Monday Morning Uni Watch

First, before we get started on football stuff: I have a new ESPN column today, about the uni-related issues currently swirling around Derek Jeter and the Yankees — look here.

Now then: The NFL season got underway in earnest yesterday. Among the uni-notable highlights:

• After going with blank nose bumpers in the preseason season, the Broncos added a 3-D wordmark to their bumpers. (The Chiefs, who also had blank bumpers during the preseason, stayed blank yesterday.)

• I noticed that Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr was wearing what appeared to be a patterned pad on his chinstrap. Additional views here and here.

• Interesting game in Tampa, as the Bucs wore white at home and the Panthers wore their blue alts on the road.

• Speaking of the Bucs: Remember those “shadows” that appeared on their helmets during training camp and the preseason? They were gone yesterday.

• And speaking of the Panthers, DeAngelo Williams dyed his dreadlocks pink to honor his mother, a breast cancer victim.

• The Browns, playing on the road in Pittsburgh, wore their brown pants.

• 49ers rookie defensive back L.J. McCray is going with RNOB. (If you’re wondering why it’s “II” instead of “Jr.,” you use “II” if you have the same name as your grandfather, or great-grandfather, etc. — same name, non-consecutive generations.)

• Speaking of the Niners, two of their defensive linemen — Justin Smith and Ray McDonald — suffered identical tears on their left sleeves. Bizarre!

• The season’s first footwear fine will be assessed to Niners wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who wore blue shoes. Further info here.

• One more thing about that Niners/Cowboys game: Although the game was played in Dallas, a surprisingly high percentage of fans were wearing Niners jerseys.

• For the Bills/Bears game in Chicago, the Jumbotron graphics at Soldier Field consistently showed the Bills’ red helmet, which hasn’t been worn since 2010.

• More teams wearing white at home: the Texans, Dolphins, Jets, Ravens, and, as expected, Eagles (whose green jerseys won’t be available until Week 6, a continuing embarrassment that neither the team nor Nike has satisfactorily explained).

• I haven’t mentioned the new headsets that the officials are wearing. The most remarkable thing about them, at least from my perspective, is that they’re not branded/sponsored/douchey/etc.

• CBS helpfully kept a guy wearing a “Miami Fuckin’ Florida” T-shirt on the screen for a good 15 seconds.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Ron Amadeo, Bernie Langer, Lendel Martin, Chris Perrenot, Jamie Uthe, and of course Phil.)

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Anniversary merch update: Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches have now sold out, whoop-whoop! Granted, I only had 80 of them made, and I gave away about a dozen of those, so we’re not talking about an avalanche of sales here, but I’m still pleased with the response. My thanks to all who purchased them, and bonus thanks to the many of you who went out of your way to tell me how much you liked the finished product after you received it. If any of you have sewn your patches onto a jersey or jacket or whatever, send a photo, won’t you please?

Anyway: I’ve just ordered some more of the patches, which should be available in a few weeks. If you had meant to buy one (or more than one!) and would like to be notified when the new shipment is ready for ordering, shoot me a note and I’ll let you know. (And while you’re waiting, you can get a 15th-anniversary T-shirt or coaster. Or this popular T-shirt. Or whatever.)

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Nike and Volvo: Partners in superhero bullshit? I was talking the other day with my friend Phil Patton, a design critic who, among other things, writes a lot about cars. He mentioned to me that Volvo’s press release for the latest edition of its XC90 SUV includes the following passage:

The headlights are adorned with a striking horizontal T — for the Nordic Thor’s Hammer, in a nod to Volvo’s Scandinavian roots — that will feature prominently on all future Volvo models.

Yeah, because if there’s one thing I want when I’m dropping 40 grand on a car, it’s the fucking hammer of Thor. And if I somehow failed to read that press release, I’m sure the sales guy at the dealership will sound like a perfectly sane human being when pointing out the Thor/headlight connection to me.

The nonsense factor notwithstanding, I was struck by how this sounds exactly like the kind of bullshit “storylines” Nike likes to build into its uniform designs, right down to the superhero element. Has Volvo been poaching pages from Nike’s playbook? Is there a swoosh hidden somewhere in this car?

Then again, I don’t generally pay much attention to auto makers’ press releases (or articles about same), so for all I know this “Our headlights pay tribute to our Scandinavian heritage, as symbolized by a comic book superhero who just happens to have been the subject of several recent Hollywood blockbusters but we’re not trying to capitalize on that or anything” hokum could be standard practice. Is it?

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Baseball News: As expected, the Cubs’ “2008 throwbacks” turned out to be their current home uni without the Wrigley Field centennial patch. … Can’t recall if we’ve looked at this page before, but here’s a really good analysis of the Orioles’ cartoon bird logo. … Good spot by Sean Kane, who notes that the Derek Jeter illustration on the cover of last week’s issue of The New Yorker showed the MLB logo in red, white, and blue, which is wrong. … Hmmm, is this what the Orioles will be wearing to mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner” on Sept. 14? “If so, to my knowledge it will be the first time that the Orioles have worn ‘Baltimore’ on a home uniform,” says Wes Reichart.

NFL News: Some uni number changes for the Ravens. “Rookie safety Terrence Brooks went from No. 33 to No. 31,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Brooks wore No. 31 at Florida State, but Omar Brown had that number; Brown did not make the roster and has since been cut, so now Brooks has claimed the number. Meanwhile, rookie WR Michael Campanaro went from No. 6 to No. 15. This is to meet the NFL’s number regulations (10-19 or 80-89 for WRs).” … David Dinsmore III points out that Madden 15 for iPhone uses the old, pre-Nike makeover Seahawks logo. … Here’s a rundown on the origins of all 32 NFL team names (thanks, Phil). … The Browns player in that Snickers commercial featuring Johnny Manziel has the now-obsolete Al Lerner sleeve memorial (good spot by Joe Bailey). … A reader who prefers to remain anonymous says: “Heinz Field has ‘Pittsburgh’ in one end zone and the traditional hashmark design in the other. Once the Pitt Panthers’ season ends, the hashmarks will be replaced by ‘Steelers.’ Why don’t they just use ‘Pittsburgh’ in both end zones in gold (a team color of both teams) all season? Miami does this and it makes more sense aesthetically than the contrast between a painted design on one end and no design on the other, or the contrast between capitals and lowercase featured later in the season. This always bugged me.” … Stefan Schubert, writing all the way from Austria, checks in with this: “The Frankfurt Galaxy, one of the few really successful teams of the NFL’s European adventure, has been badly missed since the NFL pulled the plug on the NFL Europe. So a semi-pro team named the Frankfurt Universe was founded to fill the gap. The team started a the bottom of the German system and now plays in GFL2, the second-highest level in Germany. They have now bought the naming rights for ‘Galaxy’ and just announced the changes. The club will still be the Universe, but the football team will be the Galaxy. Here’s the old Galaxy logo and here’s the new one.”

College Football News: Love this Michigan helmet-themed truck cab (from Kyle Speicher). … Army is putting player names on the right chest area, just like on a real Army uniform. … Looks like Virginia Tech may have a new helmet this Saturday (from Andrew Cosentino). … As I had tweeted on Friday, and Phil had repeated here on the site on Saturday, Ohio State has begun selling advertising on its goalpost nets. “But at the game Saturday, only the north end zone had Safelite’s advertisement, while the south end zone net did not!” reports Ryan Irwin. … Why was there a New Orleans Saints logo on the USC bench during Saturday’s game against Stanford? (Good spot by Mike Slavonic.) … Anyone know the story behing the cap being worn by this Oregon player on Saturday? “I know it was a warm day there the players were sitting in front of the misters, so I’m assuming it’s some type of a cap to help keep them cool,” says Jimmy Hoover.

NBA News: By now you’ve probably heard that Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson will be selling his share of team due to this controversial email. We’re not going to discuss any of the racial stuff here, because it has nothing to do with uniforms. This passage, however, caught my eye: “Not enough of our fans wear Hawks jerseys to games. I have just begun to push for ideas like discount food lines for folks wearing jerseys, special entrances, etc.” The idea that a fan who pays for a ticket like everyone else should be treated like a second-class citizen simply because he chooses to dress like a normal human being (or doesn’t want to waste money on an overpriced polyester shirt) is total bullshit. Good riddance to this guy.

Grab Bag: Aussie football update from Leo Strawn Jr., who writes: “Port Adelaide did manage to get their prison bar jumpers finished in time for their match with Richmond, and Fremantle traveled up to Sydney for their finals match, making for a beautiful colour-on-colour match this weekend.” … New uniforms for Australian Rugby Sevens (thanks, Phil). … You’ve heard of color vs. color? How about white vs. white! That’s McAllen High and Permian High, both from Texas (from William Banowsky). … Speaking of Texas high school football teams, Highland Parks wears captaincy designations — or something involving the letter “C” — on the right sleeve. Not sure I’ve ever seen that placement for a football team (from Jimmy Hoover).

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

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Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

It was quite a Saturday for the NCAA football squads yesterday — some odd uniform choices, some upsets, some very good looking games. About what we’ve come to expect for the second week of the season. Well, except that not only did Oregon not break out a new uniform — they reused their old template for yesterday’s whompin’ of Sparty.

After yesterday’s MAMMOTH post, I promised you a shorter one today, and well, it will be. Of course, the main course comes first — Terry Duroncelet and this SMUW, and we’ll have Catherine Ryan back with the 5 & 1, and Tim E. O’Brien handling the Duck Tracker. There is also a nice little section which addresses the uni query in Friday’s ticker — the Notre Dame/Iowa game of 1939, during which Notre Dame changed jerseys at half — there was some tremendous detective work done, so make sure you read on for that.

So, let’s just get right to it — here’s TJ with your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

Second verse, same as the first.

From Friday:

• I always find it kind of interesting when a collegiate squad apart from LSU and Georgia Tech wear white at home. That was the case for Nevada when they played against Washington State, who wore mono-grey.

From Saturday:

• Looks like College Gameday used an older Michigan State helmet (note the helmet stripe). Kudos to Phil for sending that one in. Also from CGD, your OTP will never amount to Corso x Donald. They also looked to have put up the correct MSU helmet.

• A player for Tulsa suffered a pretty good jersey tear. Credit to Michael Ferguson Edmond for that

• Kentucky wore their new grey jerseys with blue pants and blue helmets that looked to have some new burpleish treatment done to it with a chrome-ish grey helmet stripe and facemasks. I dig the helmets, but as with a character wearing grey during workout montages in sitcoms and cartoons, the grey highlighted the sweat like a mother.

• Northwestern wore star-spangled helmet decals against Northern Illinois.

• Tulane played their first game in their new stadium after spending almost 40 years in the Superdome. Looking at the game, the new uniforms are okay (they played a road game last week and looked great), but the home uniforms suffer from one glaring error: THERE’S HARDLY ANY BLUE! All I see is, what, that tiny sliver on the sleeves? Since the jerseys are already made, I would think some solid-light blue pants would help a great deal. Speaking of pants, Georgia Tech wore white pants for the first time in a while. From Douglas King: “Didn’t do that with the current uni set last year (did go white over white against BYU but it was with the honeycomb unis). I wonder if this is a return to what they did from 2008-2011 (white on gold at home, white on white on the road), or if this was just for today.”

• Maryland wore white jersey tops that look to have been modeled after the Pride v3.0 uniforms from last year. FINALLY, they get it right! In the past, they’ve had problems with staggering the patterns properly, problems with color balance, and I actually mentioned what would this uni look like if in white last year. Now Maryland is looking like a team from, well, Maryland. I wonder if they get Alex Rüdinger’s stamp of approval. Also from that game, USF wore their gold chrome helmets. Couldn’t find a decent pic, though.

• Remember last week’s UCF/Penn State game? Apparently, Vanderbilt and Mississippi were watching that game and thought: Ya know, that looks pretty cool, we should try that. Never mind that the contrast is almost nonexistent. Ugh. At least Mississippi’s blue helmets and grey pants offered some color breakage. Also from that game, no facemask penalty will ever amount to this one. That happened when Nigel Bowden (#52 for Vandy) grabbed and inadvertently ripped the facemask off of Jaylen Walton’s helmet (#6 for Ole Miss).

• Bowling Green State wore a helmet stripe that had an incorporated digital camo pattern. Normally, I roll my eyes at the very notion of camouflage, but I may let this one slide, since it’s so subtle. I mean, that’s the point of camouflage, isn’t it? To remain inconspicuous? Wish I could say the same about their side decals.

• I know kickers have a reason for not wearing their pants over their knees, but ya think they might be taking it a bit far these days?

• Army wore black helmets and white pants with black jerseys. The helmets and pants look to be carryovers from a few seasons ago, and I don’t think we’ve seen this combo before (in recent years, at least). Also note the name tags. Neat.

• As tradition would have it, LSU wore their white tops for their home opener against Sam Houston State.

• Now THAT’S what I call a blood jersey! Credit to Coleman Mullins for that pic.

• Remember how I said that the gold numbers edged in garnet on Florida State’s road uniforms probably wasn’t the best idea? Well… The home uniforms were on point, however. FSU’s opponent was The Citadel, BTW. who have this on the back of their helmets. Nice. From John Shields: “Pretty neat feature on The Citadel helmet. In place of the helmet manufacture is the player’s company. The Citadel is a military college and I think this is an awesome way to show esprit de corps.”

John Alexander noted that one or more guys from Ohio State wore the normal game pants with the “Pride” uniforms.

And that’ll do it for Week 2. We’re eating gumbo tonight to kick off tomorrow’s Saints game, so I’ll be on my way. See you all next week.

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Thanks, TJ. OK, now on to the rest of today’s content.

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Catherine 5 & 1 (animated) Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1

Every Sunday, Catherine will give us the rundown of her best five and one worst uniform matchups from the College Football games played this week. Since it’s practically impossible to watch every game, you guys can help by sending your thoughts on “good” and “bad” matchups (and hopefully with photos from that game) by e-mailing her at UW5and1@gmail.com.

OK, here’s Catherine with this week’s 5 & 1.

. . .

Happy Sunday, Uni Watchers! Thanks to those of you that sent tips to the “tip line.” I love checking to see if your lists match up with mine. I had a good weekend watching my alma mater put on a FCS clinic. It ain’t the big time but I’ll take what I can get. Let’s get to the countdown so everyone can focus on a full day of NFL action.

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5. WKU vs. Illinois

I’m not usually a fan of chrome helmets, and many of you took issue with WKU’s pants, but overall I thought this was a pretty match-up.

__________

4. Missouri State vs. Oklahoma State

A bunch of you had a lot of love for the Cowboys this week. These beautiful unis got them on the countdown this week.

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3. Kansas State vs. Iowa State

Iowa State looked sharp, per usual, and the game had a fantastic contrast between the teams.

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2. USC vs. Stanford

It was no surprise that this game came down to the wire. Similarly, it was no surprise that it looked great. There are a lot of great looking uniforms out there on the left coast.

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1. Michigan vs. Notre Dame

This is my last opportunity, at least for the foreseeable future, to put this beauty on the countdown.

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+1 Missouri vs. Toledo

I enjoyed nothing about this game. There was nothing glaringly wrong with either team but together they were just ugly and uninspiring. Let me know if you liked how this one looked!

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Thanks, Catherine! OK readers, how’d she do?

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Duck Tracker

Each week, as we have done on Uni Watch for the past five seasons, we’ll be tracking the uniform combinations of the Oregon Ducks. Back for his third season is Tim E. O’Brien, who’ll show you what the Ducks wore in their last game, and add a few words of wisdom (click image to enlarge)…

Ducks 2014 - Week 2

Here’s Tim:

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Quack State decided to go throwback Saturday. That’s right. Nike U wasn’t using Nike’s most up to date template. It seems as if the new uniform template rollout has gone less than spectacular, as we’ve only seen one jersey (mind you, in two variations) since the late 2013 introduction.

Strange.

Anyway, Oregon looked OK, but I personally hate these helmets. But the Ducks already wore all yellow against Tennessee last season, so…

As always, things are updated over at the Duck Tracker and on twitter (@DuckTracker). You can also follow my Northwestern (@NUniTracker) and Indiana (@Hoosier_Tracker) trackers as you so choose but only feel the need to force myself watch those two awful programs (Oh, NU. What happened to you…smdh).

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Mystery-solved-620x340
Mystery Solved? Maybe…

On Friday, there was a ticker item about Notre Dame changing into green jerseys (from blue) during halftime in a game against Iowa. Paul, who compiled the ticker, asked if anyone knew more.

I received responses from three readers, Kary Klismet, Warren Junium and Larry Bodnovich, each of whom had a bit (some more than others) to share about the game. We’ll begin with Kary, who has quite a writeup:

I’m a longtime Uni Watch reader who comments under the screen name “BvK1126.” Today’s ticker included a question about Notre Dame switching from blue to green jerseys at halftime of its 1939 game at the University of Iowa. Having spent a number of my formative years in Iowa, I know a little bit about the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The 1939 Iowa football team, known as the “Ironmen” and featuring Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, is one of the most celebrated in program history. Not deep with talent, the team earned its nickname by frequently using only 14 or 15 players a game, many for the entire 60 minutes. The team earned a #9 ranking in the final AP poll – its first-ever appearance in the season-ending rankings.

Team member Al Coupee wrote a memoir entitled One Magic Year – 1939 – An Ironman Remembers. He makes note of Notre Dame’s halftime jersey switch in his recounting of Iowa’s 7-6 victory. He first notes that, “Notre Dame came out for the kickoff in the typical blue-gold combination uniforms.” (Page 102.) Later, Coupee describes Notre Dame’s switch to green jerseys at halftime:

“When the Irish returned to the gridiron for the second half, they came firing out of their end of the stadium wearing the green of old Erin; they had removed the usual Notre Dame football uniform of blue and gold, and there they were the Gremlins of Notre Dame, as Irish in emerald as leprechauns with names like Saggua, Piepul, Zontini, Sitko, Schrenker, Brutz, and Stelmaszek, and, of course, Kelly, Sheridan, Crimmins and Gallagher. Hey, this was a little much for me–a football team changing uniforms at halftime, and Notre Dame at that. Well, hell, they didn’t change their names, just the color of the duds, and I guess we could handle that, too.” (Page 103.)

I’ve attached the pages with these quotations (below) for your reference. Notre Dame’s tradition of wearing green alternate jerseys was apparently already well-established by that point, as this article from Notre Dame’s website explains. They had switched from blue jerseys to green during a game on at least one other occasion – a come-from-behind 19-6 victory over Navy in 1927.

(the below scans are at full resolution)

ND Scan1

ND Scan 2

Why Notre Dame changed jerseys midway through its game against Iowa in 1939 appears to be a mystery. It might have been a motivational ploy like it had been against Navy 12 years earlier. Or it might have been to provide greater contrast to Iowa’s black jerseys than Notre Dame’s standard navy blue jerseys afforded. As the article on Notre Dame’s website also indicates, “Green became a more popular color for Notre Dame in the 1930s. During the Elmer Layden coaching era (1934-40), white yokes were added to the shoulders to provide contrast to the uniform when both teams were still garbed in dark jerseys.” Photos of the game from the University of Iowa’s archives seem to support this assertion (click to enlarge):

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

That first photo shows two teams wearing dark jerseys with no contrasting yokes, while contracting white yokes are visible on one team’s jerseys in the other two photos. Additionally, video footage of the game from this old Iowa highlights reel, around the 6:35 mark, includes a clear shot of Kinnick returning the opening kickoff with both teams wearing solid dark jerseys. (As a quick aside, the whole video is fantastic, from the animated opening and closing credits through several uni-notable old still photos and bits of video footage to the dated-sounding vocal inflections of the narrator. It’s worth a watch the next time you have 11 minutes to spare.)

Another video, although raw and grainy, shows even more game action. This one is significant because it has footage of both the first and second halves. The Hawkeyes scored shortly before the end of the first half, to take a 7-0 lead. Notre Dame scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but missed the extra point and ended up on the short end of a 7-6 final score. Both touchdowns are featured in the video, and the shoulder yokes of Notre Dame’s uniforms are noticeably different in each of the two touchdown drives.

Color footage of the game apparently does exist and was once available for viewing on the internet, but sadly that is no longer the case. All that can be found now is a low-resolution screen shot in front of a broken hyperlink on this web page. But if you look closely, you can make out what appears to be a Notre Dame player in a jersey with a dark green tint and contrasting, light-colored shoulders.

I hope that helps provide some background on the story. I’m happy to follow up if you have any questions.

Regards,

-Kary Klismet

Wow! Thanks Kary.

OK — now on to Warren:

From a review of the game: “Notre Dame switched from (navy) blue jerseys to green jerseys at halftime, probably to avoid confusion with Iowa’s black home jerseys.”

Here’s BW film from the game

Here’s a Bleacher Report story about the green jerseys (the color video mentioned in the article isn’t available)

1939 ND Student Magazine Football Review

BW Photos just begging to be colorized

–Warren Junium

…and Larry:

My screengrabs of 1939 ND Iowa and jersey change at halftime

I just happened to go back and check my comment. Kind of late to thank Ben Fortney for his tip about the old Picassa account. I used his code and it worked.

Lot of pics in the album but you can see the blue jerseys until it has grab saying second half. Then the Irish come out in green jerseys with white around collar.

Larry Bodnovich

Thanks, gentlemen. If this doesn’t solve the mystery, tis pretty close. Great detective work all!

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: “Great little catcher’s gear story,” says Glenn Griffin. “In case you haven’t come across this yet.” … According to this article, the Orioles will be wearing “special-designed patriotic uniforms” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. Says submitter Andrew Cosentino, “I’m scared.”

NFL News: The Broncos wore blank nose bumpers in preseason but will add 3-D wordmark for season opener (thanks, Paul). … Alex Allen received his prints from Maeser Anderson today. Check it out!

College Football News: “Anybody remember the last time LSU wore purple in a SEC game?” asks Jeff Stark If you guessed, “2000 vs Florida in The Swamp,” you’re a winner. Says Jeff, “seems it was a Spurrier ‘jedi mind trick’. He declared the Gators would wear white at home. Thus, causing LSU to wear their purple jerseys.” … According to SBNation, Florida State will be making changes to their helmet and uniforms. … Nevada’s new pride stickers are axes (h/t Andrew Lind).

Grab Bag: The Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band uniforms from the past are featured in the university’s magazine (thanks to Kenneth Traisman). … NASCAR is considering changes to its souvenir business (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Michigan field hockey is going to be played on a blue and maize field. … Australian top league team Adelaide United FC revealed kits for next 2 seasons (from Kasey Van Puijenbroek. … Tom Dumoulin received a camouflage leader’s jersey to mark the Tour of Alberta Stage 3 finish in the Canadian Army base (from Jeff Meyer). … If you’re a sneakerhead (or even if you’re not), brand loyalty is impossible (thanks, Brinke).

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And that’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a fantastic Sunday (and opening weekend of the league where they play…for pay). Big thanks to Terry, Catherine, Tim, Kary, Warren & Larry for their assistance with today’s post. You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you again next Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken

Peace.

.. … ..

“The Villareal font looks like the work of a drunkard whose dominant hand is still holding a drink. WTF!”

— Denver Gregg

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Saturday Morning Uni Watch

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By Phil Hecken

Ah. Back in the weekend saddle. Thanks to Paul for the Laborious Day Weekend off! Now then, this is going to be a BIG post, so we’ll get right to it. Just want to say a quick few things before we begin.

As in the past, today (first Saturday after Labor Day) will get us caught up on the past weekend of College Football — so three of the sections below will take care of that (and they will return to their regularly scheduled Sunday slots beginning tomorrow). There are also two new sections: A WONDERFUL new recurring section, by Gary Chanko (second section below) on Classic Stadium Scoreboards that you will not want to miss. Make sure to check it out. There is also Week 3 of the EPL Tracking (a new feature for 2014-15).

You’ll also be reintroduced to Terry Duroncelet, Catherine Ryan, and Tim E. O’Brien, who bring you the “Sunday Morning Uni Watch,” “5 & 1″ and “Duck Tracker” (respectively). Each has a look back at what happened last weekend as the NCAA Football Season kicked off for 2014.

Here. We. Go.

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Sunday Saturday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

Hello one and all! It’s been close to 8 months, and needless to say, I’m super-glad to be back at it for a fourth season. A new season, a new playoff system, and a bunch of new uniforms. Over the break, I noticed that I tend to be a bit… brutally honest when it comes to my opinions on what these schools are wearing. And you know what? That’s gonna change this year. I promise you guys a more calm, cool and collected me. After all, it’s only a game, right? … Yeah, fuck that, I’ll stick to my old ways. As you would expect, the throwing arm is a bit rusty, so there will probably be some games that I missed, some facts that I might screw up, and potential spell checks that make me want to go back to 10th grade English class, so please bear with me as we progress through these first few weeks. Without further ado…

From Thursday:

• Texas A&M wore all-white in their first ever match against South Carolina, although the Gamecocks looked to have been waving the white flag.

• As you saw just a moment ago, Louisiana-Monroe wore these swamp camo things in their game against Wake Forest. Well, at least this particular pattern makes sense for the area… I guess.

• Minnesota wore their gold tops for the first game of the season (have they worn them this early before?) against Eastern Illinois.

• Insert obligatory “The Northern Illinois uniforms from the other night were corny!” comment here.

• Boise St. wore their new orange helmets against Mississippi. Given that this game (and its variants) have had a history of color-vs.-color games (I don’t even remember that NC State/Tenn. one. Apparently, it’s from 2012?), I’m a bit disappointed that the Broncos didn’t take this opportunity to wear orange/blue/orange. Also from that game, this player had a mismatched helmet and jersey with no player name. Probably a multi-position guy that switched into an eligible number or something.

• Vanderbilt wore new alternate uniforms (which look a lot like their regular all-black, with some slight differences) against Temple. Here’s a closer look at the details. I’m not gonna lie: I’m really digging this look, mainly because of the pattern on those sleeve caps. Also, Temple wore decals that said “LEW” in memory of Lewis Katz. Here’s a close-up. I’m sure somewhere in the background, Michael Jackson’s “Black Or White” is playing. How do they mess that up?

From Friday:

• You guys have no idea how passionately I’m resisting the urge to make a fursuit joke. Other than that, it was a pretty benign-looking game.

• I’m really likin’ the new lids on UTSA.

• Here’s how Arizona’s numbers look without last year’s gradient on the field. It reminded me of the new QB/no-contact tops that the Ravens wear, but the difference is that while the Ravens’ tops look better design-wise, the Arizona tops are *slightly* more sensible for gameplay, as you can make out the numbers easier.

• Yeesh, those ‘Cuse numerals are super-sketch. The top portion looks too squinty, and the bottom portion is begging for something to eat with how open it is. Some of the numbers near the bottom actually look like mouths! It begs the question of why didn’t they just keep their Ithaca font? That was unique to Syracuse and didn’t look as weird.

From Saturday:

• Notre Dame played their first game in their new Under Armour uniforms. HUGE upgrade from their previous provider, although I’m not the biggest fan of the printed tackle twill numbers. What’s wrong with doing kiss-cut numbers like a lot of the other manufacturers are doing these days? The golds seem to be richer and more consistent as well. Definitely the sharpest ND’s looked in recent years.

• Navy wore a new alternate uniform in their first game as an Under Armour school, called the “Summer White Uniform”, which is basically a football-appropriated version of the actual Summer Whites worn by servicemen in the Naval Academy. Each player had his own ranking on his uniform. Chalk these up as a win! The game didn’t go the same way, however. Also of note, Ohio State is wearing the new Nike Pro Combat v5.0 (a.k.a. “Mach Speed”) uniform after only one season in the NPC v4.0 (HyperCool) uniform last year.

• Another Mach Speed-wearing team from Saturday was Alabama, and I waited for them to work up a real sweat before making any observations. I’m not a fan of referencing old work, but when I talked about my Nike Football League project from almost two years ago, I mentioned if it was possible for Nike to create a mesh version of the moisture-repelling fabric for the abdomen, so we get less of the sweatbox effect. Although it doesn’t look to be mesh for the new gut panel, they looked to have been listening to us over the years, because I could hardly pick out a dark stomach in the bunch. Still not sure how I feel about that mesh line going down the front and back of the jersey. Overall, Nike’s first real departure from the original Pro Combat template dating back to 2009 seems to have been a positive one.

• So what shenanigans do the Bruins of UCLA have in store for us this year? Surprisingly, a positive development happened in the offseason, as UCLA went back to the Clarendon font for their uniforms. Bear in mind that they haven’t looked like themselves since switching to TechFit in 2010, so this is the first good thing that they’ve done to their primary uniforms in a long time.

• TCU wore white helmets against Samford.

• Indiana wore helmets with a simple block ‘I’.

• The QB for Georgia had some nameplate issues against Clemson. Mind the cancelled Idaho/Florida game displayed by my pause bar.

• The helmet decals worn by UCF? Awesome. The contrast between their uniforms and Penn State’s? Not so much.

• Nothing too out of the ordinary from the Fresno State/USC game, but how long have they had “Fight On” on the field? Is that a new thing for this year?

• Florida State… don’t get me wrong, I really love the new uniforms, but I’m honestly curious as to what was their motivation to make the numbers on the white top gold with garnet trim? It’s not even a dark gold, like what the Saints used to wear in the 60s, and the garnet trim isn’t all that thick, so the numbers tend to blend with the top. Think Michigan’s bowl game uniforms from a couple of years back, but *maybe* not as bad (this was an indoor game, after all). We do have HD televisions and the like these days, but I would still think the crowd, spotters, and refs would have a hard time identifying who’s who, even with the world’s biggest boob-tube hovering over the field.

• This has probably been answered already, but what’s the significance of “TEAM 135″? Is this Michigan’s 135th team fielded, or…?

• I don’t have the best vision in the world (it’s actually quite poor), but I think this is a color-vs.-color game between North Carolina Central and East Carolina.

• LSU widened the numbers on their uniforms, which is an improvement from last year, but unless you get up close (such as that first pic of #95) the numerals on the field look more… boxy, I guess the word would be? The diagonal cutouts don’t seem to be as prominent, making them look more square-like/rectangular than they actually are.

From Sunday:

• I’m gonna miss the old Northwestern shoulder stripes on SMU’s jerseys. Also, Baylor opened their brand new stadium in black/green/black.

From Monday:

• Louisville opened up their season in new all-black uniforms. Eh, they were so-so. But let me tell you something about Miami’s new uniforms; I have a thing for metallic-ish dark green helmets, and the Hurricanes’ new green lids are a huge hit with me (didn’t they say that the green helmet wasn’t going to make an appearance at all this season at the unveiling, or did I misread something?). The overall uniform is an upgrade from last year. The game ended in a palindrome favoring Louisville, 31-13.

And that puts a pen in it for Week 1 of the 2014 season. Tune in tomorrow as I bring you my findings from Week 2.

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks, TJ! Welcome back, and we look forward to your critique of the costumes uniforms worn in today’s games tomorrow.

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to introduce a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are being created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and has now embarked upon a new project, which he’ll describe below.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards — A Series
by Gary Chanko

This is the first of a series of graphic illustrations covering the unique scoreboards of classic ballparks. The illustrations are done in a minimalist style and depict the complete scoreboard, a notable design feature, or even a related ballpark structure.

Today we know ballpark scoreboards as massive, high definition video displays. A half century or more ago scoreboards were very much different. Most were still manually operated with electronics technology just beginning to find a place in the design and operation. This series strives to recreate the sensation of these virtually forgotten structures through imagery and a few historical facts.

Over coming weekends one or more of these historic ballpark scoreboards will be spotlighted. Baseball fans, particularly of historic ballparks, will easily recall many of these classic scoreboards. Some (like me) may have actually seen them in person. Others will hopefully enjoy a nostalgic look at the past.

This week we start with two great ballparks, the Polo Grounds and Griffith Stadium.

Polo Grounds

Polo Grounds Scoreboard

Home of: New York Giants, New York Mets
Last baseball game:October 12, 1963 (a Latin American All-Star Game); Demolished:1964

The towering club house located in center field was built after the 1922 season as part of an extensive renovation. The club house facade was used for advertising beginning in 1948 when the Chesterfield cigarette company acquired broadcast rights to Giants games. By the late fifties Knickerbocker Beer became the Giants sponsor and replaced the Chesterfield ad in center field. It wasn’t until the Mets rejuvenation in 1962 that the club house wall was transformed into a dedicated scoreboard.

This graphic illustration depicts the Polo Grounds 1963 scoreboard on the day of the last Mets game in New York.

A Few Things to Know

• Who was responsible for the design of the Mets’ Polo Ground scoreboard? I wasn’t able to find the answer. It might have been a small firm in Wisconsin (M.H.Spicer’s company later incorporated as All American Scoreboards) that provided Yankee Stadium’s new scoreboard in the late Fifties.

• Rheingold Beer was the official beer of the New York Mets from 1962-1973. The letters “h” and “e” in the huge Rheingold scoreboard advertisement would light up to indicate a hit or error. The Schafer Beer sign at Ebbets Field had a similar feature.

• The flag pole with mast was reportedly used to raise a (colored?) flag to indicate a victory or loss as noted in Ed Burns’ 1937 series on major league parks.

• The Wrecking Corporation of America used a two-ton steel wrecking ball for the Polo Grounds demolition — ironically the same one used to bring down Ebbets Field.

__________

Griffith Stadium

Griffith Stadium Scoreboard

Home of: Washington Senators
Last baseball game: September 21, 1961; Demolished: 1965

The graphic depicts the advertisement “scoreboard” located among the left field stands. It featured the notable National Bohemian (Natty Boh) beer advertising mascot “Mr. Boh.” A dedicated game scoreboard, located in the right field section, also utilized a smaller version of Mr. Boh.

I wasn’t able to determine when the Natty Boh “scoreboard” was added to the bleacher section. However this graphic (one of a late forties series sketches by Gene Mack) indicates it must have been constructed sometime in the early fifties.

An extraordinary April 1953 home run by a baseball legend was the motive for me to recreate the Mr. Boh scoreboard.

A Few Things to Know

• Mantle’s legendary “565 ft” home run reportedly grazed the Mr. Boh advertisement near the word “beer.” There still remains controversy about actual distance the ball traveled, but it was the only one to ever clear the left field bleachers.

• After the Mantle home run a baseball was incorporated into the scoreboard layout to commemorate the feat. You’ll also see that on the graphic.

• The mustached Mr. Boh debuted as the brand’s advertising logo in 1936. So why does Mr. Boh have only one eye? In the post-prohibition era, Natty Boh’s primary competitor was Gunther Beer which featured the advertising slogan “Gunther’s Got It” When the question was asked “where’s Mr. Boh’s other eye?” The humorous response was “Gunther’s Got It.”

Next week we’ll revisit two more classic scoreboards: Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium and Connie Mack Stadium during the Phillies era.

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Catherine 5 & 1 (animated) Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1

Every Sunday, Catherine will give us the rundown of her best five and one worst uniform matchups from the College Football games played this week. Since it’s practically impossible to watch every game, you guys can help by sending your thoughts on “good” and “bad” matchups (and hopefully with photos from that game) by e-mailing her at UW5and1@gmail.com.

OK, here’s Catherine with this week’s 5 & 1.

. . .

Happy Sunday Saturday, Uni Watchers! Another season is finally here and Phil asked me to start you guys off with my rankings from last week. As always, feel free to shoot me your tips and recommendations at UW5and1@gmail.com. I love feedback and hope to hear from some of you!

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5. Texas A&M vs. South Carolina

I actually surprised myself when I realized I was enjoying what you could have convinced me was an intersquad scrimmage.

__________

4. Ohio State vs. Navy

Twitter was blowing up with mixed reviews about the Midshipmen’s look but I thought they looked pretty good matched up against the classic Ohio State unis.

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3. Louisiana Tech vs. Oklahoma

I am usually vehemently opposed to white jersey/white pants combos but I think these uniforms are gorgeous.

__________

2. South Dakota vs. Oregon

The Ducks usually occupy another spot on this list but not this time. I love these uniforms and will cut Oregon a break this week.

__________

1. Wisconsin vs. LSU

This was my favorite match-up of the week. I’m a big fan of Wisconsin’s simple look and LSU is one of the few teams that pairs colored pants with their white tops.

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+1 UCF vs. Penn State

This is an example of a game that looked 10 times worse if you were watching it live. The overcast Irish weather made the teams practically indistinguishable from certain angles. It was all around just a visually ugly game.

__________

Thanks, Catherine! Well readers, now it’s your turn. How’d she do?

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Eskimos & Stamps unveil Signature Unis

The Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders are the final two teams from the CFL to reveal their third, or “signature,” uniforms. Our CFL guru, Mike Styczen, is back to review them. Here’s Mike (click on images to enlarge):

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reviewing the CFL’s new “signature” jerseys as they’ve been revealed. The last two teams have how revealed: the Calgary Stampeders (who wore them on Monday) and the Edmonton Eskimos (who will wear them Saturday).

Calgary Stampeders

CS4

CS5

CS6 CS3

The Calgary uniform set is a well-documented mess of red and black (not to be confused with the actual REDBLACKS). Their signature helmet is not bad looking: black matte in the front, metallic red in the back, and the usual logo in mirror finish. The uniforms themselves are primarily black, with “Calgary” down the pants and a crossed-pistols logo on the shoulder (similar to their secondary logo). Overall its a messy enough look as it is, made worse by the fact that its so similar to the teams that have already revealed dark monochrome looks (BC, Montreal, Hamilton).

Edmonton Eskimos

EE3 EE1

EE2 EE4

This uniform might be the highlight of the CFL’s signature series. As with Ottawa and Toronto, the team’s double-E logo is on the front of the jersey and looks great. The whole set is rendered in the team’s traditional colours of green and gold and is a bold new look without being too much of a departure. The helmet looks great in green with an enlarged logo. Like Ottawa and Toronto, this is a uniform that I could see entering the regular rotation.

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Duck Tracker

Each week, as we have done on Uni Watch for the past five seasons, we’ll be tracking the uniform combinations of the Oregon Ducks. Back for his third season is Tim E. O’Brien, who’ll show you what the Ducks wore in their last game, and add a few words of wisdom (click image to enlarge)…

Ducks Week 1 - 2014

Here’s Tim:

. . . . . . . . . .

Last Saturday Oregon kicked off it’s season just as they did last season: Wearing white at home while blowing out an FBS team in red jerseys in a game that no one saw.

But if you’re one of the dozen of people who get the PAC 12 Network, Oregon looked great. The crisp white helmet and jersey paired nicely with the beautiful shade of green pants (This should be the only shade of green UO wears. #DropOlive). And given South Dakota’s cherry red uniform elements, this was a pretty solid color match-up. The Vilker musta loved it.

It also should be noted that unlike the bowl game uniforms from last year, Oregon’s jerseys had TV numbers on the outside of their shoulders where wings once were. The only other difference from the Alamo Bowl unis was that the pants no longer feature the subtle ‘Oregon’ or ‘Ducks’ that were on them. Addition by subtraction.

As always, it looks to be a long, visually stimulating season in Eugene and I’m happy to say Phil invited me back to help track the Ducks. As always, I’ll be keeping track of Oregon over at the Duck Tracker and on twitter (@DuckTracker). You can also follow my Northwestern (@NUniTracker) and Indiana (@Hoosier_Tracker) trackers as you so choose. Should be a fun season and I’m excited to see it’s underway.

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend.

Here’s Week 3 (click to enlarge):

EPL Week 3

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help
Little Help?

Reader Oliver Kodner (who you may recall was instrumental in bringing us a great bit of Cardinals uni history), wrote in with a request. Hopefully the Uni Watch faithful can assist (click photo to enlarge):

Hey,

As apart of our research project I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to trace all leads and cover all tracks, and I’m stumped on a photo allegedly from 1923, and the reason I believe it is indeed from 23 is the number on sleeve.

Here’s the photo:

Harry_McCurdy_(1923_Cardinals)_3

Would it be possible to get a shout out on uni-watch for anyone who might be able to point us to a different photo of this jersey? We think it’s the same bird used in 1922 which was worn as a patch. But we don’t want to think, we want to know. Thanks guys.

Oliver Kodner

How about it Uni Watchers? Paging Todd Radom and Bruce Menard among others. Anyone?

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Texans Mock - Contest ReminderDesign Contest Reminder

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a WFL Design Contest. All the rules and instrux are in the link…

…but if you don’t want to click there it’s pretty basic: If the World Football League hadn’t folded in 1975, and the League were still active today, what would the teams’ uniforms look like in 2014? Click the link for more details.

As of today, we’ve received a good number of submissions from many of you, so this will be the last reminder. Hopefully we’ll start showing off your creations as early as next weekend.

The deadline was extended to September 8, and you can send all your submissions to me: Phil.Hecken@gmail.com.

Should be a fun contest, so if you are a concepter or designer, give it a whirl!

OK? OK!

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Interesting NYT article, “The Man Who Spins Pinstripes Into Gold: Brandon Steiner, in Deal With Yankees, Is a Sports Memorabilia Maven” (from TommyTheCPA). Chris Flinn, who also sent that in, adds, “this was interesting: ‘Pre-Steiner, we had two sets of bases for the season, and we’d repaint them and put them back on the field,’ said Scott Krug, the Yankees’ chief financial officer. ‘Now we use at least three sets a game’.” … Check out this gorgeous program (from Todd Radom), who notes the Cubs ripping the Babe’s .000 lifetime series average. … The Reds wore green for Irish Heritage night (h/t Bill Fenbers). Here’s a game shot (h/t Joanna Zwiep). A few more photos here. … Double “P” for Vance Worley of the Pirates, who really unbuttoned his shirt yesterday (nice grab by Bob Gassel). … The Brewers are wearing a memorial patch for Bruce Seid (via Will Dowling).

NFL News: “As the parent of a 6-year-old, I’ve already run across the new NFL/Madden ’15-themed Happy Meal toys a couple of times,” writes Aaron Scher. “Yesterday’s included a Bucs player, but apparently even McD’s couldn’t bring themselves to use the new font.” … NFL face paint is now considered a uniform violation (here’s more) Thanks, Paul. … Barry Cofield and Silas Redd are “Honoring Families” with ‘Jr.’ suffixes on their jerseys. (“JrOB”) … Stuart Ciske noticed that on Thursday night against GB, Byron Maxwell of the Seahawks had loose sleeves, not the tight ones almost everyone else wears. … The Baltimore Ravens kicker, Justin Tucker, is featured on the cover of “Baltimore Style Magazine” (thanks to “murph1019″). … KC RB De’Anthony Thomas has announced he will wear No. 13 for the Chiefs this season (from Will Lombard).

College Football News: The Illinois Fighting Illini will be wearing white-orange-white (same combo as last week) in their game today vs. Western Kentucky. … Mizzou will be sporting black-white-blackanthracite vs. Toledo today. … Ohio State football has sold goalpost net sponsorship to Safelite Auto Glass (thanks, Paul) Here’s more on that. … Check out these gorgeous striped sleeves for Slippery Rock University in Western PA to commemorate their 125th anniversary (thanks to Chad Fette). … Arkansas will be wearing “traditional” unis vs. Nicholls State. … The Washington Huskies will be going gold-purple-gold (and they have new unis this year, which you can read about here). H/T to Tyson Losness for that. … Georgia Southern will have a patriotic themed endzone for today’s home opener (thanks to Andrew Hartfield). … Texas State has a new look this year. … The striping of the UNC logos is complete (h/t James Gilbert). … Maryland has moved to the B1G and now they have a new turtle remade version of their mascot, Testudo. With a fucking UA logo. He’s also scary. … Cal Football is going blue-blue-gold.

Hockey News: The Florida Panthers (yep, hockey is just around the corner, now) have put out a list of new uni numbers (thanks to Ryan Connelly). … We may have seen these already, but they’re nice. Check out what Maryland hockey is wearing: white jerseys and black jerseys (thanks to Bronson Wagner). … After losing 4 straight to the Kings (and holding a 3-0 lead), the Sharks are dumping the black unis (and switching to teal) for the playoffs.

Soccer News: Soccer club Villareal has an “interesting font,” with a “Crazy 4 and two different 7s for single and double digit numbers.” (from Scott Parsell). … “After a pretty heartbreaking story where the LA Galaxy’s AJ De La Garza had his young baby pass away,” writes Phillip Foose, “the team wore black arm bands with the name Luca on them.” Here’s a vine with the band.

Grab Bag: OK, then. A Notre Dame fan’s yard has been “Transformed into (a) Fighting Irish Football Field,” (submitted by Andrew Rader). … On the high school football level, Albuquerque High is using the Alabama “A” on one side of their helmets (nice spot by Jason Johnson). … Notre Dame has new track & cross-country unis (via Kevin Byrne). … Long Beach Poly High School (and Snoop Dogg’s alma mater) have new unis and helmets (thanks to Cameron Mellor). According to adidas, “Snoop Dogg, the most famous Long Beach Poly High School alum – unveiled custom adidas TECHFIT uniforms and adizero cleats that he has donated to his alma mater. … The head to toe black uniform is a first in Poly’s storied football history and incorporates adidas’ TECHFIT Shockweb technology. Shockweb fits tighter to the body, making players more difficult to tackle. TECHFIT Shockweb is lighter, helping to make the player fast and increasing his range of motion, to support the athlete’s performance at the highest levels,” (via Michael Ehrlich). … Check out this Wisconsin mash up, spotted in Pella, Iowa. Submitter Steve (no last name given) asks, “Where are the Bucks?” … adidas has now fallen behind Under Armour “among sportswear brands in the U.S.” … Brian Jud writes, “I’ve had this Carolina Panthers* novelty jersey for around 20 years or so; it used to be my brother’s, then he handed it down to me. … It’s pretty clearly from when the team was announced, hence the #95 on the front and the back. However, I’ve searched online several times to find where it came from, and I could never find anything. Does anybody know anything about it?” *[I'm pretty sure that's a Jags jersey, not a Panthers jersey, and that was the prototype logo. THE? You know more? Anyone? -- PH] … “I just started an internship with UCLA and this poster was hanging up at the Rose Bowl; love the mascots in vintage sweaters,” writes Jared Buccola. “Also notice the Stanford mascot is still an Indian.” … Centreville High School is using the K-State logo (good spot by Coleman Mullins). … Here’s a good feature on the rackets of various U.S. Open champions since 1968 (thanks, Paul).

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Whew! Well, if you made it this far, you’ve done yeoman’s reading/clicking. I promised you on my last weekday post this weekend would be a big one, and it certainly didn’t disappoint in that aspect. Hope it wasn’t too much (tomorrow will be smaller, I promise).

Everyone have a great Saturday and enjoy the college football, golf, tennis, soccer and whatever else is out there where uniforms are worn. Back with the first installment of Sunday Morning Uni Watch tomorrow. Big thanks to EVERYONE (TJ, Gary, Tim, Catherine, Mike, Oliver, Alex, etc.) for today’s post. And of course, the ticker submitters, the guys and gals who tweet at me, and all you fine readers — couldn’t do it without ya! Catch you all tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“It’s probably a fair assumption that speaking to your partner at exhaustive length and with a zealot’s conviction about baseball stirrups, minor league hockey logos, or the probable placement of ads on NBA uniforms pretty much eliminates any opportunity you might have to try out sex techniques, great or otherwise.”

— Cort McMurray

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Friday Morning Uni Watch

Let the record show that the ball carrier on the first play from scrimmage in the 2014 NFL season was wearing (a) a SpeedFlex helmet and (b) a Hulk base-layer shirt. That would be Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy, shown at right.

Unfortunately, Lacy later left the game with a concussion — not a good regular season debut for the SpeedFlex.

A few other notes from last night’s Packers/Seahawks game:

• I was a bit surprised to see that the Seahawks’ championship banner, which was unveiled before the game, says, “2013 World Champions.” I mean, Super Bowl XLVIII was played on Feb. 2, 2014. Yes, I realize that the Super Bowl was the culmination of the 2013 season, but it still seems a bit weird. I didn’t have time last night to look up other teams’ championship banners — do they all follow this format?

• Aaron Rodgers was apparently trying to block out the crowd noise by putting yellow tape over his earholes.

• Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s signature Sharpie in the cap appeared to be AWOL last night.

• Head linesman Derrick Bowers was wearing an “SS” cap patch. I’m assuming the other zebras wore it as well, although I can’t find any other photos. Anyone know what this was for? Was it worn during the preseason and I just missed it? (Update: Commenter Douglas informs me that it’s a memorial patch for former NFL official Sid Semon.)

(My thanks to all contributors, including C.B. Ciullo Aaron McHargue, and of course Phil.)

• • • • •

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about the very different uniform cultures in pro vs. college football, and the reasons behind those differences.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: The New York Daily News — a newspaper whose editorial policy might fairly be described as center-right — has become the latest media outlet to boycott the ’Skins name and logo. You can see one immediate result of that move here. … The Vikings/’Skins game slated for Nov. 2 at the U. of Minnesota’s stadium, which was already the subject of controversy, may soon become the subject of a lawsuit. … Good story about how the Spokane Indians have connected with a local Native American tribe (thanks, Phil). … That California high school whose teams are called the Arabs is keeping the name but scrapping its live mascot, which had drawn complaints. … A local flag football team in my Brooklyn neighborhood agreed to change its name from Redskins to Bears after parents complained. … The bad news is that some asshole Oklahoma State students suggested last weekend that Florida State’s football team should be sent home on the Trail of Tears; the good news (aside from the gratifyingly accurate apostrophe usage) is that this led to a sternly worded rebuke from the OSU student newspaper. … About a third of the way down this page is the news that ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak won’t be using the ’Skins name on the air (thanks, Phil). … Most Americans still think the ’Skins should keep their name, although the trend shows the pro-change numbers growing. … Also, 58% of current NFL players think the ’Skins don’t need to change their name. … Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 poked some fun at the ’Skins name a few days ago (from Chris Flinn). … That “Cleveland Caucasians” T-shirt is a hot-selling item (from Jim Mason). … Buried within this article about Daniel Snyder wanting a new stadium is the following intriguing passage: “Multiple other commentators, including former Washington football team executive Vinny Cerrato, have suggested that Snyder may try to trade his racist team name for a bright, shiny stadium. The deal, essentially, would be: Give me a huge wad of cash, and I’ll name my team, say, the Washington Warriors. … [This would] serve as a face-saving ploy, allowing the owner to yield to public pressure to change the name while getting something very big in return.” … A new video to be released on Sunday, produced by a Native American group is urging FedEx to end its corporate sponsorship of the ’Skins stadium. Quote from someone connected to the video: “FedEx has a great diversity statement for their employees and corporation. We think it’s hypocritical of them to support an NFL team that uses a racist name when their diversity statement explicitly states they are against racism” (from Scott Turner).

Baseball News: Police have busted a Philly-area counterfeit MLB jersey operation. Fun quote, taken from an email from one of the ringleaders to his supplier in China: “Make sure the factory takes their time, though. People are starting to complain about some of the quality of the jerseys. Some crooked letters/numbers and buttons are coming off.” … Quiz during the YES broadcast of last night’s Bosox/Yanks game: “Derek Jeter has worn No. 2 for 20 seasons. Who is the only Yankees player to wear that number for more than five seasons?” Answer: Red Rolfe, 10 years. Play-by-play man Michael Kay proceeded to blow a gasket on the air, insisting that the answer had to be Frank Crosetti. But while Crosetti wore No. 2 for 22 years as a coach, he wore it for only two years as a player. … Speaking of the Yankees, last week they acquired longtime Uni Watch hosiery hero Josh Outman from the Indians. He went low-cuffed in his first appearance with the Bronx Bombers (I’m assuming they just didn’t have his preferred style of stirrups available), but last night he was back to his signature look. Outmania! … Here’s a great gallery of Tigers media guide covers from 1978 to the present (nice one from Wayne Koehler). … Good article on the guy who’s selling all the Jeter-related memorabilia.

NFL News: The Eagles’ green jerseys will finally be ready for Week 6. They’ll wear white at home until then. Neither Nike nor the Eagles has responded to my questions regarding the embarrassment of the jerseys not being ready in time for the start of the season. … Back in 1959, the Packers and Giants played a preseason game in Maine. It was Vince Lombardi’s first game as head coach (from Paul Dillon). … Alaska Airlines is offering early boarding to Seattle travelers who wear Russell Wilson jerseys. This is similar to the deal they had previously offered to people wearing Utah jerseys. … Here’s a rare action shot of the Saints’ black helmets, which were worn during the 1969 preseason (from Andrew Lopez). … You Have Got to Be Fucking Kidding Me Dept.: The NFL has come out with a men’s fashion guide telling fans how to integrate NFL gear into their wardrobes. For some reason the models shown on that page don’t have beer guts or mullets, but I’m sure that’s just an oversight (from Phil). … Here’s a weird one: Fran Tarkenton during his days with the Giants, wearing a No. 80 jersey (from Douglas Ford). … The only thing worth saying about that new Ray Lewis statue can be found in this headline.

College Football News: Here are this weekend’s uni combos for UNC, Duke, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Louisiana Tech. … Black helmet on tap this weekend for Army. … Here’s Notre Dame’s sideline jacket for the Michigan game. … No photo, but this article on 1939 Iowa “Ironmen” includes the following quote: “We won. Notre Dame changed the color of their jerseys of the second half (from blue to green), but it didn’t do them any good.” Hmmmm — anyone know more? (From Aaron Telecky.) … UAB has come out with a white version of their wacky helmet. … Good overview of Baylor’s uniforms in the Art Briles era, although it’s hard not to laugh out loud at the line, “We’re Americans — we like to look good.” Uh, right (from Ryan Patrick).

Hockey News: New alternate jersey for the Oklahoma City Barons (from Matt Montgomery). … I’ve heard from several Cincinnati Cyclones fans who say they hate the team’s new logo because it reminds them of a toilet being flushed, and it’s kinda hard to argue with them.

Pro and College Basketball News: New college hoops uniforms for Kentucky (thanks, Phil). … NBA commish Adam Silver has repeatedly said that ads on uniforms are “inevitable.” Now he thinks big-time legalized sports betting is “inevitable,” because state budgetary coffers are bare and there’ll be no way to raise funds except to promote gambling. Do you ever get the feeling that a Venn diagram of what Adam Silver says is “inevitable” and what benefits Adam Silver would basically be two overlaid circles?

Grab Bag: Hot item for tennis fans at the U.S. Open: game used wristbands. … The DJ known as Deadmau5 is involved in a trademark dispute with Disney over his mouse ears logo. ,,, Case Western Reserve University’s teams are all getting new uniforms and a new patch in honor of an alum who created Nike’s patented cushioning system (thanks, Phil). … Bit of a kerfuffle in the Indiana court system, where an attorney has been chided by a judge for not wearing socks (from Jonathan Daniel). … At least three people wearing McDonald’s uniforms were arrested yesterday in New York, part of the nationwide protests to raise the wages of fast food workers. … A 15-year-old Florida girl was forced to wear a T-shirt with “Dress Code Violation” on the front after officials at her high school determined that the skirt she’d been wearing was too short. … U.S. Open broadcaster John McEnroe wore a suit with Chucks yesterday (thanks, Phil).