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(Not Just) Another Game


By Phil Hecken

Earlier this week I had the great pleasure of being treated to a fine evening of food and drink by none other than today’s guest author. That’s him, second from the left, seated between yours truly, UW stalwart Chance Michaels, and Paul. That man is Mr. Conn Nugent, who is not just a Harvard alum (we began our evening in the Harvard Club, moving on to Ipanema, a Brazilian restaurant where that photo was taken). Obviously, Conn, or “Connie” or the former “Broadway Connie” as he is known to you fine readers, was merely using this to butter me up for what is to follow.

But it turns out that Conn isn’t just a mere Crimson, he’s one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met, and one of the most gracious hosts I’ve ever had the occasion to be entertained by. Then of course, there’s that whole rapier wit which was on fine display all evening. (It was my first time meeting both Chance and Conn, two remarkably interesting characters whose love of uniforms brought us together, but whose gregarious nature and charming conversation on a myriad of subjects made for a splendid night on the town). To tell of Conn’s exploits in this universe would take more space than this column allows–even the highlights would be too much. But enough of my blowing smoke you know where, lets just say it isn’t every day you meet a Nobel Prize winner. We’ll save that for another time. Here’s Conn to give us a rundown on what is simply known as “The Game.”


Another Game
By Conn Nugent

At nine o’clock in the morning on Saturday (19 November) I will board a train at New York Penn Station. Ninety-six minutes later, or so, I will disembark in New Haven, Connecticut and walk a couple of miles to the Yale Bowl, where Yale and Harvard will play a football game for the 128th time. The Bowl is a symmetrical 61,400-seat amphitheater built in 1913 (when it sat 70,900). It is a beautiful structure, and remains the best big place I know to watch a football game.

In a field near the Bowl I will rendez-vous with my classmate Don Chiofaro, linebacker, captain of Harvard in 1967, and — according to Calvin Hill — one of the hardest hitters of the era. The Chief will introduce me (re-introduce me, usually, since name retention gets a little wobbly at our age) to the loyal corps of recidivists who try never to miss a Harvard-Yale game. There will be picnic fare and drinks and heavy slagging. Shameful moments of early adulthood will be trotted out as ID markers. If I may use the word without seeming ironic, it will all be jolly.

That’s it for anything approaching social commentary. I’ve noticed that the default position for writers on Harvard-Yale games is to feed not in the rich meadow of football information but in the deep silage of cultural stereotype. “The Game” and all that. Class privilege, snobbery, fustian traditionalism, ubiquitous smarty-pants-isms, snotty halftime shows by bands dressed to signify superior distancing from State U, adorable chants along the lines of “You’ll Work For Us!” et cetera.

Shoot me. Nobody in that parking lot refers to “The Game.” And plutocrats are in disguise these days: New Haven tailgaters look like Ann Arbor tailgaters or Bloomington tailgaters. No one under 60 says “Hah-vud” (though the drink’s on me if you do). There are, indeed, tons of class and rank and income issues swirling ’round the Yale Bowl — and they’d be fun to talk about sometime — but they’re complicated. Today we keep it simple, and concentrate on the big things that really matter: uniforms, school colors, mascots.

Because Harvard and Yale — and their dapper common enemy, Princeton — were among the first American colleges to play football, the gear they were wearing in the late-19th/early-20th centuries, when football first gained a mass following, provided the template that everybody else used as their uni Square One. The basic look was vest and plus-fours in a neutral color, usually tan or gray, with some or all of the sleeves and stockings in a bold color chosen to signify the particular college. Next stop in uni evolution: school-colored jerseys, in solid or striped patterns. Then colored pants, then stripes down the pants, then colored helmets, then logos on helmets, then logos everywhere. Neither Yale nor Harvard wielded much sartorial influence after 1920. They followed trends rather than set them.

With some modest adjustments, the uniforms that Harvard and Yale will wear today are based on their garb of the mid-1960s. Harvard has lost the pants stripes, but added black outlining of numbers, a Harvard VE-RI-TAS shield on the tops of the shoulders (where they are barely glimpsed), and a block H on the sides of the helmet where TV numbers used to go. Both the Harvard helmet and the Yale helmet sport the 1960s triple-stripe motif that has proved so durable in the NFL. [Check out the Ivy League section of the invaluable Helmet Project.] Yale has kept the pants stripes, even widened them, but basically this era’s players look like the demigods of 1968. Today Yale will be wearing home blue-and-white, a classy outfit, most seem to agree. Harvard won’t be wearing their distinctive crimson jerseys, alas, but the white shirts are pretty good. [Lots more H-Y images on my Flickr page.]

A small but annoying exception to the Yale rule of sage uni conservatism is the regrettable introduction of a stylized-bulldog-on-a-Y logo, which has crept from the DofA website up on to the upper-sleeve of the football jersey. Move away from the laptops, Eli design consultants, and keep your hands way above the PhotoShop mouse, right where I can see ’em. Leave the Y alone!

[May I just say a few words about today’s football game? You know, as a contest? By beating Pennsylvania last week, Harvard clinched the 2011 Ivy League championship. They are 6-0 in the Ivies, 8-1 overall. They score lots of points and are fun to watch, thanks largely to a quarterback — Collier Winters — who’s a terrific double threat. Things have been less bright for the Elis. They haven’t won an Ivy title since forever, and Harvard has beaten them nine times out of the last ten. Still, they’re above .500 this year, have a pretty good quarterback (Patrick Witt), and their seniors are dying to beat Harvard just once before they leave. Two years ago, Chiofaro and I watched an underdog Yale beat the Crimson like a drum for more than three quarters, only to have a resurgent Harvard pass attack and a dubious call from the Yale bench conspire to produce yet another heatbreaking loss for the home team. This year may be different. If you pay attention to the online gambling savants, you’ll take Yale with the points.]

So. Would it please the Court to stipulate that Petitioner has this day demonstrated a sufficient grasp of contemporary information? That he has adequately refuted the imputations of antiquarianism, nostalgia, and the kind of unmoored babblings like you got from the grandfather-poet character in The Night of the Iguana? Are we not up-to-date?

Good. Now I can tell you that the old Harvard-Yale stuff — especially when considered through the lens of the obsessive study of athletic aesthetics — is really much better than the new. This is true for uniforms, I think, but much more dramatically in the realm of illustration and graphic design. Look no further than the chronology of Harvard program covers and Yale program covers put together by the wonderful people at Historic Football Posters. Look how great they were until Chiofaro and I got to Cambridge in 1964. Look how bad programs have become. Look at the designs of today’s Harvard and Yale sports websites: uninspired, charmless. The 1940s websites were dynamite.

There are all sorts of explanations for the decline of football graphics all around the country as they went from witty cartoons to banal photographs, from hand-lettering to mechanical, and then electronic, fonts. But in the Harvard-Yale case, there’s a clear line that marks when everything went to hell: the departure of the great Boston Herald illustrator Vic Johnson from his side job as an Ivy League cartoonist. Look here, here, and here. When Vic Johnson left, Harvard-Yale lost its graphic wit and flair.

To Vic Johnson we also owe the revival of a 17th Century puritan male as the cartoon symbol of Harvard football. Johnson’s Ur-Yankee was a skinny tall guy, dressed in crimson, always topped off with a high hat. His lanky build, thin face, prominent teeth, and ready smile were based, Johnson said, on Leverett Saltonstall, the much-loved, much-parodied Massachusetts Governor and US Senator back when there were liberal Republicans. I miss him!

We all understand that the drop-off in the quality of intercollegiate sports imagery was a general phenomenon, not limited by any means to the Ivies. It’s just that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton produced the first batch of beautiful athletic graphics in this country, and I would argue that through the 1950s they stayed among the best. You don’t have to be in thrall to snooty early-20th Century Anglo-Saxon notions of superiority and refinement to argue that football graphics were best when serious fans had to consider Yale and Harvard the same way that serious fans today have to consider LSU and Ohio State. A debatable proposition, to be sure, but debatable propositions R us.


Thank you Conn! It’s not often I’m left both speechless and reaching for the online dictionary, but today was one of those times. Enjoy the game, sir. And remember, if the score is tied at 29, well, obviously, you win.


Blue Jays New Logo

New Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays completed what might be considered the most perfect week in uniform unveilings yesterday, what with the Marlins (B+ — full writeup here), Orioles (A- — full writeup here) and Mets (A — full writeup here) building up to yesterday’s crescendo of awesomeness…and I do mean awesomeness.


Before we look at the uniforms individually, lets whet your whistle with a video:

Pretty sweet so far, right? It is. So lets look at the unis:

Logo: Doesn’t quite throwback to the original, but it’s a great update. A quick side-by-side shows a sleek, modern upgrade, harking back to the original, but adding a black dark navy beak and collar, which much more fairly resembles the bird for which the team is named. Also eliminated is the original outline “TORONTO,” which has been replaced by a much cleaner, slightly serifed block print. The “BLUE JAYS” returns to the original outline, but is also in a sharper, slightly-serifed font. Fantastic update.

Home Uniform: Another uniform which harkens back to the original, but with several noticeable differences. The original was a pullover with sansabelt, in the original font, with the blue jay logo centered in the middle of the jersey. The new uniform features almost identical (but belted) pants, with the arched logo on a button down shirt, and the new blue jay logo over the left chest. Original 1977 jerseys were NNOB, while the current uniform has slightly larger outlined numbers, with NOB. Original cap featured a white crown, while the new cap is solid blue. I have no quibbles with this fauxback, save for the slightly awkward placement of the wordmark due to the jersey placket. But that is a very, very minor quibble.

Road Uniform: Unlike the homes, these do not fauxback to the original 1977 uniform, which was powder blue. The Jays would move to a gray road uniform in 1989, and the new roads much more closely resemble that uniform. Here’s a side-by-side. 1989 also marked the first year the Blue Jays would wear a button down jersey, and the new jersey bears an uncanny resemblance. Only the new font and blue jay logo (also off-set) are different. The 1989’s would have NOBs as well, just like the 2012s. Another fantastic update.

Alternate Blue Jersey: Designed to be worn with the home or road pants, this jersey is pretty much a mirror image of the home jersey, swapping out the white for the blue. I’m not a fan of alternates, but as alternates go, and especially considering what it replaced, this is also a major upgrade.

Just an outstanding job by the Jays with this one! And, coming on the heels of the Marlins B+, the Orioles A-, the Mets A … this one tops them all (and that’s saying a LOT), and scores an A+. Now, this is not to say it’s the best looking uniform in the bigs, but considering from whence they came, this is the best upgrade we’ve seen in a loooooonnnng time.

Still haven’t seen enough? Then enjoy this slideshow Paul put together for me of the unveiling:

Readers? Your turn…


Screen shot 2011-11-14 at 9.19.25 AM.png

Notre Dame auction update: The auction for the Notre Dame promo box is continuing. No bids were submitted yesterday, so the high bid is still $4301 and the minimum bid for today is now $4501. If nobody bids today, the minimum bid will increase to $4601 tomorrow.

Full details on how to bid, and everything else regarding the auction, can be found here.


50 Years Ago This Week

50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Back again with Rick Pearson who is here to bring us his look at the featured ABC television college football matchup from 50 years ago. As always, Rick documented the game via his “kid cards”. Here’s Rick to tell us about it.


Nov. 18, 1961”¦Illinois at Wisconsin

Wk 10 61 Kid Card

Only one game a week on TV, and in my neck of the woods, we saw Wisconsin beat up on Illinois, 55-7. …This Wisconsin uni with the big ol’ “W” on the helmet, front and back, was discussed a couple weeks ago. …So let’s talk about the Fighting Illini. …Home had no white, with pants that were pretty much Athletic Gold, rather than orange. …Here’s Dick Butkus in the uni a few years later after white stripes had been added to the helmet. …And in the roads. …Yet another example of stripes (or something) added to the whites to give them a bit more color. …The wide navy stripe is the sleeve end, same as Wisconsin’s white sleeve end. …A few years later, the white pants were worn at home, too. …The orange stripe on the socks is the top of the white crew sock worn over solid navy stirrups. …The players? Neither Hearn nor Walker played pro football, though Walker was a 17th round choice of the Packers in ’63.


Nice job, again, Rick. So tell us, what’s the deal with the stars on Butkus’ helmet? Pride stickers? (I have a feeling we’ve covered this before on here.)


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

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

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

And so, lets begin:


We start with Eric Davis, who has a nice set of six of the Pac-12, Pro-Combat style:

Phil –

Long time Uni-Watch reader, and periodic Uni Tweak submitter here.

Decided to start using the Pro Combat template to ‘re-envision’ college football uniforms conference-by-conference. Started with the Pac 12. Here’s the first six. Like a lot of Uni Watch readers, I wasn’t keen on the Pro Combat name, so I created a new Nike brand called “Grid Tech” that would carry forward the Pro Combat theme without the misplaced allusion to actual combat.

Arizona ”” Let’s call these the Captain America uniforms. A silver lid and a big A (like the side of the mountain) with silver pants and TV numbers.

California ”” I dubbed these the White Knights because hopefully they’ll glide like Baryshnikov (or Hines) in these white-topped unis. Abstract ‘bear-claws’ decorate the compression sleeves.

USC ”” A Trojan mish-mash that uses the reverse helmet logo (Not sure why they use the current one … the negative space doesn’t really work.) and some psuedo-Homeric patterns for the neckline and shoulder stripes.

UCLA ”” Back to a more classic look with extended shoulder stripes and a new-but-old uniform number. Look closely, and you’ll see sublimated rose pattern on the compression sleeves.

Oregon State ”” Rollerball is alive and well. Originally thought about calling these “jailbreak” unis, but thought that would send the wrong message. Sandpaper-finish helmet (probably not safety feasible) with a raised OS and raised tapered stripes finishes the rugged look.

Colorado ”” I know they’re gold and black, but man does that copper give them a unique style. Old-school look with a Buffalo-horned helmet design.

I’ll have the second 6 next week.


Eric Davis


Next up is Pinchinvahoe Santos, who has a 49ers concept…and a very cool way of showing it:



“fauxback” is a combo of 1955 home red (block shadow numerals, white pants) and 1962 away white (dual red “UCLA”-type shoulder hoops, silver helmet and pants)

Regular unis just slightly improved with non-truncated shoulder stripes, non low-cut collar, thicker pant stripes (not as thick as the 1976-95 ones) and white cleats.


And closing down the show today is Robert Siergiej, with a couple NFL tweaks:

Phil, I’ve come up with a few NFL tweaks based on some past unis.

First up is Philadelphia, with a new home and away set. I’ve decided to go back to the Randall Cunningham era after a fashion. The jerseys restore the full eagle on the sleeves, as well as the lighter green they used to wear. I’ve thrown in some modernization, though, with a multi-striped collar, silver and black trim on the numbers, and additional silver trim on the socks. I’ve also kept the current design of the helmet wings. I also kept a set of white pants as an option.

Second is an Eagles alternate that recalls the late 70s period. This is, for the most part, a straight-up throwback to the style they wore around the time of their first Super Bowl appearance. I also included an optional undershirt (right) that completes the full striping pattern.

Now, on to the New York Giants. The late-70s unis were brought up in one of the comments a while back, so I decided to try my hand at modernizing them, I kept the stripes separated on the blue jerseys to match their white counterparts, and I’ve also added stripes on the collars that follow the pattern. I also tweaked the pants stripes to have a similar pattern as well. I’m going with the GIANTS mark on the helmet, while keeping the “ny” mark on the jersey just below the collar (even though, personally, I don’t see the appeal of a logo that should have never left the 1960s, but whatever).

And now, for some really alternative alternates, I give you: the New York Capitals — err, Americans — err, jerseys based on the mid-1930s Football Giants. And yes, that means backside stripes! The red jersey and helmet are based on the c.1934 design, and the white set is based on a c.1936 version. But, hey, if the Packers can pull out their 1929 Acme Packers unis, why can’t the Giants reference one of their own early titles?

As a bonus, I’ve included a modern version of the 1935-36 Green Bay Packers uni; the 1936 team was the first to win an NFL title wearing green. I’d love to see them use the raglan design (although the nameplate on the back would probably be jacked up, but no more than other screwed-up throwback designs). I did two versions of the helmets and pants; one with a design based on the original painted leather helmets, and one with a plain helmet and color-matched pants (which I kind of prefer – it may not be historically accurate, but I think it looks good).

-Rob Siergiej

Whew. Thanks fellas. Back tomorrow with more.


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Some things are just plain imponderable…

11-19-11 d-why

And, as always, the full size.


And that, folks, is a wrap. Thanks again to Conn for the tremendous H/Y writeup. Everyone have a terrific Saturday and I will see you on the morrow.


“The best compliment you can pay to a uniform ”“ and I’d say this about both the Jays and the Mets ”“ they instantly make you forget that they used to wear something else.” — Mike Styczen

Comments (151)

    Minor quibble: The new Jays logo appears to have a dark navy beak and throat, not black. But Phil’s point still stands about being a more representational bird with the darker detailing. Great unis, great week for baseball, and a great Saturday UW to cap it off.

    Oh, and one more thing, said Columbo. Seeing it in detail for the first time this morning, I actually like the puffy embroidery of the Jay head on Toronto’s jerseys. I don’t like having a logo there in the first place, but if you’re going to have a logo there, making it such a textured, dimensional element is the right way to go. Seems somehow hockey-like. If I lived in Canuckistan, a Jays jersey would rocket to the top of my wish list for whatever those wacky Canadians call the day before Boxing Day, due mainly to that textured Jay head.

    having looked at the new logo again (for about the 20th time), i see they did make the blue jay beak and collar (not an ornithologist, so i don’t know what that feature is called) a dark navy, and not black…updated text to reflect

    good spot

    I know EVERYBODY hates black on a BLUE Jays uniform, but I would have had no problem with a black beak. I don’t have any problem in theory with black on the Blue Jays Jerseys, it just had no business being a primary color. That said, these uniforms blow the old ones out of the water. They’re fantastic. I haven’t thought too much about it, but they have to be close to the best in the league now. Without a doubt, MLB is going to look much better as a whole next season.

    Couldn’t agree more with all of the positive reviews of the Jays major upgrade. Good riddance “Black Jays”!

    Orioles, Mets, Blue Jays and now Conn essaying Harvard-Yale.

    Great week for those who have come understand that things that happened more than 10 years ago pay a HUGE part in the enjoyment of following sports. And that some of things, possibly the vast majority of them, are worth holding onto.

    The new Jays home uniform is a dead ringer for the 1989-1996 uniform, far more than comparing it to the original 1977 set.

    The whole look of the team is very reminiscent of the look the Jays had in their glory days when they won the 1992 and 1993 World Series. I don’t think there’s any accident on that front.

    This – the right comparison for these uniforms isn’t the sansabelt 1980s version, its the World Series years.

    Also – the blue shoes!

    Exactly, Blue Jays finest hour

    I have to think Paul Beeston had a significant influence – that he ran the press conference, is pretty much an indication of that

    Now if all their young players can continue to develop, the wilderness years could truly be coming to an end

    I have one very minor complaint. I wish they would’ve used a white crown for the hats. Other than that, these updates are fantastic.

    The White front panels remind me of the so-many thousand softball caps that I sold in the 1970s. I didn’t care for the style then and am so glad that my Blue Jays chose to stay away from it. Now all they have to do is bring back B.J. Birdy as the team mascot, eh? “OK, Blue Jays…..let’s play ball!”

    Unfortunately we’ll never see BJ Birdy return to SkyDome because he was owned by someone who refused to sell his creation to the Jays — that’s why they dumped him for Ace. But that’s a small price to pay. The uniforms have recieved incredible positive feedback here in Toronto, and there’s a buzz about this team that hasn’t been here since the late 80s and early 90s. They are on the road back!

    I’m not a huge fan of the white front panel look, but I think a white cap with a blue bill would have been sweet.

    Ball in glove logo or are you talking really old school, with just a plain yellow M on a blue cap?

    Ugh, no to either one.

    Their current logo looks like it belongs on a beer bottle – which is PERFECT for a team called the Brewers.

    …which is precisely what’s so generic and boring about it. Nothing about the current Brewers look is traditional or harks to its past. It looks more like the Milwaukee Miller Brewing Company than Harvey Wallbangers Brew Crew. Yeah, it looks like beer graphics, but basically has nothing baseball-ish about it, and that’s why the Brewers are in my bottom 5.

    While I don’t like mixing ‘n matching logos from different eras into one, Barrelman & MB-glove teamed with royal & Athletic Gold would seem like the most ideal. But the “M” cap is boring, powder blue roads are ghastly, and Barrelman & MB-glove work more as primary logos than to be reduced to alternate logos. But if it had to be done, MB-glove would go on the cap, and Barrelman to the sleeve & then left chest on an alternate.

    Exactly, The. It actually gets my dander up when advocates of the ball-in-glove era diss the current Brewers unis as “generic.” The only uniform in MLB history more generic, more lacking in specificity to place or team name than the ball-in-glove unis was the Michigan-M Brewers unis that proceeded them. Yes, the ball-in-glove is clever, but it’s also the very definition of generic. It says nothing about either Milwaukee or brewing, and would actually work better for a team in Myrtle Beach. If anything, the Brewers should consider tweaking their Motre Bame-era unis, which had the brewery-esque look of the current set but with a more specifically German cultural feel.

    So what do the Cubs or White Sox uniforms say about Chicago?

    Or the Dodgers about LA?

    Nothing. They don’t have to.

    Man… you want to talk about generic… You could use the ball & glove logo for *anything* baseball related that happens to have MB or BM for initials. It works just as well for Bob & Mike’s Baseball Card Shop.

    Why does the logo need to scream “HEY! BASEBALL!”? Being named after people that brew beer, a logo that looks like a beer logo is a good thing. Using the glove instead is like telling the Pittsburgh Steelers to use a football with PS written on it instead of the steel mark.

    Aside from the barley on it, what is it about the logo makes it look “like a beer logo?”

    link is a beer logo.

    So is link.

    As is link.

    Does any one of those look more or less like a beer logo than the others?

    Anyone care to see BReWeRS again on the powder roads or is that my particular perversity?

    Something about a depiction of a glove on a baseball cap looked tacky to me, but no more so than a cartoon bird if you analyze it.

    ‘Yes, the ball-in-glove is clever, but it’s also the very definition of generic.’

    Except “clever” does not mean “generic”. How in the world is something clever and original (that was able to combine team initials along with two graphics identifying of the sport’s equipment) considered “generic” ?? For a plain logo, it has tons of essence, character and pizazz. It wasn’t one of the most popular throwback merchandise by accident, it was because it’s GOOD.

    ‘If anything, the Brewers should consider tweaking their Motre Bame-era unis’

    THOSE were generic and boring. Terrible concept, clunky cap logo, but an appealing color scheme and a Milwaukee flavor to the Germanic font, but it was the wrong flavor & did not scream “Brewers”.

    I’m with The Jeff on this one.

    And (with his permission, I hope), I’ll sort of put words in his mouth by saying he meant the current Brewer unis “evoke” a beer label or the packaging of a six-pack, not so much replicate them. Especially not each and every one of them.

    The font, the perspective and arch of the lettering, the colors, the graphic–all of them–are very much in the style/stereotype of many traditional beers’ look.

    As to the ball/glove, it just never worked for me…from a design standpoint (doesn’t mean it can’t be loved by Brewer fans, though; I don’t tell them what to think). But for me it’s the most “70’s” of all the 70’s logos. Too forced. Clever for clever’s sake.

    Mostly that’s due to the damn three-fingered glove. I don’t think they even made those things after 1950 or so. Yes, it’s a quibble, I know; but it bugs me. Always has. A baseball freak like many of us here would have scrapped the idea because the only way we could get an “M” in there was to make it look like the glove belonged to Mighty Mouse.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Brewers in royal and cheddar, especially the home pins. So I can’t say “No” to either that set or the current one. Just don’t think the ball/glove is the be-all and end-all so many see it to be…or that the current look is anything but appropriate to the nickname.

    “Why does the logo need to scream “HEY! BASEBALL!”?”

    Because, um, so you know what league the logo is actually depicting of? What’s the general point most the time of putting random letters together if you can’t tie in some kind of sport article or identifying mascot image?

    I honestly don’t understand why people don’t “get” the brilliance of the MB-glove logo.

    With this traditional graphic lacking text given in an NFL context, you could say this would work as a primary logo for the Steelers better than their helmet logo:


    ‘Too forced. Clever for clever’s sake.’

    Now we’re bashing cleverness for cleverness’s sake? I don’t see what’s so forced about it; it’s a b and a m that happens to be stacked and creates an abstract image resembling a glove. I don’t see the egotistical forceful nature of it. Not every logo has to use capital letters.

    ‘Mostly that’s due to the damn three-fingered glove.’

    Cartoon / mascot rule. 5 fingers don’t work in drawings unless you’re Mary Worth or Spider-Man. And I don’t mean to come off as extremely defensive on the MB-glove logo like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s just a lot more appealing & original than some imitated cliche beer label design.

    Because, um, so you know what league the logo is actually depicting of? What’s the general point most the time of putting random letters together if you can’t tie in some kind of sport article or identifying mascot image?

    A team in the highest level league in it’s given sport should not need to have that sport’s equipment in it’s logo – at least not the logo ON the uniform. Using some of the equipment in a logo is ok – a mascot wearing a hat/helmet or wielding a stick/bat – fine. But to have your logo be nothing but equipment? C’mon man.

    You’re sort of touching on what I meant.

    Is the ball/glove an innovative and sleek 70’s design, or is it a cartoon of a sleek 70’s design?

    It sort of exists just to exist. As if to say, “Look how clever we were, we made an ‘M’ and a ‘B’ out of a ball and a glove. Of course, we had to make the glove not quite right in order to accomplish it.”

    I’m not explaining it well, I guess. It seems to exist only because someone thought of it, not whether it really was a solid design or not.

    Y’know, that was the same era when guys actually went to proms or even got married wearing powder blue tuxedos with hugely ruffled shirts. And now such things are favored by Napoleon Dynamite.

    Some things (and I think the ball/glove may be one of them), are clearly products of an odd era, and should remain in those eras. Like the Zoot Suit. Clever? Radical? Unique? Absolutely. But enduring? Not so much.

    “Now we’re bashing cleverness for cleverness’s sake?”


    I’m in advertising. I’m surrounded by an industry full of people who often think clever is enough, even it if does nothing to advance the client’s image or business.

    Office walls all over the world are decorated with self-congratulatory awards for TV commercials that the creators’ clients ditched because the spots were abject failures.

    I didn’t say “… nothing but equipment”. and I didn’t mean 100% of the time because that’s just impossible. I said “tie in some” of equipment (and implied mascots). Examples:

    Baseball: bat, baseball, glove, socks, diamond, cap, throwing, hitting stance /swinging, running, ball flight, white cleats

    Football: helmet, football, uprights, 3-point stance, running, posing, QB throwing, kicking, tackling, shield

    Hockey: stick, puck, rink, net / goal, checking, skating

    Basketball: hoop / net, basketball, dribbling, posing, passing

    These are all examples of the past and present of elements (and I’m sure I’m missing a few) in sports logos. Yeah I get teams can’t incorporate a tie-in the sport, I’m saying it helps. To just rely on a wordmark that could be used for any team in any sport is lazy and boring.

    Good work today, Phil.

    ‘Bout to head out for NU – Minnesota. This is the Cream of the B1G crop.

    Back in a few hours to update the Hoosier Tracker. I just hope the Hoosiers don’t loose by more than 40.


    What I like most about the new Jays uniforms is that they’re embracing their identity and history– realizing that when people think Blue Jays, they do think of the teams of Dave Stieb and Joe Carter — and that’s not a bad thing. What I like most? You look at that logo, you have no doubt which team it is. Can’t say the same for those “T” caps they’ve been wearing.

    And Conn, great piece on Harvard-Yale.

    What if…

    The Black Jays had won the World Series, having beaten the Ornithological Orioles in the ALCS, and then the black-clad Mets in a thrilling 7-game series…

    Would any of this have happened?

    I don’t know about the ornithological Orioles (I actually liked those hats, especially the solid ones), but I do think that the Blue Jays and Mets would’ve swung back around, as I think the BFBS trend is dying out, at least in baseball (I’m looking at you, Ohio U. football players..)

    Had the Blue Jays won in their recent uniforms, it would have taken the team longer to return to this classic set. In the NFL, for instance, the Patriots may one day return to the red jerseys and the long-time helmet logo, but it won’t be until they’ve sucked for a while in the current uniforms.

    Agree all around that Blue Jays new look is a major upgrade, and the other teams did a very nice job this week too. Miami will still have to grow on me but thank god the 90s teal has been greatly diminished with an upgrade to something more contemporary and representative of the area it represents. Might grow a bit tired a few years down the road, but then again it LOOKS like Miami.

    Very much like the USC tweak. Like the oversized trojan on the helmet but REALLY like the shoulder stripe/neck tweak. Subtle but very appropriate. Nice job an all the tweaks.

    not at shea, they’re not

    and i tend to rank teams on their home and road unis (first and foremost), although one must always consider the solely for the kids & the merch sales softball top…but if i did my ratings based solely on teams having a softball top, there’d only be about four or five (yanks, tiggers, cards, dodgers, phils) that wouldn’t merit a “C” or lower

    so i rank them on their official home/roadies

    well, that sounds like “all softball tops are evil” — those five teams not have them. Shouldn’t they get “Incomplete” instead of “above a C”?

    What about (as mentioned yesterday) 80s Cubs when they used blue as a road jersey? Is that considered a softball tops if it’s the offical road uni. Or when you say “official home/roadies” does only white & gray need apply?

    Not wearing it at Shea? Yeah, you’re right link.

    So, it’s official home/road unis only. So that means you don’t count the pins?

    i count uniforms, not mix and match extras

    the mets (and astros and phillies) happen to have two home uniforms (we can debate the merits of that some other day) plus a road uniform

    the phils do not have an “alternate jersey” (yet) but the stros do

    now…if the stros (or the 80’s cubs…or several teams in the 70s did with wearing colored tops [only] with white pants) solely wore the brick tops, or just wore brick tops with white pants on the road, then i’d consider that as their road “uniform” (despite its lack of uniformity)

    i don’t mind softball tops, so long as they’re combined with same colored pants, thus making what is to my eye a “uniform”…not some mix and match garanamals type thing…and i think even you’d agree with me that while many of the colored tops look *OK* with white pants, they, for the most part, look like absolute shite with gray pants…

    you know, I think I kinda agree with you — I like the 80’s Cubs road blue with the white pants because they were different than the white pinstripe home pants. I don’t like the current Cubs alt with the gray pants (or even more with the white pinstripe pants at home) — but it wouldn’t have to be matching blue pants with the alt, that’d be too much blue. But if they had plain white non-pinstripe pants that they wore exclusively with the blue top, or even if they had a different grey pant that matched the blue top in some way and wasn’t just mixing and matching with the gray uniform’s road pants, that’d be better, right?

    But the 80’s Cubs road blue with blue pants? A mono look like the late 70s Phillies’ Saturday Night Special? That would’ve looked horrible. What about – and I’m just spitballing here – the Cubs’ 80’s road jersey with the 1978-82 road powder pins:


    Funny you should mention that Cubs uni.

    Want a good look (roughly) at how it would play?

    I stuck this BP photo in my files just because I thought the royal over powder pins was a pretty good look…

    You know, I really would hate that uniform much less if the drop shadow were eliminated, and outline changed from white to orange. Even though it would still be black, at least it would be a clean look.

    I thought I’d run a quick check on Okkonen (“quick check” meaning I may have missed one or two cuz I didn’t want to be get manic about it), just to see how “common” or “traditional” mono-dark unis really are in MLB.

    Well, for one thing, virtually all of them (before the brief 70’s revival) were worn before 1918.

    In the 18 seasons from 1900 to 1917…
    5 teams with a mono set, three seasons
    4 teams, two seasons
    3 teams, four seasons
    2 teams, six seasons
    1 team, three seasons
    (Obviously, at no time in any of those years did the number of teams wearing mono dark come anywhere close to approaching 50 percent.)

    Then, in the nearly 60 years that followed until the White Sox brought back mono navy in 1976, there was only one team in mono dark, that roughly 50 years earlier in ’25 and ’26.

    The point? Dark tops (softball tops) with white, gray r other light-colored pants probably have become a helluva lot more common than mono dark, which we could more accurately describe as “worn occasionally for a time” or even “old-fashioned”, but hardly as “traditional.”

    Not saying anyone said mono dark was traditional.

    Saying there’s nothing wrong with advocating mono dark because of personal preference, just that there’s really no basis that it ever was a truly common look in MLB.

    Actually mono dark WAS exceedingly common in men’s softball in the late ’40s and into the early ’60s. Much moreso than it ever has been in MLB.

    Remember well those royal blue or red or black or kelly green or maroon “trousers” with a buckle at the ankle. Both on my dad and on teams he played against.

    We do realize those early mono darks had nothing to do with aesthetics, right?

    In those pre-synthetic, pre-dry cleaning, pre-electric washer and dryer days it was about not showing dirt and stains, particularly on the road where laundering capabilities likely were a tad uncertain.

    All those MLB mono darks from 1900 to 1917, with the exception of the McGraw’s Giants’ W-S specials (’05 & ’11), were road unis, btw.

    I love the entirety of the Jays new look, but I am most amazed at how those little serifs on the Jays uniforms make a HUGE difference! It grounds the letters and eliminates the illusion that they are floating on the jersey. Great eye candy for a font lover.

    Funny…that’s the one thing that actually bothers me–a little– about the Jays new set. The serifs. The serifs don’t destroy the glory of this new look, of course, but there was something peculiar and odd –i.e., endearing–about those original “floating” letters. That, to me, said Blue Jays more than anything else.

    Same here, first thing it reminded me of are the newer Cincinnati Reds fonts. The serifs seem unnecessary and a bit distracting. Otherwise I’m all for this new (old) look.

    I like the non-serif version better too. The font always struck me as being a font made up of lines – like a road with a lane divider. The serifs work against that for me. And I like how the ‘9’ in the old font finished on the horizontal rather than at an angle. Don’t know why, I just do.

    The fonts have a bit too much serif for my liking, but otherwise it’s pretty sharp. I really love the blue alternates. I had gotten used to the black “Jays” uni, anything was an improvement over the sleek bird and garish colour schemes of the Jim Fregosi/Buck Martinez era. The 1989 refresh of the original uniforms were a great idea at the time, the addition of buttons were the biggest thing about them, no more pullovers.

    As for Ace, he’s actually improved in the way they use him at the dome lately. Getting rid of his sidekick was a good idea.

    Now for some upward improvement in the standings….

    I moved out of the Toronto area a long time ago, so I haven’t been to a game since 2003. I didn’t know they’d gotten rid of BJ Birdie.

    Who was Ace’s sidekick? Gary?

    Ace’s sidekick was a female bird called Diamond. They wore hip-hop paraphenalia. Unfortunately they weren’t fun or interesting. Now Ace has some more presence, goes up in the stands, he’s a hit with the kids in the upper deck.

    Eric Davis – those are some great concepts, especially the Beavers and the stripes on SC.

    Two minor quibbles:

    ‘Zona: Did you keep their customary pants striping? Helmet would look better with its historic stripes too.

    Colorado: Love the helmet and especially the darker shade of gold, but silver is a school color (sleeve stripes? number outlines?) and what about reversing the colors on the jersey and pants to go gold over black?

    I am not big on over-preserving history. We cant preserve every old look. I loved the concepts. Outside of the box and original. My issue is with the Arizona jersey. The front logo is not necessary and is repetitive. Otherwise, really great stuff. Nobody ever ties to touch USC, but the USC concept is sweet!

    I tried to go all new but with hints of history if they fit.

    Frankly, I think the Zona pants could have stripes. I originally put stripes on the helmet, but they didn’t jive. I originally had a smaller number to the upper left of the big A, a la the Michigan unis from earlier this season, but put in on the sleeve and forgot to move it back. I’d love to do home/aways but I’m planning on going through all of the major conferences, and that’s a lot of work. Maybe I’ll revisit these later. Thanks!

    I must be the only one not terribly impressed with little serifs.

    I didn’t think the 77-96 font looked any more dated than the NEW YORK letters on the Mets’ roads. In other words, they looked terrific.

    I agree with you. I think the serifs look good on the non-split letters in Toronto in the main logo, but not on the split letters.

    Minor quibble, though.

    Very nice job with those PAC 12 unis by Eric Davis. You made that tired ass Pro Combat template work along with the side view of the helmets. Also, like your take on the Colorado helmet design, the copper etc.

    Don Chiofaro was an absolute beast. IMO, the two most dominant Ivy League defensive players from that era (1965-70)were him and Dartmouth LB/monster man Murray Bowden.

    During the 70’s a psychiatrist spent a season with the San Diego Chargers. Wrote a book about it, talking about the personality traits exhibited by the players playing the various positions. And how some people are better suited to offense or defense, or certain positions.

    Surprising how accurate his observations remain even today, btw.

    Where am I going with this? He also asked a number of NFL head coaches a series of related questions. One of them was, “If you had to pick a player, by position, to go behind enemy lines on a mission, who would it be?”

    Every single one of them, without missing a beat, replied, “A linebacker.”

    That’s why I’m never surprised when I see someone like Chiofaro being successful in life.

    Never said all linebackers were winners.

    Although I think I’d send LT behind enemy lines, alright.

    No matter what MLB teams are wearing, something needs to be done with the pajama bottoms. They really suck!

    Yeah… it’s like going to a new car show and none of the cars have wheels.

    What a missed opportunity for a headline grabber: “(TEAM NAME)’s new uni set includes stirrup set”

    It’s funny, I grew up in the 80s when they still wore the skinny high pants. I couldn’t disagree more that that look is superior to todays. I still see old pics of that era and think they look ridiculous. I also hated wearing pants like that in little league. SOOO uncomfortable.

    Conn’s Another Game essay was terrific.

    But my favorite line of his comes from the “Nobel Prize winner” article Phil linked to:

    “The alternative is to believe in the capacity of humans to actually plan the changes in behavior demanded by new contingencies.”

    Here’s to that, Conn.

    Connie, great piece on the Yale Bowl.

    I hope you’ll consider coming south someday and visiting the Yale Bowl South, AKA Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA.

    Sanford was dedicated in 1929, built on the Yale Bowl specs, and hosted the Yalies in its first game.

    Eric did a great job with the first 6 PAC-12 uni tweaks. The only one I don’t care for is the Colorado one, love the color, the design doesn’t do it for me although the helmet is fantastic.

    I dont know if this was discussed earlier in the week or not, but Michigan is wearing American Flag patches on their uniforms today, for some reason.

    Scary… minutes after reading the story about Conn going to the Harvard/Yale game…


    Truck kills tailgater, injures two at Harvard-Yale

    Sorry, but I can’t give the Mets an A when they still have the black jersey for one more year. I consider it more like an incomplete grade. Next year, once the black is officially gone, I’ll be willing to give them an A.

    Conn, thanks for shining the spotlight on The Game. I always look forward to the late weeks of the college football season where games like Harvard-Yale and Army-Navy make it on to national television. As much as I enjoy “big time” college football, the relative “purity” of these games makes them a treat. Nice to watch a game where the starting QB has to decide between taking the field against his arch-rival for the last time or attending his Rhodes Scholarship interview!

    As a former Crimson footballer myself, a couple interesting notes on the Harvard uniform. Harvard’s school colors are black and (naturally) crimson. However, their football pants are gold. No other sport among Harvard’s 40+ intercollegiate programs, to my knowledge, incorporates gold in their uniforms. While it could be “gold for gold’s sake,” I suspect that the reason has more to do with the Harvard gridders holding on to a form of the neutral tan that they wore decades ago (and which Conn references). I’ve always found this quirk interesting. I’ve never done any research on the issue, but the university (or at least the powers-that-be within the football program) seem loathe to abandon the gold pants for something splashier. When I played in the late-’90’s, there was a rumor that floated around the team that a wealthy donor offered to buy the team Crimson pants (a la Burt Reynolds purchase of white pants for FSU), but the university declined. Could be just a rumor, but I’m personally happy that the Crimson has held firm on this point.

    Another noteworthy change in the Harvard uniform from Conn’s days was the switch to a black block “H” on the helmet (from an H in a white oval) when Tim Murphy took over for Joe Restic. Not sure what inspired the change, but in just under two decades, Murphy has passed Restic in career victories and locked up his sixth Ivy League title this year. No four-year player under Murphy has graduated without winning at least one Ivy championship. Not bad — can’t see the Crimson abandoning the Block H anytime soon.

    Yeah, I always figured (hoped) Harvard’s tan football pants were a nod to the generic khaki-gold-muslin pants of leatherhead days.

    Good reason to like it. Wouldn’t want everyone to do it, but considering how far back Harvard’s football history goes, it’s a nice touch.

    Great entry. As someone who grew up blocks from Yale Bowl and attended many a game there, evoked a lot of memories.

    i’d say PSU and THE merit serious top 5 consideration, being it’s not sunny an all

    O.K., for those of you with HD TVs watching the BC/Notre Dame game, the Eagles have the church glass pattern from the helmet stripe sublimated onto the shoulders. It’s gold on a white field, and my old clunker of a TV can only show so much, so I didn’t bother to take a picture.

    WHAT is South Florida wearing?

    Can we scan their helmets and get connected to the USF website or something?

    Houston wearing red crew socks with generally white shoes.

    Great look if you’re Barbie at cheerleader camp.

    Normally, my pet peeve is combining kelly green and the “cartoon” wings of the modern helmet, but Rob Siergiej did it really well. I kind of hope the Eagles will take this to the field in 2012, but sans silver pants. I’d personally take kelly green pants…I never liked the silver.

    I went with the silver mainly because it’s what they wore in that era, but white would be fine with me. Green pants with the white jersey could also work (just no mono-green!)

    I’ve never had a problem with the updated wings, but the midnight green just has to go!

    The Eagles don’t have a long-standing history wearing mono-green (only two isolated games), so that wouldn’t be a problem. The only thing I have with the updated wings is that paring it with the kelly green is like clashing between the present and the past–it’s kinda like putting HDTV cables on your old-ass TV from the 70’s.

    Thanks to all for kind comments. What a terrible, tragic accident near the Bowl: 1 dead, 2 injured. Moment Of Silence, then back to the game. Odd, but there you go. Harvard dominated 45-7. Ricko and others correct that tannish-gold pants are intentioal legacy thing. Don Chiofaro is still scary strong and the nicest guy in the galaxy.

    James Madison @ Umass: worst uni matchup of the year.


    Between the gratuitous black on UMass, and the white numbers/gray top/purple pants look for JMU, I’d say this would be the “&1” if eligible.

    Yup, UMass looks awful. There has been some talk that the team might be in for an overhaul of its uniforms next year when it moves up to FBS.

    I really like white #’s (outlined of course) on lighter shaded jerseys, but these don’t really work with the purple pit stains and everything else going on.

    Colorado Buffaloes are rumored to be going with Black Helmets tonight at the Rose Bowl, vs UCLA. This would be the 2nd time this season and 3rd time in school history.

    The Patriots should wear those gold/brown pants that Harvard wears. They would look awesome and add more to the historical accuracy they tried to go with when they switched from red to blue.

    to Eric Davis: loved the tweaks. UCLA and USC should go to those designs right now!

    South Carolina vs Citadel today went color on color. gallery here: link

    Yeah, but twice a season? link

    I know they’re technically different, but isn’t the point of 80 combos and never wearing two in a season to have 12 distinct looks, not like 5 barely different ones?

    It’s very dark gray with black numbers where as these are black with very dark gray number. And there was a stripe (sorta) on the pants against LSU which aren’t there tonight.

    But my point still stands, why be barely different instead of very different?

    After seeing these very nice new uniforms of the Blue Jays, Mets, and Orioles, the one thing I can think of is this: I can’t wait for the Marlins to return to teal and/or black & silver! Hopefully it is soon. I hate the new orange & black scheme, and am very disappointed by that design, especially because the previous logo and designs were perfect, in my opinion. I’ll wait patiently until it is time to throwback to yesterday. Go Fish.

    Very nice overhaul on the Blue Jays unis. Takes me back to the mid 80’s when Detroit was still in the AL East and the epic battles between the two clubs. One qualm I have though is the redundant bird logo on the jersey. It’s already on the hat, it’s not needed on the front as well and it does throw off the balance. I’d prefer NNOB but whatcha gonna do. I give it an A.

    Eric Davis had some pretty good uni-concepts. Of course, the Arizona one would never work seeing as there’s no number on the front. USC one was great, I loved the unique shoulder stripes. UCLA, not so much. They need something to identify them as UCLA, or as their current helmets go I call them the Uclas. Loved that Beavers mockup, shoulder stripage reminds me of Princeton unis and the tapered helmet stripe was a good idea.

    If the Ducks are wearing white shoes tonight, this 2pt conversion would be a LOT clearer. Though, I think they made the right call. Good conversion.

    One more thing, I would like to nominate Georgia Southern vs Alabama for worst uniform matchup of the day. One may say that helmet numbers are old school and traditional. But one could also say that the majority of the population couldn’t name the two teams/schools depicted in this photo.


    I am an alumnus of GSU, and think they should instead use their unique GSU Eagle logos on their helmets, and promote the great school and team, not have everyone in a different numbered helmet with zero collective identity. Alabama should do the same. Until then, these two helmets look atrocious.

    “One more thing, I would like to nominate Georgia Southern vs Alabama James Madison vs. UMass for worst uniform matchup of the day.”


    Say what you want about the helmets, but this game is gold compared to link.

    Love the new Jays unis and can’t wait to see them on the field. In the image of the Jays roads side-by-side, the new one as the R in toronto overlapping the front panels but the uni’s the players were wearing the O is overlapping. With the O overlapping I hope we don’t see any Toroonto Blue Jays

    I pretend to know much about college football, but I was flippin’ channels and apparently USC upset some Rollerball team…

    Victoria’s Secret screwed up a Michigan State T-Shirt by putting ‘Hail to the Victors’ (Michigan’s Fight Song) on the front.

    There was nothing wrong with the Blue Jay’s previous colors, as it marches an actual blue jay perfectly. I would have changed the black alt to blue, toned down the font and added the “Blue” back in front of Jays, and used this new design for the cap.
    You can tell Bautista hates it and thinks its lame. lol

    The Yale Bowl is a dump. Splintered seats, bumpy field, acres of empty seats at every game other than when Harvard visits. Bleck.

    a minor quibble, but a pet peeve of mine…

    shirts that button in the front are called button-front shirts, not button-down. button-down refers to button-down collars, not any and all shirts that have buttons.

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