Back on Jan. 17, I included the following tidbit in the Ticker: “With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we could all do a lot worse than to receive this on Feb. 14.” I thought it was a pretty cool little design, but nobody reacted to it in the comments, nobody e-mailed me any follow-ups on it, and that was that.
Except for me.
For some reason I found myself thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if there were other vintage baseball-themed Valentines floating around out there.” Turns out there were. Then I thought, “What about football?” Turns out there were a lot of those, too. Soon I was obsessively searching for every vintage sports-related Valentine I could find. A few days and lots of screen shots later, I had created a virtual collection of 294 sports-themed Valentines, covering over a dozen different sports. And I’m fairly certain that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Some of you may find these designs overly cutesy, or you may roll your eyes at the lame-ass puns, or maybe you just hate Valentine’s Day on principle (I can’t say I’m overly fond of it myself). Fair enough on all counts. But I find most of the artwork irresistible. Lots of absolutely killer uniforms, too.
There are some interesting tropes found in these card designs, but I’ll let you discover those for yourselves. Without further ado, here are the cards, broken down by sport (you may have to give the slideshows a few seconds to load; once they start, you can adjust their speed by using the slider at the top-right of each slideshow):
Okay, so that’s probably more Valentines than anyone needs to see in one day. But while I was typing up this entry — I swear! — my friend Lori sent me these. Wow. Clearly, this Valentine thing is a much deeper rabbit hole than I’d anticipated.
Logan’s Run, continued: Reader Marco Scurati, writing all the way from Italy, has found a photo showing that Logan Mankins had a mustache drawn onto his left helmet decal in the AFC championship game — the first evidence we’ve seen of Mankins having the mustachioed Elvis in a game prior to the Super Bowl. The thing is, the mustaches he wore in these two games don’t match, so they must have been doctored up separately for each game. Faaaascinating.
Meanwhile, reader Joe Kramer has found another shot of Mankins’s Super ’Stache, and it’s a fun one — zoom in on the jumbotron image in this photo. Very cool spot on Joe’s part.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s something interesting: Gerry Muir has noticed that the umpire in the Super Bowl had a little something wired to the brim of his cap. At first I thought it was microphone, but there’s no reason that would be on his cap instead of his jersey. A camera, perhaps..? … Excellent story about infographics here (from Jim Atherton). … Plan B Branding, which has designed the logos and uniforms for countless minor league baseball teams, has now rebranded itself, as Brandiose. Bad move, in my opinion — “grandiose” is a dangerous word to play off of, since it has a largely negative connotation (from Ray Barrington). … Mo Evans of the Wizards is wearing some Capri-length red tights. “Not the best look,” opines Alex Melendez. … The Hershey Bears will be wearing Hershey’s Kisses jerseys for warm-ups on Sunday. And if you like that jersey, you’ll probably love this site devoted to “geeky” hockey jerseys (both from Dane Drutis). … Old-school Chuck Taylor sneakers are very popular in China (from Chad Todd). … Alex Spanko notes that the combined Cohasset/Hanover girls’ hockey team, which has players from both schools, has capitalized on the schools’ “C” and “H” initials by using a recolored version of the Canadiens’ logo. I generally dislike it when high schools rip off pro logos (come on, show some originality!), but that’s rather clever. … New away kit for Germany (from Samuel Schmidt). … Check this out: a baseball umpire’s windbreaker with removable sleeves. Anyone ever seen that before? (From Sam Lam.) … Kind of amazing the SI used the old NFL logo for a story in this week’s issue (as spotted by Matthew Edwards). ”¦ I’m no fan of McDonald’s, but it’s hard not to like these striped socks (blame Phil). ”¦ “I was watching some NFL Films footage from 1994 and I noticed coach wearing a hat and jacket with a logo I’d never seen before,” says HHH. “Out of curiosity, I did an eBay search on ‘detroit lions apex’ and found this. This logo is not even listed on sportslogos.net. Was it a one-year throwback logo for 1994?” This logo is new to me, too — anyone know more? ”¦ NBA Weirdness, Part 1: The Celtics wore their black-lettered road alts at home last night, forcing the Lakers to wear gold on the road — but with their black road shoes. ”¦ NBA Weirdness, Part 2: The Kings wore their new road alts at home, forcing the Thunder to wear white on the road — but with their black road shoes. ”¦ Getting back to the Lakers, here’s an observation from Peter Fahey: “The 9 on Matt Barnes’s jerseys has some really weird dimensions. It seems to be the same on the gold, purple, and white uniforms. Compare it to Pau Gasol’s 6 to see how goofy it is. There doesn’t seem to be any past use of this 9. Barnes even had a regular-looking numeral at his introductory press conference when he signed with LA.” ”¦ Jay-Z has had a big role in the new Nets logo, color scheme, and uniforms, all of which are slated to be unveiled this spring. I’ve already seen prototypes of the uniforms (actual protos, not just mock-ups or photos), and I can say two things about them: (1) They’re almost certainly not what you’re expecting, and (2) I like them. ”¦ Everything we already knew about next year’s Winter Classic has now been officially confirmed. ”¦ Here’s a really fascinating article — including a small mention of uniforms — about the annual race up the Empire State Building stairs. Recommended. … Chad Johnson is Chad Johnson again, presumably because Metta World Peace was already taken. … Halle-freakin’-lujah Dept.: Word I hear through the grapevine is that Josh Lewin, who’s been rumored to be Wayne Hagin’s replacement for a few weeks now, will be officially be given the job today. Thank the lordy. … Here’s some unusual helmet striping. That’s Huntington High School in West Virginia, circa 1978 (from Brice Wallace). … South Carolina baseball is switching cap outfitters, from the Game to Under Armour (from JK Chaney). … A direct-mail company in Idaho is taking some serious liberties with the ESPN logo (from Mark Snider). … FNOB alert! That’s Leonard Smith (duh) of the 1985 Cardinals, who also had Lance Smith, Wayne Smith, and J.T. Smith on the roster (from Bill Kellick). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Check out Paul Pierce waring a heavily autographed jersey in the McDonald’s All-America Game. … More new soccer kits, this time for Canada and Brazil.
My latest ESPN column, about the sports-related artifacts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was supposed to run yesterday but was postponed. Not sure if it will run today or if it’ll be held until next week. Either way, I’m going to be off the grid for most of today, so I won’t be around to provide a link. We’ll sort it all out on Monday, OK? OK — see you then.