Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918-2013

One day when I was in eighth grade, my social studies teacher announced that we would all have to subscribe to Time magazine, so we could keep up with current events. The first issue that arrived at my house was this one, with a cover story on the white-minority government in South Africa. I was 13 at the time, and while I knew a little about apartheid, I didn’t really comprehend its full scope until I read that article, which was also my introduction to apartheid’s foremost opponent, the jailed African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela.

By the time I started college at SUNY-Binghamton in 1982, the situation in South Africa had become a very big deal. Mandela was still in prison, but Desmond Tutu had become internationally prominent for the anti-apartheid work that would win him the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize. On our campus, it turned out that the concessionaire that provided the meals for our dining halls was owned by a company that had a small foodservice operation in South Africa, and there was a growing and ultimately successful protest movement among the students to force the company to divest. The student council showed its support for this movement by renaming one of the performance halls in the University Union as the Mandela Room (a name that has stuck). Down at the student-run record store that I co-managed, we sold a shitload of copies of the Special AKA’s “Free Nelson Mandela.” Similar events were unfolding on campuses across America.

Was some of this just the typical undergraduate grandstanding by privileged, immature kids living off their parents’ tuition payments? Sure. But if you’re too young to remember those days, it’s probably hard for you to conceive of how monstrously wrong apartheid was, and how completely entrenched it appeared to be. Its eventual collapse, and Mandela’s eventual release from prison and ascendancy to the South African presidency, was among the most triumphant moments of recent history.

Mandela died yesterday at 95. He strikes me as one of the three great transformative leaders of the past century (the other two being, of course, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King). He lived a long life, longer than most, but imagine how much more he could have accomplished if he hadn’t spent those 27 years in prison. RIP.

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So here’s an idea: Reader Jonathan Dodd lives in Dallas, but he and his girlfriend, Liz, are in NYC for a few days, and yesterday he asked if they could stop by Uni Watch HQ to pick up a Knish shirt, to which I said sure. Once they arrived, they seemed like really nice people, so I invited them to stay for a beer.

As we talked, it became apparent that Jonathan and Liz both have very strong ideas about the uniforms and logos of all the Dallas-area teams. Jonathan in particular was dissecting tiny details and small nuances (things he liked, things he didn’t like, things he used to like until the team changed them, etc.) in the way that only a local fan can do. That’s because a local fan doesn’t just watch every single one the local teams’ games — the local fan is also surrounded by the local uniforms and logos on billboards, in commercials, on other local fans’ $200 polyester shirts, and as part of the local culture. As we talked, I realized that I might have strong opinions on some of the Dallas teams’ uniforms, but I’ll never know those uniforms inside and out, or understand how they signify and resonate with the local populace, like Jonathan does, just as he’ll never know the Mets’ or Giants’ or Rangers’ uniforms like I do.

So that gave me an idea: “Hey Jonathan,” I said, “would you be interested in guest-writing a Uni Watch entry about your take on the Dallas teams’ uniforms? And if that works out, maybe I could have other Uni Watch readers give us the hometown perspective on the uniforms worn by the teams in their cities.”

Jonathan liked the idea, so I’m hoping he’ll follow through and write something good about the Dallas-area teams. Either way, I like this idea of having readers give us the local fan’s take — we could call it the “Hometown Lowdown,” or something like that.

Do you folks like this idea? Let me know what you think in today’s comments. Meanwhile, if you think you could write a good Uni Watch analysis of your city’s teams, get in touch.

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Blazers contest reminder: In case you missed it last week, I’m soliciting entries for a Blazers redesign contest on ESPN. The deadline is Dec. 9, and the results will be published on ESPN soon after that. I look forward to seeing your designs.

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’Skins Watch: Good historical analysis of how the advent of the ’Skins name was more of a business decision than an “honor” (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: In a development that can only help the movement to change the ’Skins name, crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford thinks the name should remain unchanged. … Sixty-one religious leaders from across the theological spectrum, mostly from the DC area, have sent a letter to Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder, urging them to change the team’s name.

Baseball News: The Reds will unveil their GI Joe jersey, along with a new St. Paddy’s Day design, at 6:20pm today. Someone on Chris Creamer’s site has suggested that they’re also a super-subtle change to the road jersey by moving the sleeve piping to the very bottom of the sleeve cuff, but I’m from Missouri on that one — could just be the way the photo (or Photoshop mock-up) was cropped. … Here’s a clever video showing Scott Kazmir changing from an Indians uni to an A’s uni (from Andrew Cosentino). … Topps and Homage have teamed up to create a series of Topps-themed T-shirts, and they’re pretty good! Wish they’d come out with these before my gift guide column was published. … The Pirates’ “P” cap logo — the one that annoyingly doesn’t have a serif at the upper-left corner like I think it should — will soon become the team’s primary logo. … This is intriguing: a 1913 reference to a player who had been beaned in 1905, “in the days before batting helmets.” As Mike Wissman notes, “It’s interesting how batting helmets are positioned as commonplace [in 1913] and subsequently disappeared from the landscape for many years, only to resurface in the 1940s.” … Wanna put your productive day to an end right now? Check out this baseball genealogy chart (blame Yusuke Toyoda).

NFL News: Here’s a good article on NFL hairstyles, with an accompanying slideshow. … I don’t usually get too worked up about media outlets using wrong or outdated team logos, but you’d think the NFL Network, of all places, would know that the Jags have a new logo this season. But nope (screen shot by Dan Klein). … Funny to see an NFL team logo on a basketball jersey. That’s San Gabriel Academy in California, using the Eagles’ wordmark (from Ahmad Billal Samady).

College Football News: Here’s a look at the end zones for the SEC championship game. … Baylor has produced a video for the final game at the Floyd, plus it has shots of the throwback unis they’ll be wearing this weekend. … Some knucklehead thought yesterday’s announcement about Jameis Winston not being charged was a good occasion for the interlocking-glove salute (from Chris Perrenot). … Then again, yesterday’s news about Winston didn’t bring out the best in a lot of folks. Unfuckingbelievable. … Louisville had a new helmet stripe for last night’s game against Cincinnati. … Missouri’s wearing black-white-gold for the SEC title game. I like that combo a lot! … If you have $750 burning a hole in your pocket send it all to me you can buy one of Baylor’s throwback from tomorrow’s game.

Hockey News: The Sabres wore their third jerseys last night against the Rangers, which prompted the following note from David Feigenbaum: “I feel like I’m seeing one Sabres team coming and another team going — one in gold the other in blue. And the funny thing is, both Sabres teams stink, and so do the jerseys.

Soccer News: Now that Volkswagen is no longer sponsoring D.C. United, here are some suggestions for new sponsors (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: New kits for Sacramento Republic F.C. … Here’s an interview with Nike’s global creative director talking about the new Brazil kit and the uni design process (from Yusuke Toyoda).

NBA News: Major embarrassment for Nike, as Lebron James doesn’t like the latest version of his signature sneaker and hasn’t been wearing it. … So the NBA is issuing red cards to fans now. Brutal spacing on that typography — either go rag-right or enable hyphenation, NBA! (Thanks, Phil.)

College Hoops News: Chrome lettering on tap tonight for Kentucky. Lots of other chrome-accented gear, too. Oh, and more of the same for the Kentucky women’s team.

Grab Bag: My story from earlier this year about twist-ties vs. bread clips was singled out as a notable read by The Atlantic. … Here are some thoughts on what to wear if you’re invited to a holiday party and the host requests “festive attire.” … I like this display of Utah coal miners’ helmets. … New Super Rugby kits for the DHL Stormers (from Josh Jacobs). … The new Appalachian State logo is drawing some criticism (from John Dankosky). … South Africa’s national cricket team wore pink the other day (from Jon Grossman). … Here’s the Norwegian curling team talking about their pants (from Bernie Langer). … This is odd: a T-shirt with a Champion logo on the chest but a Reebok logo and something else on the sleeve. And no, Champion is not owned by Reebok. It’s from this video (good spot by Brian Codagnone). … “Corporate-named ‘bowl games’ have come to Tennessee high schools,” says Dustin Semore. “The Blue Cross Bowl is the name for each TSSAA championship game to be played at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium. Here is a picture of the Henry County Patriots’ helmet with the game’s logo decal (with a poor placement job since you can see writing behind it). Also, note the uni number decal to the right of the stripe, which is shaped like the outline of Henry County — pretty cool.” … NYC mayor-elect (and my neighbor) Bill De Blasio announced yesterday that his police commissioner would be William Bratton. Bratton wore a red tie with little gold fish for the press conference, and he must really like that tie, because he also wore it on the cover of his 1998 book and during his previous stint as police commish in the mid-1990s. “There are more photos showing him wearing the tie at different points in his career, but I think you get the idea,” says Dave Rakowski. … David Firestone visited the Chicago Sports Museum and photographed a bunch of cool stuff.

 

96 comments to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918-2013

  • dgm | December 6, 2013 at 7:42 am |

    UGH, paul, PLEASE don’t call them the DHL Stormers. the DHL is there because of a corporate sponsorship deal. god i hate that they constantly refer to themselves that way. you complain about adverts on NBA jerseys, but at least the teams aren’t changing their names based on whomever sponsors them.

  • name redacted | December 6, 2013 at 8:06 am |

    Surprised there was no mention of mandela’s appearance with the springboks, since most people seem to point to that as a symbolic unifying moment in SA culture.

    • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 8:11 am |

      Considered going there but decided not to because, as I constantly mention, I’m completely soccer-clueless. Didn’t want to give the impression that I knew much about his connection to the team when in fact I don’t.

      • Phil Hecken | December 6, 2013 at 8:12 am |

        I think the Springboks play rugby.

      • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 8:14 am |

        Rugby, Paul, not soccer.

        • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 8:31 am |

          Did I mention I was clueless about this stuff?

        • Jason M (DC) | December 6, 2013 at 9:48 am |

          Sorry, Paul. They made a movie about it. Invictus with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.
          You have to watch it.

        • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 10:08 am |

          Seconding Jason: a movie well worth watching. Sure, sports blah blah blah. But more importantly, the film gives excellent treatment to Mandela as a politician, not just a hero or saint.

        • Jason M (DC) | December 6, 2013 at 10:17 am |

          Morgan Freeman is the ONLY person who could play Mandela.

          I hope the next “What Did Paul Do?” is about watching Invictus.

        • Tim Dunigan | December 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

          Not only was Morgan Freeman the only person who could play Mr.Mandela…but he was the choice of Mr. Mandela HIMSELF to play the part. He insisted he was the man for the job!…Great Film, and I have to say Matt Damon?..does a KILLER South Afrikaner accent to boot!

    • terriblehuman | December 6, 2013 at 8:48 am |

      And that was huge, because rugby was (and still is, to a large extent), a predominantly white sport.

      I don’t think you can overstate the importance of the first black president of South Africa in the stands at the Rugby World Cup, wearing a Springboks jersey.

    • aingle | December 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

      Agreed.

    • walter | December 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm |

      UAlbany alum, here; 1980-84. I vividly remember a shitstorm of publicity when the Springboks played an area rugby team in a friendly match. At the time my attitude was “meh”, but time has humbled me. Men of Mr. Mandela’s grace and humanity are cut from a fine bolt of cloth.

  • Dumb Guy | December 6, 2013 at 8:08 am |

    Those Topps shirts are cool, but those graphics are HUGE!!

  • Dumb Guy | December 6, 2013 at 8:10 am |

    Yes, the Pirets’ “P” needs a bigger serif at the top. Thus, the Mel Gibson pirate is still the best logo ever.

    • The Jeff | December 6, 2013 at 8:39 am |

      Well, by switching to the P as the primary logo, the Pirates now have the worst logo of all the pirate themed teams in US sports.

      The P is fine as a cap logo, but as the team’s primary? Bad idea.

      • Gusto4044 | December 6, 2013 at 9:47 am |

        There’s something about this situation which doesn’t make sense, since the club had already announced the cap logo would take on a more prominent role. This role has been increasing since the 2009 season.

        The club publicized the fact they were conducting public study groups on a new logo earlier this year, so if Creamer is correct, that work, time, and ideas were deemed to be unsuitable. So if the “P” itself isn’t changing, it seems odd to have this buildup for a new logo(which was assumed to be a new pirate), then back away close to the PirateFest event next week.

        If the final results and ideas were so unimpressive, I’d rather stick with the iconic cap logo, then do something embarrassing like other franchises have done.

        • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 10:04 am |

          Another possibility: The P is being “promoted” to primary logo status, and a new mascot logo will be announced as the secondary logo. Or so I’m hoping.

      • Joseph Gerard | December 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

        As a native Pittsburgher and Pirates fan, I’m OK with the Pirates “P” taking on a more prominent role. Since it was introduced in 1948 the P has been consistent while the team itself has had several logos.

        It is ashamed, though, that the old logo (sans script) is sticking around as a sleeve patch. Hopefully it just ends up meeting the same fate as RoboPenguin and just gets quietly retired at some point.

        BTW Paul I’m NOT interested in writing a guest article on Pittsburgh sports teams–thats probably best to leave to a neutral non-Pittsburgher. However, if you want, I can do a guest article on Dick Allen’s hometown Wampum High School, since there has been a lot of talk about it on here lately. I have access to a lot of material.

    • Roger | December 6, 2013 at 9:01 am |

      I could be wrong and this could have been talked about before. Isn’t the Pirates cap logo “P” designed to look like an ax?

      • BrianC | December 6, 2013 at 10:27 am |

        An unnatural ax?

    • Mark in Shiga | December 6, 2013 at 10:46 am |

      There’s one more thing the Pirates need to fix the serif on, and that’s their number 7. It drives me crazy the way it looks like a number 2 with the bottom cut off. It needs a square point in the top left corner, top right corner, or (preferably) both!

  • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 8:12 am |

    I’m about ten years behind Paul, chronologically, which means that campus anti-apartheid campaigning was a middle and high school thing for me. It also means that South Africa’s reintegration into the international community was, alongside the opening of Central Europe (what we used to incorrectly call Eastern Europe), a formative element of my young adulthood and shaping my tastes. My first forays into wine involved then-novel (and cheap!) South African reds. In sports, it felt like an almost patriotic duty to support South Africa, which led me to discover rugby, and played a role in turning me on to soccer in the 1998 World Cup. Heck, I got into vexillology mainly because the redesign of the South African flag fascinated me so.

    It’s trivial, I know, but the fact that I’m a soccer fan, and the fact that I’ll stop and watch if I’m TV-surfing and I pass a rugby game, are ultimately largely because of Nelson Mandela.

    • Jason M (DC) | December 6, 2013 at 9:55 am |

      I remembering learning about apartheid a bit in school. It might have been middle school. I also remember hearing about how South Africa was banned from the Olympics. It was a big deal when they were finally able to appear in the Olympics.

      I’m a soccer fan because I played when I was a kid.
      I’d like to get into rugby more. It’s just difficult in the US because you have to go out of your way to learn the game and follow the sport.

    • 716 Scott | December 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

      arrScott you always have great post but using the term “vexillology” just made my day.

      Another great sports and Mandela cross is the book “More Than Just a Game” about the founding of the Makana F.A. an association run by the prisoners strictly adhering to the laws of the game. A lot of men who were in the initial government learned to organize and work with people through the association. It’s a great read.

      http://en.wikipedia.....

    • Rob S | December 7, 2013 at 12:06 am |

      The Eastern Europe of the Cold War did not simply become the Central Europe of today. Central Europe was split in half by the Iron Curtain, and several countries defined as part of “Eastern Europe” then fall well outside of Central Europe.

      It may not have been 100% accurate (thanks to Greece and Turkey aligning with NATO), but “Eastern Europe” is still a valid descriptor within the context of those former communist/socialist nations.

  • Dumb Guy | December 6, 2013 at 8:13 am |

    Speaking of NFL players’ hair…. Here’s a look at some if they perhaps were folically-challenged.

    http://dailysnark.co...

  • JimWa | December 6, 2013 at 9:00 am |

    The subtle changes to the Reds road uniform may not be quite as subtle as suggested. It looks like any white on the uniform (letter outlines, Reds sleeve logo) will now be grey.

    • Joe Owen | December 6, 2013 at 9:23 am |

      The white in the sleeve logo has always looked great against the gray background. That’s the only thing that ever looked good with these monstrosities. Really hope they don’t change that.

    • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 9:25 am |

      Well then hallelujah. When jersey elements use white as a “background” color, rather than as a color unto itself, the white should be gray on a gray uniform.

      If the Reds are also changing up their St.Patty’s Day gear, then they should match the tastefulness of their new camo alt by switching from kelly green to black and khaki.

      • Connie DC | December 6, 2013 at 9:42 am |

        As you know, Scott, I’m definitely of the school that says that once an American ethnic group faces zero bigotry, enjoys higher-than-average family incomes, and produces Whitey Bulger, that group should not get all shirty about perceived slights.

        So do we care about St Patrick’s Day versus St Paddy’s Day versus (your particular usage) St Patty’s Day? Me, I don’t care, but I was wondering if your locution conveys a considered preference?

        • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 10:00 am |

          I usually spell it “my birthday”. And while I’m a proud Irish-American, I’m not Catholic, so the actual, formal saint’s day has no special meaning to me. So no significance to the accident of my spelling of the diminutive. It’s not political or anything, like Sox vs Sawx.

          I just think that wearing the colors of RIC irregulars on St. Paddy’s would be the height of tastelessness, which is also what I think of most teams wearing camo.

    • Kst8cats | December 6, 2013 at 11:46 am |

      It also looks like the sleeve patch also has no black drop shadow anymore.

      • Kst8cats | December 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm |

        Never mind. When I scaled it up it is still there. Just subtler with gray wishbone c.

  • Casey Hart | December 6, 2013 at 9:01 am |

    On that Champion/Reebok shirt, the “something else” looks like the Champion “C” sleeve logo on the sleeve. That reminds me: Champion has been doing the logo creep thing for a long, long time, albeit in a more subtle way than today’s main uni manufacturers.

  • Dumb Guy | December 6, 2013 at 9:09 am |

    Blue Cross Bowl helmet….

    Could they not remove the size sticker (Rideell large) or the booger on the stripe before taking the photo???!!

  • Connie DC | December 6, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    “… Bratton wore a red tie with little gold fish for the press conference, and he must really like that tie, because he also wore it on the cover of his 1998 book and during his previous stint as police commish in the mid-1990s. ..”

    A very nice cravat indeed. Can any of our resident sages identify the species of fish?

    • ChrisH | December 6, 2013 at 10:19 am |

      What is Bratton’s stance on catch-and-release?

  • Flip | December 6, 2013 at 9:21 am |

    Two things:

    a) Congratulations on the Atlantic article. Great read.

    b) Since we’re (deservedly) into Mandela and aesthetics, I’d like to point folks to this super-cool monument erected for him. http://www.designboo...

  • Connie DC | December 6, 2013 at 9:31 am |

    “Hey Jonathan,” I said, “would you be interested in guest-writing a Uni Watch entry in about your take on the Dallas teams’ uniforms? And if that works out, maybe I could have other Uni Watch readers give us the hometown perspective on the uniforms worn by the teams in their cities.”…

    This is a fine idea. Can’t hardly wait for uni-rich towns like St Louis. Or New York. Or Boston. Or Montreal. Or Cleveland. You know.

    But come to think of it, not-so-major-league cities might even be more fun. Portland. Sacramento. Rochester. Memphis. Tucson. Hartford. Philadelphia.

    • Jason M (DC) | December 6, 2013 at 9:57 am |

      I’m casting a Yea vote for the Hometown Lowdown idea, too.

      • Sj-Jeff | December 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

        i vote yes on this idea too. I would love to do an artice for Philadelphia

        • Robert S | December 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

          I vote yes on Hometown Lowdown. I would love to attempt to write an article for Minneapolis teams. Hopefully it would pass muster for publication.

          I do think it is an excellent idea!

        • walter | December 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm |

          Great idea! Sadly, I represent Greater New York which already has ample coverage.

  • BWags | December 6, 2013 at 9:57 am |

    Brian McCann is the latest to publicly adhere to the Yankees grooming policy. There’s a couple of other examples in this article.

    http://sports.yahoo....

  • Ross | December 6, 2013 at 10:11 am |

    Those ‘bread clips’ are technically called ‘occlupanids.’
    I learned this seemingly useless (until now) information while listening to NPR

  • BrianC | December 6, 2013 at 10:29 am |

    Crack smoking drunk Rob Ford thinks the Skins should keep the name? Heck, I’ll have to rethink my whole position on the issue!

    • mild bill | December 6, 2013 at 10:38 am |

      Exactly.

      Please remind us why anyone would think he is still relevant…hasn’t his 15 minutes of fame expired?

  • MikeR | December 6, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    I vote yes on the “Hometown Lowdown,” and I also think the smaller cities idea could be fun and interesting. There could be an entire college side to this as well – it’s always fascinating to learn how uniforms have drawn from various local cultural influences.

  • Kevin Z. | December 6, 2013 at 10:47 am |

    Those Louisville helmet stripes caught my eye last night. I hadn’t really watched them all year so I didn’t know if they were new or not. Very nice.

  • David | December 6, 2013 at 10:48 am |

    Sorry Paul… Purple’s influence is growing.

    http://www.chicagotr...

  • Mark in Shiga | December 6, 2013 at 10:53 am |

    Regarding “in the years before batter’s helmets”: it sounds from the article like they were unknown in 1905 (when Sudhoff got beaned) but were well-known in 1913 (wheh the article was written). Thinking about what happened in that interval, I wonder if the multiple beanings of Cubs first baseman and manager Frank Chance during those exact years were the inspiration for whatever batting helmets were being used. Chance experienced frequent headaches after the beanings and eventually, prematurely, scaled back on playing in favor of managing.

    (Notice also that when the helmets resurfaced, they were called “batting helmets”; do we ever say “batter’s helmets” now? There’s no reason not to; we say “catcher’s mitt” and “fielder’s glove” and plenty of other words in that style.)

    And did any major leaguers were these helmets? I’ve never seen a photo of one. Minors, maybe? Amateurs?

    • scottrj | December 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm |

      Per Wikipedia, Frank Chance was one of the early but by no means first batting helmet wearers, and not even the first prominent player to don one (that honor goes to HOF catcher Roger Bresnahan). But apparently a ballplayer named Fred Mogridge patented a helmet as early as 1905, which per this account resembled “an inflated boxing glove” that went over the head.
      http://books.google....
      The early helmets weren’t helmets as we’ve come to know them, however. For instance:
      http://rmyauctions.c...

      a patent was obtained in the early 20th centr the early years of the 20th century, however, the

    • Ben | December 7, 2013 at 1:53 am |

      To me, it seems that the part about the days before batting helmets may not have originally appeared in the 1913 article at all. It would seem that the entire excerpt there is not actually a quote… in fact, I think they’re just paraphrasing the 1913 article. There wouldn’t be quotation marks around “one-time star pitcher of the St. Louis Browns,” for instance, if the entire thing was taken from the newspaper… that would indicate that only those small phrases were quoted directly. What I’m saying is that the writer of that webpage probably just threw that in there themselves, not thinking anything of it, and in fact it’s not something they’d have said in 1913.

  • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 11:13 am |

    A troll out there — he knows who he is — is attempting to post anti-Mandela content. I tried to contact him privately, but of course he’s a coward hiding behind a phony email address, so now I’m forced to call him out publicly.

    Mr. Troll: If you’re really so eager to piss on a dead man’s grave, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can do that. But not here.

  • Newt | December 6, 2013 at 11:17 am |

    The Mizzou Unis should be illegal.

    How in the world is a team able to get away with a white uniform with solid play shoulder pads? The Jets at least have some color/white sprinkeled into their home/ways uniforms with TV numbers.

    Serious question- does the NCAA have any uniform standards?

    • Newt | December 6, 2013 at 11:18 am |

      black, not “play”

    • The Jeff | December 6, 2013 at 11:30 am |

      Uh… what’s so terrible about it? Compared to some of the other uniforms we’ve already seen (Maryland’s “pride” unis, Northwestern’s bloody flag thing, etc) these are rather tame. So the shoulders are a different color than the rest of the jersey, what’s wrong with that?

    • Douglas King | December 6, 2013 at 11:47 am |

      I don’t see how this is a violation of any rules, or how rules should be changed to make it into one.

      Teams that have also worn contrasting yokes in the past few years:

      Titans (1999-now)
      Cowboys Thanksgiving throwbacks
      Packers 1994 throwbacks

      There are more at the college level.

      Contrasting yokes are nothing new, and I don’t think there is any proof to suggest that they give an unfair advantage to the team wearing them (heck even the number contrast rule the NCAA established was meant to make player identification easier, not because of any advantages but so refs could get the calls right).

      Also Mizzou’s shoulder yokes are anthracite, which is nike-speak for dark grey, it’s not black (not that the color matters). They also have TV numbers they just aren’t shown in the picture Mizzou posted.

  • zdtcgu | December 6, 2013 at 11:32 am |

    In other crack-smoking mayor news, Marion Berry thinks the Redskins should change their name.

    If you must continue to harp on this issue, at least try to avoid logical fallacies.

    • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 11:39 am |

      For the jillionth time, I don’t “harp” on the issue (indeed, there was no ‘Skins yesterday or Tuesday). I simply report on a developing story that’s right in Uni Watch’s wheelhouse. (Further elucidation here.)

      But your Marion Barry counterpoint is excellent — well played.

      • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm |

        Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, not known for crack smoking, called for the Redskins to change their name today. (Cole is Chickasaw, one of only two Native Americans in Congress. If Indians were represented proportionately with their actual numbers in the US population, there would be 15 Native Americans between the House and Senate.)

        • ChrisH | December 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

          Fid he speak on the House floor or just speak out in general?
          He was among the 10 reps who signed off on that letter to Goodell some time ago, so his stance on the Redskins name ‘issue’ has not changed.

  • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 11:51 am |

    Regarding those chrome-lettered Kentucky uniforms, it turns out that the opposing team, Baylor, will also have metallic lettering:
    https://pbs.twimg.co...

    So apparently this is just another Team Nike stunt. Sigh.

    • The Jeff | December 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

      Well, at least it actually works for Baylor.

    • Kst8cats | December 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

      Isn’t Baylor and Adidas school?

      • Kst8cats | December 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm |

        Never mind. Man I am 2-2 today.

        • Douglas King | December 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

          they were until this year for basketball, looks like they finally got on the same page. Wonder if their baseball team is Nike now too (Was Under Armor last year).

        • Kst8cats | December 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm |

          Apparently I was right. Watching right now and they are still wearing Adidas.

  • Tim H | December 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm |

    Funny, the NFL Network managed to get the Jags logo right on the scoreboard underneath. They’re really on the ball, no?

  • Chance Michaels | December 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    I visited Robben Island about ten years ago. A beautiful location which belies the inhumanity it hosted for so long.

  • CC | December 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

    Love the idea of Hometown Lowdown and look forward to it.

  • mike 2 | December 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm |

    My first recollection of apartheid was from the 1976 Olympic games – of course South Africa wasn’t in the Olympics, but a number of other African nations boycotted the Olympics because the New Zealand rugby team had broken the boycott and toured South Africa.

    http://www.theatlant...

    Later, I was in university at the same time as Paul and “divestment” was a big deal. Forcing the university to divest its holdings in companies that did business in South Africa, banning those companies from selling or recruiting on-campus.

    I do remember in the 1980s there was a concensus that apartheid was going to end sooner or later, but EVERYBODY thought it was going to end with an apocalyptic civil war.

    Its still incredible to me that South Africa transitioned reasonably peacefully, and I think Mandela gets all of the credit for that, preaching reconciliation and peace rather than revenge and retribution.

    • scottrj | December 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

      Not to detract from Mandela’s accomplishments in the least, but to give him sole credit for South Africa’s largely peaceful transition from apartheid and its re-entry into the world community gives remarkably short shrift to F.W. deKlerk, who himself displayed remarkable vision and courage. But for someone like him the outcome may well have been radically and tragically different.

      http://www.theguardi...

      • Paul Lukas | December 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm |

        And when de Klerk dies, we can eulogize him too. But for fuck’s sake, Mandela’s body isn’t even cold yet. Let him and his mourners have their day.

      • DJ | December 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

        It always takes two to tango, as it were. And deKlerk does deserve his due. But Mandela held the advantage before and after their deal. And after the election, Mandela and his successors could have reneged on the deal. They didn’t.

  • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

    In a turn of events that will surprise nobody, USA got drawn into a ridiculously tough group for the 2014 World Cup. Time to make it official: The three stars on the US Soccer crest stand for the number of games we play in the World Cup.

    Drawing Germany is bad enough – recall that the 2002 US men’s team missed an almost sure shot at the final game due to an uncalled German handball – but Ghana has also been a consistent thorn in USA’s side. Best-case scenario is Portugal chokes, USA gets lucky against Ghana, and Germany wins huge against everyone.

    • Connie DC | December 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

      Chin up, Scott! Ghana is very good, yes, but beatable by our lads, especially if we can quickly naturalize some surplus Italian defenders. Just a joke, ha-ha. I do worry about the defense, but Howard and Donovan and Dempsey and Bradley and (usually) Altidore are excellent players. Portugal is just an OK team, though their star is stellar, and we might want to arrange for some kind of staph infection on the eve of the Yank-Lusitanian game. A win and a draw might do it.

      Added bonus: This is a good-looking group, uni-wise.

    • superfly | December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

      The groups are really unbalanced, France, Brazil and Argentina appear to have really easy groups, USA, England have tough groups, and not sure how Spain and the Netherlands ended up in the same group.

      • superfly | December 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

        Also, as a former Sacramentan(?), I like the Sacramento Republic kit, classic “sash” design, my only critique would be they should make the bear more prominent, and the star less prominent, on the badge, essentially I would reverse them, or put them both above the lower banner.

      • DJ | December 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

        This seems not to have posted; I’ll try again:

        A while ago, the Netherlands played and beat Indonesia in a friendly. Indonesia’s low ranking took enough of a chunk out of the Netherlands’ so that they finished out of the top seven in the October FIFA rankings (a strength-of-schedule thing). That dropped the Dutch into the pot of European teams, making them vulnerable to just an outcome as happened today.

  • JimWa | December 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm |

    Not many people alive today have ever seen Wrigley Field’s walls without ivy … until now:

    http://www.bleedcubb...

    (it’s only temporary during some tuckpointing work)

  • 1434 | December 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

    That baseball geneaology chart looks awesome, but it is so clunky and that I can’t read a darn thing. Me dumb.

    • Ben | December 7, 2013 at 1:57 am |

      It’s amazing, and I honestly spent like an hour looking at it. That site did a horrible job of displaying the thing, I agree. It makes it unreadable. Just click through to the original post that they’re referencing. (“Get it here” link at the bottom of the article.) Once you go to the source, you can enlarge it as one image and actually follow it.

  • Leo | December 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

    Actually LeBron has been wearing his new model shoe , just with regularity. The picture on the Wall Street Journal, that the issue stems from, shows him wearing the new model http://online.wsj.co...

  • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

    Virginia is tweaking its standard-issue license plates to include the “Virginia Is For Lovers” tourist motto:

    http://wamu.org/news...

    The rest of the plate is unchanged, so it will continue to be among the hardest-to-read plates on the road.

    • ChrisH | December 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm |

      Seems to me that VA also has a high number of personalized plates…probably just one of those perception vs. reality sort of things.

      • arrScott | December 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

        Nah, it’s probably reality. Thing is, Virginia A) Offers a shit-ton of personalized plate options – like, how does a guy like me choose between Parrotheads, Chesapeake Bay, Wildlife Trout, Gadsden Flag, and Washington Capitals? – and B) Hasn’t changed the basic personalized plate fee structure in decades. Most personalized plates cost about $25, so why not get one?

    • Dumb Guy from his iPad | December 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm |

      I grew up in VA and plates were good. Horrible font nowadays.

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | December 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm |

    Mandela-related and uni-related:

    http://p.twimg.com/A...

  • Al Gruwell | December 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm |

    Yes on Hometown Lowdown, and would be glad to write a story about my new hometown, or would gladly do my old area, Iowa, focusing on the Hawkeyes or Cyclones.

    • Al Gruwell | December 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm |

      I guess I should’ve stated my new hometown is Houston.

  • Al | December 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm |

    Is Seattle getting new uniforms for the 2014 baseball season? http://news.sportslo...

  • JohnK | December 7, 2013 at 11:18 am |

    I vote yes for the Hometown Lowdown series. But I have not lived near Baltimore, the home of the Orioles–my first and strongest fan allegiance, for so long that I could not contribute a true hometown view myself.

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