Quite the interesting day yesterday on the college scene, as we had a bunch of stormtrooping teams and a couple of gray for gray sake teams…and the smattering of BFBS. Didn’t seem like much was happening, but my man, our SMUW quarterback, Terry Duroncelet has it all covered. Lets get right into it as TJ takes us through the…
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Sunday Morning Uni Watch By Terry Duroncelet
Mother. Of. Celestia. Autumn is here. Yesh. The time of falling leaves of various hues, pumpkin treats galore, and the dusting off of your coon-skin hat to get ready for the highest level of excitement for college football besides the opening Saturday. But some teams look more like they’re ready for some Winter snow games, because at least three teams not named LSU or Georgia Tech wore white at home the last couple of days. Also, there was Maryland on the road. More on them in a few moments, but first:
• The first game was Friday’s game between visiting Baylor and hosts Louisiana-Monroe. No photos, but the Warhawks’ uniforms looked kinda pinkish at times. Maybe because it’s an older uniform that’s starting to show its age, or it’s from sweat and the maroon gear they were wearing underneath was showing through easier, or it was the lighting, or whatever. I’m pretty sure those of you who were watching the game will know what I’m talking about. BTW, Baylor wore this. Gross.
• The third game was between Tulane and Mississippi. Did I ever tell you how much I frickin’ love Tulane’s colors? Tulane also had the number 18 on the left side of their helmets. From Yahoo! Sports: “Tulane football players wear the number 18 on their helmets honoring Tulane safety Devon Walker, who fractured his spine against Tulsa on Sept. 8, before the start of their NCAA college football game against Mississippi in New Orleans, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.” Other tributes to Walker can be found here, here, and here.
• Cornell wore these uniforms Saturday against Yale. They use the Nike Speed Machine/Pro Combat v3.0 template, and we’re not sure if this is a throwback uniform or some new uniforms that arrived at Cornell’s doorstep late in the season. Here are their usual uniforms. I was actually watching that game, but didn’t think of the unis as anything but new (my thanks to James Comfort for that).
• What happens when you cross Power Rangers, Star Wars, and Division 1 college football together? You get the Putty Patrol hosting the Stormtroopers. That’s West Virginia in their new grey unis (which I really like) with that awesome helmet. They had a rather exciting game against the Maryland Terps, who wore something called a “White Ops” uniform, complete with an HGI-designed helmet. In my opinion, this was actually one of Maryland’s greater uniform successes in recent years, and white is technically one of their colors, so it’s not like they were wearing some “Hot Pink Ops” getup. Shit, I think I just gave a D-1 program an idea for next month. Also, the flag pattern was sublimated into the stretchy section of the back of the pants, although it’s kinda hard to see. That pattern was also on the shoulders. Let’s go back to the first White Ops pic for a moment. The quadrant-specific patterns on the helmet and jersey shoulders still match, instead of staggering like the flag depicts. That doesn’t boast well with me, because they’re supposed to bring back their “Pride” uniforms this year, and if they haven’t fixed the shoulder pattern issue, then it’ll suck just as much as last year.
• Arkansas wore their white helmets against Rutgers. I think this the first time that they’ve done so this season.
• Utah State wore mono-grey against Colorado State.
Great job as usual, TJ — what the hell is this “Celestia” shit though? No more brony (I think that’s what it is) stuff please ;). All kidding aside, as always, a stellar effort — thanks for taking us through all the recaps!
Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1
The five and one has been a staple of Uni Watch for three years, usually ably administered by Jim Vilk. But he got old and tired, so we needed someone young and fresh. And we’ve found that someone in this year’s new 5 & 1 decider…Catherine Ryan.
Catherine did a fantastic job two weeks ago in her first solo 5 & 1. However, a number of you took issue with her effort last week — so lets see how this week stacks up:
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I made a lot of enemies last week with my selections! I spent my entire Saturday this week watching ESPN Goal Line and had to make some tough choices (which says as much about my social life as it does about my dedication to this column). Enjoy!
4. Maryland vs. West Virginia: I went back and forth on this game trying to decide if I loved or hated it. I think West Virginia actually pulled off the all-gray look. Maryland came out in an all-white alternate with a shadow pattern on the helmet.
+1 Honorable Mention(s): Virginia Tech’s unis were disappointing this weekend and ODU and UNH looked like they were wearing identical helmets!
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Thanks Catherine! I think you’ve acquitted yourself quite nicely this week, although I do disagree with your #1 (good) game — but hey, it’s all opinion anyway. Well readers, how do you think she did?
2012 Duck Tracker…
The fourth game of the 2012 Ducks season featured, um…black carbon(?) over green over black for their PAC-12 matchup with the stormtrooping Wildcats of Arizona. In my opinion, thus far, Oregon’s worst look for the season.
Our 2012 Duck Tracker is Tim E. O’Brien, and here he is to tell you about it:
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Continuing a trend, The Ducks looked worse this week than they did last week. Given that they started with one of their best looks ever, that might not be saying much, but there is just so much “meh” in this uni set.
Let’s take it item by item.
With the helmet the Ducks brought back their crappy Rose Bowl helmet but added a yellow ‘O’ decal on the back. With the addition of Oregon’s other winged helmets, the lack of contrast between the wings and the helmet is even more obvious.
Finally, the pants are black. That’s it. They’d go better with a bolder jersey, a black helmet or sitting in a garbage can.
I’m disappointed in you, Oregon. Week one you got my hopes up and you’ve only dashed them since.
As always, see more photos and information over at the Duck Tracker, and feel free to stop by the NUni Tracker and all the other uni tracker sites (no Hoosier game this week [mercifully]).
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Uni Tweaks Concepts
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up is Marcus Hall, with some Balmer lovin’:
Kinda playing around with the Ravens; inspired by the Tampa Bay Rays fauxback. I went with the gray facemask cuz that just seems retro to me. I don’t think there would have been a “fancy” B on the pants, nor do I think there would have been that silly black drop shadow. No Alt black either. And yes, they would have gone with a bright helmet with the purple jerseys.
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Next (and last) is Michael Pappas with a neat idea — combining rugby and CFL unis:
Since both American and Canadian football games are derived from rugby and nobody cares about the Canadian variety, what if they reverted back to rugby as a true alternative?
It’s week four of the NCAAFB season, so it’s about time for the uni-shenanigans, no? Sure it is.
Today, in a fairly un-well-kept secret, the West Virginia Mountaineers, they of blue and gold, will join the ranks of the “gray for gray’s sake” (GFGS) donning teams as they will sport this full-gray uniform versus the University of Maryland. More on that in a second.
According to the UA press release, the Terrapins will be wearing new “White Ops” jerseys, with black numbers and a red “MARYLAND” wordmark on the chest. Clearly, after last year’s clusterfuck of a uniform (known as the “Maryland Pride” uniform), minimalism is the look-du-jour with the white ops. While I’ll reserve total judgment until I see these in action, I have to say I like the look. Of course, Maryland actually seems like a perfectly good uni set this year (unlike last year’s attempt to Nikegon the Terps), so naturally they need to introduce a new uni today. Can’t let Nike steal all the headlines, right?
What’s that you say? This isn’t a game between Kevin Plank and Phil Knight — it’s between two teams. Sure it is.
But this year, they’ve decided to up the “possible combination ante” by introducing new options of gray pants, jerseys and helmet, bringing up their possible combinations to 32. And who knows, maybe they’ll even throw in their Backyard Brawl uni, just to mix things up. I am actually looking forward to the gray uniform (although not the ALL gray) — what I’d really like to see is the gray hat/gold top/gray pants — a look I love on Oregon (who WVU is now obviously trying to copy).
I still fail to see why any team needs to have 32* (or more) different uniform combinations (* except for the Ducks, who patented the gimmick), but bitching about it isn’t going to make it go away. So lets sit back and see if we can’t enjoy the gray vs. the white — perhaps Ricko will fire this one up on his 13″ zenith and pretend he was watching this game 50 years ago.
The least they could have done was to schedule this game later in the year, when the chances for overcast skies and snow would make it so much more enjoyable. What say you, readers — GFGS vs WFWS — The future or just more stupid uniforms designed to move more merch?
50 Years Ago…This Weekend
Last year, Rick Pearson took us “back in time” to bring us his look at the featured television college football match-up from 50 years ago. (If you’re not familiar with it, this was the inaugural post of “50 Years Ago” from last year — after that, it became a recurring feature on UW for the remainder of the season). Last year, Rick looked at the 1961 season, and fortunately for us, he “uni tracked” the games from 1962 as well, documenting the game via his “kid cards”. Each week this fall, he’ll do the same, again.
Sept. 22, 1962…Southern Cal 14, Duke 7 at USC on CBS
A West Coast game. USC (they were called “Southern Cal” more than “USC”) was a power and, yup, Duke was deemed worthy of the national telecast back then. … Uni-wise, Trojans looked pretty much as they still do today. … Duke had those exterior padded helmets and that rounded number font (I’ve forgotten the term Terry Proctor said catalogs used to describe it. … but same as Pitt from last week, and also used by Cal and Washington, among others). … Hal Bedsole was a dangerous deep threat for USC. … But “Prince Hal” turned out to be only “college fast” and was a bust with the Vikings and Rams as an NFL tight end. … I picked Stan Crisson (didn’t know much about him) because of his #99. … The following year he changed to #86, and later had a brief career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
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Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always. Love that Duke padded hat and notice in the Crisson pic with the Vikings, they’re wearing (ugh) purple pants.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
This space usually features the talents of George Chilvers, Gary Chanko and John Turney — but as fate would have it, only one of those three will be featured today. George did not send me any colourizations, and Gary sent me a beautiful piece that I will feature as a lede (but not today). John is featured below. However, I do have a new colorizer to showcase today, and one request for the colorizers to tackle. (As always, click on any shot to enlarge.)
First up is Pete Hoelter, who colorized a shot that was featured on UW a while back, and regular readers will surely remember it. Here’s Pete:
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Here’s my first try at colorizing. It’s the Tiger’s Fred Hatfield catching a tweety boid from Wire Service photos vol. 40 on 8/27/12. Not very Uni-fied but I loved the old press photo whimsy. Cat (tiger) catches bird? Also, I am certain the location is a travel trailer. In the 70’s at Southern Illinois U in Carbondale I rented one that was almost identical. Latching cupboards (so they don’t swing open.) Big propane heater. Low ceilings. The shirtless kid implies warm weather so what they were doing in a trailer in the middle of the season? The TV and chotchkes on the counter (including some black stereotype dolls) lead me to believe they weren’t hauling this from town to town. Maybe the family lived elsewhere and went up to a resort near Detroit for the summer. The bobble head had very little detail to it. It does look like the Cards’ two birds on a bat chest embellishment but the hat isn’t right for that. I’d say it’s a generic ballplayer.
Great first effort Pete!
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Next up is Will Scheibler who has a request:
Was wondering if any of your colorizing masters would like to take a try at the infamous CFL ‘Mud Bowl’ Grey Cup of 1950.
Here’s the largest photo online I’ve found – might be some better ones out there.
How about it colorizers? This could be an interesting challenge…given that most of the color is probably that of mud…but it could also be very cool.
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Finally we have John Turney, with more gridiron goodness:
Bill Dudley, with Lions back pants.
Great stuff, as always John.
That is all for today. Back with more next time.
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
So, in the order in which they were received, here we go (click on each thumbnail for a glorious, full size image):
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“Phil, I know these aren’t exactly stirrups. They’re technically socks. But as a high school football official I miss the high-socks and white knickers. We now wear black pajama pants all the time. This past Friday and through the rest of this season I will be wearing my old striped socks under my pajama pants for Stirrup Fridays. Attached is the picture.
Note: the Adidas ankle socks are because the official uniform is black socks. Another requirement. Otherwise the normal socks are white all the way to the toes.
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Leading the cause at a Central Illinois-based insurance company with my Tampa Bay Rays beauties!
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I am wearing these because I wanted to wear one of the vintage stirrups I recently bought and asked my 5yr old to pick for me.
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Finally joined this stirruptitious revolution. I may be biased as a die-hard Cards fan, but these ‘rups are definitely the sweetest.
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It’s my first Stirrup Friday, so I’m sporting the ones that started it all – the 1905 Naps. I’m glad to be on the team. Thanks, Comrade Marshall, for helping me with my freak flag. Let it fly!
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Turning back the Socks again to 1947 for the NY Giants. Many thanks to RPM and Uni Watch for making me a Stirrup addict.
– David Sanchez”
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And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!).
Let us know in the comments (or shoot either of us an e-mail) if you have any new choices for the upcoming fall season!
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
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The Cult of Personality is everywhere. Just ask him…
Click to enlarge
That’s all I have for today, boys and girls — lots more tomorrow when we have SMUW, the 5 & 1, Duck Tracker, Benchies and more. And I’m sure the Gray-vs-White is only the beginning of the uni machinations in store for us. Catch you then.
“I predict Bernard will be skating EXTRA hard this weekend…probably throwing in some stunts from his late teens, early 20s.”
Remember Atlantic High, the Florida high school that recently unveiled that two-tone football uni? It looked pretty crazy on that kid standing in a school hallway, but how did it look on the field?
Thanks to John Bennardo, whose video production company shoots Atlantic’s games, we now know. Note that some players wore the mismatched socks, but not all of them did. And nobody seems to have worn the little mismatched shoe sleeves or the mismatched arm sleeves. So the two-tone effect is primarily limited to the jersey and pants.
I’ll say it: I don’t think it’s so awful. Silly? Sure. But not the end of the world. Certainly better than Oregon’s diamondplate look or the Maryland “pride” design (although I realize that’s damning with faint praise), because it’s just color-blocking — no dipshit graphics or gewgaws.
Bennardo’s company will be shooting Atlantic’s next game tonight. “I have instructed my camera guy to get some good pregame shots of the team warming up, stretching, putting the unis on, etc.,” he says. Stay tuned.
Oh, and as long as we’re talking about high school football, remember that school with the illegible uni numbers? They’re about to get somewhat more legible.
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Candela update: Some of you may recall that Kirsten and I produced a museum exhibit about the Candela Structures back in 2009. In the three years since then, I’ve occasionally given updates as additional pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place (the most recent one was back in May).
Now, after some delays and false starts, I’m happy to announce that we’ll be writing an article about the structures for the New York Times Magazine. It won’t run until next spring, but we’re very excited about it. My hope is that it will tie together everything we’ve learned about the structures over the past few years. Yee-haw!
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Show & Tell update: Show & Tell has a new official timer. Details here.
On Wednesday night I received a note from a reader who prefers to remain anonymous. It went like this:
Supposedly there is a major bitch session going on between NFL equipment managers and the league about the quality of the new Nike NFL jerseys. I learned this during a conversation with a seamstress for an NFL team. She had a jersey ready to alter for a particular star player for this week’s game. This player has already gone through four jerseys since the start of the preseason. When the jersey is washed a couple of times, the Flywire collar has a tendency to fade drastically and the shiny design gets white and flakes off. As you might imagine, this would not look good on TV. The equipment managers were complaining so much that the NFL supposedly sent out a memo in the last week telling them to discontinue their bitching, as there is a 12-year contract with Nike and that’s the end of it.
Other points she highlighted were:
1. Nike found out they didn’t have the means to produce enough jerseys to supply all 32 teams and had to contract with an outside vendor. Ripon, which made Reebok jerseys, is now making about 28 teams’ jerseys with Nike sending the tagging.
2. Many players are having the “Flywire” collar cut down height-wise, as it is so thick and rigid that it was cutting and irritating their neck.
3. Teams are no longer creating custom “game cuts,” as the fabric would rip at the seams if altered. When equipment managers complained, Nike said that they were using subpar thread and sewing machines (way to pass the buck).
4. Nike is only offering three cuts — linebacker, skill, and QB/kicker. Reebok offered several more cut/style options.
The person who sent this to me would not identify the team that the seamstress works for. He explained to me how he knows her but will not allow me to share that information.
I wanted to know more, so yesterday I contacted several NFL equipment managers and asked them about this. Two of them wrote back. The first said, “We have not had nearly the number of issues with our jerseys that some teams have had, so I have not seen anything along those lines.” The second said, “I have had no issues with the Nike jereys. I haven’t heard anything about that e-mail [from the league], either.”
For now, this looks like a non-story — an anonymous source spreading gossip via another anonymous source, with zero real-world confirmation. My initial inclination was not to write about it at all.
The reason I eventually decided to go ahead with it was that the first equipment manager implied that some teams have had numerous “issues” with their jerseys. So maybe there’s a bigger story lurking under the surface here — maybe.
Spur of the Moment: The Spurs unveiled a new alternate uniform yesterday. Advance word was that it’d be “a bit of a departure,” and that certainly turned out to be true:
Most of the reaction I’ve seen so far has been negative. Personally, I don’t care for the gray (they’ll call it silver, but come on, it’s gray), but I’m intrigued by the simplicity of the spur logo on the chest. No team name, no city name — interesting. For a sport that seems to have run out of creative options lately (how many different ways can you put some lettering across the chest and a number underneath it?), this uni suggests a new range of possibilities. I’m curious to see if other teams try something similar.