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Speed Kills

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A few weeks ago I received an email from reader Marty Hick, who wrote, “Could Uni Watch sponsor my race car? My friend is holding a pinewood derby in his back yard and I would love for Uni Watch to sponsor my car. All it would take is a Uni Watch sticker.”

For those who don’t recall, Marty is referring to these stickers. I gave away a bunch of them a few winters ago. I had only three left — one of each color — so I mailed all three of them to Marty.

You can see the totally boss results in the photo above. “I didn’t want to slap a whole sticker on there,” says Marty. “That’s why I cut one of them into pieces. The driver (head) came from a Tonka motocross rider I had as a kid. Had to paint the orange helmet white. And for the record, I imagine the driver to be a miniature version of myself. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at the races because Holly [Marty’s lovely wife] and I had another engagement, so I had to race by proxy.”

Despite (or maybe because of..?) the proxy arrangement, Marty’s car — excuse me, our car — ended up winning! Here are two shots of the car with the trophy:


Some of the other cars that participated — all of them clearly inferior to the Uni Watch car, of course — can be seen in this slideshow (if the slideshow gives you trouble, you can also see the photos here):

And here’s a very short and admittedly not-so-great video of the pinewood derby action:

It occurs to me that we’ve never covered pinewood derbies or soapbox derbies here on Uni Watch before, but I’m assuming many of you (and/or your children) have participated in them. If you have photos and stories to share, let’s see ’em and hear ’em!

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Soccer jersey shout-out: Do you know a lot about soccer jerseys, especially from the 1980s and ’90s? Do you have at least some knowledge of South American soccer? If so, then reader Scott Little wants to talk with you. You can contact him directly here. Thanks.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is a year-by-year look at MLB’s stars-and-stripes caps.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Pacers will try short-sleeve jerseys during their summer league games (thanks, Phil). … This year’s MLB All-Star Game BP jerseys will be the template for a new set of team BP jerseys next season (Phil again). … The NFL is inviting fans to vote for the greatest uniform in league history. … Look at these great old Michigan football postcards. You can see other cool memorabilia by using the menu at the top of the page (from Tommy Turner). … New Era has started selling a pair of Mariano Rivera caps. The patch is interesting — really shows how that TV shot of Rivera coming in from the bullpen has become the definitive image of him. … This is pretty interesting: a history of polka dots (from David Wilson). … Good story about how NFL teams fare after a logo change (from Matt Dubroff). … Check out the 1975 Hawaiian Islanders — sort of a modified tequila sunrise. “Also, for a team based in Hawaii, they sure picked a lousy day for a team photo!” says Bruce Menard. … The Cubs are giving away some very cool wrestling masks on July 30 (from Tom Mulgrew). … Bayern Munich, which is outfitted by Adidas, had a kit unveiling the other day. Just one slight problem: The players at the unveiling wore Nike shirts (from Mark Emge). … Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays has been on a hot streak since borrowing teammate R.A. Dickey’s pants (from Mike Styczen). … Someone on a Virginia Tech fan board thinks the Hokies have made some slight football jersey adjustments, although I think it’s dangerous to make assumptions based on a retail replica mock-up like that (from Andrew Cosentino). … New training kit for Everton. “Not liking the horizontal and vertical stripes,” says Mark Coale. … New logo for the Freedom Tower One World Trade Center (from Dave Rakowski). … New 30th-anniverary logo for Hockey East (from Erik Sundermann). … Recent Astros call-up Brett Oberholtzer has a very nicely arched NOB (from Ryan Dunsmore). ”¦ Bit of a uni-number mix-up for the Jazz (from Stephen Vincent). ”¦ With Independence Day almost here, the New York Public Library has been exhibiting a copy of the Declaration of Independence and a copy of the Bill of Rights. The New Girl and I went to see them yesterday afternoon. The D of I was particularly interesting — it wasn’t anything like the version we’re all used to seeing. It was written by Thomas Jefferson on several regular-sized sheets of paper (about 9″ by 12″, I’d say), and without all the big calligraphic flourishes. Although faded, it’s actually easier to read than the more famous version, because the penmanship is more conventional. It’s less dramatic-looking than the famous version (which is on display at the National Archives, where I’ve seen it a few times, most recently in 2003), and it doesn’t have any signatures at the end, but in some ways it’s a more accessible, more intimate rendition. I really enjoyed seeing it. Highly recommended if you happen to be in NYC, although you’ll need to move fast — today’s the last day it’s on display.

Comments (72)

    Take a look at the bottom picture in the Bayern Munich article. They don’t have Gatorade glued to their press conference table. They have Coke Zero, a beer, and a bottled water.

    Surprised they don’t have players drive into the press conference in an Audi, then place bets on Bwin using their T-Mobile phones.

    They, of course, arrived in Munich in the first place via Lufthansa. And their Deutsche Telekom phones were probably from Samsung’s Galaxy line.

    I was hopeless at making fast pinewood derby cars as a kid so I would always go for the most original category. I won district honors twice – once for a car that was shaped like a $1 million check to the race winner, and once for a car shaped like a “Surge” soda machine, complete with a hinged door revealing a “surge” fuel tank. They’d run a race between all the cars in the “most original” category at district finals just for fun and I’d find a way to lose that race, too!

    Just saw today’s site for the first time, and need to say how cool Marty Hick is and how (characteristically) generous PL is. Car looks fab, too, better by miles than the competition. And Ray, I had no idea of the existence of pinewood derby cars, much less that there are pinewood derby districts, but now I love it. It’s the kind of activity that – on July 3rd especially — makes me glad to live in the Great Republic. Cheers, y’all.

    The copy of the Declaration in the Archives – the one we all think of when we imagine the Declaration as a physical object – was really just the ceremonial copy for Congress to sign. Since the whole point of the exercise was to inform “mankind” – especially the British king and parliament – that the colonies were now free and independent states, I tend to think that the “real” original Declaration is the first printed edition that was produced and sent to state governments, the Army, foreign capitals, and London. Here’s a copy from the Library of Congress:


    More readable, and I’d say more democratic, since it’s a mass-produced edition rather than a single relic.

    But speaking of fancy XVIII century penmanship, my first great hope for the Nats was that they’d adopt a cap logo based on the W at the start of the famous copy of the Constitution in the Archives (the preamble’s opening “We the people …”):


    That calligraphed Constitutional W sure looks a lot better than the loopy left-over Senators one that the Washington MLB team latched onto after the move from Montreal.

    I think there’s something wrong with the voters when the Carolina Panthers all-black uniform from last year is winning over the 1970’s Cardinals. Carolina shouldn’t even have a uniform in the throwback bracket, the NFL guys should have just grabbed a 2nd throwback from one of the teams who’ve worn a few distinctive styles since 1960 – like the Eagles or Rams.

    My head hurts. :(

    The Panthers’ best uniform was Year One (so, for that matter, was the Jaguars) and they have only changed incrementally. I don’t get the hate. Certainly not in a class with the Steelers, Packers or Raiders, but hardly offensive to my eye.

    There’s nothing wrong with the Panthers uniforms… and I liked the all-black alt – it just doesn’t belong in the throwback bracket when uniforms like the 74-84 Eagles aren’t included. Same on the AFC side, why bother with a Chiefs throwback if it means only getting one Chargers throwback? Surely both the powder blue and the Fouts-era are worthy of competing, while KC has worn basically the same thing for their entire existence.

    UniWatch should just do their own NFL Uni tournament with all our suggestions implemeneted… always mucks up such things in their rush to be first (like last year when they did their preseason uniform rankings a few days before UniWatch did theirs).

    There’s nothing wrong with the Panthers uniforms…except for those helmet stripes.

    Whoever did the NFC bracket must’ve been high. Whoever wins Seahawks-Buccaneers is going to be eliminated by the Giants (who will win against the Cardinals), while a lot of the stronger uniforms face each other in the first round. And you have to choose between the current mess in Atlanta or the Washington football team whose uniforms are a classic but their nickname is racist? At least the AFC bracket has clearly strong teams going up against weaker ones.

    As for the throwbacks? Well, the Kardiac Kids Browns throwbacks will easily top the Steelers bumblebee uniforms in what will be one of the only times Cleveland tops Pittsburgh in anything.

    Now we need someone to make a racer x / dick dastardly anti-uni watch car thats purple and covered in logos. :)

    haha! BFBS with purple bettman stripes and/or side panels. big nike swoosh as the main sponsor. all sponsor logos will be the color teal. the wheels will be camo print. the numbers will be stars and stripes print. the racers name will be “brought to you by” some fast food chain, and have the worst possible kerning. the car itself will have beveled edges. what am i missing?

    . . . it has to say “Redskins 4vr”, and add a cross and a mogen David.

    . . . and the number should be preceded by an apostrophe catastrophe. The number should probably be 91 (13*7) with the two digits in different fonts and the 9 being a cut-and-pasted 2.

    The pit crew would alternate wearing Chief Wahoo and Laughing Indian hats, the ownership group would consist of Dan Snyder, PETA, and the Jeff!

    Ok, since apparently we’ve decided that I really am The Anti-Paul, can I get my comments in a special color box too?

    The Anti-Paul would have a box that makes his comments less visible to the reader. This might be a positive boon…!

    Re: the ESPN column from yesterday, the 4th of July shots of the Nats’ John Patterson with the flag sticker on his sideburn were actually from 2006,not 2007.

    The Bayern/Nike screwup is even more embarrassing for Bayern, considering adidas is a shareholder in the club, and Bayern was one of the first clubs to wear a manufacturer’s logo on the shirt, so the association goes back several decades.

    The “how NFL teams have fared after a logo change” article is lame. What we want to see is how they fared after a UNIFORM change. Also, several times in the article, the word “log” was used instead of “logo”.

    Yeah… rather lazy on the part of the writer there. He only looked at the most recent logo changes when there’s plenty of teams who had rather noticeable uniform changes without touching the logo.

    Here was I was scrolling down expecting to see the Begals go from BENGALS on their helmet to the tiger stripes and make the Super Bowl in ’81, and instead I get tiger head to striped B.

    The Astros use the same typeface, in the same size, on the fronts and backs of their uniforms. To my trained eye, it makes the back look bulky and the front seem chintzy. I’ll bet it receives some tinkering next season.

    Looking at the photo Paul posted today, they also link.

    Or remove the NOBs altogether.

    And make sure that no player ever wears a number as hideously immense as 65.

    Hey UWers, Arr Scott in particular, got a Washington Senators question for you:

    I came across what’s labeled as a “throwback” Senators jersey (Majestic tags) that’s gray with red pinstripes and a block blue/red W on the chest. Appears to be attempting to replicate their mid-1950s style – but as an away. I did some Googling and can’t seem to find any example of them, wearing a gray pinned jersey. Dressed to the Nines shows them in solid gray.

    I’m thinking it’s an “official” fauxback or someone’s DIY. Thoughts?

    I’m not aware of the Nats/Senators ever wearing red pinstripes. The closest I can think of is a Grays throwback uniform the modern Nats wore that was dominantly red, but no pinstripes


    I’d love to see a link or photo of what you came across.

    Last night I attended a game between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the St. Paul Saints.

    In the bottom of the 5th inning, the 3rd base umpire wiped out attempting to cover a potential play at 3rd base.
    When he got up, he had ripped the outer seam of this right pant leg from his belt loop down to the leg hem.
    (He was wearing boxers by the way). He stayed in the game despite the mishap and even good-naturedly tipped his hat to the crowd at one point in acknowledging our cheers.
    As soon as the inning was over, he dashed into the bowels of the stadium and returned a few minutes later wearing new trousers.
    The reason I’m describing this to you is that I forgot to bring my camera to record it for posterity. Sigh. Lesson learned.

    I didn’t even realize that when I wrote it. Same goes for “bottom” of the 5th inning and “bowels” of the stadium.

    However, the game was televised locally and posted to YouTube, so I was able to get some screenshots and send to Paul.

    Awesome car, but I wish the 7 on the side was a 21 to match the sticker, or the 21 on the sticker was a 7 to match the site.

    My brain hurts.


    Not sure if you saw it, but the jersey I posted is available at the Virginia Tech bookstore:


    I’m not sure if the design will be the same, but they’ll definitely be getting rid of the “TV” logo in favor of the normal “VT” variety:


    The thinner stripes could be reflecting the change from their old template to the one used by LSU in the Peach Bowl and what Ole Miss will wear this season. Or it could just be that the replicas aren’t as accurate as the actual jerseys.

    It’s important to note that those are the lowest level of the jersey you can buy, and thus is not in the same template that they actually use (similar to how Green Bay Packers “Game” jerseys have the pro combat template, whereas the Elite and Limited jerseys have the same cut that they use in real life). Nike has streamlined their lowest tier replicas.

    Basically the only thing you can take away from this is that the VT is now the collar photo (because as you mentioned the TV logo has been retired).

    In other Mariano Rivera news, the Minnesota Twins presented the closer with his retirement gift: link.

    In other Mariano Rivera News, the Minnesota Twins presented the closer with his retirement gift: link.

    Paul, Phil, Moose! The Astros Wives group held a charity softball game earlier today and some 100% awesome rainbow-guts striped hose was worn by two lovely ladies (one in a #30 Dominguez jersey and one in a #9 Gonzolez:




    The best said about my single pinewood derby entry the better.

    Here are some photos from the 1938 Soap Box Derby championships.

    Previous year’s winner had a nice outfit


    The competitors all wore the same basic uniform


    They also had garrison caps with look like a location patch


    In 1938, at least, entries were sponsored by their local newspapers


    Question: Did the Hawaii Islanders ever do anything, uni-wise, that wasn’t awesome?

    can’t say the opportunities weren’t there…coconut bra…grass skirt…faux lei…

    So what’s the name of the little arrowhead/triangle extrusions that you see on this new Pats logo? You know, the same little things you find sticking out on the (Texas) Rangers T and the Angels A. I don’t like ’em much, but in the case of Texas, maybe it’s OK because the font has a certain 19th Century Old West character.

    But why the Patriots? Because the new font is more “Olde” than the script version? But the original patriots were, duh, 18th Century. A font like the one in Scott’s recommended Declaration of Independence one-pager from the Smithsonian: not that would work.

    Last historical whatever: 150 years and two hours ago, Pickett’s Charge was repulsed with what the contemporaries used to describe as a “great effusion of blood.” RIP and DG.

    Seems to me those little points would be a particular variety of the link. They now need a buckle. (I’ll show myself out.)

    That fixes something that always bugged me about the Patriots corporate logo – that the Flying Elvis in the corner was significantly different than the “official” Flying Elvis logo on the helmet.

    PAUL NOTICE THIS!!! Ok so I was driving in northern Utah yesterday when a semi truck passed me. I only got a glimpse of it but the actual truck was purple, it had a lakers logo above the front window, and jerseys all up and down the side I saw. Didnt catch any jersey but “west”. Also didnt catch the company… Why would there be a lakers truck?

    With the new logo! How long until the patriot’s numbers have those little spikey thingies a la Minnesota Vikings? I say two yrs max…

    From Minor League Baseball’s Twitter:

    “[One hundred and eight] MiLB clubs will wear “Stars and Stripes” caps this [July 4 weekend]; [all] proceeds to benefit Welcome Back Veterans.

    Shit. Flag desicration has begun spreading down to the minors now.

    Nothing to do with any of today’s topics but..
    ..with the NFL forcing players to Europe and wasting millions trying to convince Europeans that Americans play football and Europeans play soccer is hilarious.
    Numerous NFL players would rather not head overseas nor do Europeans care about the game, this brings me to why bother?
    Same as NBA in Canada, NHL in the desert or soccer in all of North America.
    These leagues could probably make more $$ through television contracts abroad.

    It looks worse at night, but Matt Garza of the Cubs has a jersey a different shade of grey than his pants.

    Ummm….i’m pretty sure I remember seeing that OneWTC logo a while ago…don’t think it’s anything new.

    In regard to the Bret Oberholtzer NOB, uniform makers are probably relieved that Indian cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan decided not to play cricket. His surname would start on one elbow of his shirt, go across his shoulders and finish on the other elbow!

    In regard to the Bret Oberholtzer NOB, baseball uniform makers are probably relieved that Indian cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan decided not to play baseball. His surname would start on one elbow of his shirt, go across his shoulders and finish on the other elbow!

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