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We already broke the story of the NBA’s Christmas Day uniforms last week, and now the NBA has finally acknowledged the jerseys’ existence. Yesterday they released the photos you see above (a couple of which had already been floated a day earlier). The most notable thing about them is that most of the chest logos, which I had believed to predominately gray, are actually silver — an improvement. I graded all of them yesterday in this ESPN piece, although it would be fair to say they were all graded on a fairly steep curve.
The league also released two videos. This one, which was Ticker-linked yesterday, is called “Jingle Hoops,” and is actually pretty clever:
And then there’s this “behind the scenes” video about the making of “Jingle Hoops” (yes, a commercial for a commercial):
There’s also this press release, which includes a listing of all the Christmas Day games and times.
A few thoughts about all this:
The NBA’s original plan, before we broke the story last week, was to unveil the jerseys on Good Morning America. Given GMA’s demographics, that tells me the main point of these jerseys is to generate sales to women. Phil tells me his interactions on Twitter confirm that women tend to like these jerseys while men do not. The NBA tells me this information is incorrect.
• Last year’s Christmas Day jersey program was called Big Color; this year’s is Big Logo. What do you think they’re planning for next season — Big Advertising? Biggie Smalls? Big Fucking Deal? Bigamy?
• Does anyone else think it’s weird that 10 NBA teams — that’s a third of the league — will be playing on Christmas Day? What does it say about the players’ union when a third of their members will be forced to work and be away from their families on the biggest holiday of the year? Yes, I know some NFL teams play on Thanksgiving, but not as many. And yes, all MLB teams play on Independence Day, but that’s not the same kind of holiday. Just doesn’t seem right somehow.)
Finally, here’s an exclusive tidbit: As I mentioned last week, the uniforms for this season’s All-Star Game, which is being played in New Orleans, will follow this same template — logo on the chest, uni number on the left sleeve. I’m not at liberty to show you the official artwork of those designs, but there’s nothing preventing me from describing them. So:
• The East jersey will be blue with a teal V-neck collar. It will have a teal fleur-de-lis, outlined in silver, with a blue “E” at the center and the word “East” in blue at the base. The uniform number, in teal, is on the left sleeve. On the back, the NOB lettering is in white, with the uni number in teal. The NBA All-Star logo appears above the NOB, and the player’s team logo, rendered in silver, appears below the uni number.
• The West jersey will be red with a purple V-neck collar. It will have a purple fleur-de-lis, outlined in gold, with a red “W” at the center and the word “West” in red at the base. The uniform number, in purple, is on the left sleeve. On the back, the NOB lettering is in white, with the uni number in purple outlined in gold. The NBA All-Star logo appears above the NOB, and the player’s team logo, rendered in gold, appears below the uni number.
Membership update: Half a dozen new membership card designs have been added to the card gallery (including Brian Dautch’s early-’80s Canucks treatment, shown at right). We currently have two slots open in the current batch of cards, which means the next two people to sign up will receive their cards with little or no waiting.
PermaRec update: An amazing ledger filled with the details of a Nashville musician’s 1970s session work — including what he was paid! — is the focus of the the latest entry on the Permenant Record Blog.
Gift Guide reminder: I’m currently working on my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide column, which will run on ESPN shortly after Thanksgiving. If you have suggestions for cool uni- or logo-related products or services, don’t be shy. Thanks.
’Skins Watch: In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the study showing that the ’Skins name has harmful psychological effect on Native American children. … A DC political consultant has made a market-based argument that the ’Skins name should be kept as is (from Tommy Turner).
Baseball News: Another great historical find by Todd Radom, who’s discovered that the White Sox briefly — like, very briefly — experimented with a powder blue cap during spring training of 1966. … Here’s some great color footage from a 1965 Reds/Cubs game. “It’s a great look at the Reds’ sleeveless jersey with the NOBs underneath the uni numbers,” says Jon Helfenstein. “It also includes some classic ads for Hamm’s Beer.” … Several reports indicate that cursive writing is being de-emphasized in American schools, which leads the Hungry Hungry Hipster to a ask: “How are kids going to read the cursive script city names and team nicknames on baseball jerseys? Not only does it affect kids being able to read what’s on the uniforms, but it will also affect baseball uniform design in the future. Obviously if we come to a day when no one knows how to read or write in cursive, many baseball uniforms will have to change their designs, and no new uniforms will feature classic cursive scripts across the chest.”
NFL News: Big news in Tennessee last night, as the Titans wore power blue over white last night for the first time in their history. I like! … Deadspin has published an absolutely essential piece on why the NFL’s “Salute to Service” program is a crock. Don’t miss. … The Panthers’ solid-black uni — the “best uni in NFL history” according to that recent poll at NFL.com, so you know it must be true — will be showcased next Monday night (thanks, Phil). … Looks like the Ravens’ wordmark font has been modified and adopted by Wyoming High School in Michigan (from Andrew Cosentino). … Check out the Lions player’s pants in this 1943 shot. That two-tone effect isn’t shown in the Gridiron Uniform Database (from Brian Graham). … Dawn Epstein is selling a ton of 3-5/8 NFL mini-helmets. … Yesterday’s Ticker linked to a photo showing the 1953 Lions wearing a mix of silver and gold helmets. Now Gene Sanny has found a link suggesting that the gold helmets may actually have been silver helmets that oxidized.
College Football News: Apparently there had been some call for Rutgers to scrap their uniforms, but that ain’t happening (thanks, Phil). … Here’s how Marshall’s “75″ helmets looked last night. … Meanwhile, Marshall QB Rakeem Cato wore a dark green base-layer hood, instead of Marshall’s standard shade of green, during last night’s game. “You’d think that Marshall would have equipment that matched its team colors,” says JJ Sledge. … Maryland will be wearing solid white this weekend. … GI Joe move from USF, which is “honoring” the military by wearing military unit logo patches this weekend. … In a related item, many folks, including some in the military, think all the GI Joe gestures are getting out of hand (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: New throwback alts for the Wisconsin women’s team. “Notable that they’re using the academic mark on the front, rather than the athletic mark,” says Joe Reimers. “According to a friend (a loyal Badger), this is the only Wisconsin uniform to incorporate the academic mark.” … Do you want to see each NHL team rendered as a Mega Man sprite? Sure you do (from Kyle Beaudoin). … Fun fact: Peter Stastny used to have a captain’s “C” made out of tape (from Chris Mizzoni).
Soccer News: Sergio Aguero is a Puma-sponsored player, but he’s shown wearing Adidas shoes in the promo shots for Argentina’s (Adidas-made) World Cup uniforms. You can see him second from the right in this shot and farthest in the background in this shot. “Has to be Photoshopped,” says Pat West. “Here’s what his Puma boots normally look like.” … This is pretty awesome: Soccer jerseys made from cigarette boxes! Check out the links at the bottom of the page for more info (thanks, Kirsten).
NBA News: Look at the shorts on this 1957 Cincinnati Royals card! ” Those shorts must have been holdovers from the Rochester days (no doubt a photo from the previous season), because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cincy players in those,” says Leo Strawn Jr. “They moved to Ohio after the 1956-57 season.” I showed the photo to Rochester sports historian Terry Proctor, who said, “Yes, I know about those. That picture was from the 1956-57 season, the last in Rochester. The ‘Globetrotter-style’ uniforms were also used for the 1955-56 season and were made by Sand-Knit. The Sand rep that sold them to the Royals just passed away last year at age 90 — I knew him. The Harrison brothers, Lester and Jack, still owned the team in Cincinnati then. They got completely new uniforms from MacGregor that first year in Cincy.” … Check out this shot of a mid-1980s Warriors/Sonics game with both teams wearing their home unis. “I’m thinking this might be a preseason game, but that’s just a guess,” says Matt Beahan). … The Nuggets aren’t playing on Xmas, but that hasn’t kept them from having an Xmas jersey (from Phil). … Here’s the schedule for when the Lakers will be going BFBS (Phil again). … When the Heat wear nickNOBs on Jan. 10, Shane Battier will wear “Battle” — which is his family’s original surname (big thanks to Mike McLaughlin).
Grab Bag: Ford, the car company, has asked crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to stop using the company’s logo, and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts aren’t too thrilled about him wearing their jersey (from Sean Kane). … This is a coupla weeks late, but window washers in Detroit dressed up in local sports attire (from Chris Flinn). … Three items from Kirsten: Colleges are now selling their own school-branded colognes; world-class athletes sure do have wildly differing body types; and there’s actually a spray-on fabric out there. How long before we see it being used for uniforms? … New logo for the city of Carrboro, North Carolina (from Tom Arnel). … Canyon Springs High in California has a two-tone helmet treatment similar to the Jags’. “We have a lot of these two-tone helmet treatments in this area, but black and white is kind of an unusual combination.”