What you see above are some doodles made by former NFL Properties honcho Dave Boss — yes, that Dave Boss — while he was on the phone with a Chiefs exec in 1983. It’s one of many amazing archival documents featured in my latest ESPN column, which is about Stevens Wright, who designed the Bills’ logo back in the early ’70s. Turns out Wright also did lots of other work for NFL Properties, including the 49ers’ infamous one-day logo, the Pats’ abortive Proto-Elvis logo, and work for the Chiefs (who, it turns out, were pursuing a redesign in 1983, although they eventually decided not to go ahead with it), Vikings, and Broncos that never saw the light of day. He passed away earlier this year, but his family gave me access to his files, which are full of memos (including several from Dave Boss), letters, drawings, and more. It’s amazing stuff — here, knock yourself out.
Meanwhile, on the NFL throwback front: I was also supposed to have another ESPN column published yesterday morning or afternoon, but it got delayed and wasn’t posted until the early evening, which means most of you probably never saw it. It’s an exclusive interview with an NFL equipment manager who had some very interesting insights on the new rule restricting alternate and throwback helmets. I learned a lot from this interview, and I think you will too. Check it out here. And if you missed my earlier ESPN piece on the new helmet rule, you should start there. Together, these two pieces provide the most authoritative info on the helmet rule currently available on the web.
So I’ve basically turned out three ESPN columns over the past 48 hours or so. Plus you get all this bloggery. Not bad, right? Dive in and enjoy.
Turning to our nation’s great universities, there were loads of college football developments yesterday, most of them pretty silly. One thing at a time:
1) The Terps unveiled the latest edition of their Maryland Hubris uniforms (if the slideshow below doesn’t work for you, click here):
And here’s a promotional clip about the helmets:
If you can take this stuff seriously, you’re way ahead of me. But here’s a very quick analysis: If you forget about the helmet, this is a seriously ugly
uniform costume — the red-on-red format is too loud, and the stripe with the school name on the pants is embarrassing. The helmet does look interesting from the front, I’ll grant you, but the giant SNOB ruins it. As for each helmet being hand-numbered, that’s the oldest trick in the book: You take a product, pretend to treat it like art, and in the process make it even more of a fetishized product. Amusing but inconsequential.
2) Every Virginia Tech fan on the planet is freaking out because of this:
— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) September 19, 2013
3) Missouri will have a new helmet tomorrow. As I had reported yesterday, it’s matte black with chrome decals; as I had not reported, the decals don’t fit very well over the helmet vents:
New Mizzou helmet for this weekend: pic.twitter.com/i8yH6hl7PJ
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 20, 2013
The helmet will be worn with this uniform. Wanna see a video? Here you go:
4) Fordham is taking flag desecration to new depths with its Liberty Cup uni design, which will be worn tomorrow:
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) September 19, 2013
5) Colorado State will wear this helmet decal to support the victims of the recent floods, and coaches will wear it on their shirts:
— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) September 19, 2013
I’m generally skeptical of the “Let no tragedy go un-uni-recognized” approach, but that’s a really great design — simple, state-based, and it references floodwaters and tears simultaneously. Well done.
6) Whoa, check out the throwbacks Central Michigan will be wearing tomorrow against Toledo:
— Josh Reasoner (@ChipEquipment) September 19, 2013
Guess they got permission to go with the small front numbers. Additional pics here.
’Skins Watch: The Nepean Redskins — a youth team in Ottawa — are changing their team name (from Tony Redican). … Never thought I’d be saying this, but Bleacher Report, of all places, has written a fairly thorough, well-researched overview of the ’Skins situation. It’s lengthy but worthwhile — recommended. … Buried toward the end of New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick’s piece from last Sunday is this: “For what its worth, I’ve long avoided writing ‘Redskins,’ replacing it with ‘Skins.’ But not until last week did I know that, like Sports Illustrated and USA Today, I was supposed to issue a news release.” That’s a funny quip, and I guess he thinks Peter King and Christine Brennan are grandstanding, plus he wants us all to know that he’s been out front on the ’Skins issue for years. But if you’re trying to effect social change — or to persuade anyone to come around to your side of any debate, really — you need to explain what your position is and why you’re taking it. What if Mushnick, who makes a significant portion of his living by criticizing WFAN radio guy Mike Francesa, simply ignored Francesa altogether as a silent protest? Wouldn’t be nearly as effective, right? The one who’s really grandstanding here is Mushnick, who took a cheap potshot at other writers for no good reason except that he could. Still, it’s good to know he’s been ahead of the curve on this issue.
Baseball News: Check this out: Dave Parker went shopping in Pirates gear! And in his own jersey! Thing is, he was shopping in Cincinnati — shouldn’t he have been wearing Reds gear? He played for them too, after all (from Tom Mulgrew). … Typos happen to everybody, but this one is particularly unfortunate (from R. Scott Rogers). … Here’s something I kinda wish I didn’t know: Prince Fielder wears neon green socks. “I noticed this once before while watching a game on TV earlier this summer, but this is the first time I could confirm it,” says Harry Akers.
NFL News: Small NFL uni change that we all missed: The Broncos have changed the color of the captaincy patches on their white jerseys from blue to orange (great catch by Evan Hassinger). … Trent Richardson, who wore No. 33 with the Browns, will be 34 on the Colts (thanks, Phil). … Troy Polamalu is going to get a haircut. “Wonder if he will get it cut short enough to show the cross on the back of the jersey,” says Rich Eaken. … The Chiefs wore their red pants last night, which means they also wore their white socks — except for wideout Donnie Avery, whose red-topped socks are easy to pick out in this long shot (from Jeremy Baxter). … Every Giants team portrait since 1925 is available here (from Chris Flinn).
College Football News: Some Toledo fans are arguing over whether the team’s jerseys are black or a really dark blue (from Mike Siffer). … Arizona State is letting fans vote on the uni combo that the team will wear on Oct. 12 against Colorado (from Marc Altieri). … Here are Notre Dame’s sideline caps for the Shamrock Series game. “The Dome under the brim of a hat? Seriously?” asks a nonplussed Warren Junium. … Memphis will wear black jerseys tomorrow (thanks, Phil). … For reasons that are unclear, Jackson State’s jerseys were a mix of NOB and NNOB last night (from JJ Sledge). … The University of West Florida announced it will be fielding a Div. II football team starting in 2016. Pretty sure the helmet shown in that photo will not be the design they end up using (from Leo Strawn Jr.).
Hockey News: The Capitals have announced their third jersey schedule for the coming season. Interesting that they’ll be wearing it exclusively on the road — you’d think they’d designate it for at least one home game, no? (Thanks, Phil.)
Soccer News: If Mexico doesn’t qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup, it could result in a significant hit in jersey sales (from Joe Makowiec). … New third kit for Tottenham Hotspur (from Terence Kearns). … New third kit for Barcelona. … The headgear recently worn by Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney after he suffered a nasty gash to his forehead was developed by a company based in Brooklyn (from Yusuke Toyoda).
NBA News: The NBA logo has always been embroidered onto game jerseys. But photos of the Lakers’ new BFBS set show what appears to be a heat-pressed patch or sticker. Not sure if this is a new thing or just a quick fix they used for the photo shoot (good spot by Zack Kurland).
College Hoops News: Here’s a time-lapse video of the new James Madison court being installed (from Andrew Rader). … New uniforms for VCU. Here’s the rear view and the road jersey (from Sidney Helfer). … Kansas’s court has been refinished (from Adam Jackson). … New uniforms for Hofstra (thanks, Phil).
Grab Bag: Remember when we were doing mash-up logos of all the sports logos in a given city a few years back? Someone has done a full set of them, and they’re great (from Brad Jud). … New marching band uniforms for Kansas (from Adam Jackson). … Why is the Italian national team wearing blue at the cycling world championships? Find the explanation here (from Sean Clancy). … A slideshow salute to the late Ken Norton included this gem: Norton standing by in the ring while Tina Turner skips rope. … Here’s a video of Australian cricket players talking about the “baggy green cap” they wear when representing Australia in international test cricket competition (from Graham Clayton).
What Paul did last night: Webster Hall is way too big a room for my liking. But Deerhunter was playing there last night, and I’d never seen them before, and their Monomania album is easily my favorite record of the year so far, plus I really liked their previous album, 2010’s Halcyon Digest (although not so much the stuff prior to that), plus-plus I dig Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s side project, Atlas Sound. So off to Webster Hall I went.
It was a major drag. The band was completely backlit, so there was no way to really see what they were doing. I was standing really close to the stage but all I could see was a bunch of shadowy, semi-silhouetted figures. Might’ve worked if I’d been high, but that’s not my scene. I kept thinking, “Okay, on the next song they’ll probably switch to conventional lighting so we can actually see the fucking band already,” but it never happened. After half a dozen songs I decided not to throw good minutes after bad and went home. Dang.