By Phil Hecken
I hadn’t intended to write about the Wichita State Shockers today; in fact, I had intended the lede article to simply be a big collection of concepts and tweaks (and there are a ton of them, below). But the Wichita State Shockers get the lede today because they broke out a set of brand spanking new uniforms for their Final Four semi matchup against Louisville yesterday.
I know teams do get special tournament uniforms (like the ones Louisville has been wearing throughout the tourney), but is a brand new uniform being released in the middle of the tourney a first?
This is odd for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, there is no way in hell Nike (who make Wichita’s uniforms) could have predicted they’d reach the semis. So, holding on to a *new* uniform for a special game seems highly unlikely. So, did Nike’s designers whip these up in the past week? The Shockers had worn these unforms (are those “Swingman”? — I know that’s a Nike brand. EDIT: they are “Jumpman”) throughout the tournament, which are basically black with WICHITA (radially arched) and STATE (horizontal) surrounding dropshadow numbers. By virtue of being a higher seed, they did get to wear white once (over LaSalle). Both unis have a triangular side panel and thin pants stripe with large dropshadow block numbers on back. So, this is the matchup we thought we were going to see.
Instead, the new Shocker unis featured outlined (but not dropshadowed) rounded numbers (and very small NOB), both back and front, and some gray and white striping on the shoulders and pants legs. Instead of WICHITA STATE on the front, the team had the word Shockers, in black with white outline.
Overall, I like the numbers (I don’t like drop shadow), but thought the lower case, outlined Shockers (in some kind of italic font, no less) was a downgrade. In terms of Paul’s “good or stupid” scale, I’d say this was pretty much of a push. The gray/white stripes were ok, and what they replaced wasn’t any worse or better.
The Shockers jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, and held large leads throughout the game (including at the half), but in the end, Louisville was just too strong. Perhaps there was no magic left, or perhaps, buoyed by the support for injured teammate Kevin Ware, (who had a courtside seat throughout), Louisville was destined to reach the final. Couldn’t have been the unis, could it?
The set of tweaks & concepts below was going to be the lede for today, until Wichita State bumped it. But that’s OK (it’s a mega-set), because some of these are close to two months old — I do them as they come in, and I had a large set of submissions come in in mid-February, so, you get a treat today.
So, without further ado, here is a full post of reader concepts and descriptions.
We begin with Mark Rabinowitz who had participated in Paul’s redesign the Dolphins contest.
Here is my concept for the Miami Dolphins. Unlike my approach to the Cleveland Browns, the more I thought about this one, the more I wanted to mess with it.
I’ve indulged in long explanations about what I did and why I did it with the Browns entry and last year’s Houston Astros contest entry, and this e-mail will be no exception. So here’s what’s different:
1. A new logo that’s fresh, yet still recognizable and consistent with previous Dolphins logos. I took the sunburst and stretched and skewed it (originally, I wanted to have the top part of the sunburst arcing across the side of the helmet, which is why I chose to isolate the sunburst in the first place). I also rotated the leaping dolphin to make it look like it’s at the height of its leap (and as a bonus, it now looks like it’s charging straight forward). Take a look at the helmet on the leaping dolphin. It has a repeat of the logo on it, not an “M”. I thought the reason they went with that “M” in the ’60s was that, at that time, it was too darn difficult to draw a dolphin inside the helmet on the dolphin. But with today’s computer technology, there’s no excuse for that cheesy “M”.
2. Back to the ’70s aqua/orange color scheme (the hue of aqua in my design was also used in ’91-96 when Jimmy Johnson was the Dolphins’ head coach). In the 1970s, the Dolphins went to the playoffs seven times, including both of their Super Bowl victories. The ‘Fins have not won a Super Bowl since 1973, and have not even been in the AFC Championship since 1992, so they might as well use the aqua they used at both those times. Also, navy blue is out. It should have been excised from the Dolphins’ unis after their atrocious 2007 season–the one where they were a hashmark away from being the first team in NFL history to go 0-16–just as black should have been eliminated from my Lions’ uniforms after they went 0-16 in 2008. (I even took it out of the leaping dolphin–in its place is the darker aqua the Dolphins have been using in recent years, because I however much I wanted to ditch the navy blue, I still didn’t want to lose any of the shading or the facial expression we have on the 1997-2012 the leaping dolphin.)
3. Art deco wordmark/numerals/NOBs. Miami and the Art Deco movement are so strongly associated with each other (especially Miami Beach and South Beach), and yet no Miami-based major sports team uses Art Deco anywhere in their uniforms. That would end with this design, whose wordmark, numerals and NOBs have their roots in an Art Deco-inspired font. Besides, the wordmarks the ‘Fins* have used since 1980 are better suited for the Lingerie Football League anyway.
4. Aqua pants–last seen during the final years of the Don Shula era–are back (but only as part of an alternate set, and only then with white jerseys–I hate “unitards”)
* I never call them “the Fish”. As you know, Dolphins aren’t fish, they’re mammals!
All in all, I’m just as sure this entry will meet with the Uni-Watch community’s approval as the Astros concept did; I hope it meets with the Dolphins’ management’s wildest dreams as well.
In closing, thanks for pointing out the error in the leaked logo (the swimming dolphin in front of the sunburst). I’ll mention it in my blog entry tomorrow night.
Next up is Mark Lilley with some new looks for the Nuggets (and yet it’s 11 years old!):
I was cleaning out some old folders on my computer and came across these logo and uniform designs I did for the Nuggets way back in 2002! I still think they look good as is which tells me they would stand the test of time, and weren’t designed as a cliche or for the short term. I’ve always wondered why the franchise doesn’t use a more truer Gold color in their palette, instead, choosing to use yellow. Ick.
Moving on we have Bootheel Ben Traxel, with some (late) Browns contest entries:
I did these back before the deadline but didn’t turn them in for the contest because I never did a logo. Here you go anyway.
Our next set of concepts comes from Dylan Desimine with his Phillies redux:
Here’s an overhaul of the Phillies uniforms, mixing elements of their 50s/60s/70s/80s unis.
I always thought that their Liberty Logo never got enough love, so now it’s a main logo. I went back to their 50s script, which I think is their best look, but went with the 80s colors, because there are too many red teams out there and this gives them a little character. The alternates in the middle are just some interesting ideas I had, the road one inspired by a look they wore briefly in the late 20s & early 30s. The two on the right are their old 50s uniforms, a good look to be worn on Sundays.
Uni-tweaking is a small hobby I have, and I’ve been making tweaks/overhauls of all MLB teams. I may be posting a few more in the future.
And one from Mike Chamernik, with a new Bucks logo:
The Milwaukee Bucks are my favorite team and I noticed that the supposed angry-looking buck actually was making a sad face. I think it has something to do with the shape of the eyes and the way the eyebrows are tilted.
Their old logo had the same issue.
I noticed it a decade ago and I just can’t un-see it. So, I photoshopped (really, I just used the “Paint” on Windows) it, inverting the eyebrows to make a meaner Bucks logo. Better, right?
And we’ll close down this mega-tweak/concept fest with a hockey redesign. It comes from Casey Wurzbach, and its for the Islanders:
I found this concept I made for an Islanders third jersey. It’s dark blue and the sash represents their four cup wins. The script is off of one of their logos.
And there you have it. A couple of weeks worth of concepts & tweaks in one shot.
“Free The Orange Caps” (and more)…
If you followed Uni Watch at all last year during the baseball season, and read the comments, you may recall that Jim Vilk singlehandedly spearheaded a campaign to get the Marlins to wear their orange caps. It didn’t happen often, and Jim was very disappointed. This year, some readers have begun to wonder if (and when) the Astros would break out their own orange caps. We didn’t have to wait long:
One day after debuting their beautiful orange jersey (which they paired with the navy cap), last night the Astros debuted their orange topper (we always knew they had it, but they kept it from us at the new uni unveiling). That sure is a purdy cap. Interestingly, the Astros wore their blue helmets, and of those who wore visible socks, those were blue too. But everyone had on orange undersleeves.
Of course, if all goes according to plan, today the Astros should be wearing the “tequila sunrise” jersey (though probably not with the BP cap). Oh well, two out of three ain’t bad.
Meanwhile, across the pond…
Thanks to George Chilvers and Sean Walsh, we were tipped wise to a very unusual uni sitch over in London, when Barnsley visited Crystal Palace in Selhurst Park. It seems that Barnsley, who normally wear this kit as their change kit (here’s their home kit), was told their change kit was too similar to the Crystal Palace home kit. That would have produced the verboten clash of this:
As a result, in a very unusual move, Barnsley was forced to wear the Crystal Palace change kit yesterday. And that, in and of itself, produced a very interesting matchup:
Who knew soccer could be so complicated?
If want to read more about this, click here or here. According to Sean, “First bullet point at the link is about the visiting team (Barnsley, in yellow in the pic) wearing the home team’s change kit (Crystal Palace, in blue and red) because the referee claimed Barnsley’s change kit was too similar. Seems to happen somewhere every few years. You can see both teams’ uniforms here”
Orange…and More Orange
Louisville vs. Wichita State wasn’t the only NCAA game in town last night. There was that other semi-final, between Michigan and Syracuse, for the right to play Louisville on Monday night. Although they were the home team, Michigan again chose to wear their
maize whatever-color-adidas-calls-them unis versus the orange-clad Syracuse Orange.
It was a game for which Jim Vilk dreams.
Yep. I’m calling this now — next weekend’s #1 (for the good) in the 5 & 1 rankings — actually, he’ll probably put it behind Marquette/Syracuse, since he loves the
Warrior Golden Eagles unis even more than Michigan’s. Still, wasn’t this color-on-color a beaut:
And, of course, not only did the Astros break out their orange Friday, and the Mets again broke out their orange-brimmed caps for the second time in three days on Saturday, but the Orioles broke out their own orange tops yesterday:
Orange. It’s clearly the new
teal black. And we’re all the better for it.
Whew — that was a lot more than I’d planned on, but it was worth it. Right? Anyway, you guys have a great Sunday and upcoming week, and I’ll catch you next weekend.
“All the ‘Stros need do…Free the Orange Caps!”