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Uni Watch Photo Mystery: Riddle Me This

weird stripes.jpg

When I was putting together the wire service photos for Tuesday’s entry, I was particularly intrigued by the shot you see above, which was part of a batch of photos brought to my attention by Paul Wiederecht (here’s a much larger view). When I first saw a thumbnail-size version of it, I thought, “Whoa, never seen pants striped like that before!” Then I saw the full-size photo and realized there was a corresponding stripe across the chest insignia.

Can you guess what those stripes were for? Take a second to think about it before reading the rest of the story.

My own line of thought went like this: “We’ll, he’s speaking at a microphone, so it must have been some sort of ceremony or event. Maybe it was a memorial ceremony, and the stripes were a really strong memorial gesture.”

I sent the photo to three guys who I figured might know more: uni designer Todd Radom, Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber, and photo archivist Dave Eskenazi. Dave and Todd didn’t know anything about the stripes, but they quickly identified the team as the Fort Worth Cats, an old Texas League club that was once affiliated with the Dodgers (which makes sense, since the player in the photo, Tommy Tatum, played for the Dodgers). After they told me that, I spent the next hour or so fruitlessly googling terms like “fort worth cats memorial,” trying to find a connection between the team and the memorial stripes.

Then Tom Shieber wrote back. Turns out I’d been off on the wrong track — the stripes weren’t a memorial at all. So what were they for? Give yourself a pat on the back if you had already figured out that the stripes were designed to define the strike zone.

This, apparently, was baseball’s first “strike zone uniform.” According to a Sporting News clipping that Tom sent me, the uniform was worn exactly once, on Aug. 19, 1950, and then abandoned as a failed experiment.

Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking, “Wait a sec — wasn’t there another team that wore a strike zone uni?” Yes: the 1952 Denver Bears, although their version of the concept used contrasting color zones instead of horizontal stripes.

So were the Bears inspired by the Cats? Nope. In fact, the concept that the Bears ended up wearing had already been devised — and patented! — by a Denver inventor before the Cats’ uni ever appeared on the field, although the Cats apparently weren’t aware of that.

As you can see in that second Sporting News item, the Denver inventor had “invited inquiries from uniform manufacturers and dealers regarding its type of uniform.” That was in September of 1950. Apparently there weren’t any takers until the summer of 1952, when the Bears got on board. It’s not clear to me how many times the Bears wore this design in 1952, or if it was ever worn in any subsequent seasons.

As for the Cats’ abortive K-zone concept, do you think they got a new set of uniforms just for this experiment? I think it’s more likely that their poor seamstress was probably told to add the stripes to all the pants and jerseys and then told to remove all of them. Get out that seam ripper!

Big thanks to Todd, Dave, and especially Tom for their assistance with this one. I love it when we can solve a mystery so handily, especially when the solution turns out to be as interesting as this one.


Incidentally, if you look again at the last Sporting News clipping from today’s main entry, you’ll see that the headline includes the word unies — the plural of uni, obviously.

This raises an issue that’s been vexing me for some time. Most people seem to spell the word in question without the “e” — unis. But that word seems like it would be pronounced “yoo-niss,” when the pronunciation we’re after here is actually “yoo-neez.” So from a phonetic standpoint, wouldn’t the Sporting News way make more sense? And don’t diminutive plurals usually end in “ies” (puppies, pennies, titties, etc.)?

Frankly, both spellings of this word have always looked awkward and unappealing to me, so I’ve always gone out of my way not to use either of them. When referring to more than one uni, I usually just go with uniforms.

Still, this seems like one of those issues we need to settle one way or the other. What say you, denizens of the uni-verse?

And here’s one more thought: However we resolve this, the same style rule should also hold for sani(e)s (as in more than one sanitary sock), which is another one I’ve always found troubling.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Teams that normally wear red jerseys usually use gold for their quarterbacks’ “no contact” practice jerseys. But the 49ers apparently use black. ”¦ Latest tool in the study of concussions: a sensor-equipped mouthguard. ”¦ More info on those orange-numbered Browns jerseys from 1984. Here’s what we definitely know: The orange-numbered dark jerseys were worn for one preseason game and then scrapped, and no orange-numbered white jersey was ever worn for any game, preseason or otherwise. But were the white jerseys ordered and manufactured? If so, that would explain the existence of this jersey. I explained the situation to Ravens PR man Kevin Byrne, who worked for the Browns back in ’84 (he’s even quoted in this old article about the jerseys). His response: “Doesn’t add up — I don’t remember seeing these. If they were made, they didn’t even make it to a practice with the Browns.” ”¦ Leather helmets were ultimately replaced by plastic helmets, but until now I’d never seen a helmet with leather and plastic (nice find by Robert Eden). ”¦ A few people have noted that the Texans wear their captains’ patches on the left side, instead of on the right like everyone else. ”¦ Nebraska RB Roy Helu Jr. wore one glove on Saturday — unusual for a non-QB. “He usually wears two gloves (and has even gone gloveless once, but that was in the rain),” writes David McGee. “I’m trying to figure out why he would go the Michael Jackson route — he’s not really known for being flashy like that.” ”¦ New logo set for the USL (with thanks to Yancy Yeater). ”¦ Remember this Nats prototype that surfaced last week? I can now definitively say that that’s not the new home uni. ”¦ I was chatting yesterday with a Phiten publicist, who informed me that the company had recently signed an endorsement deal with Carmelo Anthony. “But NBA players don’t wear Phiten necklaces on the court, do they?” I said. The reply: “They will soon.” Correction: No Phiten necklaces are headed to the NBA. But Phiten bracelets are approved for on-court use. ”¦ New logo for the WTA (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ New identity set for the Lake County Captains (with thanks to Lee Wilds). ”¦ Wow, is that a football jersey or a dartboard? That there is a South Carolina Gamecock, circa 1920s (great submission by Beau Franklin). ”¦ Very slight uni adjustment this season for Indiana hoops (with thanks to Jordan Owen). ”¦ What’s the record for the most NFL uniforms worn in one season, and is Randy Moss now in the running? ”¦ Here’s a good look back at an unfortunate chapter in BYU history. ”¦ A report on the Chris Creamer board informs us that Iowa State has introduced a full-body Cy logo, along with four oval logos. ”¦ New rugby kits for England. ”¦ If you were making a bunch of Longhorns statues, why would you give them Converse footwear and the wrong letter/number design? (As noted by Chris Holder and several others.) ”¦ Several good finds by Jake Doyle, including a good view of the Brewers 1988 memorial patch for Harvey Kuenn and a truly hideous-looking Giants mesh BP jersey.

Comments (172)

    The difference between “unis” and “puppies” is that uni ends in an “i” and puppy (and penny, etc.) end in a “y.” The “ie” replaces the “y” for the plural.

    The only English word I can think of that ends in “i” (and now someone will tell me that the work comes from a foreign language) is “ski.” When pluralize “ski,” it becomes “skis.” If we used “ie,” we would get “skies,” as in “Fly the friendly . . .” By analogy, “unies” would be produced “unize,” which does not sound like a plural.

    So “unis” it should be.

    Wow. Note to self: Re-read twice before posting.

    “pronounced” not “produced”

    Double sorry

    You really cant make this comparison because you are comparing legitimate words (ie, penny, puppy) to a slang, shortened term of a word. Uni (uniform) Sani (sanitary). Does finding the plural of something that isnt even a word follow the rules of Standard English?

    I tried to think of real, non-slang words that are analogous to uni: words that are a shortened form of a longer word and that end in i. I came up with these:


    These are all listed as complete, defined words in the link, and all of them are shown there as having their plurals formed by simply adding an s:


    “uni’s” is correct. It’s a contraction…the same rationale/reasoning behind the “A’s” on the cap of the Oakland Athletics.

    Lead entries like today’s are the reason Uni Watch is part of my daily routine. Good shit, Paul.

    Really disappointed to hear about the prototype not being the Nats’ new home uniform. I’ve gone from excited to nervous.

    Paul, you’re killing us with the teasing! Can you say how significant the overall uni change is, say on a scale where 1 equals changing the sleeve patch and 10 equals switching to monochrome purple with neon green trim?

    Man, I can’t wait until this time next week, when we’ll know what the Nats have done.

    Has anyone received an invite to the Nats new unis unveiling? Paul – do you need a local correspondent?

    The white Browns jersey with the orange numbers was worn by TIM Stracka, a tight end. Martin StraKa (spelling) was a hockey player.

    I suspect that isn’t a White “orange numbered” Browns jersey – but potentially a BC Lions CFL jersey from the 80’s

    I agree that the white jersey is not a Browns jersey. Among other discrepancies, note the different trim thickness on the sleeve stripes. Now, Cleveland does have a history of using “double outlines” with slivers of black trim between white and orange on its brown jerseys with no such space on white jerseys, but the actual thickness seems too different for that. Also, the number fonts are very similar, but the block at the bottom of the 4 on the brown jersey is deeper than the block at the bottom of the 7 on the white jersey.

    That could well be black trim, in which case it could be the BC Lions (though the uniform details shown in the link are not the same) or any of a handful of teams that wear black and orange. My thought was that it might be a jersey for Bowling Green.

    I think ‘sanis’ should forever be erased from history. Like you said, Paul, it looks like it should be pronounced ‘SAN-iss,’ and ‘sanies’ looks like it should be pronounced ‘SANE-ees’ to me, so ‘sannies’ shall be the correct term from here on out.

    I see the issue with ‘unis’ and ‘unies,’ but none of them really look appealing to me, either. If I had to pick one, though, I would choose ‘unis,’ though I don’t know that I agree with Seth’s reasoning behind it. We all know English is too effed up for hard and fast rules like that. For every example of one thing, you can find a counter example of another. I don’t think ‘ski’ and ‘uni’ are analogous in Seth’s example, because of their syllable difference, but you could compare ‘taxi’ and ‘uni’ and come to the same conclusion. ‘Taxis’ is correct, even though it looks like ‘TAX-iss,’ so I’ll bite the bullet and go with ‘unis’ if I ever choose to use this term.

    Not to mention three stripes on those Texas statues instead of the classic two, it looks like.


    they all kinda “look” dumb when written, but i think on UW we all know what they stand for

    if you’re going to add an “e” to sani…i would think you might also want to add an extra “n” to make it phonetic


    and that definitely doesn’t work

    /maybe it’s best to write them all out?

    ‘Sannies’ works a hell of a lot better than ‘sanis.’ In fact, it’s now the proper term for more than one sani.

    Phil should spell it u’ni’es. He likes the superfluous use of the apostrophe.

    U Knees

    Hmmm. Well we don’t say you-NEE-forms, or at least I don’t, but we do say you-NEE watch. I guess the blog just needs to change it’s name to:

    Duplicate Habiliment Surveillance.

    I think it’s catchy.

    The key to confirming the non-existence of the orange-numeraled road jerseys, I think, is to find out who might have designed those jerseys, whether they were from the Browns organization or not, or, possibly better, finding out who produced/printed those jerseys. Someone has to remember this huge debacle.

    Kevin Byrne is right at the top of guys who’d remember. Unfortunately, I’m sure this is extra-complicated because so much of what’s left of the ’84 Browns staff would be in Baltimore now.

    Maybe everyone is “right” on this question.

    Perhaps the Browns/Ravens staffer NEVER saw such a jersey, and ALSO perhaps the Browns road jersey(s) at issue were prototypes, or “authentic replicas” manufactered and sold retail?

    Could the Orange-numbered, White “road” jersey be an authentic replica? Sand Knit did produce “authentic replica” NFL jerseys during the early 1980s and they were pretty close to those game-worn/team-issued jerseys. Perhaps Sand Knit did a “run” of these jerseys and distributed them for retail sale prior to the Browns ditching them and going back to traditional numeral colors?

    The Sand Knit “authentic replicas” that were really close to team issued, however, usually lacked double material on the shoulders, and, were usually NNOB. Then again, certain Sand Knit 1970s era gamers that I have obtained over the years were also NNOB and lacked double materialed shoulders.

    Perhaps someone on the Sand Knit end of the manufater of these jerseys would have a better recollection?

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while..when did rugby switch from normal shirts to skin-tight crap?

    They were getting pretty tight by the 2003 Rugby World Cup (they had certainly gone to the synthetic fabrics by then), and I think the contemporary skin-tight ones came very soon after.

    Nike came up with some sort of unitard which they were going to dress France and England in. When presented with the concepts, the old farts at the International Rugby Board as said to have nearly all lost their lunches. The change was presented as a done deal – the only way the IRB was able to stop it, allegedly, was they pointed to the wording of the Laws of the Game which state that ‘playing kit consists of shirts, shorts and socks’ or something to that effect.

    Tight jerseys are the real deal and I have to say do indeed make a HUGE difference for quality of the game. Tackles are actual tackles, there’s so little fabric to grab that you get very few jerseys-as-capes tackles; also there’s no longer the issue of the old water-logged cotton jerseys making the players 10 pounds heavier.

    Regarding the new Indiana basketball uni(form)s: We’ve seen what cream does to baseball uniforms in San Francisco, Philadelphia and in Cleveland. If ever a school should use cream it’s UI. White highlights around the letters and numbers would only enhance the look, but it’d still look good straight crimson and cream.


    I’ve been wanting to see a cream-colored home uni (or even an alt. I’d accept that as an alt.) forever. I was thrilled in 2002 when they darkened the color to replace the cherry red/scarlet/whatever you want to call it.

    And it’s cream & crimson. You’re getting it all backwards today, Flip.

    (Yes, I’m just messing with you.)

    Please, not with the “genuine cream” discussion. We’ve tried that in 1983 with the “Flying IU” Sam Wyche unis — link (please note that the cream color in the photos is a true representation, not the white on the replica). I’d only be willing to revisit the issue if it’s matched with a dark crimson.

    Fortunately, Indiana has stuck with an organized palette of colors and standards and I’d be leery of moving back into confusion. Now if we can just get back to the last model of football unis (but keep the shoulder hoops…).

    This is a straw man argument. Just because that football uniform looked like crap doesn’t mean a cream-colored basketball uni will like crap. For starters, that logo was a disaster. And the red was way too bright.

    Oklahoma did a cream-colored alt for basketball a couple years ago for like their hundredth anniversary season and it looked pretty nice.

    IMO, a huge reason that the Sam Wyche IU 1983 Football unis looked like crap were a.) hoop mesh jerseys with short mid-drifts making the cream road jerseys look cheap and dingy; b.) the “Flying IU” looking cheap and dingy; and c.) the fact that they were One-And-Done after 1983 before anyone developed an attachment or comfort with them.

    Just MHO, a Saints/Tulane fan still seethingly ill over the thought of Black Leotard Loserville Thug-Wannabe Ten-Years-Too-Late Trendy pants.

    Regarding the strike zone uniforms: I love those Bear incarnations. Too bad the concept didn’t catch on. Too bad umpires can’t take in the strike zone and the stripes in one fell swoop /yeah, right/

    I agree with Seth H — I say it oughta be “unis.” Uni is a shortening of “uniform,” so just slap an “s” on the end to pluralize. “Unies” implies, at least to me, a diminutive form. Also, if the singular was “uny,” then I think “unies” would be best. But since the singular ends in an “i”, I think a simple “-s” pluralization is most correct.

    The thing about the strike zone stripes is it’s something you want the other team to wear. If you wear it but the other team does not, you’re at a competitive disadvantage. All that uni is going to do is expand the strike zone (even in the 1950s, when umps were trained to call a bigger zone). That’s bad for your hitters, good for the other team’s pitchers. But when the other team comes up, the ump will fall back on his own strike zone, which will be smaller. That’s good for the other team’s hitters, bad for your pitchers.

    I’ve also wondered whether there’s any advantage for batters if their unis give subtle visual clues that define the strike zone favorably. For example, do players who wear their pants long get more low strikes called against them than players who wear their socks high and thus give the ump a clearer point of reference for their knees? What about teams that have tall lettering and/or prominent horizontal elements like underlines, where the lettering descends well below the armpit, versus teams with left-chest logos that either draw a line right at the armpit (for lefty batters) or present a blank jersey (for righty batters)?

    One of the reasons why I’d require players to wear high socks if I owned a team.

    This is magnificent:


    Throw a number on the back, cut off the sleeves–if you must–and you’ve got the best looking jersey in football. No clutter, no text. Compelling and original.

    Though it does have a uni-connection, the whole Texas sports statues debacle should be checked out for the sheer hilarity of it. I’m not a Texas fan, but I feel bad for them. The statues represent great players from football/basketball/baseball/golf, but they all have the same face, and either light or VERY dark skin. The faces have great expressions, and the uniforms, as Paul mentioned, or just… not right.

    I found out about all of it after being linked to link. If you like “farks”, the thread really gets to going good a few pages in.

    If I’m a Longhorn, I’m doing whatever necessary to get them taken down… and chop off the hands of whoever made them.

    Just read that entire thread and it is classic. Not a Longhorn fan (Iowa State rather) but there is some amazing stuff in there.

    Definitely worth a read.

    Those statues are horrendous. They even tracked down the origin, and some of the other statues that are offered from the same company are so offensive / racist that it is really just unbelievable.

    Sheesh, someone really hosed that whole deal up.

    Wow! That is probably the best thread I have seen in a long time. All the farks of colt running away are hilarious. Everyone should check that link out!

    Thanks for including my South Carolina submission, Paul. There’s a “Hall of Captains” inside the stadium with portraits of all the team captains through the program’s history and a few sport that jersey. Always thought the “dart board” jersey was pretty wild for an early 1900s football uniform.

    When I read this blog I have no problem reading “unis” as “YOU-neez.” The column is written in English, and so do not read it as “you-NEE,” as in the French name for the United States, les États-Unis.

    Oh, and +1 on the Nats’ tease. I can only assume that whatever it looks like is an improvement over the current home whites, unless you’re doing a really good job of hiding your distaste.

    Larger gallery of new IU Basketball photos that show more detail of construction. Most notably, the piping around the arms no longer connects under the arm. Stitching on the numbers and letters more evident, much like recent NBA changes.


    Looks like on these numbers the twill outer edge is the same color as the number rather than the same color as the jersey, as it is on the new NBA uniforms. I like the Indiana version better.

    I think “unis” is the way to go. “Unies” is far enough removed from “uniforms” that it just looks wrong.

    Interesting to see Lake County calls one of their new colors “flesh.” Not particularly appropriate (or accurate) for all the players whose skin color is something different. Didn’t even Crayola phase out flesh-colored crayons a long time ago?

    Oh, I know that’s how they used to label that color. I’m just saying I’ve never seen a crayon labeled that way.

    right…and im just saying i have…either my mom or my aunt had the set(s) with the “flesh”

    I vote for “unis” and “sannies” (and hope I’m not out-voted as badly as I was Tuesday!)

    Mrs. Goaler went to grad school at Iowa State, and reports that link is beloved by every little kid in Ames!

    Strike zone pants stripes: the most sarcastic uni element ever created, and so sorely needed for those stupid umpires.

    I’d even bring back the idea and call them “the Joe West stripes”.

    …totally off topic…but did anyone see the worst uni matchup on Versus the other night. San Jose Sharks vs. Minnesota Wild (with The Wild in the Green 3rd Jerseys).

    This game should not be viewed by anyone period, let alone televised…

    I have to say that the Wild’s alternate, while nice, still leave a lot to be desired as a green uniform.

    San Jose needs to return to the teal, and move away from the gray.

    Hockey seriously needs a heavy dose of colour again.

    No more gray in their scheme since the Rbk league-wide switch. It’s teal, black, white and orange.

    As pointed out by JTH below.

    Put me down as a fan for the Wild’s green jersey. I wish they would make a white version and switch it up. Relegate their red jersey to alternate status.

    I agree. I’d like to see some more red (pants stripes, socks) on those unis, but the Wild alts look OK to me.

    And I’m not sure what Teebz means about the Sharks needing to move away from the gray. Do they even have gray in their color palette any more? Their colors are teal, orange and black, no? I thought they did away with the gray when the Edge jerseys came in.

    Perhaps you’ve all forgotten how the Sharks used to look compared to how they currently look.



    Big difference in those colors, and I much prefer the old Sharks colors to the new ones.

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten what you wrote. You said they need to move away from the gray. They don’t wear gray but they used to, as the pics you linked clearly illustrate.

    The Wild jerseys looked okay, but there needed to be some red somewhere. Green and khaki (that’s what I’m calling it, anyway)look okay, but it just seemed to drab. I was just left wanting just a little bit of red to liven it up.

    I think the green Wild jersey could use more white, although at least with them, their “wheat” color has always been part of their color scheme, not like this “vintage white” plague that’s spread across the hockey landscape this season (I blame the Roger Edwards product line for giving us horribly anachronistic throwback “sweaters” with “vintage white”).

    The Sharks should drop the orange from everything except the stick in the primary logo. Their original jerseys were pretty sharp, and about the single best usage of teal ever, and then Nike had to kill it with their ’97 Broncos-style pattern… just what the hell do you call that, anyway?

    Oh, and I think Paul just used the whole “Unis/Unies” argument as an excuse to say “titties” today.

    With the IU uniforms, I noticed that they had the manufacturer mark (Adidas), but the typical three stripe design is nowhere to be found. I was looking for the stripe pattern to show up somewhere in the trim, but it looks to be absent.

    The NCAA considers three stripes of the same color to be an Adidas trademark (along with the triangular-shaped corporate logo), and the NCAA only allows one manufacturer’s logo per item of clothing. Much of the Adidas clothing you buy at the stores or online would be NCAA-illegal because it has three stripes of one color. They get around it by making special sets for the actual teams, with stripes of contrasting colors (for, say UCLA or Notre Dame, two gold and a white; for Wisconsin, two white and a black; for Northwestern, two white and a gray).

    “Unies” would be pronounced “you-nighs.” “Unnies” would be pronounced “uh-knees.” So “unis” it is.

    “Sannies” is different, since the vowel is short, not long like “unis.”

    The two most important lessons I learned in my days on the copy desk were, first, it’s better to be consistent than correct; and second, to misquote the wise man, too much consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    The one that always trips me up is how do you spell the nickname for a microphone? Usually it’s spelled “mic,” but that just looks like an ethnic slur to this Irish-American. Rarely, I see “mike” instead, which is phonetically better, but just as odd-looking.

    Also, we have ‘vertically arched’ lettering like the Braves and Red Wings use, but what about the regular lettering that the other teams use. I guess it’s ‘radially arced,’ but that looks strange to me, like it should be pronounced ‘ARSE-d,’ so I go out of my way to avoid using that term.

    Paul – great post today. Totally thought it was a way over the top memorial uni.

    Speaking of “uni” – I vote for the simple “unis” plural.

    Reminds me of the discussion Jerry and George had on Seinfeld when discussing the proper pronounciation of Semi.. “is it Sem-“ee” or Sem-“I””? George went with Sem-“ee” because of Dem-“ee” Moore…

    Man, how time flies. Seems like it was just last year that Iowa State ditched the Cy the Cardinal logos. And poor old “Clone”, the additional mascot they had for a while when they realized the old “Cy” costume they had at the time was very immobile, appears to still be lost.

    Interesting that the captaincy patches in the NFL are mostly on the right side except for the Texans, while captaincy patches (except for the Red Wings and the Coyotes black jersey) are on the left side.

    There’s a problem:

    Unis is latin for “one.” Pronounced “YOO-niss.”
    Sanis is latin for “soundness of mind or sanity.” Pronounced “SA-niss.”

    So those spellings are already otherwise spoken for.

    I prefer “unis,” but in light of today’s conversation, I think it’s time to just come up with a new abbreviation. How about “unifs”?

    Yeah, that would mean a rebranding of this blog, but think of the marketing opportunities, Paul! Members who want to have all the latest stuff could get new Unif Watch cards (DIYers would just put an F on the card in permanent marker, of course), you’d have a line of current and throwback t-shirts, etc. A Unif Watch t-shirt? I’d wear that.

    So the day Paul starts writing the blog in Latin he’ll have to change those spellings. In English, I think the closest analogue to “uni’ is the maxi and mini that come from mini-skirt and maxi-skirt. Minis; maxis => unis.

    Actually, the guy in the old SC jersey worked for an early version of the Dharma Initiative, I suspect.

    Couldn’t really find a better pic… some schools look good in black, even if it is BFBS…

    Rutgers never does….


    they’ve looked worse

    said this last evening, when when you have “SCARLET” in your name, you probably want to wear … i donno … maybe SCARLET

    Whatever … next you’re going to make the argument that the Blue Jays should have more blue than black in their uniforms …

    I hated that all black look too. Was really annoyed when I first got the email from the alumni club a few years ago about wearing it for a “black out” game.

    However, I think the white over black looks even worse!! As I was watching the game last night, it just seemed “mismatched”.

    As ugly as the black over black looked, you could kind of tell what they were trying to do. with the red helmet, white jersey and black pants…it just looked wrong….. to me at least…

    I wish they would go to grey pants full time….

    Good news for the BAN THE BLACK campaign?

    Charlie Manuel, equipment manager for the New York Mets has been banned indefinately:

    While I wish Charlie well and hope that this is not as serious as it sounds, I couldn’t help think of the impact this will have in the dressing of the Mets and, if I’m not mistaken, Charlie’s support of the Mets black uniforms. Something about sending the team out in black to match the pitching coach’s jacket?

    Anyway, I hope Charlie’s ok AND it’s the first step in Sandy Alderson’s reclaiming the classic look of the New York Mets. (Not that the banning is uni related)

    I was just thinking the same thing, although I feel terrible about thinking it. Nothing against Charlie Samuels personally, and as you said I hope he is OK and that this is not serious as far as he and his family are concerned.

    I wonder what this is about, actually.

    In any event, let’s hope Sandy has the right thing in mind. And by “the right thing” I mean link and link.


    Wrong link.

    Here’s the real one: link

    (To my knowledge, Charlie has nothing to do with TSA body scans)

    Look for memorial patches in Cincinnati and Detroit next season as Sparky Anderson passed away today. RIP Sparky.

    Another example of the ratchet principle… Memorial tributes, like many other things, only get more elaborate as teams try to out-do each other. Impossible to get the ratchet to turn back the other way.

    Unfortunately the Yankees have had so many memorial armbands or patches in recent years they have almost become a part of the uniform. This year was a rarity for New York with three legends passing away. I’d gather the Yankees’ uniform memorial depends on where the person ranks in the team’s pantheon of greatness. The Boss and Bob Sheppard belong in the “elite” class of Yankees and therefore were deserving of a special patch. Ralph Houk was merely a “worker bee” who only rated a simple black armband.

    Putting elaborate patches on the uniform, whether for memorials or celebrations, gives fans reason to buy a new jersey every year. It’s not a 2010 Yankees jersey if it doesn’t have the Steinbrenner patch. It’s not a 2009 Yankees jersey if it doesn’t have the inaugural season patch. It’s not a 2008 Yankees jersey if it doesn’t have All-Star Game and final season patches.

    I am just guessing by what they have done in the past in Detroit. This year they had a round black patch with EH for Ernie Harwell. I would assume the same with either 11 of SA for him.

    I grew up in Cincinnati in the 70’s and spent many a night listening to the Reds pre-game show, The Main Spark. The guy could tell a story, boy. He was REVERED in Cincy, a true gentleman, funny, classy, and he won a few ballgames, too. (Having four HOF’s* in the lineup helps!) He will be missed.

    *Bench, Perez, Morgan, and yes, (*)Pete.

    Sparky Anderson wore some classy UNIS and knew the right way to wear his SANNIES with his (bonus) RUPS. Rest in peace, coach.


    Zim returns for another year in 2011 (which, of course, means a new uniform number).


    I didn’t realize he was a Brooklyn Dodger! Any other Brooklyn Dodgers still active in baseball?


    And with that card in mind … can anyone confirm that they ever saw young Don Zimmer in the same room as Mike O’Malley???


    Re: Phiten.

    As a birthday gift my 9 year old received a Phiten necklace from his (now former) baseball coach. My son loves that thing to death. I suppose its a cool accessory and he wears it every where.

    Long story short, he’s playing basketball for the first time and has had only practice but he made sure he had on his Phiten necklace. He was the only kid I had seen with one.

    I just assumed those were memorial bands on today’s photo, too. Never would have thought of the strike zone.

    To me, that would be the same as walking up to the ump and saying, “Here, I have a new pair of eyeglasses you might want to try.” I wonder if any of the umps were insulted at the idea, even though the article said the ones calling the Cats game signed off on it.

    Now the Denver Bears uni is another story. I’d wear that. Same concept, I know, but I just like the look of that one better.

    Just caught wind that the Philadelphia Flyers will be growing mustaches for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (November)

    I think I would be perfectly content if this caught on with the rest of the sporting world.

    Hmm, since the guys wore pink last month, you think the women’s basketball and volleyball players will wear fake mustaches this month?

    Yeah, Parros is good, but he can’t touch Lanny. I don’t think anybody outside the 1860’s can touch Lanny.

    Someone who used to have a prodigious mustache
    is celebrating a milestone on Monday – 40 years since his record-breaking field goal.

    Never noticed this before, but the spot of the ball wasn’t quite 63 yards…they rounded up. So technically, Jason Elam holds the record himself, as you can see from the spot of his kick.

    I’m not suggesting they amend the record, though. Besides, it’ll be broken eventually. Congrats to one of the people responsible for 19 being my favorite number.

    Interesting fact about the Tom Dempsey field goal in 1970, not everyone on the Lions defensive line was rushing all that hard. One player from that Detroit team told NFL Films they thought the field goal attempt was a joke, and that Dempsey had no chance. He added the kick was so low, it should have been blocked under normal circumstances.

    Jason Elam’s kick may have technically been longer, but I have to give Dempsey’s achievement more value. Elam’s kick was at Denver before halftime, while Dempsey was kicking with a deformed foot, and his boot won the game.

    Elam had the longer, more consistent career than Dempsey, who also kicked for the Eagles, Rams, and Bills.

    “his boot won the game.”

    it sure did…which is why we now have the “tom dempsey rule”

    doesn’t take away anything from the awesome achievement, and the odds he had to overcome just to suit up…but the fact remains that if he were wearing a normal shoe, we more than likely wouldn’t be talking about it today, because he never would have made the field goal

    alex karras once said (to back up gusto’s bit) that they didn’t think he had a chance in hell of making the kick so no one tried to block it (remember, then, the goal posts were right on the goal line, so he was kicking from HIS OWN 37!)…they were more preparing for a trick play or a hail mary than actually expecting a kick

    pretty amazing, even now, to think about that

    /as a side note, dempsey used to kick with a makeshift sock wrapped around his foot, before someone came up with a special steel-tipped kicking boot for him…

    Don’t you mean the record should be Dempsey’s. If the ball was in advance the the yard line it should be a 62 yard field goal. EX. if the ball in marked in advance of your 20 yard line but not yet to the 21. The ball is still at the 21 yard line statistically. So if the ball was in advance of the 47 yard line it would statistically be at the 48 which is 52 yards form the goal line and 62 yards from the goal post.

    Sorry, stats are my life comes with the whole SID thing.

    I believe that the Tom Dempsey kick was actually set up with the holder kneeling EIGHT yards behind the line of scrimmage, as they wanted more room for lift over the line. I could be confusing this with another kick in another game, but I remember some discussion about this and I believe this was the intentional plan on the Dempsey kick.

    I am sure there are others better set up to answer the question.

    Yes, the holder lined up eight yards back. It’s in one of the videos linked with that ESPN story. Dempsey mentioned Joe Scarpati gave him an extra yard to help prevent a block.

    And I give Dempsey’s kick more value, too. Funny how Elam’s kick was in the highest elevated stadium in the league and Dempsey’s was in the lowest. Not saying Elam couldn’t have made that kick outside of Denver, though.

    apparently, scarpati didn’t let dempsey in on the fact that he was lining up one yard further back than normal

    i guess kickers have “good days” in practice — because (of course, 40 years later, memories can become a bit more sentimental) but a few of the saints were saying that day TD was nailing 65+ yarders in warmups…im sure that JD roberts took notice

    as to what the mothervilker said … not only was tulane at (or below) sea level, but if i recall from reports of the game, it was really muggy that day, which would have made it more difficult for the ball to travel

    don’t know if any of you ever had the “children’s” sports series “strange but true ______’s stories (fill in the blank: baseball, football, etc) — but the story of dempsey’s kick was in the “strange but true football stories” and i must have read that thing cover to cover 20 times when i was but a wee lad…always loved the story of the 63 yarder

    Word also went around that JD Roberts, coaching his first game after Tom Fears’ being fired earlier that week, DID NOT KNOW it was a 63 yard kick when he OK’d it, he had thought the Saints were closer, and that he did not know it was a record-setter until it was over. Several Saints’ history books refer to this.

    I love the old football jerseys from the 1920’s and 30’s. The South Carolina pic was cool.

    I think it was yesterday that The Jeff had the colorized Cubs. That was sweet.

    Larry, It is a shame that no one manufaters these 1920s football jerseys for retail sale. Very rarely do you see them, and they are usually done poorly when they are.

    They have everything current retail jerseys lack – texture, sleeves, wearability, and THEY LOOK GREAT.

    Too bsad we can’t seem to find them – they woulkd sell, and they would be great for everybody.

    I’m shocked that no one has posted the correct pluralization rule for usage of “unis” and “sanis” — especially considering how many of you are good at railing at the apostrophe catastrophes.

    American English and British English rules of pluralization say that the plural of a concatenated or curtailed word is made by using the same pluralization that the full word uses. The classic example in modern usage is “buses”. The plural of “bus” would be “busses” if the word “bus” was a word with an etymology in and of itself. But “bus” is a concatenation of “omnibus”, which is the actual word from which “bus” was created. Since the final syllable of “omnibus” is not the accented syllable, the plural is “omnibuses”. Therefore the word “bus” has its plural as “buses”. (Now, of course, lazy Americans have long misspelled it, to the point where at least the MW dictionary now also allows “busses”, but those of us who care about the use of the English language don’t agree.)

    Because “uni” is a concatenation of “uniform”, the plural of “uni” is “unis”. To this there can be no argument.
    But get this: If “sani” is a concatenation of “sanitaries” (with the “ies”), then the correct plural is “sanies”. But here’s where it really gets confusing. “Sanitary” isn’t a noun in proper usage (yet). It’s an adjective that requires an object noun after it, e.g. “sanitary socks”. Therefore there is no rule for pluralization of the full word “sanitary” because it isn’t a noun and therefore cannot have a plural. So it follows that there can be no rule for pluralization of the concatenation. Most likely, if this were to be judged by some hypothetical style guide committee (and Edwin Newman is dead, so no luck there), they would arrive at “sanis” because “socks”, “napkins”, “rooms”, etc. all end with just the added “s”. (Don’t even go to “sanitary hose”. Grammar snobs’ heads would explode.)

    Next: Who wants to debate why the Maple Leafs are not the “Maple Leaves”?

    And when did it become okay for baseball people to say “he dived for that ball” and “Posey flied out to center” instead of “he dove for that ball” and “Posey flew out to center”? It would be fascinating to see how far back one would need to review tapes and radio broadcasts to find when the misuse of these verbs became de rigeur.


    no, really

    of course, those of use who know the english language know that “buses” are vehicles and “busses” are kisses

    we should never have allowed “buses” to be written “busses” although in context, it’s likely impossible not to determine the meaning

    as to “dived” and “flied,” you’re preaching to the choir

    i generally love al michaels but i curse the day he ever coined the phrase “he fair caught the ball”

    oh no he dihent…”he called for a fair catch”

    that phrase is like nails on a chalkboard to me

    good stuff monty

    Busses are indeed kisses. But bus bars are “buses” and data bus is pluralized as “data buses” because even that usage comes from “omnibus”.

    I got curious and went searching for the origin of “flied out” and “dived for the ball”. Turns out that “flied out” may be a (debatably) correct usage. Since a batter is not physically flying to center field, the usage “flew out to center” is no more correct. Instead, researchers believe that the use of “flied” comes from the “verbification” of a noun that didn’t exist, i.e. a “fly” (short for “fly ball”). It’s similar to the recent, incorrect usage of “impact” as a verb (as in “The economy has really impacted my wallet.”) “Fly ball” was shortened to “fly” (“He hit a fly to center.” Not bad.), and then made into a verb for convenience. It isn’t technically INCORRECT, but it sure isn’t CORRECT either. Better to say “He hit a fly ball to center.”

    There is no explanation for “dived for the ball” other than laziness and yahooliganism (a word that I believe I may have just invented, meaning “yahoos who cause me grief”).

    How about when Howard Cosell used to do baseball and say “And that’s a called ball”? Straight from the department of redundancy department. Is there a type of ball that isn’t called?

    For the record, the Oxford English Dictionary lists ‘dived’ as a long accepted past tense of the verb ‘dive.’ I’m not telling; I’m just saying…

    Re: the McGregor E5CP helmet, that center area is not leather. That was an externally padded helmet that McGregor made several different models of in the 50’s and 60’s. The center external padding is naugahyde-covered foam. Ohio State wore them in the early to mid-1960’s.

    Per Helmet Hut – “In 1960(Ohio State coach Woody)Hayes adopted the externally padded MacGregor “square bubble-ear” helmet. This unique appearing helmet consisted of a clear shell that was internally painted light gray at the factory. A wide padded panel in scarlet red was added, the external foam covered by naughahyde. The padded panel which gave the appearance of a wide, red stripe was slightly tapered at the front and rear and extended to approximately four-inches from the bottom rear of the helmet.”


    Those Ohio State padded helmets have always intrigued me. I have sent in several color pics of other teams like Ohio U Bobcats wearing them too. I have some color shots of BYU wearing them too.

    A Macgregor padded helmet, a Dungard birdcage, a durene Green jersey …..

    A little bit of Uni heaven!

    I have always wanted to make myself a mini padded helmet but never had much luck doing it or getting it right

    Helmet Hut has several articles on their website addressing the use and discontinuation of this style helmet. You have to go into the “Helmet News” archive to find certain articles over the years on the subject. Also, the Ohio State helmets in their Colliegiate section/display should contain a narrative on The OSU’s use of the padded helmets.

    The HH articles go into detail on how certain teams used them and then discontinued using them, including hoe the Univ. of Oklahoma in later years using them for practice, but not for games.

    The bottom line is, these externally padded helmets assisted in preventing head injuries (concussions, etc.), but INCREASED the instance of spinal injuries because the helmets would “stick” together upon collision instead of sliding apart, and the necks and spines of the players would bear the brunt of certain helmet-to helmet collisions.

    earlier, some folks were saying they liked the Wild thirds, but bemoaned the lack of red in the uni…

    im not real sure how you’re gonna add red (and i personally like the winter wheat) but

    i s’pose you could do this or this

    i don’t think either of those is any better, but that’s just me

    I like the first one more. The wheat is good, on the condition that the numbers have a red border as well.
    As it stands now, the green and wheat basically forgets that red is a team color as well…

    I didn’t see this posted yet (forgive me if it was)
    New lid for Jackson once he returns to the field (which should be against the Colts)

    I love this quote.

    The receiver, who has been sidelined since suffering a concussion last month on a vicious hit by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, said his mother bought him another model helmet, but he didn’t like it and chose to go with the Schutt model.

    I’m just imagining his mother down at Dick’s looking at helmets, asking a teenaged clerk which helmets are good ones, and asking if they can get that one in green.

    Troy Polamalu could use one of those, ’cause I think he has some serious cranial damage.
    “The people who are attracted to this game, they’re going to see the big hits, they don’t care about touchdowns,” Polamalu said. “So you’re also taking apart what attracts people to this game.”

    They don’t care about touchdowns? Um, yeah, suuuuure…

    That quote taken from this article:

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