Not Quite the Shroud of Turin, but It’ll Do

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Stopped in at a local pizza joint yesterday, got myself a slice, and sat down with it at a table, where I seasoned it the way I always do: a layer of red pepper flakes followed by a layer of oregano. Then I dug in. A few minutes later, I my belly was full and I was ready to move on.

But as I got up from the table, I noticed that the oregano and pepper had left a perfect ghost image of my slice on my paper plate’s cover sheet. Something about this struck me as Just Right. Hell, the colors are even somewhat Uni Watch-ish — green, mustard yellow, and deep red. And if you turn it upside-down, it’s a Christmas tree! Maybe this was a sign of something deeper, or maybe it just meant I was a little over-zealous with the spice shakers. Either way, it was a small bit of unintentional visual poetry that made me happy, so I took a photo of it. If every day could include a simple pleasure as simple and pleasurable as this one, life would be much better. I suspect the pleasures are actually right there for the taking most days, and that it’s just a matter of noticing them as we get up from the table.

For those of you who are traveling today (especially on the east coast, where the weather’s gonna be seriously nasty), travel safe. For those who are working, don’t work too hard. And for those who are depressed for any of the jillion reasons that Christmas can be depressing, hang in there and remember that being a misfit doesn’t mean you’re a loser and it doesn’t mean you’re alone — Uni Watch is proof of that. Peace. — Paul

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The “W” chronicles, continued: Yesterday I ran photos showing the oddly diminutive “w” on the Mercer hoops team’s NOBs (and also mistakenly said that Mercer’s unis were made by Under Armour — it’s actually Adidas). That prompted reader Kyle Rawling to point out that the UW-Milwaukee team used this same typeface in 2012 for their chest insignia, but the “w” was the same size as the other letters because it included a layer of outlining:

If you remove the gold outlining, you’re left with the same font that Mercer is using — and the “w” is suddenly smaller than the other letters. So is Mercer using an NOB font that was never intended to be used without the outlining?

But wait — there’s more! A variant of this font has also been used by (and perhaps the whole thing originated with) Louisville: (Continue reading)

No Play for Mr. Gray — But Long Live Mr. Grey!

Gray plays a prominent role in the uni-verse. Baseball teams wear road grays; college football and basketball teams are increasingly prone to having gray alternate unis in their wardrobes; NFL teams like to annoy The Jeff by wearing gray facemasks; the L.A. Kings’ new Stadium Series uniform has a lot of gray; and so on.

When I started working in the book publishing industry back in the late 1980s, I was taught that there were two ways to spell gray: the American way, with an “a,” or the British/Commonwealth way, with an “e” (which is easy to keep straight because “America” starts with an “a” and “England” starts with an “e”). Most American style guides call for “gray,” not “grey,” and that’s always what I’ve used.

Lately, though, “gray” has begun to bug me. I can’t fully explain why, but “gray” just doesn’t match the feel of the color as much as “grey” does. “Grey” feels, well, greyer, at least to me. When I see the “e”-inclusive version of the word, I instinctively get the feel of a cloudy day, a certain dreariness, and other things that I associate with the color. I’ve never fully gotten that feeling from the “gray” spelling, which for some reason feels a bit brighter and therefore less in keeping with the spirit of the word. (Continue reading)

Uni Watch Fan Appreciation Day, 2014 Edition

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It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back to you folks, literally. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical, the time when I clear out all the uni-related stuff that’s accumulated over the past year. Either way, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.

As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent me over the past 12 months. I realize regifting may seem tacky, but sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.

Okay, here’s what’s available this year. It’s all pretty self-explanatory, except for this: For T-shirts, you’ll see a size followed by two measurements (like this, for example: L, 21″, 29″). In each case, that’s the tagged size followed by the the pit-to-pit measurement and the length from the back collar to the shirttail.

Ready? Here we go: (Continue reading)

Uni Watch Artist Showcase: Paine Proffitt

Good morning! My annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide is up now on ESPN.com, and one of the featured items in this year’s edition is artwork from a British painter named Paine Proffitt, who recently got in touch and pointed me toward his website. I was immediately blown away by his sports illustrations, which . . . → Read More: Uni Watch Artist Showcase: Paine Proffitt