I spent yesterday afternoon in the Jersey City studios of the mighty WFMU, where I joined “Fool’s Paradise” radio host Rex and a festive crowd of merry-makers and rabble-rousers to ring in the holiday. While Rex spun hep platters like “Santa Came Home Drunk,” “Seymour the Beatnik Elf,” and “Christmas in Jail” (here’s the full playlist), the rest of us tucked into a huge spread of food and drink, including a kielbasa sausage that had been cut and styled into the cross-shaped arrangement you see above. As the most passionate carnivore and the only nominal Christ-killer among our group, I was tasked with taking the first bite. I’m happy to report that meat and the cross are indeed two great tastes that taste great together. A Christmas miracle!
The afternoon took a uni-related turn when Rex and his lovely wife Coco presented me with a most excellent gift: a pair of genuine San Francisco Giants sanitary socks that they’d pinched from AT+T Park during a recent tour (eat your heart out, Brinke). The only problem is that Rex — who’d had quite a few Kringle’s Tingle cocktails by this point — referred to them on the air as “sanitation socks.” Fortunately, I was already standing near a microphone, so I corrected him and order was swiftly restored.
I’m having a few friends over today for a Boxing Day feast (gonna be making this; here’s the full recipe), so I probably won’t be paying much attention to football. Also, we’re under a blizzard warning here in NYC, which is always fun. Assuming my friends are able to make it over in the first place, they may end up snowed in here for a while. Fortunately, there should be more than enough food to last us a few days, so we won’t have to go all Donner Party on each other. Probably.
Uni Watch News Ticker, Special Sunday Edition: The Nuggets wore black shoes and socks on the road last Wednesday night, and then again yesterday. “That’s the first time this season I’ve seen black shoes with the baby blue jerseys,” says Dan Buckalew. “Maybe they just didn’t feel like packing their white shoes on this road trip, or maybe they’ll continue to go with this look.” ”¦ Speaking of the NBA, here’s a quick roundup of yesterday’s Christmas action: The Knicks and Bulls went green-vs.-red with a variety of shoe colors; the Lakers wore Grinch-colored sneakers; the Thunder lent credence to the Nike/Day-Glo conspiracy theory; and lots of players went with Christmas themed footwear and accessories. ”¦ Meanwhile, Ryan Mandel notes that the league’s snowflake logo looks a bit like a Star of David, but Phil points out that you can barely even see the snowflake on white jerseys because it doesn’t have a dark outline. ”¦ Back on Friday I mentioned that Freddie Dean appeared to have an aftermarket first initial in 1982. But now it turns out that the other Dean on that team, Vernon Dean, had the exact same kind of initial. The initials — both of which are the wrong font, too far to the left, and without a period — must both have been added after the jerseys were received from the manufacturer (great detective work by Dan Bly). ”¦ In a related item, check out the NOBs on the Sutter brothers — different fonts, and only one of them has a period after the initial (good spot by Michael Wilder). ”¦ Michel Hendriks checked in from the Netherlands, where he coaches a local baseball club called the UVV Red Lions. They’ve just released a BP jersey based on an old Netherlands team design. Note that the original version included a uni number on the thigh. ”¦ I forgot to include the photo link for one of the items in Thursday’s Ticker, so let’s try it again, this time with the proper visuals: “A few days ago I ran a photo of this vintage jersey I recently won on eBay. It turns out Rachel Askin has another version of the same exact jersey. “My dad wore it while playing in an adult softball league in Philadelphia, probably in the late ’70s,” she says. “The team was formed by my uncle and his friends. They were economists, so they named their team the Invisible Hands, after Adam Smith’s famous phrase.” Sorry for botching that the first time, Rachel. ”¦ My buddy Todd Abramson attended the World Series in San Francisco and finally got around to sending me a photo he took of the ball boy’s logo-emblazoned stool. No, not that kind of stool (although having a logo on that would be quite a trick) —this kind. ”¦ Kyle Donnelly got this awesome 1962 curling pin for Christmas. “You can sort of see how the texture under the outside green border and red ring of the house catch the light, but the photo hardly does it justice,” he says. ”¦ Very intriguing Texas A&M football report by John Trigg, who writes: “There’s been a good discussion on an Aggie message board, with great pics, about the possibility of bringing back A&M’s 1970s-era cross-shoulder jersey stripes, which was as close as A&M has gotten to an iconic uniform look in its history. Nobody then had that look, and nobody since. The discussion thread and pics are here.” ”¦ “We all know the Riddell Revoloution Speed helmet’s unusual vent positioning creates challenges for helmet decals,” writes Clint Glaze. “Here’s how the SDSU Aztecs deal with it: Apparently they make the logo a little smaller and actually tighten up the arc of the lettering.” ”¦ Tulsa added a little floral pattern to their blue helmet stripe and helmet script for the Hawaii Bowl on Friday. ”¦ “As one of your shoe nerds, I feel it is my duty to bring this to light,” says Greg Riffenburgh. “Donovan McNabb has been wearing a player-exclusive version of Nike’s Air Max MVP, a molded baseball cleat, for much of the season, on both natural and artificial turfs. And Ben Roethlisberger has been wearing mismatched shoes with heavy tape on the right one since he hurt his ankle, as you can see in these photos from Weeks 13, 14, 15, and 16. Note the different combinations used for natural and artificial turf. The shoes worn on his left foot are his usual player-exclusive designs (for both surfaces) and those on his right appear to be standard-issue black/white shoes, chosen (presumably) for the extra ankle support he needs on the injured leg.” ”¦ Poignant Christmas story from Brinke, who writes: “Back in the 1970s, the Reds had a gift shop in downtown Cincinnati, called the 580 Building. I went all the time, bought lots of Reds items, including this game-used Darrel Chaney hat. I hadn’t seen it in years, but it arrived this week, along with some other caps my Mom had kept all these years — she passed away in the summer of 2009, and we received some of her things this week. So my first-ever big league hat ended up being a nice Christmas present from the past, from the best Mom anyone could ever have.”