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Lance Gets Lanced

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Bigtime jersey snafu at the start of the final Tour de France stage yesterday, as Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team planned to wear black jerseys, all with the number 28, as a tribute to the 28 million people living with cancer. But Tour officials were not amused and insisted that the cyclists wear their regulation red jerseys, which then caused additional problems because the red jerseys didn’t have proper uni numbers.

Jeremy Brahm was watching all this while it happened and posted excerpts from the Tour’s web site in yesterday’s comments. For those of you who missed that, here are those excerpts again:

UCI Make Ruling on Jerseys:
“The special black jerseys that are being worn by RadioShack will only be used in the neutral zone. The UCI has insisted that the nine riders who are leading the team classification must swap the black jerseys for the traditional red colors otherwise they won’t be allowed to start.”

Part of the UCI Rules:
“The UCI commissaire has announced that RadioShack MUST (their emphasis) change their jerseys and wear the official race number. If they do not swap their black tops for the red ones, they will not be allowed to start the race. It’s a gesture for a charity but now all riders have to wait for the change over because of this publicity stunt.”

The Longest Neutral Ride:
“The peloton is sauntering to the site of the official start. The reason for the late start is RadioShack’s antics a publicity stunt was conducted and now the riders have to remove their special-edition black jerseys, remove their race numbers and do a road-side swap with their official jerseys. The riders are now sitting in the gutter doing what the rule book says they should have done all along.”

Lance Objecting to Regulations:
“Lance Armstrong has his red RadioShack jersey on, but it’s over the black one with ’28”² on the back. He is yet to swap the race numbers and he’s riding along while teammates are changing their ”˜dossards’. The start of Lance’s last day of competition is beginning with controversy.”

Lance to be left behind
“The official start is going to be called while Lance Armstrong is riding without the regulation outfit.”

Numbers flapping in the wind
“Lance Armstrong’s numbers have been pinned on in such a rush that they’re flapping in the wind like a first-year juvenile rider might start their first race. He is yet to arrive at the site of the official start but he has Popovych alongside for assistance should the peleton decide to start racing.”

Crazy stuff, and a sad ending for Armstrong. But really, he was kinda asking for it with that grandstand play, no? Good cause or no, the whole thing smacked of “I’m Lance, and I’ve made cancer my personal crusade, so I can do whatever the hell I want” entitlement. Good for the Tour officials for putting the kibosh on it.

Meanwhile, one additional cycling note: Team Garmin-Transitions unveiled an unusual skin suit for Saturday’s time trial stage. Good coverage of that is available here.

I’ve been on the road for the past few days and will be traveling back home today, so I won’t be active in the comments or responding much to e-mails. Back in the saddle tomorrow at Uni Watch HQ — see you then.


How many fingers am I holding up?: Very interesting article about NFL helmets and head injuries in yesterday’s New York Times. I recommend reading the entire thing; the sixth-to-last graf is particularly notable.

In a related item, the latest attempt to design a safer, more concussion-resistant football helmet comes from our own Michael Princip, who’s come up with something called the Bulwark American Football Helmet. “I absolutely love the vintage Macgregor E and H helmet models, as well as the lines and forms of rugby helmets,” he says. “So I’ve been tinkering with an idea in which newer technology polymers and urethane rubber are used on the outside of an inner hard shell, similar to how the ProCap was used. However, I do not feel that it has to be as bulky, or ugly — hence, the beautiful lines of those vintage Macgregor helmets for inspiration.”

Michael says this is an ongoing project that he’ll be updating in the weeks and months to come, so stay tuned.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Usain Bolt recent designed his own track outfit for a meet in Paris (with thanks to Cody Dannen). ”¦ Remember how people complained that the Cubs’ mid-1990s road jersey looked like it said, “Cuba”? Now Ebbets Field Flannels is selling an old Cuban design that looks very Cubs-inspired (as noted by Douglas Hirschman). ”¦ Steven Hom found some shots of Mike Piazza wearing a BP jersey and BP cap that I don’t recall having seen before. The jersey isn’t shown in Bill Henderson’s guide — the closest thing is this, but that has an NOB and no drop shadow, while the one in the Piazza pics has a drop shadow and is NNOB. Can’t say I’ve seen that cap before, either. Hmmmm. ”¦ Were you wondering what the USA team handball squad’s uniforms look like? Me neither, but here they are anyway (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). ”¦ Daytona Cubs catcher Michael Brenly played most of last Tuesday night’s game with a hole in his pants (photo by Nick Hanson). ”¦ Henrik Zetterberg had people dress rather oddly for his recent wedding (big thanks to Michael A. Gargano). ”¦ Everyone’s telling me I’m gonna love Manchester City’s new socks — and they’re right. ”¦ New football uniform for Kansas State. “They seem to be reverting back to the old Bill Snyder-era unis, which I love,” says Jack Wilson. “Now if they would only start winning 11 games a year again.” ”¦ Jim Bouton’s classic Ball Four includes the following passage: “What baseball players do to each other is punch each other in the groin and say ‘cup check.’ Norm Miller pulled it on me today. Fortunately I was wearing it. When I was in the minors I got caught short a couple of times.” Ballplayers must not do that anymore, because Carl Crawford doesn’t wear a cup. ”¦ New Twins call-up Anthony Slama wearing stirrups and a moustache. “Tell me this kid doesn’t look like he should be pitching in the ’70s,” says Luke Kalland. ”¦ You know which sports used to have freakin’ huge uni numbers? Rugby and Aussie football (with thanks to Mike Hersh). ”¦ New football uniforms for Northern Illinois (with thanks to Erik Hanson). ”¦ With his extremely short-sleeved undershirt beneath his sleeveless jersey, Miguel Olivo came close to channeling Big Klu (or maybe just an NFL player) on Friday night (screen shots courtesy of Alex Higley). ”¦ The Cardinals are retiring Whitey Herzog’s No. 24. ”¦ As Phil noted yesterday, the Astros wore 1986 throwbacks on Saturday. But Doug Keklak points out that they also used tequila sunrise beverage cups for the occasion. ”¦ Hmmm, where are the white hoods? (Disturbing find by Nick Spehar.) ”¦ Why would someone bring these priceless 45s to the ballpark? (As noted by Tim Burke). ”¦ You know how most catchers now wear those little shoulder-flap attachments on their chest protectors? Buster Poset took a foul ball off that pad on Saturday, dislodging the pad and “causing it to sail, frisbee like to the backstop,” reports Sean Robbins. ”¦ The new issue of SI shows Miles Austin of the Cowboys on the cover — with holes cut in the toes of his cleats. Toenail problems, or just trying to channel Ed McAffrey? (Good spot by Keith Kimball). ”¦ 2011 MLB news from Michael Burnett, who writes: “I was at the Diamondbacks’ season ticketholders meeting, and President Derrick Hall said that sometime next season the Diamondbacks will wear a throwback uni to celebrate the 10th anniversary of winning the World Series.” ”¦ All six teams in the Japanese Central League will be wearing throwbacks for two upcoming mid-week series. The designs being showcased include the 1954 Chunichi Dragons, the 1995 Yakult Swallows, the 1989 Hiroshima Carp, and the 1948 Hanshin Tigers (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ The Bills will be wearing their throwbacks in Weeks 4 and 12. ”¦ I guess this training method went out of vogue once athletic directors started asking about the big budget line for axes (photo of the day, or maybe the year, from Scott Little). ”¦ Georgia Tech players wore gold jerseys for ACC Media Days yesterday, which is odd, since no gold alt was shown when they recently unveiled their new all-white set (with thanks to Clark Ruhland). ”¦ If you look at the second item on this page, you’ll see that someone recently hit the Lotto jackpot by picking the uni numbers of his favorite players (with thanks to Anil Adyanthaya). ”¦ Portsmouth had to borrow a set of uniforms over the weekend when their kits went missing (as noted by Rob Leavell). ”¦ The West Michigan Whitecaps wore Star Wars uniforms the other day. “Alas, the force was not with them — they lost to the Beloit Snappers,” says Dave Murray. ”¦ Marshall, which had switched to a green helmet last season, is switching back to white, but with a revised logo decal (as reported by Jake Keys).

Comments (149)

    The Velonews link for the Garmin-Transitions uniform is wrong in the text.

    The Yomiuri Giants will be wearing their 1950 uniform.

    While the Yokohama Bay Stars will be wearing their Yokohama Taiyo Whales from 1978-1992.

    The comment about rugby reminded me of arguably the best nickname in all of sport-the Missoula(MT) Maggots! I’m not making this up, they have a logo and everything.

    YES…there is a MIssoula Maggots — link

    The funnier part is the “Old Boys”…the more senior squad…are called The Flys!!! LOL!

    The Ga Tech jerseys shown are last year’s alt for the rare occasions where the opponent wants to wear white (typically Wake Forest)


    Yeah I was going to say that Clemson is wearing last year’s jerseys too so it’s possible Ga Tech is too. With that said, UVA is wearing their new jerseys for this year. So it could just be a team-by-team thing.

    Howdy Paul, Ed’s last name is McCaffrey (missed a ‘C’). He does TV ads for The Good Feet stores (arch supports) here in Denver now…

    You know, I’ve seen that photo a jillion times and never noticed that his toes were cut. Thanks for pointing that out, Rick!

    I think you can read between the lines in the NFL report that we’re nearing or have already reached a point of diminishing returns with football padding and helmets: “improvements” in any component’s safety now add sufficient weight and/or increase a player’s comfort level with dangerous types of hits that the overall effect on player safety is a net negative.

    I’d love to see experiments done along parallel tracks with reducing padding, including helmets once the body armor is sufficiently lightened, and with significantly increasing each player’s playing time by limiting substitutions. Real sports don’t allow unlimited in-and-out substitutions; you either play the whole game with only a few substitutions per team, or you have unlimited substitutions with no return for a removed player. I suspect that if football were to adopt some form of limits on its unlimited-sub, free-return system, you’d see entirely different, and safer, forms of tackling developing as an organic response to players who understand that they will actually need to keep playing after any given short sequence.

    From the limited medical literature I can find online, it appears that rugby players suffer far more broken bones than football players, but less traumatic brain injury. In other words, in two versions of basically the same sport, players in the version without body armor are more likely to be hurt, but players in the version with body armor are more likely to be crippled.

    Interesting idea. Hadn’t thought about limiting substitutions as a way of reducing game violence. Not a bad idea.

    I’ve been saying for a while that attempts to “improve” helmets have the wrong focus. It seems to me that body armor, by pushing the impact of collisions down the road, actually encourages rougher hits and makes the long-term problem worse.

    Maybe improved technology is part of the solution, but I suspect that we’ll need some serious rule changes to lessen the number of hard impacts the players take. Like it or not, our game will have to change.

    One thing the NFL can do immediately is eliminate the 3-point stance. Force linemen up on their feet and slow down the initial impact on the line. Won’t prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but could help.

    I thought about the substitutions thing after I saw a documentary that compared rugby and football hits. In super-slo-mo, one thing I noticed was that the rugby players tackled in a completely different manner. They tucked their heads away and hit with the far edge of the shoulder. Still a devastating hit, but exactly what you’d expect someone to do if he wasn’t wearing body armor and knew that he was going to have to get right back up and keep playing for the rest of the afternoon. Football players seem to tackle higher on their own shoulders, closer to their necks, and often to tuck their heads into the tackle, making the helmet not a safety device but a weapon. And why not? Underneath all that padding, you don’t feel the impact as much, and besides, you’ll be sitting on the bench in a few minutes anyway.

    If I recall, the rugby tackle measured out at 1600 pounds of force, which the player who was wired up with the sensors to take the hit called one of the hardest tackles he’d ever taken, whereas the football tackle measured closer to 4800 pounds of force, which was equivalent to being in a 35-mph car crash.

    Great stuff Chance and RS.

    One of the main reasons that I looked at rugby helmets as inspiration was the softer impact, less jarring effects you get from exterior paddded helmets. Right now I look at football helmets as bumper cars without the exterior rubber bumpers. However, with exterior padded helmets, more importantly sectioned helmets where energy is transfered and dampened before it reaches the single shell is a very important element.

    I believe the best solution is improved technology, because let’s face it rugby is not the same game as american football. Yet, lessening the amount of hard impacts via rule changes will have to take place as well. I believe we are seeing this every year, especially with respect to protecting the qb and the WRs.

    This is all really good, and I agree with you guys. One of the reasons I love watching footage from the leather helmet or early plastic shell era is that the technique of the game was much more pure, the athletes look smoother and more graceful, all the while appearing powerful. The tackling was all about the technique of slowing the runner sufficiently with an initial bump to be able to wrap him up and bring him down. Now, the technique involves turning your body into a projectile and trusting the integrity of your equipment to keep you safe rather than trusting the integrity of your strategy and technique to keep you safe. I can’t even imagine trying to play a game that hinges so much on vision and range of movement with what basically amounts to a flak vest and blinders. It seems so counter-productive.

    M, you’re right that American football and rugby are very different games. But that’s wasn’t always the case – football (at least in terms of impact) has been evolving away from rugby, and that’s largely due to the introduction and refinement of safety equipment, which has allowed players to hit harder and harder while at the same time giving them a false sense of security that they can avoid the consequences of those hits.

    If a player had to deal with the consequences of those hits immediately, instead of ten years down the road, they might think twice. How many 22-year-old millionaires really worry about their 40s?

    M.Princip, a question: I thought that the high incidence of concussion in football was due not to tacklers using their helmted heads as battering rams, but to tacklees having their heads snapped back or forth by the impact of a tackle lower on their bodies. As Walter Sobchak asked the Dude, “Am I wrong?” Because if that’s the greater cause of football concussions, then adding weight to helmets, even if that weight is in the form of exterior padding, will worsen concussion incidence, since we’ll have increased the mass of the head and thus the concussive force when the neck is whiplashed during a hit.

    CM & RS interesting that you are both stating here that the equipment, to a certain extent, is the problem, and I agree. Aside from the major difference in the games being the passing game of American football.

    My aim is not to add more weight to the helmet, yet take some of the padding from the inside and put it on the outside, and sectioned so not to have one area take the entire force of impact. I believe most of the weight from a football helmet is in the facemask. Although, my mask may look heavy, it’s actually intended to be lighter. It’s all in the materials composites, liquid metal, and thinner lighter more effective air cell padding.

    M. Princip – I am sure you are aware of this, but a major concern with any football helmet is the ease and ability to remove the facemask for CPR/rescue breathing. I know that was a major concern with the newer helmets, especially the fact that athletic trainers have to have a screw driver to remove them. I guess I mention all of this just to see what your thoughts are with your helmet – it’s an interesting setup with your model, but was wondering how easily the facemask would be removed, especially with what appears to be a lower facemask bar.

    Thanks Aaron, you’re absolutely right. Part of the reason that I designed the face mask in such a way, where the side jaw protectors house the face mask, is to remove both quick release fasteners from both sides, and viola the whole assembly flips up. So, you get the best of both worlds, side jaw impact protection, similar to the first Revo. helmet, yet, quick removal of the entire assembly; jaw plates and wire face mask in two quick turns of the fastener.

    I’ll be the first to say what most of us are already thinking – those Northern Illinois’ football shorts are annoying.

    ‘Tis true.
    Football pants are now football shorts.
    And basketball shorts are now basketball pants.

    Hey, if they extend below the knee, they’re PANTS…and vice versa.


    Classy looking hat…

    Seriously. Always liked that hat.
    Believe Creighton University has worn (still does wear?) same thing.
    And, of course, the Cleveland Indians did back in the ’30, I think it was.

    Been meaning to DIY that one. It’s a tiresome process, though. Stitching across the double center seam is a bitch. Been there, done that…numerous times.


    YES…there is a Montana Maggots – link

    The funnier part is the “Old Boys”…the more senior squad…are called The Flys!!! LOL!

    Okay, we got Armstrong.
    We got Alworth.

    Somebody post a photo of Rentzel for some kind of trifecta.


    yeah, me too. looks like it belongs on one of those Hutch uniform sets for kids.

    Yeah, well, if we’re REALLY good we’ll mine a photo of him with the Rams, wearing #13, where he had a couple damn good seasons before being traded to Dallas. People most times remember his problems in Minnesota, his being married to Joey Heatherton, and his time with Cowboys…and totally ignore the LA years.


    more photos of Rentzel
    in the white Cowboys jersey with same facemask:

    football card pose, but he’s wearing 13 in the old blue Rams jersey:

    I believe Rentzel wore a facemask like Namath did in ’68 for his final NFL season with the Rams in the mid 70s. I recall a Minnesota Vikings highlight video from that era in which Rentzel is wearing the blue and yellow Rams uniform as he is pummeled near the sideline.

    Yeah, he went to a cage style during his years with the Rams. Got some photos at home. He was there for both the royal-white uni and the return to royal-athletic gold (the first season of two of which had everyone in royal blue cleats, btw).

    Football talk already. Vikings open camp Friday. Where DID this summer go, anyway?


    As the story goes, Lance Rentzel was going to retire after the 1973 season, but then he decided to stick it out for one more year.

    Those were the uniforms the Astros were wearing when I went to my first MLB game back in 1989. I till have the “autographed” baseball from that game sitting on my desk right now actually. Over the past couple years, I have wondered what it would look like if you combined those jerseys with the current style. Shoulder stripes become Black, Brick, Sand, Brick, Black with the current script ASTROS across the chest. My photoshop skills are no where near anything that would alow me to make such a thing though…

    Am I the only one getting a bunch of “bad gateway” messages?

    (Bad gateway! Bad, bad gateway!!!)

    btw…in the past we’ve had discussions about DIY jerseys of fictional players from the movies and TV (Shane Falco Washington Sentinels #16, Ohio State Johnny Utah #9, Phil Elliott North Dallas Bulls #87, Thomas Magnum Navy #16 and others).

    I’d mentioned the Cleveland Brown who bowled over Jack Lemmon in THE FORTUNE COOKIE. Was on TCM this weekend. Character’s name is Luther “Boom Boom” Jackson. But the game footage matched was Leroy Kelly with no NOB, so it’d just be a white Browns’ #44.

    (I’ve sure a number of you have been waiting for that info). ;)


    baseball … highway clean-up … they’ve stretched their boundries quite a bit over the years …


    Well, the Klan probably isn’t about to clean up the “Rosa Parks Highway.”

    Interesting historical irony, or something:
    The year Harriet Tubman died…
    Rosa Parks was born.


    However, there is some irony in that Hiroshima Carp uni. It looks exactly like the old Reds uniforms, but they did not spell Carp with a K.
    *It looks as though Venus Flytrap’s jacket says “Cincinnato”

    I can’t believe the Klan actually had a team!!!!

    one can safely assume what color their home unis were, but how about the roads?

    You could work up a plausible road uni from these:



    Both products meant to poke fun at racial stereotypes, but the thing about racists is that they have no sense of humor and so often take parody completely seriously.

    true…imagine if they played today…could pixture big & rich doing the promo music, ala espn’s gameday…

    The Klan was actually pretty out-in-the-open in both of its periods of being a big deal (during Reconstruction, roughly 1865-1877 and again from the 1910s through the Depression). In that second period, the Klan was centered in the Midwest and was very socially and politically active.

    Check out these from Life‘s archives:



    Yeah, seems to me its stronghold between the two World Wars was in Indiana, rather than the Deep South.


    OK, I haven’t been on here until just now, so let’s not be doin’ that stuff, alright?

    And even if it wasn’t those guys, that’s a most un-wear-able uni. Plain fronts and goofy pocket flaps? Jim Vilk would not wear that.

    I didn’t think that was really you. Phil and I were trading e-mails on this very subject earlier.

    I wonder if there was ever a game between the kkk team and a negro league team….

    Because we were playing them on the Super Famicon2!!!! Or seeing them in the arcades in Japan.

    Re: The blue Mets BP cap and jersey:

    They wore it for one season, 1999, before home games in which they wore their blue hats. That said, they didn’t wear them that often. I actually own that hat.

    i can second this. i also have the hat. it was very, VERY rare that they wore them, but like sam said, they did in 1999. it was replaced in the BP cap department by the hat that had the ‘Mets’ script across the front of a black crown with the blue bill (which i believe never made it onto the field, but i also own) in 2000. then, they stayed with the all black BP cap and jersey until the change to blue BP cap/orange jersey in 2003.

    They did wear the “Mets” script hat during BP in 2000, but also not that often. I remember seeing a picture of Derek Bell wearing it.

    interesting article about the 1948 London Olympics. In it, they say that British athletes had to provide their own uniforms!


    yeah, excuse me if i’m not miffed at lance armstrong’s “personal crusade” to spread awareness and raise funds for cancer research. paul, i get what you’re saying, but sometimes it’s a GOOD thing to grandstand. the big deal if they would have worn the black jerseys would have been….? what? i don’t really see the harm. i’m not saying lance is the best guy in the world or he isn’t arrogant, but i’ve seen what cancer can do to a family and i’ll take lance and his impections if it means finding a cure.

    I disapprove almost as strongly as Paul did, but for a completely opposite reason. To me, the stunt reeked of giving up. I mean, if you’re still in the hunt to win, or even finish in the top five or so, you’d never pull a uniform stunt like this on your last day. You’d go out and try to win, and make winning (or even just the all-out-effort-until-the-end) your awareness-raising statement. Which is exactly what Lance did year after year! The message I got from Lance’s little stunt was more on the order of, “Screw it, I’ve thrown in the towel.”

    The racing is over at the end of the second-to-last day – the last day is not a competitive stage.

    I second this motion. Start off with an unapproved jersey with a giant Reebok Vector? Undefendable. Huge Swoosh? Down with Armstrong. Fight Cancer? Make another comeback next year and do it again.

    I love you, Mom. I just wish you didn’t love the cigarettes quite so much, and I wish you could be here to see your grandkids grow up.

    (for the record, my opinion would be the same if they’d worn MADD logos, even though I’ve never been personally affected by a drunk driver)

    A false premise, that one follows the other.

    What if his grandstanding (especially considering the new strength of doping allegations he faces) turns off the general public? Makes them less interested in the subject?

    Are you kidding me? New strength of doping allegations he faces???? Floyd Landis is an admitted perjurer and a liar. Lance has never failed ONE SINGLE drug test. When your boday has been wasted away by the cancer, your trainer can rebuild you with a specific sport in mind – and that is how Lance won seven Tours de France in a row! That and being ON THE BIKE six pluys hours a day. He was the ONLY RIDER making multiple runs up monsters like the Tourmalet and Alpe d’ Huez in a single day so he could get better at them. Now Contador uses the same tactics.

    As for the 28 million special jersies, good for him. They had the proper markings and numbers. The stink made over it only increased the visibility. Had they had more red like their standard kit, nothing would have been said. Were the bikes enough? Probably. Could they have pulled it off with a closer version to their official kits? Probably. The disservice came when Lance was forced to ride the day with whatever jersey they could pull together without his world champion sleeve stripes. It was his last day on the Tour and he deserved some celebration – he has brought so much more attention to that sport than any other single event or person!

    Are you saying people are not aware of cancer? and Lance Armstrong can make us “more” aware? and only shirts that have huge corporate logos and Lanceographia can make us aware? or care? So, if I love and care for people with cancer but choose not to sign all of my cash over to sales of Lanceodelia and the Lance-Industrial complex. This stuff used to be the stuff of satire and now it is bizarrely defended.

    I understand why Lance Armstrong needs to wash his conscience and I certainly know why all kinds of corporate money needs to do some cause related PR. Real fans of sport are not so moved by money and do not need to “buy” stuff to care about things outside of sport.

    But the most obvious point is if this was “really” about cancer why is all the icons/space about Lance and Radio Shack (and “28” sounds like another corporate branding)?

    Frankly, I just think people are really screwed up about the nature of “good” in a completely bought and sold “branded” age and “charity” is just an obvious source of confusion now.

    FWIW, I’m behind Lance and Livestrong on this one. This was the retirement of the greatest athlete this sport has ever seen – ever – and he chooses to use the event to publicize his charity and the 28 million people who are suffering with cancer.

    We complain a lot about me-first athletes here, this guy is the opposite of that. We could certainly come up with a pretty long list of selfish athletes who could learn a lesson from Lance.

    “This was the retirement of the greatest athlete this sport has ever seen — ever — and he chooses to use the event to publicize his charity and the 28 million people who are suffering with cancer.”

    And his foundation and, not incidentally, himself.

    I like a lot of what he says he stands for, but let’s not kid ourselves that he’s entirely altruistic.

    I think that the UCI and the Tour had to call this one as they got caught by the US Postal Service team in the final year of their contract when Lance broke out the old school postal look in 2003 on the final day.


    Let alone in 2004 with the 6th tour special.

    If he had submitted it a little earlier, it probably gets the okay. However, with it presented on the day of the event, it could cause a huge problem. From a PR standpoint, they got a ton of PR from it, so it actually worked better than it should have.

    Sadly, with cycling not being a regular sport to most people, the promotional nights that we are so accustomed to, just cannot happening easily in cycling. So by trying something different just throws a wrench in the system for the other teams in the Tour. Plus the teams who had not won stages or lead the tour in yellow hated that they hadn’t thought of this earlier for their sponsors.

    Here’s a unique image (from a Chicago Tribune retrospective on The Hawk):


    Note Andre (a coach with the Marlins in 2005) is wearing his Marlins pants (grey away) with a home pinstriped Cubs jersey.

    So, Paul … I know you have a thing against tucking your jersey when you’re not on the team, but what if you’re already in sport-appropriate attire?

    Buster Posey (with a Y, not a T) is the name of the catcher on the Giants. I hope that was just a typo and not a lack of awareness of the kid.

    Buster Posey + Northeast = ESPN Special 3 weeks ago

    Well, at least that’s how I feel living on the West Coast at least.

    The Diamondbacks make me laugh.

    First off, I hate their mallpark and their path between the mound and home plate, their high school sophomore-level PA announcer and their crap concessionaire, but throwbacks for a team that has been around since 1998 is hilarious.

    “Hey, can you remember back to 2001?”

    “No, no one was alive then.”

    Well, yeah, but, gee, we can’t have them left out of the throwback deal.
    I mean, that would be like someone not getting their Participation Trophy.

    (See: “Nationals, appropriated Senators history for sake of same”)…



    I can see a team that is currently in a market vacated by another team occasionally paying homage to that former team (it’s certainly no worse than the Pirates wearing Pittsburgh Crawfords throwbacks). If you’re continuing to be part of the history of a sport in that city, sure. As long as you don’t claim that you are the same club that won a championship 25 years earlier, like a certain soccer team I know.

    (Lose your home keys and you look really stupid, huh.)

    I dunno, I guess the Nats claiming Senators history is okay.

    After all, it’s much easier for most people to look around and say, “Yup, this is where I am” and grasp that concept, rather than to learn that there were other teams in that place that left for other places and sometimes took new names.

    That second one takes actual thinking and processing of relational data, with a bit of geography thrown in, too. Whoa, talk about TMI. Would give people a headache. Can’t have that.


    I see nothing wrong with the baseball fans in Washington acknowledging the Senators history, I’m sure you have a small percentage of Nats fans who actually saw the old Senators.

    However, we must remember they are two different franchises, so the Nationals can’t say they’ve ever won a world series or had a hall of fame player. If the Nats want to were a Senators throwback, more power to them.

    Same situation in the NBA, New Orleans Hornets fans should acknowledge the old Jazz history, but the reality is that Pete Maravich never suited up as a Hornet.

    Ricko, do you live in or near Washington, DC? I do. Look, I’ll be the first to admit that the local Senators-ophilia among Washington baseball fans of a certain age is truly bothersome. I mean, if even half the old farts who claim they were Senators fans back in the 1960s had attended even a single Senators game ever, the team wouldn’t have had to relocate to Texas on account of not having any fans. Team couldn’t even sell out its final game, and yet basically every native Washingtonian I know claims to have been at RFK with a “Short Sucks!” sign. It’s the DC equivalent of all the people who were at Woodstock.

    But that said, the picture you paint simply isn’t true. Yes, the Nats have a white 1924 flag fluttering over the scoreboard, and pennants for ’25 and ’33. But no, I have not met anyone, whether fans or folks inside the Nats front office, who is unclear about the fact that those pennants were won by a different team in a different league two corporate generations ago. Everyone understands that Washington has had three teams now. Hell, everyone knows exactly where Washington’s three MLB teams came from or went to. Washington has deep and well-understood baseball history, dating to the first team called the Nationals in 1859, and a lot of people still alive today have direct or second-hand connections to that history. Most Washington baseball fans would be upset if the new team didn’t situate itself within the context of that history, rather than pretending that big-league baseball was never played in Washington before 2005.

    There’s really no difference between the Nats wearing Senators throwbacks and the Nats wearing Grays Negro League throwbacks – nor any difference between either of those things and the Baltimore Orioles calling themselves the Orioles to harken back to a completely unrelated Baltimore team’s glory years rather than to the St. Louis Browns’ history of ignominy.

    And I know by now you’ve already decided to throw the Nats’ inaugural season patch with its ludicrous “Est. 1905” motto at me, so I grant the point. In the first weeks of the team’s existence, someone committed exactly the sin you describe. But I can assure you from firsthand knowledge of the decisionmaking process during relocation that the someone who committed that sin worked in Bud Selig’s office. That was MLB being history-denying dicks; the team itself, especially since the sale to local owners, has been quite mature in its dealings with the team’s place in Washington baseball history. Since at least 2006, the Nats have consistently stayed on the right side of the line separating the celebration of prior Washington baseball history and the appropriation of same.

    I just have a problem with this notion that place trumps organizational/corporate history.

    Bottom line is that the other two organizations that were the Senators still exist. Like it or not, the fact is they retain a proprietary interest in their history, uniforms, trademarks, records, etc., all of which go with them (except, of course, that one-of-a-kind Browns-Ravens arrangement).

    Seems chintzy for Nats to claim those teams’ attachment to baseball history in Washington when those teams still exist.

    Pittsburgh Crawfords? Seattle Rainiers? San Francisco Seals? Utah Stars? Carolina Cougars? Long gone. No problem.

    But neither the Royals nor the Phillies are the A’s. The Cardinals not the Browns. The Brewers not the Braves. Similarly, the 76ers are not the Philadelphia Warriors, and the Timberwolves not the Lakers. The Ravens aren’t the Colts. The Texans aren’t the Oilers. The Wild aren’t the North Stars; the Thrashers not the Flames.

    Those teams left town to do business elsewhere. The city left behind/new team has no right to claim their stuff, in my eyes anyway, as long as they’re still out there somewhere.

    There really isn’t a right or wrong in this. It’s just a matter of opinion. Mine is that if the corporate entity/franchise still exists, even though it may have a new name, it isn’t anyone else’s history to claim but theirs, that’s all. And it’s looks phony and presumptive–or downright ignorant–when someone does.

    One of those agree-to-disagree things, I guess.


    Although, I have to admit something like this would be fun for the NBA because it represents a league-wide look at how things once were….

    On same night…

    Hornets wear Jazz throwbacks.
    Bobcats wear Hornets throwbacks.
    Timberwolves wear Lakers throwbacks.
    76ers wear Warriors throwbacks.
    Bulls wear Chicago Zephyrs or Chicago Packers throwbacks.
    Bucks wear Hawks throwbacks.
    Mavericks wear Chaparrals (ABA) throwbacks.

    And the Lakers, Warriors, Wizards and Spurs get the night off because, according to this setup, their history is being appropriated, respectively, by the Wolves, Sixers, Bulls and Mavericks, so therefore they don’t exist tonight.

    Man, would ESPN have a helluva time explaining all that. ;)


    That ‘stuff’ still happened in that city, and is a part of that city’s history. Paying homage to it doesn’t seem to me to be inappropriate.

    If the Texas Rangers have some sort of “proprietary interest” in whatever the second Senators did, it’s surely only tangential to what they’ve done since moving to Texas.

    Likewise, I don’t see what “proprietary interest” the Twins have in Walter Johnson. Yeah, it’s the same franchise. But who the hell cares? Walter Johnson surely doesn’t.

    You’re getting too worked up about trivial shit. Which should be the real subhead of this place sometimes.

    Oh, wait, Knicks could wear Celtics throwbacks, too.
    So Celtics also would have the night off.


    “That ‘stuff’ still happened in that city, and is a part of that city’s history. Paying homage to it doesn’t seem to me to be inappropriate.

    “If the Texas Rangers have some sort of “proprietary interest” in whatever the second Senators did, it’s surely only tangential to what they’ve done since moving to Texas.”

    So a franchise means nothing? Only the town?

    You don’t think it would be just a little silly for the Texans to come out dressed as the Oilers?

    Or perhaps the Rams should wear Cardinals’ throwbacks?

    Or the Ravens dress as the Colts?

    And when and if the Jaguars or Vikings move to LA they could trot out in Rams’ throwbacks?

    I’m not worked up, I just don’t get how people don’t see such things as being extremely dorky and worthy of a serious, “Huh?” I mean, you’d have to have little or no sense of history to NOT ask (in such a situation), “What the hell, don’t these teams even know their own past, or the league’s past? Or do they think FANS don’t know it?”


    Harmon Killebrew ended his career as a Royal. Should all the tributes to him be in Kansas City?

    Are baseball fans in Brooklyn suppose to root for the Dodgers after they moved to L.A., just because it is the same corporate entity? I don’t see an issue with a team honoring the history of the game in that city. It’s about the overall game to me, and honoring the history of baseball. Same thing with the Negro League tributes. It honors the history of baseball in the respective city. I think this is especially allowable for any of baseball’s expansion teams.

    Okay, I give.

    The only thing that matters is the fan whose perspective is to view everything through the filter of him and where he lives. No wider perspective on life is necessary. Just “my home town.” That’s it. Stay narrow, all those fans like that. I now accept that abstract notions such as franchises and intellectual property, as well as geographic references outside their area code, apparently are beyond their ability to concepualize. Or perhaps they have no desire to attempt to conceputalize them. Too much work, evidently.

    The Killebrew reference is nonsense. No one brought up individual players.

    And I never said anyone in Brooklyn should cheer for the L.A. Dodgers. Such things were never a discussion point with me.

    I do, however, think it would be, I dunno, “twisted history” for the Mets to wear any kind of Dodger uni. Perhaps the incarnations that preceded the Dodgers, but not the Dodgers (unless, as Phil has noted, the Dodgers are at Citi and the teams agree to some sort of mutual expression of baseball’s NL past in NYC). The Mets simply are not now, and never have been, the Dodgers. Period. Mets wanna do something GOOD saluting Brooklyn? Wear Bushwicks throwbacks. Don’t know the Bushwicks? Well, that’s kinda my point.

    And no one has answered any of my questions such as, would it make sense for the Rams to wear Cardinals throwbacks? Or the Ravens to wear 1958 Colt unis? The Browns to wear Cleveland Rams unis? The Cowboys to wear AFL Dallas Texans’? Please, someone explain how any of those would be a move that wouldn’t make people ask, “Say what?”

    More importantly, why pay homage to a team that pulled up stakes and left town? Do they eventually become lovable after enough years have passed? I guess so cuz, y’know, it probably happened before those fans were born. And we all know that’s the main thing, and renders anything resembling accuracy irrelevant.


    Ricko, of course it’s an agree-to-disagree kind of thing! Thanks, by the way, for seeing through my verbosity to the not-very-serious nature of my argument. My first draft of anything is always waaaaay to serious in tone, and this was a first draft. As is this!

    But I do think you’re creating a bit of a false dichotomy. There’s no either-or here. Just because the Nats, for example, list in their yearbook the franchise record for triples as 13 for Tim Raines and also list the “Washington record” as 20 for Goose Gossage, that doesn’t mean that anything has been taken from the Twins, who consider Goose Gossage and Cristian Guzman to hold their franchise record of 20 triples. (Guzman, by the way, is now the triples leader for the Nats in Washington, too.)

    And look, I just went to Target Field for the first time. The new Minnesota ballpark is like a medieval shrine to the Twins franchise – but there’s no statue of Walter Johnson, no entry gate named after Goose Goslin, no one singing songs from Damn Yankees. I grew up in Minnesota, and while the adult baseball fans in my life knew about (and taught me about) the Senators and Big Train and the 1924 Series and whatnot, I don’t recall anyone in Minnesota caring all that much about that history. To Twins fans, 1924 doesn’t mean anything, at least not compared to 1965. Meanwhile, here in Washington, I know people who care passionately about 1924; I know people who met Walter Johnson or his widow; I’ve met Walter Johnson’s son; I know people who attended or teach at Walter Johnson High School. Hell, even the unloved-in-their-time second Senators have become beloved local icons; Frank Howard draws huge crowds when he does events around here (as well he should – he’s a great storyteller and a fine old gentleman).

    History, in other words, belongs both to the corporate institution of the franchise and to the people who were that team’s fans. If your dad took you to your first ballgame to see the Senators play in Griffith Stadium, the fact that the club moved to Minnesota a few years later doesn’t mean that your dad actually took you to see the Twins in Bloomington, or that the game never took place, like Marty McFly fading from view. The team takes its history with it, but that history also stays with you and with everyone who remembers and cares about the departed team.

    So when the Nats pay tribute to the previous teams in Washington, they don’t deny anything to or take anything away from the teams those teams have become. History is not something that can be “used up” like a material resource.

    And the thing about that 1924 pennant flying at Nationals Park? Although that championship was won by the team that now plays in Minnesota, the Twins choose not to fly a 1924 flag but instead start their impressive forest of championship flags with one marked 1965. This is ordinary – most relocated franchises don’t lay an overt claim on their prior identity. You don’t find the Orioles honoring the 1944 Browns, either. So just as history is not something that can be used up, it is something that is sticky, and it sticks to individual people and physical places more strongly than it sticks to transient corporate entities.

    2011 NHL All Star Game Logo: link|CAR|home

    Not bad. Very subtly outlines the Hurricanes logo, but isn’t obvious at all in doing so.

    Almost too tame – I would have liked it to represent the club more ala some of the later ones on the list – No straight logo just kind of a hint or blended into the star

    Antrel Rolle (New Giant) is wearing a different collar in his official team photo than previous Giants:

    link (Rolle)

    link (Corey Webster – last years photo).

    I’m aware that the Giants wore red-less collars with their Israeli jerseys last year, but supposedly Skiba said they’d be adjusted this year so they wouldn’t get as distorted. Is Rolle’s photo a clue?

    Noticed the item in today’s column about the Buffalo Bills throwbacks this season. It seems as though the current Bills uniform hasn’t been very popular, of course, the team has struggled as well in recent years. Would like to hear from any Bills fans about the possibility of the team exploring uniform redesign options. I’m not a Bills fan, but always felt the white helmet looked better than the red helmet the club introduced in the mid 1980s.

    I would take anything prior to the current set. The white helmet early-80s is good. I’m very partial to the early-90s with the red helmet.

    Ditch the navy blue.

    Andy | July 26, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    “One of the reasons I love watching footage from the leather helmet or early plastic shell era is that the technique of the game was much more pure, the athletes look smoother and more graceful, all the while appearing powerful. The tackling was all about the technique of slowing the runner sufficiently with an initial bump to be able to wrap him up and bring him down. Now, the technique involves turning your body into a projectile and trusting the integrity of your equipment to keep you safe rather than trusting the integrity of your strategy and technique to keep you safe. I can’t even imagine trying to play a game that hinges so much on vision and range of movement with what basically amounts to a flak vest and blinders. It seems so counter-productive.”

    Excellent post. I, too, enjoy seeing the game the way it used to be played. As each year passes, I seem to enjoy American football less and Australian football more. The Aussies are rough, but they’re not insane.

    Agreed. Australian Rules is bare-bones, and it’s awesome. The first time I ever watched it, I was able to understand the game and its rules within about 20 minutes, and the fact that it was basically non-stop action with a fast pace and few interruptions made it really great to watch, and is why I still love it and other sports in the ‘below mainstream’ slot in this country.

    Australian Rules Football used to be a staple of ESPN before it wrapped its tentacles around more mainstream sports like poker. I think you can still find it on ESPN2 from time to time. Since it puts a lot more of the “foot” in football than in the U.S. version, one can argue that it (along with soccer, of course) represents real football and the U.S. version is really a misnomer.

    It’s kind of neat that after so many years of “Locomotives” being shortened to “Locos” the phrase has finally slipped into the vernacular, isn’t it.

    (Wow, not only can we rewrite history with impunity, we apparently now can “Fast Forward” it, too.)


    Not quite uni-related, but I think this falls under athletic aesthetics, and in any case is very unusual!


    In that lead picture, are those rolls of skin on Armstrong’s gut? I mean, did he gain and lose 75 pounds that we didn’t know about? (and don’t bother telling me about the 3 oz. he lost)


    Oh, wait, Knicks could wear Celtics throwbacks, too.

    How does this one work? I thought the Celtics and Knicks were the only charter franchises of the NBA/BAA that are still playing in their original cities.

    Did the Celtics actually begin life in New York before the BAA existed?

    I was splitting hairs, yes.

    By my own defintion, Knicks as Celtics indeed would be okay, because THAT original Celtics team was el foldo. Athought it WOULD seem odd to see Knickerbocks as Celtics, at that was sort of my general point.



    This also from wiki…

    “The American Basketball League was an early professional basketball league…

    “Initial teams that dominated the ABL were the Cleveland Rosenblums, the New York Celtics, the Boston Whirlwinds, and the Philadelphia Sphas.”


    The BAA had some interesting nicknames, to name a few: St. Louis Bombers, Washington Capitols, Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, and Pittsburgh Iron Men.

    The tequila sunrise cups have been used all year. I have about 6 of them at home from various games this year.

    NO NO alert

    garza going for the no-hitter in tampa — thru 8

    on MLB tv

    And the excitment of watching it that gray ol’ airplane hangar masquerading as a ballpark.

    Too bad the community can’t find a way to build a presentable venue. That design that looked like sails was incredible.

    Ah, well, maybe someday.


    Marginally related…

    Jennie Finch, who’s retiring, pitched her last game tonight.

    She’s out of the game now, but it’s on ESPN2.

    I guess Natasha Watley’s likely the face of US women’s softball now.


    It’s just her last game for Team USA. She’s still planning to pitch for the rest of the National Pro Fastpitch season (including a link in a couple weeks).

    “It’s just her last game for Team USA. She’s still planning to pitch for the rest of the National Pro Fastpitch season (including a ‘battle of the sexes’ exhibition game in a couple weeks).

    I stand corrected.

    Love watching baseball players try to hit fastpitch pitchers. A pitch that rises confounds the snot out of them. Everything about a baseball pitch is downward, even the pitcher stands on an elevated plane and delivers from there. Not so in softball. So. for starters, the pitcher standing on the same level is an odd perspective for a baseball player. And a “rise ball” just makes it worse.


    not that i disagree with you on the aesthetics of the place, but until 2010…i’d say the second worst place to watch a baseball game was located in minnesota

    Oh, yeah? And when did you ever hear me say I liked that joint for baseball? :)

    I promised myself I’d never pay for a ticket to a baseball game there. Only thing that made me change was that, four years after it opened, I married a women with a three-year-old son.

    Although I did make sure to take him to games at Wrigley and Milwaukee County when he was 8. Wanted him to see how the game is supposed to be played.


    I’d love that over my wiffleball field…and covering the house as well.

    As someone who has grown up at Tropicana Field (I still remember being an 8 year old going to my first game in 1998), I can tell you that it has gotten immensely better since then.

    Is it the most beautiful ballpark in the majors? Absolutely not. But it’s home. Like many said about Shea when it closed, it’s a dump, but it’s our dump.

    As far as the proposed “sail” stadium, that plan is pretty much dead, sadly. The city wouldn’t approve it. Word is, however, that they’re looking at two sites: one in downtown Tampa in the same area as the St. Pete Times Forum (where the Lightning play) and another on the St. Pete side of the Bay (I believe the area is technically in Pinellas Park) that would be more centrally located for the majority of the entire Bay Area population, something that hurts our attendance now.

    People in Tampa can’t be bothered to cross the bridge, but they expect us to come over for Bucs games, Lightning games, USF Bulls games, concerts, festivals, and anything else fun. Us folks in Pinellas County only get craft fairs up in Clearwater and the gay pride parade in St. Pete.

    Fifth no-hitter of the season? And ESPN called it a gem.

    And yet, when there were five scoreless draws in the group stage of the World Cup, the press was droning about boring old soccer and debating the validity of the offsides rule.

    Why don’t the goalies get as much respect as a good pitcher? Is it because they wear a different uni from the rest of the team? (threw that question in there to make it uni-related) One of the best games I ever saw was a 0-0 game in the ’06 Cup. Trinidad GK Shaka Hislop had a whale of a game.

    Cuz the goaltender isn’t involved in every single play, maybe?
    Or that the other team doesn’t get as many as a hundred chances a game to win the individual battle?

    I still say the “Year of the Pitcher” isn’t so much that pitchers have taken a quantum leap in skills, it’s that they’re catching up in the non-juice era. Coming up through the minors they have learned to go ahead and work inside a bit more and, let’s face it, the hitters just aren’t as fearsome. It may be nothing more than that hitters’ eyes and wrists aren’t quite as quick, that fatigue isn’t artificially reduced by performance enhancers. But it’s enough. We’re talking hundreths of a second here, of course. I once read that on a 90 mph fastball the hitter has .002 of second to decide whether to swing or not.


    Yeah, it wasn’t the fairest of comparisons, but I always have a similar conversation with my dad. He loves a 1-0 pitcher’s duel, but if he sees a 1-0 score for a soccer game he’ll automatically say “boring!” even though three guys may have hit the post and the goalies may have made some great saves.

    you had that conversation with me too

    give me a crisp 1-0 pitchers duel (or a no-no of any variety) and im on the edge of my seat for half of the game

    i’ve seen some good draws (including the incredible 1999 world cup final featuring brandi that even my then-wife was riveted to)…but nothing tops baseball

    i think it’s all what you’re into…for me, there’s baseball…football is second (football meaning american football)…and then everything else is third

    but those who are into their soccer…they loves them a good draw…to me…especially if it’s just a preventive, defensive game…is boring as hell

    I agree if they play preventive, it can be boring. Not all scoreless draws are created equal, and I’ve sat through some snoozers before. I just don’t like it when they’re all considered boring.

    I grew up on indoor soccer, so I’m all about the scoring, but I can appreciate a well-played defensive (not preventive) game.

    As for a no-no in baseball, if it involves lot of great defensive plays, I’m hooked. If it’s mostly strikeouts, let me know when it’s the ninth inning. Then I’ll get excited.

    strikeouts are boring! besides that, they’re fascist…throw some ground balls — it’s more democratic


    jim…your response should have been:

    “what’s this guy know about pitching? if he’s so good how come he’s been in the minors for the last ten years? if he’s so good how come annie wants me instead of him?”

    The Yanks had Bob Shepard…the Penguins had John Barbero.

    Heaven is sounding a little better these days. Wouldn’t it be cool if one of them could announce your approaching the pearly gates someday?

    RIP, gentlemen.

    question: are the comment numbers up or down since the switchover to the new format?

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