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Tim & Bill’s NFL Uniform Project – Part II – “Tim’s Story”

Tim & Bill Splash 2

By Phil Hecken

I’m back again with Tim Brulia, Uni Watch uniform historian, and his able partner, Bill Schaefer, with Part II of their incredible NFL Uniform Project. If you missed last weekend’s Part I, do yourself a favor and go back and read that before continuing.

When we left off with Part I, we heard “Bill’s Story” of this project. Bill actually had a bit more to lay out that I didn’t include last weekend, so I’d be remiss in not including it here:

I guess what we’re looking for is to set up as a database of our images kinda like FUPP. However, we’re hoping to set it up in such a way that you can both access any team from say a ‘1990’ page of thumbnails (like how FUPP is set up) or, if you preferred, you could click on ‘Dallas Cowboys’ and see their entire history in thumbnail form where you could then choose to go to any year for that particular team.

Once we get past this point, we would love to be able to come up with a way to display the “Weekly Pair-Ups.” Whether this can be achieved by either accessing a seperate team page that displays their schedule for a certain season and each game score serves as the link to the pair-up images of each game or by just having a “2010 NFL Schedule and Results” where the game scores similarly serve as the link to the image. The specifics are kind of negotiable at this point – at least until we get the bulk of the site up and running. As non-computer programming people, Tim & I don’t know which would be harder to set up so we remain open to either approach.

We both agreed that a forum would be useful so that comments, criticisms, and suggestions can be made with Tim & I having power to moderate. If someone comes in with an error they think they’ve found, along with the proof of the alteration needed, we want to be able to see that, correct it, and give credit where it’s due.

I think the bottom line is that we want the site to be user friendly and logical in its structure so that you never have to ‘hunt’ for something. — Bill Schaefer

Thanks, Bill. If there is anyone out there reading this who may have interest in setting up a uniform database as Bill is describing, drop Tim a line. OK? OK!

Now, lets move on to Timmy Brulia’s description of this magical mystery tour:


Hi, I’m Tim Brulia.

A little bit about me and my interest in sports uniforms in general and pro football uniforms in particular.

I am originally from Huntingdon, PA and currently reside in Enola, PA. Aside from sports, I have an interest in music, swimming, and the highways and byways of Pennsylvania.

My love of sports uniforms coincides with my love of sports going back to my childhood. Unlike a lot of you, my father was never much of a sports fan. He’d watch the occasional football game, but otherwise, he had no interest. He did like to hunt and fish, though. He passed on at an early age (48), a victim of colon cancer.

I have been a fan of sports since I was 8 years old. As previously mentioned, I also loved uniforms at roughly the same time. I drew little pictures of uniforms by pencil and then by crayons. Baseball and football gained my interest at first and then basketball, then hockey and later, soccer.

Fast forward to 1990. In a local bookstore, I bumped into the Marc Okkonen epic book. “Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century.” I had seen samples of his work of the White Sox and Pirates prior to the book, but to see a team by team history and then — even better — a year by year synopsis of every team’s uniform blew me away. I was amazed and was thirsting for more.

The 21st century arrived and in 2001, I discovered Andrew Greenstein’s marvelous nhluniforms website. Originally, his site consisted of uniforms only from the 1967-68 season, the first season of the expansion era of the National Hockey League. I made contact with Andrew and was able to supply him with enough information to help him be able to bring the site back in time. At first back to the 1942-43 season (the first season of the “Original Six” era) and then all the way back to the first season of the NHL (1917-18).

About a year later, I came upon the “Football Uniforms Past and Present” (fondly known as FUPP) site, which depicted NFL and AFL uniforms going back to 1959. As with the aforementioned work, I was awed and delighted to see such a site! Of course, the geek in me noticed a few things that needed to be revised. I made contact with the site administrator, Craig Wheeler. He was more than happy to make the adjustments needed and Craig was extremely pleasant to work with. But alas, life got in the way and eventually, the site went dormant.

After a few frustrating years to either see FUPP be resurrected or to see a new site come about, I took it upon myself to try and do something about it. So, I went about researching old newspapers, books, magazines, on-line archives, anything to try and determine what teams wore what and when. About 2006, I finally was able to piece together what uniforms were worn by every team in the major pro football leagues since 1933.

Why 1933? 1933 is basically the B.C./A.D. timeline in pro football history. Prior to 1933, the NFL was very much the gypsy league. Teams came and went with mind-numbing frequency. Franchises moved, scheduled games on the run, occasionally employed ringers, folded in mid-season, and the like. By 1933, though, the NFL decided to shed this fly by night operation and become a true first class operation. 1933 was the first season of a rulebook separate from that of college football, two separate divisions, a true Championship Game between division winners, franchises in major markets (Portsmouth would move to Detroit in 1934) and an eventual attempt at a fair and balanced schedule. While eventually we hope this site will include as many uniforms as possible in the 1920-1932 period, for the reasons mentioned, we feel that 1933 is a good starting point.

Getting back to the story, I was able to have Paul Lukas of the Uni Watch blog website, perhaps the most well read web site dedicated to sports uniform news and discussion, place my research for the 1933-1958 era as a “research project” on his site [see link above — PH]. He promoted the documentation in early February of 2009. This had followed an earlier submission to his site of “White at Home in the NFL”, a project that was greatly enhanced by the diligent work of Kevin Tepley and Kyle Standefer, which details team by team (later season by season) every instance of teams that wore white jerseys for home games in the NFL since 1957. In the 1933-1958 document, I did ask that anyone who was willing to tackle the project to seek me out and I would be more than willing to assist. Good folks did contact me, but for whatever reason, were not able (or have not been able) to see it through. Nonetheless, I thank any and all to those who approached me for their interest.

However, one individual, Bill Schaefer, who first touched base with me in September of 2009, was the one who persevered. He showed me samples of his work. From there, we went into a frenzy of emails, tweaks, and much back and forth discussion on colors, stripes, fonts and the like. By early 2010, we had completed the 1933-1958 era. At Bill’s suggestion, we decided to tackle the rest of the unis; from 1959 through 2003 to complete the FUPP era, and then bringing it on home from 2004 to the present. Some uniforms were tweaked as many as 6 or 7 times from original draft to finished product. We have disagreed often, but when we came to the final product, we both made sure that we were at least on the same page. “Just get it right” has been our mantra. Bill’s dedication to the project and attention to detail are unmatched. His patience with me is appreciated more than I can say. I can’t thank him enough!

In conclusion, I have only supplied Bill and others with the descriptions. It is Bill who deserves full and total credit for bringing the words into illustrations that vividly show what the words look like.



And thank you, Tim.

As you can see, dear readers, Tim & Bill are really onto something incredibly important in the annals of uniform history documentation. And, as I alluded to last week, they’re almost there. Here’s where you fine folks can help — if anyone out there has the knowledge and tools to help them build a website, to the specs Bill & Tim have laid out above, you’d not only be assisting them tremendously, but you’d be advancing the documentation of uniform history a thousand-fold in the process. If you’re interested, please contact Tim directly.



Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Say What?

5-14-11 d-thor-1

And of course, here is the full size.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:


We start with Matt Stern, one of the younger Uni Watch readers, for sure:


I am obsessed with your web site and I decided to make a Jets Nike Pro Combat jersey. I am only 13 years old so it’s not great, but here I go.

Matt S.


Next up is Chris Marhkam, with a *first look* at the new Bills unis:

These are based off the leaked Madden ’12 screenshots.

Home and Away.



And our final tweaker today is Tom Seasoltz, with some Bucs concepts:

Hi Phil,

Love your uni tweaks on the blog, so I decided to try it out for my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates. Home, Away and a Sunday Alternate. Yellow is the predominant color in the ‘burgh (whether it be the sports teams or bridges in the city), so I wanted to emphasize that in the designs. Also, got rid of all red!

Hope this is uni watch blog worthy,

Tom Seasoltz


Thanks everyone. Back with more tomorrow.


Flyers v. Rangers

Parting Shots: Next Winter (not so) Classic Set?

It’s not official yet, but all reports are indicating the the NHL will award the 2012 Winter Classic to the Philadelphia Flyers, who will host the New York Rangers in Citizens Bank Park, in Philly. It will likely be held on January 2, 2012, which is a Monday holiday, since the NFL’s final regular season weekend will be 12/31/11-1/1/12 (assuming we have a season), so the traditional New Years’ Day bowl games will be on Monday, Jan. 2, as well.

If you’ve read the comments for the past two days, you know I’m not happy about this, but I’ll refrain from rehashing all those reasons here. Lets just say that I’m not pleased about the fact that the NHL is, in my opinion anyway, going away from the “Classic” part of the game and strictly using it as a revenue-generating measure. Aside from the fact that the last WC was held in Pennsylvania (granted, Pittsburgh is nowhere near Philly, but it is still the same state) coupled with the fact that the Flyers played in the WC a mere two winters ago, I’m guessing a pattern is beginning to emerge. Be the road team for the WC, and a couple of years later you can host.

Anyway, there are about a dozen other reasons I’m not happy about this matchup in this location (hey, it could very easily rain), but I’m sure with the relatively small number of seats available (if they played this in the Linc, there would be roughly 20,000 more seats) and the fact that this is but a short road trip for many Ranger fans, ticket prices will be quite high, and the secondary market will probably be through the roof. Boon for the NHL. The TV ratings, at least in the Philly and New York markets, coupled with the fact that these are both more professional sports towns (and the NHL game will be up against the normal NYD bowls), this may be the financial windfall the NHL is so desperately seeking. Can’t really argue with the bottom line. I still feel an Original 6 team should be hosting (so far, Boston and Chicago are the only O6 cities to host), and also that there should be no repeat teams (hosting or not) for a few years at least. The NHL obviously does not.

But pretty soon, once this game is official, we’ll need to begin thinking about the unis, which have always been one of the best parts of the game, at least for us Uni Watching folk. Now, the Flyers already went with a fauxback for their WC in Beantown; if you look at their uniform history, they don’t really have much to choose from. I say they should be bold and eschew the Flyer unis and go with a Philadelphia Quakers throwback. How sweet would that be? In fact, when the Flyers were selected to play in the Boston WC, that was one of the uniforms suggested by some websites. This would be the perfect time to make that a reality.

As for the Rangers, they also have a fairly rich & consistent uniform history. While there were a few stinkers in the mid-70s, the Rangers have been remarkably stable throughout their uniform history. They don’t really have a good or classic look to throw back to, since they’ve been wearing the diagonal block “RANGERS” on a blue shirt (which was always blue until 1950, when a white alt was finally added) forever. Still, unlike the Flyers, I wouldn’t think the Rangers would break out a New York Americans uni (especially since they were one-time rivals).

My one hope is that both teams don’t crap out and go with a lame uni for the game, or worse yet, come up with some godawful hybrid of something they’d never worn. I don’t mind a fauxback, as long as it’s fairly representative (for example, the Rangers could go with faux canvas/tan pants). I’m not sure that would be such a great look, but for a one-time deal, it might be cool.


That’s all for today, folks. Once again, huge thanks to Tim and Bill for sharing their efforts with us. Hopefully they will be able to find a full-time home on the Interwebs soon, and their work will become as indispensable to us as Dressed to the Nines (Okkonen), the former FUPP, and NHLuniforms are.


Honestly, for the future WC games, i think they should have just had the penguins travel to all the different WC locations and challenge the other teams. — Ryan Connelly

Comments (93)

    “Benchies” was/where great today.

    Matt, good try; keep at it! What team is next?

    the winter classic will be played at citizens bank park; not pnc… thats in pittsburgh.

    I’m pretty much right there with Phil on the WC, including his thoughts on the unis, except I also see some sense to what the NHL is doing. The WC really seems to be having an effect in kicking NHL interest up an important notch or two, both in the particular regions where it’s held and with larger civic fan communities. Ten years ago here in DC, for example, six months out of the year you could tell whether any given person roots for the Redskins, the Cowboys, or the Steelers (those three seem to make up 90 percent or more of all NFL fans in the DC area), but you’d have been hard pressed to find any signs of hockey fandom at all. Since the first Pens WC, I’ve seen a huge explosion of people wearing Pens gear or displaying Pens insignia on cars or on their houses or whatnot. Not quite to the extent of the Steelers love one sees here, but it’s gone from zero to a lot in just a few years.

    And while the simultaneous explosion in Caps fandom has followed mainly from the rebranding and the success of the team in a market dominated by embarrassing suckage in other sports, the Caps/Pens WC has felt like the third leg of a stool in raising the Caps to the forefront of local sports fan-dom. Lately, I’m not even sure that the Redskins are even DC’s favorite team anymore. Might just be the Caps. The buildup to, and playing of, the WC has played a visible role in that.

    So all that said, I see Philly as a natural next step for the WC, especially after the Pens were in the WC twice, and the Rangers are an excellent choice for an opponent. Now, the WC has got to move west and/or north next year and maybe the year after, too. But I see solid strategic logic in the choice to hit up the Acela corridor right after doing the Pittsburgh/Washington thing. If I’m reading it right, this is a very good choice for hockey in general, and it should be good for the whole NHL. Minneapolis, Columbus, and Detroit will still be there next season, and it seems pretty likely that New York is on tap soon too. So as long as the next WC goes to Detroit, Columbus, Minneapolis, or somewhere in Canada, I think this will have been a very good move.

    It’s pretty simple, actually.

    WC is a USA promotion on a USA network aimed at attracting new USA fans. It will continue to be all about teams and players with high recognition factors in larger markets that will draw the largest possible US audience among those not already considered fans. Existing fans will be there without being courted, so to speak.

    It’s programming based on “sampling,” pure and simple.

    Canada and Canadian teams are irrelevant to the promotion. NBC has no typical outlets in Canada. They don’t care if anyone in Edmonton or Calgary or Montreal or Medicine Hat is watching. They have no use for that audience.

    It isn’t about having the game in as many cites as possible, or about involving as many teams a possible. Not primarily, anyway. It’s about the program. What will attract viewers, and tell them something about the game as it is, and as it was.

    It’s high-profile dog and pony show designed for, and aimed at, US viewers. Those who think it’s more than that just don’t get it.

    I think you’re taking a bit too much of a reductionist approach here. With regard to Canada, sure, agreed, though I think there’s a strategic case for the NHL to do a WC in Canada with a U.S. team as the visitor. But my point is that if the WC is being used as a strategic tool to grow fan interest in the sport, and either it is or the NHL is the luckiest business in the history of business, then the strategy requires that you build through concentrated extension, not widespread jumping around. So you don’t to Pittsburgh one year and Minneapolis the next and Boston the year after and Columbus the year after that. Buffalo and Chicago kind of seeded the concept across the two most important markets for U.S. hockey, the northeast and midwest. Since then, the lineup of Boston/Philly, Pittsburgh/Washington, Phllly/NYC makes a lot of sense in terms of saturating the northeast market. They’ve gotta get back to New York soon. But it seems like the next logical move after Pittsburgh was going to be elsewhere in the northeast, and the Philly market does seem ripe for the Flyers to step up to first-order prominence.

    It’s kind of like reading about Napoleon or the Civil War. Infantry strategy at the time was that you don’t hit the other side with pinpricks everywhere along the line. You concentrated your forces to destroy the enemy in detail at one point, and then moved on to do the same elsewhere. By going Boston-Pittsburgh-Philly, the NHL is doing the equivalent of that in marketing terms. Having done so, it would make sense to move on to a sequence where they play the WC in midwestern/rustbelt sites two of the next three or three of the next four times. Bluejackets at Redwings, say, followed by Blackhawks at Rangers, followed by Blues at Wild, and then a southeastern team at Columbus. That sort of thing. Maybe work the Avalanche in there, with an eye toward a future sequence of having St. Louis and Denver host back-to-back.

    In other words, it’s about a strategy of market extension, not about fairness to the greatest number of fans.

    We’re sort of saying the same thing, Scott. Harmonizing, not singing different songs.

    And I wasn’t excluding the Midwest. NBC and the NHL still have at a minimum the Rangers, Islanders (for the moment), Devils, Wild, Red Wings, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Avalanche and Blues who would could host games in typical US “snow” markets (even if a couple are more risky, weatherwise). That’s a decade before they’d have to consider repeating a US team as the host…if they didn’t want to.

    They can create a lot of buzz in those markets each new year. It’s just a question of how they play it out. But it will, I’d wager, always involve only US teams.

    But they DO have to consider team-name recognition among the great unwashed, though.
    “Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets? There’s Arena Football on New Year’s Day?”

    The WC unquestionably owes its success to the “gimmick” factor, and will for some time. It ain’t like passing around the MLB ASG. As I said, it’s just a question of how NBC and NHL play out the hand (not to mention if NBC continues to buy the rights to NHL hockey, because a NYD game on Versus is next to worthless).

    Couple more thoughts.

    The use of “Classic” in this instance has nothing to do with the teams involved. It’s in reference to classic outdoor hockey and/or the once annually (in the US) outdoor NHL game on NYD. It’s a hype reference to the extravaganza, the experience, not the magnitude of the particular faceoff.

    The reason to keep involving new locations isn’t some noble notion of sharing the experience with fans and teams in different cities. It is to be assured the event always will be a hot ticket with a large and enthusiastic crowd. Keep making it as many first-time experiences as possible. That makes the program a better show.

    Any move to a night game would seem to be based on numbers. One is the TV audience. Evidently they think it may draw more viewers at night. The other is temperature. Night likely assures it will be colder and help minimize any warm weather bugaboo.

    Also, as the Rose Bowl continues to, year after year, lose its luster aa the climax of the college football TV viewing season there’s no reason they couldn’t do just fine going up against it.

    I like those mid-70’s stinkers that the Rangers wore. Pair it with Philly in their Cooperalls.

    i don’t mind that stripe pattern, but never liked it for the rangers. that being said, you propose an interesting uni matchup, especially if someone breaks out the link

    by the way, the pitch you guys played on last saturday looked suh-weet compared to the high school we were on. is that the new permanent pitch? is there a steady site, or does it still rotate?

    I saw your e-mail first, so I gave you a thorough response in that medium.
    For all of the casual fans out there that are itching to know, we do rotate. Five courses (3 flat, 2 hillish).

    One more thing…
    Do people really like the movie Field of Dreams?

    it is overrated, and the plot isn’t exactly thrilling (the novel was better), but it does have a few good lines

    “sentimental hogwash” as old man potter would say

    sometimes ya just want some of that…

    prolly helps if your pop taught you how to have a catch

    yeah, my pop never played catch with me, didn’t teach me a change rather then a curve so i wouldn’t hurt my arm, never instilled what a great game it was, never took me to ballgames, or taught me to keep my ass down on a grounder, so i guess i don’t get it. oh wait, it’s a stupid movie. i can get into the over the top nature of say the natural, it is a bit of a cartoon, and corny, but it’s a real good flick. but field of dreams is just silly. the last scene, where he gets to “have a catch” with the old man, that’s real sweet, it is the way any of us would feel when we can’t so something with a lost loved one again, and it is touching. but the movie? pass. maybe i could appreciate the novel, i would be more apt to accept the fantasy, but that movie rots.

    there is a column for you phil, take the 5 biggest baseball movies and have 5 people argue for their aesthetics. or it could be an ongoing piece, one each week then a vote. or favourite sports trilogies, no repeating sports. baseball is the toughest one to choose because there are a lot of movies. no rules other then it is at it’s core sports as defined by a unique viewer. so if someone wanted to put the untouchables as a baseball movie because cappone smashes a dude’s head with a bat and talks about the finer points of baseball, that would be their prerogative. just a thought as i think about how much FOD is a crap movie. oaky, not my best idea.

    Why can’t they go color on color? the 28-29 kit is a lighter shade of the current royal blue(but not sky blue) and blue/orange are compimentary colors on the color wheel.

    I went to the Winter Classic @ Wrigley and the game was so far away(I was 17 rows up from the 3rd base dugout) that I would have a hard time picking up Red Wings if it wasn’t for the amount of red in their jersey.

    But even as a Ranger fan, when you have this massive scheduling conflict, why have Philly/Rangers? I’d go for Detroit/whomever(Dallas? Columbus? St. Louis?) in Detroit on New Years Day. Save NY/PHI for another year when the NFL doesn’t play that day.

    The Lions are on the road, the NFL late games are a bunch of turkeys(Chiefs/Donkeys, Chargers/Raiders, Seahawks/Cards) so you could go head to head with the NFL @ 4pm and get away with it.

    Sad that the NHL doesn’t include one Canadian team in its “Classic” once again leaving out Montreal or Toronto. Any fan of hockey would agree that the ultimate hockey classic would be between Toronto and Montreal. But what else do you expect from a league that gives the finger to its Canadian teams and fans year after year.

    Excuse my ignorance on the subject, but are there appropriate outdoor stadiums of the requisite size in Montreal and Toronto? I can’t see having this in Olympic Stadium or the Rogers Centre (nee Skydome). Maybe the old Exhibition Stadium (is that still there?)

    You want to have a real Winter Classic? Have it on Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence River. Will never happen, but hey, if you’re going truly old school, outdoor hockey…

    No, there aren’t good places to have the game in Montreal or Toronto. To be honest, Edmonton and Calgary have the best options in Canada (Vancouver’s BC Place also being a dome), but other than the arbitrary distinction of being in Canada and maybe the Oiler dynasty, which is no longer popularly relevant, neither of those can seriously be said to have more tradition, mythos, whatever than Philly or Pittsburgh.

    Once again, the WC is a US show on a US network aimed at US newbie fans. NBC has no use for the Canadian markets.

    Well, they had two of them in 8 years, but hopefully they make it annual, not least to get people off the back of the WC. And, might I add, the original 2003 Montreal/Edmonton game at Commonwealth is still shown every year around WC time on NHL Network and is still neat to watch.

    Why? Are Canadian TV networks having a problem drawing viewers for hockey that we aren’t aware of? Are the ratings slipping and it’s been kept a secret?

    They aren’t going to do it just to do it.

    In Toronto they can have it at the Rogers Centre since it has a retractable roof or they can have it BMO Field where TFC of MLS plays. In Montreal they can have it at Percival Molson Stadium where the Montreal Alouettes play. Each stadium sits around 25,000 people.

    Why does the league need two “Classics” one for the US teams and one for the Canadian team? Have one for the year and that is it. Clearly the NHL treats the NHL as its showpiece and views the Heritage Classic as nothing more than throwing a bone to its Canadian fan base.

    Why not include at least one Canadian team in the classic. Here are two great rivalries in the NHL that would be great to see played outdoors:

    Montreal v. Boston

    Toronto v. Detroit

    (sigh) One more time.

    Two different countries with TV networks in those respective countries broacasting TO those countries, exclusively. And selling advertising therein. Little or no overlap.

    The WC isn’t for existing US NHL fans. They already have them. It’s about mining for new ones, about reaching a far, far wider audience.

    This isn’t about NBC covering the NHL as sports news. It’s an attention-getting device, a circus, if you will. If it weren’t, it would just be a great NYD matchup between NHL powerhourse played indoors, like any other game.

    And it would get a small fraction of the TV audience the WC gets.

    Sure Ricko, I get all that.

    I get how the NHL wants to expand its audience. I get how it wants to cater to the NBC. For almost twenty years now that is all I’ve heard. You know we up here in Canada are just dumb yokels who don’t understand marketing and the big picture.

    Why don’t they have two games on NYD? One for Canadians and one for Americans? Probably because the NHL doesn’t want to take away any attention from its showpiece game.

    I guess all Canadian need to keep on doing is providing 60% of league revenue and just STFU and stop whining.

    The NHL is unique because of its “dual citizneship”, which means much of this kind of discussion will never go away.

    NBC’s in business. They need the WC to make money, or at least to see it as promoting the rest of the NHL broacast schedule. They are entitled to do what’s in their best self interest.

    A Canadian team/location/market reduces the gross numbers of their viewing audience, and I’ll guarantee you they have numbers to back that up.

    They aren’t about to, nor should they be expected to, reduce their ROI (was gonna say “lose their tail”) just to provide a nice game for Canadian fans to watch.

    So all we can do is live with it, and understand the very realistic business positions the networks both sides of the border are going to take.

    Because of that, time spent pointing to what they SHOULD is folly. Sorta like saying MLB SHOULD require stirrups be worn, and that they should show. Ain’t gonna happen; why bother anguishing over it.

    I think ESPN should carry CFL games live reguarly, too, the way they did around 30 years ago. But that ain’t gonna happen, either, not as long as ESPN is a broadcast partner of the NFL.

    I understand the frustration of Canadian fans. I was thrilled when the NHL re-started the Heritage Classic and I see it as being much more than just throwing a bone to Canadian fans. But the league needs to do much more to show Canada respect, such as wising up and relocating a franchise to Winnipeg or Hamilton.

    I also agree with Ricko that the Winter Classic is there to provide a broad media event to hockey that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Yes, it is an event fully aimed at the U.S. audience, but I would urge Canadian fans not to see this as a slap in the face.

    When it comes down to it, it’s a hockey game played outdoors. What could possibly be wrong with that? Can’t we all just get along and celebrate hockey fellas?

    Another inevitable factor on the TV side is the quality of competition with those young stars. If teams like Toronto and Montreal wish to improve their chances of landing a WC, they must become elite teams again. The Leafs have one Cup since 1967, and the Habs one since 1988. Currently, it’s a struggle to think of the faces of those franchises. The old guard original six have really struggled in terms of stars and Cup success since Montreal ended the Flyers back to back run in the mid 70s. Only something like 13 Cups, and nearly all of those were captured by Montreal and Detroit.

    Tradition will always be important, but it isn’t the end all, especially when TV is involved. Having TV sports scheduling experience myself, I can assure everyone the competition to schedule the best games can be just as intense as the competition on the field(or ice).

    Good news for our friends north of the border, it looks like the Thrashers may relocate to Winnipeg.

    Well if quality of competition is the test Detroit should be in with its 4 Cups in the past twenty years. If tradition isn’t the end all then why call it a “Classic”?

    Said it up higher. They’re using Classic in reference to the annual outdoor game on NYD, or to the old school oond hockey of it, not that it’s a humdinger of a match up.

    It’s a TV classic, not a hockey classic.

    Know what I mean?

    Kinda like all those softball tournaments that call themselves a “classic.” Sometimes it just means it’s early in season. Or late.

    “If tradition isn’t the end all then why call it a “Classic”?”


    thank you AP

    at least SOMEONE sees where im going with this and why im so pissed

    if i visit england, i don’t know shit about soccer, but i do know of Man U — you can bet your sweet ass they’d be the first team i’d want to see — it’s like when MLB went to japan — cubs, yankees, mets (and of course, the devil rays, because they’re so classic) all played — why? because the japanese may not know shit about us baseball (well, they do now, with ichiro, et. al.) but the casual fan might not know about — but they know the TEAMS and the HISTORY

    that’s why, in my mind, you START with the O6 teams in their cities (have anyone you want for an opponent — second six would be good) THEN you move on to other teams

    but, and i was just having this argument with someone over breakfast, the NHL doesn’t really give a shit (at least to me) about their own history — they ONLY want to appeal to the younger generation, by marketing their stars (not teams), because THAT is their target audience — the ones who will buy the products being sold on NBC — not to the larger american audience as a whole whose purchasing power is significantly lower

    i understand it from a business end, rick — please don’t argue that with me … im just saying that ON PRINCIPLE, the NHL is spitting it the face of tradition; and that’s fine, just don’t call it the winter “CLASSIC” then, because it’s not

    Understand your objection to “Classic”, but the word does have different applications in sports. Sometimes it just means it’s unusual or unique, such as the first or last tournament of the season. Shoot, in softball I’ve played in the Mosquito Classic, Fireman’s Classic, Indoor Classic, Fall Classic (I could go on).

    In the case of the WC, it just means the outdoor game on NYD (especially since they called it that from Day One).

    I don’t remember the NHL ever presenting it has having any meaning other than that kind of thing. When did they claim it would be a collision between two excellent teams? All they’ve every prooffered was that it would be…intriguing.

    An NHL game outdoors? That’s classic. Classic hockey, that is, not necessarily classic NHL hockey.

    Why does no one object to Heritage Classic?

    “the NHL doesn’t really give a shit (at least to me) about their own history” BINGO!

    “If teams like Toronto and Montreal wish to improve their chances of landing a WC…”

    Speaking figuratively, I’d wager those teams aren’t even in the room when the NHL discusses the WC. I think they’re smart enough to know what the WC is about, and it isn’t their party.

    A question (because I can’t remember) how many US-based teams have played in the Heritage Classic?

    I agree with everything you are saying, Ricko.

    You view the scenario based how things ACTUALLY work. You are arguing with people who view the scenario based how they THINK it should work.

    Unfortunately, you are arguing with a group of people that have a very idealistic viewpoints on sports in general. Just the nature of the site

    Sure I like a good idealistic viewpoint. Imagine that!

    Let’s put it this way; If the Montreal Expos were still in existence and MLB decided to air a “Baseball Classic” on Labour Day versus the Toronto Blue Jays– with no other games scheduled by the way — and aired it in on FOX I’m sure hardcore American baseball fans would show some of that “indignant insecurity” that we Canadians are full of.

    Here’s an idea:

    Since Las Vegas can do anything how about an outdoor classic (I’m sure they’d make that work in the desert just like everything else) on NYD featuring the Phoenix Coyotes and the Atlanta Thrashers sporting their fauxbacks. How about that for growing the game!

    More pesky reality. They don’t play the WC outdoors just to be odd, to see if they actually can make ice outdoors. The WC exists owing to hockey’s history of being created and played on frozen ponds and rivers, and the idea of telling that story.

    How would playing in the desert address those origins? In that respect, it isn’t even good idealism, because it fails so miserably in accomplishing one of the obvious goals.

    I see the goalposts are moving Ricko. Fine. By that logic, have the game on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa — I guarantee you the ice will be ready and the game will be be entirely keeping with the frozen pond imagery.

    Speaking of telling “that story”, I don’t recall a single game of hockey being played in baseball stadiums in the days of yore. Why, I was at the Hockey Hall of Fame last year and not a single mention of hockey being played in baseball or football stadiums. Funny that no?

    Quakers vs. Americans! Wouldn’t those gawdy NY American jerseys look awesome out there?

    I never knew of the hockey uniform site before the two mentions today. Clicking the links and seeing the Flyers sweaters, I was surprised I couldn’t find the famous black NOB patches on the white sweaters – famous because I hate them and after getting rid of them some years ago, the Flyers brought them back to some mention on this site. Well, it’s always good to have room for improvement, eh?

    It’s my opinion that anyone with even a whit’s interest in uniforms use nhluniforms and dressed to the nines as a starter’s tool. Not just for the history lesson, but for a uniform primer and to see the evolution how every team arrived with the look they have today.

    You will learn about hockey and baseball history very quickly.

    That’s because as I understand it, they didn’t exist until the current set. The reason behind the white contrast ones is that for somewhat rare national broadcasts back in the day, they would have to add NOBs to the orange jerseys, which didn’t ordinarily have them, while the white ones did. So they used the white nameplates on the orange jerseys for those games then took them back off. When the NHL required NOB for all jerseys, the orange jerseys got their own nameplates with an orange background.

    The current whites really piss me off for that reason. They decided to make a uniform that matched the format exactly rather than making a uniform that matched the history.

    I’m fine with the oranges. While that’s never how they would have looked full time, it is a historically legitimate look. The whites simply are not, and confuse the story as to why the oranges have the contrast plates in the first place.

    One thing related to NHL uniforms that I found to be pretty neat is in NHL11 when you play using some teams throwback jerseys it also includes a CCM symbol on the bottom and removes the reebok symbol. I know its kind of random and probably mentioned on here before but I was pretty pumped when I noticed this small but awesome detail the other day.

    Just for the sake of discussion, how about this:

    Dallas vs Minnesota at Cowboys Stadium with the roof open.

    100,000 people (Yeah, I know about the Super Bowl seating fiasco, but I assure you, Jerry Jones won’t let that happen again. He will be missing out on some cash.)


    Tampa Bay vs Florida at Tropicana Field – The Bolts have played there before and drew well in St. Pete.

    I know this won’t be considered at all, but it is fun to discuss the possibilities.

    BTW…Great Benchies today.

    Stars vs Wild at TCF Stadium would be a much better draw and easier to manage the ice.

    If KC really wants the NHL back, how about a “neutral site” Devils game at Arrowhead?

    Being originally from Cincinnati, I kind or bristle at the whole KC Scouts-Colo Rockies-NJ Devils evolution.

    The NHL passed over Cincinnati for KC in 1974 for an expansion team, only to have that team bolt KC for Denver and again to leave Denver for NJ and a few Stanley Cups.

    Cincinnati bought into the WHA, only to be shut out again in 1979 for the WHA-NHL merger.

    We are being remiss in not noting the consummate effort and excellence of Tim and Bill’s work.

    Probably, it seems to me, because it’s the off-season (more “off” this year than ever). And because news of the WC is…news.

    Come August or September, assuming there’s NFL football, you ought to reprise both servings of Tim & Bill’s Excellent Entree, Phil. They’re too exquisite not to be savoured and appreciated by as many UWers as possible.

    For Civil Rights Weekend, Braves and Phillies wearing Negro League throwbacks today. Both teams look great. Paul’s gonna go nuts for the ‘rups the Braves are wearing.

    Killer is heading for home.


    “…(the Twins) want to wear the 1961 throwback jerseys for every home game the rest of the season in Killebrew’s honor.”

    I mentioned last night that next to the Twins painted “TC” on deck area at Target Feild someone had drawn, quite possibly with the business end of a bat, a same size circle in the dirt with a big “3” inside it.

    Quite touching, honestly, much moreso than the endless pre-packaging of things in MLB these days.

    I’ve not yet heard anything about who did it.

    Matt Stern – keep working buddy!

    What were some of your ideas for the Jets, you obviously wanted a black jersey, but why so many different shades of green? Tell us what you were thinkin’

    Can pretty much guarantee you it will be long, long while before anyone sees either of those teams wearing North Stars unis.

    Hereabouts, Norm Green is viewed as a carpetbagging owner who moved his team out of town rather than deal with a sexual harassment allegation by a staffer. And that’s fine, because it’s true. That’s EXACTLY why he headed south. The rest of the circumstances just gave him a convenient beard.

    The Dallas Stars and the NHL know the truth all too well, and the Stars aren’t about to wear something that would bring up those memories, and get the story retold.

    The Wild, meanwhile, have fiercely avoided any suggestion that the North Stars’ history is their history, a different organization altogether. Likely for the same general reason.

    The Wild PA announcer’s, “Let’s play…HOCKEY” is one of the few things they carried over.

    i have NO problem whatsoever with the wild playing in the next WC, but there is no need to bring the stars to town — first of all, the north stars have about as much NHL history as the islanders, flyers, penguins or blues…which is to say, roughly 40+ (give or take) years

    im not so sure the north stars (or i guess they were the stars by that point) left on such wonderful terms they’d be such a great opponent anyway, and would they even wear (or be allowed to wear) north star throwbacks?

    nay, if the consensus is we don’t need to stinkin’ game in canada, how about bring one of the canadian teams in (maybe the phoenix manitoba coyotes in???) or of course, the leafs or habs…or the sens or the flames or the oilers or…

    but i digress

    definitely bring outdoor puck to minnie, and definitely give a game to teh wild (my ONE exception to the O6 request)…

    but don’t invite the texas team

    I just thought it’d be an interesting matchup, Dallas dressed as the NStars, obvi, vs Minni. All the Wild fans would love to kill the NStars as redemption and revenge for leaving.
    But I think the ‘Heritage Classic’ is the NHL’s reaction to the realization that the ‘Winter Classic’ is really the ‘American Classic’ since it’s NBC and they only really are looking for American markets. I think having both every year would be a great idea.

    The Winter Classic would reward two great American teams (that preferably both have history (’09), have a great rivalry (’11) or have great teams (’12)) with the NYD game and the ‘Heratage Classic’ should always:

    A. Have at least one current team from Canada
    B. Should ALWAYS take place in Canada
    C. Should try to bring back old Canadian teams
    D. travel to places that used to have teams or are somehow significant to Hockey history.

    The Cowboys pants in 1975 were bluer than that. They got bluer still in 1978 and beyond. From 1970 to 1973, they were basically slate gray. In other words, you can’t use the same shade of blue for the Cowboys’ pants throughout the 1970s.

    nice catch — you see, this is why they need a home! so uni nerds like us can catch and correct these slight miscues

    At the risk of sounding even nerdier, the backs of the Cowboys’ pants were always darker/bluer than the fronts. That’s because they used two different materials that they couldn’t quite color match.

    The Redskins in the 1940’s are another example of that (darker gold back half, lighter gold front half)

    When we get up and running, you will be able to look throughout the team’s history and see the gradual changes. If you compare the image Phil attached (1975) to our 1973, and subsequently to our 1978, you would see the difference in the shades. When color images/photos in normal lighting were available, the colors we used were taken directly from the ‘average’ shade displayed in them.

    Also, a note to anyone in the NHL who is reading this: if you choose to use Quakers stuff, I, as a neutral fan, WILL buy at least a hat and a tee shirt. If I have a steady income then, which is highly probable, I will buy a jersey. Perhaps even an authentic. I have been wanting quakers gear for some time now. Please make it happen.

    I enjoy the Winter Classic. Think it’s an overall positive for the league. That said, it’s sad to say I just can’t even motivate myself to get excited about the annual selection of teams and location. Bottom line: as a Devils fan, I see no chance that my team will ever be selected to play in it. With Bettman at the helm, still pursuing the flawed marketing strategy of mirroring the NBA, there are bound to only be a “favored few” teams and markets chosen to play on the big stage. One of the two most successful franchises in the sport for 15+ years (this past strange season, notwithstanding)? We’ll pass. Let’s just have the Red Wings, Pens, Caps, Flyers, Hawks or Rangers on one more time.

    Maybe Ilya Kovalchuk becomes a 50+ goal scorer again, and we’ll have a chance. Naaaah.

    There you go, that’s the real point. Just enjoy it.

    The Winter Classic is a uniquely staged and presented regular season game. Not the frickin’ Stanley Cup. It’s supposed to be fun because of the setting, conditions and atmosphere, and because of the game’s history (it was not, btw, invented indoors, and maybe we can use a reminder of that once in a while). Other than that, the whole show is about an inch deep. And it needs be no deeper, frankly.

    Me, I like the noon (CST) start. Love the entertaining change-of-pace way to start New Year’s Day’s sports viewing. Does it have to be more than that? Must it have some greater, more significant, cosmic purpose to be worthwhile?

    If so, why? Seriously, why?

    Ricko, I’m with you generally. However, the Winter Classic is just the most prominent expression of the overall NHL strategy to follow the NBA’s marketing model. Bottom line is that I can’t expect to see the Devils on NBC during the season, either. The six teams I named above (with some occasional interlopers) are essentially in a constant rotation on national broadcast TV, whether it be the Winter Classic or at other times during the year. The message seems to be that winning and team play are not as important as “star power.” I suppose there’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach, so long as it’s still possible to get Carolina-Edmonton and Tampa Bay-Calgary in the Stanley Cup Final. Those sorts of pairings never happen in the NBA and, frankly, aren’t going to start happening any time soon. Since David Stern took over as commissioner, there has been exactly one NBA Finals where neither team was from a Top 10 TV market (Cleveland-San Antonio a few years back, which was a ratings disaster and cause for much gnashing of teeth.) I could get on my soapbox about fanciful conspiracies, but I think the more logical explanation for such a phenomenon is that the NBA has long been about promoting individuals and the marketing has, frankly, subsumed the game. I cannot be convinced otherwise, until we see a Charlotte-Utah Finals.

    Not really any uni-related fuel to that rant. Just think others here might “feel me” on the larger point.

    Nice to read more about TimmyB. With your interests Timmy you did not mention railroads or trains. Enola was a big part of the Pennsy and later Conrail railroads.

    Thanks much to Tim and Bill for the work.

    What makes this site great is the contributions by fellow uni lovers.

    Thanks, Larry.

    Yes, the Enola rail yards, while not close to its peak, is still quite active. Norfolk Southern runs the yards now. The yards run alongside US 11-15 for about 2 miles. Enola owes its exisitence to the Pennsylvania R.R.

    I guess the yards are one of those things that appeals so much to out-of-towners, but those of us close by just take for granted.

    I was very interested in trains at the time of Conrail takeover. I live by an old Erie Lackawanna line. Trains and the color schemes and the logos were kind of like uniform interests. There are numbers too on the engines.

    But these days with all the mergers not much to enjoy.

    I understand how somebody close would take it for granted.

    We forgot the rather brief era of when the Penn Central R.R. ruled the Enola yards. As you know, LarryB, the PCRR was formed by the merger of the Pennsy and the New York Central R.R.

    Miss those cabooses…

    Since I happened to be in the area today for a family event, I stopped by Hockeytown Authentics to take a look around, and I got to compare first-hand the differences between the inaugural and revised Edge jerseys, thanks to their having a few Kris Draper gamers available. (And no, I didn’t have $500 to spare to get one, though if I’d had, say, five figures in my bank account, I might’ve gotten two.)

    Anyway, the ’07-’08 inaugural edition, with its shiny, silky, “high-tech” fabrics, just doesn’t really feel like a hockey jersey. Comparatively, the ’08-’09 and ’09-’10 editions, aside from the underarm stretchy sections, were largely similar to the pre-Edge airknits. I definitely like that version better.

    Of course, the Premier jerseys still suck eggs in comparison. That material feels totally wrong to the touch, and that dumbass jock tag doesn’t belong on there. If they did these in the same air-knit material as the old CCM 550 Semi-Pro jerseys, they’d be way, way much better. (And, of course, they’d all be vastly improved by returning to a straight-across hemline, instead of this stupid dress-shirt cut… but I digress.)

    Just thought I’d share that experience.

    Rob, there is ONE reason the Premier jerseys are what they are. The “jock tag” might as well be a scarlet letter that announces, “I’m too cheap to buy the authentic jersey.” As someone who RARELY buys authentic jerseys, but frequently buys replicas, the beauty of the old CCM jerseys was that, unless you lifted up someone’s sweater to see the fight strap in the back, there was essentially no clear visual difference between replica and authentic. No money for RBK in the expensive jerseys being essentially indistinguishable to the naked eye. It’s BS, but I guess that’s business…

    Twins’ Micheal Cuddyer just made a catch that should make most everyone’s highlight package today.

    I mention it only because he accomplished it wearing an Elmer Fudd cap.

    Yeah, it’s that cold here today. Those two days near 90 mid-week constituted our summer this year, evidently.

    Not sure if Tim reads this, but..

    I live a township over from you (Hampden) and thought the work posted last week was genius. I wish I had the skills to be able to get you on the web–I feel you work absolutely has value and should be a part of the public domain. However I’ve got zero web expertise. I sincerely hope through Paul’s site someone acknowledges your work and is able to assist. Frankly I wish the NFL would take some interest–it is in large part their legacy.

    Best regards,

    Mike Wissman

    “…so the traditional New Years’ Day bowl games will be on Monday, Jan. 2, as well.”

    Like the traditional Ticket City Bowl…

    “Aside from sports, I have an interest in music, swimming, and the highways and byways of Pennsylvania.”

    Ever travel Route 40? One of my favorites. One time I’d love to travel Route 6 as well.

    Great work, Timmy B! You and Bill are doing a bang-up job.

    Yes, I have done Route 40 from Keysers Ridge, MD to a little west of Washington, PA. The National Road. Very nice drive.

    As for Route 6 thru PA, I utterly recommend it. We were just in Wellsboro a few weeks ago. I could live there.

    After this past week of comments, I feel someone ought to take link change the horse to link and give the guy a hockey stick. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but the Bronco helmet mystery and Winter Classic have really been the dominant discussions.

    So Ricko, have you seen “Thor” yet? I’m assuming he beats the bad guys…after all, no one likes a Thor loser…

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