Today’s guest entry was written by Morris Levin, who you may remember from this summer’s “Fridays with Morris” series. Morris was at the Uni Watch gathering last night in Philadelphia, where I
begged him asked if he’d like to pen an entry, on extremely short notice, for the Sunday Uni Watch. He agreed, and I can’t thank him enough — enjoy. [Phil]
Sunday Morning Hot Spur
By Morris Levin
Paul hosted a Uni Watch party last night at Devil’s Den, here in the northern reaches of South Philadelphia. I wore my white Tottenham Hotspur jersey – the one which I will be wearing this morning as I drink coffee at Shot Tower, and listen to Spurs’ match against Stevenage.
The jersey itself was last worn by Spurs in 2010. From the 2006-2007 season through the 2009-2010 season, Spurs’ shirt sponsor was Mansion (Gibraltar) Limited, an online gambling company. This is the shirt pictured here.
Paul writes a good deal about logo creep here. My own objection to logo creep is that the uniform is a team’s primary and best opportunity to brand itself, and build a tradition, and build a narrative, in all of the best ways that we create symbols for ourselves as socializing creatures.
I am taken with English football for its long club traditions, which are preserved and expressed ”“ to my American baseball eyes ”“ in the longevity of clubs, and longevity in team identity expressed in the team’s colors and jerseys.
Here is how it basically works in English football: Each team has its colors. It’s like a national flag. Spurs wear lilywhite and navy. Manchester United is red, and Shrewsbury Town is blue and amber, and Chelsea is blue, and Derby County is black and white. [Statler and Waldorf: And Leeds United are just dirty! HA!].
Teams do not re-brand themselves and change colors as we do here. By English practice, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would still wear orange and white, and the Atlanta Hawks and Vancouver Canucks would pick one color template, and stick to it for a generation or six.
What this primary color means for the jersey is that each team wears its primary- color jersey as its first choice for each game. We go nuts here in Uni Watch for color on color match-ups, but that is the norm in England (and most of the association football world). Spurs wear their white jersey basically all the time ”“ until they play a road match at one of the few other teams which wear white. The jersey is white because white is Spurs’ primary color, and not merely the fabric-canvas indicating home, on which we mark the team’s colors.
Since 1983, Tottenham has sold the front space on its jersey for commercial logo sponsorship. I am no fan of logo creep ”“ look – it bothers me that the Phillies have the Majestic mountain showing on their game jersey. But in the English context, the almost sacrosanct quality of a club’s primary kit colors seems to allow for this kind of prominent display of another brand, on the game jersey itself.
One of the strange quirks in our American sports culture is how we set-up sports and online gambling. One can place a bet on the game itself at a football match in England as we do here at a horse or dog track. So I like that this jersey is very straight about the English game’s acceptance of advertising dollars from a gambling enterprise. More so, Mansion is headquartered in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Yes – as in – “Rock of”. For family reasons, I am deeply partial to Gibraltar, and happy to see Gib do well.
One of the pleasures in supporting Tottenham is finding another local fan. Which is one of the great pleasures in being a team fan the world over ”“ the discovery in a far away place of another person who shares your otherwise solitary support of a team, defined by the colors of their work shirt. Last night at Devil’s Den, that was Terence Kearns, a member of the Spurs’ New York supports club which you should check out here, www.nyspurs.com.
Remember, Spurs at Stevenage, Fifth Round FA Cup Match, 9am for those of us on the East Coast. COYS
Thanks Morris! While I’d worked with him on a number of articles (GREAT articles, by the way, which you can check out here, here, here and here), until last night I’d never actually met Morris. He was both a gentleman and a scholar, and heartily agreed to pen today’s entry on extremely short notice — so big big tip of the cap to him for pinch hitting. I’ll be back again with Morris this coming summer when Paul takes his annual break. The UW gathering was great (I’m sure Paul will have more on that this week) and the curling was awesome — just a quick update on that — the great fella who taught Paul and me to curl (Dean Gemmell) WON the US National Championships — so he’ll be competing with his team in the World Championships later this year in Switzerland. But I’m sure you guys don’t want to hear anymore about curling from me until the 2014 Winter Games, so we’ll close on that note. Everyone give a big thanks to Morris for today’s break from curling!
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 Glenn Simpkins, with a Giants baseball/football tweak…
A single tweak, er concept, to share today, and a venture away from baseball to my second string sport, Football.
It came about whilst I caught a quarter of the Monday Night Football game on 28 Nov 2011, after seeing again how bad the New York football Giants look on the road, the muse struck me as to how to fix them; A brand new, three uniform kit that mixes elements from their baseball brethren.
The elements used:
SF Giants current numerals
Black, Orange, Cream, and Gold uniform colors
The Baseball Giants first interlocking NY in orange
Next up is Davis Jaye who has a couple concepts for the Braves — and he not only concepted them, he DIY’ed them too!
Dear Mr. Hecken,
Here are both a tweak and a concept for the Atlanta Braves.
1st. The Alternate Navy Road Jersey has always looked unfinished to me, and inconsistent with the rest of the Braves uniform set. So, I’ve changed the script “Atlanta,” the tomahawk, and the player number to red outlined in white to increase legibility, and added the two-color trim around the sleeves, collar and placket.
2nd. A New Sleeveless Home Concept. I think the sleeveless jersey is classic, but the Braves have never worn one. So I placed the Tomahawk ‘A’ logo on the left chest, and maintained the two-color trim around the collar and placket, and added it to the arm openings.
Hope you like them. I enjoy the site.
And finally, we have Greg Seher, who has concepted all 32 NFL teams…enjoy:
Rather than sending multiple teams designs and all the comments to go along with them, heres a link to the pages I have designs for all 32 NFL teams.
Some teams arent changed at all (Packers, Dolphins…), some have very minor design or color changes (Cowboys, Bills…) and some are more radical (Bucs, Bengals…)
I appreciate the feedback from you and other uni watch staff, and possible spot in a future uni watch blog post. I’ll be getting around to MLB, NHL, and NBA shortly, none will be this extensive, but some designs in there nonetheless.
Nice job gentlemen. Back with more concepts next week!
by Rick Pearson
A spectacular run requires an appropriate name…
And, as always, the full-size.
And that will do it for today. Thanks again to Morris Levin for the great job in a pinch. Everyone have a great Sunday.
“Bud Selig is a Purist’s nightmare. I cannot stand that man. Whore it all out for the Almighty Dollar. Sickening.” — Mark Peterson