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Plus They’re Gonna Exhume Madalyn Murray O’Hair to Sing ‘Dog Bless America’


In the latest example of America’s never-ending War on Religionâ„¢, the St. Paul Saints will have their Aug. 10 game sponsored by Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists. As you can see above, the team will become the Mr. Paul Aints for the occasion, and the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game to benefit Minnesota Atheists. Scandalous!

According to this Minnesota Atheists page, “Our banners will hang in the stadium. … The letter ‘S’ will be covered up on the word ‘Saints’ throughout the ballpark and we’ll have an information/greeting table at the main entrance. American Atheists president Dave Silverman will throw out the first pitch.” Rumors that any player who points skyward or crosses himself after hitting a home run will be shot by a sniper in the stands are almost completely untrue. (My thanks to reader Tony Tengwall for bringing this one to my attention.)

New ESPN column today — enjoy.

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Important Membership News: In a regrettable but unavoidable development, the price of signing up for the Uni Watch Membership Program will soon increase from $20 to $25. Sorry about that, but my printer is charging more, lamination supplies are costing more, my poor little laminator recently conked out (after laminating more than 1300 cards!), so I had to buy a new one, etc.

The current price of $20 will remain in effect from now until July 22 (the last day before I start my annual month-long summer break). The new price will go into effect on July 23. So if you’ve been meaning to sign up, there’s no time like the present. Thanks for understanding.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: New football uniforms for Vanderbilt. Here’s a closer look at the white helmet, which I like quite a bit. ”¦ In additional college football news, a new SMU road jersey leaked on Instagram yesterday. Not sure how legit it is (from Carl Koontz). … Still more college football: Texas A&M will unveil its new uniforms today. … You know all those photos of naked athletes in ESPN Mag‘s annual Body issue? My friend and colleague Jim Caple decided to see what it’s like to pose like that. If you can get past the photos, Jim’s accompanying text is really strong and engaging — recommended reading. … We’ve all seen cowcatcher facemasks before, but check out this one! That’s Len Ford from the 1950 NFL Championship game between the Browns and the Rams. “He’d gotten elbowed in the face by the Cardinals’ Pat Harder, which broke his jaw and both cheekbones,” explains Gretchen Atwood. ” As you can see in the same photo, George Young also had a partial facemask attached to his helmet. Also, Ford is wearing a jacket that belongs to #No. 59, Horace Gillom, but Gillom is sitting on the bench a few players down from Ford.” … Check it out: Wisconsin sports in a nutshell! Tony Tengwall found that at a gas station near Algoma, Wisconsin. “It’s hideously ugly, but still pretty creative,” he says. … NSFW: Ayr United unveiled their new kits by painting them onto topless female models (from George Chilvers). … Good slideshow on all the 2011/2012 Bundesliga kits here (from Bernd Wilms). … Here’s a poll to pick the most unusual high school mascot in Alabama (from John Muir). … Michael Vick has launched his own clothing line (from Andy Horne). … New kits for Zenit and Juventus (from Leo Thornton). … Steve Nash will wear No. 10 for the Lakers (from Phillip Garza). … What are the Olympics about again? Oh, right — athletic excellence. Douchebags. “Screw this event,” says Jeff Wilk. “Just screw all two weeks.” It’s hard to disagree. … In a related item, here’s a fun note from Eric Bangeman: “During my junior year in high school (1983), the USOC threatened to take legal action against my school — Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado, “Home of the Olympians” — if we didn’t stop using the Olympic rings in our school logo. We had to repaint our gym floor and walls to remove the logo (a torch superimposed with the Olympic rings). After I graduated, I believe the logo became a torch with a wreath. Anyway, I drove by the school last month on a trip back to Colorado and was surprised to see that the sign my graduating class donated is still standing in front of the school, complete with USOC-defying logo.” If anyone from the USOC is reading this be sure to dash off a quick cease-and-desist to Gateway High go fuck yourself. … Comrade Robert Marshall was umping a game in Chicago and spotted a dude wearing this very cool cap. “He said it’s from the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union of Chicago team,” says Robert. Gotta get me one of those. … Arsenal’s new away kit takes purple to new, uh, heights (from Michael Orr). … Arena Soccer news from Jim Vilk, who writes: “For once I’m on your side when it comes to purple. The Dallas Sidekicks are returning to indoor soccer, but not in their original green unis.” … Maks Skuz forwarded some photos from the groundbreaking of the Cubs’ new training facility in Arizona. Are those bat-handled shovels a new thing, or have they been used forever at baseball-related groundbreakings and I just never noticed? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: According to a small item toward the bottom of this page, Jake Peavy’s NOB was misspelled on his All-Star jersey, so they had to get him a new one. … Here’s a rarity: color footage of the Pacific Coast League from 1946! Lots of uni goodness therein (big thanks to Bryan Spangenberg). … Some soccer player you’ve never heard of — okay, a soccer player I’ve never heard of — just cost himself a $750K endorsement deal with Coke by drinking Pepsi at a press conference. Of course, there’s no reason a professional athlete should have an endorsement contract with a soda pop brand to begin with, so Coke is better off putting its money toward more appropriate endeavors. … Coming soon: a uni/logo podcast. … Good observation regarding the White Sox players’ All-Star Game patches here (from David Taub). ”¦ The Cubs are conducting a T-shirt design contest (from Anthony Nuccio). ”¦ “For some reason, Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon wore the team’s third kit instead of a keeper kit against Toronto,” says Michael Orr. “First time I can remember seeing an MLS goalkeeper wearing an outfield player’s kit.” ”¦ Even if you don’t care about cycling, you have to check out these beautiful old uniforms (from Marc Gilbert). ”¦ Buffalo Bisons players wore 1988 throwbacks for last night’s Triple-A All-Star Game, which was played in Buffalo. Buffalo had also hosted the game in ’88 (from Jacob Kubuske). ”¦ The Beach Boys played in Calgary last night, so somebody had them pose in Flames jerseys. Not sure if they wore them onstage (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Rich Aleman stumbled upon an eBay seller who has tons of authentic (but pricey) uni-related items. ”¦ Skip Bayless didn’t like Bryce Harper’s gold All-Star shoes, which prompted this rebuttal. If you scroll down on that last link, you’ll also find a fun salute to the early-’70s A’s uniforms (from Gerry Dincher).

Comments (288)

    Ronaldinho is actually one of the most famous soccer players in the world :)

    Ronaldinho, Phil. He’s from Brazil, and was a key member of the 2002 World Cup winners, along with Ronaldo. He’s also played in Europe, mainly for AC Milan. Hope that helps.

    Of course, he is also a world class head case too.

    Not so much a world class player anymore, but time will do that to footballers who suck down empty calories.

    Ronaldinho is one of the most famous figures in the most popular sport on the planet. A sports writer/blogger would be doing themselves a dis-service by stating that they don’t know who he is.

    The MN Atheists page does say that the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game. Not sure if we’re allowed to pay with money that says “In God We Trust.”

    I kinda like the Mr. Paul thing for the city, but then again, with Paul being a first name, perhaps it should be Paulville or Paulopolis instead.

    Not sure if we’re allowed to pay with money that says “In God We Trust.”

    That really needs to be changed too, it should go back to E Pluribus Unum… as God intended.

    /Wait, what?

    Love the ‘Aints’ Story.

    If I could, I’d love to go out there for the game.

    Athiests with a sense of humor, who’d have thought it. What’s next, snake chucking fundamentalists holding a conmedy night?

    That cycling photo is sweet. Also a wonderful tribute to the headwear of the time. As a follicly lacking soul, I would have fell perfectly in to that style era.

    And that will be another year I go without buying my team’s jersey.

    Rumors are that Adidas may be taking over when the Nike contract runs out, I’m not a fan of the three stripes, literally and figuratively, but after the last few Nike kits, I’m willing to give Adidas a chance.

    Vandy can thank Purdue for its white/black uniform template … well done Nike, for repurposing the unis Purdue wore from the mid-to-late 2000s. Nice yellow jersey, though, that took creativity and looks great.

    In all seriousness, even as an SEC fan, I can’t tell very much of a difference with these “new” uniforms. Vandy seems to tweak every year, so a new stripe here or a swoosh there just goes unnoticed.

    Plus, you know… they’re Vandy.

    Love the two-tone “Gold jerseys, but the Vegas Gold shade is a BIG FAIL. If only they would use Old Gold, or at least the bolder shade of Gold used for the White helmet striping. That would be a uniform. Instead, more Nike reruns – sadly, the effort is a FAIL – though no less a FAIL from what they wore last season.

    You know, you’re right, and I often think that too.

    Purdue, Mizzou, Vandy have been screwed by Nike, because they forced Vegas Gold on all of them. I’ve often thought that’s a great, untold story … Nike forcing color changes because they can’t produce the accurate color in clothing items/jerseys.

    Funny, Russell, Champion and others were able to produce them for years … but Nike can’t.

    I remember Cannon wearing an outfield jersey while he was on the ‘Quakes, but the fact that it was the third jersey is pretty cool. I haven’t double checked to see if he’s done this for any of his other previous teams. It’s a nice look compared to the neon colors you usually see on goalie unis.

    Steve Mandanda, the goalie for Olympique Marseille in France, frequently wears one of their field player kits during matches. During Champions League play, he wore the primary white kit when the rest of the team wore their orange third kit, and vice versa. This year, OM has a white first kit, a throwback light blue change kit, and a black third with orange trim, so he could well continue this style.

    Dario Sala, who used to play for FC Dallas did it for a while.


    It stopped when adidas had a fit about him not showcasing their keeper gear and MLS made him start wearing a keeper jersey. So MLS has relaxed or Mr. Cannon will be getting a memo from the league soon.

    Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac? He’d stay up all night wondering if there was a dog.

    In Caple’s second-to-last picture, you can tell that he was lying about shaving ALL of his body hair. Apparently, he and Dr. Evil won’t be able to discuss how breathtaking a “shorn scrotum” is.

    … Northwestern stripes on the shoulders? That’s a new one for me…

    When you put them over the shoulder pads, they stretch out and appear to move off the top of the shoulder. Yeah, these new cuts of jersey don’t handle sleeve stripes all that well, whether Nike, Adidas, what have you.

    Just wondering…. Does the Olympic committee own the copyright to 5 rings, or 5 colored rings, or 5 rings in that particular pattern, or what. Maybe I’ll go google it.

    Ok I googled it. The Olympic symbol is protected internationally. But it states “interlaced rings”.

    4. The Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem, identifications (including but not limited to “Olympic Games” and “Games of the Olympiad”), designations, emblems, flame and torches, as defined in Rules 8-14 below, may, for convenience, be collectively or individually referred to as “Olympic properties”. All rights to any and all Olympic properties, as well as all rights to the use thereof, belong exclusively to the IOC including but not limited to the use for any profit-making, commercial or advertising
    purposes. The IOC may license all or part of its rights on terms and conditions set forth by the IOC Executive Board.

    8 The Olympic symbol*
    The Olympic symbol consists of five interlaced rings of equal dimensions (the Olympic rings), used alone, in one or in five different colours. When used in its five-colour version,
    these colours shall be, from left to right, blue, yellow, black, green and red. The rings are interlaced from left to right; the blue, black and red rings are situated at the top, the yellow and green at the bottom.

    I’m worried because my mobile phone (cellphone to you guys) goes “ring ring ring ring ring”

    I’m not sure how to feel about the Aints story. My reservations come from a fan angle, not a religious one. If I was a fan of the Saints, I’m not sure I would like them changing their name for a promotion. Then again, it’s all in good fun and I can see the humor in it, and non-major ball clubs are knows for wacky promotions. No harm is being done. I am a Bucco fan (not just this year). I know I would be pissed if the Bucs did a Disney promotion night and the Pirates were renamed for the night the Pittsburgh Pirates of the Caribbean. Just feels like it was too easy for an outside 3rd party to get a team to change their name, regardless of their level. I also know that that analogy is making a big leap from whatever league the Saints are in to a major league team that would probably never do that. Just the whole camel’s nose in the tent potential.

    In the end, I think I would just go with it. Humor over hubbub makes for a happier life.

    Trust me, with the St. Paul Saints nothing is sacred. This is the team that also brought us the Larry Craig “Bobblefoot” doll and “Randy Moss Hood Ornament Night”. I think using controversy as a marketing tool is in their charter.

    I suppose there won’t be any St. Pauli Girl served at the pre-game tailgate!

    If the event organizer (“Jack C.”)is to be believed, the Saints approached the Atheists with this promotion idea.

    ‘Aints attendance is sure to spike…a whopping 55+ claim they are attending

    That’s not a tent; that’s a camel barn. We already have frequent instances of major pro teams changing their names for special events. “Los” jerseys, Birrai shirts … Personally, I consider team colors to be as important to identity as nickname, and pro teams these days wear not-their-own colors all the freakin’ time.

    In this case, it’s effectively a pun, so I approve wholeheartedly!

    I also give minor league teams a much wider path on events like these. Especially unaffiliated minor league clubs.

    What’s appropriate there is not necessarily appropriate for the majors.

    I’m still waiting for the Washington Hebrew Nationals to take the field. Seems like a natural as the franks are already sold at Nationals Park.

    Further to the St. Paul Saints, this book is a must-read, especially if you enjoyed Veeck as in Wreck


    Baseball Minnesota, on fX during 1995, was a GREAT reality show. Can’t find it on DVD, VHS or anything.

    If anyone is uneasy with it (And I’m sure some will be. And that’s their right), they should simply stay away from the park. Don’t give the team their money (Buying tickets and not showing up is a stupid protest that just puts money in ownership’s pockets). And, if they charge for parking, don’t show up to protest (Again, that would just give money to the owners they are upset with). Also, with a protest at the park, the atheist group is likely to spin that as showing how bitter people with religion are (Unfairly painting in a wide swath but I’ve seen it done even though they don’t like it when they are characterized). Simply don’t go. It’s what I do whenever there is a Jimmy Buffett Night. There, I said it. I don’t like Jimmy Buffett.

    Vandy’s new uniforms are sharp. Love that white helmet, and also the black yoke (is that what passes for a yoke these days?) on the gold jersey. What this world needs is more damn color-contrast yokes.

    I’m liking it for the very same reasons. Particularly the yoke. As long as it’s an over easy yolk.

    Breaking news….the USOC has sued the country of Greece over Mount Olympus, stating copyright infringement. The Greeks, in an attempt to make peace, have sent a large wooden horse to the USOC headquarters. More at 11.

    Very few photos exist of the interior of the Titanic, so James Cameron modeled most of the sets of Titanic in photos of RMS Olympic, Titanic’s sister ship that didn’t sink. (Titanic was an Olympic class ship.) Therefore that movie rightfully belongs to the IOC, right?

    Bonus: RMS Olympic in dazzle camo:


    That’s the camo pattern sports teams should use to honor the troops.

    They reused material from the deteriorating Athens olympic venues. It’s about time those venues were put back to use.

    ” … You know all those photos of naked athletes in ESPN Mag‘s annual Body issue? My friend and colleague Jim Caple decided to see what it’s like to pose like that. If you can get past the photos, Jim’s accompanying text is really strong and engaging – recommended reading. …”

    Good tip, Paul.

    Naturally, I had to use the link under Caple’s article to check out all 36 photos featured in the Body Issue. Yikes. I mean, those people are “in shape.” Thankfully, there’s no parallel photo spread of Medicare-eligible hunks in, say, AARP News, so the beauty of the ESPN nudes can be contemplated as lovely, distant objects, kind of like the moons of Saturn.

    Pretty sure that Cubs design-a-jersey thing is MLB-wide. Anyway the Nats are doing it too.

    I’m all for religious, or non-religious, freedom. If you want to believe in something, or everything, or nothing, knock yourself out. But I don’t think I can get on board with the Aints promotion. Too many question marks. Doesn’t this open the ball club up for some serious backlash from the (overwhelming) Christian majority? If the Minnesota Satanists wanted to do something similar, would the club change its name to the Devils for a night? Is the whole thing supposed to be funny? This country is certainly more religiously open minded than ever before, but it still surprises me that the Saints would put themselves out there like this (unless there’s a point or joke that I’m missing.)

    Doesn’t this open the ball club up for some serious backlash from the (overwhelming) Christian majority?

    That’s not a reason not to do something.

    If the Minnesota Satanists wanted to do something similar, would the club change its name to the Devils for a night?

    Yes. And every ticket would be for Section 666.

    My favorite detail of all this — and I can’t decide if it was intentional or not — is that the Minnesota Atheists page that I linked to promises the group’s members a “Night of Unbelievable Fun” (emphasis mine).

    Pretty sure “Night of Unbelievable Fun” is intentional, as that is the official title listed on the Saints’ 2012 promotional calendar.

    Further reading of reveals that their regional conference will be the day after the game in St. Paul.

    Anyone who says, “I’m all for freedom of X, but …” isn’t. The “but” instance in almost all cases is the substance of the freedom in question; to exclude it is to oppose the freedom. I find myself thinking along these “I’m in favor of freedom, but …” lines all the time – I think we all do! – and it should be regarded as a warning sign that we are trying to impose our personal preferences on others at the expense of their liberties.

    Poor wording on my part (shouldn’t have used “but”, and SHOULD have known better). My point was just that I think the club is exposing itself to risk in a really unusual way, and I’m kind of surprised this promotion was approved. I understand it’s the minors and this is what they do, it just strikes me as a hot button that people (particularly baseball people) don’t typically push.

    For the record: I don’t care who/what/if anyone worships/believes/follows.

    I’m surprised too. I think getting into the religious aspect is going too far for a general gathering like a baseball game, but it’s the special interest group part of it that bugs me the most. Yeah it’s only one game, but there could be ramifications in the long-term like boycotts from those offended by such things like this. It’s almost like, say a pizza place advertising they’re anti-abortion in a sign on their front window – very hot button issue. I also think in the grand scheme of things, sports is really not that important at all – and people will take or leave it especially for a small independent team.

    Just another symptom of the “look at me, I’m special!” mentality of the times. Everybody wants a damn parade.

    Yeah… I’m not really sure what they’re really trying to accomplish here. I think it’s rather amusing and I’d buy a shirt if I lived there, but it seems obvious that it’s going to piss off a lot of people. If that’s the point, then the MN Atheists are kinda doing it wrong. You don’t convert people by mocking them, you do it by making them actually think about what they believe in.

    I think the team is doing what minor league teams are always doing: They’re trying to get attention.

    And I think the sponsor is doing what marginalized groups are always doing: They’re looking for exposure.

    The, I don’t think the purpose is to “convert” anybody. After all, they’re not Christians! I think the point is about self-expression and affirmation. According to opinion surveys, atheists are the most despised minority in America, and have been for generations. Even at the height of McCarthyism, polls showed Americans were more comfortable with communists holding public office or teaching public school than atheists.

    Anyway, it’s seemed that a lot of the publicity stunts various atheist and agnostic groups have done lately (billboard campaigns, public-transit ads, and the like) are about asserting their existence and normalcy. Though these campaigns often take the forms of proselytizing statements, that doesn’t seem to me to be the point. It’s not about persuading believers to abandon their faiths; it’s about persuading other nonbelievers to be open and public about their convictions.

    I think the point is about self-expression and affirmation.


    I think it’s also worth remembering that marginalized groups often express themselves in ways that can seem, well, immature. Example: Around the corner from me is a vegan restaurant. They have one of those “Open/Closed” signs in the window — but instead of saying, “Come in, We’re Open!,” it says, “Sorry, Carnivores – We’re Open!”

    Now, I think that’s really silly and even foolish. But I also understand that vegans are a marginalized group and that they don’t often get a public platform from which to express their solidarity. A century from now, when America is eating a lot less meat (almost guaranteed to happen, and I’m glad I won’t be alive to experience it), vegans and vegetarians won’t be as marginalized as they are today, and their messaging won’t be as childish. But for now, I understand why they communicate the way they do, even though I don’t care for it.

    I’m not saying the Minnesota Atheists are being immature, but I think it’s worth remembering that marginalized groups behave the way they do in large part because they’re marginalized.

    I don’t want to open a huge can here, but why would an atheist organization need to raise funds? The jerseys are cool, but I do not need to buy one to support the club’s once a month “hate on religion” pizza parties.

    why would an atheist organization need to raise funds?

    Yeah, why would any group ever need to raise funds for anything? After all, they have no web site to maintain, no publications that they send to their members, no outreach programs to help spread their word to the community, no political component to help lobby for their interests, etc., etc.

    And let’s not forget the pizza parties….

    I don’t want to open a huge can here, but why would an atheist organization need to raise funds?

    To continue to fight to make sure that our majority Christian population continues to actually follow the 1st Amendment and doesn’t turn the US into a Christian Theocracy. Keeping bullshit like “intelligent design” out of schools, ensuring that people aren’t discriminated against due to their lack of religion, reminding local governments that the 1510 Commandments don’t belong on a courthouse… you know, stuff like that.

    Those things make perfect sense.

    When it comes to my money, if I choose to financially support a organization I would want it to be used in a way that will better the world.

    I guess it takes a second look to realize that just like homosexuals or other discriminated groups, atheist have an underlying cause to support the people that believe like they do. It makes sense, it just seems like a hard thing to get people to rally behind.

    When it comes to my money, if I choose to financially support a organization I would want it to be used in a way that will better the world.

    Two things:

    1) Some people think advancing the cause of atheism will better the world.

    2) More to the point of this discussion, your original comment wasn’t about whether you agreed with their message; it was about why such a group would ever need funds. That question has now been addressed. If you want to shift the discussion to the merits of their message, that’s moving the goalpost. Stay on your own topic.

    The difference, Paul, is that a guy who runs a vegan restaurant neither expects nor desires to be patronized by people who want a nice, thick steak. “Sorry, Carnivores: We’re Open!” is safe, because it doesn’t alienate any potential customers. Lots of vegans (not all, mind you) are sort of holier than thou to begin with: a sign like that probably appeals to the sensibilities of many of the restaurant’s patrons.

    A minor league baseball team’s primary objective is to put as many rear ends in the seats as they can manage. Maybe the Minnesota market is different than Texas (who am I kidding? EVERYPLACE is different than Texas), but if our local minor league team, the Sugar Land Skeeters, changed their jerseys to read “Disbelievers” for a night, and replaced Swatson, their giant mosquito mascot, with a guy dressed as Christopher Hitchens, they would lose every Baptist youth group excursion, and CYO outing, and busload of Senior Methodists Having Fun for this season, and probably for every season to come.

    Set aside Christian/Atheist. I have a hard time thinking that a minor league club owner can afford to run a promotion, however clever, that risks alienating so many potential customers.

    “Sorry, Carnivores: We’re Open!” is safe, because it doesn’t alienate any potential customers.

    You’re wrong about that. My friend Heather, who’s a vegetarian, asked me to join her there for lunch. I declined, because they had sent a message that they don’t want me there.

    In any case, I was comparing the vegan restaurant to the atheist group; you’re comparing the restaurant to the minor league baseball team. Apples and oranges.

    Fair enough. I just don’t see that there are scads of hungry meat eaters, hunkering for a nice, thick veggie burger, with tofu cheddar, who’d be offended by that sign. In my personal experience, the only time I’ve ever set foot in a vegetarian restaurant is to impress a woman, and short of something saying “All carnivores will be held down and emasculated with a paring knife,” I can’t see a sign putting me off.

    The restaurant owner/atheist group comparison is faulty: the atheist group is the carnivore sign; the restaurant owner is the ballclub. The owner accepts all the entrepreneurial risk associated with giving place to the message. The sign/atheist group is the message.

    Paul, regarding that vegan restaurant’s sign, as a philosophically committed anti-vegan, it strikes me as perfectly fine good humor. In a similar vein, there’s a great little fly-fishing magazine called The Drake whose cover lists the price as “Five Bucks ($10 for bait fishermen)”.


    The (A) restaurant owner is using a (B) sign as a way to publicize a (C) dietary lifestyle message by lightly mocking those who believe the opposite.

    The (A) atheist group is using a (B) team promotion as a way to publicize a (C) religious lifestyle message by lightly mocking those who believe the opposite.

    A=A, B=B and C=C. The sign itself can not be compared to the atheist group. The sign is simply the vehicle for the message, which comes from the restaurant owner.

    Interesting story. Just wondering, how do the players feel about something like this. What if one of the players had a religious objection to it? I mean, I guess on the flip side, one could also have an objection to playing for the Saints. It’s an interesting conundrum.

    As a Christian, this is no way offends me. But I’m sure the inevitable kooks will come out of the closet from both sides on this issue. It’s a ballsy move for the franchise to make.

    how do the players feel about something like this. What if one of the players had a religious objection to it?

    I wondered about that too — I think it’s a legitimate point. Of course, I’m also the guy who always wonders how foreign-born players feel about wearing camouflage to support the American military, or being told to stand up during “God Bless America,” etc., etc.

    I routinely get into, um, discussions at ballparks for my refusal to take off my cap for “God Bless America.” I simply don’t regard it as a patriotic song. One, it’s not in any way patriotic: Nowhere in the song is America praised, nor are any virtues ascribed to America. Two, it’s not a song, it’s a prayer. The rarely sung opening lines explicitly say so: “As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.” And three, it’s a bad prayer. It consists entirely of a list of blessings God has already bestowed on America followed by a plea for God to bless America. That’s just a really crappy prayer.

    GBA pisses me off as an American and disappoints me as a Christian, and I refuse to pretend that I respect it or the empty, irreligious, borderline idolatrous sentimentality it expresses.

    Being a life-long Flyers fan, “GBA” as sung by Kate Smith is very special to me.
    Archie Bunker’s is a close 2nd though…


    To be clear, when you express yourself (whatever your rationale might be) in the manner you described (which I’d describe as crappy), you are not at all offended by the manner in which your fellow Americans may express themselves in non-violent reaction(i.e.: a certain salute?), right?

    i’m with R. Scott, i don’t remove my hat for “God Bless America” either.

    it’s just not our national anthem, so…

    ChrisH – I don’t “express myself” in the manner above. I simply don’t take my cap off or put my hand over my heart for the song. On occasion, people around me get all huffy at me for not treating GBA as if it were the national anthem. Which, it’s important to not, it’s not. When so confronted, I very briefly say that I don’t find the song to be particularly patriotic, and I don’t think it’s a worthy prayer. And no, being so confronted does not offend me; if anything, I think we have become much too sensitive about having our opinions challenged. It’s OK to disagree, and to talk about the things we disagree about.

    But if someone were to shoot me the bird, for any reason, well, yes, I would be offended. But only because the purpose of flipping someone off is to offend them! But that’s OK too – nobody has a right never to be offended. That includes me, and it includes the busybodies whose patriotism is so fragile that some stranger not taking his cap off during “God Bless America” shatters their love for America.

    Look at the public backlash to Carlos Delgado and/or Mahmoud Abdul-Rouf (sp) (perhaps others) who made their disdain for the National Anthem public.

    Carlos Delgado never had any problem with the national anthem. He didn’t want to stand for “God Bless America,” because he objected to the U.S. Navy’s military testing near Puerto Rico.


    Maybe Bryce Harper is a twit, but isn’t it great to see all the nabobs and pharisees of baseball losing their shit over him?

    I have to say, I don’t understand the anti-Harper feeling.

    Athletes tend to be boring human beings, and child-prodigy athletes are the most boring of all, but I don’t get the impression that Harper is an asshole. Like most 19-year-olds, he’s a very unfinished product. But a jerk? If that’s the case, I’ve missed it.

    True first hand story:
    Last year when he was in single-A, his Hagerstown Suns visited my home town area Kannapolis Intimidators so I took the family and my folks to see him. There was a pitching change necessitated by an injury while he was in right field. Naturally the delay was longer than normal. Instead of kneeling in center with the other two OFs, he went to the bullpen behind the RF fence to sit down. A few of us let him know what we thought of his gamesmanship, and being that a single A park puts the fans pretty close to the players he heard us. He did stop down the RF fence in foul territory after the game to sign autos after the game. My seats happened to be right where the crowd gathered so I stood there with everyone holding a ball out with a pen. I don’t care about autos but wanted to see what he’d do. What he did was look up at me then go right on to the next person. Bryce Harper can go fuck himself.

    @ possum: so Bryce Harper can go fuck himself, because he chose to not sign an autograph for a guy who was yelling shit at him?

    Now, if he had been signing and got to you, and called you an “asshole/mother-fucker/etc…”, yeah maybe then he is kind of being a jerk/over-reacting.
    But he saw you, recognized you, and without drawing attention, moved on. Pretty mature IMO.

    While sitting in the bullpen is questionable, he response to a loudmouth was appropriate. At least from what I know based on your story.


    So you heckle the guy, and you’re surprised that he wouldn’t sign for you after the game?

    Agreed w/ Lee. I’ve heard some anti-Harper guff and had labelled him a jerk. This story makes me re-think my position ESPECIALLY because it was first-hand.

    I don’t care about autos, either. I just take a ball and a pen with me to every game I go to, even if it’s only single-A.

    There are those of us that think Bryce Harper would have been better off with more seasoning in the minors. Yes, he’s good enough to stick in the majors, but maybe some more bus riding, close pitches after showing up a pitcher, and maybe some admonishment from teammates (as in that bullpen incident, for example) would make him a little less of a jerk.
    But, I’ll defend him on this. Why is he the only player singled out for wearing different colored shoes? If he deserves that criticism, then what about the other players also sporting some unusually colored footwear in the All-Star game and Home Run contest? Singling him out is just excessive.

    My step-daughter graduated from Gateway earlier this spring. If memory serves correctly, there was a banner with the rings at the graduation ceremony itself. They are quite proud of the nickmane. it seems. It got several mentions in the speeches. So yeah, cram it in your cramhole, USOC.

    Arsenal revealed their away kit for this year. I guess you get such an ugly kit when you’re making it out of recycled water bottles….


    ” Still more college football: Texas A&M will unveil its new uniforms today. … ”

    They have been tweeting tiny pieces of the new uniform for about ten days now. Kind of a cool gimmick to lead up to the release.

    Releasing pieces of the uniform at a time reminds me of the 1968 Tops football cards where the back of the cards were pieces to a puzzle: link
    Awesome photo of Len Dawson in his Browns uniform. As a kid, I remember seeing the top half of that and being bewildered as to why he was wearing a Cleveland uniform. We were Bills’ fans, and my dad was “The AFL is better than the NFL” all the way. So the thought of “one of ours” going to the evil empire of he NFL hurt. ;-)

    Paul, the bats used as shovels may be relatively new, but the first time I saw it was back in 2006 for the groundbreaking ceremony at link.

    The Busch shovels were reversed from the Cubs shovels — barrel end up vs. knob end up. Same concept, different execution.

    The Giants used the shovel bats when breaking ground on Pac Bell / SBC / AT&T park back in ’97.

    Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, but the Sidekicks didn’t wear green for years. They finished with that logo and color scheme. Can’t find any visual evidence yet, but I was a season ticket holder back in the day and they were definitely purple and black.

    Yeah, I watched a couple of Sidekicks games before they folded, and I remember the logo and colors.

    Didn’t realize it until I searched around, but they might have had the purple and black for almost as long as they had the green and white. There was a mid-90s media guide on eBay that showed them in purple, sort of like this picture:

    I’ll always remember them this way, though:

    Yeah, they went purple and black in their first reincarnation into the CISL after the MISL folded. That logo looks like the CISL version of their logo.


    The ‘Aints thing kinda bums me out, but fortunately we live in a country where you can’t just shut people’s ideas and projects down because they bum you out. Play on, non-believing brethren.

    Everything old is new again department: at the 19 second mark of the 1946 Pacific Coast League film is the notice, “The WILSON BALL is used exclusively.” link I wonder if anyone would have been fired for using an other brand of ball.

    The SMU jersey is apparently legitimate. They just posted the same picture on the official SMU Athletics twitter feed.

    I love the Triple-A All Star Game. And a uni-watching bonus last night was that all 50 players got in the game, so pretty much every uniform was on display. The Bisons throwbacks might have been the best of the bunch, though Las Vegas and the Ironpigs were surprisingly solid. Toledo almost has one of the best unis in baseball; like most modern vests, the shoulders are too wide, and they need a cap that better fits the rest of the uni.

    Norfolk Tides looked great too, especially since they were wearing their blue set, not the Orioles-infused orange and black.

    Almost painful to see what the Columbus Clippers have become; used to be among the best unis in all of pro ball, and now they’d be below average in Single-A.

    That Bisons uniform is beautiful.

    They have wandered in the uniform wilderness for at least 15 years, first with the green and red, frequently vested and often augmented by lots of black unis they started wearing in the mid-90s, to the quasi-Met abominations they sport today. As good as the Mets look when they look good, the Bisons look awful: everything is wrong. (Red and green is a great combo, but the execution was consistently bad.)

    They should burn their current uniforms, a la the Denver Broncos vertical socks, and go back to the simple, classic red and navy sets of the late 80s.

    I’m with you on everything but the colors. Go back to the classic set, but change every instance of navy to green. That, to me, would be perfection for the Bisons. (That, or find a way to work brown into the scheme.)

    I know they’re appeasing their target market, but those flat brims just look so F’ing stupid. I do, however, like the hats a lot. No frills. Wish they’d ditch the NE logo douche-baggery, but what’re ya gonna do?

    how is it appeasing the market since they have always sold their caps that way? plus it’s not like you can’t just bend the bill your self. or even buy one of these


    If they’re not appeasing their market and have been doing this for years, then New Era wasn’t very good at marketing since they fell ass-backward into present-day trendy product shots.

    But they’ve always sold their caps with flat brims that you bend yourself. They’re marketing the same product in a different way. Big deal.

    so what they are suppose to ignore a big part of their market because one section of it doesn’t like the flat brim look? they still market to the joe schmoes that like their bills curved

    Price was jacked up $10 from the Reebok hats to now $35 for a freaking hat? Are you kidding me?

    Also why do some teams get the bi-colored hats, while others a solid colors?

    I guess this says something about my lack of True American Patriot bona fides, but I’m well familiar with Ronaldinho (who looks a lot like Bucky, one of the Coaby Kids from the old Fat Albert cartoon), but until about three days ago, I’d never heard of Bryce Harper. My current interest in sports is driven by my kids; we haven’t watched a baseball game in our house for about five years, but we do shell out 20 bucks a month for the Fox Soccer Plus channel. It’s a different world than the one I grew up in…

    “St. Paul Saints” is not so much an affirmation of faith,as evidence of a stunning lack of creativity, like “Houston Texans” or “Shelbyville Shelbyvillians”. The promotion is sort of clever, and fairly funny, but unlike poking fun at a disgraced politician like Senator Craig, mocking religious belief polarizes and outrages. I think the blowback for this is going to be big.

    On the other hand, which should be more morally objectionable to Christians, the Aints promotion, or the fact that a professional sports organization would unveil its new uniforms by painting them onto the pneumatically enhanced bodies of young women?

    I disagree about the blowback…we are talking about a minor league baseball promotion in a minor league market of a minor league perspective.

    I’ve gotta think it would generate far more controversy if the game was in the Bible Belt. That having been said, let’s hope nobody from Fox News reads this site. If it’s a slow news cycle, they will beat this like a dead horse.

    ““St. Paul Saints” is not so much an affirmation of faith,as evidence of a stunning lack of creativity, like “Houston Texans” or “Shelbyville Shelbyvillians”.”

    The Los Angeles Angels

    If I remember my sixth-grade Minnesota state history correctly, the name “St. Paul” was concocted to put a more respectable shine on the outlaw smuggler’s haven of Pig’s Eye. French dude built a church, called it St. Paul’s, and then proposed that now that it was all respectable-like, everyone should call the place St. Paul after the church instead of Pig’s Eye after the local tavern.

    It would be a more interesting world if more cities were named after their taverns than their churches!

    It strikes me funny that UW so adamantly (and correctly) rails against teams with derogatory names, yet is ok with faith-bashing on a professional level.

    “UW so adamantly (and correctly) rails against teams with derogatory names, yet is ok with faith-bashing on a professional level.”


    where is UW “ok with faith-bashing”?

    jesus fuck…that’s a bit of a stretch

    It may be a bit of a stretch, but comments such as: “People who object to the atheism promotion are free to picket the stadium, get Bill O’Reilly to denounce it on the air (that’s surely coming, no?), etc., etc. Nothing wrong with any of that – free exchange of ideas.” The same could be said of the team name disputes, no?

    And a joke at the expense of the faithful: “Rumors that any player who points skyward or crosses himself after hitting a home run will be shot by a sniper in the stands are almost completely untrue”

    For the record, I’m a man of faith and I wasn’t offended. I’m not suggesting UW be outraged and, unlike ethnicity, religion is a choice, however, both are highly personal, white-hot-passion-evoking issues. It just seems to me UW’s playing both sides of the fence and you guys are usually more rational than that.

    It just seems to me UW’s playing both sides of the fence and you guys are usually more rational than that.

    First of all, I haven’t expressed an opinion on the merits of the atheism promotion, aside from stating that I like the discussion it’s spurred.

    Secondly, if one wanted to find a commonality between my (real) position on Native American names and what you presume to be my position on the atheism promotion, it’s easy to find: support for the marginalized group. That’s not working both sides of the fence; it’s seeing things from the marginalized point of view.

    But that’s only hypothetical, because I haven’t come out in favor of the atheism promotion.

    As for your “faith-bashing” accusation, that’s not a stretch — that’s just demonstrably wrong. The line you cite (about the sniper in the stands) was carefully written to cut both ways. Imagine Bill O’Reilly: “What’s next, are they gonna have a sniper who’ll shoot any player who crosses himself?”

    See, you’re imposing your own prejudices (about me) way more than I am here.

    Ok, I see your points, Paul and Phil. Seems I may have read the joke incorrectly and for that I apologize for any undue accusations. I wasn’t trying to pick a fight. It merely seemed on the surface that the firm UW stance on offensive team names didn’t appear to jive with the response given to something potentially offensive to Christians. No harm, no foul.

    Totally playing Devil’s Advocate here (pun unavoidable).

    Does the Saints’ Aints promotion leave the door open for, say, “Neo-Nazi Night”?

    I mean, aren’t THEY entitled to such exposure, too? Even if we don’t agree with their point of view?


    No, it does not “open the door.” That door is already open: Any team could partner with the American Nazi Party or its local Klan Klavern or, hell, its local Hell’s Angels chapter. This was already true.

    Fortunately, the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression and of association mean that no business or person is required to partner with Nazis, racists, or gangbangers. Just as the Saints were free to say no to the atheists.

    Nor does this seem like a circumstance that is likely to change public perceptions and expectations about the propriety of partnering with unsavory groups. Will anyone, anywhere, look at this event and rationally conclude, “I used to oppose baseball teams holding Klan Night at the ballpark, but since the St. Paul Saints held Atheist Night, I now fully approve of Klan Night?” No, of course not.

    Yes, I understand the Constitution.
    Carry a copy in my briefcase.

    Of course, they COULD do it.

    The point of the discussion I was trying to start was, well…see below

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Sure, the Saints have the right to partner with any sponsor they choose (including Minnestoa Atheists and, yes, including a Neo-Nazi group). But they don’t have an obligation to partner with any particular sponsor. Freedom of association and all that — it’s right there in the First Amendment.

    If the Neo-Nazis can find a team willing to collaborate with them, more power to them. And yes, there’d no doubt be a shitstorm as a result. Maybe there’ll be a shitstorm as a result of the atheism promotion as well — we’ll see. Either way, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. Care to elaborate?

    I’m asking not whether it would be appropriate, rather how we should regard it. Does it set in motion a change of thinking that now would oblige us to regard Neo-Nazi Night as just another wacky minor league promotion? Because our approval or disapproval of them doing it shouldn’t be based on whether we agree with the position or not. Isn’t it a Knife Cuts Both Ways kinda thing? If Athetist Night is okay, theoretically Neo-Nazi Night should be, too.

    What if a team wearing “Vote for Mitt” on their chests is in the offing?

    Perhaps “Obama 12”?

    Maybe wear throwbacks to that Ku Klux Klan baseball team whose photo was shown here a long time ago?

    Religion and politics are contentious, often divisive, subjects. Is it now okay for teams to step into such things?

    Sure they could. They have every right. My talking point essentially was getting at SHOULD they? Is it acceptable. And if not, where’s the line they shouldn’t cross?

    (As to it relating to the Saints nickname. Well, anyone who thinks “saint” is a solely religious term is just…wrong. The term has more than one connotation in the idiom. When someone says, “He/She is a Saint,” they aren’t saying that person is a Catholic, nor are they necessarily even commenting on that person’s religious beliefs at all. Same for “Saints preserve us.” That’s become a colloquialism.)

    As already noted, this door has always been open. People who object to the atheism promotion are free to picket the stadium, get Bill O’Reilly to denounce it on the air (that’s surely coming, no?), etc., etc. Nothing wrong with any of that — free exchange of ideas.

    Same thing if a team runs a Nazi promotion. Or a political promotion. And the response to such promotions — their failure or success — will no doubt influence the team’s decisions regarding future promotions.

    I honestly don’t see how any of this is any different today (now that you know about the atheist promotion) than it was yesterday (when you didn’t).

    Of course it’s different today (and once again, I wasn’t talking about the LEGAL door being opened).

    There’s an Atheist Night promotion out there now. Yesterday there wasn’t. Such a thing is no longer hypothetical.

    And if someone finds that to be okay, then they’d also have be okay with a team having Neo-Nazi Night. Constitutionally speaking.

    If one is acceptable, then there should be no getting all up in arms about the other. Constitutionally speaking.

    Let’s cut to the chase. What if it had BEEN Neo-Nazi Night? Or “Go to Church” Night? Would we just have said been, “Oh, look, what a daffy little promotion.”?

    Our opinion of teams crossing into religion and/or politics shouldn’t be based on whether we agree or disagree with the group or position represented.

    Otherwise we sound like every politician in the county: “When someone in MY party does _______, it’s okay. When someone in the OTHER party does it, it’s horribly wrong.”

    Don’t teams regularly partner with church groups (amongst many other organizations) to sell ticket blocks and what not?

    I think I’ve heard of minor league teams having “Faith Night” or some other similar promotions. If so, isn’t having “Atheist Night” just equal time (so to speak)?

    I can only imagine what Uniwatch would be like the day after “neo-nazi night” analyzing the throwback uniforms. :)

    True. And if we don’t bitch about Atheist Night we can’t bitch about Faith Night (Constitutionally speaking, of course).

    There’s an Atheist Night promotion out there now. Yesterday there wasn’t. Such a thing is no longer hypothetical.

    And if someone finds that to be okay, then they’d also have be okay with a team having Neo-Nazi Night. Constitutionally speaking.

    Constitutionally speaking, the team could partner with whomever they wanted yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Nothing has changed.

    People can respond to it as they like, too.

    All speech and associations are Constitutionally protected. That doesn’t mean we respond to all speech in the same manner. The Nazis had the right to march in Skokie (a right I fully support), and people had the right to stage a counter-demonstration (ditto). Some speech provokes response, some doesn’t.

    Our opinion of teams crossing into religion and/or politics shouldn’t be based on whether we agree or disagree with the group or position represented.

    Actually, our opinions are a perfectly legitimate way of guiding our individual responses to such promotions. But our opinions of a given point of view have no bearing on its Constitutional protection.

    I still don’t see what point you’ve made, or how things are any different today than they were yesterday. A team can represent any point of view it wants, and people can respond how they want. That’s always been true, and it still is. If religious people want to picket the Saints over Atheism Night, that’s their right — I have no problem with that (although I won’t be joining their demonstration).

    As someone who believes there is no god, two things upset me with this conversation:

    1.) These Atheist treat their lack of religion as a religion (the have a belief about god that they’re trying to convert non-believers – who, in this case, are believers – to their belief system) and therefore become just as annoying (if less absurd) as Pat Robertson.

    2.) Ricko’s jump in logic that somewhere in his brain connects neo-nazism with atheism. I like you Rick, and I’m not accusing you of anything, but your insistence that a group of Atheists have done changed the game and opened the door for groups who traffic in hate speech is a bit disconcerting.

    In my book, there are two types of ‘atheists’. There are people like me who remove religion from their lives and there are people who turn atheism into their religion.

    These people are clearly the second type and therefore, in my mind at least, this event was no different than if a local church had decided to sponsor the game and give out halos and pamphlets to the first 2,000 fans.

    I’m sure churches have sponsored minor league ball, its just not controversial to worship a god.

    (if someone even thinks about mentioning a certain backup QB for the Jets, I will find you and end you to his maker. JK – ok, maybe I’m not. Deep breaths, right Vilker?)

    I’m fine with the Nazi comparison — and with Nazi comparisons in general — because a good test of an argument’s logic is to see if it still applies even when confronted with an extreme example.

    Such as: Free speech is absolute.

    Oh yeah, even if Nazis want to march in Skokie, a town full of Holocaust survivors?

    Yup. And you can look it up.

    But Rick has invoked Nazis in a way that does not further any logical argument — that’s the problem.

    Stop refuting something I never said, guys.

    So for what, the fourth or fifth time, I never believe or said the legal aspect has changed. Not once. Legality was never on the table because that, I mistakenly thought, was assumed.

    I was asking if the metaphorical door had been opened for promotions of that ilk to be seen as acceptable. Not whether it made them legal. Of COURSE they’ve legal (I forgot how precise we have to be here).

    So now I’ve said it six or seven times.

    And there IS a actual promotion out there now, and that puts the discussion of the appropriateness—again, NOT the legality—of such things on the table.

    I was asking if the metaphorical door had been opened for promotions of that ilk to be seen as acceptable.

    Who says they’re acceptable now? There may be a shitstorm of reaction between now and Aug. 10. As I noted above, Bill O’Reilly is almost guaranteed to make a fuss over this. And there’s nothing wrong with that — that’s his job.

    I think the bigger question is what exactly — exactly — you mean by promotions “of that ilk.” I think you’re envisioning a certain category of culturally charged promotions, but that’s a very nebulous concept. By some people’s standards, we’ve already had promotions “of that ilk” for years now — Irish Night, Jewish Night, etc.

    Ok, but you’re linking atheism not with it’s counter point, devout religiousness, but rather hate speech.

    The proper counter point would be, is it ok for the Kane County Cougars to become the Kane County Born Agains, not the Kane Kounty Kougars.

    I’m not arguing a non existent point about legality, I’m saying I don’t think your connection of atheism to hate groups is logical or fair.

    “Ricko’s jump in logic that somewhere in his brain connects neo-nazism with atheism. I like you Rick, and I’m not accusing you of anything, but your insistence that a group of Atheists have done changed the game and opened the door for groups who traffic in hate speech is a bit disconcerting.”

    No, no, no. I clearly said I was playing Devil’s Advocate. Was asking if, from an acceptance standpoint (because, again, it WOULD be legal), if that door’s been opened, is it now open to all? Not connecting anything with anything else.

    I’d hate to see, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” start applying to minor league baseball promotions.

    Seems like it just isn’t the place.

    As someone who has long maintained that sports teams function as civic entities, not just business entities, I think it’s fair to ask whether a potentially divisive promotion fits into the civic spirit (which I think is part of what Rick is asking, yes?).

    On the other hand, if we never do any promotions with marginalized groups (and make no mistake, atheists are marginalized), that just reinforces their marginalization.

    One reason I like this promotion so much is that it raises all these issues. Lots more here than meets the eye. Good stuff.

    “I think the bigger question is what exactly – exactly – you mean by promotions ‘of that ilk.'”

    I gotta say that more than once, too? Religion and politics. Specifically. Narrowly.

    Recognizing an ethic group is not “Recognize Just Their Religion Night.” It’s recognizing their entire culture, which, of course, includes those things. But they aren’t the lynch pin of the celebration to the exclusion of all other aspects.

    “I think it’s fair to ask whether a potentially divisive promotion fits into the civic spirit (which I think is part of what Rick is asking, yes?).”

    There ya go. That’s the discussion I was trying to get started.

    That and… “Oh, crap, is this really something baseball teams have any business getting into…because if that particular can gets opened, how many worms are we gonna have to deal with?”

    Yeah, sorry about using Nazis.

    Wasn’t being that that cliche cheap. Originally had typed “American Communist Party” and, frankly, went with Neo-Nazis simply it more calls to mind uniforms…which would fit into any envisioning of such a promotion with this group.

    And again, was coming from a Devil’s Advocate position, so the intent WAS to spur discussion.

    Every time I read this part of the thread, I can’t help but think of Henry Gibson and the Neo Nazis in The Blues Brothers.

    I won’t pretend to have any ground breaking opinion, nor do I feel educated enough to join in on much of this conversation, but I just want to put in my two cents.

    I don’t believe that the Saints, or any other sports team on any level, have any responsibility whatsoever to support, advertise, or anything of the sort for any cause, group, company, etc. I’m of the belief that these teams sole purpose for existing is to entertain the people who pay for a ticket. I know this is probably a very “shallow” or “narrowminded” opinion, but I see no reason for them to play a role in ANY of the cries for attention being discussed.

    I do realize that these minor league teams probably need to take the revenue where they can get it, and I’m not trying to change the topic to whether or not there’s a line when it comes to capitalism’s fingerprint on sports teams, but I go to a game to see my team beat the shit out of the other team. Period.

    That’ll do pig.

    “As someone who has long maintained that sports teams function as civic entities, not just business entities, I think it’s fair to ask whether a potentially divisive promotion fits into the civic spirit”

    Paul, I agree with the “civic entities” aspect (If Clevelanders sufficiently back their team finacially, why should they be punished for the owner’s mishandling and have the team moved to….), however I see this from a business perspective (Me and that damn business education). The Saints and the vegan shop certainly have the right to post whatever signs they want or cater to a particular group (even if only for one night). But, as an owner, would you be willing to do that if it upset enough customers or particular customers? Is a promotion or sign worth it for what you could potentially lose? If you lose a certain segment of customers for good can you continue to survive easily? If, for instance, someone wanted to run a restaurant or team and go over the top with putting out a very strong Christian belief, are they willing to go down with the ship if the populous is not comfortable with getting religion handed to them somewhere other than church? Owners need to weigh that in what they do.

    “What if a team wearing “Vote for Mitt” on their chests is in the offing?”

    Ricko, that’s already happened. The lower level soccer team on Long Island that Paul posted a link to a week or two ago.

    In a completely tangential comment,

    It’s a shame the Nazis had to go and ruin the swastika for everybody, because that would make a damn fine logo (or part of a logo) in almost any sport.

    I wont be making any concepts with this idea (I would like to be eligible for jobs in the future) but if you use your EEEEEEmaginaaaAAAAaaastion and put it on the yankees home uni or replace the steelers’ helmet logo or put it on the DC United kits of old, that’s a damn fine uni addition.

    Just another reason to hate Hitler…

    It makes you wonder about the use of the “reverse/Indian/other” Swastika.

    Technically not the Nazi Swastika, but I’m sure just as off limits.

    My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I swear there’s an old building on the IU campus that had the “other swastika” as part of its mosaic tile pattern.

    On the flip side, the Saints’ mascot is a pig. Not a man in a felt costume that resembles a pig, but an actual sus scrofa swine, who is trained to bring balls to the umpire. So right there, the Saints are pretty blatantly flaunting the beliefs of two of the three major monotheistic faiths. What if a particularly observant Jew or Muslim played for or against the Saints and was forced to touch a ball that had been touched by a pig?

    This probably ought to be a bigger deal than Atheist Night, from the perspective of respect for and accommodation of, Abrahamic religious faith.

    “What if a particularly observant Jew or Muslim played for or against the Saints and was forced to touch a ball that had been touched by a pig?”

    You realize the ball is called a pigskin, right?

    I’m pretty sure that even a member of the Taliban would be allowed to touch a thing called “pigskin”, so long as it was not actually made of pig skin or other Haraam material. As both baseballs and footballs are covered in cow leather – discrimination against observant Hindus! – an observant Jew or Muslim should have no issues with handling it. Unless, of course, you dribble pig spit onto the ball before handing it to the umpire to put into play.

    I bet the God-hating folks who run the Saints offer cheeseburgers at the concession stands, too. Infidels!

    that was a fun read mr lukas, always happy to see someone get their piece, no matter the size by doing what they love in a way they love.

    …but just so you know, and i know the espn guys are responsible for this, there is a bad link for the blocks.

    oh! and great pcl vid, watched it all, and loooved it, goes with the 42 “trapper” i just got to go in my 40’s glove collection(if you can call it that). would love to have enough for a 40’s style game, my personal favourite era of the baseball.

    i aims ta please.

    for anyone:
    does anybody know what link is? or what it is from? i have one, had it going on 20 years, and wear it often somewhere when i ump, usually hidden. every know and again when somebody does something in a game i ump(maybe 1 or 2 of 30 in a week) someone does something that shows great sportsmanship and i make a commet like you earned your red cap, or something to that effect, and i show it to them. 99% of the time the person i show it to smiles and is quite proud of themselves for not being the clown, and they should be. anyway, i was always curious about this, have been forever. i obviously have looked a bit on the web, and found little. anyone actually know?

    The ‘Aints play Amarillo on Atheism Appreciation Night or whatever.

    Perhaps the Sox could be ‘rechristened’ the Foxholes for that game?


    Is there a more irrelevant, invisible, quiet, inconsequential sports franchise among the Big 4 sports than the Milwaukee Bucks?

    Not that I care about the NBA anymore, but there was a time when that team ruled the world…


    …and featured one of the most endearing logos in all of sports….


    …then they lose Kareem and Oscar retires and they add various shades of green then go…ugh…purple…and the great logo disappears and throw in a bunch of first and second round playoff losses…and no playoffs…then…then..what?

    Do the Bucks still exist?

    No replies to your comment. I guess that answers your question. Sad. Especially considering they included a college team.

    The Sofa Surfer is a sketchy seller who misrepresents and customizes items regularly. I would NOT recommend purchasing his items at all.

    I would NOT recommend spending anything north of $125 on ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH SPORTS MEMORBILIA AT ALL…

    carry on…

    Hey Paul I know how you’re a stickler for details. The meat hat ticker. Gotta ~bet~ get me one of those.

    i have a different league on monday as of now, but if i have them again, i’ll look into it.

    Just saw PL’s Tweet about the Jacksonville Jaguars’ black alternate. How lame, predictable, and disappointing. The old duds (adding gold, jaguar on sleeve) were pretty damn awesome, but they got canned in favor of a “streamlined, unambiguous, two-outfit system.” And now, this. Just, holy crap wow.

    The photo of Steve Nash in his Lakers uniform is terrible – reminds me of the old Topped traded baseball cards from the early ’70’s.

    That ticker item with the photo of the cowcatcher facemask, also showed a nice display of Chuck Taylors being worn. That “look” always struck me as funny. Big Bronko Nagurski types bleeding and banged up, and then you look at their feet, and they’ve got their wittle tennies on. If it means not falling on your arse on a slippery field, I suppose you just go with it. You don’t see that anymore. Or do you? Most, or all footwear makers, have come up with better cleat offerings.

    of course chuck taylor’s were cutting edge sneakers at the time, and wouldn’t have looked as “funny”, let’s not forget that. shoot, me and my 72 schwinn varsity keep up with(and pass) the best of modern bike’s ridden by ridders much younger then myself with the most expensive gear and racing shirts(pfffft!) on the paths of chicago every day, so don’t knock the olde school gear man. high tech 26.7% nike-i-fied that.

    BUT? if i can get that 600 pound chicago steel to pass the kids i surely can strike them out at wiffle, i’ll do that at 60.

    by the way, i was on my way home last night from a gig around midnight, just passing michigan ave on roosevelt, and i am flyin’, and standing to catch the lights, but my rig misses a sprocket or something, so my body jerks down, out of the toe clips, my chest hits the head, sack on the crossbar, and i am flintstone stopping for a half block ignoring the juevos, and trying to stay up. i was lucky to not loose control. but some guy waiting for a bus says, “you’re a lucky motherfucker, you were flyin’ brother, i don’t know how you didn’t fall. how’s yer balls?” “grrrr, fine, how do you think they are?” good news, i don’t have any grapefruits, i’ll skip he bad news about my chest. kill us, stronger.

    Applause for the old school gear. Just don’t tell me you’re one of those guys who pretend you’re in some make believe Giro D’ Second City, and it’s your last chance to qualify for the time trial. It’s a city/urban bike trail for gods sake. Find a velodrome.

    I’m getting a little tired of all this anti-Olympics, anti-Capitalist dogma on this website. Why is it that to some readers here, the Olympics or the USOC are not allowed to protect their trademarks, as is the case with the High School logo controversy? Why is it that it’s not okay that McDonald’s is not allowed to protect its role as the sponsor of the Olympics, as is the case with the French Fry controversy?

    Before you point the finger at the so-called “douchebags,” why don’t you take a look at yourself? What if you were in a similar situation? Let’s say ESPN decided to hire another columnist on Page 2 (or whatever it is called now) who covered stories about uniforms. My guess is that you, Paul, would be mighty upset about that because it would threaten your job and most likely be a breach of your contract. Moreover, let’s say someone started up a similar website, called it “Uni Watch,” and used the exact same magnifying glass logo. Would you be okay with that to avoid being a “douchebag,” or would you and your lawyers order them to stop? My guess is the latter.

    I personally don’t care what your opinion is on the issue of capitalism; my suggestion is that I’ve been a Uni Watch reader for a long time and I’m getting frustrated with seeing more and more space devoted to items that have little to do with uniforms or athletics and have a lot to do with attacking corporate “douchebaggery” and promoting left-wing politics. I have a degree in political science and don’t have a problem with the subject of politics, but when I read a sports blog, I expect to read about, you know, sports.

    Then change the dial, Pete.
    That said, I vaguely recall (and correct me if I’m mistaken or mis-remember) a ‘cease and desist’ memo being sent to a user of Twitter (a Twit?) who was either using the Uni-Watch name or handle or some other indicator which PL has ownership of(?).

    I sort of also remember that it had to do with somebody’s uni unveiling/leaked preview(Seahawks? Nets?), but since I can’t find supporting evidence (the comment post), my recollection is clearly suspect.
    My apologies.

    It was an article with a punny headline about Anthony Davis’ UNIbrow before the draft

    Something something Davis go in the draft something something

    when I read a sports blog, I expect to read about, you know, sports.

    When you read my blog you should expect to get, you know, me.

    See how that works? So if you’re “getting a little tired” of the content here, maybe this isn’t the site for you.

    As for ESPN hiring another uniform columnist, I’m all in favor of it, since it would take some of the burden off of me. Perhaps you’d like the gig? (And if you think my contract forbids ESPN from hiring another uniform columnist, well, I guess I should let you negotiate my next contract for me.)

    If someone else wants to start a web site called Uni Watch, they’re welcome to do so. The term is not trademarked, and I don’t have a lawyer. Again, maybe you’d like to give it a whirl? I suspect the readership will quickly figure out the difference between another Uni Watch site and this one.

    Either way, your analogy is a poor one, since the USOC isn’t suing people who are conducting similar operations to the USOC; they’re suing diners and schools, which have zero similarity to the USOC or to the Olympics in general. If someone started a restaurant called Uni Watch and I sued them, THEN I’d be behaving like the USOC.

    I don’t mind it when people disagree with me, but faulty logic and poorly reasoned arguments are depressing.

    I do think the IOC and respective national committees are within their rights to protect the rings, because that logo was explicitly created by the founder of the modern Olympic movement for use by that movement, and as such it is equivalent to any professional or collegiate sports organization’s logos. I do think the word “Olympic” should be available for fair use, if it’s being used in a “pertains to Olympia and Greek culture” sense. Use generic Greek imagery with the name is fine… just don’t use the rings.

    As for the “brand exclusivity” thing… sorry, that should only have to apply inside the venues. Curtailing expression in public areas that just happen to be close to the venues, just so that official TV cameras don’t accidentally get a glimpse of an offending logo when they decide to show a look outside, comes off on a really sour note.

    Besides, McDonald’s fries suck. It’s only when you get a batch that’s straight out of the fryer to your tray that they’re even remotely worth consuming. In any case, I’d rather have steak fries over Crappy-D’s crap any day of the week. And, oh yeah, link.

    Partially lifted, anyway. Seems staffers can have their chips with anything, but the public is still being curtailed. (Should probably finish reading the thing before posting, eh?)

    haaar. oh brown bagger, that is exactly why i come to the comments here and there beyond the top-noth content. i loves me my uni-watch.

    You said that you don’t mind people disagreeing with you, but the rest of your post proves to me that you are a complete child and incapable of taking criticism. Like I mentioned earlier, I have been a regular Uni Watch reader for some years now, and my main point was that I dislike the fact that this blog has become more and more political. Your response was to tell me essentially, “this is my blog, so fuck off.”

    What’s “depressing” to me (to use your phrase) is how you seem to treat your readership: with total disdain and arrogance. You’re right, this blog isn’t for me anymore, after all. You said, “When you read my blog you should expect to get, you know, me.” Well it’s taken me a while to realize it, but you sir, are, in fact, a prick.

    Your response was to tell me essentially, “this is my blog, so fuck off.”

    Not at all. My response was (and remains), “This is my blog, and whether you like it or not is completely up to you.” If you like it, great; if not, no biggie. Life goes on. But what you “expect to read” here (your words, not mine) is not particularly relevant to the discussion.

    And then I refuted and responded to your points, which you’ve now decided to abandon because you’d rather get personal. Which is what people usually do when they’ve lost the argument.

    And plus, Paul, you chose not to debate me on my argument, you chose to debate my analogy. Okay, my analogy may have been suspect, but the fact that you totally dodged the issue at hand shows me that you really only started up this blog to massage your own ego, not to actually debate and discuss the issues you present.

    This may be misplaced, but has anybody heard how “Fighting Sioux Forever”s blogspot is progressing?

    Just wondering.

    Has anyone thought about that this “Aints” promotion is a way to get those non-believers into the ballpark who don’t like the nickname of the squad? Once they are in and have a good time, maybe they will come back and enjoy a game when the “Saints” are playing.

    I’m glad someone is finally doing a faithless night. I know a lot of teams do faith nights where they usually have a Christian rock band play after the game. Like that’s all-inclusive. I wouldn’t go to one of those games if I got free tickets.

    I’ve been to one of those ballgames. The old Richmond Braves had such a day. I simply left at the end of the ballgame (It’s not like they locked the exits). During the game, I didn’t notice them playing up any particular religious angle. A couple extra busloads of kids was the only difference I noticed.

    Nice ESPN article.

    Is Amelie getting rights approved through the MLBPA, MLB, or directly from the players she is presenting on the cards?

    I’d figure those would be very expensive rights to acquire.

    But its Aggie, so what do you expect. Good luck in the Big Southern Dummy conference.

    Love it!

    A&Mers who hate the bevel logo are going to hate the bevel numbers but you probably wont be able to see that from a distance.

    !2th man on the sleeves is a bit stupid, but kids don’t wear them most of the time anyway! Wish the stripes on the socks went all the way around.

    I think that only the 12th Man representative on the kickoff team will be wearing those sleeves.

    My first thought was how stupid the “12th Man” crap on the sleeve looks. gonna look REALLY stupid on any player NOT wearing number 12…

    The name on the back of the jersey is Gill in reference to E. King Gill, the original 12th man. A&M has always put the “12th Man” moniker on the the sleeve of the 12th man representative, who is also the only player who gets to wear number 12: link

    The 12th man on the sleeves will only be worn by the 12th man representative on game days.

    Ok, that’s a little more understandable. Still, I think they’re getting carried away with it. Let the player wear the number. Keep it classy. This seems to be more “look at me!” and this tradition doesn’t deserve that treatment. Shame on Adidas(IF it was their idea).

    Like the stripes, don’t like the bevels, hate the “12th man” thing on the undershirt sleeves.

    One nice thing about the stripes is that the Techfit cut actually doesn’t screw them up.

    The only thing I really see wrong here… is that stupid SEC logo! Would have preferred a double stripe on the pants (or gray accent) – but realize maybe too busy for the double stripes on the jersey.

    Seems like there might be some serious alignment issues between the double stripes on the jersey and undershirt.

    That Badgers-Brewers-Packers logo has been ALL OVER Wisconsin since early last October, when the Badgers were scoring like 50 a game, the Packers were doing the same thing & the Brewers were on their way to the NLCS (especially after that first weekend when all 3 seemed particularly potent). About the first/second week of October, 2011, many of my Facebook friends had that logo as their profile pic (I’m a Wisconsin native/resident).

    See this article about an early version of the logo:


    And, then, this is dated September 25, 2011:


    Again, that logo was EVERYWHERE in this state last October…you know, before the Brewers folded to the Cardinals, the Badgers lost to Michigan State & the Packers couldn’t even get to the NFC Championship Game. I still see this logo on gear occasionally this year, as well.

    That Badgers-Packers-Brewers logo was ALL OVER this state (I’m a Wisconsin native & resident) in October. A lot of my Facebook friends had that logo as their profile pic that month. It really got going after the first weekend when the Packers & Badgers drubbed their opponents & the Brewers got off to a 2-0 lead in the NLDS (I remember it being considered something like the ultimate Wisconsin sports weekend).

    If you search for the logo, you’ll find this posted on September 25, 2011:


    And, then, this from October 3:


    I’ve seen that logo on hats & shirts even into this year:

    Sorry for the double-post, I didn’t see it go the first time. Anyway, the October 3 link in the last post is the best example of what I’m talking about.

    Check it out: Wisconsin sports in a nutshell!

    I just realized that this has never popped up on Uni Watch before. That’s been rather ubiquitous in WI since last October, when the Brewers were in the NLDS and NLCS, the Packers were on their way to 15-1 and the Badgers were charging towards another Rose Bowl. (And no, you don’t need to remind me how all those seasons turned out, thank you very much.)

    Similar images like this
    and this
    have been showing up on unlicensed merchandise ever since. I was tailgating before NLCS Game 6 at Miller Park and a couple entrepreneurs were toting a bag of t-shirts and hats and selling them in the parking lot.

    While I don’t necessarily like how it looks, I do like the idea. I’m just thankful the Bucks didn’t have to be incorporated somehow…

    No prob. Doesn’t hurt to have more pointing out just how omnipresent that logo was last October around here!

    That Meatcutters team also has a hockey team at Johnnies Ice House in Chicago

    In the link to the Jake Peavy mistake, I especially liked the part about the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat. I like that idea a lot. I think that’s a rather unique and good way for the Royals to honor him.

    The failure of the Special Committee to elect Buck O’Neil to the Hall of Fame is one of baseball’s particularly egregious sins against God and man.


    but by god phil rizzuto and bill mazeroski are in

    /that seems fair

    Without trying raise the ire of the Yanks fans and the media that is in their pocket, Rizzuto set a bad precedent. Nothing against the man himself. I found it interesting that when Maz got in, some of the people that would defend Scooter’s inclusion railed against Maz. This in spite of the fact that they were both very good defensive middle infielders that didn’t put up Hall-worthy offensive numbers.

    Is it just me or are the new A&M unis both belt and drawstring free?

    Has there ever benn a football uniform ever been pure elastic waist (I’m guessing that’s what that is)?

    Wont that lead to a lot more of this link ?

    If they’re Techfit pants, no. Notre Dame wore them, without belts, last season. This season, it’s been reported that, now that they’ve got a standard gold color for the helmet, they’ll have pants that are a much closer match. We might have to wait until media day to see if the pants are still without belts.

    The Techfit part, yes. I think a number of Adidas schools wore them (ND, UCLA, Michigan). I don’t think the lack of a belt was specifically mentioned.

    I lived in Austin when Madalyn Murray O’Hair was at her most strident peak. Generally, she was thought of as an obnoxious nuisance. And yet, these days I find myself making the same arguments to my religious friends. When I refuse to stand during “God Bless America” and go into a tirade about why I think it’s inappropriate- it’s like I’m channelling the old gal.

    And that PCL movie was great. Except the main lesson one takes away is: don’t let the Commissioner narrate.

    Her “atheist headquarters” was right down the street from my favorite restaurant link

    I find it amusing when teams do these kinds of “one-off” promotions. It’s a way to draw fans in. And the Saints have always been ones to push the envelope in terms of their promotions. If a Christian/Wicca/Pastafarian group comes along and asks to do the same thing, I wouldn’t see the issue if the Saints said “sure” or “no”. They’re a privately-held organization, they can do that.

    Also, the Triple-A Reno Aces are starting a 4-game promotion tonight called “What Could Have Been” had the team’s alternate choice of name (the Reno Ghost Riders) been selected.


    The logo and wordmark look neat, but the uniform is another BFBS alternate that is probably very uncomfortable given the heat wave that’s passed through Nevada lately.

    Ah, Atheist groups, those havens of facts, reason, logi… actually, no wait, I mean undertaking stunts which are the marketing equivalent of kicking your rival in the shin and making a stupid face at them as they look up to see what happened.

    I can never get over the irony of these kinds of organisations because the majority of what they do is exactly what they claim to be fighting: unreasonable infringement of certain dogmatic beliefs into what should be a society of free thought. I place sports as ground bloody zero for places we should not fucking push our religious beliefs, for or against.

    I long for a day when religious institutions and atheist institutions alike are banished from the Earth so that people can be free to make up their own fucking mind on issues of spirituality and morality without all the slander, hyperbole and propoganda which spews forth from these morons.

    “I place sports as ground bloody zero for places we should not fucking push our religious beliefs, for or against.”


    well said

    how do you feel about GBA?

    And while we’re at it, how do you feel about athletes pointing skyward and/or crossing themselves, Mike Singletary wearing a big cross pendant while working in a position of managerial authority, Christian bands performing after the game, etc.?

    Just askin’.

    I think everything you’ve described regarding the conduct of individual personnel (sky pointing, crucifix pendant wearing etc.) is incredibly unprofessional and that they should be kept in private where they belong. This should not be done because God doesn’t exist or a particular religion is wrong, but out of respect for the patrons, the fans, who are there to identify themselves along sporting and team lines rather than religious divisions. Any change needs to proceed along these lines because that way, rather than starting some unwinnable war over the meaning of life, you make the conversation about making places like sporting events all inclusive as they should be.

    Same goes for the playing of God Bless America or any other music which biases any particular religious belief. People should not feel alienated because of their religious beliefs at such events, not least by music.

    USA basketball playing the Dominican Republic on ESPN presently. Stars and Stripes sweatback. Legible player names on the back (in 2008, they were the jersey color with silver trim), but that might be a FIBA rule to have legible names.

    The back half of the home shorts is navy, which is a bit jarring.

    And of course, no USA Basketball logo, which is forbidden by Olympic rules.

    New kits for FC Porto, I am disappointed, definitely a weak effort, just seems like too much white and the blue is an afterthought. Maybe it’ll look better in action


    ESPN just ran an article about how Congress is outraged over how the USA’s Olympic opening ceremony get-up (ran in the Ticker yesterday) was made in China and not here at home.


    IIRC, Ralph Lauren’s 2008 apparel was made in China, too, and the politicians objected. Did it ever occur to the USOC to ask for a “Made in America” provision in the contract?

    Then again, it’s not like Ralph Lauren is the only offender. I’ll bet little to none of Nike’s stuff is made in America, either.

    Nice to hear that Congress is spending its time tackling the really important issues. Does Congress wear completely American made clothing when they show up for work?

    congress has every right to complain that the ceremony outfits look like complete shit (although i do like the white slacks and bucks), but not where they’re made

    that ship sailed looooooooong ago

    Nice to hear that Congress is spending its time tackling the really important issues.

    I’ve never understood this type of argument. So the only thing Congress is allowed to talk about is nuclear policy and the deficit? Keep that in mind the next time you need your Congressperson to do something local for you.

    Anyway, when we’re drowning in unemployment, our manufacturing sector is in the toilet, and companies are practically climbing over each other in a race to outsource everything to Asia, it seems to me that the issue of the Olympic outfits being made in China is quite relevant. If anything, it’s an unusually tidy symbol of our current corporate culture and resulting economic woes.