By Phil Hecken
And now, in the continuing series, “Timelessly Representing the Ballclub,” I’m back with Part II of the NFL edition. If you’re not familiar with the concept — it’s quite simple really. A reader, in this case Joseph Gerard, selects what he considers to be an example of a team and a stadium that would best (or timelessly) represent a certain ballclub. We’ve found that this an opinionated exercise, and in many cases, the selections seem to be based on a reader’s formative years. But not always.
A couple weeks ago, Joseph undertook the NFL, in the AFC edition of “Timelessly” (there are also links to the two MLB articles on this). I’m back today to bring you the NFC edition. To familiarize yourself with Joseph’s rationale, here’s how he approaced this:
After reading your articles on baseball’s “classic looks”, that got me thinking of doing one for the NFL. Of course, this is just subjective to personal opinion. I’m taking success largely into the look. With three exceptions largely by default, domed stadiums and retractable-roof stadiums are intentionally excluded from this list, though I did leave Texas Stadium on since it did have an opening in the roof. Also, for simplicity, some of these I combined into one image.
Like last time, I substituted some photos for the ones Joseph submitted, and I’ll have a few thoughts of my own after this section. So with that, here’s the NFC…
Arizona Cardinals: 1970s-1980’s uniforms, Busch Memorial Stadium (Haven’t had too many successful periods besides recently. And since the recent uniforms are a travesty, going with the best-looking uniforms. Also, football is to be played outdoors full-time.)
New Orleans Saints: Current uniforms, current version of Mercedes-Bens Superdome by default. Although the original uniforms and Tulane Stadium are a close second, they didn’t have any sustained success until recently, Dome Patrol-era aside.
And there you have it. Once again, I think Joseph has done a nice job in representing the NFL clubs. Of course, I’m sure you’ll disagree with a few, but that’s OK because the point of this isn’t to establish a “definitive” representation, but to proffer an opinion.
Readers? What say you?
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 Cole Hammers, (who happens to be 14!), with a San Diego Charger redux:
Hello uni watch team!
Attached is my latest uni concoction: the San Diego Chargers.
I did this partially because my Charger-fanatic friend hates their current uniforms (he has the same shoulder bolt angle gripe that you do). I also did it because when I see their unis on tv, there is hardly any of that yellow that really makes the uni set pop. This in mind, I removed the somewhat drab BFBS facemask in favor of some yellow. I know that it is a very bright helmet, but San Diego was always a wacky uniform city; we all miss the days of powder blue and swinging friars dressed as bees. This isn’t to say that I dislike the navy blue look, but the chargers should at least remind everyone once in a while that they have some colors other than navy and white. I really wanted to get some yellow pants on the home uni, but yellow pants all around makes the white look like a packers uni from an unlicensed football game, and the powder would look positively garish with yellow (think eagles throwbacks). I also removed the side bolts and made the bolt a helmet stripe with side numbers (great idea, but I cannot take credit for that element). I also removed the rectangles from the shoulders; the bolt stripe really stands on its own. I think that the yellow NOB wat the only good uni move that the chargers have made in recent memory. For that matter, before this year’s draft, it was the only good move for anything in recent memory. I did end up giving the chargers three sets of pants (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, chargers, do not mix and match!). I did make the sock design fairly idiot proof in the event of mixing and matching. I know that the white pants on white socks design is one of your regular gripes, but with white, it isn’t as obvious as purple on purple (vikings). I left the Nike swooshes blank mostly because Nike designers have no business spending any time longer than thirty seconds choosing the color for the swoosh. Make it hot pink for all I care, just put it somewhere I can’t see it. Like the belt or something. Same thing applies to my overlooking of the shoe color. We all know that Nike simply MUST futz around with those. I also moved the tv numbers to the sleeves, or what’s left of them.
That’s all, sorry for boring you with this really long explanation of my work.
Next up is Thomas Hack, who is from the Jim Vilk/Mike Engle school of design, with some Rams concepts:
Hey, I recently got bored studying for finals, so I spent a few hours and sketched up a redesign of the Rams Uniforms and Logos. However, I have no technical design abilities, so I only have it hand-drawn (and my drawing isn’t exactly great).
Here is a set of images for the concept. I thought the Rams would look good with a bit more St. Louis, so I added the Arch and silver as a tertiary color. I also went with a lighter blue, and added back the horns on the sleeves. Sorry about the hand-drawing, I have no skill with digital art. I haven’t designed the back, but I can if you want!
We close today with Thomas Juettner with a new look at the Chicago White Sox:
This is the final draft of my White Sox concept. Here are a few notes:
Cap: Exact same except added a red squatchee.
Home Uniform: The Gothic S-O-X is one of the classic logos in MLB but because it takes so many forms I think its become watered down. Going monochrome not only makes it easier to see but also harkens back to the Joe Jackson era S-O-X. I envisioned it as chain-stitched, giving it depth and texture. I also like the idea of a chain-stitched sleeve patch with no roundel, just a black backdrop similar to what the Blackhawks wear. Too many teams use the round logo on the sleeve, the winged sock is just too cool a logo to trap in a circle. A cream uniform with black pins makes the solid white socks and mostly white patch pop.
Away Uniform: ’68-’76 Script. Would be the only team in the majors to use both city and team name on jersey. Collar and cuff piping works great with that script. Exact same patch and socks.
Alternate Uniform: No softball top. Just an all black set that can be worn for home or away, that way if the team gets on a winning streak they can wear the exact same set every game. Same feelings with the Gothic S-O-X as on the home jersey. The monochrome white also matches the cap. This should look great with white socks.
Hope Everyone Enjoys This!
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
Well — it’s a smallish set today — but with a 4th of July theme (well, all except the first guy, Kenny Ocker the former “Hemogoblin” who sent his in early). That’s right, it’s impossible to say how much today’s featured stirrupers love America…but it’s gotta be A LOT.
Dearest LI Phil,
These are my sexy shins, stirrup-bedecked for my first game of ultimate since college. If I break my ankle today, this is why.
Getting ready for the annual Independence Day 5K run. Broke out the Freedom ‘rups for the special day.
Additional photo at the finish line.
Here’s my 4th of July entry. This has become somewhat of a neighborhood tradition, and still catches people by surprise given my otherwise low-key manner. The stirrups (RPM’s Senators) make an appearance.
My 15-year-old son was charged with taking a few photos, and told to be sure to include the stirrups in the frame. Of course this is the only one that shows much ‘rup at all!
Don’t try this at home, kids!
Phil and Robert,
Greetings from the lovely northwoods of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, where these Cardinals stirrups are a wonderful addition to the idyllic scenery. Ah, summer!
I celebrated Independance Day by proudly wearing these beauties I got from commrade Robert a while back. I added the stars to Roberts stirrup as my own touch.
And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.
And now…here’s …
I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July. I know my Q followed by walking around watching my mostly Hispanic neighborhood (Pilsen) explode with bombs bursting in air was extremely joyous and entertaining. It is impossible to describe Chicago’s best 4th of July neighborhood, and I would have photos, but Kate and I are more the observe and absorb types as opposed to the stare at the phone staring at what you should be looking at types. But suffice it to say the scene is surreal. Let’s turn this back to the stirrups and say…speaking of quite a sight, some great entries this week, and rather then have one winner of the buy one get one stirrups, let’s go with all four entries since this is such a fantastic holiday weekend, congrats and thank you for taking the time. For those who didn’t get in their own 4th photos in time (like me), we will be happy to run more next week.
As far as new orders go, the 45s and Pilots should be in finishing at the beginning of the week, so I am not officially announcing for the next “new” orders until they come in. But it is fourth of July weekend, and I had a plan when I thought they would be here, so I’ll give you a hint. They combine for a 4th theme, one is red and white, one is blue and white, and they are identical to each other. If you think you know what they are, and you think you want either, get in touch with me and If you were right, I will set you up before next week’s preorder.
From each according his stirrvp, to each according his strype,
Happy Birthday America.
That’s going to do it for this fine first Saturday in July. Thanks to Joseph for his “Timeless” thoughts on the NFL, and to the concepters and stirrupers.
Five last things before I go:
• There was some talk in the comments yesterday that perhaps the Patriots decision to change up their wordmark was made with the Aaron Hernandez controversy in mind. Far from it — this had been in the works for some time. According to the BostonHerald.com, the change was in the works for two years. Additionally, “The only change in 2013 will be in the end-zone lettering. The cursive font will remain on the collar of the Patriots’ jerseys because teams can’t change their jerseys more than once every five years. However, the cursive script will be phased out of new merchandise as the design team moves toward the future.” So there’s that.
• Also, there was a PHENOMENAL story on ESPN.com from Howard Bryant dealing with Sports and Patriotism — this is a must read. A poignant quote is here:
The old conventions of sports leagues and fans coming to the ballpark to escape the problems of the world disappeared when the towers fell. Sports, which were once by demand of the paying customers and the league themselves a neutral oasis from a dangerous world, have since become the epicenter of community and national exhalation. The ballpark, in the time of two murky wars and a constant threat of international and domestic terrorism, has been for the last dozen years a place for patriotism. The industry that once avoided the complex world now embraces it, serving as the chief staging ground for expressions of patriotism, and has codified it into game-day identity.
A dynamic that was supposed to be temporary has become permanent.
Powerful stuff — and I (and I think Paul and probably many readers) share many of these views. While most of the thoughts in the article relate to sports in general, they certainly crossover to uniforms as well — and I needn’t remind everyone of how the camo and flag desecration, plus the amateur pacifist getups, have all begun to pervade sports and sports marketing. Craig Calceterra, who also liked Bryant’s quote, had a followup to Bryant’s article with another excellent observation: “But then Bryant questions why we engage in these ubiquitous acts of patriotism and what it all means. And whether doing so in such an obligatory manner has caused us to lose sight of the fact that (a) when we make our patriotism mindless, we lose an essential part of it, which is thoughtfulness; and (b) when we make our acts of patriotism obligatory we take away another essential thing: the freedom of dissent.” Also a good read.
• Oh, and there is going to be another sleeved Summer League jersey. The OKC Thunder (who will be using it to pay tribute to tornado victims). Will the Thunder be another team who have a sleeved jersey in the fall?
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 5, 2013
• Last evening the Arizona Diamondbacks continued to honor the 19 victims of the Prescott Fire Department who perished in the Yarnell wildfire — they wore special caps during warmups, and the Rockies (their opponents), hung a special jersey in their dugout (much like the Mets did this past week when the D-Backs were at Shea). When Arizona visited the Mets, they wore black armbands on their gray road uniforms, and last evening they wore special black jerseys with “Arizona” on the front and a “19” patch:
• Finally — today the Tampa Bay Rays will be turning on their way-back machine and breaking out the “1974” uniforms they wore against the Tiggers last year. This year they’ll be matched up against the White Sox, who will oblige by wearing their own red pinstriped throwbacks of the Richie Allen era. A pretty cute Vine video shows the transformation. Check it out. Maybe next year the Sox can throw back to the GoGo Shorts era. Or not.
• And in a late addition, it seems the Stan Musial tribute & cross has been removed from the mound at Busch. (h/t to “Iggy Blissful”).
Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll be back with more new stuff tomorrow. Today’s “One For The Road” features none other than our own George Chilvers getting his hands on Wigan’s cup. Enjoy.
Follow me on Twitter: @PhilHecken.
“As a Pats fan…that new logo is horrible. 90% of it is really boring, and the other 10% seems like it’s trying too hard to reach out to MMA fans and other assorted douchebags.”