Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Uni-historic game yesterday in Detroit, as the Lions wore white at home for the first time since — get this — Thanksgiving Day, 1970, when they hosted the Raiders, and only the third time ever (that info courtesy of the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database’s excellent “White at Home in the NFL” page).

Wondering about other teams that have gone a long time without wearing white at home? According to the GUD, the longest holdouts are the Vikings (last wore white at home in 1964), Steelers (1969, although they did wear white as the designated home team in Super Bowl XL in 2005), and Seahawks (never!).

Getting back to the Lions, 25 of their players wore a fallen service member’s initials on their helmets yesterday (additional info here):

This is similar to what the Lions did three weeks ago, when players wore the initials of cancer victims. In both cases, the team has extended its cause-based messaging beyond the level used by most other NFL teams.

In other news from around the league:

• The Rams also wore fallen military members’ initials, although theirs were much harder to read:

• It was the Bodysuit Bowl down in Tampa, as the Bucs and Saints went mono-red vs. mono-white:

• The Panthers went mono-black:

• Who needs fanny packs? At least 18 Ravens — and probably more, I’d be willing to bet — had pockets sewn into their jerseys:

Adding pockets to a jersey isn’t unheard of, of course, but it’s fairly uncommon in the strap-on pouch era, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many players doing it on one team. I’ve asked the Ravens for more info — stay tuned.

• It’s not uncommon for kickers and punters to wear mismatched shoe colors. But Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson has mismatched shoe brands:

Some quick photo research reveals that he’s been doing this all season long. Last season, however, his footwear was consistent on both feet.

• Instead of wearing a helmet decal for one division of the armed forces, Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair engaged in a bit of overkill by wearing decals for all of them:

• Only one team wore white at home: the aforementioned Lions.

(My thanks to Jakob Fox and Tim Donahue for their contributions to this section.)

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A different kind of memorial: New Mexico nose tackle Nahje Flowers committed suicide on Nov. 5, and the team is now honoring him with the two helmet decals shown above. UNM communications czar and longtime Uni Watch reader Frank Mercogliano says they’ll wear these decals at least through the end of this season and possibly next season as well.

This is at least the second time that UNM has worn a memorial decal featuring a photo of the deceased. They previously did it for defensive back Markel Byrd, who died in a car crash in 2016. But unlike the Flowers decal, which shows him from the front, the Byrd decal showed him from the back:

I’m not aware of any other school or pro team that has used a straightforward depiction of the deceased as a uniform memorial. Does anyone know of other examples?

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“Well, she turned me into a newt”: Our recent discussion of female team names prompted a really interesting note from reader Tim Medeiros, as follows:

I recently moved to Salem, Mass., and of course the high school sports teams are called the Witches. In the past, even during the witch trials, both men and women were considered witches, so the school could have kept the mascot neutral, but I’m happy to report that the school actually went with female representation for all sports! I think it’s neat to have sports like football and hockey to have a female mascot and showcase it.

Interesting! I did a bit of digging and found some logos that the school has used:

Faaaascinating. I especially like the hockey logo. Big thanks to Tim for bringing this one to my attention.

In addition, the Single-A MiLB team the Fredericksburg Nationals, who already had a secondary logo of George Washington swinging an axe, have now added a logo of his mother, Mary Washington, tossing a ball:

It’ll be interesting to see if the players actually wear this female logo on the field as a patch and/or as an alternate cap logo, or if it’s just a move to get women (and maybe southpaws) to purchase merch.

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NBA free throw circles, continued: When we began discussing the number of dashes in NBA free throw circles a few weeks ago, the team that got the whole ball rolling was the Mavericks, because their circles had 10 dashes — an unusually high number. But Twitter-er @nomuskies — the guy who started us down this rabbit hole — reports that the Mavs’ circles had only six dashes for yesterday’s game against the Raptors (shown above). Crazy!

The change was apparently made sometime between the Mavs’ previous home game on Nov. 8, when they still had 10 dashes, and yesterday.

When we first began discussing this, I contacted a Mavs media rep and asked him why they were going with 10 dashes. He never responded, so I followed up with him yesterday and asked if my previous inquiry had led to the design change. Got this response: “It had nothing to do with your email. It was something we were working on with the league and I didn’t have an answer for you at the time of your email. It was rectified while I was on the road with the team. My apologies for not getting back to you.”

So then I asked for more details about why they started the season with 10 dashes and why they changed it to six. He said he’d talk to their VP of operations and get back to me. Stay tuned.

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ITEM! New idea in the works: We all know how fans of really bad teams will show up with bags over their heads — a symbol of embarrassment and protest. But what if your team is fine in terms of on-field performance but has really bad uniforms?

Here’s a potential answer that I’ve been considering: a Uni Watch paper bag — a way for the discerning sports aesthete to express embarrassment and protest over a team’s on-field look. Now, I’d have no need for such an item myself, because all of my favorite teams currently look pretty good (thanks, Mets, Niners, Giants, Rangers, and Habs!). But if you’re a fan of, say, the Hawks, Marlins, Bengals, or any number of other teams, the Uni Watch Paper Bag could be just the thing.

I’m envisioning a head-sized paper bag with the winged stirrup logo and a phrase. The phrase could be insider code, so only other members of the comm-uni-ty would understand it (“My Team Doesn’t Get It™,” for example), or it could be more uni-versal (“My Team’s Uniforms Suck”). I’m also envisioning that the eyeholes would be crying tears — then we could call it the Uni Watch Sad Sack.

What do you think? Would you be interested in such an item? What phrase would be best? Should the paper bag include the words “Uni Watch” anywhere (maybe on the back side), or would that just muddy up the larger message? Should the eyeholes and tears be precut/preprinted, or would it be best to let the user do that because everyone’s head shape and eyeball positioning is different? Feel free to offer feedback in today’s comments.

Also: I know nothing about sourcing paper bags. There are lots of places on the web, but it’s hard to know who’s reputable, who’s not, etc. If anyone out there works in the bag biz, feel free to be in touch. Thanks.

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A perfect fit: Longtime reader/contributor Jim Wooley recently purchased one of our chain-stitched logo patches. A few weeks later, I received a package from him in the mail. It contained the jersey I’m wearing in the photo above, along with a letter:

Dear Paul:

I’m enclosing a vintage hockey jersey. I believe this was worn in the ’70s in my hometown of Snow Lake, Manitoba, by the Snow Lake North Stars. I have no idea how I ended up with it. Perhaps one (or more) of my brothers wore it. I also have no idea where the original crest went. It’s obviously seen better days — some holes and tears, etc. — but it’s still a pretty good jersey and still has the original tag.

I had a local seamstress stitch the Uni Watch logo patch to the jersey, and I think it looks great! You can do with it what you wish. If you want to keep it, great. But if you’d like to pass it on to someone else, that’s fine too. I just thought you at least might be interested to see it!

Hope all is well with you. Thanks for keeping us all up to date in the uniform world!

Yours truly,
Jim Wooley

How great is that?! As you can see, it fits me quite well, and I love the backstory, so I’ll definitely be keeping it. Thanks so much, Jim!

Jim’s note mentioned the original tag — here’s a look at that:

As you can see, there’s a split in the rear collar. That’s one of several rips and tears — some very small, others more significant. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll get them mended or leave them as they are.

There’s a number on the back, but everything about it — its size, its color, and its positioning — seems a bit off, so I’m assuming it’s not original:

When we started offering the chain-stitched patches (each of which is made by hand by the great Amy Bengtson), I figured they’d look good on a varsity jacket or a cardigan sweater. It never occurred to me that they could work on a hockey jersey, but Jim has shown otherwise! I guess you could say it’s maybe a smidge too small, but it still fits the space quite nicely.

As it happens, I have a blank Minnesota North Stars jersey. Would our patch also work with that? I grabbed a patch, grabbed the jersey, and set the former down on the latter:

Not bad, but the patch looks too small this time. That’s because the space between the collar and the belly striping is greater on this jersey than on the one Jim sent me, so the patch can’t quite fill the space. Maybe I’ll ask Amy to make me a larger one for this jersey!

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Next-to-next-to-last day: Time’s running out for you to get your order in for Uni Watch basketball jerseys and shorts. As always, you can customize the number and NOB on the jerseys. We’re taking orders today, tomorrow, and Wednesday for Christmas delivery. Full details here.

While we’re at it: In case you missed it last week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now available. I had these made mainly because I like cufflinks myself, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how popular they seem to be, with two dozen pairs already sold in the first few days — nice.

Speaking of which: A few people have said, “What about a matching tie tack?” Our basic enamel pin should function quite nicely in that capacity. Enjoy!

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IMPORTANT seam ripper update: While a few seam ripper customers say they’ve received their rippers with no problem, a larger number of people say their rippers have either arrived damaged or not arrived at all. Clearly, my local postal clerk who advised me that I could mail the rippers in a regular envelope, marked “Non-Machinable,” gave me bad advice.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Anyone whose ripper arrived damaged or didn’t arrive at all will get a new one, free of charge. I’ll mail the new ones out in small bubble mailers, so there shouldn’t be any shipping issues this time. (If you fall into this category and haven’t yet told me, please let me know now.)

2. I’m currently sold out. The new inventory is coming from Asia (green and blue rippers are surprisingly difficult to find in America) and is still a few weeks away. As soon as it arrives, I’ll send out the replacement rippers.

3. Going forward, I’ll use bubble mailers for all new orders — which, unfortunately, means post office will classify the mailing as a package. When you throw in the cost of the bubble mailers, this means to the total charge for one seam ripper plus shipping will be in the $11.50 range (instead of the $7 I had been charging). I had really been hoping to avoid that — I realize it probably seems like a lot for one small item with a decal on it — but the higher shipping cost seems unavoidable.

Sorry for the hassle, and thanks for your patience.

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Hmmmm: I was walking on West 14th St. in Manhattan on Saturday when I passed this storefront. Note the sign in the window on the left. Can’t decide if they were being clever/ironic or oblivious.

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Li’l cutie: She’s very territorial.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: We mentioned that the OHL’s Erie Otters wore uniforms in support of the minor league baseball Erie Seawolves, but we did not know that the socks looked like stirrups. … Ferdinand Cesarano has been reading two books about John McGraw and the New York Giants: Stealing Games by Maury Klein, and Manager of the Giants by Lou Hernandez. The Klein book includes this passage about the 1911 World Series: “McGraw sprang a surprise on the crowd: the team wore new black uniforms with white belts, a white ‘NY’ logo intertwined on the left sleeve, white stockings, and black caps with white visors, a throwback to those worn by the 1905 and also the 1899 champions.” Both books also refer to the Giants’ 1905 World Series uniforms (ellipses in original): “McGraw outfitted his team in stunning new black flannel uniforms with white trim and a large ‘NY’ across the chest in white. ‘I will never forget the impression created in Philadelphia,’ he recalled, ‘and the thrill that I got personally when the Giants suddenly trotted out of their dugout … I have heard army men say that the snappiest-looking outfit is usually made up of the best fighters. I can well understand that. The psychological effect … was immediately noticeable upon the players. The Athletics in their regular-season uniforms appeared dull alongside our champions.” … Craig Clavin tells us that he attended a John Fogerty concert where Fogerty played his song “Centerfield” with a bat-shaped guitar. [I saw him do this way back in 1987! — PL]

Football News: During his workout on Saturday, Colin Kaepernick wore a shirt bearing the name Kunta Kinte, the main character from the 1970s book and TV miniseries Roots. … The school of the day from Blaise D’Sylva’s helmet collections was Miami (Ohio). … The CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders painted their own logo at midfield yesterday. The logo for the stadium’s advertiser is usually there, and it could still be seen bleeding through (from @SteveBCreations). … The Roughriders also wore throwback alternates on the occasion of hosting the CFL’s Western final for only the second time since 1976 (from Wade Heidt). … The Bears use compressed lettering for DL Roy Robertson-Harris’s lengthy NOB (from Omar Jalife).

You can also see uni tracking from the Canadian college national semifinals, the Mitchell Bowl and the Uteck Bowl, as well as the Canadian Junior Football League championship from Wade in yesterday’s comments.

Hockey News: Former NHL winger Wendel Clark, who briefly played for the fisherman-logoed Islanders, described in a radio show (starting at 26:34) how the fisherman crest was so big and stiff that players would have to break it in (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … The WHL’s Saskatoon Blades’ logo is often called the “Pac-Man logo,” says Wade Heidt, so for a promotion they wore jerseys that looked like a Pac-Man maze with a pixelized verison of the logo. … Also in the WHL from Wade: the Regina Pats wore “Experience Regina” jerseys. The jerseys both support a local entrepreneurial board and reference an 11-year-old satirical promotional video for the city. Wade also tells us that the bottom stripes didn’t wrap around, but it looks like they did on at least one jersey. … The next two are from Wade: the Canucks wore their 50th-anniversary throwbacks for the first time. … Cross-listed from the baseball section: We mentioned that the OHL’s Erie Otters wore uniforms in support of the minor league baseball Erie Seawolves, but we did not know that the socks looked like stirrups. … Back in 1932, the Red Wings and Canadiens both showed up for a game, in red jerseys, forcing the Wings to wear plain white pullovers (from Jerry Wolper).

Basketball News: New throwbacks for the Colorado State women’s squad (from Robert Sudar).
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Soccer News: Interesting observation by weekend colorizer George Chilvers in Saturday’s comments: the English Football League earlier this year said it would no longer use a yellow winter ball except when it’s actually snowing. That means there are at least three different winter-ball schedules in the UK: the Premier League switches to yellow between the European time changes in October and March; the EFL only uses yellow for snow; and Scotland always uses yellow. … A number of teams qualified for Euro 2020 this weekend, but Austria seemed the most excited, giving the players a somewhat unnecessary celebratory T-shirt — which you can buy, of course. They also wore a new black/cyan second kit at home. … After England wore cap numbers against Montenegro last week, they moved the numbers to the inside of the collar starting yesterday, which was promised but is disappointing.

Grab Bag: With the European competitions in rugby union starting this weekend, here is an overview of many teams’ European shirts. … A reader who prefers to remain anonymous works for Gardaworld, which provides armed guards and messengers who transfer cash between banks and businesses. “When I started there, we wore light blue tops,” he says. “They looked nice, but most of us felt a little like postmen or some other ‘friendlier’ entity. That changed when we switched to what is almost an industry-standard black top. Many coworkers feel that we now look sharper and more professional. On a personal level, I feel safer in a black uniform that seems to say, ‘We are here for serious business and not to randomly talk to strangers.’ It really shows how uniforms can make a difference in real world situations.”

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken

There weren’t a lot of clown costumes alternate unis — at least not by NCAAFB standards — although we did have a few flag desecration helmet decals, during yesterday’s action. There were a few of course (Utah, Temple and Cal, to name three), and all of those looked really good. In fact, the Utah Utes, who were throwing back to the 60s (a rundown of their throwbacks was the lede yesterday), looked really really good.

Sporting a silver dome, red jersey (which was period-correct NNOB) and silver/gray britches with a red/white/red stripe, the uniforms were perfect throwbacks except for the UTES (a better look is in the splash photo) on the shoulder caps. The original uniform had a drum and feather on the shoulder.

Unfortunately for the Utes’ opponents, UCLA, the game wasn’t so pretty. But the Utes looked great. I’d love for them to return to this color scheme, even though I was at times reminded of THE OSU, UNLV, and to a lesser extent, Wazzu. The color scheme isn’t unique, but it’s still better than some of Utah’s regular combos.

Anyhoo, that’s all I got for the intro. Here’s TJ with the rest of your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

From Wednesday:

• Miami (OH) wore new Myaamia helmets against Bowling Green. These helmets are part of a partnership between the university and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

From Thursday:

• Blue camo helmet decals on white helmets for Kent State. All I can say is… OOF. White pants would’ve made this SO MUCH more palatable (at least, as far as G.I. Joevember is concerned).

• I don’t know how to feel about this matchup. On one hand, it genuinely was a good-looking game. Plenty of contrast, and no dumb look-at-me demonstrations to speak of. On the other hand, I can’t help but to wonder how amazing it would look if North Carolina wore this instead.

From Friday:

• Marshall wore black, and they also wore special helmets, in honor and memory of the 1970 team.

From Saturday:

• Okay, there are layers to this matchup. First off, you have Iowa doing mono-black for their regular uniforms (not counting any specialty looks from the recent past). In the umpteen years that the B1G Steelers have had every iteration of their current uniform, this is the first time that I’ve seen them do mono-black with the regular look (although I’m sure they’ve done it several times waaaaaaaaay back in the day) … but it doesn’t end there. We then get to the helmet, which not only goes full-Rooney with having no logo on the left side of the helmet, but the side that does have a decal is S&S! I-O-uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, slow down, Hawkeyes. *ahem* Hawkeyes— oh, FFS, we are NOT doing this again: H-A-W-K-E-Y-E-S!!! THANK YOU (stupid brain and its attempt at witty humor). And then we have Minnesota wearing white decals and facemasks to match their mono-white uniforms, which I don’t think I’ve seen yet, or I have, and simply don’t remember. Yeah, this game had more layers than the sin-child of an onion and a buttermilk biscuit.

• SEVERAL teams wore some type of flag/camo demonstration in some form (mainly helmet) throughout Week 12, including, but certainly not limited to: USF, Middle Tennessee, Ball State, New Mexico State, Utah State, Arkansas State, the aforementioned Kent State, and probably a few others.

• Temple wore some really nice retro unis against an equally-handsome Tulane squad on Saturday.

• Mizzou channeled their inner-Midshipmen with these helmets over the weekend (closer look, plus the lore behind them).

• Kansas State presents: CATS. Ju- just Cats. This was an alright game, apart from the fact that there was too much white.

• Obligatory overused scrimmage game comment #1.

• Obligatory overused scrimmage game comment #2 (okay, that’s not exactly fair; Notre Dame’s shade of gold is noticeably richer and darker. Too bad the Saints can’t seem to get a clue outside of Color Rush).

• At least they aren’t wearing the grey at home (this time).

• Contrast Matters: That State Up North Edition.

• Oklahoma State wore their Cowboy Battalion uniforms against Kansas (details here, lore here).

• Every time Vanderbilt wears this against a team that’s wearing white, I want to slap them at 5,086 mph with this video.

• Duke… more like DOOK, because that’s certainly what they looked like against Syracuse. GAHHHSQDIWRFLWRKEYSMASH, this is frustrating. Imagine how beautiful this game would’ve looked had the “Blue” Devils… ya’know, ACTUALLY WORN BLUE.

• Rough Rider roads for Oklahoma against Baylor.

• Classy helmet numbers for Ole Miss.

And that’ll do it for Week 12! Tune in next week as Rivalry Week(s) really start to ramp up. Until then, see you next week. Also, please don’t turn that last statement into a drinking game of how many times I can say “week” in one breath. Save the muckled keystrokes for Thanksgiving. See you next week Sunday!

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Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of the SMUW…

Joe Ringham 5 & 1 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.

Here’s Memal

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Some of the most memorable moments from the college football season come when the shadows lay long on the field and you can see every breath they take as they try to catch it in the cold. Amongst all the big games were some unique looking matchups with less at stake, but were just as fun to take in from the standpoint of one Who Gets It.

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Honorable mention – Ohio State @ Rutgers

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5. Florida @ Missouri

I enjoyed the contrast in colors between the Gators orange/white/blue combo against the white/black/white set the Tigers wore and the design elements Missouri choose in designing this special uniform. If I would have done some more research as to why they borrowed visual elements from the Air Force and what connections that had to the university I might have appreciated it more.

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4. Texas @ Iowa State

If you’re a fan of uni matchups with a lot of contrast then this might be the game of the year for you. The Longhorns in their standard mono-white road combo stood out more than normal against the BFBS set the Cyclones wore. I think most of you Who Get It have learned that I prefer teams to wear their school colors, but Iowa State did well to stick strictly to black and white and leave out any red and gold to make a great looking set.

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3. UCLA @ Utah

The Bruins wore their gold/white/gold against the Utes throwing back in silver/red/silver. I was very enamoured with how good “UTES” looked spelled out on the sleeve and the U in U logo on the helmets of Utah. More than that, I think both teams showed uniforms with simple elements but with a little flair look a lot better than attempting to realize some grand design.

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2. UMass @ Northwestern

In a game where a lot of people on Twitter were talking about the 39.5 point spread, the Wildcats came out in my favorite combo of theirs, purple/black/purple. I didn’t know what to expect to see from the Minutemen, but I was delighted to see a more traditional uniform set with a little unique touch, the short stripes. It was the kind of find that has made writing this piece this season worthwhile. And to continue with that train of thought…

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1. Tulane @ Temple

My favorite discovery this year has been the Green Wave’s uniforms, and they delivered another great look today in white/sky blue/white and with the angry wave logo on the side of their helmets. Temple wore white at home in solid looking throw backs Phil wrote a terrific blurb about in yesterday’s post and I hope they bring this look back at least once more before the season is done!

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And because somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb…

&1 Wisconsin at Nebraska

If there ever was a case for teams to have a third jersey that’s a completely different color than your team’s regular color it would be this matchup. It wasn’t an ugly looking game, but it looked so plain that it screamed for another color to be present to help us tell these two teams apart.

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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:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

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ACC

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.
And (new for 2019!) — check out Rex’ Weekly Update.

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

PAC-12

More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC

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

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

Big XII

Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

B1G

Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 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!

Thanks Dennis!

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Assorted reminders: Paul here. In case you missed it earlier this week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now ready for ordering in our Teespring shop. A nice way to add a touch of class and formaily to your holiday season! (And for those who’ve been asking, our enamel pin doubles nicely as a matching tie tack.)

While we’re at it, there are only a few days left for you to get your orders in for our Uni Watch basketball jerseys and/or the matching shorts:

We’re taking pre-orders on these through this coming Wednesday, Nov. 20, for Christmas delivery. Full details here. (Also: The pre-order page doesn’t offer an option for international shipping. But if you want that, email Nathan Haas at Adelph Wear and he should be able to help you out.)

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: We already saw how the Cardinals tweaked their “StL” logo via ‘soft launch,’ but now it’s official. Adam Chkautovich sends in this article collecting the history/reasons for the logo change as well as explaining the new changes. Highly recommended. … Single digit pitcher alert! The Mets Marcus Stroman, who wore “7” last year, has announced he will wear “0” for 2020. … Check out this cool t-shirt at the Tokyo Giants team store with the franchise’s logo history on the back (from Tyler Maun). … The Fredericksburg Nats (a Warshington Nats farm club, duh) have introduced red, white and blue jerseys for 2020 (from MiLB Promos). … Very sad (non-uni) news yesterday, as Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow, passed away (from SABR Bio Project). … The San Francisco Giants’ Mauricio Dubon needs jersey number after the team’s new manager Gabe Kapler took his (from Brinke).

NFL News: By now you’ve all probably seen (either live or video of) Myles Garrett’s vicious helmet attack on Mason Rudolph. But he’s not the first guy to do that, and the rule prohibiting it was written in 1982. … Here’s a photo of New Orleans Saints nose tackle Tony Elliott, a replacement player during the 1987 strike. He’s wearing his full name on his jersey because the team had another nose tackle by the name of Ted Elliott (from Bill Kellick). … OK, so it’s not quite the same thing as seeing Jesus’ image on a piece of toast, but Kurt Rozek sees a Titans logo in his beer ring left on the table.

College/High School Football News: “Saugus Strong” decals were worn by West Ranch Football (another high school in Santa Clarita) in light of the horrendous act that took place at Saugus HS on Thursday (from James Brooks). Another school wearing “Saugus Strong” decals was Hart High School (Also from James Brooks). … How do you guys feel about script/cursive as a helmet element? I’m torn, myself, but I think the shorter names work better (tweet from Evan Moreland). If you look at the thread, there are a bunch more script hats. … The always awesome helmet guy Blaise D’Sylva continues his look at CFB hats with Kent Read, Kent Write Kent State‘s helmet history. … Neat: Corvallis, OR, Oct 4, 1924 – On campus of Oregon Agricultural College (aka Oregon State), Beavers fans pay 50¢ to follow the school’s football team beat Whitman College 41-0 on an electronic scoreboard that worked much like the baseball animatronic scoreboards (from Ronnie Bolton).

Hockey News: Most pro sports teams don’t really do giveaways with Thanksgiving in mind. But is that about to change? Check out this Anaheim Ducks gravy boat giveaway! (from The Goal Net). … The Prince Albert Raiders have shown us what their jersey will look like on Ugly Christmas Sweater Night on Dec. 13 (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: Both the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs had the Hockey Hall of Fame logo on their sweaters of Friday night in Toronto. Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019 was in attendance ahead of their induction coming up on Monday. … There are good color on color games, and then Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys (from Rob Caplette).

NBA News: The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum wore his socks inside out while debuting new shoes (from Mario Vasquez). … Why did Paul George change his jersey number from 24 to 13? … Did the Rockets new City alternate uniform leak yesterday (via Ethan Catalan). … This cool interactive site shows NBA logo changes year by year (from Ticker-er Emeritus Mike Chamernik).

College Hoops News: “Kansas Basketball unveiled some new grey alternates Friday night,” observes Ryan Grimes. “They 1st introduced these in 2012-13. These appear to be an ‘update’. Changed number color and from the circus font to Trajan.” Here’s another look at the new unis. … Someone stole the uniforms of the Texas Southern, who were scheduled to play the University of Oregon women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon. They ended up having to play in their practice unis (second link from Ignacio Salazar). … There are good throwbacks, and then there’s this (from James Gilbert).

Soccer News: The Puma Football 2019-20 Monterrey third kit has leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, the first images of the PSG 2020-21 home and away kits have leaked. … More from Josh: Germany debuted their new Euro 2020 home kit at Belarus yesterday. … For more, be sure to check out Josh’s twitter feed. … The USMNT honored DaMarcus Beasley Friday night for his time playing for the USMNT and gave him a #126 jersey. Adds submitter Jakob Fox, “Don’t believe he ever wore that style jersey however.”

Grab Bag: “Fan Wishes Team Was Sponsored By A Cooler Corporation,” literally is an Onion article, but it’s already frighteningly close to reality (from Jeff Pollock). … Interesting “color clash” in yesterday’s rugby match between Fiji and the Barbarians, with stripes vs solids (from Craig King).

Utes, Owls & Bears 'Throwing Back' Today

By Phil Hecken

As you’re all aware, this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the first ever college football game, played between Princeton and Rutgers, and throughout the season, teams have marked the occasion by wearing the ubiquitous “150” patch. Many schools have taken the opportunity to introduce fauxbacks or throwbacks, and we’ve seen a bunch already. Under Armour announced more than a dozen of the schools they outfit will be joining the faux-throwback party, and we’ve seen several on the field already. Today three more teams will be donning the duds of yesteryear: Utah, Temple and Cal. Utah goes back to the sixties with a harkback, Temple fauxsback to the first Sugar Bowl, and Cal (again) dons the beautiful and popular “Joe Roth” throwbacks from the 1970s. They all play today. Let’s take a quick look at each uni.

• • •

Utah Utes

The Utes (who were also known as the “R–skins” back then; that derogatory slur was dropped from use in 1972) will be “throwing back” to their 1966-67 uniforms. According to UA:

University of Utah, the eighth ranked team in the nation, revives a uniform design that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. The throwback uniforms are a nod to the Utes who played for the 1966 and 1967 teams; the only players to have ever donned this exact uniform…until now, when this perennial powerhouse looks to channel legends of old and climb up the College Football Playoff rankings.

Here’s a look at those original uniforms in action. It should be noted the 1966 and 1967 years were the only time the team sported the red/silver (gray) colorscheme:

You’ll note these uniforms are not throwbacks (UA doesn’t claim them to be), but harkbacks or fauxbacks to the originals. Here’s what the team will be sporting today:

Note the sleeves will say “UTES” (differing from the original), but the pants (silver with red/white/red stripes) fairly closely replicate the pants worn in the 1960’s. The “UTES” on the sleeve replaces the helmet and feather which appeared on the originals:

Perhaps the most interesting feature of these unis is the helmets, which are hand painted.

According to this article

The classic helmets were hand-painted by Armano Villarreal, who works at Schutt. Villarreal has been painting them for the past year.

The helmets are painted to look worn. The idea behind that was to make the helmets look as if they were nine games old in 1966, because back then, players wore the same helmet for the entire season.

Villarreal painted scratches and grass stains across the entire helmet, similar to what a helmet from 1966 would look like.

The ear holes are widened and protrude because in 1966 the earpieces were enlarged.

Rivets are painted onto the helmets so that they look old and rusted.

You can see a hype video for the unis/hats here:

Pretty neat. As I’ve previously stated, I’m NOT a helmet guy, but I like the effort here. How it will look on the field (and from the stands) remains to be seen, but up close they look pretty good.

The Utes have had a bunch of interesting looks this year, but I think this (almost) throwback may be their nicest so far. And at 8-1, the Utes are looking for a PAC-12 championship and either a Rose or CFB Championship bid. They play the UCLA Bruins tonight at 8:00 pm (EST) on Fox.

You can see a few more photos here

• • •

Temple Owls

Temple is “throwing” way back — to the uniforms worn by the team that played in the first Sugar Bowl, played on January 1, 1935 against Tulane — the same team they’re hosting today at noon in Philly.

Photos from that game are grainy and in black and white, but they do exist:

Obviously, with leather helmets being de rigueur, Temple can’t quite replicate what was worn on the field that day, so they’re going with a basic white helmet with the modern “T” logo. Interestingly the first photos of the helmets were shown with the modern diamond stripe, but it looks like they’ve since changed that to a Northwestern stripe:

As for the rest of the uniform, if you look at the grainy b&w photos above, you can discern that Temple is the team wearing white jerseys with a Northwestern stripe on the sleeve and dark pants (those were cherry in color). Here’s the uniform they’ll be sporting today:

It’s pretty basic, as was the uniform in 1935. Temple put out a look at some of their helmets this week:

The game is at noon today (EST) on ESPNU.

• • •

Cal Bears

The California Golden Bears will be wearing a throwback they’ve worn before — the “Joe Roth” uniforms. Since they’ve worn this iteration previously, I’ll be brief. Here’s how UA describes them:

The University of California Golden Bears take us back to the 1970s as they square up against the USC Trojans. Every year, the Golden Bears play a memorial match-up in honor of Joe Roth, a former Cal quarterback who passed away in 1977 at the age of 21. As part of that enduring tribute, Cal honors Joe with uniforms that call back to his heyday.

The bright yellow and blue uniform is a nod to the 1970s-era style that Joe himself sported when he took the field as a Golden Bear. The retro helmet decals and logo that sits at the upper left of the pants, coupled with the colors and vintage sleeve stripes, gives the team a nostalgic look that memorializes a Golden Bear great.

Normally I wouldn’t include these since they’re not new — but they are oh so so gorgeous. Cal could easily return to this look and I’m not sure anyone would complain:

Beautiful! The Bears will be playing the USC Trojans in a PAC-12 After Dark matchup at 11:00 pm (EST) on FS1.

Nationals Have Two New Caps & A New Jersey

Yesterday the Nats “unveiled” two new caps and a new jersey for the 2020 season. You can see the jersey above. I put unveiled in quotes because technically the team didn’t unveil them — but they were on the MLB website which were immediately tweeted. I’ve known about these for some time, and the jersey and one cap were actually worn in spring training last season.

You can see how that looked here:

This coming season, the team has taken that 2019 ST jersey and designated it as one of their alternate uniforms.

You’ll note from the style guide, that lists the uniform as “Alternate 3 Uniform.” The Nats actually have two additional alternates, in addition to their primary road and home uniforms.

The cap they’ll pair with the new home alternate was their ST cap last year:

The second new cap unveiled yesterday appears to be a new Spring Training cap:

I say that only because it wasn’t shown in any of the style guides showing the Nats 2020 uniforms. A close up of that new logo is here. Our pal Chris Creamer notes the new logo plays off the Senators, version 2.0 logo, which was used between 1961 and 1971 (that version of the Senators moved to Arlington and became the Rangers for the 1972 season).

This Has Gotta Be A First…

Thanks to Paul for pointing me towards this. I’m just gonna leave this here:

Paul had coverage of the new unis on yesterday’s UW, and you can read/see more about the new unis here. Unfortunately there is no video or images of Jonathan Isaac actually hurting himself (please don’t take that sentence the wrong way — I never wish injury on anyone, but since it happened during the unveiling, it’s too bad we can’t see how he ended up hurting himself).

This has gotta be the first time anyone has ever injured himself during a uni unveiling, no?


Kreindler’s Korner

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

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

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

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

• • •

Title: “Pedro Cepeda, 1949” (color study)
Subject: Pedro Cepeda, 1949
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

When baseball fans hear the name “Cepeda”, most of them think of Orlando, the Hall of Famer who spent most of his career with the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s. But in the world of Latin American baseball – especially in Puerto Rico – the name conjured images of Pedro Cepeda, Orlando’s father.

Though he started playing ball before there was any official professional league on the island, Cepeda was considered the first superstar in Puerto Rican Professional Baseball. Signing with the San Juan Athletics in 1928, he came up as a shortstop. Considered to be as fierce and aggressive on the basepaths as Ty Cobb, he was eventually called “Babe Cobb”, with the nod to the famous slugger being by his reputation as a hard-living, hard-drinking man. Though certainly, most people remember him as “Perucho.”

The 1930s saw him him playing for various clubs in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The most notable of those teams were Los Dragones de Trujillo from the latter of those countries. The team was created to promote the re-election campaign of the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, and featured many of the best players of the Latin and Negro Leagues. Included among his teammates were Sam Bankhead, Cy Perkins, Silvio Garcia, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Cool Papa Bell. The latter three were future members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In its first year it won the Dominican professional baseball league championship. Speaking of championships, Cepeda’s Brujos de Guayama also won the ’38-’39 and ’39-’40 Puerto Rican League championships, with Pedro winning batting titles both of those seasons.

Though invited to play in the American Negro Leagues (and even supposedly signed to the New York Cubans by Alex Pompez in the mid-’40s), he declined because of the racism that permeated the country at the time. During the 1940s, Cepeda stayed in the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League, spending time with the San Juan Senators, Mayagüez Indians, Cangrejeros de Santurce, Criollos de Caguas, and finally, the Leones de Ponce.

Here he’s pictured with the Leones during the ’49-’50 season, his last. This is one of 200+ such paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the spring of 2020.

• • •

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


Colorize This! Returns…

…with George Chilvers

Long time readers know that for years I’ve run a feature on Uni Watch called “Colorize This!” which feature the colorization efforts of Uni Watch readers, most often run as a sub-lede. Lately I haven’t had any submissions for this, although I have done a few ledes with new colorizers being featured.

Today, long time friend and colorizer (colouriser) extraordinaire George Chilvers is back with a few fantastic colorizations. Great to hear from George and pleased he’s made a triumphant return! Click to enlarge both the colorized photo as well as the original that is beneath it!

Here’s George:

• • • •

Hi Phil

Thought I’ll drop you a few colourisations before people forget about them altogether :)

There is no real common theme, just a hope that someone will maybe find one or other interesting.

• • •

We have Liverpool FC, right from their earliest days. LFC were formed in 1892 when they split from Everton, and this picture dates to about 1893. Of note is the fact that they wore blue and white, not the red that they are now renowned for round the world.

• • •

We have the Arsenal team that won the FA Cup in 1950. They played Liverpool, and with both teams normally wearing red both teams changed their kit; Arsenal wore these gold shirts.

• • •

The rather splendid looking figure in his 1895 outfit, is Donald Robertson Gow who played for Glasgow Rangers and Sunderland. He also played one game for Scotland. Isn’t the outfit magnificent? And he wins the Moustache of the Year award.

• • •

And finally a bit of pre-match action, with Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Monchengladbach from Germany in around 1970, where the referee has lost the coin he used to toss for ends in the snow.

• • •

A melange in colour.

Best wishes to all

George

Thanks George! Great stuff as always. PLEASE let him know if you enjoyed this so he graces us with more of these beauts in the future!


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!

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

• • •

I received a follow-up e-mail from reader Tore (who’d prefer I don’t use his last name), who has some additional redesigns for the Sonics. A couple weeks ago I posted his first tweak, and here’s how he described it then:

I got some NBA concepts/tweaks of Seattle Supersonics and/or Milwaukee Bucks – one set with the irish rainbow and one which I call «woodland» since I used brown to create a different dynamic.

Tore’s back today with some additional tweaks. Here he is with them:

Thank you so much for posting the Sonics association edition. Here’s the rest of the set and my as short as possible description:

I am not going to write my whole thesis here but basically I am sick and tired of the oversaturation of red, blue and yellow in the NBA. 13 teams are using red as either primary, secondary or tertiary. And the same with blue. Four teams uses purple(including teal for the Hornets), three with orange and three with green (including the jazz).

Green and gold was my original intention for these Sonics concepts but as the Celtics has more or less taken over that torch, I felt it would be more exciting going with a new combination of colours with a more aggressive tone. For the alternate, now called “statement”, I recoloured the 00’s Sonics uniform. For the other alternate, now called “city”, I just remade one of the coolest frickin uniforms in the history of sports.

I would very much appreciate it if you just used “Tore” … when posting. Tore is also my username on sportlogos.com.

I’ll send you my Milwaukee Bucks “woodland” concept and the irish rainbow concept later today or tomorrow. Thanks again for posting!

Regards,

Tore

• • •

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

Click to enlarge

Assorted reminders: Paul here. In case you missed it earlier this week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now ready for ordering in our Teespring shop. A nice way to add a touch of class and formaily to your holiday season! (And for those who’ve been asking, our enamel pin doubles nicely as a matching tie tack.)

While we’re at it, there are only a few days left for you to get your orders in for our Uni Watch basketball jerseys and/or the matching shorts:

We’re taking pre-orders on these through this coming Wednesday, Nov. 20, for Christmas delivery. Full details here. (Also: The pre-order page doesn’t offer an option for international shipping. But if you want that, email Nathan Haas at Adelph Wear and he should be able to help you out.)

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Artist Tom Valente has some great baseball mascot paintings on exhibition at Galleries1988 in NYC (from Steve Flack). … Auburn has unveiled new pinstriped unis, and are bringing back the white caps, mothballed since 2013.

NFL News: Also posted in the soccer section: Trayton Miller created American football uniform designs for the 20 Premier League soccer teams. … The NFL’s “Thanksgiving Caps” (why are these a thing) are the same base design as their Super Bowl LIII caps (from Rocky Krsnich).

College/High School Football News: The bowl game in Mobile, AL, has a new corporate sponsor, their fourth in 20 years since its creation (from multiple readers). … Iowa is going mono-black today with a flag desecration helmet decal (from many readers). … New Mexico is going mono-white against Boise State. … Virginia Tech will be maroon-maroon-white today (from Andrew Cosentino). … Kentucky is going mono-white against Vanderbilt (from Josh Hinton). … Air Force is going mono-white with a new white facemask today (from Mike Wagner). … Mizzou is going white-black-white, with special US Navy helmets (thanks, Phil). … A player for the Solon High (IA) Spartans had a decal malfunction in the state semifinal (from Al Gruwell).

Hockey News: The Kings had some helmet decal kerning issues on Thursday night. What’s more surprising to me is that each letter is (evidently) its own decal, instead of the entire wordmark being one decal (from Chris Zadorozny). … The Canucks wore special warm-up jerseys in honor of the Canadian Armed Forces for Armed Forces Night on Thursday (from Wade Heidt). … The SPHL’s Huntsville Havoc have unveiled their Star Wars Night unis, designed by reader Tyler Earles. … Quinnipiac men have seemed to invent a new kind of NOB: PNOB, for Pandering Name On Back. … Canisius unveiled some gorgeous new sweaters yesterday (from Geoffrey Drower).

Pro Hoops News: The Sixers and Conscious Basketball have launched “76ers Crossover“, combining art and Sixers basketball. The art exhibition will run for four days starting today at the Filter Club, and will feature more than 200 works from Philadelphia-area artists. More info here (from Patrick Bourque). … The Rockets have posted a teaser video for their new city edition uni on Twitter. The uni itself will be released on Wednesday (from @RocketsTracker). … New Nets SG Iman Shumpert will wear No. 10 (from Etienne Catalan). … In what may be a first for the uni-verse, Magic F Jonathan Isaac missed last night’s game through an injury sustained during the team’s city edition uniform unveiling (from @andiggity1). … Looks like the “Houston” typeface on the Rockets throwback jersey is slightly different than the original (from Mike Sullivan). … “The dad bought the son an Iverson jersey on tonight’s Fresh Off The Boat,” writes Chris Flinn. “The son noticed there was a Q in the name and the dad said ‘explains why it was in the clearance bin’.”

College Hoops News: Stony Brook men have unveiled their new alternate unis (from John Carpenter and Patrick Muffley).
.

Soccer News: Inspired by an Oct. 23 Ticker item about Brazilian club Bahia’s black-necked jerseys to bring awareness to oil spills, Greg Franklin sends along this Guardian article about how Bahia became “the most progressive club in Brazil.” The article is filled with details like replacing the corner flags with rainbow flags, “taking the field with the names of 20 historic black Brazilians on their shirts, and a video showing indigenous Brazilians symbolically painting the white lines of a football pitch with #DemarcaçãoJá (“Demarcation Now”),” Greg writes. … A couple of potential new Chicago Fire crests leaked onto Twitter yesterday (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: every ball given to the teams in the Bulgarian First League have the logo of the Polish Ekstraklasa logo. … Cross- posted from the NFL section: Trayton Miller created American football uniform designs for the 20 Premier League soccer teams. … USL Championship side Colorado Springs Switchbacks are getting a new stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary, the “MLS expansion team Inter Miami FC has released renderings of its new Fort Lauderdale stadium, which will serve as its temporary home (and future home of the club’s USL1 developmental team) until its proposed Miami Freedom Park opens in 2022.”

Grab Bag: Some field hockey notes from Jamie: Delaware wore their BFBS alternates, and Connecticut wore white at home — field hockey teams usually wear dark colors at home. … The Muskegon (MI) City Council will vote on a corporate rename of Walker Arena, which is currently home to an arena football team, an indoor soccer team, and a USHL team (from Alex Dewitt). … NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek made his 1,186th career start in NASCAR yesterday, and his son John Hunter surprised him with a special helmet (from James Gilbert).


And finally

Please join me in wishing our own

Brinke Guthrie

a very happy birthday!

Enjoy it big guy!

One of the Greatest Uni-Centric Videos Ever

Way back on Sept. 3, one of my Twitter followers, Forest Lawrenceton, pointed me toward a YouTube video called “Milwaukee Bucks Uniforms — The Theory of Everything, Vol. 1.” The video is 15 minutes long, and I didn’t have time to watch the whole thing right away, so I kept the video in an open browser tab and figured I’d get to it later. Then I kept putting it off longer and longer, until I finally watched it in late October.

Whoa — it’s so good! For starters, it’s not just about the Bucks — it’s about sports uniforms in general and the Bucks’ uni history in particular. The analysis is smart, the production and editing are excellent, and even the voiceover narration sounds really, really good. Who the hell made this video?

A guy named Ben Rose, that’s who (that’s him at right, along with his son, Harrison). I tracked him down and recently did a phone interview with him, which I kept short because I want his video to speak for itself.

Before you read the interview transcript, go ahead and watch the video, which is embedded at the top of this post. It’s worth 15 minutes of your time — trust me. If you don’t have time to watch it now, bookmark it or put it in a new tab, and don’t wait as long as I did to circle back to it. (Just to be clear, I don’t agree with every single thing in the video, and you may not either, but I love the way it’s all presented, and I think you will too.)

Once you’ve done that, you can check out how our conversation went:

Uni Watch: First, please give me some basic information about yourself. How old are you, where do you live, and what do you do for a living?

Ben Rose: I just turned 41. I’m a Milwaukee native, but I’ve lived in Phoenix for the past 14 years or so. And I’m a rental truck driver and salesman. I’m just kind of a regular dude.

UW: Tell me about your YouTube channel and your approach to the content that you post there.

BR: I really just kind of stumbled into it. What happened was that my first video — kind of a Rocky IV parody, which I did about five years ago — kind of popped. All my videos are pretty dumb. But this one, because it had all this great footage of Mikhail Prokhorov working out in the gym, it got picked up by a lot of websites. So I was kind of off and running after that.

UW: Your YouTube channel is called “Teutonia World,” and your videos begin with a Teutonia World logo. What’s that about?

BR: Teutonia is a street that sort of cuts through the northwest side of Milwaukee, which is where I grew up. So it’s basically a shout-out to that.

UW: Do you have a background in video production or sports media?

BR: No, not at all.

UW: So you just like doing these mash-ups and throwing in pop culture references and all that?

BR: Right, exactly. When my kids were born, I was always taking videos of them, so at some point I learned how to make videos.

UW: I know you don’t actually talk or do narration in most of these videos. But in this latest one, the “Theory of Everything Vol. 1,” you narrate the whole thing, and you have a great voice! Have you ever worked in broadcasting?

BR: Thank you very much for saying that! Just like everyone else, I hate the sound of my own voice. Frankly, I was working out the kinks a bit with that one. I’m hoping the next one, Volume Two, will be better…

UW: Dude, this one is so good!

BR: I’m honored that you would say that. It took about 40 hours to put together.

UW: You obviously have some strong ideas about uniforms. How would you describe yourself, from a uniform standpoint, and what are some of your favorite and least-favorite uniforms?

BR: I guess you could say I’m pretty conservative. I like certain wacky uniforms, like the Astros’ tequila sunrise, and I liked the Tampa Bay Bucs’ first pewter uniforms. But I think there are a lot of disasters out there when teams try to reinvent the form on the fly.

I’ve come full-circle on this. I certainly didn’t feel this way when I was 18, or 25. But I’m from Wisconsin, where everyone is a Packers fan, and they haven’t changed their look. Even the Flywire collar — is that what it’s called? When other teams went to that, the Packers didn’t. And I think it gives them such credibility, because it maintains that connection to their legacy of winning.

UW: Unless I just missed it, I didn’t see any other uni-centric videos on your YouTube channel. Is “Theory of Everything” video the first time you’ve actually done a video about uniforms?

BR: Yes. The others are about the Bucks or Wisconsin sports, but this is the only one about uniforms. Basically, because I now live in Phoenix, I spend a lot of time at Diamondbacks games. And they’ve basically tried every color. And because they don’t really have an identity, they’ll just keep changing their look. And even if they hit on something that’s great, they’ll change it, because that’s the kind of team they are, they’re in the business of change. Whereas all of the really great brands in sports are in the business of selling you slightly different aspects of the same thing over and over again.

UW: When will Vol. 2 be posted?

BR: I was aiming for Thanksgiving. We’ll see. At some point you have to stop editing and say okay, that’s good enough.

UW: Do you think you’ll do more videos about uniforms, or is “Theory of Everything” a one-time digression?

BR: Well, I’m always trying to quit making videos! I’m sure my wife would like that. It becomes this thing — you have an idea, and it’s not in the front of your mind but it kind of rattles around in the back of your mind and you have to do something with it.

———

Big thanks to Ben for sharing his story and his considerable video talents. I’ll be sure to feature Vol. 2 once it’s available.

(Bonus thanks to Forest Lawrenceton for bringing Benjamin’s video to my attention.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

[Editor’s Note: If you watched last night’s Steelers/Browns game, you probably did so on a conventional TV. But Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl watched it on an enhanced platform, and he says it’s a serious game-changer for uni watching. Here’s his report. — PL]

I Have Seen the Future and It’s 4K
By John Ekdahl

The commercial television market tends to be inherently gimmick-based. The problem for manufacturers is that they need you to buy a new television about twice as often as you are willing to do so, so we sometimes have to endure a marketing cycle on some “hot” new technology that no one actually wants. A recent example of this was the 3DTV push, which was built into nearly every new TV sold for three years and never went anywhere. Before that was HDTV, which was a very noticeable upgrade. But content struggled to catch up in a timely fashion, as anyone who watched butterfly or frog documentaries on repeat can attest.

The latest new gimmick is 4K TV. Just like the jump from standard to high-def, it is a noticeable jump in quality. It is not a gimmick. Unlike with HDTV, content providers (mostly streaming services) are scrambling to meet demand, with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and now Disney+ (among others) offering 4K programming. What has lagged behind, unfortunately, is sports broadcasts.

Well, last night I watched my first football game in 4K, and let me tell you it is a uni watching game-changer. I had to watch it through a Fox Sports television app, but I almost instantly noticed the difference. The on-screen graphics were crisp with clean straight lines like you’re used to seeing on a computer monitor. And when the teams took the field, it was wild how many details you could make out.

For example: I noticed immediately that the stitching around the Steelers logo on one player’s jersey looked faded or worn, as if it had seen action before. You can make out the jersey material/hole pattern very clearly on close-ups. The difference between the Steelers’ glossy helmet and Browns’ matte was very obvious — not obvious like a reader of this site would notice, but obvious like if a matte-finished car parked next to your detail-oblivious friend in a grocery store parking lot obvious. You can instantly see the difference without even thinking about it.

In fact, speaking of the Steelers helmet, I was able to easily count the individual lights from the light tower reflected on the helmet. There was a play toward one of the sidelines where a player dragged his foot across a field line, and you could see the chalk dust puff up as if it were right in front of your face. Many times during the game, mostly with the Browns, I was able to see the reflection of the lights off the shoulder/back pads through the jersey. I’m sure I’ve seen this muted effect before, but it happened so often and was so clear, it caught me a bit by surprise.

I tried to get some screencaps, but the details don’t really translate. You need to see this for yourself — definitely try to catch a game this year in 4K if you get the chance.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Orange you glad: Ever since an orange-themed Magic court design leaked back in August, it’s been pretty much an open secret that the team would have an orange-themed alternate uni this season. That assumption became a reality last night, as the Magic unveiled their latest City design. Additional info here.

Here’s the rear view:

Like so many of the new NBA alternates, this isn’t an terrible design per se, but it feels completely unconnected to the team and its visual history. Definitely one of those uniforms where people will turn on the TV and have no idea who’s playing.

• • • • •

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El futuro es femenino: Minor League Baseball unveiled a slew of new Copa de la Diversión team names and logos yesterday (the uniforms will apparently follow later). The most interesting one is for the rookie-level Idaho Falls Chukars, who will become the Madres de Idaho Falls. In other words, they will be the Mothers — complete with a female logo mascot, which the team is claiming to be the “first female logo in baseball history.”

I don’t know if that claim is accurate, but it’s certainly true that female-based team names for men’s teams are rare. In fact, most team names are non-gendered (Eagles, Astros, Chargers, Nets). But the gendered ones are unfailingly male (Padres, Cowboys, Kings, Gamecocks), and even the non-gendered ones often have logo mascots that are either explicitly male (Patriots, Celtics, Senators) or have a very masculine bearing (countless). So the Madres are definitely staking out some rare territory here.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Of course the team names are male — because the players are male!” Fair enough. But pro team names are used by lots of youth league teams, and those youth sports are increasingly coed, so it’s good to have team names that girls can identify with too. Also, I think it’s good to challenge the longstanding cultural default that equates competition — including athletic competition — with masculinity. Hell, with the arguable exception of the New York Liberty, there isn’t even a female team name in the WNBA. That’s nuts!

So here’s to the Chukars for their Madres makeover — a good change of pace.

(My thanks to Andrew Wade Smith for bringing the Madres to my attention.)

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Cufflinks reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, Uni Watch cufflinks are now ready for ordering in our Teespring shop.

Incidentally, you may recall that yesterday I said a Uni Watch reader who works as Senior Litigation Counsel at the U.S. Justice Department plans to wear the cufflinks for his argument in federal court next month. Today’s update is that a self-described “Assistant Attorney General Who Gets It™” says the cufflinks will also be representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

I wouldn’t have guessed that Uni Watch cufflinks would be so popular with the legal trade, but it’s a fun development. And you certainly don’t have to be a federal or state attorney to wear them — you can get yours here.

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FIVE DAYS LEFT for hoops gear pre-orders: We’re now taking pre-orders on Uni Watch basketball jerseys. You can choose your own number and NOB, and you don’t have to have the winged stirrup on the shoulder if you don’t want it there.

We also have matching shorts:

We’re taking pre-orders on these through next Wednesday, Nov. 20, for Christmas delivery. Full details here. (Also: The pre-order page doesn’t offer an option for international shipping. But if you want that, email Nathan Haas at Adelph Wear and he should be able to help you out.)

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LAST CALL for the Bucs-redesign contest: Today is the last day to get your entries in for my Bucs-redesign contest. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The inaugural season logo for the Rangers’ new stadium gets some details wrong regarding the ballpark’s design (from Mike Duchock). … Fans really, really don’t like the name of Wichita’s new baseball team, the Wind Surge (from Mark Chiarucci). … Back in 1980, Ohio University had some awesome-looking tequila sunrise uniforms (from several readers). … Paul discussed the Padres’ new uniforms on this new podcast episode.

NFL News: Reader John Williams has finished designing a poster featuring almost every helmet every current NFL team wore during their time in the league. Well done, John! … Bucs HC Bruce Arians was the victim of one of the most half-assed Photoshop jobs I’ve ever seen. The Bucs logo doesn’t just go off the front of the cap and onto the bill, it goes off the cap completely! (From Jim Lighthall). … A retailer in the Kansas City area is selling Chiefs-branded hockey sweaters (from Chris Mattox).

College/High School Football News: Drake University’s new soccer stadium will be used by Des Moines Public Schools to host middle and high school soccer and football games (from Kary Kilsmet). … Oregon will go “nightmare”-yellow-“nightmare” tomorrow (thanks, Phil). … Louisville is going black-white-black tomorrow (from M. Brinston Berry). … UNLV is going mono-red tomorrow against Hawai’i. … Marshall is going mono-black tonight in honor of the 75 players killed in the 1970 plane crash (from Chris Mycoskie).

Hockey News: Blues G Jordan Binnington will have a throwback mask and throwback pads for the Blues’ throwback game on the 21st (from Jacob Bischoff and Mike Judy). … The Capitals’ thirds have 3D helmet logos (from @RivalsMD). … As a Bruins fan, I wish we had Sidney Crosby, like this screen-saver news report on Chromecast says (from @PhillyPartTwo).

Pro Hoops News: The Pacers’ new alternates will be unveiled next Thursday, and the team has posted a teaser video (from multiple readers). … Valencia of the the Spanish Liga ACB is getting a new arena (from Kary Klismet).

College Hoops News: Michigan State added “Smoothie” memorial patches in honor of Cassius Winston’s younger brother, Zachary “Smoothie” Winston, who passed away recently (from multiple readers). … Canisius men have unveiled their throwback unis for their Nov. 23 game against St. Bonaventure.

Soccer News: Looks like Nashville SC, the newest MLS team, may be unveiling their kits next week (from @TennTimber). … Here’s a great article about the England national team wearing a “winter” kit that weighed 11 pounds in the blistering Spanish heat in 1982 (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Irish players seemed to have no undershirt color consistency during their win against New Zealand. … One final one from Josh: teams of Ligue 1 and the French national team wore the Bleuet de France on their sleeves, which is the French equivalent to the poppy in the Commonwealth nations.

Grab Bag: “Fan wishes team was sponsored by cooler corporation” writes America’s finest news source (from Hugh C. McBride). … USA Nordic — that’s the American ski jumping and Nordic combined teams — has released their 2020 uniforms (from Jim Vilk). … The Washington Post’s fashion columnist has an article critiquing Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan’s frequent decision not to wear a jacket or blazer in committee meetings (from John Chapman). … Some GWU teams wear three stars above or below the logo. The stars stand for “determination, commitment, and respect,” and are also a nod to the flag of Washington, D.C. (from Matt Eliot).

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Happy almost-birthday to Collector’s Corner columnist Brinke Guthrie, whose special day is tomorrow. Enjoy, big guy! — Paul