By Phil Hecken
I’m back again today with another installment of the popular “Timelessly Representing” series, and today we will look at hockey.
Originally envisioned for baseball, several readers have submitted their thoughts on which uniform and stadium (or arena/building) would serve as a “snapshot,” if you will, of a club’s perfect uniform and home, if one were to consider a team’s entire history. It’s subjective, of course, and very likely can be heavily influenced by the ballclubs and stadia from a particular reader’s childhood, although this is not necessarily the case. But based on the more recent vintage chosen of both team and building, it seems like one’s formative years play a role in this.
Thus far, we’ve covered both leagues of Major League Baseball, and both conferences of the NFL, both conferences of the NBA, and the CFL. Today we’ll cover the first half (two divisions — Atlantic & Metropolitan) of the NHL, and next week should be the final half of the NHL. I want to thank those who volunteered to cover these sports, and there was more interest in all of these than I could have imagined. Obviously, it’s a popular topic. It looks like I won’t be able to get to the MANY NCAA football submissions during my weekday run filling in for Paul, but fear not — they will all run on Saturdays during College Football Season, which is just around the corner.
Before we get into today’s “Timelessly Representing…”, which will be the first of two parts covering the NHL, if you’d like to reacquaint yourself (or acquaint yourself, as the case may be) with the past “Timelessly Representing” series, you can check them out here: NBA, Part I; NBA, Part II NFL, NFC Edition; NFL AFC Edition; MLB, National League Edition; MLB, American League Edition, and the CFL.
With that, I now present to you …
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Timelessly Representing the NHL, Atlantic & Metropolitan Divisions
By Kyle Schroeck
My name is Kyle Schroeck, that’s Shrek like the ogre. Thanks to the readers and Phil Hecken for having me write the “Timelessly Representing the Hockey Clubs” feature. Born and Raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, I have grown an affinity for all things Western PA and I have loved hockey since the late 80’s. I am only 31 years old, but I do embrace the history of the NHL and other sports. By the way, in regards to the NFL column of the same topic, Three Rivers Stadium is as timeless as $10 Wal-Mart sneakers.
The NHL is not exactly the most stable league for teams staying in their original cities. That fact makes this write-up a bit challenging, because the best jerseys in Hurricanes history have a Whalers logo in the center of the chest. Plus we add the Winnipeg to Phoenix and Atlanta to Winnipeg conundrum. So here we go, sorted by the new divisions. On an aside, if they wanted to make the division names timeless, they would have gone back to the Patrick, Adams, Norris and Smythe divisions.
Boston Bruins – The Broons have stayed the course all these years, and the odd dimensions of Boston Garden.
Buffalo Sabres – No Buffaslugs or black and red unis here. Just stripey goodness, and The Aud.
Detroit Red Wings – What else can you say. At least the hockey team isn’t bankrupt, and the Joe.
Florida Panthers – The original, expansion era reds and whatever bank sponsors the arena this week.
Montreal Canadiens – Another Original Six classic. The blue stripe across the logo is so historic, as is the Forum.
Ottawa Senators – I realize that these are their current thirds, but they are more timeless than the 3D Spartan and the jerseys when he was 2D were pretty blah, and Scotiabank Place.
Tampa Bay Lightning – The black jerseys and the lightning bolts down the breezers, goofy, but that’s hockey in Tampa and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Toronto Maple Leafs – So many to pick from but I will go with 1967 for obvious reasons and, the grocery store once known as Maple Leaf Gardens.
Carolina Hurricanes – I present to you, the Hartford Whalers. Green is just so underused, with blue accents it’s a beaut and the Mall in Hartford.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Current, nothing too interesting except the NOB font and Nationwide Arena, the architecture is more intriguing than the unis.
New Jersey Devils – The current uni has won some cups, nothing wrong with simple shoulder yoke and waist stripes and the Rock.
New York Islanders – Fish sticks! Kidding. A moustache and a double deuce and even though it’s a dump Nassau is all their history.
New York Rangers – They are called the Broadway Blueshirts for a reason and the most famous arena in sports Madison Square Garden.
Philadelphia Flyers – My hatred of the Flyers runs deep. In honor of that, here is a photo from 1975 and the Spectrum.
Pittsburgh Penguins – This one strikes home, Le Magnifique and the Igloo.
Washington Capitals – They looked good in the 80’s and this was their Winter Classic “throwback” and the namesake arena, the Cap Center.
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Thanks, Kyle! OK — that’s quite a bit to chew on (and we’re only halfway through the NHL). Like most “Timelessly” articles, I find myself agreeing more than disagreeing with your choices (and you couldn’t have found a better shot of Trots?), but I’m sure there will be some good discussion in the comments. Readers? What say you?
WEEKDAY Uniform Concepts & Tweaks
Longtime and weekend readers know that I frequently run reader submissions for uniform concepts, revisions, or just plain tweaks. Usually they are in sets of three, but sometimes there are more and sometimes there are less. Sometimes they are so good these deserve their own lede.
During Paul’s monthlong Blogcation, I’ll occasionally run one (or maybe) two of these.
If you have any concept or tweak, and you would like to see it featured here, either during the week while I’m hosting the blog or on the weekends when I return to those, drop me an e-mail. For each particular design, please try to keep your description to ~50 words or so. OK? OK!
And now, here’s what we have for today (click any images to enlarge):
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Today’s concept comes from Dylan Desimine, who has created a slightly new identity for the Texas Rangers:
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I’m not sure if you’d call this a really big tweak or a small concept. But, the Texas Rangers can’t decide whether they’re a blue team or a red team, as we’re all aware of. It seems like over the past couple of years they’ve wanted to be a red-white-and-blue time, and why not? They are from Texas, and they embrace their state flag very proudly. So what did I do? I simply removed the drop shadow, added two jerseys with the “Rangers” script, and overall incorporated much more red and blue to each jersey. (Yes, the blue and red jerseys can be worn at home or on the road)
Thanks! I’ll be back with more weekday tweaks/concepts again.
Here’s the latest on the ‘Skins name and related issues:
• “How Scrabble Got the Washington NFL Team’s Offensive Nickname Banned from ESPN” (h/t Rufus @RufusMcDuffie, and Jimmy Neilly)
• “Obviously this homeowner is unconcerned with the use of native American imagery” (thanks to Patrick O’Neill (Mainspark))
• “‘Redskins’ Team Name a ‘Racist Slur’: Slate, Mother Jones, The New Republic Make ‘Symbolic Ban'”
• “The Left vs. the Redskins: Teaching people to take offense is one of the Left’s black arts.”
• “Berlin schools focus on future new mascot” (h/t Scott Hurley @WLUK_SH)
Uni Watch News Ticker: We begin with Warren Junium and multiple ND Shamrock helmets without facemasks, plus a look at the new Nebraska Arena. … he Buffalo Bills tweaked their socks this season: 2011-12 socks (Blue tops w/ two thin blue stripes w/ red outline on each), 2013 socks (Thicker, dark outline, bottom stripe only outlined on top), and in action: 2011-12 field shot and 2013 Field Shot (big thanks to John Pascucci). Nice piece from Todd Radom “A Yankees Mystery—Almost Pinstriped, Each and Every Game.” Also from Todd: Yankees iconic top hat logo first appeared in 1946-here’s one of its first appearances. … Brian Orakpo calls the NFL’s ban on customized face masks ‘disheartening’ (h/t TommyTheCPA). … Good spot by Harrison Tishler who notes the Orioles have been playing NL teams (the D-backs, Giants and Padres) but their lineup cards are using the American League logo for the teams instead of the NL one. … Jason Hillyer saw this short story in the Columbus Dispatch regarding players losing the black stripe from their helmets. “A cursory search produced the pic below in which the player behind Meyer is wearing headgear with a black stripe,” says Jason. “I am assuming (though I don’t really know) this is the stripe the story is referencing.” … “Nike Seats” (Barcelona Stadium) — pretty much all that needs to be said (h/t Sully @pal3327). … Nebraska remains among the nation’s top 15 schools in collecting royalties from the sale of officially licensed, team-oriented merchandise (thanks to Chris Bisbee). … Interesting article in Forbes, “Why I Gave Up My New England Patriots Season Tickets” (good spot by Tommy Turner). … “While some players get ‘medical clearance’ still,” says Justin Howland, “apparently the conservative businessmen running the NFL don’t like how they look. Much like the predator visors a few years back, the crackdown on any form of uni-expression continues.” … The purple shading on the Vikes helmets/jerseys controversy continues: This ESPN piece, “ConspiracyWatch: Two shades of purple?” even includes a consultation with Paul and while the Vikes deny a mismatch, we still have a mystery. … The NFL game pass app (only available outside the US thinks submitter Brian Eagle) still shows the Seahawks’ old helmet, from 2 seasons ago already! … Some great stuff on the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers from David Pagano: the following link states that the Pilots original plan was to have white caps with a blue bill, but that was nixed by the AL. Also a few interesting articles on a 1970 Brewers’ prototype uniform as they prepared for the Pilots’ move to Milwaukee (and you’ll probably recognize a couple of those articles are from Chance Michaels’ website!). … “Got a Lollapalooza store email the other day. Among the wares they’re hawking are hats inspired by the Blackhawks and Cubs,” says Mike Eidelbes. … “I don’t know how many fellow UWers are Breaking Bad fans, like me. However, I thought this infographic was well-done and might be Ticker-worthy” (thanks to Jason Hillyer). … The second photo from this article, as well as many more in this set have some GORGEOUS stirrups (thanks to Alex Allen). … Here is an animated clip about Mike Veeck’s Disco Demo gone wrong (nice find from Dave Rakowski). … “I’m still calling it the Rose Garden” says Brian Mazmanian (do we smell a t-shirt?). … Bears footwear update from Paul: “After seeing (yester)day’s Ticker item about the Bears’ footwear, I contacted the team and asked if they’re changing to white shoes as their default color. The answer: No — no change.” … Nice NYT article on Zander Hollander, “For Sports Fans, Before the Internet, There Were the Complete Handbooks,” (great find by Adam Herbst). … Uni number news from Andrew Cosentino: With #44 taken by Vonta Leach, Dallas Clark will wear #87 for the Ravens. He apparently picked #87 for his favorite WR in the NFL, Reggie Wayne. He never even asked Vonta Leach for his #44, saying that he has too much respect for him. … Here is a link to the story about the new Marietta College football helmets. The program is wearing gray helmets for the first time in their 119 year history (thanks to Ryan Zundell). … The St. Louis Rams expect to make uniform changes “some time” in the next 5 years. … Chris Flynn saw this t-shirt on Zack Hample’s website. Looks very similar to Jerry Dior’s MLB logo. … Here are several short clips of Central Arkansas uni unveils (h/t Southland TV Network @Southland_TV). … Dave Dameshek has put together a photo essay of the best and worst jerseys for a fan (h/t Dan Kennedy @kennedds). … Is it possible there will be a new Detroit Pistons 3rd jersey unveiled today? That tweet from the Pistons is kind of cryptic — and several on Twitter think it’s the USA jersey. Even the Free Press isn’t sure. … Take a look at the special cleat for the Shamrock Series from Notre Dame (thanks to Warren Junium). … Just what we need — Orioles Maryland Flag Hats On Sale August 14 (spotted by Rick Friedel). … Here’s a photo of the installation the new Ole Miss script logo at midfield of Vaught-Hemingway (h/t Jason Cimon @cash4title). … Jeffery Uckotter was looking at the Tennessee football website of a practice session, and a number of the players had black striping down the helmet instead of the traditional orange striping. (Gallery here.) … Missed this one yesterday, but the BC Eagles will be NOB-less for 2013, the only ACC team to be so blessed. … The LA Kings AHL affiliate are allowing fans to vote on one of three jerseys (including the infamous Burger King sweater) that the Monarchs team will wear in 2014. To vote, go here. … Bit of late breaking uni reveal news: EMCC Lions new unis (video).
That’s all I have for you today — big thanks of course to Kyle Schroeck for his take on “Timelessly Representing” the NHL, and all the contributors and tweeters. Paul will have a few words to say tomorrow about some upcoming ESPN stuff, and there will be a bit of a surprise. Everyone have a great Wednesday and I’ll catch you guys tomorrow!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
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“Philosophically, if 60,000 see your helmet match your jersey, while 10,000,000 other people see your helmet not matching your jersey, does your helmet match your jersey?”
–R. Scott Rogers
By Phil Hecken
Today, I’m again bringing you a very special article from a gentleman with whom I have worked on several occasions, and who always brings a welcome international flair to Uni Watch, Caleb Borchers.
Caleb is back today to discuss the “Haka,” which most of us may be familiar with (we’ve mentioned it and shown video clips of it on UW before), but aside from knowing that it is a “pre-game dance” of South Pacific origin, that’s the extent of our knowledge. That’s about to change. Ladies, and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming back Caleb as he takes you on a wonderful exploration of …
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By Caleb Borchers
While today’s entry does not deal with uniforms, it is a discussion of something that is both aesthetic and athletic. Its my belief that the best Uni Watch subjects are about the meeting points of culture, art, business, and sports. Today’s topic certainly fits that bill. While the subject obviously could flow into the ongoing native peoples imagery discussion, I will not be making those connections or trying to stir that pot.
It is Saturday morning and my parents are in town. I sit down on the couch, grab my remote, and pull up the previous evening’s rugby game on my DVR.
“Are the All Blacks playing?” my sports-watching-adverse mother asks.
“Nope, just a club game, not an international test.”
“Shoot, I was hoping to see the haka. That’s the only thing I really like about watching rugby.”
While most Americans know very little about rugby, many are aware of this odd pre-game ceremony known as haka. For some (like my mom) it is the totality of their rugby knowledge. As an avid rugby fan I often wear my All Blacks (New Zealand’s national squad) gear around. If someone happens to recognize the logo (and not think its some sort of Adidas sponsored racial commentary), they typically say, “That’s the team that does a war dance thing right? The hockey or something like that.” In my experience the haka has an amazing ability to burn itself on the memories of first time rugby watchers.
Let’s first define some terms. Many use the term “haka” as a broad term referring to any war dance performed by a team as part of their pre-game preparations (typical protocol is for the haka to occur after the national anthem and directly before kick-off). This is incorrect. Haka (the term is both singular and plural) refers technically only to certain dances originating with the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Haka is not a specific dance, but instead a style of dance. (For more specifics on what haka are and are not, look here.) Often haka are accompanied with grunting noises, eye ball bulging, and protruding of the tongue. People often connect these actions with the Maori history of cannibalism, but the debate about the nature of cannibalism in Maori culture makes this “obvious” connection not so obvious. While the most likely place for someone to see haka is an athletic event, it is a cultural event that occurs in many others contexts, particularly as part of the tourism industry.
The All Blacks, the most famous performers of haka, in fact do two different haka, Ka Mate and Kapa O Pango. Other national New Zealand teams, including the New Zealand Maori, have their own particular haka. Many schools also have their own versions. Other famous pre-game dances not technically haka include Tonga’s Sipi Tau, Fiji’s Bole and Cibi, and Samoa’s Siva Tau. While a haka typically occurs as part of pre-game festivities, some times teams perform a haka after winning a championship. The two most notable examples being the New Zealand Sevens team and the Chiefs (the only New Zealand Super Rugby team to have a haka).
(If anyone would like to try along at home, there is a nice little instructional Ka Mate animation here, provided by http://www.hakabook.co.nz/ where you can buy a nice little book about haka. I bought my copy on a trip to New Zealand and it’s a good primer.)
Performance of the haka by a New Zealand national rugby team goes back to the “New Zealand Natives” tour of 1888. As one can see from the footage at the beginning of this video, for much of the All Blacks history the haka was not taken too seriously. Fans loved it but players were not well rehearsed. Then came Buck Shelford. Shelford is proud of his Maori heritage and famous as one of the toughest characters in rugby history. (He lives in infamy for playing much of a game with a torn scrotum.) When he became part of the All Blacks Shelford demanded more respect for the haka. Soon the team changed their attitude and style completely. Since Shelford, the haka is serious business. It is now intended as a challenge to opisition more than a performace for the fans. The All Blacks practice it and talk as a squad about its significance. Usually the All Blacks with most knowledge of Maori culture, language, and heritage are the leaders of the haka.
The All Blacks historically have performed Ka Mate. Ka Mate was written in the early 19th century and tells the story of a chief escaping another tribe pursuing him. The content of Ka Mate does not directly deal with the game of rugby, but does describe a moment of intense pressure. The opening lines “It’s death, it’s death. It’s life, it’s life,” describes well the way much of New Zealand feels about rugby.
More recently the All Blacks have created Kapa O Pango. This haka was created in conjunction with some leading experts in Maori culture. This video and this video give a good explanation of the process of creating Kapa. The lyrical content of this haka does deal specifically with athletics, New Zealand, the All Blacks, and the silver fern. (All the more reason why the University of Hawaii’s use of it is farcical, even when they are in black unis.)
Kapa O Pango and Ka Mate are both part of the All Blacks’ repertoire. The leadership of the team decides which will be performed before a game. Early on there were some rumors that Kapa was created in part because the story behind Ka Mate was somehow unpalatable for tribes in the south island of New Zealand. Kapa would thus be performed before games played on the that island. The logic there is fuzzy and the All Blacks have shown seemingly no preferences based on geography. The All Blacks do seem to prefer performing Kapa before more significant tests, Ka Mate the rest of the time. In my memory they have performed Ka Mate before all games against tier two nations and almost always perform Kapa before games in which they can win a trophy.
Responses to the haka are part of rugby lore. Both the Irish and French have responded by slowly approaching the haka, ending nose to nose with the All Blacks. This creates an obvious tension before the game, but also risks ugly confrontation, so it has been generally outlawed by the International Rugby Board who fine teams for advancing beyond a certain point. Several years ago the Welsh responded by refusing to be the first that turned away from the haka, leading to an awkward, tense staring contest. Australian David Campese used to do warm ups, ignoring the haka all together. Crowds sometimes will respond by signing a national song. By far the most fascinating response comes from the other Pacific island nations, who will respond with their own dance in one of world sport’s great spectacles. A similarly fantastic moment occurred during a game against Irish club Munster, when Munster’s Kiwi players (some former All Blacks) performed their own version of Ka Mate.
The haka has a long history of controversies as well. Various voices have called for the end of the haka due to putting others at a competitive disadvantage and being out of date. Others criticize Kapa O Pango due to the violent image of the “throat slitting” gesture at the end. The All Blacks consistently defend that motion as taking in the “breath of life.” While some players do clearly make the move in a way that suggests opening the lungs others have a tendency to move their hand in a discernibly more violent nature. The NFL has banned a similar move famously performed after a touchdown pass by Brett Favre. (Note that Australians are the most frequent haka complainers. If they ever beat the All Blacks consistently they might whine less.)
Others have wanted to move when the haka occurs to lessen its impact. This led to a famous occasion when the Welsh union refused the All Blacks the traditional post-anthem window at a game in Cardiff. The Kiwis responded by doing the haka in the hallway outside their changing rooms. On this occasion the All Blacks stressed that the haka was personal and spiritual. It may be personal, but it is also a large reason that many fans pay big money to attend All Black games. No other nation has dared repeat Wales mistake, fearing the backlash from ticket holders. In the end some question if this decision was little more than the Kiwis passive aggressively getting their way.
The “personal and spiritual” description of the haka would hold more water if the All Blacks didn’t trot the haka out every time a sponsor asks them to. The fanfare surrounding the haka, including microphones, camera men, and pyrotechnics afterwards, also make it feel like less of a deeply personal experience and more of a show. Some All Blacks (particularly second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu) have a bad habit of frequently complaining that an opponent “disrespected” the haka. One might fairly wonder, given the commonness of the complaint, if one can do anything to “respect” the haka other than cower in fear. While the haka certainly must be meaningful to the players, it strikes many as hypocritical for the All Blacks to stress the haka’s sanctity while also taking full commercial advantage of the tradition.
Worldwide the haka is perhaps the most known rugby tradition. It brings much tradition, excitement, commercial impact, and controversy to the sport. While players from regular opponents like South Africa and Australia find the tradition stale at times, many international players see fronting the haka as a career achievement. It is simply one of the most remarkable sights in the world of sports and fascinating meeting point of athletics and aesthetics.
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Thanks, Caleb. Great, great article (as always). Readers? How about a big round of virtual applause for Caleb, and please post your thoughts in the comments section down below.
By Brinke Guthrie
Counting down towards the NFL season. Got Music From NFL Films going full blast here, so let’s kick off, so to speak, with some vintage NFL art. Here’s a nice 1970 Boston Patriots poster. The same seller also has great posters for the NFC/AFC, Steelers, Chiefs, and a Redskins one I’ve never seen before. Check on these quick, all but the Skins are up this afternoon.
• The White Sox have had a long and varied uni-history; this one surely isn’t among the highlights. “Egads,” says David Polakoff, who sent it in.
• Terrific mini-bat set from the late 1950s-early 1960s.
• Great LA Rams artwork on the cover of this 1967 SI NFL season preview issue.
• The SF Giants have some continued fascination with Star Wars; not quite sure why. This Buster Posey Stormtrooper bobble is gonna be given away September 8th, and I’d really like to have one. The Giants aren’t beating anyone this year, but they lead the league by ten miles in terms of bobble giveaways.
• Nice looking 1970s-era Bobby Orr milk mug. No Bruins ID on it, so maybe it was a local NE market giveaway?
• Nice big set of 1970s MLB fridge magnets.
• Vikings helmet buggy, right here. Can’t you just see this full-size baby on the frozen tundra at the Met, with Bud Grant’s icy stare? Pair it with this set of four 1970s Fisher Nuts Vikes glasses.
• Check out this vintage PCL San Diego Padres Original SEALED Friar Decal Sticker. That comes from Michael Ortman who says, “I’m a native San Diegan, and also a typical Uni-Watch reader with a mutant ability for recall when it comes to anything graphic, and having said that, I’ve never ever seen this before.”
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
NCAAFB Uniform News & Updates
This will be a semi-recurring column on Uni Watch and will appear whenever there is any news or updates on the College Football uniform front.
If you have ANY new NCAAFB news, follow and tweet me at @PhilHecken (and you’ll get your tweet in lights on here). You can also e-mail me (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) Gmail (dot) com) or send/cc: Paul to the following address: NewCollegeUni (at) Gmail (dot) com. OK? OK! (for any image, click to enlarge):
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• Old Dominion University (helmet):
“The matte navy blue background, gray metallic stripe running down the middle and decal of Big Blue (ODU’s lion mascot) inside the outline of the state of Virginia on the left side of the helmet are all still there. This represents our first look, however, at what’s on the right side of the lid: The players’ numbers in metallic gray.” (from The Lost Lettermen h/t Chris Mahr).
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• University of North Texas (throwback):
For the celebration of their 100th Anniversary, the UNT Mean Green are going to wear these special throwback uniforms on August 31st, when they open the season against Idaho. According to this article, “The jerseys, which were introduced at a Monday afternoon press conference at the stadium, incorporate elements from the golden eras of Mean Green football-the Abner Haynes era of the late 1950s, the Mean Joe Greene era (1966-1968), the Hayden Fry era (1973-1978) and the recent four-year bowl streak under Darrell Dickey (2000-2004).” (Thanks to Braden Morehead and h/t to Phil Fleckenstein @ZestyTacoSauce).
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• Baldwin Wallace University:
(h/t to Nick Hanson).
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That’s it for the college uni news for today. Keep the tips coming folks!
Here’s the latest on the ‘Skins name and related issues:
• “Governor threatens veto: A bill that loosens a ban on Native American mascots in Oregon schools could be killed by the action” (h/t to Alex Allen)
• “Ditching the Redskins, Once and for All”
• “Report: Redskins’ Name Only Offensive If You Think About What It Means.”
Uni Watch News Ticker: Wonderful start to today’s ticker, and it comes from Marty Corcoran, who spent the weekend at Notre Dame, and whose cousin who played hockey there gave us a tour of the rink. They’ve got some interesting interlocking “ND”s painted on the walls. Pretty cool! … And there is a whole ticker’s worth of ticker submissions from Leo Strawn next: “I have a white cap/black bill like the old White Sox home caps. So I was checking out Okkonen’s early Sox unis and noticed a mistake he made. For 1917 it says: ‘The White Sox wore special patriotic uniforms during the 1917 World Series.’ There is a photo linked to the uni templates that shows this combo, which is not included in his uniform graphics for that season. (Okkonen only had one combo with a dark cap, and that was worn with a dark uni, not this “patriotic” one.); Also, I may have brought this one up before (not sure), but the WFL of 1974-75 used a yellow ball with red stripes for its inaugural season. But the cover of this 1974 “Football World” game program shows Commissioner Gary Davidson holding a yellow ball with BLUE stripes. I was a huge WFL fan and that particular ball was not used in any WFL games that I’m aware of; On the subject of football, I stumbled across this awesome Ottawa Rough Riders helmet from the 1950s (on eBay)!; And another eBay find: This Canadian Football mag from 1981 with those simplistic, beautiful Montreal Allouettes jerseys. Notice how far apart the TV numbers are spaced on his shoulder; Down under, the Richmond Tigers and Gold Coast Suns wore special jumpers this weekend. The Tigers honored supporters who donated to the “Fighting Tiger Fund”, which helps the club cover some of the costs of running the team; The names were hard to see on the sublimated jumpers at a distance, although the “Strong & Bold” patch (not sure what to call it, since it’s not technically a “patch” since it’s sublimated) is plainly visible, but I did manage to find a close up to show the names, and noticed something odd. The names were alphabetized by first name, not surname; The Suns wore a special jumper with a modified logo saying “Foundation Member”, and also included names on the jumpers of those supporters. (You can see the area with the names much easier on the Gold Coast jumper, which appears to be a big square of a lighter color surrounding the logo.); AFL Round 20 featured two color-on-color matches this weekend: Melbourne Demons v Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies.” … More Notre Dame info from Warren Junium: New ND equipment room–Here’s a look at the Big Lep and prepping the game helmets. Next stop, the Owls of Temple. … Good WaPo article that examines upgrades at the Montgomery County public schools weren’t funded with taxpayer dollars, instead arriving via private donations and parent fundraising (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Nice find by Troy Guthrie who has a great t-shirt from Florida Marlins’ 1st year in existence. “My parents bought me this shirt and a regular Marlins t-shirt for my birthday in June 1993 and I proudly wore them with my teal Marlins cap. The shirt had a psedo-Wikipedia entry on the Marlins’ look before Wikipedia ever existed.” … One NFL update I missed yesterday was brought up by Thomas Juettner: The Chicago Bears wore white shoes for Friday’s game. Says Thomas, “Not sure if this is completely permanent but if it is then it would be the first time the Bears have worn white cleats since 1998.” … Jason Hillyer saw these NFL-licensed kids bike helmets recently at a Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. … NFL number change update — The Ravens recently signed Brandon Stokley, who will wear #80. He wore the same number on his first run with the Ravens from 1999-2002 (thanks to Andrew Cosentino). And it seems like they’re having a lot of fun with it too. … In yesterday’s lede, and in the comments, there were questions raised about the Vikings purple helmets not matching the color of the jerseys. The Vikings have actually attempted to address this (scroll down). I’m not buying that the colors match. … Looks like the FSU Seminoles pants are now “a lighter material” (h/t BJ Lanier @BJ_Lanier). … Gotta love MiLB Mascots — here is the the sleeve patch for the Wilmington Blue Rocks which is their mascot, Mr. Celery. Note that Mr. Celery is wearing striped stirrups (awesome submission by David Kendrick). … More on banned NFL masks: Brian Orakpo’s mask is gone (from Tommy Turner). … Heh. This is pretty funny (thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … Nice one from Manzell Blakeley: The M’s had swtiched to the ultra-generic “S inside a baseball” logo by 1989 when Griffey Jr joined the team – but in 1987 the Mariners Single-A affiliate Bellingham, with Griffey in tow, played a game at the Kingdome before a Mariners game. … Prior to the Vikings’ first preseason game on Friday, they had been wearing they prior set of pants. It seems as if in yesterday’s practice, they have switched to their new ones, notes Kyle Petersen. “I am unsure why they would do this.” (August 6th practice; August 12th practice – Vines courtesy of Vikings writer, Andrew Krammer @andrew_krammer). … So, did you know Kerry Wood hosts a whiffleball game at Wrigley? Now you do (h/t Jay Greening @jay_peg). … “Absolutely frightening mascot of some sort on this 1950s White Sox scorecard,” says Todd Radom (@ToddRadom). “Maybe a deranged great-uncle of Mr. Met.” … “Auburn Fail,” writes Ryan Bohannon. “Used a Washington helmet in their ad for a game vs. Wazzu. Does this prove football outside of the SEC doesn’t matter? You make the call.” … Michigan football to ease back on alternate uniforms, Brady Hoke says (thanks to Steve Ceruolo) … This past Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Cosmos midfielder Joseph Nane wore a shirt with no crest, notes Chance Michaels. “I didn’t get to watch the match, so I don’t know if he lost it during the action or if it was never there in the first place.” … In tennis news, The Fed is back to his old frame in the Cincinnati tourney (thanks Brinke). … Northwestern has updated its logo (from Jay Francis). … And, thank you USPS, this really ruined my Monday–but at least I can now legally scream “GET OFF MY LAWN”. I’m OLD, but I’m not THAT old!
And that’s all for this fine Tuesday dear readers. Big thanks again to Caleb Borchers for that great lede, Brinke for the CC, and to everyone who contributed to the ticker, the College Football Uni News or the ‘Skins News sections. You guys have a great day and I will catch you again on Hump Day.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
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“I take offense to the phrase ‘Jaguars kindergarten art project!’ My pre-schooler has much better skill and taste than the designers of that abomination.”
By Phil Hecken
With a headline of “MMUW,” you know that football season is here. Or, it’s pretty close, actually. This past weekend (and as well as Thursday & Friday) featured a ton of NFL preseason games, some of which gave us our first glances at new uniforms (or tweaks) as well as another round of college football uniform unveils. Johnny Ek covered some of the college unveils over the weekend, but there were others as well.
There’s a LOT to get to (and that you may have missed), so lets dive right in, beginning with the NCAAFB:
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• Kent State Golden Flashes:
Nike has tweaked the Flashes (in a good way) this year — they’ve dumped the superfluous contrasting-color collar and side striping and stuck with solid blue jersey. They’ve also replaced “FLASHES” as the wordmark and replaced it with “KENT STATE.” No news on if there are new helmets, and the pants look to have stayed the same (solid gold).
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• Colorado State University Rams:
The Rams switched from Russell to Under Armour as their uniform supplier, and surprisingly, these are very conservative. They’re not all that different than the uniforms that the Rams wore last season, and homes are still are green, with gold numbers and gold lettering on the jersey, while the road jerseys are white with green numbers and lettering. The gold pants have a wide green stripe running along the outside, while the white pants have a green stripe along the outside from the hips to the knees. You can read more about the new unis here
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• Furman University Paladins:
Furman will go with a bunch of possible uniform combinations this year, as they have a white, purple and black set (the black jersey and pants are new). The six uniform combinations include white pants/purple jerseys, white pants/white jerseys, white pants/black jerseys, black pants/purple jerseys, black pants/white jerseys, and black pants/black jerseys. That’s a really long video (at least as long as video reveals go) so if you just want to look at some stills, look here (h/t ModernUni @TheModernUni, Furman Football @PaladinFootball, and Eric Chamberlin).
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• Louisville Cardinals:
The Louisville Cardinals haven’t done a “full” reveal yet, unveiling a their new home jersey on Twitter. According to this article, “While they have only showed us the front of the jersey, we can already tell that the number font seems to be the same as what the basketball team wore this past year. The sleeves are also pretty cool – one side reads “Cardinals”, while the other side has the script Louisville ‘L’.” Note the new black pants as well. The jerseys, not surprisingly feature the trademark treadmarks, and we also get a glimpse of the new “AAC” patch on the left shoulder.
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• Wisconsin Badgers:
No photo (or video), but the University of Wisconsin Badgers football team will wear a decal to honor former manager Kevin Green (h/t R.J. @BrachTalk84).
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• The Ohio State University Buckeyes:
Not a major tweak or news, but the OSU Buckeyes have changed their pants’ stripes — on the left is their old set, with the thick black stripe, and on the right is what they will wear this season. This is in addition to the previously announced changes: New collar with Nikelace, the buckeye leaves on the back of the collar, and a new NOB font (notice the letters look thinner, taller, and closer together, and the “S” is different in this example).
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• Toledo Rockets:
Toledo already has some of the worst uniforms (and probably the worst number fonts) in football, but the new gray uniforms have a noticeably smaller wordmark from last year, and no outlining around the numbers or the word “TOLEDO”. It’s hard to tell from that one shot, but the piping may have changed as well. (h/t Dan Bly)
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And in the League where they play for pay, there were three completely new uniforms this year (one of which we saw last week, with the Dolphins), but the Jaguars and Vikings also broke out their uniforms in game play for the first time. In addition, there were some tweaks and updates to several teams.
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• Jacksonville Jaguars:
OK — when one cannot say anything nice about something, one shouldn’t say anything at all right? That’s kind of the way I feel about the Jaguars new uniforms. Whether it’s the odd fonts or the shiny shoulder material, or teal “sleeves”, or the color-shifting helmet — I really don’t like any of those things (nor the pants “stripe” that isn’t really a stripe but is truncated). But, when you consider what the Jags used to look like, this is actually an improvement. And the uniform, despite the monochrome look, actually looks OK from the front. Yes, it will take some (a lot) getting used to, and now, it’s not what your daddy’s NFL player’s wore, but it is what it is. And I understand the J-ville fans like them. So that’s what is important, right? Maybe not on Uni Watch, but for better or for worse (five years, anyway), this is what the Jags will be wearing. You can see more photos here.
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• Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings also introduced their new uniforms during pre-season action. A couple of things stand out — most of which falls into the category of addition by subtraction. They’ve dumped their awful older duds, with all the superfluous bumperstickers (and contrasting collar a/k/a neckroll), and cleaned up the look — the shoulders have a gold stripe with a still-amorphous white shape, and an asymmetrical pants striping, but that looks OK. It’s the crazy custom fonts (where the first number of any two-digit number appears to “bleed” or “sail” into the second number) that look a bit odd. And then there are the helmets — the shade of purple on the helmets doesn’t match the shade of purple on the jersey. Yes, I know traditionally, more recently, and even on the throwbacks, the purples haven’t matched. But — they they basically fixed that problem with the previous set. This is a NEW set in 2013, not a throwback. There is no excuse for the purples not to match now. You can see more photos here.
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• Teams to Keep the “Neckroll” (Rams, Bengals, Saints):
The Bengals don’t look that bad with the neckroll, since they have those “stripes” on the shoulders, but the Rams and Saints continue to look as bad as ever. These are the only three teams that elected to keep the Nike signature “neckroll” collar on their 2013 uniforms.
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• Teams to Ditch the “Neckroll” (Ravens, Broncos, Redskins, Chargers, Bills, Buccaneers)
The six aforementioned teams have all elected to dump the neckrolls (thankfully) for 2013. Over on Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net there is a nice article detailing those changes and showing the “before” shots. The Bills didn’t just dump the neck roll, they got a non-Nikelace this year.
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• Chargers New NOB color:
The Chargers didn’t just dump the neckroll, they also changed their NOB to gold (on the blue uniforms) and a gold outline (on the whites), plus they added a gold stripe to their white socks.
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• Patches & More:
The Browns, after several years, have finally ditched the “AL” initials on their sleeve, while the Titans have a 15 year anniversary patch, and the Colts have a 30 seasons away from Baltimore patch.
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Phew. That’s some rundown (and there are surely some changes I’ve missed — so if I did — please shoot me an E-mail, tweet at me, or post anything missing in the comments below). I’ll make sure to get them into tomorrow’s post.
OK readers — that’s quite a bit for a Monday morning, so I’ll just grace you with a (rather large) ticker today. I also ended up having major computer problems late in the evening, so that’s going to do it for today.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I’m pretty sure we’ve seen these before, but another look doesn’t hurt: Michael Schwartz found this great NYT photo of Army QB Rollie Stichweh in the air, knocked around by two Navy defenders. “Check the name on those jerseys. Drive for Five. That little font on the helmet? Beat Army. I found you feature the Beat Army helmet in a post December 10th, 2011, but nothing on the P(hrase)OB. This link has an explanation of the Drive for Five, a motivational saying used by Navy coach Wayne Harvin.” … The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Athletic Department has released a new identity package (thanks to Mark Albanese). … Posted this last week, but one more time in case you missed it — The Detroit Free press is having a best logo in the state contest (thanks to Forrest Page). … “Here’s the third shirt for my favorite soccer team” says Robert J. Hudson, “FC Sochaux-Montbéliard – who is owned, as the jersey sponsor emphasizes, by Peugeot. … Mesut Özil doesn’t look hugely thrilled at getting his own logo, created by top advertising agency Ogilivy and Mather. Much more here (from Cort McMurray). … Here’s a slideshow of many, but likely not all, “official partners” of Manchester United, says submitter Yusuke Toyoda. He asks, “Say, who is the official telecommunication parter of Uni Watch in Malaysia?” … One of Thursday’s Shorpys seems of interest (nice find by Charles Rogers). … The Golden State Warriors have introduced a new secondary logo (from Mike Rowinski). … Apparently NFL.com hasn’t gotten the memo that the Dolphins have a new helmet (great spot by Ryan Bohannon). … UW’s “Sunday Morning Uni Watch” guru Terry Duroncelet is also a drummer. So, he writes, “So I was trying to look for some videos on the DW 8000 longboard pedals for shiggles in the wake of DW releasing the 9000XF longboard pedals (finally!), when I came across this band playing a live show with a kit that had the Royals’ KC logo on the bass reso.” … Justin Kline saw this on the Facebook page of Ronnie Richardson, an MiLB (Eugene Ems) player that he went to high school with: bats emblazoned with the guy’s Twitter handle. “I’m sure Rovell will want one of these,” says Justin. … The NFL won’t allow Colts defensive end Robert Mathis to use his special face mask on game days (thanks, Brinke). Here’s more on that (from TommyTheCPA). But, apparently the funny facemask ban doesn’t extend to everyone (thanks to Brooks Simpson) … We’ve definitely seen the white pillbox caps worn by the NL All-Stars in 1976, and this wire service photo was featured back in 2010, so many of you may not have seen it yet (found by Leo Strawn). … Fans of the Waffle House streak may also like this “nice” Braves retro wallpaper (Brinke, again). … Some sad new out of Seattle as the Huskies’ Helmet Car is now part of history (thanks Matt Busch). … Good spot by Andrew Domingo who noticed that when the San Diego Chargers were playing on Thursday, CBS used the old logo to transition from real time to replay. … Here is the logo for the Japanese Volleyball League’s (V.League) 20th season (from Pacific Rim Correspondent Jeremy Brahm). … What’s that logo on A-rod’s left sleeve? asks Brinke. “Does he have his own Nike logo? (Like Swingman for Griffey?)” … Not sure if Paul can add this to his list of “players who wore zero,” but this Chargers’ fan jersey is pretty clever (thanks to Brandon). … Busy man Brinke also found this article which states Mark Sanchez should strop trying to make his signature headband happen. … Season ticket holders for the 2013 Western Hockey League champion Portland Winterhawks will get their own championship ring, (from Harvey Lee). … Many of you sent this in, but Ahmad Billal Samady was the first: pictures of LeBron James wearing his alma mater’s new football unis, which he donated to St. Mary’s St. Vincent’s for the upcoming season. … Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA Kansas City) were the Omaha Force Saturday night for Star Wars Night (thanks to Eric Leach). They went all out with matching hat and check out the stirrups! … Check out this special football “throwback” that J.E. Burke High in Dorchester is busting out this year. For their Thanksgiving Day game with rival New Mission, they will be wearing special gray uniform with a large “B” over the stomach and chest, with a small number in the left corner. It’s very similar to what Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, etc. have done the last few years (h/t to Brendan Hall). … Kevin Clark, the New Jersey Devils PA announcer, wanted to pass along the new Stadium Series logo. … Check out the batting practice caps worn by the Kansas City Royals on August 9th. They were made by Luis Mendoza’s wife. Pretty cool! (thanks to Aaron Johnson). … As Ken Griffey, Jr. was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday night, the current Mariners squad decided to honor The Kid by rocking his signature look while gazing on from the dugout (Brinke yet again). … Paul forwarded me this picture of a shank bone taken at the Yankee Stadium steakhouse by a friend of his. I can’t quite make out what it says — anyone? … The new World Cup 2014 Referee Kits have been leaked (thanks to Pat West). … This one comes from Chance Michaels: ” Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan passed away on Friday. The first photo in the accompanying gallery is interesting. It’s captioned ‘Shortstop Johnny Logan in his Milwaukee Braves uniform in 1955, the year he led National League in doubles,’ but that’s wrong. The jersey is a dead giveaway–the Braves never wore the city name–that it’s from his time with the minor league Brewers, 1948 or ’49.” … Awesome — the front page of August 9th’s Lake County News Herald has a Browns helmet buggy on it! (h/t Jay Mazzone). … Oops! JayJay Dean caught this during the Hawks/Chargers game — two 46s on one play! … “Saw this shirt at the Crazy Horse Monument & Museum in SD,” says Eli Swanson. … “Noticed this interesting sock detail while checking out photos of the Falcons game,” says Andrew Edwards “Former fellow Beav, JacQuizz Rodgers using a seperate red wristband-esque wrap around his calf with standard white crew socks. Haven’t seen that technique used before in acheiving the two-tone NFL sock look.” … Good observation from Aneury Pichardo who asks, “Since the patriots end zone logo will change (and the new logo is used on the website as well), wouldn’t it make sense to change the logo on front of their uniform too?” … Meet the ‘Simpsons’ writer who named the Dodgers-affiliated Albuquerque Isotopes (thanks to Christopher C. LaHaye). … This is pretty cool: Hyatt Werling was given some old memorabilia by a fellow Steelers fan, which included some old tickets from Steelers games she had attended. One of these tickets was for a Steelers-Jaguars game, and he was surprised to find that the ticket featured a picture of one of the unused Jaguars prototype helmets. … Speaking of cool — this is a cool chart of the Red Sox/KC game on Friday night (thanks to Lose Remerswaal). Paul linked to their charting of the All Star game a few weeks back. … And, yesterday the Blue Jays wore their red tops for “Canada Baseball Day.”
OK guys and gals. That’s all for today. Apologies if there are some small mistakes or misspellings or anything else — like I said, I had major computer problems last evening and was trying to work this off the laptop instead of the desktop.
Have a great Monday, and I’ll be back tomorrow and the rest of the week with some more very special posts and guests.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
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“Can we just stop calling them uniforms already? There is nothing uniform about them. This may make me sound like a fossil, but I miss the days of being able to turn on a tv and know in 2 seconds what teams were playing. Once upon a time uniforms meant something, now they are just costumes.”
By John Ekdahl
Colorado State unveiled their new uniforms for the upcoming season, making the switch to Under Armour in the process (thanks to Stephen yesterday for the hat tip):
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Rumors of a new apparel partnership began swirling as early as fall camp last year and by spring they were official — Colorado State would be an Under Armour school.
After much speculation and anticipation CSU finally unveiled the new jerseys, essentially ushering in the final piece of the “Bold New Era.”
“Oh man, it’s exciting. Obviously the whole Under Armour talk has been going on for a while now,” wide receiver Austin Gray said, after starring in the unveiling video released by the university Thursday. “It was kind of, ‘when are we gonna get all stuff? At the end of the summer, first of spring?’ We didn’t know. It’s an exciting time.”
CSU stuck with the traditional look instead of opting for the crazy jersey combinations the company became popular for with its flagship school Maryland. The green and gold are prominently featured and it is expected there will also be the pumpkin orange and alfalfa uniforms for the annual Ag Day game.
I tuned into the Yanks game a little late on Friday night and had no idea what the white-brimmed caps were about. Usually the Yankees only deviate from their standard uniform during MLB-required promotions, so I was a bit mystified as I couldn’t think of any reason why they’d wear them. Here’s the reason:
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During the pregame ceremony on Friday, the Yankees announced to the crowd: “New Era is the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball and has been a part of MLB history since 1930. On July 21st, the New Era Cap Company hosted the 11th Annual David C. Koch Memorial Gala and Golf Tournament to raise money for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in order to raise awareness and help prevent cancer.
“Tonight, in honor of this, the New York Yankees will be wearing the New Era Diamond Era On-Field Batting Practice 59Fifty Cap for the game. In recognition of its long-standing partnership with both the Koch family and New Era and their fight against cancer, tonight the New York Yankees are also pleased to donate $10,000 to the David C. Koch Foundation.”
Red Sox pitcher Pedro Beato wore his batting practice jersey during the game by mistake on Friday night. The rest of the team was wearing their blue alternate jerseys.
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These Charleston RiverDogs jerseys are, well, interesting.
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LeBron James not only donated new uniforms to his alma mater, St. Vincent-St.Mary’s High School, but also participated in the unveiling ceremony:
On Saturday, they were the lucky recipients of new athletic uniforms for all sporting teams donated by the school’s most famous alum.
James surprised the student body by participating in the runaway fashion show that debuted the new threads. Just as they were about to announce the presentation was over, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” began to play over the loud speakers at the football field.
That is when James surfaced through a cloud of smoke wearing the all-black football uniform. He sported a No. 9 jersey, the same he wore in high school before giving up football after his junior season to focus on basketball. Students realized it was James when he made it to the end of the runaway, mobbing him before he removed his helmet.