John Rocker and Todd Jones Were Unavailable for Comment

Yunel's eyeblack has a disappointing message.

A bizarre story began unfolding yesterday afternoon, as a Blue Jays fan who goes by the name James G. posted a Flickr photo he’d taken on Saturday of Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar. As you can see above, the photo shows Escobar wearing the message “Tu ere maricón” on his eye black, which translates to “You are a faggot.”

Shortly after the photo was posted on Flickr, the story got picked up by lots of blogs and major media outlets. Soon my colleague Jerry Crasnick was reporting that MLB is looking into the matter. (For the record, eye black messages of any kind are not permitted under MLB uniform and equipment guidelines.)

There’s a lot of ground to cover here. Let’s start with the guy who took the photo, James G. He posted the following message alongside the photo on his Flickr account:

I have been conflicted about posting this picture since [Sunday] night. I have a privileged seat near the Blue Jays dugout and [it] allows me a close-up of some pretty awesome moments. This one, however, is really disappointing. For those whose Spanish isn’t fluent, have never seen Scarface, or fail at Google, Yunel’s eye black “Tu ere maricón” translates to “You’re a faggot.” There are some small Spanish locales where it translates to “pussy,” not “faggot,” but that’s a very small possibility.

I started asking myself why I wouldn’t just post this image right away. It needs to be seen and it needs to be known that this is not okay. I was concerned that the players may be able to recognize that this was me who took this picture and would therefore rebuff the whistleblower, but this is something Escobar wore on the field. He knew the possibility that a member of the Red Sox [who Toronto was playing on Saturday] noticed it and commented on it, or even the umpiring crew. This is a bad word. It’s a homophobic slur. It may have made a closeted Blue Jay/Red Sox very upset inside. There are a million insults he could have used that would have been funny. This was not one of them.

I was also worried that some Blue Jays fans would accuse me of “rocking the boat” when I should have just ignored it, but that’s a problem with progress. When you hear or see something wrong, it’s up to everyone to let people know that that’s not right. “That’s gay,” “You’re gay,” “You’re a fag,” “You’re a faggot” are not acceptable insults in 2012. They are slurs and we need to get rid of them. When our sports heroes proliferate their usage, our progress takes a step back.

How did it happen? Did Yunel write it? Did someone else write it and Yunel put it on anyway because he found it funny? Would he have ever gotten away with it if it was in English? Was Yunel’s “flu” on Sunday [he was scratched from Sunday’s game with flu-like symptoms] the truth or a disciplinarian action? There are Spanish-speaking coaches [on the Blue Jays] who should have recognized and nixed this immediately as well.

I like Yunel a lot. He’s the one who pays me the most notice when I’m at the games. He points to his fans, tips his cap, and recognizes the support he is given. This was a mistake I hope he learns and he will never make again.

The next person I’d like to hear from is Escobar. But he has not yet commented on this story (I suspect that will change at some point today), so we’re left with a bunch of puzzle pieces to sort through. One at a time:

• First, in case anyone thinks James G.’s photo was Photoshopped, it turns out Escobar’s eye black was also captured in this wire photo.

• This is not the first time Escobar has worn a message on his eye black. On Sept. 2, he wore “Chilling.” Note that the handwriting on the eye black in that photo looks very similar to the “maricón” handwriting.

• Some observers have suggested that Escobar may have been the victim of a prank, but I don’t see how that’s possible. How could anyone not notice something written on his eye black stickers before applying them? I suppose a teammate could have written something on the stickers after Escobar was already wearing them, but that seems unlikely. Even if that’s what happened, wouldn’t Escobar have looked in the mirror to see what had been written? (And if that’s what really happened, then it just means someone else on the Jays has a very fucked up sense of humor instead of Escobar.)

• Another thing I’ve heard is that “maricón” is a common, conversational taunt among Hispanic players and that “it isn’t meant as an anti-gay insult.” I have no idea whether that’s true, but I think it’s beside the point. It’s like a white Mississippian in 1960 saying, “Sure, we call all the colored folk niggers, but we don’t mean anything by it.” It’s basically saying someone should get a pass for belonging to a culture that’s few generations behind the curve of civilization. That doesn’t fly when you’re a major-level professional playing in a diverse, world-class city like Toronto. (As an aside, imagine if a black player had worn “Yo Nigga” on his eye black and then written it off by saying, “It’s how me and my homies always talk.” Not quite the same thing, since that’s one group of people talking about themselves, instead of talking about another group, but it still wouldn’t fly. And if that wouldn’t fly, neither does a slur directed at another group like “maricón.”)

• I’ve also heard a bunch of people suggesting that terms like “maricón” and “faggot” are standard locker room fare, so what’s the big fuss? Fuck that. Just last week we had the story of two NFL players standing up for marriage equality. If the NFL — pretty much the last socially sanctioned bastion of mainstream caveman/troglodyte behavior — can join the rest of the human race here in the 21st century, so can MLB players.

• I know someone is going to claim that the MLB investigation raises “free speech” issues, so let’s deal with that now: No, this has nothing to do with free speech. Can you show up at your job wearing a T-shirt that says, “You are a faggot”? Right, didn’t think so. That’s not a free speech issue; that’s just a basic rule about appropriate conduct in the workplace, and that’s the basis on which MLB is looking into it. Escobar remains free to express as much bigotry as he likes on his own time.

Those are the basics. One thing I haven’t heard mentioned, though, is that the term maricón has a sad history in professional sports. Back in the early 1960s, welterweight champion Emile Griffith was widely rumored (accurately, as it later turned out) to be gay. During the weigh-in for his 1962 title bout against Benny Paret, Paret grabbed Griffith’s ass and said, “Hey, maricón. I’m going to get you and your husband.” The following night, Griffith literally killed Paret in the ring, knocking him out in the 12th round and sending him to the big sleep from which Paret never woke up. (You can get the full story in this excellent Sports Illustrated article from 2005.)

I’ve been called maricón myself. Back in 2007, my then-galpal and I participated in the sixth annual No Pants Subway Ride, an admittedly silly mass-performance-art stunt. Most bystanders accepted it with good humor, but one very angry-seeming guy looked me up and down and hissed, “Fucking maricón.” We got off at the next stop. (I’ve also been called faggot, queer, and gay over the years, primarily by people who think anyone who writes about uniforms must be a homosexual. I think that’s sad, but not as sad as when a guy insults another guy by calling him “bitch,” which makes me depressed for the entire state of humanity.)

Anyway, back to Escobar. A good solution would be for him to do some volunteer work at a gay youth crisis center. And this would also be a good time for the Jays to record one of those “It Gets Better” videos, like the 49ers just did. Meanwhile, this episode offers the latest chunk of evidence — as any more were needed — that real eye black is better than the stickers.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

This early-1970s Bengals game jersey has a tag for Koch’s Sporting Goods, easily Cincinnati’s finest sporting goods store. Back when I was growing up there, they were always doing work for the Reds and Bengals (and probably still are). Seeing that tag takes me back.

As for the rest of this week’s eBay picks:

• Back in the day, we saw some terrific-looking NFL posters. Here are some of those classic designs, but this time they’re on smaller cardboard placards, from Fleer. Never seen these before. How did I miss them?

• Check out this awesome-looking 1940s Providence Chiefs scorebook!

• These NFL pins from the 1970s look to be for the AFC Central Division at the time.

• Don’t see too many NFL apparel items from Bike, but here’s a clean and classy look for this 1970s Detroit Lions pullover shell.

• Great-looking Dodgers decal here. That’s Brooklyn Dodgers, folks, from the 1950s.

• You might not play hoops like Dr. J could, but you can still wear his shoes.

• Love the look for this 1970s SF Giants BP jersey.

• And finally, staying by the Bay: here’s a great-looking 49ers bobblehead from the early 1960s.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here, and you can follow Brinke on Twitter and Facebook.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Robert Griffin III once again covered up the swoosh on his pregame warm-up shirt on Sunday, only this time he did it by wearing an unbranded shirt over his Nike compression shirt. … Neglected to mention yesterday that Duke wore solid black on Saturday (from Jordan Bartels). … Here’s a good slideshow of New York City construction workers and how they decorate their hard hats. ”¦ And here’s another slideshow, showing how my local transit authority is selling ads on every available space, even stairways. ”¦ The newly revealed mascot for the 2014 World Cup is an armadillo. ”¦ Here’s another high school with a 49ers-style uni design: Lakeville South in Minnesota (from Nick Mozley and Scott Gurrola). … Here’s another quarterback wearing No. 40. That’s Ed Rutkowski of the 1968 Bills (from Timothy A. Tryjankowski). … Roger Faso notes that Reggie Bush’s shoes were pure white on Sunday. … Lots of sensational photos from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League here (from Dan Cichalski). … ran an online debate on the pros and cons of alternate jerseys (from Jon Ullman). … Here’s an amusingly over-hyped video about the new Knicks uniforms. ”¦ New 50th-anniversary patch for Wisconsin hockey (from David Petroff and Nicole Haase). … The NFL and Tide have produced a a series of video clips focusing on the uniform histories of all 32 NFL teams, beginning with the Bears and Packers. Additional installments to come as the season progresses. … Several readers have noticed that those Papa Johns commercials featuring Peyton Manning show Manning wearing a jersey with a Nike swoosh but an old-style NFL Equipment patch. Also: No “Broncos” wordmark on the chest. Also-also: Corporate chain “pizza” sucks. … “Without the correct uniforms, a team cannot hope to win the pennant.” That statement comes from this awesome 1915 primer on baseball uniform design (great find by Todd Radom). … Excellent overview of Knicks uniform history here (from Robert Silverman). … Brief mention of Uni Watch toward the end of this article about a New Jersey high school’s football uniforms (from Bill Erdek). … Indy car driver JR Hildebrand has been driving a 49ers-themed car and wearing a 49ers-style race suit. Of course, they botched the authenticity of suit design by giving him three full sleeve stripes (from Ben Mayberry). … Comrade Robert Marshall has found either the most fucked-up or the most brilliant eBay listing ever. ”¦ The Arizona Cardinals NOBs are supposed to fit into that red yoke area on the back of their jerseys, but someone forgot to tell that to whoever sewed on Kevin Kolb’s nameplate. ”¦ No photos, alas, but here’s an article about two L.A.-area high schools whose uni numbers were very hard to make out (from Joe Nocella). ”¦ Former Mets second baseman Wally Backman, who managed the team’s triple-A affiliate in Buffalo this season, is now up with the big league club as a September coach. His uni number: 86. Very nice. ”¦ Meanwhile, the Mets can’t even draw flies at Shea these days, but they’ve nonetheless added some new field-level seats. It’s an experiment in advance of next year’s All-Star Game, which the Mets will be hosting. ”¦ The striking Chicago teachers have been wearing softball-style “Chicago Teachers Union” jerseys. ”¦ An unusual confluence of uniforms and pop cultural icons in this photo of Bob Hope and Superman, the latter portrayed by Kirk Alyn, who was the first movie Superman. Get Hope some real stirrups! (Thanks, Ricko.) ”¦ Good piece about how Purdue’s gold tones have evolved over the years (from David Shepherd). ”¦ Logo update for the Idaho Stampede of the D-League — old on the left, new on the right (from Mark Snider). ”¦ Someone on the Steelers’ sideline was wearing pink gloves and an Adidas shirt on Sunday (screen shot by Chad Todd). ”¦ Florida’s softball team has put out a poster showing 15 team members wearing 15 different uni combos. “I’m counting seven jerseys, four pants, and four stirrups,” says Andrew Lassiter (and I see at least two different belt colors).

197 comments to John Rocker and Todd Jones Were Unavailable for Comment

  • Ryan B | September 18, 2012 at 7:15 am |

    “The Arizona Cardinals NOBs are supposed to fit into that red yoke area on the back of their jerseys, but someone forgot to tell that to whoever sewed on Kevin Kolb’s nameplate.”

    It wasn’t just Kolb. A vast majority of the Cards had the same issue, which leads me to believe that the yoke area shrunk from the Reebok cut to the Nike one.

    • Adam w | September 18, 2012 at 8:17 am |

      I suspect it’s more about the side tunnel placement than that of the name plate. It happened to the bengals for the past years and, for some reason, the Nike template fixed it. It was much easier to see with the stupid white side panels of the bengals, but some of the panels stopped below the shoulders pit while others stretched around e shoulders. I suspect this is the primary issue.

  • julius | September 18, 2012 at 7:19 am |

    All language is protected by free speech, even insults…not that a professional major league person should wear that, but there is precedent to let this go…Ozzie Guillen said the word, it IS part of everyday language in many many areas…do I like it? no…but to dictate what is and what is not acceptable crosses a line that anytime anyone utilizes vulgar language should be vilified is the greater crime

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 7:23 am |

      OK, so we now have one person who either didn’t read or ignored a key paragraph of today’s post. Let’s see how many more fall into this category….

      More importantly, even if Escobar doesn’t end up being penalized by MLB, freedom of expression does not confer freedom from criticism, freedom from backlash, etc. Should the Klan be able to march? Of course. And should we condemn them when they do so? Of course. That’s the marketplace of ideas. And the ideas being expressed on Escobar’s eye black are unacceptable.

      • Winter | September 18, 2012 at 8:32 am |

        I agree.

        I also wish people would be more okay with being offended. Sometimes, if you’re offended, fine, be offended. Sticks and stones and all that. Not everyone needs to apologize to me because I’m offended. Sometimes, it’s okay to be offensive, even necessary. See Lennie Bruce or George Carlin.

        This is not one of those times. This is just an example of a lack of class and maturity. I don’t know how old Escobar is, but grown civilized men don’t do such.

      • Publius | September 18, 2012 at 10:29 am |

        Paul – Does the medium of the epithet matter in your condemnation of Escobar? Rather than writing this, suppose you heard Escobar says this to another player(s) on the opposing team?

    • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 7:42 am |

      Here’s an idea, gang. Let’s walk into our boss’ office today and call him/her a faggot.

      Then, after he/she fires our ass, claim our right to free speech has been violated. Good luck with that.

      We need to understand these protections are from GOVERNMENT restriction of such things.

      • ChrisH | September 18, 2012 at 8:59 am |

        (Insert “straw man argument” comment here)

        • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 9:01 am |

          Nice try, but not at all. Not at all.

          We do NOT have a presumed right to free speech in the workplace, and that’s the issue here.

      • Clayton Lust | September 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

        exactly – thank you Ricko. I used to work for a large bank (one of the ones everyone hates) and they told us flat out at employee orientation that we have the right to free speech, the government will in no way censure us, but they (the bank) will fire us in a second for speech that violated company policy, was indecent, or in any way was perceived to harm their business.

    • Drew | September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am |

      Escobar has free speech rights to say whatever he wants, but that does not protect him from the consequences that come from saying/displaying such a hateful word.

      • Mark Graban | September 18, 2012 at 7:59 am |

        Paul and others are correct… the Bill of Rights protects your speech from government control. There are consequences from your employer and public opinion if you say offensve things. People really don’t understand our Constitution.

        • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 8:03 am |

          Case in point: Joan Rivers claimed Costco’s decision to not sell her new book was a violation of her First Amendment Rights.

          Stick to red carpet fashion comments, Joan.

        • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:25 am |

          It’s also worth remembering that our Constitution is, um, irrelevant in Toronto.

          The issues we’re debating are still debate-worthy, natch. But let’s keep in the mind that Canada has its own rules regarding free expression (which are generally a bit more restrictive than ours).

        • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 8:36 am |

          That’s a given.
          But if people are going to point the Constitution in this discussion, their basic premise ought to be accurate.

        • boxcarvibe | September 18, 2012 at 8:50 am |

          The Braves couldn’t get rid of Escobar any faster than they did. Long on talent but short on class, he was not well liked in the clubhouse. I can see why.

        • Arr Scott | September 18, 2012 at 9:39 am |

          For a clear explanation of the legal differences between the United States and Canada, see


        • RedWing in Colorado | September 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |

          I just had this discussion in a government class. Free speech does not equal consequence free speech. I know Paul made the point, but it bears repeating. You can say what you want without fear of prison, or GOVERNMENT retribution, but the Jays are not the government, and thus any retribution is merited.

          Now, were this a case of religious expression (and in the States), I suspect he might have some very shaky ground to stand on, since MLB has an anti-trust exemption, and a creative attorney might try to get from there to government endorsement, but that’s a straw man for a different day……

        • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 10:23 am |

          For a clear explanation of the legal differences between the United States and Canada, see


          When I was six years old, we went on a family vacation to Montreal. I asked my father what Canada was like, and he said, “It’s just like here, only a little bit different. You know how you breathe in and out? In Canada, the little boys breathe out and in. And you know how you go on the swing set and swing up and down? In Canada, they swing down and up.”

          In retrospect, it was a pretty good (and very sweet) way of explaining something to a six-year-old. My father was very good at coming up with the right thing to say at that kind of moment.

          But I did spend a fair amount of time on that vacation staring at people and trying to see how they breathed.

    • SDot | September 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |


      You are correct. As a Canadian who lives in both the US and Canada, I can attest that there are several unique differences.

      The major difference is that in Canada, “hate speech” against “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation” is not protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Hate propoganda” is also an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

      Canada has even gone as far as stripping the citizenship and deportation of Holocaust deniers, for example the case of Ernst Zundel.

      • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

        I believe Canada also has more restrictive laws regarding pornography, doesn’t it?

  • P.W. | September 18, 2012 at 7:28 am |

    As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you that this word is not just used to call someone the “F” word. It has multiple meanings. Yes, it can be used as the “F” word, but it is also used to simply call someone an “A-hole” too. As for the “chilling”, you must understand the Escobar’s first language is spanish and he is probably just learning to read and write English. I’m sure that it was meant to be “chillin'” as in the slang term. Take it easy on the kid!

    • Phil Hecken | September 18, 2012 at 8:07 am |

      “this word is not just used to call someone the “F” word. It has multiple meanings. Yes, it can be used as the “F” word, but it is also used to simply call someone an “A-hole” too.”



      that makes it so much better

      • P.W. | September 18, 2012 at 8:52 am |

        Just making the point that he may have not been trying to call someone the “F” word. Not condoning what he’s doing at all.

        • Chance Michaels | September 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

          If he meant something else, Escobar should have no trouble saying that. Until he does…

  • Bullets | September 18, 2012 at 7:36 am |

    “sports hero”

    Your argument is invalid

    He’s a baseball player, he gets paid lots of money to hit a ball. He’s not a hero, he’s not a role model. If you see him that way, that your problem and shows an inability to identify redeeming values in an individual

    • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 7:45 am |

      You aren’t around kids much, are you.
      Or maybe you just forgot what it’s like to be one.

      • Bullets | September 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

        I’m 24, so many would still consider me a kid

        I work in public safety and interact with high school aged kids on a regular basis

        My parents educated me early on that athletes are just people not to be worshiped or called a hero, especially when there are many who wear a different sort of uniform every day

        • Chance Michaels | September 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

          Right – a football uniform. ;)

  • Chip | September 18, 2012 at 7:37 am |

    Looks like Escobar will have to address it today. This is the Blue Jays press release on the situation:

    Blue Jays comment regarding Escobar
    The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.

    Alex Anthopoulos, Sr. VP Baseball Operations and General Manager will be available to the media tomorrow afternoon at Yankee Stadium and we expect him to be joined by Yunel Escobar, Manager John Farrell and Coach Luis Rivera. Details and location for the media availability will be announced tomorrow.

    • Bethany | September 18, 2012 at 9:03 am |

      I’ll be very interested to see if Yunel does more than read a prepared statement.

      • Le Cracquere | September 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

        God, I hope not. Not because Escobar didn’t do something to be embarrassed about, but because the inevitable PR kabuki is so contemptible. Whether he robotically reads a prepared statement or mutters something in his own words, it’s probably insincere, and at best he probably half-understands what the problem even is. He and/or the Blue Jays will undertake some dreary, camera-worthy penance, and no one will have learned anything.

        I’d rather Escobar didn’t apologize if he doesn’t feel like it, let fans & ballclubs be tacitly agreed that he’s a flagrant douche-canoe, and be done with. The PR aftermath just stirs a healthy dose of meretriciousness into the already unappealing stew.

  • BurghFan | September 18, 2012 at 7:41 am |

    Hard to tell for sure, but the guy on the Steeler sideline could be the one who signals when it’s a TV time out. If so, the sleeves are actually more orange than pink.

    • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 8:28 am |

      My thought too. It’s got to be a TV guy of some sort.

      • Chad | September 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |

        that’s what I figured. the adidas shirt is what surprised me the most. you’d think that nike would be throwing shirts at everybody involved, at this point

    • Jarrod Leder | September 18, 2012 at 10:10 am |

      You are correct about the TV Time Out Guy. In college they call him the “Red Hat” because he wears a red hat. The screen shot isn’t the best. It’s more of a red/orange color in person. Not sure why he doesn’t get a Nike shirt though. Most of these guys are officials at college and high school levels that the league trusts. I’m not shocked that the NFL didn’t provide him a shirt. If the NFL wants Nike everywhere then Nike can pony up 32 TV Time Out shirts.

      • Joe | September 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm |

        I could be wrong, but I thought the TV Time Out coordinator worked for the broadcaster (in this case CBS) and not the NFL. If that’s so, he could wear whatever CBS allows him no since he’s not playing the part of a Nike billboard.

  • name dedacted | September 18, 2012 at 7:54 am |

    Well, people will have something else in toronto to talk about instead of the lockout.

  • alisa | September 18, 2012 at 7:55 am |

    Great piece! Thank you for your excellent analysis and insights.

    I had created a petition and It Gets Better presented it to the Blue Jays last year. They refused to do a PSA for LGBT teens and against homophobia (even though 7 other MLB teams had already done them). The Jays PR man said they would wait for an MLB directive. So to my mind this is not only about Escobar, but reflects the organization’s failure to take a stand on homophobia.

    • Joe | September 18, 2012 at 8:21 am |

      Why is it the Blue Jays’ responsibility to take a stand against homophobia? Maybe they just don’t care.They are a baseball organozation. Their only responsibility is to field a team and pay their players. Do they need to take a stand against factory farming, too? Puppy mills? Hunting? Vegetarianism? At what point do we draw the line, after everyone can feel self-satisfied because they “made a difference”?

      I’m not condoning the Escobar incident. However, it is not the Blue Jays’ or any other MLB organization’s duty to make PSAs about any of this crap.

      • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:23 am |

        Ah, the classic “Where does it stop?” argument. An oldie but a shitty. A great way to shut down the discussion instead of engaging with it.

        Here’s a better question: Where does it start?

        You personally have no “responsibility” to take a stand against bigotry either. It would just be, you know, a good thing to do.

        • Joe | September 18, 2012 at 8:39 am |

          The Blue Jays or any individual can take a stand against bigotry without some phony, “look at me” PSA.

        • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:43 am |

          If you think “It Gets Better” is “phony,” I suggest you talk to some gay kids. You might find it enlightening.

        • Joe | September 18, 2012 at 9:06 am |

          I think the issue here is that I don’t give a fuck about other peoples’ problems and I don’t expect anyone to give a fuck about my problems. If I have a problem, I take care of it myself instead of demanding that everyone else make PSAs to alert the world of my plight.

        • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 9:22 am |

          Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.

          For the rest of us who don’t pretend that the world begins and ends with ourselves, let’s please move on. Thanks.

        • Nines | September 18, 2012 at 9:28 am |

          Joe, I think that you misunderstand the point of the “It Gets Better” PSAs. They aren’t made by gay individuals to fix their problems in life. They are for the benefit for a part of the viewing audience that is gay, young and unsure of their future.

          It isn’t a “please help me” PSA. It is a “we can help you” PSA.

        • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |

          Joe understands that. He just doesn’t believe in people helping people. (Must be fun to be his neighbor.)

          Again, let’s please move on. Thanks.

        • Joe | September 18, 2012 at 9:51 am |

          I am not against people helping people. I am against people feeling entitled to others’ help upon demand. The original comment stated that the Blue Jays “refused to do a PSA for LGBT teens and against homophobia.” That is absolutely the Blue Jays’ right. If they want to make a PSA, that is great and I’m sure it would benefit someone. They don’t have to make a PSA just because someone asks them.

        • RedWing in Colorado | September 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |

          Hang on. I want to make it clear that I don’t agree with Joe or Mr. Escobar and I think that this expression of hate is deplorable and juvenile. However, I’m not sure that you should dismiss the “where does it stop” argument so quickly out of hand.

          After all, isn’t that the basic premise of the crusade against uni-ads? Certainly, in the majority opinion here, we view a slippery slope argument against ads as morally superior to a slippery slope argument against teams engaging in PSAs. Nevertheless, the basic structure is the same; if this starts, when will it stop?

          Now, it is certainly easier to take the high ground against ads, especially if we accept teams as civic organizations, but the argument itself isn’t lazy or shitty. (even though Joe’s presentation of it is, in my eyes, both).

    • ChrisH | September 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |

      With all due respect, the last sentence of your comment sounds a bit Eric Stratton-esque:

      So what if they did not take up your cause? Just look at the Blue Jays organization’s community outreach (the ones they choose to publicize…there may be more that go unreported or which are taken up by individual players/front office/ etc…):

  • teenchy | September 18, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    Re the SF Giants BP jersey: I’m surprised the seller didn’t mention Moffitt’s slightly more famous sister.

    • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |

      Yeah, people forget she played under three different names.

  • Oakville Endive/Celery Root | September 18, 2012 at 8:01 am |

    It’s wrong, but at the end of the day, it simply comes down to a young man who made an error in judgment, who’ll apologize today, and life will go on.

    A baseball team (or any sports team) – strikes me as somewhere between a proper work environment, and a university frat house, where immaturity/less than appropriate behavior is always just below the surface. I sometime find these moments as good reminders that a lot of the individuals we follow and support, are actually not very likeable.

    • Oakville Endive/Celery Root | September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am |

      One add on comment to complete the thought, in situations like this, I find it’s often pretty transparent that what really concerns the team is not so much that a player offended a community, but instead a player revealed that he can be a bit of jerk (i.e. any thing that potentially impacts the false perception that these are individuals that need our support)

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |

      Oooh, the little “4” stitched on the inside of the loop is a really nice touch.

  • Pittsburgh Contrarian | September 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |

    Re: the Florida softball pic – at least there was not either a all-orange or all-black uniform.

    • PG-13 | September 18, 2012 at 8:18 am |

      I like the three white versions on the right. Although the white with orange pants is pushing it a bit for me.

  • Ryan | September 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |

    JR Hildebrand’s 49er’s car and suit were for the IndyCar race at Sonoma, near San Francisco. This was a promotion devised by race sponsor GoPro – the CEO is a big 49er’s fan.

    • Duncan | September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am |

      If I recall, Harbaugh is actually a co-owner of Hillebrand’s team, hence the #4 on the fire suit as well.

  • MB | September 18, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    My Spanish is rusty, but shouldn’t it be “Tú eres…” with an ‘s’?

    • Omar Jalife | September 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |

      Yes indeed. In fact it can be translated 2 ways as tu stands for you (Tú) and your (tu), let’s say that, since he went all capitals, he didn’t used the accent on the u but he meant to use the pronoun so:

      You r maricon*
      your r maricon*

      Either way he is an idiot writing in spanish too.

      *so many uses in many places that I don’t know what he really meant. For example in Colombia marica is like saying friend, man, buddy, etc with no sexual conotation at all but he’s from Cuba and I have never met anyone from there.

    • Le Cracquere | September 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

      I’m not a Spanish expert, but seem to remember that in many Caribbean dialects–including Cuban–the final “s” tends to get replaced by a breathy “h” sound, or left off altogether. If so, it’s probably a deliberate misspelling meant to reflect Escobar’s accent … akin to a Brooklynite scrawling “Dose guys stink!” on a stadium sign.

  • Seth | September 18, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    Peyton Manning is wearing a practice jersey in the Papa John’s ad. That’s why there’s no wordmark and it has the old NFL Equipment logo. Denver has been wearing the old Reebok practice jerseys. They just added a Swoosh to them.

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:33 am |

      Ah, good call. And that’s not old Reebok stock — the new Nike practice gear has the NFL Equipment patch. That’s the new system: NFL logo on game apparel, NFL Equipment patch on practice apparel.

  • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 8:30 am |

    I’ll go with burnt cork over sticker or schmutz any day!

  • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |

    RE: RE3…..

    Cant he just go to Dick’s and get a non-logoed compression shirt off the rack, and not have to diddle with all this brand (dis)loyalty stuff???

  • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 8:32 am |

    1970s Detroit Lions pullover shell….

    I’ve always loved that Racing Stripe Lions logo.

    • BoilerWes | September 18, 2012 at 10:32 am |

      Me too. I wish that pullover was my size!

  • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 8:34 am |

    Cool stuff from the Tide history bits.

    Last week (and probably this week too though I didn’t see it), there was a Tide commercial with the NY Giants equipment guy praising Tide for being so great.

  • BC | September 18, 2012 at 8:42 am |

    The photo of the person on the Steelers sideline wearing “pink gloves”, is actually of the “red hat” man who is wearing orange gloves. Confused yet?

    That person stands on the sidelines and is communicating with the production truck to inform the Referee of when to take a commercial break, and when they are able to put the ball back in play following a commercial.

    The reason they are called a “red hat” is from the 1960’s when this position originated they wore a red hat to stand out from others, now they rely on giant orange oven gloves.

    Via Google “NFL Orange Glove Guy”…

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:44 am |

      Good info. Thank you!

    • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 8:50 am |

      I remember watching the red hat guy on the sidelines.

      When he took off his hat and held it “Pledge of Allegiance” position on his chest, officials would call a TV time out. As soon as he put it back on his head, the officials would get things started again.

    • Chad | September 18, 2012 at 9:54 am |

      any idea if he’s employed by the league or the network? the adidas gear was the big eye grab for me, since all the nike hubub

      • Jerry | September 18, 2012 at 10:56 am |

        I think he is hired by the networks, which could explain the Adidas t-shirt. It only makes sense, if he was hired by the league, you would think they would give him a Nike shirt to wear.

    • ACMESalesRep | September 18, 2012 at 11:44 am |

      The CFL guys are much easier to spot: Red shorts/pants, white shirt, red hat and they stop play by walking out to the numbers.

    • duker | September 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

      The guy who does this for the games in Baltimore wears a bright green hat. (Like Seahawks snot green.)

  • Hank-SJ | September 18, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    Wasn’t aware that eye-black is available in peel-n-stick form. Glad I tuned in today.

  • Rob S | September 18, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    If Hildebrand’s suit is “botched”, then so is Alex Smith’s uniform this season, since he’s wearing the full three stripes on his sleeves.

    Yep, the 49ers QB has gone from truncated to full stripes.

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 8:54 am |

      Yep, the 49ers QB has gone from truncated to full stripes.

      But only Alex Smith and David Akers. Their default stripe format is still truncated.

      • Rob H | September 18, 2012 at 9:12 am |

        But isn’t the quarterback/kicker style of the full sleeve the actual “complete” uniform — it’s just that the other 95% of the roster have it altered to snugly fit around the shoulder pads or whatever. I’d say the full stripe is the “default”.

  • Mike V. | September 18, 2012 at 8:55 am |

    If you are going to use vulgar and/or offensive language on the diamond, please follow Billy Ripkin’s lead. Using the term “faggot” in any language is just unoriginal and uncreative. “Fuck Face”…that could be anybody!

    As for the whole violating 1st Amendment thing. That has clearly already been addressed (I suggest US citizens acquire a pocket constitution to carry with them as I do in my laptop bag, real handy to have to remind yourself just exactly what are your rights and how they apply.) The only constitution here that i feel has been violated is the unwritten one of the Golden Rule and being a decent human being.

    • Mike V. | September 18, 2012 at 9:00 am |

      Bill Ripken…my bad…apparently I’m the Fuck Face!

  • Brent Hatfield | September 18, 2012 at 8:56 am |

    Peyton Manning is wearing the QB practice jersey. Like some teams like GB where their QB’s wear RED, the Broncos QB jersey is Blue now that the primary is orange.

  • Simply Moono | September 18, 2012 at 9:04 am |


    As someone who loves saying the word “fuck” when appropriate, and is quick to use colorful language when talking about Chris Brown, Kim Kardashian, or Roger (No)Goodell, yet hates when words like “gay”, “retarded”, “faggot”, and the like are used as commodities, or a substitute for “stupid”, “lame”, “bad”, or “silly”, I would like to use the proper ‘F’ word, and join the others commenting in saying:

    I fucking loved today’s lede =)

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 9:17 am |

      Thanks, Terry — ’preciate it.

  • Arr Scott | September 18, 2012 at 9:47 am |

    There is one circumstance in which I would not find Escobar’s message objectionable: If it were self-referential. To take the classic “Fuck Face” gag, it was ambiguous in its message. It could be read as him saying to others, “[you are a] fuck face,” or saying of himself, “[I am a] fuck face [and proud of it].” It’s Escobar’s clear statement of “you are a” that crosses the line from stupid-but-not-problematic to inappropriate-for-any-adult.

    Or to put it more concretely, imagine if Escobar took to the podium at the inevitable press conference and said, “I am gay, and I used that word to claim it for myself.” That’s pretty much the one thing he could say that would make basically everyone say, “Oh, well then, OK.”

  • Ry Co 40 | September 18, 2012 at 9:47 am |

    alright, i guess i’ll mention it then…

    when we bring up comrade’s ebay link, did anybody else notice the other “most fucked-up or the most brilliant eBay listing ever”? coincidentally, under the “More chances to get what you want” section. not sure just how many of us are in the market for a NIKE speedo, but THAT’S some funny shit!

  • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |

    I’ve written a short ESPN piece about how uniform memorials are getting less uniform:

    • Mike Engle | September 18, 2012 at 10:33 am |

      Good one, Paul. You know what else was an interesting instance of memorial patches? In 2007, Herb Carneal died, so you knew that a patch was coming for the Twins. Instead of waiting for the patch design to be finalized, they actually “hurried up” and slapped an armband on their right sleeves as a placeholder. (The Herb patch wound up being fairly attractive, when all was said and done.)
      Thinking of the Twins’ brief armbands, the Orioles’ armbands for Jim McKay, and the BoSox’ for Johnny Pesky, I recently wondered why they opted for the right. After all, my favorite team, the Yankees, place their armbands on the left; to my eyes, armbands on the right look a bit strange. Off-balance, if you will. Then, the solution hit me like a ton of bricks. The Yankees’ left sleeves are not encumbered by the Majestic logo.

      • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 10:37 am |

        There have been a fair number of placeholder memorials like the one you describe. But nothing quite like the examples in today’s ESPN piece.

        • Mike Engle | September 18, 2012 at 10:42 am |

          How about that! Granted, I’m only 23, but I’ve never heard of any other “placeholder” memorials!

        • umplou | September 18, 2012 at 11:24 am |

          I remember when Mickey Mantle passed away in 1995, the announcement had been made on a Sunday morning when the Yankees had a day home game, so there was not even time for the equipment guys to put armbands on. So as a result, everybody put a ‘7’ on the back of their caps in chalk. I believe that is what started the practice of the Yankees putting a bare black number on their sleeves, for all those whose numbers had been retired. Or did it start with Maris?

    • Arr Scott | September 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

      If by “less uniform” you are referring to uniformity of placement, then I think you’re on to something. If you mean to suggest that the content and design of such memorials is becoming more varied, or at any rate is now more varied than a decade ago, then I would have to disagree. If anything, we seem to be emerging from a 10-year period starting in the late 1990s when uni memorials became much more individual in appearance and inventive in form than previously.

      A black dot with a white name or number now seems staid by comparison with the Harry Caray caricature or various broadcaster microphones and other figurative or representational symbols that became the norm after 1995ish. But the simpler black-dot-with-white-lettering or plain-black-letters approach seems to be coming back into style. So I’d argue that uni memorials are actually getting more uniform in the last few years, not less.

  • Johnny O | September 18, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    I am so biased, but I absolutely LOVE that Wisconsin Badger anniversary patch! Six stars to represent how many national titles they have, outline of the state logo, making it look like their jersey… what’s not to love?

    The patch will be worn on the left shoulder of the uniforms, it will be put on a t-shirt given to season ticket holders, and it will be on the boards at the Kohl Center.

    Here is a picture of the patch on the uniform. Not gonna lit, kind of wish it was bigger.

    • Mike Engle | September 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |

      This unbiased Uni Watcher thinks some grade schooler had a little too much fun on Photoshop. Or even worse, a committee of grade schoolers had a really petty argument.
      Just because you can fit everything in, doesn’t mean you should. Even in that picture, where the hockey player is posing, it looks like mush. Good luck recognizing one single thing in action shots. I would have removed the diagonal WISCONSIN and made the 50 bigger.

      • Jerry | September 18, 2012 at 11:00 am |

        The diagonal Wisconsin is how the Badgers wear it on their sweaters.

        • Mike Engle | September 18, 2012 at 11:04 am |

          Yes I know. But it’s still, relatively speaking, “one more bumper sticker” that the patch doesn’t need.

        • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

          But it’s on an image of Wisconsin, and nothing in the world remotely looks like the shape of Wisconsin. It’s overkill on such a small patch. Shoulda gone with 50 OR Wisconsin, but not both.

        • JTH | September 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

          Oh, there sure is something that looks like Wisconsin.

          Anyway, the diagonal WISCONSIN inside the circle makes it look like an anti-Wisconsin patch of some sort because it resembles a universal no sign.

        • Tom V. | September 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm |

          Why did they put Paul’s cutting board on that patch?

  • Kabe | September 18, 2012 at 10:34 am |

    Maricón also means coward or crybaby. Heck, most 1 year old babies in Latin America have been called maricón when they are extra difficult.

    • Danya | September 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

      Do you think that the fact that a word meaning faggot is also used to call people coward or crybaby is a coincidence?

      It doesn’t “also” mean those negative things. It means the origin of the word is that people hatefully associate those qualities with homosexual people. As far as I’m concerned that makes it vile to use no matter what the intent.

      • Chance Michaels | September 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

        Yeah, that just makes it worse.

    • Cort | September 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

      I’m not excusing, but there might be a cultural gap here. If you play sports with Latin guys, you’re going to here a lot of people called maricon. And colicky babies are indeed called maricon sometimes, just like colicky babies in English speaking places are sometimes called crybabies. I have never heard anyone refer to a colicky baby as “a little faggot.”

      So, while it is entirely likely that he meant this in the way most everyone is assuming he meant it, it’s at least slightly possible that he was saying, “You’re a crybaby.”
      It’s unlikely. But it’s possible.

      • Danya | September 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

        Oh I think it’s totally possible he did not mean it in the most literal “faggot” sense. Honestly I think that’s more likely that not. But intent is not the point. Some Spanish speakers use maricon to mean something like coward or crybaby; well, some English speakers use faggot to mean the same things or anything negative they want without truly meaning to call the person they are addressing homosexual. The problem is not what exactly someone means when they use these words; the problem is that people use derogatory words for gay people to mean other negative things, because people have an entrenched, subconscious, prejudicial sense that to be gay is to be those things. That is what is wrong and what we have to try to erase.

  • BoilerWes | September 18, 2012 at 10:36 am |

    Re: Purdue gold tone evolution
    Great to see one of my favorite blogs referencing another of my favorite blogs! And, I really miss the “old gold” days…

    • RedWing in Colorado | September 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

      I thought exactly the same thing! What did you think of the concept uniforms they have up right now?

  • Patrick | September 18, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    Re. Todd Jones: YES! Thank you — I thought I was the only person who remembered his vile homophobia, since he’s rarely mentioned among the infamous bigots of the sports world. Of course, he’s a white, evangelical Christian so he got a free pass because he was just expressing his “religious beliefs.” Fortunately it seems like we’ve come a long way from those dark days — “it gets better” works in a lot of contexts. Great column, Paul!

    • Roger | September 18, 2012 at 11:10 am |

      I’ve actually been on the recieving end of a Todd Jones homophobic remark.

      True story. Was at at A’s game, sitting next to the Tiger’s bullpen with my friend. He condescendedly asked if my friend was my date and called me “oasis,” because, at the time, my haircut resembled the same cut at the Gallagher brothers.

      I thought it was funny, because he was equating my haircut to being gay, but his handlebar stache looked straight out of central casting.

      • Ry Co 40 | September 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |

        randomly? or were you yelling at him?

        • Roger | September 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

          Wasn’t yelling. I was commenting on his Detroit Tiger branded mittens. (It was kinda cold and he was wearing mittens. Not gloves with fingers. Mittens.)

        • Ry Co 40 | September 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

          i’m sure it was a real positive interaction

          he’s a pitcher… keeping his hands warm, and his fingers together…

        • JTH | September 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

          It’s a proven fact that mittens keep your fingers warmer than gloves do.

        • Roger | September 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |

          Exactly. It was like, “Take a look at that … Tiger mittens. I bet they keep yer fingers really warm. I wonder if they have A’s mittens.”

          Then BOOM … Todd Jones got all John Rocker on us.

        • James Craven | September 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

          Tell that to Red Hat Guys on a balmy day in, say, Tampa or Miami.

  • Will S | September 18, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    Bold move even trying to make a statement on pizza. I agree that chain pizza doesn’t touch chain pizza, but that lightly flavored flatbread you guys eat in New York doesn’t touch real Chicago deep dish.

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 11:08 am |

      Not sure why you’re trying to turn this into a regional spat. I just think corporate chain “pizza” sucks, which it does.

      Personally, I like thin-crust and deep-dish.

      • Will S | September 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

        Just giving you a hard time

      • JTH | September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

        Personally, I like thin-crust and deep-dish.

        There’s definitely room in this world for both.

        I also happen to like both apples and oranges.

      • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

        Have a Uni Watch gathering in Berkeley.


  • Robert | September 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |

    To throw a bit of uni talk into today’s idiot player/free speech debate….

    I don’t like BFBS, but those Duke unis are badass. The blue and white striping on the solid black just really, really works. Still not a fan of BFBS, but taken on their own that is one good looking uniform.

    I feel bad for Purdue and their dang near white pants. Same story as Pittsburgh. I’m a well known bitcher when it comes to Vegas gold. So glad to see Notre Dame go with darker pants this year. Combined with those brilliant helmets, they look like Notre Dame again.

    • DJ | September 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

      It still looks like Notre Dame uses sandstorm as their jersey trim color. Looks a bit washed out. If they went with the “old gold” of the pants, it would be much better.

  • chris | September 18, 2012 at 11:06 am |

    Seems like Paul has posted a pic of JR Hildebrand’s 49ers car like 3 times now. or maybe it was one of the other uniwatchers during the summer break. He only actually drove it once, two races ago.
    Nice catch on the 3 full sleeve stripes, though I thought it would be more notable that it embraces the “bike shorts” look that looks so bad on frank gore.

  • mike 2 | September 18, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    Not much to add to the above discussion, other than to mention another organization (in addition to “It Gets Better”) working to fight homophobia in sports.

    “You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

    You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

    You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”

    The organization was founded by the Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke in honour of his son Brendan.

  • DK | September 18, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    Re: Florida Softball

    There are actually five different pants: blue, orange, anthrosite (grey), white w/ orange piping and white w/blue piping

    • JTH | September 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

      Also, two different shoe color options.

      And it’s hard to tell, but possibly a black belt.

  • name dedacted | September 18, 2012 at 11:37 am |

    Its also run by burkes son patrick, who is an nhl scout.

    Already heard him twice on toronto radio today.

    • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

      What’s an NHL? Is that that league that kept getting fans and then alienating them until they collapsed?

  • Ray | September 18, 2012 at 11:43 am |

    How about Tom Matte? Didn’t he wear No. 41 when he played QB for the Colts after Unitas and Morrall were hurt?

    • Pittsburgh Contrarian | September 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

      I’m surprised no one brought up Tony Dungy filling in for the Steelers in ’79 when both Bradshaw and Kruczek were hurt.

    • Graf Zeppelin | September 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

      Actually that was Unitas and Cuozzo, but yes. Matte wasn’t a QB but he was pressed into service to play QB.

      I think, and I could be mistaken, that the last actual QB in the NFL to wear a number higher than 19 was John Hadl, who wore 21 with the Chargers, Packers and Rams. Doug Flutie wore 22 in the USFL and 20 in the CFL but wore 2 and 7 in the NFL.

      Non-QBs who have played QB in the NFL (apart from gimmick plays and the Wildcat), at least that I’ve seen or can recall, include Walter Payton (34) of the Bears and Brian Mitchell (30) of the Redskins.

      • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

        I think the Packers gave Hadl #12 when he first got there, but then he later changed to #21. His last stop was with Oilers, where he also wore #21, making him the last NFL QB to wear a number higher than 19. At least I think that’s the case.

        (I mean someone who WAS a quarterback, as opposed to someone who might have played the position in an emergency.)

        • Graf Zeppelin | September 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

          I knew Hadl wore 12 at one point with the Packers but wasn’t sure of the chronology. I forgot his stint with the Oilers.

      • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |

        Matte’s stint as the Colts’ QB also introduced the wristband containing a playlist to football, too, if I’m not mistaken.

        • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

          very true–I wish PL would do a story on those.

          Who makes them?

          What all is on there? Tebow’s is the size of a phonebook.

      • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

        Dan Reeves #30 took a few turns @ QB for Dallas back in the day.

      • ChrisH | September 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

        Keith Byars (#41) was 4-4 with 4 touchdown passes for the Eagles in 1990.

        • Graf Zeppelin | September 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

          Likely option-pass plays, as opposed to actually being under center. RB option passes were common in the mid-80s – early ’90s.

  • Casey Hart | September 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    Uni-related tribute from neighbor/rival Everton to the 96 Liverpool supporters who died in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy before yesterday’s match vs. Newcastle:

  • Inkracer | September 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm |

    Regarding the 49ers Livery, it was done because the race was in Cali, and Harbaugh, the 49ers head coach, is an owner of the team that did it.

  • Dudam | September 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

    The kerning game is pretty fun. A good way to kill a few minutes.

    • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

      A buddy of mine showed me that site last fall and I got to the point where I’d be pissed if I didn’t get close to 90-100, haha.

  • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

    To all the freedom of speech idiots:

    (It’s not America. It’s Canada.)

  • Graf Zeppelin | September 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |


    I’ve also been called faggot, queer, and gay over the years, primarily by people who think anyone who writes about uniforms must be a homosexual.

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever referred to you as a “fashion writer,” or to the field of athletics aesthetics in general as “fashion”? I ask because I’ve heard this too; not in a mean or offensive way, but I do have friends who break my chops over uni-watching by characterizing it as an interest in “fashion” (which is, of course, very gay … not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    • Paul Lukas | September 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

      Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever referred to you as a “fashion writer,” or to the field of athletics aesthetics in general as “fashion”?

      Yes. I always resist this description (and correct it if it’s being applied in person). Uni Watch is not about fashion; it’s about design, at least primiarly.

      Now, design is affected by many things, including fashion. But there’s still a big difference.

    • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

      “Do you wanna have sex right now? Do want to have sex with me right now? Let’s go! C’mon, let’s go baby!”

  • name dedacted | September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

    rip Steve Sabol

    What more defines the aesthetic of the nfl than the sabols,sam spense and john facenda?

    • timmy b | September 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

      If Uni-Watch had a Hall of Fame, Steve Sabol would be a charter member. Along with his dad Ed, Steve and the folks at NFL Films not only chronicled the NFL like no other sports league has ever been chronicled (at least in North America, and arguably, planet Earth), but the tons of film he left behind has given us uni historians an invaluable tool with which to research and document NFL uniforms.

      His “Lost Treasures of the NFL” segments on NFL Network in its early days were such a treat to watch.

      R.I.P. Steve.

  • Cort | September 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

    I’ve been called a faggot, a gay, and a queer too, primarily because I was a chunky kid who wore glasses. And I was as fascinated by the Farrah Fawcett poster as every other red-blooded male in my junior high.

  • JTH | September 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    Good God! There is no reason this uniform should even exist and I want to hate everything about it.

    I… just… can’t.

    It looks so damn good.

    • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

      Same reaction.
      Really nice, well-designed uni.

      Not for Duke, though.

      That’s what makes it all twisty.

      • Michael Emody | September 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

        It’d be nice if an academic powerhouse like Duke could figure out a way to connect the shoulder stripes. Maybe someone in engineering…

        • LarryB | September 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |

          hahaha Michael. I agree.

      • Wheels | September 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

        It could work for the Orlando Magic, if they were a football team.

  • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

    Steve Sabol has passed away. :(

    ABSOLUTELY at minimum a moment of silence this weekend..or even tho the helmet’s are cluttered..

    maybe a little camera decal.

    • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

      NFL Films is THE most significant documentation of sports of all time. Revolutionized how the game was viewed and filmed, eschewed easy for greatness and lionized the game to unparallelled heights.

      His, and his father’s, vision will live on.

    • M.Princip | September 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  • Michael Emody | September 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    A guy I know who used to write for SNL – the weirdness makes it twice as funny:
    Baseball Card Theater: Who’s that in my Card 3.

    • Dumb Guy | September 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |


  • James Craven | September 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    Man City with black/dark gray stripes vs. Real Madrid in Champions League action today.

    Sheesh. Another BFBS moment.

  • KT | September 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    All I know is…really bad decision by Benny Paret.

  • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

    Reggie Bush’ shoes–all white.

    Not even a logo on the tongue!

    He was an Adidas guy at one pt..maybe that’s the reason?

  • LWill | September 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    The German Bundesliga will wear the words “go your own way” in German in place of the usual ads this weekend. The move is to promote integration.,,16239900,00.html

    • Arr Scott | September 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

      Um, but “go your own way” is, in the European context, an anti-integration message.

      But it’s a step up from “The, Bart, The,” at least in German.

  • Jackson | September 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

    Escobar has been suspended for 3 games

    • Tony C. | September 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

      and it looks like they’ve dug up more possibly offensive eyeblack incidences

      • Steve D | September 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

        It now seems that this investigation should not stop with Escobar…it seems implausible that no fellow players, coaches, manager, or team officials knew this was going on…nobody stopped him.

  • Steve D | September 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    WFAN reproting Escobar suspended 3 games.

  • Ricko | September 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    On another site, someone recalled an often-overlooked line of Steve Sabol’s, overshadowed by “frozen tundra” and such.

    Imagine John Facenda’s voice…

    “The Autumn Wind is a Raider…”

    • brinke | September 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

      Ricko I have that audio if you want it.

      And it’s;

      “The autumn wind is a Ray-duh.

      • Phil Hecken | September 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

        thanks to brinke, i used a bunch of that NFL films music (including the “raiduh” section) in this packers super bowl history video i did a few years back

        seems appropriate now

      • Chance Michaels | September 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |


        Of course, I’m partial to “Lombardi. A certain magic still lingers in the very name. It speaks of duels in the snow and cold November mud…”

    • [name redacted] | September 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

      I heard today that Lombardi did not the “frozen tundra” line since:

      a) it’s redundant

      b) it was untrue, since the Packers had just installed heating coils under Lambeau Field to prevent it

  • Jesse Pinkman | September 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

    Yo, bitch.

  • Padday | September 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

    Was this issue really worth all the moral grandstanding? I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who would disagree that unprompted, insulting displays in public, particularly those with a bigoted aspect, are wrong. I certainly agree with many of the things you’ve said and Escobar should rightfully be punished for breaching the terms of the legally binding contract he has with Major League Baseball.

    But that’s not what this was about. This was about the word “faggot” or rather the Spanish equivalent. To me, when you make a big deal out of something like a word which has bigoted connotations in certain circumstances you do three things:
    1) You legitimize and solidify the bigotry of that word.
    2) You distract from any of the real causes of such bigotry.
    3) You only further the “otherness” of that particular group of people.

    The key to creating equality is deemphasizing ways in which society creates differences and this includes through language. Instead, you have made LGBTs into a special case that needs to be protected from special words regardless of the context of their use.

    This story ranks up there with “fuck face” and last year when Wayne Rooney swore into a television camera during a goal celebration: trivial use of language which is taboo by a professional athlete being stupid and/or ignorant. A cause for moral outrage it most certainly is not.

    • Chance Michaels | September 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

      I’d love to see your math on that.

      1) Making it clear that a slur is not acceptible hardly “legitimizes” the slur.
      2) How, exactly?
      3) Nonsense. A pretty good way to further the “otherness” of any group of people is allowing and encouraging demeaning language about them. Welcoming them as full and valued members of the community, in contrast, makes them less othered.

      • Padday | September 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

        1) Language is social. The meanings of words are based solely on how society perceives them. The more society emphasizes a certain meaning, the more that becomes legitimate. If we continue to emphasize “faggot” as a word that conveys bigotry then we pretty much solidify that as it’s primary meaning.

        If however we were to emphasize the fact that “faggot” in the majority of it’s usage today is benign, like motherfucker or cocksucker, then it’s no longer a word for bigotry. Therefore you have one less way LGBTs can be differently discriminated.

        2) Words can be used to convey a personal sense of bigotry but bigotry doesn’t happen because somebody heard a word or used a word. Bigotry happens because a society promotes attitudes of fear, isolationism and possessiveness to which creating an exaggerated sense of “otherness” for the perceived threat is useful. But it’s the attitude, the ideology, which infuses the words with bigotry, not the other way round. Language which results from bigoted attitudes is merely collateral and largely arbitrary.

        3) It doesn’t matter if it’s being used in a deliberately offensive manner or even being condemned, as long as you speak about certain words being explicitly anti-gay you are promoting the idea that there is a difference in the way language is used for gay and non-gay. If you really want to remove bigotry you reject that there is any legitimacy in language of otherness.

        If you can use an attitude of bigotry to infuse words with bigoted meanings then an attitude of inclusiveness and equality can and should be used to remove such meanings.

    • Steve D | September 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

      Since I was a kid, I knew that was a Spanish curse word…I never really knew what it meant. This is not some slip, or spontaneous cursing on TV. This is premeditated. You have to find your eye black stickers…find a silver sharpie…carefully write the words so they fit…place them on your face…a place that is kind of a window to yourself…not too many people tatoo their face for example. You are also pretty sure anyone coming into contact with you on the field or dugout or clubhouse will not miss it. He is either desperate for attention, or really is such a bigot that he did not assess his actions at all. Even more troublesome is nobody else stopped him.

      • Cort | September 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

        It’s kind of surprising that so many people are expressing shock at this. Homophobic speech and sports have been joined at the hip for centuries, and homophobia tends to be heightened in poor communities. Three things I can guarantee you are spoken about often in every locker room, at every level, in America, are: nasty comments about sexuality; nastier comments about women; and Jesus.

        In the Sixties, Benny Paret shouted “Maricon! Maricon!” at Emile Griffith before their Welterweight title fight (Griffith was indeed gay; this was a crude early attempt at outing a competitor). Griffith responded by systematically beating Paret to a pulp: “Benny the Kid” died ten days later.

        If I were Escobar, I’d be hoping I never step up to the plate against a gay pitcher with a surly disposition and a 98 MPH fastball…

        • Phil Hecken | September 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

          “If I were Escobar, I’d be hoping I never step up to the plate against a gay pitcher with a surly disposition and a 98 MPH fastball…



  • Bernd | September 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

    Serious question: How do the Mets happen to get away with just installing those seats on a whim?

    The first-base line section in front of which those seats are installed looks to be Section 11. The front seats there are considered “Delta Club Platinum” seats. Google says those run up to $460 a game. Back in 2009, when Bernie Madoff’s season tickets got sold off, the Mets actually kept his super-super-primo behind-the-plate seats and auctioned off a pair of Row 8s (“worst” row in “Delta Club Gold”) in Section 11 instead, with bidding starting at half the face value: $30,170 for the pair.

    All of which seems to indicate that the people already sitting in the front of Section 11 are the sorts of people who value exclusivity and being able to communicate to all the world that they are sitting in a super premium location. Even the Mets acknowledge this by differentiating between rows 2 and 3 – move back to Row 3 and you’re down to “Delta Club Gold” status, which at the time of the Madoff auction made a difference of $20,000 for a pair of season seats.

    How on earth, then, do they wrangle just jamming three more rows in front of these people? Are these tickets not sold? They don’t have them on single-game sale for the last few home games, so it would seem like the seats would have to be sold or else the experiment makes no sense. If they are sold, how do they avoid people for whom “front-row” is everything going ballistic? Do they offer everyone in the section the chance to move up? That would be logistically difficult (do you really go all the way back to the concourse or is there a cut-off?) and would probably lead to complaints given that a) the new seats look to have an incredibly shallow pitch and thus worse view, and b) we’re talking about the sorts of people willing to pay thousands of dollars for a different color stripe on their ticket and the chance to move from row 3 to row 2. I can’t imagine a good-natured spirit of improvisation exists in circumstances like these. Furthermore, your “new” seats would end up being the significantly less lucrative ones in the back of the section. Alternatively, do they point to some hypothetical paragraph 13.4a of the purchase agreement and tell their highest-paying clients to suck it? And if so, wouldn’t that be horrible business given that common sense says there has to be at least one person who’d be appalled enough to cancel for next year?

    For the record, I don’t understand anyone who pays $80,000 a year for two baseball season tickets. But they must exist, and I wonder just how they’re kept quiet under circumstances like these.

    Legitimately baffled,


    • Bernd | September 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

      Quick footnote to that that probably deserves mention: Aside from the considerations above, having a plexiglass board suddenly added to your view about 10 feet from your face is actually a probably far more legitimate gripe than anything I’ve written in the three paragraphs prior. That’d be enough to piss off a fan in any section of the ballpark, I imagine.

      • Steve D | September 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm |

        A lot of what the Mets do makes no sense. Probably a relative of the owner trying to show how smart he is by running this “experiment.” If you really think about it, is this experiment even necessary during a regular season game? You build it after the season and have a few staffers sit there. They only need it for one game next year. Then they can pack it away and hope it ever gets used again.

  • ryan4fregosi | September 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm |

    NNOB FLASHBACK: Has anyone else seen this before? Footage of Seattle Mariner Ruppert Jones sporting “RUPE 9” in this 1979 game vs. the Softball-Style Sox. (Take your vidcap starting @ 1:19)

  • Tim E. O'B | September 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  • quiet seattle | September 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

    The beautiful Bill Bergey Bengals (mostly) road jersey featured in Collector’s Corner is more evidence that sleeves can be form-fitting. And whee there are sleeves there are stripes.

  • Jeremiah | September 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    Probably a little late from yesterday’s ticker, but after living in TN for the past 7 years I’ve seen most of these plates.

  • Douglas King | September 19, 2012 at 1:06 am |

    take it easy on the pizza chains, in most parts of the country there are only a handful of places that will deliver that aren’t chains (and even then there’s no guarantee the non-chains that do deliver are any good).

    Not everyone gets to live in a place known for its pizza, besides I’m sure even the best pizza places here (Metro-Atlanta, and I’m sure elsewhere) suck compared to what you get in a city like New York.

    Also that race suit wasn’t botched Did you not see Alex Smith’s sleeves on Sunday Night all 3 stripes were there (didn’t pay enough attention during the Packers game but I imagine the away version is also complete)

    • concealed78 | September 19, 2012 at 11:25 am |

      Pizza chains are crap because the quality is terrible. Papa Johns, Dominoes, Little Caesars (the absolute worst) and especially Pizza Hut (oily greasy bread) is just garbage & a waste of time & money.

      Honestly, it’s not that hard to make pizza. If you can’t make pizza dough, you can buy pizza dough, store-bought pizza crusts, pitas or flour tortillas. All the sauce, cheese, toppings & spices (personally I like oregano, fennel seeds & red pepper flakes) you want & they won’t nickel & dime you to death or give you like 3 slices of pepperoni like Pizza Hut. Pizza chains suck.

      Do you mean deliver on taste or literally deliver the pizza? I always pick up my pizzas so I don’t have to pay a delivery man & I can take it right back if there’s a problem (which sometimes there is).