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Everyone Loves Free Stuff — A Sampling of MLB Ballpark Giveaways for 2013


By Phil Hecken

Ah. Freebies at the ballpark. It’s been a while since I went to a baseball game with the expressed purpose of getting some swag, and if my (admittedly faulty) memory serves me, I never really got anything “worth” using — except twice. Usually it was a crappy poster (that ended up getting destroyed or severly mutilated before the seventh inning stretch), a crummy “batting helmet” that wasn’t quite as good as those they sold (and I would inevitably make my pop buy) at the souvenir stand, a “mini” bat, or various and sundry other gimmicks.

But when I was a little kid, fresh out of the Pacific league, I got a Mets batting glove. Yeah, I was in the big time now. I wore that (and I think I went back a year later and got a right handed glove, since, ya know, all the good hitters wore two batting gloves) for about two years until finally some of the older kids laughed hard enough at me that I talked my dad into taking me to Herman’s Sporting Goods to buy a “real” batting glove. Of course, even the smallest size was too big for my 10-year-old hands. But I got a real glove and that was that.

The other giveaway that was any good, and I’m kicking myself to this day for not saving it, was a Mercury Mets give away cap that was given out at the 1999 TATC game of the Mets vs. the Pirates. I’m about 99.2% sure they gave away a cap that night.

Anyway, most of the other ballpark giveaways I either didn’t care about, didn’t know about, or didn’t purposely attend to receive. But there are people who LOVE the ballpark swag, and the teams keep putting it out.

I’m joined today by Joe Mueller, a 17-year old from Saint Looey, who had approached me when I was soliciting articles from the UW readership. Joe offered to put together what would be, in his opinion, a “best of” the 2013 MLB giveaways, and that he has done. So without further ado, please allow me to turn this over to Joe, as he discusses the …

. . .

Best Major League Promotions for 2013
By Joe Mueller

For me a seventeen year old kid from St. Louis, Missouri there is nothing better than going to a St. Louis Cardinals game and it being a promotional night. I especially love when it is a jersey that is being given away or a bobblehead. Don’t get me wrong I love watching the game and I love the uniforms, especially the Cardinals’ but there is something about promotions. Although I’m a National League kind of guy I decided to start with promotions from the American League. Why? Well, I just flipped a coin. I’ll pick out my favorite promotions from each team and describe why, again I’m 17 and I tend to lean towards flashy uniforms, not.

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Best of the American League Promotions



Angels: This hat caught me hook line a sinker. Since being called up last year Mike Trout has taken baseball storm. Why not reward him with a fishy hat? It’s not so often that a player has a name with an animal name.



Astros: Although the Astros aren’t the best team in baseball they are up there for best dressed team in baseball. The orange piping really pops with the blue lettering. I almost always go for a jersey giveaway day. Although it’s not usually the same fabric and materials that are worn by the players they still hold up really well and it’s another jersey to add to the collection that won’t cost an arm and a leg.



Athletics: I think that the A’s have one of the best uniforms in baseball, especially when they decide to wear the green or yellow. I also love it when teams use throwbacks. This bobblehead is the best of both worlds. I love the green stirrups with the yellow socks. The A’s got the small details correct with the one batting glove and green wrist bands.



Blue Jays: I always find it to be a hit or miss when a team decides to do a fully geared catcher bobblehead. This is a hit. The red striping on the catchers gear is great because it shows the Blue Jays attention to detail. Also the bat knobs make for the great picture.


1902 jersey

Indians: As you may have read the Indians went throwback to 1902 Bronchos jerseys. They also gave away the same jerseys. I would have to agree with what Frank Jones said about them. It’s also better than anything with the stupid logo.



Mariners: Griffey Jr. is one of my favorite players of all time. The Mariners even put on the backward hat that Griffey Jr. would always wear, along with the long sleeves he usually wore. Unfortunately I can’t tell if the brim of the hat is green or blue so I can’t date the jersey and tell if it is from his first or second time in Seattle. I also wish they made the Mariners put him during the middle of his swing instead of the end.



Orioles: Chris Davis has been a beast this year. This shirt captures his swing and power. Even though the jersey on the shirt is all black with accents of orange it still looks good with Davis’ swing. It will be a collectible if Davis can hit 60+ home runs and would be great to commemorate the season he is having. The ‘O’ on the front on the other hand is just, bleh.



Rangers: I haven’t seen many team give away batting helmets, maybe one of two besides the Rangers. (Royals, White Sox) The helmet is modeled after the newer batting helmets but my bet would be that it can not be used in a league game.



Rays: The Rays have been a nice surprise over the last few years, unless they knocked you out of the playoffs or “stole” your playoff position. The Rays gave away this beaut the same day they wore the fauxbacks. I love the contrast between the blues but it does look like those Padres uniforms… Maybe if they play each other next year they can both wear their respective throwbacks.


Red Sox: “We’re too cool to have a promotion”



Royals: Maybe it’s my favoritism towards Missouri things, maybe it’s my sympathy towards the Royals, or maybe it’s because I just like the jerseys. I may be the only one that likes powdered blue uniforms but I’m fine with that. I think the jersey looks sharp. My complaints are that it looks cheap and screen printed onto a generic powdered blue jersey and that the letters aren’t outlined in navy blue to give it pop.



Tigers: The Tigers have some good promotions but I don’t think that one stands out over another. I would go with the Miguel Cabrera bobblehead but there are not photos available so it’s hard to judge. The Verlander bobblehead is nice and all but they cover up the logo.

EDIT: — Here’s a photo of the Miguel Cabrera bobblehead. (h/t Jorge Pa)



Twins: Retro Banner. BEAUTIFUL.



White Sox: I can already hear the boos and nasty comments for picking this jersey. I know that people hate the jersey, but I personally love it. I wish the White Sox went back to these but in silver and black. I just think they look sharp, but hey I’m only 17 so what do I know.



Yankees: Yogi is famous for his quotes and ball play. Being born and raised in St. Louis there is a connection with Yogi, even though he is known for playing with the Yankees. I love the retro glove and chest protector. The things that I’m not sure on are the leg protectors. Were they that color? Anyone?

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Best of the National League Promotions



Braves: I’ve had many debates about the powdered blue uniforms and how they look like pajamas but I disagree. I love these uniforms right down to the stirrups. The details of the cleats and the one batting glove is a nice touch.



Brewers: Again the powdered blues are great. I’m not a big fan of the yellow fronted cap because it reminds me of a softball cap but the stirrups make up for it. If I’m not mistaken the Brewers did a Harvey Kuenn bobblehead a few years ago but he was in the pinstripe uniform. Also special mention for the Polish sausage bobblehead.



Cardinals: Being from St. Louis I felt like this was the toughest one to choose. I also think that it’s one of the best if not the best. For those that aren’t familiar with the Cardinals this is a 1940’s Red Schoendienst Jersey. I think the Cardinals did a great job replicating the jersey black bat and NNOB.



Cubs: Do you have to buy seperate tickets to receive these? Yes. Are they worth it? Yes. Are the before my time? Yes. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s my 17 year oldness but I like them. Side note: Brewers, A’s, and Tigers also gave them out.



Diamondbacks: To commemorate Aaron Hill’s two cycles (bi-cycle) last year the Diamondbacks gave him his own bobblehead. Let’s just say it’s spot on. The dirt stains are almost identical. The arm band and jersey are correct but the cool flow helmet is way to small and the strap on the right batting glove is supposed to be red and not white.



Dodgers: Whats better than a vintage Sandy Koufax boblehead with a vintage jersey, shoes and stirrups? Not a lot. I also love the detail in the dirt when you can tell he came set before he pitched. Also I would like to mention this wonderful bobblehead of Rick Monday when he played with the Cubs. Great to see something in baseball that’s not flag desecration. Story Here. Does anyone know anything about the patch on his left?



Giants: It’s not often you see a promotion that really stuns you, but this one is it. For those that don’t remember in Game 7 of the NLCS it started to rain and Scutaro looked up to the sky. The Giants took this concept and made it into a rain globe. Yes a rain glove, not a snow globe. It works the same though. Although I don’t like picking items that you have to buy a special ticket for I chose this one because I love it. For those wondering it was for social media night. I would try and get one if you have the money to spend because it is quite pricey.



Marlins: This has me on the fence whether I like it or not, but since this is the best promotion the Marlins have I’m going with it. I mean I loved the Florida Marlins logo and jersey and think the jerseys and logo that came with the move to Miami are a downgrade. I don’t know how I feel about this. I’m just glad they cut the ‘M’ on the helmet in half so it wouldn’t read ‘MF’. Also the Marlins don’t have matte helmets.



Mets: Did I just go with David Wright, the guy who sticks his tongue out and wears an orange undershirt? Yes, yes I did. Why? Well because the Mets got everything Wright. The promotion was given away during the day, so that means high socks and eye black for Wright. They also nailed the shinguard, gloves, armband, along with the jersey. Also for those beer drinkers in New York, Paul, here you go. (Available Sept. 27th)



Nationals: Am I crazy about the Nationals white jersey? No, but it’s fine for the bobblehead. The glove and pitching hand look a little messed up and blue at the end of the sleeve is too big. It’s the best Nationals one but on the lower end of the best in the Majors.



Padres: I’m a fan of Chase Headley but not a fan of the jerseys. I like the touch of the silver bat signifying his silver slugger but not the uniform. I can’t tell if it’s camo or blue or beige but I’ll just pretend like it’s blue. This promotion is still better than the Padres giving out their bland road jersey as a promotion.


Phillies Banner 1993

Phillies: Throwback pennant. Generic font, but still pretty cool.



Pirates: Only thing that would make this better is if it was a Roberto Clemete Jersey.



Reds: Maybe I’m crazy but this somehow is cool to me. A pillow in Joey Votto jersey form. Yes it is missing a few ‘buttons’ but it’s still cool. Now you can sleep jerseys. I bet they are working on the eat and breath part.



Rockies: Pretty cool bobblehead for the Rockies, although I wish it was in the puple uniforms or TATC uniforms. Kidding.

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With that I’d like to give a big thank-you to Phil and Paul for having me on Uni-Watch! I hope I can come back and share my thoughts on more promotions or uniforms from a 17 year old’s perspective. If you’d like to read more of my work, all about baseball, I’m over at the 12-6 Curve doing pop UP: Uniforms and Promotions. If you’d like to talk with me, insult my choices, have questions or anything more my email is Yes, I did also design the logo for the 12-6 curve.

. . .

Thanks, Joe. That was a LOT of fun. Hope everyone enjoyed that and let’s hear it for the effort involved in this one!


Power Rankings Update

Today’s installment of the Uni Watch Power Rankings takes a look at the NHL — here you go.

In case you haven’t been following along all week, here are the Power Rankings introduction and ground rules and the rankings for MLB, the NBA, and the NFL.

Tomorrow we’ll present the master chart of all 122 Big Four teams. There’s a new team in the top spot and a new one in the bottom too.

Meanwhile, I’ll be discussing the Power Rankings this morning on two radio stations:

• At 10:04am Eastern I’ll be appearing on the San Diego station KLSD Xtra Sports 1360. The live audio will be available here.

• At 10:45am Eastern I’ll be interviewed on the San Francisco station KGMZ 95.7 The Game. You can hear the live audio here.

Also: I’ll be doing a live web chat on ESPN tomorrow, 2pm Eastern. I’ll stay on for at least an hour, and maybe a little longer.

Finally: RIP, Marian. I never saw a classier act. ”” Paul



UWFFL Preseason Week 4 – The Texas Two Step

By Rob Holecko

Well it’s time for the final week of preseason games for the UWFFL. We will be off next week and then the games will start for real on Saturday, September 7 with Week 1 of the season. Here are last week’s results:

. . .

Atlanta 285, Nashville 256
N.Y. Sharks 228, N.Y. Garbologists 76
Harrisburg 152, Tampa 114
Rapid City 138, San Diego 98
Seattle 169, Portland 66
San Francisco 156, East Bay 68
Texas 213, Los Angeles 43
Roanoke 44, Columbus 25
Youngstown 39, Kansas City 23

This week we have another rivalry game, the “Texas Two Step Football Classic”, as two teams based in Austin, the Texas Timberwolves and the Austin Fire Eaters, will face off. Both teams are wearing a patch commemorating this battle for Austin supremacy in place of their league patches on the right side, and on their left side they have sponsor patches.

In other games, along with the debuts of the Birmingham Vulcans, Raleigh Aeronauts, Washington Huskers, Promontory Golden Spikes (based in Salt Lake City, Utah), Vancouver Seawolves, Carolina Kronik and the Oakland-Alameda Ad Dragons, we also have a few other unique teams making their first appearance. The Connecticut Convicts used to compete in the original fantasy football league that the UWFFL is descended from, winning the TBFFL Bowl in 2001. In honor of their only meeting this year with a former rival UWFFL opponent here in the preseason, they are wearing 2001 throwbacks against Miami.

Another expansion team that may be familiar to you is the Hartford Whalers. This week, in their debut, they are wearing a silver alternate. Says team owner Jordan Lazinsk, “This uniform incorporates the navy and silver that became synonymous with the NHL Whalers in the ’90s while still maintaining the simplistic look the Whalers have on their home and road uniforms.”

Finally, also making their UWFFL debut is another league-inspired entry, the Swisshelm Express. This team is based on and inspired by Ryan Connelly’s helmet project that was featured here in Uni Watch back in May.

Take a look at all of this week’s matchups and vote here.


ticker 2

Uni Watch News Ticker:Gilles Villeneuve (in knit cap) awaits the start of the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix. Photos courtesy the Archives de la Ville de Montreal.” (thanks to Chris Bisbee). … See the images taken at a Fred Meyer store (Northwest department store chain) TV display in Springfield, Oregon. “Can you name the two schools in the top right image?” asks Alex Allen. “I’m pretty sure it is Western Oregon (in silver and red) and Willamette (in maroon and gold) from quite a few years back. I’ve seen this image used in Fred Meyer print ads.” … Another question for the readers comes from Jack Thornton: “Noticed this today watching an NHL 14 video that the TD Garden Logo appears and then disappears during the Bruins clips. I think the first footage in Boston is at 0:19, and the TD Garden signage is there, but then at 1:15 the logo is replaced by ‘Boston Bruins’ in a script font. Any ideas why this might be? Licencing problem, or just a mistake by EA?” … It looks like Mississippi State will reveal new unis today. … “I should really hate this,” states Ryan Connellybut…” … The ‘skins’ Pierre Garcon donates football uniforms to Roosevelt, Jefferson and Springbrook (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Syracuse’s vaunted #44 was retired in 2005, but now, Floyd Little would love to see it take the field again. … “Jersey Rip Celebration,” read the subject of an e-mail from Mark Emge. “Noticed this article from a game earlier in the week.” … New Wisconsin helmet? Wisconsin hasn’t unveiled any uniform changes for this year, but it seems that there is a new helmet in Gary Anderson’s office.Red, with a white motion W, and single stripe down the middle. It’s on the table in the office in the picture (thanks to Scott Kelly). … Joe Haden Browns helmet (as spotted by Gordon Cromer), who notes, “Eye shield throwback logo creep…pretty cool.” … It’s bad enough when other blogs/news sources misspell Paul’s last name. But when a blog hosted by ESPN does it? C’mon, man (and I made a screen grab just in case they fixed it by the time you read it). … Are the Padres about to get new uniforms? A thread on the Creamer boards seems to think it’s possible (thanks Paul). … Ohio State hockey unveiled these alternate jerseys yesterday, “as voted on by current and former players”. Says submitter Andrew McCarthy, “I’ve been a fan of the way their look has gone the last few years, but these are maybe a bit much.” … Zombie apocalypse to be featured on Mason’s mask (from Jeffrey Downe). … AWESOME “misprint” in yesterday’s Shea it is so (big thanks to Paul Kamras). … Apparently there are new home and new road unis for the Towson Tigers (h/t to Andrew Constant). … Sometime I think you folks see too much in the tea leaves…or in this case — the “Nike Potato”, which, according to Mike Latona, “I came across this as I was cleaning a bag of potatoes today. The mark of the beast on a baby red.” … Couple of interesting Uni Watch mentions in this article about the Phillies “finally being good at something!: Uniform rankings and aesthetics.” … More great CFL stuff from Leo Strawn: “I ran across a video clip from this page, and in the video they are talking about the 1959 CFL season. Sadly, it’s just a clip and not the entire video, but it does show (prior to cut-off) the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and as you can see in the screen grabs, they have an unusual, tapered stripe that doesn’t cover the entire helmet front-to-back, the kind of stripe we’ve become accustomed to in the U.S. over the past 15 years or so. Inspired by tiger stripes, perhaps?” … Matthew Walthert writes, “My alma mater, Carleton University, is reviving its football program this year, after 15 seasons without fielding a team. Here is an article on the re-branding process they went through to come up with a new logo and uniforms.” … Here is a nice closeup of the Minnesota matte helmets (thanks to Jarrod Leder). … In yesterday’s ticker I had several stills of the new Baylor unis, and today we’re blessed with a behind-the-scenes video (h/t Josh Lassiter). … “This is the mascot of the Red Valley – Cove High School, a tiny school in New Mexico,” remarks Cort McMurray. “The student body is something like 98% Native, and most of them are related to guys who worked in the now-closed uranium mines nearby. I love it because the guy is clearly a Native, but he’s a clearly a miner, too: it’s a great image, a tough, proud image.” … Rather unique look for Arsenal on Wednesday. I’ll let Denis Hurley explain: “Many soccer teams have alternate shorts to wear when playing a team with the same colour, but some, like Arsenal, prefer to keep the same home look and wear the away kit in such instances. On Wednesday, however, they played Fenerbahce in a Champions League qualifier. As Fener have white shorts, Arsenal couldn’t wear theirs, but the Turkish team have yellow and blue home jerseys, the same colour as Arsenal’s away kit, and the backs were solid navy, which would clash with Arsenal’s purple and black third. As a result, Arsenal wore navy shorts, the first time – as far as I can see – in over 30 years they have worn anything other than white shorts with the home jersey. The last time was against Everton in 1982-93. On that occasion, the shorts were from the green and navy away kit, hence the mismatching green trim on those shorts.” … This ebay auction has a hat with a Suns logo that Michael Hlebasko has never seen and isn’t on the Chris Creamer page for the Suns. Anyone know anything about it? … Yesterday Tyson Camp sent me a picture of a DDNOB from Michigan: Mark Hammerstein. “Today I found his brother (presumably) on the same team: Mike Hammerstein,” says Tyson. “The Hammerstein brothers will forever haunt me.” … “Denver Boone…offensive?” asks Travis ChristophersonHeavens to Fess Parker!” (also sent in by Mark Malfara, who called it “Political correctness run amok.”). … Here is a food cart with the Phillies logo — but the thing is it’s in Springfield, Massachusetts! (good spot by Daniel Daponde). … Looks like the TCU Horned Frogs will have new unis, which they’ll unveil Friday. … Some good, non-douchebaggery news from Gregory Koch: “UConn Transportation Refuses to Use Corporate Names for Bus Stops.” even though UConn’s campus bus system is adding a new bus stop in front of a Moe’s Southwest Grill and 7-Eleven in the new downtown shopping complex, they will NOT use corporate names, and will instead name the stop after a nearby dorm (Buckley). … Meanwhile, even though the NBA has (so far) declined to put ads on game jerseys, that isn’t stopping the Bobcats from putting ads on their practice togs. … Remember those gun-metal grey unis the BC Lions wore last weekend? Well, they won’t be wearing them again. … Golden Tate has a framed Panthers Jimmy Clausen jersey at (what Dan Cichalski presumes) is his Seattle home. … Here’s a nice action shot of the new Oregon State University Gill Coliseum floor with new bright orange jerseys (thanks to Eric Fisk. … It’s been mentioned in the comments, and Paul may have tickerized this in Spring training, but Travis d’Arnaud has an upside down “P” to form the little “d” in his NOB (sent in by Benjamin Hochberg). … Looks like the Dayton Flyers have some new uniforms from Nike for 2013 (h/t Andy Bentley).


And that’s all for this fine Thursday. Big thanks to Joe Mueller for that fun piece (even if it was a bitch and half to code!), and to Rob for running the UWFFL stuff. Looking forward to Paul’s NHL rankings later today — it’s funny, with the MLB & NBA articles, I found myself in agreement with Paul about 85% of the time, but on the NFL? Wow, other than the top two (thought I would have flipped the Pack and Bears), I had some major disagreements. But hey, that’s why it’s fun! If the Blackhawks don’t win the NHL (I’ll allow for a Canadiens upset), then we’re gonna have issues!

I’ll conclude (YAY!) my weekday run tomorrow, with one last fantastic lede from Morris Levin and then it’s Johnny Ek for one last weekend, and Paul back in the saddle on Monday. But I’m not done yet, so I’ll see you guys and gals tomorrow with much, much more.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“If you’re Medicare-eligible, you might think about Uni Watch retirement. The sad evolution for this once lively site into Camp Curmudgeon — a forum for elderly bilious time-wasters who faint at the sight of stretch fabric — betokens a larger demographic trend in which Boomer Narcissism drowns out the creative voices of younger generations, even though the little shitheads can’t tell you who fought in the Second World War.”
–Conn Nugent

Comments (146)

    Love the back story of the giants’ rain globe. I think it was written about here, either by paul or in the ticker.

    The Phils are giving away this John Kruk figurine tomorrow night –


    And it will be 90’s night, so they’ll be sporting their sweet maroon pinstripes.

    When I think of the 1990s Phillies, I think of the 1993 NL Champs, and the team’s current uniforms (which were first worn in 1992), not the maroons.

    I know, me too. But since it’s now cool to have 90’s nostalgia, what are the Phils supposed to do? Just wear their current unis and attach fake mullets to the back of their caps?

    Actually…that would be pretty cool.

    So the Badgers helmet in the foreground of the Gary Andersen picture is an interesting development… My question is what is the monstrosity on the conference room table?!

    I’m sorry, but I’ll disagree about the Orioles best promotion. That distinction, to me, has to go to bobblehead that for the second year in a row has been picked by the fans. Last year it was JJ Hardy, and this season it’s Davis. Pretty cool idea to get the fans involved in choosing which player they want bobblehead-ised.

    The Fred Meyer photo looks to me like a generic USC v Arizona State. They often remove logos so that photos can be used in advertisements.

    CB–nope, those teams are Western Oregon and Willamette. Ohio State has never had red face masks that I know of, unless photoshopped of course.

    The teams in question in the Fred Myer ad are Western Oregon University (Red and Silver) and Willamette University(White/Maroon/Gold). They are both small schools in Oregon, with Willamette being in Salem and Western being in Monmouth, OR. They both play at the NAIA or NCAA Div III level. There has also been another small college picture used in the past, Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, OR. The Lewis and Clark pictures (if you can find any) will have a player in a black jersey with a silver helmet. Some of the pictures actually show the logo too. The logo is a rendition of the old Portland (Boston/New Orleans) Breakers logo from the USFL. I played at Lewis & Clark in the late 90’s. The coach at the time, Tom Smythe, had been an assistant coach for the Portland Breakers, and brought the logo to the small college ranks, and I also believe that he used it at one of the high schools that he coached at. Sorry for the long entry, for a quick question.

    Alex Allen — I apologize for not reading your entire comment, where you do call out the teams in the image. But, you are definitely correct. I guess I was just able to add a little more color to the conversation.

    CJ, no problem. Good info. I’ve also seen Fred Meyer use an old Oklahoma vs. Oregon game from the 70’s or 80’s. I’ll keep an eye out for the Lewis and Clark pic.

    I think my favorite swag I ever got was when I went to an Astros game and got an umbrella. In a domed stadium. During a drought.

    I have used it quite a bit, I’ll give them that.

    Fred Meyer Photos –

    Top left is USC v. Arizona state.

    As for top-right, my first thought was an 80’s game between Ohio State and USC, but I know that can’t be right b/c I’m pretty sure the OSU helmet would have still had black stripes.

    Having grown up in the neighborhood and seeing Denver Boone since the ’60s, I still think he looks mestizo. I’m guessing the bigger problem for that school’s faculty accepting the mascot isn’t ethnicity, but sex.

    I’m guessing the bigger problem for that school’s faculty accepting the mascot isn’t ethnicity, but sex.

    Why do I have a feeling that introducing a cartoony pioneer woman mascot wouldn’t solve the problem in the minds of whoever made the decision to keep Denver Boone retired?

    I was at the Junior Mariners Hall of Fame night, the brim is green. It was pure mayhem getting a bobblehead as they only gave out 10K or so. People were pushing and fighting over the bobbleheads because people would take 3-4 at a time.

    Also, the Brewers (who give out bobbleheads to every fan and only allow 1 per ticket) give out a small percentage of “limited” bobbleheads for most of their giveaways. The Harvey Kuenn also came in a pinstripe uniform. My gf and I were lucky to get one in each.

    I remember batting helmet night during the 1970’s was like crack. You would circle that on your schedule and beg your parents to go to the game. That was back in the day when you couldn’t find souvenir stuff like that in stores or online so it was pretty sweet if you owned a plastic batting helmet or two. If you had an out of market helmet it was like walking around with egyptian treasure. You and friends would be playing wiffle ball and some kid would walk in wearing a San Diego Padre helmet and all the kids would just stop and stare at it like some wondrous treasure.

    I remember a friend of mine had one of those cheap mid 1970’s Mets batting gloves and swore that it was an authentic piece just like the one the players wore. I remember he left it outside in the rain and it was destroyed.

    Dairy Queen Cap Night at the Metrodome used to be the same way. Early 1980s, pretty much the only way to get a Twins ballcap without plastic mesh on three sides was to get to one of the two Dairy Queen Cap Nights. Far back as I can remember, those caps were always cloth all-around, no mesh. I don’t recall seeing on-field style caps regularly for sale until maybe 1988 or 89.

    One day the “World Wide Leader” (in what, who knows) misspells the President’s name, the next day, one of its own bloggers. How is it they are still relevant?

    Re: Yogi “The things that I’m not sure on are the leg protectors. Were they that color? Anyone?”

    Yes, there was a time when Yogi (and other catchers)wore red/brown leg protectors. Here’s a pic to show that (although oddly with a white chest protector) – link

    Speaking of the Bruins in NHL ’14: The only game footage I’ve seen of them in throwback mode has them wearing the sweaters from 96-97 through most of the 00s, with the yoke that extended down the sleeves. If memory serves, in 94-95 they were still in their no-yoke sweaters they wore through most of the 80s.

    What makes it more glaring than usual is that the Bruins were on the cover of NHL 94, wearing their black yokeless sweaters–so you’d think the code monkeys would have caught it somewhere along the line.

    The throwback mode video I’ve seen also shows the Minnesota North Stars’ original 1967-75 road jerseys, and Jeremy Roenick in a Blackhawks jersey wearing the 97 he first wore in Phoenix, rather than the 27 he actually wore in Chicago. (He’s also skating past players in the current Bruins jerseys.)

    Which 67-75 Northstars road jersey? There were two styles over that period, one with a white shoulder yoke and one without.


    Oh, sorry, I forgot about that. It would be 68-75 green jersey, with the white yoke (accoding to, they only wore the jersey without the white yoke in 1967-68, when it would’ve been the home jersey).

    The Bruins have never had their 80’s and 90’s yokeless jerseys in the recent EA Sports games. I doubt EA has the license to use them.

    Same goes for the TD Garden. This isn’t the first year that a pre-release video showed the TD Garden’s name on the ice surface, but the subsequent game had “Boston Arena”.

    It’s too bad, because I would be dressing up the B’s in my childhood jersey every game if I could.

    Rob, those 75-78 double-stripes were a big favorite. They probably had the least amount of yellow of any North Stars iteration, but they just worked for me. Even if they represent a period where they had a lousy team!


    Re: The patch on the Rick Monday bobblehead. . .

    In 1976, the Cubs had two patches on their uniforms. One was the National League Centennial logo and the other was a logo celebrating the Cubs’ Centennial as well. I believe that’s the NL patch seen on the bobblehead. Hope that helps, and once again, thanks!

    man, the memories of the three rivers era pirates give-a-ways! batting helmets, mini bats, life size andy van slyke posters. but my absolute, hands-down, favorite thing i ever received was a baseball radio (slightly larger than a regulation baseball. more like softball sized). damn, i used the hell out of that thing. picked up like 3 stations, had a wrist strap. i used it ALL the time. can remember it quite vividly. it’s probably to this day the reason i love listening to pirates games rather than watching on tv. i swear my mom still has it somewhere in her house…

    runner up: a plush green weenie that i actually still have. it’s at home on my desk. snapped a pic of it just the other week to rub it in that i owned one. but since deleted the pic…

    really cool post, joe!

    Here’s a video the Badgers just posted about the new helmet. start at the 4:10 mark and it’ll show it. link

    Stupid quote in that article on new MS State unis (and yes, I know SBNation is not a bastion of great journalism, nor grammar, apparently):

    THEY’RE JUST UNIFORMS. Seriously… It’s important to remember that these are, primarily, (f)or the current players and recruits benefits, not ours.

    Sounds like the attitude most schools’ ADs have nowadays. “We don’t need the alumni/fans’ opinions, we need more SWAG!”

    The Buckeyes’ hockey jersey would be ten times better if it weren’t so cluttered up with those ginormous buckeye-leaf patches.

    The Buckeyes’ hockey jersey would be ten times better if it weren’t so cluttered up with those ginormous buckeye-leaf patches.

    Totally agree. Interesting idea. Poor execution.

    Did anybody else see a Carolina Hurricanes’ sweater with the flags swapped out for buckeyes?

    Yeah, I can’t concur with the Penguins getting that high a ranking, not with their current unis. If it were the 2000-07 unis with the diagonal stripes and the shinier Vegas gold trim, yes, they’d be up there, but the Edge template and altered fabrics destroyed that.

    Blackhawks at #8????

    And the Pens are ahead of them?

    Sorry, this shall not stand Mr. Lucas

    The LA Kings logo that is in the article they no longer use. Plus Paul they got rid of the purple and you still keep them in the cellar? Whenever I see their road uniforms I think of a Oreo cookie blizzard from DQ, that can’t be bad.

    The logo is outdated, but it is still in their wardrobe as the black-and-purple uniform is still their third.

    It’s still a hideous set because of their choice of fuck-ugly fonts throughout their design scheme, and the banner logo isn’t a tenth as clever as the Sabres’ roundel (which is the effect I suspect they were trying for).

    The Kings would be vastly improved by dropping the banner in favor of the crown, reverting to Gretzky-era numbers and NOBs (1992-97 style), and dumping the black-and-purple and making the purple-and-gold throwback their full-time throwback.

    The stripes running down the seams of the sleeves have got to go. They’re visually jarring.

    I agree with making the crown the jersey crest. I have less of a problem with the current jersey font.

    And for Buffalo, by “torso stripes” you mean the gray piping, right? Because I think we can all agree on that. (And you probably could’ve mentioned the gray pit stains as well.)

    A new #1 in the all-sport ranking tomorrow?!? I’m very intrigued.

    Does the Cardinal’s alt jersey and attention to detail put them over the top? Have the Bears striped socks run away from the pack? I’m on tenterhooks.

    On my drive in here in Seattle, I have to admit it was somewhat amusing to listen to the morning DJs ripping on your NFL uni rankings this morning, Paul. They seemed aghast you would prefer traditional unis over the “modern, cool teams like the Seahawks.” Of course, as a long time Uni Watch reading Bears fan, I could not agree more with those rankings :)

    In 1987 (?) I got a replica of the Mets’ World Series ring. I had been expecting a piece of junk, but it looked great. Gold-colored metal, and there was an adjustable piece on the bottom so it would fit on different-sized fingers. I’m not even a Mets fan, but this was the best promotional item I’ve ever gotten.

    In 1987 (?) I got a replica of the Mets’ World Series ring.

    A photo of that would be awesome if you still have access to it.

    That’s not a swoosh on that potato, that’s a check mark! The inside corner is practically 90 degrees, and the outside outline doesn’t come close to the swoosh’s curve.

    The credibility of the entired UniWatch Power Rankings is now questionable at best. I agree the Bruins and Canadians are fantastic looking teams . . . but the Blackhawks? 8th? Seriously? Terrible lapse in judgment.

    I thought the reasons given for not having the Hawks higher were understandable, even if I don’t agree.

    What I definitely didn’t like was the position of the Penguins. The Edge design and the crummy way that Vegas Gold looks when its rendered in fabric don’t justify them being higher than the Blackhawks. Given that the Pens have so many better designs in their history it doesn’t justify having one that’s so boring today. Skating Penguin or not.

    Obviously, as a Hawk fan, I’m a bit biased in my opinion that their uniforms should be much higher than eighth, and certainly higher than any non-Original 6 team. That said, suppose the “problem” of the red overwhelming the detail of the crest were alleviated by darkening the red a bit. I’ve seen photos of the Hawks in the 50s and 60s with uniforms that appear almost crimson in color (which might be due to imperfections in color photography of the time).

    Should read “problem…was alleviated.” Proper agreement between subject and verb, there… :-(

    Yeah, it’s basically an op-ed piece taking the form of a list.

    Reading the Facebook comments on the articles, though, makes me feel like I’m dropping IQ points faster than link. It seems like about 90% of the comments boil down to “Lukas sucks!”, and it feels like a waste of my time trying to sift through that refuse to find a counteropinion worth reading.

    I actually enjoy reading the comments, I get a kick out of people showcasing their stupidity.

    But I think its more to get a better cross section of what folks out there think, even if I don’t agree with them.

    Like the Blackhawks for instance, I think they’d have a great set if they brought back the black jerseys. White and red are good but the black would round out the set nicely.

    I meant my “Amen” for Paul’s riposte but it goes for Rob S’s too. Yikes, the stuff that posters post….

    Mr. Lukas, I don’t think your rankings are stupid, matter of fact they are your opinion and yours alone. Just like if I did my rankings, it would be my opinion. Most of the NFL teams with white hats would be at the bottom because I am not a big fan of white hats. I like dark colors and teams that wear the same color shirts/britches would be on top.

    I understand the love of the Blackhawks crest and shoulder logo, but the rest of the jersey is plain, and the collar is just ugly. IMHO: the Red Wings, Habs and Pens all have better crests, Leafs have a better total package, and the Rangers and Bruins are much more interesting. So what, maybe they move up 2 slots?

    Not trying to troll, just wondering what’s with all the love.

    Well, first the crest. It combines color variety with design intricacy, all enhanced by the chain stitching. The Red Wings, for example, have the intricate design, but it doesn’t “pop” as a simple embroidered patch.

    As to the simplicity of the remainder of the uniform, that’s the contrast to the complexity of the crest. Contrast it with the Lightning’s initial re-brand, which combined a very simple one-color logo with simple one-color striping. A bit too bland. Since then, they’ve tricked it up a bit with the re-introduction of black as a minor trim color, and the return of the lightning bolt stripe on the pants.

    My sentiments exactly Ben, I don’t understand where the “best in all of sports” ranking comes from so many folks think.

    And DJ, your thoughts are appreciated and eye opening to the debate. Colors, simplicity of the jersey, I can get behind that.

    But, in thinking back as far as I can, it may have jumped out as a solid uniform, and probably in the top 1/4 of NHL like Paul has it, but not sure about the best in any league.

    Anyone else got any insight as to why it’s the best anywhere?

    A high school came up! There’s even a correction for me to make.

    Red Valley/Cove is in Arizona, not New Mexico (barely; it’s about 500 meters from the state line). This year is its first full year of membership in the Arizona Interscholastic Association after a couple years as associate member.

    Vin Scully bobblehead > Any other Dodgers giveaway. The Rick Monday one is a close second, though.

    POWDER BLUE, Not POWDERED BLUE! Can you imagine how messy and uncomfortable a powdered uniform would be?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Towson prepared to cut the baseball program due to lack of funding this year? Yet they can go drop x amount of dollars into brand new football uniforms that probably weren’t even needed? I just don’t like the double standard in college athletics. Sure, baseball/softball don’t generate as much revenue, but they are still student athletes. I know my school (granted, a small NAIA school in Iowa), we, the baseball team, attend volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc. as a whole team and cheer for our school. It just doesn’t make sense that one sport should be on the verge of getting cut off, and another should get brand new uniforms.

    Shhhh! You’re confusing the narratives! Schools are strapped for cash, and burdensome federal Title IX rules mean men’s athletics programs have to be shut down because gosh darn it there’s just no money. That’s the story Sunday-Friday. On Saturdays, athletics are a profit center and we can afford to lavish luxuries on men’s athletics. It’s rude to mention both narratives at the same time.

    Jason, I’m a Towson alum and I couldn’t agree with you more. I love the idea of seeing Towson mentioned in the ticker, but the reality is that they’re usually only there when they do something stupid. And man, those new unis are stupid – especially with the bicep straps.

    The Reds best giveaway this year was not the Votto pillow but either the Jay Bruce 4th of July t-shirt or the Johnny Vander Meer print. link

    I understand that the Uni Rankings are subjective but no way are the Blackhawks 8th.

    RE: Red Valley-Cove HS, in the same district, the other high school (Red Mesa) is called, the Redskins. It’s hard to tell but it looks like they have the older Washington Redskins Head on their FB uniforms:


    Same demographic data.


    Are the Padres about to get new uniforms? A thread on the Creamer boards seems to think it’s possible (thanks Paul).

    The Padres are one of my favorite teams, but every time I read this story, I react with horror. The team has such a rudimentary grasp of branding, it doesn’t even register. A product- any product- needs time to register and make an impression. If you change fundamental details of your uniform on a whim, you are behind the eightball.

    I’m encouraged by all the pro-brown/gold support on the Creamer board. I was a huge Pads fan since Day One but they’ve been off my radar since they ditched their traditional colors. Hey, it doesn’t have to be gaudy bright gold tops and pants, mute everything down as per modern standards and go for a traditional look but for Kruk’s sake drop the boring navy variations which do nothing to establish identity!!!


    I’m a brown+gold fella, myself, but you could make this team black & white and it wouldn’t make one whit of difference if they continue to put so much stock in misguided “the fan is king” exit-polling. That sort of Give-the-People-What-They-Want pandering will be the death of the Padres. Everybody you ask says the Pads should look more like the Yankees: it’s not the appearance I want to emulate, it’s the winning!

    I’ve been kicking around the idea of a navy/gold hybrid as a new Padres look. I think that’s probably the best compromise between the direction they’ve moved since the mid-80s and the old school mustard/mud look.

    Sure it would be fun for us, but let’s be honest, adding brown to a uniform in 2013 would be merchandising suicide and make them the butt of jokes everywhere.

    I agree, brown and mustard would be a tough sell – though I would love to see it happen. But I’d be more upset if they went to navy/gold than if they just kept their current bland unis. Navy and gold has just simply been done to death, in all sports, IMO.

    If they totally changed the color scheme, the best might be a blue/green combo – something “aquatic” if you will. They already have the wavy logo.

    Navy and gold? That’s the Brewers.

    Either go with brown (with perhaps athletic gold, mustard, or old gold), or navy (with orange).

    I was thinking more along the lines of University of Michigan than Milwaukee. Suppose “gold” wouldn’t be the right terminology. Regardless, there would be much more emphasis on the yellow/gold… San Diego, beaches, sun, etc. (bonus points for aligning with the Chargers as well.) Hell, they could even work some of the “khaki” in for their military themed unis.

    I think the mariners have the “aquatic” look locked up.

    Eh. The color currently used by Adidas for Michigan uniforms is an assault on the senses.

    Baseball is more attuned to its history than the other sports. And with San Diego baseball, you’ve got two big pillars — the Padres name and the use of either brown or navy as the primary color. And if you go with navy, you evoke the PCL days, where the trim color was red. For a while, the Padres were able to use orange with it fairly well. Going with yellow would be a mistake, IMO.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Brown as merchandising suicide? In a league where link? For a team whose brown camo alt jersey has been their top seller for years? I figure, if there’s any team that can make brown work, it’s the Padres. Especially if they go with maybe dark brown and kelly green, or dark green and light brown or tan.

    Of course, being the Padres, they’d screw it up badly, but they’d do that whether they were using brown or not. So might as well go with brown.

    Even the best-looking uniforms have their detractors, so why not just take your lumps with the original color scheme? I’ve always taken this tack: I put the San Diego Padres in fall colors because that’s when I expect to see them playing!

    Khaki and yellow would look good running alongside, like a gold line with a bevel on it. Would look nice next to dark blue.

    Let’s face it. The Padres got it right in 1969 and they’ve been screwing it up ever since.

    Just go back to those and call it a day.

    I tend to agree. But I think of the fantastic update of the Blue Jays and think that a subtle color shift would work. Darken the color pallate with a dark Franciscan brown, and a darker shade of gold. And tan road uniforms, of course, instead of gray. Keep the current SD monogram, and the current “San Diego” road script.

    I’m surprised that the Islanders are ranked so low. That uniform is a beaut. Nice, clean, bold stripes that still pop after all these years.

    The Blue Jackets logo is an abomination. That alone puts it in the bottom five. Look what they’ve done to this amazing image….


    The Isles get dragged down by a fuck-ugly alternate.

    I generally agree with Paul – I kind of like the Jackets’ home and road jerseys, and the creative use of the Ohio flag, but like the Isles, they get dragged down by a fuck-ugly alternate. However, which alternate is uglier is debatable.

    On the one hand, you have the Islanders. They went BFBS at a time when the other blue-orange New York teams dropped black; they revived a trim color from the misbegotten Fisherman era and made it far more prominent; they went the Dallas Stars route for the front of the jersey (though, at least they stuck with the team name); and they wear their regular blue helmets, which clash badly with an already tacky design.

    On the other hand, you have the Blue Jackets. A second navy jersey, but this one made to look like an old, discolored wool sweater that the team might’ve worn in the 1940s had they been around. Except… the modern stylings on the crest and the name font on the back betray the attempted throwback feel, the numerals look like early Atari 2600 numbers, and the whole thing just looks dirty. I’ll never, for all eternity, see the appeal in wearing “vintage white”/”antique white”; I just want to bomb those jerseys with Clorox.

    Tough call.

    Ugh, these alternate uniforms. Either they’re superfluous or random…or they look better than what the team considers their regular uniform. It makes ranking teams confusing.

    Meanwhile, another club that introduces a clean, balanced look only to shoot it down with a hideous crest….


    Am I the only Philadlphia Flyers fan in the world who missed their black chest and white sleeve jersey with the orange trim? if every other team in the NHL has at least three jerseys, why can’t they bring that one out of the closet and let it breathe again

    No, I liked that sweater, too. I would’ve liked it better with orange sleeves and numerals, but it was a keeper. It would make a good Philadelphia alternate in their current design, with an orange nameplate and black letters

    Yes. That sweater was terrible.

    Thankfully, the Flyers did the right thing and gave us their wonderful retro unis back – since the Rbk Edge template ruined their perfect 80’s-mid 2000’s look.

    I don’t hate that sweater as much as I hate other obligatory BFBS third jerseys. An occasional appearance would be fine but not on a regular basis.


    Maybe I’ll take that comment back, based on Walter’s reply just before mine. I’d be willing to see what a black interpretation of the current set looks like, but I’m still not sure I’d like it.

    I absolutely hated when the Flyers dropped their Orange for Black as a primary in 2000, though. Even when it was only their third sweater in the late 90’s, I wasn’t thrilled with it.

    The Flyers, like the BC Lions, are an orange team with black trim, not the other way around.

    A black alternate would be okay in small doses, as long as they never revive that horrible mutilation of their second-generation style that was their 2007 Edge uniforms.

    I failed to mention that it should only be in small doses. i love the current jerseys, but i feel that the black should be allowed once and a while. i agree with walter in that a faux-retro style could be created. that orange nameplate sounds pretty interesting.

    I know you were saying that as a joke, but at least the white nameplate on the orange uni has a history. I could live without the black nameplate, but it has grown on me.

    Thanks for the Arsenal info, Denis. I was wondering when the last time Arsenal did something like that was, since they usually don’t tweak the first choice kit.

    Just watched the Baylor video. I like the shiny gold hat with the black logo. Still would like to see them wear the green matte hats/black shirts/green britches this season.

    I agree with the Pens being too high on the list, at least with what they’re currently wearing. The gold looks lousy and the lack of any traditional sleeve/waist striping makes them look like practice jerseys, then add those stupid “modern” under-arm color bars, and UGH!

    I give the Devils credit for sticking to their look and not even giving us cartoon-satan third jerseys and the like. I just think their black shoulder yokes on both jerseys are too overpowering – make them a little narrower and add a contrasting color stripe around them and they’d look killer…


    Matthew Walthert: as a Queen’s alumni, I’m supposed to hate Carleton (I was there when we were in the OQIFC), but its still nice to see the Ravens back in the league.

    Brewers: Again the powdered blues are great. I’m not a big fan of the yellow fronted cap because it reminds me of a softball cap but the stirrups make up for it. If I’m not mistaken the Brewers did a Harvey Kuenn bobblehead a few years ago but he was in the pinstripe uniform

    Pretty sure they did this season as well – the Brewers tend to use the powder blue road versions as “chase figures”. They make most of them in the pinstripe homes and 5,000 or 10,000 in the road blues.

    They usually do this with the contemporary players as well, so many in their regular (or even alt) uniforms and a certain number in the pinstripe throwbacks. Because they seemingly know that’s what the fans really want…

    Regarding the Power Rankings for the NHL, I find the comments on the Senators particularly apt.

    Does anyone think they could get away with using the O as a crest full time? I love the barber pole uniforms, and think home and away versions of that would be very nice as their main uniforms.

    Random giveaway nostalgia:

    Definitely had a Mets batting glove back in the 80s, was seriously jealous of my friend who had one of the replica World Series rings (would’ve never remembered that without Mark in Shiga mentioning it)

    The Mets gave away ‘”baseball cards” in ’93, except they were not regular size, and came in perforated sheets of 12. By the 7th inning all of Shea was swarming with paperboard airplanes.

    Got a pinstriped cap at Yankee Stadium once that was so cheaply produced that when it rained that afternoon, the navy blue ran. Everybody’s hat was ruined and many people had navy ink running down there necks and stained shirts.

    Random hip-hop connection: Wu-Tang’s Ghostface has a line on Supreme Clientele about going to “bat day to see the Yanks” when he was 8.

    On a half-country baseball tour, my buddy offered $20 to buy a Jim Edmonds bat from a kid at Busch Stadium. The guy’s father thought that was too much for his son, so the kid got $5 and the dad got a beer.

    When I was a kid, I don’t remember any giveaway days that involved anything good. It was always sponsored, so it was always something like “Shopsy’s Blue Jays Rain Jacket Day” and it would be a rain jacket with a GIANT hot dog logo and a tiny Blue Jays logo on it. Nothing nice like the stuff listed above.


    The “O” on the front of the Chris Davis shirt is supposed to mimic the “S” on Superman’s costume. Which makes it “Awesome” not “bleh.”


    Best baseball giveaway I got was a Bill “Goldie” Gordthorpe bobblehead at a Border Cats game. He was the inspiration for Ogie Ogilthorpe in the Movie ‘Slap Shot’ and his bobblehead is wearing the Syracuse Bulldogs jersey from the movie.

    He threw out the first pitch of the game, and I met during the ball game, talked to him briefly and bought and autographed photo.

    Here’s what the front and back of the bobblehead looks like.



    Funny that the Penguins and Senators are ranked so far apart when they have the exact same terrible jersey template. I guess the logo makes a hell of a difference.

    To be clear, I don’t disagree: I have ALWAYS hated that Senators logo. I have no idea why anyone would prefer it to the original one. Why is it angled so… doofily?

    The Boston Red Sox used to do giveaways. I got batting gloves one time, and a fielder’s glove another time. Wonder when they stopped giving out stuff at the gate.

    That Royals giveaway jersey is a reasonably good homage to their 70s road uniforms.

    If Cookie Rojas didn’t need “blue outlining to make the letters pop” then neither do the fans of today.

    (In other words, always do a smidgen of research before dropping an opinion.)

    Strongly disagree with burying the LA Kings. The Ducks have a horrible jersey program: the standards have a weak word mark instead of a crest, and the alternate takes “one step forward, two steps back” with the crazy side panels. Also, not sure why the purple-inclusive set was a factor. According to my notes, it was retired last season. Look it up, the night Tyler Toffolli got his first NHL goal had been circled as “Purple Appreciation” (translation, “Elegy for the Imminently Departing Purple Jerseys”) Day.

    More NHL jersey news: the Sabres’ thirds will have some legitimate artwork within their captaincy designations! Check it out:
    Opinion: in a vacuum, those are awesome! In practice, assuming the crest stays the same, there might be too many swords.

    They are nice. There’s room for some more of that in the NHL. Not too much, though. For example, putting the “C” or “A” inside a diamond would be a nice option for the Red Wings.

    I thought this was really slick during the Winter Classic:


    Although I don’t know if it would work for their everyday uniforms. Maybe on an alternate black uniform that I hope never exists!

    Am I late to the game in noticing that the UW Badgers shoulder strips end in claw marks on the backside? Noticed that in several places on the posted video.

    Not sure how I feel about the red helmet, but at least it doesn’t have fire crackers or other #$%* flyin’ out of the ear holes.

    Without looking at the video, my guess is that Eisconsin is wearing Adidas practice jerseys, which have a color fade that makes them look like claw marks. Notre Dame has similar practice jerseys:


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