Click photos to enlarge
We’ve known for a while now what Notre Dame will be wearing for this Saturday’s Shamrock Series game against Arizona State. And now, as you can see above, we know what ASU will be wearing: a “flame” helmet, or whatever. It’s basically just a Halloween costume, of course (if you have any doubts, check out the
socks oops, I’m now told they’re arm sleeves), although I took heart when I saw the top group of photos because the kid modeling the costume is actually smiling — smiling, imagine that! — instead of doing that default bad-ass superhero pose that makes me embarrassed for humanity. A smile! Nice. Here’s hoping it catches on.
There’s also a video about the helmet floating around out there, but you can find that yourself. Reader Scott Friend watched it and says it includes a glimpse of a white helmet with an oversized red pitchfork that hasn’t yet appeared on the field. “Given the oversized pitchforks that were worn against USC this past weekend, maybe the white will happen as well,” he says. Heavens, I certainly hope so, because if there’s one thing ASU needs it’s, you know, another helmet.
Meanwhile: My NHL goalie column is up now on ESPN. Enjoy.
By Brinke Guthrie
T-shirts with sports brands on them have been around now for a long time, but they were pretty rare back in the mid-1970s. Adidas made them, Nike wasn’t in the game yet, and the only other brand you saw was Puma. I had this very 1970s Puma T-shirt back in the day. Blue with yellow, our high school colors. Got it by sending in a proof-of-purchase from a can of Desenex (which I bought for high school soccer season) and five dollars. I remember clearly my dad asking me if Puma was paying me to wear the shirt, and he was serious. I think I stared at him as if he were from Mars. I didn’t wear Puma shoes on-field, though — strictly Adidas with the “Gerd Muller Goal” cleats, black with yellow.
Now on to other stuff:
• We’ve seen Dairy Queen NFL helmets before, but how about for the CFL?
• Just a great piece of artwork here — check out this 1970s Broncos poster.
• Ed Podolak is featured on this 1970s Chiefs tie.
• This 1970s El Paso Diablos minor league baseball jersey looks straight outta Taco Bell.
• Classic look to this gold-trimmed 1970s Bengals stein.
• Colts fans- no matter which city- will love this 1970s Sand-Knit coach’s shirt — in nylon, no less. “Designed & Tailored Exclusively for the Baltimore Colts.”
• This 1970s A’s bobble looks like it’s in perfect condition. [But no gold sannies — boo! — PL]
• I think we’ve all stuck a pinch of Big League Chew between our cheek and’ gum a time or two back in the day. I would’ve liked to have this Big League Chew beach towel back then.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Acme Corrections: Disappointing error during halftime of last night’s Saints/Dolphins game, as ESPN analyst Jon Gruden was doing his weekly “Gruden’s Grinders” bit, in which he singles out a few lunch-pail players for special praise. At one point he was saluting a Seahawks defensive player (I don’t remember who it was, sorry) and said, “I’m gonna call him the Roadrunner — because if he catches you, you’re through!” Halftime host Chris Berman approved: “I like it, I like the nickname.”
I don’t know how many Monday Night Football viewers are even old enough to get that reference, but the ones who did no doubt realized that Gruden totally botched it. If you’re familiar with the Roadrunner theme song, then you know the full passage Gruden was referring to is “Roadrunner, the Coyote’s after you / Roadrunner, if he catches you, you’re through.” Here:
In other words, if the Coyote catches you, you’re through. So Gruden should have nicknamed that player the Coyote. But that wouldn’t have made any sense either, because the Coyote always loses.
Moral of the story: Jon Gruden should stick to football and leave Saturday-morning cartoon references to the experts (i.e., the rest of us).
Academics vs. Athletics: It seems like Thursday-night college football games are increasingly being used as showcases for new uniforms. I hadn’t really given any deep thought to that until yesterday, when I received a note from a Uni Watch reader who prefers to remain anonymous. I’m reproducing it here without comment:
I’m a student at Georgia Tech and a big football fan. But I think there needs to be a greater disparity between academics and athletics. Last Thursday night’s game against Virginia Tech started at 7:30pm. I wasn’t able to make the “White Out” because I had an exam starting at 6pm that night and the following day I had another exam at 8am, so I had some studying to do.
While it’s exciting that Georgia Tech was featured on ESPN, academics still happen. The Thursday-night game was a major distraction for someone who, like myself, wanted to focus on studying for midterms. I couldn’t find quiet space on campus due to the number of tours through the library for the returning alumni who came down for the game, so I headed to my off-campus apartment to focus. But even then, traffic was rerouted and caused my usual 15-minute commute to turn into 45 minutes of sitting in a car.
Trying to instill a gameday “Rah! Rah!” spirit on a Thursday night was a giant distraction and an irresponsible move by the institution. For a school that praises academics, it was surprising to see academics take a back seat to athletics that day, a school day.
I understand I’m not the usual case in this scenario, but as a student paying a lot for tuition, I want the focus to be my education, not some football team that can only run six plays. Just imagine if a football player had an exam on that following Friday morning, like I did. Would he still have to take it?
I’m not saying they should do away with the athletics program, but what’s wrong with only Saturday football games? Oh, wait — money. That’s why.
’Skins Watch: A new poll — although, from what I can gather, not a particularly scientific one — shows that DC residents are in favor of the media boycott of the ’Skins name. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s an article claiming that the ’Skins debate is also a proxy for other, larger cultural debates. … Also from yesterday: More coverage of the ’Skins debate from across the pond, this time in the form of a very good overview article in Metro, a UK commuter paper (from Matt Beahan).
Baseball News: Here’s the Wrigley Field centennial patch that the Cubs will wear next season. … Umpire Gerry Davis, who usually wears No. 12, lost the “2” on his sleeve number last night. Naturally, nobody noticed, because only about seven people on the face of the planet can identify umps by their uni numbers (and of those people is Jeff Moddelmog). … How do you know when a “5” is really an upside-down “2”? When its block-shadowing is facing the wrong way! That’s from this 1957 Senators jersey that Jeff Flynn Jr. spotted on eBay. … The Twins had a press conerence yesterday to announce a contract extension for skipper Ron Gardenhire. “Owner Jim Pohlad was asked about changes to be made, and he chuckled and said, ‘Well, I’d like to see Ron wear something other than the baseball equivalent of a muumuu,'” reports Mike Menner. … A promo video for Pearl Jam’s new album finds Eddie Vedder wearing an old-school Padres catcher’s helmet (from Roger Morrow). … Rays skipper Joe Maddon was drinking something from a label-less bottle last night. Must not have been from an approved sponsor (good spot by Matt Brown). … SI recently ran a very short but enjoyable piece about the White Sox’s shorts (from Dave Perez).
NFL News: In the latest example of how we’ve become the Corporate States of America, the Broncos yelled, “Papa John’s, Papa John’s!” as an audible call on Sunday. “I was watching the game and heard it when it happened,” says Jim Bowles. “My head wanted to explode.” … Andrew Powell-Morse has created a bunch of charts and graphs documenting the balance between NFL rushing and passing over the past eight decades. Good stuff. … I’m quoted in this article about the Dolphins’ new logo. … Someone at last night’s Saints/Dolphins game was wearing a clown outfit with a captaincy patch (from Chris Perrenot ). … Yesterday I mentioned that the NFL’s “International Series” patch, which had been worn for previous games in London, wasn’t worn for Sunday’s Steelers/Vikings game. That prompted Drew McClintock to remind me that the league had used a different patch design for London games in 2007 and ’08.
College Football News: I’m pretty sure we’ve covered this before, but I can’t remember what this Arizona State patch is for. Little help..? … Here’s what Notre Dame’s sideline personnel will be wearing for that same game. Very nice (from Warren Junium). … Maryland wore this jersey against Penn State in 1987. “It was a one-game thing, meant to try to break a 22-game losing streak against Penn State (didn’t work),” says Jeff Flynn Jr. “I couldn’t find a game photo, but the new uniforms are mentioned in this article.” … Utah will be wearing solid black on Thursday. … Baylor will be wearing their metallic gold helmet on Saturday, and they’re promoting it with a hashtag that tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the college football uni-verse.
NBA News: There had already been a video game leak of the Clippers’ new blue sleeved uni, but now we have official high-res photos, including the shorts with the nautical flags spelling out “L-A-C.” They’ll likely be wearing these for Sunday home games. … Meanwhile, here are some more photos of the Warriors’ new white sleeved jerseys, which they’ll be wearing for Saturday home games. … Hmmm, Clippers wearing sleeves on Sundays, Warriors on Saturedays — Phil smells a rat. “Seems like they want teams to wear the sleeves when a larger TV audience is likely, which of course will likely equal more jersey sales.” … The Raptors won’t be changing their name after all but will likely get yet another colo(u)r scheme (thanks, Brinke).
Grab Bag: Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan has written a really wonderful defense of selling out — sort of. He’s not defending the act of selling out; he’s arguing for the continued relevance and viability of selling out as a cultural phenomenon. A lot of this actually applies to things like ads on uniforms, naming rights, and other pernicious forms of sponsorship. If you read only one other thing today besides Uni Watch, this should be it — don’t miss. … “I was wandering around at my son’s soccer game over the weekend and came across a bunch of these swooshified trash cans under the bleachers,” writes Paul Ricciardi. “Turns out they belong to a program called Trashcan Lacrosse, which uses trash cans for skill/accuracy training.” … Here’s a good article about the great sports illustrator Lon Keller (from Bill Ziegler). … In CFL news, the BC Lions will wear solid black this weekend (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Also from Leo: The Werribee Tigers — that’s an Aussie rules football team — will likely be going back to a 20-year-old jumper design next season.