Time for the Fall Classic

Uniform designer/historian and longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom is a Red Sox fan. The cap shown above is the first Sox cap he ever got, back when he was 13 years old. With the Sox set to face off against the Dodgers tonight in Game One of the World Series, Todd has written a really nice piece about the cap, about the Sox, and about his personal history with the team’s postseason ups and downs (including his recent gig applying a pregame coat of white paint to the Fenway Park pitching rubber!). It’s a really nice piece of writing, and I urge all Uni Watch readers to check it out.

As for me, I’ve cobbled together my annual Uni Watch World Series Preview, with 10 uni-related tidbits to watch for during the Fall Classic. You can check it out here.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at the patches for the Series:

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Yet another NBA leak: Twitter-er @TwolvesFRA yesterday posted a photo of what appears to be a Prince-themed Timberwolves jersey. SportsLogos.net quickly confirmed the design as legitimate. LockerVision shows the new City designs starting to be used on-court on Nov. 9, so we’ll presumably see the official unveilings of all these leaked designs soon enough.

Interestingly, designer Tom O’Grady says the numerals shown on the jersey appear to be based on the custom typography he created for the NBA more than 20 years ago when the Nets were thinking about rebranding as the New Jersey SwampDragons (the embed cropping is annoying bad, so click on the black-and-white images for a better look at the original numerals):

If you’re not familiar with the SwampDragons story, look here.

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Oh, for fuck’s sake: The Florida Everblades — a Carolina Hurricanes affiliate that plays in the ECHL — sold the naming rights to their arena to Hertz earlier this month. Now they’ve announced that their ice will be dyed yellow, as a nod to Hertz, for the first two games of the season. In addition, Hertz is seeking permission from local authorities “to change the building’s color to ‘sunny’ yellow on the outside.'”

Insert all the obvious jokes about yellow snow here. Also insert my usual rage about the endless encroachment of advertising into every nook and cranny of everything.

(My thanks to Nate Reysen for this one.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

We’ve got a World Series Edition of Collector’s Corner this week, as the Boston Red Sox play host to the L.A. Dodgers tonight at Fenway Park. You can celebrate the Fall Classic with this 1960s Red Sox snow globe — a pitcher and batter on a teeter-totter with the Sox logo in the background.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Here’s a 1940s Red Sox cocktail/martini set. The logo reads “Boston Red Sox Baseball Club” and “Fenway Park.”

• Can’t you just picture Tommy Lasorda (audio NSFW) waddling out to the mound for a pitching change in this 1970s-1980s Dodgers Starter jacket?

• “Stackable Stars” Red Sox Russian nesting dolls? Um, sure. Why not?

• According to the seller, this 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Champions “presentation plate” was awarded to team members and employees.

• This 1960s Red Sox button says, “This Year, Try It for Us” (try what, exactly?) and “We Are With You Are the Way.”

• Here’s a 1980 varsity-style Dodgers jacket made by Chalk Line.

• Cliff Engle Alert! Check out this 1980s Red Sox sweater with the MLB logo on the sleeve.

• This Brooklyn Dodgers pottery bank dates back to the 1940s. Definitely not uni-correct, but still pretty cool.

• This 1960s Red Sox bobble is described by the seller as a “Moon Face Mini Nodder.”

• Dodgers fans will love these 1980 “puffy stickers.”

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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Courtesy of Daniel Duffy/ArtOfWords; click to enlarge

Assorted reminders: In case you’ve missed it over the past few days, here are some things to keep in mind:

• I’m currently raffling off a free print from Art of Words artist Daniel Duffy (like his portrait of Astros star Jose Altuve, shown above, which features the name of every player in Astros history). Full details here.

• Our friends at Nostalgia Cases, a company that sells smartphone cases with designs based on old soccer jerseys, are offering a 10% discount to Uni Watch readers this week. Full details here.

• We recently lowered the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch alternate cap from $29.99 to $24.99. Get yours here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

NFL NewsReminder: The Steelers will wear their new throwback uniforms this Sunday against Cleveland. … New Cowboys WR Amari Cooper will wear No. 89. He was traded from the Raiders on Monday afternoon (from Andrew Cosentino). … The NFL stopped fans from buying customized Rae Carruth Panthers jerseys. Carruth was released from prison yesterday after serving nearly 19 years for conspiracy to commit murder (from Michael McLaughlin).

College/High School Football NewsOklahoma State will be wearing 1988 throwbacks this Saturday against Texas. More pictures here (thanks to all who shared). … Georgia Southern usually wears numbers on their helmets, but Thursday they’ll wear alternate helmet logos against App State. … Virginia Tech will wear maroon/maroon/white on Thursday (from Andrew Cosentino). … Texas State shared a graphic yesterday depicting uniforms they’ve worn throughout their history (from Corey Loerwald). … Parkview High and Meadowcreek High, both from Georgia, will play a blue-on-orange color-on-color game on Friday. Unfortunately, they’re billing it as a Color Rash matchup (from Adam Garrison).

Hockey NewsThe Hurricanes wore their black hurricane flag alternates on the road last night in Detroit, as the Red Wings wore white at home. According to the ’Canes broadcast team, it will be the only time the team will wear their alts on the road this season (from Sam Mills). … This document from 1991 gives exact color specifications for some NHL teams from the era (from Noah Kastroll). … Morgan Doninger was at the NWHL game between the Metropolitan Riveters and the Minnesota White Caps over the weekend and noticed that both teams had a No. 24 decal for Denna Laing, a former Boston Pride player who was paralyzed during a game in 2015. Can we call this a perma-“honor” at this point? … Chris Riz clearly Gets It™️. He took his Rangers Winter Classic jersey to the dry cleaners to have a Winter Classic patch sewn on — but they put it in the wrong spot. Sometimes, if you want a job done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself. Nice work, Chris! … Camouflage jersey upcoming for the Prince Albert Raiders (from Phil).

Basketball News: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Akron Wingfoots, who have toured and played in various professional leagues throughout the years. To celebrate, Goodyear — the company that founded the team — is giving away 100 inaugural-season Wingfoots replica jerseys (from Phil). … Southern will wear three different jersey templates this season (from Mike D.).

Soccer NewsD.C. United is in the market for a new uniform advertiser (paywalled link) (from John Muir). … Reader Austin Gillis was at an Atlanta restaurant chain that advertises with Atlanta United FC. He noticed that the kids’ menu featured cartoon characters wearing Atlanta United jerseys that included an American Family Insurance and an Adidas ad (though the shorts only included two stripes). … New Bob Marley-themed away jersey for Bohemian FC (from Barry Downes and our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: Penn State volleyball will wear pink jerseys for cancer awareness on Friday. … A woman in Minnesota has started her own line of sports hijabs for Muslim girls who want to play sports (from Phil). … Piggybacking off Paul’s recent Newport Cigarette research project, Taylor Workman sends along this minidoc of a designer who combined Nike and Newport for a pair of shoes as an artistic statement. … In this news report about a local shoe store in St. Cloud, Minn., the owner credits his success to the Brannock device (from Jeff Bovitz). … The logo for Colorado’s E-470 toll access highway has some hidden elements — including the color purple, which apparently signifies “tolling” (from Forrest J. Bowlick).

Monday Morning Uni Watch

The Jets wore their mono-kelly alternates against the Vikings yesterday. They also set what I assume is an NFL record by wearing their fourth different facemask color — kelly green — in only their seventh game of the season. They had previously worn white, dark green, and grey. And hey, the season is still young!

Speaking of the Jets’ helmets, yesterday they didn’t bother to cut the striping tape on Riddell SpeedFlex helmets the way they usually do:

Or at least that’s what I initially thought. But after I posted that tweet, a sales rep from the helmet manufacturer Schutt got in touch and told me that the Jets’ standard dark-green helmet stripes are actually painted onto the shell. So they applied yesterday’s kelly striping tape over the painted stripes (which you can actually see under one of the kelly stripes). There’s still no excuse for not cutting the tape as it crosses the flex panel, but it’s interesting to learn that detail. The Schutt rep said the Saints’ stripes are painted on as well.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Jaguars wore their teal alternates — clearly their best look:

• Speaking of the Jags, defensive back Jalen Ramsey wore white socks, while everyone else wore black.

• The Panthers rolled out yet another first-time uni combo — white jerseys, black pants, and black socks (click to enlarge):

They had previously worn that same jersey/pants combo with blue socks, but not with black.

• The Chargers wore their powder blue alternates against the Titans, who wore white over navy. The result was a bit confusing:

• Mayo vs. mustard: The 49ers debuted their mono-white throwbacks against the Rams, who went mono-yellow:

• Those Niners throwbacks, incidentally, featured their retro wordmark on the nose bumper (instead of the helmet logo, which usually appears there) and their standard wordmark on the neck bumper (click to enlarge):

• Speaking of the Niners, they unveiled their Dwight Clark statue and also added an “87” marker in the end zone, designating the spot where Clark made The Catch in the 1982 NFC Championship Game (click to enlarge):

• In a truly revolting development, the Ravens went mono-purple:

• The Chiefs went mono-red:

• Speaking of the Chiefs, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who’s the son of former MLB pitcher Pat Mahomes, wore his father’s old Mets jersey to the postgame presser:

• Patriots coach Bill Belichick wore an upside-down headband:

• Four teams wore white at home: the aforementioned 49ers plus the Dolphins, Bucs, and Washington.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Gabe Cornwall, Mike Chamernik, and our own John Ekdahl and Brinke Guthrie.)

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UNI watch: For years now I’ve critiqued the sports world’s tendency to pander to cheap notions of rah-rah faux-patriotism by celebrating the military to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. As I’ve said many times, where are the special uniforms and patches for teachers, civil servants, social workers, and other everyday heroes?

So let’s give credit where it’s due to the University of Northern Iowa (one of my favorite schools, for obvious reasons, even with all the purple), whose basketball team is supporting teachers this season by wearing an “Elevating Educators” patch. It’s part of a larger UNI initiative “that seeks to recognize and elevate professional educators in Iowa, nationwide and throughout the world.” UNI even made free tickets available to Iowa-based teachers for the university’s Nov. 17 football game against Missouri State.

Good for them. Remember, kids, not all soldiers are heroes and not all heroes are soldiers. Nice to see there’s a school out there that recognizes that.

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Rugby Kerfuffle
By Jamie Rathjen

Rugby union teams Cardiff Blues and Glasgow Warriors played a rather odd matchup of Cardiff’s grey and sky blue European kit and Glasgow’s sky blue and white hoops in the European Rugby Champions Cup yesterday. The kits were by no means identical to each other, especially from certain angles (though they may have been difficult to tell apart on TV), but that didn’t stop various UK media outlets from describing the teams as either clad both in blue or both in the same color, neither of which was really the case.

Adding to the confusion, Blues fly-half Gareth Anscombe said he complained to the officials about the clash but was told that his team, as the hosts, would have to change. Cardiff’s other kits are white and two shades of blue, so it’s perhaps better they stuck with what they had.

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Courtesy of Daniel Duffy/ArtOfWords; click to enlarge

rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! New raffle: We’ve occasionally run Ticker items about Dan Duffy, who creates amazing artwork consisting of written words (including his depiction of Wrigley Field, shown above, featuring the name of every Cub ever to play for the team). Now Dan is generously raffling off one of his prints to a lucky Uni Watch reader. The winner will be able to choose any unframed print from Dan’s website, Art of Words.

Here’s another one of Dan’s pieces — a depiction of Astros star Jose Altuve, comprised of the date, opponent, score of every game in Houston’s 2017 championship season (courtesy of Daniel Duffy/ArtOfWords; click to enlarge):

Pretty cool, right? To enter the raffle, send an email to the raffle address by this Friday, Oct. 26, 7pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner next Monday.

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Click to enlarge

Discount reminder: In case you missed it last Friday, we’re currently offering a special discount code from our friends at Nostalgia Cases, a company that sells smartphone cases with designs based on old soccer jerseys. They have over 650 designs to choose from, each available for over 100 phone models, and worldwide shipping. If you want a kit design that they don’t currently offer, you can request it and they’ll produce it at no extra cost.

Uni Watch readers can get a 10% discount to Uni Watch readers for this week. To get the discount, just go to their site and use the checkout code UNIWATCH by the end of this Friday, Oct. 26.

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Merch that doesn’t suck: Anyone who likes striped sleeves as much as I do is going to love the new college football collection that Ebbets Field Flannels just launched. The ones shown above are, clockwise from top left, Penn, Princeton, Brown, Cal, Morgan State, and Missouri.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the whole collection here (and while you’re over at the Ebbets site, remember that our Uni Watch Classic Cap is available in all fitted sizes).

Frankly, I’d love most of these jerseys even more without the uni numbers. Striped sleeves for the win!

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Lord of the flies: We’ve had a fruit fly problem here at Uni Watch HQ, so I set out a trap the other day. As you can see above, it was extremely successful.

There’s something very satisfying about making something that works, especially when it’s so simple. A glass, a strip of paper shaped into a cone, and a single grape tomato. Voila!

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Pinktober uniforms for Dominican team Águilas del Cibao (from Jorge Cruz). … We’ve Tickered this in the distant past, but some may not have seen that Mariners CF Ruppert Jones wore “Rupe” as an NOB at least in 1979 (from Johnny Garfield).

Football News: Former NFL kicker Shayne Graham now works with Michigan State’s special teams and is putting together a mini-helmet collection of every helmet in the team’s history. … Reader Sean Marenkovic’s wife knitted him a pair of white Bears socks. … Looks like Florida might be wearing white helmets against Georgia (from Moe Khan). … The CFL’s Calgary Stampeders wore black alternates for the last game of the season (from Wade Heidt). … Some college teams use giant placards with pictures on them to call plays, so of course Hawaii’s have ads on the back (from Joseph Andersen). … Reader Jake Snyder sent us pictures of a good-looking game between Cazenovia HS and Homer HS in New York. … Tris Wykes spotted a Vermont youth football team with ads for a certain insurance company. It’s ironic because “so many parents today won’t let their kids play the sport because of the perceived risk,” he says.

Hockey News: Two QMJHL teams wore Pinktober uniforms: the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (from Wade Heidt). … The Sharks wore Los Tiburones warm-up jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a Capitals jersey concept from Tyler Duchaine.

Basketball News: The Thunder are honoring NBA photographer Layne Murdoch, who passed away this summer, by painting his initials on the baseline (from Mike Chamernik). … Warriors F Kevin Durant has started the season wearing mismatched shoes (from @Zanerzas).

Soccer News: Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana had a vertical tear on his shorts Saturday (from @akaggie). … Manchester United apparently wore red/white/red in a competitive game – if you count the socks as red – for the first time since 1971. … English National League team Leyton Orient revealed a fourth kit which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and is to be worn Nov. 17. It’s a throwback to the kit the team, then called Clapton Orient, wore in 1918 (also from Josh Hinton). … This picture shows Scottish team Aberdeen, who normally wear red, in blue and white at home in a 1971 league game against white-clad Airdrieonians. Changing at home isn’t the weird part, as that was the practice in Scotland at the time, but it’s unclear why they would have changed against a non-red team.

Grab Bag: Shirts with logos from Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign are currently popular in South Korea for no discernable reason other than people like how they look (from Rob Walker). … Formula One team Red Bull continued the ’Murica theme at the United States Grand Prix in Austin (for more, see Saturday’s Ticker) with cowboy-themed firesuits (from Chris Foster).

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What Paul did last night on Saturday: On Saturday the Tugboat Captain and I had the pleasure of attending a pig roast hosted by Mets by the Numbers poobah Jon Springer and his lovely wife, Heidi. The Captain and I wore our Meats T-shirts for the occasion and were surprised to see Jon also wearing one when we arrived — nice. That’s Jon and me about to remove the guest of honor from the roasting box. He turned out beautifully bronzed and mighty tasty:

But man cannot live on pig alone, so I made a new friend while roasting marshmallows over at Jon’s fire pit:

It was a swell time — good people, good food and drink, perfect weather. Big thanks to Jon and Heidi for hosting!

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken & The SMUW Crew

Sometimes the gimmicks live up to the hype. And sometimes they don’t. You’ve probably heard about LSU’s incredible color changing helmets which cost $1,500 a gallon to paint (who says higher education isn’t worth it!). Well, they wore them last night and they kinda/sorta did live up to the hype. For the most part, the purple helmets did look purple. The trick was, of course, to have them catch the stadium lights in such a way as to have them reflect gold.

They did, which you can sorta see here, and a little bit here, and a bit more here. And if the light caught them just right, you could see it even more. But for the most part, the helmets just looked purple. Which was fine. But I’d say this gimmick didn’t quite live up to the hype.

If you got the perfect angle though…well, then we got the shine:

But there just weren’t enough of those. Of course, I prefer matte helmets to shiny ones anyway, so maybe I’m not the best arbiter of the success or failure of such things. Maybe this type of thing will be a one-and-done for college football (after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so you could be sure if this gimmick worked well, we’d be seeing more presto-change-o hats for other teams, for sure). And maybe it’s for the best this one didn’t quite turn out to be the *next* thing. But then again, who knows, maybe it will be. Also, if you’re saying, “Hey, that’s not LSU’s normal uni,” you’d be correct. Terry will have more on that one below.

Here’s TJ with your…

Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

From Friday:

• Boise State wore all-orange on the blue turf against Colorado State.

From Saturday:

• Bowling Green has a new interim head coach in the form of Carl Pelini, and with this change in coaches, comes a change in the uniforms, as Bowling Green has removed the player names on the jerseys (h/t to Nick Piotrowicz).

• A lot of people complain that Michigan doesn’t wear maize (or, rather, “Amarillo” *eyeroll*) pants on the road anymore, but considering the 2,456 flags that the Wolverines drew the last 4 or 5 minutes of the game, I’d say they met their golden hue quota for the year.

• Cool little WASU video here. And speaking of the Cougs, at least their grey is dark enough to not look like a bad dishwasher accident.

• Temple wore a modern variant of their 1980-1988/2007-2010 helmet (thank you Blaise D’Sylva for the anecdote), with one big difference being that the new lids use a vertical arch, whereas the older helmets used a radial arch. Not a bad look, but I prefer the radial.

• Mizzou wore “Rock” helmets for their Homecoming game against Memphis.

• When you’re having Déjà vu and you’re seeing red at the same time (for context, here’s what Texas Tech wore last week).

• WOW, these Oregon State fauxbacks are nothing short of OUTSTANDING! I’m normally not one to say “they should wear these full-time!”, because as nice as any particular one-off may be, if their current uniform works, why change just because the one-off is “old” (or at least, has vintage sensibilities)? That being said, Oregon State can definitely benefit from adopting this for more than one game. Just saying. That, and their current uniform does leave something to be desired.

• Minnesota wore all-white uniforms with “MINNESOTA” on the back of the jerseys, and as such, there was no one more Minnesota than Minnesota. Minnesota didn’t win, and ended up handing Nebraska their first win of the season, but Minnesota will try again next week against Indiana, in Minnesota.

• UNC always looks great in all-white, but the Carolina Blue facemasks for their game against Syracuse took the helmet into another plane of classy, but fun. As for the Orange… well, they certainly lived up to their name, and the end result was incredible contrast from both programs. I also enjoy the occasional game in the Carrier Dome. It has that weird, liminal space vibe to it, in that it doesn’t feel like your typical college football game, but it’s far more fun than an NFL game. Maybe it’s the collegiate energy in a domed stadium that does it? Either way, it was a good game to watch.

• Appalachian State wore BCA decals (and accessories) in their game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

• All in favor of B1G teams wearing ‘I’ on their helmets, say “aye”! AYE!

• I don’t talk about SMU’s solid look enough. It truly is a look indicative of the Mustangs. Too bad Tulane had to ruin what would’ve otherwise been a beautiful-looking game by wearing black pants.

John Falardeau spotted an Oklahoma Sooner (who I believe to be redshirt Sophomore Linebacker Bryan Mead) without an ‘OU’ decal during warmups.

• South Florida wore one of the most mesmerizing BFBS uniforms I’ve ever seen over the weekend. They’re almost kind of enjoyable in an ironic way because of how absurd they are.

• I’m generally not a fan of uniforms that attempt to “honor the military”, not because I’m “anti-military” (far from it), but because they almost always end up being more of a caricature than a tribute (camouflage and flag desecration being the biggest examples of what not to do), and have essentially the opposite effect in comparison to what they had intended. But these LSU uniforms are one of the scares gems in the uni-verse of a military appreciation uniform Done RIGHT. No bellowing echoes of “RAH-RAH, SIS-BOOM-BAH”, and nothing about this uniform is dripping in gross excess. I love the simplicity of the mono-white, the oak tree pattern is subtle enough to not be a pain on the field, nameless jerseys are always a welcome site, and I know the font is another one of those examples of “liked by some, damned by others”, but I love it personally. It reminds me of some of the typefaces used in older logos that you see in those logo history compilation videos on American film studios (which I watch far too many of in my spare time). The purple helmet was the biggest surprise for me. At first, when I saw an Instagram filter-plagued picture of it surface before they were officially unveiled, my initial thoughts were “that’s… actually not bad for a one-off, at the very least”, but then I saw how it shifted colors, and that got me going in the same way that Notre Dame’s Golden Domes do. I don’t know when we’ll see the next military appreciation uniform Done RIGHT (outside of the Army/Navy game), but LSU, you and everyone involved did well. Here’s hoping more schools follow your example on how it SHOULD be done.

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Thanks, TJ! Don’t forget, you can and should follow Terry and tweet him all your uni observations for the NCAAFB season.

Joe Ringham 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham returns for 2018 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Joe:

. . .

Good Sunday, everyone. As we hit the 3rd Sunday in October, let’s go right to this week’s list.

5) Vanderbilt at Kentucky — This was a game that snuck up on me, but I’m glad it did. Loved Vandy going gold/white/black on the road here, and the contrast of it matched up against the blue/blue/white of the ‘Cats just made this game look excellent.

4) Colorado at Washington — The Buffs going gold/white/grey on the road isn’t exactly one of my favorite looks of theirs. However, when paired up against U-Dub’s usual gold/purple/black home look, it made for one very nice looking game in Seattle.

3) Houston at Navy — One very sharp looking game in Annapolis. I’ve always been a fan of Navy’s simple yet classic looking home unis. Here, they pair up well against the white/white/red of the Cougars.

2) Utah State at Wyoming — Call this one my under-the-radar special. When coming across some games in the afternoon part of the schedule, this one jumped out at me and I loved what I saw. Really liked USU going navy/white/grey on the road in Laramie, matching up quite nicely against the white/brown/gold of the Cowboys.

1) Southern Cal at Utah — So simple looking, yet oh-so-damn-good looking. Don’t really need any other words to explain it.

And, finally…

+1) Oregon at Washington State — I expected maybe one of these teams to have at least one of their school colors on their uniforms. Neither did, making for a very bland looking game.

That wraps things up for me for this week. Enjoy the rest of your football Sunday. I’ll see you next week!

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Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!

NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2017 trackers are back!

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

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ACC

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

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And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

PAC-12

More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC

And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

Big XII

Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

B1G

Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 2018 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.

Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!

Thanks Dennis!

Click to enlarge

And now a few words from Paul

Hi there. In case you missed it on Friday, we’re currently offering a special discount code from our friends at Nostalgia Cases, a company that sells smartphone cases with designs based on old soccer jerseys They have over 650 designs to choose from, each available for over 100 phone models, and worldwide shipping. If you want a kit design that they don’t currently offer, you can request it and they’ll produce it at no extra cost.

Uni Watch readers can get a 10% discount to Uni Watch readers for the next week. To get the discount, just go to their site and use the checkout code UNIWATCH by the end of Friday, Oct. 26.

While we’re at it, please keep in mind that we recently reduced the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch alternate cap from $29.99 to $24.99. If you’ve been on the fence regarding this cap, now would be a great time to climb down from the fence, or fall off the fence, or tear down the fence, or just buy a fucking cap already. You can order it here.

In addition, keep in mind that all fitted sizes of our Uni Watch classic cap, available from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock. You can order yours here.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our merchandise. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Phil-fest.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Mickey Mantle’s birthday was yesterday. Did you know he began his career in 1951 as an infielder and wearing number 6? (from Goat Jerseys). Also from the Goat, check out this beautiful photo of another birthday boy — Juan Marichal — I love those old wool flannel unis when they were perfectly tailored. … To support their intra-state friends, Bucky the Badger — mascot of the Wisconsin Badgers — was wearing a hybrid Badgers/Brewers outfit (from Ryan Wozniak).

NFL News: The SF 49ers xurrent head coach Kyle Shanahan served as a ball boy for that team, and he mentioned that he owned one of the Deion Sanders throwback jerseys from that year. It was stolen, and he’s still pissed about it (from Brinke). … The Bills will be wearing mono-white today against the Colts. … The Chiefs will be in mono-red today. They’ve worn this (either color rash or non) seven other times. … This kinda sucks: the 49ers, who will be debuting their 1994 throwbacks today, were supposed to wear them for the Sunday Night Football game. However, because they suck, this game was flexed out for a different SNF game, so many of us won’t get to see the sweet throwbacks.

College/High School Football News: Even though LSU wore special uniforms yesterday to commemorate the “lost” 1918 season, hanging in their locker room was this beautiful tribute to the late Jim Taylor (from Griffin Smith). … You may have heard about this one through all the pregame pub (or possibly my tweet), but the UHS (University Lab High School) Cubs played a “throwback game” in the Uniforms of the SCLSU Mud Dogs (of “Waterboy Fame”) and trounced their opponents 70-0. My pals at adidas were nice enough to hook me up with some gear too, which I wore to curling last evening. Here’s a bit more on that.

Hockey News: Here’s one we don’t often see, especially in women’s hockey. On Friday night, the Minnesota Gophers began the game on a power play. Why? Because Ohio State’s uni numbers weren’t visible. Like, who thought this was a good idea? (from Will Morris). The immortal Jim Vilk also weighed in, “If @Nike can’t figure out by now that high contrast/high visibility numbers (and team colors) are important, then they should get out of the sports uniform business.”

NBA News: The stock image for an NBA game on YouTube TV is of the microfiber ball used during the first two months of the 2006-07 season. Submitter Mike Chamernik adds “Thought they would use a more contemporary photo.”
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Soccer News: In a shocking move, FC Barcelona has withdrawn the vote on the proposed crest which was set to take place at yesterday’s members assembly (from Josh Hinton). … “I’ve been doing some research for a football project I’m working on and I thought you’d appreciate these numbers,” writes TRiCKETT. “Where that number one is going is anyone’s guess.” … Louisville City FC still have Pinktober nets, despite the initial thoughts that they were only for the pink match last week (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: We all know Phil Knight’s influence on Oregon is outsized — but this article from the New York Post indicates that he’s really been a total dick to the school (from John). … “I found lots of interesting and slightly surprising uni-related items on a recent visit to the History Colorado Center,” says Kary Klismet. “They included an ad for football uniforms from a vintage catalog, displays depicting the evolution of ski apparel and ski-jumping skis, and a skiing trophy from Steamboat Springs in the shape of a cowboy hat. Here’s a full album for anyone interested.” … This is the logo of the Appleton Curling Club in Wisconsin. Sumbitter Ray Barrington says to note not only the wordplay but the stone handle on top of the apple.

Remembering the Charlotte O's

By Phil Hecken, with Dan Tarrant

Today we have a special article by reader Dan Tarrant, who had originally proposed this to me a little over a year ago, and we had hoped to run it during Paul’s annual August recess. Due to time and space limitations then, I’m running it today. Enjoy! — PH

Remembering the Charlotte Orioles
By Dan Tarrant

From 1976 to 1989, the Charlotte Orioles (popularly referred to as the O’s) served as the AA farm club for the Baltimore Orioles, until joining the Cubs organization starting in 1990 and being renamed the Knights. Up until 1985, the team played in Jim Crockett Memorial Park, a classic wood-framed ballpark that seated about 8,000 and originally opened in 1941. Future major league stars Cal Ripken, Jr. and Eddie Murray were among the best-known players to suit up for the O’s.

Fans of the O’s continue to maintain a legacy Facebook page to remember the team. The page is a great site for uni aficionadoos in general, with a number of great pics of the team’s surprisingly attractive later-day home uniforms, consisting of an orange jersey with “Charlotte” script and a royal blue cap with a white “C”.

A really amazing find that was recently posted, however, is a 30 minute documentary produced in 1977 titled Diamonds Are Not Forever. Local WBTV sportscaster Bob Taylor signed a short contract to play for the team, and acted as an “embedded” reporter detailing life as a 1977 minor leaguer. Of course, the film contains a number of fascinating shots of minor league uniforms and old-school ballparks, not to mention other aesthetic details that differ from what you’ll find 40 years later. [Note: the above link is to a Facebook-hosted version of the video; I found a copy (below) on You Tube — so the time frames mentioned by Dan may not line up exactly if you’re viewing the video embedded below — PH]

Some highlights:

At about 4:15, Taylor bemoans the changes that were occurring in baseball at the time, complaining that “fields were swept instead of mowed” and that “wool uniforms have given way to knits”.

First uni-related shot comes at about 6:18 as players are leaving the bus and collecting meal money from the driver. Note that the jacket and t-shirt represent the Baltimore Orioles and not Charlotte. This might indicate that minor leaguers may have been given hand-me down or leftover apparel from the parent club.

At 7:20 we see the O’s getting dressed in the visitors locker room. This is where we first see the amazing 1977 team road unis.

Black jerseys with white letters and numbers, featuring orange sleeves with a single white stripe paired with orange pants with a single black stripe. The team wears the same white-paneled caps as the Baltimore Orioles. If this look doesn’t scream “70’s minor league baseball” I don’t know what does. Interestingly, in the locker room we see a player putting on black stirrups, but then shots of the team warming up indicate that other players wore orange.

For this game, the O’s appear to be playing the Chattanooga Lookouts. Note the hill in the centerfield with LOOKOUTS posted in large letters.

The Lookouts appear to be wearing uniforms similar to the Oakland A’s at the time – green jerseys with yellow trim, white pants, and a wishbone “C” where “A’s” would be. Yellow socks with green stirrups. Note that the pitcher for the Lookouts appears to have a logoless cap. (I was unable to determine if the Lookouts were an A’s affiliate at the time).

At 10:54 we catch our first look at Charlotte’s home ensemble — a slightly easier-on-the-eyes combination of an orange jersey with black sleeve paired with white pants.

Check out the fan’s Orioles cap at 19:19 – never seen that style before, with the cartoon bird inside the circle.

For the shots of the O’s at home, it’s unclear who the opponents are – Taylor simply calls them the “visiting” team, but at 19:31 you can see they are wearing white jerseys despite being on the road, with red pinstripes and numbers and navy or black helmets.

But at 20:38 a shot of the pitcher reveals that they are sporting the red White Sox jerseys of the era.

To add a little bit of local flavor, I am a Charlotte native, born in 1974, who caught a handful of games at old Crockett Park as a child. As you can see from the video, it was a classic, cozy mostly wood framed park with an overhang covering most of the stands, supported by steel columns which did result in some obstructed views. To add to the charm, the park was nestled in the residential neighborhood of Dilworth, not far from Charlotte’s uptown. If the name Jim Crockett sounds familiar to you, he was also a big name in pro wrestling in the South during the 70’s and 80’s, the owner of Jim Crockett Promotions who staged NWA matches in the Mid-Atlantic area feature such stars as Ric Flair, the Road Warriors, the Four Horsemen, and Dusty Rhodes.

By the time I was old enough to remember attending games, probably around 1979-1982, I recall that the team was always referred to as the O’s instead of the Orioles, and had dropped the parent club’s color scheme of black, orange and white in favor of royal blue, orange and white.

The team usually wore orange jerseys with white pants at home, with a script “Charlotte” across the chest and a blue cap. I also found baseball card with a white version of this jersey. (screenshotwhitejersey)

At some point they also had a blue version of the uniform, although I don’t remember seeing it at home games so it might have been for the road. For at least one season, the team sported an orange jersey adorned simply with an “O’s” script, here is a nice shot where you can see the number font used.

Other interesting items:

• The O’s won the Southern League title in 1980 and 1984. Here are a couple of shots of the rings the players received (not sure which year).

• The ballgirls at Crockett Park were known as the Pepper Girls (not sure if this was a tie-in with Dr. Pepper soda but I seem to recall it might have been) with uniforms that matched the team’s.

Watching the film and looking at photos, I couldn’t help but notice how poorly the grounds were kept compared to the fields of today. Obviously, money was a lot tighter in those days and turf management has come a long way in the past few decades, but the Crockett Park field looks like something today’s high-school teams would be ashamed to play on.

In 1985, tragically Crockett Park was burned to the ground by teenage arsonists. Their motive was never determined. The O’s constructed a temporary ballpark on the grounds in order to keep playing, but attendance declined and the team was sold to George Shinn, founder of the original Charlotte Hornets. Shinn renamed the team the Knights, and built a stadium in nearby Fort Mill, SC, where they eventually moved up to Triple-A and played until returning to Charlotte in 2014. The former O’s, currently part of the White Sox organization, now play in beautiful BB&T Ballpark, generally considered the best minor league stadium in America.

Crockett Park, like so many old wooden ballparks of the past, now exists only in the memories of older fans and, fortunately, on internet sites and old films like this one. Hope you enjoyed!

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Thanks, Dan!


Old Time Base Ball Photos

Readers will recall I featured Ronnie Bolton (who posts on Twitter as @OTBaseballPhoto and who you should definitely follow) earlier this year with some great football played on baseball field photos and writeups, some MLB Opening Day specials, and more recently with some old baseball stadia (here and here). Most recently, Ron took a look back at past All Star games, Play-O-Graphs and MLB stadia never built. As his twitter handle implies, Ronnie’s specialty is old baseball photos.

With today’s lede featuring the MiLB Charlotte Orioles, today Ron takes a look at some Minor League stadia from the past.

Enjoy. Here’s Ronnie:

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Seals Stadium, San Francisco, CA (1931-1959)

This iconic ballpark was built in 1931 and hosted two minor league teams in the San Francisco Seals and Mission Reds of the Pacific Coast League. But in 1938, the Reds, having trouble building a fan base, moved to southern California to become the Hollywood Stars, leaving San Francisco to the Seals. In 1958 the Giants arrived from New York and played in Seals Stadium for two years before the moved into Candlestick Park, this signal the end of the era of the Seals as the franchise moved to Arizona, where they became the Giants top farm team.

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Parkway Field, Louisville, Kentucky, July 4, 1926

A Fourth of July game brings a near packed house to see the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in action. At the time of this photo, the 13,200-seat ballpark was just three years old and it would serves as home to Colonels into the mid-1950’s and for a short period it hosted the Negro League Louisville Buckeyes.

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Rickwood Field, Birmingham, AL, October 2, 1929

Action is captured here during the Dixie Series game between the Birmingham Barons (Southern Association champs) and Dallas Steers (Texas League champs). Today, it stands and is believed to be the oldest professional ballpark in the United States. During it’s 108-year old history it has mainly home to the Birmingham Barons as well as the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues.

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Thanks, Ronnie. He’ll be back periodically with more wonderful old photos and the backstories that go with them.


Kreindler’s Korner

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

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

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

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

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Title: “The Blessed Boon of Boston”
Subject: Cy Young, 1903
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 20″ x 24″

Along with that of Napoleon Lajoie, Cy Young’s defection to the American League in 1901 generated instant credibility for the upstart circuit, as the league gained one of the game’s greatest pitchers. Winner of 286 games in his first eleven seasons, Cy Young had established himself as a model of consistency and excellence, pitching more than 300 innings every year from 1891 to 1900, and ranking among the National League’s top five in ERA six times during that span. Still, cracks were starting to show in the great pitcher’s facade. At 34 years of age, Young had already entered the phase of his career when most pitchers start to break down. Indeed, in 1900, Young suffered through one of his worst seasons to date, failing to win 20 games for the first time since his rookie season, and pitching fewer innings than he had in any previous full season. Opposing batters attested that Young was more hittable than ever, and newspaper reporters began routinely affixing the adjective “Old” in front of his name. By all appearances, then, when the Boston Americans signed Young to a $3,500 salary, the acquisition represented more a public relations coup than a legitimate pitching upgrade.

As it turned out, Boston, not to mention the rest of the American League, got much more than it ever could have expected. He won pitching’s Triple Crown in 1901 – with 33 wins, a 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts – and tossed the first perfect game in American League history. The next year was almost just as good, with a league-leading 32 wins, a second place 2.15 ERA and a third place 160 strikeouts.

Though the great Young was a man advancing in years and gaining in weight, his pitching control only seemed to sharpen. In 1901 and 1902, he finished first and second in the league with the fewest walks per nine innings. And though his fastball had lost some of its effectiveness, the wily Young more than made up for it with a pair of curveballs: one thrown overhand with a sharp break, the other thrown side-armed with a sweeping arc. Both pitches were delivered from a variety of arm angles as well; occasionally, Young even threw submarine-style to upset the batter’s timing. In his continued mastery of opposing batters in the face of declining strength and advancing age, Young rose pitching to an art form, and earned his place in baseball’s pantheon of all-time greats.

His success helped the Boston Americans win both the pennant and the first World Series in 1903.

• • •

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


MLB Playoff Uni Tracking

A few years back, reader Alex Rocklein tracked the MLB Playoffs by uniform — you guys may recall this. Here’s what his 2010 Uni Tracking looked like. Alex also tracked the playoffs for Uni Watch last season as well. Here’s how the 2016 World Series looked, and here’s how the 2017 Playoffs shook out.

We welcomed Alex back last weekend, when he began tracking the Wild Card and Divisional Series games, and he’ll be tracking the unis through the Big Dance. Here we go (just to note, due to the lateness of last night’s Brewers/Dodgers game, the results are not included for that game, but since the Brewers evened the series, with Game 7 tonight, you can bet the Crew will wear the white tops again):

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Wild Card & Divisional Series

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NLCS & NLDS

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Full Playoffs

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Thanks, Alex.

Click to enlarge

And now a few words from Paul

Hi there. In case you missed it on Friday, we’re currently offering a special discount code from our friends at Nostalgia Cases, a company that sells smartphone cases with designs based on old soccer jerseys They have over 650 designs to choose from, each available for over 100 phone models, and worldwide shipping. If you want a kit design that they don’t currently offer, you can request it and they’ll produce it at no extra cost.

Uni Watch readers can get a 10% discount to Uni Watch readers for the next week. To get the discount, just go to their site and use the checkout code UNIWATCH by the end of Friday, Oct. 26.

While we’re at it, please keep in mind that we recently reduced the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch alternate cap from $29.99 to $24.99. If you’ve been on the fence regarding this cap, now would be a great time to climb down from the fence, or fall off the fence, or tear down the fence, or just buy a fucking cap already. You can order it here.

In addition, keep in mind that all fitted sizes of our Uni Watch classic cap, available from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock. You can order yours here.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our merchandise. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Phil-fest.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Athletic has a great (paywalled) piece on the designer of the Brewers’ famous ball-in-glove logo (from @BorchertField). … As a Red Sox fan, I’ve heard the World Series logo flag “conspiracy” before. Boston sports blog Off the Monster has a decent rundown of the “conspiracy” (from Gregory Zitelli). … Ketucky’s new baseball stadium has a name: Kentucky Proud Park. The Kentucky Farm Bureau purchased the naming rights (from Josh Claywell).

NFL News: Our fearless leader was interviewed on KWFN in San Diego. Listen to the interview here! … Mohamed Sanu will wear Dragon Ball Z cleats for Sunday’s game (from Mike Chamernik). … There was some discussion around Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan’s choice of hat during last week’s game, and yesterday he — kind of — elaborated on his choice (thanks, Paul). … The Rams’ Ron Brown was going FNOB in a 1989 Monday Night Football game (from @theRealLT_). … Kenny Kaplan writes in with a few notes for Sunday: “Washington is wearing white uniforms at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear blue for the first time in Washington since 2009. When the Cowboys would wear blue in Washington in the past, it was because Washington’s main home jersey was white. So this looks like the first time that Washington is going out of their way to force Dallas to wear blue by wearing their white jerseys at home. And the Giants will be wearing their main road whites for the first time this year. They did wear their white throwbacks last week at home when they faced the Eagles, but they’ve worn blue at Dallas, Houston and Carolina.”

College/High School Football News: Pacific Standard did a deep dive into Oregon’s relationship with Nike. Highly recommended (many thanks to @TeebzHBIC for sending this along). … You know LSU’s new “color-changing” helmets? The paint for them costs $1,500 a gallon (thanks, Phil). … Oregon State is going with the classic Benny logo at midfield today (from @kingtaay). … Mizzou is going black-black-white with a rock-themed helmet logo today (from Matt Wilson and Matthew Thurman). … Kent State is going all-white (from Noah Kastroll). … The following are all from Phil: Syracuse is going all orange against UNC. … Liberty University is going with special helmets for their homecoming game. … Blaise D’Sylva reports that Boise State will have a new orange helmet and Memphis will have a new white helmet. … Old lockers from the Louisville locker room are available to be purchased (from James Gilbert).

Hockey News: You want to make a truly terrifying Jack-O-Lantern? Here are the instructions and template to make a Gritty Jack-O-Lantern (many thanks to sketches22). … New mask  Nick Rogers noticed that the Sharks did not have the All-Star Game patch on their alternate sweaters, which they debuted on Thursday night. … Also posted in the soccer section: Chicago is giving away soccer-style fauxbacks (from Casey Sudetic). … Islanders G Jeffrey Smith, who’s currently with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, has a new mask (from Stan Capp). … Bauer Hockey posted a Twitter video showcasing some of their custom goalie pads for the college hockey season (from Nathan Hogue). … The University of Omaha appears to have adopted 3D helmet logos (from Ben Matukewicz). … New look for the Moose Jaw Warriors (from Lynn Valley Bryan). … Really subtle advertising for the ECHL’s Florida Everblades (blame goes to @TomTalksStuff). … Canisius and Air Force went color-on-color for their opening game (from Joseph Pittiri). … The uni numbers on Ohio State’s black sweaters are completely illegible (from Tommy Everson).

NBA News: NBA city edition jersey leaks seem to be a daily occurrence now, and now it’s happened to the Pacers (from Nathan Geller). … Justin Essa Zayid noticed LeBron James’s jersey had a weird pocket during his Lakers debut. Rib-padding on an undershirt? Microphone? … Speaking of LeBron, an ESPN graphic basically revealed the evolution in NBA jersey cuts since 2003 (from @atxaggie). … In a meandering Twitter thread, the Bulls revealed their full jersey schedule (from @TheSkyShowChi). … Speaking of the Bulls, this low-quality screengrab seems to indicate they’re going with a Chicago flag motif for their “city edition” jerseys, rather than a wordmark (from Joe Gemma). … CJ McCollum sneaks we all rosed-up for his season debut in the Rose City (from Josh Claywell).

College Hoops News: New uni set for Georgia Tech men (thanks, Phil). … Providence men have new unis (from Anthony Gonsalves).
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Soccer News: The English soccer season started back in August, but Coventry City has finally gotten around to releasing its third kit (from Ed Żelaski). … At the 10:40 mark of this video, Philadelphia Union’s CBO Tim McDermott revealed that MLS is going to allow two primary shirt advertisements for clubs — one for the home kit, one for the away (from Gregory Koch). … Cross-posted from the hockey section: Chicago is giving away soccer-style fauxbacks (from Casey Sudetic).

Grab Bag: Jeff McBrayer found a wide variety of retro MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL patches at a thrift shop yesterday. … Marty Albert went to an open house on Thursday, and the house had this amazing sports-themed wood paneling. Very nice. … The Toro Rosso Formula One team is adding KFC advertisements to its livery for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin. “‘Merica, right?” says Ragnar Danneskjöld. … Speaking of F1, driver Romain Grosjean — who is French — went with stars-and-stripes shoes for the US Grand Prix (from Jack Wade and Kevin Brewer). … More F1 and USGP: Daniel Ricciardo is wearing a special, Texas-inspired helmet for the race (from Ragnar Danneskjöld). … New helmets for Dartmouth men’s lacrosse. … ASU’s logo shouldn’t be used as an arrow, ever (from Jay Mantis).