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A Madden-ing Situation

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As most of you probably know by now, I’m not a video gamer. I have nothing against gaming, mind you, but it’s never been my thing. Even back when video games only existed in the coin-op arcade realm (Pac-Man, Asteroids, Frogger, etc.), I was always more of a pinball guy than a video game guy.

I’m also not a huge Twitter user, at least compared to some people.

All of which makes the following announcement so amusing, at least to me: Starting with the next edition of EA Sports’s popular Madden NFL game, due out later this year, I will be part of the game’s faux Twitter feed.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about (a contingent that very nearly includes myself), Madden’s interface includes a faux Twitter feed that appears as a separate window within the game, like this (click to enlarge):

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The faux tweeters are mostly sportscasters, sportswriters, athletes, and other sports-related “celebrities.” It’s important to put that word in quotes, since the “celebrities” will now include me.

You probably have some questions. Allow me to anticipate some of them:

How did this happen? Like, did the Madden people contact you out of the blue, or did someone hook you up with them, or what?
One of the higher-ups from EA Sports, who says he’s a big Uni Watch fan, got in touch with me about 10 days ago and invited me to participate. It sounded like fun, so I said yes.

Will this just be a one-time thing? A long-term thing?
My contract is for two years, meaning the 2013 and ’14 editions of the game.

Will your tweets be about uniforms?

Have you already written your tweets?
Apparently the staff at EA Sports writes most of the faux tweets (although the celeb tweeters get to review them, sign off on them, etc.). That made me a little uncomfy — I wasn’t sure I wanted someone else putting words in my mouth, even if it was only faux Twitter words in my faux mouth — so I asked if I could have a more active role in the writing of my tweets. They said that would be fine. None of this work has taken place yet, though.

Will there me a little mug shot of you, like in the screen shot you posted above?
I think so, yes, although they haven’t yet asked me for a photo.

Do you have any inside info about the next edition of the game?
Yes, actually, but I’m not allowed to talk about it. Which is just as well, because I don’t even fully understand it.

Are you being paid for this?
Yes. It’s not a lot of money, although it’s some nice pocket change. Interestingly, all the faux tweeters are paid the same flat rate, regardless of how famous they are relative to one another (or at least that’s what I’ve been told). Or to put it another way, this is probably the only time I’ll ever have salary parity with Skip Bayless.

Have you ever played Madden, even once?

Taking money for the use your name and image constitutes a de facto endorsement of the product. How can you endorse something you haven’t even experienced first-hand?
That’s a fair question, and one that I thought about quite a bit before agreeing to go ahead with this.

Although I’ve never played Madden, I have a general sense of it, thanks to all the screen shots and YouTube clips I’ve seen relating to assorted uniform issues over the years. Plus I see all the commercials for it during NFL games, just like you do. Obviously, that isn’t the same as actually playing the game, but it’s not like it’s a completely foreign entity to me. Also, the game seems to have a fairly positive rep among gamers. Ultimately, I didn’t think my relative ignorance of the game should disqualify me from participating in it.

In any case, I’m not sure my participation constitutes an “endorsement.” I’ve written for many, many magazines and media outlets over the years, and that doesn’t mean I necessarily endorse everything they do. (If they’re inviting me to be part of the game, maybe they’re the ones endorsing me!) My work is generally built more on relationships with specific people than with organizations, and so far I’ve been very impressed with all the EA Sports people I’ve dealt with. So I feel good about this project.

I know lots of you play Madden — let’s hear from you folks. Any thoughts about my involvement?

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F1 Update, continued

This will be the final segment of Carlos ad Omar Jalife’s F1 season preview. We had to leave out a couple of the teams due to logistical problems, but they’ve still provided a strong overview of the upcoming season, which begins this Sunday. Hope you’ve enjoyed their work.

By Carlos and Omar Jalife

Sauber F1 Team
The Livery: The major change can be seen right away with the team going from a white/navy blue color scheme to graphite gray with small hints of white and red. It is not a normal team color, but it makes the team stand out from others on the grid. One thing that also stands out is how Sauber has managed to get his sponsors to adopt white instead of having three shades of blue like last year. It can be seen on the side of the front wing, on the side of the cockpit, and on top of the engine cover (that sponsor used to be red).
Aside from that, there aren’t many changes, though this is the first complete season that the team will be having the Chelsea FC logo on its cars, as last season’s sponsorship started after the fifth race. The Chelsea sponsorship also appears in white, instead of their usual blue.

Vanity panel: Sauber won’t be using one.

Fire suit: The drivers’ uniforms have gone from really boring to exciting. Instead of being just white with a big blue block on the chest and a tiny red line, the predominant color is now graphite gray with half the chest still white, but having two “fangs” descending to the knees. We can also see some gray on the shoulders and the neck, and the shoes are now black. You may have also noticed how the team’s name on the left leg has disappeared completely.

Helmets: Nico Hulkenberg has gone from orange to red. On the other side, Gutierrez has tinkered with his blue-to-yellow ratio (here’s the old version) and added a big Mexican flag on the back.

Carlos’s Verdict: Great color and design change. A+

Omar: Wow! A+

Scuderia Toro Rosso
The Livery: As incredible as it may sound, Toro Rosso made virtually no changes at all from last year, so we’ll focus on a couple of details. The red bull you see (toro rosso is Italian for red bull) is painted by artist Jos Pirkner, which explains why it doesn’t match to the brand’s logo. The numbers on the side wing have lost their golden circle, in order to make the numbers slightly bigger and easier to see. AThe nose’s red and golden lines (just above the suspension) that could be seen on the STR7 are nowhere to be found on this year’s car.

Vanity panel: Just like the other Italian F1 team (Ferrari), Toro Rosso has opted for the beauty panel.

Fire suit: The team got rid of the bull silhouettes on the shins of the drivers from last year and expanded the red and gold lines that went on the side to cover the leg area. The gold color on the inside of the sleeves is now gone (now it’s all blue), but the shoulders now have gold motifs to restore the color balance.

Helmets: The Australian Daniel Ricciardo has made no changes to his helmet, but expect special editions for his home Grand Prix. Jean Eric Vergne, from France, was also happy with his helmet and has made no changes from last year.

Carlos’s Verdict: A little bit boring and more generic every year. C

Omar: Looks good as it always has. A

Sahara Force India
The Livery: The VJM06 remains as the only team to use a green/white/orange combination in history of Formula 1. The car itself has no major color scheme changes, but on the rear wing we can see how the colors were nearly eliminated (here’s last year’s wing) in favor of having their sponsor in a bigger type size. Shameful. For those thinking that the lower-area sponsor doesn’t appear in this year’s wing, think again, as it was moved to a more visible place: just above the driver’s head. Double shame. Probably there isn’t a major change due to the one that happened from 2011 to 2012, but the sponsor’s lettering in the sidepod has lost its curviness and now is just angled, but straight. It has also been pushed to the front, as the black area of the exhausts now starts a lot earlier than in last year’s design. Finally, the nose is more orange due to the team dropping one of the sponsors from that area. Sure looks nice that way.

Vanity panel: The team will be using the panel in order to hide the platypus nose.

Fire suit: It’s easy to spot the one and only big difference between last year’s and this year’s: The big orange belly is gone and has been replaced by two subtle motifs. Does anyone else think these look like crab claws, just as if a crab were hugging the driver from behind?

Helmets: We saw that Paul di Resta changed the back of his helmet to incorporate the Scottish flag and has gotten rid of the yellow parts in order to use more blue. Not a bad move, but the design looks almost the same as the one he used for most of last season (not counting the special design he donned for the British Grand Prix). The other driver is Adrian Sutil, who has dropped the German flag colors in favor of the team colors. The new helmet blends in nicely with the car but has lost something.

Minor changes, but still an upgrade. B+

Omar’s Verdict: They are carefully creating their team identity with success and a nice color scheme. A-

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Clip job: Remember my recent-ish ode to the bread clip? I’ve now written a more formal piece about the clip vs. the twist-tie for Business Week. Enjoy.

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column features features the results of our “Redesign the Dolphins” challenge.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Big, big congrats to Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl, whose wife, Amy, gave birth to their first child, Quinn Ekdahl, on Monday. Mother and daughter are doing fine, but I’m not sure about John. Welcome to fatherhood, buddy! ”¦ “I almost want to give back my U. of Cincinnati degree,” says Brinke. Why? Guess. … Nobody’s said anything yet about giving back their Notre Dame degree, but it wouldn’t surprise me, based on what they wore last night. Woof! Additional pics here. ”¦ Danny Garrison’s latest round of football teams reimagined as soccer teams is for the NFC South. ”¦ A few days ago I ran that story about Indiana fans being forced to wear Michigan-colored shirts for a game at Ann Arbor. Now Jason Rosko has found visual confirmation — check out the guy in the top row, third from left. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Adidas has put together a pretty cool online archive of old footwear, jackets, balls, and other gear. If you can get past the utterly ridiculous introductory video, there’s some good exploring to be done here. … “I came across this yellow Brewers souvenir helmet at a store in Grand Rapids,” says David Murray. “I don’t think the Brew Crew has ever had a yellow helmet. In fact, other than the A’s in the 1960s, I don’t know of any MLB team that’s worn yellow helmets. Usually these souvenir versions are similar to the ones worn by the team, so this was an odd discovery.” … Unusual NOB spotted at Nats camp. Also, note the logo creep on the helmet (from Alan Borock). … “Thought you might enjoy this portrait of my uncle, cousins, and me wearing various combinations of our Watertown Pirates uniforms back in 1985,” says Brian Noel. “Watertown was a single-A Pirates affiliate that played in the NY-Penn League. My uncle (Woody Hunt, now head coach at Cumberland University) was the team’s manager for the 1985 season and a Pittsburgh Pirates scout.” … Jordany Valdespin, having been plunked in the nuts, says he will now wear a cup. … Lots of really sensational 1950s sportswear ads here (from Sean Clancy). … “New Springbok jersey coming out April 12 for the South African National Team,” reports Daniel McLaughlin. “Seems they’re finally slowly starting to realize down here what U.S. and European sports have known for a few years, namely that you can release a new jersey every season and people will still buy it.” How wonderful. … Ronaldo, a Nike-sponsored athlete who’s also the best soccer player in the world, may be moving from Real Madrid to Man U (a Nike-outfitted team), and Dustin Franklin isn’t happy about it: “Apparently part of Nike’s current contract negotiations with Manchester United involves Nike funding United’s acquisition of Ronaldo. Another aspect of this is that General Motors is becoming United’s primary sponsor next season. Apparently, part of those negotiations also involve GM paying part of Ronaldo’s salary if he returns to United. Obviously, every shoe company has a vested interest in wanting its athletes to play in big markets. However, I can’t recall a company so blatantly being an integral part in making sure a deal for a player goes through.” Further details here and here. … New football uniforms for D3 Luther College (from Aaron Richards). … Due to an NHL goalie injury and a late-arriving back-up, a practice goalie was given $500 and a jerseyto sit on the Ducks’ bench for a few minutes (from Bill Mitchell). … An unidentified Bayern Munich player was apparently covering up an offending toque logo yesterday. “Or he might simply be showing support for the Towson baseball team,” says Matt Bryce. … Now that there’s a new Pope, Andy McNeel has designed a rookie card for him. … If Seattle gets a new basketball arena, it might look like this (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ “I am trying to envision what the Devils’ jersey would look like if it used all the other NHL teams’ templates,” says Steven Wojtowicz. The results are a little weird, at least to my eyes, but take a look and see what you think. ”¦ Matt Snyder asks a question that I have a feeling we’ve asked (and maybe answered) in past years, but I can’t remember for sure, so here goes: “With the conference tournaments underway, I’m curious if you know how the conferences go about choosing what brand of ball to use? Is it handled by each conference? Maybe even the building the tourney is held in? I’ve seen three Big East games, all using the Nike ball; two Mountain West games, both with the Nike ball; and the SEC just tipped with the Wilson ball.” Anyone know more about this? ”¦ Jon Silber spotted two different boys’ rugby teams wearing barber pole socks. Although the socks look twisted, they were actually designed to look that way. ”¦ I’m not sure what the Louisiana-Lafayette tennis team was wearing yesterday, and I’m not sure I want to know either (from Daniel Fontenot). … Looks like David Wright may soon be named captain of the Mets. No indication yet as to whether he’ll wear a “C.” My hunch is that the organization would be in favor of the letter, while Wright himself would be opposed to it. We shall see (or “C”).

Comments (157)

    This Madden news is fantastic. The Twitter element is already a fun feature and seeing someone I ‘know’ (ie read Mon-Fri, email occasionally, had lunch with once) is going to be quite a kick.
    Good work, Paul.

    Paul, when I heard about the fake twitter feed last year in the Madden game, I found it odd that these “journalists” would allow EA to “put words in their mouth” as you say. I am glad that you too also saw an issue with this. I’m also very pleased that EA is allowing you to review and even have a more active role in creating these tweets.

    Well, a video game is fake players making plays they didn’t really make, so they should be accompanied by fake tweets from journalists that didn’t really make them either.

    Glad they’re gonna let you sign off on them, though. I’d hate to see the fake twittering Paul Lukas say something good about purple or BFBS or corporate sponsorship or something.

    “I wasn’t sure I wanted someone else putting words in my mouth, even if it was only faux Twitter words in my faux mouth” — Paul Lukas

    “If I’m going to make a fake movie, it’s gonna be a fake hit.” — Alan Arkin, in “Argo”.

    Please, do whatever you can, to get the orange pants for the Browns. They are absent from the game and it is disgusting.

    Agreed! Take me back to 1980! (Furthermore, the Browns’ current unis flout a rule of thumb I like to follow: that the color of the helmet should match either the jersey or the pants. Anytime the helmet, jersey and pants are each a different color, it looks like something cobbled together from other teams’ leftovers.)

    If they’re going to involve you in the game for the fake-twitter, you should ask them to let you check that all of the in game uniforms are actually accurate. There were a couple of really stupid mistakes in last year’s game – the Bears orange pants as the default option (the game even had them incorrectly labelled as navy), the Panthers shoulder stripe colors were reversed, and there were a few other issues with some of the throwback uniforms. You’re the Uni-Guy, make ’em fix that shit.

    Jeff, not sure if it was fixed by an update but when I play, the Bears uniform combinations are correct.

    Really? I haven’t played in a couple months… I guess I’ll have to fire it up and check. Out of the box, the Bears default “navy” pants were orange – there was still an option for a different set that actually was navy, but if you were playing the connected career mode you could only access them if you were playing *as* the Bears, not as their opponent.

    Good for them if they did fix it, but it should have never been an issue in the first place.

    there’s always muss ups like this in Madden. for years the default away uniform for the Browns is a white top with brown pants.

    link from Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin regarding the garbage fruit stripe uniforms.

    Relevant from the article:

    UC’s new adidas uniforms — with orange lettering and camouflage shorts — were a hit with the players but not so much with the media covering the game Wednesday. When Sean Kilpatrick said the players loved them, a reporter asked if they feel better than they look.

    Cronin was quick to come to adidas’ defense.

    “If you guys were going to go out tonight, they wouldn’t dress like you either,” Cronin said. “They think they look good. And the most important thing is the recruits think they look great. That’s the most important thing. So we’re appreciative that adidas includes us in their program in the postseason.”

    Mick Cronin is a poser wannabe D1 coach. He should be washing middle school jockstraps in Jerkwater, USA

    Ugh. I get that new recruits are the lifeblood of any college program, but the constant pandering to immature 17 and 18 year olds is just sickening. Nick Saban says he has to spend a year essentially “de-recruiting” Bama football commitments so they will get over the big-headedness (is that a word?) from their now years of being recruited, and learn to function as an equal part of a team. I can’t imagine the egos some of these kids already have coming into college. Makes me think some coaches actually earn their pay.

    Honestly, I haven’t heard about that. But someone that successful doesn’t get there by procrastinating. Just because you don’t like a process doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what it takes to be successful, as somebody else will be there to outwork you if you slip. If a kid is good enough for a scholarship offer in the 8th grade, I’m assuming he has attention from more than one school.

    Just watched a Simpsons episode that is related to this.

    Lisa: I’d like 25 copies on Goldenrod.
    Clerk: Right.
    Lisa: 25 on Canary.
    Clerk: Mmhmm.
    Lisa: 25 on Saffron.
    Clerk: All right.
    Lisa: And 25 on Paella.
    Clerk: Ok, 100 yellow.

    Always enjoy Myrna Loy films…particularly the Thin Man series and The Best Years of Our Lives.

    The Padres had a yellow section on their helmet during the Taco Bell era, but of course the helmets were mostly brown.

    The ‘1979’ Rays helmets (and hats for that matter) would have looked much better with a similar yellow panel instead of the powder blue one.

    It’s funny, I Googled “MLB yellow helmet” and that yellow Brewers souvenir helmet shows up in the results.

    I also think it’s pretty cool that you’re going to be in Madden Paul. Hopefully you’ll become the de facto advisor for all “the little things” like proper colors, patches, stickers, etc.

    Ronaldo the best soccer player in the world?

    Um, I would say that given Lionel Messi has won the past three FIFA Ballon d’Or awards (given annually to the player who is considered to have performed the best in the previous season, in any league in the world), I think Ronaldo may have to settle for second best player in the world!

    “Ronaldo, a Nike-sponsored athlete who’s also the best soccer player in the world…”

    Shouldn’t that read, “Ronaldo, a Nike-sponsored athlete who’s also the best soccer player in the world after Lionel Messi…”?

    Full disclosure here: I am a massive United supporter. I tend to see the world through red-colored lenses. Obviously, this means I have a huge man-crush on Cristiano Ronaldo and more than a little dislike for Barcelona. So for me, Ronaldo is better than Messi. Also, when I lived in Europe, all of my friends referred to United players by only their first or last name. I picked up that habit. I actually did refer to him as Cristiano Ronaldo in the first line of my email to Paul. Old habits die hard, though.

    Great to see footie slowly taking over uni-watch. We’ll have Paul devoting columns to the finer points of Premier League change kits in no time.

    Paul, congratulations on getting into Madden! Do any of the other major sports video games have Twitter feeds integrated into them, and will you be in any of those?

    In the older versions of Madden you could make four alternate uniforms for any team in franchise mode. The PR department would always tell you they were awful.

    ND people have already returned their degrees for either inviting Obama to give the commencement address in 2010 or wearing those stupid helmets against Miami this year.

    Sad that ND has to lower itself to that level.

    But interesting that they chose to wear green, not blue. I think the last time they wore white uniforms with green letters and numbers was in the Kelly Tripucka era, 1978-80, though they have sometimes wore green uniforms on the road since then.

    I don’t know what was worse — the Notre Dame uniform or the Ragin Cajuns’ tennis team.

    Supernal ugliness just this side of the Caribous of Colorado.

    We could do an Ugliest Uniform bracket and fill out 32 teams on 2012-13 designs alone!

    Paul, congrats on making it into Madden.

    In your interview, I would have slipped a Tim Tebow-related question between the “Are you being paid for this?” and “Have you ever played Madden, even once?” questions. Something along the lines of, “Would Tim Tebow be a better faux tweeter than you?” or “Is EA giving Tim Tebow a serious chance to be the quarterback of the New York Jets in the new Madden?”

    I have to say I dig the Louisiana-Lafayette tennis shirts. Not the huge logo mind you, but the shirts themselves. Reminds me of something I would have worn in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I could definitely picture Andre Agassi rocking them.

    That Nats’ NOB jersey is for outfielder Will Piwnica-Worms — signed out of Duke University in June 2012.

    Here’s the best shot I could find of his college NOB kit: link

    He (and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Brent Lillibridge, and many others) is live evidence for why NOBs need to disappear. The only reason they’re that big to begin with is because back in the ’70s, that’s what could be seen on standard-definition TVs. Now that era’s crude graphics on the screen have given way to a ton of finely-detailed information being displayed all throughout the game. Soon we’ll be watching games on internet TV and calling up player info by speaking into our computers’ microphones. Ditch the outdated NOBs entirely.

    I’m eagerly awaiting a screen cap of virtual Paul raving about how much he loves some team’s new purple unis.

    Precisely the reason why Paul has asked for a little more “creative control” over his “Tweets” . . .

    Other than the helmet logo, there is nothing wrong with the Washington football team’s uniforms.

    Definitely agreed. It’d just be funny coming from Paul, who won’t even create membership cards of teams with Native American nicknames (not a criticism, just an observation).

    Ummm, yes there is.

    The helmet stripes don’t match the jersey stripes don’t match the (yellow) pants stripes.

    They need a cleanup.


    I’m as anal an any UWer so I’d agree that the stripes need to match. But in terms of colors (and I’d like it if they only wear the gold pants with the burgundy tops — they should wear either white or burgundy pants with the white tops), that uni is fine as is…just ditch the hat logo.

    Since the Madden game is NFL licensed, it’s going to be interesting to see if Paul remains on his high horse when fake tweeting about the Redskins as he does in his other writings. My guess is that the NFL won’t allow one of it’s licensee’s to post condemnation of one of it’s member teams name and logo.

    Just cuz I’m curious, Reggie, could you please cite a specific example of when I’ve been “on [my] high horse” regarding the ’Skins? Please provide a direct quote and the URL from which it’s taken. Thanks.

    Take your time. You’ll likely need it.

    Actually, it didn’t take too long at all:

    “It’s not about whether the names themselves are “derogatory”; it’s about whether a culture that stole a continent through a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing has any right to be appropriating the cleansed culture’s iconography. THAT’S what’s offensive – cherrypicking names and imagery from a people you more or less destroyed, and using that imagery to SELL STUFF. It’s vulgar.” Uniwatch March 18, 2012 link

    Sounds a little preachy, no? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am extremely fond of Uniwatch and your work, writings, observations, etc., and I realize it’s your blog, and you I fully respect your opinions, but this particular stance comes off as, well, on the cloyingly sanctimonius side. I just wonder how the Washington Redskins organization, and ultimately the NFL would take the above quotation if it appeared in one of the faux tweets in their licensee’s game, whether you’d be requested to censor it, and whether you would then censor it or quit the gig.

    Hey, that’s pretty good — well done!

    But that’s from a year ago. I’m not saying it “doesn’t count” or anything like that, but if you’ve read my writings on this topic over the past year, you know that my very consistent position is that this is a matter of self-determination and intellectual property.

    In any case, I haven’t refused to cover the Redskins, nor have I reflexively mentioned the controversy about their name when referring to, say, a ’Skins player with a torn jersey or an interesting NOB.

    In short: I mention the name controversy when it comes up, or when I’m asked about it, or when someone sends me a Ticker contribution about it, or when I’m covering an event that relates to it (like the recent symposium in DC). But I don’t really see how any of that relates to Madden’s faux-Twitter feed, esp. since I’ve literally *never* mentioned the name issue on my real Twitter feed (except when sending out a link to an article I’ve already written about it).

    In short: It seems like you’re looking to find a conflict or controversy where none exists.

    Well, despite my feelings on the names and logos, I look forward to Uniwatch every day. Keep up the good work and congrats on the Madden game.


    Speaking of money… Patrick Hruby ‘s take on the ‘Skinless ones naming issues can be read here.


    It’s all about the money… and the legal teams “projecting” stategery.

    In regards to the basketball used for Conference tournament games, I believe the “home” team’s choice of ball is used as it would be in a regular season game. Therefore, the designated home team (in white) would be the one supplying the basketball. Once the actual NCAA tournament begins, every team will have to use a Wilson basketball.

    Actually, the Conference teams can vote on the ball used. There are three options:

    1) Home team can choose the ball, no matter the game — outside of the NCAA tournament

    2) Home team can choose the ball in non-conference games, but the conference has a ball of choice for all conference games

    3) Conference voted on using the NCAA regulation ball for all games.

    I only hope the link doesn’t follow faux tweeters!

    All jokes aside, congrats on making it into a video game, Paul! That’s awesome!

    That goodness my JMU Dukes (Colonial champs) are not Fruitstripers! I would be mortified.

    Paul, I love that you’re going to be in the Madden game. LOVE IT. I almost never play it (it’s frankly too difficult for me, Tecmo Bowl is more my speed) but I seem to buy it on closeout every five years or so just to give it another try. I’ll definitely swing a look in the direction of the next edition!

    This is an endorsement of you. Journalism has been around a lot longer than video games. EA Sports inclusion of you and your concepts and ideas proves that the “Obsessive Study of Athletic Aesthetics” is an important part of the entire sports fans mindset. Congratulations!!

    I can’t take credit for the Pope’s “rookie card.” I wouldn’t know how to make something like that. I just happened across it yesterday. :)

    DIY Expertise Needed:

    I have started my first DIY jersey project, and yesterday, my chest patch arrived. It has a hard plastic backing attached now. Can anyone tell me if it’s better to leave the backing on or take it off? I fear leaving it on and causing sewing/washing difficulties, but I also fear pulling it off and watching the patch fall to pieces before my eyes.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Hey Jim!

    I have a vest that I use as my “uniform” whe I work at our local zoo. It’s covered in patches from a variety of different zoos. I have found that removing the hard, glue-like backing makes sewing infinitely easier when attaching the patch. Because the patches are embroidered, they don’t fall apart at all. I suspect the glue is there for people who simply want to iron it on.

    Without knowing more about the chest logo, I’d say that if it’s embroidered, it should be fine.

    Thanks, Teebz! Well, I was going to wait until I put it together to share here, but I’ll go ahead and provide what I can. I’ve purchased a white jersey with a royal blue headspoon (link), as well as a Cubs walking cub embroidered patch (link). Once the jersey arrives, the two shall be married. This is what I think the Cubs should wear as a home jersey (allowing a certain level of tradition, traditional look in general, but also a new identity for a team that’s done nothing but not win world series since taking on the current home look.

    In my experience, the patch won’t fall apart if you remove the backing, but removing it may be a time consuming.

    In regards to making sewing easier, after a mishap in removing the plastic from one of my first patches, I adjusted by only removing the plastic around the edges. Much quicker process, and still allows for easy sewing

    There’s an easy way to get that off, Ben, depending on how much you want to do. I use the “sticker method”.

    Using an exacto-knife, cut the hard backing down the middle. Fold the patch in two, allowing the cut to become a break in the glue (you may have to run the exacto-knife over the cut a couple of times to facilitate a “clean break”). Fold the patch in half, and peel the backing off SLOWLY so that threads stuck to it aren’t broken, causing the embroidery to be wrecked.

    Some patches use terrible glue and it just falls apart. Others have superior glue, and it peels away quite nicely. I can’t stress the “SLOWLY” portion enough though. Peel SLOWLY.

    Thanks, I’ll give that a try on my next one. It’s been a couple of years since a DIY’d anything may have to work on some new concepts.

    If it’s a hard plastic backing and not just glue and if you want to remove it, a member of the Icejerseys forum (JeffB) has a method for removing hard plastic from patches. link

    That’s UniWatch reader and contributor JeffB! And Rob Ullman tossed a comment on there as well!

    We’re a small, tight-knit community in the hockey world. LOL

    One of my favorite things in Madden is trying to find the most hideous uniforms possible. Powder blue Eagles vs. Navy&yellow-dot Packers was one of my favorite matchups. I didn’t get the game this year, but I’m sure the bumblebee steelers would quickly become a favorite. I barely ever play in non-throwbacks if I can avoid it.

    Having someone in the game pointing out the absurdity of my uniform choices would really add a lot for me–I might pick up this year’s game now.

    EA Sports- If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.

    So glad to see Uni-Watch representing even in the virtual world. Congrats Paul. Looking forward to seeing how your “Tweets” get integrated.

    Congrats Paul, can we expect gems like “Joe Flacco looked good in that fine purple Ravens jersey, shame about the neckroll”?

    Sauber clearly used a graphite color for their 2012 car. The only navy blue i saw was for sponsor logos.

    I checked again and the fire suit has a blue stripe link
    It is the same color used in the livery
    I still believe it is a very dark blue last year and more grpahite this year.
    Thanks Dan


    I’m not a big Madden player myself but I wanted to tell you how cool I think this is going to be! Many people I know are into the idea of uni watching or at least spending 5 mins picking their uni in the game. Having your uniform notes on the side of the screen might make the user more interested in our little geeky world. Maybe it could become a standard thing in all the major games.


    Thanks for the post on the new Luther College uniforms — I’m a Luther grad and did play-by-play for football games on the campus radio station in the late ’90s. Since they introduced the “Norsehead” logo in 2002, I’ve always thought they should have that on the helmet, but the team never went with that look (it’s usually been numbers). Hopefully that gets fixed with the new unis.

    From the screenshot of Madden, to me it looks like the “tweets” are boilerplate text with details like player names inserted. I expect most “tweeters” are happy to take EA’s cheque for use of their image.

    If Paul gets involved “editorially”, would he have more input than even John Madden himself?

    Paul, the news about you being involved with Madden are excellent to hear, and I’m very happy for you. I would like to see if they allow you to comment on how accurate uniforms are, but the fake Twitter feed is still a very cool thing to be a part of. You should be allowed to write your own “tweets,” but I suppose at least allowing you to edit and sign off on them is an acceptable option.

    Congratulations to John and Amy for the birth of Quinn!

    The new concept for a possible Supersonics arena looks extremely neat, I’d love to see it implemented. The Devils concepts are interesting to say the least, but it is weird to see them rebranded in the other formats. Lastly, the Minnesota practice goalie story was a fantastic read to start my day.

    The whole Cristiano Ronaldo+Nike/GM synergy thing isn’t *that* crazy or entirely unprecedented.

    When David Beckham was getting ready to move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, it was a terribly kept secret that adidas was making things work in the background.

    Plus, it’s customary for clubs to pay a player a basic playing salary plus marketing rights. When Beckham moved to Madrid, he agreed to give back half of the marketing rights fee knowing that his adidas and Pepsi (which sponsored both Beckham and Real) endorsements would get a bump.

    Thank you Omar and Carlos for the awesome F1 preview!
    I can’t say that I’ll watch races flag-to-flag from now on, but I won’t be so quick to change the channel as I have done in the past.
    I don’t see crab claws on those Sahara Force India
    firesuits, but their livery’s paint scheme does resemble a Tabasco bottle.
    Great work and enjoy the season!

    I did enjoy the F1 preview. I’m not a race fan myself, but, if push came to shove, I’d pick open wheel racing over stock car. I like that the preview was spread out over several days; it might have been a bit overwhelming if it was all in one entry. Great job, guys!

    “Looks like David Wright may seeon be name captain of the Mets.”

    Should this be “soon be named”?

    Great news on being included in Madden. I look forward to seeing your disgust of the unitard in video game format.

    congrats paul, that’s pretty cool!

    hey, where do kids play rugby in the usa…?

    and an even more important question (i’m not asking for the reason you’re probably thinking) is it full contact/tackle, or a kid-friendly alternative (touch rugby or something)…?

    Kids play rugby all over the USA. Full-blown William Webb Ellis rugby. There are some touch rugby programs too (but us old guys are trying to stamp them out). There are many high-school programs, and scattered grade-school programs. Certainly nothing like the prep school and elementary school requirements from the UK.

    Found some more info. USA Rugby also sponsors “Rookie Rugby”, which is non-contact (flag and touch) for kids. link

    oh, btw, brinke, if it makes you feel any better, when i saw the uc safety orange and zubaz unis, i threw up in my mouth a little…

    Might have to actually pick up Madden this year if you’re gonna be in it, Paul. Usually I just stick with the FIFA series.

    Love the old school link. One thing that stood out is the jersey in the back left, I don’t ever think I’ve seen shoulder stripe combo like that before.

    IMHO shoulder stripes are a forgotten element in MLB unis. After being fairly common in the 80s and earlier they were all phased out by ’94. link were the last one’s to use them, oddly enough those appeared for one year after every other team had gotten rid of them.

    I’d love to see some team revive them, even if it’s just a simple single, solid colored stripe.

    Congrats on becoming an official celeb now. Haha! Please, PLEASE, tell EA that their diehard fans are begging for a new “Create-a-Team” feature revamped for the next version. I’ve sworn off buying any new version until I see it. But now with you on it, I almost feel obligated.

    Creamer has some more info on the new UConn Huskie:

    “From what I’ve been shown it won’t be too agressive looking afterall, but certainly not as friendly as their current logo.”

    I went to one of the Big East women’s tournament games in Hartford, and during a break there was an announcement that mentioned that Nike was the official ball of the men’s and women’s Big East tournaments.

    Whoops — hit send too soon. Not sure how it was decided (Guess: $$), but at least in the Big East, it’s the same ball for every game, men and women.

    If it’s anything like Madden ’12 it’s going to be half-assed.

    It’s always good to see your work promoted though cause the site is great.

    Hell I don’t even think you could edit uniforms in Madden ’12 – the game sucked so bad I returned it before I could find out.

    Red Bull’s suits are(I think)the One Evo model made by OMP; according to the manufacturer’s website “each individual component of the suit can be customized”. That seems to include the leg cuffs, since the display models all have elastic(?) cuffs.


    Speaking of Red Bull, I would find the car # easier to see if it was outlined in white instead of gold but my eyesight is not all that great.

    When I did my driver suit column, I discussed the boot cut and why it was critical in NASCAR, with the engine in front of the driver with only 4 or 5 inches of separation. I’m guessing that the boot leg cuffs on Red Bull are for aesthetics…not that I’m complaining.

    YOU SOLD OUT! You lucky bastard…

    (By which I mean: Congratulations! Sounds like a fun little gig.)

    I was looking at the Devils’ jerseys if they used other NHL templates, and came across the patch shown in the last image on this page:


    That uses the logo of the British Elite Ice Hockey League’s Cardiff Devils (look here for a comparison – link ), but the caption mentions the New Jersey Devils ‘taking a step back towards this Devil look’ – is it a logo they’ve ever used at any point, and if they have, whose was it first?

    Like the pope card!

    Some mascot news from the University of Denver. Apparently the Disney-designed Denver Boone continues to be offensive to influential folks: link.

    Congrats on the Madden gig, Paul! It’s good to hear you’re more a pinball guy. My father passed that love of pinball onto me. Friends and family usually hate to play me. I probably played more arcade and home video games than you, but, if an arcade has a pinball game I like (The Cyclone, Flight 2000, The Simpsons, etc.), I usually make a beeline.

    I would think with the scripting within the code of the game, I hope you can expand more than the usual “_____ was seen rocking the new Nike ____” fill in the blank stuff.

    Hope EA Tiburon allows you to “leak” some stuff!

    I haven’t played Madden 13 in a while, but the BIGGEST bullcrap about the uniforms in the Connected Careers mode is you can ONLY change uniforms for YOUR team and not the team you are playing against. That is stupid and hopefully they will fix that so I can go back to my “making teams always play in 80s era uniforms” way of life.

    Last I checked, madden uses the “offensive” redskins logo. What a golden oppty that was to make a stand for your beliefs.

    Oh well, enjoy the check!

    Interesting take. I suppose you think I should never cover any uni-related news re: the ’Skins, yes? Like, if there’s a torn jersey, or an NOB typo, etc.? A total boycott of anything ’Skins-related — that’s what you have in mind, yes?

    In fact, according to this “logic,” I should never write anything about the NFL ever again, since the ’Skins are a (small) part of the league, just as they’re a (small) part of the Madden game.

    Or maybe you’re just looking to create a conflict where none exists.

    This just happened in the Chelsea-Steau Bucharest match:
    It appears Torres got a kick in the head by Szukala when he was on the ground. He’s now back on the pitch wearing a shirt with no name.

    A couple notes:

    Paul, congrats on both the Madden thing and getting published in Business Week.

    Everyone who was on here yesterday–thanks for not telling me “Simmer down now!” As it happens, I did get some constructive feedback on my Dolphins logo from one of the other entrants (Daniel Gold). He told me that interpreting the sunburst as a plane I could stretch and skew was not one of my better ideas, and that it would not jibe with the leaping dolphin. So now I’m going to experiment a little more with my logo to see how it would look with the circular sunburst instead of the stretched/skewed one.

    This comment might get lost because its so late, but here goes:

    I wonder about the role of ESPN, as a news service and as a “partner” of the various leagues in providing entertainment.

    In most traditional organizations, there’s a wall between news and entertainment. News operates independently, so that news is free to tell important stories without being pressured to ignore certain stories, or to present certain stories in a positive light.

    To use a current example – the news side of ESPN should feel free to report on NFL head trauma without pressure from the NFL because of the MNF relationship.

    Here’s my question: where do you fit into that? Is this going to compromise your ability to report on uniforms the way you want? Or do you think there will be pressure to report on behalf of EA / NFL?

    I’ve never seen any sign of your independence being compromised so far, and I appreciate your ability and willingness to call bullshit on NFL/MLB/NBA even though they’re partnered with ESPN. I hope that never changes.

    I haven’t had a chance to read today’s column, but I came here as soon as I heard this. This just happened in the U.S. vs. D.R. game:

    “This copyrighted telecast is presented by the authority of the World Baseball Classic Inc. and may not be reproduced or re-transmitted in any form and the accounts and descriptions of this game may not be disseminated without express written consent… you Internet pirates, you.”

    I don’t even

    The buzz on Twitter about those is AWFUL. Someone posted this Orlando Thunder pic for the lime green.


    But I’ve noticed two other things…(1) look how far apart the 1 and 2 are on Kerwin Bell’s TV numbers, and (2) color-on-color in the WLAF!

    ESPN radio had a segment on uniforms Wednesday night, I was expecting to hear something from Paul Lukas..instead they went with Steve Levy. They called it their ‘Uni Bracket’.

    Is there anybody (and I mean ANYBODY) that says “Gee, Notre Dame unis look really sharp!”

    Besides the players and possibly the 17 year olds they hope to attract?

    Um…that would be a resounding “NO”

    A 17 year old thinks it’s cool to look like Kermit the Frog? Man, how fashion has changed since I was 17! I never wanted to dress like a Sharpie, but that’s just me.

    Oddly, a girl I follow on Twitter just said she liked them.

    And I thought she was cute before that. Whoops.

    That’s a really cool thing about Madden. What you should do is go through the uniforms, and really let them know what they get wrong. There are a ton of little mistakes, omitted throwbacks, etc. that kind of just slip through the cracks. Check out this thread and see if you can maybe talk to them about the next game.


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