One Small Step for a Team, and Possibly One Giant Leap (off a cliff) for the NBA

Let’s get the basic stuff out of the way quickly: The Hornets unveiled their new uniforms yesterday (there’s a good slideshow on this page). I like the home design quite a bit; I’m less fond of the road and alternate designs. You can get a fuller sense of my thoughts in this ESPN piece that I wrote right after the unveiling. (It’s worth noting, by the way, that the final designs are essentially the same as the descriptions and mock-ups that were leaked here on Uni Watch back in January.)

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Arguably the most interesting aspect of the design — at least for people like us, if not for the more casual fan — is the placement of the NBA logo. As you can see above, it’s on the back of the jersey instead of in its familiar upper-chest position. Almost immediately, readers started asking if this was a league-wide thing, and some conspiracy-minded folks began suggesting that it was probably a way to clear more space on the front of the jersey for Adam Silver’s cherished advertising patches.

My initial reaction to this was skepticism. By my count, 18 of the 30 NBA teams have a team logo in that same spot, so those teams presumably wouldn’t be able to put the league logo there. Either that or all those teams would need to revise their rear-jersey designs pronto.

I asked the Hornets if the logo placement was a Charlotte-exclusive thing, or a league-wide thing, or an optional thing, or what. Their communications director told me he hadn’t even noticed the change. He said he’d look into it but was, understandably, a bit busy yesterday (the Hornets had a lot of promotional events tied to the unveiling), and I never heard back from him.

So I also asked the NBA. Didn’t hear anything for several hours, but then in the late afternoon a league official pointed me toward a just-posted Bloomberg News story indicating that the league logo was moving to the back of all jerseys next season for “stylistic reasons.”

As you can see, the Bloomberg article hints at a connection between the logo repositioning and the eventual rise of jersey advertising, but that’s all it is — a hint, a speculation. So I asked if the league could comment on that speculation, and/or if the league could explain a bit more about the “stylistic reasons” that led to the change. I was told that there would be no further comment.

I also asked if the teams that currently have a team logo on the rear neckline would be scrapping those logos and replacing them with the NBA mark. “Yes,” I was told. The Nets announced that they’d be doing just that a few hours later. (I summarized all this in this ESPN news story.)

So that’s where we stand. From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, the logo doesn’t work well on the back. Yeah, MLB puts its logo in that same spot, but the MLB logo is horizontal, while the NBA logo is vertical. It pushes the NOB and number down too far. Of course, teams that have put their own logos in that spot had already moved their NOBs down too far, but now the whole league will be doing it.

On the plus side, the fronts of the Hornets’ jerseys look nice and clean without the added clutter of the league logo, although I’d say the improvement on the front doesn’t match the diminishment on the back.

More importantly, the jerseys might soon have a new kind of clutter, in the form of ad patches. Last we heard, those had been back-burnered, but maybe they’re back in play, which of course would be tremendously disappointing.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Corporate advertising on uniforms is completely unacceptable. The uniform already stands for a brand — the team’s brand. There’s a difference between profit and greed. The world already has too much advertising, and the NBA isn’t exactly hurting for cash. If you agree, contact the league, contact your team, tweet at them, the whole bit, and tell them #NoUniAds.

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Magazine reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, you can now order your favorite magazines from the Uni Watch Magazine Shop. Full details here.

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’Skins Watch: The Seattle Times is the latest newspaper to boycott the ’Skins name. They have lots of company in that regard. … More former ’Skins players weighing in on the name issue: Joe Theismann seems to have accepted that a name change is inevitable and Chris Cooley thinks it’s all about “white liberal guilt” (from Phil and Tommy Turner, respectively). … People have been joking about changing the team’s logo to a redskin potato for at least 27 years — and it still isn’t funny (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Really good piece on the history of Chief Wahoo — recommended reading (from Robert Silverman).

Baseball News: July 4 will be the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech, so MLB teams will be wearing this patch (further details here). This is the second time that MLB has uni-commemorated Gehrig’s speech — back in 2009, teams wore this patch on July 4. … There’s a Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park. Check out the scene there two nights ago (thanks, Phil). … Lots of U.S. Marines baseball team jerseys shown in this discussion thread (from Jonathan Daniel). … Ripken Stadium has repainted its outfield wall “Ripken Orange.” Photo here and here (thanks, Phil). … The Cubs’ latest throwbacks, to be worn this Sunday, will be from 1953 (thanks, Phil). … Congressman Tim Bishop’s district — which happens to be the Long Island district I grew up in — includes the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, so he’ll be wearing one of their baseball jerseys for next week’s Congressional baseball game (from John Kimmerlein). … The County of San Diego has re-installed its giant Tony Gwynn jersey (from Brady Phelps). … A couple of Mississippi players were dressed up a Ninja turtles last night (from Coleman Mullins). … A new bar in Minneapolis is using a Mets-inspired logo. “The bridge shown in the logo is the Stone Arch Bridge,” says Sara Schieve.

NFL News: The Steelers will have a memorial patch for Chuck Noll, although there’s no design yet. I’m a bit surprised that they’re going with a patch instead of a helmet decal, since their jerseys already have the team logo patch, plus they’ll be wearing the Super Bowl IX anniversary patch for one game. That’s gonna be a very crowded jersey. Good thing the Steelers don’t use captaincy patches. … The Silverdome is being sold off piece by piece.

College Football News: Interesting piece about the psychological thinking that went into Kansas Wesleyan’s new uniforms (from Chris Mycoskie). … Eastern Michigan’s new field is gray. Woof!

Hockey News: “I was at Disneyland recently,” says Hiatt Werling. “On the wall of one of the buildings in Tomorrowland, there’s a hockey player in an old Mighty Ducks jersey, which I thought was a funny little wink to Disney’s old sports enterprise. The baseball player in dark blue and periwinkle could possibly be an allusion to the Disney-owned Anaheim Angels as well.” … Speaking of the Ducks, new mask in the works for Frederik Andersen. “Is the sweater the Lego-man is wearing a sign of things to come for Anaheim’s sweaters?” wonders Kyle Snoke.

NBA News: The Hornets weren’t the only NBA team making news yesterday. The Rockets unveiled a new secondary logo. Insert “home run” jokes here. Or human resources.

Soccer News: You’ve heard of postgame jersey swaps? Here’s a new one, at least to me: a pants swap (thanks, Phil). … Arjen Robben of the Netherlands wears orange tape in place of his wedding band. “Using the right hand for the wedding band is consistent with European custom,” says Mike Engle. … Speaking of the Netherlands, Memphis Depay wears his first name on his jersey as a tribute to his mother. “His Ghanian father left his Dutch mother when he was four years old,” says Michael Duffy. … Drew Arnson notes that Puma’s World Cup jerseys seem to be more form-fitting than the other manufacturers’. … Here’s a look at hidden symbols in World Cup uniforms (thanks, Phil). … The remaining items in this section are all from Yusuke Toyoda: Wesley Morris of Grantland has done a World Cup sartorial review. … FIFA has banned Beats by Dre headphones from World Cup venues, which may have helped their popularity. … Hee’s a story on how the soccer replica jersey market was created in 1974.

Grab Bag: Here’s an interesting case of mistaken identity. … Does Germany need a new flag? One German thinks so. … One of the many reasons I love Wisconsin: supper clubs. Now there’s a movie about them (big thanks to Lance Smith). … The MLL All-Star Game will feature blackout uniforms (from John Ogle). … Here’s a close look at a helmet that a guy designed for his fantasy football team (from Adam Francis Duffy).

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Outta here: Tomorrow morning the New Girl and I will be flying off to Nova Scotia, where we’ll be spending the next week or so. I won’t be checking email much while I’m away, if at all. Phil will run the site in my absence, and an exciting program of content has already been planned for your reading enjoyment.

Enjoy the summer solstice, and be nice to Phil, Garrett, Mike, and Ek while I’m gone. I’ll be back in the saddle on June 29 — see you then.

 

134 comments to One Small Step for a Team, and Possibly One Giant Leap (off a cliff) for the NBA

  • Coleman | June 20, 2014 at 7:49 am |

    Fair winds and following seas, Paul!

  • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 7:49 am |

    Here’s a couple pictures of Ripken Stadium with the Ripken Orange wall.

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 7:58 am |

      Thanks. Now added to Ticker.

      • scott | June 20, 2014 at 9:12 am |

        Just to be clear, that’s the Cal Ripken League field, not the minor league stadium that is home to the Aberdeen IronBirds, right? They are both part of the same complex of ballfields.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 9:34 am |

          This press release suggests it’s for the main Ripken Stadium (even though it confusingly mentions Ripken Baseball and “elite youth baseball”). The “378” marker is definitely the IronBirds stadium, right?

        • scott | June 20, 2014 at 10:27 am |

          Yup, you are right. The photo puzzled me because the Camden-esque hotel that provides the backdrop for the youth league stadium isn’t visible from the seating bowl at the minor league park.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 11:11 am |

          It’s a weird angle – that’s the right-centerfield wall but looking towards leftfield, and because of the perspective, the hotel looks like it’s right on top of the field.

    • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 11:17 am |

      Here’s another article with pictures. It’s Ripken Stadium, the home of the IronBirds (as was mentioned above).

  • BurghFan | June 20, 2014 at 8:01 am |

    Do the stripes on the sides of the new Hornets’ unis qualify as “pinstripes”, or are they too wide?

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 8:09 am |

      I wouldn’t call them pinstripes. But the team says they’re meant to evoke the pins on the original unis.

  • Mark | June 20, 2014 at 8:02 am |

    Didn’t the NBA have some rule that didn’t allow alternate jerseys during the first year of a “re-branding,” and isn’t that why the Pelicans and/or Nets didn’t feature alternates in their first seasons with their new looks? Did something change or is there something I’m missing?

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 8:10 am |

      That’s what the Pelicans said when they did their unveiling. But I had never heard of that rule before, and obviously it didn’t apply to the Hornets.

      So, yeah, maybe that was just bullshit.

      • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 8:30 am |

        Yeah, the Suns rebranded last year and introduced an orange alternate, so I think the “no alts in year one” is just bullshit.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 8:51 am |

          The “rule” was probably just bullshit, but the rationale may have still been right – both the Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets were brand new identities – although the Hornets are technically a rebrand, they’re pretending to carry on an existing identity.

          So it kinda makes sense that the Pelicans and the Nets wanted to establish their new colors before introducing an alternate, while the colors and the names were already familiar to Phoenix and Charlotte fans.

        • scott | June 20, 2014 at 9:14 am |

          Didn’t the Mets also go strictly with home whites and road grays when they rebranded, but then introduced home and road blue softball jerseys in subsequent years?

        • James Burke | June 20, 2014 at 9:18 am |

          >implying the Mets ever “rebranded”

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 9:20 am |

          @scott, no; they had two home uniforms (off-white pinstripes and white pinstripeless alternates) and retained the black alts for two occasions (John Franco night and Edgardo Alfonzo night).

        • scott | June 20, 2014 at 10:31 am |

          I don’t consider those black uniforms true alts, though, because they were just worn for a special occasion or two. So my initial comment, that the Mets rebranding only had standard white and gray uniforms, holds true.

        • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 10:58 am |

          The Mets have never “rebranded.” Please stop using that term.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 11:16 am |

          @scott, again, no; even without the black alts they had two home uniforms, not just one; the “standard” off-white pinstripes and the white alternates.

  • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 8:54 am |

    In fact, outside official functions, the only place you’ll see [the German flag] flying in Germany is in allotment gardens, the small plots tucked along railroad rights of way, tended by the sort of Germans who wear socks with their sandals.

    Wait, isn’t that *all* Germans?

    • arrScott | June 20, 2014 at 9:55 am |

      His point about how Germans don’t much fly their flag struck me as sort of odd. Nobody in Europe much flies their national flags. If you’re an American travelling anywhere in Europe, one of the first things you’ll notice is the dearth of flags. We stick American flags everywhere, so that we don’t even notice their ubiquity until we go someplace that basically looks like America only without the flags. It’s like something out of a documentary about the world after people. Government offices in Europe don’t always fly the national flag!

      The exceptions being on whatever holiday a given country has that’s the equivalent of our July 4 and during the World Cup and Euro tournaments. Then for a few days Europe looks like America. Holland even more so, since the Dutch often fly two flags, the national flag and a solid orange banner.

      • DenverGregg | June 20, 2014 at 10:30 am |

        Given what happened in Europe from 1914 1789 through 1945, an abundance of national flags would be quite grotesque.

        • walter | June 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

          We Germans are a warlike people, despite what you might have heard on The Simpsons. I think the current horizontal tricolor flag is the only banner that associates Germans with peace. I have a hard time imagining why anyone would want to change it.

        • DenverGregg | June 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm |

          I’ve got Saxons* in my family tree and their wrath in my veins. I’m familiar with the violent history of the first and second reichs.

          *Famously described in the 16th century as the most hot-headed and drunken of all the various German peoples. Fortunately I also have Swiss and Swabian ancestry to mitigate those innate characteristics a bit.

      • timmy b | June 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

        Truth be told, from what I’ve seen on my annual trips to Canada, Canadians seem to be just about as flag happy as Americans. The Maple Leaf flies at the front of many residences, businesses, plants/factories, government buildings (provincial and federal) just like they do here in the States.

        So maybe this flag fetish is a NORTH American thing?

        • Will S | June 21, 2014 at 8:16 am |

          I don’t travel much but in my few travels to various places in the States and Canada, there are many, many times more U.S. national flags up than Canadian national flags here in Canada.
          While every government building has a Canadian flag flying only a small percentage of businesses have the maple leaf flying, and a miniscule percentage of residences have the maple leaf flying.

      • Phil P | June 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm |

        I can definitely attest to that, not much flag waving except to support the team (as I witnessed in Portugal in 2008 during the Euro)

      • Chris Cruz | June 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm |

        In 2006 you couldn’t open your eyes (at least in the major cities that were hosting World Cup matches) without seeing flag on shirts, flags on hats, and flags themselves. The Germans seemed to really enjoy wrapping themselves in the flag that summer. Perhaps it was because it was their first opportunity to feel comfortable doing so.

        • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm |

          Well, since the 40s anyway.

    • Connie DC | June 20, 2014 at 9:57 am |

      “…… Does Germany need a new flag? One German thinks so. … ”

      No, he doesn’t, actually. If you read the article, you’ll see that he (amusingly) comes to the conclusion that the flag is a good match for a country anxious about flags. His final paragraph alludes (loyally) to the historic origins of black-red-gold in the 1848 liberal uprising.

    • arrScott | June 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm |

      This graphic claims to depict various designs that were considered when the German republic was being reestablished. Supposedly drawn from a museum exhibit. Some, um, interesting designs.

      • DenverGregg | June 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

        Oooh! Thanks. The only thing better than vexillology is hypothetical vexillology.

        • arrScott | June 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm |

          I’m a huge fan of flag designs for secessionist movements that never happened. I mean, sure, the Basque have a nice flag and all, but they’ve actually fought for and might someday achieve independence. I’m talking things like Western Canada or the state of Jefferson. Probably the most successful example is the Conch Republic flag.

          Alas, as far as I can tell, advocates of Northern Virginia statehood have not proposed a flag.

        • DenverGregg | June 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

          It was a bit disappointing that the recent North Colorado movement didn’t have a flag for its partisans to rally round.

          The proposed state of Absaroka had a very drab banner.

        • BvK1126 | June 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm |

          Personally, I’m fascinated by the Absaroka flag. It has all kinds of uni-notable things going on. First off, it’s GFGS, about 70 years ahead of the trend. It also has what looks essentially like a uni number in an interesting sans serif Varsity-style font.

  • StLMarty | June 20, 2014 at 8:59 am |

    “Home Run”?
    My first thought was Bad Brains.

    • MEANS | June 20, 2014 at 9:06 am |

      well played sir, gotta keep that P.M.A.

  • Seth H | June 20, 2014 at 9:06 am |

    Tim Bishop’s district does not include the USMMA. The USMMA is in Kings Point, which is in Steve Israel’s district.

  • A Proud Native American | June 20, 2014 at 9:18 am |

    My take on the issue that’s been taking up your comments section for months:

    I think Snyder is an asshole, but it’s for other reasons. I do not believe the name Redskins is offensive, and unlike you, I’m in the group that’s being “offended.” Certainly, no new team would call themselves that. But Snyder and co. have tradition to lean on to justify keeping the name, especially considering the team’s many supporters who would leave if there was a change. This might be the one fact many people tend to ignore. By changing the name Redskins, the team would be alienating many of their long-time fans. I certainly wouldn’t buy tickets to see the “Washington Warriors” or whatever they choose.

    Of course, if the team keeps losing, they won’t be the Washington Redskins in ten years. They’ll be the Oklahoma City something-or-other.

    By the way, I’ll also mention that you should at least try to give both sides equal time in this argument.

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 9:23 am |

      If you’re even vaguely familiar with this website, then you know that I give plenty of time to both sides of the argument. Thanks for your input.

    • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 9:26 am |

      Hmmm… You really think Washington-area fans would stop buying tickets and merchandise if the team changed its name? Not that they wouldn’t be upset about it, but being upset with something and completely abandoning it are two different things.

      Would the economic loss to the franchise that would result from a name change outweigh the economic loss that is already resulting, and will continue to result, from not changing the name?

      That’s really the only question that matters.

      • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 9:39 am |

        I’m sure some fans will abandon the team.

        But then, there are people in the DC area who dislike the name and wouldn’t think of supporting them as the ‘Skins (like me!).

        And then there’s the generations-long waiting list for season ticket that would hardly feel a dent if some hardcores desert the team. People will just hashtag their tweets #httw or #htts and keep setting themselves up for disappointment every fall.

      • Robert S | June 20, 2014 at 11:04 am |

        Let’s say they did change their name, complete with new logo, new name, new uniforms, etc. I would think those would sell pretty well, wouldn’t they? I am assuming most new logo-gear sells, at least, above average than a previous logo-gear item would.

        I am not that familiar with how selling gear gets the NFL X% and the Washington franchise X%, but if I were Snyder, I would change it just for the cash.

        Shoot, maybe Snyder can work out a deal with the NFL. The NFL pays for any and all rebranding costs for franchise and this can all go away…. Probably not.

        • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 11:42 am |

          That’s just it… new gear will sell perfectly fine, and the current stuff is going to keep selling quite well too, because fans will buy it in support of the name. Regardless of whether the name *should* be changed or not, it’s in their best financial interests to drag it out as long as possible.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 11:42 am |

          Someone tried to do the math on the costs and benefits of a name change. The basic takeaway is that for a team valued at $1.7 billion and taking in tens of millions of dollars in licensing, it wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but there would be a definite gain in goodwill.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 11:45 am |

          it’s in their best financial interests to drag it out as long as possible

          Is it though? Even if a few million here and a few million there are just pocket change, they’re still paying high-priced IP attorneys, publicists and lobbyists to drag this out. Those are billable hours that would disappear if they changed the name today.

    • Jeremiah | June 20, 2014 at 9:40 am |

      I think the Washington franchise would do fine. Fans will buy whatever they sell. I have no experience listening to Cooley, but he couldn’t have come off as more childish than he did in that segment from his show. It sounded like a tantrum he threw after being sent to his room. He should come back when he’s ready to speak like an adult.

      • Steve B. | June 20, 2014 at 10:11 am |

        I’m a Cooley fan and have always enjoyed him, but I would agree with your take. His comments about banning the Chargers name sounded downright silly.

    • Steve B. | June 20, 2014 at 10:02 am |

      Even if Daniel Snyder secretly wanted to change the name (which I highly doubt), he wouldn’t willingly do so. The fanbase HATES him, like a special hate that would only otherwise exist if the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles joined together to create a triple-axis of evil. With that being said, he does not want to do even more to turn this fanbase against him. If the name is going to be changed anytime soon, I would imagine the NFL would have to work out a way for Snyder to do so while saving face.

      • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 10:34 am |

        Right – I think his apparent stubbornness is all about appealing to the fanbase. The nickname controversy is about the only thing keeping the fans from raising pitchforks.

        He’ll eventually cave, but he’ll do it kicking and screaming.

        Point of note – Dan Snyder once owned the rights to the name “Washington Warriors” (you can search the term on the USPTO website). This was ostensibly for a potential Arena Football team that he owned the territorial rights to, but this was back in 2002, after the Redskins trademark was canceled the first time, so a lot of people thought this was a fallback in case the appeal failed.

        Now the trademark belongs to some guy in Virginia who’s running this Kickstarter project.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 10:34 am |

          Crap, sorry about the bad hyperlinking.

        • Steve B. | June 20, 2014 at 10:47 am |

          As a ‘Skins fan, I really hope the name is not changed to Warriors. I’ve never been a fan of alliterative team names. I would prefer Americans or Potomacs or Natives.

        • Dan B. | June 20, 2014 at 11:01 am |

          Just wanted to chime in. I also like the name “Natives”. I’m a huge fan of the team. I like Natives because it’s unique from all the colleges and schools that changed from Redskins to “Warriors” or “Redhawks” etc. The uniform itself wasn’t disparaging to Native American people, so find a name that isn’t negative and keep the same logo, etc. Plus, “Hail to the Natives” still works in the song.

          The only argument I find without merit on the change side is the “If it offends one person it’s worth changing”. I’m sure there are individuals who would find offense in every single team name. If tall people didn’t like the “Giants” nickname or people against labor unions didn’t like “Philadelphia Union” or someone used 9/11 to say “NY Jets” is offsensive. Again the Redskins issue is alienating a race of people so I am fine with change. But saying if one person is offended is a terrible argument and I wish the media in general would stop saying it.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 11:09 am |

          The only argument I find without merit on the change side is the “If it offends one person it’s worth changing”

          Yeah, because it’s a strawman argument. Who in “the media” is saying this?

        • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 11:22 am |

          Nobody is. It’s a bad paraphrase of Roger Goodell’s line that “If one person is offended, we have to listen.”

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 11:28 am |

          I like “Redhawks,” except for the fact that the NFL already has a team called the “Seahawks,” and so might not want to have to teams that could be called “‘Hawks” for short.

          “Renegades” would be good; they could keep those “R” caps. The USFL Orlando Renegades had an Indian motif; the logo was a tomahawk with feathers.

          “Warriors” is fine, although there’s already an NBA team called the Warriors. Not duplicating a name already in use in the “big 4″ sports would be preferable (this is why I didn’t like “Carolina Panthers;” we already had Panthers in the NHL.

          “Red Chiefs” would be great (I love O. Henry), but obviously they can’t.

          “Scouts” would be good too.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 11:29 am |

          *two teams

        • Dan B. | June 20, 2014 at 11:54 am |

          I heard it on Mike and Mike the morning after the court decision. I believe Mike Greenberg said it once, then they had another guest on that echoed that comment. So to Paul’s point, it was probably Roger Goodell that coined it, but it’s getting echoed now by talking heads. I don’t believe it’s been said on this page, I just think it’s a horrible point to make.

        • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm |

          Just wanted to chime in. I also like the name “Natives”. I’m a huge fan of the team. I like Natives because it’s unique from all the colleges and schools that changed from Redskins to “Warriors” or “Redhawks” etc. The uniform itself wasn’t disparaging to Native American people, so find a name that isn’t negative and keep the same logo, etc. Plus, “Hail to the Natives” still works in the song.

          While I’m on the side of leaving the name alone and don’t see a problem with using Native American imagery, changing the name while keeping the logo is still going to cause controversy for some. It might push the Indians and Chief Wahoo into the spotlight, but they’d still be at the level of the Braves & Chiefs. If this trademark decision is upheld and does lead to a name change, I think they’ll probably go in a completely new direction. I think we’re more likely to see a D.C. Dragons wearing a red/green/yellow uniform than we are to see a Washington Warriors/Natives/Redhawks/Whatevers in burgundy & yellow.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm |

          @Dan B.

          I heard it on Mike and Mike the morning after the court decision. I believe Mike Greenberg said it once, then they had another guest on that echoed that comment.

          So you heard it once, and maybe another person agreed with it, so therefore it’s something the “media in general” is saying and needs to stop?

          And are you sure you’re not confusing it with the “If one person’s offended, we have to listen” quote?

          it was probably Roger Goodell that coined it

          Oh, so you are confusing the two very different sentiments.

          getting echoed now by talking heads

          No, it’s not.

          I just think it’s a horrible point to make.

          It’s a horrible point because strawmen always make horrible points.

        • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm |

          I heard it on Mike and Mike the morning after the court decision. I believe Mike Greenberg said it once, then they had another guest on that echoed that comment.

          Wait — they themselves were saying/advocating that “if one person is offended, it should be changed”?

          Or were they just (mis)quoting others?

          I’ve heard the line get used quite a bit, but Goodell is the only one I’ve heard who actually stated it *as his own belief.* (And again, his version is that if one person is offended, “we have to listen” — not “we have to change the name.)

          In any case, I agree that the “one person” standard has been toxic for the entire discussion. As soon as I heard Goodell say it, I thought, “Ugh, that’s not going to help.”

  • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 9:19 am |

    * A replica England jersey in 1974 cost 5 pounds. Though adjusted to inflation, I think that comes out to about 40 pounds, about US$68, so that’s not too shocking.

    * Still disappointed with the new Hornets jersey, especially the purple roadies, but it’s nice to have the name back where it belongs.

    * Kissing Suzy Kolber has come up with the best solution to the ‘Skins controversy so far: the Washington Rexskins. The pants are an especially nice touch.

    * Phil, can you let us know when Paul’s gone so we can bring in the coke and hookers?

    * Bon voyage, Paul!

    • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 9:27 am |

      “Phil, can you let us know when Paul’s gone so we can bring in the coke and hookers?”

      ~~~

      They’re already here.

      • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 9:31 am |

        Make that DIET Coke and hookers.

        • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 10:14 am |

          You’re thinking of the wrong kind of Coke.

        • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 10:40 am |

          “You’re thinking of the wrong kind of Coke.”

          ~~~

          Nothing gets by you, does it?

        • BvK1126 | June 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |

          “You’re thinking of the wrong kind of Coke.”

          Dang! And I was all excited that we’d just found a new, less-filling high…

      • Le Cracquere | June 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |

        Phil’s already bogarting the coke and hookers? Supporting the Redskins name change is a simple gentleman’s disagreement, but THIS MEANS WAR.

    • Rob S | June 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

      Don’t bring in Phil Coke!

      … sorry, having issues with the local ball club.

  • Dumb Guy | June 20, 2014 at 9:21 am |

    Paul, are you flying your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun?

    • Tom V. | June 20, 2014 at 9:36 am |

      Although I’m not sure who the song is about, I’m pretty sure it’s not about Paul, although he is quit vain.

  • walter | June 20, 2014 at 9:26 am |

    People have been joking about changing the team’s logo to a redskin potato for at least 27 years — and it still isn’t funny (from Yusuke Toyoda)

    What do you mean? I think it’s damned funny, and a good idea, to boot. Are you going to light a candle? Or are you going to curse the darkness?

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 9:28 am |

      What do you mean?

      I mean I don’t think it’s funny. But hey, we all have different senses of humor.

      • James Burke | June 20, 2014 at 9:46 am |

        For once, Paul, we agree on something.

    • Bud | June 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |

      I agree, I also think it’s hysterical. Some of the photoshops of their logo with them still make me laugh out loud upon viewing them.

  • BrianC | June 20, 2014 at 9:54 am |

    “Almost immediately, readers started asking if this was a league-wide thing, and some conspiracy-minded folks began suggesting that it was probably a way to clear more space on the front of the jersey for Adam Silver’s cherished advertising patches.”

    Or to make room for a prominently placed manufacturers logo, like most every other sport.

    • Chance Michaels | June 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm |

      They don’t need to move their league logo to make room for “a prominently placed manufacturers logo” – we’ve seen that on the retail versions.

  • Joe | June 20, 2014 at 9:56 am |

    Anyone notice the lowercase ‘n’ in Hornets? It’s interesting that they did that, but it doesn’t totally jump out to you. Overall I love the look, but do agree an outline on the numbers would take it to the next level.

    • Rob S | June 20, 2014 at 10:18 am |

      The “capitalized lowercase n/m” doesn’t really faze me, since typefaces with those letterforms have existed since at least the 1930s, and the Suns have always used that style of N.

      • Joe | June 20, 2014 at 11:07 am |

        Good point. It never fazed me. I just thought it was interesting.

        • Rob S | June 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

          Oddly enough, what does faze me is when people use “phase” when they mean “faze”.

    • daveclt | June 21, 2014 at 12:17 am |

      I noticed it, too. I’m generally not a fan of mixing lowercase and uppercase. But in this case it works for some reason. Maybe because the lowercase n works better as the top o the arch.

  • BrianC | June 20, 2014 at 9:57 am |

    “Drew Arnson notes that Puma’s World Cup jerseys seem to be more form-fitting than the other manufacturers’”

    I find that with the modern wicking materials like Dri-Fit it works better when it’s close fitting.

  • AlMaFi | June 20, 2014 at 9:58 am |

    Re: the Rockets’ new secondary logo

    Move over hammer-and-sickle…here comes three marital aids and a sickle.

    • Robert S | June 20, 2014 at 11:07 am |

      Ok, I don’t mean to get X-rated, but the verticle lines on the H and R sort of look like a certain kind of vibrator.

  • Newton | June 20, 2014 at 10:04 am |

    The Hornets are totally going to get a Bo Jingles patch

    • Newton | June 20, 2014 at 10:04 am |

      excuse me, BoJangles

      • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 10:18 am |

        That would be Bojangles’ — no capitalized ‘J’, but a superfluous apostrophe at the end.

  • Alex Parisi | June 20, 2014 at 11:13 am |

    How many ads are on this site?

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 11:17 am |

      Plenty.

      But if you’re trying to draw a comparison between NBA ads and the ads on this site, I think you’re making an apples/oranges comparison. I’ve never said I’m opposed to advertising; I’ve always said that I’m opposed to it where it doesn’t belong.

      Let’s compare:

      1) The NBA gets revenue from ticket sales, broadcast rights, merchandising sales, arena concessions, parking, etc., and their uniforms already stand for one thing (i.e., the brand of the team). Adding ads to NBA uniforms would simply make rich people even richer while diminishing the aesthetic and emotional value of the uniforms.

      2) This website gives its content away for free and utilizes a simple operational model — media being underwritten by advertising — that goes back literally centuries.

      If you truly think those things are equivalent, well, that’s your prerogative. But I respectfully disagree.

      That said, I’d love to get rid of all the advertising on Uni Watch — it would make the site look cleaner and I wouldn’t have to waste time dealing with advertisers, chasing down tardy payments, responding to poorly conceived apples/oranges comments, etc. But then I’d have to charge for content. And whenever I’ve polled the readership on this, the overwhelming response has always been, “Keep the advertising — I’m not payin’ for nothin’.” But hey, maybe I should revisit that idea.

      How about it, Alex: Would YOU be willing to pay for Uni Watch content? What do you say?

      • AKT | June 20, 2014 at 6:07 pm |

        “Adding ads to NBA uniforms would simply make rich people even richer while diminishing the aesthetic and emotional value of the uniforms.”

        Disagree-in the English football leagues there is a much emotional value tied to a uniform that has advertising as one that doesn’t (there are few that don’t). And the aesthetic argument doesn’t seem well supported-your assuming Chelsea could do a more aesthetically pleasing uniform that doesn’t including”SAMSUNG” than one that does. What proof do you have of that?

    • Le Cracquere | June 20, 2014 at 11:37 am |

      A more trenchant question would be: how many ads do Paul & Phil work into the actual news-related text of the blog–those parts that are understood to be reserved for salient content? Nothing much that I’ve noticed.

      • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 11:45 am |

        Never happened, never will.

        I turn down requests for this type of thing literally every single week.

        • Le Cracquere | June 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm |

          Which is precisely why Alex’s question above is dealing in apples/oranges.

      • Pedro | June 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

        “A more trenchant question would be: how many ads do Paul & Phil work into the actual news-related text of the blog–those parts that are understood to be reserved for salient content? Nothing much that I’ve noticed.”

        “Never happened, never will. I turn down requests for this type of thing literally every single week.”

        Are you fucking kidding?? So I didn’t just see you hawking magazine subscriptions in the main body of the articles for the past two days?

        • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm |

          That’s not what he meant. He meant “native advertising,” sponsored content, links that just happen to go to certain companies’ websites, and other stealth methods of introducing ad content that’s masquerading as editorial content, all of which is common on the web. I get offers to do this all the time and always turn them down.

          For that matter, do you ever see a banner ad of any kind in the Uni Watch text column? Do you ever see text wrapping around an ad? Do you ever see text interrupted by little “See also” ads? Nope, nope, and nope.

          Do I sometimes do a shout-out to a particular advertiser or project? Yup. Hell, I’ve been hawking Uni Watch membership cards for seven years now. But I’m always clear about, “Hey, this is me, talking about this thing.” And nobody ever pays me anything to do that.

          Thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.

    • Alex Parisi | June 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |

      Damn, I wish I hadn’t dropped that bomb of a question without making the time to respond the day of. I understand your reasons for displaying ads. I also understand the NBA’s. I’m not against either. Both entities do it for the same reason as far as I’m concerned, so I’ll just leave it at that. I found it ironic that I’m dodgy spammy popup ads while I’m reading about the travesty of one 2.5″ sponsor logo appearing on a uniform. Personally, I’d rather get read native advertising. Radio hosts and podcasters do it all the time and it doesn’t bother me. And to answer your question about if I’m willing to pay for your content, ad-free (like Spotify), I probably would consider it. The page would load much faster. On the other hand, I do also consume your content with an RSS feed, which does spare the ads, so maybe I wouldn’t pay for it. At any rate, there are other means to monetize what you’ve built here. Think merchandise, speaking events, DIY uniform kits, etc. Imagine a one day Uni-Watch Conference? That would be amazing. I’m sure you’ve thought of all this before. Thanks for taking the time to respond, even if we disagree it’s awesome that you participate in the discussions like you do. I love Uni-Watch.

      • Alex Parisi | June 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm |

        God, my typos are bad. Apologies.

  • TBone | June 20, 2014 at 11:55 am |

    Your ESPN post says teal is one of the few colors allowed to be worn at home or on the road. Can you elaborate on that? I know the Pacers wore yellow at home and on the road during the playoffs (and a few other times during the regular season as well). What are the rules on that?

    • Paul Lukas | June 20, 2014 at 11:57 am |

      Teal and gold/yellow are the only such colors I’m aware of that have that status.

      The Hornets told me that they originally considered using teal as their road design and purple for the alt, but then they went the other way around because using teal as the alt would allow it to be worn both at home and on the road. A purple alt could only be worn on the road.

      • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

        Considering what the NBA has done for X-mas games, I find it a little bit weird they’d have a rule like that. Yellow/gold and teal can’t possibly be the only acceptable non-white home colors. What about the Spurs’ silver uniforms? Those have to be acceptable at home.

      • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

        Orange is accepted too, right? I believe both the Suns and the Knicks have designated the orange as the light home alternates.

        • Phil Hecken | June 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

          “Orange is accepted too, right?”

          ~~~

          Yes. Which is why we were treated to this gem last fall.

      • Bud | June 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

        If that’s the case then they should switch up the words. Charlotte on the purple, Hornets on the teal. It’s always weird to me when any team wears their city/state on a jersey at home. Like the Rangers, or more recently, the Twins. The city-nickname jerseys that the NBA has trotted out the past few years like Rip City and Motor City wouldn’t bug me as much I don’t think, if any of those have been worn at home.

        • Rob S | June 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

          The Rip City jerseys were white, and the Motor City jersey did get worn at the Palace a few times last year.

      • TBone | June 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

        Excellent. Thanks for the reply, Paul. And enjoy your vacation!

  • Chris Weber | June 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

    Regarding the Steelers uniforms and the addition of the patch honoring Coach Noll —
    I, too, wonder how they’ll find real estate to put the patch on their jersey without being too cluttered. In an ideal “sleeved” football world, I’d prefer they put his initials on this part of the uniform.

    Imagine the conundrum if they reach the Super Bowl! That’d be interesting …

    That said, I like the item in yesterday’s ticker showing the round black patch with “Noll” and one gold hypocycloid. Clean. Well done.

    More permanently, I’d like to see the team retire the No. 4 in tribute to him. I know the Steelers don’t “officially” retire numbers (save for Stautner’s No. 70), but I believe this would be a lasting and fitting honor for the man who built one of the greatest dynasties in the history of American team sports.

  • mild bill | June 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm |

    Thanks for the Wisconsin supper club movie trailer.

    I imagine Paul’s favorite part was 0:50 to 0:55; mine was at 1:26; I could use a good Old Fashioned.

    • Chance Michaels | June 20, 2014 at 12:36 pm |

      Only if you use brandy; this is Wisconsin we’re talking about, after all.

      • DenverGregg | June 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm |

        I had a couple trips to Wisco recently and looked forward to brandy old fashioneds at The Old Fashioned in Madison. While it’s a great bar, they make those drinks too sweet for me. A Vieux Carre (sans vermouth, extra bitters) is more my speed.

  • arrScott | June 20, 2014 at 12:24 pm |

    About that NBA league patch. A patch at the back of the neck works well for MLB, because MLB players are very often pictured from behind. The batter? We mostly see his back. The pitcher? We mostly see his back. Fielders? About half and half. Only baserunners are primarily seen and photographed from the front, and even then if they slide they often show their backs to the camera. So the back of the neck is kind of prime real estate.

    But in the NBA? Seems more of a front-on or side-view sport to me. So the switch doesn’t make a lot of sense to me in isolation. But in terms of ceding the more visible space on the front to paid advertising, and relegating the league logo to a less-seen spot? That make sense. Though “makes sense” on pretty much exactly the terms that any crazy conspiracy makes sense.

    • Chance Michaels | June 20, 2014 at 12:38 pm |

      I really don’t think those patches were added for the sake of the athletes themselves.

      Putting it on the back of the neck means that it’s prominently positioned when you’re walking behind somebody wearing a jersey.

    • Paul Lee | June 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm |

      At least there are no sleeves.

  • KC | June 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

    If you use “Indian giver” in the title of your piece…

    http://m.washingtont...

    • Chance Michaels | June 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

      Yea, pretty much guarantees that the author wants to be a provocateur. Or is just a jerk.

      • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

        Well, given the publication, provocation is pretty much a given.

        • Chance Michaels | June 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm |

          Yeah, should have looked at the URL before clicking.

      • Rob S | June 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

        Ugh. I feel dumber for having read that.

    • Mainspark | June 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

      You mean like the Ramones cover? https://www.youtube....

      Is everybody going to boycott Jonny, Joey, Dee Dee and Marky?

  • Dumb Guy | June 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm |

    I’ve not seen a Logo pyramid before. The Hornets have one.

    ???

    http://backbuzzcity....

    • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm |

      Most teams don’t have enough logos to build a pyramid with them. This is probably a good thing.

  • Dumb Guy | June 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm |

    I heard a comment on the radio regarding a new name for the Redskins.

    They could adopt an indefinable symbol (ala Prince) and be “The Washington Professional Football Team Formerly Known as the Redskins”.

    • The Jeff | June 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

      That really wouldn’t work. No one ever took the whole “artist formerly known as” thing seriously. He was still Prince.

      • Dumb Guy | June 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

        it still beats Redskin Potatoes.

  • JD | June 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

    Not uni related, but if Mr. Lukas can go on a beloved rant I can say this.

    Can we stop describing everything as haunting? Just because a song is performed in minor keys with whispery vocals or it uses a large string section doesn’t make it haunting. It’s a love song for Heaven’s sake. A photo that features more the absence of light rather than the presence of it is simply dark. It’s not haunting.

    Now, if that photo comes to life announcing it is Vigo the Carpathian and requests a small child so that he may live…

    THAT, that is haunting.

    Thanks. I feel better.

    • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

      But it’s such a beloved word!

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | June 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm |

    Maybe they’ll grow on me just because they’re the Hornets again and not the Bobcats but the more I see of the Hornets new unis the less I’m liking them. They still just look like the Bobcats recolored and renamed with only slight tweaks to me.
    I know they can’t use the originals but I wish they let Alexander Julian design these as well. At least he would’ve come up with something that doesn’t look like practice uniforms. These are just so templety and blah. But that seems to be the trend lately for the NBA.

  • russ | June 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

    Outside the obvious home run reference, the Rockets logo looked more like a decrepit picket fence with some weird R shape in it.

    But since it’s basketball, maybe the picket fence means HOPPER RULES!

  • El Duderino | June 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm |

    This Scottish fan had me laughing my ass off.

    http://www.dailyreco...

    Scottish flag and that awesome away shirt!

  • AKT | June 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm |

    Funny take on World Cup on Twittet @ FBFollicles – best performance and hair combo gets #maneofthematch

  • rpm | June 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm |

    that german author actually concedes his flag argument at the end of the op piece. after hearing from a professor of german in wisconsin. the author says…
    “All right then. Maybe I’d better try to make my garden fit my flag, instead of the other way around.”
    …i like the sentiment

  • daveclt | June 21, 2014 at 12:32 am |

    Is it just me, or did Nike/Jordan sneak in a Carolina blue stripe on the side of the white uniform?