As you may recall, the Knicks wore special green uniforms for St. Patrick’s Day last season, and I think the plan is for them to do it again this time around. You’d figure that the fabric used for these unis would be the same as for the team’s regular attire, only green — and you’d be wrong.
That news comes from reader Kevin McGuire, who recently checked in with the following report:
One of my best friends plays for the Knicks. He’s well aware of my Irish heritage and my love for game-used or otherwise authentic apparel. When the Knicks dressed in green last March for St. Paddy’s Day, I asked him for his game shorts from that game as a way to commemorate and combine two of my favorite things.
The reason you might be interested in this is because the mesh for those special uniforms is quite different than the Knicks’ regular unis the Knicks wear. I know this because I also have both home and road game shorts. Without knowing much about textiles or whatever, but having read your recent ESPN column [in which I mentioned that the Cavs were switching from open-hole mesh to closed-hole mesh — PL], I would say regular Knicks game shorts are open-hole mesh and the St. Paddy’s shorts are closed-hole. I could be wrong on the exact name or the exact textile, but those adjectives sure do fit the look of the shorts. [I’m not sure about this myself, but I believe the regular shorts are actually closed-hole mesh, while the green shorts aren’t a mesh at all. — PL] I think this would be obvious, but the St. Paddy’s shorts are much hotter than the regular game shorts.
Also, notice the inside lining: The regular blue or white shorts are simply double-lined with the mesh, while the green ones have that white, silky mesh thing going on.
I also have Rockets game shorts, but that is a whole other type of material, for which my description would be completely inadequate. What I do know, however, is that the Rockets game shorts move much more freely than either of the Knicks shorts.
Big thanks to Kevin for this close look at NBA textiles. As always, I’m amazed that athletes are willing to wear these horrible-looking synthetic fabrics. If I were a pro athlete — check that, when I become a pro athlete — I plan to fake a skin allergy to polyester and have it written into my contract that my uni will be cotton. And yes, I know: moisture-wicking, thermal regulation, blah-blah-blah, but you all know how much I care about that stuff. (For the uninitiated: about this much.) When it comes to athletics aesthetics, natural fibers are the way to go.
Tattoo Update: On Friday I announced the arrival of Uni Watch temporary tattoos (which not nearly enough of you have yet purchased, but we’ll get to that in a sec). A few readers found this development somewhere between ironic and immoral. The following quip, which ran in Friday’s Comments section, was typical:
A website that abhors logo creep is selling temporary logo tattoos? What would the Uni Watch reaction be to temporary Nike tattoos? Love the site, just think it’s a little hypocritical.
This type of comment reflects several misconceptions, the biggest of which is that I am somehow anti-logo. Come on, people: One reason for this web site’s very existence is that I love logos — this one, this one, and this one, to cite just a few examples. I like plenty of non-sports logos, too. As a fan of graphic design in general, I’m totally into stuff like this and this.
What I don’t like — and what the term logo creep is meant to signify — is the encroachment of corporate logos where they don’t belong. And one place they don’t belong, in my opinion, is on a team uniform. My opposition to logo creep is actually rooted in a respect for team logos, and in my strong belief that no logo should appear on a team’s uniform except the team logo itself.
As for the Uni Watch tattoos (remember how this discussion started?), I’m just having some fun with my “brand,” if you want to call it that. I’d never want to see a Uni Watch logo showing up as a sleeve patch on a team’s jersey, but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t appear on your arm, your girlfriend’s torso, or Dick Cheney’s ass. It’s no different than buying a Uni Watch T-shirt — a way to show your colors, without infringing on someone else’s colors.
Speaking of which: I’d like to see more of you ringing the cash register on this one. As I explained on Friday, this is basically a fund-raiser, so webmaster Johnny Ek and I can feel like we’re getting a little something back for our efforts. Five bucks for the first tat, a dollar for each additional one. PayPal those life savings to paul_lukas at earthlink dot net, OK? OK!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Five of the six Canada-based NHL franchises played on Saturday (the lone exception: Edmonton), and all of them wore rear-helmet poppy decals in honor of Remembrance Day, as you can see in these pics of the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Flames, Canucks, and Senators. … Meanwhile, the Habs and Leafs also wore special Hall of Fame jersey patches on Saturday. … Everyone knows about that time the White Sox wore shorts, and I’ve previously written about the shorts-clad Hollywood Stars (more details on them are available here). But former Pacific Coast League photographer John Moist just filled me in on another team that wore shorts on the diamond: the triple-A Sacramento Solons of the mid-1970s. “They were atrocious and the players hated them, but you gotta admit the sox are the greatest,” says Moist. … Excellent article here about BYU’s merit decals (with thanks to John Ervin). … Roderick Rogers had some major mismatched-sleeve action going on in Saturday’s Wisconsin/Iowa game. The thing is, Wisconsin isn’t a Nike school, so is Adidas now getting in on the sleeve stupidity scene? Or did Rogers create his own Nike-wannabe undershirt? … Reader Cathy didn’t provide her last name, but we’ll cut her some slack because she provided this photo of a Florida Pop Warner team wearing some amazing candy-striped socks. … Matthew Strauss checked in to torment me with this photo from Saturday’s Amherst/Williams game — ooof! … Interesting Louisiana Tech hoops report from Chris Mycoskie: “The story goes that their Nike rep failed to process their order until three days before the first exhibition game. They screen-printed the logos on blank white jerseys for a temporary fix, just so they’d have something to wear. They only have the whites, so they’ll wear them at home and on the road until the real unis arrive.” … Good article here about the company that cleans the Steelers’ uniforms (with thanks to Yancy Yeater). … Can’t these guys do anything right?