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Numbers Game

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During a recent round-up of wire service photos, I linked to this photo of Rollie Hemsley and had this to say about it: “I’ve always thought there’s something a bit off about a manager who insists on wearing No. 1. Like, if you need a uni number to tell people you’re at the top of the food chain, you probably don’t belong there in the first place. And if you also need a big-ass chair with No. 1 painted on it, maybe you should just take your Napoleon Complex and go home.”

That prompted reader Randy Miller to post the following comment: “The Reds were one of the teams that followed the (Frick? Chandler? Giles?) numbering system back in the 1950s and 1960s, with the infielders wearing 10s, outfielders wearing 20s, etc. ”” and the manager wearing 1 and the coaches 2 through 5.”

That was news to me. I mean, I knew various uni-numerical protocols had developed over the years, but I’d never heard of a specific system being set out, so I asked Randy if he could elaborate further. He gladly obliged, as follows:

I haven’t been able to find a direct link to a specific edict from [former N.L. president Warren] Giles on uniform numbering — perhaps there’s some evidence in the library at Cooperstown. But based on the rosters in the National League, I do have some clear deductions that I think indicate what probably happened.

Before being named National League president, Giles was general manager of the Reds from 1937 through 1951. In 1938, his second year, the Reds drastically altered their numbering system by issuing jerseys numbered consecutively from 35 (Ernie Lombardi) through 67 (coach Edd Roush). Johnny Vander Meer threw his consecutive no-hitters wearing 57 during this season. This consecutive numbering concept was used by a few football and many basketball teams of the time — many of the Uni Watch photo galleries from this era and into the early ’50s show this pattern. [I double-checked this, and sure enough, the lowest uni number on the Reds’ 1938 roster was 35! An amazing detail I’d never known about. — PL]

The following year, 1939, the Reds adopted what we can call the Giles system: Manager Bill McKechnie wore No. 1; since teams had only two coaches in those days, Hank Gowdy wore 2 and Jimmie Wilson wore 3. Next came the catchers, who were assigned single-digit numbers (Lombardi went from 35 to 4). Infielders wore numbers in the 10s, outfielders in the 20s, and pitchers 30 on up (Vander Meer now wore 33.) The Reds would keep this uniform system into the 1960s, with a few changes here and there. The managers and coaches wore numbers in the 50s for four years before Birdie Tebbetts reclaimed No. 1 in 1954, for example. Reds managers continued to wear 1 until Fred Hutchinson died of cancer and the team retired it in his honor.

I’ve read that Giles sought to standardize the National League’s numbering when he was league president. If so, he wasn’t very successful. One guy who did follow the system was Leo Durocher, whose New York Giants would follow the Giles pattern, as would his Cubbies in the ’60s. The Cubs had already followed a modified version of the Giles system prior to Durocher’s arrival, with their College of Coaches wearing numbers in the 50s and 60s but the players following along in the classic Giles manner.

Giles was instrumental in bringing baseball to Houston, and the original Colt .45s followed his system to a T. The other 1962 expansion team, the Mets — with Casey Stengel wearing 37 and original team MVP Richie Ashburn wearing his familiar 1 — did not.

Probably the most enduring aspect of the Giles system was idea of giving managers and coaches low numbers. Pittsburgh’s manager Billy Meyer wore No. 1 before it was retired for him, and subsequent managers Fred Haney and Bobby Bragan wore No. 2. The Phillies spent about 20 years with Gene Mauch, Bob Skinner, Frank Lucchesi, and Danny Ozark wearing low numbers (4, 1, 1, and 3, respectively), with most of their coaches wearing single digits as well. Braves coaches wore low numbers even if Eddie Mathews (41) and Hank Aaron (44) didn’t fit the pattern.

The American League mostly avoided the Giles system, though Tebbetts brought it over to Cleveland in the mid-1960s. A couple of A.L. teams were better known for assigning coaches higher numbers: Red Sox coaches wore the low 30s for years and the Twins assigned their coaches consecutive numbers in the 40s.

There have been other systems, of course. The Yankees assigned their original numbers based on the batting order (helping to consign pitchers to double-digit jerseys), and Pittsburgh originally gave its outfielders the 10s, infielders the 20s, catchers 30-32, the manager 33, and coaches 34-36, with pitchers getting 40 on up.

But no system ever seemed to work perfectly, even for the Reds. Players got traded and there usually wasn’t a surplus of extra uniforms sitting around, so new acquired players had to wear whatever was available. Robin Roberts famously wore 36 because he came up to replace Nick Strincevich, who told him “I hope 36 brings you better luck than it brought me.” Tony Perez came up at a time when most of the infielder numbers were previously assigned, so he was given 24. Sparky Anderson wound up with 10 in Cincinnati after the 1 jersey was retired, and after that the system seemed to erode.

That, my friends, is one serious tutorial. And aside from the Yankees’ original batting-order system, I knew nothing about any of this (maybe because the team I follow has never had a specific uni-numerical system).

A few thoughts:

•  I’d never really thought about this before, but a single-digitized pitching coach seems as incongruous to me as a single-digitized pitcher. But I guess it was common on certain teams.

•  It’s fascinating to learn that the two leagues took distinct approaches to uni numbers. Just another aspect of the separate league identities that no longer exist. A pity.

•  One thing Randy’s treatise hinted at but didn’t explicitly mention: Numbering systems no doubt became less and less practical as teams began retiring numbers.

I don’t know about you, but this is precisely the sort of baseball geek-o-rama topic I need to help tide me over until pitchers and catchers. Major thanks to Randy for the excellent history lesson.

Uni Watch News Ticker: As expected, Virginia Tech wore orange helmets for the Orange Bowl, which mainly made them look like Syracuse. According to a thread on the Chris Creamer board, this was the fifth different helmet they wore this season, the others being maroon, black, white, and white with striping. ”¦ Meanwhile, Stanford’s Shayne Skov got a little carried away with the eye-black. ”¦ Oooh, check out this 1950s Milwaukee Braves usher’s jacket. ”¦ Major junior hockey note from Brad Smith, who writes: “The Halifax Mooseheads and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL brand their holiday home-and-home as the Battle of Nova Scotia. They sport jerseys based on the Nova Scotia flag, with Cape Breton wearing white (the official flag design) and Halifax wearing the inverse.” ”¦ “Wish I could see the inside of this coloring book,” says Mike Hersh. Me, too. ”¦ Here’s SMU’s BFBS helmet, which will presumably be paired with the new black jersey the next time they want to “honor” Army sell some black merch (with thanks to Ryan Allison). ”¦ Ben Gorbaty notes that Marc-Andre Fleury’s Winter Classic mask was actually a tribute to Michel Dion’s 1980s mask. ”¦ Totally loving this old Giants practice shirt (Mike Hersh again). ”¦ I confess that I don’t really know what the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game is, which is just as well, because the uniforms are bloody hideous. Further photos here. ”¦ Good catch by Joe Lombardo, who spotted Boomer Esiason wearing a No. 10 jacket over his No. 7 jersey. ”¦ Fascinating soccer note from Chris Cruz, who writes: “In a game against Chelsea, Ashley Young of Aston Villa wore long undersleeves that hooked around his thumbs so they wouldn’t ride up.” ”¦ A U.S. Senator is calling for an investigation into potentially deceptive football helmet safety claims. ”¦ Day-Glo Conspiracy update: If you click ahead to the ninth photo in this slideshow, you’ll see that Oregon is apparently planning to wear neon-highlighter knee braces next week (big thanks to Kane Bickford). ”¦ Here’s a stunner: Those PowerBalance wristbands don’t actually enhance performance. Next they’ll be telling us that Phiten necklaces don’t work and that there’s no Santy Claus.

221 comments to Numbers Game

  • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    Fascinating soccer note from Chris Cruz, who writes: “In a game against Chelsea, Ashley Young of Aston Villa wore long undersleeves that hooked around his thumbs so they wouldn’t ride up.”


    i know i’ve seen that somewhere before…oh yeah…

    – I was mildly obsessed with the odd collar on bench coach L.I. Phil‘s 2007 Chivas Guadalajara jersey. And hey, see that hole near the end of the sleeve? That’s so you can do this!


    • possum | January 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

      Not sure if this is a fashion thing or what, but my step daughters have several shirts with the thumb holes. Before they came along, I thought my 100% hemp Phish hoodie (doesn’t make me as crunchy as it sounds LOL) was just a hippie thing for really cold days.

      • Stirpey | January 5, 2011 at 3:37 am |

        They’re Thumbie’s! Kind of like how ‘hooded sweatshirt’ is no longer that but is referred to as a ‘hoody.’ Those are thumbie’s

  • Hank-SJ | January 4, 2011 at 8:51 am |

    PowerBalance: just another example of stupid is as stupid does.

    • Adam | January 4, 2011 at 9:25 am |

      It’s really not a matter of being stupid. It’s simple psychology. Tests have proven that people wearing the “PowerBalance” wrist bands did indeed do better on simple tasks such as a high jump, broad jump, etc. But, these results were achieved only when the participants knew they were wearing the band. When a blind test was done with a PowerBalance vs a generic silicone wrist band, results were identical. PowerBalance works because of the placebo effect. Now that is has been exposed as a psychological tool, it will most likely lose all credibility and popularity. After all, it only works when people believe there is something special about it.

      • =bg= | January 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm |

        a scam! shocked, I tell you.

        and Darren Rovell @ CNBC called this his ‘product of the year.”

        Wanna pull back on that a bit, DR?

        As Curly said: “Nyuk nyuk nyuk.”

    • scott | January 4, 2011 at 9:33 am |

      I guess they’ll have to go back to using PEDs.

      • MN | January 4, 2011 at 10:18 am |

        If you read the fine print the refund is only valid on items purchased in Australia. I wonder how long it will take before someone in North America notices these snake oil salesmen.

  • 5w30 | January 4, 2011 at 8:54 am |

    30, 36, 39, 41, 42, 43, 45
    Not a bad bunch of numbers for a pitching staff.

  • MPowers1634 | January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am |

    My daughters were given a similar coloring book by their great grandfather…I will try to find it to see how badly they may have desecrated the beautiful uniforms!

  • Geeman | January 4, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    Every time Va. Tech trots out some uniform gimmick, it seems, it loses. The season started in those riddiculous black uniforms when it lost to Boise State. There was the Halloween orange jersey fiasco last year at home against Carolina. Does Va. Tech get it yet?

  • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 9:05 am |

    Next they’ll be telling us that Phiten necklaces don’t work and that there’s no Santy Claus.

    Phiten works perfectly well in relieving my aches and pains!!!

    That, and all the aspirin I pop. :-)

  • Mark M | January 4, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    In the last few years FIFA has started mandating the use of consecutive numbers for national teams during their tournaments. A 23-person roster has to be 1-23, an 18-person roster is 1-18.

    It makes it impossible for a national team to “retire” a number.

    Soccer initially used a 1-11 numbering scheme. There was no substitution in high-level soccer until the 60’s so there was no need for extra numbers for a particular match. This means the numbers have traditionally been low, but no variation is now allowed in FIFA tournaments.

    Clubs typically have more leeway, witness the MLS all-time leading scorer Jaime Moreno finishing his career wearing 99.

    • Andy | January 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |

      Is it done by position, or is the only stipulation that the numbers are consecutive, i.e., you can always give the ‘best’ player the 10 jersey or you can always give a ‘legendary’ player his same number, provided it is within the range?

      • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 9:26 am |

        FIFAs only rule at present is that one of the goalies must wear # 1. The other players may wear any number within the range (2-18 for a World Cup qualifier; 2-20, I think, at the Olympics; 2-23 at the World Cup Finals).

    • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |

      Clubs gained that flexibility only within the last 15 years or so, when the high-level leagues such as England, Spain, Germany, and Italy began to have the teams put players names on the backs of jerseys, and requiring the players to wear one number throughout the season. Prior to that, soccer was like rugby, where the starters wore 1-11, and your number was position-based.

      • timmy b | January 4, 2011 at 10:34 am |

        I know one World Cup for sure (1982) and I’m thinking another Argentina handed out shirt numbers based on A-B-C order of the player’s last name. Ossie Ardiles, a position player, wore #1. I think it’s the only time I ever remember a position player wearing #1 in a soccer match.

        And the Dutch goalie in the 1974 WC Final vs West Germany (Jan Jongbloed?) wore #8. I remember this from the behind the goal shot of Paul Breitner’s PK on Jongbloed.

        The Premier League started NOB’s and assigned shirt numbers in the 1993-94 season. Not sure about the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A.

    • Shane | January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

      Except when Sunderland signed Patrick Mboma and the Premier League refused to let him wear the #70 he wore with Parma..

  • traxel | January 4, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    To continue last night’s banter (I’m a scan, slam, and bolt poster in case you can’t tell)….

    +1 is a no go jimvilk. Occasional game on standby? Something that big? Only when needed? Nope. Sorry Sunbowlker. Also, I’m a church going guy who says yes to playing on Christmas Day. The NBA bores me to death.

    Thejeff, I can go for no intradivisional play. SoS can then be dumped for good. And if Boise wants to play with the big boys they can join a big 6 conf like TCU is doing. I’d put a cap on the number of teams in the top layer, say 72? But also conferences should dump deadbeat schools.

    8 teams only. Win your conf and you are in. Two at large. Rank em up, play em off. Dec 25, Jan 1, and Jan 8.

    • Andy | January 4, 2011 at 9:22 am |

      At the rate it’s going, the Big East isn’t going to be a Big 6 conference for too much longer. They’re not competitive year in and year out, only sparingly.

    • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

      You have to add more teams to your 1-A playoffs idea hoss. There are 11 Conferences that play 1-A ball.
      Mid American
      Big East
      Mountain West
      Then you can have 3-5 at large bids. I prefer the 16-team playoff system. Just use the 1-AA model and there you go.

      • traxel | January 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

        Why add more teams? I don’t consider any team ranked 9-16 ever championship caliber. Each conf. champ (win something and you are in) and also the two best of whoever is left. 16 is too many.

        • Aaron | January 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

          By that logic, why have a 64 team basketball tournament? Nobody’s won lower than, what, an 8 seed? Because I don’t really see anybody clamoring to go back to a 32-team tournament.

        • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

          Because if you play 1-A ball, then you have the right to play for a championship, no matter the size of the school. If you fullfil the requirements to participate in Division 1-A, then you get to play for a championship.

      • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

        There are 11 conferences that are designated 1-A, but the MAC, Sunbelt and C-USA are 1-A in name only. Put them in 1-AA where they belong.

        • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |

          @Jim….that’s your opinion. Those schools followed the rules that are in place by the NCAA and went up to Div. 1-A. Until those rules change, these mid major schools should have an opportunity to win a championship.

          @Aaron…Texas Western. NCAA Champions 1966. I don’t remember their seeding, but they beat Kentucky. The rules are different for basketball. I think there are about 200-250 schools that play D-1 basketball. At least those small schools have a chance to win a championship. In football, they don’t.

        • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

          I went to a MAC school. I agree they should have a chance in football, but realistically they don’t.

          Villanova was an 8 seed when they won the ’85 basketball championship, which was the lowest. I could live with a 32-team March Madness, but I do like the 64. Glad they didn’t go up to 96.

  • The Jeff | January 4, 2011 at 9:21 am |

    “A U.S. Senator is calling for an investigation into potentially deceptive football helmet safety claims.”

    Really? I guess the economy is fixed then, if the senate has time to worry about football helmets.

    The whole thing is silly to me as long as we’re still allowing MMA, UFC and boxing events, among other things. We as a society will spend millions of dollars to watch 2 men intentionally beat the hell out of each other with no protection at all, but let’s make a government issue out of football helmets possibly not being as safe as the manufacturer claims. Even if they could make a concussion proof helmet (which they can’t) you still have a risk of neck injury if you should happen to get hit in the chest and your head snaps forward, without even hitting anything else. It’s a violent sport, there’s always going to be a chance for injuries to occur. The only way to stop that is to not play.

    • Andy | January 4, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      They wear padded knuckle-covers.

    • Paul Lukas | January 4, 2011 at 9:26 am |

      >>Really? I guess the economy is fixed then, if the senate has time to worry about football helmets.<< Yeah, because the safety of millions of kids playing football is of zero national interest.

    • Geeman | January 4, 2011 at 10:41 am |

      Yeah, because if the economy is fixed, who cares if kids are injured by defective products, right?

    • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

      I just don’t see technology coming to save the day here. A better helmet isn’t needed…rule changes are needed.

      You could wrap these guys’ heads in a foot of bubble wrap and it wouldn’t prevent concussions, because you get them from your brain still moving after your body stops.

      To lessen the risk, eliminate launching yourself at a player. Lineman stand up at the line, and if a tackler does anything but arm tackle, penalize him.

      I know, the NFL probably wouldn’t go for this, but at least do it for the kids still in school.

      • RS Rogers | January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

        I just don’t see technology coming to save the day here.

        In fact, the medical studies hint that equipment may have made the problems worse in the last two generations. So to the extent that a technological solution involves more or “better” padding, it is likely to make the concussion problem worse. The problem isn’t that players have too little padding. It’s that they are hit too hard for the human neck and skull. The more padding you have, the harder you can hit.

        I’d propose starting from scratch on player padding. Take each piece of a player’s equipment and ask, “Does this piece of equipment directly and primarily reduce the risk of concussion or other head injury?” If the answer is “no,” then eliminate that piece of equipment. At the end of that process, the only piece of equipment left will be the helmet. And since the modern helmet is unsafe for use against players who aren’t wearing all the other body armor, lighter helmets more like those used in hockey will be substituted – and properly designed, lighter, softer helmets should also reduce concussion risks. Then we can think about throwing in shin guards on account of cleats, and voila! We’ll not only have made football safer, but we’ll also take a step toward making it a real sport again.

      • SkinnerAU | January 5, 2011 at 8:57 am |

        “To lessen the risk, eliminate launching yourself at a player. Lineman stand up at the line, and if a tackler does anything but arm tackle, penalize him.”

        I just threw up in my mouth at my desk. right now. i mean right now.

  • db | January 4, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    Not surprising that the red/black/white scheme is all over the Under Armor unis. The head of the company is a Maryland grad (probably from a few years ago since the yellow in their scheme is relatively recent and it seems to disappear or be given a less prominent role in the Terps unis).

    • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 9:34 am |

      Maryland was wearing yellow in their basketball uniforms as early as the 1980s (IIRC, they had a red and white set with black trim, a yellow set with red and black numbers, and a black set with yellow and white trim). State flag and all…

      • db | January 4, 2011 at 11:43 am |

        Oh, yeah. Lefty was a little ahead of his time with the multiple color unis. I think one year they actually had four at time when it was rare for teams to have three. That yellow uni with red lettering/numbering was a real eyesore. As for the football team, the only yellow I recall in the Under Armor period is some piping on the unis (except for the flag patch).

        • Geeman | January 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

          Maryland broke out the gold uniforms in the 1981 ACC tournament. They got to the championship game when that was a big deal, but higher-seeded UNC pulled a switcheroo and wore its road uniform, forcing Maryland to don white. Maryland lost 61-60, its second straight loss in the final. Maryland continued to wear the gold in the NCAAs and throughout the 1980s. The gold Len Bias jersey was a big thing.

  • Jeff Ryder | January 4, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • pushbutton | January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am |

      Did I imagine it, or didn’t Ditka go through a suit-and-tie phase at some point in Chicago? Maybe post-heart attayek?

      • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

        Correct. He said that wearing a coat and tie would keep him under control (yeah, right).

  • traxel | January 4, 2011 at 9:37 am |

    When it comes to numbering patterns, the NBA has always bothered me. Dr. J wearing #6. Havilcek wearing #17. Basketball digits should always be 1 through 5 only. The ref can display that on his hand as long as he has all of his own digits.

    The only position that should use number 1 in the NFL is the kicker. Jeff George looked like the most conceded ass in the league in his Falcons days. It’s hard for a kicker to look too arrogant.

    The trend for high numbers in baseball, hockey, basketball is bad too. If it were the pinstripe bowl these guys deserve a flag for saying “look at me” more than an excited salute reaction. I’m talking about Dennis Rodman wearing 91. Ron Artest – 97. Tomas Kokecky – 82. Wojtek Wolski – 86. Mitch Williams – 99. Hell, even Carlton Fisk wearing 72.

    Years ago I thought it was annoying when NFL players started wearing numbers in the 90’s. Before 1980 or so there weren’t many (any?).

    • The Jeff | January 4, 2011 at 9:42 am |

      Was this guy also a conceited ass?

      • traxel | January 4, 2011 at 9:50 am |

        You bet. And I’m sure his wife thought so 10-15 years ago too.

      • Flip | January 4, 2011 at 10:08 am |

        Boy I miss those Oiler threads.

    • Adam | January 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |

      Ron Artest has worn 15, 23, 91, 93, 96, 37, and 15 (in that order). Never 97.

      • traxel | January 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm |


    • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am |

      Gretzky started the high-number trend in hockey with Lemieux, Jagr and Bourque along behind. Four of the best players of the past 30 years.

      So a QB wearing 1 is bad, what about a WR?

      • Ken | January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

        Since I’m at work at don’t have much access to the internet I’m doing this from memory….
        Gretzky’s 99 came about because his usual number 9 was taken on one of the teams he was playing on so he doubled it.
        Borque’s double was because of the B’s retiring #7 in honor of Phil Esposito and Ray wanted to stay the way.

        Jagr’s 68 is from his Czech history. (can’t remember the story about Mario’s)
        For several other players the number represents the year they defected or made it to the NHL. (Fedorov’s 91, Mogilny’s 89)
        And one player has his bday… 8-7-87

        As for Pudge Fisk’s 72..that was just his reverse of his Red Sox 27

        • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

          Mario took Gretzky’s 99 and turned it upside down, hence the 66.

          And I say humbug to almost any numbering system. Yes, football can separate eligible receivers from ineligible receivers, but that’s it. I loved that Miss. State’s QB was allowed to wear 36 in the Gator Bowl. Let’s see more of that stuff.

          As for the NBA, its refs have managed to display player numbers all these years without any problems. College refs can do it, too.

          Fix computer scoring systems so football and hockey players can wear 0 and 00 as well.

          I do draw the line at fractions, decimals, negative numbers and anything over 99, though.

        • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

          What about imaginary numbers? (. . . and not just for fantasy teams)

        • Rob S | January 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

          Specifically, Jagr’s 68 was in memory of both the Prague Spring, and his grandfather’s passing (both in 1968, four hears before he was born).

          Tomas Holmstrom switched from 15 to 96 in March of 1998 because the more veteran Dmitri Mironov had just come over, and wanted 15; Homer took the number he started in the NHL, 96, because his first choice, 10, was unavailable (having been retired for Alex Delvecchio). Of course, Homer’s made 96 his own…

          The NHL actually outlawed 0 and 00 sometime around 1997. Martin Biron was the last goalie to wear it, having been called up to the Sabres around 1995; he didn’t get back to the NHL until after the rule had changed, though, so he switched to 43.

          Somebody want to explain to me the significance of Jay McKee’s 74, though? He wasn’t born in 1974 or on the 4th of July, and I’ve seen nothing as to why he usually wears 74. Or T.J. Oshie and 74, for that matter (being even younger than McKee).

        • Rob S | January 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |

          DenverGregg, no, I don’t think the square root of -1 would be considered appropriate for a sports uniform… XD

        • Aaron | January 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

          What about i on the back of a jersey?

  • Joe Barrie | January 4, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    The 1954 world champion New York Giants used single digits for coaches, manager and catchers. Infielders’ numbers began with 10 (Davey Williams) and ended with 19 (Alvin Dark). Outfielders began with 20 (Monte Irvin) and ended with 27 (Bill Taylor).

    With the exception of Ruben Gomez (28) pitchers wore numbers in the 30s and 40s. Paul Giel had 31, and Hoyt Wilhelm had 49.

    Whitey Lockman kept 25 when he moved from left field to third base, though. Bobby Thomson had his number changed from 19 to 23 when he became an outfield regular, but he played third base in 1951. By 1954 he was on the Braves.

  • CharlieParker | January 4, 2011 at 9:51 am |

    When I first watched the video of 1973 World Series introductions I did notice both sets of coaches had consecutive numbers, Mets 50’s and A’s 40’s. Now, looking at the ’73 Mets roster it was pretty close to a system, a few exceptions yes, but still.

    • UmpLou | January 4, 2011 at 11:51 am |

      The 1969 Mets were almost letter…er…number perfect in maintaining a ‘system’ :

      The exceptions to the norm:

      4 Ron Swoboda – When Swoboda came up in 65 his number was 14, but when the Mets acquired Ken Boyer in 66, Boyer’s number with the Cardinals had always been 14, so naturally the Mets let him keep it. I also think in 66 the Mets tried to make Rocky Ron a 1st baseman, due to his clunky OF skills.

      8/14 Yogi and Gil Hodges using the Casey Stengel Living Legends exception clause

      And when the Mets got Clendenon in that trade, they probably grandfathered his number from the Pirates.

      Otherwise a model of consistency….

    • UmpLou | January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am |

      Also, one of the interesting little things in Ball Four. is that Bouton, when he was traded late in the season from the Pilots to the Astros, asked for his trademark 56 (which was in 1969 a VERY high number for a regular pitcher), he was told that the Astros gave their pitchers numbers in the 30’s and 40s, and Bouton got 44 for the rest of the 69 season – but- for the start of the 70 season, he got his ‘normal’ 56 back.

      <<owner of a Pilots home uni with #56 on it

  • Richard | January 4, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    In a desperate attempt to find anything redeeming about the UnderArmour monstrosities…those are nice socks as mid-calf socks go.

    Otherwise…good God. In the the play-war universe of UA and Nike Pro C, whoever designed those pants should be brought before the Hague.

    • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 11:33 am |

      The use of compression sleeves to incorporate a design attribute is a general positive, but the design incorporated on the sleeves is pretty craptastic.

      Back on my hobby horse: NFL and probably NCAA are going to be mandating full sleeves in at least some cases to prevent visible tattooed advertisements, mainly because those ads wouldn’t provide any revenue to the entity, just to the player. MLB may follow suit. NHL doesn’t have this problem. Don’t know what MLS would do. Don’t give half a flying fig about what any basketball league would do, but think it would be highly amusing if some major NBA star inked an explicit ad for a porno vendor.

  • Flip | January 4, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    From Shorpy, Georgetown’s football team of a hundred years ago.

    • Broadway Connie | January 4, 2011 at 10:46 am |

      That is a fabulous picture, Flip. Also an interesting documentation of the upwardly-mobile segments of US Catholic populations at the time.

    • teenchy | January 4, 2011 at 10:50 am |

      A greasy mess?

      • teenchy | January 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |

        Oops, that should’ve been the response to the Bryce Harper/Shayne Skov eyeblack description below. Sorry.

      • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 11:34 am |

        People probably said that about that Georgetown team anyway, FWIW.

    • Michael Koch | January 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

      I would love to know what’s in the window on the upper left

  • Mark in Shiga | January 4, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    Paul, here’s something to add to Randy’s numbering-system info (which I also thoroughly enjoyed as I’m a number fanatic too, and hadn’t known that it was Durocher who used it in Chicago; I thought it was clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano’s thing).

    I think the Mets do have one informal version of this: they tend to give numbers in the low 50s to coaches. (Check out “Mets by the Numbers” and see.) I always liked this because it freed up the lower numbers for players and ensured that the Mets didn’t often have to use those hideous 50+ digits for players on the field. When you did see a 51 or 52 come out of the dugout for a conference on the mound, it didn’t look that weird.

    But what I wanted to mention was this: over here in Japan, there are fairly rigid systems of numbering used both in high school baseball and in the professional leagues.

    In high school, numbers aren’t sewn onto the jerseys, but are rather attached using velcro, with only the players participating in a given game having numbers. (There might be 50-80 boys on the team; they’re blank-backed in practice.) The strips of fabric with numbers on them have black printing (in a standardized font) on a white rectangular field, regardless of the team’s actual jersey colors or fonts. It looks surprisingly good. Each player weres his position on his back — so ace pitchers inevitably get #1 — with the backup pitchers wearing 10 and 11, the backup catcher wearing 12, and the other backups wearing 13-16 (or up to 18, depending on how many players are on the roster).

    In many amateur leagues, including the one I’m in, jersey numbers are limited from 1-30, and 30 has to be the manager. Sometimes they demand that the assistant manager be 29, but not always. In any case, captains sometimes order up an extra fabric sheet with “30” printed on it so that they can pin that over their real number if they enter a tournament that’s strict about numbering.

    Now for the professionals.

    It seems to be an ironclad rule that numbers from 11 to 20 go to pitchers. I’d have to look it up, but I’d be amazed if anything less than 95% of all the players to wear numbers between 11 and 19 were pitchers. You just don’t see position players wearing these, no matter how natural it might look to a fan of the US major leagues. And some of the exceptions are American imports who bring their numbers with them.

    The next rule is that coaches and managers must wear 70 or over, usually in the 70s and 80s.

    (There are up to 70 players on a team’s combined first-team and second-team (AAA-level) rosters, which is probably one reason behind it — players from 0 to 69 and then coaches above that.)

    Coaches don’t even get to keep the numbers they had when they were playing — the legendary Shigeo Nagashima had to switch from his number 3 (which was retired for him!) to 90 when he took over as manager, and Sadaharu Oh lost his number 1 in favor of 89. Only in the last decade or so have a few managers been able to reclaim their original numbers — notably Bobby Valentine, who got his familiar 2 instead of the hideous 81 that they had been making him wear. Katsuya Nomura (Eagles, 19), Koji Yamamoto (Carp, 8), and Nagashima (the Giants let him have 3 again with a huge amount of fanfare that inspired one wag to point out that Nagashima was on the cover of every sports paper just because he changed his number; anyone else wouldn’t get that much media attention if he changed his sex) are three in a very select group that didn’t have to wear outlandish numbers when managing.

    The 90s had previously been occupied by miscellaneous staff members like bullpen catchers and BP pitchers, but with coaches coming into that area, now you see these guys wearing three digits. Next time you see a team celebrating a championship on the field and are wondering who those guys wearing 106 and 109 are, remember that this is one of the only times that bullpen staffers, interpreters, fitness instructors, and what-have-you get in front of the cameras!

    And now there’s one more wrinkle.

    There’s only one “farm club” for each team, which doesn’t leave a lot of space to develop players. So a few years ago a new system was inaugurated where teams could carry additional players as “developmental players” who were eligible to appear only in farm-club games. These guys have to wear three-digit numbers (and have to switch to one or two digits if they ever get called up). Most teams give them 100 + some normal number, as you might expect, but the Chunichi Dragons decided to jump to the 200s for them.

    I’d definitely prefer to see the farm clubs have their own uniforms and numbers so that we don’t have to see such high jersey numbers on the mid-season callups (let alone coaches), but nobody seems to want to change the system. And if they’re willing to go above 200 now, who knows what might happen in the future? A second level of minor league, with everybody in the 300s?

    • adam | January 4, 2011 at 11:53 am |

      Paul’s post, and marc’s addendum were fascinating! Thanks to both of you for “droppin’ the knowledge” as the monochromatic, BFBS overly eyeblack’d kids would say.

  • Dave Mac | January 4, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    Posted this late last night, just want to try it again here:

    “Super Bowl 45 logo question.

    Beginning this year, the NFL will use the same design for the Super Bowl logo every year. Is it just me, or will everyone else miss seeing a new logo every year? I love the Super Bowl logos.

    I can understand that they want a consistent brand (they’ve updated all other logos this year too), and the new SB logo is a good one, but I think it will get pretty boring. Especially with silver being the only color in the logo.”

    EMD then replied:

    “It’s a meaningless gesture. The Super Bowl brand is large enough to forgo logo consistency.”

    • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

      What????????????????????????????????? Just kill me now…..

  • Broadway Connie | January 4, 2011 at 10:56 am |

    “… Major junior hockey note from Brad Smith, who writes: “The Halifax Mooseheads and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL brand their holiday home-and-home as the Battle of Nova Scotia. They sport jerseys based on the Nova Scotia flag, with Cape Breton wearing white (the official flag design) and Halifax wearing the inverse.” …”


    Good looking duds! The blue-on-white saltire design of the NS provincial flag is itself the inverse of the white-on-blue of the Scottish national flag. Which inspired the Confederate battle flag. All of which are based on the Cross of Saint Andrew, the inverse of which was also adopted by the Russian Navy, which explains why an inattentive Aleut might presume that the gunships plying the Bering Straits represent Nova Scotian expansionism.

    • Greg B. | January 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

      I live about a mile from the arena where the hockey game shown in those pics was played, and I had no idea the teams donned Nova Scotia-themed jerseys for that game. Guess that tells you how much of a hockey fan I am these days.

      The jerseys look pretty good, though I think Reebok (or whoever did the design) needs to reduce the scale of the cross a bit, to give more of a contrast between the white jerseys and the blue jerseys in frontal view. It would also make them a closer representation of the actual flag.

  • Nathan Scot | January 4, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    SMU’s coach, June Jones, is obviously influenced by his tenure with Jerry Glanville, who can be credited with introducing black to the NFL. He wears a lot of black, and too his credit Hawai’i now has sharp uni’s (RIP Rainbow Warriors head trip) SMU loyalist seem to prefer the white helmets, w/ red Mustang of the Pony Express days of James and Dickerson, even though historically, SMU had red helmets during the heady days of Doak Walker, Kyle Rote, Ray Berry, Don Meredith (red and white used), Jerry LeVias, Louie Kelcher et al. The change began with a coach in the early 70’s who Ohio State’ed SMU’s uniforms with a silver helmet and no logo (easily the worst SMU uni ever) and afterwards the white helmet was introduced.

    The market dictated that 18 year old potential recruits determine a lot of uniform decisions and no matter what we think about historicism and tradition, we appear to be just cranks to young kids (I even think you are cranky with your affinity for stripes, which I see as an unimaginative way to give pattern and texture to uni’s.) All of my fellow Mustangs think I’m crazy to like the red helmets, SMU’s best current uniforms are the ones that look most like the Buffalo Bill’s throwbacks.

    • Paul Lukas | January 4, 2011 at 11:41 am |

      >>The market dictated that 18 year old potential recruits determine a lot of uniform decisions…<< So "the market" (whatever that means) doesn't care about alums, or local fans, or anyone else over 21..? Soon "the market" (whatever that means) may discover that nobody over 30 wants to watch college football.

      • Orlandor | January 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm |


        Traditional powers in football or basketball do not have to make major uniform changes to market themselves. The program can sell itself even if they are not good at the moment. (Alabama, USC, Penn St football) Some programs still do (Pro Combat or other “1-time” unis) in hopes that it gets a recruit or two.

        The fans and alums will never stop watching because of uniform changes.

        As a high school teacher and coach, I have seen students college choices (athletes and non-athletes) come down to who has cooler uniforms or who their uni supplier is. As long as 18 year olds have the power to come in and help a program compete for a title (read money for university), their tastes will be high on the priority list.

        I truly believe that without Nike and their constant supply of innovative and “cool” uniforms, Oregon would not be playing in the BCS title game. I would bet that over 50% of their players would cite uniforms/Nike as one of their reasons they chose Oregon.

        • Ferguson Darling | January 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

          As a high school teacher and coach, you should influence your students to not make decisions based on corporate tie-ins. Unless you’re teaching political science, in which case, bravo! You’ve got their minds trained perfectly.

  • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    June Jones, is obviously influenced by his tenure with Jerry Glanville, who can be credited with introducing black to the NFL


    holy shit! glanville designed the raiders and saints unis, as well as the original falcons???

    • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |

      No, the Steelers. Duh.

      • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 11:26 am |

        oh shit…my bad…was only thinking AFL teams…

        • The Jeff | January 4, 2011 at 11:32 am |

          Saints & Falcons were AFL?

        • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 11:41 am |


          i really need to do only one thing at once…not three

          i don’t know what the eff im saying today*…





          *yeah…why is today any different?

        • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 11:50 am |

          . . . see what getting old does to the noggin?

          Maybe you were trying to say you were only thinking of teams that started in the sixties?

        • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

          Chin up Li’l Phil. At least you didn’t put the Bears on your list.

    • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

      Could it be argued that Glanville started the BFBS trend? Of course, black was always part of the Falcons color set (the original set combined UGA’s red and black with Tech’s white and gold), and the Falcons started off wearing black jerseys with their red helmets. But they had always worn red helmets, and had been wearing a nice combo of red and silver, with black relegated to trim, until Glanville reversed things.

      • The Jeff | January 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

        It could be argued, but I don’t know that it’d be correct. Maybe if you’re only limiting it to football. The LA Kings started wearing black & silver 2 years before the Falcons went to black helmets.

        We can’t even seem to decide on a consistent definition of BFBS though, so…

        • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

          Yes…Glanville changing the Falcons’ primary color from red to black is following (or starting) the trend of black as a uniform color. The University of Florida basketball team wearing black uniforms (with the actual school colors relegated to blue numbers trimmed in orange, IIRC) is BFBS.

  • Chris | January 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

    I don’t know why you consider Nike to have a Day-Glo Conspiracy going on. They’ve used that color, that they call “Volt” for years. I fail to see the conspiracy of it just because its on the Oregon uni now

    • RS Rogers | January 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

      [Nike has] used that color, that they call “Volt” for years.

      Exactly. That’s the “conspiracy.” It’s a Nike color, not an Oregon color, and yet Nike has caused Oregon to wear that color. And lo and behold, Nike just happens to be using that color on an increasing number of not-related-to-Oregon shoes and apparel it has on the market right now. Either

      (A) The bits of Nike involved in dressing Oregon and the bits of Nike involved in selling things to the public have no idea what the others are doing and it’s just a pure coincidence that Nike just happened to have dressed Oregon in non-Oregon Nike colors that tie in to Nike’s current merchandising campaign, which if true would make Nike the most incompetently run but luckiest corporation in America, or

      (B) Nike has deliberately subverted a client’s interests and identity in order to use that team as a billboard to further Nike’s own corporate interests and merchandising campaign. That’s not a “conspiracy” in the “let’s sneak an exploding cigar into Fidel Castro’s humidor” variety, but it is a “conspiracy” in the putting-one-over-on-people-to-screw-them sense.

      • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm |

        jesus christ scott…

        they already dress oregon in black and carbon…you really think “nike has deliberately subverted a client’s interests and indentity” with the neon volt shoes?

        at least this color is actually closer to the green and yellow they are supposed to wear

  • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    i was hoping i was done with this yesterday, but, no…

    “Everyone who opposes a playoff for NCAA football is a coward and without honor.”-the jeff @ me yesterday after i had stopped reading.

    …um jeff, i would be more then happy to drive to columbus today and sit down with to explain in no uncertain words exactly how much of a coward i am. with any luck, your instigation and my response can get us both banned from the comments, and all these good people won’t have to put up with either of us anymore, i bet the community would like that.

    as to your ascertation that i am out to protect ohio state, nothing could be further from the truth, f*** ohio state. the teams i am out to protect are the michigan states, colorodos, miss states, washingtons, etc. when you introduce the playoff, you immediately make all other bowls the NIT, which means they will die, which means the practice time for those schools(which is doubled by bowl participation) dies. this will inevitably lead to the bigger schools getting bigger due to exposure, practice time, and money, three things they already have in spades. you want to give the little guy a shot, it isn’t with a playoff, it is by scholarship limitations, which is already having an effect on teams. you want to give teams like ohio state an even bigger throbbing member, give em a playoff to sell to recruits. the reason ohio state does not go for a playoff(and i think they want one) is because the big ten does not want a playoff. the big ten is bigger then ohio state, and they are out to protect all of its members, and not just the interests of ohio state, penn state, and michigan. THAT is why i am not for a playoff, i respect the big ten(or the whole) a hell of a lot more then i do ohio state(the sum of its parts). i would love it if someone put together a list of the participants in the D2 and D3 tourney over say the last 5-7 years to see exactly how many different teams actually participated from year to year, with an emphasis on the final 4 teams. seems to me that blue alabama team is always there, and the team from whitewater, etc.

    and while i am at it, the logistics of all of this playoff nonsense is crazy! why did mizzou plummet to iowa in the whatever bowl? because they don’t travel. now you are going to ask mizzou fans to fill three stadiums on 3 consecutive weekends at neutral sights around the country? fat freaking chance. but that’s a little guy, what about ohio state? okay fine, maybe those boosters will go(at first), but i doubt even they could do that, and in time, they will atlanta brave the first couple rounds when they get bored with just making the 16. but let’s say they do come out in mass. now they are not spending on the akron game, so, woooops, there goes akron and its little guy payday because the big ten will have to do what the pac 10 does to fill stadiums for non-con games. and i guess i can skip the indiana game, because who cares about that, or the illibuck, its all about january jingle-hops at the end of the year after all. so there is a ripple effect that destroys the regular season and renders it meaningless, and also further hurts the little guy.

    and finally, can we at least pretend these kids are student athletes? what, they are not already? then pay them, poney up to your schools and pay your professional teams. but they get a free education? my eye, especially with season expansion, you want to make these kids play 16 games a year. but D2 does it. rerally? are you telling me the practice schedule, weight room schedule, and just the general pressure and responsibility of playing at ohio state is the same as bethune-cookman? there is nooooo way. these are the very reasons i stopped playing ball in the first place, they wanted me in the weight room too much, and i wanted to take myself seriously as a student(look where that got me). hell robert smith was suspended for being late to a practice because of a chemistry class. does that happen at bethune-cookman? these 20 year old kids are not our toys, and the time they put in is already ridiculous. let them play for a real on field championship, the conference championship, and let them have a shot at a bowl championship. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that scenario. as for a national title, i hold little stock in it, but if it is the old voter way that worked forever, the bcs, or a +1, in most seasons the 2 best teams play for everyone’s precious national title, whooptie-doo. why kill ncaaf just to have a silly january jingle-hop. i would sooner say we should not give athletic scholarship to anyone, and watch the equivalent of a kenyon-wooster game at osu, and groove on that. hell, i wish i did go to oberlin so i could just appreciate the frolf team.

    play for a cookie? no. what did harbaugh say last night after the orange bowl win? i am proud of this team, we accomplished out goals, and we are champions! and he’s right damn it. and that is the last i will speak of this subject, and i can hear the digital applause ringing from here.

    • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

      what did harbaugh say last night after the orange bowl win?


      “im taking my talents to south beach san fran”?

    • Chris Holder | January 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

      Wow… well said. I have never been in favor of a playoff in FBS. I LIKE the fact that things are done differently. In most every other sport, a simply “good” team can luck up, win a couple of consecutive games, and all of a sudden find themselves playing for a championship. Were the 2007 Giants better than the Patriots? Of course not. In the FBS you (most likely) have two of the very best teams playing in the championship game. Are they always clearly superior to all others? No, but odds are that at least one is undefeated and both are legitimate top 3 or 5 teams.

      I even wish we could go in reverse, and go back to the days when bowls were free to choose whatever teams they wanted. Sure, there were “split” national championships… but who cares, really? If your team was declared a champion you didn’t care. It makes for more arguments and more FUN, if you ask me. I realize not everyone agrees, but that’s okay. To me college football will always be the very best sport because of the challenge to be perfect.

      • Gusto44 | January 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

        Inevitably, we will have a plus one or some kind of format in FBS, the money is too good to ignore. A game between the Auburn/Oregon winner and TCU would be outstanding for college football.

        The NFL does have teams who get hot at the end of year, but examples like the 2007 Giants and 2005 Steelers are rare. The 2008 Cardinals fell apart down the stretch, but rebounded in the playoffs, before losing in SB43. In the NFL, the world champion has earned the title, and the discussion ends there. The 2007 Patriots have no excuses, that’s life.

        Although the BCS has flaws, at least it works better than the previous format. We don’t want split national champions, not having a single winner defeats the purpose of sports-competition. We can have the best of both worlds-fun discussion about rankings during the regular season-and a true way to determine the number one team.

        • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

          Although the BCS has flaws, at least it works better than the previous format.

          how is it better?

          if TCU doesn’t get to play oregon/auburn, do we really have a true national champion? how do any of us know that texas christian couldn’t beat either one of them?

          they will end the season undefeated. no one can argue that…so will one other team…how can you possibly say that team is, without question (and a plus-one to prove it), one is better than the other?

          the answer is, you can’t

          that’s why the current system sucks…it “declares” a national champion without one team having any say in the matter…at least the way it was, you might have a split, but that’s better than screwing TCU completely

        • Chris Holder | January 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

          Again, I can’t say the split national champions bother me. To me, it’s absolutely better than a team like TCU getting no recognition in the history books. I’m sure they would much prefer half of a title over no title. Are playoffs the absolute best way of determining a champion? More often than not, yes, but that will still not do away with controversy. And since FCS will never, ever, eeeeeever have a 16-team playoff, I say stop tinkering with the system. A +1 I might support. Anything else, would be uncivilized.

        • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

          “A game between the Auburn/Oregon winner and TCU would be outstanding for college football.”

          And that would be, what, the “Just-in-Case, After-the-Fact” Bowl? ;)
          And in some years if there IS no similar TCU circustance, the “Okay, We’ll Say (after throwing dart) Gets a Shot at It” Bowl?

          As Phil and I’ve theorized, a Final Four makes some sense (if the first round were #1 and #2 each possibly getting an additional home game, hosting #4 and #3, respectively, immediately after the season; then holding off the meeting of the two winners until following the bowls, the lineup for which, we supposed, COULD be determined after 1 v 4 and 2 v 3, and including the losers of those games). Any more extensive playoff would be logistically cumbersome, and almost impossible to promote and organize and afford for students and alumni at a string of neutral sites on a week’s notice (as their team stayed alive).


        • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

          I say that because 8 teams would mean three weekends (8,4,2) at neutral sites and 16 teams would mean four (16,8,4,2)…for those attempting to follow, in person, the teams that eventually advanced to the title game.

          Good luck getting reasonably priced airline tickets on less than a week’s notice.

          If you don’t think that has to be considered, then the world doesn’t exist beyond what comes to you on your TV screen.


        • The Jeff | January 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

          why does it have to be neutral sites for the playoffs? The Championship Game should be neutral, but do the other rounds actually need to be? If we’re that worried about the alumni traveling, just give home field advantage to the teams with better records.

    • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

      So I took five to take a peek at D2 results for the past seven years. Each year 24 teams are in the tourney. There were a total of 72 teams that took the 168 slots, giving those teams that played an average of 2.3 appearances each.

      There were 9 teams that played in both 2004 and 2005, 13 in both 2005 and 2006, 14 in both 2006 and 2007, 15 in both 2007 and 2008, 10 in both 2008 and 2009 and 8 in both 2009 and 2010, meaning that on average nearly half the teams that made the tourney in a given year would be back the next year.

      A few teams stood out for making lots of tourneys: Albany State and Grand Valley State (all seven); North Alabama and NW Missouri State (six of seven); Abilene Christian, Valdosta St and West Chester (five each). Those seven teams accounted for over 1/5 of all tourney appearances. Championship game results in the span: Valdosta St 2-0; Minn Duluth 2-0; Grand Valley St 2-1; NW Missouri St 1-4; Delta St 0-1; Pittsburg St 0-1.

      The Ivy League schools are auto-qualifiers for the tourney, but do not participate because it would be too disruptive to academics. For once they may be on to something. Travelling to one game over Christmas break isn’t nearly the same disruption as travelling all over the continent in the last weeks of the semester, not just for players, but the band and the other fans too.

      There is a lot of fun in the bowl system and a lot of opporunity for lawful profit too. Since neither fun nor opportunities for lawful profit are very popular in the most powerful segments of today’s society, it isn’t surprising that the bowls are under fire.

      • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

        thanks greg, that is pretty much what i expected, a wide range of teams, but more or less a top heavy batch of repeat customers, and and that is without the cash at stake.

        it is a sad day in kc, the giant head of vi lenin and tight-roping mao has been dismantled. i loved that giant chrome ashtray.

        • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |

          why the f*ck is there a giant head of lenin with mao (or is that the kid who stuck his finger in the dyke)…trying to tightrope…

          in kc to begin with?

        • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

          it was part of a chinese artist’s exhibit at the modern art here. it is, or was, across the street from where the pineapple works. it had RSP pixture written all over it too. there is actually a (relatively speaking) decent art scene here as long as you stay within a 3 block radius of the museum campus.

    • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      Someday when I have time, I’ll read this whole thread, but basically, I’m with Chris Holder – I don’t have a problem with a split champion. They didn’t always do that in the past, though, which is what screwed Penn State several times.

      Yes, I think a simple bowl-based playoff would work, but I also like the old way with an option for an Undefeated Bowl. All I know is, it should be done as close to New Years Day as possible so that football doesn’t cut anymore into the pure unbridled joy that is college basketball season.

    • Aaron | January 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

      Maybe Kenyon, Wooster, and Oberlin would be happier about their football if they could compete with Wabash and Wittenberg.

    • Christopher | January 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

      Ricko and anyone else with a similar opinion:

      Why do the games have to be at a neutral site. I’d say it should work like the NFL… home team advantage until the final game, which would most likely rotate among the 4 major bowl sites (like it does now.)

      • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |

        Because so many of those espousing a playoff rightly realize that the bowls cannot be trashed completely, or minimmized to the point of driving them completely out of existence.

        Reality check here:
        The bowls pay a helluva lot of the freight for the NCAA post-seasson. Cut out the bowls (or add additional games that are not bowls) and the NCAA would have to find that money somewhere else. Is Auburn ahout to pick up the tab for their playoff game at home? Hell, no. That’s an NCAA event. NCAA have the dough to pay to put on 15 football games in a 16-game format(including little things like ticket sales and distribtion, etc.), most on one week’s notice because its dependant on who wins?

        That means the TV rights fees just get than much higher. How much money can a network justify spending on a loss leader…if it it can’t be a moneymaker)?

        Sure, they could, but the NCAA is not set up to function that way when it comes to football. Not at the moment, anyway.

        Just saying, “Oh, heck, let’s go to a large-scale playoff” is a hugely complicated process, with angles and issues most people don’t even think to consider.


        • Christopher | January 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |


          I just can’t accept any comment that says the “NCAA doesn’t have the money”. No way. They can easily put on a 32-team playoff today and not feel a dent. (I don’t want 32, just saying.)

          You mentioned a real well-worded reason a few weeks back that I still think about- when you discussed the tradition of the bowls, and how its OK that college is different than the NFL, etc. (It was lengthy so I won’t even try paraphrasing.)

          Anyway, that almost had me convinced. If your argument is “tradition” and everything that goes with it… That’s totally valid.

          If its money, travel, logisitics… that’s just an excuse. The NCAA and their fans would figure it out somehow.

          You realize how much travel the final championship teams do in the basketvball tourney, right? People figure it out.

          I’m sure what would happen is people would just go to the one game they can afford/get tickets to/have time to travel. Not every Auburn fan would go to all 4 games as they move up the ranks. So what.

  • christian | January 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Does anybody know why the endzone for stanford last night was red background and black letters with a white outline instead of red background and white letters?

    • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm |

      Perhaps because the VT endzone was a maroon shade that was very similar to the color used for Stanford’s cardinal red, and they wanted two different colored end zones; choosing black went with Harbaugh’s on-field attire.

      • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm |

        That’s a nice thought, but we all know the truth. It’s all about moving the merch. Black endzones just flat-out sell better than cardinal red ones.

        • DJ | January 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm |


    • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

      There was a black endzone…????

  • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm |

    I need a blazer and I think this would actually fit me but I won’t bid on it because of the stupid reserve that’s on it.

    And sorry to digress but does anyone more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of selling on the eBay know if there is some kind of seller’s advantage to setting a reserve? Is there a lower service fee or something? Otherwise, why not just set your initial price at the minimum you’ll accept?

    • RS Rogers | January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

      I didn’t even know you could set a reserve any more; the last couple of used things I’ve recycled – er, sold on ebay, it never gave me the option to set a reserve. But I sell like two things a year and don’t pay for any upgrades, so maybe I’m just not seeing the reserve option on account of being a cheapskate.

      But back in the late 1990s, I remember that it was much cheaper to set a reserve than to set a higher opening bid. I vaguely remember selling something – would probably have been a camera body – and I wanted to get at least $50 for it. Setting a $50 reserve cost like an extra 50 cents, whereas setting an opening bid of $50 would have raised ebay’s percentage take on the listing such that it would have cost at least several more dollars. No idea if that kind of pricing scheme is still in place, but it was, and after that I always assumed that was why people went with reserves instead of opening the bidding higher.

      • Paul Lukas | January 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

        The idea behind a reserve is that if you set the opening bid at, say, $200, lots of people will simply move on without even thinking twice — it’s out of their range. But if you set the opening bid at $9.99 with a $200 reserve (the latter of which is secret, of course — nobody knows exactly what the reserve is), some people will find the lower opening bid more attractive, even though it’s really an illusion, since none of the bids will count until the reserve is reached. Still, the illusion leads some people to bid. And if someone bids once, they’re more likely to keep bidding.

        So, basically, the reserve lets you lower the emotional threshold for bidding. Or at least that’s the idea. Most people don’t fall for it. But some folks do.

        • Christopher | January 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

          True. Also, setting a reserve allows you to test the market without losing your shirt.

          If I have, say, a vintage jacket that I have no way of pricing (its unique- could be worthless, could be priceless, I have no idea)… You can set a reserve of lets say $200 because that would be golden. Then as bidders start at a real, real cheap $5 or whatever… in the end even if you don’t sell it… you now know you can get (lets say) $100 for it.

          So you paid the nominal auction fee to now have market information on your jacket. Then you can decide if re-listing it around $100 works for ya.

          I did this all the time when I sold weird stuff on eBay that I had no idea about. I was always afraid I had something real valuable and just didn’t know it- because it was meaningless to me.

  • mmwatkin | January 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

    If I could control the numbering system for a baseball team, I would let coaches pick their numbers first, as they were most likely former players and have a number they are attached to.

    After that, position players would be 1-29 and pitchers 30-59. Save the 60+ numbers for the non-roster invitees

  • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    Here’s SMU’s BFBS helmet,

    Pure greatness….

    You should always have a colored hat. White helmets suck except SMU’s.

    • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

      Longhorn and Nittany Lion fans would disagree.

      • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

        Never been a fan of Penn State. Now if they go blue/blue/blue, then maybe a consideration. Plain white helmets are just MEH!!!!!

        Texas is a favorite of mine. I love dark colors. When the Ravens go all Black. Greatness.

        • Andy | January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

          Texas has a white helmet, by the way, and their primary color is orange, which is not dark.

        • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm |

          You’re thinking Texas Tech, Davis.

    • Aaron | January 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

      So would Colts fans. And probably Miami fans (of any ilk).

  • Felix | January 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    Not surprised the sleeves were introduced into soccer. They’ve been around for a long time on runners’ shirts. Throw in a pair of gloves and it works pretty well to keep you warm.

  • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

    Those black SMU helmets are the stupidest thing I have ever seen…. June, remember what happened when Phil Bennett went with the blue helmets??? Just DON’T Do It!

    Yea, I know they are an Addidas school… which brings up my next point. We want to throw a lot of blame to the UNI GIANTS (and rightfully so…) – but one thing we have not really addressed is another possible culprit. NIKE does not make helmets, so this flat black thing may not even come from said Nike types. Is there a helmet manufacturer to blame here???

  • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    Day Glow Volt knee braces… just brilliant! Thos DonJoy custon braces are NOT CHEAP! What a horriffic waste of money……….. Ugh, for one game!

  • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

    Day Glow Volt knee braces… just brilliant! Those Don-Joy custom braces are NOT CHEAP! What a horriffic waste of money………..

  • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm |


    Day Glow Volt knee braces… just brilliant! Those Don-Joy custom braces are NOT CHEAP! What a horriffic waste of money……….. Ugh, for one game!

  • Tris Wykes | January 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm |

    If this isn’t the worst-looking hockey helmet made in recent years, it’s at least in the running. Yikes.

    • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

      That is awful. I saw a someone wearing a blue version a couple weeks ago. It looked MUCH better than that.

      I was going to ask him where he got it but the guy stunk so badly that I didn’t want to get within 20 feet of him.

      I’m fairly certain that if you had photographed him, you’d have seen actual stink lines in the pics.

      • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |

        i do not have stink lines!

        • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

          …as far as you know.

        • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |

          this day just keeps getting worse. this has got to be the worst 2004 ever.

    • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

      CCM made them in several colors a few years ago.

      The red one looks like a cherry Tootsie Pop.

  • Graf Zeppelin | January 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    I’ve always been suspicious of people who choose to wear No. 1.

    • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

      Worse is the rec league guy (no matter what the sport) who wants #69.

      I STILL don’t get what anyone thinks they’re gaining from making that choice.
      Do they think the babes will think they’re a real stud?

      No, sir, just don’t get it.


      • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

        jared allen approves of this comment

        • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

          Come to think of it, often IS a guy with a mullet.

          Or a beer belly.

          Not often both, though.


        • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |

          there was a gal on the ol sjylark bears that wanted to be 69 way back when, i refused. as long as i was hand screening the jerseys and hand cutting the numbers the team would not have some dork wearing 69. not sure why she chose 77, it certainly wasn’t the year she was born.

      • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

        I played house-league hockey and rec-league softball and we had the same sponsor for about 12 years for both sports (he was a GREAT sponsor).

        He said that he would sponsor the teams but nobody could wear #13 & #69. Pissed off some guys, but they learned to live with it.

      • Graf Zeppelin | January 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm |

        When I coached high school baseball, and started the program at the school (it was a relatively new school at the time; turned out to be the most corrupt school in NYC but that’s another story), I had a kid on my team who wanted #69. I told him no; out of respect for the game, there would be no numbers above 59. So he took 59.

        The next year, I had a kid who took #1. I came close to kicking him off the team because he was such a jackass.

        • Simply Moono | January 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm |

          My high school alma mater (Palo Verde Valley HS in Blythe, CA) had a spare football jersey with the #69 that wasn’t in use for obvious reasons related to sex jokes and the like.

          When I went to my first Homecoming game last school year(2009-2010 year) as an alum (graduated in 2009), the school had two mascots named Jack and Jill. Jill was in a special cheerleader uniform, while Jack was wearing the #69 jersey from the equipment room.

          The following year, Jack switched to a green, male cheerleader shirt with a white Chevron (sp?) trimmed in gold.

  • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |

    11th Day of Christmas today. That means eleven pipers piping.
    Here’s one:
    Anyone have a team photo of the Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers so we can get the other ten?
    Oh, and for anyone going into holiday withdrawl,

    • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | January 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

      That was mean…. just mean!

    • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |

      what a mothervilker, you just chelsea daggered us.

      expect a package monday jim.(oh that’s real, not part of the joke)

      • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

        it should be close to a foot long…with special rear delivery

        • rpm | January 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm |

          well maybe if he chelsea daggers me again.

    • interlockingtc | January 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm |

      1967-68 ABA MVP, Playoff MVP, League Scoring Champ,
      Pittsburgh: League Champions

      Just sayin…

  • Ben K | January 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

    I know I own some footy gear that has thumb holes in them. Most are jackets or warm up tops though. I have one for the Colorado Rapids, Celtic, and Hull City. I don’t know why they are there besides to keep your hands warm without wearing gloves.

  • Beardface | January 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |

    Dear Virginia Tech…

    Stop fucking with the uniform. Seriously, just stop. Every time we had some kind of major adjustment this year, we had a fucked up game, and its seemingly been that way for a while.

    Last year, we break out the orange jerseys for the Carolina game on Thursday night. The loss knocked us out of ACC title contention.

    This year we break out Tron-like jerseys for the Boise State game. Choked away the lead with a minute and a half to go, and eliminated us from serious title contention.

    Broke out white helmets the next weekend for the James Madison game. Ended up with the most embarrassing loss in the history of the program, which will be felt for years.

    Broke out the orange helmets last night. Single most embarrassing bowl game performance in program history. We looked like a D-2 school out there. Fucking pathetic.

    STOP FUCKING WITH THE SHIT AND FOCUS ON PLAYING THE GODDAMN GAME! I’m sick of listening to how uniforms attract players. If all the players care about is how they look, then I don’t want them. I want PLAYERS who can PLAY THE GAME.

    • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

      How many games has Joe Paterno won without resorting to uni nonsense?

      (Just saying an argument can be made that such things are, ultimately, completely unecessary).


    • Ricko | January 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

      And I still wanna know…
      Does Tyrod Taylor have siblings with first names like, I dunno, “Bushing” or “Strut”?


      • DavisJedi54 | January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

        @ ricko: Its a combo name. His father is named Rodrick and his mother’s name is Tyeshia.

        • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |

          does he have another brother (or sister) named rickeshia?

    • Chris | January 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

      Yeah, because it was the uniforms…not those wearing them…fault the Hokies lost those games.

  • Philly Bill | January 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    And I learned more than just uni numbering history: the University of Washington cancer research center is named for the former manager of the Cincinnati Reds; his brother was a doctor.

  • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |


    That picture that you posted and stated that it was Rollie Hemsley. That picture is of Fred Hutchinson.

    Here is the evidence:

    1. According to MLB’s Dressed to The Nines, the Reds wore those sleeveless jerseys from 1958-1966 and possibly in Spring Training of 1967. During those years, according to “Now Batting, Number…” , these Reds personnel wore the #1:

    1958 – Birdie Tebbetts (mgr)
    1959 – Mayo Smith & Fred Hutchinson (mgr)
    1960 to 1965 – Fred Hutchinson (mgr)
    1966 – The Reds retired that number because Hutch died of cancer.

    2. Rollie Hemsley was a coach for the Senators in 1961 & 1962.
    3. Hemsley was the manager of the Indianapolis Indians in 1963. He was named The Sporting News Manager of the Year.
    4. Hemsley managed the Cedar Rapids Red Raiders in 1964 (a Reds farm team).
    5. Hemsley is not listed on the rosters of numbers used for the Reds at any time from 1958-1967 according to “Now Batting, Number…”.
    6. That picture would lead one to believe that with the #1 painted on it, would have the manager, Hutch, perched in it watching Spring Training from Al Lopez Field in Tampa.

    It may say it is Rollie Hemsley, but that pic is of Hutch.

    • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

      It’s Rollie Helmsley. As you stated:
      “4. Hemsley managed the Cedar Rapids Red Raiders in 1964 (a Reds farm team).”

      He’s not wearing a Reds uni. It’s a Red Raiders uni (which is, in all likelihood, a repurposed Reds uni)

      • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

        That makes sense.

        • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

          I worded that wrong. I should have said it *COULD BE*, not that it *IS* Helmsley.

          Because I don’t know for sure. All I do know is that when Paul posted that pic originally, he linked to the eBay listing that said something like “Rollie Helmsley – minor league manager, 1964”

        • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

          Then that all falls into place.

  • Me again | January 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    Paul Henderson (Maple Leafs / Team Canada 72) wearing a football mask.(vid)

    • Dwayne | January 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm |

      I wish somebody would find the picture of Bobby Hull wearing a CCM helmet with a Dungard DG110 from his Jets days.

      I have the pic of the one from his Hawks days wearing the Mikita helmet from the Sporting News, but this was a later picture.

  • DenverGregg | January 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    Hilarious suggestion at EDSBS – Belotti to Michigan to clean up RichRod’s mess and to bring a new aesthetic to the program.

  • Kevin | January 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |

    Can someone provide me a reason as to why Andrew Luck had a #8 decal on his helmet below the left ear hole? This is in addition to this own #12 decal on the back, and all the merit badges…er, stickers.

  • Jordan Sogn | January 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm |

    A few of the Hog skill guys are wearing white gloves…tisk, tisk.

  • JTH | January 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

    OK, Bulls/Raptors game: all the players on both benches appear to be wearing blue & white warmup shirts rather than black & red. I’m guessing this is one of those league-wide things like the world AIDS day thing. Anyone know what gives?

  • Pat | January 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |

    Sugar Bowl Breakdown:
    Mascot Edge: Buckeyes v Razorbacks
    Pigs can digest anything, including nuts. Advantage Arkansas
    Uni Edge: The Ohio State University as always looks great. Especially against Arkansas. My wife commented she thought the stickers looked stupid. I tried to explain to her the tradition, but then I actually don’t know exactly what they stand for. I know they’re little buckeye leaves. I always assumed they were different accomplishments depending on the position of the player or maybe the individual. Anyone got the answer? Advantage Ohio State.

  • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm |

    so…do we get to see TBDBITL and script ohio…or did they already do that in the pre-game???

    • firstbass | January 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |

      The buckeye leaves are awards. Watch their first game next year — no Pryor, no buckeye leaves.

      Script Ohio is before the game.

  • firstbass | January 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm |

    Speaking of the buckeye leaves, back in the 70’s the decals were larger and placed in the center of the helmet side. For example:

    These days, the decals are smaller and start at the bottom back of the left side of the helmet.

    I believe that, in the 2002 championship year, Tressel went a little nuts with the buckeye leaves — nearly every offensive starter had both sides of his helmet filled.

    I stand corrected on Script Ohio! They did it at halftime of the Sugar Bowl. Usually pre-game.

    • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

      woody didn’t generally dole them out for just making tackles…that’s why they were so big

      • LI Phil | January 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm |

        oh and one more addendum to the awarding of the pride stickers…

        they are ONLY awarded for wins, and yes, the helmet is clean at the beginning of the season…and may actually stay that way for a few games

        /oh, who’m i kiddin…they still schedule their first four games against the sisters of the poor (like the zippers)…so they’ll have plenty o’leaves come sparty

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 3:44 am |

          doooooooo the basketball teams in the big conferences start off with duke or do they start off with various christian fellowship teams? maybe it has changed in the last 20 years, but that’s how i remember it. and that is for a pre and conference season that means vilker(zip). so you want to make fun of schools for scheduling “easy” football games after 15 days of practice? sheeet, let’s just star t the season with the iron bowl.

  • Jim Vilk | January 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

    Remember Eastern Washington? The school with the red field?
    Well, that field is being credited with helping the Eagles get to Friday’s FCS championship game.

  • Pat | January 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm |

    Here is my playoff format take. While I believe that 8 would be a cleaner tournament, it absolutely has to b 16. Otherwise you’re still screwing the little guy. You shorten the regular season so that SEC teams can’t play D2 schools to pad their stats. So instead of 3 or 4 non conf games you play 2. You have the 11 conf champs and 5 at-large teams. You can still use the BCS rankings to seed the teams. You play the first round games at the 8 higher seeded teams home stadiums. After that you play the quarters at the current 4 bcs sites. Then you rotate the three semifinal and final games yearly between those 4 sites. So if the title game is in Glendale this year then next year it’s the site that doesn’t get a game for the semis or finals. If we had a playoff this year it would have looked like this:
    1 Auburn
    16 Florida International
    8 Arkansas
    9 Michigan State
    5 Wisconsin
    12 Virginia Tech
    4 Stanford
    13 Central Florida
    6 Ohio State
    11 LSU
    3 TCU
    14 UConn
    7 Oklahoma
    10 Boise State
    2 Oregon
    15 Miami(OH)

    You keep all of the other bowl games because they would still be a pointless postseason game the way they are now and who wouldn’t want to see some of these first round matchups and potential huge second round games.

    • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 12:35 am |

      florida international? thabnks, i needed laugh. i am sure auburn would pack the sun bowl for that one.

      • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 12:41 am |

        and let’s not forget all the tv sets that would tune in for that must see tv.

        • EMD | January 5, 2011 at 12:44 am |

          Like all those TV sets tuned into the Humanitarian Bowl, right?

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:19 am |

          you’re watching the fla int’l-auburn game? that is better then the bowls as they are/were/could be? i would rather stroke the cat then watch even a touch of that. you think auburn fans will shell out air fair, hotel, and ticket, and etc for that game? good luck jeff, that was my point. stop trying to be a jerk for jerks sake, and just watch the nfl or play your video games if you are honestly that clueless. i actually respected you at one time jeff too, i hate myself for even ever giving you an ounce of credit for anything. didn’t you say earlier something along the lines of okay screw the non bcs conferences, just put the bcs conferences in a tourney, or was i just frazzled after a long day at the usps and dmv?

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:38 am |

          sorry emd, that was to jeff, but in regards to your brilliant comment, um no, nobody watches the humanitarian bowl but the people who care about the humanitarian participants in general, but that’s what makes it great. and if you want to kill at least 10 viable bowls and 20 viable bowl teams for this great tourney that is supposed to blow my socks off, maaaaybe you might want to come up with something other then fla int’l-auburn, that’s all.

      • The Jeff | January 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |

        Yeah, because if they aren’t already established as a powerhouse, they shouldn’t get to play at all, right? What makes the “big” conferences better than the “small” ones besides their own claims?

        If these teams aren’t going to be allowed to play for a championship, then they shouldn’t be playing against the teams that are, ever.

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:28 am |

          apparently i might be in a moderation or something, but just incase it comes out, i don’t want to repeat myself, so on another note…

          let me get this straight, you want to stick it to colorado, miss state, maryland, and cali-bama-state by not allowing them to beat fla int’l by 60? or is it just the payday you want them to give up to prove this nothing point?

        • The Jeff | January 5, 2011 at 1:49 am |

          You have a really twisted way of looking at things.

          I’m saying that if Big School X is allowed to play Little School Y and beat them by 50 to pad their stats, that if Little School Y suddenly improves, they should have the same right to a championship. Either give them the chance to play for the championship, or don’t play them at all. I don’t see how that’s screwing anyone.

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 2:34 am |

          if you don’t play them at all, they get screwed because they don’t get paid, and that hurts. so what little schools are you talking about anyway? fiu? they were the discusion. the only school i can see outside anything right now is boise community, and quite frankly, if they used the bobby bowden approach and actually were willing to travel to schools, they could overcome that hump like fsu did, but they don’t want to do that, so oh well. run the gauntlet, prove yourself, get respect, that’s the order. you don’t just win some crap conference and claim you are alabama, it does not work like that.

      • LI Phil | January 5, 2011 at 1:47 am |

        maaaaybe you might want to come up with something other then fla int’l-auburn


        how about another shitty team, then…like indiana/auburn?

        oh, that’s right…there was no bowl for indiana

        what’s the reward for a team like FIU? that’s right, the humanitarian bowl

        and FIU might actually beat IU, but you’d watch indiana/auburn, wouldn’t you?

        how do you know no one would watch that? because they’ve only been playing football there for like 3 years? but they’re still probably good enough to beat teams that have been playing B1G for a century

        how bout we let the conferences play themselves and then the teams with the best records slug it out…???

        does it suck for the giants (10-6) to be sitting at home while the seahags (7-9) are HOSTING a playoff game? absolutely, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles…could the giants probably destroy the hags? prolly…but that’s the way it’s set up

        don’t assume all your SEC and B1G teams will always crush every other conference…because by your logic TCU would get their asses kicked by a B1G team…but that didn’t happen, did it?

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 2:22 am |

          jeff, how did you get phils’ peach screen?

          i am not going to go around like this, so how about this argument….tim tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow tim tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow tim tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow tim tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow time tebow tim tebow . oooor just tim tebow.

          but this fla int;l-aub part of the argument has not a lick to do about indiana. but since you brought them up, if winning the national title is the only thing that can make a successful season, then yes, in a playoff system indiana can never have a successful season ,and that is a shame, poor little guy. maybe we should fight for that little guy? i will.

          but back to the bowls, what’s better? a game fiu can win or the 65-1 january jingle hop matchup? seriously phil, are you arguing for that game? are you claiming that would make the bowl season better? or are you dancing with jeffs?

          fine, have the six conferences only play themselves, then take those SIX teams into a tourney, i am fine with that over any playoff scenario i have heard. then again, can we be just a little realistic? please! can we just for a second think straight about what is possible before we suggest something, because all you doing is saying wouldn’t it be great if the cornmother farted rainbows on my money pile. i mean fine, we all love money piles and rainbows, but if we can just do anything and consider it a viable suggestion, let’s not even play a regular season, line up the 120 teams by last years finish and boom, start the everybody can be a champion tourney in september. at least we would have a cookie free rainbow farting bowl season. phil, you. are. over. thinking. college. football.

        • The Jeff | January 5, 2011 at 2:33 am |

          You win. I’m done. Arguing with you about college football is like arguing with a fundamentalist christian about evolution.

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 2:35 am |

          are you the pot or the kettle in this scenario?

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 2:49 am |

          and fundamentalist christian? respect the corn or she will smite you jeff. dude, can i call you dude, or should i go sport? anyway, it’s simple. your argument…finding number one means everything, nothing else matters. my argument…finding number one is fun debate, but everything else is what makes a season in college football. that’s why we can never agree. so in a way, yes, i am a fundamentalist college football fan, you go on cornmas and hommineaster. it’s really pretty simple, besides, if i wanted to know who the best of the best were, wouldn’t i just watch the nfl? this is like debating pee-wee football when you think of it.

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 3:57 am |

          i never denied tcu was a good team, a veeeeeeeerry good team. they are also not O or auburn, that is why they are out(booo-hooo). the sec is king, after that you can make an argument from year to year for the B12, B10, or P10. the acc and big east is meh most years, more or lesss a tcu-ish contender. but the line has to be drawn somewhere don’tcha think? or maybe i should get a U phoenix team together to complain about? you want to be quarterback or monster?

  • Pat | January 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm |

    Thanks for the sticker answer.

  • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    i knew that wasn’t over at the half. arkansaas came out strong, a few calls didn’t go our way, and i had a couple here we go again moments, but feeeew, what a defensive call to blitz and drop that thomas cat. just wow. seriously though man, hats off to the razorbacks for not quitting in that game, it would have been really easy to fold up the tents, but you didn’t, that was impressive, a showing to be proud of. go hogs, you earned a fan.

    • EMD | January 5, 2011 at 12:51 am |

      Arkansas certainly didn’t give up, but man the Bucks certainly seemed to pack it in, which is very strange. They are usually a slow-start second-half type of team.

      Good, but odd game.

      • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:07 am |

        couldn’t agree more, very in tressel like. i think they were thrown off by their usual, okay don’t lose it, but then you get a bad safety call etc. it was nuts, total wisconsin game reversal, and by that i mean bucks v bucky.

        • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:10 am |

          UN-tressel like. i can’t get used to this macbook.

  • Ed | January 5, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    The strangest number has to be when Benito Santiago wore 09 for his last year with the Padres and his tenure with the Marlins.

  • LI Phil | January 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |

    congrats, moose…

    just this once, for you…check out this awesome rendition of carmen, ohio


    /wipes tear

    • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 1:43 am |

      you f****r! that totally got me. son of huskerson, nice job. i was all frazzled by, if he was a native american, won’t stop poking, or is it contrary with wolves? i totally walked into that man.

  • mah | January 5, 2011 at 1:20 am |

    i love this blog but things like the long sleeves with the thumb holes…nothing new there! also, football players have been doing that eye black for YEARS! old news..

  • Pat | January 5, 2011 at 3:09 am |

    Actually RPM the Auburn fans wouldn’t shell out money because in my format the first games were home games for the higher seed.

    • rpm | January 5, 2011 at 3:28 am |

      sorry, i realized that after the fact, but it was too late, and still does not work anyway. even in their own stadium i think you get an atlanta brave effect after the first year or so. seriously, it is fun to look at, and it might be fun to techmo up, but i think it stinks practically. we can agree on other matters i am sure, but i don’t want cam newton, pryor, tebow, or whomever for 4 extra games, one “playoff” is enough for me. you also need to shorten the season for 90% of the teams to accomodate 10%, that just isn’t going to happen either. plus aaaaaall the reasons i have already brought up over yet another bowl season. seriously, good job, it is very fun to look at, i just don’t see how it is good or viable when it comes down to it.

  • Pat | January 5, 2011 at 3:44 am |

    Actually RPM Boise does travel. Hence, they beat Va Tech earlier this year. The problem is they have open spaces in their schedule that they’ve offered to any takers from the power conferences like the SEC and Big Ten but nobody will take them up on it because they’re scared. They’re scared that if they get beat up by a smaller school they’ll lose elite recruits. They’re scared that they will lose the shine and prestige off of their precious big conference look at us we’re the big boys universities. Biggest of all they’re scared that they’ll lose their cash cow bowl championship series paychecks. FIU-Auburn oh you bet I’d watch. So would the rest of America. While in all likelihood it would end up 64-3 there is that glimmer of a chance that we could see a TCU beat Wisconsin, or an upstart Boise St beat an Oklahoma, or maybe even an Appalachian St beating a number 5 Michigan. That’s why the bowl system sucks. It completely removes the chances of seeing something exciting and spectacular. Like FIU pulling out a couple of trick plays that catch Auburn off guard. Like FIU playing stingy defense to keep Cam frustrated. Like FIU being opportunistic and returning a fumble for a td, getting a punt return for a td and pulling off a victory with a game winning fg with no time left on the clock. You see that’s why NCAA basketball will always be better than NCAA football while the bowl system exists. There is a certain magic about March Madness. The magic is that a miracle can happen at any moment and George Mason can make the final four and NC State can win it all.

  • Pat | January 5, 2011 at 3:51 am |

    I do agree that the logistics would be crazy to work out and that we would definitely need to think long and hard about a way to switch everything over but honestly if TCU doesn’t get a shot at the national title after finishing the season undefeated then the current system is an unfair system.

  • Pat | January 5, 2011 at 3:59 am |

    Yeah they may start off against weak teams but they still have to win games against teams that are perceived as weaker in a tournament to advance to the championship game. They don’t just get a free pass.

  • Jeff | January 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

    Speaking of oddities, check out Walt Frazier’s jacket from Tuesday night’s Knicks telecast. Described by @bandwagonknick on Twitter as “Clyde’s second ‘toned down’ ensemble of 2011. Whoa.”