It's Another Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise 550

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday afternoon, at their 2016 FanFest, the Houston Astros unveiled a new batting practice jersey and cap, which will be worn for Sunday home games (or at least that’s the plan). It’s navy blue, with “ASTROS” in orange arched lettering across the chest, with a side stripe containing the “tequila sunrise” pattern made famous by the team in the 1970s. The new cap is orange with a blue bill.

If your first reaction is, “hey, that looks a little like their batting practice jersey,” you wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, it looks a LOT like their current BP jersey:

Astros BP Jersey vs Sunday Alt

(Continue reading)

The Race to the Bottom Has a New Winner

If someone wants to dress like a fucking clown — I mean, really, really wants to dress like a total fucking clown — then by God they should go ahead and do it. That’s what America’s all about, the freedom to make an utter fool of yourself and surrender whatever slim sense of dignity you might once have had.

The Michigan State basketball team apparently really wants to dress like fucking clowns. They’ll be wearing the ensemble you see above for today’s game against Maryland. Maryland, of course, is a school that knows a thing or two about dressing like fucking clowns, so everyone involved should be able to have fun comparing notes about what it’s like to dress like fucking clowns. It’s nice to have things in common with one’s opponent, just to humanize them, no?

Here’s the full uniform as shown on a mannequin (presumably because they couldn’t find a live human willing to wear it):

When this design began ciruclating a few days ago, my initial reaction was, “Until I know for sure that they’re wearing it on the court, I’m assuming it’s just retail slop.” The implicit subtext of that reaction was, “Nobody wants to look like a fucking clown that much.”

But hey, I was wrong.

(Oh, by the way: Paul here, pinch-hitting today for Phil. He’ll be back tomorrow.)

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my Friday Flashback on ESPN was about the Hartford Whalers’ awesome logo and uniforms, including an exclusive interview with the logo’s designer, Peter Good — a Hartford native who’d never done a sports-related design before tackling the Whalers assignment and has never done one since. Check it out here.

The piece inspired some fun responses on Twitter, especially from people who’ve adapted the Whalers’ logo for their own teams. Here are a couple of examples:

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Design context reminder: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. Full details here.

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it last week, all of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s 2015 designs are available from now through the middle of next week at our Second Chance Shop. Further details here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Astros will unveil a new jersey today. has some details on what it will supposedly look like, and I can confirm that their description is basically accurate. … The Yankees are running out of uniform numbers (thanks, Phil). … Judging by this promo video, it looks like the Padres will be wearing 1998 throwbacks on Aug. 6 (from @RJsFro). … The latest team in the Prospect League — that’s a summer collegiate league — is the DuPage Drones (from Kevin Eckhoff).

Pro and College Football News: NFL team logos reimagined as pro wrestlers? Sure, why not (from Josh Claywell). … The Falcons will no longer accept funds from the military for jingoistic rah-rah displays. It’s not yet clear if they’ll continue to run their own jingoistic rah-rah displays without the benefit of military underwriting (from Douglas Ford). … Fans attending the NFC championship game will receive a rally bandana (from Alex Sinclair). … Reprinted from last night’s comments In advance of tomorrow’s AFC championship game in Denver, workers at Denver International Airport added a “1” to runway 8. “I’m surprised the FAA allows that,” says commenter Michael. Me too. … Ravens QB Joe Flacco says he’s happy he didn’t have to wear the team’s gold pants a few weeks back (from Andrew Cosentino). … New uniforms for Wyoming (thanks, Phil). … Why the hell would a Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl display feature a Bills uniform that hasn’t been worn since 2010?

Hockey News: New jerseys for Louisiana Tech (from @ManieltheDaniel). … The Hamilton Bulldogs are running a jersey design contest (from Kristopher Young). … You may have heard that Oilers C Matt Hendricks took a shot to the nuts on Thursday night. Here’s what was left of his cup (from Laurence Holland). … Oh man, check out Indiana’s striped alts. Not nuts about the black pants, though — red would be better, and red/white striped would be best! … The Lake Erie Monsters will be wearing Cleveland Barons jerseys on Feb. 20 and Lego jerseys on Feb. 27 (thanks, Phil). … Nice touch on the Blues’ inner collars.

Soccer News: New logo for Bay Area Pro Soccer, which is the new NASL team (from Gilbert Lee). … Here’s a review of FC Barcelona’s three new jerseys (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Western Carolina has inked a new deal with Adidas. … New white lacrosse helmets for Towson (from Brad Collins). .. The crews of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet’s best submarines have been given new ribbons for their uniforms. … Kenneth Cole has donated the uniforms for the volunteers at the Sundance Film Festival. … The upstate New York town whose residents recently held a non-biding vote to keep their town logo, which appears to show a white man strangling a Native American, will get a new logo after all.

A Raiders History Mystery

Yesterday’s Ticker included a link to slideshow showing the Raiders playing in various home stadiums other than the Oakland Coliseum. We’re going to follow up on that today, because eagle-eyed reader Tim Dunn spotted something interesting lurking within one of those photos. As it turns out, the photo he singled out may contain something potentially historic — but it’s not the part of the photo that got his attention.

The photo in question can be seen above. Let’s take a closer look at the section of the image that Tim found so interesting (click to enlarge):

As you can see, two Raiders players — wide receiver Charlie Hardy (No. 82) and defensive back John Harris (No. 29) — had FNOBs. Good spot by Tim!

Having two FNOBs in the same photo seems pretty unusual, right? But not so fast: It’s actually the other Raider with his back to the camera — defensive lineman Bob Voight (No. 78) — who’s of historic interesting in this shot.

Here’s the deal: As shown on the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database (and confirmed in some discussions I had yesterday with the GUD honchos), when the Raiders came into existence in 1960, they initially went NNOB for the first five weeks of the season and then went FNOB — first and last names — for Week 6. They stuck with the FNOB format for the rest of 1960 and throughout 1961 (except for the ’61 preseason, when many players went NNOB and didn’t get their nameplates until they made the final roster cut). They didn’t go with what we now think of as a standard surname-only NOB until 1962.

So while the sight of two FNOBs in the same photo might seem unusual, it’s actually Bob Voight — the guy with the conventional NOB — who’s actually the outlier in that photo. “It’s the first instance I have seen of a Raiders player with only his last name on his back for either 1960 or 1961,” says GUD researcher Tim Brulia.

So was this a one-time, one-player anomaly, or were there several Raiders with conventional NOBs in 1961? “When encountering anomalies such as this, we have used the ‘Rule of Three,'” says GUD researcher Bill Schaefer. “Basically, if three or more occurrences of something are found in a single game, then there is something to it.” Otherwise, it’s just a fluke. For now, Bob Voight’s NOB is in the latter category — but hey, there are always more old photos out there to learn from.

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Friday Flashback: My Friday Flashback on ESPN today is about the Hartford Whalers’ awesome logo and uniforms. Aside from the basic “That’s such a cool logo!” gushing, the piece also features an exclusive interview with the logo’s designer, Peter Good — a Hartford native who’d never done a sports-related design before tackling the Whalers assignment and has never done one since — that you won’t want to miss. Check it out here.

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Orphaned jersey now has a good home: On Tuesday I gave some space to reader Dave Truman, a heartbroken Rams fan who wanted to give away his Jackie Slater jersey. Here’s an update from Dave:

We have a winner! I received about 30 requests for the jersey and probably could have chosen randomly from most of those and been confident that the jersey would go to someone who would appreciate it, but three writers elevated themselves above the rest: Bruce Mao, Tim Baker, and — the winner — Richard Betancourt of Selma, California, who made an impassioned and moving plea for the jersey on behalf of his father, Jay. Here’s an excerpt from his letter:

“I’ve literally been looking for that exact jersey for years. Jackie Slater is far and away my dad’s favorite Ram of all time. This jersey would be for him. He and I are very close, and as soon as I was old enough to understand what football was, I asked him which team was his favorite and so I became a Rams fan. He never spent on things like jerseys for himself, but once the team left and changed uniforms, he regretted not ever getting one. I just know he’d absolutely love to be able to wear this jersey to see our Rams play back ‘home’ in L.A. I’ve found old Rams items on eBay that I’ve gotten him, but the Jackie Slater authentic jersey is my white whale.”

Great stuff. Congrats to Richard and his father, and kudos to Dave for doing this very good deed. Nice story all around, and a good way to make lemonade out of a tough situation.

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Sneakers for sale: I have a brand-new pair of New Balance Evan Longoria 530 sneakers, size 9. Lots of additional photos here, and there’s a video review (which is mostly ridiculous but provides good views of the footwear) here. They retail for well over $100, but I’ll let a Uni Watch reader have them for $50 plus shipping. If you’re interested, give me a shout. Thanks. The sneakers have now been claimed. Thanks.

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PermaRec update: Our latest intriguing letter from the Hoge Brush Company files comes from a company based in Cuba! Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

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Reminder No. 1: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. Full details here.

Reminder No. 2: In case you missed it last week, all of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s 2015 designs are available from now through the middle of next week at our Second Chance Shop. Further details here.

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Gromm•It update: Behold the grommetini! Additional photos available over on Gromm•It.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: New 70th-anniversary logo for the Visalia Rawhide, a Single-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks. … Neosho County Community College sure has a whole lot of uniform combinations (from Tanner Liby). … Lots of uni combos also in the works for Louisville (from Joseph Matlock). … Tequila sunrise jerseys for USF.

NFL News:This Gillette ad drives me crazy,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Why is John Urschel’s jersey untucked? Also, the pants are missing the Ravens logo on the sides.” … The Council of Fashion Designers of America is celebrating Supe50 by creating 50 “bespoke footballs” (from Tommy Turner). … Rare sight: The Saints in their gold alternate jerseys, worn for one game in 2002. Additional pics here.

College and High School Football News: Here’s something you don’t often see: white vs. white. That’s a pair of junior high teams from Michigan (from Rod Dunn).

Hockey News: Very meta: Don Cherry wearing the Toledo Walleye’s Don Cherry tribute jersey. … Phil’s alma mater, Hamilton College, is going pink in the rink. … Here are the throwback pads that Canucks G Ryan Miller will be wearing on Feb. 13 (from Daniel Donnell). … Here’s another look at what is probably that new Maple Leafs logo, this time as worn on Leafs coach Mike Babcock’s hat (from Mike Guterman). … Then again, maybe that isn’t the logo after all (from Ian R.). … So now that John Scott’s going to be allowed to play in the All-Star Game, which uni will he wear? (From Jeff Bryniarski.)

NBA News: Here are the socks for the NBA All-Star Game. A press release says the multi-colored stripes at the top “pays homage to the same stripe on the uniform.” This initially seemed confusing, because that stripe pattern doesn’t appear on the uni photos that were issued earlier, but Conrad Burry spotted the stripes on the inner collar. … Here’s another article suggesting that the era of baggy shorts may be over (from David Goodfriend and Tommy Turner). … The Suns are hosting a ’90s Night so they have a throwback website (thanks, Mike). … Hundreds of game-worn NBA and NHL jerseys have been stolen from the offices of MeiGray, one of the major memorabilia houses. I met MeiGray prexy Barry Meisel and visited his offices in 2009, when he had the concession for all the pieces of Shea Stadium, and we’ve occasionally communicated since then. Nice guy — sorry to hear he got burgled.

College and High School Hoops News: Over the past two days everyone’s been getting worked into a lather over this neon Michigan State jersey, but I haven’t yet seen any indication that it’s going to be worn on the court. Just an ugly retail item, at least for now. … Neon green is now the color of honoring cancer survivors, at least at Purdue (from Josh Claywell). … Nevada and UNLV will be going color vs. color for two upcoming games (from Lmoneyfresh). … Eastern York High in Pennsylvania has Indiana-style striped warm-up pants, but in a different color scheme. … “While looking through a San Diego Salvation Army store I came across these vintage USS Midway basketball trunks,” says Mark Swisshelm. “They were in such good condition that it made me think that perhaps the complete uniform had been donated but had been separated by store employees. I searched the rest of the racks to no avail. Anyway, I like the Midway patch on the leg.”

Soccer News: What if soccer jerseys included skylines? (From @EsWookieGrande.) … Here’s an “informed guess” on what FC Barcelona’s new jerseys might look like. … New away kit for Boca Juniors.

Grab Bag: U.S. Olympic sprinter Nick Symmonds has filed a lawsuit against USA Track and Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee, contending that his company’s logo should be able to appear on his uniform. … New logo for Max Life Insurance. … The UC Irvine men’s volleyball team has added a memorial band for Tim Vorenkamp, a high school player who had committed to play for Irvine but died from cancer before he got the chance. The team’s jerseys don’t have sleeves, so the players are wering the black band on their biceps. Further info here (from Jeremy Brahm). … This is pretty awesome: a thousand years’ worth of English soldiers’ uniforms, from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to deployments in Helmland Province in 2014. Same story with fewer photos but more detailed text here (big thanks to R. Scott Rogers). … Adidas is becoming increasingly popular in China. Why? Because people like to wear it to weddings (from Tommy Turner).

Talking Uniforms with Puppy Bowl Ref Dan Schachner

Photo by Mary Bakija

Back in October I was once again lucky enough to attend the taping of the Puppy Bowl (the latest edition of which will air, as usual, on Super Bowl Sunday), and I managed to get a few minutes with Dan Schachner, the Puppy Bowl referee. As you’d expect, we mostly talked about uniforms. Here’s how it went: (Continue reading)