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What you see above is a cake that looks like someone threw up on it. But it’s actually a fiendishly clever baking concept. I’ll explain it in a minute, but first take another look at it — can you figure it out?
First, some background: As longtime readers may recall, Marty Hick likes to make jersey-themed birthday cakes for his wife, Holly. Here are the ones he made for her when she turned 32, 33, and 34 (for all the images in this entry, you can click to enlarge):
Marty hadn’t made Holly a jersey cake in several years (although he kept in practice by making a coupla cakes for his nephew’s sixth birthday). With her 37th birthday recently approaching, he decided it was time to bake another jersey. But which No. 37 would he enshrine in batter and frosting?
Marty ultimately decided that he would bake Holly a cake based on the jersey of former Raiders cornerback Lester Hayes. As most of you probably know, Hayes was famous for slathering himself with stickum (a practice that’s now banned, largely because of him). And if you look again at the photo at the top of the page, you’ll see that’s the effect that Marty was trying to create — a stickum-covered jersey. Genius! (Be honest: How many of you had figured this out before reading this paragraph?)
“I mixed a little maple syrup with icing to create the simulated stickum,” says Marty. “Knowing from the start that the cake was meant to be messy took away a good deal of the pressure I usually feel.” He used his young daughter, Clara Jane, to make the handprint at the bottom-right corner of the cake, which was supposed to represent where Hayes had smeared the stickum on himself. “The cake is small,” says Marty, “so her hand was the right size.” Unfortunately, he says, she “instinctively squeezed” the cake:
That’s why the stickum ended up pooling instead of smearing. Despite this one little glitch, I reallyreallyreally love this project. And at the risk of mixing my dessert metaphors, the cherry on top is the little label Marty added to the inner-collar area:
And what does Holly think of all this? “Of all the players whose jerseys I made for her, the only one she had heard of thus far is Payton,” says Marty. “That never really matters though. She really liked this one after I showed her pictures of Hayes covered in slop.”
Happy birthday to Holly, and congrats to Marty on another outstanding baking project. I miss you guys — hope to see you again soon.
Camo bullshit, continued: In case you missed it yesterday, here’s what the Mets’ new GI Joe jersey will look like.
Several people asked me yesterday if the Mets would be donating any of the camo jersey sales proceeds to a charity or foundation. Personally, I think that’s a bit of a red herring — even if they donated 100% of the sales revenue, that wouldn’t magically make the jersey acceptable, at least not to me. Still, it would be a nice gesture if they did that, so I emailed the team yesterday afternoon to ask them about it. The response from a spokesperson: “The Mets donate and will continue to donate to numerous Veterans charities.”
That’s a classic non-answer, so I followed up and said, “Yeah, but I was asking specifically about the revenue from the camouflage jersey sales. Any comment on that?” I received no further response.
Meanwhile, Chris Creamer reported two new details yesterday:
• The Mets’ new jersey will be paired with a matching camouflage cap, which will have a blue “NY” logo.
• Two additional teams, both unnamed for now, will be unveiling “patriotic uniforms” (that’s Creamer’s term) next season — one GI Joe and one flag-desecration.
In other words, the stupid keeps coming — in waves, in oceans. It’s hard to stomach. It’s also disappointing to see Chris C. straightforwardly referring to the two upcoming designs as “patriotic uniforms,” as if it were that simple. Every time someone unquestioningly rubber-stamps that nonsense, it’s a little victory for the stupid, a little victory for the matrix.
Now, I want to address something that I know some of you are thinking about. I got several emails yesterday from readers (some belligerent, others just sort of sad and plaintive) who said they wish I could leave politics out of this type of coverage. There was also a long, thoughtful comment posted by longtime reader Kyle Beaudoin, who began by saying, “I long for the days when the most heated debates between contributors and readers (or reader vs. reader) centered around which ’90s NBA uniform was the worst/best and [were] not so politically charged.”
To all of you who’ve expressed these thoughts (and, I’m guessing, the many more of you who’ve thought them privately), I hear ya. In fact, there’s nothing I’d like more than to leave politics out of Uni Watch.
Unfortunately, however, lots of teams, leagues, and manufacturers keep introducing politics into their uniform programs. See, that’s the thing: Repeatedly wrapping oneself in the flag is an inherently political act; repeatedly celebrating the military to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society is an inherently political act; commodifying representations of patriotism to sell merchandise is an inherently political act. When I critique these designs, I’m not introducing politics into the uni-verse. I’m just responding to the political messaging that the teams, leagues, and manufacturers are engaging in.
I realize that sounds a lot like “They started it!” But, well, they did start it. There’s a seemingly endless stream of this stuff, and it’s spreading to more and more sectors of the uni-verse. Maybe some of you think that’s a good thing; I happen to disagree. But either way, it represents a distinct point of view regarding the representation of patriotism. I can’t ignore that point of view any more than I can ignore the uniforms themselves.
If the teams and leagues stop foisting these political gestures upon us, I’ll be able to stop writing about them. Trust me, that would make me even happier than it would probably make you. Until then, though, I don’t have much choice but to keep responding to these developments as they occur.
Finally, a few people have interpreted my critiques of these uniforms to mean that I’m “anti-military” or even “anti-American.” I’m not going to dignify the latter assessment with any response, but as for the notion that I’m “anti-military”: No, I’m not. A government’s single most important responsibility is to protect its people, and that requires a military. To the past and present military members among the Uni Watch readership, let me make this clear: My gripe is not with you. It’s with the way your work is being represented in the sports world. I respect what you do, but I also know that not all soldiers are heroes, and not all heroes are soldiers.
By Brinke Guthrie
The 49ers only have three regular season games left at Candlestick Park. Then it’s down the road to Santa Clara. If you don’t already have a Niners “Farewell Season” patch, you can get one here, but that’s nothing compared to these great promo bags that the Giants gave away when they left Candlestick in 1999.
(Believe it or not, I’ve only visited the Stick once — but that was enough. I can hardly wait until it’s blown up!)
Okay, here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:
• Speaking of the Giants, here’s a classic Starter jacket!
• Always liked the Brewers’ “ball in glove” logo, and here it is on a very nice-looking DeLong varsity-style jacket.
• Here’s a nice promo poster from 1985, produced by Marathon Oil for Pete Rose’s record-breaking 4,192nd hit.
• The Astrodome reportedly has a date with the wrecker’s ball, so get this 1960s Astrodome ashtray while you can.
• Here’s a 1970s Packers helmet alarm clock, made by Bulova.
• Remember ordering teams from Tudor for NFL electric football? Ah, the thrill of opening up the box from the mail and seeing that bag marked with “Vikings D” or “Chiefs W.” (The “D” and “W” stood for “Dark” and “White.”)
• Now this is one mighty fine-looking 1970s Expos bobblehead!
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Today’s Ticker was compiled by intern Garrett McGrath. Thanks, Garrett!
Baseball News: There’s some speculation that the Braves’ move to a new stadium in 2017 may also trigger a team makeover (from Judy Adams). Fans have already started to get creative. … The Cubs announced their plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, including throwback uniforms (from Tom Hamann). … New logo for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (from Tyler Kepner). … New uniforms for the Japanese nation baseball team (from Jeremy Brahm). … The Inland Empire 66ers of the California League are having a logo release party tonight.
NFL News: No photo, but Matt Brown says, “the Vikings’ mascot appears to be wearing this year’s jersey and the old Reebok pants.” … While following Yahoo! GameChannel last night, Randy Allemann noticed the site uses the old Miami logo.
College Football News: Here is SB Nation on “The problem with Northwestern’s flag uniforms”. … “I have a friend who plays for Grove City College,” says Denis Repp. “Given the small-school nature of their budget, they get five years out of their uniforms before getting new ones. They’re due for that next year. They wear deep red and white — crimson, you might say. They’re currently wearing jerseys made by Nike, but my friend says there’s trouble with this, because Alabama has exclusive rights to ‘crimson’ with Nike. If he’s right, Grove City will have to either find a different supplier or a different color for next year’s uniforms. Alabama owns the color? Really?” … Rutgers will wear stars and stripes helmets on Saturday. … The South Florida Bulls are as well. … Calm down, Louisville fans! They are not wearing all-black uniforms anytime soon. … Wyoming will wear gold pants with white helmets and jerseys. … Brayden Ruthart sent in a gallery of West Texas A&M’s camo unis. … Here’s some video of Northern Illinois’s stars/stripes helmet (thanks, Phil). …Oooh, this could be good: Hawaii is wearing throwbacks this weekend. … When West Virginia players entered the stadium last weekend, the wore these beauties. “It was Mountaineer Day, with a ton of alumni on hand,” explains Coleman Mullins. … Throwbacks on tap this weekend for Western Carolina, to honor the 1983 I-AA national championship runner-up team (from David Pryor).
Hockey News: Back on the October 18th Mark Kaplowitz sent us in what was believed to be Lundqvist’s Stadium Series pads. A second set of pinstripe pads have surfaced. Makes sense considering the Rangers are playing two outdoor games at Yankee Stadium. … The AHL’s Rochester Americans will wear a sweater based off one of their first designs in an outdoor game (from Terry Proctor). … I’m going to the Coliseum tonight to watch the Islanders take on the Predators. The Isles went 0-4 and had zero points on their recent road trip, so I’m hoping to bring them a little luck. I’m also hoping to win the CHUCK-A-PUCK.
Grab Bag: Here is a multi-sport wrap up of how War Veterans were honored this past weekend. … Salon wants us to stop thanking the troops (from Hugh McBride). … At the newly opened France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center at Purdue University Kevin Tamosaitis documented how you can’t escape branding, even in the bathroom. … Here are some truly wonderful photos of the Massai cricket team (from Kirsten Hively).