You Should Own This T-Shirt (or one very much like it)

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Occasionally you come across something so perfect, so obvious, so right, that you (a) can’t wait to share it with everyone you know and (b) can’t believe you didn’t think of it yourself.

Such is the case with the T-shirt you see above. It was designed by a guy named Yuri Psinakis and is sold by a San Francisco operation called Park Life, which specializes in cool, design-y products. I learned about it from reader Dennis Alpert, who recently brought it to my attention.

I can’t get over how ideally suited it is for Uni Watch. Our site is devoted to athletics aesthetics, and here’s a shirt that has turned “Athletics” into “Aesthetics”! Uni Watch colors, too. I’m kicking myself really, really hard for not having come up with this years ago.

It’s a wonderful shirt — you should probably buy it. Why do I qualify that with a “probably”? Because as great as the shirt is, I think it could be better, because they used an outlined script instead of a solid script. The A’s have never used that style on any of their jerseys. Also, the largest size Park Life is offering is XL. Also-also, their price point ($28) is a little high.

All of this got me envisioning a hypothetical world in which all of those issues could be addressed. So I contacted the Park Life folks and had some discussions with them. As a result of those discussions, I’m thinking it would be fun, at least in theory, if “Aesthetics” shirts were available in green/gold on white, green/gold on gray, gold/white on green, and maaaaybe green/white on gold:

In the hypothetical world I’m envisioning, “Aesthetics” would be available in sizes up to 2XL, and the price point would probably be in the $20ish range.

Would that interest any of you, just theoretically speaking? If so, let’s discuss. Thanks.

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Somebody call a plumber: MLS — aka the League I Don’t Know a Damn Thing About — is once again doing its “Jersey Week” initiative this year, with 17 teams slated to unveil their 2014 kits over the course of next week.

It’s a fun enough idea — except a shitload of the kits leaked yesterday. Oopsie! I was going to rank them in order of how much I liked them, but then I remembered that I don’t know jack about soccer, so it’s probably best if I just list them alphabetically: Chicago home, Chivas home, Colorado Rapids home, Columbus home, Dallas home, Houston away, Montreal home, New England home, New York away, Philadelphia home, Portland away and third, Seattle third, Toronto away, and Vancouver away. Whee!

Well, that should make for an exciting time next week, eh?

(Big thanks to Trevor Williams for all the links.)

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Chiefs update: Yesterday’s entry about the Chiefs’ logo inconsistencies led to some good responses:

1. The earliest example of the closed-C logo (i.e., the one that currently appears everywhere in the team’s branding program except on the helmets) that I’d been able to find was from 1974. But reader Brady Phelps came up with this 1969 program cover, which definitely appears to show the closed C. Compare the inset logo to the logo on the helmet. So we now know that the closed C appeared at least as early as 1969.

2. Around noon yesterday, thanks to a submission by reader Ryan Smith, I added an extra graf to the main entry. In case you missed it, it concerns the carpet in the Chiefs locker room, which features an arrowhead logo with the closed C — but the C is overlaying the K, instead of the other way around. So that’s yet another variation!

Several readers posted comments saying that they’ve taken tours of Arrowhead Stadium and that the tour guides have said (a) that this was the original carpet from the team’s pre-Arrowhead Stadium days, and (b) that early Chiefs merch featuring the C-over-K format. I have my doubts about the carpet (for details, see this comment) and none of my visual research for yesterday’s piece had turned up any other examples of the C-over-K format. However…

3. Brady Phelps has come through again. He found this photo from the 1969 AFL title game (click to enlarge):

As you can see, Stram’s chest patch (and that of the guy standing behind him) features the open C and the C-over-K format — which is yet another version, because the locker-room carpet logo has the closed C and the C-over-K format. You follow all of that?

Bottom line: The Chiefs’ logo situation over the years has been a bit of a mess. But most of us haven’t noticed, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Had this very helmet bank! When we moved to Cincinnati from Dallas in late summer of 1972, we went to Hunter Savings in the Kenwood area of Cincinnati, opened up an account, and got one of these. A bank from a bank! I thought it was the weirdest thing, as I got a Cowboys one exactly like it earlier in ’72 when living in Dallas. That one sits on my shelf to this day. The Bengals one is MIA, sadly.

In non-banking finds:

• This Detroit Lions knit ski hat has 1960s-1970s Sears written all over it. An NFL Official Licensed Product, too!

• Here’s an interesting auction for a lot of die-cut cardboard cutout NFL helmet shells — without facemasks — pre-1967 era, or so the auction says. The seller states he/she doesn’t know what these were created for — perhaps some type of promo sales piece for a soda display in a grocery store?

• They blew up the Metrodome Sunday, and you can commemorate the event by sitting in this Metrodome seat while wearing this Metrodome polo shirt. (And at the other end of the spectrum, here’s a photo of fans waiting to be the first ever inside the ’Dome in 1982.)

• It’s baaaack — the 1970 Chiquita Nerf Football + complete sticker set. And only $300, too!

• Here’s a cute little Padres doll, although the “1970s” descriptor in the auction listing is obviously wrong.

• How about this nice-looking set of 1970s MLB stickers from Kellogg’s cereal?

• Take a look at this 1970s California Golden Seals decal — “The Bay Area’s Hockey Team”!

• And we conclude with some contributions from reader Zack Garceau, who’s found some old Colts pennants. This one is from the team’s old AAFC incarnation, and here’s an odd one featuring colors the team never wore. And then there’s this red one — perhaps a reference to the red alternate jersey that the Colts wore in 1953?

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

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PermaRec update: There’s a good roundup of found items being returned to their rightful owners (including a stolen pocketbook and its contents, shown at right, returned after more than 20 years) in the latest entry on the Permanent Record blog.

Design contest reminder: In case you missed it on Sunday, Phil had the latest news regarding the Lewis & Clark design contest. Check it out here.

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

Baseball News: Opinion Generator: The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (thre Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) revealed their new bacon-themed uniforms yesterday. Smell the change, indeed. Most readers can’t decide if it is the sweet smell of bacon or the byproduct after one consumes said pork. … Most of the San Francisco Giants wore their old gray-brimmed hats during their photo day yesterday (from David Goodfriend and Chris Flinn). … The Yomiuri Giants will wear these “Orange Soul” uniforms for eight games next season (from Jeremy Brahm). … Check out this great photo of a Boston Police Department baseball team from 1929. Why do they all have “9″ as their sleeve number? Because this was the Division 9 squad (nice find by Brian Wulff). … In more throwback glory, here is Vin Scully on the 1944 Fordham Prep baseball team. He only graduated 62 years before I did.

Soccer News: The Scotland 2014 away kit leaked (from Trevor Williams). … The Japanese men’s and women’s away uniforms have been posted online. “Surprisingly, the goalkeepers look normal,” says Jeremy Brahm. … More new kits (all of these from Trevor Williams): Chelsea, FC Nürnberg, Bayer Leverkusen, Basel, Universidad de Chile, Galatasaray, SK Rapid Wien, Universidad de San Martín de Porres, and Hamburger SV.

Basketball News: Check out these sweet Pistol (Pete Maravich) shorts from the 1977 NBA ASG (thanks, Phil). … The University of Texas at El Paso will be wearing faux throwbacks on Thursday night.

Grab Bag: Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford will don this mask for the Stadium Series game on March 1. … Manhattan neighborhoods imagined as corporate logos (from Gordon Blau). … “Noticed on the 7 train this morning an ad for a new show,” says Sal Mancuso. “The thing that jumped out to me was the sweet San Francisco Seals T-shirt the guy was wearing.”

KC: Stands for Kinda Confusing

The Kansas City Chiefs have had one of the most stable visual identity programs in all of pro sports over the past half-century. Their uniforms have barely changed over the years, and their primary logo hasn’t changed at all.

Or has it?

Take a look at this photo from about a year ago, when Andy Reid was introduced as the Chiefs’ new head coach, and see if you spot anything unusual (click to enlarge):

chiefs.jpg

As you can see, the logo on the helmet doesn’t match the one on the backdrop. There are several small distinctions between them, but the easiest one to spot involves the lower terminal of the “C”: In the helmet version, it’s sort of snub-nosed and faces to the right, like the Montreal Canadiens’ logo, while the backdrop version loops around a bit more and faces upward. For shorthand, let’s call them the open C and the closed C.

You might think that photo is just an isolated instance, but it’s not. Take a look at these two photos from last season — one of Chiefs linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, and the other of Reid on the sidelines (click to enlarge):

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Again, you can see that the open C is on the helmets (note that it’s used for both the left-facing and right-facing versions of the arrowhead) and the closed C is on Reid’s cap.

In fact, it turns out that the Chiefs are very consistent in their inconsistency: They use the open C on their helmets and the closed C for just about everything else, including pretty much all of their non-helmet merchandise. It’s similar to the Tigers and Yankees both using different logos for their jerseys and caps, except everyone knows about that Tigers and Yankees situations and nobody seems to have picked up on the Chiefs situation until now.

I wish I could tell you I noticed this on my own, but I didn’t. I learned about it from a blog called Arrowhead Addict, which is written by a lifelong Chiefs fan named Paul Heitman. He recently told the story of how his dad recently pointed out the logo distinctions to him, which blew his mind. He then shared the story with me, which blew my mind.

Heitman’s piece is good — you should definitely follow that last link and read it. But he essentially said, “Wow, who knew?” and left it at that. His post raises lots of questions that are worth pursuing. For example:

How long has the squared off version appeared on the team’s helmets?

Remember, the Chiefs were originally the Dallas Texans. They didn’t get their current name until they moved to Kansas City in 1963. Here’s a photo from that season (click to enlarge):

1963

As you can see, they were using the open C right from their first season in Kansas City.

Okay, so they started off using the open C. But have they always used it? Did they ever use the closed C on their helmets?

Obviously, I haven’t been able to check photos from every single game the Chiefs have ever played. But I looked at lots of Chiefs game photos, from all periods of the team’s history, while preparing this entry. And all I saw on the team’s helmets, again and again, was the open C. It has undergone a few changes (in the team’s earlier years, the arrowhead was larger and the black outlining on the letters was thinner), but the typography appears to have been consistent throughout the team’s history.

When did the closed C first appear?

I haven’t been able to ascertain that yet, but the earliest example of it that I’ve found is on the cover of this 1974 publication:

So the team has had dual logos for at least four decades. If anyone can identify earlier examples of the closed C, I’m all ears, eyes, etc.

Which version is shown on the Chiefs’ website?

The arrowhead logo is plastered all over the home page at KCChiefs.com, and in every instance it has the closed C. (And while we’re at it, the closed C is also used on the team’s Twitter page.)

What does SportsLogos.net have to say about this?

Chris Creamer’s logo database isn’t official, of course, but it’s the best available compendium of team logos, and I know he’s very careful about what he posts on his site. His page for the Chiefs shows the closed C, with no trace of the open C.

Chris himself has been traveling lately and hasn’t had time to look into this, but I expect I’ll be hearing more from him shortly.

What about the NFL Style Guide?

This is where things get really weird. I have style sheets from several editions of the NFL Style Guide. Let’s look at them chronologically, beginning with this one from the 1980s (sorry, I’m not sure of the exact year; click to enlarge):

1980s-1

As you can see, this sheet shows the open C for all applications. Now let’s look at another sheet from the 1980s — again, I’m not sure of the exact year, but I’m pretty certain this one was published after the one we just looked at (click to enlarge):

1980s-2

If you look at the top-right corner, you can see that the closed C is now shown as the official team mark. But look at the helmet icons — closed for the side view, open for the diagonal view! Things have now officially gone off the rails.

Next up is the style sheet from 1997, which I’m showing as three separate scans (click to enlarge);

1997-1

1997-2

1997-3

These sheets are delivering the same set of mixed messages as the previous sheet: The C on the primary logo is closed, while the Cs on the helmet logos are either closed (side view) or open (diagonal view).

I also have the Chiefs’ style sheet from 2012. That, of course, is the year Nike took over the NFL’s uniform contract, so you’d think everything in the style guide would have gotten a clean slate that season, right? Let’s take a look (click to enlarge):

2012-1

2012-2

2012-3

2012-4

Well, at least the style sheets have stayed consistent over the years: closed C for the side views, open C for the diagonal views. By this point it’s pretty obvious that the same graphics were just picked up and rolled over again and again for decades. But when and why was the closed logo introduced into the graphics package?

That is seriously odd.

Agreed. But here’s something even odder — take a look at this Chiefs letterhead from 1975:

As you can see, there are two logo graphics on that letterhead — one at the top, which definitely has the closed C, and one at the bottom, which is too small to make out. Unfortunately, no larger size of that image is available. However, the stationery used for that 1975 letter appears to be identical to the stationery used for this 1983 letter — and this one is available in a much higher resolution (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the C is closed at the top, open at the bottom. So the team was using inconsistent logos on its own letterhead at least as far back as 1983, and probably all the way back to 1975.

What do the Chiefs have to say about this?

I asked the the team’s PR department if I could speak with their equipment manager. Instead, a PR rep checked with the equipment staff himself and got back to me with this: “Talked with our equipment guys and really there is no rhyme or reason to it. Wish I had more to tell you, but it definitely is interesting. Never noticed that before!” I then asked if the equipment guys had been aware of the dual logos. The response: “They were. They seem to think that the original napkin sketched by Lamar [Hunt, the team's original owner] had the ‘open’ C and that original logo remains on the helmet (they really weren’t sure).”

That’s disappointing but not surprising — just the latest example of a team not knowing much about its own visual history.

Does anyone know more? Did any of you already know about it?

Meanwhile, I’m never going to be able to look at a Chiefs game the same way again — and I’m not yet sure what I think of that. On the one hand, it’s sort of reassuring to know that some glitches can still get through the NFL’s relentlessly control-oriented corporate culture. On the other hand, a team should really have its shit together when it comes to its primary logo, no? Here, let’s see how you folks feel about it:


The Chiefs logo situation is…
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Update: Reader Ryan Smith has just pointed out another Chiefs logo inconsistency. The arrowhead logo on the floor of their locker room (which has the closed C) shows the “C” overlaying the “K,” instead of the other way around:

(Thanks again to Paul Heitman for getting this ball rolling.)

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Big fuss over nothing: I tried to do my civic duty on Friday but was rebuffed. First I was in a room of about 100 prospective grand jurors. Sixty-nine people were randomly chosen, but I was not among them. So then I was bounced into the pool of potential trial jurors and was quickly called to be empaneled for a personal injury lawsuit case. But I wasn’t chosen for that either. (The case involved a bicyclist who was suing after having been hit by a car, and I suspect the defendant’s lawyer didn’t want me on the case once he heard that I’m a daily cyclist, although I don’t know that for a fact.) So then I was discharged and sent home. I won’t be called again for at least eight years.

It was all pretty surprising. I had expected to serve on the grand jury for at least two weeks and had made all sorts of arrangements to allow for it. Now it turns out that everything will continue along normally.

Part of me is relieved to know that my usual routines (including the routines pertaining to Uni Watch) won’t be disrupted. But occasional disruption seems like a healthy thing, so another part of me is disappointed, especially since I was kinda looking forward to seeing how the justice system’s sausage is made. Ah well — it’s all beyond my control, so whaddaya gonna do.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it Friday afternoon and didn’t see Phil’s reminder on Saturday, I broke the news that EA Sports is inviting gamers to submit uniform designs for Madden. As most of you know, I don’t play video games myself, but this still seems like a pretty big development. I hope all you tweakers and concepters will give it a go.

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’Skins Watch: As you’ve likely heard by now, the NFL’s competition committee is expected to ban the word “nigger” from the gridiron, with a 15-yard penalty for the first utterance and an ejection for the second. Not a bad policy, although, as Phil points out, it would be nice if they could deal with, you know, that other racial slur hovering over the NFL. … Hey look, a ’Skins player was a real Indian — or at least an honorary Indian (from Bruce Menard). … Jim Thorpe, however, really was an Indian, which explains why Indians came to see him play (Bruce Menard again).

Baseball News: Here’s a great color photo of Jerry Grote wearing that prototype cap that the Colts/Astros were experimenting with right around the time that the franchise changed its name (from Bruce Menard). … Speaking of the Colt .45s, check out the spectacular Colts-esque stirrups being worn by the Tennessee Vols. Here’s a close-up view (thanks, Phil). … “The Giants are giving away a bobblehead of broadcaster Duane Kuiper on April 25,” says Glenn Simpkins. “The weird thing is that their opponent that day is the Indians, and Kuiper’s bobblehead shows him in his playing days as an Indian.” … Never seen this before: a pin honoring the Dodgers’ retired numbers. … Radio Days is my favorite Woody Allen movie, but I never noticed what Brian Crago spotted: During the film’s brief baseball scene, the catcher is wearing No. 0. … Speaking of No. 0, Omar Quintanilla of the Mets has switched to that number this season. That article isn’t just about Quintanilla — it’s an excellent overview of the history of zero in MLB. Recommended. … Sam Lam notes that the A’s are using old caps with the gray underbrim for Photo Day shots. Additional examples here, here, and here.

NFL News: The Raiders’ Facebook page now features a helmet photo that appears to show a black facemask. Or is it just the lighting..? I’ll contact the team today and try to find out more — will advise (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: You know those vintage NHL posters that are currently being advertised in the right-hand sidebar? Steven Zerhusen notes that the Blues poster from that series is visible on the wall in a scene from Slap Shot. “I also noticed that the characters of Ned and Lily Braden are wearing Cardinals caps several times in the movie,” says Steven. “These St. Louis props stuck me as odd for a movie that takes place in the northeast. I couldn’t find any St. Louis connections among the actors or director. Could it be that a set designer snuck in all these St. Louis references as a homage to his hometown?” … The Elmira Jackals wore some seriously ugly uniforms on Saturday night, as you can see in the video clip at the top of this page (blame Jim Parks). … The Grand Rapids Griffins went GI Joe on Friday (from P.K. Richardson). … New mask for Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (from Leo Strawn Jr.).

Soccer News: New kits For Real Madrid (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: New third jersey for the Portland Timbers. … Wow — the USA’s new away jersey looks awesome (thanks, Phil). … Chelsea dubbed Saturday’s match against Everton the “Game for Equality,” and wore jerseys with the logo of Building Bridges, the club’s anti-discrimination program (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: “The Wellington Phoenix of the A-League had players design an alternate kit for charity, worn in last weekend’s match. It’s as ugly as you expect it would be.”

NBA News: News of Jason Collins signing with the Nets prior to last night’s Nets/Lakers game in L.A. included the following: “Collins will wear No. 98 for the Nets, but he cannot wear it Sunday because it is not available in time for the game against the Lakers, so he will wear No. 46 instead” (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: Wisconsin and Iowa went color-on-color on Saturday (from Rob Liebhart). … Danny Nolan has written a piece about Duke’s cursed black uniforms. … Someone on the Michigan bench yesterday was wearing an upside-down Michigan lapel pin. Sorry, I don’t know who that is, although I assume many of you probably do (thanks, Phil).

Olympics News: The gold medal men’s hockey game between Sweden and Canada was color-on-color, at least mostly, although Canada’s jersey had some white and they wore white socks. … Here’s a case for baseball being added to the Winter Olympics. Hell, it’d make more sense than figure skating (from Steve Ceruolo). … Speaking of figure staking, Matt Bellner has created a pretty damn impressive skating-themed DIY project. It’s so good that I’m going to link to it even though it’s just a way of shilling for a loathsome energy drink. … Here’s a slideshow of the styles of the fans at Sochi.

Grab Bag: Small note buried within this Super Rugby article: “But first, a strong criticism of SANZAR for allowing the Western Force to wear jerseys that were a slightly different tone of blue to that of the Waratahs. The result was that the Waratahs, especially, quite often passed to the wrong player.” … David Firestone has graded all 49 cars that tried to enter the Daytona 500. … The Stampede Lacrosse Club in Florida has some seriously hideous uniforms (blame Ian T.L. Henderson). … Aussie football news from Leo Strawn Jr., who writes: “Brisbane Lions of the AFL is a merger of two clubs, Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions. Brisbane wore a hybrid Fitzroy jumper for their club’s inaugural Hall of Fame induction in 2012; this season they will wear a jumper that honors the other pre-merger club, Brisbane Bears, and are asking their fans to vote on the jumper.” … Best wishes to our own L.I. Phil Hecken’s lovely mom, who had a milestone birthday this past weekend.

Wrapping Up the Costumes of a Sport That's Not a Sport

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By Phil Hecken

Well, the “sport” of Olympic Figure Skating wrapped up yesterday (with a bunch of non-counting exhibitions), and we can all continue the debate on whether it’s an actual “sport” (if you’re unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, please see Paul’s column from this past Wednesday). Or not.

I tried to stay out of the “is a sport/not a sport” debate (in fact, my only comment on the subject asked whether golfers or tennis players played a sport, since they technically didn’t wear uniforms), but you guys had plenty to say. My opinion (not that you wanted it): it’s a “sport” in the loosest sense of the word, but I agree that Olympic skaters should be required to wear uniforms. Period.

Aside from the fact that skaters are the only Olympians who don’t wear uniforms, it’s rife with controversy, due to the fact that scoring is all bullshit completely subjective. Scandals have abounded for years.

But would I want it “out” of the Olympics? No way. Just as long as we can recognize that it basically deserves its own category and none of the rules that apply to other “sports” apply there. If you want to remove some actual sports from the Olympics, how about we get rid of all this “team” (insert discipline) bullshit? There are about 40 medals given out for say, short track speedskating (and regular speedskating). I don’t think we need to add more medals for teams doing it too. Same thing with all the other sports that have individual and team competitions. You get one or the other.

Anyway, now that I’ve said my piece, I’m pleased to bring you our NCAA Football “5 & 1″ decider, Catherine Ryan, who I’d originally tapped to do a group of “5 & 1′s” for the Olympic Skating, as Jim Vilk did in 2010 (scroll way down). But Catherine has a bit of a different riff on that. It’s her take on the costumes of the Olympic Figure Skating. So, without anymore of my yakkin’…here’s Miss Ryan:

. . . . .

Figure Skating Wrap-Up
By Catherine Ryan

Hello, Uni-Watchers! I have emerged from hibernation to bring to you a round-up of the best and the worst “uniforms” we saw during the figure skating portion of this year’s Winter Olympics! Now, I have drifted from the typical 5-and-1 format and will just be sharing and commenting on the notable costumes from each category of events.

When I was given this assignment, I enlisted the help of a friend of mine who runs the popular gymnastics blog, Gymnastics Truth Teller. The readership of the blog follows figure skating as well and I thought their input would be both valuable and entertaining. If you are interested in gymnastics or are looking to get into a new sport, I suggest you stop by and enjoy the snark at GTT.

. . .

img004-sm - 200Pairs

Actual Podium: (1) Russia, (2) Russia, (3) Germany

Let’s start with the Italian pair. Matteo Guarise looks like a model of a body without skin that you would find in a science lab. The colors clash and I don’t understand why they went with orange and dark brown. Overall, visually gross.

The German pair went in a different direction color-wise. If I told you they skated to Barbie girl, would you believe me? Well, they didn’t. But they could have.

Following in the theme of characters you would find depicted on a slot machine, one of Canada’s pairs went with this little combination. Canada’s second team went with a little burlesque number, that looked pretty cool, but also looked out of place in an ice rink.

The Americans were so non-matching that I began to think we had given up and were allowing NBC contest winners to just come in from the audience.

The event wasn’t an entire bust as the French pair, notably Vanessa James, looked gorgeous. The pair from Israel was looking pretty in purple as well.

. . .

140217121718-02-visions-of-sochi-0217-horizontal-gallery - 200Ice Dancing

Actual Podium: (1) USA, (2) Canada, (3) Russia

A lot of people are confused about the main difference between pairs and ice dancing. To the untrained eye, they may look identical. Without getting too technical, the main difference is that ice dancing doesn’t have throws or jumps.

The Americans came in as the favorites and left as the gold medalists. Meryl Davis and Charlie White have been training together since childhood and they looked fantastic.

Spain went with a non-matching combination while Azerbaijan went with two solid colors and looked simple and clean. Canada, despite being whiny cry babies, looked gorgeous in a simple combination.

France attempted to evoke images of a fairy tale but looked ridiculous. However, they were quickly outdone by the Australian pair who managed to look even worse.

. . .

Hanyufalls0214 - 200Mens

Actual Podium: (1) Yazuru Hanyu: Japan, (2) Patrick Chan: Canada, (3) Denis Ten: Kazakhstan

Hanyu won gold but had one of the worst costumes I have ever seen on a man. The combination of ruffles and random gems took the costume in too many different directions for me. Jorik Hendrickx of Belgium’s costume was like a bad dance recital outfit. The USA’s Jeremy Abbott had a strong and simple outfit. My favorite of the competition, which surprised me, was Italy’s Florent Amodio. It was silly, cute, fit his music, and wasn’t overdone. While Abbott’s outfit was simple and masculine, Amodio’s shows that you can have a fun/quirky outfit and still look good!

Jason Brown, of the USA, was a fashion lightning rod. His Riverdance-themed outfit gained a lot of attention and he followed it up with a busy purple number. However, it was his hair that got the most attention as he’s the only skater to rock a ponytail.

. . .

9d96f4580dd9ca1280289c4fe39452b2b6c64112Ladies

Actual Podium: (1) Adelina Sotnikova: Russia, (2) Yuna Kim: South Korea, (3) Carolina Kostner: Italy

Judging controversy aside, this event was pretty boring costume wise. Ashley Wagner, America’s sweetheart, looked the worst of the bunch. She always goes too sexy and looks fake. I hated both of her costumes.

Mao Asada of Japan looked equally as bad in a dress that made her body look deformed. Carolina Kostner, the Bronze medalist, and Yuna Kim, the Silver-but-should’ve-been-Gold medalist, looked classy and beautiful.

My favorite costume came from 15 year old Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia. How cute is this?

—–

The Olympics have been whirlwind for me. The time difference and somewhat spotty media coverage has made following some events very difficult. If I left out any costumes you enjoyed, please leave me a note in the comments! I’d love to hear what you all think!

. . . . .

Thanks, Catherine! OK readers — let’s have it — how’d she do? And, if you still have any thoughts on whether this is a “sport” (or even desreves to be in the Olympics), now’s the time to air them. The Olympics ends today, and so too should any more talk of figure skating.

Olympic Rings line

Title Box

Lewis & Clark Uniform Design Contest

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

I know last weekend I had hoped promised to have the designs for the first team and the voting this week, but trying to catch up with office duties and Grad School (yes, I’m finally doing my last project this semester), following a week with the flu, means those designs and voting will need to wait until next weekend. But those will be on Saturday. So, everyone be ready for those. I’ve received a nice amount of submissions for both teams so far, and today we’ll begin taking the third batch.

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

. . . . .

Let’s go ‘sploring

First and foremost, I cannot thank you all enough for the outpouring of support the league has received about this contest. It has only been two weeks and my inbox gets flooded with inquisitive minds — eager to participate — that lead with comments such as “this is so awesome what you are doing.” Guys and girls have pitched me their concepts via email and I have been blown away by the attention to detail, the pursuit for historically accuracy, and the depth of talented schemes. I feel like the sports world’s Tim Gunn: “designers… make it work.” For all of this, a million thanks.

Today, we will show you the third installment of the LCBL’s lineup, the Explorers:

uni watch explorers

This is a great time in the contest — early enough but not week one — to showcase the team that won the inaugural Corps of Discovery Cup last season. This gives us a chance to talk a little bit more about our league, beyond the strictly superficial. We feel the LCBL has the coolest trophy in collegiate summer ball; not because of its look, but because of the story it tells.

I bring this up because today’s team presents an opportunity to take your proposal one step further. If you want to come up with some sort of 2013 Champions sleeve patch, go for it. This is not required, but it might be an exciting additional challenge to some.

As for the aesthetics of the Explorers, remember to stick with the graphite. They are not red and black. Turn towards Meriwether Lewis’ famous telescope for inspiration. We have colored it red and incorporated it into a variety of our league’s branded pieces; an obvious place to start any Explorers journey. Good luck to all.

. . .

Thanks, Ross. Again — NEXT SATURDAY we’ll have the showing of the first set of uniforms for The Captains and begin voting. Ross notes:

“The vote on these submissions will run for one week. The top two, as selected by Uni Watch Nation, will continue on to a Lewis & Clark Baseball League executive board decision. These top two looks will be publicized on this site follwing weekend; not 100% sure when the ultimate winner for each team will be announced, yet. I am leaning towards a dramatic reveal of all twelve at the end of April. The two finalists will likely hate me for that.”

So thanks to all who have contributed so far, and we look forward to your continued participation. Remember:

E-mail me your submissions directly – Phil (dot) Hecken (at) Gmail (dot) Com [phil.hecken@gmail.com].

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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Haven’t had this segment in a while, and well, it’s because I haven’t received any submissions. So, just one colorization today, and it’s from George Chilvers, a stalwart colorizer.

George, of course, has a story to go with his colorization. Click on image to enlarge.

. . .

tom finney colour - George Chilvers

Hi Phil—

The title “great” or “legend” is given out so readily these days to half-achieving sportsmen and women, that when someone really needs the accolade it is hard to find the correct words.

Last weekend English football lost one of its true legends when Tom Finney passed away aged 91.

He was a great player – but more than that he was a great man. He played his whole career for one club, Preston North End, and was born in a street next to the stadium, and lived his whole life in the neighbourhood. He fought in Montgomery’s Eigth Army in Egypt and later in Italy, after the War he returned to PNE to play football, but like all footballers in those days he supplemented his income by working as a plumber. The irony is that his death occurred the same weekend that it is reported that Wayne Rooney, a good player but not fit to lace Tom Finney’s boots, was being offered an obscene contract of £300,000 a week.

Tom played 433 times for PNE and 73 times for England. He is imortalised at Preston by the road next to the stadium called Sir Tom Finney Way, one of the stands in the ground being the Tom Finney Stand, and outside the stadium is a statue of an iconic player shown here.

Great Liverpool manager Bill Shankly idolised him – and on one occasion was heard to say about a young player “He’s as good as Tom Finney”. The journalists rushed to get their pencils out. “What, Bill? You really think he’s as good as Tom Finney?” “Aye lad” was the reply. “But Tom is nearly 60 now though”.

A true legend. This is my little colourisation tribute to him. RIP Tom.

George

. . .

Thanks George. Wonderful colorization, as always — and sorry to hear of the loss of Tom Finney that prompted it. And a beautiful story to accompany it.

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

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

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

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

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

And so, lets begin:

~~~

We begin today with Taylor Stallings, with a tweak for the dearly departed Sonics:

Sonics - Taylor Stallings

Hey Phil,

My first ever uni concept, for the Sonics! Although I love their triple stripe, I eliminated it for my design. If you look, the yellow on the trims makes an “s” like their logo. Comments?

Taylor Stallings

. . .

Next up is the son of Brandon Munger who has a pretty cool helmet project for a local high school:

Firebirds - Brandon Munger Firebirds - Brandon Munger

Firebirds - Brandon Munger Firebirds - Brandon Munger

Phil,

My 9 year old son wanted to tweak the logo and football helmet for our local school—The Phoenix (New York) Firebirds. The school currently uses a “P” similar to Purdue.

He and I worked on sketches and ideas until we came up with this. He was so proud of the logo we created that I had it made into a sticker and re-purposed a NY Jets replica helmet to give him for Christmas.

He likes it so much he thinks the Arizona Cardinals should re-name themselves the Phoenix Firebirds and use this logo.

Hope you like it.

Brandon R. Munger

. . .

And we close today with Greg Shaffer with this “ArchAngels” basketball uni concept (forwarded to me by Paul, so the words are Paul’s):

ArchAngels1 - Greg ShafferArchAngels2 - Greg Shaffer

Phil

It’s sort of an all-purpose tweak/concept — he thinks it could be used to rebrand any of several NBA teams.

Paul

. . .

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

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker:

Another small amount of ticker submissions yesterday, so old school ticker today:

~ ~ ~

We begin with Bruce Menard with this 1925 Cliff Knox Pittsburgh Pirates World Champions Season Game Worn Road Uniform w/original 50th Anniversary Patch. As Bruce says, “It’s a beauty!” … A reader who goes by Welcome Mike writes, “My brother just moved to Jupiter, Florida and found this Marlins hat at the local Target. He wanted me to share it with you.” … Visions of Topps cards from the 70′s: Found at Target yesterday. Submitter Alex Allen says, “I’m not sure what the cards inside look like or who is on them.” … When the St George Dragons played the South Sydney Rabbitoths in the 2014 NRL Charity Shield, they played in an all-red uniform, instead of the their traditional white shorts and jumper with a a red “V” (thanks to Graham Clayton). … Several readers pointed out designs from Mr. Design Junkie were floating around yesterday — I ran that same set (or designs from that set) on Uni Watch back in 2011 (scroll down). … Mitch Barbee reports Jason Heyward is still wearing his facemask. “I don’t think anyone who wore one wore one longer than a month,” he adds. … Brinke says, “See, even in the offseason, same outfit,” referring to the homemade “SF” version Jim Harbaugh is wearing. (SF in the chest not upper right, it was stuck over the Stanford S.) Also note “SF” on the iPad. … “Flag Desecration pants pay off,” notes Jonathan Daniel. … This is pretty cool: a gallery of cigarette pack footy kits (thanks to Sean Walsh). … Oregon baseball wore ‘Black Vapor’ uniforms yesterday. … Here’s a good look at the Baltimore Orioles 60th Anniversary patch (h/t to Chris Creamer). … The NC Tar Heels wore their “1982 Inspired” throwbacks yesterday vs. Wake Forest. … Controversy continue in the Olympics — yesterday a couple loser nations filed a protest against France for making their skicross unis too aerodynamic or something. … Here’s a look at THE Ohio State University’s unis for the 2014 season (via Land Grant Holy Land). … “No screengrab, unfortunately,” writes Jeremy Baker, “but Jimmy Dykes declared that the sleeved, dark gray UMass uniforms (like the ones worn in this picture against LSU) were the coolest in the nation. I guess reading player numbers isn’t cool.” … Northwestern has put their twitter handles on their shooting shirts. … UW Pacific Northwest correspondent Jeremy Brahm checks in with the following: The J-League has their annual media kickoff with each of the team’s participating in their home uniforms. This is the first year of J3, the third division and it has its own logo in this shot. The uniform that you see is for a J-League wide under-22 team that will play in J3 this year. Here are the home uniforms for the 11 regular teams. Here are the slogans of all of the teams in J1 & J2. … Bradley University has a new mascot. It’s named ‘Kaboom’ (h/t Ryan Anderson). … Auburn’s Allen Payne had to wear a NNOB blood jersey yesterday (and 2 pairs of pants), h/t to Clint Richardson. … Chelsea has introduced its away kit for next season and holy shit is it bright (h/t Conrad Burry). … Pretty sure we’ve seen this before, but check out this Cubs 1962 National League program. … They also revised it in 1969 (thanks Mike). … New Mexico hoops has a red stripe on one side of their unis. … Seton Hall wore their Astro tops Saturday vs Richmond (thanks, Alexander Tsipis). … Ooohhh. Check out the sweet stirrups on Notre Dame (nice spot by Warren Junium). Also from Warren: ND Hockey wears green against BU. “Wonder why the greens are adidas and when ND hockey usually wears Reebok sweaters,” and Helmets on bench … If you watched the end of the Duke/’cuse game yesterday, there was a bit of a kerfuffle at the end of the game involving Coach Jim Boeheim. Luckily we now know who he was necromancing. … And finally, from Jim Vilk, we have this article critiquing Olympic fashions. Says Jim, “NO WAY the Norwegian (curlers) should be on there.” I wholeheartedly agree.

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And that’s going to do it for this fine last Sunday in February (can you believe it?). Good news on the “How’d Paul do during Grand Jury Duty” front — he’s outta there, so we’ll continue with the usual schedule of Paul doing weekdays and me doing weekends. I’m sure tomorrow he’ll tell you about his “experience.”

Big thanks to Catherine and Ross. Next Saturday will be the first set of contestants for the “Captains” in the Lewis & Clark league, with voting, so be sure you check back in then — and don’t forget to submit for the third round of uniforms (the “Explorers”). Send all those directly to my e-mail. OK? OK!

The Olympics are over, and spring (meaning baseball and March Madness) is just around the corner. So all is good in the world again.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“My guess is that a flappier uniform would create a sort of flying squirrel effect. I think in general it’s more important to be floaty than speedy in ski jumping.”
–Padday

Jumpin' Jim-iny!

Jumpin Jimminy - 550

By Phil Hecken

As the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi begin to wind down, I’m sure we’re all a feeling a bit of Olympic-fatigue, but I’d say all-in-all, this was a pretty good set of games (and much better than all the doom-predictors and nay-sayers were expecting). Yeah, there were still a bunch of problems, (and controversies), but for the most part, it’s gone swimmingly…er, skatingly. Or something.

You know I’m a big fan of curling, which I basically only get to watch for two weeks every four years, and there are some other Winter Games’ sports I enjoy, but one that we almost never discuss on UW is ski jumping. While it’s not my favorite sport, I do enjoy it — hell, anyone who’s old enough to remember this classic ABC sports opening, probably could tell you the “Agony of Defeat” part was a ski jumper failing. Badly.

In 1988, I fell in love with a British dude known affectionately as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards — I watched most of those games with my fraternity brothers, who fell in love with him (and concurrently, ski jumping) as well. But I don’t follow the sport that closely, and never really got into it. But it is a great sport.

Fortunately, the one and only Jim “I’d Wear That” Vilk is into ski jumping — very. And he’s agreed to pen this nice story you’re about to read. So, without further ado, I’ll just turn the rest over to Jimmer, as he brings you…

. . .

Ski Jumping at the Olympics
By Jim Vilk

Since the first games in 1924, ski jumping has been featured at the Winter Olympics. I have enjoyed this event on television for more than forty years, and for the past twenty years I’ve videotaped as much of it as I can. Fortunately, someone else was taping it before that. The first three minutes of this video (presented by none other than Keith Jackson!) are a concise yet informative look at the changing styles of the sport up to 1984.

Mr. Jackson was spot-on when he said jumpers would come up with new techniques. Ten years later, everyone was using the V style of jumping. It’s still in use today, and its arrival has improved distances so much that they’ve had to make the hills longer. Things sure have come a long way from the arm-flailing, diving and helmet-less days of yesteryear.

The new technique, unfortunately, brought new concerns. Jumpers began to focus less on powerful takeoffs and more on losing weight. The sport’s governing body stepped in ten years ago to discourage extreme weight loss, tying ski length to body mass. In other words, weigh too little and you have to use shorter skis, which are less aerodynamic. There are other regulations, which cover all parts of the equipment and uniform…right down to the underwear. Baggy, air-resistant clothing is not allowed, even underneath the ski suit.

To the casual observer, though, it would appear little has changed since helmets were made mandatory in 1980 (that’s Canada’s Steve Collins, who briefly had success with an inverted-V style – it didn’t catch on, though). Four years later, the numbered bibs went from looking like actual bibs to something resembling a sleeveless shirt (that’s Germany’s Jens Weissflog, one of the few jumpers to have success with both the old parallel-ski style and the new V-style).

The bibs started to become more decorative after that, and the last five Olympics in particular have featured some very nice designs. Here they are in chronological order: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 (my favorite) and 2014.

Of course, one of the biggest changes ever to this event was featured in that last photo. That’s Germany’s Carina Vogt, winner of the very first women’s competition. Congratulations to her, and to all the participants! And thanks for giving me even more ski jumping to watch in the future.

. . .

Thanks, Jim. I’m always sad when the Olympics pack it in and we have to wait another four (or two, if you’re counting both Summer and Winter games) years. But it was great to watch ski jumping again, and I thank you for the nice writeup!

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paul_lukas_uni watch NEW_300x200-1
Paul’s Latest ESPN Column

In case you missed it, yesterday Paul had a new ESPN column on video game company EA Sports, which is inviting gamers to submit uniform and logo designs for inclusion in the “Madden NFL” game.

It’s a great piece, so make sure you give it a read!

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UWFFL Logo
U.W.F.F.L. Week 25

By Rob Holecko

. . .

Well after a one week delay due to weather-related issues, the excruciatingly long UWFFL schedule is finally coming to and end. Our final (official) game of the year (not counting a few more weeks of international play which will culminate in the World Bowl) is this week’s UWFFL BCS National Championship Game presented by Vicks NyQuil in Pasadena, California which will pit the #1 Florida Geckos from the Eastern Association, who finished the season 14-2 overall, against the #2 Anchorage Orcas, who went 17-2-1 out of the Pacific Coast Conference.

The winner of this game will receive the final promotion into the UWFFL’s top tier this fall.

Championship

Both teams have stayed remarkably true to their uniform concepts during their seasons – and why wouldn’t you when you’ve had the success they’ve had. The Geckos had added a patch to their uniforms with their team initials, “FG” which was an alternate patch for their franchise in the 1960s and 1970s, but which only gets worn in postseason and Championship Games nowadays, and both teams are wearing the National Championship game patch.


  
pollcode.com free polls 

Good luck to both teams and we’ll see you in a few weeks for the World Bowl, plus who knows what UWFFL-related shenanigans may be in store for us during the off-season!

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker:

Another small amount of ticker submissions yesterday, so old school ticker today:

~ ~ ~

Chris LaHaye saw a Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, LA, player wearing a skirt Thursday night. “I’m guessing it was for religious reasons,” he says. “It looked like a modified pair of team shorts. It even had a swoosh.” … Check out these USA World Cup Jersey Official Photos. Says submitter Ryan Mackman, “I got a hookup from a friend who let me have one of the jerseys early. These are photos I took myself.” … Shockingly, the CEO of UnderArmour feels his company is being “unfairly beaten up over speedskating suits” (from Tommy Turner). … That Oklahoma football team who has requested design submissions from the public has received another (via Justin C. Cliburn). … MLS is having a “Jersey Week” again this year. It’ll take place in March and all but two teams are releasing new kits. The league did this last year for the first time and have expanded it to in 17/19 teams (from Danny Wittels). … Jim Harbaugh has tried Google Glass; will the rest of the 49ers be following suit? (thanks, Brinke). … MLS purchased Chivas USA and there will be new branding/logo after the 2014 season (from Tony Bruno). … USA Goalie Jonathan Quick has a mask with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a back plate. … Tom Mulgrew sends a photo of Russell Wilson in a Texas Rangers jersey, while holding another with his NOB, from CBSSports.com. “He said he’ll attend Spring Training, at least on March 3,” adds Tom. … NC State set up a display to honor Russell Wilson’s success in the NFL and the display has a copy of his Super Bowl jersey…and a copy of the scuba blue helmet Wilson never wore. Says submitter Kyle Hanks, “The Seahawks have worn their newer “college navy” helmet since Wilson has been in the league.” … Reader Hugh McBride Thought Paul (and perhaps a few other Uni Watchers) would appreciate the Cleveland Clinic’s stance on urine of a particularly-unacceptable-to-some color. … Despite the debacles, the US Speedskating team will be sticking with Under Armour (from Cynthia Faulkner). … The Madison Mallards (a member of a finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League) have been working with Madison Area Middle School students in hopes to find an artistic design for the 2014 alternate jersey. They received over 175 submissions from 14 different schools throughout the Madison area, and here’s the winning submission, created by Zachary Counts (from Tyler Isham). … Here are some cool overhead views of all 30 NBA arenas (thanks to Robert Silverman). … The mask that likely inspired Seahawks logo was likely discovered in Maine. … Northeastern Huskies have joined the Pinkuary brigade. … Looks like every adidas-sponsored school that plays baseball will get a tequila sunrise-esque jersey this season. … The CSU Rams will be wearing orange hoops unis today against Wyoming. … Wow, check out the stirrups Tennessee is sporting. Hey Comrade Marshall — if you’re ever back in the biz again, I know a set you can have TCK make for us. … The Tigers will have a bunch of giveaways this year, including the 1984 road jersey (which looked like this). Wonder if the team will wear that as a throwback (that’s very similar to the 1979 throwback they wore against the Rays in 2012). … “The Mets accidentally? tweeted a photoshopped photo of David Wright with a C on his jersey,” writes David Haberman. Here’s an article with quotes from manager Terry Collins on the possibility of that happening this season. … Rich Paloma notes the Sacramento Fox Affiliate is still using old NFL logo on sports reports. … Neat: An artist created a mosaic of the Cubs’ logo for the lobby of their new spring training complex (thanks to Dave Flapan). … In honor of Jack Ramsay’s 89th Birthday, Blazers coach Stotts adopts his style (Thanks, Kenny Ocker).

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That’s it for today (might have been my shortest UW piece in years)! Don’t get used to it (I kid). Big thanks to Jumpin’ Jimmer Vilk for the short history of Ski Jumping at the Games. Good stuff. Everyone enjoy the last of the Olympics today, as we begin to slide towards March Madness and Opening Day.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Let me get this straight: There’s an aspect of something that’s totally fucked. But it’s been totally fucked for so long that its fuckedness has become an essential aspect of the thing. You’ve heard of too big to fail? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you too fucked to fail.”
–Paul, on figure skating doesn’t belong in the Olympics