By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk
I don’t place much *importance* in the symmetry of dates, but today is one that kind of sticks out: October 10, 2010. 10/10/10.
So, what better way to honor today than to offer up a bunch of great number 10s in the sporting world. For today’s exercise, I am joined by everyone’s favorite uniform critic, Jim Vilk, who has agreed to play along.
I asked Jim to pick his *best* number 10 in five sports: baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer. Now, I’m not much of a soccer fan, but I do know this: the best player on the team is (usually) accorded the #10. There are no restrictions on the choice for *best* #10: any level, college or pro, and any league (meaning Jim can delve deep into the USFL or arena leagues) for his candidates — there are only two conditions — they don’t have to be the best athlete ever to wear the number, but they do have to be great and they do have to look great wearing it. We’ll each give our top choices, and then you guys can tell us your own or, where we are wrong.
Interestingly enough, in my choices, there is a bit of a theme. Each athlete played for a New York team, although you wouldn’t think of him necessarily as a member of that team, nor were (except in one case) his best years with that team. But each was great, and each looked even better.
“I may or may not be near my atomic clock when it shows 10:10:10 10/10, so if I’m not, this is the next best thing. I don’t have a special theme like Phil, but I did delve in the familiar. Your results may vary. No, they WILL vary.”
So with that, here we go:
PH: He played for a hundred years and for a bunch of teams, but my best #10 in baseball has got to be Le Grand Orange, Rusty Staub. And that original Expos uni is the icing on the cake. Pretty memorable to a lot of Mets fans too.
JV: JV: Same team, different player. I’ll take Andre Dawson.
Another guy who I saw play in a New York uniform, but who represents much better in the purple and gold, Sir Francis Tarkenton. Quite possibly the best player never to win a Super Bowl, he did #10 proud.
JV: Sure, Tarkenton, Zorn and Bartkowski come to mind immediately, but what about Johnnie Walton? He never played better than when he was with the Breakers. Coincidence? I think not.
PH: Although he played a spell for the Cavs, this is one guy who absolutely made the Big Apple his own: Walt “Clyde” Frazier. Maybe now he’s better known for “No play for Mr. Gray” and other rhyming witicisms, but back in the day, Clyde could play. And the Knicks unis looked really, really good then, too.
JV: He was the tallest man to wear the number 10, and the recently departed Manute Bol wore it well, especially when he was with the Bullets.
PH: Yet another player whose best days were behind him when he played in New York, one of hockey’s greatest (if not the best) #10 also may have worn the greatest hockey uni ever as well: Guy LaFleur. He looked as good on the ice as did the uni on his back.
JV: Don’t know much about the sport, but I know Ron Francis was as good as that Whalers uni.
PH: This one might be a bit obvious, but my top #10 in soccer is definitely the one, the only…Pele. I’m more familiar with him from his Cosmos days (remember the NASL?), but he may have been the greatest Brasilian football player ever.
So there you have it…on 10/10/10…five each of our *best* tens, for a nice round number totaling…ten. What say you? Who are your best #10s? Remember, they have to be great, and look even better.
Trackin’ the Ducks
UW #1 Seahawks Fan Michael Princip has been tracking the Oregon Ducks and all of their 2,456 possible uniform combinations this season. He’ll be updating it after each game.
The Ducks are slowly but surely staking their claim to a BCS Championship berth, taking care of business yesterday with a tidy 43-23 win on the road against Washington State University. They went with a look of black helmet/white jersey/black pants. Oregon’s win, coupled with Alabama’s loss to South Carolina, means the Ducks could slide up to number 2 in the polls. Very interesting. Could a rematch of last year’s Rose Bowl be for the whole nine yards this year?
Our ducktracker was very busy this weekend, so there will be no writeup from him, but he has updated the tracker, below. Mike should be back with his usual terrific updates on specific additions to the tracker next weekend.
Here then, is your 2010 Duck Tracker
Slowly making it thought the tweak backlog, but keep them coming. 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.
Those who’ve already sent in tweaks, they’re fine the way they are, but in the future, because many of you seem to enjoy elaborate write ups, can you possibly try to keep them to 50 words tops per team? (Every one I’ve received since I asked for the ~50 limit has complied so far!) Thanks!
Starting off the show is Joshua Lee, who has a few ideas for the Mets, Bills and Lions:
I’m a recent graphic design grad from UW-Stout way out in cheese country, but a few years ago I did a side project away from school, eliminating the BFBS on the Mets jerseys in addition to bringing back the full Metropolitans name. Looking at it now it could have been polished a little bit more, but what the hell, there’s always next time.
Got a version of the Bills uniform for you sans BSFBSS (that’s blue-stitching-for-blue-stitching’s-sake).
Here’s a concept for the NFC North bottom scrapers. Instead of eliminating the black I embraced the dark colors and incorporated charcoals and grays, used the previous lions logo, and used a different shade of blue only with the alts, because honestly, I think the Titans have a pretty strong hold on the baby blue. Maybe when they get back above .500 the Lions can claim rights to the color.
Next up is Chris Markham with an interesting idea for the Bills:
So with the Sabres coming out with their new uniforms, I decided to do a similar makeover but for the Bills. I took the Bills logo and applied the same type of nickel outlining and darker blue color that the Sabres did to their new logo.
Now the Bills already added the nickel color to the helmet and home uniforms, but I simplified their current home uniform to make it cleaner by removing the light blue piping red side panel along with bringing back the white pants. For the road uniform, I kept the navy shoulder color as the Sabres have but kept the red piping around it, removed the red side panel and added a nickel outline to the numbers as the home uniforms have.
Our next batch of tweaks come from Johnny Bruno, who has a whole set of concepts for the (soon-to-be) Miami Marlins:
I decided to jump on the bandwagon and design my own uni for when the Marlins switch their name to the Miami Marlins. I didn’t make any MAJOR changes (kept the same color scheme essentially) and I gave it a new font and updated the logo’s, jerseys and caps. Never really had a problem with the logo’s or colors too much. I made this in paint so sorry if it isn’t that great of quality. I’m a college student and I read the blog daily.
Well done fellows. Thanks to all today’s tweakers. Back with more next weekend.
2010 Season Uni Tracking
Now that the 2010 Season has concluded it’s time for all of you who have tracked your team through the entire season to send me your final tweaks. When I have a few spare hours, I plan on compiling them and adding them to the Uni Watch Archives, to be a part of the permanent record.
So, if you’ve been doing your due diligence with your team, send me your end-of-season tracking reports, and I’ll post them as a “sub article” on the weekends. OK? OK! And I promise they’ll make it into the UW archives before the year is out. Please feel free to accompany your tracking with a write up, especially if your team had any interesting trends or patterns.
Today, we have Ryan Bugaj, who tracked the Boston Red Sox this year (I don’t think he’s the only one — so if anyone else has done so, you can still send your tracking in — it’s interesting to see how different people do their graphics and spreadsheets). So, here’s Ryan with his end of year writeup:
As you requested, here is my 2010 Red Sox Uni-Tracking wrap-up report and spreadsheet.
It could’ve been a better year here in Red Sox Nation as our beloved team ended up on the outside looking in this postseason. Injuries played a major part in that as losing Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia for the season proved to be too much to overcome.
On the cap front, the “hanging sox” alternate cap made its return on September 4 (a game I attended, no less) against the White Sox…with yet another loss. A win on Sept. 24 against the hated Yankees was the only bright spot in the five instances the cap was worn. The Sox didn’t fare any better with this year’s iteration of the Stars & Stripes cap, with only a win on Memorial Day to show for it. There weren’t any throwbacks to speak of this season (too bad), so of the 162 possible games, the regular cap appeared 154 times. Pretty good for a “traditional” franchise.
On to jerseys: the home alt wasn’t much good luck for the Sox in the second half, as it went winless in the four instances it was worn. It was also the only one of the two alternates to make each of its regularly-scheduled Friday appearances. The blue road alt fared better, going .500 on the year (5-5), but it could’ve been worse: four times this season the Sox didn’t wear the road alts because the home team did. The Sox went 1-3 in those games, so had they not shown good uni sense in those games the blues would have had nearly identical records to the reds. Ugh.
And as a bonus for the alt haters out there: both the regular home and away jerseys each finished with records over .500.
So that’s all I’ve got…thanks for the opportunity this season, and I’ll see you in 2011!
Thanks, Ryan. Keep them coming everyone. And thanks to all who undertook this exercise. For many of us whose team wasn’t playoff bound, or even sniffing the post season *coughmetscough*, it at least gave us a reason to keep watching the games.
5 & 1
Was running late last night when Jim sent me these, so…no critiques or criticisms from me…just Jimmy in his own inimitable style:
“Honorable” Mention to Michigan Tech/Saginaw Valley State — No, not the greatest of matchups, but this is for you, aflfan. Welcome back after a long absence from the comments section.
5. UNLV/WVU — That’s right, kids, I can rock it new-school, too.
4. Arkansas/Texas A&M— If Arkansas was the home team, this wouldn’t be list-worthy at all.
3. Army/Tulane — Slap a fleur-de-lis on those Army helmets and you almost have a battle of the Superdome’s tenants.
2. Clemson/UNC — This was my #1 pick…until…
1. LSU/Florida — Thought I was going to give SEC matchups a week off, but the Gators surprised me with the orange jerseys.
And my worst matchup: East Carolina/Southern Miss — Pity — ECU has such a nice home uni.
Thank you Jimmy. Nice to see you’re thinkin’ with yer dipstick again.
That’s just about it for this fine Sunday. I won’t say a word today about the softball game down in Texas yesterday.
But I will say how gorgeous the hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings was last night. Both teams went NNOB, and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick went the extra mile, wearing retro-styled gear. Nice touch.
Everyone have a great day. I don’t believe anyone is scheduled to wear throwbacks in the NFL today, but the Colts (who never announced IF they will wear the ’55 throwbacks in a regular season game) are home. Also home are the Cardinals, who I don’t believe have announced the schedule for their BFBS unis. And the Patriots, who will wear the beautiful red throwbacks again, have a bye week.
But there will probably be lots of pink today, so there’s that.
Enjoy 10/10/10. It only comes around once a century.
Two baseball teams come out wearing Orange and Blue, which couldn’t be confused by even the stupidest person in the world, and you act like it’s a cardinal sin. — Ian K.