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Hawks Add Early-’70s Racing Stripe Throwback

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We’ve known for a while that the Hawks would be wearing an early-’70s racing stripe throwback this season (Conrad Burry broke that news, along with the rest of this season’s throwbacks, back in February). But yesterday was the first time the team acknowledged that they’d be wearing them, and we also got our first look at a photographs instead of mock-ups.

First, let’s compare the throwback to the original:

Not bad, although I find it a little disappointing that the stripe is so horizontal across the chest, with none of the original’s graceful curvature. At first I just chalked that up to jerseys being cut wider nowadays (and players being bigger), but then reader David Dearing pointed out that Adidas had no trouble retaining the curvature on the Pacers’ racing stripe throwbacks a few seasons back:

Given the Hawks’ current infatuation with neon green, some folks have wondered aloud why they’re going with the blue road throwback instead of the neon green home version. As it turns out, that Hawks already wore that design as a throwback in 2003, so maybe they wanted to showcase the blue version this time around (or maybe they’re just taking mercy on our eyeballs).

I’ve always loved the racing stripe template. We even used it for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s basketball-themed design earlier this year. I’ve always associated the template with the Pacers and viewed the Hawks’ version as a knockoff (maybe because a team with a racing-associated name like “Pacers” seems like a more natural fit for a racing stripe design), but the reality is that Indiana was actually copying the Hawks. The Hawks’ website says they wore the racing stripe from 1970-72, while the authoritative Remember the Aba site says the Pacers wore it from 1971-74. Kinda crazy that such a distinctive design would be copied by another pro team (albeit in a different league at the time). It would be like another MLB team copying the tequila sunrise in the mid-1970s.

Who designed the racing stripe template anyway? I’ve never seen that story anywhere, so yesterday I contacted the Hawks and asked if they had that info in their archives. They’re checking — stay tuned.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Indians P Trevor Bauer, who had to leave Monday night’s ALCS game when stitches on his fingers gave out, normally chooses to wear a grey jersey on the road, but on Monday he chose the navy alt. Why? So blood from his finger wound wouldn’t show (from Mike Petriello). … The Braves’ new stadium will include a brewery (from Andrew Cosentino). … Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was still wearing a José Fernández memorial cap inscription yesterday. It’s interesting to see that MLB decided, right from the start, to allow all of the DIY Fernández memorials. … Here’s a pretty cool GIF that simulates a stop-motion pitching animation with baseball cards (from Mike Hillman).

NFL News: Here’s some tremendous 1967 footage of the Steelers’ “Batman” uniforms in action. If you skip ahead to the 1:40 mark, you can see that placekick holder Dick Hoak, No. 42, did not wear a facemask (from Adam Prince). … The Bengals willl wear their orange alts this Sunday (thanks, Phil). … Jimmy Lonetti likes the uniforms in this Geico ad. “I’d go so far to say the orange/black ones would be in the upper half of the NFL,” he says. “The Bengals should definitely consider them.” … The Broncos will wear their blue alts next Monday (thanks, Mike). … In case you hadn’t heard, Pats coach Bill Belichick thinks sideline tablets are worthless. Oh wait, a company paid a lot of money to have its name mentioned in conjunction with that product, so let me rephrase: Bill Belichick thinks the Microsoft Surface tablet is worthless. Great brand exposure!

Hockey News: The Cardiff Devils — that’s a Welsh team in the British Elite Ice Hockey League — are retiring No. 26. … Whoa, look at this tremendous 1967 L.A. Kings prototype! Never seen that before (from Eric Lichtenberg). … This is interesting: The Oilers revised one of their championship banners because a “5” was actually an upside-down “2” (from Chris Creamer). … This is interesting: The Penguins’ equipment staff scans each jersey into a digital database. Do other NHL teams do this? What about other sports? (From Brian Merrifield.) … The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has created a pretty good-looking Penguins jersey timeline (from Alex Iniguez).

Basketball News: A giant LeBron James poster in downtown Cleveland is being updated to include the gold championship jersey tab (from Kyle Mackie). … Lots of Warriors-related uni information in this piece, including the news that rookie Patrick McCaw chose No. 0 because he “had zero doubts into coming into the League and zero worries.” … New uniforms for Dayton (from Detroit Don). … New road uni for Utah (from Trent Knaphus).

Grab Bag: Pinktober has spread to U.S. Navy fighter jets (from @BettieDavisFries). … Here’s the story behind Target’s logo. … New purple uniforms for Delta Airlines — the latest installment in their long uniform history (from Phil and Wolfie Browender, respectively). … David Firestone has written a piece about logo creep in auto racing.

• • • • •

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What Paul did last night: Temperatures here in NYC have been unseasonably warm this week (yesterday topped out in the low 80s), so I was joined in the backyard by the Tugboat Captain and longtime Uni Watch pal Carrie Klein as we fired up the grill for a rare mid-October cookout. Felt just like late spring or early summer, except it got dark much earlier, leading to the nice coal-lit tableau shown above.

Our menu was nothing fancy — just burgers (with English muffins serving as the buns, natch) and corn corn on the cob. Here’s how it looked with the benefit of flash:

Under Armour, Fanatics Ink MLB Uniform Deal for 2020

Big baseball news yesterday, as word began circulating that Under Armour will take over from Majestic as MLB’s official outfitter in 2020, with Fanatics serving as MLB’s favored retailer. The news was first reported by Sports Business Daily and was soon confirmed by my ESPN colleague Darren Rovell. I strongly suggest that you read both of those pieces before proceeding further.

Now let’s shift into FAQ mode:

So will MLB uniforms be made by Under Armour starting next year?


The year after that?


The year after that?


The year after THAT?

Yes. Majestic will still have three more seasons — 2017, 2018, and 2019 — before Under Armour takes over. I’m pretty sure that’s the longest gap we’ve ever had between the news of a league-wide deal and the deal’s effective date.

Why did they announce it so far in advance?

They didn’t. As of now, neither MLB nor Under Armour has said anything about the deal. But SportsBizDaily broke the news — a huge scoop on their part. The weird thing is that MLB announced that it was extending its deal with Majestic through 2019 just a year and a half ago. So Majestic will now spend most of that contract term as a lame duck.

Are these types of deals always arranged so far in advance, even if we don’t know about them?

Good question. The Nike/NBA deal was announced more than two years prior to its effective date, and the Adidas/NHL deal was almost exactly two years prior.

Did you know this deal was in the works?

I’ve heard rumors and whispers about Under Armour wanting to get the MLB deal for many years now. But I didn’t know anything about this specific deal.

Under Armour’s college baseball uniforms have the UA logo on the chest. Will that happen with their MLB jerseys too?

College baseball jerseys all have the maker’s mark on the chest — it’s an NCAA thing, not an Under Armour thing. While it’s possible that the maker’s mark on MLB jerseys could shift from the sleeve to the chest, there’s no reason to think that’s imminent. Think of football: The maker’s marks on college jerseys are all on the chest, but in the NFL they’re on the sleeve. I expect a similar arrangement will be used for MLB jerseys.

I do think it’s worth mentioning, however, that the Majestic logo is extremely compact and has always been very small on MLB jerseys (and pants, for that matter). I suspect that the Under Armour logo will have a larger footprint.

Will the Yankees wear the Under Armour logo?

Good question. Too soon to say. They’ve basically enjoyed most-favored-nation status with Majestic, but it’s not clear whether Under Armour will be willing to carve out that same exception for them.

Will New Era keep making MLB caps in 2020?

Yes. That deal is unaffected by yesterday’s news.

Will Nike keep making MLB undershirts in 2020?

No. Under Armour will apparently take over that license. (I say “apparently” because it’s not explicitly stated in any of the coverage I’ve seen, and I haven’t been able to confirm it one way or the other. The one thing that’s clear is that Nike will be out in 2020. It’s possible — but in my view unlikely — that a third party could end up with the undershirt license. I’ll try to find out more.)

Will Stance keep making MLB socks in 2020?

Good question. Socks are not mentioned in any of the coverage I’ve seen so far, and my Stance contact was traveling yesterday, so I couldn’t get confirmation from him. But I’ll say this: I don’t think MLB announced its first-ever official sock partner this year just so they could then give the sock deal to Under Armour. I’m fairly certain MLB hosiery will remain with Stance.

Who will make dugout jackets and sweatshirts starting in 2020?

Not 100% positive, but I’m reasonably certain it will be Under Armour.

Who will make the umpires’ uniforms starting in 2020?

Not 100% positive, but I’m reasonably certain it will be Under Armour.

How does Fanatics play into this deal?

The nuances and specifics of the Fanatics part of this story are, frankly, somewhat confusing to me, but the gist is that they’re trying to create a more vertically integrated retailing system. From a Uni Watch perspective — i.e., a perspective that’s cares about retail jerseys only to the extent that they affect what we see on the field — this means the MLB uni-verse will be more retail-driven than ever.

So does this mean Under Armour or Fanatics will create crazy new uniform designs for MLB teams?

That’s ultimately up to the teams. Remember how everyone thought Nike would radically alter the look of the NFL? That hasn’t happened, at least not with most of the league, because the teams are the clients and the client always calls the shots. If an MLB team approaches Under Armour and says, “Give us a makeover,” then that’s what they’ll get. And if they say, “No, we’re good,” then they’ll stick with what they have. Simple.

Didn’t you write something about Under Armour’s baseball fabric a few years back?

Yes. Back in 2010 I wrote an ESPN piece about an Under Armour faux-flannel fabric that nicely mimics the textured look of real flannels. Here’s another example. Personally, I’d love it if something like that came to MLB.

If an MLB team was considering a redesign, will they wait until Under Armour takes over?

Not necessarily. Let’s look at some comparable examples from other leagues: In 2011, which was the last year of Reebok’s NFL deal, the Bills got a full-scale makeover; this year, which is the last year of Adidas’s NBA deal, the Jazz and Kings have gotten makeovers; this is also the last year of Reebok’s NHL deal, and the Panthers have gotten a makeover. So teams don’t necessarily put their plans on hold just because a new outfitter is waiting in the wings.

What happens to Majestic after 2019?

Another good question. MLB represents the bulk of Majestic’s business. They have no history or credibility making uniforms for any other sport, so they can’t just pivot over to football or basketball. And they’re not a lifestyle brand, so it’s not like they have a sneaker business or a series of mega-stores to fall back on. Even if they salvage something like, say, an MiLB-wide deal (just speaking hypothetically there — I have no knowledge of any such deal being in the works), it’d be a huge step down for them.

On balance, do you think this deal with be good or bad for MLB uniforms?

Too soon to say. The Fanatics aspect is almost certainly a negative, because, as noted above, it will make things even more retail-driven than they already are. But there’s no reason Under Armour can’t produce good uniforms. Lots of their college designs are perfectly fine, and I hope we get to see that faux-flannel fabric. As always, it comes back to the teams — they’re the ones who’ll make the final call.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

What you see above is a 1972 Cincinnati Bengals poster by the legendary artist George Bartell. It’s currently available on eBay — pretty nice, right?

But I’ve also seen another version of this poster, showing the players wearing bengal-striped helmets. The thing is, the Bengals didn’t yet have striped helmets in 1972 — they started wearing them in 1981. Pro Football Journal has a story about the headwear discrepancy here, with the blog author theorizing that perhaps the team was thinking about helmet stripes for the 1972 season but didn’t go that way. And Paul points out that the striped version looks a lot like the helmet Paul Brown was holding in this famous photo.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Some more Bartel art from the same season can be found in this Houston Oilers poster.

• Does “Jason” know his vintage Kansas City Royals ceramic baseball bank is listed for sale on eBay?

• I’ve done Collector’s Corner for a few years now, so there aren’t too many NFL items I haven’t already seen. But this is a new one to me: an album to collect all your NFL Sunbeam NFL stickers in. Looks to be from 1975. Here’s what the stickers look like, with those classic NFL graphics (I had the Bengals one on a light switch plate!). It appears they did the ill-fated WFL too.

• Take a look at this! Here’s a set of 22 MLB cardboard team logo signs from the 1970s. I had quite a few of these.

• Reader Will Scheibler sent over a few hockey items for this week. First, a Munro tabletop hockey game, starring Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Next, a 1964 Maple Leafs coloring book. And finally, some Leafs vintage “Little NHL” gloves.

• This 1969 book of NFL action photography from Honeywell surely has some good shots in it.

• As you know, here at Collector’s Corner we love just about anything DeLong has ever made for the NFL and MLB. So you know we like this great L.A. Rams quilted parka. Love how the “LA” is inset on the first two letters of “Rams” on the back.

• The Rams also appear — in the classic old blue/white color scheme — on the cover of this 1967 “This Is NFL Football” booklet.

• Here’s a set of four different Miami Dolphins mugs/cups, each with a different facemask depiction.

• This vintage sticker of Charlie-O. the donkey (former mascot of the K.C. and Oakland A’s) is in great shape.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Indians 1B Mike Napoli wore American flag socks yesterday (from Eric Brunnell). … An Ontario judge dismissed an application to ban the Indians’ team name and logo during ALCS. … Here’s the story of how the Dodgers’ interlocking LA logo was designed in 1957 (from Todd Radom). … I love this “Salvy Splash” Royals pumpkin, in honor of catcher Salvador Perez’s postgame Gatorade showers. … Here’s a good colorized photo of the 1917 White Sox (from Will Scheibler). … Frank Kaminsky, a White Sox fan from the Chicago area, wore a Steve Bartman Cubs jersey to the United Center for last night’s Hornets/Bulls preseason game. … Cleveland has worn the Wahoo cap throughout the postseason, including last night, but skipper Terry Francona switched to a block-C cap for his postgame presser last night. … A new cartoon takes some mild liberties with several MLB uniforms. Interestingly, all of the players are depicted going at least somewhat high-cuffed (from @TweedsTweets). … Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer took 10 stitches in his pinkie a few days ago after an accident with a drone. The stitches opened up during the 1st inning last night, leading to a lot of blood on his uniform and shoes.

Pro Football News: The Jets wore a No. 90 memorial helmet decal last night to honor defensive end Dennis Byrd, who died on Saturday. Byrd, who was paralyzed during a game in 1992, had his number retired by the Jets in 2012. … The Packers have tweaked their Color Rush pants since the unveiling. They now mirror the team’s Lombardi-era unis. Green Bay will wear the uniform against Chicago on Thursday (from @TheDapperPacker). … The Dallas Cowboys now own the trademark to the phrase “How ’Bout Them Cowboys” and can use it on merchandise. The phrase goes back to 1992 and is attributed to coach Jimmy Johnson. … Broncos kicker Brandon McManus uses a sander to get his cleats ready on gameday. … Washington QB Kirk Cousins wore a burgundy blazer with an “HTTR” pocket square after Sunday’s win over the Eagles (from Tommy Turner). … Raiders owner Mark Davis wears outdated team apparel. His jackets are made by Reebok, not Nike. Davis has always been a pretty peculiar dude (from Dave Keitel and Rudy Gutierrez). … Brad Eenhuis spotted a bunch of blank New Orleans VooDoo jerseys at a Goodwill in Iowa. The team played in the Arena League from 2004 to 2008. … On a related note, this week the AFL saw Orlando, Portland, and the LA Kiss all fold, and Jacksonville and Arizona depart for the Indoor Football league. Only four Arena League teams remain.

College Football News: Georgia punter Rodrigo Blankenship nearly lost his glasses while making a tackle this past weekend (from Dave Murphy). … Louisiana Tech is wearing a decal for RB Jaqwis Dancy, who’s battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma (from @bulldogsnbraves, via Phil).

Hockey News: The Red Wings aren’t wearing their Farewell to the Joe patches (from PJ Kuzdal). … The Devils’ new graphic designer Anthony Zych created his first gameday poster for the team. He’ll make one for each home game this season. Paul profiled Zych last year when he was with the Blue Jackets. … The WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors changed their glove color and pants stripes (from Wade Heidt). … Here’s a very, very cool infographic showing which NHL teams use which colors (from Aaron Husul).

Basketball News: Rajon Rondo wore pink shoes last night. … Michael Carter-Williams, who was just traded to Chicago, was slated to wear No. 1 with the Bulls, but changed course and will now wear No. 7. He didn’t want to drum up any controversy, since former Bull Derrick Rose wore the number through last year. MCW wore No. 1 in college and during his early NBA days with Philadelphia. … In addition to the championship banner, the Cavs will hang a banner with the names of all the season ticket holders from last year. … The logo for the Auburn basketball charity golf tournament roasts noted alum Charles Barkley. The Chuckster is famous for the hitch in his swing. … The Thunder might roll out an emoji of a new logo (from Sam Scovill). … The Blazers play ping pong on a really neat court-themed table. … New uniform for Arkansas State basketball (from Chris Buttgen). … New collar style for Northwestern (from Matthew Sampson).

Grab Bag: Bruno Mars performed on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, and his backup singers wore old jerseys. The guy in the middle wore a Todd Hundley Mets T-shirt jersey (from Douglas Ford and Chris Flinn).

Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Ah, is there anything more visually satisfying than a football game in the rain? That was the situation yesterday in Oakland, as the Raiders and Chiefs faced off. How soon can we get a snow game?

Also of note in that game: For the second straight week, the Chiefs eschewed their red pants and instead went mono-white. But instead of wearing their red-topped socks, which they’d worn last week, they went with their white socks. Here’s a comparison — last week’s on the left, yesterday on the right (click to enlarge):

According to the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database’s listing of Chiefs uni history, the Chiefs always wore the white socks when going mono-white from 1989 through 2013, and then they switched to the red-topped socks last year. (They didn’t go mono-white in 2014.) Now they’ve used both styles this season. Make up your minds, people!

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Packers wore their throwbacks. Unfortunately, as you can see in that shot, they’re still inexplicably using their green facemasks. Grey or navy would be much better. (Meanwhile: The throwback theme extended to coach Mike McCarthy’s sideline attire.)

• The Bills went mono-blue.

• The Titans went mono-navy.

• Another week, another NOB typo, this time for Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara:

• Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz emerged from a sack with his jersey badly torn:

• Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander’s nameplate was coming loose.

• Lot of players wore special cleat designs (although I think some may only have been for pregame warm-ups), including Steelers wideout Antonio Brown (whose shoes featured memorials for José Fernández and Kimbo Slice); Washington tight end Niles Paul (more Kimbo Slice); and Washington defensive end Ricky Jean Francois, (support for Haiti).

• Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons vomited on the field following a Dolphins touchdown.

• Brutal graphic by Fox, which clumsily Photoshopped Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford’s head onto Teddy Bridgewater’s body, complete with Bridgewater’s two gloves and shorter sleeves. I don’t understand how something like that happens. Was it really easier to create the Photoshopped image than to just find a decent photo of Bradford? (Deadspin helpfully pointed out that this wasn’t even the first time Fox has used this same bogus image.)

• Speaking of Fox, they also momentarily showed a Telestrator test during the 49ers/Bills game.

• Two teams wore white at home: the Saints (that game also marked the first 2016 appearance of the Panthers’ black jerseys) and Dolphins.

• Speaking of the Dolphins: When they wear their aqua pants, they usually wear their blue-topped socks, to create a point of sock/pant contrast. But yesterday they wore the aqua pants with aqua-topped socks, creating the dreaded leotard effect. (The best solution, of course, would be to revive the team’s old striped white socks, which unfortunately don’t exist in the team’s current uni set.

• Players engaging in postgame jersey exchanges included Corey Brown (Panthers) and Michael Thomas (Saints); Tyson Alualu (Jags) and John Timu (Bears); Marcus Peters (Chiefs) and Sean Smith (Raiders); Chris Jones (Chiefs) and Gabe Jackson (Raiders).

• The NFL’s new social media policy, which went into effect last Wednesday, forbids teams from posting highlight video footage or GIFs on Twitter. The Eagles and Browns took some creative liberties with the new policy, which just goes to show that there’ll always be a place for electric football.

• Many players on assorted teams continued to protest during the national anthem. There’s a rundown of all of them here.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Ron Amadeo, @cmray5, Robert Hayes, Trey Volk, our own Alex Hider, and of course Phil.)

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Membership update: A few new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Trey Volk’s Browns treatment (shown at right; click to enlarge). As you can see, membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner did an outstanding job of capturing the Browns’ top-stitching. Just another example of the truism that the worst-looking uniform elements often look really cool on a Uni Watch membership card.

You can order your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

College Football News: Interesting note from Ohio State: Apparently, the Buckeyes didn’t issue any single-digit numbers in the 1950s, and very few in the ’40s and ’60s (from Mike Knapp). … Looks like Montana has some new helmets (from Benjamin Goble). … Independence Community College in Kansas has some pretty wild unis (from Tom Crittenden).

Basketball News: A Target store in Sacramento put together a soda display of the Kings’ new logo (from Grant). … This NBA shoe guide was spotted at Spurs headquarters in San Antonio. The money quote: “No flashing lights or other adornments.” Also, who knew players had to be told to wear matching shoes? (From Hit the Glass.) … A couple of Minnesota Lynx players were wearing Prince tribute shoes in the WNBA Finals yesterday (from F.K. Yaaj). … Here’s the championship banner that the Cavs will be hanging at their arena (from our own Mike Chamernik).

Grab Bag: Suck up? Or smart? A Dodgers fan wore a Clayton Kershaw Cubs jersey to Wrigley Field last night (from Berserker). … The Yahoo Fantasy Football app is still using the old Carolina Panthers logo (from Popo Zåo). … Geoff made a DIY Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs jersey for a buddy. Solid work! … Here’s a nice graphic showing the evolution of the Creighton Blue Jays’ logo (from Ben Matukewicz). … In an awesome program, children battling cancer are designing colorful spacesuits for NASA. … Benjamin Pickett found these great bumper stickers and this football helmet at antique stores in Wisconsin. … Colonial High School in Orlando uses an interesting Packers/wishbone C logo mashup (from Dave Cohen). … Uniforms for Delta Airlines employees will soon be made by Lands’ End.

• • • • •

I’ll be tending to a family matter today. Play nice while I’m away, okay? Okay.

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

gray cuse 550
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By Phil Hecken and the Sunday Morning Uni Watch Crew

Apparently the GFGS (Gray For Gray’s Sake) fashion trend is still a thing, as the Syracuse ORANGE, er, gray proved yesterday. In a vacuum, that’s actually not a terrible uniform (if you discount the horrible fonts, shading, truncated pants stripes, etc.) but the problem with GFGS, particularly the lighter shades, is it’s frequently (always?) worn as the “dark” or color uniform versus a white one. This works well for baseball, but on the gridiron, not so much.

As you can see here, here and here, there’s not much differentiation between the gray team and their opponents (Va Tech), and the difference was even more pronounced in the dull lighting of the Carrierdome. If your school color set doesn’t include gray, don’t use it. If you must wear gray, then consider asking your opponent to wear their dark/color jersey, so the difference between your unis is more stark. And finally, if you’re school nickname is a color (yes, the history of Syracuse Orange isn’t entirely based off the color), and it’s not gray, you should probably avoid it altogether. You can see more game photos here.

The white vs. gray wasn’t even the worst uni matchup (at least according to Joe Ringham, as you’ll see below) on the gridiron yesterday. But it was pretty bad.

OK. Enough of my demanding my lawn be cleared of meddling kids…here’s TJ and the rest of the SMUW crew with your…

…. …. ….

Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

From Wednesday:

• Appalachian State wore gold against Louisiana-Lafayette, who wore an all-white uniform with a giant chrome fleur-de-lis. Also, I usually grab an image from Twitter and credit the original poster by linking their tweet, but I think just the tweet with the caption best sums this up.

From Friday:

• Louisville wore some pretty miserable all-black uniforms against Duke (the numerals were a total mess). I will say that the one bit of consolation is that much like last week’s Temple/Memphis game, there was a good contrast of black and red vs. white and blue. In addition, the UofL band wore pink plumes (with credit to the UofL Drumline account).

From Saturday:

• Oklahoma wore their alternate home uniforms against Kansas State. I think I’ve said this in the past, but with a couple of tweaks, I wouldn’t mind this becoming the permanent home uniform for the Sooners. Of course, this would mean getting rid of the texture pattern on the sleeves and helmet (but keep the satin helmets), change the facemask to cream, eradicate the black socks in favor of white, make the cream collar skinnier (or just get rid of it completely), and use a complete NFL stripe on the pants, but this (and the seldom-seen alternate road) have potential. In its current state, I’m glad Oklahoma wears it on occasion: a fun change-up without being worn out.

• And speaking of which, Boise State wore blue/white/orange in recognition of the team that stunned Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl ten (well, technically in early-2007) years ago (and wore the same in their victory over TCU three years later)

• During the Georgia Tech/Georgia Southern game, I spotted a 3.00+ decal on the back of the of the GS player’s helmet. I assume it’s to recognize players with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

• Not the best shot, but Northwestern wore new helmet decals against Michigan State.

• Maryland wore all-black against an ironically Packers-esque Minnesota squad.

• Virginia looked a bit like the old/new Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.

• Middle Tennessee State wore pink chin straps.

• Iowa State wore red facemasks against Texas.

• Ole Miss wore their light blue helmets against Arkansas, a helmet that I can see a million times and never get tired of.

• Indiana wore some new alts against Nebraska. Now at first, I thought they were gonna be wearing the pants featured in the initial promo shot, which invokes that horrific yoga tights experiment from the 2011 Pro Bowl. Thank hell in Equestria that wasn’t the case. Although I’m not sure about the script on the pants, this is the uniform that the Hoosiers should be wearing. They don’t seem to have a “signature” to their football team in the way their basketball team does, so borrowing from that seems like their best bet. And it works! Not often you get to see vertical sleeve (cap) stripes. I would say keep the block IU on the lids, and figure out what to do with the pants (although an NFL stripe is like a brass snare drum: you can’t go wrong with it), and Indiana will have an instant classic on their hands. As long as we never have to relive the Royalty-Free Aesthetic phase from south of 20 years ago.

• Syracuse probably doesn’t give two Tabasco-laden shits about Oklahoma State football, because if they did, they would actually know how to use orange and grey in a uniform properly. This is just woeful to look at. Especially with Virginia Tech in all-white.

• There’s a man who paints the mound of his father’s burial ground in orange and white checkerboard before each SEC rivalry game (Tennessee played Alabama this week).

• LSU wore their purple jerseys (with white helmets and pants) against Southern Miss. They also wore memorial decals in honor of their live mascot, Mike VI (with thanks to Alex Liggett for the pic).

• South Florida brought back their watermelon costumes against UConn. They are of course, for BCA.

• UCF wore these helmets with chrome decals for their homecoming game against Temple.

Matt Barnett sent in these pics of Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and his slightly-damaged jersey.

…. …. ….

Thanks TJ! OK, now on to the rest of your SMUW (Note: No Duck Tracker this week, since the Ducks have their bye week).

Orange Line

NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. Most of the 2015 trackers are back, with one new tracker added:

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), Davis Vinckier (tracking the B1G), and Ethan Dimitroff, (tracking the SEC). Rex, Dennis, Kyle and Davis are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is new to the NCAA Uni Tracking this season

Here are the Uni Trackers for WEEK SEVEN of the NCAA Season.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

. . .



More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

. . .

And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:



More here.

. . .

And here is Ethan, with the SEC:


SEC Football Uniform Tracker Week 7

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:



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And here’s Davis the B1G:



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Joe Ringham 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Joe:

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Happy Sunday, everyone. With the conference schedules picking up across the college football landscape, that means that we are getting a ton of good looking games. Such was the case this weekend. Let’s see who made the cut this week.

5) Missouri at Florida — Something about the way these two teams’ uniforms looked made for such a vibrant looking game. I just loved how the black/white/yellow of Mizzou matched against the usual orange/blue/white home look of the Gators. Just made for a pretty looking game in Gainesville, even if the scoreboard didn’t reflect it.

4) Kansas State at Oklahoma — At first, when I saw that OU went with their home woodshed alts, I wasn’t real happy. But, oddly enough, they looked really good against K-State’s always great silver/white/silver road set. A pleasant surprise for me, to say the least.

3) West Virginia at Texas Tech — After I slammed the Mountaineers for a look that included the yellow lids, they go out and use the yellow lids for good today against Tech. They look great when paired with the white top and yellow pants, and the Red Raiders made the game look even better, going white/black/white at home.

2) Memphis at Tulane — A simple, yet fantastic looking game in New Orleans on Friday night. The Tigers looked great in their blue/white/blue road set for this one and it matched up great against the green/green/black home look Tulane went with. Perfect for a little Friday night showcase in the American.

1) Northwestern at Michigan State — I’ve always been a huge fan of the usual green/green/white Sparty breaks out at home. But I absolutely loved the purple/white/purple that the ‘Cats brought out for this one in East Lansing. The mix and contrast of those two made for simply a wonderful looking game, uni-wise, on a Big Ten Saturday in October.

And, finally…

+1) Central Michigan at Northern Illinois — I’ve said it before that if you go color vs color, you will get on the list and, more often than not, on the good side. Unfortunately, this color vs color gets put on the bad side, thanks to the costume CMU brought out. Seriously, Chips, that’s just gross-looking.

That’s all for me for Week 7. Enjoy the week, and I’ll catch you all next Sunday!

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UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

With the New Era logo now appearing on MLB caps, my latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN looks at the history of maker’s marks on pro sports uniforms (including the surprisingly large variety of NFL examples that appeared from 1990 through 2000, which you can see here).

In case you’re wondering, those logos are (left to right, top row to bottom): Russell Athletic, MacGregor, Starter, Apex, Logo Athletic, Adidas, Puma, Wilson, and Wilson Staff. Nike and Champion also appeared during the ’90s. Teams were still cutting their own deals, so it was a free-for-all out there.

Check out the Friday Flashback here.


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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Maybe it’s luck or maybe it’s something else, but the Cleveland Indians wore their blue softball tops again yesterday. This chart shows how often they’ve worn that top at home (both from Robert Hayes). … If you’re looking to “de-flag” the new New Era logo now appearing on MLB caps, it looks like it won’t be that hard to do (from NikoMetsPlus). During yesterday’s game, TBS was using an old image of Santana (from Derek Brownlee). The blue piping no longer used on home jerseys (of course they haven’t worn those since the first game of the playoffs). … Here’s an interesting jersey (guessing that’s a LOTR reference) seen at yesterday’s Cleveland/Toronto game (from Cody The Chicken). … Francisco Lindor again wore his “Believeland” cleats with awful sanis (from John Sabol). … But the Indians continue to win wearing dark blue, taking a 2-0 series lead. … The Blue Jays again wore their own softball tops and have scored one run in two games. I’d expect they’ll ditch them for their home opener tomorrow. … Those Cleveland fans sure are classy (h/t Paul). … If you’re an Orioles fan, you’re probably pissed that Zach Britton never got in the Wild Card game against the Blue Jays, but hey, you can now buy his “game worn” jersey (h/t Mike Chamernik). … This will come as no surprise, but the New Era logo will also be on the WBC caps, moving the flag (the actual flag, not the NE “flag”) to the opposite side (from NikoMetsPlus). … In contrast to the softball top fest in Cleveland, last night the Dodgers and Cubs went white pins vs gray. … Long-suffering Cubs fan Bill Murray was sporting a vintage Ebbets Field cap at last night’s game (h/t Saxon Brack and Graham Maclagan).

NFL/Football News: “Watching TNF, I noticed that the Captain’s patch worn by Antonio Gates was different than traditional patches,” writes John M.Gates’ patch had just 3 gold stars and they were centered under the ‘C’. Typically, as you know, there are 4 stars under the ‘C’ and the gold ones indicate years as a captain. Phillip Rivers, on the other hand, wore the traditional captain’s patch.” … Reader Aaron Husul sends in this article containing ’10 things you may not know about the Bills/Dolphins rivalry. Great uni tidbit about the Bills having to wear Dolphins’ hats, “The staff had to borrow plain white helmets from Miami’s equipment staff. Buffalo’s staff then put Bills decals and striping on the Dolphins’ helmets for their players to wear in the game.” … In 1996, the 49ers Steve Young had an odd number font. Samuel Lam solves the mystery. … Chris Howland asks, “Not sure who this #Panthers player is, but did he draw the Nike swooshes on this hands?” … For the first time, Saskatchewan Roughriders wore white jerseys over green pants on the road with this year’s new uniform design (from Wade Heidt). … “The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum is a monthly magazine,” writes Paul Lee, “and this month’s cover story deals with concussions in football and how to solve the problem–with robots. (A Dartmouth football player is featured on the cover and in the videos.)”

Hockey News: You can see in this pic that Zach Parise’s Easton gloves are covered up (good spot by Tim Frietag. Easton was bought and closed earlier this year. … Here’s an update on that OJHL team (with pics) that will be wearing those Harambe sweaters next week for “Wildlife Week,” (from George Falkowski). … The first ever game played between the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings 10/14/1967 was color vs color (from Jim Bendat). … CROSSOVER (kinda) ALERT! The Milwaukee Admirals were playing a game in San Antonio, using one of the Spurs’ lockers, when they came across this NBA Sneaker Rules poster (h/t Admirals Roundtable). Also posted in NBA News. … The Anaheim Ducks are still using the old Penguins logo in their game promos (from Jeffrey Seals). … The Hartford Wolf Pack honored Gordie Howe Friday night and his number 9 will be displayed on the ice all season. … Coach Scotty Bowman had this plaque made for Sid Salomon III to commemorate the St. Louis Blues’ first NHL season in 1967-68 (from Matt Newbery). … Last evening, the Pittsburgh Penguins alumni wore sweaters with the 50th Anniversary logo as their crest (from JJ). … In a reversal of club policy, the Toronto Maple Leafs have retired all of their 11 honored numbers. … “Apparently, the Penguins’ black helmets didn’t get the ‘retro “Pittsburgh Gold”‘ treatment (the decals still have the number font and style from last year),” writes Bill Katz, “while the white helmets did get the ‘retro’ treatment–just something to look into.”

NBA/Basketball News: CROSSOVER (kinda) ALERT! The Milwaukee Admirals were playing a game in San Antonio, using one of the Spurs’ lockers, when they came across this NBA Sneaker Rules poster (h/t Admirals Roundtable). Also posted in Hockey News. … This article asks which company should sponsor buy ads on the Toronto Raptors jerseys. … Friday night’s Game 3 of the WNBA Finals was scheduled as a home game for the LA Sparks, but the NHL’s Kings had a regular season home game — both play at Staples Center, so the Sparks had to play at USC’s Galen Center. Mario Cuttone notes the Galen had the Staples Center logo on court anyway.

Grab Bag: Paul has occasionally featured the various “I VOTED”-type stickers one gets when one enjoys the franchise, and here’s a very cool one from Richmond, Virginia. (h/t Ricky Schumaker). … Yesterday, Everton busted out its third kit, and it’s a beaut (h/t Wayne Muller).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to the entire cast and crew of the Sunday Morning Uni Watch.

Everyone have a good week, enjoy Pinktober NFL, the MLB Playoffs and puck. Back next weekend, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“There oughtta be a rule against both teams wearing softball tops. Especially when they’re just different shades of the same color.”

— Jon Rose

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