Another Nail in the Knickers' Coffin?

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As you may recall, back in August I reported that college football officiating crews will be switching to wider zebra stripes next season. Now the other shoe has dropped: According to a thread on an officiating discussion site (brought to my attention by reader Mark Kluczynski), NCAA zebras will be wearing black slacks next season — for all games, not just in cold weather.

This news comes mere days after the NFL experimented with long pants in the Pro Bowl. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. But it speaks to the general scent in the wind — a scent that does not bode well for the future of the knickers ’n’ stockings look.

New ESPN column today — my annual Super Bowl manifesto. Enjoy.

+ + + + +


Because nothing says, “I Love You” like sending me 14 bucks baseball carnivorism: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you know what would make a really swell gift for your sweetie? I bet you can guess: That’s right — flowers and chocolates! Jewelry is nice, too. And what’s wrong with a candlelit dinner? Oh, and sexy underwear is always a good bet.

Unless, of course, you’re single, in which case you’re probably in the habit of marking Valentine’s Day by buying yourself a bottle of Old Overholt and soaking in a puddle of your own self-loathing. But this year, for roughly the same price, you have a new option: treating yourself to a Meats T-shirt! It’s the perfect gift to — and from — the one person who truly loves you. And it looks so sharp, it’ll definitely increase your chances of attracting someone to spend Valentine’s Day with next year.

Eh, and if you coupled folks wanna get in on the Meats action, that’s cool too. Let’s face it, your sweetie got bored with the flowers-and-chocolates routine a long time ago.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Apparently every other journalist in the Western Hemisphere is raking in extra cash on the lecture circuit. So how come my phone hasn’t been ringing? Can it be that corporate gatherings don’t want to hear about the history of the stirrup? Wouldn’t the folks at Nike like to hear my latest musings on their fine enterprise? I’m available, people, and I’m a lot cheaper than that Gladwell guy. ”¦ Two great eBay finds by Mike Hersh: an old program from the King and His Court, and an old CFL program that clearly shows American-style football but says, “Rugby-Football Club” on the cover. ”¦ New road jerseys for the New York Red Bulls. ”¦ Kirsten has written a really good article about neon signage in NYC, plus she’s started an accompanying neon sign blog. She’s interested in creating a “Field Guide to NYC Neon” iPhone app but knows nothing about app development. If you’re app-savvy, neon-friendly, and interested in helping, contact her here. ”¦ New uniforms for USA Team Handball (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). ”¦ Barry Quinn noticed that Western Kentucky appeared to have a new helmet at their Signing Day press conference. ”¦ Cover illo on the new issue of Harper’s looks like Uncle Sam crossed with Flying Elvis. “Kinda makes him look like a goat,” says Coachie Ballgames. ”¦ Great socks! That’s Hart County High from Georgia (with thanks to Becky Taylor).

171 comments to Another Nail in the Knickers’ Coffin?

  • Mark K | February 3, 2011 at 8:46 am |

    So now we go from “the black pants must never be worn with short sleeved shirts” to the black pants MUST be worn with short sleeved shirts.

  • dwight | February 3, 2011 at 8:52 am |

    “Great Socks!” – agree, but how TERRIBLE is the orange top w/ black shorts?

    • Terry Proctor | February 3, 2011 at 9:14 am |

      Dwight, I grew up with my high school basketball team wearing Orange jerseys and Royal Blue shorts on the road. So I like the look. That trend was very popular from the 1940s-1960s. It’s what you’re used to. Do you oppose it when football teams do it? Let’s be consistent here.

      • StLMarty | February 3, 2011 at 11:38 am |

        I had to wear white jerseys with green shorts when I played in middle school. I hated every minute of it. I don’t think that’s a good look for basketball (or baseball).

    • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 10:01 am |

      Nah. Plus there’s enough orange in the shorts that I think it actually works OK.

      The white side panels help as well.

      • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 10:03 am |

        Uh, that “Plus” should have been omitted.

    • AP | February 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |

      The Lady Dogs? Really? Why not just go for it and call yourselves the Bitches?

    • Swine the Mad | February 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

      I’m the one who sent in the photo. I commented on how bad the jerseys were, but that wasn’t used.

      We used to put “ettes” on every nickname. So, 30 years ago, they would’ve been the Dogettes. I’m not sure what their opponents in this photo, the Oglethorpe County Patriots would have been.

      If anyone’s familiar with the overall opulence that is Gwinnett County, Georgia, here’s one from when it was still hick country:

  • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 9:09 am |

    “Great Socks!”

    that could be the title of your first lecture on the Stirrup Lovers’ Circuit

  • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    Hey, DIYers: What’s the best way to cut tackle-twill? Scissors, X-Acto, Kryptonian laser vision, or what?

    • Terry Proctor | February 3, 2011 at 9:21 am |

      It depends on what you’re cutting. And note that tackle twill has a grain to it. Sometimes edges can fray if it’s not cut properly. For most letters and numbers scissors is the best way to go.

      • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 9:48 am |

        Thanks, Terry. Is it best to align any straight edges of the forms to be cut with the grain, or should straight lines run at some degree of bias, or even perpendicular to the dominant grain of the fabric?

    • FormerDirtDart | February 3, 2011 at 9:25 am |

      I prefer Beagle. Just draw your pattern with beef drippings, and let them nibble away

    • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 10:20 am |

      get in touch with me roger-dodger, and i will set you up with the king, ryco.

      • Ry Co 40 | February 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

        haha! thank you dr. marshall. this is a question i’ve actually asked frosty & joe h not too long ago. seems scissors, and a steady hand, is the way to go!

        • Joe Hilseberg | February 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm |

          And the direction that you turn the grain will not only make it a bit more tricky to cut, but it will also reflect light differently. Make sure when you have multiple twill items on the same garment that all of the like colors have the grain going the same way. Believe me, you will notice if they aren’t!

  • Tim | February 3, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    Re: ref pants

    Saw them in Ohio during this past season’s high school football playoffs. Flows downhill you know.

  • teenchy | February 3, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    Not a Pats fan but that Harper’s cover screams trademark infringement IMO.

    • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 9:46 am |

      Nope. It clearly falls within several overlapping First Amendment exceptions to trademark and tort law. And even if it didn’t, there’s no conceivable case to be made that anyone will be confused by Harpers in a way that costs the Patriots business. No one, looking at that cover, will be fooled into thinking that the next Patriots game will be played at the offices of Harpers instead of at Gillette Stadium, or that Harpers is affiliated with or speaking for the Patriots.

    • Broadway Connie | February 3, 2011 at 9:51 am |

      Don’t think so. Press has wide leeway in such matters (analysis/satire/First Amendment stuff; no real commercial competition or likelihood of consumer confusion). Plus Bob Kraft, smart, witty Columbia grad (and an offensive lineman for the generally pitiful Lions) will get a big kick out of it.

      • teenchy | February 3, 2011 at 9:54 am |

        I stand corrected.

      • apk3000 | February 3, 2011 at 10:36 am |

        Dan Snyder would apparently like to disagree.

        • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 10:50 am |

          You can take it as an assumed that if there is a law, rule, custom, or principle that in any way upholds some standard of decency or liberty, Dan Snyder would like to disagree. We’re talking about a guy who sues his own season ticket holders, who tried to sell rancid peanuts from an airline that went out of business a year earlier to fans, and who has tried to charge people who walk to his stadium for parking. He’s pretty freakin’ evil, even by the standards of Washington Redskins owners.

        • George | February 3, 2011 at 10:56 am |

          No badmouthing Dan Snyder or he might try to have Paul ban you from commenting. And then send out a strongly worded letter from his attorney saying that he’s going to sue you for defamation as well, even if everything you have said about the man can be factually proven.

        • =bg= | February 4, 2011 at 12:00 am |

          Snyder tried to resell old peanuts? What?

  • Original Jim | February 3, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    Hopefully it will be a few years before this trickles down to high school football. The black pants are great for cold weather, provided all the officials on a crew have them (unlike the referee in my Thanksgiving game, who is very old school and refuses to buy them).

    They better come up with some lightweight ones. I can’t see officials being comfortable at all in long black pants in the early season heat in the deep South.

  • KT | February 3, 2011 at 9:41 am |

    High school refs here in Arizona have worn the black pants, which is silly if you think about it. Or even if you don’t.

    In other news, I have a King and His Court program around here somewhere as well, a different one. I actually played in a game against them once, back in the late 80s/early 90s.

    I get up, and the catcher says to me, sotto voce, “Do not swing at this pitch, batter, do NOT swing.” Well, Eddie Feigner whips it in there and I only heard it, barely saw it. I step out and say to the catcher, “Dude, I had no chance of swinging at that.”

    Guy was amazing. A-may-zing.

  • M.Princip | February 3, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    Thank you Mike Hersh, this is stunning!

  • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    Another silver NCAA helmet bites the dust?

    • M.Princip | February 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm |

      Have to say, some helmets do look better in white, this one included.

  • Schmeltzer | February 3, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    I can see a day where I’ll be telling younger officials, “when I started, we were still wearing knickers.” Laughter will ensue and I will silently shed a tear.

  • Broadway Connie | February 3, 2011 at 10:12 am |

    1. Project Neon! What an excellent enterprise, Kirsten.

    2. US Handball Unis. Let’s proceed from the premise that few of us follow team handball, and are consequently ignorant of any kind of tradition associated with the national team’s get-up. So: Waddaya think of these new ones? Me, I vote OK but Ungreat.

    But here’s the real question. Do you think that there should be any design motif — or any dominant color — that any official USA team should honor? The handballers have chosen mostly red with white and blue highlights and mostly blue with white and red highlights. Is that a good approach for home-and-away duds, or should there be a white-dominant uni for either home or away?

    When I watch the Olympics and the World Cub, I’ve noted that by far the dominant color is red. And so I’ve developed a bias against mostly-red unis for the US. There are, to be sure, lots of blue-dominant outfits, but not as many as green and not nearly so many as red, and so I’ve come to like a blue emphasis for USA. And (a little more coffee, please) I would really like to see some attempts to test the idea that a white-stars-on-a-blue-background motif could be introduced as a common element of all national unis. I’m talking about a shoulder bar, or a narrow stripe on the side of the pants, or some other trim strategy.

    I wish I could draw.

    • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 10:25 am |


      what no ellipses three dot journalism? ;)

      • Broadway Connie | February 3, 2011 at 10:52 am |

        This is a matter far too important for the necessarily superficial and uninformed nature of three dot. We are talking about the raiment of athletic representatives of the Great Republic, and at a time of general national sourness. It is crucial — I believe — for all of us to use the opportunity provided by the handball team to conduct an unsparing review of the uniforms worn by our fine young men and women as they compete in crucial encounters with the nationals of less favored nations. You can be assured that the Chinese have already adopted a national policy in this regard. You can also be assured that the US garments will be made in China, but that’s another matter.

        I propose that UniWatch develop a consensus as to the design elements of our national sports uniforms, that Paul and Phil (plus a few others for demographic balance) present our recommendations to a bipartisan National Task Force, and that we then seek, and tirelessly pursue, speedy legislative action to enact into law that which we know to be in the best interests of the American People.

        I really like that white-stars-on-blue-strip motif for shoulders or straps.

        • Teebz | February 3, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          I’ll make it easy on you, Broadway: lose a colour.

          Canada is either red or white. Occasionally, we drop a black uniform in just to tell the world that we mean business. But red or white is a standard.

          /end sarcasm

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 11:58 am |

          And when you really want to kick some ass?

          You wear green.

    • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 11:01 am |

      Connie, I think you’re dead on. All things considered, when I see a team in a national competition – Olympics, World Cup, Baseball World Classic, whatever – in mainly red and white, my first assumption is that it’s England or Canada. And not only are you right that red is kind of a crowded color, and blue kind of underused, but navy blue in particular is vastly underused as a national color. Japan is the only really prominent navy blue national team in many sports.

      And since historically, navy blue is actually America’s national color – think bluecoats versus redcoats, or federal blue versus Confederate gray, or the dress uniforms still worn by most of the military, or the dominant color of almost every state and federal agency seal, or the color used on American maps to designated “friendly” versus “enemy” territory, or the main color of most state flags, or, well, the list is pretty overwhelming – it makes sense to me that navy blue should be the dominant color for any Team USA uniform. I’d be up for more white and red accents than Japan uses, but still, when you see Team USA, the dominant color should be navy blue.

      On the Team USA handball unis, the blue set is perfect. The red set screams “Team Canada.” They’re nice unis and all, but they really don’t belong on a USA team.

    • KT | February 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

      I’m one of the few, the proud, those who have a vested interest in Team Handball. I can tell you this: the single most important things about this uniform set is that they’re part of a sponsorship deal that brings money to USA Team Handball. And, as many probably don’t know, USATH is incredibly cash-strapped – to the point of We’re Really, Really Happy To Have This Sponsor.

      As for the aesthetics, yes, these are fine.

      As to the general point about what teams representing our country should be wearing, I’d have to agree that predominantly blue is probably the way to go. There’s a whole leftover Cold War thing probably at work here, plus the neighbors to the north and those in the Far East who are more readily identified with the color red.

      I’m not sure navy (isn’t “navy blue” redundant?) is the right shade, but everything goes slightly different when you’re talking about replicating a color on fabric, I guess.

      Supposedly the color of blue in our flag is PMS 282. The US Navy says the blue in its seal is PMS 275 but whether that matches the color of garments worn by those in the Navy, I couldn’t tell you.

      Supposedly the Chicago Bears use PMS 289. I think we should be slightly brighter than that, but that’s just me.

      Our national soccer teams have traditionally worn either white or blue (with the occasional charcoal that’s stupid), but Sam’s Army, their official supporters group, is encouraged to wear red to games.

      To me, as long as we’ve got red, white and blue and a star or two, I’m pretty okay. Stripes are optional, but appreciated.

  • Josh | February 3, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Paul Lukas | February 3, 2011 at 10:20 am |

      Those are great — except for the completely annoying Nike logo on the upper-right chest.

      The turd in the punchbowl, that.

      • Gentleman Agitator | February 3, 2011 at 10:31 am |

        Great comeback! I think that is a great new nickname for the swoosh.

    • EMD | February 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

      No Indians Oscar Gamble might be the crime of the century.

  • WH | February 3, 2011 at 10:16 am |

    I have a HS football crew and we wore knickers exactly 4 times last season. The death of the knickers couldn’t come too soon. Aesthetics aside, I hate trying to keep them clean and the worst part is trying to keep the Northwestern-striped socks clean.

    Gerry Davis Sports sells a pant that is unlined and works well in warm weather as well as cold weather (if you wear UnderArmour ColdGear tights underneath.

    We aren’t technically allowed to wear the pants with short sleeves either, but we found ourselves doing exactly that on a number of occasions last season and it looked just fine and nobody noticed.

    In extremely warm weather, white or black shorts and short socks work just fine. Anything cooler calls for pants.

    Death to the knickers!

    • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 10:48 am |

      i have been on crews that used both, and prefer knickers. the problem is, and this is amplified the further down the food chain you go(looking at you HS ref), sweatpants are sloppy and feel less “official”, and wind up looking rec-league. it is difficult enough getting the respect you have both earned and deserve without looking like you just got up off the couch. aesthetics aside, this is a horrible day for officials. i don’t buy the it’s easier angle either, if you really have problems keeping your clothes clean, then perhaps you should change detergents, or buy a second pair of socks. i find this frustrating, if we have problems keeping our knickers and hose clean, then maybe we should question if we are a fully functioning adult. what is the problem with this country?! we can’t be bothered with efforting a rinse-cycle? now the laundry is too hard for us? i am supposed to believe that you have the desire and pride to get yourself in the best posible position to make a call, but you are too lazy to clean yourself?

      • Mark K | February 3, 2011 at 10:59 am |


        I’ve said all along that properly worn white knickers and striped socks is what separates us from intramural flag football officials.

        • KT | February 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

          (Former football official here)

          Couldn’t agree more.

          We/You had an iconic look that has increasingly become bastardized in the name of…well, I don’t know what, exactly. Fending off Subway commercials?

          Just looked back at a tape of a high school game I broadcast this past fall….crew in long black pants and short sleeved shirts. The date of the game? September 24.

          Late September in Arizona it’s still close to 100 degrees much of the time.

      • WH | February 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm |

        If you think these are sweatpants, you should take a look at them closer. The pants I bought are black dress pants with a white stripe down the side — similar to baseball umpire pants. They have belt loops and are treated to repel bad weather.

        Other supply houses are selling black pants that are the exact same materials as knickers.

        Go ahead and rag on HS football officials, but my crew looks just as sharp on the field as any college crew in the country. We buy our pants/kinckers and shirts from the same suppliers, shine our shoes, and do our best to keep everything as clean as possible.

        Cleaning mud from white knickers so that the white shines as well as it did before the game is not as easy as it sounds. And cotton socks? They’ll never be bright white after a mudder. And unlike NFL/D1 NCAA officials who can simply use a new pair of socks for each game, we don’t exactly make that same level of money doing this.

        I buy 6 pairs of socks and 6 white hats (another stupid uniform choice) every season because I wouldn’t wear my white hats after they got ruined with mud/dirt. Last season I had to buy a few more hats just to get through the season. Not all officials do this, but I refuse to work a Friday night game with brown/yellowed anything on.

        The black pants are more comfortable than knickers/socks and they are more practical. The only ones who should get to decide what we wear are the officials themselves. Announcers and bloggers can be as disappointed all they want, but I don’t think their opinions are really relevant.

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

          The white striping make them like the bottom portion of a tracksuit. To the casual observer, that makes them sweatpants.

          This is a much better look if you must have long, dark pants with a zebra shirt.

          “Announcers and bloggers can be as disappointed all they want, but I don’t think their opinions are really relevant.”
          everyone to this point who’s jumped in on this thread has identified himself as a current/former official.

        • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

          that’s right jth, both the people who responded to him clearly identified themselves as current or former officials, he has a keen eye.

          i referred to them as sweatpants as opposed to slacks because they *look* like what you wear when you are lounging on the couch, not when you are trying to look like a football official. when we refer to pajama pants in baseball, we all know the players are not wearing *actual* pajamas.

          as for ripping HS officials, quite the contrary, the people i worked with always expected a lot of each other, and i thought we did a bang-up job. but the fact is it isn’t the ncaa or the nfl, there are some unprofessional looking/acting crews out there, and the sweatpants make it worse, they make people look sloppy. i would prefer to clean the whites, and the socks are cheap enough, they are 1/12th of a game cheque for the once or twice a year conditions are so miserable that they get ruined and i am forced to turn them into studio rags. all that said, i am not getting back into the ref game in kc, knock on wood(bangs fist on brain-pan).

        • KT | February 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

          If relevant opinions were all that were allowed, very few websites would exist.

          As someone who was a football official for six years, I’d like to think my opinion is slightly more relevant than the average person’s on the street. Then again, the entire “either you’re a football person or you’re not and if you’re not, we don’t care about you” mentality that starts with coaches and makes its way to players has apparently. also trickled down to officials as well.

          We had a look that served us well (with refinements) for more than 80 years. Somewhere, someone, for some reason, decided to change that. I don’t believe it’s a change for the better, but, hey, yeah, wear whatever you want. But if you’re doing it because all the trendy and cool kids are doing it (especially when the black pants were originally designed so officials could…wait for it…”switch in cold weather to black full-length pants that will allow more room for additional layers.” (link:

          The black pants are a cold-weather construct. Wearing them in late September in Arizona is for posers. There’s really no other way to spin that.

    • Andy | February 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      Might I suggest wearing McDavid tights underneath for cold weather? They’re about ten times more comfortable than UA’s version, AND they’re made in the USA, something we can all appreciate.

  • MN | February 3, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    That Nike page calls for a quiz! I think I have most of them but the Cubs and Mets are stumping me.

    • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 10:57 am |

      it’s prolly not carmen fanzone, although i’m hoping it is (for the cubs)

      and for the mets, i was really hoping it would be this guy…but alas…im thinking it might be wally backman (possibly johnny franco)

      • George | February 3, 2011 at 11:00 am |

        Keith Hernandez

      • CoachKing | February 3, 2011 at 11:04 am |

        The Mets is definitely Keith Hernandez

        Maybe the Cubs is Bill Buckner?

        • George | February 3, 2011 at 11:08 am |

          Probably Buckner, but with that little bit of droop at the end of the ‘stache I can’t help but think of Dick Tidrow …

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 11:14 am |

          Although Carmen Fanzone is one hell of a nice guy and a terrific jazz flugelhornist, I don’t think that really qualifies him for one of these shirts.

          I’m fairly certain it’s Buckner.

    • Paul Lukas | February 3, 2011 at 11:13 am |

      Mets one is clearly Mex.

      The interesting thing is how many Yankees are included. Everyone knows Steinbrenner didn’t allow beard, but it’s interesting to see how many iconic moustaches the Yanks nonetheless had.

      • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 11:23 am |

        so…can we name them all? don’t have much time but

        1 – unit
        2 – goose
        3 – bags
        4 – rollie
        5 – buckner?
        6 – mex
        7 – gibson?
        8 – puck
        9 – ? (should be this guy
        10 – thurm
        11 – reggie
        12 – ozzie
        13 – schmidty

        sound right so far?

        • George | February 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |

          9 = Puckett or Johan Santana?

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 11:27 am |

          Dick Tidrow? No.

          I’m thinking #9 is Ozzie, but they should have gone with Harold.

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 11:33 am |

          By the way, Phil, I realize that you weren’t saying you thought it WAS Tidrow. I’m just saying he’s hardly worthy of representing the Sox on one of these shirts.

        • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 11:43 am |

          i know spanks — im just saying he did sport one hell of a stache with them

          it should be harold “no nickname needed” baines

        • Chris in Nashville | February 3, 2011 at 11:57 am |

          What about Ken Caminiti for the Stros?

        • CoachKing | February 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

          Surprised these guys don’t have any mention of these shirts yet.

        • Robb | February 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

          I really have a hard time believing the Cub is Buckner. He’s not iconic enough in a Cubs uniform.

          Fergie Jenkins?

        • Robb | February 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

          Ron Cey (not that he’s necessarily any more iconic than Buckner)?

        • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

          maybe someone already chimed in, but i am pretty sure the tiger is jack morris.

        • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

          …and this should be the twinkie.

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm |

          Jack Morris makes sense.

          Robb: whether or not you deem Buckner “iconic enough” (he played 7+ seasons and won a batting title with the Cubs) is irrelevant. The fact is that you’re insane if you think that looks like Fergie and/or the Penguin.

          Chris in Nashville: You think that’s Leon Durham? Really?

        • Frankie | February 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

          Not listed on the Nike page, but made by Nike and popular during the playoffs and World Series…

          Brian Wilson:

    • Csikos | February 3, 2011 at 11:41 am |

      I’m not sure who the Cubbies is but they had so many better options…

      Like this guy:
      or this guy:

      • Chris in Nashville | February 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

        JTH: That’s who i thought of when I first saw it and I don’t think they would have used Buckner because he is more famous as a Sock (Sox?) Durham did have a full goatee though and not just the mustache.

        • JTH | February 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

          Bill Buckner was probably the most popular player on the team when he was a Cub.

          He only played in Boston for three full seasons, plus portions of 2 others. He gained infamy, not fame, there.

    • DenverGregg | February 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

      Why wasn’t he included?

  • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    Relevant to nothing other than I was browsing ebay.
    I had no idea Puma made golf shoes…


  • interlockingtc | February 3, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    Looking forward to Kirsten’s neon chronicles. Great project!

  • Paul Lukas | February 3, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • MN | February 3, 2011 at 11:08 am |


      Good column, but no mention of Big Ben wearing gloves?, or that McCarthy changes the color of the Sharpie at halftime?

      I meant to email you yesterday that the “Sports Pope” was talking with Kim Jone yesterday afternoon on the WFAN, and they spent a good five minutes talking about wether or not Big Ben would be wearing the gloves inside on Sunday. She was going to ask Ben during the Steelers media session, and report back to Mike this afternoon.

      • Paul Lukas | February 3, 2011 at 11:14 am |

        I’ve written about Ben wearing gloves in previous Super Bowls.

        I had tried and failed to establish a definitive protocol to McCarthy’s pen colors. I thought it was likely a halftime switch but wasn’t sure. I asked a bunch of people, but nobody was certain. I asked the Packers and they didn’t respond.

        Are you sure on this? Which color for which half?

        • MN | February 3, 2011 at 11:44 am |

          I am not sure if he has a specific pattern to the Sharpie colors, but I have noticed a switch from half to half during the Packers games I have watched.

        • Geoff | February 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

          Not sure which color is for which half, but I do know that McCarthy switches color at halftime. It’s some sort of tribute to one of his old coaches/mentors, I believe.

    • Mark K | February 3, 2011 at 11:21 am |

      I’m wondering if the home team switcheroo has something to do with the Cowboys having their bench on the opposite side of the field and closer to the home locker room. Most teams have their benches on the pressbox (camera) side of the field. I believe Dallas has had theirs on the opposite side for some time.

      Still doesn’t explain the end zones being swapped but maybe that has to do with teams always warming up on the left relative to their bench.

      • Lew Holst | February 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

        I think it has to do with the franchise and their owner just being incompetent.

        It’s just unbelievable they could totally screw up such a simple, yet vital detail.

      • hofflalu | February 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

        For the end zone, it’s probably a matter of consistency for the “home team” having their logo to the left, not that it matters that much for a Super Bowl.

        Will the same thing happen when the Super Bowl is at New Meadowlands Stadium, since the home team is on the opposite sideline from the press box there as well? Plus, at least New England & Cleveland also have the home team bench opposite of the press box, but they’ll very unlikely to host a Super Bowl so we probably will never know if they’d have the same SB quirk.

  • =bg= | February 3, 2011 at 11:02 am |

    totally surprised PL didn’t go nuclear on the NCAA signing fiasco.

    These HS kids sit there..the anncr says ‘and what school will ______ be attending…and the kid has a hat on backwards, and swivels it forwards to show the local of the football factory he won’t be graduating from. If I hadn’t seen it myself I wouldn’t have believed it.


  • Chance Michaels | February 3, 2011 at 11:05 am |

    Tiki Barber pisses me off.

    I got more emails on this than I have in the last month. And now that he’s put it out there, somebody’s going to believe it. Probably some lazy journalist, who will give it further play.

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      30+ years after the fact someone says something was so.

      Sounds familiar…like, the horse was brown to “honor” the old colors, and to “help fans through the change.” Never mind that everyone hated the gold and brown, the Broncos weren’t exactly setting things on fire, either on the field or at the gate and their entire marketing campaign was based on the new Orange & Blue.

      Why do people just make up shit?
      (Personally, I think the Bronco affair is all about some less-than-knowledgeble dope seeing those unis in blacka nd white and thinking they were a second gold and brown set, then covering his tracks instead admitting he screwed up).

      The Packer thing? That just self-congratulatory on the part of some Packer fan way too in love with the team. Absolute whooey. And, what, the Georgia “G” stands for “Goobers”?

      Yeah, that’s it for the Dawgs and the Pack:
      Goobers and Gouda.


    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

      Psssst…Tiki, did you know that Abe Lincoln wore a purple stovepipe hat to Gettysburg that day so as not to offend either the red states or the blue states?

      Really, he did.

      I mean, it only makes sense cuz there’s always been red states and blue states, right?


      • Rob S | February 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm |

        Weren’t they blue states and gray states back then, though?

    • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

      True story: A girl I was friends with in my freshman dorm worked part-time as a guide on the DC Tourmobile busses. As the bus was crossing the National Mall one day, she read the script about how there are 50 flags at the base of the Washington Monument, one for each state. A tourist raised his hand and asked, “Are the flags all flying the same direction to symbolize the strength of the union?”

      She gave the only possible answer: “Yes.”

      • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm |

        “NO, it’s because it would have looked stupid if they were going all different directions” wouldn’t have been deep and meaningful and symbolic enough, I guess.

        And the reason the Chicago Fire helmet logo was so huge was so that the earhole down low would remind people that the escape route from a fire would be found by crawling our way out. Really. 1974 was “National Use A Football Helmet to Promote Learn Not to Burn” Year.

        Not a lot of people know that.


        • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

          Ignore my first paragraph. I thought Scott referring to some kind of artwork or sculputure.

          His story is much funnier when read properly.

          Although, I suppose the guide could have said, “No, it’s because Virginia sucks wind.”


        • RS Rogers | February 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

          Exactly. When you’re working for tips, you can’t embarrass the customer by pointing out that the flags all fly the same direction because that’s the way the wind is blowing. (Alternate response: “Yes, and in fact during the Civil War, when the Monument was only one-third completed, Congress ordered the flags of the Confederate states to fly in the opposite direction from those of the union states.”)

  • DenverGregg | February 3, 2011 at 11:11 am |

    Love Project Neon (and trying really hard to remember just where I saw a terrific sign on a trip to NYC right about five years ago) and today’s ESPN column.

    Have to disagree about the Super Bowl logos, there were some stinkers, but I really liked the logos for XIV through XX, XXV, XXIX through XXXIV, XXXVIII, XLI and XLIII. Then again, XXXIX was so overwhlemingly bad it probably single-handedly killed off the concept of the individual game logo.

  • DJ Doc | February 3, 2011 at 11:17 am |

    I loved the reference to “Rugby-Football”…hadn’t heard it for years, and that’s what football was called up here north of the 49th for the longest time.

    • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

      Yeah, was gonna say the name “CFL” has only been around since 1958.

      • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

        Which reminds me, are the Blue Bombers going to move back to the West when Ottawa returns to the CFL?


        • Anotherguy | February 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm |


          Where do you think that yesterday’s Ken Stabler picture was taken? Dark uni’s, but that’s not Oakland Alameda in the background with those bleacher seats and the light wall.

        • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

          Hmmm…not a huge stadium-spotter, so may not be much help.

          But it almost looks like Kezar (not saying it is, mind you). Bleacher seating down to a low wall certainly looks like a college stadium…or a older stadium

          Raiders and 49ers ever play in preseason at Kezar? Home team in dark wouldn’t necessarily have held true in preseason.

          Always a chance it was a preseason game on a college campus, because they still moved them around back then.

          Did Raiders ever play preseason games at Cal? Or Stanford? Or San Jose State? Not terribly familiar with those fields.


        • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

          The link, for anyone else who wants to help idenfity the stadium…


        • Mike Edgerly | February 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm |

          Could it have been that one game they played at Cal-Berkeley in 1973 against the Dolphins?

        • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

          About the Bombers, most likely. They always get bounced around when there’s contraction/expansion. If Ottawa’s coming back you can bet Winnipeg will venture westward.

        • anotherguy | February 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm |

          Thanks to Ricko/all. Forgot about Kezar.

          Yep, I remember that they used to play exhibitions (that term is no longer used) at college stadiums. That was in the days when fans weren’t required to buy full price tickets to preseason games as a part of their season ticket package I guess. ;-)

        • Valjean | February 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

          As an early ’70s East Bay fan, I’d vote Berkeley (Memorial Stadium): low wall, beige, bench seats … I sat in those quite often watching the Golden Bears get pasted by most of the rest of the Pac-8.

        • TA | February 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm |

          I think that has to be Memorial Stadium. The wall looks higher than it has been in recent years, but it could have been different in 1973. This pic of Chuck Muncie shows the wall about the same height as in the Stabler photo.

          Kezar is unlikely. Stabler’s rookie year, 1970, was the 49ers’ last year in Kezar. The two teams played a regular season game in Oakland that year. I think they played a preseason game at Kezar that year (don’t know where to look that up), but the Raiders wouldn’t have worn their home unis, right?

        • TA | February 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm |

          Just to clarify, as mentioned by Mike, the Raiders played one regular season game in Berkeley in 1973 due to a scheduling conflict with the A’s. They beat the Dolphins, ending Miami’s 18-game winning streak.

    • Lloyd Davis | February 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

      Couldn’t help but notice that Normie Kwong (#23 for Calgary) was listed as Qwong. He was recently Lieutenant Governor of his home province, Alberta.

  • Jet | February 3, 2011 at 11:17 am |

    There are actually several old King and His Court programs on Ebay. Also type Eddie Feigner into Youtube for some cool old (and more recent) videos. I wonder if those unis are for sale anywhere. Love those striped shoulders!!!


    • NinerEd | February 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

      Actually played in a charity softball game against TKAHC about 15 years ago. I was writing for a small-town newspaper and was asked to join a group of local “celebrities” who would play the first 3 innings – with all of us hitting against The King. He was pushing 70 but could still bring the heat – I struck out on 3 pitches but actually got a piece of the second one. Of course I was honored; how many people can say they whiffed against the same guy who struck out Willie Mays and Harmon Killebrew?

      Coincidentally, I have a program from that game – signed by The King and Gary West (his eyepatched first baseman).

  • Craig D | February 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

    I think this nicely combines the love of Meat and Sports. And throw in some gum, because…why not??

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

      The laces are pasta, I hope.

      • DenverGregg | February 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

        . . . as long as they’re not gum

  • johnj | February 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm |

    You know, tis the season for football commercials and ive started to notice a trend…

    I’m sure its a biproduct of not wanting to pay liscensing fees or whatver comes with wearing actual team’s jerseys, but it seems like every other commercial features a fan wearing a jersey from the replacements:

    Anyone else notice this? Have an explanation or idea?

    If you haven’t noticed, keep an eye out

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

      Isn’t about avoiding pay fees.
      Is about advertisers not wanting to give the impression of preferring, or promoting, an existing team or college/university.

      As to the Sentinels (and any of the teams they played)…there’s a whole mess of unis some costume house or production company can profit from renting. The Sentinels’ particular color scheme is generically patriotic and, therefore, a safe bet for the advertiser.


      • johnj | February 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

        It is pretty generic, I assumed they were coming from a single generic costume house that came into a busload of sentinels jerseys (I could imagine there being hundreds between extras and multiple sets for the leads?)

        Makes sense why they wouldn’t want an existing team though, good point, thanks ricko

    • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm |

      You see an awful lot of USFL footage, too.

      • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

        Oh, USFL jokes?

        Okay, I want Trump’s daughter to marry Willy Wonka so her name will be…

        Ivanka Wonka

        • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm |

          And their kids could play with Tonkas…

      • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

        Nice thing about footage like that. Whoever shot it pretty much owns it. By default. If someone had come forward and claimed they were using images of his team, bill collectors for that team would have descended on the guy like locusts.

        That why logos of defunct teams are almost always a good bet to be in the public domain. Almost instantly.


        • johnj | February 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm |

          Never thought of that either haha

          Man, what I would do for ownership of a previously silly word/image that becomes useful… cant believe I missed the boat on Droid

  • LarryB | February 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    I saw the King and his Court with my dad sometime in the early 60’s. That program reminded me of mine. I wish I knew where it was now. I may still have it.

  • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm |

    “And the reason the Chicago Fire helmet logo was so huge was so that the earhole down low would remind people that the escape route from a fire would be found by crawling our way out.”

    You know, when I saw my first photo of the Fire’s helmet (I didn’t know much about the WFL as a kid), I assumed they were from New York.

    Look very carefully:
    Do you see an N Y there? Kind of a fancy, flowing, capitalized version of the Giants’ n y design.

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |

      Could have been a team from Fire Island, couldn’t it.
      The New York Flaming…
      (well, never mind).


      • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

        They could have been the Firemen. A young Fireman Ed would’ve made a great mascot.

        The cheer would have been a mouthful, though…
        “F! I! R! E! M! E! N! Firemen! Firemen! Firemen!”

  • Johnny O | February 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm |

    It’s been mentioned on here before, but it’s worth mentioning again. I love that the Packers use the “Wisconsin Heisman” logo on their travel duffel bags.–nfl_medium_540_360.jpg

  • Pat | February 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  • Kyle Allebach | February 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    Sorry if I’m repeating, or for lack of info, but on The View, the kid who got attacked and hung up by his jacket was given a DeSean Jackson jersey by DeSean himself…I couldn’t tell if it was authentic or a replica though…

  • KT | February 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm |

    I hadn’t heard of this company that’s sponsoring the US Team Handball squad, but apparently this is BURRDA’s first foray into sponsoring North American teams. They do the Belgian soccer team and Wolves in England, and the Egyptian and British national handball teams. The handball deal may be a way to start to get into the market over here.

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm |

      In the very early ’70s, General Westmoreland (I believe it was) was a huge proponent of team handball, initiating programs throughout the U.S. Army and Army Reserve.

      Though TH is normally played indoors, we also played an outdoor version (absent dribbling, the “ballcarrier” was allowed three steps before having to pass).

      Unfortunately, the General’s efforts never paid off because, while it may not be a huge television treat, it is REALLY fun to play.


      • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm |

        I enjoyed seeing it on TV. Although my viewing experience consisted of about ten minutes during the 1984 Olympics. Don’t remember who was playing…just remember Al Trautwig was announcing the game. Wanted to watch more, but my cousins were outside waiting to play.

  • daveclt | February 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    Is there a reason the Packers endzone is green? I would have thought yellow. What did they have in prior super bowls?

  • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm |

    it’s a long story, but it was a string of emails about a friend losing power for a couple days due to the blizzard in chicago that lead to me receiving this random link. i know it really isn’t sport, and maybe it is commonly known, but i think that is fantastic.

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm |

      Two observations…
      1) And people wonder were all the great new American playwrights are coming from.
      2) Is there a possibly that’s how all this business in Cairo started? Y’know, some kind of cobra dance spell that worked its way north from Giza?


    • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm |


      what the fck?

      • traxel | February 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm |

        and now Phil has material for Saturday….

    • Coleman | February 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

      I’ll never get those precious minutes of my life back… Worth it.

      • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm |

        some truly special stuff of awful, no doubt. i had to share that one. and to think all i had to precede it was stupid “nightshift” and “white shadow” clips, i was schooled.

        not that it matters, but it was bags stadium, and the adjoining house that was without power for a couple days, poor bagarazzi.

  • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    rrrrrr. white shadow

    • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm |

      Loved that show. A favorite with the brothers Vilk.

      Trivia question: The character of Warren Coolidge was in another show as well. What was the show?

      • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm |

        never saw that show, not even once….despite the fact that most of my buddies did

        i was afraid it would make me sell beers to underage youth

        • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm |


  • Johnny O | February 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |

    Twitpic of Greg Jenning’s locker at the Super Bowlâ„¢. Strange he has the white unie hanging (as does the teammate next to him) Gotta be a practice jersey I am guessing.

    • Johnny O | February 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |

      No TV numbers… so obviously a practice jersey. Shoulda looked more carefully.

  • rpm | February 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |

    it’s true mothervilker, you sold me beer as a kid at the coliseum, own it. i was never turned down thanks to the 2,000 filled seats, and i went all the time since it was only a couple miles away. every vender sold to me, and you were a vender, so you sold me and my russel earl dent ID beer. R.E.D. is bucky, that was the name i put on my terminal tower fake ID at the ripe age of 18.

    i don’t remember what coolidge was in, but wasn’t a hill street blues cop on that show? i also remember my dad’s dow chemical company team’s unis were just like carver high’s.

    • Jim Vilk | February 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm |

      St. Elsewhere. Which, like White Shadow and Hill Street Blues, was an MTM production. Lots of crossovers in those shows.

      • LI Phil | February 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm |

        own the beers, MV

    • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm |

      Mike Warren, maybe?
      Played guard for John Wooden at UCLA.
      Acted for years. Was in one episode of White Shadow, but is mostly remembered for Hill Street Blues. Think he did some directing later.
      He’s now Jessica Alba’s father-in-law.


      • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm |

        Trying to remember, weren’t the characters of he and Ed Marinaro partners on Hill Street?


      • Ricko | February 4, 2011 at 12:04 am |

        Oh, you meant the character, not the actor.

        • rpm | February 4, 2011 at 12:23 am |

          he was marinaro’s partner. and i for sure remember that episode of TWS he was on, it must have been “deep”, because i for sure remember him on that show. but with regrds to that show, my favourite character was salami.

          funny thing about MV is i was trying to buy soda-pops and and candy corn, and made me have tankards od ale, and bun-stuffer cheese whiz on peanuts. what a horrible influence he was on impressionable minds.

        • Jim Vilk | February 4, 2011 at 12:44 am |


        • rpm | February 4, 2011 at 1:45 am |

          it’s okay MV, times were different 20+ years ago. many of my friends were grandfathered in, but it was standard practice either way. i never had problems at the colosseum, or the mausoleum that was the mistake on the lake, it was just the norm of the day allegedly. i would never imply you would support such practices today.

  • Ricko | February 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm |

    I think knickers are on the way to being pretty much a traveling companion of the bowtie, as sure as (as John Wayne said in THE SEARCHERS) “the turnin’ of the earth.”


  • Shane | February 4, 2011 at 12:29 am |

    Love the article on the Super Bowls, especially the pictures of the field. Any way that you could find or post pictures of all Super Bowl fields. Each field is pretty unique, and the colored endzones are designs would be neat to see over the years.

  • LI Phil | February 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    Mets wallets 300K lighter