Bizarre scene last night in San Antonio, as Spurs guard Manu Ginóbili’s left sneaker gave out (or, in the somewhat hyperbolic parlance of the broadcasters in the video shown above, “exploded”) in the midst of a play. Never seen anything like that before.
The best part: The footwear in question was made by you-know-who. So when Deadspin covered this incident last night, someone immediately posted the following comment: “Somewhere in Bangladesh, Phil Knight is pimp-slapping the shit out of some 11-year-old workers over this.” Well played.
It’s worth noting, by the way, that not so long ago, the only video of this that we’d be able to see would be some shaky camcorder footage that someone took of his TV, and we’d only be able to see it for maybe half a day before the NBA told YouTube to take it down. But the video shown above is actually from the NBA’s own YouTube channel, which just goes to show how uni-related follies have become part of the sports world’s firmament.
Meanwhile: Interesting move yesterday by the White Sox, who announced that last year’s Sunday throwback — the 1983 beach blanket design — has been redesignated as an alternate uni and can be worn anytime, not just on Sundays.
A few notes on this:
• This breaks a small run of Sunday throwbacks that the Sox had worn over the past few years. They went with 1972 throwbacks in 2012 and the ’83 throwbacks in 2013. At first I thought, “Hmmm, guess they couldn’t find a good throwback from a year ending in a ‘4’ for this season,” but then I looked up the designs from 1934 and 1944, either of which would have been an awesome choice for this year’s throwback. Too bad they didn’t go that route.
• Although the Sox are keeping the same ’83 jersey and pants, they’re changing the cap. Instead of the period-appropriate “Sox” cap, which they wore with the throwback last season, they’re going to use the new alternate BP cap (see photo above) that was released a few weeks ago. As several folks have already noted, this effectively transforms the throwback into a fauxback.
• The ’83 design, which actually debuted in ’82, was the product of a design contest in which the Sox invited fans to submit new uniform designs for the team. The winner was a guy named Richard Launius, who went on to become a game designer. (I wrote an ESPN column about all of this a few years ago.) It’s interesting to see a fan-designed uni re-entering the team’s official wardrobe during the same period when other fan-created designs are getting more attention from teams, from video game companies, and so on. I’m sure that timing is just coincidence (in fact, I suspect most members of the Chisox’s current management team have no idea that the ’83 design came about as the result of a fan contest), but it still feels very apropos.
PermaRec update: Did you ever buy a used LP with someone else’s name scribbled on it? Longtime Uni Watch reader Jeff Ash decided it was time to track down the person whose name was written on his copy of a Beatles LP (shown at right), which got me thinking about the larger issue of names written on LPs, all of which forms the basis of the latest entry on the Permanent Record blog.
Also, in case you missed it, Tuesday’s entry was about the most perfect Uni Watch T-shirt idea ever. You don’t want to miss this — check it out here.
Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.
Baseball News: Are the Red Sox wearing championship patches this season, or are they just for retail? I contacted the team and I’m waiting for an answer (thanks, Thomas Adjemian). … Lots of throwback-ish alternate jerseys on tap this season for the Brooklyn Cyclones. … The Cubs have a wall of their old logos at their spring training stadium (from Tyler Kepner). … This is pretty amazing: The first fantasy baseball player was, arguably Woodrow Wilson! (Big thanks to David Wilson.) … Florida Southern College wore new road jerseys in its annual game against the Detroit Tigers on Tueday (from Wayne Koehler). … Oregon wore softball-esque unis Tuesday night. “They look odd, but that’s something we’ve come to expect in Eugene,” says James Hays. … Jon Kinneman came across this 1939 photo of the International League’s Baltimore Orioles. … Adam Weisenburger, a Brewers catcher, has, expectedly, a great NOB (from Phil). … Also from Phil: “This is 100% real. And it’s why spring training is 100% awesome.” … The Reds’ St. Patrick’s Day jersey is different than the one they previously unveiled. … The Dodgers have a pretty clever new Twitter avatar (thanks, Brice Wallace). … “I work at a group of radio stations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and we we clearing out the attic of the building today when we found a bunch of old baseball (or softball) uniforms,” says Lukas Hoffland. “Apparently, one of the stations had a team for fun back in what we think were the early 1980s.”
NFL News: Ravens S Matt Elam is considering changing his jersey number to No. 33 in honor of his father (from Phil). … The Cowboys are the most popular team for women’s merchandise, and it’s partially due to Jerry Jones fighting the NFL Trust almost two decades ago (from Tommy Turner).
Hockey News: The ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers will wear Spiderman jerseys this Saturday. … Richard Stover found a few old NHL ads for United Airlines. I’ve always dug the California/Oakland Golden Seals/Seals logo. What a franchise. … Alabama-Huntsville is the only D1 hockey team in the South, which can make for some logistically challenging road trips.
Soccer News: Scotland revealed its new kits for 2016 Euro qualifying. … Adidas will stop selling Brazil World Cup T-shirts that “encourage sexual tourism.” … Bafana Bafana, the South African national team, has a new all-white away kit (from Yusuke Toyoda). … A designer is creating different Columbus Crew crests daily for the entire month of February (from Jennifer Schrum). … Hard Rock Casino will become the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies’ jersey-front sponsor. … New away kit for France (from Trevor Williams).
NBA News: The Kroll Show has a character called Young Larry Bird and they remixed the Celtics’ logo to promote it on Twitter (from Brian Mazmanian). … Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde sat courtside at last night’s Clippers game, and Wilde wore a cap with an upside-down Clippers logo on it (from Phil). … The Bulls will wear sleeved green jerseys for St. Patrick’s Day. … Heat players received WWE title belts yesterday. Once LeBron got his, special guest referee Triple H Pedigreed him and gave the belt to Randy Orton.
College Hoops News: OSU’s Marcus Smart wore No. 43 Tuesday night (instead of his usual 33) because a team manager left his jersey at home (from Jeff Downe). … Reese’s will print college basketball designs on its peanut butter cups for the NCAA Tournament (from Phil). … Testudo, the University of Maryland’s mascot, has a new state flag-themed get-up (from Yusuke Toyoda).
Grab Bag: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Sam Lam conducted a good interview with that guy who’s doing the “Great moments in Cleveland sports disappointments” coloring book. … Think you wear a lot of team apparel? Probably not as much as this guy. … Peter Sgouros’s college was giving away a different kind of “Aesthetic” T-shirt. … A designer has proposed a new super-simplified logo for Twitter. … Here’s a very nice shot of old tennis ball cans (from Kurt Esposito).