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Everyone knows the Pro Bowl is a joke, so why not have it look like a joke? That’s apparently the thinking behind the new Pro Bowl uniforms, which were released yesterday. The timing is interesting — Pro Bowl unis usually don’t surface until a week or two before the game, if that. So maybe the early release date is the league’s way of saying, “This time the Pro Bowl really matters!”
Good luck with that. As for the
uniforms costumes, they suck, but that’s sort of the idea, right? By now you’ve already read (or voiced) all the standard reactions: It looks like Oregon vs. Oregon State, the colors will clash with the players’ helmets, blah-blah-blah. I covered all of that myself yesterday in this short ESPN piece. Here are two additional thoughts that have occurred to me since then:
• I find it surprising that one of the jerseys is white (or at least white-ish — it’s hard to be sure from that mock-up). Wouldn’t this have been an ideal time for the NFL to test-drive a color-vs.-color game?
• Even more surprising: The Nike logos on the gray uniform (or charcoal, or ash, or smog, or whatever they’re calling it this week) are the same color as the surrounding fabric. If you look at this press conference photo, however, it looks like maybe the logos have a dark outline. Hmmmm. Have there been any previous examples of Nike using non-contrasting logo creep?
I don’t have anything else to say here. Do you? (Meanwhile, here’s a good look at Pro Bowl uniforms over the past four decades.)
Then again, maybe the timing of the Pro Bowl uniform release was designed to distract attention away from League of Denial, the book and documentary that were both released yesterday. I haven’t yet read the book, but I did listen to a good interview with the two authors yesterday afternoon. Then I watched the documentary last night, and it was devastating. You can watch the whole thing here — highly recommended. The whole country’s buzzing about it, and with good reason.
’Skins Watch: Latest writing on the wall: ’Skins tight end Fred Davis has become the first Washington player to acknowledge that that the team’s name “could be kind of offensive.” I’m pretty sure there’ll be more where that came from. ”¦ Meanwhile, NFL commish Roger Goodell continues to stake out a murky non-position on the issue. ”¦ The NPR radio show Marketplace estimates that the cost of rebranding the ’Skins would be $5 to $15 million. To put that in some perspective, the NFL was set to vote this week on a motion to give the ’Skins $27 million for stadium renovations. ”¦ Yesterday I linked to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank’s Monday column about the ’Skins. Now it turns out that there was an interesting distinction between the online version and print version of the column. … Disturbing note from Ben Belletto, who writes: “As a lifelong [’Skins] fan, I’ve come to fully support the name change, despite my meaningless emotional connection to the name. In Monday’s entry you linked to the team’s response to President Obama. I read the response and responded in the comments section. But my response was never posted. To date, there are 11 responses, all in support of the current team name, and some of those comments were posted after mine was written. It’s disappointing that comments are being suppressed, especially when the organization is using polls and public opinion as part of its talking points.” ”¦ Yet another Washington Post columnist is calling for the ’Skins to change their name (from Tommy Turner). … Also now on record against the name: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Baseball News: Hadn’t noticed until the other day that the Orioles’ cartoon bird is often (but not always) shown with a white dot on his cap. I asked an O’s official about this and was told, “Best answer I’ve ever been given is that it’s a lighting effect on the hat. Which makes no sense, as it’s not a helmet and hats don’t have effects like that. But I’ve just chalked it up to a quirk from the hand-drawn logo era.” … I’ve always known that the bumblebee-era Pirates used larger NOB lettering for player with short names (Lee Lacy comes to mind), but Holy moly! That’s Alberto Lois (nice find by Matthiew Mitchell). … Mike Miller notes that A’s pitcher Dan Strally’s cap has a gray underbill. ”¦ How did Charlie Brown remember his locker combination? Through a series of MLB uniform numbers (from Alex Allen). ”¦ Speaking of uni numbers, David Feigenbaum points out that the Rays’ starting outfield last night wore Nos. 7 (David DeJesus), 8 (Desmond Jennings), and 9 (Wil Meyers). ”¦
NFL News: Several readers pointed out that NFL uniform inspector Joe Morris, who was shown in yesterday’s Ticker, wears a Reebok jacket! Not only that, but he appears to be wearing the old NFL logo with more than eight stars. Hmmmmm. … Mike Sullivan has been writing reviews of old Bills programs. “There’s a lot of fun, silly stuff in them,” he says, “especially from this 1973 edition.” ”¦ “The TV show The Goldbergs is Philly-based,” says Chris Flinn. “On Tuesday night’s episode, the son on the show wore a Dr. J Sixers jersey and a furniture store customer was wearing a Ron Jaworski Eagles jersey.” ”¦ Robert Griffin III has bought new uniforms for his old high school (from Tommy Turner).
College Football News: With the Texas/Oklahoma game upcoming, David Wilson notes that Sooners coach Barry Switzer wore the rivalry on his cap in 1984. “I can’t imagine a coach nowadays doing it,” he says. “But OU still sells them.” … Pinktober jerseys coming later this month for New Mexico State (from Sam Wasson). ”¦ Steve Spurrier doesn’t mind Jadeveon Clowney being hurt after all. Key quote from that article, from Spurrier: “All those #7 jerseys and all the money he’s made for this school. We need to be appreciative that he chose South Carolina.” Well that’s honest, if not particularly admirable (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: The Ducks will wear Mighty Ducks throwbacks on Sunday (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The Team Canada jerseys for the Olympics have finally been released. Not bad. … Arron Asham of the Rangers had his nameplate partially torn off during a fight the other day (from Jordan Lazinsk).
Basketball News: Two new alternate uniforms for the Heat. The red one is similar to last year’s Xmas uni (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Looks like Tim Hardaway Jr. is going with JrOB this season (from Vinnie Gulisano). … Reprinted from yesterday’s commenst: I totally missed this, but apparently there’s been a slight change to the Wizards’ jerseys. … Kevin Durant appeared on Dan Patrick’s show and said he hopes every NBA team gets to wear nickNOBs (from Jody Michael). ”¦ Here’s a great story/slideshow about Robert Indiana’s court design for the Bucks (from Laurence Holland). … New court design for San Jose State.
Grab Bag: If every U.S. state could be represented by only one sport, how would the map shape up? Probably not like this, but it’s still a really cool map. … Here’s a beautiful graphic illustrating next year’s Giro d’Italia cycling race, which starts in Ireland and then jumps to Italy (from Sean Clancy). … New design for Yahoo Mail (thanks, Brinke). … New home kit for England’s rugby squad (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Casey Pitocchelli and his father have launched Rare Vintage Wear, a site devoted to vintage jerseys, sneakers, and sports collectibles. I haven’t had time to explore the entire site, but a preliminary examination looks promising.