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Another Day, Another Sandy Hook Memorial

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Yesterday’s Newtown memorial du jour took place in Providence, whose basketball team wore green uniforms with “Sandy Hook” NOBs. The jerseys are going to be sent to the victims’ families. This ties into my latest ESPN column, which is about the uni-borne responses to the Newtown shootings, and about the larger phenomenon of uniform memorials in response to non-sports-related tragedies. — Paul

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Membership update: After a long delay (don’t ask), a bunch of new cards have been added to the membership design gallery (including Gabe Speelman’s late-’90s Cavs road treatment, shown at right). The printed/laminated versions of these cards should ship out either today or tomorrow. My thanks to all these new enrollees for their patience.

As always, you can order your own membership card here, and you can purchase a membership gift voucher to give to a lucky recipient here.

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Raffle reminder: My annual reader-appreciation raffle is currently underway. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s what Michigan will be wearing in the corporate steakhouse chain bowl. Note the lack of TV numbers, which will make the TV spotters unhappy. ”¦ Meanwhile, Rice will wear a flag-desecration helmet design for the military industrial complex bowl. “Ugh,” says Chris Castellani. “The best thing this team has going for them is their uniform, and now they’ve mucked that up.” … Two Sundays ago, Brandon Marshall wore almost no sock stripes; this past Sunday, he went to the opposite extreme (from Ryan Becerra). … New logos and uniforms for the St. Lucie Mets (from Jim Atherton). … Good article about a Knicks logo that was never used (from Chris Giorgio). … Latest team to use varsity-style jackets: Canada’s national junior hockey squad (from Paul Richard Cook). … Some good archival high school football photo finds by Andrew McKillop, including the Manistee High School football team, which wore its initials on its shoulders; some super-fancy football pants; stars vs. stripes; a really unusual goalpost design; a star-spangled Hawaiian team; and an Alaskan team with an unusual helmet logo using type and image. ”¦ New football uniforms in the works for Colorado State (from Steve Foster). … The NBA has filed trademark paperwork for five potential new names for the Hornets (from Ernie Ballard). ”¦ “It’s always neat to see photos from pro cycling winter camps,” says Sean Clancy. “Most contracts don’t end until Dec. 31, so new riders on the team have to still wear the kit of their current team while getting acclimated with their new club. Here’s Vincenzo Nibali in his Liquigas kit while training with his mates on Astana, the team he’ll ride for in 2013.” ”¦ Some YouTubers are saying that this awesome 1924 footage may be the earliest appearance of uni numbers in soccer (from Andrew Farley). ”¦ You’ve heard of apostrophe catastrophes? Here’s a comma calamity, as described by Luke Pellegra: “I ate at Buffalo Wild Wings last night (I know, I know, but it was the only place to watch the Tennessee basketball game), and this was the pager they gave us while we waited for a table.” ”¦ Interesting interview with the guy who designed the MLB Winter Meetings logo (from Avi Miller). ”¦ Here’s a weird one: What the hell is going on with the Auburn player at far right? “The player appears to be Auburn safety Mike Fuller, playing against Georgia Tech sometime in 1972 or ’73,” says Brian Powers. “The photo appears in the book Tiger Walk Through History.” Anyone know more? ”¦ Special shout-out to Bizkit and his family: Get well soon, fella!

I’m counting down to nanoseconds to 3pm, when my cast is due to be removed. Halle-freakin’-lujah! My thanks to all of you who’ve sent supportive messages over the past seven weeks — greatly appreciated.

Comments (108)

    As a Providence College alum I was very proud of this gesture by Coach Cooley and the men’s basketball team. I was however less than pleased with the hype job done for these jerseys by the coordinator of basketball operations, Mike Jackson, on twitter yesterday a few hours before the game.

    Today’s headline feels like Saturday’s headline by Phil that got him chewed out by the weekenders. Do you feel the necessity to change it – it reads with a hint of sarcasm .

    Please stop looking for controversy where none exists. I’m devoting an entire ESPN column today to responses to Newtown and similar tragedies. If you want to cast aspersions, that’s your issue, not mine.

    Lukas does it because he needs traffic and that does it. Alexa and ComScore shows his visitor base is rapidly decreasing. Gotta stir up some drama…

    I’m guessing the TV spotters are going to hate Michigan’s yellow (sorry, “maize”) numbers as well.

    I kinda like ’em, but I can see how they might be sorta hard to read if it’s sunny for the game.

    Does this mean that the guys who picked the bowl winners over the weekend based on their uniforms will have to revisit their selections? After all, that approach works so well for the non-sports fans who win office pools.

    Note to office poolers: Michigan is 0 for Road-Alternates since this madness was adopted by them. Not good. Conversely, they’re 2-0 in their Home Alts. Getting a matte treatment to their helmet isn’t a bad idea. Bring back the award stickers and they’re on to something.

    That unusual football goalpost kind of looks like the frame of a soccer goal popped on top of a set of piping. Interesting how they used to do stuff like that. Now there’s high schools in Texas using Jumbotrons in mega-million dollar stadiums.

    I love just about every uniform in that Manistee High School photo group. Out come the magic markers to whip up some designs with croquet hoops on the butt.

    It seems back in the day prep teams did just about anything to play the games they loved. There were some real ragtag athletic programs, but they still found a way to play.

    I have seen multiple team photos where the jerseys don’t match, equipment that is obviously put together with scraps, and the facilities some of the schools played at were humorous to the point of admiration.

    One team up in Minnesota looked like they practiced on a field the size of an urban playground… I saw another team without a blade of grass on their field. Now you have a synthetic field up in Barrow, Alaska.

    I suppose it’s progress… But it’s still fun to see how disorganized sports were in the past.

    It’s hard to tell, but i bet the goalposts are set back a couple of yards into the end zone, and the crossbar is at the goal line.

    I see above how you said to leave it Paul, but I have to comment on the headline for today’s post as well. It rings flippant to me.

    Look, it’s Paul’s website. Technically, he can put whatever he wants in the headline. All he’s doing is making a statement based off of a typical line. Maybe it sounds sarcastic, but I’m almost sure it’s not meant to be. There’s fake Twitter accounts going around (or there were) congratulating the shooter and talking bad. Yet Paul is calling attention to all the memorials, and if any of the people of Newtown saw these, they would be more comforted by the team’s gestures than anything else. Paul, you deserve accolades for bringing these memorials to attention.

    Yes, it’s Paul’s website, but as long as he invites comments I don’t see anything wrong with a reader sharing his or her reaction to the content. I have no problems with commenters calling out trolls or thoughtless bashing of the website, but I don’t think Morgan’s comment deserves a “Paul can do whatever he wants” response. If anything, it gave Paul the opportunity to clarify (just below this comment) that his intention wasn’t meant to be flippant. Seems to me that’s exactly how comment sections are supposed to work.

    Wasn’t meant to be flippant; was meant to be literally descriptive.

    Did I write “Same Shit, Different Day”? No.

    Did I write “Yet Another ‘Look at Me’ Display”? No.

    If I had written those things, we might have something to talk about. But I didn’t (nor would I, under any circumstances). So let’s move on. Thanks.

    The ESPN column is matter-of-fact and doesn’t editorialize beyond expressing a hope that there will be fewer non-sports tragedies to memorialize in the future. Well done and thank you.

    Yesterday was another day, and it contained another Newtown tribute. What Paul’s headline does is state a fact. Stop trying to find hidden meaning in everything, folks!

    Also, Paul, try not to look at your arm when the cast comes off…in my experience, it’s seemed almost impossible that any part of my skin could look that awful!

    Not to sound biased ; ) , but the Chicago Bears monster of the midway uniforms are the best throwbacks in the biz.

    Pfft… Tampa Bay & Atlanta both have better throwbacks than da Bears. Those throwbacks look like a really cheap Chinese knockoff of the Bears real uniforms.

    Wrong. The best way to judge a throwback is how closely it matches the uniform it’s supposed to resemble. The Bears of the 40s actually wore navy jerseys with three plain orange sleeve stripes and solid orange numbers. Accordingly, they’re a successful throwback.

    So are the Falcons’ and Buccaneers’ for that matter.

    Now, if you want to say that the Bears’ uniform is inferior in and of itself as a design, fair enough. That makes it merely a case of personal preference.

    I agree with the “fake Chinese knock-off” comment. In fact, the first time I saw somebody wearing that jersey at a Bears game (a couple weeks before the Bears actually wore it for the first time) I thought it WAS a cheap Chinese knock-off. I mean, think about it… What are the tell-tale signs of counterfeits on eBay? Wrong font and wrong piping. Despite the fact that it was actually worn by the Bears in the 1940s, to somebody in the 21st century who never saw the Bears play in the ’40s, it looks like a knock-off. I think what makes a throwback jersey worthwhile isn’t simply accurately recreating an old style, it’s recreating an old style that evokes a sense of history. All that the Monsters of the Midway throwbacks evoke to me is a Nike cash grab.

    No one probably will get excited about this but me as a former French teacher and current French language nerd: Rougarou comes from the French word Lougarou which means werewolf. “loup” means wolf in French. My jr. high kids always liked it when I taught them this word. That would be awesome if the Hornets changed to this name! I’d love to see the logo they’d think of. Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself from posting this. I got too psyched for self-restraint. Also I was critical of the Saturday headline, but I’ve reconsidered and my criticism was just self-righteous b.s. My apologies.

    Swamp Dogs is terrible, definitely D-League or Single A ball. I could get behind Rougarou because it’s so unique, but Pelicans has gotta be top choice.

    Agree that Swamp Dogs is bush. Sounds like really bad minor league. But I’m completely behind Rougarou: local, funky, hard to pronounce, utterly obscure … as for precedent, how many of us instantly knew (or know!) what a Knickerbocker is, fr’instance?

    The NBA corporate chieftains will go with Pelicans, though. No risk, easy logo, plush toys, mascot …

    Paul, your link in the first graph, to your espn column, looks all wonky for me. Is it just my phone?

    I guess Michigan is done with being one the schools with traditional/classic uniforms. They will now wear whatever garbage adidas throws at them.

    Eh, Michigan’s away jerseys have a little more room for innovation and flair. Maybe not this much…

    You won’t see them change the home jersey (except for a throwback, like last season).

    The matte helmet is interesting, especially if (as it seems), the striping and wings are glossy. I’ll have to see it in action, though.

    For anyone in St. Louis (and, I suppose, able to listen online to CBS radio stations []), 98.1 FM is going to be giving away a package of 12 Cardinals jerseys at some point this morning before 10a CT.

    The New Orleans Basketball Team name options remind me of the Washington Bullets’ options.

    Dragons, Express, Stallions, Sea Dogs, or Wizards

    In the Bullets’ case, the organization and Wikipedia said a name contest was held. I don’t think anyone in DC (even the writers and columnists) can tell you when the “contest” was held.

    I remember a local radio show that was syndicated in a couple of other towns made fun of the choices (rightfully so) and decided that they would encourage their listenership to vote for “Sea Dogs” because they felt it was the worst of the bunch. The Wizards “won” and when they talked to a member of the Bullets on air, he didn’t have a breakdown of the vote. That fueled the fire that a fix was in.

    Another reason to keep hating Stern: “There’s the same amount of lakes in L.A. as there is jazz in Utah, or grizzlies in Memphis…. Whatever works for a team works for me.” Except that he explicitly disallowed the possibility of the Jazz and the Hornets switching nicknames, despite the abundance of jazz in NOLA and the fact that Utah is the Beehive State. Apparently this is the new & improved, pre-retirement, less stress DS. But still the same old BS.

    Re: link

    Most of the changes seem nice to me although I could do without the sleeveless jersey.

    However the script really should have been changed from the link. Within the box it just doesn’t look right because of how much link

    I’ve never liked logos of a mascot wearing shades. It just comes across to me as an excessively kitschy way of saying, “Look, we get sun!” That having been said, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to give Mr. Met those wraparound glasses so many of the retirees wear?

    Those 90s Cavs…woof! Further proof positive that the worst jerseys make the best membership cards.

    Last night, both Baylor and Tennessee’s women’s basketball teams wore “We Will Remember S.H.E.S.” warm-up shirts for their game on ESPN, and both sets of coaches wore green and white ribbons.


    Another memorial update: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL are wearing green ribbons on their jerseys, and painting “SHES” and the 12/14/12 date behind goals.

    The Auburn football player wearing a visor? It would seem that he was protecting himself against being sun-blinded. Well before the days of eye-black, of course.

    I assume that’s sarcastic; athletes have been using eyeblack for many decades, long before the 70s.

    I’m presuming Mike Fuller’s Auburn helmet visor is more like the precursor to what we see on many of today’s tinted football helmet face shields. While those are often used to shield opponents from seeing where a player is glancing, many are used for blocking sunlight.

    Anyway, I found a video on youtube of Mike Fuller’s helmet visor. You can see it has some sort of break-away feature, as it flies off during his punt return.


    New Orleans Swamp Dogs. Now that is bush league. There are so many lazily named teams that use ______ Dogs. Muckdogs, River Dogs, Sea Dogs, Salt Dogs . . . ugh.

    Funny you should mention that, as it’s a great example of a name being selected because it sounds cool, not because it has any particular relevance to the thing it is attached to.

    Agreed. I’m still bitter about the Lincoln (NE) minor league baseball team becoming the Saltdogs. Instead of grabbing a unique and fun name (Logs, Continentals, Fighting Abes, Unicamerals, etc) they took the easy way out by taking something about the region (the saline wetlands) and slapping “dogs” on the end of it.

    Paul – I understand why you refer to the bowl games with generic terms like “corporate steakhouse chain” or the “military industrial complex” – you disagree with the notion of athletic contests being sold to the highest bidder and refuse to give a cheap mention of a brand name to random corporations. I get it, it is totally in line with things you’ve written in the past, and I respect your position.


    For me, these non-brand name names have the opposite effect: instead of reading “southern department store chain” my mind wants to solve the riddle of which game you’re referring to. This leads to me giving conscienous thought to Outback, Bell Helicopters, Belk, and other companies that I would otherwise never think about during the course of my day. In short, by not naming names, my brain is prompted to think of the name, which arguably gives a better brand impression than if I had lazily skimmed over “Outback Bowl” on my way to the link for Michigan’s alts.

    My suggestion? If you don’t want to pander to a corporate name (which I’m guessing you do not), refer to bowls by their former, non-corporate name (Hall of Fame Bowl, Queen City Bowl, Citrus Bowl, etc) or the name of the city hosting (Fort Worth, San Diego, etc).

    Just my $0.02

    I say call them whatever you want, just be consistent. If you’re going to get cutesy on this blog, why not get cutesy on Twitter?

    I do lots of things here on this site that I don’t do elsewhere. That’s because (a) this site exists primarily as a vehicle for my personal expression and (b) most of you have some familiarity with my sensibilities by now, which allows me to take certain shortcuts, rely on certain types of coded wording, etc.

    Neither of those things is true of my Twitter account.

    I’m not a Twitterer (suck it, Kek/RyCo/Kearnsie), so I didn’t realize your Twitter account had a different tone intentionally.

    Michigan’s link are an unmitigated disaster. How embarrassing. You’re one of the big boys, UM, you should try to dress like it.

    Colorado State’s link, on the other hand? Those are pretty fucking slick. Hope they see the field (even if the rest of the uni is silly).

    Wow, I just got personally trolled by some dipshit I don’t know. Now I feel like I’M part of the big boys club.

    For a school with such an iconic home uni, Michigan’s road set has been all over the place. I’d love to see them stick with these (always with maize pantaloons, though)…


    and these would be a close second…


    Bernard is right, though. UM is gonna look like crap in the Bloomin’ Onion Bowl.

    Many teams should just wear/add a black stripe on their uniform, or black decal to their helmets for every senseless killing that occurs (yes, they are all, I know).

    Oh wait, all teams would be wearing all black all the time.

    “I ate at Buffalo Wild Wings last night (I know, I know, but it was the only place to watch the Tennessee basketball game),

    I love how people feel they have to explain themselves!!!!

    There’s nothing wrong with BWW…. come at me bro

    Never had that problem at any Bw3s I’ve ever been to. I Agree with the other, cold beer, decent wings (though, I frequently get chicken wraps…) and lots of TVs. I don’t mind it at all.

    I would not have guessed that a soccer game in the U.S. back in 1924 would have drawn that big a crowd.

    An awesome book I’ve read within the past year about the history of soccer in the US is “Soccer in a Football World.” Pretty remarkable the up and (mostly) down relationship this country has had with the sport. I thought I remember reading once that the US Open Cup is the longest-running annually played championship in this country, or something along those lines (can’t find anything to verify this without digging a little, though).

    The state of Iowa will have two pink locker rooms (a new one at a high school).

    I think it’s interesting to note that the mother is quoted as suggesting it in case anyone gets bent out of shape about sexism, or something.

    Decided to update the bowl list with a few new names you’ve used:


    Paul, if you click on it, you can edit it and add some of the remaining names in your style. I really like what you have going, it’s just that I can’t read your mind.

    This may have been mentioned before. I know Andrew Bottrell pointed out in an earlier uni-watch news ticker item — link — that the Broncos were wearing Buick sponsorship on their practice jerseys. See — link

    I noticed in photos from the Denver Broncos website today that those patches have changed slightly — by removing the Buick logo and by increasing the font size of the BUICK lettering. Not sure when during the season this took place, but it is pretty blatant now: link

    Guess this goes along with Peyton’s monotone Buick commercial: link

    Can anyone tell me exactly how “Rougarou” is pronounced? Is it “Rouge(like the blush)-uh-roo”, “Rogue(like a rogue cop)-uh-roo”, “Roo-ga-roo”, or what? Please and thank you in advance.

    “military industrial complex” bowl?
    Stick to unis and colors. Your “occupy” nonsense is gay.


    I don’t know who Ravine is either, but if anyone could use a ventriloquist it’s you, because you obviously don’t know the right thing to say when left to your own devices.

    i don’t even know who the fuck ravine is…

    apparently he’s this ventriloquist…or psychic…or some guy

    Yeah, what jackass, anti-military, freedom hater would coin such a military-hating, libral-pussy term. Oh right, Dwight D. Eisenhower.


    Maria needs to get it’s facts right.

    What are you 12? Using the word “gay” as in insult is childish, at best, homophobic at worst. Grow up.

    I love that Alaska Football Helmet symbol! Tremendous! Those were some great archival clips, and the Hawaiian High School uniform is a keeper too! Great finds!

    My wife was coloring with our 4 year old last night and for some reason gave Santa black pants. I called it his alternate uni and railed about BFBS but it got me wondering “what would Nike do with a Santa pro-combat uni?”

    This showed up on facebook from the seahawks my first thought is there is no way this is right. I haven’t been able to find a primary source on it. Looking still but hard for me to believe.


    Found the source.


    I don’t know anything about the sports business daily but when looking through the site looking for this found some interesting info on other reader polls

    Wouldn’t going to a bowl for the first time since 2008 and only the 3rd time since 1961 be a little but higher up on the list of things that Rice has going for them than their uniforms?

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