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Two Days in D.C.: Of Pats, Nats & Racist Logo Discussions

Morphing Pat Anim

By Phil Hecken

This past week, I joined Paul (and many a Washington D.C. Uni Watcher) as Paul hosted a Uni Watch Gathering in Hamilton’s Bar and Grill. The usual assortment of jersey wearing fans and readers (and contributors) were in attendance, and a great time was had by all. I wish I could have spent more time with everyone there.

One reader with whom I did spend a great deal of time was this dude in the Patriots sweatshirt — his name is Jesse Rogers. Like many who attend UW gatherings, Jesse brought along a bunch of neat stuff, including six Washington Senators and Nationals caps and a bunch of Boston/New England Patriots gear. All of the logos on the Pats shirts appeared identical at first glance, as did all of the curly “W”s on the Nats caps.

Even though I consider myself to be an astute uni watcher, and I’m pretty into logos, there are always little tweaks and twists teams sometimes make to their logos that either escape our radar, or are extremely subtle. Jesse was pretty juked to share with me the progression of Pats logos and Nats cap logo changes over time. Here he is to share his thoughts on both:

Greetings UniWatchers, hope all is well. My 1st time writing a submission, so bear with me.

First, going to talk about the “Pat Patriot” logo. The first, sometimes known as the “Crazy Face” logo (seen on this sweatshirt) was utilized by New England after the “Tri Corner” helmet logo (a great set of photos is found in this writeup from the Helmet Hut).

It lasted from 1961-64, when a second Pat Patriot logo was created (seen on this t-shirt), which remained the team’s primary logo until 1992, when the 1st “Flying Elvis” was introduced. I have never seen the ”Crazy Face” logo utilized on any helmets. The Creamer site actually show 2 variations of the 2nd gen Pat Patriot, but they seem almost identical. [Paul did a great writeup of the lineage of the Flying Elvis logo a couple years back on ESPN. It’s worth the read — PH]

When the NFL held it’s 50th anniversary celebration of the AFL, many clubs wore throwbacks to mark the occasion, The Pats, however, wore a “fauxback” Pat Patriot logo (which is seen on the third Patriots sweatshirt).

Why the Pats utilized ”“ and still use this logo, I don’t know. At the time the it was originally introduced, it was-and still is hard to reproduce. It only started appearing during the celebration. I have looked on the interwebs for info/ explanation, but no dice. It is much much more detailed than the original. The lines are much thicker, the facial expression is changed, more detail to the coat and trousers and an additional shade of blue has been introduced, I believe to show shadow from Pat being hunched over. The button detail is much more enhanced as well.

Great stuff, Jesse. That entire “fauxback” look is odd — given that they’d never worn it in their past and it appears they didn’t use the logo on any of their throwback helmets (or at least to my eyes). It’s almost like, “Lets create a logo we never used and we won’t actually put on our uniform.” Was this done solely to fuel the merch machine? Readers, any ideas.

. . .

Moving on, Jesse was also anxious to describe the subtle but distinct changes in the Curly W between the Senators and Nationals. Here’s Jesse again:

Hello again folks-

I have seen lots of posts about the Senators/Nats “W” caps. I wanted to throw my observations in.

I have a few of their caps, I’ve always enjoyed the logo. I’m originally from CT, a Red Sox fan. Just always liked it even though there was no DC team while I was growing up.

The 1st 2 caps shown are from the 60’s 70’s timeframe. Originals, not reproductions. Note the quality of the embroidery, not like today’s stuff. As has been posted here before, authentics weren’t available to the fans. The market didn’t exist. When throwbacks started coming about, they’re not always accurate, note the lack of soutache on the repro. Also, please note the different fonts utilized. (repro on right)

Next we have a throwback from when Texas played as the Senators. Note the font. Also note the lack of serif on the tail of the W.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, the only place that I’ve seen pretty accurate repros made is the ones available @ Mickey’s Place In Cooperstown. They’re 100% wool, with the exception of the white or grey caps, which are a poly blend. They’re New Era caps, not dead/old stock. If you go to a place like Lids, or wherever, you’ll see the NE flag logo on the side of the caps, but not on the Mickey’s Place ones. Also, no MLB logo on the rear. All the underbrims are green as well.

Cool stuff, Jesse. I was always fascinated by the ever-so-subtle difference between the Curly W caps worn by the Sens and the Nats. Quick, UWers, which is which?



Moving on to the symposium, Paul and I attended the “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports” presentation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on Thursday, February 7. It was billed as a chance to “Join sports writers, scholars, authors and representatives from sports organizations for lively panel discussions on racist stereotypes in American sports,” and a chance to “Explore the mythology and psychology of sports stereotypes and mascots, examine the retirement of ‘Native American’ sports references and collegiate efforts to revive them despite the NCAA’s policy against ‘hostile and abusive’ names and symbols, and engage in a spirited conversation about the name and logo of the Washington D.C., professional football team.”

I promised I wouldn’t scoop Paul on this, so I’ll merely state some observations about the event. It was broken into three segments, the last of which I did not attend, since I was trying to hightail it out of DC to beat the blizzard. The first panel discussed “Mascot Origins and Myths” and the second “Case Studies.” Both were fairly enlightening, and as the name of the symposium suggests, were fairly in-depth in their explorations of the use of Native American symbols over the years, and how they’ve perpetuated racial stereotypes. All of the speakers were fairly high-powered, including former United States Senator from Colorado, Hon. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. The third segment, unfortunately, was “A Community Conversation About the Washington NFL Team Name.” That’s the one I really wanted to attend (and about which I am sure Paul will cover in-depth on ESPN later this week).

Both panel discussions I attended were excellent, although the speakers were largely preaching to the choir. Paul immediately set to work by scoring interviews with panelists.

Among the discussions during the first two sections was on “Lone Star” Dietz, who is at the heart of the naming of the Washington football team (and about whom many myths have been perpetuated over the years). Speakers also covered the use of Wahoo and college sports teams who’ve misappropriated various imagery and iconography and originally used derogatory caricatures or imagery. There was much, much more, and Paul will inevitably tell you more (and better, probably in fewer words) than I ever could. But I’m very glad I attended.

… .. …

So, all in all, it was a great and productive two days in DC — tempered of course by the news of the passing of Mike Hersh. I had a great time meeting all the Uni Watch readers and fans, and only wish I could have spent more time talking to everyone at the Gathering. As Paul is fond of saying, “You’re all aces.” And I’m especially thankful I was able to discuss the Nats & Pats logo machinations with Jesse.


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Just a small set (of two) today. But you know the names.

Click on each image to enlarge.

. . .

Up first is George Chilvers, with (shockingly) a football colourization:

Nest Norwich colour - George Chilvers

Hi Phil

Just a quick one.

This for me is a very small image (trying to resize just pixellated) but the subject matter inspired me to do it. I don’t know how it will turn out on UW. Now, I assume that Health and Safety in the States is as big an issue as it is over here, but this is a photo from around 1908 or so of a football match at The Nest in Norwich which was built into the side of a quarry. Any H&S experts should look away now.

Some of the viewing points seem slightly precarious to say the least. There are other people (near the side of the stand) that also could not have seen very much of the other end of play. And as a final point I was surprised on the close inspection needed to colourise at how many ladies there were in the crowd.


. . .

And to close today is John Turney, who colorized the St. Louis Gunners. For those of you scratching your heads, here’s a description of the Gunners from Wiki:

1934 St Louis Gunners - John Turney


1934 St. Louis Gunners

Based on this photo I made the collars red. It was a slightly darker shade of gray and in doing so many of these, it seems to match the shade of gray that is red. Other than that, followed the Gridiron Uniform Database model.

Colorized then filtered it with Alien Skin Kodachrome filter. Red pants came out maybe too bight, but red is tough to work with in colorizations.


… .. …

That’s it for today. Keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


We begin today with Ben Harris, who has an Eagles tweak/concept:

Birds Retro Full Remake - Ben Harris

Hey Phil,

I started using GIMP just about a week ago, and I decided to take a shot at a new Eagles jersey. I switched to the Kelly green base that the fans have been rallying for along with a few other changes. I used the Oregon-style two tone face-mask, which attempts to simulate the beak of a bird, which is lighter in the Eagles logo than the rest of the face, a better effect if you are looking at the helmet straight on. I fooled around with some gradients on the helmet striping to give it a nicer/more unique look as well. Along with manipulating the logos and helmet wings to fit the new color scheme, I used the Philadelphia Flyers-style off color nameplate to back the NOB.


Ben Harris

. . .

Next up is James Samsel, with a sort-of faux-back for the G-men:

New York Giants Redesign - James Samsel

Hey Phil –

Here I redesigned the uniforms for the NY Giants. Overall, I felt there was too much red for a team nicknamed “Big Blue”. My changes are as follows:

• Changed the shade of blue to a darker, Parcells era blue
• Removed “ny” from front of helmet and the front of the jersey; too much clutter
• White home pants instead of gray
• Blue road pants instead of gray
• Blue numbers on road jersey instead of red
• Removed stripes from jerseys
• Mono blue alternate with “GIANTS” word mark on helmet

Thanks, keep up the good work!

JP Samsel
Samsel Design

. . .

And we close today with Brian Poor who has a new logo concept for the Fish:

miamidolphins3f -Brian Poor

Hey Phil!

As you know, the fins are about to unleash a new logo and uniform designs for 2013.

There has been a logo leaked, that fans think migh be the new logo, to prepare fans for a really bad logo. Earlier, it was reported, they were using the stadium logo as inspiration.

Here is my attempt at a new logo using it as inspiration.

Brian Poor

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.


Thanks everyone for indulging me today — I hope you enjoyed a little look-back at a couple days in the life of a Uni Watcher. Everyone have a great Sunday.

And don’t forget — Tuesday is FAT Tuesday … so don’t forget to wear your PÄ…czki Day stirrups. Don’t have a pair? You can always take Jim Vilk‘s advice: “One pair of tube socks + gold and purple markers = DIY pÄ…czki stirrups.” Interested in getting a pair? I have it on somewhat good authority that Comrade Marshall may make a limited number available in scarlet and gold. If you’re interested, let him know in the comments below.




One For The Road

… .. …

“Angry mascots are such a meathead thing.”
–Mark Peterson

Comments (64)

    Man… Pat the Patriot really was an ugly freakin logo when you look at him in high resolution.

    The Dolphins concept looks pretty good, but something about it makes me think baseball cap logo rather than helmet logo.

    Giants redesign is ok except for the mono-blue.

    …and Ben, that isn’t kelly green.

    I know the poster Googled “Kelly green,” went to Wikipedia, and saw…that shade. But all he would have needed to do was a YouTube search for Joe Namath-era Jets action to know that the Jets never, ever wore that shade of green.

    Duh. Not Jets. Eagles. I’m working on four hours’ sleep, which explains my idiocy. I’ll be getting some more shut eye now… :-(

    I’m not familiar with GIMP’s color selection controls, but try this RGB setting for a better approximation of the Eagles Kelly Green:

    Red 58
    Green 103
    Blue 60

    Nice weekend writeup, Phil.

    I have two expansion Senators (or as I call them now, Nats v2.0) caps with curly Ws that look completely different from those Jesse shared with you. They are sized reproductionss, Annco (a/k/a American Needle) brand and date from the mid 1970s when I bought them in a DC sporting goods store. I’ll have to dig them out, take a pic and send it to you.

    Looking back in all my old Nats v2.0 programs and yearbooks I can see great variation in curly Ws even among the team-issued caps in a single season.

    I felt like I won the lottery, getting to sit with Jessie Rogers at the DCUWG* and see all the caps he brought to share. Awesome artifacts and a very knowledgeable presenter! But I’m still left with one question and one dissent.

    Question: MLB and its suppliers have consistently used a horizontally aligned curly W with a rounded or squared right terminal for throwback and Cooperstown Collection merchandise. But I have never seen a contemporary photo or a provable artifact of a Senators cap that uses anything other than the angled curly W with a pointed right terminal, essentially identical to what the Nats wear today. Does anyone have photographic evidence of the actual Senators wearing a flat or rounded curly W? It’s possible that the post-1967 Senators wore a sloppily embroidered curly W that was either horizontally flat or that lacked the pointed right terminal, or both, especially given Bob Short’s penny-pinching treatment of his team in those years, but I have not yet seen any evidence that this actually happened.

    Dissent: While the curly W Cooperstown caps from Mickey’s Place are the best available anywhere, they’re still pretty poor. They use the wrong curly W, and the 1963 cap is missing red soutache on the rear seam. The curly W Senators are kind of like the Brooklyn Dodgers in regards to the nearly universal use of a faux logo.

    *This is Washington, where we turn everything into an acronym and pronounce it like a word. So it’s “dee-kyoog” instead of “DC Uni Watch Gathering.”

    I hate the Redskins as a team, but if they change their name due to liberal duress, I’m buying a few shirts so I can carry on the tradition of a great nickname.

    I shouldn’t dignify that last comment with a response, but I will say this: Uni Watch is two words.

    Of the two Dolphin logos, I would vote for the 2nd, only for the reson to put a minor dent in the ongoing onslaught of darker shade logos/uniforms prevading over all sports

    The Eagles uni, the green shade unfortunately looks closer to Seattle’s neon, than kelly green, the Eagles should adopt the retro one they wore two seasons ago – that looked beautiful.

    As a person with Native American heritage, I’m getting real tired of people talking about Chief Illiniwek who no nothing the situation or the politics that led to his retirement.

    Seth – This would be a great opportunity to inform those of us that might not know all the details then.

    “I’m getting real tired of people talking about Chief Illiniwek who no nothing the situation or the politics that led to his retirement.”



    I’m not sure if that comment was directed towards me or the esteemed panel, but in either case I believe you are mistaken. I’ve covered Chief Illiniwek’s retirement in this article (scroll down). I made no mention of the Chief (or his retirement) in today’s article (although I did post two pictures from the presentation [t-shirt & mascot photo]). But certainly nothing was said regarding Illiniwek. Either way, I know, and I’m pretty sure the panelists know, of the circumstances surrounding the retirement. But, like Chris above me said, please feel free to expound upon your statement.

    Speaking of which, aren’t there certain ex-Illinois players who do a “shout out” of sorts to Chief Illiniwek during the intros on Sunday Night Football? Could’ve sworn they cited his name in some way.

    Honesly DC, just change the name to the Washington Old White Guys, have a picture of some old white guy be the mascot and be done with it. It would be huge.

    I am cool with Braves and Chiefs only because they glorify their namesake. The indians are the exact opposite. Their logo is so wrong. The DC football team is the worst. Maybe I will lace up for the Milwaukee Killer Krauts.

    So… assuming that your Killer Krauts use logos and imagery based on World War I era Germany – the question, then, is “Would modern-day Germans be offended by, or even care about, your depiction of their great-grandparents?”

    Let’s not forget that the Redskins, Indians, and other Native named teams are based around a (stereotypical) depiction of the native people of 150-200 years ago from the highly romanticized Wild West/Frontier/”Cowboys & Indians” era in US history, and are not intended to represent modern people.

    As an additional point, let’s also remember that the great Buffalo Bill earned his fame as an Indian Hunter. That’s right, he was famous for hunting and killing Native Americans, and we have a sports team named after him. But, for whatever reason, no one seems to care about that team getting renamed.

    Poor analogy. Milwaukee is a city with a rich Germanic heritage. So if they wanted to name their team the Killer Krauts, at least they’d be celebrating themselves (rather oddly, but still), instead of appropriating someone else’s cultural heritage.

    About this:

    Let’s not forget that the Redskins, Indians, and other Native named teams are based around a (stereotypical) depiction of the native people of 150-200 years ago from the highly romanticized Wild West/Frontier/”Cowboys & Indians” era in US history, and are not intended to represent modern people.

    Which is precisely why they’re so harmful. They perpetuate racist stereotypes from generations ago, when in fact Indians are living, breathing people today.

    As for Buffalo Bill, you raise a good point! But let’s get Indian imagery back under the control of Indians first — basic self-determination. Then we can take the next step of addressing the deification of people who took part in genocide.

    When I was very young (late 60s, I was 6-7), my mom worked at a company in the large 701 Seneca Street building in Buffalo. I looked at the Senators patch logo and asked my brother what was the big deal with the number “701”

    When I saw the cap logo, I was looking at the curves and trying to figure out the best way to draw it and saw a connected “701” instead of a script W. That was the first memory I have of seeing things differently than others do.

    Oh, and while we’re talking about Native American symbols, I used to take this W and make the negative space inside the loop into a feather.

    I still can’t unsee the letters “elb” on the Expos’ caps. Supposedly it’s supposed to be something other than “elb”, but I have no idea what else it could be.

    I can’t make that special A for Paczki Stirrups, but count me in for a pair! I’ll dig through the couch to find enough sppare change.

    Semi serious solution for the Redskins issue. How would everyone feel if they kept their name, but changed the logo to a delicious potato?

    The Giants concept looked good, but I have to say – and I know I may be in the minority – I miss the red. Red is a big part of the Giants tradition. Yes, I know all about the “Big Blue” thing (and I’ve discussed it with Paul) but as far as I can tell that’s a creation of mid-80’s newspaper headline writers. Older folks, do you remember anyone calling the Giants “Big Blue” before 1985?
    When I was a little kid, my dad used to tell me about how when he was a kid in the 50’s he would listen to the Giants on the radio and the announcer (Glickman?) would say “And here come the New York Football Giants in their white jerseys with red numbers and silver pants.” And I would say “Red? The Giants are blue.” And my dad would say “The Giants are blue AND red.”
    And that’s all I have to say about that

    The Giants are blue AND red

    …and thus we see the problem with the Giants uniforms.

    They have no red on their blue jerseys, and no blue on their white jerseys. They aren’t blue and red, they’re blue *or* red. If they had red trim on the blue jerseys, like in the 80’s/90’s, and blue trim on the white ones, like in 2000, they’d be ok. As they are, they’re kinda broken.

    I know it’s quirky in that way, what with the jerseys each having only one color plus white, but I think it’s a great quirk. I disliked the Giants’ uniforms before 2000, and even the their link after the redesign seemed too much. Red and blue clash too much to be side by side; they need the white buffer. By contrast, the current aways are simple and handsome.

    At first I was on the side of the “keep traditions alive” with native sports team names, but I did a lot of thinking, and put myself in the shoes of a Native North American. I have come to agree with you, these names have to go. As someone of partial Irish descent, I find enormous pride in the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish brand. but that is something that we Celts take pride in, our fortitude, and the name was given by Irish priests at what was an Irish Catholic University. The Natives have had no say in these names, and usually they are false and derogatory stereotypes. the Redskin name is an abomination. I LOVE tradition, but a lot of harmful and bad things were also traditions that were wisely done away with. It is time for sports to join the 21st century.

    Interestingly, “If other non-Natives would just try to put themselves in our shoes for a minute” was a big theme at last week’s conference in DC. Glad you found it to be a thought-provoking exercise.

    Well said, John.

    Surprisingly, something so obvious like putting oneself in another’s shoes would probably change a LOT of attitudes in regard to the use of derogatory and racist iconography & names.

    The “Fightin’ Irish” name was also brought up at the symposium, which people often bring up in an attempt to either justify the use of Native American names/imagery, or to deflect the discussion. Of course, that wasn’t a name Native People gave to an institution of higher learning they founded, it was done by the University itself (or used by the university). Either way, it’s not particularly germane to the discussion of native iconography. But you make an excellent point regardless.

    Something seems incomplete about the Dolphins concept. Truncated sun; dolphin missing a tail. It definitely has Buffaslug tendencies.

    And as John said red is hard to work with or get exactly right in colorizations. For whatever reason.

    Yes – not sure why. The way I colour photos means I always have to “up” the saturation of reds to get it right. I’ve noticed some very good colourisers on Shorpy (and there are to be honest some poor ones too) who consistently produce reds that are definitely more to the maroon end of the spectrum.

    So true Gary. I have done a bunch of Ohio State old pics. Ohio States colors are scarlet and gray. I will do as you do and mess with the saturation.
    And still some look more maroon.

    “Thanks to Gary and John for the colorizations.”


    While Gary is one of the triumvirate of great colorizers, today featured GEORGE and John…and I think George answered you, not Gary ;)

    George on your colorization or picture in general. I always get a kick out of how fans watched games or events long ago. There are quite a few pictures of USA sporting events with fans up in trees or poles or on fences.

    “That entire “fauxback” look is odd – given that they’d never worn it in their past and it appears they didn’t use the logo on any of their throwback helmets (or at least to my eyes).”

    Not sure I trust your eyes. It looks to me like the fauxback logo is indeed the one on that photo of Banta-Cain.

    Using my terrible Photoshop skills, I rotated it and cropped it for you here: link

    Look at Pat the Patriot’s face. You can also see the blue shadow cutting across his leg.


    Article from the Detroit Free Press: Michigan Department of Civil Rights: End American Indian mascots in schools.

    Really, this irritates me just as much as Governor Snyder signing the Right to Work bill despite the people of Michigan being loudly against it.

    Look, most of the schools who use Native American mascots use them in tribute to those peoples. Heck, even the Hurons are upset that Eastern Michigan changed its mascot (and I’d rather be a Huron than a generic eagle anytime). Anybody can be an Eagle, Tiger, or Lion, but only few are going to be Chippewas, Illini, Seminoles, Hurons, Utes, etc.

    I have said and will continue to say that if the local peoples are okay with it and the logo isn’t embarassing to them, let the mascots stay. The only team that I feel should make a change is the teams named Redskins or have something to do with linking Red to Native.

    I’m definitely liking the post for today. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to go and see the symposium, but I’m looking forward to Paul’s post on the topic. Phil, thank you for all of the photos and insight as well.

    George, I absolutely love your colorization for today. It brings back the simpler times and the stadium locale is wonderful.

    Thanks, Anthony! I only wish I could have stayed longer at the symposium myself. I, too, am very much looking forward to Paul’s article!

    For what it’s worth, it claims to be game-used by Kyle Arrington, and it has the 50th Anniversary fauxback logo…


    Patriot Pat #2 died when Flying Elvis took over and has recently come back as a zombie. That can be the only explanation for #3’s gruesome looking face.

Comments are closed.