What’s the 414? Brew Crew Debut New CC Uniforms

By Phil Hecken

A good Saturday morning, Uni Watchers — I hope everyone had a good couple of weeks.

Last evening, the Milwaukee Brewers became the sixth team this season (and 13th overall) to debut their City Connect (CC) uniforms. I don’t want to say the program is getting tedious, but as the whole City Connect concept has gone forward, each uniform seems to be more forced, with ever more ridiculous “storytelling” accompanying each new release. And after the Brewers unveiled their CC’s a week ago (and having thoroughly enjoyed Paul’s take on Monday), I was prepared to really hate these uniforms once they took the field. If the hype video was going to any indication, it didn’t help — it felt more like a long commercial to sell $46 caps, $192 replicas, $435 authentics, and a host of other gear…

Here’s the thing, though. It’s always good to see the uniforms on the field of play before rendering a final verdict on the full uniform.

Let’s get a couple things straight first. I absolutely HATE the cap. I’m in complete agreement with Paul’s assessment. When it was first leaked, I “saw” the “414” embedded within the “MKE” and thought it might be the worst CC cap yet. I get the appeal (and I’m sure there are a boatload of people who love it), but the logo is terrible. Neither the “MKE” nor the “414” are particularly easy to read, and the royal (?) brim doesn’t seem to match the shade of navy which forms the navy/gold/navy pants stripe.

I also am not a fan of the “Brew Crew” (which reads more like “Bnew Cnew”) wordmark. But (unlike some uni details), it’s only really noticeable up close. At any distance, the gold lettering across the powder blue jersey is actually a good combination (note the team got matching CC helmets):

I absolutely got a 1970 Brewers road jersey vibe from the combination (a jersey I loved). I really liked the 1970s Brewers road uniforms, so maybe that’s why I liked (relatively speaking) the CC look they sported last evening. The jersey (at least) reminded me of the look worn by Henry Aaron — I was particularly fond of the gold sannies under the royal stirrups.

And I like the back of the jerseys, both the NOB treatment as well as the team’s custom number font.

As far as the overall uniform: while I prefer monochromatic looks for baseball, and especially when the jersey is powder blue, I didn’t hate the powder over white look the Brewers sported.

Sure, MLB isn’t selling pants, so the focus is on the jersey and cap. And I want to stress that while I found the Brewers’ CC uniform to be one of the bottom in the rankings, it looked a lot better than I feared. That’s probably damning with faint praise, but both in stills and in action, the uniform performed well enough.

The whole CC program really needs to be in a separate category when it comes to uniform assessments. It’s hard to design a “city” identity that is kitschy enough for the target market but which nonetheless can have some larger identity that can be appreciated by all fans — while at the same time selling telling a story that explains all the uniforms’ quirks.

It seemed like the fans loved the uniforms, and that’s at least a few bonus points in favor of them. Even Bernie Brewer got into the spirit, donning his own custom cap and jersey (at the end of this clip):

All in all, definitely not the worst CC uniform released to date, and certainly better looking on the field (which is all that actually matters) than I had expected. Mercifully, only one more team this year (San Diego Padres) will be getting a new CC uniform — and that should be released shortly. If the leaked socks are any indication of what’s to come…we could be in for a doozy.

You can see more photos here.

Your thoughts on the Bnew Cnew unis?

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Chuckie Sullivan.

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

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

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

The GOAT Gets It™

Not sure if you guys saw this the day the Patriots announced the return of their Pat Patriot throwbacks, but I lol’ed…

What Phil Did Last Weekend…

As you guys (at least those of you who read on the weekends) are aware, last weekend I was away at a bonspiel curling tournament up in New Hampshire — while it wasn’t “technically” a bonspiel, for all intents and purposes, the set up and format was the same: a 24 team draw, with a guarantee of at least three games. The last time the GNCC Arena Championships were held (2019), I went 3-2, eventually losing in a semi-final; this time, my rink and I were determined to rectify that.

And so we did…although I was playing with three different players, we brought a good team and our best game with us, going 4-1, and winning the “C” bracket. For those not familiar with how bonspiels work, all teams begin play in the main (“A”) bracket; those who lose in the first round are put into the “B” bracket, and those who lose in the second round go into the “C” bracket (most bonspiels will also have additional brackets for teams who keep advancing in the A bracket but who do not make the finals). My squad won our first match, but lost a close second match — to the team that ended up winning the entire tournament. After our second round loss, we were placed into the C bracket, and won three additional games (one close, two blowouts) to win the “C” tournament! There were actually two Long Island Curling Club teams in the tournament, and our other team went all the way to the “A” final, losing to the same team that knocked us out in the second round. So, as a club, we represented very well. I won’t go so far as to say we were the third or fourth best team there, but we probably were.

As is tradition at a bonspiel, the final teams are piped in — I’ve played in a total of 10 bonspiels in my life, and have been in two finals besides this one, and it’s a pretty cool experience. However, in those finals, I went 0-2, so by winning the “C” bracket, this was my first “win”. Unfortunately, the GNCC Arena Nationals didn’t have a bagpiper (they said he was “sick”), but they did have recorded bagpipe music to walk on the sheets to, so it was almost as good. And it was great to finally win one.

For winning, my rink was awarded this plaque, which we get to keep for a year, and our names will be engraved in the first blank spot:

Here we are after the match holding the plaque and medals we all received for winning. Of course, I brought five pairs of wacky pants (and wore one for each match), but we only took one team photo after winning the C final — and it was a terrible photo (I’m the one on the right…obviously). I realized after the fact that I’d worn that “uniform” once before, in a bonspiel back in March — and it could charitably be described as Paul’s worst nightmare: purple socks, crazy pants, purple shirt and Uni Watch Purp Walk cap (unfortunately, I lost wearing this outfit in the March bonspiel), but made up for it in this one. Here’s the photo from March:

It was a great time (bonspiels with club members/friends are always awesome) and it was nice to finally bring home some hardware. Can’t wait for the 2023 Arena Nationals!

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Level heads have prevailed at New Era and/or MLB, as the Blue Jays’ 4th of July caps have removed the stars and red stripes, making it look less like the American flag (thanks, Phil). … MLB 22: The Show has the incorrect font on the Brewers’ City Connect unis. The Brewers’ CC unis feature the team’s standard font. Makes me think that perhaps the number font was changed late in the design process, after the design had already been modeled into the game (from @bullyday). … The Somerset Patriots, Double-A affiliates of the Yankees, wore Captain America jerseys during last night’s game, which also featured an Aroldis Chapman rehab appearance (from John Cerone).

Pro Football News: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers wore white at home last night, and more notably wore white over royal blue for the first time in their history.
 

Hockey News: A Colorado news anchor wore a 2007-2017 Avalanche jersey with the 2022 Stanley Cup Final patch ironed on during a broadcast last night (from Casey Hart).
 

NBA News: The Thunder have officially unveiled their rookie numbers (from @hardchargindaddy).
 
 

Soccer News: England’s home shirts are white and the Netherlands’ is orange. But England women wore orange at home against the Dutch, who wore white, in what can only be described as blasphemy against the soccer gods (from @texastrevor). … Our own Jamie Rathjen writes in: “Scottish club Aberdeen released new shirts. The crest has commemorative text for the 40th anniversary of the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup win, and the two stars that would go above the crest are on the sleeve. Also, because of supply chain issues, the men’s team is wearing the second kit for all games until the end of July, which is probably six or seven times but is more than an entire normal season.” … New tattoo-inspired kits for Forward Madison (from Scott Rogers). … New ball for the Polish Ekstraklasa (from Ed Zelaski). … The following are all from Kary Klismet: Scottish side Rangers have released their new home kits. … Premier League side Crystal Palace have unveiled their new away kits. … New away kits for lower league English clubs Milwall and  Rochdale. … New kits for German sides VfB Stuttgart, Sandhausen, 1. FC Magdeburg and VfR Aalen. … New kits for Belgian clubs Cercle Brugge, KV Mechlen and Anderlecht. … New kits for Nîmes Olympique of France’s Ligue 2.

Grab Bag: Here’s an article on the history of pirate flags (from Jon Vieira). … The following are all from Kary Klismet: Atari has unveiled a 50th anniversary logo. … New athletics logo for Red Deer Polytechnic, a college in Alberta. … The U.S. Army and Air Force will offer free maternity uniforms to pregnant servicemembers.

Uni Tweet of the Day

Tom O’Grady is all of us…

And finally… that’s it for today. Everyone have a good Saturday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Peace.

PH

Batty: Mets Lead the League in Bat Knob Styles

On Monday afternoon, I was listening to the Mets/Marlins on the radio while going on my daily bike ride through Prospect Park. At one point, Mets play-by-play man (and card-carrying Uni Watch member) Wayne Randazzo mentioned that shortstop Francisco Lindor was using an unusual bat, similar to the one used by teammate Jeff McNeil, so I made a mental note to look into it later on. I didn’t find quite what Randazzo had described, but I did find something interesting nonetheless.

Let’s start with McNeil. He uses a bat with no knob, which is always very apparent because he chokes up (additional info here and here; for these and all photos in this entry, you can click to enlarge):

It’s a pretty unique look. Is there anyone else in the bigs who currently uses this kind of bat? If so, I’m not aware of it.

So when Randazzo said Lindor had been trying something similar, I was intrigued — especially because Lindor doesn’t usually choke up, so you’d think he’d want some kind of knob at the end of the bat.

I wanted to see what kind of bat Lindor had been using before he started using the McNeil-style design, so I went back to Opening Day. Lindor, like most switch-hitters, uses a different bat depending on whether he’s batting lefty or righty. On Opening Day, both of his bats had standard knobs:

So that was our baseline. Had Lindor swapped one of those — or even both of them — for the knobless design, as Randazzo said?

Not exactly. Since early June, Lindor has sometimes used a newfangled bat when hitting left-handed — but it’s not the knobless style. Instead he’s been using a bat with a large, counterweighted knob that’s often referred to as a “hockey puck”:

Lindor also used this style for one of his right-handed plate appearances on Monday, June 20, which was the day I heard Randazzo referring to Lindor’s bat. I’m pretty sure this is the moment when Randazzo mistook the hockey puck style for the knobless style:

This hockey puck style has slowly been gaining favor with MLBers over the past couple of years. (Patrick Wisdom of the Cubs recently switched to it and promptly homered in four straight games.)

Sure enough, during the TV broadcast of the Mets’ next game — Tuesday night in Houston — SNY roving reporter Steve Gelbs did a little segment on Lindor’s bats. He said Lindor only uses the hockey puck style “against high-velocity pitchers or on days when he just doesn’t feel that great,” because it helps keep his swing balanced. They also showed a comparison of the bat knob styles:

The interesting thing about all this, at least to me, is that there are now at least four bat handle styles being used in the big leagues (and three of them are being used on the Mets):

    • The traditional knob
    • The hockey puck knob
    • McNeil’s knobless style
    • The “axe handle” style (more info here)

Has there ever been a point in baseball history when so many different bat styles have been in use?

Update: Reader/commenter Lawrence points that the Mets first baseman Pete Alonso uses the axe handle style:

So the Mets are using all four of the styles I just listed!

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MLB x CBD: MLB yesterday announced that teams are now free to strike sponsorship deals with CBD brands. Key quote: “With MLB opening up team and league jersey patch sponsorships for the ’23 season, CBD companies will now be among those allowed to strike such deals.”

Let the wisecracks begin!

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball and Softball News: Marlins players have started to put a football helmet on each guy who hits a home run as they return to the dugout. They’re also adding a decal for each player who wears the helmet (from Mike Chamernik). … Tom Seaver appeared on this magazine cover wearing a jersey he never wore on the field. That’s the Mets’ 1978-82 jersey — Seaver was traded to the Reds in 1977 and reacquired by the Mets prior to the 1983 season, when they began wearing their racing stripe unis (great find by George N.) … Athletes Unlimited softball players wore “IX” on their backs last night in honor of the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Inspired by yesterday’s sublede about Jesse Winker’s ’80s-style stirrups, reader Tim Walsh shares that his son wears his stirrups the same way on his high school team. … The Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the MLB Draft League will wear Disabilities Awareness Night unis (thanks, Phil). … The Syracuse Mets wore their white “Salt Potatoes” jerseys with grey pants while in Rochester playing the Red Wings. The Red Wings were also wearing their “Plates” unis, so it was a full-on upstate New York food fest (from Shane Bua). … Brewers P Brandon Woodruff appeared for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on a rehab start, wearing his cream MLB pants and a pure white Timber Rattlers jersey (from Wayne Boardman).

Football News: Reader Russell Lee spotted a license plate reading “NFL UMP” at a gas station. He inquired with the woman driving the car and learned that the car belongs to Carl Paganelli, who’s worked four Super Bowls and has been officiating in the league since 1999. Russell says, “I told [the driver] that I thought the license plate was awesome, and she replied, ‘I think it’s obnoxious,’ with a smile.” … The 2022 logo for the Vanier Cup, the championship game of Canadian university football, has been released (from Wade Heidt).

Hockey News: Longtime Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask retired in the midst of last season. Yesterday he took part in a scrimmage with Boston Pride Hockey, an LGBTQ hockey club, wearing Patrice Bergeron’s skates and using Charlie McAvoy’s stick.

Hoops News: A maybe-legit retail site is selling what it claims to be the Celtics’ City Edition jersey for 2022-23 (from Robert K. Jepsen). … Gross: The “pick is in” chime for last night’s NBA draft was a corporate ad jingle (thanks to all who shared). … WNBA teams wore shooting shirts honoring Title IX last night, something that will continue today (thanks, Jamie). … Etienne Catalan’s Twitter had a whole bunch of NBA rookie uni number updates last night.

Soccer News: The following are all from Kary Klismet: New crest for Cercle Brugge of Belgium (also from Ed Zelaski). … New kits for Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa, Brazilian club America, Austrian club Sturm Graz, and Numancia of the Spanish third tier. … New keeper kits for Arsenal.

Grab Bag: Iberia Airlines is launching a program to recycle and donate old crew uniforms rather than send them to landfills (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary, new kits for Ireland’s men’s national rugby team. … Not uni-related, but here’s an excellent article about how Chicago’s manhole covers are manufactured (from Craig Maki). … The U.S. Army is easing its restrictions on tattoos (from Timmy Donahue). … Nike will make a full exit from the Russian market. It had already suspended operations there following the invasion of Ukraine.

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That’ll do it for this week. Stay well, enjoy Phil’s weekend content, and I’ll see you back here on Monday. Peace. — Paul

Patriots Announce Return of ‘Pat Patriot’ Throwback Uni

Click to enlarge

The Patriots made it official yesterday and officially announced that they’re bringing back the Pat Patriot throwbacks for this season. The Patriots Hall of Fame had already spilled the beans on this development way back in December, so the announcement isn’t exactly a surprise, but at least now we know the plans haven’t been scuttled by supply-chain issues or anything like that.

Some notes and thoughts:

• No word yet on which game(s) will feature this uniform.

• Pat Patriot first appeared on the Pats’ helmets in 1961 — the franchise’s second season — and remained as the team’s headwear logo until 1993, when it was replaced by Flying Elvis.

• Pat’s first appearance as a throwback came as part of the NFL’s 75th-anniversary throwback program in 1994 (but with the white jersey):

The red jersey’s first throwback appearance came during a Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions in 2002:

• The throwback uni didn’t appear again until 2009, when the Pats wore both home and road versions of the design as part of the AFL 50th-anniversary program:

• The red throwback reappeared in 2010, 2011, and 2012 before falling victim to the NFL’s one-shell rule.

• If you look at those photos, you can see that they paired the red jersey with white socks every year except 2009, when they wore red. Which is more historically accurate? It depends on which era you’re trying to simulate, because the Pats originally paired the red jersey with red hose but changed to white in 1984. (The new throwbacks have white socks.)

• Another detail about the 2009 throwbacks: The UCLA striping on the jersey was blue-white-blue, while all the other throwbacks (including the new ones) have white-blue-white. Different helmet striping, too. Again, that’s because the striping changed on the original jerseys and helmets back in the day, so the throwback striping reflects the specific era being simulated.

• Another thing you can see in the photos is that the throwback helmet has consistently been slightly off-white — a very light cream. It’s hard to be 100% certain from the promo pics they released yesterday, but the shell looks like more of a true white to me.

• Speaking of the promo pics, they released a fun shot of center David Andrews posing like Pat Patriot:

• According to this article, the Pats were lobbying for years to get the one-shell rule lifted so they could revive this throwback.

• That article also says they considered going with a red facemask (which the team wore in 1991 and ’92 but has never been used in a throwback capacity) but ultimately opted to stick with white.

• The one turd in the punchbowl: those truncated UCLA stripes. If Nike can fix this for the Panthers, why not for the Pats?

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One final thought: I know everyone loves Pat Patriot — so do I! — but I’d also love to see the team use the (off-)white shell color to bring back the tricorn hat logo that they wore in 1960:

That design has never been worn as a throwback, and it would be great to bring it back for a game at some point. I know everyone’s excited about Pat, so let’s enjoy his return for a season or two. But after that, how about a tricorn cameo? Here’s hoping!

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Photo by Neville E. Guard, USA Today Sports, click to enlarge

Blast from a different past: Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker last night wore a pants/stirrups style rarely seen nowadays, reminiscent of the mid-’70s or early ’80s. Not my favorite look, but interesting to see someone reviving that mid-shin pant length!

Here’s a close-up, showing that he was clearly wearing tube socks, not traditional thin sanitaries:

(My thanks to Bo Baize for alerting me to this one.)

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Click to enlarge

Does Bruce Bochy know about this? Following up on yesterday’s item about the giant caps at Angel Stadium, reader Benji Boyter reports that the caps have giant size tags on the inside. That’s pretty cool!

As an aside: Ballparks named after teams usually have the team name in the singular — Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Angel Stadium (and the now-defunct Tiger Stadium). The one exception is Nationals Park. Personally, I’ve always thought Angels Stadium would sound better (even with the double-s sound) — it just feels more natural to me. Can’t explain why. But I’m okay with the other singular constructions — again, can’t really explain why. It’s an interesting sub-topic!

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Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: A Dutch artist came up with a genius creative project: He carved a full alphabet into the bark of a tree, documented how the letterforms morphed from year to year as the bark healed and regrew, and created digital fonts based on the progressions. So the fonts were essentially designed by the tree:

How cool is that? Fascinating additional details here.

(Mega-thanks to Michael Hochman for this one.)

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Thank you: Yesterday I mentioned that I’m staring down the barrel of an insane health insurance premium increase and asked that those of you who haven’t previously supported Uni Watch please consider either making a donation or purchasing a Bulletin subscription (if you want to do it without Facebook, email me), a membership card, or some of our fine products.

The initial response was very promising. Thanks so much to all of you who pitched in, and doubleplusthanks to two readers who were particularly generous (they know who they are) — you’re all aces.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Indigenous Appropriation News: Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Fla., will no longer call its teams the Chiefs (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is publicly backing legislation to prohibit Native-themed team names and imagery for schools in New York state.

Baseball News: The Angels added cap patches last night to mark the 20th anniversary of their 2002 World Series title (from Jorge Cruz). … Here’s how Mets P Max Scherzer looked in his Binghamton Rumble Ponies uniform for a recent rehab start. … Unusual Orioles logo on this cap, which was apparently for a team-sanctioned kids’ fan club. Fun variation on the MLB logo on the back, too (from Greg Bensinger). … The new team in the Prospect League will be called the Jackson Rockabillys (from Phil Santos). … The Red Sox gave away Hebrew-lettered jerseys last night (from Jeff Israel). … Guardians 3B Jose Ramirez has a necklace pendant with a picture of himself holding said necklace (from Mike Chamernik). … Pretty funny story about how MLB really botched an ad featuring the NYC subway (from Gabriel Luis Manga).

College Football News: Boise State is asking fans to wear specific colors for certain games (from Kary Klismet). … Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin may have accidentally leaked his team’s latest camouflage uniform (thanks, Phil).

Basketball News: Here are the uni numbers for Virginia men’s new players (thanks, Jamie). … Española Valley High School in New Mexico has unveiled a new court design (from Kary Klismet).

Soccer News: New away kit for Belgian side Club Brugge (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: New kits for fourth-tier English side Carlisle United. … New home kit for Scottish club Dunfermline Athletic (thanks, Jamie). … The rest of these are all from Kary Klismet: New men’s national team home kits for Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. … New home kits for Atlético Madrid. … New logo for Pau FC of France’s Ligue 2. … New kits for 2. Bundesliga sides FC Heidenheim and Hannover. … New home kits for Birmingham City of the English Football League Championship. … New uniforms for the Offenbacher Kickers of Germany’s fourth-tier Regionalliga Südwest. … New home kits for Leyton Orient of England’s League Two:

Grab Bag: I feel like we may have had this before, but just in case: New logos for Brown University athletics (from Joel Mathwig). … Here’s something I’ve never seen before: The equipment staff at Prairie View A&M — that’s an HBCU in Texas — is going on strike, citing being “overworked and underappreciated” (from Ben Whitehead). … Here’s one writer’s pick for the worst uniforms in Denver sports history. … Here’s an interesting thread on why it took so long for Ohio State to successfully trademark the word “The” (from James Gilbert). … New package design and brand name tweak for Kraft Mac & Cheese (thanks, Brinke). … A dentist combined Nike’s slogan and one of those floss pick thingies to create a really funny dental hygiene reminder (from Mike Chamernik). … Interesting article about how Title IX has affected the design of women’s sports uniforms over the past 50 years. … Seattle is the latest city where police officers can march in the local Pride parade but not in uniform. … Here’s a very entertaining thread in which the text of various familiar brand logos is changed to match the imagery. … DC Comics has a new Batman logo. … New 50th-anniversary logo for Atari.

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night: Really fun indie-rock family-affair double bill last night, as Swearin’ (fronted by Allison Crutchfield, top photo) opened for Waxahatchee (fronted by Allison’s twin sister, Katie Crutchfield) as part of Central Park’s free summer concert series. Waxahatchee has gotten more press and has a bigger following, but Swearin’ was by far the better band last night. Killer tunes, righteous energy.

Big shout-out to reader Rick, who recognized me during the show and said hi. Good meeting you, buddy — thanks for the kind words!

NHL Shoots, Scores with Awesome Animated Game Simulcast

What you see above is a video of the Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final(s) between the Avalanche and the Lightning — sort of. Thanks to tracking technology embedded in the puck and the players’ uniforms, the entire game has been rendered in “Blocky” characters.

It’s bizarre, absurd, funny, and oddly compelling, at least to me — I can’t stop watching it. Check it out and see if you agree. (You can also watch Game One and Game Three.)

Want to see how the animation compares to the real-life action it’s mimicking? A Redditor helpfully made a comparison of a Lightning goal from Game Three — the real thing in one window, Blocky version in the other:

Not bad, right?

There are so many interesting details about this video format. For example:

• The players aren’t the only ones appearing as Blockies. So are the fans and even the Zamboni driver (who appears between periods).

• The officials, however, are not shown at all for some reason (anyone know why?). So when there’s a face-off, the puck just floats to the appropriate face-off spot by itself and then drops to the ice. Very strange!

• One big plus to this format: The ads on the teams’ helmets are not shown!

• When players leave the ice for a line change, they don’t step into the bench area — they just vanish in a puff of smoke along the boards!

• Certain moments are punctuated by comic book-style lettering — “Pow!” for a big shot, or “Boom!” for a collision along the boards. And if the net comes off its moorings, there’s a big explosion of fireworks!

• Obviously, the whole thing would be better if the video were accompanied by play-by-play audio. But never fear — they did that for the game highlights:

• Wondering what a Blocky fight looks like? There’s been only one fight so far in this series, near the end of Game Three, as shown here:

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I’m sure there are other noteworthy details I haven’t discovered yet.

The NHL is streaming these videos as simulcasts on its YouTube channel. So if you want to watch the Blocky version of Game Four tonight in real time, it should be available on that page. You can even sync it up with the standard broadcast’s audio to get the full play-by-play effect! I won’t be home tonight, so I won’t be able to do that, but I hope to try it later in the series.

(Mega-thanks to Mike Chamernik for bringing this one to my attention.)

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Ryan Wetstein wins the internet today: Now that’s a funny tweet. Nicely done, Ryan.

But in all seriousness: Those giant caps at Angel Stadium originally didn’t have the New Era logo creep, and they still didn’t have it as recently as 2020. Which means they added it sometime in the past two years. Which is really depressing. Sigh.

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Click to enlarge

Something I just learned: As you all know by now, I love old advertising catalogs. I recently had my eye on one that was listed on eBay. I decided not to bid on it because it was a little more than I could justify spending at the moment (more on that in a minute), but one of the photos was too good not to share.

As you can see in the photo shown above, this particular company referred to its plastic streamer thingies as “loopy wigglers.” How great is that? Loopy wigglers! Looks like there were other wigglers available, too.

Some quick googling indicates that “wigglers” was not a standard industry term — too bad. But still: loopy wigglers!

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On a serious note: As a self-employed freelancer, I’ve paid for my own health insurance for most of the past 26 years. (The brief exception was the 10 minutes or so that I was on staff at Sports Illustrated in 2019.) As I’ve said before, it’s absurd that our country ties health insurance to employment status, but whaddaya gonna do.

As you’d expect, the cost of my monthly premiums have gone up over the years (because that kind of thing never goes down, right?). Still I was stunned yesterday when I received a letter from my insurer, informing me of the rate increase that they plan to impose for next year (click to enlarge):

You read that right — my monthly premium, which is currently just shy of $800, is jumping to $1,053 (or $12,636 a year). That’s a whopping 32.8 percent increase. I know we’re all dealing with inflation — I mean, I buy gas and food just like everyone else — but that’s just insane.

Let me be clear: I am not broke, or anything close to it. But this will definitely affect my life and will probably affect Uni Watch as well. Remember how I said a few months ago that I planned to go visit Ripon Athletic and check out their old uni files? I had hoped to do that in a couple of months, but now I’m rethinking that trip, because I don’t know if I can justify the expense. Grrrrr.

Again, I’m not a poverty case here. But in the wake of this news, I respectfully ask those of you who have the means — and especially those who enjoy Uni Watch but haven’t supported it in the past — to please consider purchasing a Bulletin subscription (if you want to do it without Facebook, email me), a membership card, or some of our fine products. If you’d simply like to make a donation, that works too.

Thanks for listening, and for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: The Rays wore their standard home whites last night for the first time since April 30! … MLB issued new guidelines requiring all teams to “muddy up” the ball uniformly. … New Mothman-themed unis for the West Virginia Black Bears. The Mothman is a humanoid creature that’s part of the state’s folklore. … Monday’s Ticker included an item about the rededication of the Negro Leagues’ Hamtramck Stadium in Michigan. This slideshow includes several photos of the newly renovated facility and the throwback uniforms worn by those playing in the rededication event (from Kary Klismet). … Here’s a weird one: D-back P Noé Ramirez’s white sanitary socks were showing over the top of his stirrups last night. … In that same game, Padres 1B Luke Volt went without an undershirt and also left several jersey buttons unbuttoned, thereby exposing a fair amount of chest hair.

Football News: Here are some of the NFL players who’ve been wearing Riddell’s new Axiom helmet at practice (from our own Phil Hecken). … New uniforms for Northwestern (from multiple readers). … New helmets for Speedway High School in Indiana (from @Hoosier_Steve).

Hockey News: SportsLogos.net’s Chris Creamer has created a fun graphic showing the history of Stanley Cup socks (thanks, Phil). … New 20th-anniversary logo for the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL (from Wade Heidt).

Basketball News: New uni ad for the Spurs (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … The Guntersville High School girls’ basketball team in Alabama has received their championship rings for winning the state title (from Kary Klismet).

Soccer News: New shirts for Bulgarian side Botev Plovdiv (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: New shirts for the Bundesliga’s Eintracht Frankfurt. … New shirts for the EPL’s Leicester City (from multiple readers). … New home shirts for third-tier Scottish side Falkirk FC (from multiple readers). … Speaking of Scotland, new 150th-anniversary kits for Dumbarton. “The blue/white/red was their very first color scheme, and the shirts intentionally don’t have ads,” says our own Jamie Rathjen. … The next few items are from Kary Klismet: New crest for Italy. … New kits for Panathinaikos of Greece’s Super League. … New shirts for Holstein Kiel of the 2. Bundesliga.

Grab Bag: Here’s why the U.S. military switched from blotchy to digital camouflage patterns on their combat uniforms (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Here’s the evolution of Volvo’s logo.

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What Paul did last night: Saw the new David Cronenberg movie, Crimes of the Future, last night. If you’re a Cronenberg fan, as I am (I’m particularly fond of The Fly, Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers, eXistenZ, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises), this new one is almost too perfect. It’s set in a dystopic near-future where people are spontaneously growing new organs and performance artists stage events to have those organs surgically removed while hushed crowds watch and rhapsodize about “inner beauty.” Despite all the blood and gooey viscera, it ends up being a hilarious critique of contemporary art, body modification, technology, industrialization, cultural beauty standards, and more. Mary and I were snickering throughout the whole movie. Peak Cronenberg — highly recommended.