Courting Genius

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Last Friday I did an entry on some simple Super Bowl infographics. Now reader Adam Hainsfurther has pointed me toward a basketball site called Hoopism, which features a bunch of enormously sophisticated NBA-centric infographics, many of which are interactive. It’s one of the most interesting and enjoyable sports sites I’ve seen in a long, long time. Even if you don’t care about the NBA — I don’t care a whole lot about it myself — you’ll like this, trust me.

The most impressive thing on the site, at least that I’ve found so far, is this page devoted to the NBA slam dunk contest. Each dot represents a dunk attempt by a player in a given year’s contest, plotted according to its score as given by the judges. Orange dots are successful dunk attempts; blue ones are unsuccessful. When you mouse over one of the dots, you get info on that dunk attempt. And if you click on that dot, you get a YouTube video clip of that dunk (except for the gray dots, for which no video is available).

There’s a similar page devoted to the NBA’s greatest shots. The blue dots represent — well, shit, you’re smart people, you can read the explanation on the page for yourselves.

Not all of the Hoopism infographics are interactive, but just about all of them are clever and engaging. Here are some others that I like:

• This page generates word clouds based on who played the most minutes, all-time, for each NBA team.

• Here’s another word cloud, based on this year’s all-star voting.

• And here’s the all-star voting broken down by team. Simple but effective.

• This is completely awesome: Players depicted as little caricature figures with each body part size-adjusted to reflect a certain statistic. In addition to being entertaining, it makes it really easy to compare two players.

• This one’s a doozy: a page that shows how each team’s assists are distributed from player to player. You can read the intro on that page, and then click on the link for the interactive graph (if it doesn’t work, try a different browser — it doesn’t seem to like Firefox on a Mac). Once you get to the interactive graphic, pick a team. Then you can drag each player’s dot around on the graph. Endlessly fascinating.

• Another doozy: an interactive chart that maps out each team’s shooting percentage allowed by position on the court. (Again, if you can’t get to the interactive visualization, try a different browser.)

• And we’ll go out with a simple one: a graphic showing each team’s average player age, expressed both in raw terms and weighted for minutes played.

There’s more — a lot more. Have fun exploring it, but don’t blame me if you don’t get anything else done today. Why is this site not famous? Why have its creators not been hired by the league (or by ESPN)?

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The perfect way to celebrate pitchers and catchers: On Saturday I went to Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg to check out a beekeeping and honey-extraction presentation. While I was there I also dropped off 80 Meats shirts, because they’d sold through their last batch. That means 80 annoyingly ironic Williamsburgers will soon be wearing this tee. But why should they have all the fun? Order your own Meats T-shirt here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: It turns out Erin Andrews isn’t the only ESPN broadcaster with a shoe contract. Unsurprisingly, this is causing a bit of a stir among journalism ethicists. For the record, I will happily sign a big-money Nike shoe deal just as soon as they let me design a sneaker that says, “Corporate Douchebaggery Sucks.” ”¦ In a related item, could there possibly be a more asinine place to put a swoosh than here? Must be made from high-performance, moisture-absorbing straw, right? ”¦ Here’s an unsatisfyingly short item about Brad Penny’s high-cuffed pants (with thanks to Don Drever). ”¦ John Daly is apparently going to wear FedEx colors for this year’s FedEx-sponsored golf tourney (with thanks to Chris Flynn). ”¦ Speaking of early branding treatments, check out this short video clip that shows some discarded proposals for the ABC logo — some awful, some wonderful (major thanks to Tom Adjemian). ”¦ Nate Montana can now play for the name on both sides of the jersey. This isn’t the first time this has happened, natch: Jerry West played lots of NBA All-Star Games for the Western Conference, and Curtis Pride briefly played for the Nashua Pride. Any other examples..? … It’s easy to forget that Michael Jordan wore Converse back at UNC (good spot by Larz G. Roberts). ”¦ Here are good views of both of the Tigers’ spring training patches: Sparky memorial on one sleeve, spring training 85th anniversary on the other (big thanks to Wayne Koehler). ”¦ Turns out Nike was selling at least one of those “hair-itage” T-shirts way back in July, so they definitely did not crib the idea from the guys with the Ron Washington tee, which didn’t hit the streets until mid-October. I’ve spoken to two of the guys who created the Washington tee — they say they weren’t aware that Nike had beaten them to the punch. ”¦ Good catch by A.J. Frey, who noticed that Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer has a typo on his backplate. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Felix Potvin used to wear a Felix the Cat patch (or sticker, or something) on his leg pads (nice catch by Mike Engle). ”¦ Brian Russell and Dave Northrup have both noticed some disappointing logo creep on Jim Boeheim’s eyeglasses. ”¦ In Case You Were Wondering Dept.: Yesterday Doug Keklak asked me if the Pirates were planning to add a memorial patch for Chuck Tanner. I posed that question to the team and was told, “Not at this time, but we’ll let you know if that changes.” ”¦ I spent way too much money yesterday to win this 1924 football uniform catalog. Lots more photos once I receive it from the seller. ”¦ The Hurricanes are retiring Rod Brind’Amour’s number on Friday (with thanks to Dane Drutis). ”¦ If you’ve been dying to know the top five best-selling Maple Leafs jerseys, today’s your lucky day (in which case you should thank Ben Wideman). ”¦ A youth hockey team in South Dakota will plans to wear special orange jerseys as a memorial to a former coach who died last summer (with thanks to Cody Schuiling). ”¦ I don’t watch much women’s college hockey — or really any women’s college hockey — so I wouldn’t have known this myself, but Max Sellman says it’s very unusual for the zebras to have NOBs, but that was the case at a recent Wisconsin/Minnesota game. ”¦ I’d never heard of Charles Kerins — at least not until Richard Stover told me about him — but he apparently did some killer Converse basketball illustrations back in the 1950s. Awesome stuff. ”¦ Two tidbits gleaned from the Chris Creamer board: The Dodgers have a Fernandomania 30th-anniversary logo, which they’re using for a giveaway fleece blanket, and there was a footwear controversy in the NLL. ”¦ Mikasa, which makes the official FIVB volleyball, has re-upped through 2016 (thanks, Jeremy). ”¦ Reprinted from last night’s comments: Injured Red Wing Brad Stuart, who’s recovering from a broken jaw, has been wearing a jaw guard in practice. He’s expected to keep wearing it when he returns to game action tomorrow night. ”¦ There are sooooo many things wrong with this photo.

185 comments to Courting Genius

  • Craig Barker | February 16, 2011 at 7:39 am |

    “Brian Russell and Dave Northrup have both noticed some disappointing logo creep on Jim Boeheim’s eyeglasses.”

    Not to defend Nike, but this may just simply be a case where Boeheim likes the fact that Nike is one of the few frame designers that makes durable but lightweight Flexon frames. I have worn Nike frames for almost a decade now and they are the best glasses I’ve ever had. The swoosh is on every one of their framesets, public or “celebrity”. Annoying, but a darn fine product.

    • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 8:51 am |

      Not to defend Nike, but…


      i love sentences that start like this, since they never end up defending nike

  • Rob Ullman | February 16, 2011 at 7:41 am |

    If the Pirates don’t do something for Chuck Tanner, I might finally actually be done with them forever, for real this time.

    • Phil | February 16, 2011 at 8:22 am |

      Dito Rob. It would suprise me though if they did not do something for him considering he was a senior advisor for Pirates GM Neal Hunington and he did make a lot of appearances at games and team events over the last few years.

      • Juke Early | February 16, 2011 at 9:52 am |

        Gee I’d think since he managed the Pirates last World Series championship in 1979, he’d be worth a patch!

        • anotherguy | February 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

          What would the patch look like?

          When he was with the Sox, he was semi-famous for offering to fistfight any of his players at any time. Maybe a pair of boxing gloves? ;-)

    • Juke Early | February 16, 2011 at 9:48 am |

      With apologies to my good friends in Pittsburgh, I don’t like the Pirates for personal reasons. If they don’t do something for Chuck Tanner, they will have proved me right. A patch is not the only way to pay homage but they better rethink – whatever it is they are thinking.

      • Ry Co 40 | February 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

        well… in fairness, give them a chance or a minute to “think” LOL. the man just passed.

        i’m sure they’ll do something, no worries. they’re pretty good about honoring and remembering

    • Jim Mellett | February 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

      If there is a way for the Pirates to screw this up too they will do it. I will still go to a few games but they should already be designing the patch. Chuck Tanner is a #7 a Pittsburgher can be proud of. Come on Bucs do the right thing.

  • Jeff S | February 16, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    Jerry West also played at West Virginia. His son Jonnie also plays at West Virginia.

  • scott | February 16, 2011 at 8:00 am |

    Let’s just hope MLB teams don’t get the idea to wear their spring training/ batting practice jerseys and hats in championship season games. At least the more ridiculous the spring training gear gets, the less likely it is to see game action in the regular season.

  • Dave Zalatoris | February 16, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    I’m sure you have seen this before Paul. I don’t recall the logo on the Twins stirrups.

    • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 8:29 am |

      Yup, it was there, as was a “TC” on the stirrups with the sansabelt unis that preceded the change back to pinstripes in ’87.
      Just that it was the ribbon-stirrup era so didn’t show on very many players.


  • Joe D | February 16, 2011 at 8:10 am |

    I couldn’t get “Corporate Douchebaggery Sucks,” but how about “CDS” on the heel of the shoe?

  • ScottyM | February 16, 2011 at 8:16 am |

    The mere notion that ESPN on-air talent are “journalists” is preposterous.

    There are few television programs that qualify as “journalism” at its core. “E:60,” and “Behind the Lines” being really the only two that I’m aware of.

    College Gameday, Sportscenter, and the like are not even close.

    Particularly, the anti-Big Ten bias at ESPN ever since the Big Ten Network was launched. It’s pretty obvious in various programs (not typically Gameday, but certainly Sportscenter). Similarly, it’s coverage of NHL since Versus became the network of choice. “Journalism?” No.

    • Black Coffee & Bourbon | February 16, 2011 at 9:19 am |

      First time I’ve heard someone say ESPN is anti-B1G. Kirk Herbstreet slobbers all over their program during the CFB season. During CBB season you can hardly turn on the Mother Ship without bumping into a B1G game.

      • Aaron | February 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

        It is still a major conference, they can’t ignore it completely. But, I can tell you I usually have to wait for what feels like eternity for Purdue highlights to come on. If they make it at all.

        • ScottyM | February 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

          True. Some student should analyze Sportscenter bias for their graduate thesis.

          On Sunday, the 11p SC showed highlights of numerous games: Georgetown-Marquette, Providence-Connecticut, Duke-Miami, Cincinnati-St.Johns, and even Arizona-ASU, I believe. And I never did see a Purdue-Illinois update before turning it off at 11:40.

          Keep in mind, Purdue is ranked higher than all these teams, save Duke and Georgetown (barely).

          And just because ESPN still broadcasts B1G games doesn’t mean there isn’t a bias. Never said Gameday was the culprit (Herbstreet and Corso keep a fairly even keel). I think Bilas does a good job keeping things equitable. And there are others who do a good job of sports reporting. But it’s not journalism.

          It’s when you hear folks like Fowler, Gottlieb, and Rece Davis throw out labels like “Purdon’t” that you soon realize they aren’t even close to impartial. That’s just unprofessional and wouldn’t be acceptable in any legitimate news organization that purports to create television “journalism.”

          Andy Katz, Bob Ley = journalists. Many of the other teevee personalities are nothing more than that, “entertainment personalities.”

          Therefore, sign shoe contracts, I could care less. That organization has bigger ethical issues.

          “Cue our only two :10 NHL highlights in 3, 2, 1 …”

    • MPowers1634 | February 16, 2011 at 9:21 am |

      I have never noticed a bias on SC because I am already overwhelmed with the tornado of graphics and ridiculous sound bites being hurled at me.

      I have recently gone back to getting my sports news from the local paper and my beloved weekly SI, (especially this week!!!)

    • Hank-SJ | February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am |

      Wonder if Bob Lee will do an Outside The Lines report on ‘journalists’ who have corporate sponsor side-deals?

      • KT | February 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

        Sometimes it’s like standing by the train tracks waiting for people to throw supplies down to you. The sports journalism ethics class I teach at ASU just gets easier and easier every day. :)

  • Anthony | February 16, 2011 at 8:27 am |

    Jeez–you’d think the Detroit News would actually show a picture of Penny’s pants, instead of just him signing baseballs.
    That’s like doing a report on a team’s new uniforms and only showing a picture the field.

  • Ryan | February 16, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    The word cloud infographic was created using Wordle. I work at a middle school, and the kids all love using it to create quick visuals for presentations and vocabulary work. It is so easy to use that it’s silly.

    • Ryan | February 16, 2011 at 9:03 am |

      Oops, here’s the link.

    • Ryan | February 16, 2011 at 9:07 am |

      And here’s a quick one I created just by punching in this blog’s URL.

      • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 9:22 am |

        That’s awesome! I like.

    • MPowers1634 | February 16, 2011 at 10:38 am |


      Thank you. I am now fully planning on using Wordle with my middle school students!

    • traxel | February 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm |

      He he he…that’s kinda fun.

  • Don | February 16, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    Although we know why Boeheim is wearing the swoosh, Nike does make nice eyeglass frames. I’ve had a couple of pairs.

  • Shane | February 16, 2011 at 9:09 am |

    When you see people reporting on ESPN, isn’t usually from the waist up?

    Unless they’re putting their feet up on the desk, I really do not understand shoe deals.

    • Kyle | February 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |

      Here is the issue. On a show like College Gameday which airs for several hours they need to fill it with content.

      Think about how many pieces they have done on Oregon’s uniforms or the Pro Combat uniforms.

      Now if all of the reporters have shoe deals it will create a potential situation. Even if they are not bias, there will be a bias over their opinion.

      • Shane | February 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

        That much I understand, conflict of interest and everything…but why even give them endorsement deals in the first place?

  • Mark in Shiga | February 16, 2011 at 9:10 am |

    Paul, NHL referees had NOBs for a while until the ’90s when they switched to numbers. Andy van Hellemond even had a two-line NOB as they stuck the “VAN” on top of the “HELLEMOND” to keep it from looking too ridiculous.

    Here’s a spring training uniform mix-up; it looks like #83 is wearing a regular-season alternate jersey:;_ylt=AgdBsOWXDhDH6adatDiIj2IRvLYF?slug=ap-0272a5b4804d472593dc7743add9b9b9

    Looking at this, I wonder why more teams don’t put numbers on their spring jerseys. I’d like to be able to tell apart unfamiliar faces from the front and associate faces with numbers.

    • Brian | February 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

      Canadian Hockey League (Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) referees have both name and number on back of their uniforms.
      Of note, the CHL is where most NHL players are drafted from. If you aren’t aware of it, you should check it out.

  • MPowers1634 | February 16, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    Yes, MJ wore Converse while at UNC…it’s ok though.

    Nike bought Converse so that all of those old pics don’t have to be touched up or covered with flags, etc!

    • b-t-p-h | February 16, 2011 at 10:22 am |

      My Dad took this photo of MJ wearing Converse in 1984 at Raleigh:
      MJ preferred Adidas. He wore them in practice at UNC, in the Pan American Games and the Olympics. He was disappointed when Adidas never offered a contract. Marketing geniuses.

      • MPowers1634 | February 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |

        MJ went with Nike during his rookie year in the NBA, albeit reluctantly.

        When it was time to come up with the designs for the AJ III, Jordan was ready to leave Nike.

        Thanks to Tinker Hatfield and his unorthodox approach of including the athlete in the design phase, he decided to stay and history was made.

        Here’s a good write-up on how this, which is basically a sneakerheads’ old testament, all went down:

        • Kek | February 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

          I thought I read somewhere also, that MJ really liked Adidas coming out of college but that nothing ever materialized as far as a deal.

      • b-t-p-h | February 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

        MJ rocking Adidas at a Carolina practice during an S.I photoshoot:

        • =bg= | February 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm |

          the cultural implications of MJ with the three stripes thru his career rather than the swoosh…..staggering.

  • DJK | February 16, 2011 at 9:30 am |

    I asked this yesterday, but was curious if anyone knows. Are there any rules in the NCAA in men’s basketball about wearing color unis at home, or can a team never wear white if they so choose? I think this is the case, as U of Minn used to only wear gold at home, and Georgetown with the grey at home, but just curious. I believe all football teams must have a white jersey, no?

    • Geeman | February 16, 2011 at 10:30 am |

      I think the rule is that the home team is supposed to wear the lighter color, and traditionally this has meant gold/yellow and grey/silver (and occasionally even orange) were suitable home uniforms. In recent years, however, it’s gotten out of hand. Light blue, red, and other colors never used to be suitable home uniforms.

      I’d also like to know the NBA rule, for any rules-junkies out there.

  • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Wow. I thought the Bulls’ season-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of their first championship was stupid, but really?

    Well, at least they’re not planning to wear it as a patch on their jerseys…

    • Jeff Franklin | February 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm |

      The Bulls 20th Anniversary of their first title isn’t stupid.

      As for the latter, I just find it interesting that they would design a logo for Valenzuela, instead of Dodger legends like Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton, Campanella, etc.

  • Natron | February 16, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    The Greenville Road Warriors from the ECHL are having an awareness night for a disease that I don’t recall anybody else paying tribute to before…


    On Friday they’re wearing these jerseys:

  • Perry | February 16, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    Amazing that even as late as 1967 Converse apparently didn’t recognize that black people play basketball too.

    • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 10:42 am |

      Did you read the text at the top of the page or just look at the pictures?

    • Aaron | February 16, 2011 at 10:56 am |

      It is a well known fact that black people did not discover basketball until Michael Jordan created it in the late 80’s, therefore Converse could not have depicted them playing it. In fact, the entire downfall of the Converse brand can be pinned to it’s desire to keep advertising a similar, but separate, game played by whites since ancient times, known as “Basket-Ball,” which they created for those who did not fit into their “Base Ball” games.

      Or, you know, you could read what they put in huge, bold letters before you ever got to the pictures.

      • Perry | February 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

        Yup — obviously I didn’t read the text, good to see they addressed that. My bad.

  • teenchy | February 16, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    The 1924 Goldsmith football catalog is a beauty indeed. I imagine it’ll hold a trove of info for people who might want to make fauxbacks/replicas/what have you of period jerseys. Can’t wait to see more.

  • Jack | February 16, 2011 at 10:43 am |

    Looked at the logo for ABC and had to laugh how graphics designs have changed over the years.

    But the one logo that caught my eye was the exclamation point logo. It looked like the NBC peacock with all but one feather plucked.

    • conccealed78 | February 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

      Some of those designs are pretty funny. The one with a sad smile followed by a smile, ABC on a Southwestern themed blanket, eagle with drunk-star eye, ABC with asterisk (WTF – ‘ABC programming with reservations’?!) and some look very AT&T/1980s-ish.

      I’d say the 3-D blocks, blockshadow “abc”, stereo headphone circle ABC, inside-out “cba” are my favorites. Some of them are just bad like the 3-D diagonal one that really only shows the c. I found the truck ones confusing – was it implying that ABC would constantly be moving or was now a moving company?

  • Lose R | February 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |

    Not a uniform, per se, but Al Clark used to be an American League umpire, so his hat had his first name on it

  • Vincent A. Cipollone | February 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    There have been a few guys on the Redskins with the surname Washington:

    Washington, Anthony, CB, Fresno State (1983-84)
    Washington, Fred, T, North Texas State (1968)
    Washington, James, S, UCLA (1995)
    Washington, Joe, RB, Oklahoma (1981-84)
    Washington, Mickey, CB, Texas A&M (1992)

    Marshall Thundering Herd had a guy names Darius Marshall last year

  • Geeman | February 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    A cousin of the sports bra? I know — let’s call it “the bro.”

    • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |

      We don’t think “stupid-ass-looking shoulder-thing” will catch on?


      • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 11:41 am |

        too ethnic.

        • Geeman | February 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

          Mansiere it is then.

      • anotherguy | February 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

        Only if you’ve got the Mohawk-style haircut going on too. ;-)

        Just a question out of thin air: is there spring training hazing in MLB? I know some hazing goes on at the end of the season….

        • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

          apparently you don’t remember one of the scenes from “major league”

          What’s the matter, rookie Fuck-Wad? Can’t you take a little joke?

          i’d assume that’s not completely made up

        • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm |

          Ah, “Major League”. Best baseball documentary ever.

        • anotherguy | February 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm |

          You’re right: it might just be the best baseball documentary ever. ;-)

          I saw the mohawk haircut and was motivated to ask. Football is famous for taping people to goalposts, shaving cream showers, pad-carrying, etc. during summer camp; and you see that covered on TV and in the newspapers. But OTOH, baseball (at least as covered in the popular media) seems to wait until September and the end of their regular season for their “make the rookies dress as cartoon characters and go thru the airport on the way home from a road trip” hazing.

          Come to think of it, that mohawk haircut might not even be much of a hazing after all…

    • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

      They’re behind the curve – the Premiership was doing that stupid shoulder thing back in 2004.

      Thought it would be dead by now.

  • Brian | February 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |

    Last week I asked around for a pic of the hard to find Seattle Center Coliseum logo. Thanks to Jim Vilk, he sent me a great one I can use for my DIY project.
    Now I am finding that it is hard to find ANY pictures of the Sonics’ Seattle Center Coliseum court (mid-80’s-1994), that aren’t small and grainy. What I mainly need are pics of the baseline, which says “SUPERSONICS” in bold yellow letters on green background. Also if anyone has detailed pics of the key (free throw area that would be great as well.
    Thank you for any and all help.

    • Brian | February 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

      I forgot to add if quality pics can’t be found, if anyone knows what font is used both along the baseline. Also the font on the “Seattle Center Coliseum” logo, although this one looks pretty standard, just italicized. Thanks again.

    • Jim Vilk | February 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
      • Brian | February 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |

        I found the Seattle Center Coliseum font. It is just Helvetica Bold Italic. As for the baseline font, it looks to be custom, so I will keep looking or have to free hand it.
        Thanks again Jim for all of your help.

  • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    i thought i was upset yesterday that for the third time i had to spend 7 hours between the jackson county department of rectal probes assessments and the dmv, but then i read yesterday’s comments. to those who think my scholarship was BS, or think that the arts are not legitimate academic fields because you simply don’t understand what earning a degree in the arts entails, may i just say one thing? !!!. i hope that was academic enough for you.

    • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |

      I must have missed something yesterday. I don’t remember anyone disparaging the arts as academic fields. Who said that?

      • Broadway Connie | February 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |

        That baby with the Bronx Cheer is pretty great. But I’m with JTH: Who said that “the arts are not legitimate academic fields…?” Mind you, I’m perfectly willing to say that YOUR arts curriculum is phony baloney, or that HIS is complete deconstructionist agitprop, but I don’t think anyone said that arts curricula per se are BS.

        I’m not talking about Sports Management or Recreational Studies.

        • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |

          someone in the string said it. who cares, yesterdays news. i just had to comment today since i was getting my anal probe yesterday from the state.

          more important

        • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

          Ah, I think I found what you were referring to.

          And there’s a reason I missed it.

        • jdreyfuss | February 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

          I did sport management at Rice and had to take more business credits than my sister who majored in business at Texas. It’s a BS major at a lot of schools, but certainly not all of them. It’s definitely more legitimate than the meat sciences degree offered at A&M.

        • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

          >>It’s definitely more legitimate than the meat sciences degree offered at A&M.<< And if you'll excuse me, I need to hop the first flight to College Station.

    • DJ | February 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |

      If you’re referring to my comment from yesterday, you misunderstood my point. Arts, music, etc. are perfectly legitimate academic disciplines, contrary to what some people may think (for example, that it’s limited only to science, math, history, philosophy).

      It’s perfectly within the rights of a university to award a scholarship to a brilliant mathemetician, a talented painter, or a basketball prodigy (within the university’s mission — a state school is designed to serve the needs of the state and its citizens, a religiously-affiliated school, its church, etc.). The scandal of academics is not who gets a scholarship, but when that person does not get the education promised.

      • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        At the risk of re-opening this debate, I’m still waiting to hear how athletics are part of a school’s academic mission.

        I’m not saying there shouldn’t be extra-curricular programs. But nobody gets a scholarship for joining the Gay-Straight Alliance or the Jewish Student Union. I don’t see why an athlete should get one either.

        • KT | February 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm |

          There are those who would say the spectrum of the educational experience is as valid at one end as at the other. There are others who could very well say that once college athletics became big-money enterprises, athletic scholarships are more about investment that a university hopes pays off in a return than contributing to the overall educational experience.

          I’m not saying either one is right or wrong. Only that there are a lot of points of view. For me, I’m not as concerned with the commercialism or capitalism of college athletics as I am with the hypocrisy of it. Just admit it. You’re in the entertainment business. We get it.

          Still doesn’t explain rifle scholarships, though. Unless you think letting someone with a gun get financial assistance, which is pretty much the all-American way, too. Not to mention prudent.

        • RedWing in Colorado | February 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

          I would, at the risk of serius backlash, argue that in the case of state universities, sports fit into the mission, although it may not be the strictly academic mission. Sports at universities, for good or bad, serve as a public face for the institution. That allows them to recruit, in many cases, better students for the student body as a whole. This is why the service academies have relaxed their rules for athletes getting drafted. They recognize that collegiate athletics are a powerful recruitment tool, not just for athletes but for regular students as well.

          State schools often have extension programs. I would argue that you could view their sports programs in the same light. The sports, especially football and basketball, provide civic entertainment. Now, you can go on about bread and circuses if you want, but in many states that lack professional programs, collegiate athletics provide the civic entertainment. Also, they serve as economic boosters for college campuses and towns.

        • adam | February 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

          This one time, a few years ago, (probably while drunk) I totally fixed the NCAA. Any full scholarship athlete is entitled to a full education from her or her institution. He or she, can take advantage of that offer at any time.

          So go ahead and spend four years in the weight and film rooms. Don’t bother with the hypocrisy of passing grades for intro to kinesiology class that you attended twice all semester.

          Then, maybe years later, when you’re glory has faded and you’re mature and ready, you can come back to your school and get the education you are ready to embrace.

          yeah, drunk me, might gloss over the problems and nuances, but sober me still thinks the principle of this idea is sound.

        • Christopher | February 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

          I know you don’t want to re-open the debate, but I gotta chime in.

          Basketball is entertainment. Basketball players are entertainers. So are musicians, actors, and the like.

          If you agree with giving a scholorship for the latter, shouldn’t you also agree with the former.

          A school’s mission can legitimately be “to educate students in the fields of engineering, arts, and sports.”

          Why not?

      • anotherguy | February 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |

        Just a quick note: with limited space, every one-and-done athlete who is sitting in a classroom is taking a space away from someone else.

        If as a young high school graduate I had somehow convinced a group of people from my neighborhood that I was a really swell guy and therefore they wanted to fund my way thru college, it would be roughly akin to to how I view athletic scholarships. But if the college itself knew I was only going to be there for a year (or three) IMHO they wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) view my admittance as a good choice.

  • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    I am now fully planning on using Wordle with my middle school students!


    only on Uni Watch (two words, both capitalized) would that not sound really wrong

    • MPowers1634 | February 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

      Thank you Phil for innuendo-izing yet another statement of mine!

    • Simply Moono | February 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

      Can you fill me in on what that means? Please? I seriously don’t get it =/

      • Ryan | February 17, 2011 at 8:31 am |

        Go up to my earlier post and follow the link.

  • LakerPride | February 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    “Even if you don’t care about the NBA – I don’t care a whole lot about it myself”

    “I don’t watch much women’s college hockey – or really any women’s college hockey”

    “I don’t pay much attention to college basketball.”

    Just curious, what’s your sports hierarchy, Paul?

    1. Baseball
    2. Football
    3. Bowling
    4. Curling
    5. ???

    • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |

      We’re all queer for softball here.

      • Broadway Connie | February 16, 2011 at 11:47 am |

        I think #5 is strip poker.

        By the way, I have trouble with the NBA too, and I also think this Hoopism stuff is spectacular. Those Wordle things are amazing.

        And Charles Kerins! Not a dry eye in the house when we look at those “Catholic Boy” covers.

    • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |

      1. MLB
      2. NFL
      3. Everything else

      I was a huge hockey fan up thru the mid-1990s. And in my mind, I’m still a hockey fan. In actuality, though, I don’t really follow the NHL anymore (although I do attend a game or two each year).

      I was never a big NBA fan, even as a kid, although I think NYC is a much more interesting, energetic place when the Knicks are good, so I root for them.

      Most of you are probably bigger sports fans than I am, although I’m still interested in the uniforms for all sports, whether I follow them or not.

  • kst8cats | February 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    Actually, in the WCHA (college hockey conference where Minn. and Wisc. play) the refs for the women’s games have had NOBs for quite some time. The men’s refs had them as well until last season when they went to numbers only. I have always wondered why the change was not made for both sets of officials.

    • Jeff P | February 17, 2011 at 1:19 am |

      Nobody’s gonna read it at this point, but ECAC has names and no numbers for both men and women.

      Which probably isn’t wise, since it really is an invaluable aid to the student section (of which I am a part). I’m just somewhat relieved that the one time we had a Mr. Lynch ref a game, he called it pretty safe. THAT could have gotten ugly.

  • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

      It is, although I’m still feeling awfully old-man contrary about that memorial patch.

    • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

      Great story. But why’s she wearing that fucking Little League patch?

      • Geeman | February 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

        Not sure the f-word and Little League should ever be used in the same sentence.

        • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

          true…only when “world series” follows Little League should it be applied

        • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

          When the Little League adopts a self-aggrandizing 9/11 memorial patch, then they’ve earned the f-word.

    • Broadway Connie | February 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

      She’s great, it’s great and I won’t say anything snooty about “…Off the field, Siegal is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sport and Exercise Psychology…”

  • Brendan | February 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

    Although he’s refused to play for them the last few years, Stephen Ireland has played for the Irish soccer team.

    Pitt just signed a football recruit named Lafayette Pitts.

  • Tris Wykes | February 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Nothing personal against Max Sellman, but he’s wrong about refs with NOB in women’s college hockey. At least out here in the East. Here are four examples I’ve shot this season:

  • Coleman | February 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    totally random find here, and the website has some NSFW content. The link goes straight to the story though.

    100 best mustaches in sports history…

    sorry if it’s been posted before!

  • Johnny O | February 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    Awesome “cross dressing” and “cross promotions” from the Milwaukee Admirals.

    • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

      Very cool. I love that the Brewers are a sponsor of the Admirals, especially since they use the retro logo exclusively.

      This ad is clever, but I preferred the one which read “We have blue lines too”.

      I didn’t know the Admirals wore Badger mash-up uniforms. They’ve done this for the Brewers – wonder how long before they adopt a green and gold one-off?

  • Chris from Carver | February 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    Looks like the “Pro Combat” has weaseled its way into baseball.

  • Keith | February 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    Since when did 85 become a milestone? It’s 75 and then 100. That’s it. That’s the list.

    • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

      Well, pretty much any number divisible by 5 is grounds for an anniversary patch these days, but that’s actually a typo in today’s ticker.

      It is a 75th anniversary patch for the Tigers.

      HOWEVER, if you look closely, you’ll see that it says “since 1934” on that patch. So… uh… yeah.

      • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

        that’s because it’s a ST patch for lakeland, florida…their spring training home since 1934 (and i think last year was the last season there — or at least in their stadium there, if not the location altogether)

        edit: just checked the ticker again, and see what you’re referring to — i guess it’s not their last season there…and it’s their 46 (i think) in joker marchant…which i guess i still their home

        i had sworn i heard last year was going to be their last one there…

  • Ry Co 40 | February 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

    $60 + S&H for this:

    quick, how much time & money would it cost a DIYer to make?

  • Kek | February 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

    What about when newscasters have suits and clothing deals, you see on the credits? Does that put their journalist integrity at risk, say if they have to report on those companies?

    • Chance Michaels | February 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

      I’d say it absolutely is a conflict of interest.

      The odds of ESPN reporting on a Nike entity is slightly higher than NBC reporting on Brooks Brothers, though.

  • Jason | February 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    Anthony Washington played for the Washington Huskies basketball team.

  • JD | February 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    Does anyone know what became of Nolan Ryan’s bloody jersey after his fight with Robin Ventura?

  • toasterpoodle | February 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

    Some SNF/B (same name front and back) instances from some VERY short research of the Washington teams, and something I happened to catch last weekend. I excluded the Redskins b/c they don’t wear the word ‘Washington’ on the front of the unis
    No NHL’ers with the last name Washington
    NBA: Stan Washington played one game for the Bullets in 74-75
    NCAA-MbbAnthony Washington averaged about 4 ppg in a two year career at the University of Washington (02-04)

    A bit of a stretch, but Cecil Afrika is the star of the South African Rugby 7s team featured on NBC last weekend.

  • JAson | February 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    Looks the the Indians have switched to block-C batting helmets.

    • LarryB | February 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm |

      boo hiss

    • corndog | February 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm |

      Dont worry, there’s more of that where that came from. I bet they’ll permanently use the block C on the hats in the near future too. They are slowly and quietly phasing out Chief Wahoo it seems to me.

  • timmy b | February 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm |

    Not the biggest NBA fan out there, but somebody wanted to know how the NBA addresses uniform colors.

    From, from the 2010-11 NBA Rule Book, Rule III, Section 7 (courtesy of the NBA):

    “a. Each player shall be numbered on the front and back of his jersey with a number of solid color contrasting with the color of the shirt.

    “b. Each number must be not less than 3/4″ in width and not less than 6″ in height on both the front and back. Each player shall have his surname affixed to the back of his game jersey in letters at least 2” in height.

    “c. The home team shall wear light color jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys unless otherwise approved. For neutral court games and doubleheaders, the second team named in the official schedule shall be regarded as the home team and shall wear the light colored jerseys.”

  • Joseph Gerard | February 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

    There’s been numerous Cleveland Browns players with the last name Brown, from the obvious (Jim Brown) to the infamous (Courtney Brown). As common as a last name Brown is, I’m sure there will be more in the future.

  • stu | February 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  • ryan4fregosi | February 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

    No love for Dave Philley?

  • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    duh, i managed to stop trying to stop eat soup with a fork long enough to mess around with some images…dig, dig with text, dig in grey, dig in grey with text.

    • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

      apparently i didn’t lurn to link in cowlige.

      • Broadway Connie | February 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

        Dun good.

        • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm |

          that is going to be a t-shit for me for sure. which version do you like broadway?

        • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm |

          not speaking for connie, but i like dig with text

          but you’d better only make one, or nike would like to have a word with you in private

  • LarryB | February 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    I really look forward to more photos from that 1924 football uniform catalog.

  • whiteray | February 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

    I haven’t read the comments, so I’m not sure if this is already posted. The Minnesota Wild official site has a piece that talks a little about the process of developing the team’s wordmark and logo. The piece includes a series of pics showing how the team might look had any of the other five possible nicknames been chosen.

    • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

      Still think they should have been the Minnesota Blizzard, playing as they do on ice n’ all.

      Yeah, I know, one of the “singular” names. But they could annoyed SO many people here with an alt jersey that just said, “Bliz” on the front. Maybe with a snowflake dotting the “i”?

      Although, come to think of it, I guess blizzard’s are more a New York and Boston thing, aren’t they. (wink-giggle-smirk)


      • JTH | February 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |

        The singular “Blue Ox” would have been awful, but “Blue Oxen” would have been borderline genius, if for nothing else but the fact that it would have been a plural that does not end in S.

        • Broadway Connie | February 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

          Agree (again) w JTH. Blue Oxen would be excellent

          [I read once that the Chinese name for the Chicago Bulls transliterates as Red Oxen; sounds good.]

          But I really love “Voyageurs.” But in blue and green, please, not that awful black.

        • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm |

          And when a Minneota player’s time in the penalty box was running down the crowd could have chatted “Olly olly oxen free”?


        • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

          “blue bulls” would have been boarderline genius, but i didn’t deserve my education, so what do i know.

        • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm |

          “blue bulls” would have been boarderline genius, but i didn’t deserve my education, so what do i know.


          indeed, it would have

          still smarting, moose? it won’t make you feel any better, of course, but i feel pretty great about pursuing a masters in journalism after those comments yesterday…

      • Paul Lukas | February 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |

        Haven’t read the story yet, so maybe this is mentioned therein, but I’m sure they didn’t want to go with Blizzard because it was too similar to Avalanche. You can only have so many snow-based team names, right?

        • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

          Yeah, two would have been too many, lol.
          Like Canadiens and Canucks.
          Flames, Lightning and Hurricanes (a diaster theme?).
          Predators, Coyotes, Bruins, Panthers and Wild (well, they’re four-legged, anyway, the latter having a bear head for a logo).
          Thrashers, Ducks and Penguins.
          Capitols and Senators.
          Rangers and Scouts (RIP).
          Islanders and Rockies (topography).

          Not saying those are as entertwined as Blizzard and Avalanche, but…commonality isn’t all that uncommon.


        • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm |

          did some scanning today. ask ace bailey what he thinks of the blizzard.

          and since i don’t need or deserve books, i took one apart, fixed a couple seams in photoshop, and we have this beauty. i wouldn’t normally have destroyed a book, but it wouldn’t fry an egg, or start the car, so i figured it was useless. stone mason dumb.

          and yes phil, i am smarting. just a few points i can remember since my brain-pan can only hold so much…my discipline was grudgingly accepted as acromademic, my state school background was essentially called clown college, and on top of it, i was told i didn’t deserve to be there in the first place. and my absolute favourite, a subset of the last point of if we even should have scholar athletes, the statement that most scholar athletes are only there for their sport, and not for an education. first, that’s BS. but let’s say it is true, i would argue, or report? resnort? some word like that anyway, that most college students are only there for “fun”, not serious acromodemlic study, and wouldn’t be there at all if it was not for mommy and daddy paying the bills. but who cares about if those people “deserve” the education, the can buy it on their own without debate, so that’s all cool.

        • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

          glad you’re over it

          your entire seven year edumacation…my grad degree that shouldn’t even qualify for an undergrad degree…ALL scholar athletes…and for that matter, a good number of the arts and sciences disciplines…

          whom did i leave out that don’t deserve the letters after their names? musicians?

          we probably don’t need any more floutists, but shit…

          what we need are more lawyers, right?

        • rpm | February 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm |

          7? that was my freshman year.

          thisis the awesome photo i pieced together. didn’t realize the link was busted. too many things to go wrong in the coding for someone like me without thumbs.

  • JIM | February 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    Pirates “Not at this time, but we’ll let you know if that changes.”
    sounds to me like: “Oh, shit! – We didn’t even think of that! Thanks “alot”, buddy! (Ha!) Maybe we won’t get enough people that would even notice or remember Chuck Tanner anymore, would they?”

  • Corey | February 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    Does anyone know how long Virginia has been wearing the Hyper Elite uniforms?

    • Simply Moono | February 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm |

      For most of the season, I believe.

  • Coleman | February 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

    bad news for the “Anti-advertising on the four major US Sports” guys. This weeks Sports Illustrated, p.19 sidebar has an info-bar stating “370 million. Total revenues missed out on by the big four American sports leagues because they don’t sell ad space on uniforms…”

    UGH. This does not need any attention. Leave the ads to the other 99.9% of the world.

    • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

      there’s also a lot of revenue lost to not legalizing drugs, or prostitution or the selling of body parts…wait…i think that last one’s legal

      but the point is…there are just SOME things you don’t do for money, even if you could

    • Ricko | February 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

      Betcha NHL is first to cave.
      They need the money more.
      Not putting the league down, just looking at the reality of things.
      Plus, it’s so common among European hockey teams/leagues.


    • Coleman | February 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

      I’ve always disliked that soccer does it. Most kits would look a million times better with a simple club logo and nothing more. I’m even okay with logos on them, just not the gaudy 30 foot ads plastered on the chest, back, shorts and socks.

      • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

        i was under the impression, at least in leagues not based in the states, that the ads were on the kits because they don’t have commercial interruptions…

        i suppose a better question, to those who don’t want anything sullying the uniform, would be “would you support ads on the unis in order to not have commercials during the quarter/period?”

        i would not, if only because that’s a slippery slope — once the ads are there, they will never leave, and commercials are far too easy to start adding to broadcasts

        • Coleman | February 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm |

          pretty sure you’re correct about the reasoning behind ads being on kits. They also have ads on the field and retaining walls. They’ve gotten really smart too, they paint them on the field at certain angles to make them look straight when the camera pans over them.

          I’m with you though, keep commercials if it means no ad creep.

        • Jim Vilk | February 17, 2011 at 12:03 am |

          Ads on the field.

          That used to be unthinkable for me, but I got used to it in the CFL. And you can still see a game played in less than 3 hours there. If…AND ONLY IF commercials would be dramatically lessened would I say put ads on the jerseys. But since that ain’t gonna happen, leave them off.

    • concealed78 | February 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

      $370 million sounds like bullshit. The same kind of bullshit value of dollars on stadium naming rights, and that market has dried up considerably. It’s not a definite value.

      I think there should be some kind of pride that your league doesn’t need to succumb to covering your uniforms & caps with advertisements like some bush league softball team or Little League. One of the few perks of the 1960s, 70s & 80s in MLB was that advertisements were basically non-existent on stadium walls. It gets annoying seeing the same ads over and over on the outfield walls & behind home plate & gets nauseating over a 3+ hour ballgame.

      Hell the Chicago Fire had might as well be called the Chicago Best Buy for all I know. And I’m not going to do these companies a favor by saying or typing their company name just because they decided to plaster it on the stadium.

    • mike 2 | February 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm |

      I haven’t read the article but I did hear Rovell interviewed on the radio the other day.

      He said that the ad revenues don’t tell the whole story – a league like the NFL would make some money on the ads, but probably lose more than that on diminished TV rights (sponsors paying less for ads that compete with ads on the jerseys). He thought the NHL would be most likely to try it first because their TV money is minimal.

  • Tris Wykes | February 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

    Let’s not forget the dearly departed Huntington Blizzard of the ECHL:

  • concealed78 | February 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    Another pic of the ’76 Sox shorts:

    ebay link

    • concealed78 | February 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

      Sweet, it worked. Thanks, Phil!

      • LI Phil | February 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

        you’re welcome, mark

  • JohnnySeoul | February 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

    The irony of Jordan wearing Converse back in the day is that Nike now owns Converse (Nike purchased Converse on July 9, 2003 for $305 million).

  • Jim Vilk | February 17, 2011 at 12:00 am |

    “For the record, I will happily sign a big-money Nike shoe deal just as soon as they let me design a sneaker that says, ‘Corporate Douchebaggery Sucks.'”

    Reminds me of the train bridge about ten miles from us, with “Vandals Against Graffiti” painted on the side…

  • Jim Vilk | February 17, 2011 at 12:05 am |

    Been enjoying watching the NBA’s greatest shots on Hoopism all day. Great stuff on that site.

  • Jim Vilk | February 17, 2011 at 12:18 am |

    By the way, the Lakers went back to their purple road unis in Cleveland.
    And the Cavs beat them. Oh yeah.

  • Michael Worley | February 18, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

    I don’t know if anyone else has already mentioned this, but another example of a player with the same name on both sides of the jersey id Nap Lajoie. Yes, the Naps jerseys said Cleveland and there were no NOBs, but it works in theory.

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