Hi there. Miss me?
Before you answer that question — and before I explain what I’m doing in that photo up there — let’s have a major round of applause for Phil Hecken, John Ekdahl, Morris Levin, and everyone else who stepped up and helped steer the Uni Watch ship over the past four weeks. They’ve done a great job deserve everyone’s thanks — especially mine.
So what did I do on my summer vacation? I wish I could tell you I went off on all sorts of amazing adventures, but the sad truth is that Jack is a dull boy, because I’ve spent most of the past month working my ass off, primarily on non-uni projects. Here’s the rundown:
• “Permanent Record” — that’s the project about the old vocational school report cards that I found several years ago — is nearing completion. It will be a series of five articles appearing on Slate.com in mid-September, and I don’t mind saying it’s shaping up pretty nicely. Still lots of work to go, but I’m pleased with how it’s coming together. It’s by far the biggest, most involved thing I’ve ever attempted, and probably the most meaningful, too. I can’t wait for it to be published, in part so I can finally shut up about it and let it speak for itself.
• Last month I went upstate to Fleisher’s — arguably the most important and influential butcher shop in the country at the moment — and sat in for most of a five-day butchery course (I only had time to stay for three days). The photo at the top of the page shows me holding some natural sausage cashing — in other words, sheep intestines. You can see some additional photos here; the old dude is Hans, a 70-year-old German butcher who was teaching the course, and the two women are Cookie and Meg, who were my classmates.
As a meatophile, this was really fun for me. But it was also part of my training for a new writing gig: Starting very soon (maybe this week — not sure yet), I’ll be writing a meat/butchery blog on the Fleisher’s web site. I’ve been busy writing sample entries for them, working with their web guy, etc. Fleisher’s is also about to open a new shop around the corner from my apartment in Brooklyn — their first NYC shop — and it looks like I’ll probably be involved with that in some way. I really respect Fleisher’s approach, which is heavy on the locavore thing, the nose-to-tail thing, the grass-fed thing — all that squishy stuff — and am excited to be working with them.
• I appear to have stumbled into an advisory role for two cops who have an idea for a TV show. All I can say right now is that I really like their idea and that we have a meeting with a production company next week.
• On the uni front, I’ve been working on an ESPN column that will run this week, and it’s a doozy. It was inspired by a few photos that ran here on the site last month — photos that made me want to know more about a certain very charged topic. For now, I’ll just say that the story has led in some extremely interesting and unexpected directions. I think you’ll really like it.
What else? I scored this really nice jersey on eBay for only $16:
What else? Honestly, most of it is just a workaholic blur, but I knew that’s what I was signing up for when I agreed to do “Permanent Record” and when I pursued the Fleisher’s gig. Next summer I plan to take a real vacation.
Thanks for your kind indulgence. Tomorrow we’ll get back to standard Uni Watch content.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Everyone’s been asking me what I think of the blue “Los Mets” jerseys from last Friday. My take: I still don’t think the Mets need anything besides white at home and gray on the road. But if they absolutely insist on having a softball jersey, blue sure beats black. A hint of things to come next season, perhaps? ”¦ Several readers noted that Deion Sanders was wearing an Under Armour lapel pin for his Hall of Fame induction, and Marshall Faulk had a Nike pin, both of which seem like the definition of poor taste. Also, hasn’t Sanders always been a Nike guy? ”¦ In a related item, the last section of this article indicates that several Steelers took part in the filming of the new Batman movie at Heinz Field on Saturday, but not LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison, because the uniforms in the film included the Under Armour logo, which would have created a conflict with their precious corporate endorsements. ”¦ Back in June, Daren Landers sent along a scan, made by a friend of his, of the Reds’ page from the 1981 MLB Style Guide. I asked Daren if his friend could provide sharper scans so we could read the fine print at the bottom, which he has now done — look here. ”¦ You know I love old baseball dugout sweaters, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of someone playing in one of them before (great find by Mike Hersh). ”¦ Also from Mike: an awesome gum box. ”¦ It’s easy to forget that Dick Vitale briefly coached the Pistons. Warren Humphrey sent along this photo of him and Kevin Porter posing with a killer T-shirt. ”¦ Not sports-related, but a bumper crop of amazing old-school clothing illos available by scrolling through this eBay page. ”¦ You know what India needs? American football, that’s what. Here’s what the eight teams in the new Elite Football League of India will look like. ”¦ Louisiana-Lafayette is slated to unveil new football uniforms this week (as reported by Chris Mycoskie). ”¦ A Pats fan has come up with the cleverest jersey of the year so far. ”¦ The 20th anniversary of Paul Brown’s death just passed, and a Cincy web site marked the occasion with a PB slideshow. ”¦ As you know, the Twins have been wearing their throwbacks for all home games ever since Harmon Killebrew’s death. But on Friday they saluted their 1991 championship team by wearing “M” caps, making for an odd mash-up of styles. ”¦ New football uniforms for North Texas (with thanks to Adam Martinez). ”¦ Johnny Ek showed this logo in the Ticker last week and wondered if it might be slated for use next year. Now Sam Shillet, claiming some inside connections, says it will indeed be used in 2012. ”¦ Robert Silverman reports that the great NASLjerseys.com site, which I’ve written about before, has added an ABA section. While browsing through it, I spotted a nickNOB. That’s Bob McIntyre of the 1967-68 New Jersey Americans, from the ABA. ”¦ Nebraska will mark its first season in the Big 10 with this jersey patch (from Chris Bisbee). ”¦ New football uniforms for Utah, along with an additional photo (courtesy of Bill Berg). ”¦ Joe Owen found a mid-1980s shot of Marvell Wynn wearing a Padres BP jersey I’ve never seen before. Not listed in the Henderson guide, either. ”¦ Jay Braiman was visiting the old RMS Queen Mary ocean liner, now preserved as a historic attraction, and spotted something interesting in one of the on-board shops: striped socks patterned after the ship’s funnel design. ”¦ “I attended Saturday night’s Montreal Impact (soccer) game,” writes Trevor Banks. “At halftime, they unveiled the logo they’ll use next year, as they are joining the MLS next year. Here’s the video they played. I’m told the new jersey will likely be unveiled in September.” ”¦ Max McDaniel notes that the blue collar on Auburn’s road football jersey is now white, at least on the retail replica. ”¦ Several readers have asked me what the NFL plans to do about its captaincy patches this season, since a fifth star will have to be added for players entering their fifth season as captain. I asked Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba about it. His response: “Good question.” ”¦ Here’s a cool set of hockey jerseys reimagined as soccer jerseys (from Nicole Haase). ”¦ USC football will be wearing black socks at home this season (with thanks to Avinash Kunnath). ”¦ Here’s an interesting story about WNBA rookie Maya Moore’s endorsement deal with Jordan, and what it could mean for female athletes. ”¦ Anyone else notice that this year’s NFL practice jerseys don’t have the NFL Equipment logo? Even weirder, the logo on old jerseys is now being covered up (well, usually). I’m all for this move — logo anti-creep! — but I still find it puzzling. What could the thinking behind it possibly be? ”¦ Bowling Green’s new football uniforms are shown in this video clip. “First time I can remember them without a white facemask,” says Mark Maxwell. ”¦ Getting back to Deion Sanders for a sec, everyone knows he wore No. 2 at FSU — didn’t he? (Good find by Joel Kenyon.) ”¦ I think this was covered while I was away, but I like it so much that it bears repeating: The Memphis Redbirds will soon be doing an Organ Donor Night promotion, featuring this jersey design. No word on whether they’ll be showing this video on the Jumbotron, but we can hope: