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Major Blast From the Soft Drink Past

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Oh baby, check out this amazing 1930s ad for Celo soda featuring Dodgers pitcher Dazzy Vance, courtesy of reader Bruce Menard. Interesting uni detail: We’ve seen plenty of piping-outlined belt tunnels before (the Braves still use that design element today), but it’s much rarer to see individually striped belt loops.

As for Celo, it was originally a celery-flavored soda produced in Florida (which is where the company was still headquartered when the Dazzy Vance ad was made). The brand name and logo were later acquired by a Wisconsin family, which scrapped the celery product and put out a line of more conventionally flavored sodas in small batches. The tiny bottling plant and equipment are currently for sale.

Meanwhile: New ESPN column today — a brief history of nickNOBs. Enjoy!

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Reach thousands of people just like you, only more so: As you may have noticed, we currently have zero (0) ads in the right-hand sidebar. That makes this a good time for you to place your own ad there, because you’ll be facing zero (0) visual competition. So if you have a product, service, or business that you think will be of interest to Uni Watch readers, let’s talk. Thanks.

Troll update: I put up a new post yesterday at My Pet Troll, about trolling and gender. Enjoy.

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’Skins Watch: A snack food company that wanted to register the trademark “Redskins Hog Rinds” has had its application turned down because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that “Redskins” is a “derogatory term.” That’s potentially bad news for the ’Skins, who are currently facing the loss of their trademark protection over precisely that issue (from Walter Young).

Baseball News: Our friends at Ebbets Field Flannels are running a sale on old-school jerseys. … The Dodgers debuted their new BP jerseys during the team’s annual Winter Development Program. “As you can see, they’re not as pictured in the earlier Majestic leak,” notes Ross Yoshida. … MLB and Yankees logos and uniforms are being used in a new Broadway play about the Yankees. … Very nice new uniforms for the U. of Miami. … Remember how Expos OF Ellis Valentine wore half of a football facemask to protect an broken cheekbone in 1980? That look has now been captured on this cool T-shirt (from Eric Stangel). … Looks like the GI Joe bullshit has spread south of the border. Those are the Tijuana Toros (from Michael Ortman). … Jerry Wolper was looking at some footage from the 1981 NLDS between the Expos and Phillies and spotted Philly skipper Dallas Green with a “World Champions” patch on his jacket. Did the Phils wear that all season long in ’81?

NFL News: As part of the build-up to the Stupor Bowl, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has created a series of “haute couture” football helmets (from Tommy Turner). … Joe Hilseberg was poking around on eBay and found what looks like a Titans prototype. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Someone in Philly made some clever jersey adjustments to create a Nick Foles jersey. … During Jerry Seinfeld’s recent “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, someone asked him, “Can you tell us how your white sneaker collection first started?” Seinfeld’s response: “It started with wanting to be Joe Namath of the 1969 New York jets, who at that time was one of the only football players to wear white shoes. And I wanted to be like him, so I always wore white sneakers. Also, Bill Cosby on I Spy always wore white sneakers. And they were my fashion icons” (big thanks to Dave Wilson). … Saints coach Sean Payton had his team’s practice field painted with a Seahawks logo to simulate this weekend’s game environment. … Speaking of the Saints: If they beat Seattle and the 49ers beat Carolina — neither of which is a sure thing, obviously — the Niners would host the NFC championship game. In other words, Candlestick may yet host one more game. … Lots of folks, including the Tennessee Titans, mess up the orientation of the stars on the Tennessee state flag (from Jameson Adams). … Eric Wright was poking around on the Chiefs’ website and found this uniform history. “Lots of fascinating info, like the fact that Marty Schottenheimer was the one who, with Lamar Hunt’s blessing, brought back the white-over-white look in 1989.”

College Football News: Reader Jeff Seals notes that Oklahoma DE Charles Tapper was missing his bowl game patch in the Insurance Bowl. “I think I’ve trained my wife well enough in uni watching, as she instantly spotted the missing patch when I showed her the pic,” he says. … Susan Freeman has created a 2013 uni-tracking infographic for the old Southwest Conference teams. “It depicts a color block for each 2013 game (three rows = head to toe),” she explains. “So, week one SMU wore white helmets, red jersey, white pants. I did annotate away games, so you can see Texas is true-blue traditional (burnt orange jerseys at home, all white on the road).”

Hockey News: You know how baseball first basemen sometimes wear a batting glove under their fielding mitts, for an extra layer of palm protection? Here’s a vintage shot of former Kings goalie Gary Edwards doing the same (good spot by Jake Elwell). … Back in 1974, the Sabres’ PR guy cooked up a hoax that included what would have been the NHL’s first Japanese NOB. Fun story — recommended (thanks, Brinke). … Speaking of fun, here’s a story on how the Caps’ players like to play pranks on each other by messing with their teammates’ gear (from John Muir).

Soccer News: Last winter I published an interview with Mark Willis, who reimagined baseball teams as soccer teams in his awesome Soccer Out of Context project. Now he has a new project called 32 Nations, which I’ll let him explain: “I boiled down the graphical essence of the 32 teams going to the World Cup in Brazil into punchy, minimal T-shirt-style designs. I published detailed explanation pieces for each shirt, going through all the World Cup groups (eight total), and just finished before Christmas.” Like all of Mark’s work, this is great stuff — enjoy. … “My favorite J-League team, Shimizu S-Pulse, will sport an all-orange home uniform for the 2014 season,” says Thomas Fiers (who was the guy behind yesterday’s awesome NBA button DIY project). “The away uniform will be white and royal blue with vertical pinstripes. The traditional world map will be displayed on the back of the home shirt, with Mount Fuji on the back of the away shirt.” … “Kaka scored his 100th goal for AC Milan on Monday and celebrated with a No. 100 jersey,” says Yusuke Toyoda. … New away kit for Poland (from Trevor Williams).

NBA News: Here’s what all 15 members of the Heat will be wearing for this Friday’s nickNOB game against the Nets (thanks, Phil). … Good slideshow of old Harlem Globetrotters photos here (thanks, Brinke).

College Hoops News: “I was watching my alma mater, Quinnipiac, on Monday night against Iona,” writes Michael Bailey. “Toward the end of the first half, Iona brought in a guy for his first minute of play all season. He was going NNOB while the rest of Iona was going NOB. I wonder if they don’t even bother putting names on the jerseys of the guys they don’t think will get much playing time throughout the season?” … Iowa State is adding a “JO” memorial patch for Johnny Orr (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Can you guess which school has the most lucrative apparel/equipment deal in all of college sports? Answer at the end of the Grab Bag. … Killer helmets for the Canadian Olympic skeleton team (thanks, Phil). … John Sheehan describes this old USFL Boston Breakers cap as “a hideous gem,” although I’d say it’s more the latter than the former. … This is bizarre: The pro golfers with the third- and fourth-highest earnings in 2013 were Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who made $40 million and $26 million, respectively — almost all of it from endorsements, obviously. … Wanna get a good grounding in practical typography in relatively little time? Check out this site (great find by Seth Horowitz). … Two cycling items from Sean Clancy: “The Tour of Italy starts in Ireland this year (naturally), and the pink leader’s jersey will reflect the Irish start with a shamrock on the side panel, although I’m not sure you can see it in those photos. Also: New kit for Orica-GreenEdge.” … New logo for the “Made in Britain” campaign (thanks, Brinke). … While looking for something else, I came across this shot of Johnny “Lam” Jones running for the Texas track team. Love the triple-striped tube socks! … Just what the world’s been waiting for: Black Sabbath-themed Chucks (blame Phil). … My favorite writer, Hamilton Nolan, strikes again. … Wondering what Nike’s CEO’s office looks like? Look here (Brinke again). … Answer: Michigan’s deal with Adidas (thanks, Phil).

Uni Watch DIY Project: A Set of NBA Buttons

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry by Thomas Fiers, who recently completed a totally excellent DIY project. Enjoy. — PL]

By Thomas Fiers

I wanted to make a Christmas gift for my best friend, who loves the NBA. I came up with the idea to create a collection of pinback buttons representing the backs of NBA players he followed and liked, because I figured the arched NOBs would fit well with the curvature of the buttons.

I began with the most important part: selecting which players and uniforms to represent on the buttons. I chose 30 players — half of them with colored throwback uniforms, the other half current players in white or yellow uniforms. Once I had settled on the 30 players, I drew the button designs on my computer [for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge]:

For the next step, I printed the images and cut them out with a circle cutter:

Then I used a button press to create the buttons:

So now I had the buttons, but I also wanted to create a display box, I used a laser cutting machine. I had to draw the different parts of the box in two dimensions because the box would be cut from a plate of wood.

Once that was done, I just had to assemble the box, put the buttons inside, and there you go:

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Paul here. Man, that has got to be one of the best DIY projects we’ve ever had here on the site. Great job, Thomas — thanks for sharing it with us!

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White-out: Neglected to mention yesterday how disappointed I was by the Chiefs’ decision to wear white pants for Saturday’s wild card playoff game against the Colts. As I’ve written several times before, KC’s red britches are arguably the NFL’s single greatest uni element, so it was a shame not to see them.

What I didn’t know, at least not until I checked yesterday afternoon, was that the Chiefs hadn’t gone white-over-white all season long, and had only done so once in the previous season. So they weren’t just executing a major aesthetic downgrade — they were tempting fate.

Even worse, as you can see at right, the Chiefs wore the wrong socks for yesterday’s game. The white-topped socks are supposed to be worn with the red pants, while the white pants are designed to be worn with the red-topped socks. Sigh.

(My thanks to reader Doug Bernero for reminding me to address this issue.)

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Yes, Virginia, I survived the Niners’ win over the Pack, and my back is finally starting to come around after ten days of sheer misery, so now we can roll out the latest edition of Collector’s Corner. Let’s start with this 49ers helmet bottle opener from the 1960s (which I initially thought was a bank, like this Packers one!). We’ll also toss in this 1972 Burger King cup featuring someone’s favorite Niner from when they were growing up. [Thanks, Brinke! — PL]

Here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:

• For you disconsolate Packers fans, this set of 1960s prints from Mobil should help ease the pain from Sunday’s game.

• Wanted to include this Tudor NFL game because of the box art. Looks like Ray Nitschke to me, am I right? I had this very game and box but got mine Christmas of 1971. [Side note: We’ll be having a main entry devoted to electric football shortly. — PL]

• This guy has four complete Chiquita NFL sticker sets to sell?! Ack, I just want one!

• Ladies and gentlemen, your 1970s Hamilton … Fincups? What’s a Fincup?

• Gotta love the look of the Swingin’ A’s on this 1972 World Series program cover. Joe Rudi climbing the left field wall (I was seated just above him) continues to haunt me to this day.

This eBay seller has 16 NFL gumball helmet buggies for sale. (And from a different seller, here’s a Patriots buggy still in the box.)

• Take a look at this 1950s/1960s MacGregor Baltimore Colts kids uniform.

• This 1950s L.A. Rams button is pretty quaint by today’s standards.

• IHOP NFL alert: This is called an IHOP TV NFL football game panel. Not sure what that is, but I’ve never seen it before!

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

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath, except for ’Skins Watch, which was handled by Paul.

’Skins Watch: This is interesting: Mark McLawhorn is a cartoonist who specializes in drawing NC State’s “Wolfie” mascot beating up other teams’ mascots. But that presents a problem when the other team’s mascot is a Native American. Brittain Peck recently conducted an interview with McLawhorn that addresses this issue.

Baseball News: The Big Hurt appears to have made to mend in his pants at some point during his career. Does anyone have any information on this picture? … You can get this San Francisco Giants-themed Mustang for the low-price of $6,000.

Football News: The Packers don’t wear captaincy patches during the regular season but they always add them for the playoffs. So on Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers became the first Packer to ever wear the 5-year gold “C” patch and Jarrett Bush joined Charles Woodson as the only other Packer to reach the 4-year plateau (from Mark Medinger). … The opening of the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie has Gotham City University playing Metropolis State University (from Ira Creasman). … Two of the Colgate subs in this 1922 game against Cornell had triple-digit numbers (from Ryan Dowgin). Does anyone have any pictures of the actual game? … This is a list of hand signals used by the coach to the players on the field for the 1895 Union College Dutchmen (from David Firestone).

Hockey News: Labatt’s, a Canadian beer that is now owned and operated by an American company, unveiled beer cans with the USA Olympic sweaters through the years. Never forget 1980. … Jeff Barak is trying to get documentation of a white Montreal Canadiens 1911-12 sweater. Here is some background on the research he has done so far. … The Islanders’ 2014 Stadium Series logo is here to stay on the alternate uniforms for 2015, perfectly timed for the team’s move from Uniondale to Brooklyn. … Here is a list of best old school jerseys of teams currently in the NHL. … A hockey referee named Ron Ego makes for a fun NOB (from Teebz Alexander).

Basketball News: Bradley Beal wore 23 throughout high school and college because of Lebron, not MJ. … Aaron Liberman of Northwestern became the first person to wear a yarmulke in a Big Ten game on Sunday (from Andrew Cosentino).

Grab Bag: Under Armour is gearing up for its Olympic debut (from Rick Friedel). … In more Under Armour news: The University of Maryland signed a 10-year extension with the company. … French tennis player Richard Gasquet has switched from Lacoste to Le Coq Sportif.

Monday Morning Uni Watch

It had previously been announced that the Bengals would be wearing white pants for yesterday’s playoff game against the Chargers, so it was a surprise to see them taking the field yesterday afternoon in solid black — all the more so when you consider that the last time they wore solid black in the playoffs was the game Carson Palmer tore up his knee on his first pass of the game.

God, it’s such a miserable look. And although I’ve been calling it “solid black,” that’s actually a misnomer due to the white side panels on the jersey. Those have never made any sense. They look bad enough when the team is wearing the white pants and even worse with the black ones. Get rid of them already!

Other NFL notes from this past weekend:

• Packers running back Eddie Lacy wasn’t wearing a visor in the first half of yesterday’s game against the 49ers, but he added a tinted visor for the second half.

• As it typical for an extreme-cold weather game, there was some decal chipping.

• Speaking of the cold weather, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh defied the elements by wearing his usual outfit — a black pullover (in this case with lots of layers underneath) — in the first half. After halftime he gave in and donned a parka.

• According to this article, “The 49ers packed 2,500 extra pounds of clothes, and three pairs of cleats for each player.”

• Why did the Niners waste a timeout at the beginning of the second half? Because quarterback Colin Kaepernick forgot his play-calling wristband.

• Speaking of Kaepernick, he has a bit of a history at Lambeau — but not in a Niners uni:

• Odd scene during Saturday night’s Eagles/Saints game, as Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s play-calling sheet, included a photo of his dad, Buddy Ryan, in an Eagles cap.

One final note: I watched the Niners/Pack game in the home of longtime Uni Watch readers Marty Buccafusco and Jessie Davis, who live a few blocks from me (and served up some excellent chili). Marty wore some very cool Star Trek socks for the occasion:

(My thanks to Vinny Bove, Brinke Guthrie, Cory Harrington, and Jerry Peterson for their contributions to this section.)

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A heritage of confusion: Last week I Ticker-linked to a story that cited an anonymous source who said the NBA would be adding sleeves to all “heritage jerseys” next season. There was no explanation of what qualifies as a “heritage jersey,” although Portland’s “Rip City” design and Detroit’s “Motor City” design were mentioned as jerseys that would get the sleeved treatment.

Will throwbacks qualify as “heritage”? What about something like Denver’s rainbow-striped alternate? Adidas has already told other media outlets that they’re not commenting, so I asked the NBA. Here’s the response I received:

Unfortunately, we cannot confirm any plans for next season at this time.

In terms of designation, Detroit’s “Motor City,” Portland’s “Rip City,” LA Lakers’ “Hollywood Nights,” LA Clippers’ “Nautical Pride,” and the San Antonio’s “Camo Pride” uniforms from this season are all “Pride” uniforms (not “Heritage” or “Throwbacks” — we don’t currently have a designation for uniforms under those titles).

The Magic [have just] launched their “Hardwood Classics” uniform.

Pride uniforms are unique uniforms worn by some but not all teams. They utilize indigenous design elements or phrases or colors that are linked to their past, their city or some local culture in a manner that extends the team’s identity and/or creates a more unified link with the city or region.

Okay, so that’s not very illuminating. What it really means is that the anonymous source at the heart of this story was tossing around a term that actually has no currency with the NBA. This could mean that the source didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about, or it could mean he just misspoke regarding that one term. Either way, it doesn’t get us any closer to figuring out what the NBA will be doing next season.

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Troll update: As most of you know by now, I recently created a new website, called My Pet Troll, to serve as a repository for the Big Cock Johnson story (if you’re not clued in on the new site and/or the Johnson story, you can get the full scoop here). When I launched the site, I wrote, “Should further developments warrant, I’ll post additional troll-related news here on this site, although I don’t expect that to happen.”

Naturally, it’s already happened. A My Pet Troll reader (who also happens to be a Uni Watch reader) got in touch with a trolling story of his own, so My Pet Troll now has something I wasn’t sure it would ever have: a second entry.

I wasn’t really planning for My Pet Troll to become a forum for internet miscreants, but I’m curious to see where this project might lead. If you’re a troll, or if you feel you have some insights to offer on the subject, let me know. Thanks.

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QBC reminder: The Queens Baseball Convention — basically an all-day Mets-apalooza– is coming up on Jan. 18 at McFadden’s, and it’s shaping up as a great event. Among the highlights:

• There will be a panel discussion on the subject of uniforms in general and Mets uniforms in particular. Panelists will include myself, Phil, uni designer Todd Radom, Jon Springer (who runs the excellent Mets by the Numbers site), Russ Gompers (who runs Stitches, the shop that does all the Mets’ sewing and embroidery), and other luminaries. Should be awesome.

• There will be a “jersey parade,” in which fans can wear their favorite (or most obscure, or whatever) Mets jerseys. I’ll be taking part in the judging to pick the best and most interesting jerseys of the day.

• There will also be lots of non-uni stuff, including autograph sessions with former Mets Ed Kranepool and Ron Darling; presentations by Faith and Fear in Flushing blogger Greg Prince and ESPN.com columnist Mark Simon; a scavenger hunt for kids; and a lot more. The full schedule of events is available here, and you can purchase tickets ($35 for adults, $10 for kids) here.

Shannon Shark, the Mets Police honcho who’s putting all of this together, is a smart, can-do guy who makes stuff happen (he pretty much single-handedly convinced the Mets to bring back Banner Day). He also put together this little video clip to help promote the event:

Should be a good time — hope to see a bunch of you there.

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Membership update: We both know that one of your New Year’s resolutions was to finally sign up for a Uni Watch membership already. That’s gotta be way easier than losing 20 pounds or reading an entire book or any of your other resolutions (let’s face it, you’re never gonna do any of those), so what are you waiting for? When you finally sign up, you’ll join over 1,500 other card-carrying members, including Tony Wotzka, whose card, based on Minnesota’s “brick-numbered” gold jersey, is shown at right.

As always, you can see all the cards we’ve design so far here, and you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership here. You’ll probably feel so good about fulfilling one of your resolutions that you’ll say, “Eh, I don’t really need to lose 20 pounds or read a book after all,” so it’ll be a win-win-win!

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’Skins Watch: The Washington Post’s editorial board is renewing its call for Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name (from Tommy Turner). … Small item at the end of this article indicates that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) thinks the ’Skins should change their name (from John Dankosky). … Mike Raymer stopped by the Braves Hall of Fame and saw some seriously questionable material, like this and this.

Baseball News: About two years ago I linked to a photo of Babe Ruth and Al Devormer wearing Yankees cardigans. Now Hall of Fame curatorTom Shieber has done some crackerjack research to figure out when and where the photo was taken. … Check this out: Looks like the Pirates were wearing a pillbox-style cap without the horizontal striping. Also, note that Dave Parker — second from left — was wearing a Star of David pendant. “He famously wore a Star of David because ‘My name is David, and I’m a star,’ says Jerry Wolper.

College Football News: A while back I published a report on Nike’s contract with the University of Memphis. Now Matthew Kish or the Portland Business Journal has done an analysis of over 100 universities’ contracts with Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, and the results are eye-opening. Start here, and then go here (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a look at the Auburn end zone for tonight’s BCS title game. … We’re several days late on this, but Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas was wearing a wristwatch during pregame warm-ups for last week’s Petroleum Bowl (from Jay Schmitt). … Interesting article on the psychological underpinnings of Clemon’s use of orange pants (from Adrian Brashier).

Hockey News: Capitals C Mikhail Grabovski played Saturday night’s game against the Wild with a misspelled NOB. The same thing had happened to him a month ago, almost to the day, only that time it was just for pregame warm-ups (from Mike Engle). … “No photo, but for the Frozen Fenway game, each Merrimack player wore the flag of his home country above his nameplate,” writes Bobby Pinkham. “Of course, almost all the players are American, but there are a few Canadians, and there’s Finnish goaltender Rasmus Tirronen, so I guess it’s a nice touch. As for Providence, they had their Frozen Fenway patch in that same area, as did Notre Dame in the nightcap. Speaking of patches, Patrick Brown, BC’s captain, had a very crowded sweater.” … Here’s a seriously long NOB. That’s Tyler von Engelbrechten of the Canadian college team the Toronto Varsity Blues. “His NOB lettering was smaller than everyone else’s,” says Will Scheibler. … Trevor Heinzerling, equipment manager for the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats (who are named after Colorado’s state fish, the cutthroat trout), got in touch to inform us that the team played this past weekend in Aspen and will play later this month in Vail for what our team is being called the “Colorado Mountain Tour.” They’re wearing Colorado flag-themed jerseys for these games.

Soccer News: New kits for two World Cup nations — Switzerland and Italy. Among non-World Cup national teams, there are new home kits for the Czech Republic, Austria, and Venezuela. And for club teams, there are new kits for the Mexican teams Chivas and Puebla, the Argentinian team Racing Club de Avellaneda, and the Chilean team Universidad Catolica (all this from Trevor Williams). … “This past weekend, England’s club teams took a break from their league matches to play in the FA Cup, which essentially throws every team in England — from the Premier League down to the semipros and the part-timers — into a single knockout tournament,” says Yusuke Toyoda. “That meant some uniform oddities, like a special captain’s armband with the FA logo and ‘Respect,’ Arsenal wearing Nike number fonts while other teams wore the standard Premier League font, Tottenham shirts sponsored by AIA instead of the usual HP, and some teams wearing black armbands in honor of the great Eusebio, who passed away this weekend. Oh, and viewers were less than impressed by the mango-colored ball, which looked pink. Usually, red and orange balls are reserved for better visibility in snowy conditions.”

College Hoops News: UNC wore their road uniforms at home last Tuesday. According to this article, it’s only the second time the Tar Heels have done this, the first one being on Dec. 6, 1990 (from Mitch Barbee). … And speaking of UNC, they went color vs. color last night at Wake Forest (from Duncan Wilson).

Grab Bag: While looking for something else, I came across this amazing piece of century-old letterhead. Spectacular! … Jody Michael reports that Sports Illustrated’s recent article on golf phenom Jordan Spieth included a few paragraphs about Spieth’s Under Armour endorsement deal. Sample passage: “Meeting with a half dozen clothing designers, [Spieth] looked over his latest options for 2014. Under Armour is not known for its restraint; one staffer said the company was going for more of an ‘oh, s— factor.’ Spieth nixed anything in neon colors or with busy designs. ‘I kind of like what I grew up with,’ he said. Sensing the deflation in the room, he added, ‘I’m sorry about that. Hey, I never thought I’d wear a red hat. See, I’m coming around!'” … The New York Times’s Neediest Cases Fund recently supplied the funding to provide school uniforms for a Manhattan school with many disadvantaged students. … Now that’s a swimming club! “If only Michael Phelps had been thusly clothed,” says our own Scott M.X. Turner.

Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends

bcs-trophy

By Phil Hecken

And so, this is the way the BCS ends — not with a bang, but a whimper. Or not. But either way, the current way of determining a “national champion” is coming to an end tomorrow evening in Pasadena. And it couldn’t come a minute sooner.

I have HATED the BCS since it’s inception (and especially its current incarnation), believing it’s NOT a fair way (or even a smart way, necessarily) to declare one team as “the best.” In past years, we may not have had the best two teams competing for the title, and we’ve had undefeated teams excluded, many times due solely to BS..er BCS politics and computers. Next year, they’ll replace this with a four-team, seeded playoff. And I’ll probably start bitching again then.

I’m not sure a playoff is the answer, but it’s got to be better than what we have now. I grew up during a time when there was no such beast as the BCS, and it was a simpler time — sure, you had “co-champs” and split-champs, and arguments that lasted entire off-seasons. And it was great. You played your season, won your bowl, and that was that. No “style” points and no “computer rankings” and such. So, there wasn’t a declared “national” champion…big deal. Some years it was obvious and some it wasn’t. It was a unique thing the NCAA had going, and then they screwed with it.

I won’t say any more about this, since it’s not uni-related, but after tomorrow night, the NCAA Division 1 teams will join the ranks of every other league and sport, and institute a playoff system. It’s goodbye BCS and not a minute too soon.

Now then.

Today, I’m pleased to bring back Clint Richardson, who I tapped earlier this season to write about The Iron Bowl, and who will today give us a uni-history and preview of the Florida State University Seminoles and Auburn University Tigers, who are meeting up in tomorrow night’s BCS National Championship Bowl. So, without further ado, here we go…

. . . . . . . . .

Auburn and Florida State
By Clint Richardson

It’s finally time to end wonderful season of college football (especially if you’re an Auburn fan like myself!). This has been such a great season, with great games and (for us) great looking games. Fortunately, the final game of the year and the BCS era will not disappoint gameplay-wise and aesthetically. With two of the most traditional uniforms in the game, we pretty much know how it’s going to look. But how about a look back on the history of this old rivalry.

The Auburn-Florida State game used to be a hot rivalry, which is pretty odd for a game that has only been played seventeen times. Out of those games, Auburn holds a 12-4-1 record. The last time these two played was twenty-four years ago in 1990 in Auburn. The biggest game thus far was played in 1989 at the Sugar Bowl. And they subsequently wore the opposite uniforms in which they are for today’s game. And boy, look at that bowl patch! Here’s the wonderful New Orleans Jazz program from that game. Florida State and Deion Sanders won that game 13-7.

Since Florida State is ranked #1 in the BCS ranking, and Auburn is #2, that means we’ll see them wear red and white respectively.

BdJfs3CCQAE5tfI 20131214-140735

Which is disappointing, because I can’t be the only one that would love to see a red on blue game! Both of these teams in their home uniforms, in the beautiful stadium of the Rose Bowl with their gorgeously luscious green grass. Oh man, that would look so great! With only a few hours til game time is it still too late to petition?!

Also, expect to see the typical BCS Championship Series logo on the helmets like in years past. Here’s a few different placements of the decal for teams in the past. For Auburn, I would expect it to be placed in the same place as last time, or if anything, on the other side like where the military appreciation logo was placed. I’d place money on same place as last time. As far as Florida State goes, the Seminoles played in last year’s Orange Bowl, and placed the decal in the middle of their helmet. I would easily expect that to hold true for this year as well.

The 1983 game in Auburn is probably one of my favorite looking games. Florida State in white, and Auburn in blue. But wait, Auburn in orange face masks just tops it all!! The only things that would beat this is if FSU wore red, and Auburn wore the awesome striped socks that became a hit just a few years later (and they’re back! I have a pair and the basketball team wears them!!)

I know that Paul and some of you guys enjoy classic magazines and program covers. And if you read my last post on here (linked in the intro), you would know that I love Phil Neel and his drawings. Neel designed our beloved mascot Aubie the Tiger. Thankfully, I found some great covers from Neel’s time in Auburn. One thing I noticed when I found these is that there is no way they would be appropriate in today’s world (click any link to enlarge).

tn_1963_auburn_vs_florida-state_zps63a4361c tn_1962_auburn_vs_florida-state_zps6c005058

1972_Auburn_vs_Florida-State_zps0c6f9073

Hope you all enjoyed today’s post. Here’s to a heck of game tonight. You know who I’ll be cheering for!

Be sure to check out my Auburn uniform site if you ever get a chance. Also follow me on twitter!

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Thanks, Clint. Obviously, we know your rooting interests tomorrow evening, but that’s OK. Good luck to both teams and goodbye to the BCS. Don’t let the door hit your …

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TJ bowl recap
Terry Duroncelet’s…

Bowl Roundup

Ah, yes… the Big Four. No, not that Big Four, THIS Big Four! The games that make you want to leave the comfort of your bed on NYD after you swear to never partake in “Amateur Night” again, and plop down in front of the T.V. to see sights like this.

Michigan State vs. Stanford (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)

My all-time favorite bowl game, for many reasons. The parades, the gorgeous stadium, and the fact that it’s based in my home State of California are just a few of those reasons. Oh, and something about roses smelling good or whatever. This year’s contest was the 100th in its existence, and would pit the Michigan State University Spartans against the Leland Stanford Junior University Cardinal. Michigan State wore an all-green ensemble, and Stanford likewise, but in white. Now, this was a good-looking game IMO, but not as good as it would have been if Michigan State had worn this and Stanford in this. One of the Spartan players had a chin cup sleeve with the Rose Bowl logo on it. That’s all I could really catch, but the game was a good one nonetheless, with first-time Spartan starter Kyler Elsworth (#41) making one of the biggest plays in recent memory. That very stop would seal Michigan State’s 24-20 win. This also marks the first time since the 2010 Rose Bowl Game that a B1G team won, and only the third time since the 2000 edition of the contest that a Big Ten team won it (Stanford would lose to Wisconsin on NYD 2000, 17-9). Here’s to 100 more.

Baylor vs. UCF (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)

A major BCS bowl game. You would think this would be a perfect opportunity for the Baylor University Bears to dress their best, right? Nope. Okay, the school colors of your opponent (The University of Central Florida Knights) are black and gold, and you have the ability to avoid one of those colors. Why then, would you wear the same colors as your opponent? WHY??? WHY??? I would’ve gone green/green/gold, personally. But regardless, that’s what Baylor wore: shiny-gold/black/black, while UCF wore all-white. Who says good guys wear black?

Alabama vs. Oklahoma (played on Thursday, January, 2nd, 2014)

I love a simple, well-put together uniform. I especially love it when there are a good number of these unis. Some are going to inadvertently look very similar, and that’s fine. But put them together in the same game? Not so much. It’s a sad day when you see these two teams play, and you can’t find joy in the look of the game. Not much that they could do about that, but it looked very much like an intersquad game. Anyway, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide wore their crimson helmets and jerseys with white pants, while the University of Oklahoma Sooners wore their dark red helmets with white jerseys and pants (I still wish that they were more of a cream color). Not much else to say here, sadly.

Ohio State vs. Clemson (played on Friday, January 3rd, 2014)

THE Ohio State University Buckeyes thought it would be a great idea to wear their 2012 Pro Combat uniforms for this game. Eh, I like the numbers, but that’s really about it. The rest I can take or leave. But I have a really cool note from reader Benji Boyter regarding the Clemson University Tigers, who wore orange helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants:

“Clemson wore their orange pants in last night’s Orange Bowl against TOSU. The last time Clemson wore orange pants was against WVU in the Orange Bowl two years ago (which we lost 70-33, so they didn’t exactly bring us luck back then). This makes the first time since the 2009 season Clemson wore all three possible pant colors in a season (white pants in each game except the game against The Citadel, in which we wore mono-purple for Military Appreciation Day, and orange last night). This also marks the first time since the 2007 season Clemson has worn white tops over orange pants. Not sure how many times we did it that year but I know we did it against NC State on the road that year.”

Well, it turns out that this was Clemson’s year to say “This game has ORANGE and not SCARLET & GREY in its name for a reason!”. Clemson would win this contest in great fashion, 40-35.

And there you have it! Another year of BCS bowling in the books… except for that one last page. See ya Saturday.

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Duck Tracker

With an appearance in the *Alamo* Bowl, the Oregon Ducks introduced a new uniform (the style of which should be used for the next two seasons, if all goes according to their usual plan). You can take a look at the two sets they recently introduced in this set.

Our Duck Tracker for the past several years has been Tim E. O’Brien, and here is what that Bowl uniform looked like, graphically:

Ducks Alamo Bowl

Here’s Tim with a few words:

“Well the mallards pulled out all the stops for this bowl game. Unveiling two full uniforms, Oregon debuted new shoulder wings and pants all on a new template.”

Unfortunately, Tim’s moved into a new apartment which is, for now, without Internet, so he couldn’t give a more full opinion/description. That little bit above was sent via his cell.

But, as TJ pointed out yesterday, and Tim told me in traded e-mails, there sure are a lot of seams. It also looks like a new shade of green has been added to their already full palette. Overall, it’s not much of a change from their previous set, although it appears as though the brutal multi-tone facemasks have finally been replaced by solid ones. Helmet looks unchanged.

My thanks to Tim E. for undertaking the Duck Tracking all season (again). Unfortunately for the Ducks, their season ended not in Pasadena but San Antonio. Hey, you guys didn’t want the Rose Bowl — and you got it.

Everyone please give a nice virtual golf clap for Tim’s Duck Tracking for 2013!

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: Not a lot of submissions from yesterday, so it’s Old School ticker today.

Paul pointed out a couple of years ago that Pac-12 referee Jay Stricherz wears eyeglasses on the field, and that this is not common. “Perhaps I should write that Stricherz wore eyeglasses on the field,” writes Tony Miller. “The Bowl formerly known as the Citrus a few days ago was his final game.” … Eddie Johnson asks, “Did you see this NBA court redsign? One of my favorite parts of your site is when you guys showcase redesigns.” … Rams headphones? “I was just cruising through my YT playlists and never noticed the headphones worn in this video,” says Jeff Wilk. “Guess I am usually not watching the screen at the time.” … We love refrigerator art here at UW and Matt Barnett just found a notebook he kept in 1979, with a sketch of Drew Pearson on the business end of a Roger Staubach bomb. … Daniel Fontenot found this piece on Baseball Card Vandals to be humorous. … Last year in one of the biggest one day races in cycling, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a fan dressed in a panda costume jumped out on to the course and ran behind Garmin’s Dan Martin right before he made his winning move at the end of the race, notes Alex Kerman. “That moment has oddly enough lead to a partnership between the Garmin team and the WWF who now have their panda logo on the back of the new 2014 Garmin jerseys.” … Couple from Warren Junium: Notre Dame’s “Locker Room” at Fenway Park, and a soccer ball at the Notre Dame game, also in Fenway Park. — Speaking of which, here’s Fenway Park transformed for the game between the Irish and BC. … Last evening, on throwback night the Cincinnati Cyclones dressed as the Cincinnati swords, and the goalie busted out American flag pads (thanks to Adam Walter). Adam also notes the $8 tickets and $1 food and beer! … Reader Larry LaTourette also runs the “Hail To Purple” website (a Northwestern site), and today the site is running an article describing “Northwestern’s pioneering use of Tenite plastic football helmets and Tenite facemasks in 1940, and it includes a photo of a Northwestern player wearing a prototype of the Tenite helmet, which I think will interest you.” Neat stuff!

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And that’s it for today folks. Thanks to Clint for the BCS National Championship Game preview, TJ for the Bowl wraps, and Tim E. O’Brien for his Duck Tracking all year long.

Two more big NFL games today (and both should have their fair share of chilly weather): Bengals host the Chargers at 1:05 (ET) and in the nightcap, in what should be -200 degree windchills, Green Bay will attempt to use the *frozen* tundra to its advantage against the Niners. Should be fun. Everyone have a great week and I will catch you next weekend (with what I expect to be some great stuff — stay tuned!).

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“The 12-4 Niners get to play in like -50 WC at the home of an 8-7-1 team. Something’s wrong with that logic.”
–Brinke