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Yesterday I took the subway out to to the U.S. Open in Queens, where I met up with’s tennis editor, Matt Wilansky, who’s soon going to be taking over the Playbook section (read: He’s my new boss). Quite a few people on the train were wearing U.S. Open shirts, U.S. Open caps, and so on — nothing unusual there. But one guy, pictured above, caught my eye, because of his sneakers, which I recognized as the official ball boy sneakers that Brinke had mentioned here on Uni Watch a few days ago.

So I approached the guy and said, “Excuse me, but are you a ball boy?”

“Yes,” he said, “I am.”

His name is Eric Adler, and he was on the train with his buddy Conrad Dias, who’s also a ball boy, although Conrad wasn’t wearing his official U.S. Open attire (he planned to suit up once they arrived at the tennis center). During the next half-hour or so, I pestered them with all sorts of questions, which they very patiently answered. Here’s what I learned:

• The ball boys are provided with two sets of uniforms, free of charge.

• The uniform consists of a shirt, shorts, and socks, plus there’s a warm-up-style jacket and pants that can be worn in cool weather.

• If you think the logo on the front of the shirt is big, wait until you see the back.

• “Ball boys,” is a colloquialism, of course. Eric and Conrad are both in their late 30s, and there are also ball girls/women (who are provided with a Polo-branded sports bra).

• The uniforms are theirs to keep when the tournament is over. Eric made a point of mentioning the attire’s monetary value, so I asked if he planned to sell the gear on eBay. He said, “Nah, I’ll probably just give it to my dad.”

• Grooming Code, Part One: no facial hair. This was tough on Conrad, who had to shave the beard he usually wears.

• Grooming Code, Part Two: no visible tattoos.

• The pay: $8/hour. Eric (who normally works as a video editor) and Conrad (a project manager for a software company) said this is actually pretty good, because most tournaments don’t pay ball boys anything. They don’t get any tips from the players.

• A big part of the job is being able to throw, because ball boys at the U.S. Open throw the balls to the opposite end of the court. At most other tournaments, including the other Grand Slam tourneys, the balls are rolled to the other end, which takes longer. (Conrad also noted that rolling the balls on a clay court, like at the French Open, is bad news, because the ball picks up little bits of clay as it rolls.) So if you can throw, you work “ends”; if you can’t throw, you work at the net. Eric and Conrad both work ends and both said they prefer it, because the visual perspective at the net is so skewed that it’s hard to follow the match.

• A big part of working ends is being ready when a player asks for a towel between points.

• Working a doubles match is a bit easier than working singles, because the players tend to confer between points, which means the pace of play is a bit slower.

• During the trophy presentation at the end of the tournament, some of the ball boys are called upon to carry and hold flags (a bunch of American flags, plus the national flags of the two tournament finalists). Conrad was a flag holder last year; Eric’s thinking he might want to do that this year.

• This is the second year working the Open for both Eric and Conrad. They met and became friends at last year’s tournament (which was the first time either of them had ever been a ball boy). Eric lives in Brooklyn; Conrad lives in San Francisco and flew to New York just to try out for the gig. This year he’s staying at Eric’s place.

As for my time at the tourney, I did see some tennis, but I was talking with Matt the whole time — getting acquainted, discussing ESPN stuff, etc. — so I wasn’t really paying close attention to the match we were watching and have nothing to report on that front. Sorry. Still, it was a productive Uni Watch day, thanks to my encounter with Eric and Conrad.

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College football update: FBS uni updates continue to trickle in (go back to the middle of yesterday’s post for more of them, and of course the mother lode is in my ESPN column from earlier this week):

•  The bulldog’s sweater on the Fresno State helmet is now red.

• Regarding those Georgia Tech honeycomb helmets, reader Jason Hirschey says, “While walking by Bobby Dodd Stadium today on my way to class, I peeked inside the gates to watch the football team practice. They were all wearing those honeycomb helmets.” Further info on the helmets can be found here.

• Temple has removed the “T” logo on the collar and added the school name on the chest.

• I had previously reported that UNLV would have a new helmet, but I didn’t realize they’d also have new uniforms.

(My thanks to Michael Rich and Max Torrente for their contributions.)

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Screen shot 2012-08-30 at 10.01.27 AM.png

NFL query: Got a note yesterday from reader Mike Cline Jr., who asked, “Are NFL officials now wearing the black pants full-time? It seems like they’ve worn them in every preseason game I’ve caught so far.”

Now, we all know the NFL officiating situation is in a state of flux, because of the labor impasse and the replacement zebras. So even if the slacks have been worn for every preseason game, that might just be a placeholder protocol until the real officials are ready to come back on the job. Still, it hadn’t occurred to me that the entire preseason had been bereft of white knickers. Is that true? Can anyone recall seeing any knickers-clad zebras over the past month?

I’ve asked the NFL about this (and about several other things), but they’ve been unresponsive so far. I’ll give them another friendly nudge today.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: As some of you are aware, there’s now a uni-centric podcast, called “The Logocast.” I was interviewed for the latest installment, which you can access here. … Jersey Snafus, Part One: The SF Giants wore their “San Francisco” road jerseys last night — except for Marco Scutaro. Even weirder: He put on the wrong jersey in the middle of the game. Details here. ”¦ Jersey Snafus, Part One: Several readers had nothing better to do last night than watch yet another NFL preseason game noticed that Packers QB Graham Harrell was wearing a Reebok jersey with a blacked-out logo last night. Apparently his main jersey got a tear, and then he had to switch to the Reebok product (screen shots courtesy of Steven Gates and Nicholas Honeck). ”¦ In a vaguely related item, someone on the Raiders sideline was wearing a Reebok jacket last night. I guess all these clowns didn’t get the memo about worshipping Nike, eh? (Screen shot by Rudy Gutierrez). ”¦ Man, the 1974 West Leyden High School basketball team sure had some crazy uniforms (from West Leyden alum Mike Hinkel). … Gordon Blau was watching the old 1960s sitcome Mothers-in-Law when this T-shirt caught his eye. “Looks kinda like the Red Wings logo with a wagon wheel,” he says. … Life Imitates Art That Imitated Life Dept.: Campbell’s is rolling out a limited edition of Warhol-inspired soup cans. Very cool. … Also very cool: this Reds-themed corn maze! … Yesterday I Ticker-linked to a photo of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh wearing a shirt with a cover-up patch. Now Mike Bergan has provided persuasive evidence that it’s one of his old Stanford shirts. … Good piece on the airbrushed artwork on hockey goalie masks (from John Muir). ”¦ Speaking of goalie artwork, Western Michigan goalie Frank Slubowski, whose nickname is the Big Slubowski, has the Dude on one side of his mask. His other nickname — Frank the Tank — is referenced on the other side (from Adam Bodnar). ”¦ New logo for the Hershey Bears. ”¦ Two New Zealand rugby teams — Otago and Bay of Plenty — went color vs. color the other night. “Was very hard to keep track,” says Andrew Kendall. ”¦ Lots of great SF Seals photos in this slideshow (from Frankie Parish). ”¦ A cartoon in this week’s New Yorker takes humorous aim at corporate douchebag sponsorship. ”¦ The Twins are sending out season ticket renewal packages that include a 2014 All-Star Game logo. Not sure how official that logo is (from Luke H). ”¦ Leo Strawn found two killer Dayton Triangles photos. ”¦ A high school in Florida recently sold the naming rights to its stadium (yes, a high school stadium — I can never wrap my head around that concept). Here’s what they plan to do with the money (from Tom V). ”¦ Prince Fielder’s helmet squatchee decal is still badly askew (from Blair Riffel). ”¦ Bill Theiss was at last night’s Steelers/Panthers game and spotted a few guys showcasing their striped socks. Maybe they’re gearing up for this year’s throwbacks. ”¦ “I had a work function on Thursday night at an art museum, and the instructions were to wear something that inspired us or a piece of art,” says Aaron Kusch. “What did I choose? Stirrups, of course. It was hard to get the blousing right with dress pants, but it seemed to work.” ”¦ “Sponsorship at the Paralympics is different than at the Olympics,” says Blain Fowler. “Sponsors get their logos right on the field of play and on the athletes’ apparel.” Hooray for equality, which allows even the disabled to be saddled with corporate douchebaggery! ”¦ A guy is Seattle is selling striped arm sleeves. “Bought a pair for the Seahawks game today,” says John Przebieglec. ”¦ I think it’s a safe bet that 49ers punter Andy Lee doesn’t wear a cup (screen shot by Rick Rutherford). ”¦ And that reminds me, Mets shortstop Reuben Tejada took a ground ball in the jewels the other day, and it was later reported on the air that he hadn’t been wearing a cup. His predecessor as Mets SS, Jose Reyes, never wore one either. ”¦ After the tennis yesterday afternoon, I went to Manhattan and met up with a friend to see Compliance. Ended up walking out after about 45 minutes — not because it’s disturbingly creepy (which it is), but because all the characters were so mind-bogglingly, cringe-inducingly stupid. Seriously, had none of these people ever watched a cop show on TV? ”¦ New basketball uniforms for Georgia Tech, and also a new court design. But they don’t have a honeycomb pattern, so they must be fakes (from Michael Rich).

Holiday Schedule: Phil will be back on board this weekend with his usual Saturday and Sunday content. The site will be open on Laborious Day, but content will likely be minimal. A happy long weekend to one and all.

138 comments to Trainspotting

  • Phil Hecken | August 31, 2012 at 7:56 am |

    nice lede today!

    if anyone is participating it “Stirrup Friday” today, make sure to take a pic of your rups and send it to me with a very short write up — gonna run that as a feature on the weekends

  • boxcarvibe | August 31, 2012 at 7:59 am |

    Paul, great piece on the ball-boys (ball-men?). Don’t you love it when articles plop down out of thin air? I’m not a tennis fan but I enjoyed that one.

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 8:10 am |

      Thanks. Yeah, I really enjoyed this one. And I especially liked that the whole encounter wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t recognized his sneakers — a true Uni Watch moment.

  • Keith | August 31, 2012 at 8:00 am |

    I thought I recognized that Hershey Bear logo from somewhere:

  • Craig | August 31, 2012 at 8:03 am |

    Love Georgia Tech’s new hoops uniforms. Classic, simple design. Shorts are a bit long though.

  • Winter | August 31, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    I might give the Paralympics a little slack on the sponsorship stuff. That said, those games are getting a tremendous amount of coverage in the Guardian and the Telegraph online. I kind of lament that in that I know that even if the Paralympics were being held in the US, no American paper would given it half the coverage.

  • Rob H | August 31, 2012 at 8:17 am |

    I imagine it’s probably likely that since they had to issue a whole bunch of officials uniforms to a whole bunch of replacement officials they opted to just give them each one pair of pants, although I thought the black pants were for cold weather, so if that was the case, you’d think they’d go with the white ones. I wonder if the uniforms not having the ‘position’ designation is also a function of all the replacements, or if that was a permanent change?

    • Jarrod | August 31, 2012 at 9:39 am |

      Actually those officials likely all had the pants from their usual leagues. Most leagues from junior high through NCAA division 1 have the black pants. They can be worn for any game.

    • kyle | August 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

      i’ve been wondering about not having uniform designations for the officials as well. is that just due to them being replacements?

  • Winter | August 31, 2012 at 8:17 am |

    and oh, the New Zealand rugby game you featured was ludicrous. Color on color is one thing, but the same colors?

  • Todd | August 31, 2012 at 8:23 am |

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the whole uniform aspect of sports, but who goes to the US Open and doesn’t have anything to report on the matches? That seems ridiculous to me. Why didn’t you just go to a coffee shop?

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 8:29 am |

      You might wanna go back and re-read the part where I said I was meeting my new boss for the first time and that we were jibber-jabbering about work-related stuff.

      • Todd | August 31, 2012 at 8:32 am |

        I read that and I understand. I do like the piece on the ball boys though, I always wondered about that. I think I’m just jealous, been years since I have been to the Open and always walked away having good stories about bouncing from court to court watching as much tennis as I could.

  • James Craven | August 31, 2012 at 8:31 am |

    RE: GA Tech honeycombs.

    There are a few on the new scoreboard at the arena the Yellow Jacket fans will say “I’m still calling it Alexander Memorial Coliseum.”

    • teenchy | August 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |

      I’m sure others will still call it by that slang term for a part of the human anatomy that it resembles.

      • Silver Creek Doug | August 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

        As a loyal UGA alum, you can damn well bet on it! :)

  • Juan Grande | August 31, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    “Speaking of goalie artwork, Western Michigan goalie Frank Slubowski, whose nickname is the Big Slubowski, has the Big Lebowski on one side of his mask. His other nickname – Frank the Tank – is referenced on the other side…”

    At least he could put an American tank on his helmet. That’s a Russian tank!

  • JamesP. | August 31, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    Happy Stirrup Friday – College Football edition: Even though my alma mater’s opener was canceled thanks to the hurricane, today’s stirrups are for my Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

    Thanks to Commrade Robert for the 1945 Phillies stirrups which is the same colors and stripe as LATech football uses.

  • Joe from Eagle Mills | August 31, 2012 at 8:42 am |

    West Leyden High School also had fan-shaped backboards in that picture. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those.

  • Chris LaHaye | August 31, 2012 at 8:46 am |

    enormous upgrade for UNLV.

    • Chris Holder | August 31, 2012 at 9:15 am |

      Agree, Chris (And is it just me, or are there a ton of people named Chris in the comment section now? It’s like I’m back in elementary school…).

      Are we seeing, at least with some schools, a return to a sense of “classic” uniforms instead of the newfangled, overly-designed unis of the last ~10 years? Seems like there have been several positive upgrades for various schools this year, despite the aberrations from the Marylands of the world.

      • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |

        I hope so. Getting tired of Ninjas and outfits that look like a 1950’s shower curtain.

    • Bernard | August 31, 2012 at 9:30 am |

      I was just about to post the same thing. I straight up love their uniforms now.

    • LarryB | August 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

      They looked sharp.

  • T'Challa | August 31, 2012 at 8:47 am |

    Awesome ball boy (ball man?) write up, the shirt & shorts are ok but those shoes are really cool. BTW the Fresno State bulldog link doesn’t work for me.

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 8:54 am |

      Fresno link now fixed.

  • Terry Proctor | August 31, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    Those West Leyden High School basketball uniforms weren’t so crazy back in 1974. They’re right out of the infamous SandMark series of complete uniform packages by Sand Knit. If your team wore SandMarks you were considered to be the ultimate of “cool.” We even had a couple of schools do their own fundraising so they could buy a set of SandMarks that the school districts wouldn’t pay for. You had to be there in those heady pre-disco days.

    • DJ | August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am |

      Except zoom in on the coach’s t-shirt.

      It reads “EAST LEYDEN.”

      Back in 1974, East and West Leyden ran separate athletic programs. East Leyden were the Eagles, West Leyden the Knights. Since 1981, the two schools run a combined athletic program, using East Leyden’s nickname, and West Leyden’s blue and gold colors.

  • Kek | August 31, 2012 at 8:53 am |

    Hershey Bears logo is utter shit.

    Never should have went away from this:

  • Dumb Guy | August 31, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    Football players don’t wear cups.

    • Chris K | August 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

      And a punter with a Rockette inspired leg kick may find discomfort in wearing one.

  • Dumb Guy | August 31, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    Mothers-In-Law: Great show. Who doesn’t love Kaye Ballard or Eve Arden??

  • Dumb Guy | August 31, 2012 at 8:55 am |

    The Harbaugh seatshirt/jacket logo coverup is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a great while. Poorly executed too.

  • Dumb Guy | August 31, 2012 at 8:57 am |

    Raiders Reebok jacket…… I know the NFL has Nike as their uniform provider, but guys can still wear other brand items, right? I’ve seen Wilson QB towels. Maybe sideline gear doesn’t necessarily need to be Nike. What brand caps do the guys wear these days?

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 9:06 am |

      Wilson has had the exclusive towel license for years. I actually wrote about this way back in 2005:

      Team personnel are supposed to wear only Nike gear now (except for caps, which are New Era).

      • Mike Moves | August 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

        The first 49ers preseaon game (8/18)all of the heavy jackets that were worn on the sidelines were all Reebok, afterall it was 55 degrees on a Saturday night in August.
        I guess the Nike guys got the winter clothes in because last night they were all Nike.

  • Kevin | August 31, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    Those UNLV uniforms look great. Why can’t more teams look like this instead of that over the top Oregon crap.

    • T'Challa | August 31, 2012 at 9:04 am |

      UNLV certainly looks better than last year, but now they look like tOSU’s west coast extension school.

      • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am |

        Let’s do a little homework, shall we?

        Generally speaking that’s the look UNLV wore when Randall Cunningham was there. Isn’t like they looked around in 2012 and decided to imitate tOSU. And the absence of black accents and striping is a substantial visual difference. If anything, it’s similar to the Memphis Showboats, but the Rebels were wearing that before the Showboats existed…

        Too bad the new helmet isn’t actually silver. We can count on one hand the number of major college teams wearing silver helmets.

        Gray doesn’t count. If silver is “metallic gray”, then Old Gold is “metallic khaki”.

        • T'Challa | August 31, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

          Fist off, love the strip 2nd I know they don’t look just like tOSU but I thought the one liner was good so I shoehorned it in there :-)

      • LarryB | August 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

        Yes as a Buckeye fan I am partial to UNLVs colors. But I agree with Kevin. It looks like what a typical college uniform used to be. Normal mid stripe on the helmet.Nice and normal pants stripe. A very good look.

    • Anthony S. | August 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

      I love the new UNLV unis but it looks like they took the Kansas State unis idea and just changed the colors. The new helmet would look better with a silver, gray looks too dull.

  • Jarrod | August 31, 2012 at 9:37 am |

    The NFL refs wearing pants is likely because the NFL is not going to force the replacement officials to buy the NFL knickers. Almost nobody at any level lower than the NFL wears knickers of any kind anymore. They all wear the pants, even when it’s 90 degrees. They make a lightweight pant that breathes really well. They’re just simple polyester so any breeze blows right through them. The “foul weather” pant (as they’re called) are the pants that were initially allowed a few years ago to only be worn in foul weather. The foul weather and lightweight pants look exactly the same. Before I dress for a game I have to hold one in each hand to tell the difference.

  • Mike D | August 31, 2012 at 9:43 am |

    That’s not the Big Lebowski, that’s The Dude. The title character of the film is Jeffrey Lebowski, The Dude’s doppelnomer.

    The Dude: “I figure my only hope is that the big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my dick off.”

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 9:55 am |

      Right. Sorry. Will fix.

  • Jeff H | August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    I thought you said the close look at ball sacks was yesterday…

    • Mike Engle | August 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |


  • zmiller | August 31, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    Jesus Christ, would you shut the fuck up about sponsorships?! Did it occur to you that the ability to hold the Paralympics might be hinged on the sponsors. I doubt it’s a big money maker. You’re insertion of opinion into the ticker has really turned me off your website. You may be one of biggest pretentious asshats around!

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 10:31 am |

      Yes, because as we all know, the Paralympics didn’t — and couldn’t — exist until they plastered corporate logos all over everything.

      And yeah, I have some nerve giving my own opinions on my own web site. Imagine that.

      • zmiller | August 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |

        Sponsorships are mutually beneficial, I’m sure these athletes as are all athletes grateful for the opportunity to represent their country and it would be made much more difficult to compete without the sponsors. You give your shitty opinions in the main article and that’s fine. But in the so-called news ticker you repeat your opinion in a very whiny fashion and it’s not a good look

        • JenInChicago | August 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |

          The audacity… his own opinion on his website…..

        • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:08 am |

          Sponsorships are mutually beneficial…

          Ah, yes — of course they are. That’s why Enron Field worked out so well for all concerned, and why ads on NBA uniforms will be such a boon to mankind.

          Meanwhile, someone already has the job of deciding where I’m allowed to give my opinions on this site. (Hint: That someone isn’t you.)

        • Winter | August 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

          Someone sounds whiny, but it’s not Paul.

        • Mike V. | August 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

          Is that ‘someone’ Phil? Or is it your cats? I want to go with cats….final answer.

    • Brinke | August 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |


    • BrianC | August 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

      Lighten up, Francis

  • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    More than 10,000 people showed up for the International Cat Video Festival at the Walker Art Center last night.

    I thought you’d all want to know.

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |

      And were you one of those people?

      • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

        I was not, sadly. Was home doing another frickin’ storyboard for work.

  • Jimbo | August 31, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    Am I the only person who thinks the Polo logo is horrible? Seeing is one inch high on the shorts is one thing, but the grotesque size on the US Open shirt (& Olympic gear) is another. The logo on the back of the shirt looks like they used a photocopy for the artwork. I’m surprised they don’t have a better rendering.

    An Adidas or Nike logo would look much better when scaled to that size. (Not that we want to see that.)

    • Anthony Nuccio | August 31, 2012 at 10:57 am |

      I would agree with you. It’s not like Polo isn’t recognized enough in the fashion world. If it was up to me, I would have a smaller Polo logo on the front and some form of the US Open on the back.

  • Anthony Nuccio | August 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |

    Very nice lead story today Paul. I’ve always thought being a ball boy at one of these world-class tournaments would be one of the highlights of being alive. It’s just fascinating how you met two of the ball boys riding the train out there. I’m definitely envious of you being able to attend the US Open. Hopefully I’ll be able to go up to New York to see it one day.

    I still can’t stand the honeycomb/golf ball helmets, but maybe they might look good on the field. I do have to stand by with a commentator on the linked article when they said that when it comes down to it, as long as the uniform has been used and dirtied by playing on the field, it shouldn’t matter how cool they might look.

    I would also like to thank you for posting the story and photos of goalie masks. Those are certainly some of my favorite aesthetics when it comes to the sport of hockey.

  • JenInChicago | August 31, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    Soooo, in that image of the possible 2014 All-Star game logo, does that really say “Red Halter” on that box in the background?

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |

      We can’t see the whole sign. Maybe it says, “Scared Asphalter.” Or something….

  • ChrisH | August 31, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    “Temple has removed the “T” logo on the collar and added the school name on the chest.”

    What the Owls should have done was remove the “T” logo from the helmets and replace it with the school name (like they used to have on their lids). During the Al Golden era, they were the best dressed team in the NCAA(though they looked much better when they wore this):

    Best of Luck to the Cherry and White tonight! Beat ‘Nova!

  • Jon | August 31, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • The Jeff | August 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |

      Adidas should be ashamed of those shoulder things.

      • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |

        You mean the tribute to UCLA stripes?

        • Chris K | August 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

          Somebody should be ashamed of how those shoulder stripes look today. Like if Whistler’s Mother were sitting in a futon.

    • Tony C. | August 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

      when i flipped to this game, i imagined people from this foaming at the mouth and seething in anger over these stripes

  • ejsteeler | August 31, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    I’m sure you already know this, but Compliance is based on a true story of similar events in Kentucky and other places. That’s not to say those people weren’t stupid either, but it’s not the screenwriter’s fault:

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |

      I know, but you’re assuming that everything that was scripted/spoken in the movie happened exactly the way it did in real life. Movies — even ones based on true events — don’t work that way. Which means it *is* the screenwriter’s fault.

      • ejsteeler | August 31, 2012 at 11:58 am |

        Of course I understand that the screenplay isn’t an exact duplication of the event. But in attempting to nail the tone/vibe of how people would be duped by this, they would have to appear somewhat gullible/stupid. I thought it was an excellent film.

        • Chance Michaels | August 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

          I haven’t seen it yet, but regardless of the story’s origin, it’s the screenwriter’s responsibility to make the characters’ actions plausible within the context of the film.

          There has to be a way to create an environment where their actions are plausible, in context, to the audience.

  • Graham Jaunts | August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    “Ended up walking out after about 45 minutes – not because of it’s disturbingly creepy (which it is), but because all the characters were so mind-bogglingly, cringe-inducingly stupid.”

    Awesome sentence is awesome. I know, a typo/grammatical error is not really “stupid,” but I giggled nonetheless. Juuuust poking fun!

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |

      Good point! Now fixed.

  • The Rob | August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    Saw Compliance this weekend, and stayed through it. WShile the people are not very sophisticated thinkers, it is based on real events. Over 70 such incidents have been recorded over the last few years. PT Barnum knew what he was talking about.

  • Mark K | August 31, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    The replacement officials were all given one full uniform which they must return once their gig is over- so it wasn’t to save the officials any money. The NFL long black pants are not the same ones a college official would have- they have a wider white stripe.

    I heard the NFL was done with knickers- regardless of the labor situation.

    I believe the positions are not on the uniforms because many guys have worked a few positions in the preseason and leaving the letters off the shirts just made it a whole lot easier.

    Incidentally, the uniform numbers were assigned to the officials in alphabetical order by last name. There is no number 1 or 13.

  • Kevin Allen | August 31, 2012 at 11:58 am |

    Finally something by Nike that Paul would even approve of…too bad it’s $150.,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-556532

    • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

      I am SO buying one of those
      (if I can find it in a retail location to get the size correct).

  • JimWa | August 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    Regarding the Compliance movie … I find it cool to see it getting so much recognition … mainly because I graduated HS – and took acting classes – Pat Healy, one of the stars. I’d like to think I taught him everything he knows. I’d be horrifically wrong, but I’d like to think that nonetheless.

    • JimWa | August 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

      … WITH Pat Healy …

  • Matt13 | August 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    Both the NCAA and NFL have moved to black pants in all games.

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

      What’s your source for the NFL doing that?

      • Matt13 | August 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

        I am trying to track down the primary source. I know what my secondary source is (an NCAA referee,) but that still isn’t an authoritative source.

  • pflava | August 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

    UNLV really, really deserves recognition for what has to be viewed as the biggest uni-upgrade in college football this season. My goodness, they look outstanding now. And it’s amazing how bold simple striping and block numerals look when compared to so many clown suits!

  • Kevin Z. | August 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    Some, but not all Rice players were wearing owl wing undershirts last night against UCLA:
    Interesting, but might have looked better if the base was navy like the jerseys.

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

      Forgive my ignorance, but have they worn those before?

      • Simply Moono | August 31, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

        As far as Rice goes, no. The mural-shirt thing has been done by Adidas since last year (and other companies beforehand), and this is Rice’s first year as an Adidas program. Tennessee’s wearing those checkerboard undershirts from last year.

    • Anthony Nuccio | August 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

      That’s a nice look for Rice.

  • LarryB | August 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

    Ohio State is supposed to wear these new uniforms Saturday.

    Picture was in Urban Meyers office.

    Not a clear shot of it. Just slight changes

    • LarryB | August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

      I am rather disappointed they are not bringing back the gray sleeve stripes.

      • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

        Wouldn’t the cute little red socks be better with saddle shoes, though?

        And maybe a red and gray pleated skirt?

    • Tony C. | August 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

      if this is the case, this is the 1st time Nike didn’t make a big deal out of a uni change especially for the school with a football program the size of Ohio State.

      i think that’s probably a mock up of the Pro Combat unis that they’ll wear later in the year

  • Arr Scott | August 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    From the tweeters, a photo of President Obama wearing a Nationals 1924 throwback cap:

  • BrianC | August 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    “Several readers had nothing better to do last night than watch yet another NFL preseason game noticed that Packers QB Graham Harrell was wearing a Reebok jersey with a black-out logo last night.”

    Looks like they whited out the stupid “NFL EQUIPMENT” on the NFL shield patch, too.

    • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

      Makes you proud to be a fan, doesn’t it.

  • quiet seattle | August 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    Great lede!

    “Ball boys,” is a colloquialism, of course. Eric and Conrad are both in their late 30s….”

    The Seinfeld episode with Kramer as ball “boy” immediately came to mind.

    I wonder if I, at 52, should make a pilgramge to NY and try out for next year’s tourney? ;)

    • Chris K | August 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

      Working the end of the court. Nice. But at the net, he could get his 15 seconds of fame, like this ballboy/man.

    • Patrick_in_MI | August 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm |

      I too thought of Kramer as a ball boy, love me a good Seinfeld reference! Apparently, he wore FILA back then.

    • Tim | August 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

      I expect no-one to believe me, but in 2000 & 2001 I was a ballkid at the Australian Open, and I can’t remember which year it was but there was amazingly a ballkid named…Cosmo Kramer! He was 14 so he was named prior to the Seinfeld series.
      The coincidence got some local media coverage at the time but unfortunately I can’t find it online anywhere.

      P.S. I disagree with the comment the throwing the ball to the other end is faster – what you gained in speed you would lose in accuracy. Different strokes for different folks.

  • James A | August 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    A Pennsy-centic post:

    1. I like the new Hershey Bears logo (despite what others may say here. It’s a vast improvement over their prior logo which just looked like a rip-off of the Chesapeake Icebreakers. A storied franchise in the American Hockey League shouldn’t take it’s cues from a defunct team that existed for two season in the (I’m still calling it) East Coast Hockey League.

    Chesapeake Icebreakers logo:

    Previous Hershey Bears logo:

    2. I know that minor league teams do what they have to to get attention and draw people to the ballpark, but this makes me roll my eyes. The Williamsport Crosscutters (Class A New York-Penn League, Phillies affiliate) is giving away Obama and Romney bobbleheads as a way for fans to “vote” for the election:

    I can just see people that feel like they need to show up super early and camp out so that they can show that their candidate is better because their bobblehead ran out. And some of said fans would try to extrapolate that this was a good sign for their man on election day, blah, blah, blah. I’m glad I won’t be going to that game.

    • Arr Scott | August 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

      I agree about the Hershey Bears. Couple of complaints, though. The dark brown is too unsaturated. Needs to be richer. And the red just doesn’t pop. Not sure if it’s too dark a hue, or the wrong saturation, or needs to be physically larger, but brown and red can be a great combo. This isn’t, and it’s because the red is just not bold enough somehow.

      I would totally get to the Williamsport ballpark early to get the “right” bobblehead. But I would also make sure my wife came with me and chose the other one, so that we could display one earnestly and the other, ironically. And yes, I’d take some stupid pride if my candidate’s bobblehead ran out first, even though I know better and I would myself have just sabotaged the whole “voting” angle of the thing!

  • Rick | August 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

    Did any other yinzers catch Edmund Nelson’s comment about some of the Panthers socks last night? “Gotta get some white in those socks.”

  • ChrisH | August 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    Yesterday it was the “Fighting Sioux”, today it’s the “General Lee”:

    • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

      The General Lee is being forced out of the NCAA?

    • Tim E. O'B | August 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

      I heard they’re replacing it with this:

      A little on the nose, no?

    • Arr Scott | August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

      I’ve long fantasized about turning the blue-and-stars portions of either of these Union flags:

      into a decal for the top of my blue car, putting a #76 on each door, and calling it the General Grant.

      Personally, I don’t find the Confederate flag any more or less offensive than the name “General Lee.” If they’re not going to change the name of the car to stop honoring a traitor who waged war against the United States, then don’t bother taking the flag off the top, either. And within the context of the DoH mythos, it has to be named the General Lee, so it ought to have the Confederate flag.

      • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

        Personally, I don’t find the Confederate flag any more or less offensive than the name “General Lee.”


        Serious question, no snark intended: Aside from the Civil War, has there ever been an armed conflict where one side (a) lost the war and (b) is generally agreed upon to have been morally in the wrong, yet (c) still has its military and political figures lionized as heroes?

        • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

          And one of those who drank the Kool Aid assassinated a President, too, when the war had barely ended.

          I guess it’s a brother vs. brother thing. Y’know, beat the crap out of each other in the backyard, then go in to have dinner and watch a ball game.

          Simplistic explanation, I know. But it seems to be the one that fits.

        • Arr Scott | August 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

          Not all that uncommon when English-speaking people shoot at one another. Think for example of the romanticization of Royalist forces in the English Civil War and of the various Jacobite rebellions thereafter. Similar things in South Africa and the Boer War. I don’t know if the same nostalgic fog attaches to “lost causes” in, say, other European states, or in Asia or Africa.

          But yeah. Personally, back when banning flag burning was all the rage, I used to make the following offer: I’ll agree to your ban on flag burning, if and only if it also includes a ban on anyone displaying the wartime flag of any nation that waged war against the United States, and a federal ban on any state or local government displaying any flag associated with armed rebellion against the United States. You can arrest that hippie for burning a flag just as soon as I can send the National Guard to take the Confederate flag down off your state capitol building. Never got a lot of takers, oddly enough.

        • Arr Scott | August 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

          Ricko, even more than the brother thing, I’d say it’s that the winning side has much less interest licking or reopening the wounds. Winners don’t constantly replay the game and think about the pitches they should have swung at or the free-throws they should have made. That’s what the loser does. The North, and loyal Americans in general, had more important things to do in the decades after the War of the Rebellion, than stew over the causes and justice of the war. The South, and those who fought or lost loved ones fighting for the rebellion, not so much. Anyway that’s the explanation usually offered for why Southerners so came to dominate academic study of the Civil War up until the 1970s.

        • Ricko | August 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

          Good point, Scott.

          I’d wager the Drew Pearson vs. Nate Wright “Hail Mary” get replayed and discussed a lot more often in Minnesota than it does in Dallas.

        • Paul Lukas | August 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

          It goes beyond flags. Monuments to Confederate military figures are all over the South, and Jefferson Davis’s Birthday is still an official state holiday in most southern states.

          That doesn’t offend me as a northerner; it offends me as an American.

        • Phil Hecken | August 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

          “It goes beyond flags. Monuments to Confederate military figures are all over the South, and Jefferson Davis’s Birthday is still an official state holiday in most southern states.

          That doesn’t offend me as a northerner; it offends me as an American.”


          what offends me is that we still even consider there to be a “north” and a “south”

          (or an “east coast bias” and “flyover country” and similar geographic epithets that get tossed around)

          and what exactly is a “real american”?

        • Bernard | August 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

          and what exactly is a “real american”?

          Not what, but WHO

      • ChrisH | August 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

        If your “blue car” is an AMC Rambler (pun intended) I’d love to see that!

        Anyway, would you consider removing the Confederate flag from the car featured in “The Dukes of Hazzard” akin to watching a scrubbed version of “Blazing Saddles” (both Warner Bros. properties IIRC)?

        • [name redacted] | August 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

          As a kid (before vhs), all i knew was the tv version of blazing saddles.

          Plenty of surprises when i saw the uncut version as a teen. Best part: i had assumed the church bells scene welcoming sheriff bart was edited for tv and loved that it wasnt, since thecomedic effect is better with the bells. However, the organ scene is funnier to me uncensroed.

        • Coleman | August 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

          Hey, don’t knock blue AMC Ramblers…

          That’s my baby!!!

      • James A | August 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm |

        While I’m not fond of people flying Confederate flags per se (They lost; we fly a 50 star now), I find this move kind of silly. The car will still be called the “General Lee” but won’t have the flag? The “Southern Cross” flag started as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia led by…General Robert E. Lee. Granted, that original battle flag was usually square instead of rectangular and sometimes a lighter shade of red (almost pink sometimes), but the use of the flag makes sense given the name of the car.

  • [name redacted] | August 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

    As a former hershey sth, love the new logo. And as mentioned above, the old skating bear was a wonderfully kitschy logo too.

  • Peter | August 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm |

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this but Nike must have a uniform template with wings on the shoulders. I saw the same wings on Eastern Washington last night ( as Bowling Green ( and Eastern Michigan ( They must have heard about how much Paul liked them on the Oregon unis…

    • Simply Moono | August 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm |

      “I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this but Nike must have a uniform template with wings on the shoulders.”

      Nope. Those are all Adidas uniforms you linked to.

      • Peter | August 31, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

        Shows how much I know

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

    NC State vs Tennessee is color vs color tonight.

    • Patrick_in_MI | August 31, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

      At first glance, red v. orange isn’t the ideal color-on-color matchup. But at least it’s tempered by Tennessee’s white helmets and pants.

      • Tony C. | August 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm |

        has NC STATE went with the red helmet instead of their normal one..

        • Tony C. | August 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm |

          wish* not has

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | August 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

    As a former WB/S Pens STH (when I still watched hockey) I hate that new Hershey logo and the new uniforms. But of course I would. Looking at them in a vacuum however other than the stupid and pointless shoulder striping, chest striping, and armpit crap they don’t look half bad. Good luck seeing the numbers on the alt from more than a foot away however. I’m also not a fan of the alto bear head logo or the red stripe in the paw logo… Or the weird arm, jersey strip on the alt. The new colors are nice though.

  • Patrick_in_MI | August 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm |