The NFL is taking a very odd approach to the Pro Bowl this year. The uniforms for last season’s Pro Bowl were announced with a lot of fanfare way back in October of 2013, nearly four months before the game itself. This time around, with the game coming up this weekend, there’s been no news about the unis, but the league was selling merch with the same highlighter colors used in last year’s uniforms, so I assumed they were sticking with the same uni designs.
As it turns out, they’ve kept the same color scheme but essentially flipped the home and road designations. Here’s a comparison of last season’s designs and this season’s, which were released yesterday (click to enlarge):
As you can see, they’ve made small adjustments to the pants striping, the panels just above the armpits, and a few other details, but for the most part it’s just a home/road flip of the previous year. Which is to say, it’s still really fucking ugly, although the lack of mono-charcoal makes it an improvement over last year’s.
One interesting thing about the two sets of mock-ups: They both show helmets from the previous year’s Super Bowl teams — 49ers and Ravens for last year’s mock-ups, Seahawks and Broncos for this year’s. Ah, but why did the uni numbers in the mock-ups change from 56 to 55? Those Swooshkateers — so inscrutable!
They’re once again indicating the player’s number of Pro Bowl selections (or maybe how many players had to beg out of the game for this player to get his roster spot) by putting stars above the NOBs. They also did this last year.
Meanwhile, take a look at the cleats — is that a neon camo pattern inside the Nike logo? Sigh (click to enlarge):
Whatever you think about the designs, it’s odd that they didn’t unveil them until a few days before the game. Similarly, as I noted in yesterday’s Ticker, they also waited until this week to announce that they’re narrowing the Pro Bowl goalposts. Almost feels like someone in the league office suddenly snapped to attention this week and said, “Holy shit — totally forgot that the Pro Bowl’s this Sunday! Quick, issue all the press releases!!”
(My thanks to Phil for his assistance with this piece.)
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T-Shirt Club update: Quite a few people emailed or tweeted yesterday to say that they’d received their January shirts from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club (including Jeff Stumm, who took the photo shown above and says the shirt “looks even better in person” than he’d expected). If you want to share photos of yourself wearing your shirt, let’s have ’em.
Meanwhile, in case you missed it earlier this week, the February design is now available for purchase. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.
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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik
With Paul writing about the Pro Bowl today, I thought I’d ask you folks about that. Do you watch the Pro Bowl? If so, do you watch the entire game or just check in for a quick peek? Do you make any pools, games, or other side activities to create a vested interest in the game? Ever attended in person?
My favorite Pro Bowl memory is when Sean Taylor lit up that punter. Other than that, I’ve never watched the game myself, other than brief snippets while changing channels. It’s really weird seeing all the players other than Taylor perform at quarter-speed.
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PermaRec update: The teen-aged Manhattan Trade School student shown at right was advised to take legal action against a former employer who refused to pay her a week’s wages. Get the full story on Permanent Record.
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: A few new number assignments for the Mariners (from Tim Dunn). … Pete Rose wore a pocketed BP jersey and a mesh cap on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1989 (from Patrick O’Neill). … New uniforms for the Nashville Sounds. … We’d previously seen the Nationals’ 10th-anniversary patch, but here’s our first look at it on a jersey. … Max Scherzer will wear No. 31 for the Nats (from David Goodfriend). … The Cardinals released their promotional schedule (from Sean Kautzman).
NFL News: These NFL helmet space heaters are pretty neat (from Jon Solomonson). … The restaurant Tilted Kilt found a way to get around the copyright restrictions of advertising for their Super Bowl parties (from Dane Drutis). … Not only did Brad Johnson alter footballs prior to Super Bowl XXVII, but he also, according to the second paragraph of this story, “changed his socks and shoes every quarter, and over the course of a game he replaced everything but his pants. Johnson always sweated profusely, and he liked the clean, dry feeling.” … Markus Kamp lives outside of Seattle and near a skate park that has graffiti walls. Before the NFC championship game on Sunday, he painted a 12th Man flag in Seahawks colors on one of the walls. “Painting 8′ x 11′ concrete walls with any degree of detail or accuracy is trickier than it may seem, especially with no available power near the walls, meaning images can’t simply be projected and traced,” he says. “It ends up involving a mix of freehand (e.g., the green stripes in my 12 flag this year) and homemade stencils (my 12).” His neighbors made this Seahawks logo, and Markus and his neighbors had a similar project last year. … The Bears say they will not wear mono orange (thanks, Michael Hersh). … A Seattle-area woman received a Seahawks bag for Christmas, but it had a Patriots logo on it, too. … A Boston bakery is selling Deflategate cookies.
Hockey News: During the NHL all-star festivities this weekend, team mascots will face off in a hockey game along with broomball, dodgeball and other competitions. … The Islanders will wear 1972 throwbacks for their last game at Nassau Coliseum on April 11 (from Phil). … New Atlanta Flames-inspired jerseys for the Gwinnett Gladiators. … Here’s a ranking of the worst to best NHL All-Star jerseys throughout history (from Phil). … Lakeville North high school in Minnesota has a very Nordiques-esque logo (from Tris Wykes). … Here’s a rare sight: Cooperalls vs. Cooperalls! That’s from a 1980s game between the Hamilton Steelhawks and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Pink in the Rink jerseys upcoming for the Toledo Walleye. … Anyone know why the Sharks wore white at home last night against the Kings? Interestingly, the band Metallica was on hand for the game, and the Sharks gave the band members custom jerseys, but those jerseys were black.
NBA News: Rapper Wale said he and Kanye West may be designing a new Wizards uniform (from Phil). … Here’s another piece on what NBA jerseys would look like with corporate sponsors on them. … An Oregon supermarket has a really cool Blazers soda display (from Rick Rutherford). … When I was in grade school, my friend showed me a video game he got from the Philippines. All I remember was that it was an American video game that was reproduced by some Filipino company, and that the company’s logo was the Indiana Pacers’ logo with “Players” as the wordmark. I haven’t been able to find which company this is, if they still exist, or why they chose the Pacers’ logo, though.
College and High School Hoops News: Fordham will wear throwbacks tonight to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the school’s Rose Hill Gym (from Phil). … The Walsh (Colo.) Eagles have purple jerseys, but not in the way you might think (from Jeff Braun). … North Carolina wore white-and-pink shoes last night, and coach Roy Williams and his staff wore sneakers with their suits (from Phil). … From yesterday’s comments: St. John’s and Marquette went gray-versus-blue last night.
Grab Bag: Italian club S.S. Lazio has a retro kit (from Phil). … Cincinnati will become an Under Armour school this summer (from Phil). … Press conferences in Hong Kong can be ad-filled events (from Chris Wheeler). … Here’s a history of Mazda’s logo. … “In a recent NTFL women’s match between Nightcliff and Waratah, the umpires wore different colours,” says Graham Clayton. “The field umpires wore orange and grey, while the boundary and goal umpires wore lime green and black uniforms.” … Have you ever noticed that Google Maps displays a shadow behind the pop-up bubble in satellite view? … Tennis player Varvara Lepchenko was spotted wearing Nike and Under Armour simultaneously at the Australian Open (from Kyle Ferramola).
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[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from uniform designer/historian Todd Radom, who’s discovered a heretofore undocumented chapter in MLB logo history. — PL]
By Todd Radom
I recently acquired a rare copy of the 1987 Major League Baseball Style Guide. It was a fun trip down memory lane, back to an era when the Cardinals wore pullovers, the Phillies’ jerseys had zippers, and the Padres rocked the brown and orange. But one thing in particular stood out — the Twins’ then-new look for 1987. The page for the Twins’ uniforms (shown above), marked as having been created in September 1986, shows a primary logo that doesn’t quite match the one that the team actually ended up using (click to enlarge):
There are three primary differences between the logos:
1. The drop shadows. The logo that was eventually used featured disconnected navy blue drop shadows around the “Twins” letterforms. This effect gave additional detail and visual density to the mark, making it more complex. The original logo looks stark by comparison, far more streamlined, with abundant negative space.
2. The stitches. The stitches on the baseball were changed to red. I can understand why they didn’t want the stitches in the original version to be red. Having these fine lines abutting the navy outline of the “Twins” letterforms — as well as the navy “Minnesota” — would have ensured clean reproduction, an especially important factor in the days before digital printing. But someone very important must have looked at this after it had been released and said, “Baseball stitches should be red,” and that was that.
3. The outline of the ball. The original outline was red, which certainly gave the elements a more red look when compared to the logo that replaced it.
The reasons for this seemingly abrupt change are unknown. Research reveals that the remaking of the Twins identity was an appropriately deliberate process. In late June of 1986 the team publicly acknowledged that it was in the midst of rebranding itself for 1987, specifically seeking a “more meaningful logo.” The new look was unveiled on October 10, 1986. Longtime local icons Minnie and Paul were out, a less traditional visual sensibility was in. “Over the years, three different logos were utilized concurrently, which led to some confusion,” said Twins president Howard Fox. “With that in mind, our aim was to create one emblem that would singularly identify the Twins and Major League Baseball in an animated fashion.”
The new uniforms featured pinstripes both at home and on the road, a seldom-used combination. Interestingly, the Twins’ home uniform lettering never featured the drop shadow that was present in the (eventual) logo. Why was that the case? It now seems clear — the overall graphics package, once unified across various visual assets, became disjointed when the logo was modified prior to the 1987 season.
The Twins’ logo underwent additional changes over the next several seasons. MLB digitized its visual assets in the early ’90s, which led to refinements and editing of this and other club logos. As of 1992, the simplified red stitching no longer butted directly against the navy blue outline of “Twins.” This was a sensible, pragmatic call for both structural and aesthetic reasons:
One year to the day after the Twins unveiled their new identity, they were playing in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. The Twins would go on to win the first World Series championship in franchise history later that month, thus cementing the bond between the team’s new look and a new era of prosperity. Take another look at the word “Twins” and note the fact that “win” is underlined, a subtle directive that the 1987 club certainly took to heart.
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Patchwork: No surprise that the gent shown above would come up with a great application for the Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch, because he’s none other than Scott M.X. Turner — the guy who designed the anniversary logo in the first place! Not only that, but he also designed that jacket when he was working for Stall & Dean about 10 years ago. So the whole package is a Scott Turner production — nice. (For more about Scott’s involvement with S&D, look here.)
If you want to order your own Uni Watch anniversary patch, you can do that here. And if you already have a patch and have sewn it onto something, let’s have a look.
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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s February design is now available for purchase. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.
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Baseball News: The Mariners will be unveiling a new Sunday home alternate uni on Friday. I’ve seen it and can report that it’s a nice little addition to their wardrobe but definitely not a big deal. That last link also includes a really nice slideshow of Seattle baseball history. … More on those pocketed BP jerseys that Phil wrote about last weekend: the Royals wore them too, and Leigh Bellinger has one in his collection. “Unfortunately, no uniform number is written on the tag, so I have no way of knowing who wore it, but I like to think it was George Brett,” he says. … Students at an Indiana high school were each assigned a city and then had to come up with proposals — including uniforms, mascots, and more — to move the Rays to that city. … Here’s the logo for the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 tourney, which will take place in Tokyo this November. Further details here. … New mascot, as yet unnamed, for the South Bend Cubs. … Safeco Field in Seattle is slated to become MLB’s first LED-lighted stadium (thanks, Mike). … The Mets are increasing the size of their scoreboard screen. … Yesterday’s Ticker had the news that BYU is relaxing its anti-beard rules. Now the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that prison officials can’t prohibit Muslims from growing beards. Can the Yankees’ beard ban be far behind? At the very least, this would be a good time for someone to do a House of David throwback game.
NFL News: Concussion discussion: Mike Ditka says he wouldn’t let his kid play football. … Here’s something odd: a 1939 photo showing a Bears team jacket with the 1939 New York World’s Fair “trylon and perisphere” logo. Strange that a Chicago team would commemorate an NYC event. “The Bears did play in New York against the Giants at the Polo Grounds on Oct. 22, 1939,” notes Ryan Becerra, so maybe that explains it. Anyone know more? … White Castle is not an NFL sponsor, so they Photoshopped all the league and team logos out of the jerseys in this ad (from Joseph Bailey). … According to this story, Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse offered to trade his helmet to the fan who ended up with the game-winning ball from Sunday’s AFC championship game, which invites “Gotcha!” retorts from those opposed to the NFL’s one-helmet rule (from Scott Lederer). … Todd Radom has written a very nice piece on Super Bowl artwork. … The NFL will use narrower goalposts for the Pro Bowl — you know, to help you take the game more seriously. … Minor kerfuffle in New England, where Pats WR Julian Edelman was shown on TV wearing a less-than-wholesome T-shirt. … When the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl last year, the city of Spokane hung a 12th Man banner on its clock tower, but not this year.
College Football News: Penn State’s athletic director, who said it was “inappropriate and insensitive” for the PSU hockey team to wear “409” helmet decals in the wake of Joe Paterno’s wins being restored, has now apologized for that statement. … If you’re into rankings, here’s one observer’s picks for the best and worst college football uniforms of the past season (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Looks like Pitt has added its script logo just below the jersey collar. … Ohio State alums who’ve gone on to play in the NFL now have their own lockers back at OSU (from Andre Torres).
Hockey News: Maple Leafs fans have been showing their disgust with the team’s lousy performance by throwing jerseys onto the ice, and now three such fans have been banned from the team’s arena. At least one observer thinks these fans should find better ways to protest. Or maybe they can just be distracted by this amazing ice projection that the team has been doing (thanks to Phil for that last link). … New GFGS jerseys for UMass-Lowell (thanks, Phil). … “Superhero Weekend” jerseys for the Alaska Aces (Phil again).
NBA News: The Heat’s “black tie” unis, which I feel like we’ve been hearing about forever, finally debuted last night.
Note the Adidas stripes on the shoulders — a first for a regular season game, I’m pretty sure. Check that, it’s actually four stripes, not three. … The Heat’s cheerleaders wore uniforms that matched what the players were wearing. … Here are the socks that’ll be worn in the NBA All-Star Game. … Oh baby, Matt Miskelly was clearing out some old posters that his dad designed and came up with these NBA beauties.
College Hoops News: People never get tired of writing article about menswear designer Alexander Julian’s connection to UNC. … The South Carolina coaching staff wore Coaches vs. Cancer socks last night.
Soccer News: Adidas’s new deal with ManU is so expensive that the company is reassessing its relationship with the England cricket team (from George Chilvers). … Interesting series of infographics showing which parts of the UK are buying which jerseys. … Here’s a look at U.S. men’s national team kits over the years (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: All MLS teams will be doing that thing where they put season ticket-holders’ faces in their uni numbers. … New camouflage jersey for the Norwegian club Sandefjords. “It’s made by Macron, the people behind Napoli’s camo and faux-denim monstrosities,” says Yusuke Toyoda.
Grab Bag: A 53-year-old Brooklyn man, distraught after his wife divorced him, has found solace by making his own miniature golf course out of trash. … Cycling’s governing body United Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has blocked the IAM Cycling team’s jersey design that features the rider’s NOB. “The NOB apparently will be moved to above the sponsor’s name,” says Sean Clancy. Further info down around the middle of this page. … New logos for Jackson County, Mississippi, the United Fresh Produce Association, and, possibly, Wrestlemania 32. … England’s and India’s cricket teams went blue-vs.-blue the other day. “With only ten or so major cricket-playing countries, you’d think they’d be able to get some sort of contrast,” says Richard Hunter. … Louisville has extended its contract with Adidas (thanks, Phil). … How bright is Nike’s Aussie Open tennis attire? So bright that it caused a reflection on Roger Federer’s skin (from Cork Gaines). … Some British policemen are trading in their helmets for peaked hats. … The Ben Hogan golf club line, dormant since 2008, is being revived. … Interesting note about newly elected Syracuse-area Congressman John Katko: “At his swearing in ceremony on Jan. 6, Katko wore a purple tie as a symbol of his bipartisanship. On Tuesday night [at the State of the Union address], he wore an orange and blue striped tie as a nod to Syracuse University” (from Matt Dowell).
[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Super Bowl savant Jay Braiman, who’s checking in with his annual summary of insanely detailed uni-based trivia for the big game. Enjoy. — PL]
By Jay Braiman
The NFC is the designated home team for this year’s Super Bowl. So assuming the Seahawks will wear their solid-blue home uniforms, with the Patriots wearing their white-over-blue road uniforms, here’s a breakdown of uni-centric Super Bowl trivia:
• The Seahawks are already the only team to have played in the Super Bowl wearing a uniform whose helmet, jersey, and pants were all the same color other than white. They did that in SB XL, which they lost. (The Colts, Dolphins, and Jets have worn white-white-white in Super Bowls, going a combined 4-1.) Seattle will also be the first to have done this with two different uniform designs and two different shades of the non-white color. And it will be the second Super Bowl played between a team whose helmet, jersey and pants are the same color and one whose helmet, jersey and pants are three different colors, the other being, again, SB XL.
• This will be the first Super Bowl between two teams wearing navy pants and, for that matter, the first between two teams wearing dark-colored pants. We’ve previously seen games in which the pants worn by both teams were white (six times), silver/grey (five, if you count Bucs’ pewter pants as grey when they faced the silver-pantsed Raiders in SB XXXVII), and yellow (twice).
• Super Bowl teams whose helmets were the same color as their jerseys (including white, and including different shades of the same color family) are 8-9 against teams whose helmet and jersey were different colors.
• Teams whose jersey and pants worn in the Super Bowl were the same color (again, including white and including related color shades) are 6-9 against teams wearing different-colored jersey/pants combinations.
• Teams whose helmet, jersey and pants worn in the Super Bowl are three different colors are 8-9 against teams with at least two of these elements being the same color. (Note: This statistic considers the Cowboys’ helmet and pants worn with the white jerseys to be the same color, even though they really aren’t. If we consider the Cowboys’ current helmet and pants to be different colors, but still allow that the helmet and pants they wore with the blue jerseys in SB V were the same color, then the record becomes 10-8 for three-color helmet/jersey/pants combos against one- and two-color combos, and three-color combos have played each other three times. That includes SB XXIX, when the 49ers wore a throwback uniform with gold helmets, red jerseys, and white pants.)
• This is the 11th Super Bowl in which both teams’ primary jersey color is blue (albeit different shades). Blue is the only color family for which this has occurred. In the previous 10 such games, the team wearing its white jerseys in the Super Bowl has won eight times.
• Seattle is the fourth team to appear in consecutive Super Bowls wearing its white jersey in the first and its colored jersey in the second. Seattle is only the second team to win the first in its white jersey and come back to play in its colored jersey the following year; the only other team to do that, the Steelers, won both (SBs IX and X).
(Six teams have done the opposite, wearing color in the first and white in the second, including the Packers, who did that twice. Three teams have worn the same jersey in both, including the Cowboys who did that twice. Three teams (Steelers, Cowboys, Broncos) are in more than one of these categories. Two teams, the Dolphins and Bills, have appeared in more than two consecutive Super Bowls; these stats reflect just the first two only.)
• This will be the seventh Super Bowl in which the digits of one starting quarterback’s uniform number will add up to the other starting quarterback’s number: Tom Brady wears No. 12; 1 + 2 = 3, which is Russell Wilson’s number. In such games, the QBs with the 2-digit numbers are 4-2 against the single-digit QBs. The full list (winning QB in italics):
SB XV: Jim Plunkett, 16; 1 + 6 = 7, Ron Jaworski
SB XVII: David Woodley, 16; 1 + 6 = 7, Joe Theismann
SB XVIII: Jim Plunkett, 16; 1 + 6 = 7, Joe Theismann
SB XXIII: Joe Montana, 16; 1 + 6 = 7, Boomer Esiason
SB XXIV: Joe Montana, 16; 1 + 6 = 7, John Elway
SB XLIV: Peyton Manning 18; 1 + 8 = 9, Drew Brees
That there is some serious trivia, am I right? Thanks, Jay!
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February shirt lauch: The February design for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club is now available. (Yes, I realize we just finished selling the January design, but we got a late start on that one. From now on, all designs will launch on the third Tuesday of the preceding month, so they’ll deliver early in their designated month.)
In case you missed the discussion last week: February is when spring training starts. And what do players wear during spring training? Batting practice jerseys, of course. That’s the inspiration for our February design (click to enlarge):
Thanks for the all the feedback last week regarding the NOB. As you can see, we stuck with the single-line format, which was the most popular option among those who expressed an opinion. We did tweak the NOB font slightly (thanks, Scott), so I think it looks a bit better now.
Here’s everything you need to know about ordering the shirt:
1. You can purchase the shirt on this page. (Ignore the bits about “reaching our goal” and the “hitting our minimum” — that’s for Teespring clients who use T-shirt sales as fundraisers.)
2. As you’ll see, there’s a choice of Hanes ($22.50) or American Apparel ($24.50). Their tailoring and sizing are slightly different, and the Hanes shade of gold is a smidge darker than American Apparel’s, so use the “View Sizing Chart” link and compare the colors to be sure you get the shirt that’s best for you. Domestic shipping is $3.85 for the first shirt, $1 for each additional shirt; international shipping is $9.50 to Canada, $12.50 elsewhere.
3. This shirt will only be available through next Monday, Jan. 26, 11pm Eastern. After that date, the shirt will not be offered for sale. All shirts ordered by then should be delivered by Feb. 10.
4. The March design will go on sale on Feb. 17. I’ll preview it here on the site during the week prior to its launch.
5. People who purchase all 12 shirts (collect ’em all!) will be eligible for a bonus prize at the end of the year. I haven’t yet decided what this prize will be, although I have some ideas. It may depend somewhat on how many people stay on board for all 12 shirts, and we won’t have a sense of how many people that might be until the summer, so I’ll likely wait a while before settling on the prize. But I assure you it’ll be something good.
I think that’s it. Again, the February shirt can be purchased here. If you have any questions, give a holler. Thanks for listening.
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Put a bird on it! There are few things I like better than a vintage Durene basketball warm-up top, and yesterday I scored a really nice one. Ain’t it a beauty? Cost a bit more than I normally like to pay ($70 + shipping), but I think it’ll be worth it. The lettering on the back is chain-stitched, and so is the blue jay on the front. Nice King-O’Shea tagging, too.
This top was worn by a member of the Delphos St. John’s Blue Jays, a Catholic school near Toledo that, according to Wikipedia, “is very well known for being successful in its sports.” More photos to follow when the package arrives from the seller.
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By Brinke Guthrie
As we all know, I have a soft spot for anything NFL from Sears in the 1970s. So when I saw this ad, I was immediately transported back in time and space to the St. Matthews Sears in Louisville. (My go-to spot in Dallas was a department store known as Sanger-Harris, and McAlpins was my store of choice for this kinda gear in Cincinnati. Shopping the online Nike store just isn’t the same.)
Here are the rest of this week’s vintage picks:
• One more ad for you: You think Adidas had a problem with this “NBA Pro” sneaker ad? Those are just Adidas Superstars — with one more stripe!
• Not vintage, but this set of Pocket Pro Helmets shows the AFL helmets from the 1969 season.
• This St. Louis Rams jacket from Starter sure has a busy design.
• Couple of NFL Russell Athletic items here: Giants fans will make a bold statement wearing this crewneck sweatshirt, and will ya look at this NFL Films T-shirt! Too bad (for me, at least) it’s a small.
• Take a look at this 1960s Montreal Canadiens kids wool sweater. Nice!
• Obviously not an officially licensed item; but this old snapback cap caught my eye, as it features a Bengals helmet with a center stripe, which they’ve never had.
• They didn’t quite get the horseshoe right on this 1960s Colts bank, did they?
• I guess Topps considered selling these plastic baseball cap plaques back in the day but never followed through. This SF Giants one is called a “test product.”
Bring back Bucco Bruce with this vintage 1970s Buccaneers helmet AM radio.
• Don’t recall ever seeing OJ Simpson on the cover of 1970s NFL helmet kit before.
• Here’s a set of 1960s NFL playing cards. Note the ’Skins helmet at lower right — it’s the one with the feather up the back that you rarely see.
• Here’s something else you don’t often see: a mini-sized Techigraph NFL helmet plaque — this one for the 49ers. The same seller also has the Falcons and Chiefs in the same size.
• And from reader Brian Mazmanian, check out these pattern booklet to make your own NBA sweatshirts. [“I’m 99% sure that’s former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown on the cover,” says Brian, and I think he’s right! — PL]
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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath
Baseball News: Jason Heyward made his first public appearance as a Cardinal yesterday and received the uniform number 22 from manager Mike Matheny. Heyward gave him No. 26 in return. Matheny has always worn 22 as a Cardinal (from Chase Martin).
Pro and College Football News: A woman with a great New England accent went bonkers during a TV interview while buying Patriots “AFC Champion” merch. … “The aftermath of the Seahawks’ fake field goal on Sunday revealed a Seattle fan in the first row behind the end zone wearing a No. 9 Seahawks jersey,” Clint Wrede says. “Number 9 belongs to Seattle punter Jon Ryan, who threw the TD pass on the fake. How many fans wear the punter’s jersey?” … Reader question: “Do you know why the Colts logo was in a red shield in the end zone of Super Bowl III?” asks John Limato. “The Jets logo was their regular logo in white.” … The University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners unveiled new helmet designs (thanks, Phil). … The NFL Shop was selling a Patriots jersey with the wrong Super Bowl logo. … Kurt Esposito loves this shot of Ditka wearing Ditka.
Hockey News: “The Penn State Nittany Lions are going to wear special jerseys on Saturday with auction proceeds benefiting THON,” William F. Yurasko. “THON is short for Dance Marathon, a student philanthropy that raises several million dollars to support children with cancer and their families. When my wife Erica was a student, she danced in consecutive years.” … Sharks goalie Alex Stalock has a new mask but hasn’t yet gotten it painted, so he went with plain white for yesterday’s game against the Devils.
Soccer News: Here is a confirmed leaked photo of the 2015 USA away kit as seen on Alex Morgan of United States Women’s National Team (from Conrad Burry).
NBA News: Here is Dwyane Wade modeling the best look we’ve had so far of the Heat’s “Black Tie” uni, which will debut tonight. Here is a video the team made promoting the uniform (thanks, Phil). … Most teams wore wore this logo on their shooting shirts yesterday, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will also be worn on Feb. 1-12 for Black History Month (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of MLK Day, look at this great design that the Hawks projected on their court (thanks, Phil). … Check out what Stuart Friedel and his girlfriend wore to yesterday’s Celtics/Clippers game. “It’s a Chris Paul/Matt Barnes Star Wars mash up: CP3-O and M2-B2,” he says. … The Bulls wore their BFBS alternate uniforms yesterday for the first time this season. But as many readers noticed, the color sequence from the collar and armhole trim has been reversed. “It’s even weirder given the video that surfaced prior to the season, showing the trim unchanged but with pinstripes added,” notes Tom Juettner. Also, the old color sequence matched the sequence on the waistband of the shorts, but the new version does not. … Two of the refs in last night’s Kings/Blazers game wore the same uni number. A check of the NBA officiating roster shows only one guy wearing No. 35 — Kane Fitzgerald. So maybe one of the other refs lost his jersey and one of Fitzgerald’s spares (from Malcolm Byers).
College Hoops News: Loyola Marymount went BFBS the other day (from Dennis Ittner). … Waistband watch: “Look at this picture of a rolled up waistband in the process of unrolling itself,” Derek Linn. “That player is being guarded by someone who looks to have his waistband rolled up as well.” … “The trend of basketball players rolling up their waistbands has made it to the middle school ranks,” says Kyle Martinek. “I was at an eighth-grade game in the south suburbs of Chicago and there were a few players doing this. One was small and looked like he did it because the shorts were too big, but the others looked like they were doing it just for the style.”
Grab Bag: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Brigham Young University has adjusted its anti-beard policies. … A mud bath caused confusion in a rugby game in the UK when it was difficult to tell which side players were on (from Tom V.). … This is why I love the internet: David Firestone has written an analysis of the logos and uniforms in Beavis and Butt-head. … We have shared some of these before but here is a list of the ten biggest rebrands of 2014 (from Adam Vitcavage). … “When rookie driver Ralph Jones had a huge crash and fire at Darlington Raceway in 1977, members of many different teams jumped the fence to help put out the fire and remove Jones from the car, which showed a wide variety of the pit crew uniforms that were being worn by various teams,” says Graham Clayton.
In the latest case of an unnecessary soap opera that made me feel like a few of my brain cells were dying off, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch had planned to wear gold cleats for yesterday’s NFC championship game against the Packers. But NFL footwear can only be some combination of black, white, and team colors, so the NFL threatened to keep Lynch from playing.
Lynch ultimately relented and wore blue-and-green cleats with gold soles (as seen at right). This created a bonus soap opera among fans who mistakenly thought the gold soles were Lynch’s way of saying “Fuck you, you can’t make me!” to the league. In fact, he’s been wearing the gold soles all season long, as you can see here, here, and here.
This whole melodrama makes my head hurt. Here’s a thought: Wear your regular fucking cleats already and spare us all the bullshit. Jeez.
In other news from yesterday’s conference championship games:
• No surprise to see the Seahawks wearing bright-green mouthguards, but definitely surprising to see Packers linebacker Clay Matthews wearing one.
• At one point the yards-to-go info in Fox’s score bug was off by 40 yards.
• Turning the Colts/Pats game, someone on the New England sideline was wearing an old Adidas jacket.
• Some Pats tailgaters had an effigy of Andrew Luck with the wrong number font, among other uniform discrepancies.
• Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones went a little heavy on the eye black.
• Two recurring uni quirks for the Colts: Running back Dan Herron once again wore eye black under only his left eye, and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks once again had those strips of black tape on the outer bars of his facemask, which you can just barely see here.
• In a first (at least to me), the Colts had chicken broth available on their sideline.
• No photo, but Patriots offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, who was filling in at center, wore a towel that appeared to say, “Stork” — an apparent reference to injured center Bryan Stork. Not clear if that was a tribute to Stork or if he was literally using Stork’s towel.
As for the Stupor Bowl, the NFC is the designated home conference this year, so Seattle will presumably go full-scuba. That’s going to make for an ugly game, because
Seattle’s costumes liook like shite Seattle’s jerseys/pants/helmets and New England’s pants will all be navy. Whaddaya gonna do.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some serious Super Bowl uni trivia involving these two teams, courtesy of reader Jay Braiman, who’s crunched some numbers that I think you’ll find very interesting.
(My thanks to @bryanwdc, Tim Cross, Seth Shaw, Jim Walaitis, and David Westfall for their contributions.)
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QBC panel discussion audio: In case you missed it when Phil posted it on Saturday, an audio recording of the uniform panel discussion that I moderated at the recent Queens Baseball Convention is now available. The other panelists were uniform designer/historian Todd Radom; game-used jersey experts Bill Henderson and Nick DiSalvo; Mets uni number expert Jon Springer; irrepressible Mets stitcher Russ Gompers (who should really have his own podcast, or maybe his own TV show or nightclub act); and our own Phil Hecken. The discussion runs about an hour — enjoy:
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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when we honor the life of the greatest American of the past century. King’s profile is particularly high at the moment because of the film Selma, which I assume some of you have seen by now.
I saw Selma just before Christmas. It falls prey to some of the clichéd conventions of biopics, and there’s been some controversy over the film’s portrayal of Lyndon Johnson, but for the most part it’s a super-powerful piece of work that’s absolutely worth seeing. (At the risk of highlighting something trivial, I’ll also mention that some of the Alabama policemen shown in the film have really interesting Alabama-shaped sleeve patches on their uniforms.)
The events shown in the movie took place in 1965 — a year after I was born. I cannot express to you how shameful it feels to me, how unacceptable, that these beatings, killings, acts of domestic terrorism, denials of basic rights, and other events took place within my lifetime. During much of the movie I literally felt sick to my stomach, like I was going to throw up. I managed not to do that, but instead, with about 15 minutes left in the movie, I began to cry — not due to any specific trigger but because of the accumulated horror and disgust that I felt over these events having taken place in my country, in my lifetime. I kept sobbing for about 10 minutes after the movie ended. The crying eventually stopped, but the horror, disgust, revulsion, and shame remain.
Two additional thoughts:
1. The film gives the impression that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed all the legal barriers to blacks registering to vote. It did not. Many southern states challenged the law’s legitimacy and attempted to retain their poll taxes and literacy tests. The Supreme Court didn’t finally strike those down until 1966. Again, it’s shameful and unacceptable that it took so long.
2. It’s worth noting that King was only 39 when he was assassinated in 1968. If he’d been allowed to live out his natural life, he might still be alive today at 86. Think about how much he accomplished in so little time — and how much more he could have done if he’d had the chance to do so. Sigh.
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Baseball News: Cardinals personnel wore Oscar Taveras memorial buttons at the team’s recent Winter Warm-Up event. In addition, the Cards will wear an “OT” memorial patch for the upcoming season. This has already prompted controversy among those who think Taveres shouldn’t be uni-memorialized because he died while driving drunk and the accident took his girlfriend’s life as well as his own. … Kenn Tomasch attended one of those old-timey “base ball” games and took a lot of photos. … New uniforms for the Korean team SK Wyverns (from @MyKBO).
NFL News: Happens like clockwork every year: With the Super Bowl approaching, there are more stories about counterfeit jerseys. … Here’s something I don’t recall having seen: Back when Sam Wyche coached the Bengals, he wore a cross on his headset. “Not as eye-catching as Mike Singletary’s necklace, but still,” says Mike Engle. … You probably knew already that the Pats have one wordmark on their jerseys and another one that they use in their end zones and on their neck bumpers. But did you know they have a third wordmark displayed on their sideline? Too much! (From John Pritchard.) … Great catch by Daniel Merz, who was watching the 1978 AFC Wild Card Game and spotted Dolphins RB Norm Bulaich wearing the team’s old helmet logo with the dolphin’s head inside the sunburst. That logo was officially retired after 1973 but still popped up here and there during the next season or two. But 1978? Wow.
College Football News: Is UNLV planning to go GFGS? Maybe. … After the announcement last week that Joe Paterno’s wins were being restored to his record, the Penn State hockey team wore “409” helmet decals. Now the school’s athletic directors says that was “inappropriate and insensitive.” “She’ll be dealing with the fallout for this from parts of the Penn State fan base for the rest of her tenure,” says William Yurasko).
Hockey News: Today’s installment of the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” features a character who returns from a trip to Montreal wearing a Canadiens jersey. I’m told that this same character/jersey will appear at least one more time this week. … Jeff Barak has done a retrospective of all the jerseys Rob Blake wore with the Kings.
NBA News: The Warriors wore their sleeved grey alts on Saturday. A small note on this page refers to this as “a Saturday tradition.” I’d say that’s a misuse of the word “tradition,” but whatever — I didn’t realize that this uni had a designated Saturday protocol. … When NBA teams have worn sleeved grey uniforms this season, the refs have worn the older jerseys with the contrasting sleeves, presumably to avoid any visual confusion. But when the Magic went sleeved/grey yesterday, the refs wore their current grey jerseys (from David Arnott).
College and High School Hoops News: “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts continue to make news and cause controversy, most recently at a Pennsylvania high school. … How much do people in Alabama love the Crimson Tide? So much that the teams at now-defunct Millport High, about an hour from Tuscaloosa, were called the Junior Tide (from Dustin Semore, who stresses that that’s not him in the photo). … Illinois wore 1989 throwbacks yesterday but had to change the shorts logo, because Chief Illiniwek is now off-limits. Pretty sure they’ve worn those throwbacks at least one other time this season, but I hadn’t been aware of the logo switcheroo until now. But despite the Chief being banished from the uniform, he apparently made a halftime appearance (from Dave Garabedian and @joshneisler). … The Mississippi coaching staff went open-collared with no neckties for Saturday night’s game against Arkansas. “Very ‘business casual,'” says Seth Shaw. … Remember that St. John’s player who rolls up the bottoms of his shorts? Jillian Alleyne of the Oregon women’s team does the same thing. Here’s a shot of her doing it in yesterday’s game against Washington State. As you can also see in that shot, WSU’s uni numbers really need a light-colored outline or something. “When I was sitting up at the main concourse level, they were impossible to read,” says Greg Brown.
Soccer News: Petro-dollars are changing the look of European jersey sponsorships. … Julio Vera of the Wenatchee Fire wore No. 100 on Saturday (from @OlyTownFC). … New third kit for Southampton (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Hull City’s James Chester dislocated his shoulder yesterday and used his jersey as a makeshift sling. … FC Copenhagen will not be able to use the city’s coat of arms on its jerseys.
Grab Bag: As you may have heard over the weekend, rock and roll svengali Kim Fowley, the man behind the Runaways, has died. Whatever else you can say about him, he had a fondness for sleeve patches. … Lots of cycling kits ranked here (from @FormerDirtDart). … A Richard Childress Racing employee has been accused of stealing some racing suits and selling them on eBay (from David Firestone). … Also from David: John Force Racing is switching to Chevy. “It should also be noted that this is the first time in 29 years that John Force won’t be sponsored by Castrol, as he lost that sponsorship at the end of 2014,” says David. “Castol and Force were one year shy of tying the record for longest sponsor/driver pair, currently held by Budweiser/Kenny Bernstein at 30 years.” … And one more racing item from David: Press Pass, the exclusive manufacturer of NASCAR trading cards, has gone belly-up. … The most interesting thing about those “Choose lovin'” commercials that McDonald’s has been running for the past few weeks is that they conclude with the McD’s logo against a field of blue — a color that, to my knowledge, has never been part of the company’s visual program before. … Graham Clayton reports that a demonstration game of Australian rules football was played during the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, featuring a combined VAFA team and a combined VFL/VFA team wearing pretty cool Olympics-themed uniforms. … The Australian Open is now underway, and we can say this much about Rafael Nadal: At least all his ridiculous neon/highlighter accessories match the color of the ball. … Speaking of Nadal, his shoes have a little “09” on the back — the year he won this tournament (thanks, Phil). … Burton Ruby, who ran the company that made Sansabelt slacks, recently passed away (from Jordan Cutler). … This is pretty cool: an airline seat cover repurposed as a leather bag (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Johns Hopkins’ lacrosse jerseys now have the B1G logo (from Griffin Smith).