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Badidas…Bad Bad Badidas

Stars & Stripes For Profit

By Phil Hecken

In case you hadn’t yet heard, Adidas is following the morally repugnant trail blazed by Major League Baseball three years ago, and taking a tragedy, and a national day of mourning, and turning it into a profiteering venture. That’s right, if you remember MLB’s little sartorial machinations of the past three years (I made my feelings on that known a ways back), you’ll be pleased to learn Adidas has taken a page from MLB’s script and is reprising the gimmickery with ten* of its prized schools: Cincinnati, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, NC State, Tennessee, Texas A & M, and Wisconsin. According to the three stripes, “Fans can purchase … polos, T-shirts, hats, visors and knit caps, ranging from $16-$55.”

If you stop to read that press release (the above came from Kansas) it states, they will be “recognizing the military.” On September 11th? Is that what today is about? I thought we had Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day (for remembering our fallen) for that. But when did the anniversary of September 11th become about honoring the military? Don’t get me wrong, on it’s face, it’s a fine thing to recognize our men and women in the armed services, but on 9/11? We’ll come back to that in a second. Let’s take a look at what Adidas has cooked up:

Here’s the cap — notice the 3 stripes logo smack down the middle of the brim. Wouldn’t want anyone to forget who makes ’em now, would we? All the coaches and sideline staff will be wearing the gear too, just to whet fans’ appetites for the sale of the branded merchandise.

Reports are still somewhat vague, but at least some of the schools will actually be altering their onfield logos to the Stars & Stripes motif, so it’s possible the uniforms will also be changed. Certainly there will be decals if not patches or even “stars and stripes” motifs on the uniforms themselves.

Notre Dame’s press release notes, “As a celebration of patriotism, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and the rest of the Irish sideline will be wearing the adidas ® Heroes Collection, an American Flag-inspired line of apparel and headwear. The players will warm up in a similar designed T-shirt.” OK. That’s a little different — they’re wearing (and selling) the gear ‘as a celebration of patriotism.’ Didn’t think that’s what 9/11 was about either (isn’t that what Independence Day and Flag Day are for?).

* Other early press releases mentioned “10 select schools.” However, not mentioned in the release was Mississippi State, whose coaches were also outfitted in the new caps — the only problem was, the wore them on Thursday — which was September 9th. We wouldn’t want to let scheduling get in the way of a good marketing opportunity, would we?

And, just like MLB, Adidas only states that a percentage of the proceeds “will go towards providing financial assistance to our men and women in uniform.” What? What does that even mean? Net, gross? What percent? And, “men and women in uniform” — does that mean the United States Armed Forces? “Men and women in uniform” is quite vague. Does this include police? EMTs? Flight Attendants? Crossing Guards?

Still other official press releases which Adidas schools have put out say, “This Saturday, college football coaches and sideline personnel … will honor the men and women that help keep America safe by wearing the Stars and Stripes Collection by adidas. On-field staff will wear the red, white and blue themed apparel and headwear to celebrate, honor and thank those who have served the country.”

Again, this doesn’t say a thing about who they’re actually honoring. Do they really need to wear ‘red, white and blue themed apparel and headwear’ to ‘celebrate, honor and thank those who have served the country’? Would they not be able to do so in regular sideline gear? But more to the point, shouldn’t 9/11 be about remembering the thousands of innocents, mostly civilians, who perished in the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world?

If I sound bitter, allow me to explain. Nine years ago today, my (then) wife was working for Citibank, but was thankfully not in lower Manhattan that day. Unfortunately, my cousin’s husband worked for Aon, located on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. He wasn’t so fortunate. He never came home that evening. And he wasn’t the only one.

What bothers me is both the hollowness AND the inappropriateness of Adidas’ marketing — 9/11 shouldn’t be a day to celebrate and honor the military (not that I’m opposed to that), and it sure as HELL shouldn’t be a day to trot the coaches out in customized gear you’re trying to SELL. To spin it with “a percentage of all proceeds will go towards providing financial assistance to our men and women in uniform” is of little comfort to the families of the victims who lost their lives so tragically nine years ago today. I wouldn’t even like it if they offered to give a little off the top to the victims’ families, but at least that would be more appropriate. How about they give 100% of any profits to the families of those who lost loved ones?

Say what you will about Nike’s Pro Combat uniforms — at least they aren’t wrapping themselves in the American flag to sell merchandise.

But at least Adidas won’t screw with the uniforms, right? I mean they’d NEVER go that far, right?

Adidas — you’ve stooped to a new low.


baylor camo cap

But wait. There’s more…

Not to be out-patrioted by the Adidas schools, Baylor will be donning a camouflage-themed helmet for their game against Buffalo. According to its official release, “On the field, the Baylor football team will wear special one-time helmets featuring a camouflage BU, while the coaching staff will wear special camouflage hats.” Calling the game, “Hometown Heroes Day,” there will be all kinds of special events and tributes.

These events and tributes will include the distribution tickets to “first responders, hospital workers and military members” throughout Cental Texas, and elementary school students in China Spring, Midway and Robinson ISDs were provided with one coupon good for a ticket to Saturday’s game. The team will also “observe a moment of silence to remember its hometown heroes and those affected by the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.”

While I don’t see the need for the camouflage, this is a far more appropriate gesture for today. And, there is no mention that the camo sideline cap is for retail sale.


uni tracking header 1

Back at the beginning of the 2010 season, I announced the 2010 Uni Tracking that a number of us do. Last year, I devoted about four full weekend columns to it, and that was probably a bit much for most of us to take in one dose, so this year, I’ll occasionally post the updated tracking of certain teams as the trackers send them in. So, as the season winds down, send me your tracking reports, and I’ll post them as a “sub article” on the weekends. OK? OK!


Today’s tracker is Mike Vamosi, who has actually appeared before, and he’s a Royals tracker. But he’s updated his spreadsheet now and wanted to show it to us:

I’ve been tracking the Kansas City Royals uniforms for the past couple of years as I’ve shared on this wonderful site. A couple things in the last month have stood out to me which are during a double-header against the Chicago White Sox the team wore their primary home day game powder blue top during the 6:10 start. Then on Labor Day at Minnesota the team opted for the gray uniforms which hasn’t been the norm this season for road day games when Royal blue is the typical top. Another interesting note is that on Monday the team was originally scheduled to play a 7:10 game but due to the Chiefs getting the second MNF spot that will be a 1:10 start which I suspect means they’ll wear the powder blue. Thanks for taking the time to look at my tracking and I’ll be back with a final report in the next couple months for UniWatch.

Royals Tracking Thru September 10, 2010

That’s all for today. Keep the updates coming — I’ll be sure to run them if you guys send them to me during September, and of course, there will be season-ending wrapups starting in October.


all sport uni tweaks

After basically a month with no tweaks (we did have two sets while I was on weekdays), a few have backed up. Lets get to those today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. OK? OK! Here’s what’s on tap for today.


Starting off the show is Will Risinger, who has some KC Chiefs tweaks:

Hello Uni-Man – love the site.

I humbly submit the attached KC Chief tweak. (home; away)

I understand how the chiefs may feel their uniform is too traditional for a revision, but classic qualification probably requires a more recent title appearance than their last in 1967, piloted by the great sartorial icon Hank Stram.

I kept it simple as I hate all the new fangled gimmicks and stripes appearing so haphazardly on NFL uniforms (hello denver). Kept red dominant and threw in a bit more yellow for offset.

And yes I do have too much time on my hands. And the Texans have the most unimaginative uni in the league – they’re next.


Next up is someone who identified himself(?) as timeb14, who has a concept for the New York Rangers:


* Red draw strings

* Red lining at the neck

* Red and white lettering from the Rangers 1932-1933 season (letters would be a tad smaller like the 30’s jersey)

* Red and white pattern above the wrist(excuse the artwork)

* White semi-circles looping below the number of the player. Same number design as the current Rangers’ home jerseys

* Red spandex bar below the armpit

* Red and white lines accompanying the red spandex bar, then across the bottom of the jersey, around the other spandex bar under the other armpit. When picturing the red and white lines think of the Uconn Huskies men’s basketball team’s design ’08 to ’10

* The color of the jersey can be orginal blue (as in above picture), black or navy blue


* The red and white pattern will be lower at the wrists

* No white boxes at the back (My mistake)

* A diversion from the red lining at the neck in front of the jersey to an all red neck at the back of the jersey

Oh yeah, not to be controversial, but does the red draw strings and red and white lines on the Rangers jersey in those two pictures remind you of a new Maple leafs white draw strings and white stripes home jersey coming out this upcoming season? Let’s just say this concept was sent out a few months ago ;)


Next up is Dave Bloomquist who has a tweak for the New England Patriots:

Interesting item on the Patriots vote for the favorite logo. As a Boston resident (but not a Pats fan) I’ve heard people whine for Pat for about 20 years now. I’m surprised that the team is finally listening to people.

Anyway, I thought that maybe the solution is a hybrid. Bring back Pat and the red jersey, but keep Elvis as a secondary logo and integrate everything into the current striping design.

Here’s art


And finally, here’s a set from Richard Paine, who, you can tell by the writeup, sent these in a while back…he’s tweaking the Lions:

It is amazing how big the Uni Tweaks have become. I love it. I hope you put together another tournament of tweaks. Now with NFL training camps about to start, I made some Detroit Lion revisions. I sent an older type in a few months ago and I never saw it make the list.

But here is my final batch. I hope everyone enjoys them. I really spent way too much time on these, but its addicting.

Home; Away; Home Alt; Away Alt.

Thanks to all the tweakers. Keep them coming, and I’ll keep posting them.


Jeff Barak at UW Minneapolis Gathering 2007 - 45

And finally, a word from Jeff Barak

Jeff’s a good guy who runs a really spiffy blog, “Third String Goalie.” And he’s got a nice story for today. Here’s Jeff:


I just wanted to point you in the direction of my blog Third String Goalie for Saturday. My entry has to do with the anniversary of 9/11. I have featured an FDNY hockey jersey with Deputy Chief Ray Downey’s #9 which was retired by the FDNY Hockey Team following his death during the collapse of the World Trade Center.

I’ve got a bio of Chief Downey, a little history on the FDNY Hockey Team and I recount when the Rangers played their first home game after 9/11 when Mark Messier wore Downey’s helmet in the pregame ceremony and both the Rangers and Sabres wore special jerseys that read “New York” diagonally across the front, which were then auctioned off for charity.

Check it out!

Thanks, Jeff.


That’s all for today folks. Everyone have a great Saturday, and don’t forget the meaning and significance of the date. There’s a lot of good sports on the television (monster day at the U.S. Open, incredible college football), and I just hope the somberness of the occasion can be tempered by good sports and sportsmanship, not crass commercialism and patronizing pseudo-patriotism. Peace.


It is impossible to fully comprehend the evil that would have conjured up such a cowardly and depraved assault upon thousands of innocent people. — Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, 11 September, 2001

Comments (129)

    Well, the world’s coming to an end apparently. I agree completely with everything Phil’s said today.

    On a note to the uni tweakers… can we please stop putting the Patriots in red jerseys? Wearing red never made any sense to begin with. Seriously, just look at Pat the Patriot. He ain’t wearing a red shirt.

    Again, the New York, Buffalo and Houston franchises already had informed the AFL they’d be wearing blue, so the Patriots and the league decided, wisely, that it wouldn’t be good to have all four teams in the East (and 5 of league’s 8 teams) wearing blue that first year in 1960.

    If only the Bills had gone with red and silver for those early unis. Would have been their own look (rather than looking like Lions clones), and Boston could have worn navy (which have been the appropriate shade) right from the get-go.


    Ricko, were you aware that Lamar Hunt originally chose Royal Blue and Orange as the colors for his Dallas Texans? But he changed to Scarlet & Gold after Bud Adams announced that the Houston Oilers would wear Columbia Blue And Red. Lamar felt that the league didn’t need still another “Blue” team.

    Buffalo’s choice of Royal and Silver for 1960 was made to pay homage to the 1946-49 A.A.F.C. Bisons/Bills and also because Ralph Wilson, a Detroit native, was at one time a part-owner of the Lions. It was Lou Saban who changed the colors to Red, White and Blue in 1962.

    Terry’s absolutely right about every bit of that. Also, Bud Adams wanted his Oilers to wear the color of the turquoise ring he always wore.

    All of which goes to further explain the apparent contradiciton of the Patiots being ‘redcoats’.


    Seeing as how Phil actually knew someone who lost his life nine years ago today, I would say he gets it more than most people. Back off, eh?

    If teams feel the need to do something today, they should have done what the Rangers and Sabres did in Jeff’s piece – auction off items and donate all proceeds.

    Um, are you old enough to remember 9/11?

    Or is it just that “your” team is wearing the adidas stuff today?


    Today is officially recognized as “Patriot Day.” Maybe this prompted the text of Notre Dame’s press release?


    I just want to know when we’re going to start seeing jolly roger patches on jerseys to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept 19). That appeals to me far more than yet another patriotic holiday.

    In response to Adidas new caps and apparel, wouldn’t it be better to recognize First Responders (police, fire, EMTs, etc.) than military personnel on 9/11?

    Like it was said, there is Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day, and others for the military, but 9/11 should be for First Responders.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but it seems that companies, sports teams and the like are using the excuse of “supporting the troops” just to sell more merchandise, much like the pink is used in the hyper commercialism of breast cancer.

    Both causes are noble and I support out military efforts around the globe, and cancer is a devastating tragedy, but when I see people profiting from it, it makes me sick.

    When I see camo or pink, I have to shake my head. It is not for the cause, it is about the Benjamins.

    Now THAT is a great idea. The military didn’t go into action until after September 11. First responders were there from the 11th on.

    I also would like to know if there has been any official word from Adidas proper? There is nothing pertaining to any of this (apparel or otherwise) on their website. Could this turn out to be laid more on the schools than on Adidas itself? (Not saying it will be or won’t be, but seems like something like this would have a proper press release)

    Your thoughts on the crude, cynical exploitation of a national horror is spot-on. Somewhere along the way, we have collectively conflated patriotism with military worship. They are not the same thing.

    What’s worse in my mind is the cheapening of our sacred national symbols. When they appear everywhere, manipulated into all manner of forms, they become mundane and ordinary — they are cheapened. I contend that this type of stuff is desecration of the flag.

    Absolutely agree.

    And, while we could long discusss what’s desecration and what’s not (I remember Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on TV in flag-themed cowboy outfits and no one said “boo” about it), I know one thing for sure: All of this hollow flag-waving/wearing certianly seems to prove that the prevailing attitude is that anything—including 9/11, the flag and shirt-sleeve patriotism—is crist for the marketing mill.

    We seem to hold nothing valuable enough, or important enough, to respect enough to hold it above such things.

    Then again, I remember a survey taken about 15 years ago showing that 80% of 14-year-olds had no sense of “right and wrong.”

    a) Those kids are adults now.
    b) There is virtually no indication that situation has IMPROVED in the past 15 years.


    Though it’s sad, it’s also good when a mainstream blogger addresses the issue of crass commercialism. No one can nor should they deny the place for making money in USA & the world. But the line boys, there needs to be a line & we need to hold it.

    There will be a jet fly over group at the VA Tech game. Again, no denying the the skill & courage of those pilots. But should these be used in such a way to pay tribute? I feel this is off base for many reasons. The least of which is cost to taxpayers. The most being -what if?!. . .. Would that be worth it? for anyone?

    Title 36 Chapter 10 Article 176 Section (j)of the U.S. Code reads as follows: “No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.”

    If adidas or MLB followed the code above then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Phil, sorry for your family’s loss. He sounds like a terrific person.

    I hate to say this, but I don’t think flag code applies here.

    They aren’t taking a real flag and cutting letters/logos out of it.

    The whole thing is wrong for various reasons, but that isn’t one of them.

    I don’t know what you’re looking at “The Jeff” but to me a Yankees’ “NY” logo made out of a Blue field with White stars and Red and White stripes sure as heck looks to me like the logo was cut from a flag.

    Terry Proctor, your argument has been made MANY times here in this forum. You’re wrong. It means a part of an actual flag.

    Guess it depends on how “part of the flag” is defined: an element of its design, or a piece of an actual flag.

    I don’t know the answer, but that would seem to be the tipping point, yes.

    Whatever it is—descrecration, violation of the Flag Code or perfectly okay—the whole thing is still crass and commercially opportunistic.


    I am a big supporter of the armed forces. I have very close family members in the armed forces. I am very proud of them and the choices that they have to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our rights and freedoms. I thank them every chance I get, and whenever I am at an airport, restaurant etc,. and I see a young man or woman in uniform, I make sure to thank them.

    But today should not be about them.

    If you lived in NYC in 2001 and saw what happened. The firemen ( even some that rushed in on their days OFF ) that went in and never came out. The EMTs and Parademics that saved lives and then gave theirs. The innocent workers jumping out of windows to certain death because they could not take scorcing flames. The kids putting up pictures and hand drawn messages looking for their daddies and mommies.

    I lost friends and colleagues. At the time the company I worked for donated a communications trailer that was parked outside the armory where relatives came in to give DNA samples to help identify body parts. My job was to help people who were too distraught to call home..wherever in the world that might be. After listening to about 5 phone calls I had to stop and WALKED ALL THE WAY HOME TO THE BRONX IN TEARS. I remember the smell of the smoke…

    9/11 for me is about those memories.

    I say FUCK YOU Adiddas and any one else that has ever made a profit of this tragedy…

    Patriots Day, my ass. I have long said—and will continue to say—that, if anything, 9/11 should be, now and always, First Responders Day.

    There is no single day in American history that made us so aware of the unique courage and character of those who have chosen that role, whether as a profession or as a volunteer.

    As has been noted many, many times, while others were rushing out, they rushed IN.

    It’s First Responders Day. Period.


    As a lifelong cynical New Yorker I used to view Firemen as a bunch of lazy Irish guys that sat around all day cooking and playing poker. I knew that yeah every once in a while they saved an old lady or pulled some fat dude of a house, but for the most part they just drank beer and washed their trucks….and where always blarig their sirens on their way to grab lunch or something just to beat the traffic.

    I don’t think I need to state how my opinion changed as the events unfolded that Tuesday morning…

    Lets also not forget the EMTs that gave their lives..

    Yes today is First Responders Day…..

    R.I.P. EMTs Richard Rodriguez & Mark Schwartz:


    Couldn’t agree more. Capitalizing on 9/11 is bad enough when politicians do it, but as a marketing gimmick it’s disgusting.

    Besides, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t “support the troops.” It’s offensive to suggest otherwise, which is the implication of self-important events like this.

    Time to enshrine the Flag Code into law.

    Depends on how you do it. If you say “nobody can use the flag like that period”, that’ll get knocked down. But if you say that corporate use of the flag in that manner is forbidden, that could stand.

    Well, except that corporations are people with free speech rights now too, I forgot. Fuck John Roberts for that one.

    Flag Code is law. Technically, you can be prosecuted for desecration, but any actual punishment is unconstitutional – as it should be. Flag Code is and should be a matter of honor. This is dishonoring the flag and I will do what I have always done and refrain from buying the product. If enough people do that it will stop being profitable and they’ll stop doing it.

    Instead of spending time and effort with “Uni Tweaking” the Detroit Lions, they should return to these:



    Bleh. Either fill in the middle helmet stripe in white, or take the white out of the pant stripes. The inconsistency of the striping bothers the hell out of me. I find the 1980 version to be far superior.

    Close to my favorite Lions uni.
    Go to the end of the ’70s and you’ll find the best.

    I love the silver numbers, but I think the uni needs white trim.

    The Lions used to be one of the top 5 best looking teams, whichever incarnation is cited.

    And the mastication of their logo is not an improvement. It is a hard to look at mess.

    I couldn’t agree more with Phil’s sentiments about Adidas and its captive schools.

    Isn’t Adidas a German company, by the way?

    Yes, but they do have plenty of offices in the US. I imagine this misguided attempt at “patriotism” came from the States.

    I need to get a clean picture of it but I saw a sign in my store for the MLB caps that stated that now ALL proceeds of the hat are to be donated. I find it interesting that it’s taken 3 years for that to occur. I’ll try to get a good picture of it

    “…shouldn’t 9/11 be about remembering the thousands of innocents, mostly civilians, who perished in the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world?”
    YES! YES! YES! You are absolutely correct. In fact, I HATE it when people call it “Nine-eleven.” I feel like that’s jingoistic and step one of turning it into a national holiday where we all just drink beer and grill burgers (because we’re all so exhausted from those few days of work after Labor Day). I’m terrified people are going to forget why we remember that day–how f*cking terrifying it was to see two buildings crumble to the ground. At 31 (and 22 then), I feel that this was my generation’s Pearl Harbor or Kennedy Assassination. I will never forget where I was. I don’t obsess over it, but I sure as hell don’t want it turned into “just” another national holiday.

    MSNBC is showing their 9/11/01 coverage in real time right now. I’m watching as much as I can take. If Adidas’s execs had sat through this coverage before coming up with this asinine idea, I think they would have thought twice. Then again, who knows.

    Agreed. I generally try to avoid the September 11-focused programming. I saw enough when it happened, frankly. I’m not from New York. I didn’t know anyone who died in the attacks, and as far as I know, I don’t know anyone who was directly affected. I have one friend who’s a firefighter, but he lives in Philly.
    Regardless, it was absolutely horrifying and it sickens me that a company would be willing to stoop so low as to PROFIT from it. Honoring the fallen is one thing. Turning it into a business opportunity is beyond the pale.

    Exactly Anthony! I don’t think my grandparents actually celebrated Pearl Harbor day. Sure the day was remembered, but it wasn’t glorified like “9-11” almost seems to be.

    It is getting to the point where I’m wanting to completely zone out from September 8th to September 12th.

    Yes, September 11th should be First Responders Day.. Addidas, if they’re going to do something like they are and try to market the day, well.. As deplorable as it is, they shouldn’t profit from it. I’d say 50% goes to the families of those civilians lost and 50% goes to the families of the lost First Responders. And of course, Addidas should throw in a large chunk of change to go with it.

    It just seems this year people want to ruin the date.. First there’s the whackjob in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran.. Now this..

    Sorry for rambling..

    Phil, couldn’t agree with you more. Only problem is people still buy this faux patriotic junk. That’s the sadder part–there’s a market for Notre Dame hats with stars and stripes slapped on the logo.

    Phil, my good friend, you are entirely spot on about everything you said in your article. If Adidas wanted to pay a great tribute to those fallen on the anniversary of this terrible day, you are darn right they should remember the victims, families, and the NYPD and FDNY. I don’t mean to disrespect the military when I say this, but it seems that honoring the military is the “easy way out”. Most people will say, “Oh good, proceeds are going to support the military… what a great cause.” However, it is kind of a slap in the face because those who should be remembered are not. In the end, if 100% of the proceeds when to a good cause, this would be slightly better, but until then shame on you Adidas. When I wear my Badger gear today for game day I will not be wearing anything Adidas.

    My condolences Phil to you and your family, and to all of those deeply affected by 9/11.

    Lest we forget September 11th, 2003.
    That is the day that Johnny Cash and John Ritter died.
    I’m going to put on a black baseball cap and fall over a sofa.

    September 11, 1714 — Barcelona falls and Catalunya is absorbed by the Crown of Castille. Never forget!

    Adidas could easily make some bread off of this, too. The flag of Catalunya is nothing but stripes.

    i realise that blogs can be a fun avenue by which to rant and rave…and that maybe there’s a thought by bloggers that they must have strong opinions on matters.

    but today’s post was predictable…before i clicked on the site (which i read daily and love, regardless of whether i agree with the posts or not), i figured there would be some disguntledness with how 9-11 (sorry for using such offending jargon…) was being memorialised, or exploited, whatever.

    i just don’t get the point of getting so worked up over this shit. i’m pretty sure noone is seeking to minimalise the events of 9-11. in fact, isn’t it the opposite?

    live and let live.

    Phil, you are dead on. This has always been my fear as we move farther and farther away from 9-11-2001, the commercialization of a tragic and horific event. If it becomes a national holiday, in 20 years we will have mattress and car sales instead of solemn rememberance.
    I am a Soldier and have served since 1989 so I was in Uniform on 9-11. We were not at a war footing on 9-11 but the men and women at the Pentagon and NYC were as were the ones on the doomed flights.. We picked up the fight on 9-12 but on this day we should recognize the Firefighters, Paramedics, Police Officers, Service Members and civilians who gave their lives in the first battle of the new war. I think teams sell out when they make 9-11 commerations into Military commerations, that and they may already have camo stuff lying around.

    Sorry to interrupt the brilliant tributes on here, but a bit of uni news.

    Patch NY Giants are wearing tomorrow to commemorate the first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium: link

    Ricko | September 11, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    “Patriots Day, my ass. I have long said–and will continue to say–that, if anything, 9/11 should be, now and always, First Responders Day.
    There is no single day in American history that made us so aware of the unique courage and character of those who have chosen that role, whether as a profession or as a volunteer.
    As has been noted many, many times, while others were rushing out, they rushed IN.
    It’s First Responders Day. Period.”

    I want to agree, but let’s not forget the (extra)ordinary citizens on Flight 93 who gave their lives for their country. Then there are the air traffic controllers who did the amazing feat of getting thousands of planes out of the skies and safely on the ground. Then there are the countless others not in the military or safety forces that helped on that day.

    There should be a First Responders Day, but we need another name for 9/11. Actually, I have no problem with “9/11,” but for those who do, how about “United Day”? That was the one thing that came across that day for me, after the initial shock. We were united that day like few other days in recent history.

    You might be on to somethig with “United Day”. Even in such a rough city like NY, people were actually united for a while. Even in situations away from Ground Zero, folks were considerate and for once “aware” of everyone else…

    Good call…..I think I will go with “United Day” ….

    I think honoring the innocent victims in any such remembrance is pretty much automatic, isn’t it? I’d lobby for special recognition for the First Responders because, unlike most such cirucumstances, it was they, not the military, who were at the forefront that day.

    I also did say, “or as volunteers,” and certainly those on Flight 93 could be considered volunteer First Responders. Although it might be more accurate to consider them actual combatants…the only ones who met the attackers head-on that day, in fact.

    And I said, “if anything” it should be First Responders Day, meaning if we simply MUST label it something other than 9/11, that would be my choice.

    The problem I have with Patriots Day (or any concept like that) is that it’s the grandest “participation trophy” ever. It sounds like we’re honoring everyone who felt patriotic on 9/11/01. We could do the same for 12/7/41, I suppose. It honors everyone and no one. It’s like “We were ALL brave that day.” Yes, we were…sorta, but no, some of us were far braver than others…and they deserve recognition (if we must recognize someone, that is).

    As to Flight 93, I really hope no one ever is so stupid as to adopt “Let’s roll” as some kind of team, corporate or politcal motto. I’m not sure anyone should ever even SAY it again other than in the context of Flight 93. Let that remind us of what they did, and remember with reverance, admiration and respect.


    I can live with First Responders Day, conceptually. It’s the name, though – sounds like corporate speak. How about Safety Forces Day?

    Another reason I’m lukewarm on Patriot Day is there’s already a Patriots’ Day:

    With you on paragraphs 2, 4 and 5, Ricko.
    But I still like just 9/11, or United Day.

    Ryan Groy wears #47 for the Badgers… sometimes. Groy weighs 307 pounds and is a fullback (mainly blocking for John Clay). However, he also plays offensive line. In between series Groy switches his uniform number to #79 so he can play the guard position.

    Does this happen a lot in college football?

    Amen Phil. Above and beyond the fact that Adidas and the schools are using this day as a marketing ploy – who the hell would actually purchase and wear any of this crap? I live in DC where there are a lot of young folks wearing hideous hats regularly. And yet, I haven’t seen any of MLB’s stars and stripes hats on anyone.

    I agree and will go further: all of the “___________ Awareness Month” stuff. I am to the point where I am overloaded with all of the days, months, and causes.

    There should be at least (a) one day every week, (b) one week every month, and (c) one month every year where there is none of this stuff and we can all just keep our heads down, plow into our work, and go home to family…

    (rant over…)

    P.S. Plus all of the stores that ask you to donate to this and that when you’re checking out at the register!

    (rant REALLY over…)

    As much as I hate that Mich. St. helmet stripe, it’s a gazillion times better than what the Panthers, Titans, Ravens, and Broncos sport.

    Whatever happened to a simple, dignified moment of silence honoring those who lost their lives on that day?

    I’m sorry you had to write today’s post, Phil.

    I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

    In more Badidas news, they’ve made FAU’s Howard Schnellenberger a three-striped tie, which he’s sporting on the sidelines. This may have been going on for a while; it’s not every day that FAU games are on tv.

    dark blue pattern with three big white angled stripes (just like on the polo sleeves) towards the bottom. If he was wearing his suit buttoned, it probably covered the stripes.

    I noticed that tie too. Very blatant, and not a good design at all. He should stick to solid red/navy or a combo of the two. But not that one.

    I can’t find a picture though.

    ok, thanks to the gallery that someone posted below, here’s a picture of Howard’s tie.

    The football team looks great though.


    I seem to have a dilemma tonight. Going to the Orioles-Tigers game, tickets were purchased back in May as part of a work-related group. At the time, I didn’t affix any significance to the date of the game but here we are. I’m pretty sure they’ll have a moment of silence and God Bless America at the stretch which will really nag at me. Not to mention the national anthem, which has NO place in a sporting event, and I never stand for it anyway. I’m sure I’ll be booed by friends/co-workers for not saluting the military-industrial complex but oh well.

    OK, keeping this uni-related…is Howard Schnellenberger (sp?) not the best-dressed coach in all of college (or even pro) football? Not a swoosh or tri-stripe to be seen, how refreshing!

    This is an easy fix. Stay up in the concourse until after the pregame events are finished, and get to your seats just before the game starts. Enjoy the stadium. As for the 7th inning stretch, I agree “God Bless America” during that is awful… and I never stand or sing “Take me out to the Ballgame” either (or make noise when signs tell me to do so), use it for a bathroom break or bratwurst/beer run. Easy to avoid aggravating things and enjoy other things going on at the same time.

    Just don’t try and get up DURING the singing of “God Bless America.” Remember, that’s our national anthem. It’s also our country’s holiest him, so obviously, no movement whatsoever is allowed while we sing it:


    The more I read what you have to say about changing uniform components on account of 9/11 the more i disagree with you. You start off completely negative and barred off from any event or idea conceived that doesn’t match your ultra-picky prerequisites. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you on them most of the time, but this is certainly not one of them.

    Even IF the addidas and MLB ideas are all about branding and somehow “forcing” people into buying new merchandise? how exactly is that a bad thing. All those old advertisements and catalogs you love, guess why they exist? To sell people things, the nature of society is to constantly transform things to keep them relevant and thus more marketable. There’s zero-wrong with that. the sport isn’t falling apart. People didn’t forget about 9/11.

    You seem to consider that even if they turn a profit, that exactly zero good comes from any of the branding efforts from stars and stripes promotions -less where the profit goes. It’s just all terrible, shameless promotionism that you don’t agree with because your eyes don’t like it and for whatever reason you’ve taken on the persona of an aging hippie when it comes to matters like these. It certainly might not come from these efforts, but how does innovation occur in the first place Paul? things have to change. Sometimes is for the good, sometimes not, but your rationale for judging why this is bad is ridiculous, it has nothing to do with the uniforms, and everything to do with your own personal agenda, which, at least in my own mind, compromises the integrity of whatever else you talk about.

    No one forces you, or anyone else for that matter to buy “new” merchandise, its a completely personal choice. And if you want to argue about it it ruining the validity or sanctity of the sport or 9/11 you’d be wrong on those accounts as well.

    You really lose on me on matters like these, because for someone who comes off intelligent and generally with it, when you start rallying against things like this you come off as a ignorant grumpy old hipster who is now a hypocrite.

    Keep to the good uniform stuff. I’ll still be reading then.

    Where did you get that we think “for profit” is wrong?

    Our point, generally, is that not everything needs to folded in, and then justified, by saying it’s all in the name of free enterprise.

    We’re only saying it’s sad that it unfortunately gives companies the right to be tacky as hell.

    And that maybe just a snippet of conscience, common sense and respect would be nice once in a while.


    You seem to be under misimpression that I — Paul — wrote today’s entry.

    I did not. Phil did.

    And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to promoting my own personal agenda (as hypocritically as possible, natch).

    If you’re going to promote your personal agenda, you might as well be hypocritical about it.

    “To sell people things, the nature of society is to constantly transform things to keep them relevant and thus more marketable.”

    I thought the nature of a society was to help the other members of your society? I must have missed the day in “learn to be a person” class where they taught us that the point of living in a society was to use people, transform the past, and make a profit from it and them for yourself.

    Phil’s point in this post today is not that companies and people should not make profit from their work, it’s that some things in the world, tragedies and horror specifically, should never be something used to make a profit.

    I have to wonder how profitable all of this really is. To me none of the patriotic caps or anything look worth paying money for.

    New helmets for Virginia Tech today against JMU. They are wearing white at home for this year’s edition of the “White Out” game.

    White Out day has become new helmet day for the Hokies:
    * 2008 – white helmet, gray facemask, no stripe, orange “state of VA” logo. ’70s throwback.
    * 2009 – maroon helmet, gray facemask, white/orange/white stripe, old “TV” logo. 1968 throwback.
    * 2009 (Pro Combat) – White helmet, white facemask, maroon-orange stripe, maroon VT logo. First maroon VT on helmet, first VT on white helmet.
    * 2010 – White helmet, white facemask, no stripe, maroon VT logo.

    Last night a reliever Zach Kroenke (apparently no relation to the owner of the Rapids, Avs, Pepsi Center, St. Louis Rams and assorted other businesses) for Phoenix not only wore stirrups, but nine-inchers in his MLB debut. He’s got an ERA of 20.25, so he may kick that habit.

    Also saw some of the Marshall game last night – those are probably the best unis in NCAAFB – just add stripes to pants and socks, reverse the green and white on the helmet and they’d be uni-perfection.

    Marshall’s kelly green jerseys bring back memories of those of the Jets. Kelly green is a much more attractive shade than the darker shades currently worn by the Jets and Eagles.

    Hey guys…. I guess im slowly becoming mr. video game in these comments but thought you might be interested:

    Madden 11 has an update coming for breast cancer awareness wheretheyll do the pink thing like to do every october… on field logos, goal post pads, ball logo and all those pink gloves, wrist bands, shoes, etc.


    Good cause and pretty neat that theyre making the game more and more realistic

    Phil, excellent article. One of your best.

    Associating 9/11 with the military, in any way, is just plain wrong. Offensively wrong. We were neither attacked by nor responded with the military on that day.

    Any of the wars associated with terrorism were only partially “because” of 9/11. Regardless of your opinion of these wars, this is just a plain fact.

    2,900 people died on 9/11. That absolutely diserves memorial gestures (though I, too, am against doing it for profit.) But at this point, and I hope this isn’t crass… it seems like those gestures should be confined to New York and their teams.

    I would have no problem with the Mets doing the first-responder thing on this day every year. Yankees too.

    Finally, when this junk is trotted out all it does is lessen the meaning of the day. I, personally, am getting sick of it.

    I live in New Orleans, and this last week we’ve been exploited on 20-30 different TV specials because of the 5 year anniversary of Katrina. I found myself (only somewhat) jokingly, during Spike Lee’s horrid disaster porn movie, telling my girlfriend… “this stuff is so over the top, I’m actually rooting AGAINST New Orleans!”

    With all due respect, saying 9/11 remembrances should only be confined to New York is as ridiculous as saying Pearl Harbor Day should only be memorialized in Hawaii.

    “I hope this isn’t crass… it seems like those gestures should be confined to New York and their teams.”

    Not crass, but extremely ignorant. 224 of the deaths in the 9/11 attacks took place outside NYC. Get a clue.

    The “ND” shoulder patches the Irish are wearing need navy blue as the inside color, not gold. The white and gold all kinda run together.

    My condolences to Phil and everyone who had family affected by the 9/11 attacks. Although I live in the midwest and was not directly affected, September 11th, 2001 was, without a doubt, the most surreal and memorable day of my life. I could not believe what I was seeing; it was an absolute tragedy. Frankly, I expected that to be the first of many successive attacks. Thankfully, that has not been the case thus far.

    Thank you, Phil, for your thoughts on this. I truly hope that this holiday does not become trivialized in the future.

    i realise that blogs can be a fun avenue by which to rant and rave…and that maybe there’s a thought by bloggers that they must have strong opinions on matters.

    but today’s post was so predictable…before i clicked on the site (which i read daily and love, regardless of whether i agree with the posts or not), i figured there would be some disguntledness with how 9-11 (sorry for using such offending jargon…) was being memorialised, or exploited, whatever.

    i just don’t get the point of getting so worked up over this shit. i’m pretty sure noone is seeking to minimalise the events of 9-11. in fact, isn’t it the opposite?

    live and let live.

    Phil’s job — and any writer’s job — is not to be unpredictable. The idea here is not to entertain you, or surprise you, or zig when you expect us to zag (although I agree all of those are nice bonuses when they do occur). The idea is to comment on things that are comment-worthy. If you find that commentary to be worth your time, then great; if not, that’s fine too. Either way, sometimes you may be able to anticipate what that commentary will be, because douchebag-ish corporate practices will always be called out as such on this site. Complaining about this is like complaining that “Whenever someone asks what 2 + 2 equals, you always say 4.” A consistent approach (corporate douchebaggery, simple math, whatever) will yield a consistent response. You might call this “predictable”; others might call it “integrity.”

    The sadly predictable thing here is not what Phil wrote. It’s what Adidas did that *prompted* what Phil wrote. Don’t complain about Phil. Complain about Adidas.

    If you’re so clairvoyant that you’ve figured out what Uni Watch is all about before it’s written, well, congratulations — you don’t need to read this site anymore. Have a nice life.

    thanks paul. that was a pretty thoughtful response, up until your last paragraph, which, sadly, was indeed predictable. “have a nice life?” seriously?

    **** $tars and $tripes Alert ****

    No screen shot, but Air Force (a Nike team) has the Stars and Stripes inside the lightning bolt on their helmet against BYU.

    Somehow I find Air Force’s use of them way less egregious than Notre Dame randomly slapping the stars’n’stripes on a blue and gold sideline cap.

    Jack you are absolutely right. I didn’t realize i had deleted the second half of my comment before posting it.

    Air Force’s coaching staff did not appear to be “modeling” any type of new gear the way the Adidas school coaches have been. It looks like their Stars and Stripes are more tribute than marketing gimmick. Say what you will about Nike and their Pro Combat series and other missteps but they have done a good job with the uniforms for the service academies from the special uniforms of the Army-Navy game last year to this year’s Army set.

    I apologize for my earlier posting error.

    If only Florida was an adidas school; they could have turned this Urban Meyer pic into an Uncle Sam-type poster…

    Did anyone happen to catch the MSU/FAU game? Thank god it was on ESPNU and hardly anyone had to see these dumb-looking things Sparty was wearing:


    I don’t actually mind the shoulder stripes or the large helmet stripe (from the front… from the back it looks like they’re trying to be the Denver Broncos), but there’s something about the way they come together that just looks stupid. And that font still makes this Sparty fan cringe.

    Just to add, I think that those shoulder stripes would look a lot better if they were straight lines. The way they curve is just ugly.

    Sorry this has nothing to do with 9-11 or how wrong or right Phil is but Syracuse and Washington is pretty sweet uni-matchup.

    Alabama’s QB McElroy is wearing one of those hologram holistic juju bracelets. Having spend much of my life in West Africa I’m familiar with lots of people wearing protective amulets, both seen and unseen. Though I believe the magic in these homemade amulets isn’t any more effective than the magic in the mass-produced hologram bracelet, at least the West African totems have style and character. So my advice to athletes is as follows: If you need a placebo effect, make your own totem. Don’t throw your money at snake oil salesmen.

    TJB | September 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    “The “ND” shoulder patches the Irish are wearing need navy blue as the inside color, not gold. The white and gold all kinda run together.”

    I agree.
    That, and the the extra jersey piping on Michigan, will probably keep this game out of tomorrow’s Top 5 list.

    Great post today Phil.

    Very disappointed (though not surprised) to see a tragic event commercialized to sell sporting goods.

    Very impressed you were able to find a Jean Chrétien quote that actually made sense.


    Is Sue Gardner your cousin? I work for an insurance company that both Sue and Chris did business with. I didn’t know Chris and, to be honest, I didn’t know Sue all that well but we had worked together in the past on a couple of major accounts. Sue was working for Marsh back then and, a few months after 9/11, she called me to discuss some business. Inevitably, the conversation eventually moved towards the 9/11 attack. Sue was a smart and tough businesswoman but I could tell by her voice how difficult and sad it was for her and her children. I haven’t spoken to her since that conversation and I don’t know if she still works for Marsh, but I still think of her every 9/11 and hope she and her children are doing well.

    Always nice to see Baylor mentioned :)

    I was at the game today and those hats were not on sale anywhere. Only the team/coaches were wearing them. Everyone knew about the digital camo on the helmets beforehand, but from the stands you wouldn’t really have been able to tell it was there unless you were looking for it. Looked good – white helmets, green jersey, white pants.

    Nice subtle gesture on both accounts. Glad that’s the way we chose to go.

    I was surprised and angered when I saw that the Mets were NOT wearing their first responders’ hats, but instead conformed to the MLB.

    I remember that the Mets were adamant about wearing those hats for the rest of the 2001 season. I believe that the league threatened to fine the organization if they didn’t wear their NY hats, but the Mets didn’t care.

    I sat through the monsoon at Neyland for Saturday night’s Oregon vs Tennessee game. (Dont get me started on the stadium’s “evacuation” procedure.) Anyhow, I found this picture of Derek Dooley. It looks like he is wearing Adidas golf shoes… for waterproof capabilities? Traction? Have you seen this before?


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