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Even on a Night of Leisure, Uniforms Just Find Me

If you can’t see this slideshow, here

On Monday night a bunch of friends and I went to the Ace Hotel in Manhattan, where our buddy Matt Weingarden was DJing old R&B tunes. At one point Heather disappeared down a hallway and then came back saying, “You have to see this.” Off in the hall way was a small but gorgeous display of six beautiful old Italian cycling jerseys (co-produced, as it turned out, by longtime Uni Watch collaborator/sponsor No Mas — Chris, you crazy bastard, why didn’t you tell me about this?!).

The lighting wasn’t great, there was glare from the jerseys’ glass frames, and the only camera I had was my phone, so the resulting photos aren’t so hot, but they’ll have to do. As you can see, one of the jerseys features a little logo of a cat riding a bicycle! You can see the explanation for that, and further background on all of the jerseys, here.

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Because it’s better to give (to me) than to receive: As gift-giving season fast approaches, here are three friendly reminders:

• I’m currently working on my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, and I’d welcome any suggestions you might have. If you know of an interesting uni- or logo-related product or service, or anything that seems somewhat Uni Watch-ish, don’t be shy. Thanks.

• Want to get someone a Uni Watch Membership but don’t know what design the lucky recipient wants? No worries — you can buy a membership gift voucher, which the recipient can then redeem with me at his or her convenience. (And while we’re at it, if you’ve been meaning to get a membership card for yourself there’s no time like the present.)

• Wouldn’t it be great, at least in theory, if we lived in a world where gifts like these T-shirts were available? If you agree, drop me a line and we’ll discuss what a lovely world that would be. Thanks.

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’Skins Watch: Although the anti-’Skins movement is focused on the team’s name being “offensive,” my own objection to the use of Native American imagery sports teams is that Natives should get to control how they’re depicted. Now the African Massai tribe is essentially pushing that same point of view, arguing that they should receive royalties for the use of their tribal name on assorted corporate products. Very interesting read (from Ben Fortney). … A book about Native American mascots came out earlier this year. “I haven’t been able to get a copy of it yet, but I am excited to read it,” says Erik Porth. … Under current Oregon state law, schools with Native-based team names and/or mascots must drop them by 2017 or risk losing state funding. But a bill currently being drawn up for consideration next February would ease those restrictions (thanks, Phil). … What’s the best way to “support the troops” (or evoke visions of Manifest Destiny)? By sending them a ’Skins cap, of course (from David Raglin).

Baseball News: “I attended a Braves season ticketholder event at Turner Field on Sunday that included a Q&A with manager Fredi Gonzalez,” says Matt Hiett. “Before he began, the team’s VP of Ticketing to answer fans’ questions about the new ballpark in 2017. He said a name and logo change are not going to happen. One tidbit he mentioned was that Turner Field was not named for Ted Turner but Turner Broadcasting. He said they did pay a fee for the name.” … The bit about the Braves not changing their name or logo is reiterated on the team’s FAQ page (from David Clemons). … The Astros will be hosting next year’s Civil Rights Game. … I was on another site yesterday and was treated to a Lids ad that hit the trifecta on annoying caps.

NFL News: The Bears will show solidarity with the town of Washington, Illinois, which was devastated by Sunday’s tornadoes, by wearing T-shirts featuring the local high school’s logo during pre- and postgame press conferences (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Check this out: After the Oilers scored a TD in a 1972 game, their helmet buggy shot steam (or something) out the top (if that link doesn’t bring you to the proper point in the game, go to the 1:43 mark). “When combined with the oil derrick logo on the side of the helmet, I would guess it was meant to look like a derrick spewing oil out the top,” says Leo Strawn Jr. … Really interesting story about how the Cowboys’ players dealt with the JFK assassination 50 years ago. Recommended (big thanks, Phil). … 49ers safety Donte Whitner isn’t changing his surname to Hitner after all, at least not for now. … When Ted Ginn Jr. hit one of the pylons while scoring a touchdown against the Pats on Monday night, several of the camouflage ribbon patches on the pylon came loose (screen shot by MJ Kurs-Lasky). ”¦ The Packers will apparently have new sideline caps for Thanksgiving (from Gary Moore).

College Football News: Michigan has no plans to wear an alternate uni against Ohio State on Nov. 30, while Ohio State will be wearing white “stay cutting edge and to take care of its players, who like wearing an alternate” (thanks, Phil). … Pinktober is over, but Toledo didn’t get the memo. That’s what they’ll be wearing tonight against NIU — yikes! “Sounds like Under Armour was saving these for a national TV game,” says Dave Hamen. … Rex Henry has put together an ACC uni-tracking page. … Whoa, look at the massive “Bucks” decal worn by some Ohio State players in 1973. “Not all the OSU players had it,” says Jorn Schaffner. “For example, Archie Griffin did not.” Anyone know more about this? … Tennessee will be wearing gray this weekend. … Has EA Sports leaked Texas A&M’s new uniform? Maybe (from Matt Sinclair). ”¦ I’m quoted in this excellent article about the explosion of alternate uniforms. Key quote, from Nike exec Todd Van Horne: “The athletes wouldn’t describe it as style, but as game-day preparation. They describe it to me as the mentality they need to perform their best; that if the uniform is right and all the visual cues are set, that flips the switch for them. They become the game-day warrior, the superhero they envision themselves as.” In other words, boys with toys. ”¦ Check out this shot from Rudy. Looks like that No. 1 jersey was repurposed from a No. 13! (Good spot by Jeremy Edom.) ”¦ Two UTEP items of note in this article: (1) UTEP will wear a “TH” patch this weekend to honor former star linebacker Thomas Howard, who died in an automobile accident Monday morning. (2) UTEP warmed up in gray jerseys last weekend but had to switch to blue for the game because FIU was wearing white, and the FIU coaches felt there wasn’t enough contrast between gray and white. ”¦ Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton was wearing a cap from the 2011 Idaho Potato Bowl last night. “You’d think the school would have something with its own logo,” says a mortified JJ Sledge.

Hockey News: The NHL + Pokeman = this (from Jeff Wilk). … New fifth-anniversary logo for the Pensacola Ice Flyers. “I can’t recall a team releasing an anniversary logo after the season had already started,” says Ryan Bohannon. … That wacky Howe family, always good for a uni-related laugh (from John Muir).

NBA News: Quincy Pondexter of the Grizzlies, who recently suffered a broken nose, has been wearing a protective mask. … Major douchebaggery alert out of Oklahoma City, where Thunder owner Clay Bennett made a pair of fans remove the Rockets jerseys they were wearing (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: Cross-dressing alert: New Orleans forward Kevin Hill was wearing a rugby helmet the other day (screen shot by Christopher LaHaye). ”¦ Colorado State assistant equipment manager Kyle Kotrous checks in with the following: “We will do our Orange Out game on Feb. 22 against Wyoming. Also, be on the lookout for something new from us here in the next week or two. We have not finalized what game we are going to do it yet (most likely it will be Saturday, Nov. 30), but we will have a new alternate uniform to use.” ”¦ UNLV’s court is sponsored by a credit union (from JJ Sledge).

Grab Bag: MLS’s newest team is Orlando City SC (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Here’s a good series on the history of camouflage (thanks, Kirsten). … Awesome colorization job on these old, non-sports photos (big thanks to Rob Riegert). … More GI Joevember run amok: Tigard High School in Oregon is having an “AmericanOut,” whatever that is, this Friday (from Travis McGuire). … Cleveland artist Dana Depew really likes stripes! Me too (big thanks to Jim Mason). ”¦ Latest Coke Zero commercial engages in a bit of NASCAR-related uniform fun (from David Firestone).

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Comments (93)

    Fun. Is reporting still timely?

    Okay, that was a dumb way to get in a “first” so I’m not going to do that.

    The real news is that the NHL/Pokemon thing is old news, and it’s Quincy Pondexter, not Pondexer. I’ll let the other regulars correct the remaining mistakes.

    Other features of that Eagles/Oilers game I love (aside from the CO2 spewing helmet buggy):

    Goalpost location
    Straightaway kickers
    CHALK lines.

    LOL.

    The GOAL posts belong on the GOAL line! Canada does this right (please never change! I doubt that, I mean PATs or converts if you will, would be like thirty yards!!!

    Anxiously awaiting a youtube clip showing hundreds of instances of that happening.

    I’ll hang up and listen to your answer on the air.

    You don’t see that very often.

    You do see receivers use the goal posts to “pick” defenders.

    One reason the goal posts at the front of the end zone works in the CFL is because the end zones are 20 yards deep and the field is 10 yards wider, so the end zone is much less congested.

    The play that all but assured the Dolphins’ Super Bowl VII victory and undefeated 17-0 season was a Billy Kilmer pass to a wide open Jerry Smith in the end zone that fell incomplete. Because it bounced off the goalpost.

    In some NFL Films programs, they always show when Cleveland wide receiver Gary Collins (not the actor) slams into the goalpost sometime in the 60s.

    I enjoyed the whole video of the Eagles/Oilers game in the soon-to-be-demolished Astrodome. Was that the last year Philly had the white helmets with Kelly green wings? I see that the Oilers were back to the powder blue helmets at this point, but not yet on the more well-known white helmets. I always liked the link that they wore briefly in the late 60’s-early 70’s better.

    ’69-73 on the white helmets…. i’d love to see the iggles throw back in that uni, the simplicity of the jerseys coupled with a modern update of the white with green wing would be sharp.

    Too bad the team’s record during that timeframe was wretched! Probably why we haven’t seen it.

    The level of play one team has in a specific uniform hasn’t stopped the Steelers from throwing back to the bumblebee uniforms and the early 1960s uniforms before that.

    Funny that they mentioned that the game was the “Johnny Rodgers Bowl”. Although Houston did end up with the number one pick, they ended up drafting John Matuszak, which ended up being a mistake to put it lightly. The Eagles didn’t take Rodgers either, although Jerry Sisemore had a much more successful career. Both teams passed up on John Hannah, Joe DeLamielleure, and Dan Fouts, all future Hall of Famers. Rodgers ended up going to the Chargers with the second-last pick in the first round, but spent most of his career in the CFL. And to think, people out there once thought Ryan Leaf was better than Peyton Manning.

    “…people out there once thought Ryan Leaf was better than Peyton Manning.”

    ~~~

    For what, the first two games of their rookie seasons?

    And to the point about the goal posts, I realized that is HAS happened, just not as many times as it’s made to appear from people that don’t like the idea.

    Plus I watch a lot of CFL ball, and I realize the already mentioned differences in field size, but it’s just not that big of an issue.

    The balls hitting the goal post from passes is probably the bigger deal. I guess the phony “player safety” agenda goes back earlier than the current day!

    But Joe, they won’t wear the batman ones in Pittsburgh!

    I think it took a long time (and a super bowl) before TB was comfortable with the creamsicles.

    I too was going to point out that “rugby helmet” is not a thing. I tend to call them headgear, which is also the official IRB word for it. Scrumcap is another fair alternative. It might be minutiae, but what is this site about if not minutiae?

    No idea why Corny Greene’s wearing that oversized OSU helmet decal, but a chart of the criteria for earning them Jim Trassel utilized can be seen here:
    link

    Way to go UTEP: “honor” a player whose gross negligence and irresponsibility took an innocent person’s life as well as his own.

    Michigan-Ohio State is next weekend (the 30th), Paul. The Buckeyes are hosting Indiana this week while Michigan visits Iowa.

    The drug overdose — that I took this morning upon seeing images from last night’s Ireland-Poland soccer match in which the pride of Erin appeared in black, head to toe — will probably kick in before I can complete t

    R.I.P., Connie.

    The weird thing – before the match, Ireland entered the field with mascots wearing link. The kids looked way better than link.

    Just in case it wasn’t successful and you have regained the will to live Connie, here’s the rugby team doing it too:

    link

    At least there’s a good reason for going black, since they were playing the Springboks. But against the white-clad Poles? No excuse, except to sell replicas.

    Certainly, but a green tinged black strip made no sense considering the clash was with a dark green strip. That game was aweful to watch for the most part.

    A written doc would be nice to see. I was wondering where the line is on this. What if they had been wearing Sonics jerseys (throwbackish?) Or was it the fact that the guys had “Harden” on the back that pushed the owner over the edge?

    Arena policies are (probably intentionally) vague – they tend to have very broad language prohibiting “indecent or unacceptable” dress. That gives the arena management a lot of discretion for what is and isn’t allowed.

    As much as I consider Clay Bennett to be a douche for what he did to Seattle, he does have every right to tell the fans to remove their jerseys. I can see how the situation would be unfair if it was, say a Thunder-Rockets game, but this was a game between the Thunder and the Nuggets. Logic prevails, especially since these fans are sitting in a high visibility area, courtside.

    That being said, when I went to a Nets-Wizards game last year with family and friends, my “adopted brother” had to borrow my old Yao Ming jersey (the one with the hideous Rockets logo that I consider to be a treasure,) as well as a Cincinnati Reds hat. He was not told by arena management or Prokohov or Jay-Z’s people to take off the jersey. The same happened to me when I went to a Nuggets-Wizards and another Pistons-Wizards game last year. I wore the Yao jersey because I certainly wasn’t going to shell out 90 bucks for a John Wall jersey, and I actually was commended by fans and arena staff for wearing the damn thing. The thing is that in the three games I’ve referenced, I was sitting in the upper bowl of the arena, away from the TV cameras.

    Bennett may be an asshole, but he does have a point.

    “It’s a Fashion Show for Sports Teams”

    link

    There’s nothing new here for dedicated UniWatchers, but there are some quotes in the 5th graf by our “beloved” Paul Lukas are notable.

    You are correct.

    ESPN.com reports that several Bears players went to Coal City, IL yesterday on their day off to provide assistance. Kudos to them — that’s the way to honor the survivors.

    Has anyone else gotten to the point where, when watching news about some domestic disaster/tragedy, you can’t help but wonder what over-the-top “tribute” we’ll see on the field/court?

    The next frontier: Teams making/wearing anniversary logos to commemorate their past tributes. As in, the Red Sox spending a weekend in the 2018 season wearing “5 Years of Boston Strong” patches.

    Maybe not that specific case, but it’s coming.

    Honestly CW, I hope nobody really thinks that way. Sure, it’s a reality that a patch to honor tornadoes/victims will appear, but I’m not thinking about that as I watch the devastation unfurl.

    Secondly, Arr, as for commemorating 5 years of patches, I think one of the few things anniversary-wise to commemorate on a patch would be X number of year in league, etc. Things not to commemorate on a patch would be things like “30th anniversary since winning our last stanley cup” etc, which is what some of these teams are leaning toward patchwise. I mean they already do it full fledged in the arena pre-game, etc.

    That Rudy still looks more like he’s wearing a second, #13 jersey underneath the #1, perhaps to save time if he was needed in another shot wearing a different number. Didn’t they record all the game scenes at halftime of a real ND game, thus time was an issue?

    I was at that game. This was before the prevalence of the internet, so I (who was not an ND student/faculty etc.) had no real understanding of what was going on. There were signs around campus saying they’d be shooting a movie, but I assumed it was a low-budget in-house documentary, etc. They were in quite a rush, if I remember correctly – I don’t think halftime was extended or anything.

    They filmed a few scenes at halftime, and came back the next day to film more scenes at leisure. As I recall, on the Saturday they filmed the team running out of the tunnel, two takes of “Rudy” running out on kickoff coverage, two takes of the game-ending sack, and “Rudy” getting carried off the field.

    I will almost guarantee you that uni manufacturers for smaller schools hold back the “special” uniforms for prime time games. I want to expand on it a little further though. I think they save them for prime time HOME games. NIU (where I’m an alum) will be on ESPN 2 three weeks in a row, and will be hosting two of those three games. They were home last week against Ball State and they wore the S&S “heroes” jerseys. They are away tonight against Toledo and the Rockets are sporting BCA uniforms. Next week, the Huskies are hosting Western Michigan and are wearing special “blackout” uniforms. As an NIU fan and alum, as I’ve said in the past, this drives me nuts because the Huskies have had the same base uniforms for 7 years now. They only started getting “special” uniforms after qualifying for the Orange Bowl. These manufacturers leach off of program success.

    Is not only fault of manufacturer! Of course, uniform maker and television and school is all capitalist wanting more dollars. But also is deeper issue of psychology – school is crying out for attention, like desperate child.

    Now college football is like crowded nursery at Russian orphanage – all children are crying! I write about this more on Commie Football site.

    Good column, Paul. Except I do have to take issue with one thing.
    Granted,”my” Padres are not one of the more successful franchises in their overall history, but to mention they’ve never had anyone hit for the cycle, never had a no-hitter, etc, etc. . . without at least acknowledging that they DID have one of the best hitters of the last 50 years (a-hem . . Tony) was a bit of a slight, to say the least. The focus of your column clearly was the disturbing trend of camo uniforms that they got rolling and I would have preferred that you left the attack of the franchise at their uniform history, since it certainly can be construed as laughable.

    Just my two cents. I always have to stick up for Tony when the situation calls for it. :)

    I was surprised to learn Gwynn never hit for the cycle. I know he wasn’t a big HR hitter, but it seems like something he would have been capable of pulling off a couple of times.

    As Gwynn got heavier he seemed to hit better for average… but that weight probably put a damper on getting triples.

    I recall him and Ted Williams getting together for something and Ted commented on his weight, it was funny.

    There was also a segment where Gwynn himself laughed it off “Oh, I’ve heard it all. Have another doughnut. Weevils wobble but they don’t fall down.”

    For what it’s worth, Ty, I didn’t take Paul’s column to be any kind of intentional slight on the Padres. Rather, I read it as making the point that for a franchise whose on-the-field accomplishments have been rather modest, the Padres have had a much greater than expected influence in the realm of sports fashion. Mentioning the points about no one hitting or the cycle or throwing a no-hitter were simply meant to be support for that whole premise about the Padres’ modest on-the-field accomplishments.

    UTSA’s flag-bird decal has a white border on the left side of the helmet but not the right? That’s bizarre.

    I find it interesting to see how society’s usage of the word “hero” has changed over the last dozen years. Remember when Bud Light changed its tongue-in-cheek “Real American Heroes” advertising campaign to “Real Men of Genius”? The rationale behind the move was that Bud Light’s use of “hero” in that context seemed to trivialize and diminish a word that had taken on added significance following the events of 9/11.

    Our new protocol for using the word “hero,” however, seems to have led to a situation where it’s been trivialized all over again. It’s applied to anyone in the military or uniformed public safety professions, regardless of whether they’ve done something to earn the appellation or not. In they way many people use the term, it’s essentially been redefined to mean “someone who wears a uniform.”

    There’s even a website called link that sells work clothes and equipment that are commonly used in public safety occupations. I’m sure plenty of the people who order merchandise from the website do qualify as heroes. Even so, it seems to me that “hero” has lost much of its original meaning if we think that everyone the website caters to should be presumed to be one.

    The Thanksgiving caps aren’t just for the Packers – link get special caps to mark the occasion.

    59Fifties for the players on the sideline, 39thirties (most in contrasting colors) for the coaches.

    Interesting pictures from a Hawaiian high school match up. A team that is a U of Ohio clone and the purple team has no facemask continuity.

    link

    This is why you want to make sure any book you sell is a mass-market best-seller distributed by a major publisher.

    Yeah, back whenever Pete Rose’s autobiography first came out in 2004 the hardcover–yes, HARDCOVER–version was only like $30–and that was through my college bookstore! I’m not sure what ever happened to it, so I later downloaded it to my Kindle app on my phone for only $10. I’m with Paul here, that book has to be a PhD thesis, but then again college textbooks are a ripoff in general.

    You could probably get that at Dollar Tree NOW. At the time, it was somewhat of a hot commodity, because it was just when Pete Rose finally admitted that he bet on baseball.

    I love the lede today. The textures, colors, designs, fonts are a visual feast and so quintessentially Italian. The backstories only add to their literal and figurative color.

    Within those backstories that of I magnagati caught my attention, especially given our discussion yesterday of demeaning nicknames applied to a group that are then taken as a point of pride. Seems there’s a book on point, but my Italian is very rusty so I may not dive into it. Suffice it to say that the Vicentini may not necessarily have been eaters of cats.

    Aren’t Colorado State’s colors green and gold? Why the heck are they having an “Orange-out?”

    I love that the image at the top of link shows four Baylor players in not just four different uniform sets, but four different helmets.

    On the ESPN column, you mention the mascots in camo/military garb. Its too bad you didn’t get an image of the Bears mascot Staley wearing a sniper ghillie suit a few weeks ago.

    The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (a public, residential high school in my neighborhood that emphasizes science and math) Unicorns use a modified version of the Denver Broncos logo for their athletic teams. The mane is a little different and they added a horn (natch), but otherwise it’s the same.

    Ironically, the school does not have a football team.

    link

    So, please correct me if I’m wrong, and I hope that I am.

    Am I to understand that as long as Native Americans are receiving cash for the use of their tribal name likeness, that they are not as offended as if they’re not getting any monies for the use of their likeness and name?

    OK, I’ll take a stab at correcting you:

    “As long as Native Americans are receiving cash for HAVE CONTROL OVER the use of their tribal name likeness, that they are not as offended as if they’re not getting any monies for the use of NON-NATIVE GROUPS ARE APPROPRIATING their likeness and name.”

    I can’t speak for who is or isn’t offended.

    Personally, the “offensiveness” has never been my concern. I’m more interested in Natives being the ones who get to decide how their iconography is used. If they want to license it, sell it, whatever (or not do any of that), that’s their business.

    That’s interesting about the Turner field naming rights comment – all roads seem to point to the field being named after Ted, not the company. I can’t find any info on a naming rights deal – and if there was, you’d think the official Turner logo would have been used, no?

    Saw this jersey on Grey Flannel Auctions that you have posted here of link. My mom’s side of the family was from Wampum, PA, actually had a class at YSU with Dick’s brother Ron Allen, who had returned to college as a promise to his grandkids after they had graduated from college. My uncle still lives in Wampum in my grandparents old house. Let’s just say Wampum is one of those places that if you blink while driving through, you miss it. Nice town, though. Ironic about the Allen brothers is that Wampum today is almost completely white.

    I turned on the N. Illinois/Toledo because as a Badger fan, a N. Illinois loss would be huge for Bucky. Forgot about the Pinkember crap that was happening, laughed at Toledo and their uniforms, and turned the game off immediately. Sorry… I’m not watching that crap.

    Call me a no-talent, but when I first read “Orlando City SC is the new MLS team” I first thought “Is there an Orlando City in South Carolina?”

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