Missed It By *That* Much

Jags Titans 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

As you’re all no doubt aware (or should be), this past Thursday evening, the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars met up for the second of four “Color Rush Rash” encounters this season. Last week’s debacle featured the Jets (clad in shoulder-to-toe kelly green) and Bills (in shoulder-to-toe red), and was a mess in more ways than one. It was particularly difficult for those with red/green colorblindness, as it was difficult for those with this impediment to distinguish the two teams…and made even more difficult by the fact that both teams were fully monoclad (save for their helmets, both of which were white).

Thursday night, the NFL didn’t have that problem. And yet, the game was still a mess.

Unlike the Jets/Bills game, where Nike created two completely new uniforms, Thursday’s game actually had the Titans wearing their current (alternate) light blue jersey paired with light blue pants. It’s actually not a bad look, when its worn as it should be, with contrasting high socks and low whites, with contrasting colored cleats. But this being color rash, Nike had to crank it up a notch and put the team in ALL light blue accoutrements (except the helmet, of course — wouldn’t want any concussions). For any photos below, click to enlarge:


The new uniform (jerseys, pants, socks and shoes) was worn by the Jaguars, and while they described it as “gold” (or “bold”), it was an interesting shade resembling mustard:



The need for an additional new uniform aside, and the fact that the team was forced to go mono-gold from shoulders-to-toe, this was actually not a terrible looking uniform. Not that I am recommending this, but they could probably pair those jerseys with black pants (or the black jersey with the gold pants), add some contrasting socks, and have themselves an “OK” uniform (I use the word “OK” because the Jags regular unis are so awful, this new combo might be less awful).

The game looked, depending upon your perspective, anywhere from awful and unwatchable, to “on point” though there were many who would disagree with the latter classification.

The uniforms didn’t clash or anything, and it was easy (enough) to tell the teams apart — and hopefully there are no powder/gold blind folks out there (or would those be the lucky ones)? But (unlike almost all TNF games this year), I actually watched a good chunk of the game. I never had a problem telling the teams apart, though it wasn’t the most visually appealing game. Oh, and of course, there were lots of sweatboxes:

JT14 JT10



Of course, reaction on social media to the uniforms was swift and severe. And probably on point (unlike ESPN’s tweet):

There were also more jokes (good and bad) about Guldens mustard and the Smurfs than I care to count.

It’s clear there was a lot of disdain for the uniforms, but don’t expect them to go away soon — there was enough positive response (and likely “gear” sales) to justify (in the eyes of the NFL and Nike) keeping them around — and of course, by the end of next season, all 32 teams will have been outfitted with color rash uniforms. There’s only two more games to go this year — including one next Thursday (Thanksgiving). And that leads us to…

+ + + + + + + + + +

Next Thursday’s Color Rash Game…


As announced at halftime during the TNF game, next Thursday (which also happens to be Thanksgiving), the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers will participate in the third (of four) Color Rash games. The Cowboys will be “bringing back” their white “double star” jerseys and pairing those with white pants, socks and shoes, while the Panthers will be wearing their alternate Carolina Blue tops, and adding new Carolina blue pants (plus Carolina Blue socks and shoes). So, they will actually look very similar to the Titans from this past Thursday. Here’s a look at the unis both teams will wear (click to enlarge):

. . .


dez_color_rush_yelling-e1447989328997 dez2-e1447989277539


CUOYoONUYAAkBE6 color rash pants

. . .


tempLukeBlue_35--nfl_mezz_1280_1024 tempLukeBlue_48--nfl_mezz_1280_1024


tempLukeBlue_212--nfl_mezz_1280_1024 tempLukeBlue_184_1--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

. . .

I think this one is actually going to be a pretty decent looking game — if only the Panthers weren’t forced to wear Carolina Blue for their entire uniform (look at how much better the uniform would look if only there were contrasting socks). But the Cowboys uniform will look great — I know, I know…they’ve had their silver pants (either the blueish-green jobs or the current ‘road’ pants they wear with their navy blue jerseys) forever, but I REALLY like them with white pants. They wore a similar look in training camp and I thought it was a pretty fine look then, and still do. The Panthers will look a lot like the Titans last Thursday, and that’s not an awful look (sans-full-mono of course). Should be the best looking (so far) of the color rash games anyway.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OK, guys — what do you think?

Gold and Powder Blue Line

classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

Previously in Classic Football Scoreboards there was mention of another “scoreboard” located within Ohio Stadium. In this edition the “mystery” scoreboard is revealed!

Scoreboard Party, Ohio Stadium 1924

OSU Scoreboard Parties_UW

Location: Ohio Stadium
Gameday: November 10, 1922; Ohio State at Purdue

The mystery scoreboard was known as a Grid-Graph (sometimes called Grid-o-graph) and, as the illustration depicts, it was located beneath the stands in Ohio Stadium. The size of these fan gatherings was quite large; often in the thousands.

Remember, college football radio broadcasts were just beginning in the early 1920s. By the 1928 season radio broadcasts were starting to expand, but you were unlikely to hear a broadcast of most away games for a decade or more. So the Grid-Graph without any alternatives survived in many college campuses well into the 1930s. By the 1940s Grid-Graph had faded from the college scene as this 1938 University of Illinois student newspaper article highlights.

Back to the Future Experience

Long time Uni-Watch readers may recall this past lede, Photography of Playography, that covered the baseball version of these electronic game simulations, including the football variant, Grid-Graph.

The Grid-Graph simulation enabled you to experience your favorite football team’s away games in near real time – not unlike using a mobile digital device today to access college games on Fox Sports GameTrax or a similar online game tracker app. Student admission to Grid-Graph games was typically 15 to 25 cents (about $3.50 in today’s dollars).

How did the Grid-Graph actually work? This Dartmouth College Library article summarizes the operation. The article refers to a Dartmouth Alumni Magazine article “What It Was, Was Grid-Graph,” written by an alumnus that was involved in the actual scoreboard operation. It’s worth reading.

The Grid-Graph Company

The Grid-Graph was invented in 1914 by Ohio State alumnus Howard Bryan, an electrical engineer. About this time the Grid-Graph Company was established in Columbus, Ohio. The records show the company applied for a U.S. Trademark in 1924, but other than that there’s little information I could find.

Still, it appears the $1000 or so (about $13,600 in 2015 dollars) Grid-Graph apparatus was a successful venture. By the early 1920s a substantial number of Grid-Graph equipment installations were found on college campuses across the U.S. And it appears there were several design variations as the product develop, such as a translucent playing field with light bulbs tracking ball movement.

Here’s a sampling of articles and photos mentioning Grid-Graph:

University of Oregon (mid 1920s), Indiana University (1937), Iowa State University (1920s), Davidson College (1933), Columbia University (1928), Virginia Military Institute (1933), University of Wisconsin (1922), Colorado University (1924), Hardin-Simmons University (1935), University of Nebraska (1923), University of Southern California (1927), University of Michigan (1920s), Cornell University (1924), Clemson University (1933).

The Illustration

The Grid-Graph electric scoreboard depicts the Buckeyes away game against the Purdue Boilermakers played on November 10, 1923 at Stuart Field, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Ohio State players are displayed on the left side with Purdue’s lineup on the opposite side. The players are listed by position according to this stacked arrangement:

Left End-
Left Tackle-
-Left Halfback
Left Guard-
-Right Halfback
Right Guard-
Right Tackle-
Right End-

There were no records found covering the actual lineups for this game, so I used the Ohio State lineup from the previous week’s game against Denison University as found in this game program. The Purdue lineup was a best guess based on the 1923 team roster.

The play simulated in the illustration might be described as a “Running Play Thru the Line” by Ohio State Right Halfback Harry Workman. “Tackle” made by Purdue’s J.T. Bolan. Ball advanced to the Ohio State 15 yard line. The Buckeyes lead the Boilermakers 32-0 in the Fourth Quarter with four minutes to play in the game.

Grid-Graph must have been fun back in the day, …I think. Probably depends if adult beverages were available.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

Gold and Powder Blue Line

Some New Unis on the College Gridiron today…

A couple of new uniforms (for sure) will make their debuts today.

. . .

Florida State will finally be breaking out their alternate black uniform against Chattanooga, after having it in their ‘arsenal’ for almost two full seasons:

Interestingly, the original black/garnet helmet had the spears “crossed” at the back, but since that release, they’ve removed the crossing:

. . .

Notre Dame will be wearing full green unis (and special helmets) for their “Shamrock Series” game today against BC at Fenway Park. The unis were revealed much earlier this year, but just in case you forgot…

Here’s a look at how Fenway sets up for the game:

Boston College, the opponent of the Irish, will be wearing a throwback uniform of their own (back to the “Flutie Hail Mary” unis):

. . .

Virginia Tech will we wearing an all-black uniform against UNC, for coach Frank Beamer’s final regular season home game at Lane Stadium:

Gold and Powder Blue Line

SND podcast
Talking Color Rash and more…

On Thursday evening, I was interviewed for the SND Podcast Show, run by a couple of sports fans who are enamored with Uni Watch and uniforms. The taping was right before the Titans/Jaguars came was about to kick off, so the banter was heavy on the color rash, but we delved into a bunch of other uniform-related topics. If you have a few free minutes, give it is listen.

Gold and Powder Blue Line

UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

In case you missed it, on Friday, Paul had his latest “Friday Flashback” column, which is quite timely as it delved into the Jacksonville Jaguars uniforms throughout their (relatively short) history, leading right up to Thursday night’s gold color rash combo.

Great read, so be sure to check it out if you missed it!


Gold and Powder Blue Line

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil, with a bit from Paul (stuff that would have gone into yesterday’s ticker, plus ‘skins Watch)

’Skins Watch: Teams at the University of North Dakota will now be called the Fighting Hawks. That name won an online vote against the other finalist, Rough Riders. … Meanwhile, “Redhawks” has won the vote to replace “Redskins” as the team name for the Goshen school district in Indiana. … Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission says it’s time to get rid of indigenous mascots (from Aaron Husul). … Amherst College’s mascot, Lord Jeff — based on Lord Jeffery Amherst, who had a role in giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans — appears to be on its way out. … Residents of an Oklahoma town, including some Kickapoo tribe members, are fighting to keep their high school’s “Redskins” team name (from Paul Deaver). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s an article on mascots, buildings, and other things on college campuses whose names have been changed due to “pressure from students.”

Baseball News: Spectacular vertical arching on this vintage flannel jersey. Love the “Nat’l,” too. Too big for me, unfortunately. … This is pretty awesome: The Dayton Dragons, whose mascot is a dragon named Heater, packaged their 2015 season tickets in a box of “Heaties” cereal. Wonder what they have planned for 2016! (From Munch Suchland.) … New caps for Fresno State (from Jared Buccola). … I’m sure we’ve seen this baseball card featuring Pirates’ Manager Jim Leyland before, but I’m always struck by the mesh (must be a Spring Training cap) material (and the height of the stovepipe!). Photo from High Heat Stats). … “Marlins Man” (as he likes to be known) is still getting a lot of TV face time — he was in the pool during the Jags/Titans game Thursday night. Hey, buddy — your 15 minutes were up…14 minutes ago. … WHOA! Check out this Vintage 1960’s/70’s Chicago White Sox vendor’s striped shirt, Beach Boys style (great find by Bruce Menard)! … This segues nicely with Gary’s scoreboards piece today: “Never mind the tightrope walking chimp, it shows one of those baseball boards you discussed a few years ago,” writes Bo Baize “It was on the Denver Post building back in the day. I’d like to have seen that in action, with all those lights.” … The Mets are installing new turf at Citi Field, to replace the original grass.

NFL News: Are you interested in knowing the 5 best-selling NFL rookie jerseys this season? The top 2 shouldn’t surprise you, but you might not have guessed #3-5. … The Washington football club wanted to wear white jerseys and white pants for Sunday’s road game against the Carolina Panthers. But team president Bruce Allen denied the request Friday afternoon (from Tommy Turner). … In baseball (MLB), you “hit white balls for practice” — even if they’re not straight from the box — and in the NFL, you kick breast cancer balls for practice (nice find from Steven Auclair).

College Football News: Looks like the Virginia Tech field is going to have a special 25-yard line marker (in orange), featuring retiring coach Frank Beamer’s signature (via VT Grounds Crew), for today’s regular-season home finale at Lane Stadium. … If you thought the Color Rash uniforms were bad, check these things out. … Northwestern to wear black helmets, white jerseys at Wisconsin. … The Boston Red Sox’ David Ortiz (Big Papi) asked that Torii Hunter, Jr occupy his Fenway Park locker for today’s Shamrock Series game (ND vs. BC), via Warren Junium. … Arizona State will be wearing copper and gray unis today. For a rivalry game. At least their opponents will be in school colors. … Here’s a look at the unis worn by Lehigh University during the 2015 season. … UW will be going white/white/white today (h/t Nolan McCotter). … Also doing the all white look is UNC (via Christopher Jaques). … Sam Houston will be going orange/white/orange (h/t Sam Houston Athletics). … Here’s a look at Pitt vs. Louisville (h/t Rex Henry). … Wazzu will be wearing white/crimson/white. … South Carolina will go white/garnet/white. … Clemson, as they are wont to do once a year, will be wearing orange/purple/purple. … Ohio State & Michigan State will wear “#ChadTough Decals” on their helmets in support of Lloyd Carr’s grandson. … Baylor will wear white helmets with a kneeling cowboy in support of Oklahoma State. … William Yurasko writes, “Good ESPN article on “The Big Uglies” — 3 brothers who dress up in Penn State uniforms with masks their mother bought for 30 cents at a garage sale. I never knew that part of the story.” … As noted above, the VT Hokies are wearing all black uniforms today, but here are the 1987 helmets that the Hokies will wear against UVA next weekend in honor of Frank Beamer (from Andrew Cosentino).

Hockey News: Here’s the logo for the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game (from Kyle Clauss). … The Swedish team HV71 has yellow numbers against a white background — very hard to read. … “In this video the 83-84 Regina pats have NOB below their numbers,” writes Jay Danbom. “The link is about the 84 kamloops junior oilers but in the chynoweth cup (whl finals) the pats jerseys can be seen and their NOB are below the numbers.” … There’s going to be a new minor league hockey team taking the ice in 2016-17, and they will be called the Rail Yard Dawgs (from Brian Mazmanian). … The Ottawa Senators wore their Heritage uniforms Thursday evening. … Color on color game last night between the Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford Ice Hogs (from Admirals Roundtable). … New sweater for Maine Hockey (via Biddy). … Quinnipiac Hockey wore these camo-esque sweaters last night (via Michael). … Good spot from Brian Wulff who asks, “doesn’t it look like the space between the two O’s in Brooklyn is larger than the other letters, and between the “LYN” part?”

NBA News: Oops: I’m not entirely sure what the name in this caption should read, but it probably shouldn’t say this — submitter OdiferousEmination asks, “What millennial should lose his job tonight?” … Anthony Davis and Kevin Love ask for NBA Christmas jerseys in this new ad. … Beautiful color-vs-color game Thursday night featuring the Cavs and Bucks (with the Cavs in their throwbacks). Thanks to Jimmer Vilk. … The Orlando Magic have twitter handles on the backs of their warmups (from Zach Fischer). …. Ooooohhh — nice score by Jack Connell who found these logo stickers at a local family owned store, and bought all of them at 50 cents each. He “think(s) they might be a collectors item.” … The Dallas Mavericks wore their awesome green throwbacks last evening (pic via Robert Behrens). More photos here. … A tiny gadget could make or break the Washington Wizards’ season — that gadget is known as a “Viper Pod” (from TommyTheCPA).

College Hoops News: “I’m not sure if this is a trend or just a one-time thing, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a player roll both the top and bottom of their shorts,” writes Kyle Martinek. … Iowa and Marquette played a beautiful color vs. color game the other day (h/t Jay Wright). … Auburn hoops broke out their orange alternates for the first time this season last night (h/t Clint Richardson). It made for a real nice color vs. color game against Georgia Southern (h/t Tod Meisner). … NAU was wearing these jerseys last evening (via Travis Holland). That game was played in Window Rock on the Navajo Nation — I’m assuming the jerseys reflect this, but I couldn’t find any further information. Anyone?

Soccer News: Newcastle United FC, from the EPL, has been remaking old game programs this year. Says About The Tune, “Very nice” and I’d agree. … Nottingham is also doing throwback covers this year (h/t Andrew Cairns). … Here’s a look at the Spain Euro 2016 Home Kit (h/t Tim Cross).

Grab Bag: Expensive running shoes are no better — and are sometimes worse — than cheaper ones (from Tommy Turner). … Couple uni notes from Chris Cruz: The Oxford University women’s rugby team went uni-less for a tasteful calendar shoot to raise money for charity. Also, Barbarians (a British-based rugby team) have paid homage to their founder on their 125th anniversary with some throw-back unis/photos. … What’s wrong with this picture?

Gold and Powder Blue Line

And that’s going to do it for this fine penultimate Saturday in the month of November. Enjoy the games today. Thanks to Gary for the scoreboards and to Steve and Dan for having me on their podcast. Back with the usual SMUW fare tomorrow, so make sure you check in then.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The Titans last night reminded me of the male pieces in the Game of Life.”

–Mike Cole

Gold and Powder Blue Line

Not Quite A Snow Day

Technical Difficulties 550

Hey Uni Watch readers. Phil here.

Unfortunately, Paul has lost all Internet and phone at Uni Watch headquarters, so we won’t have any content today. I’m sure you’re all wanting to discuss last evening’s color rash clash between the Titans and Jaguars — but I’ll have a full write-up on that, and more, tomorrow. Our deepest apologies on the technical difficulties today.

Paul will have his usual “Friday Flashback” piece on ESPN, and here it is.

Comments are open — feel free to talk amongst yourselves. I’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Saturday fare, including a wrap of last evening’s game and more, so I’ll catch you guys tomorrow.

Everyone have a great Friday!

And I Bet You Can Get Capers on Your Hot Dog, Too

For most people, the initials “CIA” refer to, you know, the CIA — the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington. But for those of us of a more gastronomic bent, “CIA” refers to the Culinary Institute of America, whose main campus is in the Hudson Valley town of Hyde Park, about two hours north of Manhattan.

The CIA describes itself, probably accurately, as “The World’s Premier Culinary College.” Until yesterday, however, it never occurred to me that the CIA has something most other colleges also have: a basketball team.

I learned that from this fascinating article about the team, which is called the Steels — a reference to the sharpening steels that chefs use to keep their knives in good working order:

The Steels’ uniforms are pretty pedestrian. On the plus side, though, no maker’s marks, at least that I can see. Also of note: The team appears to be coed, at least judging by the team portrait (click to enlarge):

The basketball team is part of what the article describes as “one of the country’s most unlikely athletic departments.” In addition to the hoops squad, the CIA also has soccer, cross country, tennis, and volleyball teams. Naturally, I approve of the color scheme:

The CIA is not part of the NCAA. Its teams compete in The Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a 10-school conference that’s part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (formerly the endearingly named National Little College Association).

Finally, here’s a great little bonus factoid: The “Pedestrian Crossing” signs on the CIA campus show the standard design of silhouetted figure — wearing a chef’s toque (click to enlarge):

And now you can all make your various jokes about how they must have a great pregame meal spread, how the head coach’s assistant is probably called a sous coach, and so on. Go on, knock yourselves out.

(My thanks to John Fitzgerald for the Steels team portrait.)

• • • • •

Fun with AP Style: Associated Press assistant sports editor Oskar Garcia fielded questions on Twitter yesterday concerning various vexing issues of sports-related style and usage. Among the most interesting revelations: Schools that can be referred by their initials on first reference are BYU, UCLA, LSU, UTEP, UNLV, SMU, and TCU. Schools that should be spelled out on first reference but can be called by their initials on second reference include UCF, USF, USC, FIU, FAU, UTSA, ULM. (I’m surprised UNC didn’t make either list.)

Also: When referring to runs batted in, plural, it’s “RBIs” (not “RBI”). And in football, it’s “fourth-and-7” — spelled out for the down, numeral for the distance. Yes, that seems confusing. Style rules are like that sometimes.

(Thanks to Ed Bauza for letting me know about this one.)

• • • • •

Holiday T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, we’ve launched three new designs that are not technically part of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club (no sleeve patch, no month designation) but are very much in keeping with the spirit of the project. Take a look (click to enlarge):

Each of these three designs — “Vertically Arched,” “Radially Arched,” and the plain script with nothing on the back — is available in all three colors shown (white, black and grey). In addition, each design and color is available in three formats: short-sleeved tee, long-sleeved tee, and sweatshirt. Plus the plain script design is also available as a hoodie with pockets. So if you tally up the three designs times the three colors times the three formats plus the hoodie option, you get 30 possible combinations. I absolutely do not recommend that you try to collect ’em all, but maybe you’ll like one or two of them.

These shirts are available here. They’ll be offered for three weeks — up until Dec. 9 — which means they’ll deliver in time for Christmas.

Meanwhile: If you ordered all 12 of the T-Shirt Club designs and qualify for the year-end prize (which, in case you missed it earlier, will be an embroidered patch featuring this design), please prove that you’ve collected ’em all by either (a) taking a photo of all 12 shirts or (b) taking screen shots of your 12 order-confirmation emails from Teespring and putting the 12 shots into a folder. Then email the photo or the folder to TshirtClubProof@gmail.com (please note that this is a new address — do not send your proof to the regular Uni Watch email address), and be sure to include your mailing address so I know where to mail the patches once they’re ready to go.

• • • • •

Key Ring Stories reminder: In case you missed it a few days ago, I’m accepting photos and stories for a new project about the things that people keep on their key rings. This should be a really fun project for everyone — full details here.

• • • • •

I don’t usually do this, but I think yesterday’s Uni Watch post was really, really good. Also lots of fun. Many readers seemed to agree. If you missed it, I urge you to check it out here.

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

Last week Paul had that entry about the Blue Jackets’ gameday posters, and that got me thinking: Have you ever collected and displayed sports posters? If so, what are some of your favorites from over the years?

Though I didn’t own any, the Costacos Brothers made some iconic posters in the 1980s and ’90s. I currently hang this Mitchell & Ness NBA throwbacks mini-poster at my desk at work.

How about you? Post your answers in today’s comments.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: New logos and uniforms for the Syracuse Chiefs. And here are the new hats (from @akanefive and Matt Bowman). … The Harrisburg Senators are bringing back their Uncle Slam alternate cap (from Joseph Matlock). … The Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto used to keep bubble gum on his cap’s squatcho/ee. A hat that he wore during the 1952 World Series at the Yankee Stadium museum still has a wad on it (from Jeff Jacobs).

Pro and College Football News: Virginia Tech will wear white pants to honor the 1987 team, which was the first year for retiring coach Frank Beamer. … Washington will wear white-over-white against Oregon State. … Yesterday we had a mention of an Illinois fan dressed as Red Grange. Here’s more information on that (from Kevin Olivett). … Fenway Park’s scoreboard is set for Saturday’s Irish/BC game. … The package design on this Michigan uniform costume will surely hurt sales (from Josh Sandin). … Timothy Harendt sends in two old ticket stubs from Hardin-Simmons, a small private school in Texas. The top photo is from a 1959 game against Auburn, which Timothy says was the first time Aubie appeared on the game program. The bottom pic is from a 1951 game against Arizona. … When Bills players make local charity appearances, they wear NNOB jerseys. What’s up with that? … Jags safety Sergio Brown likes his Color Rash uni, which he’ll wear in tonight’s gold-vs.-blue game against the Titans (from Phil).

Hockey News: Yesterday, Paul wrote that the NHL will have four teams for the All-Star Game this year. Even considering that, the league will only use two uniform designs. Not sure how that’s going to work. … Edmonton International Airport has a great Oilers display at its baggage carousel. … Star Wars jerseys for the Milwaukee Admirals. … And, Star Wars jerseys for the Vancouver Giants (from Ryan Houdayer). … And again, Star Wars helmets for the Omaha Lancers (from Oliver Pérez). … The Toledo Walleye will wear jerseys for 8-Bit Night this Saturday. … The 1912 Glasgow Black Foxes had some seriously cool sweaters (from Will Scheibler).

Basketball News: Magic players wear their Twitter handles as NOBs on their warm-up/bench tops. Do all teams do this? … This page shows every Milwaukee Bucks team photo. … Bucks F Jabari Parker shaved his afro. … Wofford wore sleeved jerseys against UNC last night (from Craig Kirkpatrick). … Gonzaga and Northern Arizona went turquoise-vs.-yellow last night. The turquoise was Gonzaga’s N7 uniform (from David Tobias). … Western Kentucky wore their new red unis for the first time last night (from Josh Claywell).

Soccer News: Here’s a look at the NASL’s Team America, a club from the early 1980s that wore red-and-white horizontally striped jerseys (from Benjamin Brown and Phil). … Paris Saint-Germain will wear jerseys with “Je Suis Paris” embroidered on them (from Phil). … A self-financed Italian football team is named after the 1998 Coen brothers film The Big Lebowski. The club also uses the Dude’s face as a logo (thanks, Saurel Jean). … Unusual palm tree-themed jersey for the Central Coast Mariners (from Terry Mark).

Grab Bag: A Canadian skier will have a vicious panda bear painted on his helmet for the World Cup downhill races. The design was created by a 10-year-old, and the helmet will be auctioned off after the event to raise money for pediatric liver research (from Phil). … Sports teams aren’t the only ones who wear flag-based designs: A Muslim woman appearing on Fox News yesterday wore a stars/stripes hijab (from A.J. Frey). … Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum is holding a Lilic-themed T-shirt design contest (from Brian Mazmanian). … New logo for the town of Waukee, Iowa. … Louisiana Tech signed a five-year deal with Adidas. The school’s various teams previously all had separate deals with different manufacturers. … Darren Read has saved all of his ticket stubs over the past 35 years or so and has created framed montages out of them. I really enjoy all the Expos tickets.

Squatchee Etymology: A Uni Watch Investigation

At some point six to eight years ago — I no longer recall the exact date but I’m pretty sure it was in 2008 or ’09 — a handful of Uni Watch readers began telling me that they called the little button on top of a baseball cap a squatchee. They said they’d picked it up from former player/manager Bob Brenly, who was working as a color analyst for Cubs games at the time.

I’d never heard of a squatchee before. I knew it wasn’t an “official” term because I had once asked New Era if they had a special name for the cap button, and they said they just called it a button. But I liked the sound of “squatchee,” and multiple readers said the term originated with Brenly, so that was good enough for me. I started using it myself in my writings and even added it to the Uni Watch Glossary, where I attributed it to Brenly.

Readers seemed to like the term, and its use began to spread within the Uni Watch community. At one point our own Robert Marshall took “squatchee” to another level by creating a really clever design showing Sasquatch with a little red button on his head:

More recently, the DIY genius who calls himself Wafflebored created these squatchee lapel pins:

In short: “Squatchee” appeared to have secured a foothold in the uni-verse — maybe not with everyone, but with a decent number of people.

And that might have been that. But at the recent Uni Watch party here in Brooklyn, reader Brad Eckensberger showed me something that rocked my world. It was a copy of the 1984 humor book Sniglets:

For those who are too young or just don’t recall, Sniglets was a series of books by the comedian Rich Hall that emerged from his HBO series, Not Necessarily the News. The idea is that a sniglet is a word that doesn’t exist but should exist, and that “sniglet” itself is an example of such a word. This concept spawned several popular books back in the 1980s and early ’90s. I was never much of a sniglets fan myself, but I recall the books being something of a phenomenon at the time.

Anyway: Eckensberger brought the book to the Uni Watch party because he wanted to show me an entry on page 77. Check it out, at the bottom (click to enlarge):


Eckensberger tells me he remembered having seen that entry in the book when he was a kid. He recently went hunting for a used copy of the book to confirm his recollection and then brought it along to the Uni Watch party, where it blew my mind.

This raised several questions:

1. All these people who told me they heard Bob Brenly saying, “squatchee” — was he actually saying, “squatcho,” and something got lost in the translation?

2. Assuming Brenly did say either “squatchee” or “squatcho,” where did he learn the term? Did he get it from the sniglets book?

3. Over the years I’ve seen a few people refer to a “squatcho,” but I always figured those people were just getting Brenly’s term wrong. In some cases I even corrected them (which I now feel badly about). Did those people actually learn the term from the sniglets book?

With all these questions racing through my mind, I realized it was high time to do something I should have done years ago: I needed to talk to Bob Brenly.

Brenly is currently employed as a color analyst for Diamondbacks games, so I began by contacting the D-backs. Now, I’ve done some pretty geeky things over the course of my life, but let me tell you, if you ever want to feel like the biggest dweeb ever, call up an MLB team publicist and tell him you want to discuss sniglets, squatchees, and squatchos (or would that be squatchoes?) with one of his broadcasters.

Anyway: I spoke with Brenly (shown at right) a few days ago. Very nice guy, and he was extremely patient with all my questions. Here’s how our chat went:

Uni Watch: Do you in fact have a term that you use for the little button on top of a baseball cap, and if so, what is it?

Bob Brenly [chuckling]: I personally prefer “squatcho.” The first time I heard it was from Mike Krukow, a teammate of mine from the Giants.

UW: Do you recall when that might have been?

BB: Ah, jeez, I’d say around 1983-ish, maybe. [Brenly and Krukow both played for the Giants from 1983 through ’89. — PL] And he did call it a squatchee, but I think it kinda rolls of your tongue better as squatcho. So I kind of modified it a little bit. I think either term is appropriate for the button on top of the hat. This actually came about because back in those days, catchers were not required to wear a helmet underneath their masks…

UW: Right, you could just wear your soft cap.

BB: Yes. But that button on top of the cap was a brain tumor waiting to happen, if you happened to get hit by a backswing or foul tip. [Brenly was a catcher in his playing days. — PL] So I just started taking the button off.

UW: So you would personally modify the cap? You would remove the button?

BB: Yeah, yeah. They’re very easy to take off. For any youth out there who want to follow my lead, if you open a door, any door, there’s a little slot there in the doorway, and if you just stick the squatchee in there — or squatcho — and then if you pull, the button will come off. And then you have to reach inside the hat and take out the little metal piece that held the button in place. Once you got that out of the way, foul tips off the squatcho were no longer a problem. I mean, they still hit you on the head, but they didn’t drive that button down into your skull.

UW: Okay, so you picked up the term from Krukow, and you modified it from squatchee to squatcho. And have you used it on the air in your broadcasting work?

BB: I think I’ve used both terms. You know, they’re interchangeable. Either one is correct, in my view. I don’t think you can go wrong identifying an obscure piece of equipment. My recollection is that Krukow was the first one to use it. I’m not sure where he got it, but knowing him, he probably made it up. He was very good at starting urban legends, starting myths and rumors and stories.

UW: Does the term “sniglet” mean anything to you? It was this series of old books about words that don’t exist but ought to exist. And it turns out that in one of these books, from 1984, there’s an entry for “squatcho,” which it identifies as the button on top of a baseball cap. I’m wondering if maybe Krukow got it from there. I guess he should be the next person I call.

BB [laughing]: Anything that has to do with obscure, ridiculous baseball terminology, Krukow’s a great resource.

UW: If you were discussing all of this with someone today, which term would you use — squatchee or squatcho?

BB: I still prefer squatcho. I think there’s a certain panache to adding the “o” rather than the “ee” at the end.

UW: But just to confirm, you think you have probably used both terms somewhat interchangeably on the air?

BB: Yeah, somewhat interchangeably. I’ve been asked about squatchee before by various broadcast partners, and I told them basically what I told you, that squatchee is the way I first heard it but squatcho is how I refer to it. I think some other catchers from back in the day, I think they all called it squatcho too.

UW: Interesting. For what it’s worth, here’s a little tidbit for the next time you’re working a game where David Price is pitching: Price always removes the button from his cap. Or maybe he has them made without the button, I’m not sure. He refers to it as “the ouch button.” So his cap doesn’t have a squatchee, or a squatcho, or whatever you want to call it.

BB: That’s good background — I’ll make a note of it!


What a fun interview! You should have seen me when I hung up the phone — I was all smiles.

Still, the chat with Brenly raised as many questions as it answered. My next step, clearly, was to contact Mike Krukow (shown at left), who currently works as a Giants broadcaster. So I went through the same embarrassing routine with the Giants’ PR people, who obligingly set me up with Krukow. We spoke yesterday. Here’s how it went:

Uni Watch: Bob Brenly says he picked up the word “squatchee” from you, when the two of you were teammates with the Giants in the 1980s. Did you come up with the term?

Mike Krukow: No. I was standing in a line at a bookstore in Pittsburgh, probably around 1984. I was waitin’ to pay, and they had a book there on the counter, and it was called Sniglets. So I’m kinda goin’ through the book, and one thing that immediately caught my eye was “expresshole,” which is what you call someone who brings 15 items in the “10 Items or Less” express checkout line. I thought that was pretty funny, so I flipped through the book some more and then I saw the entry for “squatcho.” And that was it!

UW: So you adopted the term at that point?

MK: Yes. Nobody had ever heard it before. And the reason it was relevant to us was… [at this point Krukow basically repeats the story about how Brenly would remove the button from his cap because he was a catcher — PL]. So that was it. It was a squatcho. I don’t know if any other clubhouse, or any other person on the planet, used that term except for us.

UW: When you say, “us,” do you mean just you and Brenly? Or did your other teammates use it as well?

MK: All the Giants, pretty much. In our clubhouse, it was a squatcho.

UW: Brenly remembers you saying squatchee, not squatcho, but you’re saying he’s wrong about that..?

MK: I may have, I don’t know. But it was squatcho in the book, so I think that’s what I used.

UW: Has it remained in your lexicon? Do you use it on the air?

MK: Absolutely — that’s what it’s called. As far as I’m concerned, that’s Bible!

UW: And you always use squatcho, not squatchee?

MK: Yes, squatcho.

UW: And when you’ve brought it up, have your play-by-play partners asked you about it?

MK: Well, no, because Duane Kuiper’s been with me since we were sitting together on the bench as players. So we called it squatcho back then.

UW: [At this point I tell Krukow the same thing about David Price and “the ouch button” that I had previously told Brenly. — PL]

MK: You know, here’s the thing: If you’re sitting in the dugout, your initial reaction when someone hits a long ball or makes a great play is to stand up. And if you’re tall, at some of the older ballparks, like Wrigley Field, you’ll hit your head on the top of that god-danged dugout. And if you’ve got that button there, see ya later. So for someone like David Price, who’s what, 6’6″? [Price is indeed 6’6″. — PL] Yeah, I can see why he’d be pulling his squatcho.


So there we have it. Krukow saw “squatcho” in the Sniglets book, it somehow evolved into “squatchee” in Brenly’s memory, and the two terms have established a certain legitimacy among some members of the uni-scenti.

I’d say we have two remaining orders of business:

1. It would be good to check in with Rich Hall and get his take on all this. He spends most of his time these days in London, so I’ve asked his UK-based booking agency to put me in touch with him — no response yet. Frankly, I’m not optimistic on this front. Sniglets was a long time ago, and I imagine he’d rather discuss his current projects that re-hash something from 1984. But we’ll see.

2. Which term should we use? Personally, I much prefer squatchee over squatcho. Maybe it’s because I heard it first, or maybe I’m just more accustomed to words that end in an “ee” sound (rookie, yuppie, junkie, etc.). But squatcho is clearly the original term, so that should count for something. What do you think? Feel free to vote here:

I prefer …

pollcode.com free polls

Finally, on a personal note, I really should have contacted Brenly years ago, when this topic first came to my attention. It was lazy of me to accept the term’s origin story (and, for that matter, to spread that story) without confirming it first. Mea culpa.

(Mega-thanks to Brad Eckensberger, who got this whole ball rolling by bringing the sniglets book to the recent Uni Watch party.)

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

A good week for NBA throwbacks: More retro goodness on NBA courts last night, beginning at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks debuted their very tasty 1950s throwbacks (see above). Additional photos here.

Shortly after the Knicks game ended, the Warriors wore “The City” for the first time this year. They’ve worn this throwback design in past seasons, but this time around there’s a new wrinkle — the NBA’s first full-scale throwback floor design, complete with the throwback logo at center court:

There are some game photos here. Unfortunately, this version of the “The City” differed from previous throwback iterations in one key respect:

Meanwhile, with “The City” back on the court last night, uniform designer/historian Todd Radom reached into his archives for something very cool — the cover of the Warriors’ media guide from 1966-67, which is the season when “The City” made its debut (the lunch meats ad at the bottom is a nice bonus):

• • • • •

ITEM! New T-shirt project: Big thanks to everyone who ordered the ugly sweater T-shirt, which was one of our more successful designs. And while I’m at it, super-duper-thanks for all the support, feedback, and fun you folks have provided during the course of the T-Shirt Club’s 2015 run — it’s been a really enjoyable project (yes, even the “Pandering” debate), and I appreciate all the interest it’s generated. My continued thanks also to my Teespring partner and designer, Bryan Molloy, who’s been amazing to work with (and also amazingly patient) throughout the year.

We’re still figuring out how the T-Shirt Club will work next year. We’ll definitely do something, but it probably won’t be quite like this year. Stay tuned.

If you ordered all 12 of the 2015 designs and qualify for the year-end prize (which, in case you missed it last week, will be an embroidered patch featuring this design), please prove that you’ve collected ’em all by either (a) taking a photo of all 12 shirts or (b) taking screen shots of your 12 order-confirmation emails from Teespring and putting the 12 shots into a folder. Then email the photo or the folder to TshirtClubProof@gmail.com (note that this is a new address — please do not send your proof to the regular Uni Watch email address), and be sure to include your mailing address so I know where to mail the patches once they’re ready to go.

Now then: With the holidays approaching, today we’re launching three new designs that are not technically part of the T-Shirt Club (no sleeve patch, no month designation) but are very much in keeping with the spirit of the project. Take a look (click to enlarge):

Each of these three designs — “Vertically Arched,” “Radially Arched,” and the plain script with nothing on the back — is available in all three colors shown (white, black and grey). In addition, each design and color is available in three formats: short-sleeved tee, long-sleeved tee, and sweatshirt. Plus the plain script design is also available as a hoodie with pockets. (We couldn’t do that format for the other designs because the front number would have printed on the pockets, which wouldn’t look good.) So if you tally up the three designs times the three colors times the three formats plus the hoodie option, you get 30 possible combinations. I absolutely do not recommend that you try to collect ’em all. (For that matter, of course, you don’t have to collect any of them.)

These shirts are available here. They’ll be offered for three weeks — up until Dec. 9 — which means they’ll deliver in time for Christmas.

I think that’s it.

• • • • •

Gift Guide reminder: As I mentioned yesterday, I’m currently working on my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, which will appear on ESPN shortly after Thanksgiving. If you know of any cool uni- or logo-related gifts (aside from the obvious team merch like jerseys and caps), do tell. Thanks.

• • • • •

Key Ring Stories reminder: In case you missed it a few days ago, I’m accepting photos and stories for a new project about the things that people keep on their key rings. This should be a really fun project for everyone — full details here.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Blue Jays will wear a 40th-season patch next year. … The latest necktie project from DIY genius Wafflebored is this 1915 Yankees beauty. … Shades of U.L. Washington: Check out this Cuban pitcher who pitches while chewing on a toothpick (from Dennis Abrams). … Whoa, check out this shot of a baby-faced Teddy Ballgame from his minor league days (from Jonathan Daniels). … Ladies and gents, your Hartford Yard Goats inaugural uniform set. The team also has what appears to be history’s scariest mascot. Further info here. “If you ask me, I think their New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company font looks awesome as a chest insignia, as does the Whalers color scheme,” says Jason Siedzik. I’m inclined to agree on both counts. … “On Tuesay night’s Tosh.0, there was a sketch in which Daniel Tosh dressed in a baseball uniform and then hit his co-workers with a plastic bat,” writes Ferdinand Cesarano. “He went high-cuffed with stirrups.”

NFL News: This is interesting: Patriots coach Bill Belichick grew up in a military family and has a long history of supporting the military, but he doesn’t wear any of the NFL’s camouflage apparel (from @just___rants).

College Football News: Lots of chatter about possible new red helmets for Cincinnati (thanks, Phil). … Arizona State has its rivalry game against Arizona this weekend. So what is ASU wearing? BFBS, of course. … Boston College will be wearing throwbacks for the Shamrock Series game at Fenway against Notre Dame. … Someone had the fun idea of taking LSU’s live tiger mascot — like, the real tiger, not a guy in a tiger suit — and feeding him raw meat in the shape of other schools’ mascot logos (from @halfmut). … “On the TV show Fresh Off the Boat, one of the neighbors came over for Thanksgiving dinner dressed up in an old-school football uniform,” reports Chris Flinn. “Should’ve been an older football, too.” … Notre Dame’s helmets and jerseys are being prepared for the Shamrock Series game.

Hockey News: NOB typo alert! Stars G Antti Niemi skated out onto the ice last night with his surname misspelled. Someone must have noticed because it was soon fixed. … The Capitals will have a new third jersey “presented by Boeing,” whatever that means, next month (from David Raglin). … Someone redesigned the full slate of NHL jerseys and included ads (thanks, Phil). … One designer is responsible for a lot of the worst “patriotic” minor league hockey jerseys. … Anthony Zych’s latest Blue Jackets gameday poster designs: For a game against the Coyotes, he came up with a Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote motif, and for a game against the Blues he went with a blues band theme. (Leo Welsh is the guy who sings the national anthem at Blue Jackets games.) I interviewed Zych the other day — just need to transcribe the tape so you folks can see what he had to say. … This season’s NHL All-Star Game will have a new format featuring four teams instead of two. Does that mean there will be four uni designs instead of two? Trying to find out.

NBA News: Ever wonder what NBA uniforms would look like if they were designed by Kanye West? Me neither, but some graphic designer decided that would make a fun project (blame Phil).

College Hoops News: Michigan State wore 1979 throwbacks last night, but one player lost the “S” on his chest insignia (from Phil and @AZJoshM, respectively). … New court for Morehead State (from Noah Hughes). … Maryland will have throwbacks for the upcoming game against Georgetown. And in a related item, here’s an entire article on the program from the 1973 Georgetown/Maryland game (from Tommy Turner). … N7 uniforms tonight for San Diego State (from @bigdeegz). … New warm-ups for Georgetown.

Soccer News: Good article about TruSox (from David Raglin). … Argentina keeps changing up their shorts. … Air Force-themed jerseys for the Australian team Newcastle Jets (from Mark in Victoria).

Grab Bag: I’ve recently taken aim at some irksome (to me) uni-related terminology, including “rebranding” and “gear.” For what it’s worth, I’m not the only one who gets persnickety about language. In the wake of the Paris attacks, I’ve read two excellent essays pushing back against certain buzzterms — one about “mastermind” and another about “boots on the ground.” Both are highly recommended. … Faaascianting trademark-infringement case underway involving those tree-shaped car fresheners. … There’s a new photo book devoted to hip-hop T-shirts. … A Spanish TV news reporter mistakenly used the Star Wars Rebel Alliance logo and thought it was the Al-Qaeda logo. … New logo for the 2018 World Equestrian Games. … NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s final Sprint Cup race is this weekend, so Hendrick Motorsports cars will have their numbers rendered in “Jeff Gordon yellow” as a tribute (from @JayJayDean). … An Australian Navy squadron has a patch based on the South Park depiction of Russell Crowe (from Duncan Wilson). … New logo for Washington DC’s airports (from William Yurasko). … Old curling brooms had some very cool logos. … Several rugby teams are getting ridiculous superhero jerseys (from @Stumpy7780). … Michael Gross, who designed the Ghostbusters logo and also created National Lampoon’s famous “If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll kill this dog” cover design, has died (thanks, Brinke).