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Amidst all the Super Bowl-related media events, fan events, industry events, corporate events, promotional events, sponsor events, and events for the sake of having events, there’s only one event that has held any interest for me: Animal Planet’s media party for the Puppy Bowl, which I was lucky enough to attend last night.
The little fella I was holding in that shot is named David. He won’t be appearing in the Puppy Bowl (and neither will any of the other puppies in the photo set I’m about to show you), but that’s okay. Pretty much any puppy is fine by me, and they had lots of them on hand last night.
The party, which included tailgating-style games, a puppy locker room, assorted Puppy Bowl memorabilia displays, a stadium-style “playing field” (complete with scoreboard), and — of course — a gift shop, was held at Discovery Times Square in Manhattan. You can go there and see the whole thing for yourself — for free, even! — for the rest of this week (although you probably won’t be treated to an open bar or hors d’oeuvres presented on gridiron-themed serving trays like I was). It’s fun. Go!
Before we get to the rest of the photos: I’m going to have two Super Bowl-related ESPN columns this week, one of which — about how cold weather affects equipment choices — is now up. Not sure when the other one will be posted — maybe today, maybe tomorrow.
Now then, here are more photos from last night’s event (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):
My thanks to the Animal Planet folks for inviting me; to Uni Watch reader Dan Murphy, who recognized me and said hi; and to the very nice woman named Emily (didn’t get her last name, alas) who took the photo of me and David.
Baseball News: MLB, following through on a long-simmering idea, has approved optional padded caps for pitchers. The padding, which will increase the weight of a cap from about three ounces to 10 ounces, will be sewn into the standard 5950s by New Era. Interestingly, Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who was badly injured by a line drive to the head in 2012 and has been lobbying for the development of padded headwear for pitchers, says he doesn’t like this version of the cap and won’t be wearing it, which is the kind of negative endorsement that will likely keep lots of other pitchers from giving the cap a try. Still, it’s a good step. The more interesting question is whether the protective caps will become popular — or mandatory — in youth leagues. … HydroGraphics, the company that has revolutionized college football helmets, is getting into the batting helmet game, as seen with these “black satin” helmets (whatever that means) for Oregon State (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a good piece about the story behind the Reno Aces’ name (from R. Scott Rogers). … Last week I showed a photo of Claudell Washington’s double-decker FNOB from 1974. Now I have a much larger, higher-res scan of that photo (big thanks to Doug McWilliams, who took the photo). … 100th-season cap logo for the U. of Florida (from Ryan Bohannon). … Steve Beck bought a new Cubs authentic cap and was surprised to discover that it’s a lighter shade of blue than an older Cubs authentic in his collection. According to the MLB Style Guide, the Cubs have had the same official shade of blue — Pantone 294 — at least since 2000, and probably for longer than that, so I figured the color difference between Steve’s caps was just a case of lousy quality control by New Era. But it turns out that the 2014 caps listed for sale on MLB.com really do look lighter than the pre-2014 caps. Hmmmm.
NFL News: Here’s the best article I’ve ever seen about the origins of the Seahawks’ logo. Highly recommended (big thanks to my old zine comrade Steve Mandich). … Bed Bath & Beyond is selling a line of mini-fridges with throwback NFL team logos (from Jon Solomonson). … Here’s a pretty funny Terry Bradshaw sneaker commercial from 1979 (from Harry Michelson). … Here’s a slideshow of NFL players in the “wrong” uniforms (from Ryan Rodriguez). … “I was driving home on Monday across the George Washington Bridge [insert obligatory Chris Christie joke here — PL],” says Alex Putelo. “They must have been running a test, because the main cables were lit up in Super Bowl colors — lime green on the New York side and orange on the New Jersey side. Also, the Empire State Building has been featuring Seahawks and Broncos colors all week.” … Some people see Jesus in a grilled-cheese sandwich, but reader Dave Bloomquist sees a Seahawks logo in his bathroom sink. … The South Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey is getting in the Super Bowl spirit (from Vince Serritella). … As you’ve probably heard by now, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will wear a Texas Rangers uni on a baseball card this season. … New Jersey Transit has workers — or maybe volunteers..? — wearing Super Bowl-themed jerseys (from Eric Wright). … You’re probably already sick of this year’s Super Bowl, which makes this a perfect time to show you next year’s Super Bowl logo on a football.
Hockey News: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was wearing an NFL base-layer shirt for a postgame interview the other night (from Ryan Evans). … Yesterday was Bell Let’s Talk Day in Canada, a promotion designed to raise awareness of mental illness. The Jets marked the day by wearing Rick Rypien warm-up jerseys. Rypien, who had a history of depression, committed suicide shortly after signing with the Jets in 2011. … Can someone explain why Cal Clutterbuck of the Islanders was apparently wearing blackface during a team practice? I’m assuming there has to be a rational explanation, but I can’t imagine what it would be (from Mike Engle).
Basketball News: Whoa, check out the warm-up pants worn by Alvan Adams of the Suns in 1976. “Very ’70s!” says Leo Strawn Jr. … Pink jerseys upcoming this Friday and Saturday for the Idaho Stampede of the D-League (from Brad Iverson-Long). … Throwbacks on tap this weekend for Kent State. … La Salle is adding a memorial patch for Tom Gola.
Grab Bag: The South African National Football Association, or Bafana Bafana, is switching from Puma to Nike (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s a look at the USA’s two-man bobsled — not the uniforms but the bobsled design itself — for the upcoming Olympics. … Speaking of the Olympics, here’s an infographic of Olympics trivia. … And here’s a slideshow of notable Olympics uniforms that have been released so far (from Peter Schultz). … New athletics branding for East Carolina. Further info here (from RJ “Rick James” B). … New kit sponsor for Irish rugby (from Josh Jacobs). … Teams at the University of Illinois Springfield will still be called the Prairie Stars after all (from Nick Yelverton). … R. Scott Rogers has just discovered that Greneda, where he and his wife will soon be traveling, has outlawed the wearing camouflage by civilians. “Which I guess means I have to leave my digital-camo Nats cap at home,” says Scott. “Darn!” … Best photo of the day (well, except maybe for me with the pooch) comes from Mike B., who sent along this spectacular 1930 shot of ski jumpers wearing some killer sweaters — and neckties!