Back in mid-January I wrote an ESPN column about Todd Asselin, the KC Chiefs fan whose prototype helmet concept was shown on a national game broadcast. As I wrote in that column, “Fans send unsolicited uniform and logo designs to teams all the time, but it’s unheard of for one of those submissions to make it onto the air.”
Or maybe it’s more common than I realized. In 1993, 19-year-old Randy Miller whipped up a new design for the Colts and sent it to a local Indianapolis sports show hosted by Mark Patrick, who featured it on the air. Okay, so that’s not quite the same thing as being showcased on a network broadcast, but it’s still pretty cool. Take a look:
I love how Patrick talks about having made uniform drawings himself when he was a kid. Also interesting that he wanted to Colts to try blue pants — which is exactly what they did two years later.
As for Randy Miller, the guy who drew up those tweaks, here are his thoughts on the matter:
Seventeen years later, I hate what I did back then. I am now, FIRMLY with the belief that the Colts have a uniform you should simply not touch. Back then, though, I was younger and the team stunk, so I guess I was just trying to create a new image that wasn’t associated with losing.
A couple of notes to consider:
• I was big into the throwback NY Jets uni’s at the time and modeled the jerseys after them. This is well before the Jets switched back to a retro style.
• Though now I’m pretty much opposed to dark-colored pants on football uniforms, here I went with a blue pant for the road, as well as a blue facemask for the helmet. The Colts actually adopted this two seasons later, but the pants didn’t last long — thank god!
• At first glance, you might think the horse is a direct copy of the SMU/Stampeders/Mustang horse logo, but actually the angle is different and I modeled it after a picture I found in a very old historical picture book on the Civil War. The horse in the book had a rider with a sword in battle. I obviously dropped the rider.
I think Mark Patrick thought I was a bit younger than 19. I never mentioned to him how old I was when I wrote to him (didn’t think it mattered). I had first sent another copy of the design to the Colts, with no reply. The Colts’ set probably went straight to the trash, but Mark returned his set to me. I long since lost it.
Good stuff. May all you tweakers out there end up with your designs being shown on the teevee at some point.
Oink: If you like meat even a fraction as much as I do, you really ought to snap up the deal currently being offered by Heritage Foods USA: 15 pork chops for $90 — and that includes shipping. A total bargain, especially given that heritage-breed pork is about 1,732 times tastier than factory pork (and also better for the planet, good for small farmers, blah-blah-blah). And in case you’re wondering whether I’m putting my money where my mouth is on this one, my shipment’s arriving tomorrow.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Phil and I had a great time yesterday at the Plainfield Curling Club, where we got personalized instruction from Dean Gemmell, the man behind the greatest (only?) curling podcast (you can see him in the video at the bottom of this page). He was a great teacher, and we were both getting the hang of it by the end of our 90-minute session. Very satisfying! ”¦ Tim Brulia‘s “White at Home in the NFL” listing has been updated to reflect the full 2009 season. ”¦ Yesterday I linked to this photo and asked what occasion might have brought these players together. Charlie Frank thinks it was from a Southern Christian Leadership Conference benefit game staged in March of 1970. Here’s a photo from that event. ”¦ R.A. Dickey has been wearing stirrups in Mets camp (with thanks to Terence Kearns). ”¦ Follow-up to yesterday’s note about the Colts adding a third jersey next season: A little birdie now tells me that they’ll be going with a 1954 throwback with a blue helmet. ”¦ And the news of the Packers adding a throwback next season appears to be more of a rumor (with thanks to Ray Barrington). ”¦ Two good auction finds by Bruce Menard a 1940 Philly A’s prototype and a rare 1962 A’s road cap. ”¦ You footwear geeks out there should enjoy these Utah kicking shoes that Under Armour made for the Utes’ bowl game. ”¦ And for you sneakerheads, here’s the new Nike Hyperdunk Kobe Bryant Aston Martin Edition. ”¦ “Good story out of Columbia, Missiouri, about a freshman who won the state wrestling championship and wears his uncle’s headgear from the early ’90s, inscribed with the years he himself won,” writes Allison Kleiber. “He now has permission to add his own championship year to the headgear since he won. The headgear has also been worn by his brothers in the last few years.” ”¦ Ryan Connelly notes that Alex Ovechkin has personalized hockey pants. ”¦ Check out all the cool DIY jerseys Jeff Barak has made. ”¦ Nike has found an annoying new place to put a swoosh: low on UNC baseball’s left thigh. And yes, the jersey looks like shit too (with thanks to Chris Warfford). ”¦ Check out this shot of Mark McGwire carrying Odibbe McDowell around during the 1984 Olympics. Nice striped stirrups, no? (Cool find by Larry Granillo). ”¦ The Twins have scrapped their pinstriped road pants this year, but apparently they’re still wearing them for Florida workouts. And speaking of Joe Mauer, he was catching without a helmet for part of yesterday’s drills (big thanks to Jonathon Binet). ”¦ Check out this completely awesome vintage curling sweater, complete with amazing patches. A smidge to big for me, alas (great find by Jason Bernard, who also spotted this odd Penguins jersey). ”¦ Matt Lesser sent along photos of airplanes with team liveries based on the Falcons, Colts, Ravens, Cardinals, Panthers, Eagles, and Steelers. ”¦ Hey, you want some grayhound racing silks? Okay, you probably don’t, but here’s a set of them anyway (fascinating find by Roger Faso). ”¦ I obtained Tom Dempsey’s contact info from the Saints and have sent him an e-mail asking if he could tell us more about this photo. No response yet. Meanwhile, Larry Wiederecht has posted a video in which you can see Dempsey kicking for the Eagles and using a shoe with a metal-plated toe, just like the one shown in the photo. Black shoes in the video, though, as opposed to white in the photo. ”¦ Current issue of The New Yorker has a great photo of Tommie Smith and John Carlos wearing the same gloves they wore on the medal podium in Mexico City. ”¦ Ryan Atkinson notes that Nebraska-Omaha has what might be the nation’s largest mid-court logo, stretching almost from one three-point line to the other. Interesting to see that there’s no circle in the center, too. ”¦ Here’s something really awesome: a Topps negative in mid-airbrush! (Great find by Jon Helf.) ”¦ Norway’s king (yes, they have a king) may end up wearing the crazy Norwegian curling pants (with thanks to Jim Vilk). ”¦ Maker’s Mark is putting out a special bottle honoring the 20th anniversary of the Reds’ 1990 World Series win (with thanks to Jerry Wolper). ”¦ Coupla Olympic hockey notes from Chaz Noerenberg, who got screen shots of Norway winger Mats Zuccarello Aasen’s magnificent NOB and Patrick Kane’s patriotic mouthguard.