Uni Watch Smart Phone Case Design Contest Results

Last month I solicited design submissions for a Uni Watch cell phone case, with the winning designer slated to win a $100 cash prize. Today it’s time to take a look at the best designs and let you vote to choose a winner.

First I want to acknowledge some good ideas that didn’t quite make the cut: Adam Walter’s design featured a green dot, like the ones on radio-equipped NFL helmets (might have worked better if the dot had been smaller); David Firestone came up with a Uni Watch funny car; Timothy Fesmire depicted part of a grey flannel baseball jersey, complete with buttons and a partial headspoon; Aaron Peak came up with a nice mesh fabric motif; Caleb Borchers tried to appeal my love of infinite regressions; Alex Giobbi plastered his design with assorted logos from Uni Watch history, creating a luggage-sticker effect; and our anonymous DIYer, true to his goalie-centric leanings, came up with a design based on a waffle-board blocker.

I like all of those, but I chose three finalists that I like even better. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Blake Pass


Blake used the script from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club and paired it with the stripe pattern from the blog — a good combo. The outlining on the script could use a bit of a touch-up, but otherwise this looks really good.


2. Matt Beahan

Matt Beahan

Many, many entrants came up with stirrup-themed designs (including Timothy Fesmire, Emma Bruno, Dick Holbrook, Blake Pass, and Anthony Giaccone), but Beahan’s version, shown above, was the one I liked best. It could use some minor tweakage to make the front and back openings more distinct, but aside from that it’s very strong. I particularly like that this one communicates the idea and identity of Uni Watch without needing to use the words “Uni Watch.”


3. Chris Howell

chris howell2

Howell submitted three designs featuring slightly fuzzed-out stripe patterns (the other two are here and here), but this is the one I liked best. It kinda feels like a wallpaper pattern for a computer monitor, and I mean that in a good way.


Those are our three finalists. Please vote for one of them here:

My top choice is:

pollcode.com free polls

As you can see, you also have the option to vote for one of the non-finalists. Here’s how that will work: You can see all of the design submissions here. Each file is tagged with the name of its designer. If you like one of the non-finalists better than the three options I’ve chosen, send me an email with the file name of your choice (sort of the equivalent of a write-in ballot). If there’s a groundswell of support for one of the non-finalists, I’ll take that into consideration. But whether you vote for a finalist or a non-finalist, you can only vote for one design.

My thanks to all the designers, and to everyone who participates in the voting. This is shaping up as a fun project.

• • • • •

New sponsor shout-out: As you may have noticed in the right-hand sidebar, we’re currently running an ad for Gary Cieradkowski’s new book, The League of Outsider Baseball: An Illustrated History of Baseball’s Forgotten Heroes. Gary may be familiar to many of you as the creator of the excellent Infinite Baseball Card Set, which I’ve long been a fan of.

Gary’s book is devoted to the eccentric characters around the sport’s fringes. Just check out these chapter titles: “Bush Leaguers,” “Could-Have-Beens,” “Bad Guys,” “Odd Balls,” and so on. There are dozens of player profiles, each one illustrated with Gary’s beautiful artwork. In short, this one’s a keeper, and I’m very happy to have it advertised on the site. Don’t miss.

• • • • •

Baseball News: The Red Sox wore 1975 throwbacks last night. The good news: They included the Massachusetts bicentennial patch. The bad news: inconsistent hosiery design and non-throwback helmets. Also, you’d think this would’ve been a good game for the Rays to wear their 1970s-style fauxbacks, but they didn’t. … Speaking of retro Sox looks, the White Sox wore their beach blanket throwbacks last night for the first time this season. … The Royals will wear “Los Reales” jerseys on July 25 (thanks, Phil). … Oddibe McDowell wore No. 0 with the Rangers, as a shout-out to his first initial. But at Arizona State he went further than that: No. 0 and FiNOB! (Big thanks to David Berliner.) … A Dodgers fan got the team’s logo tattooed onto the side of his head. … This review of Pedro Martinez’s new memoir features the following: “[The book includes] the story of Pedro’s first bus ride back from a road game with that Great Falls farm team [when Martinez was 18 years old]. When someone told the players to ‘get dressed and go,’ Martinez and his teammate Raul Mondesi ‘went straight to the bus in our uniforms.’ When the manager, a white guy from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, saw them there, ‘he exploded.’ ‘You fucking dirty bastards,’ he shouted. ‘You don’t do that in the States, this is not the Dominican Republic.’ Martinez and Mondesi didn’t realize that they were supposed to shower before the bus ride.” … Odd trend for the Twins: We already knew they were giving away Rays-colored Twins caps when hosting the Rays next weekend, but now it turns out that they’re also giving away Cardinals-colored Twins caps when hosting St. Louis next month. “While it’s billed as a St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict-themed event, the reality is that if you buy a ticket as part of that event, you’ll get a Twins cap in Cardinals colors,” says Mike Menner. … Worst of all possible worlds: purple pandering (blame Chuck O’Connor). … Here’s a jersey worn by Stan Musial while playing for a U.S. Navy baseball team in 1945. As I’ve said before, and will keep saying, wearing throwbacks of military baseball team uniforms would be a much, much better tribute than the lazy default move of wearing camouflage. The throwbacks would be a de facto history lesson about the sacrifice that ballplayers used to make during times of war — much better than the jingoistic rah-rah pandering provided by camo. … The Yankees used to require their minor leaguers to go high-cuffed, but they’ve scrapped that rule this season. Sadly, the players at Double-A Trenton are happier going low-cuffed. … Check this out: The Mets could have been called the Bees, the Avengers, or the Burros (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of the Mets, they wore NYPD caps during BP last night, honor a slain police officer (Phil again). … The Giants wore their “Gigantes” jerseys last night. That makes seven different jerseys for the Giants so far in 2015, and the season is only a month old. … The Brewers have also worn seven different jerseys this season, if you count that one game when they wore BP jerseys. … Nice to see that Oregon can look as absurd on the diamond as they do on the gridiron. … Cubs P James Russell’s Ernie Banks memorial patch was AWOL last night.

NFL News: Reader Scott Mason was watching a Dolphins/Bengals playoff game from 1973 and spotted a Cincy player with some major paint chipped off of his helmet. … Falcons draft pick Vic Beasley is among the first LBs to wear a number in the 40s under the league’s new uni-numbering rules. Additional info on Atlanta’s rookie uni numbers here. … Lots of new uni numbers for the Lions, Eagles, and Ravens, too. … A sporting goods chain is offering “jersey insurance” for Eagles fans who buy an overpriced polyester shirt and then the player is cut or traded. Best insurance of all: Don’t waste $$$ on overpriced polyester shirts in the first place. … Dave Rappoccio made a comic about the 49ers’ new BFBS alt uni. … Hey, here’s a groundbreaking idea: Let’s rank all of the recently issued NFL uni designs (thanks, Phil). … Cowboys second-rounder Randy Gregory has gotten a big tattoo of the team’s star logo. … A runner in last Sunday’s Pittsburgh Marathon was dressed up as former Steelers RB Jerome Bettis. … The Bears did a photo shoot yesterday with T Jermon Bushrod, dressing him in a Monsters of the Midway throwback uni. Note the dark facemask, however — that throwback helmet usually gets a grey mask. It’s not clear whether they’re making a change or just didn’t bother to swap out the mask for the photo shoot (from @ImMidwayMonster).

College and High School Football News: I’m sure many of you have seen this photo of a high school football game taking place while a building is on fire in the background. Here’s a story about that incident. … New uniforms for Wake Forest (from Duncan Wilson). … Louisville is using Adidas footballs for the first time. … LSU RB Leonard Fournette has previously worn a standard NOB. But Leonard’s brother Lanard is joining the team this year, so Leonard’s NOB now has the first two letters of his first name. No sign yet of Lanard’s NOB (from Wesley Eustis).

Hockey News: Here’s a ranking of every NHL team’s home jersey. … Joe Drennan has a nice collection of NHL team patches. “I started the collection around 1998-99, which I was in junior high, sort of as a reward for my hard work,” he says. “First came the binder and one patch, then each month for two or three more patches would come in the mail. Willabee & Ward was the manufacturer. Each batch measures about 7.5″ tall and is encased in a plastic housing affixed to a cardstock backing with information and stats about the team.” … Sad day at the Nassau Coliseum, where the ice has been removed for the final time. Here’s a time-lapse of it (thanks, Garrett). … A power outage in St. Paul turned the Wild’s ice to slush 12 hours before Tuesday night’s playoff game against the Blackhawks.

NBA News: What does Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavs do with all his old gear? Find the answer here (from Jonathan Daniel). … Here’s a look at which Trail Blazers uniform produced the best record this season. … Looks like Clippers G Austin Rivers is the latest NBAer to fold down his waistband (from Mike Engle). … Conrad Burry made some Cinco de Mayo-themed NBA concepts to mark the holiday yesterday.

College Hoops News: When Shaka Smart coached at VCU, his style of pressure defense was called “havoc” — a term that VCU trademarked at the state level. Smart was hired by Texas last month, and the Longhorns intiallly made a move to trademark the terms “Horns Havoc” and “House of Havoc,” but now those moves have been withdrawn.

Soccer News: Indy Eleven will be going G.I. Joke on May 16 (from Evan Stinson). … Very interesting article on split-team soccer scarves. … New jerseys for Sao Paulo. … Real Madrid’s new change kit for the 2015-16 season appears to have been leaked (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: “Austria Vienna’s mascot, ‘Super Leo,’ staged a stumbling, drunken pitch invasion during his team’s match against SC Wiener Neustadt on Saturday.”

Grab Bag: Here’s a look at UK political party logos. … New camouflage pattern coming in July for the U.S. Army. Imagine that — camo actually being worn by soldiers, instead of dress-up soldiers. … In this era of digital design, here’s something you don’t often see: a graphic designer who specializes in hand-drawn logos. … Apple is suing a Russian online store for using a logo similar to the Apple logo. … The Vatican has released a new logo for the Holy Year of Mercy. … Small note buried on this page indicates that a Canadian high school rugby team played in borrowed jerseys while waiting for their new ones to arrive. … New logo for the Tennis Hall of Fame. … UNC has an equestrian club team. Their logo turns the “C” in the school’s familiar logo into a horseshoe. … “We had an election on Tuesday in Alberta for premier (the equivalent of governor),” says Mike Styczen. “There are five parties, and their colours are orange, red, green, light blue, and dark blue, so the TV anchors are even more constrained in their choice of neutral colors than the anchors in America. Which means lots of purple.” … Here are some Uni Watch readers who wore their Cinco de Mayo T-shirts yesterday.

• • • • •

Play ball: Phil and I will be attending tonight’s Mets/Orioles game as guests of Mets creative services director Mike Zulla, who’s going to introduce us to his design team and talk logos with us. Should be interesting! Not sure if it’ll all be off the record, but I’ll give as full a report as I’m able in the next day or two.

What It’s Like to Attend the NFL Draft


For all of today’s photos, click to enlarge

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Brian Crago, who recently got to attend the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft. Enjoy. — PL]

By Brian Crago

My buddy was selected in the online lottery and won two tickets to attend the NFL Draft for the second and third rounds last Friday night. He asked me to be his plus-one, and I happily obliged.

There were plenty of things to check out at Draft Town, a separate outdoor fan-fest set up in Grant Park. There were two giant makeshift airplane hangars, one filled with activities and another filled with a secondary outdoor stage:



There were several Combine-style activities set up for anyone to try: kicking field goals, the 40-yard dash, etc. I tried my hand at the high jump, and let’s just say that my 28.5″ was adjusted for inflation:



The activities hangar had several uni-notable items. There was a history of the Bears uniforms on display, which I think are typically on display at Soldier Field, and there were also busts of the Bears’ Hall of Famers:




Wilson, the football manufacturer, had an area where a woman was making actual footballs from leather and laces [I bet she works at the Wilson factory in Ada, Ohio, which I wrote about back in 2011 — PL], and there was also a display of all of the previous Super Bowl logos. In addition, each team had a tent with a replica player locker and a few other displays.

Once inside the actual auditorium, I was given a swag bag with several goodies inside. The bag itself was of pretty good quality — it looked like a jersey and was made of actual jersey mesh, with an NFL Draft logo on the “collar” (and, unfortunately, a Skittles ad patch). It seemed more durable than the typical plastic/vinyl backpack variety that are often given away at games. Inside were the typical samplings, such as granola, Skittles, a chip clip, a car charger, a lapel pin, football cards, a draft cheat sheet which was similar to an MLB scorecard, and a one-ear FM radio:







The radio actually came in very handy. Inside the auditorium there were two giant display screens, one featuring the NFL Network broadcast of the event and another featuring the ESPN broadcast. The radios were tuned to each of the broadcasts on different channels, so you could switch back and forth in real time to hear what the pundits were saying. Great idea.

Naturally, lots of fans were wearing jerseys. One of the weirdest ones was this Brett Favre Packers/Jets mash-up:


Finally, here’s a video of Dick Butkus announcing the Bears’ second-round pick, which I think does a good job of taking the temperature of the room:

All in all it was a good experience. Glad I went.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Check out this set of “Hi Gloss Grand Slam” stickers from Fleer. Love the typography, eh? This set would be spring of 1978, I believe, since it references the “National League Champion Dodgers” and the “World Champs” Yankees. Now on with this week’s finds:

• Look at this Kentucky Colonels photo. Some player named Pierre Russell, who looks rather serious in his blue suede Adidas. I was a Colonels nut and don’t recognize this guy, but he joined the team fall of 1971, which is right when I moved to Dallas and became a Chaps fan.

• The 49ers have been in the uni news recently (ahem), so this is a good time to reflect on the glory days of John Brodie, Gene Washington, and Ken Willard with this 1972 Niners poster.

• Here’s a 1970s Saints bicycle reflector! Just snap this onto your Schwinn Spyder’s spokes and go, daddy, go!

• Didn’t you hate it when a product would come out and the manufacturer didn’t have the rights to the team logo? Like this Icee cup with Dave Parker of the Pirates — looks like he’s wearing a Twinkie on his head. At some point the logos did eventually appear, as seen on this one with Dick Ruthven of the Phillies.

• I believe I did in fact own one of these: a nice 1970s conservative brown tie adorned with the original Bengals helmet logo.

• The Swingin’ A’s want you to Make It Happen with this 1970s button. I guess they mean a Series title?

• The 1970s Braves are a little more to the point with their bumper sticker slogan. “Wait ’Til This Year.”

• Here’s a National League canvas tote bag. The seller says it’s from the 1960s, but it looks more like 1970s.

• Never get tired of the look of these vintage Cubs game programs, like this 1960s edition from a game against the Cards.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •


Click to enlarge

Blissed out on lists: A friend of mine was recently doing some spring cleaning, tossing things out, etc., and said she was going to chuck a big pile of to-do lists (shown above), which she had saved several years’ worth of. I often make to-do lists myself, but it’s never occurred to me to save them, in part because my cross-out style is to completely obliterate an item from a list, to the point where it’s completely illegible. So if I saved my lists, they’d just be rows of indecipherable cross-outs.

Anyway, my friend’s habit of saving her to-do lists seemed like an intriguing confluence of two obsessive tropes — listmaking and collecting — so I asked if I could have the lists, and she agreed to give them to me. Now that I have them, I’m not sure what to do with them, but it feels like an art project waiting to happen. A website? A gallery show? A zine? Hmmmmm.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Day! Today is Cinco de Mayo, and I figure many of you who ordered this month’s design from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club will be wearing your shirts. If you want to share a photo of yourself in your T-Shirt Club finery, feel free to post your photos on Twitter, using the hashtag #UWcinco, okay? Okay.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News:I don’t like the way many players dress,” says former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. Scroll down to No. 12 on that list for further details (from Kurt Esposito). … “Cute bat knob decals for Matt Adams,” says Elena Elms. “Big City is his ironic nickname, since he’s from a very small town in PA.” … Washington Nationals player Michael Taylor’s flattop is the star of his bobblehead (from Tommy Turner). … Yellow versus yellow: high school softball game in Harrisburg, Oregon. Harrisburg is at bat and Pleasant Hill is in the field (from Alex Allen). … The Cubs haven’t yet worn their alternate grays this season. … Looks like Cardinals skipper Mike Metheny has been wearing an Under Armour undershirt (from Tommy Schmidt).

Pro and College Football News: Former Raiders RB Marv Hubbard died yesterday. Here he is wearing one of those exterior-padded helmets that were briefly popular back in the day (from Ryan Dowgin). … Here’s a graphic that shows the Canadian college football jerseys for the upcoming season (from Jim Mullin). … The areana team the Las Vegas Outlaws wore jerseys designed by the artist Michael Godard for last night’s game against the L.A. Kiss (from Tim Capper).

Hockey News: The Manitoba Moose have announced their return to the AHL and unveiled new logos and uniforms. The jerseys are basically the same thing worn by their parent club, the Winnipeg Jets, but with the Moose logo on the chest (thanks, Phil). … Someone showed up at last night’s Caps/Rangers playoff game in a Winter Classic blazer.

Soccer News: FC Bayern Munich player Robert Lewandowski is wearing one scary mask (from Mike Raymer). … New kits for the Celtic Football Club (thanks, Paul). … This photo could be of Chelsea’s new kits for next season (from Gene Traxler). … “Juventus Turin clinched the Italian Serie A title last weekend while wearing a shirt advertising Expo 2015, the World’s Fair taking place in Milan this summer,” says Bern Wilms. “Turin and Milan are rival cities in close proximity to one another, so it would seem a bit odd to see the Expo advertised by Juventus rather than AC Milan or Inter Milan. As usual, it’s all a question of corporate interests: Juventus are owned and sponsored by Fiat, who are also a global sponsor of Expo 2015 and decided to surrender the space on the shirt usually occupied by Jeep.”

Grab Bag: Here’s an online guide to North Carolina’s college mascots (from James Gilbert). … “I’ve seen high schools borrow college and pro logos before, but this is a new one for me,” says Chris Thiele. “A high school using the EA Sports logo from the Roosevelt Relays in Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.” … Here’s a blog post about rugby referees wearing pink (from Roberto Santiago). … Finally, pre-stained printed T-shirts are available for all the slobs out there (thanks, Mike).

• • • • •

Get out the black armband: As I was getting ready to go to bed last night, I got the news that Josh Ozersky — the only person I’ve ever met who liked meat more than I do — had died. He was only 47.

I first met Josh about a dozen years ago, when we were both up-and-coming food writers. But for me, food writing was just one gig among many; for Josh, it was his calling and his ambition. In recent years he’d become one of the best-known and most influential food scribes in the profession.

Josh cultivated relationships with a wide range of chefs and restaurateurs, and he was knowledgeable about all sorts of cuisines, but his first love, his true love, was meat. He wrote a book about the best meat in New York (under the pseudonym Mr. Cutlets), another about the history of the hamburger, and another about Col. Sanders. He also organized and hosted Meatopia, which began as his annual private birthday party in New York (I was lucky enough to be invited to some of the early ones — here I am at the 2007 edition) and grew to become a nationwide series of meat festivals.

When I met Josh, he lived just a few blocks from me. We’d hang out, cook, eat, drink, talk about girls. I’d invite him along with me if I was reviewing a restaurant and he’d return the favor. He could be irascible and unpredictable, but he was also a formidable intellect (he had a Ph.D. in American history), and he had some serious writing chops. As his food-writing career took off and my work became dominated more and more by Uni Watch, we didn’t see as much of each other. He eventually moved to Manhattan, and then to Portland, but I kept following his writing and media projects. I last spoke to him about 10 months ago, when I got a few quotes from him for a business article I was writing about the hot dog industry.

Josh died in Chicago, where he was about to attend the annual James Beard Awards. The cause of death is unclear, with an autopsy planned for today. He was a real New York character, and one of the most distinctive personalities I’ve ever known. He’ll be missed. R.I.P.

Pro Sports Fight Songs: NBA

[Editor’s Note: Mike Chamernik has previously chronicled the fight songs for MLB and NFL teams. Today he’s back with the NBA installment. — PL]

By Mike Chamernik

This is one of my favorite videos on the internet:

What a collection of characters the 1994-95 Bullets were. A 7’7″ Romanian guy, two members of the Fab Five, a no-nonsense future coach, and a random assortment of “That guy!” players from the 1990s, all in a video with cheesy lip-syncing, outstanding overacting, and, yes, a tremendously catchy song that makes me wish I were a Bullets fan.

The Bullets aren’t the only NBA team to be honored in song. Before we get to the others, here’s a quick reminder of our ground rules: I ignored adopted songs, like how “Chelsea Dagger” is now a Blackhawks song and “Sweet Caroline” is an anthem for Red Sox Nation. Those songs don’t make references to those teams and were their own pieces of music before being attached to sports. I ignored team remixes to popular songs, because nearly every team has its own terrible version of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.” I also didn’t include fan-made songs because any yutz can make an EDM beat on his laptop and lay over some half-baked lyrics. And I stuck to things that are available on YouTube.

Ready? Here we go.

Cleveland Cavaliers – “Come On Cavs

Much like the Indians, the Cavaliers have multiple theme songs, seven in all. The most notable of them is 1974’s “Come On Cavs,” a funky horn-driven entry. Local radio personality and jingle writer Larry Morrow created the song. It cost $10,000 to make and a jingle singer, Julien C. Barber, sang the lyrics.

Fun fact: Early 1980s Cavs owner Ted Stepien could easily be considered the worst owner ever, but an underrated bad move of his was ditching “Come On Cavs” for a polka tune.

Detroit Pistons – “Three Peat Beat

This high-tempo hip hop song appeared in the spring of 1991, after consecutive Pistons titles and as the team was striving for its third in a row. If the YouTube description of the song is to be believed, “Three Peat Beat” was never heard again after the Bulls swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals that year to begin their own three-peat quest.

Notable lyrics: The song is very general, referencing the Pistons once and never mentioning Detroit or any players by name. The most the singer and background singers allude to is “The boys from Motown.”

Houston Rockets – “That’s My Team

Houston rapper Mr. Luke made this song in 2008, an effort that name-drops not only Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming but also Carl Landry, Luis Scola and Steve Novak.

Fun fact: This song uses the “Chopped and Screwed” rap music style that originated in Houston, where DJs take songs, slow them down significantly and repeat the lyrics. I like the local synergy.

Memphis Grizzlies – “We Don’t Bluff

After getting ejected from a game 2012 for nearly fighting with Thunder C Kendrick Perkins, Randolph uttered the phrase “There’s a lot of bluffing going on on the court, that’s all. And I don’t bluff.” The phrase became the team’s motto and Memphis native DJ Paul, of the Academy Award-winning rap group Three 6 Mafia, made a song from it.

Notable lyric: “They call us the Grizzlies/ Beat ’em with our bare hands.” Perfect badass song in honor of a badass player on a badass team.

Miami Heat – “Miami Heat Theme” and “We Already Won

The “Miami Heat Theme” is an R&B song with a gospel choir, such a 1990s song. The video is outragously unintentionally funny, with the close-ups of the players faces superimposed over highlights and Heat players making cameos, dancing in the background. Miami-area hip hop artist Flo Rida released “We Already Won” after the Heat won their first title in 2012.

No wonder everyone hated this team: Oh wait, “We Already Won” was released only a week after LeBron’s Decision in 2010. They not only hadn’t won, but they hadn’t even played a game yet! “We already won, we already won/ And ain’t no need to play no more games/ We already won, we already won/ And ain’t no more need to play no more games/ Lemme hear you say we number one/ we number one/ we number one/ We already won, we already won, hey.”

Milwaukee Bucks – “Green And Growing (The Bucks Don’t Stop Here)

In what might be this piece’s most annoying song, “Green and Growing” was released in 1977 and served as the intro song to Bucks telecasts for years afterwards.

Fun fact: Grantland head honcho Bill Simmons revived the song by embedding the song in every column where he mentions the Bucks.

New York Knicks – “Go New York Go

The Knicks remade this catchy song a few times. The original version reference the 1994 Finals team, the 1999 version was about that year’s eighth-seed-to-finalist squad, and the 2012-13 version featured the team that ended up winning 54 games and came close to a Finals run. As you can hear, the music genre of the song was changed in each version, too.

Fun fact: Swizz Beatz made a remix to the song in 2011 and it wasn’t well-received.

Philadelphia 76ers – “1-2-3-4-5-Sixers!

This is just a simple song with simple lyrics and simple math.

Outtakes: Before this season began, the Sixers got a few players to try to sing the song.

Portland Trail Blazers – “Rip City Rhapsody” and “Bust A Bucket

Two classic examples of the early 1990s, both songs have videos which are a mix of highlights with Blazers players in the studio lip-syncing the songs. The songs helped raise money for Portland Boys and Girls Clubs.

Notable lyric: “Bust a bucket, who’d a dunk it, Blazer duty, super sunk it, slammin’ geez it, killer threes it, go up-get it-got it-good!” Man, that’s a tongue-twister.

Seattle Supersonics – “Not In Our House

Seattle’s Sir-Mix-A-Lot made this song during the 1992-93 season, and Sonics players Michael Cage, Steve Scheffler, Gerald Paddio, Gary Payton and Eddie Johnson made cameos in the video.

Fun fact: Since the Sonics have departed the city, “Not In Our House” has actually gained some steam.

Washington Bullets – “You Da Man” and “Bullets Fever

I mentioned the 1994-95 version of “You Da Man” at the beginning of this piece, but the Bullets revamped it for the next season as well. Musician and future E-Street Band member Nils Lofgren, who was raised in D.C., made “Bullets Fever” in 1978 after the team won the NBA Finals.

Fun fact: “Bullets Fever” is remembered fondly in Washington, much more so, sadly, than the “You Da Man” videos.

Do you remember any of these songs? Am I missing any? What’s your favorite or least favorite team song? How badly do you want to kill me for getting these songs stuck in your head the rest of the day?

• • • • •

Baseball News: The Giants had a Metallica Day promotion yesterday, which featured, among other things, band members playing the national anthem through Giants-themed amps. … Pretty much the worst conceivable uni match-up yesterday in San Diego: purple vs. G.I. Joke (from Todd Radom). … Good story on the Des Moines ballpark that was the site of pro baseball’s first night game (from Chris Williams). … Indiana and Maryland went red vs. red yesterday. … Florida state wore their Sunday gold unis for yesterday’s loss to Coastal Carolina. According to this story, it was their first loss in the gold unis this season and only the second regular-season loss in them since 2011. … New uniforms for Oregon softball. … This is pretty cool: a vintage tequila sunrise polo shirt worn by an Astros staffer. … The Rangers stacked as many sunglasses as they could on Robinson Chirinos’s cap yesterday (thanks, Mike).

NFL News: “Former NFL DB Charlie Peprah was married over the weekend,” says Christopher Jones. “His cake featured a layer with the Ghanaian flag (his grandfather was the military president of Ghana in the 1970s), a layer with houndstooth and the Alabama ‘A’ (Peprah played college ball at ’Bama), a layer with the Packers ‘G,’ and a replica of the Lombardi Trophy (Peprah was the starting strong safety on the Packers team that won Super Bowl XLV).” … Just about died when Brinke sent me this photo of himself wearing the new BFBS Niners jersey. Fortunately, he didn’t buy one — he just put it on for that photo. … “There was a Mexican wrestling exhibition here in Seattle on Saturday,” says Scott M.X. Turner. “One of the villain luchadores in the final match dressed taunted the Seattle crowd by dressing as a 49er. The pants are impressive, though the paper white-colored faceguard on the mask was — well, never mind, it was Luchadore Grande!” … Love the endpaper artwork on this vintage NFL children’s book.

College Football News: Phil provided excellent coverage of the Colorado’s new uniforms on Saturday (scroll down). But one thing he didn’t mention was the reflective outlines on the uni numbers (from Kary Klismet). … Here’s a quiz on college football helmets. “I got 10 out of 10,” says Phil.

Hockey News: Cross-dressing alert: Chicago Cubs players showed support for the Blackhawks’ playoff push by wearing Blackhawks jerseys. … Speaking of the Blackhawks, goalie Corey Crawford’s mask was broken after he took a slapshot to the face last night, so he had to switch to an old mask. … And still more Blackhawks: Here’s how they feel about broken sticks (thanks, Mike).

NBA News: LeBron James has never given an explanation for why he stopped wearing a headband back in March. He now says it was so he wouldn’t stand out visually from his teammates. … Here’s another round of those clever NBA playoff cartoons (thanks, Mike).

Soccer News: Hartlepool United wore next season’s neon yellow away kit for their final game of this season. “The kit featured ‘The Great Escape’ embroidery, in honor of the club’s survival in League Two despite spending most of their time this season in the relegation zone,” says Callum Johnston. … Celtic FC will be unveiling their new kit today. It will be made by New Balance — a switch from Nike (from Trey Oswalt). … The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Carolina RailHawks went orange vs. yellow on Saturday (from @depinto).

Grab Bag: Bizarre situation regarding Air India in-flight uniforms that has to be seen/heard to be believed.

Colorize This! Kirst Rexall Baseball Team

kirsts rexalls splash

A couple weeks ago I mentioned I had received a wonderful colorization from one of our experts, Gary Chanko, but didn’t run it in the “Colorize This!” section because it contained a wonderful backstory and more. So, it’s going to serve as today’s lede. Enjoy. — Phil

. . . . .

The Kirst Rexall Baseball Team
By Gary Chanko

Hi Phil

Here’s a new colorization for your inventory. Of course, there’s a story to go along with it. When I started to colorize the bib overall photo I looked for a better quality image and stumbled upon the University of Wisconsin library archives for the little Two Rivers hamlet. There were more baseball related photos to be had by the same photographer, including this one of the Rexall team. Some more digging yielded enough amusing facts to piece together the story.


The Kirst Brothers, Two Rivers Baseball, and the White Orpington

You may recall this recent colorization of the Modern Woodmen of America (MWA) baseball club (c.1900) from Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The team’s bib overall uniforms are amusing but equally wacky is the dapper fellow brandishing the musket. The player next to him (on the far right) is Guy Kirst. Seated in the second row is Guy’s older brother Charles (the one with the nifty handlebar mustache), better known as C.F.


Two Rivers Trivia: the birthplace of …?

Did you know Two Rivers is the birthplace of a celebrated soda fountain favorite?

Who could have guessed this? Answer is at the end.


Guy and C.F.

Guy was a prominent citizen (standing left) and one of the leading business men of Two Rivers during the early part of the last century. (You can read about it up here; scroll down to Gus C. Kirst) He was president of the Wisconsin Textile Manufacturing Company and an executive in his brother’s local telephone company.

Flash forward a decade or more, and we find the brothers Kirst in another baseball club photo — the Kirst’s Rexall Baseball club as featured in the colorization.

C.F. Kirst, owner of the Two Rivers Rexall drug store and proud sponsor of the baseball team was also a leading Two Rivers business person. In addition to owning the drug store, he was president of the Two Rivers Telephone Company. And just like his brother, C.F. was seemingly involved in all things baseball in the Two Rivers community. Here he is in this 1915 photo (back row, dead center with the ball glove) of the Two Rivers Merchants baseball team.

Both Guy and C.F. are found in the colorized photo. Guy is in the back row, the one with the boutonnière and the snazzy, faux cowboy hat. C.F. is also in the back, sans mustache, in a sporty vested suit. (Click photo below to enlarge)

Colorized Kirst's Rexalls Baseball Team - Gary Chanko
Kirst’s Rexall Baseball team standing in front of Two Rivers Rexall drug store in downtown Two Rivers
Players names listed on back of original post card: Bill Hackman, Elmer Viel, Rudolph Schaefer, Kelly Gauthier, Hans Koch, Gust Kirst, Kurly Schaefer, Louis Sturveldt, Adolph Gesell, Chas. Kirst, Frank Martin, Peter Napieczinski.


Remember those Rexall Drug stores?

You’ll have to agree the unis are fairly stylist. The colors were chosen based on the Rexall brand’s blue and orange scheme. I wonder if Rexall ponied up some cash to outfit the team? The Kirst Rexall drug store was located at 1523 Washington Street in downtown Two Rivers. Here’s a photo of the actual location during the same time period.

The spiffy belting arrangement on the pants is different from most of the other belted unis of this era. Only one of the players is wearing baseball spikes. All the others have canvas athletic shoes. Why is that?

If you were around in the fifties, sixties and even the early seventies (and can remember anything), you probably recall your own local Rexall drug store. You can still buy Rexall branded products at Dollar General, but good luck finding a Rexall drug store unless you live in the Great White North.


Who is that guy in the window?

The photograph is from the collection of Hubert R. Wentorf, a local photographer. Did you spot the reflection in the window on the right? Could be the photographer, Mr. Wentorf. The original photo is one of those Kodak real-photo post cards that were popular during the early twentieth century and sold as souvenirs, typically in local drug stores.

Browsing over the photo you find a few interesting details in the store windows. The left side window appears to have a selection of baseball equipment, perhaps for sale. The right side window has a couple of advertising placards. One of the placards attracted my interest. It’s difficult to make out all the text except for the words White Orpington.


The Peculiar White Orpington

So what the hell is White Orpington? Has to be a product you’re going to find in a drug store, right? Some miracle medicinal product? A female beauty aide? I had no clue. The other sign below indicates the they sold tons of the stuff last year. Tons of any product is a lot of stuff; might just be advertising hype knowing the population of Two Rivers was only a couple of thousand back then.

A quick search revealed the answer – White Orpington is a damn chicken! (If you already knew that you’re probably on the wrong blog site.) This breed was apparently known for its prolific egg production among other important poultry traits. So what was C.F. selling here? Eggs, poultry products, live chickens? Who knows? Can you buy eggs at CVS or Walgreens?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The Kirst Rexall Baseball Team is close – but only about 800.


Two Rivers Trivia Answer: Two Rivers is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae!


. . . . .

Thanks, Gary! Tremendous stuff (and wonderful colorization) as always!


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:


First up today is Jimmy Mann who has a shit ton of Raiders helmet concepts:

Mann, Jimmy - Raiders 1

Mann, Jimmy - Raiders 2

Hi Phil,

It’s sacrilegious to even think about touching the Raiders’ uniforms, but I thought I might try modernizing it a bit.

–Three-Stripes down the middle. The double outer-stripe inscription reads: “Commitment to Excellence”
–Facemask, Nose & Tail Bumper Colors with extruded Wordmarks.

Here’s the link to the album.

If you choose to run this, it’s thought I’d leave it up to you to pick out your favorites from the bunch! There’s definitely some designs in there I’m not a fan of if I’m being honest with myself. My personal favorites are: 13, 11, and 01. A lot of people liked the All-Black options too though.


Jimmy M.

. . .

Next up is Marty N., with some hoops concepts:

torontobeavers - Marty N

ATL - Marty N

Hello Mr. Hecken,

It’s been a while sir since I’ve sent one of these but here is a concept I partially finished (sorry only have one jersey design for now.)

So now that a certain pre-historic movie is about to make a comeback, I thought I’d give Toronto a comeback of it’s own with the team doing so well. I did away with the current color scheme and went with a NHL Jets look/Blue Jays/Canadian color scheme (sorry Alternate Clippers jerseys).

The beaver, an under utilized creature in sports, was the logical choice with it being the nations animal. I tried to go with a classic font (a baseball feel to the font). Hope you and the readers enjoy.

Also, not to toot our own horns, but I think the Hawks may have been visiting your page when they went back to the pac-man design. See the design attached I also sent and you had on the page over a year ago!


. . .

And we close today with Bryan Moss who has some new looks for the Tennessee Volunteers football team:

Tennessee football - Bryan Moss

Hey Phil,

Some Nike Mach Speed Tennessee Uniform Concepts for next year! This is for the uniform concept section on Saturday/Sunday. If you could leave some feedback it would be great!

Roll Tide

. . .

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


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: “This is Sedgwick High School in Sedgwick, Kansas and check out the uniform combination,” writes Tanner Liby. “Tri-colored hat, unusual pant striping, and digital camo underarm stripes. Very weird combo.” … Reader Brady Phelps says, “Kinda doubt these bad boys are MLB issued.” … Here’s an interesting throwback: The Brewers’ Double-A affiliate moved from Huntsville, Alabama, to Biloxi, Mississippi, for this season, but the new stadium isn’t ready, so the team’s playing several games on the road. David Clemons explains that since the owners still had a lease for the old stadium, the current series is being played back in Huntsville and Friday night the Shuckers even wore Stars jerseys and auctioned them off as a fundraiser for the local Alzheimer’s Association. … Interesting logo for the Blue Jays on yesterday’s Indians’ lineup card (nice spot by Aust). … Here’s what the NY Mets Memorial Day cap looks like (h/t Nick Schiavo). … Mizzou baseball wore some nice throwbacks yesterday (via Thomas Schmied). … Yesterday was Joe Werner’s six year old daughter’s first softball game. He writes, “I was ecstatic that the league issued proper high cut pants, so purchasing some red sanitaries was a moral imperative. I also added a red belt.” … There is some writing on Edison Volquez’s glove. Reader Matt Larsen says, “Looks like ‘Eylin Editsha’ but I’m not sure. Google was no help.” Anyone know what it says? … Looks like Padres’ outfielder Justin Upton wears green, digi-camo batting gloves (from Jared Buccola). … Yesterday the San Francisco Giants debuted their new black alternate tops. More photos here.

NFL News: The disdain for the new Forty Niners new black alternate uniforms has been palpable. Here’s a great comic strip expressing many of our own thoughts (from SF Lunatic Fringe). … Reader Aloysius Cummings IV noticed on this YouTube tape the 49ers have standard classic three stripes on the side (that is at the 1:48 Mark against the Chargers). then at the 2:50 mark “they have Red Jerseys but most of them do not have stripes when they play New Orleans.”

Basketball News: Arkadikos BC is a small Basketball club located in Northern Greece which from next year will be competing at “Basket League”, the highest level of Greek Basketball league. The teams arena consists of 1000 seats and as its uniforms are full of ads, notes Zak Ioannidis. Their logo appears to be a cheap imitation of the respective one of the late era of NJ Nets. “Hail to European Basketball!” he adds. … This is awesome: Conrad Burry has created a NBA Playoff bracket circle.

Soccer News: In yesterday’s Liverpool v. QPR match, both Liverpool (h/t Joseph Young) and QPR (h/t Joe Dewsbury) wore black armbands. Why? QPR player Rio Ferdinand’s wife passed from cancer early yesterday. Here’s more on that. … According to JK Chaney, Sport direct accidental unveiled the Celtic FC home kit early, before Monday’s presser. … Another orange vs yellow matchup happened on Saturday: Huddersfield wore their yellow third kit at Bloomfield Road for their final match of the season, versus the “Tangerines” of Blackpool (thanks to Callum Johnson). He adds, “Sadly, the match was abandoned shortly after half-time, due to a pitch invasion by Blackpool fans protesting against the club’s owners.”

Grab Bag: “I described the recipe for Derby Pie (screw the assholes in KY!) to my wife, and she was quite intrigued, so she attempted one (yester)day,” says Joe Werner. “I will let you know how it turned out.”


And that’s going to do it for this fine first Sunday in the merry, merry month of May. Big thanks to Gary for the wonderful colorization and backstory, as well as the concepters and those of you who e-mailed and tweeted for the ticker. Catch you guys next weekend.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“(I)t’s my nature to be harsh. I like to come out with guns blazing and mixed metaphors…then back it off a quarter-turn.”
–Uni Troll