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Uni Watch History Lesson: The Mormon Yankees

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Reader Benji King recently told me something I hadn’t been aware of: From 1937 through 1961, missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints used basketball as a tool to share the gospel in Australia. These missionaries became known in Australia as the Mormon Yankees, and they regularly organized teams to play exhibitions against Australian squads. The Mormon Yankees team photo shown above is from 1960.

In 1956, when the Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne, the Mormon Yankees even helped prep the Australian national basketball team, so the Aussies wouldn’t be embarrassed on their home court. That story was the basis for a 2016 Australian movie called Spirit of the Game. I don’t recall hearing about it when it came out (I think it may not have gotten much distribution in the States except in Utah), but the trailer shows some interesting period uniforms:

I was intrigued (more by the history than by the movie), so I did a bit of digging and found lots of photos of the Mormon Yankees in uniform. Here they are, chronologically:



Note that for some reason these jerseys says “Yankee” (singular), not “Yankees.” Odd.


This is the showstopper — what a uniform! Wish we could see it in color.

Update: Shortly after today entry was published, reader Ronnie Poore responded to my request by sending me this colorization:

1959 (again)

The shorts in this 1959 shot are clearly different than the ones in the previous photo. Separate home and road designs, perhaps? Same socks, though.

Anyway, the kicker is that I found a 2009 photo showing some of these same players holding their warmup jackets, so we can get an idea of the colors. Interestingly (and very pleasingly), they’re green and yellow — the Australian national colors:


I’m repeating this photo from the top of the entry just to show that they appear to have stuck with the same hoop socks. Also, note that No. 10 was stuck with a non-matching jersey! Also-also, the ball looks very light-colored, possibly even white, but maybe it’s just the lighting.

1960 (again)

Another shot purportedly from 1960, but with a different uni design than the one shown in the previous photo.

I also found an undated shot with what appears to be the dark-jersey counterpart to this design:


No date for this one, but everything from the hairstyles to the uni lettering suggests that it’s older than any of the other photos shown in this entry. Really love the jersey design on this one.

Undated (again)

This is the only action shot I was able to find. No date, but the uniforms are similar to the ones shown in the movie:

The movie is set in 1956, so maybe that’s when the action shot is from.


Fascinating stuff — who knew? (Well, maybe some of you knew, but I didn’t.) If you want to learn more about the Mormon Yankees, look here, here, here, and here. And if you want to watch the movie Spirit of the Game, it’s available on Amazon Prime.

I leave you with this thought: How amazing would it be if the Utah Jazz wore Mormon Yankees throwbacks?

(Big thanks to Benji King for teaching me about this very interesting chapter in uniform history.)

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Stroke job: The new video by the Strokes features the band playing baseball (against a team of robots, for some reason) while wearing black tequila sunrise-style uniforms. I don’t think much of the song, but the uniforms are pretty good! Worth checking out.

(Thanks to all who shared.)

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Too good for the Ticker: There used to be a minor league baseball team called the Atlanta Crackers, as well as a Negro Leagues team nonsensically called the Atlanta Black Crackers. But I bet not a single player on those teams looked as good in uniform as the cracker shown above.

(Credit one of my favorite Facebook groups, Anthropomorphic Characters in Vintage Advertising, for this one.)

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ITEM! Headwear bonanza: As you may recall, last year I toyed with the idea of Uni Watch toques, but the prototype samples didn’t feel special enough, so I decided not to go ahead with the product (and ended up giving away the prototypes in last year’s year-end raffle). A few days ago, though, designer Bryan Molloy — the guy who designed our winged stirrup logo — surprised me with the sample shown above. I love it! The hoop stripes totally make it work, and I prefer it without the pom pom. Chef’s kiss!

This toque is available here. We’ll sell it throughout the winter, but here are two important things you need to know:

1. If you want it to arrive by Christmas, you must order by this Saturday, Dec. 5.

2. Today, and only today, you can get free shipping by using the checkout code UNICAP. I’m not posting this code on social media — it’s just for blog readers.

In addition, we have a bunch of new Color Remix caps available in a variety of autumn and Christmas color combos. Check these out:






Plus we’ve brought back most of the previous Color Remix caps. All of them are available here.

Same deal as with the toque: Order by this Saturday to ensure Christmas delivery, and you can get free shipping today, and only today, by using the checkout code UNICAP.

Meanwhile: Remember that we’re also taking pre-orders Uni Watch hockey and cycling jerseys.


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ITEM! Uni Watch magnets available again: Just got another batch of Uni Watch Winged Stirrup magnets (but none of the round ones, sorry). Perfect for sticking on your fridge, car, file cabinet, locker, or wherever.

Measurements: about 3″ x 3″. They’re thin and flexible, so they’ll conform to curved surfaces as well as flat ones.

I have 50 of these. Want one? Here’s the deal:

1. Price: $3 plus $1 for shipping. Limit two per person. (Shipping price is the same whether you buy one magnet or two.)

2. Send me the proper amount via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (, or Google Pay ( If you’d rather use Apple Pay or a paper check, contact me and I’ll give you the info you need. Sorry, no PayPal.

3. After sending payment, email me with your mailing address.

4. If you’re outside of the USA, contact me so I can calculate the shipping charge and arrange an alternate form of payment for you.

5. If you want to combine your purchase with an order for a Uni Watch trading card, a seam ripper, a koozie, or a chain-stitched patch, please email me and I’ll give you a price that includes a combined shipping fee for the whole shebang. (Sorry, these are the only Uni Watch items I can combine into one shipment, because our other items ship from separate locations, not from Uni Watch HQ.)

That’s it. Thanks!

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ITEM! NYT raffle: My digital subscription to The New York Times allows me to grant access to two additional people. One of those bonus subscriptions goes to the Tugboat Captain, and every six months I give the gift of journalism to a Uni Watch reader by raffling off the other bonus subscription. The last winner’s six months have run out, so it’s time to to raffle off another six-month term.

This will be a one-day raffle. Ideally, I’d like this to go to someone who can’t afford NYT access on their own, or a teacher who’ll use the account for educational purposes, although that’s a preference, not a rule. To enter, send an email to the raffle in-box by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck!

Meanwhile, the three winners of yesterday’s koozie raffle are Wes Muniz, Dustin Sullivan, and Matt Mosca. Congrats to them, and thanks to Bob Novotny for sponsoring that one.

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Pin Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s design for December, featuring our winged stirrup repurposed as a holiday stocking overflowing with gifts, is now available.

This is a limited edition of 200. As of this morning, after two days of sales, there were 51 left. You know what to do.

Also, important: People who’ve collected all 12 monthly pins are eligible to get our Uni Watch Pin Club 2020 All-Star pin as a free bonus. If you qualify, you can claim your prize by emailing me with (a) your mailing address and (b) some combination of photographic evidence and/or receipts. For example, if you order the December pin today, you could send me a photo of the 11 pins you’ve already received plus your email from Teespring confirming that you ordered the December pin. Or you could wait until the December pin arrives and take a photo of all 12 pins. Or you can simply go to “My Purchases” in your Teespring account and take a screen shot of that. As long as you can prove that you collected ’em all, that’s what I’m looking for. Thanks!

Also: If you want a 2020 Press Pin, there are now just five remaining.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Thousands of students and alumni at Shawnee Mission North High School in Kansas have signed a petition calling on the school to stop calling its teams the Indians (from Kary Klismet). … MLB’s Atlanta Braves are apparently launching a new merch line featuring the language of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (from Travis Highfield). … Bountiful High School in Utah will no longer call its teams the Braves (from Christopher Jones). … The CFL’s Edmonton Football Team, formerly the Eskimos, has released a list of 10 most popular fan submissions for the team’s new name, all of which start with the letter E. “The team has ruled out using ‘Empire,’ although it made the top 10,” says Wade Heidt (who’s on record as rooting for “Elks”). … Here’s a weird one: While other teams are moving away from using Native imagery, the SPHL’s Knoxville Ice Bears will wear Knoxville Cherokees throwbacks for Thursday home games this season. The Cherokees were an ECHL team that played from 1988-1997 (from Taylor Crabtree).

Working Class Wannabes™: An article about Indiana offensive lineman Luke Haggard says he has a “blue-collar approach.” … An article about NHL uniforms says the Islanders “are more of a blue collar team anyway, so it feels fitting that their jerseys aren’t overly fancy” (from Phil and @labflyer). … A high school football coach in Oklahoma says one of his team’s opponents “is a tough, blue-collar team.” … New York Giants defensive back Logan Ryan says, “I’m proud of this blue-collar chip on our shoulder that we have.” … An article about Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce says, “Kelce, with his long hair, long beard and flannel shirts, looks like a lumberjack and he fits the image of a tough, blue-collar lineman.” … An article about a new writer for Prep Baseball report says that he “prides himself on consistency, dedication and a blue collar work ethic.” … An article about Virginia Tech basketball coach Mike Young says that “there’s nothing more Hokie than a guy that wants to get the hell home and celebrate a blue collar win with a cold beer.” … Tennessee associate basketball coach Mike Schwartz says one of his new players brings “extreme blue-collar toughness” to the team. … An article about last weekend’s U. of Georgia football game says running back Zamir White gave “another blue-collar effort.” … An article about the Nebraska football team says, “If the last couple of days have taught us anything, it is that the blue-collar players may be a better option for the program in terms of recruiting direction.”

Baseball News: Yesterday I mentioned a paywalled Sports Business Journal article that talked about MLB’s continuing exploration of uniform ads, but I couldn’t link to the article. Now I can, and I definitely recommend reading it. As I suspected, it suggests that MLB uni ads are unlikely to happen in 2021, but 2022 is a real possibility (big thanks to Scott Musa and John Gogarty). … Here are the inaugural logos for the Columbus (Ga.) Chatt-a-Hoots, a college wood-bat team that will begin play in the Sunbelt League this summer (from Jack Patterson). … Free agent P Sean Gilmartin, uni-notable for his excellent stirrup stylings with the Mets, Orioles, and Rays, now has a new sartorial distinction: He refused to wear a mask yesterday, despite a rule requiring him to do so, during a news conference held by his wife, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. … If you have a spare 20 grand burning a hole in your pocket, there’s a genuine 1990s Brewers racing sausage costume looking for a taker (from @kreeke39).

NFL News: The Bills are apparently going with white facemasks, instead of their usual grey, for Monday night’s game against the 49ers (from Steve Schiefer). … Here’s former NFL QB Kurt Warner talking about his Iowa Barnstormers uniform from his old arena football days (from K.C. Kless). … The Steelers finally wore their mono-black alternates yesterday against the Ravens. The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving but was then moved to Sunday Tuesday yesterday due to the Ravens’ Covid outbreak. … The Titans will go mono-blue this Sunday (from Trevor Williams, who also notes that “Code Blue” indicates an emergency within a hospital — maybe not the best wording to promote a uni combo, especially in 2020).

College Football News: UNC punter Ben Kiernan, who’s from Ireland, wore “Comhionnanas” — that’s Irish for “Equality” — as his NOB last weekend (from James Gilbert). … Also from James: Here’s a video of UNC coach Mack Brown talking about how the team’s uni combos and nameplate messages are chosen. … Here’s a deep dive on the development of SMU’s “Unity” social justice patch (from Kary Klismet). … Blackout uni this weekend for Iowa State (from Chad Lehman).

Hockey News: The NWHL has a commemorative logo for next season, which is being played in a bubble at Lake Placid (thanks, Jamie). … The Wild’s Twitter account posted a wallpaper design featuring a new team wordmark yesterday. Remains to be seen how else, if at all, it will be used (from Nas Leafeon). … Here’s a 1994 video clip that shows some uniform and logo concepts that the Sabres were considering for their then-upcoming move to their new arena (from Mike Monaghan).

NBA News: The Rockets’ incredibly boring City alternate, which leaked a few days ago, has now been officially unveiled. … Lots more NBA uni number news on Ettienne Catalan’s Twitter feed.

College and High School Hoops News: New uniforms for the girls’ team at Mitchell High in North Carolina (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: New Mexico State unveiled their championship rings for winning last season’s WAC championship. … New home whites for Oregon (from Jakob Fox).

Soccer News: Diego Maradona’s son would like all the teams that his late father played for to retire his number (thanks, Anthony). … Here’s an old Adidas kit catalog, in Spanish, promoting their 1994 World Cup teams (from Germán Cabrejo). … Renderings have been unveiled of the winning design for a new 63,000-seat soccer stadium in Dalian, China, that will host matches for the 2023 Asian Cup tournament, and also for the new stadium for St. Louis’s MLS expansion franchise (both from Kary Klismet).

Grab Bag: A native of Albany, N.Y., has proposed a new flag for the city, citing the current flag’s association with Dutch slave-trading, white supremacist groups, and generally bad design (from Joe Makowiec). … A Japanese man was arrested for stealing a high school girl’s uniform from her locker room. … New logo for German car maker Opel. … Tennis pro Roger Federer has reacquired his “RF” logo for use by Uniqlo (thanks, Brinke). … The Jamaican Ministry of Culture is holding a logo-design contest to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the nation’s independence. … The Scottish netball team and the Strathclyde Sirens, the Scottish franchise in the UK’s Netball Superleague, are now being outfitted by Nike (thanks, Jamie). … New logo for the Women’s Tennis Association (from Kary Klismet). … New package designs for Pringles, with mascot Mr. Pringle also getting a “new range of emotions” (from Timmy Donahue). … The navy in India is getting new camouflage uniforms. … Taiwan has introduced a new logo to inform customers if restaurants and other businesses are using domestically produced pork, and the logo is so good! Additional info here.

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NBA Uni Barrage Brings Still More Unveilings and Leaks

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but yesterday was another big day for the NBA uni-verse, as several teams unveiled new uniforms and court designs, another team’s new design leaked, and we got our first on-the-record info about this season’s Earned designs.

Let’s go one team at a time (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):

Miami Heat

This one — their latest and supposedly final Miami Vice-inspired design — had already leaked, but now it’s official. I will confess that I love the name they’ve given it: Vice Versa. That’s clever!

Yes, it looks ridiculous (and the black basketball doesn’t help). Does that even matter anymore for this team? They’ve embraced the Vice thing so hard that they should just change the team name from Heat to Vice. Would anyone notice? I wouldn’t exactly call this uniform “good,” but I’d say it takes everything this team has been doing to its logical destination. So while it may not be “good,” at least it makes a certain kind of sense, which is more than I can say for most of the City uniforms.

This one inspired a lot of jokes on social media. Here’s the best one I saw:

They’ve also unveiled a new court design to go along with the uni:

Additional photos and info here.


Indiana Pacers

Not bad. I’m not a big fan of pinstripes on basketball uniforms (why accentuate the vertical with athletes who are already eleventeen feet tall?), but at least the Pacers have a history with that design element, as these new uniforms are basically a royal blue version of the old Reggie Miller-era pinstripes. At least you can immediately tell at a glance which team this one is for, which is more than you can say for most of the City alternates. Additional photos/info here.


Milwaukee Bucks

It’s blue and flow-y — like Lake Michigan, get it? Right, me neither. Looks like a cross between the worst uni in pre-Nike NBA history and the Islanders’ fisherman/seasick design. Seriously, could that chest lettering possibly be less inspired?

Also: According to the team, “The numbers on the jersey are treated with a special coating that will reflect the light in a way that gives the illusion that the numbers themselves are wet.” That appears to be a boast, not an apology.

Speaking of the numbers: When this design purportedly leaked via a shirsey a month ago, the numbers had a Greek-style marble pattern that was widely interpreted as a goodwill gesture toward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since that design element didn’t make the cut, reader Caleb Gerbitz asks, “Could it be that this detail provides insight into the Bucks’ confidence (or lack thereof) that Giannis will sign his supermax contract extension?” Hmmmm.

On the plus side, the jersey collar has three different shades of blue, but they managed not to invoke the term “blue collar” in any of the promo text. For this I offer my sincere thanks to all involved. Additional photos and very silly info here.


Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks already unveiled their Martin Luther King-themed City alternates two months ago. But they hadn’t revealed the accompanying court design, shown above, until yesterday. Here’s a close-up of the stained-glass motif they’re using at center court, which is meant to reference the windows at the Ebenezer Baptist Church:

Nicely done. Additional info here.


Minnesota Timberwolves

Unlike all the other items shown in this post, which are legit releases, this one is a leak (from Brazilian leakmeister Igor Coelho, of course). It feels sooooo characterless and nondescript to me, like something that might be used in a high school all-star game, plus it continues the Timberwolves’ unfortunate habit of depicting the North Star in neon green (just like in real life!).

But aside from that, it’s great. Official release supposedly coming tomorrow, at which point we can laugh/cringe at the marketingspeak.


So that’s what came out yesterday. But there was also an interesting tidbit of news about the upcoming season’s Earned Edition uniforms.

First, some quick background: The Earned uniforms debuted in the 2018-19 season as some extra retail slop a bonus uniform for teams that made the playoffs the previous season (a pretty low bar, considering that more than half of the league’s 30 teams qualify for the postseason each year). Then they scrapped the Earned program last season, but word has been circulating for a while now that they’re bringing it back for the upcoming season. It all feels like a very odd on-again/off-again routine.

So: Heat exec Michael McCullough described this season’s Earned program in a Miami Herald article yesterday. Here’s the key passage:

[T]he Heat will release another new look later this season as part of the Nike Earned Edition uniforms for teams that made the playoffs last season. That Heat uniform is expected to be released in late spring.

“The Earned Edition campaign really kind of flows from Nike,” McCullough said. “They talk to the teams about what the possibilities are. This year’s Earned uniform, what they wanted every team to do … is really kind of take one of your existing team colors and play with that, basically. Make it hyper this or really play up this aspect of your team colors. What you’ll see from us this year for our Earned uniform is something that stays along those lines, as far as taking an existing team color and playing with it. We’ve taken a color that we haven’t used a lot of and haven’t focused on a lot, and created something that we’re really excited about for Earned.”

McCullough’s statements about the color-based aspect of this season’s Earned program match up with what a source recently told me. At least that means this slate of uniforms will be in team colors, which is more than we can say for many of the City designs.

McCullough also had this to say about the Heat’s various Vice uniforms: “You’ll see, hopefully coming down the road, an opportunity for us to give these uniforms more life so they don’t just have the shelf life of a season and they go away. I think you’ll see that.” It’s not clear, though, whether he was referring exclusively to the Heat’s Vice alternates or to the City alternates throughout the league.

(My thanks to @livensleazy for pointing me toward that Miami Herald article.)

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Rut-roh: After what we’ve all gone through this year, the 2019 MLB season seems like ages ago. But as you may dimly recall, the Yankees and Red Sox wore Biofreeze and Mitel ads on their sleeves and helmets for their two-game series in London that year, and the Reds and Cardinals wore Ford ads on their helmets for their games in Mexico. Those were in keeping with a two-decade-long trend of MLB teams wearing uni ads for games outside of the United States and Canada.

Now Sports Business Journal’s Terry Lefton — a very solid reporter — is reporting that MLB is exploring plans for putting ads on sleeves and helmets on a more regular basis. Lefton’s article is paywalled, but his colleague Mark Burns provided a quick summary:

This isn’t the first time that MLB uni ads have been discussed. Lefton himself reported in 2019 that ads on jersey sleeves (but not helmets) were considered likely for 2022, and back in July it briefly looked like uni ads might happen as a stopgap revenue move for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season (although that ended up not happening, thankfully). But just because the idea isn’t new doesn’t mean it’s any less appalling.

Since I can’t read Lefton’s paywalled article, it’s not clear to me what MLB’s timeline is here, but I’m assuming they’re still looking at this for 2022, when the owners and the union will have to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Adding uni ads in 2021 would require some sort of concession by ownership in order to get the union to go along with it.

If anyone knows more about all of this — details about the marketing agencies that are involved, details about pricing, potential sponsors advertisers, etc. — feel free to drop me a line. I’m all ears.

(My thanks to @bryant_rf, who was the first to alert me to Lefton’s article.)

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All wet: Navy yesterday unveiled their uniform for this year’s Army/Navy game (additional info here). Aside from the design, what caught Nathan Haas’s eye is that the unveiling video, shown above, takes place in water.

Okay, so the Navy is, by definition, about water. But Nathan notes that this unveiling is part of a trend of water-based college football uniform unveiling videos. Here, for example, are the unveiling vids for Appalachian State, West Virginia, and FAU:

Note that two of those schools are outfitted by Nike and one by Adidas — and now Navy, which is outfitted by Under Armour, has also gone with an aquatic unveiling. So all three of the major uni manufacturers have embraced this trend.

I have a vague feeling that there are some other schools we may be missing — anyone..? More importantly, what’s the deal with this bizarre trope?

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ITEM! Koozie raffle: Reader Bob Novotny has generously purchased three koozies for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

This will be a one-day raffle. USA entries only. To enter, send an email with your mailing address to the raffle in-box by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the three winners tomorrow. Big thanks to Bob for sponsoring this one.

As for yesterday’s membership raffle, the five winners are Jeff Proctor, Ryan Feuerstein, Dustin Jensen, Mark Sanders, and Kristopher Stahr. Congrats to them, and let’s have a standing O for reader Bert Ayers, who provided a total of 10 memberships for me to give away this week. Thanks, Bert!

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ITEM! Holiday items: As you can see above, we now have Uni Watch Color Remix shirts available in new holiday-themed designs, plus I figured I’d remind you that our Ugly Sweater T-shirt is also a available. (For those asking about new Color Remix caps: We should have those available tomorrow.)

All three of these come in long-sleeved and hoodie versions. Here’s where you can find the green/red Remix, the red/green Remix, and the Ugly Sweater.

While we’re at it:

• The Uni Watch Classic Cap is currently selling at 10% off its usual price. We have all fitted sizes in stock, as well as the adjustable strapback version. Available here.

• We’re currently taking pre-orders on another round of Uni Watch hockey and cycling jerseys, all of which can be customized with your choice of number and NOB. Full details here.

• The rest of our Uni Watch merchandise is listed here.

Thanks, as always, for your consideration and support. It means a lot, really!

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Pin Club reminder: In case you missed it on Tuesday, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s design for December, featuring our winged stirrup repurposed as a holiday stocking overflowing with gifts, is now available.

This is a limited edition of 200. As of this morning, after one day of sales, there were 72 left. You know what to do.

Also, important: People who’ve collected all 12 monthly pins are eligible to get our Uni Watch Pin Club 2020 All-Star pin as a free bonus. If you qualify, you can claim your prize by emailing me with (a) your mailing address and (b) some combination of photographic evidence and/or receipts. For example, if you order the December pin today, you could send me a photo of the 11 pins you’ve already received plus your email from Teespring confirming that you ordered the December pin. Or you could wait until the December pin arrives and take a photo of all 12 pins. Or you can simply go to “My Purchases” in your Teespring account and take a screen shot of that. As long as you can prove that you collected ’em all, that’s what I’m looking for. Thanks!

As long as we’re talking about pins, here are some inventory numbers on a few pins that we’re running low on:

2020 Press Pin: Fewer than 10 remaining.

November pin (turkey carrying football): Fewer than 20 remaining.

July pin (bobblehead): Fewer than 30 remaining.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that the Pin Club will continue in 2021. The January and February designs are already in production, and Todd and I have lots of good ideas for the rest of the year that I think you’ll really enjoy. Stay tuned, and thanks for your support of this project!

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Signal flare: Longtime reader and all-around swell guy Jason Von Stein has an unusual request: He’s seeking our 2019 Purple Amnesty Day shirt — the purple tequila sunrise design — in size Small.

This was a one-day product offering, so it’s no longer available. But if anyone out there has a Small shirt that they’d be willing to sell or trade, and if you’d like to help out a fellow member of the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty, go ahead and contact Jason. Here’s hoping it works out!

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: New logo for the American Association (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: MLB reimagined some of its teams as NFL teams. … One more from Kary: The Orem Owlz of the independent Pioneer League are moving to Windsor, Colo., for the 2021 season, where they will compete in a new stadium being built as part of a multi-sports complex. … Here’s some great 1965 footage of Howard Cosell describing the then-new Astrodome (from Bruce Menard).

Football News: Air Force will go mono-white this week. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: MLB reimagined some of its teams as NFL teams (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: More NHL teams are releasing views of their full Reverse Retro uniforms — not just the jerseys — including the Predators, Panthers, and Golden Knights (from Wade Heidt and @Tileeom). … New fifth-season logo for the Tucson Roadrunners.

Basketball News: Tons of uni number news on Etienne Catalan’s Twitter feed. … New social justice patch for Northwestern (from Ross Drucker). … Kentucky and Kansas wore trackers sewn into their jerseys last night to collect data about how far each player was from another during the game. The data will be used in contact tracing should a Covid-19 outbreak happen on the court (from Eric Farrell). … Not much contrast in last night’s ECU/NC Wesleyan game, as the teams went white vs. Vegas gold (from Will Wyss).

Soccer News: The Chinese Football Association will remove company names from team names (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: New 120th-anniversary shirt for Italian side Sampdoria. … The Montreal Impact will change their name to Montreal FC (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: Here’s how Bevo, the University of Texas’s mascot, got its name (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Luna Ross Prada Pirelli sailing team from Auckland, New Zealand, has unveiled its uniforms for the 36th America’s Cup in March 2021. … A Virginia-based brewery has come up with a Virginia Tech-themed beer (from Andrew Cosentino). … Residents of Pelham, Ga., are demanding that police immediately remove patches that have an old city logo — changed in 2018 — featuring Confederate imagery. The local police chief says the old patches are being phased out as new uniforms replace them (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: U.S. Marines are getting new cold-weather boots. … One more from Timmy: The Naval Academy’s cobbler has retired after 53 years. … Did you know McDonald’s has a style guide for their various mascot characters? They do, and it’s fascinating (from @NerdDadAz). … International cricket umpire Bruce Oxenford protects himself from wayward balls with an arm-mounted shield (from Ash Norris). … Fashion designer Ralph Lauren can’t stop ripping off military attire (from Tom Turner).

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What Paul did last night: If you look closely, you can see a bicyclist going by (that red blur at center-left is his rear bike light). I like how he looks like a ghost!

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — now 260 of them — here.

Nike Quietly Debuts New NFL Uni Template on ‘MNF’

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Now then: Notice anything different about this photo (shown above, I hope!) of Seahawks safety Jamal Adams from last night’s game against the Eagles?

Adams was one of at least three Seattle players who were wearing an updated Nike tailoring template that, to my knowledge, had never been worn before in an NFL game. The telltale giveaway is the design at the base of the collar, although there are other differences. Here’s a comparison — old template on top, new on bottom:

It’s interesting that the new version has more seams. That doesn’t necessarily bother me from a visual perspective, but I thought one of the big selling points of the old/current template was that it had so few seams.

The new collar treatment, however, does bother me. I really liked the little triangle treatment for the NFL logo — simple, understated, quiet. The new winged/cowcatcher treatment calls too much attention to itself. Pfeh.

I found photos of two other Seahawks wearing the new template last night — linebacker Bobby Wagner and wide receiver DK Metcalf (who, as an aside, wears No. 14, which somehow feels like the least wide receiver-y number):

While this template — technically known as the Vapor Fusion design, while the older version is the Vapor Untouchable — is new to the NFL, it is not new to the football field. Nike’s favorite guinea pig, Oregon, began wearing it last season and has continued doing so this year:

All of this is similar to how the Untouchable template was introduced to the NFL in a gradual manner. First Oregon wore it at the end of the 2015 season in the Alamo Bowl. Then it made its NFL debut a few weeks later in the 2016 Pro Bowl. Then it was used for a bunch of Color Rash uniforms in the 2016 regular season, plus I believe a few select players also wore it for their primary uniforms (just like the Seattle players last night). Then more examples of it began surfacing at the NFL draft and in subsequent rookie photo shoots. And then it was finally rolled out for the majority of NFL teams in 2017. I’ve been hearing through the grapevine that a new template is likely on the way for next season, and last night’s sightings would seem to confirm that things are indeed moving in that direction.

Meanwhile, the Colts and Ravens still use the now-ancient Elite 51 template (but without the accursed Nikelace, thankfully), and the Packers, somewhat incredibly, have eschewed all of Nike’s offerings and still use the old Reebok tailoring and fabric. It remains to be seen whether those three teams will upgrade or stick with what they have.

(My thanks to Clifford Baxter and Garrett Beatty, who were the first to spot the new Seahawks jerseys.)

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ITEM! December Pin Club launch: As we enter the final month of this very difficult year, designer Todd Radom and I wanted to strike a happy note for the winter holidays. Transforming our winged stirrup into a stocking overflowing with stocking-stuffers, with a wreath to boot, seemed like the right way to go. You can order it here.

This is a limited edition of 200. Like all of the Pin Club releases, each pin is individually numbered on the back:

Also: As I’ve been mentioning all year, people who collect all 12 monthly pins will receive a Uni Watch Pin Club 2020 All-Star pin as a free bonus. Here’s what that pin will look like:

Important: We haven’t yet had these All-Star pins manufactured because we need to know how many to make. That’s where you come in. Here’s the deal:

• If you’ve ordered all 12 pins — including the December design that’s launching today — please prove it by emailing me with some combination of photographic evidence and/or receipts. For example, if you order the December pin today, you could send me a photo of the 11 pins you’ve already received plus your email from Teespring confirming that you ordered the December pin. Or you could wait until the December pin arrives and take a photo of all 12 pins. Or you can simply go to “My Purchases” in your Teespring account and take a screen shot of that. As long as you can prove that you collected ’em all, that’s what I’m looking for.

• That email should also include your shipping address, so we know where to send the bonus pin.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that the Pin Club will continue in 2021. The January and February designs are already in production, and Todd and I have lots of good ideas for the rest of the year that I think you’ll really enjoy. Stay tuned, and thanks for your support of this project!

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NBA update: S-word.

(Thanks to Brazilian leakmeister @camisasdanba, aka Igor Coelho, for his latest scoop.)

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Too good weird for the Ticker: As you can see above, Duquesne guard Tavian Dunn-Martin wears No. 8. But wait a minute — 8 isn’t a legal number in college hoops, so what gives?

Here’s the deal: That isn’t an 8. Dunn-Martin actually wears No. 0, but Duquesne is using an eccentric number font that makes a 0 look like an 8. Here’s how it looks on a few of Dunn-Martin’s teammates, and also on graphic that the team posted on Twitter:

So strange! I’m fairly certain that people are going to be emailing/tweeting me about this one all season long.

(Big thanks to Colton Homan for bringing this one to my attention.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Welcome to December! Just 24 shopping days until Christmas! Leading off is this set of great-looking 1960s Green Bay Packers prints, which were a promo from Mobil gas stations. The size is 11″ x 14″. You get eight prints in this set from artist Bruce Bamberger. It would be perfect to put under your tree.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• This eBay auction is for a set of eight 1940s Dodgers/Yankees/Red Sox scoresheets. Check out the advertising: “Avoid ‘5 O’Clock Shadow’ — GEM Blades.”

• Look at the logos on this 1950s NHL Original Six 8″ cloth patch, from the Toronto Star Weekly.

• Kids, this is how they made sneakers back in the late 1960s and early ’70s, as seen in this auction for a pair of Pete Maravich Keds sneakers. Cushioning? Who needs it?

• Does anybody really know what time it is? You will with this nifty 1960s Roman Gabriel watch. Someone cleverly noticed that there are 12 letters in his name, so let’s just use those on the watch face instead of the numbers, right? Also notice the Rams helmet on the packaging. The seller says this has never been out of the box.  

• This auction is for the box only of a 1920s Reach American League baseball. I love the text on the box: “The Official Ball of the World’s Series,” and “I Certify That This Ball Is Identically the Same as Furnished the American League, Of Which I Am President” — signed E.S. Barnard. Ol’ E.S. was A.L. president from 1927 until his death in 1931. 

• This matchbook advertises the Henri Richard Brasserie, where they served “Bonne Cuisine!”

• Pepsi was your sponsor for this 1977 set of Pete Rose playing cards.

• If you’re wearing this shirt, it’s pretty clear that the San Diego Chargers and John Hadl are your favorite team and quarterback.

• Not quite sure what an MLB Action Cartridge is. Looks like you popped little film cartridges in, and then this hand-held player showed them on the wall like a little movie projector, but I’m just guessing on that. Whatever it is, this one features the Cubs, Tom Seaver, and Hank Aaron.

• For some reason, this DIY New York Jets helmet buggy sports a reversed Jets logo.

Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? Tweet submissions to @brinkeguthrie

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ITEM! Second part of insane membership raffle: Yesterday we raffled off five memberships that were donated by longtime reader Bert Ayers. Today we’re raffling off another five memberships from him.

No entry restrictions on today’s five prizes. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the five winners tomorrow. Please join me in thanking Bert for doing this!

As for yesterday’s membership raffle, the five winners are Evan Friednash, Erik Papke, Zeke Perez, Dan Bodurtha, and Greg Morrison. Congrats, guys!

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Merch reminders: In case you missed it last week, we’re once again taking pre-orders for another round of Uni Watch hockey jerseys, tequila sunrise cycling jerseys, and Tour de Uni cycling jerseys — all available with your choice of number and NOB.

You’ll need to get your order in by Dec. 11, and they should arrive by mid-January. (Sorry, too late for Christmas delivery — mea culpa on that.) Full details here.

And as long as we’re talking merchandise, keep the following points in mind:

• The Uni Watch Classic Cap, which normally costs $39.99, is now only $35.99 — a 10% break. All fitted sizes are currently in stock, along with the adjustable strapbacks.

• I’ve also reduced the price of Uni Watch trading cards. Full details here.

• You can see our full range of merch offerings here.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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Culinary Corner: As I’ve occasionally mentioned in the past, I’m a big fan of the “Will it waffle?” school of kitchen experimentation. And one thing that will definitely waffle is leftover Thanksgiving stuffing, so that’s what I had last night.

But! Not all stuffing is created equal — some is semi-solid, some is crumbly. Ours this year was more of the crumbly variety, and it had gotten a bit more dried-out in the fridge over the last few post-Thanksgiving days, so I figured it’d be good to have a binder to help hold it together in the waffle iron.

I started by beating an egg in a bowl. Then I added a bunch of our leftover gravy and swirled it around with the egg. Then I added a bunch of our leftover stuffing, mixed everything so it was moist, and popped it in the waffle iron. As you can see above, it came out really well, and tasted even better than it looked. So good!

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: MLB announced yesterday that it is creating a five-team “draft league” next summer for college draft-eligible players. They also unveiled the logos for the five teams (from our own Anthony Emerson). … The Triple-A Charlotte Knights are renting out luxury suites in their home ballpark to anyone who wants to change up their work-from-home routine for a day (from James Gilbert). … Yesterday was glove day for the Oregon softball team (from Timmy Donahue). … The Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate moved from New Orleans to Wichita ahead of last season. But after the pandemic wiped out the MiLB season in 2020, the team may get demoted to Double-A before ever throwing a pitch in Wichita (from @PhillyPartTwo).

Football News: This is waaaay too satisfying: Check out how the Chiefs and Bucs logos lined up atop PTI’s rundown graphic (from Mike New). … Assumption University in Massachusetts has renamed its stadium after alumnus and current Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly (from Kary Klismet). … Navy is slated to unveil its uniforms today for its game against Army (from Timmy Donahue). … The ridiculously named Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl has been canceled (from Ignacio Salazar). … The Clemson Uniform Tracker has been updated from this weekend. … Reader Jason Walker was watching Missouri high school football championships and noticed one team, Raymore-Peculiar, was wearing uniforms with a maker’s mark he didn’t recognize. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before either — anyone know more?

Hockey News: The Stars unveiled their full Reverse Retro uniform — not just the jersey — in a video yesterday, which shows the white jersey paired with white pants, gloves and helmets. … Devils blog Pucks and Pitchforks has released its all-time rankings of the team’s uniforms (from Kary Klismet). … We had several unveilings from the National Women’s Hockey League yesterday: New uniforms for the Metropolitan Riveters, the Connecticut Whale, and the Minnesota Whitecaps (thanks to all who shared). … The club hockey team at Air Force has some pretty slick sweaters (from Ryan Black).

NBA News: Here’s more info on the fonts used in that Cavs’ “ransom-note” City jersey that leaked the other day (from Mace Adams and @WesHappy). … The Pistons’ new hype video for the upcoming season features a new team slogan and logo with the city’s area code — 313 (from @MMMMBLT). … For the latest in NBA number assignments, check out Etienne Catalan’s Twitter feed. … This timelapse showing an artist making a LeBron James clay figurine is captivating (from Paul Friedmann). … Speaking of LeBron, hard to imagine him wearing a number other than 23 or 6, but as a freshman in high school, he wore 32 (from William Henry). … The Timberwolves are hinting that their new alternate uni will be unveiled on Thursday.

College Hoops: Samford’s players wore several distinct NOB styles this weekend (from Clint Richardson). … Steph Curry now has his own brand under Under Armour’s umbrella, and Davidson — where Curry played in college — is now wearing that brand logo as their maker’s mark (from Andrew Hayes). … Latest anti-Covid measure: Louisville has installed hockey-style glass in its arena, to protect the fans and players from each other (from @ezbutton11). … LSU wore purple at home last night, with Southeastern Louisiana wearing grey (from Chris Mycoskie). … Good example of bad design: Stanford’s red jersey typography is practically invisible on the team’s black jerseys (from Griffin Smith). … Liberty is using drop-down NOBs — and clownishly huge numbers — this season (from Nute Thompson).

Soccer News: Couple of notes from our own Jamie Rathjen: Scottish women’s team Glasgow City are adding the name of a charity, Scottish Women’s Aid, to their shirts next weekend, and Torino of Italy’s Serie A wore one-off jerseys last night because their advertiser, Suzuki, won the MotoGP team championship. … Romania has unveiled the kits they will wear in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (from Germán Cabrejo). … Right up Paul’s alley: The Tampa Bay Rowdies once had a green-and-gold hoop-striped sock mascot named Hoops! (From Tommy Gough). … New home shirt for St. Pauli (from Ed Zelaski).

Grab Bag: The logo for the 2021 Indy 500 has been unveiled (from Paul Davis and Brandon Wheatkings). … The Biden administration inauguration logo has been unveiled (from our own Anthony Emerson). … Indiana University Fort Wayne is asking for public input in choosing a new team name after its predecessor, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, split into two distinct institutions (from Kary Klismet). … New police badge design for the Argyle Police Department in Texas (from Timmy Donahue). … Fascinating story about college cheerleaders — among the few NCAA athletes allowed to make money on their own likeness (NYT link). … New NASCAR/football jersey crossover from Luis Fernando, this time for Bill Elliott. … Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump did a bit on CNN yesterday from his home, which is decorated with a gym scoreboard (from Brett Baker). … A boy in England was told that his Adidas-brand Covid mask is against his school’s uniform policy. … Cricket Australia’s Indigenous T20 kit now comes in a long-sleeve version (from Jeremy Brahm).

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What Paul did last night: As you can see, our neighbor Willie (or maybe Willy — I’m not sure how he spells it), who lives across the street and one house to the right, has put up his holiday lights. It looks better from the porch than it does in this photo — very festive!

The people who live directly across the street are observant Jews, and the ones who live to the left of that house are a mix of Orthodox Jews and Muslims, so Willie’s lights are probably the only ones you’ll be seeing in my Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos over the next month or so. Our own house will likely get some lights (our landlords usually put them up in early December), although I’m not sure if they’ll be visible in the PPC™ pics. Wait and see!

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — now more than 250 of them — here.

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Please join me in wishing the happiest of birthdays to our own Anthony Emerson, who produces the Tickers that run on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoy your special day, Anthony! — Paul

Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be safe and well (and where two inhabitants are super-stuffed on Thanksgiving leftovers). Hope your long holiday weekend was a good one.

Now then: Major missed opportunity yesterday in Buffalo, as the Bills wore their white throwbacks, setting up what would have been a very visually pleasing AFL-style uni matchup against the Chargers — who, as you can see above, inexplicably opted to wear their mono-navy alternates instead.

This is essentially the same thing that happened in Vegas three weeks earlier, when the Raiders wore their silver-numbered white throwback jerseys while the Chargers inexplicably went mono-navy. Obviously, the Bolts get high marks for their new primary uniforms this season, but they’ve also scuttled what would have been some great de facto AFL throwback games. Disappointing.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Bengals wore their mono-white alternates:

• The Browns went mono-white for the first time with their new uni set, while the Jags countered with mono-black:

• The Falcons went mono-black as well:

• Here we are in Week 12 and Patriots center David Andrews is still wearing last year’s number and NOB fonts:

If nothing else, I guess this means nobody has arranged a jersey swap with Andrews this season, because he’s still wearing the same jersey he started the season with.

• Cardinals defensive lineman Stacy McGee wasn’t wearing the team’s “8” memorial patch for Larry Wilson:

• Someone on the Giants — possibly tight end Levine Toilolo — had his cleats custom-painted to look like Converse high-tops:

• The aforementioned Bills and Bengals were the only two teams wearing white at home.

And in a final note, G.I. Joevember ends tonight, so this was the last Sunday of the season featuring camouflage accessories.

(My thanks to Jake Martin, Mark Palczewski, and Andrew Walsh for their contributions.)

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Argentina Leads Maradona Tributes
By Jamie Rathjen

Soccer clubs in Argentina and elsewhere had plenty of uni-related tributes to Diego Maradona, the Argentine playmaker who passed away last week. His status as an all-time great and the time he spent playing in Europe led to widespread displays beyond the places to which he was connected — even moments of silence, if nothing else, in games as diverse as English FA Cup second-round matches and women’s international matches.

For example:

• In Argentina, the cup competition being contested by the Liga Profesional de Fútbol as a transition between the last pandemic-affected season and next season was renamed after Maradona.

• Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, the club Maradona managed at the time of his death, wore black shirts.

• Gimnasia and some others in Argentina also wore national team-themed warm-up shirts.

• Boca Juniors, one of Maradona’s former clubs, wore “Maradona” as their team-wide NOB yesterday.

• Even Argentine officials got involved by wearing “Gracias Diego” on their backs.

• Napoli, the Italian club for which Maradona made more apperances than any other, wore an Argentina-style fourth shirt (shown at the top of this section) that had been in the works for a year with the hope that Maradona would get to see it, and its debut happened to be scheduled for yesterday.

• Other Italian clubs that had their own tributes included Bologna, Atalanta, Lazio, and Udinese.

• Elsewhere, there were many instances of black armbands, and those I saw ranged from Barcelona striker Lionel Messi wearing one over his captain’s armband to several Premier League teams to Erzgebirge Aue and SV Sandhausen in Germany’s 2. Bundesliga.

• Messi celebrated a goal yesterday by revealing an apparently game-worn Maradona shirt from Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys under his shirt. Messi played for Newell’s as a kid and Maradona did briefly in his later career, and they at least came close to overlapping there in 1994.

• New England Revolution midfielder Gustavo Bou, who is also from Argentina, also celebrated a goal yesterday by laying out and kneeling before an Argentine flag. The Revs were one of many non-Argentine teams that added Maradona’s NOB and No. 10 to their warm-up shirts, at least for Bou.

• The Argentine Football Association collected even more tributes from around the country.

(Thanks to Germán Cabrejo, Tom Gronek, and Moe Khan for their contributions to this section.)

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nBa UpDatE: The latest revelation from Brazilian leakmeister @camisasdanba (aka Igor Coelho) is the Cavs’ new City alternate, which is destined to become known as the ransom note jersey.

The “Long Live Rock” slogan above the jock tag matches the typeface of a sculpture/sign outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the chest lettering is drawn from a hodgepodge of band wordmarks. Whatever — looks just as bad as that hybrid LeBron jersey that was circulating a few days ago. What a mess.

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One last Kobe tribute: Interesting move by boxer Roy Jones Jr. in Saturday night’s exhibition bout against Mike Tyson, as he saluted Kobe Bryant by wearing gloves rendered in Lakers colors, with No. 8 on one thumb, No. 24 on the other, and images of Bryant as well. Here’s a close-up of the designs — as you can see, they even included a Black Mamba-style snakeskin pattern on the wrist areas (click to enlarge):

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ITEM! Insane membership raffle: Longtime reader Bert Ayers already has eight membership cards of his own (so far) and has just purchased a whopping 10 additional cards for me to raffle off! That’s too many to do in one day, so we’ll do five today and another five tomorrow.

No entry restrictions on today’s five prizes. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the five winners tomorrow. Please join me in thanking Bert for doing this!

Meanwhile, our latest raffle winners are Jeff Worth and Andy Moeschberger, each of whom has won a Uni Watch membership card (courtesy of reader Carlos Jalife), and Lincoln Arneal, who’s won a Uni Watch Classic Cap (courtesy of Chris Hickey). Congrats, guys!

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Holiday ritual: For the 28th consecutive year, the plastic mistletoe that I bought for $2.99 at the now-defunct Woolworth’s in Herald Square in 1993 has been hung to work its magic. Per longstanding Uni Watch HQ protocol, the faux ’toe goes up after Thanksgiving and remains in place through the 12th day of Christmas. Let the Yuletide necking commence!

And as long as we’re talking about holiday accessories, the great DIYer Wafflebored was nice enough to send us a homemade goalie blocker tree ornament! We don’t plan to have a tree this year, so we hung the ornament in a place of honor from our mantel, right at the center of our M&M’s lights:

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Football News: Army revealed their uniform for this year’s Army/Navy game (from Nick Allen). … Left over from Thanksgiving weekend: Iowa broke out the stars-and-stripes helmet decals. … Vanderbilt K Sarah Fuller carried over her No. 32 from Vanderbilt’s soccer team.

Hockey News: Michigan added cardboard cutouts of 20 alumni playing in the NHL, all in their pro uniforms, to their empty stands (from Wade Heidt). … Spectacular visuals in this photo essay about a group of NHL players who recently played hockey on a frozen lake in the British Columbia mountains.

Basketball News: NBA numerologist Etienne Catalan has more new and changed player numbers. … Stanford’s teams added social justice patches.

Soccer News: Arsenal goalie Bernd Leno wore a mono-white kit featuring the outfield players’ second shirt, which is also listed as the fourth goalie shirt, yesterday. The blog Museum of Jerseys points out that it’s the eighth time they’ve used four goalie shirts in a season (from multiple readers). … Goalie cap sighting: AS Monaco’s Vito Mannone wore one yesterday (from Brock Wilson). … Leeds United plan to rename the only Elland Road stand not already named after somebody in memory of center-back Jack Charlton. … Germany right-back Leonie Maier wore a patch for her 75th cap on Friday. … Brazil’s women’s team removed the stars representing the men’s team’s World Cups from their crest starting last week. … Are too many teams going with black/gold shirts? Perhaps (from Trevor Williams). … Arsenal center back David Luiz suffered a gash on his forehead during yesterday’s match against Wolves, resulting in a bloody bandage wrap that looked a lot like Arsenal’s away kit (from our own Anthony Emerson).

Grab Bag: In the Australian Football League, Adelaide’s new guernseys have a form of cap number whereby the design includes the name of each player for the team, with each numbered in order. … South Africa’s men’s cricket team wore black armbands in memory of Covid-19 victims. … Cycling now has men’s and women’s esports world championships, which have their own version of the rainbow jersey for the winners. … Twelve items of Cleveland-centric sports memorabilia are up for auction (from Jason Hillyer).

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