Skip to content

Hurry … Hard!

Team McCormick

By Phil Hecken

The 2012 USA Curling National Championships (CNC) began yesterday, taking place in Philadelphia (actually at at the IceWorks complex in Aston). For those of us (like myself) that really only get to watch the sport of curling during the Winter Olympics, the interwebs offers a rare opportunity to catch a lot of curling action — the event is actually being livestreamed on the 2012 USA Curling Nationals website.

The CNC is actually the first opportunity for teams to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which themselves take place from November 11-16, 2013, in Fargo, N.D. Not only do the top two men’s and women’s teams from the 2012 Nationals earn direct berths in the Olympic Trials, the winning teams from this event earn the privilege of representing the USA in the 2012 World Championships (the men play in Basel, Switzerland, from March 31-April 8, and the women will travel to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and will play between March 17-25). So, there’s a lot a stake here.

As Paul has previously mentioned, he and I will be attending the semi’s and finals of the tournament. He’s got a bit of history with a number of the participants, as the number two seed, Team C. Brown (skipped by Craig Brown), was Paul’s skip when he participated in the House of Hearts bonspiel, two years ago in Duluth, Minnesota. Paul looked might-tee-fine that day in this sweet sweater, a birthday present from yours truly. You can see him in action in Duluth, sweeping for Team Brown. He’d reprise that look last year when we went curling at the Plainfield Curling Club, in South Plainfield, New Jersey:

You can see, he has great form…Unlike yours truly. Although, I must say, Paul did film my best shot of the day, as I used the hammer with a sweet in turn on a take-out to score 2 for our side.

Our guide and instructor that day was Dean Gemmell (seen on the left of this photo, along with Peter Della Penna, myself and Robert Vickers, our ‘team’ that day). Dean is also in the Curling Nationals, on the fifth-seeded Team McCormick, playing behind skip Heath McCormick. Dean is a great guy and a terrific instructor, having put up with my antics patiently explained the nuances of the sport to me and Paul in the two times we’ve visited the Plainfield Curling Club.

The number one seeded men’s team is Team George, which is being skipped by Tyler George (pictured sweeping at left), who also happened to win the 2010 US Nationals (as a member of Team Fenson). Team Fenson has reformed and will be the number three seed at this year’s championships. Tyler has quite the history with Paul as well, as he gave Paul some personal (consumption) instruction before the HoH. I highly recommend watching that clip through to the end.

So when Paul and I arrive for the semi’s on Friday, he’ll be torn — we’re of course hoping that the number one, two and five seeds will all make it to the semi’s, but our rooting interests may be determined before that time. And oh yeah, who else is competing? Lots of big names in the USA curling world, including Team Shuster, the number seven seed. You may remember John Shuster from the 2010 Olympics, who, after helping the USA secure a bronze medal in 2006 in Turin, had, well, an underwhelming performance in Vancouver.

With more than a dozen past Olympians on hand, competition is expected to be stiffer than ever, said USA Curling chief operating officer Rick Patzke, thanks to a curling boom in the United States.

“It’s been remarkable,” Patzke said.

As for the ladies, they too will have top talent. “Local” Janice Langanke, will skip the No. 9 seed in the tournament out of South Plainfield, N.J. (where the Plainfield CC is located), and the number one seed is skipped by Erika Brown (leading Team E. Brown). If the second lady in that photo looks familiar, she should — that’s Debbie McCormick, the Team USA Skip in the 2010 Olympics. Second seed is Patti Lank and her Team Lank — and it’s a family affair, as her daughter Mackenzie is playing alongside her mom. Should be a great competition among the ladies as well.

We’ve covered curling a few times before on Uni Watch, so if you are at all interested in the sport, those posts are good for a refersher course. Of course, for a really great “Curling 101” take a look at this video — the second best 6 minutes you’ll spend all day:

So there you have it. If you’re in or anywhere near the Philadelphia area, you might want to stop by — the tickets are very inexpensive. Of course, after Saturday’s finals, Paul will be hosting a Uni Watch gathering at The Devil’s Den (Saturday, February 18th, beginning at 6:30 pm) — we hope to see you there!


colorize this

Colorize This!

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

Got a great set of colorizations this week, and not just from the G&G Boys, although they are, of course, prominently featured.

We’ll start this week with George Chilvers:

Hi Phil

I hope this is acceptable to Giants fans :)

I notice the pitch has no grass and appears dusty so I presume this is a sand/dirt surface. Would that be correct – if not please do let me know so I can alter it?


Of course it’s acceptable to us Giants fans (and hopefully, all fans). I did E-mail George back to let him know that the surface on which they were playing was indeed dirt — I believe that game is in Philly, probably at Forbes Field Municipal Stadium (which explains the dirt infield), but if anyone knows for sure, please enlighten us. Thanks to Jerry Wolper for the field ID.

George had another:


Jim Mullin of Toronto Maple Leafs 1909-1911. I must admit I thought they’d got the name wrong – but what do I know! Original is here.


Great stuff as always, George.


Next up is Larry Bodnovich, who also took on the Giants and Eagles. Larry used my bit of “research” in his writeup:

Larry Bodnovich

Phil Hecken | February 6, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
the google is a wonderful thing:

“Philadelphia Eagles playing the New York Giants, October 16, 1938.”

“On October 15, 1933, the New York Giants crushed the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia’s first game in the NFL by a score of 56-0. The Eagles struggled through mediocrity the rest of the decade, and went 5-6 during the 1938 season, splitting their two games with the New York Giants, who won 17 to 7 on October 16, 1938”³

Giants vs. Eagles

Well done Larry! I like how your take on this game is slightly “lighter and brighter” than George’s…that’s the beauty (and ‘problem’) with black and white photography — the colors are often left up to interpretation.


In the three-spot today is Gary Chanko. After a football and a baseball colorization, we can round out the major sports with some hoop:


Football is finally over and still another week to go before pitchers and catchers report. So maybe we could squeeze a vintage basketball photo into the lull period.

There could be no better choice than Wilt, the greatest ever in my view. Shown here lacing up his U.S. Pro Keds before a Jayhawks game in 1957. The story behind the original photograph is here.

I’ve seen many references to Wilt having worn Chuck Taylor’s the night he scored 100 points – a Warriors game I actually listened to as a teenager. However I haven’t seen anything definitive to verify that claim. Which brings me to another series of claims, the one’s being made by Nike about the performance enhancing qualities of their products. In my view they are all nothing more than marketing nonsense. Does anyone seriously believe Nike’s products actually improve an athlete’s capabilities? Would Wilt have been able to score 110, 120 points that night were he outfitted in the latest Nike pro combat trash?

Of course Nike could prove us otherwise by backing up the nonsense claims with proof. Can they? Of course not because it’s all a fantasy. So let’s bring back the affordable canvas high tops made in the USA and start to celebrate the athlete and not the gimmicks of Nike and others.

Thanks for the chance to rant.


Rant away, Gary, rant away! Tremendous output, as always.


And closing out the colorizations today is a newcomer, Pete Woychick, who adds a hockey photo to the major sports above. Nice way to close down the show:


Long-time reader, first-time colorizer.

Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion (source image here)

I didn’t know the Habs ever had stripes around the bottom of the breezers””I thought that was strictly a NYR thing””but sure enough (roughly 1940-60)

I like the strings (skate laces?) around the shin pads, as well.


Wonderful submission, Pete. I hope you’ll keep sending them our way!


That will do it for the colorizations today — might have a one-week hiatus next weekend, since I’ll be traveling with Paul, but keep on sending them colorizers! Great stuff as always.


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Some things in life definitely require re-entry…

2-12-12 s-Plan

And, as always, the full-size.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni 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 Kiechel Valentine who takes on the Denver basketball team:

I tried to incorporate my favorite previous color scheme into the Maxie the Miner era uniform design but with today’s lettering and numbers. Sorry no rainbows.

Thanks for giving them a look Phil.



Kiechel Valentine


Up next is Antonio Losado, with a tweak for the Anaheim hockey logo. Has it really been 20 years?:


I’ve been watching all of that anniversary logos from some American pro teams and I decided to turn myself into a designer just to anticipate a kind of logo for the Anaheim Ducks as they will turn 20 years in the NHL by next season.

I decided to put together the old duck mask logo with the present Ducks colors and shapes but adding the “Mighty Ducks” slogan in the band. They’ll have something so much better, but at least we have something to start thinking about…

Thanks for the web and best regards,
Antonio Losada


Moving along, we have Justin Kline, who takes Tim E’s template and puts the Clips in something more…um:


Even though the Clippers aren’t exactly embracing the name they made for themselves, “Lob City” has been a revelation for their fans. What if they capitalized on the name (and changed the unis a bit), much like Portland did with “Rip City“?

-Justin Kline


We conclude today with Matthew Duke, with a concept for the Dallas hockey team:


Dallas Stars concept – Going back to the early days of the North Stars updated and fitted for Dallas. Also, a nod to the “Mooterus”, I really liked the constellation idea even though that particular logo/uniform was poorly executed. Just kept it simple.

Matthew Duke


That will conclude the tweak show for this weekend. Back next time with more.


And that will do it for this fine Sunday. Hope everyone has a great week, and I hope to meet a few (or more) of you either at the Curling Championships or the Devil’s Den next Saturday. And as the outro today, a bit of curling terminology, for the uninitiated:


Tough shot: Anything the Skip misses.
Shit shot: Anything you miss.
Blanked end: Nobody had draw weight.
Bury: What you do with your head when you hog your rock in the eighth end.
Double: What you order at the bar when you lose.
Draw weight: Damned if I know!

If you think those are funny, then you’ll enjoy the 2012 Championships.


“I’m going to lie, I loved all of Tim’s hockey concepts.” — Anthony


And one for Ricko

Comments (67)

    Forbes Field was in Pittsburgh, and was the Steelers’ home for decades. According to Wiki, the 1938 Eagles played in Municipal Stadium (which became JFK Stadium decades later).

    GAH…actually i was thinking FRANLKLIN field, but that wouldn’t work

    maybe baker bowl?

    oh, i see jerry has answered it above…my bad…i need sleep

    A couple random Pirates pics:

    Willie in a bad bumblebee combo:

    Game 5 of 1979 World Series was actually color vs color with the “Rooker game” featuring black uni tops for the Bucs:
    (Orioles in standard gray…)

    Never liked the mixing of the gold pinstripe jersey or pants with either black or gold jersey or pants. Bucs did not try this combination in the 1979 postseason, but they also did not use the solid black uniform in the postseason either, unfortunately.

    Yeah, pinstripes that wide don’t work with anything other than themselves. You can get away with a colored jersey if you’re using Yankee style pinstripes (thin, single colored), but it looks really bad with those Pirates uniforms.

    Instead of mixing the gold pins with black/gold jerseys or pants, I preferred the more appearances by the black monochrome during that era. Obviously, you wouldn’t have wanted to use that option during the summer, especially the way the heat rose from the astroturf fields back then.

    I don’t KNOW this, but I think the wide stripes were to allow them to be distinguishable on the road. It apparently didn’t work well enough, as they stopped wearing all-white on the road after one year, and any white on the road after two. After year three, the Pirates dropped the stripes entirely.

    The only thing wrong with that combo was the pillbox hat.

    I have the 1979 Game Five on tape, from the days when I had ESPN Classic. It’s astounding the pace of that game…Rooker gets the ball back and delivers the next pitch right away. I believe the O’s pitcher (McGregor? Flanagan?) does the same thing. You could fit three 1979 Game Fives into one modern day Sawx/Yanks game.

    hey — if you’re going to fork over $500 for a regular season game (per seat) — it had BETTER take more than four hours to play

    Jim, I strongly recommend you pick up the 1979 World Series DVD set. Much better quality, and you get the exciting Game 2 with the game-winning Sanguillen hit, and the Stargell series winning blast in Game 7.

    In terms of length of games, it does drag on at times today across all sports. In baseball, batters take more time at the plate, and there are a ton more pitching changes now than in 1979.

    I know it’s a minority viewpoint, but I thought the best thing about the bumblebee uniforms was the pillbox hat. To my eye, it was a nice nod to a good look from an earlier era. Those uniforms themselves, I thought, were a pretty big step backwards after the Bucs looked pretty great in their 1960s vest uniforms and not bad at all in the mustard uniforms of the early 1970s.

    Combining the retro look of a pillbox hat with those multicolored uniforms was definitely a bold choice. The triple stripes on the hats were a big improvement over the original 1976 spring training blank version.

    There’s no doubt MLB team uniforms were affected by the colorful era of the 1970s. A number of teams before the Bucs changed with the era, San Diego, Cleveland and Houston come to mind immediately. Obviously, those clubs didn’t possess the number of different combinations, but the attention paid to it was really minimal compared to today. In terms of actual uniform design, Houston was more radical.

    By the mid 80s or so, we began to see a swing towards more conservative uniforms. In 1985, the Bucs returned to the basic white and gray uniform, and in 1987, returned to the traditional hat.

    The Migthy ducks? Not often you see a uni change where they change the name of the team. Antonio might want to fix that one.

    heh… I totally didn’t notice that till you mentioned it.

    Ignoring that, I think it needs a bit of revision anyway. Doesn’t seem like a good idea to have the text covered like that. Maybe remove the ribbon/banner and make the top part flat and put the text there? Or curve the banner under the mask so the text is arched downwards and still readable?

    Well that was my first attempt here, I couldn’t even think that Phil was going to show it to you actually. I really should have fix some parts of it but I didn’t have enough time to finish it the best way. Hope I can make some more tweaks and logos now that I’ll have some more time after all of the uni staff is now done.

    Anyways, I accept and appreciate your comments, as I said, I never expected to be mentioned here and they will help me to improve my works.

    Duke stepped out yesterday in their hideous N*** gray trash bag unis. What an absurdity. On TV neither the numbers or “Blue Devils” we’re visible except for certain court level camera angles and lighting. The goog news is the N*** logo was equally unrecognizable.

    Time to call out this N*** effort for yet another foolish, incompetent attempt at uni design. There are numerous exceptionally better design concepts posted by Uni Watch readers every month. Maybe N*** and others should hire them.

    I feel like I shouldn’t but I actually kinda like the Dallas Stars tweak from Matthew Duke. But I’m a sucker for traditional shoulder yokes and sleeve/waist striping.


    One of these days I need to do some hockey uniform concepts. I’ve got a few ideas that would probably make the traditionalists dig out the torches and pitchforks.

    im not sure he could come up with much worse than mooterus or wild wing…or burger king

    Can’t wait to see uni comparisons for the Philly curling tourney. What are the basic elements of a curling team uni? Just pants and shirt?

    Love both colorizations of old Giants-Eagles. Jim Mullin is my new beau ideal, George. Thanks.

    “What are the basic elements of a curling team uni? Just pants and shirt?”


    pretty much nowadays — i think mike styczen did a pretty good describing the history of curling gear in that “curling for dummies” link from above — of course the curling sweater, one of the most gorgeous elements of the “uniform” has largely disappeared from use — although paul had a UW post on a minor resurgence of the fashion statement in 2008

    like most uniforms, it’s all aboot player comfort nowadays, although the norwegians did go with those cool loudmouth golf pants for the ’10 olympics

    you should come down to the philly tourney, conn!

    Yep, pants and shirt for curling. Teams have warmup jackets as well but they aren’t often worn while curling. The skip will sometimes wear the jacket, because his/her job is a lot more standing around and very little sweeping.

    The major supplier of just about everything is Asham.


    In league play, uniforms are pretty rare. Plus you’re usually playing in much colder venues, you see a lot more jackets, gloves, etc. In the places i play, nobody is wearing just a golf shirt.

    thanks, mike

    you should come down to philly! you can get your 1/2 marathon work in, see the “rocky” statue and make fun of our ‘athletes’

    Asham Curling is still based in my neck of the woods. If UW really wants it, I can probably arrange an interview for Paul. The guys who run the store are absolutely incredible and their knowledge of the game is outstanding.

    Was watching some of the women’s Canadian junior curling championship yesterday. All were wearing the pants and shirts, and they all were wearing their warmup jackets the whole time I was watching.

    here’s a short clip:

    Men’s Canadian junior championships are on at 7pm EST tonight on TSN

    Thanks Phil, Philadephia would be quite an undertaking from here.

    The Scott Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women’s championships) are about 90 minutes north of here next week, and the Worlds (as mentioned) are in Lethbridge after that.

    Some really magnificent colorizations today, gentlemen.

    And if you love sports photography, or great photos in general, visit the link that Gary provided (for the story behind the Wilt pic). Iconic images by the photographer Rich Clarkson. Check out Jim Ryun training!

    I am glad Gary provided that link. There were some great pictures. The UCLA basketball one was one of my favorites.

    Man City v. Aston Villa in the EPL- colour on colour (sic. British spelling seems appropriate) and very hard to differentiate. Anyone know if the EPL lacks rules about uni choices.

    It’s not a Premier League matter but covered in the Laws of the Game.

    Page 20 of link states that the two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and also the referee and assistant referees, and that the goalkeepers must wear colours distinguishing them from everyone else.

    Colour v colour is the norm, and it is up to the referee to decide if the colours sufficiently distinguish.

    If you’re interested in what colours have been registered in teh Premier League then the handbook gives all the information at link

    From the Laws of the Game:

    – The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each
    other and also the referee and the assistant referees
    – Each goalkeeper must wear colours that distinguish him from the
    other players, the referee and the assistant referees

    The referee has ultimate authority as to what is “distinguishing”. (Referees also only have black, yellow, red and light blue official shirts to work with, so teams have to fit within that limitation.)

    This referee apparently was happy with Villa in claret and City in black (even though City’s usual sky blue may have been better for the television viewer). Both teams are wearing white shorts, but the socks are different, which is actually more critical to the referees.

    I suspect that City in sky blue would have caused a problem if there was an arm up in the penalty area, as Villa have sky blue sleeves. It would be difficult to ascertain which team had handled.

    That makes sense. In addition, each Premier League team must wear their change kit at least eight times during the season. So if anything, it was a chance to get one of those eight dates out of the way.

    Really an excellent Dallas Stars concept, Matthew. A great combination of the franchise’s best look from the past and some deft modern touches. For me this would be, by far, the best look the team has had in Dallas.

    Don’t the guys in the main photo look like a bunch of astronauts? The orange jackets look like flight suits especially with that patch on the right breast. Not to mention the capitol and Washington monument add a very patriotic feel to the pic even though NASA has never used them in their imagery.

    Horn-toot dept.: My ESPN column on the sports-related artifacts at the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame is finally up today — and at the moment it’s one of the carousel stories on Page 1: link

    Very interesting piece Paul. You do good work in front of the camera, it’d be kinda cool to have you do a video segment here once in a while.

    (Also, it reminds me that you’re not 18 years old).

    Peter King recently wrote in his CNNSI column, all sports teams that wear blue, should wear the shade of blue the Toronto Maple Leafs wear, who King had seen play recently in New York.

    In my opinion, most teams who wear green, should wear the shade of green, that is depicted in the colourization of the Giants/Eagles game – good job, that green goes with athletic gold, orange and or silver.

    What shade of yellow was Michigan wearing today – the ultimate Lemon yellow uni?

    I love the Habs colorization Pete. Not sure how much is the original photo and how much is your colorization, but the blackish tinge throughout the photo just make it look more gritty and alive. Nice work!

    Hmm, Red Wings wearing white at home again tonight. That makes two in a row, hope it’s the start of a trend.

    Got hooked on Curling a couple of Winter Olympics back. I’ve “tried” to play a few times, but ice time is hard to come by (for curling) where I live.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the sport hasn’t picked up steam (although it may be, and probably is, much more popular in the east). Bowling alleys are packed with leagues, and curling has the same appeal (just cooler). I’m guessing a lot of it has to do with available arenas.

    Anyway, enjoyed today’s post Phil. Hope you guys have fun.

    If I were guessing, I’d say 80% of the sheets in the US are in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

    I don’t know if curling has the same appeal as bowling. Bowling, you throw the ball and you sit down for 10 minutes. Curling, when you’re not throwing you’re working your ass off, while sliding down the ice wearing teflon shoes.

    One more thing…

    Regarding the Denver uni tweak. Good work, but I loath that the Nuggets can’t settle on a blue. Personally, I prefer the baby blue, but at any Nuggets game you’ll see both navy and light blue represented, and it’s not pleasing to the eye.

    For the love of God, pick a blue Denver!

    Grizzlies dressed as the Tams. Gold tops and green shorts remind me of Phys. Ed. class with reversible jerseys. Just doesn’t look like the NBA to me.
    //Yeah yeah, it’s a throwback ABA look. You know what I mean. Doesn’t look like high-level multimillion professional basketball. Definitely more “retro kitsch,” instead of actually looking good.

    That Grizzly look is ridiculous. They totally look like a rec center team, and it’s highlighted by the fact that they are playing against the Jazz, who have one of the league’s best uniforms.

    Now Rudy Gay, who picked the uniforms, went on ESPN and basically admitted he made a mistake. It’s not often you hear the uniform chooser disclaim his decision, but the uniforms are just that bad.

Comments are closed.