Design An Ambulance Contest - Winner & Participants

Ambulance 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken, with Daniel Secord

After a one week delay, today we announce the winner of the “Design An Ambulance” contest. There were, unfortunately, not as many entrants as past contests — perhaps due to the esoteric nature of the design — but I want to thank all those who did participate, and today we’ll reveal all the entries/winner. I’ll show all the entrants below, with a writeup (if any) and then Dan will announce the winner and have a few words.

OK, here we go (you can click on any image below to enlarge):

. . .

Jeff Ingalls:

Ingalls, Jeff - Lion-Bulance

Hey Phil.

Kinda’ rough…. but you get the idea!

I must insist that the Lion-Bulance would have turf and mini uprights oh the roof!!! Enjoy.

Jeff Ingalls
Oshawa, Canada

. . .

Logan Jakubajtys:

Jakubajtys, Logan - LIONS3 Jakubajtys, Logan - LIONS4

Jakubajtys, Logan - LIONS1 Jakubajtys, Logan - LIONS2

None given

. . .

Bert Ayers:

Ayers, Bert - Ambulance Design Contest_Bert Ayers (Officially Licensed - 1)

Ayers, Bert - Ambulance Design Contest_Bert Ayers (Officially Licensed - 2)

Phil :

I would like to present the Officially Licensed National Football League Breast Cancer Awareness Military Appreciation 50th Anniversary Tailgate Ambulance™ for the Detroit Lions, brought to you by Ford Motor Company and Papa John’s (Better Ingredients, Better Pizza™).

This is the essential tailgate ambulance, complete with official Bridgestone tailgate tires that meet the National Football League’s cleat regulations and provide a smoother, safer ride for the cache of Pepsi and Frito-Lay products stored inside the spacious Munchy Suites™ (Presented by Marriot). It also provides free wifi, brought to you by Verizon Wireless, so you can stay in touch with social media on your Microsoft Surface™ and challenge other Lions fans on Madden 16™ (Presented by XBOX and DraftKings) all from the comfort of Ford Field’s parking lot.

You will also notice the custom Nike bumper, delivered by FedEx, which is aerodynamic and allows you that edge every tailgater needs to drive longer and faster while being lighter and more fuel efficient. The custom horn blasts “Tailgate Food Tastes So Good” to the tune of Nationwide’s delightful theme while you wash down McDonalds with an ice cold Anheuser-Busch or Gatorade product, brought to you by Visa.

A percentage* of profits from each Tailgate Ambulance™ sold goes to the NFL Player Care Foundation after administration fees are taken into account.


Bert Ayers

. . .


WK - ambulance1

Suggested nickname: Literal Hell on Wheels

I lived in Michigan (River Rouge – just outside of Detroit) for 14 years so I know of what I write below.

Upgrade #1 – Couch to sit on top of the ambulance during tailgates and soak in the party. Also will be fun to set on fire after the game when the Lions get their asses beat

Upgrade # 2 – On the driver door is a replica of the memorial patch for William Clay Ford. Since the Lions are ignoring the one year rule for RIP patches, why should we?

Upgrade #3 – The giant 0-16 reminder of the dumpster fire which was the 2008 season. Done in SuperBowl Roman numerals to keep it classy

Upgrade # 4 – a bunch of Lion logos from the past and present

Upgrade # 5 – Dig the ultra cool Lions hubcaps with vintage logos! Use blue rubber for the tires to keep the somber spirit alive with how the ineptitude of the franchise keeps Detroit fans somber and blue.

Upgrade # 6 – Have motor city legend and self-proclaimed white trash extraordinaire Kid Rock pilot this rig around town!

Stay classy, Motown!

. . .

Randy Allemann:

Alleman, Randy - FRONT

Hey Phil, here is my entry for the Ambulance Design Contest. I only designed the front of the ambulance. It is based on the 1960’s Detroit Lions logo, with the stripes extending to the top of the ambulance. Also, some red lights have been swapped out for blue lights instead. This would probably fall into the decal portion (part I) of the contest I guess. My name for the ambulance is “Blue

Thanks Phil.


. . .

Kenny Ocker:

Ocker, Kenny - Ambulance1 Ocker, Kenny - Ambulance2

Ocker, Kenny - Ambulance3 Ocker, Kenny - Ambulance4

I’ve taken the ambulance and adorned it with the Super Bowl trophies won by the team.

I’ve attached the resulting images.


. . .

Scott Lint

Lint, Scott - lions_image Lint, Scott - 3lions

Lint, Scott - cartoon_lion Lint, Scott - 3lions3 Lint, Scott - brit lion

Well, I don’t think Dan will like the graphics I have picked out, but bear with me. The Lions are loved in London because of the Lion logo and the “Three Lions” of the English Futbol Crest. So I have to at least suggest somewhere on the ambulance a tribute to the Brits in the form of one of the attached image files.

I have another plan that involves the Lions and London, but I doubt Dan will like that much either; we sell the Lions to London, everybody knows the NFL wants a team there and then some guy who makes pizza buys the Raiders and moves them to Grand Rapids. Detroit has had 50 years to prove to us they can’t even get close to a Super Bowl. It worked for Clevleand/Baltimore…it might be worth a shot. They’re killing us here! As much as I admire the diehard fans like Dan, something has to give. Maybe it will be our new offensive coordinator which brings me to the point…the name for the ambulance; I am suggesting (and this could be in very small print so it’s easy to cover up when the new coordinator gets fired) that the ambulance be named “The Cooter Skooter” in honor of the new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter aka James Robert Vagina!

Scott Lint
Mesick, MI

. . .

Laura DeLuca:

DeLuca, Laura - side_01jpeg DeLuca, Laura - side_02jpeg

DeLuca, Laura - frontjpeg DeLuca, Laura - rearjpeg

Hey Phil,

I wanted to submit my 4-side design for Dan’s Ambulance named “The Pulse of the Parking Lot” (he wanted a pun!) As you’ll see in the images, the design is heavily inspired by the Lions’ uniform striping and from there most of the elements can be “decal-ized” (like Matt Stafford and Megatron peering through the rear windows).

Hope you enjoy, it was a lot of fun!

-Laura DeLuca

. . .

And there you have it — that’s all the participants. Can you pick a winner?

OK, now I’ll turn the remainder of this section over to Dan, who’ll give his thoughts and announce the best entry:

. . . . . . . . . .

I want to start out by thanking everyone for there submissions. Designing an ambulance I’m sure was no easy task.

Now with a Lions design it is only to be expected that you get a lot of “clever” people. My absolute favorite of these was Kenny Ocker’s design. His write up simply said “I’ve taken the ambulance and adorned it with the Super Bowl trophies won by the team” The resulting images are of the blank ambulance. The same blank ambulance images I used as a template for the design. Pretty funny stuff Kenny!

Another one of my favorite clever designs was submitted by Roger Goodell under the alias of Bert Ayers. Bert had a write up about his design that was about a mile long. It included every Buzzword the NFL has in its repertoire. Sample: “I would like to present the Officially Licensed National Football League Breast Cancer Awareness Military Appreciation 50th Anniversary Tailgate Ambulance™ for the Detroit Lions, brought to you by Ford Motor Company and Papa John’s (Better Ingredients, Better Pizza™).” and there was about 3 more paragraphs of the same! I love the snark of that idea.

The design I am picking as the winner was Laura DeLuca. She did a really good job of keeping the designs original to the NNCC. Laura added a” NNCC since 2010″ decal on the doors which makes for a nice personal touch. She also hinted at the hospital that I work at on the playing field side of the ambulance with the initials “WSMC” which I thought was a cool little Easter egg. She also came up with a good punny name for the ambulance “Pulse of the Parking Lot.” Great name, although my favorite name that was submitted by a reader (AlMaFi) who came up with the name Yam-bulance, paying homage to the fact the Lions play every thanksgiving.

All in all it was a great contest and I want to thank everyone again for there participation. I really did enjoy parts of each persons design, but a winner had to be picked.

I will send images of the finished ambulance when the time comes.

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks, Dan. And thanks again to all those who participated!

line of french flags

adidas introduces new “Iced Out” black & white unis

Iced Out_Collection_White_RFL_1500x1500 Iced Out_Collection_Black_RFL_1500x1500
Click to enlarge

Yesterday, adidas introduced their latest gimmick, which they’re calling “Iced Out” (a play on “icy white” helmets???) for Arizona State University, Indiana University, Texas A&M, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, University of Miami, University of Nebraska, and UCLA. It’ll be the only time we use the term “Iced Out” on here (other than for snippets of their press release below). The white unis (well, those without sleeves) aren’t actually that bad. But the gimmick is… well, here’s how they’re described:

When hit with a camera flash, the Iced Out uniform’s reflective finish illuminates for a bold look that will have teams showing out when the season tips off this month.

The monochrome black and white uniforms feature a diamond pattern inspired by basketball nets along the sides of the jersey and shorts. Enlarged team logos are displayed on the shorts and the warm-ups include a new short-sleeved hoodie finished with the same reflective fabric and basketball net print.

In the splash photos, you’ll see there are six teams featured: UCLA, Kansas and Indiana in white (certainly, what you’d call more of the “traditional” schools and certainly hoops powerhouses over the years) and three in black: Arizona State, Louisville (with sleeves) and Miami. Louisville was, I believe, one of if not the first school to introduced sleeved unis. Of course, these are all BFBS.

Also receiving sleeves (and BFBS) is Texas A&M and Nebraska (white) For all images below, you can click to enlarge:

Texas_AM_Black_RFL_1500x1500 Nebraska_White_RFL_1500x1500

Louisville also got a sleeved white set.

The standard boilerplate bullshit describes the uniforms thusly:

To give players optimum performance on the court, the uniforms feature the same lightweight, sweat-wicking technology used in the NBA. Targeted ventilation zones on the chest, back and side keep players cool even in the most intense moments of the game. A mid-hole mesh on the short maximizes comfort and breathability as the game heats up.

Teams will wear Iced Out uniforms for select games throughout the season including start of season tournaments.

So the newest innovation is the reflective crap on the uniforms designed to stand out when a camera flash hits them? (Sorta like how the logos on those aTm helmets were supposed to light up during the Hallowe’en game, only the game was played during the daytime, mitigating its effectiveness.) Are you kidding me? Now folks are designing uniforms so crap on them will “pop” in the lights of the camera? Really. It’s come to this.

You can see more of the unis by clicking here and by viewing the slideshow below:

Putting aside the “reflective” gimmickry (and BFBS, and sleeves — a tall order, yes), I actually like these unis — they’re simple and minimalist. Of course, they’re also entirely unnecessary, but hey — there’s more merch to sell now.

line of french flags

classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite 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 Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

For this edition, Classic Football Scoreboards returns to the Big Ten for a look back at one of college football’s iconic stadiums on the campus of T-h-e Ohio State University.

Ohio Stadium

Ohio Stadium_UW

Football Home of: Ohio State University (1922 – present)
Opened: October 7, 1922

It is known as The Horseshoe or Shoe for short. The original horseshoe-shaped Ohio Stadium was conceived and designed by OSU alum and noted architect Howard Dwight Smith. He patterned the design after the Yale Bowl and Harvard Stadium, but with a few innovative design and construction twists.

For the complete history of Ohio Stadium planning, construction, multiple expansions and disasters, you will want to view this pictorial summary.

The planning and development of the Horseshoe, particularly the public-subscription Stadium Campaign to fund the project is covered at this link, note the interesting Ads and Promotion section.The campaign raised nearly $1 million and the reported final cost of the stadium was about $1.3 million or roughly $20 million in today’s dollars.

The first Ohio Stadium scoreboard, located at the south end, was a manually operated configuration. In this 1922 photo that scoreboard is partially visible. By 1928 temporary bleachers were added to the south end zone and the original scoreboard was gone. Scoreboards were now located on each of the south towers as shown here (and note the scoreboard operators standing on the rear platform).

In 1938, electronic scoreboards replaced the hand-operated ones. In 1956 the scoreboards were upgraded to a larger size, including a new scoreboard addition to the north end of the stadium. These remained in place for nearly 50 years, until the installation of a computerized scoreboard in 1984. Today the Shoe features the latest LED technology in a new 5,200 sf scoreboard.

The scoreboard graphic recreates the Buckeyes 20-9 victory over Michigan in a game played on November 21, 1970 as viewed from the southeast tower. The game was a matchup between two undefeated and untied teams (remember back in 1970 there was no OT in college football, that was still another 26 years in the future) with the winner earning the Big Ten championship.

If you missed the original game broadcast on ABC, you can still watch it here. There’s a brief look at the scoreboard at the 11:35 mark in the video.

A Few Things to Know

• Ohio Stadium was the first horseshoe-shaped, double-deck stadium in the United States.

• The stadium’s original capacity was 66,210, ginormous in size at the time. From inception there was significant concern by university officials the new stadium would never be fully occupied. And this was the case in the 1920s and 30s when games saw less than 30,000 fans. But that all changed after WW II and beyond. Today the Horseshoe’s current 106,944 seating capacity ranks third largest in college football and the fifth largest in the world.

• At an early time in the stadium’s history it featured another “scoreboard” of sorts that you may not know existed. You can learn about this mystery scoreboard and more in the next edition of Classic Football Scoreboards.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

line of french flags

UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

In case you missed yesterday, Paul had his latest piece on ESPN for the new column entitled “Friday Flashback.”

Yesterday’s piece was on the Golden State Warriors’ “The City” unis worn from the mid-1960s through 1972, and which many (including Paul) consider to be “the best uniform in basketball history.” I’d be hard-pressed to find a better one myself — just gorgeous.

So…if you haven’t already, give it a read!

Also, yesterday afternoon, Paul did an ESPN write-up on Thursday’s Color Rash game between the Jets and Bills. Check it out.

line of french flags

T-Shirt Club reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it a few days ago, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s design for the December — the ugly sweater design — is now available. We’re offering it in three formats: a standard short-sleeve tee (American Apparel or Teespring Premium), a long-sleeve tee, or a sweatshirt. It’s a doozy of a design — dig (click to enlarge):

This shirt will be available through next Tuesday, Nov. 17. Again, you can order it here. Thanks.

line of french flags

Uni Watch News Ticker

Baseball News: The Bowling Green Hot Rods, a class-A midwest league team, have announced they have new uniforms and logos (h/t BG Hot Rods). As was seen in yesterday’s ticker, here’s the full set of logos/wordmarks. And here’s a bit more on that.

NFL News: The NFL is ALREADY backtracking on it’s Color Rash mistake. Key quote: “‘The Color Rush jerseys are a test for four games this season, the first of which was last night,’ the league said in a statement. ‘We did test the jerseys this summer on field and on television. The standard television test did not account for color blindness for fans at home that became apparent last night. We will enhance our testing to include a color blindness analysis to better address this issue in the future’.” … Wow — here’s a fantastic ticket stub from the New Year’s Eve 1967 NFL Western Division Championship game! For those of you that might not appreciate exactly what that game was — do the words −15 °F (with a windchill of −48 °F) narrow it down? Yep — that was the infamous “Ice Bowl” game (great, great submission from Mark Hittner, who writes, “I know you like a good ticket stub, and my Dad has a classic.”). … Here is the NY Daily News take on the “Color Rush” game Thursday night. Embedded therein is another link with the Daily News’ 50 worst uniforms ever (thanks to Patrick O’Neill). … The Browns will be wearing white tops, brown pants and brown socks against the Steelers on Sunday. … Meanwhile, the Eagles will be wearing green jerseys and white pants against the Dolphins.

College/High School Football News: The Oregon State University Beavers will be wearing white/white/orange vs. Cal. Speaking of the OSU Beavers, check out this cool overcoat (from Test Pattern) worn by coach Dee Andros. … As many of you are aware, Va Tech & Ga Tech played color-vs-color on Thursday night. The Ramblin’ Wreck, who usually wear white at home, wore blue jerseys as an homage to the 1990 national championship team. Georgia Tech celebrated the 25th anniversary and had a helmet decal as well (thanks to Eric Goldstein). … If you think lifestyle/uniform manufacturers are pervasive in the college ranks, check out this article: “How lucrative apparel deals are changing D-FW high school football” (Thanks to Rob Behrens for pointing this out). … Keeping high schoolers unis clean is a full-time job. … As many of you are no doubt aware, today marks the 45th Anniversary of the Marshall Football plane crash, and today, in remembrance, the team will wear black jerseys. … If this is the sort of thing that interests you, here is an article listing the top 25 high school unis in Oregon. … Flag desecration end zone for the Chattanooga Mocs (h/t Austin Perryman). … Here are some great photos of the Fenway tranformation for the upcoming Notre Dame game (from Warren Junium). And here’s the field. … Miami will be in “traditional” white/white/orange today. … Will the USC Gamecocks be back in black for today’s game against Florida? … Here’s a look at the all-white uniforms Mizzou will wear today. … Also wearing all white today: UNLV.

Hockey News: Holy Shit! Check out this goalie jersey from the KHL All-Star Game in Russia (thanks, I think, to DB Cooper). … “First time I’ve ever seen such extensive personal motivational messages on hockey equipment,” writes Mike Engle. “Puts under-cap brim stuff in baseball to shame. It says: Don’t fear failure. Compete 100%. Play for others. Enjoy the process.” … The Seattle Thunderbirds will be celebrating 100 years of Seattle hockey and wearing some sweet unis to commemorate it (h/t Coach Lyle). … Looks like the Milwaukee Admirals will be doing the Star Wars jersey thing (from Adam Billman). … The Alaska Aces goalie was rocking a Notre Dame mask during last evening’s game (good spot by DirtyAlaskan).

NBA News: Contained within this article complaining about the woeful Philly 76ers starting five are some neat old photos of Philadelphia basketball players. … Check out this awesome photo of Dr. Jack Ramsay coaching the Buffalo Braves (h/t The Sports Paper). … The Memphis Grizzlies will be debuting their throwback Memphis Sounds unis on Monday, November 16th, versus the Thunder. Here are some more photos, and some video. … Raptors coach Dwane Casey thinks F DeMarre Carroll may have plantar fasciitis because he switched shoes this summer (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … “On Dish Network’s Anywhere subscription, apparently they haven’t been told it’s the 2nd season of the Charlotte Hornets,” writes Josh Edney. … Oh, on the heels of Paul’s ESPN piece on “The City” unis, check out this photo of Bruce Springsteen and original E St. Band keyboardist David Sancious from 1974, with the Boss rocking the “City” tee (from Dave Holland). … “I don’t think anyone’s brought this up yet,” writes José Niebla. “For the last two games Kobe’s played in, he has worn a long sleeve shirt under his jersey. According to the league’s poster, undergarments ‘must not be visible under game jersey/shorts.’ Do you know why this is being allowed or is Kobe going to be fined?” … French NBA player Ajinca wore #Pray4Paris on his sneakers last night in Toronto (h/t Aliya-Jasmine).

College Hoops News: Here’s a much better look at the new TCU basketball court which will be used once the stadium opens in December (via Ivor van Esch). … Here’s a look at the new Siena road uniform (from John Dougherty). … New uniforms for Georgia Southern (from Alexander Meltzer). Here’s what they look like in action. Here’s what their previous home and road unis looked like. … Reader Gregory Koch was at a George Washington basketball game and “their mascot is, appropriately, George Washington. On the back of his cape thing, it says ‘George Washington’. I can’t figure out if that is supposed to be school name on back or his name.” … Check out these tremendous old school warm-up pants for Southeastern LA (from Matthew Cunningham). … “Some Jackson State players have blank navy blue nameplates on back, others don’t,” notes Andrew Greenblatt. … Here’s a look at WVU’s new white unis (from Brian Young).

Soccer News: Here’s a good look at the number and letter fonts for the 2016 adidas football home kit, as brought to us by Conrad Burry. … Also from Conrad, the numbers of the away kit font feature a “spraypaint stencil” effect. … Here’s a look at Notre Dame women’s soccer uniforms for the upcoming tournament season (h/t Warren Junium). … The international friendly between Spain and England was not only the debut of Spain’s Euro 2016 uniform, it was the reintroduction of their traditional dark red/royal blue/black color scheme (thanks to Saurel Jean, Jr.).

Grab Bag: When protests don’t quite go the way protests are supposed to go: Georgetown Athletes Are Covering Up The Swooshes On Their Nikes To Protest The Brand–WHILE STILL WEARING THE FREE NIKES. SMH. … Someone in Sujainių, Lithuania, really…REALLY…likes the three stripes (here’s a bit more on that). … A new logo for St. Louis University was revealed yesterday afternoon, as well as a new Billikens logo (h/t Mark Singer). Here’s how it looks on the basketball court (via Austin Kratz).

line of french flags

That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Ambulance Design contest, Dan for suggesting it, Gary for the OSU scoreboard and anyone who tweeted or sent in for the ticker. Lets hope today is a better day than yesterday.

Peace for Paris

.. … ..

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

line of french flags

Silly Season Kicks Into High Gear

Full disclosure: I didn’t see the Color Rash game last night. Had made plans weeks ago to have dinner at a friend’s house and wasn’t going to break those plans for some silly Nike nonsense that I can’t even bring myself to take seriously. (That turned out to be a good call, as my friend Aimee’s Indian cooking was sensational.)

But I watched some highlights and looked at lots of photos, and it was all exactly like the photo you see above pretty straightforward: If you want football players to look like they’re wearing bodysuit costumes on Playstation, this was the game for you; if you prefer football uniforms with some contrast, you should have made other plans like I did. (Also: When the Bills had the ball, for some reason the field didn’t magically turn red like it did in the promo photos. Go figure.)

In an interesting subplot that emerged during the game, people with red-green colorblindness — estimated to be about six percent of the population — complained that they couldn’t tell the teams apart. Several such fans emailed me during the game. To them, the game apparently looked something like this:

That’s a screen shot taken from a video that Deadspin created in an attempt to simulate how the game looked for colorblind fans. I was impressed by how many other media outlets picked up on this angle, including, Yahoo Sports, and ESPN.

A few other notes from the game:

• If you had a hard time adjusting to the Bills wearing red, you weren’t the only one. Buffalo coach Rex Ryan offered this quote after the game: “Hell, I look out there and my team’s in red. Blue, I might have had a chance. But I’m like, ‘Who are they? Oh shoot, that’s us.'” Nice job, NFL.

• Jets running back Stephen Ridley wore a green visor for at least part of the game.

• Nice to see that not even Color Rash jerseys are immune to the sweatbox.

• The Jets wore an odd American flag decal. The white stripes were apparently supposed to appear silver but just looked grey. Interestingly, the team’s NFL logo decal appeared in the standard colors. I guess some things, unlike the flag, are too sacred to be messed with.

Meanwhile, next Thursday’s game will feature the Jags and Titans, and their Color Rash unis were officially revealed:

Pretty much what we’d been led to expect. No, I don’t know if the Jags are actually ditching the two-tone helmet, as that image sort of suggests. Might just be Photoshopping. Trying to find out.

Additional photos of both uniforms are available here. Just remember, the field won’t really be blue or gold during the game.

Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports had the funniest take on all of this, as he juxtaposed the following two images:

That seems like a good place to stop. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week.

(Major thanks to David Paling and Phil for their contributions.)

• • • • •

And now for something that doesn’t suck: My Friday Flashback on ESPN today takes a look at the Warriors’ classic “The City” design, which is considered by many, including myself, to be the best uniform in basketball history (and is once again being revived this season as a throwback). Check it out here.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s design for the December — the ugly sweater design — is now available. We’re offering it in three formats: a standard short-sleeve tee (American Apparel or Teespring Premium), a long-sleeve tee, or a sweatshirt. I love how it turned out and can’t thank my Teespring partner, Bryan Molloy, enough for the sensational design (click to enlarge):

This shirt will be available through next Tuesday, Nov. 17. Again, you can order it here. Thanks.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Lots of chatter about how an Apache leader named Terry Rambler, who’s been critical of the ’Skins team name, appeared in blackface for Halloween. That’s a bad move by Rambler, but it really has no bearing on the larger ’Skins debate. Rambler may be a hypocrite or worse, and he may have squandered whatever moral authority he had regarding this issue, but that doesn’t mean the issue itself suddenly goes away or that his position on the issue was wrong. By way of comparison, if it turned out that I had a bunch of camouflage jerseys in my closet, that doesn’t suddenly mean the G.I. Joke phenomenon would be okay. It would just mean I was a hypocrite. As always, focus on the message, not the messenger. … Adidas’s recent offer to create new logos and help finance new uniforms for high schools wanting to move away from their Native American-based team names was contemptuously declined by a school superintendent in Texas, who said, “Changing [the school’s team name from Indians] would be tapering down to political correctness of leftist extremists and we’re not going to do that here.” He then added, “They [Adidas] are all about making a dollar and selling a brand. That’s what’s driving them to do it.” Charming bloke (from Jacob Lipp). … Daniel Cortez, a Virginia Tea Party activist who’s also a Native American and a veteran, will be singing the national anthem for the ’Skins military appreciation game this Sunday, and he says the team’s name is a positive thing. He has some odd notions about this, though — at one point he writes, “Tragically, divisive politicians out of touch with Native American sentiment besmirch the respected Redskins moniker which courageously identifies my people.” Whatever one thinks about the ’Skins name, does anyone honestly think it’s courageous? (From Tommy Turner.) … “In the Netflix series Master of None, a journalist advocating for a ’Skins name change had a helmet made for the Washington Breadsticks,” says Coleman Mullins. “In an odd twist, the helmet has baguettes and mozzarella sticks.”

Baseball News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s something I hadn’t seen before — a jersey-themed wristband (from R. Scott Rogers). … New logo set for the Bowling Green Hot Rods (from Josh Claywell).

Pro and College Football News: Panthers CB Josh Norman has been fined $5K for wearing “patriotic” cleats last weekend. … Here’s a retrospective of Bills uniform history (from @TenThrizzle). … The NFL wasn’t the only place to find color vs. color last night. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech also did it, but without the mono. … New billboards up at Fenway Park for the Shamrock Series game. … Back in 2011 I posted an interview with Will Johnson, leader of the great indie-rock band Centro-Matic who had also created a series of sensational baseball paintings. Now he’s turned his attention to college football with a series of Tennessee Vols paintings. Additional info here (from KC). … Here’s an interesting discussion thread about Notre Dame’s equipment operation in the 1980s (from @FinallySock). … Cedar Rapids Gazette readers have submitted a bunch of Iowa football uni concepts. … Here’s a video tour of Baylor’s locker room and equipment facility (from Luke Schaffner). … U! S! A! end zone design for UNC (from James Gilbert). … Just when you thought you’d seen everything: UCLA has a Navy SEAL tribute helmet. Sure, why not, wheee! … Alabama coach Nick Saban says nobody should mess with the team’s look (from Nolan Jones). … Here are this weekend’s uni combos for Washington State, Iowa, UNC, and Arizona State. … Given the events on the Missouri campus this week, it’s ironic that they’ll be wearing mono-white tomorrow.

Hockey News: Pretty cool Victoria Cougars throwbacks for the Victoria Royals (from Steve May). … G.I. Joke jerseys this Sunday for the Hershey Bears (from Matthew Scher). … Blackhawks paired their G.I. Joke warm-up tops with American flag helmet decals (from Jason Wyrick).

College Hoops News: Wow — FIOB, JrOB, and vertical arching, all on one jersey! … Here’s a good look at Oakland’s black-stained floor. … New “Don’t Tread on Me” uniforms for Navy. … New uniforms for Central Missouri.

Soccer News: More national kits: Sweden away, Bosnia away, Wales away, Spain, and Belgium. … Here’s the Euro 2016 match ball. Further info here. … New jersey for FC Dallas (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: As you may be aware, Twitter recently changed its “like” or “favorite” icon from a star to a heart. I don’t really care one way or the other, except for this: If you click on the heart icon, it briefly turns purple and then explodes in a puff of purple sparks before turning red. Grrrrr. … Men are increasingly swapping out dress shoes for designer sneakers (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s more on that Georgia high school cross country runner who was DQ’d for wearing a headband with a Bible verse written on it (thanks, Phil). … New Aussie football team logo for the Melbourne Demons (from Leo Strawn Jr.).

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Art of the Poster

For all posters, click to enlarge

I mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker that I loved the gameday posters that the Blue Jackets have been putting out. The one shown above is my favorite so far — the overhead perspective, the slightly bleached-out colors, the brilliant conceit of mowing a field of Maple Leafs logos.

Here’s another really good one, with a Blue Jacket defeating Johnny Canuck in a log roll:

As you all know, I’m not a big fan of military metaphors in sports. But when you’re playing a team called the Jets, it’s not out of line to envision the game as a battle of air squadrons:

This next one is particularly clever, because it doesn’t include any representation of the Blue Jackets at all. It just shows the Islanders facing rough waters and stormy weather — a good way of suggesting that the visiting team is entering hostile territory while simultaneously poking fun at the Isles’ old fisherman identity:

In yesterday’s comments, someone asked if these posters were strictly digital or if printed versions were available. I put that question to Blue Jackets communications VP Todd Sharrock, and also asked him a few other things about the posters. Here’s how he responded:

The idea for the posters came from our digital media and marketing group and the artwork has been created by one of our in-house graphic designers, Anthony Zych. It started as something he was doing in his spare time for fun. Right now they are digital only and distributed via our social platforms, but I think there has been some discussion about adding a print element, as there have been requests for them.

I’d like to know more, so I asked if I could interview Zych, who appears to be a pretty talented guy. Sharrock said he’d get back to me on that — stay tuned.

Meanwhile, kudos to Zych for coming up with these tremendous designs, and to the Blue Jackets for recognizing his talent and showcasing his work. Let’s hope they keep putting out more of these.

As long as we’re talking about gameday posters, reader Aaron Husul alerted us to the work of Arsenio Garate, an illustrator in Mexico, whose created an extensive gallery of NFL gameday designs, many of them featuring the 49ers. I don’t love these as much as the Blue Jackets designs (in part for stylistic reasons and in part because a bunch of them have a Transformers vibe that isn’t my bag), but some of them are very clever, like this one for the Packers/Broncos game that took place on Halloween weekend:

Gameday posters are a genre of sports design that I hadn’t really thought about until now. Could be a whole new rabbit hole for us to explore. I like.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s design for the December — the ugly sweater design — is now available. We’re offering it in three formats: a standard short-sleeve tee (American Apparel or Teespring Premium), a long-sleeve tee, or a sweatshirt. I love how it turned out and can’t thank my Teespring partner, Bryan Molloy, enough for the sensational design (click to enlarge):

This shirt will be available through next Tuesday, Nov. 17. Again, you can order it here. Thanks.

• • • • •

Mike’s Paul’s Question of the Week: Mike couldn’t come up with a question this week, so here’s one from me: As longtime readers are well aware, I occasionally show old ticket stubs from games I attended as a kid. I saved all of my stubs in those days, up until I finished college. Did you save your ticket stubs when you were a kid? Do you still have them? What about nowadays — with tickets often taking the form of PDF printouts or even smart phone bar codes, do you still save the “stubs”? If you’re younger and grew up in the non-stub era, do you feel like you missed out on anything?

Just to be clear: I am not pining for the “good old days” here. The convenience of PDFs is tremendous. But as is so often case when something is gained, something has also been lost. I do miss a good stub.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

NFL News: To drum up the excitement for tonight’s Color Rash game, the Bills splashed red all over Buffalo. The campaign is called “Seeing Red.” Also, here are the Bills’ socks for tonight’s game. … We also got a peek at what the Jaguars and Titans will be wearing for next week’s Color Rash game. … Players use a number of tricks and modifications to gain an edge with their uniforms. I like the LB who soaks his jersey in water before games (from Phil). … A man in Milford, Ohio, painted his house in Bengals stripes (from Jonathan Daniel). … Here’s a good oral history on “I’m going to Disneyland!” Between that phrase, the Gatorade Dunk, and the Ickey Shuffle, the late 1980s were the best era for football celebrations (from Brinke). … Josh Claywell‘s local youth football league wears NFL team uniforms. The jersey logos are insanely big (think of the MLB’s “Turn Ahead the Clock” game for football), and the Bengals team wears striped helmets and striped pants. The Steelers team wears a helmet logo on only the right side, as well — no good photo of that, unfortunately. … On last night’s episode of The Goldbergs, which takes place in the Philadelphia area in the 1980s, the family dog wore a customized Ron “Paworski” jersey. The show has had its share of Philly uniform-related jokes in prior episodes. (from Chris Flinn).

College Football News: Western Michigan wore white at home with flag-patterned feathers on its helmets last night (from Ted Chastain). … Syracuse will wear all-navy uniforms with a jersey patch this weekend against Clemson. … More and more fans are buying and wearing counterfeit Ohio State jerseys (from Phil). … South Carolina will wear black jerseys and pants this weekend against Florida (from @willchitty4). … Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer announced he will retire at the end of the season, so the Hokies will wear this helmet decal for him. … Temple has two players named Nate Smith starting on its defense, so they go by their MIOB in real life. Coaches and teammates call them “Nate D.” and “Nate L.” (from Andrew Hoenig). … Albany players will wear soldiers’ names as their NOBs this Saturday (from Dick Holbrook). … “Before becoming a regular reader of Uni Watch eight odd years ago, I wouldn’t have given this shot a second thought,” says Jason Hillyer. “Now I wonder if someone made sure that the left side of the BG coach’s jacket collar was strategically turned under for this halftime interview.” … UIW, an FCS school, has managed to cram several awful design tropes into this weekend’s uniform.

Hockey News: The Penguins wore camo warm-ups last night, and the Blackhawks will wear their own version tonight (from Phil). … The San Diego Gulls wore camo last night. … Oh boy. The Indy Fuel will honor cops and firefighters with “Guns-n-Hoses” jerseys this Saturday (from Jacob Wilson). … Looks like the Iowa Wild will wear flag jerseys this weekend (from @elichtenberg). … Will Scheibler sent in some footage of soldiers playing hockey during the Korean War. … Camouflage jerseys last night for the AHL’s Ontario Reign (from @Lloydguy82). … Some Canadian hockey teams wore small poppies on their jerseys yesterday, and then there were the Brantford 99ers, whose poppies were juuuust a wee bit larger.

NBA News: The Mavericks finally debuted their fan-designed skyline navy alternates last night, creating a color-vs.-color game against the Clippers. The Mavs’ Twitter account was delighted by that. … The Bulls are letting fans name their new D-League team. The contest has a few stipulations, but everyone who submits a name will get a “buy one, get one” voucher for a Bulls D-League game in 2016-17. … There isn’t a ton of ABA footage out there so I don’t know how common this was, but Nassau Coliseum’s court sure had a lot of paint inside the 3-point line. That’s from Game 6 of the 1976 ABA Finals, the league’s final game. … On Tuesday, Celtics G Evan Turner said that, if he had the power, he’d make himself the NBA logo. A fan whipped up a concept for him. It was even shown during the Celtics telecast.

Soccer News: In addition to Veterans Day, yesterday was also Remembrance Day in the UK and Canada. Teams from those countries wore poppies in recent days. … New uniforms for Japan.

Grab Bag: PTI’s Tony Kornheiser a wore a poppy on the set yesterday (from Alex Hider). … New logo for the Appalachian League (from @MyPintOfView). … A company called Rhone Apparel sees opportunity in serving the men’s athleisure market, like what Lululemon did for the women’s sector (from Tommy Turner). … A Georgia high school cross country runner was disqualified for wearing a headband while running at a meet.

Some Thoughts About ‘Gear’

Commenter LoseRem recently started a lengthy thread here on the site by saying he was disappointed in New Yorkers because of “the lack of Mets gear” being worn around town during the World Series. Yes, that’s an absurd sentiment (which we’ve already discussed at length, so let’s please not relitigate it today, thanks), but it got me thinking: When did team merch like jerseys, caps, and T-shirts become known as “gear”?

You hear “gear” being used all the time: “Fans are decked out in their Cubs gear” or “Gonna break out my LSU gear for this Saturday’s game” or whatever. I certainly don’t exclude myself from this trope — I’ve definitely used “gear” when referring to team merch.

“Gear” is a very appealing word. It evokes thoughts of buckles buckling, snaps snapping, straps strapping things into place. When you “gear up,” you’re a rough ’n’ ready commando preparing for a battle or some other arduous task, or maybe you’re a skilled professional brandishing the tools of your trade (camera gear, carpenter’s gear, etc.).

But that’s the thing: Team merch isn’t “gear” at all — it’s just clothing. And fans wearing team merch aren’t “gearing up” or going into battle or strapping on a tool belt — they’re just playing dress-up. I understand why it’s seductive to refer to team merch as “gear,” but that’s basically an exercise in fantasyland thinking.

As you can see from the ads that I’ve scattered throughout this entry, “gear” is also a corporate marketer’s dream term. An overpriced polyester shirt doesn’t seem quite so overpriced if it’s “gear,” which is all the more reason to view the term with suspicion.

I first heard “gear” used when referring to team merch in 1999, when the Braves were burying the Mets in the pennant race and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said New York fans should “get out their Yankees gear” because the Mets’ season was effectively over.

Or at least that’s how I remembered Jones’s quote. But when I looked it up the other day, I found that what he actually said was, “”Mets fans can go home and put on their Yankees stuff” (or, depending on the media outlet, “Now all the Mets fans can go home and put their Yankee stuff on”). So there was no use of “gear” there — I had somehow mentally inserted it at some point over the years, which is an indication of how pervasive the term has become. But! In a 2009 piece about Jones’s farewell season, New York Times writer Jack Curry led with, “Ten years ago, Chipper Jones invited Mets fans to go home and change into their Yankees gear.” So Jones is now retroactively thought to have been talking about gear even though he didn’t actually say “gear.”

(Odd coincidence: What Jones actually said [“stuff”] and what I mistakenly thought he said [“gear”] were the titles of two very similar — and similarly dreadful — magazines that both launched right around the time he gave that quote. Hmmmm.)

Anyway: As you know, I think the world would be much better off if team merch weren’t available for sale and if fans didn’t wear it. I’m fully aware that many (perhaps most) of you disagree with me on that point, but how about this: Let’s at least call these items what they are, which is clothing or apparel or merch. It’s not “gear” — never was, never will be. I hereby propose a moratorium on that term as it relates to team merch and will do my best to observe and enforce that moratorium here at Uni Watch.

I know, I know: Many of you no doubt think this is crazy, or just annoying. But language matters, and the language of the uni-verse should be of interest to all of us — especially when it’s being used to sell us stuff.

• • • • •

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my annual college basketball season preview is up now on ESPN.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club launch: The Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s design for the December — the ugly sweater design — is now available. We’re offering it in three formats: a standard short-sleeve tee (American Apparel or Teespring Premium), a long-sleeve tee, or a sweatshirt. I love how it turned out and can’t thank my Teespring partner, Bryan Molloy, enough for the sensational design (click to enlarge):

The little “flaws” in the knitting, the stirrups and magnifying glasses, the slightly ragged NOB lettering — it’s so awesome! This might be my favorite design of the entire year.

This shirt will be available through next Tuesday, Nov. 17. Again, you can order it here.

My thanks for everyone’s enthusiasm for the T-Shirt Club throughout the year — it’s been a fun project. We’ll likely continue it in 2016, but in a different format. More details soon.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Here’s a 1989 shot of the Bush clan wearing MLB merch — that’s George H.W. and George W. in Rangers caps and Jeb in a Cubs jacket. … A 2016 Mets calendar mistakenly shows Jason — not Jacob — deGrom (from Chris Flinn). … Speaking of the Mets, good news at Shea, where the insipidly named Pepsi Porch is being de-Pepsi-fied. … Here’s ace DIYer Wafflebored’s latest retro-styled necktie. … New uniforms for the Kane County Cougars (from Jim Hanke). … Can a ribbon have a font? Sort of, if it’s a “Boston Strong” ribbon patterned after the Red Sox font (from Kyle Geralds).

NFL News: Bills coach Rex Ryan, whose son plays for Clemson, wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference yesterday. … Here’s a head-spinning graphic showing the year-by-year visual progression of every NFL team’s logo (if your vision get blurry, blame Mike). … The Bengals will wear their orange alts next Monday night (from Jon Schroeder). … The Jets and Bills will play the first Color Rash game tomorrow night, and here’s a look at the new facemasks that the Jets will be wearing.

College Football News: Here’s one blogger’s top five reasons why Texas should keep its throwbacks (thanks, Phil). … Here’s the story behind Florida’s white helmets from last weekend (from @DaveDoop).

Hockey News: Helmet poppies for the Canucks. … New pads for Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack (from James Gilbert). … The Kings wore their gold throwbacks last night. Interestingly, they’re also planning to wear them for a road game in Boston on Feb. 9 — the 50th anniversary of the franchise’s founding (from Brian Rowland). … The Blue Jackets keep coming up with these awesome promotional posters. Boy are they good! You can see more of them here. … Remembrance Day uniforms for the Kitchener Rangers.

NBA News: Some great old uni photos in this article on Sweetwater Clifton (thanks, Phil). … The NBA’s Xmas Day ball features a snowflake-ized version of the league logo. … World Series of Poker player Joe McKeehan wore an Allen Iverson jersey while playing last night (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: More ridiculous color names and and “story”-based uniforms, this time from Seton Hall, who should just call their new uniforms “blue” and “grey” and be done with it (from Phil). … New court design for Jacksonville State (from Jake Scott). … Here are the N7 designs for Oklahoma State and New Mexico. … William & Mary has new uniforms and a new court design (from Andrew Ryder). … Here’s the 2017 Final Four logo.

Soccer News: More national team unveils, this time for Wales, Spain, the Czech Republic, Spain, Northern Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, and Italy’s keeper. … Here are all of the confirmed kits so far for Euro2016 (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Lots of cool uniforms on display in this slideshow covering 25 years of the Iowa state volleyball championships (from Jesse Gavin). … easyJet’s new flight attendant uniforms are covered in LEDs. … NC State has inked a six-year extension of its apparel deal with Adidas. … Two MLB-sponsored golfers won their respective tournaments last weekend (from Jake Patterson). … New lacrosse jerseys for the NLL’s Saskatchewan Rush (from Lloydguy82).

• • • • •

Holiday thoughts: With Veterans Day being observed today in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and many other countries, Newsday has published a strong piece by an Iraq War veteran who says the “patriotic pageantry” at sporting events has gone too far and lost its meaning. It’s both thoughtful and thought-provoking — highly recommended. (My thanks to reader Brian Wulff for bringing it to my attention.)

My best wishes to all who are observing the holidays, and to all veterans.

• • • • •

Classy gent: Word began circulating yesterday that the great New Orleans R&B pianist, songwriter, and producer Allen Toussaint had died. If you know who he was, then you know what a huge loss this is; if you’ve never heard of him, you almost certainly know his songs, which were covered and made into hits by countless pop stars, including Ernie K-Doh, Lee Dorsey, the Rolling Stones, the Pointer Sisters, Glenn Campbell, Warren Zevon, and many more. He was the kind of artist for whom the term “an American original” was created, and a genius to boot. He’ll be missed.

I saw Toussaint play several times over the years, both in New Orleans and here in New York, most recently two summers ago at Lincoln Center. I never got to meet him or shake his hand or anything like that, but that Lincoln Center show was preceded by a live appearance in a small room where he was interviewed by the singer Nona Hendryx, and I was sitting just a few feet away from him. You could tell he was a class act — smart, dignified, articulate, a pro’s pro. He’d just been awarded the National Medal of Arts at the White House the month before, and it was hard to imagine a more deserving recipient.

Toussaint looked vibrant and healthy during those Lincoln Center appearances two years ago. He was 75 at the time, and I remember thinking, “He’s gonna be one of those guys who keep playing until they’re 90.” Wrong again — dang. R.I.P.