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An Ointment For The Rash?

By Phil Hecken

A couple of months ago, we had our first instance of a team wearing its color rash (hereafter known as CR) uniforms on a non-Thursday, when news broke the Patriots would wear their all-blue CR unis on a Sunday. What we did not know at the time, or at least Paul didn’t (nor did I) was that the NFL had relaxed its rules on CR wearing. Since then, several teams have gone against what had been Thursday-only protocol for the garish duds.

We later found out (Paul covered it here and I expounded upon here (scroll down)) was that teams no longer were prohibited from wearing their CR unis on any day but Thursday (or rather, allowed to wear them any day, as long as they didn’t wear them for a TNF game), AND the Washington Club flexed its muscles and refused to wear their gold CR unis for a Thursday night game, instead wearing mono-burgundy.

Protocol was further broken last Sunday, when the Dallas Cowboys wore their white CR pants (previously worn only with the white CR tops), with their “unlucky” blue jerseys. Perhaps coincidentally, their opponents, the NY Giants, wore their own throwback CR unis.

Now, I’m not sure if this was a one-time exception (because the Giants wore their CR unis) or if the league has further relaxed its rules. But the Cowboys combo of blue over white still marked the first mixing-and-matching of CR unis.

Now, we all know that the CR unis for the most part suck (there a scant few exceptions, like the New Orleans Saints, whose CR unis are arguably better than their regular unis). Head-to-toe monochrome anything (except, maybe white) looks like shitty high school football. So, the CR unis themselves, and by themselves, are a travesty. But…

what if certain elements from the CR unis could be taken and worn with a team’s regular jersey or pants? And what about ditching the mono-socks and shoes. Could we have an ointment for the rash?

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Last weekend I put out a call for help from a graphic designer/photoshopper, and a bunch of you responded (I thank you all for your interest, and perhaps we can use your services down the road). But the first gentleman to positively reply was Matthew Blinco who agreed to help me with a little project you’re about to see below. I asked Matthew if he’d be able to take some of the CR unis (either pants or jerseys) and see how they’d look if they were mix/matched with regular parts of the uniform, and paired with contrasting socks. The results were interesting. I’m not ready to say I think the NFL should let teams go hog-wild and use different elements of the CR program with the regular unis (as the Cowboys did), but some of them don’t look so bad. And if teams could replace the God awful TNF CR unis with a mix/match, it might actually make some of the games a little more…viewable.

I put together a list of several teams for Matthew whose CR unis I thought could be adapted to the mix/match template, and he was able to photoshop them all together for me. Let’s take a look…and see what you think! (Click any images below to enlarge.)

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BUFFALO

My first thought was to see how the Bills would look wearing their red CR tops with their regular white pants. I think this one works:

I probably should have left well enough alone with that, as I also asked Matthew to mock up the blue jerseys over the red pants. It’s an interesting combo, but it looks waaaay off with the white hats:

• • •

SEATTLE

As you’ll immediately see, this one was a mistake. I thought the lime/neon green jerseys might look ok with a pair of pants that weren’t also…lime/neon green. I was wrong. Nevertheless, Matthew did up a set with the blue, white and gray pants the Seahawks currently have in the rotation. Nothing saved that horrid top.

• • •

ATLANTA

The Falcons didn’t just get all red unis for CR, they actually got entirely new unis — and both the jersey and pants look better than anything (but the fauxback) that the Falcons currently wear. I asked Matthew for a mock of the red jersey with black, gray (which they don’t currently have) and white pants — (the gray itself would be a nod to the 1979-89 Falcons). I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good these look:

I asked Matthew to do the white pants both with red and black socks:

Granted, the Falcons don’t have white pants that match those shown (those were simply the red CR pants swapped out), but how good do those unis look with white pants and red socks?

. . .

Since the Falcons also wear a really nice fauxback alternate (and they could use those white pants with the CR jersey if they want), I also asked Matthew to see how that fauxback jersey would look with red or gray pants. Those results weren’t as nice:

The gray pants kinda give a Dirty Birds feel, but I’m just not feeling it:

• • •

LOS ANGELES

To much acclaim, both last season and this, the Chargers went with a royal blue CR uni (and swapped in a gold facemask), and those unis clearly evoked memories of the mid-70s/early 80s Chargers (those had gold pants). I asked Matthew if he could mock up that jersey (and helmet) with their current white pants, and also to create a set of gold pants. I think these might be a nice replacement for the current navy tops:

It’s not quite as great as their early 1960s unis, but it’s a nice reminder of those days.

• • •

DENVER

The Broncos unis (in which they’ve won three Super Bowls) look dated now (and IMHO they never looked as good as the iterations they wore pre-1997). So when the NFL gave the Broncos non-97-17 templates and allowed them to put the old decal on their hats, I was pumped. Of course, the monochrome orange is brutal, but the jersey and helmet are awesome. So, how about we just throw a pair of white pants with those, shall we?

BOOM! Now we’re cooking with gas. Whatever it takes, the Broncos need to immediately petition the league for a pair of normally striped white pants and wear this combo for the rest of ever.

• • •

LOS ANGELES

From the 1940s through the advent of the TV era, the Rams wore gold jerseys, although those were always worn with white pants. For their CR outfits, the Rams were given an all gold look. I like that jersey, and since I like (usually) the pants to match the hats, I asked Matthew to mock up an inverse throwback. I probably should have specified royal for the pants, rather than just “blue,” but Matthew mocked up a CR modification with darker blue pants. It’s interesting, but I’m not loving it:

• • •

JACKSONVILLE

I feel bad for the Jags — they have arguably the worst uniform (and certainly the worst helmet) in pro football, and for their CR uni, the NFL gave them the worst CR outfit (unless Seattle does that for ya) in the game. But, those mustard pants — they might not look so bad if combined with the black or teal tops, right? Surprisingly — they don’t look terrible:

OK, we should probably spend our energy trying to convince the team to completely scrap the current unis, rather than putting other combos together, but it would be interesting to see maybe ONE CR game where they went away from the mono-mustard.

• • •

MIAMI

OK, clearly everyone agrees the Dolphins should just wear these (and add a white top) all the time. But the NFL decided to give the team garish all-orange CR unis, which actually look even worse than Denver’s all orange set. So how might they look if they were to swap aqua elements for their next CR game?

OK, maybe not. Although I kinda like the aqua over orange — it’s very Miami. But with the white hat, the aqua/orange doesn’t really work. Maybe we just fight for them to make the throwbacks their full time unis, yes?

• • •

NEW ORLEANS

Just for shits and giggles, I wanted to see how the white CR top (which is gorgeous) would look with OLD GOLD pants (not the current metallic gold they wear). If they could just fix the helmet, this isn’t bad:

Now, if they wear their black tops (in the same style as the white CR top) and change the metallic gold to old gold, we’d have a winner for sure. Because this mono-black isn’t cutting it anymore.

• • •

OK — that’s it for now. I thank you for indulging me — know first and foremost I’m not advocating more than one or two of these mockups to be made semi-permanent (the Broncos would be the one I’d really advocate for, and I like the look of the Falcons CR tops with white pants, as well as Buffalo’s red jersey/white pants combo), but as long as the NFL seems to be relaxing the CR rules, maybe teams can ditch the full mono shit and start wearing some of the elements separately on CR/TNF days. Of course, ideally the NFL should be looking into THROWBACK Thursdays, and not CR if they want to get fans watching. Or maybe not. I’m sure I’m a bit too old to be their target demo these days.

If you guys have any additional suggestions for possible CR mix/matches (and to all those who offered their services as photoshoppers — feel free to mock a few up), let’s hear them.

I want to thank Matthew for all his help this week. Even if you guys don’t like the results, it wasn’t for him lacking the skills and effort. He did my bidding — direct all hatred towards me. LOL.

Your thoughts?

Here’s more on Matthew:

Matthew Blinco is a graphic designer in Nashville, TN and co-founder of local apparel brand Project 615, you can find your new favorite tee at project615.org. He also buys and sell vintage clothing as a hobby an you can follow him at @relikvtg on Instagram. Matt has been a UW reader for 8-10 years and had 2 designs chosen to win in the Lewis & Clark league design contests a couple of years ago. You can see his portfolio at cannonballcreative.com and is open to freelance opportunities. You can follow him on twitter @mpblinco.

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And new a few words from Paul:

Hi there. In case you missed it on Friday, my latest ESPN column explores a simple question: Why can’t figure skaters wear uniforms instead of costumes? Check it out here.

Also from Friday, our annual year-end raffle is now underway. Full details here.

Finally, Santa’s elves say that if you want Christmas delivery for a Uni Watch mini-helmet, a Uni Watch membership card, a Naming Wrongs T-shirt, an ugly sweater T-shirt, or anything else from the Uni Watch march shop, it’s now or never. Thanks.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Interesting cap being worn by Kyle Schwarber here. Jimmy Knodel asks, “Is this a personal logo for Schwarber? Tied to his @smokiesbaseball days? Or did he work for Dominos at some point?” — Turns out it’s the logo for his charity, Neighborhood Heroes (from Tyler Cox). … Here’s our best look yet at the new Nationals alternate blue jersey (from Matt). And here’s and additional look, showing the ASG patch. … Scott Wilkinson notes, “not sure if this has been mentioned but it’s amazing how much the BasketBall Miami unis look like they could fit into the Marlins rotation.” I’ve been calling for a blue Marlins alternate for years now. … Here’s an interesting New York Mets placemat seen at a trade show (from Jim Brunetti).

NFL News: OOPS! Connor Mangan notes, “apparently the NFL does not know their own league logos.” … The Philadelphia Eagles have officially announced their uniform selection for their Week 15 game against the New York Giants on Sunday. It’s (surprisingly) a combo they’ve not worn this season. … This great cover of Sports Illustrated from 1963 is one of the earliest predictors of the coming Super Bowl, but those Chargers unis are divine (from Bruce Menard). … In a bit of photoshoppery unbeknownst to Chris R. about today’s lede, here are the Patriots with color rash tops and white pants (but also with a white hat, which is a no-no under the one helmet rule). … Speaking of color rash, the Detroit Lions broke out their color rash unis yesterday. More photos here. Not sure why you’d need a ski mask indoors, but OK. The Lions went all out for their CR, even changing their wall wrap to gray (from Erik Kissel). … If you’re going to look like a ballerina… (from Peter Tulupman). … Here’s a uni screw-up I don’t remember. If you scroll down in this article, you’ll see a game played on September 14, 2003 “in which the Broncos came to the stadium in their road white jerseys when the host Chargers were planning to wear white, and were supposed to be the team that declared their uniform color. The Broncos were fined $25,000 as a result.” … Check out this awesome video footage of a very cold game in Cleveland, featuring Dan Pastorini in a ski mask! (from Funhouse). … The Atlanta Falcons will wear ‘No. ’60’ on their helmets to honor Tommy Nobis, who passed away earlier this week. … The Chiefs wore all red (but NOT a CR) last night, and Garrett Johnson observed, “looks like Demetrius Harris forgot his socks.”

College Football News: New Florida State University Coach (and former Oregon HC) Willie Taggart has said he is open to alternate FSU uniform combinations. Here’s a look at pretty much every combo they’ve worn over the years. … “Pulled up the ‘94 All-American team intros on the Bob Hope Christmas special. It looks Sapp may have forgotten his game jersey so they improvised,” says Steven Santillo. … The Oregon Ducks paid respects to the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting (as well as Casey Eugenio, who was injured in practice this week) on their helmets at yesterday’s Las Vegas Bowl (from many submitters). Lineman Tyrell Crosby (as was reported in yesterday’s ticker) also also changed his uni number to 58, to honor the shooting victims. … Here’s a look at the Bowl Season patches (from The Emblem Source). … Oh my, the Miami Hurricanes look to be wearing their all black alternate for the Orange Bowl (from @BigJ52). … The FBI is searching for a suspect who wore a University of New Mexico football jersey while robbing an Albuquerque bank. … Check out some very cool die-cut 1894 Stanford football tickets at the Herbert Hoover Library (from Scott Held). … We knew this already, but here are some additional looks at Georgia’s Rose Bowl uniforms. … Possibly something weird happening in the D-II national championship. Guy has No. 92 jersey but No. 93 helmet (from Everett Corder). … The mascot for the New Mexico Bowl is this shirt that doesn’t have arms or a head (from @bryanwdc). … As you may be aware either from reading UW over the years, or if you happen to be a fan — the Division III powerhouses seem to all wear purple. So, what happened yesterday? The DIII National Championship game was color on color and of course, both teams sported some purple (from Jonathan Cain). … Florida State has promised more combos, and already they’re showing off white over white and garnet over white to recruits (from @Broc1984). … The Shrine Bowl was apparently played yesterday, and Champion still makes unis (from Bill Darragh).

Hockey News: Here’s a pretty good article, with a ton of great old photographs, on the “first” NHL season 100 years ago. Definitely worth a read. … The Ottawa Senators’ Mike Hoffman taped over his helmet logo, most likely Reebok from look of helmet (from Mario Vasquez). … “Apparently, the Philadelphia Blazers of the WHA played in a movie theatre,” says Miles Filbert. … “On @hockeynight, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s son Xavier is wearing an older model replica #Canadiens jersey rather than the one the #Habs are wearing for the #NHL100Classic,” writes James Beattie. … Also from James, “Craig Anderson of the #Sens sporting the retro jersey for the #NHL100Classic pictured next to original #Senators goalie Clint Benedict.” … Colorado College hockey debuted their new black unis last evening (from @NerdsThatZeke).

NBA News: “The @utahjazz City Edition jerseys will apparently be popular with Univ of Utah fans (since this basically just looks like a Utes hat) but reviled by the rest of us,” says Lets Chat About Hats. Also from Lets Chat: “New Era has released its “City Series” of NBA caps, which presumably reflect each team’s City Edition uniform (to my knowledge a number haven’t been released).” … Dear God, the Minnesota Timberwolves neon green unis are…well, you come up with the adjective (from Chris Howell).

College Hoops News: Yesterday, Louisville wore the cringe-inducing Red Iced Out uniforms that are “reflective,” so certain areas illuminate when hit with a flash. … Louisville basketball has replaced the “CARDS” wordmark on the back of the neck with the Cardinal head logo. Here’s a better look at the new back of the neck logo (from @steagles1). … Stephen F. Austin University has some rather large NOBs (from Andrew Lopez). … One of the players on Western Kentucky was missing a NOB yesterday (from Andrew Jacobs). … Oklahoma State unveiled some new black uniforms for yesterday’s game against FSU. … The Nevada Women’s Basketball team broke out their “Battle Born uniforms yesterday (from John C. Fremont). … Yesterday Oakland University debuted new all-yellow unis for their matchup with Michigan State at Little Caesars Arena. Submitter Timothy Pontzer says, “The jerseys has an Oregon-ish feel complete with a subtle digital camo print.” … Weber State was wearing new alternate grays for the first time this season last night. Submitter Sean L. included a tweet that noted “Script-ish Wildcats across front. Pine Bluff in black.” … In football, Utah vs. BYU is often color vs. color (and they call it the holy war). So, in hoops, the teams went color vs. color (from Zac Ipson).

Soccer News: Lionsbridge FC, a USLPDL soccer team launching on the Virginia Peninsula in 2018, have announced their new jersey for the 2018 season (from Lionsbridge FC). … Here is a clean look at the DeKalb County United logo (from Jeff Ryder). He adds, “Note also the barbed wire at the top, as that was invented in DeKalb.” … Uh oh. Looks like FIFA is in trouble again. But this time it’s over not respecting and supporting the patents of the proprietary foam inventor (from Tommy Turner).

Grab Bag: This is disturbing: São Paulo just passed a bill to allow companies to put ads on school uniforms and @alexcuadros says “it’s about time we turned our children’s literal bodies over to the free market.” (Sent in by Bryan O’Nolan). … Here’s kind of a cool story from “my” home Island: A group of Long Island police officers will don a different uniform this weekend: as Santas and his elves, serving underprivileged families. … Willard Kovacs send us this fascinating video on how rubber bands are made.

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Let's Go Bowling - Part I (2017 Edition)

By Phil Hecken

OK, kids, it’s that time of year again. That wonderful time of year known as “Bowl Season.” And as I’ve done for the past several years (to varying degrees of success, though I usually end up about 50% correct), I shall pick the winners of the bowl games (against the spread), based on who has the better uniform set worn throughout the 2017 season.

Some of the games will have a slam-dunk winner for best uni, some will be pretty easy to see, others are a tough call — and some feature teams that are both so bad that neither team deserves to be picked. I shall do so anyway.

As always, you can click on the graphics to see a full size. In all cases, every attempt was made to include all uniform combos worn by each team throughout the year. In some instances, a team with a better uniform in general, but who goes off the grid with too many “special” unis (or fails to use school colors) will not get the nod over a lesser-attired team. It’s not a question of how many unis and combos a school has — it’s who wears them better.

I know Paul’s not a big fan of corporate-douchebaggery associated with Bowl Names. So I’ll do my best to avoid that. OK? OK.

After a record 41 bowls last year, this year we’re blessed with less. I’ll be breaking them up into segments: today — the 11 bowls taking place today and through Friday. Next weekend I’ll have the 19 you’ll see the following week, and finally the last (GREAT) 9 bowls with teams you’ve actually watched all season long. You can click on any image to enlarge. (Apologies if they seem to run into one another — first listed school is on the left, second listed is on the right.)

So, without further ado, here goes nothing…

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Celebration:
North Carolina A&T vs. Grambling State
Saturday, December 16; Noon; ABC
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Spread: North Carolina A&T is a 7.5 point favorite

This should be an interesting one — you have two schools who use gold fairly predominately, but one goes with black (Grambling) while the other uses navy (NCAT). All things being equal, this would be a coin flip, but Grambling seems to have an AFAS (anthracite for anthracite’s sake) uni, plus they like to go TNDL (Team Name Down Leg). That tips the scales towards NC A&T.

The Pick: NCAT -7.5

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New Orleans:
Troy vs. North Texas
Saturday, December 16; 1:00 pm; ESPN
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Spread: Troy is a 7 point favorite

Troy’s official colors are black, cardinal and silver. Despite that, I can’t but think they wear AFAS and BFBS. North Texas, on the other hand, uses black, green and white. And I feel they wear BFBS. Maybe both schools need to get off my lawn. Nonetheless, I must discount these apparent uni transgressions and it’s tough, because I like both kelly green and cardinal. Still, North Texas goes by “Mean Green” and dammit, that means you wear green, not black or light gray, which they do. Neither school has great unis, but Troy’s are less bothersome here.

The Pick: Troy -7

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Cure:
Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky
Saturday, December 16; 2:30 pm; CBS Sports
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Spread: Western Kentucky is a 6.5 point favorite

Georgia State mixes their blue and white well enough, but threw in a BFBS alt for one game. They remind me a bit of Kentucky with that. WKU adds a set of BFBS pants but keeps their jerseys red and white. But they also sport the dreaded TNDL. Based on unis alone, it’s a tough call. WKU has a slightly better set overall, but it’s close.

The Pick: WKU -6.5

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Las Vegas:
Boise State vs. Oregon
Saturday, December 16; 3:30 pm; ABC
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Spread: Oregon is a 7.5 point favorite

The one semi-marquee bowl of the day (and the week) features one-time powerhouses Boise State and Oregon. The two schools have in the past gone through an entire season without repeating a uni combo (and Oregon almost did it this year), but Boise ended up wearing a lot of mono-blue this year. Oregon stuck with school colors of yellow and green for all but two games (former Coach Willie Taggart had promised as much), and Boise got new jerseys, which were an improvement. We already know this game is supposed to be color-vs-color — so that will be interesting. Another tough call, but I’ll give the nod to Boise here as they avoided wearing anything but school colors all year long!

The Pick: Boise State +7.5

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New Mexico:
Colorado State vs. Marshall
Saturday, December 16; 4:30 pm; ESPN
Branch Field at Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Spread: Colorado State is a 5.5 point favorite

After a couple years of wearing only green and white, Marshall has been adding black into the mix, including a BFBS jersey this year. CSU, on the other hand, has stuck with green and gold, and wore two very cool alternates — a throwback in green and orange, and a new “State Flag” uni that I really happened to like. CSU will also wear a new helmet for this game. This one is an easy call.

The Pick: Colorado State -5.5

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Camellia:
Middle Tennessee State vs. Arkansas State
Saturday, December 16; 8:00 pm; ESPN
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama
Spread: Arkansas State is a 4.0 point favorite

Both of these schools wore a lot of different combos throughout the season, but only Ark State has black as an official school color. MTSU managed to wear BFBS a couple times, and threw in some GFGS to boot. They also wear SNDL. That’s too many strikes against them. Ark State has surprisingly nice unis, despite the three stripe logo (did you know they’re outfitted by adidas?) on the sleeve of three of four jerseys. Their only strike against. They get the nod.

The Pick: Arkansas State -4

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Boca Raton:
Florida Atlantic vs. Akron
Tuesday, December 19; 7:00 pm; ESPN
Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
Spread: Florida Atlantic is a 22.5 point favorite

Florida Atlantic went through almost the entire season wearing just two combos — an all red and an all white set. And then they broke out the Silver For Silver Sake (or, if you prefer, GFGS)…but wait, that actually is an official school color. The Zips (Jimmer Vilk’s alma mater) stuck with school colors the entire season, even though they were able to wear nine different combos…an impressive feat. FAU will be wearing white for this bowl, so they should look fine. Normally any team playing the Zips would get my nod, but it’s not so easy this season. In fact, I think they may have won me over!

The Pick: Akron +22.5

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Frisco:
Louisiana Tech vs. Southern Methodist
Wednesday, December 20; 8:00 pm; ESPN
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Spread: SMU is a 5.0 point favorite

Ah, two schools with beautiful red, white and blue color schemes. La Tech with the red, white and blue tops and the beautiful UCLA stripes, and SMU with the equally nice red, white and blue tops with northwestern stripes and WAIT…what’s that BFBS and GFGS??? Dammit, Mustangs, there’s NO NEED to ruin great unis with … that. What would have been a coin-flip game suddenly swung full force over to Tech. Do better, SMU.

The Pick: La Tech +5

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Gasparilla:
Florida International vs. Temple
Thursday, December 21; 8:00 pm; ESPN
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Spread: Temple is a 7.0 point favorite

Let me first state that I actually REALLY like Temple’s uni — when it’s cherry and white. The modern tiled stripes have really grown on me and even the shoulder cap design works. But that BFBS — it works its way into the helmet, the jersey and the pants, and sometimes all three. It’s irksome, but because the school only has cherry and white for official colors, it’s not a complete deal breaker. Now, FIU sticks to blue and gold, and the only annoyance is the panther paw scratch on the pants. I’ve never understood why teams who use mascots with claws actually have scratches on their uniforms. Did your mascot turn on you? Despite the BFBS, I’m leaning towards the scratchless Owls here.

The Pick: Temple -7

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Bahamas:
Alabama-Birmingham vs. Ohio
Friday, December 22; 12:30 pm; ESPN
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
Spread: Ohio is a 7.5 point favorite

If Ohio just wore green and white, they would easily be one of my favorite uni-teams in all of football. The shade is gorgeous, they have great UCLA stripes — they actually look a bit like the NFL Jets, only better. But they, like so many, insist on BFBS, which ruins a great set. Yes, I liked it well enough (though would prefer it be gone) with Temple, but it doesn’t work for Ohio. UAB is a great story in and of themselves, and they rock the green and metallic gold quite well. I’m not a fan of the gray/lime one-off, and it might eliminate them against other schools, but not against Ohio (who have announced they will wear ALL white).

The Pick: UAB +7.5

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Famous Idaho Potato:
Central Michigan vs. Wyoming
Friday, December 22; 4:00 pm; ESPN
Lyle Smith Field at Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
Spread: Wyoming is a 1.0 point favorite

Despite having maroon and gold for their colors, CMU just never seems to look good, at least to me — kinda like a poor man’s Minnesota. At least they stick with those school colors, plus white, and can wear 12 different combos doing it. On the opposite side of the coin is Wyoming — a school that I have done a complete 180 on over the years. As Jimmer Vilk can attest, I used to detest WYO and their 30 different combos, but for some reason, after getting new unis last year, they’ve stuck to wearing ONLY two for the past two years. I don’t love the white hat/brown jersey/gold pants, but I respect it. Easy call here.

The pick: Wyoming -1

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And there you have it — the first 11 bowls of the 2017 season. Let’s see if I can do better than my usual 50% in picking winners based on the better uni combos worn throughout the season.

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What if…

…every state was represented by a helmet?

+ + + + + +

A few weeks ago, I led off SMUW with a with a writeup of the Colorado State University “flag” based/state pride uniforms. I noted a few other schools had attempted to base a uniform off the flag, and I liked how the helmet looked.

While I mentioned a few schools that kinda-sorta used flag elements on their (or as the basis for their) uniforms, and a few people remarked on this in the comments, I hadn’t really given much thought to this since that time.

That is, until I received the following e-mail from reader Marc Mayntz. The introduction read:

First off, love everything you do with Uni Watch.

A while back when you showed off Colorado State and their state pride jerseys, you asked what if other states were to do similar. While I am not the biggest football fan in the world, I am quite the avid amateur vexillologist (a word almost as fun to say as to be). So, using a pretty simple template, I mocked up 50 “state pride” helmets.

Only one small problem…most state flags are rather, well, predictable.

• Predominantly blue? 25 are

• State seal? 30 have them in some variety

• The state’s name prominently displayed? A little better, but still 10 of them

Now, some states are so unique and work so well for design, I just integrated them straight into the helmet. But the other, more repetitive ones, I paired up with something in the military unique to that state. For most states, I used the insignia of National Guard units-the perfect intersection of state pride and military appreciation.

The only remaining hurdle was my neophyte digital artistry, which is not the best. Still, it gets the point across, I think.

Marc then proceeded to send 50 “state flag” helmets, complete with descriptions. But they’re not just straight adaptations of the state flag — there was a tremendous amount of thought and effort that went into these, and you should definitely check them each out individually.

What I’ll first do is run them as a slide show (which is below), and if you can’t see that, you can click here to see the set or here to see the show. After that, I’ll show each helmet Marc created with a link specific to that state.

Here is the specific list with each helmet contained in the link.

Alabama – Silhouette of the USS Alabama. Battle ship gray for the helmet with the Alabama State Flag going up the center stripe.

Alaska – Weird thing: the Alaska National Guard uses just the Big Dipper stars in silver while the state flag uses the Dipper and the North Star in gold. The helmet is a blending of the two.

Arizona – That state flag had to go on a helmet. The Arizona National Guard logo is on the back.

Arkansas – Originally I was going to just put the flag on there, but the razorback tearing through that diamond just looked too cool to pass up.

California – Another state where the National Guard logo and state flag merged pretty well. The single star on the CA flag is on the front of the helmet.

Colorado – Colorado’s National Guard logo is the same “C” as the one found on the flag. Instead, since Colorado is also home of the Air Force Academy, I went to the Colorado Air National Guard logo and it’s version of the Colorado “C”.

Connecticut – Adapted from the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton. The five stripes represent Connecticut being the 5th state admitted to the Union and the tree on the back represents New England.

Delaware – The griffin of Lord De la Warre made a great helmet logo while the buff diamond from the state flag is incorporated as a center stripe.

Florida – The 50th Regional Support Group out of Homestead has a beautiful sun that works great for the Sunshine State.

Georgia – As a general rule, I said no to state seals, but Georgia’s is, in my mind, the best. Simple and elegant.

Hawaii – Had a choice here…put the Union Jack or the head of King Kamehameha I on the side of a helmet to represent Hawaiian pride and culture. The 8 red,white, and blue stripes are for the 8 islands.

Idaho – Blue flag, state seal, yawn. That 13 point buck sure looks a lot more distinct.

Illinois – Silhouette of Abraham Lincoln’s head? So perfect and much better than another state seal (at least this flag is white).

Indiana – The flag is awesome, but it’s been more or less done. The National Guard logo keeps the essential elements as well as the gold really looks sweet-much better than basic blue.

Iowa – The perfect combination of Iowa (a hawk) and Iowa State (red) and a pretty fine look too. The red, white, and blue center stripe mimics the flag.

Kansas – The 184th Intelligence Wing stationed in Wichita is called the Fighting Jayhawks. Could not pass up using it. The 5 stars on the back are in homage to General and President Eisenhower.

Kentucky – Adapted from the 1st Battalion 623rd Field Artillery of the Kentucky National Guard.

Louisiana – The pelican features on both the state flag and National Guard insignia.

Maine – I would be willing to bet that this is the first football helmet to feature 3 pine trees on it. The big trees are from the Maine National Guard while the little tree in the back is from the New England Flag.

Maryland – See, you can make a football helmet using the most distinctive state flag and not go INSANE doing it.

Massachusetts – The 54th Regiment featured in the movie “Glory” still exists and that logo…wow. The 6 stripes represent Massacusetts’ admission and the pine tree represents New England.

Michigan – I went with a lighter blue field to set the griffin on. The 5 stripes down the center represent the Great Lakes with the mnemonic HOMES for the lakes’ names. Notice the “O” is in a different color, since it is the only Great Lake that does not touch the state.

Minnesota – The ice blue of the National Guard logo pairs nicely with the white (snow) colored helmet with the crooked center striping representing the 10000 lakes. I thought this was the greatest disparity between National Guard logo and state flag quality, until…

Mississippi – There was no chance I was putting Mississippi’s state flag on a helmet. Then you look at the National Guard logo – Neptune’s trident superimposed over a magnolia blossom. I turned the trident into a classic Mariners style M for Mississippi on the front of the helmet.

Missouri – The flag has two grizzly bears on the state seal and the National Guard uses the grizzly bear as its logo, so a pretty good match there. I think the gold makes the bear seem more visible while the red,white, and blue stripes evoke the state flag.

Montana – That Guard logo is so beautiful, I had to use it. The silver and gold center stripe is from the state motto “Oro y Plata.”

Nebraska – An ear of corn-what did you expect? Had to be put on a red helmet.

Nevada – The Silver State needed a silver helmet and the logo is a beautiful pale blue that pairs with it. I made the tail end of the center stripe match the distinctive state shape.

New Hampshire – The center striping matches the spears in the logo. The spears are bound on the back of the helmet using the state’s awesome “Live Free or Die” motto. The New England tree makes its appearance on the back as well.

New Jersey – The unique blue color is found in the state seal and hosts the National Guard’s lion logo. The three gold stripes represent New Jersey’s admission order as well as the main color of the state flag.

New Mexico – The best state flag needed no improvement or modification.

New York – I love the allusion to the Statue of Liberty in this logo. The helmet color comes from the state flag.

North Carolina – The National Guard patch is a hornet protecting its nest. Adding the nest on the helmet made it really hard to see, so I just kept the hornet and the hole leading to the nest is replaced with the ear hole of the helmet. A stylized hex stripe goes up the center.

North Dakota – The bow and arrows come from the state seal and are the Guard logo for the state. The rays of sunlight are found on the flag, so I used them on the center stripe.

Ohio – I wanted this as close to Ohio’s flag as I could get. The stars on the flag muddied up the design, so I left them off but made sure on the back that the swallowtail design of the flag was carried through.

Oklahoma – Another beautiful flag with lots of symbolism that had to be used. While the flag does not conform to “good” flag making design, for a helmet it came out alright.

Oregon – The only 2 sided flag means the only helmet with two different designs on each side. The right side is direct copy from the state flag, the left and adaptation of the Oregon National Guard with Mt. Hood.

Pennsylvania – The keystone is the symbol of the state, so I made sure to use it. The gold and black represent Pittsburgh, the red and blue for Philadelphia. THe 2 white stripes represent the state’s admission order.

Rhode Island – I originally was going to just use the state flag since the anchor on a white field looks so good, but then the National Guard logo was even more impressive and gave rise to using a two-tone helmet. The anchor stayed on the front while the New England tree sits on the back.

South Carolina – That palmetto tree looks so good as a negative silhouette on the dark blue, another easy one to make.

South Dakota – A prowling coyote from the Guard with the unique color and a jagged sunburst center stripe from the state flag.

Tennessee – The three stars had to be there, and the Guard patch has a hickory tree representing President Jackson. The unbalanced center stripe is taken from the edge of the flag.

Texas – It could not just be a Lone Star, since there is another football team that kinda has the corner on that design. The added garlands of laurel and oak make it still Texas. The striping and star in the center, of course, are from the state flag.

Utah – The beehive is a central symbol to the state, so it needed to go on the helmet. The state motto is superimposed on the outline of the state on the back.

Vermont – The Green Mountain Boys with the New England Tree in the back. The center stripes combine to form a V.

Virginia – Adapted from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard logo with its gantry crane and naval craft, the water gradient is a nice unique feature.

Washington – I would have used President Washington’s face like it appears on the flag, but his personal seal actually looks better on the helmet. Another green helmet that just works.

West Virginia – The logo is from the National Guard while the center stripe has a W in the blue space and a V in in the gold.

Wisconsin – If anything replaces the flying W, this is it.

Wyoming – The bison from the state flag with the state seal removed from it. The two white stripes represent equality, as Wyoming was the first state to allow women’s suffrage.

+ + + + + +

And there you have it. Pretty impressive, right? Marc did a great job with those!

What say you readers? If you’re a flag fan (or dare I say, vexillologist), what do you think? And even if you’re not, how did he do with your state flag? Did he nail it, or do you think there would have been a better or different way to go? I love what he did with New York, and my only ‘complaint’ as it were is that our flag is a lot more blue than the helmet appears — but other than that I love it. I don’t know if the Excelsior logo would translate well on a helmet, so I like what Marc did.

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And new a few words from Paul:

Hi there. In case you missed it on Friday, my latest ESPN column explores a simple question: Why can’t figure skaters wear uniforms instead of costumes? Check it out here.

Also from Friday, our annual year-end raffle is now underway. Full details here.

Finally, Santa’s elves say that if you want Christmas delivery for a Uni Watch mini-helmet, a Uni Watch membership card, a Naming Wrongs T-shirt, an ugly sweater T-shirt, or anything else from the Uni Watch march shop, it’s now or never. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Here’s our best look yet at the Nationals’ All-Star Game patch (from Robert Hayes). … Also from Robert: a good look at the D-Backs’ 20th anniversary patch … We may have seen this before, but just in case: Fernando Rodney wears his hat crooked in honor of his father, who passed away less than a week before his MLB debut (thanks, Alex). … Ed Kendrick found this Nationals jersey for sale online. New alternate? … Bill Haelig found this three-foot Campbell’s Soup Kid ad piece. Note the MLB 100th anniversary patch and that the catcher’s left handed.

NFL News: Kevin Carr noticed that some Colts players had a different number font than others, and wonders if a change is in the works. … The Courier-Post, a newspaper serving the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, featured a dreadful mockup of a Colin Kaepernick Eagles jersey — midnight green and Eagles logo patches, but Niners name and number fonts (from Michael Driscoll). … The Chiefs will go red-over-red this weekend (from Scott Ontiveroz). … The Browns will go all white at home against the Ravens (from Robert Hayes). … The Lions will go with their Color Rash grey uniforms today against the Bears (thanks, Phil).

College/High School Football News: Georgia Tech formally launched their new white jerseys (from David Abercrombie). … Clemson is switching the Nike logo on their white britches from orange to purple. Old look here (from @willchitty4). … Speaking of Clemson, they’ve added the Sugar Bowl patch to their jerseys (from Brad Darby). … James Lee Gilbert shares this excellent Andy Demetra tweet: “There are 3 teams in Division 1 hoops (out of 351) that use orange/green as their primary color scheme. Georgia Tech will have faced all three (UTRGV, Florida A&M, Miami). There you go folks. My most useless fact of 2017. Carry on.” … Duke will wear their script logo on their helmets during the Quick Lane Bowl against NIU (from @ACC_Tracker). … Troy will go all white against North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl (from Ben Whitehead). … Boise State is going all blue for the Las Vegas Bowl (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of the Las Vegas Bowl, Tyrell Crosby of Oregon was given a Vegas Golden Knights jersey with No. 58 and “Vegas Strong” on the back. Crosby wears No. 58, and there were 58 killed in October’s massacre (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Here’s out first look at the Senators’ NHL 100 Classic unis on ice (from @SensTown). … The Golden Knights’ logo still isn’t on ESPN Mobile’s NHL standings page (from Brett Thomas).
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NBA News: JR Smith wore a Supreme-branded compression sleeve on Thursday evening (from @Vovomeena). … I think we may have seen this before, but just in case: the logo for Pacers Gaming, the eSports team owned by the Pacers’ ownership group, incorporates a basketball (from D.J. Miller).

Soccer News: Senegal has signed a four-year kit deal with Puma, and Puma will provide the Senegalese kits for the 2018 World Cup (from Josh Hinton). … Umbro has become Jamaica’s kit supplier (from Ed Żelaski‏). Interstingly, Romai Sports previously provided both Senegal’s and Jamaica’s kits. … Also from Josh: Louisville City FC’s media team made a team version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s poster. Don’t think Chewbacca plays centerback for Louisville City, though. … Someone had a question about the “sports bras” male soccer players wear during practice; they’re GPS-like devices that track players’ speed, distance covered and other things (from Eric Vieira, Mark Campbell and everyone else who sent this in). … Footy Headlines has an entertaining list of 1990s kits that would no longer be allowed due to more strict kit regulations.

Grab Bag: This is so cool: Ben Traxel has shared with us his collection of team and event-branded beer and soda cans from the 1970s and 1980s. … The logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing have been released (from Daniel, who did not wish to give his last name). … In 2001, artist Richard Ankrom took it upon himself to fix a poorly-marked traffic sign in Los Angeles. This story about Ankrom’s act of “Guerrilla Public Service” is fantastic (thanks, Brinke). … The insignia of the Marines unit that maintains and pilots Marine One (the official presidential helicopter) features helicopter blades (from James Lee Gilbert). … Yesterday was apparently ugly sweater day, so here’s a list of officially licensed ugly rugby sweaters (from Josh Gardner). … Next year’s Boston Marathon jackets will be orange, a departure from the blue and yellow used for as long as I can remember (from Steven Sisco). … The Vatican has released the new logos of its media arm, each featuring a minimalist version of the Emblem of the Holy See (from Jim Vilk). … María Canales‏ sends along this hype video for the Notre Dame cheerleaders’ new uniforms. “It’s good to see a hype video showcasing cheer uniforms.” María says. I agree, it show’s how expansive the uni-verse is getting.

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Uni Watch Fan Appreciation Day, 2017 Edition

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It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back to you folks, literally. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical about it, the time when I clear out all the freebies that have accumulated in my apartment over the past year. Either way, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.

As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent my way over the past 12 months. I realize regifting may seem tacky, but sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.

The listings that follow are pretty self-explanatory, except for this: For shirts and jerseys, you’ll see a size followed by a measurement (L, 21″, for example). In each case, that’s the tagged size followed by the pit-to-pit measurement across the chest.

Ready? Here we go:

1. A complimentary Uni Watch membership card.

2. A reproduction 1958 Army football football helmet, autographed by Heisman winner Pete Dawkins, courtesy of Gridiron Memories.

3. A painted bat of your choice from the Mitchell Bat Co..

4. A “Roots of Seattle Hockey” T-shirt of your choice from Rocco’Shop.

5. A 16″ BobbleDugout in your choice of team colors from BobbleHouse Industries.

6, 7, and 8. A 2018 calendar of your choice from Asgard Press. They’re giving away three calendars, and each one is a separate prize.

9. An Alltimers VIP Lounge hockey jersey. Huge maker’s mark on left sleeve, “League Player” on the other. Blank on back. 50, 22-3/4″.

10. Same as above, but 52, 24″.

11. A New York Rangers cap. Mesh fabric. NHL logo on back. L/XL.

12. A Harlem Globetrotters jersey. No. 1 on back. L, 24.5″.

13 and 14. A pair of Jacob deGrom giveaway jerseys. Sublimated graphics. deGrom’s name and number on the back. Annoying ad on right sleeve. XL, 24″. Each jersey is a separate prize.

15. A pair of Uni Watch socks that a manufacturer prepared for me as a sample. Tried on once, for about 45 seconds. Sublimated graphics look badly distorted when socks are worn. Magnifying glass logo on the back. A one-of-a-kind collector’s item.

16. A pair of Hartford Whalers socks. Graphics repeated on the other side.

17. Three StripeRite sock prototypes that were created for our review as we were setting up the StripeRite project. The white stripes are not truly white — more of a heathered light grey. Not sure how the Pirates sock ended up with that color but hey, that’s why you go through the prototyping process.

18. A four-pack of Adidas low-rise socks.

19. A Mets “New York” giveaway T-shirt. Annoying ad on the back. XL, 23″.

20. A Jose Reyes giveaway T-shirt. Annoying ad on the back. XL, 23.5″.

21. A Jacob deGrom giveaway T-shirt. Annoying ad on the back. XL, 23″.

22. A Uni Watch 2017 Purple Amnesty Day shirt. Blank on back. Sorry, no hangtag or sticker — just the shirt. M, 20″.

23. A SportsLogos.net 20th-anniversary patch, which I believe was made by the Emblem Source.

24. A pair of Adidas running shorts. Extremely lightweight. M, 7″ inseam.

25. A “The Mets” snapback baseball cap, based on the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ cap.

26. A Mets giveaway T-shirt. Slightly less annoying ad on the back. L, 21.5″.

27. A pair of “9” front-jersey numerals. Glacier twill pattern, just like the Mets used during the black drop-shadow era, but without the orange border. Perfect for the Turk Wendell DIY jersey you’ve been planning to make. Numerals are 4-1/8″ high.

28. A pair of Dodgers 3-D batting helmet logos — one rigid (like the ones they wore for the first part of 2016) and one flexible (like the ones they’ve worn since then).

29. Some sort of New England Patriots mini-uniform kit. I have no idea what this is supposed to be for, but several of the pieces appear to have some sort of adhesive on the back.

30. Same as above, but for the Atlanta Falcons.

31. A $20 gift card for Hari Mari, which is a flip-flop brand.

32. An Adidas backpack, or knapsack, or sport sack, or whatever they’re calling them these days. Solid black on the other side.

33. A Jim Palmer giveaway throwback jersey. Palmer’s name and number on the back. Sublimated graphics. M, 22″.

34. An Orioles “My Home, My Team” T-shirt, supposedly designed by pitcher Bud Norris. Blank on back. M, 19.5″.

35. An Orioles T-shirt featuring Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. Photo is blurry; shirt is not. Blank on back. M, 18″.

36. A Washington Capitals “#RockTheRed” rally towel.

37. A pair of vintage bowling alley service manuals — one from 1949, the other from 1971. Interior pages feature lots of tech diagrams.

38. An Adidas zip-front hoodie. Large maker’s mark on left sleeve. Blank on back. Zippered pockets. M, 23.5″.

39. A Richmond Flying Squirrels giveaway T-shirt, designed by longtime Uni Watch pal Rob Ullman. Annoying ad on back. XL, 23″.

40. An Ardillas Voladores T-shirt (that’s Spanish for “Flying Squirrels”). Mexican flag-themed colors. Blank on back. L, 21.5″.

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And there we are. To enter the raffle for these items, here’s whatcha do:

1) Send an email to the raffle address. If you’re having any trouble with the link, it’s uniwatchraffle at gmail dot com.

2) In the body of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 10 prize choices, in order of preference, by number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.

3) One email per person. Overseas readers are welcome to enter, although I may ask you to chip in on the shipping charges if you win something heavy. Entry deadline is next Thursday, Dec. 21, 7pm Eastern. The winners will be announced on Christmas Day.

Again, my thanks to all of you who contribute in various ways to Uni Watch. I wish I could provide gifts for all of you — honest.

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ESPN update: My ESPN column on figure skating costumes, which I thought was going to run yesterday, was pushed back to today. It’s available here.

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Lots of NBA news: The Hawks became the first NBA to officially unveil their second alternate jersey by having the rapper Jeezy wear it during a halftime performance last night (click photo at right to enlarge; here’s the rear view). No word yet on when this uniform will make its game debut.

Meanwhile, NBA uni sleuth Conrad Burry obtained video game screen shots that appear to show 28 of the 30 new alternates. It’s always good to have a healthy skepticism about video game leaks, but Burry is usually pretty reliable about this stuff, and the Hawks design matches the one that was unveiled last night, which suggests that these are probably legit.

It’s a lot to process, but here are some quick thoughts on the more notable designs:

• Everyone’s been expecting the Cavs to wear something featuring “The Land,” and now they’ve gone ahead and done it:

• The Knicks’ design is a shout-out to the New York City Fire Department:

• The Celtics’ design appears to have a subtle parquet floor pattern (which is a nice touch but dressing this team in grey is still a huge mistake):

• The Grizzlies’ design is based on signs from the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, a landmark civil rights moment:

• The Magic’s design appears to have a sublimated pattern showing the Milky Way, or the cosmos, or something like that:

• The Pelicans are going with a Mardi Gras-style design. I don’t understand the misaligned numerals, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing the “story” behind that design element soon enough:

• Has there ever been a DC-based team that wore “The District of Columbia” on its jerseys? There is now, thanks to the Wizards’ new design:

• Looks like the Bucks are going with a cream uniform — an NBA first, I’m pretty sure:

• I have no idea why the Jazz are going with an orange design, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon:

Update: Reader/commenter Joey pointed us toward this explanation for the orange jersey.

• The Kings’ design is sure to be polarizing, but I kinda like it:

• Ugliest design of the bunch is probably the Mavs’ — woof:

You can see cleaner versions of all 28 of the leaked designs here. I’ll have more to say about these when they’re officially released and we can see the shorts that go along with them.

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Uni Watch Hit Parade: Back in the 1990s, Mike Janson was in an indie-rock band called the Lynnfield Pioneers. I never much cared for them, but these days he’s fronting a new band called Scupper, and holy shit are they good. Their debut album, Some Gauls, is one high-velocity earworm after another. If you like Guided by Voices, you’ll like this. Hell, if you like good rock and roll, you’ll like this. Enjoy.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Tigers will retire the numbers of new Hall of Fame inductees Jack Morris and Alan Trammel in August. … South Carolina’s baseball team has a new website with a page devoted to uniforms (from Joel Mathwig).

NFL/CFL News: The Colts and Broncos went mono-blue vs. mono-orange last night, and it was one of the better-looking Thursday-night pairings. Additional photos here. Interestingly, most of the Colts wore the new jersey template, but a few players, including RB Frank Gore, wore the old version with the Nikelace. … We already knew the Lions were planning to wear their ugly mono-grey Thursday-night uniforms for tomorrow’s game against the Bears. Now it turns out that Bears will be wearing their navy jerseys (and maybe pants as well — not sure about that part). So this will be an NFL rarity: a game with neither team wearing white, and not on a Thursday (from Adam Grad). … The team hoping to bring a CFL team to Halifax has trademarked the term “Atlantic Schooners” (from Wade Heidt). … According to this item, the 1950 and ’51 Packers used repurposed helmets that had originally been used by the Colts. The Colts didn’t like them and sold them to Green Bay, where the players had to repaint them themselves (thanks, Phil). … Bills QB Tyrod Taylor appears to have a new facemask. Here’s the old one for comparison (from Michael LaFave). … Disappointing news out of KC, where the Chiefs will go mono-red against the Chargers tomorrow night (blame Phil).

College Football News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: MGoBlog, a UMich-centric sports site, has published its annual list of “translated” college football bowl game names. It uses the common name of each bowl, without the corporate gobbledygook, and even includes a ad-less logo for each. … Here’s how SDSU’s jerseys look with the Armed Forces Bowl patch. … New bowl patches for Appalachian State, Auburn, FAU, and Notre Dame, too (from John Miller, @DallasEmpire78, Jake Elman, and Matt Bond, respectively). … Oregon is going mono-neon with chrome helmets for tomorrow’s Las Vegas Bowl. … The four CFB teams will once again have the diamond version of the Nike logo. … New bowl patch for USC, too. … I love this old photo of a kid with a go-kart wearing a Michigan-style winged helmet (from Ray Hund).

Hockey News: Ugly sweater jerseys tomorrow for the Reading Royals (from David Fine). … Sens goalies Craig Anderson and Mike Condon have new masks for tomorrow’s NHL100 Classic (from James Beattie).

NBA News: The Magic’s NBA 2K League team will be called Magic Gaming. Here’s a look at five of the other team logos. … The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Pacers (from Josh Claywell). … Celtics G Kyrie Irving wore shoes with little lobsters on them the other day. … The Sixers’ red alternates — the ones with the chest script that looks like it says, “Suxers” — will reportedly make their season debut tonight (from Uni Watch alum Mike Chamernik). … Two nights after Wizards G Kelly Oubre wore a Supreme leg sleeve, Cavs G J.R. Smith wore a Supreme arm sleeve. According to this item, he did it “because I thought it looked dope and matched our uniforms” (from Chris Perrenot and Jason Hillyer).

College Hoops News: UMKC has some great pinstriped uniforms for Kansas City Day. It doesn’t specifically say they’re based on the unis worn by the KC Royals of the old Negro Leagues, but it sure has that feel (from @powerandfinesse).

Soccer News: Anyone know more about these sports bra-like thingies that some soccer players wear under their jerseys? (From Chuck Johnson.)

Grab Bag: The car brand Mini has a new logo. … The U.S. Army is testing a new combat uniform. … This is so awesome: There’s a new-ish book called Alternative Moons, which consists of photos of very moon-like objects — all of which are actually pancakes. Genius! (From my old pal the Rev. Nørb.) … Interesting look at the bulletproof clothing industry (from Tommy Turner).

Because It’s Almost Time for the Winter Olympics

I saw the new Tonya Harding biopic, I, Tonya, a few days ago (trailer shown above). It’s not bad, and there are several uni-centric sequences in the movie. Well, okay, costume-centric. Anyway, it got me thinking, and the result is a new ESPN column that should be up today. Link coming soon.

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’Skins Watch: I spent about six hours in a car yesterday, plus another three at a big ESPN staff meeting, plus a few more catching up with colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while, so I missed out on a fun and well-executed hoax that was unfolding about the ’Skins supposedly changing their name to Redhawks. I’m too wiped from the Bristol round-trip to explain all the details, but Deadspin has already done a good job of that, so check out their coverage. Kudos to them, and to whoever created the hoax — nicely done.

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Click to enlarge

KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a replica Detroit Red Wings championship ring. Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: Didn’t we all see this coming? There’s a new collaboration between Major League Baseball and Gucci (from Arrin Williams). … It appears Coke was a big MLB partner on the baseball winter meetings (from BSmile). … Last week we discussed a photo that showed Jim Thome wearing the American/Canadian flag helmet decal that all MLB players wore in 1991 to support the military effort in the first Gulf War. Steve Vibert recently acquired one of those decals on eBay, along with a memo from then-commish Fay Vincent explaining how it should be worn. … Newly signed Cubs P Tyler Chatwood had his contract revised after the baseball writers’ association complained that it put writers in an ethically fraught position.

NFL News: The Lions will go mono-grey on Saturday (thanks Phil). … Following up on this photo of a mysterious Raiders logo sent in by Rudy Gutierrez, he came across the logo again on Ken Stabler’s T-shirt. Anyone ever seen this logo? … Little-remembered fact: The Steelers wore white pants on the road in 1970 and ’71 (from Brian Wulff). … The first ever draft pick by Atlanta, Tommy Nobis, passed away earlier this week, so the Falcons posted some great old photos of him (from @treyinathens). … You are not a bigger Tim Couch fan than this guy (from Mike Chamernik). … Ravens RB Alex Collins is permitted to wear a dark visor because he suffers from light-triggered migraines. Players need a medical waiver to wear dark visors because, in the case of a neck injury, medics need to be able to see a player’s pupils without removing his helmet (from Cole Pessolano). … The Oilers had inconsistent number fonts and inconsistent helmet colors back in the 1970s.

College Football News: Colorado State gets new helmets for the New Mexico Bowl. Here’s another look. Additionally, this article says that CSU will be getting two new alternate uniforms in the next three seasons (from Matt Stephens and Rob Montoya). … Here’s how the Heart of Dallas Bowl patch will look on Utah’s jersey (from Trent Knaphus). … Southern Miss will honor the 177th Armored Brigade with helmet decals during the Independence Bowl (thanks Phil). … Should we be expecting a color-on-color matchup in the Las Vegas Bowl? (From @bsuorangecrush.)

Basketball News: Wizards F Kelly Oubre Jr. wore a “Supreme” leg sleeve two nights ago but removed it after the first half. Lots of additional info here (from Tommy Turner). … The Magic wear the Nike and Disney logos on their jerseys, and G Shelvin Mack had those same two logos on his shoes last night. … The Utah Jazz Gaming Team unveiled their new logo (from Kris Ingles). … The Windy City Bulls, affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, are wearing Star Wars jerseys on Saturday night (from Steve Johnston). … Here’s how UNC got its signature argyle pattern (from William Wells). … Hornets G Jeremy Lamb wore black calf sleeves for part of last night’s game against the Rockets but had white tights at another point in the game (from Collin Wright).

Soccer News: Here’s an article on clubs with different jersey ads at home and on the road (from Ben Armstrong). … ESPN ranked the 11 best players under 21 by Photoshopping them as Star Wars characters (from Josh Hinton). … You can vote on Lionsbridge FC’s new home uniform.

Grab Bag: We got a look at the floor for the NCAA women’s volleyball Final Four (thanks, Jim Vilk).

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Tomorrow: The annual year-end reader appreciation raffle!