By Phil Hecken
Another weekend, another NCAAFB uni unveiling. This time it was the West Virginia Mountaineers (with Nike’s anatomically correct mannequins) who unveiled yesterday. The first and most noticeable thing about these is there is no longer a gray uniform option (which can only be viewed as a positive, though I confess to thinking this looked really good). I will have plenty to say about these, but I wanted to get the opinion of
a couple of alums an alum & an lifetime fan as well. I asked Jason Bernard and Coleman Mullins if they’d like to share their thoughts, and while Jason was happy to oblige, unfortunately Coleman was unable to. So, we’ll begin with Jason’s observations.
Before that, let’s take a quick look at this slick video:
Mr. Bernard, the floor is yours:
By Jason Bernard
The Easter Eggs. I love “Montani Semper Liberi” stitched into the inside of the collar in the back. This is from the West Virginia state seal; Latin for “Mountaineers are Always Free.” And I SUPER love the canary stitched into the inside collar in the front. This is a nod to the canaries that were sent into mines to detect deadly odorless gasses. The canary logo features a subtle “W” and “V”, and yeah, I need it on a t-shirt right now.
The helmets. All three feature a matte finish. The gold feels like a no-brainer, the white is simple and clean, and the blue… features a black facemask, which is lame, but at least it matches the other gratuitous black trim in the blue jerseys (and the black accessories.) I don’t hate the black trim as much as I thought I would.
Conventional block numbers would’ve been so much better. But these days Nike thinks they have to give everyone their own font, so this is what happens. The sharp points and edges are supposed to represent a miner’s pick axe. Okay, fine. Truth be told, I don’t mind this font, except for the 2 and the 5, which are absolutely brutal. Poor Darwin Cook is going to look like such an asshole.
Overall, I think this uniform set is an upgrade over their bumper sticker-laden sets of the past decade, and it should make for some excellent combos. I’m a fan, and I’m a homer, but I’m happy.
Thanks Jason. Now, a few of my own thoughts.
I can’t much argue with what was just said. Obviously, like many of us, I am not a fan of the giant Nikelace & pit bumperstickers, but at least Nike didn’t reprise their amateur pacifist coal-stained crap from the Backyard Brawl in 2010. And, despite the pit stains, at least there are no other bumper stickers. Also, like I said above, the elimination of the gray option can only be a good thing.
I totally agree with Jason on the new font. Why does EVERY new Nike uniform seemingly come with some God-awful new font? Sure, not every new number will look bad, but some will. While I give Nike points for “trying” to be creative, what the hell was wrong with WVU’s old font, which seemed to at least mimic the WV font on the helmets? Nothing, that’s what.
As most of you know, I love matte finish helmets, so those are a
slam dunk home run big six for me. And that gold helmet? How is it they never had one of those before? And, I’m not complaining, but how come they put black facemasks on the blue and gold versions, but went with a white facemask on the white helmet?
On the good or stupid scale, overall I have to say it’s a push. There is plenty of good, and plenty of stupid too, but at least these aren’t as bad as the UNC Tar Heel unis, which were stupid on a grand scale.
You can take a look at lots of photos in my WVU Uni Set, should the mood strike you.
Big thanks to Jason for his review. So now it’s up to you — Readers? What say you?
“This is our f—- city…”
For obvious reasons, the City of Boston has been in the news quite a bit the past few days, and yesterday, three Boston sports teams — the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins — all played emotional games. Each of the three played emotional games and all of them wore some kind of uniform memorial to commemorate the events of the past week.
Lets start with the BoSox, who played at Fenway:
As you can see above, the Red Sox not only sported a special “B Strong” patch, they also had special jerseys with “BOSTON” across the front instead of their usual “RED SOX.” The reason for this, according to David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz, “This jersey that we wear today. It doesn’t say ‘Red Sox’, it say(s) ‘Boston’.” It was an emotional and stirring opening to the game that was filled with emotional pre-game festivities. Ortiz later went on to say a dirty word on television when he continued, “This is our f—– city.” If you take a good look at that pic of Ortiz, you’ll notice he wasn’t wearing the “B Strong” patch. However, when he came to bat later in the game, the patch was there.
The Royals, their designated opponents for the day, played along in solidarity. They too, wore the “B Strong” patch on their softball tops. Is this the first time another team has worn the logo of its opponent in a game that counts? (I do remember the Yankees wearing a VaTech patch — but that was a spring meetup). Anyone know?
Not only were the Red Sox wearing special jerseys, with “BOSTON” replacing “RED SOX,” they also rendered the “BOSTON” in solid red lettering, unlike their normal blue outlined red lettering for their home jersey. I have to admit, I kinda liked the non-outlined letters. (Thanks to Eric Nathanson for the screen grabs). You can read more about the game here — a game which also featured a special (but awkward) live rendition of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, only he was singing OVER his own pre-recorded music, which made for a very eerie sounding rendition.
Next up, we had the Bruins, who came out wearing a “Boston Strong” ribbon:
Also a very nice touch. The players came out in special caps during the pregame skate, wearing several different caps representing various police and first responders. Here’s closer look at the ribbon/patch.
The Broons’ opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins, also played along, showing solidarity for Boston with a different patch on their jersey. That patch shows an American flag, the Boston skyline, and “617” (which is the area code for Boston). Nice touch by the
Caps Pens, as well. They also had a sticker on their helmets. (More photos here.)
Both of those games took place in Boston, which had had both of their games canceled from Friday, when parts of Boston and its suburbs were under lockdown. The Celtics took the court yesterday in New York City, playing the Knicks in a first-round playoff matchup. The Celtics also sported a patch:
The Celtics patch was a blue circle, outlined in black with gold and white lettering saying, “Boston Stands As One.” They wore it on the right side of their jersey. Pregame, the Celtics had orange shirts that read “Boston Stands As One”. More photos can be seen here.
Unlike the Royals and Penguins, the Knicks did NOT have any kind of reciprocal patch.
But Boston teams were not the only ones memorializing the recent tragedies of that city. In fact, both Notre Dame (in its spring game) and Memphis baseball also had memorials: ND on its helmets, and U of M on its field. In addition, LaTech and NM State wore BoSox caps yesterday. Thanks to Paul for those tips & pics (click to enlarge):
Unfortunately for Boston, as a city, only one of their three teams would win, and it was the Red Sox.
I’m fine with these memorials and gestures for yesterday and through the weekend, and it was a nice touch that two of the Boston opponents (those playing in the city of Boston) wore Boston patches. I have no idea if any of these teams will continue to wear these through the remainder or a portion of the season. I’d guess at least the Sox will continue to wear it (at least as long as they continue to win wearing it), but that’s only a guess.
Readers? What do you think? Nice gestures, yes? Should the Boston teams continue to wear the memorials throughout the remainder of their seasons or should they just keep them through the weekend (or next week)? Why or why not? What about the college programs? I’m pretty fine with ND and U of M, since those were decals/memorials, but I’m not sure whether I like the LaTech/NM State wearing BoSox caps. Seems like a decal/sticker/memorial would have been more apropos. Discuss.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Bit bigger set today, featuring the return of Larry Bodnovich, plus one from George Chilvers and a set from John Turney.
Click on each image to enlarge.
We begin today with LarryB, who colorized the “first” MLB ASG:
Colorized pic of first all star baseball game 1911 Addie Joss game.
Addie Joss was one of the great pitchers in baseball history. On April 14, 1911.
Joss died suddenly from an attack of tubercular meningitis at age 31. Addie was so well thought of that a benefit all star game was set up to raise money for his widow and children.
The game, which took place at Cleveland’s League Park on July 24, 1911, was between Addie’s Cleveland Naps and the American League All Stars. The all star line up was a group of the games greatest including: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Smoky Joe Wood, Walter “Big Train” Johnson, Hal Chase, Eddie Collins, Germany Schaefer, Tris Speaker, Sam Crawford and several other. The Naps had some legends on their side too, including Nap Lajoie, Cy Young and Shoeless Joe Jackson. The All Stars won 5-3 that day and the Addie Joss Benefit Game raised $12,914.00 for the Joss family.
Next is George with some soccer dudes playing checkers or something:
Just one – I’ve been busy going to FA Cup semi-finals and soon to the Final :)
So it seems appropriate to have an FA Cup picture, and this dates back to 13 February 1957 where we see Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic’s manager Freddie Cox detailing some cunning plan to his players using counters, prior to an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur. These days teams use iPads and OptaStats, and visual displays… it was so much easier then. The counters seem to have worked, as Bournemouth beat their illustrious opponents.
The team name is interesting too. Playing all their existence in the lower levels of the Football League, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic had their wonderful name, the longest in League history, from 1923 until 1972 when they changed it to AFC Bournemouth. And why, I hear you ask (albeit faintly) did they do that? The answer is simple – so they could be first in an alphabetical list of English League clubs. In practice most people call them “Bournemouth” and fit them into alphabetical lists exactly there – under “B”.
And to close, we have several from John. The first is another example of colorizing done by others, and the last three are his own:
Example of “colorization” not sure of technique.
Hikey Haines and “Executioners Helmet”
Not sure if it was ever worn in competition. Photo dates from 1925. Not sure of color, assume it was brown leather. Colorized and filtered in Photoshop with 1936 Kodachrome filter.
Artists license with colorization of helmet.
This one, I imagined the 1930 color scheme on the “executioner” helmet worn by Hines.
1955 NFL Championship.
That’s it for today. Big thanks, as always, to Larry, George & John. Lets keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!
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 Marcin Niedzielski, who has tweak for the Hawks:
The Atlanta Hawks have one of the better looking logos in the NBA – the problem is they just don’t know it yet. So I removed the dated logo they are currently using and took their secondary logo as the new primary. I also removed the gray and excessive use of striping (that they were using for reasons unknown). Finally, I included gold and also took the logo, blended it with their 90’s logo completing the look. Enjoy!
Next up is Michael Emody, with bit of color for the Cubs roadies:
How’s it going? I thought I’d submit something for the “Tweaks” section.
Here’s my version of the 68 Cubs road uni in darker blue with an updated walking Cub patch. Nothing groundbreaking, but a bit nicer than the current uni, imo.
We close today with Ryan Altenbach who has some nice tweaks for USA Baseball:
In honor of the big US win over Canada to advance in the WBC, I decided to retool a pretty weak US jersey. I hated the hat and how it clashed with the jersey, and the jersey seems too busy. I refined the wordmark and created a new secondary logo for the hats, made a paneled hat for the set, made the red in the set brighter, and took away the side and shoulder panel on the jerseys. Throw in a bit of decent hosiery, and there you have it.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
OK readers — that’s a wrap for this weekend. Big thanks to Jason (and the colorizers & concepters) for all their efforts. In case you missed it yesterday, we had our review of and voting on the first two teams in the Uni Watch Fantasy Football League — if you didn’t check those out, give ‘em a look-see (and cast your vote).
Everyone have a great Sunday and a good week, and I will catch you next weekend.
“New football uniforms for West Virginia. Two word summary: hideous garbage.”