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Now That’s How It’s Done

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Now that’s how it’s supposed to work. After a bunch of Thursday-night games that all featured one team wearing white, we finally got a true color-on-color game last night. I caught some of the game at a bar (where I was attending a going-away party for longtime Uni Watch reader/neighbor/pal Marty Buccafusco, who’s leaving town shortly — dang) and basically thought, “Eh, not bad.” Here are some additional photos and highlight footage.

In a sign of progress, only two people emailed or tweeted me to say, “Isn’t Denver’s helmet violating the NFL rule?” I think people are finally learning!

Next Thursday’s uni match-up, mono-blue Bears vs. mono-white Packers, will have the distinction of being Green Bay’s first time wearing white at home since 1989, but otherwise has little to recommend it.

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Friday Flashback: With the New Era logo now appearing on MLB caps, my latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN looks at the history of maker’s marks on pro sports uniforms (including the surprisingly large variety of NFL examples that appeared from 1990 through 2000, shown above). Check it out here.

In case you’re wondering, those logos are (left to right, top row to bottom): Russell Athletic, MacGregor, Starter, Apex, Logo Athletic, Adidas, Puma, Wilson, and Wilson Staff. Nike and Champion also appeared during the ’90s. Teams were still cutting their own deals, so it was a free-for-all out there.

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McClinton update: In Wednesday’s entry about Curtis McClinton’s oddly modified Chiefs helmet from Super Bowl IV, I included several quotes from helmet historian Curtis Worrell of Helmet Hut. He sent me a follow-up note yesterday, saying that the entry inspired him to try to re-create the bars that had been added to McClinton’s helmet. The results look pretty sharp (click to enlarge):

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: With the Indians and Blue Jays set to face off in the ALCS tonight, it’s worth noting that longtime Jays radio announcer Jerry Howarth has not said the names of the Indians or Braves on the air since 1992. He also avoids phrases like, “They’re having a powwow on the mound” (from Iain Landon). … The Indians’ postseason success has also led to increased scrutiny for Chief Wahoo. … For last weekend’s football game against Dartmouth, Yale created a program cover featuring a montage of Yale/Dartmouth program cover images from decades past. Those old programs were from the days when Dartmouth’s teams were known as the Indians, and many of the cover designs featured indefensible caricatures of Native Americans. Yale officials ended up apologizing.

Baseball News: Did you know the Giants were considering a move to Toronto in the mid-1970s? Here’s a prototype “TG” cap that was produced at the time. Further info on the proposed move here and here (from Tim Buckley). … A photographer at last night’s Dodgers/Nats game was wearing a bike helmet. … Here’s a new one, at least to me: Nats Park had electronic bunting last night (from Tyler Kepner). … With the Dodgers’ victory last night, the NLCS will feature the only MLB team with a raised, rubberized batting helmet logo vs. the only MLB team with an embroidered batting helmet logo.

NFL News: Titans QB Marcus Mariota has his suits custom-made (from Wade Harder). … The Bills are going mono-blue this Sunday. … If you’ve been waiting for a new line of Dallas Cowboys underwear, today’s your lucky day (from Tommy Turner).

College Football News: Louisville wil go BFBS tonight. Here’s a close-up of the helmet. … Miami might get new green and/or black alts at some point down the road (thanks, Phil). … New “SEC Graduate” patches for two Florida players (from Moe Khan). … Here are this weekend’s uni combos for LSU, NC State, and Wake Forest. … LSU’s live tiger mascot died this week, so they’re wearing a memorial decal for him. Has any other animal ever been uni-memorialized? (From Wesley Eustis.)

Hockey News: The Oilers appear to have changed the gloves that they wear with their orange alternate jersey (from Wade Heidt). … With goalie Mike Condon moving from the Canadiens to the Penguins, the Pens’ equipment staff painted over the red stripes on his pads (from Jerry Wolper). … The Stars wore a helmet decal last night to honor the victims of last summer’s Dallas police shootings. … The Penguins have updated their Stanley Cup championship banners (from Ryan Connelly). … Another cross-sport José Fernández memorial in Miami, this time by the Panthers. They wore that jersey during pregame warm-ups last night, and also added that helmet decal. … Meep-meep! Very nice new uniforms for the Tucson Roadrunners. … The Hurricanes have released their third jersey schedule (from Gabe Cornwall). … Justin Williams of the Caps was missing his helmet number during last night’s game against the Penguins. … In that same game, Evgeni Malkin of the Pens was missing his alternate’s “A” for part of the third period. “It was loose, so he just pulled it off his sweater and handed it to a ref, who stuffed it in his pocket!” says Rob Ullman (screen shot by Mike Reilly).

College Hoops News: New uniforms for Wake Forest. … New uniforms and court design for South Carolina (both from Joel Mathwig).

Soccer News: “TSG Sprockhövel of the Regionalliga West (German 4th division soccer, which is pro but just barely) wears the exact same jersey numbers used in MLS,” says Bernd Wilms. “What’s even stranger is that their kits are made by Erima, not Adidas. As far as I know, Adidas custom-designed that font for MLS in 2013, so there’s no plausible reason why it should pop up in a German regional league.” … Chelsea is switching from Adidas to Nike next season (from Steven Fitzgerald). … Here’s one of those “What if soccer teams were actually American football teams?” projects.

Grab Bag: A local school board in Augusta, Ga., was deciding whether to allocate money for new marching band uniforms when a board member proposed that all band members, cheerleaders, and athletes wearing school-provided uniforms should be suspended if they don’t stand for the national anthem. The motion was set aside to allow the board time to study how other districts are handling the issue. … Kansas State’s logo will be featured on the hood of the Textron Aviation NASCAR for tomorrow’s race. … Wichita State is selling a bunch of uniforms and other gear from various sports.

An MLB Footwear Controversy from 1967

Jerry Wolper, our resident newspaper historian, recently turned up another uni-related story from journalism’s digital archives. This one dates back to 1967 and involves Maury Wills, who at the time was playing for the Pirates. He was no longer MLB’s preeminent base stealer (that status had passed to Lou Brock), but he was still a threat on the bases.

The story begins on April 4 of that year — the tail end of spring training, one week before Opening Day. On that date, an AP wire story about Wills appeared in many newspapers. The gist is that he had switched to a new style of spikes and that National League president Warren Giles had ruled them to be illegal. There are a few other nuances to the story, so I strongly recommend that you read the entire AP article here (click to enlarge):

It’s frustrating that there’s no photo, and especially since I’m puzzled by this line: “The traditional baseball shoe’s spikes are triangular, but on Wills’ new shoes the spikes are straight and blunt.” I thought old spikes were always straight and blunt, like this. I’ve tried to find photos of an old pair with “triangular” spikes and have come up empty. I’m also confused by the line about the new shoes “resembl[ing] track shoes,” because track shoes in those days had much spikier spikes — they weren’t blunt-tipped. Hmmmm.

I was intrigued by this story, so I did a little digging and found that four days later, on April 8, a follow-up AP article appeared, indicating that Wills planned to wear the shoes in violation of the league ruling (this one, unfortunately, is a bit blurry, but I still recommend that you read the whole thing):

So this time there’s a photo, but unfortunately it’s too small and blurry to be of any use (and I’ve been unable to find a clean version of it anywhere else). But the text in this article provides a clue regarding the spike design — it refers to “triangular metal plates” (emphasis mine), rather than triangular spikes. So I think the old-style shoes were like this, with the roughly triangular arrangement of the front and back spikes:

And I think what Wills wanted to wear was probably something like this:

As you can see, the spikes on the lower pair are truly blunt-tipped when compared to the upper pair. I’m not sure why this would have been deemed to be a rules violation, except that, as Wills put it in the article, “[B]aseball doesn’t want to try anything new. They’ve always worn the old type shoes and I expect they want to keep wearing them forever.”

Also, gotta love Maury’s line about the A’s: “If the Kansas City players can wear white shoes with green shoelaces, I don’t see why I can’t wear my new shoes.”

Two days later, on April 10 — one day before the season opener — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran the latest update to the story, indicating that Wills would follow the league edict after all, but that Pirates GM Joe Brown, who was also a member of the rules committee at the time, was lobbying to have the rule changed (click to enlarge):

I couldn’t find anything to indicate how the issue was ultimately resolved, but Jerry Wolper — the one who got this whole story rolling — turned up this item from the July 11, 1967, edition of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

And there you have it.

One thing that’s absolutely stunning about this progression of articles, at least from our contemporary vantage point, is that there isn’t a single mention of who manufactured the shoes, nor any attempt to contact the manufacturer. Corporate theater had not yet hit the uni-verse.

This episode wasn’t Wills’s only brush with rules violations. In 1981, when he was managing the Mariners, he was suspended for two games for instructing the team’s groundskeeper to enlarge the right-handed batter’s box in order to provide an advantage for M’s player Tom Paciorek. No word on what kind of spikes Paciorek was wearing.

Update: Thanks to some good photo research by reader/commenter Mark Guttag, it appears that the spikes in question may have been these:

Hard to believe that that was so controversial, right?

(Massive thanks to Jerry Wolper, whose archival newspaper research continues to yield tremendous dividends.)

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Add this to the list of angry mascots and logos: an aggressive railroad spike! That’s the Cleburne Railroaders, a new team in the American Association (from Yancy Yeater). … As we know, the Astros are removing Tal’s Hill, the sloped grass in center field. Doug Brei remembers that Engel Stadium in Chattanooga had a similar setup back in the day. “When I attended a Chattanooga Lookouts game in August of 1987, the centerfield fence was 475 feet from home plate,” he says. “The ballpark had a centerfield hill similar to Tal’s Hill. The hill was in play for most of its history, but at various times throughout the years a chain link fence was placed in front of it. When the stadium was renovated for the 1989 season, the hill was removed.” … A new book chronicles the Cardinals’ logo and uniform history (from Erik Spoonmore). … Pittsburgh Dad was mentioned in the NFL section of yesterday’s Ticker. Joe Werner tells us the character also played a Little League coach in two videos, one for the Monongahela Monsters, and the other for the Century III Maulers. “The Monongahela Monsters uniform was also featured on a special baseball card, modeled after the 1987 Topps set, that Pittsburgh Dad made up a few years ago and gave out with orders of his merchandise. I got mine when my wife bought me a set of Pittsburgh Dad pint glasses for Christmas a few years ago. The logo on the glasses is a parody of the old Mr. Yuk stickers that were given out back in the ’70s and ’80s to mark containers of substances hazardous to kids.” … Here’s a 1979 shot of Bill Madlock, then with the Giants, wearing jacket with a nickNOB (from David Traub).

NFL News: The Packers will wear blue-and-gold throwbacks this Sunday. … The Browns have a logo to honor the 1986 team that went 12-4 and reached the AFC title game (from Robert Hayes). … Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump mocked the NFL’s concussion rules at a campaign rally yesterday. No word on what he thinks about the one-shell rule. … Redskins WR DeSean Jackson was fined six grand for wearing caution tape cleats against the Ravens last weekend. He said he wore the cleats to bring attention to police brutality and violence within communities. … A character in last night’s episode of The Goldbergs wore this nifty helmet shirt. The show has a loose timeline but takes place sometime in the 1980s (from Chris Flinn). … Former 49ers RBs Tom Rathman and Roger Craig, both Nebraska alums, wore “Huskers” on their nose bumpers until the NFL made them stop (from Phillip Schmidt).

College Football News: Kansas revealed a new “Limestone” alternate uniform, which will be worn next Saturday. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk indeed. … Utah will wear white-over-white and black helmets this weekend (from @UtesEquipment, via Phil). … This Saturday, UCF will wear helmets with chrome “reflective” decals. … Here’s a day in the life of Illinois’ equipment manager (from Erik Spoonmore). … “Innovative” jersey designs can sometimes have unintended consequences, like a player looking like he’s wearing a bra (from Ben Whitehead).

Hockey News: With the NHL regular season getting underway last night, the Oilers gave away T-shirts for their season opener and arranged the shirts in a pattern that resembled the team’s primary logo (from Steven Schapansky). … Tatiana Rafter was a late acquisition by the New York Riveters (NWHL) and they didn’t have a jersey with her name and number, so she wore a blank jersey with the number added with hockey tape (from Zach Pearce). … Check out the great blob-shaped jersey crest used by the old Edmonton Flyers.

NBA and College Basketball News: Two worlds collided when the Cavs took the Larry O’Brien trophy to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (from Aaron Husul). … New home jersey for Creighton (from @omahattan). … New uniforms for Ohio. Here’s what the Bobcats wore at home last year (from Kyle Arnott). … Iowa State revealed updated gold uniforms with the I-State logo. Last year, the jerseys just had “Cyclones” across the chest (from Phillip Santos). … New court for Michigan State (from Joey Zurek). … New unis for Ole Miss. The lettering and numbers were blue last year (from Matt Barnthouse).

Soccer News: Liverpool will wear a “Seeing Is Believing” jersey against Manchester United on Monday to promote World Sight Day (from Moe Kahn). … A special coin will be flipped to determine the first pick in the MLS priority draft between the two newest expansion teams, Atlanta and Minnesota (from @saulzbury). … YouTube FC vs. Spotify United? A site called Graphic UNTD created kits for the top apps in the AppStore. … New uniforms for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino).

Grab Bag: New logo and packaging for Turner Dairy Farms. I like the updated script logo. More info and images here (from Nicholas Yon, who was the lead on the redesign project). … An old Gray Matters comic poked fun at how brand-unconscious weekend warriors are (from Kevin Weir). … An Italian company made a jacket that changes color based on the ambient temperature (from Jason Hillyer). … “Scientists have proposed a space nation named Asgardia,” writes Michael Bonfanti. “The goal is to create an area of space beyond the control of individual nations. The uni/design aspect of this endeavor is they are taking design suggestions for both the Asgardia flag and insignia.” … New outfits for countries participating in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup (from @mike_d1980). … Pinktober has spread to cricket Check that, the pink cricket ball is being used for greater visibility, not for breast cancer awareness (from @TheLupineOne).

Talking Helmets with Curtis McClinton

Super Bowl IV is not generally regarded as a good game. The score was lopsided (Chiefs 23, Vikings 7) and the outcome was never in doubt. These days the game is remembered primarily for Chiefs coach Hank Stram’s sideline chatter and for being the final game before the AFL/NFL merger. For those of us who care about uniforms, it’s also notable because both teams wore league anniversary patches.

But it turns out there was another uni-notable aspect to Super Bowl IV. It was brought to my attention by reader Michael Taylor, who recently pointed me toward some rare Kodachrome footage of the game that had never been broadcast but was posted to YouTube earlier this year. The footage is spread out over three separate video links — Reel One, Reel Two, and Reel Three — and the third one includes some isolation footage of Chiefs running back Curtis McClinton as he ran downfield to cover a kickoff. Check it out:

As you can see, McClinton had a very interesting modification made to both sides of his helmet. Here’s a closer look, via a pair of screen shots (click to slightly enlarge):

I’d never seen that before. Was he wearing straps, or tape, or bars, or what? I did some photo research, hoping to find additional shots, but came up empty.

My go-to guy for old-school helmet knowledge is Curtis Worrell of Helmet Hut, so I emailed him to see if he knew about McClinton’s helmet. “Oh, sure,” he wrote back, attaching the following photo for good measure:

That photo is definitely from a different game, because is doesn’t show the AFL 10th-anniversary shoulder patch, which was worn only in Super Bowl IV. So McClinton wore this customized rig for at least two games.

Curtis said McClinton’s modification was for extra protection, like the mods seen on Y.A. Tittle’s “kitchen sink” helmet or Roosevelt Brown’s helmet. He then told me to stand by while he tried to get more info. About half an hour later, he emailed once again, as follows:

Just got off the phone with McClinton. Fred “The Hammer” Williamson of the Raiders gave McClinton the forearm and broke his cheekbone and eye socket in 1964. He always had problems [with the injury] over the years and [Chiefs equipment manager] Bobby Yarborough devised different setups to help him.

Those are strips of metal dipped in rubber to protect everyone from the sharp edges. This was standard procedure with all masks and all brackets. We still use the exact same rubber-dipping process on our line of masks. See these shots of Joe Namath with the tape around the corners of his mask? That’s because the rubber would get torn off and the sharp or rough edges of the welds could easily lacerate someone (and sometimes did).

Interesting! But I still had some questions, so I made arrangements to interview McClinton myself. He’s now 77 years old and has led an interesting life. He went to college at Kansas, where he studied classical voice. His football career included being named the 1962 AFL Rookie of the Year and scoring the second touchdown in Super Bowl history (that was in Super Bowl I, which the Chiefs lost). When Muhammad Ali refused to fight in Vietnam, McClinton was one of several black athletes who led an effort to support him (that’s McClinton in the center of the back row, with the light-colored tie). After his playing days, he was involved in a variety of development initiatives, most of them centered on bringing economic opportunities to the black community, and also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Economic Development Administration in Washington.

When I spoke with McClinton last week, the first thing he said to me was, “You’ve got the same first name as my hero, Paul Robeson” — not necessarily the kind of thing you expect to hear when you’re interviewing a former football player. Here’s an edited version of the key part of our conversation:

Uni Watch: I’ve watched a lot of old football footage over the years, but I’ve never seen anything quite like the helmet and facemask you were wearing in Super Bowl IV. What was that all about?

Curtis McClinton: That was the follow-up on the basic medical protection of my cheekbone. My cheekbone was broken and I had an orbital blowout, which means my eyeball came all the way out of the structure of my face and just kind of hung there. There was a guy by the name of Fred Williamson, they called him the Hammer, and he brought the hammer down on me. The way he played was very, very detrimental, both to players and to the game itself. He was a thug, to be quite frank about it, in terms of hitting players in order to hurt them, not just to bring them down. It’s a rough game, a game of hitting — that’s why you’re on the field. But there are rules and regulations, and he deviated from that, and he did it with cruelty and intent to injure.

UW: I’m very sorry you were on the receiving end of that intent. So that helmet modification was a reinforcement to provide greater protection to your face?

CM: Yes, yes. It was basically another faceguard on my cheekbone, to provide greater protection and spread the force of the blow.

UW: It looks like you actually wore this extra protection on both sides, not just on one side.

CM: It’s interesting that you bring that up. Originally, they just had it on one side. But when I got hit, the helmet would end up leaning to that side and would often come off, even though I was wearing a chinstrap, because it was heavier on that side, the side with the extra faceguard. So they put it on the other side to help balance the helmet, so it wouldn’t be heavier on one side. We also thought it would be good to put it on both sides so the opposing team wouldn’t know which side I’d been injured on. In other words, it wouldn’t be as much of a target.

UW: Who rigged this up for you — the Chiefs’ equipment staff?

CM: Yes, and from the trainer and team doctor. One thing about the injury is that it ended up changing the position I played. I stayed in the backfield for a while, but then I went to playing defense — I was a strong safety. [This is apparently why McClinton’s stats show him playing all 14 games but having no rushing attempts in 1969, his final season. — PL] Part of that was so that to protect my head and my eyes. It enhanced my career, because I was hitting, rather than being hit.


We talked a bit more. He discussed his injury in fairly graphic detail, and also had some very choice words for Fred Williamson. I didn’t realize until after we spoke that Williamson actually played for the Chiefs from 1965 through ’67, which means he and McClinton were teammates for three seasons. If I had known that, I would have asked McClinton about it. Poor interview preparation on my part.

One thing that’s still unclear is for how many games, or seasons, McClinton wore this customized helmet. Based on his recollections and Williamson’s career path, the injury he’s describing must have happened in 1964. But after we spoke, I found an AP story indicating that he’d sustained another broken cheekbone during a preseason game against Minnesota in 1968. (AFL and NFL teams played preseason exhibition games against each other in the three years prior to the merger.) Was this the same cheekbone that Williamson had broken years earlier? Was the helmet modification more of a response to this second injury, rather than the first one? Had he somehow gotten confused about his own injury history, with the two incidents blurring together?

I didn’t have the heart to call him back and ask him those questions. Like, “Hi, could you please clarify exactly when, and how many times, your face was shattered, and by whom?” The whole encounter was a sobering reminder that there’s often a human story behind a uniform story.

It seems more likely that the custom helmet was a response to the second injury. That, combined with McClinton’s shift to defense in 1969, would explain why I haven’t been able to find any other photos of him wearing the customized helmet — the only photos of him I’ve turned up all show him as a running back. Perhaps he wore the custom rig throughout the ’69 season, or maybe he only wore it in the games leading up to Super Bowl IV. He definitely never wore it after that Super Bowl — it turned out to be the final game of his football career.

(My thanks to reader Michael Taylor for bringing the Super Bowl IV video footage to my attention, and to our own Mike Chamernik for his invaluable assistance on this one.)

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Important T-Shirt Club update: As I mentioned a few days ago (and as most of you have discovered for yourselves by now), the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s most recent offering — the soccer design — was mistakenly printed without the jock tag graphic.

I’m happy to report that our shirt supplier, Represent, has agreed to reprint the whole production run — this time with the jock tag — at their expense. The new shirts should ship out no later than next Monday (and some may ship by this Friday), so you should be seeing them soon. And, obviously, you don’t have to return the first shirt — keep it with our compliments.

A few of you have told me, “I didn’t mind that the jock tag wasn’t there” (or even “I liked it better without the jock tag there”). That’s nice, but you’re getting a new shirt anyway!

My thanks to everyone for their patience, and my apologies for the hassle. We’ll have news about our next shirt — the football design — soon.

• • • • •

So this happened: The big thing is that you should all get a flu shot. The little thing is that we left-handers are forced to suffer such indignities!

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Interesting look into the machinations of MLB’s postseason merch machine and the Nats’ preparations to sell more product if they beat the Dodgers (from David Goodfriend). … The Astros, as promised, are removing Tal’s Hill. … We’ve all seen T-shirts that look like jerseys. But how about a T-shirt that looks like a jersey and the upper part of the pants? Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. … Longtime reader Doug Brei has been submitting Ticker items for many years. Last night I got an email from his 11-year-old kid, Maddie Brei, who noticed that Cubs SS Javier Baez was wearing customized KD shoes, completely with Kevin Durant’s logo on the sole — a good spot! Maddie signed off with, “Don’t tell my mom that my dad let me stay up late just to watch baseball!”

NFL News: “The character ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ is locally popular caricature of your typical good-natured yinzer,” says Chris Weber. “His attention to detail when describing the Steelers’ uniforms is deserving of an honorary membership, don’t you think?” … Lots of chatter about Panthers QB Cam Newton riding a scooter around Charlotte without a helmet.

College Football News: LSU’s seldom-used purple jerseys will be worn this weekend (thanks, Phil). … Oklahoma will be wearing their “rough rider” alts this weekend (from Chris Corbaz). … Story on why Indiana QB Richard Lagow wears No. 21, which is unsuual for a QB (from Ted Chastain). … New uniforms on tap tonight for Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State (thanks, Phil). … Buried within this story is the news that this wekeend’s Boise State/CSU game will feature Boise wearing white at home and CSU wearing green on the road. … Keiser University in Florida is getting a football team (from Ross Lent).

Hockey News: Now that the World Cup of Hockey is over, here’s an assessment of how some of the high-tech innovations — including electronic chips inside jerseys and pucks — performed. … New throwbacks for the St. John’s IceCaps (from Stan Capp). … The Niagara IceDogs will wear the OHL’s first-ever LGBT pride jersey tomorrow night (from Timmy Shannon). … Man, look at the Maple Leafs’ sensational season ticket package for their centennial season (from @Means1974). … Blues G Carter Hutton has a new mask with separate designs on the left and right sides (from Erik Spoonmore). … University of Minnesota G Nick Lehr’s new mask has a Minnesota pride theme (from Tony Tengwall).

NBA News: NBA teams have taken a variety of number and NOB approaches when giving a jersey to President Obama (thanks, Mike). … Also from Mike: Someone has come up with Halloween-ified versions of NBA team logos. … Cross-sport memorial by the Heat, who saluted Marlins P José Fernández on their shooting shirts last night (thanks, Phil). … Holy cannoli, check out this vintage Bucks shooting shirt. The red collar and lettering, the oversized NBA logo — can’t decide if it’s appealing or appalling, but it’s definitely an eye-catcher. … The Magic will raise a No. 49 banner on Opening Night, in memory of the 49 victims of the last summer’s Orlando nightclub shootings (thanks, Mike). … Twelve of the Nets’ 15 players are now living in Brooklyn. … James Marion spotted this 1992 Dream Team windbreaker in a thrift shop in Japan.

College Hoops News: New road jerseys for DePaul (thanks, Mike). … Looks like UNC has that new Nike tailoring cut. Here’s a good before/after comparison, which also shows the changes to the shorts. … New uniforms for Colorado State (from Joey Campbell). … New uniforms for Columbia (thanks, Phil). … New uniforms for Houston Baptist. That crazy throwback has been used for a few years in a row now (from Chris Mycoskie). … Here’s a video that shows you how 36 college teams, including their uniforms, logos, etc., can be imported into NBA 2K17.

Soccer News: “Dynamo Dresden play in the second division of the Bundesliga,” says Bern Wilms. “Their city has struggled with right-wing tendencies and neo-Nazis. One of the things they’ve done to keep that away from the club is to wear a jersey with the slogan ‘Love Dynamo – Hate Racism.'”

Grab Bag: Ever notice that Apple product shots always show the time as 9:41? Actually, I hadn’t noticed that myself, but here’s the reason for it (from Jim Brunetti). … Four San Antonio police officers violated departmental policy by wearing Donald Trump baseball caps while in uniform. … A health advocacy group in New Zealand had come up with a “No Sugary Drinks” logo, but now they’re revising it after complaints that the bottle shown in the logo design looked too much like Coca-Cola’s distinctive bottle shape.

• • • • •

Good yontif to all who are observing Yom Kippur today.

That’s Nuts: Kings Ink Deal With Blue Diamond Almonds

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The number of confirmed NBA uniform sponsors advertisers doubled yesterday, as the Kings announced that they’ve sold space on their jersey for the next three years to Blue Diamond almonds. Although the company’s logo won’t appear on jerseys until next season, it will appear on the Kings’ court apron this season.

Obviously, any uniform advertising is lame and unacceptable. With that caveat in mind, a few thoughts:

• Blue Diamond is based in Sacramento, so the Kings are going with a local partner, which is nice.

• Back in April, when the Kings unveiled their new logo set, I interviewed team president Chris Granger, who stressed the importance of the color purple to the team’s identity. So it seems a little odd that they’d choose an advertiser whose name includes a color other than purple. Similarly, you’d think Blue Diamond might prefer to partner with a team that wears blue. (Yes, I realize blue and purple are somewhat similar, but they’re definitely not the same thing.) The Kings do have a set of blue throwbacks, so there’s that. Will Blue Diamond come out with a special edition of purple-themed nuts, just for the Kings?

•  Of all the products or services one could choose to do business with, almonds seem like a pretty good one. I like almonds; you probably do too, unless you have serious nut allergies (in which case you have my most profound and sincere sympathies). Almonds aren’t an annoying lifestyle brand, or a totem of douchebag frat-boy culture, or some generationally leveraged trend targeted at millennials. They’re just a natural food that’s actually pretty good for you. They are, in other words, completely non-loathsome, which is something I didn’t expect to be saying about any of the NBA’s uniform advertisers. (As an aside, almonds also the subject of a rather hilarious ode by my man Hamilton Nolan. Highly recommended.)

To recap: Uniform advertising is lame and unacceptable. But this particular one could’ve been a whole lot worse.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

The quarterback on this 1975 NFL sleeping bag looks like he’s kinda in the Buffalo Bills/NY Giants vein, right? Can anyone suggest who he might have been? Interesting that the graphic designer put this fellow in Nikes as opposed to plain white or some generic stripe. This one also comes with the period-appropriate wordmarks for all the teams in the league.

Okay, on to the rest of this week’s picks:

• Sportoys Helmet Buggy alert! The Detroit Lions are represented here.

• The Brewers’ old ball-in-glove logo is showcased on these vintage MLB wristbands.

• Nice look to this old “Go Pack Go” embroidered patch, courtesy of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

• Classic Brownie mascot, along with the early edition of the NFL shield, on this 1960s Cleveland Browns glass.

• Brownie shows up again on this 1960s NFL seat cushion, featuring all 14 teams broken down into Eastern/Western Conferences.

• Here’s a great-looking 1960s Kansas City Chiefs poster!

• Plenty of old-school ABA logos to be found on these 1960s curtains.

• Before I discovered soccer, I played plenty of youth football back in the day, and I can’t say I recall this type of facemask as shown on this 1960s Ray-duhz helmet from Franklin.

• Vikings fans, your team is off to a fast start, so why not celebrate with this 1960s bobblehead.

• Gonna say early 1970s for this NFL Frozen Coca Cola helmet board. Eagles were in white/green at that period, no?

• Another contemporary-looking poster from the 1970s — how cool is the look to this one for the Minnesota North Stars?

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KRC update: Today’s installment of Key Ring Chronicles might be my favorite one so far. It’s about the little shrimp-shaped whistle shown in the photo above. Get the full story here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: TBS threw all the way back to Coco Crisp’s first stint with the Indians for a graphic last night (from Todd Bell). … David C. Murphy took a behind-the-scenes tour of SunTrust Park, the new home of the Braves. … Speaking of the Braves, Douglas Ford’s son got a Braves-themed Cub Scout patch for attending a game at Turner Field. Ironically, it was made in China. … The postseason sleeve patch worn by the home plate ump in last night’s Giants/Cubs game was peeling off, and then it was completely gone.

NFL News: Check it out: Mike Ditka in a basketball jersey! (From Jeff Flynn.) … A good visual history of the 49ers begins at the 5:56 mark of this video (from Gilbert Lee). … Pinktober has spread to peewee football in Alberta, Canada. Buford Grimes says his son was issued pink socks prior to his game (in the snow!) this past weekend. … The New England Patriots made a veiled appearance on The Simpsons two nights ago as the “Boston Americans” (From BSmile). … The Panthers wore their blue alts last night.

College Football News: Georgia State will switch to Under Armour starting next year (from Chris W). … Youngstown State will wear silver decals this weekend to commemorate the “Silver Anniversary” of their first FCS national championship in 1991 (from Michael Moamis). … Here’s the scoop on those “SEC Graduate” patches that have been showing up lately (from Clint Richardson).

Hockey News: The Avalanche have posted their uniform schedule (from Phil). … The old signage has come down at the “New Igloo” in Pittsbugh (from Brian S). … Kind of hard to tell, but the backup goalie for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL wears a regular hockey helmet instead of the typical cap on the bench (from John Cristiano). … Check this out this awesome 1970s leather hockey jacket (from J. Daniel). … The Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL live-streamed the installation of their center ice logo — or as Dan Pfeiffer puts it, “literally watching paint dry, but cool, detailed paint.”

NBA News: The Wizards have used a blue basketball as the logo on their waistband for several years, but now it looks like they may be adding a red background (from nicefellow31). … Bucks fans can pick up new team-branded license plates, thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The use of light blue was a nice touch (from our own Mike Chamernik). … The concourse at the Kings’ new arena has lots of vintage neon signage from the Sacramento area.

College Hoops News: Arizona released seven new basketball uniforms yesterday — most of them heavy on gradients (From Phil). … Very minimalistic new unis for Wake Forest (also from Phil). … We also got a look at SMU’s unis yesterday at the team’s picture day (also also from Phil). … Think we’ve seen this before, but Maryland has tweaked its collars for the upcoming season.

Soccer News: Gerard Pique of the Spanish national team — who is often jeered by Spanish fans for his support of Catalonian independence — was criticized by fans on Sunday for cutting his long-sleeved jersey in a way that removed the cuffs bearing the colors of the Spanish flag. Pique says he cut his sleeves only because he didn’t like the fit of the jersey, and that he’ll retire from the team following the 2018 World Cup (from Josh Hinton, thanks to everyone else who passed this along). … RFK Stadium has added a DC United jersey history in one of its tunnels (from Scott).

Grab Bag: A CNN commentator had a Texas Longhorns decal on his tablet on Sunday night (from D.C. James). … NASCAR’s Elliott Sadler is going all out for Pinktober (from David Firestone).

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What Paul did last night weekend: Back in college, I was friends with this guy named Jeff Katz. We knew each other from the student-run record store and talked almost exclusively about music. Nowadays Jeff is a baseball author and the mayor of Cooperstown (which basically means we can now have geeky discussions about baseball as well as music). He comes down to NYC semi-regularly, but I hadn’t visited him in Cooperstown since 2009, so the Tugboat Captain and I went up and stayed with him for the Columbus Day weekend. That’s Jeff on one side of me and his lovely wife, Karen, on the other. Yeah, the lighting could’ve been better.

Naturally, we paid a visit to the Hall of Fame, which was great. But we had an even better time at the Farmers’ Museum, which featured, among other things, lots of live animals and a bunch of vintage tractors, one of which had been rigged up to create a sort of Rube Goldberg-ish crosscut saw:

The Farmers’ Museum is also the unlikely final resting place for the Cardiff Giant, one of the great 19th-century hoaxes. It’s a bit of an odd fit for the museum, but whatever — fun to see:

Hall of Fame senior curator and longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Tom Shieber doesn’t work on weekends, so he wasn’t at the Hall when we stopped by. But he and his wife, Liane, joined us at Jeff’s house for dinner that night, and then we all watched some playoff baseball.

We took a scenic, backroads-y route home yesterday — not much traffic, lots of autumn colors. Big thanks to Jeff and Karen for being such tremendous hosts, and for giving us a sorely needed long-weekend getaway (and bonus thanks to Uni Watch intern Alex Hider for pinch-Tickering yesterday, when made everything much less stressful).