I'm Dreaming of a White Autumnal Equinox

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The Rams went white-over-white last night — not their best look. But several players took things a step further by wearing solid white socks, with no blue at all. Call it white-over-white-over-white. One of the players sporting this look was running back Cadillac Williams, shown at right (here’s the money shot of him). Another was defensive end Chris Long. And I’m pretty sure defensive back James Butler was doing it too, although I don’t have a photo of him. Will these players be fined? Maybe, but they make so much money that it’s the equivalent of a parking ticket to you or me, so they don’t care.

I’ve been saying for some time now that baseball socks have essentially shifted from being part of the uniform to being equipment, by which I mean they’re subject more to the player’s whim than to any team or league standard, and it appears that football socks are fast approaching the same status. For all the talk you hear about the NFL vigorously enforcing uniform standards, socks are all over the place: high whites, low whites, no whites, all whites. You’ve got players like Devin Hester, who often go with two sets of socks (and, hence, two sets of stripes). You’ve got players using white tape to simulate the white part of the sock. Hell, most players don’t even wear real socks anymore — they wear tights with colored leg warmers, or they have the leg warmers sewn into their pants.

It seems like some sort of reckoning or shakeout may have to happen, because the current rules (which call for a one-piece sock, white from the ankle to mid-calf and team colors or pattern from mid-calf to the knee) simply don’t reflect the way players currently dress. If you believe, as I do, that form follows function, the NFL will have to come up with new set of lower-leg standards, or else simply acknowledge that no such standards exist. Funny how that part of the body has gone from uniformity to a total freestyle in both baseball and football (and, to a less extent, in basketball too).

Two other notes from last night’s game:

• Tom Coughlin was wearing a ribbon pin. Some readers thought it looked yellow — and I agree that it looks yellow-ish in that photo — but I saw a good close-up of it on TV and am pretty sure it was a stars/stripes design.

• If you look again at that last photo, check out the seams on Brandon Stokley’s jersey. Phil swears they looked unusually white, but they just look like normal seams to me. Then he sent me this screen shot, which again looks pretty normal to me. Am I missing something?

(Mega-thanks to Phil for help with screen shots and photos.)

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

I’ve been a longtime ESPN fan from way back. Chris Berman even gave me with my own nickname — “Brinke’s Robbery.” So I picked up this terrific (and huge — over 700 pages) book on ESPN. I highly recommend it, and I also recommend this classic satiny 1980s ESPN SportsCenter jacket — just the thing to wear while you’re reading the book. Da-da-da, da-da-da.

In other eBay finds this week:

• Staying with sports media for a sec, here’s a nice CNN-SI polo shirt.

• Wow, a gallon-sized 1970s NFL IHOP pitcher.

• Here’s a cool set of 1970s NFL binoculars by Tasco.

• Reader HH Hipster checks in with a Super Bowl XXIX grounds crew jacket. (Note to The Hipster: you sent a lot of great items, but the other auctions would be over by the time this gets posted.)

• This 1970s Houston Astros/Gulf promo visor could use a little cleanup, but still nice.

• ABA fans will like these: a Spirits of St. Louis mug and a Carolina Cougars pennant.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Wondering why there’s a photo of donuts over there? Here’s the deal: I was gonna write a little something about Permanent Record, which is about report cards, so I did a Google image search on “report cards,” and for some reason one of the photos that came up was that photo of glazed donuts. “Hmmm,” I thought, “glazed donuts are, on the whole, better-looking than report cards. So I’ll just use that photo instead.” (Maybe next week I’ll use glazed donuts to accompany Collector’s Corner, too.)

Anyway … My thanks to the many of you who had kind and enthusiastic things to say about yesterday’s Permanent Record article on Slate. The second article in the series is up now (click on the “2” at the top of the page), plus there’s a little bonus material on the Permanent Record blog.

And for you NYC-area folks, we still have room for a few more people at this Saturday’s Permanent Record party in Brooklyn. If you’ve been following the project and would like to attend, shoot me a note and I’ll fill you in on the details.

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Membership update: Several new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Jason Shane’s card, which is based on his young son Aidan’s soccer jersey), and the printed/laminated versions of those new designs all mailed out last Friday. As always, you can get in on the membership scene by signing up here.

Incidentally, we’re getting ready to offer a new product to all past, current, and future membership enrollees. Details soon.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Really fun story about an old Alabama mascot. … Yancy Yeater notes that Temple QB Mike Gerardi appears to have wing-like tape strips on the forehead area of his helmet. … Riddell is the only helmet manufacturer whose logo is allowed to appear on an NFL helmet. “So are the Redskins getting fined every week?” asks Ryan Perkins. Good question. … “I found this picture of Washington, DC-area high school helmets, and it looks like just about every logo is stolen from some other pro or college team,” says James Noone. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Brandon Flowers of the Chiefs got in a skirmish during Sunday’s game and ended up with a badly mangled jersey (from Scott Andrews) … Also from yesterday: an article about high school football uniforms in Oklahoma. … Looks like the Phils were using a raised helmet logo in 1964, much like the Cubs still use today (from Kyle Ostendorf). … “The New York Liberty are offering a ‘promotional 1997 black Liberty Pondexter Throwback Jersey’ for season ticket renewals,” says Kevin Brown. “Problem is, in 1997 Cappie Pondexter was in middle school. Meanwhile #23, the number she wears now, belonged to All-Star, fan favorite, and current Liberty radio voice Sue Wicks.” … If you really love your sneakers, bleed for them. “Unfortunately, that is not the dumbest shit tattoo I’ve ever seen,” says Gary Streeting. … “The Western New Mexico University bus caught on fire on the way to a D-2 football game against Fort Lewis College in Colorado over the weekend, destroying all the uniforms and equipment,” writes Bryan Homrighausen. “Fort Lewis and a local high school loaned out helmets, pants, etc. to the WNMU team, Nike donated some shoes, and someone drove the 450 miles through the middle of the night with 55 alternate jerseys so they could play in something uniform. WNMU won the game.” … Fox Sports totally fabricated some newspaper headlines as part of its Bears/Falcons coverage two weekends ago. … What’s the deal with the wrong-colored Vikings helmet in this 1998 photo of Elvis Grbac, especially since Grbac was a Chief at the time? (As spotted by Brad Tucker.) … Here are all of this season’s Islanders goalie masks (from Jason Hoffman). … The ongoing realignment of college football conferences has led statistical guru Nate Silver (once referred to as “the most important mammal since Abraham Lincoln,” and it’s hard to disagree) to do some very interesting geographic analysis. Recommended reading. … ASU players continue to wear odd helmet decal combos in practice. That’s linebacker Vontaze Burfict (big thanks to Shane Nelson). … The Preds have a very logo-driven red line and gold-capped boards. Further details here (from Paul Richard Cook).

Monday Morning Uni Watch

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As you can see at right, there was a waxing moon over Denver yesterday, as Cedric Benson of the Bengals suffered a rather unfortunate tear in his pants (here’s a larger version). Also, note that his nameplate was encroaching out of its orange panel.

In other football news from the weekend:

• The Jets wore their Titans throwbacks. I don’t mind that design, but I’m surprised that they’ve stuck with it for so long (they first wore the throwback in 2007). Lots of Jets fans have told me they’re itching to see a Klecko-era throwback, and that does seem like a more logical approach. Maybe next year..?

• Check out LeGarrette Blount’s super-stretchy undershirt.

• I noticed that Niners coach Jim Harbaugh appears to have a little chest-mounted holster for his pen.

• In case you missed it yesterday, reader Terry Duroncelet is now providing weekly college football uni roundups each Sunday. His latest report is here.

• I have a few additional college items, beginning with the Iowa game, where one of the sheriff’s deputies on the sideline had the Iowa logo on his sidearm.

• Ohio, which is normally one of the best-dressed FBS teams, wore a really shitty BFBS outfit.

• No photo, but I’m told that WVU’s Geno Smith lost his nameplate at the end of Saturday’s game.

• Looks like there were some major color inconsistencies in Florida State’s facemasks. The Revolution masks, shown at left and right, were bright red, while the Revo Speed, in the center, was much darker.

• Cancer-awareness season apparently came early to Missouri, because the Tigers were wearing pink accessories.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Johnny Bruno, Timothy Burke, Chris Cocuzza, Tommy Daniel, Trey Jones, and J.D. Nighswonger.)

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Rebel flag revisited: When I wrote that piece about the Columbus Yankees wearing a Confederate flag sleeve patch last month, I had only one documented example of an African-American player wearing the flag, and that was Roy White.

Now we have an additional example: Jerry Kenney, who played for Columbus in 1966. Reader Al Bernardo found that photo on Friday. Even after all the discussion we had last month, the sight of a black man wearing that patch still packs a significant punch.

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This week should be a doozy, and will be capped off by what promises to be an epic weekend. Here’s the rundown of what’s in store:

• The Permanent Record series will be rolling out all week long on Slate, one article per day. The first one is up today. I’ve put a lot of myself into this one, kids — hope you’ll check it out.

• On Thursday I’ll have an ESPN column that should make some waves. All I can say for now is that I have an exclusive scoop regarding a uniform of serious historical import.

• On Friday, Kirsten Hively’s “Project Neon” exhibit will be opening at the City Reliquary in Brooklyn. There will be dozens of photos, lots of info, and you’ll be able to download the new (and free!) Project Neon iPhone app, which allows users to find cool neon signage all over the city. There’ll be an opening reception at 7pm — NYC-area readers are encouraged to attend. (Unfortunately, this sign will not be on display, but you can’t have everything.)

• On Saturday afternoon I’ll be hosting a small Permanent Record gathering in Brooklyn. Attendees will include some of the students’ families who I’ve interviewed, some of the researchers who’ve assisted me (sorry you can’t join us, Cort), some folks from Slate, and so on. We have room for a few more people, and I think it would be nice to have some readers there, so if you’ve been following the project and would like to attend, get in touch and I’ll fill you in on the details.

• Sunday brings us the latest installment of the Brooklyn Beefsteak at the Bell House. Two seatings — 1-4pm and 5-8pm — both featuring all the usual slop: unlimited meat, unlimited beer, tunes by the mighty Susquehanna Industrial Tool + Die Co., Beefsteak Betty, and some chucklehead in the back selling a certain protein-themed T-shirt (plus this time he may have a new design on hand). Getcher tickets here.

Not a bad week, esp. if you live in NYC. Hope you’ll join in for some of it.

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In case you missed it, Phil ran some amazing Seahawks redesign concepts over the weekend, and you’ll eventually get to vote for your favorite. Check them out here and here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Maple Leafs have added advertising to their practice jerseys (from Grant Phillips). … Lots of cool archival soccer photos on this site (from Stephen Wong). … Bolton High in Tennessee wears the Kansas State logo, but Kevin Lewter says they have permission to do so. “I was talking with the AD and he said, ‘We contacted KSU to see if that would be OK. They said, “Sure, but we will have to charge you….$1 per year.” It cost us more to write and send them a check than it does to use the logo.'” … The Caps’ will wear last season’s Winter Classic throwback as a third jersey this season. … Fairly detailed analysis of Auburn’s uniforms here (from Spencer Maddox). … Michigan State blogger/historian Eric Greenwald has provided his assessment of the Spartans’ AmPac uniforms. … Nice note from proud papa Tyler Kepner, who writes: “Thanks mainly to Hunter Pence, my nine-year-old son has ditched the low-pants look and now proudly wears the high cuffs with his baseball uniform. But thankfully, not too high -– he’s going mid-calf, and even lets me do that blousing-the-pants thing for the perfect style. We can win this war, Paul, one convert at a time!” … The whole state of Nebraska flipped out on Friday, when the Cornhuskers’ equipment staff posted a photo of some new gloves. Check out what was lurking in the background. “They quickly backed off and said it was something they made for fun and not something intended for game use,” says Lincoln Arneal. … New soccer kit for Peru (from Kenny Loo). … “Color-on-color isn’t so unusual in cricket,” says Coachie Ballgames. “But this match-up, between South Africa in green and Pakistan in slightly lighter green, is really confusing. … Can’t decide if your favorite Bear is Ditka or Butkus? This guy has just the jersey for ya (from Chris Chaussee). … Brian Wilson was wearing those Back to the Future sneakers the other day (from Conrad Olenik). … Here’s the backstory on Tennessee coach Derek Dooley’s orange pants (from Mike McLaughlin). … Unusual rugby kit worn by the New Zealand Warriors a few nights ago (from Michael Craig). … Parker Ferguson’s old high school — Corona del Mar High in California — has just adopted a new pitchfork helmet logo. The weird thing is that Ferguson also attended Arizona State, making him a double pitchfork alum. … More fallout from the Russian hockey plane crash: Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings is changing his uni number in the preseason to honor Ruslan Salei (from George Flory). … Meanwhile, the Preds have added a memorial decal for Wade Belak (from Paul Richard Cook). … Lots of speculation regarding Tim Thomas’s new goalie gear (from John Muir). … Floyd Mayweather Jr. wore vaguely Bengals-ish gear for Saturday night’s bout against Victor Ortiz. … Texas Tech will be wearing Wounded Warrior camo jerseys on Nov. 12 (from Adam Loving). … Kurt Esposito notes that the Phils celebrated their division title with team-branded Champagne. … When Pearl Jam played in Winnipeg recently, they had Jets-themed T-shirts (John Muir again). … Mets announcer Ron Darling on the Braves’ red Sunday jerseys: “It’s good, because it’s different.” Thank goodness we have trained professionals providing trenchant analysis like that. … On the brighter side, Rays broadcaster wore the team’s varsity-style sweater on the air yesterday (big thanks to Tim Burke). … The Senators’ third jersey design has leaked, thanks to an “inadvertent” shipment by Reebok (from Mike McAllister). … “I’ve been working on this solar construction project at American Canyon High School, 40 miles north of San Francisco,” writes Al Cummings. “Turns out there’s a Detroit Lions injury cart in one of the empty classrooms. A teacher said some faculty member bid for it. From the looks of it, it was during the Barry Sanders/Silverdome era. Sadly, they are going to re-wire it and paint with the school colors, which are black and gold.” … Garish use of flag-based imagery isn’t limited to Maryland. That’s Aussie golfer Kurt Barnes, who won the ANA Open in Japan (from Jeremy Brahm). … Interesting piece about Kentucky’s basketball uniforms (from Dwayne White). … The Rays wore their letterman sweaters for last night’s train ride from Boston to New York.

Fixing the Seabirds - Part II

Seahawks Contest Part 2 Header

By Phil Hecken

Back today with part two of the Seahawks Uniform Contest — if you happened to miss the first part, look here. Yesterday we looked at the first 17 contestants, and today we’ll look at the final 18. Lots to get to, so let’s get started:

18. Brent Hatfield:

Submission: This uniform design was created considering both the modern feel of the uniform style provided by Nike with also the classic colors of the Seahawks. The Green helmet I felt was necessary because no other team in the NFL currently dawns a green helmet and I feel it would flow great with these uni’s. Old school stripes, with modern fit. The perfect blend, the perfect uniform.

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19. Hungry Hungry Hipster:

Submission 1: Attached is my entry to the Seattle Seahawks uniform redesign contest. The teal-ish blue from the Seattle city flag was very close to one of the blues the Seahawks already use so I chose that as the jersey color. I made their neon green even brighter but kept their navy blue the same. The design of the jersey mimics the Seattle city flag’s design, with the seal located as a patch on the left shoulder.

Submission 2: Basically this design is the same as the first except that the jersey isn’t just inspired by the Seattle city flag, it IS the Seattle city flag. I had to add more swirls to the right shoulder and fittingly they look like upside-down Nike swooshes. Additionally the swirls give the flag and the jersey a very oceany feel and I think this is appropriate for a team called the *Sea*hawks. The swirls also mirror the tip of the beak of the Seahawk head on the helmet.

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20. David Johnson:

Submission 1; Submission 2: Here are my redesigns of the Seahawks, loosely based on another northwest franchise, Vancouver Canucks.

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21. James MacNeil:

Submission 1; Submission 2: I remember the Seahawks from the Cortez Kennedy days, but always dug their classic look. That being said, I’m ditching the bird and going with the blurring rotors of the SH-60 Helicopter. Tried to keep the design simple and minimal, yet different. I hope you find it interesting.

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22. Mako Mameli:

Submission: Let’s start with the helmet. I don’t like the blue helmet the Seahawks are using so I went back to silver helmet, keeping the modern logo only on one side (a la Boise State). I think the logo fits for the purpose due to his length. On the other side of the helmet I put the player’s number. I wanted to keep the 2 shades of blue the Seahawks are using, but I decided to bring out the green. I got rid of the logo on the shoulders and used the compression shirt to show proper striping. Brought back gray pants. All in all, it’s an hybrid between modern and classic.

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23. C.K. McKenzie:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3: Seattle fans don’t need a retro uniform to remind us how bad the ‘hawks were back in the day. Blue on blue has given us success, so why mess with it? However it’s Nike, so I’m sure we’ll see something like my Alternate… and frankly, it wouldn’t hurt the NFL to try something new (As long as it’s only one game a year).

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24. Josh Nelson:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3; Submission 4; Submission 5; Submission 6; Submission 7; Submission 8; Submission 9; Submission 10; and Submission 11: I felt that there needed to be more contrast between the color choice in their existing uniforms and decided to pair black with blue as an actual seahawk has elements of black in its feathers. Furthering that inspiration, the accent color has been adjusted to a brown/copper metallic. Again, looking to the actual bird for inspiration. The bird theme is carried to the wing-style graphic on the sleeves that are worn underneath the jersey. As a nod to past franchise color palettes, I included a silver, but chose to give it an edge by going with a darker, platinum silver for the helmets (matte finish) and road pants.

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25. Travis Ness:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3: I’m attempting to create a hybrid using the best elements from Seahawk uniform history. To me, that is essentially their old color scheme matched with the new logo. Here, I’ve returned the logo wraparound to the sleeve as well as stripes to the socks. Tried to keep it simple: no stripes or piping on the pants, etc. Also toned down the neon green and tried to use it sparingly, as a little of it goes a long way. I also did an alternate version with a darker blue with a brighter green, similar to their current scheme but with silver helmet/pants.

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26. Shaun Ploenzke:

Submission 1; Submission 2: I am in the minority, but I actually like the neon green that Seattle has been using and would like to see more of it (but not as an alternate). In my redesign I kept the current color scheme (while slightly changing the shade of green) and returned the seahawks to their grey helmets with blue facemasks. I decided to add a stripe to shoulder/collar to add some color to the jersey and give the Seahawks a unique look. I also changed the logo slightly, adding green and removing one of the blues.

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27. John Price:

Submission 1; Submission 2: Here is my submission. Wanted to go back a bit more old school while retaining some new school elements.

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28. Jeff Provo:

Submission 1: Concept 1 retro inspired, but in kelly green and navy and a flat gray instead of silver, and I gave them a green jersey because *someone* should wear kelly green.

Submission 2: Concept 2 is a re-imagining of their current look with silver helmets, no green at all and the navy relegated to just trim.

Submission 3: Concept 3 is what I’d like to call the Neon Nightmare. View with caution.

…and for the record, I like their current uniforms, minus the all-white combo.

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29. Matt Robida:

Submission 1: PRIMARY HOME/ROAD: For the Seahawks, I really wanted to combine eras. To do this, I wanted to return to blue, green and silver, while pairing them up with modern looking uniforms. Silver pants and helmet return, and some modern stripes and sleeves are included. I also included several alternate options.

Submission 2: ALTERNATES: For the Seahawks, I really wanted to combine eras. To do this, I wanted to return to blue, green and silver, while pairing them up with modern looking uniforms. Silver pants and helmet return, and some modern stripes and sleeves are included. I also included several alternate options.

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30. Andrew Seagraves:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3; Submission 4: I have two concept styles for you: First has three equal stripes on the shoulder with the silver a light slate grey (hex: 778899). I have adorned them in White, Slate Grey, Dark Slate Blue, and Neon Green. I kept the pants consistent with light slate grey their color.

Submission 5; Submission 6; Submission 7; Submission 8; Submission 9: Second has a “divebombing” Seahawk on both side of the helmet. I have two Seahawks coming in toward the chest for a modern/artistic look. I also used a Modern Gothic font for the numbers and adorned the team in White, Dark Slate Blue, Neon Green and Powder Blue with Slate Blue pants. One fun style I did was an ode to the grunge era: plaid jersey, khaki pants with a black belt, black socks to give a faux “Doc Merten” look with white stockings and white undershirt.

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31. Corey Snyder:

Submission: Using neon green and shadowed feathers on two-tone blue creates a classic look with “surprise” details. The silver pants and helmet were brought back from the original uniform. Piping throughout creates definition lines and and “armor plated” look. Helmet is silver printed so you only see the feathers in light.

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32. Rich Stromwall:

Submission: I think minimalism – except on socks — is key.

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33. Michael Sullivan:

Submission: Here is my Seahawks redesign.

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34. David VanCleve:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3: I sent in this submission to Uni Watch before and I still really like it. I basically reverted to the Seahawks old uniforms but kept the current shade of blue and for the alternate switched to a more standard green. I feel this uniform is a proud representation of both the Largent and Hasselbeck era in Seattle.

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35. Pat West:

Submission: I’m from Washington state and I can tell you now that getting rid of the neon green would be silly because the fans in Seattle love it. I added silver helmets and pants. Got rid of all navy. Brightened up the blue. I added a little more neon green trim. I also created a modern looking sleeve stripe out of the Seahawk logo which I recolored to remove the navy.

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And that’s the end of the second set of contestants. Great job by all. Now, there’s Tim E. O’Brien with his observations:

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Day two and the hits keep coming.

A few trends from day two:

Once again, there were no lack of original, out-there designs.

The love of the neon may be even stronger today than yesterday.

The ’90s colors, again, were out in force.

Someone designed a fantastic Detroit Lions uniform.

The logo of choice was almost exclusively the current modern-Haida seahawk. This led to some… unique?… design.

One of the few logo changes took inspiration from a helicopter blade. I wouldn’t’a thought’a that…

Another day filled with some great concepts and ideas. I can’t wait to get to the fan voting and see how this all shakes out. Again I’d like to thank all the submitters for their fabulous work, I hope they had as much fun coming up with these as I had looking at ‘em.

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Thanks, Tim. OK, readers — once again it’s time to support your favorites in the comments and help me decide the final parameters for the contest voting. Based on yesterday’s comments, I’m leaning towards having a crack panel select five uniforms from each day, and next week putting those ten to a vote. The top two vote getters will have a run-off to determine an overall winner. Now, should there be one finalist from the first five and one from the second? Or should the top 2 vote getters of the final ten (regardless of which day they appeared) constitute the final two? Or…do you guys think there is a better way? Let’s have your thoughts below.

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ncaa footballNew NCAA Rundown

In what will now be a regular Sunday feature during the NCAA season, my man Terry Duroncelet is here to give us the uni machinations and assorted athletic aesthetics for Week III of the college football season. Here’s Terry:

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• In Thursday’s game against LSU, Mississippi State had the Nick Bell memorial patch on their jerseys from last year, and although there’s no photo (I wish I was smart enough to take one while the game was on), the 36-yard hashmarks were painted black in memory of Nick Bell (he wore jersey #36 at Miss. State during his time).

• On Friday, Boise State wore a new uniform combination: their white Nike Pro Combat jerseys with standard blue helmets (not to be confused with their Nike ProCom blue helmets) *Also note the asymmetrical TV number on the left sleeve* and new orange pants with no graphics other than the team name “Broncos” going down the leg. Kinda reminds you of that other Broncos team from a long time ago… Upon further examination on that Pro Combat jersey top, I noticed that the shoulder fabric on the Boise State ProCom jersey has a ribbed texture to it. Looks pretty cool (I think Paul would agree).

• Iowa State was rumored to go with this Storm Trooper look, complete with this white helmet prototype, but they had second thoughts on the helmet and went with the normal cardinal lid, but with white pants. Good look, IMO.

• Although it’s hard to see in these photos, UCLA added their “Ucla” logo to the back of their Bruin Blue jerseys to match last year’s “new” road jersey. Found that out in Yesterday’s game against Texas

• No picture, but one of the Notre Dame players was wearing a pair of Nike Volt ripoff Adidas cleats.

• Maryland went with the Darth Vader costumes against West Virginia, and the picture matches the outcome for Maryland quite nicely. Also, WVU’s Geno Smith was wearing an “I <3 boobies!" bracelet. For those who don’t observe high school/college fashion, look here at the Zumiez website.

• Although Clemson wore mono-orange Yesterday, Auburn was seeing red as their 17-game win streak was snapped.

• Tennessee broke out the orange pants against Florida.

• Looks like Boston College went back to last year’s helmet stripe for the second time in three games in their game against Duke. Looks like they also wore white pants with their cardinal?/crimson? jerseys.

• Arizona State went full Storm Trooper against Illinois.

• Virginia Tech not only went full Storm Trooper against Arkansas State, but also had the throwback logo on the white lids. Plus, this seems to be our first look at Arkansas State’s black jersey tops, and one of the Red Wolves players had a jersey that was too small and/or a chestplate that was too far out and left him lookin’ a little like Madonna.

• After watching the Kentucky vs. Louisville game, I discovered something: look at this shot of the mono-blue (although it was from their game against Central Michigan). The pant stripe goes up-and-down the mesh insert on the blue pants, but the stripes on the white pants from their first game against WKU wrap around the back of the knees Pro Combat-style. Kentucky… Y U NO HAVE CONSISTENT PANT STRIPING? ಠ_ಠ

Minnesota went with maroon helmets, “cheddar” jerseys, and maroon pants.

• Hard to tell, but #55 for South Carolina doesn’t have a player name on the back of his jersey.

• BYU and Utah went color vs. color in Provo Yesterday.

• TCU’s first home game also provided us with a first look at their new home uniforms.

• Georgia Tech’s previous home white jerseys were mothballed due to legibility issues involving the numbers. They got their new home whites just in time for Yesterday’s game against Kansas. Even though this is a microscopic shot, you can *barely* see a Jayhawk logo where the player name used to be.

• Arizona wore mono-blue against Stanford. First time I’ve seen Arizona with the blue lid in a while (actually, this is the most blue that they’ve worn in a while, period).

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Great job on that Terry. Looking forward to your weekly rundowns for the rest of the season!

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:

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We start with Tim Weeks, with a new color scheme for the Bobcats:

Howdy,

As a longtime Saints fan, i always wondered why there is no NBA team sporting the black & gold. The Wizards had a black & gold alternate for a few seasons, but it was hideous. I am not a fan of Charlotte’s Blue & Orange color scheme, so i chose the Bobcats for a black & gold makeover. Thoughts?

Primary Logo
Secondary Logo

Home Uniform
Road Uniform
Alternate Uniform

Cheers,

Tim W

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Next up is Walter Helfer who is back with some baseball concepts:

Dear Phil,

Here are a couple of Rockies’ ideas, the very essence of a tweak; not much is changed. But for both jerseys I spiked up the titles to something more readable and “baseball-looking”. Unlike many who post here, I like emphasizing the first and last letters; the result looks like a steel arch bridge. Also, I reduced the number of initials on Colorado’s hat. Admittedly, “C” would have been the logical choice but we already have plenty of “C” teams, and I couldn’t think of a major league squad using an “R”.

Home

Road

All the Best,

-Walter

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That’s it for today. Back next weekend with more. Thanks to all the submitters.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

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“Well, if the Purple Nurples want to play it that way…”

9-18-11 s-blind

And, as always, the full-size.

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vilk 5 & 1 flat 2Jim Vilk’s 5 & 1

And now for the part of the post that I wait up all night for you’ve all been waiting for…

The Vilkman has been on a pretty good roll lately, so that’s gotta change, right? Let’s see what’s in store this week:

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Introducing the Terp Tracker! – Ninja Turtles > Ninja Ducks.

Honorable Mention to Boise State/Toledo? — THAT’S how the Broncos (Boise as well as Denver) should look!

Another Honorable Mention to Auburn/Clemson – Holy Perry Tuttle!

5. Oklahoma/Florida State — Holy JC Watts!

4. Syracuse/USC — Phil said I should have done an all-orange list, and I was mighty tempted.

3. Texas/UCLA — The Longhorns’ all-whites are better than Penn State’s…

2. Penn State/Temple — …but the Lions were playing against the best unis in the NCAA.

1. North Texas/Alabama — Wouldn’t want to see it in monochrome, but that’s a fetching shade of green!

And the bad one: Akron/Cincinnati — There’s only one thing worse than the Zips’ record, and you’re looking at it.

~~~

Only in a 5 & 1 will you ever see the word “fetching” used on UW. And you could have put 6 games with orange teams in the 5 & 1. And…it’s always good to post a 7:00 video of JC Watts & Company after a 3,000 word entry. Oh well…there’s always next week.

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And on that note…we’ll call it a Sunday. Thanks to all the submitters for the Seahawks contest, both yesterday and today, and also to Moono, Ricko and Movi. Well, maybe not Movi.

Make sure you show your support for the Seahawks designers in the comments, and continue to give suggestions for the voting — we’ll be back with that next weekend.

Everyone have a great Sunday and a better week. Peace!

~~~

“Damn. I may have to not vote for myself.” — THE Jeff Provo

Fixing the Seabirds - Part I

Fixing the Seabirds - Day I

By Phil Hecken

Back in August, I announced the latest UW contest, this time to redesign the Seattle Seawhaks for 2012, when Nike takes over the NFL contract. It being the middle of summer, I wasn’t sure how many entries to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised to receive submissions from 35 readers! Some sent in multiple submissions, while others only sent one, and some sent in several submissions in a single graphic. Since I wasn’t specific on how they could be sent, I’ll show all of the entries along with the submitter.

I’ll break up the entries into two groups — 17 today and the second 18 submitters tomorrow. Next weekend we’ll be voting on the designs. Here’s where I need some reader help — should I open up the voting to every design, or should they be narrowed down to the top 5? And if you guys want to vote on every submitter, should I have you vote for your five favorite out of all, and of that, the top vote-getter overall is crowned the *winner*? Or, just a single vote for each of the 35 contestants? Let me know below in the comments.

As far as a prize — so far I have two in mind and I just may add some more — but for the winner, I will buy you a UW membership — if you already have one, then I’ll buy you a second one, and I’ll try to coax Scotty Turner (who is the graphic genius behind the membership cards) to incorporate your winning design into your new card (or any other design you may want). Also, remember those game-used NFL footballs that Joe Skiba gave to Paul to raffle off a year or so ago? I have one, and it’s been sitting on top of my bookcase, gathering dust, all this time — I’ll give that to the winner as well. There may be some more stuff as well. OK? OK!

Now then…no voting today or tomorrow — that’ll be for next weekend. Let’s see what our first 17 contestants came up with. We’ll be doing this alphabetically:

1. Bret Ayres:

Submission 1: HOME / AWAY – Change colors to the classic royal blue, green, and silver. Silver helmet/facemask, and pants (with green-white-blue stripe). Slight tweak to the angry bird, and addition of shoulder logos/striping/wings inspired by the totem poles of the Pacific Northwest. ALTERNATE – Basically the home uniform with the green.

Submission 2: I liked your designs, and mine aren’t all that different. I may not win, but I’m willing to bet I have the most Nike logos! HOME / AWAY – Change colors to the classic royal blue and silver and the lighter blue from the current logo to a sea-blue. Silver helmet/facemask, and pants (with blue-white-blue stripe). Slight tweak to the angry bird, and addition of shoulder logos/striping/wings inspired by the totem poles of the Pacific Northwest. ALTERNATE – Basically the home uniform with the sea-blue, and most importantly it isn’t electric green.

~~~

2. Paul Barrett:

Submission 1; Submission 2: Ditched the blue on blue and only used the darker blue as an accent for the logo and sleeve/sock stripes. Changed the green from neon to more of a kelly. The road unis were slightly influenced by the Oakland throwbacks with Silver on Silver numbers. The green outline seemed to work the best for that.

~~~

3. Tom Bierbaum:

Submission 1: Home. I actually don’t dislike the current uniform as much as a lot of people. In particular, I kind of like the monochrome all-blue look of the home uniform. But the “metallic blue” color is an odd shade and I hate the tossed-in touches of neon green.

Submission 2: I actually don’t dislike the current uniform as much as a lot of people. In particular, I kind of like the monochrome all-blue look of the home uniform. But the “metallic blue” color is an odd shade and I hate the tossed-in touches of neon green.

Submission 3; Submission 4; Submission 5: Alternate I: I have a version with an alternate neon green jersey to accommodate the fondness the Seattle fans seem to have for that color; Alternate-II: I added an alternate-alternate that I know would never get used in a million years but is the kind of combination I really like – neon green jerseys and a lighter, glossy “metallic” version of neon green for the helmets and pants. Blue/Gold Alternate: And finally, all through the exercise, I was thinking the Seahawks have always been a blue team and it seems like they should remain one, but the only blue color scheme that particularly interested me (besides my actual first choice, the team’s original look) was to go with kind of a bright shade of royal blue for the jersey and then a light metallic blue for the helmets and pants, and I didn’t like green as the trim color for that combination, so I tried it with my all-time favorite trim color, yellow-orange, which I happen to think looks good with everything.

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4. Todd Breda:

Submission: Here’s my take. Thanks for your time.

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5. Steve Brookman:

Submission 1: HOME: I used the old Seahawks color scheme, with elements of the new (namely dark blue). I kept the current jersey numbers with the dark blue outline. I also added semi-UCLA stripes to the shoulders and incorporated the alt hawk logo on the sleeves. Finally, I added silver pants.

Submission 2: AWAY: The jersey on the away set uses the same basic design as the home. I used blue numbers with the dark blue outline. This set also uses the silver pants.

Submission 3: AWAY ALT: This set incorporates a blue set of pants into the mix. I’ve added striped socks to this set, as I’ve always believed darker pants call for striped socks.

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6. D.J. Button:

Submission 1: This is my submission to your contest. Thanks!

Submission 2: Here is the proper entry.

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7. Nelson Calimquim:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3; Submission 4: As you can see from my redesigns, the Seahawks Home and Road uniform redesigns are taken back to their original color schemes. With the added striping, it gives the uniforms a more classic look. These uniforms definitely should withstand the test of time and will be enjoyed for many Seahawk fan generations to come. Unless, of course, the Seahawks management decides to move the team to Oklahoma City…

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8. George Ciervo:

Submission: Starting out, there were three things I wanted to work into the design. One, the distinctive shoulder cut of the current unis. Two, I wanted to work off of the thick double stripe from the logo and sleeve design of the 80s/90s unis. And three, I wanted to bring back the old colors. I started with the away uniforms, and the design was working nicely. I used the double stripe (well, triple if you include the narrow white divider) motif on the sleeves and for the pants. Then I decided to try that approach on the numbers, like what U Miami used. Sure it’s a gimmick from that company and no, the NFL would probably never go for it, but darned if I didn’t love that look. Gray/silver pants and helmet, looking good. Then I got to the home uniforms, and things just were not working with the colors. The green half of the numbers didn’t contrast enough with the royal blue uniforms, and I couldn’t get the sleeves right. So I started shifting things around, introduced more colors, and the whole thing became a mess. IMO, one of the problems the Seahawks have currently is that they just use one too many colors. Virtually all of the teams have at most two “real” colors (black, white, gray don’t count). One is fine (Jets, Colts). ZERO is fine (Raiders). Three is not (witness the old Bills). So I had to step back and simplify. What I settled on was navy and the neon green, as that combo gave the most contrast. It wasn’t what I originally wanted, but it fit the design.

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9. Michael Craig:

Submission: Now that the Bills are beautiful again the Seahawks are now the NFL team most in need of an upgrade. Heres what ive come up with. I think ive struck a pretty good balance between the traditional jerseys and the current set. The new blue is somehwere in between the old jerseys and the current set. That hideous neon green is done away with in favour of a green closer to the old green, but with a bit more pop. Kept the dark blue from the current set on the home uniform because i think it offers an attractive frame for the green on the sleeves, pants and collar. hope you enjoy it.

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10. Joe Csikos:

Submission: My shot at a Seahawks Redesign. The overall colors are fairly similar. Used a darker navy blue and got rid of the rest of the blues. I emphasized the neon green (or snot green) in the home sets for the home fans. I decided to use the carbon fiber look as Nike did with Oregon for the helmets and the numbers. The alt set uses a bit more of the neon green without going crazy like before. Hope everyone enjoys.

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11. Andrew DeFrank:

Submission 1 (Team Information)

Submission 2 (Home)

Submission 3 (Road)

Submission 4 (Navy Pants)

Submission 5 (Green Alternate)

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12. Denver Gregg:

Submission 1; Submission 2: Attached are home & away Seahawks concepts. I don’t have the skill to use the anti-cooperation template, so I borrowed a different one. Kept the current neon and clinically depressed blue, restored light silver, resisted the urge to use undersleeves as they’re probably not likely to be used in an NFL jersey and added hooped socks and an element that’s probably unique in this contest.

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13. Matthew Donnelly:

Submission: I built my set around an alternate logo (on the helmet) and found myself liking their shade of green as I worked on it. I went to one shade of blue, a UCLA old-style number font, and an attempt at a carbon shade for the pants. I kept the glove outsides plain, and used gradients for the glove salute and the socks. For the model, I used a popular template floating around the SportsLogos boards. I suspect that, being a northwest team, this is the team that Nike convinces to go bat!@#$ insane next year.

~~~

14. Terry Duroncelet:

Submission: Hello, Uni Watch. Here is my idea for a new Seattle Seahawks uniform. Not much of a change except that I used the nuclear green in a more tasteful manner and added Northwestern-striped socks. Adding Seahawk Blue pants was tempting, but given that they actually go with this idea, they’ll just pair it with the blue jersey, and we can’t have that. Thank you for your time.

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15. David Ebright:

Submission: I made this about 6 months ago and never did anything with it. After reading your article I figured it was the right time to unveil it to the world. I love it, but i’m sure everone else will hate it… cant wait to here the feedback.

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16. Andrew Farley:

Submission 1; Submission 2; Submission 3; Submission 4; Submission 5; Submission 6; Submission 7: As a lifetime Seahawks fan/graphic designer/uni watch enthusiast I figured it would be fun to do some Seahawks uniforms. And what is the point if you don’t take some risks to make them cooler, right?

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17. Michael Hass:

Submission 1: HOME: A return to the Seahawks’ classic blue, sea green, and silver color scheme that is unique to Seattle and beloved by fans. This version gives the green more prominence than the original, and overall is a little more structured and contemporary. On the logo, I kept the dark blue (which I think looks pretty sharp) and substituted the pale blue with the sea green.

Submission 2: ROAD: The blue yoke and sleeves make this road uni a bit more ownable than the old road uni from the 90’s. I always felt these fell a little flat, and were a little too similar to the Raiders’ road colors.

Submission 3: ALT: As a celebration of Seattle culture, I made a Special Edition logo and introduced “Expresso brown” to the palette (I’ll let you speculate what the inspiration was). This started as a gimmick but I was happily surprised with the results. I don’t think I’ve seen this color combo before (at least not in the sports world), and I think it works pretty well.

~~~

Well, there you have the first day of submissions — we’ll finish it up tomorrow. Now, a quick few words and observations from Tim E. O’Brien, who helped me to set up the contest:

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Wow.

Let me start off by saying that while I expected some ‘out-there‘ designs, there were quite a few ‘holy s#¡†‘ designs – not that that’s a bad thing…

A few observations from day one:

• As I noted in the original post for this contest, Seabird fans l.o.v.e. themselves some neon green. My theory is that due to the general lack of sunlight in the great Northwest, the neon is the most vibrant color any of these poor people have ever experienced (for instance, this was the nicest day in Seattle history).

• Anyone who got rid of the neon seemed to replace it with a forest/kelly green.

• Someone went above and beyond the call of duty and redesigned other NFL teams in the process.

• Many people love the current set of blue.

• Those who didn’t almost all went back to the royal blue of the early ’90s.

• The logo of choice remained the current modern-Haida seahawk.

• Does anyone know who made this submission or what contest it’s for?

• Another submission made me want a Venti Chai Latte (actually the more I see that color combo, the more I like it).

All in all I’m thrilled with the submissions and am happy to see all of them. A few people came up with the idea to spell out the numbers, which I think is a brilliant idea but fails in practicality. Maybe there’s a place for that type of innovation, but I don’t think it’s on the jersey (…maybe the pants?).

But before we even get to the comments and criticisms, let me just say none of these concepts are bad. Anyone who took the time and effort to come up with these did a great job in executing their ideas, I just don’t agree with all of them. Thanks again to all the people who submitted to this and, who knows, maybe the 2012 ‘Hawks will be wearing something based on an idea or two from these concepts.

~~~

Thanks Tim. OK, readers, now it’s up to you. Let’s hear who your early favorites are in the comments and also how you think the poll should be structured. We’ll be back tomorrow with the second half of the contestants and more deep thoughts from Tim E.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

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“Whoa, talk about pressure…”

9-17-11 d-Klutz

And of course, the full-size.

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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

After receiving submissions from two former contributors last weekend, this week we’re back with the usual suspects, also known as the G&G boys. But that’s OK because, as always, their contributions are tremendous. I’m going to run the Colorize This! a day earlier than usual, because I expect tomorrow will be chock full of college football goodness, and perhaps some other surprises. OK? OK!

Let’s see what we have this week:

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First up is George Chilvers, who has three separate entries this week. His first (Clyde Kluttz of the Boston Braves) is as follows:

Hi Phil

I found this at the excellent Boston Public Library Flickr account.

George

His second submission was this:

Hi Phil again

Another one from the excellent Boston Public Library collection here

It’s Bill Osmanski, later of the Bears, but here in his time at Holy Cross.

His jersey looks a bit “worn” in the black and white print, so although I’ve coloured it in Holy Cross colours (there’s no reason why it would be as it looks like a training top, but I’ll go with the purple) I’ve made the colours a bit faded and well-washed :)

George

PS If any of your readers are from south of the Mason-Dixon line they may like a quick look at my most recent Shorpy piece of work (non-sport) at Shorpy.

And the third time for George is always a charm, as he completed his *work* for the week with this gem, from the Harvard/Army Game in 1933:

Hi Phil

You can use this next week if you like and can’t fit it in this week. Once again, I have one of my tales to go with this.

When I was a lad growing up in 1950s/1960s England I was interested in all sports and American Football seemed like an exotic faraway event! My sole knowledge of it was based on old encyclopaedias which had grainy black and white pictures from the 1930s of an area of play about 30yards by 30 yards with a confusing melee in the middle of teams named Yale, Harvard, and confusingly for me, Army and Navy. It all enthralled me :)

Anyway – looking through the Boston Public Library site I came across a number of these action photos and thought I’d see what one looked like in colour. I didn’t expect much, as I thought it would be mainly green. Occasionally even I get surprised what adding colour does, and this is one such occasion. I think the colour has really brought to life a moment in time 78 years ago. It’s 1933, and Harvard are playing Army. I had to really study the picture to sort out who was from which team, but the effort paid off. I’m well pleased with this, as they say. I’ve left it quite big I’m afraid, but of course it can be chopped down or lower resolution applied.

The original is here.

Hope you like it.

George

Thanks, George. Great work as always!

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And the second half of the G&G tandem, Gary Chanko checks in with two beauties of his own.

Check out this amazing job with Johnny U & Merlin Olsen (and Deacon Jones!):

Hi Phil

Decided to give baseball a rest this week and went searching for football images. Specifically I was looking for a childhood favorite Johnny Unitas. There’s not many quality B&W photos of Johnny U, but I did find one this one.

The photo was captured during a 1967 Colts-Rams game that ended in a 24-24 tie. In addition to Unitas, the image contains two other Rams Hall of Famers, Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones. The Colts uniforms have hardly changed over the past half century. The Rams, however, have regressed beyond recovery.

Gary

And Gary wasn’t finished, sending one more my way, and it came from yesterday’s There’s No Service Like Wire Service:

So this photo shows up in today’s Wire Service Vol 34. It truly deserves colorizing, particularly since I’m an Eagles fan.

And could this be the next “What color was the Broncos horse” mystery?

Great stuff from Gary, as well.

OK, that’s all for the Colorize This! for this week.

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Duck Tracker Header2011 Duck Tracker

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Jake Hurley has stepped up to the plate and taken over the “Duck Tracker” for 2011. What is the Duck Tracker? Quite simply, it tracks each and every uniform combination the Ducks have worn for the 2011 season. He steps in for former tracker Mike Princip, whose non-Uni Watch activities will preclude him from tracking for 2011

Mike’s 2009 and 2010 Duck Tracking are still alive and well, and Jake will always include links back to those two incredible projects throughout the 2011 season.

I had just about given up on the Duck Tracker for 2011 when earlier this week I received an E-mail from Jake. Here’s how he introduced himself:

My name is Jake Hurley, I’m a long time reader of Uni Watch, Paul’s page 2 articles, and also a long time member of Chris Creamers Forum. I wasn’t initially interested in taking over the Duck Tracker but recently a new opportunity has arisen. I am taking an introductory web design class (mostly html and css) at my college and one of the main projects that just recently got introduced is to create and maintain a website. I was trying to think of some sort of uni related project when yesterday I remembered that you were looking for someone to take over the duck tracker. I talked with my professor and showed him the current site and he said that it would be fine as a substitute for the assigned project.

Jake added that “I am an experienced Photoshop user. … I can assure you that I can easily produce equal or better quality work than what was on the site previously. I’m a uni nerd just like everyone who reads Uni Watch, so you can rest assured that my renderings would be accurate.”

So, after trading a few E-mails back and forth, and after getting Mike’s blessing to have someone else continue his work, I’m pleased to formally introduce you to our Duck Tracker for 2011. As of this writing, Jake has already produced the Duck costume for the first game, and he’ll have the second one done shortly. We’re both hoping he’ll be able to have his own site up and running in time for the combination for today’s Ducks game against the Missouri State Bears, to be posted tomorrow morning, just like we did with the 2009 and 2010 trackers. Jake has promised to make the new tracker full of goodies, or as he says, “For starters I would just do the basics (uni, score, opponent) but down the road I will most definitely be adding plenty of gravy, I have an eye for that kind of thing and would be very interested in making it aesthetically pleasing.”

And there you have it, Uni Watchers. The Duck Tracker is back. And it sounds like it will be every bit as exciting and informative as the past two years have been. Make sure you check back tomorrow, as we hope to have the new tracker up and running!

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:

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We start with Joe Troyer, who has a new look for the Titans:

Hi,

Really enjoyed this week’s breakdown of the Bills’ new duds. But a good-looking Bills team begs the question: can we now agree that the Tennessee Titans have the worst unis going? Or at least the bottom 5? I can’t stand looking at them. Check out my alternative if you’re inclined

Keep up the good work,
Joe

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Next up is Walter Helfer, with an update of the Dallas Stars:

Dear Phil,

I tried a clean-slate approach for the Stars of Dallas, since they’re still getting by on second-rate identities dreamed up when they called Minnesota home. I went with a more Texas-slanted image, marrying the iconic tin sheriff’s badge to a snowflake. For simplicity, I dropped the gold color; I think there should be at least one green-black-and-white team.

Home

Road

-Walter

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And the last tweak for today comes from Justin Myslinsky, who has a few new helmets concepts for La Tech:

Louisiana Tech needs new helmets/uniforms/ logo etc.

Here are some of my helmet designs, maybe you could have a contest!

That’s all for today. Keep the submissions coming.

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That’s about all for this fine Saturday — remember, in the *amateur* football league, it’s “Road Test” Saturday…big game tonight between FSU and OU. Might also contend for the 5 & 1. Couple of quick uni notes — My man Terry Duroncelet will cover this more fully, along with other new uni college uni news tomorrow, but last night Boise State went with a new look, combining their old blue helmet with their pro combat jersey and new orange pants, a repeat of the look they sported in the greatest game ever played. Also, there were pre-game rumors that the Cyclones of Iowa State might be breaking out their own storm trooper uni against UConn last night, but at the last minute, they went with the the ketchup helmet after all. Nice pants though.

Everyone have a great Saturday.

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“The day after Harry Chapin died, our pitcher, who was a fan, convinced us to wear black armbands in mourning. We had no black armbands, so we used black dress socks.” — Cort McMurray