No Play for Mr. Gray — But Long Live Mr. Grey!

Gray plays a prominent role in the uni-verse. Baseball teams wear road grays; college football and basketball teams are increasingly prone to having gray alternate unis in their wardrobes; NFL teams like to annoy The Jeff by wearing gray facemasks; the L.A. Kings’ new Stadium Series uniform has a lot of gray; and so on.

When I started working in the book publishing industry back in the late 1980s, I was taught that there were two ways to spell gray: the American way, with an “a,” or the British/Commonwealth way, with an “e” (which is easy to keep straight because “America” starts with an “a” and “England” starts with an “e”). Most American style guides call for “gray,” not “grey,” and that’s always what I’ve used.

Lately, though, “gray” has begun to bug me. I can’t fully explain why, but “gray” just doesn’t match the feel of the color as much as “grey” does. “Grey” feels, well, greyer, at least to me. When I see the “e”-inclusive version of the word, I instinctively get the feel of a cloudy day, a certain dreariness, and other things that I associate with the color. I’ve never fully gotten that feeling from the “gray” spelling, which for some reason feels a bit brighter and therefore less in keeping with the spirit of the word. (Continue reading)

Monday Morning Uni Watch

As I’m sure most of you know by now, two New York City police officers were murdered on Saturday. Within hours, a Congressman from Long Island was suggesting that pro and college sports teams should wear NYPD patches in memory of the two New York police officers who were murdered on Saturday. To my knowledge, no team or individual athlete did that yesterday, but there were several references to the fallen cops in yesterday’s NFL games. Jets center Nick Mangold wore an NYPD cap during pregame player introductions, and Colts snapper Matt Overton wrote “NYPD” on his cleats.

But the best move came from Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who wore two small but telling symbols: a black memorial strip on his left shoulder and a little peace symbol chest pin. (You can get a closer look at both of them here.) Both gestures were simple and dignified. And it’s particularly remarkable to see a prominent figure in the rough, tough NFL embracing the peace symbol in any context, especially one in which so many people are screaming various forms of emotion-charged invective. Really goes to show how big a difference a grown-up can make. Good for Coughlin — if, as many are predicting, he’s going to get the axe after this season, this was a classy way to go out.

In other news from around the league yesterday: (Continue reading)

The NBA on Christmas Day...What Could Have Been (and may someday be)

NBA Xmas Day

By Phil Hecken

I receive lots of uniform concepts from readers, and I do try to get every one of them shown on Uni Watch at some point — some are so good as to deserve the lede, while others fall into the “Uni Concepts/Tweaks” section. Some are timely. Today, the concepts are both timely AND deserve to be seen as the lede.

I received a set of concepts a couple of weeks ago from Trent Daniel, who sent them simply with the note, “Here are some NBA Christmas Day uniforms I mocked up. Hope you enjoy!”

Boy, did I ever. I told Trent I’d like to run these on my last post before Christmas and asked him if he’d do a writeup (my boilerplate, “possibly say how you got the idea, how you went about designing them, why you chose sleeves [since this year’s unis won’t have sleeves] and anything else you thing UW might find interesting?”).

Trent was happy to oblige, and while he didn’t provide a writeup for each uniform matchup you’re about to see, I don’t think that’s necessary either — since it’s pretty self-explanatory. So, without further ado, here’s Trent and his fantastic NBA concepts for December 25. Click on any image to enlarge…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Christmas Day NBA Uni Concepts
By Trent Daniel

In my opinion, the new 2014 Christmas Day uniforms released by the NBA are far from exciting. I know the sleeved/sleeveless controversy is very split for uni–lovers, but I found the use of the holiday season to produce these unique sleeved jerseys was a treat. Taking a few special games and adding some flash was fun and enjoyable for fans. This year, the Association seems to be taking a step back from this fad, producing sleeveless jerseys that really don’t differ all that much from what these teams wear every week. I thought it would be fun to use my Adobe Creative Suite to create my own sleeved approach at what could have been for this years five Christmas Day games by adding one overlapping theme: that beautifully atrocious Christmas sweater pattern.

. . .

New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards

WASvsNYK

. . .

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs

OKCvsSA

. . .

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat

CLEvsMIA(1)

. . .

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers

LALvsCHI

. . .

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

GSvsLAC

. . .

My goal for these sets was to give each team its own unique holiday expression while still staying true to the colors and identity that they hold and represent. The colors were chosen to compliment those of the opponent, straying away from the normal home/away color usage and going full color on color for each match–up.

The pant–striping pattern was used on each team’s sleeves to add some excitement to that area of the jersey. I also added a small numerical on the bottom left pant (as typically seen on soccer kits) to accommodate for the removal of the numbers on the front of each jersey.

I tried to use as many secondary logos as possible to add to the uniqueness of each set, and shy away from making them closely resemble their normal uniforms like the actual Christmas Day designs do for this year. Lastly, with the colors and logo usage very much contrasting that of the other teams, I wanted to make sure and tie in one overarching theme that ran steadily through each set. The old fashioned ugly Christmas sweater print spreads across the entire torso of each jersey, extending around the arms and never leaving a gap. Each team uses it’s secondary color for this pattern to really make it pop.

I also wanted to tie this design in to the shorts, so just a small area in place of the striping is used to give a bit of flash to the bottoms, accented by the team’s simple secondary logo placed just above.

I had a lot of fun working on these uniforms and taking an idea I had and running with it. I hope you also enjoy these ugly Christmas sweater uni’s, and maybe someday we’ll see Adidas get a little crazy and incorporate something like this for basketball on December 25th.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Fantastic concepts, Trent. But he’s not done — he also mocked up how two of the NBA’s biggest stars — LeBron James and Kobe Bryant — would look wearing his creations. Enjoy:

. . .

Lebron James

. . .

Kobe Bryant

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m not a fan of sleeves (as most of us probably are not), but these are pretty cool — I also am not a fan of the shorts being a different color from the jersey — but in this instance, these totally work. I could definitely get behind these costumes for one day! In the words of Jim Vilk, “I’d Wear That!”

OK readers — what do you think?

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(Almost) 100 Years Ago Today…

…a soccer football match (or three) broke out between the Germans and the Allies on Christmas eve of World War I. Maybe.

For any of you historians out there (I’m one), you’re probably well aware that 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the “Great War,” aka “The War to End All Wars” … later to simply become World War I after the powers who fought in the Great War didn’t end all wars. There’s a lot of confusion and misconception about what happened during the early months of the war in 1914, but one thing that is not in dispute is that there was, on many parts of the Western Front (and possibly at least one on the Eastern Front), a truce declared between combatants. According to some, pleasantries and gifts were exchanged amongst both sides, and certainly it was a time when both sides left their trenches and gathered their dead. According to many, Christmas Carols were sung by both sides — with both sides joining in on those carols known to both.

What’s less certain is whether the Germans and the Allies engaged in an impromptu soccer match or two. Probably the best summary of whether or not this did happen comes from Wikipedia, and the History Channel has a great bit on the truce itself (with a mention of the soccer). There have even been recreations of the soccer matches.

I’d like to lean on the side of peace breaking out during the midst of an horrific war and soccer being played. I stumbled upon a fantastic video (actually an ad) the other day which seeks to give a sense of the time, and what may have taken place during those dark days on December 24, 1914. On my last post before Christmas, I thought you might enjoy it — it’s got uniforms and it’s got sports. But it’s really about neither.

No matter what your faith, creed, race, religion, color, etc. etc., and especially after the divisiveness and world events of 2014, I thought this video was a nice way to look back on one of humanity’s finer moments, even if it was fleeting. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 16 & 17:

EPL Weeks 16 & 17

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UWFFL banner

Birmingham vs Miami

Premier League Games
By Andrew Seagraves

Good Sunday Morning, Uni-watchers!

It is Week 14 of the UWFFL season and as the regular season draws to a close, the stories for the post-season have only begun. Only six spots are open for the Premier title with only one who will come out on top.

The drive for a second spot out of the Western Division is still alive as three teams are either going to go on to the playoffs, stay in the League or possibly be demoted. San Diego (6-5), San Francisco (6-5) and newcomer Vancouver (5-6) all have destiny in their hands with the final days of the regular season winding down. The Anchorage Orcas are sitting atop the standings waiting to see if they may have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Two teams have set themselves apart in the Central Division, once again, as Minnesota (8-3) and Detroit (7-4) could logically cruise throughout the final two weeks and make it into the playoffs. St. Louis (3-7-1) and Texas (1-9-1) are trying to finish the season on a strong note so they can possibly keep relegation at bay.

In the Eastern Division, Hartford and Atlanta are sitting atop the ladder at 7-4 and 6-4-1 respectively while new blood Birmingham and last year’s UWFFL League runners-up, Miami, are on the bottom two runs at 4-6-1 and 4-7.

And these last two teams are going to be featured in our UWFFL Spotlight Clash.

The Miami Cougars were the epitome of what a good rebrand can do for your squad in the Bigs. With that change came a hard fought road to the UWFFL Bowl where they eventually lost to the champs, the Minnesota Mustangs. This season, however, hasn’t brought as much success for the South Beach Catamounts as they are now facing the possibility of relegation. The Dade County Pumas have tweaked their unis to now showcase five stripes on the sleeves and pants, ditching the shoulder stripe from a year ago. For their showdown in the Steel City of the South, the Cougars are going with their standard Blue lids, white jerseys and pants, and blue socks.

The home side, a.k.a. the Birmingham Vulcans, basically waltzed into the UWFFL Premier after a successful minor league campaign last year. The squad from the Stars…

oh, wait, wrong Vulcans.

The squad from The Magic City haven’t had as easy a ride as they had in the past and now they are trying to stay two steps ahead of Miami to avoid lapsing back into DII. Their look hasn’t changed since last season as they still sport Roman spears on the sides of their lids, Jerseys with contrasting TV patches and pants with a unique knee covering. For their foxtrot with the Felines they are breaking out their White domes, Gold jerseys with white TV patches and white pants with green socks.

. . .

MIA-BIR

. . .


 
pollcode.com free polls

. . .

Other Big Leauge Brawls of note for this weekend will see the Reign Fire face the Storm in the San Diego Storm Cellar, AFC Vibora visiting the Demons in an Interleague match, and the Ponies from the Twin Cities are heading to LA to take on the Attack.

In La Lega, the surprising Stockholm Lutefisk will face Roma FC, Auckland is fighting for survival as they travel to Tokyo to face the Mammoth, and the Locomotive of Leipzig will try and take down the Toronto Civics at Rob Ford Fieldhouse.

You can vote on these and other matchups at www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com and you can also enter you concepts for next year’s D-League at the Prospective UWFFL Teams Google+ page.

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reminder

• • • • •
The annual Uni Watch year-end raffle is now underway. Get the full scoop here.
• • • • •

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Reader Steve Robinson found this photo hanging in an old historic building called The Factory. Steve notes it’s now an entertainment and shopping outlet but back in the day it was, indeed, a factory. “The American Stove Company (later Magic Chef) built kitchen stoves here. I thought it was a cool pic.” … Movado has come out with a come out with a line of watches “honoring” Derek Jeter (thanks to Patrick O’Neill). … Check out the interesting batting helmet logo for Yankees superstar Roger Maris during the 1964-65 seasons (h/t @StirrupsNow). … Check out this bee-you-tee-ful 1934 St. Louis Browns roadie (according to @UniformCritic, this was the only year they chose to underline the “T” in St. Louis).

NFL News: It was probably the worst kept secret in football, but now it’s official: the Packers have added Captaincy patches to their uniforms during the regular season (thanks to Johnny Okray). I’m guessing this has something to due with the “every game is a playoff game” now mantra for the Pack. … The NFL began its slate of Saturday games yesterday, but in the Titans/Jets from a week ago, Sammie Hill suffered a jersey tear (from Matt Barnett). Also from Matt, from the way-back machine, here’s a jersey tear on Barry Foster in the 1994 AFC Championship game against the Chargers.

College Football News: Lots of action in NCAA football yesterday with 5 bowl games (and because TJ Duroncelet will be doing a Bowl wrapup, I’ll try to keep the mentions brief), but this one isn’t uni related: check out the chili pepper apostrophe used to denote the ULL Ragin’ Cajuns endzone! (nice spot by Jeff Flynn). … Here is a link to a few SEC teams concepts for their bowl games (thanks to Kevin Thoms). … Oops! Looks like the wrong logo was used for UL Lafayette yesterday. Says submitter Clint Glaze, “Seems like ESPN would have learned the difference by now.” … In yesterday’s comments, there was a small discussion about Bowling Green having uniforms that were neither green, nor have a “bowling” logo. Jim Vilk says, “Tweak this a bit and you’d have a good logo for Bowling Green.” … Looks like Louisiana Tech will be wearing their red jerseys for their Heart of Dallas Bowl game (h/t @LATechEquipment). … ESPN has introduced a new score bug for the bowl season (h/t Chris Mycoskie). Here is a comparison of the new and the old graphics (nice shot by Cork Gaines). Interestingly, this seemed to just be a one-game thing, as ESPN/ABC returnrd to their normal graphics after that game. …. ULL’s QB Terrance Broadway has a Fleur de lis tattoo (nice spot by Trés Lawless). … Colorado State, who we knew would be wearing their throwback green helmet with orange ram horns, also had a new uni yesterday (pic from @LandonFr8r). Here’s another look. … Utah had some new gloves and undershirts (from @TRayALLDay). … Here’s an interesting possible development: a shot of the four playoff teams reveals the Ducks not wearing their Green “O” helmet that was premiered a few weeks back. I wouldn’t put too much faith in this Nike Store display getting it right, but interesting nonetheless (nice spot by @RCB05). Still, several on Twitter have pointed out the Ducks have been using this image for their promotional release (which shows not only the yellow winged helmet, but the jersey appears to match what was shown during the unveiling). That image was apparently created for a Nike ad (thanks to @RCB05 again). … Shout out to Mellon: The West Virginia end zone is already ready at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl (from Coleman Mullins). … Also from Coleman, just a slight paint chip on this Air Force helmet. Here’s another view (from Brandon Schwenn). … Western Michigan wore their potato colored jerseys for the Potato Bowl. … The University of South Alabama Jaguars got new helmets and gray jerseys for the Camellia Bowl.

NBA News: From the NBA Wayback Machine: Derek Hannan writes, “My good friend and fellow Uni Watcher Jimmy Flynn was drunkenly watching the 1969 NBA Finals on YouTube as he often does. He called me with such excitement when he realized that Sam Jones had FNOB of the back of his warmups. Every other player on the Celtics had the standard last name on backplate, yet his was full name and in the font from the “Celtics” on the front. We assume that it’s because it was his last game before retiring. We also figured this was right up your alley if you didn’t already know about it.” Here’s the link to the YouTube video. … That was quick: the new black & gold Raptors logo is already on fan gear (that is apparently the alt logo. Nice spot by @SweatSuitSammy).

Hockey News: The Pittsburgh Penguins, like many organizations, have a holiday-themed Twitter avatar. But they’ve really done this one up, featuring the Penguin mascot in a santa hat and a seriously awesome ugly Xmas sweater! (thanks to Aaron McHargue for that screenshot). … Wow — check out this Boston University throwback uni. Says submitter Trista Rajaratnam, “I saw this picture yesterday of my alma matter wearing some slick jerseys! What do you think?” … Those Missouri Mavericks Star Wars throwbacks? They have “May The Force Be With You” stitched into the collar! (great find by Jon Saddler). … Check out these Cincinnati Cyclones ugly Christmas sweaters, with the logo “knitted” on the forearms (photos by Adam Walter).

Soccer News: OK — I’m just going to leave this one right here: Danny Fox has dyed his beard the colour of Cystic Fibrosis Trust logo. He plays for the Nottingham Forest Football Club, if you’re interested (h/t Jim Shemaria). If anyone knows the story behind this, please feel free to elaborate in the comments below.

College/HS Hoops News: Couple of throwbacks were broken out yesterday on the college hardwood: The University of North Carolina Tar Heels (here’s another look via Tim Tiernan) and the University of Illinois “Fighting” Illini (h/t Illinois Basketball), both looked great. You can see more pics of the Illini unis here, and the Tarheels’ here. … Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear had an upside-down American flag on his uni yesterday – oops (screenshot by Tim Johnson). … Morgan Park, the two-time defending Illinois HS basketball champs, has been wearing shirts during warmups that say “We need a gym”. They share a gym with another Chicago high school (thanks to Mike the Intern). … “WVU is wearing a memorial patch for Elijah Macon’s mother who died of cancer last month,” notes Coleman Mullins. “Not sure how long they’ve been wearing it, or if it’s already been mentioned on UW.”

Grab Bag: Go…Jayhawks?: “I was watching the series finale of my favorite show Miami Vice,” writes Matt Larsen. “Towards the end of the episode Don Johnson decided to pay homage to his alma mater. Even though his character attended Florida.” … From the magazine of the Melbourne Cricket Club library, here’s an excellent article celebrating 100 years of numbered jerseys in the VFL/AFL since 1911 (thanks to Grayham Clayton).

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And that’s going to do it for today, everyone — big thanks to Trent for those great Christmas Day NBA concepts, and to all of you fine readers out there.

To all those who celebrate, a Merry Christmas — and for those who don’t or who choose to celebrate (or not), best to you as well. I’ll catch you guys and gals next weekend, our last weekend of 2014.

Peace. (And I do mean that more than ever.)

.. … ..

“Edmonton might be able to get away with ‘We the North’ as a slogan. Toronto is more like ‘A Wee Bit North’.”

— Will S

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Let's Go Bowling (Part I)

Bowls Prediction with Border

By Phil Hecken

The College Bowl Season begins today, so that means it’s time to take a look at the teams’ involved and to try to pick a winner, based upon the uni. I usually go about .500 in picking bowl games by unis, and in the past, my strategy has been to try to determine which uni a team will wear in the game and make my pick (against the spread) based upon that uni. While some teams have already revealed what they will be wearing, some remain a mystery. I’m going to change up the strategy just a bit this year.

This year, I’m going to use an entire team’s body of work for the season, including multiple helmets, combos, and any special uniforms, to make my pick. What they wear on Bowl Day, whether known or unknown prior to the game, will not influence my picks. I’ll probably go .500 again this year, but what the hey.

For this fine Saturday, I’ll look at the 13 Bowls that will take place between today and this coming Friday — Part II will be next Saturday, when I’ll predict the final set of bowls.

For each game, you can click on the image to enlarge. Ready?

Let’s go bowling…

. . .

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Nevada vs. UL Lafayette (12/20, 11:00 am ET – ESPN)
Spread: Pick ’em

1 - Nevada Wolf Pack 2 - UL Lafayette

Nevada combines blue, white and gray and mixes them throughout the season. For a modern uni, it’s pretty restrained, all things considered, although it does seem to be a Nike template, with obligatory “claw” stripes on the pants. ULL, who in past years has really featured some awful/wild uniforms, has also dialed it back recently. Like the “pick ’em” spread, this is a tough call. Edge: ULL
The Pick: UL Lafayette

. . .

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs. UTEP (12/20, 2:20 pm ET – ESPN)
Spread: Utah State is favored by 10

3 - Utah State 4 - UTEP

Utah State, much like Nevada, goes with navy, white and gray, and these definitely have an old-school feel to them — nice pants stripes, no bells and whistles. Texas El Paso goes the other way — while they have a great orange and navy color scheme, they also fall prey to TNOL (team name on leg). It’s not a bad uni (as far as modern unis go), but it’s not good either. Edge: Utah State.
The Pick: Utah State -10

. . .

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Colorado State (12/20, 3:30 pm – ABC)
Spread: Utah is a 3.5 point favorite

5 - Utah Utes 6 - Colorado State

As early bowls go, this is a good one, pitting the red and black Utes vs the green and gold (and orange) Colorado State Rams in a match-up of some pretty decent unis. Utah has a great color scheme, but added the “mountain range” shoulder inserts this year, and mix and match three colors of helmet jersey and pants pretty much at will. The Rams though, with their green and gold, remain fairly constant in their own uniform selections, and look better doing it. They’ll also be wearing their throwback green/orange helmet (although that has no bearing on my pick) for their game today. Edge: Rams
The Pick: Colorado State +3.5

. . .

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Air Force (12/20, 5:45 pm – ESPN)
Spread: Air Force is a 1 point favorite

7 - Western Michigan 8 - Air Force

This has the potential to be an ugly looking game, as the brown (and sometimes gold) and white Broncos will provide a color clash with the royal, gray/silver and white Falcons. Neither team has particularly attractive uniforms, and WMU seems stuck with an older style template. Air Force, who had worn some cool, if wild unis in past years, has kept it mellower this year — although they have played around with their helmets. It’s not going to be a feast for the eyes, but not every bowl can be. Edge: Air Force
The Pick: Air Force -1

. . .

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: South Alabama vs. Bowling Green (12/20, 9:15 pm – ESPN)
Spread: South Alabama is a 3 point favorite

9 - South Alabama 10 - Bowling Green

The WHAT Bowl? Yeah, I never heard of it either. Must be new. Or something. Anyway, the South ‘bama Jags with their templated unis in red, white and blue (I mean, they are “USA” right?) are actually not that bad, and Bowling Green is pretty basic in their orange (with slight brown accents). For a school with “Green” in their name, the color scheme has always thrown me. But orange and brown, especially when brown is an accent, work together. This is actually a pretty close uni-matchup. Edge: Bowling Green
The Pick: Bowling Green +3

. . .

Miami Beach Bowl: BYU vs. Memphis (12/22, 2:00 pm – ESPN)
Spread: Memphis is a 1 point favorite

11 - BYU 12 - Memphis

Two schools with blue and white. Two schools with a BFBS uni. Two schools with multiple helmets (though Memphis gets the edge in number here). It should be a good looking game, as these teams will match up well, color-wise — BYU has the slightly more “traditional” looking uniform and if they go with either of their standard looks, will look really good. It’s an easier choice here. Edge: BYU
The Pick: BYU +1

. . .

Boca Raton Bowl: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois (12/23, 6:00 pm – ESPN)
Spread: Marshall is favored by 10 points

13 - Marshall 14 - Northern Illinois

Marshall got new unis this year, and after a few weeks with those awful gradient numbers on their greens, got the problem fixed. The numbers weren’t illegal — just close to illegible. NIU looks pretty solid with their red and black combos, although they did wear those salute to corn or whatever it was jerseys to open the season. NIU likes many helmets, Marshall likes to memorialize the 75 killed in 1970 on theirs (but not all season). Another tough call, because I actually like NIU’s unis, but not that difficult. Edge: Marshall
The Pick: Marshall -10

. . .

San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State (12/23, 9:30 pm – ESPN)
Spread: San Diego State is a 1.5 point favorite

15 - Navy 16 - San Diego State

Despite the switch to UnderArmour, Navy actually had pretty respectable uniforms this season, including some gorgeous ones for their season opener (the “summer whites”), and the costume they wore for the Army/Navy game (which I believe they’ll be wearing for this game) was OK. SDSU actually has some very attractive uniforms, in a nice, classic template. They don’t go crazy either. That’s good enough for me. Edge: SDSU
The Pick: San Diego State -1.5

. . .

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky (12/24, Noon – ESPN)
Spread: WKU is a 3 point favorite

17 - Central Michigan 18 - Western Kentucky

So, yeah. Christmas eve brings us the “Bahamas” bowl (another new one), and it’s actually being played in the Bahamas, so that’s a nice trip for both teams (although I’ve been to Nassau in late November, and it can be cold…but still warmer than 90% of the USA). Anyway, the maroon and gold of the CMU Chippewas is a nice combination, and their template isn’t too bad (of course, they do have the adidas treadmarks, but whatever). WKU has the more modern Russell uni set, and it wouldn’t be so bad if not for the TNOL, which kind of ruins the whole overall look. That’s enough for me. Edge: CMU
The Pick: Central Michigan +3

. . .

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice (12/24, 8:00 pm – ESPN)
Spread: Rice is favored by 1.5 points

19 - Fresno State 20 - Rice

I think at one time I may have said I liked Rice’s uniforms, because they were classic. But as time has gone on, I now find them boring (and not in a good Penn State way, either). But at least you know what you’re going to get, and that’s not a bad thing. Fresno State on the other hand has the modern template with the obligatory claw marks on the pants, and many combos. This is actually a tough call. Edge: FSU
The Pick: Fresno State +1.5

. . .

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech (12/26, 1:00 pm – ESPN)
Spread: La Tech is favored by 6 points

21 - Illinois 22 - Louisiana Tech

Illinois got outfitted with a new (and pretty nice) uni set this past season, although the promised “blue” part of the set never materialized (this is apparently not due to Nike oversight, but the school simply spent its budget on the white and orange sets — hmmmm). But they did manage to wear the gray “Galloping Ghost” one-off. Louisiana Tech boasts ‘merica colors, UCLA “stripes” and a nice set overall. It shouldn’t be this easy a call, but it is. Edge: La Tech
The Pick: Louisiana Tech -6

. . .

Quick Lane Bowl: Rugters vs. North Carolina (12/26, 4:30 pm – ESPN)
Spread: UNC is a 3 point favorite

23 - Rutgers 24 - North Carolina

Oh boy. Two modern Nike templates and teams who both have a BFBS fetish. Rutgers really pisses me off because they share an identical template with UCF (apparently if you have “Knights” in your name you get collar horns, pseudo shoulder loops and “sword” stripes on your pants). On the other hand, UNC has a nearly identical uniform (save for the number font), except instead of collar horns, they get a neck plate, and instead of the sword stripe they get the wraparound. Ugh. UNC has like, the most awesome blue and they choose to go BFBS a good amount. Shame. This one is a real tough call, and not in a good way. Edge: UNC
The Pick: North Carolina -3

. . .

Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl: NC State vs. UCF (12/26, 8:00 pm – ESPN)
The Spread: UCF is favored by 1.5

25 - North Carolina State 26 - UCF

I like UCF, but I’m not a fan of their templated unis (see Rutgers, above) and I really don’t like when they wear their light gold jersey as a “dark” — that would be much better suited as a “light” jersey, but apparently that’s not the way the NCAA works. When they go black over gold, that’s a nice set. NC State has some wonderful red and white uniforms, but they added that bizarre black uniform with the scratch marks on the shoulders and funky helmet. But that was a “special” uni. Is it enough to turn me off the whole package? No. Edge: NC State
The Pick: NC State +1.5

. . .

There you have it — the first week of Bowls — nothing particularly spectacular in the way of match-ups or uniforms, but that’s the way it usually is in the first week. It whets our appetites for what is to come. And those will be some good contests. I’ll have the rest of the previews and picks next weekend.

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Raptors Get New Logo

Raptors new logo 1

Interesting news out of Toronto yesterday, with first the leak, and then some speculation, and finally confirmation that what is posted above will indeed be the new logo for the Toronto Raptors, beginning in 2016.

It all started when the team leaked a glimpse of this new logo in a TV spot released yesterday…

… then the Raptors posted the color version to their Facebook page before taking it down. It was then confirmed.

Here’s the logo complete with official ball colors – black, red, silver and gold:

B5QQ2wqIMAA8msH

Several Uni Watchers were all over the news, including @teeford, Patrick O’Neill, and Mike Guterman, who explains “The Toronto Raptors are in the middle of a re-branding that the rapper Drake is spear heading.” Before the logo with the red circle was confirmed (and only the black and white was on the Facebook page), he said, “The logo is actually pretty good on my opinion in just hoping it’s in red not white as this version is too similar to the Nets logo on my opinion.”

Eric Koreen, whose confirmation tweet is above, and who writes for Canada’s National Post, explains further:

It is part of the “We The North” marketing campaign, which the Raptors collaborated on with creative services firm Sid Lee. During last season’s playoff series against Brooklyn — hold that thought — and select home games this year, the a giant black-and-white “We The North” banner has been passed around the lower bowl of the Air Canada Centre. The logo, which depicts a claw mark across a basketball, has been in place for the past “four or five months” according to a Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment spokesman. The new uniforms and colour scheme will be unveiled sometime in the new year. Expect black, silver, white and red to all be involved.

Obviously we can’t tell anything about what the uniforms will look like based upon just a logo, but that doesn’t mean no one has tried (h/t to UW favorite Conrad Burry for the mockup). Conrad also tried his hand at mocking the new logo in purple and red — which looks much better, IMHO.

With “black, silver, white and red” expected for the new unis, I am wondering just what that could mean — will it be more Spurs/Nets-ish, or will the red have a more prominent role? Perhaps this article (scroll down) gives us a partial answer: “Once you see the (actual) uniforms, it looks nothing like Brooklyn’s,” [Raptors’ GM Masai] Ujiri told a few media members before Toronto took on Detroit Friday night.” Only time will tell. (H/T to Megan Ann Wilson for the “official” logo.)

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

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Classic Football Scoreboards – Fourth in a Series
by Gary Chanko

I’ve previously noted the prodigious football stadium building spree that occurred in California in the 1920s. The Rose Bowl Stadium was an important part of that construction binge.

Just like its Coliseum cousin, about 15 miles south, the Rose Bowl Stadium has hosted an array of diverse sporting events and concerts, including five Super Bowls, venues for two Olympics, and major soccer tournaments. Like the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl Stadium, is best known for college football, especially the Granddaddy of them all – the Rose Bowl Game.

Rose Bowl Stadium

Rose Bowl Scoreboard UW

Home of: The Rose Bowl game (1923 to present), UCLA (1982 to present), Caltech (1923 – 1993)

Constructed: 1921-22

First Game: October 1922, Cal 12 – USC 0
First Rose Bowl in new stadium:1923, USC 14 – Penn State 3
Renovations: Ongoing

Although there is an ample amount of photography covering the Rose Bowl construction and early twentieth century game action, I wasn’t successful in finding scoreboard imagery from the Stadium’s initial years.

An aerial photo shows both the north and south end scoreboards in place for the 1928 Rose Bowl game. This 1936 Rose Bowl game photo shows an early scoreboard configuration along with an analog time clock.

The scoreboard’s architectural style, with its Spanish tile roof, has remained basically unchanged thought the decades. The scoreboard facade was often modified and upgraded over the years. The analog clock appears to have been replaced with a digital overlay sometime in the late fifties or early sixties.

The Rose Bowl played host to many memorable games on New Year’s Day. The illustration captures the North end scoreboard for one of those games – the 1969 Rose Bowl clash between Ohio State No.1 and USC No.2.

A Few Things to Know

• The Rose Bowl stadium design was inspired by the Yale Bowl built in 1913. Construction of the horseshoe shaped stadium was completed in 1922 at a cost of $272,198 with a seating capacity of 57,000. The southern stands were added in 1928, making the stadium a complete bowl.

• The stadium is both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

• In 1942 the annual Rose Bowl game on January 1st wasn’t actually played in the Rose Bowl! Think Blue Devils.

• The recent Stadium upgrades included state-of-the-art LED fueled scoreboards supplied by Daktronics. The south end scoreboard, however, retains the vintage architectural design including an analog clock. The scoreboard layout even mirrors past design with elements such as “down,” “yards to go,” “ball on,” and “quarter.”

The series goes on Christmas vacation next week and will return in few weeks with another classic football scoreboard. Happy holidays ya’ll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

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UWFFL banner

BC vs YK 20 Dec 2014

U.W.F.F.L. News — Division II Games
By Andrew Seagraves

Once upon a Saturday morning dreary —
Over many a uni matchup of current lore,
While the coffee settling in, fully groggy, suddenly came a sensation,
Of my heart palpitating, palpitating my chambers four.
Watching the totals of yonder score while my mind screamed
“JUST ONE MORE! JUST ONE MORE!”

~ Edgar Allen Poe… or maybe me
“The Designer”

That was more than likely not found in Edgar Allen Poe’s lost writings.

Ehh… that was me trying to be clever.

The UWFFL DII and Premier league season is down to its final two regular season weeks with designers scurrying to make final tweaks, adjustments, and choices to make that final push into the postseason. Just like in many-a-league around the world, the UWFFL DII leagues are experiencing their own playoff log jams to see who will be crowned their respective league champ and promotion into the Bigs. For other squads, they are doing all they can to stave off relegation and possible dormancy.

Let’s dig into the playoff races before we introduce this week’s DII Featured Fray.

. . .

standings_1218

Two teams from the Eastern Association have punched their ticket to the post-season while four units do what the can to overtake the final two spots. And it is going to be a tough climb for them. Staten Island and Youngstown are sitting pretty going into January play as they both stand at 10-1. Toledo (7-3-1) and St. John’s (7-4) are in spots 3 and 4 respectively while Swisshelm (5-5-1), Brooklyn Mariners (5-6), Harrisburg (5-6), and Montreal (5-6) are currently on the outside looking in.

In the Metro South, things are looking a bit muddier. Charleston (10-2) have punched their ticket to the big dance while Missouri (8-2-1) and Little Rock (8-3) will both jockey for position this weekend to see who gets the second seed in Little Rock. The fourth spot currently has a three way horse race to see who will get in as old-standards Carolina (7-4) and Florida (7-4) with upstart Greenville (7-5) all battling for position. Last season’s Eastern Association runner up, Raleigh (5-6-1), would need an epic meltdown by the three squads in front of them to secure a spot in the postseason.

Pontiac currently sits atop the Central League standings with a 9-1-1 (help! sorry, couldn’t resist) record as Dallas (10-2) and Iowa (9-2) are in a footrace for the second rung on the ladder. The logs start to jam up for the fourth spot as Oklahoma City (6-4-1), Rapid City (6-5), Duluth (5-5-1), San Antonio (5-6-1), and Wichita (5-6) all are one or two games away from dancing or sitting.

Finally, the Pacific Coast Conference is once again top heavy at the end of things with teams clearly above .500. Las Vegas (8-3), Salt Lake City (8-3-1) and Cheyenne (7-3-1) are vying for not only fourth but one of them, with a few lucky bounces of the ball, could conceivably sneak into third. The Great White North is being well represented on the top fourth of the table as Yellowknife (10-1), Calgary (9-1-1), and British Columbia (8-1-2) are one, two, and three respectively.

For a look at the complete standings in each of the four Division II conferences click the following links: EA, MSC, CL, PCC.

~ ~ ~

And this now brings us to our DII game of the week as we head to the Log Camp of Victoria, BC where the British Columbia Lumberjacks will host the Lumberjacks of Yellowknife for the renewal of the Big Brown Axe rivalry.

These two squads competed well in the Spring D-League and were promoted to the second tier of the UWFFL. Along with promotion, both sides also revamped their look as the level of competition they would face has intensified.

The visiting Loggers from The Knife had a bombastic look going into D-League play as their plaid pattern played a prominent part of their TV patches, leg striping and helmet center stripe. The team’s tartan has been relegated to their helmet and pants stripe as they have simplified their TV patches, cleaned up their number and name fonts, and reduced their color pallete. For their foray into the Vancouver Island frontier, they are going with their Rosewood Red Lids, Custard cream tops with Rosewood TV patches, and Rosewood britches.

The BC Timbermen came into their Fall campaign with simplified red home and white away jersey, White lids and green pants compared to their White lids and pants, and jerseys sporting a complex shoulder striping pattern. For their matchup with Yellowknife they are debuting Green jerseys with Red numerals, Silver pantaloons and White lids with a new axe head symbol on the side.

. . .

YKL-BCL

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pollcode.com free polls

. . .

Other key matchups for this weekend will have the Toledo Snipers traveling across Ohio to take on the Youngstown Bobcats, the revamped Tampa Terror trying to take down the mighty Florida Geckos, Duluth Frost Dragons trying to freeze the Iowa Corn yield, and the SLC Spikes squaring off against the Seattle Kings.

You can head over to http://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on this weekends matchups and follow the league’s happenings on our Google+ page. You can also introduce your own concepts for Spring D-League competition at our Prospective UWFFL Teams Google+ page.

WHEW! That was a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. Make sure to come back tomorrow for our look at the Premier Game of the Week and the happenings from around the rest of the UWFFL.

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reminder

• • • • •
The annual Uni Watch year-end raffle is now underway. Get the full scoop here.
• • • • •

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Apparently (if you read yesterday’s lede), biting uniforms is not unique to hockey. Brice Wallace notes, “In 1973, Reds’ Pedro Borbon took a bite out of a Mets cap he mistakenly wore momentarily after the NL playoff brawl. It’s buried in this piece. Read on. He apparently bit a player once, too.” If that’s too long, here’s the pertinent section: “When order was restored, an enraged Borbon reached down to grab a cap on the field. When he realized that he had mistakenly grabbed Capra’s cap, he yanked it from his head and proceeded to take a bite out of it.” … Matt Kemp (not surprisingly) will wear #27 in San Diego (thanks to Brady Phelps). He’s also a pretty funny guy. … Amazon is listing an ’86 Era Mets replica as a ’69 Mets replica (from Matthew J. Heffernan).

NFL News: An interview with the Detroit Lions’ Cassius Vaughn yielded some interesting uni-related banter, including this nugget: “Best uniforms definitely have to go to Seattle. Seattle’s got the dopest uniforms in the league, hands down. They’re unique. They left their traditional style, and got more in the age that players like. They’re more player-friendly uniforms, with the all-grey, the green, you can definitely swag out their jerseys a lot better than other people’s.” So, maybe it’s not just the tween & teen market (and potential recruits) the uni makers are appealing to with these new-fangled unis — some current players like them too. … I’m just gonna leave this here: “Forbidden Love at Ralph Wilson Stadium” (thanks, Paul).

College Football News: Here’s some interesting uniform tracking for the Utah Utes (via Jalen Thomas); previously, I received tracking for Stanford and Cal (from JediASU), who had much earlier tweeted at me the uni tracking for ASU. … With the news that MSU will be wearing white for the Orange Bowl, some are hoping Georgia Tech will wear gold and not blue, as has been rumored. … Oops — not a good start for the Camellia Bowl — they have the wrong helmet logo for the USA Jags (great spot by Clint Richardson). … The Utah Utes have unveiled their uni combo for today’s Las Vegas Bowl. … The Washington Huskies will be wearing gold/white/white for their 1/2/15 Cactus Bowl game against Okie State. … Great football program cover from @GrayFlannelSuit — Can you identify the teams? Twitter had a hard time too, until it was finally ascertained it was the 1979 Garden State Bowl between Cal(!) and Temple. I’m kinda embarrassed I didn’t recognize the teams, since those same teams were a ticker item (scroll down) just over a year ago.

Hockey News: The Colorado Avalanche had a little fun last night, posting this picture on Instagram, does team captain Gabriel Landeskog’s sticks look better with or without serifs? Says submitter John Muir,
There are worse ways to engage fans on non-game nights.” … The Missouri Mavericks, a Minor League hockey team, will be the next to wear Star Wars-themed sweaters.

Soccer News: For those of you who like XBox (or the Seattle Sounders), good news: Microsoft has extended their sponsorship with the team throughout next year (thanks, Paul). … “My beloved Bayern Munich Football Club played their final match of the calendar year on Friday and once again wore their all black third strip, a uniform that is now their second most common choice, having worn it in every road match since November 29th, even though it is officially categorized as the ‘Champions League kit’,” writes James Roberts. “During that time winter weather has hit Germany and star players Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben have been giving the Saints’ leotards a run for their money by doing some pioneering work in the athletic full body catsuit, complete with mismatched team branded gloves with subtle Adidas logo creep.” … More weird unis from Europe: “In case you haven’t seen it yet, SK Brann (a soccer team in Norway) are wearing rubber unis this season (think rubber boots),” says Daniel Wittels. “They claim they’re supposed to help keep players dry during the windy and wet conditions of Norway.”

College/HS Hoops News: In a purely marketing move to “honor” Native American heritage, the Florida State Seminoles will wear their turquoise N-7 uniforms against USF on today to “raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth.” Scroll down for that news (thanks, Paul). … The CBS Sports Classic begins today, and this just might be the most cluttered court (or the ugliest) ever (thanks to Brandon Owen for the shot). … On Thursday evening, UAB brought out new “Birmingham” jerseys for their home game against LSU. “Almost certainly a statement about the termination of the football program,” says Caleb Weaver. … Wonder if it’s cold in that gym? The Nashua South high in NH has hooded shooting shirts. Says submitter Michael Abelson, “Never seen that before.” If you follow the progression of the tweet, apparently these are not a new thing. … “You know you’re in the Midwest when you see these warm-ups,” writes Jeff Whitener. These are worn by the Windsor Owls men’s varsity high school basketball team from Imperial, Missouri. “I didn’t detect any blood on them from deer season,” he adds.

Grab Bag: I’d usually hold off on this news and save it for a “Colorize This” segment, but here are some black and white photographs of unis that could really use some colorization (thanks, Paul). Here’s a link to the article referenced in the tweet. … This is pretty cool: John Taylor writes, “I weld for a living and I just wanted to send you pictures of my welding hood. I just completed it today, I’ve been working on it for two years, it’s 100% hand painted.”

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And that’s going to do it for today, folks. Enjoy the first 5 Bowl games today (you know you’re going to watch them all…). Thanks to Gary & Andrew for their parts and to all you fine Uni Watchers for reading and your contributions. Catch you all tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken

Peace.

.. … ..

“And seriously… ‘WE THE NORTH’?”

–Chance Michaels

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