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Let The Swooshie Era Begin

Cowboys Pro Bowl Gloves

By Phil Hecken

The Pro Bowl is today. You won’t watch. Nobody cares anyway.

I could probably end this portion of today’s post with that and be done with it. I don’t know about you (and I think much of it may depend upon how old you are), but I used to love the Pro Bowl. No more though. And that’s too bad because while it was always a post-season exhibition (and played after the Super Bowl), it seemed that the uniforms were cooler, all the players showed up. Some even seemed to care. This year marks the end of Reebok’s NFL contract (mercifully) and the uniforms for this game will be identical to last year. Do you even remember what they looked like?

Last year, the NFC wore white over blue to the AFC’s red over white. Both jerseys featured raglan sleeves (with yokes for the NFC) and four stars around the collar. It wasn’t a bad uniform (all things considered) — and considering what they have worn in recent years. We’ll get to those in a second. In fact, about the most memorable thing about last year’s Pro Bowl was the extra long pants (really, more like full-length tights) that some of the players were sporting. Yecch.

This was one Reebok experiment that thankfully never translated to the pros. Apparently, those long pants won’t be making a return appearance during Reebok’s NFL swansong.

What you must know, unless you’ve been living under a rock, is that Nike has won the NFL contract and will be outfitting all 32 teams next season. We’ll begin to see what the new uniforms look like starting on April Fool’s day (coincidence?). But that doesn’t mean the swooshkateers haven’t been gearing up for the Pro Bowl to make a splash — in fact, much like the do for NCAA Bowl Games (and just about any other game they deem to be ‘important’), they are outfitting their contracted players with special gloves — check it out.

Now, normally, I’d say “big whoop, this is just some Pro Bowl one off/gimmick” but since they are making gloves for all 32 teams (and since there will obviously be no Patriots or Giants represented), I wondered if this wasn’t just a “one time thing” … so, gotta go to the Nike hype-machine that passes for public relations to find out (although this quote actually comes from “Soul Collector”):

This April, Nike will take over as the official outfitter of the NFL, hoping to build on the success that they’ve established in the collegiate ranks. In tomorrow’s 2012 Pro Bowl, we’ll get a preview of some of the products Nike will have to offer when they make their highly-anticipated move, starting with these new NFL Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves.

One of the popular items from their yearly NCAA Pro Combat system of dress, the Vapor Jet Receiver Gloves come together to form a high-contrast team logo at the palms. Tech features include Magnigrip CL technology for lightweight, tacky grip with enhanced flexibility and adjustable wrist strap for secure, customized fit.

So — does this now mean that every player under Nike contract will be wearing these things on the field next year? Probably not, but I’m sure more than a few will. Good lord — I was looking forward to Nike taking over the unis since Reebok has (in my opinion) done such a crummy job — but I’m not sure this bodes particularly well. We’ll see. I still don’t think they’ll mess up the uniforms, but, where are the cleats, arm sleeves, sweatbands and gloves (the equipment, not the uniform) going? I guess we’ll know soon enough.


Anyway, back to the Pro Bowl. A couple years back, I spent a lot of time and energy researching (and borrowing liberally from the great mmbolding site for photos) the history of the Pro Bowl. Much of what is below will be also borrowed liberally from that article — but since we’ve gotten many new readers since then, and many more of you may not have seen it, I’ll reproduce some of that below. It’s a pretty comprehensive look-back at where the Pro Bowl uniforms came from…and how they got to be where they are today (a few of these suffer from ‘link-rot’ [if you need an explanation of link rot, visit our FAQ], mostly at the end — but by then you won’t want to see anymore). OK, please enjoy (or not) this look back at the Pro Bowl uniforms from yesteryear until 2010.

. . .

1951probowl-2redblueAlthough it has now become the least consequential and likely least watched “all star game” of the major sports (and maybe even hockey, too), the Pro Bowl has actually been played, in one form or another, for decades — beginning with “all star games” first staged in 1939, between the NFL champion and a team of all-stars compiled from the other teams. From 1939 through 1942 (when WW II took it’s toll on the players and the game), the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears (twice) and the Washington Redskins all took turns scrammaging against the best of the rest.

The first true Pro Bowl took place on January 14, 1951, when stars from the NFL’s National and American Conferences faced off against each other. Accounts of what the players wore during the game are sketchy, however, it was likely blue (for the Nationals) and red (for the Americans). It was certain that during this game the tradition of having the National Conference wear blue (helmets), while the American Conference wore red. Both teams wore dark uniforms (or, I should say, the game was “color vs. color”). Another game would be held in 1952, and according to the game program, it was color on color again, with the National Conference wearing blue and the American Conference wearing Red. The third Pro Bowl game was played in 1953, this time with the American Conference donning white jerseys. Although the program covers for 1952 and 1953 depict white helmets, each team appears to have worn the color of their respective conference (blue for National, red for American).

Beginning in 1954, and continuing until 1970, the NFL would divide the teams up into the “Eastern” and “Western” conferences (this followed NFL procol, which had changed the names from American and National after the 1953 season). For the most part, the NFL kept the teams in their red and blue color designations (including the helmets), although several years had the players donning gold helmets (which occurred from 1967 through 1970) and wearing the NFL decal on the sides — the East wore a red-white-red tri-stripe and the Western a similar blue-white-blue tri-stripe. Players brought their own game helmets to the game, which were then spray-painted and decorated for the contest. (For the 1970 game the helmets featured the 50 NFL logo, which celebrated the first 50 years of NFL football.)

When the AFL came into being in 1960, that league began playing All Star Games as well, beginning in 1962 and up until 1970. Following the merger of the two leagues for the 1971 season, one Pro Bowl for the entire league was once again played. We’ll take a look at the uniforms from 1971-2009 (and also, for today’s game) in a moment.

. . .

PRO BOWL Wikipedia, the always trustworthy source, sums up the uniform designations thusly: “The teams are made of players from different NFL teams, so using their own uniforms would be too confusing. The players each wear the helmet of their team, but the home jerseys and pants are either a solid blue for the NFC or solid red for the AFC, while white jerseys with blue or red accents, respectively, for the away team. While it has been speculated that the color of Pro Bowl jerseys is determined by the winner of the Super Bowl, this is untrue.

“The design of Pro Bowl uniforms is changed every two years, and the color and white jerseys are rotated along with the design change. This has been Pro Bowl tradition since the switch to team specific helmets, which started with the January 1979 game. The two-year switch was originally created as a marketing ploy by Nike, and has been continued by Reebok, who won the merchandising contract in 2002.

“In the earliest years of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, the players did not wear their unique helmets, as they do now. The AFC All-Stars wore a solid red helmet with a white A on it, while the NFC players wore a solid white helmet with a blue N on it. The AFC’s red helmets were paired with white jerseys and red pants, while the NFC’s white helmets were paired with blue jerseys and white pants. Two players with the same number who are elected to the Pro Bowl can wear the same number for that game. [In the games early years], all players were required to wear different numbers, regardless of what jersey number they wore on their regular team. This changed … when players wore the jersey number on their regular team jersey, thus initially resulting in virtually every wide receiver on the field being numbered 80 or 81, a situation that, predictably, created significant confusion. Thus, it is recommended — although not required — that players use different jersey numbers, and generally when two players share a number, the less experienced one will wear a different number for the game.”

. . .

Bellprobowlb So anyway, back to the uniforms, throughout the 1971-2009 history. Back in the first several years, as mentioned, the teams simply wore “N” or “A” helmets, with the NFC wearing blue jerseys and white pants. This continued until 1979, when players began wearing individual team helmets on top of their respective teams’ uniforms. No matter what the year, the uniforms remained a constant: AFC in team specific helmets with white jerseys and red pants with white-blue-white stripes, NFC in team helmets with blue jerseys and white pants with blue-red-blue stripes.

This set pattern persisted until 1989, when the NFL kept the same basic color schemes for both conferences, but added stars down the pants stripes (plus an “N” or an “A”) and contrasting colored outlines around the teams’ jersey numbers. This particular style lasted until 1994.

Here’s where it all went to hell. Beginning in 1995, when the AFC was outfitted in garish costumes, and the NFC followed suit, uniform design has been, shall we say, lacking. The 1995 game featured the NFC in a “half blue/white” jersey blue pants (with the leotard look to boot), but for 1996 and 1997, they would switch to white pants. The AFC would stick with red pants throughtout the there year run, but in 1995 they wore red undersocks (for the dreaded leotard look), while in 1996 and 1997 they stuck with high white socks. One can only assume the jersey style was influenced by the CFL’s American contingent, since they sported small off-center numbers on the front of the jerseys. Mercifully, the three year run of that jersey design ended after, surprisingly, three years. Those uniforms were manufactured by Wilson.

1998 would usher in a new set of uniforms for the Conferences, with the AFC being outfitted in a solid red jersey for the first time. If one doesn’t count the 1995-97 jerseys as “white,” the NFC wore white jerseys for the first time. These two jersey sets weren’t all that bad (aesthetically), although they did feature rounded, drop-shadow numbers for both teams. Those uniforms lasted for three years as well, from 1998-2000. This was Nike’s uniform set.

The NFL would begin it’s “two and done” run of uniforms in 2001-02, and these were lackluster at best. The AFC was outfitted in red fading to white jerseys (in a gradient pattern) with white pants. The NFC, on the other hand, wore white fading to blue jerseys (in the opposite gardient pattern) atop blue pants. These uniforms were so bad that very few photos exist on the Interwebs of them. Perhaps that’s for the best. Reebok manufactured these uniforms, and would continue to do so through today.

2003-2004 didn’t get much better. Returning to a somewhat more traditional look, the AFC wore white over white, with garish side panels and football shaped designs on the pants. For its part, the NFC was outfitted in monochrome blue, in the reverse pattern of the AFC, also featuring the side panels and amorphous pants design.

4313145484_444d320ced_o A new uniform design would begin in 2005-06, with Reebok contining to trend towards the modern look. The AFC returned to wearing red jerseys, with same color side panels and a “Broncos-esque” pants swoosh atop white pants. While the AFC would have red top socks for a more balanced look, the NFC would sport a reciprocal white over blue uniform, complete with blue socks, for that special dancer look. Both jerseys would feature rounded numerals, and six stars would adorn the jersey and pants side panels, three each on the top and bottom. In a typical “mirror” image, the AFC’s white numbers had a white-blue outline, while the NFC would feature a solid blue outlined in white and red. As far as recent uniforms go, these weren’t too bad.

2007-08 would usher in new uniforms again, with the AFC returning to white over red and the NFC donning blue over white. Continuing the “modern” look and feel, this uniform set would include bumper sticker paneling under the arms and down the side panels, and the pants stripes would also include white and blue panels within the stripes for both teams. But the most interesting feature of these uniforms was undoubtedly the jersey design, which included similarly colored darker stars superimposed on the solid jersey, gradually moving from fully filled-in stars to outlined stars from top to bottom. Whether these new jerseys were following the jersey patterns of the moment or driving them is still up for debate.

We conclude our tour of the Pro Bowl uniforms with last year’s gems, which will be worn again this year. In the final game (at least for the next few years) in Aloha Stadium, the NFC sported a predominantly blue getup, while the went with mostly white over white. However, the uniforms were not without little quirks: while the front side of both unis were solid blue or white (providing a splendid monochromatic appearance for the NFC), the back of the NFC uniform was white (leading to an odd white vs. white appearance from certain angles). The AFC, in mirror-like fashion, had mostly red backs. Both sets of jerseys were textured with stars and had an odd number font. Fortunately, we’ll be graced with these lovelies again in 2010.

. . .

That’s about it for the Pro Bowl (more, I’m sure, than you ever wanted to know). But, if past is precursor, can you imagine what the uniforms are going to look like next year when Nike makes them?


colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Last week I had a busy personal day on Saturday, so I was unable to bring you the normal Colorize This! segment. But it’s back today.

As usual, our two stars (the G&G Boys) are the focal point, but we have one additional colorizer who is joining them.

Let’s get started:


Our first colorizer is John Turney, who is short of words, but long on color — featuring Chuck Bednarik and Frank Gifford (you know the one):


classic shot with colorization, used Kodachome filter for brightness of color

John Turney


Up next we have Gary Chanko. I don’t need to tell you any more than that, other than to say these are very timely:

The Super Bowl is just a few weeks away so colorizing something related to the event seems appropriate.

This player, depicted during his college days, is a two time Super Bowl MVP. He should be easily recognized by most, but if you’re having trouble coming up with the identity try here.


There is a theme, yes:

This is another Super Bowl mystery man to puzzle over. He played in the NFL for more than two decades and was a member of three Super Bowl championship teams. His All American college resume includes two Rose Bowls and the College Baseball World Series.
He’s depicted in this photo during his college playing years, but don’t be misled by the uniform oddity. Astute Uni-Watch readers might recognize the change that hasn’t been seen for almost 60 years.

If you need help with the identification, try here.


Great stuff. But, Gary wasn’t done. He found a little something for those who colorize, and those who enjoy colorizations. I believe this may have been posted in the Ticker (definitely in the comments) before, and I also believe some copyright issues cropped up after it was first posted:

Colorized This fans might enjoy this.

Perfectly Colored Famous Photos Are So Much More Powerful Than the B&W Originals

And finally — what follows isn’t a colorization, but an idea Gary has — with a kicker. I told Gary I’d post his original E-mail and then there is a follow-up that maybe you fine readers can assist with.

I believe it was your comment in last week’s Colorize This! suggesting colorizers should find some way to get compensated for their work. Great idea and one I’ve been marinating in my head for months.

One idea I plan to explore further is publishing my work as a book. I’ve already completed several photo books so creating a book with colorized images is a short leap. The problem is the cost. The cost of a hard cover book with 75-100 pages (printed on demand) is near $100. At this price it’s not very accessible for most potential buyers.

But hooray, today Apple announced the release of e-book publishing software, iBooks Author. It’s targeted at educators for text book publishing but really can be used for any content. This will allow me to create and publish a book that can purchased through the Apple iTunes store. This means the price can be set considerably less the $100, perhaps $5 or less.

So I plan to explore this option for publishing my work as an e-book alternative to the traditional hard copy. I’ve already started work on the publication so I can begin importing content into the new e-book format. A working copy of the cover and one of the pages is attached. With the new software I’ll be able to include a variety of interactive features, like audio, video, animation and so on.

Any thoughts about this?


That’s a terrific idea Gary — but after the legal issues we saw with the colorizations on that Gizmodo board, we had some questions neither of us can conclusively answer. They revolve around fair use and copyright. If any of you fine readers can help out with some basic copyright concerns and can answer some questions Gary might have, please drop me a line. There is such an uncertain area dealing with fair use that more understanding is needed. It would also be helpful if any of you can give us all a basic understanding of such things as expired copyrights and fair use, please post them in the comments. Thanks!


Moving along, we now turn to the other half of the G&G boys, George Chilvers, another gent who needs no introduction:

Back to a much neglected sport on UW, although the variations are endless.

This is a famous British nag from the 1930s called “Golden Miller”.

Here’s the original.


Ah, the sport of kings. What could be next? Well, like Gary, George has a bit of a query for you readers. See if you can’t help us out:

A query for you.

I’ve come across this on Shorpy and it looks as though it would make a good colourisation, but Georgetown’s colours are blue and grey while GWU are blue and buff.

In 1923 would one team have had differentiating colours (if so home or away), or would the fact that as in general terms American football was “close work” more than now (rushes seem the norm) the differing styles and differing colours (grey/buff) would be sufficient to differentiate on the field?

Can anyone help George out with this query?

Next…I’m not even sure when the B&W of this colorization ran, but George has completed it:

Hi Phil

This picture I think was originally posted on UW around Halloween, for obvious reasons. I’ve just got round to it – it was actually a good one to do and I’m pleased with the result.

Best wishes


So there we have it folks — some great colorizations (as always) this week, and a few assignments for you guys. Hopefully you can help us out — either with the fair use/copyright questions posed by Gary, or the color questions asked by George.

Have a photo you think would make for a great colorization or have you colorized one you want to show off? You know what to do. That’s all for now. Back with more next time.


Duck tracker2011-12011 Duck Tracker

Back at the beginning of the college football season, Jake Hurley stepped up to the plate and took over the “Duck Tracker” for 2011 from long-time Duck Tracker Mike Princip, who has taken on other projects for the season. What is the Duck Tracker? Quite simply, it tracks each and every uniform combination the Ducks have worn for the 2011 season.

Jake created a new template and has given the Duck Tracker a new feel. Now that the NCAA season has concluded, Jake is back with his final 2011 Tracking, and a few words about the project.

Here’s Jake:

Jake here, I wanted to thank Michael Princip for letting me follow in his footsteps, Phil Hecken for emailing me right away with the Duck’s weekly combos, and most importantly you, the Uni Watch readers for staying interested each week (even though I didn’t quite make the deadline several different times).

I had a great time tracker those wacky Ducks this year, every second I put into the project was worth it. Jim Vilk already did a special 5 & none for Oregon, oddly enough though my favorite combo was not in his rundown, there’s just something about that yellow in the daylight that I love. I was also, like the rest of you, angered when the Ducks almost constantly refused to wear their beautiful school colors. Can someone please explain to me, in 3 seasons of this jersey set, why they have never worn this? I think that would look stunning.

On a side note, if you’re anything like me and wish you had the privilege of dressing the ducks every week, well now you can. That’s the Oregon Duck Uniform Picker that was built by my friend JT Cattelan over on Chris Creamer’s board. He also built one for Wyoming.

On yet another side note, while I was doing research I stumbled upon something interesting, which I’m sure was mentioned here when it occurred and I either missed it or forgot about it. In 2010 Oregon switched the number color on their green uniform from carbon to yellow, interesting.

It’s too bad that this is the last time this season the Duck Tracker will run because I finally have it looking the way I intended it to all season long.

Thanks Uniwatcher’s,

Jake Hurley


Here’s the Final 2011 Duck Tracker.


Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson


The secret is you just gotta find the rhythm…

1-29-12 s-Run

And, as always, the full-size.


all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

And so, lets begin:


We start with David Firestone, who has a neat idea for a World Series logo:

Hi Guys!

I bought a Boston Braves throwback cap with a 1914 World Series Patch on it, and I thought it would make a great logo for the upcoming World Series.The modifications were simple, I just changed the 1914 to “2012” in a slightly more subtle text, took the Boston Braves name out, one can add the names of the teams playing, one on each side, and added the MLB logo. The result was this. Simple, elegant and timeless, and while the it is slightly more modern, it is still very attractive.

Dave Firestone


Next up is Bowen Hobbs, who is a frequent concepter, but we haven’t heard from him in a while:

Hi Phil,
It’s been a while since I sent some uni concepts your way, but here are a few.

Colorado Avalanche
For the Avs, I wanted to eliminate the superfluous black and silver. I replaced those colors with and icy powder blue. The primary logo keeps the mountain theme, while I used a yeti head instead of the foot for the secondary. The uniforms are modernized but keep the mountain theme, while the alternate uses the yeti and a chest stripe.
Logos // Home // Away // Alternate

Anaheim Ducks
I’m glad the team incorporated orange into the color scheme, but there isn’t enough of it. I paired the orange with two greens. I worked with a version of the webfoot D and created a new duck and custom type. The uniforms feature a round collar to mimic the ring on a mallard’s neck.
Logos // Home // Away // Alternate

Calgary Flames
I wanted to update the C logo and make it more dynamic. The flames on it currently attache awkwardly in the lower left corner. Starting with the C I developed a custom type treatment and I also developed a version of the horse logo that doesn’t look like a dragon. Naturally, the uniforms pay homage to the Heritage Classic uniforms from last year except the chest stripe has moved to the hem for a cleaner presentation.
Logos // Home // Away // Alternate

Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers logo has always look like a sideways ghost from Pacman to me, I modernized it to add motion and more of a wing-like appearance. I created a secondary logo of a winged Liberty Bell. The uniforms reference the Lindros era.
Logos // Home // Away // Alternate

That’s it for today. If you’d like to see more, here is the link to my NHL series.


Bowen Hobbs


And closing out the show today is Derek Reese, who has a new look for the Dolfish in 2012, once swooshie has the NFL contract:

Hi Phil!

Got an idea for a retro Dolphins set for when Nike takes over the NFL next season. I was born in ’85, so most of my Dolphins memories are of the current uniform/logo set, but the vast majority of what Dolfans are proud of happened in the old logo era. Only 2 division titles and they have not even made it past the second round in the playoffs since the logo change took place, I think it’s time to go back to the old look. Slightly tweaked the 80s/90s version of the original logo, and used a modified version of the current script. Oh and for the love of god, no white monochrome unis.



And that will conclude this weekend’s concepts. Check back next weekend for more.


Whew. That will do it for today. While in a way, today is kind of one of the crappiest days in sports (the week between the NFL Conference Championships and Super Bowl is always tough), it’s actually a pretty big day — the Men’s Australian Open Final, pitting Novak Djokovac and Raffa Nadal took place early this morning (and will be replayed again on ESPN2)…the Pro Bowl (of course) will be played on NBC (!) at 7:00 ET, and, if you’re into that sort of thing, the NFL has annouced that players will be allowed to tweet from the sidelines…Finally, you also have the NHL’s All Star Game, actually the “Tim Horton’s NHL All Star Game,” and which will also be carried on the Peacock air on NBC Sports, beginning at 4:00 ET. So, at least you’ve got that going for you. The NHL won’t be wearing any new uniforms either, so that’s why I didn’t bother covering the preview today.

Photos from the Pro Bowl, including this one of Warren Sapp surfing, can be found here. All you need to know about today’s NHL ASG and highlights from last night’s skills and other competitions can be found here.

Everyone have a fantastic Sunday.


“Midnight green is fine. But midnight green and black is vomitously vile.” — R. Scott Rogers

112 comments to Let The Swooshie Era Begin

  • Robert | January 29, 2012 at 7:43 am |

    So, no mention that the Panthers’ logo has been updated? I thought that would have been the first thing mentioned.

    • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 8:00 am |

      Indeed. What the heck, Phil?

      I don’t really have much of an opinion on the new logo though. It still looks like the Panthers. Reminds me of the Cardinals update a few years ago. It is different, but how many non-uni-watchers are going to notice it? Obviously we’ll have to see what they do to the rest of the uniform…. but if they stick with a silver helmet, I guarantee you’re gonna keep seeing the old logo showing up in sports coverage next season.

      • StLMarty | January 29, 2012 at 8:56 am |

        Only Nike can make an angry animal look even angrier.

        • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 9:26 am |

          Seriously? I actually think that it looks less angry. Compare and contrast.

        • concealed78 | January 29, 2012 at 9:42 am |

          The thing I don’t get is why the lip was altered & enlarged so much. Did the panther get punched in the mouth or something?

          Seems like a pointless update for the sake of updating; tho it wasn’t a great logo to begin with. The different shading does nothing. I think somebody got a little curve/bending-happy on the computer with the elements & trying to make it seem more sleek, italicized & active.

          Who knew panthers wore blue lipstick.

        • StLMarty | January 29, 2012 at 10:43 am |

          Yahoo seriously!
          Look into it’s eyes. You’ll see.

        • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 11:39 am |

          Never seen a big cat roar?
          Lower jaw usually moves slightly to one side or the other.

        • kyle f | January 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

          Way to read the article, blame Nike for everything

          “The primary tweaks made by the National Football League’s creative department”

          And why would Nike include a “three stripe element incorporated into the “A” ?

    • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 8:13 am |

      Speaking of those gloves… I found the large image for the Seahawks…×620.jpg

      Might just be my eyes or monitor settings, but it looks to me like the lower part of the logo is silver rather than the “seahawk blue” color.

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 11:14 am |

      “So, no mention that the Panthers’ logo has been updated? I thought that would have been the first thing mentioned.”


      yes — paul will be addressing this tomorrow — so that’s why no mention of it today

      stay tuned

  • Arr Scott | January 29, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    Digging through Pro Bowl uni history should qualify for a segment on Dirty Jobs. A person’s soul dies a little each time one looks at a Pro Bowl uni photo, so mighty thanks to Phil for taking one for the team and bringing us this terrific, horrible report.

    I submit that today’s most uni-notable game will be the CONCACAF final between Canada’s women’s Batman team ( and the US women’s national nursing team. Kidding! Canada’s soccer women have a great uniform.

  • Memal | January 29, 2012 at 8:39 am |

    Bowen, gotta say I don’t often think a design that gets posted here could easily jump right onto the field(or in this case ice) and be an upgrade, but after taking a look at your tweeks on here and on your website I can say that more than a few of yours could make the leap and look A LOT BETTER! Especially the Ducks and the LA Kings concepts. They had great concepts executed well and stayed true to what that team was. Great work!

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

      Thank you. Although more of my early work has focused on uniforms, I currently try to rebrand teams entirely (if called for). If there is something from the past I think works well, I will incorporate it. Like the Kings crown (updated) and the Lindros era Flyers jerseys. It’s always great to hear feedback.

  • George Chilvers | January 29, 2012 at 9:04 am |

    I, like Gary, have considered producing my colourising work in book form, but have decided against it because of the copyright issues. British and US law both dictate that copyright exists for the lifetime of the author (photographer) plus 70 years, or if the author is unknown then 70 years from the date of the photograph being taken. Most of the photos I colourise are possibly still in copyright.

    The issue is a hot potato – I would argue that what I am doing on here for example is showcasing techniques amd therefore claim “fair use”. I am not depriving the copyright owner from any revenue. I am pretty sure though that selling my work to anyone other than the copyright holder (so I can legally charge people to colour their own family pictures) would be a breach of copyright and is to be avoided.

    • Gary | January 29, 2012 at 9:48 am |

      The colorization issue is murky. Although copyright protections do exist for many of the B&W originals, it is decided law in the US (and perhaps other countries) that colorization can result in a “derivative” work that in itself could be copyrighted by the colorizing artist.

      This issue came to resolution because of the colorizing of vintage B&W films (recall the efforts by TBS) some twenty years ago. I’m still researching this decision for broader application to photographs.

      Using materials that are in the public domain or even made available for non-commercial use is not going to be problematic. More to follow on this later.

  • concealed78 | January 29, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    I like the Ducks & Avalanche designs. The Ducks currently have the most plain & boring look in the league – going with black as the primary was safe & completely unimaginative. I never did like the Avalanche using two dark colors together which makes the powder blue a nice touch.

    I like the Flyers secondary logo but I wouldn’t put on a black jersey.

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

      Thanks. I figured a black jersey would be OK, since the primary is orange. It wouldn’t be worn too often, and it’s not BFBS since black is one of their colors. I know it’s a black logo on a black jersey, but it’s simple design keeps it from getting muddled.

  • eethy | January 29, 2012 at 9:26 am |

    Don’t forget the Falcons swapping silver outline for old gold.

  • Gary | January 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |

    re George’s Query, Georgetown vs GWU Football 1923

    Don’t believe college football teams of that era would have typically used “differentiating” uniform colors. That practice likely developed with the arrival of televised sports, but further research on this issue might reveal something different.

    You can get a flavor of the uniform materials and available colors from this previous Uni-Watch posting of a 1924 Goldsmith catalog :

    • LarryB | January 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

      That is a good question about the GWU Georgetown game in 1923 since both teams colors were blue.

      I know that in the late 1920’s Penn State wore red jerseys in 2 games. Their opponents those 2 games also wore blue so the Lions wore red jerseys at least twice.

  • Gary | January 29, 2012 at 10:23 am |

    The Swooshie Era only creates images of that Barney Nike designer creature. For me he will live forever as the face of Nike.

  • concealed78 | January 29, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    I wonder who the delicate genius was that came up with the idea of splitting a logo on gloves like that. Because you know, that’s a standard way of walking around with gloves on flashing the palms or saying hello.

    Reebok, Nike, Under Armor, Adidas – it’s all the same pasta / different shape.

  • Kyle Allebach | January 29, 2012 at 10:44 am |

    I love those Flyer concepts. Although, the logo tweak looks really strange. I guess that’s because the Flyer’s haven’t changed their logo at all (2003 doesn’t count).

  • M.Princip | January 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    Fantastic job with the Duck Tracker this season Jake. Really hoping that you do it again next season. Kudos to JT for his uniform picker site as well.

    I wish there were more school color combos too, especially love the green puddles jersey, and puddles on the front helmet bumper is superb:$(KGrHqJHJC!E7zG,CvnSBP!7w96h6!~~60_12.JPG

  • Winter | January 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |

    I really like Bowen’s Avalanche design, and looking at his site, the Dallas Stars design is really, really good.

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm |


  • Scott Little | January 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |


    You’re “I’m not a shoehead” is hanging out. It’s sole collector.

    Or were you were making some kind of clever suggestion that people who collect shoes have had their “souls collected”?

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

      uh…yeah, that’s it

      i meant to say “soul” instead of “sole”


      /not a sneakerhead, never will be

  • LarryB | January 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    I always love the colorization day.

    John, Where do you get that Kodakchrome filter? That gives the images a distinct look.

    Gary, I too had thought about a book but wondered about the legalities too.

    Super job by all.

  • Kub | January 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    Really Nike? A picture of a piece if equipment ON a piece of equipment?
    Does no one remember this guy?!

    • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

      “Really Nike? A picture of a piece if equipment ON a piece of equipment?”


      No, but it is frustrating to see that. A blank helmet does not a logo make.

      • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

        “A blank helmet does not a logo make.”


        true that…but that doesn’t mean a blank helmet needs a logo either

        • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

          *waits for THE to come bearing a torch, dragon shout, and decent argument saying otherwise*

        • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

          /but seriously, regardless of whether or not the Browns need a helmet logo, using the helmet on the gloves looks stupid – and it’s not even consistent for Nike – they used the block O on the Buckeyes gloves, didn’t they? They should have used the dog face or the (=B=) logo.

  • interlockingtc | January 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    Times were different….

    This pictures speaks volumes.

    The intensity in his eyes, the clean umiform design, the mud and dirt….For an exhibition game.

    Nice work, Phil.

    • concealed78 | January 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

      You know the apathy that kick’s off Phil well-written article just shows you the state of sports these days. It’s difficult to really care about things like All Star games anymore because most of the players are well-compensated, the notion of league pride is non-existent, stupid rules like home field advantage in the World Series, extremely ridiculously high roster allotments with 2nd, 3rd & 4th tier backups playing, online fan voting which is nothing but a popularity contest by the biggest fan bases, player exemptions or mandatory team representatives.

      Just seems like one candyass media vacation for all those involved. I’d just like to see some defense, some hard hits, starters play longer & a better selection process. But I guess that’s just silly & asking too much these days.

      • timmy b | January 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

        No apathy here. ANY discussion of uni history in any sport is a very worthwhile topic.

        Well done, Mr. Hecken!!

  • Brian | January 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Phil, you listed the events happening today on the “off day” for major sports, yet neglected to mention possibly the biggest sporting event of the weekend: The Rolex 24 at Daytona! If anyone isn’t watching right now, get to a television and turn on SPEED Channel. Just under two hours to go and it’s going to be a great finish.

  • hugh.c.mcbride | January 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

    Tremendous job (as always) Phil. I can’t think of many writing assignments more difficult than “Gimme an extended piece on the Pro Bowl, & make it interesting” — but you nailed it.

    And while the colorizer crew consistently turns out impressive work, I felt the need to give Gary Chanko a special shout-out for his Bart Starr photo. That has to be the most amazing colorizing job I’ve seen. Had it not been labeled as such, I would’ve assumed it was an actual color photo. Amazing job!

  • Attila Szendrodi | January 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |

    I LOVED every single one of those NHL concepts. If that’s what they wore I might give a shit about hockey.

  • thom | January 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

    in the NHL tweeks:
    CALGARY: I like but couldn’t the ‘horse head’ be the alt jersey logo
    PHILLY: The main logo looks like a warped version of the current logo, like the logo on dope. As a FLYERS fan the current jerseys are fine but I do like the alt uniform & secondary logo.
    COLORADO/ANAHEIM: what’s wrong with the current Avs & Ducks logos?

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

      The horse head logo is very directional, and it didn’t look quite right on the front of a sweater. As I mentioned initially, the Flyers current logo has always looked like a ghost from Pacman to me. I wanted the “wing” of the logo to be more wing like, so that’s what I did. Thanks for the compliment on the secondary logo.

      As for the Avs logos/color scheme, it sort of looks like the 90s threw up. You have burgundy, royal blue, black, silver and white in their primary mark. Plus the off-kilter oval trying to display speed dates it.

      And with the Ducks, I pretty much kept (albeit slightly modified) the best part of their rebrand, the webfoot D. I think they could do better than a wordmark for a logo. I wanted to see a duck, so I decided to make one. I’ve never been fond of using black and metallic gold for them either. With my choice of duck being the mallard, using green was natural. Plus, orange needed to play a bigger role since the team is in Orange County.

  • Tim E. O'B | January 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

    Good stuff today by all, especially Phil.

    BUT: Phil, the THASG is on NBCSN (formerly VS.) today, not the actual NBC.

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm |

      fuck…that’s what i get for trusting a source other than the one…now fixed

      so…NBC views the pro bowl as more important, and shows it in prime time no less, than the NHL ASG…


      • Tim E. O'B | January 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

        Especially since I’ll watch all of the THASG and none of the probowl. Hockey ASGs are actually entertaining because good stickwork, goal play and scoring still remains. The Pro Bowl sucks because the players can’t replicate chemistry due to all the rules and the fact that they have to have set run plays, something the NBA, NHL and MLB don’t need.

      • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

        “NBC views the pro bowl as more important,”

        So does the general public, which means it will attract a far larger audience than the NHL ASG.

        Not to mention NBC likely sees the NHL game as an opportunity to positively impact viewer demand for their new sports channel.

        Really tough to find fault with NBC’s logic on this one.

        • Tim E. O'B | January 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm |

          Fair points, but the THASG is actually entertaining, the Pro Bowl isn’t.

        • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

          Doesn’t matter, not to the network. There are huge–that is, humongous–chunks of the country where relatively no one gives a rat’s ass about hockey. NBC execs would be out of their minds to flip-flop the broadcast locations of the programming.

          Now, could one of them have been played this afternoon and the other tonight? Absolutely. That’s were trolling for increased interest in a new cable sports channel comes in.

          Create demand. Nothing new in that concept.

          The Pro Bowl tonight also further cements NBS’s identification with NFL football on Sunday night.

          How is all of this not “duh” obvious? :)

        • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

          NBC, not NBS.
          Last second edit. Changed “the network’s” to the name of the network.

        • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

          Something else to consider…

          Because of Sunday Night Football, NBC doesn’t get to debut a Sunday night lineup of regular programming until almost February.

          When they do, they will be up against shows that have had since September to attract their audiences.

          Ergo, the first few weeks of the new schedule could be “dudlike”. One more NFL game, even if it’s the Pro Bowl, gives them one more week that isn’t “unknown”.

  • concealed78 | January 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

    Miami Heat wearing their shitty-ass black uni’s at home again.

  • Mike K | January 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

    Why are the Miami Heat’s all black jerseys that shimmery material? I thought that look was over when Adidas came out with their mesh-pattern design a few years ago. The bulls and nuggets both had to switch theirs (obviously for the better).

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

      to appeal to 17 year olds?


      hate the material, but i love the look (minus the side panels)

      those outline numbers look freakin schweet!

      • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Jake H | January 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

        I have to fully disagree with you on that one Phil. I think that jersey colored numbers with only an outline have no place on a sports uniform of any kind.

        See MLB BP jerseys, and braves and rays dark blue alts. Yuck!

        • walter | January 30, 2012 at 9:25 am |

          Nuh-uh, Jake, the old San Antonio Spur uniforms with the black-on-black titles are classic.


      • BurghFan | January 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

        “Schweet” unless you want to, you know, read the number.

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

      It’s because they decided to match the fabric of the original “Back in Black” jerseys they unveiled back in whatever year that was. In other words, they’re sort of treating this as a throwback, right down to the fabrication.

  • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |


    lets add some pro bowl cleats to the nike show tonight

    • Paul Lukas | January 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

      Since nobody else has mentioned this, I guess it falls to me: I *hate* (but am not particularly surprised by) the whole “target” motif for all the Nike glove and shoe graphics. Very “pilot to bombardier,” which just furthers the bogus military/video game theme that Nike keeps overlaying on the sport of football.

      Total bullshit.

      • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

        not exactly related to what you said ^^^ … but i have to say that my early elation that nike would be taking over the contract (not because i’m particularly fond of nike, but judging how they do “classic” NCAA unis, i think they’ll do an entirely better job than reedidas)…

        but the whole gloves & shoe shit is really making me think this could be A LOT worse than we’d originally imagined

        not that they’ll fuck up the classic unis…but just about everything else

        if we thought the boobie cancer equipment was bad, just wait until swooshie gets into the act…the PEs are already bad enough…

        i BET dollars to donuts they will (if they haven’t already) started lobbying the powers-that-be in the front office to start relaxing the shoe/glove colorway rules

  • SRP91 | January 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

    I love the Flames redesign! I thought last year’s Heritage Classic uni’s were great so incorporating that was perfect, and while I initially didn’t like the updated C, when I looked at it the second time I started to like it a lot more! Well done, hopefully Ken King gets a look at them and realizes they’re a great upgrade!

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

      Thank you! Those are my favorite NHL jerseys, although the Lindros-era Flyers ones are up there too.

  • Wheels | January 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

    The NBA needs to stop the trend of home teams wearing dark alternates and road uniforms at home, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Tim E. O'B | January 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

      But then how will they sell jerseys…?

    • Bowen | January 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |

      I disagree. I think color at home makes more sense than white. I was glad to see the NHL flip the designation around. The proliferation of alternate and throwback jerseys partly justifies this. In addition, creating an environment is easier to do when you can use your colors more. Plus, I think Paul wouldn’t mind seeing the Lakers’ purple jerseys relegated to alternate status.

      • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |

        color on color makes more sense

        otherwise, white at home makes the most sense…

        and in hockey, that was the way god intended it

  • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

    Drake wore an NHL 75th Anniversary white jersey with a red and blue tiled striped raglan yoke/sleeve insert. I can do without the ass-sagging, but overall, not a terrible outfit for the Too Horny/Team Hockey/Terrible Hashtag (whatever the “TH” stands for) ASG intermission show thingy. Side note: My good friends Jake Bowman and Taylor Johnson play guitar and bass (respectively) for THE GONNEEZ and THE FRATELLEEZ, who will be opening acts for Drake on his Club Paradise Tour.


    • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

      Shit. *GOONEEZ*, not GONNEEZ.

  • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

      Apparently, my brain’s on vacation, because I didn’t check Phil’s prior link XO

    • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

      Phil already posted that pic, noob.

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm |


      I saw you clicked “LIKE” on both the gloves & shoes on FB…


    • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

      That picture isn’t even accurate… the Steelers are shown as black & yellow, the players are wearing white & yellow in the game. I think a few others are different too but that jumped out at me right away with Rothcheeseburger starting.

      • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

        doesn’t big ben wear two different shoes?

        • The Jeff | January 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm |

          They look the same today… at least they’re both bright white & yellow. Wallace (Steelers WR) is also in white with yellow.

          /and this game is a lame joke

  • Rob H. | January 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm |

    Did I just see Brett Favre on the NFC sideline?

  • FormerDirtDart | January 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    I hadn’t been paying attention to the Duck Tracker this season. I wonder if “Ninja Duck” will be banned hence forth?

    Also, not sure what is more appalling, the Pro Bowl unis, or the Pro Bowl level of effort.

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm |


      calling it *effort* is to give a bad name to the word

      i swear…this game is even worse than last year…and that was atrocious

      • Simply Moono | January 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

        Patrick… take it away.

      • FormerDirtDart | January 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm |

        I think I played a more physical game of two-hand touch, on an asphalt covered in ice, in Junior High School

    • Jake H | January 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

      Why is it that you think “ninja duck” will be banned? I mean its ugly as all hell but they would need a better reason than that to ban a uniform.

      • FormerDirtDart | January 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |

        The only two games they lost in the 2011 season were “Ninja Duck” games.

        • Jake H | January 30, 2012 at 12:15 am |

          Ahhh very true, I didn’t put that together until you just said it

  • Wheels | January 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

    I’ve always wanted to walk across one of the sky-bridges at Aloha Stadium during the Pro Bowl… I’m sure it would be more fun than watching the game.

  • Adam R. W. | January 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm |

    So I accidentally turned on the Pro Bowl… Am I the only one who noticed the jerseys do not have the Reebok logo this year?

    • HottMaxx | January 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

      FIRST thing I noticed!!!

      • HottMaxx | January 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

        Not on the pants either…. NOWHERE!!! See-Ya Reebok!!!

    • BurghFan | January 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm |

      Paul has mentioned that all week.

      • Bromotrifluoromethane | January 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm |

        Some sort of black square on the bottom front of the jerseys where the sizing tags usually go that was visible when untucked. Do those also have manufacture info or just the sizing? I’m too lazy to dig through my closet to find some jerseys and see.
        It was nice to see a manufacture free look though. If I didn’t have those unimportant things known as bills I’d think about snagging something before they start slapping a swoosh everywhere they can fit it.

  • HottMaxx | January 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    Adam R. W. | January 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply

    So I accidentally turned on the Pro Bowl… Am I the only one who noticed the jerseys do not have the Reebok logo this year?

    FIRST thing I noticed!!!

  • LarryB | January 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |

    Todays’ article was a good one. Phil, you sure do a lot of work on here.

    Well done.

    • Phil Hecken | January 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

      thanks larry

      and thanks to the others above you who also complimented the article


      i have to say, the past two (same uni) years were probably the best we have seen in a decade, and likely the best we’ll see until under armour…wait…until someone buys wilson and takes over the NFL contract in 2022

  • Johnny O | January 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm |

    No pictures since I am not at home with my DVR, but I am pretty sure Cam Newton is wearing a new New Era Pro Bowl hat sans brim.

  • Ricko | January 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm |

    And Vincent Jackson of the Chargers is wearing red and white adidas.

  • Patrick_in_MI | January 30, 2012 at 12:44 am |

    As far as copyright issues go, what is the legality of Pauls’ clothing tag t-shirts he’s selling? I’m no lawyer and the shirts don’t interest me in the least but I’m just curious as to any licensing infringement.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | January 30, 2012 at 1:18 am |

    OK. A question on the gloves. If they or some form like them do end up being something besides just a Pro Bowl thing and they find their way onto the field next season will players get flagged for taunting or for performing with props after scoring or making big plays? Ohio State got flagged for it and the No Fun League is much more of a tight ass on celebrations than even the B1G. So what’s the over/under on how many minutes into a game will it be before people start getting flagged for doing the glove flashing? Or will the swoosh just politely ask the commish to send a memo out to allow them to flash?
    This will either be the biggest disaster in the world or it’ll end up with more gloves being waved around than the sets of a Michael Jackson video or a Nightmare on Elm Street movie.

  • Harrison | January 30, 2012 at 1:23 am |

    Is it just me, or in the top right corner of the Cowboys graphic does it have Dallas in the AFC?

  • Mark | January 30, 2012 at 3:22 am |

    Just a quick follow up on the whole majestic nfl t shirt thing. Majestic is manufactured by vf image wear. VF is allowed to make non sideline nfl apparel under the G III label. Check your local Bob’s which doesnt carry any Reebok apparel (just hats). They can somehow make the locker room shirts as well as Reebok, not unlike what twins does with the MLB.

  • mtjaws | January 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

    I don’t mind the Dolphins streamlined logo with the additional navy shadows, but Derek Reese’s uniform updates are indeed nice. However, since no one wears sleeves anymore, those nice sleeve stripes wouldn’t work. Great attempt though.

    And yes, they should never ever wear monochrome white, especially at home. The aqua is sooooooo much better!