Pictured L-R: Bill Sinnott, Matt Blinco, Ryan Foose, Lou Brock, Scott de Fasselle, Ross Clites
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By Phil Hecken
Weekend readers will recall the most recent design contest held earlier this year — to design uniforms for the Lewis & Clark Baseball League — a contest which took up a good number of Saturdays (and Sundays). It was the brainchild of league Executive VP, Ross Clites, and many of Uni Watch readers (and designers) participated in the contest, and even more of you took the time to vote for your favorite designs. I won’t link back to all the contest/voting (but you can read about the beginning, the final voting on designs, and the the commencement here), but today I am pleased to bring back Ross, who will bring us up to speed on what has become of the contest since all the winners were chosen. Let’s just say it’s been a long and winding road.
The teams played the first half of their season, and the midseason break concluded with an All-Star Game held at beautiful Busch Stadium in St. Louis. All the designers who had submitted winning concepts were also invited — and as you can see from the splash photo — four of them were able to get to the game and the festivities surrounding the event.
Here then, is Ross — who took all the contest entries, helped sort out the winners (with your voting assistance), worked with the winning designers on a final concept, then worked to get those designs (for caps and jerseys) made into actual on-field product. And Lou Brock was there! How cool is that?
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The Lewis & Clark Baseball League All-Star Game and more By Ross Clites
Not sure whether we were the chicken or the egg on the idea, but we beat MLB to the execution of using the 2014 All-Star Game as the stage to unveil our alternate caps. For the first year and a half of the LCBL, uniformity ruled the hat aesthetics. We knew we had a new product that needed to get its name out there — too early to splinter off our identity to the team ranks. If someone in the local scene heard the team “Travelers” tossed around, it had to be known that our league was its umbrella brand. We settled on an epsilon ampersand, because it a) looked cool, b) tied Lewis to Clark in nearly every documented account of their lives, and c) punctuation as a prominent front-of-cap logo was ambiguous enough to be a great conversation starter on recruiting trips. The New Era 59/50 cap, with all the specs of the pros, really look sharp in all ten (err, nine) team color combinations. The unwavering composition, with only the hues varying, makes them a truly unified family — like a collector’s set. If we went with team logos too soon, prople in airports or restaurants would assume it was some random Single-A or youth travel program’s cap. They would move on with their day, never asking to know more.
But when our Midsummer Classic rolled around, it was finally that time. We utilized the skill sets of several great Uni Watch contributors for the designs; O.C. Sports delivered the great flex-fit product. We now have two on-field game caps that provide a visually interesting set of aesthetic rules: team logo cap at home and the ampersand on the road. This follows the traditional sports theme of “tell us where you’re from” for visiting teams, while playing up the nickname at home.
This guideline coincides with our LCBL players wearing grey pants whenever they are the guests on the scoreboard. In the color vs. color era (until we can afford a second set of jerseys per team) these subtle differences help organize the action for tardy spectators. The uniforms were masterfully created by the fine people of Garb Athletics. The sleeve patches are insanely intricate and Steve Rosenbeck’s staff knocked it out of the park. President Nicholas Mahrt and I knew the jerseys would be hot (like physical temperature), but thick tackle twill was the only way to go. We remembered our playing days and how ballplayers almost account for the restrictions and weight of the best-made uniforms. I personally believe Dri-Fit t-shirt jerseys and sublimated numbers are the downfall of baseball today. I’ll meet you in the middle on mesh, but you have to have the visual depth that twill letters and numbers provide.
The beauty of our game is remaining comfortable in the uncomfortable moments. It isn’t quite wool any longer, but even today’s professional ranks still have to perform in cumbersome apparel. Thanks to the Uni Watch contest, our Lewis & Clark Baseball League players can embrace that authentic uncomfortability while looking really sharp. I am not blowing smoke when I say a few of these on-field looks could convince even a trained Uni Watcher that they’re new franchises in the Eastern League of AA. Let’s take a look at how everything turned out in 2014 (click on any image to enlarge):
Like most, CAPT look best at home, where their white side panel carries down on to their white pants. The front panel of the alt. cap ties it all together with just the right amount of white. And that bird (Clark’s nutcracker)… so good. It makes the Baltimore Oriole look like it was thrown together by a third grader.
Joining the class of traditional “headspoon” piped jerseys, DIPL has a vibrant A’s alt. feel. They have the only LCBL cap, of any kind, with the same color brim/crown combination. Their kelly-on-kelly green O.C. Sports hat took into consideration just how loud their jersey is. Any more yellow gold in the cap and it would have been too much.
The reigning champs certainly have a new-age college template. A New Era snafu, in year one, has been embraced into the EXPL style guide for their future. The scarlet and graphite team “mistakenly” had black ampersands on the original caps (a few returning players still wear this 2013 model. The league-wide uniformity of same color brim/logo (graphite) was rectified, but the black has stuck around. It now accents the jersey and is the base for the new alternate cap.
Speaking of cap company mix-ups, we present the legend of Governor Ursus, the purple bear. Somewhere along the lines we unknowingly approved a violet logo on our navy, cardinal, and white tri-color hat. Makes sense, right? We wish intuition ruled the world a little more, with someone at O.C. Sports — upon seeing the finished product — would have thought “that’s gotta be a typo in the order form.” Alas, the issue will be resolved for 2015; cardinal, white, navy, and royal are enough to do without purple. The shades of blue came about, first implemented on the jersey sleeves, to differentiate between GOV and the maroon-based Lookouts.
Lookouts Bill Sinnott, Scott de Fasselle, Denver King
Say hello to the v-neck glory days of the 1970s. Throw in a slick maroon and scarlet palette — underutilized in today’s sports landscape — and you have the token throwback in the LCBL portfolio. The sleeve patch and alt. cap logo are one in the same; one of only two teams with such occurrences (Pioneers). The LOOK owl head logo was a work-in-progress at the time of jersey production deadlines, but will find a home on the left arm in 2015.
The PATH alternate caps are like most in the lot that have a letter adorning the front panel. However, the “P” is artfully disguised as a fox tail sweeping around and a baseball bat. The jersey is also a bit of a trick on the eyes. With league executives that are anti-sleeveless uniforms, something needed to be done to break up all that orange. The result is a faux vest with a contrasting navy undershirt. It is a nice canvas for the only hand-drawn LCBL wordmark to rest.
When you think of a 19th century pioneer, you have to have a western font and probably an American buffalo in there somewhere. Check, check and the blue sky of the open prairie, to boot. Call this look cliche; we will call it a timeless classic. The jerseys are purposely understated to be the least busy. It is like your grandfather’s stock uniform, which is in no way a bad thing. The newest iteration of the secondary (battle axe) logo will find a home somewhere in uniforms, caps to come. We only wish manufacturers would get on the same page with their varaiance in sky/Columbia/light blue.
What to do with red and green? I hope designers that are faced with this uniform aesthetic question look to the TRAV for an answer. You have thin white/red/white “headspoon” piping and a take on the Dodger numbers (white in front, red in back) to add a unique traditional feel. No cap logo embodies the team nickname any more than the hitchhiking turtle on its one-of-a-kind white crown.
“We ran out of colors!” When you organize a league that only has the means to produce a single, colored jersey per team — to serve as both home and road — you run out of manufacturing color options. You would like to avoid the same hues playing each other; it isn’t quite the necessity of basketball or football, but it does limit the visual clutter. With purple (Settlers) and kelly green (Navigators launch, pt. II) on board for next season, we channeled Dave Matthews and mixed to grey. The burnt orange was supposed to be Tennessee, but could not get it for all apparel. Still, these uni’s have flash, despite numbers and letters that do not pop. It takes a close proximity to read this muted scheme, but when you do get up close, you see a great attention to detail. The VOY baseball head bearded man is awesome; he is comical, whimsical, a MiLB logo of the year contender, and the grit of their team personified.
A huge thank you to all who participated and keep posted at lewisclarkbaseball.com for the Corps of Discovery Cup Playoffs. Championship game Sunday, August 3rd at Busch Stadium. All caps are available for sale at our boutique baseball equipment/apparel online store, Gourmet Baseball.
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Thanks Ross! And thanks (again) to all who participated and those who UW readers selected as winners — must be great to see all your work not just winning some kind of “online” contest — but to see the fruits of your labor actually being made into real, on-field caps and jerseys.
Uni Tweaks Concepts
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up today is Rob Holecko, with thinks he knows what a real Devil Rays fauxback would look like:
After seeing your June 22 column about the previous night’s Tequila Sunrise vs 1970′s Faux Rays Astros-Rays game and the declarations of it as the “Jim Vilk Color Palette Special”, I have to admit it was a good looking game. However, as any fan of Back To The Future will tell you, you can’t play so loose and fast with the space-time continuum. Did we forget that the Tampa Bay franchise did not become the blue & navy clad Rays until 2008? Of course they began their existence as the Devil Rays, wearing a gaudy uniform featuring black and purple hues from 1998-2000 and a primarily (and under-appreciated) dark green set from 2001-2007. So it would stand to reason that naturally any faux-back uniform from before that time period should be extrapolated backwards from their earliest incarnation as the Devil Rays, right? They wouldn’t have been the Rays in the 1970s, became the Devil Rays in the 1990s and then gone back to being the Rays in 2008, would they have? Well, I guess since this is all made up anyway, anything is possible. At any rate, here is my late 1970s Devil Ray fauxbacks, and of course since it was the 1970s, you know they would have mixed-and-matched many variations of these colors. (Personally, I like the purple-over-green variation the best.)
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And we close today with Tom Speed who provided no writeup, but takes the NFL logo from its roots through its present day incarnation, to its logical (?) conclusion:
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And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “Very odd find at my local Total Wine. Generic baseball player at an alcohol promotional display,” says Jay Heiple. “Pretty much a San Francisco Giants orange Friday home jersey, but the right handed Caucasian player is wearing #25 (Barry Bonds number) and is wearing Romo socks.” … This is great: “I visited the awesome Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA and after seeing the old Air Force One airplane and a Marine One helicopter, I visited the rare baseball collection where there is a Honus Wagner baseball card, 1800s gloves, bats, and balls. Babe Ruth jerseys and more,” says Brandon Blaikie. “A whole shit load of cool stuff, Yankees, Sox, Dodgers. Check it out, there till September, a must see if in area, a private collection.” … Cort McMurray notes the the Sugar Land Skeeters Bullpen Cart is, in a word, unsatisfying. Dang, because bullpen carts are still very cool. … Last night the Oakland A’s wore this patch to honor the late Bob Welch, a member of the 1989 World Series winning team (thanks to Rich Paloma). … The Chicago Cubs have filed a lawsuit against several people whom the team accuses of being behind a fake mascot that has been engaging in bad behavior near Wrigley Field, including getting into a bar fight that was captured on video and posted online (thanks, Paul). … I’m not quite sure what happened here, but these are the shredded remains of (I think) an A’s jersey (via @wichmanr). … Check out all the belt loops on Pete Rose’s pants (via @Baseball_Photos). … Yesterday was Star Wars night for the Lake County Captains (via Andrew Jenkins). … Also yesterday, the Albuquerque Isotopes threw back to the Dukes (thanks to Andrew Beckner).
Football News: Wow — check out this 1959 Premium Sam Huff New York Football Giants Shell Oil Gas Glass, and it looks to be a steal at $4.99. Thanks to Mark Gonillo for sending that our way. … I don’t know whether to be really impressed, or mortified: Seven Lakes High School in Katy, TX, a big suburb of Houston, has done a uniform reveal video (looks like the countdown numbers are using the WVU pickaxe font). That comes to us from Derek Bonesteel. … How’d you like to have a really good view for an arena football game, and get paid to watch it? You can if you’re an LA Kiss go-go dancer (thanks to Brandon Blaikie).
Grab Bag: … From Douglas Ford: is nothing sacred? Here’s Charl Schwartzel wearing a camo golf shirt in yesterday’s British Open. I kinda figured the camo trend would NOT hit the PGA (or other) tours. To my knowledge, no one has worn a camo tennis shirt, so I guess we can expect that at the U.S. Open, right?
And that’s going to do it for today. I hope everyone has a great Sunday — and I will catch you next week.
Repeating Yesterday’s Small(ish) announcement: As you guys are probably aware, Paul takes a well-deserved sabbatical from UW in the summer, and this year we’re still working out the details — but it looks like you’ll be stuck with me doing the weekdays beginning in August. As such, I’m going (again) put out the call to all readers out there — if you have an idea (and/or would like to work with me) on/for a feature article, please shoot me an E-mail. If you don’t want to do any writing/researching, but there’s a topic or three you’d like to see covered, either shoot me an e-mail or list your suggestions down in the comments below. I don’t usually have problems covering Paul’s absence when you guys are always so generous in your offers to help or make suggestions. Anything uni-related will be considered (and possibly some things that aren’t uni-specific, but are germane to the board). OK? OK! I’d like to start lining up some columns ahead of time so there will always be new, fresh content during Paul’s uni-vaycay.
I received a bunch of email yesterday (thanks everyone — I’ll try to get back to you by tonight on your suggestions/offers to work on an article), so we’re off to a good start, but I can always use some more. Keep ‘em coming!
Thanks (again) to Ross and to everyone who participated in the LCBL contest — great to see all those concepts go from the drawing board to the playing field. Also, thanks to the concepters and all who contributed to the ticker.
I have a very special guest post today from Mr. Collector’s Corner — Brinke Guthrie — who received a very special tour while attending the official “Grand Opening” celebration of the new stadium for the 49ers, Levi’s Stadium. There’s a lot to get to, and Brinke has covered it all with a unique (and “uni-centric”) view, so let’s get started.
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Field of Jeans® By Brinke Guthrie
At the end of last season, California’s three NFL teams occupied three of the older and outdated stadiums in the league. San Diego Chargers/Qualcomm (1967,) the Oakland Raiders (Your Name Here Coliseum, 1966) and the San Francisco 49ers/Candlestick Park, 1960 (1971 for football.) Between the three, a total of 12 names — four for each. (Little known fact: Qualcomm was called “Snapdragon Stadium” for 10 days in 2011.)
Initially, I couldn’t decide if the impressive 68,500 seat stadium is sleek, or plush. After taking a lengthy tour, the answer is “both.” (The Bay Area is now blessed with two outstanding stadiums. I deem AT&T Park “cool” because of the retro themed location by the Bay, and Levi’s Stadium® is “neat” due to the tech influence. I.E., the geek in me approves.) The stadium itself is very much a product of its location — the physical facility reflects the high tech innovation (and key corporate partnerships) that surrounds it in the Silicon Valley area. There’s a lot of cash in the Valley.
“Sustainability” (or, “It can run itself”) was a key word mentioned over and over. To partially expand on that:
• Recycled water will account for around 85 percent of all water used at the stadium.
• The turf is a variety that will require up to 50 percent less water than the average turf variety in the Bay Area. If you’ve followed the news, lack of water is a big deal here. (Note in that photo: the three stripes were prominent on the side boards, and in the stadium “Inaugural Season” logo. A tie to the jersey sleeve stripes, perhaps?)
• The first stadium in North America designed to be net neutral to the grid- the ten Niners home games will be powered by the sun, from the stadium’s year-round collection of solar power. The three bridges to the stadium are solar panel covered, for example.
• The “green roof” saves energy and the need to heat/cool the tower- the “NRG Solar Terrace” is 18,000 square feet featuring 16 native plants. And one devious small utility box in the corner I tripped on and crashed. The first face plant at Levi’s Stadium belongs to me.
• It’s one giant Hot Spot. Plug into internet bandwidth 40x greater than any U.S. stadium. More than 12,00 WiFi access points dot the stadium, so if you want to order food from your seat and have it delivered, no problem. (Flat $5 dollar delivery charge for that, BTW.)
• The stadium is book-ended by two massive 200×48 HD video boards…which can allegedly been seen at night from 100 miles away. (Conversation on the 101 up in SF: “Look, honey- Gore scored again!”)
• Levi’s Stadium® also features things such as an art collection, education center, team store (which wasn’t open- and I had money to spend) and team museum. (Didn’t get to see that. Maybe on the next trip.) There was a reception following the ribbon cutting ceremony- let’s just say the food is pretty good. (Another gourmet ice cream sundae? Well, if you insist.)
• The lower bowl’s 45,000 seats (two-thirds of capacity) is one of the league’s largest, and the suite tower is supposed to reflect sound back at the field- to make for a noisy atmosphere for all your rowdy friends.
And yes, Coach Harbaugh was wearing the black sweatshirt in the hot sunshine. I was -this- close to The Sweatshirt! This was the Nike model as opposed to the Reebok model or the Stanford DIY model.
My pal Todd L. in Denver wrote me to say, “It’s not really named Levi’s Stadium®, is it?” This coming from someone whose team plays at “Sports Authority Field at Mile High,” its second name. You’ll notice the the ® symbol throughout this story. Believe me, that little ® is EVERYWHERE at the stadium.
It’s been a long haul. We’ve got our new toy, and now it’s time to play with it. Sunday night, September 14th is Game On.
(Extra special thanks to Roger Hacker at the 49ers. PS: he Gets It™.)
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Thanks, Brinke! Nice job — and I’m sure that stadium tour/grand opening (and everything in between) was awesome.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Just one today — and it’s from (drumroll) George Chilvers, but brace yourselves — it’s NOT soccer (football) related!
Click either image to enlarge:
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After saying you would be getting football pictures from me, the first one I send is not football. I trust I don’t need to say who it is to you experts :)
The big relevance to me is that over last weekend someone (Steve D, I think) asked if there had been breakthroughs or was I just refining. My answer was that I am constantly refining, and one area I have been concentrating on over the last month or so is trying to get skin tones more natural looking – the most difficult part of colourising, particularly in portraits.
I’d be interested to know if readers think I’m getting there.
Thanks George. Tremendous stuff, as always. Please keep them coming!
U.W.F.F.L. Spring League
UWFFL Developmental League – Week 18 by Rob Holecko
We have finally made it to the eighteenth and final week of the 2014 UWFFL Spring Developmental League. The six group winners and two wild cards will qualify for the D-League postseason, while the top three teams in each group will advance to Division II in the Fall, and the fourth through sixth place finishing teams in each group will go into Division III.
Most of the spots for promotion and playoff spots have been decided, although there are still a few things left to decide. All of these crucial games will be decided with your votes today.
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The Providence Steamroller (4-2-1) needs a win against Buffalo to get into a tie for third with the Rhode Island Hot Rods (5-2-1) in Group A:
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The Jacksonville Rhinos (4-3) host the Delaware Union (5-2), a Jacksonville win will mean these two teams will face each other again next week in a tiebreaker game to decide who goes into Division II:
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It’s a big game for the Angle North Stars (5-1-1), they are in third place, only a half-game ahead of the Pontiac Prowlers (5-1-2). If they can beat the (7-0) Cheyenne Shock who have already clinched first place in the group, they will make it into Division II, but a tie will set up a tiebreaker game with Pontiac next week, while a loss will send Pontiac to Division II, and the North Stars will have to settle for Division III. BOth Angle and Cheyenne are wearing alts for this season finale, Angle their white and blue road alts, while Cheyenne is debuting a dynamic all-black set:
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Finally the Missouri Magnetic (6-1) play their season finale at the Houston Energy (1-6). It’s been a disappointing season for the Energy, but they can play spoiler today as the Magnetic needs a win to try to grab one of the Wild Card spots and get into the D-League playoffs:
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There are still a few Division III promotion spots yet to be decided among the teams playing in the eight other games this weekend, so head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on those games as well. We will see you next week with any tiebreaker games that may be necessary, and possibly a contest for you to vote on as well.
Small(ish) announcement: As you guys are probably aware, Paul takes a well-deserved sabbatical from UW in the summer, and this year we’re still working out the details — but it looks like you’ll be stuck with me doing the weekdays beginning in August. As such, I’m going (again) put out the call to all readers out there — if you have an idea (and/or would like to work with me) on/for a feature article, please shoot me an E-mail. If you don’t want to do any writing/researching, but there’s a topic or three you’d like to see covered, either shoot me an e-mail or list your suggestions down in the comments below. I don’t usually have problems covering Paul’s absence when you guys are always so generous in your offers to help or make suggestions. Anything uni-related will be considered (and possibly some things that aren’t uni-specific, but are germane to the board). OK? OK! I’d like to start lining up some columns ahead of time so there will always be new, fresh content during Paul’s uni-vaycay.
Thanks to Brinke for the look-back at the Levi’s Stadium opening, George for his colorization, and Rob for the UWFFL stuff. I’ll be back tomorrow with a very special “wrap” of something with which all weekend readers should be aware. So make sure to check back then.
Also…Jim Vilk wants everyone to know that it’s time for the semi-annual MLB Extra Innings free preview (check your local satellite/cable/whatever provider) — so if you want to watch a shit-ton of free baseball for the next several days (and see teams you might not ever get to see, because ESPN only ever shows the Yankees and Red Sox), well, you’re in heaven now. Thanks for the reminder, Jimmer.
“People in the southwest know the contextual difference between ‘coyote’ the trafficker and ‘coyote’ the yelping quadriped, just like people understand that the ‘bear’ in Chicago is ursine, not a ‘large, hairy man, projecting an image of rugged masculinity’.”
For all of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge
[Editor's Note: Our anonymous DIYer — the same one who did the NHL neckties and puck bags — is back with another great project. Enjoy. — PL]
Back when I did the necktie project featured here on Uni Watch, I bought some light blue polyester doubleknit material that was new old stock from a 1970s jersey manufacturer. My plan was to use it for some ties based on baseball jerseys from that era, but I discovered that the material is really awful to use — it’s hard to sew and doesn’t work well for smaller projects that require detail. I wasn’t planning on using it again, but I had some material left over that I wanted to use up.
The light blue color was perfect for a project I’d been thinking about for a while: I wanted reunite the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 1967 logo mascot with the scarf he wore only for that first season. A year later, he’d lost his scarf, and I always wondered what happened to it.
Here is the piece of material I had to work with:
I cut the piece into two identical strips. I didn’t measure them; I just made them as long as I could with what I had left:
I have some braid striping that resembles the unique stripe pattern from the 1967 jersey. I stacked two pieces of the braid to make it look closer to the team’s original jersey design:
Once I’d sewn on the stripes, I cut out a felt numeral 1 to serve as the uniform number:
Using a zigzag stitch, I sewed the white number onto a piece of dark navy felt:
I cut out the complete number, making sure I incorporated the seven o’clock drop shadow as found on the original. I love the combination of the sans serif number one and the drop shadow — this is my favorite jersey number design of all time:
I loosely hand-stitched the number onto the scarf and then sewed it on with a zigzag stitch:
I pinned the two sections together (good sides facing in) before sewing them together:
I sewed just the two sides together, leaving the ends open so I could turn the scarf inside out:
I wanted to add a fringe to the scarf, so I bought some white skate laces (they come in different lengths but all seem to sell for the same price, so buy the longest ones if you are using them for projects!). I cut the laces into small lengths, turned up the unfinished ends of the scarf, and hand-sewed the ends closed with the laces inserted:
Here’s the finished product — a perfect replica of the long-lost 1967 scarf!
Paul here. Great stuff, as always. This is the final project from our anonymous DIYer, at least for now. Please join me in thanking him for all his efforts.
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Silent treatment: I’m lucky to have worked with dozens of wonderful editors over the years. There have also been a few stinkers along the way, but that’s pretty much par for the course in any professional endeavor, right? And hey, maybe some of those editors thought I was the stinker! I figure it all evens out.
Still, I’ve never experienced anything quite like my recent interactions with an editor who I’ll call Jane Doe.
Here’s the deal: Jane runs a good design-centric website. Early this year I did a short piece for her site. It turned out well, and afterward Jane said she’d like to work more with me — perhaps on a regular basis. So on April 16 we met and discussed ideas that would bring me on board as a regular contributor for her site.
I thought the meeting went really well. The ideas flowed easily, the rapport was good, and Jane and I seemed to be on the same page about a lot of things. We talked about column concepts and individual story ideas (most of the proposed ideas were similar to the “One-Man Focus Group” material I did last year for The New Republic) and also discussed nitty-gritty stuff like word count, format, column frequency, payment rate, even the way my byline would appear — the kind of things you don’t discuss unless both parties fully expect a deal to come to fruition. We agreed that I’d put some story pitches in writing and email them to her in the next day or two and that we’d move ahead from there.
I left the meeting thinking, “Cool — a new gig.” Later that night I told the New Girl, “I think I’m going to like working with this editor. She really seems to have her shit together.”
As a nice bonus, it turned out that Jane’s boyfriend runs a website I like and respect, and the two of them live one neighborhood over from me. I thought there was a decent chance we’d all become friends.
So that was on April 16 — a little over three months ago. Here’s a timeline of what happened after that:
April 17: I email Jane a bunch of story ideas, as we had agreed.
May 6: Nearly three weeks since I emailed the story ideas and there’s been no word from Jan. But hey, we all occasionally back-burner things, right? So I email her again, just to check in. I receive an auto-reply: “I’m away from email until May 12.”
May 14: Knowing that Jane has now been back on email for a few days, I check in again. No response.
May 16: Jane writes back: “So sorry. Haven’t had a chance to look at your pitches. I was out last week and now I’m swamped with [a big project] but will take a look as soon as I come up for air. Thanks for being patient!”
June 16: Another month has gone by. This has now become sort of a game. Like, how long can she ignore me? How unprofessional can she be? I’m tempted to check in again, but the New Girl and I are getting ready for our Nova Scotia vacation — if Jane were to say, “Yes, I’m ready now, let’s get started!,” that would actually pose a problem, because I don’t want to dive into a new work project right before a trip. I figure I’ll wait until we get back.
July 9: My vacation has come and gone, the Fourth of July has come and gone — still no word from Jane. I send her an email with the subject header “Let’s try this again.” It reads as follows:
Hi, [Jane] …
I’m not sure what went wrong with our initial interaction from a few months ago, but I’m still interested in writing for you.
Are you still interested in working with me?
If so, let’s re-boot; if not, no hard feelings. But either way, please let me know.
July 15: Still nothing from Jane. Impressed by her ability to blow me off for what is now three solid months, I call her at the office and, unfortunately, get her voicemail, where I leave a few choice words — equal parts annoyance (like, how could she be so unprofessional?) and bewilderment (how had it come to this when our initial meeting had gone so well?). I leave my phone number, just in case she wants to respond.
And that will apparently go down as the final chapter. Re-reading that timeline, I realize I come off looking a bit like the clueless schlub who can’t take the hint that the pretty girl doesn’t want to go out with him, or something like that. But that’s the thing about writer/editor relationships: The writer is pretty much at the editor’s mercy. So the least the editor can do is to behave like a grown-up. The whole “I’ll give you the silent treatment until you take the hint” routine is so junior high.
It’s a bummer, because I really was looking forward to this gig. I also put aside a few other potential projects because I thought I’d be working on this one instead. If Jane changed her mind about working with me, well, that’s the way it goes sometimes, but I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that she didn’t have the simple courtesy (or balls, or whatever) to tell me so.
In the end, of course, Jane did me a favor. Because if this episode is any indication of her communication style, then I dodged a bullet by not working with her.
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Design contest reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Cavaliers. The deadline for entries is a week from today — July 25. Details here.
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A note about ’Skins Watch: You may have noticed that ’Skins Watch hasn’t appeared over the last three days. This isn’t because there’s been no news to report; rather, it’s been because I wanted to take a small break from the topic, which tends to bring out the worst in many of us (myself sometimes included).
I had already mostly stopped running ’Skins Watch on Tuesdays and Thursdays (when Garrett and Mike prepare the Ticker), and now I’ve decided to cut it back to one day a week — Fridays. I may make some exceptions to this protocol if there’s major news (something like the recent trademark ruling would certainly qualify, e.g.), but for the most part I think once a week should be enough.
I’ve also been imposing a higher bar in terms of what does and doesn’t appear in ’Skins Watch. Does a random celebrity’s opinion on the ’Skins name matter? At one point it, earlier in the debate, it might have, but not now. Does a U.S. Senator’s opinion matter? Yes. Does a current NFL player’s opinion matter? Yes. Does a former player’s opinion matter? Maybe, if he used to play for the ’Skins, and/or if he’s in a current high-profile media role, but probably not otherwise. Does a random internet poll matter? No. Does a scientifically conducted professional opinion poll matter? Yes. Does a random writer’s opinion piece on the subject merit inclusion? Probably not. What about a well-respected sportswriter? Probably yes. (Obviously, you might answer these hypothetical questions differently than I just did, but I’m trying to give you a sense of the approach I’m taking.)
I know some of you wish I’d eliminate ’Skins Watch entirely (similarly, some of you wish it would run every day, even on weekends), and others may think it never belonged here in the first place. But we’ve already addressed those issues many times, and we’re not going to relitigate them now — sorry. As always, you can scroll past ’Skins Watch if it doesn’t interest you.
Thanks for listening. Here’s today’s Ticker, including this week’s installment of ’Skins Watch.
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’Skins Watch: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder thinks the ’Skins should change their name. … A Federal judge avoided using the ’Skins name in an NFL-related court ruling and also ordered attorneys in the case not to use the team’s name in his courtroom (from Bryan Martin Firvida). … A Native American group in Tulsa wants the ’Skins to change their name (thanks, Phil). … The publisher of several update New York newspapers will stop using the word “Redskins” when referring to the NFL team and also to local high school teams (from Jeff Link). … Daniel Snyder’s Original Americans Foundation offered to build a skate park for a Native American tribe in Arizona, but the tribe declined the offer, referring to the funds as “bribe money.” … CBS Sports’s policy is that its announcers don’t have to say the ’Skins name if they don’t want to, although I’m not aware of any CBS broadcasters who’ve expressed issues with the team’s name (thanks, Phil).
Baseball News: The first-year summer collegiate Kenosha Kingfish became the Kenosha Sockets for “What If” Night last night. … The good news: Mets OF Curtis Granderson did a youth-group event on Wednesday. The bad news: He wore a knock-off replica jersey, as you can see in this comparison — no MLB logo, wrong lettering font. … “For years, I’ve thought a great contest would be to track the T-shirts that fans are wearing at ballgames, so I created this checklist,” says Mike Menner. “While at the All-Star Game on Tuesday, my brother and I were trying to keep track of how many different ones we saw. We came up with 29 out of 31 (counting an Expos jersey).” … Key quote in this article about a very enthusiastic Tigers fan: “After one of the games, the Harris cousins waited by the dugout and began talking to the laundry workers. One of the workers invited them to the laundry room, where the Detroit Tigers’ dirty jerseys were piled up, waiting to go into the washing machine. ‘They let us try on the uniforms, even though they told us we didn’t want to put them on because they were dirty and smelly,’ Margaret said. ‘They held the smelly ones up and asked, “Which one do you want to try on?” We loved it.’” … The Orioles will celebrate their 60th anniversary by wearing 1954 throwbacks on Aug. 8. … Here’s the latest call for the Padres to return to yellow and brown (thanks, Phil). … Maybe you already knew the story about Reggie Jackson having to wear a Mariners uniform for the 1979 American League All-Star team portrait (and, as you can see in the inset shot, Rangers manager Pat Corrales wore a Cubs cap), but you probably haven’t seen this article about it (very nice find by Brooks Simpson). … Nationals pitcher Doug Fister thinks those protective caps aren’t ready yet (from Tommy Turner). … The Florence Freedom — that’s an independent league team near Cincinnati — will apparently become the first team ever to wear “Sherlock Holmes” caps (from Patrick O’Neill).
Hockey News: “Given the current immigration debate, I wonder how the folks at the Phoenix Coyotes feel about the use of the term ‘coyote’ for human smugglers,” says Adam Herbst (whose wife is an immigration lawyer). “Has there been a call for them to change their name? That term for human smuggler must have existed prior to the hockey team — bad vetting.” … New uniforms for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (thanks, Phil).
Grab Bag: The University of Dayton will be unveiling a new logo today. … Good article about a pawn shop that specializes in helping athletes sell their championship rings (from Tommy Turner). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Members of the U.S. women’s track and field team at the 1968 Olympics had NOBs! Never seen that before for track and field. That screen shot is taken from this video sequence (great find by Don Whelan). … New sports logos for the U. of North Florida (from Sean Abruzzo). … Jon Solomonson’s orthodontist is an Iowa State grad, which presumably explains why this is hanging on her wall.
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What Paul did last night: The City Reliquary held its annual-ish Collectors’ Night extravaganza last night. For the first time in nearly a decade, I was not among the exhibitors, because I’ve already displayed all my collections during previous Collectors’ Nights. So last night I got to be spectator, which was a nice change.
I didn’t take many photographs, but there was this one guy who had loads of political campaign buttons and bumper stickers and such, and I loved this Barry Goldwater license plate that he had on display (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
But my favorite exhibitor was the New Girl (okay, so I’m biased), who showcased three separate collections, all of which I really liked (sorry about the not-so-great photography — the lighting was challenging and the objects were shiny):
1. Her ever-growing collection of “Ask Me About” buttons:
2. A collection of fake credit cards sent as part of various junk mail solicitations, each one with “Your Name Here” and — my favorite part — the same card number:
3. An annotated collection of cockroach legs, each of which was the only unconsumed part left behind after one of the New Girl’s cats found, killed, and ate a roach (“I’d be happy if this collection never got any bigger,” she says):
UCLA unveiled a new alternate football uniform yesterday. They’re calling it “LA Steel,” but the rest of us can just call it “gray.” No word yet on which game(s) it’ll be worn for.
Obviously, this is just a stunt costume. But as stunt costumes go, I think it’s pretty good. I like this shade of dark gray, I love the inlined numerals, and I’m even okay with the helmet. Of course, it doesn’t feel very UCLA, but most college football uniforms no longer have any connection to their schools’ heritages. Viewed in a vacuum, I think this one is, surprisingly enough, closer to “Good” than to “Stupid.” — Paul
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LeBron, the Cavs, and you: Within minutes of LeBron James announcing that he’d be returning to Cleveland, I started hearing from readers who wanted to know when the Cavs would be unveiling new uniforms. Surely they’d come out with a new look to honor LeBron’s return, right?
My latest ESPN column provides an explainer on why that won’t be happening (at least not right away) and also serves as an announcement for a new design contest: Redsign the Cavs! Get the full scoop here and then start working on your entries.
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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
In the course of my weekly Ticker duties, I’ve noticed some patterns among the people who submit items. Every item from Trevor Williams, for example, is soccer-related. Leo Strawn Jr. sends in Aussie Rules Football stuff, Sean Clancy contributes cycling news, Brinke handles San Francisco teams. I’m sure these guys are well-rounded in their sports and uniform knowledge, but here at Uni Watch they’ve become niche experts on these particular areas.
Which corner of the uniform world are you most knowledgeable about? Or, if you’re a jack of all trades, which sport are you most interested in reading about? Post your responses in today’s comments.
As for me, although baseball is my favorite sport, I really enjoy NBA jersey news and history.
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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.
Baseball News: Here are some really cool minimalist posters for all 30 MLB ballparks (from Brinke). … The El Paso Chihuahuas have some insane jerseys for their Bark in the Park game (from Phil). … Dave Freundcolorized the stirrups in an old Cardinals photo. … The Braves will hold Zombie Night next month (from Phil). … The Brevard County Manatees wore ribbon-covered jerseys for the Cancer Care Foundation (from Phil). … The Louisville Bats will wear Star Wars jerseys on July 27 (from Phil). … Floral jerseys and socks for the San Jose Giants for Jimmy Buffett Tribute Night (from Phil). … Seems that a minor league All-Star forgot his usual helmet. … The Nashville Sounds will wear blue Nashville skyline jerseys on July 26 (from Lee David Wilds). … The Lakewood BlueClaws are holding their annual Springsteen Appreciation Night and wearing BruceClaws jerseys on July 26 (from Kevin, who didn’t give his last name) … Tom Konecny wrote a piece on how the Toledo Mud Hens’ jerseys ended up in a Pepsi commercial. … Wil Moore reports that during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, Joe Buck said that Fernando Rodney wears his hat crooked to distract hitters. … Here’s a chart of what each team wore for the All-Star Game. “While the Mets and Rays representatives moved their memorial patches to the chest, the Pirates completely scrapped their Kiner memorial patch,” says David Taub. “Also, the White Sox, Braves and Angels wore their ASG sleeve patches on the left, with all others wearing it on the right.” … I may just be a rube, but I really want to buy this baseball glove that doesn’t need to be broken in (thanks, Ben Fortney). … For the Triple-A All-Star Game, some teams wore the All-Star patch on the chest, others on the sleeve, and the El Paso Chihuahuas apparently didn’t bother with it at all (from D.P. McIntire).
Pro Football News: The sharp-eyed Scott Lederer noticed that NFL.com still uses the 2012 logos for Training Camp, Kickoff, International Series, and Thanksgiving games. Scroll to the bottom and squint hard, you’ll see. … A Bills blog pondered when the NFL will allow uniform ads and how much those ads might cost (from Phil). … Unless it’s a photoshop, it appears the Broncos once wore road pants with their old home jersey (from Evan Hassinger). … Niners LB Blake Costanzo has worn the same cleats for two seasons and spray paints them the Friday before each game (from Brinke). … The Colts will give you $500,000 if you predict the correct outdoor temps for all 20 Colts games this year, and you must predict whether the Colts roof will be opened or closed, too. Yes, you have to be exactly right on everything. This is impossible, right? … The AFL’s Orlando Predators don’t own the domain name for OrlandoPredators.com, which is a site for something entirely different from football.
Pro and College Basketball News: Here’s a close-up view of the gold NBA titles patch. As you can see, it includes a little depiction of the O’Brien Trophy and an indication of how many titles the team has won. … Dark gray is now listed as an official color for the Warriors. Also, the team’s alternate “W” logo will be on their shorts (from Phil). … I saw this funky Bulls jersey for sale at a local Sports Authority last night. I’m not sure what that pattern is called, but I actually wouldn’t mind if the Bulls wore that on the court once or twice this season! Probably in the minority on this, though. … New courts for Northwestern and Baylor (from Phil).
Grab Bag: St. Louis Blues player Jaden Schwartz has changed his uni number to honor his late sister (from Phil). … New logo for Airbnb. It looks like something (from Brinke). … New home kit for French rugby club Stade Francais (from Eric Bangeman). … Related, Eric sends in the five worst rugby jerseys ever. … Here’s a gallery of shoes from the Tour de France (from Sean Clancy). … Here’s a map that shows that half of the United States’ population comes from only 146 counties. … Here are the brand/identity guidelines, including rules for color, typography, and so on, for the UCF (from Brian Crago).