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What you see at the top of the page is a set of little Packers toy figures. Underneath it is the template from which one of the toys was built.
Aren’t they cool? They’re called Cubees (KYOObeez) — little paper figurines that are printed out as a single sheet of paper that you can then cut, fold, and construct. There’s no glue, tape, or other adhesive involved — just lots of “Insert tab A into slot B.”
The Packers Cubees were designed and made by Uni Watch reader Justin Hind, and you can make them too — for any NFL team! — by going to a site that he’s set up. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first I’ll let Justin give us an introduction to the project:
I discovered Cubeecraft a few years ago. The basic design was created by a guy named Chris Beaumont. He shares all of his Cubeecraft designs and templates for free under the stipulation that people who use them can’t sell them. I thought they were a cool idea and started to create some of my own designs in Photoshop and post them on my DeviantArt site. I soon realized that very few people were making sports Cubees, so I decided to try that.
With the help of a friend named Andy Adamietz, I started creating different Packers players (my favorite team). The two of us started challenging each other to come up with more Packers who were “worthy” of Cubees, sort of as a joke. Eventually we were making a lot of them, and people started requesting designs for other teams, so I started making those too. Eventually I decided to just make a site that offered an interface with all the NFL teams. I tried to be as accurate as possible with the uniforms, right down to the non-Riddell nose bumpers. I recently updated all the teams to conform with the new Nike uniform designs. (You can see my collection of completed NFL players here.)
In the future I think it might be cool to make these for other sports too, but it’s quite a time-consuming process, so I don’t know if that will ever happen.
Fun, right? I’m about to show you how to make your own NFL Cubees, but first there’s a big stipulation: Justin’s interface doesn’t work for Internet Explorer. So if you’re using that browser, stop now and use Firefox or Chrome or Safari or whatever. Also, if you have slightly heavier-than-standard paper, that’s helpful, although you can still use regular printer paper if that’s all you have available.
Once you’re set up with the proper browser and paper, here’s what you do:
1. Go to Justin’s NFL Cubeemaker site. (It may take a minute or two to load.)
2. Start your design by choosing an NFL team from the little menu of choices at top-center of the page. Note that for some teams (the Broncos, Bucs, Chargers, Eagles, Jets, Packers, Seahawks, and Titans), you can get throwback uni options by clicking on the team’s logo more than once. Justin has created a wide range of uni designs for the Packers, which you can toggle through by continuing to click on the Pack’s logo.
3. At the top right, see those icons that look like fu manchu mustaches? Those are actually for hair. Choose your player’s hair color and then click on the icon multiple times to toggle through various hair styles.
4. Beneath that is the menu for eyes and eyebrows. Choose an eyebrow color and then click on the icon multiple times to toggle through various eye shapes. Note that the icon at far right lets you add eye black.
5. The next menu is for facial hair. Again, choose a color and then click on the icon multiple times to toggle through various facial hair styles.
6. Use these icons to choose your player’s skin tone, mouth shape, and nose shape.
7. Add the front and back uni numbers and the NOB in these fields.
8. Add the TV numbers in these two fields.
9. Click the “Hide Buttons” button.
10. Now it’s time to print your Cubee. But if you’re looking for a “Print” button, there isn’t one. “I tried very hard to include some sort of export button on the site for completed Cubees, but I couldn’t figure out how,” says Justin. “It’s easy enough to do manually, though. One option is to print the browser window using Safari; just make sure to check the ‘Print backgrounds’ checkbox in the print dialogue box. But the better option is to take screenshots. There’s an extension called Awesome Screenshot that works pretty well for this purpose; there are Chrome, Safari, and Firefox versions. Otherwise there’s always the trusty Cmd-Shift-4 shortcut for Macs, or the PrtScn button for PCs. The site is fully zoomable, so you can hit Cmd – to zoom out and Cmd + to zoom in for a higher-resolution screenshot.”
11. Once you’ve printed your Cubee, cut out the six shapes, use a knife to cut the slits where indicated, and then insert the tabs into the same-lettered and -numbered slots. Presto!
It’s tricky, but it works. Once you’ve assembled a few of them, send photos, yes? Yes!
One last word from Justin: “The site works great on the iPad, too. If you use a full-screen browser like Atomic Lite, you can just take a screenshot by pushing the home button and the power button simultaneously.”
When in Roman: Several readers have noted that Robert Griffin III has been wearing RNOB — that’s Roman numeral on back — on his practice jersey. Maybe you like this, maybe you don’t, but here’s what I want to know: Has there ever been a professional player in a Big Four sport who’s worn RNOB in a game? There’ve definitely been college players who’ve done so, but I can’t recall seeing RNOB being worn by a professional player. And what about “Jr.” or “Sr.” — have those ever been included as part of a professional NOB? Again, I can’t recall any examples of that on the professional level. Am I missing anyone? If so, please shoot me a note. Thanks.
What part of “It’s all about me” do you not understand? Here are a few news bulletins about some other stuff I’ve been pursuing lately:
• Sometimes I can tell ahead of time when an ESPN column is going to be popular, and then there are times when a column’s popularity catches me off-guard. Yesterday’s column, about a small Pennsylvania college and an Italian clothing label that are joined at the sweatshirt, falls into the latter category. I mean, it’s a fun story, I enjoyed working on it, and I think it turned out well, but I didn’t really think it’d move the needle that much. Instead, it quickly began racing up ESPN.com’s list of most-emailed stories (as of 8:35am today, it was the site’s #1 most-emailed story of the preceding 24 hours), it racked up decent numbers on the Twitter and the Facebook, and I got lots of very positive feedback on it. A nice surprise.
• Some of you may recall that about a year and a half ago I started hosting an event here in Brooklyn called Open Mic Show-and-Tell, which is exactly what it sounds like: People can bring an object of personal significance and talk about it for up to three minutes. I haven’t mentioned it here on the site lately, but Show-and-Tell is still going strong as a monthly event and has turned out to be a really interesting project. Even better, next month I’m going to be teaching a one-day design criticism course called “Show-and-Tell: Using Objects as the Basis of Narratives” at the School of Visual Arts. Who’da thunk? I’ve never taught a class before, so this should be at least as edumacational for me as it is for the students.
• There’s a new entry on the Permanent Record blog, about some very cool legal documents from the mid-1800s. Also, the next feature-length PermaRec article on Slate will be published either next week or the week after that, and I don’t mind saying it’s a doozy. Also-also, my friend Lianne Smith, who’s a kickass singer-songwriter, has agreed to collaborate with me on a song called “Permanent Record,” which could function as a sort of theme song for the project. I’ve never written a song before, but this one is already writing itself in my head, so I’m cautiously optimistic.
• Remember when I cooked a steak with a blow torch? I cooked another one last night, and I think I’ve now perfected the method. The first time, I only torched one side of the steak before putting it in the slow oven (because the things I had read about this technique all said to do that), and as a result the other side had no char. The next time I torched both sides, but the side sitting in the pan ended up getting mushy even though it was charred, because it was sitting in a small pool of its own slow-cooked juices. So last night I torched both sides and then put the steak on a rack over a pan, instead of directly onto the pan. That did the trick.
• Incidentally, I’ve recently set up a Show-and-Tell mailing list and a Permanent Record mailing list (but no blow torch steak mailing list — yet). If you want to be added to either of those, shoot me a note and I’ll hook you up.
Okay, now you can go pay attention to someone else.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The state of Oregon has banned Native American mascots for high schools. Slowly but surely, people. ”¦ Yesterday was apparently MLB Wacky Travel Theme Day, as Mets players wore hockey jerseys for their trip to Toronto and Cardinals players wore ’70s prom suits (or at least that’s what I think those are supposed to be). ”¦ There was some buzz in NFL circles yesterday when Browns linebacker Chris Gocong tweeted a photo of himself wearing a white-facemasked helmet. I checked with Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis, who wrote back: “We are not changing to a white facemask this year. He probably just grabbed an older helmet that had been sitting in the equipment room.” … Bryce Harper appears to be wearing a lower-back pad. “Maybe due to the Cole Hamels beanball?” speculates Jim Mellett. ”¦ Market society update: The corporate sponsor of the Nets’ new arena is now defiling my local subway stop. Grrrrrr. … Laurence Holland notes that the Mets have already used three different colored logos on the back of the Shea mound this season. … Awesome set of 1947 ballpark illustrations showcased in this thread (from Chad Todd). … New rugby uniforms for the Northampton Saints (from Lucas Ravenscraft). … Finland took the unusual step of wearing two different white jerseys at the 2012 IIHF Worlds (from Jay Danbom). … “I wanted to share with you a DIY hoodie I made,” writes Jack Nicolaus. “It’s inspired by the novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, which takes place in a fictional Division III college in Wisconsin, with a baseball team called the Harpooners (Ã la Moby Dick). A leitmotif of the book is the Harpooners’ navy-and-ecru uniforms — hence the sweatshirt colors.” … Here’s new Philadelphia Eagle Fletcher Cox, getting his photo taken for Sunday Night Football on NBC (according to the Eagles’ Facebook page) while wearing a Reebok jersey (from Jon Bishop). … Check out the cool Brewers uni-history jacket being worn by the guy standing in the second row (from Jon Solomonson). … “According to this article, Blackburn Rovers, newly relegated to the English Football Championship from the Premier League for 2012-13, will begin selling their 2012-13 Umbro kit totally blank — no sponsor on the front, no player names or numbers on the back, and no league patches on the sleeves,” writes Michael Kramer. “It appears that Rovers haven’t secured/announced a shirt sponsor for next year yet. Fans can opt to have the sponsor and player names and numbers added at a later date.” … Oooh, everyone will like this: an interactive map of every Big Four championship. ”¦ Some good stories behind the uni numbers for two Seahawks rookies (from Rob Schumacher). ”¦ New marching band uniforms for San Jose State (from Scott Winters). ”¦ You can see all 30 of MLB’s G.I. Joe caps here. The funniest/saddest one is Miami’s — great to see that the stylized marlin is “supporting the troops” (which of course is not what Memorial Day is supposed to be about, but why let facts get in the way of pandering?). The whole thing is an embarrassment. ”¦ This photo of a copper Arizona State helmet began circulating last night. No idea if that’s intended for on-field use, but ASU only had four helmets last year, so it’s easy to see why they’d need another. … Big thanks to everyone who wished the blog a happy birthday yesterday. I’ll be off the grid for most of today, starting at about 10am. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.