The Face of the Franchise Is Kinda Funny-Lookin’

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Mets found yet another way to embarrass themselves last week, as some idiot functionary in the team’s marketing department tried to get an online dating site to help stuff the ballot box for David Wright’s All-Star candidacy. (Among the many takeaways from that story is that our society is long overdue for a moratorium on the terms “reach out” and “blast.”)

Wright is obviously the best everyday player on the Mets, and arguably the best everyday player in the club’s history, so the team does its best to promote him as often as possible. This had led Wright to become known, somewhat reflexively, as “the face of the franchise,” a term that has become such a cliché that if you google Wright’s name in conjunction with the words “face of the franchise,” you get over 160,000 hits.

I’ve always found this “face of the franchise” term to be an unfortunate choice of words — not because it isn’t true, but because, as many of you are probably aware, Wright has an odd facial tic: He sticks out his tongue. A lot.

When does Wright stick out his tongue? A better question might be when he doesn’t do it. He does it while sliding, while preparing to slide, while diving for a ball, while celebrating a win, while leaving the dugout after a game, while taking a lead, while running the bases, while throwing, while preparing to throw, while high-fiving, while reaching, while swinging in the cage, while trotting off the field, while doing pregame calisthenics, while doing postgame interviews, while following through on a swing, while doing his home run trot, while getting set into fielding position, while fielding a ground ball, while fielding a throw, while playing the World Baseball classic, while hitting in the Home Run Derby, and even while just standing there. And trust me, that’s a fairly small sampling.

I want to make it clear that I’m not ridiculing or criticizing David Wright for sticking out his tongue. It’s obviously an involuntary reflex, and it has no bearing on his worth as a ballplayer (which is considerable) or as a person (which I’m not in a position to assess because I don’t know him personally, although he appears to be a stand-up guy).

But this site is about aesthetics. And from an aesthetic standpoint, Wright’s wayward tongue has always made me cringe. It looks undignified and embarrassing. As a lifelong Mets fan, it kills me that the face of our franchise our one marquee position player almost always looks like a goofball, or worse, when he’s shown in highlight photos or promotional settings. The rest of the country already thinks of the Mets as a laughingstock, and this feels like just one more thing the team can’t get right. (At least the Mets’ roster no longer includes Mike Pelfrey, who had some tongue issues of his own.)

Just last week I attended a Mets game, and between innings the scoreboard had one of those “Vote for David Wright in the All-Star Balloting” promos (I guess they have to run more of those now that the thing with the online dating site fell apart). It featured a really nice illustration of Wright — with his tongue out. Sigh. Give the illustrator props for accuracy, I guess, but I kinda wish he’d used a bit of artistic license and put the tongue back in Wright’s mouth.

Some of you are probably thinking, “Michael Jordan stuck out his tongue too!” Yeah, but Jordan’s outstretched tongue felt more like a stylish exclamation point, the cherry on top of his Superman sundae, while Wright’s tongue always looks more doofus-ish, at least to me. Maybe it’s just a matter of context: Everything Jordan did had a certain élan, while Wright is, frankly, a rather vanilla personage. (I don’t mean that as a criticism, either. It’s just a self-evident statement of fact.)

Back in 2006, Wright was asked about his tongue while appearing on Letterman and, to his credit, handled the questions gracefully. For the most part, though, his tongue goes unmentioned, even though it’s obviously, you know, sticking out there. I almost wish the Mets would embrace the tongue thing — build a marketing campaign around it, give it its own Twitter hashtag (or maybe its own Twitter feed), if only so it could stop being the elephant in the room. Like, it’s not going to go away, so why not embrace it?

But maybe I’m too close to this situation, because I watch Wright play all the time and think about the Mets pretty much every single day. For those of you who don’t live in New York or follow the Mets, does the tongue thing affect how you perceive Wright? And how would you feel if the best player on your favorite team had this same facial tic? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

With this year’s MLB All-Star Game right around the corner, here’s a nice-looking promo bag from the 1979 game. [I'll always remember that one: Lee Mazzilli of the Mets tied it with a home run and won it with a bases-loaded walk off of Ron Guidry of the Yankees. Didn't get much sweeter than that for a certain young Mets fan. — PL]

Here are the rest of this week’s finds:

• I’d consider this one if it wasn’t so pricey — a 1968 Bengals glass with their first-season schedule on it.

• Did you ever have one of these STP decals on your school binder? In my Louisville elementary school, STP was standard operating procedure.

• Check out this 1960 Chuck Bednarik photo. This is what pro football should look like, my friends.

• This 1970s Wilt Chamberlain promo T-shirt for the phone company sure looks like Bill Russell to me. Either way, ya can’t miss with long distance. (What, no Skype?)

• Cool 1970s NHL poster alert, for the Blackhawks.

• Some vintage NHL logo action on these fitted bedsheets!

• This Esty-listed Houston Oilers poster says 1970s, but I think it’s from the 1960s. Same for this great Niners poster, which would look swell at Uni Watch HQ.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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petty.png

Membership update: As of yesterday afternoon, all pending membership orders (including Josh Petty’s Marlins treatment, shown at right), had been printed, laminated, and shipped, so we’re fully caught up. This includes the last of the orders from Purple Amnesty Day. To those of you who’ve been waiting for your cards, my thanks for your patience.

As always, you can sign up for your own membership card here, and you can see all the cards we’ve produced so far here.

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Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 4.11.39 PM.png

Show & Tell update: Photos, stories, and participants from this month’s installment of Show & Tell are now available for your enjoyment on the Show & Tell website.

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What have we here? Why, it’s reader Alan Kreit modeling a spiffy new T-shirt. Not bad, am I right?

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Whatever your position on the ’Skins and their name, the issue is clearly part of the national dialogue now, as not a day goes by now without at least one article about it. Latest example: a thoughtful column from Miami Herald sportswriter Leonard Pitts (from Tommy Turner and Jerry Wolper). … Brewers will be wearing Polish uniforms this Saturday. … A well-placed source tells me that the amount Darrelle Revis paid to Mark Barron in order to get Barron to give up No. 24 was — get this — $50,000. Is that a record? Is it not even close? Has anyone been tracking these uni number transactions over the years? … Loads of new college football uniforms supposedly displayed in this video game promo clip, although I freely admit that I don’t have the patience to sit through the entire 35-minute clip. Someone who’s watched it says Ohio State apparently won’t have new uni (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of college football, new helmet striping apparently in the works for NC State. Those images both come from this new season ticket commercial (from Ryan Thompson). … Josh Reddick wore A’s logo stirrups on Sunday (from Andrew Gegenheimer). … A Tulane recruit has tweeted a photo of himself wearing what appears to be a new GFGS uni (from Andy Lopez). … Whoa, check out the placement of the captain’s “C” on this 1947 Bruins media guide cover (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Pro wrestler CM Punk wore Blackhawks-themed gear on Sunday (from Trey Groce). … According to a libertarian website, one of the words that can get you flagged as a potential terrorist by the NSA is “Nike.” It’s not clear whether “Nike sucks” puts you back on the safe list, but here’s hoping (from Gregory Koch). … You know what the world really needs? The answer is definitely not “smartphone-charging shorts,” but that’s what the world is getting anyway (from Tom Mulgrew). … the Spanish national soccer team’s new jersey has the illusion of a deep V-neck collar (from Ricy Schmaker). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a really cool-looking Hartford Whalers-themed wedding. … The Seahawks have four players with Roman numeral “III”s in their names, although not all of them wear RNOB (from Kyle Hanks). … I’m still calling it Browns Stadium. … Does Tennessee need new football uniforms? Depends on who you ask (Phil again). … New aquarium-themed warm-up jersey — or at least I think that’s what it is — for the Erie Otters (from Terence Kearns). … The Wizards appear unlikely to change their name back to the Bullets (Tommy Turner again). … Novak Djokovic will unveil his Wimbledon attire at a Uniqlo shop today (thanks, Brinke). …

 

128 comments to The Face of the Franchise Is Kinda Funny-Lookin’

  • Hodges14 | June 18, 2013 at 7:35 am |

    Imagine if Bob costas read this: “and so, a uniform-centric website puts at the forefront a player’s habit of sticking out his tounge while he plays. Yet another indication of the ongoing decline of Western civilization.”

    • StLMarty | June 18, 2013 at 8:14 am |

      It’s a good movie, but I bet Costas has never seen it.

  • Otis | June 18, 2013 at 7:38 am |

    Very nice Mariners bag.

    • walter | June 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

      What I wouldn’t give to see a few more blue-n-yellow sports teams nowadays.

  • BurghFan | June 18, 2013 at 7:40 am |

    That is indeed Bill Russell on the AT&T T-shirt. He did commercials for their long distance service. Unfortunately, I can’t find the one where he sat at a desk and tossed a ball over his shoulder into the hoop, to everyone’s surprise.

    Like Brinke, the concept of commercials for long distance makes me feel old.

    • Seth H | June 18, 2013 at 8:17 am |

      Story on that commercial is that when he took the impossible shot and it inevitably missed, Russell was supposed to say: “I missed. But you can’t miss with AT&T long distance.” (Or something along those lines.) Of course, he made it, and the commercial became memorable for him cracking up and saying “I can’t miss” while the entire crew laughed.

  • Ray | June 18, 2013 at 7:47 am |

    The mets did an ad campaign earlier this year on the subway and it appeared to have David’s tongue photoshopped out!

    http://smg.photobuck...

    That said, I think you’re completely out of line here. It doesn’t look bad, it’s not something he controls, and it doesn’t. matter.

    • Paul Lukas | June 18, 2013 at 7:52 am |

      I went out of my way to acknowledge that it’s something he doesn’t control and that I don’t mean it as a personal criticism.

      I just think it looks like shit. If you disagree, that’s fine. But saying I’m “out of line” seems kinda, um, out of line.

      • Browncoat | June 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |

        I don’t think that there is any real difference with what Jordan does and what right does, although usually Jordan’s tounge was sticking out more. http://cdn.bleacherr...

    • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 7:56 am |

      Until someone suggests he has a disease that compromises his control of voluntary muscles, it absolutely is something he controls. It’s no more “out of line” to discuss Wright’s tongue-sticking than to discuss, say, Nomar Garciaparra’s between-pitch glove tightening.

      • Ry Co 40 | June 18, 2013 at 8:32 am |

        between the tounge thing and the glove thing, i have to disagree. one is a reflex, one is just good ol fashioned OCD.

        • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 9:55 am |

          It may be a reflex*, but it’s still a controllable reflex. The man’s a professional athlete, for heaven’s sake! Mastering his reflexes is kind of, you know, the most fundamental skill he has. If a man can teach his body not to flinch every time another man hurls a 90-mph rock at him, he can learn not to stick his tongue out. Wright chooses not to master this particular reflex. Makes it fair game to observe & comment.

          * Personally, I don’t agree that it is such a thing; no need to dress up nervous ticks with fancy names like “reflex”. A reflex is a reaction to particular external stimulus. “Playing third base” doesn’t seem to count as a specific external stimulus like, say, a doctor hammering your knee with a rubber mallet, or a friend punching your shoulder at the sight of a Beetle.

    • walter | June 18, 2013 at 9:28 am |

      Hey! Michael Jordan was always sticking his tongue out! What’s wrong with it?!?

      • walter | June 18, 2013 at 11:34 am |

        Okay, so I went back and read the article, this time. Unfortunately, when your team is good, they’ll overlook the tongue thing; when it’s bad, they won’t. Don’t they always say “The good teams will always get the good calls”?

    • Jon | June 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

      What’s really out of line is the period between “doesn’t” and “matter.”

  • DenverGregg | June 18, 2013 at 7:49 am |

    There are a few terms like “reach out” that get my goat. I sometimes give a snarky rephrase (if I think I can get away with it) as follows:
    “at the end of the day” = “at the start of the night”;
    “touch base” = “lurch backward”; and
    “reach out to” = “give ‘em a reacharound”.

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 8:28 am |

      Let’s take this discussion offline and circle back.

      • DenverGregg | June 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |

        Another: What’s with all that circle jerk?

    • Ry Co 40 | June 18, 2013 at 8:34 am |

      try hearing “let’s take a ‘deeper dive’ into this project…” at least once a week!

      • DenverGregg | June 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |

        I’m sinking!

  • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 7:51 am |

    Wow – I used to joke that Arenas’ gun issues meant that the Wizards could never go back to the Bullets nickname. Never imagined that people in authority with the team would consider Arenas’ legacy as a factor in making an actual decision, though.

    • Jason M (DC) | June 18, 2013 at 8:34 am |

      I think that deep down Leonsis wants to change the Wizards name back to Bullets. (Or just change the name.) I believe that it’s David Stern that is standing in the way of that.

    • Rad | June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am |

      I always thought it was funny that they changed their name because it was “offensive” to some fans, and changed it to Wizards, which could offend some Christians (or other religions).

      This example should help the Redskins to make sure their future name doesn’t offend anybody, or they’ll be going for a third identity.

      • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 9:01 am |

        The Bullets name wasn’t changed for fear of offending people. It was Abe Pollin’s reaction to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin: http://voices.washin...

        And the point isn’t to replace “Redskins” with something that doesn’t offend anyone. The point is that “Redskins” is a slur, and by most reasonable standards, offensive. There’s a subtle, but an important distinction between offending and being offensive.

        • Rad | June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am |

          I don’t see what you’re saying, but I don’t disagree either.

          Redskins, Bullets, and Wizards names have the potential to be offensive to people. Why wouldn’t the point be to replace Redskins to something that doesn’t offend anyone? The goal of a corporation is to make money, not to offend potential customers…

        • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 10:05 am |

          Read TH again, Rad. Bullets was not dropped because the team owner, or anyone really, thought that the name did or might offend anybody, nor because the team owner cared about offending anybody. The owner felt that the team name glorified gun violence, which had become a local epidemic that disturbed the owner greatly, and then his friend was murdered with a handgun. The owner himself felt the team needed a new name, so he renamed the team.

          “Offend” had nothing to do with the Bullets/Wizards name change for anyone involved. No one was “offended” by the Bullets, nobody thought anybody was “offended” by the Bullets, and nobody cared if anybody was “offended” by the Bullets. Your point, that the team changed its name to avoid offense to a name that might cause offense, is factually false. So any conclusion you draw from that falsehood is invalid.

        • Rad | June 18, 2013 at 10:18 am |

          Arr Scott,

          The owner of the the Bullets found the name personally offensive, so he changed the name. To say there wasn’t ANY negativity towards Abe Pollin privately or publicly before Yitzhak Rabin was murdered is false.

          To say nobody was offended by the Bullets name, and nobody cared if anybody was offended is absurd.

          Semantics, here. I fully understand why Abe changed the name.

        • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 10:26 am |

          The distinction is between something that has the potential to offend, and something that is by definition and therefore objectively offensive, and has historically been used as a slur.

          Ultimately, people who support change realize that anything has the *potential* to offend. But the reaction to “Redskins” is stronger than any theoretical offense to “Wizards”, because, you know, history and context and the accompanying imagery.

        • Rad | June 18, 2013 at 10:47 am |

          Terrible Human,

          I think we’re on the same page here!

          However, to say the reaction to Redskins is stronger than a Christian’s reaction to Wizards, or the D.C. community’s reaction to the Bullets moniker becoming a prominent gang symbol/symbol of being a murderer doesn’t make them acceptable either.

          That is what people who support the Redskins name say: there are more offensive things, so what offends you doesn’t matter.

          They are all bad names, and bad for business.

        • Cort | June 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |

          This is really interesting.

          As a Houstonian, the prospect of resurrecting “Colt 45s” (something that comes up every few years) has never bothered me: I sorta like the Wild Westiness of it.

          I’ve never lived anywhere remotely close to DC, but for years, every time I head “Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets”, I cringed. It didn’t necessarily outrage or offend me, it just seemed tin-eared and insensitive.

          When we have a rooting interest in a team, or an emotional connection to a team, do those feelings override awareness of impropriety? Does this explain why so many Indians fans can’t understand negative public sentiment toward Chief Wahoo, or why the Atlanta fans get upset when the “Screaming Warrior” emblem is derided? It’s ridiculous to assert that everyone defending Wahoo, or Knockahoma, or “Hail to the Redskins” is a racist. That doesn’t make sense.

          There’s a little bit of this in the other Washington nickname controversy.

        • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm |

          The owner of the the Bullets found the name personally offensive, so he changed the name.

          Not true. This is, again, false. The word “offensive” is an actual word in the English language with an actual definition different from all the other words in our tongue. It does not mean what you think it means.

          It would be true to say that Pollin came to find the Bullets name distasteful or inappropriate. But there is no evidence – zero, none – that Pollin ever told anyone that he was offended by the name. What’s more, as he was the owner of the Bullets name, it is literally impossible for the name to have “offended” him, just as it is literally impossible for me to offend myself. I might say something that I later find to have been inappropriate or distasteful, but to be offended requires the action of another. If I later realize that something I said was offensive, then the word for my emotional state is “embarrassed,” not “offended.”

      • walter | June 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm |

        When you get right down to it, there’s a person who finds every nickname offensive. You must ask yourself, is this guy a nut, or has he got a legitimate gripe?

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am |

      That, and I imagine Leonsis feels uncomfortable undoing something that Abe Pollin apparently felt strongly about. If a member of the Pollin family had taken over the team, it’s a lot easier, I bet.

    • walter | June 18, 2013 at 9:25 am |

      As long as there are throwback uniforms, the Bullets name is always in the Wizards quiver.

    • Gil Neumann | June 18, 2013 at 10:44 am |

      “The Washington Bullets are changing their name. They don’t want their team to be associated with crime. From now on, they’ll just be known as the Bullets.” — Jay Leno

    • Clarybird | June 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  • Ray | June 18, 2013 at 7:59 am |

    Cliffsnotes: “No offense, but the best player on my favorite team is funny looking and his appearance makes said team more of a laughingstock than they already are.”

    Alright.

  • Dane | June 18, 2013 at 8:01 am |

    I learned something today in Collector’s Corner. Looking at the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals schedule, they played a preseason game against the Steelers. Wondering how many AFL-NFL preseason games took place before the merger?

    • Paul Lukas | June 18, 2013 at 8:05 am |

      Full list of such games here:
      http://www.mmbolding...

      • Gusto 4044 | June 18, 2013 at 8:51 am |

        Speaking of school binders in the Collector’s Corner, back in the 70s, stickers called “Wacky Packs” were popular. They were funny misspellings of everyday products which were illustrated to mean something else. From detergent to soup, no product was safe from this parody.

        • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 9:03 am |

          As well as the lesser successful “Crazy Covers”–magazine parodies.

        • Matt B | June 18, 2013 at 10:52 am |

          That’s “Wacky Packages”, made by Topps and a precursor to my favourites, Garbage Pail Kids.

          They’re still being made: http://entertainment...

  • Ry Co 40 | June 18, 2013 at 8:17 am |

    sometimes mine does…

    both in practice:

    http://i.usatoday.ne...

    and in game:

    http://www.mjbsports...

    but since there was no winter classic this season, the NHL and NBC had someone rip it out of his head on ice for ratings:

    http://db66abc2c256b...

    • BurghFan | June 18, 2013 at 8:22 am |

      Mild-mannered Ryan Connelly sees the Pen signal, ducks into an abandoned Isaly’s, and comes out as Sid?

  • Bernard | June 18, 2013 at 8:17 am |

    I’m neither a New Yorker nor a Mets fan. I never would’ve noticed Wright’s tongue without reading about it here this morning.

  • teenchy | June 18, 2013 at 8:18 am |

    Speaking of faces of the franchise, at this moment in time I think I’d rather have Wright with his tongue sticking out of his head than Ryan Zimmerman with whatever has gotten into his head.

    • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 10:07 am |

      It hurts, because it’s true. Anyway, I think most Nats fans by now regard Jayson Werth, with his hair instead of his tongue sticking out of his head, as the true face of the franchise.

  • Mark in Shiga | June 18, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    It’s really too bad that the Polish word “Piwowarzy” doesn’t contain a Polish-specific letter (like the l with a slash in it) so that it would really stand out.

    • Cort | June 18, 2013 at 10:28 am |

      I agree, but it’s still cool.

      My great-grandfather, a Polish immigrant, owned a bar, which was run for decades by my grandparents.

      This is the first of the “ethnic” jerseys that I have ever been tempted to purchase.

  • Inkracer | June 18, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    Just a couple things.. First the NCAA Football franchise isn’t always up to date on uniforms. Notre Dame’s first season with the “ND” instead of TV numbers didn’t make the game, and the Alternate they wore against Michigan didn’t make the game either.

    This isn’t the first time Punk has worn team based designs, during his heel (bad guy) run he work Yankee inspired ring gear in Boston.

    • Dom.E. | June 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

      If you look closely at the top of the tomahawks through Punk’s Blackhawks-related logo on his trunks and boots, you can notice that instead of a blade, there are fists with an X across them just like Punk does with his taped fists.

      • inkracer | June 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

        I’m sure it was done mainly for copyright reasons, but Punk is Straight Edge. The X across the hands become the adopted symbol of the Straight Edge movement as it was starting.

  • Phil P | June 18, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    Article in the Boston Globe about NFL apparel marketing

    http://www.bostonglo...

    • Rad | June 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |

      What’s interesting to me is how the unpredictability of player popularity makes it difficult to stock jerseys, yet the league restricted sales of blanks to retailers years ago. The screenprint is unique to nike, along with their version of tackle twill, which further hinders sales beyond team shops and their own website.

      Not sure what the solution is, but this dilemma won’t help jersey sales grow, like the free-for-all that the 90′s were (which made the price double since then).

  • Yerb | June 18, 2013 at 8:49 am |

    Last night someone at the Boston-Chicago Stanley Cup final game was wearing a supernally ugly Providence Bruins warmup jersey with the yellow, pink, and orange stripes. I don’t know if Getty Images or the AP would have it, but it was clearly visible on NBC during the celebration of Boston’s second goal.

    • Rob S | June 18, 2013 at 9:36 am |

      You mean the donut shop jersey?

      • Yerb | June 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

        Yep.

  • Harrison | June 18, 2013 at 8:56 am |

    The Tennessee uniforms should never, ever, ever be changed. Pretty sure a small part of me died when they went BFBS a few years back.

    • J.R. Clark | June 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

      Agreed. No more Klown Kostumes in the SEC!!!!

  • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 8:58 am |

    I always like the show and tell blog.

    • Paul Lukas | June 18, 2013 at 9:26 am |

      Thanks, man — appreciated.

  • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |

    re: Spain’s faux-deep V-collar

    The Confederations Cup is full of faux-neck treatments this year.

    * Uruguay has a faux-lace up collar: http://images.footba...

    * Italy has a faux-undershirt: http://www.in2sports...

    * Brazil has a faux-polo-under-tee look: http://www.voxxi.com...

    Finally, Italy’s Daniele de Rossi wears one sleeve short and the other sleeve long. I guess it’s soccer’s equivalent of the shooting sleeve: http://www3.pictures...

    • Shane | June 18, 2013 at 9:27 am |

      And it’s not a new kit, Spain’s been wearing it since just after the Euros finished last summer.

      It’s supposed to be a fauxback to what they wore in the 20s, supposedly.

    • Rob S | June 18, 2013 at 9:39 am |

      Another x-to-multiplication-sign conversion… this is why it’s a good idea to use the link code rather than just pasting in a URL.

      Anyway, here’s the corrected Uruguay link.

      • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 10:30 am |

        Bah, thanks for that. I put in raw URL because whenever I try to embed, the link disappears. I can’t win.

  • Rob S | June 18, 2013 at 9:23 am |

    I wonder if the flag on that certain shoe company’s name has to do with that name having been used for this country’s missile defense program that ran from the 1940s to the 1970s.

    • Ben Fortney | June 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Jerry | June 18, 2013 at 10:02 am |

    Im not a Mets fan and I don’t recall ever Consciously noticing David Wright stick out his tongue. It is a bit odd that he does it so much but it’s obviously involuntary so it’s no big deal.
    On the topic of annoying phrases I submit “gone viral”
    I find this one incredibly irritating. Whenever I see some tv news info babe with a forced smile say something like this “a twelve year old boy in Randell New Hampshire just saved his dad from falling off a ladder. The whole thing was caught on video and it’s gone viral” I cringe and want to puke.

  • nym | June 18, 2013 at 10:08 am |

    Haha, Wright’s tongue really bothers you? So is the tongue more or less “undignified” than the orange shirt?

  • AlMaFI | June 18, 2013 at 10:13 am |

    This is the first I’ve heard about Revis doing whatever it takes to get the number 24. Bizarrely, the exact thing is happening with another pirate-monikered squad on the opposite side of the country. Charles Woodson has been practicing with a blank uniform as he holds out for Tracy Porter’s number 24. What is the lure of the number 24 for defensive backs? Does it have anything to do with Ken Griffey Jr’s popularity in the nineties?

    Side note: I remember seeing a pre-draft video on NFL.com before the 2012 draft that featured a never-ending clip of Mark Barron saying something like, “nobody is going to take any food off my daughter’s plate.” Well Marky, that unexpected $50,000 windfall will buy your daughter a good amount of food. Thanks, uncle Darrelle!

  • Cork Gaines | June 18, 2013 at 10:33 am |

    I have no idea if this is a record, but the largest payment I ever heard for a uniform number was Rickey Henderson paying somebody on the Jays $25,000 in 1993 which would be about $40,000 in today’s dollars.

    The best story I ever heard was Mitch Williams paying John Kruk for No. 29 with two cases of beer. And then Williams switched to no. 99.

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |

      I think the best NFL pay-for-jersey-number story is Jeff Feagles: http://sportsillustr...

      When Eli Manning joined the Giants, Feagles got him to pay for an all-expenses-paid vacation to Florida in exchange for the #10 jersey. And when Plaxico Burress joined, he switched from #17 to #18 in exchange for Burress paying to remodel his kitchen – except Burress never paid up.

      When Burress left and Feagles went back to #17, Hakeem Nicks took #18. No idea if any cash or other favors were exchanged for that.

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |

      Couple more:

      * When Donovan McNabb joined the Vikings and wanted Chris Kluwe’s #5 jersey, Kluwe asked for a $5,000 donation to Kluwe’s charity, mentions of Kluwe’s band in press conferences and an ice cream cone: http://www.nfl.com/n...

      Unless that ice cream is worth 5 figures, I don’t think it’s close to what Revis paid for his #24.

      * Clinton Portis was actually sued in 2005 for his non-payment of the fee for #26 after Ifeanyi Ohalete was released by Washington: http://www.nytimes.c...

      (the NY Times link is a nice treasure trove of number-for-cash/goods exchanges)

  • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 10:45 am |

    Jeff Pearlman’s ‘Boys Will Be Boys’, about the early 90s Dallas Cowboys, has an anecdote about how Deion Sanders got his number 21 from a rookie.

    Long story short-ish, Sanders ran into the rookie at a BMW dealership, saw him eying a 325i. The next morning at the Cowboys practice facility, the rookie was upset to find the exact car he wanted in the parking lot. He went to his locker and found a set of keys and a note from Sanders that read “NOW GIVE ME MY DAMN JERSEY!”.

    The best part of the story? The rookie didn’t have any attachment to 21, and would have given it up for free.

    I don’t know much about sports car pricing, but I’m guessing that a fully-equipped BMW was worth more than $50,000 adjusted for inflation, if not in 1994 dollars.

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 10:47 am |

      And I’m bad at pasting links today. Hoping this works: http://sports.espn.g...

  • Zach | June 18, 2013 at 10:52 am |

    That 35 minute NCAA 14 video is not updated at all with next seasons jerseys. Just from watching the first couple minutes I noticed Baylor and Cal both had last years uniforms, so nothing can be determined about Ohio State.

    FWIW, I have heard directly from someone who works at Nike that Ohio State will be getting numerous new uniform options this fall.

  • PG-13 | June 18, 2013 at 10:52 am |

    Not uni related, but this Humans of New York site is pretty neat. He takes pictures of the people of NY and also gets little stories about them.

    http://www.humansofn...

    Thought some of y’all might like it.

    • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 11:44 am |

      I like it.

  • RozeyPete | June 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |

    http://www.registerg...

    Really? Are the Emeralds the first pre-grass stained uniforms in sports uni history. These might give the Tampa Bay Rowdies a run for their money as the most disgraceful unis ever?

  • ScottyM | June 18, 2013 at 11:57 am |

    To all the delusional Hartford Whalers historians … the Hurricanes aren’t coming back. They’ve won a Stanley Cup in Raleigh. They’re staying.

    To think a couple would have their wedding with a Whalers theme is bizarre. Does anyone in L.A. host Raiders themed weddings? Or, Rams themed weddings?

    How about an Atlanta Thrashers wedding?
    NoLa … a Jazz wedding?
    Seattle … a Sonics wedding?
    Vancouver … a Grizzlies wedding?

    You get the point. Folks, time to “let it go.”

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

      To be fair, if the couple is in their 30s, they grew up rooting for the Whalers and their parents likely did as well, and Hartford doesn’t have another major league franchise to hang its civic identity on.

      * The Thrashers were founded in 1999, so people who grew up with them aren’t adults yet. Plus, nobody gave a shit about them.

      * The Jazz only played in New Orleans for 5 seasons, and that was over 30 years ago. Also, nobody gave a shit.

      * Seattle Sonics – maybe, but they haven’t been gone long enough to develop a cottage industry of nostalgia. Plus, they can hold a Seahawks-themed wedding: http://blog.seattlep...

      * Vancouver Grizzlies – they played there for 6 seasons, not long enough to develop generation-spanning attachment. Plus, Canucks, Whitecaps, BC Lions.

      * Raiders/Rams – nobody gives a shit about football in LA.

      So yeah, I get your point, but it’s not particularly well presented.

      • Mike Engle | June 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

        What terriblehuman said. Thinking about which defunct fan bases might do something like that, it would have to be a formerly one-team town that now has nothing, and hasn’t had anything since. A Quebec Nordiques wedding like this one would work just fine, but a Winnipeg Jets one probably wouldn’t go so great because a different Winnipeg Jets team now plays in the same league as the old one. (Can’t say “they’re back.” Not really.)

        • ScottyM | June 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

          Yikes, you guys can split hairs (I’m not keen on producing 30 more examples for you to critique, so I’ll do just one with equivalent impact).

          Point being, it’s tacky. Pretty sad, actually. Who holds a wedding with the theme of a sports franchise of a bygone era?

          Frankly, delusional Whalers fans. I won’t get into “support your team, and they won’t leave.” Because it’s simply part of the history of pro sports … they often move for various reasons.

          As a Fort Wayne native … I won’t be holding a Pistons theme wedding anytime soon, thanks. Tacky milackey.

        • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm |

          I’m not splitting hairs. You presented apples to make a point about an orange and missed the point super hard.

          Here’s the thing – sports fandom is, to varying degrees but always inevitably, tied to nostalgia. Without those emotional, irrational attachment, you’re just watching laborers do work. The reason we care about uniforms and logos and stadiums is because those things are a link to the past. It’s also one of the more commonly recognizable expression of civic identity.

          You seem to be tacking some vicious whacks at a straw man. There’s no evidence that the couple is under any illusion that being really, really, really ardent fans will bring the Whalers back. It seems like they’re just two kids who have a shared passion. And they turned their wedding into a celebration of their past and their community pride. How awful.

          So you find sports-themed weddings tacky. Bully for you. I hope you never have to suffer the indignity of being asked to be in a wedding between two superfans. But by poo-pooing at the Whalers couple, you’re demonstrating some serious misunderstanding of what it means to be a fan.

      • David Gratt | June 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

        > * The Jazz only played in New Orleans for 5 seasons, and
        > that was over 30 years ago. Also, nobody gave a shit.

        everyone I know in NO would *love* to have the Jazz name back. anytime a conversation about professional sports ranges away from football, it eventually turns to the fact that people are angry about losing the Jazz name. You can still buy Jazz t-shirts in discerning t-shirt shops around town (unfortunately, they are faux aged, otherwise I would have one). This may die down with the renaming of the basketball team.

        As far as the Whalers go, as a native of the Nutmeg State, I can say that there was always a lot of affection for the Whalers because it was CT’s *only* major sports franchise. The Thrashers, Jazz, Sonics and Grizzlies all existed in environments with other major sports teams. And as more small, dumb places build arenae in the hope to attract sports teams, many people in CT would love to have their/a team back.

        So if those nice young people want to have a Whaler themed wedding, I say, good for them!

    • BurghFan | June 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

      Why do you care what this or any other couple decides to use as a wedding theme? Are you afraid that Karmanos is gonna see this and decide that he never should have moved the team?

      If a couple wants to use a defunct team or a current team or a defunct TV show or a current TV show as a theme, that’s their privilege. If it works for them, your opinion or mine doesn’t matter.

      • ScottyM | June 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

        I find it odd how delusional Whalers fans are, that’s all. Doesn’t seem to impact most other markets who’ve had their teams move, but apparently Hartfordites insist on still rockin’ their old gear. Lol.

        A tee-shirt here. An old cap there. A sweater. But a whole wedding? No such thing as the Hartford Whalers, folks.

  • RozeyPete | June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |

    Here’s an interesting discovery re: Atlanta Falcons logo (helmet sticker) from an eBay auction item… never have seen this before?
    http://www.ebay.com/...?

    • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

      Found this about that:

      http://www.misterhab...

    • 1vox | June 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

      i’ve seen that prototype before on mrhab’s site, but never anywhere else…

      i think it’s odd that they printed that prototype in the instructions, but printed the “f” falcon that we’re all used to on the sticker…weird…

      and another chance to show love to the “cb” logo!!!

  • RozeyPete | June 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

    Better look at it: Interesting Atlanta Falcons logo discovery?
    pic.twitter.com/JNcQdiFfnD

  • ChrisH | June 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

    STP was SOP at my grammar school as well, but it was this decal that everyone had (they were given out at our fill’er up station):

    http://thumbs1.ebays...

    • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

      I remeber these were a big hit with my older sister and her girlfriends. These were from the Esso stations in our area.
      The “girl version” of the STP sticker I guess.

      1_e2b38337eb7d64be5a2e7dcb8c97ff19.jpg

      http://www.worthpoin...

      • ChrisH | June 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

        Those remind me of the self adhesive slip guards that my mom put in our bathtub when I was a kid:

        http://thumbs3.ebays...

        They were darn near impossibe to remove.

  • mild bill | June 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

    I will also still call it Browns Stadium. How many professional sports venues include the name Energy or are named after energy companies?

    Should they really be wasting money on naming rights?

    • terriblehuman | June 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm |

      I’d say it’s money well spent, considering how most regular people’s experience with energy companies is related to billing or power outage. Stadium names are probably the only positive connection that’s reasonably possible.

      Also, I assume any name that’s [TEAM NAME] Stadium is a placeholder until the team can find a suitable sponsor. Which is to say, Jerry Jones is setting his price way too high.

  • Connie DC | June 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    Just got off an airplane, on which I was reading the NYTimes, in which appeared an obituary about Gene Mako, ancient tennis great. But the reason I’m writing is to ask you savvy young-uns to create a link to the ab fab photo of Mako and Don Budge wearing the greatest Team USA garment yet seen…

  • duker | June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

    As an Orioles fan we need to deal with Adam Jones blowing bubbles all the time. He does it so much they made him that way on his bobble head. It’s fine by itself but whenever he misses a fly ball everyone always blames the bubble.

  • Ben Fortney | June 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

    I once read an article/listicle (can we use that term here?) on some site about “Ways to Make Yourself Look Busy.” Slightly sticking out your tongue was one of the entries because it gives the impression that you’re deeply focused on something.

    Can’t say I consciously use the technique, but I definitely do it from time to time.

  • Sully | June 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

    Milt Schmidt had that C location on a jersey when dropping the puck back in March (95th Birthday).

    http://bostonherald....

  • Newt | June 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm |

    Tennessee draws 100,000/game.

    why do they need to get new uniforms? either you want to play on a big stage or dont.

  • Ed Hughes | June 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm |

    My favorite item from the terrorism keyword list has to be “Bubba the Love Sponge.” I’m thinking that if the guy next to you on the airplane introduces himself as “Bubba the Love Sponge,” you’re now working with a significantly expanded definition of “terror.” And if he’s wearing Nike sneakers???

    • Dumb Guy | June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

      Bubba is/was a central Florida radio “personality”.

    • Ben Fortney | June 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

      I’m not gonna Google it, but I’d bet he made inflammatory remarks towards Muslims at some point.

      • Odessasteps | June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |

        He was allegedly part of the Hulk Hogan sex tape controversey.

        (His ex-wife was filmed with the Hulkster, not Bubba himself.)

  • mike 2 | June 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

    Also a new name for Ottawa’s Scotiabank place (formerly the Corel Centre, and before that the Palladium)

    http://www.cbc.ca/ne...

    I’m predicting a new logo for the Senators as a result:

    http://m9.i.pbase.co...

  • walter | June 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

    Josh Reddick wore A’s logo stirrups on Sunday (from Andrew Gegenheimer).
    Is there a team where you can’t wear logo stirrups? I’ve never seen a Met or Yankee with this accessory.

  • Graf Zeppelin | June 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

    John Buck wearing stirrups! How long has this been going on? (I haven’t been watching….)

  • Andy | June 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |

    I sort of liked the new Vikings font. Until I saw Cordarrelle Patterson’s jersey. Shocked it isn’t a square/open top 4.

    http://www.vikingsfa...

  • Chili Mac | June 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |

    I’ve never noticed David Wright’s tongue (as a Rangers fan, I usually watch way more AL than NL games) but I share that habit. I frequently realize that I’m sticking out my tongue while concentrating, like writing a check or filling out a form, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find I do it playing softball too.

  • kdf | June 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

    I don’t get how Wright sticking his tongue out is a big deal. There’s also an awful lot of text after the “it’s an involuntary reflex” line that made me repeat to myself “He’s said he’s not being judgmental.” Aesthetic or not, it is involuntary and I’m willing to bet his production would drop if he thought about his tongue. Truth is, though I don’t watch nearly as much Mets and you do, I’d never noticed. I
    d rather the face of the franchise be a good producer who keeps his nose clean, which Wright is by all reports.

    • Paul Lukas | June 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |

      There’s also an awful lot of text after the “it’s an involuntary reflex” line that made me repeat to myself “He’s said he’s not being judgmental.”

      I can judge how it looks without judging him as a person. Maybe you can’t separate those two things, but I can, and I suspect many others can as well.

      As for this:

      I’d rather the face of the franchise be a good producer who keeps his nose clean, which Wright is by all reports.

      You appear to be implying that the only two choices are between (a) a good guy and good ballplayer who happens to stick his tongue out a lot, and (b) someone whose character and/or abilities are somewhat suspect but who keeps his tongue in his mouth.

      And yeah, if those were the only two choices, I’d choose (a). But lots of teams — in fact, MOST teams — get a third option: a decent guy and decent ballplayer who doesn’t stick his tongue out. And I wish my team could have that. That’s all.

  • Arr Scott | June 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

    So thanks to recommendations here, I finally got around to starting “The Art of Fielding.” Just read a passage that goes into good detail about the Westish College Harpooners:

    Colors are navy and ecru
    Navy cap with a harpoon through a W
    Navy socks
    Ecru uniform with navy pinstripes (think the old “sand” Padres road jerseys, with navy pins)

    Also, Westish used to be the Sugar Maples, with a bright red and gold color scheme.

    Google-searching for novel-related DIY stuff, it looks like people mostly either didn’t note or aren’t bothering with the tan home unis and just using easily available navy-on-white pinstripes.

  • Jon | June 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm |

    My biggest take-away from the NCAA video is how dumb the “show off your gloves by making a diamond” thing is. I hate it. That’s all.

  • Brooks D. Simpson | June 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm |

    FYI: your report concerning Revis’s number appeared on the crawl for the NFL Network with the blog credited. Kinda cool. :)

    • Brooks D. Simpson | June 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm |

      BTW, it was on “Total Access.”

      • Paul Lukas | June 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm |

        Cool — thanks!

  • Douglas King | June 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

    The video you linked to is before a uniform update pack.

    The Cut-off date for them is mid-April which means a lot of uniforms don’t make it onto the disc. However starting last year they added the ability to add uniforms in post-release via uniform packs.

    To my knowledge there were no uniforms in the video that haven’t already been worn (I keep track of the uniforms worn throughout the season via a thread on a sports-gaming sight and compiled a list of everything that needs to be added in to the game, so I have gone over the video a few times to see what is missing from the disc version).

    We know of a few uniforms that will definitely be added in in a future pack, and there could be some in those future packs that have not yet been shown to the public. So Ohio State not having new uniforms in that video does not mean they will not have new uniforms when the season starts.

  • David Firestone | June 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm |

    Love the Pajama comment in this video!

    http://www.youtube.c...!

  • Clint | June 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm |

    Cool Northwestern Stripes mowed at Fenway

    http://twitpic.com/c...

  • givenchy t-shirt | June 20, 2013 at 7:19 am |

    Yet herein lies the rub if women feel that the art of underwear buying is the ultimate treat, why are they so often affronted when men want to buy it for them? Women often claim to bedeck themselves in La Perla, Agent Provocateur and Coco de Mer simply for themselves, but does this really ring true when faced with the prospect of pleasing an Irish man?

  • zero | June 21, 2013 at 11:01 am |

    dude – if this website is all about aesthetics, how come it looks like it was designed in 1997?