Skip to content

Start ’Em Young

Screen shot 2012-05-26 at 3.54.24 PM.png

Today’s kids are getting hands-on lessons in uniform history that weren’t available when we were kids. As I reported earlier this year, the Padres have outfitted San Diego Little Leaguers in Padres throwback uniforms this season. And now comes word of a football organization that ups the uni-historical ante: the Throwback Football League.

“Sponsored by quarterback guru Steve Clarkson, the TFL is for middle-school-aged students in Southern California,” explains reader Hugh McBride. “As the league name indicates, the league’s 10 teams use NFL team names [you can see them listed on the right side of this page ”” PL] and throwback-y uniforms.”

Interesting. You can see many of the uniforms in this TFL highlight video (although I recommend that you mute the volume, as the soundtrack is really overbrearing):

A few thoughts:

• Interestingly, there’s no mention of the uniforms on the league’s web site. You’d think they’d mention it somewhere, no?

• Even on kids, striped socks look totally boss.

• I found myself instinctively looking for the NFL shield on the jersey collars. Of course, it isn’t there, which looks subtly wrong. Sort of depressing to realize my mind has been thoroughly trained to accept — to want — that bit of logo creep.

• I understand why the Padres gave away throwback uniforms to San Diego kids — it helps the kids learn about the Padres, reinforces the kids’ bond with the team, etc. But what exactly is the point of a SoCal-based football league using old NFL uni designs? Like, is it just a point of difference to help the league stand out? If so, why not leverage it more by talking about it on the web site? I’m not opposed to it; I just don’t get it.

Uniforms aside, having a bunch of 13 year-olds play full-contact football in the SoCal spring — when they’ll already be playing again in the fall — seems like a really bad idea. Plus this league appears to be one of those recruitment rackets that are bad for kids and bring out the worst in parents, like AAU basketball, travel baseball, etc. (And I’m not the only one who came to these conclusions.) Still, the uniform concept is interesting. If initiatives like this continue to proliferate, maybe the next generation of fans will be more uni-aware.

+ + + + +


Membership update: We’re slowly plowing through the avalanche of orders that were placed on Purple Amnesty Day (including Nicholas Popczun’s Raptors treatment, shown at right). You can see other iterations of the world’s most accursed hue In the membership card gallery, with plenty more to come.

As always, you can order your own card — but not with any purple, at least not until May 17, 2013 — on the membership sign-up page.

+ + + + +

ESPN contest reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column includes the announcement of a “Redesign the Astros” contest. Get crackin’!

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: This is completely awesome: Rays blogger and longtime Uni Watch reader/contributor Cork Gaines did a blog post showing that B.J. Upton hits better when going high-cuffed. Then he tweeted about the blog entry — and Upton tweeted back, saying he plans to go high-cuffed and stirrups-clad for the rest of the season! Check out the whole story here. … NOB glitch for Astros pitcher Xavier Cedeño, whose tilde is misaligned (screen shot by Ryan Burns). … Shame on the Chicago Transit Authority, which is planning to sell corporate naming rights to 11 train stations (from Ben Gordon). … John Sheehan made these Giants, Pats, and Cowboys Cubees for himself and two co-workers. “Needless to say, the three of us never agree on anything as soon as the football season starts,” he says. … “The newly formed Big Ten Rugby Conference is accepting bids for their official conference logo and T-shirt design,” reports Kevin Mueller. “The company with the winning design will receive a starting order of 500 T-shirts. Those shirts will be sold to help raise money for the conference. If you or your company would like to submit a design package and quote please contact Matt DeBarr at for more details.” … New home kits for Paris Saint-Germain (from Lucas Ravenscraft). … New 15th-anniversary logo for the New Jersey Jackals (from Chester Baker). … Pretty cool slideshow of Rick Barry’s looks through the years (thanks, Brinke). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Vernon Davis was taking the biker shorts thing a bit far the other day. … If you love those old-style Technigraph NFL helmet plaques, then this set of six of them should make your day (thanks, Brinke). … This is pretty cool: a baseball uniform made from origami (from Jay Sullivan). … Former longtime Rams equipment manager Todd Hewitt, who was unceremoniously dumped from the team a year and a half ago by then-coach Steve Spagnuolo (who has himself been dumped since then), is suing the Rams for age discrimination. … You know how Umbro is owned by Nike? Not for much longer. … General Motors has entered into a sponsorship deal with Manchester United. “The story provides a good look at global sports marketing,” says Ben Fortney. … Looks like Big Klu wasn’t the first one to cut off his sleeves. That photo comes from a collection of 19th-century baseball portraits from the New York Public Library. For more, look here (from Christopher Jones). … Here are some photos and video from this year’s Rickwood Classic. “The Birmingham Barons and Chattanooga Lookouts wore WWII-era throwbacks, and the umpires even wore period-appropriate outfits,” says Lee Wilds). … A high school baseball team in Missouri has embraced an odd superstition: argyle socks (from Joseph Nguyen). … More goodies from the New York Public Library collection: old soccer cards! (Big thanks to Kenn Tomasch.) … Brennan Boesch of the Tigers was wearing two different Under Armour batting gloves last night (as noted by Jason Hicks).

Comments (165)

    According to link, the Pirates and Tigers “will honor the Negro Leagues again June 23, though the Pirates will wear Homestead Grays jerseys.”

    The Pirates will wear “Piratas” jerseys June 2 in Milwaukee as part of a Latin American heritage night.

    It’s unfortunate that I had to play youth football in the mesh half-jersey era.

    It’s great that the Rickwood Classic continues to outfit the umpires in period-appropriate gear. It seems they are always forgotten in MLB turn-back-the-clock games.

    A middle-school kid tricked out in an expensive uniform and pads, and moving his teammates around ala Peyton Manning is so wrong on so many levels. The downfall of our civilization may well be traced to organized youth sports. Let kids be kids. They’ll find a way to play football on a vacant lot. I’m an old fart, but I still remember fondly my days just congregating with my friends in the summer and – gasp – on our own accord, figuring out how to play work-up or 500. Don’t see that much any more, if at all. And we’re a poorer country for it. Moms and dads: Let your kids play naturally!

    Flip, thanks for that memory jolt! In my case 500 was played on dirt roads in front of planted fields (and if you hit a ball into and ran over any crops, you were in big trouble) or sometimes in a farmhouse’s front or side yard.

    “I’m an old fart, but I still remember fondly my days just congregating with my friends in the summer…”

    i’m 35 and every empty lot, every field, every playground, that we played on in our neighborhood is dead empty all the time! it’s really sad

    Shoot, you hardly ever just see kids playing catch anymore, much less 500 or Work Up.

    It’s like they wait until it’s “organized”.

    “What? We can play catch even when Mom doesn’t drive us somewhere to do it?”

    a few of us at work brought gloves in and have been going out for a 10-15min catch almost every day. so much joy comes from a simple game of catch

    Two area parks near me have 2 baseball diamonds each. Each diamond has removable bases that are locked away after little league games are done. IF a few kids want to go over and play a pick up game, they are greeted by a hole in the ground where each base should be. I got nowhere when I tried to convince little league to permanently leave bases at one diamond. And they wonder why the number of kids playing baseball continues to decline. The joyful aspects of the game are taken away.

    …and don’t get me started about what a joke Spring football is. It’s big in Florida, as are concussions, I would assume. link

    We’ve turned kids into semi-pros!

    Is there actual evidence the number of kids playing baseball is declining? It’s often said, but I doubt it’s true.

    I never see anyone–kids or adults–on the baseball fields in my city park unless there are league games going on.

    There might be a “permit required for use” sign on the fence. They did that to a soccer field where I used to kick the ball around as a kid.

    There’s a vacant lot across the street from my parents’ house that my friends and I turned into a makeshift ballpark. The lot is triangular-shaped and on a curved street, so it really seemed like an obvious thing to do.

    The fence in my parents’ front yard was our left field wall. We even measured the distance from home plate to the fence at various points and hung up signs noting it.

    We’d play out there for hours and hours pretty much every day all summer long.

    In all the times I’ve gone back to visit my parents since I moved out 20ish years ago, I have never seen anyone playing baseball (or football, soccer, cricket, whatever…) in that lot.

    My daughter’s high school graduation was Wednesday afternoon (she graduated summa cum laude from a school academically ranked #5 out of 92 high schools in metro Houston, but I’m not bragging.) Anyway, our poor, hardscrabble district rents the facilities of a posh suburban district to hold the graduation ceremonies for our four high schools.

    The Berry Center is a basketball arena/conference center, with an attached 11,000 seat football stadium. The basketball arena seats something like 10,000. The football stadium has a state-of-the-art scoreboard, with instant reply capabilities. The basketball arena is nicer than any college arena I’ve ever been in. The complex cost something like $80 million. This is a high school complex. Sixteen year old boys play here.

    My high school stadium was built by the WPA, in the Thirties. It was lovely.

    Two things:
    First, your post sounds like it wants to walk back and undo all the good Little League Baseball has accomplished. I think your beef is probably more about small kids banging themselves around in tyke football than organized sports for kids.
    Second, the demise of the sandlot games came form many factors. Beyond the advent of the interest in video games, one of them is the relative safety in having to compete against only a figure on a screen instead of real kids who might not be so nice to you if you make a mistake, can’t play as well, etc. The other is the issue of child safety at the sandlot. NOT injury type of safety, but security type of safety. The best way to avoid a crime is to not subject yourself (or allow your children) to it. I’m sure to get ripped, by people who don’t have kids, were the best players on the sandlot, or just wish to remember their childhood as the making of real macho men. Society changes. So do its practices.

    Eric Hoffer said that everything in America starts as a movement, becomes a business, and ends as a racket. Tom, I agree that some genuine good has been done by organized sports. Having both coached youth soccer and served for many years in Boy Scouts, I sense that most, perhaps all organizations catering to youth are solidly in the racket phase. Have you ever been through a “Friends of Scouting” presentation? It’s Amway in khakis. And the levels of bureaucracy (to say nothing of the obscene amounts of money) you have to negotiate in youth sports is nauseating.

    There is an argument for both. Landon Donovan is a product of youth leagues. He’s a great player. Clint Dempsey honed his skills playing against much older migrant workers in East Texas sandlots. Of the two, Donovan has been the heart of the US squad, while Dempsey has had the far greater professional success. Of course, Dempsey says that he feels grateful he never got knifed when he was a kid, because those sandlot games were crazy…

    Gotta call BS on the “safety” issue. Only about 100 kids a year are the victims of the kind of kidnapping-by-stranger that is the nightmare of every parent. Meanwhile, more than one-third of kids encounter unwanted sexual advances or content online. So unless you live in State College PA, kids are much safer on the sandlot than online at home.

    The irrational fear of stranger violence surely is a big part of our dismantling of unorganized play opportunities, but it’s important to recognize that the fear is not based on objective reality. Anyway, the evolution of the suburban landscape away from walkable communities is probably much more decisive than parental fear. In many places, kids literally cannot congregate without being chauffeured by car.

    But it only takes one instance. I agree the likelihood of attack/abduction is slim. But the overprotective nature of some, or even most parents, would lead to less “natural” play, as Flip said.

    “Only” about 100 kids a year?

    And how many is too many for you? I’ll agree with you about needing more walkable communities, but that’s it.

    I’m sure we all agree that 100 is too many.

    But the point is that it’s relatively rare, the parental fear irrational and the over-reaction totally unwarranted.

    Obviously 100 stranger abductions is 100 too many. But as a practical reality, the odds of your child being abducted by a stranger when playing unsupervised sandlot sports is zero. A child in America is seven times more likely to die of an accidental drowning than to be kidnapped by a stranger. Which is to say, nobody can claim to be acting rationally by preventing their children from playing sandlot sports who has not first forbidden their children from bathing. Your child is much, much more likely to be killed in the bathtub than to be kidnapped from a ballfield.

    Plus, it’s not the case that all 100 or so annual stranger abductions happen on sandlot ballfields. Many happen in the home, from school, or in public places like shopping malls where children are directly supervised by competent guardians. The bottom line is that this isn’t just an irrational fear, the solution too often suggested (don’t let your kids play unsupervised) doesn’t even offer any protection from the danger!

    Your bathtub must be deeper than mine…

    By the way, abduction is not the only possibility here. Why confine it to just that? There’s injuries, fights with other kids, stray animals (we have foxes and stray dogs in this area) as well.

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hover over my kids, but I do make sure that if I can’t see them, someone who knows how to contact the proper authorities does.

    Tom has triggered something for me. I grew up in the early 60’s, and like many of you, the empty lots, fields, and woods, were my playground. Society is different. The fact is, there’s a fear like element, to letting your kids wander over to the empty lot or playground. And that’s a tragedy really. And we can thank the freaks and fucking lunatics that prey on children, for it. Tom makes a good point about video games being a big distraction, and I think that’s a large part of it too. And it totally sucks, but I think parents fear, plays a large role as well. Shit, I live in a fairly large suburb, and some years I’ve had 70 or 80 kids trick-or-treating. In the last 5 years I’m lucky to get 20 or 30 kids. Halloween was always one of my personal favorite holidays as a kid. And when I became an adult I actually looked forward to being a contributing “citizen”, to the candy driven holiday. Well, frankly that dream has just about evaporated. I blame it on the psychos. Not the kids. Not the parents.

    It’s the same over here – I rarely see kids playing soccer (or other sports) these days, unless it’s part of some sanctioned league. When I was younger, during the summer our local park would be full of hundreds of kids playing soccer, cricket, basketball, tennis, you name it. I walked through there during the recent school holiday, and saw a total of 4 kids playing soccer. It doesn’t help that most of the sports equiptment was removed for “safety reasons”.

    Maybe it’s because there are more youth leagues these days. There was nothing like that when I was a kid – if you wanted to play, you did so on your own initiative. These days, there’s more leagues than there are kids to play in them…

    Organized sports are pushed on our kids because a lot of times they have no place to play on their own. Those empty fields some of you have mentioned are probably off limits to them due to liability issues.

    In the ’70s I could pretty much play wherever I wanted, but by the 80s my friends and I started getting booted out of places because property owners were afraid we were children of lawsuit-happy parents. There’s a case for tort reform for you.

    Good point Jim. The majority of those fields I grew up on, were re-designed, and upgraded over time. As a result, fences were put up, surrounding the entire complex. Add a chain and a padlock, and suddenly Ms. Pac Man looks pretty good.

    I have coached both youth football and youth baseball, and currently sit on the board of directors for our local youth sports association (in Colorado). So, I come at this with a fair amount of experience.

    First, youth sports (at least in my area of Denver) are NOT a racket. We struggle annually to stay in the black, and there is very little we can do to change that. We (as a board) work hard to provide an avenue for kids to learn the games they love, and have a place to play.

    The biggest expense (and nothing else comes close) is field usage. As an example, if we want to “rent” four fields at our local complex, for a Saturday, we pay $800/field. If we have night games, we pay a $75/hr light usage fee. So, for the four fields for an entire Saturday, it is routine that we pay over $3,500. The parks & rec (like most municipal services) is struggling to stay in the black themselves. Add to that the liability issues in today’s world, and they are forced to charge such high usage fees. Those expenses are naturally passed along to us.

    Of course we have games throughout the week, so there is far more additional cost. We also pay umpires (through our local Umpire Association). Our local parks $ rec district does not provide bases for us, so we buy all of our own bases. We use 10 fields in my area, and need to have 30 bases (at least). Bases run about $40/each (plus pitching rubbers). So, we have an investment of about $1,200 for bases. We do not leave them on the field, as we do not have the funding to replace them if stolen/damaged.

    Both of my kids participate(d) in youth sports. And they are better for it. They have learned how to play the game the right way, learned invaluable life lessons, met a lot of friends and know how to be part of a team. My oldest son plays in high school now, and I suspect my younger one will too.

    As parents, we never required that our kids play sports. Our only requirement was that whatever they started, they had to finish. We also decided to participate ourselves through volunteer service. In other words, we are not helicopter parents. Although there are plenty out there.

    Youth sports in America is alive and well. Time are different now, and for many reasons kids don’t congregate like we did in our youth. However, we didn’t have half the options that kids today have. Don’t mistake the lack of kids forming pick-up games as the slow death of youth sports.

    Finally, I have been a football player, fan and coach all of my life. I love the game. But recent events have really changed the way I view the risk/reward for my youngest son. We sat down and discussed the issue, and he reached the decision that he would stop playing, and should he change his mind somewhere down the line, he could always have the discussion with me and we could decide if it was a good idea, or not. This was a very hard decision for me (as I love the joy I get from watching my son play and have fun, and spending time teaching the game). But, I place my child’s health over the game.

    Keith, I am impressed by what you say. I too am a father of organized-sports kids, in our case youth “travel” soccer. In some ways, it’s better than the ad-hoc-ery of my own youth (1950s, verified by dendritic analysis). Sometimes we oldsters forget how mean and nasty kids can be with each other when no grown-up is around. Those pick-up games we played were often torture sessions for the awkward or inept. On the other hand, these days I worry about how much my kids worry: about won-lost records, A Squad versus B Squad, formal evaluations by the coaching staff, what have you. So the work undertaken by good guys like you helps kids immensely, but also somewhat inevitably removes elements of spontaneity and improvisation that you can still find in, say, a Brazilian favela.

    Most of the adults who work with my soccer-crazed sons are generous and selfless. But there are indeed some racketeers around — our “around” being NYC and surrounding areas — and for them, visibility and money are the highest forms of good.

    Sometimes we oldsters forget how mean and nasty kids can be with each other when no grown-up is around.

    Exactly. For those who think that all sandlot games were idyllic romps of pure joy, I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in buying.

    There’s good and bad in pickup games and there’s good and bad in organized sports. The key is to find a way to make both better.

    Too bad the Rick Barry slideshow left out his final team, the Houston Rockets.

    That was quite the slideshow! The Warriors “The City” uniform is so distinctive and unique. They sure messed around with their look over the years but never reached the heights of “The City.” That’s a lot of graphics on a relatively small canvas. But it works. Notice the absence of trim. Just the two colors. Plus, how cool, how bold is “The City”?

    Couple of questions. Why did they ditch “The City” moniker and go to Golden State? And have there been any other sports jerseys with Region Nickname Across The Chest (RNATC)?

    “The City” is a local nickname for San Francisco. They ditched it, and the name “San
    Francisco Warriors,” when they moved across the bay to the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

    From this site, I learned that the Warriors intended to play a few games in San Diego each year (which really made a state-wide name appropriate), but that intention soon faded away.

    I was hoping they’d mention his unique # setup with the Rockets – Moses Malone wore Barry’s usual #24, so he went with #2 at home and #4 on the road.

    That’d never fly these days…

    This is for the parents, which is sad. The kids don’t care about wearing old-style uniforms – they don’t even know this history.

    When I was 13 I didn’t yearn to play in a leather helmet – did anyone?

    I dislike the name of the league. The league shouldn’t be based on uniforms but just be another league that just happens to use old uniforms. Love the uni’s though. Proper sockage throughout!


    For one of my IM softball teams in college (about a bizillion years ago) we used argyle socks as our “identifier” (pretty much nobody except the frats actually had jerseys). Each guy bought his own pair, so the colors were all over the place.

    Team name was “The Hollywood Argyles” (Alley Oop…)

    Happy Stirrup Friday! link

    The Astros are wearing their Rainbow jerseys tonight, so let’s see if they wear these too…

    Also, I will not be wearing stirrups next Friday. I will be on a boat fishing with my dad and where we will be will not be habitable for stirrup covered legs. So, I am putting it out there for anyone and everyone who would like to show off their own Friday Stirrups please post a picture.

    Regarding the Chicago transit authority selling station naming rights, I found this graph most interesting (read: depressing)

    “CTA officials described the stations as ‘iconic assets’ with which companies would be proud to associate their names. But the officials would not say how much money the agency hopes to generate from prospective deals.”

    Exactly, they are iconic, don’t fuck with them. This sucks so bad. I live in Pittsburgh and am just waiting for the news that they are selling the naming right to all our bridges. Is Chi-town that hard up for cash? Companies might be proud to associate their names, but what about the public? Are they proud about the association? People need to be more vocal about this shit so officials know this shouldn’t be an option. It seems this is happening ore and more because officials see it happening elsewhere with little to no uproar (the camel’s nose).

    This stuff really pisses me off. I think it takes away from civic identity. It makes it harder for people to connect to their city. Instead of using civic names, street names, and other identifiers, it is forcing the public to use corporate terms and names, therefore making a station, street, bridge, building less associated with a city and more associated with a company or product. This may not be true for older generations who can remember the original names of civic buildings and places, but what about younger generations who will only know these places by their bastardized names?

    Solution? Raise my tax rate by a percentage or two. I would rather pay more and still call it The Smithfield Street Bridge instead of having to call it “Subways Five Dollar Footlong Bridge”

    Agree with you Mike … or raise subway fares. Unfortunately, we are a ridiculously small minority. When one political party talks as if raising taxes for good cause is the same as taking away your first born, few politicians will suggest it and selling naming rights is simply the market’s way of paying the freight.

    “Is Chi-town that hard up for cash?”

    Pretty much.

    Though I don’t live there, the average Chicago commuter is likely more concerned with the safety of these stations than with what they are called as a result of paid privilage. Does that mean they should be sold to essentially line an alderman’s or a CTA higher-up’s pocket? No. But this is one of many outcomes when voters keep poorly selecting representatives (or selecting poor representatives?).

    I don’t think the 2nd City, the Windy City, the City of the Broiad Shoulders, etc…will suffer an identity crisis because of this. It will remain “My Kind of Town” to many.

    “Solution? Raise my tax rate by a percentage or two.”
    You can voluntarily pay more taxes if you choose to do so. Why should the rest of us HAVE when there’s really no guarantee that the increase will ever prevent “5th Avenue” station from becoming “Saks 5th Avenue” station?

    Yes, Chicago is that hard up for cash. However, we, the citizens are being nickeled and dimed to death. Gas is still $4.25/gallon or more in the city. If you do drive, you can no longer park on the streets in the city. Mayor Daley made a boneheaded (dirty?) deal to lease all the parking meters in the city…..FOR 75 YEARS! What used to cost $0.50, now costs $3.00. If you want to take public transportation, good luck….every rail line (and road) runs directly into the heart of the city. Take a look at a map sometime, you can’t go due east or west on any road but 1. You want to go north or south anywhere but downtown? Good luck….you’ll be taking clogged streets (and burning gas without getting anywhere).

    I know the economy is bad everywhere and I know rates for similar services are higher in other cities, but I can only attest to the Chicago experience. Couple that with the corruption at city, county and state levels, Chicago is screwed.

    (and yes, for the record, even if it brings in revenue, I don’t care – I don’t like this naming stations deal whatsoever)

    Horrible punctuation all throughout that post….for all those that are nitpickers, like me, I apologize!

    I’m sorry to hear that, Chicago is one of my favorite cities, just haven’t been there in a while.

    Still a great place to visit, but living here is an entirely different animal.

    Take a look at a map sometime, you can’t go due east or west on any road but 1. You want to go north or south anywhere but downtown? Good luck….you’ll be taking clogged streets (and burning gas without getting anywhere).

    Umm… what? Only one road goes east/west? You can only go north/south if you’re downtown?

    As for the rail lines only going into the heart of the city, that’s kinda what they’re supposed to do, isn’t it?

    I should have explained a bit better.

    The Eisenhower Expressway (290) is really the only road that will take you (nearly) straight east and west out of the heart of the city. The Kennedy Expressway (I-90) takes you in and out of the city on an angle (outbound Northwest and inbound Southeast). There is no major artery (other than the already packed streets with lights and stop signs at every corner)that will take you due east or west from the Northwest side or Southwest side of the city. (Not all businesses/attractions are located in the Loop!)

    Phoenix’s system would be ideal here. The 101 in Phx loops around the area with 2 major North/South highways running through the area (17 and 51).

    The rail lines run along the expressways here….there is no train that will take you directly east and west all the way out to the western edges of the city. Yes, you can take the Blue line from O’Hare into the loop and then back out to Forest Park (15 or so miles south of O’Hare), but there’s no way to connect to other rail lines running north and south, unless you go all the way into the loop. For example, I live 8 miles west of Wrigley. If I wanted to take public transportation, I would have to take a bus and sit in bumper to bumper traffic (that would be there even if there wasn’t a game going on). If I wanted to go via train, I’d have to go to the blue line, take it all the way into the loop and then grab the Red Line to take me all the way back north to Addison (or the Brown to Diversey).

    The underlying point of my rambling is that we aren’t investing/improving our infrastructure. When we had the money, we didn’t have the motivation and now that we are broke, there’s no way we can afford it.

    One other way to get to Wrigley: Drive as close as I can to grab the brown line or red line (east of me) to try to take it South to Wrigley. However, with resident only permit parking for 2+ blocks around any/all stations and 2 hour meter limits where there aren’t permit signs, it makes this option a non-option.

    I agree. Some kind of outer loop CTA line would be great. It could connect the two airports, link to the red/purple lines, etc.

    As for your Phoenix example, we’ve already got something like that, it’s just much more spread out due to the fact that Phoenix is a much younger city with a more compact metro area.

    These are not perfect matches, but you can think of it roughly like this.

    101 = 294
    10 = Kennedy/Ryan
    17 = Eisenhower
    202 = 53/290/355
    51 = Stevenson

    Playing softball this summer, where can i get some striped stirrups? also, the only pants i can find are pj style.

    For shorter pants, try…

    One or both still had them as of last year, I think.

    “Sort of depressing to realize my mind has been thoroughly trained to accept – to want – that bit of logo creep.”

    It’s funny you should say this, cause just the other day I sheepishly realized that I prefer just a smidge of logo creep, just to lend a little…I dunno, authenticity? Accent?… to the gear I own and buy. It’s odd, embarrassing and comforting all at the same time.

    Isn’t that a lot of us, though? I mean… I can go down to Kohl’s or Target and pick up some no-name brand polo shirt, and wear it just fine. Or, I can go buy a Ralph Lauren with the little polo player on the chest and it makes me feel like I’m wearing a quality shirt. It is what it is. I don’t do it to impress people, I just wear stuff that I know will last a long time and look good to boot. Logo creep or no.

    Count me among those who like seeing the MLB logo on caps and uniforms. I also like that Minor League Baseball puts its own logo on official caps; unfortunately, the manufacturer applies its logo to the side of those caps.

    The TFL website does mention the throwback uniforms on the home page:

    “Named after the league’s authentic throwback uniforms, the TFL consists of 16 elite regional teams structured just like real original franchises.”

    That quote is above the red “Read More” link in the center of the home page:


    I’m not surprised that Steve Clarkson pays attention to uniforms. I remember reading back was he was the QB at San Jose State that he cleaned up and shined his white Riddell cleats–and wore brand new high white socks—for every game.

    Those old soccer cards are neat. The back sides of the cards are scanned when you click on the them. It’s fun to try to guess what club each guy played for based on the current kits out there.

    On another note, members of the Baltimore City council support putting ads on fire trucks. A few fire companies are closing and this is the way to “save” them. Ridiculous. At least the mayor is against it.


    I know why the Celtics have been losing. They’ve been wearing those stupid BFBS alternates instead of their classic uniforms. Now that they’re back home maybe the basketball gods will be more charitable.

    “But what exactly is the point of a SoCal-based football league using old NFL uni designs? Like, is it just a point of difference to help the league stand out? If so, why not leverage it more by talking about it on the web site? I’m not opposed to it; I just don’t get it.”

    Any business that’s making money while using copyrighted logos, uniforms, and team names (one team has the balls to call themselves the Los Angeles Rams) that they don’t have the rights to use would probably want to keep it on the down low, hence almost no mention of it on the website.

    And the very use of old NFL uniforms that all of the players are too young to remember is probably more to appeal to the parents and coaches and give them a sense of nostalgia. Like, if you grew up watching the Rams in bright yellow and royal blue, wouldn’t it be cool to see your son playing in those uniforms?

    I agree…looks more like the FanFic Football League to me.

    I liked seeing how well those retro uniforms look on the playing field, but that’s comes partly from having a frame of reference. I doubt many of the players care what they are wearing (that can be said of the professionals as well as these kids?); they are told (once the registration fee check clears) this is what you will wear and how you will wear it and that’s that.

    One of the future ‘franchises’ is going to be called the Redskins. Uh-oh!

    Have to agree on the non-organized play. A couple of parents and I were discussing this at my daughter’s (organized) softball game last night. When we used to go out almost every night in the summer and play ball, we learned some things:

    How to make the sides equal for fair (and more enjoyable) games
    How to resolve differences without parental intervention or authority figures
    How to quickly organize
    How to encourage your teammates, no matter what their skill level

    And probably a lot of other stuff that had absolutely nothing to do with baseball, but a lot to do with life. (shaking head)

    Bob, as a kid who played a whole lot of neighborhood vacant-lot baseball for many years, I couldn’t agree more.

    We were always tweaking our ground rules so that the games would be balanced and fun. I don’t think any of our parents noticed, but it was an excellent learning experience for teenagers.

    Don’t completely agree Bob, I twould say you learned those skills other places and applied them when playing ball.

    Organized sports isn’t the problem…it’s just the *way* that it’s organized.

    Been thinking about starting an organized wiffleball league for kids, and I had a slightly different idea for it. Instead of each team having a coach, each game would have two impartial coaches/supervisors at first and third. They would stay out there the whole game offering pointers to both sides, making sure no fights break out, and even assisting the one ump if needed. Maybe baseball leagues could try that to keep them from becoming hypercompetitive. Beats playing in a no-score league.

    Not in my league. I’ll still let the losers non-winners get ice cream after the game, but that’s it.

    You’ve gone soft Vilk, make them watch the winners eat the iced creme. Wire their eyes open Clockwork Orange style if you have to.

    Nothing stokes the competitive fires like intense rage and jealously.

    Also, call everyone who didn’t win by the wrong name. preferably something demeaning like Nancy.

    Losers get liver & onions, Jim.

    Winners get a “Get off my lawn” sign that they can proudly display in their parent’s yard. With parent’s permission, of course.

    Dang…I was just gonna say only the winners get sprinkles. Guess I have gone soft…

    Steve Clarkson is a genuine sleezeball in the finest sense of the word. He’s the one man responsible for the AAU-ization of football that’s threatening to get as bad as basketball. He makes his money off the dreams of parents who think he can make their kid the next Matt Barkley/Carson Palmer. Of course, with his going rates, most of the people who can afford him can drop a few million and not notice.

    His most famous client currently is David Sills VII, the kid who committed to USC as a 12-yr old. Sills’s father pays about $200,000-$500,000 a year for Clarkson to work with his son.

    “He makes his money off the dreams of parents who think he can make their kid the next Matt Barkley/Carson Palmer.”

    Seems to me there’s a certain amount of sleaziness on both sides of that equation.

    When someone thinks their money can buy anything, including things over which they truly might have little or no control, it’s almost kinda crazy NOT to laugh and say, “Okay, I’ll be happy to sell it to you.”

    A fool and his money…

    (Not defending Clarkson. Saying maybe they all deserve each other in that quarterback version of a yacht club.)

    After reading about David Sills VII (who, if he ever makes it to the NFL will surely opt to go RNOB), the name “Todd Marinovich” came to mind.

    Me, too.
    Todd Marinovich if his dad had been a Republican.

    (Oooh, don’t get all bent out of shape, just a reference to how different the kids’ backgrounds likely were).

    Paul, your concerns about the TFL being a league of regional teams becoming sort of AAU basketball and the like might be a little off. Sure, that could happen, but it might be that it’s cheaper (especially outfitting them in those kind of uniforms) and easier to form teams of kids from certain towns and have them play each other. I don’t think it’s a matter of where the Packers, for example, would be competing with the Falcons or Bears for a player because they are based in different towns, with the players assigned to those teams based on where they live (I could be completely wrong on this, I’ll concede). The league I played in as an eighth-grader in the Chicago area in the late 1980s was kind of similar (though without the cool NFL throwback unis), with teams based in different towns between Chicago and the Wisconsin state line.

    On a uni-related note, regarding the new PSG home kits: Are we getting to the point where Emirates Airlines will be sponsoring every team? I swear I see that “Fly Emirates” on a lot of European soccer teams (Arsenal comes to mind).

    If you enjoyed the Rick Barry fashion slideshow, I do believe you’ll also enjoy the related slideshow about the Warriors’ initial move to San Francisco.


    Someone had a good time writing new captions for the latter slideshow. One even references Jules’ Ezekiel speech in Pulp Fiction.

    I guess Paul won’t be watching the Olympics:

    Royal purple for Olympic victory ceremonies

    LONDON (AP) – Forget gold, silver and bronze. The dominant color at the Olympic podium ceremonies is going to be purple.

    Olympic authorities revealed the elements Friday of the 805 ceremonies that will take place in more than 30 venues of the London Olympics and released photographs of the costumes that will be worn by the presenters.

    He just wont be watching medal ceremonies. Who cares about those, you already know exactly what they look like no matter if it’s 1960 or 2060.

    Bend forward to receive medal.
    Hold flowers.
    Raise flowers while rotating only at the hips (moving feet is bush league) and waving.
    Stand quietly while national anthem plays.

    Boom. Done. Boring. The competitions are all that matter.

    Really? Tommie Smith and John Carlos might disagree with you. As would the late Peter Norman (the Austrailian silver medalist, who happily wore one of their protest buttons, and suggested that they split a pair of gloves when one of them — I forget if it was Smith or Carlos — left his gloves at the Village).

    Last year Slippery Rock University wore black jerseys (with added logo creep) for the first time in school history, this year, they’re adding some black outline to the football field and silver (why?) endzones.

    New Field: link

    Old Field: link

    Silver has never been a school color, nor has black. Things looking bad for a school that’s never worn anything but green and white.

    Is that artificial turf at Slippery Rock? Seems that’s a much bigger plague on the sports landscape than whatever uniform colors the team is wearing.

    SRU has had artificial turf for awhile now, they play a ton of different sports on it so it makes sense. To me, it’s the fact that they’re being influenced by flashy colors and companies when they’ve always been traditional green and white. Seems like marketing non-sense to me.

    Yes, it’s artificial. Probably softer than the preceding turf.

    This is what the old field looked like:

    That last photo was from the last football game I ever saw live. And if they’re going BFBS, that’s yet another reason I’m not going back.

    The old turf wasn’t in great shape and needed replaced, I just wish they went with normal school colors.

    I don’t think they’ll do black jerseys full time, but you might see them creep into a game or two.

    Saturday, June 2nd, the Giants and Cubs will turn back the century as they will be wearing the uniforms from 1912. Join in on the fun and wear a 1912 outfit to the ballpark. Special start time at 4:15 p.m.

    As a kid, I dreamed about my favorite teams uniforms. Like most of you probably. Played Pee Wee football. Back then, there were no select teams. No special AAU or travel teams. As a 9 to 13 year old kid, I’d would have been thrilled to wear those uniforms. TFL calls them throwbacks, but they’re the real deal to my 12 year old memory. And aren’t they close enough to the current sets (except the Rams), to be acceptable to these kids? If my Pee Wee league had those unis when I was a kid, I’d be pitching a tent all season.

    I’m only 29 and all of the places we played baseball and basketball at are pretty much empty. The sad part is that the city has more children now than it did 20 years ago.

    Same here. I think that it is just that kids are way more sheltered and scheduled these days. Most kids don’t have time to just go out and play, and if they did their parents are too scared to let them just run around the neighborhood.

    I coach my 5 year old son’s T-Ball Little League team. I noticed this year that several of the kids would wear their pant legs up showing the sock. I tried to convince my son to do it, and he was resistant until I showed him several pictures of old school baseball players.

    Next year, I’m considering buying stirrups for the entire team (he will be moving up to coach pitch)and instituting a team rule that pant legs must be worn up. Our league provides jerseys and caps, but parents are responsible for pants, belts & socks.

    Our team is the Cardinals, and I have found solid red stirrups online. Does anyone know if there’s a place to get the Cardinals style striped stirrups in smaller sizes for kids?

    “I’m considering buying stirrups for the entire team (he will be moving up to coach pitch)and instituting a team rule that pant legs must be worn up.”

    Do it! It not only looks good, but it builds a team identity (the whole POINT of a uniform) and it also teaches them to respect and obey a superior’s rules even when they don’t make much sense.

    Sorry but I didn’t get a chance to respond to the Eastern Lettering comments yesterday.
    I sent the jacket to Eastern Lettering about a month ago. I had originally ordered the tackle twill numbers and was going to have them sewn on myself but they weren’t large enough so I sent them back with the warmup since they seemed reputable/reliable but they have promised me it is on its way for over three week now.
    BTW Hank-SJ, that link is not the same company as they are located in Raleigh North Carolina not Virginia.

    Hank-SJ | May 31, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    Looks like Eastern Lettering is no longer according to the BBB: link

    Chance Michaels | May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    That notation is almost a year old — Jeff, when did you send your jacket to them?

    LarryB | May 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    I did order some tackle twill numbers from them about a year ago. They were fine for me.

    I don’t know if you mentioned this earlier, but Todd Hewitt, the equipment manager that was fired by the St. Louis Rams, has been hired by USC to be their equipment manager. I read it on a USC blog site the other day. Here is the mention:

    “USC’s made an interesting hire for its new equipment manager. Todd Hewitt will be the Trojans’ equipment manager 47 years after his father, Bill, was hired for the same job at USC. Bill left USC in 1967 for the Rams and Todd succeeded his dad with the Rams in 1986. Todd Hewitt spent last season as Cal’s equipment manager.”

    Not official yet, but it’s looking like Todd will be at USC next year. Waiting for a counter offer from Cal but he told me it’s looking like he will indeed be at USC next year

    Two things:

    1) A Bears uni just doesn’t look like a Bears uni without the proper numbers. link (and seriously? No pants stripes on the Bears pants? That’s not only inaccurate, but bland and disappointing. Everybody else’s unis looked spot on, that seemed like a glaring error.)

    And 2) Like that Chi Trib article mentions at the very end, the CTA has renamed a stop before, North and Clyborn on the Red Line became “the Apple Stop” The good news was that the stop became cleaner and got a new coat of paint, but there was like one sign that said “Apple Stop” and the rest of the signage remained “North/Clyborn”. Lets hope the CTA half-asses all of these new AdStops but gets a whole buncha buck to spend on improvements.

    You trying to link to link?

    The most egregious error with that Bears uni is the sleeve striping. Bears have never had featheredge stripes on their white jerseys. They’ve pretty much always had the blue/orange/blue pattern on their white jerseys.

    Look at link. Even with the white helmets and the block numbers, you know right away that it’s the Bears.

    Dude, don’t knock the kids in the Throwback League. It’s a great idea, the kids look dope, and some of them look like pretty strong football players. It’s exciting to see those designs on the field again.

    Bold move to bash AAU/travel sports like that. I played 40-60 travel baseball games per summer for 10 years and I never felt like it brought out the worst in anybody. Sure there was the occasional team who took themselves too seriously, but that was maybe a one in thirty proportion. I’ve created lifelong friendships through travel sports and I believe it prepared me for the rest of my life. As you have no children, I’m assuming (and correct me if I’m wrong) that you haven’t been a part of youth sports in a long time. So please do some active research before you form an opinion.

    “Bold move to bash AAU/travel sports like that.”

    “As you have no children, I’m assuming (and correct me if I’m wrong) that you haven’t been a part of youth sports in a long time. So please do some active research before you form an opinion.”


    One point does not make a trend. I understand that these programs are out there, but the vast majority are strong, positive places for kids to spend their time

    Also, I know that you don’t like corporate sponsorship, and I understand and agree on the uniform front, but why is it bad for the CTA to gain sponsors? As a resident of Chicago, I’d much rather have someone paying for the upkeep that isn’t me. Even if it doesn’t reduce tax dollars, it’s not raising them, and funding can go other places that need it.

    The argument for public transportation is that the public should pay for transportation. If the public doesn’t want to pay for it, then cut it back.

    It’s the onus is on the public to pay for public works and transportation.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune. Wishing for “someone … that isn’t me” to pay for government is both morally and practically indistinguishable from wishing for “someone … that isn’t me” to run the government. This isn’t a theoretical, academic point: It was precisely King Charles I’s efforts to finance his government without taxes that would have to be approved by Parliament that led to the English Civil War and eventually the establishment of limited constitutional monarchy, which itself formed the ideological basis of the American Revolution and the establishment of the our republic.

    If he were ruling today, Charles I would totally have turned to selling naming rights to avoid calling Parliament to raise taxes. There’d probably be a swoosh on the crown, with with high-tech dry-fit fabric replacing ermine fur in the royal cape.

    And I’m saying why aren’t we doing that? A debt of trillions and growing makes me willing to get anyone to pay for it. Government should not be trying to babysit companies. Government should be letting companies become as strong as possible in order to create jobs, increase GDP, etc. They are Americans too, and as long as naming rights were sold to American companies, I would absolutely encourage the practice, even if that means an Apple White House or the Nike Capitol Building.

    Tim, I understand your point, but at the end of the day I’d rather pay less if a company is willing to foot part of the bill

    That’s my guess, too. But let’s for argument’s sake say that these are legit. These aren’t too bad. Paul really likes the Batman Steelers uniforms, so this would kinda fit Paul’s tastes. He did say that he really liked the new Nets unis. But I hope that the real unis incorporate link.

    Trust me. Paul knows my source pretty damn well…


    They’re not bad but other than the dickey, there’s hardly any design. I was expecting more, I guess. Maybe I’ll still be right, hopefully the actual design wont be even blander.

    Damn, those throwback kids look great, especially team Green Bay. If there is one change Green Bay needs on their uniforms, it’s gray face masks.

    Well, The Jeff can go fist himself for all I care. At least for Green Bay, the gray masks look great.

    anyone reading this NOW might want to put on the MLB channel NOW

    called PL after the last pitch

    since my pop is no longer with us, he was the first guy i called

    i still cannot believe this happened

    Never thought I’d live to see the day.

    Feels like we finally popped our cherry.

    The curse of Nolan Ryan is officially extinguished!

    Funny how it finally happened in game #8,020 in the 1st year the black unis were extinguished. Coincidence? I think not!

    Kudos to a Mets starting pitcher finally doing his job properly! ;)

    No-hitters are one of the best things in baseball.

    No-hitters are one of the best things in baseball.

    Right up there with a soccer goalie keeping a clean sheet, dontcha know. ;)

    Congrats, Mets fans.

    Somewhere in Hell, Ron Santo’s toupee is burning.

    I still can’t believe he got into the HOF.

    Sigh. I was expecting that.

    And I don’t completely disagree. It’s a shame that the game was tainted by a clearly erroneous call.

    But shit happens — and for once, it happened in our favor.

    “I take that back. Carlos Beltran’s hit was ruled foul. Earn your congrats.”

    Oh like EVERY baseball game is perfectly umpired. I can’t believe some whining dicks want Instant Replay in a sport that plays 2,430 regular season games with 43,740 innings a year.

    Managers & coaches can take their challenge flags and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

    armando galarraga even congratulated the mets, vilk


    your sentiments would be like me cheering clemente’s plane crash…ok, maybe not quite that bad, but still

    seriously, let us enjoy this one slapnuts

    Typical Mets/Uni-Watch attitude: A wrong call gives them something they didn’t earn and they will fight against replay or making it saying “it happens” (because it goes their way), meanwhile, A wrong call took away Armando Galarraga’s, something he & his team EARNED, and every one screams REPLAY REPLAY, “it shouldn’t happen” … (in the end, Jim Joyce is the one who shows true class)

    Are Mets fans now going to be as insufferable as Red Sox fans were after 2004? (Just some good natured ribbing)

    Something about the numbers on the Astros throwbacks looks off. Are they sitting too low? Or is there too much white on top?

    I can’t put my finger on it.

    congrats to Mr. Lukas and all the Mets fans out there on the franchise first No Hitter. Now if only my Padres could get around to it…

    Spring training game going on in SF tonight – blue jerseys vs orange jerseys.

    Just awful.

    My question is are you opposed to the “softball tops” altogether or do you have an issue with it on a game by game basis? I caught some of that game and it didn’t look good, however I don’t have a problem with the softball tops altogehter. For instance I’m not a big fan of the O’s Black tops, but their Orange tops are one of my favorite unis.

    I can get not liking some of the looks, but to dismiss them all is absurd.

    I’m dismissing them all around. You keep those fashion rags in the gift shop where they belong.

    Sick and tired of my team wearing black alternate tops with black socks. It’s stupid.

    How am I going to refer to #7 in Pittsburgh now? I always forgo writing his last name in favor of that nickname, but now there is no source material for it..

    I could’ve read it wrong, but I think it’s the formal name “The Clock Tower” that’s being changed, not its nickname “Big Ben”. From the article:

    “The 316-foot tower is formally known as the Clock Tower, but it is commonly called Big Ben after the huge bell that it holds, whose distinctive “bongs” sound out the hours in central London.
    Lawmakers accepted that the iconic tower, which looms over the 19-century Gothic revival parliament, would continue to be known colloquially as Big Ben, but said that its formal name should honor Queen Elizabeth.”

    Why would you publish a story about a high school baseball team wearing an unusual type of sock and then not publish one single picture of said socks?

    congrats to Paul and Phil.

    I assume tonight was even sweeter with them not wearing any black.

    How hilariously disproportionate do Brennan Boesch’s legs look to the rest of his body in the last post in the ticker?

Comments are closed.