Monday Morning Uni Watch

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It was a lovely day for one of the NFL’s worst uniforms, as the Cardinals broke out their BFBS alternates, a design that’s so wrong in so many ways. Lots of additional photos here, if you dare.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• For the second straight week, the Dolphins wore their throwbacks (and running back Brandon Bolden doubled up on his sock stripes):

• Speaking of the Dolphins, linebacker Kiko Alonso was showing some serious male side boob, and also appeared to be wearing a crop-top jersey:

• The Chargers went mono-navy, which is clearly the worst look of all their possible combinations:

• The Panthers went mono-black — this time with black socks:

• For the second straight week, the Bucs suffered from the Rash:

• It looks like one of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White’s numbers was peeling off:

• All 32 teams announced their nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last week. That page says, “All 2018 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 and continuing through the end of the season.” It was hard to find rear-view photos of all the nominees, but at least seven of them — Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Saints running back Mark Ingram, Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark, and Ravens defensive back Brandon Carr — did indeed wear the decal. Some had it on the back-left side of their helmets and some on the back-right (click first six photos to enlarge):

Two other nominees — Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and Bears tight end Trey Burton — didn’t have the decal on the back-left side. I couldn’t find any views of them from the other side.

If you want to go through the list of nominees and try to find rear-view photos of any of the ones I wasn’t able to account for, feel free to post the results of your sleuthing in today’s comments.

• Now that the weather’s getting cold, we have our first torn helmet decal of the season. Although the tweet identified the player as Rams defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, it’s actually his teammate Dante Fowler Jr.:

• The Browns made some tweaks to their field design. The numbers are now outlined in orange and the 50- and 20-yard lines are now bordered with brown striping (but still no midfield logo):

• Two teams wore white at home: the Browns and, of course, the Cowboys.

(My thanks to Robert Loeper and Jonathan Diesfor their contributions to this section.)

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’Tis the season: One of the best holiday traditions here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of a package from longtime reader Elena Elms, who always sends a batch of baseball uni-themed cookies (a few of which cracked in transit this year, but that’s okay).

Elena’s theme for 2018 is minor league teams with edible team names. In the top row, from left to right, we have the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Chicago Dogs, the Hickory Crawdads, and the Kansas City T-Bones.

Middle row, left to right: Cedar Rapids Kernels, Charlotte Stone Crabs, and Toledo Mud Hens.

Bottom row, left to right: Carolina Mudcats, Modesto Nuts, and Montgomery Biscuits.

How awesome is that?! It is super-duper-special that Elena continues to do this each year. I can’t even begin to fully express my appreciation and gratitude to her. Big hugs and big love, Elena — you’re the best!

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Culinary Corner: We had a lot of shrimps in the freezer, so we decided to put some of them to good use on Saturday night. I wanted to try something new instead of one of our usual recipes, so I did a bit of googling and came across something called Shrimp Veracruz, which I’d never heard of before. It sounded weird but interesting, so we decided to try it, like so:

1. We chopped up two bell peppers and sautéed them in two tablespoons of olive oil for about seven minutes. Then we added a pint of halved grape tomatoes, two cloves of minced garlic, two tablespoons of minced pickled jalapeños, and two tablespoons of capers (some recipes call for olives instead) and cooked everything for another seven or eight minutes:

2. We added two tablespoons of red wine and about half a cup of seafood stock (you could also use water instead of stock) and cooked for another five minutes.

3. We added about two dozen shrimps and cooked them four minutes on one side and then one minute on the other side.

That’s it! We served it over rice. Not very visually impressive on the plate, but mighty tasty:

The Captain thought it was just okay, but I thought it was great! Recommended.

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Health insurance update: Back in October, I wrote about how my health insurance, which cost me almost $800 a month this year, was due to go up to $949 a month next year and that I’d therefore probably have to choose a different plan. Now that we’re nearing the end of the open enrollment period, a few of you have checked in to ask how that turned out for me.

The good news is that after a lot of stress and research and talking to friends and colleagues and looking at websites and poring over drug formularies and talking to English-as-a-third-language customer “service” reps, I’ve chosen a plan for 2019 that gives me a similar level of coverage as before, with the same deductible, for $700 a month. So I’ll actually be saving money over 2018.

The first item of bad news is that my current primary care doctor doesn’t take this insurance I’ve chosen, so I’ll have to find a new doctor. This will be the third new primary doc I’ve had in five years, which is fucking nuts and makes it impossible to maintain any consistency in my medical care. (As it turns out, even if I had stayed with my current insurance — the one that’s going up to $949 a month — that insurer is changing its network parameters so that my current doc is no longer in-network. In order to keep my current doc, I’d have to choose a plan that’s — get this — $1300 a month.)

The second bit of bad news is that since I’m once again changing insurers, I’ll once again have to go through a cumbersome pre-approval process for the specialty drug that I take for a chronic condition. This will be the third consecutive year I’ve had to go through this process, which involves going to a lab for a TB test, filling out lots of paperwork, and wasting lots of time on the phone dealing with bureaucratic nonsense. Even after all of that, there’s no guarantee they’ll approve the drug for me — they could say no. (I’m not sure what I’ll do if that happens.)

The big unknown is that this new insurer I’ve chosen seems maybe a wee bit sketchy. It’s a new-ish company, and there are some horror stories about it from people on Yelp (although the same is probably true of every insurance company). Two of my friends, both of whom have pretty low bullshit tolerances, have been with this company for a couple of years now and say that there have been some growing pains but that it’s mostly been okay for them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ll say this again: It’s insane that health insurance is treated as an employment “benefit” in this country, so that self-employed people like me are forced to fend for ourselves. Health insurance is a necessity, not a benefit, and it’s embarrassing that our country hasn’t figured that out while the rest of the modern world has. Fortunately, in the wake of last month’s elections, there’s some hope that my state — New York — may adopt a single-payer insurance system. Here’s hoping that happens From my perspective, it can’t come soon enough.

Speaking of New York State and health insurance: When I got the notice in October about my plan going up to $949, there was an “Public Comment” address where I could have sent feedback. I didn’t bother to do that, but lots of other people did, and the new episode of This American Life has a really entertaining and instructive segment about those people. Recommended listening, even if you don’t live in New York or have to buy your own health insurance — check it out here.

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Price drop reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, we’ve brought the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch alternate cap — which was originally $29.99, then $24.99, then $19.99, then back to $24.99 — back down to $19.99. And there it will stay!

We have fewer than 20 only 10 of the L/XL size left. So if you want one, move fast.

While we’re at it: All of our fine Uni Watch products, including a few that you may have forgotten about, are listed on this one handy page.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Harold Baines, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last night, has an interesting uni-related distinction: The White Sox retired his No. 3 in 1989, while he was still an active player, after they traded him to the Rangers. He later returned to the Sox in 1996, was traded away again, and returned to the Sox yet again in 2000. A bizarre history.

NFL News: Reader Brad Eenhuis was watching the A Football Life documentary on Washington QB Doug Williams and noticed that there were some number font variations on the team in Super Bowl XXII. … Some Falcons and Saints players ended up in the Tulane Stadium hedges during a 1970 game (from Mike Selock). … Here’s our worst uni nightmare: every NFL team dressed in black (from Dan Schwanger).

Hockey News: Goalie Mike DiPietro was traded from the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires to the Ottawa 67s last week, and played his first game for Ottawa wearing his Windsor mask and pads (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix wore Christmas sweater-themed uniforms.

Basketball News: Julius Erving once appeared on the late-’80s TV show My Two Dads wearing an orange jersey with his last name on the front, just like a team or city name (from Willard Kovacs). … Speaking of Dr. J, here’s a shot of him wear a very mod 76ers warmup top (from Bruce Margulies). … Check out this shot of the St Louis Hawks’ Bob Pettit playing with full cast on wrist (from Mike Selock).

Soccer News: Scottish Premiership team Dundee debuted at home a third kit, which for the second year in a row is military-themed, and this time is white and features a giant version of the insignia of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards military regiment. The kit supports the SSAFA armed-forces charity (also from Ed Żelaski). … English second-tier women’s teams Durham and Manchester United played each other twice last week. Neither team changed for the game in Manchester, but Man U changed to pink/black/black in Durham.

Grab Bag: Women’s cycling team Boels-Dolmans revealed their kit for next season, including variations for the team’s Dutch and Danish national champions. Men’s team Katusha-Alpecin revealed a sky blue and red kit with tiny NOBs. … Yesterday’s edition of the comic strip Stone Soup Classics lamented the spread of advertising (from Paul Dillon).

Army/Navy 2018 - A Good Lookin' Game!

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday the Black Knights of Army and the Midshipmen of Navy hooked up in the Annual (and 119th overall) Army/Navy game, and although the on-field action wasn’t stellar (though the game was close) the game itself lived up to the uni-hype. It’s more than just a game, of course, and the fact that for the past decade both academy’s have worn special uniforms costumes makes it all the more special for the uni watcher. If you missed all the “stories” behind the uniforms worn yesterday click here.

There wasn’t much especially uni-notable about yesterday’s game (well, save for the fact that each team had special game uniforms), but with a cool and crisp sunny day in Philadelphia, everything looked great.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Army was outfitted entirely in black, while Navy was almost entirely in white — save for their blue helmets. It made for a beautiful contrast.

It wasn’t entirely clear from the pre-game hype photos, but Navy came out in a really sharp metallic finish helmet. I’m not normally a fan of shiny things, but this one was quite attractive. It was rendered in navy, but with the reflectivity, particularly in the first half sunshine, it almost appeared royal. The blue hats were bisected with a metallic gold/white/metallic gold stripe.

It was also unbalanced, having Bill the Goat (Navy’s mascot) on the right side of the helmets with numbers on the left side:

As you can see above, Navy’s jerseys had player NOB. The uni was plain — but not totally. The team had very attractive shoulder caps of navy and metallic gold, and single stripe (of navy/gold/navy) ran all the way (no truncation here!) down the leg. The top of the stripe was divided by six breaks, something Under Armour has been affecting since they got the Navy contract some years ago and which is a nod to the United States Navy’s original six frigates. If the team didn’t already have a standard road uniform, I’d almost argue this one should be made permanent — it’s that good.

And of course, as is the tradition, Navy featured the individual unit patches for each particular player on the upper left portion of the jersey (always a nice touch).

Army’s uniform was almost entirely black, although there were some ghosted features. The helmets were matte black with a red “1” (see backstory in yesterday’s article).

The red “1” was almost the only color (save for uni numbers) on the uni — the only other red was (of course) the Nike Swoosh but one other nice feature: the player name was placed in small lettering (military style) on the right chest. The team wore “ARMY” for NOB on the back of the jersey. The collar insignia replicate bronze collar disks worn by enlisted soldiers in the First Division.

[Thanks to L.J. Sparvero for those two pics above]

One feature that was not noticeable from distance but that you could see up close: Army had some pretty serious block shadow going on with their numbers:

I really enjoyed this one from a uni standpoint. Army looks really good in all black, and this one seemed to have both teams dressed well (not overdone, but special anyway). The rest of the non-uni part of the game is of course fun too. It’s all well scripted and planned, and it’s just one of those things that seems to put a perfect bookmark to close another college football regular season.

The pregame stuff is always great. From the flyovers…

…to the paratroopers…

…to the teams and flagbearers taking the field…

…to the Presidential coin toss (the President did not attend the 2017 edition of the game, but he did attend as President-elect in 2016).

All that pomp and circumstance (which I would normally eschew) is just so fitting for the Army Navy game. And Army, who had lost like 17 in a row before winning the game two years ago, have now won three straight. Even the final kneeldown to end the game felt right.

Of course, the game doesn’t end when the final whistle blows. There is one last tradition which never gets old. Both schools singing to and with their alma maters. And tradition dictates the losers sing first, followed by the victors. So for the third straight year, Navy had the honor of going first, followed by Army:

And there you have it. Army Navy to close the 2018 FBS season. We start the Bowl season next Saturday.

Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

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Title: “Idol”
Subject: Joe Jackson, 1913
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 34″ x 42″

The grand title of ‘the greatest natural hitter’ was in sole possession of the young Joe Jackson in 1913. The former owner of that moniker, Cleveland teammate Napoleon Lajoie, had left the claim up for grabs as his age began to rear its head in the early 1910s. Spraying the ball to all parts of the field, Ty Cobb used his speed, grit, and spread grip to take his bases. Detroit’s outfielder, though still in his prime and at that point the winner of five batting crowns, attributed his offensive success to scientifically breaking down the weaknesses of his opponents, always looking for the mental edge that he could use to exploit his physical abilities. Boston’s Tris Speaker was very much cut from Cobb’s own cloth, as he looked up to the hard-nosed Georgian as an offensive role-model. Though his stance in the box may have differed from the mighty Tyrus’, his penchant for exploiting chinks in the enemy’s armor was virtually unmatched. It seemed that the sheer will and determination alone of these two men placed them atop the league in most batting statistics.

On the other end of the spectrum, Philadelphia’s Frank ‘Home Run’ Baker liked to swing more freely. His nickname came from his performance in the 1911 World Series, in which he tagged both Rube Marquard and Christy Mathewson for home runs. That same year, he led the American League with 11 round-trippers, and then 10 the year after. Though, Baker’s control was not a paramount element of his swing, as he struck out more than most players with similar batting averages. Phillie Gaavy Cravath had similar methods and statistics to his cross-town rival, though his hefty home run totals were partially due to the tiny dimensions of his home ballpark, the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. Though only 22 years old at the start of the baseball season in ’13, it was abundantly clear that Joe Jackson was a different kind of hitter all together.

Jackson did not study opposing pitchers or keep mental notebooks of their patterns on the mound. Rarely did he alter his swing or approach to suit an opposing pitcher’s style. He relied on his impeccable hand-eye coordination and physical strength to power through the ball with the sweet spot of his dark 48-ounce bat. Jackson’s teammates always said that he never even knew whether the opposing pitcher was right or left handed, nor what kind of ball they had thrown, be it a curve, fastball or spitter. All he would say if he was asked was that the ball was ‘over’. ‘Over’ meant anything that he could reach. And when he could reach, he rarely failed to connect.

Ty Cobb himself wondered why Jackson did not strike out at least twice a game taking full cuts against doctored balls that precipitously sank. In that era, most players poked their bats in the direction of the ball to merely make contact. Joe used his bat to punish the ball. Pitchers claimed that his hits could break bones. Boston hurler Ernie Shore claimed that he could be blindfolded and could still tell when Jackson hit the ball. “It had a special crack,” he said.

Much like other players in baseball, Jackson was incredibly superstitious about his weapons, feeling that each one only had so many hits in it. Whenever he went into a slump, he discarded his current collection of bats and started a new one. His most prized bat, ‘Black Betsy’, was an exception to this rule. It was only used in dire situations, as he felt it had special powers that could not be wasted in the day-to-day game action it would see in the American League. Perhaps his most prized possession, the mighty bat was made for Joe by a local woodworker while he was still with the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association. Its name was culled from the rich cherry-black hue it sported, after being darkened with coat after coat of tobacco juice. This special bat was used to model most of the professional models throughout his career, and like their predecessor, were creatively named, ‘Blonde Betsy’, ‘Big Jim’, ‘Ol’ Genril’, ‘Caroliny’ and ‘Dixie’. So well-known was his love for his lumber, that fans would shout, “Give ‘em Dixie, Joe!” Perhaps baseball enthusiasts took more to Jackson’s superstitions than other players because of his supposed eccentric Southern up-bringing and lack of education. Though these factors might have made him an easier target than most, they did nothing to hurt his popularity.

He had already become a celebrity in Cleveland, as he was frequently being stopped during his afternoon car rides by fans who wanted to shake his hand and take snapshots. His fame even extended outside of Cleveland and his home in the southern states. In one instance, he received a letter from a fan in Kansas City that had a yet-unnamed newborn who in his opinion would be a fine ballplayer. He asked Jackson what his full name was, as he wanted his 12-pound son named after the great man.

His biggest fans were undoubtedly the children of Cleveland. Many if them would follow Jackson from his home on Lexington Avenue to the ballpark, some of whom were lucky enough to carry his glove, bats and shoes to the clubhouse. A score of adoring young Cleveland fans – many of whom could not even afford the bleacher seat prices – would often wait outside of League Park to meet their hero after the game, where he would give them batting tips. It was no surprise that thousands of dirty-faced kids had began to emulate Joe on the diamond.

Off the field Joe began to see his popularity grow as well. He started to supplement his baseball salary with endorsements, ranging from tobacco, liniment and rifles to bats, garters and gloves. In marketing a brand of shoes, a slogan read, “When Shoeless Joe wears ‘em, he wears Selz shoes.”

With his star rising, he invested his money into a pool room in downtown Greenville, bought a larger house for his parents, and purchased himself a farm that he had hoped would be up, running and paying in short order. He would also earn extra money in the winter by holding exhibition games in the south. The newfound wealth would provide him with the means to purchase fancy clothes and many new cars. Baseball writers even dubbed him the team’s “Beau Brummell”, who was an arbiter of English Regency fashion credited with establishing the modern men’s suit, as well as being perhaps the first dandy.

Above all else however, were the man’s abilities. In his first two full seasons with the Naps, his batting average was an incredible .401, with his rookie mark of .408 being the highest ever. That same first year, he was in the league’s top ten leaders of home runs, runs batted in, runs scored and stolen bases – all of which lead to his fourth place finish in the Chalmers MVP award voting. In 1912 he continued his offensive tear, hitting just under .400 and leading the league in hits and triples, remaining on the leader board for those same statistics.

The youngster’s future with the Naps – and baseball in general – looked as bright as could be.

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Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

Gouache, continued…

Readers (may) recall last weekend, I featured a “Way Too Good For The Ticker” segment featuring the beautiful artwork of our pal Gene Sanny (that full post is here, scroll down) in which he briefly explained the technique of “gouache” painting.

Gene again contacted me this past week to explain a bit more the process, but also to share one of which he’s (justifiably) proud.

Check this out! Here’s Gene:

Ok, here is how a gouache painting, like the oilers one from the other day, is supposed to work out. This one I’m happy with. I started persuing this style because some of my favorite football illustrations when I was a kid was done like this… David grove was a master. I didn’t understand how it worked until recently, and I still have tons to learn, but it’s fun when an experiment like this works out.

Here’s the work in progress, from a blob of paint, to former Oakland Raider Otis Sistrunk.

And here’s the finished piece!

Thanks Gene!!!

Oh Baby (Cakes)!

Reader Trent Guyer sent the following e-mail to Uni Watch, and since it’s a bit too long for the ticker, I’m going to run it out below. It contains some great nuggets about the New Orleans Baby Cakes (a Minor League Baseball of the Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. They are located in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, and play their home games at the Shrine on Airline).

Here’s Trent:

There’s an interview this week in the Wichita Business Journal (paywalled) with New Orleans Baby Cakes owner Lou Schwechheimer.

Here’s the section of interest to UniWatch. I was particularly interested that changing the name and logo skyrocketed sales.

Q: People here have been talking a lot about the new nickname and logo and what it will be. What can they expect?

A: Part of our challenge in New Orleans was that the franchise, for the better part of 15 years, slipped in the public perception department in New Orleans. We realized that there wasn’t really an affinity for the team’s name back then, the Zephyrs. That name had come when the team moved to New Orleans from Colorado (in 1993). We decided to do something fun (before the 2017 season). If you know anything about the New Orleans king cake tradition, they bake a little baby in the king cake and it’s part of the 300-year lore of New Orleans. We decided to take that baby and put a bat in his hand as he’s smashing his way out of a king cake. We got a lot of feedback on that, some positive and some negative. We ended up going from last in the minor leagues in merchandising to the top 5 percent and we won Baseball America’s best logo national poll competition. What we want to do in Wichita, we’re going to announce a world-class design team that will create a classic, first-class elegant logo that represents the vibe and culture of Wichita. Todd Radom is on that team and he’s really a legendary figure in sports design.

Thanks Trent! And seconded on that Todd Radom praise!!

Heads up! Big cap savings on tap: Paul here, with news on how you can use your head and save some dough on some quality headwear.

First, our friends at Ebbets Field Flannels are offering free shipping this weekend with the checkout code SHIPIT. You can use that on any of their products, including our Uni Watch Classic Cap, which you can order here.

In addition, in case you missed it on Friday, we’ve lowered the price on our flex-fit Uni Watch Alternate Cap back to $19.99. You can order yours here.

While we’re at it, you can see all the rest of our Uni Watch products, including some that you may have forgotten about, here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Phil-fest.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: It was reported the other day that new Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt will wear 46 with the team (his old 44 is unavailable and the team has a lot of retired numbers, so 46 was “closest”). Here’s how the new jersey will look. … Chinese investors have their eye on Louisville Slugger — the all-American bat brand favored by legends like Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson — which is poised to get scooped up by a Chinese conglomerate (from Tom Turner). … Check out this pic of John Lennon (who was murdered 38 years ago yesterday) sitting in a Mets locker in Shea Stadium before performing! “Love his jacket” says Michael Malnicof. … Looks like the formerly-named Las Vegas 51s will be getting a new nickname (from Minor League Promos). And here’s a look at the caps (from sesaee).

NFL News: Keeping Big Blue…Blue? “I’ve been tired of seeing my favorite team’s uniforms for a while then I read your critique about too much red on the Giants road uniforms,” writes Anthony Paul. “It’s not much but just photoshopped a bit more blue without removing all of the red entirely.” … Very cool bit from Kenn Tomasch who writes, “I know the Rams’ red unis from 1949 have been discussed and few color pics exist, but here is a clip from the LA Times in preseason that year referencing the new duds and that the coach designed them himself.” He adds, “Just found it interesting, even if it’s not in color.” Kenn also found another section with even more description of the unis from the LA Times. Awesome! … Nothing uni-noteworthy here, but just feast your eyes on this December 1979 tilt between Houston and Cleveland (from 216 Sports History). Those colors just POP! No way is that December (and therefore not 1979) though. The Browns did wear orange pants between 1975 and 1983 so the timeframe is right. However, the Oilers didn’t get red facemasks until 1981, so that narrows it down (h/t MrMichael: Travelin’ Man). … Good observation from Frank McGuigan who notes, “So @pizzahut fixed the @Bengals and @buffalobills division placement error from earlier this year on their box. However, it remains incorrect on this cardboard advertisement standing in the restaurant.”

College Football News: Superb uni watching from Alex Bolton (via Dez Caught The Ball) who notes, “Was excited about this shirt until I realized helmet stripes are backwards going white-purple-white instead of purple-white-purple. Sometimes wish I didn’t notice details like this, but I really wish someone @UW licensing, @GearforSports1, or @ubookstoresea would have caught it.”

Hockey News: The Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurridanes wore color vs. color (both home unis) on Friday night (from Dan S. Walker). Our pal Chris Creamer has a good writeup on how that came to be. … As SRP91 said in yesterday’s comments, “During warmups the Canes came out in their red home uniforms and Anaheim came out wearing orange jerseys, then for the game the Ducks switched to their traditional black home jerseys. Pictures and video can be seen here. … On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was assassinated; Bruce Menard posted a photo yesterday of him holding a Montreal Canadiens sweater. I still remember hearing about Lennon’s death as a 14-year-old via Howard Cosell on MNF. … Yesterday, the Detroit Red Wings Jonathan Bernier broke out this cool holiday-themed mask (via Paul). … Rob Caplette (who many of you know as the “Tattooed Enigma”) reports, “Not sure if you guys have seen or mentioned this, but Anthony Stolarz has a dual-colour cage on his mask. Noticed it (yesterday) during the Flyers/Sabres game.” … The Pensacola Ice Flyers wore green/yellow elf outfits as uniforms and the goaltenders attired as Santa Claus for Saturday’s Christmas Celebration Night at the Bay Center against the Knoxville Ice Bears.

NBA/Pro Hoops News: We don’t give the G-league much attention (and probably rightfully so), but check out the holiday themed unis the Canton Charge wore last night (from RDUB).

College Hoops News: St. John’s will honor the late Hall of Fame basketball writer Jim O’Connell of The Associated Press with a patch on game uniforms Sunday at Madison Square Garden. … Hmmm, is Memphis’ Kareem Brewton Jr trying to start a new trend with the one leg rolled up look (from Jacob Boughter? … Yesterday, Northwestern wore purple at home (via Paul). … Yesterday the Xavier Musketeers and Cincinnati Bearcats engaged in a little color vs. color action (from B-Dubya and Jason Greenberg respectively). … HOLY WAR on the court: nice color vs. color matchup between Utah & BYU (from Trevor). … Are brown shorts in the works for Valpo? (via Paul). That’s affirmative. … More color vs color as it was Red v. Blue last night in Lincoln for Creighton-Nebraska (from David Durgo). … Kansas broke out a new “Winter White” uni last evening (via Paul). … In a move sure to make Jimmer Vilk ecstatic, looks like UCLA is moving back in the short shorts direction (from Matt Shevin).

Soccer News: Liverpool’s Adam Lallana wore a blank jersey to finish the match yesterday thanks to a nasty head gash (nice spot by @CoachKT). … According to Daniel Weimann, there is a vintage replica uniform on tap for VfB Stuttgart. … “This is pretty cool — the tunnel (players from both teams go through it to get from the dressing room to the pitch) at FC Schalke’s stadium is coal-mine themed,” says Josh Hinton. … Here’s a pretty cool look at the Portland Timbers heat pressing yesterday’s date onto a jersey before the MLS Cup (via Paul).

Grab Bag: South Africa’s rugby sevens team will wear a special jersey at this weekend’s tournament in Cape Town to pay tribute to former President Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 this year.

Army/Navy 2018: (Back in) Black vs. White

By Phil Hecken

It’s that time of year again, folks: the day of the annual Army/Navy Game, and once again (as they’ve done for basically the past decade), both teams have new and special unis created just for the game. I’m generally averse to the one-off, “costume” look that has been so prevalent in college football, but since 2008, when swooshie first created new and special unis for that game for both teams, the A/N tilt has been doing the one-game-one-offs. And since they kinda-sorta invented the whole special rivalry uni game-within-a-game, I’m fine with it. In fact, I look forward to seeing the new unis just for the game almost as much as I enjoy the game itself.

With Army as the “designated” home team, Navy will this year again be wearing white. This being 2018, and the Great War having ended 100 years ago last month, there’s a bit of that angle to the unis for Army, while Navy celebrates a mascot. And of course, there’s always a story behind both teams’ unis. Let’s start with the visitors (for all photos below you can click to enlarge):


This year’s Navy uniform celebrates its mascot Bill the Goat. According to Under Armour:

The Navy Goat mascot came to be in 1893 when officers from the USS New York, a United States Naval transport ship, gifted a goat named El Cid to the Naval Academy. The Naval Academy appointed El Cid the honorary mascot for that year’s Army-Navy game, the fourth ever, in which Navy beat Army in a momentous victory. To commemorate the win, the goat was appointed team mascot and became a valued symbol of the Navy football program.

Sixty years later, one of of El Cid’s successors made headlines after a group of cadets from West Point kidnapped it ahead of the 1953 Army-Navy game. The media storm that ensued prompted then President Dwight D. Eisenhower to order that the goat, by then renamed “Bill,” be returned back to the Midshipmen. Since this historic kidnapping, Navy has protected their goat diligently and with great pride, keeping close watch for weeks leading up to the game against Army each year.

One hundred and twenty-five years after El Cid’s arrival in Annapolis, the Navy Goat uniform tells the mascot and academy story through an assortment of distinct design details.

For more on the bizarre history of the US Naval Academy’s mascot, ‘Bill the Goat’, click that link.

Bill the Goat also decorates the midshipmen’s gloves and cleats.

Nick Billiris, the Senior Design Director of Team Sports at Under Armour, remarked, “The Naval Academy has such a rich history, we knew we needed to make a uniform that could uniquely tell their story and convey their exuberant spirit. The Navy Goat is the perfect symbol in which to understand the school’s longstanding excellence and traditions. We wanted the powerful narrative around the goat to shine through as a way to build enthusiasm from both the players and the fans.”

The sleeves of the jersey are navy blue in color and feature two stripes on the outside with the Navy logo in the center. This color-blocking look was inspired directly from the trim of the blanket popularly worn by Bill the Goat. Bill the Goat is depicted on the sides of the helmet, charging forward and wrapped in its blanket.

To match the jersey, the pants were designed in the same shade of navy blue with a stripe down the panel featuring six breaks. This same design is echoed on the helmet, since the United States Navy was founded by Congress with six frigates. The one consistent element that this uniform shares with Navy’s current standard uniforms is the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the official emblem and insignia of the United States Marine Corps, which is seen on the pant hip.

A motto of the United States Navy, “Don’t Give Up The Ship,” is stitched onto to the lower front side of the jersey.

Here’s how the unis look “on the field.”

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Army will be back in black (as it were) for the A/N game this year. As mentioned above, the angle for this year’s game is the end of World War I. But not only WWI. The Army uniforms have some stories behind them as well.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of World War One so it only made sense the Black Knights would debut their Army-Navy game uniforms to commemorate the occasion — honoring the legacy of the U.S. Army’s first combat unit.

Traditionally, the uniforms of the Army-Navy game acknowledge a military event or specific unit. This year, Army stunned us again with a black and red combination that gives a great nod to the history of the 1st Infantry Division, also known as “The Big Red One” and “The Fighting First.”

Clad in all black with red details, the uniform color honors 1886 graduate of West Point, John “Black Jack” Pershing. A famed individual within the military community and those who consider themselves military history buffs, Pershing became the first four-star general in the country was and commanded the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI.

For the specific details on the Army Uni, click here.

The Fighting First

President Woodrow Wilson promised the Allies he would send “a division” to France immediately, but the Army had no such divisions. The United States quickly ordered four infantry and three artillery regiments from the Mexican border in Texas to Hoboken, N.J., to board transports to France. That group of seven regiments joined together to officially form the “1st Expeditionary Division,” later the 1st Infantry Division, under Brigadier General William L. Sibert on June 12, 1917. With more than 28,000 men, the “Big Red One,” as the division was later nicknamed from its shoulder sleeve insignia, was twice the size of either the allied or German divisions on the Western Front.

The Black Lions of Cantigny

The shoulders of the jerseys showcase a black lion acknowledging the Black Lions of Cantigny and disks on the collar feature cross rifles and the acronym “U.S.,” insignias worn by enlisted soldiers in the unit. The back of the helmets, also blacked-out, feature a subdued WWI-era American Flag. The front of the helmets feature a replica of the unit patch which was used to identify the country’s vehicles from allies and enemies. It’s notated with the number “1”.

Featured Units

The collar insignia replicate bronze collar disks worn by enlisted soldiers in the First Division.

Origins of the First Division Insignia

The origins of the “Big Red One” patch are disputed. One legend says that First Division supply trucks were painted with a red “1” to distinguish them from other country’s vehicles, and the practice carried over to shoulder sleeve patches.

A more colorful tale about the origin of the patch involves an exchange between a general (or colonel) and a lieutenant over red underwear. According to this version, the general, thinking that the 1st Division needed a shoulder sleeve insignia, cut a crude red “1” from an old pair of flannel underwear. Upon seeing the patch, the lieutenant, whom some accounts name as Herbert M. Stoops of the 6th Field Artillery, then remarked “The general’s underwear is showing!” In reply, the more senior officer said something to the effect of, “All right young man, if you’re so smart, come up with something better!” The lieutenant took up the challenge, producing a patch with a red numeral “1” on a gray or olive drab shield using cloth from a captured German uniform.

The design, approved with a red “1” on an olive drab five-sided shield, was codified in a November 23, 1918 order officially announcing the format of the patch as we know it today.

Despite official specifications, many variations in size and shape for the “Big Red One” are found on uniforms from the era.

Back of the helmets — WWI era flag

The flag on the back of the helmet is accurate for the World War I era featuring 48 stars for the number of states during the time (Alaska and Hawaii were officially added as states in 1959).

Here’s a couple more looks at the hat and shoes:

And nothing would be complete without the hype vid:

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The Army/Navy game has featured special uniforms since the 2008 tilt. But modifying the helmets and uniforms goes back years. You can read a great recap of earlier years here.

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Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane at the uniforms worn during the past ten games:


You can read more here. Army wore digi-camo helmets and pants, and Navy went with the “blood stripe” officers uniforms.

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Army went back to its “normal” look, while Navy went with a blue jersey version of the previous years’ set.

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Army again remained largely traditional, while Navy again went with a custom uni.

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Beginning with the 2011 game, both teams (then outfitted by Nike) would really turn it up a notch. Navy went “battleship” inspired unis; Army customized but still kept a somewhat traditional look.

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Things really got interesting beginning in 2012. Army went full black with gold helmets, while went full white with amazing custom helmets. You can read more about that here.

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This was an awesome game made moreso by the snow. Navy went white/blue/white while Army countered with gold/white/gray. Read more here.

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By 2014, Under Armour had taken over the Navy uni contract, and they got really creative with the uniforms, while Army went for a more minimalist approach. You can read more here.

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2015 almost seemed to be more about the multiple helmets than uniforms. Read more on the helmet war here.

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For 2016, Navy wore lots of athletic gold, while Army took on a WWII paratrooper look. Much more on these uniforms can be found here.

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Another beautiful snow game took place in 2017 and Army (victorious for the second straight year) definitely had the premonition for a “camo” look figured out well in advance! A review of the game and the uniforms can be found here.

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ND “Rush For Gold”

Yesterday, and probably unsurprisingly, Notre Dame introduced “new” uniforms for their Cotton Bowl (part of this year’s NCAA College Football Playoff”) matchup versus Clemson. As many have already pointed out, Notre Dame is not outfitted by swooshie, making this the first NCAA Playoff Game (since the 4 team playoff was instituted in 2014) where all four teams do not contract with Nike for their unis. UA has the pleasure of dressing Notre Dame.

The uniforms were unveiled and they’re not that different from their current set. But hey, when you make the playoffs, you get to make a slight tweak to the current unis and call them new (and if you’re UA/ND, hopefully move a bunch of units). Below are some shots of the new uni (click to enlarge)…

I got a chuckle out of Notre Dame/UA’s corporate speak describing the (literally) tweaks to the uni:

The football team wears their iconic gold helmets as an homage to this international symbol. A mixture of lacquer and gold dust collected from the Golden Dome when it was re-gilded makes up the second coat of paint on the team’s helmets.

The gold doesn’t stop at the helmets – it will run prominently throughout Notre Dame’s playoff uniform.

The jersey features gold trimming on the numbers, the “Notre Dame” monogram on the shoulder and the “Cotton Bowl” patch on the chest. “Rush 4 Gold” and “God, Country, Notre Dame”— in gold text, of course — are embroidered into the jersey.

The team’s UA Spotlight cleats also include a gold plate, highlighting the eye-catching upper of the footwear. The Irish will be wearing the suede UA Spotlight cleats in Kelly Green, marking the first time a suede version of the UA Spotlight cleat will hit the football field. The team will also be wearing Kelly Green UA gloves.

So yeah — they basically added a shiny gold outline to the numbers and threw some phrases onto the jersey (where they won’t, of course, be seen, unless the jersey is untucked), and gave the team green gloves and shoes.

The “Rush 4 Gold” is embroidered into the inside of the collar, and the “God, Country, Notre Dame” is stitched way down on the bottom right of the jersey, opposite the jock tag:

Here’s a look at the whole setup:

And of course, what would a uni reveal be without a hype video?

New Logo For The Phils…

This one almost slipped under the radar. In a post by the Phillies Majestic Clubhouse Store on Twitter, the team announced a new primary logo for the upcoming season.

The new logo was briefly seen in a four second video, where if you blinked, you missed it:

Fortunately, it was easy enough to get a screen grab, so here it is:

So what is this “new” logo replacing?

In terms of uni news, or logo news, this is one of the most minor we’ve reported on. But it is a change for 2019. So there you have it.

Our pal Chris Creamer, based off the same tweet seen above, has taken his best guess at how the new logo will really look when displayed graphically. It will likely look very similar to this.


A little birdie just sent me the OFFICIAL version…

… along with this:

“(T)his logo is the official version. As you can see, the shade of blue is more in line with the Phils’ existing blue. (It looks darker in the T-shirt photo.)”

So there you have it. Your new Phillies logo.

Heads up! Big cap savings on tap: Paul here, with news on how you can use your head and save some dough on some quality headwear.

First, our friends at Ebbets Field Flannels are offering free shipping this weekend with the checkout code SHIPIT. You can use that on any of their products, including our Uni Watch Classic Cap, which you can order here.

In addition, in case you missed it on Friday, we’ve lowered the price on our flex-fit Uni Watch Alternate Cap back to $19.99. You can order yours here.

While we’re at it, you can see all the rest of our Uni Watch products, including some that you may have forgotten about, here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Phil-fest.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Newest Cardinal Paul Goldschmidt has chosen No. 46, because it’s the closest uni number available to 44 that wasn’t retired or already taken by another player (from Mike Chamernik). … Speaking of the Cardinals, P Daniel Ponce De Leon is changing his NOB to read as “Ponce De Leon,” as opposed to “Poncedeleon” as it was last season (from Erik Spoonmore). … @NFL_Journal noticed differences in Paul Householder’s NOB from the mid-1970s to the early-1980s, despite there being no notional changes in the Reds’ unis from the era.

NFL News: New Chiefs WR Kelvin Benjamin will wear No. 81 (from @DrSoup_MD). … Sam McKinley noticed in this video that Eagles DE Chris Long has a Saints Color Rash jersey, and maybe also a Giants jersey in his locker.

College/High School Football News: UT’s official equipment Twitter account posted a photo gallery of the Sugar Bowl patch application process (from Griffin Smith).

Hockey News: The New York Post has a fantastic history on the Islanders’ fishsticks logo — which is a logo and uni set I’ve always loved. Highly recommended (from Al N. Kreit and Johnny Garfield). … Also from Al N. Kreit: the official Blue Jackets Twitter account changed their avatar to a photo of John Tortorella on the bench in his team hoodie. … Lordy, check out this absolutely gorgeous 1957 Simpsons Catalog that Chris Mizzoni just purchased. … The ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays wore their cream-colored third sweaters, as the visiting Jacksonville Icemen wore their white unis, creating an indecipherable display (from Thomas Hill). … The WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings held their teddy bear toss last night, and wore these awesome unis to celebrate it (from @grfox8).

NBA News: Reader Gavan Bruder may have discovered — and subsequently leaked — the new Jazz alternate jersey at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Employees quickly removed it from the sales floor and refused to let Gavan purchase one. … Speaking of leaks at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rodrigo Donor found these Warriors jerseys on sale. … The new Heat alternates were also leaked last night (from @seff561). … Recently-promoted Suns PG Jawun Evans will wear No. 0 (from Etienne Catalan).

Soccer News: During the December 1 Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, both of Brighton’s usual kits clashed with Huddersfield’s home kit, so Brighton pulled out their 2017 yellow alternate kit. The yellow alternate kit also had the old American Express logo as the primary advertisement (from Tyler Armstrong). … The Canadian Premier League’s newest team, Pacific FC, has released its crest (from Josh Hinton).

And on another note…

Apologies to anyone who had expected SMUW last weekend — and thanks to Paul for pinch-hitting for me after my MacBook Air crashed. I took it to the Genius Bar this week, and after a VERY helpful but ultimately unsuccessful assist from technician Steve, he was unable to affect a repair. I was even willing to have him wipe the entire hard drive and do a reinstall, but (due partly to age — I got the laptop back in December 2012) she was unsalvagable. *Sigh*. The bad news is now I have no laptop, but the good news is I won’t be traveling for the foreseeable future (and thus, won’t need a new one immediately). This has just been a real rough month for me … still wondering what *else* will go wrong. Let’s hope nothing.

Thanks for your understanding and to everyone who’s offered words of encouragement and support! Trust me, I greatly appreciate it.

Silver in St. Louis: Unseen (by me) Blues Prototype Emerges

You probably know about the gonzo trumpet-themed uniforms that the Blues were going to wear until GM/coach Mike Keenan supposedly nixed them (although that story may be apocryphal). You might also be familiar with the original prototype jerseys that were worn by Blues execs Lynn Patrick and Sid Salomon III when the team’s NHL franchise was awarded in 1965 (here’s a color shot of the white jersey).

But it turns out that there’s another prototype Blues design floating around out there — one that I hadn’t known about until the Twitter account @STLBlueshistory recently posted something about it.

Let’s start with this: On Nov. 27, 1983, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an item about Blues then-owner Harry Ornest and his wife, Ruth:

Okay — a blue/silver color scheme with a design that includes the blue note and the Gateway Arch. What might that look like?


I suppose you could say that the design is vaguely similar to the one that the Blues eventually launched as an alternate uniform in 2008, although I suspect that’s more of a coincidence than a direct lineage:

The 1983 prototype was made by Liebe, the venerable St. Louis-based outfitter that still does lettering for many pro sports jerseys. And they still have the original sketch for the jersey stencil (click to enlarge):

According to @STLBlueshistory, the jersey never made it onto the ice because the silver color caused production problems. After that, Liebe stopped working with the Ornests.

I’d never seen or heard about any of this. Was I just asleep at the switch, or is this a genuine surprise to you serious hockey people out there? Either way, interesting stuff!

(My thanks to @mrmichael21 for bringing @STLBlueshistory’s tweet to my attention.)

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NBA and Nike give everyone a new round of leaks for Christmas The Thunder’s new “Earned” jersey (aka the Participation Trophy jersey) leaked yesterday, the first of what will presumably be a flood of similar leaks. According to this Thunder blog, the plan was for the team to debut this uniform on Christmas Day, but the opposing team — the Rockets — will be wearing red that day, so instead the OKC uni will debut on Dec. 30.

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Click to enlarge

That’s a long way from Miami: As you may be aware, Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura grew up in Japan, where he attended Meisei High School. His Wikipedia page has a photo of him in his Meisei uniform, which inexplicably features a variation on the Miami Marlins’ now-mothballed logo (the colors are slightly different).

What an odd logo choice! I did some quick photo research and found the white uniform version (click to enlarge):

Even weirder, I couldn’t find any evidence of the school’s baseball team wearing the Marlins-style logo. Instead, I found this:

Very strange!

(Big thanks to Gabriel Luis Manga for this one.)

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The one (1) and only: Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was named the AP’s College Player of the Year yesterday. According to Tulsa World beat writer Eric Bailey, if Murray follows that up by winning the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, he would be the first Heisman winner ever to wear No. 1.

Last year’s AP winner was also an Oklahoma quarterback: Baker Mayfield. He went on to win the Heisman, becoming the first Heisman honoree to wear No. 6 (which doesn’t have quite the same ring as being the first No. 1, eh?). When’s the last time two consecutive Heisman winners wore numbers that had never been Heisman-honored before?

(My thanks to Devon Kuckenbecker for bringing Bailey’s tweet to my attention.)

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Click to enlarge

Making book(s): Yesterday I wrote about the new Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney, which I attended last Sunday. In the gift shop, I was particularly amused by one of the items available for sale: a “book” of 192 $1 bills bound in a hardcover case — a riff on Warhol’s 192 One Dollar Bills painting. At the gift shop, the bound bills were priced at $384 (i.e., double their face value), and produced in a numbered edition of 192 “copies” (they’re not truly copies because they’re real bills and therefore have unique serial numbers). It’s all very clever, very pleasing, and very Warholian.

I noticed that the book was published by an operation called Catalog Press, which I’d never heard of before. Great name, though — I love catalogs! Fun logo, too. So when I got home I looked up their website.

It turns out that Catalog Press is the personal imprint of a 26-year-old artist/designer named Ben Denzer, who’s been creating all sorts of interesting things since he was a little boy growing up in Kansas City. For Catalog Press, he’s made a series of very clever limited-edition “books.” Some of them, like the book of dollar bills, consist of small, ordinary objects bound together into a book cover: 30 napkins from the Plaza Hotel, 20 packets of Splenda, 200 fortune cookie fortunes (that’s my favorite), 20 slices of American cheese (here’s a good article about how a copy of that book was acquired by the University of Michigan library), and 15 paperback books (very meta). Others are more traditional printed books but are unconventional in other ways, like a flip book of photos of a flip book of photos of a flip book of photos of a flip book (meta again, and quite brilliant) and a short essay printed with one word per page with each word in a different typeface. Very good stuff!

Catalog Press is just one of Denzer’s creative projects (you can see some of the others here). He seems like someone worth knowing, so I shot him a note. Heard back almost immediately — turns out he now lives in NYC, so we’re going to get together for a beer after the holidays. Can’t wait!

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News flash: People like cheap stuff that sounds cheap: In the week leading up to Cyber Monday, we reduced the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch Alternate Cap from $24.99 to $19.99. It worked — we sold a bunch of caps. Huzzah!

After Cyber Monday, we restored the price to $24.99. Sales pretty much went dead. Boo!

So then we offered free shipping, which was almost the same thing as bringing the price back to $19.99. Sales remained v-e-r-y slow. Double-boo!

Conclusion: People respond more to a low price point than to free shipping. So we’re gonna go back to that. As of today, the price is back down to $19.99. But you do have to pay for shipping. It’s more or less the same thing as $24.99 and free shipping, but it feels better to see that $19.99 price point, right? Or something like that. (And no, we can’t do the lower price and free shipping. Sorry.)

Incidentally, we’re now down to only about 20 of the L/XL caps. So if you want one, move fast. Order yours here.

Meanwhile: All of our fine Uni Watch products, including a few that you may have forgotten about, are listed on this one handy page.

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The Ticker
By Yianni Varonis

Baseball News: The Athletic has ranked every MLB uniform from worst to first. Here is part one, and here is part two (both paywalled). … The Double-A Mobile BayBears, who will be moving to Madison, Ala., unveiled a farewell logo.

Football News: The Browns donated a large sum of money to help a local school district provide uniforms to students who chronically miss class because they lack the appropriate attire. … Notre Dame will unveil its College Football Playoff uniform today. … Update: They’ve now unveiled it. … The College Football Hall of Fame has a display honoring the service academies with mannequins half-dressed in military formals, half-dressed in football uniforms (from James Gilbert). … Each week this season South Carolina released a video unveiling the uniform the team would be wearing. This article compiled each video and ranks them. … We already have the AAF and the XFL in the works, and now yet another new football league, called the FFL, plans to launch.

Hockey News: Blue Jackets HC John Tortorella looked like he was on an NFL sideline last night, coaching his team’s game in a hoodie (from Alan Kreit). … Wisconsin has unveiled a new third jersey (from local reporter Todd Milewski and Garrett Van Auken). … The Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL will pay tribute to the city’s professional hockey history with a new alternate uniform. … The Kings wore Lakers-themed warmup jerseys last night. … Here’s a review of the new book about the Islanders’ fisherman logo. That book was also featured in Paul’s recent holiday gift guide.

NBA News: The latest NBA2K 2019 patch will automatically add new uniforms and shoes and improve players’ likenesses, including more authentic faces as well as updates to their hair and tattoos.

College Hoops News: The logo for the 2020 Final Four in Atlanta was unveiled. … A few years ago, Paul wrote about the trend of some college basketball players rolling their waistbands. Catering to that trend, an apparel company created basketball shorts with waistbands meant to be rolled. … Both Iowa/Iowa State basketball games were color (or non-white)-vs.-color, as Iowa wore black at home for the women’s game and grey at home for the men’s game (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … This video tribute to Utah’s 1944 national championship team features actors dressed in era-appropriate uniforms (from @B_handy). … Fairfield wore throwbacks last night (from Mark Nemec).

Soccer News: Barcelona’s new home kit featuring an anomalous checkerboard pattern may have leaked, and fan response has been mixed. … The United Soccer League’s newest expansion team, Hartford Athletic, unveiled its crest yesterday (from multiple readers). … It was announced that North Texas Soccer Club would be the team name of FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate (from Josh Hinton). … This article discusses gambling advertising during soccer matches, including the fact that 60 percent of teams in England’s top two tiers have gambling company shirt sponsors. Could that be changing? (From Kevin Fox.) … THere’s a rumor that the Seattle Sounders may have a pink and black away kit in the works (from Markus Kamp).

Grab Bag: Here’s an in-depth and thoughtful opinion on why the Amtrak station in Philadelphia shouldn’t replace its mod flipboard sign with a digital version (from William Yurasko). … Here is a look at what high-end collectors wore at this year’s Fall Art and Design Fair in New York (NYT link). … Luxury brand Balmain has modernized its logo for the first time in nearly 70 years. … The Google logo went dark on Wednesday in honor of President George H.W. Bush. … The U.S. Army Futures Command, which was created this year with the aim of modernizing the Army, has a new shoulder patch. This article does a nice job of detailing the design elements. … Teachers at an Pennsylvania middle school unearthed a box containing an authentic World War I uniform that had been tucked away behind the auditorium. … The Colorado Mammoth, of the National Lacrosse League, introduced their “Lacrosse Out Cancer” uniforms (from Zeke Perez Jr.). … More lacrosse: New orange jerseys for the New England Black Wolves (from Pat Gregoire).

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night: My friend Carrie and I went out to a Caribbean joint last night for some jerk chicken, and then we went to the Brooklyn Museum, which is open late on Thursday nights (with free admission to boot). We wanted to see a big exhibit that recently opened there, called Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which looks at African American art from 1963 through 1983.

It’s fucking awesome. My favorite piece was the Malcolm X portrait shown above (called Black Prince), by Wadsworth Jarrell. If you take a closer look, you can see that it’s comprised of lettering, much like the sports calligrams by artist Dan Duffy. The exhibit had a similar (and similarly awesome) portrait of Angela Davis.

There were also lots of collages, photographs, illustrations, and sculptures. Here are a few that I particularly liked (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

You can see several dozen more pics here. The show, which I wholeheartedly recommend, is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through Feb. 3.

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Something’s gone wrong again: Word came down yesterday that Pete Shelley, frontman of the seminal UK pop-punk band the Buzzcocks, had died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 63. I don’t know much about Shelley except that he and his mates made some of the catchiest, most infectious rock music of the late ’70s. None of the music he made after that was particularly notable, at least to my ears, but the Buzzcocks’ early work still holds up four decades later.

I saw the Buzzcocks once, in the late 1980s. They were already past their prime and settling into the grind of being an oldies act, with little of the raw urgency you can hear in their early recordings, but the tunes were still great. Here are two of my favorites. R.I.P.