Greetings from Virginia, where I’m on a mini-vacation. I’ll have more to say about that next week.
Meanwhile: Although I’m not a designer myself, I periodically run uniform-redesign contests over on ESPN. As a result, I’m exposed to all sorts of design presentations and templates that people come up with, ranging from crude crayon designs to fancy YouTube videos. And as I’ve said many times, presentation counts. That’s not to say that a good presentation will save a bad design, but a bad presentation can sometimes ruin a good design. And when there are two designs of roughly equal merit, the presentation style or template can sometimes be the tiebreaker.
With that in mind, I’m going to surrender the floor to Ali Rahmoun. He runs the Sports Templates site, which has sometimes advertised here on Uni Watch. His templates aren’t free, but they offer something extra, which I’ll let him explain.
The Advantage of 3-D Templates By Ali Rahmoun
The 3-D revolution can be seen everywhere — sports, cartoons, even in magazines. That Ikea catalogue that you flipped through is filled with computer-generated photos. In fact, up to 75% of its content is digitally reimaged.
Three-dimensional graphics can help your uniform concepts, too. Just look at the difference between 2-D and 3-D:
The helmet on the right may look like a photo, but it’s not. It’s a 3-D digital image. The 2-D helmet only shows you the basic design and the colors. The 3-D version, on the other hand, adds an entire new dimension — literally.
Now let’s say you’re doing a full uniform concept. Look at the difference between the 2-D and 3-D versions of the same design:
With 3-D, you can see texture, depth, and style. And you can manipulate the model any way you want, to show any angle, any perspective.
Similarly, let’s say you’re designing a San Francisco Giants concept. Compare the 2-D and 3-D versions shown below — it’s a no brainer (click to enlarge):
But 3-D designs aren’t just for amateurs or hobbyists. The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves recently used 3-D images to create these images of their new uniforms. The images looked as good as the real thing.
Another sports team, minor league baseball’s Toledo Mud Hens, used 3-D imagery — in this case, using a template that they had purchased from my website — to unveil one of their theme jerseys last season:
If you don’t know how to do 3-D designs, there’s a variety of ready-made 3-D templates available on my website. All you have to do is paste your logo or design onto the template, which can turn any 2-D sketch into a clean, realistic-looking 3-D image. (If you want to take things a step further and go beyond templates, Lynda.com and Skillshare.com have courses about creating 3-D designs, and there are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube as well.)
In short: Whether you’re an aspiring professional, an enthusiast who enters contests like the ones Paul and Phil run on Uni Watch, or just someone who likes to see designs reach their fullest potential, 3-D is the way to go.
Paul here. While Ali’s recommendation of his own templates may seem self-serving, his stuff really is good. I invited him to guest-write this piece because I truly believe in the product. Definitely worth considering if you’re into making uni design concepts.
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The Ticker By Kris Gross
Baseball News: Did we almost have a minor league team named the “Scrambled Dogs”? Yep. Head towards the bottom of this article to learn more (from Marc Viquez). … The Saitama Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific League unveiled their 40th-anniversary logo (from Jeremy Brahm).
NFL News: Here is your Color Rash matchup from last night between the Titans and Steelers. … Some more nuggets from last night: Steelers WR Darrius Hayward-Bey wore striped socks (from Cole P). … Some Titans players hated last night’s uniforms, because it makes them look like Smurfs (thanks Phil). … Drew Litton of GoComics sums up the Color Rash situation perfectly (from Kevin Weir). … Former Panthers WR Rae Carruth, who is in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, has his inmate number listed among his uniform numbers on his Wikipedia page (from Aaron). … Say hello to the National Arena League’s newest franchise, the Massachusetts Pirates.
College Football News: This makes me much happier than it will Paul — Clemson will wear purple on Saturday (from Brad Darby). … Get more detail on Notre Dame’s Rockne Heritage uniform (thanks Phil). … Here’s what Miami, TCU, FAU, and Syracuse will wear tomorrow (from Adam Apatoff, Ayden Pierce Maher). … UAB will wear white helmets with a green chrome facemask this weekend. … Chad points out the weird spacing between the numbers and NOB on Southeast Louisiana QB Lorenzo Nunez. … Virginia Tech LB Andrew Motuapuaka will wear the No. 25 jersey in honor of Frank Beamer tomorrow (from Andrew Cosentino). … Following up on a Ticker item from yesterday about QBs with unusual numbers, Heath Hendricks passes along this image of North Alabama QB Tyler Jeffreys, who wears No. 33. … Old Dominion will wear jersey patches honoring the 100th anniversary of Naval Station Norfolk (from Jason Rhodes). … Now how about these pant stripes! Anyone know who they might belong to? (From Bill Kellick.)
Hockey News: Injuries to goalies caused the Golden Knights to call up Dylan Ferguson from Kamloops to play earlier this week. Ferguson wore his WHL mask and pads for Vegas (good spot by Wade Heidt). … Another Golden Knights goalie, Malcolm Subban, unveiled a new mask (thanks Phil). … One name you never thought you’d see here: Justin Bieber was spotted in a Tyler Toffoli Kings jersey (from Dylan B). … The Florida Everblades and Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL will wear superhero jerseys tomorrow night (from Adam Childs).
Basketball News: Warriors F Kevin Durant wasn’t happy that the Thunder gave his No. 35 to rookie PJ Dozier. Head a couple grafs down here (from Ryan Maquinana). … Celtics G Kyrie Irving wore Celtics-themed shoes last night (from Chowder & Champions). … Nebraska and Saint Louis went BFBS last night (from Joe Ryan, Brian Kunderman). … Clemson debuted their orange unis. … Here are the uniforms for the PK80, Phil Knight’s basketball tournament (from Mike Lefko). … Squint to see the NOBs on Samford’s jerseys (from Andrew Lopez). … New unis for Lees-McRae College. … Chris Perrenot noticed that the Texas/New Hampshire game broadcast used school colors on the telestrator.
Grab Bag: The Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse are relocating to Frisco, Texas and will be be called the Dallas Rattlers. … Bishop England High School in Charleston, South Carolina has an an awesome logo for their Battling Bishop nickname (from @Gillis44). … Are you or someone you know struggling with how to pluralize your last name? Benji King passes along this article to help you out.
[Editor’s Note: Greetings from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where I’m currently enjoying a mini-vacation. More on that later. Today we have a guest entry from Ticker intern Jamie Rathjen — his first main entry for the site. One reason I hired Jamie is that he’s very strong on a sport that’s one of my big weaknesses: soccer. He’s done a nice job with this piece. Enjoy. — PL]
The Scottish soccer team Celtic embraced an unusual tradition from their founding in 1888 until 1994: The backs of their shirts were completely blank except for the familiar green and white hoop stripes. There were no numbers or NOBs (the latter of which would not become common in soccer anyway until the early 1990s).
The club’s website notes that the first time Celtic used numbers at all, at a time when every other Scottish team had been wearing them on their shirts for about 10 years, was in a friendly against Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam on May 14, 1960. But those numbers were on the shorts, which is where they remained for the next 34 years, in an oversized and rounded font, always on the left front and right back:
An exception to the no-numbers-on-back style occurred in European competition after 1975, when organizers UEFA first required black numbers on the back of the shirt. In such instances, the same kit was worn, just with the black numbers added, resulting in two sets of numbers being visible from behind, as seen in this example from 1988:
Here’s a better look at one of those jerseys, with numerals added per UEFA regulations:
To the present day, Celtic’s first-choice shirts are still slightly different for European competition in that most of the back of the shirt becomes a plain white square. This is to comply with a more recent UEFA regulation requiring the numbers be placed on a solid color, but the white square first appeared in the mid-1990s and has grown over time. Here’s the team’s European kit for this season as an example (click to enlarge):
Celtic’s alternate kits at first did not have rear-shirt numbers during the 1960-1994 period, as they had used the same change shirts since 1955 and initially placed numbers on the shorts as with the first-choice kit. A mid-season change of alternative kit in 1965 saw green shirts with numbers-on-back worn at home (in Scotland, the home team changed if there was a kit clash until the end of the 1980-81 season) against Queen’s Park in the Scottish Cup on March 11, 1965:
Future alternative shirts continued to carry numbers-on-back, as seen on this yellow example from 1990.
The team’s goalkeeper shirts did not have numbers-on-back for a much longer period, but YouTube footage of Celtic’s Old Firm rivalry with Rangers reveals that goalkeeper numbers-on-back appeared sporadically beginning in 1980 and regularly starting in 1984. Again, this seems to have been precipitated by a change in goalkeeper kit: Past shirts had been plain yellow or burgundy, while the first regular numbers-on-back kit was grey with green sleeves, shorts and socks. As makers’ marks, club crests, and shirt advertisements became more commonplace throughout soccer in the 1970s and ’80s, the front of Celtic’s shirts became more crowded, while the back remained pristine.
The numbers-on-shorts era finally ended at the beginning of the 1994-95 season. According to the Historical Football Kits site, a referee claimed to have been confused by the numberless shirts, causing him to issue a yellow card to the wrong player. After being directed to add numbers to the shirts, the club complied, but did so with small black numerals high up on each sleeve, much in the same position as hockey TV numbers, while maintaining the numbers on the front of the shorts, like so:
The Scottish Football Association finally had to specify that the numbers needed to be on the back of the shirt. The numbers eventually appeared there a few games into 1994-95 season, although they were green, perhaps so as to blend in as much as possible with the green hoops (click to enlarge):
The green numbers-on-back arrangement persisted until the 1998-99 season, when the numbers became black and the team added NOBs for the first time.
This season, the numbers, along with the rest of trim on the kit, are gold for domestic competition, to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1966-67 team that won the European Cup (now the Champions League). As the kit is so steeped in history, it may be fitting that it uses gold on green and white. This unintentionally evokes the old no-numbers-on-back appearance, as the gold numbers are illegible from a distance (click to enlarge):
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Assorted reminders: In case you missed it yesterday, we have a bunch of new Naming Wrongs shirts (including the very cool Cap Centre design shown at right). Check them out here.
NFL News: The Chargers will be going mono-navy on Sunday (from Brock Jackson). … Keith Winney found this 1986 NFL VHS board game he played as a kid. “The game is in pristine condition because it was so terrible and I never played,” he said.
College Football News: Cincinnati will be going white on black with black helmets and white facemasks this weekend against East Carolina (from Brian Spiess). … Virginia Tech will go white/maroon/white against Pitt on Saturday (from Andrew Cosentino). … Navy is promoting an on-campus Thanksgiving celebration by putting a bib on its mascot, Billy. They’ll even give away “Billy’s bib” to the first 250 students at the feast (from Alex Toltzis). … Yesterday’s entry mentioned that Akron DB Shawn Featherstone lost his helmet decal in the Zips’ win over Ohio. Steve Schneider sent along a screenshot of Featherstone’s decal hanging on by a thread earlier in the game. … Clips from Emu’s Pink Windmill Kids, an ’80s Australian kids show, has become a meme of sorts on the internet. In one video, Dan Baglio spotted a kid wearing an SMU football uniform.
Canadian Football News: The NHL’s Calgary Flames did their best impression of the hometown Stampeders, as the CFL playoffs begin this weekend (from Jeff Ingalls). … Miles Filbert sends along some photos of some 1960s Winnipeg Blue Bomber collectibles.
Hockey News: The Cincinnati Cyclones will wear three different jerseys in one game on Jan. 27 — jerseys representing the sweaters worn by the Mighty Ducks in the movie trilogy (from Jeffrey). … ICYMI from the CFL section: The Calgary Flames did their best impression of the crosstown CFL team, the Stampeders, as the Stampeders begin their playoff run this weekend (from Jeff Ingalls).
College Hoops News: Marist has new roaduniforms this season. … Indiana G Devonte Green lost his shoe during play last night, and still ended up recording a steal while holding his shoe in the other hand (from Kenny Ocker). … Players for NCAA D-II Pittsburg State wore “Equality” shirts during warmups last night (from Matt Newbery). … Not everyone his happy with the abbreviations ESPN is using on its new scorebug (from Josh Hinton).
Yesterday the NHL unveiled the jerseys for the NHL 100 Classic, which will be played on Dec. 16 in Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. As you can see above, the jerseys were photographed on a tool bench, which would appear to be the uni-verse’s latest fetishizing of the working class.
As for the designs: The Canadiens’ white jersey features lots of silver trim and has the team’s Stanley Cup championship years denoted on the sleeve stripes (additional info here):
Pretty sharp, although it’s too bad about the polo collar.
The Senators’ jersey also includes silver. Of course, the current franchise called the Senators has never won the Stanley Cup. But the original Ottawa Senators team, which was a founding NHL club (which in turn is why the Sens are playing in the NHL 100 Classic to begin with), won its share of championships, and they’re denoted on the sleeve stripes:
Disappointing to see that neither team released a photo showing the full uniform, which furthers the notion that this entire exercise is primarily about selling jerseys. Ottawa did release one photo showing a hint of the pants, however:
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Screen shot by Blake Fox; click to enlarge
Two of a kind: Because of the large roster sizes and position-numbering guidelines, college football teams often end up with multiple players wearing the same number. It’s kosher as long as the same-numbered players don’t end up on the field at the same time.
That’s what happened during last night’s Akron/Ohio game, as Akron lined up for a punt with two players wearing No. 7. The officials noticed it, and the Zips were flagged for a five-yard penalty.
(This isn’t the first time this has happened this season. Maryland was flagged for a similar infraction back in September.)
In another uni-numerical development from that Ohio/Akron game, Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke tore his No. 12 jersey and finished the game wearing an NNOB No. 8 jersey, creating a mismatch between his helmet number and his jersey number:
New advertiser shout-out: As you may have noticed in the right-hand sidebar, we have a new advertiser: Rep the Squad. That’s the company that rents jerseys to fans instead of selling them (more info here). You sign up for a monthly subscription and can wear one jersey at a time, and then send it back in return for the next one in your queue. It’s basically the old Netflix DVD system, but for jerseys.
Rep the Squad is now offering a special deal to Uni Watch readers: You can sign up for a free two-week trial. “This allows anyone to come in and try us out. If they cancel their account and return the jersey within 14 days, there is no charge.”
As you all know, I’m generally suspicious of overpriced jersey merchandising. But the rental model is intriguing, and I’ve been impressed with Brian during our interactions. The discount code for the free two-week trial will pre-populate if you use this link, or if you click on the ad. My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our advertisers’ products and services.
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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a small roll of Scotch tape. It should be available here by 8am Eastern.
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Assorted reminders: In case you missed it yesterday, we have a bunch of new Naming Wrongs shirts (including the very cool Cap Centre design shown at right). Check them out here.
Pro Football News: Color Rash this week between the Steelers and Titans is going to be a real doozy. … The Packers will wear their throwbacks this Sunday (from Phil). … Former Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe was at a Boston Bruins game with his son the other day. Bledsoe’s son appeared to be wearing one of his dad’s old sideline jackets (from Steve). … Beaufort High School in South Carolina is using the Eagles’ old logo (from Andy Shain). … Eric Bangeman sent along highlights from the 1954 CFL season, which features quarterbacks wearing numbers in the 90s and receivers wearing numbers in the 70s.
College Football News: Notre Dame is currently prepping the leatherhead-style helmets they’ll wear this weekend as part of their Knute Rockne tribute uniforms (from Dave Hancock). … Central Michigan went mono-white with white lids last night against Kent State (from Jimmy). … North Texas will wear stars and stripes decals against Army this weekend (from Tyler Richard). … Until the early 1970s, Texas Tech and TCU played for the Saddle Trophy. This Saturday, the schools are bringing the trophy back (from our own Kris Gross). … Last month, Yale P Alex Galland played trumpet with the band — in uniform! — for the national anthem prior to a game against Holy Cross (from Cassian Wykes). … Nike is selling a shirt that shows Penn State’s Big Blue band in formation inside Beaver Stadium. But according to Darian Somers, the band’s formation is facing the wrong side of the stadium. … The ACC Tracker has been updated for week 11.
Hockey News: The Predators warmed up in purple for Hockey Fights Cancer, and D P.K. Subban added a cowboy hat to boot. … The Penguins worecamo jerseys during warmups last night. The numbers included the emblems of the branches of the military (from Jerry).
Pro Basketball News: Celtics G Kyrie Irving wore a clear mask last night after suffering a minor facial fracture last week. After the game, he said the clear mask was better than the black one he wore in 2012. … ReaderJoey Robertsonwas playing NBA 2K18, and noticed that Knicks F Lance Thomas is photographed wearing an old Adidas jersey with new Nike shorts. … The North American Premier Basketball league’s newest team is the Nevada Desert Dogs (from Jim Hammit). … You’d be hard pressed to find a better intersection of meat and sports uniforms than in Philippinespro basketball (from @gayhooters).
Soccer News: Minneapolis City SC is letting fans pick their home and road kits for the upcoming season. (from Ed Zelaski). … Looks like FC Cincinnati will have new kits next season — though obviously without the MLS crest (from Ben Deetz). … The NOB font on Germany’s kit looks particularly brutal with Zs (from The Swede).
Grab Bag: Marist ischanging the name of its fox mascot from “Shooter” to “Frankie,” citing the recent outbreak of mass shootings (from Robert Hayes). … If you’re on Instagram, give @sportpatch a follow. They share photos of patches from old athletic apparel (from Hugh C. McBride). … Auburn hasnew baseball uniforms for next season (from Clint Richardson). … New uniforms for the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League (from Nelson Hackewich). … Internet browser Firefox has a new logo (from Brinke). … So. Many. Grocer’s apostrophes (from Mad Hatter).
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By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to Virginia. Driving down there today with my friend Carrie for a mini-vacation. We’ll be spending the rest of the week hanging out with her dad, attending an oyster festival, other fun stuff. I’ll still be posting content here tomorrow and Friday, and Phil will still have his usual weekend content, but I won’t be reacting to breaking news or participating in the comments. Play nice while I’m away, yes? Yes.
Disappointing news yesterday out of Charlotte, as the Hornets became the latest NBA team to sell space on their jersey to an advertiser, and the second to do so since the start of the season. The patch will make its on-court debut for tomorrow night’s game against the Cavs, which will also be the season debut for the team’s much-ballyhooed throwbacks — a lose-lose.
It’s interesting that the Hornets have chosen to go this route. They had previously said that they weren’t sure they’d have a uniform advertiser because they might not want to have anything compete with the Jordan logo (and, conversely, potential advertisers might feel overwhelmed by the Jordan logo). But the price was apparently right.
In keeping with our new policy, I will neither show the ad patch nor name the advertiser, but I will definitely show how the patch makes the team’s uniforms look like crap. Here (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
That about covers it. There are now 19 ad-clad teams and 11 ad-free teams. #NoUniAds
(My continued thanks to Nic Schultz for his Photoshoppery.)
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Click to enlarge
Collector’s Corner By Brinke Guthrie
If you love retro baseball art, you can’t beat this White Sox scorecard cover from the bicentennial year, 1976. It’s got all the artistic tricks from that period — the multi-colored stripes, the baseball in motion, the works. The cover has “Apr 9 ’76 KC” scrawled in the corner — that was Opening Day, with the Sox beating the Royals, 4-0.
• I’ve seen NFL helmet plaques like this before, but not from the NBA. This 1970s Knicks plaque comes to you from Kentucky Art Plaques of Morehead, Ky.
• Speaking of helmet plaques, does the facemask on this 1970s Seahawks helmet look a bit off to you?
• Boy howdy, check out the artwork on these 1970s Sears MLB curtains. Why did I not have these?
• Got a little extra black outline trim on the arrowhead logo of this K.C. Chiefs parka, made by Logo 7 (predecessor of Logo Athletic). The listing says 1970s but it looks to be more contemporary than that, no?
Baseball News: New 60th-anniversary logo for the Giants’ move to San Francisco. I can confirm that it’ll be worn as a sleeve patch. To my knowledge, it will not appear on the cap. … Reader Brett Baker’s grandfather, Harold Baker, was best friends with longtime American League ump Larry Barnett, who gave the elder Baker this very cool game pass. Here’s the flip side. … Here’s a 1980 video of Styx keyboardist/singer Dennis DeYoung wearing a Cubs jersey — notable that it’s from pre-merch era (from Rich Paloma). … Here’s a good piece on the history of football games at Fenway Park (from Dan Tarrant).
NFL News: Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry appeared to be wearing a gold bracelet for last night’s game against the Panthers. … Speaking of the Panthers, they wore the initials of fallen service members on their helmets last night. Additional info here (thanks, Phil). … The Raiders broke ground on their new Vegas stadium yesterday (thanks, Brinke). … Cool shot of the Lions playing the college all-stars in 1953. Such games were common back in the day (from Ray Hund).
College Football News: Here’s our first full look at the white alternates that Ohio State will be wearing against Michigan. … Speaking of Michigan, LB Patrick Kugler engaged in a bit of corporate theater by wearing an Adidas sweatshirt with a cover-up Nike logo. Guess he can’t draw the jumpman. … Did you know that the winner of the Florida/Florida State game wins something called the Makala Trophy? It’s true (from Andrew Cosentino). … Penn State is doing a stripe-out for this weekend’s game against Nebraska. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Here’s a good piece on the history of college football games at Fenway Park (from Dan Tarrant).
Basketball News: If a player’s number is 22, you’d think it would be easy enough to ensure that both numerals were properly oriented — but you’d be wrong. That’s a player on the AC Clippers sporting the mismatched 2s (good spot by Ross Yoshida). … Purdue players are wearing “Togetherness” shooting shirts this season (from Jeff Dem). … Grey-out last night for Providence (from Ryan McNeely). … Very unusual new home whites for San Francisco.
What Paul did last night: Last night I saw the new movie The Florida Project, which is about childhood and poverty and Disney and welfare hotels and single parenthood and adventure and friendship and pathology and burping and prostitution, not necessarily in that order.
How good was it? So good that I didn’t even mind how much of it is purple (as you can see in the trailer above). So good that I didn’t mind that one of the kids was played by a six-year-old actress named Brooklyn. So good that I didn’t mind Willem Dafoe doing a fairly boilerplate heart-of-gold routine.