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UK Team Sparks Discussion of Women’s Soccer Uniforms

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Ticker assistant Jamie Rathjen, who’s going to discuss some interesting issues regarding women’s soccer. Enjoy. — PL]

By Jamie Rathjen

Twitter-er @Starkman55 recently pointed us toward an article about a grassroots women’s soccer team in East London called Romance FC, which collaborated with Nike to design a shirt that’s more, well, feminine than the typical women’s soccer jersey (as shown at right; click to enlarge).

That raises an interesting point, because women’s soccer — like many other women’s sports — often looks like an offshoot of the men’s game. Let’s start with the UK, where 32 of the 38 teams in the English and Scottish top two women’s tiers are affiliated with a men’s team.

The six outliers are English second-tier team Durham and five in Scotland: 12-time defending champions Glasgow City, top-tier teams Forfar Farmington and Stirling University, and second-tier teams Central Girls (which, incidentally, appears to use a derivative of Sporting KC’s logo) and Glasgow Girls.

The other 32 women’s teams look pretty familiar, because they’re outfitted almost exactly the same as their male counterparts, with perhaps a few more ads plastered on (click to enlarge):

In the second picture shown above, Celtic’s shirts even have last season’s commemoration of the 1967 European Cup won by the men’s team

It seems it hasn’t yet occurred to these teams that they can come up with designs that incorporate team color but nonetheless have a different look, as the U.S., Japanese, and German national teams have recently done.

Back home, four of the nine NWSL teams — Houston, Orlando, Portland, and Utah — are affiliated with and wear colors used by the MLS teams in their respective cities. However, three of those teams — all except for Portland — are the only ones in the league’s short history that haven’t used blue or red as their primary color. 

That observation brings us to another point about the women’s game: It can be visually bland at times. Turn on most NWSL games and you’ll likely see the same colors repeated: blue, red, white, and black. Every team in the league except Seattle currently has a white shirt as second choice.

In the UK, thanks to low budgets, basic designs and manufacturers’ templates abound among unaffiliated teams.

There some potentially complicated issues at work here. On the one hand, outfitting the women to look more or less the same as the men may seem to give the women equal status and make them feel as “official” as the men’s sides, but it can also turn the women’s kits into little more than an afterthought or a rubber stamp. For example, why can’t Tottenham Hotspur Ladies — shown in the third picture above — make blue shirts first choice, rather than white? It would be distinctive and would also incorporate a design often seen in the team’s visual history.

Similarly, coming up with “more feminine” designs can give the women’s teams their own visual identity, but it also runs the risk of devolving into a clichéd ghetto of cutesy kit designs.

But at least for Romance FC, that risk was worth taking. It will be interesting to see if other women’s teams stake out their own aesthetic turf. It would also be interesting to hear what Uni Watch’s female readers think of all this — please let us know in today’s comments.

Update: As if on cue, just as this entry was being published, Everton announced that it was the first Premier League team to use its women’s team to reveal a kit — that is, before the men’s team.

(Thanks to Twitter-er @Starkman55 for sending us the article that initiated this discussion.)

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Concussion discussion: College football conferences’ annual preseason media days are usually pretty rote affairs, but yesterday’s ACC Kickoff Day had a bit of juice thanks to UNC coach Larry Fedora, who made a fool of himself and gladly kept digging when someone offered him a shovel.

Fedora outed himself as a CTE denier, saying he believed certain medical studies and not others (spoiler: he believes the now-discredited studies that show low CTE risk from football) and offering up this whopper: “I’m not sure that anything is proven that football, itself, causes [CTE].” As many observers quickly pointed out, the link between football and CTE has been established right there at UNC, where Fedora coaches.

Fedora also cooked up an interesting conspiracy theory with a side of military jingoism. Check this out:

“Our game is under attack,” Fedora told reporters. “I fear the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it in 10 years. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”

Fedora said he had talked to military personnel who had suggested the success of the United States military was due, in part, to the number of football players who went on to join the armed forces.

So when football fans chant “dee-fense,” they’re actually referring to our national defense. Who knew?

One writer has already responded to this nonsense by calling for Fedora’s dismissal.

Meanwhile, a new University of Michigan study shows that some of the school’s players had signs of brain injuries even though they weren’t diagnosed with concussions. Fedora could not be reached for comment, presumably because he was busy defending America’s national security (or maybe he was just dealing with UNC’s latest NCAA violations, which were reported last night and may result in as many as a dozen players being suspended).

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IMPORTANT cap update: As I’ve been mentioning all week, we’re now accepting pre-orders for the XXL size of the upcoming Uni Watch “alternate” cap. If we get enough XXL pre-orders to meet our suppliers minimum order requirement of 144 caps, we’ll go ahead and have the cap made in that size. (Otherwise we’ll issue refunds.)

Based on the early returns, it looks like we will not have enough pre-orders to move ahead with the XXLs. That’s a bit of a surprise, because when I asked if people would be willing to pre-order, 168 people said yes. But so far we have only 16 pre-orders. That’s not going to cut it.

I’m keeping the pre-order window open until the end of next week, so there’s still time to turn this around. But if you want the XXL, I suggest you get on board now.


• Fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap, available exclusively from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock (although several sizes have already sold out again). Order yours here.

• My epic stoop/open-house sale, which will feature a ton of uni-related books, dozens of pairs of stirrups, and more cool collectibles than you can shake a C-Flap at, will take place this Saturday. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Here’s a rare sight: former Reds SS Barry Larkin wearing No. 15, instead of his more familiar No. 11. He wore 15 only in 1986 and ’87 (from Jason Hillyer). … After the Tuesday-night kerfuffle about Brewers P Josh Hader having posted bigoted tweets when he was a teen-ager, his family members, who had been wearing Hader jerseys while attending the All-Star Game, were given generic NNOB jerseys. … At least one other fan wearing a Hader jersey turned it inside-out. … Something I missed from yesterday’s MLB All-Star Game roundup: Cubs C Willson Contreras was wearing a catcher’s helmet with a navy crown and a red brim — probably a Nats helmet. … The Asheville Tourists will become the Asheville Hippies for Thirsty Thursday (thanks, Phil). … Check out the uniforms for the Chicago Police Department baseball team. … All-Star Game batting helmet mix-ups aren’t limited to the big leagues. … Here’s a really great story: Up until now, the only footage of Ted Williams’s final game in 1960, when he famously hit a home run in his final at-bat and refused to tip his cap to the cheering fans, was in black-and-white. But now color footage — shot by a 19-year-old art student who was cutting class that day and buried since then in a desk drawer — has come to light (NYT link).

NFL News: SB Nation apparently told their NFL bloggers to fill some dead air with uniform musings. It’s all pretty rote, but if you’re so inclined you can read about how the Broncos should make their Color Rash helmet their permanent helmet; how the Pats should keep their Color Rash jersey; how the Cardinals need to update their look; how the Steelers could make a few tweaks; how the Bengals can improve their uniforms (no jokes, please); how the Packers shouldn’t change a thing; how one change could improve the Falcons; how the Ravens can improve their uniforms; how the Seahawks mono-neon uniforms should be mothballed; and how you can enter a Jets redesign contest (thanks, Phil). … A Bengals fan had twin babies whose heads need to be reshaped, so he’s had them fitted for Bengals-themed cranial helmets (thanks, Phil). … Steelers WR Antonio Brown is the first player ever to appear on a Madden box cover without a helmet. … The 49ers will wear their white throwbacks for a Week Seven game against the Rams. Here’s hoping the Rams wear their royal throwbacks. … Titans DL Jurrell Casey says he plans to continue protesting during the national anthem, even if he gets fined as a result. … This is interesting: Cowboys QBs don’t wear no-contact jerseys during practices, and nobody seems to know why.

College and High School Football News: New logo for the ACC Network (from James Gilbert). … An Alabama fan wore a clever jersey to yesterday SEC media day (from Josh Claywell). … Drew Canady’s father is working on a website that shows all of New York State’s high school football helmets. … Here are the new rules regarding logos appearing on NCAA gridirons this season. The big change is that corporate advertising logos can now appear on the field for stadiums with corporate-advertised names. Click through the three images in that tweet for the full details, and then scroll down to see the new rules regarding jersey patches (from James Gilbert). … Also from James: Someone at ACC Media Day had a healthy sense of irony.

Hockey News: The SPHL’s Quad City Storm haven’t even played a game yet, but they’ve already announced a logo revision. Apparently their first logo, released last month, was just a placeholder while they finalized the design.

NBA/WNBA News: Here are the uniforms for the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game. … Oooh, a St. Louis community organization has refurbished a local gym with the old Spirits of St. Louis logo (from @mrmichael21). … Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns modified the team’s logo for his own kids’ summer camp logo (from Collin Kottke).

College Hoops News: Kentucky players have been wearing Jordan/jumpman practice gear, which led to speculation that the school’s game uniforms might also be getting the Jordan treatment. But that won’t be happening anytime soon (thanks, Phil). … Nevada tweeted a graphic showing the school’s 2018-19 nonconference schedule. Oddly, the graphic has an Adidas logo at the bottom but shows a player wearing a Nike uniform (from Phil Kudler).

Soccer News: The Thai boys who were recently rescued from a cave appeared at a news conference yesterday wearing their soccer team uniforms. … New home kit for Napoli (from Ed Zelaski). … New third kit for Arsenal. … A Brazilian fan had a Flamengo jersey tattooed onto his body (from Mike Chamernik). … New crest for Ascoli (from @klimberginho). … New kits for Ukraine Kiev Dynamo. … Loudoun United have joined the USL for 2019 and have released their badge (from Josh Hinton). … Defender Jaelene Hinkle has been recalled to the U.S. women’s national team, one year after declining a call-up because she did not want to wear the team’s LGBTQ Pride Month jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Here are the uni- and field-related rule changes for the 2018 NCAA soccer season (from James Gilbert). … New kits for Tottenham Hotspur (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: New name and logo for the Nigerian national airline. … Interesting piece about the legal issues surrounding tennis player Roger Federer’s “RF” logo. … As we mentioned in the Ticker earlier this week, President Trump was thinking of giving Air Force One’s livery a red/white/blue redesign. Now it’s definitely happening (from @VerbDC). … The Illinois State Police announced the winners of a logo design contest. … New logo for the Trout Creek, Mont., Huckleberry Festival. … There’s a bit of a controversy surrounding a Tennessee company that makes zippers for U.S. military uniforms but has been accused of using some non-U.S. parts. … Nintendo has its own internal sports teams for company employees. Here are some of their uniforms (from Luke Plunkett). … Kim Kardashian is being sued for poaching another company’s logo for her new fragrance line. … New athletics identity for SUNY-Alfred (from Jim Wasko). … A new statistical analysis indicates that people wearing Nike’s top-of-the-line running shoe shave three to four percent off their times (NYT link). That article includes lots of fascinating info on how they crunched the numbers — highly recommended.

A Uni Watch Look at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game

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We all know that the Giants’ home “whites” aren’t actually white — they’re cream, or off-white, or vintage white, or whatever. Been that way since 2000. But in last night’s MLB All-Star Game, the Giants’ unis (as seen above worn by infielder Brandon Crawford) looked, well, creamier than usual. And it wasn’t just that one photo — I noticed it on TV too. Seemed like there was a bit more yellow in the dye mix.

I checked with our own Brinke Guthrie, who’s a big Giants fan, and he said he thought it was just the lighting or because Crawford was sitting next to a bunch of players in their home whites. Could be, but I still think it looked little off.

As you can probably guess from that opening topic, last night’s All-Star Game was pretty uni-uneventful, but there were a few small details worth noting:

• Nats outfielder Bryce Harper’s jersey had an extra button compared to his regular jersey — All-Star jersey on the left, regular jersey on the right:

• During the pregame introductions, Reds first baseman Joey Votto wore Cincy’s regular socks instead of the All-Star socks:

But when Votto came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth, he had changed to the All-Star socks:

• At least two other players — Pirates pitcher Felipe Vázquez and Nats pitcher Sean Doolittle — also wore their regular team socks during the pregame intros:

Vázquez, unlike Votto, did not switch out his hosiery. He was still wearing the Pirates socks when he pitched the top of the seventh:

Doolittle is injured, so he didn’t get into the game. It’s not clear if he ever changed his socks.

• Several players, including Yankees pitcher Luis Severino and Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar, wore red undershirts that didn’t match their uniforms:

• As mentioned in yesterday’s entry, the Mets’ Rusty Staub memorial patch moved over to the upper-left chest of pitcher Jacob deGrom’s jersey, in order to make room for the All-Star sleeve patch:

• The Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay memorial patch also moved to pitcher J.A. Happ’s chest:

• As we discussed last week, Rays pitcher Blake Snell, who wears No. 4, was a late addition to the American League roster (he replaced Corey Kluber, who was injured) and entered the game in the third inning, becoming the first All-Star pitcher with a single-digit number since Lefty Grove in 1934:

• For some reason Astros outfielder George Springer was holding a Cleveland cap during the playing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. Maybe he just grabbed the nearest cap that was handy..?

• There was some confusion regarding the umpires’ caps. Early in the game, they were red:

By the time Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras homered in the bottom of the third, third base ump Andy Fletcher had switched to a tri-color pinwheel-style cap, similar to the ones worn by the players, but home plate ump Ted Barrett was still wearing a red cap:

They all had the pinwheel design during the midgame “Stand Up to Cancer” promotion:

• Speaking of Barrett, he wore a flag-desecration mask:

One final thought: Back in late May, when Sports Business Daily broke the news that Under Armour was out and Nike would be in as MLB’s next uniform outfitter, they reported that the deal was “80% done, with a likely unveiling at or around the MLB All-Star Game in July.” Well, “at” has now come and gone, but “around” is still possible. Or maybe that last 20% of the deal is turning out to be stickier than they expected. Hmmmm.

(My thanks to all contributors, including John Bedell, Mike Dean, Zach Haile, Wade Heidt, Kevin Kennedy, @NathinJustin7, Ariel Shoshin, Tim Shriver, Billy Snider, and our own Alex Hider.)

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On any other day, this would’ve been the lede: The Savannah Bananas, who already have the best team name in baseball, took things a step further last night by wearing kilts! And not just any kilts — uni-numbered kilts.

Looks like the players were good sports about it:

And no, it wasn’t just a pregame stunt — they actually wore the kilts during the game (I recommend using the full-screen button on the video to get the full visual effect):

Unfortunately, as you can see, it was raining, and play was suspended after only half an inning. But that led to another great spectacle, because the Bananas are a wood bat summer league team, which means the players double as the grounds crew (click to enlarge):

Note that next-to-last guy on the right wore stirrups! Not sure who he is, but he’s my new hero.

Here’s hoping the make-up game will also feature make-up kilts.

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Camera for sale: My father, who died in 2009, was a good amateur photographer. Had a darkroom in the basement, taught adult-ed photography courses, had one of his shots used for a magazine cover. (Okay, so the magazine was Cat Fancy, but still.)

He sold most of his film cameras many years ago, and I later found new homes for several others, but I still have one of them: a Minolta X-370, plus a bunch of lenses that go with it (shown above). They haven’t been used in at least a decade probably longer but are in extremely good condition. The camera’s old battery even works!

I don’t care so much about getting the best price for this stuff. I’m more interested in finding a good home for it. If you still shoot film and are interested, please get in touch. Thanks. Update: Reader Jeff Proctor has made a very fair offer for the camera and lenses, so that’s now taken care of. I’m glad to know my father’s stuff will be going to a longtime member of the Uni Watch community.

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Assorted reminders: In case you missed it on Monday, we’re now accepting pre-orders for the XXL size of the upcoming Uni Watch “alternate” cap, which is shown at right. If we get enough XXL pre-orders, we’ll go ahead and have the cap made in that size (in addition to the S/M and L/XL sizes, which should be in stock and available for purchase in about 10 days). Full details here.

In addition:

• Fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap, available exclusively from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock (although many sizes have already sold out again). Order yours here.

• My epic stoop/open-house sale, which will feature a ton of uni-related books, dozens of pairs of stirrups, and more cool collectibles than you can shake a C-Flap at, will take place this Saturday. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: A former Mets front office employee says the Mets fired him in “cowardly” fashion after he repeatedly questioned whether the proceeds from sales of MLB’s Memorial Day apparel were actually going to military charities. … MLB commish Rob Manfred says he’s willing to loosen some of the regulations regarding shoe colors. … The San Diego Union-Tribune has some good insight into the process of how the Padres will pick their color scheme for 2020 (from Daniel Diaz). … The Diamondbacks’ famed bullpen cart now has its own baseball card (from Trevor Wilson Patton). … Kub noticed that Ken Griffey Jr. was the only Mariner to wear a vest during the 1997 All-Star Game. …  OT Sports, the North Carolina-based firm that provides most minor league baseball teams with their specialty theme-night uniforms, will also become an approved MiLB home/road uni supplier for 2019. … Arthur Savokinas spotted a replica of a Mike Schmidt Gold Glove Award at a diner in Forty Fort, Pa. The owner of the restaurant apparently has the award on loan from a Rawlings rep. … The Vancouver Canadians, a Class-A affiliate of the Jays, will wear Expos-inspired uniforms on July 23 (from Joseph Bailey). …  NASA’s head administrator wore a Dodgers/Astros logo mashup shirt in a video featuring views of ballparks from space (from Justin).

NFL NewsThe Packers’ ticket design for their Sept. 30 game against the Bills includes the designation “Third Jersey Game.” It’s not clear whether this refers to the team’s existing throwback or to some new alternate that hasn’t been released yet, but it’s worth remembering that WR Davante Adams posted photos of a yellow jersey on his Instagram feed a while back (from Brian Kerhin). … Some Eagles fans are questioning whether they want a change back to kelly green uniforms after winning a Super Bowl in midnight green (from Sam McKinley). … Reader Paul Quirk was watching the TWIPF video Paul linked to Monday and noticed that many Jets players were missing helmet logos. … In this photo from the ’70s, the numbers on Oilers QB Dan Pastorini’s jerseys aren’t a consistent font (from @TehWins). … Falcons DE John Zook’s NOB looks pretty bad in this photo from the late ’60s or early ’70s (from Edward Pelkey).

College/High School Football NewsThe NCAA will reportedly allow schools to put corporate logos on the field this year. Previously, corporate names had to be written in plain fonts (from Michael Kinney). … Virginia Tech’s media guide cover gives a good look at the Hokies’ new maroon jerseys (from Andrew Cosentino). … Speaking of, the ACC Tracker has been updated with 2018 uniforms. … A close-up photo reveals that Indiana’s new crimson uniforms include tonal candy stripes on the sleeves (from Ryan Cotter). … New helmets for UTEP (from Alex Solot). … Looks like West Virginia is upgrading to a new Nike template (from Ethan Dimitroff ‏). … Not much will change on Florida’s jerseys, other than the Jordan logo (from Eric O. and Moe Khan). … Speaking of, Florida coach Dan Mullen has some new shoes to match his team’s Jordan uniforms (from Griffin Smith). … New game balls for North Carolina (from James Gilbert). … New uniforms for Richland Center (Wisconsin) High School (from Martin Johnson).

Basketball NewsWho else remembers when the Kansas City Kings drafted Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner? Though the whole thing was just a publicity stunt, Jenner did pose for a photo in a No. 8618 jersey — a reference to Jenner’s winning score in the 1976 Olympics (from Brad Eenhuis). … Long Beach State is losing the beach motif on its new basketball floor (from Mandy Lopez).

Soccer NewsEver wonder why soccer players sit in race car seats on the sideline? It all started with one player’s back problems (from John Muir). … Manchester United’s 2018-19 home kit, sleeve ad and all, have been released (from our own Anthony Emerson). … More updates from Josh Hinton: Belgian club RSC Anderlecht released a new home kit, German club RB Leipzig released their 2018-19 home and away uniforms, and new home and away jerseys for Brighton & Hove Albion of the Premier League. … Tottenham’s third jerseys have reportedly leaked, and they’re — something (from John Muir). … These are all the new kits that teams in Bundesliga will wear next season (from A.J.). … Moe Khan noticed that England’s U19 team doesn’t have Nike logos on their socks like other teams. … New home kit for Blackburn Rovers (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: Our own Phil Hecken helped pick the logos in this tournament that will determine the best logo in minor league hockey. Voting is open! … Runners who complete the Hershey Half Marathon get a medal shaped like a Kit Kat bar (from Scott Davis). … President Trump and Vladimir Putin traded sports memorabilia at their summit on Monday (from Phil). … New city flag design for Sioux Falls, S.D. (from Neil Robinson).

Home Run Derby Unis Surprising, All-Star Unis Confusing

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I don’t care even one teeny bit about the Home Run Derby, but it is kinda interesting that they had the participants wear their regular team jerseys instead of the All-Star BP jerseys last night — a major departure from the longstanding protocol, and apparently the first time the Derby has featured standard team jerseys since 1996. (I also don’t care even one teeny bit about All-Star BP jerseys, so I fully approve of this move.)

I have no idea why they chose to do it this way. Maybe they sold out of retail BP jerseys and didn’t have to push the product..?

Also of interest: Seven of this year’s eight Derby dudes — all except Houston’s Alex Bregman — were from National League teams, but all eight of them, including Bregman, wore their home whites. Just to confuse the issue a bit more, the American League is the designated home team in this year’s All-Star Game, even though the game is being played at Nationals Park. So I guess you could say Bregman was actually the only player wearing a league-appropriate uni. (Or then again, maybe not — I’ll have more to say about this in a minute.)

Other Derby data:

•  As you can see in the photo at the top of today’s page, five of the eight contestants — all except Bregman, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy of the Dodgers — went high-cuffed, exposing the rather ridiculous sock design.

• Left-sleeve patches (and Rhys Hoskins’s left-sleeve TV number) were removed to make room for a Home Run Derby patch — which, unfortunately, included a corporate advertisement (click to enlarge):

• Speaking of Hoskins, I was kinda hoping he’d wear a helmet with C-Flap — or maybe even his awesome double-C-Flap — but he just wore a cap like everyone else.

• Actually, one player didn’t wear a cap: Bryce Harper, who wore a headband. At first glance, it looked like your basic American flag-patterned accessory (especially since he was wearing so much other stars/stripes bling). But upon closer inspection, it was actually based on the DC flag (click to enlarge):

Okay, now let’s get back to the issue of home and road uniforms. As I mentioned earlier, the AL is the designated home team for tonight’s game, even though the game is taking place at an NL ballpark. That’s because there’s been a run of All-Star Games at NL stadiums but they alternate the home and road designations every year, regardless of the location. As you may recall, they did the same thing two years ago, when the AL was the designated home team even though the game was played in San Diego.

But here’s the thing: At yesterday’s Media Day gathering, NL players wore their home whites and AL players wore their road greys:

So the NL will apparently be wearing white tonight, even though they’re the road team, and vicey-versey for the AL. (And as you can also see, the Mets’ Rusty Staub memorial patch, which normally appears on the right sleeve, has been moved to the upper chest of Jacob deGrom’s jersey to make room for the All-Star Game patch.)

Looking back at the 2016 All-Star Game — the one where the AL was the home team even though the game was in San Diego — the AL wore white and the NL wore grey. In other words, the uniforms matched the home/road designations but did not match the stadium location. This time they’re apparently doing it the other way around. Weird!

Update: Upon further review, I’m not sure the AL is the home team tonight. I’ve actually seen conflicting indicators on this, but I’m now inclined to believe that the NL is the home team, so the Media Day uniforms make sense (but it’s still odd that Bregman wore his home uni in the Derby).

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Posting up: Yesterday’s entry about a 1970 Bears/Eagles game with two sets of goalposts in each end zone prompted a note from reader Keith Grinde, who said he recalled seeing a photo of Kezar Stadium — former home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, the NCAA’s San Francisco Dons, and, briefly, the AFL’s Oakland Raiders — with two sets of goalposts.

A quick Google image search revealed that he was correct (click to enlarge):

The date of the photo is uncertain, but it’s obviously from the era when pro and college football were both using the old-style “H”-shaped goalposts. It’s also not clear whether the game in progress is a pro or college game, although the wider-set hashmarks would seem to indicate the latter.

Did any other stadiums ever have two sets of goalposts?

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Tonight’s the night for the annual MLB All-Star Game, so in honor of that, may we present your 1974 National League All Stars. Take a look at the white cleats on the Reds! (Except for Johnny Bench.) This auction is for the team photo and a game DVD.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Kids, back in the day, this is how we used to vote for the All-Star players in the pre-internet era: You’d get a ballot at your local MLB ballpark (and I think, at Gillette POP retail outlets, right?), punch out the holes, and put your 6¢ stamp on it. This one is for the 1970 All-Star Game, which was played at the then-new Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. (The stadium opened on June 30 and the game was on July 14. That’s cutting it close!)

• Staying with Cincinnati in 1970, here’s a CD called The Big Red Machine, a narration of their NL-pennant winning 1970 season. Though it was introduced in 1969, the name “Big Red Machine” became popular with the 1970 season. They did a New Red Machine album two years later, and I wore that baby out.

• Had one of these Atlanta Braves batting helmets in the 1970s. Even though I was in Cincinnati, I just loved the Braves’ lowercase-a logo. Even then, I Got It™ .

• Check out the artwork on the cover of this 1943 New York Rangers game program.

• Now, who here doesn’t love them some 1980s Mariners trident-M logo, as seen on this Majestic pullover?

• Stars like Griese, Butkus, Podolak, Namath, Jerrel Wilson, and Floyd Little all easily identifiable on this 1970s Mead NFL school folder, though they are missing the team logos. I am positive I would have toted this around Mariemont Middle School.

• How about this 1970s KC Chiefs sideline jacket?

• This “Nolan Ryan” rain jacket looks like some type of giveaway at the stadium. Just the MLB logo, though — no team mark.

• This is a very nice-looking Tony Gwynn-era San Diego Padres sweater from Starter.

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

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Assorted reminders: In case you missed it yesterday, we’re now accepting pre-orders for the XXL size of the upcoming Uni Watch “alternate” cap, which is shown at right. If we get enough XXL pre-orders, we’ll go ahead and have the cap made in that size (in addition to the S/M and L/XL sizes, which should be in stock and available for purchase in about 10 days). Full details here.

In addition:

• Fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap, available exclusively from Ebbets Field Flannels, are back in stock (although some of the sizes have already sold out again). Order yours here.

• My epic stoop/open-house sale, which will feature a ton of uni-related books, dozens of pairs of stirrups, and more cool collectibles than you can shake a C-Flap at, will take place this Saturday. Full details here.

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Let’s see those Norwegians beat this: Me, I only curl during the late fall and winter. But plenty of other people — people who are more dedicated than I am — curl all year long. One such person is Uni Watch deputy editor Phil Hecken, who had his regular Monday-night curling session yesterday. His curling club had a baseball theme going on, so check out how Phil dressed for the occasion (click to enlarge):

That is one gloriously mismatched outfit — I like! And bonus points for the kid in the background in the Céspedes getup, complete with neon compression sleeve (which is closer to game action than the real Céspedes has been in the last few months).

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Good news, Padres fans — it sounds like the team could be on track to bring back brown in 2020. According to this podcast with broadcaster Jesse Agler and Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the team is running market tests this summer, and Fowler expects brown to win out. … This may have been Ticked last week, but just in case: In honor of the All-Star Game, The Washington Post has a baseball card interactive (WaPo link) that includes some awesome artwork (from Ted). … Whoops: The Nats fired manager Dusty Baker in the offseason, but his banner still hangs near Nationals Park (from John). … Phillies P Pat Neshek is the first player ever to wear No. 93. Rhys Hoskins had taken No. 17, his old number, so he decided to take the “weirdest number possible.” Former Phils manager Charlie Manuel did wear No. 93 when he was a special assistant with during spring training in 2004 — and, as you can see there, liked his jersey tailored extra-long (from Scott). … Coors Field has a corporate-branded bar that’s apparently a challenge for the team’s sign-makers to spell (from Kary Klismet). … Rockies manager Bud Black was wearing a No. 19 jersey — the number worn by CF Charlie Blackmon — in a photo with Blackmon yesterday. Black usually wears No. 10 (from Adrian Marquez). … MLP spotted this commemorative bat with the Astros’ old tequila sunrise prototype logo at a pop-up shop in DC yesterday. … The Charleston RiverDogs will wear “Boiled Peanuts” jerseys and caps on July 28 (from Taylor Wall). … The Vermont Lake Monsters will wear “Maple Kings” jerseys and caps on Aug. 4. … The Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Class-A affiliate of the Marlins, wore “Hound Dog” jerseys yesterday in honor of $1 hot dog night (from Scott M. Trembly). … The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp wore Scrabble jerseys and caps last weekend (from John McMunn). … The Iowa Cubs took the field in Iowa Oaks throwback uniforms on Saturday to mark 50 years of AAA baseball in Des Moines (from Jordan Oster). … The Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball will wear Star Wars jerseys on Aug. 6 (from John Cerone). … Blake Pass found this Chattahoochee Valley Community College jersey at a thrift store in Georgia. Anyone know which season it might be from? … In 1867, Detroit hosted the World Base Ball Tournament. The club wearing the “finest uniform” was presented with a set of red silk field flags (from Ryan Paquin). … Cardinals C Yadier Molina will be wearing a gold chest protector and mustard shinguards in tonight’s All-Star Game.

Football NewsSchool Field in South Bend, Indiana has hosted South Bend public school football games since 1928. Yesterday, the South Bend Community School Corporation board sold naming rights to the stadium to a local credit union (from Tony Miller).

NFL News: Artist Nate James broke down which NFL teams need uni makeovers (from Phil). … Speaking of teams that need a makeover, the Bucs’ SB Nation blog wants fans to vote what needs to be changed about their current set (also from Phil). … NASCAR driver Alex Bowman will sport an Eagles paint scheme at Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 29 (from Chris H.). … Per yesterday’s post, Jace D. McKeighan noticed that 1970 Cowboys flanker Lance Rentzel (No. 19) appears to have a white facemask in the video Paul linked to yesterday. … Players on both the Browns and Giants wore sneakers during an especially cold playoff game in 1950 (from Pro Football Journal).

College Football NewsIndiana unveiled its new red uniforms yesterday. Notable changes include changing the wordmark from “Hoosiers” to “Indiana” and removing pants stripes. … Iowa State’s old jerseys were on display at Big XII media days yesterday (from @notthefakeCasey).

Hockey News: Blackhawks players at development camp wore “30” helmet decals in memory of former G Ray Emery, who died yesterday (from Griffin Smith). … Martin Hick drew a good-looking concept for the Anaheim Ducks.

Basketball NewsHall of Famer Oscar Robertson is auctioning off a ton of memorabilia, including jerseys, warmup tops, and championship rings. … The Hardin County (Tennessee) Sports Hall of Fame had a lot of classic memorabilia on display at its induction ceremony last night, including this 1967 basketball uniform.

Soccer NewsBleacher Report published a video that shows how to repurpose a Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid jersey into a new Juventus jersey, though you could probably skip the corporate logos (from Hit The Glass). … We’ve got some links from reader Josh Hinton: New Jordan-branded third and fourth alts for PSG; look at all of Liverpool’s away and third kits from over the past few years; new away and third kits for Hoffenheim; and the Kaizer Chiefs’ new home and away jerseys. … New uniforms for Pumas of Mexico’s Liga MX (from Ed Zelaski). … In this graphic France’s Antoine Griezmann (top left) appears to be already wearing a jersey with two stars representing France’s two World Cup wins. Everyone else in the photo appears to be wearing one-star jerseys (from @True2Atlanta). … Kosovo’s soccer federation is a member of FIFA, but its flag was banned from flying at the World Cup. … MLS’s Portland Timbers have partnered with a Portland boot company to create Timbers-branded hiking boots.

Grab BagUniqlo is now taking preorders for the apparel Roger Federer wore during this year’s Wimbledon tournament (from Brinke). … Clint Richardson put together a side-by-side comparison of Auburn uniforms from 1998 and 2018 over at this Auburn Uniform Database. … Cleanup at the Tulsa convention center found dozens of interesting files, including a reported bomb threat against the Jackson 5 and the riders for bands like Kansas and Meatloaf (from Ryan Atkinson).

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For those who’ve been asking or wondering, my mom is due to leave the hospital today after a nine-day stay. She has a lot of physical therapy ahead of her — no fun for anyone, much less for a 94-year-old — but we seem to have gotten through this crisis, or at least this phase of it. Major thanks to the many, many Uni Watch readers who expressed kind and supportive thoughts over the past week — means a lot, really. — Paul

Wait — an NFL Game With Two Sets of Goalposts?

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The image above shows a Bears/Eagles game from 1970. At first glance it looks straightforward enough. But wait a minute — are there two sets of goalposts in the background?

Yes! The game was played on Sept. 27, 1970. This Reddit post has the details:

In 1970, the Bears played at Wrigley Field. However, the Chicago Cubs also played there. There was a legitimate chance that the Cubs would host a playoff game in the NLCS; while this never came to fruition (the Cubs finished second in the NL East with an 84-78 record, five back of the Pittsburgh Pirates), the threat was strong enough that the Bears decided to move their first home game out of Wrigley Field and into Dyche Stadium, which is where Northwestern played. This was the first and only time that Dyche Stadium has hosted an NFL game.

In 1970, the college goalposts were in the back of the end zone. However, the NFL goalposts were [still located on the goal line]. Because the goalposts were in different locations, and because the Bears were only playing one game there, they decided to just leave both sets of goalposts up for the game.

Fascinating! Here’s a long shot showing the two goalposts (click to enlarge):

Here’s some video of a field goal being kicked in that game, although it’s not clear whether the ball goes through both sets of goalposts (and no, that wouldn’t have been worth six points):

And here’s a look at a short touchdown pass that may have gone through the first pair of uprights:

As far as I know, this is the only time two sets of goalposts have appeared on the field for an NFL game. Does anyone know of any other examples?

(Big thanks to Uni Watch alum Mike Chamernik for letting me know about this one.)

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Football hooligans: There are many, many excellent things about the Russian art-punk collective Pussy Riot: their name, their activism, their performance stunts, and a lot more. To that list of commendable attributes we can now add this: They appreciate the power of a uniform.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Pussy Riot members briefly interrupted yesterday’s World Cup final game between France and Croatia by running out onto the pitch while wearing police uniforms. The uniforms, which they may have used to get past various levels of security, were meant to critique Russia’s Kremlin-backed police state.

France forward Kylian Mbappé gave one of the protesters a double-high-five before she was taken away by the stadium security, creating a surreal moment on the pitch:

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Batty question, grainy answer: Twitterer @GoPiratesHPNC got in touch with me the other day to ask about the small round stickers that appear on the lower portion of many MLB players’ bats (as seen above on the bats used by, from left, Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, A’s utility man Chad Pinder, and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge).

I’d never noticed these stickers before. They didn’t look like MLB’s hologram authentication stickers, or like anything else I’d ever seen, so I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich about them. Here’s his response:

It’s not a sticker. On birch and maple bats (the ones that were “exploding” so often), MLB had a company do a thorough study on bat breakage. The “sticker” you see is actually a small portion of the bat that’s not stained, so the slope of the grain can be seen. They’ve found this method of testing/evaluating the birch and maple reduces the amount of exploding bats (I agree).

Faaaaascinating. Excellent spot by @GoPiratesHPNC to notice this detail, and big thanks, as always, to Vuc for the great info.

Update, 7:35am: Reader/commenter Scott Johnston provided this video that gives a bit more info:

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Too good for the Ticker: Who is that masked man? It’s none other than Sweetness himself — Bears running back Walter Payton, captured during his rookie season by an AP photographer on Nov. 15, 1975. But what’s up with his facemask? The wire service caption tells the story:

Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton taped up the openings in his facemask for added protection against the wind during a Bears practice session Friday. The temperature was in the 30s and the wind made it seem colder.

Of course, temps in the 30s don’t qualify as particularly chilly by either NFL or Chicago standards, which makes you wonder what Payton did when things got really cold. In any case, I’ve never seen a football player do anything like this. Anyone else..?

(Big thanks to reader Brad Eenhuis for this one.)

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Cap update: The Uni Watch “alternate” cap should be available in flex-fit sizes S/M and L/XL in about two weeks. As I mentioned a while back, I wanted to offer it in XXL as well, but our supplier had a 144-unit minimum for that size, and I wasn’t sure we could sell enough to justify ordering that much inventory.

So here’s what we’re doing: If you want to have an XXL cap and are willing to put your money where your mouth is, you can pre-order an XXL here. We will take pre-orders for two weeks. If we get enough pre-orders by then to justify manufacturing the XXLs, we’ll get them made and should have them available by mid-September. If we don’t get enough pre-orders by the end of that two-week window, we’ll issue refunds.

A few notes:

• This pre-ordering applies only to size XXL. The other two sizes will be available for ordering and shipping around the end of July.

• If you’re not sure where your numerical hat size falls on the S-M-L-XL-XXL scale, here’s conversion chart (click to enlarge):

• The XXLs, like the other sizes, will have the Uni Watch script on the back and also on the custom inner-seam taping (click to enlarge):

• One more time: You can place your XXL pre-order here.

Meanwhile: In case you missed it last week, all fitted sizes of the Uni Watch “classic” cap are back in stock at Ebbets Field Flannels. Or, rather, all sizes were back in stock — but we’ve already sold out of several sizes once again. Big thanks for your enthusiasm for this cap, and big apologies for my having once again underestimated the demand. I’ve already ordered more (in larger quantities this time). If you want one of the sizes that we still have in stock, I suggest moving quickly!

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Stoop sale update: The countdown has begun to my epic stoop/open-house sale, which will be commencing at 10am this Saturday, July 21, at Uni Watch HQ (671 DeGraw St. in Brooklyn).

Many of you have been asking if sports-related stuff will be available for sale, and the answer is yes. Among other things, there will be:

• Lots and lots of sports-centric books (like, four big boxes’ worth), many of them gorgeous coffee table-style photo books.

• Dozens of pairs of stirrups.

• At least half a dozen vintage jerseys.

• At least half a dozen footballs.

• Lots of bowling-themed beer ads.

And plenty more. (For those who’ve been asking or wondering, I’m sorry to report that I’m not selling any of my uniform style guides or vintage uniform catalogs.)

There will also be tons of cool collectibles (you can see the tip of the iceberg here, but believe me when I say there’ll be a lot of other stuff), many of which I’ll be selling literally off the walls of my apartment. So if you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of Uni Watch HQ, now’s your chance.

Many people have said, “I wish I could be there, but I live too far away!” No problem: Send a friend to act as your purchasing agent. (Sorry, but I don’t want the hassle of packing and shipping things. Moving is stressful enough as it is!)

We’ll get started at 10am sharp. Early birds will be turned away, so please don’t jump the gun. Cash is preferred (and there’s a Chase ATM on the corner), but I can also accept credit cards.

Hope to see you — or your authorized representative — on Saturday!

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle results: The two winners of the vintage Kansas City Chiefs nameplates are Geoffrey Gugel and Matt Mosca. Congrats to them, thanks to all who entered, and doubleplusthanks to reader Greg Mays for generously offering to raffle off the nameplates in the first place.

We’ll have more raffles soon — stay tuned.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: After the Senators’ Frank Howard hit a home run at the 1969 All-Star Game in D.C., the Athletics’ Sal Bando appeared to be wearing a Senators helmet (from William F. Yurasko). … At the 1986 All-Star Game in Houston, Rusty Staub was the NL’s honorary captain and wore a Colt .45s uniform (from Ignacio Salazar). … Reader Zach Guyear has a uniform concept for the Cuban national team. … A player on Korean team SK Wyverns wore a motorcycle helmet while batting and even had the visor come off (thanks, Alex). … Pirates prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes and Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette both wore No. 10 for the American team at yesterday’s All-Star Futures Game (from Adam Herbst). … In the same game, the World team featured a single-digit pitcher in the form of the Athletics’ Jesús Luzardo (from Alex Smolokoff).

Hockey News: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie was at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament over the weekend and made a putt while wearing a beer helmet, which arguably he’s entitled to do after winning the Stanley Cup (from Ryan Bower).

Soccer News: Probably about five seconds after France won the World Cup, its federation duly whipped up a crest with two stars (from Jeremy Brahm). … Much like championship hats and shirts, France’s players received two-starred shirts right after the game, but one- and two-starred shirts both appeared during the trophy presentation (from Gregory Koch). … New kits for the Scottish Premiership’s Livingston (first and second) and Hamilton Academical (we had the first kit recently, but here’s all three), English Championship teams Birmingham City (second), Sheffield United (second) and Norwich City (second), German teams Bayer Leverkusen (first) and Schalke 04 (first), and French team SM Caen (first and second). … Hamilton, who have fallen victim to Adidas’s new policy of giving UK stripe-clad teams shirts that are solid on the back, have a third kit (the white one above) for the first time since 2011-12. … Premier League teams haven’t always been including sleeve ads in kit releases, but sometimes new ones show up in other places, such as a West Ham United signing announcement. Three teams — Tottenham Hotspur and newly promoted Cardiff City and Fulham — don’t currently have sleeve ads (from Josh Hinton). … French team Olympique Lyonnais and Swiss team Sion played a dark blue vs. black friendly (from @jayappletree). … From the Twitter thread on fonts below: here’s the unique granite entryway on one side of Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland, which may only exist for a few more years (from @NoelBlaha). … Denis Hurley created an infographic showing all of the World Cup kits. “Japan and Poland were the only two countries not to wear away jerseys at the competition,” he adds. “Those and 10 other unworn away kits are featured here.”

Grab Bag: Here’s a Twitter thread on users’ favorite fonts that they’ve seen at stadiums, whether on the exterior, scoreboards, uniforms, or otherwise (from Matthew Kass). … Also posted in hockey: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament this weekend and made a putt wearing a beer helmet (from Ryan Bower). … This infographic shows what different historical colors were made of (from Bryan O’Nolan).