We all know the story about the helmet shown at right. The 49ers introduced it at a press conference prior to the 1991 season. But fan response was so overwhelmingly negative that the team backtracked the very next day, announcing that they’d stick with their old helmet design after all. And that was the end of that.
Or at least that’s what I thought — until reader Doug Kyed recently sent me this. He said he’d found it at his parents’ house while designing a Super Bowl cake.
For me, this constituted news on two different fronts: First, I’d never seen the Niners’ one-day helmet design used on any NFL-licensed product. And second, I had no idea what the hell a Duncan Hines “football cake kit” was. I asked Doug for more info, which he’s now provided.
Here’s the whole kit. As you can see, it included a jagged cut-out — now removed — labeled as “football laces.”
“From what I can gather,” says Doug, “it appears that the kit was just so you could make a cake look more like a football by attaching the laces that pop-out laces and then adding a helmet or two to the cake.”
Sure enough, I went to eBay, searched on “Duncan Hines NFL,” and came up with this. That kit is from 1989, so it doesn’t have the Niners prototype helmet. Weird that they included white stripes, since those don’t appear on an NFL ball. I like the cardboard grandstand/scoreboard, though. (In the unlikely event that anyone out there wants to buy this, here’s the full eBay listing.)
Duncan Hines also made an MLB cake kit, and Doug found one of those at his parents’ house as well. Much like the NFL version, it included a grandstand, but Doug’s family apparently used that part already. I wasn’t able to find this one on eBay, or anywhere else (although I bet Uni Watch pastry chef Elena Elms is trying to track one down as we speak).
You can see more photos of both cake kits here — but no finished cakes, alas. “I guess my next step would be to look through old family photos to see if I have any pictures of these cakes,” says Doug. “It’s entirely possible, as I think we’ve taken a picture of every cake ever made in my family. Still, the most interesting part of all of this is that the prototype 49ers helmet is included.”
Agreed. Until now, I’d never been aware of the Niners proto being used in any licensed-merch context. (Yes, some mini-helmets have been produced, but they didn’t appear until years later, plus I’m not sure whether they were licensed or bootlegs.) It’s interesting to see that the helmet design was far enough down the branding pipeline that it showed up in something like a Duncan Hines cake kit. Anyone know if it showed up in any other contexts?
Duncan Hines, incidentally, was a really important guy. Long before he became a cake mix, he basically invented the genre of roadfood reviews with his seminal 1935 book Adventures in Good Eating, which later spawned a full line of travel guides. They were big hits — sixty or seventy years ago, there was no greater stamp of approval a roadside eatery or motel could have than a “Recommended by Duncan Hines” sign in the window. The supermarket brand (which at one time included Duncan Hines bread, Duncan Hines ice cream, and lots of other things before the product line was whittled down to cake and brownie mixes) came later, in the mid-1950s, and was based on the popularity and credibility that Hines had established with the travel guides. So if you’re a fan of Chowhound, or Jane & Michael Stern, or any of the other contemporary roadfood reviewers, have an extra hot dog for Duncan Hines, the founding father of road-trip guidebooks.+ + + + +
Tyson update: My thanks to the many of you who submitted questions for me to ask Mike Tyson when I interviewed him last week. The interview went well, and a transcript of is up now on ESPN. Enjoy.
Stirrup Club reminder: Robert Marshall has a new batch of stirrups for sale. Details here.
And speaking of the Moose…: As most of you probably know, Robert Marshall also makes bobbleheads (and yes, they really bobble), and at the moment he’s making a special offer. Dig:
Do you like hand-sculpted, hand-painted bobbleheads? Do you like online paper-scissors-rock? Do you like the potential for free stuff? If you answered yes to these questions, this is your lucky day.
I have 15 precast bobbles in a variety of sports (baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer). They can be custom-painted however you like, and I’m offering them up at a clearance price. Instead of the usual $150-$200, these will be available for $125-$150 — or maybe even a bit less, depending on how many people want in. The greater the response, the deeper the discount.
In addition to discounting the work for everyone across the board, I would also like to have an online paper-scissors-rock tournament (or some similar raffle-type system) so that one person can win a free bobble. If there are enough people who like this idea, there can be multiple winners; not enough people, I’ll just give an additional price break to everyone who gets in touch.
Are you a past customer? I’ll knock off even more for you. Ditto for anyone who signs up for a Uni Watch membership in the next week.
Right now I’m just trying to see how many people are interested. If that’s you, get in touch. I’ll follow up with everyone once I see how many people want to be on board.
Uni Watch News Ticker: You know the problem with Penn State’s uniforms? Duh, they’re way too flashy. So now they’re gonna get simplified. Personally, I think it’s a good move — the contrasting trim seemed superfluous. … Next year’s Super Bowl logo has been unveiled, and it looks just a wee bit familiar. … And so it has come to this: a Prairie View A&M player with a sticker on his brim (disturbing find by William Banowsky). … Matt Mitchell found a photo of Mark Teixeira from when he signed with the Rangers. “I don’t know about that #10,” says Matt. “Teixeira wore 23 as a Ranger, and Michael Young was already wearing 10 when Tex got there.” … Taking the elastic out of your pant cuffs looks even worse during spring training drills. … Rob Ullman has produced a new batch of pin-up commissions. I especially like the mirror shot. … Goalie Craig Anderson, recently traded from the Avalanche to the Senators, is still wearing his Avs-themed mask, but with a Sens decal on the chin (good spot by Evan Williams). … Also from Evan: Blue Jays reliever David Purcey wears really big shoes. … The Twins’ new Japanese import, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, has been using a double-flapped helmet. He’s a switch-hitter, and a quick check of his Japanese photo history shows him sometimes going double-flapped and sometimes not, so it’s probably too soon to say what this means. Maybe he just hasn’t found a single-flapped helmet that fits properly yet. … A Washington Huskies player forgot his jersey the other day (with thanks to Jameson Costello). … Also from Jameson: The Giants may wear gold-trimmed jerseys for their ring ceremony. … Here are some additional photos and info on the robo-shirt that a few dozen players will be wearing at the NFL Combine. … The Rochester Rhinos — that’s a soccer team — have announced their new jersey sponsor: an anti-tobacco organization (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). … A team called the Sir Bills? Wayne Koehler explains: “Johnstown, New York, was named after the son of Sir William Johnson, hence the team name.” … Here’s a late-breaking detail from the NBA All-Star Game: Little panels with the ASG logo were woven into the nets (great catch by Ryan Mandel). … One of Newcastle United’s players is wearing a mask while recovering from a broken cheekbone. ” I thought it was interesting that he had to come to the U.S. to get it made,” says Ross Hazlett). … Patrick O’Neil notes that the BC Lions (that’s a CFL team) have some markedly inconsistent home jersey cuts. … Interesting Aussie rules football story, as presented by Gibby Davis: “In a preseason game, the designated road team (Melbourne) was supposed to wear their clash guernseys and Essendon was to wear their primary guernseys. Melbourne had just developed a new clash guernsey created for the 2011 season, but once the guernseys showed up, a portion of them were pink instead of the intended red. Rather than wear the miscolored gear, they wore their primary guernsey instead. This created a bit of an issue due to the similar appearance of the two teams. As a result of this, the AFL, is asking the fans whether or not they felt it was a problem. It’s an interesting uni story on many levels.” … Andrew Primeau noticed something odd: The Giants are all wearing gray undervisors, at least in their Photo Day shots. Odd. … Weird situation in last night’s Celtics/Nuggets game: Boston had traded Semih Erden earlier in the day and signed Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract to give them a warm body. But Johnson didn’t get his own jersey — he was apparently wearing Erden’s No. 86 jersey, with a cover-up nameplate sewn over Erden’s NOB (screen shot courtesy of Bob Delano). … Here’s the latest think piece about uniform advertising (what was Phil doing on a Yankees blog?).
The Wizards are having quite a winter. First they sent Mustafa Shakur onto the court in that K-Mart jersey. Then Kevin Seraphin wore his shorts backwards. And last night, as you can see at right, Andray Blatche’s NOB was spelled “Baltche.”
That makes three uni mishaps in 33 days — not bad. Well, at least they’re playing really well on the cou… uh, never mind.
Toss in Ladell Betts and the Natinals and it becomes clear that DC isn’t just our nation’s capital — it’s also become the capital of uniform snafus. As if to reinforce that point, look what reappeared the other day on the Nats’ web site.
As for Blatche, I haven’t been able to find a rear-view photo from any of his recent road games, but his name was presumably spelled correctly in those instances, since my in-box didn’t blow up with three dozen “Wizards uni fail!” e-mails like it did last night. So he must have had a new jersey for last night’s game. And now he’ll probably have another one tomorrow night in Miami.
And hey, as long as we’re talking about the NBA:
• I spoke yesterday with an Adidas rep, who give me the final rundown on the compression jerseys in the all-star game: Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook wore the snug-fit tops during pregame warm-ups, and exactly one player went snug-fit during the game: Dwight Howard, and only during the second half (although I’ve been unable to find a photo of this, and Adidas doesn’t have one either). Classic case of going from sizzle to fizzle.
• Pretty weird that Carmelo Anthony’s first game as a Knick was a color-on-color game.
• And in a related item, reader Matt Harris notes that the Knicks roster on Yahoo Sports last night listed incorrect uni numbers for Anthony, Brewer, and Billups.
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Lightning strikes twice: Barely three weeks after unveiling their new uniforms, the Lightning have revised them (here’s the new road version). The small changes are generally positive — restoring a bit of black trim to the color palette, bringing back the lightning bolts on the pants — but the real story here is the approach the team has taken. The original unveiling was clearly intended as a soft launch, giving the team a chance to gauge fan response. In the three weeks between then and now, I know of at least two fans who wrote e-mails to the team about the new uniforms and were then invited to come down and speak directly with team officials. One of those fans is a Uni Watch reader and has asked me not to discuss particulars of his visit to the team offices; the other fan described her visit in the second entry of this discussion thread.
As you can see from that one fan’s account, team officials were interested and engaged with responding to fan concerns, at least up to a point. And now, sure enough, they’ve addressed some of those concerns with the revised design. This two-step process — soft launch followed by design revisions — strikes me as an extremely enlightened approach to uni-based fan relations. It’ll be interesting to see if other teams start doing this.+ + + + +
Uni Watch Stirrup Club Update: Just as our brothers and sisters in the great state of Wisconsin are rallying to the cause of social justice, so too are we rallying for the even grander cause of proper sports hosiery! Let others send pizza to Wisconsin — we know the higher truth: Give a man a pizza, and you feed him for a day; give him stirrups, and you feed his soul for a lifetime.
And with that I surrender the floor to Comrade Robert Marshall, who continues to be an inspiration to us all. Here’s his latest dispatch from the front lines of the hosiery wars:
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Uni Watch News Ticker:
First, let’s attend to some old business: No order would not be complete without a Twin City Knitting delay. In our last order, the factory ran out of the dark royal thread for the “Wolverines”-style design. But those stirrups have finally arrived and been shipped.
One reason for the delays, according to the factory, is that they are sold out of all of their premade single-color stirrups and are working Saturdays to catch up. Apparently their stirrup business is blowing up due to a resurgence of revolutionaries with the right proper diamond aesthetic. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to attribute this in large part to Paul’s influence here at Uni Watch. All revolutionaries owe him thanks.
Given the backlog, keep in mind that if you’re looking to order stirrups for a full team, expect it to take four weeks. So get your order in the queue as soon as possible, especially if your design is even remotely funky. I may have TCK’s ear more then most reps, and I will actually be consulting with them for some throwback looks (woo-hoo!), but that doesn’t mean I can make hosed monkeys fly out of their pantaloons at the drop of a chapeau.
Now then, with spring training in full swing and the snow melting, it’s time for another batch of new offerings. As you can see at the top of that page, we’re starting off this time around with the Super Bowl champions. As everyone knows, football players used to wear stirrups, but with a crew sock on the outside instead of a sani on the inside.
Our other offerings this month are 1960s Pirates, 1941 Pirates, and Minnesota Gophers hockey (but with a maroon background instead of white).
Full ordering instrux for these new offerings, and for remaining stock of old ones, can be found here.
That’s all for this month, feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or special requests. Lastly, I promise to keep up on the Facebook group — I miss seeing the consistent stirrup Friday/wedding images, which always lift the spirits.
From each according his stirrvp,
to each according his strype.
I just about flipped yesterday when I saw a 1960 photo of an amazing Dallas-area neon sign with some unfortunate spelling
. I showed it to my friend Jon Hammer
, who promptly made a key Photoshop adjustment
. … A rare 1919 World Series pin is going up for auction
. … The Wild wore camo warm-up jerseys
two nights ago. Here’s a video clip of them putting on the jerseys in the locker room
). … Ichiro is designing his own clothes
). … Here’s something we don’t see very often: The men’s and women’s hoops teams at Southern Illinois Edwardsville both have a circle-R trademark symbol next to their chest logos
. The Cubs also do this, of course. Leaving aside examples that involve corporate sponsorships, anyone else? (Big thanks to Scott Slarks
and photographer Bill Brinson
.) … Rochester Amerks goalie Tyler Plante is wearing an old-style waffle-print blocker, although it’s white
. “The first goaltender who regularly wears old-style brown leather pads and gloves will be my new favorite,” says Doug Brei
. … Here’s a good story on the 2011 MLS jerseys
(with thanks to Lars Johnson
). … Jason Terry’s new sneakers are modeled after fighter jets
(with thanks to Stu Taylor
). … Here’s the latest on the crazy electronics-equipped compression shirts that a few dozen prospects will be wearing at the NFL Combine
(with thanks to Josh Neisler
). … Interesting stirrups being worn by Arizona State
. “One of our players was seriously injured during a game,” says Randy Policar
, so starting this weekend we will be adding his #34 to the stirrups.” … Good to see Barry Zito is still wearing the striped hose
in Giants camp (thanks, Brinke
). … Speaking of the Giants, a few days ago I mentioned that Tim Lincecum appeared to have changed his footwear from Reebok to Mizuno
, but yesterday Matt Paver
spotted him wearing the mark of the beast
, so maybe he’s just between contracts or something. … And speaking of our friends from Beaverton, notice anything odd about this golf leader board
? Even better (read: worse), each swoosh is actually an interactive ad — mouse over one of them and see for yourself, but have a bucket handy in case you feel nauseous (blame Tom Griffith
). … As color-on-color games go, red vs. purple
is pretty out there. That’s Seattle vs. Washington from two nights ago (with thanks to Dave Sizer
). … New uni set for Maryland baseball. “It’s early in the season, so they haven’t run everything out yet,” says Eric Garment
, “but so far they’ve worn a classic home uni with NNOB and Northwestern-striped stirrups
and a black jersey with an unusual number font
.” … It’s now been a year and a half since Uni Watch got the A’s to change their helmet decals, yet Coco Crisp is still wearing the wrong logo
. ” I’m guessing it’s his helmet from last season, since he had the wrong logo then
too,” says Brandon Davis
. … Michael Koch
reports that newly acquired Penguin James Neal is wearing No. 18
, while Chris Conner, who had been wearing that number, has switched to No. 16
A few weeks ago I got a note from a reader who I won’t name. “I get to work every day at 7:30 and use this quiet time to do a ton of research,” he wrote. “But now our Nazi IT dept. has decided to block us from viewing just about every blog and site with streaming media. On top of that, I can’t get to my fantasy hockey and basketball teams on Facebook.”
That’s a pity. But his loss is our gain, because the reader in question — if you’ve been paying attention lately, you should be able to figure out who it is — has apparently been using his newfound free time to delve into lots of photo and auction sites, and has been submitting more great stuff than ever. Here are his picks, all football-related, from the recent Hunt Auctions sale:
• Never seen this KC Chiefs logo before — and with good reason.
• Speaking of Super Bowl pennants, it’s sort of quaint to see such a misguided Raiders design. Aside from the nonsensical color scheme, the player is clearly a college gridder (note the bare legs). Also: This item provides further evidence that the term “Super Bowl” was in wide use well before Super Bowl III. Also-also: Weird to see “fla.” not capitalized, no?
• Very rare to see one of these lace-up football vests. I love the dots at the top and bottom of the “C” logo.
• As you know, I collect uniform catalogs, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with such a magnificent cover illustration. Seriously, is that beautiful or what?
• I reallyreallyreally like this 1949 Arkansas Razorbacks schedule poster, especially the typography they used for “Arkansas.”
• Here’s another schedule poster from that same year, this time for Tulane. It’s a completely different style but just as successful and appealing. I’d love to have these last two items hanging side by side.
• One problem with Hunt Auctions is that they don’t provide a “click to enlarge” interface for their photos, which is very frustrating when you come across an item like this one. Look at that primitive NFL shield — wish we could get a better look at that. Pretty inexcusable that they didn’t provide a close-up shot of it.
• Speaking of primitive NFL logos, look at this! Surprisingly enough, that logo is largely unchanged and still in use today. Also: Note the unusual basket-weave embroidery pattern on the upper patch. Not sure I’ve ever seen that on an embroidered patch before.
• Can anyone decipher this logo? “NWC,” maybe? Whatever — it’s a failed design.
• Here’s a fun one to go out on: Vince Lombardi shilling for Nestlé’s Quik. Must have been during his Redskins tenure, given the cap color.+ + + + +
On Sunday, Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl provided a viewer’s guide to the Daytona 500. He attended the race later that day and has now provided a short post-race report:
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Uni Watch News Ticker:
It was an absolutely perfect February Florida day for the Daytona 500. Everyone was pumped for the dropping of the green flag, but the silent three-finger memorial salute for Dale, Sr. on the third lap was one of the most incredible live experiences of my life. NASCAR fans are the best.
The fans were really pulling for Dale, Jr. at the end before a flat tire took him out of the running (he ended up crashing right after he had to come in to change it), but rookie Trevor Bayne’s victory was a popular one, and everyone was generally excited for him. Still, the biggest victory of the weekend went to yours truly: My wife, after doing her best to humor me these last few years by watching NASCAR with me on television, joined me in Daytona for her first race ever became a bon bona-fide fan.
Thanks for all the comments (and the help in clarifying some points) on Sunday. It appears we have some closet motorheads lurking here at Uni Watch.
Jason Bay says he’ll considering giving up his uni number to Jason Isringhausen if Izzy makes the team
. … Double-whammy for Chatttanooga hoops, which wore color at home and went BFBS
on Monday night (with thanks to Chris Holder
). … Here’s a great photo of a Boston Braves satin uni
(good find by Mike Hersh
). … Just when you thought there wasn’t anyplace left to put a swoosh, along comes the parachute brigade
. … Latest reason to like R.A. Dickey: He bikes to work
). … Small item toward the bottom of this article
indicates that Justin Morneau “plans to wear a helmet during batting practice … [and] will wear the newer, more protective batting helmet at the plate” (good spot by Kenny Tobler
). … Yesterday I linked to a photo of LSU’s purple pants
from 1995. Here’s a game photo, although it’s in black-and-white
(with thanks to Jack Quinn
). … Why didn’t anyone tell me about this
until after it was almost over? … Matt Paver
notes that Tim Lincecum appears to have switched his footwear from Reebok to Mizuno
. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Excellent piece on the story behind the Buffaslug
. … While looking for something else, I came upon a page devoted to Texas Rangers uni number history
. … Best thing about that chick who pitched BP for the Indians: She did it while going high-cuffed
. … Big news out of Chisox camp, where Ozzie Guillen is wearing team-branded stirrups
! (Good spot by Michael A. Gargano
.) … Meanwhile, someone on Guillen’s staff is wearing stirrups in my preferred style
, but I don’t know who that is. Anyone..? … Holy moly, look at these awesome new hockey tees
from Mitchell and Ness! Too bad about (a) the price, and (b) the annoying M&N script on the right (with thanks to Mike Hersh
). … New uniforms apparently in the works for Pitt football
). … Here’s an unusually good article about an Indianapolis company that designs live mascots
. High recommended reading. … Ladies and gents, your new New York Knicks, listed by their new uni numbers
(with thanks to Matt Harris
). … Here’s a shot of the 1972 Bills with inconsistent NOB fonts
(rare non-Raiders submission by Bill Kellick
). … Andrew Gerbosi
notes that Chelsea’s black kit has its own unique name/number style
, instead of the standardized EPL design. Anyone know why? … Reprinted from last night’s comments: The Canucks lost a letter
last night. … Yesterday I linked to this item about Brandon Inge
, in which he said, “I wore them down in high school, but it felt like I was wearing slacks. If I want to wear slacks, I’ll get a 9-to-5 job.” Sounds good, but then George Flory
sent me this photo from Tigers camp
— that’s Inge on the left. Gotta walk it like you talk it, Brandon. … Here’s a fun rant about “abuses of the colour palette” in soccer
(big thanks to Jason Smith
). … Here’s the latest article trying to create an air of inevitability about ads coming to North American uniforms
. Not on my watch!
As I think most of you know, late last year the Indians announced that their Bob Feller memorial patch would look like this. Everyone here seemed to like it (although I thought the Hall of Fame induction date and maybe even the uni number were superfluous). But then in early February it turned out that the team had gone with a much plainer design, which was not well received in our comments section.
Why the switcheroo? The answer, or at least a portion of it, came on Friday, buried toward the bottom of this article (which was sent my way by reader Mike Menner). Here’s the key passage: “The Indians want to honor Hall of Famer Bob Feller by wearing a silhouette of him pitching, including his high leg kick, on the sleeve of their regular season uniform jerseys, but they’re having trouble getting copyright permission.”
I wanted to know more, so I contacted Bart Swain, the Indians’ PR director, who explained that the silhouetted image on the patch is based on a photograph that’s owned by Photo File, and the team hasn’t been able to strike a licensing deal with them.
My initial thought was, “Eh, big deal — so you find a different photo and make a silhouette of that.” Like, the Indians must own the rights to some good photos of Rapid Robert, right? But then I did a bit of Feller photo research, and there’s no getting around it: The Photo File image really does seem to be the best, most iconic shot of him. There are a few similar images, but they’re not quite as good. It’s easy to see why the Indians might think, “If we can’t have that one, let’s just scrap the whole concept and come up with something else.”
Photo File, of course, is in the business of selling and licensing photos, so it’s not as though the primo Feller image is off-limits to the Indians — it’s just a matter of whether the team is willing to pay a licensing fee (as others have done). Swain, the Tribe’s PR guy, told me that negotiations with Photo File are ongoing, so it’s possible that the silhouette-based patch design may end up being used after all. Either way, this is probably one of the most convoluted design processes ever for a memorial patch. Which I guess is what happens if you don’t just go with a black circle, right?
Feller, incidentally, was somewhat notorious for being an autograph mercenary in his later years. He’d show up anywhere, anytime, for an autograph session — if the price was right. On some level, he’d probably be amused by the haggling going on over his likeness. And he’d also probably wonder why he isn’t getting a cut.
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Heckuva project: Remember Bethany Heck, who I featured here on the site last month? She’s moving ahead with her Eephus League merchandise line, beginning with a specially designed Eephus scorecard, but she needs a bit of financial support, so she’s partnered with Kickstarter to raise some capital. Please consider making a pledge to support Bethany’s project, which deserves to become a reality.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Two college baseball teams wearing striped stirrups: Abilene Christian University and East Central Oklahoma (with thanks to Britt Bonneau). … Wait, here’s one more: Valdosta State (with thanks to Taylor McGinnis). … Aaron Baddeley’s caddy had a Rangers logo on his hat on Sunday (as noted by Mark Kaplowitz). … Here’s a little item about why Brandon Inge likes to go high-cuffed (with thanks to J. Cristiano). … John Moist recently got back from a Cubaball tour and sent in a bunch of photos. … AHL news from Steve Cook, who writes: “The Hershey Bears have won back-to-back Calder Cups, so some lamebrain got the idea to engrave two cups onto this year’s ring. And two apostrophe catastrophes!” … Whoa, look at this crazy old baseball-themed sweater (nice find by Mike Hersh). … Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday that Justin Duchscherer had been victimized by an NOB typo. But I guess nobody with the Orioles reads Yahoo Sports, because on Monday he had the same typo on a different BP jersey. Scott Marcusky took that photo at O’s camp yesterday. … Here’s an interesting story that raises questions about the practice of shipping phantom-championship T-shirts to impoverished nations (thanks, Brinke). … Remember Friday’s post about Joe Smith and his many uniforms? Smith’s MLB counterpart appears to be Matt Stairs, who’s worn at least 46 different jerseys — or at least that’s what Dan Cichalski came up with after crunching the numbers. Check out Dan’s full analysis on his blog. … Ashley Kimel says this is a pair of the purple football pants LSU wore against Kentucky on October 14, 1995. “It is the only time they have worn purple pants,” he says. “Unfortunately it isn’t a game picture, but it’s still a rare thing to see.” … Eric Trager’s all proud of his wife, Alyssa Saunders. Here’s why: “She spotted a mini-baseball helmet collection with the Nationals included twice — in the NL East, where they belong, and mistakenly replacing the Cardinals in the NL Central.” … Here’s something I don’t think we’ve mentioned yet: Ohio State hoops is wearing a “3407″ patch. Explanation here (with thanks to Doug Keklak). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: a big story about the Brewers’ equipment manager. … Who’s that plucking on the old banjo? None other than Uni Watch favorite Jerry Reuss. … Two items from David Merrill: Negus Webster Chan of Huntington High School in West Virginia has a massive double-decker NOB, and Oregon and Oregon State went color-on-color on Oregon’s wacky court the other night. … It isn’t yet clear what Carmelo Anthony’s new uni number will be, but it almost certainly won’t be 15 or 22. … Lots of great photos from Dave Eskenazi’s archive in this story about how Seattle University beat the Harlem Globetrotters in 1952 (with thanks to John Doodigian). … Keeping my fingers crossed for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand, a really lovely city that was hit by a deadly earthquake last night. I visited there twice in the 1990s (this was when I was deep in the throes of my obsession with the NZ music scene) and still know a few folks there. Just hoping everyone’s okay.