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At about 4pm yesterday I went out for my daily bike ride in Prospect Park. My plan was to get back home by about 5:15pm, which would give me a comfortable amount of time to change out of my sweaty bike gear and grab something to eat before the Vikings’ unveiling at 6:15pm. Once that was over, I’d watch the Dolphins’ unveiling at 7pm. Then I’d summarize my reactions to the new uni sets in a hastily written ESPN piece. I figured it’d be a hectic evening.
But when I got back from my bike ride, I found that fate had handed me a gift: Nike had already posted photos of the new Vikings and Dolphins uniforms, plus the Vikings had posted additional photos in two slideshows of their own (here and here).
This improved my evening in two significant ways: (1) I was able to start writing my ESPN piece right away, before the unveilings even started, which took a lot of pressure off of me. (2) I was able to skip the unveilings altogether, which meant I didn’t have to sit through all the marketingspeak and the embarrassing musical crescendos. By 7pm I had sent in my article and was able to sit down to watch the Yankees/Jays game. Thanks, Nike! Thanks, Vikings!
Anyway: My initial take on the two new sets can be found here. The short version is that I can live with the new Vikings set (especially considering what they’ve been wearing in recent years) and am disappointed by the new Dolphins set. But I’m sure I’ll have additional thoughts on these uniforms once we see them on the field.
I’d like to expand a bit on a point I made in my ESPN piece regarding the Vikings’ new uni number font. As you probably know by now, the first numeral of a two-digit number will have rounded serifs, which creates an interesting nested effect, with the numerals sort of “fitting” into each other. But as I mentioned in my ESPN piece, the nesting effect doesn’t work as well with the rounded serif is bumping up against a pointed part of a numeral instead of a rounded part of a numeral. To see what I mean, look this photo. The “28” pairing works quite well, and so does the upper part of the “52” pairing. But the lower part of the “52” doesn’t work, because the lower-left corner of the “2” comes to a square point instead of a curve. So the success of the desired effect will depend on which numerals are paired together. (One thing’s for certain: Uni numbers with repeating numerals are gonna look seriously weird.)
And what about players with single-digit numbers? Good question. When the Vikes chose Sharrif Floyd in the first round last night, the numbers shown on the big board and on the jersey he held up didn’t match. Hmmmm. (My thanks to reader Jason Greening for those two screen shots.)
As for the Dolphins, about the only positive news to come out of that unveiling is that there will still be aqua pants, although I suspect they won’t be wearing them much, if at all. Everything else about this set feels watered down and cheapened.
Draft notes: The inconsistent numbering on Sharrif Floyd’s Vikings jersey wasn’t the only uni-notable observation from last night’s NFL Draft. Here are some more:
• Last week I ran a photo of some retail authentics that suggested the Chargers were scrapping the neck roll and going with two-color NOB lettering. Sure enough, that’s what we saw last night.
• Judging by the jersey held up by Buffalo first-rounder E.J. Manuel, it appears that the Bills may be scrapping the neck roll as well. Let’s hope so.
• Several readers noted that Lions first-rounder Ezekiel Ansah appeared to be wearing 3-D movie glasses last night.
• It apparently takes a small army of Agent Smith clones to transport baseball caps to the draft. And you thought it was a lousy job market out there.
• In a move of serious douchebaggery, Tide detergent offered each team’s first draftee $1000 to send out some lame-o Tide-scripted tweet about what it’s like to wear the team’s jersey. Further info here, and you can see a bunch of the tweets here. As you might expect, this whole scam led to some other tweets as well. (My thanks to reader Garry Stoelk for bringing all this to my attention.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: The voting for the College Football Playoff logo was hacked. … Troy Tulowitzki has a little decal of a baseball on his belt. Anyone know the story behind that one? (From Kevin Dugal.) … Possible rebranding in the works for the Islanders (thanks, Phil). … New logos for Northwest Missouri State (from Tyler Moody). … Brand New has reviewed the new UConn identity system (fromScott Lederer). … “Interesting note fro mJoseph Bailey, who writes: “Every so often I get an email from NLFFanHuddle.com to do a survey. Usually it’s about game experiences, watching in person or on TV, etc. But their latest survey was really brief and was about the Dallas Cowboys. They wanted me to describe in a few words what I thought the Cowboys’ ‘brand’ was. I used one word: arrogant. They then gave me a chart with a scale of 1 to 10, with various categories such as innovative, community service-oriented, historic, America’s Team, etc. This was the first time I’ve ever done a survey that was geared specifically to a team.” … David Wright usually goes high-cuffed for day games, but he was pajama pantsed for yesterday afternoon’s Mets/Dodgers game. … The NASL’s new franchise in Indianapolis will be called the Indy Eleven. … “Here at UConn, it’s our third annual Police State Lockdown to stop us from partying at what used to be ‘Spring Weekend,'” says Gregory Koch. “Basically, no non-students are allowed on campus, entry to any event is strictly monitored, bags are subject to search, and all alcohol will be confiscated on sight. Plus there are police checkpoints all around campus. Crazy. And so some UConn students. including me, have started posting photos of a North Korean flag with the (new) Husky logo on it.” … Speaking of UConn, the excellent Connecticut Public Radio show Where We Live devoted yesterday’s installment to the UConn rebranding. “It features designer Peter Goode, the man behind the iconic Whalers logo — and he’s not happy!” says host John Dankosky. “The show even prompted response from university president Susan Herbst. Some interesting detail in there about the ‘process,’ too.” … Whoa, check out these NFL helmet chairs from Caesar’s Palace, circa 1986 (nice find by Matt Wilson). … Elliot Bedinghaus wrote an intriguing piece on the branding implications of alternate jerseys. … Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia has been wearing a chest protector design I’ve never seen before. Anyone know what brand that is? … Someone on the Kolkata Knight Riders — that’s a cricket team — wears No. 999 (from Doug Stringham). … The Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC will soon be opening a new exhibition on punk clothing and fashion. That has prompted a good article about punk clothing as a uniform. Further info here. … Major FNOB potential last night for the Carolina Hurricanes as Jared Staal made his NHL debut alongside brothers Eric and Jordan. Unfortunately, they all went with FIOB (screen shot by John Muir). … Christopher Mycoskie spotted a Dallas Morning News box with a Rangers images that’s wrong on several different levels. … Mets Police honcho Shannon Shark wrote something about the Mets’ social media silliness that should be required reading for every pro sports employee. … Happy birthday, Moose — hope you get everything you wish for when you blow out the candles.
I don’t know about you, but that was one hectic week for a certain uniform columnist. Looking forward to relaxing a bit tomorrow, and then I hope to see some of you on Sunday at the Brooklyn Beefsteak. For everyone else, see you next week.