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Sunday Morning Uni Watch

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By Phil Hecken and the Sunday Morning Uni Watch Crew

You think teams would learn by now: You screw with your uniform during a rivalry game and bad things can (and often do happen). The Ohio State University almost learned that lesson the hard way yesterday, narrowly escaping Columbus with a hard-fought, double-overtime victory over arch-rival Michigan. The team tempted fate by ditching their classic gray hats and instead opting for black/gray helmets they recycled from their Nebraska game, when they wore 1916 fauxbacks. They won that game 62-3, so maybe they figured it was OK to tempt the uni gods.

Or maybe it was Le Bron. He was at the game and several of the players had special Le Bron cleats, so with those special kicks, maybe the players thought adding a bit of black (the helmet is gray, but basically looks black) to the wardrobe was fine. You’ll notice they also added a bit of black by reusing the 2014 Playoff jerseys with black tv numbers. The players also went with high black socks and undersleeves. The franken-uni worked, this time.

Other teams learned the hard way you need to wear your school colors in your rivalry game, sadly. Both North Carolina (going BFBS against NC State) and Arizona State University (wearing a gray/bronze combo — neither of which are school colors — playing Arizona) fell to their rivals in their final regular season games on Friday.

Obviously, alternates and pinktober and camopander and throwbacks etc. are a part of the college football uni landscape, and have been for a decade or more. But there should be one *sacred* rule: when you play your biggest rival…wear your regular uniform. You’ve got 12 other games to screw around and play dress-up. At least save your best uniform for your biggest game. Maybe a few more losses in big games will drive that point home. THE Ohio State University almost learned a valuable lesson.

Now that I’ve sent you all off my lawn, I’m gonna turn it over to TJ and your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

Is it just me, *or* did this week go by simultaneously slowly and quickly? Must be the holidays. Anyway… Rivalry Week. The week that –throughout its history– has single-handedly spawned more fights than between people arguing whether or not pineapple is a worthy choice for a pizza topping. The week where school spirit is at its peak for many. The week that has gives us our annual rites: Michigan/Ohio State, Alabama/Auburn, USC/Notre Dame, Grambling/Southern (although I’ll admit I mainly watch that game for the bands), and plenty more that we all know and love (or loathe in some cases). This week tends to wield an ample amount of memorable moments (like every team from yesterday seemingly treating their respective games like basketball shootouts with video game scores), and from a uni-action standpoint, this year seems to be decently fruitful.

From Tuesday:

• Pretty much every Eastern Michigan home game that involves a decently-vibrant road team looks like a colorized black and white photo. Most certainly the case with Central Michigan wearing their yellow alts (more pics here).

• Ladies and gentlemen: your Hio Bobcats (credit to Sean McLaughlin). Also in that same game, Akron wore some new script helmet decals, and one of them just wasn’t feeling the weather that night.

From Friday:

• Normally I would give any team wearing BFBS a more disconcerting look than the looks people gave Texas when they lost to Kansas in Week 12, but for Black Friday, I’ll make an exception.

• You know, when done right, a uniform that’s heavily white and gold can look really nice.

• I think this might be one of the gloomiest uniforms that Arizona State has worn, if not the gloomiest, ‘specially for a team called, you know, the SUN DEVILS.

• In the mist of Charlie Strong, some may have missed that Bevo (all 15 editions of him) turns 100 this year, and Texas wore a decal for the occasion.

From Saturday:

• In the 120th edition of the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State, the Beavers channeled their opponent and dressed for the occasion (those are the Men of Roses helmets previously worn against Washington State). The Ducks were actually dressed pretty conservatively by their standards.

Jason Calvert spotted digital down markers from the Louisville/Kentucky game (see what I did there?). I’m surprised this isn’t more commonplace.

• Considering Syracuse’s track record, this is about as good-looking of a matchup as you can get between these two (contrast-wise, of course). I could easily just drop a basketball tilt pic here, considering yesterday’s score.

• Central Florida wore helmet decals for their rivalry game against South Florida (called the War on I-4).

• Did anyone catch the rugby match yesterday? (with credit to Trent Knaphus)

• I don’t know how long Virginia Tech has been doing this split-color endzone wordmark treatment, but I like it (both pics courtesy of VT’s grounds crew).

• Florida State wore decals with ‘MB 42′ on them in honor of Monk Bonasorte, the Seminoles’ Senior Associate Director of Athletics, who recently passed away after battling brain cancer. 42 was his number during his playing days with Florida State.

• BYU wore BFBS against Utah State, but this year’s helmets featured blue-chrome facemasks. Here’s a closer look, with credit to Jake Rasmussen for the last pic.

The (other) Game. Fun fact about this game: not only is this the first time that Michigan has played against Ohio State while signed with Nike since 2007 (and their first road game with swooshie since 2006), this is also the first time since 1974 (someone fact-check in case I completely goofed on this) that the Wolverines played against the Buckeyes in mono-white. It would’ve been a mirror-image matchup from 42 years ago… if THE had decided to look normal, but nooooo. No, they just HAD to wear the cannonball helmets “just to see how it looks”. Well, congrats, your greys are having a bigger argument than the golds that plagued the Saints prior to 2012. Also, Michigan QB Wilton Speight had a hand warmer sewn onto his jersey, and if you look here, you can see the outside of it seems to use the same mesh that the abdomen of the jersey is made of. Nonetheless, it was a thriller to behold, as we saw the first overtime in the history of this matchup, one that would ultimately see the Buckeyes pull one out in a nail-biter.

And that will do it for Week 13! What do next week’s championship games have in store for us? Probably not much, but we’ll just have to see. See you next week.

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

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NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. Most of the 2015 trackers are back, with one new tracker added:

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (now tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is new to the NCAA Uni Tracking this season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role (thanks, man!) of both the B1G and the SEC after one of my previous trackers could no longer provide the B1G.

Here are the Uni Trackers for WEEK THIRTEEN of the NCAA Season.

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Rex is up first today (ACC):

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ACC

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More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

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

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More here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

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SEC Football Uniform Tracker Week 13

And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

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Week 13

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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

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B1G Football Uniform Tracker Week 13

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Joe Ringham 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Joe:

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Greetings, everyone! Rivalry Weekend has now come and gone, and it left us with some fine looking match-ups to look at. So, let’s go right to the list.

5) Oregon at Oregon State — The Ducks looked awesome in their green/white/green on the road for The Civil War, going with school colors instead of one of their seemingly infinite number of other color combos. This matched up excellently against the mono-black the Beavers went with at home in Corvallis.

4) Syracuse at Pittsburgh — The highest scoring game in regulation time in FBS history was an absolute beauty of a game, uni-wise. The Orange looked fantastic in orange/white/orange on the road, a combo they should always go with. Pittsburgh looked just as sharp at home in gold/navy/gold.

3) Kentucky at Louisville — Loved the bright contrast of this game. UK looked awesome in blue/white/blue on the road, probably their best looking road set. Paired up against the chrome red/red/white the Cardinals went with made for such a bright and bold contrast. It really did make the game pop and stand out as the two battled for the Governor’s Cup.

2) Florida at Florida State — A week after I put the Gators on the bad side of the list, they redeem themselves on their trip to Tallahassee. Loved the orange/white/orange they went with on the road, one they really should go with full-time. Add to that the usual gold/garnet/gold home set FSU went with, one that I think is always one of the best looking home uni’s in the college game, and you have one fine looking game.

1) Nebraska at Iowa — By far, the best looking game of the holiday weekend was Friday in Iowa City. Always have been a fan of Iowa’s home uniforms, as those who frequent this know. Pair it up against the Huskers classic white/white/red road set, and you can see why this was a sure-fire number 1.

And, finally…

+1) North Carolina State at North Carolina and Arizona State at Arizona — This week, we have a tie for the bad side with the most simple of reasons. If you’re going to play your rival, the very least you can do is wear your school colors and not go gimmicky. I’m looking at you UNC and ASU!!!

Enjoy the week, everyone, and I’ll see you for Championship Saturday!

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Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 2016 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.

Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):

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You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!

This is the final weekend of the Duck Tracker (for 2016), as the Ducks season is now (mercifully) over and with a record of 4-8, even in this era of expanded bowl bids, the Webfoots will be home for the holidays.

I want to thank Dennis for continuing the Duck Tracking tradition here on Uni Watch. I haven’t decided whether it will return next year — in a way it’s superfluous with the PAC-12 Tracker (which Dennis also does) and with the Ducks now just one of several teams who wear different costumes each week. But we’ll cross that bridge next fall, when we come to it.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: If you’re making a Jim Thome Christmas Tree ornament, “you definitely need to go with the drag-bunt pose” (from Jimmer Vilk). … Got some downtime on the holiday weekend? Spend it dreaming up the next great Milwaukee Brewers t-shirt design! (h/t Johnny Okray). … Yesterday in 1960: The relocated Washington Senators become the Minnesota Twins & their new logo was revealed (via Bruce Menard). Also, be sure to check out Todd Radom‘s excellent logo study on this logo.

NFL/CFL News: “The CFL championship game is [today] featuring the Calgary Stampeders,” writes Ryan Houdayer. “Out of respect for their teammate Mylon Hicks who was shot and killed in a Calgary nightclub mid season, the team covered crossed gun patches. The black jereseys are the alternates but became the main as the season went on. Here is a link to the team with the patch covering their crossed guns logo.” … “Watching the U Sports, (Canadian University Sports) Vanier Cup, which is the Football Championship,” says Jason Perrier. “It was a red on white battle with Laval Rouge et Or and Calgary Dinos. Calgary is in red and Laval in white. Laval also has the shiny gold helmet.” Here’s another look at that hat. … Brian Griese never quite attained the fame in the NFL that his father did. But I never knew he played wide receiver for the Jets (nice spot by Wes Smith). … The Collector’s Corner doesn’t normally run until Tuesday, but here’s a couple that Brinke asked me to run today: Check out this vintage NFL Alumni 1960s/70s Zippo Money Clip Knife; also check out this draft questionaire for college seniors headed to the pros.

College Football News: Tweeter Chris Brueckner seems to think that Nick Saban’s pullover looks like a certain puffy shirt Jerry Seinfeld wore in a certain famous episode. He may have been the first pirate comedian. … From Matthew Weller, via UT snapchat, Vandy stadium still has the old SEC logo painted on the wall. … “Big Ten Network is still using adidas logo on Wisconsin graphics despite switching to Under Armour this season,” says D. Hemple, who adds, “Boo laziness.” … Oh man, as if Virginia’s season wasn’t disappointing enough (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a look at every Oregon Duck uni combination for the past five years (from Glen Macklin).

Hockey News: The Calgary Hitmen had their “Teddy Bear Toss” yesterday. According to Mike Styczen, these are their Christmas uniforms (Look at the crest). Here’s a closeup. Here’s a couple more views (the backs have a snow cover over the numbers). Pretty cool. … The Orlando Solar Bears wore some Maple Leafs-esque jerseys last evening (from Orlando Solar Bears). … This new Vegas Golden Knights billboard is up on The Strip in Vegas. Ted Chastain wonders if they’re not allowed to use the NHL logo yet.

College Hoops News: Rice and Oklahoma State played a color vs. color game yesterday (via Brad Blunt). Looks like Okie State was wearing their “N7” uniforms. … Jimmer Vilk would really love the huge numbers on the Colgate hoops team (h/t Hockey in the ‘CAC). … Was Northern Illinois wearing Chicago Bulls unis yesterday (from Zach Dietmeier). No, they’re not quite Bulls unis, but obviously based on them (from Chris Feminis). … Marquette and HBU hooked up in a little color vs. color yesterday (via Chris Mycoskie). … Hmmmm: BYU’s alternates have some tiny weird numbers (from Chris). … Tweeter Teddy also noticed a similar small number problem for the Michigan Wolverines.

Grab Bag: A rugby(?) match between Ireland and Australia featured a referee wearing Batman shoes (from Craig Ackers). … Here’s a “funny” cricket video (from Jimmer Vilk), showing some of the new unis — but it’s really just an adidas ad in disguise, innit? … Holy shit, check out these German volleyball unis even Jim Vilk will hate (from Ryan Patton).

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And that will do it for today. As always, big ups to and for the SMUW Crew — Paul thanked them for me on Thursday, but I want to again give props to a great set of dedicated guys: Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, Joe Ringham, Rex Henry, Kyle Acker, Dennis Bolt and Ethan Dimitroff. Great work again today, gents!

I’ll be back next Saturday (wow — it’ll be December then…2016 is. almost. over.) but until then you can …

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“[Ohio State’s] black numbers by themselves wouldn’t be so bad, but the helmets, with the added black socks and undershirts, just really wreck the look. It’s BFBS without actually wearing a black jersey.”

— Rob S.

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Cool and Unusual Helmets and Uniforms from the Great White North...East

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By Phil Hecken with Leo Strawn, Jr.

Gonna be a (relatively) short post today — just the lede, one sub and ticker — but it’s a great one: Part III of Leo Strawn’s fantastic look-back at the unis and helmets of the Canadian Football League. Hope everyone in the lower 48 (and Alaska/Hawai’i) had a wonderful Thanksgiving and, if you’re one of those types — survived Black Friday.

Let’s get right to the good stuff. Here’s Leo with …

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Cool and Unusual Helmets and Uniforms from the Great White North…East
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

As the CFL winds down toward the 104th Grey Cup, I will pick up where I left off, this time sharing some (I think) cool and (definitely) unusual Canadian Football uniforms from the eastern part of Canada.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Scott Grant of Ottawa, Ontario, whose photos have appeared in Leo’s World during the course of these Canadian football articles. Some of the older photos on his site are credited to Ted Grant, so it seems this is a tradition handed down through their family. In addition to looking for photos on image searches, I’ve poured through literally thousands of photos on Scott’s website, looking for references of old helmets and uniforms. His site is an interesting glimpse of CFL uniform history (and more specifically the Ottawa franchises, which we’ll get to shortly). You can check out (and order) his photos here. (If you do scour over them, be advised that not all of the names and years are 100% accurate, so you may have to do a bit of extra research for accuracy.)

Two weeks ago we began this journey north of the border, starting with a general overview in week one, then moving on to a more specific look at some helmets and uniforms from the western provinces last week.

Before checking out uniforms from the east, here’s a couple of updates from last week:

I wasn’t sure exactly what year the Roughriders changed from Regina wearing red and black to Saskatchewan wearing green and white because I was finding different answers on different sites. Wade Heidt offered this link regarding Saskatchewan history from the team’s website. It’s well worth the time it takes to read. (By the way, the answer is: 1948.)

Will S did some amazing research and posted in the comments regarding Calgary’s horseshoe helmets from 1960 and 1961 and another alternate Stampeders lid along with a BC alt helmet from 2003, none of which I had ever seen in any format other than graphic interpretations. Check out the photos and videos in last week’s comments by hitting the link for last week’s article. Thanks, Will!

As I noted previously, I’m essentially ignoring which franchise incarnation is which and just focusing on locations, but I will be mentioning a few more of the historical football clubs today. Also, as promised, the mono red uniforms for les Alouettes I ran across last week (too late to include in the first article) are in the section on Montréal! The last section of today’s piece features some preseason photos of CFL teams from the east and west.

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Okay, time to sit back and crack open a Molson as we head East:

Hamilton

Hamilton

Hamilton: In addition to the Tiger-Cats, Hamilton was also home to other clubs of note, including the Alerts, who won the fourth Grey Cup, the first for the city of Hamilton, back in 1912. The Ti-Cats are an amalgamation of two clubs from Hamilton, the Tigers and the Wildcats. Hamilton threw back to the Wildcats, whose colours were red and black, a few years ago. The Tigers date back to the earliest days of football on the North American continent and from the club’s earliest days they had a penchant for stripes, a tradition that they have revisited over the decades. In addition to stripes, they also sported a large H on front of their jerseys during their early history.

At the time of the merger of the two clubs in 1950, Hamilton wore white or yellow helmets with a number on front. They were definitely yellow by at least 1954. In the 1957 Grey Cup, the Tiger-Cats were wearing their classic center striping (the guy in the circle of that photo is a fan named Dave Humphrey, who tripped Hamilton’s Dave Bawel on his way to the end zone after an interception). They kept that wide white/black/wide white striping pattern for decades, using it with blank sides, with numbers on sides, with the TC logo in the mid 60s and, starting in the early 70s, with the more familiar pouncing tiger logo. However, the first incarnation of that logo appeared for a single season in 1967 with a red star behind the tiger.

Another oddity regarding the pouncing tiger was the low position on the side of the helmet, sometimes nearly touching the ear hole. The shell colour was changed to black in the 80s, and the logo modified about a decade ago. Hamilton has worn a few notable throwbacks and alternates. In 2006, they wore these helmets in the Labour Day Classic. The Ti-Cats threw back to the TC logo on yellow shells in 2009. They reportedly wore a black shell variation also in ’09, though I haven’t seen a photo. (Anyone?) Their signature series helmets featured a logo on one side and a number on the other. That helmet also featured a tapered stripe in the center, which may have been a nod to an earlier helmet design (and another I need help with, this time on the year).

I suspect these cool helmets with a tapered stripe were worn prior to the classic white/black/white center stripes appearing around 1957, but it’s possible they were a special helmet worn in the late 50s or maybe even the early 60s (note the single bar facemasks.) For some reason, when I found that video I dated the screen shots as 1959, though now I can’t recall why. Those screen grabs come from this short video clip specifically referring to them as Hamilton while referencing their victory over the AFL Buffalo Bills in 1961, but the Ti-Cats wore their yellow helmets with the classic center striping in that game (that pic is also included in the section on CFL preseason photos, below).

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Montréal

Montreal

Montréal: The largest city in Québec has also been home to several Canadian football clubs. The AAA Winged Wheelers became the first team outside of Ontario to win the Coupe Grey in the first game played for the Cup outside of Ontario, at Molson Stadium against the Regina Roughriders in 1931. (Not sure which team is which in that photo, sorry, but note the huge numbers on both teams’ jerseys.)

Taking a page out of the 1933-35 NFL Boston Redskins style guide, the Montreal Indians wore these in their inaugural season of 1936 and are the team wearing square numbers in this photo of a game with the Argos in 1937. The Alouettes were born in 1946 and may be the only team in history to wear three different designs on front of their helmet. The original Als wore these helmets, which featured their logo and were worn at least through 1948 when they donned these cool jerseys and pants for the first time in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers of the AAFC. (Pic of that game is also included in the section on CFL preseason photos, below). It appears they wore those same helmets in their first Grey Cup appearance and victory in 1949.

By the time of their next Grey Cup in 1954, the logo was gone. In the late 50s, their red helmets featured a single white center stripe. For the 1960s, the Alouettes wore their second different design on the front of their helmets: lark wings that went across the side from the front. They threw back to this in 2009, albeit with the wings separated further apart. I noted last week that I had located a mono red uniform for the Als. They wore these for at least part of the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

After that, Montréal added dark green to their colour scheme. The early 1970s ushered in another unique look for the Larks, with a lot of emphasis on green. In 1974, the Alouettes dropped the green for blue and wore their third different helmet with a front design, winning their third Grey Cup in these lids. In ’75 they moved the logo onto the side of the helmet, but kept those beautiful jerseys into the early 80s. After fans endured a few years with the Concordes, Montréal returned to that later Alouettes logo for a season with a more ordinary jersey and nice overall look.

When Montréal returned to the fold, they added silver to their colour scheme with a new logo, throwing back to those late 1970s uniforms in 2010 and reportedly wearing an alt white helmet with the new logo that same year, though I haven’t seen a photo of that one. (Anyone?) More recently, Montréal has used these alternates as a nod to the 425 squadron of the RCAF who were known as the Alouettes. I wouldn’t mind if they used these helmets full time.

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Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa: The Ottawa Football Club wore some simple striping in the 1920s and newsboy caps were obviously allowed as headgear. Those simple sleeve and socks stripes can be seen on the Senators in 1925, the year of Ottawa’s first Grey Cup appearance and victory. In the late 30s and into the 1940s, the Rough Riders added a swath of red (?) on the shoulders to go along with their simple sleeve striping. For at least part of the 1951 season, they wore striped shoulders (see entire photo in CFL preseason photos, below) reminiscent of Calgary’s look from the late 40s and early 50s. Ottawa’s jerseys were relatively simple in style for the remainder of the 1950s.

Beginning in the late 50s and continuing into the 1960s, the pants had this interesting stripe down the sides, and the east Riders later wore them with these innovative jerseys. Those unique pants remained a part of Ottawa’s repertoire for a number years, even when the Rough Riders began using the classic black shelled helmets with the R logo. After wearing red shells in the late 40s and a series of white helmets after that, Ottawa wore a few helmets you may not be aware of prior to wearing their classic R.

In 1961, they wore these cool lightning bolts on their helmets. That was the same season Winnipeg also wore bolts. Sadly, I haven’t found a photo of the two teams wearing those lids against one another. (Anyone?) The following season, the east Riders wore a variation of their 1961 look, changing the bolt design and adding black numbers below. During the 1963 season, Ottawa went to red shells and a bucking horse logo with a lot of subtle detail in the design. The following season would be the first appearance of the R helmets. But for part of the 1964 season, Ottawa wore a helmet I bet you’ve never seen: a black shell with red center stripe and a double R (one red, one white) inside a half red/half white ellipse on the sides.

After about two and a half decades of their classic helmet, the Rough Riders again went to a double R logo, this time with flames, then to this logo on gold and later on black shells. For the few seasons the Renegades existed, they used this helmet. Ottawa is now home to the Redblacks, and I have to say I like their helmets and logo. (Now if they would only change the nickname.) I also want to acknowledge the signature series plaid helmet for its uniqueness.

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Toronto

Toronto

Toronto: The Argos, who became Dominion champions for the first time in the sixth Grey Cup game in 1914, have traditionally had a penchant for stripes much like their provincial rivals located 60 kilometers away. It looks like Toronto primarily wore hooped jerseys and socks into the 1930s. At some point during that decade, they began wearing jerseys with wide swaths of contrasting colour on their shoulders leading down to the cuffs and down the sides. The Boatmen wore this style throughout the 40s also, both dark and light jerseys, until around 1950, apparently always with white helmets.

The 50s saw a return to stripes, this time on the sleeves. Possibly for the first time, the light version of these jerseys along with the helmets appear to be Cambridge blue, although they did also wear white helmets with the light blue jerseys. It’s hard to tell from black and white photos, but there may have been a white version of this jersey, too. The Argonauts dropped the heavily striped sleeves for a more ordinary look starting in the mid-50s, wearing both light blue and white shells, at times with numbers on the sides, over the course of several seasons, including white numbers on light blue shells in 1960.

In the early and mid 1960s, Toronto, like other Canadian teams we’ve looked at, went through several different helmets, including three helmets with boat logos on white shells, and for all three I have seen graphics but no photos, with the exception of these two pics, each one showing a portion of each of the latter two of those linked graphics. (Anyone?) In 1964, the Argos began wearing their classic A on white shells, though not in every game.

By 1969, the A appeared on plain blue shells and stripes reappeared at least partway down the sleeve. They remained that way as the Joe Theismann era got underway in 1971. The Argos added stripes to the pants in ’72 and then also to the helmet in Joe’s final season in Canada, 1973. When A.D. played in ’76, the helmets were the same but matched with mono powder blue uniforms, at times. Around that time, the more familiar boat logo first appeared on blue shells, a helmet they would use for over a decade, followed by another rapid succession of different helmet designs. Eventually, the shield from that boatman logo became the logo as it is currently and has been for a little over a decade.

P.S. I mentioned this Argos helmet earlier and after I finished writing this and shipped it off to UW, I just stumbled across this circa 1963 photo of that helmet and wanted to make sure it was included!

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CFL Preseason Games

Preseason

CFL preseason games: In the course of putting this together I ran across a number of preseason photos and I thought I may as well share these too. (Some are also listed above but repeated here so the exhibition game pics are all in one section.) Here are some photos and newspaper articles for Canada v USA exhibitions: Alouettes v AAFC Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. Ottawa v NY Giants in 1950 and in 1951. Toronto Argos v Chicago Cardinals in 1959, v Steelers in 1960 and v St. Louis Cardinals in 1961. The Als v Chicago Bears and Ti-Cats v AFL Buffalo Bills, both in 1961.

CFL exhibition photos include this pic of the 1963 preseason matchup between Calgary and Ottawa which featured a field full of blank red helmets (Riders with a black center stripe). Winnipeg and Calgary both wore blank shells in 1969 preseason. Anthony Davis played with the WFL Southern California Sun in 1975, so this must be a preseason pic with the Argos wearing blank blue shells in 1976. In 1971 and 1972, Ottawa wore black shells with a single red stripe. Plain black shells for the preseason east Riders in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1992. They wore a plain gold helmet in the ’95 preseason and plain black with center striping the following preseason.

And…one final photo, just because this helmet would look so cool on the field! Plus, it reminds me of ol’ Captain Canuck!

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This has been a major effort, but researching all of this was also an awesome journey. Sometimes it’s fun to see just how far the rabbit hole goes, though I must admit for weeks now I’ve been having the same recurring nightmare consisting of moose and beavers eating back bacon smothered in maple syrup in a midst of a blizzard! Thankfully, Rush is always playing YYZ off in the distance…

Sadly, due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to make a change in my approach to Leo’s World. Maybe I’ll be able to continue next year in a (roughly) bi-weekly mode, or maybe it will just be every once in a while that I surprise Phil with an installment and let him post it if/when he wants. But, for now, I’ve got some big, time consuming, fish to fry before I can get back to enjoying life. The quicker I can steamroll obstacles, the quicker I can get back to having spare time to devote to things in my life that I take part in purely for the fun of it…like Leo’s World. Hopefully I’ll at least be able to produce a Leo’s World or two later in the winter. We’ll see what the new year brings.

So, since I probably won’t have a Leo’s World to share in December, let me take the time now to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

That’s all for now, though. Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time…

Cheers!

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Thanks, Leo — and thanks for all you’ve contributed to the blog over the past several months. Leo’s explained (kinda) his circumstances to me in private, and all I can say is let’s all hope everything works out OK. After Paul’s heartfelt piece this past Thanksgiving, and now hearing of Leo’s obstacles, I think we can all safely say we’ll be glad when 2016 is over. My best to you and yours Leo, and let’s all hope you’re back sooner rather than later!

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Pittsburgh Penguins Go For The Gold

Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising move, the Pittsburgh Penguins had their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys (they’ll play the Philadelphia Flyers on February 25th at Heinz Field) revealed. They’re pretty gold.

Check out the screengrabs from NBC (who revealed the unis yesterday — you can click to enlarge):

Pens SS 1

As you can see, the Pens use the gold color they had from 1981-84, but the skating penguin is not inside of a triangle for this incarnation (maybe because they want the logo to be visible from the cheap seats?). Or maybe it’s just to sell more jerseys, I’m not sure.

Instead, they take the triangle and (in this example) use it for the “C” (Crosby’s jersey was shown).

Penguins-Triangle-Captain-Patch-2017-590x527

I’m guessing the “A” jersey(s) will follow suit. Pretty nice. You can sorta see there’s a keystone logo on the left sleeve…

Let’s look at the sleeve:

Pens SS 2

Nice — inside the keystone (Pennsylvania is the “Keystone State,” if you weren’t already aware) is the logo “City of Champions” (how original)[edit: Pittsburgh was the first city to use this nickname in relation to sports, but it’s not the only city to use the term] and 4 stars, signifying the four Stanley Cups the Penguins have won.

Penguins-City-of-Champions-Patch-2017-Stadium-Series

The triangle is replicated in the keystone, by two crossed hockey sticks, which is also a neat design feature.

So far so good. Unfortunately, we still need to see the back (which is apparently shown here).

Pens SS 3

Ugh. Why do teams constantly fall back on the faux-military font-tripe these numbers have? You want them visible from a distance, so in this regard, they’re good — but there’s not need to use this particular font-style. A simple block would have been more than sufficient. I can’t imagine this would be a selling point (or a deal-breaker, for that matter), but it seems a wee-bit overdone. And the color, style, and front/side of the jersey were so nice. The NOB also appears to be done in military font as well.

There’s also a patch on the right shoulder — it wasn’t shown but it’s likely the Stadium Series patch shown here.

Not bad overall. I love the Penguins in gold — perhaps this will become an new alternate once the Stadium Series is complete — and let’s hope if so, they’ll wear it as their LIGHT sweater against opposing dark sweaters.

Our pal Chris Creamer had a nice writeup here and you can also read here.

You can also look at a video of the new jersey here:


So what do you guys think? Good? Stupid? Somewhere in between?

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: With the sad passing of Carol Brady Florence Henderson late Thursday night, here’s a photo of most of the Brady Bunch stars (where are Greg and Mike???) in Hollywood Stars uniforms, in 1973 (from Bruce Menard). I also see Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, but who’s the kid in the blue turtleneck (Bruce thinks it might be Florence’s real life son)? … Check out this awesome “vintage” Philadelphia A’s shirt. Says Berserker, “I found an awesome sweatshirt while cleaning. Don’t care it doesn’t fit.”

NFL/CFL News: The Philadelphia Eagles will be wearing their black uniforms on Monday Night when they host the Green Bay Packers (from ThomPucks). … Colin Kaepernick apparently wore a t-shirt back in August that appeared to show support for Fidel Castro (who coincidentally passed away yesterday), so naturally this has people upset. … Speaking of controversial attire, Richard Paloma asks, “were you aware of the cleats Colts’ long-snapper Matt Overton was wearing Thursday night? It’s making the rounds in the law enforcement circles. (I went to high school with his dad and we were cops together at neighboring agencies).” … Not really pro football, per se, but check out the quality socks/helmet stripes/contrasting nameplate on this Santa bobble head (from Trayton Miller). … The Ottawa RedBlacks and Calgary Stampeders will compete for the Grey Cup tomorrow, but apparently interest in the CFL the game is suffering “from benign neglect” (or Toronto’s ‘crowded sports scene’), which is a damn shame (from TommyTheCPA). … The Miami Dolphins will again wear their beautiful throwbacks this Sunday (h/t Hammer). … Here’s a thrift store find even Jimmer Vilk would be jealous of (from Mad Dog Tannen).

College/High School Football News: Neat observation from Griffin Smith: Interesting spelling of champion W/ CFP trophy, “H” from Hofstra and “C” from Creighton. … This was a mix up right? NYS Class D State Championship Game: both teams with white jerseys. Orange/ red pants. Submitter Ryan Moore adds, “Too confusing for me.” Here’s another look (from Section4Football). And a couple even more confusing views from Rężłük Rüłęś. And if you’re still curious, here’s an article about the confusing game (from Rick DiRubbo). … THE Game is today. Here’s a photo of the 1970 game (from 216 Sports History). Other than the maize trou, those unis have remained remarkably consistent. Also note the stirrups the refs used to wear. … One of the more storied rivalries in NCAAFB takes place today with USC hosting Notre Dame. Check out this gathering of the greats: Pop Warner, Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne, Christy Walsh, Lou Gehrig, Howard Jones & Tad Jones (November 25, 1927); from Bruce Menard. … FSU will be honoring Monk Bonasorte with this decal today (h/t Victory Cheeseballs). … It looks like Indiana high schools now get jersey patches for the state championship game (from Matt Barnthouse).

Hockey News: The Fort Wayne Komets, an ECHL team, wore military themed sweaters on Thursday evening (from Jeff Tasca). … “It’s well known that NHL teams have a special ‘trophy’ that whomever played the best receives that night. After the next game – that player chooses who they thought earned the trophy that night,” says Dustin Semore. “Most of the ‘Path the Winter Classic’ seasons on HBO shows us what each team has. The Captials have an Abe Lincoln beard and hat. The Rangers have a broadway fedora. Watching the Nashville Predators’ ‘Beneath the Ice’ showed that the player-given trophy is a large chain necklace fastened with a large rusty lock. No clue behind the reasoning. But it’s a fun insight to what the players “play for” each night.

College/High School Hoops News: Raise your hand if you remember this: the 2002 NIT when Syracuse and South Carolina both showed up in white unis, which led ‘cuse to change into their orange tops (but white shorts). More here (thanks to Patrick Rock). … On Thanksgiving night, Nebraska played Dayton. Tweeter John Bedell points out the Cornhuskers wore white jerseys, with white NOB. “Impossible to see.” … “The Mountain” may well be the prettiest floor in West Virginia/on East Coast. Mingo Central High School Miners do it right! says WesWilson. … Last evening, against UNC Asheville, the Kansas Jayhawks wore their *white ice* unis (which have white NOB and no piping); from Matt Straus. … The SDSU Aztecs will wear their turquoise (“N7”) uniforms on Monday (from Devin). … The Dayton Flyers wore their blue alternates yesterday (from Tom Hirt). … “As I was researching older Auburn basketball uniforms,” writes Clint Richardson, “I learned that they debuted the infamous Tiger Stripe uniforms for the 1998-99 post season, and then changed them a few weeks into the 1999-00 season.”

Grab Bag: adidas and Surrey have entered into a new cricket kit partnership (from Jimmer Vilk, who adds, “They’re switching to (adidas) from Under Armour). And it’s good to see the tops are so free of ads (/sarcasm). Jim likes the colour of the jersey. … “The matte phenomenon is not just limited to helmets” notes Mary Lynn Delfino. … A moving company called “Knights (Transportation?)” has a K logo that uses the negative space to for a Knight logo (good spot by MM) — that was spotted in California.

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And that will do it for today. Big, yuuuuuuuge, tremendous thanks to Leo, not just for today’s outstanding effort, but for all his contributions to Uni Watch. Let us hope his hiatus is short!

I’ll be back with a full SMUW tomorrow, as we begin to wind the College Football regular season down (lots of great rivalry games today). See you tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“The bad news is that the new Lynchburg Hillcats script is unreadable. The good news is that “Hillcats” is a terrible name, so an unreadable script is an upgrade.”

— R. Scott Rogers

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Cowboys Wear Blue at Home

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Rare sight yesterday in Dallas, as the Cowboys wore blue at home against Washington. This has become something of a Turkey Day tradition for the Cowboys: They also wore the blue jerseys on Thanksgiving in 2014 and 2013, plus they’ve also worn blue Thanksgiving throwbacks at various points over the years.

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Terry Proctor, 1947-2016: Got some sad news on Wednesday, as word came down that longtime Uni Watch reader and sporting goods maven Terry Proctor had passed away. I knew he’d had some heart trouble in the past but hadn’t realized he’d recently taken a turn for the worse. His loss is a huge blow to the uni-verse, as he had a vast knowledge of old-school uniforms that simply cannot be replaced.

Terry discovered Uni Watch and began sending me all sorts of contributions back in 2008. In 2009 I ran an interview with him, and he also provided a good primer on uniform fabrics, among many other contributions.

Terry was retired but had spent many years working at Ruby’s Sporting Goods in Rochester, where he helped outfit the area’s many minor league, high school, college, and recreational teams. Nothing made him happier than talking about his days at Ruby’s, and he could usually remember exactly which color, fabric, and uniform style a given team had worn in a given year. A few years back I came across a small batch of old Ruby’s labels and sent some of them to Terry. He really liked that.

Terry loved it when I wrote about old sporting goods catalogs. At one point I wrote about a late-1960s Russell Athletic catalog that I had scored on eBay, and Terry wrote to tell me that he remembered filling orders from a copy of that same catalog. He said he was crying as he was writing the email and asked if I would consider giving the catalog to him, which I happily did. I hope it gave him some pleasure.

Terry had some quirks that made him, well, Terry. When referring to colors, he always capitalized them. When referring to Ruby’s, he always spelled out the full name — Ruby’s Sporting Goods. He could also be crotchety, which I never minded. He’d earned the right.

I never met Terry in person, which I regret. He knew more about uniforms than I ever will, and I’m sorry I won’t get to learn from him anymore. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and friendship, Terry. RIP.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: The American Sociological Association has sent a letter to MLB commish Rob Manfred, telling him that it’s time for Chief Wahoo to get the heave-ho (thanks, Phil). … A Canadian man wants the town of Mississauga to cut funding for five local hockey teams with Native-inspired names and mascots (from Ted Arnold). … Pretty odd that an Icelandic restaurant in Berlin would have a Chief Wahoo sign out front . “I inquired inside and the staff said it was an ‘art’ piece purchased by the owner of the restaurant company,” says Matt Wolfram. “So then I checked with the restaurant’s ownership, and they said it was done by an artist name Cyprien Gaillard. Wahoo is apparently a common motif for him.” … California’s last school to use the name “Redskins” for its sports teams will change the name on Jan. 1.

Baseball News: New uniforms for the Lynchburg Hillcats (thanks, Phil). … 1953 throwbacks for the Yomiuri Giants. … An addition to our list of MLB All-Stars wearing the wrong helmet: In 1980, Yankees pitcher Tommy John wore a Tigers helmet (from Ferdinand Cesarano). … The Pirates’ 2017 promo schedule includes a Bob Walk “bobblechair” giveaway (from @milkchug5).

NFL News: The Colts sent team-branded potholders for their season ticket holders to use on Thanksgiving. The Jags did something similar (thanks, Phil). … The Titans are adding a “W.E.S.” memorial decal for the victims of the recent Woodmere Elementary School bus accident in Chattanooga (from Ernad Selimagić). … A kid at yesterday’s Lions/Vikings game had a typo on her cheek (from Jason Hillyer).

College and High School Football News: New gold-trimmed helmets today for Baylor. … UCF players will wear their home area codes on their nose bumpers tomorrow. Florida outline added to the helmet logo, too (from @TheKMill). … Weber State and Chatanooga will wear memorial ribbon decals for the victims of the recent Chatanooga school bus crash (from Brett Hein). … Here’s the best Thanksgiving NOB of the day.

Hockey News: Big news out of L.A., where L.A. Times sports columnist Helene Elliott is reporting that the Kings will wear Burger King throwbacks on Jan. 14 (from GKG_77). … Wait, an update on that Kings item, from reader/commenter Brian Rowland: “Per LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the Kings will only wear the Burger King throwbacks during warmups on January 14th, after which they will be auctioned off.” … The Wild wore pregame jerseys on Wednesday to benefit a wildlife conservation group. … Albany River Rats throwbacks on Saturday for the Albany Devils (from Jason Lewis).

Basketball News: The Spurs and Hornets went black vs. teal on Wednesday night (from Mike Engle). … Auburn and Purdue went color vs. color two nights ago (from Jeff Demerly).

Soccer News: Asheville City FC has introduced a replica jersey that’s designed to function as a season ticket (from The Boot Room). … The logo for the four Euro2020 games taking place in Dublin (from Charlie Kranz).

Grab Bag: A bill that would allow high school students who are also serving in the military to wear their military uniforms to their graduation cememonies is moving through the New Jersey state legislature. … Interesting article about outgoing first lady Michelle Obama’s clothing.

Some Thoughts About Giving Thanks

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Last Saturday the Tugboat Captain and I took what will probably be our final walk in the surf for 2016. The water, which has been getting colder by the week, was barely bearable. It’s possible that we’ll go to the beach again at some point this winter, but I’m pretty sure we’ll keep our shoes on.

These surf walks have been great. In addition to posting photos of them here on Uni Watch, I’ve also shared pics on Facebook, and many of my friends have responded by saying something along the lines of, “Wow, you guys look so happy. Glad everything’s going so well for you!” Maybe some of you have thought the same thing.

The reality is a bit more complicated. Although the surf walks were part of my “Best Summer Ever” mantra, this summer — and, really, much of this year — has not been the best. Among other things: I had a serious medical scare that resulted in surgery; I have a separate ongoing medical issue that has made me feel like I’m at war with much of my own body, and has resisted everything my doctors have thrown at it; I’ve been having major sleep difficulties that have made me feel sluggish during the day and exhausted at night (and have no doubt contributed to the rising number of typos and coding errors on the site lately, ugh); my brother had a stroke; one of my cats had an ongoing medical issue of his own; several people close to me or to the cultural scene where I spend most of my social time passed away; two of my closest friends endured a personal crisis that is now threatening their marriage; the industry I work in has continued its steady death spiral, which is troubling on many levels and has also stymied some creative projects I had hoped to launch; I recently got word that my rent will be increasing by 10%, my health insurance premiums will be increasing by 20%, and my car will soon need repairs that are so expensive that it’ll actually make more sense to just buy a new car; just yesterday I received word that a member of the Uni Watch community had passed away (I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow); the presidential campaign and its aftermath seemed to bring out the worst in a tremendous number of people, which I continue to find incredibly depressing; and, worst of all, my wonderful girlfriend endured a series of work- and housing-related troubles that have made her year and even her future — and therefore our year and our future — very problematic.

I realize that much of this is just the regular up-and-down cycle of life. I also realize there are many people out there — probably including some of you who are reading this — who are going through much rougher times than anything I’ve experienced. I don’t mean to dismiss or be insensitive to anyone else’s troubles, and I certainly don’t mean to sound self-pitying. I’m just saying that a lot of this year has felt like it’s been more uphill than usual — not just for me, but for many of the people and things I love. The walks in the surf have been little oases of bliss within that turmoil, small junctures where the uphill climb leveled out for a few minutes, my troubles melted away, and I could just enjoy the earthy intersection of water, sand, and foot. I’ll miss doing that, at least until spring rolls around.

All of which is a lengthy way of saying that Thanksgiving couldn’t have come at a better time, because it helps put things in perspective. So: I’m thankful that my brother, my cat, and I all came through our respective medical scares relatively okay. I’m thankful that my 92-year-old mom had no medical scares this year at all, and seems like she might actually be the healthiest member of the family at the moment. I’m thankful that while my industry may be in turmoil, I still have a good job, at least for now. I’m thankful that I was able to launch two new creative projects this year — Gromm•It and Key Ring Chronicles. I’m thankful that my favorite team, the team I live and die with, made it to the playoffs. I’m thankful that curling season has started up again, and that my team is playing well. I’m thankful to have so many amazing friends, and that we’re always there for each other during difficult times. I’m thankful that my wonderful girlfriend and I still have each other.

And of course I’m thankful for all the people who continue to make Uni Watch possible, including Ticker assistants Mike Chamernik and Alex Hider; “Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie; membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner; T-Shirt Club designer Bryan Molloy; all our weekend contributors, including Terry Duroncelet Jr., Joe Ringham, Ethan Dimitroff, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker, Leo Strawn Jr., Jim Vilk, George Chilvers, and many others; webmaster John Ekdahl; and, especially, deputy editor Phil Hecken, the most devoted bench coach I could ever hope to have.

Finally, my thanks to all of you for visiting the site, for contributing content, and for putting up with my occasional (okay, maybe not-so-occasional) rants, ups and downs, indulgences, and so on.

If you’re traveling today, be safe. If you’re working today, please accept my thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us have the day off. Me, I’ll be driving out to Long Island to spend the day with my family. However you’re spending your day, I hope it turns out to be a good one. Peace. — Paul

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