Nike’s Latest Mix of Incompetence and Hubris

My annual NFL season-preview column is up now on ESPN.

Meanwhile: Got a note yesterday from a source at Alabama, who relayed the following tale:

On Monday afternoon, we received a phone call from our Nike rep, demanding that we send back every gameday polo and pullover as soon as possible. Puzzled, we held off on sending them back until we received a more concrete explanation.

As it turns out, Nike applied their swooshes to the sleeves of their polos and pullovers, not the chest, meaning they were not visible during broadcasts.

So now we’re sending them all back so that they can apply a second swoosh to their precious polos. It’s a good thing we have a bye this week. I can only imagine the panic in our equipment room if Thursday rolled around and Nike still had all of our gameday gear.

This debacle stretches farther than just Alabama. It’s Virginia Tech, UVA, LSU, Florida, TCU, etc.

Faaaaascinating. Sure enough, as you can see in photo above, which was taken at ’Bama coach Nick Saban’s postgame press conference on Saturday night, the mark of the beast was on his sleeve, not on his chest. You can also see the sleeve placement in this photo of Saban shaking hands with Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer at the conclusion of Saturday night’s game. (I haven’t had time to check for confirming photos for all those other schools my source mentioned. Anyone want to take on that task?)

There’s something delicious about the Swooshkateers being too incompetent to get their own branding right, of course. But that obscures the larger issue, which is this: Does it really matter whether the logo is on Saban’s sleeve or chest? With every single player on the team already wearing the Nike logo on his jersey, pants, shoes, and, in most cases, multiple accessories, is there anyone in America who could watch an Alabama game without quickly figuring out which company outfits the team, regardless of where Saban and his staff are wearing their logos? The whole thing smacks of typical Nikean hubris.

+ + + + +

’Skins Watch: Dan Snyder isn’t the only one who owns a team called the Redskins. An Ottawa man, upset that his five-year-old daughter asked him, “Am I a Redskin?,” has filed a discrimination complaint to get the Nepean Redskins Football Club to change its name. That same team is also facing a discrimination complaint from a member of a First Nations-style electronic music group (from Philand Matthew Walthert).

Baseball News: The Expos’ uniform — or a rough approximation of it — was the basis of a comic strip the other day (from John Glynn). ”¦ Interesting article about how the new titanium catcher’s masks may not be as safe as the old steel models (from Erik Autenrieth). ”¦ Oooh, dig the team logo on the stirrups for the Gary Southshore Railcats (from Rob Lowe). ”¦ There’s something weird about a youth baseball team using an NHL team’s logo (from Chuck Meisse). ”¦ Dustin Pedroia says he went high-cuffed the other day because “it makes me look taller” (from Ben Marciniak). ”¦ Wait, more about Andrew McCutchen: Turns out he’s an artist! Longtime Uni Watch pal Todd Radom challenged McCutchen to draw this Pirates logo, and he responded with this. Yowza! ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Maybe it’s time for the Braves to start going FiOB (from Marty B). ”¦ Check out Tony Lazzeri and Rogers Hornsby as minor league managers in 1939. “That photo was taken before a game between Baltimore and Toronto at Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto, located at 555 Lakeshore Blvd. West (it’s now a gas station/convenience store),” says Terry Proctor. ”¦ Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni broke his belt while making a diving catch last night. “Luckily, he landed right in front of the Twins’ bullpen,” says Matt Heitkamp, “so he switched belts with a reliever through the bullpen’s chain-link fence and kept playing.”

NFL News: Here are some videos showing how Nike worked on the new looks for the Dolphins, Vikings, Jags, and Seahawks (from Alan Borock). … “What’s better than buying a new $100 Russell Wilson jersey?” asks Thom Armitage. “How about buying a crusty old Rick Mirer jersey for $3.99 on eBay and, with the help of some paint, iron-on letters, and blue thread, turning it into a DIY retro Russell Wilson jersey! Never been more ready for kickoff. Convinced my friend to turn his old #24 Shawn Springs into a Marshawn Lynch jersey, too.”

College Football News: UCLA will be going BFBS on Nov. 15. That’s more than two months away, but let’s beat the rush and start hating it now, shall we? … NC State will be wearing a flag-desecration helmet this Saturday. That’s three days away, but let’s beat the rush and start hating it now, shall we? ”¦ Gold chrome helmets apparently in the works for Washington. ”¦ ESPN’s Michael Wilbon wore a personalized Northwestern jersey to last weekend’s Northwestern game (from Paulie Sumner). … Here’s yet another souvenir cup typo. Sam Chandler bought that at last weekend’s Missouri game. Jeez. … Ohio will be wearing black this weekend. ”¦ “Nebraska opened their remodeled/expanded East Stadium on Saturday,” writes Trey Ashby. “Part of the renovation was a new concourse that has some huge pillars, so that the new structure won’t compromise the integrity of the old structure. They decorated these pillars with illustrations showing Nebraska’s uniform history.” ”¦ Lots of schools wore those helmets with the center strip of padding in the 1960s, but I hadn’t seen Duke going with that style until now (good find by Leo Strawn Jr.).

Hockey News: Minnesota’s men’s and women’s hockey teams will both play outdoors on Jan. 17 (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: The Chicago Fire are inviting fans to vote on the team’s third kit (from Markus Kamp).

NBA News: Okay, here’s a weird one: Check out this shot of a Celtics/Bullets game from 1968. At first I thought, “Hmmm, the Celtics forgot to bring their road shorts.” But then I realized that the game was color-vs.-color. Something doesn’t make sense there — I can’t tell if the game was being played in Boston or in Washington, but why didn’t the home team wear white? Maybe the game was in Boston and the Celtics’ home jerseys were unavailable for some reason, so they were forced to wear their road greens but went with their white home shorts, just to help differentiate themselves from the visiting Bullets..? All very odd (from Warren Humphrey).

College Hoops News: Holy moly, check out the crazy new court design for James Madison. ”¦ Erik Morris was poking around in a used books store and found some great shots of UGA wearing sleeved jerseys back in the early 1950s. “And you get a good view of that awesome bulldog patch!” he adds.

Grab Bag: Throwbacks on tap this weekend for the Hamilton Tiger Cats (from Dave Kuruc). ”¦ Here’s a great piece on the evolution of the spacesuit (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ Pretty crazy football uniforms for Glenville High in Ohio (from Randy Thomas). … A key component of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida was her jellyfish-proof mask. … Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who’ll be observing tonight.

165 comments to Nike’s Latest Mix of Incompetence and Hubris

  • Mirliton | September 4, 2013 at 7:47 am |

    One would hope that Nebraska got permission to use those images.

  • name redacted | September 4, 2013 at 7:49 am |

    I love they changed the colour of the ti-cats throwbacks so it wouldnt contain the argos colour.

  • teenchy | September 4, 2013 at 7:50 am |

    Love the Georgia sleeved basketball jerseys, and especially love that the player featured is the legendary Zippy Morocco. A bright spot in a dark week after the Clemson loss, threatening to turn darker still at the hands of South Carolina.

  • Jim McGee | September 4, 2013 at 7:57 am |

    New “63” helmet stickers for Tennessee.

  • John | September 4, 2013 at 7:58 am |

    The Celts game is in Boston Garden.

    • BurghFan | September 4, 2013 at 7:59 am |

      Great minds think alike.

    • Ed Hughes | September 4, 2013 at 9:36 am |

      It sure isn’t the Baltimore Civic Center.

  • BurghFan | September 4, 2013 at 7:58 am |

    The 1968 Celtics-Bullets photo is definitely at Boston Garden.

    • suprfrog | September 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm |

      As soon as I saw the scoreboard clock, I thought “Yep…definitely Boston Garden”

  • scott | September 4, 2013 at 7:59 am |

    At about the 1:50 mark of this video, you can hear Curt Gowdy mention how Carl Yastrzemski is wearing the new uniforms the Red Sox would be debuting after the 1972 All-Star Game:

    Not often, I would think, that a team starts wearing new uniforms in mid-season.

    • Phil Hecken | September 4, 2013 at 8:14 am |

      “Not often, I would think, that a team starts wearing new uniforms in mid-season.”


      Excluding the Oregon Ducks, circa 2006-present, of course.

      • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 8:31 am |

        More importantly, the 1970 Pirates.

        • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 10:32 am |

          Or the 1980 Penguins.

        • Terry Proctor | September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am |

          Speaking of Pittsburgh don’t forget the 1979-80 Penguins who changed colors from their original Double Blue to Black & Gold in mid-season.

        • Terry Proctor | September 4, 2013 at 10:45 am |

          I was looking up the date as you posted. Sorry Ron.

        • Terry Proctor | September 4, 2013 at 10:46 am |

          I meant ROB. Mia culpa.

    • walter | September 4, 2013 at 9:12 am |

      Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox, though I forget the dates. Chicago’s came the final week in old Comiskey park.

      • DJ | September 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

        September 25, 1990 for the White Sox. They wore their new uniforms for the final two series at old Comiskey (Minnesota and Seattle), and for the final series of the season at Fenway.

  • David Pealing | September 4, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    At the 26 second mark of the Dolphins video you’ve linked in the ticker, you can see a as-yet unannounced orange alternate jersey.

    • David Pealing | September 4, 2013 at 8:03 am |

      It’s in the pad the presenters of the video are admiring.

  • Jackson | September 4, 2013 at 8:05 am |

    Paul going on an anti-Nike rant…shocking.

    • Connie DC | September 4, 2013 at 8:24 am |

      Oh, come on. See Hank-SJ’s comment below. This news item is truly illustrative, and deserves attention.

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 8:27 am |

      You have an interesting definition of the term “rant.” I suspect most would define the term differently.

  • Hank-SJ | September 4, 2013 at 8:17 am |

    What would Nike have done if the schools refused to send the shirts, etc back to them? Once Nike provides the apparel, is it not the property of the schools? If the schools say ‘it looks fine to us’, does Phil Knight bring in his assault troops and forcibly remove the ‘offending’ clothing? Unless there is specific language in any agreements that they have the right to recall any clothing that does not meet their ‘standards’.

    • Jimbo | September 4, 2013 at 8:33 am |

      With the amount of money involved, the schools would never refuse. The schools and the uniform companies are in bed together and neither wants to upset the relationship. Everyone involved makes money on the deal… except the players.

  • Bob | September 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    Paul-just read your NFL preview- in your knee pad section, you have a couple of paragraphs stuck in the middle from your college preview. I refreshed a couple of times, but it still comes up.

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 8:30 am |

      Yes, I know. I’ve sent urgent emails to my editors, but they’re not in the office yet.

  • Dumb Guy | September 4, 2013 at 8:20 am |

    “What’s better than buying a new $100 Russell Wilson jersey?”

    I was confounded by this sentence/question (this being a uniform site and all). I couldn’t figure out why Russell and Wilson had joined forces to make jerseys.

    I guess that makes this a Nike Russell Wilson jersey!! Riddell solved! (I know….)


    • Mike Engle on iPad | September 4, 2013 at 8:48 am |

      The Apex of football uniform comedy? Or just a Starter?

      • Scott | September 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |

        With all of this potential co-branding $$$ Russel Wilson has on the table, he’ll buy a pet Puma.

        • PETA Parker | September 4, 2013 at 10:02 am |

          That is not a cause I can Champion!

    • walter | September 4, 2013 at 9:13 am |

      Well played!

  • taxman | September 4, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    Celtics/Bullets pick can’t be 1958. Bullets were not in NBA then. Jack Marin #24 played in the late 60s into the 70s. Definitely an oddity with the Celts in green over white and Baltimore in dark blue.

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 8:33 am |

      Typo on my part — it’s from 1968. Now fixed.

  • Dumb Guy | September 4, 2013 at 8:30 am |

    It looks like James Madison University has gone with matte gold helmets this year.


    • Chris Holder | September 4, 2013 at 8:56 am |

      I know I’m probably in the minority with this opinion, but I’ll be happy when the matte helmet fad dies out. Most of them just look like they are unfinished. Gold, especially, seems to be the last color you’d want to see done in matte.

      • Adam N. | September 4, 2013 at 9:39 am |

        I hope to see it go away as a fad as well. I think there are some teams that it works for and they should stick with it, but too many teams are doing it just because it’s “in”, even though it doesn’t’ work very well with the rest of their look or is a poor color match (i.e. Vikings).

        • Dumb Guy | September 4, 2013 at 10:03 am |

          Gold is about the only color I care for in matte.

        • Ben Fortney | September 4, 2013 at 10:28 am |

          Agree with Dumb Guy, the Washington helmets linked in the ticker and last year’s ND helmets are ridiculous.

  • Jimbo | September 4, 2013 at 8:38 am |

    In the Nike/Jags video, at the 54 second mark, there is talk of how the Jags patch “over the heart” is a tribute to the military. How is a patch with an NFL team’s logo a salute to our military men and women?

    • James A | September 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm |

      I was wondering the same thing. Can you co-opt the military without using military images?

  • Mike | September 4, 2013 at 8:40 am |

    Guessing the Nike issue stretches far beyond the schools mentioned by your source at Alabama. Just out of curiosity, I decided to check my alma mater, Oklahoma State, and sure enough, the swoosh on Mike Gundy’s Week 1 polo is clearly on his left arm and not his chest (

    So, my assumption is that every school in the country whose coaches wear that polo template are probably all incorrect. I’d be interested to know if Nike gives a damn about all of them, or only the ones that get a lot of visible national attention like Alabama though.

    • Mike | September 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |

      Adding to this — looks like that particular line is Nike’s “Performance 2013 Coaches Polo”, and just looking at several schools’ official stores, it’s most definitely a widespread issue and entirely based on that template.

      Interestingly though, the “2013 Dri-FIT Preseason Performance” line (which I’m assuming is the equivalent of a BP jersey or something?) does have the swoosh on the chest.

  • BSmile | September 4, 2013 at 8:47 am |

    Wow, Andrew McCutchen has some serious drawing skills! Impressive…

    • Chance Michaels | September 4, 2013 at 9:36 am |

      Sure does. We should ask him to draw the new one they haven’t unveiled yet.

  • Chris Holder | September 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |

    Question for anyone who might know, regarding the Braves… why don’t they do FiOB consistently? Does the player have a choice in the matter? It seems like for years, Chipper Jones had “C. Jones” on the back of his jersey – this during the days when Andruw Jones played there. But, I never remember Andruw sporting “A. Jones”. So what’s the deal?

    And FWIW, it’s not just the Braves, of course. I’ve spotted numerous teams through the years, pro and college, that have inconsistencies.

    • Chance Michaels | September 4, 2013 at 9:36 am |

      Maybe they follow individual player preferences.

  • Pittsburgh Contrarian | September 4, 2013 at 8:57 am |

    Don’t forget the 79-80 Pittsburgh Penguins. I believe they changed during the season.

  • arrScott | September 4, 2013 at 8:59 am |

    The Nike story is my favorite news of the week.

    Still on the road, so I just read yesterday’s UW over motel waffles this morning & didn’t get a look at the comments. But I have to belatedly object to the blanket dismissal of the term “Orwellian” in the native nickname debate. There is one aspect of it that is Orwellian. One of the two chief methods of control the state exerts over individuals in 1984 is the manipulation of language. (Insert discussion of Orwell/Foucault views of mind vs body as locus of authority here.) Euphemism and meaning were big deals for Orwell; in the book “war” is famously “peace.”

    Similarly, defenders of “Redskins” are engaged in an overt attempt to manipulate meaning and insist that a plainly derogatory word is not only innocent but actually complimentary. Even if its origins are innocent of overt racial animus – as “nigger” likely is – later usage, up to the present day, is undeniably tainted by consistent, overt racial animus. To insist otherwise, to say that the racially derogatory “Redskin” is actually a term of endearment, is Orwellian. And Orwell often insisted that feeling the need to lie about what a word means is a strong sign that the argument being advanced is wrong, both as a matter of fact and morality.

    So “Orwellian” does apply to one aspect of the Redskins debate – it applies to Dan Snyder’s approach to the issue. If Snyder were to admit that the word does mean what it means, but that his team’s name could be a force for changing perception and usage, that would not be Orwellian. But denying that it means what it means and insisting that it means the opposite is textbook doublespeak. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Redskin is a compliment.

    • Coleman | September 4, 2013 at 10:12 am |

      I love this site. Rarely(never) does a comment section educate as succinctly as so many comments here do on a near daily basis.

      • Roger | September 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm |

        ^^ THIS

    • Mike 2 | September 4, 2013 at 11:58 am |

      I agree with you completely, but your point adds to the misuse of the term.

      Columnists and bloggers are calling opposition to name “Orwellian”, presumably thinking in some way of the thought police (I’m not really sure) when in fact you’re correct – its Snyder that’s using “newspeak” by claiming his blatantly racist team name is a term of respect and admiration.

      As much as I hate quoting Wikipedia, this quote seems apt:

      “Orwell tried to promote the use of more precise language in political discourse, and he criticised political language popular at the time, such as “running-dog lackey” and “Fascist octopus”, which he said prevented thought. It seems unlikely that Orwell would have approved of many of the uses to which his pseudonym is applied. The loose definition of the term and the often poor correlation between the real-life situations people describe as Orwellian and his own dystopian fiction leave the use of the adjective at best inexact and frequently politically inaccurate. In his essay “Politics and the English Language”, Orwell derided the use of cliché and dying metaphors, which “even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent” and went on to say “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

    • Jim Gregg | September 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |

      Well done in pointing out who is really being Orwellian. Simple fact is that Redskins is offensive. However, that being said, using Native Americans for a team name does not have to be. Uni-Watch ran a story recently about how the Maori in New Zealand embrace the All Blacks using the Haka and indeed at least one of their teams, the Chiefs, uses Maori dressed in native garb as part of the game day experience. The point being having a native American name for your team doesn’t have to be a bad thing but it does need to be done with the participation of the Native Americans and those Native Americans leading and giving their blessing if you will. It can be done and doesn’t have to be that Native American names cannot be used. It just needs to be done RIGHT.

      However, back to the real debate, the one about Redskins. This is about offensive as it can get. Snyder cannot gloss this over. Take the initiative, get fan interaction and come up with a name that the fans can be proud of and removes this current offensive name. Surely, the fans of the Washington team can come up with a very acceptable non-offensive name for their team.

  • NickV | September 4, 2013 at 9:04 am |

    But that obscures the larger issue, which is this: Does it really matter whether the logo is on Saban’s sleeve or chest? With every single player on the team already wearing the Nike logo on his jersey, pants, shoes, and, in most cases, multiple accessories, is there anyone in America who could watch an Alabama game without quickly figuring out which company outfits the team, regardless of where Saban and his staff are wearing their logos? The whole thing smacks of typical Nikean hubris.

    – As does the insane clutter on the chests of too many NFL jerseys (Who does not know they are NOT watching an NFL team or game, without shields, team names, logos, etc.?)

    – As does the insane habit of team names placed upon tramp stamp locations, or perhaps worse, vertically spelled on the legs of pants. Insane.

    There needs to be a Football Uniform Commissioner, at least with authority over the NFL and NCAA, to reject and dismiss these insane, ridiculous and weak interpretations of our beloved teams’ uniforms, and eliminate the dreck too often adopted by too-busy coaches, too-stupid players, too-immature wannabee execs, and too greedy companies selling things.

    • walter | September 4, 2013 at 9:17 am |

      “There needs to be a Football Uniform Commissioner”

      I accept!

  • Surly Duff | September 4, 2013 at 9:16 am |

    I can’t believe any sports fan wouldn’t know that picture was taken in the old Boston Garden.

    Oh, that’s right Paul, you’re not a sports fan. My mistake.

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 10:15 am |

      Well, that insult will certainly cause me a lot of lost sleep tonight….

      I’m a big sports fan, but I fully admit that I’ve never been a big NBA fan. For that photo, I looked at the floor to see if it had the Celtics’ familiar parquet pattern. Couldn’t really see the floor very well in that shot, so that was no help. If my ignorance of Boston Garden’s 1968 basketball configuration somehow makes me “not a sports fan” in your eyes, well, I guess I’ll just have to live with that withering assessment.

    • BrianC | September 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

      Looks like the trolls are out today…

  • Steve Ceruolo | September 4, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    Celtics/Bullets picture solved! I believe I was actually at the game shown in the photo. I was a teen and Celtics fan living in the Boston area in the 60’s. I remember attending a Celts game on a Sunday afternoon which also happened to be St. Patrick’s day. The Celtics wore their green jerseys with their white shorts to celebrate the holiday ( I was into unis way back then)! The picture is definitely from the old Boston Garden. The number 20 on the Celtics is Larry Siegfried not sure who 27 is. I researched back and the Celtics lost at home to the Baltimore Bullets 147-139 on Sunday, March 17th, 1968!

    • Matt B | September 4, 2013 at 10:15 am |

      Beat me to it! By the way, #27 is Johnny Jones, in his only NBA season. I first saw that image about a decade ago and spent years trying to crack it.

      That would be the earliest instance of a team wearing a “special” uniform to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the NBA. The Nuggets wore all-green unis in 1972 (@ Phoenix) and the Jazz wore their early-80s green unis in 1986 (vs. Detroit). I’m not aware of any other teams wearing special unis until it started up again in the early 00’s.

      • Steve Ceruolo | September 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm |

        I always thought that this had to be one of the earliest instances of a special uni to celebrate a holiday. It just wasn’t done back then. It was great synergy for the Celtics with the St. Pat’s holiday, a Sunday afternoon home game, their colors and team name. I wish I knew who came up with the idea and carried it out to fruition.

      • Matt B | September 5, 2013 at 5:17 am |

        Typo in my earlier post – the Nuggets/Suns game was in 1982, of course…

    • Connie DC | September 4, 2013 at 10:20 am |

      It’s a great site that can ask Paul’s question and then get Steve Ceruolo’s answer. So where do you come from, Steve?

      PS It was lousy weather that day in Boston. Your correspondent was in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, riding atop a convertible with a big McCarthy For President banner affixed to its front. The parade route was through South Boston, no den of peaceniks, for sure, but Irish and Democrat and not overtly hostile to the McCarthy candidacy. So I sat next to a beautiful young fellow-student (with a New York accent, so she couldn’t open her mouth, just smiled a dazzling smile and waved her hand) as I impersonated a Boston Democrat running for office. You point to somebody — anybody — on the sidewalk and shout “Hey, how ah-ya?!”

      A little later, when RFK declared his candidacy, I jumped ship immediately to work for the greatest Kennedy of them all.

    • Steve Ceruolo | September 4, 2013 at 11:16 am |

      Thinking back to the 60’s, does anyone remember NBA doubleheaders? I went to one or two of these at the Boston Garden back in the day. Two teams would play, essentially, a neutral court game in the first game, followed by the Celtics taking on their opponent in the second game. These were regular season games, not exhibitions.

      • James A | September 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm |

        I’ve heard of doubleheaders being staged at Madison Square Garden, as well.

        • BurghFan | September 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

          Yeah, I think doubleheaders in New York often showcased Philadelphia-Boston as well as the Knicks game.

          I remember at least one ABA doubleheader in Pittsburgh, although I didn’t go.

          As NBA attendance increased and stabilized, doubleheaders and other neutral dite games became less attractive to ownership.

  • Nick | September 4, 2013 at 9:26 am |

    I was wondering about the Nike logo. Early in the Michigan State-Western Michigan game from last Friday night, MSU coach Mark Dantonio had a polo without the front Swoosh. Later on, his polo did have the Swoosh. He may have changed it because of the rain during the game but weird that one shirt had the front Swoosh and the other didn’t.

    Early in the game:

    Later in the game:

  • Mickel | September 4, 2013 at 9:30 am |

    In the Nike + Seahawks video they show at the :55 mark they have planned for green pants. I keep wondering if those will hit the field at any time.

    • M.Princip | September 4, 2013 at 10:23 am |

      Also, a glimpse at the 1:36 mark.

  • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 9:41 am |

    Today’s ESPN column is up (and the earlier editorial issues have been fixed):

    • The Jeff | September 4, 2013 at 10:04 am |

      You completely skipped the Raiders. I’m pretty sure they don’t have any changes, but they aren’t even mentioned except for still having the AL on the helmets under the Browns section.

      • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 10:11 am |

        This column, like all my season-preview columns, covers teams with changes or other uni-notable news. Teams that don’t fit those descriptions (including but not limited to the Raiders) aren’t listed.

        • The Jeff | September 4, 2013 at 10:15 am |

          I guess that’s what I get for just skimming.

    • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 10:40 am |

      In the Browns’ section, when mentioning perma-memorials, it appears you forgot about the Chiefs’ AFL patch in honor of Lamar Hunt.

      • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 10:53 am |

        Correct. We’re fixing it.

        • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm |

          Looking at it, I didn’t realize until today that it had his initials on the ball. Guess that makes sense, after all.

          I still think uniform perma-memorials are overdoing it a bit.

      • BrianC | September 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm |

        “I still think uniform perma-memorials are overdoing it a bit.”

        I agree 100%. It should be for a season only. And don’t say stuff like “But without George Halas there wouldn’t be an NFL!”. Are there no plaques or stautes honoring him? Does it have to be a permant part of the uniform? Does that mean the Yankees should still be wearing a Babe Ruth patch?

        • BurghFan | September 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

          It’s nice that the Bears and Chiefs and Yankees and everybody else can make these determinations themselves.

  • Jet | September 4, 2013 at 9:45 am |

    I love that Expos cartoon… but I wonder how many casual viewers got the joke.


  • Pod KATT | September 4, 2013 at 9:46 am |

    can confirm LSU is in this boat with the polos (I believe Miles just wears the same jacket in every game)

  • Coleman | September 4, 2013 at 9:58 am |

    Add WVU to the Nike list, or at least Dana Holgorsen. Just checked game photos. White swoosh on left sleeve, white Flying WV, nothing more.

  • Kevin Z. | September 4, 2013 at 10:21 am |

    Here’s Mike London, coach of UVA, with the swoosh on the sleeve:

  • LarryB | September 4, 2013 at 10:25 am |

    Not positive but Duke may have been one of the first to wear the padded helmet. They played Ohio State in 1959 and Duke wore them. Later in that season Ohio State tried it on a helmet or 2. The following year Ohio State wore those.

    • M.Princip | September 4, 2013 at 11:51 am |

      Here’s a great ad, featuring Mike Ditka, pertaining to those padded MacGregor helmets.

  • John Q | September 4, 2013 at 11:10 am |

    In regard to that baseball team using a hockey team logo:

    Back in the 1960’s-1970’s, the senior league baseball teams in my town used football & hockey team names which I never thought made much sense.

    The little league groupings went like this:

    Midget League (ages 8-9) Bird Names: Cardinals, Hawks, Robins, Condors, etc. You had some professional cross-overs like Penguins, Falcons, Cardinals and Blue Jays in ’77.

    Minor League (ages 10-12) Animal Names: Cougars, Mustangs, Bisons, Bucks, Stags. I think there was a team called the Lions but the Tigers were in the majors which made it confusing.

    Major League (ages 11-12) Major League Names: Yankees, Mets, Senators, Twins, Giants, Dodgers, Tigers. In real life the Senators changed their names in 1972 yet this team never did. There was a Ranger team in the senior league but that was after the NY hockey team.

    Senior League (ages 13-15) Mix of Football Teams and Hockey Teams: Raiders, Chargers, Rangers. The Penguins and Falcons were in the midget league and the Lions were in the minor league which made it confusing.

    • Ben Fortney | September 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

      That’s Mineola, Long Island, NY – for reference public high school team goes by Mustangs, pee-wee PAL football goes by Chiefs. (As I clicked on their website I notice they’ve ditched the ‘Skins logo they used to use, and seem to have used both arrowhead and spear designs.

  • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | September 4, 2013 at 11:11 am |

    Ron Roenicke is the Manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not trade belts with Darin Mastroianni.

    • Randy | September 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

      It was probably Josh Roenicke. Josh is Ron’s nephew.

  • Elliott | September 4, 2013 at 11:35 am |

    Paul, interesting question for you. You referred to Mizzou as Missouri as opposed to Mizzou. I think most people are familiar with the term Mizzou nationally, but still refer to us as Missouri anyway, especially in publications or on screen, etc. Unlike the University of Mississippi, which never gets called Mississippi, only Ole Miss. In Columbia, I would say my school is referred to as “Mizzou” 99% of the time. Do you have an opinion on the branding of the school as a nickname?

    (Also, to some who incorrectly think this: Mizzou is not a recent Nike invention of a nickname. It’s been around for decades.)

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 11:46 am |

      I just prefer “Missouri.” Sounds/feels better to me. Totally a matter of personal preference — no other agenda besides that.

    • StLMarty | September 4, 2013 at 10:01 pm |

      I was a big fan of Missouri football and basketball. I’m the only one in my family who didn’t go to MU, but I had always rooted for them. No more. As “Missouri”, I felt they represented me. As “Mizzou”, they do not. I no longer have a favorite college football team, and SLU fills the b-ball void.

  • Ronnie Poore | September 4, 2013 at 11:48 am |

    very cool “catch of the day” link today. check it out.

  • Mike 2 | September 4, 2013 at 11:53 am |

    Terry Proctor: more great photos of Maple Leaf Stadium here.

    Its not entirely correct that there’s a gas station where the stadium used to be. The whole area (including the old Tip Top Tailors building) has been redeveloped into lofts and condos, very upscale area, there is a gas station on the corner of Bathurst and Lakeshore but the stadium site is almost entirely residential – plus there’s a diamond beyond what would have been centrefield.

  • martyB | September 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |

    Does anyone know what this “BASEBALL” logo is (and why it’s right there on this MLB postseason schedule page)?

    Here’s the image:

    I’ve never noticed it before.

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

      That’s the old commissioner’s logo from the 1970s. It showed up on some trophies and such.

      I *think* the story is that the silhouetted batter logo was only supposed to be for MLB’s centennial, and this other logo was going to be the logo for the sport as a whole. But the silhouetted batter turned out to be so popular that it ended up becoming adopted as the main logo.

      Odd to see it on that page.

      • martyB | September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

        Hmm, odd indeed. Thanks for the info though!

  • YPC | September 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

    Conspiracy theory on the Jaguars’ new “JAGS” chest patch… perhaps it has nothing to do with the military at all, despite public comments to the contrary. With the team playing so many games in London, perhaps it’s there to mimic a traditional European soccer crest, and help better relate to English fans and sell more jerseys – prepping for the inevitable move to London in the next few years.

    (I don’t actually believe this.)

  • Mike Engle | September 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

    Buffalo Sabre Steve Ott (@otterN9NE on Twitter) just pulled the plug on the Sabres’ third jersey reveal.
    Opinion: Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad.

    • Drew | September 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm |

      That sums it up nicely. Holy god what a mess.

    • DJ | September 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm |

      There are a couple of good elements, such as the number font and the captains’ patches. But…yeah. This is a bad basic concept.

    • Mike 2 | September 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm |

      Those are so terrible I’m going to assume that they’re a joke.

      The gray sleeves and different gray (or is that reflective silver?) stripes put it over the top for me.

      • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm |

        I think those stripes are supposed to be white.

    • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm |

      The jersey design looks like it would’ve fit in better with the Nashville Predators’ old uniform sets.

      And the “BUFFALO” wordmark above the crest? Did anybody who worked on that uniform stop and actually LOOK AT THE DAMN LOGO? Seriously, whoever thought it was a good idea to put “BUFFALO” over A PICTURE OF A FUCKING BUFFALO IN THE MAIN LOGO needs to be bitch-slapped.

      At least in the last Sabres jersey that had the “BUFFALO” on the front, the logo itself only had the crossed swords.

      • The Jeff | September 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

        Perhaps the real problem is that every team in Buffalo insists on using a Buffalo in their logo.

    • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

      In any case, I think we know what the lede is going to be for Thursday, right?

      • Jim G. | September 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

        Is this April 1st? Hopefully those new Sabres jerseys are some kind of a joke? Right! Right!

    • CortM | September 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm |

      Somewhere, the Buffaslug jersey is pointing at the new 3rd, and laughing derisively. Destruction is complete. The zombies have taken over. Feral cats prowl what used to be the US Capitol. We have entered Thunderdome.

      This is the worst uniform in the history of Sport.

      (TheJeff has a point, by the way: there is no evidence that bison were ever native to Western New York. The origins of “Buffalo” are the source of much debate; the one thing historians agree on is that the place isn’t called Buffalo because there were Buffalo there. On the other hand, Buffalo is a lot like the bison: big; short-sighted; slightly smelly; prone to overreaction and stampede mentality, resulting in much destruction; and for all that, lovable, noble even.)

    • BrianC | September 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

      That’s what happens when you let someone on acid design a uniform. This is a serious competitor not just for the worst uniform in NHL history, but one of the worst in the history of professional sports.

      • quiet seattle | September 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm |

        So, the Islanders alt uniform has been supplanted.

        • DJ | September 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm |

          Or those heinous Anaheim (Wild Wing), LA (Burger King), or Phoenix (the peyote landscape). A little perspective is needed here.

  • BvK1126 | September 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm |

    A couple thoughts on the Nike NFL “How We Work” videos linked in today’s Ticker:

    1) Check out Mike Wallace of the Dolphins at about the 1:00 mark, comparing putting on his uniform to “turn[ing] into a superhero.” Congratulations, Nike. Now you actually have the players thinking they ARE superheroes.

    2) In the Jags video, Paul Posluszny can be seen wearing a t-shirt with Jacksonville’s old logo at the 0:57 mark. You’d think that, in their own promotional videos, Nike would have better control over their “branding” imagery than that. Then again, they did just screw up the logo placement on all that college football sideline gear…

  • Rob C. | September 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

    I actually noticed this on Saturday while watching the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer’s polo had the swoosh on the sleeve and on the chest, while his assistants only had them on the sleeve. I thought it was overkill for sure, but figured Meyer got two since he’d be on camera more than, say, Luke Fickell.

    (Also, I know I saw it, but I can’t find any evidence of the double-swoosh action.)

  • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

    Oh, dear sweet mother of Celestia, what have the Sabres wrought onto us?

    Finally glad that the jersey’s been leaked, for how friggin’ long Buffalo has teased us, but could they have made the thing any uglier?

    I think I’d actually rather have the Buffaslug back as a third than this hot mess!

    • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm |

      … and how did I not see the post just up there a half hour before, even after refreshing the page?

    • Ethan | September 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm |

      Sweet merciful Jesus, as if being a longstanding Buffalo sports fan weren’t enough…now this.


  • Brian Jud | September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

    I liked the Pedroia link for two reasons:

    1. It’s funny
    2. Jenny Dell. Big pictures of Jenny Dell.

    • Scott | September 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

      This cannot be stressed enough.

    • Scott Davis | September 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

      I still miss Heidi Watney, but Jenny Dell is nice, too. Very, very nice.

  • jared | September 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

    Nike runs the same designs through all their schools and the NFL. It’ll be interesting to see if they pull the NFL coaches polos also

  • BvK1126 | September 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm |

    The University of Texas football team has voted in favor of keeping numbers on their helmets for the rest of the season. I can’t say I’m surprised by this.

    • M.Princip | September 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm |


  • RoccoT | September 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm |

    Somewhere the Buffaslug colony is breathing a sigh of relief they are no longer the worst jersey in the Buffalo arsenal.

  • Scott Davis | September 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

    The question remains… Did ESPN change “Skins” to “Redskins” in the article, or does the boycott not exist on their site as well?

    • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

      The question “remains”? When was it first posed?

      Anyway: I’m not sure which column or which instance of “’Skins” you’re referring to. But I, like many ESPN columnists, routinely use common team nicknames like ’Skins, ’Stros, Bucs, Vikes, Jags, Pack, M’s, O’s, etc. — not due to any “boycott,” but to keep things sounding loose and conversational, to avoid repeating the full name unnecessarily, etc.

      • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

        Oh, I see what you’re asking: Basic ESPN style is to use a team’s full name on first mention. So that’s what I did in today’s column — as you’ll see, all the boldface team names are their full, non-nicknamed names.

        • Scott Davis | September 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm |

          I understand addressing teams by their full, non-nicknamed names, it’s just that with the past few months, with the daily “Skins Watch” and whatnot, that it would carry to other articles by you, too.

          Carry on.

        • Paul Lukas | September 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

          On my site, I can (and do) write however I choose. But when I’m writing for someone else, I follow their rules.

          Among the many terms I use on this site but not when I’m writing for ESPN (or Business Week, or Slate, or the New York Times, etc.):

          G.I. Joe
          corporate douchebaggery

          And so on. As noted above, I do use “’Skins” in my ESPN work in a colloquial, conversational way, just as I use Jags, Vikes, etc. But not on first mention.

        • Scott | September 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm |


  • ChickenOnTheHll | September 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm |

    When Chipper and Andruw played together Chipper wore ‘JONES’ at home and ‘C. JONES’ on the road. Andruw wore ‘A. JONES’ at home and ‘JONES’ on the road

  • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

    Here’s a mockup of the Sabres’ third redone with a Predators logo and wordmark.

    The jersey design makes MUCH more sense for the Preds than the Sabres, IMHO, especially after looking at the mockup. (Apologies for the relative low quality of the ‘shop job – I’ve only got Paint.NET to work with on my workstation.)

    • DJ | September 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

      It’d make more sense with the original Preds logo (with the orange, silver and steel accents) as opposed to the current simplified logo. But your point is well taken.

      • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

        I briefly considered that, and I might redo it with the older logo and wordmark later… or not.

        Anyway, if anyone wants to circulate my mod, go right ahead. And there’s also this, apropos for those who feel like we’ve been trolled.

  • Jedi54 | September 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

    I will not be hating the BFBS UCLA uni.

  • Tenz | September 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

    One oddity about that Bullets-Celts photo from ’68 is the odd striping on the Celtics’ white trunks, which I’d never noticed before. And I found a photo on the Internet that shows that unusual striping teamed with more familiar Celtic trim on various teammates on the floor at the same time…

  • Odessasteps | September 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm |

    Did the Sabres wait to unveil those sweaters until after Paul’s rankings came out? :)

    • BrianC | September 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

      Buffalo gal won’t you come out tonight
      Come out tonight, come out tonight.
      Buffalo gal won’t you come out tonight,
      And burn this jersey by the light of the moon!

  • mike d | September 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

    I wonder if Washington could drop Redskins and just go as Washington Football Club. Let the fans use an unofficial nickname if they must.

    Off topic, but if anyone wants to join my fantasy football league, draft is tonight at 830 est. League name is shadynasty’s, password is football1.

    • Rob H. | September 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

      PA announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, your Washington….”

      Crowd in unison: (insert allegedly racist name here)

      Works for me.

      • Will S | September 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

        Sounds like a reference to “Your Baltimore CFL …”

        Crowd in unison: (insert pro football name that is ruled property of Indianapolis and the NFL)

        • Rob H. | September 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

          Yep, that’s what I was thinking of. I think that would be a win-win. The team would stop “officially” using the name, ostensibly to try to appease those that feel that the name shouldn’t be used, and the average joe six pack ham-and-egger fans that wish to keep using the name still could. And if the name truly got to be considered offensive enough by the rank and file that they stopped using it of their own volition, it would just naturally die out.

  • Rob H. | September 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm |

    The question about the Nike swoosh and is it really necessary for them to insist on the visibility of the chest swoosh because the sleeve swoosh might not be getting seen as much – isn’t the swoosh already ubiquitous enough that it renders negligible any effect having it there provides?

    It reminds me of these Super Bowl commercials… sure those 30 second of air time are the most desired and the most visible and will be seen by billions of people. And when an upstart company like GoDaddy bursts on the scene with one, I’m sure it has a great return and gives them exposure that they never dreamed of and may be worth that investment to them.

    But when a company like Coca-Cola or IBM or Budweiser that is already ingrained in the public consciousness has one, even if it’s a real memorable one that gets people “talking about it around the watercooler” the next day, how can they really quantify the return on their investment that that exposure provides? Everyone’s already heard of them.

    • Rob H. | September 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

      …I’m sure it’s a “we’re going to spend x dollars on advertising this year, how can we best spend those dollars” kind of thing, but still $3 million dollars on getting your name out there for 30 seconds to a billion people who have already heard of you seems a little ludicrous.

  • Al Gruwell | September 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm |

    I was at the Astros/Twins game last night, and when Mastroianni broke his leather belt, he switched it out for an elastic one. I thought it was a rite of passage that when a guy when to the bigs, he traded the elastic for leather. I also got an autograph from another Twin (can’t remember if it was Colabello or Bernier) who also was wearing the minor-league adjustable elastic.

  • The Young Gun | September 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

    I have come to the point where I still love to read Paul’s articles, but just because somebody wants to (try) to prove a point in the comments, doesn’t mean you have to shoot it down completely and utterly. I mean come on, we are grown men (and women) that enjoy the art of the uniform. There needs to be discussion, some give and take, not just, “Oh that uniform is stupid and anybody who doesn’t think so is wrong.” Or, “The Redskins need to change their name.” Yes, I like hearing about the uni news, but do we really need all the arguing and fighting? We all have our own idea of what looks good. If you don’t have something nice to say about another person’s idea, don’t say anything at all. We aren’t kindergarteners here.

    • swilson160 | September 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm |

      Sure, you read this site for the articles…

  • Rydell | September 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

    I don’t mind having a swoosh within visual on any sports apparel I buy.

    • Rydell | September 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm |

      ..but I wouldn’t wear (or play with) a Nike ball glove.

  • Roger | September 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Coleman | September 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm |

      Holy crap. No way they take the field in that.

      • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

        UCLA is going to go all black in at least one game, and you’re denying the possibility of this being worn by Florida? Really?

        The last of the sacred cows of college uniforms may not be dead just yet, but they’ve been queued up at the slaughterhouse, that’s for damn sure.

    • DJ | September 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm |

      I’ve seen this on Creamer’s message boards. It’s from a Florida fan who designs and creates his own concept prototypes.

      • Rob S | September 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm |

        Well, if it’s verified a fan concept, then I guess I can disregard it.

        Sad thing is, though, in this day and age, you never know anymore what these schools are going to pull out of their suppliers’ backsides…

  • Roger | September 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm |

    I realize color-on-color games have lost their luster somewhat, but this game didn’t look bad (helps the Blue Jays were involved).

  • kory | September 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm |

    Concerning those Glenville (Cleveland) uniforms, I’m kind of surprised they don’t wear Nike considering Ted Ginn Jr’s relationship with the brand (his dad is the head coach). They are one of the better teams in Ohio, maybe Adidas hooked them up. Or maybe because of their financial restrictions, they took what best price.