Mirror, Mirror

We’re going off-uni today, because I want to talk about an aspect of visual culture that I’ve thought about for years but never written about until now.

So: When I was putting together that New England travelogue last week, I was struck, as I always am when seeing photos of myself, by the sight of my hair parted on my left side. I’ve parted my hair on the left since I was a little kid, so nothing about that should surprise me. But like most people, my most frequent view of myself comes from a mirror, so I’m used to seeing my hair parted on what appears to be the opposite side (or to put it another way, the way the rest of the world sees me is different than the way I conceive of myself). When I see a photo of myself, the reality of the left/right situation always catches me by surprise.

I’ve always wondered if other people with asymmetrical hairstyles have similar responses when seeing photos of themselves. Has the spread of social media and selfies changed this, because we’re more used to seeing photos of ourselves than we used to be? And what about actors and models, who are presumably more accustomed to seeing themselves as they truly appear (in photos, on video, etc.) — are they thrown by sight of themselves in the mirror, or are they sort of self-image-ambidextrous, able to conceive of their hair being parted on either side?

That leads to another question: Mirror imagery notwithstanding, could I part my hair on the other side? Personally, I can’t imagine it. For starters, I’m not sure it would look good — I feel like I’m already parting it on its “natural” side (although that’s probably just a construct). But more to the point, I’m so used to the physical act of doing this way that I’m pretty sure I’d be all thumbs if I tried doing it on the other side.

But there are at least two public figures who apparently had no such problems:

1. At the beginning of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he parted his hair on his right side:

But at some point during his four-year term — I’m pretty sure it was in 1979 or ’80 — his part suddenly migrated to his left side:

I remember noticing this at the time (I would have been in ninth grade, or thereabouts) and mentioning it to one of my friends. He looked at my like I was nuts, but I still wondered — had Carter’s barber suggested the change? Was it part of a larger repackaging of his image? Was it just personal preference? Why hadn’t anyone else noticed or talked about it? (Footnote: The latter style, with the part on the left, is what he still uses today.)

2. For most of Dan Rather’s career, from the 1960s at least through the late 1990s, he parted his hair on his left side:

But at some point toward the end of his tenure at CBS, he switched to a much shorter haircut — with the part on the opposite side:

I understood that the shorter cut probably had to do with Rather’s receding hairline and thinning hair and so on, but why switch the side of the part? Again, I noticed right away (and thought it looked awful) and was surprised when nobody else mentioned it.

One final thought: There’s a product called a True Mirror that, as its name implies, will give you a true image instead of a mirror image. I’ve never used the product, but you can create the same effect by positioning yourself (or an object) at the center of two mirrors that meet at a 90º angle. There will be three images created — left, right, and center — and the one in the center will be a composite true image, as you can see in this very short video clip:

Restaurant bathrooms sometimes have this type of mirror arrangement, with two panes meeting at a right angle. Whenever I encounter such a situation, I take a few seconds to position myself in the proper spot, so I can see my hair and face as they actually appear. It’s always a bit unnerving.

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Ah-OOO-gah! Received a fairly brilliant contribution yesterday from reader Adam Shechter, as follows:

To my surprise, the Islanders have installed new goal horns at the Barclays Center. For the preseason games so far, they’ve piped in noise from the ones at Nassau Coliseum. The new ones, apparently, come sourced directly from New York City subway trains.

This brings up a question has always interested me: New hockey arena, new goal horn? Different teams have come up with differing answers: Pittsburgh stuck with theirs from the Igloo, but the Devils ditched their old one from the Meadowlands when they moved to Newark. When the Whalers left Hartford and became the Hurricanes, they took the horn with them to Raleigh. (YouTube can confirm anything these days.) The Coyotes, perhaps aware of the mess they left behind in Winnipeg, took a new horn in Glendale. When the Thrashers were sent north to reconstitute the Jets, they restored — in a different arena, no less — the horn from the original Jets team.

Next up: the Red Wings, who are opening up their new place in a few years.

Confession: I think most goal horns are obnoxiously loud. (I think the same thing about the player-substitution horns at NBA games.) But I really like singling out cross-venue horn continuity as an element for further investigation. Great job, Adam!

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Looks like NFLer JJ Watt was wearing a red Brewers cap the other day. That’s from the Brew Crew’s Polish heritage game (good spot by Everett Corder). … Nice powder blues — with Northwestern-striped stirrups! — for San Jose State (from @jthesnayke). … Did you catch Trevor Noah’s Daily Show debut on Monday night? At one point he made a Mets-related joke and they showed the team’s skyline logo over his shoulder — but it was the old logo, with the “NY,” which hasn’t been used since the late 1990s. I emailed Phil immediately (I knew he was watching too) but didn’t get a screen shot. Fortunately, @MaxScholl did. … The MLB online shop, apropos of apparently nothing, is now selling cream jerseys for every team. … The Dodgers clinched the N.L. West last night, but their TV network mistakenly awarded them the N.L. pennant (from Matthew Prigge). … My buddy Bill Scanga spotted these Mets soft drinks in a Japanese shop in Manhattan.

NFL News: The great graphic designer Michael Beirut, who’s done some work for the Jets, says doing work for a sports team is a fraught, high-stakes proposition (from Neil MacLeod). … Can’t believe we haven’t seen this before, but Roger Faso notes that the cut-out on the SpeedFlex helmet look a lot like those old helmet phones. … The Bengals will wear their orange alts this Sunday. They have a good record when wearing that jersey. … “Look like Mike Wilhoite, among other 49ers, was doing some charity work the other day,” says David Dinsmore. “But check out the jersey — there’s an SAP advertising patch, which is normally found only on their practice jerseys. Except this isn’t the practice jersey — it’s a game jersey. I guess they throw the advertising on their game jerseys for public appearances now. Yuck.” … The Jets didn’t yet exist in 1953, so this football-themed Jets cereal was ahead of its time (nice find by Paul Dillon). … Gene Sanny was looking at some old photos of former Pats QB Steve Grogan and noticed his nose bumper logo being held on with Scotch tape and one of his facemask bars having been sawed off. “Ya gotta love back when they weren’t so nit-picky about uniforms,” he says.

College Football News: A sports columnist in Ohio has figured out that college football uniforms increasingly look like shit (from Jason Hillyer). … Red-black-red this week for NC State, and black-grey-black for Colorado. … Oklahoma wants to “stripe the stadium” this weekend and — surprise! — they have suggestions for the licensed apparel you should buy to achieve their desired effect. Nice gig if people are foolish enough to play along. This might be a rare instance where I’d endorse wearing purple (or green, or orange, or blue), just to fuck with them (from Matt Upton). … South Carolina QB Lorenzo Nuñez will now have a tilde on his NOB (from Ben Vermeil). … Mono-black tomorrow night for Cincy. … New hand-painted helmet for Maryland. ,,, Speaking of Maryland, they claim to be the first school to go with NOBs. Is that right? I feel like we’ve discussed it before but can’t recall how, if at all, we resolved it. … Our own Phil Hecken is quoted in this article about the chrome helmet fad.

Hockey News: Very entertaining article by a guy who doesn’t like how center-ice logos are often sliced in half by the red line. Never thought about that before. Recommended reading (from Jim Collier). … Ooooh, check out the 1923-24 Melville Millionaires! (Nice find by Alan Kreit.)

Basketball News: This is pretty funny: 15 years of Andre Miller at Media Day. “So many unis, so many hairstyles,” says @holycalamity. … New uniforms for Wyoming. Here’s a promo video (from Jon Spencer). … Interlocking “AS” now on the rear neckline for Arizona State (from Eric Lewitke). … New uniforms for Hartford (from @HawksInformer).

Soccer News: Religions as soccer uniforms? Sure, why not (from Phillip Foose). … The Seattle Sounders are adding an extra jersey ad this Sunday. … New jerseys for the Baltimore Blast. Man, do those look like a kid’s Photoshop concept or what? (From Marc Viquez.) … Cool infographic on German national team home kits through the years (from Mark Emge). … New uniforms for Costa Rica (thanks, Phil). … This is pretty cool: Hamburg’s current team portrait re-creates the team’s crest (big thanks to Gillaume B.).

Grab Bag: Here’s an awesome ice bag design, but it’s a major missed opportunity for an infinite regression. The bags on the hand truck should show a robin with a hand truck, and on and on. … Military intelligence: Boxing is required for freshmen at the Army, Navy, and Air Force academies — even though a surprisingly large number of cadets end up with concussions as a result. Key quote: “The injuries regularly sideline cadets from varsity sports, academics, and military training, West Point officials said. Cadets too concussed to complete the boxing class are required to repeat it. … Now some parents and policy makers are asking whether the military needs to find better ways to instill perseverance than having its best and brightest repeatedly punched in the head.” Even worse, the Army was so scared of that article coming out that they tried to stonewall a Freedom of Information Act request about the boxing-related concussions until they could plant more upbeat news items in other media outlets (which, as it turned out, they were unable to do). Scandalous all around. … Pinktober has now spread all the way to the Eiffel Tower (from Jonathan Daniel). … Good infographic on visual changes through years in Aussie rules football (from Craig Snyder). … Here’s a site called Vintage LaX, which features tons of old Canadian lacrosse photos (from Michael Sullivan).

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What Paul did last night: It’s always fun to be out at the rock and roll club with a special someone, and it’s even better when the band is wearing uniforms. That was the case last night at Baby’s All Right, where L.A. indie dynamo Mike Krol and his band took the stage wearing police uniforms (a motif lifted from his current album, which is totally the bomb — don’t miss). The show, which featured Krol hopping on the drum kit, pointing strobe lights at the audience, and doing lots of other shit that people in police uniforms don’t usually do, was spectacular in the most literal sense of term — a true spectacle. His band kicked ass, too (I had worried a bit about that, because on record Krol plays all the instruments himself). Such a great time that I didn’t even mind the club’s choice of wristband color.

If you’re not familiar with Krol (I’d never heard of him myself until about a month ago), you can listen to his first two records here.

New NBA Uniforms Revisited

Yesterday was NBA Media Day, with lots of teams doing photo shoots and showcasing players in full uniform. That included five teams with new uniforms. Let’s see how those new duds looked on living, breathing basketball players, instead just as mock-ups or stand-alone jersey photos, shall we? One team at a time (for some of these, you can click to enlarge):

1. Raptors

Not bad. The arched lettering doesn’t hug the numbers like we had initially been led to believe, which is a major plus. The “T” on the shorts is still silly, and the grey waistband panel leaves me cold, but this is a perfectly acceptable uniform — no more, no less.

2. Bucks

Liked it when I first saw it last winter, liked it when I wrote about the design process in April, still like it now. Is it perfect? No: The blue and black stripes at the top of the side panel feel forced and contrived (would’ve been better to stick with green, cream, and white), and I worry that the type font may not have staying power. But this is still an upper-echelon NBA uniform — definitely top 10, and maybe a bit higher. Major upgrade over what they had. (Lots of additional phtoso here.)

3. Hawks

These look worse every time I see them. Yes, they’re “different,” as apologists keep telling me, but different is not necessarily good, nor is it necessarily bad — it’s just different, which is ultimately a red herring. As I mentioned in my recent ESPN piece on the spread of neon colors, one of the big problems with these fluorescent tones is that they look completely synthetic, while most of the game’s surrounding tones feel more organic. That creates a major color clash, and I don’t see how this uniform is ever going to transcend that. Prediction: In five years this design will have been scrapped, and in another dozen years or so it will be revived as a throwback, by which time we’ll be able to treat it as an amusing novelty (“Oh, right, ha-ha, remember when they wore that?”), just like we do with so many other misbegotten designs that end up as throwbacks. When that happens, I’ll probably say something like, “It’s nice that we live in a world where mistakes as bad as this one can be made,” which is what I usually say about such designs 20 years after the fact. Until then, though, this is a total dog of a uniform.

4. Clippers

Man, Doc Rivers’s face says it all, doesn’t it? This one is awful in a completely different way than Atlanta’s. It’s not painful to look at, at least not in strictly aesthetic terms. But it’s so poorly conceived, so characterless, that it’s hard not to hate it just on principle. This one won’t last long either, but it won’t be revived as a throwback and everyone will just try to forget it ever happened. (Lots of additional pics here.)

5. 76ers

Not an ideal photo, obviously (there are lots of better ones, albeit Getty-watermarked, here), but it’s enough to confirm what we pretty much knew, which is that this is a pretty solid design. Simple, straightforward, and a good example of less-is-more functionality. Most likely nobody will notice until they start playing better, but this is going to be a good-looking team.

6. Bulls

Sort of a ringer, because they don’t have a new uniform, but I’m including them because these are the best shots we (or at least I) have seen of their new 50th-anniversary patch. The weird thing is that the patch looks like it might be beige, not white. But maybe it’s just a trick of the light — or maybe not!

(Special thanks to Phil, who provided many of the photos shown above.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

We’ve often mentioned Bucco Bruce, and now we get to see him — or someone very much like him — up close and personal on this 1993 Budweiser/Bucs schedule poster board. Looks like maybe Anheuser-Busch didn’t have permission to use the team’s logo and got around it with that Captain Morgan-like character. Everyone who’d like to see TB ditch the awful current look and return to these, raise your hands!

Now let’s look at the rest of our Collector’s Corner lineup for the week:

• Check out the groovy graphics on this cocktail lounge Atari football game!

• Great old Cincinnati Royals logos on this pair of cufflinks from Welling’s Jewelers in Cincinnati (two locations, Lockland and Mason). [This is one of my favorite Collector’s Corner items ever! Too bad it’s so pricey. Still, really fun to look at. Also love the term “presentational” in the listing title. — PL]

• Here’s a classic-looking LeRoy Neiman poster of Cowboys Hall of Famer Roger Staubach from 1983.

• The stores are already starting to roll out — gasp — some Christmas stuff. So now is the perfect time for this DIY Dick Butkus Christmas ornament, no?

• Reader Justin Barrett wrote in to say, “Some homework was done to determine the year of this NFL-AFC glass.

• Show everyone in school you’re a Packer Backer with this 1970s spiral notebook. Could that have been John Brockington on the cover?

• Nice old NHL California Golden Seals logo on this vintage Zippo lighter.

• Think Happy Vikes with this 1970s Vikings fan club button!

• Falcons fans, keep your extra change in this vintage helmet bank!

Take a look at this 1978 Padres ASG promo jacket, brought to you by English Leather. I’d be willing to bet those were made of cheap vinyl, but it’s still a cool-looking design.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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Blast from the past: NFL Superhero Project revisited: Remember Thomas Correia’s NFL Superhero Underoos Project, which was featured here on Uni Watch throughout the 2014 football season? At the time, many of you said he should turn those designs into real T-shirts, and now he’s gone ahead and done it. Check out his tees here.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: As a final indignity to disgraced Nats reliever Jonathan Papelbon, his jerseys were removed from the Nationals team store yesterday. Maybe this shirt will fill the void. … A Detroit auto sales shop uses the Twins’ logo (from Tony Wilson). … Astros rookies had to wear costumes this weekend. Third baseman Matt Duffy dressed up as the Giants third baseman of the same name. … Over the summer, Justine DeCotis — who was Paul’s T-shirt assistant at the Boston Beefsteak a few months ago — made cornhole boards with a Red Sox stirrup motif. Here are some photos that show how the boards were created. … The White Sox weren’t the only team to wear leisure suit jerseys. One of their minor league affiliates, the 1980 and ’81 Glen Falls White Sox, had a similar look (from Marc Viquez. … Last week’s episode of the futuristic show Minority Report had a character wearing a Nats hat with a 2054 World Series logo patch (from ‏@ItsTheBigFish). … Mets C Travis d’Arnaud and his brother, Phillies INF Chase d’Arnaud (a September call-up) will face each other for the first time in tonight’s Mets/Phils game. Should make for a good NOB photo-op if they end up standing side by side. … The Astros tried a slump-buster move by wearing their orange alt jerseys, which are normally worn at home, for last night’s game in Seattle. And they won! (From Baldemar Mejia.) … Bit of a NOB glitch in the movie Rookie of the Year. … Serious throwbacks — like, back to the 19th century — for Yale.

NFL News: Cam Newton wore a blue camo blazer at a press conference this weekend, and GQ magazine was not impressed (from Ethan Hagen and Andrew Cosentino, respectively). … Drew C was in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and spotted these excellent NFL-themed masks and Day of the Dead skulls. … Chiefs CB Marcus Peters started off last night’s game against the Packers wearing red-topped socks, but he later changed to white (from @Jarferama).

College & High School Football News: Arizona State unveiled its grey alternates. … Marshall will wear U.S. flag-trimmed helmets this Saturday. … Thanks in part to the athleticwear companies creating all these uniform concepts that appeal to teenagers, jersey numbers are getting harder to read (from Phil). … With injury concerns mounting, fewer kids are opting to play football, which is leading a small but growing number of high schools to disband their football teams. … Maryland will wear mono-black this Saturday (from Matt Shevin). … William & Mary has “1693” on its nose bumpers — a reference to when the school was chartered by King William III and Queen Mary II (from Tommy Turner).

Hockey News: The Canadian province of Quebec has instituted a new series of safety rules for outdoor hockey nets (from Aaron Fusul). … Flyers G Steve Mason’s new mask depicts past Flyers greats as zombies (from Patrick Thomas).

Basketball News: Paul Pierce isn’t letting his Clipper teammates wear LeBron James’s shoes. … The Wizards have a championship belt. I have no idea what the context behind it is (from John Muir). … New home uniforms for Marshall.

Grab Bag: Odd uniform matchup in college soccer earlier this month: checkerboard (Brown) vs. purple stripes (Holy Cross) (from Bud Brooks). … GQ counted down the best 10 sneakers of 2015 (from Andrew Cosentino). … In Portland, Under Armour and Nike are fighting to see who gets to sponsor two city parks. Key passage: “Although the original agreement allowed for Under Armour ‘signs and logos’ in Lents and Duniway parks, [a local official] now says Under Armour’s $5.5 million donation will be made ‘without recognition'” (from Phil). … This past weekend, friend of Uni Watch Gary Chanko wrote that the scoreboard from Braves Field in Boston was relocated to Kansas City Municipal Stadium. Similarly, North Dakota State’s stadium, Dacotah Field, used Fenway Park’s bleachers from when the Patriots played there (from John Thompsen). … Here’s a video about the design and meaning of the helmets the Iroquois Nationals wore in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (from Kevin Mueller). … New logo for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am golf tournament.

Monday Morning Uni Watch

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The Browns appear to be trying to outdo themselves with each successive week. And hey, let’s give them credit: They’re succeeding! Their latest uni combo was a shit show in a near-literal sense of the term, as they turned the unitard look into the uniturd look. Didn’t exactly help that they were playing the Raiders, whose timelessly classic look just threw the Browns’ silliness into higher relief. At this point I’d say they’ve probably bottomed out — nowhere to go from here but up.

In most other respects it was a very quiet day around the league, at least from a uni perspective. Here are the few items that came across my radar:

• In Miami, billionaire investor Warren Buffet wore an aqua Ndamukong Suh jersey with pads, even though the Dolphins were wearing white at home.

• Other teams wearing white at home: the Jets (who, as you can see there, accentuated the effect by wearing white shoes, instead of their usual black), Panthers, Titans, and of course the Cowboys.

• The Bengals continue to have problems with their nameplate positioning.

• Have to agree with this sentiment:

• It was Hispanic Heritage Week around the league, with lots of Spanish signage and Hispanic presentations (including this one in Dallas).

• Cowboys, Eagles — eh, what’s the diff:

(My thanks to all contributors, including Chris Flinn, Seth Shaw, and of course Phil.)

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T-Shirt Club update: For months now I’ve been dropping hints about a very special Uni Watch T-Shirt Club offering that’s been in the works. It took a long time to get the design and production issues settled, and then we decided to have some samples made, just to be sure we had a finished product that we felt good about. Now that we’ve seen the samples, I can finally show you what we’ve been up to. I think you’ll agree that it was worth the wait:

Not bad, right? This shirt, which will be our November design and will be available for ordering in two weeks, is completely unlike any of the others we’ve done, and there are also several aspects of the design that I want to share with you and some issues I want to address. Please bear with me while I explain:

1. All our other shirts have been screen-printed, but this one is sublimated. Why? Two reasons: First, traditional screen-printing wouldn’t have allowed us to print all the way to the sides and the bottom of the shirt. Second, even if we had stayed within the traditional screen-print boundaries, the stripe coverage would have used so much ink that the shirt would have been extremely stiff and heavy. Using sublimated dyes avoids this problem — the shirt is light and flexible. Sublimation has its drawbacks (it’s not quite as crisp or vibrant), but it was the best approach for this design.

2. Once we decided to go with sublimation, we had no choice but to go with a 100%-polyester shirt, which definitely doesn’t feel as nice as our usual cotton. On the plus side, however, the poly fabric feels a lot more like a real jersey, so there’s that.

3. If you look closely, you’ll see that the back numerals and some of the NOB letters have a faint shadow. That was basically sloppy work on the sample. Shouldn’t happen with the real shirts. Also, the “1” is sitting slightly higher than the “5”; again, that will be corrected.

4. We usually have the sleeve patch graphic centered on the side of the sleeve, so it’s partially visible both from the front and the back. But as you can see in the photos above, the sleeve patch on this shirt is truly on the front of the sleeve and will not be visible from the back — that’s due to a production limitation. I’ve tried on the sample and can honestly say the front/back issue doesn’t seem like a problem when the shirt is being worn. (The patch on the sample is also too close to the sleeve hem, but we’ll fix that for the main production run.)

5. One problem with the sample shirts is that the front and back stripes don’t align. We’ll give more explicit instrux to our supplier to avoid this problem when the actual T-Shirt Club shirts are being made, but it’s possible that the stripe alignment may be slightly imperfect (although it’ll definitely be a lot better than in that photo I just linked to). Just to allay your fears, anyone who orders a shirt and is unhappy with the stripe alignment will be able to get a refund.

6. For now, it’s looking like the size offerings for this shirt will go from S to 2XL. I know some of you (including some “Collect ’Em All”-ers) prefer 3X, and we’re checking to see if there’s any way to make that possible for this shirt. Stay tuned.

7. Because of the design and production issues involved, this will be our most expensive shirt, with a price tag that will probably be around $28 or $29. (You can make all your jokes about this being an “overpriced polyester shirt” now.) Given how awesome it looks, I do think it’s worth it, and I hope you agree, but I understand if you think that’s too much to spend on a T-shirt.

8. The design, obviously, is based on the Astros’ tequila sunrise jerseys from the 1970s. One difference is that we weren’t able to duplicate the rainbow stripes on the sleeves (production limitations), but I don’t think that’s a dealbraker.

9. We tinkered with using the Uni Watch script on the chest, but that didn’t look right. Then we tried using the wordmark shown at the top of this website, but that didn’t look right either. So we ultimately went with a font very similar to what the Astros used, which I think looks great. We went through a similar range of options on the back before ultimately settling on the circus font that the ’Stros used in 1975.

10. The stripes are in Uni Watch colors (duh), but the typography is rendered in the same midnight navy that the Astros used. We tried doing the type in maroon (a Uni Watch color), but it didn’t look right, so we tried the navy, almost as a lark, and were surprised by how good it looked. I’m really happy with that choice.

11. Some of you might be thinking, “The magnifying glass symbol is in dark green, but it should be navy, like the star on the Astros’ jerseys.” We tried it in navy and decided we liked it better in green. So that’s one place where we decided not to be faithful to Houston’s design.

I think that’s everything. Feedback welcome. Special shout-out to my Teespring partner Bryan Molloy, who’s put in a lot of work on this one. In addition to creating the design (and dealing with all my nitpicks regarding same), he also had to find a supplier that was willing to do sublimation (Teespring has never done a sublimated shirt before), arrange to have the samples made, and deal with a lot of other behind-the-scenes hassles. He’s also going to have to create separate front and back sublimation patterns for each size of shirt we offer, which I gather is going to be a shitload of work. Thanks, Bry — I know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into this one, and I’m super-duper-grateful. You da man and all that.

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PermaRec birthday: It was 19 years ago today — Sept. 28, 1996 — that I attended my friend Gina’s birthday party in the old Stuyvesant High School gymnasium, where I stumbled upon the old Manhattan Trade School report cards that would form the basis of my Permanent Record project and, ultimately, change my life. (If you don’t know the story, it’s spelled out in considerable detail here.)

So happy birthday to Gina, and happy birthday to Permanent Record, both of which are very dear to me.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Good uni-centric Q&A with the Yankees’ equipment manager. … Looked like the Astros and UVA’s football team wear wearing the same uniform on Friday night. … Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t in the lineup yesterday, so utility man Kelly Johnson wore Cespedes’s neon compression sleeve and his neon necklace! (Screen shot by John Ford.) … Rookie hazing for two teams that will meet in the NLDS: Mets rookies were forced to roam around Cincinnati in superhero Underoos yesterday (here’s another photo), while Dodgers rookies had to dress up like pro wrestlers (from Mark Coale). … Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen says he has no plans to re-grow his dreadlocks. … “My brother-in-law works for a park district here in Illinois and came across some old Little League helmets based on MLB team designs,” says Ryan Lindemann. “He knew they’d be right up my alley, and Uni Watch’s too!” … Here are some photos of Crosley Field in Cincinnati just before it was demolished in 1972.

Pro Football News: New white helmets yesterday for the Toronto Argonauts (from Wade Heidt). … Some Giants players wore blank helmets during a 1975 preseason game. … Pepsi is using a promotional can design that features an outdated Panthers logo. … Electric football maven Gene Sanny has come out with with latest set of custom-designed player figurines, this time for the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers. “I kicked it up a notch as far as detail goes with these guys, beginning with a more detailed type of figure,” he says. “I molded all the sleeves, horse collar, and wrist and elbow pads myself to replicate that ’80s feel. This is my favorite uniform of all time — not enough copper and flames used today!” … Chiefs WR De’Anthony Thomas has been channeling former Hank Stram’s old “KC” logo blazer. … Here’s something I’ve never seen before: an NFL strategy briefcase board game. Hey, Brinke, ever come across this one? (From David Keel.) … Interesting note from Michael Greenwald, who writes: “Check out this banner ad, which shows the gold NFL shield and the slogan, ‘Not Just For Gameday,’ next to a fan wearing a Raiders jersey. I kind of got a vibe like the league was rubbing it in Oakland’s face with this ad after the Raiders backtracked on their plan not to use gold 50 yard line markers.” … Here’s a licensed product I can totally get behind: NFL paper drinking straws. They have NCAA versions, too.

College and Youth League Football News: “An interesting development in Saturday’s Virginia Tech/ECU game,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Early on, while the weather was good, the Hokies receivers and tight ends were wearing gloves. But as the game wore on and the rain picked up, almost everyone decided to take them off, as seen here, here, here, and here.” … The U. of Maine’s live mascot, Bananas the Bear, has received a makeover. … Navy’s kicker was taking the biker shorts look to new extremes the other day, and a CMU player was missing his NOB. … Arizona currently has two players surnamed Jackson on the roster, which gives LB Sir Thomas Jackson the excuse to wear this. … Arkansas LB Josh Williams has FNOB. That’s presumably because the roster also includes RB Jonathan Williams (from Zach McKenzie). … A youth league team in Michigan has added a memorial decal for a fallen local firefighter (from Chet Miller). … Here’s a possible leak of Ohio State’s BFBS alternates (from Kyle Shaner).

Soccer News: Puppy-themed kits the Japanese club JEF United (from Matt Solly). … Check it out: Michael Jackson — yes, that Michael Jackson — wearing a 1979-80 OSG Nice Ligue 1 jersey for a magazine photo shoot (from Graham Clayton). … Parents in my Brooklyn neighborhood are upset because their kids’ AYSO soccer jerseys now carry corporate advertising for Fox Sports 1 (thanks, Brinke).

Grab Bag: Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Heller may be taking symmetry too far. … Beyoncé and her dancers wore basketball-themed stage outfits for a recent concert appearance (from Robert Hay). … Good look at the design of some old lottery tickets from the 1850s! … Spectacular early-1970s photos from a Florida roller rink — not to be missed (big thanks to Ben Traxel). … We may have seen this before, can’t remember, but just in case; Here’s a guy who’s created 50 football helmets based on the 50 state flags (from David Staples).

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What Paul did last night: As you’re probably aware, the moon was on the rag last night, or something like that. That seemed more interesting than watching the Lions and Broncos, so a special person and I grabbed some beers, made some popcorn, fished the binoculars out of that cluttered drawer where they live, and headed up to my roof. My upstairs neighbor and his girlfriend soon joined us, making for a festive little scene. None of us had cameras good enough to do justice to what was unfolding in the sky above us, so here’s a shot taken by one of my fellow Brooklynites:

Looking at the moon for a long stretch got me thinking. I was five years old when Neil Armstrong et al. landed on the moon’s surface in 1969. I don’t remember that event, but I definitely remember several of the subsequent Apollo lunar landings from the early 1970s. At the time it almost seemed routine — like, “Yeah, that moon thing, we do it every few months.”

Now, of course, it’s been decades since humans walked on the moon. I understand the reasons for this (it costs a shit-ton of money, it risks people’s lives, we’re no longer obsessed with proving that our dicks are bigger than the Russians’ dicks, and we can learn just as much these from unmanned probes, or even earth-bound observation, as we can from walking around on a dead rock), but part of me really wishes we’d start doing it again, just because it seems so cool. On the other hand, maybe one reason it seems so cool is that we no longer do it — our retreat from space travel has restored the sense of wonder and amazement that moon landings initially provided before they became fairly common. Like, “Wow, did we really go there? That’s amazing!” That’s what I was thinking about as I watched the blood moon last night.

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

Bowling Green-Purdue Football
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By Phil Hecken

Welcome to Weak Week IV of the NCAA Football Season. Like the third Saturday (and Thursday/Friday), this is generally one of the weakest weeks on the schedule in terms of strong matchups. It also means, since we’re still a few days away from Pinktober (and about a month until GIJokevember), that not too much happens, uniform-wise, on the gridirons. But there is always a few different looks going on (like, Oregon wearing school colors, and getting their asses kicked by Utah — this is not Marcus’ team any more).

Anyhoo — we have Terry “TJ” Duroncelet bringing you the main entry, and of course Joe Ringham with the 5 & 1, and three (yep, added a new Tracker for the Big XII this week) trackers — Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt and now Kyle Acker to round things out. Let’s get started. Up first, as always is TJ with today’s …

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

The first weekend of Autumn football is always filled with an air of “what’s in store for this season?”, and after what I felt was a weird week, the weekend proved to be a mixture of fun games, not a terrible amount of uni action, and the weather making it feel like it was mid-November, but without the satisfying cold.

From Thursday:

• I don’t talk about Cincinnati’s uniforms enough. This is their first year with Under Armour, and I must say, this is –in my opinion– one of the best modern uniforms in college football at this moment. And thinking about it, they didn’t look too bad even in their Adidas days (although I could’ve done without those grey numbers). Also, Memphis wore new grey uniforms at home. If you have to wear grey at home, this is the way to do it, because you can actually tell the difference between the two teams on the field, as opposed to wearing light grey at home.

From Friday:

Is this a new thing? The Cavalier Keel? Speaking of which, the Hoos wore navy versions of the helmets that they wore against UCLA in Week 1. Boise State was in all-white.

From Saturday:

• Purdue wore neon-accented lids with their anthracite uniforms for their “Hammer Down Cancer” campaign. They did something similar last year.

• Western Michigan seems to be taking this ‘Row the Boat’ thing pretty seriously (Credit to Douglas Ford for that pic).

• Jim H. was seen at yesterday’s game against BYU wearing a hat that had the Adidas logo on it, an apparent first for him. But I’m more concerned as to why the hat makes him look like Elmer Fudd.

• Indiana’s script helmets from last week were apparently a hit, because they wore a different version of them yesterday against Wake Forest, who had some chrome helmets of their own. Fred Fuchs still could not be reached for comment (credit to Jon Chichwak for that last pic).

• Illinois wore orange/navy/orange, a combo haven’t worn since 2010. I like.

• Syracuse followed suit. By the way, huge bump to Glen Macklin (@GlenMaffews) for catching this: “#57 has wrong style 7 (slashes going wrong way should be like #27) I bet this happens a lot”

Hook ’em, Horn. Kudos to Dan Medina (@iloveinterwebz) for the pic and the line.

• In addition to one hell of a game, Texas Tech actually looked like the Red Raiders for once, not to mention that the overall game looked pretty nice (especially compared to last year).

• Oregon wore their 2015 Rose Bowl uniforms against Utah, who wore all-white. Needs more duck peni– er, I mean, ferocious Fighting Duck logo on the helmets. I think this is the first time that Oregon has worn a non-specialty helmet with the Oregon ‘O’ in at least a few years (the BCA helmets from 2013 won’t be counted in this case).

• I think it’s safe to say that I have my fair share of grievances regarding UCLA’s 2015 “uniforms”, but it’s especially bad if I have to remind myself constantly that I’m watching UCLA when they’re on the road. Those slashed-up pants stripes look like something you’d find in a futuristic car in an anime. Meanwhile, Arizona wore red chrome helmets in that same game, and if you look closely, it says “HARD EDGE” (one of Rich Rodriguez’s mottos) on the nose bumpers.

• Ole Miss wore their light blue helmets again against Vanderbilt.

• You are now aware that Cal constantly looks like they have bra straps showing. Thanks to Paul Stave for making me see something that cannot be unseen.

And that’ll do it for this week, as we close the book on September and prepare for… The Pinkening. See you next week.

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Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of the SMUW fest…

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NCAA Uni Tracking 2015 splash NCAA Uni Tracking

Back again today with our new feature: NCAA Uniform Tracking.

Once again, it’s Rex Henry (tracking the ACC & SEC) and Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12). If you missed yesterday’s post — we now have a fourth conference tracker (the Big XII) and his name is Kyle Acker.

I hope to have a B1G tracker set up today, but if that doesn’t happen, I will put out the call for someone to do it. If that is the case, check Uni Watch this week for an announcement.

I’d also like to point out that our PAC-12 tracker, Dennis, has added an individual Duck Tracker (continuing the tradition here begun way back in 2009 by Mike Princip and continued from 2012-2014 by Tim E. O’Brien. A link to the Duck Tracker is at the end.

You can click on the images to enlarge and (where appropriate) click the link for additional information/resources.

Rex is up first today:

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More Here.

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And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

More here.

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And finally, here is Kyle with the Big XII:



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Here is your link to the 2015-16 Duck Tracker.

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And that’s all for today — thanks Rex, Dennis and Kyle!

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Joe Ringham's 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

It’s a NEW NCAA Football Season, and this year we have a NEW 5 & 1 decider — Joe Ringham — who has some big shoes to fill (for Catherine Ryan, who did the 5 & 1 for the past three years, and Jim Vilk before that) but I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

We’re on to week 4 in the NCAA, and this is one of those when there aren’t a lot of traditional “rivalry” games and we always have a few odd pairings. Let’s see if any of those will catch Joe’s fancy. And hey…Oregon wore school colors yesterday! Wonder if they’re on the list…

Here’s Joe:

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Good Sunday, everybody! What a wild and wacky Saturday it was, complete with some interesting endings and some fantastic looking match-ups. A great way to end the first month of the season. So, without further delay, on to the countdown!

5) Rice at Baylor — Baylor should just keep wearing this “classic” look. The Bears looked incredibly sharp in their gold/green/gold duds up against the navy/white/navy of the Owls.

4) Southern at Georgia — The Dawgs always look good in their classic home look between the hedges. But what puts this game on the list is how that look matches up rather nicely against Southern’s white/white/blue. Surprised the hell out of me that it looked so good.

3) TCU at Texas Tech — Most likely Tech’s best look so far this young season, going black/red/black. Matched up so well against the Frogs’ white/white/purple. It just made the insane ending of that game look that much sharper.

2) Missouri at Kentucky — I had my eye on this one earlier in the week, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Loved how Mizzou’s black/white/yellow clashed so well against the Wildcats’ blue/grey/blue.

1) North Texas at Iowa — Growing up in Big Ten country, I’ve always rooted against the Hawkeyes. But damn do they have great looking uniforms. And damn, do they look extra sharp up against the green/white/green of the aptly named Mean Green. Very worthy of the top spot this week.

And, finally…

+1) Maryland at West Virginia — Why schools think mono-yellow looks good is totally beyond me.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and I’ll see you next week!


Thanks, Joe! Remember, the tip-line email (UW5and1@gmail.com) is back for any games you want Joe take a look at. Pictures of the game/games you want are very much suggested.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Reader Jolinko Lassiter was watching the 1977 MLB All-Star game introductions and at 11:35, Cleveland Indians’ Dennis Eckersley and Jim Kerns are wearing different Indians uniforms. This wasn’t uncommon in the ’70s — we frequently saw teams with two different colored tops (As for example) wearing them in game. … “Double whammy of offensive name/logo during Saturday’s Mets-Reds game: one of Matt Harvey’s youth coaches wearing a Midland Redskins jacket that just uses Chief Wahoo as a logo,” says Alex Spanko. “Racist and unoriginal!” Add to that the BFBS Mets shirt with a huge visible swoosh and you have the quadfecta. … All kinds of oddities in this 1961 Life Magazine photo featuring the Cincinnati Reds. This is Crosley Field, yet the Reds are wearing their ’61 road uniforms. In spite of that, Frank Robinson is wearing a home cap. “Vada Pinson is wearing one of those white batting caps I ran across earlier this year in a photo of Billy Martin wearing one in 1960. And finally, Manager Fred Hutchison is wearing catcher’s gear” (big thanks to Leo Strawn). … Nice tribute out in Oakland where all the players wore high cuffs for Barry Zito Day. It’s sad, though, that the hosiery is so un-uniform (h/t to Brodie Brazil).

College/High School Football News: Yesterday, Michigan’s Jake Butt had fans at the game wearing different “Butt” jerseys. Of course he did. … St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.) introduced chrome helmets for its game at Baton Rouge Catholic Friday, notes David Steinle. “Catholic has worn the famous Wishbone C for at least the last 30 years, likely longer,” he adds. … Jim Harbaugh presented Michigan man Derek Jeter with a personalized jersey (thanks, Brinke). Also submitted by Chris Flinn (Different article), who adds, “He can’t have that much stuff with his own NOB.” … Heh. I got a kick out of this. … Patrick O’Neill wants everyone to know that Notre Dame is 5-0 when the Pope visits the United States. “Just sayin’,” he adds.

NBA/College/Basketball News: So, those orange “sunset” Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys that were released Friday? Yeah, apparently there are some who are not fans of the new look. … The Atlanta Hawks have unveiled a rendering of their new court design (thanks to Douglas Ford). … Indiana hoops will add 5-stars to back of shorts. “A gimmicky trend to a classic jersey” says Ty Smith.

Hockey News: The Guelph Storm (a major junior ice hockey team based in Guelph, Ontario) leak from a few days ago has been confirmed (thanks to Patrick Thomas). … Both the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets are wearing new uniforms this season. Adds submitter Wayne Heidt, “The Kamloops uniforms are a great improvement over the Reebok Edge striping nightmare they wore before. The Kelowna uniforms are throwback to the first uniforms they wore. They are wearing them as the regular uniform all year, just this season, as it is the 25th anniversary of the team.” … The Toronto Furies have unveiled new team logo and jerseys.

Soccer News: Yesterday, Celtic wore special jerseys to remember victims of the Great Irish Famine. Read more here. … Also, yesterday, Liverpool went with a new logo on the front of their shirts (h/t Holy Calamity). … “Was at my 11-year-old daughter’s soccer game in Lafayette Ca and noticed three games all had matchups with no uni-contrast,” laments John Furstenthal. “Navy vs black, navy vs royal, and white vs white.”

Grab Bag: For everyone’s next tailgate party: How to make jello shots in your team’s colors (thanks to Ilana Hardesty).

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And that’s it for today folks! Thanks again to TJ, Joe, Rex, Dennis and Kyle. Everyone have a great Sunday — remember — the Cleveland football team is going full turd today. I’m looking forward to MMUW tomorrow. Catch you next Saturday!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“The leotard problem isn’t about having stripes on the pants, it’s about wearing contrasting socks. If a team is going to wear colored pants, they need to wear socks of a different color.”

–THE Jeff Provo

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