From top: By Alex Connor; by Stanley Meckler; courtesy of GV Art + Design
My ESPN column last week was about Indians fans who are de-Chiefing their jerseys and caps. At the end of that column I invited pro-Wahoo fans to get in touch so they could weigh in on the logo controversy. Several fans responded, and the three shown above — from top to bottom, Alex Connor, Jonathan Meckler, and Greg Vlosich — are featured in a follow-up column that’s up now on ESPN. — Paul
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Unmasking the Commenters: I recently invited the site’s commenters to tell us a bit more about themselves and give us a peek at what they look like, just because I thought it would be fun to pull back the internet’s curtain of anonymity. I’ll keep showcasing you folks as long as you keep sending in your photos and quick bios.
Today we’re featuring longtime reader Matthew Robins, who sent along this photo:
I’ve been reading Uni Watch since around 2004, when I first discovered it as a part of ESPN.com. Since May of 2006, this blog has been the first thing I read every morning either on my computer or mobile phone. Occasionally, I leave comments on this site, although not as much as I used to.
I went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder. My obsession with uniforms and logos probably began at a home football game in 1998, as the Buffaloes took the field in gold uniforms and black helmets, which totally blew my mind. It was also in college that I began to collect pocket schedules, which is still a healthy obsession.
Even at 34, I still get excited over the unveiling of a new jersey, logo, cap, or helmet, and Uni Watch has been a big part of it. I’ve also gained an interest is so many other sports-related issues and social issues that I had no idea I was interested in, all thanks to this site. While I don’t always agree with the reviews or opinions of every Uni Watch writer or commenter (I love purple), it’s great that so many people care and contribute. Obviously, a huge tip of the cap goes to Paul, but everyone else — from the interns to the guest bloggers to those sharing tips via email, and of course the commenters, masked and now some unmasked — that’s what makes Uni Watch so strong.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Matthew, and also for your many contributions over the years. You help make Uni Watch a better place!
Do you want to be featured in “Unmasking the Commenters”? If so, send me a photo and a quick paragraph about yourself. You don’t have to reveal your real name, and the photo doesn’t have to show your face, but you must include a photo to be considered. Send everything this-a-way.
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Membership update: We’re once again at one of those points where we’ve almost filled out the current batch of eight membership card designs (including James MacNeil’s 1990s Nets design, shown at right) but still have a couple of slots open. So if you sign up now, you’ll likely get your card very quickly, with very little wait.
As always, you can order your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve already designed here, and you can see how we make the cards here.
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Mike’s Question of the Week (aka “I Wanna Know”): Intern Mike Chamernik (that’s him at right) is back with another question for the Uni Watch readership:
My favorite basketball team is the Milwaukee Bucks, and though there are many, many problems with that franchise (I don’t feel like listing all of them), one of the big issues is the team’s look.
Not only is the logo a scared deer (wouldn’t this be much better?), but the uniforms are dreadful. The green-and-red color scheme is a mess and the road and alternate jerseys are seriously homely. The home jerseys are a tad better but they, like the road unis, have stupid ugly beveling, which I hate. Other than that, the team looks great.
So here’s what I wanna know: Do you dislike the uniforms or logos of any team of which you are a fan? And has it affected your fandom at all?
Thanks, Mike. Post your responses in the comments and we can all commiserate together.
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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.
Baseball News: Two Northwest Indiana high schools played a tequila sunrise versus camo game the other day (thanks, Zeke Clark). … Baltimore Ravens CB Ladarius Webb is holding a charity softball game at M&T Bank Stadium (where the Ravens play) on June 1, and here’s how the field will be laid out (from Andrew Cosentino). … Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop doesn’t normally go high-cuffed but he did last night (also from Andrew Cosentino, who I’m guessing is from Charm City). … A team in Coleman Mullins’s nephew’s baseball league wears camo. … The Vermont Lake Monsters have new road unis (from Phil). … A fireworks display accidentally set the American flag on fire at the Braves game Tuesday night. … Nebraska wears some excellent stirrups (from Joe Andersen). … Pepperdine will wear camo hats on Saturday (from Phil). … The Giants gave away Hunter Pence motorized scooter bobbleheads last night (from Phil). … Simmons Field, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is incorporating a fishing boat into its outfield wall. Very cool (from Matthew Robbins via Phil). … Orioles OF Adam Jones wants to increase punishment for fans who run onto the field, including this twist: “And they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it’s stupid,” Jones said.
NFL and College Football News: Jerry Rice has a new “tribute shoe.” It’s in 49ers colors and has Rice’s career highlights printed on the insole (from Brinke). … Mississippi State’s new uniforms, which are due to be unveiled today, will include a patch for Scott Field’s 100th anniversary (from Phil).
Hockey News: “In the spirit of old-tyme baseball re-creators, I tried to do the same using vintage hockey equipment,” says Chris Mizzoni. … Bruce Bennett recently photographed his 5,000th hockey game, and here are 10 of his best shots. Garrett McGrath likes this Mike Bossy photo in particular. … The Halifax Mooseheads have an elaborately cool on-ice pregame display.
Grab Bag: NBA commissioner Adam Silver again said that NBA uniform ads are “inevitable.” Of course, he’s been saying that for three years now. If it were truly inevitable, it would have happened already. … New logos and wordmarks for University of Southern Indiana (from Lee Wilds). … Wacky hairstyles are a way for people to show their fandom (from Chris LaHaye). … Dennis Alpert has a nifty Masters autograph collection. “Signatures ranging from Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen to Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player to Vijay Singh, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods,” he says. … A watch for blind people is up for design of the year at London’s Design Museum (from Tom Mulgrew). … Here’s a book that chronicles vintage corporate design manuals (from Brinke). … Nascar’s Brian Vickers will have a Florida State paint scheme (from David Firestone). … Look at this photo of yesterday’s Pennsylvania stabbing suspect being taken into custody: The officers are wearing seven-pointed stars, but their sleeve patches and caps show six-pointed stars! (Great spot by Leo Strawn Jr.)
Interesting scene last night in Atlanta, as the Braves marked the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run by wearing throwbacks of the uniform he was wearing that night. As usual, the cut was wrong and nobody could be bothered to go high-cuffed, but there were still plenty of uni-notable aspects to the game:
• This was the Braves’ home opener. How often has a team worn throwbacks for its first home game? I suspect there have been other instances of this, but I’m drawing a blank. Anyone..?
• As you probably know, the Braves are wearing a sleeve patch this season to mark the 40th anniversary of Aaron’s 715th homer. But the patch wouldn’t have been era-appropriate, of course, so it wasn’t worn with last night’s throwbacks. In other words, the Braves will end up wearing that patch for every game except on the anniversary of the event that the patch commemorates — weird. (The patch design was on the bases, however.)
• The Braves’ jerseys were NNOB (yay!) but had the MLB logo (boo!).
• The Majestic logo is usually centered on the outer left sleeve, but they had to move it off-center because of the feather icon. (A better solution, of course, would have been to skip the maker’s mark altogether.)
• If you look again at that last photo, you’ll see that the Braves wore their regular navy undersleeves, instead of springing for a new set in royal.
• On the plus side, the Braves went the extra mile with throwback batting helmets. Jason Heyward even had a color-matching faceguard — a nice touch, since they could have just used the navy faceguard from his regular helmet.
• The pregame ceremonies included a really nice bit where 715 fans were on the field holding signs for each of Aaron’s home runs.
• The pregame ceremonies also featured a sequence in which Aaron was presented with a No. 44 jersey from each Atlanta-area pro and college team. From left to right in that photo: Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Dream, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Emory University, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. (Some folks — including me — initially thought the Falcons jersey might be a new design — no sleeve stripes! But as several people pointed out, it’s just the same old jersey with the sleeves folded over to obscure the sleeve stripes, like this. Too bad.)
But the oddest thing about this whole thing, at least to me, is that the Braves didn’t announce that they’d be wearing throwbacks until a few hours before gametime. That fits into a trend: The season is barely a week old and this is already the fourth uniform “surprise” that’s taken place with little or no advance warning. Here are the other three:
• April 2: The White Sox added a memorial patch for owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s son. Oddly, they did this for the second game of the season, not for the season opener.
• April 4: The Red Sox wore gold-trimmed jerseys and caps on the day of their ring ceremony. This wasn’t a huge surprise, but the team didn’t announce it until the afternoon of the game — a very different approach than the one taken by other World Series winners in recent years, each of which has announced the gold-trimmed jerseys well in advance.
• April 7: The Twins and A’s wore “Stand up to cancer” patches for Minnesota’s home opener, as a gesture of support for Twins GM Terry Ryan. Both teams also wore S↑2C BP caps prior to the game. I didn’t hear anything about this until after the fact. Granted, that might just mean I didn’t have my ear to the street, but this was the Twins’ home opener — you’d think they would’ve made more of a fuss.
I’m not complaining about the lack of advance notice, mind you. On the contrary, I welcome the spontaneity and the sense of surprise. I’m just puzzled, because MLB’s (and everyone else’s) approach in recent years has been to promote these things in a heavily scripted, pre-planned manner. And you have to give them this much: Waiting until the last minute to announce something can’t possibly be good for jersey sales. So when we say everything about the uni-verse is merch-driven these days, it’s worth remembering that some promotions apparently aren’t merch-driven — including last night’s throwbacks in Atlanta.
(Big thanks to Michael Rich for the photo of all the 44 jerseys, and to Phil for screen shots.)
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NASCAR reminder: Our friends at NASCAR will be updating their “Paint Scheme Preview” page, which has the rundown of all the new card designs for this Sunday, at about 11am Eastern today. Worth checking out.
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’Skins Watch: An Indians fan has taken a new approach to de-Chiefing. … As many of you are aware, last Friday’s encounter between Native American protester Robert Roche and face-painted Indians fan Pedro Rodriguez was remarkably similar to this 2002 cartoon. The guy who drew that cartoon has some thoughts about the bizarre coincidence (from David Wilson).
Baseball News: Some early-season glitches for the Yankee Stadium scoreboard: Jacoby Ellsbury’s name misspelled on Monday, wrong uni number for Francisco Cervelli yesterday (from Ilana Hardesty and Wesley Batista, respectively). … I suppose some folks might think Don Zimmer is sorta cuddly like a teddy bear, but that doesn’t mean his face belongs on a teddy bear. Yikes! (From John Sheehan.) … Alan Tompas found a video of a TV news report on the Yankees preparing for their “home” opener at Shea Stadium in 1974, when Yankee Stadium was undergoing renovations. … Throwbacks on tap for the Seibu Lions. “Those are their 1979-95 road uniforms, but they will be wearing them as their home uniforms during their Lions Classic Series in June,” explains Jeremy Brahm. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: A Mets blogger says the team has too many uniforms (and he’s right, of course). … Do the Asros have too many retired numbers? Should they put some of them back into circulation? At least one observer thinks so (from Elan Tavor). … This is pretty great: a scientific explanation of how a Wiffle Ball works (from Dave Rakowski). … “I have always been a stirrups fan — I’ve worn them for years as a coach at Marlboro (NJ) High School,” says Robert Anderson. “This year, the varsity team wanted stirrups and we decided (okay, maybe I suggested) to go with stripes.” … Ooooh, this is good: Jay Winkler got a tour of Comerica Park the other day and saw a chart listing all the press passes and other passes that can get you into the ballpark. Never seen that one before — good stuff! … Angels catcher Chris Ianetta was missing his left-sleeve team logo patch last night (thanks, Phil).
NFL News: Nike is raising the prices of its NFL jerseys. The first graf of that story says, “The cost of being an NFL fan just got more expensive,” but that’s inaccurate — the cost of being a fan hasn’t changed at all. The only thing that’s gotten more expensive is wasting money on a polyester shirt. Despite what the merch-industrial complex tries to tell you, being a fan and being a consumer are two different things.
College Football News: You know those new Ridell SpeedFlex helmets that so many colleges have been tweeting photos of? I have one of those helmets sitting on my desk right here (blue shell, no stripes or decals), and yesterday I spoke with Riddell’s VP for Product Development and picked his brain about the new design. Details to follow in an ESPN column next week. … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that Miami appeared to be hinting at a BFBS move. But Roberto Zanzi says this refers only to the cleats and socks, which were black back in the Sean Taylor era. … Mississippi State will unveil some sort of uni update tomorrow (thanks, Phil). … Utah may be making changes to the lyrics of its fight song (from Cort McMurray).
Hockey News: Here’s a shot of original Yes drummer Bill Bruford wearing what appears to be a pair of Boston Bruins overalls. “His stint with the band was from 1968-1972, so it’s from that era,” says Pat Karasek.
Soccer News: New home kit for Ukraine (no word on whether Russia plans to annex the left sleeve), and a new away kit for Zambia (both of those from Trevor Williams).
NBA News: Back in 1979, the Trail Blazers were playing the Hawks in Atlanta, and the Blazers had to wear Hawks practice uniforms for first half of the game because their luggage was late. They changed into their own uniforms for the second half. Too bad the accompanying photo isn’t better, but it’s still a great story (big thanks to Todd Radom).
Grab Bag: Good article on the color Mafia (from Tommy Turner). … What’s worse than purple or camo? Purple and camo. That’s the Idaho Mustangs, a semi-pro team that plays in the Rocky Mountain Football League (from Derek Self). … The North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors has named the Ohio State Highway Patrol as America’s best-dressed public safety agency (from Jason Hillyer). … The U. of Maryland is marking its move to the Big 10 with — of course — a marketing campaign. It’s called Think B1G. Full details on all the hokum here, and there’s a good backstory, complete with descriptions of “talking points,” here (from Andrew Cosentino). … Somewhere in Mexico City is a building with my name on it — literally. Never seen that before (big thanks to Omar Jalife).
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I’ll be off the grid for most of today, because my brother and I are taking our Mom out for her 90th (!) birthday. See you tomorrow.
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[Editor's Note: Today we have an absolutely spectacular DIY project from a reader who prefers to remain nameless. Enjoy — PL]
I do a lot of jersey-related projects, and I’m often left with small, narrow scraps of mesh fabric. I hate throwing materials away and prefer to find a way to use them. After looking at these scraps, I decided to create some neckties.
The 1970s were my favorite era for jerseys and I’m an ex-goalie, so I decided the neckties would be based on 1970s NHL goalies (the ones shown above are for, from left to right, Rogie Vachon of the Kings, Bernie Parent of the WHA’s Philadelphia Blazers, and
Gilles Meloche of the Seals). Some get stripes, others stay plain. I wound up loving the orange/yellow color combination, and I’m now thinking this could be one of the more underrated color schemes in sports — it really looks great to me.
Since I was going to be referencing 1970s jerseys, at first I thought I’d make the ties super-wide, 1970s-style. But I decided to go with a more conservative width, as it’s more appropriate for weddings and job interviews (you have to think of these things).
I begin by sewing a straight but angled line to the width I want [for all these photos, you can click to enlarge]:
Then I turn the fabric inside-out and position the seam in the middle. This forms the traditional tapered tie shape:
At this point I (very) briefly feel like a bespoke tailor as opposed to some hack with a $59 sewing machine. I just turn up the corners at the bottom and hand-stitch them to create the point at the bottom of the tie. This is not a classic seven-fold tie design, but I figure no one will see the back anyway:
I cut the numbers from stiffened felt and then sew them onto the tie. If it’s a two-layer number, I sew the top layer to a bigger piece of the second color and then cut it out after. Stiffened felt is better than the regular stuff, as you can do sharper edges that hold up under sewing:
The felt look isn’t really era-appropriate for this project (it’s more appropriate for early wool hockey jerseys or flannel baseball jerseys), but I wind up using it a lot because it’s easy to find, inexpensive, comes in any color you can think of, and is easy to use. I also like the vintage look it provides, even though it may not be era-correct or even sport-correct in some cases.
If I’m adding a stripe, I use the same type of stripe/braid material you’d find on ’70s-era track suits and uniforms. I’ve been able to source it as new old stock at some sewing supply stores.
For some of the ties, I don’t have a long enough piece of mesh, so I add an extra strip of material — in this case, a strip of yellow and white striped fabric. This makes the tie more visually interesting, and nobody else has to know, since that end of the tie won’t be visible when the tie is worn:
And here we have the finished product:
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By Brinke Guthrie
The Rayduhz have held onto their look for ages. It’s fairly obvious they’ll never change it — but what if they updated it a little? That’s the thought that came to mind when I came across this black Raiders helmet on eBay. While it’s sloppily done, it does pose an interesting question: How about an all-black helmet with the silver stripe? Toss a little of that Bucs-style chrome facemask in there and believe me when I say these would go over nicely in the 510.
A lot of this week’s other picks are helmet-related, too. Why? Just sorta happened that way. Let’s take a look:
• Going across the bay, here’s a Niners mini-helmet with the Candlestick final-season logo on one side.
• Can’t the Giants use this as a throwback helmet? Swap the logo and stripe, no repainting needed!
• This vintage L.A. Rams helmet plaque is in great shape.
• Check this out: a six-pack of the definitive 1960s NFL helmet plaque look. Simply gets no cooler or retro than this.
• Here’s a helmet of another kind — a set of 600 MLB ice cream batting helmets!
• Okay, enough helmets. Get a set of seven 1970 Vikings portraits by Nick Volpe right here.
• I remember trading these in my 1970-71 class at Orville J. Stivers Elementary in Louisville: the complete set of Volpe’s Kentucky Colonels Pro Star Portraits. I always wondered who Bobby Croft was. I felt bad for the guys who never played.
• Here’s a terrific-looking 1969 NFL/Chiquita transistor radio! Listing doesn’t say if it works, though!
• Learn all about “Exciting Plays and Formations” with this 1977 NFL Action Teammate Playbook.
• The cartoon cub on this early-1970s Chicago Cubs pennant looks a bit like their recently introduced (and widely disparaged) mascot, does it not?
• And here’s a Jacksonville Jaguars beverage glass with the original/banned logo, priced to move.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
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PermaRec update: The latest vintage ephemera that’s caught my eye: old prescriptions (like the one shown at right). Read about them in the latest entry on Permanent Record.
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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.
Baseball News: Oh no, Papi! President Obama is considering a ban on selfies with White House guests after David Ortiz’s Samsung stunt last week. “Perhaps maybe this will be the end of all selfies,” White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfiffer said on Face the Nation. One can only hope. … Here’s as great a photo as you’re likely to see these days of two MLB players from opposing teams, both wearing striped stirrups. That’s from Sunday’s Cards/Bucs game (from Rich Strayer). … The Rochester Red Wings (AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) debuted their 2014 white home uniforms on Sunday, replacing the black home jerseys they’ve been using on and off since 1997 (from Paul Bielewicz). … Clemson wore camo jerseys and hats during their game last night (thanks, Phil). … Our Notre Dame expert Warren Junium sent in what the Fighting Irish were suppose to wear at their rained out Saturday game.
Football News: Not confirmed: One Reddit user is claiming to know what the 2015 Cleveland Browns uniform will look like (thanks, Phil and Matt Masuga). … Miami is hinting at a BFBS move. … “Here is the story behind the picture you showed of Troy Akman’s jersey with the 75th anniversary patch on Sunday,” says John Hoyle. “Troy had the patch lowered because he likes to grab his jersey there and wipe his face. The patch was scratchy so he had it lowered. The league noticed he had moved it and made him return it to its proper place.” … Not to be outdone by teammate RG3, Kirk Cousins told a reporter about his logo. “I can’t say I’m a big Royals fan, but I’ve always kind of stockpiled Kansas City gear, just because it’s my initials and I think it’s a simple logo. It’s fun to wear every now and then, and I’ve got a receding hairline, so I like to hide it.” (from Yusuke Toyoda) … San Diego State University will be test-driving the new SpeedFlex helmets, and Alabama wore SpeedFlex helmets at their spring practice.
Soccer News: The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL unveiled their 2014 kits. … Liverpool will wear a patch for the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy for their final three home matches. … In England’s third tier, Tranmere Rovers were forced to play in Colchester’s away kit after the referee thought Tranmere’s sky blue away shirts clashed with Colchester’s royal blue (both from Yusuke Toyoda). … The rest from Trevor Williams: Sneak peak at the Burkinao Faso 2014 home kit. … Puma also redesigned the 2014 home kit for Gabon. … Chelsea unveiled a new red goalie kit that Petr Cech and/or Thibault Courtois will wear next season. … Atlético Huracán released their alternative kit for 2014.
College Hoops News: Here is a look at championship shirt designs that were created for UConn and Kentucky. Congratulations to UConn (thanks, Mike Chamernik).
Grab Bag: The developer of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is going to coat the arena’s dome with a green roof. The rendering looks pretty interesting. … NASCAR news: Stewart-Haas cars added a decal honoring the Fort Hood victims (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article and visuals of the drug tax stamp designs from the 20 states that attempt to collect money on the illicit transactions (from Joseph Andersen). … The killer vehicles of James Bond are on display at London’s Film Museum. … Last two from Brinke: 23 urban hacks made from New York City trash, and photos of NYC storefronts taken 10 years apart really show gentrification at an alarming rate.
Masahiro Tanaka, the Yanks’ new Japanese import, made his MLB debut on Friday. And as you can see in the two shots above, he was pulling the old Barry Bonds move of keeping his pant legs anchored to his shoes with straps that went under the soles. The strap was supposedly banned years ago, along with a bunch of other anchoring moves, but you still see it from time to time. It appears to be one of those things that’s tolerated unless someone complains (“someone” meaning the opposing team, not me).
The strap is common in Japan, and it looks like Tanaka frequently used it while pitching over there. But here’s the weird thing: He apparently didn’t use the strap during spring training. Dig:
Those are just two photos, obviously, but I looked at several dozen spring training photos of Tanaka, and they all showed the same thing: no strap. So the Yanks apparently added the straps to his pants specifically for his big league debut.
The real problem with the strap, and with all the other pant leg-anchoring maneuvers (the heel-spike impalement, the shoelace tie-down, the Velcro strips, etc.), is that they’re tools of the pajamist, and pajamism is evil. If you need any additional evidence of that, look no further than this shot of Tanaka. Woof!
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“But dude, I’m honoring you!”: As you may have heard, there was a particularly surreal encounter at the Indians’ home opener on Friday, as several photographers captured this jaw-dropping encounter between Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache tribal member and executive director of the American Indian Education Center in Cleveland, and an Indians fan named Pedro Rodriguez. The top photo, showing the two men in profile, quickly went viral on Friday afternoon (including on my own Twitter feed, where it was retweeted over 400 times) and prompted lots of media attention.
Several people have asked me about the photos’ backstory. Here it is: Roche was part of a group of protesters who’d turned out to call for Wahoo’s retirement. Cleveland Frowns blogger Peter Pattakos was on hand with a cameraman to shoot some footage of the protest, and they spotted Rodriguez, who agreed to appear on camera. Pattakos asked him about his costume, and Rodriguez responded with some rather unsympathetic comments about Native Americans who have any issues with Chief Wahoo. Pattakos asked him if he’d be willing to say those same things to an actual Native American, and Rodriguez said yes, so Pattakos brought him over to the protesters, where Roche and Rodriguez had their encounter. Pattakos has provided a more detailed account on his site (he’s also working on a video, which he tells me will be ready in a few days), and there’s another good overview, along with a slideshow, here.
Even the pro-Wahoo people seem to recognize how bad this looks, and I suspect they realize Rodriguez may have unwittingly hastened Wahoo’s ultimate demise. Just yesterday I phone-interviewed a pro-Wahoo fan who’d gotten in touch with me last Thursday to offer an equal-time rebuttal to my recent ESPN column on de-Chiefing. He’s still pro-Wahoo, but he said the Roche/Rodriguez incident had shaken his faith somewhat and that he’s now wavering.
The best the pro-Wahoo people can do now is say, “This guy, he’s just one asshole. Most of us pro-Wahoo fans would never do anything like that.” That’s true, of course. But it’s also true that this isn’t the first time Indians fans have gone the minstrelsy route. More importantly, keeping Wahoo on the active roster gives license and encouragement to this type of behavior. Like, if the Chief is an official team logo, why shouldn’t fans be painting their face with his likeness? That’s what fans do, right? As long as the Indians keep Wahoo around, they can’t credibly disavow this kind of stuff.
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Book deal reminder: In case you missed it last week, our friends at Diversion Books have another exclusive offer for Uni Watch readers: The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers, which is the definitive text on MLB skippers. It’s a great book (I first read it about 10 years ago), and Uni Watch readers can now download the e-version for only $2.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price.
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’Skins Watch: Here’s how SI.com described a story they ran on Friday: “We set out to gauge the real sentiment regarding the name ‘Redskins’ among Native American leaders and in grass-roots tribal communities around the country. The short answer: It’s complicated.” That’s a very good summary of their excellent article, which explores the complexities of the situation and quotes strong, well-reasoned voices from both sides of the debate. Probably the single best thing that’s been written about this issue — highly recommended. … My old high school pal Michael Grimm, who I haven’t seen in 30 years but still keep in touch with — and who lived in Cleveland for a spell in the 1990s, during which time he became an Indians fan — is the latest to de-Chief his Indians jersey.
Baseball News: Contrary to what I had hinted at last week, the Dodgers did not come out with a memorial patch for Dr. Frank Jobe on Friday. My source turned out to be wrong on that one. … Oh baby, this might be the best Sox in shorts photo ever (spectacular find by Comrade Robert Marshall). … A guy in Pittsburgh was doing some work on his old house when he found a bunch of old T-206 baseball cards — but not a Honus Wagner, alas — in the rafters (from Bryan Justman). … Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija wasn’t wearing the Wrigley Field centennial cap patch on Saturday (from David Taub). … The gold-trimmed championship jersey has spread to the minor leagues (from Peter Wallace). … Several of the Pirates wore old-school mustard stirrups with yesterday’s throwbacks. Some problems there — the extra white stripe, the inconsistent sannies, etc. — but it’s still better than pajamism (thanks, Phil). … Very, um, interesting uni for Notre Dame baseball. Here’s the rear view (from Warren Junium). … Ken Levin’s mother-in-law, Nina Elsohn, knitted him this amazing Orioles cardigan. “She couldn’t find any published patterns for this style of sweater, so she made it up on her own,” he says. “My contribution was the oriole patch, which is the hat logo the International League Orioles wore in 1921 and seemed stylistically appropriate.” … David Firestone has done some more analysis on the Washington Senators’ old 3-D numbers. … Hmmm, is this a photo from an intrasquad game? Nope — that’s Jacksonville State (on the left) and New Mexico, who wore extremely similar uniforms the other day (from Frank Frank Mercogliano). … Never seen this before: an old girls’ softball jersey with a “Pigtail League” sleeve patch. Here’s the full jersey. … Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire notched his 1,000th win the other day. After the game, his players saluted him with this rather amusing T-shirt (from Charley Collier). … Kansas State went G.I. Joe the other day. “What’s troubling to me as a K-State alumnus is the pitcher’s raggedy left undersleeve,” says Ray Schaefer.
College Football News: A professional illustrator has serious issues with the new Florida State logo (from Paul Leone). … NCAA honcho Mark Emmert says the Northwestern football team’s upcoming vote on unionization could set in motion a series of events that “would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.” Gee, that would be a pity.
Soccer News: Three LigaMx teams this past week wore green jerseys, white shorts, and red socks, instead of their regular colors, as a gesture of support to the Mexican national team that will be competing in the World Cup. The three teams were Atlas, America, and Tijuana (from Omar Jalife). … New home kit for the Carolina RailHawks (from Andy Dunbar). … Good article on the growing debate regarding concussions in European soccer and rugby. … New home and road kits for the NASL’s Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (from Paul Mordente).
Pro and College Basketball News: NBA courts are currently emblazoned with the “NBA Green” logo (screen shot by Charley Collier). … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Love this old photo showing the uniforms worn by the Nashville Women’s College squad (from Lee Wilds). … Killer UNLV jacket for Killers frontman Brandon Flowers the other day (from Douglas Ford).
Grab Bag: I don’t know why Robert Griffin III — or any athlete, for that matter — needs his own logo, but he now has one (from Alan Tompas). … I’m quoted in this article about the implications of advertising on uniforms. … “Jersey sponsorship has been a part of rugby for years, but the Western Force (the Super Rugby team from Perth, Australia) has a new twist,” writes James Vetter. “Each of the 15 starters wears the logo of a sponsor assigned to his jersey number. There’s more information here.” … More rugby news: The Springbok jersey that Albie Malan wore against Australia in 1963 was personally returned to South Africa after being discovered in the cupboard of the house belonging to former Wallaby Jim Miller (from Graham Clayton). … Latest team to defile the flag: Johns Hopkins lacrosse (from Jared Buccola). … What’s with the No. 18 on this guy’s back? That’s a photo from a 1950s shoeshine competition, which used to be a big deal in Wilson, North Carolina. Details and additional photos here (big thanks to Chap Godbey).
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Looking ahead: I’m going to be off the grid today from about 11:30am until at least the late afternoon, maybe longer. That’s the start of what’s going to be a very busy three-week period for me. My datebook over the 20 days is pockmarked with all sorts of appointments and obligations — personal and professional, day and night, mundane (my annual tax appointment with my accountant) and special (my Mom’s 90th birthday). This will seriously disrupt my usual routines, which is a bit of a stressgasm, because I’m a pretty routinized fella.
So what does this mean for you? A few things:
• There’s a decent chance we’ll have a snow day (i.e., a day when the site is closed) at least once in the next three weeks, although I’d say that’s unlikely for this week.
• For the days that I’m on Ticker duty (as opposed to the days when Mike, Garrett, and Phil are on Ticker duty), I’ll likely be imposing a higher standard of Ticker-worthiness for the submissions that come in. My apologies in advance to those of you who send in things that end up not being used.
• I get a lot of reader queries pretty much every day (“Do the Pirates have a system that determines when they wear their throwbacks, or is it just whenever they feel like it?”). I usually try to respond to all of them, but I may be ignoring most or even all of them over the next three weeks. Sorry about that — nothing personal, just a matter of time-management. You might be better off posting queries in the comments, where other readers may be able to answer them.
• Speaking of the comments, I’ll likely be participating a bit less in some of the discussions there. (Yes, I realize many of you probably view that as a plus.)
• If you’re a member of the media looking to get a quote from me or have me on your radio show, or if you’re a student looking to pick my brain for a class project, I’m sorry but this is not a good time. Please check back with me at the end of the month Thanks.