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Uni Watch Bookshelf: ‘The Official Treasures of the NFL’

I don’t think of myself as being particularly scavenger-y, but I do seem to have pretty good luck finding things that other people leave out on the street. A paella pan, a sweater, a nice pair of chukka boots, a pair of hiking boots, the pair of sneakers I use for my daily bike ride, a pair of jeans — I found all of those just on my own block. And a few weeks ago I found something else: a copy of The Official Treasures of the National Football League — and in near-perfect condition!

As you can see above, Official Treasures comes in a slipcase, which is nice, but that actually turns out to be the least interesting thing about it. The more interesting thing is that the book is full of envelopes and pockets, each of which contains a reproduction of some document from the NFL’s past — a contract here, a ticket stub there, photos, trading cards, booklets, and so on. Everything is nicely yellowed with faux-age, and the whole thing feels like a series of nice surprises.

Here are some photo pairings that show some of what’s tucked inside the book. In each case, the top photo shows a photo spread as you’d see it after having turned the page, and the bottom photo shows the various items after they’ve been removed from their envelopes or pockets. For all of the photos, you can click to enlarge.






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I could show more, but you get the idea (you can see a few additional photos here). Having once worked as a book editor, I can tell you that all those pockets and envelopes must have been a complete bitch for the printer and binder — it’s a complex production job. But they did a really nice job with it.

The bells and whistles notwithstanding, the book also features excellent photography and serviceable text. It’s a piece of mythmaking, of course, but in a relatively benign way. Definitely a good gift item, especially if you have a young football fan in the house. (I would have swallowed this thing whole if it had been in the house when I was growing up.) If you want a copy, it’s available here.

Or you could just wait until one shows up on the sidewalk, like I did.

• • • • •

Signal flare: If anyone out there is a South Carolina Gamecocks football fan, please get in touch Thanks.

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year we’re going to have a bunch of new T-shirts, with each one designed by a different creative luminary from the Uni Watch family — the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, I’m calling it. Today I’m ready to show you the first one.

We’re kicking off with a shirt by uniform designer/historian Todd Radom, who I’m sure needs no introduction for most of you. After admiring Todd’s work for so many years, and also drawing on his expertise and knowledge countless times, it’s a thrill for me to be working on a creative project with him.

Here’s his design (click to enlarge):

Pretty good, right? The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.”

An important note: We’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and also the dark part of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

The difference is subtle, but it’s there. There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Yesterday was Photo Day at Cardinals camp. They appear to use generic jerseys with no front numbers. Also, Kolten Wong posed while wearing a helmet with a faceguard. … Throwbacks yesterday for Fresno State (from Jared Buccola). … Very nice striped stirrups for Rutgers. although it’d be better if they didn’t wear them backwards (from @OhHeyItsTodd). … Sensational new Expos-style pinwheel cap for Kansas. … Mallex Smith, now with the Rays, could become the latest MLBer to wear No. 0 (thanks, Brinke). … Remember our recent guest entry from Jeff Callahan, who had DIY’d himself a tabletop ballpark game? He’s been working on a new version based on the Polo Grounds. Lots of photos here. … Check this out: Rice is wearing owls on the bat! (From Denis Costello.)

Pro and College Football News: Last month I had an ESPN piece about the new Schutt F7 helmet. In that piece, I noted that the F7’s ridges and vents might make it tricky for teams with traditional decal placements. Now Michael Princip, who was the lead designer on the F7, has created some concepts of how teams wearing the F7 could apply their team designs to the shell. “These are unofficial,” he stresses, but they’re interesting. … Here’s one of those “What if NFL teams were actually soccer teams?” projects (thanks, Mike). … An arena team in Utah lets the fans call the plays. Fans anywhere can participate via a mobile app. They also choose the team’s uniforms. … Here’s the story behind Clemson’s championship logo (from Benji Boyter).

Hockey News: The Blackhawks commissioned a mask for their emergency goaltender, Eric Semborski. It was done by Corey Crawford’s artist, David Gunnarsson (from Marc-Louis Paprzyca). … Former Coyotes player Mike Gartner, thinking he was signing a promotional jersey, accidentally autographed Shane Doan’s game jersey the other night (from Vince Serritella). … Some local hockey players wore throwback uniforms to re-enact the 1907 Stanley Cup match-up between the Kenora Thistles and the Montreal Wanderers (from Will Scheibler). … The ECHL has a fantasy program in which fans can vote on one player from each team who’ll wear a special patch, plus a goalie who’ll wear a gold-themed jersey. You can see two of the goalies here and here (from K.C. Kless).

NBA News: Here’s a look at some notable sneakers from the NBA’s All-Star Weekend (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s something I didn’t know (or maybe just forgot): Craig Hodges, who won the 1992 NBA Three Point Contest, defended his title in 1993 even though he’d been waived by the Bulls and was a free agent at the time. The NBA initially omitted him from the field of contestants but eventually allowed him to compete while wearing a generic NBA jersey (from Jonathan, who didn’t give his last name). … The Cartoon Network reimagined their shows as NBA logos (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: Virginia Tech will be giving away these socks for tonight’s game (from Andrew Cosentino). … Women’s hoops: NJIT and Florida Gulf Coast went red-vs-.green last night (from Jeff Mayer).

Soccer News: I put this in the NFL section, but I’ll put it here too, just in case: Here’s one of those “What if NFL teams were actually soccer teams?” projects (thanks, Mike).

Grab Bag: NASCAR fans are reported in an uproar over risqué Victory Lane models. … This is weird: Vice President Mike Pence was visiting government officials in Germany and was greeted with a 51-star American flag (from DenverGregg). … New logo for the Japan Rugby Football Union (from Jeremy Brahm). … This is pretty cool: NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer’s new helmet has a very realistic-looking faux-rust theme (from David Firestone). … A high school wrestler in Wisconsin was disqualified from a match for wearing multi-colored underwear, which apparently violated an obscure rule (from Jerry Nitzh).

Look at All These Nice People

For all photos, click to enlarge

Good times at yesterday’s Uni Watch meet-up in Brooklyn. Two people I really enjoyed meeting were Craig (above left, didn’t get his last name) and his lovely wife (can’t remember her name even though she told me two times, ugh!), who made the trip from Princeton, N.J. — more than an hour’s drive. Thanks so much for coming, guys!

Two other stalwart attendees were Marc Rivlin, who wore an Israel jersey from the World Baseball Classic, and Mike Engle, who wore an Expos St. Paddy’s cap and a green-trimmed polo shirt that was nicely accessorized by a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch:

It was great to see everyone, including Alan Kreit, Matt Powers, Anthony Burke, our own Phil Hecken, and a bunch of people whose last names I didn’t get, including Dave, Lou, Archie, Jillian, and probably a few others I’m forgetting — big thanks to everyone who came out. I was very bad about taking photos this time around (it’s hard to document everything when everyone’s talking with you and you just want to enjoy their company), but here are a few more (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

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Big yawn in the Big Easy: The NBA All-Star Game was last night, and the uniforms were a total snooze. We’ll never know how much of this was due to the game having been moved from Charlotte to New Orleans due to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law (the league presumably had a more Charlotte-themed uni set in the hopper that had to be scrapped), and/or how much of it was due to Adidas mailing it in for their final All-Star event of their lame-duck tenure. Either way, not much in the way of eye candy. Too bad.

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T-Shirt Club update: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this year we’re going to have a bunch of new T-shirts, with each one designed by a different creative luminary from the Uni Watch family — the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, I’m calling it. Today I’m ready to show you the first one.

We’re kicking off with a shirt by uniform designer/historian Todd Radom, who I’m sure needs no introduction for most of you. After admiring Todd’s work for so many years, and also drawing on his expertise and knowledge countless times, it’s a thrill for me to be working on a creative project with him.

Here’s his design (click to enlarge):

Pretty good, right? The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.”

An important note: We’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and also the dark part of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:

The difference is subtle, but it’s there. There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.

The shirt is available here through next Friday, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a ring that was purchased on a beach in France and never worn. Check it out here.

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Click to enlarge

Penny for your thoughts: On Friday night I saw a movie with my friend Shane, and then we had dinner in Chinatown. When the check came, it included something I’d never seen before: a “Round Off 5 Cents” line. They comped us one cent in order to round the total down to an even $31.40 (instead of $31.41). I guess they don’t want to bother with keeping pennies in the cash register.

The funny thing is that two of the three the suggested tip amounts are not rounded off to the nearest five cents. But I suppose they’re figuring that nobody would actually tip in non-five-cent amount (and they’re right!).

Incidentally, the movie we saw was Kedi, a documentary about all the cats that roam around Istanbul. If you’re a cat person, it’s a must-see. Here’s the trailer:

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: It appears that the Cubs are moving the bullpens at Wrigley to behind the bleachers (from Andrew Cosentino). … Many Pirates took team pictures in caps without the New Era logo yesterday. Others were wearing caps with some sort of wording in place of the MLB logo (from E). … Damon Hirschensohn spotted a Delta plane with Mariano Rivera’s number and signature in Salt Lake City. More on the Rivera plane here. … Which MLB pitchers are currently wearing a single-digit number? Find out here (from Randall J. Sanders). … Ole Miss wore some super-slick powder blue unis yesterday against ECU, who wore purple (from Gnarly Reb and Jordan L. Smith). … Looks like Air Force is bringing the Sharktooth to the diamond (from Adam Henderson). … Maryland broke out the faux-flannel yesterday (from Matt Shevin).

Hockey NewsThe Ducks wore yellow warm-up jerseys in support of the Ronald McDonald House yesterday (from Josh Hunhoff). … Randy Clement was poking around and found this shot of what appears to be a Minnesota North Stars player wearing sunglasses on the ice during the team’s first-ever preseason game. The player is identified as Les Burton, and it appears that he was cut before the season began. … WGN in Chicago must not have gotten the memo that the Sabres retired the Buffaslug in 2010 (from Rob Daniel). … The Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL retired No. 91 for former player Colin Chaulk on Saturday night — but accidentally raised the banner to the rafters upside-down. The banner was fixed after the first period (from Tris Wykes). … Staying in the ECHL, the Missouri Mavericks wore baseball-style uniforms to honor the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues on Saturday (from Adam Fritzen). … The Windsor Spitfires of the OHL wore uniforms honoring former captain Mickey Renaud, who died suddenly at age 19 in 2008. The chest logo includes Renaud’s No. 18 surrounded by a gold wreath (from Wade Heidt). … The New York Riveters of the NWHL wore military appreciation unis yesterday (from Zach Pearce). … A painting company in Virginia is using the Penguins logo. It’s the second time this week a Uni Watcher has spotted a local business poaching the Penguins logo (from Steve B.).

College Hoops News:  Illinois State wore some wild candy-striped shorts as part of a throwback set yesterday (from Trey Volk). … Color-on-color in an A-10 matchup yesterday between George Washington and Duquesne (from Rich Donahue). … Northwestern and Rutgers went color-on-color Saturday night. With the win, the Wildcats are now 3-0 in their black “Gothic” unis (from Dan Sagerman).

Soccer NewsLee Hodson of Rangers FC in the Scottish Premier League took the pitch the yesterday without a crest on his jersey. A crest was applied to his jersey at halftime (from WeeFuse). … Allesandro Florenzi of AS Roma is out at least six months with a knee injury, so his teammates wore his No. 24 on their sleeves yesterday in his honor (from The Rake). … Seattle Sounders debuted the championship star above their team crest last night against Charleston Battery (from Will Chitty).

Grab BagChris Viel found this old Houston Gamblers pennant at an antique store. …  A former Middle Tennessee State football player tracked down his old jersey and got it back after nearly a decade and a half (from Wade Harder). … Teams in Australia’s National Rugby League are selling Marvel superhero-themed jerseys (from Josh Gardner).

A(nother) Bunch of Concepts For Your Sunday Reading Pleasure

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By Phil Hecken

Last Sunday I ran a whole bunch of concepts I’d been saving up over the past few months, and today I have another nice batch for you guys. During the week, I also received a couple new (which I’ll run today) concepts, so if you have any tweaks, concepts or wholesale revisions for uniforms, send them my way. OK? OK. You can click on the photos below to enlarge.

. . .

We begin today with Timothy Lloyd, who has some ideas for a “two year” solution for the Los Angeles Rams before they move into their new home (Tim listed the gold top as a “home” — which I assume would be an alternate):

Lloyd, Tim - Rams Home 1

Lloyd, Tim - Rams Home 3 Lloyd, Tim - Rams Home 2

Lloyd, Tim - Rams Home 4 Lloyd, Tim - Rams Road 1

Phil,

For Coliseum Years Only! 2017 -2018

2 years left in the Coliseum. These throwback like uniforms fashioned to be like the 50’s-60’s Rams uniforms would be great interim uniforms in my humble opinion. Home and Away.

Thanks,

Tim

. . .

Next up is John Tschudy with some baseball concepts. He’s also only a junior in High School!

Vegas Desert Heat 1 - John Tschudy

Vegas Desert Heat 2 - John Tschudy

Denver Snowsox - John Tschudy

Hello Mr. Hecken,

My name is John Tschudy and I am a junior in high school. I read Uni-Watch every day as uniforms and logos are my passions. I saw your recent post on Uni-Watch and it prompted me to share some of my concepts of made up teams with you. I wish to someday be a graphic designer/ sports uniform designer, and I wanted to know what you think about the designs I’ve made attached below.

Thank You,

John Tschudy

. . .

Next up is Trevor Tierney, who actually has an entire page of concepts — one of them is below, with a link included that will take you to the page where the full set of San Diego (now LA) Chargers is waiting — these were sent in shortly before the Chargers announced their move up north to LA…

Tierney, Trevor - Chargers

Hey guys,

My chargers uni concept.

Trevor Tierney

The entire set of concepts can be found here

. . .

And we conclude with a set of Dallas Mavericks concepts from Chet Gole:

Gole, Chet - Mavericks 1 Gole, Chet - Mavericks 2

Gole, Chet - Mavericks 3 Gole, Chet - Mavericks 4

I am a huge fan of Uni-Watch. Part of my morning routine is checking your website, reading the article and scrolling down to the basketball section of the ticker.

I am also a huge Dallas Mavericks fan. I became a fan as a kid because growing up in Kentucky because we didn’t have an NBA team, so I chose the Mavericks because their newer logo with a horse and the bright blue reminded me of home – Plus Nash and Dirk were really fun to watch.

When the Mavericks did the fan design contest, I started a design but was not able to finish due to my work schedule. Seeing the design Mark Cuban chose was devastating to me because “Maverick” is kind of a synonym for originality and that design was an OBVIOUS RIP OFF OF THE DENVER NUGGETS YELLOW ALTERNATE. So over the past month I finally finished my design in hopes you could post it on the site.

I love it when franchises redesign by harkening back to their aesthetic golden era while adding something new (a la – Warriors, Bucks and Jazz). I believe the Mavs should follow suit. The cowboy hat logo is classic, and I love the color schemes from both uniform eras (even though the Timberwolves ripped them both off) so I combined both color schemes and added a new element – leather.

I know it sounds crazy, but I remember reading one of your articles on the Padres’ brown uniforms and how brown can be a powerful accent color if used the right way. There are so many elements of Cowboy/Texas culture that involve the color brown and/or leather (i.e – hats, boots, belts, horses, saddles, rope etc.) So I added the color “light tobacco” to the team’s color pallet in my design.

Home design: The definition of a Maverick is a “nonconforming free spirit” or “unbranded livestock” so I thought it would be cool to have the waistband and side stripe resemble a broken lasso rope. I couldn’t find the font from the Diddy designed “Mavs” script, so I created the “D” logo from splicing up the original “M” in adobe illustrator.

Away design: I love the “Mavs” script from the original P. Diddy design. It’s classic and fun without being tacky. I tried to make this one simple without being boring like the Mavs’ original uniforms. As I said before, I love both previous Mavs color schemes so I did my best to incorporate both in one design.

Alternate 1: This one is goofy as hell. The waistband is a cowboy belt with side panel gun holsters and a throwback logo as a belt buckle. I doubt this would ever fly in the NBA because of the whole gun thing, but I think it was worth a shot (no pun intended.)

Alternate 2: The “L”s in this “Dallas” chest script are are also from me splicing the original “M” in adobe illustrator. In an attempt to make that shitty fan contest alternate design ACTUALLY ORIGINAL, I put the skyline around the bottom of one leg and their throwback logo with the “light tobacco” colored basketball on the other side.

I hope the Mavs redesign soon and if they do, I just hope it’s not tangible vomit like the Atlanta Hawks. I know you’re busy, but if you get the chance I’d love your feedback – Thanks again for creating such an awesome site!

Best,

Chet Gole
pronounced “Go-Lay”

. . .

I think that brings me up to date on all the concepts (at least going back through last summer anyway). If you sent me something and you haven’t seen it run, please re-send it. I’ll try to get to the concepts (from now on, in sub-ledes) as they come in! Thanks to all who submitted and keep them coming!

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reminder

ESPN reminder:

bfbs

In case you missed it Thursday, Paul’s latest ESPN column focuses on what could be the beginning of the end of the BFBS trend, with a great (and exhaustive, though far from total) look at teams who have gone “Black For Black’s Sake” over the years. Enjoy.

. . .

Party reminder:

Uni Watch Gathering - Washington, D.C. 2-6-13

Uni Watch party TODAY, Feb. 19, 3pm, in the back room of the Douglass (which is the same place we used to meet at, Sheep Station, but with a new name). Paul will be there, I’ll be there, and Paul may have theoretical T-shirts to sell, etc. Come join us!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Stirrups may be a rarity in the bigs, but not at the college level. On Friday ASU broke out some beauties (from Nicholas Badders). … Not to be outdone in the rup department, Northwestern rocked the rups (from Jake Owens). … Rutgers wears a beautiful northwestern pattern on their hose (from TODD). … If you look closely at this photo of Dee Gordon, you can see an All Star Game patch on his sleeve and cap (good spot by Todd Pratt). … Will the Orioles be wearing black pants and striped socks? David Chisholm writes, “Saw this from a screenshot of the new upcoming MLB the Show game. The black pants with orange socks with black stripes the jersey looks like the orange one but I haven’t seen anything about this nor if it’s real.” … The West Virginia Mountaineers broke out the blue tops yesterday (from Coleman Mullins). Can’t say I’m a fan of the modified Henley jersey look. … UAB Baseball has new green jerseys (from UAB Baseball). … Oral Roberts has some nice new mono-navy uniforms and I like them a lot, aside from that awful collar (looks like they’re trying to affect a cadet collar); appears to have some side panels too — but if you’re going to wear a dark top, then I LOVE that paired with dark pants (from Scott D. Slarks). … I’m not a sneaker/cleat guy but apparently WVU has a set of Nike PEs (which I believe to mean ‘player exclusives’ but I could be wrong). “Wanted to send this your way. Entire team (was) wearing a pair of these (yester)day vs Texas Tech.” (from Joshua Exline). The shoes pay tribute to “Coach Huggs.” … Yomiuri Giants and Tokyo Yakult Swallows will both have uniforms saying “Tokyo” on the front. Adds submitter Graveyard Baseball, “Clever SwinG usage.” … “A couple screenshots from after his Monday Night Baseball performance against the Yankees on June 28, 1976,” writes Tom Ekstrand. “Interviewed on-field by Bob Uecker, the camera pans up from the Bird’s feet to his face and Fidrych is showing off his handsome stirrups with no cleats on. There were giants in those days.”

NFL/College Football News: “I thought I knew everything about FSU’s uniforms, but I’m dumbfounded when it comes to these SFSS (Silver For Silver’s Sake) Uniforms in Nikes ‘newest template’ for Junior Day,” writes RJ Waddell. “What are these, and WHY?! Garnet numbers (school color), Gold trim (school color). What’s up with the silver sh*t?” Anyone know? … Ohhhh, check out these beautiful antique store treasures — old Canton-McKinley unis (from Judd Allen). … “I seem to have a USFL t-shirt addiction, and I like it,” writes Eric Gamborg. … Of course, our friend Jim Vilk loves his USFL long-sleeves as well. … How’s this for a stellar uniform matchup? 1990 Freedom Bowl, Oregon vs. Colorado State (from Funhouse). … New home uniforms for Cornell Football (from Old Army Fight).

Hockey News: When the Milwaukee Admirals broke out their Slap Shot-inspired uniforms on Friday evening, they had some special guests: the (original) Hanson Brothers from the movie were special guests (from Zach). … Collectors items or simply overstock? The Carolina Hurricanes’ team shop is selling pucks with the old Toronto Maple Leafs logo (from Michael Nantais). … Here’s a look at the Mr. I (Mike Ilitch) patch (from Funhouse). … The Green Bay Gamblers became the Green Bay Cheese last night (from Ryan Wozniak). … The Fort Wayne Komets retired the number 16 91 last evening (from Best Fans Fort Wayne). … CROSSOVER ALERT: The Flint Firebirds paid tribute to fictional ABA Flint Tropics from the movie Semi-Pro (also posted in the Basketball section). From Wade Heidt. … A little pink-in-the-rink action last evening for the Reading Royals (from Thom Pucks).

NBA/Basketball News: Like Friday Night’s “Rising Stars” Game, yesterday evening’s D-League All-Star Game was a color vs. color affair (thanks to Zach). … Also from Zach, the NBA was using both purple and black basketballs as well as black and white basketballs during the “Skills” challenge at the All Star Game, “probably to differentiate between the 2 players competing at once.” … More from Zach — the 3 point contest uses different colored money balls. … Chad Fields noticed “some diamond-shaped things in the nets, and wondered if anyone knows what they’re all about. Anyone? — Oh, nevermind: we have our answer. … CROSSOVER ALERT: The Flint Firebirds paid tribute to fictional ABA Flint Tropics from the movie Semi-Pro (also posted in the Hockey section). From Wade Heidt. … And here’s our NBA report from Zach Loesl: A look at Eric Gordon’s shoes; here’s a shot of Nick Young’s shoes; and, finally, here is the drone used during the slam dunk contest.

College/High School Hoops News: The Odgensburg Blue Devils, who happen to be the High School of the Bucky, wear some very Golden State Warrior-esque jerseys. And (since they’re the “Blue Devils”) it looks like very Duke-esque pants. … Navy Women’s Hoops wore Navy Jack inspired warmups for the Star Game against Army (from Gregory Koch). … Check out this interesting name/Mascot combo on old Louisville uniforms (from Wes Sparkmon). … “I know UW is about visual art in sports, but what about the performance art side? 1st came TD celebrations, now Dribble Dancing!” says Louise Brooks Fan Club. … “For the second consecutive game, Virginia Tech wore their GFGS/PFPS Coaches vs Cancer uniforms at Louisville,” yesterday (writes Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew, “Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams sweats…a lot! He sweated through his dress shirt so much that he changed into an orange VT t-shirt for the second half.” … LaSalle and St. Joe’s played a color vs. color game yesterday, with submitter steve pointing out that LaSalle’s golds didn’t really match. … Also going color vs. color was Pitt and FSU (from Broc Barwick). Pitt was wearing their royal “Pitt” script throwbacks at home as well (from Mike Slavonic). … Kansas and Baylor went color vs. color retina sear yesterday as well (also from Broc). … George Mason wore dark unis at home against Rhode Island (from Patrick O’Neill). … Youngstown State wore white unis with pink NOBs and numbers yesterday (from Robert Hayes). … I’m not quite sure what’s going on in this photo — hoods on basketball jerseys? (from Greg Stevenson). … More color on color in SoCal: UCLA/USC basketball taking a page from football game (from Johnny Rath). … Oops: ESPN used the Lafayette College logo during a UL Lafayette highlight (from Mike McCorkle).

Soccer News: The Philadelphia Union have announced some new kit numbers for the 2017 season (from ThomPucks). … Reader Mark Eiken thought this was a tribute to the Brownies or Girl Scouts, when it is actually the uniform of the Minnesota United, which was unveiled the other day.

Grab Bag: It’s not just College Baseball that’s been getting started this weekend. Lax is also facing off for the first time. And the Princeton Tigers have new unis this season (from LaxSportsNet). … “Matte white helmets for @cornellLacrosse (yester)day,” writes Maria Canales. “Unsure if that’s new for this season, but either way looks cool.” … “Due to a colour clash, the GWS Giants changed into dark shorts at quarter time of their AFLW game against the Fremantle Dockers,” notes Graham Clayton. … MN native Ryan Dungey was wearing a Viking supercross jersey at usbank stadium supercross (from Justin Cronin). … Tweeter Jay Wright says “Worst uniform/singlet ever, right. Flag desecration on a new level (Iowa HS state wrestling).”

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And that’s it for today. Sorry for the back-to-back Sundays of concepts, but as I’d explained in yesterday’s post — I’d expected to run the All Star Game uni favorites (and not-so-favorites) from Jimmer Vilk, but those plans got changed.

To all the NYC-area readers, the Uni Watch Gathering is TODAY at 3:00 at The Douglass (deets above). Hope to see some of you there!

Enjoy the NBA All Star Game tonight.

Everyone have a great Sunday and a better week, and I’ll catch you next weekend. Till then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“What do the 2017 NBA All Star jerseys look like?
First thought is K-mart blue light specials.
Soon to come in bulk to a liquidation store near you.”

— Will S.

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Mr. Vilk Looks Back at NBA All Star Games Past

ASG vilk 550
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By Phil Hecken, with Jimmer Vilk

I have a confession to make — this piece was actually supposed to run tomorrow, the day of the actual NBA All Star Game. Originally, I had planned to run a new “What’s Your Sign(ature)?” piece, but as I was preparing to write that yesterday, I was contacted by an old friend (and former UW contributor) who proposed a piece we’ve done in the past. I heartily accepted, as he promised me he could have that piece for me last evening (to run this morning). Unfortunately, at 1:00 am, he contacted and let me know it “wouldn’t be finished.” Had I written the What’s Your Sign(ature) bit as planned, I could have just dropped that in here. However, I had confidence my old friend would get me his promised article. He did not, and I didn’t have a backup. As weekend editor, that’s on me. But I’m not happy. Anyway, kudos to Jimmer Vilk for stepping up bigly and getting me HIS piece a day early. I’ll make sure I try have some juicy content for tomorrow, and I learned a lesson the hard way. ALWAYS have a piece in reserve.

With that off my chest, Jimmer and I had planned this to run tomorrow — but you’ll still get to enjoy it a day early.

When the NBA ditched the 2017 All Star Game location (scheduled for Charlotte originally) and moved it to New Orleans, a lot of scrambling had to be done. I believe adidas, in their last year of the NBA contract, had had some “Carolina”-type themed uniforms (as they usually tailored ASG unis to the venue in the past), but when the event was moved, the jerseys the West and East will wear tomorrow are…well, pretty generic. In fact, it almost seems like adidas just threw in the towel here, since they’re gone after the season and there probably wasn’t all that much time to come up with new, New Orleans-esque unis. Although after the last set of uniforms worn in a NOLA All Star Game, maybe that’s for the best.

Here’s what they’ll be wearing tomorrow: gray (dark) vs gray (light). With an adidas logo and a Kia ad.

17 ASG 1

17 ASG 3 17 ASG 2

The West will be in the darker gray while the East will be in the light shade.

NBA All Star game unis over the years have been great, good and lousy. I’d put this years into the later category only because they’re so lifeless. But back in the day they were bold, bright and colorful (that doesn’t always make them good, but it did make them more interesting). Jimmer is going to give you a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly in his own unique way. So, on that note, I’ll turn the rest of this over to him (as I type this, it’s 1:30 am)…

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All Time, All Stars, All Jimmer
By Jim Vilk

Two years ago I set out to make the most time-spanning Best All Time All Star Game Uniforms list there is. One can only span so far, though, in the confines of the usual 5&1 format. Thankfully Phil gave me three times the space today so I can get even more comprehensive as you try to comprehend my tastes.

Unlike the 5&1s, let’s get my three bad ones out of the way. I want to end on a high note. We begin with…

. . .

&3) 1996

1996a

I actually liked the previous year’s unis (we’ll see them later). My tastes kind of drew a line in the sand with them, however, and this year’s crossed that line. The number font just plain bugs me. Then there is the jalapeno. Change that into a carrot and you’d have the uni the Tune Squad should have worn in Space Jam. Not even the trim or the teal could save this look for me.

. . .

&2) 2014

2014a

What is this, the MLS All Star Game? I don’t like the lack of front numbers, and I REALLY don’t like how the West’s red and blue didn’t contrast enough. On the plus side, at least there wasn’t an ad patch on the jerseys.

. . .

&1) 2008

2008

Welcome to Rock Bottom. The numbers are too small, the lettering is WAY too busy…and seriously…who thinks it’s a good idea to have one team with an all-white front and the other team with an all-white back? Even if this game was on free TV I wouldn’t have watched that mess.

. . .

Before we continue, yes, all my bad ones were from the last 25 years. Stay tuned, though, because the 21st century hasn’t been all bad. It’s well represented in the Top 15, and higher than you probably assume. OK, back to the countdown…

. . .

15) 1951

1951

Ah, the charming simplicity of the inaugural unis. It’s really all you need, though, especially in a game that wasn’t televised. I wouldn’t wear the Chuck Taylors those players had, but I’d wear those uniforms.

. . .

14) 1987

1987

Like 2003 but with proper shorts. This game was the third thing I ever recorded on our family’s VCR and since I don’t have TNT I’ll be watching it instead of tomorrow’s game. I’d like the unis better if the jerseys had “East” and “West” instead of both having “NBA.”

. . .

13) 1967

1967d

The first of the host team-themed unis, and they started out with a great one. If the Warriors ever host another game I hope they do something similar with their new bridge logo.

. . .

12) 2012

2012

Sublimation can be fun. I like the nice big numbers and the fonts. I also like how they didn’t go overboard with the stars on this set.

. . .

11) 2004

2004b

It’s as if the New York Rangers collided with a mid-60s NBA All Star uni. My only quibble is that the numbers could’ve been bigger.

. . .

10) 1983

1983

I have great memories of watching this game, so I thought it would have ranked higher. The picture you see of Kareem, though, shows why it isn’t. They should’ve accounted for his name when designing these otherwise nice unis. Even Doc’s name makes a great case for putting names under numbers.

. . .

9) 1979

1979

Apparently I have a thing for diagonals. Even quirkier than 2004, this has the East going up and the West going down. If Future Me ever does another list, don’t be surprised if this one ranks higher.

. . .

8) 1982

1982

I gave this set extra points for trying. A lot going on with the backs of those jerseys. The number font makes up for it, though. If I were to tweak these I’d switch the conference name and the “All Stars.”

. . .

7) 1995

1995

I can’t believe this one is ranked so high. And yet it is. Actually when it first came out my reaction was different, but back then I didn’t know the NBA had a long history of host-themed unis. Present Me joins ’95 Me in loving that font, though.

. . .

6) 2006

2006

Another one with great fonts. I would’ve liked it more if the West had better contrast with the numbers. Hard to believe this futuristic-looking uni is now 11 years old!

. . .

5) 1972

1972

This was my #4 two years ago. I still love the thought of Celtics stars having to wear Lakers colors.

. . .

4) 1978

1978a

This was my #5 two years ago, but that crossword puzzle look is really growing on me. I may have to DIY an Artis Gilmore Western Conference shirt someday.

. . .

3) 2009

2009a

I don’t know if they were going for hot desert days and cool desert nights with those unis, but that’s the impression I got. The fonts and the subtle phoenix trim were more reasons to love this set. And, like 2012, the KC Kings fan in me loves names under numbers.

. . .

2) 1966

1966b

Best I could do was get a couple of screenshots from this video. I love the big normal-sized numbers and the stars down the sides. Ask me again some other time and this could easily be my #1. But for now that honor goes to…

. . .

1) 1981

1981

Yes, this is 1981. Sports Illustrated and SI Kids say the 1980 unis were used in ’81 but they weren’t. I know because I was there and so was CBS Sports. I love the non-serif block font, and even though there’s a lot on there, everything is just so perfectly proportioned. If you watch the video, you’ll see they even got Kareem’s name to fit without any problems.

. . .

As I used to say years ago, I don’t consider this THE list…it’s just my list. My opinion is invalid no better than yours, so let’s hear your picks in the comments. Thanks for your time, and enjoy the game!

. . . . . . . . . . .

Thanks Jimmer! Thanks also for getting this to me *early* (it’s now 2:45 am as I type this) so it could run today. I’m too tired now to argue with your choices, so I’ll just end this with, “good job, good effort!”

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UW QBC Panel 3

Queens Baseball Convention Panel

You guys (and gals) will no doubt recall that Paul hosted the Uni Panel at this year’s Queens Baseball Convention (QBC), otherwise known as a “Mets Fan Fest” at the end of last month. I had a quick rundown of the uni panel at the beginning of the linked post, and that Monday, Paul had the audio from the event. Now, finally, there is video to go along with it. The star-studded panel included Paul (of course), plus Russ Gompers (the Mets jersey stitcher), Jon Springer (author and Mets-numerologist), designer Todd Radom and Nick DiSalvo (jersey collector and expert on all game-worn Mets jerseys). Oh yeah, I was there too, with a segment on Mets uni tracking for 2016.

If you have a few minutes (or 50+), give it a watch. I thought it was one of our better discussions (this was the third time we’ve all done this now). Enjoy!

UNIPANEL from Media Goon aka Keith Blacknick on Vimeo.

Big thanks to Keith Blacknick (aka “Media Goon”) and Shannon Shark of Mets Police!

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reminder

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it Thursday, Paul’s latest ESPN column focuses on what could be the beginning of the end of the BFBS trend, with a great (and exhaustive, though far from total) look at teams who have gone “Black For Black’s Sake” over the years. Enjoy.

Party reminder: Uni Watch party TOMORROW, Feb. 19, 3pm, in the back room of the Douglass (which is the same place we used to meet at, Sheep Station, but with a new name). Paul will be there, I’ll be there, and Paul may have theoretical T-shirts to sell, etc. Come join us!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Ooooohhh. Check out this bee-you-tee-ful 1906 Official Score Book from the Eastern League (via The Skimmers). … Also via The Skimmers, look at this tremendous 1905 photo of John McGraw of the New York Giants manning first. And check out the bag itself — is that a “baserunner cutout” we see there? … Neat overhead shot of the Houston Astros’ spring training complex. … Not sure if this is new, but Luke Jackson writes, “I’ve noticed Francisco Lindor is wearing New Balance. Big UnderArmour guy since being in MLB.” … The St. Paul Saints tweeted, “Our fans seem to love the 25th Anniversary uniform and cap with the kids calling them ‘lit’ & ‘fleek.’ Your thoughts @PhilHecken @UniWatch?” My thoughts are, “are ‘lit’ and ‘fleek’ still things?” … That post of course inspired Bruce Menard to come up with this picture of the 1939 St. Paul Saints. … When NL expansion happened in 1962, the Astros (nee Colt 45s) and Mets took two divergent paths towards stocking their teams. The Mets had hoped to lure both Brooklyn Dodger and NY Giants fans so they stocked their roster with past-prime former Dodgers (Hodges, Labine, Lavagetto, Craig, Zimmer, Neal), all of whom showed up to that first spring training (thanks to Bruce Menard). … Latest team to join the matte helmet parade — the Miami Marlins (from Richard). … You need to listen to this “Hall Of Very Good” podcast with Todd Radom. Twice (from Hall of Very Good). … Lots and lots of unis and combos for the University of Virginia (from Wayne Jones). … Former Met Bartolo Colon is shown wearing a Braves helmet with the “a” logo (from Sander Bryan). … Here’s a closer look at the jersey number (and NOB) detailing for the Mets (and other teams have this as well) ST jerseys (via Shannon Shark). … We may still have to wait a bit for real baseball (as great as spring training may be), but they’re already playing College Ball. Here’s FSU’s first combo of the year (nice that they’re starting the season off with all white unis). From Christy. … Here’s a look at the unis the Miami Hurricanes will wear this season (from Jeff C). And apparently this is their BP cap (from Jeff). … Here’s a great shot of UNC Baseball from the ’90s — the 1890s (from James Gilbert). … USC (SCar) baseball is honoring a long-time fan who recently passed away. “Oot-oot” was his heckling call of choice. … Tommy Bahama is out with new Spring Training aloha shirts. Here are the shirts for the Grapefruit League, and for the Cactus League (from R. Scott Rogers). … New all black softball uniforms for the Florida Gators (from GatorsSB EQ). … Coastal Carolina, the 2016 champs, opened their season in white pins (via Joe Murano). … This is disappointing — The San Francisco Dons are sporting beautiful pins, and then ruining it with 2-in-1s (good spot by Brandon). … On the flip side of the ‘rup coin is Oklahoma, who rocked some really nice ones yesterday (from Trayton Miller). … “Looks as if Miami U (Ohio) turned a bad uni (at least hat) triple play [yester]day… wow!!” says Matt Newbery. … Also in the “good” stirrups camp (albeit a wee bit too much opening being shown) are Youngstown State University (from Robert Hayes). … Tweeter Griffin Smith thinks Presbyterian Baseball has some “tough color combos.” … Beau Parsons points out the Tigers are using their 1964-93 logo on their website. … President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were presented with a Maine-Endwell Little League World Series Championship jersey and hat during a meeting. … Looks like Michigan softball is wearing raised logos on their helmets this year (good spot by TJ Hudge). … Here’s a close-up of Craig Kimbrel’s custom Kobe cleats (from Zach Loesl).

NFL/Football News: How great is this old photo of Jim Brown? (via the Browns). They need to revert to that uni as soon as their contract will allow. … Oh my. As pointed out by New Year, who dis?, there was an unfortunate logo mishap during Thursday night’s Indoor Football League game. … The Green Bay Packers are planning to hold monthly history nights, the first of which kicks off on February 28th (via Rich Ryman). … The hed and sub hed of this article, “Will Nike ever alter Eagles uniforms? Nike has changed eight uniforms since the company become the NFL’s uniform supplier. Will the Eagles ever fall into the Nike purge?” certainly implies that such changes are actually, ya know, up to Nike. Not the way things work in the NFL. Of course, there would be many (myself included), who would love for the Eagles to return to kelly green, but ultimately, that’s NOT Nike’s call.

Hockey News: Here’s a new (and rare end-of-season release) of new white jerseys for Robert Morris University Women’s Hockey (from Alan Saunders). … The Belfast Giants, of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League, wore pink Valentines jerseys the other day (from The Lupine One). … Tweeter Brian Prutch says of these black and pink jerseys, “2017 jerseys for this weekends @UtahGrizz games. Names represent someone that has survived or that we lost.” Also “cancer sucks”. … The infamous “worst jersey ever?” Burger King sweaters make a return to the ice, only they’ll be worn by the Ontario Reign (from Kristopher Sharpe). … Not sure I’ve ever seen this before, but it’s definitely cool: the Missouri Mavericks are doing a “Salute Weekend” which includes a Negro Leagues tribute mask (from Jon Saddler). They’re honoring Willie O’Ree, 81, who was the first black player to play in a National Hockey League game (you can learn more here). … The Reading Royals will wear these extremely pink sweaters today (from THOMPUCKS). … The Milwaukee Admirals busted out the Slapshot-inspired sweaters last evening (from ROW THE GOPH).

NBA/Basketball News: Whoa — check out this sweet CBA Oshkosh Flyers program from the 84-85 season (from Brad Beck). … The NBA All Star Game has emojis you can download. … There are Ekins and then well, there are people who get a swoosh and jumpman logo tattooed on their faces. From Eric Juergens, who writes, “Jumpman on her face..gross.” Pretty much. … Last evening’s “Rising Stars” game for the All Star festivities was color vs. color (from Zach). … Also from Zach, TNT’s mic flags were Sager Strong. … Mark Cuban trolled President Donald Trump last night by wearing a No. 46 jersey at NBA celeb game. … The following are all NBA reports from Zach Loesl: Master P went full sleeves in the Celebrity Game; two players wore triple digits; The adidas patch was on the Rising Stars challenge jerseys; Kristaps Porzingis wore cool shoes during the Rising Stars challenge; and finally, a custom ball and net were used during the Rising Stars challenge; … Here’s a list of the 10 worst sneakers ever worn at the NBA All Star game.

College/High School Hoops News: The Northwestern Wildcats will be breaking out their “Gothic” uniforms today (from NU Men’s Basketball). … According to Chris Lather, a “Laundry mishap meant color vs color action (last) night for @CwoodHoops vs Estelline in varsity action.”

Soccer News: Nice find by Paul who sends in this New York Times article on corner flags in the English Premier League. … If you’re a fan of Real Salt Lake (or even if you’re not), this article ranks all their kits from best to worst. … Looks like D.C. United will finally be getting their “own” stadium after “a dozen years of frustration to replace RFK Stadium as its home.” … With all the new MLS releases recently, I can’t keep track of what we’ve seen and haven’t seen. So just to be safe, here’s the Orlando City 2017 primary reveal. More images here (from DontTrustAny1ButRon). … The Minnesota United revealed their kits yesterday (scroll down for more images). From Ben Hagen and Smiley. … The Colorado Rapids unveiled a new secondary jersey earlier this week. It’s very gold.

Grab Bag: If you’re a fan of Leinenkugels beer then you might be interested to know they have new “branding” (according to Chris Viel). That’s merely a redesign, not a rebranding however. … “Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank had a cool brand before stepping into a hot mess.” That’s from Tommy Turner. … Here’s a history of shark-mouth nose art on fighter planes. Adds submitter R. Scott Rogers, “Includes everything from WWI biplanes all the way up to recent USAF football unis.” … “The city of Orlando,FL is having a contest to design their new flag,” writes Kevin Kleinhans. “Not sports related but I figured there might be some interested. Do not need to be a resident to enter.”

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Jimmer Vilk for coming through at a very late hour and for saving today’s post. Sorry I couldn’t run it on the day of the actual All Star Game, but them’s the breaks. I’m not 100% sure, but I am hoping to attend the Devils/Isles game tonight, and if so, I will be off the grid for a good portion of the day. So tomorrow’s content (don’t worry, I’ll get a lede done) may be somewhat light. And to all the NYC-area readers, don’t forget the Douglass gathering on Sunday. As I put this piece to bed, it’s 3:00 am.

Back atcha tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Guess I’m the only non-fan of the raised – too perfectly puffy – precision poppy – batting helmet logos. Will always prefer the pine tar smudged can’t even see the logo look of yesteryear. But, I’m old.”

— Muddlehead

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