Tuesday Morning Uni Watch

Lots of people were wondering if Oregon would pull some sort of uni-related surprise in last night’s national championship game against Ohio State. Would the Ducks retreat to the dressing room after pregame warm-ups and come out in a completely new design? Would they change uniforms at halftime?

Turns out Oregon’s uniforms did have a new wrinkle last night, but it was the lamest, most mundane one imaginable: They wore G.I. Joe tights. Boy, that’s innovative, eh? Looks like someone’s bag of tricks has run dry.

Some other uni-related notes on last night’s game:

• Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott played the first half with his usual crop-top jersey style. But in the second half his jersey was full-length. Pretty sure it was the same jersey — it was tucked up under his pads and then came loose.

• The CFP logo was white on Oregon’s helmet but black on Ohio State’s. That represented a change for Oregon, who had worn the black version in the Rose Bowl. But the helmet decals matched the “2015” jersey patches: white with a black football for OSU, vice versa for Oregon.

• Speaking of the “2015” patch, the zebras wore it too.

• Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas had several “6” decals on his helmet, in addition to the familiar buckeye decals. I’m told that this refers to “Zone 6,” which is the OSU receiving corps’ term for the end zone. (For further details, scroll down to the fifth item on this list.)

• We had a lot of back-and-forth chatter last week regarding the end zones. Would they be black, or would an extra layer of team-color paint be applied? Turns out they were black. For further info on the thinking behind this, check out this excellent article by longtime Uni Watch comrade Cork Gaines.

• The “2015” logo (the same one that was worn as a jersey patch) was even printed on some of the confetti — all of which made it that much more surprising to see the that the championship T-shirt had “2014 National Champions” on the chest.

• The postgame celebration included a shot of LeBron James wearing a Cavs cap and an OSU jersey. Here’s a view from the front.

• Looks like the championship trophy is particularly susceptible to fingerprints.

• Good to know the Eugene Police Dept. had its priorities straight yesterday.

(My thanks to Chris Flinn, Adam Stockinger, and Jordon Welle for their contributions.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This is one of the coolest things ever from back in the day — the Mattel Instant Replay. It looked like a handheld transistor radio, but you’d pop in special discs with play-by-play on ’em. Just like being there! This one includes 14 discs with players like Bart Starr, Lew Alcindor, and Willie Mays.

That’s a tough one to top, but here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• This seat cushion says “Super Bowl” on it, and the listing says it’s from the first game in January of 1967. But the term “Super Bowl” name wasn’t officially in use until SB III, so your guess is as good as mine as to the authenticity.

• Speaking of seat cushions, here’s one from the original Ice Bowl on New Year’s Eve of 1967, where the Packers hosted the Cowboys in arctic conditions. The Pack would go on to defend their Super Bowl I title against the Ray-Duhz.

• Here’s a set of 1970’s NHL thermal cups, with art by the incomparable Nick Volpe.

• Here’s a late-1960s KC Chiefs ceramic stein. Note the different-than-usual facemask treatment.

• A few vintage NFL posters here. All 26 then-current NFL teams are represented in this 1970 promo poster from Chase and Sanborn. Gotta be Otis Taylor in this KC Chiefs one, and here’s a Packers poster from 1968.

• Nice graphics on this (empty) can of Dolphin Beer, “Florida’s Premium Beer.”

• Take a look at Gale Sayers’s helmet on the cover of this 1967 Dell Sports NFL preview. Looks pretty low-tech compared to today, doesn’t it?

• Stay dry with this St. Louis football Cardinals rain poncho.

• Look at this 1960s L.A. Rams bobblehead in mint condition! He’s priced like it, too.

• Nice cover art on this “This Is NFL Football/49ers Edition” from 1967. Thirty-one pages, including game terminology and schedule. Don’t you wish they still put out stuff like this?

• The Central Bank is where the ABA’s Denver Rockets bank!

• Technigraph helmet plaque alert! This seller has the Pats, Jets, Chiefs, and Saints available for sale.

• And we wrap up with one from reader Mark Stephen Delrossi: a great assortment of vintage Philadelphia sports pins.

• • • • •

Patch update: It took a while, but the Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch is finally back in stock. You can order yours here.

While we’re at it, I still have a small supply of 15th-anniversary stickers available. Full details on how to order those are here.

Finally, thanks to the more than 200 of you who purchased the first offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt club. The February design will be available next week (after that we’ll settle into a regular monthly rhythm), and I hope to be able to show it to you later this week.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: The Brewers are letting fans vote for their favorite T-shirt designs to be given away on home Fridays during the 2015 season (from Patrick O’Neill). [As an aside, that’s an apostrophe catastrophe in the splash photo. Grrrrr. — PL]

College Football News: Good story about how Oregon’s “Puddles” mascot won out over a rough and tough superhero alternative mascot (from Gordon Blau). … Here’s more about those prototype Arizona State uniforms from Adidas that are circulating (thanks, Phil). … “I am late on this but Jalston Fowler, No. 45 for Alabama, was wearing an older Nike jersey template at the SEC championship game, instead of the Nike Mach speed template alabama has been wearing all season,” says Caleb King.

Soccer News: The Baltimore Blast and Syracuse Silver Knights of Major Arena Soccer League found themselves in a red-vs.-orange game on Saturday. Baltimore changed to white at the half (thanks, Phil). … Following threats of a fan boycott, Cardiff City wore blue kits at home for the first time since the owner changed the team color to red in 2012 (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Players on the Swedish club Halmstad the players don’t like the team’s new away shirt.

NBA News: The Spurs went for the ol’ champion’s visit to the White House and presented president Obama with an outdated jersey without the NBA logo on the back (thanks, Phil). … The Suns are making four-fingered foam hands in honor of Gerald Green (thanks, Paul).

College Hoops News: Louisville will honor the 1980 Championship Team at halftime Of Duke game in addition to wearing throwback unis (thanks, Phil). … “While attending the UAB basketball game vs FIU, I noticed that every UAB player wore two different colored shoes, one primarily white and one primarily green,” says Nick Salyers. “It is a conscious choice by UAB head coach Jerod Haase, in order to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer, in conjunction with Children’s Hospital of Alabama, after the team informally adopted cancer survivor Elijah Seritt.”

Grab Bag: Do you consider yourself a cheesehead? If so (or even if you don’t), then prove it by taking this Packers uniform quiz (thanks, Phil). … Penn State hockey will be unveiling a new alternate sweater on Saturday, when they’re slated to play Michigan State (thanks, Phil). … An artist has reimagined fashionable brands as they would exist in a grocery store (from Gordon Blau). … “Saw all of these striped stirrups at a Goodwill in Santa Rosa,” says Daniel Klempner. “An entire team’s worth!” … The MECCA floor in Milwaukee is being put up for sale (from Jeff Ash). … Trek Factory Racing unveiled its new cycling kit last week (from Sean Clancy). … “The Elite Mixed Climbing competition at the Ouray Ice Festival, one of the premier ice and mixed climbing competitions in the world, was this weekend in Colorado,” says Jake Snyder. “As I was reading about the results, I started noticing an interesting trend: Many of the competitors wear white FootJoy golf gloves on both hands!”

If You Can't Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve, Wear It on Your Pad

[Editor’s Note: Charles Noerenberg recently submitted a Ticker entry that was so interesting and so well-developed that I’ve decided to turn it into a guest entry. Enjoy. — PL]

By Charles Noerenberg

I recently came across the photo you see above, which shows Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals sitting in the locker room, with his throwback third jersey hanging behind him. The interesting thing is that his elbow pads have the throwback jersey’s sleeve pattern sewn onto them, stars and all.

As you probably recall, the NHL’s new rules regarding players tucking in their jerseys were more or less aimed at Ovie. I didn’t realize that the changes also included restrictions on rolling up sleeves, which is something Ovie has always done. Here are old two shots of his rolled-up sleeves, which expose his pads [click to enlarge]:

This season, however, the equipment staff has begun sewing the “extra” sleeves onto his elbow pads. So when he hikes up his jersey sleeves, it exposes the faux sleeve on the pad. You can tell when he’s doing this because the jersey sleeve has contrasting trim at the cuff. They’ve done this for all three of the team’s jerseys [click to enlarge]:

It’s amazing for me to think that Ovechkin has three different sets of elbow pads in rotation, and that the equipment staff has to remember which ones to include on road trips. I also wonder if he’s ever worn the wrong pads. One thing’s for sure; I’ll never look at a photo of Ovie the same again!

I know a few other players like Marian Hossa also roll up their sleeves, but I’ll have to do some further digging to see if they’ve gotten similar elbow pad modifications. [In Hossa’s case, it doesn’t look like it. — PL]

• • • • •

LAST CALL for the January design: Today is the last day to order the limited-edition “Home” design from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. Due to production issues, the ordering deadline, which had originally been 11pm Eastern tonight, has been moved up to 4pm Eastern this afternoon. After that time, this shirt will no longer be offered. If you’ve been waiting to order, do it here, or get the full story on the T-Shirt Club here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Here’s a rarity: a spring training shot of Doc Gooden wearing No. 9! Note the mesh-back caps, too (great find by Dwayne White). … Not new, but here’s a very informative post about the Roman Pro Cap Company (from Mark Gonillo).

NFL News: Cowboys QB Tony Romo wore a balaclava and had some helmet stripe issues yesterday (thanks, Phil). … Nice look at the NFL 50th-anniversary logo on LeRoy Kelly’s Pro Bowl helmet (from Scott Cummings). … Two Packers DBs were wearing Cristiano Ronaldo shoes yesterday. Lots of folks noticed that — including John Henson of the Milwaukee Bucks (from JohnMark Fisher and Mike Chamernik, respectively). … Colts WR Hakeem Nicks once again wore the black tape on the outer bars of his facemask.

College Football News: Here’s how the Oregon jersey will look tonight wth the “2015” patch … Good story on Oregon’s equipment staff. … A few days ago I asked about alcohol being sold at tonight’s title game. Here’s an article on that very issue. … Here’s Ohio State DL Michael Bennett talking about why he wears No. 53 for Kosta Karageorge (from Chris Flinn). … Here’s our first look at an Adidas-branded Miami uniform, although Phil says, “My Adidas buddy just messaged me to say, ‘Those are just samples, not the final product.'” … In a related item, Miami alum Warren Sapp is apparently not a fan of the school’s new Adidas affiliation (from Jacob Morrow). … Remember how the Carolina Panthers’ mono-black uni was named the best uniform in NFL history or some such nonsense? In a similarly dubious development, Kentucky’s mono-black costume has been named “Uniform of the Year” (from Josh Claywell). … Schutt has unveiled a new “smart helmet.”

Hockey News: Very cool move by the Ducks and Jets, who tributed Teemu Selanne by wearing every NHL jersey design he ever wore — including Anaheim’s Wild Wing jersey! — during warm-ups for last night’s game. Additional info here, and there’s a closer look at each jersey here (from Eric Goodman). … Nazem Kadri of the Maple Leafs tried to be diplomatic when asked about those dreadful all-star uniforms. … The Sabres will retire Dominek Hasek’s number tomorrow.

NBA News: “I Wanted to share the Sesame Street-themed NBA jerseys we made for my nephew’s second birthday, which we celebrated at his first ever professional sporting event — Sunday’s Clippers/Heat game,” says Stuart Friedel. “There are three others that couldn’t make it — a blue/pinstriped Magic Cookie Monster, Cavs alt Snuff, and Nuggets yellow striped Bert — but I think the six of us were a good team.” Indeed!

College Hoops News: Oregon State and Arizona went color-vs.-color last night. Lots of additional photos on this page (from Eric Fisk).

Soccer News: The Italian team Lazio wore “Je Suis Charlie” kits yesterday. … Yusuke Toyoda reports that several Premier League players this weekend wore black armbands in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, including Frenchmen Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool and Bafétimbi Gomis of Swansea, who celebrated a goal with a French flag, as well as both teams in the Arsenal/Stoke City game. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger also wore an armband over his jacket. … In a related item, Puma created an ad poking fun at Wenger’s past struggles with his jacket zipper (though “he still can’t get it right,” says Yusuke).

Grab Bag: Interesting to see that Stuart Scott’s very first ESPN broadcast included two uniform mentions. Sounds like he Got It™ right from the start (from Patrick Lasseter). … Decent article on flight attendant uniforms. … All sorts of “Je Suis Charlie” merch is selling briskly. … My friend Laura Forde and I cat-sit for each other. She’s not a sports fan, but her nephew Alexander is a big Uni Watch enthusiast, so she recently bought a Uni Watch T-shirt for his birthday, and it looks great on him. … Lots of good bicycle head badge photos here (from Joanna Zwiep).

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

Paul here, pinch-hitting today for Phil. As you can see above, the Ravens were flagged for history’s longest penalty during yesterday’s game against the Pats. The thing is, New England had two 18-mile penalties on the same play, so everything offset.

In other notes from yesterday’s NFL playoff games:

• Someone on the Patriots’ sideline was wearing vintage Air Jordans and sweats.

• During pregame warm-ups, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis wore a visor with the team logo embedded in it. But he didn’t wear the visor during the game.

• Another Panthers linebacker, Luke Kuechly, had some issues with his helmet logo beginning to peel off.

• Looks like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was wearing shin pads under his socks. I’m always amazed more players don’t do this — seems like the shins are very exposed and vulnerable.

• Remember how the Cowboys used to tie their jersey collars to their shoulder pads? Panthers center Ryan Kalil was doing that yesterday, and I noticed tackle Mike Remmers doing it as well.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Andy Bentley, Joey Breeland, Tim Cross, Gunter Guzman, Mark Heggen, John Koziol, Glenn Stern, and of course Phil.)

• • • • •

In a “NY” state of mind: One of the big ironies in New York football Giants history is that Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry were both on the team’s coaching staff in the 1950s — Lombardi was the offensive coordinator, Landry the defensive coordinator. Both, of course, went on to become immortal head coaches with other teams, primarily during a period when the Giants were having very little on-field success. Old-school Giants fans still rue the fact that they both got away.

The fascinating thing about the photo of Landry and Lombardi shown above, of course, is that they’re wearing inconsistent “NY” logos on their jackets — a Yankees-ish version of Lombardi and a New York baseball Giants version for Landry.
Also, Landry has a number on his left sleeve, which means this photo is probably from 1954 or ’55, when he was a player-coach.

(Big thanks to Mark Gonillo for sharing this photo.)

• • • • •

photo 1

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The king of Queens: Meet Steve Santangelo, one of many Uni Watch readers who said hello to me at yesterday’s Queens Baseball Convention. Most of the QBC attendees were wearing Mets gear, but Steve — a Queens native who now lives in New Jersey — went the extra mile by whipping up a DIY jersey for the occasion. And wait, what’s that on his sleeve? Let’s take a look:

photo 3

Okay, so the colors clash with the rest of the jersey, but it’s still pretty cool.

Steve also brought another DIY Queens-centric jersey — dig (click first photo to enlarge):

photo 2-1

Good stuff, right? As for the rest of the QBC, it was a big success and a lot of fun. Big thanks to everyone who said hi, and doubleplusthanks to the members of the uniform panel that I moderated — Russ Gompers, Jon Springer, Nick DiSalvo, Bill Henderson, Todd Radom, and our own Phil Hecken. Biggest thanks of all to Mets Police blogger Shannon Shark for making the whole event possible. Already looking forward to next year’s installment!

• • • • •

Some thoughts about Nike and MLB: I was talking to a branding consultant about some uni-related stuff the other day, and at one point I asked him if he thought Nike had a shot at getting the MLB uniform contract at some point down the road. He said no, for two reasons:

1. First and foremost, he said, MLB isn’t a good fit for Nike — or for Under Armour, for that matter — because Nike’s brand image is all about the leveraging of performance technology, and baseball doesn’t lend itself very well to that approach. There’s too much standing around, not enough contact or one-on-one athleticism. (Of course, that doesn’t stop Nike from outfitting plenty of college baseball teams, but that’s different than making the huge investment that would be necessary to secure the MLB contract.) This is an interesting point, and something I hadn’t thought of before.

2. The consultant also said Nike is all about youth and millennials, while baseball is essentially a legacy sport whose popularity among young people is fading. I’ve heard this same assessment of baseball’s generational appeal (or lack thereof) from other people. I said to him, “Wouldn’t that make MLB more likely to go with a company like Nike, to help update the sport’s image? And wouldn’t that represent a big opportunity for Nike to reinvent baseball’s aesthetics?” He basically said (paraphrasing here), “I suppose, but I don’t think it would be worth it to Nike. It’s just not a good enough fit.”

Of course, as we’ve discussed before, many casual fans mistakenly think Nike already makes MLB’s uniforms because of all those undershirt collar logos, which actually have more exposure than the Majestic jersey-sleeve logos, but that’s a separate issue.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: Today’s the next-to-last day to order the inaugural offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. Full details here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: These very unlicensed Hall of Famer patches are endearingly goofy. “Were Gossage’s lips that big?” asks Douglas Ford. Did seaver play for the candy canes? Was Reggie’s nose that big? Did Catfish Hunter wear a box-hat? Was Phil Niekro an albino? Surprisingly, they nailed Jim Palmer’s perfect hair.” … Whoa, check out the spectacular jackets worn by the 1914 Boston Braves (thanks, Phil).

College Football News: The jerseys for tomorrow night’s title game will apparently have a CFP “2015” patch. Surprising that this wasn’t shown in the original uni unveiling photos last week. … Tim Dunn points out an interesting aspect of yesterday’s FCS championship game between North Dakota State and Illinois State: both teams were NNOB. … In the Medal of Honor Bowl, Georgia Southern LB Edwin Jackson had mismatched numbers on his helmet and jersey (from John Koziol).

Hockey News: The Flames wore G.I. Joe warm-up jerseys prior to Friday night’s game. I’ll say this much for the NHL: At least they keep this nonsense restricted to pregame and don’t allow it for actual game unis. … Bruins D Adam McQuaid suffered a torn jersey last night (from @BigBill_8). … A few days ago I mentioned that the Kalamazoo Wings did ones of those promotions where they let local kids paint anything they wanted onto the ice. Here’s how the resulting game looked last night (from @TJN3). Here’s an additional photo — the only other game shot I could find. … Harvard and Yale wore fauxback uniforms for last night’s Rivalry on Ice game at Madison Square Garden (from Robert Brashear).

Soccer News: Someone on Swansea — not sure who — was wearing a blank jersey yesterday. Blood jersey, I’m assuming (from Timothy Burke).

Grab Bag: New tiger-striped college hoops uniforms for Auburn (from Clint Richardson). … French skier Alexis Pinturault wore “Je Suis Charlie” on his helmet while competing in the men’s giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, yesterday. … Lots of additional “Je Suis Charlie” gestures and related sports-world responses to the French massacre here.

The NHL's All Star Game Uniforms are Less Than Good

NHL ASG Jerseys splash

By Phil Hecken

It’s not often I’m so underwhelmed by the introduction of a new uniform, and an All Star Game uniform at that, that words fail me. This won’t be one of those times, but the words I have for what the NHL unveiled (to exactly zero pomp and circumstance on the NHL Channel yesterday) won’t be very complimentary.

Let’s take a look at the home and away sweaters first (click to slightly enlarge):

NHL ASG Jerseys 4

NHL ASG Jerseys 5

No, I’m not kidding you. Those are what the teams are going to wear in a couple of weeks in Columbus, OH.

The words “Bold” and “Fresh” are not adjectives I’d use to describe these, but here’s what the NHL says about them:

“A bold, fresh jersey design is the perfect complement to the speed and agility of those selected to play in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Reebok believes it has accomplished just that with its state-of-the-art look and modern appeal in the uniforms for the participants at this year’s event.”

Reebok is mistaken. These are bland and stale. About the only thing that’s fresh about them is the neon green (somewhere between Nike’s “volt” and adidas’ “electricity” — Reebok calls theirs “elite green”), this color jumped the shark about three years ago (and I happen to like “volt” as a color — but like the teal of the ’90s, this is long past its expiration date).

The black and white jerseys are mirror images of each other (that’s fine), and both contain the shiny shield the NHL insisted upon foisting on teams like the Islanders, Kings, Ducks, Rangers, Blackhawks and Penguins last year.

NHL Reebok designer Dominic Fillion describes the shield thusly:

“The shield has a chrome effect and the body has a little more of a texture and variance in the finishes. We wanted to raise the volume on the colors in the shield, dial it up with some custom chrome finishes while offering a new perspective on what a hockey crest could be. We feel there’s a newness and freshness in the crest that fans have never seen before.”

Spare me.

The two stars within the shield represent the two conferences.

NHL ASG Jerseys 3

NHL ASG Jerseys 7

Underneath the arms are electric green stripes surrounding four black and gray lines. The electric green also borders the collar and cuffs, and the green/black/gray striping pattern from the underarms appears to be repeated down the sides.

Backs of the jerseys are plain (which is nice) and the numbers are outlined in electric green. The NOB font is legible and it’s tough to tell if they’re on a nameplate or if they’re direct-sewn onto a plate-like shape on the shoulders:

NHL ASG Jerseys 6

If you look closely, you’ll notice there is a significant amount of mesh. I’m guessing this is to keep the players 236% dryer, and 54.75% faster.

Both the black and white sweaters have a new All Star Game logo, and the ASG patch will be located on the shoulder/upper arm:

NHL ASG Jerseys 9

NHL ASG Jerseys 8

This is not just new for this game, but new altogether. It also is a departure from Reebok/NHL’s previous jerseys. “Typical All-Star jerseys had the team logo for a particular player on the shoulder and in its actual team color,” said Fillion.

“With this jersey we wanted to be consistent from head to toe, so we brought the team mark on the shoulder down to a more darker tone so it would complement the uniform look yet give it a modern visual,” Fillion continued. “We feel it complements the colors of the jersey well.”

Well it does complement the jersey, but it also blends in. Almost too much. It hasn’t been said, but I assume that somewhere on the jersey will be a patch or logo for the team each player is repping. I would guess that would go on the opposite shoulder (seems unlikely to be on the chest, but I suppose it could be). The ASG patch does read “All Star Game” with “Columbus * 2015″ in smaller print beneath it. The logo is a takeoff on the Blue Jackets’ crest. Other than those two identifiers, nothing about this uniform says or looks like the host city’s uniforms.

What about the pants and socks? They are just as plain (not that that’s a bad thing) as the jerseys:

NHL ASG Jerseys 2

Both sets of shorts are black, with a truncated electric green stripe, and what appears to be an even shorter gray nub. White jerseys get white socks, black get black — with one strip of electric green on each, truncated and located just below the knee.

The target audience, as with almost all new merchandise that teams actually wear, is kids. That’s not just my impression, that’s what they actually say:

“The NHL always wants to be the pioneer in connecting with the youth while showcasing that in several different ways,” Fillion said. “We wanted to make sure that this mindset translated onto the ice and into the uniform. The inspiration for us was to complement the League’s direction to where it is going as a brand and be able to create a design and uniform that would fit that direction and look.”

Except that these designs aren’t inspiring, and I doubt there will be too many youths who consider this a “must have” — I’m not saying one of the jerseys should have been electric green (although Jim Vilk would probably wear that), but they are nothing like the bright and flashy crap we’ve seen recently.

I don’t hate these uniforms, and I appreciate the ‘restraint’ shown. They just do absolutely nothing for me either. Bland and boring would have been fine if the NHL wanted to bring back the orange, black and white of the Wales & Campbell conference jerseys. Or they could have done a riff on the CBJ red/white/blue colorscheme, at least making the uniforms ‘unique’ to Columbus. We got neither here.

Color me unimpressed.

Of course, I’m not alone in my distaste for these. Check out the comment string that followed my tweet of these unis. While no one called them bland or boring, there were few words of praise for this effort.

OK readers, what say you?

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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 – Sixth in a Series
by Gary Chanko

This week the series travels to the Windy City to visit Soldier Field, yet another football stadium built in the 1920s.

Soldier Field

Soldier Field Scoreboard UW

Home of: Chicago Bears (1971–2001; 2003–present), Chicago Cardinals (1959), Chicago Blitz (1983–1984), Chicago Fire/Winds (1974-75), Notre Dame (1929), 41 College All-Star Games (remember these!)

Opened: 1924 (three construction stages, last stage completed in 1939)

Remodeled: 2002-2003

Soldier Field, a memorial to the soldiers of World War I, opened in 1924 as Municipal Grant Park Stadium (renamed one year later) with a 45,000-seat capacity. The first football game was played in November of that year when Notre Dame defeated Northwestern 13-6. Two years later the Bears defeated the Chicago Cardinals 10-0 in the first professional game on November 11, 1926.

The outline of the scoreboard is a departure from a pure rectangular shape. The rounded arch that houses the timing clock, I’m guessing, is intended to reflect the stadium’s classical architecture. This 1920s design lasted sometime into the mid 1970s before being modernized with the latest electronic displays.

In this illustration the scoreboard is reproduced as at appeared in an early 1970s NFL match between the Packers and Bears. The first quarter is almost over just as the snow begins to fall.

A Few Things to Know

• The original scoreboard, as shown in this Army-Navy game from 1926, remained remarkably unchanged for decades. Compare the basic configuration layout in the photo with the illustration.

• In 1927 the all-time collegiate football attendance record of 123,000 was established in Soldier Field, when Notre Dame beat Southern Cal.

. . .

Trivia Time: But this wasn’t the largest ever crowd hosted at Soldier Field. 260,000 faithfully (hint!) packed their way in for this event…what was the event? The answer is at the bottom.

. . .

• Not unlike other large capacity stadiums, during its 90 year history Soldier Field served as a venue for a diversity of events, including World Cup soccer, international rugby, ice hockey, concerts, classic boxing matches (Dempsey-Tunney, 1927), ski jumping, and even stock car races. No scoreboards were injured during any of these non-football events.

Next time the series continues the Midwest tour with a look at a classic scoreboard at a venue all pro football fans will recognize, New City Stadium.

. . .

Answer to trivia question: In 1954 Soldier Field supposedly hosted its largest ever crowd; 260,000 attended the Catholic church’s Marian Year Tribute. Did 260,000 people actually cram into Soldier Field or simply walk through in a procession? Don’t know the answer.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.

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UWFFL banner

Dallas Iowa 11 Jan 2014

Greetings and Salutations!
by Andrew Seagraves

The UWFFL is getting into weekend two of our UWFFL Minor League Playoff schedule with the semi-finals of the Central League and a make up tilt from the Metro South semifinals today.

The Central League had a stout slate of teams with the final week of play helping extend OKC’s season into the playoffs. Dallas, Iowa and Pontiac proved to be the class of the league and were rewarded with the top three spots in the brackets. In the stretch, it was a two-horse race between Rapid City and Oklahoma City with OKC overtaking the Badlanders with a win to secure the final spot and a chance at post-season glory.

Now on to Part Two of the Central League season and the first sockdollager will pit the Division II stalwart Dallas Outlaws against the ever improving Iowa Corn.

Dallas and their counterparts, the Prowlers and the Corn, have all held the number one position in the league since the beginning of the season. The Outlaws were one game away from the Premier league last season losing to the Vancouver Seawolves in the PCC Championship game. This season, the Lone Star Banditos are trying once again to make it into the Bigs doing little to their look from last year. This stasis has proven to be a solid choice. The Outlaws are keeping with their standard White lids, Blue jumpers, white pants and blue socks as they take on the Corn.

The Corn have planted acres of new crops and yielded success with their new togs this season. Iowa debuted this season’s new digs in the 2014 Peppermint Bowl against the Giraffe and the Field of Nightmares has not been the same for their opponents. The Victory Kernels have been one of the few success stories where a change will do you good. For their fray with Dallas they have changed their look a bit adding green epaulets featuring their UCLA stripes at the edges. Along with their new shoulder accoutrements they are bringing out their Green lids, White guernseys, athletic gold britches and green socks.

playoffs6

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pollcode.com free polls

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The other cynosure clash in the Central League playoffs pits the Pontiac Prowlers against the Oklahoma City Superbeasts.

The Oklahoma City Superbeasts may have moved locations yet didn’t make any major changes in the way they look. They stayed with their standard Black, Purple and white livery and with that they are doing all they can to get back in the Big Leagues. In their final game of the season they faced the tough Duluth Ice Dragons and the battle of the beasts favored OKC. This win secured their golden ticket for the finals. For their matchup against the Prowlers they are going full Yeti with black lids.

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From the Metro South Conference, the Florida Geckos and Missouri Magnetic will face off in a do-over of last week’s semifinal (and this time we promise not to call them Swordfish). The Geckos have tweaked their white aways with green pants while the Magnetic are doing their best Argonaut impersonation with light blue jerseys, dark blue TV patches and white lids and pants. The winner of this game will advance to the MSC Championship game and face Little Rock who pulled out a squeaker last week against Charleston, 58-56.

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In La Lega action: Metallurg PK will travel to Auckland to take on the Kaumoana, The mighty Lokomotiv are making way to Sydney to face the Spiders, and the surprising Stockholm Lutefisk will face the Horses of CSKA in Moscow.

The Premier League will see the undefeated Pod of Anchorage try to stay that way as they face the Ponies in the stables of Minnesota, the Nasty Ship Slaughter will make port in San Diego to square off against the Storm and the Reign Fire will be throwing back to their 1962 championship season with their “My Heart in San Francisco” jerseys against the Texas Timberwolves in Austin.

fire throwback

Head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on which uni combos you think are berries. Also, get on over to our Prospective UWFFL teams Google+ page to enter your team into the 2015 UWFFL Spring D-League and you too can try to make your way to the playoffs next year at this time.

That’ll do it for this week and we look forward to see y’all next weekend, where we will close out the Division II Conference Semifinal Round on Saturday and focus on a big day of Premier League action on Sunday as teams get ready for the playoffs.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The New York Yankees were born 112 years ago yesterday, and not three months later, the media were bitching about salaries (great find from Todd Radom). Also from Todd, a look back at some early Yanks uniforms (they were nicknamed the “Highlanders” or “NY American (league)” back then. … NFL HOF finalist John Lynch played for the Kane County Cougars in 1993 as a Marlins prospect. @The_Real_Cub asks, “what uni is this?” According to @Screwlack, they were the Gulf Coast League Marlins (Kissimmee) back then. … The author of this Bloguin article feels there are five MLB teams who need a uniform makeover. … Here’s an interesting article entitled, “Experience an intense bout of vertigo when viewing 10 baseball legends in their final uniforms, which is something we’ve covered on UW before — seeing players who have played for long terms with one team (not as common in the free agency era) being traded at the ends of their careers to new teams. Some of the more modern guys played for several teams, but it’s still weird seeing them in very different uniforms from the one’s we picture them wearing. Nice find by Jonathan Daniel. … Whoa — check out this photo of Barry Bonds in a Serra Padres uniform — and check out the horizontal AND vertical lettering! (nice find from Rob Weber). … Interesting NY Times article on throwback uniforms and the question of whether it’s OK for MLB teams to wear (and make profits from the sale of) Negro League uniforms.

NFL News: SportsNation tried to make a funny playoff bracket (note the refs beating the Lions and Packers), but they also used the old Seahawks logo (good spot by Hunter Ginn, and also noticed by James Nagasawa). … Josh Cribbs bought his fellow Colts wide receivers some snazzy bathrobes (h/t Jared Law). If you must know, here’s a bit more on that. … The St. Louis Rams (or someone on their behalf) have proposed a new riverfront stadium. Here’s another view — you can see more pics via the KMOX twitter feed.

College/High School Football News: No photo, but Kyle Mackie offers an explanation for taping on facemasks: “When I played youth football there was a rule that if any of the metal cage was exposed due to paint/coating having been chipped away we had to cover it with tape. Some kids obviously did add tape for cosmetic reasons, but I suspect many times tape was applied to conform to rules. More often than not, I think the ‘T intersection’ of mask bars would be chipped away and require taping.” … Here’s a 2002 photo of QB Steve Martic wearing a fully taped mask (h/t @LedyardFootball). … This Miami News piece, dated August 1, 1965, was sent in by Giancarlo, who writes, “This is coverage of the 1965 High School All-Star Classic football game, played in Gainesville, FL. The ‘South’ looks to be sporting the Confederate Army Battle Flag on their helmets. (Incidentally, Hendrick(s) is future NFL Hall-of-Famer Ted Hendricks).” … Oops — the College Football HALL OF FAM? (nice spot by Joshua Gleason). — Or is that simply the black tablecloth from the adjoining table just blocking the rostrum? (update: yep — a brightness adjustment shows the corner of the table – thanks to James Venes for the second shot). … Here’s a good article on the rise of Oregon as a merchandising powerhouse (Thanks, Paul). … Also from Paul, here’s a good analysis of the Miami/adidas deal. … How often do you see an UnderArmour logo on an Oregon Ducks shirt? (nice spot by Kyle Lee).

NBA News: From Mike the Intern, we have this: “Not exactly breaking news or anything but this site sells neon NBA signs, and oh God it’s so glorious.” He adds, “Really it seems they cover every team’s primary and alternate logos in ever major sport.” … Have you ever wondered how the Boston Celtics jerseys are made? Wonder no more (thanks to Phil Lawson).

Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: A couple of fans wore blackface to Thursday night’s Capitals/Flyers game. There is no explanation given for why. Anyone know? (h/t to Hank-SJ for spotting that). … The Islanders brought back the Fisherman jerseys (sort of), wearing them in warmups on February 3rd (thanks to John Muir). John adds, “So they’re not the full Fisherman jerseys, but the logo and fonts are spot on. A nice splash of nostalgia.” Here’s a bit more on that. … The Missouri Mavericks will wear ‘Slap Shot’ jerseys when Hanson Brothers are in town. Yes, that is awesome. … The Buffalo Sabres with have a Jersey Retirement night for Dominik Hasek on January 13th. … UMass Lowell will have a new jersey, which they will unveil on January 20th. … OOOOooohhh — check out the cover for the inaugural New England Whalers program – although they played in Hartford, they were originally the “New England” Whalers (h/t John O’Leary). … Unlike the awful NHL ASG sweaters, Michigan has introduced a “Hockey City Classic” jersey (h/t CJ Fogler). Now that’s a keeper. Here’s a look at the backside as well (via Chris Hall). … Also debuting last night were these ‘merica unis for the Florida Everblades (h/t Jeff Tasca. Here’s another look. … Last night during the Dartmouth/New Hampshire hockey game, the referees wore pink and black striped jerseys. Says submitter Bill Stewart, “Not sure if this is an oddity but the four refs are wearing pink. Can’t find anything online about it.” … Weird Blackhawks goalie stripes: Reader Mike Engle asks, “Has anybody showed you this? Those thick sleeve stripes also affect the goalies on the AHL level, namely the Rockford IceHogs.”

Grab Bag: Heh. David Cline writes, “I don’t know if you ever use Ball jars, but if so, I assume these won’t be on your shelves or in your pantry.” … As you may be aware, the USOC selected Boston to bid for host city for the 2024 Olympics. One of their slogans could use a little work. … “Aside from shortshorts on Sonny Bono and the lovely Jenilee Harrison,” writes Joe Solomonson, “this shot from an episode of ‘Fantasy Island’ features some lunk sporting the Adidas logo on his shorts.”

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it over this past week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club is now up and running. Full details here.

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And that’s going to do it for me for today (and, in fact, for this weekend — Paul will be covering for me tomorrow — a bit of a belated birthday present [thanks, buddy!]). Big thanks to Andrew and Gary for their sections, and for all you fine readers who submitted ticker items by e-mail or twitter. Want to also give a shout out to Shipwreck for winning the CorC (first time ever). If he posts at all this week, you’ll see him posting as “Champ” — congrats, big guy, you deserved it. And you know that next year you’ll be posting as “Chimp.”

Remember, Paul and I will be on the uniform panel today at the Queens Baseball Convention. Hope to see some of you NYC folks there. Paul is moderating (as he did last year). We’ll also have some HUGE names in the uni business, including Todd Radom and Bill Henderson. It’s a full-day event and there are other excellent panels and things to do, and a bunch of old Mets will be there sign autographs. Should be a great time — even if you’re not a Mets fan.

Paul’s birthday present to me wasn’t just tomorrow off. As you know, we are both in the Lakeside Curling Club in Brooklyn, and I’m playing in the January/February league (we both participated in the Instructional League last year) — Paul will be re-joining me for the February/March League, as all the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl (we curl Sunday evenings) precluded him from this session. I’m far from good, but am really enjoying it immensely; so much so, the other players and instructors (now in an advisory role) talked me into getting a pair of curling shoes (yes, they are that ugly). Knowing my affinity for the sport, Paul went above and beyond and got me this sweet curling broom (from Olympic Curler Craig Brown no less). I may not be able to curl very well, but dammit if I’m not the best outfitted one out there! Thanks, buddy — you’re the best. Can’t wait to try out the broom Sunday evening.

OK –Paul and I will both be off the grid for most of the day — you guys behave OK? Hopefully we’ll see a bunch of the New York area readers this afternoon at McFadden’s.

Have a great week and I’ll catch you next weekend (with some real treats — got some good stuff in the works — you won’t be disappointed). Enjoy the NFL playoffs today and tomorrow, and GO DUCKS!. Till then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“I’m ususally bad with names, but even I can recall ‘Mr. Spunkington’ and ‘Stevie McQuistan’ (probably the same guy, along with some other aliases) repeatedly trolling on this subject. C’mon, man, you need some fresh material.”

— Jim Vilk, on the continued posting of “blank 1976 Seahawks helmets” questions.

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