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I spent a good chunk of yesterday in Manhattan, where I was present for the taping of several segments for Puppy Bowl XI, which will air in February. I’m not allowed to talk about anything of it (the whole thing is embargoed until Jan. 29), but it would be fair to say that they have some very entertaining new features this time around. It would also be fair to say I had a very, very good time. I’ll be back for more today.
They had about 10 different press pass designs to choose from, each featuring a different adorable pooch. A tough choice! I went with Agatha because I liked the slight angle of her head and her perked-up ears. But I might choose a different one for today’s session.
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The newest Uni Watcher: Please join me in offering big congrats to longtime Uni Watch readers/neighbors/pals Marty and Jessie Buccafusco, who are now the proud parents of the newborn nipper shown above. “His name is Augustus Long Buccafusco, but his friends call him Gus,” says Marty. “For his first day home from the hospital, we put him in this Brooklyn Dodgers-inspired jersey that I painted for him.”
That’s Marty and Jessie for ya — they turn everything into a fun (and often uni-related!) extracurricular project. I really admire their approach to life, and I know they’re going to be awesome parents. Cheers, M+J — hope see both of you, and meet Gus, in the very near future.
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’Skins Watch: Those Pennsylvania high school newspaper editors who refused to print the word “Redskins” have received an award from the American Civil Liberties Union. … Some students at San Diego State are petitioning to change the school’s “Aztecs” team name (from Brady Phelps). … Interesting piece on how the ’Skins issue is shaking out among politicians (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: The University of Minnesota American Indian Student Cultural Center is planning a protest for the when the ’Skins come to play the Vikings on Nov. 2. … Here’s the latest on the move to get the FCC to ban the ’Skins name from the public airwaves. … The management at NPR has instructed its staff to limit the use of the ’Skins name (from Bryan Firvida). … There’s increasing pressure on the U. of Minnesota to eliminate any traces of the ’Skins name or logo from TCF Bank Stadium, which will be the site of the ’Skins/Vikes game on Nov. 2 (thanks, Phil).
Baseball News: San Diego State will be adding this Tony Gwynn memorial patch next spring (from Jared Buccola). … Pretty sure we’ve seen this before, but it’s worth repeating: Check out this sensational 1926 Giants season pass (from Ben Fortney). … The Mets have begun bringing in their fences yet again. That’s the third fence alteration in the ballpark’s short history. … The Rangers welcomed new skipper Jeff Banister by posting a photo of him in an outdated uniform. Shouldn’t have the drop shadow (good spot by Brian James). … Here’s an old shot of an ump wearing a windbreaker and a Cubs cap. Must’ve been a case of lost luggage (from Michael Kotler). … “With the Cardinals’ early exit from the NLCS, it appears to be the first time they have ever played an entire playoff series without wearing their standard home uniform,” says Mark Richter. “They wore their cream-colored alts in Game 1, then in Game 2 their standard white uni with their Sunday blue hats. And then their road grays for Games 3, 4, and 5.” … Joe Montana was at last night’s NLCS game and wore a Giants home jersey with an NOB. Tsk-tsk (thanks, Brinke).
NFL News: At first I thought Raiders QB Derek Carr was using two different Qalo rings — black at home and white on the road. But it looks like the white version is just tape. Still, impressive color coordination! (From Jake Morrow.) … Good story on those sideline
iPads Surface tablets. … 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has won a “best dressed” competition (Thanks, Brinke).
College and High School Football News: After Deadspin ran a piece questioning whether Cory Gardner, who’s running for U.S. Senate in Colorado, was being truthful when he said he’d played high school football, Gardner’s campaign responded with a high school photo of Gardner in uniform. … Mono-black this weekend for UNC. … Speaking of UNC, last weekend they added a “Team Kemo” decal for their equipment manager’s daughter, who recently passed away. … Oregon State added a Pinktober ribbon decal last night. … Here’s another look at USC’s metallic helmet for this weekend. Personally, I really like it (thanks, Phil). … Arizona State has banned game attendees from wearing face paint, because people were wearing blackface for blackout games (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: This is completely awesome: goal horn sounds for all 30 NHL teams — plus the Hartford Whalers, for good measure (big thanks to Chris Flinn). … Two interesting things about this junior hockey team in northern Michigan: (1) They’re called the Electricians. (2) They’ve found an interesting way to adapt the Capitals’ logo (from Alan Filipczak). … New mask design for Milwaukee Admirals goalie Magnus Hellberg. “It features Pelle Svanslös, a cartoon cat that comes from the same town in Sweden as Hellberg,” explains Daniel Lavender. … “I was watching Thursday night’s Stars/Pens game when one of the Pens was injured by a teammate’s shot,” says Mike Slavonic. “Forward Evgeni Malkin went to help out his teammate and I noticed Malkin was wearing two different gloves — Reebok on one hand and CCM on the other.” … The Niagara IceDogs wore tuxedo-themed jerseys for the opening of their new arena (thanks, Phil).
NBA News: The NBA 2K15 video game shows the NBA Finals patch on the back of the jersey, just like the regular NBA logo. Sorta makes sense, since the Finals patch normally replaced the league logo on the front, so they’re being consistent by having it replace the league logo on the back. But it still seems really odd to have this type of patch on the back of a jersey. The star-shaped All-Star Game patch has traditionally been on the front as well — will that be moving to the back? (From Mikhail Herrera.) … Odd that the Nets’ cheerleaders all wear double-zero (from Chris Flinn). … Ever wonder what new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer would look like in a Clippers uni? Me neither, but be warned — once you see it, you can’t unsee it (from Chris Flinn). … The D-League’s Austin Toros are now the Austin Spurs.
College and High School Hoops News: Lots of unusual things going on with this uniform. That’s a mid-1990s shot of Manual High School in Peoria, Illinois. The older man in the photo, coach Wayne McClain, just passed away (from Ben Zoss). … Hail Satans! That’s Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. “The story goes like this,” says Leo Strawn Jr. “According to Sinclair archivist Julie Fairchild, the ‘Satans’ team name came from the word ‘sin’ in ‘Sinclair.’ No worse than Blue Devils, right? But Marvin Knudson, Sinclair president from 1967 to 1974, didn’t care for that moniker, so the team name was changed in 1973. For the past 35 years they’ve been the Tartans, wich is more in keeping with the college founder David Sinclair’s Scottish heritage.”
Soccer News: Here’s a piece on the evolution of soccer jersey fabrics and styles over the years (from Nile Smith). … G.I. Joe costumes this Saturday for the Indy Eleven (from Nile Smith).
Grab Bag: A Pittsburgh-area answering service company has a logo featuring a rotary dial. Wonder how long that’s gonna last (from Brad Susany). … A Minneapolis-area school has come up with new girls’ basketball uniforms that conform to its Somali students’ traditional customs of religious modesty (from Josh Roshell). … I bid on this vintage Durene basketball warm-up but got outbid. Dang. … Here’s the logo for the 2014-15 Japanese pro basketball all-star game (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: the logo for the 2015 World Handball Championship and the official ball for that tournament. … Two rugby items from Caleb Borchers: A new New Zealand Maori jersey pays tribute to indigenous Maori and Japanese culture, and — here’s a doozy — two Australian teams had sleeves so similar in color that the video ref incorrectly gave a score for the actions of the defensive team on their own goal line, mistakenly thinking the defensive arm was from the offensive team.
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Over and out: I’m off to Wisconsin tomorrow for a week-long vacation. Phil will be in charge while I’m gone. See you on the 27th!
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On the left is Billy Butler of the Royals. On the right, actor Paul Rudd, who happens to be a big Royals fan. Both men are wearing T-shirts. One of those T-shirts is charmingly simple and remarkably effective; the other is a steaming mess of over-cluttered design (as you can more clearly see here). Imagine if all the guys in this photo had been wearing a shirt like Rudd’s, instead of like Butler’s. Wouldn’t that have been nice? Why couldn’t they have done that? Wait, let me guess.
As bad as that shirt is, however, at least it doesn’t have a big, throbbing apostrophe catastrophe. Ugh.
I wasn’t rooting for the Royals at the start of this series, but they won me over. I’m happy for them and their fans. I’m also happy for all of us who root for shitty MLB teams (something I’ve gotten way too familiar with in recent years), because the Royals’ ascendancy shows that even the worst team can turn it around.
A few other aesthetic notes on the new A.L. champions:
• Here’s something you don’t often get to see: the American League trophy. Quick, what’s its official name? Give yourself a gold star if you knew it’s called the William Harridge Trophy. And who was Harridge? Bonus points if you knew he was the American League president from 1931 to 1959. But here’s the real stumper: What’s a league president?
• In a stunning development, the Royals’ clubhouse celebration featured at least three different brands of goggles (and maybe more!). I for one am disgusted at the commissioner’s office’s failure to designate an Official Pennant-Clinching Protective Goggle of Major League Baseball. Or maybe they did designate one and some of the players were simply wearing unauthorized pennant-clinching goggles, an offense for which they’ll do doubt be fined.
• I’m sure there’s a good reason why Royals pitcher Danny Duffy was celebrating in a bear costume, but I don’t think I want to know what it is. (I’ll say this, though: He’s in good company.)
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NFL Superhero Project
By Thomas Correia
My favorite comments lately have been those that support the connection between a hero and an NFL team through some comic book story that I wasn’t aware of (last week, for example, there was a connection between Spidey and Houston). Thanks, and keep up the comments!
This week’s match-up, featuring the Jets and Patriots, was probably the easiest combination of superheroes to figure out (click to enlarge):
For the Jets, I knew I had to use a hero closely associated with the color green, so I decided to go with the Green Lantern, or rather the entire Green Lantern Corps. Plus the most famous Green Lantern in comics was a jet fighter pilot, Hal Jordan, so that clinched it for this choice.
This Patriots logo was actually what inspired this project. I’m a Pats fan, and back in April I saw the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which gave me the idea of combining the flying Elvis logo with the most patriotic of superheroes. It was challenging and fun, so I then decided to re-create the entire NFL in the superhero format. So this is the logo you have to thank for what you’ve been seeing the past few weeks.
Next week: Chargers vs. Broncos. Bring on the guesses in the comments below.
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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
I’ve asked before about your favorite piece of sports memorabilia. Now I’m putting a spin on it: What’s the oldest piece you own? Why have you kept it so long? How have you kept it in good condition? If it’s something that’s on display or even usable, are you worried that you might ruin it? What is the endgame with the item (pass it along, sell it, etc.)?
I have a cool 1950 Wisconsin State Fair race car shirt. I got it from my grandpa (via my dad) a few years ago, and even though it’s 64 years old, it’s still in pristine condition — perfectly white, no flaking on the printing. So even though I think it would fit me nicely, I don’t want to ruin it. So it sits in a drawer. Which makes no sense at all.
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Podcast alert: Longtime Uni Watch reader Anthony Verna is an intellectual property attorney. He recently launched a new podcast to address trademark issues, and earlier this week he interviewed me to discuss branding, logo design, and so on. We mostly talked about aesthetic approaches (not so much the legal stuff that’s his bread and butter). You can listen to our discussion here.
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Lots of people sent this in: Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie apologized for wearing a “These O’s Ain’t Royal” T-shirt at his postgame press conference Tuesday night. … Red Wing Shoes is selling a throwback boot for a model that was originally designed for Ted Williams (from Tommy Turner). … The illustrations for William Bryce’s “Canadian base ball guide for 1877″ are now online at the Canadian Library and Archives’ website — the four links have color illustrations of socks, hats and belts (from Will Scheibler). … Miguel Cabrera stars in a Chrysler ad that has blank jerseys and caps, which I find wildly distracting.
NFL News: “I have noticed that the NFL game balls are darker this year,” says Tony Bruno. “I asked a friend who’s a rep for Wilson, and he said that this year they can use a ball for three weeks instead of new game balls every week. The more they are used, the darker they get.” … The Ravens will wear black tops with pink accessories on Sunday (from Phil). … Comedian Tom Wrigglesworth, who supposedly looks like Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, got to meet the Packers’ seamstresses, who made up a jersey for him (from Aaron McHargue). … Here’s a look at Washington’s record in recent years broken down by pants design (from David Cline).
College Football News: Dockers and the NCAA are selling team-branded khakis (from Phil). … Oregon made a video to show how its throwback helmets are made (from Phil). … A TCU player had an upside-down Big 12 logo Saturday (from Phil). … BYU will wear black uniforms next month (from Phil). … USC will wear metallic helmets with chrome facemasks for its homecoming game.
Hockey News: Here’s a look at the Sabres’ uniform history (from Phil). … The Islanders’ fisherman throwbacks reemerged in part because of eBay (from Phil). … Garrett Heller reports that not only are almost all the Reebok-branded jerseys gone from the AHL — they were replaced by CCM jerseys — but that also the popular RibCore hockey stick is now made CCM instead of Reebok. “Makes me think when Reebok’s jersey contract with the NHL expires in a few seasons, the company bidding for renewal will be under the CCM name (rather than Reebok or even the rumor of Adidas),” he says.
Basketball News: Here’s a Knicks uniform timeline. It’s a little hard to read on that link, so use the download button and you’ll get a PDF, which you can enlarge for easier viewing. Those pages are from this year’s Knicks media guide. … The Knicks will wear this patch for games against the Nets before the All-Star break this year. … New away unis for Kansas (from Phil). … New blue jerseys for Florida (from Phil). … The NBA 2K15 video game shows a new sleeved version of the Raptors’ camouflage jersey (from Sunny Moon). .
Grab Bag: The Seattle Sounders unveiled the (very simplistic) logo for their FC 2 team (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s how your brain processes a logo (from Brinke). … Wilson is selling “Wilson” from the film Cast Away. Timely! … I don’t usually pimp my work here at Uni Watch, but here’s something some of you might find interesting: I have an Instagram account where I post pics of what I’m most interested in – jerseys and cool signs from around Chicago. Follow me if you please.
It’s been an interesting year for the Mets’ skyline logo. Back in January, uniform designer/historian Todd Radom discovered that the logo had originally been rendered in pink and black. Six months later he figured out why it had been pink and black. And then last month we had that kerfuffle about one of the buildings in the skyline being replaced by the Citicorp Center.
But now reader Steve Dodell (who was the first to alert me to the Citicorp skyline issue, so he’s a bit of Mets logo savant) has pointed out another storyline regarding the logo — one that I really should have noticed myself years ago.
Let’s start with the original logo rendering by cartoonist Ray Gotto, who submitted the winning entry in the team’s logo design contest more than 50 years ago. It was unveiled on Nov. 16, 1961. Here’s how it looked in The New York Times the following day:
As you can see, the “Mets” script looks a bit thin in that version. Someone — maybe Gotto, maybe a graphic artist employed by the team — added a white keyline to it when rendering it in color, beefing it up to the more familiar proportions we’re used to seeing today:
The thing is, that version of the logo — the one based on Gotto’s original design — is not the one that’s been used for most of the team’s history. Let’s compare the version I just showed you (we’ll call that Version 1) to the one on this 1962 pocket schedule (we’ll call that Version 2; click image below to enlarge):
Leaving aside the color differences (we can write those off to printing variations, scanning/photo variations, fading, etc.), we can see that several tweaks were made as the logo transitioned from the first version to the second one:
1. The blue skyline silhouette was raised a bit.
2. The suspension bridge was made slightly smaller.
3. The script lettering was made slightly smaller. (The registration of the orange within the white keyline also shifted a bit, but that’s something that has never been consistent throughout the team’s history, so I’m not going to count that as a design change here.)
4. The arc of the baseball stitches was changed, and the stitch count was increased. The stitches themselves were also made a bit thicker.
5. The cross of the “t” was altered, making it shorter on the left side than on the right. This is probably the most significant change, because it carried over to the team’s jerseys.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “So they made an initial version of the logo based on Gotto’s original rendering, and then they made some adjustments to it in time for the start of their inaugural season. They scrapped Version 1 and kept Version 2 — big deal.”
But here’s the thing: They didn’t scrap Version 1 — at least not entirely. When Shea Stadium opened in 1964 (the team’s third season), the scoreboard featured a display area that was supposed to provide photos and video replay (further info here). Unfortunately, it never really worked, so they just slapped the team’s logo in there. And they used Version 1 of the logo — the one with the longer cross on the “t” and all the rest of Gotto’s original details — as you can see in this photo from May 31, 1964 (click to enlarge):
The Version 1 logo was still there on the scoreboard more than five years later, when the Mets defeated the Orioles to win the 1969 World Series (click to enlarge):
And it was still there nearly seven years after that, on Sept. 4, 1976, when this photo was taken (click to enlarge):
The scoreboard was overhauled in 1982, so the logo was definitely removed by then, but I’m not sure if it was ever updated in between 1976 and ’82. I’ve done a fair amount of photo research and have also consulted a bunch of Mets experts, but so far no dice. My hunch, though, is that the Version 1 logo, with the longer cross on the “t,” stayed in place through the end of 1981.
Meanwhile, did the Mets ever use Version 1 in any other capacity? I haven’t been able to turn up any other instances of it, but I bet they’re out there. After all, these are the Mets we’re talking about.
Speaking of which: In a characteristically clueless move, the Mets have been misspelling Ray Gotto’s surname as “Gatto” in their media guides and on their website since 1985. It’s not Gatto; it’s Gotto. And as Casey liked to say, you can look it up. So for nearly 30 years, the Mets have been misspelling the name of the guy who created the basis for their entire visual program. Idiots.
(Special thanks to Steve Dodell for bringing the scoreboard logo issue to my attention, and to Faith and Fear in Flushing blogger Greg Prince for the 1976 scoreboard photo.)
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Two of my favorite things: My presence here on the site is going to be limited over the next two days and non-existent next week, but I think you’ll cut me some slack when you hear what I’ll be up to.
First, I’ll be spending parts of tomorrow and Friday in Manhattan, where I’ll be attending the taping of the latest edition of the Puppy Bowl. As usual, there will be other animals involved besides puppies, including kittens and something else that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. The whole thing is embargoed until late January, so I won’t be able to talk about it or post any photos until then, but I expect to have a full-on cutegasm all the same. And I promise to share everything with you folks as soon as I’m allowed to do so. Big thanks to my friends at Animal Planet for once again inviting me to the taping.
Then on Saturday I’m flying off for a week-long vacation in Wisconsin, my favorite place, where I’ll be enjoying the Badger State’s considerable autumnal charms. In addition to visiting friends, checking out cultural landmarks, and partaking of the Badger State’s matchless roster of taverns, I’m also going to be mixing a bit of business with my pleasure by visiting at least one and possibly two places that I plan to write about. First, I’ll be stopping in at the awesome FAST Corp., whose acronym stands for fiberglass animals, shapes, and trademarks. (Among other things, they make the Big Boy statues.) I was there once before, but that was way back in ’96, so I want to see what they’re up to these days. I’ll get a tour of the grounds, interview the staff, and take some pics, all of which I’ll cobble together into an article that should run next month on re:Form, the excellent design website to which I’ve recently been contributing.
I’m also hoping to arrange a stop at Ripon Athletic, which, oddly enough, I’ve never visited on any of my previous Wisconsin trips. Should make for a good entry here on Uni Watch. Haven’t worked out all the details on this one yet, but I think we’ll be able to work something out.
The site will still be open for business while I’m away, so things here should continue pretty much as usual. Also, my annual NBA season preview will run on ESPN at some point next week (probably on Weds. or Thurs., although that hasn’t yet been finalized), and of course Phil will provide you with the link for that once it’s ben posted.
The bad part is that I won’t be able to write about the first few games of the World Series; the good part is that I’ll be able to watch those games with my keister parked on various Wisconsin barstools, something I’ve enjoyed doing before (but not recently). Looking forward to that.
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BuyMyStuff, BuyMyStuff, BuyMyStuff: It’s been, what, nine whole days since the last time I bugged you to order a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch, sticker, or T-shirt. Also, this T-shirt has been popular-ish lately. And hey, didn’t you make a New Year’s resolution back in January — or maybe two Januarys ago — to join the Uni Watch Membership Program?
Of course you did.
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PermaRec update: It’s turning out to be a very good week for time capsules. Details over on Permanent Record.
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Baseball News: Some Royals fans get points for honesty. Others get pointsfor weirdness. … George Brett wore a powder blue jersey while throwing the first pitch prior to last night’s O’s/Royals playoff game in KC. Interesting that they had him wear that instead of a home white jersey. … A Giants/Orioles World Series isn’t looking too likely, but I’m still hoping for that match-up, if only because I really want to see an Adam Jones vs. Sergio Romo orange-striped hosiery hoedown in the Fall Classic. … “I was flipping channels (I swear) and noticed a guy wearing a 1989 Cubs/Giants NLCS T-shirt on some show called Marry Me,” says Chris Flinn. … Longtime Ticker contributor Richard Paloma thinks the A’s should have a “Swingin’ A’s” throwback as a permanent alternate uni. … Want some first-class entertainment? Here’s a disputed call during a 1984 Reds/Cubs game that leads to a humdinger of an argument and, eventually, a brawl. A doozy! … Tom Konecny was watching Game 5 of the 1984 World Series and noticed that Padres 3B Graig Nettles’s NOB was straight instead of vertically arched. Ditto for Ron Roenicke. Odd, especially for the Series.
Pro Football News: Someone at last Sunday’s Bengals game was wearing a funny Pacman Jones jersey (thanks, Phil). … 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick once again wore Beats headphones for his postgame press conference on Monday night, but this time he covered up the logos. … NFL.com put together a slideshow with over 50 photos showing throwback uniforms going back to 1994. “There are some great photos I have never seen before,” says the Hungry Hungry Hipster, “including the Bears trying to block a field goal in their vertically striped 1920s jerseys and the Browns wearing TV numbers on their helmets in 2007, which I never knew even happened.” … Although it wasn’t shown on TV, Monday night’s Niners/Rams game featured some Ferguson protestors who unfurled various banners in the stadium. … Oooh, check out this cool 1950s footage of the Racine Raiders, a semi-pro team that was founded in the 1920s and still exists today. “I think semi-pro football is a treasure trove of uni-centric information, and could be a goldmine if tapped into,” says Shawn Nissen. … Stephen A. Smith said he’d wear a Tony Romo jersey if the Cowboys beat the Seahawks, and he made good on that promise — but with an old Reebok jersey (screen shot by Sean Kneringer). … An online poll has determined that the best high school football helmet in the state of Michigan is basically a rip-off of the Jags’ first helmet. The best part of the article is when the team’s former coach says, referring to the logo, “It kind of gave us our own identity.” Uh-huh (from John Korinek). … The Gridiron Uniform Database shows the 1983 Bears wearing two similar but distinct George Halas memorial patch designs. And sure enough, photos confirm that the patch worn with the white jersey had oddly pointy tips, while the one worn with the dark jersey did not. Nice how that last version had outlining on the “H,” so it looked like a goalpost. Still, very odd that the two versions didn’t match (thanks to Phil for reminding me about these patches, which I’ve always liked).
College Football News: Baylor wants its fans to do the stripe-out thing for two games in November (thanks, Phil). … Ditto for Missouri. … BeeYOOteeful throwbacks this weekend for Oregon. … New “U! S! A!” costumes for Eastern Washington — except they’re not really new. Yup, nothing says, “Patriotism” like ordering an old design out of a catalog. … Seriously ugly Pinktober helmet for Air Force. … Illinois will wear gray alternates on Oct. 25. Here are some additional photos and the matching helmet. … This is pretty cool: an interactive timeline showing the evolution of TCU’s uniforms (nice find, Phil). … “My pal Whitney Cox is photographing up at Cornell U,” says our own Scott M.X. Turner. “He forwarded me a pic of this mural showing the school’s football team in the 1890s. Stripey goodness.” Indeed.
Hockey News: The AHL’s Adirondak Flames have apologized after a controversial skit involving their mascot (from Cort McMurray). … Kudos to the crew at The Hockey News, who used Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo to create an infinite regression on the cover of their current issue (and kudos to Mike Engle for pointing it out to me).
NBA News: The Nets and Celtics will play a 44-minute preseason game, instead of the usual 48 minutes. Insert the obvious “That gives them four more minutes of commercials to run” commentary here. … We don’t yet know what the Heat’s and Celtics’
“Pride” Hubris uniforms will look like, but the shorts sure don’t look promising. … Mike Miller of the Cavs must’ve been pretty sure he wouldn’t be playing in last night’s preseason game, because he was wearing a ring (good spot by Andy Henderson).
College and High School Hoops News: New uniforms for UT-Arlington (from Casey Wieder). … Here’s Baylor’s complete sweatback set for next year (thanks, Phil). … “At our first meeting of the year for the Rhode Island board of International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, I picked up a copy of the 2014-2015 rulebook,” says Joel Mathwig. “The following note appeared within the ‘Major Editorial Changes’ section, which set forth by the National Federation of State High School Associations: ‘1-12-1a: The ball … its solid color shall be Pantone Matching System (PMS) Orange 151, Red-Orange 173 or Brown 1535, effective 2019-20.” In other words, starting in five years, the ball can be any of three different colors. And what’s the current rule? “The rule just states that the ball’s ‘solid color shall be the approved orange shade or natural color,'” says Joel.
Soccer News: The Portland Portland Timbers’ new USL Pro minor league club, Timbers FC 2, will let certain season ticket-holders choose the club’s game-day kits. “Also, the team’s logo is full of historic references: Chevrons from ’75, axe from MLS-era, and the ‘2’ is rendered in the font used on the original 1975 NASL-era jerseys,” says Erik Siemers). … Man U wanted to have an additional sponsor for the back of the jersey but faced opposition from other Premier League teams. Adam Silver and Mark Cuban could not reached for comment (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Some British MPs want to ban Newcastle United’s payday lender sponsor on kids’ replica jerseys, just as liquor and gambling sponsors are currently banned.
Grab Bag: Converse is filing trademark-infringement litigation against 31 copycat sneaker makers (thanks, Phil). … F1 driver Michael Schumacher’s head injuries may have been caused by the GoPro camera mount on his helmet. … Here’s one guy’s list of 10 teams that need to bring back their 1990s uniforms. “Some of these are not terrible suggestions,” says Garrett. … Here’s a good assortment of sports-related maps and infographics (from Joey Breeland). … The Color Mafia, or at least one corner of it, has declared that the Color of 2015 is a very nice pale green. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that tone on a uniform, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it. … Possibly NSFW, if you’re in an uptight office: Why is there a swoosh painted on this woman’s nippe? Answer here (thanks, Phil). … Last week I linked to Norway’s cool new currency designs. Also cool: some of the designs that were rejected (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Good story on how the T-shirt was invented.
So everyone went apeshit yesterday when Deadspin reported that the NBA’s new TV deal (which, in case you missed it, you can learn about here) includes a provision that could facilitate the advent of corporate ad patches on NBA jerseys. The gist is that if a team wears a patch from an advertiser that would normally have bought a TV commercial during an ESPN- or TNT-televised game, that uni advertiser will also commit to running commercials during that game.
The Deadspin report begins with the statement “Advertisements on NBA uniforms are inevitable” and concludes with “[If you're opposed to uni ads], the NBA is not the hill to die upon. Retreat to another sport, so you may fight again another day.” In other words, Deadspin thinks it’s a done deal.
I beg to differ. Here’s why:
1. The Deadspin report (and all the subsequent reports from other media outlets that trickled out yesterday afternoon) is based on this report from Sports Business Journal. In other words, Sports Biz Journal is the outlet that broke the story — everyone else just rehashed it. And how did the people who broke the story begin their article? Let’s take a look:
If the NBA sells corporate advertising on game jerseys, which many believe is inevitable, network partners Turner and ESPN will get certain spending guarantees related to those contracts — a development that was negotiated as part of the league’s massive nine-year, $24 billion media deals.
But that’s where the clarity ends, because the details of what the networks will receive — and from whom — remain as undefined as the league’s future policy on selling jersey advertising.
Doesn’t sound nearly as clear-cut as Deadspin indicated, does it?
In short: Yes, the league and its broadcast partners have created a mechanism that accounts for the possibility of uniform ads. But they haven’t yet sorted out the details of that mechanism, much less activated it. Or to put it another way, the league is preparing for the possibility of uniform advertising. Thanks for the news flash, but we already knew that.
2. Several people I spoke to last week indicated to me that the league’s new TV deal actually makes uniform ads less likely, because the NBA’s TV partners wouldn’t want their commercials to be competing with uniform ads. This newly reported provision is clearly an attempt to account for that, because the uni advertiser would also have to become a TV advertiser, so that should mollify the networks. But think about it from an advertiser’s perspective: If you’re already a uni advertiser, do you want to be forced to run TV commercials as well? Maybe you do — it would create a multi-faceted branding blitz, after all. Then again, maybe you don’t want to be locked into a “Buy one, you must buy two” system. Faced with that requirement, maybe you just skip the uniform ads altogether.
Granted, we’re talking about complex, high-stakes business maneuvering here, and there are clearly aspects of this storyline that don’t play directly to my skill set. But I’ve done my share of business writing over the years, and it sure seems to me like Deadspin made an alarmist leap from the Sports Biz Journal story. Also, we’ve been hearing that NBA uni ads are “inevitable” for years now (and they’ve been discussed for nearly a decade), which means they’re demonstrably not inevitable.
Will Adam Silver and his merry men eventually get their shit together on this? Maybe. But remember, this plan was already scuttled once before because the owners were too greedy to figure out how to divvy up the loot. Personally, I have faith in their ability to keep messing this up. #NoUniAds
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Click to make stomach even larger
The Eagle has finally landed: As you can see, the geniuses at Nike have finally figured out how to mix yellow and blue to create green, and thank the lordy for that — wouldn’t have wanted to miss a great photo like the one shown above.
But don’t get too excited just yet, because the Eagles have a bye this Sunday. Then they play on the road against the Cardinals (who’ll presumably be wearing red) and Texans (who’ll definitely be wearing red). So the Iggles won’t have a chance to wear their new green jerseys until Nov. 10 — almost another whole month from now! — assuming the green dye doesn’t bleed in the wash or something like that before then.
Meanwhile, reader Ernad Selimagic points out that Philly isn’t the only team whose primary colored jersey has been scarce lately. Six weeks into the season, the Titans have worn white for every single game. Could there be a problem with their jerseys too? Hmmmmm.
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By Brinke Guthrie
With the Giants/Cards series moving to AT&T Park today, how about a 1980s DeLong Giants pullover and this 1970s-1980s Cardinals T-shirt with striped sleeves (shown above)? And speaking of the MLB playoffs, couple of KC Royals items here, too: a 1970s Royals glass (which looks an awful lot like non-Royal Reggie Jackson, even down to the Puma stripe on his left shoe) and a 1970s Topps plastic cap and ball mini-plaque. And if you’re an O’s fan, buy a batch of Esskay hot dogs and get this “Orioles Magic” seat cushion.
But hey, there’s more to life than the MLB playoffs, so here are the rest of this week’s eBay picks:
• Oh. My. God. No further words needed — just click here.
• Wow, a big haul of those large 1970s NFL helmet plaques. You often see these sold individually, but as a set? Wow!
• Never seen a Technigraph plaque for the Lions before. Hurry, this one ends tonight. Helmet itself looks perfect but the frame has some wear. Same seller also has a Bills plaque that has more wear and tear. Also found a Cowboys version, and it looks to be in perfect condition!
• This WHA Hartford Whalers tie is in perfect condition. One of the greatest logos ever IMO. [If you like that tie, you need to check out this Uni Watch entry from two years ago. — PL]
• Check the retro logo on this 1960s Steelers glass. Pair it with this glass ice bucket.
• Great box cover artwork on this 1968 Ideal NHL game with the Blackhawks and Rangers.
• This looks like a Sears item to me — a 1960s Broncos scarf complete with the old bucking horse logo.
• Bucco Bruce lives on, emblazoned on this 1995 7-11 travel mug.
• Here is a pair of 1970s KC Chiefs mittens, just the thing for those cold December games at Arrowhead.
• Here’s an entire 1970s NFL gumball helmet set complete with display board. And from the same period, here’s a Raaaaaaay-duhz helmet buggy with a questionable stripe down the middle. Also found this Bengals gumball helmet- the picture’s crappy, but you can see how they originally rendered the font- not even close.
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PermaRec update: A new Toyota Camry commercial (which I saw while watching an NFL game, so you’ve probably seen it too) has a surprising, if somewhat implausible, PermaRec-ish message. Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath
Baseball News: The Diamondbacks already have a uniform and cap waiting for their new manager, Chip Hale. … At Friday night’s ALCS game, the Orioles sold World Cup Budweiser beer that was past its freshness date, although it’s hard to know how anyone could tell the difference (from Tommy Turner). … “I got married on Sept. 27 and gave my groomsmen classic Red Sox stirrups,” says Andy C. “They were a huge hit. Big thanks to Robert Marshall for the hook-up!”
Pro Football News: Not only did the Rams wear 1999 “Greatest Show on Turf” throwbacks last night, but their field also took part in the throwback party (thanks, Phil). … Rams WR Austin Pettis is from Anaheim, which presumably explains why he has a Mighty Ducks tattoo (from Mikey Brethauer). … Yesterday Paul mentioned that the Eagles didn’t wear any Pinktober accessories on Sunday night. Not only that, but the pink-trimmed wordmark on the field, which had been visible during the Temple/Tulsa game the day before, was gone by Sunday night (from Andrew Hoenig. … The CFL’s Montreal Als honored Anthony Calvillo yesterday by retiring his No. 13 and marking Percival Molson Stadium’s 13-yard lines (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). … This 49ers fan is not number one (thanks for nothing, Phil). … “The Pegula family, who own the Sabres, are now the owners of the Buffalo Bills, and as such they’ve been presented jerseys on a few occasions now,” says an anonymous Bills fan. “The thing is, they are the old neck roll versions, not the current version.” … Here’s a video of Fox commentator Howie Long questioning why a player who delivers a dirty hit is fined less than a player who wears Beats headphones (from Jen Hayden). … Coming this Sunday: the Chargers in powder blue and the Broncos in mono-navy (from Phil and Ron Ruelle, respectively).
College Football News: Oregon will wear 1994 throwbacks this weekend (from Chris Acquino). … “Purdue is a Nike school, but Purdue defensive coordinator Greg Hudson had a Majestic hat on in the first half of the game against Michigan State on Saturday,” says Nicklas Lane. “After halftime, he was wearing a similar hat but obviously now a Nike hat. Do you think someone at Nike spotted the Majestic hat and notified Purdue?” … No pictures, but the Kansas University team is going against the norm in the college football uniform world. “You won’t see any more funky uniforms. You’re going to see blue and gray at home, white (tops) and white (pants) on the road,” says KU defensive lineman Keon Stowers (from Derek Noll). … Reader Jared Buccola asked Fresno State if the team was going to wear anything special for their “Salute the Services” game on Nov. 1. They replied that the stars and stripes bulldog logo will be worn on a white helmet. … Rumor has it that Florida State is going BFBS against Notre Dame this weekend (thanks, Phil). … A Cincinnati jersey was missing its chest wordmark last weekend (thanks, Phil). … Hmmm, did a new Texas Tech helmet just leak?
Soccer News: MLS announced that season ticket holders can get their faces in MLS jersey numbers next season. The kits will be worn in August by all MLS clubs (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). … The University of Nebraska at Kerney Women’s Soccer club went Pinktober during their last game (from Jason Johnson). … “During the Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Belgium match. B-H striker Vedad Ibisevic was wearing something weird on his head,” says Andy Bryson. “Turns out he took a header to the temple and he got cracked pretty good, so his other ear got taped up and apparently that headwrap was put on to keep everything in place. The injury happened 15 minutes in and he stayed in for the rest of the game after being patched up.”
Pro and College Basketball News: The Hornets’ home court design has a trippy honeycomb design (thanks, Phil). … The Illinois media guide cover features an interesting “Illini” wordmark. “The ‘LL’ in is rotationally symmetric with the ‘N,'” notes Greg Trandel (who clearly just wanted an excuse to say “rotationally symmetric,” and who can blame him). … Baylor’s hoops program has switched from Adidas to Nike and has a new set of black alts.
Grab Bag: With the Pegula family owning both the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, they have introduced the “One Buffalo” campaign, which features the words “One Buffalo” rendered in Bills and Sabres colors. … In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except
death sports and taxes. So here’s an interesting infographic on the taxes generated by sports salaries.