• Miami played Virginia, and wore their mono-white uniforms made from recycled materials in collaboration with Parley. I loved the numerals they used; not just in terms of font, but also for the cool ribbed effect.
• As I’m sure everyone’s aware of by now, Georgia was stunned by South Carolina on Saturday. What makes this game special however, was the fact that Gamecocks QB Ryan Hilinski honored his late brother Tyler Hilinski, the Washington State QB who took his own life in January of 2018, by wearing his jersey number (#3), against the (then, at least) #3 team in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs (more here).
• Yikes. Okay, here’s the deal: I actually don’t mind the grey too much, but MAN, this matchup was still kind of a stinker. The only reason I’m not completely smoking this game is because of Iowa State’s cardinal pants, which at least helped to give a rough idea of who’s who.
• Athletic Gold (please no discourse on the color) facemasks for Arizona State. The game itself actually looked really good, and although the shadows suggest otherwise, Washington State’s pants were dark grey, not black.
• It wouldn’t be much of an October in the uni-verse without some PFPS demonstrations. Nevada provides us with one.
• And moving over to Kentucky, Wildcats WR Lynn Bowden Jr. is wearing pink… eye black? Eye pink? Here’s another example, screenshot courtesy of Joshua Hinton. [Just don’t call it ‘pink eye’ — PH]
• Tulsa wore new blue helmets against Navy, and I will be the first to say they should keep these as an alternate choice –at the very-least– full-time!
• From Cassian Wykes: “Yale showed up at Dartmouth today wearing merit decals globbed together on one side. Perhaps it’s an example of the cliched “brick-by-brick” mantra. The Bulldogs used to use little bone-shaped stickers. Wish they’d go back to them.”
That’ll do it for Week 7! Lots of good games, and more is on the way. Hope everyone has a great Sunday, and I’ll see you next week.
• • •
Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of today’s SMUW…
Memal’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, Catherine Ryan after him, and finally Joe Ringham, for 2019 we have a new “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups — Michael “Memal” Malinowski. Like Joe, Catherine & Jim, Memal will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). 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.
• • •
It was a great Saturday of college football; an early upset and some later game late game heroics. All and all, a typical autumn weekend that leaves you hungry for more!
I usually don’t care for the tiger stripe helmet pattern, but the contrast of those stripes against the bold block panels for the Owls made this a game I kept flicking back to. The lack of blue for Memphis kept me from moving this game above the bottom slot.
4. Colorado @ Oregon
I love the Buffaloes in gold/white/black on the road, especially since it contrasts nicely against the mono yellow combo of the Ducks. Not the best look for Oregon, but I admit it’s a personal favorite and I was happy to see it against another good looking uni-set.
3. Appalachian State @ Louisiana-Lafayette
I would not have been able to describe either of these team’s uniforms before today, but I loved the difference between the traditional stripe pattern of the Ragin’ Cajuns against the short stripes and bright colors of the Mountaineers. A great looking game and I’ll be checking on these teams in the weeks to come.
2. Texas vs Oklahoma @ the Cotton Bowl
College football is about traditions and this as traditional a matchup as there is. Texas wore their burnt orange home jerseys and the Sooners their away white. Just a great game in a great venue between two teams who knew what we wanted to see out on the field and gave it to us.
1.Utah @ Oregon State
In a weekend where no particular uni matchup blew me away, I was smitten by all the details in this matchup. The beaver with the sailor hat helmet decals, some great uniform stripes, a gray October day in Oregon. Not much of a game, but every picture I pulled made me wish I’d watched it beginning to end. That’s reason enough for me to put it at the top this week.
And because someone has to be the sacrificial lamb…
&1 Maryland at Purdue
Since Maryland went to Under Armour and debuted their state of Maryland flag helmets I’ve been unable to determine if that’s a good look or if it’s so garish you can’t take your eyes off of it. It seems there’s no middle ground and it’s really depended on their performance and their opponent. This week against Purdue, who attempted to look like anything but a Boilermaker or a Purdue sports teams, the Terrapins looked bad competitively and aesthetically. On the other hand, Purdue just looked really bad and out of touch with who their program really represents.
• • •
Thanks Memal! You can follow Memal 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 2018 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:
Welcome to the 2019 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!
NFL/CFL News: From Wade Heidt comes this observation: “The Calgary Stampeders wore their alternate black Outlaw uniforms for the second time this season in their West Division first place showdown against Saskatchewan on Friday night. This is the second time this version of the black alternate has been worn with the red primary helmet, now that the CFL has change to one shell rule this year. However, there is a difference on Friday night compared to when the Stamps wore this uniform earlier in the season. Earlier this year during their Labour Day Classic, they had an alternate decal on the helmet when they wore the black uniforms. (Wearing a chrome horse logo).” He continues, “For the game Friday night, it was their primary helmet decal featuring the usual white horse trimmed in black.” … The Arizona Cardinals will be playing in black jerseys for the first time this season when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
College/High School Football News: Reader Michael McLaughlin writes, “There are times I’m glad I’m colorblind,” with regard to this article: Vols fans react to Nike, Tennessee collaboration that’s the “wrong UT orange”. In the words of Rick Perry, “Oops.” … On Friday night, Peoria High School wore jerseys with a “thin blue line”> (from Josh Claywell). More here. … Because we need another ranking, right? Here’s how someone thinks the ACC stacks up. … The amazing Blaise D’Sylva continues his helmet history with your West Virginia Mountaineers. … Interesting logo “theft” here involving a Texas high school using Buffalo Sabres logos (from Chris Mycoskie).
NBA/College Hoops News: “I’m so used to NCAA rule that T-shirt has to be jersey color, that this is jarring,” observes James Gilbert. … The University of Virginia Cavaliers, who won the NCAA hoops champeenship this past spring, are selling these medallions(?) in commemoration of that achievement (also from James Gilbert).
If the name of today’s featured designer sounds familiar to you, it should: I first introduced Brian Begley to you in the summer of 2017, who graced us with some of his NBA concepts at the time. He’s also appeared in some tweaks (like this Brooklyn Nets concept logo — scroll way down) as early as 2012. Today he’s back to share some NFL concepts.
I always have this impression of the guys who design uniforms (whether it’s in the tweaks section, as occasional ledes, or the Griffins contest, for example) as young guys who live in their moms’ basements, but this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Guys like Brian are often older, married and with kids (as are a number of my SMUW guys). But for some strange reason, I always picture them like THE Jeff (remember him?). Anyway, I’d set this piece up with Brian earlier in the week, and when I didn’t hear from him until late yesterday, I just had in my head some slacker who would get to it when he got to it. Nope. Brian’s a family guy and he has real grown up responsibilities, and I appreciate his getting this all to me just under the wire. Thanks Brian!
Anyhoo — today I’m pleased to re-present Brian Begley (who you should definitely follow on Twitter) with 10 NFL concepts.
• • • • • •
Starting Week 2 of the NFL season, I challenged myself to design two full uniforms of two teams that were facing off each Sunday. On top of sports designing full time six days a week, my wife, our 15 month old boy, dog, and I have been living with my parents since the middle of July waiting to close on our new house. So, why not throw in another challenge on top of this lifestyle, right?! hahaha
With ten teams down (two that I’m giving you an early sneak peek before this Sunday) here’s my breakdown & inspiration behind the designs!
• • •
I eliminated all the white & silver from the Carolina branding, and it leaves you with something clean and timeless. A matte blue helmet w black gloss decals would shine day or night!
• • •
This is an early release for this Sunday. How do you redesign something that is already iconic? You let the past speak to you. I gave the helmet a rough texture to replicate the earth in which cowboys travel on. I designed a new “Dallas” mark for the gloves. The rest of the uniform is inspired by the days of Roger Staubach.
• • •
Inspired by their color rush set, I added a sublimated watermark of some iconic mountains. You may have seen these mountains across the chest of Dikembe Mutombo in the past… wink wink White pants brings this set up to date, and should be used in their regular season rotation.
• • •
I debated on going with an alt red jersey, but something about the Texans screams, “AMERICA!” Sticking with the double stripe theme throughout, the stars on the neck, and a white helmet, makes this set an instant classic.
• • •
Los Angeles Chargers:
Powder Blues. Need I say more? I gave this powder blue jersey a heathered texture, which I like to think of it as a “charged” texture. See what I did there? Also, a new neckline (Nike uses this on the new Oregon jerseys) with the Chargers bolts elevates this traditional design up to the next level.
• • •
Los Angeles Rams:
I designed a new logo that incorporates “LA” in the Rams forehead, along with the Northwestern striping on the horns. The LA Rams wore these stripes when they were first in LA. I love the throwback Blue & Gold Rams uniforms they wore in the Super Bowl last year, but why not bring back the stripes?! This entire set is inspired by past styling cues along with current color ways & design elements.
• • •
New Orleans Saints:
Again, removing all white from their branding, and coming up with this mean look! The helmet has a brass texture to it to represent the brass instruments in jazz music. I feel like this is such an easy update. I designed a new fleur-de-lis for the helmet, and watermarked it on the jersey chest.
• • •
New York Giants:
As a Giants fan, I know I’m one of the few that actually LOVES their red jerseys! I also designed a new logo that meshes the three logos used by the GMen from the 70’s to today. This logo looks great on a matte blue helmet! Just saying.
• • •
New York Jets:
Another early release for this Sunday. I designed a new logo, which I created by accident one night, and I’m happy it happened. I LOVE this logo! I added a sublimated watermark across the chest to look like… welp… a jet. I used a previous Jets mark for the helmet. I had another idea in mind for the helmet, but it was way off brand.
• • •
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
I designed a new buccaneer (which I’ve been told a million times that it looks like a cowboy, so save your breath) This uniform was obviously inspired by the creamsicle era. I also used a metallic gradient on the helmet with a ghosted logo.
• • • • • •
Great stuff, Brian — again, thanks so much for getting these to me. Brian, aside from the stuff he mentioned up above, had a sick wife and was taking care of their young child the past several days (you go!), so this was doubly awesome. Please let him know what you think of the concepts in the comments below — and give him a follow on the Twitter.
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):
• • •
Title: “Josh Gibson, 1933” (color study) Subject: Josh Gibson, 1933 Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board Size: 5” x 7”
“Wait, Josh Gibson played for the Cuban Stars, too?”
That’s what I said to myself only weeks before the Uniforms of Josh Gibson posters were about to be printed (https://negroleagueshistory.com/shop/negro-leagues-posters/joshgibson-lithograph/). In about eight months’ time (starting from late 2016), I had done a ton of research on the man, especially from a visual standpoint. He had played for many teams throughout his storied career, in the Negro Leagues, Cuban Leagues, Venezuelan Leagues, Dominican Leagues and Mexican Leagues. Each time, donning a different uniform for varying amounts of time, sometimes for an entire winter campaign, others for only a few games.
And in all of the time I spent digging through books and the Internet to find examples of each one, I had never run across anything about him being with the Cuban Stars. He’s not listed as playing for the team on his Wikipedia page. Nor Seamheads. Nor Baseball-Reference.
And none of what I’ve just written is a knock on the quality of these resources. Not even remotely. It’s just that if there’s one important thing I’ve discovered in these past eight months, it’s that the lack of this kind of information is not only par for the course, but will hover over my head for the remainder of the time I spend making these paintings (and let’s face it, well beyond).
White newspapers rarely covered those leagues, which means that not only was a lot of its history unwritten to millions of Americans, but also went unseen. The mere fact that most baseball fans are familiar with only a handful of images of somebody like Josh Gibson is a testament to that.
This was one of the reasons I was attracted to Jay’s project (https://negroleagueshistory.com/) in the first place. I’m like a lot of baseball fans that are attracted to its history. I know Satchel Paige. I know Josh Gibson. I know Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson all had stints there before coming to the bigs. That’s about how deep my pool of knowledge got. In other words, the game’s history that I know has mostly been seen through a white lens, and perhaps that’s how it’s been for a lot of other baseball fans.
As a result, this project was an opportunity for me to not only meet a lot of these guys for the first time, but also attempt to breathe life back into them somehow. Much like the great players of the Deadball Era in the white leagues, these guys fall under the ‘ancient history’ category and are perennially in black & white. And as such, we feel somewhat removed from them. But much like Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb, the great Pete Hill and Cristóbal Torriente played the game in living color. They breathed the same air as these guys did. And though maybe they weren’t able to compete with them (for the most part), they certainly deserve to be remembered just as much for their contributions to the sport.
Although the scope of this whole endeavor with Jay is rather large, I KNOW that we’ve still only scratched at the surface. There’s still so much to learn. Who knows, maybe I’ll run into a couple more uniforms that Josh Gibson wore, ones that I never knew he did. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
And with Satchel Paige, well, don’t even get me started on what I’ve missed.
For a more in-depth dive into the origins of this club with Gibson, check out this post on Gary Ashwill’s brilliant blog:
Alex is back once again for the 2019 MLB Playoffs. Unfortunately, Alex was attending a wedding last night, so he wasn’t able to post the uni matchups for the first game of the NLCS, but he’s got everything from the Wild Card and LDS rounds. Here we go:
• • •
Current Uni Tracking
• • •
• • •
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader ojai67.
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).
The “Hillies”? No, obviously it’s a game between the Dodgers and the Phillies. But when? That’s up to you…
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!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
The Ticker By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: In 1891, Sporting Life published a letter to the editor from a fan wanting players’ names on jerseys, 69 years before the White Sox actually went and did it. Talk about being ahead of your time! (from John Thorn). … Going off of yesterday’s press pin post, Tracy Ruckel sent in his rather impressive collection. … The Minute Maid Park groundscrew just threw a little paint over the “D” in the on-field ALDS logo to turn it into an ALCS logo (from @NikolaiPopusk19). … Mets P Marcus Stroman will change his uni number from 7 to something else out of respect for Jose Reyes (thanks, Phil). … Deadspin’s Ray Ratto took the Nationals to task over their cap logo (from Mike Chamernik).
NFL News: A man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey was removed from Donald Trump’s rally in Minneapolis (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil, the Saints are going to go white-over-white on Sunday against the Jags, but it won’t be their Color Rash unis — the white pants will be new. Interesting.
College/High School Football News: The Cotton Bowl’s logo at midfield has been replaced by the “Red River Showdown” logo, complete with ad (from Matthew Salazar). … Here’s a great piece on Iowa’s mid-90s uniform experimentation (from Joseph Foro and Rudy Chihak). … FAU’s endzone is going to be very patriotic and completely illegible today (from Jake Elman). … Mizzou is going yellow-yellow-black (from Jacob Bogage). … Virginia Tech will go white-maroon-white against Rhode Island (from who but Andrew Cosentino). … The following are all from Phil: Florida is going orange-blue-blue against LSU. … Mono-white for Mississippi State against Tennessee. … Ole Miss is going blue-white-white against Mizzou. … West Virginia is going black-grey-grey — or is it dark grey-lighter grey-lighter grey? It’s honestly hard to tell from the video. … Indiana and Purdue are both going with throwbacks this weekend for their respective homecoming games. … Throwback helmet logo for Oregon State. … Also a throwback helmet logo for Baylor. … A TV reporter in Philadelphia covering a pep rally at Father Judge High donned a helmet, pads and jersey (from Christopher Hickey). … The Grants Pass (Or.) Cavemen go MHOB — Mascot Head on Back (great spot by Scott Stoddard).
Hockey News: The Hurricanes wore their black third jerseys for the first time last night (from Scott M. Trembly). … Michigan Tech is going with white helmets for the first time since 2006 (from @TechHockeyGuide).
NBA/College Hoops News: Warriors C Kavion Pippen — Scottie’s son — is wearing No. 31 (from Etienne Catalan). … The following are all from Mike Chamernik: Throwback court incoming for the Cavs. … The Grizzlies will also have a throwback court. … The Magic have added pinstripes to the key of their court. … Looks like a new court for Evansville (from Ryan Bowman).
Soccer News: Nebraska’s midfield logo was painted in camouflage for their militry appreciation night (from Dakota Buesing). … Hertha Berlin released their Fall of the Berlin Wall commemorative kit yesterday (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed, Pumas’ women’s team will wear pink against León. … Coventry City’s third kit has been released (thanks, Jamie).
Grab Bag: Wales and Georgia went red-vs-maroon during yesterday morning’s Rugby World Cup match (from Will MacEwen). … Iowa’s default license plate design is so ugly that many drivers are picking the new “blackout” design after the state bureau of transportation made it available. More info here (from Taylor Warntjes).
The National League Championship Series begins tonight, with the American League following tomorrow. Soon it’ll be time for the World Series, which means it will also be time for a special little corner of athletics aesthetics to make its annual appearance: World Series press pins.
World Series press pins date back to 1911. The story goes that friends of New York Giants manager John McGraw were were overcrowding the press box. The newly formed Baseball Writers of America decided that admittance would be limited to credentialed members of the press, so some sort of visual identifier was needed — a pin. Early versions of the pins included ribbons, but bright enamel pins with clever, colorful designs soon became the norm, with both teams participating in the Series producing their own designs each year.
Over the years, the pins have become their own little category of memorabilia. They’re now distributed to VIPs as well as to media members, but they’re still produced in very limited quantities, so they’re highly prized among collectors.
On at least one occasion, press pins have even been worn during a game. A’s outfielder Reggie Jackson wore the team’s 1974 pin (shown at right) on the waistband of his pants during Game Three of the ’74 Series, and NBC’s TV broadcasters even picked up on it, as you can see here:
Anyway: I love creating Uni Watch versions of classic sports collectibles — pennants, gumball helmets, and so on. When our enamel pin turned out to be a much bigger success that I expected (it’s sold over 200 units in less than three months), that got me thinking: Could we do a Uni Watch press pin?
I decided to talk to longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom, who’s a big press pin fan (he has a nice collection of them) and is also, of course, a great designer. He liked the idea, so we had a few back-and-forths, a bit of brainstorming, and eventually came up with a new product that I’m proud to show you today — behold the first Uni Watch press pin (for all the photos that follow, you can click to enlarge):
Pretty sweet, right? I really like it. It’s nice that this pin, unlike the other one we’ve been selling, includes the words “Uni Watch.”
As for the other wording, we’ve had a BFBS T-shirt with “BFBS” on the back, an ugly sweater T-shirt with “Ugly Sweater” on the back, and so on, so I thought our press pin should say, “Press Pin.” Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Er, I’m not a member of the press.” But you are! All of you who scrutinize the uni-verse are essentially part of the Uni Watch media enterprise, whether you send in your Ticker submissions or even just raise uni awareness by discussing uniforms with your friends. You’ve all helped make Uni Watch what it is today, and you’re all fully deserving of wearing a Uni Watch press pin.
A few things you need to know about this project:
1. The pin measures 1″ across. It has a standard butterfly clutch on the back, just like our other pin.
2. Unlike our other pin, which is soft enamel, this one is hard enamel. That means the surface is flat, not ridged/textured. I like both styles, but I wanted to go with hard enamel for this design.
3. We have produced this pin in a numbered edition of 200. Each pin has a unique number laser-etched on the back:
When I received the 200 pins from the manufacturer, I took out 10 for myself and 10 for Todd (those were all chosen at random — I didn’t hunt for pin No. 1 or anything like that) and then sent the remaining 180 pins to Teespring, where they are now available.
4. These are priced at $13.99. That’s more than our other pin ($8.99), for a variety of reasons: Hard enamel costs more than soft enamel; the cutout areas of the design increased the cost; having the numbers etched onto the back increased the cost; and since Todd and I are splitting the profits, I wanted the project to be worthwhile for both of us. I think it’s worth it!
5. Just as new World Series press pins are produced each year, Todd and I plan to create a new Uni Watch press pin each October, right around the time of the World Series. They won’t all necessarily have “Press Pin” printed on them (maybe next year’s will simply have “Press,” just like lots of the Series pins have had), and we won’t necessarily limit the production to 200 pins (if this year’s is popular, we’ll consider doing a larger run next year), but we like the idea of creating an annual ritual around this project.
Frankly, it kills me to know we’ll have to wait another whole year before we can do another one of these. I have lots of design ideas, and it’s my nature to pursue things somewhat obsessively once they get under my skin (you should have seen how I threw myself into the gumball project once the idea took shape in my head), but maybe the long wait will teach me something about patience, or discipline, or something similarly unfun.
For now, though, I’m very happy with this new pin. And look — it fits right in with these real World Series pins from Todd’s collection:
Yet another NBA retail leak: Judging by the photos shown above, which began circulating yesterday afternoon, the Pacers are planning a new alternate that mixes their old FloJo design with some elements of their current “We Grow Basketball” branding.
This isn’t really a throwback or even a fauxback. Maybe a Floback? A Flauxback?
Electric football update: Yesterday I showed you the custom electric football figurines that Uni Watch contributor Gene Sanny painted for the opening sequence of last night’s Giants/Patriots game. In case you missed it (or just want to see it again), the resulting video production is embedded above. Big congrats to Gene — enjoy the moment, buddy!
• • • • •
• • • • •
Click to enlarge
And speaking of that Giants/Pats game: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did something last night that he hadn’t previously done all season long: He wore a jersey rendered in Nike’s current tailoring template and with the NFL 100 logo on the collar. All of his previous jerseys this season have either been the old, outdated template (Weeks 1, 2, 3) or didn’t have the centennial logo (Weeks 4, 5).
Here’s a week-by-week look at Brady’s collar stylings so far this season (click to enlarge):
• • • • •
• • • • •
Screen shot by Dean Dease; click to enlarge
Oopsie: NC State quarterback Bailey Hockman was victimized by a classic NOB glitch last night, as someone applied his N backwards. It’s sort of endearing, maybe even comforting, to see how all of Big Uni’s multi-jillion-dollar machinations are ultimately dependent upon — and can be undone by — the lowest-paid grunt who sews on the letters.
• • • • •
• • • • •
I hear San Diego is nice in November: Got a nice note yesterday from the Padres, inviting me to the unveiling of their new brown-centric uni set on Nov. 9.
Frankly, I’m usually happy to cover uni unveilings remotely. I can often work more effectively by watching the video stream of the event and looking at photos being posted online instead of dealing with the hectic scrum of the unveiling scene.
But some unveilings are worth being on hand for in person, and the Padres going back to brown is definitely one of them. So I think I’ll ask my Sports Illustrated editor if I can fly out to — oh, right, I don’t work for SI anymore. Hmmm.
If any sports, design, culture, or general-interest editors are reading: Would you like me to send me to San Diego so I can cover this event for you? If so, please get in touch. Thanks.
• • • • •
• • • • •
ITEM! One-day Naming Wrongs raffle: An anonymous benefactor has generously offered to pay for a Naming Wrongs T-shirt that I can raffle off.
This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address and choice of T-shirt design and size (anything from the the Naming Wrong shop is eligible) to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.
Meanwhile, the winner of this week’s Vintage Brand raffle is Christopher LaBella. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered.
• • • • •
• • • • •
The Ticker By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Oriole Park has taken down a vinyl welcome sign as they begin to repaint the brick original (from Matthew Mallen). … To follow up on our champagne celebration conversation from a few days ago, reader David Dahl wrote in: “The last few years the Cubs radio broadcasts have had a live read (the announcer simply reading an ad during the game) calling a sponsoring liquor store chain ‘the official champagne provider of the Chicago Cubs.'” Wow. … Here’s an article about how doubleheaders work behind the scenes at Yankee Stadium (from @brianspeaksnow). … Great article about a former seamstress for the Astros and Colt .45s who’s now 101 years old (from Ignacio Salazar).
NFL News: According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Browns and Broncos will be going color-against-color in Week 9, with Cleveland in their Color Rash unis (from Trey Volk). … The score bug for last night’s Giants/Pats game was really inconsistent, with the Patriots’ color alternating between red and blue (from multiple readers).
Soccer News: Hallelujah: Chevrolet is “highly unlikely” to renew their shirt advertisement deal with Manchester United, and the club is currently in discussions for a new shirt advert for when the contract expires in 2021. … Sigh: LAFC will have the first sleeve advertiser in MLS history. More details here (from Ed Żelaski and Josh Hinton). … Also from Ed: Hertha Berlin will release a special shirt honoring the fall of the Berlin Wall sometime today. It will be worn on Nov. 9. … One more from Ed: Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk are coming out with their own fashion line. … Cross-posted from the hockey section: Former Arsenal and Chelsea keeper Petr Čech is starting on his post-football career by becoming a part-time goalie with the Guildford Phoenix of Britain’s NIHL, whose jerseys are based on an old Thrashers template and whose logo is an obvious Flames ripoff (from Charles Garnsey). … Uhlsport have some quasi-Adidas stripes on the shoulders of Iran’s kits (from Josh Hinton). … Bleacher Report posted a few mock-ups of what international kits would look like if they took their design cues from national flags (from @TheSportzBucket).
[Editor’s Note: With the new Premiership Rugby season about to start tomorrow, our own Anthony Emerson, who compiles the Tickers that run here on Fridays and Saturdays, has a team-by-team assessment of all the new kits. Enjoy. — PL]
By Anthony Emerson
Home Bath are sticking with last year’s home kit, which is fine. I don’t hate it; I just wish the hoops went all the way around the jersey! But when your ad patch is that big, I guess you don’t want to make the torso of the jersey too busy (which is actually something they’ve done before). I like the no-frills scoop neck, and the shade of blue is pleasing, but the truncated hoops are a problem. Overall: B-
A ’90s fauxback here, inspired by Bath’s 1996/97 away kit. As you can see, the sleeve stripes are slightly different, and the traditional polo collar has been dropped for Canterbury’s more modern contrasting collar. Again, my issue here is with the stripes — why don’t they go all the way around the sleeve? Overall: B-
A clean and classy third kit, which will mostly be used in cup ties. I like this more than the away kit, mostly because I like the black more than I like the yellow. I also really like the Canterbury collar here, as the blue in the collar is a perfect complement to the sleeve stripes. It’s a great look, and it’s a shame we’ll only see it for cup matches. Overall: A
Bristol Bears (internal)
The newly-promoted Bears designed and produced their kit internally, and it’s a beauty. But first, the bad: I really, really hate that collar. Really. It looks like a vestigial tail, short and stumpy and not supposed to be there. It’s a shame, because I like the rest of the kit — the colors are nice, and the modern design looks clean and fast. Overall: B
The vestigial collar is back, but I like this jersey even more than the home. It’s simple and classic, with just the blue band across the chest and shoulders. I really, really like the “hoops” on the side panels. It’s a simple design element that really works to add a little flash and style to an otherwise plain kit. Overall: A-
Exeter Chiefs (Samurai)
Yes, there are teams with Native American imagery outside of the U.S.! And yes, it’s just as controversial on the far side of the pond. I really have nothing good to say about this kit — too many ads, not enough of anything else. The sublimated cube design is okay, I guess. But there’s nothing going on. Overall: D
Exeter are keeping their 2018/19 kit for this season, unfortunately. It feels like a cheap youth soccer jersey from 2006. Those wavy blue lines are a design element straight out of the last decade and, much like the home kit, there’s nothing else going on (except for ads, that is). An absolute failure. Overall: D-
Well, I guess I can’t criticize this one for not having anything going on! Good God, is this atrocious. I’m getting a weird, almost tie-dye vibe from the jersey, with the way the purple darkens and lightens. They’re also tripling down on the Native American imagery by making their logo the centerpiece of this kit design. Abysmal. Overall: F
Gloucester comes in with a really nice design — I love the hoops design with the red-white-black-white. It’s unique and evokes the late-’80s and early-’90s Gloucester kits. Unfortunately, the club’s badge, the ad patches, and the maker’s mark make the upper chest of the jersey feel way too cluttered — indeed, “Mitsubishi Motors” is probably too long to fit across a jersey comfortably. I’m also not fond of the collar, which makes the players look like they have white T-shirts underneath their jerseys. Still, it’s one of the nicer kits of the Premiership this season. Overall: B+
Oxen has another nice kit for Gloucester, a striking aquamarine number with navy hoops evoking the home kit’s design. It’s gorgeous, but the same issues still exist from the home kit. The upper chest is still too cluttered with badges and advertisements and the collar is still weird and unbecoming. But it just looks nice, even in spite of those issues. Overall: A
Quins have some gorgeous kits. Classic Harlequins quarters and vertical shoulder stripes (almost UCLA stripes), with a nice sublimated diamond pattern giving it a modern, fresh look. This is one of my favorite kits in the Premiership this year — I’m a sucker for halved and quartered kits, Quins’ colors are so unique, and the diamond pattern so clean and unobtrusive that I’m going out and buying one of these right now. Overall: A+
Harlequins are keeping last year’s away kit. I’m really not a fan of the sublimated design, but I do like the mishmashed design elements. They’re called the Harlequins — make the sleeve cuffs different colors, make the shoulder stripes different colors! This doesn’t have the panache of the home kit, but it’s still very much Harlequins. Overall: B
Leicester Tigers (Kukri)
Kukri comes out with a nice kit for the Tigers. This is a more traditional and classic design than they’ve worn in the past. I love the red-and-white hoops and the no-frills collar. But the red gradient at the bottom of the jersey is inexplicable — and inexcusable. Knocks it down a full letter grade. Overall: B
Another nice kit from Kukri for Leicester. Traditional and classy, with the torso and sleeve striping the only design element. I do like it, even with the alternating sizes of the stripes and its seeming existence to underline the advertiser logo. But I’m not a fan of same-color rugby jerseys and shorts, so this kit’s grade refelcts that. Overall: B-
London Irish (BLK)
London Irish (who don’t play in London) come forward with the best kit of the 2019-20 Premiership. It’s a clean and eye-pleasing green design, with nice sleeve cuffs, side panel stripes, and a bold chest stripe. One could argue that the latter element actually just serves to draw the eye to the advertiser’s logo, but compared to how previous London Irish kits were either bad or boring, this is a major step up. The one thing I’m not totally in love with is that the collar, with its angular design, doesn’t look like it should be part of a kit that’s so traditional. But that’s not enough to really harm the grade. Overall: A+
Unlike most other Premiership clubs, BLK did not come out with a separate design for London Irish’s away kits — it’s the same kit, but white with a green chest stripe (see group photo in the home review). It’s still gorgeous, and it has the bonus effect of rendering the bad collar invisible. Overall: A+
Northampton Saints (Macron)
Can I just say, is there any worse advertisement than “Tool Station”? Nothing like wearing a shirt with “Tool” in giant lettering across your chest. Aside from that, I like the collar, I like the stripes, but there’s just something about it, and the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s the colors. There’s too much black and it doesn’t look good directly against the green. The black serves as a buffer between the yellow stripes and green, but it would look better without it. Overall: C+
I’m not sold on this kit — I don’t like the piping, I’m not a fan of the grey (even if it is heathered, which I’m generally a fan of), I don’t like the collar (like Bristol’s, it seems vestigial). Just not feeling it. Overall: C-
Sale Sharks (Samurai)
So we’ve come to my favorite team, Sale Sharks, the only team in the Premiership from the North of England. I’ve used articles like this one to rail against gradient hoops, and now Sharks goes ahead and does just that. I do like the colors, but there are too many advertisements (as usual). Those socks are super nice, though. Overall: C
Oh, I do not like this kit. Sharks’ logo isn’t, ahem, good, so to speak, so making it the primary element of their kit isn’t working in their favor. Overall: D+
This is my favorite of the three Sale kits this year, but that isn’t saying much. I love the ice crystal motif coming up from the bottom of the jersey. But it’s still not what you’d call a good kit. I wouldn’t want to be seen in public wearing this. Overall: C
Nike comes in with a classy if plain number for the defending champs. I really like the red V-neck collar. I don’t know why there are two Allianz logos, but it’s hardly the worst advertisement in this year’s Premiership (looking at you, Tool Station). Overall: B
Saracens’ away kit is the same template as their home kit, and it’s still nice. It’s just an inversion of their colors. Nothing to criticize here — but not much to get excited about either. Overall: B
Wasps (Under Armour)
Because of their name, Wasps almost always have some of the nicest kits in the Premiership, and this year is no exception. The home shirt is black with nice yellow yoke stripes evoking the coloring of a wasp, and their socks are (as usual) spectacular. Under Armour seems to know that you can’t really mess with success and that there’s not much you have to do when the fundamentals are so strong. Unfortunately, that Vodafone logo is the size of a small planet and it knocks it down a full letter grade. Overall: B
The gold away kit is just as nice as the home kit, which is understandable considering it’s an inversion of the home kit. It has the added benefit of the Vodafone logo being in black-and-white instead of full color like the home kit. It’s still the size of a small planet, though. Overall: B+
Worcester Warriors (VX3)
The home kit has a hatched stripe down middle with a similar design coming out of the armpits. I don’t like the collar, which looks like it’s from a totally different kit. I’m just not feeling this. Maybe it’s the huge advertiser logo, maybe it’s the armpit stripes, maybe it’s the tractor ad patch, but I don’t like it. I get a cheap vibe from it, like this is what your kid’s rugby team would wear. Overall: C+
It’s like the home kit, but worse! By gradating the center stripe, they’ve made the entire kit look even cheaper. This is the away kit for your kid’s rugby team. Overall: C-
The best of the three Warriors kits, I get kind of a digital camo vibe from the design pattern, but the collar is still completely incongruous. I like the orange, giving this kit a splash of color that was somewhat absent from the other two kits. Overall: B
• • • • •
• • • • •
Uni Watch contributor makes the big time: What you see above is a custom electric football figurine (a re-creation of Giants wiedout David Tyree’s famous helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII, natch), which was painted by longtime Uni Watch contributor Gene Sanny. It’s one of several custom figurines that will be featured in the opening sequence of tonight’s Thursday Night Football game between the Giants and Pats.
Some quick background info from Gene:
I was asked to create these a couple of weeks ago and received the figures with just a bit over a week remaining before the deadline. I worked in the evenings after work and had one full weekend as well. It literally came down to the wire, as I finished them at 2:30am last Wednesday night in order to ship them from my work on Thursday so they could be in New York for a video shoot on Friday.
There was also an 11th-hour request of one more figure of Saquan Barkley, because he had just announced he planned to be ready to play (although whether he actually does still remains to be seen).
Faaaascinating. Big congrats to Gene on scoring this high-profile gig!
You can see more of the figurines, including how they looked before Gene painted them, here.
• • • • •
• • • • •
Click to enlarge
Very, uh, romantic: We’ve seen plenty of couples who’ve gotten married while wearing their favorite teams’ jerseys. But somehow the spirit of the moment seems a bit compromised when those jerseys are plastered with big, honking advertisements. That was the case with a DC couple who recently announced a corporate merger between Verizon and AT&T got hitched while wearing Washington Mystics jerseys (additional details here).
To be clear, I’m not criticizing the couple here. I think people can and should wear whatever they want when they get married. If these jerseys make these two people happy, good for them — I wish them a long and happy marriage. But this really seems like the latest in the long list of reasons why uniform ads totally suck.
• • • • •
• • • • •
Click to enlarge
LAST CALL for the Vintage Brand raffle: In case you missed it on Monday, our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand is running another raffle. The lucky winner will get to choose any product from the VB website (including stainless steel tumblers like the ones shown above, which VB has just started offering).
To enter this raffle, send an email to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern today. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.
We will have a one-day raffle tomorrow — see you back here for that.
• • • • •
• • • • •
The Ticker By Paul
’Skins Watch: In response to concerns expressed by Cardinals P Ryan Helsley, who’s a member of the Cherokee Nation and can trace his ancestry back to the Trail of Tears, the Braves announced that they would dial back the tomahawk chops for yesterday’s NLDS game. Of course, there was little need for the chop after the Cards scored 10 runs in the first inning. … Following the Braves’ loss in that game, a California TV station reported that they’d been “scalped.”
Baseball News: We don’t usually cover what fans wear, but this Nats fan who changed his Bryce Harper jersey into a Max Scherzer jersey is pretty funny (from RL Ely). … There’s a new site dedicated to Orioles collectibles. … The logo for the PGA Tour’s Houston Open has an Astros tequila sunrise theme (from Darren Evans). … Looks like the Giants have a new 20th-anniversary logo for their ballpark. … The independent Florence (Ky.) Freedom team will have a new name next season, and fans are being invited to help choose the new name (from K.C. Kless and Marc Viquez).
College Football News: Here are this week’s uni combos for Boise State, Iowa State, Virginia, and New Mexico (from @GregJens, Chad Lehman, and our own Jamie Rathjen). … In the “Kill me now” department, UCF fans and Purdue fans are squabbling over which school deserves more to wear lunar-themed uniforms (blame Kurt Esposito). … Interesting note from Benet Bartell, who writes: “Outside of the Knute Rockne gate at Notre Dame stadium are two very simple flags that fly every week during the football season — one for Notre Dame and the other for that week’s opponent. (It doesn’t matter if the game is home or away). The flag for Notre Dame is always blue with gold lettering. But this week it’s green, which syncs up with the ‘Irish Wear Green’ event for this Saturday’s game against USC. Nice to see that they went so far as to make this relatively small change for this weekend.” … Back in 1983, a Nebraska legislator wore a Cornhuskers helmet and jersey on the floor of the State Senate while arguing that student athletes should be paid (from @coachmays).
NBA News: The new Bucks alternate that leaked the other day has now been officially unveiled. … The Blazers’ preseason game two nights ago was at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, their home from 1970 to 1995, so head coach Terry Stotts and his assistants wore 1970s fashions for the occasion (from Mike Chamernik).