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Wild Card Unis *almost* Mirror Images

1-7-17 Playoff Games 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

The first two Wild Card games of the 2016-17 NFL Season are now in the books, with the Texans and Raiders playing in Houston, and the Seahawks and Lions up in Seattle. And the first thing that struck me is how the games were almost mirror images of one another, uni-wise. Both home teams wore blue helmets, jerseys and socks, and both road teams wore silver helmets, white jerseys and silver pants. And both were surprisingly good looking games.

I had actually thought about “predicting the winners of the games by the team with the better uniform” (as I kinda/sorta do with College football and have done in the past with the NFL), but I thought better of it. For one thing, the uniforms that will be worn for the NFL playoffs, save for a couple elements like pants (and maybe socks), are usually known. So, would I pick the winner based on the overall best uni (like I do for college) or based on the uniform I expect the teams to wear? Probably the latter. In any event, had I done so for yesterday’s games, I would have picked the Raiders (one of the top 5 uniforms in football) and the Seahawks. (Wait…what?). Yes, even though I initially did NOT like the Nikefied treatment of the Seahawks uniforms when they were introduced in 2012, I’ve actually grown to like them quite a bit. In fact, I’d say they’re now one of the better “modern” uniforms in the game (and certainly better than the new uniforms the Jaguars, Browns and Buccaneers have received, and marginally better than Miami and Minnesota, both of which I don’t hate, but neither of which is as good as previous uniforms). I’d even rate the Seahawks ahead of the Lions overall, although the Lions uniforms now aren’t bad.

I still don’t like the Seahawks habit of going mono-blue, particularly when they have a perfectly fine set of gray pants, but it’s their look, and it’s what they wear at home. Too bad the game yesterday wasn’t in Detroit, though, because I think Detroit in honolulu blue jerseys versus the Seahawks would have looked even better. Of course, in years past, the game would have looked a LOT better.

We would have had mirror image games yesterday if the Texans had gone mono blue, a terrible look for them. It’s too bad they couldn’t have gone with the blue/red/blue/red look they debuted against the Jags, but you know how the NFL gets when it comes to alternates.

The Raiders vs. the Texans in Oakland (will that cease to exist next season?) would probably have been a much more aesthetically pleasing game, because there are few more iconic looks than da Raidahs in black and silver. And as you know from reading Paul’s Friday Flashback (and if you haven’t, a link is below), the Raiders haven’t changed their look much in 50+ years. And with good reason.

If I were picking today’s games based on “better uni,” it would be no contest. Our first game is between the Steelers and Dolphins (which are not fish), and while there is uncertainty on which pants the Dolphins will wear, they’ll likely go with aqua pants, though they look much better in all white (simply due to the leotard look with the aqua socks worn with the aqua pants). Still, the Steelers black/gold is superior in every way (though both teams had better uniforms years back — an check out the stripe malfunction on William Judson!).

The second half of the double-bill is between the Packers and the Giants, and this one isn’t close either. I happen to think the Packers home uniform is the best in all of football, and the Giants road uniform pales in comparison to their very good home look. Even if this game were in Giants, er…Met Life Stadium (just pretend the Giants have white pants there), I’d still like the Pack, based on the better uni, but it would be a tougher call. But in Green Bay? No contest. Of course, if history is any guide, maybe I should pick the Giants in Green Bay…

I actually think most of this year’s playoff games (no matter who advances) will look pretty good: Dallas and Kansas City (with byes this week) have stellar unis; probably the two weakest sets of unis also involve teams who are off this weekend: Atlanta (arguably the worst of all playoff teams) and New England (not bad, but not great). If only the Falcons could wear their fauxbacks. This might be the best set (again, arguably) of unis in the playoffs in quite some time.

The NFL had (and has) a lot of problems, including the ridiculous color rash mandates, but at least we can feel pretty good that this year’s playoffs will be aesthetically pleasing.

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Ben Traxel’s Cleanup Project

Long time readers will remember the name Ben Traxel — way back in the day we did a number of posts together, and we even shared some time back in Minnesota, at the Uni Watch “Deep Freeze” gathering. But as time has passed, we haven’t much kept up.

So, the other day I heard from Ben, who wanted to share another project with me — one that’s pretty neat actually. I’ll let Ben explain:

Phil,

Hope all is well. I was messing around and did a little cleanup project. I started photoshopping what the playoff teams would look like without all their “stickers”. A couple of them look a little blank but I think that’s because we’ve unfortunately gotten adjusted to seeing all blank space occupied. Raising the front numbers would probably fix that. Overall though, much better. I did take a few liberties on some. Chiefs – lowered the sleeve stripes, Patriots – got rid of the apron strings and added a small red stripe to the shoulders, Texans – added a small white stripe to the shoulders and thinned the collar, and the Seahawks – shortened the gray collarbone stripes.
Thought you might like to see.

Ben

Thanks Ben. It’s amazing what a little “cleanup” can do for an NFL uniform. Below are the fruits of Ben’s labor (you can click to enlarge):

Chiefs 1 Chiefs 2

Cowboys 1 Cowboys 2

Dolphins 1 Dolphins 2

Falcons 1 Falcons 2

Giants 1 Giants 2

Lions 1 Lions 2

Packers 1 Packers 2

Patriots 1 Patriots 2

Raiders 1 Raiders 2

Seahawks 1 Seahawks 2

Steelers 1 Steelers 2

Texans 1 Texans 2

Thanks, Ben — it’s amazing how even just removing the swoosh and the shield those unis look quite a bit better. Great stuff!

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UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

In case you missed it on Friday, with the Raiders back in the playoffs Saturday — their first postseason appearance since Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 — Paul’s latest Friday Flashback piece over on ESPN takes a look at some quirks and eccentricities in Raiders uniform history (including Kenny Stabler’s facemask, which had the scars from where the center vertical bar had been sawed off and removed, as seen here).

Check out the Friday Flashback here.

Enjoy!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Wow! Here’s a wonderful shot of the James M. Beard, Branch 3, National Association of Letter Carriers baseball team. Buffalo, 1894. Love those wide, white belts! (great find from Michael Blake Raymer). … Here’s kind of a cool article detailing six “tidbits” of Yankee uniforms you probably did not know. Important stuff too, like where do the unis get washed (but also some historical “facts” — Uni Watch readers may dispute the fact that the last “change” in the Yankee uniform occurred in 1915, for example). … The Ohio Bobcats will have raised helmet decals on matte helmets this year (from Joe Carlone). I usually *hate* any new trends in baseball aesthetics, but I have to say I really like the raised logo/matte look (like the Dodgers currently have). … Yesterday was National Bobblehead day (that’s a thing?). Here’s a really nice old NY Mets bobble (from Bruce Menard). … How sensitive are we (Uni Watchers) to logos? A couple people sent me this graphic of championship droughts, with Chief Wahoo being used for Cleveland, rather than the “Block C”.

NFL/Football News: “Saw this display at walmart,” writes Joseph Bailey. “I know they’re probably going for a generic helmet look, but the stripes look pretty close to a Browns’ helmet. I wonder if the NFL gets upset with this kind of stuff (no NFL endorsement anywhere on the sign).” … Apparently, Chris Cooley’s story about uniform number is ‘completely inaccurate’ — here’s the pertinent quote from Cooley: “When you signed Josh Norman, you forgot to tell Duke Ihenacho that you were going to give his number away, and for eight weeks of the season you had a rift with the coaching staff and the organization and Duke Ihenacho, with the fact that he couldn’t sell his number to Josh Norman,” Cooley said. ” ‘Hey, Duke, here’s an extra 50 grand; Josh is gonna have your number now. Sorry. He’s Josh Norman; you’re Duke Ihenacho. That’s how things work in the NFL.’” Unfortunately, that’s not quite true (thanks to Tommythecpa). … All ads on unis are bad, right? Well, maybe not “Now this is an ad on a uniform–Dibello Pontiac football. Buffalo, 1940.” Another great find by Michael Blake Raymer. … A couple different people commented on Raiders’ owner Mark Davis’ wardrobe. He’s apparently notoriously miserly — still uses a 2003 Nokia phone and drives a minivan, despite being worth millions. … Ken Stabler of the Raiders was not the only NFL player to modify his facemask by removing the center bar — also employing this modification are Kenny King and Matt Millen (from Andrew Disney). … More helmet logo/tape inconsistencies: “Some lion tails are covering the helmet vent, others are cut out,” says Funhouse. “I want answers!”

College Football News: Are you a fan of Iowa State in anthracite? Well, you may be in for more uniform shenanigans in the coming seasons. Interesting quote in that article an Matt Campbell, “while admitting to being a traditionalist, also understands the power of something so simple as the makeup or variety of uniforms. From his first day in Ames last fall, Campbell has embraced social media to sell a rebuilding program and he understands that uniforms and branding have the ability to move fast and far.” … Hmmm. Have we seen this before? Check out the odd facemask/visor on Royce Freeman of the Oregon Ducks (good spot by Sean Pellatz). Also of note in that photo: the “Forever Young 22” undershirt on Darren Carrington. … I’m not 100% sure if we’ve covered this or now, but there’s a reason Youngstown State has an ‘upside down’ Y on their helmets (from Josh Sanchez). … Had this item in yesterday’s ticker, but Ed Hughes grabbed a game photo of the custom hand painted name on helmet from the Army Bowl. He adds, “In addition to the player’s surname being printed in block all-caps on the upper right of the front of the jersey (as Army football apparently also does), it’s also printed in script on the back of the helmet.” (Actually it’s hand painted). … If these graphics for the National Championship Game are any indication, no orange britches for Clemson (from Mike Nessen). But I wouldn’t take that as gospel by any means (Pleasepleaseplease wear orange pants Clemson). … Speaking of “the Natty” (as I’m hearing it referred to…ugh), both endzones will be black (from Matthew Shephard). Here’s another view (from Mark Johnson). … Aside from tracking Auburn’s uniforms (all two of them) all season, Clint Richardson has also been tracking those of USA. They wore 12 different combos in their 12 regular season games, so it should come as no surprise they wore a different one for their Bowl game.

Hockey News: Here’s how the new new NHL 100th Anniversary sticker looks on the Pittsburgh Penguins helmets (from Kellan Roellich). … The Chicago Wolves have been a longstanding proponent of animal adoption as more than 1,300 dogs have found forever homes over the last 15 seasons during the team’s Adopt-A-Dog Nights. The American Hockey League franchise will draw even more attention to the cause by wearing commemorative Animal Adoption Awareness jerseys on Jan. 7, 11 and 21 at Allstate Arena (from Steve Johnston). … “Here is a screen shot that show where the Flyers are wearing the Centennial patch on their 50th season jersey,” says John M (JMac). “Kind of squashed between the TV number and the orange band. Personally, I think it would have looked better centered on the orange band or above the TV number.” … The Muskegon Lumberjacks wore Sandtrooper jerseys last night (from Jeff Tasca). … I’m pretty sure this has happened before (drawing a blank as to when though), but the Bakersfield Condors wore three different jerseys in three different periods last night (from Quinn Balicki) … The LA Kings wore “throwback” jerseys last night, but what’s up with those socks? (from Zach Pearse). … The Ottawa Senators have their XXV logo at center ice (from Nick Gratton). … The Eugene Generals wore…wait for it… camo uniforms for Military Appreciation Night (from Eugene Generals). … WHOA! The San Jose Sharks have a (Bay Area/California/Golden) Seals exhibit (“pop up museum”) on their concourse! (great spot by Damian).

NBA News: Here’s some NBA news we may have missed from Friday, from Zachary Loesl: The Lakers wore their black, sleeved jerseys at home; Caris LeVert has a little E on his jersey; the Milwaukee Bucks wore Black at home with alternate court; and the Sacramento Kings and LA Clippers played a color vs. color game. … WHOA!!! This “Old-school NBA” Pinterest page is phenomenal (thanks to Funhouse). Hopefully we can tear Jimmer Vilk away from that long enough to pick the Vilkmas Raffle winners. … Not sure if we’ve seen this before, but Kevin Séraphin of the Indiana Pacers has acute accent over the e on his NOB (from Hit The Glass).

College Hoops News: The Florida Gators wore BFBS uniforms against Tennessee yesterday, and at least one player hopes they’ll wear them more times this year. … That game was color vs. color black (from Grant Ramey). … Yesterday, Troy and Georgia Southern played a color vs. color gray game (from Luke Parks). … A true color vs. color matchup did take place between Manhattan vs. Quinnipiac yesterday (from Derek Turner). … Inconsistent NOBs for Ole Miss basketball thanks to the new Nike template. Also RNOB (thanks to Clint Richardson).

Soccer News: Jersey swaps are commonplace in soccer and football (the American kind), but not everyone likes to participate. Here’s what happened when Man U star Wayne Rooney tried to swap his jersey with Reading’s George Evans.

Grab Bag: Here’s a wonderful story about a ‘bookmender’ from Ronnie Poore, who writes “I know that you, like I, enjoy stories of those who do work such as this: He Fixes Cracked Spines, Without an Understudy.” … “New uniforms and helmet for the Vancouver Stealth of the NLL,” notes Wade Heidt. “Helmets are now a combination of black and red. Used to be solid black. Jersey has redesigned numbers and striping. The secondary fox logo has been removed from the shoulders. It is now found stealthily sublimated on the front of the jersey.” … Check out the basketball uniforms the UCLA Volleyball team wore yesterday (from Brent Yarina). … I should probably keep my day job, right?

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Ben Traxel for the “clean” uni project.

Last call, in case you missed it, last weekend my buddy Jimmer Vilk offered up another wonderful round of collectibles in our second annual “A Very Merry Vilkmas” reader appreciation raffle. All the details are here, so be sure to check it out if you missed it — so far I’ve received over 100 entries, but the contest is still open until January 8th (7:00 Eastern Time deadline), so if you’d like some of Jim’s used crap generous Cleveland-related gear, there’s still time to enter!

Enjoy the Stillers/Dolphins and Pack/G-men today, and the “Natty” tomorrow. I’ll catch ya next weekend, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“(T)he history of Chavez Ravine is extremely well documented, and involves way more than ‘some people being upset’ about the construction of a new ballpark. It’s not a political agenda to note that a vibrant long-standing community was wiped out to build a baseball field.”

— Hugh McBride.

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Putting A Final Bow on Bowl Season

Bowl Wrap 2016

By Phil Hecken and the whole Sunday Morning Uni Watch Crew

OK, kids — I know we’re not quite done with the NCAA Football Season just yet; there’s still the big rematch Monday night between Clemson and Alabama — but we’re pretty durn close. So, today, it’s time to tie a final bow on the NCAA Season with one last post from the SMUW crew.

I can’t thank these guys — Terry Duroncelet, Jr., Joe Ringham, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker and Ethan Dimitroff enough for the YEOMAN work they all put in this season. Terry handled the heavy lifting, taking us through 14 weeks (plus last weekend’s bowl wrap, Part I), Joe compiled his weekly “5 & 1” and Rex, Dennis, Kyle and Ethan all handled uni tracking for the Power 5 conferences. Dennis even compiled the Duck Tracker — a feature of Uni Watch for something like seven or eight years. My great thanks to all of them, and my hat goes off to each and every one. These guys are the BEST! Please (I beg you), give them all a nice virtual round of applause in the comments, won’t ya?

Now then — last weekend Terry and Joe were featured and looked back at the first half of the 2016 Bowls. Today, they’re both back with Part II, and the trackers will each have a section where we see the unis worn for those teams in the Power 5 conferences who received (and accepted) Bowl invitations. While their work for this season is “done,” we’re not quite done with several of them, as I plan to feature some of their work in the coming days, weeks and months. Their talents extend beyond SMUW.

Thanks again, to all of them!

OK — let’s get this started. Here’s Terry with your…

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Sunday Saturday Morning Bowl Wrap (Part II
By Terry Duroncelet

Well, looks like a rematch of crimson elephants and orange tigers is underway, but what happened in between those games? Let’s find out, shall we?

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From Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Northwestern vs Pitt│ It’s a battle of the big cats, as The Northwestern University Wildcats wore wore black helmets and pants with purple jerseys, while the opposing University of Pittsburgh Panthers wore navy helmets and pants with white jerseys. As an aside, I wonder why Pitt doesn’t have the squared-off part of their collar colorblocked navy as well? USC (more on them in a moment) has the full collar, and both USC and Pitt’s uniforms are new for 2016, so I can’t find a logical reason as to why there’s no real consistency here.

Miami vs West Virginia│ Moving from New York City, NY to Orlando, FL, we witness the University of Miami Hurricanes in… THE LOOK, facing off against the navy/white/white-clad West Virginia University Mountaineers.

Utah vs Indiana│Albeit three days late, the University of Utah Utes dressed decal-to-shoelace in red, red, RED (take notes, Houston). And a surprisingly-decent all-white look for the Hoosiers of the University of Indiana Bloomington. Something that Warren Hallmark pointed out was the face that Hoosiers QB Lagow wears #21. He does this in honor of his sister. As I mentioned in the previous column, BYU and Utah wore these decals (photo originally from Isaac Asiata) in honor of Elise Mahe and Hayes Tate (more info here). Kudos to Jeremy Edom for the bowl patch glitch shot. Though the unis may have contrasted with ease, the game’s score was quite the opposite, with this being one of the closest games of the year, with Utah justedgingout Indiana, 26-24.

Kansas St vs Texas A&M│ A pretty standard-looking contest for these two former Big XII colleagues: the Kansas State University Wildcats in silver helmets and pants with purple jerseys, and the Texas A&M University Aggies in maroon helmets and pants with white jerseys. That being said, some of the game photos make aTm’s maroon look like it’s a bit on the purple-side to me. Eh, it might’ve always been that shade, and I’m just now noticing.

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From Thursday, December 29th, 2016

South Carolina vs South Florida│ Another high-contrast game that I don’t entirely hate: the University of South Carolina (a.k.a. the other USC) Gamecocks came out in full-black against the University of South Florida Bulls, who conversely came out in all-white. Gamecocks QB Jake Bentley (who typically is seen wearing #4) switched to #19 in time for the game (more info here). And thanks to Fonty McFontFace, we see that there was a bit of a– well, font discrepancy on the field.

Virginia Tech vs Arkansas│ The next game on the day is between the University of Arkansas Razorbacks in mono-white with cardinal helmets, and the Hokies of –say it with me– the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (typing that never gets old), who wore white helmets and pants with maroon jerseys.

Colorado vs Oklahoma St│ In one of my favorite-looking games of the year, we have two former Big XII colleagues (again?) playing in what ultimately proved to be a one-sided affair, between the Buffaloes of the University of Colorado Boulder, who wore a very nice (and classic) gold/black/gold combo, and the Cowboys of Oklahoma State University–Stillwater, who wore white jerseys and orange pants with the black barbed wire helmets, which grow on me with each game. Traditionally, Oklahoma State wears Marshal badges with captain Cs for bowl games (kind of how Notre Dame doesn’t wear player names except for in bowl games). There’s just one little problem with doing that this season: Oklahoma State’s new uniforms for 2016 already use a Marshal badge, so what are they to do? Eh, just a regular tackle twill C will do (with credit to Dan Medina). On a more somber note, Colorado honored former Buff and 1994 Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam with this helmet decal. Salaam reportedly committed suicide on December 5th, 2016.

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From Friday, December 30th, 2016

Georgia vs TCU│ The University of Georgia Bulldogs played against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in the first game on the last Friday of 2016. Georgia would wear –what else?– red helmets and jerseys with silver pants. TCU would wear all-white, which is one of their better looks, all things considered.

North Carolina vs Stanford│ Up next, we have a game between two teams: one being known for a particular color, the other who’s team name is a color. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels in the classic Carolina Blue helmets and jerseys with white pants, and the Leland Stanford Junior University Cardinal wore their usual all-white road uniform.

Air Force vs South Alabama│ For the third time this season, the United States Air Force Academy Falcons wore their Sharktooth uniforms against the University of South Alabama Jaguars, who wore all-white.

Tennessee vs Nebraska│ One not in the know might wonder why the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Volunteers wore their “Smokey” uniforms against the white-clad University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers. Tennessee did this in response to the wildfires in Gatlinburg, TN. And the final memorial on the season for Nebraska’s Sam Foltz was this decal, which Tennessee wore on the back of their helmets.

🍊Florida St vs Michigan🍊 The first of the New Year’s Six games, and this was indeed a close one. We have the Florida State University Seminoles in garnet jerseys with gold helmets and pants, and the University of Michigan Wolverines in the mono-white uniforms that harken back to 1974, and of course, what Michigan uni would be complete without the helmet? And just look at all of those merit decals! Speaking of which, it’s no secret that from the unis to the decals that Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is a classicist, right down to his tried and true maize and blue sideline gear (with credit to JP on Twitter, as well as Craig Barker in that same thread who writes “Skinny M on Harbaugh’s hat is a throwback to 1950s-1980s Michigan baseball cap (and Bo’s preferred style)”).

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From Saturday, December 31st, 2016

LSU vs Louisville│ And so we come to the end of 2016, the year that saw the expected purging of Les Miles as head coach of the LSU Tigers, as well as the unexpected birth of a meme that arose from the death of a silverback gorilla. We begin with the aforementioned Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Bengal Tigers in the classic gold helmets and pants with white jerseys, the lattermost of which is a holy bastion of how shoulder stripes should look (take notes, Indy). They squared off against the University of Louisville Cardinals, who wore an all-red ensemble, complete with red-chrome helmets. I’m not sure if the seniors have been wearing it all season and I just never noticed, but just in case, here’s what their SEC Graduate patch looks like. Much Like COL/OSU, the game was high in contrast, and was pretty lopsided, as LSU would close out 2016 with a 29-9 victory over Louisville.

Kentucky vs Georgia Tech│ Unless I lost count, this is our third color-vs-color game thus far, and THANK HELL this isn’t black vs red! Here, we have the University of Kentucky Wildcats in blue helmets and jerseys with white pants, and the Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets in gold jerseys, white pants, and white honeycomb helmets. Georgia Tech’s seems to have come back to their uni-senses after losing their way only a few short years ago in more ways than one. Here’s hoping that they stay on the up-and-up going forward (moving back to the darker gold would be a good start).

🍑Alabama vs Washington🍑 After all of the pomp and circumstance has sided, we reach our first semifinal game of the 2017 (calendar year) College Football Playoff, between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, and the University of Washington Huskies. Alabama in the Vapor Untouchable II variant of the tried-and-true crimson helmets and jerseys with white pants. Far less seams than their normal uni, which I consider to be addition by subtraction. Washignton would wear gold helmets, white jerseys, and purple pants. Aaron Wiens notes two Bama jersey inconsistencies: two Alabama players seem to be wearing the older jersey template: #13 in this shot, and the center in this shot. Note the plain, white swoosh and the lack of a bowl game patch on both tops (links to the pic that Wiens provided here and here). Alabama won the game 24-7, although some plays and actions drove Nick Saban to channel his inner Vince Lombardi. Also, Dan Medina spotted an Alabama championship belt of sorts. What was that thing Paul Bear Bryant said a long time ago: act like you’ve been there before, or something? [Note: the belt is given to a defensive player who creates a turnover, and that player keeps the belt until the next turnover — PH]

🍲Clemson vs Ohio State🍲 Rounding out the final game of 2016, we have the Clemson University Tigers in enough orange to make the State of Florida green with envy. On the other end of the ball are the Buckeyes of THE… Ohio State University, who wore white jerseys with grey helmets and pants. Unfortunately for Ohio State, that block ‘O’ is going to mean something else entirely for the next year, as they were SLAPPED around by Clemson in a shutout, securing the Tigers’ spot in a rematch of last year’s CFBP.

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From Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Iowa vs Florida│ Happy 2017! Who has the honors of throwing the first ‘skin of the new year? The University of Iowa Hawkeyes and the University of Florida Gators, of course. Iowa wore black/black/gold, and Florida wore orange/white/white. A solid look for both teams, with plenty of contrast, and no strange surprises.

🐏Western Michigan vs Wisconsin🐑 The Western Michigan University Broncos are the Mad-American Conference’s first ever team to play in this storied game that has been a staple of college football since 1937. They dressed for the occasion: wearing all-white for the contest. A good look, considering what they’re known for wearing. Ick. Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers wore what they typically wear: white helmets and pants with red jerseys. It was an excellent season for Western Michigan, but the fell just short of winning. That said, things can only go up from here for the Broncos (and here’s hoping the uniforms follow suit).

🌹Penn State vs USC🌹 The Rose Bowl (ignore the date). A game that never gets old, despite it being one of the holy lands of football as a whole for south of a century, opening in October of 1922. The 103rd edition was held between the University of Southern California Trojans, and The Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions; a game that’s been eight years and one day (since this year’s game was on January 2nd) in the making, as the last time these two teams met in the GOTA was New Year’s Day 2009, a game that would see the Trojans win 38-24. This year, Penn State wore the home uniforms this time around, coming out in white helmets and pants with navy blue jerseys. USC wore cardinal helmets, white jerseys, and gold pants. On the back of USC’s helmets, they wore ‘JM 4’ decals in honor of former USC Trojan, Joe McKnight. In addition, Ronald Jones (who normally wears #25) wore McKnight’s #4 in his honor (hard to see here). It was a game for the ages, as USC staged a comeback in the 4th quarter, and Penn State –much like JJ from Yuri on Ice— cracked under pressure when it mattered the most. On a game winning field dab— er, I mean field goal, USC would win it, 52-49. Looks like Penn State will have to wait until NYD 2025 for their next attempt to best USC.

🍬Oklahoma vs Auburn🍭 And we close with the Auburn University Tigers in all-white, and the University of Oklahoma Sooners in crimson helmets and jerseys with white pants. A season that begun with Oklahoma falling to Houston in Week 1 33-23, ends on a high note, as the Sooners would win against Auburn, 35-19.

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And just like that, we’ve reached the end of the 2016 college football season. I never know how to end these columns, except with a couple of thank-yous. Thank you to everyone on Twitter (and via email) who submitted stuff all season. A HUGE hank you to Paul and Phil for allowing me to write for Uni Watch since 2011. Since I started reading religiously in March of 2009, I’ve always been happy whenever a submission of mine makes it in the ticker, and to be able to write annually for the site years later is an honor, and a privilege. And lastly, thank you to all of you for your continued support. Considering I ramble often and can be overly-pedantic at times, I’m happy if even one person reads what I have to say, and the fact that so many of you come back every week to see what as going on in Oregon’s mind for the week is simply mind-blowing. I currently have a neat project that I’ve been working on for literal months, and will appear on the site very soon. If I don’t see you then, then I’ll see you in eight months. See ya’s!

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Thanks, TJ! And thanks for another tremendous season of SMUW! OK…now on to…

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Joe Ringham 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Joe:

. . .

Hey everyone! If you missed part one of the Bowl 5 & 1, you can find it here (scroll down). Man, the back half of the bowl season was filled with good-looking games. So much so that this was probably one of my hardest 5 & 1’s this season. But, I could only pick the best 5 (at least, according to me). So, for the final time this college football season, let’s see who made the cut.

5) Russell Athletic Bowl: West Virginia vs Miami — Two old Big East rivals looking great down in Orlando. Really liked WVU in navy/white/white here, although I think it would’ve looked even better had they gone colored pants. The U looked fantastic in their white/orange/white home fauxback set they’ve gone to.

4) TaxSlayer Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Kentucky — Love, love, love how the bowl forever known as the Gator Bowl went color vs color. Really loved Tech going white/gold/white, picking a great time to break out the rarely used gold tops. UK seemed to compliment that very well with their blue/blue/white set, making it a damn good looking game in Jacksonville.

3) Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Colorado — Old-school Big XII (or, even Big 8, for those that remember the Big 8) match-up in San Antonio, and it was a beaut. Really dug OSU going black/white/orange, by far one of their best looks of the season. It matches up wonderfully against the traditional gold/black/gold look of the Buffs.

2) Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs Kansas State — Yet another old Big XII match-up coming back in bowl season. Anyone who’s followed this since I started knows how much I love K-State’s unis. No exception here. The Aggies, though, hit it out of the park here, going with the always great maroon/white/maroon here.

1) Rose Bowl: Southern Cal vs Penn StateBest looking game of the bowl season. Period.

And, finally…

+1) Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs Utah — The Utes picked a bad time for their worst look of the year, channeling their inner-Maryland with the “red-ops” mess. Just… no.

That will do it for me this season. A huge thanks to everyone for reading and commenting all season long. Huge thanks to Phil for letting me do my thing in this space. Enjoy both the FCS Championship and the CFP Championship, and we’ll do this again starting in September!

– – – – – – – – – –

Thanks, Joe! Great stuff this year. OK…now we move to…

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NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. Most of the 2015 trackers are back, with one new tracker added:

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (now tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is new to the NCAA Uni Tracking this season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role (thanks, man!) of both the B1G and the SEC after one of my previous trackers could no longer provide the B1G.

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conference Bowl Participants:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

. . .

ACC

acc-2016-week-15

. . .

And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

PAC-12

Pac12uniforms2016-7-Bowls

. . .

And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC

SEC Football Uniform Tracker Bowls

. . .

And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

Big XII

Big XII Bowl Games

. . .

And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

B1G

B1G Football Uniform Tracker Bowls

– – – – – – – – – –

Awesome work guys!

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UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

In case you missed it on Friday, with the Raiders back in the playoffs Saturday — their first postseason appearance since Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 — Paul’s latest Friday Flashback piece over on ESPN takes a look at some quirks and eccentricities in Raiders uniform history (including Kenny Stabler’s facemask, which had the scars from where the center vertical bar had been sawed off and removed, as seen here).

Check out the Friday Flashback here.

Enjoy!

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Kevin Mann who had a question for Paul and Uni Watch about white Spring Training Coaches caps. It’s a bit too long for the ticker, so I’ll run it in TFGTT. For all images below, you can click to enlarge. Here’s Kevin…

. . .

I have an item I would like you to look into if you’re interested. I’ve been a long time hat buyer, and most recent collector. One of my favorite hats as a kid was a Dodgers “Coaches Hat”. I recall one year in a hat catalog (Star Struck or something similar) they sold what they called Coaches Hats for all MLB Teams. All of the hats had a white crown, and team color squatchee, eyelets, and bill. Attached is a picture of the Dodgers hat.

I recall only seeing this one year, and I’m not positive which year. Since it has the MLB Batterman on the back I know it had to be ’92 or later. The Dodgers hat had a kelly green underbrim (my favorite), and I believe they switched to grey in ’94. My guess is this was in 1993, but it could be 1992.

I also recall seeing a picture of Tommy Lasorda in the newspaper during spring training that year wearing this hat, while everyone else had the traditional blue hat. I think this was a Spring Training only thing, but I could be wrong.

I would love to see some pictures of coaches hats being worn, or maybe even learn more about this. Seems to be an early special edition type hat.

I did some google/ebay searches and I found what I believe is the Rangers and Mariners hat (see attached). I couldn’t find any others.

I hope this finds your interest. Thank you!

Kevin Mann

1 2

3 4

6 5

7

. . .

Thanks, Kevin. OK readers — any thoughts on this? I don’t recall the white coaches caps myself, but then, I don’t usually pay much attention to coaches caps in Spring Training.

OK. Now, on to the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Here’s an awesome color shot of Chavez Ravine being shaped to build Dodger Stadium, ca. 1960 (from MLB Cathedrals). While the photo is incredible, the backstory behind the Dodgers move to Chavez Ravine is a lot less romantic than you might imagine, especially if you happened to live there at the time. … Mmmmm. Beautiful look at national league uniforms, circa 1967, from this Atlanta Braves Scorebook (via SportsPaper). … Looks like some new unis for Oral Roberts University (h/t Bryan Kilpatrick).

NFL News: A new exhibit featuring iconic professional football jerseys worn throughout the game’s history opened at the Hall at Patriot Place yesterday. The exhibit, “The Fabric of Football,” will open with game-worn jerseys from 41 NFL quarterbacks on display inside the museum’s Grand Hall (from Jordan Mayblum). … Former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle was featured on the January 6, 1964 cover of Sports Illustrated, with a great array of single bar facemasked-helmets (from Bruce Menard). … Here’s a tremendous array of AFL jackets on display at Arrowhead Stadium (note the gold Raiders’ and also the original Broncos’ jackets). From Justin. … This might be the most Buffalo .gif ever. … Interesting article on two guys who make custom cleats for Antonio Brown and others. … “Some interesting uni-related bits in SI’s 2007 NFC Title Game oral history,” says B-Dilly. … Taking the whole “Squish the Fish” thing to it’s logical conclusion, Primanti Bros. of Pittsburgh announced they’d be removing fish from the menu through Sunday in honor of the Steelers taking on the Dolphins. There’s only one problem with that. Here’s a bit more on that (h/t on the article to Mike Chamernik).

College/HighSchool Football News: Alabama won its first title at the Rose Bowl in 1926. Players had have this ticket to get into the venue (via Darren Rovell). … Here’s a look inside the Youngstown State University Penguins locker room. Notice the Championship sticker on the back of the helmet (from Robert Hayes). … Here’s an interesting version of BYU’s helmet, with additions to the stretch Y evoking the image of a paw (from Josh Freeman via Paul). That photo comes from this interesting site, which I’d recommend checking out. … “The University of Minnesota tweeted/posted (this image) to announce the hiring of P.J. Fleck,” says Adam Northenscold. “I know its customary for schools/teams to post a photoshopped image for these announcements, but this one is an interesting design choice because: a) I couldn’t find any pictures of Fleck wearing a yellow pull-over; b) I couldn’t find any pictures of any Gopher coach wearing a yellow pullover; and c) That design isn’t available for purchase from any of the online Gopher retailers.” He adds, “Odd that they would fabricate an image of him wearing something that doesn’t resemble anything he or any previous Gopher coach has worn and doesn’t resemble anything Nike produces.” … Jerry Kulig was at the College Football Playoff (CFP) Fan Fest and grabbed this shot of the four teams, in home unis who were involved in the playoff. Interestingly, Clemson is shown there with white pants (they wore all Orange vs. The Ohio State), and of course, both OSU and Washington wore white jerseys (and Washington had purple pants). … The helmets for the Army Bowl all have a little hand-painted customization (from J. Walker).

Hockey News: Awesome poster from Anthony Zych (feature on UW several times both by Paul and me) for last night’s Ring of Honor Ceremony for John J. McMullen, who was responsible for bringing the Colorado Rockies (hockey team) to New Jersey. … The Kingston Frontenacs (an OHL team) will honor the Tragically Hip with a special jersey and game night. … The Regina Pats (of the WHL) wore these Blue Jays inspired sweaters last evening (from @daneimrie via Paul). Here’s how they looked (almost) on ice (from Nelson Hackewich). … Because we can only have so many teams wearing Rocky-inspired threads, the Muskegon Lumberjacks went with Star Wars inspired ones. … On Thursday, Army Hockey wore special gold jerseys for their outdoor game against Bentley in Fenway Pawk. … Pretty cool jerseys last evening for the Texas Stars (a Dallas Stars affiliate), even if they’re Star Wars related (from Dylan Nadwodny). … In the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s tragedy at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, Florida Panther players added “FLL” to their skates (h/t J. Walker). If you weren’t aware, FLL is the abbreviation for the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. … If you happened to miss the St. Louis Blues retro-inspired unis during the Winter Classic, you’re in luck — they’re wearing them again tonight (and will wear them a total of six times, not including the WC, this season).

NBA/College Hoops News: It went over so well for the football team, they’re doing it in hoops: apparently the Maryland Terrapins will wear a “red ops” uniform this weekend against Michigan (from Marty Summa Jr). … Our own Jimmer Vilk scored an awesome Goodwill Washington Bullets tee shirt, adding, “Not sure who I feel more like: Moses Malone, Manute Bol or Mark Price.” … Beautiful black and white photo of Idaho State versus UCLA (from Brad Iverson-Long). Love the stripes everywhere. … Here’s an odd NBA logo patch, w/ white stripe on side (from John Turney, via Paul). … With Thursday’s announcement of this year’s NBA ASG uniforms, Sports Illustrated is having a vote on the best jerseys on ASG history. … The Delaware 87s, a 76ers affiliate, wore these R2D2-themed uniforms last evening. … Fortitudo Bologna (somewhere in the Euro league) with the rare polka dot basketball jerseys for their game against local rivals Vitus in Italy’s top flight (from ursos arctos). … Oh man. I’ve never felt more sorry for a popcorn vendor (from Jimmer Vilk, an ex-vendor himself).

Soccer News: After splitting up with France Football (who controls the Balon D’Or), FIFA has rebranded their awards as “The Best”. Here is a video revealing the design of the new trophy that will be handed out to the winners (from Saurel Jean, Jr.).

Grab Bag: The tweet from whence this image comes reads: “Vermont’s maple syrup logo is one of the most incredible logos you’ll ever see for all the wrong reasons.” I’m just gonna leave that there (nice spot by Fractured But Whole — itself an interesting handle). … Alabama gymnastics opened their season wearing a special leotard covered in silver jewels that was created following the April 2011 tornado that came through the West Alabama region (thanks to María Canales).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks — BIG HUGE HONKING THANKS — to all the SMUW guys: Terry, Joe, Ethan, Rex, Dennis and Kyle. They may be done with their SMUW “duties” for the season, but we haven’t heard the last of them. I have a few segments (possibly a lede, definitely some sub ledes) featuring most of these chaps with related projects. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, please give them one more round of thanks for a fantastic 2016 NCAA Football Season!

In case you missed it, last weekend my buddy Jimmer Vilk offered up another wonderful round of collectibles in our second annual “A Very Merry Vilkmas” reader appreciation raffle. All the details are here, so be sure to check it out if you missed it — so far I’ve received over 100 entries, but the contest is still open until January 8th (7:00 Eastern Time deadline), so if you’d like some of Jim’s used crap generous Cleveland-related gear, there’s still time to enter!

That’s all for me for today. I’ll catch you tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“I also prefer the (Raiders) silver numbers, but I don’t think they’ll ever go back to them as a permanent change. Everyone complains too much about ‘legibility.’ I can read ’em just fine, but apparently no one else can.”

— THE Jeff Provo

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Underwhelming Unveiling: NBA Reveals All-Star Uni Set

Click to enlarge

The NBA All-Star Game will be played in New Orleans on Feb. 19, and yesterday we finally got our first look at the uniforms. Ugh, black vs. grey — a complete snooze. We all know the game was relocated to New Orleans from Charlotte as a boycott response to North Carolina’s “bathroom law,” so they probably had to scrap the Charlotte-based unis they’d been preparing and then scramble to create a pair of replacement designs. Still, couldn’t they have done better than this? They look like practice or rec league jerseys, or like something a kid would create with teambuilder software. Not a good one for Adidas to go out on.

The grey design is for the East and black is for the West. It’s interesting that both jerseys have “All-Star” on the chest, instead of the standard “East” and “West” designations. Then again, the 2015 designs had no lettering on the chest, so anything goes.

Also worth noting: For the second straight year, the jerseys will carry a Kia advertising patch. Looks like it might be a bit smaller this time around, though:

Here’s the rear view, which has the uniforms’ lone gimmicky element: drop-down NOBs.

Interestingly, the jerseys actually showed up in video game leaks back in September. At the time, I thought the designs were so generic that I figured they were just placeholders. Turns out they were the real deal.

(My thanks to Travis Lane for the side-by-side Kia patch comparison.)

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Friday Flashback: With the Raiders back in the playoffs tomorrow — their first postseason appearance since Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 — my latest Friday Flashback piece over on ESPN takes a look at some quirks and eccentricities in Raiders uniform history (including Kenny Stabler’s facemask, which had the scars from where the center vertical bar had been sawed off and removed, as shown above). Check it out here.

• • • • •

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Yo, Adrian: The Toledo Walleye will be wearing this boxing-themed uniform for “Rocky Tribute Night” tomorrow. Pretty ridiculous, but anything’s better than trotting out yet another Star Wars uniform, right? And mimicking the old Everlast-branded gloves cuffs on the sleeves is a nice touch. But it might’ve been better if they’d depicted black boxing boots, instead of white, on the socks. That way, the boots would merge with the skates.

In case you’re wondering: All players on the Walleye roster are white. Probably for the best in this case.

• • • • •

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off a custom-painted baseball bat from the Pillbox Bat Company. Details here.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: A high school in upstate New York has declined a set of throwback uniforms that had been donated by school alumnus because the throwbacks featured the color scheme that the school had used when its teams were called the Redskins. The named was changed to Red Storm in 2001. Key quote, from the school district superintendent: “Wearing a throwback jersey acknowledging our Redskin past does not support the district’s effort to be an innovative, forward-thinking entity, demonstrating respect for the rights of others. We made the right decision to honor those who played under this nickname, but to leave this relic of a nickname in the past. We don’t want to revisit this controversy. Declining the donation is an opportunity to reconfirm our commitment to move forward” (from Jude Seymour). … A new agreement between the state of Michigan and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi may help provide funds to underwrite the costs incurred by schools that want stop using Native American team names (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: Back in 1989, Sports Illustrated asked various fashion designers to for their ideas on how to redesign baseball uniforms, with predictably laughable results (from BSmile). … The Down East Wood Ducks, a Single-A Rangers affiliate in the Carolina League, will unveil their new logo next Wednesday. I look forward to the inevitable Brandiose snarling-animal look (from Greg Gebhardt). … Several Adidas-outfitted schools have new throwbacks this year, including Miami, Arizona State, Nebraska, NC State, and Louisville. Look here, here, and here (from JC Crawford, Cory Lavalette, and @fiverse). … Latest college team to go with 3D helmet logos: Washington State. … In 1968, the Braves added pinstripes to their home uniform. But according to a short wire service item from January of that year, they were also planning to go with pinstripes on the road. I wonder if there’s a pinstriped road prototype floating around somewhere (from newspaper researcher extraordinaire Jerry Wolper).

NFL News: A newly elected district attorney in Texas was sworn in while wearing a Cowboys jersey (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a 1977 photo of Oilers’ LB Robert Brazile with “Dr. Doom” written on his arm pad (from Bill Kellick).

Hockey News: Stars C Radek Faksa’s new gloves have his name misspelled (from Cory Head). … Those 1966 Blues prototypes that we’ve written about from time to time will finally be making their on-ice debut later this month, although not for a game. They’ll be worn this weekend for a skills competition. Now they just need to bring back the trumpet prototype! (From Tim Holdener.) … Centennial patch placement update: The Blues are wearing the patch on their upper sleeve stripe. We also got our first look at how the patch will be worn on the following jerseys: Predators white, Sharks black, Kings black, Wild white, Hurricanes white, Blackhawks red, Blue Jackets white, and Capitals throwbacks. … The Bruins have added a “15” memorial patch for Milt Schmidt (from Jeff Israel). … You can get a ridiculous amount of NHL historical info in this handy enormous infographic (from Jeff Bryniarski). … Army had an outdoor game at Fenway Park last night, with new jerseys for the occasion (from Tony Fatula). … Firefighter-appreciation jerseys on Jan. 15 for the Manitoba Moose (from @Jay_Pea_R). … Very interesting 1968 article about whether helmets should be mandatory in the NHL (great find by Jerry Wolper). … Also from Jerry: Here’s a shot of goaltending great Terry Sawchuk in the 1968 NHL All-Star Game.

Basketball News: Bucks G Giannis Antetokounmpo frequently wears “Never Give Up” wristbands (from Zachary Loesl). … Here’s a good view of the NBA uniform guidelines that are posted in each team’s locker room (from Douglas Ford). … The USC Song Girls still have the Rose Bowl roses on their sweaters (from Grant Young).

Soccer News: Oooh, check out the wavy stripes used on the Cherno More 2009-10 away jersey (from Trevor Williams). … Also from Trevor: “I just assumed the New York Cosmos were named after the astronomical term. I didn’t know until a recent BBC podcast that the name is short for Cosmopolitan and takes inspiration from the Mets.” There’s more on that here. … The great designer and illustrator Stanley Chow has created a new project about soccer kits — really good stuff (from Iain Landon).

Grab Bag: There’s a surprisingly popular sport at Orthodox Jewish yeshivas in New York City: floor hockey. … The Museum of Modern Art in NYC will have a program of short comedic films about sports training on Jan. 14. Should feature lots of old uniforms and athletic apparel (from my pal Karen McBurnie). … The next big player in the outerwear market is shaping up to be Amazon (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a brief cultural history of various types of non-sports uniforms (from my ESPN colleague Kevin Ota). … In the wake of that Kentucky high school backing off from its plan to call its teams the Stallions, Kentucky.com has some suggestions for other area schools that might want to consider name changes (from Josh Claywell). … The U.S. Army’s new grooming and appearance regulations will allow observant Sikh and Muslim soldiers to wear turbans, beards, and hijabs. … A controversial strain of genetically modified apples have a new logo. … National Park Service officials say fears that the agency will soon start displaying corporate advertising logos at NPS properties are unfounded. Let’s hope they’re right. … Did you know pro surfers wear jerseys? They do! … Texas is considering a “bathroom law” similar to North Carolina’s, which could have implications for the various high-profile sporting events held in the state.

How Are Teams Wearing the NHL’s Centennial Patch?

When the calendar turned to 2017 this past Sunday, all NHL teams began wearing the league’s centennial logo as a right-sleeve patch — usually, but not always, below the TV number. This caught everyone by surprise, because there had been no mention of a patch when the centennial logo was unveiled back in September.

I’ve seen a lot of grumbling about the right-sleeve placement, because NHL sleeves already have TV numbers and, in some cases, stripes and other patches, so the addition of the centennial patch has created too much of a jumble. But have some teams handled this better than others? With that question in mind, I’ve tried to collect photos that will let us take a team-by-team look at the centennial patch.

Before we get started, a few quick notes:

• I’ve tried to stick to game shots (as opposed to something like this), so we can see how the patch looks on the ice.

• As you’ll see, a few teams still haven’t played a game in 2017, so we don’t yet know how the patch will look on their jerseys.

• Most teams that have played at least one game in 2017 have only worn one of their jerseys, so we still don’t know how the patch will look throughout the rest of their respective wardrobes.

• Goalies’ jerseys tend to have a different cut, with a more compressed space between the TV numbers and stripes, so that sometimes makes the patch positioning even more problematic on those jerseys.

Okay, here we go, one team at a time, in alphabetical order (for some of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

Avalanche: The Avs have no stripes on their sleeves, so the patch isn’t wedged into a tight space and has plenty of breathing room. Not bad.


Blackhawks: Haven’t yet played in 2017 except for the Winter Classic, which had its own patch.

Blue Jackets: So far we’ve only seen the patch on the team’s alternate jersey, and it looks awful. The patch’s colors and typography clash with the jersey design, and there isn’t enough space for it. A lose-lose-lose.


Blues: Haven’t yet played in 2017 except for the Winter Classic, which had its own patch.

Bruins: The Bruins’ color scheme already includes black and white, and the sleeve has just enough space to allow the patch to breathe. Not bad.


Canadiens: The patch tends to look best on sleeves that don’t have any striping. The Habs’ jersey is a prime example.


Canucks: A jersey that already includes a thick sleeve stripe, a TV number, and a shoulder patch shouldn’t have to deal with an additional patch. On the plus side, the white patch pairs well with the white TV number.


Capitals: The Caps’ sleeve design gives the patch plenty of breathing room, but I still don’t like how it looks, maybe because I just don’t like the Caps’ jerseys to begin with.


Coyotes: This sleeve design is too busy to begin with. Shoehorning the patch into a tight space makes it worse.


Devils: The Devils are the rare team that has worn the patch on both their white and colored jerseys. In both cases, I’m surprised by how good it looks. This may simply be the inverse of the Capitals situation — I like the Devils’ jerseys, so maybe that somehow makes the patch look better.


Ducks: Ugh — looks way too cramped, way too busy. One of the worst of the bunch.


Flames: No stripes to deal with on the upper sleeve, so there’s plenty of space for the patch. Could be worse.


Flyers: No stripes to deal with, so that’s good, although adding a sleeve patch to a jersey that already has two shoulder patches is a bit much.


Hurricanes: A nice, clean jersey design can easily handle the addition of a sleeve patch. Not bad at all.


Islanders: Haven’t yet played in 2017.

Jets: Way too much going on here — two thick sleeve stripes, a two-tone sleeve, a shoulder patch, a TV number, and now the centennial patch. Too much!


Kings: The Kings have taken the unusual step of putting the patch inside their sleeve stripe. In theory, I disapprove of this, because it takes a serious liberty with an element of the jersey design; in practice, it probably looks better than other option they could have taken, especially given the fact that they’re already wearing a franchise anniversary patch on one shoulder and the All-Star Game patch on the other shoulder. Longtime Uni Watch pal Bob Halfacre is on the Kings’ equipment staff, so I asked him about this. His response: “The anniversary and All-Star patches presented a placement challenge for us. We made a decision to position the centennial patch in a place where it would be most visible.”


Lightning: The Lightning didn’t have enough room between their TV number and sleeve stripe, so they’ve chosen to put the patch above the TV number — which, unfortunately, puts it too close to their shoulder patch. They might have been better off putting the patch within the stripe, like the Kings did.


Maple Leafs: The Leafs are another team that’s chosen to put the patch above the number. Since they have nothing on their shoulders — no patches, no yoke — it looks fine there. Much better than trying to wedge it in between the number and the striping.


Oilers: The Oilers have taken the most interesting approach of any team: They’ve put centered the patch on the top blue stripe of their three-stripe sleeve pattern. Would centering it on the orange stripe have been better? Hmmmm.


Panthers: The Panthers are unusual, because their TV numbers are on the shoulders, not on the sleeves. But they have big sleeve patches — so where should the centennial patch go? They decided to put it within a sleeve stripe, but they didn’t vertically center it, which looks awful.


Penguins: Haven’t yet played in 2017.

Predators: Not terrible, but not great. If we took all of the centennial patch treatments and put them in a blender, I feel like this is what would come out.


Rangers: The patch on the blue jersey has too tight a squeeze between the number and the stripe, especially when you toss in the shoulder patch. The treatment on the white jersey is even worse, because of the contrasting yoke. Too busy!


Red Wings: Not a terrible fit, but the patch sullies the elemental simplicity of the Wings’ uniform just a bit:


Sabres: The Sabres have a bit more space between their number and striping than most other teams have, so the patch doesn’t feel quite as crowded. If anything, they could probably have positioned it a bit lower instead of putting it quite so close to the number.


Senators: This one feels like it has just enough space to work fairly well. The white background helps — the shoulder patch, number, and centennial patch each seems to be “floating” in its own reasonably well-defined space.


Sharks: The Sharks are another team with a bit more space than usual between their number and stripe, which provides enough of a window for the patch to occupy without being too visually jarring.


Stars: Your basic mishmash of stripe, TV number, shoulder patch, and centennial patch.


Wild: Haven’t yet played in 2017.

———

And there we have it. Interesting that the league mandated a sleeve treatment for the patch, instead of letting teams decide where to wear it. Some clubs would definitely have been better off going with a chest placement.

• • • • •

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off a custom-painted baseball bat from the Pillbox Bat Company. Details here.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: A new Michigan independent league team, the Westside Woolly Mammoths, revealed its logo, uniforms, and mascot (from Bill Shea, Timothy Pontzer, and Phil). … New jerseys for Bowling Green (from Rick Blanc). … A Cub and and a Pirate endorsing the Phillies? Yes, in these 1964 newspaper ads showing Ernie Banks and Bill Mazeroski promoting Phillies cigars (from Jerry Wolper). … New 35th-season logo for the Las Vegas 51s.

NFL News: The Titans are planning to update their uniforms for the 2018 season. … “I’ve been looking for this equipment bag, featured on the Steve Largent Legacy poster, for quite some time,” says Michael Princip. “Finally found it a few weeks ago!” The bag has “Hester” on it, which is odd, because nobody by that name has ever played for the Seahawks — until now. … In honor of the playoff appearance, the Spirit of Detroit statue is wearing a Lions jersey (from Phil). … The Packers, who only wear captaincy patches for the postseason, named six captains for this weekend’s Wild Card game against the Giants (from @JohnnyOeleven). … We’ve seen this before, but in case you missed it: A fish shop in Iraq is named after Donald Trump and uses his likeness as a logo. As you can see, his hair is the Chargers bolt logo. The illustration was taken from an Uproxx story that worked Trump’s face into every NFL logo (from Chris Kier).

College Football News: Many readers sent this in: New logo package for James Madison. The school unveiled the new logos three days before the Dukes play in the FCS Championship game. … Top high school players will wear black and yellow unis in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. More photos here. … A pest control company poached the AAC logo.

Hockey News: This Saturday the Knoxville Ice Bears will wear a Predators-themed jersey that was designed by Tyler Earles. … The Regina Pats will wear Blue Jays jerseys on Saturday (from Rob Bartlett). … The Ontario Reign, the Kings’ AHL team, will wear silver-and-black Kings fauxbacks for the outdoor game at Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield on Saturday. Also, players in the Alumni-Celebrity game on Friday will wear a memorial decal for Alan Thicke (from Kristopher Sharpe). … The Devils will induct former owner Dr. John J. McMullen to their Ring of Honor tomorrow night and will wear this patch for the occasion. The patch is shaped like the old Colorado Rockies logo, which reflects how McMullen brought the franchise from Colorado to New Jersey, and the patch’s color scheme reflects the Devils’ original colors. Also, here’s McMullen posing with a prototype Devils logo. … The Blues’ Winter Classic jerseys were such a hit that they’re going to wear them for six more weekend games this season (from T.J. Patton).

NBA News: The Hawks will retire Pete Maravich’s No. 44. I was surprised it wasn’t retired already. … The Cavs wore orange throwbacks at home and the Bulls wore white on the road. The Cavs didn’t have the gold championship tab, though (from Kevin Chmura). … The Hornets wore their black Buzz City alts at home, and the visiting Thunder wore white. … The Delaware 87ers will wear R2-D2 jerseys tomorrow night. … Russell Westbrook has “Why Not?” written on the toe of his shoe. It’s the name of his education foundation. … Giannis Antetokounmpo appears on the most recent cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s the first Buck to be on the cover since 1982.

College Hoops News: Florida will wear black uniforms on Saturday (from Hunter Gold). … Last night, Louisville wore “Iced Out” uniforms that have reflective areas that illuminate when hit with a flash (from Kenny Klein). … Tariq Owens of St. John’s has been tucking his uniform shorts into his compression shorts. “Diaper look,” says Brandon Davis.

Soccer News: Which boot is most popular in the pros? The Adidas X 16.1 is worn by more than 10 percent of the 3000 players studied, including Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez (from Geoff Holm).