Back to the Future


By Phil Hecken

The 2013 Pro Bowl is today (7:00 pm, NBC). After you’re done yawning, and you’ve spent a full day doing chores, watching hoops/puck, sleeping in…whatever you may do on a Sunday afternoon, you just might want to check this one out (at least for a few minutes). Because after a decade or more of unwatchable football, with unwatchable uniforms to match, this one seems to be a throwback of sorts — back to the first two decades of NFC/AFC football.

Once Nike took over the NFL uniform contract, we all feared the worst — and to an extent those fears were realized. With a couple teams in the works for new unis in the coming season or two, who knows what is in store. That’s why the uniforms for this pro bowl (NFC and AFC) are shocking in their simplicity. Either Nike wants to hark back to the early days of the game…or they just got lazy. I’d like to think it’s the former.

Beginning in 1971 and continuing through the 1970s, the Pro Bowl uniforms were standard — the NFC wore white helmets and the AFC wore red helmets, with the NFC in blue tops over white pants, and AFC in white tops over red pants. That pattern would change in the 1980s when each squad would let the players wear the helmet from the team they were representing. But it was always AFC (with “American” on the chest) in white/red versus NFC (with “National” on the chest) in blue/white. This pattern would last until 1994. Then all hell broke loose. I won’t even go into what got worn from then on — you can read about it below.

But now we’re back (at least on the surface) to the good old days, uniform-wise. The NFL didn’t even release the looks at the unis until Friday, so we are just getting our first looks at them. I’ve yet to see a photo of the players in full pads, but the NFC looks very retro, featuring the blue tops with “NATIONAL” in white block lettering and white numbers outlined in red. Each player will have a Pro Bowl patch on his left breast with a team patch on his right.

Similarly the AFC will have the same patch pattern, with a block red “AMERICAN” across the chest and red numbers outlined in blue. You can see on the AFC squad there are white stripes on the pants — my one (at least so far) cause for concern — Nike added their signature wraparound pattern to the stripe, so that it bottoms out at the calf and wraps around the back of the leg/knee. Meh.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed by Nike’s restraint (either that or they just didn’t give a shit). Not quite sure which. But I will say this — best looking unis for the Pro Bowl in decades. I just may have to watch. Maybe.

. . .

I wrote a fairly in-depth post on the Pro Bowl’s history back in 2010. I’m pretty proud of that one, so you should give it a look-see if you want to know of the fairly long and (until the past 20 years or so) impressive history of the game. Also, a while back, I made a “video” of the Pro Bowl unis over the years. You can check it out below:

. . .

. . .

Well readers — did Nike give us a real nice “harkback,” or is this merely a uni design they just didn’t even care about? What say you?


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 M.H. Dyson, with a nice Jags concept:

jaguars-2 M.H. Dyson


I always liked the Jaguars original look, and I was disappointed when they discarded their iconic teal jerseys for something that looks like it came from the box of Nike’s rejected college redesigns. These concept images return to the original designs with a few tweaks.

The home teal jersey is very similar to the original. The primary differences are that the stripes are now part of the arm sleeves, and the team’s name is now displayed above the numbers, that being the only redeeming feature of their current jerseys. The helmet would remain the same, including the teal shift in reflections. The pants return to the traditional striped looked, with the same b/g/t/g/b pattern as the originals, but with thicker gold stripes this time; they would be paired with all-black socks.

The away uniforms would have a few more changes from the original white jerseys. The position of the gold and black trim on the numbers is reversed to reduce the visual business of the old numbers. The black pants would now have the same teal shift that the helmet does, and the striping pattern is g/b/t/b/g. They are paired with teal socks featuring gold/teal/black stripes. I also threw in an alternate all-black look just for fun. I hope you enjoy these designs.

-MH Dyson

. . .

Next up is Matt Hoover, who thought the Bumblebee Stillers could use a new pair of pants:

Nike Steelers 1934 - Black Pants - Matt Hoover Nike Steelers 1934 - Grey Pants - Matt Hoover

Big Ben Black Pants - Matt Hoover Big Ben Gray Pants - Matt Hoover

Hi Phil,

Big fan of the site. A few fellow friends of mine who are also Steelers fans have been discussing how much we like the ’34 Bumblebee unis and how legit they’d look with black pants. I was sleepless so I thought I’d Photoshop’em to find out if we were right.

We were.

Included grey versions too, since black/grey/gold is a fantastic color combo.

Keep up the good work.

Matt Hoover
Northern Cambria, PA

. . .

And we close today with Brian Bennett with a concept for the Americans:

Rochester_Americans2 - Brian Bennett


More in line with the original idea of tweaks.

Logo/uniform tweak for Rochester Americans AHL team.

The Americans/shield logo (top left) dates from 1972 and the shield element has been in use (except for one season) since 1959. It is an iconic logo, but has some legibility issues – poor contrast between lettering and background, script type perhaps too much thick and thin, lower-case m has an extra vertical stroke due to connection with capital A. Position relationship between lettering and shield leaves a large white space in the counter of the A when used on dark jerseys.

The changes made are subtle (top right), other than the use of white to outline the script Americans. Addition of drop shadow to shield mirrors similar use from 1959-1969.

Uniform designs (current set in photo center) are similarly consistent, other than the brief Reebok template forced upon the team. Suggested uniform changes (bottom) are also subtle; the use of three stars matches the three stars in the shield and also hearkens back to early years when the Americans’ uniforms had more stars.

Brian Bennett

. . .

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


New Brewers YOUniform
New Brew Crew YOUniform

This just in: The Milwaukee Brewers announced the winner of their design-a-YOUniform Contest, and the above is the winning design. According to that article, the design will be worn by the Brewers in exhibition games on March 22 in Phoenix at Maryvale Baseball Park and on March 30 in Milwaukee at Miller Park. Here’s what the original design submission looked like.

NICE! I really like it, particularly the old school sleeve stripes. Not a huge fan of the cap design, but I know it’s what the people want. And, boy oh boy do I love the sleeve patch!

My only complaints are the color of the jersey — it looks to be cream, and that’s not going to look particularly good with white or gray pants — and the actual application of the lettering and underline. As you can see, the first “E” is bisected as it crosses the rubicon, which will probably lead to some unfortunate “splitting” issues (as you can already see in the photo from the unveiling).

Still — great job and my only *other* complaint is that the jersey will (so far) only be worn twice. The Brewers should strongly consider ditching one of their two blue alt jerseys and wearing this a couple times (with cream pants) on home Sundays this year. Just my $.02. YMMV.

H/T to Johnny Okray for the news.


That’s all I have for today. Enjoy your Sunday and do give the Pro Bowl a quick look-see. It might not be nearly as bad (uni-wise) as it’s been in years. Next weekend I’ll have two very special posts from the Rob Holecko and Timmy Brulia (from the Gridiron Uniform Database). As in years’ past, the two will take an in-depth look at the uniform histories of the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, this years combatants in Super Bowl XLVII. Make sure you check back then!



One For The Road


“Well now that the Pro Bowl jerseys have been ‘revealed’, will they actually be selling any this year?”

And the Winner is...

Villanti, Jason
Click to Enlarge

By Phil Hecken

The Uni Watch “Super Bowl XLVIII Logo Contest” is now in the books, and the winning design, shown above, was submitted by Jason Villanti. Big congrats for Jason, who led after round one, and held on to that lead through the final round of voting. In all, almost 3,000 votes were cast (2,969 in total) and Jason received 961 (32.4%) of the total. Congratulations to our winner, and a big thanks to all who participated! Here’s the breakdown of the final voting:


You can see all 30 Uni Watch reader submissions here.


Meet W. Ross Clites…

A short while back I received the concept you’re about to see below from reader W. Ross Clites, as an update to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, I get tweaks & concepts sent to me on a fairly regular basis, but every so often, one shows up that is so good it deserves its own section. This is one of these.

Intrigued, I asked Ross if he had any more concepts, and indeed, he’s actually working on a whole NBA redesign (what with the renaming of the Hornets to the Jazz, the [pretty much done] deal to move the Kings to Seattle, the probable re-renaming of the Bobcats to the Hornets…etc.) submission that should be running in a couple of weeks. But for today, I wanted to run the Thunder concept, complete with Ross’ explanation. Following that, I’ll have a few tweaks that have either been in the queue for a while, or that were recently sent my way, also for some new hoops concepts. A bit of a twist on the usual “Concepts & Tweaks” section, if you will.

And now, here’s Ross’ Thunder:

OKC FINAL - W. Ross Clites

And here’s how Ross described that:


This weekend I threw together a new look for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Let’s face it, the ink was still wet on all the paperwork when the Seattle Sonics had to start their 2008-09 season as the re-branded “Thunder.” I remember going to the NBA store in New York City that summer and there wasn’t a game jersey for their team hanging next to the others (it hadn’t been designed yet). So when push came to shove, the organization rolled out a rushed logo–like an elementary science project you had two months to work on and threw together the night before.

The current OKC logo is bland and tame, in an obvious effort to appease the masses and get league approval quickly. The result is cartoony and doesn’t tell a story at all. I have tried my hand at stepping in. I love the color scheme, but I updated the logo to give the team some muscle behind its imposing name. The team now has a story to tell and an identity for the community to finally take ownership of. Let’s give OKC the honeymoon they never had time to take. After all, they should look good when they hoist the O’Brien Trophy several times this decade.

Why two different schemes for home and road? I hope it sets a trend. I like the mindset change when a team goes on the road and, as a coach, I think it is an opportunity for something like uniform aesthetics to affect tangible wins. From the school of “look good, feel good, play good” comes the new idea I have that when a team isn’t in their comfy home arena, they should change their image.

The stylized lightning bolt at home is a microcosm for appealing the local crowd. Home is where you have gimmicky giveaways and cheerleaders and scoreboard video montages. Everything about a home NBA is entertainment and cartoony. But when you go on the road, you need to take the lunch pail and hard hat and become a different team. You gotta have an edge; a no-nonsense mentality that your game can travel with you. I think I captured that in two disparate logos. It’ll be interesting to see what the fine people of Uni-Watch think.



No, thank you! Great concept. And looking forward to your project in the very near future.


And now for a few more NBA tweaks & concepts (click on each image to enlarge):

First up is Konrad Tyler, who sent me this visionary concept for the (then not-named) Pelicans back in the first week of December:

NO - Konrad Tyler


Here I have designed a new uniform concept for the New Orleans Hornets change in their nickname. The pelican is an ever present symbol throughout Louisiana being the state bird. The pelican is common Catholic symbol having a strong presence in the region I think fans can grow to love. I have also been thinking about Jester and designing something with that in mind for the New Orleans new nickname.

KC Tyler

. . .

Next is Frank Serpas, who also sent in a Pelicans concept in early December:

Pelicans - Frank Serpas


A wonderful mascot is the pelican? Not so much, but the rumored blue/red/gold color scheme echoes the New Orleans and Louisiana flags. The jersey takes its inspiration from the state flag and turns the player wearing it into the “pelican in her piety.” The pants stripe is based on the city flag. The eye of the pelican in the logo is a crescent, for the Crescent City. The team should trade for Steve Nash, namesake of Odgen.

Frank Serpas III

. . .

Our next tweaker, Christopher Roberts, sent in this Pelicans concept yesterday:

Pelicans - Christopher Roberts

Hey Phil,

Here’s my concept of the New Orleans Pelicans uniforms. I love the color and logos! I made a white home, blue road, and a red alternate. I used the main pelican logo above the name on the back and the “NOLA” logo on the shorts. It’s a bit of a chore to deal with three primary colors but I made out fine.


. . .

And the ink wasn’t even dry on the paper before I started getting tweaks to the proposed new Pelicans’ logo — this one comes from Sean Flaherty:

PelicansLogo - Sean Flaherty

Hey Phil,
Its not a uni, but a logo tweak. I wanted to see what the new Pelicans logo would look like in the classic Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold, much like the previous NOLA uni’s the Hornets had. This was just a simple (and not so clean) color swap. I like the second one better my self. I think these colors look a lot better and is more unique than basically copying the last Cavs colors.


-Sean Flaherty

. . .

And we close today with Adam Hainsfurther, who has a ‘first look’ at the new Seattle Sonics:

Adam Hainsfurther - New Sonics


Since it’s all but official that the Kings are moving north to Seattle I came up with a trio of unis for the new Sonics. I know I sent you a concept for this a while back but I found a great template for NBA unis and did a new concept with new logos. Description is below:

The new Sonics logo features Mt. Rainer and the Space Needle. The Secondary logo is the new stylized S wrapped around the Space Needle. The alt wordmark has the Space Needle used as the I in Sonics. The space needle is also featured as a design down the side of the jerseys. Other than that its made to look similar to the last uniforms worn by what is now the Thunder, just updated ever so slightly.

-Adam Hainsfurther-

.. … ..

And that’s it for this look at the future of NBA uniforms (or not). Thanks to all the concepters. Back with the ‘usual’ uni tweaks, concepts and revisions next time.


Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

More Wayback Machine: Two-week wait for Super Bowl meets winter doldrums…

1-26-13 d-yak REV

Click to enlarge


colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Back today with another nice set, and it features some names who who are new to the UW colorizing game. So lets get started.

Click on each image to enlarge.

. . .

Up first is John Turney, who should be familiar to you all, with a Bills/Chargers pic that’s a beaut:

Bills Chargers - John Turney

One I’ve had for a while.

Colorization with 1970s Eckatrme filter.


. . .

Next up is Steven Wojtowicz, who took on a reader request and colorized the Wisconsin Hockey photo:

Wisconsin Hockey - Steven Wojtowicz

UniWatch Crew,

Attached is my crack at the colorization of one of the Wisconsin hockey pictures that were submitted by Nicole Haase. I am a little happier with these results than I thought I would be. I tried to keep it as grey and cold as I could given the season this shot was a taken. Well, I hope she likes the way it came out. Keep up the great work.

Steven Wojtowicz
Kendall Park, NJ

. . .

Next up is Michael Cahalan with a nice college football colorization:

OK State vs Arkansas-colorized - Mike Cahalan


Thought I’d give the photo colorizing a shot. Here’s the pic of the Oklahoma State – Arkansas game. It was fun and interesting to do. I showed it to some friends and now they’re giving me black and white photos that they would like to have colorized.

Mike Cahalan

. . .

We close today with a nice one (unfortunately it’s on the small side) of Okie State, from Jared Gallagher:

throwbacks - Jared E. Gallagher


Picture of Oklahoma State football player Tom Pontius in 1958 that I colorized over lunch yesterday. Interesting note: the color of the building in the background was taken directly from a picture of the exact building. If nothing else is accurate, at least that is!

Best regards,

Jared E. Gallagher

… .. …

That’s it for today. Keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!


Stirrup FridayStirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

Back with the usual suspects this week — and a bit of a smaller sampling. But that’s OK because it’s not stirrup weather (for most of the country) — baby, it’s COLD outside!

. . . . .

Bucco's Socks - Jason Bernard

Jason Bernard:

Phil & Robert,

I was supposed to tour the Roberto Clemente Museum with my dad today as a belated birthday present for him. Alas, the weather put the kibosh on that.

Yes, those are TCK socks, not stirrups. Blame RyCo.


. . .

Trax - Scotty RogersTie - Scotty Rogers

R. Scott Rogers


Going undercover as a running-dog lackey of the capitalist oligarchs today and matching my stirrups to my tie. Wine-dark Traxel sox with gray and black stripes over black sanis to accompany a wine-gold-and-gray cravat.



. . .

James Poisso:


Today I am wearing my Cardinal stirrups in honor of Stan “The Man” Musial who will be laid to rest Saturday.

James Poisso

. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.


That will do it for today. Tomorrow is (drumroll) the Pro Bowl. And yes, I’m aware Nike released the uniforms for the game yesterday — I’ll have a preview/review of those, plus Pro Bowls of yore, tomorrow.

Everyone have a great Saturday.



A Pair for the Road…


“I’m convinced that if you charted the incidence of drinking before deadline on the same graph as the general quality of American journalism, you’d only have a single, downward line. And it wouldn’t be a coincidence.”
–R. Scott Rogers

Ladies and Gents, Your New Orleans Pelicans

It’s official: The Hornets will become the Pelicans next season. There’s a press release here, and you can see the team’s five new logos here. Unfortunately, the team says uniforms won’t be shown until “the coming months,” so we can’t assess the club’s full identity yet. But there’s certainly enough to discuss based on what they’ve shown us so far.

As soon as the logos went public, I whipped up some quick reactions and posted them in this short ESPN piece, so that’s a good place to start if you want to know what I think.

A day later, the two major thoughts that I expressed in that piece have hardened and solidified: I really like the team name (I know some of you probably think pelicans are insufficiently intimidating or some such, in which case I heartily recommend that you read this piece) and I really dislike the logo. The color scheme is the very definition of uninspired, and the overall approach feels very minor league. Given how cool-looking pelicans are, I’m really disappointed by the results here.

Of course, a bad logo doesn’t necessarily correlate with a bad uniform (although it doesn’t bode well). I hated the Nets’ logo when it was unveiled and like the uniforms just fine. So we shall see.

Meanwhile, everyone wants to know if the Bobcats will rebrand as the Hornets. That would present an interesting situation for NBA recordkeeping, which is spelled out here.

+ + + + +

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 10.31.45 AM.png

Tee-ing off: Many of you may not realize or remember this, but when the Uni Watch membership program was launched in May of 2007, it originally had a bunch of different membership levels, at prices ranging from $25 to $1000. Certain membership levels entitled you to assorted premiums, including the T-shirt shown at right, which was designed by Scott Turner and was available in a variety of colors and styles. After we scrapped the multi-level membership format in March of 2008, the shirt was no longer part of the membership package, and I’ve never made it available for regular sale since then, because I wanted it to be an exclusive thing for the first wave of membership enrollees.

Some of you have recently gotten in touch to say that your membership T-shirt has faded or torn and that you’d like to get a new one. I think enough time has gone by that it’s okay to make this design accessible to everyone, so that’s what I’ve done. It’s now available for purchase in the Uni Watch shop in the following formats:

• Orange on navy in a regular tee or an American Apparel tee (slightly pricier but much nicer against your skin).

• Ringer tees in green, blue, and black.

• And baseball-style tees in red and black.

I’m sure some of you are already thinking, “What a hypocrite! He always says he’s against merchandising, but he’s happy to push his own merch!” So let’s address that now: The reason I’m opposed to most sports jersey/cap/etc. merchandising is that I think it’s bad for uni-verse, because it ends up becoming the tail that wags the on-field dog. If jerseys weren’t available for sale, we wouldn’t have BFBS, or teams with four alternate uniforms, or all the other crap we have to look at while watching a game. That’s very different from a Uni Watch T-shirt, which has no bearing on anything other than, you know, the shirt itself and the person who wants to wear it.

In any case, I’ve never pushed the Uni Watch merch very hard, and I don’t expect to push these new T-shirts very hard either. Also, if you know how Zazzle works, then you also know my cut is about $2 per sale, so this isn’t exactly profiteering. Just wanted you to know they’re available.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: The Brewers’ “lager”-colored jersey format, which we’ve occasionally seen for special occasions, is now an official alternate jersey. For those scoring at home, that means the Brewers now have four alternate jerseys: blue home, blue road, throwback, and gold. … A federal judge has ordered the city of New Orleans to cut back the size of its “clean zone” — that’s the area in which only authorized vendors, signs, and banners can be exist in the days leading up to the Stupor Bowl. “The original restrictions would have prohibited simple dive bars from displaying chalkboard signs mentioning drink specials or what bands are
playing, etc.,” says New Orleans resident Chris Falvey, who adds that he plans on staying “far, far, far away from downtown until the game is over.” … I was wondering if the 49ers would keep the Sandy Hook Elementary School memorial decal for the Super Bowl, since that’s also where the Super Bowl logo decal would normally go. So I checked with the team and was told, “Yes, we’ll keep it. We will move the ‘S.H.E.S.’ decal down and put the SBXLVII decal above it.” This isn’t an issue for the Ravens, because they haven’t worn the Sandy Hook decal during the postseason. … Here’s how the Sharks’ George Gund III memorial patch looks on the jersey (thanks, Brinke). … New hockey arena in the works for the Oilers. … Speaking of new sports facilities, here’s a shocker: Most stadiums built for the Olympix end up empty and weed-ridden. … “I was watching Fox Soccer News, and during highlights featuring Sevilla FC (Spain), the host commented on Sevilla’s lack of a jersey sponsor,” says Matthew Dowell. “He said, ‘They just look weird without sponsors, like they are wearing practice tops.'” … Ricky Sanders had really wide-spaced TV numbers in Super Bowl XXII (from Todd Herzog). … Good photos galleries from the 1962, ’63, and ’64 AFL All-Star Games available here (from Rocky Lum). … Mercer University in Georgia is fielding a football team for the first time in 70 years. You can see their new uniforms in the video on this page (from Josh Ringer). … Alabama safety Robert Lester, who’ll be playing in the Senior Bowl, changed the TV numbers on his helmet to his home area code in practice the other day (from Adam Kelley). … Aussie rules football note from Kerry Hudson, who writes: “In a recent match between the Palmerston Magpies and the Tiwi Bombers, both teams wore seat belt graphics on their jerseys to promote road safety.” … The little Nuggets logo patch on the back of Ty Lawson’s jersey was upside-down the other day (from Mark Smith). … Really good piece on the history of the Presidential seal (from Matthew Algeo). … There’s a photo gallery from the ECHL All-Star Game here. “The game’s format was All-Stars vs. Eagles,” explains Peter Einersen, who attended the game. “It was a surprisingly great experience. Hard to explain, but there was just an earnest sense of excitement and a truly explosive energy in the crowd that I hadn’t experienced at a sporting event in a long time. Add in a vague sense of ‘Slapstick LIVE!’ and you have yourself a great night.” … Colorado State’s basketball jerseys have a little “A” at the base of the collar — a shout-out to the school’s old days as Colorado A&M. But guard Wes Eikmeier was missing his “A” the other day (good spot by Jaryd Marquez). … Akron hoops is apparently going BFBS on Feb. 2 (from Nicholas Popczun). … Amar’e Stoudemire was wearing a Man U hat yesterday (from Caldwell Bailey). … Here’s an absolutely sensational piece about how to DIY your own NBA jerseys using fabric markers (big thanks to Enrico Campitelli Jr.). … Remember all that Super Bowl paint I showed yesterday? Here’s some of it being put to good use (from Charles Bowman). … The Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC currently has a fantastic-looking exhibit on old photos of women in sports (big thanks to my pal Karen McBurnie). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a good look at the White Sox’s 1983 throwbacks, which as you can see are pullovers. The MLB Style Guide calls for traditional belted pants, however, which isn’t historically accurate. The belted pants will have the number on the left thigh, however. … UNC guard Dexter Strickland posted photos of the team’s breast cancer awareness footwear options. He also doesn’t know how to spell “eeny,” but that’s another matter (from Jordan Woodson). … In a related item, Utah wore pink-accented uniforms last night (from Trent Knaphus). … Sox on sox! Pricey, but still very cool (from Mark Lackinger). … Budweiser ran a uni-driven Stan Musial memorial ad in the current issue of Sports Illustrated (from John Rael). … The Philadelphia Wings — that’s a lacrosse team — will be wearing some kind of godawful camo design this Sunday (from James Ashby). … The Chiba Lotte Marines are the first team in Japan to have team-branded license plates, but they’re only for motorcycles or scooters (from Jeremy Brahm). … Canada’s newly redesigned $20 bill has the wrong maple leaf on it. … New mask design for Senators goalie Ben Bishop (from James Ashby). … Meanwhile, Red Wings goalie Tom McCollum’s new mask features the late comedian Chris Farley (from Mike McLaughlin). … Here’s a little item from 1969 about how several Jets players had to wear Bengals jerseys after their own jerseys were stolen (from Bill Schaefer).

Looking ahead: I’ll be off the grid starting at about noon today and extending at least through the weekend, and maybe for most of Monday too, so there’s a chance that the site will be closed on Monday. If that happens, I trust the five or six of you who actually care about my thoughts regarding the Pro Bowl (or anything else regarding the Pro Bowl) will somehow persevere. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next Monday (maybe) or Tuesday (definitely).

No Sweat(shirt)

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 11.53.06 AM.png

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (aka the man most likely to suffer an aneurysm during a Super Bowl) has had more than his share of uni-notable moments this season. First he wore one of his old Stanford sweatshirts with a Niners cover-up patch. Then he wore his mock turtleneck backwards.

Interestingly, several readers have recently gotten in touch with me to ask where they can buy a Harbaugh-style sweatshirt. My answer to such queries, of course, is always “I have no idea,” because I don’t follow or care about the merchandising or retailing branches of the uni-verse, and I’m disturbed by the increasing tendency to conflate fandom with consumerism, but I still find it interesting that some people actually look at Jim Harbaugh (or any NFL coach) and think to themselves, “I’ll have what he’s having.” I mean, I realize that’s the whole idea, but it’s rare that I’m confronted with a concrete example of it. Then again, Harbaugh’s sweatshirt is better-looking than what most NFL coaches wear, so maybe that explains it.

Anyway, one of the people who wanted to purchase the Harbaugh sweatshirt was our own Brinke Guthrie, who writes the weekly “Collector’s Corner” column here on Uni Watch. He actually went so far as to ask Nike about the sweatshirt’s availability. Here’s the response he received:

I’m glad to hear that you’re interested in getting a Nike 49ers sweatshirt.

As it turns out, our 49ers sweatshirt that you see Jim Harbaugh wearing is an SMU (Special Make-Up) model, not released for retail sale, but created specially for the coach to wear [presumably so he could stop wearing the Stanford shirt with the cover-up patch — PL]. I’ve gone ahead and submitted feedback to our Leadership Team to let them know that we have consumers like yourself who would like to see these become available on the market, as our policies, procedures, and product lineups are heavily driven by consumer feedback. …

I was fortunately able to find a couple of alternative options for you to check out with our authorized retailers, that are similar to the sweatshirt you see Coach Harbaugh wearing.

The “similar” options from the Nike representative were this, this, and this. Not really so similar, but hey, any chance to push the product, right?

Anyway, it’s definitely interesting that Nike would miss a retailing opportunity like this. I mean if you’re making something especially for one of the NFL’s highest-profile young coaches, wouldn’t you also put it in stores? Maybe there wasn’t time to get it into the retail pipeline.

Meanwhile, as long as we’re talking about the Super Bowl (sort of), here are some additional tidbits:

• Yesterday we saw how the Super Bowl patch will look on the Niners’ jersey. Today we have the Ravens. That article also confirms that the Ravens will be wearing black pants.

• Niners running back Frank Gore has been fined $10,500 for going bare-legged in the NFC Championship Game.

• “A friend of mine works for FedEx freight in Tennessee and came across these shipping pallets of Super Bowl paint,” says Dustin Semore. “They’re from World Class Paints out of Leland, Mississippi. From looking at their web site, 90% of college and pro fields are painted with their paint. Looks like they design the special stencils, too.” Fascinating find!

• Some Intellectual Property Isn’t All That Intellectual, Part 1: The NFL has bullied a fan into abandoning his move to trademark the terms “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.” Douchebags.

• Some Intellectual Property Isn’t All That Intellectual, Part 2: You know that idiotic move where Colin Kaepernick looks like he’s sniffing his armpit? He’s named it after himself and is looking to trademark the term.

+ + + + +

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 1.07.25 PM.png

PermaRec update: Personal effects found on the bodies of migrants who died in the Sonoran Desert (some of which are shown at right) are the subject of the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: The Hornets will reportedly announce their rebranding as the Pelicans, complete with a uniform unveiling, this afternoon. … Yesterday we had a look at the NFC Pro Bowl jersey, and today we have the AFC — or at least a rear view. Looks like the game will be color-on-color. … “Rugby seems to be going through a major shift,” says Caleb Borchers. ” This is how the teams looked for Six Nations tournament in 2011, and this is how they look this year. As you can see, teams are switching from white shorts to colored shorts.” … Pro cyclists are racing the Tour Down Under this week and their numbers are made of cloth. “Sweet!” says Sean Clancy. … The Charlotte Checkers (AHL) will be wearing auto racing-themed jerseys (from Adam Jackson). … Here’s a piece on the story behind UNC’s argyle design. … Lee David Wilds got his hands on a 1949 Indians scorecard and was nice enough to scan the whole thing for us. … Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was wearing black socks with the team’s red jersey the other night (from Tim Donovan). … Ooh, check out these old Quaker Oats booklets featuring Babe Ruth (from Gordon Blau). … York City — that’s an English soccer team — is offering new jerseys to fans who trade in their old ones (from George Chilvers). … We’ve covered this before, but it’s been a while, so it may be new to many of you: Check out the Bills’ mismatched pants striping in Super Bowl XXVII (from John Roshell).