Time for the Bucs-Redesign Contest Results

Click to enlarge

Good morning! Today I have the results of our “Redesign the Bucs” contest over on InsideHook. Lots of good entries, including Tim Fesmire’s (shown above), which I’m showcasing here not because it was the best entry but because I love his cartoon template. Good one, Tim!

Meanwhile, you can see all the entries we received here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Membership update: Another eight designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Steve Hartsock’s, which is our first card to be based on the Padres’ new look. Looks nice on a card, no? (And if you want to be the first to get a card based on the Brewers’ new set, you’re too late! Alex Poterack already snagged that distinction, although we haven’t yet designed his card.)

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (more than 2,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

IMPORTANT seam ripper update: Okay, one thing at a time:

• The good news is that I got some new seam rippers in stock and also got some small bubble mailers (no more paper envelopes, since that didn’t work out too well). If you previously notified me that your ripper order either didn’t arrive or arrived damaged, a replacement is already on its way to you. You should have it in a day or two at the most. (If you didn’t receive your original ripper order and haven’t yet told me, please do so now.)

• The bad news is that replacing all the mangled original orders means that I’m already out of stock (again) on green rippers. I have more coming from Asia and should be restocked (again) in a week or two.

• The good news is that I do have a decent new supply of blue and red rippers. You can order them here.

• The bad news is that the shipping charge has jumped from $1 to $5. That’s because the USPS classifies the bubble mailers as packages and charges me the package rate. I had hoped to avoid this, but there seems to be no way around it.

• The good news is that I’ll soon be adding two new colors to the mix: yellow rippers and white rippers. These will have a green script (instead of the gold script I’ve been using) and should be ready to go in about a week — either just before or just after Thanksgiving.

I think that’s everything. Thanks for your interest in (and patience with!) this project.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Lookin’ sharp: People are starting to receive their Uni Watch cufflinks — including longtime reader Mario Fontana (shown above), who wore them while teaching yesterday at SUNY-Brockport. Very nice!

If you want to look as sharp as Mario, Uni Watch cufflinks are available here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Carthage College, a D-III school whose teams are called the Red Men, is considering a name change for its athletics department. “To be honest, I’m surprised that name has remained for as long as it has,” says Geoff Poole. … Division II UNC Pembroke, which was originally opened for Native Americans and did not admit other races until 1953, wore a medicine wheel patch last weekend for an annual American Indian Heritage Day (from Brian Simpkins).

Baseball News: In the aftermath of the Brewers’ recent unveiling, here’s an article about the BiG logo designer’s widow (from Miles Cliatt). … New 10th-season logo for the Rockland Boulders (from John Cerone). … A group hoping to lure an MLB team to Orlando is calling its prospective team, rather appropriately, the Orlando Dreamers. … New baseball and softball uniforms next spring for Auburn.

Football News: The Texans will go mono-blue tonight (from Ignacio Salazar). … Here’s a lot of info on the “heritage” uniforms that Notre Dame will be wearing this weekend. … Speaking of the Irish, check out this communiqué from Kary Klismet: “I recently came across this amazing color footage of Iowa’s 7-6 upset victory over Notre Dame in November 1939. The game is uni-notable because the Fighting Irish famously switched from navy blue jerseys to green jerseys with white shoulders at halftime, likely to provide better contrast to Iowa’s black jerseys. This game was the subject of an extensive discussion at Uni Watch five years ago. At the time, evidence suggested that color footage of the game existed, but we could find only black-and-white footage until now.” … Here’s this week’s uni combo for Iowa State and Georgia Tech (from Chad Lehman and @GTThrashFan). … Good story about the guy who does program art for Illinois (from @mrmichael21). … Blaise D’Sylva’s latest helmet collection is for Toledo. … This week’s No. 25 for Virginia Tech is TE James Mitchell (from Andrew Cosentino).

Hockey News: New grey uniforms for Purdue’s club team. … We’ve seen skylines depicted on jerseys and basketball courts before, but Blue Jackets G Elvis Merzļikins has what might be the first skyline-themed blocker (from Kellen Dargle). … Canucks fans love the “flying skate” throwback that the team is wearing a handful of times this season. (from Vancouver’s own Wade Heidt). … Speaking of the Canucks, and of Wade, G Jacob Markstrom has a new mask. “It’s the fourth design he’s used this season,” says Wade.

Basketball News: In addition to all of the new uniforms we covered in yesterday’s lede, we now have new uniforms from the Kings. … The NBA is reportedly considering a shorter regular season with a later starting date, which could have some interesting implications for uni-reveal schedules. … The Lakers plan go to back to wearing yellow and white at home for the postseason. … Raptors F Ogugua Anunoby wore protective goggles last night. “He was poked in the eye a few nights ago,” explains Mike Chamernik. … New black uniforms last night for San Diego State (from Nathan Clark). … Huge uni numbers — not just on the jersey but also on the shorts — for the French team Nanterre 92.

Soccer News: A trademark application indicates a new logo and name tweak are coming for the Chicago Fire (from many readers). … Puma chose Helvetica as the font for Switzerland’s new shirt (from James Gilbert). … New away kit for USL Championship side Indy Eleven (from Josh Hinton). … Fashion designer Thom Browne has unveiled “official off-pitch away uniforms” — in other words, what the team wears while traveling to away games — for FC Barcelona (from Kary Klismet and our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: Sports Illustrated’s print edition will be reduced to a monthly pub schedule in 2020. One of the new owners said this week, “They’ve got a 1986 business model. We’re bringing in specialists — team, fantasy, gambling, backpacking. That’s the model of the future.” … More on impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s military uniform: President Trump questioned why he wore the uniform while testifying, even though he’s actually required to do so. More analysis of the significance of wearing a military uniform in a political setting here and here. … Officials in Fairfax County, Va., are pushing back against the DC Metro’s plans to bypass usual station-naming rules and unilaterally selling off the naming rights to a Fairfax-area station. Good (from Ted Bloss).

• • • • •

• • • • •

What Paul did last night last Saturday: The video above shows my friend Tim using something called a Minimum Wage Machine. You turn a crank and every few seconds it spits out a penny, at a rate that adds up to the hourly minimum wage — interesting and thought-provoking.

The machine is part of an exhibit currently at the Parsons School of Design, called The Museum of Capitalism, which is a series of clever critiques of capitalism (additional info here, here, and here [NYT link]).

It’s a super-cool exhibit. After Tim cranked out a bunch of pennies, we took a few of them to the exhibit’s souvenir penny crusher, which is just like the ones you see at tourist attractions, except this imprints radical slogans onto the pennies. I chose “Property Is Theft” (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):

There were sooooo many other good pieces in the exhibit. My favorite was this spectacularly gorgeous arrangement of universal handcuff keys, by the Center for Tactical Magic (additional info here):

Visitors are encouraged to take a key right off the wall (the gallery staff replenishes them at the end of each day), in case they ever find themselves handcuffed and need to escape.

I also liked a piece by Michael Mandiberg called “FDIC Insured,” a big display of investment guide books — all purchased for a dollar at used book store — with their covers burn-imprinted with the logos of banks that were closed by the FDIC during the Great Recession (additional info here):

And there’s so much more (including the world’s largest collection of promotional pharmaceutical pens!). The exhibit is on view at 66 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan from now through Dec. 10. Recommended.

• • • • •

Raffle results: The winner of the free New York Times digital access is Jake Yergert. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered. More raffles coming soon.

With Black Friday Approaching, NBA Floods the Market

NBA silly season is upon us, as teams rush to release the new retail slop in time for the holidays their latest alternate uniforms. Here’s what’s gone down in the past 24 hours (for most of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

• The Mavericks officially released their garish graffiti-styled design, confirming previous retail leaks (additional info, uni schedule, and matching court design here):

As awful as this uniform is, it’s still better than any non-Mavs uni in the league, because Dallas is currently the NBA’s only ad-free team. Go Mavs!

• The Trail Blazers released their latest “rip city” alternate (additional info and photos here and here):

For those keeping score at home, this is the sixth “rip city” design the Blazers have worn, following the red, black/grey, black plaid, original white and white sleeved versions, wheee!

• 76ers prexy Chris Heck revealed the team’s latest alternate:

A more formal unveiling is expected sometime today.

• The Nuggets released their latest rainbow-themed design, confirming a leak from earlier this week (additional info, photos, and uni schedule here):

• Mere hours after I said that the Brewers’ use of Cream City references was fast becoming a Milwaukee sports cliché, this Bucks leak began circulating:

The script appears to be based on the Milwaukee power tools logo. I strongly suspect that the blue piping on the collar and armholes will be cited as a salute to Milwaukee’s “blue collar” work ethic (why stop at one cliché when you can invoke another one?), but I’d love to be proven wrong.

• The latest “Lakers Lore” design leaked. This one is for Shaq — that’s his signature at the bottom, and I’m told that the “M.D.E.” stamped into the white side trim is for “Most Dominant Ever”:

• A new Raptors design leaked:

• The Cavs are supposed to unveil their latest alternate tomorrow, but something appears to have leaked:

• The Kings posted a teaser for their new alternate. Look like it’ll be red:

• The Timberwolves announced that they’ll be unveiling their latest alternate this morning. I’ll add it to this post once it’s been revealed. And here it is:

• The Wizards will also unveil today. Again, I’ll add the design to this post once it goes public. And here it is:

———

Most of these designs are empty calories — the uniform equivalent of junk food. But if you want something more substantive, two very interesting articles on NBA uniforms were published in the past couple of days. The first one is about why the Lakers keep wearing purple instead of yellow at home. The short version: Other teams are wearing their dark colors at home, which is forcing the Lakers to wear yellow on the road, so they have to wear purple at home or else the league will get upset with them.

Key passage: “The only requirement is that teams wear their Icon and Association Edition uniforms 10 times each, their Statement Edition uniforms six times and their City or Classic Edition uniforms three times. … Teams and the league would like to see all four uniforms get exposure so fans will go out and purchase them.”

The other interesting article is about how the Pistons may bring back their teal uniforms as a throwback design — but not until 2022. Why the long wait? Get this:

In looking at the Pistons’ available options, the NBA mandates that they could use teal as a Hardwood Classics [uniform], which can be in five-year intervals of a franchise anniversary. The next one is three years away, so fans will have to wait for the 80th anniversary of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons’ start in the National Basketball League.

“Our first opportunity would be the 2022-2023 season, because it would be the 80th anniversary of 1941. If we wanted to bring back some variation of the teal as a city edition, the league doesn’t let you do that,” [Pistons exec Jason] George said. “You can’t bring back portions of a retro uniform; you can only bring it back in its original form as part of Hardwood Classics.

“You have to apply. When it’s an anniversary year, if the league accepts your application, you can pretty much use any uniform from your history that you want to honor.”

I was not aware of this rule restricting throwbacks to five-year-increment anniversaries. Seems absurd, no? (I also was not aware that 2022-23 will somehow be the 80th anniversary of 1941, but maybe it involves a time-warp or a wormhole or something.)

Anyway: Both of those articles are definitely worth reading — recommended.

(My thanks to Etienne Catalan, Aaron Cohn, Mario Garcia, Andrew Lacy, Mina Mikhael, Tim Myer, @huskiesNBA, @SacKings_Unis, and @tacojayfor3 for their contributions to this section.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! NYT raffle: My New York Times account comes with a bonus digital subscription, which the Tugboat Captain uses. But I’ve just learned that it also comes with a second bonus digital subscription (it’s not clear to me if this is a new thing or if it’s always been the case and I just didn’t realize it), and I’ve decided to raffle off the second one to a Uni Watch reader — a way to give the gift of journalism. My thought is that I’ll give it to someone for six months, then raffle it off to someone else for another six months, and so on.

Obviously, I can’t control who enters this raffle. But if possible, I’d like the digital access to go to someone who wants to read the Times but doesn’t have the financial resources to do so. Please take that into account when deciding whether you’ll enter.

This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Meanwhile, speaking of raffles, the two winners of yesterday’s membership raffle are Mike Rosenberg and Bryan Stroud. Congrats to them, and big thanks to reader David Cline for sponsoring their memberships. We’ll have more raffles coming soon.

• • • • •

• • • • •

LAST CALL for the hoops gear: Today is the final day for you to get your order in for Uni Watch basketball jerseys and shorts (which I’m sure is a relief to everyone who’s sick of these daily reminders). As always, you can customize the number and NOB on the jerseys. Full details here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Here are one writer’s picks for 12 MLB uniforms that need to come back. Fair warning, there’s a Turn Ahead the Clock entry in there (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … The Swift Current Broncos — that’s a major junior hockey team in the WHL — will wear uniforms this week honoring the Swift Current 57’s, a member of the collegiate summer Western Canadian Baseball League (from Wade Heidt).

NFL News: It looks like Saturday Night Live outfitted cast member Kenan Thompson in a Browns jersey to spoof DE Myles Garrett that had an incorrect No. 5 on it (from Jeff Moulden). … NHRA Top Alcohol driver Chris Demke uses a Chargers-themed racing helmet (from David Firestone).

College Football News: New unis for NIU. Here’s a closer view (from Andrew Quinn and Joe Duider) … Those new NIU unis looked particularly brutal — and illegible — in last night’s game against EMU. Here are more pics (from Burrill Strong). … The helmet history tour with Blaise D’Sylva continues in the MAC with Ohio University. … Colorado is retiring and replacing Ralphie V, its current live buffalo mascot, because she’s too fast for her handlers when leading the football team onto the field (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: Hockey Canada is dropping “midget” and other traditional minor hockey group names (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade (and cross-listed from the baseball section): The Swift Current Broncos of the WHL will wear uniforms this week honoring the Swift Current 57’s, a member of the collegiate summer Western Canadian Baseball League. … Camo-themed unis for Georgia men’s club team this week.

NBA News: F Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Blazers, who already had PG Damian Lillard wearing No. 0. Yes, that’s allowed, and no, it’s not the first time it’s happened, as Paul broke down earlier this year. … The rock band Tool’s drummer wore a custom Sixers jersey when they played in Philadelphia this week (from Michael Barkann). … The Wisconsin Herd, D-League affiliate of the Bucks, will wear four different uniforms based on four different old Bucks uniforms (from Norb Rozek). … Celtics G Jayson Tatum has consistently been wearing his socks inside-out (from @mt_vern).

College and High School Hoops News: Here’s an oddity: Nicholls State’s front numbers are significantly larger than their back numbers (from @cbatz2). … New throwbacks for GCU men’s. … Sleeves last night for Detroit Mercy men’s (from Jacob Johnston). … The players for Jonesboro High School in Georgia all wear “Family” as their NOB. Fern Creek High in Louisville, Ky., does the same thing, but a bit more flamboyantly (from Mike Raymer and Matt Fowler, respectively).

Soccer News: FC Cincinnati released a teaser for their home kit (from Ben Field). … An Irish boys and girls soccer club is poaching the MLS’s old logo (from John Flory). … Real Monarchs SLC of the USL Championship, the reserve team of Real Salt Lake, has added a star to their logo to reflect their recent title (from Josh Hinton). … As always, you can follow the latest kit news by following Josh’s Twitter feed. … Coventry City has received permission to wear their “2 Tone” third kit a few more times (from @karateboogaloo).

Grab Bag: The NASCAR Truck series is getting a new logo next season (from @waynetm41). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: NHRA Top Alcohol driver Chris Demke uses a Chargers-themed racing helmet (from David Firestone). … Interesting cultural analysis of the uniform (WaPo link) worn at yesterday’s House impeachment hearings by witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (from our own Anthony Emerson). … Tokyo’s National Stadium, the venue that will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies (among other events) for next year’s Olympics, has finished construction (from Kary Klismet). … FedEx is taking one of the National Zoo’s pandas back to China in a plane with a panda-themed livery. If you’re super curious, you can track the flight (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New kit for Carlton of the Australian Football League (from Ewan Williams). … Military veteran Timmy Donahue says a recent episode of the TV show Chicago P.D. showed police officers wearing military ribbons instead of Chicago police ribbons.

• • • • •

Tomorrow (I hope): The Bucs-redesign contest results. See you then. — Paul

BiG News: Brewers Unveil New Uni Set

For most photos, click to enlarge

The Brewers released their long-rumored new uniform set last night. The new logos and uniforms were created by Rodney Richardson of Rare Design, who’s best known for his work with the NBA. This is his first MLB team makeover (additional info here).

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s go one element at a time, beginning with …

The Colors
Like a lot of people, I was hoping they’d go back to royal blue. Instead, they’re sticking with navy. I initially thought it was a different navy than the one they’ve been wearing in recent years, but sports color maven Donovan Moore assures me that it’s the same shade. In any case, while I was rooting for royal, the navy does pair quite well with the new shade of yellow.

The New Ball-in-Glove Logo
The Miller-style “M” has been scrapped, while the old ball-in-glove “mb” logo, which had been a throwback mark, is now the primary mark. They’ve made some alterations to it, however. Here’s a comparison — old version on the left, new on the right:

I know some Brewers fans, several of whom are prominent members of the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty, really hate the new BiG version. Personally, I like some of the changes (especially centering the ball within the pocket of the “b” and smoothing out the outline on the right side of the logo) and am less thrilled with some of the others (I preferred the old seams on the ball), but I don’t see any of it as a big deal either way. The main thing is that the BiG is back, which is something we should all be happy about, and it’s obviously a massive upgrade over the Miller-style “M.”

The ball-in-glove also serves as the centerpiece of the new primary logo:

Can’t say I’m in love with this. For starters, the royal blue inner ring (which is supposedly to “represent the past”) feels unnecessary and out of place. More importantly, I don’t like the lettering. Which leads us to …

The Typeface
Not a fan. I gather it’s supposed to look like brickwork or lug nuts or something similarly blue collar, or maybe a beer barrel (there was no mention of it at the unveiling or in the press release), but it just feels clunky. Here’s the full set, along with the lettering at the top of the unveiling press release:

Ugh. That’s going to be brutal for NOBs. You can get a sense of what I mean from this mockup:

I reaaaaally don’t care for that.

Meanwhile: As you can see from that mock-up, the Brewers will have two sleeve patches this year, so let’s take a look at those designs, beginning with …

The 50th-Anniversary Logo
Next season will mark the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers. Here’s the logo they’re using to commemorate that milestone:

Good on them for waiting an extra year to celebrate the 50th anniversary and not the 50th season. As for the design, it’s okay, but I have the same issues here that I have with the primary logo: Don’t love the royal blue on navy, don’t love the typeface.

The Secondary Logos
The two home uniforms feature a round left-sleeve patch, while the two road uniforms have a patch shaped like the state of Wisconsin:

The home patch is fine. The barley stalks remind me a bit of a wheat penny and provide a nice bridge from the outgoing uniform set. Again, I could live without the royal blue outline, but whaddaya gonna do.

As for the road patch: I’m generally in favor of geography-based patches, plus Wisconsin is my favorite state and I get positive vibes whenever I see its shape or outline. But I do not care for this patch. The Bucks already played the Cream City brick card four years ago, so this feels like the Brewers are just playing catch-up or jumping on a bandwagon. Also, the bricks are a Milwaukee thing, not a Wisconsin thing, so why have the whole state bricked up like that?

Also-also: I realize the baseball in the lower-right corner is meant to mark Milwaukee’s location, but it feels more like an afterthought, almost like they said, “Looks great — oh wait, let’s slap a baseball on there, just to make sure everyone knows which team this is for.” (And while we’re at it, shouldn’t the seams on the baseball be barley stalks?)

The New Barrel Man
They’ve brought back the old Barrel Man logo, although it’s not clear how it’ll be used (it doesn’t appear on any of the uniforms). They’ve made a few tweaks, which you can see here — old version on left, new on right:

At the unveiling, they said they wanted to give him “more of an edge,” which is mostly visible in his face:

Not as endearingly joyous as the original version, but at least they don’t have him gritting his teeth. Here’s hoping they use him to replace the anniversary patch in 2021.

Okay, enough preliminaries — let’s get to the uniforms, beginning with …

The Home Whites Creams

I included that last shot just so you can get a better sense of the cream tone, which wasn’t so evident in most of the other images I’ve seen.

So: I wish they’d gone with white instead of doing the cream thing, but otherwise I like this a lot. The lettering looks much better in this vertically arched treatment, and the color combo looks solid. I’m not going to like it as much from the back, where the number font and radially arched NOB lettering will make me itchy, but it looks very solid from the front. Grade: A-

The Home Alternates

This is basically the same design (except for the sleeve trim and the pants piping), but transferred to a white uni with navy pinstripes. No indication yet of whether it’ll be worn on a specific day or anything like that. In any case, looks as good as the primary — maybe even a bit better. Grade: A-

The Road Greys

This one doesn’t work as well for me, because it’s harder to hide the typeface issues in a word as long as “Milwaukee.” Really dislike the “A” and “U” here. Not a disaster, but not as good as the home designs. Grade: B to B+

The Road Alternates

When I was in college, I lived across the street from a city park that had a few baseball diamonds with all-dirt infields (you know, the kind with no grass at all). There were adult hardball and softball leagues that played each night during the summer, and sometimes I’d go out and watch them. That’s what this uniform reminds me of. It also feels like a cynical excuse to stock another jersey and another cap at the pro shop. Grade: C-

Update: As several readers have pointed out, the road alternate also looks a lot like a Cub Scout uniform:

———

Overall: A big, big upgrade over the Miller/Cheers set. I still don’t care for the typeface, but this is nonetheless a major return to aesthetic respectability. Nicely done.

I’ll be discussing these uniforms on this Milwaukee sports radio show today at about 12:30pm Eastern. Looking forward to it!

(My thanks to @bullyday and Andrew Wagner for their contributions to this section.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Mmmm, tasty: Last night’s Chiefs/Chargers game was a thing of beauty — two great uniforms with just the right amount of contrast, on a grass field. I had it on in the background while I wrote about the Brewers’ unveiling, and it made me smile every time I looked up. Lots of additional photos here and here.

Incidentally, this game was played in Mexico. Isn’t it interesting how the NFL, which is so often derided for being all about the money, can somehow manage to play a game in a foreign country without plastering its uniforms with annoying ads, unlike at least one other league? Hmmmmm.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Lots of new NBA alternates: The Rockets unveiled their eleventeenth uniform, or whatever it is, last night. The space/NASA-themed design (a good excuse to put an American flag on the waistband and a team nameplate on the upper chest) will make its on-court debut on Nov. 30 and be worn for Saturday home games thereafter.

In addition, the Nuggets’ and Pistons’ new alternates appear to have leaked:

And for good measure, the the Timberwolves will apparently be unveiling their latest alternate tonight, with the Cavs to follow on Thursday.

If you can keep track of all these designs, which ones they’re replacing, how they fit into the grand scheme of things, and how to take any of this seriously, you’re way ahead of me. The NBA uni-verse no longer has any past or future — there’s just now now now, which is disposable as soon as the next now now now comes along (roughly the day after tomorrow). It’s all given me a serious case of NBA uni fatigue.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

One of the truly great sports logos ever — ladies and gentlemen, your Atlanta Flames. Sure, they kept the name when they moved up to the Great White North, but to me, the flames just look better in the middle of the A. This 1970s jersey is made by Maska and says “Superfil” on the tag.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Back in the late 1950s or early ’60s, product endorsements were a little on the “quaint” side. Case in point: The great Yankee Mickey Mantle lent his name and image to this pencil set.

• Nice-looking 1972 Boston Celtics promo poster!

• The seller says this New York Giants candy dish is from the 1960s, but of course we know better. If you’re reading this, you obviously Get It™.

• We’ve all seen NFL Alumni attire (like this New England Chapter sweater vest), but players could also get items like this Seiko desk clock.

• Always like to highlight The Master whenever possible: This 1968 NFL poster by Dave Boss is a composite of all of the league’s then-current teams.

• The seller calls this 1970s Cleveland Browns glass a “roly-poly” glass.

• A rather chubby friar graces this late-1960s San Diego Padres pennant . I doubt he will be a part of the new “Brown Is Back” campaign.

• This 1971 NFL/Chiquita football — kinda like a Nerf Ball of the period — is in good shape.

• You’d think the maker would’ve gone with purple as the main color for these 1970s Vikings kids gloves, but they went with yellow instead.

• Finally, I just wanted to include this 1965 Topps NFL card in here, because of the player’s name. Ready? Goose Gonsoulin.
More on The G-Man here.

Programming Note: No Collector’s Corner here on the blog next week, but you can find an abbreviated version of CC next Tuesday on the Uni Watch Facebook page. See you back here on the mothership Dec. 3.

Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? DM your submissions to us on the Uni Watch Facebook page.

• • • • •

• • • • •

rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! New membership raffle: Reader David Cline has generously purchased five memberships for me to give away, and we’re going to raffle off two of them now.

This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the two winners on Wednesday, and then we’ll raffle off David’s other three memberships in the weeks to come. Big thanks to him for making this possible!

• • • • •

• • • • •

And speaking of memberships…: Eight new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Steven Bost’s card, which of course is modeled after Eddie Gaedel’s St. Louis Browns jersey. A great choice!

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (more than 2,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Going, going…: Time’s running out for you to get your order in for Uni Watch basketball jerseys and shorts. As always, you can customize the number and NOB on the jerseys. We’re taking orders today and tomorrow for Christmas delivery. Full details here.

While we’re at it: In case you missed it last week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now available. I had these made mainly because I like cufflinks myself, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how popular they seem to be, with two dozen pairs already sold in the first few days — nice.

Speaking of which: A few people have said, “What about a matching tie tack?” Our basic enamel pin should function quite nicely in that capacity. Enjoy!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Sometimes the system actually works: When I posted my Ireland travelogue two months ago, I mentioned how our return to NYC was pushed back a day due to a British Airways computer meltdown that resulted in lots of flights — including ours — being cancelled. They put us up in a hotel, but the overall experience was a total shit show.

Reader Aaron Roggensack posted a comment urging me to file a claim for compensation, as provided for in EU law. That was news to me, so I followed up with Aaron, got a bit more info from him, spent the better part of an hour filing the claim, and then forgot about it — until yesterday, when I received this email (click to enlarge):

Holy moly!

Pretty amazing. Big thanks to Aaron for making this possible!

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsRed Sox great Pedro Martinez was signed by Boston 22 years ago yesterday. Apparently he was introduced wearing a road uniform — definitely seems out of the ordinary (from @twittaJak). … The Single-A Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are holding a contest to name their new mascot. … Auburn baseball and softball will have a few uniform tweaks when they hit the field in a few months (from Clint Richardson). … New Pirates GM Ben Cherington was introduced wearing a black and gold tie (from Jerry Wolper).

CFL NewsGood catch by David Hein, who notes that the Saskatchewan Roughriders included a registered trademark next to its bleed-through midfield logo during the CFL Divisional Finals on Sunday. David notes that the Roughriders did not include a registered trademark on their end zone logos, and did not include the mark the last time they painted over the midfield logo in 2018. … More CFL news: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the designated home team for the Grey Cup but will wear white jerseys. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will wear mono-black (from Moe Khan).

NFL NewsThe Vikings are considering frosting the glass panels on their stadium roof to prevent birds from trying to fly into the stadium. More than 100 birds die every year flying into the roof (from Kary Klismet). … The Panthers uniform tracker has been updated to reflect Sunday’s game. … Speaking of of the Panthers, yesterday’s MMUW roundup didn’t mention that they wore helmet decals on Sunday with the initials of Purple Heart recipients.

College Football News: North Dakota State wore throwback helmets over the weekend to celebrate the program’s 125th anniversary (from Darick Richard). … Georgia Southern is bowl-eligible, and its athletic department made a social media graphic with all the team’s potential bowl destinations. The only problem is that they used an old logo for the Mobile Alabama Bowl (from Josh Hinton). … The ACC Tracker has been updated to reflect the weekend’s games. … Scott M. Trembly spotted a truck with magnets previewing this weekend’s projected uni matchup between Pitt and Virginia Tech. … Here’s a really good Twitter thread about Clemson’s 1967 “Orange Shoes Game” (from @theauthentiEli). … Here’s some great football of an old USC/UCLA color vs. color game. “The YouTube title says the film is from 1953, but the credits say 1945,” says Richard Craig. “The same film has some brief PCL baseball footage at 4:57.”

Hockey NewsThe Sharks wore these wild warmup jerseys Sunday night, which were designed by skatewear designer Jimbo Phillips (from @GameplanChicago). … Speaking of the Sharks, G Martin Jones has a new mask design. … Last night, all NHL refs wore memorial patches honoring Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory. They’ll wear the patches for the rest of the year (from @markinvictoria). … Following last week’s discussion about cap/lowercase NOBs, Ryan Friedman notes that Northeastern wore that style about 20 years ago. … New third uniforms for Illinois (from Claudine Barnhart). … The Coyotes trolled the Kings during last night’s game in Phoenix by putting a fake Taylor Swift banner over the Kings tunnel. The Kings had covered up a real Swift banner in their own arena because it was seen as a jinx. After the Coyotes’ stunt, the Kings had a pithy response on their Twitter page (from Jerry Wolper).

Basketball NewsIllinois broke out their new orange jerseys for the first time yesterday. … Carmichael Arena, home to North Carolina women’s basketball, is still using the old center court logo that the Dean Smith Center used before 2015 (from James Gilbert). … Back in the 1984 WAC Tournament, New Mexico brought the wrong colored jerseys and had to wear UTEP’s uniforms in the semifinals. UTEP beat New Mexico the next day (from Sam Wasson).

Soccer NewsNew jerseys for Japanese second division club Omiya Ardija, which will be worn beginning in 2020 (from Ed Żelaski). … It appears Nashville SC has unveiled its inaugural season logo (from @NashSCTracker). … Albania and Hungary debuted new stadiums for their national teams over the weekend (from Kary Klismet).

Grab BagRemember when Serena Williams broke her racket during the 2018 U.S. Open final, which eventually led to a game penalty in a loss to Naomi Osaka? That racket is being sold at auction (NYT link), and is expected to reach a five-figure price. … Here’s a great breakdown of the aesthetics of the Nigel Benn/Chris Eubank boxing rivalry. … The IAAF, the governing body for track and field and other running sports, is now known as World Athletics and has new logos to go with its new name (from James Gilbert). … Lots of uni nuggets in this Philly sports caricature by artist Park Tyson (from @PhillyPartTwo). … In case you somehow haven’t heard, everyone’s flipping out over South Dakota’s new “Meth. We’re On It.” campaign, although state officials say that’s the whole point. … The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation is having a “paint the plow” contest where groups of high school students create custom-painted snow plows and the public will vote on a winning design (from Joe Werner).

Monday Morning Uni Watch

For all photos, click to enlarge

Uni-historic game yesterday in Detroit, as the Lions wore white at home for the first time since — get this — Thanksgiving Day, 1970, when they hosted the Raiders, and only the third time ever (that info courtesy of the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database’s excellent “White at Home in the NFL” page).

Wondering about other teams that have gone a long time without wearing white at home? According to the GUD, the longest holdouts are the Vikings (last wore white at home in 1964), Steelers (1969, although they did wear white as the designated home team in Super Bowl XL in 2005), and Seahawks (never!).

Getting back to the Lions, 25 of their players wore a fallen service member’s initials on their helmets yesterday (additional info here):

This is similar to what the Lions did three weeks ago, when players wore the initials of cancer victims. In both cases, the team has extended its cause-based messaging beyond the level used by most other NFL teams.

In other news from around the league:

• The Rams also wore fallen military members’ initials, although theirs were much harder to read:

• It was the Bodysuit Bowl down in Tampa, as the Bucs and Saints went mono-red vs. mono-white:

• The Panthers went mono-black:

• Who needs fanny packs? At least 18 Ravens — and probably more, I’d be willing to bet — had pockets sewn into their jerseys:

Adding pockets to a jersey isn’t unheard of, of course, but it’s fairly uncommon in the strap-on pouch era, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many players doing it on one team. I’ve asked the Ravens for more info — stay tuned.

• It’s not uncommon for kickers and punters to wear mismatched shoe colors. But Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson has mismatched shoe brands:

Some quick photo research reveals that he’s been doing this all season long. Last season, however, his footwear was consistent on both feet.

• Instead of wearing a helmet decal for one division of the armed forces, Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair engaged in a bit of overkill by wearing decals for all of them:

• Only one team wore white at home: the aforementioned Lions.

(My thanks to Jakob Fox and Tim Donahue for their contributions to this section.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

A different kind of memorial: New Mexico nose tackle Nahje Flowers died by suicide on Nov. 5, and the team is now honoring him with the two helmet decals shown above. UNM communications czar and longtime Uni Watch reader Frank Mercogliano says they’ll wear these decals at least through the end of this season and possibly next season as well.

This is at least the second time that UNM has worn a memorial decal featuring a photo of the deceased. They previously did it for defensive back Markel Byrd, who died in a car crash in 2016. But unlike the Flowers decal, which shows him from the front, the Byrd decal showed him from the back:

I’m not aware of any other school or pro team that has used a straightforward depiction of the deceased as a uniform memorial. Does anyone know of other examples?

• • • • •

• • • • •

“Well, she turned me into a newt”: Our recent discussion of female team names prompted a really interesting note from reader Tim Medeiros, as follows:

I recently moved to Salem, Mass., and of course the high school sports teams are called the Witches. In the past, even during the witch trials, both men and women were considered witches, so the school could have kept the mascot neutral, but I’m happy to report that the school actually went with female representation for all sports! I think it’s neat to have sports like football and hockey to have a female mascot and showcase it.

Interesting! I did a bit of digging and found some logos that the school has used:

Faaaascinating. I especially like the hockey logo. Big thanks to Tim for bringing this one to my attention.

In addition, the Single-A MiLB team the Fredericksburg Nationals, who already had a secondary logo of George Washington swinging an axe, have now added a logo of his mother, Mary Washington, tossing a ball:

It’ll be interesting to see if the players actually wear this female logo on the field as a patch and/or as an alternate cap logo, or if it’s just a move to get women (and maybe southpaws) to purchase merch.

• • • • •

• • • • •

NBA free throw circles, continued: When we began discussing the number of dashes in NBA free throw circles a few weeks ago, the team that got the whole ball rolling was the Mavericks, because their circles had 10 dashes — an unusually high number. But Twitter-er @nomuskies — the guy who started us down this rabbit hole — reports that the Mavs’ circles had only six dashes for yesterday’s game against the Raptors (shown above). Crazy!

The change was apparently made sometime between the Mavs’ previous home game on Nov. 8, when they still had 10 dashes, and yesterday.

When we first began discussing this, I contacted a Mavs media rep and asked him why they were going with 10 dashes. He never responded, so I followed up with him yesterday and asked if my previous inquiry had led to the design change. Got this response: “It had nothing to do with your email. It was something we were working on with the league and I didn’t have an answer for you at the time of your email. It was rectified while I was on the road with the team. My apologies for not getting back to you.”

So then I asked for more details about why they started the season with 10 dashes and why they changed it to six. He said he’d talk to their VP of operations and get back to me. Stay tuned.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! New idea in the works: We all know how fans of really bad teams will show up with bags over their heads — a symbol of embarrassment and protest. But what if your team is fine in terms of on-field performance but has really bad uniforms?

Here’s a potential answer that I’ve been considering: a Uni Watch paper bag — a way for the discerning sports aesthete to express embarrassment and protest over a team’s on-field look. Now, I’d have no need for such an item myself, because all of my favorite teams currently look pretty good (thanks, Mets, Niners, Giants, Rangers, and Habs!). But if you’re a fan of, say, the Hawks, Marlins, Bengals, or any number of other teams, the Uni Watch Paper Bag could be just the thing.

I’m envisioning a head-sized paper bag with the winged stirrup logo and a phrase. The phrase could be insider code, so only other members of the comm-uni-ty would understand it (“My Team Doesn’t Get It™,” for example), or it could be more uni-versal (“My Team’s Uniforms Suck”). I’m also envisioning that the eyeholes would be crying tears — then we could call it the Uni Watch Sad Sack.

What do you think? Would you be interested in such an item? What phrase would be best? Should the paper bag include the words “Uni Watch” anywhere (maybe on the back side), or would that just muddy up the larger message? Should the eyeholes and tears be precut/preprinted, or would it be best to let the user do that because everyone’s head shape and eyeball positioning is different? Feel free to offer feedback in today’s comments.

Also: I know nothing about sourcing paper bags. There are lots of places on the web, but it’s hard to know who’s reputable, who’s not, etc. If anyone out there works in the bag biz, feel free to be in touch. Thanks.

• • • • •

• • • • •

For all photos, click to enlarge

A perfect fit: Longtime reader/contributor Jim Wooley recently purchased one of our chain-stitched logo patches. A few weeks later, I received a package from him in the mail. It contained the jersey I’m wearing in the photo above, along with a letter:

Dear Paul:

I’m enclosing a vintage hockey jersey. I believe this was worn in the ’70s in my hometown of Snow Lake, Manitoba, by the Snow Lake North Stars. I have no idea how I ended up with it. Perhaps one (or more) of my brothers wore it. I also have no idea where the original crest went. It’s obviously seen better days — some holes and tears, etc. — but it’s still a pretty good jersey and still has the original tag.

I had a local seamstress stitch the Uni Watch logo patch to the jersey, and I think it looks great! You can do with it what you wish. If you want to keep it, great. But if you’d like to pass it on to someone else, that’s fine too. I just thought you at least might be interested to see it!

Hope all is well with you. Thanks for keeping us all up to date in the uniform world!

Yours truly,
Jim Wooley

How great is that?! As you can see, it fits me quite well, and I love the backstory, so I’ll definitely be keeping it. Thanks so much, Jim!

Jim’s note mentioned the original tag — here’s a look at that:

As you can see, there’s a split in the rear collar. That’s one of several rips and tears — some very small, others more significant. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll get them mended or leave them as they are.

There’s a number on the back, but everything about it — its size, its color, and its positioning — seems a bit off, so I’m assuming it’s not original:

When we started offering the chain-stitched patches (each of which is made by hand by the great Amy Bengtson), I figured they’d look good on a varsity jacket or a cardigan sweater. It never occurred to me that they could work on a hockey jersey, but Jim has shown otherwise! I guess you could say it’s maybe a smidge too small, but it still fits the space quite nicely.

As it happens, I have a blank Minnesota North Stars jersey. Would our patch also work with that? I grabbed a patch, grabbed the jersey, and set the former down on the latter:

Not bad, but the patch looks too small this time. That’s because the space between the collar and the belly striping is greater on this jersey than on the one Jim sent me, so the patch can’t quite fill the space. Maybe I’ll ask Amy to make me a larger one for this jersey!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Next-to-next-to-last day: Time’s running out for you to get your order in for Uni Watch basketball jerseys and shorts. As always, you can customize the number and NOB on the jerseys. We’re taking orders today, tomorrow, and Wednesday for Christmas delivery. Full details here.

While we’re at it: In case you missed it last week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now available. I had these made mainly because I like cufflinks myself, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how popular they seem to be, with two dozen pairs already sold in the first few days — nice.

Speaking of which: A few people have said, “What about a matching tie tack?” Our basic enamel pin should function quite nicely in that capacity. Enjoy!

• • • • •

• • • • •

IMPORTANT seam ripper update: While a few seam ripper customers say they’ve received their rippers with no problem, a larger number of people say their rippers have either arrived damaged or not arrived at all. Clearly, my local postal clerk who advised me that I could mail the rippers in a regular envelope, marked “Non-Machinable,” gave me bad advice.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Anyone whose ripper arrived damaged or didn’t arrive at all will get a new one, free of charge. I’ll mail the new ones out in small bubble mailers, so there shouldn’t be any shipping issues this time. (If you fall into this category and haven’t yet told me, please let me know now.)

2. I’m currently sold out. The new inventory is coming from Asia (green and blue rippers are surprisingly difficult to find in America) and is still a few weeks away. As soon as it arrives, I’ll send out the replacement rippers.

3. Going forward, I’ll use bubble mailers for all new orders — which, unfortunately, means post office will classify the mailing as a package. When you throw in the cost of the bubble mailers, this means to the total charge for one seam ripper plus shipping will be in the $11.50 range (instead of the $7 I had been charging). I had really been hoping to avoid that — I realize it probably seems like a lot for one small item with a decal on it — but the higher shipping cost seems unavoidable.

Sorry for the hassle, and thanks for your patience.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Hmmmm: I was walking on West 14th St. in Manhattan on Saturday when I passed this storefront. Note the sign in the window on the left. Can’t decide if they were being clever/ironic or oblivious.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Li’l cutie: She’s very territorial.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: We mentioned that the OHL’s Erie Otters wore uniforms in support of the minor league baseball Erie Seawolves, but we did not know that the socks looked like stirrups. … Ferdinand Cesarano has been reading two books about John McGraw and the New York Giants: Stealing Games by Maury Klein, and Manager of the Giants by Lou Hernandez. The Klein book includes this passage about the 1911 World Series: “McGraw sprang a surprise on the crowd: the team wore new black uniforms with white belts, a white ‘NY’ logo intertwined on the left sleeve, white stockings, and black caps with white visors, a throwback to those worn by the 1905 and also the 1899 champions.” Both books also refer to the Giants’ 1905 World Series uniforms (ellipses in original): “McGraw outfitted his team in stunning new black flannel uniforms with white trim and a large ‘NY’ across the chest in white. ‘I will never forget the impression created in Philadelphia,’ he recalled, ‘and the thrill that I got personally when the Giants suddenly trotted out of their dugout … I have heard army men say that the snappiest-looking outfit is usually made up of the best fighters. I can well understand that. The psychological effect … was immediately noticeable upon the players. The Athletics in their regular-season uniforms appeared dull alongside our champions.” … Craig Clavin tells us that he attended a John Fogerty concert where Fogerty played his song “Centerfield” with a bat-shaped guitar. [I saw him do this way back in 1987! — PL]

Football News: During his workout on Saturday, Colin Kaepernick wore a shirt bearing the name Kunta Kinte, the main character from the 1970s book and TV miniseries Roots. … The school of the day from Blaise D’Sylva’s helmet collections was Miami (Ohio). … The CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders painted their own logo at midfield yesterday. The logo for the stadium’s advertiser is usually there, and it could still be seen bleeding through (from @SteveBCreations). … The Roughriders also wore throwback alternates on the occasion of hosting the CFL’s Western final for only the second time since 1976 (from Wade Heidt). … The Bears use compressed lettering for DL Roy Robertson-Harris’s lengthy NOB (from Omar Jalife).

You can also see uni tracking from the Canadian college national semifinals, the Mitchell Bowl and the Uteck Bowl, as well as the Canadian Junior Football League championship from Wade in yesterday’s comments.

Hockey News: Former NHL winger Wendel Clark, who briefly played for the fisherman-logoed Islanders, described in a radio show (starting at 26:34) how the fisherman crest was so big and stiff that players would have to break it in (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … The WHL’s Saskatoon Blades’ logo is often called the “Pac-Man logo,” says Wade Heidt, so for a promotion they wore jerseys that looked like a Pac-Man maze with a pixelized verison of the logo. … Also in the WHL from Wade: the Regina Pats wore “Experience Regina” jerseys. The jerseys both support a local entrepreneurial board and reference an 11-year-old satirical promotional video for the city. Wade also tells us that the bottom stripes didn’t wrap around, but it looks like they did on at least one jersey. … The next two are from Wade: the Canucks wore their 50th-anniversary throwbacks for the first time. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: We mentioned that the OHL’s Erie Otters wore uniforms in support of the minor league baseball Erie Seawolves, but we did not know that the socks looked like stirrups. … Back in 1932, the Red Wings and Canadiens both showed up for a game, in red jerseys, forcing the Wings to wear plain white pullovers (from Jerry Wolper).

Basketball News: New throwbacks for the Colorado State women’s squad (from Robert Sudar).
.

Soccer News: Interesting observation by weekend colorizer George Chilvers in Saturday’s comments: the English Football League earlier this year said it would no longer use a yellow winter ball except when it’s actually snowing. That means there are at least three different winter-ball schedules in the UK: the Premier League switches to yellow between the European time changes in October and March; the EFL only uses yellow for snow; and Scotland always uses yellow. … A number of teams qualified for Euro 2020 this weekend, but Austria seemed the most excited, giving the players a somewhat unnecessary celebratory T-shirt — which you can buy, of course. They also wore a new black/cyan second kit at home. … After England wore cap numbers against Montenegro last week, they moved the numbers to the inside of the collar starting yesterday, which was promised but is disappointing.

Grab Bag: With the European competitions in rugby union starting this weekend, here is an overview of many teams’ European shirts. … A reader who prefers to remain anonymous works for Gardaworld, which provides armed guards and messengers who transfer cash between banks and businesses. “When I started there, we wore light blue tops,” he says. “They looked nice, but most of us felt a little like postmen or some other ‘friendlier’ entity. That changed when we switched to what is almost an industry-standard black top. Many coworkers feel that we now look sharper and more professional. On a personal level, I feel safer in a black uniform that seems to say, ‘We are here for serious business and not to randomly talk to strangers.’ It really shows how uniforms can make a difference in real world situations.”