Got a note yesterday from reader Kevin Mueller, as follows:
My father played football at Ohio University 1964-1967, and was a grad assistant for a couple years after. While going through some of his scrapbooks we came across the attached clipping. Not sure of the year, but based on the helmet logo it would have been 1967 or ’68. I wasn’t aware of Ohio ever having the merit decals on their helmets, and I don’t think this program lasted too long.
The clipping Kevin was referring to can be seen here. Go ahead and take a minute to read it.
Okay, done reading? A few thoughts:
• Hard for me to express how much I love that helmet logo.
• Don’t think I’ve ever seen little stripes of tape used as merit decals before.
• Very odd that the tape strips were called chevrons. A chevron design usually involves some sort of V-shaped element.
• As you can see in the photo, Ohio was also using SNOB during this period — with what appears to be fairly gigantic lettering!
• Kevin said he thinks the clipping is from 1967 or ’68, but I’m not so sure about that. The clipping states that helmet awards were “used by many schools” at the time. But most sources credit Ohio State with having come up with the first merit decals in 1968, so the advent of the Ohio tape stripes presumably came at least a year or two after that. According to the Helmet Project, Ohio used this helmet logo from 1967 through 1972, so maybe the clipping is from the early 1970s.
• Look at that headline font! Very interesting serifs on the h, m, and n. Anyone know what font that is?
• On the down side, the text and even the caption are riddled with grammatical errors — disappointing. Which newspaper was this?
Anyway, it’s all interesting stuff. Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this intriguing little chapter in college football uni history.
By Brinke Guthrie
It’s not every day that you encounter a Kentucky Colonels signed basketball. That reminds me of an old ABA story: My game program had the “lucky number” at a Dallas Chaparrals game. I got to go down on court and shoot a free throw. Win, you get season tix; lose, you get a “real” ABA ball. I was in 6th grade, no way I could shoot it that far, plus I could never go to all those games on school nights. So I missed on purpose, ’cause I wanted the ball. AND IT WAS A FAKE. Grrrrrr.
Okay, enough of my reminiscing. Here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:
• This is pretty much Collector’s Corner nirvana right here: Chiquita-o-rama! Not only do you get the complete set of NFL stickers, and some advertising blurbs, but you also get the yellow (what did you expect, brown?) Chiquita football. Had one of these, and probably destroyed it by playing with it in the pool. (Soaks up the water, weighs 10 pounds, tears apart while playing toss with the guys. Get benched by lifeguard Sally “The Terminator” Beach at the Terrace Park Swim Club.)
• Could the SF Giants please use this as a home alt? Pretty-please?
• Amazing how the authentic vintage NFL stuff had such an utter lack of branding. Case in point: this early-1970s Giants sideline cape. No NFL shield, no team logo, just a generic typeface on the back. By some local maker outta Philly, it seems.
• NFL Sears alert! Vintage 1970s Seattle Seahawks zip-front sweater from the Sears “Put-On Shop.”
• Browns fans, here’s a 1970s helmet plaque still sealed in the cellophane.
• How about this, sports fans? A set of 27 NFL Helmet Buggies from the 1970s. Nice display case, too! Most of ’em look to be in good shape except the Bucs and the Pack. And the Browns look MIA — aren’t they always.
• And we conclude this week with a nice-looking 1968 Atlanta Falcons poster.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
’Skins Watch: The Twittersphere got all excited/outraged last night when Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico referred to the ’Skins as “the Washingtons” in the midst of last night’s Bengals/Steelers game, but it turns out it was inadvertent and unintentional on his part. … Neither inadvertent nor unintentional: ESPN fantasy football analyst Matthew Berry is the latest to announce that he’ll be boycotting the ’Skins name. In his podcast yesterday (at about two minutes in), he said, “I’m actually in favor of changing the name. I’m going to do my best — I’m a poor broadcaster, so I may actually slip and say the name — but I’m going to do my best to only refer to them as ‘the Washington professional football team’ or ‘Washington’ and not use the name” (big thanks to Sam Belk). … The ’Skins controversy was featured yesterday on Outside the Lines. I didn’t see it, but Coleman Mullins did and describes it like so: “It was pretty well done. They spoke to quite a few people. … An ESPN rep was on Native grounds — I’m not sure if it was a reservation and don’t want to use the incorrect term — but he said something kinda interesting, and I’ll try to paraphrase: ‘I’m here and have not mentioned why to anyone here, but many of the people have voiced their displeasure [about the ’Skins name], and that they don’t want their children to have to grow up dealing with it.’ Very bad paraphrase, but that’s the gist. They spoke about what Goodell’s 180 on his comments seems to mean, what may be written in the sand, if you will. Oh, and they touched on all the journalists who have decided to stop using the term.” … Yesterday I linked to a story on the Indian Country Today website about the ’Skins naming controversy. That piece — and the illustration that accompanied it — provoked a strong reader response. …
Baseball News: This article about the 1977 White Sox includes the following passage: “The [White Sox] players who were still around from 1976 had to put on the same uniforms they wore last year, many of them inelegantly patched” (from my ESPN colleague Dave Schoenfield). … A reader who didn’t give his name notes that Angels catcher John Hester was wearing black catcher’s gear — including a black helmet — last night. … Roger Faso says he’s pissed to have lost the bidding for this old A’s poster. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Scroll about 40% down on this article to see lots of uni-related MLB superstitions. Actually, the whole article is great, even the non-uni stuff — recommended (from Adam Northenscold). … “Majestic has ended another three-year run of the current MLB dugout jacket, with the 2014 model likely being introduced in the playoffs,” says Chris Bruno. “It looks like MLB.com Shop already has them — well, for women and kids, but you see what the design will look like.” … Bizarre scene last night in Colorado, as the umpire, catcher, batter, and even batboy scoured the dirt around home plate in search of something. Eventually the umpire could be heard telling the batboy to “go get the metal detector.” Turns out they were looking for a screw that had come loose from Yadier Molina’s helmet. That’s all very nice, but now I want to know if MLB ballparks routinely have metal detectors on hand. Do they? (From Chris Callan.)
NFL News: Referee Mike Carey was wearing an outdated jersey with the pre-2012 number font last night. “I have three work shirts and work five nights a week, and I’m expected to show up in a clean, current shirt,” says Rob Holecko. “These guys work one day a week and presumably have someone take care of that stuff for them. Maybe it’s the airline’s fault.” … Scott Hord notes that Bengals kicker Mike Nugent seemed to have a different striping pattern on his helmet last night. … This is pretty funny: Fox’s score crawl/ticker thingie on Sunday was struck by a serious case of the Griffins (from Michael McBride). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Vikings QB Christian Ponder was wearing his wedding band on the field on Sunday. He doesn’t appear to have done this in the past (from Benjamin Page). … Although Sunday was the first time the Chiefs went solid-red, McFarlane had produced a Priest Holmes blood-clot figurine back in 2003. “I believe it was pointed out on the McFarlane Toys message boards at the time that the Chiefs had never worn that combo, and they wound up correcting it in a later run (as well as issuing a second Holmes figure that had the correct home and away uniforms),” says George N. … Dick’s Sporting Goods has produced a report on NFL jersey sales. … We’ve mentioned on the site that Chris Harris Jr. of the Broncos is going with JrOB this season, but we didn’t have a photo of it until now. Interesting that there’s no period after the “Jr” (from Chris Flinn).
College Football News: Virginia Tech is going G.I. Joe this weekend, including a rear helmet decal (from Phil and Andrew Cosentino, respectively). … Neglected to mention yesterday that Syracuse wore new blue pants over the weekend, and they might have more unusual combos in store (from Rick DiRubbo and Phil, respectively). … Not only does South Carolina have two players whose NOBs add up to a tasty meal, but the two players in question are the kicker and his holder — can’t make it up! (From Ronnie Poore.) …The Big House won’t be getting more advertising, thankfully (from Eric Romain). … Here’s a video about Nebraska’s black unis from this past weekend (thanks, Phil). … I don’t know any of the people who work on ESPN’s home page (if I did, I’d get them to feature my work more often), but at least one of them must be a Hüsker Dü fan. Got a kick out of seeing that yesterday. … The Northwestern University bookstore has a display of vintage NU helmets (from David Firestone). … Wyoming will be wearing gray this weekend (thanks, Phil). … “SMU currently wears red jerseys, but for much of the ’80s and ’90s they wore the blue ‘pony express’-era uniforms,” says Phil Jones. “The athletic dept. has put out a video that appears to hint at SMU wearing blue again for its next home game against Rutgers on Oct. 5. The video references 1983 — maybe a throwback jersey for the ’83 Cotton Bowl team? We shall see.”
Hockey News: The Canadiens are adding diacritical marks to their NOBs this season, as you can see in these shots of was Erik Nyström and Daniel Brière (from Mike Engle). … Several good photos of the Stars’ new unis in action here. Also, the fourth photo in the slideshow has an interesting caption: “How do you feel about the third logo on the pants, the only reference to Texas? It is the only place that really gives an indication of Texas on the uniform.” That’s what it’s come to in Texas — a mere one reference to the state on a uniform is considered insufficient (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: New uniforms for Arizona State. … Here’s a good round-up of NHL center ice design changes for the new season (from Cory Gibson-Bath). … We had previously seen the Sabres’ new third jersey, but we hadn’t seen the socks until now (thanks, Phil).
Grab Bag: New college hoops uniforms for Tennessee (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: New cricket uniforms for India. … New secondary logo for Furman University (from Stanton Smith). … There’s a gorgeous-looking new book about cycling head badges (from Pete Woychick). … Two chefs who are retiring from the Culinary Institute of America were presented with signed sports jerseys (from Joe Morano). … David Firestone has written a good piece on Starting Lineup auto racing figurines. … Just what the world’s been waiting for: sneakers with scratch-off colors (thanks, Brinke). … Some kids from the Oak Hills school district in Cincinnati have been saddled with the worst pee-wee football uniforms of all time, more or less (from Jason Umberg). … Last night I attended a class on the history of meat, which entailed lots of illustrations like this and this. Definitely more fun than looking at the Bengals’ uniforms, although that’s a textbook case of damning with faint praise.