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His Mom’s Cooler Than Your Mom: Amazing Uni Craft Project!

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[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from longtime Ticker contributor Tris Wykes — that’s him above — who’s going to fill us in on a completely amazing uni-related craft project. Enjoy. — PL]

By Tris Wykes

Sometimes when you have kids, you’re lucky that their interests dovetail with your own. And sometimes, you wind up like my poor, late mother, Viva “Pat” Wykes, who had an only child obsessed with sports — me.

Mom didn’t know anything about sports. But when I was about five years old, she saw that I’d spend long stretches staring at the Sears catalog pages that offered NFL goods. I was especially fascinated by a page that showed replica helmets for sale. I eventually received a Packers helmet and a John Brockington No. 42 jersey for Christmas.

Mom loved to cross-stitch and was very good at it. She went through a phase of making small pillows, which usually had flowers or the like on them. But in the late 1970s she somehow found two patterns for NFL helmets — one for the NFC and one for the AFC. I recently found the NFC pillow [click to enlarge]:

I’m not sure what happened to the AFC pillow. Maybe I still have it somewhere, or maybe it suffered water damage and had to be tossed.

In retrospect, my favorite part is that Mom would have had no idea what the helmets were really supposed to look like. Maybe that’s why some of the logo proportions are off..? When I recently posted a photo of the pillow on Twitter, someone remarked that the Lions logo looks like a T-Rex.

Sadly, Mom and I didn’t get along so well once I hit my teenage years. But it’s cool to have this memento of when I was her little boy and she took the time to make me something right up my alley.

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Paul here. Oh man — I love this so much! Even the inconsistencies are charming (like the way the white Bucs helmet has an outline for the earhole but the white Cardinals helmet doesn’t). I think my favorite detail is the way the white Giants facemask stands out against the white background, because it’s rendered with a different stitch:

Meanwhile: If you made an NFC pillow today — more than 40 years after Tris’s mom made the one for him — how many of the designs would you have to change? Here’s my breakdown:

• Completely unchanged (4): Cowboys, 49ers, Saints, Washington

• Unchanged except for facemask color (3): Bears, Packers, Vikings

• Unchanged except for minor tweak to logo (1): Cardinals

• Similar but with several overall tweaks (2): Eagles, Lions

• Significantly changed (4): Bucs, Falcons, Giants, Rams

All very interesting. Big thanks to Tris for sharing this family heirloom with us, and also for his many, many Ticker contributions over the years. You make Uni Watch a better place, Tris!

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And speaking of DIY projects…: Longtime reader/supporter and all-around swell guy Jimmy Lonetti recently DIY’d himself a Minnesota Twins grounds crew windbreaker, complete with a chain-stitched chest insignia and vertically arched lettering on the back. To see how he did it, start here and then scroll through the entire thread — you won’t be sorry. Nice job, Jimmy!

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What might have been: Everyone knows that the original Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, and then Cleveland was given a new team that got to claim the Browns’ team name, colors, records/stats, and so on.

But did you remember that the initial plan was for the original Browns to keep their identity and simply be known as the Baltimore Browns? I had forgotten about that until a few days ago, when reader Jason Silfies sent me the rare item shown above. I’ll let him explain:

I was living in Baltimore in 1995, when the Browns announced that they would be leaving Cleveland for Baltimore.

At the time of the announcement, the team was still called the Browns until the city of Cleveland later sued for the rights to keep the name, logo, colors, etc.

In November 1995, when they were still slated to be called the Browns, The Baltimore Sun newspaper was promoting an upcoming special feature section on the new team. I was able to obtain this promotional insert from a newspaper vending machine.

A month of two later, a few players were signing autographs at a local mall to promote the team. I was able to have Vinny Testaverde sign the insert in the helmet area.

Fascinating stuff. Big thanks to Jason for sharing.

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ITEM! Uni Watch wallpapers now available: “Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie is always tossing suggestions at me. His latest: “How about some Uni Watch wallpapers? I can get them made for you!”

Sure, why not? So I sent Brinke some vector files, and he came back to me with a bunch of wallpaper designs — including some BFBS and purple versions! Brinke didn’t actually create them himself — “Credit for these goes to my friend and former co-worker Tom Maynor,” he says.

You can see all of the designs here. If there’s one you want to download, click on the thumbnail; then, on the resulting Flickr image page, click on the download arrow and choose “Original” from the popup menu. Enjoy!

(Big thanks to Brinke Guthrie and Tom Maynor for making this happen.)

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Membership update: Another day, another new round of purple designs added to the membership card gallery (including Aaron Spaulding’s, which is patterned after this 2015-16 Orlando Solar Bears jersey).

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,700 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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ITEM! Yet another membership raffle: A reader who prefers to remain anonymous recently donated two memberships for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

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

Speaking of raffles, the four winners of yesterday’s membership raffle are Mycroft Newkirk, Matt Dillon, Chad Staffan, and Chad Hayes (two Chads!). Congrats to them, and big thanks to Anthony Verna for sponsoring that one.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Here’s the story of the woman who has sewn the Women’s College World Series patch on every participating team’s uniform for the past 23 years — and hew she’s dealing with the Series’s cancellation this year (from Jeff Curley). … A brewery in New Jersey has released an Astros-inspired beer called Trash Can Banger in a tequila sunrise-themed can (from Elliot Teichman). … The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Mariners, revealed the amazing caps they would have worn for their “La Familia” night. … ESPN re-aired the 2016 World Series last night and used the Cubs’ 1946-47 logo for a graphic (from Steve Sher). … Here’s a great Astros/White Sox crossover from reader Michael Galante: “My town in NJ is basically two towns linked together: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. SPF is a common way people refer to both towns or either town. My son’s 11-year-old travel baseball team, the SPF Raiders, hasn’t played yet this spring but they just got their uniforms. The jerseys are a take on the Astros’ tequila sunrise uniforms and their hats are a take on the 80’s-era White Sox logo.”

Hockey News: The Golden Knights will reveal the name and logo of their new Henderson, Nev., AHL affiliate tomorrow (from our own Anthony Emerson). … Ducks G Ryan Miller recently posted a picture of his last Anaheim trapper glove, which he’s selling for charity. He shared details that his Pisiform bone was amputated, which is why he has the league-approved extra pad (from Mike Engle).

Basketball News: North Carolina men’s announced the uni number assignments for their freshmen (from James Gilbert).
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Soccer News: The following items are from Josh Hinton unless otherwise specified. … Arsenal’s new home kit was spotted in a retail store. … So was Juventus’s home kit. … New home kit and crest for Iceland. … Scunthorpe United has signed a kit deal with Macron. … Borussia Dortmund wore a special one-off sponsor yesterday against Bayern Munich. … Bayer Leverkusen had several photographs of fans in the seats of their stadium for their match against Wolfsburg yesterday. … Betway will replace Marathon Bet as Sevilla’s shirt ad, because Marathon Bet are pulling their sponsorship deal ahead of schedule. …For both away games since the Bundesliga has come back, Borussia Moenchengladbach’s goalkeeper has worn the team’s home kit instead of the normal keeper kit (from Shane Bua). … Orlando Pride will reveal their new kit next week (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Here’s the logo for the NWSL’s return-to-play tournament, which is scheduled to take place in Utah in about a month. … There’s a new Manchester United leak. “It appears they’ve updated the home kit after an earlier leak was met with sharp criticism from the fan base,” says our own Anthony Emerson.

Grab Bag: The Twitter account for NRG Park, where the Astrodome and the Houston Texans’ stadium are both located, tweeted an illustration of Texans QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Rockets G James Harden, and Houston Astros 2B Jose Altuve. Both Harden and Watson are mirror images with backwards lettering, and Altuve is wearing a 2017 Independence Day uniform — weird (from Ignacio Salazar). … Riot Games, developer of the popular online multiplayer game League of Legends, revealed a new in-game advertising system (from Griffin Smith). … The Boise Police Department revealed new uniform pins over Memorial Day weekend. The pins honor veterans and help officers connect with other vets in the community (from Timmy Donahue). … The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has been picking the best Pittsburgh athlete to wear each uni number. Here are their picks for Nos. 99, 98, and 97 (from Joe Werner).

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What Paul did last night: You can’t tell from the photos, but the silver car that was parked in front of our house for the past few days was partially blocking our landlords’ driveway. It wasn’t impossible for them to get in and out, but it was tricky. So they put left a note on the car’s windshield for a few days, asking the owner to please move the car, and also posted a note on our neighborhood listserv. No dice. So yesterday they made a few calls and had the car ticketed and then towed.

A short time later, a new car arrived — the black one you see in today’s photo. Naturally, it is partially blocking the driveway. My landlords are about to lose their minds. This is what qualifies as drama during the pandemic.

The branch is still there.

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos here.

170 Diamonds, 55 Rubies, 32 Sapphires, 0 Copy Editors: Nats Unveil Championship Rings With Grammatical Error

Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be healthy and safe. I hope things are also going well in your household.

Now then: One of the many things put on hold by the pandemic was the unveiling of the Nationals’ championship rings. They finally went ahead and revealed the design over the weekend. The “storytelling” elements, which are spelled out in the video shown above, scale new heights in ridiculousness, and the explanations for some of them seem reverse-engineered (“Hey, we got 55 rubies in there, so come up with some combination of stats that adds up to 55!”), but whatever — it’s a handsome design, and I’m sure the players and fans are happy with it.

Just one thing: The ring contains a grammatical error.

Yes, really. It’s on the shank, which is stamped with one of Nats skipper Dave Martinez’s motivational mantras:

As you can see, it says “Go 1-0 everyday.” But that’s wrong — it should be “Go 1-0 every day.”

Everyday, when styled as a single word, is an adjective, as in “These are my everyday pants,” or “Sean Doolittle is the Nats’ everyday closer.” But as phrased in Martinez’s mantra, it’s a determiner followed by a noun — every day.

If you’re not quite grasping the distinction, imagine if the mantra was actually “Go 1-0 every single day” or “Go 1-0 each day.” That makes it easier to see why “every day” should be two words, not one, right? (If you’re still not convinced, just Google “go 1-0 every day” — that’s clearly how it’s been phrased and referred to all along.)

Interestingly, the article about the ring unveiling on the Nats’ own website referred to “Every Day” as two words, even though the ring clearly has it as one word:

Other media outlets were a hodgepodge. ESPN, The Washington Post, and CNN all had it as two words (but didn’t call out the ring’s use of one word), while CBS Sports and NBCWashington.com had it as one word.

Perhaps you’re squinting at that ring image I posted and trying to convince yourself that there might actually be a space in between EVERY and DAY. Nope — here’s another view, straight from MLB’s Twitter feed:

There’s no getting around it: The ring has it as one word, and it should be two.

Obviously, typos and such happen (I make lots of them myself). But between the Nats’ front office and the ring manufacturer, dozens of people presumably signed off on this design. That’s a whole lot of people who apparently don’t understand the difference between everyday and every day. Do we attribute this to the inevitable and understandable downtick in quality control during the pandemic? The increasing rise in American illiteracy? Something else?

I emailed the Nats yesterday to ask about all of this. No response yet (completely understandable considering the holiday and the pandemic), but I’ll post an update if I hear back from them.

(My thanks to Jeremy Lupo, who was the first of several readers to bring the grammatical error to my attention.)

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Uni Watch now of legal drinking age: May 17 was the 14th anniversary of the first post on this website. But today is an even more important date on the Uni Watch calendar: It was 21 years ago today — May 26, 1999 — that the very first Uni Watch column was published in The Village Voice. It was basically the first edition of what we now think of as my annual MLB season preview column, even though we were already nearly two months into that season:

It’s become mildly irksome to have the two uni-versaries — the one for the blog and the one for the first column — just nine days apart. It would have been smarter for me to launch the blog on May 26 so the two dates would align, but that didn’t occur to me at the time, and I certainly never dreamed that Uni Watch would still be going, in any capacity, so many years later.

In any case: Twenty-one — Uni Watch is now old enough to drink, gamble, and adopt a child! Who’da thunk? On the one hand, it’s completely remarkable that a media project could keep going this long. On the other hand, as I wrote last year on the occasion of Uni Watch’s 20th anniversary, you could say my whole life was leading up to Uni Watch, so maybe it’s not so surprising.

In any case, as I like to say each year on this date, the uni-versary is not just mine but also yours — the whole comm-uni-ty made this happen. So here’s to all of us on the occasion of Uni Watch turning 21, and my thanks to each of you for your role, large or small, in making that happen.

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Seeing red: Ever seen a red baseball field before? I don’t think I have until now. That’s the new field for Edison High School in New Jersey. Additional info here.

(My thanks to reader Timmy Donahue for this one.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie
 

Hope you had a restful Memorial Day yesterday! Now here is an interesting little item. The seller calls these “Doss miniature soccer shoes from Spain,” and the year given is 1973. These look like they could go on a key ring, right? Well, I have one of these from around the same period, but these are for Adidas and came straight from Germany. They’re now hanging from the hand of my Tony Bennett/San Francisco Giants bobblehead — a fitting showcase.

Pretty darn similar, wouldn’t you agree? Note the Doss version has two white stripes and one that isn’t colored in. Funny seeing a different version after all these years! (I also found real Doss soccer shoes. Just two stripes on those!)

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Really great artwork on this 1970s NFL towel. I wanna say Ron Johnson is No. 30 and Bob Tucker is No. 38, and the runner on the right with No. 43 looks to be Don Perkins because of the socks (Cowboys), but he only played through 1968.

• Nice cover art on this 1971 record album documenting the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series title. Sponsored by All-Star Dairies and narration from Bob Prince. 

• Check out the old-school graphics on this 1945 football game titled, aptly, 
The Footballer.”

• We’re going back to 1939/1940 for “Babe Ruth’s Baseball Game.” The seller tells us, “Both the box and the game are in fantastic shape … And, as I was setting it up to take pictures after all of these years, I had the batter take a few swings again and it still works great and it’s a fun game to play, both functionally and visually!” Made by Toy Town.

• Going back nearly a century for this one: a 1933 Goudey Big League Chewing Gum wrapper. If you sent in 50 wrappers (!), you could get a picture of Babe Ruth or of one of the MLB All-Star teams! Offer expired on Nov. 1, 1933, alas.

• This promo item goes back even further! Some 98 years ago, Myrl Brown of the Pittsburgh Pirates got his face on a button for Kolb’s Mother’s Bread. A check on his record shows that Mr. Brown was only in the bigs for a month, going 3-1 with a 5.97 ERA in his only stint with the Bucs. But he still got a pin!

• After 10-plus years, I can’t always remember all the things that have previously shown up in this column. But I promise this is the first New York Giants Miller Lite Beer Tap Handle I’ve ever listed (or for any team, for that matter).

• Got a couple of soft drink items from back in the day here. First, a pair of advertisement cards for Mickey Mantle (Yoo-Hoo) and Ted Williams (Moxie). Ted also plugged a drink simply called “Ted’s Creamy Root Beer,” as shown on this tin sign

• Here’s another soft drink item that’s a bit more contemporary: Shaquille O’ Neal had plenty of endorsements, one being for Pepsi. So give a bonus to the copywriter who came up with the term Shaq Attaq Paq for this six pack of Pepsi, still in the carton from 1992-1993.

• Your 1971 Philadelphia Phillies are presented on this ruler. The seller says it was given out to the first 5,000 fans attending an early season “family night” promotion.

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Membership update: Reader Will Scheibler had an interesting Purple Amnesty Day membership request. It’s based on a Hamilton Steelheads jersey that was worn on an episode of the Canadian TV show Power Play. He wrote about the jersey on his own blog several years ago.

Will’s card is one of many disturbingly purple designs that were added to the membership card gallery over the weekend, as card designer Scott M.X. Turner and I continue to work our way through the 100-plus Purp Walk orders we received (thank you!).

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,700 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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ITEM! Yet another membership raffle: Longtime reader/pal Anthony Verna recently purchased four memberships for me to raffle off (and paid for them via e-check — a first for me!), so that’s what we’re going to do today.

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

Speaking of raffles, the five winners of last weekend’s raffles are Seth Hilgert, Sean Kauffman, Ryan Houdayer, David Dahl, and the pseudonymous Block “O Canada.” Congrats to them, and big thanks to Stan Sulkowski for sponsoring that one.

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Uni Watch Hit Parade: While listening to Suzy Hotrod’s show on WFMU on Sunday, I heard a new song called “Daily Jobs” that blew me away. It’s by an Italian band I’d never heard of before, Bee Bee Sea. Turns out it has a really fun animated video, too. Enjoy!

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What Paul did last night: When I started this daily photo series, I figured it would show the long-term progression of leaves coming in on the trees, the shrubs getting shrubbier, and so on. It didn’t occur to me that we could get the same effect from a single plant in less that two weeks’ time.

And yet: The house directly across the street from us has a rose bush in the front yard, and our new porch activity is to track the progress of its flowers. A check back at my daily porch photos shows that the bush was completely green on May 14 — that’s 12 days ago:

The following day, May 15, a red flower appeared on the left side of the bush (sorry, some of these photos aren’t so great — most of them are just crops of my daily porch pics, so I wasn’t focusing on the rose bush):

I think we started noticing the roses a few days after that. Here’s the daily progression from May 16 through yesterday:

Man, nature is so fucking cool!

The branch is still there.

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos (now up to 70 of them!) here.

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Sorry, no Ticker today because the entire Uni Watch team had yesterday off. The Ticker will return tomorrow. — Paul

Uni Watch Observes Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. Obviously, it will be very different this year — no parades, no large gatherings, no MLB holiday uniforms. Just one of countless things that the pandemic has affected.

But the important sentiment behind Memorial Day remains: If you are mourning a fallen member of the military, please accept my sympathies. I’ve added a black band to our logo as a gesture of remembrance.

Many people make an annual habit of visiting a loved one’s grave on Memorial Day. For some people, that may not be possible this year, which may make the sense of loss all the more painful. Ditto for veterans who normally gather to remember fallen comrades but may not be able to do so this year. If you fall into either of those categories, please know that I am thinking of you.

That’s it for today. See you back here tomorrow. Peace. — Paul

Meet Mike Joseph — Uniform Designer

By Phil Hecken

Hey you guys — hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. It’s not quite the same as it has been in the past, what with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting things, but ‘this here nonetheless. Enjoy it however you can.

Now then, you guys may remember a couple weeks (or was it months?) ago, in a couple different sub-ledes, I featured the design prowess of Mike Joseph. The first tweak of his was the Arizona Cardinals (which he’s since reworked, and which you’ll see in a bit), followed by the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. I mentioned at the time (or at least I think I did), that I’d be featuring more of Mike’s NFL designs and a little get-to-know-you bit. Well, that time has arrived.

So, today, let’s meet Mike, and then we’ll check out a few (with more to come down the road) new NFL concepts.

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Uni Watch: First question I ask of everyone: how and when did you “discover” Uni Watch, and how long have you been a reader?

Mike Joseph: I discovered Uni Watch pretty early on. I can’t say what year, but I was working at a bank at the time and there were no customers so I was online catching up on the news and I think I saw something on ESPN.com. I think that was the first time I realized people other than me cared about this stuff.

UW: How old are you and where do you live?

MJ: I’m 37 and live in Gilbert, AZ with my lovely wife and three young kids.

UW: As readers know, I’ve always loved uniform concepts, and feature them often (including yours over several weekends). When did you first begin designing unis?

MJ: Actually putting real effort into in started earlier this NBA season when the Suns unveiled their orange unis. Like many fans I was not impressed (although they have grown on me over time), so I decided to make my own version of what I would have done if forced to go in that direction. I did a couple others as well and posted them on Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc. and the response was overwhelming. The fan response lit a fire in me that has gotten hotter and hotter ever since. I’m kind of obsessed with it, to be honest. I’m sleeping way less than I should and find myself thinking about uni designs most of the day. My main goal remains to get the Suns to use one of my designs, and the fans have been really supportive about that.

UW: Did you do “refrigerator art” (as we call them) — basically drawings of unis — as a kid?

MJ: I remember doing drawings of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan as a kid and I would change the colors or just draw different versions of their uniforms. I don’t think I was really designing anything as much as tweaking what was already there. My son has really taken to it and does some great designs. He’s only 7 and he knows all about strokes, drop shadows, kerning and such. I occasionally take his art and do photorealistic mockups in Photoshop, but he has a ton of details so it can be quite a chore. He’s also not very willing to compromise on his choices when I nudge him to go a certain way, but he’s learning.

UW: As we’ll see when you get into your descriptions, you note you collaborate with Nick Mueller on the logos and wordmarks. So, to use a Grateful Dead reference, he’s Robert Hunter to your Jerry Garcia? Can you tell me how you two got together?

MJ: I think we have a pretty good community of uni/logo designers on social media and we just seems to find each other. Nick is mostly on Instagram, and I think we both collaborated separately with Lance Hinesman at some point. I noticed Nick’s work and reached out to collaborate on a Suns concept I was working on. We put some fun stuff together and after that I would reach out if I was stuck on a logo (I’m not really an Illustrator guy right now — so if I can’t make it happen in Photoshop or Procreate, I recruit help lol). I think I ended up figuring out what I was trying to do, but then Nick and I continued to chat and I asked if he wanted to help with these NFL concepts I was working on and it just built from there. He’s much younger than I am and currently in design school. I feel bad because I know I distract him from schoolwork when I message him with ideas. Luckily he’s a good student and knows when he needs to step away. I think he’ll be a star in the industry someday.

UW: How about these templates? Did you design them or have you worked with other graphic designers (I *love* the one where you kind of “lay out” the uniform)?

MJ: Most of the stuff I use is done by Brandon Williams, who runs Webpixum.com. The Lay Down template you see here is a version he customized for me using his newest NFL release. Brandon is one of the coolest guys in this business. He’s insanely talented yet very accessible and willing to help people like myself trying to break into the industry. I think of him as both a mentor and a friend. When I reached out about a custom template he was super excited to help and listened to my ideas, which was great. I think his stuff is the best in the business and I know he has more great things coming. On a related note, I’ve started dabbling with creating my own templates and I’m really excited about it. I have another design buddy who shall go unnamed for now (because I’m not sure he wants to be mentioned just yet as it pertains to this) and we’re roughing out some ideas. I’m currently working on Photoshop and Procreate templates that will allow designers to customize every part of a real Jordan 1 sneaker.

UW: You started off doing basketball designs, yes? What made you want to switch to football?

MJ: I wouldn’t say I’ve switched, but my focus lately has been on NFL since the draft was coming up and the Cardinals are in desperate need of a refresh. I try to really pay attention to what fans are saying on social media and Cardinals fans are very loudly demanding new unis. Some of my early designs were Cardinals/Suns/Dbacks crossovers, and then I started doing every NBA team as a crossover with another local team (Celtics X Patriots, for example) but I’ve gotten away from that project since the NBA season got suspended and some other things started picking up for me. I’m mostly driven by what sticks out in my brain at any given moment. If I have an NFL idea I’ll run to the computer and get something down, or I’ll grab my iPad and sketch out a quick NBA idea on Procreate. I’ll get more into MLB at some point because I’m a big fan. Not a big hockey fan, to be honest, but I’ve done some Suns/Coyotes mashups and I do love hockey uniforms, so I’m sure at some point I’ll do more in that area. I think football is definitely the most fun in terms of fan reactions. It’s really easy to piss people off or make them really excited with a simple concept that has no chance of becoming reality.

UW: Is this a hobby or do you do any of this professionally? If not professionally, would you like to try to turn it into a money making venture?

MJ: It’s a hobby that I make a little side money with. As my social media presence has grown I’ve been contacted by so many people with paid jobs doing simple logos, uniform designs for club teams, high school teams, etc. I do custom phone and computer backgrounds for a small fee and I do lots of pro bono work if the right person asks or I just don’t feel like charging. I’ve done jersey swaps for college players that want pics of them in the uniform of whatever school they’ve committed to and things like that. It’s a little weird because I have a great career that I love and I’m a bit older than most people getting into the sports design game. It’s not like I can, or would, take some entry-level graphic design gig with a pro team because I would take a huge pay cut in doing so and I have a wife and three kids to think about. I’d love to consult or do part-time work for a pro team, though. As mentioned previously, I’m working on some templates of my own and plan to offer some freebies and some buyable stuff. I’d love to make money doing what I love, but it’s more about pursuing a passion. Any financial gains that may come out of it are a bonus and I’ve definitely spent more on computer equipment and other “office supplies” than I’ve earned doing sports design at this point. I typically earn enough in a month to cover my computer needs, software subscriptions and internet bill.

UW: How long does an “average” design set take? What took you the longest?

MJ: I spend several hours on each team and it varies depending on how many variants I want to do. I think the Eagles took the longest with all the different presentations I did. Each one is easier than the one before because something is always learned about the process that speeds things up. I’m a thousand times faster now than when I first started and everything was an unknown. The Webpixum templates are definitely user friendly and make things faster, but I do use some others that can be a little less speedy, which is partly why I’ve started making my own. There are things I need or want that I can’t get from any one template all the time, so I’m trying to build some out that people will enjoy using. Necessity is the mother of all invention, they say.

UW: Some of your designs seem pretty traditional (usually the “main” set) and then you really take it in another direction with the “custom” uniform — I guess something a team might wear as an alternate or Color Rash — what do you use for inspiration for these?

MJ: It comes from everywhere. I try to keep things in mind that I see fans say in comments on my designs or in other posts I’ve seen. I think about local themes or elements, which I think is becoming a bit of a cliche, to be honest. I get requests in messages or post comments and try to use those when I can, but mostly I just think about what might look cool or get a reaction. I hope to avoid becoming one of those designers where everything has a story behind it. “This hue symbolizes the city’s sense of brotherhood” and all that stuff is getting a little silly if you ask me. What’s wrong with just making something that looks good and isn’t always drawing inspiration from all these symbolic sources?

UW: I see you’ve done four designs for us today for the Eagles. Any thoughts on what you call the “White Flight” uni? That’s probably not a term that would fly (as it were), since it definitely has an alternate meaning. Wanna rename it?

MJ: I honestly didn’t even think about it until now. I just Googled it and now I feel like a dummy. I like to think I’m pretty aware of most socially sensitive phrases, but I’d honestly not heard of that phrase having that meaning. Let’s just call it “White/Green Alternate” to be safe.

UW: Have you designed anything besides football and hoops? If not, do you have any plans to?

MJ: I recently did a couple baseball concepts in to go with some basketball unis that Stefan Vasilev and I are doing based on rock bands. He crushed the basketball designs and I’m struggling to get mine done with so many other projects going on. I did the Minnesota Pearls based on Prince and the LA Sandmen based on Metallica (haven’t released that one yet). As mentioned before I plan to get more into baseball for sure and maybe some hockey at some point. I’m also in the process of making an actual jersey at home using one of my Suns designs. I have the fabrics and most everything cut out, but assembly is daunting and I’m putting it off for fear of ruining what I’ve done so far. The sewing machine is also buried in the garage and it recently warmed up here, so there’s that. I also do fan art pieces, like edits of players and game graphic type stuff. I recently “helped” the Suns with some wallpapers they did for #WallpaperWednesday. By “helped” I mean they only did so many fan requests with the name and number they wanted, so I jumped on after and replicated them for about 30 fans that the Suns couldn’t get to and fixed a few where the number spacing was pretty bad. To be clear, the Suns did not ask me to help and I don’t work for the Suns – I just do things like that sometimes for the fans.

UW: Where can we see more of your work? I know you’re on twitter — do you have a website or blog, or any other social media presence where you display your talents?

MJ: I’m a bit scattered, to be honest. Most of my presence is definitely on Twitter. Everything I do goes there. I also have an Instagram with the same handle and another using @mikejosephdesign that I’m trying to limit to art pieces rather than uniforms. I’m on Reddit as well, but nothing goes anywhere that isn’t already on Twitter unless I’m gathering feedback and ideas for concepts. I do have a Behance page but I never have time to update it. This is making me realize I need to clean things up a bit and someone needs to invent a good app that allows me to post to all of these places at once (pretty sure something like that exists but when I tried it I didn’t like it – someone can do better). Most of my success, if I can call it that, has come from Twitter and I love the platform so I tend to focus there.

UW: Great! Thanks, Mike — let’s take a look at your first big batch of NFL concepts. (You can click on the images below to enlarge.)

__________

Here we go!

Logos and wordmarks: 95% of these are done by Nick Mueller with MLR Studios. In most cases he just does what he does (he’s brilliant) and I incorporate them. In some cases they are born out of ideas we’ve discussed and maybe some things I’ve suggested or asked for, but for the most part it’s all him. I tell him what teams I want to work on and he comes blazing in with all these awesome ideas and it builds from there. I did a couple things like the Eagles Liberty Bell logo using the “E” portion of the wings he created (so don’t blame him if you hate it). I told him we’re like Elton John and Bernie Taupin – if we can have 1% of their success I think we’ll both be very happy with that.

__________

Cardinals:

For my 2nd recent set for the Cardinals I took in a lot of the fan feedback from my previous designs (See Here) and went for a return to a more traditional look that was used during the Pat Tillman era. Deeper red, classic stripes, small AZ flag on the sleeves, etc. The only big changes were the facemask options, new wordmark/slightly updated logo by my logo-partner-in-crime Nick Mueller. I am not a fan of the grey facemask for the Cardinals or most other teams unless grey is one of their actual colors. My theory is grey was the easiest back when the original facemasks were being made so a lot of teams have that and stuck with it due to tradition (I have no actual knowledge on this, it’s pure speculation). I also did a set of alternates with a grey/copper set based on the gorgeous Desert Cardinal that I didn’t even know existed until my buddy Craig Hamil showed it to me. We don’t see a lot of either cardinal in Arizona but this one seems more appropriate for our state. I also had a lot of fans ask for copper to be incorporated in the helmet and/or trim, so this felt like a good opportunity to add it. Lastly, I got some requests for a Salute to Service edition and I had been wanting to do something with Pat Tillman in mind, so I pulled in some Army Ranger elements. I really wanted to avoid camo/desert camo and just use classic Army athletic colors and some desert sand tones.

__________

Dolphins:

For the Dolphins Nick and I worked closely on the logo and took in some feedback from Uni Watch’s own Phil Hecken (Dolphins look happy, not tough and mean). Nick really killed it on this one, resurrecting the old helmet logo with his signature touch to make it clean, fun and modern. I really wanted to bring the stripes back to the sleeves and pants, and Nick’s color palette was perfect for the overall look I wanted to achieve. Definitely wanted a more subdued blue-green and a calm orange. I went with two facemask options in either color, but the blue-green is my favorite. For the alternate Miami Nights edition I used the extremely popular pink/teal Miami Heat palette and played with some 80s elements on the numbers and pant striping.

__________

Eagles:

New Kelly Edition


Silver Slate Edition


Midnight Edition


White Flight Green Edition


I did A LOT of options for the Eagles. “Kelly” green was a must, but I learned that true Kelly green is a lot brighter than what most people think of. I settled on what I called New Eagles Kelly after trying several different variants. I also learned that Eagles fans are really split on going back to Kelly green vs. staying with Midnight green, especially after the recent Super Bowl win. There’s a strange line of thinking in sports, especially football, that if you win a Super Bowl in a certain uniform you should stay with it. I don’t necessarily agree, but a lot of fans seem to. I came really close to using one of the older helmet wings, but again Nick and I did a lot of tinkering and he ended up creating this beautiful new main logo and helmet wing with the “E” in the wingtip that I just loved after we talked about some of the older Eagles logos and wordmarks and where I wanted to go with it. When I can I want to make unexpected choices rather than just rely on pure throwback elements. New logos, new wordmark, new number font, tons of variants.

__________

Titans:

Had to go with pretty drastic changes here. Some of Nick’s best work on the logos and wordmark made this one easy for me. Again, I gave some different facemask options (I think I like the Navy blue best) and a new number font. I always loved the “T” sword idea, so that was definitely going on the helmet. Really wanted to simplify the jersey and add some curves to the pants since the logos are a mix of hard lines and curves. When I saw the sword I immediately wanted to put the Oilers logo on it and they fit perfectly together. The Titans Oilers mashup edition might be my favorite that I’ve done so far. I love that old number font and the colors, and I think the blending of the two logos is really fun and unique. We need this brand back in the NFL almost as badly as the NBA needs the Seattle Supersonics back.

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Vikings:

We may or may not have tucked a little “MV” somewhere in the hair of the logo. Can you tell I like to play with facemask options at this point? Such an easy thing to change that can make a big difference. With the purple jersey I wanted to go with yellow numbers with no outline. I really like that look and not enough teams use it these days. The number font is not all that different from what they use now. It seems to fit the theme and adds some life to the otherwise basic look with traditional stripes. I learned of Paul’s hatred for purple after I did the Purple People Eaters edition. I really had fun with this one, going really heavy with the purple and adding some braids on the sleeves and pants to call back to the viking’s hair and that whole theme. It’s not necessarily meant to be a Color Rush, I just wanted to do an all purple set for them using the old nickname and a “FEED ME” tagline on the front helmet bumper and nameplate.

• • •

Whew! Thanks, Mike.

And there you have it. Sorry this one was a bit long, but if you made it this far you clearly are a glutton for punishment are a uni aficionado! Please let Mike know what you think of his concepts in the comments below! And I’m sure he’ll be back with more NFL (and probably some other sports) concepts in the future.

The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner

Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.

So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.

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

• • •

Title: “The Weiser Wonder”
Subject: Walter Johnson, 1907
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 22″ x 28″

Walter Johnson is clearly one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. His numbers are shocking, especially considering the ballclub he played for his entire career. With that said, seeing him in anything other than a Senators uniform just seems odd. But that’s what we have here: a 19 or 20-year old future Hall of Famer with the Weiser Kids of the semi-pro Idaho State League. Finding proper color information for the uniform was no easy task. It wasn’t until I was able to get in touch with a family member of somebody who had played for the club in those years that I discovered what’s on the canvas today.

• • •

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

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Mr. Charlie.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

I received an e-mail from Trey Gorman a student in Washington State — his vision is what would have happened to the original Seattle MLB team, the Pilots, if they’d never been stolen from the city by Bud Selig moved to Milwaukee.

I just finished reading Ball Four, and it make me think about what their uniforms would look like had they never left Seattle for Milwaukee. Personally, I think they hit a home run (pun intended) with their first look, so it remains very similar to the uniforms they wore in 1969. The only real changes are the wordmark used in the primary logo, the removal of the logo on the chest and moving it to the sleeve, and the addition of a gray road uniform and a royal blue alternate uniform.

• • •

Thanks Trey!

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Raffle reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it on Friday, I’m currently raffling off a whopping five Uni Watch memberships that were donated by reader Stan Sulkowski.

This raffle will run through the weekend. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern on Sunday. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, while I have you here:

• Uni Watch cufflinks, which usually sell for $26.99, have had their price cut to $16.99. You may not have much use for them now, but imagine how good it’ll feel to wear them in the post-apocalyptic world that awaits us!

• And remember, you can save an additional 15% on those cufflinks — and on all other items in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop — by using the checkout code COMMUNITY.

• Supplies of the Uni Watch Pin Club’s May design are dwindling, so move fast if you want one. And if you need to get caught up, here are the January, February, and March editions. (April is sold out.)

• I still have all colors of Uni Watch seam rippers in stock, although green is about to run out again.

Okay, end of sales pitch. Thanks for your support! Now back to Phil.

Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Once again, beautiful artwork on the Twitter that caught my eye yesterday. It’s simply Too Good…

…for the ticker

• • •

Here’s more beautiful artwork from Bowen Hobbs, with a fantastic Gary “Kid” Carter homage (you may recall last week Bowen did a gorgeous Reggie Jackson:

Bowen writes,

My next illustration is of 11-time All-Star, The Kid, Gary Carter

• • •

You can follow Bowen and check out more of his work @bowenhobbs.

OK. Now, on to the ticker…

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Eddie Murray beer? Yup. Reader Tim Walsh elaborates: “This beer is not new. I drank a couple watching the Astros put a record breaking loss on the Orioles last year. This included the longest HR ever hit at Camden Yards.” … “Mike Schmidt showed up on MLB tonight wearing this bedazzled Phillies jersey, and later explained it was made for an episode of the Goldbergs and later given to him by the creators of the show,” writes Michael Miller. “While I never saw the episode, so I don’t know how or of this somehow played into the storyline, but the one in the show clip is a button down, while Schmidt was wearing the infamous zippered style.” … So, what’s your favorite Angels uni? You have until May 30th to vote. … You can also vote for favorite A’s uni jersey. … I’m just gonna leave this tweet, “Baseball is cowboy cosplay” from Pablo Torre here (thanks to Jeremy Brahm). Missing baseball? Last night was to be the Tulsa Drillers 2020 edition of Muscogee Creek Nation Night (from MiLB Promos). … The final touches are going in on the Edison (NJ) HS #baseball field. The warning track, base lines, batter’s box & mound are Vegas gold, the rest of the field is scarlet red. The field will be multi-purpose (from Timmy Donahue). … Speaking of new digs: New softball field for New Bedford (Mass.) High School (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Timmy: you wanna stay in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Twins Double-A affiliate) stadium? They have listed their stadium on AirBnB for $1,500 per night. Here’s a bit more on that from MiLB Promos. … Ticker-er emeritus Mike Chamernik writes, “Someone participating in a recent Illinois Senate session was wearing a Dodgers mask. Interesting that it wasn’t a local team.”

NFL News: Have you ever wondered what it would look like if the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets combined uniforms? (also posted in NBA). … The Giants Saquon Barkley seems to be on board with a “retro” uniform for the team (there’s also a couple other concepts in that article). … NFL Fashion Advice asks “What is everyone’s all-time favorite number font across all sports? Waiting to hear an answer from the master, @GameplanChicago [that’s Tom O’Grady, kids]. I’ll start: I love the font style featured in the new Colts uniforms and throwbacks for the Cowboys and Penn State (from Tom O’Grady).

College Football News: The great Blaise D’Sylva has this helmet observation (the letters refer to their positions in the tweet): Eastern Michigan’s original E logo on its helmet was this one (TL) from ’67-’75. The block E first appeared in ’91-’92 (TR) & then again w/an eagle & grey helmet ’96-’98 (BL) & white helmet ’99. Block E became permanent in ’02 (BR).
.

Hockey News: Yay. More uni rankings! (note to self: it may be time for one of these…) This time Hockey’s 25 worst: “It is pandemic times so we are seeing lots of these lists,” writes Wade Heidt. “This one is interesting as it does not include the usual suspects such as the Islanders’ Fishsticks uniforms or the Canucks’ Flying V. Debatable that some of these jerseys belong in 25 worst.”

NBA News: Have you ever wondered what it would look like if the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets combined uniforms? (also posted in NFL). … How does the Miami Heat’s performance change with each uniform they wear? Do players perform differently in a different color? This article attempts to find out. … What would a crossover of Warriors unis and Superhero costumes look like? … Here’s a bit more on that Warriors crossover stuff (from Kary Klismet). … Some pretty cool alternate concepts for the 1996 NBA ASG jerseys here, from Conrad Burry. … Remember back on Monday (Purple Amnesty Day) the great writeup by Kary Klismet on the Lakers mismatched purples? Well, the mid-late 80s Jazz had the same purple problem the Lakers had (from Hit The Glass).

Soccer News: here’s a look as some of the biggest MLS wardrobe malfunctions through the years. Wade Heidt says, “Some wardrobe malfunctions that hurt clubs in their pocketbooks and on the pitch.” … What did MLS goalkeepers wear in the 1990s? Lots and lots of bright colors, for starters (also sent in by Wade Heidt). … Oh. My. Gawd. USL League One side Forward Madison revealed their 2020 third kit (from Josh Hinton and Andrew Greenwood). And it’s ONLY $85 should you wish to own one. Here’s some some video too (from Mike Nessen). … Puma will release newly-designed kits for the Ghana senior national team, Black Stars, this September. … Hopefully you guys all caught Comrade Marshall’s awesome Bundesliga article yesterday. Here’s a look at FC Bayern München’s stadium Allianz Arena without fans for their first home match against Eintracht Frankfurt since the pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (from James Beattie). … Here’s a good look at how the cardboard cutout crowd appears on-screen in the Gladbach – Leverkusen match (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, Calcio Foggia 1920 revealed their 100th anniversary kit. … More from Josh: Nikita_23K has created a digital rendering of what the 2020/21 Manchester City third kit will look like on the pitch next season.

Grab Bag: This may come as a shock to some of you, but Pepsi Is Not the “Official Soda of the Pandemic.” A banner suggesting a soda sponsorship at a Walmart testing site was embarrassing for everyone (from Jason Hillyer). … Is there anything worse than someone who would mar themselves with ink that is for the MOTB? I think we may have found a candidate (from David Jaskolski who adds, “I am saddened to say…This person exists.” … There are many different jerseys in the world of cycling. From general classification leaders to world champions, there seems to be a different set of jerseys for almost every race. … Auburndale High School in Wisconsin officially announced on Friday it has changed its team name from the Apaches to the Eagles. The school dropped its Apache mascot in 1998 and went with an “A” in its place (from Timmy Donahue). … From the “once you see it you can’t unsee it” files: “Giant space fish swallows ISS” (h/t James Gilbert). … Rockefeller Center’s main concourse in midtown Manhattan is now open to visitors again, which had been cordoned off for more than a month. It is displaying #NewYorkTough in solidarity with Empire Staters in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (from James Beattie).

And finally…

Big thanks to Mike for sharing his concepts and the great Q&A. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of his handiwork with you guys down the road.

Everyone have a good Sunday and enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend. Please remember tomorrow isn’t about picnics and bar-be-ques and parades, and it’s certainly not about honoring the military and veterans (they have their own special days, which are appropriate for all kinds of different patriotic displays). Tomorrow is about honoring those who gave their lives in the service to this nation. It is a solemn day, originally called “Decoration Day,” which honored those lost while fighting in the Civil War. As time progressed, the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, and was renamed “Memorial Day.” Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, many Americans will not be able observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials, and placing wreaths and flowers and other remembrances on the graves of those who died fighting for our freedom. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war — a tradition that began with a World War I poem. However you spend Memorial Day, please keep those who made the ultimate sacrifice in your hearts and minds.

Stay safe everyone. I’ll catch you next weekend.

Peace,

PH