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2011-lsu-pro-combat-gloves-hed

By Phil Hecken

The next in line for the Nike Amateur Pacifist costume is LSU, who are playing SEC rival Auburn today, down in the Bayou. And they’ll be wearing this little getup. Not what we think when we picture an LSU/Auburn hookup, but as far as pro combat goes, it’s not too bad.

Using the “one-and-done” (or: to hell with tradition and school colors) yardstick, let’s rate this as a uni before we investigate further.

Helmet: White topper with block “LSU” and tiger logo on the sides. The helmet will have a purple facemask and a purple-gold-purple stripe down the middle, mimicing the UCLA (almost true UCLA stripes) of the jersey. Notice also, at least in the graphic mockup, the sublimated stripes. Nice job — a LOT better than the gold lid they sported in 2009.

Jersey: Purple “V” front collar with “Rulers Of The Fall” embroidered in the inside-back. It appears to have a smallish tiger-stripe pattern sewn in the purple portion. The numbers are purple, also with a distinct, but sublimated, tiger-stripe pattern, but completely unnecessary purple pit stains that stop midway down the side-panel. I’m intrigued by this look, in that for a jersey that appears to have solved Reedidas’ UCLA “officer stripes” problem, it seems they could merely continue the UCLA stripes where the current purple pit stains are. Hey Tim E. (or anyone else), can you mock that up for us? Other than that, this looks pretty sharp. About 1000% better than this look from 2009, with those awful pants.

Pants: Not much to say here. They’re solid white and, in what seems like a departure for Nike, devoid of a tramp stamp. Me likey.

Shoes: It seems to me Nike introduces these pro combats not only because they can but also because they hope to move the new footwear. Every single new combat uniform introduced over the past three seasons has been paired with a brand new set of shoes. Whether it’s the lows or the high-tops, they always try to move a new set of sneakers with the new uni. Well, hey, Nike IS first and foremost a sneaker maker, so they may as well try to push product.

OK. Time for the grade. Helmet: Nice white lid, a bit full with both the block LSU and tiger logo, PLUS the stripes, but not too bad. Jersey: Solid, with the exception of the pit stain purple blotch. Pants: Love ‘em, although I wouldn’t have minded a repeating purple-gold-purple stripe to appease my OCD. Still, not complaining. Based on this solely as a uniform, it’s an A-/B+. Ditch those underarm sweat marks, and they move up into the stratosphere. It’s not only way better than the 2009 version, it completely blows away the 2007 special uni as well.

What’s that you say? I’m forgetting something? Oh, yeah…those um, eyes of the tiger things. Great. More stuff to flash (and possibly take 15 yards of penalties for) after a TD dance. I guess the kids like them. And they can certainly repurpose them for Hallowe’en (yes, those are the 2009 gray models, but you get the idea).

Now…if we’re talking school colors and tradition…

I don’t know much about LSU’s football history, but they’ve been playing football down in the Bayou since 1893, and their colors have pretty much always been purple and “gold,” and in 1896, coach A.W. Jeardeau’s LSU football team posted a perfect 6-0-0 record, and that year LSU first adopted its nickname, Tigers. Helmet Hut has a nice helmet history for the Tigers, and as you can see, their first helmet color more closely matches the 2009 gold, but the tiger logo on this year’s topper is supposed to be throwing back to the first tiger helmet logo. (Their current tiger logo looks like this.) As far as how this uniform stacks up historically, it seems to be another Nike mashup, rather than an historical throwback. Scholars agree on one thing though: since 1893, their colors have always been purple and gold. At least Nike didn’t screw with that.

But, hey, the important thing isn’t how we as uni watchers, or alums, or the general public, who are used to seeing LSU look like this think about the new unis, it’s all about the kids, right? Of course, but there are limits.

Coach Les Miles, not a fan of messing with tradition, had this to say: “I can tell you that our uniform will represent LSU and look very much like a uniform an LSU football team will wear. Some of the uniforms are a wonderfully artistic reflection that someone else had. I think our guys will enjoy the uniform, and that it is the right uniform for an LSU team to wear.”

The players, of course, are pumped for their shiny new duds. Dig:

“We look at it as an accomplishment,” junior wide receiver Russell Shepard said. “We worked our butt off to get notoriety from Nike, and the top teams wear these styles of uniforms. We’re going to have fun and look good and look all swagged out in them.”

Said sophomore linebacker Kevin Minter: “You know, I love the original jerseys, but those Pro Combats — we’ve been anticipating wearing them. We hardly ever change out of the original jerseys.”

Sigh.

The only question now is, will Kevin Plank and UnderArmour decide to pull some uni-shenanigans of their own, and have Auburn come out in something “different,” much like Michigan did last weekend is one-upping Michigan State? I doubt it, but nothing would surprise me.

Readers, what’s your take on the LSU amateur pacifist costumes? More corporate douchebaggery, or just a nice break from having to wear that classic LSU uniform all season long?

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50 years 200 pixel50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Back again with Rick Pearson who is here to bring us his look at the featured ABC television college football matchup from 50 years ago. As always, Rick documented the game via his “kid cards”. Here’s Rick to tell us about it:

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Wk 6 61

Oct. 21, 1961

Southern Cal at California: First off, I loved those Cal unis…Princeton-style striped sleeves and rounded Washington Huskie numerals. … Had seen photos, but this was seeing them MOVE. … QB was Craig Morton. … Back then, if a guy wasn’t mentioned in the preseason annuals you might not have heard of him. No on-screen graphics, either, so you got no help with his name. Hence, “Hal Bedsel” later crossed out in favor or “Hal Bedsole”. … Think the game isn’t faster today? It was a big deal that Bedsole was so fast he once got downfield covering a punt so quickly that he caught ON THE FLY! Wow, folks were amazed at that. …Though a dangerous deep threat for the Trojans, Bedsole was a flop as a TE with the Vikings and Rams.

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Awesome, Rick. Back next weekend with the featured matchup from 50 Years Ago.

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2010-playoffs-alex rockleinTracking The 2011 MLB Playoffs

Alex Rocklein is back…so let’s put ‘em in the books!

We’re already two games deep into the World Series, which pits the Cardinals against the Texases. So, far the teams split the first two games in St. Looie. Predictably, perhaps, the uni gods were watching from on high.

In the opening game, the always impeccably dressed Cards, wearing the only home uniform in their locker, defeated the softball-topped Texases. Wearing a softball top is bad enough (almost as egregious as wearing two-in-ones), but to do it on OPENING NIGHT? Oh no you didn’t. The uni gods did not approve.

Fortunately for the rest of us, whenever the Texases lose, they will switchup their unis (at least that’s been the pattern thus far in the post season). So after dropping the opening game, they switched to gray tops and rallied for a nice come-from-behind win. The uni gods noticed.

No game last night, as the Series moved to Arlington, so today we have Alex’s updated 2011 MLB Playoff Tracker. Big game three today, with the winner gaining a nice edge moving into game four. We know what the Cards will be wearing. And since the Texases are thus far undefeated while wearing their red caps over white tops, I’d bet dollars to donuts that’s what they’ll be wearing tonight.

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uni tracking 2011MLB Uni Tracking – 2011 Final Results

Now that the MLB regular season has ended (mercifully for some of us fans), all those who spent the season keeping track of your teams uniform machinations should now feel free to send in your final results.

Today we have Mike Vamosi, who is a Royals tracker:

Dear Phil,

Here are the final numbers for the Kansas City Royals UniWatch. Wearing softball tops the Royals were 21-23 (9-11 Powder, 12-12 Royal Blue) which isn’t bad at all. Combined at home they were 29-28 at night in white but 0-1 when wearing those uniforms which they did on opening day for a 3:05 local start. Other than the day record, KC was terrible on the road this season mainly in the gray uniforms largely at night but 0-1 during the day. Hopefully these numbers get better like many fans hope happens next year since the All-Star Game is coming to Kansas City and the young offense if there! Bring us pitching for in my opinion the top five uniforms in MLB!

Thanks again Uni Watch,

Mike

Thanks Mike. If there is still anyone out there who took the time and effort to track your team by uniform this season, send them in to me, and I’ll post ‘em here over the weekends!

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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 Justin Kline, with kind of a Thanksgiving special:

Phil,

Got a couple of NFL uni tweaks for ya.

First, the Cowboys. I don’t know why their white unis do not match with their pants, which do not match with their helmets, etc., so I fixed that. Made some minor changes to those elusive blue unis that they never seem to wear, and also created a fauxback.

Also, I changed up the Lions’ unis and wordmark. The revamped lion logo is one of my favorites in the league, but the wordmark and number font are among my least favorites. So I made those a little more conservative, but still unique in the league, and put them on the old unis. Tried out BFBS just for the heck of it, and it turned out alright to me.

-Justin Kline

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Next up is Mark Gilbert, who has a couple interesting NFL concepts:

Phil,

For the Eagles, I always liked the Kelly Green much more than the darker green and black combo. I decided to keep the current logo as a new helmet design. As for the uniforms, I went to a much simpler and cleaner look.

The Titans are a mess. I kept the same colors, but, as with the Eagles, simplified the look–adding a drop shadow, but making them much more austere–I think it works nicely!

–Marc Gilbert

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And finally we have Adam Triesler, a man of few words:

These are all pretty much throwback variations. I really don’t prefer monochrome on any NFL team, but I would love the see Cleveland with mono-brown, for at least one game.

Steelers

Vikings

Browns

Redskins

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That’s all for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

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So many hidden treasures on the Internet…

10-22-11 d-GBF ALT

And of course, the full-size.

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GSU helmetGot Stickers?

What’s up with the helmet stickers?

Good question. For the answer, let’s go to reader Mike Jaworski, for the rundown:

Georgia Southern football will be wearing several helmet stickers in Saturday’s game. Five of them. The right two are only for this game, and the left 3 will be worn for the rest of the season.

Here is what the GSU Facebook post says:

“Georgia Southern’s helmets will sport five decals for Saturday’s game against Presbyterian. Three decals will be worn for the rest of the 2011 season: the American flag, “GB” for Dr. Gene Bishop and No. 4 for Derek Heyden. The Eagles will add a decal that represents the patch of the 3rd Infantry Division and a decal of the Scottish flag with the initials “TS” for Thomas Sharkey, the Eagle golfer who perished in a fire in July.”

Thanks,
Michael Jaworski

Thanks Mike!

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That’s it for today, boys and girls. Big non-combat college football news is that Notre Dame will be wearing a new really shiny helmet, much more shiny than their old one, and one designed to more closely mimic the famous golden dome on campus. Looks pretty nice, and I’m generally not a fan of shiny things. Word on the street is that the Irish will also be breaking out new unis…we’ll see, but if they do, there will be a full report on that tomorrow.

Game III of the World Series is tonight as well, and college football is kicking into some high gear. Everyone have a great Saturday.

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“We have mosquitoes. We also have hurricanes, a serious obesity problem, and a mania for the Big Red and cough syrup cocktail called Drank. That doesn’t mean any of them should be chain-stitched on a baseball jersey.” — Cort McMurray

But Was It Fitted or Snap-Back?

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The most uni-notable moment of the past 24 hours didn’t take place on the diamond in St. Louis, or in any of last night’s NHL games, or anyplace in North America. It took place in Libya, where Mohammed al-Bibi — he’s the younger guy in the photo shown above — captured Moammar Gadhafi while wearing a Yankees cap.

It’s not often that a major international news event manages to encompass so many elements of the uni-verse: rampant merchandising, counterfeit knock-offs, and really bad design. And although it’s somewhat quease-inducing to imagine how this episode will go down in the annals of Yankees jingoism, you have to hand it to them: They really do have a global reach, and an unmistakable symbolism that no other team can match. Like, would anyone care if the guy who captured Gadhafi had been wearing, say, a Brewers cap? It’s a moot point, because there probably isn’t a single Brewers cap in Libya. That’s the power of the Yankees: Even in places where most people wouldn’t recognize a baseball game if you plopped one down in front of them, everyone knows about the Yankees.

Personally, I wish Gadhafi had been taken alive (I prefer to have my deposed dictators stand trial), but it is somewhat delicious to imagine that the last thing he saw before being dispatched from this world was a Yankees cap. The Lockerbie bomber taken out by the Bronx Bombers. Or, if you prefer, an evil-doer done in by the Evil Empire. Either way, I’m sure the Red Sox are planting an operative in North Korea to take out Kim Jong Il as we speak.

Meanwhile, it seems inevitable that the Yankees will honor Mohammed al-Bibi in some way. Will they let him throw out the first pitch at Opening Day? Give him his own Yankeeography segment? Hell, let’s have John Sterling give him his own personalized home run call: “Mohammed hits a mountain of a shot!”

Oh, and then there’s the cap. Why does something tell me that design is about to become a big seller?

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Hmmm, new Nike helmets for the NFL? That’s the first I’ve heard of that (thanks, Skeebs). … “Nike has placed a yellow canary on the inside of the Brazil soccer jerseys, just behind the crest,” says Jonathon Binet. “The Brazilian team is sometimes referred to as the Canaries because their primary kits are yellow.” … If you needed more proof that the Rangers can’t decide whether their primary team color is red or blue, just take a look at this photo (from Kenneth A. Hinrichsen). … NASCAR teams are adding a Dan Wheldon memorial decal. Further details here. … New mask for Peter Budaj (from Jeff Czuba). … If the NBA ever gets back on the beam, looks like the Thunder will have a new court design. Here’s the old one (from Matt Spencer). … “USA Rugby posted the new USA Rugby Sevens jersey for the Pan-Am Games,” says Eric Bangaman. “It’s a combo of the stars-and-stripes we saw in the Churchill Cup and the Canterbury bib template.” … Good video feature on the Iowa State football equipment staff (from Corey Munson). … Here’s something you don’t often see: a high school using an XFL helmet logo. That’s Heritage High School in Virginia, using a repurposed NY/NJ Hitmen logo (good find by James Noone). … Old-school bullpen buggy in the works for the Sugar Land Skeeters (from Jeremy Kendrick). … We had previously seen Florida’s road sweatbacks; here’s the home version (from Josh Coney). … The Iowa high school football teams are wearing a really big memorial decal in remembrance of a teen who was killed in a car accident (from Jesse Gavin). … No photo, but Chris Fraterrigo says Daymond Langkow of the Coyotes had the vector logo, instead of the Reebok wordmark, on his jersey last night. … New logo for the NC Dinos — that’s a new Korean baseball team. “They’ll begin play in the Futures League in 2012 (minor league) and officially begin play in the KBO in 2013,” says Dan Kurtz.

A Ghost from the Past

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Reader Mark Haarmann recently visited the Rangers Hall of Fame at the Ballpark in Arlington, where he took the photo you see above. “It’s from the team’s first season in 1972,” he says. “Look closely and you can see the Senators’ script. Did they really use the same uniforms from the previous season and just rip out the old stitching?”

Yes, they did — sort of. As you can see, the lettering on that jersey is straight, not arched. According to Dressed to the Nines, the Rangers only wore that style in spring training. So they apparently used repurposed Senators jerseys for spring training and then got new jerseys, with the arched style, once the regular season started. Very nice find by Mark!

Speaking of Rangers jerseys, can you believe Texas opened the World Series last night by wearing their softball tops? Sigh.

New ESPN column today — the long-delayed NHL goalie column. Look here.

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Stop the presses! Notre Dame’s helmets, which had previously been gold, will now be, uh, gold. Only it’ll be a goldier shade of gold than the old shade of gold. And you know this new gold is better than the old gold because they’ve produced a 12-minute video clip about it. So, to review: Old gold = sucks. New gold = awesome. Carry on.

And hey, as long as we’re talking about the Irish, “Lots of rumblings out of South Bend that Notre Dame will be wearing a surprise home version of the throwbacks they wore earlier this year against Michigan,” says Jack Quinn. “The leprechaun tweeted last week that the team would be wearing green. Combine that with UM’s surprise on Saturday, I think something is afoot.”

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Another high school — Steubenville, in Ohio — has gone Amateur Pacifist. … One of the nicer uniform catalogs in my collection is this Harv-Al catalog. The “Harv” in that company name was Harvey Lipkin, a sporting goods giant. Just learned that he passed away a few weeks ago. R.I.P. … New solid-blue super-stretchies for Grand Valley State (from Forrest Page). … A small NHL note: The Stars’ team-logo helmet decal has gone from solid gold to green/gold (good catch by eagle-eyed Kevin Wang). … Scroll down about halfway down this page, to the “Football News and Notes” section, to see UCLA’s new hard-hat merit decals (from Art Kerdmanee). … Speaking of UCLA, Tom Horngren says this alternate helmet photo has been floating around on Bruins message boards. … An NCAA tidbit left over from last weekend: Colorado State wore white at home (as noted by Marc Altieri). … The NY Rangers are using an old fedora as a “victory hat” (from Alan Kreit). … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to a video of World Series patches being sewn onto the Cardinals’ jerseys. Many readers noted that the video featured a glimpse of a camouflage Michigan State hoops jersey. “They’ve got to be for the aircraft carrier game in November,” says Ben Hayden). … Job listing: Adidas is looking for a jersey specialist (if you get the gig, send a muffin basket to A.J. Frey). … Gotta love these White Sox socks (from Michael Gargano). … Do those Tooth Fairy necklaces really work? Sure, if you believe in the placebo effect (from Eric Bangeman). … A source who prefers to remain anonymous is connected to someone who’s seen the new Seahawks uniforms that Nike’s been working on. “He saw three sets with a new helmet design,” says my source. “The three colors are a darker blue than the current set, white, and gray (apparently an homage to the northwestern skies). He said the team wasn’t happy with the color of the dark uni and how it looked on the HD, so nothing is final.” … New hoops uniforms for Providence (from Michael Berluti). … The mighty Fleer Sticker Project has done a great post about a series of early-’70s NFL posters by illustrator George Bartell. … Chris Carpenter doesn’t wear long socks. Tsk (screen shot by Marc-Louis Paprzyca). … I’m spending most of the day out on Long Island with my Mom. See you tomorrow.

Gearing Up for the Fall Classic

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That World Series thingie is scheduled to start tonight, so I thought we’d go over a few points regarding the two teams. To wit:

Feeling gravity’s pull: Has anyone else noticed that the Cardinals’ “chest” insignia has been sitting way too low in recent years? It’s like an old dude at the beach with droopy man-tits. I’m not sure when this started, but it’s been bugging me for a few years now. Not sure why I’ve never written about it — just one of those things that I had quietly internalized, but then a few days ago I got a note from reader Jeremy Boyer, who wrote:

I have two game authentic Cardinals jerseys — one from 1998, when McGwire was breaking the home run record, and the other from 2006, when the Cardinals won the World Series. Besides the fact that the Cardinals did not wear numbers on the front of the jersey in 1998, the two jerseys are relatively the same. The big difference is that the birds on the bat on the 2006 jersey are four to five inches lower than on the 1998 version. Instead of the logo being on the chest, it’s much lower.

Yes, exactly! What’s the deal with that? Maybe it has something to do with the shift to the Cool Base template, maybe it has to do with players wearing baggier jerseys these days (that’s what Bill Henderson thinks, although I haven’t noticed any other teams’ jersey logos sitting too low), maybe it has something to do with button placement. But whatever: Put the birds back on their properly lofty perch!

Stick with the damn program already: According to the MLB Style Guide (and common sense), the Rangers are only supposed to wear their red caps with their red jerseys. But the Rangers have always treated red and blue as interchangeable elements, and lately they’ve been going red-capped with their home white jerseys (and red-socked, too), which looks like total shite because all the numbering and lettering on their jerseys is blue. Yo, guys, you’re supposed to wear the blue cap with that jersey! But they’ve been winning with the red hats, so I assume they’ll stick with them. Of course, they could really honor their red/blue identity crisis by bringing this batting helmet design out of mothballs. C’mon, the big stage calls for big ideas — go for it!

And speaking of the red caps…: Reader Peter Ponce has crunched a few uni-related numbers regarding the Rangers:

The Rangers introduced the red jersey in 2010 and did very well in it (30-9), but they dropped all three postseason games in which they wore it. But they went 8-5 in blue hats in the postseason.

That was last year. In 2011, they weren’t quite as good in red jerseys during the regular season (25-13), but they did very well in red caps with white jerseys (8-1). They wore the red jersey to open the playoffs and got hammered by the Rays. I assumed a red-hat curse, given their 1-9 postseason record in red hats from the 1990s. An all-time 1-13 record while wearing red in the postseason supported that theory.

However, they’ve now worn red hats with white jerseys four times this postseason, winning all four games. Toss in the regular season and they’re now 12-1 overall this season in that look. The difference between now and the ’90s (outside of better pitching and a deeper lineup) is the shoes. During their 1990s postseason failures, the Rangers wore red shoes and belts (Dressed to the Nines is inaccurate on this; people around DFW often referred to the team as “red shoe Rangers”). They now wear black shoes and belts.

So apparently the baseball gods don’t care only for red jerseys or shoes/belts on the Rangers. Interesting that they will face a Cardinals team that wears red shoes/belts even with navy caps (a look I really despise, even though I love the Cardinals’ navy hats).

Make that call to the ’pen, Tony: Octavio Dotel has been going high-cuffed for his entire career. Now he’s finally on the right team. Here’s hoping he gets into every game of the Series. Hey, maybe a spot start? Hell, let him DH for the games in Arlington!

• Recycling program: Here’s a video clip showing World Series patches being sewn onto the Cardinals’ jerseys. Interestingly, they’re using the same jerseys that the team had already been wearing. I had assumed that they got new jerseys for the Series. Also: Albert Pujols prefers a straight hem on his jersey, instead of the usual rounded shirttail.

Ring-a-ding-ding: Remember my recent queries about athletes who wear their wedding bands on the field (or the ice, or the court, or whatever)? Reader Nolan Brett points out that Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison wears his ring on his Tooth Fairy necklace! Either that or he just started going steady with someone. I have never seen another ballplayer doing this. (I’ll have more info about Harrison’s ring/necklace combo, and about many other athletes who compete while wearing their wedding rings, in an upcoming ESPN column.)

And hey, as long as we’re talking about the Series, today’s New York Times has a great article + slideshow on World Series programs. Just the thing to usher in the final chapter of the 2011 baseball season.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Terrible job by me for failing to mention on Monday that the Ravens have added a memorial decal for Art Modell’s wife (big thanks to Mako Mameli for setting me straight). … Some additional NBA alternate designs have video-leaked, plus there are new views of the ones we saw last week. Full details in this thread. … Don’t think I’ve mentioned until now that the Canucks are wearing a “37” memorial decal for Rick Rypien. … A Cleveland writer is blaming the Browns’ woes on the Al Lerner sleeve memorial (thanks, Vince). … The A’s are having a contest to let kids design their holiday card (from Jason Hillyer). … Holy moly, look at this amazing auto racing program cover. … And hey, who knew the FBI had a baseball team? … Buncha good eBay finds by Mike Hersh, including a Quebec Nordiques logo style sheet, an NFL helmet placemat, an IHOP NFL mug placemat, an NFL book cover, an AFL book cover, and an “Evolution of the Football Uniform” poster. … Adidas reportedly wanted to try all sorts of alternate jerseys and helmets for Nebraska this season, but Nebraska said no (from Nate Dougherty). … Nice stirrups being worn by Southeastern University from Lakeland, Florida (from Marcial Santos). … Too much information from a reader who prefers to be anonymous, who writes: “Hockey goalies wear a double cup to protect the twig and berries, but the jock doesn’t always ‘ride’ properly with a taut piece of spandex between it and your body, so a lot of goalies will wear something like this and remove the inner cup from their goal jock.” Thanks for, uh, sharing. … Mississippi State will wear a “rivalry uniform” this weekend (from C.J. Adams). … Hey check this out: a dress with a striped-socks theme! … Oh, this is too good: a book called Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars. … The embarrassment of riches continues: Look at this amazing hockey jacket patch! … Utah is apparently going BFBS for the game against Oregon State on Oct. 29 (from Trent Knaphus). … I have no idea what the TV show Tosh.0 is, but I do know that about six people e-mailed me last night to say that Daniel Tosh was dressed like Jim Tressel. … What’s the point of the NHL having a color-at-home rule if a team decides to wear white for its home opener? That’s what the Kings did last night. Of course, many fans — myself included — would rather see the league go back to wearing white at home on a full-time basis anyway (from Chris Mayberry).