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Uni Watch Profiles: Todd Hewitt

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As many of you know, the Rams fired longtime equipment manager Todd Hewitt back in January. Today we have an extensive interview with him, but it wasn’t conducted by me. It was done by football historian Robert Harvell, whose photo archives have been featured here on the site many times.

Robert interviewed Todd last month, and the resulting transcript was recently posted over on Helmet Hut. But Robert and Helmet Hut honcho Curtis Worrell both felt that the interview deserved to be published here at Uni Watch as well. After reading it, I wholeheartedly agreed.

As you’ll see, the interview has nothing to do with Todd’s firing. That’s another topic for another day. This is all about the work he did with the Rams, the team’s uniform history, and so on. It’s really good stuff — enjoy.

Robert Harvell: Todd, when did you start working for the Rams?

Todd Hewitt: Well, my dad was hired by the Rams in 1967. I was 11 years old at the time and helped out in the locker room and was a ball boy. In 1978, I was officially hired by the Rams as Assistant Equipment Manager and continued to work with my dad until his retirement in 1984. In 1985, I took over as Rams Equipment Manager, although my dad remained with the team as Equipment Manager Emeritus through 1994, the Rams’ final year in Los Angeles. In 1995, the Rams relocated to St. Louis. My dad joined us there for one final year. So all told, I was with the Rams for 44 years and have worked under 14 different Rams head coaches! Funny, I still remember when the Packers came to town in 1967, my first year with the team. I walked down the Coliseum tunnel flanked by Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr!

RH: How many hours per week would you put in once camp began?

TH: Let’s put it this way: Once camp started I definitely spent more time at work than at home. In at 5am, leave at 7pm, seven days a week. The only day I’d take off during the season is the Sunday of the bye week. The players’ day off was a treat, because I’d “only” work from 5am to 4:30pm. But I made up for that on game day, especially when we returned from road games, often working very late. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend the night at work after road games. During the off-season I typically worked five days a week, from 6am to 4:30pm.

RH: Like most teams, the Rams have changed their uniform color schemes over the years. Do you have a favorite?

TH: Honestly, I like them all. For sentimental reasons, I really like the blue and white. But I would have to say that my favorite color scheme was what we wore from 1973-1999, the blue and yellow, what we wore when we won the Super Bowl. In fact, when we wore those colors again for a throwback game, I realized just how much I missed them, they were just so vibrant. I really like the current uniforms as well, but they are so much darker than what we wore before. When we changed our color scheme in 2000, we actually considered many different possibilities, 15 to 20 combinations or so.

Mrs. Frontiere’s [team owner Georgia Frontiere] favorite color was powder blue, think UCLA, a color she used to wear all of the time. She thought the Rams would look great in this color and wanted to see some examples. So we made up some powder blue helmets with gold horns and gold helmets with powder blue horns, which she loved. But being someone who was very much into astrology, Mrs. Frontiere agreed to the current color scheme because, actually, she liked the names of the colors we used: new century gold and millennium blue. She thought it made cosmic sense if you will, given the year was 2000.

Speaking of Mrs. Frontiere, not many know this because she was very private about it, but she was an extremely generous woman who often helped out many ex-Rams players in their hour of need. She was a wonderful owner and a wonderful person to work for.

RH: Speaking of the Rams’ color schemes, why did the Rams change from blue and yellow to blue and white in 1964, which they wore for nine years, until 1972?

TH: Kind of a funny story. Before the change, the Rams often wore yellow home jerseys, which, as it turned out, didn’t look particularly good on black-and-white TV — a consideration that became increasingly important at the time. So the Rams experimented with different shades of yellow until they found one that actually showed up well on TV. The problem was the shade of the yellow that worked well for TV was called “buttercup yellow.” When Mr. Reeves [Dan Reeves, Rams owner from 1941-1971] found out about that, he said that there was no way his team would ever wear a color called “buttercup yellow.”

Also, the yellow horns on the Rams’ helmet at the time didn’t show up very well on TV either. So Mr. Reeves decided to remove yellow from the uniforms altogether, opting for a simple blue and white, which as it turned out looked great on black and white TV.

RH: Sticking with the Rams’ blue-and-white uniform era, I always wondered why the Rams rarely wore their navy jerseys when playing at home during that time, much like the Dallas Cowboys do today. Did the Rams do this because the white jerseys offered relief when playing under the hot California sun?

TH: Another interesting story. Actually, there were years during the blue-and-white era when the Rams never wore their navy jerseys at all, not during the preseason or the regular season. It had nothing to do with the sun. In fact a lot of those home games we played were quite cool, especially since we played a lot of night games at home. Wearing white jerseys at home was the brainchild of Mr. Reeves, an extremely smart owner and businessman with a talent for promotion. He felt that if the Rams wore their white jerseys at home it would make for a better gameday experience for the fans by giving them a chance to see the colorful jerseys of visiting teams, which most Rams fans would not otherwise get a chance to see. So rather than Rams fans seeing the same thing each and every week, which would be the Rams always in navy and the visiting teams always in white, Rams fans instead got to see different colors each week. And Rams fans loved it — it was a smart decision by Mr. Reeves.

RH: Why did the Rams change back to blue and yellow uniforms in 1973, after wearing blue and white uniforms for nine years?

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TH: This was Mr. Rosenbloom’s [Caroll Rosenbloom, Rams owner 1972-1979] idea, something he decided to do when he took over as the Rams’ owner in 1972. He felt the blue-and-white uniforms were somewhat bland and wanted a uniform look that better reflected the glitz of Hollywood. Horns were added to the jerseys, at the shoulder area, and we went to white shoes and blue shoes. The new jersey numbers were also pretty snazzy — they had a white trim. But we quickly discovered that the white trim made the numbers very tough to differentiate on TV, so they were scrapped after the 1973 preseason.

RH: So many teams have gone through different helmet designs over the years — not only color but logos as well. Have the Rams ever considered doing away with their helmet horns in favor of another logo?

TH: Never. Not once. The Rams have always been very proud of the horns on their helmet and fully understand how iconic they are and what they represent in terms of NFL history. The Rams’ helmet horns were so important to the Rams that, unlike many other teams, the Rams have always ensured that they were always applied to the helmets even for scrimmages, mini-camps, camps, and practices. You won’t see a Rams player wearing a Rams helmet without horns!

RH: Those horn decals must be a pain to apply. How often are they applied during the course of a year, and how many equipment staffers are involved in applying them?

TH: I imagine they would be a challenge to apply for someone new to it, but I can pretty much do it in my sleep. We actually got to the point of using three different types of horn decals in recent years, because of the different shapes and ventilation holes found on the new helmets. Applying decals to some of these newer helmets is, even for me, a bit of a challenge!

We’d go through about 800 sets of decals per year. Lots of pulling off and applying new ones goes on each year. Although I had a small staff — two full-time assistants and one intern — I’m the only one who’d apply the horn decals. And when my dad was Equipment Manager, he and I were the only ones that applied the decals. So for the last 38 years, from the time the Rams switched from painted horns to decals, only a Hewitt has applied the horns, something I kind of take pride in.

RH: Up until the mid-1970s or so, the Rams were a team that pretty much wore only Riddell helmets and Schutt facemasks. Many other teams of the era wore Riddell helmets as well as helmets made by other manufacturers, and they used facemasks made by other companies as well, such as Dungard. Why didn’t the Rams typically use helmets and facemasks made by other manufacturers?

TH: My dad knew John Riddell, inventor and owner of Riddell helmets, and was always very happy with the helmets he made and the service Riddell provided. He was always very happy with Schutt facemasks as well and the service they provided, plus Schutt was nearby and we could get things from them quickly if needed. My dad was a very loyal person, and when he was taken care of by a supplier like he was by Riddell and Schutt, when a supplier was loyal, my dad always returned the loyalty, always, even when the competition would inevitably try to undercut on prices. That’s just the type of guy my dad was.

In fact, there was a gentleman that did the lettering for our jerseys for many, many years, who always went out of his way to help my dad and the Rams. Bigger, more modern companies would come in and offer slightly lower prices for the lettering, but my dad wouldn’t be swayed, he stuck with our lettering guy.

I’ll never forget when we drafted Dennis Harrah in the first round of 1975. Dennis wore a helmet made by Bike in college, not a Riddell. When he reported to the Rams, he didn’t want a Riddell, couldn’t be talked into one, he wanted a Bike. My dad fretted to no end thinking that he would be letting Riddell down, that he would be disloyal if he purchased a Bike helmet for Dennis. But of course we did get Dennis a Bike helmet. I mean there was no way we were going to put the team in a position where a player got a head injury and it was later discovered that we gave him a helmet he didn’t want, no way. But until Dennis came to the Rams it never really came up, everyone was happy with Riddell. But after Dennis got his Bike, other players wanted one too, especially kids coming out of college where Bike helmets had become very popular.

RH: Did traded players usually want to take/bring their helmets with them to their new teams? How about college players, did they often bring their helmets with them, wanting to continue wearing them in the pros?

TH: Traded vets would sometimes want to take their gear with them to their new team, but more often than not teams could fit them identically as before, so there was usually no need. College players usually don’t bring their equipment with them. In fact, college kids often end up wearing equipment when they reach the pros that they didn’t wear in college. For example, when Sam Bradford arrived, I fitted him with a full girdle pad. Sam said he didn’t want to wear one, that he never wore one in college. I told him that he wasn’t going to be facing Baylor at the pro level! In his first preseason game he was quickly sacked three times or so. He was happy that I fitted him with a full girdle pad.

RH: How many helmets does a player usually go through each season? How many helmets are issued to each player each season, are they issued a backup and a practice helmet?

TH: Players are issued one helmet each year and, except for rare occasions, use it for the entire season. A supply of helmets is kept on hand, in stock, in case a player’s helmet needs to be replaced during the course of the year. Game helmets are the same ones used in practice. During Coach Robinson’s time with the Rams, we used to use two helmet shells for each lineman, one for games and one for practice, because the horn decals on the linemen’s helmets would always get so damaged during practice. In this case, we would simply pull the padding from their game helmet shells and put it into their practice helmet shells, back and forth, throughout the year.

RH: Are players allowed to keep their helmets or uniforms when traded, cut or when they retire?

TH: Always a case-by-case situation. If you have a vet — say Marshall Faulk — then of course the Rams would probably give him whatever he wanted. But if it’s a guy that hasn’t been here long, or a guy that didn’t make the team, then he would most likely have to pay for anything he was interested in taking with him.

RH: How involved, if ever, were coaches, management or ownership in the team’s appearance, what they wore on game day?

TH: As mentioned earlier, Mrs. Frontiere, Mr. Reeves, and Mr. Rosenbloom all offered input. As far as coaches are concerned, one year Coach Malavasi decided that he wanted to wear white jerseys at home — he felt it made the Rams look bigger. But we ended up winning only one or two home games that year, I believe, so that was scratched! Coach Vermeil was concerned about winning games, not about what we wore on game day. Coach Robinson had a thing about comfortable pants, wanted to make sure that we purchased and used the most comfortable pants available. Coach Martz decided to go with the white pants one year (he didn’t like the blue pants), and we got a bunch of calls from fans who loved the white pants, loved the look, wanted us to keep wearing them. They reminded fans of the blue-and-white days, but John Shaw couldn’t stand them. Coach Spagnuolo wanted to make all of the uniform decisions but eventually handed the job off to Steven Jackson and Oshiomogho Otogwe, the team captains.

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RH: What sort of budget were you responsible for as the Rams Equipment Manager?

TH: About half a million dollars per year, which is about $10,000 per player. That includes helmets, pads, uniforms, tape, gum, everything. I took our budget very seriously and in my entire time with the Rams, I never once came in over budget — not an easy thing to do! Helmets, depending on the manufacturer and facemask used, run anywhere from $200 to $500. The new Xenith helmet alone is $450. Shoulder pads can run $350 to $450. Football equipment is expensive!

RH: What would you say was the most important aspect of your job?

TH: First and foremost, player safety. Making sure players are fitted properly with the best equipment available. I always told the young kids that come in that they’re not going to make any money in this league sitting on the bench nursing an injury, that they need to be on the field playing, getting seen and noticed by the coaches. And that it was my job, to help them stay out on the field, not on the bench, and to protect them the best I could by fitting them with the right equipment.

Another important aspect of my job was earning the players’ trust, letting them know that the locker room is their sanctuary and what is said there doesn’t leave, isn’t leaked. It’s important to the players’ morale to know that they have a safe haven and can trust those around them.

And of course there’s also doing what the coaches ask, helping the best I can to make their jobs easier by doing my job well.

RH: Not that you got much of it, but what did you do with your free time?

TH: Spent it all with my wife and kids. I coach my boy’s baseball team. Obviously, my wife is a saint, having put up with the long hours I spent at work. She has pretty much raised our children herself; I missed the birth of one of my sons during an away game. Fortunately, I was able to spend time with my sons, who were able to come to work with me and help out in the locker room, it’s great. My daughter was actually allowed to be the water girl for a few years, which was great and a lot of fun, but that ended a couple of years ago.

RH: What was your favorite part of your job?

TH: The players. And the fact that no two days are the same, always something different going on, always a new challenge, not being chained to a desk. Locker room chemistry, it can be incredible. The Greatest Show on Turf years were awesome in the locker room and on the practice field. Everyone wanted to be there, everyone couldn’t wait to go to work. Practices were awesome, so fast, there were many days when the ball never hit the ground, just unbelievable. The friendships. I’m great friends with Vince [Ferragamo], Irv [Pankey], Dennis [Harrah] and Jack [Youngblood] to name a few. Fifty Rams players and wives attended my wedding, just awesome.


Let’s have a tip of the sideline cap to Robert Harvell for conducting such a great interview, to Helmet Hut’s Curtis Worrell for generously sharing the interview with Uni Watch, and of course to Todd Hewitt for all the great stories and information.


And there’s more: Very soon (possibly as soon as tomorrow) we’ll have an interview with Todd’s dad, Don Hewitt.

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

Another week, another batch of great eBay finds. Let’s take a look:

• I always liked ringer-style T-shirts, even before I knew that’s what they were called.

• Really nice set of Gatorade NFL caps, right here.

• You say you can’t afford game-worn? Then how about movie-worn?

• Can’t say I’ve seen this 1978 NFL lunchbox before.

• I used to store all my Tudor NFL teams in a plastic fishing tackle box. Never knew there was an “official” box for them.

•  Here’s one from Paul: “Yo, Jim Vilk and Vince Grzegorek, you’ll want to check out this Cleveland Browns night light.”

• Here’s one from Mike Hersh: a set of amazing 1972 NFL pins with very unofficial logos. The Chargers guy using a credit card is particularly good.

• Another one from Mike: a set of Dairy Queen CFL gumball helmets.

• And here’s the primo find of the week (submitted by Alan Borock): an Expos logo Jell-O mold!

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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No sleeve patch until we hit 10: It was five years ago today that this site made its debut. And in keeping with a suggestion that was made last year at this time by reader Tim Cox, I’m using the site’s anniversary to extend a one-day purple amnesty to new Uni Watch Membership Program enrollees. Today — and only today, at least for the next year — you can sign up and request a Rockies design, a Vikings design, or any other purple-inclusive motif, and I’ll be happy to say, “Coming right up!”

In addition, the first nine people who sign up today, whether their design requests include purple or not, will get a free pair of Uni Watch stirrups, based on the one that hangs at the top of each entry. These were generously donated to the cause by Comrade Robert Marshall. If we get fewer than nine sign-ups today, the remaining stirrups will be rolled into the reader-appreciation raffle at the end of the year. We now have more than nine sign-ups for today — no more stirrups!

As always, my sincere gratitude to the many of you who’ve helped to make the site such a fun project. Never would’ve guessed it would evolve and grow the way it has. Thanks, gang.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s the interview that the guys from Cards Diaspora conducted with me during the St. Louis Uni Watch party. ”¦ New uni number assignments for the Ravens (with thanks to Andrew Cosenntino). ”¦ Wade Copic notes that the Iowa Cubs have a fun, Mr. Met-esque mascot character. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Twins aren’t the only ones saluting Harmon Killebrew. Since Killebrew began his career with the Washington Senators, the Nationals have hung a jersey in their dugout for him — nice. ”¦ Here is by far the thinnest crotch extension — or “diaper,” as Joe Skiba likes to call them — I’ve ever seen on a football jersey. ”¦ Rugby news from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “Digby Ioane of the Queensland Reds recently wore an interesting headgear setup. Never seen anything like this before. Not sure if it makes me think more of Batman or a handlebar mustache.” ”¦ Very nice striped stirrups being worn by the Tufts Jumbos baseball team, which just won its second straight New England Small College Athletic Conference title and a bid to the NCAAs (with thanks to Mark Sullivan). ”¦ The Rangers are inviting fans to design a memorial logo for Derek Boogaard (with thanks to John Muir). ”¦ Here’s one of the best examples you’ll ever see of a baseball jersey with button-on detachable sleeves. The really interesting thing is the cuffs, with the perpendicular pinstripes — more like a dress shirt than a sports jersey (big thanks to Bruce Menard). ”¦ As many readers informed me yesterday, the leaked Senators logo in yesterday’s Ticker was not legit. ”¦ Can anyone explain the shoulder yoke on this photo of Wade Wilson? (As submitted by Jordan Brandon.) ”¦ New kit for U.S. women’s soccer. “Who designed that — Sepp Blatter?” asks Mark Coale. ”¦ Lacrosse news from MJ Kurs-Lasky, who writes: “The Terps have been wearing purple ribbon decals on their helmets this season to honor Maria Young — player Ryan Young’s mom — who died of pancreatic cancer a few weeks back. In Sunday’s Maryland/UNC game, the Maryland coaches wore purple shirts and at least one player went with a purple lacrosse stick.” ”¦ Ever wonder what how today’s new-media brands would translate to vintage propaganda- and advertising-poster style? Right, me neither. Fortunately, someone else did. ”¦ Still more Rockies undershirt shenanigans. “It says ‘Sweet T,'” says Alex Higley. ”¦ Here’s the official ball for the 2011-12 Bundesliga (with thanks to Kenny Loo). ”¦ Check out this great vintage L.A. transit pass featuring a minor league ballplayer. It’s part of a big set of similar L.A. transit passes, although most of the others aren’t sprots-themed (great find by Marc, who didn’t give his last name). ”¦ Here are the helmets for the participants in the upcoming International Federation of American Football World Cup. From left to right: Japan, Germany, Canada, IFAF (a placeholder for the USA helmet), Austria, Australia, Mexico, and France. “Interesting that only one team, Japan, uses stripes on the helmet,” says Stefan Schubert). ”¦ Apparently there’s an ongoing controversy about doctored bats in high school baseball. ”¦ You know, I think we can allow a monochromatic dark baseball uniform if it’s accessorized like this. That’s the Hanshin Tigers, and boy do I love their look (big thanks to Richard Musterer).

Comments (255)

    happy 5th buddy!

    great article today (even for someone who’s not into helmets/equipment)

    “But I would have to say that my favorite color scheme was what we wore from 1973-1999, the blue and yellow…”

    HA! Even equipment managers call it yellow.

    /ok, now I need to go back up and finish reading the whole thing.

    Yeah, the yellow-er, the better. The Old Gold (or whatever; don’t start with me) and the dark blue combo of the last few years is so dull. Wish they had gone with the Buttercup Yellow for one set of jerseys and a royal blue for the other. Also wish we had a video of Todd Hewitt applying a horns decal….

    He also sustantiated that the way unis looked on black & white TV was indeed a concern for owners, and influenced their decisions.

    Can we now accept that reality, and routinely include it in the mix when we ponder the hows and whys of uni changes in the ’50s and ’60s? In fact, sometimes it’s the FIRST thing to consider.

    Horse? Nah. Never entered my mind.

    I was talking about things like the Bears changing from orange numbers to white with an orange edge, and later adding a white feathered edge to the orange stripes to separate them from the navy. From a distance. In black and white.

    Or the Steelers going to white pants.

    Or the Cardinals changing their hat to solid navy with a white-edged red “StL”.

    I could go on. And on. Believe me.

    White was one thing sure to stand out in the mass of gray shades, especially on the smaller screens.

    That’s something we need to remember, too. Screens as big as 25″ in the days of B&W were not at all common, especially not the first half of the era.

    On a 13″ to 17″ screens, watched from across the room, white was helpful in even finding the players in the first place, especially in a full shot.

    Agreed, GREAT article. And yes, interesting to have confirmation about the implications of how the Rams’ jerseys would appear on B&W TV… AND the owner’s savvy idea about letting fans see the colors of visiting team jerseys because otherwise they wouldn’t see them… because of B&W TV. Loved that piece.

    One former equipment manager does; numerous universities, professional clubs, and two military services (Navy, Marines) do not.

    Good for them. It’s still wrong.

    The Navy uses yellow on their flag, and gold on their football uniforms. If they want to call both of those colors “gold”, that’s their problem. I don’t care how many different organizations insist on doing it, it’s still wrong.

    You think Ricko cares how many people think that the bronco was brown? Common knowledge is not always correct, and tradition does not make something right.

    I think “yellow” is a reasonable and understandable verbal shorthand, even though it bugs me, because most people know what it means…and because we (meaning, I dunno, the sporiing/broadcast world) haven’t come up with an acceptable alternative.

    When we get down to being precise, though, it is gold, by catalog definition. Or because of things like (and the interview reminded me of this) when you pick off-the-rack paper stock at a Kinko’s or some such, the color Michigan and Oregon wear is “Buttercup.” The color of the Packers, Steelers and others is “Goldenrod”. There IS a visual difference, it’s just how we label it.

    So I’ve taken to ratting out and calling it “Cheddar” because it appears to be an un-resolvable discussion.

    Tradition doesn’t matter, right. Let’s say the first man, if he spoke English, called it gold, if he ever saw a football uniform, and that continued for thousand of years. No, that does not matter, because in little Jeffy’s mind, it’s yellow and so that’s what he’ll call it, and he doesn’t care if in the 230-plus years of their glorious history the naval services have called it gold. You can stop holding your breath now, Jeff. You won.

    I believe that Wade Wilson jersey was pretty typical of the Vikings in the late 80’s. My guess is that they were made of two different materials that didn’t match colors. I remember seeing this two-tone effect on most of the Viking jerseys at that time. The main jersey may have even been mesh.

    That Boogard design contest is not sponsored by the Rangers. It is the creation of a guy who runs a Rangers blog.

    Happy 5th Birthday, Uni Watch! Wow, how time has flown!

    Loved the interview with Todd Hewitt. As a former football equipment manager–with considerably fewer years in the equipment room (Jr high-college)–I love hearing the guys talk about the job. My wife’s cousin-in-law coached for the Rams and she knew about the color change long before the presser was released. There were a lot of people who didn’t mind the change, but some did question changing the uniform that they had just won the Super Bowl in. They made it back, but didn’t win. Was it the color change, or the Pats filming the walkthrough? We may never completely know…

    BTW, love the UW stirrup. As you saw when you were in town, I carry Uni Watch member card all the time, so I will have to wait till they are offered for purchase.

    Happy 5th to the UniWatch website!

    So, hockey guys, they have to rename the team the Jets if they move the Thrashers to Winnipeg, right?


    No. The True North Group (TNSE) will keep the Manitoba name. They have been supporters of hockey in Manitoba, not just Winnipeg, since they bought the Moose and moved them to Winnipeg. True North president Mark Chipman has already stated that he is not interested in not representing the great people and supporters of Manitoba hockey by calling any team “Winnipeg”.

    Secondly, the TNSE group has worked their tails off to get the Moose in every hockey nook and cranny in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. The Moose brand is as popular as the CFL’s Blue Bombers and moreso than the AA’s Goldeyes. There is a very high probability that the Thrashers would be renamed as the Moose if they move simply due to the work that TSNE has done in branding the team in this market.

    As much as tradition would like to see the Jets moniker return, that name crashed and burned a long time ago. Excuse the pun.

    OK, so if the Thrashers do move to Manitoba, they’ll probably move to the Western Conference, right?

    I say it’s time to scrap the East/West format entirely and while you’re at it, go back to four divisions. Each conference would have one division with 8 teams and one with 7 teams.

    Split ’em up like this.

    A) All 7 Canadian teams
    B) US sunbelt/west coast: San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina
    C) US Northeast: Boston, NYI, NYR, NJ, Philly, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Washington
    D) Everyone else: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, Columbus, Colorado, Nashville

    Sunbelt Division would not be agreed to, it would be horrendous travel sticking teams from the East Coast with teams in the West Coast in the same Division

    My guess – Winnipeg goes into North West, Minnesota into the Central, Detroit in the Atlantic, and Pittsburgh into the South – yeah that last one’s a stretch – but the Pittsburgh /Washington is a good rivalry. Detroit could go into the North East, but that would see Boston going into the Atlantic, which still might happen – even though splitting up Boston/Montreal is the equivalent to separating the Yankees/Red Sox.

    I don’t know if it’s true in Pittsburgh, but the Pens/Caps rivalry sure seems to be becoming a Big F’n Deal here in Washington.

    Detroit has been told they will not be moved. The NHL cannot afford having Chicago and Detroit not playing one another six times per season.

    The Manitoba team will move to the Northwest. The Minnesota Wild will move to the Central Division. The Columbus Blue Jackets move to the Southeast Division.

    The Nashville Predators have already stated that if the Detroit Red Wings are staying, they are staying. Nashville is guaranteed six sell-outs per season at minimum with Detroit coming to town. That’s not something they’re willing to part with, especially with all the good they’ve done in bringing fans to the rink this year.

    The Jackets have been literally begging to move to the East. They lost over $20 million last season, and they attribute that to lost television revenue while on west coast swings, travel costs, and jetlag for players. The Jackets sell-out when players like Ovechkin and Crosby roll through town, and they have some real rivalries with those teams despite only seeing them once every three years.

    While it seems illogical to move Columbus into the weakest division in hockey, it will only strengthen the Jackets brand in Columbus because they might actually win a few games more per season. And that’s exactly what they need.

    Last time I checked, Detroit makes 3 visits a year into Nashville not 6. (3 Home 3 Away)

    Saying that, what you’re saying is a real possibility (yeah I’ve heard what you’ve said on Detroit). However Columbus in the South – is one more hurdle for the Southern teams to overcome, the Blue Jackets are a horrendous draw. Awarding them Pittsburgh is throwing a nice bone.

    In addition – despite what the league has publically said on Detroit (integrity is not a big value with the league) – I think now that Chicago has become a prosperous franchise again, they may be willing to let Detroit go. Television would discover the appeal of a Detroit/Boston match-up.

    All this Moose talk just dredges up unhappy memories of when the Moose left and the Wild came to town. So many better names the Wild considered and rejected, especially after the Moose had done such a good job of getting Minnesotans over the trauma of losing the North Stars. My favorite at the time, Polars, didn’t quite make the cut to the final six, but I was really hoping for the Voyageurs.

    So good on the True North folks if they let the Jets name rest in peace and do something new for Manitoba.

    I think using “Moose” is a big mistake. I can’t imagine that being a popular decision Winnipeg, even though I know they’ll support the team either way.

    Also, “Moose” kind of sucks.

    The Moose nickname is OK, but they should go with something new. Set Moose aside for a minor league or Junior team or something.

    There are very few bird nicknames in the NHL, and none are birds of prey.

    How about Manitoba Owls?

    Why should they go with something new? Because the thrasher is the Georgia state bird or some such and that’s the reason they went with the name.

    I guess Manitoba Thrashers doesn’t sound bad, but with a specific Georgia connection, they should ditch the name.

    No, I mean why go with something besides Jets or Moose? I think Moose is a crappy nickname, but I sort of understand the reasoning (though I don’t agree with it) behind possibly choosing it.

    Honestly, I don’t see any reason to go with anything besides Jets.

    Would “Jets” even be theirs to use?

    Honestly. I don’t know. What’s the arrangement there?

    Jets was chosen because of Ben Hatksin’s stated goal, which from Day One was to sign the “Golden Jet” away from the NHL.

    (Don’t ask me me how I know, I’ll just get shit for it).

    The team the Hull played for is now in Phoeniz, albiet going my a different name.

    Or, as I referenced above, do we have a Cleveland Browns situation here?

    From what I understand, NHL owns the right to the Winnipeg Jets.

    It will never happen, but my choice would be the Winnipeg Falcons, which would both have historical context, and pay in an ironic way, homage to Atlanta.

    Pretty ballsy to think – that Winnipeg (the arm-pit of Canada – sorry Teebz) signed Hull from the Blackhawks

    I’m from St. Paul where the then Minnesota Moose originated, and I think it would be really fun to see that name become a NHL franchise.

    That said, Winnipeg Jets is pretty sweet as well.

    Just get hockey back to Winnipeg where it belongs!

    Ben Hatskin had a lot of money (well, enough).
    WHA Properties ponied up some, too.
    Hull wasn’t a big fan of the Wirtz family.
    (down the list, but still ON the list and, again, don’t ask me how I know…)
    Bobby and Joanne liked the idea of the boys living in Canada.

    Can’t let this opportunity slip by. One purple membership card requested already.

    Happy fifth. (Dang, I should’ve sent you a fifth of hootch in celebration, but they’ve gotten hard to find and a metric fifth just isn’t quite the same.)

    Damn, I finally signed up yesterday, and living in Denver, thought about asking for the Rockies….but decided to heed the no purple rule. At least one purple card will be in the city!

    The Mexico helmet in the IFAF World Cup looks
    a lot like the Barcalona Dragons WLAF helmets.

    That’s exactly what I thought when I saw their helmet. Best of the bunch by far. Canada’s is horrible. A leaf would have been fine, not need for the ball. Japan could have just gone with the meatball on the side, although a rising sun design could have been cool.

    Let’s have a fight.

    #1: Germany. That eagle shield on a black helmet (non-Mets-like national color) is scary good. (see earlier vote, below).
    #2: France. Simple, classy. I would have liked a rooster, but the F is good.
    #3: Mexico. That Aztec motif is cool but busy. Certainly beats out Barcelona on the historicity front.

    You’re right about Canada, though. What a clunker. They shoulda used a beaver.

    I’ll go Germany, then Mexico and France as a distant third.

    Austria and Australia are OK. Nothing to complain or get excited about there.

    Canada and Japan are both laughably bad.

    Mexico might have taken the top spot if they had gone with a better facemask color.

    No, not grey.

    WTF would you put a grey mask on a helmet with that colorful of a logo?


    2. You celebrate with a great ticker, boss. How about those LA Railway passes? Or the Hanshin Tigers? Or — sneaking in there — the wunderische Germany helmet at the World Championship of American Football event (something I always want to attend but never do)…Or those splendid striped Tufts Jumbos, demonstrating that sky-blue-and-brown can actually work? I just love this stuff.

    I requested my second membership because, dammit, I want those stirrups! My request wasn’t for purple though…I went early 60’s Reds with NOBBN (Name on back below number).

    Posted this late Monday, so I’m not sure how many views it got…has anyone tried ordering one of those Cardinals/Twitter T-shirts? I tried sending a copy of the order form to the Hotmail address listed in the Google Docs document, but the email came back “mailbox unavailable” both times I tried.

    Happy Fifth!

    I didn’t discover UW until about three years ago. What DID I do with my free time before that.

    A button with a pefect logo for today…
    Although I’m sure some here would say to make it REALLY perfect you should put a sock in it. ;)

    Not only are the new US Women’s National Team shirts a silly design, the dark version is BLACK! Not Navy.

    Disgusting kits all around – and certain to cause the team to fail to win the World Cup next month.

    If you can get past them looking like a nurse uniform, and imagine the team wearing them without shorts, they’re actually really awesome! :)

    Are we sure that interview was just conducted last month? Hewitt talks like he’s still employed there. I suppose it’s not an easy fact for him to reconcile, since he devoted so much of his life to it.

    Happy 5th, UW!

    i thought the same thing, i had to keep looking at the top of the page to make sure.

    Happy 5th indeed. As an owner of an art degree and a complete sports nut, no site in the world could be more in my wheel house than this. I love seeing some of the readers here submit their drawings of uniforms they did as kids. I did the same thing! Only I didn’t have the foresight to save any of them :( I remember doodling logos back in 7th or 8th grade. I made a logo sheet for the USFL for no reason other than they looked cool. Well two guys in my class did a book report on the USFL and asked to use my artwork as an exhibit. I was legit!

    Anyways, its amazing to see so many out there like me. And even more amazing to have a guy like Paul bring it all together. And to have a guy like Phil (and Vince before him) provide such a seamless bridge over the weekend. Cannot thank you guys enough. And to all the commentors, Ricko, Vilk, The, moose, Connie, RSR, Powers….et al, you guys are what keep most of us coming back througout the day to refresh the comments section.

    Here’s to many more years.

    Craig D

    great article, as a huge Rams fan I was very happy to read that information. Thanks for that.

    Great article for today. Thanks for sharing! I don’t know if it is sad or encouraging that Todd was still speaking last month as if his tenure with the Rams was still ongoing.

    In any case, I never saw ANY real connection between the old uniforms and the current set, until I saw today’s white outlined number image:


    Thanks to the dark lighting, it looks like the current uniforms are simply a style update!


    Gotta look closely, but there is a white edge on the front and back numbers; not on the TVs

    Wow, that new USNT women’s soccer jersey is like a tie-in to the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise. link, that is, with the bald alien chick who wore that exact shirt.

    So why does the eagle in the Fifth Fleet patch carry a trident with a central tine longer than the other two?

    I so much miss the trident / pitchfork dialogue that emerged when ASU demoted Sparky the Sun Devil.

    Much appreciate the interview with Todd Hewitt. The great thing is how much one learns from this site And with I chime in as well, Happy 5th, UW!

    Happy 5th Anniversary to Paul and everyone at UniWatch!
    Thanks so much for all the great columns and for allowing us to have such an active part in it. “Best-Uniform-Site-Ever!” (said in Comic Book Guy’s voice)

    Monochrome dark uniforms for baseball teams are so much preferable to the softball look.

    thank you

    amazing how much better a UNIFORM looks (but you gotta have rups/socks with it) than a softball top and pajama pants

    The Tigers look is fantastic! There are several MLB teams that could pull off a similar monochrome look, and the first one I can think of rhymes with White Sox, like so…


    Not so much with the standard-issue trouser look of today. The reality is that socks clearly are now considered an option on par with short sleeves, long sleeves or no sleeves…or wristbands, for that matter.

    With trousers, mono dark looks like coveralls. Fine if you’re changing someone’s oil or doing 30 days in the county lockup. Not really terrific on an MLB diamond.

    It doesn’t look any more like coveralls than an all-white or all-gray uniform. White and gray coveralls are actually pretty common.

    Phil’s right: even with long pants, the monochrome baseball uni will be better than the softball-top baseball uni. As with white, gray, powder blue, and khaki, so too with black, navy, green, or whatever.

    I knew you’d say that, because it’s the obvious technicality.

    The difference is that gray and white are looks we’ve become accustomed to, and the trousers sort of creeped up (or down) on us gradually. We have trouble digesting other colors head-to-toe in baseball because it’s unfamiliar. Sorta like mismatched hoops jerseys and shorts…or light-colored hockey breezers.

    Whereas we’ve seen a lot of images and video of dark MLB jerseys with light pants in the ’70s and ’80s (even if we didn’t see them live).

    Also, to some extent it’s culturally time-skewed.

    50-60 years ago, had a team worn home mono pinstripes with trousers almost certainly some would have been conmplaining, “They look like frickin’ milkmen.”

    But, because there are no more milkmen…

    Should note…if we use the ’72 A’s doubleknits as the beginning of colored jerseys with white or gray pants (which we probably can), this is the 40th consecutive season of dark over light showing up on one team or another.

    And we aren’t used to it yet? We still don’t see as a “look” that’s become part of MLB?

    And we aren’t used to it yet? We still don’t see as a “look” that’s become part of MLB?

    Of course we’re used to it. Of course it’s a look that’s part of MLB.

    Doesn’t mean we have to like it.

    Okay, before it comes up, I’m sure there still are SOME milkmen. I meant they don’t show up at virtually everyone’s home anymore.


    I’m assuming that’s Pete Townsend.

    Funny, because we’re getting a whole lot of rain here in the Northeast.

    My favorite radio station, WFUV, the Fordham University station, was asking their listeners to e-mail the station with their favorite rain-themed song.

    Of course, someone sent in “Rain on me” by the Who.
    I sent in “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson.

    So we’ll sit with Ol’ Eddie at Bub’s Pub when he grumbles about how, “Ty Cobb managed to get 4,000+ hits without batting gloves or stripes on his shoes.”

    When it’s my turn I’ll bitch about black socks on, say, Nebraska and Texas football. Or black crew socks on anybody for anything athletic (largely because they look like Ol’ Eddie when he wears ’em with bermudas and sandals to rake leaves).

    We’ll call it the “God I Hate Change I Don’t Agree With” Club. ;)

    “God I Hate Change I Don’t Agree With” Club.

    So… about 80% of the people here?

    “‘God I Hate Change I Don’t Agree With’ Club.

    “So… about 80% of the people here?”

    (with trepidation) We’re gonna need a bigger room.

    We’ll call it the “God I Hate Change I Don’t Agree With” Club. ;)

    Given that the only two alternatives are a fatalistic acceptance of all change and a total rejection of any change, and both of those are flavors of mindless nihilism, yes. I’ll join that club.

    Though I might prefer a name more on the order of the “I’m Willing to Exercise My Faculties of Reason and Judgment Society.” ;-)

    rick, with regard to the tigers~why does it matter that it isn’t the standard trouser look of today? it seems to me that you just prefer trousers, which is fine, but every chance you get you mention that we need to eat the trousser sausage. listen, i accept that it is pretty rare that we get to see the stirrup, or sock, and i think most people do, but does that mean we can’t see a team or player who bucks that trend and think, wow that looks good, or interesting, or different without you telling us it isn’t the norm? the tigers issued the short pants and socks and the players wear them, paul ran a pixture, and some of us like it. but you have to remind us it isn’t standard. we get that. but it is the tigers standard look(or at least on that day i don’t know japanese baseball), so why can’t we like it? and what is wrong with people saying they like the monochromatic look for baseball? i like it. i don’t hate all the softball tops, i personally accept they are here and have been, but i do like monochrome too, what is wrong with suggesting a couple teams consider adopting it? i think it is fantastic. i am just saying…daaaang buddy, can’t we just enjoy the moment?

    jeff~ so you include you in that 80% who complains any time there is a change they don’t like too right? grey facemasks come to mind, or people calling things gold. which before you say anything is change for you since you always called any colour resembling that yellow, you can’t change, and call it gold, or admit you should(at times). you are too traditional to your crayon box, or your old way of thinking of that colour. you refuse to admit that sometimes yellow is also at times, in some contexts, gold, and you scream out any time you get the chance here…whiiiiich makes you just like everybody else here, you ride no white steed against any i hate change i don’t agree with army. c’mmmon, you got’a give me that jeff, i have you here my friend.


    It’s “Love, Reign o’er Me.””

    yes, james, im pretty sure i know that — was just correcting our friend’s misconception of the spelling of “rain” and that it’s “o’er” (short for over) not “on”

    but you knew that already

    I’m confused. I didn’t mention the Tigers.

    I point to what’s now “standard” to short-circuit comments about how “socks are part of the uniform” because, well, they aren’t. Not anymore, anyway. Not as presently defined by the people who do the defining. MLB no longer sees them that way; every bit of their typical behavior points to that.

    Personally, I wish socks WERE still considered basic, but MLB clearly doesn’t agree.

    Consider, for example, the brief tenure of the Rays’ striped socks. Didn’t exactly catch on, did they.

    The paradigm’s changed and, right or wrong, the current one probably ought to be the starting point for discussions. I’m establishing where “north” is, that’s all.

    And I didn’t say a team or two shouldn’t take a shot at mono. Just said it usually doesn’t look very good with trousers.

    With contrasting socks (preferably stirrups) its a whole lot of fun. I loved the Indians mono red and the A’s gold vest set…in their original style. With socks and non-baggy pants.

    But that brings us back to socks not being considered part of a player’s everyday uni anymore.

    “I’m confused. I didn’t mention the Tigers.”


    no, but it was the hanshin tigers uniform that we were talking about…and maybe your comment was a generalization against monochrome unis in general, it was the tigers uni that started the comments

    perhaps that’s where you’ve become confused

    exactly phil. and i think we all know which way north is on this subject. we may lament, but that does not mean we don’t understand reality either. uw sometimes is a what if, wouldn’t it ne great if, fantasy land place, but if that gets stretched to the point of lunacy, if someone shows they don’t understand, then it might be worth mentioning. but most of us, and especially the couple of people(phil, rsr, james, pflava) who were in that convo before i dropped in for sure navigate their ship by the north star. listen rick, i appreciate your perspective, don’t think i don’t, and i am not trying to pick on you, or tell you to shut it either, i’m just saying maybe the kick in the shin wasn’t needed this time, or at least not yet.

    you’re nuts lukas, i love things i hate. well at least pineapple always reminds me during my daily whoopins that love is hate, hate is love.


    I know that you know that I know that you know.

    I just wanted to make sure Matt was in the know.

    You know?

    Oh God, I need a drink


    I do think ’72 was the first year of color over white in baseball. I think ’82 or ’83 was the first year of color of GREY in baseball too. Until then, teams that wore color jerseys always wore white pants, even on the road (see A’s, Giants, Indians, etc.).

    I think I’m legally required to remind you that the Pirates started wearing black over gold, etc. in 1977.

    “… I’m gonna take a pass on the trouser sausage, thanks…”


    It is a sign of the maturity of UW readers that no one replied “…That’s what she said last night…” Congratulations, everyone.

    Well we are the Big “Oh Five” now. That’s full fledged adulthood in internet terms.

    Happy 5th, Paul. And how appropriate — like a TV series running a clip show to celebrate episode number X, you ran a reprint of an interview.

    Well played, sir.

    Happy 5th Anniversary

    I have been a reader of the site almost everyday for the last 4 years & proud of it. I think this may be my 1st post.

    I took the opportunity to become a UniWatch member today now that you are allowing me to get an LSU design. Should be a 1st for you guys. What a great day to join!!!!

    I always have the upmost respect for the equipment guys (especially since I was briefly the student manager for my University’s baseball team) and love hearing the father-son stories similarly to the Stowe’s with the Reds.

    I am beginning research to make an authentic wool flannel Cincinnati Reds jersey but have a question. Does anyone know how much a place like Ebbets Field Flannel or any other similar companies charge to have one made? I can’t decide if it would be easier to just get the materials and learn how to sew a jersey together or just get one made.

    Last I checked, and this was right after EFF came back into business a few years ago, they were charging somewhere basically normal full price for a custom job. I was looking at something like $185-$210 for the Cedar Rapids Rabbits jersey I was thinking of at the time.

    Thanks. It sounds like I should just take the time and make my own. It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out how to sew a jersey together.

    I am not sure they can do MLB replica’s becasue of licensing concerns. They are great guys call em up and ask.

    Anyone know why there is a University of Michigan helmet in the main picture? Tory Holt went to NC State.

    Since the jerseys are both autographed I’m guessing it’s some sort of memorabilia display (at his house maybe?) and he just happened to hang a Michigan helmet up that someone gave him.

    it’s not a michigan helmet – it’s todd’s son’s game helmet (high school i believe).

    1. Happy Birthday to my FAVORITE website.

    2. Great Entry to open the site today…Dickerson/ bettis era uniforms are my alltime favorite.

    3. HS baseball is governed by the National federation of High School Rules.

    Next year, only one certification of bat will be allowed…BBCOR(Baseball Coefficient of Restitution).
    If a bat does not have this stamp it will be disallowed.

    This year, we umpires are charged with checking the bats before each contest. Either BBCOR or BESR (Bat Exit Speed Ratio) is allowed with a Weight and Length differential of 3.

    Anything else is disallowed. This doesn;t mean that a player can’t sneak one into a game. If it is discovered by either the defense or the umpuire, the batter will be called out.

    1-3-5, 7-4-1a

    In the Tufts BB stirrups photo, there is a wierd amount of lines in one of the pics(second one down on the left(:


    You can’t see the First base foul line starting from the plate, but you can alos see the Dead Ball line further to the right…What is the second visible line, further to the right for?

    Too bad about his firing……44 years and you can him like that. Steve Spagnuola must be a real douche. Oh yeah, always preferred the old blue and gold the Lams wore.

    Sounds like Spagnuolo picked up all of Tom Coughlin’s douchebaggy control-freak tendencies, although I’ve never heard where Coughlin was a Grade-A prick in dealing with non-players.

    If it indeed was his call, Spagnuolo should be ashamed of himself and take a long, hard look in the mirror to see where the real blame lies for the Rams’ failures.

    He seems to be in denial about his firing.

    Interesting that the blue & white went away at just about the exact point most people finally had color TVs. Great interview.

    From an article at

    Last Friday, Steve Spagnuolo fired him because he wanted to move in a different direction. “To hear Hewitt tell it, Spagnuolo brought a militaristic dysfunction to the locker room. He criticized the way Hewitt distributed socks. He questioned the way he hung wall fixtures. He scoffed at him for loading the team plane too slowly. He warned him never to talk back to him.”


    Here’s one from Paul: “Yo, Jim Vilk and Vince Grzegorek, you’ll want to check out this Cleveland Browns night light.”

    And I thought y’all knew me…

    Remind me to look for a Dodgers night light for Brinke and a Vikings one for Paul. ;)

    Maybe he thought it would make for a good target when you’re potty training that Vilkling of yours.

    Outstanding interview! Truly the heart of Uni Watch is all about, so appropriate for the fifth anniversary post!

    Reeves was somewhat ahead of his time regarding white at home so fans could see all the different colored jerseys of their opponents. This is what those of us that want the NHL to go back to white at home have been crying now since that change went into place.

    Question: Do *fans* want that, or is it just Uni-Watchers who want that?

    I honestly don’t think that most fans actually care. They’re not going to the game to look at jerseys, they’re going there to eat, drink, watch the game and root for their team.

    If anything, they seem to want colors at home. There’s gotta be a reason that the colored jerseys are the ones which sell better.

    “If anything, they seem to want colors at home.”


    what the hell are you basing that on? retail jersey sales?

    this is EXACTLY why sports uniforms are being fucked up so much these days — let’s wear what sells, to hell with our actual colors, tradition, history, etc.

    you wear white at home in puck, as god intended

    you want to buy a fanboy jersey, no one is stopping you, but there is no reason the team needs to dress the way so you can match your jersey to your backwards sticker-applied, flat-brimmed cap

    I think that’s a bit harsh, Phil. In baseball, it seems to me that uniforms evolved to display team colors and insignia. Which is what established the basic concept of the uniform-as-canvass. So you wear white, and use the white to provide a background for certain colors of stripes, or lettering in team colors, and eventually numbers in team colors. The cap becomes the place where team colors are displayed in a concentrated burst, an effect made all the stronger by the neutrality of the white uniform. Then you wear gray on the road, for the practical reason that you need to differentiate one team from the other on the field of play.

    Football, soccer, and hockey followed a different path of evolution. The uniform was not a negative space on which to display discrete other elements in the team colors. The uniform often was the team color. The notion of the home team wearing white, rather than wearing team colors, really only makes sense within the context of monochrome broadcasting. Unless the team’s primary color is white, or unless, as with many hockey teams, the team happens to have a particularly distinctive jersey insignia in the team colors. But that’s not an issue in football, and rarely in soccer.

    sorry, scotty…perhaps it was a bit harsh

    i have no problem with football teams wearing color — in fact, i support a few color vs. color matchups, were there is no clash between those colors

    but the NFL is a different animal

    yes, hockey is different — teams started with only one jersey, and if that clashed, then the opponent wore a different (usually white) sweater, but dark at home wasn’t a rule

    it sort of became the “de facto” rule, until either the late 60s or 1970, when the NHL did, in fact, mandate white at home, so fans could see the different color jerseys of the opponent, instead of the home (whatever color you wore) vs. white of your opponent

    fast forward to 2003 — and the change to dark at home…driven, not by some altruistic force, but by jersey sales…again, asserting the hegemony of the dollar sign over the athletic aesthetic of the game

    i really don’t care about soccer, but i can see how color vs color isn’t a problem nor a concern

    i don’t have a problem with color jerseys, but to assert that we need to have them because THE FANS want them, because they are a better fashion statement, just absolutely eats at my craw

    but since everything is now being driven by the almighty dollar, i guess i just need to STFU and accept it

    Phil, I wasn’t even thinking of color-versus-color. I was thinking of color-at-home versus white-at-home. As a fan, I generally prefer to see the non-baseball teams I like in their color unis, rather than their white unis. (Well, except in cases like the Colts, where white is effectively the dominant team color.) Because the uniform itself is the primary vehicle for showing team colors. A football uniform is a bunch of fabric, maybe some stripes, and giant numbers. Nothing else on their is big enough for fans to see. So it really does fall to the fabric to represent the team’s colors. Same applies to soccer, and with the exception of the teams with the best chest logos, to hockey as well.

    But yeah, the NHL thing in 2003: an example of how doing the right thing for the wrong reasons makes it the wrong thing!

    All that said, I’d generally rather see color-versus-neutral, rather than color-versus-color, in any game.

    I still say there shouldn’t be a league rule one way or the other. With hockey’s history you can support white or colored as “traditional” depending on how far back you want to go. So… fuck it, let the teams decide. There’s no reason for a rule. Home team – announce what you’re wearing a week ahead of time. Road team – prepare accordingly. If it’s too much of a burden on the equipment guys, then hire more of them. Minimum player salary is over 500k/year, don’t tell me the teams can’t afford to hire a couple more equipment people.

    I prefer to watch my ‘Hawks in HOME Reds.

    If I want to see other teams unis, I can look them up on the interwebs, play EA’s NHL 11 (or whatever), turn on Sunday NBC games, etc.

    White unis are boring and if I’m going to see one colored jersey when I go to a game, I would prefer it to be my team’s.

    Plus most (Dallas, I could have said all… jerks) 3rd jerseys are colored unis and fans would like to see those at home more than whites.

    White at home (most of the time) is one of the things the NBA does right. Just about every team has an alternate uni and for the most part, they’re worn on the road.

    Don’t the vast majority of fans watch the games on TV nowadays anyway?

    Disagree fully on that, Tim, and here’s why.

    1. Good guys wear white. Everyone knows this. The knight riding in on the white horse, cowboys with white 10-gallon hats, and hockey players with white jerseys. Everyone who is good wears white, and your home team at a hockey game are the good guys.

    2. The league already mandates 15 games per season for the teams to wear their alternates. That’s 15 games where you’ll get to see the alternates at home.

    3. It’s much harder on equipment guys to keep white jerseys clean on the road due to the extended roadtrips that some teams play. Back-to-back games in two different cities really doesn’t give the equipment manager much sleep if he has to scrub out bloodstains and/or puck/stick marks. And it’s hell if they have to pull out the sewing machine.


    Clearly someone didn’t grow up a white sox fan because then you would know good guys wear black – link

    And I was just stating my opinion, I’m not saying I’m right. I know why they started colors on the road, I just think modernity has fixed many of those problems.

    …plus, selfishly, I don’t care. haha

    As to retail sales, I’d wager the colored jerseys sell better than the whites no matter what the team wears at home.

    People just prefer wearing color to white.
    Maybe they see them as being easier to keep clean.
    Or white is “boring.”
    Or, “Who wants a closet-ful of white jerseys?”

    Whatever, something in human nature makes us, all things being equal, prefer the more colorful choice than the white.

    Last night I saw the worst uniform matchup in the history of sports, and white was badly needed. It was a women’s college softball game between Grand Valley State and Wayne State. Both teams wore solid black, so it was confusing as hell, watching the game on TV. Grand Valley’s uniform had accents of silver and blue, while Wayne State had accents of green and yellow.

    The people I’ve talked to about this time and time again are hardly what anyone would call uni watchers, trust me. Their general thought is, the current set up bites it because all you ever see is home dark, other team’s white.

    Regarding the Bundesliga ball, I was under the impression that each club provided the ball for home matches, thus you’d have different suppliers like you would in college football. Did this change or am I remembering wrong?

    In the past, true – but most leagues now have official ball sponsors and use one league ball design (typically a white version and a colored version for winter) in all matches.


    You were right until the season just concluded (2010-11). The Bundesliga went with the adidas “torfabrik” ball this year as the official game ball.

    Before this year, as long as the ball met FIFA specs. it was OK for use. I recall brands like: adidas, Puma, Nike, uhlsport, Joma, Erima, DerbyStar, among others, being used for BL games.

    Sort of a repost from yesterday but Uni Tweakers should know:

    I recently updated my MLB ‘3D’ .PSD Template and the new version link. This update includes the option of white cleats, it removes the mitt’s swoosh and is organized in a much more efficient and helpful way.

    Oh, and I joined the boards over at Chris Creamer the other day so I could share the MLB template…

    Let me just say I forgot how juvenile and vitriolic people can be when hiding behind assumed anonymity. Even on bad day, these comments are usually even headed and pleasant.

    I thank LI Phil and Paul especially for that.

    By all accounts a real gentleman. I’m sure that description would have meant more to him than ‘home run hitter’. Class act all the way.

    Interesting that the article mentions that his silhouette inspired the MLB logo. Just another in a long line of myths that continue as fact.

    “Killebrew is 11th on baseball’s all-time home run list with 573.”

    And because of cheats like Bonds(1), McGuire(10) and Sosa(7), Killebrew isn’t in the top 10 of all time.


    One of my team’s most hated and respected rivals lost a piece of their history today. Sad day.

    Even putting aside juicing, when Killebrew retired, he was 6th on the all-time list. Which I think is how a player’s cumulative totals ought to be judged: Not where is he on the list a generation later, but where did he stood at the time. If you look at the link, #6 is actually a pretty significant cutoff: Every player from 1-6 has been at least plausibly argued to be the greatest player in the history of the game. And that’s where Killebrew stood on the day he retired.

    Nothing any later player could or has done, juicing or otherwise, changes that.

    Ridiculous that the Hall of Fame voters made him wait until his fourth year of eligibility to get to Cooperstown. RIP, Killer.

    Had a feeling it would happen quickly.

    Yeah, if you discount the “perfomance-enhanced,” he’s still 7th.

    Makes the player-drive decision to go with home creams even better, because he had to have known about it and appreciated it.

    Might have to visit MOA today. Stand at Met Stadium home plate and look up at that day-glo orange chair mounted high on the wall 500+ feet away.

    No need for a memorial patch, he is already on every MLB jersey…depending on who you believe about the figure in their logo.

    Incredibly sad day for baseball. Another great I really wish I could have seen play in person.

    Y’know, people aren’t BS-ing about sticking around late in the game (in person or watching on TV), no matter how one-sided the score might be, if Killebrew had another at-bat coming.

    I was either part of, or overheard, many conversations that ended with, “Nah, let’s stick around, Harmon’s gonna bat one more time.”

    Not quite the same as seeing him in person, or even in a game, but these old Home Run Derby episodes are fun nonetheless:



    Happy 5th Uni Watch, and Tim E. O’B misspelled McGwire. Also, I’ve noted the Red Sox have been wearing the alt cap on Fridays again after abandoning it last year.

    “Is there anyone — anyone at all — who prefers Flying Elvis over Pat Patriot? Right, didn’t think so. Bring back Pat!”

    Yes. Yes there is. Flying Elvis is a perfectly fine logo. Pat the Patriot seriously fails the “being able to draw it in your notebook in 6th grade” test.

    Not to mention the 3 SB wins with Elvis vs the letting Da Fridge score a TD on you and losing by 36 points with Pat.

    Kill that and put an Oilers helmet on there instead.

    OK, I actually kind of prefer Flying Elvis too.

    But are you kidding? Pat the Patriot was far and away my favorite NFL logo when I was a kid precisely because he was so cool to draw! Pat was all over my sixth-grade notebooks. (Sixth grade was the year the Pats played the Bears in the Super Bowl.)

    Then again, I was also a serious Revolutionary War history geek at that age, which is maybe not entirely normal. YMMV.

    What do you mean, Scott, by “…I actually kind of prefer..”?? What, is it like 51-49? 60-40?

    If you’re going to say something as senseless, as aesthetically numb, as Elvis Beats Pat, then man up and say distinctly: “I prefer the shiny simple-mindedness of a heavy-eyeshadow abstract corporate device to the endearingly humane, even homely, cartoon figure from a quintessentially Boston artist.”

    And so WHAT, TJ, if the Pats played better under Elvis than under Pat? We’re talking about matters much more important than won-lost records. Where are your values?

    The win/loss thing was secondary.

    Helmet logos, much like baseball cap logos, should not be too overly complex. Elvis is a clean, clear logo. Pat is a comic book drawing. He’d be great on program covers. But I think he’s too detailed for a helmet logo. Too much is lost from a distance.

    It has nothing to do with shiny corporate anything.

    “Helmet logos, much like baseball cap logos, should not be too overly complex.”


    well, by that logic, this is the best of all then

    nay, elvis just sucks, but winning all those super bowls in him has cemented a shitty logo as being “good,” when in fact, it sucks

    winning, especially in an otherwise shitty uniform, cures a LOT of evils

    that’s why, way back in 1997 (well, the 1998 super bowl) i KNEW that bronco uni, as horrid as it was and still is, was here to stay

    going back-to-back in those meant it will be forever loved, even though what it replaced was far superior

    speak for yourself on the notebook test. but you are right that the oilers could be included in that group. but who to take out? i see why it is there, but the texans would be what i would omit, it’s a snoozer. but i can’t complain about the list, except that the tampaneers need to be at the top.

    Hard to argue with your top three.

    Instead of your Colts, Eagles and Cowboys, though, I offer up the following:
    – Any Giants helmet from 1933 onward. Yes, even the link Actually, my favorite of all is the link
    link Oilers.
    – One of link

    broncos is another good choice. but again who to take out? it’s a solid list. and i am not the biggest fan of the oilers in blue or silver, i like the white, the earl years were their best. and while it might not be right for the list, have to agree with you on the solid giants brain~pan, that was a sweet look. i wouldn’t want to see many, if any, blank teams other then the browns in the nfl, but that era rocks.

    “but again who to take out?”

    Colts, Eagles and Cowboys.

    Come to think of it, the yellow-gold Rams need to be on here. So, even though I like it, I’d take out the Texans, too.

    Great list, but I agree with others that the white Oilers needs to be on there. One of the all time great helmets in any era.

    I’m with Jim, a little surprised that the link didn’t make the list. That’s cool shit right.

    Also, you guys who (claim to) prefer Flying Elvis to Pat Patriot are fucking wacky.

    Literally, this is a comment written on my site today.

    “The Patriots current unis are too closely associated with the Super Bowl era. They won’t go back. And that beautiful rich blue color of the current Patriots unis is too good. I’m emotionally attached to them!’

    I was surprised to see this photo on the Star Tribune website showing Harmon Killebrew (RIP) in a tricolor helmet:


    Caption doesn’t give a year. File name implies that it was taken in 1975, but his last year with the Twins was 1974, he was with the Royals in ’75.

    I think the last year of the tricolors was 1980 and they switched to red helmets in ’81. Not sure when they started. I had thought maybe 1976 when they started wearing red caps at home, but the Killebrew photo defies that. Anyone? Ricko?

    I can’t give you a year, but those tri-color helmets definitely were around well before the red hats came along.

    They may even have arrived as early as the second year of doubleknits, with the change from gray to powder blue roads. Yeah, they wore gray sansabelt roads for one season.

    I’ll dig in my Twins folder (which is extremely thick) tonight if I can.

    I’m 100% sure that Rod Carew appeared on an SI cover in 1974 wearing the tri-color helmet.

    Good find, pushbutton. Somehow I don’t recall seeing that cover before. Thanks!

    Here’s what I’ve found in the Ricko Files (don’t have time tonight to scan and flickr the photos). Went though the Topps baseball card book, too, for whatever help I could find there.

    Twins went to doubleknits in 1972, with gray on the road. I have photos of home and road showing only solid Navy.

    In 1973, roads changed to powder blue and a TV number was added to the front of the jersey. I do have a photo of the powder blues with the solid Navy helmet, but haven’t found any home shots I can definitely conclude are 1973.

    For 1974, Tri-color helmets show at home, in addition to that SI cover. Do not have photos I can ID as ’74 road (during ’73 and ’74 was up to my eyeballs in World Team Tennis summer and wasn’t as focused as years before and after).

    I have photos from 1975 home and road games showing the Tri-color.

    Summary (as best I can determine so far):

    1972…Navy home and road (gray road uni)
    1973…??? home, Navy road (powder blue road uni) Killebrew’s Topps ’74 card (#400) shows it, too, but those cards are no help with home uns.
    1974…Tri-color home, ??? road.
    No help from the Topps book regarding ’74.
    1975…Tri-color home and road.

    I guess the particular point here is that shot of Killebrew is in the home uni, so he would have worn the Tri-Color in ’74, perhaps as early as ’73.

    Best I can do.

    hey guys, glad you enjoyed the interview. as a lifelong rams fan myself, i had a great time chatting with todd about his days with the rams – todd’s a tremendous guy.

    also, i want to clear something up: todd’s responses to my questions about his time with the rams were most definitely in the past tense given he is no longer with the team. it was my fault, given my lack of experience as an interviewer / transcriber, that his comments appeared to be in the present tense, as if he were still with the rams. in fact, given i can’t believe he is no longer with the rams, it may have been my denial which caused me to transcribe our interview in the manner that i did. anyway, i spoke to paul about this and he has offered to clean up my work – thanks paul!

    i think it was ricko that mentioned the circa 1957 rams navy jersey with white trim around the f/b numbers. here’s an authentic game used one that recently sold at auction for $2k:


    1948 was the last year the rams wore leather helmets, and it was the first year that the rams sported their now iconic horns (painted by rams halfback fred gehrke). in 1949 the rams switched to plastic helmets – they also switched their uniform colors to red and yellow and went with a different horn design:


    the red and yellow color scheme, as well as the horn design, was short-lived – 1 year only (1949). in 1950 the rams switched back to “yellow” and blue and returned to gehrke’s classic horn pattern. during this era, riddell’s plastic helmets were actually transparent – helmet paint and logos were applied to the inside of the shell (which could be easily seen given the shell’s transparency) as opposed to the outside of the shell:


    a few nice rams photos from yesteryear:


    Whoa. I’ve seen that horn design before, but always depicted on a blue shell. Another uniform myth bites the dust.

    I realize there’s been some discussion already about this but I am pumped at the possibility of the NHL’s return to Winnipeg. It’s close… real close.

    A couple of things – I agree with Teebz that it’s looking more and more like the team will be called the Manitoba Moose which, while understandable, is very disappointing. I’d love them to be called the Jets, but whatever.

    Secondly, from all accounts, it appears that the Wings will have to wait one year to be moved to the East. The reallignment would have to be voted on and approved by the Board of Govenors and it’s been said that there is not enough time to do this, which seems odd considering they’d have to meet to vote and approve the moving of Atlanta. Anyway, that’s just what I’ve heard.

    Go Jets!

    Courtesy of the AP:

    “The man whose silhouette inspired Major League Baseball’s official logo was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984, the first Twin to be enshrined.”

    I didn’t realize this was the deal with the logo – which apparently was well represented back in the day – here’s a good shot of Killebrew from with a huge MLB logo on his shoulder:


    a couple of photos – todd used a blow dryer when applying the decals in order to soften the vinyl (made them easier to stretch) and the adhesive…


    To Paul and all the contributors at Uni Watch,

    Happy 5th Anniversary. Who would’ve thought?

    Today’s posting is excellent, typical of the great research and effort that is put into the continued freshness of this site.

    Continued best wishes for the future.

    Looks like the uni speculation was somewhat right for Purdue. link

    I dont have a rivals account so I cant get any more info.

    Just heard Twins president Dave St. Peter in live radio interview.
    Said there would something on the Twins’ unis to remember Killebrew. “Perhaps tonight,” he said, “but tomorrow night for sure.”

    Twins are in Seattle.

    Also, he was asked point blank if the home creams would continue and sort of dodged the question. Or, in all fairness, perhaps he just referenced the upcoming patch (or whatever) instead.

    Killebrew ≠ MLB Logo
    Packers’ G ≠ Greatness
    Broncos’ Colored Horsey ≠ B????


    We need you stay close to the new team and use your considerable physical presence to intimidate them into not coming up with a dopey minor league hockey nickname like…

    “Manitoba TundraHawks”

    or something.

    Do NOT let them go there.

    Also, smack them upside the head if anything “singular” gets considered.

    I know about “Moose.”

    Just don’t like it much. Too cute. Too ’90s.
    And the animal itself if too big and gangly for hockey…but, y’know, cute is good.
    Plus, I’m sure they perceive they have a lot of equity built up in the name.

    Although they do need to be careful it isn’t equity with “minor league” attached to it, no matter HOW well known it is.

    Yeah, I know, Milwaukee brought back Brewers for baseball…but that was after 16 years without it…time enough for a certain “nostalgia” to build up around the name, which is always sellable in a situation like that.

    why can’t they go with something like…

    “manitoba mounties”?

    Because the RCMP exercises quite strict control over their intellectual property within Canada. Since 1995, the Mounties have had a domestic trademark over their name, insignia, and even the red serge uniform, with very limited licensing of same to any private venture. And you know they mean business – not because the Mounties always get their man, but because they briefly farmed their IP enforcement out to the lawyers at Disney.


    Why’s everything gotta be contemporary and “forward-looking”?

    Why not a name that sounds like it’s been around forever?

    Manitoba’s love for hockey has been, so give the team a name that “feels” like such an enduring history.

    Red sweaters and socks with yellow trim and numbers edged in black.
    Navy breezers with a single broad yellow stripe.
    (And I mean yellow).

    Too bad about the Mounties’ control. But I understand it. And I kinda figured they must have established that kind of oversight, because…

    I always assumed there was a reason why the PCL team up and changed from “Vancouver Mounties” (after many, many years) to “Vancouver Canadians”. Was about that time, I believe.

    But an older style nickname would be great. I mean, it’s Manitoba, for god’s sake; they’ve been playing hockey there since they realized lakes froze over.

    Save the “slick marketing” names for the next expansion franchise in Las Vegas or somewhere where people have never shoveled a rink.

    Hmm, I like Ricko’s thinking. How about the Manitous? The Ruperts? Trappers?

    Plus, the current Manitoba Moose logo is just plain bad, with no hockey connection. It’s a snarling head with antlers, and screams minor league. The fans in Winnipeg deserve better, tradition should win out in this case.

    If the NHL owns the Jets trademark, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get this done.

    If it’s the NHL.
    But more likely it’s the Coyotes.

    Depending, of course, on the particulars of the franchise transfer.

    The one singularish name for Manitoba that I’d support (but I know wouldn’t ever be considered) is Metis.

    Polars would be a great choice. Voyageurs would be shortened to Voyeurs and we don’t really need that.

    Happy 5th Anniversary!!!

    So, the Nationals honored Killebrew because he played in the city but for a different franchise but won’t honor players who played for the franchise but in a different city?

    How can they deny Rusty!

    I stand corrected.

    I just saw that the Expos retired numbers were added to the Nationals website this season.

    Are the numbers displayed at the stadium, too?

    Congrats on 5 years here, Paul! Seems like yesterday that I was reading your stuff over on Slate.

    Kinda surprised that England’s not getting in on that football World Cup thing. I have a friend that plays for the Sussex Thunder in their Am. Football premiership.

    Side note: No clue if he’s actually any good or not. I saw one of their games online, but the camera was too far away from the field to pick up who was who.

    I played the hell outta my Tudor NFL game, and I never knew about a player box. In fact, I kept all my players in an old coffee can (they were metal), and painted the NFL logos on the side.

    Who knew that an empty cardboard box would be worth $40 someday?!

    Got my royal blue plastic tackle box @ the nearby Milford Hardware store, had the two trays with teams in each slot, and I kept the #’s and stuff in the bottom.

    Never used the metal game. Always made me mad how they all ended up in the same corner. I lined them up in various formations on the living room table. Learned a lot about football this way.

    That was almost single handedly the way I learned football (well, the rules anyway). Seems like the game went down hill when they tried to introduce passing. That was an idea that just never worked out.

    I believe there was one deluxe game that came with all the teams – hence the box. Don’t think you could just order it otherwise.

    Before I turned my football guys into ski jumpers and indoor soccer players, I used to keep them in sandwich bags. I had a separate bag for the bases and the other pieces parts. I’d cut out pictures of the helmets and tape them to the team bags.

    What team are the Twins playing in this photo?


    I’m guessing it’s the Senators in ’61 or ’62, based on the pinstripes and stirrups.

    Yup, more likely ’62.

    Senators ’61 socks had an extra navy stripe between the red stirrup and the bottom white stripe. At the beginning of the season, at any rate. Saw them. Twins first homestand in ’61 was against tne new Senators. Went to one of those games. Bennie Daniels started for Washington. Might have been Camilo Pascual who started for the Twins. Not sure. I know Pedro Ramos started on Opening Day in New York.

    For ’62, Senators stirrups were the same pattern as the Red Sox and Orioles.

    This is a ’63 card, but it shows the ’61 socks with the extra navy stripe abutting the red stirrup…

    Happy 5th indeed to you and the wonderful site, Paul! My morning coffee would be so much more bland were it not for this place!

    Check out how thick these awesome striped socks were on this Portland (Maine) Eskimos ballplayer from 1926.


    Maine + Eskimos = need for thick socks

    Do the Astros normally wear brick red caps on the road? That appeared to be a new look today, the reddish caps with the gray uniforms.

    Todd Good stuff today. It is something when you think of what teams did so they could look better on b&w TV.

    What about the original Cleveland Rams colors.

    Anybody ever stumble across this one?


    It’s a couple years old and a lot of the teams I’ve seen before but after a really long day a few of them were new to me and made me chuckle a little. Very disappointed there’s no mention of the Macon Trax or Macon Whoopee though.

    So I was watching the NFL top ten show and it was uniforms. Needless to say, even though it’s obviously an old episode, great job by Paul, especially piping in the BFBS comment.

    That was a good program, the Top Ten series is always entertaining, it’s not intended to be a serious rating of uniforms or playing aspects of the NFL.

    The topic of the Rams today along with the story of Sam Bradford, reminds me of the Oklahoma Sooners jersey coloring in recent years. Watching the old OU games of the 70s and 80s, the jersey color replicates the Sooner helmet. But in recent years, the Sooner red jersey seems slightly lighter.

    Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley on the Cubs/Reds tv broadcast showed a highlight from a 2004 home game to start the bottom of the 5th, I believe. Brennaman commented that he loved those home unis and Brantley commented that they switched to the sleeveless look because Deion Sanders always pushed up his sleeves. So the uniforms were changed for him.

    As for the relocated Thrashers (if it ever does happen, crosses fingers), I’m suggesting the team be renamed the Manitoba Firebirds. I think it would signal a rebirth of hockey for their fans. The name wouldn’t come off as minor-league to me like the Moose would either. Damnitall, I have a lot of great ideas but no artistic ability whatsoever! Tim E O’B, mock one up for us please!

    Firebirds is a quality nickname, the challenge from a design standpoint would be to create something different than the Calgary Flames without looking too similar to the shoulder logo of the Washington Caps.

    Like most things, it’s doable, with the right amount of imagination.

    Personally, I love the old IHL name Blades, which would be perfect if Kansas City ever came back to the NHL.

    Higher up, Scott Rogers suggested “Manitoba Trappers.”

    That’s another good one. Nice old school feel to it.

    Yeah, I know. Edmonton once had a baseball team called the Trappers. Doesn’t matter, still a nice name for a Manitoba team.

    Twins have a simple, black “3” on their right sleeve. No disk, no nothing. Just “3”.

    The thinking, or so they’re saying, was that no other Twin has even worn the number, so now they’re all going to wear it.

    And, lo and behold, they actually have 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

    So long, Harmon.

    Never got to see him play, but my dad did…up close and personal. They were in spring training together one year. “He went up and I went home,” Dad would say.

    Too bad I still don’t have my retired “jerseys” for my wiffleball field. I would have added Harmon this year if I did.

    Forgot that Killebrew’s in the Pepsi “Field of Dreams” spot. It just ran in the Twins telecast.

    Odds & Ends…

    Target Field grounds crew today lifted home plate and put a laminated photo of Killebrew under it. The photo will, in theory, be there forever.

    They’re talking about how Killebrew impressed upon young Twins players (anecdotally mentioning Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer) that they should practice their autographs so they’d be legible…that that was part of being a major leaguer. People should be able to recognize who did the signing ten years from now. They should not, he stipulated, just scrawl something and move on.

    Killebrew often said: “Keep swinging. They might throw it where you’re swinging.”

    I prefer white at home, but…

    Manitoba Mounties?
    Fuck the police!

    Manitoba Trappers?
    They could have a logo of a beaver with a shattered, bloodied leg. Or maybe one without skin? Cute.

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