A few nights ago I had dinner with a very nice couple — let’s call them Bob and Jill. You’d recognize Bob as someone who’s very relevant to what we all do here at Uni Watch. You wouldn’t recognize Jill, but she’s worked alongside Bob in the sports world for over 20 years.
I’d never met Jill before, and at some point it became apparent to me that she doesn’t actually like sports. “So has that been hard for you?” I asked. “You know, working in the sports world all those years?”
“No,” she said. “Because our customers, they really love sports. And I always try to remember that it’s a privilege to be able to help people with something they love.”
I think that’s pretty remarkable, and it made a huge impression on me. And while I’ll never be as gracious as Jill (because I’m, y’know, ego-driven and snarky and full of myself), I do think it’s a privilege to be at the center of the Uni Watch community, and to be able to help so many people with something they love. And believe me, I appreciate all the help that so many of you folks give me.
So today, as I’ve done for several years running, I’m giving something back. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical, it’s the day I clean out all the free swag that’s been accumulating in my desk drawers over the past year. Either way, nearly three dozen of you stand to win something for free.
One note before we get started: A few of these items are gifts that some of you have thoughtfully sent me over the past year. Believe me, I genuinely appreciate each and every item you folks send my way. But sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item but am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken ”” thanks for understanding.
Okay, enough preliminaries — here’s what’s available (all apparel items are brand-new and never worn, except as noted):
Lot 1: A free Uni Watch membership.
Lot 2: An authentic Twins road cap, size 7-1/4.
Lot 3: An authentic Royals alternate cap, size 7-1/4.
Lot 4: An authentic Giants alternate cap, size 7-1/4.
Lot 5: A Minnesota Wild compression undershirt. Better-looking than that photo indicates. Rose heather color. Polyester fabric. Tagged as a medium; measures 19.5″ pit-to-pit. I have the green version of this and can confirm that it makes a great nightshirt.
Lot 6: A Minnesota Wild mesh polo. Tagged as a medium; measures 23″ pit-to-pit, so it’s really a generous medium or a snug large. Although you can’t tell from the photo, the polyester fabric is mesh, not solid.
Lot 7: A Florida Gators helmet-themed ski cap, complete with little rubber thingies designed to look like nose and neck bumpers. One size fits all.
Lot 8: A Penn State helmet-themed ski cap. One size fits all.
Lot 9: A New York Rangers T-shirt. Heathered cotton fabric, distressed logo. Tagged as a medium; measures 22″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 10: A Celtics T-shirt. Heathered cotton fabric, mildly distressed logo. Tagged as a medium; measures 21.5″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 11: A Knicks hooded sweatshirt. Heavy cotton fabric, sewn felt lettering. Tagged as a medium; measures 23.5″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 12: A Lakers zip-front sweatshirt. Heavy cotton fabric, sewn felt lettering. Tagged as a medium; measures 23.5″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 13: A Minnesota Wild T-shirt. 100% cotton. Tagged as a medium; measures 21″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 15: A 1969 Mets pennant from Mitchell & Ness. Very soft felt fabric with flocked graphics. Due to licensing/royalties issues, the current retail version of this pennant doesn’t include the player names on the left, so this version is something of a collector’s item.
Lot 16: A Bruins throwback pom-pom ski cap from last January’s Winter Classic. One size fits all. Caitlin not included.
Lot 17: A Flyers throwback pom-pom ski cap from last January’s Winter Classic. One size fits all.
Lot 18: A plain burgundy baseball cap. Color in photos is a little off — think Redskins burgundy. Wool/acrylic blend. Leather adjusta-strap in back. I got a several of these and kept one for myself — it’s a really nice cap.
Lot 19: Same as above (I have two to give away).
Lot 20: A Houston Texans apron. Very synthetic fabric. Includes attached bottle opener.
Lot 21: A Minnesota Wild 2009-10 media guide on CD. Works on Mac or PC.
Lot 22: Five sheets of Mets temporary tattoos, suitable for plastering on Wayne Hagin’s ass or wherever else the urge strikes you.
Lot 23: My media credential from Nike’s September uniform launch event. Has “Prepare for Combat” on the other side.
Lot 24: My media credential from the NBA’s September uniform launch event. Includes my misspelled surname, corrected by hand.
Lot 25: A titanium Mets necklace from Phiten. Every bit as effective as the Tooth Fairy. Blissfully free of black.
Lot 26: A titanium Mets bracelet from Phiten. Personally endorsed by the Easter Bunny. In glorious blue and orange.
Lot 27: A titanium tornado necklace in Mets colors, hand-braided for me by Phiten necklace guru Midori Johnson, as seen here. Worn by me exactly once. Similar to the red/white version worn by Santa Claus.
Lot 28: A piece of steel supposedly from Shea Stadium. Basically a small chip of metal housed in Plexiglas — sure, sounds legitimate to me. Comes with a “certificate of authenticity” that might even be valid, who knows. Retails for $50, if you can believe that.
Lot 29: A Warriors promo kit from when their new uniforms were unveiled last summer. Includes T-shirt (tagged XL but measures 23″ pit-to-pit, which means it’s really more of a large), press release in logo-emblazoned carrier, and somewhat crumpled envelope.
Lot 30: A Pierre-Marc Bouchard laundry bag tag, designed by Wild assistant equipment manager Brent Proulx. Synthetic fabric. Measures 4″ by 6″. Bag not included — all I have is the tag.
Lot 31: An Africa Unity Shirt promo kit from Puma. When you open the wooden box, it automatically plays the sound of a cheering crowd and a roaring lion (really). Inside is a jersey with a bunch of patches. Jersey measures 17″ pit-to-pit, which is pretty damn small, although it’s fairly stretchy. Super-synthetic fabric. Did I mention that the box cheers and roars?
So that’s what’s available. Here’s how to enter to win:
1) Send one entry, and only one, to the giveaway address.
2) In the body of the e-mail, please indicate your top 10 choices, in order of preference, by lot number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, all the way to 33, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate everyone’s choices.
3) Please include your shipping address.
Entry deadline is 10pm Eastern next Thursday, December 23rd. I’ll announce the winners on Christmas Day.
Again, I’m grateful to all of you for helping to make Uni Watch such a great project. I realize these gifts are a very small gesture compared to everything you folks do for Uni Watch. But a proper-sized gesture would be seriously beyond my means. Thanks again.
Pool reminder: Phil and reader Tod Hess have put together a college football bowl pool. If you’re interested in joining, you can register here. Our Group ID# is 6828 and the Password is bfbs (all lowercase). If you want a review of the bowls and teams playing, go here and here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like the Hokies may be wearing an orange helmet for the Orange Bowl, which I guess should make us glad they’re not playing in the Poinsettia Bowl. ”¦ The Indians really nailed it with their Bob Feller memorial patch. Well done. ”¦ Two volleyball notes from the FIVB World Championships in Qatar: Thailand’s Federbrau team, the reigning Asian women’s champs, get to wear a little FIVB logo tag; and most liberos wear a different-colored shirt, but the libero for the Al ”“Ahly team from Egypt also has a different color for the number on his shorts. Unusual uni number placement on the jerseys, too — right under the collar (all this courtesy of Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Lots of sensational old Rapid Robert photos here (with thanks to Eric Bunnell). ”¦ John Freeman found this “NFL Superpro Club” Frisbee at a thrift shop. He has no idea what that club was, and neither do I. Anyone..? ”¦ New cycling kit for Team Movistar (with thanks to Sean Clancy). ”¦ Rare sight at the Phils’ presser the other day: Cliff Lee with a squatchee! (Genius catch by Scott Lederer). ”¦ Another rare sight: UGA in red pants back around 1980 (with thanks to Joe Tillman). ”¦ When the Colts introduced new uniforms in 1982 — the set with the gray trim and horseshoe-framed uni number on the home pants — this is apparently what qualified as an unveiling (great find by Joe Hilseberg). ”¦ New logo for the upcoming MLS SuperDraft (with thanks to Brian Bittner). ”¦ Adrian Gonzalez is apparently not wearing No. 23 anymore (as noted by Tom Adjelmian). ”¦ Here’s a video segment that includes a visit to the Majestic factory (with thanks to Nate Brown). ”¦ As more photos trickle out from Tuesday’s Nikegon event, I’m particularly intrigued by these two. I haven’t seen or heard any discussion of them — is that the design Nikegon planned to use if the Ducks had been the designated home team? A tempting thought, although it’s hard to imagine how the NCAA would approve black numerals on a black jersey — a potential officiating nightmare. ”¦ Mike Hersh has written yet another great piece about vintage sports posters, plus he also found something really special: an engraved invitation to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ (or Superbas’, or whatever they were called then) 1894 Opening Day. ”¦ Dayton’s blue hoops alternates will debut on Monday (with thanks to J. Cristiano). ”¦ What if you could embed a secret pattern within a jersey that would only become visible under certain lighting conditions? That’s the idea behind this Dallas Stars constellation jersey concept (cool find by Harrison Bergmann). ”¦ What have we here? It’s a uniform mock-up that Spalding did for the Reds, and by far the earliest example of such a thing I’ve ever seen. It’s part of a huge stash of uni-related Reds correspondence that Peter Nash found at the Hall of Fame. There’s more info regarding that trove of material in this article, and you can also scroll through two big files of correspondence here and here. ”¦ Here’s something the NFL should look into: The U.S. military is developing a plastic strip that soldiers can wear on their helmets to help measure impacts and diagnose brain injuries. Sounds like it could be helpful on the concussion front (big thanks to Dan Cichalski). ”¦ Best eBay find of the season: an absolutely spectacular Baltimore Colts cufflink and tie bar set (major thanks to Larry Brunt). ”¦ Is it really necessary for NFL replay booths to have their own logo? Hint: Answer rhymes with “No” (with thanks to Jeff Mayer.) ”¦ Looks like Brian Westbrook’s neck bumper got dislodged last night (screen shot courtesy of Joshua Brisco). ”¦ Coupla absolutely spectacular shots from Occidental’s 1928 women’s football team on this page. Click on each photo to get the full-sized versions — spectacular stuff (with thanks to Kirsten, who’s a proud Occidental alum). ”¦ Here’s a video clip showing the Capitals goalies’ masks for the Winter Classic, but it has a really annoying soundtrack, so hit the mute button before clicking here (with thanks to John Wood Jr.). ”¦ Check out this Brett Favre jersey cake. “Don’t scorn me for the off-center nameplate — I was in a rush!” says Sunny Moon. “Also, I ran out of yellow food coloring, so I had to improvise with the white.” ”¦ Speaking of uni-related baking projects, yesterday was a very happy day at Uni Watch HQ, as the annual shipment of uni-themed holiday cookies from reader Elena Elms arrived in the mail. I was running out the door to Open Mic Show-and-Tell and didn’t have time to take photos, but I’ll take some shots today and run them next week.