Sunday Morning Uni Watch

SMU wins

By Phil Hecken

Hey there, Uni Watchers! Miss me? Well, I’ve only been gone for about 3 “uni watching” days, so probably not.

First off, I wanted to express my deep and sincere thanks to Paul for giving me the time off to complete (well, it’s not quite complete, but pretty close) my Capstone Project for Grad J-School. Thanks, buddy, you’re the best. Paul also compiled today’s ticker and the “Birthday” section.

Today’s splash is a picture of the sole winless team in FBS competition, the SMU football team, only they’re winless no more! In a Week 15 matchup against a 2-9 UConn team, they pulled out the win to finish at 1-11. The smile on the face of Cameron Nwosu (pictured above in the middle) is a pretty close approximation to the smile I will have if my capstone is passed. Cross your fingers and toes for me everyone!

Not a lot of action on the gridiron yesterday as the NCAA played what is called (unofficially) “Championship” weekend (of course, if you play in the Big XII, you don’t get to have a championship game…according to current NCAA rules, a conference must have at least 12 teams, split into two divisions and all the teams in that division must play each other, in order to have a playoff game). So there were a few Big XII games yesterday.

Because I didn’t “work” UW last weekend, I have a couple extra bits in the sections below — but just one SMUW and just one 5 & 1. I’ll now turn it over to TJ Duroncelet who will bring you today’s…

. . . . .

Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

And so, we have come to the season finale. Over three months of action, delight, heartbreak, and our fair share of eye-candy as well as eyesores, all of which culminated in the biggest games before the postseason. Of course, championship week tends to be really slow, so today’s column is… short. Like, really short. Like, so short that it makes a Hobbit look like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But it would be amiss if I didn’t bring you at least some of what I saw, so without further ado…

From Thursday:

• Good guys wear black, eh? Tell that to East Carolina.

From Friday:

• Oregon wore white helmets and pants with their Fighting Duck kelly green jerseys. Surely, there won’t be other teams that would want to copy Oregon’s look for a Saturday game, right?

From Saturday:

Uh… I spoke too soon. In all honesty, neither look was bad by itself, but TCU’s application of it to their game against Iowa State resulted in a game that had just a bit too much white. Thank hell that the Cyclones didn’t wear a white helmet in this game.

• The B1G championship game was pretty uneventful uni-wise, but It looks like the Colts helmet logo wasn’t fully purged before they laid down Saturday’s midfield logo.

• There are actually TWO Nate Smith’s on the Temple Owls. If only there were some way besides NOB to tell them apart…

• Turning over to FCS, Here’s the helmet that the Montana Grizzlies wore over the weekend.

• Both Florida State and Georgia Tech had Conference Title game patches last night. Well, almost all of them did.

• One of the Baylor players was wearing a red watch in last night’s game.

• In the B1G championship, Wisconsin’s QB was wearing a different shirt from his teammates. Also, OSU’s Michael Bennett wore #53 instead of his usual #63, in memory of wrestler Kosta Karageorge, who passed away this past week.

• Alabama WR Amari Cooper wears a Schutt helmet. Just about everyone else on the Tide appears to be wearing Riddell (from Scott Dean).

• Paul writes: No, I didn’t attend any of the pro-Baylor/anti-TCU rallies yesterday, although you could be forgiven for thinking that (from Brady Phelps and Jim Wooley).

• Check out this really cool “old school” program from yesterday’s Tulane/Temple game (h/t Christopher C. LaHaye).

• One more thing before I sign off for the day: I’m sure I said this before, but Mizzou’s uniforms that they’ve worn since their move to the SEC have really grown on me. Every time I see that uniform, not only does it look clean and professional, but it also reminds me of when I initially thought Mizzou was basically marching to their deaths by moving to the SEC from the Big XII, because they never really had the most success in their former conference, and I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of what they used to wear (lookin’ at you, MoVi). They have surprised me with their gameplay, and they have the look to match it, which is why I love a well-designed uniform, because you don’t need 50 billion whistles integrated into the jock tag of a jersey to make a statement. A well-done uniform will usually stand the test of time, and paired with a successful team, can build a long-lasting image. And hey, even if you have a great uniform, but not exactly the best team wearing them, at least you’ll look good while losing. Better that than losing while wearing clown suits. Overall, while they’re not my favorite team (I already favor three SEC teams due to odd circumstances), I have enjoyed Mizzou’s growth over the last couple of years. Here’s to more success for them in the future. Not to mention: the game looked rad as hell.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that does it for the regular season! As I type this, I am watching the Florida State/Georgia Tech game, with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and FSU is up 34-28, so anything could happen, and I don’t know what the final picture for the new playoff system is going to look like. At any rate, I am excited for all of the bowl games and how everything’s going to unfold, so until a sooner-than-later date, I’ll see you soon.

. . . . .

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

Green Line

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

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

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

. . .

Happy Championship Weekend, UniWatchers! There weren’t too many games to pick from and even fewer that ended up being worth watching! Let me know what you think!

__________

5. North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State: I needed to give the FCS playoffs some love during this sparse weekend (Go Villanova!). This game had great contrast between the unis and even went down to the wire if you were able to catch any of it!

__________

4. Marshall vs. Louisiana Tech: A little C-USA action here. I’ve always been a fan of Marshall’s unis and I thought Louisiana Tech looked great in the simple white combo.

__________

3. Iowa State vs. TCU: I love Iowa State’s white jersey/pants combo up against TCU’s white helmet and pants. The game had a great mix between white and darker colors and I was surprised at how much I loved this match-up.

__________

2. Oregon vs. Arizona: Talk about a beatdown. Oregon came out in one of their nicer unis and looked great compared to Arizona in their red pants.

__________

1. Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma: Bedlam didn’t have any title implications this year but it was still a beautiful match-up. OSU came out in their black/white/orange combo against the Sooners in the classic red and white.

__________

+1 Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois: Not the most offensive match-up we’ve seen all year but when you show up in all-orange on a light weekend you’re gonna have a bad time.

__________

Thanks, Catherine! Great wrap-up for basically the end of the season (yeah, Army vs. Navy is next Saturday, but that’s it!).

OK readers, how’d she do?

Green Line

classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Football Scoreboards – Third in a Series
by Gary Chanko

Last time in the series I noted that California in the early 1920s saw an explosion of new collegiate football stadiums. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was an important part of that building boom and is now both a California and National Historic Landmark.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

LA Memorial Coliseum Scoreboard UW

Home of: University of Southern California (1923 to present), UCLA (1928-1981), Los Angeles Rams (1946-1979), Los Angeles Chargers (1960), Los Angels Raiders (1982-1994), Los Angeles Express (1983-1985), Los Angeles Dodgers (1958 – 1961), and many, many more.
Opened:1923 — Renovations: Ongoing

Since opening in 1923 the Coliseum has been the home venue for a seemingly endless list of professional and collegiate teams representing nearly every sport on the planet. Add to that two Olympics, Super Bowls, a World Series and you have a resume that’s difficult to match.

Football, notably collegiate football, is a memorable part of the Coliseum’s history. The USC Trojans played the first college varsity football game there in October 1923.

. . .

(Trivia time: What team played the inaugural college game in the Coliseum? The answer is at the end).

. . .

The Coliseum played host to many notable games in the USC-Notre Dame rivalry. The illustration captures the scoreboard near the end of one of those games, USC’s December 3, 1938, upset victory over Number One ranked Notre Dame.

A Few Things to Know

• The scoreboard in the illustration is located at the recognizable peristyle end of the Coliseum. This scoreboard was one of the first (maybe the first?) all electronic scoreboards in the United States. The (24ft x 42ft) scoreboard housed nearly 12,000 light bulbs. Each display character was 21 inches high.

Because Coliseum football games began in 1923, I assume there would have been a scoreboard that preceded this late 1930s installation. However I was unable to find any information or photos of the structure.

• The technology to change the display was unique and complex, but appears to be simple to operate. However in 1938 there was no computer keyboard for display entry. Take a look at this article to discover how they did it.

• One of the interesting features of the scoreboard’s matrix display was the ability to create serif characters. The article above also explains how this unusual feature was accomplished.

• The analog clock looks to be from the same supplier as the one installed in Kezar Stadium during the same time period.

• Over the decades that first of its kind, all electric scoreboard was eventually upgraded and replaced with the latest display technology. During these upgrades the scoreboard size and configuration was largely unchanged and the location always remained at the peristyle end. The most recent upgrade in 2011, located on the end opposite to the peristyle, is currently the second largest LED display in college football.

. . .

Answer to trivia question: The USC-Pomona College game was preceded that day by the USC freshman team’s 30-0 win over Santa Ana High.

. . .

I’ve had a few requests for a particular stadium scoreboard which I’m planning for the next edition of Classic Scoreboards. I’ll keep this venue a mystery for now, but I can disclose it’s not football.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

Green Line

Duck Tracker

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

Here’s this weeks costume (click to enlarge):

. . . . . .

Ducks_2014_G_13

Here’s Tim:

On Friday the quack attack struck back. In revenge for a loss earlier in the season, Oregon took out the Zona Cats while wearing a beautiful white/green/white combo (and the right green too!).

The visual matchup was pretty great as well thanks to Zona’s red/white/red combo. A matchup for the Christmas season.

This was the second positive Duck combo in as many weeks. Last week’s yellow/green/green/yellow combo was ALMOST the perfect combo of yellow/green/yellow.

Ducks_2014_G_12

Let’s just hope they’re saving that combo for the playoffs.

. . . . . .

Thanks, Tim.

Green Line

EPL Tracker

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

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 12, 13, 14 and 15:

EPL Tracker Weeks 12 & 13

EPL Tracker Week 14

EPL Tracker Week 15 (Part I)

Green Line

UWFFL banner

Frost Dragons against Cyclones 5 Dec

UWFFL for Sunday 12-7
by Andrew Seagraves

In the immortal words of my friends in the Upstate of South Carolina:

HEY Y’ALL!!

After a few weeks away from the game, it is time to shake off the dust, get back on the pony and get to poppin’ for Week 12 of the UWFFL Schedule. A lot has transpired since we last spoke and you can head over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to check out the results from the last few weeks of play, here in the football league where the teams with the best uniforms get the votes, and the teams with the most votes win the games!

We shall start off this weekend’s slate of games with our Match of the Week for Division II as we head to the Central League and focus on the fracas to take place in the frozen frontier of the fifth largest city in Minnesota.

To the rest of us, this locale is more commonly known as Duluth where the Frost Dragons will square off against the Chicago Cyclones for a showcase of Central League rivals. The Chicago Cyclones have been a mainstay of the UWFFL since its inception as the TBFFL and used to be one half of the Murder Bowl series with the Detroit Demons. The Windy City Whirlwinds have been unlucky of late being demoted after a disappointing 2013 campaign and are doing their best to hang onto life in the CL.

The Frost Dragons have an interesting history despite being a new expansion side. The San Francisco Reign Fire employed a dragon symbol on their helmets last season which became affectionately known as Trogdor to the UWFFL masses. When ownership of the Reign Fire changed hands after the end of the 2013 season, they went back to their flame kissed helmets, and retired the Burnanator. The dragon changed forms and found new life in Northern Minnesota.

Both teams are breaking out throwbacks for their Week 12 rhubarb. (There’s a word that’ll screw-up a sixth grade Spelling Bee #amirght?) The visiting Chi-clones will go back to the good ole TBFFL days going mono-white with Northwestern sleeve stripes, Crime scene red helmets with the dust devil on the sides and concrete grey socks.

The home town Frost Dragons will dig into Duluth’s NFL history, not their Kelleys’ past, but their Duluth Eskimos past wearing fauxbacks acknowledging this heritage. They will keep their current color palette with blue jerseys adorned with an igloo on front, an igloo patterned helmet and era-period style pants.

Chicago at Duluth

. . .


 
pollcode.com free polls

. . .

Other key DII matchups will see Staten Island head back to Brooklyn to take on the Mariners, The Crop Dusters will head across the Sunflower State from KC to Wichita to face the Arrows, Rose City will see the Lumberjacks of British Columbia go nose-to-nose with the Gamblers, and the Geckos will head to Missouri to brawl with the Magnetic.

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~

This weekend also sees a lineup of Interleague games between the UWFFL Premier league and La Lega Internazionale. In our featured game between these groups of titans we will see the Birmingham Vulcans head to the capital of Japan to square off against the Tokyo Mammoth.

Mammoth vs Vulcans 6 Dec

The Vulcans are among a batch of four newcomer squads promoted this to the UWFFL Premiership and have shown great meddle among their Top Flight brethren and are trying to make a play for the playoffs and possibly the Eastern Division Crown. In their match against the Mammoth they are breaking out their gold lids, pants with green trim and gold jerseys.

The Tokyo Mammoth are newcomers on the La Lega scene as they are battling tough competition in the Pacific Division of the table. They’ve made a strong showing against the UWFFL DII and will try to tackle one of the top sides of the Premier. The Mammoth will break out their Ivory lids, Blood Red jerseys and Ivory pants.

Birmingham at Tokyo

. . .


 
pollcode.com free polls

. . .

Other matchups from the Premier/La Lega interleague will see the Anchorage Orcas host the Toronto Civics, Spartak Russia will visit the Stables of Minnesota, and Vancouver will take on the might Locomotive of Leipzig. To vote on these and all other UWFFL games get on over to http://uwfantasyfootballleague.com and let your vote be known. We have also had quite a few great submissions for next year’s Developmental League and if you think you have what it takes to take on the UWFFL you can submit your design at our Prospective UWFFL teams Google+ page.

We’ll be back next week with sherbet for everybody… And by “sherbet” I meant “more UWFFL goodness” – darn skyrocket. And by “skyrocket” I meant “autocorrect”.

Rainbow_Sherbet_0842l

Green Line

Today’s Uni Watch Birthday
By Douglas Ford

[Each day this month, Douglas Ford is selecting an athlete who’s celebrating his or her birthday and presenting some uni-notable photos of that athlete. Here’s today’s installment.]

Happy birthday, Larry Legend — ’nuff said.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker

Today’s Ticker was written and compiled by Paul

Baseball News: Love the amazing plaid uniforms worn by this 1898 Ottawa baseball team. Further info here (from Will Scheibler). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New BP cap for the Reds. The old version had Mr. Redlegs’ full body, not just his head (from Michael O’Neal).

Pro Football News: “I’ve never seen a ticket like this,” says Patrick O’Neill. “Apparently it is a specific transportation ticket to a 1938 game between the Cincinnati Bengals (the original version) and the Boston Shamrocks.” … So bad it’s — well, still pretty bad: every NFL team logo rendered with or as penises. I think one of those is actually quite clever — care to guess? (Blame Andrew Cosentino.) … 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has been a blustery cartoon blowhard for a while now, but lately he’s verging into self-parody territory. Harbaugh on Nov. 28, after losing to the Seahawks: “We know what we have to do. We’ll set our jaw to that. … We’re going to set our jaw to doing what needs to be done.” Harbaugh, eight days later, talking about QB Colin Kaepernick: “He’s his own person. I appreciate the honesty. That’s who he is. His jaw is set.” How can anyone take this shit seriously?

NBA News: Another case of pregame social commentary, as Derrick Rose wore an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt, referencing chokehold victim Eric Garner’s final words, prior to last night’s Bulls/Warriors game.

College Hoops News: Small note at the bottom of this entry indicates that Seward County Community College’s women’s team — the Lady Saints — wore “Los Santos” jerseys last night as part of a Hispanic Heritage promotion, which also included a Spanish P.A. announcer and Mexican dancers.

Soccer News: Liverpool’s new home kit may have leaked. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Adidas has released the official ball design for the 2015 Women’s World Cup

Grab Bag: Wait a minute — is this English cricket player really wearing Google Glass?! (From Richard Hunter.) … Good article on the guy who makes the faces that go on the Indy 500 trophy (from Jeremy Brahm). … Big safety concerns in the lacrosse world, as two popular helmet models have been decertified after being deemed unsafe for competition.

Green Line

And that’s going to do it for today. Thanks to everyone for helping out (especially Paul) and all of today’s contributors. You’re all aces!

Peace

.. … ..

“When the (PawSox) unis were unveiled yesterday one of the friends that I went to games called me and said ‘They are killing our childhood Ted’ My only response was that ‘Ben is rolling over in his grave’.”

— Ted E

Green Line

The Strangest Baseball Uniforms I’ve Ever Seen

Click to enlarge

Paul here, pinch-hitting again for Phil, who’s still working on another project (although he’ll be back with his regular weekend crew tomorrow). The photo you see above, which is from about 1900, originally ran on the website It’s a Long Season and was sent my way yesterday by reader David Cline. There are two very interesting things about it, beginning with the manager (back row, center), who’s holding a pistol and a sword! Man — put that in your camouflage pipe and smoke it, eh? But even more interesting, at least to me, are the players’ uniforms: They’re overalls.

I’ve never seen a baseball team of any era wearing overalls. I checked with my go-to guys for this type of thing — Baseball Hall of Fame senior curator Tom Shieber and uni designer/historian Todd Radom — and they’d never seen an overalls-clad team either. Breaking new ground!

The vertically arched “MWA” chest insignia stands for Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal organization that still exists today. The “TR” initials stand for Two Rivers, Wisconsin (home to a highly regarded wood type museum, incidentally). So this was the team for the Modern Woodmen chapter in Two Rivers.

The Modern Woodmen’s headquarters are in Rock Island, Illinois — part of the Quad Cities. The baseball stadium there, home to the Single-A Quad Cities River Bandits, is called Modern Woodmen Park. Put it all together and all signs point toward an obvious promotion: The River Bandits should wear overall thowbacks!

Please make it so.

• • • • •

Another cross to bear: Knoxville West High School in Tennessee wore small yellow crosses on their helmets in last night’s state championship game. “It was to honor two students and a student aide who died in a bus accident this week,” says reader Andy Bartsch.

Knoxville West is a public school, which means they could end up in the same type of kerfuffle that developed back in September at Arkansas State, which added a memorial cross for a fallen player and team staffer, then had to remove it after a complaint about church/state issues, and finally decided to let the each player decide for himself whether to wear the cross. It’s not clear whether the Knoxville players were given this same option or if the crosses were added by the team’s staff, although I suppose the point is somewhat moot given that their season is now over.

• • • • •

Today’s Uni Watch Birthday
By Douglas Ford

[Each day this month, Douglas Ford is selecting an athlete who’s celebrating his or her birthday and presenting some uni-notable photos of that athlete. Here’s today’s installment.]

He’s a former Minnesota Golden Gophers running back who played in the NFL for seven seasons, splitting time with the Cowboys and the Bears. He also looks great as an action figurine and in an illustration (where he almost appears to be surfing!) — happy birthday, Marion Barber!

• • • • •

klismet

Membership update: Oh man, look at the crazy inlining on those numerals. And the Cyrillic NOB! That’s Kary Klismet’s new membership card, which is based on an old Soviet Red Army hockey jersey. Gorgeous, right?

That’s one of eight new cards that have been added to the membership card gallery. The printed/laminated versions of those cards should mail out early next week.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can order a gift membership for a lucky recipient here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Pretty awful new look for the Pawtucket Red Sox. Here’s a better look at the caps. Let’s hope the new uniforms include striped socks like the ones the bear is wearing. … More impressive debunking by Peter Nash, who’s shown that a Willie Mays uniform featured on Pawn Stars and sold at auction for $20K was bogus. … Typical Mets: They make a big fuss about how they got Majestic to make lowercase NOB letters for Jacob deGrom, Travis d’Arnaud, and Matt den Dekker, and then their store sells jerseys with all-caps. Idiots (although probably not as idiotic as the people plunking down hundreds of dollars for those polyester shirts). … Newly announced Rays skipper Kevin Cash has a uni-notable quirk from his playing days: He was among the first catchers to wear his helmet with the brim facing forward.

NFL News: Who’s that campaigning with RFK in 1968? None other than members of the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome”: Lamar Lundy, Deacon Jones, and Rosey Grier (great find by Douglas Ford). … This is fascinating: In 1953, a team of American rugby all-stars toured Australia, New Zealand, and France and wore American football uniforms, complerte with helmets! How bizarre is that?! (Awesome contribution from Graham Clayton.)

College Football News: Arizona State’s athletics dept. is reportedly on the verge of switching from Nike to Adidas. Further analysis here, and bonus points to Erik Tellef for getting into a Twitter pissing match with Adidas Football exec Mark Daniels. “Obviously, I wasn’t expecting him to say,’You’re right, our product substandard,’ but I did find it intersting that he would go on Twitter and start a dialogue before the deal was consummated,” says Erik. “Odd tactic while still in negotiations.” … New Wisconsin cleats for the B1G championship game. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: SEC fans don’t wear team T-shirts when attending a game. … Here’s the patch that Northern Illinois and Bowling Green wore last night for the MAC championship game.

Hockey News: The Canadiens’ memorial for Jean Bevileau has shifted from the helmet to the jersey (Matt Larsen). … Here’s a gallery of the best goalie masks in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. You can vote for favorite by “liking” it (from Justin Aniba).

Basketball News: The United States Postal Service is issuing a sheet of Wilt Chamberlain stamps — the first such designs for an NBA player. … The Bulls are auctioning off the center court team logo from their Chicago Stadium practice court. … Excellent article about how leggings are increasingly popular in the NBA in general and on the Jazz in particular (from Brett Crane). … Why did Rick Barry wear No. 24? In an interview with Tim McCarver, he said it was because he was a big Willie Mays fan. You can hear the audio of this exchange here (big thanks to Ferdinand Cesarano). … New GFGS unis last night for UConn.

Grab Bag: If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to pinkwashing, think again. The last word on this topic can be found in this hilarious video report from The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee. Highly recommended viewing. … Some annoying digital marketing website has posted one of those meaningless “What’s In, What’s Out” lists for the upcoming year. Note that last “In” item — membership programs. Uni Watch was eight years ahead of that curve! … In the wake of Aussie cricketer Phil Hughes’s death, cricket helmet sales have spiked. … New uniforms for American Airlines. … Here are some thoughts on New York City police uniforms. … The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a license plate design that includes the Confederate flag. … A new line of men’s clothing is aiming to “to make patriotism fashionable with a subtle, not-in-your-face message.” … Good article on how sports teams are phasing out hard-copy tickets (from Jamie Uthe). … New logo for next year’s NJCAA soccer championship.

“C” Section

Got a note the other day from reader Travis Lum, as follows:

By day I’m an art director, designer, and typography nerd. By night I’m a huge hockey fan — the San Jose Sharks are my team. But I have an issue with jersey customizations done by the team store: The captain’s “C” they’re using doesn’t match the one used on the team’s game jerseys.

As a designer, I find the wimpy-looking “C” stitched to my jersey hurts my brain. It’s especially upsetting because it costs close to $100 for these customizations. The Sharks Store said they can’t use the ones the team’s equipment manager uses and are contractually obligated to use another vendor. They added that the letters cut are up to NHL-defined specs.

I just don’t buy this. As a loyal fan, I’m looking for the best products available from my team. What gets me riled up is they’re pulling a fast one over all the fans here in the Bay Area. Most people don’t look at type the way I do, but that doesn’t mean they should be walking around with the wrong font weight.

The Sharks Store asked me to verify the measurement of the “C” on my jersey. They said the NHL guidelines recommend the letter be 3″ tall. That is indeed the measurement of my “C,” but I also measured some other jerseys I own. The Avalanche’s “C” is 4″, the Penguins’ is 4″; the old Nordiques’ is 4″; and the Blackhawks’ is 4.25″.

I’ve created some comparison graphics detailing the differences from the “C” on his recently purchased jersey to the ones used on the ice. (I realize Joe Thornton is no longer the captain, but he still is in my eyes.)

Here are Travis’s graphics — for each of them, you can click to enlarge:

1

2

3

4

Now, a certain wiseass might say the best way to avoid problems with an overpriced polyester shirt is to not buy one in the first place. That said, it is odd that the Sharks Store doesn’t use the proper “C.” Have any other Sharks fans noticed this problem on their overpriced polyester shirts? What about other teams?

• • • • •

Don’tcha Gimme No Lip(syte): Outgoing ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte (shown at right) has reached the end of his 18-month tenure and posted his final blog entry on Wednesday evening. It included what might be considered a bit of a potshot at Uni Watch:

The prodigious work by the Fainaru brothers (Mark and Steve) on NFL concussions and the league’s presumed cover-up has created a standard for sports journalism. But ESPN’s subsequent coverage of the topic has been spotty. A news organization that can run a continuing feature on the changing fashions of athletic uniforms (UniWatch) on ESPN.com can at the least run a continuing feature on NFL and maybe even college concussions: who gets them, how long before they are cleared for return and follow-ups. Call it Conc-Watch.

Okay, so Lipsyte obviously Doesn’t Get It™. He’s also apparently unaware that I’ve done some concussion-related journalism myself (examples here and here), but whatever. I’d be the first to agree that the Fainaru brothers’ recent work has been groundbreaking, award-caliber stuff, but I’d like to think their work and mine can co-exist without somebody praising one at the implied expense of the other. It’s disappointing to see Uni Watch — and, by extension, the uni-verse, which includes me and all of you — used as a punchline, as the lightweight example held up to contrast with a “serious” topic. Heh-heh, look, they cover “fashion” (a word I’ve done my best to distance Uni Watch from). Goes to show that while our corner of the sports world has come a long way in terms of gaining respect and credibility, we still have a long way to go.

I was thinking about all this when I saw that Lipsyte had done an interview yesterday with the Big Lead. It included this exchange:

Big Lead: You got your start as a sportswriter on a pretty unconventional path that could not especially be replicated today. What advice would you give a college student looking to break into sports media?

Lipsyte: Same old. Work your ass off until you’re noticed. Gather clips and credits. Be persistent (most people quit). Learn something –- a sport, a language, a technology –- that will make you useful.

Hmmm, that’s exactly what I did. And once I did it, Robert Lipsyte basically made fun of it. Whaddaya gonna do.

I grew up reading Lipsyte’s stuff in the Times. He’s a major talent, a genuinely Important Guy, and my career will never even sniff the levels that his has reached — which is precisely why I find his offhand comment about Uni Watch so disappointing. Also disappointing: I sent a tweet to him, asking him to email me back, but he didn’t respond. Maybe his successor will be more uni-friendly — or at least learn that “Uni Watch” is two words with a space in between.

(Big thanks to Todd Radom for bringing Lipsyte’s mention of Uni Watch to my attention.)

• • • • •

Good things come in pairs: Big congrats to longtime Uni Watch contributor/pal Joe Hilseberg and his wfe, who are expecting their first children — a two-bagger! As you can see above, Joe’s already making room in his jersey closet for the new arrivals. I like the Orioles theme (Joe is from Baltimore), but promise me you won’t dress the kids in Ravens purple, Joe!

• • • • •

Today’s Uni Watch Birthday
By Douglas Ford

[Each day this month, Douglas Ford is selecting an athlete who’s celebrating his or her birthday and presenting some uni-notable photos of that athlete. Here’s today’s installment.]

Today’s birthday honoree was, according to Wikipedia, “known for his capable handling of pitching staffs and for his on-field leadership abilities.” He was a member of five National League pennant-winning teams and was the catcher for five pitchers who were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. More importantly, look how sweet he looked in a 1934 Giants uniform (complete with a black armband for former Giants skipper John McGraw) — happy birthday, Gus Mancuso!

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

Uni Watch (or at least its founder) stands by many principles: Purple uniforms are bad, stirrups are good, most new jerseys are created for merchandising, meat is delicious, and advertising on uniforms is wrong, and so on.

Maybe you agree with all of those tenets — but maybe you don’t. Is there anything uni-related that you enjoy or that you’ve done, but that you aren’t proud of? Or maybe there’s something uni-related that you’re fine with, but you think it would be an unpopular sentiment on this site?

For me, I bought an “El Heat” Noche Latina LeBron shirt-jersey this summer, and I wore long pants when I played baseball in high school.

Leave your Uni Watch confessions in the comments.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: New alternate logo and cap for the Rome Braves. … After changing Major League affiliates, the Daytona Cubs will become the Tortugas. … The South Bend Cubs have a cool new Studebaker-inspired logo. … The White Sox are selling dirt from Paul Konerko’s last game for $20 a jar. … The University of North Carolina will have new black gloves with blue lacing next year. Always liked the black-baby blue color scheme. … Here’s a look at Reds jerseys with the 2015 All-Star Game patch on them (from Anthony Burch). … Phil Vermette bought a cool hat of the Quebec Carnavals, the Expos’ Double-A team from 1971-1975. “It has Bonhomme Carnaval on it,” he says. “He has been the mascot of the Carnaval in Quebec City since 1955.” … Mets P Matt Harvey has a personalized Batman logo, based on that Sports Illustrated cover line from last year (from Patrick Sesty). … New Mariners OF/DH Nelson Cruz will keep his No. 23; manager Lloyd McClendon says he gave up the number for a few cigars. Love this quote from McClendon, on whether he’s picked a new number: “I don’t give a (flip) I’ll figure out something” (thanks, Tim Dunn).

NFL News: Cowboys RB Demarco Murray had some logo and stripe issues during last night’s game against the Bears — although that was probably the least of his worries (screen shots by Bryson Bunger and Chris Perrenot). … Two guys on the Bears sideline last night had yellow hats with the NFL logo. Anyone know the significance of that? (From Andrew Horne.) Here’s a compilation of some very sad ’Skins jerseys (from Cary O’Reilly). … Speaking of the ’Skins, Hall of Famer Art Monk would remove the NFL shield from his jersey collar. It was because he felt he represented the team, not the league. “It’s on Facebook, so take it with a grain of salt, but I did a little image search and it seems somewhat accurate,” says John Mahaffey. … Fitting that a new line of pierogies come in Steelers’ black and gold (from Dane Drutis).

College Football News: For last Friday’s Missouri/Arkansas game, Mizzou was projected to wear a black helmet with a chrome facemask and decals. But, the Tigers instead wore black decals with a black facemask. “I am pretty sure the videos for the uniform announcements were made before the season,” says Bob Nolte. … North Dakota State will wear green jerseys this weekend, for the first time since 2011. … Nebraska’s new coach, Mike Riley, showed up in Lincoln carrying a Nike bag. Someone better tell him Nebraska’s an Adidas school.

Hockey News: The Kings will unveil their Stadium Series uniforms on Dec. 16. … The Hamilton Bulldogs will wear jerseys with military insignia on Friday to honor a slain soldier. … “My favorite uni angle is when a number actually means something to a player,” says Mike Engle. “Cool story here about No. 53, Bo Horvat, who took his number for the London Knights of the OHL and has kept it ever since.” … Here’s a look at University of Ohio goalie Ryan Heltion’s mask (from Jon Dies).

NBA News: Yesterday I went to see my grandma out in the Chicago suburbs. She’s a big Bulls fan, so one of her friends made her a cool Bulls teddy bear! She also has a very similar Cubs one that I forgot to snap a photo of. … Here are the best 404 error pages on NBA team websites (from Jeff Ash). … The Hawks’ updated Pac-Man logo this year has resulted in increased merchandise sales (from Britton Thomas). … Sneakerheads obsess over the entire aesthetic experience with basketball shoes. … Cavs F Mike Miller continues to roll up his waistband.

College Hoops News: Utah wore gray unis with a script “Utah” and side striping Wednesday night. … UNC coach Roy Williams changed from a green tie to a blue tie at halftime of Wednesday’s game. The green ties were to promote recycling. Key quote, from Williams: “I don’t like to get involved in all these things, uniforms and shoes,” he said. “But it’s the world we live in. College athletics, every day you’ve got to do something to make 13 cents. And I despise it from the bottom of my soul.”

Grab Bag: Real Madrid’s three new kit tops for 2015-16 have been leaked. … NASCAR’s Kyle Busch will have a new paint scheme next year (from John Ekdahl). … Here’s a look at the UFC-Reebok uniform deal.

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: I was all stoked to go out last night, because the awesome 1970s art-punk band X__X was playing at the Cake Shop. So I hopped in my car and headed toward Manhattan.

Dumb move on my part. As you may have heard, protestors have been out in force here in NYC (among other places) since the Eric Garner decision came down, and last night they shut down the Manhattan Bridge (among other places) right around the time I was looking to cross it. So I was stuck in dead-standstill traffic for the better part of an hour, until I finally managed to turn around and go home, by which time it was too late for me to catch a subway because I wouldn’t have made it in time for X__X’s set.

I knew the protests were happening. But living in my work-at-home bubble, it hadn’t occurred to me that the unrest could, you know, affect me. Which was really stupid and naïve of me. I should’ve been street-smart enough to have taken the train.

It’s been more than 20 years since I last participated in a protest or rally. Part of it is that I find the groupthink sloganeering to be tedious and sometimes embarrassing, but the bigger part, frankly, is that I’m lazy. I try to rationalize it by telling myself I make a difference on issues I care about via my work, by donating money, by voting, and so on, but deep down I know that’s bullshit. Lazy is lazy. So maybe it served me right to get caught up in the protests last night. Maybe it was my laziness catching up with me.

Was it frustrating to be stuck in traffic and to miss the show? Definitely (although at least I had a very good radio show to keep me company). But that’s part of the point of protests, rallies, strikes, sit-ins, and civil disobedience — to spread the frustration around, to remind everyone that we’re all in this together. Yeah, I was inconvenienced, but my convenience is not as important as a person dying, or the dysfunctional state of police/community relations in much of my city, or a criminal justice system that seems similarly dysfunctional (or at least questionable).

So, all things considered, it was an interesting and instructive night. Just not in the way I had expected.

Auction Action

Our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running another catalog auction, which means it’s time for me to showcase some of the most interesting items they’re selling. Here we go:

• I love the elegant simplicity of this cap that Babe Ruth wore during a 1934 tour of Japan.

• Little-known uni-related fact about Mike Schmidt: When the Phillies wore zippered jerseys, he had a little button and loop added to his front shirttails, to keep them from spreading apart.

• Schmidt also had button added to his jersey for the Phils’ infamous one-day mono-burgundy uni. That listing page also includes this game photo, which I hadn’t seen before.

• Speaking of the Phils, look at the amazing chain-stitched numerals on this Steve Carlton jersey. Here’s the full listing.

• Interesting pair of San Francisco Giants McNOBs here: Willie McCovey had a base-aligned lowercase “c,” while Willie McGee’s “c” was raised.

• Love this two-tone Cardinals dugout jacket, although it would be even better if the right sleeve were navy.

• This Reds cold-weather jacket looks like a gown! Interesting to see the “Reds” inside the underline — I don’t recall seeing the Reds use that format before.

• Speaking of cold-weather attire, check out this Braves garment.

• Notice anything odd about this Bill Veeck leisure suit-style promo jersey? The numbers are the wrong font! Should look like this.

• In April of 1964, when I was about three weeks old, Arnold Palmer wore this cardigan in the Masters. What a beaut! I would totally wear that.

• I’m a little confused by this Edmonton Oilers “practice bib” — never seen anything like that before. Did these used to be common?

• Not sports-related, but I love this Baby Ruth candy bar vendor’s jacket. Looks kinda like a jockey’s silks, no?

• Here’s a maker’s mark I bet most of you have forgotten: the old Wilson/Staff logo, which the 49ers wore in 1995. Here’s the full listing for that jersey.

• So much to like in this 1963 Phillips 66ers warm-up jacket and, even better, this 1967 66ers warm-up top. Tasty!

• Naturally, I love the colors on this early-1960s Bob Cousy warm-up fleece. But the interesting thing is the buttons — they seem really big, no?

• Hmmm, seems like there were major kerning issues with this mid-1950s Philadelphia Warriors jersey. That “A” is practically falling off of the jersey!

• Two rarities in one: The NOB on this late-1980s Sacramento Kings jersey is nameplated and beneath the number — both very unusual for the NBA.

• • • • •

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, chock full of interesting uni- and logo-related items for your shopping consideration, is now available. Enjoy.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Patchwork: The shirt you see above belongs to reader Mike Engle. He bought himself a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch, then ordered the shirt from Amazon (“less than $18, including shipping,” he says), and had his local dry cleaner sew the patch onto the left sleeve. “I think it looks fantastic,” says Mike. “And I happen to own maroon and gold turtlenecks, so it will look even better layered!”

If you want your own Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch, you’re out of luck for now — they’re sold out. But I’m willing to order more if there’s enough demand. If you want to add your name the waiting list, let me know. Thanks.

Meanwhile, for those of you who’ve already purchased a patch, what have you done with it? Send me photos and I’ll feature them here on the site, like I did today with Mike’s shirt.

• • • • •

NFL Superhero Project
By Thomas Correia

There are now only three Thursday games left on the NFL schedule, including tonight’s matchup between the Cowboys and Bears. For that game, we have an entire secret agency that’s ready to take down any threats facing a hero made completely of rock (click to enlarge):

NFLHeroWeek14

The Cowboys’ star is such a simple and classic logo, which actually makes it harder to “hero-ize.” I had hoped to find a hero to complement the star’s two-color simplicity, but instead I went with a whole organization that also uses a simple two-color treatment: Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. They can arguably be called “America’s Team,” just like the Cowboys, so this seemed like a perfect combination.

After drawing a blank on Chicago’s “C” logo, switched gears and focused on their orange bear head logo. I figured no one is bigger, fiercer, and orangier than the Thing, from Marvel’s Fantastic Four. The jaggedness of the bear head logo worked well with the jagged rocks on this hero. The one big tie-in is that the eyes are taken from the bear logo.

Next week: Cardinals vs. Rams. Which heroes will represent those teams? Post your best guesses in today’s comments.

• • • • •

Today’s Uni Watch Birthday
By Douglas Ford

[Each day this month, Douglas Ford is selecting an athlete who’s celebrating his or her birthday and presenting some uni-notable photos of that athlete. Here’s today’s installment.]

Today’s birthday boy had the distinction of having led his team to the biggest comeback victory ever in both the collegiate and professional ranks, with the Terps and Bills, respectively. But here’s how he looked in beautiful tube socks in high school and later leading the Jets in those 1990s sack exchange uniforms — happy birthday, Frank Reich!

• • • • •

PermaRec update: Check this out — a student who literally had a black mark on her record (shown at right, upper-right-quadrant). I don’t mind saying this is a pretty good one, folks — get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Here’s a good look at the Mets’ new alternate road cap. … Loooove the texture in this old photo of Hall of Famer Zack Wheat and his son (from Pete Woychick). … Astronaut Terry Virts is an Orioles fan, and Monday was his birthday, so he wore a Matt Wieters jersey in space (thanks, Brinke). … As noted yesterday, the Oklahoma City RedHawks have been renamed and are now the Dodgers. Here’s their new uniform and logo style guide, including an “OKLA” logo that’s a clever idea, but the execution feels too clunky (from Brett Clark). … Oh man, this is too awesome: a catcher with a bullseye on his chest protector (big thanks to Rob Neyer). … The Sacramento River Cats will wear California State flag-themed jerseys next September (from @balddude). … Former Yanks catcher Jorge Posada wore No. 20, but he had No. 39 on his catcher’s helmet during the 1998 postseason as a shout-out to teammate Darryl Strawberry, who’d been diagnosed with colon cancer (from Andrew S.).

NFL News: Is it standard for NFL sideline ballboys to wear their first names on their chests? (Screen shot by Andy Bartsch.) … Here are some shots of Bears players cutting their socks to create the leg warmers. Hate it when they wear the stripes down low like that (from Ryan Becerra). …Very mature move by Rob Gronkowski, who used tape to put a “69” on his practice jersey yesterday (from Ray Roig). … The Chargers will wear their powder blue alternates on Sunday. … Did Bills S Aaron Williams have a blue visor on Sunday? (From Chase Beard.)

College Football News: Arizona will wear red helmets for tomorrow’s Pac 12 championship game against Oregon. No word yet on the rest of the uni (from Dane Drutis). … Ohio State has added a “53” memorial decal for Kosta Karageorge.

Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: This year’s NHL All-Star Game uniforms may have leaked. Those are real stinkers, so let’s hope they’re just someone’s concepts. … The Canadiens have added a “4” memorial decal for Jean Béliveau.

NBA News: The Kings will wear Rochester Royals throwbacks tomorrow night. … Cavs G Kyrie Irving now has his own signature shoe. … Speaking of the Cavs, the waistband-rolling trend has hit the NBA, thanks to Cavs F Mike Miller.

College Hoops News: Crazy shorts design for Gardner-Webb. Yes, I know that’s one of Under Armour’s basic templates, but it still looks crazy. … UNC wore purple shoelaces last night in honor of coach Roy Williams’s friend Ted Seagraves, who died this week of pancreatic cancer. … In that same game, fans were given green T-shirts as part of a recycling promotion (from James Gilbert). … Two color-on-color games last night: Notre Dame vs. Michigan State and, in a real visual stinker, Penn State vs. Virginia Tech. … A USF player went NNOB two nights ago. Not sure if that was a blood jersey or what (from Griffin Smith). … Remember St. John’s center Chris Obekpa and his tucked-in shorts? Under Armour has apparently made a shorter set of shorts for him (big thanks to James Ballow). … Two things about Northwestern F Vic Law: (1) He’s yet another Under Armour player who’s rolling up his waistband. (2) No photo, but he’s apparently gone to a JrOB (from Cameron Songer). … And still more Under Armour players doing the waistband roll: Auburn’s Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Jack Purchase. … Fans attending last night’s UCF women’s team’s game against Georgia Southern received a voucher for — get this — an ugly sweater T-shirt. Can ugly sweater headbands and leggings be far behind? (From Brian Crago.)

Soccer News: No photo, but this article says that soccer players Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Kei Kamara, Patrick Vieira, Fabrice Muamba, and Andros Townsend have saluted healthcare workers by wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys.

Grab Bag: Jersey snafu at the Canada Cup of Curling this week: “Here Marc Kennedy, a member of Team Koe, wearing the shirt of teammate Brett Laing,” says Matt Farrell. “They had two Laings on the ice.” … New Mexico State and Oklahoma State have settled a mascot dispute. … Tiger Woods has a new sponsorship deal with Hero MotoCorp but will not wear the company’s logo on his golf bag or shirt. … Man, old roller derby jerseys were the best (from Michael P. Mahon). … The online pornography site YouPorn — aka The Site Where You Spend All Your Time When You’re Not Here at Uni Watch — has been trying to sponsor a video game team (yes, there are professional video game teams) but has been getting pushback because, well, you know. But they’ve struck a compromise with a team that’s willing to call itself Team YP.