— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) September 25, 2013
Yes, that was me on Keith Olbermann’s show last night, talking about the proposed NBA nickNOBs and a few related issues. This all came together fairly quickly, and lots of you have been peppering me with questions about it, so let’s shift into FAQ mode:
How did this happen? Like, is someone on Olbermann’s staff a Uni Watch reader?
Olbermann himself is a Uni Watch fan. I don’t know if he reads the site on a daily basis, but he definitely reads it from time to time. We’ve had a few email back-and-forths, and he’s even submitted a few Ticker items over the years, for which I’ve duly credited him.
Anyway, one of his producers contacted me yesterday afternoon and asked if I could come on the show. I said sure.
So you had to run up to Bristol again? Weren’t you just there the day before?
Olbermann’s show is shot in Manhattan, not in Bristol. Very convenient for a Brooklyn-based guest.
Did they send a limo for you?
They probably would have sent a car if I had asked, but I preferred to take the subway to their studios so I could read on the way. I did ask for a car to take me home, which they happily provided.
Was your segment taped ahead of time or shot live?
Did they tell you what to wear? Why didn’t you wear a jersey?
Nobody told me what to wear. I thought about going with a jersey, but it seemed better to dress like, you know, a regular person.
Weren’t you nervous?
I was excited, but not nervous. I did a fair amount of TV in the late 1990s, when I had a weekly five-minute spot on CNN and made two appearances on Conan (this was all before Uni Watch even existed), and I’ve done a few other TV spots since then. Oddly enough, I appeared on ESPN’s Cold Pizza back in 2004, before I was writing for ESPN. Anyway, I’m not very good at talking directly to the camera — that’s a specific skill, and I really respect the people who have it — but I’m fine at having an on-camera conversation, which is what I was doing with Olbermann last night.
Did you know your name and photo were splashed on the wall behind you?
No. They weren’t actually there — they were just digitally inserted. The back wall of the studio itself was blank. I was surprised when friends sent me screen shots and I saw my name all gigantic-like. I was mainly just happy they spelled it correctly.
Did they give you make-up?
Was there a big spread in the green room?
No — just a few picked-over cookies, which I think may actually have been left over from another show.
Did you talk to the other guests?
I would have liked that (one time when I was on Conan, one of the other guests was William Shatner, and we chatted a bit), but there was no time. Basically, I arrived, had a get-acquainted chat with my producer, was whisked off to make-up, and was brought to the set to get mic’d up.
Did you stay to watch the rest of the show after your segment?
I considered it, but it was late and I just wanted to get home, so I split after my spot.
Were you paid to be on the show?
Was this just a one-time thing?
I hope not. When they broke for commercial after my segment, Olbermann and I shook hands and I said, “I hope we can do this again.” He said, “So do I.” So there you go. If we could set up a regular gig, I’d really like that.
Enough questions — can I see video of your segment?
Yes. First you should watch Olbermann’s opening monologue, which sets up my segment. They broke the monologue and my interview into two separate videos, which you can see here:
So that was my night. Big thanks to everyone who sent congratulatory emails, tweets, Facebookage, and so on — greatly appreciated.
Even before I did the Olbermann thing, yesterday had already turned into
a day when I wouldn’t shut up a very media-intensive day for me. ESPN Digital Media had me talk about Virginia Tech’s new stone helmet (you can hear me by playing the video embedded at the top of the page). Then I was interviewed on a Memphis radio station, where we mostly talked about the NBA nickNOBs but also touched upon some other things.
I’m generally fine with doing these types of things, but they do tend to interrupt my work focus (I’m trying to finish my annual NHL season-preview column), and it can be a bit exhausting to repeatedly have to be “on.” I’m looking forward to a quieter day today.
’Skins Watch: Advertising Age estimates that a new name for the ’Skins would cost $15 million. … Actor Jeffrey Wright defended the ’Skins name the other night (from Jason Mott). … No surprise that the right-wing political journal National Review agrees with Rick Reilly’s defense of the ’Skins name. The surprise is that it took them nearly a week to get around to it (thanks, Phil). … The ’Skins controversy came up again on Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast, at the 47:13 mark. “Stefan Fatsis was talking about it, and it’s primarily about the Tottenham Hotspur/Yids debate, but he draws a parallel between the flawed ‘not motivated by hate’ justification for anti-Semitic chants and appropriating another culture, and the whole ‘honoring’ defense made by teams appropriating Indian identities,” ays Yusuke Toyoda.
Baseball News: “I commissioned Rob Ullman to do a housewarming gift for my new lady when we got a place together earlier this year,” says Eric Braun. “This is the result.” Very nice! … Looks like the Mets might wear black jerseys for the last game of the season. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Jason Heyward, who’s been wearing a facemask on his batting helmet after being beaned in the face earlier this year, wore the mask-equipped helmet during the Braves’ division title clubhouse celebration (from MartyB). … Here’s a great infographic that shows the correlation between MLB payrolls and on-field success (from Andy Garta). … David Feigenbaum notes that the Indians scrapped their usual uni protocol during their recent winning streak: “No cream unis last weekend and no Tuesday navy [last night]. They won’t switch as long as they keep winning.” … The Yankees have put a Mariano Rivera tribute on their bases (thanks, Phil).
NFL News: Someone at Forbes wrote a ridiculously long piece about the Under Armour logo on Cam Newton’s visor clips. It would have been admirably long if not for the fact that NFL players have had logos on their visor clips for something like a decade now. It’s one of those things that the league has decided not to worry about (thanks, Brinke). …
College Football News: Latest team to defile the flag: UNC (from Howard Fein). … Bucha stuff from Phil: Cal is going GFGS this weekend, Wyoming is wearing solid white, Ohio State will wear last year’s rivalry uni, and Notre Dame wants fans to wear green even though the team will not be wearing green (it’s at the bottom of that page). … A longtime college football writer says all schools will be wearing an MS patch this weekend. I haven’t heard anything else about this but am trying to find out more. … Here’s an amusing puff piece on Under Armour’s latest innovations (thanks, Phil). … Former LSU coach Paul Dietzel, who also designed the team’s uniforms (more or less the same back then as they are now), has passed away (from Richard Lewis). … This is really fascinating: Check out the numbered patch between the numerals of this uni number. Never seen anything like that before. Anyone know more? (Great find by Jeff Flynn Jr.).
Hockey News: An amputee who also happens to be a Predators fan has a Preds-themed prosthetic leg (from Paul Richard Cook). … Here are the Team Canada jerseys for the upcoming Olympics. … I’ve recently written several times on the subject of MLB teams wearing other teams’ memorial patches. Turns out this has also happened in the NHL, as Josh Williams explains: “In 2003, after Atlanta Thrasher Dan Snyder’s death, the Red Wings wore the patches that the Thrashers were wearing for him for one game in Detroit. Here’s the patch being worn by the Thrashers and by the Red Wings, and here’s an article about it.”
Soccer News: There’s a new book about soccer uniform typography. The author just sent me a PDF of the whole thing, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. More soon (from Mark Emge).
Basketball News: The Bucks have unveiled their new floor design, which is loosely based on their old 1977 floor that was designed by Robert Indiana. … The Mavs have announced the 10 finalists for their fan-designed jerseys (from Sean Dietrick). … New college hoops uniforms for Seton Hall (Phil, of course).
Grab Bag: This Gatorade thing has gotten completely out of hand (thanks, Phil). … With the Miami Dolphins now 3-0, we’re seeing the predictable run of stories about how a logo change can lead to upturned on-field fortunes. Somehow these articles never mention the innumerable teams that have changed their logos and then not improved on the field (from Tom Mulgrew). … Bizarre butt striping for Nazareth Academy in Illinois (from Bill Hupp). … New logo for Animal Planet (thanks, Brinke). … My old curling skip Craig Brown’s mother-in-law used a 1950s knitting pattern to make him this gorgeous curling sweater. What a beauty! … One way to avoid apostrophe catastrophes: Become a post-apostrophe society. … “I doubt Kanye West is a huge favorite of Uni Watch readers, but in this interview he brings up an interesting desire to design basketball uniforms for his high school alma mater,” says Chris Giorgio.
What Paul did last night: See above.