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Name Games


Two players who play two different sports for two different teams situated on two different continents are changing their NOBs — ostensibly for two very different reasons. In the end, though, the reasons are essentially the same.

Let’s start in the NFL, where 49ers safety Donte Whitner announced yesterday that he’s changing his surname to Hitner. He says he’s doing it in part as a reference to his hard-hitting style of play and in part as a protest over all the fines he’s received this season as the league has cracked down on big hits. But the protest angle is a bit of a red herring, because he also said he had originally wanted to do the name change during the offseason, but his mother put the kibosh on that. Now she’s changed her mind and given him the green light. (Aside from any concerns about changing the family name, you’d think she’d be concerned about her son having a name so similar to Hitler, but I guess not.)

According to that article I linked to, Hitner “said he’d like to get it changed on his uniform by [this] Sunday’s game but admitted that might be unrealistic.” So for now we’ll have to settle for Photoshop jobs like the one shown at right, which I did myself. (Yes, I should have re-centered the remaining letters after removing the “W,” but I was pressed for time.)

Meanwhile, there’s the case of Romanian soccer player Ciprian Marica, who had previously played in the EPL but recently signed with the Spanish team Getafe. Just one problem: Marica’s surname translates to “sissy” or “faggot” in Spanish (as you may recall, Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar had a similar word written on his eye black stickers last year), so Marica is going to wear his first name on his jersey instead of his surname. No word on what his mother (or Donte Hitner’s mother) thinks of this.

So we have one player who’s changing his NOB to look all rough and tough, and another who’s changing his so he won’t look like a sissy. Kind of sad, really. They might want to have a chat with a certain Steelers cornerback, who seems to have gotten along just fine with his NOB.

(Special thanks to Terry Eckberg for alerting me to the Ciprian Marica story.)

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Wanna work more so I can work less? Why the hell not? Back in late August I asked, among other things, how you folks would feel if someone else compiled the Ticker instead of me. The vast majority of you said you wouldn’t mind one little bit. We’ve taken a step in that direction by having Phil provide weekend Tickers, which I think have worked well. Now I’d like to try delegating some of the weekday Ticker work as well — but just for one day a week, at least for now. So I’m officially in the market for an intern, or an assistant, or a Ticker monkey, or whatever you’d like to call it.

The person who ends up with this oh-so-coveted position will be responsible for the following:

• Dealing with buttload of emails on his or her appointed weekly day of Ticker responsibility.

• Promptly forwarding to me any emails that aren’t Ticker-ish (e.g., questions from readers, requests for radio interviews, inquiries from potential advertisers, etc.).

• Assessing which Ticker submissions might actually be “big stories” that deserve more than a Ticker mention, and promptly forwarding those to me as well. This is arguably the most important skill you’ll need — being able to tell the difference between “big news” and “little news.”

• Assessing which Ticker submissions might be tweet-worthy and then tweeting them on the @UniWatch Twitter account.

• Compiling the Ticker for the next day’s blog entry, including all HTML coding.

• Cleaning Caitlin and Tucker’s litter box. Never mind, OSHA says I can’t make you do that. Dang.

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

I’m thinking of applying for the gig. Are there any special qualifications you’re looking for?

Yes. You should be a good writer, familiar with this site’s general style and approach, knowledgeable about sports and uniforms, HTML-fluent, and equipped with a Flickr Pro account. (If you have a regular Flickr account and can’t afford to upgrade to Flickr Pro, I will cover the fee for you.) In a perfect world, you’d already have some blogging experience, preferably with WordPress. In a really perfect world, you’d know a lot more about HTML than I do and could teach me some stuff in that regard.

It would also be helpful if you’re, like, fairly brilliant.

If you live in or near NYC, that’s a plus, but it’s not a requirement.

Do you specifically want a young go-getter? A responsible grown-up? Something in between?

Everything else being equal, I’d rather have a college student or someone just out of college. But if the best candidate happens to be, say, 42 years old, so be it.

Can you please pick me? I’m majoring in sports management, and interning for an ESPN columnist would really look great on my résumé.

Telling me you’re majoring in sports management is a good way to not get picked. Ditto if you’re majoring in marketing. If you’re studying journalism and/or design, on the other hand, that’s a plus. Everything else is pretty much a wash.

While we’re at it: I don’t care which team(s) you root for, how many jerseys you own, when you attended your first sporting event, how you wore your first Little League uniform, etc. If you end up with the gig, we’ll have plenty of time to discuss all of those things. But none of that will have any bearing on who gets picked.

I do care about your sense of intelligence, your sense of humor, your dependability, your creativity, your communication style, your ability to see through corporate bullshit (and not just the sports-related kind), and probably a few other things I’m forgetting.

I think stirrups look stupid, logo creep doesn’t bother me (in fact, I think it’s kinda cool), I like all the crazy college football helmets, and I have no problem with the Washington football team’s name. Should I even bother applying?

Don’t worry, The Jeff, you’ll get the same consideration as everyone else.

Seriously: Do I care about your tastes and opinions on uni-related matters? Yeah, but only a little bit. I’m more interested in the reasoning and intelligence behind them, and how well you’re able to articulate them. I’d say the one thing we need to share is a healthy skepticism about corporate bullshit, but your version of that skepticism doesn’t have to express itself the same way mine does.

You said you’re only looking to delegate the Ticker for one day per week. Will it always be the same day — like, every Friday, or whatever?

I’m flexible on that point. We can work out a system that functions best for both of us. If things proceed smoothly, I might ask you to upgrade to two days a week. I don’t foresee asking you to do more than that.

Will I have opportunities to write anything for the site besides the Ticker?

Assuming you handle your Ticker duties reasonably well, you’ll be welcome to submit full-length entries.

Are you offering any kind of material compensation?

I will grossly underpay you, just as I have grossly underpaid all my other assistants over the years. Oh, and you’ll get a free Uni Watch membership card.

Assuming I get chosen, when would I start?

Reasonably soon, but I’m flexible. If you need a few weeks before you can start, that’s fine. If you can’t start until, say, next January, that’s longer than I’m prepared to wait.

How do I apply?

Send me an email that includes the following:

• Two non-fiction writing samples (or links to same). They don’t have to be about uniforms, or even about sports.

• At least one suggestion for how the Uni Watch site could be improved (aside from by hiring you, of course). Don’t tell me how we could make the site more popular; tell me how we could make it better.

• Some of your favorite movies, books, and records. Don’t overthink this — just rattle off a few top picks.

• A cover note explaining why you’re the right person for the job.

• If you do other creative work (photography, visual art, fiction, design, music, etc.), feel free to send samples of that as well.

• Please do not send a formal résumé.

I think that’s it. Thanks for listening.

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New sponsor shout-outs: As you may have noticed in recent days, we now have two new advertisers in the right-hand sidebar. The first is New Era Cap Talk, a site devoted to discussion all things cap-related. The other is Left Field Cards, whose praises I’ve sung many times before. In addition, our friends at Retro College Cuts are once again co-sponsoring the banner at the top of the page.

I’m very happy to have all of these folks on board, and I hope you’ll check them out. Thanks.

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’Skins Watch: I think this shot from last night’s American League Wild Card Game pretty much speaks for itself (click to enlarge):


Hey, it’s just a team name and a logo, right? No biggie. Why all the fuss?

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Baseball News: This recent obituary for former Tigers pinch-hitter Gates Brown includes the following possibly apocryphal tale: “He was also famous for eating hot dogs during games before his customary [pinch-hitting] moment arrived, usually in later innings. Once, when he was called to hit earlier than usual, he was still getting to his hot dogs. After gulping one down, he slipped another inside his uniform, condiments already applied. ‘Wouldn’t you know, Gator hits a double and slides headfirst into second, the former Tigers pitcher Jon Warden recalled to The News Journal. ‘Boom, mustard and ketchup all over him. The umpire said: “Stay there, Gator. You’re bleeding.”’” … Here’s a great article about Hinchliffe Stadium, which I’ve written about in the past. … “Design-wise, this is one of the sweetest bottle cozies I’ve seen,” says Thomas Qualls. “Functionally? Probably the worst.” … “The Red Sox played an intrasquad game at Fenway on Wednesday to stay sharp during the long layoff,” says Bobby Pinkham. “It was Red vs. Blue. Looks like they wore their BP jerseys and some wore BP caps, while others wore the standard caps. Oddly, some players had the Postseason patch on their caps while others didn’t.” … SI’s MLB postseason preview issue has a cover photo showing Braves teammates/brothers BJ and Justin Upton, along with model Kate Upton in a Braves uni (thanks, Brinke).

NFL News: You know how the Nike logo faces forward on both sleeves of NFL jerseys? Reggie Wayne of the Colts recently appeared on Parks and Recreation wearing a jersey with both logos facing backwards. Everyone else’s were oriented properly (good spot by David Coonce). … The Packers are donating some “gently used game pants and socks” to a college team whose gear was destroyed in a bus fire (from Seth Moorman).

College Football News: Anyone know why ASU coach Todd Graham wears such a minimalist headset? ”¦ East Carolina QB Shane Carden has a tattoo of the team’s logo (from Brad Hufford). ”¦ Maryland presented long-time announcer Johnny Holiday with a mash-up football/basketball jersey (from Matt Shevin). ”¦ Buffalo’s attempts to brand itself as the preeminent New York State school have mostly been laughable, but you have to like their little state-shaped merit decals — nice! (From Maxwell Lieberman.)

Hockey News: When the Islanders move to Brooklyn, they’ll keep their team colors and add a black-and/white alternate jersey. Note that the two designs shown at the top of that page are just concepts, not the real deal.

Soccer News: The Guardian recently asked its readers to send in photos of their old soccer jerseys. The results can be seen in this slideshow (from George Chilvers). … All of the remaining soccer items are from Yusuke Toyoda: Good piece on the evolution of soccer typography. ”¦ The designer responsible for the Indy Eleven logo has created a whole set of logos for fake teams in a fantasy North American soccer league. ”¦ Bristol City is asking fans to design next year’s uniform. ”¦ The parents of a 10-year-old boy in Missouri don’t want him to wear his youth league’s soccer jersey because the team’s jersey sponsor is a nighclub, which conflicts with the family’s religious beliefs.

NBA News: New 25th-season patch for the Timberwolves (from Jake Kurtz). ”¦ Here’s the latest list of top-selling NBA jerseys. … In a development that almost qualifies as breaking news, no NBA teams released sleeved jerseys yesterday.

Grab Bag: Molico Osasco — that’s a Brazilian women’s volleyball team — wore skirts last weekend. Additional photos here (from Jeremy Brahm). … This is fascinating: Did you know the NFL and NHL are tax-exempt, because they’re classified as nonprofits? It’s true! But now there’s growing sentiment to change that (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ Can’t afford a jersey? There’s always this approach (from Chris LaHaye). ”¦ Ivor Wynne Stadium — former home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats — has been replaced by Tim Hortons Field, which has led some enterprising folks to create this T-shirt. ”¦ The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy cross country team has new camo-patterned tops. “As an alum of the school, as well as of the cross country and track teams, I guess I understand the thought, but not sure I care for the aesthetics,” says John Kimmerlein. ”¦ Good article about the marketing of pink sports gear (from Brad Iverson-Long). … Reebok is looking to get back to its roots as a fitness brand (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ What’s wore than a pro or college team going BFBS? A high school team going BFBS. That’s Parkway West High in St. Louis, whose school colors most assuredly do not include black. ”¦ Notre Dame volleyball wore pink-accented jerseys last night (from Jude Seymour). ”¦ “I went to Wednesday night’s Auburn/Alabama volleyball game,” says Clint Richardson. “Auburn wore yellow sweatbands for a teammate who’s battling leukemia. One player wore it on her arm, while the others wore it near their ankles. Also, Alabama was wearing SNOB [which is fairly common for college volleyball ”” PL], but look at the four letter “A”s — the two on the left are different than the two on the right, creating a kind of symmetry.”

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What Paul did last night: I almost never do the pub quiz/trivia thing. But last night some friends were hosting a music trivia quiz to benefit the American Cancer Society (don’t worry, nobody wore pink), and a bunch of other friends were going to be participating, so I figured why not.

The quiz was a doozy, with something like 150 questions, but my five-person team ended up winning — mainly, I’d say, because our roster included Spin editor-in-chief Jem Aswad, who pretty much carried us on his back (although I had my moments, coming through with a few clutch answers that nobody else on our squad knew). We got to pick from a bunch of great prizes that had been donated for the event — mostly books, CDs, headphones, and the like. I ended up with the deluxe seven-LP 20th-anniversary box set of the Breeders’ Last Splash — not bad.

The night even had a uni-related component, thanks to this fella who showed up in a killer bowling shirt that I totally coveted (click to enlarge):

bowling shirt.png

Comments (162)

    Todd Graham wears that headset so it’s easier for him to pack when he hightails it out of town. Or he wants to pretend he’s a Secret Service agent.

    That is excellent. Indians doesn’t have to be a negative in terms of team name but the Chief Wahoo logo is just awful. If the Cleveland franchise wants to keep Indians as a team name maybe they should get with a tribe somewhere in Ohio, involve them heavily, set up some sort of foundation for that tribe and let the tribe determine logos, etc. That must be too difficult though for Indians management to figure out.

    I don’t think we should necessarily strike Indians, Chiefs, etc., but like you said, it should be handled respectfully. Free Shoe…uhh, Florida State does that. But when you run around like these guys or make head dresses out and play Indian, that’s in some ways equivalent to dressing up in a caricature of a holy man and baptising poeple with a big foam sceptre at Saints or Cardinals games. The reaction to that would be different.

    Also, it was three guys. There are three offensive idiots at every game. Renaming teams won’t eliminate that.

    I haven’t followed the Indians much, but do they usually wear the Chief Wahoo caps on defense and the block C helmets on offense?

    The story at the beginning of the season was that MLB asked teams to only use one helmet because of the switch to the new style. Seeing plenty of other teams with multiple helmets called that logic into question. I’m guessing it’s just another small step in the transition of removing the Chief from all the caps.

    Right – but has the Wahoo cap been worn on the field much? What percentage of games were all-block C versus the combination of block C and Wahoo?

    This reminds me of a thought that occurred to me while reading a chapter on Columbus recently: the fact that we, as a country, celebrate the day Columbus was the “first” to “discover” the “New” World seems to be falling out of favor in certain circles, but I don’t know if there’s any widespread movement to do so. However, if that ever were to come to pass, what about cities and geographic features in this country that bear homage to him, i.e. Columbus & Columbia (& Columbine)? Moreover, I presume the celebration of the holiday is offensive to Native Americans, but what do they think of places named after the explorer?

    Well, Columbus Day is celebrated most in the northeast and treated more as an Italian-American heritage day than a celebration of a colonial invader.

    And there’s nothing offensive about commemorating a historical figure, per se, and in a way, the holiday has spurred conversation about the European/indigenous contact.

    Also, Columbine is named after the flower, whose name is rooted in Latin for “dove-like”, and has nothing to do with the explorer.

    I never see the celebration of Columbus Day as celebrating the very foggy story surrounding the the ‘discovery’ of North America. Rather, I see it as recognizing the start of European settlement, which of course precipitated the formation of the United States of America. I can certainly see how it would be a bitter sweet (at best) celebration for Native Americans, but wouldn’t that be the case for native populations in any country that celebrates a holiday in recognition of a founder or founding event?

    Which brings up another thing I’ve often thought about and would throw out to the ‘uni-verse’ for thought/feedback: The way Native Americans were treated following European settlement is a sad chapter in the history of our great land, but is it any different than what has happened on other countries? The French in Canada, Spanish in Mexico, Portugese in Brazil, Europeans in Australia, etc. are all examples of countries largely under the control of non-native populations (and I would imagine control was not generously handed over). Do other countries feel so ‘guilty’ about the history of their settlement? Do other countries utilize native imagery in similar or different fashions? I know other countries have a similar settlement history to ours, I was just wondering if others ‘wrestle’ with theirs the same way we do. (I know I could research this, but thought maybe others could offer quick evidence/feedback). . .

    I recieved an NFL catalog in the mail yesterday. It was all pink-related merchandise. I guess they’re really pushing this pink stuff. Anything to make a buck.

    Forget the backwards swooshes. The real story is that the replica “game” jersey even looks frumpy on a guy like Reggie Wayne. Those nike mannequins that hold one pose are the only ones who fit them nicely. Plus, they don’t talk back & say this jersey is ugly.

    When it comes to “pinkwashing” my stance is simple. It is simply using the pink ribbon as advertising and nothing more. My mom, who is a breast cancer survivor feels the same way. As such, whenever I grade paint schemes on the Driver Suit Blog, any and all pinkwashing schemes receive an automatic F grade.

    Jeff, I respect that you stand up for your side of this debate on a daily basis. There have been times when your tone has led to suggestions that I should make you take a “time out” from the comments, but I’ve declined to do so, because it’s good to have a strong voice from the other side, even if that voice is sometimes bellicose or obstinate.

    But with today’s comment, you have officially gone off the rails. If you can’t see why people dressing up as Native Americans — no, dressing up as a stereotypical caricature of Native Americans — is offensive, and how your comment is likewise offensive, then you’re either in denial or in full-on troll mode. Neither is acceptable here. Shape up.

    Paul, I agree 100% with that. Being a hockey fan in Chicago, I see this more than I should ever have to. I respect the fans loyalty for the team, but doing it in such a racial manner in this day in age is just disgusting.

    Chief Wahoo is not a stereotypical anything. It’s a smiling cartoon character, intended to be fun. It’s drawn in the same spirit as the barrel man, the swinging friar, or even the O’s bird. The only thing that really marks him as a Native is the feather he wears.

    Those fans are doing the exact same thing that Vikings fans with fake yellow ponytails and horned helmets are doing. They didn’t put that makeup on with the intent of “let’s go make fun of Native Americans”, they did it to support their team.

    I can certainly understand why some would find it wrong for fans to dress *as* Native Americans, wearing outfits that mimic ceremonial dress and reducing the traditions of a culture into a generic costume, but I really don’t think that trying to look like a cartoon logo crosses that line.

    “The only thing that really marks him as a Native is the feather he wears”

    Let’s not forget the red-face, big nose and big smile/teeth. Essentially a black-face image but with a feather instead of a piece of watermelon. Rationalize it all you want, it simply doesn’t pass the smell test anymore.

    “They didn’t put that makeup on with the intent of “let’s go make fun of Native Americans”, they did it to support their team.”

    Also, we need to stop focusing on intent and worry more about actual impact. Is the Cleveland organization and fans racist? Are they intentionally going after Native Americans and purposefully trying to insult them? No, probably not. But just because they don’t mean to hurt Natives/Native culture/Native perception doesn’t mean they still aren’t. We have all probably done things without harmful intentions that ended up bad or hurtful to someone. We just can’t say, “It’s all in good fun, get over it”. Just because you personally aren’t offended by it doesn’t mean it’s not offensive to a larger group than just the fan base. There are always exceptions and I’m sure there are plenty of examples of Natives who don’t care, but there are also plenty of Natives that do care.

    The, if we take your reasoning seriously, then you’ve just successfully defended the neutrality and appropriateness of link.

    The simple fact is that America has a unique history of cartoonish racial stereotyping and performance. Even the thinnest knowledge of American cultural history or of the origin and development of Chief Wahoo as a logo makes clear that it is in fact a racially stereotyped cartoon. It’s Red Sambo. Without that context of casually racist caricature, which was ubiquitous when Chief Wahoo first appeared and evolved, it simply doesn’t make sense as a piece of art.

    And yes, Chief Wahoo’s features very much are racially stereotyped. The big flat-fronted nose is pretty much the defining element of every racist depiction of American Indians ever. That Wahoo is of a piece with Sambo and blackface is not in question: It is, and that’s a plain, obvious, and inarguable fact.

    You’d be better served, The, by arguing the moral case, rather than pretending to contest the factual case. Are those Cleveland fans engaged in racially stereotyped blackface performance? Yes, they are. That’s not arguable. Does it matter, should we care, and if yes to either, what should be done and by whom? Those are important and completely arguable moral questions.

    Right. Doing something racist doesn’t make you a racist. But you’re still doing something racist. It’s still impolite, and all the “FUN!!!!” in the world doesn’t lessen the social and link of misappropriated imagery.

    I agree with The Jeff. The logo is a cartoon character. It is not a real person just like Mario and Luigi are not real. Just like any team logo. They are drawings.

    Saying Chief Wahoo is the exact same thing as a white person in blackface is wrong.

    Once again one is a cartoon and a logo.
    The other is a real white person wearing blackface. Totally different.

    So, sarcasm from the site’s author (especially when it is delivered to writers he objects with), is okay, …but anyone else, no…


    I took from The Jeff’s comment that he’s merely pointing out the fact that it currently is still the team’s logo and mascot and it is misguided to blame some idiots in the stands for just getting into the spirit of their fandom.

    If you have a problem with the caricature, fine, then protest, boycott, rail against the team and try to effect change and have Chief Wahoo removed (we know, you’re trying) but to point out specifically the behavior of these idiot yay-hoos who are just supporting their team is a lot like criticizing somebody for driving 40 MPH in a 40 MPH zone when you feel the speed limit should be 55 MPH.

    “Sorry guys, I *have* to dress as a racist mascot. I have no choice until the team changes it to something that’s not an obvious racist caricature.” (shrugs)

    That’s not my point, I’m not saying they *have* to support their team if it means that doing so in the way they want to cheer would be racist. I’m just saying that not every single person feels they need to “make a statement” about something by “making a stand” against an injustice. Maybe these dudes just wanted to root for their team, and don’t even have an opinion about the “racist-ness” of their face painting.

    If I’m going to root for a team strongly enough that I’d want to paint my face if I were to attend a win or go home game (not my cup of tea, but who’s to judge?), then the onus should be on teams to feature non-racist stereotype mascots. But if they do feature them, then I can’t blame their fans for just wanting to be fans.

    Maybe you feel strong enough about a particular issue to make a stand against it. I’m not going to judge these guys for not doing so.

    Get rid of the racist mascot and the face-painting morons won’t have anything racist to paint themselves as. But as long as that’s still the mascot, what are they supposed to paint their faces as, the non-threatening inoffensive mascot they’d presumable wish their team would adopt?

    I would hope that these guys aren’t oblivious enough to think Chief Wahoo is a fun, harmless cartoon character. Or maybe they don’t. You’re right, the onus is on the team, but it still reflects badly on the fans, whether the insensitivity is active or passive.

    But I think it speaks to the larger overall attitude of our society towards Native Americans. Something that the Chief Wahoo image perpetuates. That attitude is, “Oh, it’s fine. Get over it. It’s all in good fun.” We would never say that to the black/Asian/Hispanic community.

    The fact that these guys feel comfortable enough to wear that make-up and/or the thought of what it may imply never crossing their minds speaks poorly of our society and it’s attitude to sub-community within that society. Would those guys feel as comfortable going out in public if they used black paint instead of red? As a society, we have to want to be better than this. The longer that imagery stays around, the more it tells people that it is OK to view these certain people in this way. This attitude dates back to the earliest days of settling this land we now call North America. The Natives were seen then as inferior, and it continues to this day to a point.

    to point out specifically the behavior of these idiot yay-hoos who are just supporting their team is a lot like criticizing somebody for driving 40 MPH in a 40 MPH zone when you feel the speed limit should be 55 MPH.

    Uh, no. Someone who drives 40 in a 40 is, you know, FOLLOWING THE LAW. There’s no requirement for fans to dress up like their team’s mascot. And even if a team had a policy of telling its fans, “Hey, dress up like our mascot!,” that doesn’t mean fans are robots who have to do what they’re encouraged to do. There’s such a thing as independent thought, being able to discern right from wrong, etc.

    And what about all the fans who didn’t dress up like Wahoo? So you’re saying those fans are doing the equivalent of driving 55 in a 40?

    Right, I didn’t think so.

    No… In my metaphor, supporting your team is driving the speed limit… I’m speaking in terms of fandom, let’s say that everybody rooting for the Indians that night is driving 40… Wishing they were driving 55 (albeit taking out of the equation the part of that being against the law) would be wishing they were not cheering for a team that employs offensive racist imagery.

    In another non-offensive nicknamed team’s fandom, (oh, say the Oakland Raiders) one might consider painting one’s face, the “best”, the most hard-core of the fans. But in this case painting your face is racist because it’s the Native American equivalent of blackface…

    All the Indians fans here are at fault for supporting racist imagery, etc whatever, but to point these three out as being worse because they are just being hard-core about their fandom and waiting to support their team because it’s a elimination game is misguided. All 40,000 of these cheering Indians fans are as much to blame as these three.

    If you want to support your team by painting your face, you shouldn’t have to stop and think before you do so and consider whether or not that would be racist. A fan should have every right to support his team by painting his face if that’s what he desires to do. If painting your face a particular team’s mascot is racist, then it shouldn’t be allowed to remain a team mascot. But as long as it is their mascot, you have to assume a certain percentage of their fans attending an elimination game are going to paint their face. That’s just what fans do.

    TLDR Version — Every fan should have the right to paint their face to support their team if they want. If their team’s mascot is racist then the team should change. But until it changes I can’t fault fans being fans.

    If you want to support your team by painting your face, you shouldn’t have to stop and think before you do so and consider whether or not that would be racist

    Critical thinking is for suckers, then?

    You are totally missing my point… not everyone is going to be a critical thinker. Yes, if social consciousness is more important to fandom, then yes, a better person than these three guys might have chosen to eschew the face paint. Not everyone has to be, nor should be expected to be, on the vanguard of social change.

    Criticize the Indians for continuing to employ a racial stereotype, but don’t blame the fans for just being fans.

    I get it, if every single Indians, Atlanta Braves and Washington R–skins fans stopped and thought how racist their nicknames are, they’d all quit cold turkey and these teams would have empty stadiums and they’d have no choice, they’d have to change.

    But most people don’t think critically, they’re just rooting for a sports team.

    Just thought it bears mention that the Redskins logo is a model of quiet dignity when juxtaposed with the picture of those face-painting yahoos. Not to mention a logo that doesn’t lend itself to face-painting, as in 40+ years I can’t recall a single instance of seeing a Redskins fan wearing war paint like that.

    So there’s that.

    Criticize the Indians for continuing to employ a racial stereotype, but don’t blame the fans for just being fans.

    That old trope about “fan” being short for “fanatic” aside, I *am* going to blame fans for just being fans, and not exercising better judgment. I get excited about my teams too, but I don’t think that frees me from the normal standards of decency. It’s like those Tottenham fans who justify their use of “Yid” – there’s a world outside of sports.

    And I think you’re mischaracterizing the critique when you call it “social change”. This isn’t about voting rights or marriage equality. This is about simple decency.

    in 40+ years I can’t recall a single instance of seeing a Redskins fan wearing war paint like that

    Though there’s always Chief Zee.

    People just need to have some class. Because you CAN do something doesn’t always mean you SHOULD do something and in this case those guys shouldn’t have done that and the Indians need to retire this logo. It was even more offensive back in the day when it was in full color and not team colors as it is today. No one I know wants to be made fun of or reduced to some caricature image so why would we do that to anyone else? Keep up with this Paul. It is the right thing.

    Rob H., at this point you’ve essentially made a superb case for why Wahoo has to go, because you’re basically saying that the continued use of Wahoo encourages some fans to behave poorly (even if they have no malintent, etc.).

    In other words, you’re saying, “Judge the logo, not the fans who embrace it.”

    And yeah, that’s exactly what people like me have been saying all along. Do I care whether three morons who dressed up in redface are ashamed by their photo being splashed all over the internet today? No. But do I care whether the team rethinks its logo based on the behavior of said morons? You bet.

    That’s one of the problems with such logos — they give cover and implied legitimacy to boorish behavior. (That’s not the only problem, of course, but it’s the one we’re discussing today.)

    So fine, defend those three morons all you like. But in so doing, you’re really making a case for why the logo needs to go.

    “Every fan should have the right to paint their face to support their team if they want. If their team’s mascot is racist then the team should change. But until it changes I can’t fault fans being fans.”

    There are countless different ways that Cleveland Indians fans could paint their faces that don’t involve turning themselves into walking, breathing racist stereotypes. How about painting one half of your face red and the other half blue? Or painting the block “C” on your face? Just because the Cleveland Indians should retire the Chief Wahoo mascot doesn’t mean these fans get a free pass for their idiocy.

    Rob H., at this point you’ve essentially made a superb case for why Wahoo has to go, because you’re basically saying that the continued use of Wahoo encourages some fans to behave poorly (even if they have no malintent, etc.).

    In other words, you’re saying, “Judge the logo, not the fans who embrace it.”

    And yeah, that’s exactly what people like me have been saying all along. Do I care whether three morons who dressed up in redface are ashamed by their photo being splashed all over the internet today? No. But do I care whether the team rethinks its logo based on the behavior of said morons? You bet.

    That’s one of the problems with such logos – they give cover and implied legitimacy to boorish behavior. (That’s not the only problem, of course, but it’s the one we’re discussing today.)

    So fine, defend those three morons all you like. But in so doing, you’re really making a case for why the logo needs to go.

    Then we agree. Yes, that was my point. I’m not some idiot right-wing conservative dumbass who is going down with the ship. I see which way the tide has turned. While I admit I’d like to see these teams be allowed to keep these names, and let people continue to root for the teams their fathers and grandfathers have rooted for for the last sixty-plus years. I wish this issue would just die, but I realize that’s not going to happen. It seems there is too much momentum building up, especially on the Washington name, although maybe that’s just my perception because I read about it here all the time, and that’s what you say is happening. But I agree it probably is. When Peter King and Christine Brennan start writing columns, when reporters and prominent personalities are choosing to not use the name and the discussion just keeps going on and on, when I read what I thought was a sound defense by Rick Reilly get thoroughly rebuffed all across the internet, I have no choice but to come to the conclusion that it is just a matter of time.

    At this point I wish these nicknames would just all go away if for no other reason then so I could come here everyday and read about upside-down Nike logos and not have to hear about it ad nauseum.

    That’s all I was trying to say, that these three are getting pointed out specifically when they are among a sea of 40,000 yay-hoos, who are at worse Tomahawk-chopping, beating on the drums, going all warpathy, and at best just supporting a team that’s using this offensive imagery.

    I am certain these three just set out to just face-paint it up because they wanted to be good fans, not because they thought they had a free pass to be all racist-y since their team’s imagery would allow them to do so.

    I know you guys are fanatic about or at least feel strongly about the morality of these issues and that’s great. Well, I’m fanatic about sports, and one of the conventions of sports, like it or not, is that some super fans like to paint their faces.

    I’m watching the Pirates-Cardinals game right now, and I don’t see a lot of face-painters here. St. Louis is a little classier than Cleveland, however.

    And to BvK1126,

    I get that these three could have painted their faces differently in a way to support the Cleveland ballclub that doesn’t turn them into “walking, breathing racist stereotypes” but that’s giving a bit too much credit to them, don’t you think? That’s suggesting that they intentionally were being over-the-top racist because they could, in the name of the Cleveland Indians, get away with it. I doubt that.

    No these guys were just being fans, painting it up, trying to spur their team on to the next round.

    If that bowling jersey was in the military, it would probably be ranked as a Major…Major Bad-ass.

    (Way better than Major Asshole who was stationed on Spaceball 1)

    Ivor Wynne Stadium – former home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats – has been replaced by Tim Horton’s Field

    That should be link with no apostrophe, link.

    “… which has led some enterprising folks to create this T-shirt. …”

    Congrats on your legacy, Paul. Great ideas flower unbidden.

    And congrats on the quiz win. Hardest question you knew that no one else did?

    “Who replaced Keith Morris in Black Flag?”

    Everyone else on our team (and, I think, all the other teams) thought it was Henry Rollins, but I knew it was Ron Reyes. Rollins came later.

    That’s the one big difference between the USA and Canada.

    America runs on Dunkin Donuts. Canada runs on Tim Hortons.

    Seeing the shot of the Steeler’s CB reminds me of Jim Dick who played for the Vikings back in ’87. Of course, they also had Jeff Semon…………..

    surprised Parks and Rec makes it in this week and none one mentioned Marshall wearing last year’s Vikings jersey (sans makers mark) in this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother

    re: retro soccer gallery

    The 1930s West Brom jersey is amazing. The Roger Milla dancing Cameroon jersey is a close second. But my favorite is the Liverpool jersey with the League/Cup double embroidery.

    The Arsenal goalkeeper jersey from the original submissions should have made it though.

    I sure like that old Southampton shirt (and Brazil and Italy, natch). Most intrigued by the rather pensive, artistic pose struck by Fred Harrison. He must have played for that awesome Bloomsbury team that featured Virginia Woolf in goal…

    Not exactly uni related, but I was watching Benny Hill, and on occasion Benny or some of the other actors would play Americans, and would wear baseball stuff, and it was always Mets or Yankees.

    John Kimmerlein: re US Merchant Marine Academy camo xcountry singlets – at least with KP shut down for the time being, we won’t have to look at them. Go Privateers!

    Well, that Marica guy should have consulted Patxi Puñal from Osasuna. I’m not sure in Spain, but in Mexico, puñal is a slang for faggot and he’s been playing with his last name on his shirt for years.

    Forgot to mention other “funny” names of players
    Kaka sounds exactly like caca which is a shit, yet he played in Spain without changing his shirt.
    Elano has never played in Spain but announcers in Mexica had a field day of jokes as his names sounds as “el ano” (the anus) and he played along with Kaka
    Finally, there’s Maicon, also a Brazilian, and whose name is pretty close to Maricon, so the anouncers also joked about that

    Don’t forget the Brazilian Alexandre Pato. That isn’t even his real surname — he comes from a city called Pato Branco. Evidently “pato” in Portuguese shares the literal Spanish meaning of “duck”, without having the meaning of the anti-gay insult.

    Word to the wise: So far not a single applicant for the Ticker monkey position has known how to correctly style the name of this site.

    Yes, that kind of mistake will count heavily against you.

    Given the chance, I would say that, at least in terms of punctuation, people are under_hyphenating.

    Although, in my own little magical world, I would like to think that many, many people are applying for internships at the Spanish-language, Apple timepiece help website:
    Un iWatch.

    Saw the Patriots picked up Austin Collie and decided to do a google search. Unfortunately I was forced to remember the few years the Colts had these jersey’s on some of their players!!


    Seems like different cuts got different size stripes though.


    That seems to be one benefit of Nike taking over: they’re OCD on consistency. I think near the end, Reebok didn’t care. Of course, they got bought out by Adidas during that time, so they had bigger things to worry about during that time.

    Certain Colts players were wearing those “Tech-Fit” (or whatever the name was) jerseys–the same style the Giants and Jaguars wore. The Colts didn’t make every player wear them but did seem to allow players (such as Joseph Addai) the option to wear it.

    I don’t miss those jerseys; the tiny shoulder stripes looked terrible.

    As a native, I am offended by cartoonish logos that exaggerate or make certain physical characteristics of my people seem more prominent than they actually are in reality. The way these logos depict us in terms of the way my people dress, the way we wear our hair, the brightly-colored headgear and clothing my people are supposedly “known” for wearing, etc., it’s all offensive to me. We are often referred to in a stereotypical fashion as quick-tempered drunks and louts, and it’s unkind to those among us who have pride in our heritage to watch as the image of our false stereotypes are paraded in front of us as sports logos, for ENTERTAINMENT. And so, I ask the University of Notre Dame to change its logo and spare my people further mockery. Thank you.

    I was reading your NHL Goalie preview when I clicked on the link under “New mask and theme” for Roberto Luongo but the link just opened up another window of the NHL goalie preview.

    Paul – excuse me if this has been brought up before, but what is the deal with USC’s practice pants? They’re white the cardinal stripes down the side, with a gold stripe down the middle (reminds me of the Chiefs white pants). They look too fancy for practice. Were they supposed to be part of an alternate uni (perhaps to go with a black jersey) that Nike had proposed?

    I remember reading an article about the practice pants switch a year or two ago. I can’t really remember much of it but it seems like it might have had something to do with heat. Which sort of makes sense, since white would reflect the most sunlight, but I wouldn’t think it would provide a significant benefit from gold? I don’t know, I may be remembering it wrong. Looking for the article.

    Those pants in the picture accompanying the article have a white stripe down the middle, where the pants I saw in pictures from yesterday’s practice have a gold stripe (someone shared a picture of them). I remember Nike approached USC about an alternate uniform combination (I remember seeing a prototype helmet, and the bookstore did sell black jerseys), and wondered if those pants (with the gold stripe) were already produced by Nike (and USC didn’t want them to go to waste).

    the USC practice pants.
    they could have been part of a deal or they could have just ordered something “fancy with stripes”
    …as a former equipment mananger we used a combination of old game pants-practice pants and some trial pieces they wanted us to try for fit, material etc.
    so there ya have it!

    Re. the NFL and NHL losing tax free status: it’s really a whole lot of nothing. Headline grabbing politics.

    Here’s a better article on the issue. The crux of the issue is that the NFL itself doesn’t make much (if any) profit.

    The member teams make profit, lots of it, but they’re already taxable.

    The article links to the 2011 return for the NFL. The NFL lost $77m on revenue of $255m. The tax, if the NFL were taxable, on a $77m loss is zero.


    Here’s a better article on the issue. The crux of the issue is that the NFL itself doesn’t make much (if any) profit.

    Ah, but that’s the point. It’s a way for teams to essentially launder some of their money. They pay (tax deductible) dues to the league, which shoulders part of the marketing and administrative expenses, and give the money back to the teams, tax-free, for stadium construction.

    It’s the same way athletic departments claim to lose money on football. If they were reporting huge profits, they wouldn’t be doing their job.

    Focusing on the Uni-aspect of the Chief Wahoo picture, did anyone else notice the guy on the left is wearing a White home jersey with “Cleveland” across the front? I root for the Indians (and the Mets) and I have never seen them wear a white jersey with “Cleveland” at home. They have always worn “Indians” on their home’s. Did I miss something?

    About unfortunate names in sports, it reminds me when the Scottish soccer club Celtic signed Rafael Scheidt from Brazil. Scheidt just happens to rhyme with SH*TE, which is the Scottish variant of, well, you know. And his play didn’t take away from that assessment……

    More info:

    Of course there is the famous former German player:


    I once drew up a list of players to make up a whole soccer team with “unfortunate names”. The list as I recall started with David Seaman in goal, and included Julian Dicks among many others who unfortunately I cannot remember now.

    The home stadium would of course be the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern in Switzerland.

    Showtime’s INFL website is still using the old Dolphins logo…


    (go down to Insider Picks and scroll to the right)

    Showtime = CBS = NFL broadcast partner. I’m surprised at this.

    While in a meeting today, I was daydreaming about how turned off I am to this whole pink thing, solely because of the NFL. One weekend is fine, but the whole month? That then snowballed into this thought: How soon before a group, league, government, or whatever starts referring to the month as “Octobreast”?

    So how hard was this music trivia quiz? How about an example of one of the answers you came up with that stumped the rest of your team?

    Didn’t see this in today’s post, and I don’t have time to scroll through all the comments, but I saw this on twitter and thought I’d throw it up on here.

    I wish they would go the Dolphins route and wear all white at home during the day, brown over white at home at night, and go white over brown on the road. Brown on brown was OK but not the best look although I’d hate it a lot less if there wasn’t all that GD pink all over everything.

    The multi millionaires of Major League Baseball must step up and help restore historic Hinchliffe Stadium. They can certainly afford it and it is the right thing to do.

    Owners, agents and players tussle over 100 million dollar contracts while an histroic stadium crumbles due to neglect. $15 million is what it would take, the story tells us. Pool your resources, owners, agents and players. Do it!

    Those pants the Browns are wearing tonight look like actual pants. Or something that was supposed to be the tights they would normally wear under the usual pants. Dare I say the Bizarro-Frank Gore look?


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