Light Sabre Not Included

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Under Armour is once again promoting the Wounded Warrior Project this year, and yesterday they unveiled South Carolina’s WWP design, which they’ll be wearing on Oct. 1 (click on it for a larger version; further info here).

WWP is actually a good cause, so it’s a shame Under Armour has to resort to same old superhero clichés: the comic book backdrop, the clenched fists, and the faux-badass dark visor to make the player look like a cyborg. Boys with toys. Maybe they’ll take a more dignified approach when presenting the USF and Texas Tech WWP designs next month, but somehow I doubt it.

Meanwhile: New ESPN column today, focusing on the uniform that was worn during a very famous sports moment that is approaching a milestone anniversary. Enjoy.

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Sticker reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Uni Watch Membership Program enrollees can now order stickers based on their membership card designs. Full details here.

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I’ll be discussing the Permanent Record Project today on Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning Show, from about 11:40am-noon Eastern. You can access the live feed here.

I’ll also be talking about Permanent Record on the radio here in New York, on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show,” next Tuesday, 11:40am-noon Eastern. (Yes, I appear to be specializing in that time slot.)

And speaking of Permanent Record, the fourth installment in this week’s series is up now on Slate.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: I’ve confirmed that that new Marlins logo from yesterday is legit. Not the wordmark — just the logo. Reaction in Miami has been largely negative, at least judging by the comments posted here. … And now the latest item to leak, as you can see at right, is that the Blue Jays are going back to basics (although it’s not a straight throwback). I’ve confirmed that this logo, like the Marlins mark, is the real deal. … The Astros will reportedly unveil a 50th-anniversary logo prior to tonight’s game against the Rockies. … Another Wisconsin police department has started wearing Packers-themed badges (from Philip Caldwell). … The Dayton Gems will be wearing 1960s throwbacks for their home opener on Nov. 5. … No photo, but Virginia Tech will wear a helmet decal this weekend to commemorate the victims of the 1970 Marshall plane crash, which included two VaTech grads (from Jim Maino). … A town in Missouri wants the U. of Kansas to scrap its mascot. Why? Oh, just because of the Civil War, that’s all (from Tom Mulgrew). … Bruce Menard wonders if the White Sox’s pajama-era cap logo might have been based on the 1925 Baltimore Black Sox from the Negro Leagues. Seems more like a coincidence to me, but others may feel differently. … What team is that on the right? None other than the Green Bay Blue Jays, which was an Indians farm club in the late 1940s (big thanks to Jeff Ash). … Nats call-up Steve Lombardozzi has some serious radial arching (big thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … Susan Freeman has added to the body of research on Longhorns logo history. … Here’s a shot of the C being sewn onto Mark Streit’s jersey before the official announcement of his captaincy yesterday (big thanks to John Muir). … New goalie gear for both of the Jets’ netminders — Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason (from Chris Hernandez). … Word through the grapevine is that the Saints will be wearing throwbacks this Sunday. ”¦ Cardinals beat writer Joe Strauss did a live chat yesterday. If you search on the word “uniform,” you’ll find that he had a few choice words on the subject (from Steve Strohl). ”¦ Interesting note from Brian Smith, who writes: “Right now, the Phillies have two people in their dugout assigned No. 23: catcher Brian Schneider and Ryne Sandberg, who was the Phils’ triple-A manager and joined the major league coaching staff after his team was eliminated from the playoffs. I was at a game earlier this week and Schneider and Sandberg were practically standing side by side, but I was too far away to get a picture. They usually let the triple-A manager come up every September, but he gets a number like 92 or something.”¨” Hmmm. That shouldn’t happen, I see that Sandberg isn’t listed on the Phils’ official coaching roster (although Brian says he is listed in the scorecard roster), so maybe they’re just giving him his old number as a courtesy. ”¦ The new form of Reebok logo creep on NHL jerseys looks particularly awful on the Rangers (screen shot by Adrian Acosta). ”¦ Sure, go ahead and snicker, but it takes guts to show up at a Royals game at all dressed like this (from Brady Graham). ”¦ “I was watching a rebroadcast of the Nebraska-Arizona State game from September 21, 1996, when ASU snapped the Cornhuskers’ 26 game winning streak,” writes Shaun Kuter. “I noticed that some of the Nebraska players had an Adidas wordmark on their jerseys, while some had the three-stripe logo. You can sort of see it in this crappy photo I took.” ”¦ Brave New World of Advertising Dept.: The plastic sheeting that the Yankees used to protect their clubhouse during last night’s Champagne celebration was plastered with Budweiser ads. Pretty understandable, since the Yankees don’t have many revenue stream, right? (From Nicole Haas.)

View Comments (220)

  • Re: the leaked Jays logo.

    You say your understanding is that the analysis is correct. Is it also your understanding that this logo is legit?

    Most Jays fans seem to be praying this is for real.

    • That's my understanding, yes. I can't say it's fully confirmed -- i.e., I wouldn't write something for ESPN and say it's totally legit -- but I believe it is.

        • Wow. A team actually updated a "heritage" logo and didn't destroy it in the process! The most impressive thing, IMHO, is that the Blue Jays resisted the urge to make the bird "fierce" or "angry" as seems to be the norm nowadays. Oh, and no "possessed-by-satan" green glowing eyes, either. Today is a good day to be a fan of baseball in Toronto.

        • It does appear to be a bit more angular and therefore a little less "kind" than the orig. But, yes, glad it doesn't have clenched teeth or anything!

        • Very well put, Dave and Birdie. And very very well done, Blue Jays! Hope the new uni is as good as the logo.

        • Looks like the logo they used in the late 90's, if it ain't broke don't fix it! But I'm very happy they're going back to a classy bird instead of the Angry Bird....and no longer being the Black Jays.

        • The more I look at the new bird, the angrier it gets. The "squinted" elliptical eye, the more pointed contour of the glint in the eyeball, the furrowed brow, the frowning needle-like beak.

        • As a Jays' fan, I really like the new logo. But I'm unsure if I love it on its own merits, or if it is so good in comparison to the crap they've been using since 1999, or if I'm just happy to see the Jays emphasize blue colours again.
          And as far as a new font, even though the split letter font screamed tacky 1970's design, it was also a part of the team's identity and made the team unique, and I'd love to see a return to something similar. When you saw that font you knew it was the Blue Jays without any doubt. I always liked it, but not sure that I ever loved it.

    • The new bird is way better than the current J. I just hope they don't also return to the old number font. It was dated from the moment they launched it. And current nameplates are about 50% too big. I don't think there's enough twill in Toronto if they traded for Salty.

    • I've yet to see a clear enough picture to see if the Tigers had the same thing. They were on the road in Oakland, though, while the Phillies and Yankees were at home when they had their respective celebrations.

    • Yeah, this strikes me as an MLB-wide thing and not a team-specific thing. Budweiser's been the lead beer sponsor of MLB for years. So any time there's alcohol or alcohol-like products around, they've gotta have their name/logo plastered all over the place.

      It'll be interesting to see what plastic goes up if/when the Brewers clinch the NL Central Division title in Miller Park...

        • It will probably be Miller. The Tigers are sponsored by Miller and when they clinched they had Miller Lite signs on the plastic and they were drinking Miller Lite.

    • I really feel for these guys with long names; the fact that the Nationals use three-layer letters makes a mockery of the thing. No player should have to put up with that.

      The least they could do would be to use an extra-thin font like the one on Eric Stuckenschneider's jersey. The Mets used to have one, and it made their long-named players look much less silly.

      (In Japan they also have extra-wide fonts for players with really short names; I dislike them. I wonder if Chin-Lung Hu would prefer this to what he got.)

      But really the best solution is not to have names on jerseys at all. We've got HDTV and high-def graphics for that now!

  • Yeah, the whole promo event is dumb. But then again when you consider the commercials that football fans watch- cars, beer, video games...it makes sense the whole promo came out like that. It's how the younger generation football fans like it. They're going right back to tweeting and texting after seeing this.

    UA is doing all it can to keep these fans happy. Unfortunately they make up the bulk of the market now.

  • Re: Reebok Rangers and Budweiser Bombers

    Haven't seen the new NHL sweaters with the Reebok wordmark up close, but judging from that photo I assume it's a patch rather than direct stitching. Somebody at Reebok needs send them some red wordmark on white or white wordmark on red patches. Break the red stripe up with the red wordmark on white or continue the stripe and put the white wordmark inside it. I get Reebok wants their name to stand out, but that takes the Ree-Box to a level it doesn't need to go.

    The Budweiser plastic wrap can be blamed on MLB, not the Yankees. Budweiser is the "official" beer of MLB and every team that makes the postseason will get the Budweiser treatment in the clubhouse when they clinch a spot. It's been that way for a while too. I remember seeing it last year during the Giants World Series run.

  • I couldn't picture what the old logo creep looked like on the white Rangers jerseys, so I looked it up. From the maker's perspective, I can see where they'd want to highlight the logo a little bit more:

    http://www.blogcdn.com/nhl.fanhouse.com/media/2008/09/new_york_rangers_preview_425.jpg

    What I can't help but wonder is, did the maker ask for a bigger logo, was told no, they CANNOT be larger than 1"x4" (or whatever), so they didn't make the logo bigger, they just drew attention to it!

    • From the maker’s perspective, I can see where they’d want to highlight the logo a little bit more

      Uh, I'm sure the maker's perspective would like the team to be called the New York Reeboks.

      But why is the maker's perspective relevant? They're a vendor providing a service to a client. They're the tail, not the dog. Fuck the maker's perspective.

      • Don't get me wrong. The NHL shouldn't allow it. I'm just saying I don't blame Reebok for trying. The sad thing is, they've been given an inch, so soon they'll be asking for a mile.

  • I'm a follower of all things Gamecocks, so I feel compelled to comment. Obviously the "costume" uniform isn't really worth discussion because it's just a one week gimmick and who really cares. Does anyone know what's the story on the "tron maze" design UA is using on all these WWP unis? Seems like digital camo would make more sense... HOWEVER, I will give credit where it is due. I really love the rooster spur on the back of the socks.

    • Well, I care and it is worth talking about and critiquing. I hate what UA has done to Carolina's football uniforms. The regular uniforms are an abomination. The Wounded Warrior unis are even worse. These uniforms look like a joke and need to be ridiculed as such.

    • Re: UA ruining the Gamecocks unis.

      If anyone can correct me if I'm wrong please do, but isn't the the University the ones approving what UA comes up with? Isn't the University to blame for allowing these uniforms on the field?

      Look at it this way. You're the athletic director of the college. You hire UA to do some new uniforms for you. Do you just give them free reign to come up with whatever they want to put on the field, or do you have them come back at a first meeting with 20 schemes. Then you whittle them down to 10 and make some changes. Then 5 and mroe changes. Then they come back with actual uniforms and you whittle it down more and make more changes until finally the University has approved and worked with UA to come up with something acceptable to the University.

      How many people would give an architect a boat load of money to design a house, and you're stuck with whatever the architect designs? Wouldn't you like some say in what the house might look like? Or total say for that matter?

      • Isn't the 'give architect boatload of money and wait' strategy how we got Fallingwater?

        Not that I disagree with your point, but just sayin'.

      • Unfortunately, when you take the King's shilling, you do the King's bidding...in this case, UA is the King.

        Carolina sold its apparel rights (and presumably, the right to say what its uniforms will look like) to UA. Yes, dignity has a price.

        At least Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, and Southern Cal have the guts to insist on maintaining their classic look in spite of the costume makers.

        • Ok, I was unaware that a college would sell the rights to its uniforms to a manufacturer. I was unaware such a thing was even possible or existed, so yeah, if that is in fact the case and the University has given up rights, by all means direct your anger at UA! Disregard my comment a few replies below.

        • No, it doesn't work like that. UA is a licensee. They do not hold the power when it comes to approvals, and South Carolina has not sold the rights to the uniform to UA. That said, when the phone rings and it's UA on the other line, it's probably tough to not throw them a bone and hear them out when they are giving your program a boatload of money and free gear. You can't just hang up on them. All stuff like this is developed in conjunction with the athletic department. It's not all UA's doing. The design language throughout the process may not stray too far from typical UA, but all the final calls are approved by the athletic department.

    • If I'm not mistaken, MARPAT is proprietary so it can't be duplicated or neutralized by enemy intelligence. The government can't hold trademarks or copyrights, so they could reverse engineer it, but that wouldn't really be worth UA's time. It's surprising they wouldn't just make a digicamo pattern of their own though.