the time span of years a logo, uniform, or uniform element were used?

    I ask this because ever since I noticed the years were incorrect on several logos, I always take them with a grain of salt. Whenever I’m viewing logos or uniforms on SportsLogos.net, I *ALWAYS* hear a little voice inside my head saying, “The years are always wrong on this site so don’t take whatever it says seriously.”

    I just checked a few things in the NFL section and the years were accurate but I’m thinking they are now accurate thanks to the GUD (Gridiron Uniform Database for those not in the know). Before the GUD how did Chris come up with years for NFL logos and uniforms? Did he just guesstimate?

    • neeko | March 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

      Agreed.

      • SWC Susan | March 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm |

        I would LOVE to know the answer to this question… especially since he was like 15 when a lot of that was posted!

  • Johnny O | March 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |

    Rickie Weeks in his Brewers YOUniform. I think they look solid. Love the cap.

    https://pbs.twimg.co...

    • Johnny O | March 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm |

      Unfortunately, the Brewers are going with their standard “M” batting helmet.

      • Odessasteps | March 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

        Id say a minor negative admist all the cool positives.

    • Kidney Jess | March 22, 2013 at 10:54 pm |

      Great cap, great top, need stirrups.

  • JimWa | March 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

    I finally figured it out. The lettering on the cake … the arching style is like four different styles mixed into one. No doubt a necessity based on the size of the cake and the letters. Awesome attempt, however!

  • Shane | March 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

    Is it just me, or is Jay Bouwmeester’s NOB really off-center tonight?

    http://i61.photobuck...

    • BurghFan | March 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

      It’s the effect of the slanted 4. There are three letters to its left, and three to its right.

  • Mike | March 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

    Hey Paul, have you seen this?

    https://petitions.wh...

    • Paul Lukas | March 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm |

      Was in the Ticker earlier this week.

      • Phil Hecken | March 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm |

        So, that’s a “Yes” then?

  • Odessasteps | March 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm |

    Crazy game in Denver with us futbollers vs costa rica in a blizzard.

    Yellow Ball !

    • Coleman | March 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm |

      So great to see them playing. Almst postponed at 54 minutes but the players pleaded and the game is still going. Beautiful.

      • Phil Hecken | March 22, 2013 at 11:42 pm |

        How come you’re not watching the Mountaineers in the NCAA tourney?

  • Austin | March 22, 2013 at 11:41 pm |

    Hey Paul, didn’t know where to send this to you, but I think you’ll be interested. I know you have been heavily invested in the Braves’ spring training cap design controversy. I found this post on the /r/braves subreddit that shows the “Chief Noc-a-homa” design actually was manufactured and distributed.
    Here’s the link: http://i.imgur.com/n...

  • Walter Adams | March 23, 2013 at 12:00 am |

    The Uni-Gods have spoken. Notre Dame was trounced by Iowa State! That’s what ND deserves for wearing that nonsense on the court. Adidas should be ashamed for even making ND wear it.

    • Bromotrifluoromethane | March 23, 2013 at 2:13 am |

      Ditto for Cincy.

  • Wheels | March 23, 2013 at 12:51 am |

    Florida Gulf Coast has some nice unis.

  • Lincoln Arneal | March 23, 2013 at 1:37 am |

    Just noticed that Steve Nash is not wearing the Jerry Buss patch like the rest of his teammates against Washington on Friday night.

    http://scores.espn.g...

    Looks like it was there on Monday’s game against the Suns: http://espn.go.com/n...

  • AlMaFI | March 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm |

    So Creamer started the website at age 13?