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Interesting development yesterday afternoon, as the Baylor basketball team announced via Twitter that the NCAA had put the kibosh on the school’s “Sic ’Em Bears” jerseys, which had been released by Adidas just last week. Once the news broke, I quickly wrote this news item for ESPN. (As noted in that piece, Baylor will wear its regular uniforms in the postseason.)

Whether you view this as a good thing or a bad thing (and I can see arguments on both sides, frankly), I see several noteworthy aspects to consider:

• Baylor’s Big 12 tourney game last night was in Kansas City, and the team was already in KC when the announcement about the jerseys came down. So if Baylor knew in advance to bring along their regular season unis for that game, that means they knew about the NCAA’s ruling well prior to when it was announced. I asked a team spokesman if he could clarify the timeline and got the following response (which came too late for my ESPN newser but is fine for our purposes here today):

We were alerted that there might be an issue on the same day the uniforms were released. We have been working with Adidas and the NCAA to find a solution to this issue, and since a positive resolution wasn’t reached before we left Waco, we brought the regular season uniforms with us to Kansas City.

That’s pretty interesting, as is the fact that they were able to keep the problem under wraps for a week. And that leads us to our next point…

• In the course of reporting that ESPN piece yesterday afternoon, I asked Adidas if there had been any concern beforehand about the NCAA nixing the “Sic ’Em” design, or if the NCAA’s action had come as a surprise. An Adidas spokesperson told me, “We followed our standard design and development process when creating the Made in March uniform design.” That’s not a very satisfying answer, but I know from past experience that attempts to get a more specific response will go nowhere. In any case, it seems like Adidas should have checked with the NCAA on this, right? And that in turn leads us to…

• If you happen to be conspiracy-minded (which I generally am not, but it’s fun to role-play), you might be thinking this was Adidas’s plan all along. Maybe they purposefully didn’t check with the NCAA in advance, figuring they were in a no-lose scenario: If the jersey is allowed to be worn, it generates lots of attention; if it gets banned, it generates another kind of attention. It’s that whole “No such thing as bad publicity” approach.

If you want to take the conspiracy theorizing even further, consider this: When Adidas’s full slate of March Merch Madness uniforms was released last week, I thought it was odd that only one school — Baylor — was wearing a slogan. That’s usually the kind of gimmick that the outfitters get lots of schools to do at once, creating a “Team Adidas” effect (or Team Nike, or whatever). So why didn’t Adidas do that here? Were they looking for a lone guinea pig to try out the slogan-centric concept, because they knew there was a decent chance it could be rejected by the NCAA? After all, it would have been too risky to have three or four teams all being told to shelve their postseason unis. So did they pick one team to test-drive the slogan idea, just to see if they could get away with it?

We’ll likely never know the answers to those questions, but it’s good food for thought.

Finally, here’s something worth considering: Many of us, myself included, have long complained about the schools and the NCAA being more or less in the sportswear outfitters’ pockets, or about the outfitters calling too many of the uni-related shots, or about merchandising being the tail that wags the entire NCAA dog. But here’s a case in which the NCAA has said no to Adidas. So let’s give credit where it’s due: Even if you think the NCAA’s move here is misguided, you can’t say they’re just kowtowing to Adidas or chasing the easy merch lucre.

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An excellent way to spend 15 minutes: ESPN’s “30 for 30” series has released a new short film about Marquette’s late-1970s uniforms, called Untucked. It’s good — like, really good. Uni Watch’s highest rating. The film should be embedded above, but the code seems to be a bit wonky, so if you’re not seeing it there, access it here. (And if you’re into coincidences, at least two of the jersey designs shown in the movie were banned by the NCAA — perfect timing in light of yesterday’s Baylor news.)

I’ll be writing something about this next week for ESPN, and I want to document as many untucked jersey designs, across all the major sports, as possible. Obviously, all hockey jerseys are untucked, and then there are the leisure-suit White Sox, and I’ll also mention the recent MLB trend of players untucking their jerseys at the end of a game (yes, I know it started with the Brewers as a tribute to Mike Cameron’s father). Anything else I’m overlooking? And how does untucking play into soccer history? Feel free to fill me in.

If you don’t have time to watch the movie right now, you can whet your appetite with these screen shots I took while watching it yesterday afternoon:

If you can’t see this slideshow, click here

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’Skins Watch: The ’Skins play their home games in Maryland, which has now prompted two members of the Maryland state legislature to propose a resolution calling on the team to change its name (from David Goodfriend). … Twenty-nine schools in Maine have changed their Indian-related team names in recent years, and Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis is praising the efforts to eliminate the last three that remain, thereby proving yet again that only white people care about this issue (from Tris Wykes).

Baseball News: The Dodgers — and presumably the D-backs too — will wear this cap patch for the season-opening series in Australia (from Chris Cruz). … The Kalamazoo Growlers — that’s a college summer team — has a new jersey made out of selfies. When commenter terriblehuman posted that in yesterday’s comments, The Jeff responded, “Wow… those are fucking awesome. They’re just so blatantly bad that they’re good.” I kind of agree! … TV cameras inadvertently caught a funny note on the bottom of Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey’s clipboard the other day (from Charles Noerenberg).

NFL News: Bose will have its logo on NFL coaches’ headsets in 2014. Contrary to what it says in that article, the headsets had been sponsor-free for the past two seasons, not just in 2013 (from Thomas Courtman). … The folks at Skittles made a jersey for Marshawn Lynch (thanks, Phil). … Hmmmm, ya think these free agents would have signed with the Bucs if they’d known their uni numbers would look this stupid? (From Wayne Koehler.)

College Football News: Maryland is moving to the Big 10 in 2014, and yesterday the Terps released a photo showing how the B1G logo looks on their jersey. Of course, they’ll probably have scrapped that jersey and introduced 14 new ones by the time the season starts.

Hockey News: The Kings are bringing back the gold throwbacks next season (thanks, Phil). … Remember the children’s book The Hockey Sweater? That book will be the subject of an upcoming performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (from Steve Mandich).

Soccer News: What you can do with a empty cigarette box? You can turn it into a soccer jersey (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: This year’s World Cup marks the first time that Nike will outfit more teams than Adidas.

NBA News: Andre Miller of the Wizards ties his shoes behind his ankles and wears his socks inside-out (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The Heat and Nets did the nickNOB thing again last night, and I’m fairly certain exactly zero people cared (thanks for reminding me, Phil).

College Hoops News: Unexpected side-effect of March Madness: The Dayton Flyers’ original mid-court logo has been exposed. Nice! (Thanks, Phil.) … Inconsistent “3” numerals last night for Eastern Michigan (screen shot by Matthew Daley). … The first round of results from Rex Henry’s uni-themed ACC Tracker are up.

Grab Bag: I had this in yesterday’s Ticker, but the link was messed up for the first two hours of the day, so in case you missed it: Here’s a well-written but fairly boilerplate article that brings up all the familiar factors surrounding the possible use of uniform advertising by the Big Four leagues. … Here are all of this season’s F1 helmets, along with a good story about the guy who paints the Mercedes F1 cars (from Matthew Walthert). … Why paint your face when you can just slap a mask-like decal on it? (From Brice Wallace.) … Knitters across Eurpoe are celebrating the upcoming Tour de France by knitting little cycling jerseys. … Here are the best and worst tennis outfits from the BNP Paribas Open (thanks, Brinke). … Oooh, look at this great shot of a bowling alley at an abandoned hospital in upstate New York. BeeYOOteeful (big thanks to my pal/hero Jamie Jensen).

Uni Watch DIY Project: Get Aud of Here!


[Editor’s Note: It’s been a very fertile time for DIY projects. Our latest one comes from Mike Cline Jr., who took on a very specific kind of project that I don’t think we’ve seen before. — PL]

By Mike Cline Jr.
I decided that my air hockey table was missing something, so I decided to build a scoreboard above the playing surface, not unlike what you’d see in a hockey arena. It didn’t take me long to decide that it had to be a replica of the scoreboard in the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, known locally as “the Aud,” which was the home of the Sabres, Braves, and countless minor league and college teams.

My first thought was to make a working scoreboard, but then I realized I know nothing about creating circuits and the cost would get out of hand, so I decided that my best bet would be to stick to a visual replica. For reference, I found some good photos of the Aud’s scoreboard and also consulted this scoreboard illustration site.

I went to my local AC Moore craft store and wandered the aisles in search of the right supplies for the project. I ended up using a blue folding presentation board, white letter decals of various sizes, and red and gold rhinestones for the scoreboard lights. In all I probably spent about $15 to $20 on the project.

Once I got all the supplies together, I cut the board to size and applied all the decals and rhinestones, which probably took around 10 hours. After that we glued it together with a hot glue gun and hung it up above my air hockey table. I’m pretty happy with the results (for the first photo, you can click to enlarge):






Paul here. Unfortunately, Mike didn’t document his step-by-step process, but it’s still a really nice project — well done!

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Unmasking the Commenters: I recently invited the site’s commenters to tell us a bit more about themselves and give us a peek at what they look like, just because I thought it would be fun to pull back the internet’s curtain of anonymity. I’ll keep showcasing you folks as long as you keep sending in your photos and quick bios.

Today’s commenter is Terence M.K. Here’s his photo and self-description (click to enlarge — it’s definitely worth it):


My name is Terence M.K. I live here in NYC (the Bronx), very close to Van Cortlandt Park where fellow commenter Jason Bernard thinks The Warriors was filmed. (The film mentioned Van Cortlandt, but those scenes were actually filmed in Riverside Park in Manhattan — sorry, JB.) I was born and raised in the Bronx as a Mets fan, something I inherited that from my Pop, who grew up on Edgecombe Avenue overlooking the Polo Grounds. I comment only occasionally but send in lots of Ticker submissions. I’ve also been know to stalk a particular uniform columnist at Brooklyn Beefsteaks and Mets fan conventions, to consume too many pepperoni rolls and L.I.T.s on the Strip in Pittsburgh, and to collect $200 polyester shirts. P.S. RyBerto wuz here!

Do you want to be featured in “Unmasking the Commenters”? If so, send me a photo and a quick paragraph about yourself. You don’t have to reveal your real name, and the photo doesn’t have to show your face, but you must include a photo to be considered. Send everything

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Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: Longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Michael Princip recently scored this 1938 Wilson football uniform ad. Mike thought I’d particularly like the gent on the left, because he’s wearing green and mustard, but I actually love all them equally. What a beauty!

It’s interesting to see how these designs from three-quarters of a century ago have several elements that we now consider radical or controversial: striping on the back of the pants; monochrome; black; vertical sock striping. And yet they all look classic (at least to me), not futurist. Or, perhaps more accurately, they represent a past version of futurism, and maybe that’s what I like so much about them. Also, the full-length sleeves sure do help.

Big thanks to Mike for sharing this super-tasty treat.

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’Skins Watch: Up north of the border, there’s now some discussion as to whether the Edmonton Eskimos’ name should be changed (from Stephen Coulter). … In a vaguely related item, a CFL team is going to be using the ’Skins training facility in Richmond, Virginia. It would be a perfect convergance if that team happened to be the Eskimos, but no dice (from Tommy Turner).

Baseball News: No photo, but I noticed that Reed Johnson, now with the Marlins, wearing solid socks the other day. In the past, he’s always worn stirrups. … In this ad for the new NBC TV series About a Boy, the guy is wearing a San Francisco Seals T-shirt from Ebbets Field Flannels. … Here’s another follow-up to Monday’s round-up of wire service photos: If you look again at this photo of Pepper Martin sampling gloves during spring training, you can see that the lockers in the background are labeled “Black,” which leads Dave Rakowski to wonder, “Given that the photo is from 1950, several years after Jackie Robinson’s breakthrough, it it possible that those lockers were part of a segregated locker room in Vero Beach?” Hmmmm. … The rock band the Black Keys are sponsoring jerseys for their childhood Little League in Ohio (from Robert Sanden). … Good to see hosiery hero Rajai Davis is back in stirrups. He also wears one of those sliding mitts while running the bases — more info on that here (from Jeffrey Sak). … The Wilson Tobs — that’s a collegiate summer team — have a new logo set, including a stadium anniversary logo (from Alan Poff). … It’s bad enough that every minor league hockey team on the planet has jumped on the “ugly Christmas sweater-themed jersey” bandwagon, but now minor league baseball teams are getting in on it. … Mariners pitcher Roenis Elias and minor leaguer Ketel Marte were both wearing No. 81 in yesterday’s Cactus League game against the Angels (screen shot by L.M. Grismer). … The Cubs’ throwback program for this season apparently includes throwback-style T-shirts (thanks, Phil). … Vanderbilt wore nice throwbacks, including striped stirrups, last night (from Jerry Lawless).

NFL News: Check out the guy in the foreground of this photo from Crimea. Is that an Eagles logo? Sure looks like it! (Good spot by Chris Weber.) … In the wake of the rape charges against Darren Sharper, the NFL’s online shop stopped selling his jersey but then reinstated it (thanks, Phil). … Not truly NFL-related, but close enough: I wrote a short ESPN piece on those crazy L.A. Kiss uniforms.

College Football News: According to this article about this season’s Chicken Sandwich kickoff game, which will feature Alabama and West Virginia, “Alabama is the home team, will be in the visitor’s locker room and wear its crimson jerseys. West Virginia will be in the Atlanta Falcons’ home locker room and wear its yellow or blue jersey.” So, as Phil points out, “it’s not only color vs. color — it could be navy vs. crimson.” … Back in the early 1940s, Auburn had two twins who wore name tags during practice so the coach could tell them apart. “Isn’t this why they have numbers?” asks Jonathon Binet, not unreasonably.

Hockey News: With the Coyotes changing their name affiliation from Phoenix to Arizona, new versions of their logos have been sighted (from John Muir). … Here’s a Bernie Parent card — or is it? Lots of problems with it, as Curtis Peddle points out: “The goalie is wearing a 1987 NHL Rendezvous jersey complete with the sleeve patch, while Parent retired in 1979. Also, Bernie Parent never wore the Mike Liut-style mask that is pictured. And he appears to be wearing a No. 66 Mario Lemieux jersey. What’s going on here?” Anyone know more?

Soccer News: Here’s something I never knew before: Topps once repurposed its baseball card design template for UK soccer cards (interesting find by Alain Nana-Sinkam). … As you know, the NYC FC is letting fans vote on the team’s crest. Chance Michaels says, “Some fans (full disclosure: including me) have worked up a new crest featuring the best parts of each choice.”

NBA News: You’ve probably seen the Celtics’ St. Paddy’s Day jersey by now, but here’s the full uniform. Interesting that they removed the shamrock from the waistband for the Irish holiday (thanks for the photo, Phil).

Grab Bag: This is pretty awesome: Marty Hick displayed his vintage tie collection — or about 70% of it, he says — at the school where he teaches. … Did you know that the apostrophe placement in the brand name Lands’ End is due to a 1964 printer’s error that the company owner couldn’t afford to fix? It’s true! This and many other eccentricities in brand naming are explained in this super-excellent article (big thanks to my ESPN pal Dave Wilson). …. We all know what Interstate highway route signs look like. But here’s a great article on what they might have looked like, based on some early design submissions (big thanks to William Yurasko). … This is pretty funny: The Louisiana State high school basketball tournament is called Marsh Madness (from Chris LaHaye). … Here’s a map of the United States, as broken down by meat (thanks, Mike). … Speaking of meat, New York Times business reporters recently complained to their union about fumes from a nearby steakhouse. If anyone from the Times and/or the Newspaper Guild is reading this, I’d just like to make it clear that I have no fucking problem working in close proximity to meat cookery. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Oh baby, look at these amazing old photos of Detroit! (From R. Scott Rogers.) … Some great old rugby photos available in this article. … New Zealand will soon be voting on a new national flag design (from Tom Mulgrew). … Mike Simmons and the crew at eCollegeFinder have created a cool-looking, logo-rific map showing the largest university, by enrollment, in each state. Further info here. … Aussie football news from Leo Srawn Jr., who reports that the Columbus Jackaroos are have a fan uniform vote. … Here’s one of those periodic boilerplate business articles about how the Big Four leagues are facing pressure to adopt jersey advertising. Well-written, but it’s the same old crap we’ve heard a million times before (from Ted Arnold). … Happy to report that I just signed a new two-year contract with ESPN, whoop-whoop.

Change Is Inevitable — But Is It Inevitably Permanent?


In the wake of the Bucs’ uniform unveiling last week, lots of observers — some of whom liked the design, others of whom didn’t — have issued a series of statements that more or less reduce to the same basic sentiment: “This is the way things are now. Love it or hate it, but get used to it.”

This happens pretty much any time a newfangled design emerges from Nike or Under Armour. The traditionalists wring their hands and say, “This sucks but whaddaya gonna do,” and the futurists get all excited and say, “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” The underlying message from both camps is the same: Change is inevitiable.

But is it?

There’s no denying that we’re currently witnessing an era of change in uni design, especially as it pertains to football and possibly basketball (I say “possibly” because I’m not yet sold on the sleeves being here to stay). When did it start? I’d say 2005, when Nike brought out the mismatched orange sleeves and the diamondplate. You could argue that it might have started a year or two earlier, but either way I think we can agree that this era of change has been with us for about a decade.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an era of change. In the 1970s, baseball uniforms underwent a design revolution every bit as momentous as what we’re now seeing in football. Fabrics changed from flannels to stretch-knits, jerseys changed from button-fronts to pullovers, pants changed from belted to sansabelts, road uniforms changed from gray to powder blue. There was Houston’s tequila sunrise, the Chisox’s untucked leisure suit, Cleveland’s blood clots, and more. If Uni Watch had been around back then, I’m sure we would have seen the same love/hate split between the futurists and the traditionalists, with both sides accepting that “this is the way things are now, because change is inevitable.”

Similarly, NBA uniforms got pretty wacky in the 1990s, especially in Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, Philly, Detroit, Sacramento, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. Again, if there had been a uni-centric community back then, I’m sure the responses would have been similar to what we’re hearing now: “It’s the new way — get used to it, because change is inevitable.”

But it’s worth remembering how those other two eras of change played out. By 1993, pullovers, sansabelts, and powder blues had all disappeared from MLB diamonds. And by the early 2000s, all the NBA teams listed in the previous graf had jettisoned their outré designs and replaced them with more conventional looks. In both cases, the radical designs are now viewed with a mixture of “What were they thinking?” disbelief and a fond but condescending sense of nostalgia.

So maybe the real lesson here is that an era of change tends to spawn an era of retrenchment. This theorem suggests that while change may be inevitable, so is the reaction to change. Maybe this is because people get tired of the fancy new thing and end up wanting to re-embrace the familiar thing. Or maybe it’s because futurist design ends up painting itself into a “How do we top that?” corner that leads back to more conventional design. In any case, the historical evidence suggests that when the pendulum swings radically in one direction, it’s bound to swing back the other way.

I’m not saying that’s definitely going to happen in our current era of change, but it’s certainly a plausible scenario, especially since we’re only about a decade into this current era. (The MLB excesses of the 1970s took much longer to self-correct.) Consider, for example, that several teams in various sports have recently gone back to “classic” designs for their primary looks, including the Houston Astros, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Buffalo Bills — a strong indication that classicism isn’t dead.

But is our current era of change different from those previous ones? Could it be that the pendulum won’t swing back the other way this time? Yes, I think that’s a plausible scenario as well, for three primary reasons, all of which are interrelated:

1. The merch machine. Jersey retailing didn’t yet exist during MLB’s era of change in 1970s, and it was still in its infancy during the NBA’s era of change in the 1990s. The teams, leagues, and manufacturers have now done a much better job of identifying who is (and isn’t) willing to shell out $200 for a polyester shirt. That demographic skews young-ish, so there’s now a greater incentive to create uni designs that appeal to the younger set. There’s no percentage in coming up with something that appeals to, say, 55-year-olds, because they’re not going to buy a jersey anyway. (As an aside, I find this use of uni design as a generational wedge to be very, very sad. Sports are supposed to be for everyone. As most of us have experienced first-hand, sports are among the few things that can unite generations. One of the worst things about our current era of change is that it has created a sense of “us vs. them” generational conflict, whether it’s me complaining about 17-year-olds liking “shiny objects” or younger fans slapping the “Get off my lawn!” tag on traditionalists.)

2. The hype machine. Uniform changes are now part of the media world’s relentless hype-o-rama approach, where every! moment! must! be! filled! with! breaking! news! Meanwhile, more and more teams are seeming to accept the notion that getting attention for anything, no matter how ridiculous, is a self-validating media strategy. All of this points to a greater incentive for outrageous uniforms rather than sedate ones.

3. The sportswear-industrial complex. The previous eras of change were driven largely by the teams and the leagues, not by the sportswear outfitters (or if the outfitters were involved, they were largely behind the scenes). But the changes that are currently afoot are being driven by Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas, who have come up with — and, disappointingly, have gotten teams, leagues, and fans to go along with — the idea that the company brands are at least as important as the team brands. These companies have staked their identities on the pendulum continuing to go in one direction, so they’ll presumably do what they can to make sure it keeps swinging that way.

So what’s going to happen — will the pendulum keep swinging, or will it swing back? Discuss.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Had this very item, and they were excellent! They were called “Flip-Charts.” You’d go to the Texaco every week and they’d give you one of these for that coming Sunday’s game. You’d fold each side of the chart so the offense faced the defense. Notice it’s an NFLPA item — no mention of Cowboys, Bills, or any team logo. This game was played at Buffalo on Sept. 19, 1971, so I can see myself actually going to the local Texaco around the corner on Marsh Lane, about the 14th or 15th. Amazing.

Here’s the rest of this week’s haul:

• Mixed bag of items today from reader Michael Clary, beginning with lamps for the Houston Oilers, New England Patriots, and that Washington team. Then there’s a rather strange-looking Winnipeg Blue Bombers bobble, a football-shaped seat cushion for the 1974 Philadelphia Bell WFL team, and an overpriced set of 1970-1971 mini-hockey sticks.

• Nice retro vibe on this 1972 Oakland A’s World Series program. (Notice the word “Cincinnati” is missing from the Reds running man logo.) And look at this Reds 1972 Series ticket stub. (I have this one.) The cost of the ticket was $10! To go to the Series! Forty-two years later, the seller wants almost four times that amount — just for the stub!

• Get a Fresh Start With Bart, with this 1960s Packers button. [So unusual to see a left-facing helmet, instead of the usual right-facing! — PL]

• If you were an MLB National League Player Of The Week in the 1970s, you know what you got? This watch.

Here’s an “NFL on TNT” promo foam football.

• Well, here’s the 1970s San Francisco Giants bullpen buggy I’ve been looking for. Too bad it’s $75!

• And here’s one for Uni Watch HQ: a 1960s New York football Giants poster. Can’t tell who the artist is, but it’s not Dave Boss. Still nice, though. Staying in the NYC metro area, keep your Jersey on for the Nets with this 1970s bumper sticker.

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

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Did you ever wonder why pears — and only pears — are often partially wrapped in paper when they’re displayed at the supermarket or green grocer? I did, so I looked into it and wrote an article about it. The answer surprised me, and will likely surprise you as well!

Meanwhile, I’ve also written a new Permanent Record entry, which tells a fascinating story based on a student’s mid-1920s report card. This piece is a follow-up to the piece I linked to yesterday — in case you missed that one, here it is.

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Tick-tock: Today’s Ticker was written and compiled by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: Bacon sells: The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have sold 3,300 bacon hats and 1,500 bacon-strip scratch-and-sniff T-shirts that promise to smell through at least 10 washings. … Yesterday’s wire photo entry included this shot of Gene Alley and Bill Maseroski “Hoovering” ground balls. Denis Repp commented, “I’m going to bet that the Hoover people had almost nothing to do with this. Legendary broadcaster Bob Prince had a number of catchphrases during his tenure with the Bucs, and one of them was some form of ‘We need a Hoover!,’ often invoked during some late-inning tight situation when the opponents got a man or three on base. With Alley and Maz up the middle, his request was often answered.” … Another follow-up from yesterday: The photo of Willie Mays’s Minneapolis Millers jersey the with the “Golden Jubilee” patch prompted Frank Fulton to show us how that patch looks in color. … Trevor Bell is a minor leaguer in the Reds system and has memorialized his grandfather’s likeness in a tattoo. The kicker is that his grandpa was Bozo the Clown (from Patrick O’Neill)… The Nebraska Cornhuskers wore an alternate that seem to be inspired by the Astros’ old tequila sunrise unis. … In a related item, the Peninsula Pilots — that’s a college summer team — have tequila sunrise-esque jerseys and matching socks! (From Gerry Dincher.)

Football News: Texas Tech will be wearing a mini-camera in their helmets this upcoming season (thanks, Phil). … The LA Kiss, the arena football team owned by members of the rock band Kiss, unveiled their uni design yesterday, and it’s about what you’d expect under the circumstances. Let’s hope they have some cool pyrotechnics to distract from the design disaster (from Tom Currie).

Hockey News: Tim Thomas made his Dallas Stars debut in Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild but still looked like he was a Florida Panthers goaltender. He wore his Panthers pads and goal mask along with his green Stars jersey. … On Sunday, Phil covered the Stars retiring Mike Modano’s No. 9 but the current Stars players warmed up wearing Modano jerseys from every era of his North Stars/Stars career (from Kevin Wang). … The goalie for the Pawling (NY) Bantam A’s wore pajama pants under his pads the other day (from Jake Elwell).

Soccer News: The New York City FC is allowing fans to vote to determine the club’s official team badge through Thursday (thanks, Phil). … “A visual artist named Mark Willis has some cool thoughts and designs on what the NYCFC crest could have been,” Kevin Bailey adds. … Two from Yusuke Toyoda: Adidas and Nike are both developing shoe/sock hybrids, and scientists think the flight of the new World Cup ball will be less erratic than the 2010 version. … Oklahoma City Energy FC, which will begin play this 2014 USL Pro season, have released their inaugural jerseys (from Brandon Ponchak).

Grab Bag: Last week Paul mentioned that Honest Ed’s, a Toronto department store, was selling off its old inventory of amazing hand-painted signs. Here’s a slideshow showing a bunch of those sign designs (from Ben Trattner). … The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia is opening a new baseball-themed exhibit (from Adam Herbst).

There’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 50

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Time for another round of awesome wire photos. The first one in this batch is from Michael Clary, the next five are from me, and the rest are from Bruce Menard. Ready? Here we go:

• The Hoover vacuum company was apparently trying to draw a comparison between its product and the groundball-Hoovering skills of Pirates infielders Gene Alley and Bill Mazeroski.

• Man, I really miss vertically arched NOBs. Sigh.

• Holy moly, here’s a version of the Braves’ Indian head logo that I’ve never seen before.

• This is odd: Why would the 1938 Cubs’ pants have had an asymmetrical belt loop arrangement?

• Kinda striking to see an umpire wearing a necktie and no jacket.

• Here’s a great Sox in shorts photo that I don’t think we’ve seen before. Also, note Chisox owner Bill Veeck’s pegleg peeking out from his trousers.

• In 1923, the New York baseball Giants briefly had a player named Moses Solomon, who was dubbed “the Rabbi of Swat.” His religion is played up in this caption. Also, note the overlapping “A” and the Pedro porthole!

• Our friends at No Mas sell a T-shirt emblazoned with “Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn.” It’s based on this photo.

• Gabby Street’s little boy sure looked adoarable as a batboy in the 1930 World Series.

• Look at the amazing basketball uniform worn by the Washington Palace Five of the ABL in 1926. Interesting to see such an early use of a V-neck collar.

• Check out the “Golden Jubilee” patch on Willie Mays’s 1951 Minneapolis Millers jersey. Was that for the team? The league?

• Speaking of patches, here’s a good look at the flag-based shield patch that the Tigers wore in 1946. This patch, which replaced the Hale America “Health” patch that was worn in 1942, was worn by most MLB teams for the balance of World War II.

• The caption of this photo doesn’t quite explain why Joe D. had “Electricians” on his back.

• So much to like in this shot of Pepper Martin looking over the latest Rawlings gloves. Love the cigar-brandishing sales rep! Also, note Martin’s white cap, which appears to have a logo patch instead of a direct-sewn logo. Presumably just a spring training cap.

• What’s going on here? That’s the great Grover Cleveland Alexander giving pitching advice to a women’s baseball team in 1928. Interesting caps and uniforms — and heels!

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Unmasking the Commenters: I recently invited the site’s commenters to tell us a bit more about themselves and give us a peek at what they look like, just because I thought it would be fun to pull back the internet’s curtain of anonymity. I’ll keep showcasing you folks as long as you keep sending in your photos and quick bios.

Today’s commenter is boxcarvibe, who’s become a frequent presence in the comments over the past two years or so (click to enlarge):


Real Name: Steve Vibert. Hobby: railroading. Combine those two things and you get my stage name, boxcarvibe. By day, I’m a marketer, designer, and left-brain change agent. I get to travel the country to do what I do. By night and weekends, I’m a husband, dad, and Atlanta-area adult league baseball player. I’m a rabid jersey collector, with a focus on the Detroit Tigers and their minor league affiliates. When given the rare chance, I’ll suit up to play baseball in authentic Tigers garb, such as Travis Fryman’s orange BP jersey and authentic Detroit road grey pants (shown above). A work colleague turned me on to Uni Watch two years ago, and I have lurked or contributed ever since. I’m in awe of the uni knowledge posted here every day, especially the uniform concepts and the talent on display. Amazing stuff!

Thanks for sharing, Steve, and also for your comments — you help make Uni Watch a better place.

Do you want to be featured in “Unmasking the Commenters”? If so, send me a photo and a quick paragraph about yourself. You don’t have to reveal your real name, and the photo doesn’t have to show your face, but you must include a photo to be considered. Send everything

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PermaRec update: A random note and self-portrait written in a 1927 autograph book (shown at right) has led to a connection with my collection of old report cards from the Manhattan Trade School for Girls. I’ve written two separate entries about this, the first of which is up now on the Permanent Record blog.

Troll update: I’ve alo added a short new entry on My Pet Troll, about the recent spike in troll-related academic research.

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’Skins Watch: Good story on how the community in Saskatoon has responded to the school board’s decision to change a local school’s “Redmen” team name (thanks, Phil). … Meanwhile, another Canadian school, this time in Calgary, is also abandoning the “Redmen” name. Slowly but surely, people (from Brendon Chrus).

Baseball News: This is pretty great: Someone has started a blog devoted to Mets baseball cards that he wishes had existed. If you’re a Mets fan of a certain age, you’ll totally get it. Further info here, and big thanks to Shannon from the Mets Police for tipping me wise. … Clint Glaze spotted a Padres shirt with a Giants sleeve logo at a local shop. … Interesting logo arrangement on this Kellogg’s NutriGrain Bars package. “Typically there is some pattern (e.g., alphabetically by city/nickname, by leagues/divisions, etc.) but I don’t see any rhyme or reason as to how these logos are ordered,” says Jeff Sak (who also notes that the Indians are represented by the “C,” not by Wahoo). … Notice anything odd about Johnny Pesky’s 1946 Red Sox A.L. championship watch fob and money clip? The logo shown on them is actually an old White Sox logo (from Bruce Menard, who also spotted this Bosox flocked batting helmet). … Brian Jud was watching the Cheer episode where Sam Malone is goaded into showing up at Yankee Stadium to pitch against his old nemesis and former Yankee Dutch Kincaid for one at-bat on Dutch Kincaid Day. “This supposedly occurs during a Yankees home game against the Red Sox,” says Brian, “but Sam and the rest of the Sox are wearing the Red Sox’s home whites. I wonder what the Yankees were wearing for this game.” … Terence Kearns came across a pretty cool T-shirt that makes use of assorted letters from various MLB team logos. … Paul Caputo has written about the stories behind the team names for the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Albuquerque Isotopes, and the Inland Empire 66ers. … This pregame report for yesterday’s Giants/Dodgers Cactus League game included the following: “Pablo Sandoval, batting fifth in today’s lineup behind Buster Posey, forgot his uniform. So he’s had to borrow a minor leaguer’s and is wearing No. 97 today. Someone in the press box quipped that they had to find the fattest minor leaguer to lend his uniform, but that’s not true. Slimmed-down Sandoval, who truly is as fit as advertised, could fit into an average-size uniform.” Then there were two updates. The first one: “Panda’s jersey arrived in the nick of time, so he’s back to his regular No. 48.” The second one: “[Giants beat writer] Andy Baggarly is the hero. He drove Sandoval’s jersey out from Scottsdale. He bypassed the horrible traffic backup with some tricky driving and would have used the Panda jersey as his official explanation if pulled over. But no need.” … The Fresno Grizzlies will be wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle jerseys at some point this season (from Jared Buccola). … Here’s more about that mysterious Auburn throwback mix-up.

NFL News: You know that great “NFL Timeline” commercial that shows the evolution of the game? David Firestone recently scored one of the vintage-style jerseys used in that commercial and has written about it.

College Football News: Adidas is selling T-shirts for the Battle at Bristol. “I figured Adidas was probably selling them so early because by the time this game rolls around Tennessee will have already switched its provider to Nike,” says Charley Collier. “Sneaky Adidas.” … Someone on eBay is selling what is claimed to be a game-used 1961 Navy “Beat Army” jersey.

Soccer News: Manchester United is reportedly set to ink a $1 billion deal — that’s “billion” with a “b” — with Nike (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a site devoted to MLS jersey history. “The owner of the site is also the owner of all of the game-worn jerseys in the photos,” says Leo Strawn Jr. “It’s not complete, but it’s quite an extensive collection, and an interesting way of putting together a historical database for uni enthusiasts!”

NBA News: Lebron James was supposed to wear his mask, which has been protecting his broken nose, for at least another week, but he’s decided to say the hell with that.. … The Lakers did the “Los” thing yesterday. … Jerry Wolper bought a program at a recent Trail Blazers game and found a spread explaining the stories behind the players’ uni number choices.

College Hoops News: It’s one thing to wear No. 0, but that big goose egg looks even starker when worn on a NNOB jersey. That’s Miles Jackson-Cartwright of Penn. … Was Roy Williams wearing a Jumpman lapel pin at the UNC/Duke game? “Either that or St Jude’s,” says Amanda Punium. … Rex Henry has made a uni-based bracket to track the ACC tournament. “After each day of competition I will be updating the jersey colors and numbers with the scores of the games,” he says.

Grab Bag: “A sure sign of spring up north: the announcement of the annual all-hockey hair team,” says Mike Menner. … The Winter Paralympic Games opened in Sochi, and the Slovakian wheelchair curling team has some great sweaters and flag-based wheel covers. “And just in case anyone is wondering, the Norwegian Paralympians don’t share the same taste in pants as their countrymen in the Olympics,” says James Vetter. … Whatever you’re doing or seeing tonight, I hope (but doubt) it’s half as awesome as what I’ll be seeing. Can’t wait!