Friday Morning Uni Watch

The NFL season kicked off last night, as the Steelers and Patriots faced off in Foxboro. I missed the first quarter or so because I was attending the reception for the Todd Radom-curated sports design show in Manhattan (great time, big thanks to everyone who said hello, bigger thanks to all the people I was introduced to who had nice things to say about Uni Watch), and then I toggled between the NFL game and the Mets once I got home.

Here are some notes from the Pats/Steelers game:

• As had been expected (but not officially announced until shortly before the game), the Pats wore a championship patch (click to enlarge):

This is the third time that the Pats have followed up a Super Bowl win by wearing a championship patch in the following season’s opening game. They previously did so in 2004 and 2005. (They did not wear a patch, however, in 2002, following up on their first championship in Super Bowl XXVI.) Only one other team has worn a season-opening championship patch: the 2010 Saints.

• If you look at again at that last photo, you can see that the Pats have a new nose bumper logo. Here’s a closer look (click to enlarge):

They had used Flying Elvis last season and in this year’s preseason. The folks at 3D Bumpers say the Pats will be changing it up throughout the season.

• Not sure how Pats wideout Julian Edelman ended up with this big red splotch on his helmet, but it was pretty hard to miss:

• One of the Elvis decals on Pats tight end Michael Williams’s helmet was peeling off:

• If Tom Brady’s suspension hadn’t been overturned, the Pats were going to hang this banner for him:

Interesting that the number font matches their wordmark instead of their jersey numbers. A harbinger of things to come, perhaps?

• Remember how running back DeAngelo Williams dyed his hair pink last year when he was with the Panthers, as a tribute to his mother, who died from breast cancer? He’s with the Steelers now and has kept the pink dreads, which really clash with Pittsburgh’s black/gold color scheme:

• Following the game, Pats coach Bill Belichick broke out a new look for his postgrame presser:

(My thanks to @nwandler, @markheggen, and Phil for their contributions.)

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest design is now available for purchase from now through next Monday. As we discussed last week, it’s the powder blue design, which looks really good now that we’ve added the gold outlining (click to enlarge):

An important note: If you go to the ordering page, you’ll see that we’re offering three different T-shirt brands, each of which has its own shade of powder blue. American Apparel is the lightest shade and Teespring Premium is the darkest, with Gildan in between. Here’s a photo of the AmApp and Teespring fabrics (click to enlarge):

So compare the color shades, and also use the sizing chart for each brand, to choose the shirt that’s best for you.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Today is Sept. 11, which as you know is a national holiday. No, wait, it’s a day when something really patriotic happened. No, wait, it’s a day when we can exploit and fetishize a tragedy in order to sell stuff — right. So MLB teams will be wearing these caps for tonight’s games. … Was Big Papi going without an undershirt the other day? Sure looks like it. … I don’t fully understand what’s going on here, but maybe one of you can explain it more fully (from @valleyshook). … Looks like the Diamondbacks will be wearing gold BP jerseys for Saturday’s game (from Robert Hayes).

NFL News: Whoa, check out the Packers wearing mono-gold in 1930! … For the third consecutive season, the Chargers will wear solid-white for their home opener. … Buried within this page is the news that JetBlue passengers wearing Patriots jerseys on game days will be offered early boarding when flying out of JetBlue’s nine New England cities (Boston, Burlington, Hartford, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Portland, Providence, and Worcester). … Yesterday’s Ticker included a note about the Browns’ coaches having trouble reading the orange numerals on the team’s brown jerseys. “That shouldn’t be a surprise,” says Frank Mercogliano. “According to this article on the team’s own website, ‘Brown jerseys with orange numbers are worn for the [1984] preseason before being scrapped because the numbers proved to be too difficult for spotters to recognize during the game.’ I remember this issue from back then, by the way — I was 14 at the time.” Be that as it may, the Browns are nonetheless wearing that jersey for Week 1. … Meanwhile, Cleveland legend Jim Brown appeared last night on Stephen Colbert’s show and wore last year’s Browns jersey. Draw your own conclusions. … The Cowboys will wear their blue jerseys four times this season — but not on Thanksgiving. … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has signed a deal with Adidas (from Jerry Nitzh). … You’ve probably heard about how NFL teams received tax dollars to hold military tributes. Now there’s a change.org petition to get them to stop (from Kurt Esposito). … Custom cleats for Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu (from Eric Wright). … Up until now, the fewest points a team could score in a game (well, aside from zero) was two. But thanks to one of this season’s rule changes, it’s now possible for a team to finish a game with one point!

College and High School Football News: Louisiana Tech couldn’t wait until Sept. 11 — they pandered with stars/stripes helmets for last night’s game. … SMU is doing likewise tomorrow. … And Utah’s version of pandering manages to style “9 11” in two different ways — once with a slash and once with a period. Never forget to be consistent, guys. … Meanwhile, some high school I’d rather not name managed to pack nearly every conceivable bad uniform trope into this embarrassing Sept. 11 costume (from Everett Corder). … Getting back to Louisiana Tech, they had some inconsistent NOB lettering last night (from Ted Chastain). … I often say (usually while being interviewed), “A lot of college football uniforms these days are designed to appeal to 17-year-olds, and 17-year-olds like shiny objects.” Now The New York Times Magazine has posted an entire essay on the concept of shiny objects. … Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh touched upon many topics in a radio interview, including merit decals: “I’ve always felt you should try to get the best grades, win the most awards and excel at sports. It’s an award, so try to win the most awards.” … The Nicholls State team portrait has the players arranged in uni-numerical order (from Chris Mycoskie). … Pretty cool argyle border on UNC’s field (from James Gilbert). … USF is adding an Elkino Watson memorial decal (from Kristofer Strong). … Awesome rainbow throwbacks on tap this weekend for Hawaii. … Good food for thought from Matthew Scoles, who writes: “I watched Monday’s Ohio State/Virginia Tech game with a buddy of mine. ESPN showed a close-up of the decal worn by both teams for the two journalists who were killed in Virginia a few weeks ago, and my buddy, who is a very casual sports fan, said he thought it was pretty gross to turn a memorial into a branding opportunity, because the bulk of the decal was the number 7 — the channel for the affiliate where the victims worked. From the field the most (and only) visible aspect of the decal was the 7. Obviously, these decals are a nice gesture but my buddy really made me think about the efficacy of this particular decal, as opposed to the Giants’ Frank Gifford decal.” I hadn’t thought about that, but it does seem a little odd that the 7 is larger than the initials or the ribbons — or, really, that the 7 is there at all. … UNLV’s new black uniform will debut tomorrow (from @ryblat13). … Iowa will wear “9” on one side of the helmet this weekend to honor former player Tyler Sash, who passed away this week (from Jack Coyier).

College Hoops News: This will be Adidas’s final season as Michigan’s basketball uniform supplier, and it would be fair to say that they’re going out with a bang. Like, are they wearing grass skirts or what? The worst part is that this is probably some godawful template that lots of other Adidas-outfitted schools will be wearing.

Grab Bag: New alternate hockey uniform for the Providence Bruins (from Tim Medeiros). … New Sheriff’s uniforms for Chesterfield County, Virginia. … Abilene Christian has inked a new five-year deal with Nike (from Chris Mycoskie). … Nike might be releasing self-tying Back to the Future sneakers next month (from Kurt Esposito).

Some Thoughts About Rebranding vs. Redesign

There’s a word that has become increasingly prevalent when people refer to new uniforms. It’s a word I see being used in various media outlets, on Twitter, and even in the comments section of this website you’re reading right now. The word is “rebranding,” and its spread throughout the uni-verse needs to stop. Now.

Why don’t I like the use of “rebranding” as it pertains to uniform design? One thing at a time:

1. The term is usually used inaccurately. The vast majority of sports “rebrandings” are actually redesigns. Let’s take a few examples:

• Does the Browns’ new look qualify as rebranding? No way. They have the same team name, the same colors, the same rooting section (the Dawg Pound), and, except for some very nuanced tweaks, the same helmet design. They pretty much stand for the same thing they’ve always stood for — no-frills, Rust Belt football. (That’s assuming you think a football team can “stand for” anything besides playing football, which I’d say is iffy at best anyway.) Yes, they have new jerseys and new pants — and that’s called a redesign. So why do people insist on calling it a “rebrand”? In part because they like using that term (more on that in a sec) and in part because they like to fool themselves into believing that a uniform redesign automatically signals a new era, or even a renaissance, in the team’s on-field performance (a rebrand serving as a reboot, so to speak), even though it usually doesn’t.

• What about the Dolphins — did their recent makeover qualify as a rebrand? It’s true that they changed their helmet logo, but not radically — they kept the sunburst motif. They also kept their team name, color scheme, and basic visual approach. The changes were clearly evolutionary and incremental. This is not a rebrand; it’s a redesign.

• When the Diamondbacks changed from purple/teal to red/black, was that a rebrand? There’s more of a case to be made here, since they changed the color scheme, radically changed their wordmarks, and put a nickname on the home jerseys. But they also retained the “A” and “D” logos (albeit in the new color scheme), maintaining a sense of continuity. I’d still call this a redesign, although I wouldn’t argue too hard with someone who called it a rebrand. This one could go either way.

• When the Devil Rays changed to the Rays, that was a rebrand. New team name, new colors, new logos, new imagery focus (the sunburst instead of the fish) — in short, a new identity. That can legitimately be called rebrand. Most uniform changes don’t come close to this level of identity makeover and are therefore just redesigns, not rebrands.

2. “Rebranding” has that jargon-y feel that seduces people into thinking they know more about a given subject — in this case, marketing — than they actually do. If someone talks about a team’s “new uniform design,” he sounds like a geek (or a Uni Watch reader, which is basically the same thing); if he talks about the team’s “rebrand,” he sounds more worldly, more sophisticated. Or at least that’s the idea. But as noted above, most of the people who toss around the term “rebranding” have no idea what the term actually means, and even less of an idea of how corporate marketing works. Which brings us to…

3. The increasing use of “rebranding” helps to legitimize the spread of corporate-speak in a world that’s already awash in way too much corporate verbiage. It’s bad enough that we have to hear about “branding” in politics (the “Republican brand,” Hillary Clinton’s “personal brand,” blah-blah-blah) and, increasingly, in everyday life (the notion of having a “personal brand” is now taken seriously, or even as a given, by a distressing number of people), all of which contributes to the idea that the entire world can be viewed and assessed through the lens of market forces and business practices. That idea is not only patently false, it’s also bad for our culture as a whole.

4. You know how every new uniform now features embedded “stories” about the typography being at a 37-degree angle, or the side striping being based an architectural detail, or all that other crap that everyone will forget about 10 minutes after the end of the unveiling event? If you call this stuff “design,” it would get laughed out the room (as it should); if you call it “branding,” then it’s more like, “Ooooh, you’re telling a story, ahhhhh, how sophisticated.” In other words, the use of “rebranding” gives cover to all the extraneous bells, whistles, and other bullshit that’s ruining sports design these days. This isn’t branding, people — it’s just design, and in most cases it’s bad design.

5. As I briefly mentioned in the Browns example above, the whole notion that a sports team can “stand for something” other than, you know, a bunch of athletes playing a game is pretty dubious. Are there teams that have developed legitimate brand profiles? Sure — the Yankees come to mind, for example (they stand for hubris disguised as an uncompromising demand for excellence). But most teams are just teams. Even if you think of them as brands, a uniform change certainly doesn’t qualify as a rebrand; it’s just a redesign.

Look: Branding is, for the most part, about lies and deception. It’s about presenting a false image (the Wizard of Oz) that lures people into buying something less exciting than that image (the man behind the curtain). Brands are not your friends — they’re just illusions. Branding is a real phenomenon, but let’s save the term for situations to which it actually applies.

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest design is now available for purchase. As we discussed last week, it’s the powder blue design, which looks really good now that we’ve added the gold outlining (click to enlarge):

An important note: If you go to the ordering page, you’ll see that we’re offering three different T-shirt brands, each of which has its own shade of powder blue. American Apparel is the lightest shade and Teespring Premium is the darkest, with Gildan in between. Here’s a photo of the AmApp and Teespring fabrics (click to enlarge):

So compare the color shades, and also use the sizing chart for each brand, to choose the shirt that’s best for you.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

My brother and I have plans to attend Saturday’s Twins/White Sox game at Sox Park. I checked the promotional schedule, and the Sox will hold “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day,” an annual event that honors the city’s South Side Irish. The Sox will wear green-pinstriped jerseys and green caps.

It should be fun to see the Sox green-clad that evening, if only for the novelty. I don’t believe I’ve ever attended a holiday-themed sporting event before.

My question is, what are some of your favorite and least favorite holiday-themed jerseys from over the years? I haven’t really cared for the NBA’s Christmas Day unis from the last few years, but the 2015 offerings look really sharp. I’m excited for that day.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Royals set a team attendance record this season. The fan who officially broke it received a 2,477,701 NOB jersey (with No. 15 on the front and back) that was signed by the team. … Check out these 1996 Expos World Series phantom tickets. They’re even in French! … Hank Aaron wore a Mets cap during batting practice at an old timers game in 1979 (from Ferdinand Cesarano).

NFL News: The Browns’ orange numbers on their brown jerseys make it hard for coaches to identify players when they watch game film (from Thomas Moore). … The Washington Post is holding an NFL mascot bracket, based on who readers think would win in a fight. The champion will have to be the Titans, right? They’re divine beings, which are much more powerful than a ram or Texan. To sidestep any potential issues, Washington is represented by a Hogette and the Chiefs by a wolf. Also, the Chargers aren’t some electrity-conjuring menaces; nope, they are Dodge Chargers (from John Gagosian). … A site ranked all 32 NFL logos. It’s like what Grantland did with the NBA two days ago, only with considerably less thought. … A few people sent this in: Mitchell & Ness made a graphic with the best players to wear each number from 00 to 99. No. 6 threw me off, though, because I thought it was a misspelled Jay Cutler jersey. Nope, it’s Kevin Butler. … The Bears wore orange number practice jerseys yesterday. The look mimics the “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks they will wear on Sunday against Green Bay (from Tom Juettner). … The Seahawks have a couple things going on with Starbucks (which is Seattle-based, of course). The coffee chain is giving out cup sleeves with 12th man jerseys on them, and it is selling gift cards with Hawks logos on them (from Jamin Svendsen and John Przebieglec, respectively). … Also, Seattle residents can get Seahawks-themed library cards. … Browns WR Terrelle Pryor switched to No. 17. … A designer mocked up some team concept helmets (from Phil). … The Jets will wear white jerseys for their first three home games. … After a year in Oakland, WR James Jones returned to the Packers this week. TE Richard Rodgers gave him back his No. 89. … I don’t know the context of this logo, but here’s a moose mashed up with Flying Elvis.

College & High School Football News: New helmet stickers for Pitt (from Robert James). … Air Force will wear 1985 throwbacks on Saturday. … It takes a little bit of time for Utah’s equipment staff to apply decals onto the Utes’ black matte helmets. Here’s what they’ll wear on Friday (from Landon Freter). … Fresno State will do a blackout against Utah next weekend (from Phil). … Toledo has more than a dozen uniform combinations. … Here’s a look at Syracuse’s all-orange unis. … Arkansas’ Blytheville Chickasaws, a high school team, has some creative helmets (from Larry Morris). … Fans wanted to see Colorado State’s helmet stickers. … Nashville’s Hillsboro High School has two-toned uni numbers. The school’s nickname is also the Burros (from Tony Shiffman).

Hockey News: New dark jerseys for the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers (from Ryan Bohannon). … Connor McDavid, the Oilers’ No. 1 overall draft pick this year, is the first notable hockey player to sign an endorsement deal with Adidas.

Soccer News: The club 1860 Munich unveiled Oktoberfest-inspired Lederhosen uniforms. … Wayne Rooney was awarded a No. 50 jersey to commemorate the 50 goals he’s scored for England, which is a team record (from Graham Clayton).

NBA News: Bulls F Nikola Mirotic is Montenegrin and plays for Spain in international hoops. After a loss to Serbia in EuroBasket this weekend, a fan waved a Serbia flag in his face while he was leaving the court, and Mirotic ripped it apart. More details here.

College Hoops News: New shorts for Indiana? Last year, the Hoosiers had thicker red stripes at the bottom. … New white uniforms for Baylor. … New throwbacks for Western Kentucky.

Grab Bag: New logo for fashion company DKNY. Here’s how nonsensical my brain is — whenever I see that acronym I fill it out to stand for Donkey Kong New York. Why? I don’t know. … Apple execs have a fondness for wearing purple. Paul just cranked up his Zune in disgust. … New logo for Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute (from Aaron Telecky). … The Eugene (Ore.) School Board is considering a five-year, $300,000 deal with Nike, where the company would outfit its high school teams (from Phil). … A Russian volleyball player wears a mask to protect a broken nose (from Jeremy Brahm). … Golfer Michelle Wie now has rainbow-colored hair.

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Reminder: Phil and I will be at this gallery show devoted to sports-centric design, curated by longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom, tonight. We expect to be there from about 6:30-8:00pm. Hope to see you there.

Suns Add Yet Another Uniform

Click to enlarge

The Suns are such an odd team. On the one hand, there’s their home uniform, which is one of the best looks in the entire league. Then there’s that awful GFGS sleeved design, which was unveiled earlier this year and is easily one of the worst looks in the league.

And now they have the new BFBS design shown above, which was unveiled last night and will be worn 13 times in 2015-16, beginning with the season opener on Oct. 28 (here’s some additional info and photos). A team source tells me that makes six unis in their current set, and I’m gonna take his word for it because I don’t want to tally that many designs in my head.

Anyway: Can’t say I’m nuts about this one, in part because I really dislike the black “PHX” lettering on the black background, and also because the whole notion of a black uniform — or a grey one, for that matter — doesn’t make sense for a team called the Suns. Yes, I know they had a black alt back in the day, but that one had way more splashes of color than this one has. The new design just doesn’t work for me.

Two other Suns notes:

• They have a new court design (click to enlarge; additional info here):

• Their sleeved orange alternates are now sleeveless, so that’s a plus:

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

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest design is now available for purchase. As we discussed last week, it’s the powder blue design, which looks really good now that we’ve added the gold outlining (click to enlarge):

An important note: If you go to the ordering page, you’ll see that we’re offering three different T-shirt brands, each of which has its own shade of powder blue. American Apparel is the lightest shade and Teespring Premium is the darkest, with Gildan in between. Here’s a photo of the AmApp and Teespring fabrics (click to enlarge):

So compare the color shades, and also use the sizing chart for each brand, to choose the shirt that’s best for you.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

It’s finally time for pro football games that count. First game is tomorrow night! The fellow shown above is pretty excited about it, too — that’s a postcard from the Miami Aquarium showing the “Original Miami Dolphin.” Now onto the rest of this week’s Collector’s Corner:

• Check out these vintage 1970s NFL paperweights for the Chiefs and also the Bears. I still have a pair of these (Bengals, Cowboys) but mine were in black-and-white.

• The Vikes have one more outdoor season before moving inside. If you’re going to one of their home games this year, you could wear this 1970s Vikes jacket before the rain turns to snow.

• Remember the Fleer baseball patches from the 1970s? Get a box of 14 of ’em here.

• Nice “Hockey” lettering on the cover of this 1970s Leafs/Seals game program.

• Remember the manufacturer Sir Jac? I don’t, frankly, but they made this LA Rams varsity-style jacket from the 1970s.

• Remember Felco? OK, I do know those guys. They made this very nice-looking 1970s Dodgers varsity jacket.

• D’OH! Is it just me, or does the bear on this 1960s Chicago Bears pennant remind you of Homer Simpson? (Here he is again on a glass from the same period.)

• I’m not much of a hoops fan, but I don’t recall ever seeing the SuperSonics logo shown on this pin. Turns out it’s from their first few seasons.

• Here’s a terrific-looking 1969 “NFL Collector’s Series” poster released for the NFL’s 50th anniversary.

• And from the long-lost Ricko, a rather strange-looking 1970s Riddell store display.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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Membership update: Four new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Dennis McMillan’s card, shown at right, which is based on the futuristic high school football uniforms from the movie Starship Troopers). The printed and laminated versions of these cards should ship out early next week.

As always, you can order your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Reader Dave Murray was recently in China and saw this sign for MLB Underwear, complete with Jerry Dior’s logo. What’s up with that? … The Mets wore their grey-logo caps last night — except for Yoenis Cespedes. Someone must have noticed, because he changed to the correct cap later in the game. … What happens when you don’t wear batting gloves? If you’re Astros C Evan Gattis, your hands look like this (thanks, Mike).

NFL News: The Bills will wear throwbacks for their season-opening game, in honor of the 1964 and ’65 AFL championship teams. … Pretty cool Bears-themed mural being painted in Decatur, Illinois. … The midfield NFL logo at MetLife Stadium has been painted gold. It wasn’t like that during the preseason. … Alex Couckuyt has an idea for how the Carolina Panthers could take Pinktober to the next level: “If they wore an all-pink jersey at home during October (not dissimilar to the jerseys the NFL manufactures for its female market, only brighter), then for one month they would be the Carolina Pink Panthers. The game-worn jerseys could be sold at auction and the profits could go towards breast cancer. It would be a great publicity move, raise awareness and money, be fun for the fans, and might even tilt the line slightly in their favor (I refuse to believe that the noise of a crowd would be more distracting than a linebacker in a fluorescent pink jersey).” … Turns out former Bears coach Mike Ditka is a Donald Trump fan, which led The Chicago Sun-Times to do a bit of Photoshopping on a photo of Ditka’s classic Bears sweater vest (from @LindysBrews). … As you know, the NFL is now allowing color-on-color match-ups for its Thursday-night games. I asked Gridiron Uniform Database co-honcho Bill Schaefer about the league’s previous history with color-on-color games, and he had this to say: “1957 was the first year that all teams had a white jersey available. I’m assuming that color vs. color was still frequent as late as 1956.” The GUD site includes a visual listing of every color-on-color game since 1957, although they counted the Seahawks’ grey jersey as a color (I consider that to be just dirty white).

College and High School Football News: Cincinnati will wear solid white this weekend. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Houston has added a Texas state flag helmet decal (from coogrfan). … New helmets for Columbia (from Jake Corbett). … Under Armour-outfitted teams had a strong opening week (from Matt Snyder). … Iowa is wearing the Nikelace this year, but DL Drew Ott appeared to be wearing a non-Nikelace jersey with smaller numerals for the season opener (good spot by Chris Williams). … Vanderbilt’s new GFGS unis will make their on-field debut this Saturday. … New red pants for West Georgia. … “My buddy just posted this crazy helmet from his kid’s school in Corpus Christi — Marvin Baker Middle School!” says John Romero. “They don’t mess around in Texas — all the bells and whistles of a college program, plus a Red Sox logo to boot.” … Rice will have a color-flipped helmet this Saturday and has also added a Froggy Williams memorial decal (from D. Asch). … Alternate jersey apparently in the works for Louisiana-Monroe (from Chris Mycoskie). … Blackout unis upcoming for Fresno State. They’ll be worn on Sept. 19. … Michigan’s new merit decals are a revival of the 1975-82 decal design. … Florida has changed its yard marker font from this to this (good spot by David Dupuis).

NBA News: Whoa, check out this multi-colored basketball court! Maybe not too functional, but definitely interesting (from James Gilbert). … Grantland has published a ranking of NBA primary logos. “The piece includes several tidbits that I didn’t know,” says our own Mike Chamernik. “For example: Nike is working with the Thunder to redesign their logo [more on that here — PL]; the Pistons nearly had a radical logo change in 1991; the Kings wanted to use burgundy but didn’t want to look like the 49ers (mentioned in a footnote); the Jazz are switching back to the jazz-note logo next year; the Rockets tried to scrap their mid-’90s overhaul after winning two titles; and most of all, this passage: ‘The league prohibits reusing “legacy marks” as primary logos, since that would cannibalize a separate revenue stream for vintage goods, so the Hawks had the thorny task of updating a beloved logo so subtly no one would notice.'”

College Hoops News: Some fresh paint has been added to Illinois’s court (from MrMichael). … Speaking of court designs, check out the new green court for the University of Arkansas at Monticello (from Michael Cossey).

Soccer News: AS Roma has donated several jerseys to an auction site to help raise money for the European refugee crisis. … New Oktoberfest kit for TSV 1860 Munich (from Conrad Burry). … Edoardo Salvati has written an article on how Nike and Adidas dominate the UEFA Champions League. … “Brighton striker Bobby Zamora used to wear No. 25 during his heyday with the club,” says Chris Cruz. “Upon his recent return, Kazenga Lua Lua gave up 25 and switched to 30.” … Interesting article about why Americans dress so casually (from Tommy Turner).

Grab Bag: New minor league hockey uniforms for the Portland Pirates (thanks, Phil). … More and more tennis players are wearing headphones when they enter the court for a match. … A random comment from a Japanese comedian resulted in the default color for Ping-Pong tables changing from green to blue (from Chris Bisbee). … Also from Chris: Could the Tokyo Olympics logo clusterfuck be solved by Pokemon? … Tennis player Victoria Azarenka had to apply tape to her arms after her Nike-made outfit for the U.S. Open caused irritation. … Here’s an article on the Russian designer who created Google’s new logo. … The city of Brownsville, Texas, is considering a new logo. … The very wonderful arts magazine Cabinet is hosting a free roundtable discussion about sports balls. The event is right near my house, but I’ll be out of town that day. Dang.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday night, and that means it’s time for the annual Uni Watch NFL season preview, which breaks down all the uniform changes for the coming season — including the Giants’ Frank Gifford memorial decal, shown above, which was just revealed yesterday. (They’ll also have a memorial patch for Ann Mara, but that hasn’t been made public yet.) Check it out here. — Paul

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Wristwatch watch: Half the country flipped out last night after seeing Virginia Tech running back J.C. Coleman wearing a gold watch on the field during the Hokies’ game against Ohio State. Turns out he’s actually been wearing it for a long time — details here.

Coleman isn’t the only NCAA player to wear a timepiece on the gridiron, as you can see here:


In the NFL, longtime NFL punter Reggie Roby routinely wore a watch on the field for many years, and Washington safety LaRon Landry wore a watch during a 2009 game against the Saints (here’s an additional view). And then there’s punter/holder Steve Weatherford, who wore a watch and a wedding band (and, as is his wont, biker shorts) during a 2008 game.

That VaTech/OSU game featured a few other uni-notable moments. For starters, OSU wideout James Clark suffered a serious pant malfunction:

And Clark’s teammate Braxton Miller appeared to be violating the NCAA’s new crop-top rule:

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T-Shirt Club launch: The the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest design is now available for purchase. As we discussed last week, it’s the powder blue design, which looks really good now that we’ve added the gold outlining (click to enlarge):

An important note: If you go to the ordering page, you’ll see that we’re offering three different T-shirt brands, each of which has its own shade of powder blue. American Apparel is the lightest shade and Teespring Premium is the darkest, with Gildan in between. Here’s a photo of the AmApp and Teespring fabrics (click to enlarge):

So compare the color shades, and also use the sizing chart for each brand, to choose the shirt that’s best for you.

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Mark your calendars: As Phil mentioned a few times last month, longtime Uni Watch pal Todd Radom has curated a sports-themed gallery show in Manhattan. The show’s “opening” reception is this Thursday, Sept. 10 (even though the show actually opened a few weeks ago), from 6-8pm. Phil and I are both planning to be there, and it would be great if a bunch of you NYC-area readers came out to join us. Hope to see you there.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Nats reliever Drew Storen put a payphone cover over the team’s bullpen phone (from William Yurasko). … “The Salem Red Sox of the Carolina League have a player named mike Myers,” says Gregory Koch. “On Sunday they were playing at the Potomac Nationals and the scoreboard showed a very different Mike Myers.” Later in the game they showed this and this. Interesting that the Potomac folks would do this for a visiting player. … The Oakland Coliseum’s retired number wall includes a 1968 photo of Catfish Hunter wearing black shoes (good spot by Richard Paloma). … Cubs reliever C.J. Edwards, a September call-up, made his MLB debut yesterday, which is uni-notable because he wears a single-digit number (from Matt Larsen). … Love how the Charlotte Hornets, an old minor league team, had a hornets’ nest on their jersey. Here’s another view (from Marc Viquez). … Martin Milner, star of TV’s Adam-12, died yesterday,which prompted Steven Robinson to send along this photo of Milner wearing an Adam-12 baseball uniform. “It’s from a 1972 charity game at Dodger Stadium between the cast of the TV show and real LA cops,” he explains. … The Diamondbacks are doing a college cap night this Friday.

NFL/CFL News: The 49ers will wear their new (and awful) black alts for the season-opening game against the Vikings next Monday night. They’ll also have black sideline apparel, oh boy (thanks, Brinke). … The Giants have cut P Steve Weatherford, which is uni-notable because Weatherford was a longtime bike shorts stylist. Remains to be seen if he’ll hook on with another team. … “The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website has two online exhibits, one of which is a collection of documents from Dutch Sternaman, who co-founded the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) with George Halas,” says Matt Logan. “The collection includes telegrams, contracts, equipment orders, photos, tickets, and a whole lot more dealing with the Staleys, all from the early 1920s.” … Packers TE Richard Rodgers gave his No. 89 to teammate James Jones at no charge (from Chris Flinn). … The Saskatchewan Roughriders broke out green and white throwbacks for Sunday’s game against Winnipeg (from Wade Heidt). … Have you noticed that the Browns haven’t worn their orange jerseys or pants during the preseason? I’m hearing rumors — absolutely unconfirmed — that the orange uni elements aren’t ready yet, just like the Eagles’ green jerseys weren’t ready last season. If anyone knows more, please get in touch. I’ll protect your identity, of course.

College Football News: New uniforms for Pittsburg State. … You can build your own Oklahoma State uniform on this team-builder page. … Here’s one observer’s ranking of Indiana helmets. … Texas A&M has added a memorial decal for John David Crow (from Nicholas Roznovsky). … Clemson is the latest school to have added a decal for the Charleston massacre victims (from Cole Sadler). … Navy is adding their conference logo to the back of the helmet (from Christopher Poole). … With Utah wearing red jerseys the other day, the team’s drum line had red drums. “They will have a new drum wrap for nearly every game, matching the team’s theme — BFBS, white, etc.,” explains Landon Freter. … Good article on how the South Carolina equipment staff prepares for a game (from Scott Moody. … Arizona has added an “AV” helmet decal for Andrew Valdez, a local teen and Arizona fan who passed away from cystic fibrosis earlier this summer (from Kenny Abbey). … Army players have their surnames on the front of their jerseys. … Here’s Akron’s new “Roo” helmet. … Here’s a good look at Temple’s new uniform. .. You can build your own Arizona State uniform on this interactive page. … Louisiana-Monroe wore maroon pants for the season opener. “I believe this is their first time with maroon pants since adopting the Warhawks nickname prior to the 2006 season,” says Michael Cossey. … Syracuse’s field had a typo the other night (from Rick DiRubbo). … Louisiana-Lafayette had a new helmet for their season opener, and so did Virginia. … Interesting 1974 photo of Oklahoma RB Joe Washington with a Mill-Mont mouthguard in his mouth and a traditional mouthguard dangling from his facemask. Also, note the captain’s “C” (from Bill Kellick). … Merit decals on the way for Michigan (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Icethetics posted mock-ups the new third jerseys for the Avs and Ducks about a month ago. Now those two designs have been confirmed, via a leak from the NHL’s online shop. … New uniforms for the Citadel. … Here’s an article from back when the Sharks first unveiled their color scheme and primary logo (from @wafflebored). … Ladies and gents, your San Diego Gulls jerseys. “I’m a little disappointed they used the same template as the Ducks, but the blue almost makes up for it,” says Mark Sencich. … Check it out: a goalie wearing No. 0. That’s Jack Norris of the WHL’s L.A. Blades in 1964 (nice find by Will Scheibler). … Also from Will: “I came across a photo of the ‘half-court hockey demonstration’ for the Memorial Dedication Ceremony of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in 1958. That led me to a bunch of additional photos from the ceremony.” … “A friend is getting married, and he and his fiancee love hockey,” says Geoff Loughton. “Their wedding invitations are designed to look like hockey ticket stubs.”

NBA News: New court design for the Raptors D-League affiliate (from Moe Khan). … Here’s a good explanation for why the Hawks’ new uniforms suck so bad: The players had a hand in designing them (from Douglas Ford).

Grab Bag: New away soccer kit for Ireland (from Charlie Kranz). … The North Carolina city of Fayetteville may change its official city seal because it currently depicts a spot where slaves were bought and sold. … Over 100 students at a girls’ school in England were sent home after officials decided their uniform skirts were too short. Meanwhile, students at another UK school were put in isolation because their uniforms were “the wrong shade of black.” … There’s a debate currently developing over whether F1 cockpits should be closed. Further info here. … U.S. Army enlistees want to wear black socks, instead of white, with the Army’s new physical fitness uniform. … “To help launch the Purple Our World pancreatic cancer research and support charity, the Wests Tigers and St. George Dragons wore purple socks during their NRL game this weekend,” says Graham Clayton. … Good interactive piece on the childhood tennis courts where some of the world’s top players learned to play. … “All drivers in the F1 Gran Prix of Italia wore memorial decals for Justin Wilson, the driver who died from injuries sustained while driving in an Indy Car race a few weeks back,” says Matthew Solly. … Google and Lenovo both redesigned their logos recently, and both of them used the same lowercase “e” (thanks, Brinke). … Rugby news from Graham Clayton, who writes: “The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks wore a yellow and white ‘hi-vis’ jersey, instead of their usual sky blue, white and black jersey, for their final regular season game of the National Rugby League season against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.” … I think we’ve linked to this before, but once more definitely won’t hurt: Check out graphic designer Saul Bass’s awesome 1969 pitch film for his then-new Bell Telephone logo (from Paul Lee).