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A good April Fool’s prank should have three elements:
1. Plausibility: It’s something that could be true.
2. Desirability: It’s something you want to be true. (This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something you’d welcome as good news, mind you — it might just be something that flatters your ego by confirming all your worst suspicions about some corner of the world.)
3. Credibility: It’s presented so professionally and with such a poker face that you believe it’s true.
In other words, a good April Fool’s prank is a like a really good-looking girl who somehow singles you out from a room full of strangers, comes on to you, and convinces you that it’s because you’re so damn irresistible. (The point when everyone shouts “April Fool!” is analogous to when you find out that the girl was actually hired by your buddies to mess with your head.)
Of the several uni-related April Fool’s jokes that were foisted yesterday, the one that most successfully met this standard was the Colorado Rapids’ late-afternoon announcement that they’d be wearing 1978 Colorado Caribous uniforms — arguably the best and worst uniform in sports history. It was a brilliant idea, masterfully produced. They had a press release, a bunch of player quotes (my favorite, from Rapids defender Marvell Wynne: “The fringe [on the jersey] reminds me of the whiskers on my cat, Finnegan”), and, as you can see at the top of this page, a ton of really great photos.
It shouldn’t have taken anyone long to figure out that it was a hoax (although the Soccerly site was fooled and ran a story about it, which they later took down), but it was a really good, really fun hoax. Kudos to all involved, and everyone else take note — that’s how it’s done. Too bad it wasn’t true.
Here are some other pranks that were circulating yesterday (I’m sure there were others, but these are the ones I’m aware of):
• Our friends at SportsLogos.net had some fun with the idea the Padres running an “English-language” jersey promotion. Nice job on that one, Chris.
• Remember how I said an April Fool’s hoax has to be plausible? A story about Oregon inking a deal with Under Armour doesn’t pass that test.
• The possibility of NBA jersey ads led to this prank item about Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas wearing a “Pizza Guy” nickNOB.
• Washington football coach Chris Peterson kept a straight face while showing his team some “creative” new uniforms.
• Here’s one about the Springboks — that’s the South African national rugby team — changing to red uniforms. I think the humor in that one is more apparent if you’re a rugby fan, but you have to give them bonus points for including a video.
• Finally, The Onion ran a good item yesterday. Of course, every day is April Fool’s Day for The Onion, but this was still pretty damn good.
And now back to our regularly scheduled reality.
(My thanks to Thom Armitage, Caleb Borchers, Jason Hicks, and Phil for their contributions.)
New Sponsor Shout-Out: We don’t have much NASCAR coverage here at Uni Watch, mainly because it’s not a sport I follow (well, except very occasionally). But it turns out there are some Uni Watch fans in the NASCAR offices, and they see lots of potential in the intersection of their sport and our website. After talking with them, I agree with their assessment.
So for the next month or so — or maybe longer, if things go well — you’ll often be seeing a NASCAR banner ad at the top of the site. (If it’s not there now, just refresh the page. It should show up 50% of the time.) The ad links to NASCAR.com’s “Paint Scheme Preview” page, which shows all the new car paint designs for the coming weekend and is updated each Wednesday. I’ve given the NASCAR folks a little feedback on how to make the page more Uni Watch-friendly (and will continue to do so), so check it out — even if you’re not a NASCAR fan, you’ll likely find it interesting.
The NASCAR folks and I have also discussed some other potential partnerships. I hope to have more news on that soon.
PermaRec update: An artist who paints over the people in old snapshots to make them look like ghosts (as shown at right) is the subject of the latest entry on Permanent Record.
Book deal reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, our friends at Diversion Books have another exclusive offer for Uni Watch readers: The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers, which is the definitive text on MLB skippers. It’s a great book (I first read it about 10 years ago), and Uni Watch readers can now download the e-version for only $2.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price.
Baseball News: The Mariners appeared to have some serious NOB kerning issues last night. Here’s another view — not good (from Phil and Mitch Mirsky). … “A few years ago my buddies began collecting signatures to petition the Padres to change the team colors back to brown,” says Brady Phelps. “On Monday night we went to Petco Park and they delivered the signatures to the Padres’ Chief Marketing Officer, Wayne Partello. Pretty cool of him to tweet it.” … Oh baby, this is too good to be true: rare footage of Duke Ellington playing baseball (big thanks, Phil). … Jonathan Daniel turned up some pure uni gold: a 1976 Little League parade! … The Red Sox gave President Obama a jersey with an NOB during their visit to the White House yesterday. … During that same White House visit, Johnny Gomes followed through on his threat/promise to dress like a clown. … Here’s a ranking of all 30 MLB parks, from worst to first (thanks, Brinke). … Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak and his wife tweeted a uni-based pregnancy announcement the other day — nice (from Brad Iverson-Long). … After a bunch of protests, the sports bar in the Cardinals’ new Ballpark Village has changed its dress code (from Brice Wallace). … According to The Wall Street Journal, a Mets fan got very lucky on Monday. … Oh baby, it doesn’t get much better than this breathtaking 1952 portrait of Satchel Paige (big thanks to Marc Gilbert). … This year’s All-Star Game BP jerseys have leaked via video game (from Harrison Tishler). … Yesterday I showed you how the Orioles’ new Tom Clancy memorial patch looks on the team’s home jersey. Here are the road and alternate versions. I’m still reeling from all the thought and energy they put into this one (thanks, Phil). … “Diamondbacks announcers Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly said Paul Goldschmidt’s trademark is having his ear bent under his batting helmet,” says intern Mike Chamernik. “Brenly said, ‘It’s part of his approach. It’s uncomfortable. It makes him mad so he’ll take it out on the baseball.’ No idea if that’s the truth.” … The Dodgers, who had worn their new alternate road grays for two of their first three games, wore their primary grays last night.
College Football News: Here’s a mother lode of college football program covers, with the biggest emphasis from the early 1920s through the early 1960s. Have fun poking around in there (big thanks to Andy Moursund). … Also from Andy: this very cool football jersey alphabet! … New gear for Akron.
Soccer News: The USA away jersey for the World Cup, which had already been leaked, has now been officially unveiled. And Trevor Williams thinks they would have been better off going with this polo design. … Great piece about the typography on England’s World Cup kit (from David Wilson). … Funny story about the 1994 USA “denim” kit (thanks, Phil).
NBA News: Sounds like an April Fool but it’s not: The Kings are going to host the Lakers will wear Hindi jerseys tonight as part of a Bollywood Night promotion. This is part of the Kings’ recent outreach to the Indian market. … The Lakers still haven’t fixed the problem of their inconsistent 6s (great screen shot by Joey Artigue).
College Hoops News: We all knew the NCAA doesn’t allow cups or bottles featuring the logos of companies that aren’t official tournament sponsors. But it turns out that they don’t allow any unauthorized beverage vessels — not even a coffee mug with some cats on it. Douchebags. … Here’s a 10-minute video clip showing UTEP’s mid-1980s untucked jerseys (from Jolinko Lassiter). … Here’s a video of the Women’s Final Four floor being installed. “Some graphic elements look to have been inspired by Hatch Show Print, which is now located next door to the arena at the Country Music Hall of Fame complex,” notes Lee David Wilds. … “This year, a local Winona, Minnesota merchandise vendor won’t just be pumping out official Final Four merchandise but will also produce in-game towels as well as other personalized items,” says Mark Medinger.
Grab Bag: New logo set for Austin Peay University. “Reminds me of Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly,” says Lee David Wilds. … Sweaty clothing may not stink as much in the future, thanks to a new technique developed by Kodak. If nothing else, this could revolutionize the environment of hockey locker rooms (from Tommy Turner). … Big congrats to Two Buckaroo impresario Heather McCabe, whose $2 bill obsession is featured in this article in today’s New York Times.