Uni Watch DIY Project: Tie One On

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[Editor's Note: Today we have an absolutely spectacular DIY project from a reader who prefers to remain nameless. Enjoy — PL]

By Anonymous

I do a lot of jersey-related projects, and I’m often left with small, narrow scraps of mesh fabric. I hate throwing materials away and prefer to find a way to use them. After looking at these scraps, I decided to create some neckties.

The 1970s were my favorite era for jerseys and I’m an ex-goalie, so I decided the neckties would be based on 1970s NHL goalies (the ones shown above are for, from left to right, Rogie Vachon of the Kings, Bernie Parent of the WHA’s Philadelphia Blazers, and
Gilles Meloche of the Seals). Some get stripes, others stay plain. I wound up loving the orange/yellow color combination, and I’m now thinking this could be one of the more underrated color schemes in sports — it really looks great to me.

Since I was going to be referencing 1970s jerseys, at first I thought I’d make the ties super-wide, 1970s-style. But I decided to go with a more conservative width, as it’s more appropriate for weddings and job interviews (you have to think of these things).

I begin by sewing a straight but angled line to the width I want [for all these photos, you can click to enlarge]:

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Then I turn the fabric inside-out and position the seam in the middle. This forms the traditional tapered tie shape:

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At this point I (very) briefly feel like a bespoke tailor as opposed to some hack with a $59 sewing machine. I just turn up the corners at the bottom and hand-stitch them to create the point at the bottom of the tie. This is not a classic seven-fold tie design, but I figure no one will see the back anyway:

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I cut the numbers from stiffened felt and then sew them onto the tie. If it’s a two-layer number, I sew the top layer to a bigger piece of the second color and then cut it out after. Stiffened felt is better than the regular stuff, as you can do sharper edges that hold up under sewing:

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The felt look isn’t really era-appropriate for this project (it’s more appropriate for early wool hockey jerseys or flannel baseball jerseys), but I wind up using it a lot because it’s easy to find, inexpensive, comes in any color you can think of, and is easy to use. I also like the vintage look it provides, even though it may not be era-correct or even sport-correct in some cases.

If I’m adding a stripe, I use the same type of stripe/braid material you’d find on ’70s-era track suits and uniforms. I’ve been able to source it as new old stock at some sewing supply stores.

For some of the ties, I don’t have a long enough piece of mesh, so I add an extra strip of material — in this case, a strip of yellow and white striped fabric. This makes the tie more visually interesting, and nobody else has to know, since that end of the tie won’t be visible when the tie is worn:

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And here we have the finished product:

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

The Rayduhz have held onto their look for ages. It’s fairly obvious they’ll never change it — but what if they updated it a little? That’s the thought that came to mind when I came across this black Raiders helmet on eBay. While it’s sloppily done, it does pose an interesting question: How about an all-black helmet with the silver stripe? Toss a little of that Bucs-style chrome facemask in there and believe me when I say these would go over nicely in the 510.

A lot of this week’s other picks are helmet-related, too. Why? Just sorta happened that way. Let’s take a look:

• Going across the bay, here’s a Niners mini-helmet with the Candlestick final-season logo on one side.

• Can’t the Giants use this as a throwback helmet? Swap the logo and stripe, no repainting needed!

• This vintage L.A. Rams helmet plaque is in great shape.

• Check this out: a six-pack of the definitive 1960s NFL helmet plaque look. Simply gets no cooler or retro than this.

• Here’s a helmet of another kind — a set of 600 MLB ice cream batting helmets!

• Okay, enough helmets. Get a set of seven 1970 Vikings portraits by Nick Volpe right here.

• I remember trading these in my 1970-71 class at Orville J. Stivers Elementary in Louisville: the complete set of Volpe’s Kentucky Colonels Pro Star Portraits. I always wondered who Bobby Croft was. I felt bad for the guys who never played.

• Here’s a terrific-looking 1969 NFL/Chiquita transistor radio! Listing doesn’t say if it works, though!

• Learn all about “Exciting Plays and Formations” with this 1977 NFL Action Teammate Playbook.

• The cartoon cub on this early-1970s Chicago Cubs pennant looks a bit like their recently introduced (and widely disparaged) mascot, does it not?

• And here’s a Jacksonville Jaguars beverage glass with the original/banned logo, priced to move.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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PermaRec update: The latest vintage ephemera that’s caught my eye: old prescriptions (like the one shown at right). Read about them in the latest entry on Permanent Record.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: Oh no, Papi! President Obama is considering a ban on selfies with White House guests after David Ortiz’s Samsung stunt last week. “Perhaps maybe this will be the end of all selfies,” White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfiffer said on Face the Nation. One can only hope. … Here’s as great a photo as you’re likely to see these days of two MLB players from opposing teams, both wearing striped stirrups. That’s from Sunday’s Cards/Bucs game (from Rich Strayer). … The Rochester Red Wings (AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) debuted their 2014 white home uniforms on Sunday, replacing the black home jerseys they’ve been using on and off since 1997 (from Paul Bielewicz). … Clemson wore camo jerseys and hats during their game last night (thanks, Phil). … Our Notre Dame expert Warren Junium sent in what the Fighting Irish were suppose to wear at their rained out Saturday game.

Football News: Not confirmed: One Reddit user is claiming to know what the 2015 Cleveland Browns uniform will look like (thanks, Phil and Matt Masuga). … Miami is hinting at a BFBS move. … “Here is the story behind the picture you showed of Troy Akman’s jersey with the 75th anniversary patch on Sunday,” says John Hoyle. “Troy had the patch lowered because he likes to grab his jersey there and wipe his face. The patch was scratchy so he had it lowered. The league noticed he had moved it and made him return it to its proper place.” … Not to be outdone by teammate RG3, Kirk Cousins told a reporter about his logo. “I can’t say I’m a big Royals fan, but I’ve always kind of stockpiled Kansas City gear, just because it’s my initials and I think it’s a simple logo. It’s fun to wear every now and then, and I’ve got a receding hairline, so I like to hide it.” (from Yusuke Toyoda) … San Diego State University will be test-driving the new SpeedFlex helmets, and Alabama wore SpeedFlex helmets at their spring practice.

Soccer News: The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL unveiled their 2014 kits. … Liverpool will wear a patch for the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy for their final three home matches. … In England’s third tier, Tranmere Rovers were forced to play in Colchester’s away kit after the referee thought Tranmere’s sky blue away shirts clashed with Colchester’s royal blue (both from Yusuke Toyoda). … The rest from Trevor Williams: Sneak peak at the Burkinao Faso 2014 home kit. … Puma also redesigned the 2014 home kit for Gabon. … Chelsea unveiled a new red goalie kit that Petr Cech and/or Thibault Courtois will wear next season. … Atlético Huracán released their alternative kit for 2014.

College Hoops News: Here is a look at championship shirt designs that were created for UConn and Kentucky. Congratulations to UConn (thanks, Mike Chamernik).

Grab Bag: The developer of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is going to coat the arena’s dome with a green roof. The rendering looks pretty interesting. … NASCAR news: Stewart-Haas cars added a decal honoring the Fort Hood victims (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article and visuals of the drug tax stamp designs from the 20 states that attempt to collect money on the illicit transactions (from Joseph Andersen). … The killer vehicles of James Bond are on display at London’s Film Museum. … Last two from Brinke: 23 urban hacks made from New York City trash, and photos of NYC storefronts taken 10 years apart really show gentrification at an alarming rate.

How Low Can You Go?

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Masahiro Tanaka, the Yanks’ new Japanese import, made his MLB debut on Friday. And as you can see in the two shots above, he was pulling the old Barry Bonds move of keeping his pant legs anchored to his shoes with straps that went under the soles. The strap was supposedly banned years ago, along with a bunch of other anchoring moves, but you still see it from time to time. It appears to be one of those things that’s tolerated unless someone complains (“someone” meaning the opposing team, not me).

The strap is common in Japan, and it looks like Tanaka frequently used it while pitching over there. But here’s the weird thing: He apparently didn’t use the strap during spring training. Dig:

Those are just two photos, obviously, but I looked at several dozen spring training photos of Tanaka, and they all showed the same thing: no strap. So the Yanks apparently added the straps to his pants specifically for his big league debut.

The real problem with the strap, and with all the other pant leg-anchoring maneuvers (the heel-spike impalement, the shoelace tie-down, the Velcro strips, etc.), is that they’re tools of the pajamist, and pajamism is evil. If you need any additional evidence of that, look no further than this shot of Tanaka. Woof!

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“But dude, I’m honoring you!”: As you may have heard, there was a particularly surreal encounter at the Indians’ home opener on Friday, as several photographers captured this jaw-dropping encounter between Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache tribal member and executive director of the American Indian Education Center in Cleveland, and an Indians fan named Pedro Rodriguez. The top photo, showing the two men in profile, quickly went viral on Friday afternoon (including on my own Twitter feed, where it was retweeted over 400 times) and prompted lots of media attention.

Several people have asked me about the photos’ backstory. Here it is: Roche was part of a group of protesters who’d turned out to call for Wahoo’s retirement. Cleveland Frowns blogger Peter Pattakos was on hand with a cameraman to shoot some footage of the protest, and they spotted Rodriguez, who agreed to appear on camera. Pattakos asked him about his costume, and Rodriguez responded with some rather unsympathetic comments about Native Americans who have any issues with Chief Wahoo. Pattakos asked him if he’d be willing to say those same things to an actual Native American, and Rodriguez said yes, so Pattakos brought him over to the protesters, where Roche and Rodriguez had their encounter. Pattakos has provided a more detailed account on his site (he’s also working on a video, which he tells me will be ready in a few days), and there’s another good overview, along with a slideshow, here.

Even the pro-Wahoo people seem to recognize how bad this looks, and I suspect they realize Rodriguez may have unwittingly hastened Wahoo’s ultimate demise. Just yesterday I phone-interviewed a pro-Wahoo fan who’d gotten in touch with me last Thursday to offer an equal-time rebuttal to my recent ESPN column on de-Chiefing. He’s still pro-Wahoo, but he said the Roche/Rodriguez incident had shaken his faith somewhat and that he’s now wavering.

The best the pro-Wahoo people can do now is say, “This guy, he’s just one asshole. Most of us pro-Wahoo fans would never do anything like that.” That’s true, of course. But it’s also true that this isn’t the first time Indians fans have gone the minstrelsy route. More importantly, keeping Wahoo on the active roster gives license and encouragement to this type of behavior. Like, if the Chief is an official team logo, why shouldn’t fans be painting their face with his likeness? That’s what fans do, right? As long as the Indians keep Wahoo around, they can’t credibly disavow this kind of stuff.

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Book deal reminder: In case you missed it last week, our friends at Diversion Books have another exclusive offer for Uni Watch readers: The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers, which is the definitive text on MLB skippers. It’s a great book (I first read it about 10 years ago), and Uni Watch readers can now download the e-version for only $2.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price.

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’Skins Watch: Here’s how SI.com described a story they ran on Friday: “We set out to gauge the real sentiment regarding the name ‘Redskins’ among Native American leaders and in grass-roots tribal communities around the country. The short answer: It’s complicated.” That’s a very good summary of their excellent article, which explores the complexities of the situation and quotes strong, well-reasoned voices from both sides of the debate. Probably the single best thing that’s been written about this issue — highly recommended. … My old high school pal Michael Grimm, who I haven’t seen in 30 years but still keep in touch with — and who lived in Cleveland for a spell in the 1990s, during which time he became an Indians fan — is the latest to de-Chief his Indians jersey.

Baseball News: Contrary to what I had hinted at last week, the Dodgers did not come out with a memorial patch for Dr. Frank Jobe on Friday. My source turned out to be wrong on that one. … Oh baby, this might be the best Sox in shorts photo ever (spectacular find by Comrade Robert Marshall). … A guy in Pittsburgh was doing some work on his old house when he found a bunch of old T-206 baseball cards — but not a Honus Wagner, alas — in the rafters (from Bryan Justman). … Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija wasn’t wearing the Wrigley Field centennial cap patch on Saturday (from David Taub). … The gold-trimmed championship jersey has spread to the minor leagues (from Peter Wallace). … Several of the Pirates wore old-school mustard stirrups with yesterday’s throwbacks. Some problems there — the extra white stripe, the inconsistent sannies, etc. — but it’s still better than pajamism (thanks, Phil). … Very, um, interesting uni for Notre Dame baseball. Here’s the rear view (from Warren Junium). … Ken Levin’s mother-in-law, Nina Elsohn, knitted him this amazing Orioles cardigan. “She couldn’t find any published patterns for this style of sweater, so she made it up on her own,” he says. “My contribution was the oriole patch, which is the hat logo the International League Orioles wore in 1921 and seemed stylistically appropriate.” … David Firestone has done some more analysis on the Washington Senators’ old 3-D numbers. … Hmmm, is this a photo from an intrasquad game? Nope — that’s Jacksonville State (on the left) and New Mexico, who wore extremely similar uniforms the other day (from Frank Frank Mercogliano). … Never seen this before: an old girls’ softball jersey with a “Pigtail League” sleeve patch. Here’s the full jersey. … Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire notched his 1,000th win the other day. After the game, his players saluted him with this rather amusing T-shirt (from Charley Collier). … Kansas State went G.I. Joe the other day. “What’s troubling to me as a K-State alumnus is the pitcher’s raggedy left undersleeve,” says Ray Schaefer.

College Football News: A professional illustrator has serious issues with the new Florida State logo (from Paul Leone). … NCAA honcho Mark Emmert says the Northwestern football team’s upcoming vote on unionization could set in motion a series of events that “would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.” Gee, that would be a pity.

Soccer News: Three LigaMx teams this past week wore green jerseys, white shorts, and red socks, instead of their regular colors, as a gesture of support to the Mexican national team that will be competing in the World Cup. The three teams were Atlas, America, and Tijuana (from Omar Jalife). … New home kit for the Carolina RailHawks (from Andy Dunbar). … Good article on the growing debate regarding concussions in European soccer and rugby. … New home and road kits for the NASL’s Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (from Paul Mordente).

Pro and College Basketball News: NBA courts are currently emblazoned with the “NBA Green” logo (screen shot by Charley Collier). … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Love this old photo showing the uniforms worn by the Nashville Women’s College squad (from Lee Wilds). … Killer UNLV jacket for Killers frontman Brandon Flowers the other day (from Douglas Ford).

Grab Bag: I don’t know why Robert Griffin III — or any athlete, for that matter — needs his own logo, but he now has one (from Alan Tompas). … I’m quoted in this article about the implications of advertising on uniforms. … “Jersey sponsorship has been a part of rugby for years, but the Western Force (the Super Rugby team from Perth, Australia) has a new twist,” writes James Vetter. “Each of the 15 starters wears the logo of a sponsor assigned to his jersey number. There’s more information here.” … More rugby news: The Springbok jersey that Albie Malan wore against Australia in 1963 was personally returned to South Africa after being discovered in the cupboard of the house belonging to former Wallaby Jim Miller (from Graham Clayton). … Latest team to defile the flag: Johns Hopkins lacrosse (from Jared Buccola). … What’s with the No. 18 on this guy’s back? That’s a photo from a 1950s shoeshine competition, which used to be a big deal in Wilson, North Carolina. Details and additional photos here (big thanks to Chap Godbey).

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Looking ahead: I’m going to be off the grid today from about 11:30am until at least the late afternoon, maybe longer. That’s the start of what’s going to be a very busy three-week period for me. My datebook over the 20 days is pockmarked with all sorts of appointments and obligations — personal and professional, day and night, mundane (my annual tax appointment with my accountant) and special (my Mom’s 90th birthday). This will seriously disrupt my usual routines, which is a bit of a stressgasm, because I’m a pretty routinized fella.

So what does this mean for you? A few things:

• There’s a decent chance we’ll have a snow day (i.e., a day when the site is closed) at least once in the next three weeks, although I’d say that’s unlikely for this week.

• For the days that I’m on Ticker duty (as opposed to the days when Mike, Garrett, and Phil are on Ticker duty), I’ll likely be imposing a higher standard of Ticker-worthiness for the submissions that come in. My apologies in advance to those of you who send in things that end up not being used.

• I get a lot of reader queries pretty much every day (“Do the Pirates have a system that determines when they wear their throwbacks, or is it just whenever they feel like it?”). I usually try to respond to all of them, but I may be ignoring most or even all of them over the next three weeks. Sorry about that — nothing personal, just a matter of time-management. You might be better off posting queries in the comments, where other readers may be able to answer them.

• Speaking of the comments, I’ll likely be participating a bit less in some of the discussions there. (Yes, I realize many of you probably view that as a plus.)

• If you’re a member of the media looking to get a quote from me or have me on your radio show, or if you’re a student looking to pick my brain for a class project, I’m sorry but this is not a good time. Please check back with me at the end of the month Thanks.

League Ralph, Part the First

King Ralph

By Phil Hecken

A couple of months back, reader R. Scott Rogers approached me with an idea for some weekend content for Uni Watch. At the time, I mentioned to Scott I’d probably be needing some help with ledes for weekend columns as I progress further into my “Capstone” project for grad school — basically the equivalent of a Masters Thesis — which I am hoping to complete this spring.

Well, now it’s crunch time for me — and the column idea is quite timely — so I’m going to present to you today the first of three of Scott’s ledes. “What’s it all about?” you say, “and why is there a picture of John Goodman in a crown over there in the right hand side of the page?” Well, you’re about to find out. So now I’ll turn it over to Scott, who’ll explain and explore…

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League Ralph – Reconstituting the Big Leagues, Part 1
By R. Scott Rogers

So let’s say Major League Baseball gets every player and executive from all 30 teams together, along with all their team equipment, to take one giant group photo in honor of Bud Selig’s final season as commissioner. You know, like how they take a photo of every living member of the royal family at the start of King Ralph. And, as in the movie, just as the flash goes off, Zap! Tragic electrical accident and in one fell swoop, big-league baseball as we know it is gone.

What next? Thankfully, we won’t need to send Mr. Dursley to Vegas to find a lounge singer to take over. Instead, we could just find the 30 best-uniformed minor league and independent teams and reconstitute the big leagues with them.

The bad news: All your favorite players are gone. The good news: So is Ryan Braun The new MLB will be a much better-looking league.

Here, in no particular order, is my list of the 30 teams whose great uniforms should earn them a spot in a reconstituted MLB, divided into three weekly segments. Got a favorite farm or independent club that didn’t make the list? Let us know, and why, in the comments.

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BeesBurlington Bees A – MWL
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Other views:
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Things you will never persuade me to believe:

  1. Denny Green was a great football coach;
  2. Bourbon is bad for your health; and
  3. The Burlington Bees are not among the ten best-uniformed teams in the history of pro sports.

These are, simply, perfect baseball uniforms.

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Mud HensToledo Mudhens AAA – IL
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Other views:
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Since their introduction in 2006, these uniforms have changed only slightly, with the newfangled hen-head caps generally replaced by the team’s classic T-with-mascot caps. On the one hand, the old cap they now wear is a terrible baseball cap. Just dreadful in every way.

On the other hand, plenty of teams have deeply flawed uniform elements whose legacy charm outweighs their suckiness. In that regard, the Mud Hens would be the Tigers or the Yankees of the reconstituted big leagues.

The distinctive but still readable number font? The feathered E on the script? Three, maybe four, MLB redesigns since 1986 have been as good as Toledo’s.

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MaraudersBradenton Marauders – A FSL
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Other views:
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True, the Marauders look a lot like their parent Pirates. Normally, that would disqualify them from this list.But.

But they put their own distinctive spin on the identity, from the name to the lettering. And that distinctive spin is better than the original. I like the Pirates. But head to head, every single element of the identity, from logos to jerseys to scripts to numbers?

I’d take the Maurauders every time.

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pensacolaPensacola Blue Wahoos AA – SL
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Other views:
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Yes, the Blue Wahoos are a bit over-designed, right down to the “neon red” highlights at the top of the numbers. But we’re repopulating the big leagues here, and plenty of MLB teams are over-designed these days too.

Pensacola may be similar in kind to too many Brandiose-packaged minor-league teams, but the Blue Wahoos succeed where most of their peers fail.

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SaintsSt. Paul Saints – IND
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Other view:
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Royal blue and black. Terrible color combination, unless you get the proportions just right, in which case it’s one of the best looks in sports. Such as the Saints.

Perfection.

Plus, the Saints have a ball pig. The big leagues need a ball pig. Speaking of pigs …

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IronPigsLehigh Valley IronPigs AAA – IL
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Conceptually, I hate everything about Lehigh’s identity. Somehow, they pull it off.

Simple test at play here: Do they look better than the Marlins?

Yes, yes the IronPigs do. (After this was written, the IronPigs tweaked their uniforms for 2014. While most of the elements are a step up from their existing identity, the overall effect of the old-and-new mishmash is a downgrade. Pick a theme, Lehigh Valley.)

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SlammersJoliet Slammers – IND
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More views:
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How do you resist a baseball team called the Slammers? You don’t, that’s how.

Another lower-level team, along with the Greensboro Grasshoppers, that uses green and orange to good effect.

The basic identity is already kind of over the top, so it’s appropriate that the team dials it back a bit on the uniform execution. There’s more classic baseball elegance than whimsy here.

Good looking team.

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acesReno Aces AAA – PCL
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Simple, clean, distinctive.

And like the best pro nicknames, the Aces pay tribute to local industry and culture.

Lately, the Aces can’t quite decide whether they’re a pinstriped team or not, but then neither can the Mets, and until 2013 neither could Houston.

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BluefishBridgeport Bluefish – IND
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Better than the Marlins.

That is, better than the Marlins…

back when the Marlins didn’t look like crap, and “better than the Marlins” meant something.

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PelicansMyrtle Beach Pelicans A – ClnaL
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Other views:
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I see a lot of Carolina League ball every year, and the Pelicans have by far my favorite uniforms in the league.

Light blue and yellow could easily be too soft a combination, but the Pelicans use just enough navy accents to make the whole scheme work.

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Honorable Mentions

Sioux Falls Pheasants – IND (ex)
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Contrasting raglan sleeves looked great when the Oakland Oaks did it and they looked great recently when the Fighting Pheasants did it.

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Portland Beavers AAA (ex)
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Complete uni set
One more view of that home uni, because daaaaamn

For a couple of years, the Beavers came within a stitch or two of being the best-dressed team in baseball. Ever.

Then, acting like a typical big-league team, the Beavers chased richer public subsidies to Escondido Tucson El Paso, where they will look like this. Too depressing for words.

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Thanks, Scott! Great concept for spring, especially with the games just starting. I’ll have more from Scott over the next couple of weekends.

Readers? What say you? Anything to add?

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Title Box

Lewis & Clark Uniform Design Contest

Every Sunday, we’ll have news and updates on the design contest being sponsored by Ross Clites. If you missed the introductory post on this, please click here. Last weekend, we introduced Part VIII which is the second article here. You can also visit the Lewis & Clark homepage for more information and updates.

Yesterday we revealed the sixth set of concepts for the “Navigators” (you can still submit for the Pathfinders [deadline 4/9] and the Pioneers [deadline 4/16]). And today, we’ll reveal the ninth team for concepting.

If you missed yesterday’s post, which revealed the readers submissions for the “Navigators,” you can vote for your favorite concepts (you may vote for up to three). Link here.

Here’s Ross with this week’s updates/information:

. . . . .

The Weary Travelers

Wait. What? The River Men are supposed to be up next. Yeah, well you see.. life gets in the way sometimes. The remaining two Lewis Conference teams need to jump the line to get their gear going to the press. Their season will start a week ahead of those in the Clark. The best laid plans, right?

So, anyway. The Travelers are where it all began, a few short years ago. The Christmas color scheme comes directly from Washington University in St. Louis, where I have been an assistant baseball coach for four years. We utilized the common denominator palette in hopes of landing Wash.U. players — same ridiculously colored swag for spring/fall and now the summer, too.

. . .

Travelers

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It comes with its quirks and design challenges but it always seems to work out.

For this concept remember something my grandmother always said: “red and green should never be seen without a color in between.” It should certainly help you out a great deal with any submissions made for the Travelers. Best of luck and keep all the solid submissions coming. We are coming down the home stretch and I couldn’t be more excited.

. . . . .

As for the winner of the Lookouts:

To all that entered the contest for the Governors of the LCBL, thank you for your thoughtful presentations. Big thanks to all the readers that cast votes. We had an unprecedented finish to the voting; one that the board could not resolve with conventional methods. Three men (Scott de Fasselle, Denver King, and Will Sinnott) all accumulated over 200 votes. While Denver was the “king” of the poll, all three presented such great elements. We would have gone with Will’s complete concept, but many board members shied away from two woodpeckers in the same conference. So compromise was made to reward the high vote totals.

The owl was chosen and given ocular surgery. Will’s eye ball boosts the intensity of the sleepy-looking owl and also ties into his solid secondary logo. The whole thing comes together with the 80s feel of Denver’s red alternate jersey; complete with thick maroon banding on the chest and arms. So sharp.

Lookouts Final

In this, all three will be awarded a victory and play a key piece in the Lookouts aesthetics. All three will be welcomed at our July 3rd All-Star Game at Busch Stadium as honorary Uni Watch Contest Winners. The primary logo is Scott’s, the secondary logo is Will’s, and the jersey will be the scarlet colored concept by Denver. One team, three designers — who did not collaborate together. This is truly what the contest was meant for. The LCBL board feels we are getting the best look based on the given submissions. It is a work-in-progress more than other winning submissions, but that comes with the territory of a three-person collaboration.

The uniform will remain (somewhat of) a mystery until a final reveal of all twelve at the end. But we wanted to give Uni Watch Nation a taste of the winning identity.

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Thanks, Ross! One final note (and this was in last week’s section as well, in case you didn’t see it) — Ross wanted me to inform everyone that “we will be skipping the Settlers in the alphabet. We are in a bit of time crunch and they are a 2015 expansion team.”

So, to anyone who was hoping to design a uniform/logo for that team, you’ll understand why that team was left out of the alpha-rotation.

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

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We begin today with Michael Kearney, with a tweak for the Red Sox roads:

Red Sox Roads - Michael Kearney

Hey Phil,

Just saw the new Red Sox road uni’s (which are pretty much the same uni’s they wore just a few years ago). As much as I like this look over the drab gray and blue they’ve been sporting the last couple of years, I really think they missed an opportunity to do something better. My quick take on what could have been is attached. I think leaving the “BOSTON” blue but adding red details around the uniform would have made for a sharper looking uniform that stands out a bit from some of the other ‘Gray and Red’ uni’s currently out there.

—Mike

. . .

Next up is Paul Lee with an NBA ASG tweak:

All Star Uni Tweak - Paul Lee

Phil,

Tweaked the NBA All-Star Game away team jersey.

Paul Lee

. . .

And we close today with Troy DeCeuster who has a concept for the Rutgers Baseball team:

Rutgers Baseball - Troy DeCeuster

Hi Uni-watch,

I have a concept here for Rutgers University baseball team. I tried to make it a modern vintage look and feel. Just a lazy day at the office. Great site.

-Rhino Oceans

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here’s a good story on the Durham Bulls’ team name history (thanks, Paul). … The New York Daily News ran a short article on the history of Presidents’ and uni numbers. Paul is quoted in that article, saying “It’s in his hands for all of five minutes before it’s off to the National Archives.” … Which prompted former White House staffer Dennis W. Alpert to tweet at me that “not all jerseys end up at the National Archives”. Those are in his personal collection. … @allen_y tweeted at me: “Great image for the ticker from the Dodgers opening ceremony.” He points out “Tommy’s no front number, some w/ sleeve patch, some not, Sandy in a jacket and new poly cap (usually wears a wool cap). I wonder if they recycled old jerseys?” Allen also got a closeup of the sleeve patch, which looks like this. … Our friend Shannon Shark notes that Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose invoked the phrase “BFBS”. … eL GAP (@gap_fsu) sends along a photo of FSU Softball wearing ‘Paint In Pink’ jerseys. … Reader David Kendrick sent this photo of a historical Braves logo (decal from Cooperstown Collection), and asks, “I thought all the caricatures were gone??”. … Our Notre Dame expert Warren Junium notes that today, the Irish will wear this cap, and some peeks at portions of their jersey for today’s game against FSU. … It was cold in Chi-town yesterday, so Darwin Barney was wearing some type of turtleneck/hoodie undergarment (thanks to David Arnott for the screen grabs). That prompted Walter Young to suggest that the garment is a balaclava. … Which, in turn, prompted C.J. Fogler to say “It’s just like this”. Glad we cleared that up. … Stanford’s baseball sure looked purdy with high cuffs and stirrups yesterday (h/t Alex Allen). … Here’s Mr. Cub sporting a Cubs cap & Negro Leagues jacket yesterday. He still looks great. … Exactly 101 years and one day ago, the Dodgers and Yankees played in the first game ever at Ebbets Field (an exhibition game). Casey Stengel homered for the Dodgers (pic via Dodgers History). … Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt had their numbers retired by the Astros were celebrated by retiring as Astros, and they were presented with 2005-style jerseys with their numbers on them.last night. Giddyap. … Dave Moore sends this beautiful Dodgers vs. Reds shot from 4/7/69 at Crosley Field. “Bench v. Drysdale … Haller catching. Donatelli the ump”

NFL News: “Check out the placement of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary patch on Troy Aikman’s jersey as opposed to Emmitt Smith’s, not to mention the blocker’s,” says Max Levy. Good catch! … Reader Ed Gefen noted yesterday’s ticker mention of Bills player NOBs regarding possible “MA” or “MI” initials for Mike and Mario Williams. Ed says “Turns out, the Bills don’t use first initials, so it’s potentially more confusing.” Hmmm. If only there were some way to tell which Williams is which without initials.

College Football News: Yesterday afternoon, the new LSU tiger head made it’s debut on helmets used for the team’s spring game (thanks to Andrew Lopez for the good spot). For reference, this is the old LSU logo, and a closeup of the old (left) and new (right) logos. … Add Penn State to the list of teams with the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet. … “Remember the incident last year with Michigan wearing orange QB practice jerseys from Oregon State?” writes Christopher Hall. “Looks like Adidas fixed the problem this year. It also serves as proof that Michigan should never wear maize jerseys in-game.” … App State will have a “new look” as it heads into its new conference (h/t Chris Kroeger).

NBA News: “Are asymmetrical unis interesting,” read the subject line of an e-mail from Pete Svendsen. He “came across Jason Williams top 10 Plays on youtube and was very distracted once I realized the asymmetry of the Kings and Sonics unis. I know the Wizards and 90s Heat unis also had stripes/piping only on one side as well. Along with pinstripes, this seems to be one of the trademarks of 90′s NBA design.”

Hockey News: In yesterday’s ticker, I referenced the Grand Rapids Griffins Calder Cup champions ring designing process. Now, “Chester Copperpot” (‏@Pettymania) has video of that. … Minnesota Wild’s Ilya Bryzgalov is getting a new mask. … Toronto’s crack smoking Mayor wouldn’t happen to have an own-NOB jersey to wear to Leafs games, would he? Of course he would. … Apparently the Calgary Flames rookies were given Mets jerseys as punishment as they attended the Mets/Reds game on their day off yesterday.

College Hoops News: Within four minutes of each other, I received TWO e-mails with the subject “March Sadness: NCAA Confiscates Kitty Cat Mug,” (one from Ethan Sheets, the other from Joe Makowiec). If you couldn’t glean from the title, they were referring to this article detailing the douchebaggery of the NCAA. … Cork Gaines thinks NBA ads probably won’t look as bad as this “trainwreck”. … This probably isn’t an official Nike ad, but it was making the rounds after UConn’s win yesterday. … Interesting graphic was momentarily on screen last night showing Wildcats vs Wisconsin. Nice grab by Manager Problems (@wemanagethat). Apparently that’s from the UK teamcast. My TV just showed Kentucky vs Wisconsin. Lots of folks seemed confused about the Teamcast concept.

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And that’s a wrap for this Sunday, Uni Watchers. Thanks to R. Scott, Ross, and the concepters, and all who submitted for the ticker (or tweeted at me). You guys have a good week and I’ll catch you next Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Kiddie-speak? Really? Every acronym that isn’t easily pronounceable as a word (like NASA) typically ends up with “the” stuck in front of it. The FBI, the NRA, the NSA, the NFL, etc, etc.”
–The Jeff

Time To Navigate

>Navigators hed

By Phil Hecken

Today we’ll be taking a look at the sixth set of uniform submissions for the Lewis & Clark Design-a-Uniform Contest, for the team known as the “Lookouts.” If you’re not familiar with the contest, please give that a read. The contest’s creator, W. Ross Clites will be asking readers to design uniforms for all of the teams in the Lewis & Clark League, and thus far we’ve asked for submissions for a total of eight teams. We’ve looked at the “Captains,” “Diplomats,” “Explorers,” “Governors,” “Lookouts,” and today, we’ll see the concepts for the “Navigators.”

Two other teams have been put to readers for concepts, the Pathfinders and the Pioneers. If you’d like to submit your concept for either team, the deadline for submissions for the Pathfinders is Wednesday, April 9 and the deadline for submissions for the Pioneers is Wednesday, April 16. Tomorrow, Ross will have a short write-up for the ninth team, so make sure you check back then!

At this point I’ll turn it over to Ross, who will go over the guidelines for voting, and then I’ll be back with some final words before we take a look at the entries from our contestants. Here’s Ross (these guidelines will likely accompany each set of voting):

. . . . .

Alright boys and girls, here is how the voting is going to go for each Lewis & Clark Baseball League team:

1. The hierarchy of importance goes primary logo, then uniform design, and then all rest (i.e. hat design, secondary logos, etc.) Cast a vote for the design with your favorite primary logo, first and foremost. Do not fault someone for going outside the design guidelines. Changing a wordmark or adding a third color is not a disqualifier for good thought process.

2. Your votes will take the field of applicants down to a final two per team.

3. We, the LCBL Executive Board will make the final decision on the winning proposal. However — and this is big — design is never complete and collaboration is paramount to success. We will likely settle on a combination of the final two submissions. We might love the logo of one, but prefer the jersey scheme of the other. In this, you will both be winners with full prizes to ensue. The possibility does exist for a total victory, of sorts. One designer could present the best looking jersey, logo, hat, and all the rest. Do not get offended when your submission gets handed back to you with redlined edits. We hate to hand out homework to the winning look, but tweaks may be requested. It is a studio project and not a math equation; the “right” answer takes some massaging of details.

4. With permission from both finalists, our graphics department will meld the two submissions together (if necessary) and place it in our common platform. This is done as a common denominator showcase for all twelve to look uniform when the contest has reached its end.

5. Someone, not even in the top two, could see an element (such as an awesome secondary logo) appear in the final iteration. We would never select the winner based solely on a minor design element, but we will also not let it go to waste. In this, all submissions could be part of a bigger design team. This contest — and frankly this site — was created to identify the best possible combinations of logos and materials in the sports world. This rarely comes from one person’s mind; we will reward any of those that play a part in making our on-field product the best it can be.

. . . . .

Thanks, Ross. A few words about the submissions below:

Some of the contestants sent one single image, others sent multiple images. Some contestants sent descriptions (in some cases, very lengthy ones), others had little or no description. In an effort to make the voting as fair as possible, I have put those who sent multiple images into one single image, and no descriptions of the uniforms will follow. If you’d like to see all the entries for the Navigators and their write-ups/descriptions, I have hosted the entire set on Flickr. Keeping in mind Ross’ rules for voting, you may use these as an additional guide in determining which submission(s) you think are the best.

The submissions will be in alphabetical order and voting will follow. You may vote for any three of the concepts below. You may click on any image to enlarge. OK? OK. Here we go:

=================================

Bert Ayers:

Ayers, Bert - Navigators

=================================

Matthew Blinco:

Blinco, Matthew - Navigators

=================================

Paul Bryce:

Bryce, Paul - Navigators

=================================

Scott de Fasselle:

de Fasselle, Scott - Navigators

=================================

Timothy Fesmire:

Fesmire, Timothy - Navigators

=================================

Ryan Foose:

Foose, Ryan - Navigators

=================================

Brady Ivie:

Ivie, Brady - Navigators All

=================================

Denver King:

King, Denver - Navigators

=================================

Kevin McLaughlin:

McLaughlin, Kevin - Navigators

=================================

Curtis Peddle:

Peddle, Curtis - Navigators All

=================================

Bryan Phillips:

Phillips, Bryan - Navigators All

=================================

Peter Scharl:

Scharl, Peter - Navigators

=================================

Will Sinnott:

Sinnott, Will - Navigators1

=================================

Bill Smith:

Smith, Bill - Navigators

=================================

OK, readers. That’s quite an impressive set of contributions! Now it’s time for you to vote. You’ll be allowed to vote for up to THREE (3) submissions. You may wish to scroll up for one more viewing, and write down your favorites.

. . .


Lewis & Clark “Navigators” (You may vote for 3)
  
pollcode.com free polls 

. . .

And now it’s your turn! Make sure to vote for your favorites and let all of the concepters know what you think of their designs. They all put a great deal of effort into this, so tell them how they did (and lobby for your favorites, if you wish).

Thanks to all the submitters — we’ll be back next weekend at which time Ross will reveal the winner(s) and how they will adapt the design for the Lewis & Clark league!

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2014 Logo
U.W.F.F.L. Spring League

By Rob Holecko

. . .

Well I’ve been asked to keep everyone at Uni Watch up-to-date with what’s going on in the Uni Watch Fantasy Football League (UWFFL) these days, so here we are. While the teams at the highest level of competition will be returning in the fall for our second season, a whole bunch of prospective expansion teams are currently competing in the UWFFL Spring Developmental League. Fifty-four teams are battling in six nine-team groups from now through June. Each team will play eight games, the other teams in their group each once, over a seventeen week period, and the best teams will be promoted to our fall leagues. The top two teams in each group will be promoted into Division II, and the teams that finish in 3rd through 5th will be promoted into Division III.

4-5 2

This week is already our fourth week of competition and some really strong teams have started to emerge. For instance, a team designed by Andrew Seagraves, the Greenville Pointers, has a really neat design and has started their season strong with a mark of 2-0, while a few other teams that also look to be among the favorites to advance are the St. John’s Stingers, the Little Rock Diamondbacks, the Philadelphia Puma and the British Columbia Lumberjacks:

4-5 3

A couple of old school NFL designs are also competing, the Dayton Triangles and the Providence Steamroller, as well as an Orlando Breakers team…

4-5 4

…that fans of a 1990s sitcom starring Craig T. Nelson might recognize.

These are just a sampling of some of the fifty-four teams competing in the developmental league for the right to get into the UWFFL this fall. Remember that these contests will all be decided by your votes! So be sure to head on over to our website at uwfantasyfootballleague.com and vote on our games this and every weekend during our spring season. Thanks again for your continued interest!

And for a final announcement, today we are launching a new Google+ page for people to submit future prospective expansion teams. So if you too would like to compete in the UWFFL, head on over and design a uniform and team identity to compete in the next round of expansion.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The Red Sox got their 2013 WS rings yesterday, with their special gold-outlined unis & cap. … Here’s a very cool photo of an artist who painted on the upper deck seat in honor of Doug Rader’s very long home run in the Astrodome, which took place almost exactly 44 years ago (thanks to Garrett McGrath). … Not surprisingly, MLB and the Red Sox are selling the special jerseys/caps the Sox wore for yesterday’s ring ceremony (thanks to Harrison Tishler). … With the Red Sox wearing gold trimmed unis and caps yesterday, Gregory Shock wonders why “just one day a season? Why not every game this season?” He adds, “The reigning MLB champ would have the option to gold-trim their jerseys and hats for the entire season. My inspiration for this line of thinking comes from what the Barclays Premiereship does with their shoulder patches. The defending champions are primarily gold v white for the rest of the teams.” … The Cubs have added a new 100th Anniversary logo behind home plate (thanks to Matthew Robins). … Earliest known photo of a batting glove in use? Mike Williams writes, “This photo was a tag in David Schoenfield’s story (yester)day on Rabbit Maranville. Check out the Dodger player second from left. He is clearly wearing a batting glove on his right hand. Have you ever seen this in photo form as early as the 1930’s??” … Seen at Friday’s Nats game was this “GLUTEN-FREE” NOB jersey. You can read more here. Apparently this is not the first such sighting of such a thing, as several on Twitter mentioned this occurred last year (not sure if it was the same fan). … Matthew Robins was at the Cubs game yesterday, and took some photos of the exterior walls of Wrigley Field (celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year). If you want to view those individually (and read some descriptions), visit Matthew’s twitter feed. … It wasn’t quite as bad as this, but last night, the Astros (in orange softball tops) and Angels (in red) played a brutal-looking game. More photos here, if you dare (h/t Jim Vilk). … Check out this awesome old Sporting News ad featuring the Babe and Lou (via Dugout Legends). … Tonight is the Durham Bulls Championship Ring Ceremony, and, taking their cue from the Red Sox, will wear these gold-trimmed championship jerseys (h/t @The_Real_Cub). … If you’ve read Uni Watch for any length of time, you’d have known the answer to this Pawn Stars trivia question (thanks to Chris Flinn). … After an entire year hiatus, the Marlins’ orange caps are free at last. … The Giants have a handy “A by-the-shirt assist on what to wear Opening Day in S.F.” in case you’re wondering just what to wear to the park (thanks, Brinke).

NFL News: Check out what is described as an authentic “NFL NY FOOTBALL GIANTS 1970 Training Camp HAT” on eBay (submitted by Mark Gonillo). I like how the Item Condition is simply listed as “worn.” … There has been another sighting of the vintage Rams logo (h/t Josh Petty). … There will be seven players with the last name “Williams” playing for the Buffalo Bills in 2014, notes Andrew Cosentino: S Aaron, G Chris, S Duke, DE Kyle, DE Mario, LB Nathan, and now WR Mike. Andrew asks, “I wonder if Mario and Mike will go FNOB or if they’ll go with ‘MA. WILLIAMS’ and ‘MI. WILLIAMS.’ Whenever I see two first letters of a first name being used, I can’t help but think of ‘JA. LEWIS’ and ‘JE. LEWIS’.” … The long, national wait is over, as the L.A. Kiss will make their home debut this weekend, giving fans their first glimpse of this helmet on the field for the first time.

College Football News: The Arkansas Razorbacks appear to be teasing something in this video (sent in by Clay Mitchell) who writes, “I’m sure you’ve seen the grey uniforms sported by the football team and basketball team over the past two seasons — and then a buddy of mine stumbled across this gem. It’s from Razorvision, the official youtube channel of the Razorbacks.” Guess we’ll find out more on April 21. … Northwestern is the latest school to add the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet to its equipment (from Clint Richardson). … Also joining the SpeedFlex camp is MTSU (Clint, again). … Besides getting a new logo, FSU will be getting new uniforms and helmets, which will NOT be “Oregon-ish” (however, the spears on the helmets “now cross in the back of the helmet and are more Nike-ized”). … There is now a new name for the Red River Rivalry (h/t Tom Gronek). … Jordan Mastrogiovanni plays for Texas A&M, and (obviously) has a reaaaaaaaalllly long last name. To fit that name, the A&M equipment manager will make the letters 1/2 width, according to the aforementioned article (nice find by Colin [no last name given]).

Hockey News: “I found this link to photos of the Grand Rapids Griffins Calder Cup champions ring designing process,” says Bryan Kimball. They’re giving out the rings today, and Bryan “thought it was really interesting and I’d like to share it with the rest of the Uni Watchers.” … Tim Thomas, who was traded from the Panthers to the Stars last month (and wasn’t thrilled about it either), has gotten new pads (good spot by Casey Wieder). His old pads didn’t quite fit the Stars’ uni scheme.

Soccer News: There is a new home kit for Chelsea for 2014-15 (via Marcus Dilley, and also Ben Mann). You can see more in this video clip. … Omar Jalife checks in with this: “Mexico’s team uses Adidas jersey but Nike has proposed to their four LigaMx teams to wear a green jersey (imagine St Paddy’s) in order to promote support for the national team. The ones in the article I link are, from left to right, Atlas (normally black and red) and America (normally blue and yellow). Tijuana will play with a green version too (normally red and black) while Monterrey decided to stick to their usual uniform.”

Grab Bag: Not uni-related, but Brinke sends along this article on the woman behind Apple’s first icons — very cool read, especially for those of us old enough to remember those when they came out. … Auto racer Jeff Gordon has a helmet with a paint scheme based off of Texas A&M‘s design and logo (from Clint Richardson).

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And that’s going to do it for this fine first Saturday in April. Hope everyone had a good Opening Day! Thanks to all the concepters for their efforts in today’s Lewis & Clark uni design contest — if you haven’t already, make sure you cast your votes for your three favorites. Ross will be back tomorrow when he reveals the winners of last weekend’s polling and reveal the logo for the winner(s), plus introduce the next team to be concepted. I will catch you guys then.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“It seems to me that MLB clubs are hoping and praying that someone, anyone, tangentially related to the club will die so that they can wear a memorial patch. It’s become a boring, pointless ‘look at me’ gesture and it needs to stop.”
–Joe Owen