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Sunday Morning Uni Watch

“Red River Rivalry 2013” – Click To Enlarge

By Phil Hecken

What you see above are the “special” uniforms Nike created for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. As you can “see” they weren’t much different from their regular unis — each number was outlined in a “gold” layer, and they wore special patches. You couldn’t tell from the long shots, and you could barely tell up close. It didn’t look too bad at all, if it was all unnecessary. Oh, and the underdog (13.5 points early, with the line moving down to 11 late) ‘horns put a good old fashioned Texas-sized whoopin’ on Boomer Sooner. Plus, the winner gets a hat. *Doing best Rodney-Dangerfield-as-Al-Czervic* “Looks good on you though.”

I didn’t get to see that many games yesterday (although I did enjoy the mostly white-clad Ducks taking the BFBS Huskies behind the woodshed), and I caught most of ‘bama and Kentucky. But Terry Duroncelet, our SMUW guru did and here he is with the rundown from Week 7.

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

So this happened during the week. Needless to say, I danced around the house when Phil sent me that. But now we turn our focus to this week. One at a time…

From Friday:

• Cincinnati wore mono-red against Temple. I’ll be honest, out of all of the higher-tier Adidas teams in college football, Cincy seems to be one of the very few teams in which it actually works. But what I really liked about this game were the new helmets that Temple was wearing: matte helmets with ‘T’ on one side and the Liberty Bell on the other (super-HUGE thanks to Patrick Reynell for that Instagram link!) PLEASE. MAKE THOSE THE FULL-TIME HELMETS. O.K., maybe not full-time, but damn, those look fantastic. Really digged the velvet look these particular matte helmets had in a night game situation. One thing that I forgot to mention from last week is that the Bearcats wore ’77’ decals on their helmets in honor of fallen player Ben Flick, who died in a car accident three weeks ago (no photos, unfortunately).

From Saturday:

• This year’s Red River Rivalry looked rather… golden this year. I love this. All of this. Gold trim almost always seems to add a nice sense of warmth without going overboard, and these are no exception (that also gives you a good look at the jocktag on *I think* #32). From what I heard, this will be a thing for next season as well, with the designations swapped (Texas in all-white with gold trim, and Oklahoma in crimson-over-cream with gold trim). A Texas player had some slight damage to his helmet number decal (credit to Chris Perrenot for that pic).

• BYU wore their ‘“Tradition”, “Spirit”, and “Honor”‘ jerseys on Saturday for Homecoming. As for Georgia Tech… ugh, weren’t our eyes punished enough last year with this uniform costume? A better question to ask would be why did they wear last year’s uni?

• See those little orange decals on the back of Virginia Tech’s helmets? Those are graduation decals, for their graduating student-athletes. Thank Alan C. for the pic.

• Wyoming’s unbalanced look of white helmets, brown jerseys, and yellow pants is a bad look. Like, a really bad look. But hey, it can’t get any worse than that, right? Right? How many days until November? That was worn against New Mexico, BTW.

• Arizona State wore their USC uniforms against Colorado. Not bad.

• Washington never looks good in BFBS. Ever. But at least they have matching helmets this year, so think of this costume as a piece of moldy bread that doesn’t have as much mold this year compared to a piece of moldy bread from last year, or the year before that. Speaking of the helmets, the stripes were coming off of some of them, as Mike Lindquist writes “Looks like a Washington player was hit so hard, the stripes on his helmet started to come off near the ends. This one was the most noticeable one as a couple other players had smaller issues.”.

• Eastern Michigan wore these sweet helmets against Army.

• From the Kansas St./Baylor game, Chris Perrenot writes: “Not one, but TWO helmet placentas on the Kansas State sideline. Gross!” Uhh… thank you for the catch… I guess.

• You know those red sideline caps that the Quarterbacks wear sometimes while they have their headsets on? The Oregon QBs have their uniform numbers on them.

• Utah State wore white at home against Boise State.

• Color-vs.-color game between Ohio and Central Michigan. Credit to Timothy Welsh for that pic.

• Something that I didn’t realize: LSU QB Zach Mettenberger’s knee brace has the LSU wordmark on it.

• Something that Andrew Lopez sent in: “Due to many complaints about the hard to see green on gray – Tulane has switched to white numbers.” I pitched this as one of my recommendations for this uniform during Week 1, but said that the number colors should be reversed: light-blue numbers with green trim. But this is a nice alternative.

Larry Manring sends this in: “Northern Colorado has some of the worst pants I’ve ever seen.” Hard to argue, unless we’re talking Southern Miss.

• The Bruins/Bears game looked alright, minus UCLA’s Laffy Taffy suits, but I’ve already ragged on that enough times. Credit to Anon for that jersey pic, BTW. But the highlight of the game was seeing these two awesome old-timers wearing equally awesome — if not awesomer — sweaters! I’ll take eight! And from that game, a commercial came on involving Ray Lewis. Uhh… yeah, not the best thing to take out of context.

That puts Week 7 in the books. See you all next week.

. . . . . . . . .

Thanks, TJ! Nice roundup once again. We’ll see you for Week 8!


Catherine 5 & 1Catherine Ryan’s
Five and One
Happy Sunday, UniWatchers! This weekend was a gorgeous one (at least here in New York City) and I spent it inside watching college football. It was pretty much an ideal weekend for me! Let’s get to the countdown!

5. Michigan vs. Penn State: I usually don’t like to let the actual game influence my choice but boy, this was a barn burner! This game was just simple and classic. Loved it!

4. Baylor vs. Kansas State: I watched this game for about an hour and a half before I really realized how much I liked it. I loved the Bears in the gold lids and K-State is about the only purple team (except for LSU) that I can tolerate.

3. Oklahoma vs. Texas: Everyone loves the Red River Rivalry and watching UT give the Sooners their first loss of the season was awesome. Texas always looks great in their home jerseys and Oklahoma (despite having 15 different logos on their jerseys) looked sharp in the all-whites.

2. South Carolina vs. Arkansas: One of the things I like to look for in a match-up is contrast between the two teams. Additionally, a little something is added when the “contrast” is the same two colors. This game had that little extra! The ‘backs got absolutely destroyed but they looked great during it. The Gamecocks wore their dark pants and the two teams offset each other nicely.

1. Florida vs. LSU: I was hoping Florida would wear their orange pants but, alas, I was disappointed. Regardless, the game still looked fantastic.

+1 Oregon vs. Washington: I was looking forward to this game all week and I was disappointed. Oregon looked ridiculous and Washington went BFBS. The black-on-white made for a nice contrast but up close it just looked dumb.


Duck Trackin’
By Tim E. O’Brien


Duck Tracker Blog

The Mallards of Eugene were at it again Saturday, this time going against another first time ever uni combination from debuted by the Seattle ‘Skies. While Washington’s new duds were a sight to behold, the Ducks wore but a variation of their week two road combo.

Winning in comfortable fashion, the Ducks have been somewhat of a bore this season in both play and uniform combinations. Even with two new helmets, a whiteout and a monochrome yella, one can’t help but feel like the Quackers need to chang things up a bit.

Here’s hoping next week’s blackout looks awesome…

As always, you can follow my trackers on twitter @DuckTracker, @NUniTracker or @Hoosier_Tracker or feel free to help me track them by shooting me an email at
, or Happy Tracking.


Alex Rocklein’s MLB Uni Playoff Tracker

Click To Enlarge

Well, for baseball purists, it didn’t get much better than yesterday. The St. Louis Cardinals, in their alternate cream unis with “St. Louis” in script defeated the gray-clad Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0.

The gray-clad Detroit Tigers defeated (and damn near no-hit) the white uniformed Boston Red Sox 1-0.

That was the first time two LCS games have ever both been decided by 1-0 scores on the same day. If you’re a fan of offense or softball tops, this was not a day for you. But if you love classic, nail-biting baseball with great pitching…then you got your wish yesterday.

Thanks to Alex for the update. He’ll be back next weekend with the progress of both series.


Jason Bernard
A Star is … Livestreamed

Uni Watch reader (and all-around good dude) Jason Bernard is about to get his 15 minutes…or something. And you can see him do his thing while you’re watching the next few Monday Night Football broadcasts. I’ll let him explain…

. . .

Hey Uni Watch-

During the next three Monday Night Football games (October 14, 21 and 28) I will be featured in a live streaming promotion for Bud Light on, as part of Bud Light’s “It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work” campaign. Essentially, some friends and I take sides and discuss the game action, as well as superstitions, pop culture and whatever else we can think of for three and a half hours. It’s interactive – you have the opportunity to vote for each of us (which directly controls a wacky “luck” machine), you can Tweet input at us (@BudLight) or you can just sit and enjoy our nonsense. To view:

1. DURING the MNF game, Go to

2. Click the NFL tab

3. A Bud Light popup will appear – click the button to “Join the Show”

This is only live DURING the game. These are great guys, so it will be fun and entertaining. I’ll do my best to weave in uni-centric detail. Vote for ME!

. . .

Thanks, JB. Aight, Uni Watchers, do a brother a solid and check him out, throw him a vote. OK? OK!


ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: Major uniform malfunction Friday night in the CFL (great grab by Kenny Ocker). … There were many clever signs at ESPN’s GameDay, and I’m pretty sure this one was shown (that looks like a “pre-show” pic), sent in by Chris Flinn. … Also on that GameDay show was recently canned Lane Kiffen, and you can see some of the more clever signs being held behind him (“Phil Knight Wears Jorts” was particularly, um…witty?), screen grab by J Fletcher … Speaking of Oregon, according to this hed, “Oregon Has An Awesome Hype Video For Its Brand New Football Recruiting Website.” … More from Chris Flinn: Check out this awesome pattern on the Diamond Ranch Academy’s football field. … Following up on an item in yesterday’s ticker, Alberto Sanchez noticed Jay Cutler’s cleats from Thursday, but he believes it’s actually just the inside swoosh that it’s orange and the outside swoosh that it’s blue in both shoes. … Good shot of a 1998 game where Randall Cunningham’s nameplate is a bit too big to fit within his Vikings shoulder loops (nice grab by Matt Barnett. … Speaking of shoulder loops and old time photos, check out this one from 1956. According to submitter Dan McNamara, this “Shows the Villanova football bench during the 9/22/56 game against Bear Bryant’s Texas A&M team. Villanova wearing unique headware and sucking on sponges to beat the heat. No stupid ads on these sideline hats! I checked historical records and it was over 105 degrees on the field that day.” … College Hockey Jerseys, Pt. I: Here are the new home and road jerseys with very minor tweaks for the defending National Champions Yale; Pt. II: Gemini Athletic has released the first of 7 different jerseys Air Force will wear this season along with this note, “Air Force is to Gemini what Oregon is to Nike. Here is a picture of one of the 7 sets of jerseys each player will have this season. The Bolt jersey will be debuting in Anchorage when the Falcons take on the Seawolves this Friday and Saturday.” (both of those thanks to Erik Sundermann). … Did you know there is a new city logo for Kansas City? Now you do (thanks, Matt Newbery). … Who Made That Android Logo? (from Brinke).


That’s a wrap folks. I put this to bed (and myself) really late, and had a ton of Interwebs problems to boot, so you guys have a great Sunday and a better week. Thanks to everyone who contributed today. And don’t forget to find Jason Bernard and vote for him tomorrow during MNF. OK? OK!!!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


.. … ..

” I tend to hate the classic and traditional looks of the sports uniforms in favor of a more modern look (not ALL but mostly). Yet when it comes to things like ticker changes or the loss of my “beloved” black bar on Google I’m one of the first to light the torches and grab the pitchforks. LOL.”

Drivers...Start Your Engines


[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest-written column from David Firestone, who’s following up on a column he’d penned for Uni Watch earlier this year. Enjoy. — Phil]

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Drivers Start Your Engines
By David Firestone

In my last column, I focused on the driver suit, but the other uniform items that driver and pit crews wear in racing are just as important, not just for aesthetics, but for safety as well. I felt that these items should be analyzed.

First, let’s take a look at racing helmets. The helmets that racing drivers and pit crews wear are just as critical to safety as fire suits. Helmets have been a required safety feature in racing for decades, but rules on what kinds of helmets can and cannot be worn were rather lax, until Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500. Prior to the 2001 Daytona 500, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Jr., and Tony Roper had died in racing incidents where, at the time it was thought that even the best-designed helmet by itself would not have prevented the death in the incident. Earnhardt was known for being one of the few drivers to wear “open-face” helmets, similar to this Brad Noffsinger example from 1988. These helmets were commonplace in the 1980’s but by 2001, only a few drivers chose to wear them. These helmets had the advantage of extra visibility, but were less protective in the event of a fire. NASCAR was reluctant to regulate these helmets because at that time, they did not want to cause an accident because the driver’s view was restricted by a full-face helmet. A full-face helmet prior to 2001, such as this Kevin Lepage example from 1999.

After Earnhardt’s death, a new piece of equipment, the HANS or Head And Neck Support device was introduced. NASCAR mandated that all driver had to wear this new device, and the results have spoken for themselves. Here is a rundown on how the HANS device works, the device is worn on the shoulders, and hooks onto the helmet using a pair of straps which protects the neck, while giving the driver the ability to turn their head. The seat belt is placed over the device, and pulled as tight as possible. This is done to protect the driver in the event of a sudden head-on accident, it keeps the driver’s head and neck safe from the sudden deceleration, preventing death from a broken neck or basilar skull fracture. If Earnhardt, Petty, Roper, or Irwin had been wearing this device, their deaths could and would have been avoided.

The standard issue HANS-ready helmet is designed for driver safety, and is regulated by SFI or FIA. In addition to providing protection, the helmet has a couple of other features. In NASCAR, the most current helmets have the air intake attachment located on the top. This critical design feature helps keep the driver comfortable, by taking air from the outside of the car, cooling it, and blowing it into the helmet. Older helmets feature the air intake located on the left side of the helmet, so that the hose could be easily attached. The driver compartments in NASCAR can reach temperatures of over 150 degrees, and wearing 4 layers of fire protection doesn’t help things, so the air intake is a very necessary feature.

The visor on NASCAR helmets is a very durable clear plastic, that can be changed from clear to dark, depending on what time of day the race is. When the race will include a day-to-night transition, a dark film tear off is worn on a clear visor, so that it can be quickly removed and disposed of. The top of the visor features the helmet stripe. It is a good place for sponsorship placement, as the driver does not see out of this area anyway. One very critical piece found in every racing helmet is a microphone system. Drivers, crew chiefs, and strategists need to be able to communicate with each other, the rules mandate it. A custom paint job is always present on these helmets. Drivers also frequently wear two different helmets, one for race day and one for qualifying.

IndyCar and F1 helmets are designed for the open driver compartments the cars feature, and have special modifications to enhance driver comfort and even the performance of the car, including air boxes, and drinking hoses for the driver. The design of the helmet also has a unique significance. In IndyCar and F1, the appearance of the helmet is a part of a driver’s identity. Ayrton Senna for example, wore a helmet for much of his career that was sunburst yellow background with a light green stripe that surrounded the upper visor and a light metallic blue stripe surrounding the lower visor. Lewis Hamilton wore for a number of years a helmet with a very similar design to honor Senna who was his hero. These designs did not change even when the sponsorship they had contrasted the helmet design a bit. Sebastian Vettel on the other hand wears a helmet design heavily influenced by Red Bull, his primary sponsor. These helmets are worn by the driver with a Nomex balaclava that covers the entire face except the eyes. As the driver compartments are open, this provides extra facial protection. In many instances, the sock is attached to the bottom of the helmet.

Looking at racing gloves and shoes, the focus is primarily on safety as opposed to appearance, but sponsor logos and car numbers frequently appear on gloves. The gloves, such as these Hut Stricklin examples from 2000 are worn for fire protection and to give the driver extra grip on the steering wheel. IndyCar and F1 drivers can wear special “rain gloves” which have a rubber coating to keep the driver’s hands dry. Gloves are long so that they can be pulled over the cuffs of the driver suit as some extra protection for this area.

Racing shoes such as these Scott Riggs examples from 2004 are designed for fire protection and heat resistance, but also for durability and aesthetics. Like every other product that drivers wear, gloves and shoes are rated by SFI for safety. IndyCar and F1 drivers can wear rubber coated rain shoes for road races in the rain to keep their feet dry. Additional equipment may be used by the driver in order to keep their feet cool during the race. They are designed to match whatever color the driver’s suit is, but sponsor logos for the manufacturer can appear here as well. These shoes require special fire resistant shoe laces.

Driver Vs. Pit Crew equipment:The risk that the drivers take is very obvious, but pit road is a very dangerous place. The racing leagues do what they can to keep pit road safe, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. It is sad to say but pit crew members have been seriously injured and killed on pit road. It might seem crazy, but it was not all that long ago that pit crew members worked around very fast-moving cars, wearing little more than a custom-designed polo and pair of work pants. Now, rules mandate that pit crew members wear the same protection as drivers, including fire suits, helmets, gloves, shoes and undergarments.

There are really very few differences between driver suits and pit crew suits. The only real differences are that while drivers wear one piece suits with their name on the belt, pit crews can wear one or two-piece suits with their names on the back, in the same place as NFL jerseys. The two piece suit is to accommodate the work that pit crews do, giving them the same level of protection that the driver have, but without restricting movement. Fires on pit road are a frightening reality, whether from spilled fuel during a stop, or for the occasional crash on pit road. The crew member handling fueling equipment, the so-called gas man, typically wears a one-piece suit, racing shoes, as opposed to pit crew shoes, a full-face helmet, and an aluminiumized-fiberglass apron that reflects heat, and does not absorb moisture.

The helmets that pit crews wear are vastly different than driver helmets. Each crew member wears a helmet designed for his position. Jack men and tire changers wear open-faced helmets with large sun brims that have LED lights for extra visibility in night races. All involved have radio equipment built in.

The gloves and shoes that pit crews wear are designed with two goals in mind. The goals are to protect the crew member from the obvious risk of fire, while at the same time allowing them to preform the task they are required.

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks, David. Nice writeup!


all sport uni tweaksUni 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:


We begin today with Wes Peters, who has a bunch (9 to be precise) of new looks for the Iowa State Cyclone football team:

White Gold White - Wes Peters White Red Red - Wes Peters White Red White - Wes Peters White White Red - Wes Peters All Gold - Wes Peters

All Red - Wes Peters All White - Wes Peters Gold White Gold - Wes Peters Red Red Gold - Wes Peters

Hey Phil,

I had some downtime at work last week and decided to make some tweaks to the Iowa State football uniform. What started out as a tweak with the addition of white turned into several combinations. My personal favorites are the uniforms that use a white helmet and white pants. I don’t know if you guys think they’re good enough to make the cut on Uni-Watch but I thought I’d submit them anyway.

Wes Peters
Iowa State Graphic Designer

. . .

Next up is Roger Morrow, with four new looks for the Atlanta Braves:

Braves home alt - Roger Morrow braves away alt - Roger Morrow

braves home - Roger Morrow braves away - Roger Morrow

Hey Phil,

Here is my concept for the Atlanta Braves. I went with a throwback style look with removing the Native American aspect to the uniform. I decided that they can change the meaning of the name by adding sleeve patches for the police dept and fire dept for the City of Atlanta and Fulton County.


. . .

We close today with Paul Lee has a kind of a new look for the Lakers:

lakers tweak - Paul Lee

Hey Phil,

I can’t remember if I’ve submitted this before, so here it goes again.

Lakers: simplified.

Paul Lee

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.


Guess The Game…From The Scoreboard

Click To Enlarge

It’s baaaaaack.

OK, readers — you know the drill (and if you don’t it’s quite simple) — you simply need to figure out what game is being played using the clues found on the scoreboard. I’m not sure if this one is particularly easy or particularly difficult. Obviously there are enough clues right on the scoreboard that if you have enough time, you can get it. Or can you?

If you solve it, as a courtesy to other readers, simply LINK (go to Baseball Reference) to the game and post that link in your comment — feel free to describe HOW you solved it, using any clues you may have gleaned from the Scoreboard.

OK? OK! Post your answer (in link form) in the comments section below. Good luck.

Last week’s scoreboard/answer (a few of you got it, others had the wrong guess): October 11, 1977.


U.W.F.F.L. Week 6 Update

By Rob Holecko

Here’s what’s going on in the UWFFL this week: Atlanta (4-1) and Minnesota (5-0) face off in a early season battle for big league supremacy, and while the NFL is going pink telling everyone about one particular kind of popular cancer, teams all across the UWFFL are wearing special colors and ribbons to bring awareness to many different kinds of cancers and diseases. In the minors, Sacramento and Dallas meet in a key battle out West, while Kansas City plays the first international UWFFL game ever as they face the… Barcelona Dragons of the La Lega Internazionale di Uni Watchers Fantacalcio? All this and much, much more! Check it out and vote on the uniform matchups at

Week 6 splash


Jason Bernard
A Star is … Livestreamed

Uni Watch reader (and all-around good dude) Jason Bernard is about to get his 15 minutes…or something. And you can see him do his thing while you’re watching the next few Monday Night Football broadcasts. I’ll let him explain…

. . .

Hey Uni Watch-

During the next three Monday Night Football games (October 14, 21 and 28) I will be featured in a live streaming promotion for Bud Light on, as part of Bud Light’s “It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work” campaign. Essentially, some friends and I take sides and discuss the game action, as well as superstitions, pop culture and whatever else we can think of for three and a half hours. It’s interactive – you have the opportunity to vote for each of us (which directly controls a wacky “luck” machine), you can Tweet input at us (@BudLight) or you can just sit and enjoy our nonsense. To view:

1. DURING the MNF game, Go to

2. Click the NFL tab

3. A Bud Light popup will appear – click the button to “Join the Show”

This is only live DURING the game. These are great guys, so it will be fun and entertaining. I’ll do my best to weave in uni-centric detail. Vote for ME!

. . .

Thanks, JB. Aight, Uni Watchers, do a brother a solid and check him out, throw him a vote. OK? OK!


Alex Rocklein’s MLB Uni Playoff Tracker

Click To Enlarge

Well, the divisional series’ are now over, and we’re into the games they play for the Pennant. Last night, we had lots of free baseball with the Dodgers and Cardinals playing into the wee hours of the morning (at least on the East Coast). Those two will be back at it again this afternoon (with a 4:00 pm “start” time in the ETZ), and the Red Sox will host the Tigers in the late game. For those who went to bed before the game ended, here’s a hint how this one ended. Thirteen innings. Beltran drove home all three Cardinal runs.

For those who were rooting for lots of ‘colorful’ games with softball tops, well, you’re all shit out of luck. Three of the teams don’t even have a colored alt top (although the Cards do have an alternate cream-colored uniform with a “St. Louis” script they have worn every home Saturday game — so I expect they’ll bust those out today), and the Red Sox (who have a red and blue top) rarely wear those. Since the Sawks only wear the red tops on home Fridays and blue tops on road Fridays (and no games are scheduled between the Tigers and Sox on a Friday), we won’t see those. It’s basically white vs. gray the whole way (as the uniform gods intended it).

But the Divisional series, as you’ll note from Alex’ tracker, were full of softball tops. The Pirates, who lost a heartbreaking five-game series to the Cardinals, wore their black tops every day (considering them “lucky”). They even eschewed protocol by wearing the black tops at home on Sunday, when they had been wearing their 1970s throwbacks for most of the season. The Braves, who lost to the Dodgers in four, did break out their navy softball tops once, only to wear their beautiful gray tops for the series clincher.

In the junior circuit, you’ll see the A’s never once wore a gray or white top, instead going with the green tops once at home and twice on the road, and wore their gold tops for two of their three home games. If there is one team I don’t have a problem with wearing the alternate top, it’s the A’s — and seeing them in the green and gold tops brought back memories of their 1972-74 run of three straight World Series victories. I grew up with them in colorful tops, and it seems much less of a cynical, money-generating ploy than other teams. I was also pulling for them to meet the Pirates in the Series, but that won’t be happening. In the other series, the Rays and Red Sox both wore softball tops for their Friday night opener, but then went white/gray the rest of the way.

But now that we have four teams pretty much guaranteed to go white/gray (or possibly cream/gray today). Folks like Jim Vilk and THE Jeff may not be pleased, but the uni gods have spoken. For those of us who are fond of classic, traditional teams (and traditional-looking teams), the rest of the way will be uniform nirvana. For those who are easily bored by the white/gray parade…well, you have College Football to whet your appetites today, and plenty of pink from the NFL Sunday and Monday night.


ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz said the National League Championship Series is a match-up of the most beautiful uniforms in Major League Baseball (thanks to Riley Swinford). … That submission reminded me of another nice take on the NLCS by the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner, who notes (among other things) the Dodgers and the Cardinals are two of the three N.L. teams (the Phillies are the other) that never wear a colored jersey. … Of course, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe will tell you Boston vs. Detroit is a pretty old-school uni-matchup as well.

NFL News: Looks like Jay Cutler wore two different shoes in Thursday night’s game against the Giants, judging by the Nike swooshes (good spot by Adam Grad). … Pretty sure we’ve addressed this before, but Andrew Cosentino noticed in this photo of the Peyton Manning goodbye presser that “the Colts helmet is the wrong color. Keep in mind that they have worn navy helmets before.” … The shoes Brandon Marshall was wearing on Thursday evening for Mental Health Awareness were actually soccer cleats, says Archie Troxel. “I know kickers typically wear soccer boots, but I’m not sure if I’ve seen a non-kicker do that before,” notes Archie. This was also noted by Elliott Bueler, who asks, “Seeing as how Brandon Marshall doesn’t typically wear soccer cleats, why couldn’t he have secured some football-specific cleats along the lines of the garish green offerings some of the Seattle Seahawks’ players have sported this year?” … Sports Illustrated has compiled a list of the eight best NFL throwback uniforms; sadly, some we’ll never see again (unless the ‘one-helmet-per-team’ rule is lifted, which is unlikely). … How does Green Bay’s ‘Frozen Tundra’ stay so green, even in January? Here’s how (from Dave Rakowski). … This has probably been covered before (by Paul) but one more look couldn’t hurt: The Bears wore a commemorative patch for Mike Singletary’s last home game ever, in 1992 against the Steelers (good find by Jeff Flynn, Jr.).

College Football News: Eastern Michigan will be wearing new helmets today when they face Army. … In news we couldn’t live without: Oregon’s cheerleaders got custom “O” contacts for today’s game against the Washington Huskies (found by Paulie Sumner). … Here’s a nifty slideshow of Oregon vs. Washington football unis through the years. … Paul Stave thinks that since UW is joining “the New Helmet per Week club, they may want to consider this version from the brief Jim Lambright era.”

NBA News: The snippet about the Chargers legends jerseys in Friday’s ticker made Taylor Berthelson think of a Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward jersey from the old mountain jersey era. Taylor also asks, “How did you not know about the Jazz Bear! The fact that he was inducted to the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006 says alot!

Hockey News: Alabama-Huntsville opened its season last night at Northeastern. The Chargers are in their first season as a WCHA member. Here’s what the new road jersey looks like. Nice! (great find by Michael Napier). … Last night, the Florida Panthers opened up at home. Aside from the Dos Equis patch, the Panthers would have worn throwbacks. According to this Miami Herald article, the league has intervened and they could no longer wear the throwbacks. Submitter Alexander Collazo asks, “Any reason as to why this happened?” … Hmmm, looks like even minor leagues are doing teasers for their warm-up jerseys (good find by Adam Walter).

Soccer News: Temple women’s soccer went bfbs last night at UConn. “Ugh,” intones submitter Gregory Koch.

College Hoops News: Looks like Valparaiso Men’s basketball will be getting new uniforms this season (thanks to Joel Mathwig), which he says are “So much better than last season.” I’d agree. … The University of California has new hoops unis for the 2013-14 season. … New hoops unis for South Carolina, with digi-camo. Here’s video (thanks to Joel Mathwig). … More uni-unveilings yesterday, with 3 new ones from Penn State.

Grab Bag: Here’s a jersey that will be worn at the Asian Gaelic Games (Hurling, *Camogie & Gaelic Football) this weekend. O’Neill’s is an Irish company that supplies the vast majority of clothing and equipment for these sports (thanks to Michael Clary). … If you scroll down in this article, to the section entitled “North Allegeheny 1982,” you’ll see this photo with the following note: “North Hills finished 6-4 in the regular season but went on to win the WPIAL championship with a victory over Butler at Pitt Stadium. During the magical playoff run, North Hills coach Jack McCurry wore a New York Yankees batting helmet. He viewed himself as the bad guy and he thought most people hated the Yankees. So why not?” (thanks to Doug Keklak). … Li’l help? Chris Castoldi writes, “I think you guys might be the only ones that could help me with a project. I have an old Pitt Panthers helmet chair. I know the helmets from this time period had Panther stickers on them for good plays. I know they’ve had several panther head logos and I’m unsure of which one to use. Any help would be greatly appreciated!” … We’ve explored many of these, but here are some neat hidden messages inside logos on the Mental Floss site (nice find by Jason Hillyer). … Nice find from Raymie Humbert on teams that wear others’ unis: This week, Florence High School in Florence, Arizona was stunned when news broke that their 38-year-old head coach Stephen McKane had died of a heart attack,” writes Raymie. “His father Bill, who had been helping coach the team, has taken over as interim head coach. Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley, which is in the same district, has announced that it (would wear) Florence’s uniforms for (last) night’s game in a show of solidarity for the team.” … Andrew Schmitt saw this on Jalopnik, an exhaustive look at every livery for every team back to the 50’s and wanted to share. … “Even the middle schoolers,” writes Eric Bangeman, who “stopped by a park in my Chicago suburb and saw both teams wearing magenta socks.


And that’s a wrap. Another full post, but there was lots to cover. My thanks to David for the lede article, and of course, the concepters, Rob, Alex, and all the ticker submitters.

Don’t forget to vote for Jason on MNF!

You guys enjoy a great holiday Saturday, with the playoffs and a bunch of great NCAA football to boot. I’ll catch you tomorrow with the full Sunday Morning Uni Watch rundown.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“The Chargers alt is in no way a ‘throwback’ – it’s the same hideous modern uniform in a different color.”
–Chance Michaels

Gold on the Brain


Dressed to the Nines shows that the 1969 A’s wore green caps with a white “A” logo. So I perked up when reader Roger Faso recently pointed me toward this photo of A’s pitcher Ed Sprague. Although the photo is in black-and-white, it’s easy enough to see that the cap logo wasn’t white. And if you look at the various gray tones in the photo, it becomes evident that the cap itself couldn’t have been green — it was gold!

If you look at the thumbnails at the bottom of that photo page, you’ll see there’s another photo of Sprague, again with what appears to have been a gold cap. The telltale MLB centennial patch clearly marks both photos as being from 1969.

At first I was excited — this was a major find! Then I started doubting myself. Maybe we’d already covered this before and I just didn’t remember..?

I ran the photos past uni designer Todd Radom and Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber, both of whom said the gold cap was news to them. Then I contacted longtime A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who’s been with the team since 1968, so I figured he’d know the scoop. Sure enough, he wrote back right away: “We wore those for about the first month or so [of the ’69 season]. Then COF [Charles O. Finley] said they weren’t the bright ones he envisioned. Never again.”

Faaaascinating. This may explain something that’s always puzzled me: Oakland’s use of gold batting helmets around this period. It appears that the helmets matched the gold caps. But when the caps were scrapped, the helmets were retained.

Incidentally, I’d never heard of the photographer who took those Ed Sprague photos, Ron Riesterer, but his site is full of great old Bay Area sports photos, including galleries for the A’s, Giants, Raiders, 49ers, Warriors, and Seals — recommended.

I also sent an email to Riesterer, asking if he has more info about the Sprague photos (date, ballpark, etc.) and if he has any additional photos showing the A’s in gold caps. He was very surprised when I pointed out Sprague’s gold cap to him, saying he has no memory of that. He’s checking to see if he can pin down the location and date of the photo.

Meanwhile, we need to find more pics — preferably in color — of these gold A’s caps from early in the ’69 season. I’ve looked though a few wire service archives but have come up empty. Anyone..?

Meanwhile, let this serve as the latest lesson in how online databases aren’t always accurate or complete.

Finally, one footnote: Tom Shieber notes that many 1968 and ’69 Topps cards show the A’s caps with a black crown. “Obviously, they were obliterating the ‘KC’ on the cap, as the team was now in Oakland,” says Tom. “But why didn’t they just airbrush out the old logo? Actually sometimes they did. But why the inconsistency?” Good question. Anyone..?

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To those of you who are sick of ’Skins Watch: I’ve received a lot of emails from people who say they’ve had enough of the ’Skins Watch segment that runs here on the site, and there have been some posts in the comments section echoing those emails. So in the spirit of Daniel Snyder’s recent open letter to ’Skins fans, I’ve written an open letter to readers who have issues with ’Skins Watch. It’s totally sincere — no snark, not a stunt. You can check it out here.

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’Skins Watch: For three weeks now, Daniel Snyder’s defenders have been hanging their hat on Rick Reilly’s defense of the ’Skins name. As you may recall, Reilly’s credibility and moral authority in that piece were based on the fact that his father-in-law, Bob Burns, is (a) a Native American and (b) perfectly fine with the ’Skins name. Well, one out of two ain’t bad: Burns now says Reilly misquoted him and that he, Burns, is strongly opposed to the ’Skins name. At this point the whole thing has become embarrassing — it’s pretty obvious where this is heading, so just change the name already so we can all move on to other things. … 99designs received nearly 2,000 entries in their ’Skins-redesign contest. They’ve now chosen eight finalists — you can vote for your favorite here. … A Dallas/Ft. Worth-area weekly paper is the latest media outlet to come out against the ’Skins name (thanks, Phil). … Anyone who thinks Natives don’t care about the ’Skins and related issues should read a new report titled Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots, which has just been published by the National Congress of American Indians. … Here’s a funny translation of what Dan Snyder’s recent letter to ’Skins fans really meant (from Tommy Turner). … Reuters has run a well-written analysis of how lonely Snyder’s position has become (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: Sports Business Journal reporter Eric Fisher has a source who’s contradicting my source regarding MLB changing its cap fabric next season. Fisher’s generally a good reporter (although he mischaracterized my piece as an “ESPN report,” when I actually wrote it for this here blog, not for ESPN), but hey, so am I. At this point it’s his unnamed source vs. mine. Frankly, I hope his source is right and mine is wrong, but I don’t think that’s the case. And remember, I ran the story by MLB, and they declined to confirm or deny. Draw your own conclusions. … Check out the radically different arching styles on Larry Doby’s and Satchell Paige’s 1948 Indians jerseys (great find by Jared Wheeler). … Jared also sent along this wonderful 1958 Sporting News article about the evolution of the baseball uniform. Recommended reading. … You can see lots of photos of shorts-clad Hollywood Stars by starting here and then scrolling for a bit (from Dave Eskenazi). … Looks like the kerning is a bit off on the first two letters of Justin Verlander’s NOB (from Omar Jalife).

NFL News: Bears WR Brandon Marshall made good on his threat/promise to wear green shoes for Mental Health Awareness Week last night, plus he didn’t wear the Bears’ striped socks, so he may be facing two fines instead of one. … In that same game, Giants WR Hakeem Nicks went with an unusual red-white-red sock pattern. I think those are just red tights with white tape around the calf. … Once Pinktober is over, the NFL will shift to GI Joe mode, which will include these sideline caps. Net proceeds will go to the Pat Tillman Foundation, the USO, and the Wounded Warrior Project. … Looks like DeMarcus Ware’s sleeve stripes were flaking off the other day (from Matt Barnett). … Some Chargers fans are apparently upset about old players’ NOBs showing up on current jerseys. This has been going on for years in assorted sports (at one point there was a New York baseball Giants jersey with Monte Irvin’s NOB, among other oddities). Yes, it’s silly, but so is just about everything else relating to $200 polyester shirts. It’s only an outrage if you assume that people have to buy this crap, which they don’t. Just ignore it and move on. … Someone on eBay is selling what he claims to be one of John Hadl’s old AFL All-Star Game helmets. Look at the decal on the back — “Looks like a men’s room logo,” says Gene Sanny. Anyone know what that was for? … Robert Griffin III says he helped design his high school’s uniforms (from Yusuke Toyoda). … I did a fun interview about NFL uniforms with American Forces Radio. I realize this will mess up the narrative for those of you who mistakenly think I hate everything about the military — sorry about that.

College Football News: This is interesting — check out these business card designs used by recruiters (from Kevin Mueller). … Many of you probably know this already, but Mike Cooper asked me why Michigan State has two different kinds of merit decals. The answer, which is got from a school spokesperson, is that the “Block S” decal is awarded for wins and turnover margin, while the “spear” decal is awarded based on production points. … Maryland will go black-red-black this weekend. … Air Force wore matte gray helmets last night (screen shot by JJ Sledge).

Hockey News: Jonas Hiller’s mask design for Sunday’s Mighty Ducks throwback game is the bee’s knees. … Speaking of masks, here’s a fairly in-depth look at Boston College’s freshman goalie’s new design (from Dave Levy). … This is fun: a set of BBQ/grill tools made from old hockey sticks (from Jason Hillyer). … Here’s an attempt to find the best rink in the NESCAC. … Gee, ya think the Fort Wayne Komets may have taken the ads-on-the-ice thing just a smidge too far? “How does anyone even find the puck?” asks from Mat Mikesell.

Soccer News: “After forcing Mario Balotelli’s first career penalty kick miss, goalkeeper Pepe Reina now wears Balotelli’s jersey to sleep,” says Yusuke Toyoda.

NBA News: Did you know the Jazz had a bear for a mascot? I didn’t. Not only that, but the bear was honored with his own special day yesterday, by gubernatorial proclamation.

College Hoops News: Duke is the first college program to get the same “SportVU” technology used in the NBA (from Paulie Sumner). … New sweatbacks for Penn State. “Same basic template that most other mid-tier Nike schools are getting,” says Matt Weidner). … If you’re going to use a racer-back template, you may as well have racing stripes. That’s the new South Carolina women’s uniforms. Interesting that the stripes on the shorts don’t wrap around to the front. Too bad about the GI Jane numerals (from Joel Mathwig). … New uniforms for Southern Miss (from John Williams).

Grab Bag: Pinktober has spread to fire truck design (from Tom V). … Here’s an interesting chart of racial diversity as broken down by sport (from Ben Fortney).

Source: New MLB Caps in 2014

Got a note yesterday from someone who claims to have a lot of connections in the cap world (and who convinced me that those connections are legitimate). He had some interesting news to share about MLB caps:

I’ve been told that all MLB hats will be switched to the “Diamond Era” BP cap material next season and that the current Authentic Collection caps will be discontinued. I do not yet know if this means all the hats will be imported (as all the BP caps currently are) or if a percentage will be still USA-made, but the visual difference will likely be jarring, since the Diamond Era caps have a textured fabric.

Also: New Era’s exclusive contract with MLB is set to expire at the end of 2014. MLB is less than pleased with New Era for snagging the rights to the NFL and creating a product line that is in direct competition with MLB’s on-field line, and as such has been slow to re-up with New Era. Nike has thus become interested in acquiring the contract and has begun a full-court press to become MLB’s exclusive supplier of on-field hats.

New Era’s current contract stipulates that the hats are to be made domestically but allows for a percentage to be imported. The imported caps have included the Chinese-made GI Joe caps (because nothing says pride in America and supporting our troops like a Chinese-made baseball hat) and the new BP caps that were introduced this season. Nike currently does not have means to produce hats domestically, so if they end up with the new MLB cap contract, all game caps would presumably be imported.

Hmmmm. I asked an MLB spokesperson for comment about the 2014 cap fabric. The response: “We aren’t going to confirm or deny any information about new products for next year.”

If any retailers, sales reps, or other knowledgeable folks have additional info to share on this subject (anonymity assured), you know what to do.

Meanwhile, for those of you who buy, wear, or collect MLB caps, what do you think of the potential move to the new fabric?

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’Skins Watch: Even Dan Snyder’s attorney, Lanny Davis, thinks Snyder won’t be saying, “Put it in caps, NEVER” anymore. That piece is really fascinating, especially the bit at the end about how Davis, as a Jew, feels about another marginalized minority group (i.e., Native Americans). Recommended reading. … And sure enough, Dan Snyder just sent a lengthy letter about the team name to season ticket holders, and his tone was steadfast but less defiant. Tone notwithstanding, the letter was largely nonsense and was quickly deconstructed by Deadspin, Kissing Suzy Kolber, and ProFootballTalk. And as you can see in that last link, the Oneida Nation has requested a meeting with Snyder so he can explain his postion to them directly — your move, Dan. … Fascinating article about a Native American woman who lives in DC and has been fighting to get the ’Skins name changed for nearly 40 years. Her time is finally upon us. … Here’s a very interesting article suggesting that the groundswell of debate over the ’Skins name is connected to the growing concern about concussions and other ethical issues involving the NFL (from Matthew Busch). … Latest public figure to support changing the ’Skins name: Howard Stern (from Chris Flinn). … Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, however, would rather not wade into that thicket (from Tommy Turner). … Want to see why Wahoo is as problematic as the ’Skins name? Look here. … Latest sportswriter to call for the ’Skins name to be changed: Doug Robinson of the Deseret News (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen has provided a full set of uniforms for a softball team that got shafted by their uni outfitter (From John Jankosky). … “The Boston Public Library has a huge archive of photos on Flickr,” writes John, who asked that his last name not be used.. “There’s a ton of other strings one can use, but I chose to focus on baseball. Many of the images are large enough to serve as nice computer wallpapers.” …Phil points out that three of the remaining teams in the playoffs — the Dodgers, A’s, and Cards — are the only MLB teams with totally plain, piping-free pants.

NFL News: An absurd soap opera unfolded yesterday, as Bears WR Brandon Marshall announced that he’d be wearing lime green shoes tonight for Mental Health Awareness Week. At first the NFL told him, “No fucking way,” but then they relented and said, “Okay, way — but we’re fining you.” I’m not sure which is worse — the seemingly bottomless Worthy Cause of the Month Week phenomenon or the pointlessness of a “disciplinary” system in which both sides agree beforehand what the transgression will be and how it will be punished. Inmates, asylum, etc. Meanwhile, I’m sure Marshall’s green footwear will mesh beautifully with all the pink everyone else will be wearing (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The Ravens will be wearing their black jerseys — with Pinktober accessories — this Sunday … The Chargers will wear their powder blues on Monday night (thanks, Phil). … The NFL is auctioning off what appears to be a 2005 Jets prototype jersey (from Eric Stangel). … Josh Freeman will wear No. 12 with the Vikings (thanks, Phil). … I’m not sure what’s most surprising about this old photo of Y.A. Tittle — that he had hair or that he was wearing No. 63. That’s from his time with the old Colts of the AAFC, prior to his move to the 49ers (great find by Matthiew Mitchell).

College Football News: I was interviewing Virginia Tech’s equipment manager for an upcoming ESPN column and he mentioned to me that they’d be wearing the Hokie Stone helmet one more time this season. No firm date, though. … Dreadful matte black helmets on tap this weekend for Washington. … Here’s a Boise State corn maize (from Brad Iverson-Long). … New gold alts for Southeastern Louisiana (from Chris Mycoskie). … Gold jeseys on tap this weekend for North Dakota State. … Thanks to a bunch of home games and a road game at LSU, Auburn hasn’t yet worn white this season. Clint Richardson takes a look at how that compares with previous seasons. … Pinktober helmet on tap this weekend for UMass (from Zach Emery). … Grand Valley State will wear solid white this weekend (from Forest Page).

Hockey News: Gorgeous new striped-sleeve throwback for Princeton (from Anthony Nuccio). … Very nice new uniforms for Minnesota-Duluth (from David Cummings). … Funny video of Buffalo’s Steve Ott losing and then replacing his helmet uni number decal during a practice (from Timothy Tryjankowski). … Pinktober has spread to the sideboard ads in St. Louis (from Ben Gorbaty).

Soccer News: New third kit for Newcastle (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s a list of 20 of the most “weird and horrendous” soccer kits (from Leo Talbot).

NBA News: ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd has weighed in on the topic of NBA nickNOBs (from David Firestone). … The Hornets’ color scheme for next season has leaked.

College Hoops News: Looks like Wichita State has new uniforms, at least judging from the background photo on this Twitter account (from Jaylen Lane). … New uniforms for Iowa (from ack Kurtz). … New black uniforms for Weber State. … Creighton has a new logo, which is featured on their new court design (from Mike Vamosi). … Oooh, look at the great Kansas socks on the cover of the new SI. Reallyreallyreally hope they wear those on the court (from Todd Boyle). … New uniform for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino).

Grab Bag: Interesting story about the lasting influence of the 1989 Batman movie logo (thanks, Brinke). … Just when you thought you’d seen every logo-clad apparel product in existence, here’s a new one (at least to me): team-branded arm sleeves. Anyone ever worn these? Fill us in (from Ben Traxel). … The Taliban’s latest tactic in Afghanistan is to steal Afghan army and police uniforms (from Tom Mulgrew). … Have college volleyball nets always had ads like this? (From Chris Flinn.) … I’m visiting my Mom today, so please go easy on the Ticker submissions — thanks. See you tomorrow.