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The Minutia of the SWC

Big 10 Family Portrait - Framed

By Phil Hecken

Way back in January, I ran a little “sub-feature” brought to my attention by Susan Freeman, which I called “We Are Family”, and if you read that (it’s pretty short), it highlighted a number of wonderful full-sized post cards detailing many of the NCAA Football Conferences, circa 1969.

It was a nice little feature, and if you note at the bottom, I said:

Tex put in a call to Mr. Collins and is hoping to find out much more about the series and possibly other works he has had commissioned that relate to college football. Of course, I have actually planned on working on a feature article with Susan in the future, so any additional information she can gather will be included in that.

I’d almost forgotten about that, when a short while ago I got a note from Susan saying she’d made contact with Mr. Collins, and we were ready to go forward with that article. I’m pleased to bring you that today. Enjoy!


The Minutia of the SWC
By Susan Freeman

I think I was always interested in the minutia. Possibly I took interest in the minutia because in the SWC in those days my teams were usually getting shellacked”¦ but I think I was always interested in it ”“ even the close games. I don’t have a lot of memories as a child that are not aided by photographs, but I remember the very first time I saw shiny football pants. It was Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl and I saw the sheen and pointed it out to dad. He was like, what? It was monumental to me”¦ And that is where my love for unis was set in concrete! Although I must admit, not being a fan of Notre Dame, it was 11 years till I realized their colors were NOT green and gold.

Growing up in the midst of the SWC marinated my love for it into a hard fast passion. I loved the stadiums, the fans (well, most of them), the logos — what a cast of characters! And how can you not love those cartoon images of Bevo or Dirk West cartoons? I remember being so excited to see if the local paper ran the weekly Dirk West cartoon — it was a highlight, I could not get enough of it.

Dad knew everything about the conference. He had mad love for it too. When he was 14 he (and his best friend) went to the Texas/Texas A&M game in College Station … on a train … by themselves! Dropped them off right across the street! He collected chinstraps from players at the games — and was able to identify who he got each one from (and what game) before he died. He had player friends get him programs throughout his college years ”“ and ticket stubs or any other cool memento. He kept everything — glad to say he did a much better job than his mom did with his baseball cards! Of course, they would have been worthless; he cut the hats off of other cards to make his favorite players accurate. Ahhhh, so you see the root of my love for minutia.

One of my favorite things he had when I was growing up were the conference family portraits. I just loved them and would stare at them for hours. Discussed in January on this site, he had cut the large size post cards down to fit in 6×8 wooden black frames. While working with Phil on a small story about them, I realized (switching from our graphics oriented world) that this was a painting — signed by a guy named Don Collins. Well, it never occurred to me to look him up till now.

Now there is not as much SWC info on the web as you might think (shocking to me, but maybe not you). Other than my site, one other guy’s, and the helmet site, you can only find a few nuggets here and there. It is simply a waiting game for people to catch up and scan old things as they find them.

One very quick Google search and I found him! I put in a call and waited — that is where Phil left off in January. A few days later (I called Friday and he got back to his studio on Monday) he called me back. Oh. My. God. I was talking to the very guy that painted these little gems! The first and obvious question (after regaining composure and slowing my heart rate), why did he paint them?

The real story is way more entertaining than my speculation that some collegiate sports company commissioned him. Boring, right? Turns out that the company was their creation. He and the guys in his studio were sitting around and just wanted to get in on the “frenzy” … It was 1969: 100 year anniversary of college football — a logo, special helmet decals, commemorative glasses, you name it. In those days, gas stations were big on the giveaways. Humble/Enco/Esso had a slew of various items for years and years as the radio broadcast sponsor — and Mobil offered up the frosted Varsity tumblers. I don’t have any evidence that Gulf handed out SWC football giveaways — maybe they were looking at getting in the game.

The boys hatched their own plan to get in the game with the family portraits. It was Don’s first major painting — an acrylic 20×30 “Up For Grabs”. The “Southwest Conference Family Portrait” came next and then the others followed. They pitched it to Gulf Oil, who was all-in. They did a test run of 5,000 posters for each conference and had more interviews with Gulf with increasingly positive results. They formed the National Collegiate Marketing Corporation in order to borrow enough money — they were talking millions of posters and a nationwide effort. The paper alone would have filled up several boxcars according to Don. They had their ranches picked out…and then Gulf just politely said no thanks. And that was it. Sort of…

Of course I had to ask where the originals were – just disappeared one day — ugh! He thinks one of the participants ended up taking them when he moved from Austin. I have a lead on where they might have ended up. Commencing statewide search now…

Lots of hilarious chatter on the intrawebs about team depictions and descriptions spawned after Uni Watch ran the portraits. Don said they just did the best they could with what little info they had about the teams. There was no internet back then and to do the research was no small task, but he had a lot of fun creating the images. He didn’t remember the inscriptions on the back of the cards — so we don’t know if he wrote them or not.

It took 3-4 months to produce it all – thousands and thousands of posters, plus postcards, playing cards, and koozies!

After the rejection and some mourning, everyone took home a few items and then the better part of them were trucked to the dump. Ouch. Don doesn’t really remember the ads or how long the effort to recover lasted. They were advertised in Dave Campbell’s 1969 and 1970 Texas Football and lucky for us ”“ purchased by fans (including my dad)!

And yes, over the years Don has considered redoing the portraits – if only we could get the conference musical chair music…to stop.


Thanks so much for that great follow-up, Susan. It may have been 10 months in the making, but it was certainly worth the wait.


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Rain? HAH! It is to laugh.

10-4-11 w-stickum color

And of course, the full-size.


2010-playoffs-alex rocklein

Tracking The 2011 MLB Playoffs

Last year, Alex Rocklein showed off a really neat playoff tracker, in which he tracked playoff teams wins & losses, not only by their wins and losses, but also by uniform!

He’s back again this year.

Yesterday, all four sets of teams were in action, and one series was decided. The gray-clad Rangers appeased the uni-gods, striking down the softball-topped Rays, with the Texases advancing to the ALCS. Wonder if that bubbly was ginger ale

In the remaining series, the Phillies (in proper gray) took a 2 to 1 games lead over the Cards, the Yankees knotted up their series at 2 apiece against the Tigers, and the white-clad D-Baacks staved off elimination, taking down the gray topped Brewers, who lead that series 2-1.

And, now, here’s Alex’s up-to-the-minute 2011 MLB Playoff Tracker.


Duck Tracker Header

2011 Duck Tracker

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Jake Hurley has stepped up to the plate and taken over the “Duck Tracker” for 2011. What is the Duck Tracker? Quite simply, it tracks each and every uniform combination the Ducks have worn for the 2011 season. He steps in for former tracker Mike Princip, whose non-Uni Watch activities will preclude him from tracking for 2011.

Jake is hoping you fine readers might present him with some feedback on this project, and also if anyone is interested in adding content (such as history, uniform history, tweaks or mock-ups), Jake will gladly add it to the site. Shoot me an E-mail.

Here’s the 2011 Duck Tracker currently — as you can see it’s great, but a bit barren — and Jake would like to make the project a bit more informational, like Mike did with it the past two years.

The Ducks play Cal tomorrow night on ESPN, so I’ll have the new updated tracker on Saturday. Hopefully you guys will help Jake out and add your own bit of history or mockups or what have you to this great project.



mea culpa

Regarding Hank…

First of all, I want to apologize for not having been able to comment yesterday at all — between life, job, and school, and being up until 3:00 AM the past two nights prepping the morning posts, I’ve had a full plate filling in for Paul.

There was quite a shit-storm in the comments yesterday regarding an item that appeared in the bottom of the ticker — specifically, a comment that I (not John Ekdahl) made which called Hank Williams, Jr. a “redneck.” I didn’t expect the resulting *discussion* to be so heated, and I wish I had been able to get onto the boards to reply to the various commenters. Politics don’t have a place on Uni Watch, unless they are related to uniforms, and while the incident was somewhat related to sports (but not uniforms), it was probably best left alone.

That being said, I stand by my comment, and if what Mr. Williams had said was “no big deal,” he wouldn’t have issued an apology nor been booted off ESPN. No one should ever compare anyone, especially the President or the Speaker of the House, to Hitler (even if there was some debate to whom HWJr. was referring). It was the wrong thing for him to do and I wasn’t happy about it. At 2:30 in the morning, my judgment was probably off, and again, I should not have included that item in the ticker. He is entitled to his opinions, and as someone much smarter than myself said (paraphrasing here) “I may not agree with a word you have to say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it.”

Full Disclosure: I work in politics, for a Republican (although I consider myself to be a Libertarian). But I’ll call “Bullshit” on any party or member of a party when I hear or see it. So it was amusing to be called a “Lib-tard” in the comments. I’ve been called many things in my life, some of them right here on this board, but “Lib-tard” was a first.

Again, I’m sorry for linking to that story and for using the word “redneck” to describe Hank Williams. If I ever do bring up this subject again (and I hope we can just end it here and move on), it will be to poke fun at him for singing “McCain-Palin Tradition” with a tucked in Redskins Washington professional football team jersey. Now that would be uni-related and apropos.



Uni Watch News Ticker (completely compiled by John Ekdahl): “A black day for Aussie cricket” (Murray Conallin). … Pinstripes versus pinstripes in this 1977 photo (Jerry). … Grantland posted a fun MLB playoff infographic, for those who missed it (Stephen Lucas). … The Penguins and Capitals will be wearing patches honoring the KHL team lost in the plane crash in Russia (Rob Ullman). … Matt Powers: “I noticed the other day that something was different with Foster’s neck bumper. I called the Houston Texans and actually spoke to Jay Brunetti, the Equipment Manager. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster are actually wearing the Rawlings Quantum NRG, which happens to look ALOT like the Schutt Air XP.” … “Think Pink” comes to Texas high school football at this Alice vs Tuloso-Midway game (Sam P via … That’s one large captain’s “C” (Tim Gerland). … It looks as though the Bobcats are still using player images marketing material, even though they aren’t supposed to (A. J. Spring). … Some NHL teams are wearing numbers on the front of their helmets while in Europe (Ryan Connelly). … Ben Harris: “Texas Rangers reliever Mike Adams sported a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon stitched onto his glove.” … A picture of a white University of California football helmet has surfaced. … Tom Haverfold’s pitch to Nike (Michael Emody). … Nick Orban: “Because we’re on the subject of pink with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my college implemented them this year. UMD’s Men’s Soccer Team is playing in a pink jersey, which is attached. The last names on the jerseys have also been replaced with words like “Heart” “Hope” and “Perseverance,” a la the Wounded Warrior uniforms UA has come out with in recent years.” … Here are some fantastic colorized shots of Babe Ruth (Daniel Kisslinger). … Great shot here of AFL jerseys from Arrowhead Stadium (Brady Graham).


That’s all for today folks. Paul will be back tomorrow, hope he had a great trip. See you guys over the weekend.


“I love the comment of the day.” — Kyle Allebach

Comments (208)

    Mildly interesting that the AFL jersey collection includes two Raiders and no Bengals.

    And one of those Raiders jerseys might be post-AFL. Jim Otto wouldn’t have had a first initial on his jersey in ’63 or ’64, (Gus Otto didn’t join the team till ’65) so that jersey is probably the 1970 version.

    I’m personally disappointed as a Chiefs fan and KC native that we put two jerseys up there while only having one of the actual home team. Big meh on that one.

    Okay, I’m confused as to which team #46 in red is from. Thought I’d seen them all.

    Chiefs, officials, Bills, Oilers, Raiders, Jets, Dolphins, ???, Chargers, Raiders, Patriots.

    Is that a Broncos jersey?

    “Can anyone on this board actually read? John Ekdahl compiled the ticker. Not Paul. Not Phil.

    I’m not for or against the political debate on here because it matters little in the grand scheme of things, but the most important in reading the blog is READING.

    Stop being a bunch of illiterate half-wits, and COMPREHEND WHAT YOU READ.”

    Kinda harsh stuff there (in yesterday’s comments) based on an assumption that ended up being incorrect, don’t you think? Seems like a shame that John is the only one to receive and apology. (this coming from a guy who didn’t place blame on ANYBODY specifically for the ticker item in question)

    Nope. Everyone went out and blamed Phil and Paul. Because the ticker was compiled by John, I thought he had written it as well.

    I will not apologize for what I wrote, and I will not be politically correct for labelling people who cannot read.

    And if you want an apology, read Phil’s above.

    I’m tired of everyone feeling they are entitled to something in life. I owe everyone a hot cup of nothing except the guy who I thought wrote the ticker.

    John deserves my apology. Everyone else? Not a bloody chance.

    Odd … I don’t recall blaming anybody (guess that makes me a nobody), and really feel like I need no apology at all from anyone. That said, maybe the commenters were able to figure out that the ticker item seemed to be more Paulcentric or Philcentric than Johncentric. Probably not, though. They’re just a bunch of “illiterate half-wits”, and you know all (without error), right?

    If you didn’t blame anyone, Jim, then for what are you looking? You want me to apologize to you for not including you in the “illiterate half-wit” comment?

    I guess I was just frustrated that you called a large number of people illiterate half-wits for having the gall to suggest that Phil made a comment, then when it turns out they were right, you feel there’s no reason to acknowledge that YOU were the one who was mistaken. If nothing was said, I wouldn’t have commented, but since you were so very careful to publicly apologize to John (who most likely was not insulted by your comment). I supposed that since it’s just you and me commenting about this, I’m overreacting. If that’s the case, then I don’t apologize (cause two wrongs always make a right).

    1) Phil has an opinion.
    2) I drew John into the opinion when it wasn’t his.
    3) I apologized to John for doing so.
    4) Everyone else takes Phil’s opinion and spins their own truth.
    5) Phil clarified the John/Phil divide.

    I hear what you’re saying, Jim, but I still think that there are a vast number of people who frequent this board looking for some point to leap from whenever they can.

    To the regular commentors with an opinion contrary to myself or the powers that be, I apologize. You’re the reason why this place is so popular, and it’s one of the things I look forward to reading. Points contrary to the prevailing belief are healthy.

    Jim, I apologize to you, and I do mean it. You’re certainly not one of the people who have had me in a tizzy the last few days, so I sincerely apologize.

    We good? Everyone still hate me?

    If you want an apology from strangers for saying mean things on the internet, the line forms behind me – Someone on an AOL chatroom called me an asshole in 1997.

    It’s a series of tubes, get over it.


    My Gateway 2000 running Windows 95 has never been so insulted.

    I think rednecks have gotten a bad reputation over the years. I don’t consider myself one, but I have friends that probably are (I DO live in Tennessee). Well, they are “rednecks” if the definition includes people that like to hunt or fish, drive oversized trucks, etc. But being a “redneck” doesn’t make one a bad person, or a racist, or anything else. Maybe folks have lost sight of just what that word means or even describes. Being from the South, I think it is split pretty evenly between people that consider rednecks to be basically “white trash”, and then people that are PROUD to call themselves a redneck. An interesting case in sociology, to be sure.

    Anyway, I’m not sure I have a real point to this, other than the fact that I don’t think terms like “redneck” or “racist” need to be thrown out with such reckless abandon. People need to stop and consider what they are saying. Hank’s analogy was ignorant, simply because comparing a politician to a dictator who exterminated millions of people is just pointless and stupid. But I’m not sure it makes Hank anything more than JUST igorant – ignorant of how our political system works (apparently), and ignorant of how inappropriate the comment really was. If he’s a “redneck”, that and his comment seem mutually exclusive, to me.

    It’s way too early to be on this soapbox, so I will gladly step off now. And so Susan’s contribution today doesn’t get overlooked, I would like to say that I enjoyed it very much. Those paintings are all simply outstanding, and it’s great to hear the backstory to them. Thanks Susan (and Phil!).

    There are benign “redneck” Southerners…and then there ignorant, arrogant, uneducated, hateful, racist rednecks who wish to proudly share their ignorance and bigotry with the world and who, unfortunately, are now given platforms by some right wing forums for their offensive rhetoric. Not everything these rednecks say is racist, per se, but the motive behind their comments is often driven by racism. I think it’s time we stop celebrating ignorance and divisiveness. (And I’m tired of getting ignorant e-mails telling me Barack Obama is from Kenya…)

    Well speaking as a more conservative person as far as politics go (I don’t know exactly what you refer to as a “right-winger”), I’m just tired of the partisan BS. Hank’s comments eximplify that problem. And I disagree with your point that “right wing forums” give people forums for offensive rhetoric. It comes from all political ideologies, and that’s the truth. Further still, rednecks are not limited to the South. Another misnomer that I think people who reflexively look down on the South like to throw out. I know you are a southerner, so I’m not talking about you per se… but it happens.

    As Phil said, I think it’s just time to put the political talk to bed on here. And yes, I know I’m contributing to it today, but I hope today is the last day. We’re hear to talk about uniforms, damn it.

    (and I hope we can just end it here and move on)

    Here’s an idea: how about you guys continue this conversation in any of the other bullshit threads about this same bullshit in YESTERDAY’s bullshit comment section, so today’s comments don’t get all mucked up with bullshit?

    Or we can stop being pretentious comment-monitors, and just ignore something we don’t want to read. But, whatever. I’m done.

    Then why did you bring it up again, Chris…? Everything I have said has been in response to what someone else said and where I believed a response was in order. I’ll be glad to let it drop and talk about uniforms. Why don’t you guys do the same.

    Regardless of Hank Junior’s comments, and ESPN’s actions, and whatever formatics The Worldwide Leader in Sports adopts for its MNF opening, I wish only to go on the record as saying I remain in a state of football readiness.

    Personally, I’m always ready for any amount of football, be it some, most, or even all.

    While we’re booting shitty things from MNF, can we get tape of Jon Gruden calling someone an ‘N’-word or something? That dude needs to (shut the hell up) go.

    @jdreyfuss: Hear, hear!! And I’m ready for football of varying descriptions. Except for my woeful Argonauts, the CFL is usually entertaining. And even though the All Blacks were cleaning Canada’s clock, I quite enjoyed watching their match at the Rugby World Cup.

    redneck |ˌrɛdˈnɛk| noun
    informal derogatory – a working-class white person, esp. a politically reactionary one from a rural area

    So, if it looks “like” a duck. . .. AND kneejerkers need to know a bad analogy does not make somebody a bad person.
    I’d only start worrying if Mr. Obama showed up one day sporting that awesomely awful mustache. Are you ready for some foot in the mouth? Kenya dig it? twang twang

    I’d like it if we could keep the uniform site about uniforms and not about politics at all. Of course, this is Phil’s site so if he or one of the contributors want to go there, that’s their right.

    I would like it though, if we could just ignore anyone who compares anyone to Hitler. It was stupid for HWJr to compare Obama to Hitler, just like it was stupid for anyone who compared W to him. We’re all Americans and comparing another American to Hitler is unpatriotic.

    Yeah, it’s everyone’s right to speak their mind. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get fired for what you say or you don’t get ignored. Personally, I’ll go for ignore.

    Now, how about those SWC helmets? That’s great stuff.

    Agreed. Love the cartoonish mascots! For all you SWC fans out there here is a boss SWC t-shirt that this guy is selling. Eyeball it. link

    Can’t think of SWC Minutia without thinking about those early 1970’s TCU jerseys that were light Purple/violet – What Beauties !!!!

    I know for sure that I scanned that photo and have posted here before and on Ohio State site. No big deal that somebody used it on Fanbase

    Most of those SWc pics are from a book I have called The College Game. I scanned them and posted. Of course the guy may just have the old book also.

    Speaking of TCU unis I like the current seemingly lighter purple they are wearing. I wish they would use white instead of black though.

    Susan, just went back and re-read the article. Well done! Great work in tracking down the man that made memories in your house!

    Someone’s already updated the SEC Family Portrait…

    (Found on one of the Texas A&M Boards — not sure who to credit with the Photoshop)


    Forgot to add that, when A&M was announcing their move to the SEC, the first thing I thought of was these portraits. Thanks for updating the backstory, Susan!

    funny how life imitates art, these are OLD cartoons of the conferences, like old fashion families. Time to get out the blender and change things up.

    I don’t think that captain’s C is actually larger than normal, it’s just awkwardly displaced by that stupid NHL Premiere patch, which should be on the shoulders.

    Scratch that – it should be on the opposite side of the chest, except for the Sabres’ stupid-ass front jersey numbers, which, compounded with the new helmet numbers, looks extra dumb.

    You are correct that the C is the normal size, and that it looks awkward due to the additional patch for the Euro trip.

    However, it is on the correct side. All NHL captain and alternate patches go on the player’s left side, except for Detroit, who had to move theirs to the player’s right due to the change to the Reebok Edge uniforms, which raised (and possibly enlarged) the logos on the jerseys, causing the patches to be too close (if not touch) the tip of the wing on their logo.

    The front numbers have nothing to do with it. I can take or leave them, but in Buffalo’s case I like them. Some teams go with wider & fatter typefaces for their front numbers which makes them look obtrusive and messy, but the Sabres is thinner and easier to read, which makes it look fine. Admittedly, I live in Buffalo and am a Sabres fan, so I am biased.

    The helmet numbers… yeah… those gotta go. But the Sabres aren’t alone there. That’s league mandated now.

    No mention of the Senators new awesome thirds on this site? link

    I meant that the NHL Premiere patch should be on the other side (where the numbers are), where such patches usually go. Sorry about the confusion.

    Typically, when a team is forced to wear a patch next to the C/A, they get put side-by-side – examples include the Red Wings’ 2008 and 2009 Finals patches, and the Rangers’ use of the NHL 75th patch in 1991-92 (which is curious when you consider the Flyers wore the league-wide patch on the shoulder, and the Rangers have worn patches on their shoulders in subsequent seasons).

    Aside from my disappointment with Ottawa’s use of a certain NOT-white (seriously, I just don’t get the appeal at all), I will say that the third is still a huge step up from that “SENS” jersey. Now, if they could just go to a traditional template on their regular jerseys…

    I don’t mind the “vintage white” aka tan on the Sens jersey, but yeah, I’d love to see a version in white.

    You’re dead on about their regular unis. That template they use has to go. Likewise for Pittsburgh. And even though I hate what the Tampa Bay Maple Wings have done with their colors, at least they’re no longer saddled with that horrid Reebok template any longer.

    No, the G would stand for “Above Average.”

    But you hit it with the WoBeGon thing. Just seeing the letters WBG in that order – the visual hierarchy here sort of puts them in that order as the eye scans it – reads as “WoBeGone” to me. Totally involuntary reaction.

    I bet people from, say, Arizona don’t have this problem!

    I think if some t-shirts were produced with in the vein of the “I Still Call It…” stadium t’s there would be a market. For example The vintage Big 10 portrait with “My Big 10” written underneath. I would buy a “My ACC” one in a flash!

    Sign me up, as well. Expansion sucks.

    Of course, how far back do you go? Forget the “My SEC” shirt… I want one that says “My Southern Conference”. Big ups to pre-1930s college football!

    Thanks to Susan in her article for the link to my website, and always glad to read of other SWC websites and those interested in the old conference.

    Great article. I always enjoy seeing those vintage Sammies. On a side note to Susan, are the logos you have listed just the ones used during the schools’ tenure in the SWC or are they all the logos the schools used? Rice stopped using the pouncing owl when we moved into C-USA a few years ago in favor of the Gothic ‘R.’

    I probably should not have the “pouncing Owl” (is that what he is really called?) on there – I think it came after 1995. I battle with that from time to time – whether to be all inclusive of of the core SWC teams, or just focus on the years of the SWC. In fact, some of the programs predate that team’s entry into the conference. The goal of the main program page is to have the program image of every single SWC game. Maybe when I get to that level I shed out onto a different page the ones before/after a team left the conference…

    I have no idea what it’s called. I could probably look up the heraldic term, but as far as I know that logo doesn’t have any particular name. It was just a good way to distinguish it from the various standing owls and angry Sammies Rice used before it.

    For Susan Freeman I have some more info regardging the Notre Dame “shiny pants” from the 1979 Cotton Bowl. While Notre Dame has always been well known in sports circles they also were back then well known for using items that had long been retired by other teams. Those pants are a case in point – they date to the early-mid 1960s when teams used pants with nylon fronts. Look up photos of teams with metallic color pants from that era like the Dallas Cowboys circa 1964-1966 and you’ll see that same kind of material. Also check out the photos included in George Plimpton’s book Paper Lion – the Lions also had pants like that in 1963, the year he went to training camp with them. However, it was hard to see details like that on the black & white TV of the day.

    At any rate Notre Dame wore those old-style pants through that season and maybe even another year or two after that – I don’t remember them having the more typical all knit pants until about the 1980 season. Then of course we got to the “modern” metallic finish pants era a bit later in the 1980s – there were metallic fabric front pants around 1983, and by 1985 some teams had all metallic fabric pants.

    I don’t think those are “colorized” photos of the Babe. It seems pretty clear from the photographer’s commentary that they were shot on colour film: “[The editor from LIFE] asked if I had any black and white film. ‘I got two rolls of color,’ I told him. ‘That’s all I have in the house.’ ‘Okay,’ he says. ‘Go ahead. shoot it in color.’ And that’s it. That’s why the shots I took that day are in color.”

    Thanks for reviving the memories, Susan. The biggest difference is that Dallas kids like me grew up look at Bill McClanahan’s cartoons in the Dallas Morning News instead of Dirk West’s. As the season went along, the mascots would be pictured in various forms of disrepair — Bevo’s horn taped on, Sarge leaning on a crutch, etc.

    Again so many thanks! You just gave me a whole new lead on SWC history. Turns out Bill McClanahan also illustrated the mascots on the back of Mobil’s Varsity Tumblers! See the Baylor one in this pic!

    Again so many thanks! You just gave me a whole new lead on SWC history. Turns out Bill McClanahan also illustrated the mascots on the back of Mobil’s Varsity Tumblers! See the Baylor one in this link!

    I can’t type… Phil, clean-up on aisle 3!

    Of course that SWC merry-go-round is really a Ferris Wheel. Any carny should know that difference.

    Regarding the white Cal helmet does anyone know what the navy strip (saying “Bears”) between the chinstrap fasteners is? Does this serve any function or is it purely decorative?

    That caught my eye too. I am a bit of helmet connoisseur and I have never seen that before. The chin strap is clearly unfastened so I guess it is just another way to get a team name or accessory placed on the helmet. I wonder if it gets covered by the chin strap when it is fastened? Either way, I kind of like it and overall the white helmet is a cool, clean look.

    I don’t think those Babe Ruth pics are colorized. I’m pretty sure they’re color.

    re: Benchies

    That reminds me of a TV program I saw from about 1990 about revealed secrets, that in the days before stretchy-tight NFL uniforms, some players (especially running backs) would put (2-sided) duct tape on their pads to stick to their jerseys & spray the outside of their jersey with Pam cooking spray to create a slick surface.

    I remember it was the only sports part of the show, and the only part I cared about knowing.

    guys still use double sided tape on their shoulder pads. maybe not foreign substances on their jerseys, arms, and legs, but definitely still tape. that sometimes causes weird angles and such, distorted lines on jerseys

    In that case I think these are actually worse. The black helmet looks out of place on the mono-blue. Heck out of what you’ve posted I think the blackout is their best looking uniform.

    Some NHL teams are wearing numbers on the front in Europe because its an NHL requirement now. Those teams that are staying in Europe open their season’s up there so might as well have it ready now while you’re overseas.

    I seriously just spent over half an hour looking at the “hilarious chatter” link in Susan’s follow up. Wow. I want to line my non-existant man-cave with that man’s art. And this is coming from a guy whose school (WVU) isn’t even depicted in any of them. Awesome job Susan, just awesome.

    Phil: as a libertarian myself, I’ve just come to expect that folks on the right will think I’m a left-wing nutjob and folks on the left will think I’m a right-wing nutjob. The funny thing is, if they’d just stick to nutjob they’d both be right! Anyway, always enjoy when you keep the shop running in Paul’s absence, even if you leave an occasional shitstorm in your wake.

    I know the feeling. I get called a Democrat in Texas and a Republican in Ohio. Here in Virginia, I believe I get called a Yankee.

    Where in Virginia? Ah’m hea down in Woodbridge, y’all.

    Personally, I find contemporary political labels so meaningless, even misleading, that I stopped trying to explain myself in terms like “conservative” and usually just say I’m a whig. (I stand ready to defend the principles of internal improvements, national banking, and free soil if Paul ever insults Henry Clay in the ticker. link)

    Lexington. I’m out in the sticks. So how vehemently do you oppose the presidency of Andrew Jackson?

    So strongly, sir, that I regard Speaker Bell playing cricket with President Jackson as the moral equivalent of de Godoy meeting Bonaparte to divide the Peninsula.

    I dunno, RSR, somedays I’m totally Locofoco and somedays just another Doughface. You Whigs and other Clay men (what’s the name of that skinny guy from Illinois?) are certainly correct on the issues — as you say, internal improvements, national banking, and free soil — but the Democracy (at least in New York and New England) is SO much more fun. Ben Butler! Nathaniel Hawthorne!

    Correction Depatrmnet… in the ticker, it should be “Haverford,” not “Haverfold.”

    “politics has no place on uni-watch”? have you informed Paul of this? If he doesn’t want to get into politics on this blog then he shouldn’t bring it up.

    Here’s the thing: Every once it a while, it’s OK to act like an adult and let other people’s opinions alone. If you think that Paul has muddied the waters of this blog with a political comment, adding more mud with your own political comments arguing the point ain’t gonna make the water any clearer.

    “Every once it a while, it’s OK to act like an adult and let other people’s opinions alone.”

    I hereby nominate R.S. Rogers to be President of the Intertubes.

    Paul hasn’t muddied any waters. He makes occasional, but regular, leftist statements. If he wants to, its his blog. But he (and Phil) need to be ready to be taken to task for it if they are going to have a comments section. Pretending that this site is politics-free, is absurd; finger-wagging at commenters because a shit-storm started after he made an insensitive comment (for which he has, i understand, apologized) is condescending (apology notwithstanding).

    Again so many thanks! You just gave me a whole new lead on SWC history. Turns out Bill McClanahan also illustrated the mascots on the back of Mobil’s Varsity Tumblers! See the Baylor one in this link!

    I can’t type…

    Re the Ray’s softball tops…..agreed but man, you gotta love the high cuff look with those killer navy blue hose with powder blue stripes!!

    Re: the Mike Adams breast cancer awareness ribbon on his glove. It’s been on there at least since he joined the Rangers back in July. He also wears one of those braided necklaces with a ribbon on it. Methinks they’re probably year-round honors to a family member affected by breast cancer.

    Ugh! Hank Williams did not compare Obama to Hitler! He compared the golf pairing of two men with polar opposite political views to two other men of polar opposite views. Why can’t anyone mention the name “Hitler” without everyone getting their panties in a bunch? He was a horrible human being, but he did exist. Should be ignore his presence by never mentioning his name, like leaving the 13th floor off the elevator buttons? That all being said, I hope they boot Hank’s song off of MNF for good – it’s tired and played-out. Bring back the original theme.

    Phil, a suggestion: You’ve been putting your foot in your mouth repeatedly over the last few days, and continue to be completely indignant about it. Maybe this should be an indication that you need to tone down your spin on items and instead let things speak for themselves.

    The other day, I took you to task for calling Michigan “scUM.” You refused to back down from it. I thought it was low-brow then, and it’s still low-brow now. Now you’re calling Hank, Jr. a redneck, and similarly refusing to back away from it.

    Like I said before, would Paul do this stuff? I think not. Something to think about.

    He only said “scUM” because people who go to UM or like their football program are shit-people. That’s all. NBD.

    And to be honest I thought Moono wrote that, not Phil – but I could be wrong.

    It’s college football shittalk, I’ve heard 60yo women say worse things at B1G tailgates, if you can’t handle the pressure, get behind an O-Line that isn’t as porous UM’s


    here’s a reply — i never used the term scUM — that was in the section which was authored by someone else, and that was plainly stated — the gentleman who used that term did take ownership of it in the comments, and i support his right to use it, just like i owned the HWJ comment today

    i was hoping to avoid beating a dead horse and continuing another shitstorm in the comments, but obviously you feel a need to have your voice heard

    i apologized for the use of “redneck” — i’m not, however, backing away from criticizing HWJ’s comments — they were wrong monday, they were wrong yesterday and they are still wrong today — even he apologized for them

    i’m not sure what more you think can be done, but i’m done addressing this now

    just get your facts straight before you make suggestions

    lets move on please

    “Now you’re calling Hank, Jr. a redneck, and similarly refusing to back away from it.”

    Bando, Hank Williams Jr. is a redneck…okay? He even the uses the word in his lyrics. He’s also uneducated and has a history of drunkeness…and from what I can tell I think he’s proud of that.

    By his own admission what he said Monday was “dumb”.

    LOL. Okay…if you say so. I’ll believe you before I believe my lying eyes (and ears).

    Awwww, is someones wittle feelings hurt because name-calling?


    “scUM” is a pretty tame insult considering the obnoxious fan base in Ann Arbor that is excited about another September heisman for Robinson.

    Not all of us are obnoxious assholes about our school. Besides, the Wolverines haven’t even played a road game yet. Any overexcited fan right now is a jackass. I’m much more skeptical, and I need to see how they fare in the next few weeks.

    In any case, every fanbase has their share of assholes. EVERY FANBASE, NO EXCEPTIONS.

    The only more obnoxious fanbase than UM in the B1G is OSU, but at least they (used to) win games.

    But neither holds a candle to the Golden Domers of South Bend.

    I agree, but “Bando” was so upset by the phrase “scUM” the day it was written that he felt compelled to write his disapproval in the comments

    And then he brings it up today. Get thicker skin, dude. It is college football. This site isn’t mgoblog and written by Jim Brandstatter.

    Great stuff, Susan!

    Tough to do a modern family portrait, with all the moving around these days…

    While looking through all the SWC stuff, I came across link I’d completely forgotten about it, but as soon as I saw it I remembered why I didn’t like it. Anyone else think that W is a giant backside?

    You’re not the only one who thought ND’s colors were green and gold. But they did wear that quite a bit in the 70s, eh?

    By the way, sorry I had to include a link in the “&1” section of the 5&1.

    That one’s even worse, that’s a Roman Centurion’s helmet which didn’t exist until centuries after the decline of Sparta. (While I love Sparty link , he’s entirely dressed as a Roman, not a Greek)

    Anyone know Greek? I think that says “Nogom Rabe,” I’m not sure and I still don’t know what that would mean.

    A co-worker next to me with a last name of three dozen syllables and starting with Pampador… he says that those words aren’t Greek.

    I should have realized that. Thucydides’ History was my favorite book in Classical Lit 101.

    Yeah, MSU’s been playing up the “300” stuff for the last few years now.

    Madness? THIS! IS! EAST! LANSING!
    (Yeah, kinda loses something when it’s put that way…)

    Oh my!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What I would do to be the equipment manager of a major college football team!

    All of those orange boxes are just BEGGING for me to dive into them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Kyle Orton is wearing the new Rawlings helmet too. I knew it looked different. I thought maybe it was a Schutt helmet.

    Last night on “The Biggest Loser”, they had their very contrived “NFL Week” where NFL stars show up and help the contestants work out. Shawn Merriman was one of the players and they showed an action photo of him, it was in a San Diego Chargers uniform, even though he has been a Buffalo Bill for a year. One would think that someone would have checked this before air.

    My wife and I watch this show every week and it could have something to do with the fact that he hadn’t actually played for the Bills yet at the time that the episode was shot. Granted it was airing after the NFL season had started, but they were filming way earlier and if they edited that week’s episode prior to him actually putting on a Bills uni they would have only had Chargers pics to work with. He was immediately placed on injured reserve last year so no chance to play for them.

    Ah, good point, but lazy editing none the less. They taped the segment over the summer, but they could have dropped in a current photo in post production very easily at any point up to delivery to the network, which was probably a week before.

    That’s what, 11 school-nickname-related mascots plus a blond frat boy from Michigan? I think I need that shirt …

    That reason is that he was discontinued in 2007.

    Michigan, to my knowledge, has never had a costumed mascot. (I could be wrong, though, but I’m pretty sure it’s never happened in my lifetime.) They did try a live mascot once, back in 1927 (since Wisconsin had live badgers at games around that time), but it didn’t work out.

    that may not be his first, i heard yesterday that the (bluejays aa afiliate) NH Fisher Cats offered him a job for $6k

    hahaha someone in the comments of the cal white helmet thread did a mock up of a maryland style uniform for cal.


    I’m just glad so many people weighed in on the question of whether Hank Williams Jr is a redneck. It’s about time someone addressed this important issue.

    Except once you move into a million dollar mansion in Nashville you don’t consider yourself a redneck anymore. ;>)

    But let me share a funny observation about Hank Willoiams Jr….uniform related:

    On FOX & Friends Monday morning Williams was wearing what appeared to be a camo Alabama cap…with a red University of Alabama “A”. (I assume it wasn’t an Atlanta Braves “A”.)
    Williams is getting ready to run for office (U.S. Senate) in Tennessee. Alabama plays Tennessee in a couple of weeks.

    Do you think that’s very bright, wearing an Alabama cap on national television when getting ready to run for office in Tennessee? It would be like a candidate here in Louisiana parading around in an Ole Miss cap. Not very smart… ;>)

    Digging the background and love that you can click it to see game photos. I think a link to last year’s would be good to include (and then I can offer more comments).

    I think it’s good. Interesting that you’re using doubled-up game numbers for each set, instead of a fixed number for all of them. Would it be accurate to say you’d go with 10, 11, etc. when they get to those games?

    Thanks guys, I am doubling up on numbers for a few reasons. The first being that the left and right numbers are slightly different, take a look, angles are different and other things. The second reason is because it is an easy way for me to have some variation and also keep track of it, plus it’s easy! I am fully planning on including links to the past projects, that will come soon, Stay tuned.

    Thanks everyone,


    Susan, great article today. I love those family portraits. I am a traditionalist and find no thrill in all the talk about mega conferences today. Or the jumping all over that we see.

    Thanks, Larry! Agree… I actually attended A&M too, and am just about to relinquish my “former student” status to “ex-student”. First the zone blocking the pups’ view and now this.

    I tweeted this out the other day, but… Adrian Beltre had the pedro porthole as did Matt Moore. Which means that there was PP on PP crime. I’ll try to link to pics.



    Ha! I had to read it out loud to get it! My mistake… Pedro Porthole on Pedro Porthole crime.
    Very clever Patrick!!

    Tragic. While not trying to make his death into a joke, do you think the 49ers will add a black bitten apple to their helmets and play the National Anthem on an iPod hooked up to some speakers in memory of him at the next home game?

    O.K., that was still in poor taste…

    I could actually see the black apple happening, maybe with JOBS in the middle, assuming apple lets them

    While not sports, the apple design aesthetic is something that could be appreciated by many people here.

    and hooray for hockey starting tomorrow.

    “While not sports, the apple design aesthetic is something that could be appreciated by many people here.”

    Agreed, plus he changed the way we looked at advertising. Not everything has to be sold in an aggressive manner. Steve Jobs proved that to us again and again.

    Susan, If you are still around. What do you know about TCU satin unis they brought out for the Cotton Bowl. I found this here.


    28. During the season, one Dallas writer said that “TCU had the sorriest uniforms I ever saw on a football field.” The frugal Frogs had worn the same jerseys dating back to the Francis Schmidt era. But for the Sugar Bowl, TCU wore new satin uniforms — “santex” — which featured white stars and miniture horned frogs on the purple-shouldered white jerseys. The pants were cream satin.

    Speaking of Francis Schmidt. I got a great book called Frantic Francis. He was an offensive genius in a time when defense ruled. The book covers his early days at TCU but mostly covers his time at Ohio State. There are a few uni references so far in it

    If TCU was to play Montana, and TCU wore those retro lavendar unis, and Montana wore these copper beauts, would it be truly the most unique looking game ever


    Small point – but saw some of the San Francisco/Philadelphia Eagles game on the NFL network, I’m surprised that game did not make Jim’s Top 5, it looked great.

    Not uni-related, but pretty damn cute.
    Good thing Bosephus wasn’t there. I’m pretty sure he would have shot him and ate him.

    poor hank, had the cajones to say what most folks are thinking… how awfully redneck of him….whateva!!!
    as for the poor sec bound ags…

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