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Who’s That in the Hack?

It’s our own L.I. Phil, of course, executing a nifty takeout shot. He and I snuck off yesterday to the South Plainfield Curling Club, where we managed to toss a few rocks before they thawed the ice and closed up shop for the season. We were joined by my friends Peter Della Penna and Robert Vickers, and we all got training and instrux from top curler Dean Gemmell (who also produces the world’s top curling podcast, don’tcha know).

It had been over a year since I’d last curled, and I was a bit worried about whether I’d remember how to do it. But as it turns out, it’s just like Joe Schultz said about bunting.

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If you want to see more, Phil put together a nice little video montage — enjoy.

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Hahahahahahahahaha: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the T-shirt you see at right really is part of Nike’s new branding program for Arizona State. It would almost be witty if the whole “Fear the [whatever]” trope weren’t so pathetically played out already.

You know what else is part of the new program? Photos like these, that’s what. Hmmm, now where have I seen those types of photos before? Like I’ve been saying for, oh, ever, Nike’s approach to uniform design has nothing to do with the individual schools and everything to do with Team Nike. The sad thing is watching these kids flexing their muscles and thinking they’re all badass when they’re really just interchangeable pawns in a corporate merchandising scam.

Just to drive that point home, take a look at the uniform’s much-ballhooed shoulder stripes. They’re supposedly meant to represent the points of a pitchfork (or trident, or whatever), but they conveniently look like a certain corporate logo. Congrats, ASU: You’re the first school to wear three swooshes on your jersey.

As for the rest of uniforms, they aren’t a complete disaster (well, except with one obvious exception). I’m reserving judgment on the new helmets until I see them on the field, and I’m sort of intrigued by they way they’ve put Sparky on the back (probably too cluttered back there, but let’s wait and see). On the other hand, using TV initials instead of TV numbers is a bonehead move. At best, it’ll look really clunky; at worst, imagine how it’ll look on all those linemen who barely have any sleeves at all.


Anyway, all the smoke and sunglasses and flexing are too silly to be taken seriously, so I won’t. But if you want to immerse yourself, here’s more info, more photos, a live chat transcript, and a style guide and other downloads. Have fun, but remember that all this has very little to do with ASU and everything to do with the corporate douchebags at Nike.

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Wayne’s Whoppersâ„¢, continued: Honest, I was looking forward to enjoying the 2011 MLB season without chronicling Wayne Hagin’s (many) miscues and (countless) foibles. But two nights ago he scaled new heights in incompetence, even for him. Full details over on that other site.

NHL Pool: Longtime Uni Watch friend and ally Teebz is running his annual NHL playoff pool on his blog. Many of you have participated in the past, and I encourage you to do so again. Let’s go, Rangers!

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Twins wore their navy alts last night — except for first base coach Jerry White. That screen shot is from the 1st inning; he switched to navy in the 2nd (good spot by Chad Jorgensen). ”¦ Milton Bradley has been trying to block out the hecklers by wearing earplugs. Off the top of my head, other MLBers to wear ’plugs include Bobby Bonilla, Chuck Finley, and Rafael Palmiero. Anyone else? ”¦ Check out Ichiro’s BP shoes and toe socks (with thanks to Steve Mandich). ”¦ Denis Hurley, who writes about the kits worn in Gaelic sports, has just posted a new piece about a 1960 color clash. ”¦ Hmmm, is that a new road jersey for Michigan? Further glimpses in this video clip (good spot by Ryan Hicks). ”¦ Formula 1 news from Dane Drutis, who writes: “At last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the two drivers for Lotus Renault GP changed their racing overalls from black to gold, in an effort to combat the heat and humidity in Kuala Lampur.” ”¦ Latest sports exec to float a trial balloon about ads on jerseys: Panthers prexy Michael Yormark. Just to put this in context, he’s the same guy who recently made a fool of himself by picking a fight with a beat writer on Twitter. Let’s make it nice and crystal-clear: Ads on pro sports uniforms are not okay, are not acceptable, and are not inevitable. And if you disagree, I hope you get a better spokesman for your side of the argument than a clown like Michael Yormark. ”¦ Lots of new EPL kits (with thanks to Bryan Justman). ”¦ Holy moly, look at this battered but still awesome 1911 Reds sweater (big thanks to Bruce Menard). ”¦ Oooh, look at this beeYOOteeful set of Indy 500 armbands. ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: a high school baseball team with a totally blank jersey. That’s Valley Christian High School in California. “According to the kid in the picture (Will Lane), they broke them out for the first time this season and won, 20-5, so I guess they’ll keep with them for more road games,” says Travis McGuire. ”¦ Hard to believe, but Oregon football had uniforms in the pre-Nike era. ”¦ Yet another uni-que aspect to Salty: Not only does he wear his brim facing forward, but he’s wearing a vented catching helmet — highly unusual (good spot by Andy Chalifour). ”¦ New home and road caps for the Charleston River Dogs (with thanks to Benji Boyter). ”¦ New logo in the works for South Dakota, and it isn’t going over very well (with thanks to Ric Jensen). ”¦ A columnist thinks those Dodgers fans wouldn’t have beaten up that Giants fan if fans would just stop wearing jerseys. Personally, I don’t think fans beat up fans because of jerseys. But I do think anyone stupid enough to spend $200 on a polyester shirt is probably stupid enough to beat someone up too. ”¦ Still more news about Jorge Posada’s mock-turtleneck undershirt, this time from Rob Silcox, who’s the chef for the Trenton Thunder (the Yanks’ double-A affiliate): “I grabbed one of these shirts from our equipment manager to wear under my chef coat on a cold April night. Was brand-new with tags. It’s Nike — swoosh on the left breast.” ”¦ Tim O’Malley reports that Jack McInerney of the Philadelphia Union was missing his Bimbo logo the other day. … Kevin Marcum was watching that ESPN documentary on Tom Brady and noticed something good: “They were showing a clip of Brady at a Pro Bowl and he was talking to Hines Ward. Brady walks over to Ward and says something like, ‘These unis are awful. We look ridiculous.’ They were wearing red jerseys and I think it was the 2006 Pro Bowl.” ”¦ Some high school team in Pennsylvania has managed to rip off the Twins and USC simultaneously (as spotted by Casey Hart). ”¦ “NPB baseball started on Monday,” reports Jeremy Brahm. “Teams wore memorial patches for the tsunami victims, except for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, who’ve gone for the left-sleeve armband.” ”¦ Interesting piece about the origins of the Florida Marlins team name here (big thanks to Yancy Yeater). ”¦ Mark Dormer notes that the wishbone-C logo on Reds pitcher Sam LeCure’s batting helmet last night appeared to be a bit more open-pronged than the one worn by the other Reds. ”¦ Quick, when I say, “diva,” who’s the first athlete you think of? Right, me too. ”¦ And I leave you today with something very special (courtesy of Kenn Tomasch): footage of 49ers lineman Steve Wallace losing his ProCap during the 1995 NFC champsionship game. I actually remember this happening — a formative pre-Uni Watch moment! Take a look:

Comments (272)

    How many of the players that have worn earplugs had to wear them at home to avoid heckling?

    Well, at least the school PA high school ripping off USC is the California(PA) Area HS Trojans.

    And the yellow sanitaries with the maroon stirrups is pretty sweet, too. Does USC do that, too?

    Is the color scheme new for the Charleston Riverdogs caps? The logo appears to be identical to what the team has had on its caps for several years, but it seems the caps used to have more purple on them.

    A) I actually like the TV initials. Something different.

    B) I’m hoping that actually is the new Man United home shirt. The current white collared shirt is nice, but I like that one even more.

    If it means Florida going back to Orange, I’d be all in favor of it, but I fear we’ll have an all-black uniform with only a hint of orange and blue at some point.

    Texas better not be changing. That uniform is timeless and they’ve managed to resist Nike thus far.

    “But I do think anyone stupid enough to spend $200 on a polyester shirt is probably stupid enough to beat someone up too.”

    I’m not stupid enough to beat someone up. Nor do I feel stupid for owning a sports jersey.

    Yeah, I gotta agree. I’m reminded of an episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit where they were talking to a woman with tons of cats (if I recall correctly) and she mentioned how much money she spends on food, vet bills, etc. It was insane. But then Penn stopped and noted that he has a collection of Mini Coopers, and that most people have something they value that would seem silly or stupid to others. I don’t know how much Paul spent on his Brannock Device tattoo, but I’m guessing there are lots of guys in jerseys who would argue that was a waste of money and makes Paul stupid. They’re not right, of course, but neither is Paul.

    As someone who has more than 150 baseball, football & hockey game worn & repros, I don’t feel stupid for spending the money I have on jerseys. But I do recognize the vast majority of the population thinks it’s ridiculous.

    I have almost a dozen game-worn jerseys, the more obscure of which I wear myself in my amateur team’s practices.

    I love how people dressed in the years leading up to the 1960s and would love to see that be the norm again. But given how casually adults are allowed to dress these days, how can you criticize people wearing their team’s gear to the ballpark? Would generic T-shirts and windbreakers really look that much better? Also, seeing a sea of team colors in the stands really *can* be inspiring to the players. So in a very small way, fans wearing jerseys *are* doing their bit to help the team win.

    so the guy who wants people to stop wearing jerseys is blaming the man who got beaten up for being beaten up?

    i’d love to hear his opinions on burglary and rape…

    I agree. The guy who wrote that article is a moron. Nothing wrong with wearing your favorite team’s jersey.

    Paul said, “The sad thing is watching these kids flexing their muscles and thinking they’re all badass when they’re really just interchangeable pawns in a corporate merchandising scam.”

    I’d prefer to give the athletes the benefit of the doubt. Some people don’t look at participating in something like this as being a “pawn” in a “scam”. I think it would be fun to participate in a major marketing campaign designed to promote a hugely successful product for one of the world’s most successful (if not THE most successful) sporting goods and apparel companies of all time, even if that campaign has been conducted similarly at other schools. Even if they’re entirely unaware that it’s been conducted elsewhere, certainly they do not think that Nike didn’t fly out there to take pictures of them for fun, right? They may not be rocket scientists or on the verge of finding a cure for cancer, but they’re probably not cucumber stupid, either.

    I’m no Nike apologist. I don’t work for Nike. I don’t work in the business. I dislike more of the Nike uniforms than I like. I just think that to assume that the kids aren’t fully aware of what’s going on is unfair to them, and I think that everything that turns a profit isn’t bad.

    Young people think differently than us older folks. If we were 21, we’d probably think it was pretty cool to be included in all this, too.

    It’s only when you get beaten down by life and see the underbelly of sports that you lose that idea that what you’re participating in is pretty cool.

    Plus, if Nike *didn’t* do the same thing for each school, there’d be accusations of special treatment and more complaints. “That school got to have a special uniform unveiling, why didn’t we?”

    The only thing Nike is guilty of here is using a template. Is that really evil?

    So that’s what you’ve been reduced to defending — templated marketing?

    Nike built the corner, but you’re the one who painted yourself into it.

    Because taking the exact same product and changing the colors to create different brands worked out so well for GM. If Nike wants to show how great its product is, it should show how versatile the construction template (rather than the design template) is and adapt it to each school’s design.

    A company that can supply a large number of different brands without compromising those brands’ identities will be more successful in the long run.

    Don’t they already do that? ASU, WSU and TCU all have new Nike uniforms this year, and they don’t look like each other. They’re using the same marketing to show off the new uniforms, but they’re hardly using the same design template on them. You’ve got gradient numbers on one team, frog print on another… heck, look at Oregon State’s pro combat uniforms from last year… or Penn State – Nike supplies them too.

    Using the same marketing for each school is a bit lazy… but it’s not evil, and the schools *do* get some publicity out of it. Of course I guess Paul would rather see them do nothing but supply the uniforms and not advertise themselves at all.

    It’s not like GM trying to sell the same car with 3 different names on it. It’s more like selling sports cars and SUVs but using the same annoying song in both commercials.

    I am neither beaten down by life nor opposed to capitalist enterprise.

    I just think Nike’s only agenda is to promote Nike, which is not how it’s supposed to work when dealing with uniforms. Simple as that.

    Oh, I can’t disagree with you there.

    I was merely saying young people don’t always think like you and I. One man’s “beaten down by life” is another man’s “wiser from experience.”

    To a 21-year old, this was a cool thing to do, to be on stage and be something of a star for a brief moment. Not everybody gets to do that. And when you’re 21, you think about that, not about whether or not you’re a pawn in a game helmed by a multibillion dollar conglomerate.

    I guess that’s “think like you and me.”

    I’m weaning off caffeine and this is the thanks I get.

    Nike is not dealing with “uniforms” as a grandiose concept. That’s left to nerds like all of us. Nike is dealing with Nike, so you’re precisely correct: Nike’s only agenda is to promote Nike. That’s all they should care about. They have a responsibility to their shareholders, their employees, and their customers. Do I think they could do a better job with their responsibility to their customers if they followed some, most, or all of your ideas? Absolutely! But it’s not for us to decide. Their customers seem very happy, and that’s all that matters… except to us, and we don’t have a dog in that fight.

    I don’t understand why it’s considered douchebaggery for Nike to promote Nike. I think the Uni Watch Membership program is somewhat similar, albeit on a much, much smaller scale to say the least, at least in terms of self-promotion. Are Uni Watch Members pawns in a corporate scam to promote your website with their cards? I don’t think so. I think it’s cool.

    Ah, yes — “It’s just business.” The all-purpose excuse that self-justifyingly explains everything.

    Uh, no. That’s not how life works. It’s not even how capitalism works.

    Back here in the real world, actions have consequences, all of us (including corporations) bear the responsibilities of citizenship, and we’re all in it together.

    Nike has been able to con schools and athletes into thinking it has done all this research into what makes X school special, when in fact, everybody is buying the template w/ a tweak. Nike’s leveraging people’s ability to buy into its bullshit. By running out the occasional hip-pretending, but white-bread-looking bespectacled graphics expert, Nike is making the folks in Beaverton a ton of money with a minimal necessary effort. That’s capitalism, folks.

    Here’s what’s wrong with it: Some of us have this crazy idea that an Arizona State uniform should promote, um, ARIZONA STATE, not Nike.

    Majestic manages to outfit all of MLB without behaving like Nike does, and somehow they manage to “compete in the marketplace” just fine.

    I’ve been pretty respectful to you, Paul. Your snarky remarks don’t demonstrate the same regard for us. That’s pretty sad when you consider that you owe your readership a debt of gratitude.

    We’re not talking about BP dumping oil into school childrens’ high fructose corn syrup-filled lunches. We’re talking about sports uniforms, so the talk of bearing the responsibilities of citizenship is not really relevant to the discussion. Most of us agree that the uniforms are Nike-serving. Most of us agree that they’re a billboard for Nike. The point is that Arizona State is happy with them. I don’t like the new threads, but I don’t matter. That doesn’t make them inherently evil.

    Yes, I owe many of my readers a debt of gratitude. That’s why I thank so many of my readers for their contributions and support. That’s exactly what “thanks” means — gratitude.

    I also owe my readership honesty, sincerity, straightforwardness, etc. And I honestly, sincerely, straightforwardly think Nike has had a horribly detrimental effect on uniform design. And I’ll keep saying so as long as they keep doing things that I don’t care for.

    See, if I sugar-coated my commentary, or if I didn’t say what I really thought, THAT would be disrespecting my readership.

    You don’t like what I say, or even how I say it? That’s your prerogative. I can’t please everyone and wouldn’t dream of trying to do so.

    Yet at the end of the day, the kids are interchangeable pawns in a corporate merchandising scheme, and they are posing in identical, vaguely Haka-esque flex poses for the Nike cameras. Knowing that one is playing the fool for a corporate shill doesn’t actually change the fact of one’s participation. If anything, it makes that participation more demeaning.

    Still, the whole fork-tines-as-hidden-swooshes thing? Not seeing it. That’s Glenn Beck finding Islamic crescents in every curved shape territory.

    For the record: I didn’t initially see the fork/swoosh connection myself, until a disgusted ASU fan pointed it out to me in an e-mail.

    It’s all worth it if we start using the word “tines,” though.

    And ask yourself this: If Adidas or Russell were making the ASU uniform, do you think there’s any chance they’d go with that hooked-tine motif on the shoulders? No way — because they’d realize it’s swoosh-evocative.

    …and yet Reebok never pressured the Broncos about changing their pant striping, which is also sorta maybe kinda swooshlike.

    ASU’s hooked tine shoulders are pretty much the same thing as the Minnesota Vikings “horned” shoulders. Sparky’s been carrying a pitchfork with that style tines for years. Putting them on the shoulders is clever, if maybe a bit silly looking. If people want to see a swoosh, that’s their problem – see my posted image from 8:09.

    Actually, you have no idea whether Reebok asked the Broncos to change their pants striping (and neither do I). All we know is that the Broncos chose to keep the design, and Reebok dutifully produced it. Either way, that’s not particularly germane to this discussion, since Reebok came to that design AFTER THE FACT. Do you think they would have come up with it on their own in the first place? Of course not. Ditto for the shoulder tines. That’s my point.

    Your posted image is a lot less powerful than my posted photos, since your image is out of context, while the photos show, um, the actual graphics on an actual jersey.

    Yeah, “tines!”

    I dunno Paul, you may be right that the tine evokes the swoosh, but I certainly missed it.

    On the larger question of corporate agendas driving university designs, I stand squarely in your corner. It sucks.

    The problem for me is that it is not offensive to contemporary mass culture. As has been noted a few times already today, most young athletes aren’t offended and most fans (especially younger fans) aren’t offended. They may look like pawns, but they don’t feel like pawns. KT has it right, I think, when she says that nausea with the whole shebang comes with age and sour experience. Which is kinda the opposite of the way things were when I was an old kid / young adult, but there you go. That Paul stands by his convictions and bad-mouths things he abhors is OK by me, because it’s part of the deal at this blog. I also share his asthettic, mostly.

    But maybe Paul should cut some slack for Nike enthusiasts, especially the athletes themselves. They seem to dig the scene sincerely. I’m always wary of a Marcuse-like analysis which deplores the gullibility of the masses.

    I could be wrong, but Purdue is a Nike school, I don’t remember them ever getting a big, whiz-bang uni unveiling. The biggest thing I remember happening with the new basketball unis was a story in the Lafayette paper with Chris Kramer modeling.

    I’m not going to say Nike is innocent, but we might start putting a little more pressure on the schools themselves.

    And ask yourself this: If Adidas or Russell were making the ASU uniform, do you think there’s any chance they’d go with that hooked-tine motif on the shoulders? No way – because they’d realize it’s swoosh-evocative.

    For the record, the Glenn Beck thing was a joking overstatement. However, I regard “If B had happened instead of A, you totally know that not-X would have resulted, instead of X,” as a logical fallacy. Would Adidas have produced a jersey with barbed-tine stripes for a team whose logo is a barbed fork? For all we know, yes.

    Now, as far as I know, the outside tines of the fork didn’t used to have barbs, only the middle tine, and it was more of an arrowhead, whereas the new fork has barbs on the outside tines as well, and they do kind of resemble the swoosh in shape. So maybe there’s something there. But taking an element of a team’s helmet logo and making jersey or pants stripes resemble that element isn’t exactly unusual. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’d expect any uni design process to consider.

    Of course it’s a “logical fallacy” — or it would be, if I had presented it as a tautology or some other function of rigid logic.

    But come on, Scott — this is common sense, not logic. Do you really think Adidas would have come up with that shoulder design? Of course there’s no way of knowing as an iron-clad certainty. But you’re a smart fella.

    As I looked through the (well-done and thorough) retrospective on ASU’s site yesterday, I was actually struck by how many different types of tines have been on (the physical, not the graphic) Sparky’s pitchfork/trident over the years. In at least one of the photos, he’s actually got what looks like a garden pitchfork, with link. Sometimes there’s link, sometimes link, sometimes there’s an ornate thing on the middle tine, sometimes the two outside tines are curved. Sometimes there’s link.

    I’m just cynical enough to believe the pseudo-tines on the shoulders are meant to be evocative of the Nike swoosh, though. That’s just me. YMMV.

    “KT has it right, I think, when she says that nausea with the whole shebang comes with age and sour experience.”

    Hey, I like a little makeup now and then, but I’m not a woman. :)

    As a younger fan, I’d like to point out that I am offended by the loss of identity suffered by these schools when a manufacturer imposes its own design template, rather than upholding the school’s branding.

    I went to a school that went through three suppliers in six years before signing on with Nike. When it went to Nike, the athletic department chose to overhaul the entire school’s brand identity, but refused to let Nike dictate it. The school now has a strong, recognizable brand and still uses Nike’s uniforms. Why can’t other schools with more clout and stronger established identities do the same?

    this is common sense, not logic

    I see. We’re in link territory. The supposition reinforces my own gut prejudices, too, so I’m on board with its truthiness now.

    (Is it clear that I’m joshing around here? Tone is so hard in this medium.)

    All I know is that common sense tells me that if Nike ever made unis for Michigan, the Wolverines’ strongly Adidasesque link would never be permitted. This is link, not link.

    Absolutely not… if it was Adidas, the uniforms would be slathered in the “design element” of three stripes. I’m just really glad that Reebok and Adidas don’t use templetes and don’t promote their brands over that of the schools they outfit. Pretty sure there’s only one duchebag here

    Have you been around college students much lately? It can be assumed that they’re not fully clued in to business and this level of exploitation – without significant discussion with educators/mentors/parents. It’s a slippery slope. They get all kinds of perks for being athletes … access to stuff basically. But they’re still young and influenced by the whiz-bang. To think 18-21 year-olds are truly aware of the corporate douchebaggery that’s being discussed here is, frankly, pretty naive.

    It’s not that most are cucumber stupid. They’re not at all. It’s that many don’t fully contemplate the impact. Interact with students about these issues, their opinions on corporate symbolism, social media, brand building in sports, etc. You might be interested to know that often those opinions aren’t what most would consider “deep.” It takes a lot of probing, and a tremendous amount of discussion, to help 18-21 year-olds to fully understand this type of impact.

    They just aren’t wired for it in the education system today, by and large. (There’s a huge need for “Media Effects” in all levels of education today.)

    So, no, those athletes probably aren’t fully aware of how Nike is using them as pawns. They see it as cool. They see it as similar to Oregon. They’re not seeing how played out and pathetic it really appears … as Nike continues to “template” or “brand” major state universities like sheep.

    *I realize there are lots of sweeping generalizations here, basically a result of interactions with more than 300 students over the years.

    I totally agree with the education part of this. We actually went fairly deep into “Media Effects” (I’ll borrow your term) in a rhetoric class I took, and it was by far the most interesting part of the class. I do think it’s a gaping hole in our education system, but one I think could be fairly easily filled with just a little different focus on subjects we’re already teaching.

    My point was not that they’re not aware of how they’re being used as pawns. My point is that they’re not being used as pawns. Also, they know they’re participating in an ad campaign for a business. They have to be told that by the company.

    Excellent idea. Paul, do you think you think that you can conduct interviews with Uni Watch’s Under-30 group on this? Some interviews with the current Sun Devil scholar-athletes in ALL sports would be handy, too.

    I’m an ASU Allumni. I don’t see the tines as swooshes.

    Helmets with the pitchfork/trident logo = looks good
    The pitchfork logo with the flames = bad
    Tines as shoulder stripes = good
    Maroon Jersey = good
    Shoulder ASU = bad
    Font = alright
    White Jersey = bad
    Black Jersey = Just as bad as white
    Gradient Numbers on Black Jersey = Vomit inducing.

    Re: Shoulder ASU (SNOS – School Name on Shoulder?).

    There’s a benefit. ASU’s maroon can get confused with USC’s crimson. It’s a way to help in the ESPN infomercial (SportsCenter).

    And it could be a cost cutting move in that individual jerseys need two less steps to personalize.

    Don’t know if I like it, just playing Sun Devils’ Advocate.

    I’ll wait until I see them in action until I pass judgement/hate them.

    ASU alum as well. The tines aren’t swooshy, but the logo on the baseball cap looks more like an ear of corn than a fork. Waay too busy.

    Overall it’s not bad except for the BFBS. Nothing better thn wearing black from head to toe on a Saturday noon game. Maybe then Nike could go up on manslaughter.

    Weren’t there images of the piping-free Michigan jersey on here a week or two ago? I remember posting a comment about them.

    “Personally, I don’t think fans beat up fans because of jerseys. But I do think anyone stupid enough to spend $200 on a polyester shirt is probably stupid enough to beat someone up too.”

    Jesus Christ, did you really just say that? You’re going to criticize that columnist for saying adults wearing expensive jerseys deserve to get beaten (criticism which he, obviously, deserves), but then turn right around and say adults wearing expensive jerseys–a group which I’d bet is rather well represented in this blog’s readership–are “stupid enough” to commit the deed in the first place? It seems to me that making any sort of connection between jersey purchasing habits and the proclivity toward violence is not much more fair or logical than what that other columnist did…

    You read my mind. I guess we are all stupid if we don’t buy our jerseys 50 years old off ebay.

    Oh, relax. If you haven’t figured out by now that I think rampant consumerism is a problem in our culture, you haven’t been paying much attention.

    Spend your money however you want, knock yourself out. Just don’t buy purple!

    I’m certainly not outside the realm of buying jerseys (as my vast hockey jersey collection would suggest), but how many of you actually spend $200 on a jersey? If I can’t get a jersey for less than $100, it’s not worth my time, effort, or money.

    I’m not in the camp that thinks people should be beaten for their choice in clothes, but dropping $200 on one shirt is a little too expensive for my tastes.

    And yes, I do mock those who spend that much because if you do your homework, you can get that same shirt for much, much cheaper.

    I sure doesn’t hurt. You don’t think there’s a difference between picking up a jersey for $50-100 instead of $200 plus?

    Aaron, the $200 isn’t the issue at all. My mother would tell anyone that spent $30 on an authentic jersey that they wasted their money, while there are people that happily pay $300 for some of the Mitchell and Ness stuff. The point is that there is no single standard for what is acceptable, as Teebz indicated with the wise vocabulary choice, “my taste”. To say that someone is dumb (which you didn’t, to be clear) for having different tastes is unfair. It causes the speaker, or writer as the case may be, to impose his or her own tastes as the standard for everyone.

    $200 is out of the realm of what I consider reasonable, but that’s just me. I know there are people who don’t consider it unreasonable, and, hey, knock yourself out. If I could afford a tiny giraffe to run on a little treadmill, maybe I’d get one because they’re cool.

    At the end of the day, owning and wearing jerseys of your favorite team(s) or player(s) is just part of connecting to something you enjoy. Because sports is fun. Or was fun. Or is supposed to be fun. Or something. I may tell you you look ridiculous, but I’m not going to tell you how you should be a fan.

    I don’t think I would ever spend all that extra money on a licensed jersey. I’d rather buy a game-used one for less than that.

    Then years in the future if I get tired of it, I can sell it for good money (perhaps even more than I paid for it) rather than whatever pittance the thrift store would pay me.

    Game-used jerseys are less than licensed jerseys? I thought the fact they were game-used drove up the price (all things being equal).

    KT, for superstar players, they’re of course much more expensive. But for ordinary players, they’re cheaper. I’m a Chicago Cubs fan, and on eBay right now you can easily pick up a game-used Cubs jersey for under $100. There are literally dozens of Mets jerseys up for auction at under $100 — Samuels selling off his hoard? — same for other teams.

    This assumes that you’re supporting your team and not one individual player. It also helps if your team wears jerseys without player names on them, at least occasionally, so that you can “inherit” all the future players who get the number on the jersey you’ve bought.

    The only problem is that you’re missing the point….. fans wearing uniforms to sporting events DOES increase violence. In some cases, when someone puts on that football jersey or hockey sweater, they take that extra step in being “a part of the team”. And when there is something on the field that causes fans in the stands to get emotional, an angry/drunk fan in a uniform is going to take something that someone else (in an opposing teams uniform, perhaps?) that much more personally.

    Don’t believe me? Rick Reiley believes me. About 4 months ago, too.


    He makes a fantastic point: Search youtube for NFL fan fights. (Nearly) Every single one of them involves someone wearing a jersey. Coincidence? I’m not going to believe so

    I think drunk a-holes are going to look for fights whether they have jerseys on or not.

    Given that, depending on the sport, a decent percentage of the attendees are going to be wearing jerseys of some sort (may not hold up to scrutiny, but it seems to me hockey has a higher proportion of jersey-wearing ticket-buyers than anything, maybe the NFL has more), it’s a good bet scuffles are going to be between two people jersey-ed up.

    You could ask how many fights start in the club seats or suites (where you’re less likely to find jerseys), but that’s more about the atmosphere in those environments.

    The a-hole responsible for the fight at the US Open last year wasn’t wearing a jersey, nor were the woman or the old man he fought with.

    A-holes are a-holes. Alcohol and testosterone are more contributing factors than colored cloth, in my mind.

    But was the fight specifically because someone was wearing the jersey? Or was it the actions of the people wearing the jersey that caused it to happen.

    I highly, highly doubt that someone wearing a jersey, sitting politely at a game, or even cheering for their team in a positive manner would be someone that gets in a fight. I’ve been on a lot of road game trips before for college and pro sports. There’s a way to act and a way not to.

    This is not to say that people who do not spend money on a jersey are not serious fans, but the people who spend money on one generally are. And they are the ones that may be more passionate and feel tied into the outcome, and therefore may act outside the lines of good conduct when something happens. Those are when the fights start. And it’s not because of the jersey- there’s no magical stupidity chip in them (although there may be in next season’s Lightning jersey)- it’s because of how they behave while wearing it.

    I’ve worn an opposing team’s jersey to two Diamondbacks’ playoff games and two regular-season games and been harassed, but nothing physical.

    But last fall, my GF and I wore Bucs’ jerseys to the game here against the Cardinals and expected the worst and didn’t hear a word. It was actually kind of strange. Maybe our expectations were off, I don’t know.

    But I do know this: jerseys don’t cause violence. A-holes cause violence.

    I agree. It’s like the rapist saying, “She was asking for it. She was wearing a mini-skirt.” How is that different?

    I love how Paul alienates a good portion of his readers (people who buy jerseys) by calling all of us stupid. That’s a great way to keep up readership. I love this blog and read it on a daily basis but sometimes it seems Paul needs to get off his high horse and understand his readers. You would think that on a blog about uniforms most readers would buy thier favorite uniforms, but according to Paul, if you do this you are “stupid”.

    You’re right. Instead of saying what I think, I should just say what you want to hear. Life is so much easier that way.

    I have said a few jillion times over the years that I do not understand the mentality of spending $200 (or more) on a polyester shirt. I have also said repeatedly that I think uniform merchandising has been, on balance, very bad for uniform design. Nothing new here.

    If I was interested in maximizing readership, I’d run a lot more photos of naked girls and a lot fewer photos of Phil curling (sorry, Phil). But maybe, just maybe, I don’t run this site in order to maximize readership. And maybe things have worked out just fine anyway.

    Time to water the high horse,

    No one is saying you need to understand the mentality of how other people spend thier money. All I am saying is that the way you send out your opinion is disrespectful.
    While I might not understand why people like looking at DIY projects I can respect the fact people do and not call the whole idea “stupid”.

    If I was interested in maximizing readership, I’d run a lot more photos of naked girls and a lot fewer photos of Phil curling (sorry, Phil).


    no no, you’ll get no argument from me on that account, no apology necessary

    I imagine in a perfect Phil World, would be photos of naked girls WITH Phil.

    Then again, that might not do much for readership, either.

    I don’t know, remember the Seinfeld episode about good naked and bad naked? I feel like hunching over and vigorously brushing might qualify as bad naked.

    They’re not really naked if they’re wearing jerseys.

    Although, if Paul’s willing to cover hypothetical naked girl curling, why is there no coverage of the lingerie football league?

    I misread *one* sentence & now I can’t get the image of Phil curling while naked outta my head. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue … :-)

    Personally, I think there’s a world of difference between “I don’t understand why somebody would spend $200 on a jersey” and “someone who spends $200 on a jersey is stupid.” Not trying to argue with you, Paul, but just to give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

    I think this is pretty spot on. I know it’s my biggest criticism of Paul’s commentary on this blog.

    So is the operative word here “polyester” in this situation, Paul? EFF jerseys are pretty pricey but I’d still like to get my hands on one of them…or two…

    Maybe $200 is the operative part of the critique, since just about any EFF jersey can be had new for $100-$130 if you’re patient and attentive.

    Paul, I think you could make the argument that it’s not surprising that someone territorial enough to beat up an opposing fan at a sporting event would be foolish enough to spend that much money on a polyester shirt, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that all people who buy those shirts are either stupid or foolish.

    I can’t speak for others, but for me- I like jerseys and uniforms. Even better, I like to wear them, to show that this is the team to root for. Sure, I could wear a shirt- but I like the look of jerseys. And then picking which player to support takes some thought as well. How long their contract is, what position, etc. In the end, I’m glad they sell them.

    Now, I don’t spend $200 on a single jersey, but I’ve spent more than that in making my complete Phillies 1940’s era uniform, with hat, jersey, pants, belt, and stirrups.

    I have in fact spent over $200 on a jersey, if you take into account sending it off to be customized, etc. And yeah…I feel kinda stupid. It was a completely ridiculous purchase.

    But I do love it!

    I think the missing Bimbo sponsorship logo is from the Red Bulls/Union “JV” game, held the next morning. Not sure if they wear sponsorship logos.

    Just as a couple of things to add about the HBIC Playoff Pool:

    1. It’s free. No cost, and there are prizes. Past winners include JTH and Mr. Traxel.

    2. You have until Friday to enter. If you enter after a game has started, you cannot receive points for that game out of fairness to those who entered before the playoffs started.

    3. Anyone and everyone can play without having to know the full rosters of any NHL team. If you have no clue about hockey, I can point you in a couple of places that can help you succeed in this pool.

    Lastly, the most important part – thank you, Paul, for posting the info! :o)

    Yeah… I just have to say… I don’t even read this site anymore… I just scan for links to see the pictures.

    Can’t stand the slant Paul puts in everything he says. Whether its a completely ridiculous crusade against anything Nike, or pushing his political beliefs on an aesthetic website, or calling as many people as possible stupid for various reasons, the site just got tiring. The site is actually much better over the weekends when Phil is posting. At least he is funny. I actually read on those days.

    It was fun for a while, but it looks like the fame of ESPN finally got to Paul’s head. He thinks his shit don’t stink, when in fact, he’s just as bad as the BS he tries to call others out on.

    I stopped reading last year. I listed the reasons I stopped. I assume you’re still going on about the same, and judging from the reaction, you are.

    he obviously has more time on his hands cause the NHL playoffs start today… and… his ‘canes are golfing. at least they won’t have to travel far to do so…

    I’m surprised he didn’t mention me for my hatred of black alternate uniforms in hockey. That was an epic battle during its time! LOL

    Personally, I don’t think fans beat up fans because they use the word “bro.” But I do think anyone stupid enough to use the word “bro” in a comment is probably stupid enough to beat someone up too. ;-)

    C’mon, brah, loosen up and drink some Zima*. Oh, and some neon plastic-framed sunglasses are definitely in order.

    *Is Zima still around? If not, substitute the appropriate current drink.

    Thankfully Zima is no more; it was discontinued somewhere between a year and six months ago. I can’t think of a suitable substitute right now; maybe Bud Light with Lime?

    Aaron what your looking for is a good old fashioned smirnoff ice. Now drop to one knee and finish that bitch, you pledge. Hazing is fundamentally at odds with the ideals of UniWatch.

    I stopped reading all together for about a year because it’s a lot of information to click through, particularly if you’re not on a fast network. And I understand that people may not like Paul’s opinions, but I enjoy his writing style (and I’m a Braves fan!). But to say that the weekends are better than the weekdays here is ridiculous. No offense intended at all to LIP, I just don’t dig colorization and tweaks that the naked eye can’t discern as much as I do pics of Northwestern stripes and stirrups. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of a blog “I don’t even read…anymore” I just scroll through it looking for Benchies & things that catch my eye.

    For the record, as long as Phil had on some pants, I’d look at a pictures of naked girls with him.

    FTR pt 2, anyone who buys a $200 authentic jersey IS an idiot because game worns are about a million times better.

    My daughter, who has been taught well, would like to assert that the new ASU helmet logo is, in fact, a ‘threek’.

    A couple of commenters yesterday mentioned the Converse “Adidas-stripe knockoffs” sold by Sears in the early 70s. linkfrom the Sept. 72 Sport magazine.

    “The sad thing is watching these kids flexing their muscles and thinking they’re all badass when they’re really just interchangeable pawns in a corporate merchandising scam.”

    Nice. A total kick in the ass of reality to these & future kids. Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” comes to mind.

    I have to say the whole new ASU look is an ugly disaster & black uniforms for an Arizona team is beyond stupid. I know I’ve seen that sideways pitchfork on a helmet somewhere before (probably on some obscure team), but the swoosh shoulder stripes takes the turd cake. That is beyond obscene and Nike needs to be stopped at all costs.

    Man, you are starting to sound really paranoid and delusional about Nike… Personally, I think the shoulder stripes look nothing like the swoosh. And you show us one single “cookie-cutter” shirt and make the claim that this is an entire representation of Nike’s ASU apparel campaign… Enough already. Nike is a corporation. What does any successful corporation do? Make money. So what if a jersey has a little swoosh on the shoulder, or a shirt has a swoosh on the sleeve. A lot of Nike stuff is actually pretty cool, but I wouldn’t expect you to agree, not with those goggles on. Love the site, but all the Nike hackery is getting quite annoying.

    While I agree with most of what you said, logo creep on jerseys is a bad thing. Secondary apparel? No problem. Usurping on the school’s brand identity by inserting your own? That’s a problem.

    The first thing I noticed when I looked at the ASU photos (and I looked at the photos before I read any of the commentary) was the shoulder inserts. And the first thing I thought was, “Swooshes!” They are CLEARLY meant to evoke the swoosh. They look like crap, as does most stuff emblazoned with the Mark of the Beast.

    Ask the people you live with what they think of your uniform collection. Unless they are 14 year old boys, they will say, “Those are expensive rags, and you’re stupid for buying them.” The 14 year old will say, “Why don’t you buy them for me?” If I wore a different hat from my collection every single day, I would go something like three months without wearing the same cap twice. That’s stupid, profoundly stupid. I have a Korona Kielce jersey from the Polish Ekstraklasa. And a Wisla Krakow jersey. Owning two jerseys from Polish soccer clubs is stupid. There are worse hobbies — internet pornography, arms trafficking, tattoos, collecting Famous Peoples’ toenail clippings — but it’s stupid and expensive nonetheless. Own it. Admit it. Embrace it.

    And get over the occasional acerbic commentary. New Yorkers are born criticizing the obstetrician’s delivery technique. It is part of their appeal. This FREE RESOURCE would not be interesting or as enjoyable without the occasional political commentary, cooking hint, and diatribe, be it against Wayne Hagin or Nike.

    There are worse hobbies – internet pornography, arms trafficking, tattoos, collecting Famous Peoples’ toenail clippings …

    You ever notice how, if you clip the nail off your big toe with a set of curved clippers, it kinda looks like a Nike swoosh?

    You ever notice how, if you clip the nail off your big toe with a set of curved clippers, it kinda looks like a Nike swoosh?


    Come to think of it, makes sense.
    Two new members announced so far:
    Horned Frog and Sun Devil.

    Move over, Aquaman, we need more room at the table.

    The new ASU identity is very ‘unpolished.’ I suppose that would be the word I’m looking for. In the wordmarks, the S is too wide, the A is too narrow, and the other letters generally fall somewhere in between as far as proportion goes. There are too many outline/color variations of the main pitchfork logo, and it definitely doesn’t look right displayed both positive and reversed. It’s just not that versatile. Pick just one. It would behoove Nike to hire one person who builds the letterforms for their custom typefaces. Anybody can design a typeface, building the letterforms crisply, cleanly, uniformly and in proper proportion to each other is a very specialized skill, and frankly, not every designer can do it.

    “unpolished” is a GREAT way to describe a lot of these new uniforms! i agree with phil, please apply. they desperately need someone that “get’s it”

    I don’t think they have that job (judging by the quality of some of the typefaces that come out of there, it’s safe to say they definitely don’t have someone doing that job). They were, however, hiring for a boatload of design-related positions a few months ago (around NFL contract negotiation time).

    These guys really need to stop stealing from Paul.

    Honestly who cares about all this stuff going on in college sports. Nobody is innocent. Schools and coaches use players to make money, players use schools to make money, NIKE, Adidas, Russel,Reebok, CBS, NBC, ESPN and, ABC use players and schools to make money. We all need to stop pretending that athletes go to schools for education, coaches sign contracts to improve kids lives, or that the presdients of these schools care about educating kids who play sports. Its all about the money!

    I think he meant to link to the top article listed on the side. Basically it just calls ASU “victims” of Nike.

    Even that part of the site is now gone… Weird. I saw what you’re talking about right when he posted the link but now that story doesn’t even show. Think they removed it?

    I don’t think I like where that google is leading me.

    Are you implying that RyCo is crazy, or that you want me to be shot? Or both?

    Not cool, Phil. :(

    no no no…i don’t think ryco is nuts or that i want him to snipe you…not till after the mlb tweaks are done, anyway

    i KID…i KID!

    you two should hang in columbus — have a gathering even…ryco’s actually a great dude, despite the beating he sometimes takes on here

    Well, on that note I’ve got 11 teams in the NL left to do.

    …and after you see what I did for the Rockies, you’ll probably be changing your mind

    “ryco’s actually a great dude”

    i read that as: “he’s a complete douche on here, but when you meet him in person…”

    hahaha. kidding (sort of). thanks phil

    The, i’m playing hockey up in polairs (chiller north) and have 2:00 & 9:00 games on saturday. so lot’s of open space between. if you want to meet up for a beer, let me know

    i’ve said it plenty of times on here… my brain doesn’t work all that well. hahaha


    “he’s a complete douche on here, but when you meet him in person…”


    not a complete douche…but my point was actually that the ryco we *see* on the boards belies his kindness, his generosity, his joie de vivre…

    definitely a dude you want to hang with

    damn my lack of html skills, or “dude” would be replaced with “douche”. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    thanks buddy, appreciate the kind words!

    Ahh, Charlie McCoy, born in Oak Hill, WV. My in-laws live there and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful place. Of course, I was born and raised in West-By-God, so I may be a bit biased…

    I’m sure the Charlie McCoy I referenced is not the one you were talking about, but he’s the first one that came to MY mind. Just thought I’d clarify!

    RE: ASU UNI’s

    Judging by the hundreds of comments on the Facebook page, people HATE the new design and are fiercely loyal to Sparky. Can you say, “revision”?

    Re: ASU’s new look, it’s kind of sad to me. The BFBS is terrible, and I think this is a case of a total rebranding where, when all is said and done, you don’t have anything better than you had before. Change for change sake, to sell more stuff. Sad.

    I am an Ole Miss Rebel, and our uniforms are made by Nike. Today, we basically wear the same football uniforms we’ve worn for the last fifty years. I like that. If Nike ever gets the bright idea to rebrand Ole Miss and totally makeover our football uniforms…well, it’ll be a sad day.

    Finally, re: Paul’s comments and his commentary, my thoughs are that it’s his blog and he can say what he wants. It’s not why I come here. If it gets to the point that it bothers me enough to comment on it, I’ll just stop reading. But I did think it was kind of strange to say it’s stupid to spend $200 on a polyester shirt on a website that caters to those of us who love sports uniforms (in other words, the one segment of the US population that’s most likely to have spent $200 on a polyester shirt). Maybe reaction is what he’s going for?

    Just wait, Rebel… the BFBS is coming. Think about it: Black Bears… black uniform… resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated. And yes, it will be a sad day.

    In all honesty though, I hope that never happens. Signed, a Bama fan who is probably even more resistant to change than you (since you know 99% of our fanbase’s heads would explode if a black jersey ever made it to the field).

    I hope you’re wrong. Give me OM, Bama, PSU, etc. over the Oregons and Arizona States of the world. Of course we did wear gray jerseys against AU last year…hopefully never again since that worked out so well for us.

    Heck, we’re having a hard time getting people to realize we’re sill the Rebels with a Black Bear mascot. Nobody calls you guys the Alabama Elephants or Stanford the Trees, but for some reason they can’t resist calling us the Ole Miss Black Bears. I realize it’s mostly to get under our skin at this point, and when you think about it, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Maybe because being the Rebels with a black bear mascot is kinda dumb? (no offense) Someone decided that it wasn’t cool to have a mascot that referenced the civil war, so you changed it… but you kept the name…and didn’t even pick a new mascot that fit with the name. Really?

    Imagine if the Washington Redskins changed their mascot to a green dragon, but insisted on continuing to call themselves the Redskins. We’d call them the Dragons and mock them, wouldn’t we?

    The Jeff, that’s why the last sentence of my previous post says “..and when you think about it, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

    Maybe you missed that.

    Most Ole Miss fans (myself included) preferred to just continue with no mascot (Colonel Reb was retired in 2003). I don’t take offense when you say it is dumb because I had nothing to do with the decision. The administration gave us a choice of three mascots (bear, landshark, and a human mascot named Hotty Toddy after our chant). Colonel Reb wasn’t a choice. Changing the team’s nickname wasn’t a choice. Having no mascot wasn’t a choice. As bad as the bear is, it was the least stupid of the three choices.

    And why can’t I reply to your message? Is that some kind of top secret option, because I don’t have that option when I post.

    Well…apparently I CAN make the reply link not appear, but I don’t know exactly how I did that.

    re Nike bashing: It’s Paul’s blog, he can bash whoever he wants. Don’t like it, don’t read it.

    re shoulder tines: I like them. A little uniqueness to a common design element.

    re new Arsenal jerseys: home is pretty bland, love the away pinstripes (hope that’s legit.) Much better than the dark blue w white pins.

    re Wayne Hagin: Fire him already!

    Those Michigan jerseys are the adidas TechFit jerseys from last season that the players vetoed because they fit too tightly. They’ve been using them in practice (mostly skill guys), and it’s likely if adidas redesigns them to not fit like they’re all XXXS, that’s the design. Personally, not a fan of the little M on the back, but whatever.

    They’re also trying a new cut/fabric of pant, which currently stock white because the maize will be special ordered for the season itself.

    i’m one of the guys who wrote the world cup uni-preview, and so i really only care about soccer uniforms, but i think the world of soccer unis actually explains a lot about what nike does with its teams in the USA.

    when you break it down, nike really only has a hand in two major fields of sports – college athletics and world soccer. adidas/reebok does the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, and even MLS. majestic does baseball. so no top-level pro team wears nike gear on the field. the one top-level sport they have a HUGE impact in is world soccer.

    some of the biggest teams in the world, in virtually every country, are sponsored by nike – man utd, arsenal, celtic, barça, fc porto, PSG, inter, juve, boca juniors, america, and kaizer chiefs just to a very few of the clubs nike is involved with. if you look at nike’s designs for those clubs over the recent past (say since the 2006 world cup) the unis have been consistently clean and classic – for the past 4 or 5 years, nike has produced some of the best kits in club soccer. whereas adidas goes for cheezy/flashy designs, nike generally lets the club’s history speak for itself. there are, of course, always exceptions, but i think if you look back in general you will see this to be the case. the same goes on the international team front.

    so i don’t blame nike, necessarily, when something like what happened with ASU happens. i blame the school. nike has two tracks – the classic program (think USC, penn state, texas) and the modern program (oregon, miami, now ASU). if you decide to be a classic school, you get classic uniforms. nobody is going to really bitch about SC or the nittany lions’ unis, right? but if you want to be modern, then you’re essentially relinquishing control of the design of your program. and you end up with ASU.

    nike has shown with its soccer uniforms that it can, and will, produce good uniforms. the thing is, soccer is so heavily traditional that the swoosh can never stray too far from the past or fans will get pissed. college football, on the other hand, seems to be of two minds. so while nike DOES have a role to play in all this, i blame the schools equally, if not more.

    that is all.

    Well said dgm and completely agree. Though they usually stay classic for the main kit and then do something different for the seconds, i.e. strange colors or designs. The other thing is in most soccer teams the fans have much more say on things like that than in sports here. Good example: look at the backlash when Nike got rid of Arsenal’s white sleeves.

    Paul, How do you slide so far in curling? I curled at the St. Paul Curling club a couple weeks back and couldn’t make it more than 10 feet or so!

    Just a matter of centering your weight and really exploding on the push-off. I bike every day (well, except when it’s raining… or when I’m curling), so my legs are pretty strong — that helps, I’m sure.

    But like anything else, a lot of practice and repetition help. When I first tried it, I didn’t slide far at all. Eventually I got the hang of it.

    sorry, has to be said…
    and he is fast, like really fast, watch him run. pyyyyow.
    …sorry, it’s what i say about myself when i open a pickle jar or a stuck window, and pineapple is sadly impressed by my unpopeye musc-eLs, i do the little kid i am really fast/strong thing. so it is not like i am picking on you, my ass does not bike up the hill of death every day to get my beer(you shouuld see this thing brownbag), i wish i had your determination. besides it is like 9 billion here, and after building the chance Q terrific memorial garden today, i’m heat-stroke spent and already and want a cold one. sad really.

    he’s amazing right?

    i remember the first time we curled (at least i think it was his first) in minnesota just a little over a year ago — poor little guy couldn’t slide 10 feet — now, just a year later and with a bit of ice time and the house of hearts bonspiel behind him, he looks (and shoots) great

    just compare his pushoff to my horrid form — it’s more than just practice — it’s balance and being in shape — he’s blowing by the hogline on every release…im just happy i don’t fall over

    “FEAR THE FORK” is a phrase that’s been floating around at ASU for awhile. Its not a Nike only thing.

    As for the the Nike templating stuff, they templated the presentation for sure, but they didn’t template the uniform designs. Like them or not at least they are working a little personality into the designs. I mean the Pro Combat designs themselves were all about the individual teams. So yes they are templating marketing strategies but they aren’t necessarily templating entire uniform designs.

    I will never understand why some people here get their panties all in a twist about Nike “bashing”. Seems to me that Paul backs up his criticisms with solid arguments (especially in regards to how they turn schools like ASU into a subsidary of Team Nike, and frankly I don’t see how this isn’t completely obvious to everyone). Nike is going to draw a lot of criticism here because of their aggressive approach to design and marketing. But it should be mentioned that I’ve seen plenty of examples of Paul praising them when he thinks they get something right.

    I think the argument re: Team Nike makes some excellent points. But like a lot of people have been saying, I wonder how much of this falls onto the particular school? Here’s what I’m pondering: did Arizona State go to Nike and say “hey, we want to change our logo/uniforms, help us”? Or, did Nike tell the school they had no choice but to change? If it was Option A, I’m sure Nike had several designs they laid out before the school and allowed them to change. Were all these designs “templates”? Perhaps, we have no way of knowing for sure. I get the argument that the marketing is templated, but I’m not sure there would be a way around that. While marketing 100+ teams (not even counting basketball) each in a different way would be great, is it realistic? I don’t know that it is.

    So while Nike can certainly be blamed for giving these schools the option to wear stupid uniforms, I’m sure that there ultimately has to be somebody on the receiving end that agrees to it. To me, that’s the real problem. But then again, if cool new uniforms sell the school to big recruits, I doubt the schools are viewing it as a problem. Neither will the fan if the school wins.

    I do agree that it’s ultimately on the school for either caving or allowing themselves to be pushed around.

    I don’t understand the passionate Nike-defending either. My theory: The Nike defenders are all Yankees fans. Since October 1996.

    Yankees, Nike, either way it’s like going to the airport and rooting for gravity.

    this was awesome for the credit, but one thing to change is, we are from Chandler, AZ, Not california
    , plus those are home-made stirrups

    Story on Yahoo front page shows ASU uniform story, intro… “college team’s cool new logo”. *Sigh*

    my boy movi bared me from having opinions, so let me just say this…
    why no comments about phil’s awesome beard?! wtf? skipper is going to lose it man. he is going to shave that bad boy off instead of get all zz on us! how great would it be if like 6 months from now phil looked like carl marxier the commie canadian left winger from quebec?! my skull would be blown, what a post that would be. phil is eccentricish, he could totally pull it off, topsiders and all.

    killing. me. not. to comment. on. PAD.

    and before skipper says something… i know, barred, yeah yeah yeah, someone spilled a soda-pop on the keyboard(thank you chowderhead von meatsackerface), it’s hard to keep up with the typ-(a)oh-s until i type out the stick.

    Looks like someone is getting started on their Islanders playoff beard a couple seasons early…

    Paul expresses his thoughts and opinions, people get upset, followed by cynical (and funny!) comebacks, blog host bashing, righteous indignation, denials, statements of support … just another dat at UniWatch.

    For the record, I read the blog every day at lunch, and have done so for as long as it has been online. While I don’t agree with Paul on anything (I don’t mind purple, and I LOVE The Nugget’s rainbow uniforms), I appreciate his insight and his tales on all things uni-related – even those that are a bit off the beaten path.

    The people who write in specifically to say they no longer read the blog are the same people who call 900 numbers to indicate their choice is not A or B, but “I haven’t decided” (you paid money to tell an anyonymous site that you haven’t made up your mind? What the … ?)

    To the people who are offended or taken aback by anything Paul says, lighten up. I do cringe at times when he disses purple, but the bottom line is I read, savor, and enjoy this blog more than any wite online.

    Keep up the great work, Paul and Phil – and thanks for your efforts!

    For the record: I don’t hate the Nuggets’ rainbow uniforms (although it would be better if the rainbow didn’t include violet).

    This short entry from the Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller may help put some perspective on what “kids these days” think, especially the athletes.


    Some exerpts:

    “While the all-black combination was popular among their teammates, Robinson and Gerhart both said they favored the black jersey, gold pants combo.”

    “But what about recruiting?

    “If it was about uniforms, I would have gone to Oregon, signed, sealed and delivered,” Robinson said. “They had the best ones at that point in time. It will give us an even playing field in recruiting. Everybody wants to see what’s new. Nobody wants to be characterized as an older tradition.””

    “Everybody wants to see what’s new. Nobody wants to be characterized as an older tradition.”

    Older tradition? Like Auburn? Alabama? Texas? USC? Oklahoma?

    It is discouraging to see these trends in uniforms, and it does raise the issue how long the traditional powers will hold out.

    10-20+ years from now, will the traditional looks of Auburn, Texas, Oklahoma be fading? Decades from now, will everyone look like Oregon? The trends seem to be pointing that direction, unfortunately.

    Trends are trends. Even now, in the midst of The Great Oregonification, we’ve also got quite a few teams deciding to wear throwback uniforms. We’ve got black for black sake… and we’ve got white helmet for white helmet sake. In 20 years, who knows what the trend will be.

    Nah, I don’t think the “traditional” looks will ever fade away. Will they be tweaked? Sure, but Bama isn’t going to all of a sudden start wearing black jerseys with shoulder stripes styled after elephant trunks in a shape eerily reminiscent of a swoosh. I hope. There will always be old-school vs. new-school, I firmly believe that. One kid saying “the uniform gets recruits” is not “everyone”, despite what he might think. Otherwise, nobody would ever attend Texas, USC, Penn State… wait, unless they *gasp* actually like the traditional uniforms. And, you know… the winning.

    I know uniforms change over time, but I do not like the Oregonification as it was called either.

    This 2-3 different helmets and uniform sets is not a good thing.

    If it was about uniforms, I would have gone to Oregon, signed, sealed and delivered


    much as that sentiment should be appreciated on a board called “Uni Watch,” it’s pretty sad that school colors and toy solider unis can have as much, if not more of, an impact upon a recruit … “screw winning and tradition, i wanna play where the kicks are neon and the helmets change on a weekly basis”

    The image that Rob SIlcox provided (link) shows a NikeFIT label a on the shirt. That leads me to believe that it was from a couple years ago (2009-ish) when Nike stopped specifically labeling materials (Dri-FIT, Therma-FIT, Storm-FIT) and used the one as a universal label in an effort to emphasize the entire FIT collection. That effort ended up backfiring and now they are back to using unique labels for each material.

    My point being that this shirt may not be as old as we think.

    From the styleguide
    “The prongs of the pitchfork are symbolic: They represent integrity, winning
    and scholarship.”

    Can’t they just be F*ING prongs? Do they really have to force it.

    Also, the pitchfork logo looks pretty similar to the the maserati logo.

    Since ASU’s shoulder pitchforks match the pitchforks on the logo EXACTLY, I don’t see a “Swoosh” symbol that others are so paranoid about. Hidden agenda? Maybe, but it does match the logo and therefore it isn’t a so-called “logo-creep”. Adidas somehow always gets a free pass (i.e. Cincy’s adidas logo placed inside their logo with 3 claws) yet Nike gets bashed. A co-worker of mine finally checked this site out and called the anti-Nike on here a form of penis-envy. I couldn’t help but laugh at that one.

    >Adidas somehow always gets a free pass…

    Yeah, I never talk about Adidas. Especially over, say, the past five days or so….

    Also, let’s get something straight here: I do not “bash” Nike (or Adidas, or Reebok); indeed, I am not capable of bashing them.

    “Bashing” is what the strong do to the weak, what the powerful do to the disadvantaged, what victimizers do to victims. A niche-market blogger cannot “bash” a giant multinational corporation.

    If you really want to take up a collection plate or start a PR campaign for poor little Nike, be my guest. But trust me, I’m not bashing them. I’m just a gadfly.

    To be fair, Paul, that comment was from somebody that looked at this site for the first time, so it was an unbiased/fresh opinion. So I have to respect what he read and thought. As for me, personally I do think Nike gets abused on here more than the others, but I suppose the top dog should get the most stones thrown at them in a sense. When you are at the top of the mountain of American sports, everyone else has no choice but to look up to you. I still don’t think Nike is abusing their logo in ASU’s new uniform kit, but that’s just me. I never noticed it with the Broncos either. I think if we look into anything too far, we can “see” anything if we want too.

    I don’t think my co-worker was wrong in his comments since this is a blog and personal opinions are welcomed.

    Fun article today. I like the heat that it draws!

    Dude, you’re the one who had the line about Adidas getting a free pass, not your co-worker.

    The penis-envy line sounds very in keeping with Nike’s marketing worldview, where everything is about intimidation, macho, blah-blah-blah. If you (or your co-worker) really see the world in terms of big-dick contests, well, that’s your business, but I think it’s a sad prism thru which to view reality.

    I have to run to Manhattan now, which is probably a relief for everyone (myself included).

    I’ll def own up to the Adidas thing. They def get away with more uni-abuse than anyone else. But I also understand why Nike gets the biggest backlash. Just like every sports team tries to knock out the #1 ranked team. That team constantly has a bullseye on them and rightfully so. That is Nike. Plus, since professional sports and testosterone go hand-in-hand with each other, any marketing team would be foolish not to exploit that.

    Long time uni-obsessed and recent uni-watch reader – first time to comment. I was a big Nike fan for most of my life, but I think what they are doing to college uniforms across the board is disgusting. I understand the presence of the swoosh, but even that has metastasized. The “sweat back” hoops jersey designs were over the top in a very, very bad way. However this ASU redesign takes my disgust to a whole new level (note: I am not an old, crotchety man, an Adidas employee, or an ASU fan or graduate).

    In particular, I thought ASU football had one of the more unique uniform/color/helmet combos in college sports, and now its been turned into what can best be characterized as a fake team design from a videogame or movie that wouldn’t pay to license the real logos. I just don’t know what to say about the scattered design other than the pitchfork (trident?) “brand” is horrible. I mean, they screwed up the PITCHFORK (and there are two types of them – great consistency), something even the women’s gymnastics team used tastefully on their leotards (uniwatch provided a link a few months back). The women’s volleyball uniform was the only one that looked good – because it was uncluttered. Other non-revenue generating sports (baseball and softball) look to be largely spared, and we’ll see if ASU buckles to Beaverton on their iconic baseball cap logo.

    As far as the football unis? The shoulder tines: horrible. Size, design, and orientation of the primary pitchfork on the helmet: beyond odd. Sparky sticker on the back: lame. Nike should just steal elements of reader designs from this site, and they could be way ahead of the competition. Also, does each school really need its own font? At some point, the laggards are going to have to choose between Comic Sans and Wingdings.

    The primary thing that Nike should really be concerned about is the disconnection that their employees seem to have with the realities of playing the sport. The interview with the “senior graphic designer” made me wonder if Nike’s football uniform team have ever played the game, and I’m positively sure that they never played in full pads, in the middle of an Arizona summer. “We don’t think of black as a color, we think of it as a way to induce heat stroke”. Yeah, and the Chevy Nova didn’t do well in Latin America and no one in Detroit could understand why. Doubtless, this toolbox and the rest of the group have plenty of “digital agency experience”.

    I have no problem with Nike trying to sell as much stuff as they can, that’s what running a business is about. However, when in the process they destroy the very things that make college athletics unique, one has to question if they have any real connection with “athletics” anymore. Nike has become a strip-mining operation. Just because you work in the “Jerry Rice” building (or Dan Fouts, Jordan, Mia Hamm, Lance Armstrong, etc.), doesn’t mean you automatically “get it”. It’s not an athletics-driven culture at Nike anymore, it’s pure marketing culture. The pyramid is inverted and unsustainable.

    This horrific display by Nike has convinced me once and for all to look elsewhere for all of my future sporting goods and athletic apparel.

    BTW, ASU plays it’s early season games (when the summer heat is still on-going) in the evening after the sun is going down. The black unis aren’t going to be used for a day game in the heat.

    Seems like a fun day to post this:


    “… I noticed that the swoosh symbol was nothing but a whip in mid-swing.”

    *Disclaimer: I’m a total label whore.

    Glad to see you back in the hack! Your slide looks awesome…not to mention that sweater ;) Hope you get you this way for another spiel sometime…maybe the HOH again?!

    The coolest thing about curling is how they use the icehouse as a giant beer cooler.

    It’s interesting to see that the Arizona State basketball jerseys carry the Swoosh and the flag, yet only one has the conference logo and there is no NCAA mark at all. Also that Nike allowed the softball player to pose with a Wilson glove.

    That picture of the Philadelphia Union player looks like it came from a reserves match. It’s not uncommon to see a player in a reserve match not have a sponsor logo and 99% of the time the players wear replica jerseys with no last name on the back. My assumption for this is that it cuts back on costs.


    THe vented catchers helmet is in the same style as the new rawlings helmets that the MLB adopted a few years back. Catchers still seem to be using the old round style. In my area the Dodgers still use the old style batting helmet well the Angels use the newer style.
    I would buy a $200 jersey if you could guarantee the player still be on the same team in 2 years.
    I just picked me up a sick Roy Hobbs jersey for $145 on ebbets field flannels. Sick!!

    On another note Julio Borbon of the Rangers is wearing real stirrups today. I have never seen him go high cuffed before. He usually wears pajama pants. Don’t have a pic, sorry.

    Love the site. Read it daily. Keep up the good work.

    WOW – What a firestorm of comments about jersey$$ today!
    Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s UW headline!

    Still like the naked girls in $200 jerseys compromise best!

    That looks like a real life version of one of Rob’s pinups. Even the way the woman looks is similar to his drawing style. Amazing.

    Have you guys seen link on their website. They’re totally doing my thing…right down to the empty white background! Closest I’ve ever seen to a real life approximation of link It was actually almost creepy!

    Not to get Paul riled up about something else, but am I the only one to see the irony about a ticker item featuring the “new EPL kits” and their up-front advertising following the rant against Michael Yormark?

    Full disclosure, I own an earlier “Fly Emirates” Arsenal jersey. I can’t say I’m for ads on jerseys, just in the case of the EPL (and now the MLS) it’s just something I accept.

    The bad thing about when I wear the “Fly Emirates” Arsenal jersey is that I always get comments on the word “Emirates” from those who see it as shilling for Dubai. I get no comments when I wear an Arsenal “O2” or “JVC” jersey.

    I’ve got the Highbury edition “O2” jersey, as well as an older “JVC”, but “Fly Emirates” is just too much for me. Always thought a couple of #s on a jersey (O2) looked much more natural than corporate logotype.

    Haven’t been on in awhile so I don’t know if this has been posted. New unis for Arizona State:


    So, let me get this straight… That guy loathes the two classy new shirts (Arsenal & Manchester United), but loves the two cluttered, tacky-looking designs (Chelsea & whatever the other one was)?


    On a strange note, I wonder why Nike’s soccer designs are generally so classy, elegant and understated while their work for most other sports is over-designed, trendy and juvenile (for the most part).

    i think i kind of touched on this in my earlier comment.

    but, to expand a bit, i also think it has to do with the fact that nike does a lot of their soccer stuff out of europe. i remember reading an article in one of the spanish sports dailies that described nike as being a “dutch” company, because their european offices are based in the netherlands. i wouldn’t be surprised if they are doing a lot of their design work for club uniforms in europe, as opposed to in the states.

    yeah, wayne rooney went to oregon to rehab this season, but i think that was an anomaly.

    i could be (read: probably am) totally wrong on this, however.

    Just looked through a preview copy of Titans owner Bud Adams new biography “Tears and Cheers.” It has some nice picks of the early Oilers teams but the most interesting were the pics of Bud as a football player for Kansas in 1942 and at Culver Military Academy in 1939. I cant find a link anywhere online for it though.

    Steve Carlton did a rare TV interview with his old batterymate Tim McCarver after winning a game at Three Rivers in 1980 where he talked about putting cotton in his ears. I’m afraid I don’t have time to look up the date now.

    hey paul, no want to critzize, but.. I’m actually from Valley Christian in Chandler, AZ!

    Paying $200 seems fairly stupid, but it pales in comparison to spending $20 on a “uni-watch membership” card.
    Think about it. A good number of people would propably agree giving $20 to some guy who gripes about sports apparel in exchange for some cheesy little card is pretty stupid.

    I have a Nike t-shirt. It fits. It’s comfortable. I like to wear it around the house. That is all.

    well i don’t know about all this hoo-ha.
    but I DO hope to buy an authentic SF Giants home jersey.

    Specs: Non-CoolBase…home…probly # 28. Dont know about buying one with the WS patch tho.

    Hope this doesn’t make me a bad person.

    You were about to give adidas a free pass yesterday For their three stripes and today your saying that’s a swoosh. Everything that Nike does that remotely looks like a swoosh isn’t automatically a swoosh. Do you realize that on all of Adidas’ soccer unis they have the Adidas logo on the chest, shorts and both socks as well as having the three stripes on both sleeves, both legs of the shorts and both socks. That’s 12 logos on the uniform!

    In the new EPL kit link he mentioned that the new Chelsea uni evokes a design from the eighties. No it doesn’t. It’s the same template that the MLS teams are using for their three stripes and the sublimated horizontal hoops on the shirt are straight off their Tabela template. Adidas is worse than Nike in my opinion. Everyone is templated cog in the machine. At least Nike makes unique designs for teams.

    Goddamn, sometimes I hate my school (ASU). What was wrong with these? link

    I get why schools or teams want to rebrand. If you have a chance to enhance your brand you do it. But I just don’t believe these enhance the brand. I think they actually weaken it. ASU had one of the most original, distinctive, and easily recognizable logos in college sports. Everybody knew Sparky meant ASU. What more do you want out of your logo? This looks like I could find it in clipart for Word. I also tend to think colleges should have a logo using the school’s initials. ASU had a good logo with the stylized, interlocking A/S. The logo is iconic on the baseball hats, but has essentially been eliminated now within the rest of the brand. ASU also had a pretty good alternate logo with the old pitchfork that actually looked like a pitchfork. Seriously, why are the tines the same length as the handle? When you show the logo with the flames it looks more like a torch. Maybe a 3-pronged dart?

    The Sun Devils also have a pretty rare and original color combo. I’m sure there are a few but I can’t think of any team other team or college that uses maroon and yellow (let’s be honest, that’s yellow not gold). The more you take out maroon and add black, the less unique you look and the more you start to blend in with every other team wearing black.

    ASU had 3 good looking logos that made them a well defined and easily recognizable brand. Now, they’ve got one generic one and the Sparky logo which is taking a backseat. They also had a unique color combination which is now being used less in favor of black. I’m just not sure how that enhances the brand. Will it sell a ton of merchandise? Absolutely. But in the process I think it actually makes ASU a weaker brand.

    Little 5 is this weekend, and in the middle of the PDF is what uni each team is wearing


    yellow is the reigning champs, Green is the poll an errybody else gets to pick their unis (I think).

    No photo but, Pat Burrell has been wearing the same mock turtle neck has Jorge Posada. Two different ones actually, one with the Giants logo, and one with San Francisco script.

    Hey Paul, thanks for posting this! We are actually Valley Christian from Chandler, AZ and we beat the Number 1 ranked,scottsdale christian eagles 20-5! Plus those are homemade stirrups!

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