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Pet Peeves Revisited

A few weeks ago I invited readers to list up to 10 uni-related pet peeves (or gripes, or complaints, or whatever) in the comments. About 200 of you responded, and reader David Gratt then volunteered to sift through the data and compile some stats for us.

David’s task was a difficult one. In addition to the drudgery of slogging through all the data, he had to make some tricky judgment calls. For example, if someone listed “baseball pajama pants” as a peeve and someone else listed “lack of stirrups,” do those count as the same thing? (For our purposes, I’d say yes.) And if someone listed “UCLA football team’s stripes not gong far enough around” and someone else had “Colts’ stripes not going far enough around,” do those count as the same thing? (Again, I’d say yes.)

There were many, many situations like this, and it’s therefore entirely possible — maybe even probable — that someone else might comb through the data and come up with different results than David did. Still, I’m very confident that David’s results are a good representation of the data because he clearly took the job seriously, as you can tell from these comments he provided for us:

There were 832 data points (i.e., 832 individual peeves), which I “narrowed down” to 344 categories.

If we put the peeves on a curve, we see that there were:

• Six peeves mentioned by 20 or more people

• Six peeves mentioned by 10 to 19 people

• 26 peeves mentioned by five to nine people

• 36 peeves mentioned by three or four people

• 48 peeves mentioned by two people

• 222 peeves only mentioned once

For each point, I tried to assign an appropriate category, the offending party, the sport (if indicated), and any notes, all of which helped me to review the data by sorting it and then looking at the sub-categories.

The next step would be to review and decide how to handle something like Nike’s new NFL uniforms. Dislike of the new football unis could be a general category, but a number of people specifically pointed out the sweatbox, too many panels, theNnikelace, the neck roll, etc. Not sure whether it makes sense to combine all these things or leave them separate.

If we set up nested categories — using “new Nike NFL uni” as the control category and then using the different elements of that as sub-categories — it would provide more information, but it would be very labor-intensive. [Given the work involved, I didn’t ask David to do this. ”” PL]

Okay, enough preliminaries. Can you guess what the top peeve was? You can see that, along with the rest of David’s results (which were delivered on a spreadsheet file that I then uploaded to Google Drive) here.

Interesting stuff, right? Frankly, 832 data points is a really small sample (especially when more than 25% of them are individual peeves mentioned by only one person apiece), but it still provides some good food for thought.

Feel free to respond to all of this in today’s comments, but please don’t just start listing more peeves — we can do that another day. For today, let’s stick to assessing the data in David’s report. And of course you’re free to comment on stuff in today’s Ticker, or on other developing uni-related news — but let’s not list new peeves today. Thanks.

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’Skins Watch: According to a newly released poll by Public Policy Polling — a group with a reputation for progressivism and accuracy — an overwhelming majority of Americans want the ’Skins to keep their name.

NFL News: Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s account of how he suspects he was blackballed out of the NFL includes the following tidbit: “On Dec. 9, [2012,] I wore on my jersey a small patch made out of athletic tape on which I’d written, ‘Vote Ray Guy’ ”” a small protest against punter Ray Guy’s exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. … On Dec. 13, during his weekly media session, [Vikings special teams coach] Mike Priefer was asked about the patch in a joking manner. He responded tersely: ‘I don’t even want to talk about it. Those distractions are getting old for me, to be honest with you.'” … The Chargers’ official team store doesn’t know how to spell Ryan Mathews’s name. … Some research is showing that NFL concussions would be a lot easier to prevent if the human head worked more like a woodpecker’s or a bighorn sheep’s.

College Football News: Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater managed to wear three different school logos at once (aside from his helmet logo) in this photo. There’s the “L” on his nose bumper, the cardinal on his chinstrap, and the cardinal doing a Heisman pose on his play-calling wristband (from John Annino).

Hockey News: Here’s Martin Brodeur’s Stadium Series mask (from Kevin Clark). … And here’s Henrik Lundqvist’s mask for the Rangers’ game at Yankee Stadium (from Alan Kreit). … Tom Glanzer notes that the Winter Classic looked a lot like a bubble hockey game. … Speaking of the Winter Classic, Nick Schiavo points out that Bauer made special sticks to look like old school wood graphics on the composite sticks. ”¦ Great spot by Casey B, who noticed that the Canadiens changed their helmet numbers to match the font and outlining on their jerseys in the middle of last month. “It appears that the white road helmets started featuring the new numbers on Dec. 19, and the blue home helmets made the changeover for the Dec. 17 game against Phoenix,” he says. “Definitely an upgrade.”

NBA News: The Magic will wear these throwbacks on Saturday. Further info here (thanks, Phil). … Jayson Young did a little DIY alternation to one of his Raptors jerseys. … Speaking of the Raptors, I’m a few days late with this, but there’s talk of the team’s colors changing to black and gold (from Nigel Mills). ”¦ Jarded Sullinger of the Celtics was wearing a wrap on his injured hand, but he aggravated the injury earlier this week is now wearing a padded fingerless glove (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: Holy moly, look at Albany’s road shorts — purple in the front, gold in the back! (Blame Jeff Flynn Jr.) ”¦ Here’s an unusual JrOB format — and a McNOB to boot! That’s Mike McCall Jr. of Saint Louis University during Monday night’s game against Vanderbilt (from Will Edge).

Grab Bag: The San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) will unveil a new logo and uni set on Jan. 30 (thanks, Phil). … Two Massachusetts high schools — Watertown and Belmont — have merged their girls’ hockey teams and are using a familiar logo that features both schools’ initials (from Ilana Hardesty). … Cycling news from Sean Clancy, who writes: “This is 2014 world road race champion Rui Costa’s new rainbow kit from his Lampre-Merida team (who seem to have forgotten that the most important rule in cycling is that friends don’t let friends wear white shorts), and here is Lampre-Merida’s regular team jersey for 2014.” … “In Chicagoland high school football, the Catholic league champ used play the city champ in the Mayor Daley Prep Bowl,” says Andy Paschen. “The 1966 game at Soldier Field, which pitted the Loyola Ramblers against Chicago Vocational School, featured the Chicago flag painted in the end zone.” … Speaking of high school football, yesterday’s Under Armour All-America Game featured really annoying reflective/branded visors (thanks, Phil).

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Birthday Boy: Please join me in wishing the happiest of birthdays to the best bench coach a fella could ever wish for, L.I. Phil Hecken.

By now you know the backstory: Phil was born in a log cabin (that he helped build!), supported his family from an early age, worked his way through Harvard, and won the Nobel Peace Prize soon thereafter. The amazing thing is that he’s been able to do all of this in only 29 years. Remarkable.

In all seriousness: Phil is uber-integral to Uni Watch’s success. I’m proud to have him on board and even prouder to call him my friend. Enjoy your day, buddy — hope the snowstorm makes them close your office so you get the day off!

Comments (122)

    Hopefully someone with the Dallas Cowboys organization is a Uni Watch reader and sees how high on the list-o-peeves that their uniforms are.

    /Happy Birfday Phil!!!1!

    The mixed-letter WB logo is not only lame (in a most un-original sense) but hopefully short-lived.

    “It’s tradmark infringer season!”
    “It’s copyright infringer season!”

    “It’s intellectual property infringer season – FIRE!!!”

    Happy birthday Phil. That Mets cake may be infringing as well but I really like it. MLB cap lettering in fondant FTW.

    Before we make accusations about Warner Bros going after the US Mint or anybody else, I have two questions:

    1. is there any recent evidence that WB has been overly litigious about trademark infringement?

    2. is there anybody on the planet who DOESN’T think that Watertown/Belmont logo is a blatant rip-off of the WB shield?

    Good points, Judy. Frankly, the trademark infringement is pretty blatant in this instance. I wouldn’t blame Warner Bros. at all for defending its trademark rights, particularly because they have a legal obligation to do so if they want to maintain those rights.

    Probably the best online intro to the did-Grant-personally-own-slaves question:


    While Grant at times worked on farms with enslaved laborers owned by others, it appears that in 1859 he at least believed himself to be the owner of one enslaved person, whom he freed. The link above includes an image of the legal manumission document, written in Grant’s own hand. Which is just a really cool artifact to see.

    “…NFL concussions would be a lot easier to prevent if the human head worked more like a woodpecker’s or a bighorn sheep’s.”

    Ya’ think???!!

    NFL concussions would be a lot easier to prevent if the human head wasn’t used like a woodpecker’s or a bighorn sheep’s.

    BTW: Has anyone checked concussion rates among woodpeckers? Those guys are pretty goofy.


    Happy Birthday, Phil!

    Now, no matter what side of the issue you fall on, surely you can appreciate that the team currently embroiled in an (alleged) homophobia controversy is the pro franchise I can think of whose primary logo is a man with a mustache and long, blond, braided pigtails.

    … and a half shirt and short shorts and a rainbow ribbon and Bette Midler on his ipod and…”How ’bout those Dolphins?!”

    First off, happy birthday to Phil,

    Second, I was browsing through the pet peeve spreadsheet and I noticed that my note on the new San Diego Chargers uniforms didn’t make the list. I’m not nitpicking, I know it was a tough assignment, but still.

    “Maybe I missed the lumping.” That right there is an awesome sentence, and quite possibly that most rare of gems: A sequence of words never before used in exactly that order in the history of the language. I mean that seriously, not in just – it’s a brilliant sentence. It could easily be used for one of those “write a story that opens with the line …” contests!

    If I were running the peeve archive, I wouldn’t count something as specific as “I hate [X team]’s new uniforms.” A peeve to me is more like a class of things, or a reason why one dislikes the particular instance. As in, “I hate when teams switch from bright colors to dark.” Not taking issue with your Chargers peeve, just kind of thinking out loud here.

    Chapter 1…

    Maybe I missed the lumping, because I couldn’t find my gripe about the Chargers and their stupid number font anywhere, I mean for Chrissakes, it’s awful, even if it is original, and oh my lord those helmets? Please go back to the navy ones.

    Your move, ArrScott.

    “If I were running the peeve archive, I wouldn’t count something as specific as ‘I hate [X team]’s new uniforms.’ A peeve to me is more like a class of things, or a reason why one dislikes the particular instance. As in, ‘I hate when teams switch from bright colors to dark.'”

    Exactly! If someone has a pet peeve with a team’s uniform, they should be able to categorize what they don’t like about it and apply it in other instances. Of course, my feelings on this issue could be influenced by the fact that my favorite team, the Denver Broncos, appear to have received the most votes of any team among those citing the generic “I hate [X team]‘s new uniforms” infraction.

    Just goes to show that the NHL can go color vs. color. Love the Bauer original Six sticks they even make them for mini knee hockey too.

    Love that the categories include “Decrees” and “Nomenclature” =]

    This is a great list. My two biggest peeves (Pinktober, too many uni versions esp. Oregon) are well-represented.

    My only complaint is that I can’t expand the “Notes” column!

    Kind of ironic that tied with hatred of Oregon was hatred of derivative, unoriginal uniforms. I mean, I’m as guilty as anyone of hating on the Ducks for their too-innovative ways and also hating on teams that seem to lack originality, but it’s striking to see that paradoxical ambivalence so perfectly expressed on the list.

    Oh, man, I wished we weren’t enjoined against stating new peeves. I missed the original post due to travel, and the too angry/too goofy dichotomy makes me realize what my #1 uni-peeve is – and it’s not on the list at all. Alas!

    Interesting comment in that article about the Raptors possibly changing to black and gold.

    Said that the color scheme is “cliche”… how incredibly inaccurate! Especially considering… there’s NO black/gold team in the NBA! How can that possibly be cliche?

    Agreed, Scotty. I would argue that black and gold is an underutilized color scheme for professional sports teams. The only teams that use the combination of black and gold as their main colors are the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball, the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL. Compared to the number of teams that wear navy blue or red, and black and gold is barely a blip on the radar. That hardly seems cliche to me.

    I hope the Blackhawks one on there is directed at Blackhawks fans, because the Blackhawks have NEVER worn a St. Patrick’s Day jersey on the ice, not even on March 17. Unless you’re mistaking the 2013-14 Dallas Stars for the Blackhawks, which wouldn’t be that hard to do if you were red-green color blind or thought they were just St. Paddy’s Day jerseys.

    That comment was directed at the fans. Can’t stand seeing fans wearing the green jerseys in the crowd year round, ESPECIALLY since the Hawks have never worn green on the ice.

    According to a newly released poll by Public Policy Polling – a group with a reputation for progressivism and accuracy – an overwhelming majority of Americans want the ’Skins to keep their name.

    The people have spoken, the name stays

    The End.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that we are in the geriatric years of Redskin moniker. Because a majority speaks doesn’t necessarily mean anything. And I’ll say it, I’m in the majority.

    And in 1954, a Gallup poll found that an overwhelming majority of residents in states affected by Brown v Board of Education opposed the ruling and wanted to maintain segregated schools. The polling margin was 74-22 in favor of keeping segregation.

    The people spoke. Jim Crow should have stayed. The End.



    I’ve known all along that I’m in the minority on this issue — at least for now. But there’s no shame in that. Abolitionists were once in the minority, as were suffragettes, anti-segregationists, gay rights activists, and lots of other groups campaigning for social justice.

    I’m not saying there’s a moral equivalence between those movements and the ’Skins movement. Just saying that being in the minority on a given issue at a given point in time isn’t necessarily predictive or authoritative. It mainly means there’s more hard work to do — and I intend to keep doing it.

    Truth be told, while Jim Crow laws are officially gone, and most/all forms of legal discrimination are forbidden, the fact is that the U.S. is still a very racially divided country, especially in terms of housing patterns and, increasingly, in schools. This is due to the increasing divide in income/wealth between whites / Asians and blacks / Hispanics.

    I would guess that even though most Americans at least pay lip-service to “diversity” and “integration” and “equal opportunity,” for the most part, most Americans prefer to live, go to school, and work in fairly homogeneous settings, i.e., with their own kind.

    To be sure, there has been much progress, especially in more visible spheres such as entertainment, sports, and politics, but on the ground level of workaday life, much is the same as before….

    If only the Will of The People(tm) mattered. That ~20% are just going to keep yelling louder and eventually the name is going to get changed, not because it actually should be, but simply to shut them up.

    “That ~20% are just going to keep yelling louder and eventually the name is going to get changed, not because it actually should be, but simply to shut them up.”

    Or maybe they’ll change public opinion because people are listening to what they say. One or the other.

    That ~20% are just going to keep yelling louder and eventually the name is going to get changed, not because it actually should be, but simply to shut them up.

    So your complaints are (a) that some people are speaking up for what they believe in, and (b) that other people don’t have the moral fortitude to stick up for what they believe in.

    It seems pretty clear who your real gripe is with.

    “If only the Will of The People(tm) mattered. That ~20% are just going to keep yelling louder and eventually the name is going to get changed, not because it actually should be, but simply to shut them up.”


    At some point last year, ~90% favored background checks in order to purchase guns. Pretty sure the “will of the people” don’t matter for shit on topics as divisive as this. And the truth be told, that new “poll” (I’m pretty sure I could craft a poll that would call for a name change if I worded it just so) actually shows LESS support for keeping the name than previous polls, so there is that as well.

    I’m proud to be in the “minority” on this one, as I once was on marriage equality and would have been on other civil rights issues had I been alive. And the 20% (your number) who “keep yelling louder and louder” aren’t doing it because they refuse to “shut up”…it’s because it’s the fucking right thing to do.

    Thanks for the b-day wishes (everyone). Snowed in (which means the office is also closed) so it’s a mixed blessing.

    I don’t mind all that much the argument that the will of the majority matters. It does! What’s right isn’t always popular, but then again majority accord often does reflect the greater wisdom.

    What I mind is questioning the motivations of the minority, which seems to be the default position of most Redskins nickname defenders. (To his credit, The doesn’t overtly do so here. I’m making a general point, not a specific riposte to Jeff.) Advocates of changing the Redskins name really and honestly believe that they are advocating the right thing to do. They may be mistaken, but they’re not arguing out of bad faith or from a secret hidden agenda or something. One may find the outcome advocated by a person to be an annoyance, but it doesn’t follow that the person is advocating the outcome in order to cause annoyance.

    When i read these anti-Redskins and other anti-native themed sports teams postings, a part of me can’t help but think that maybe those arguing for the removal of these names/images are really part of a sinister, orwellian plot to “unperson” the indigenous peoples of this continent and complete the great american genocide.

    Nah… well? Nah.

    I don’t follow your reasoning at all. If anybody is making sure that native communities are denied the ability to self-define and assert their own identity it is these multi-million dollar franchises, run by non-natives, pushing unrepresentative caricatures. I can’t believe that anybody would think that they are somehow preserving native identity. All they are preserving are fundamentally racist notions of “noble savagery” (at best)or natives as warlike subhumans (at worst).

    “When i read these anti-Redskins and other anti-native themed sports teams postings, a part of me can’t help but think that maybe those arguing for the removal of these names/images are really part of a sinister, orwellian plot to “unperson” the indigenous peoples of this continent and complete the great american genocide.

    Nah… well? Nah.”

    Can you please elaborate on this? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand the logical connections you want your readers to make. How does opposing the use of Native American names and imagery for sports teams lead to the “unpersoning” of indigenous people groups in the Americas?

    I’m pretty sure that there’s no logical connections to be made to the idea of an enormous, sinister plot to eradicate the existence all knowledge of any native peoples of the Americas.

    But, if this was your goal, you can’t really have a team called the Redskins running around playing football, can you?

    If the Redskins were promoting awareness of any real community then you might have a point. As it stands, the Redskins promote awareness of an entirely fictional creation designed from the outset to render the real natives non-persons.

    I guess the answer to your original query then is yes. We who want to get rid of the redskins name are definitely in favour of “unpersoning” all Caricature Americans, Calumny Americans and Racist-Misrepresentation Americans.

    Now, unless there are any other great 20th Century writers you would like to misinterpret as part of a crackpot conspiracy theory, then I think we’ll end this here.

    LI Phil, Hope this 29th is better than it ever has been.

    In picking over the peeve list, I’m peeved I missed some on my list. About half I’d replace with better peeves i see now. Some quality peeving going on.

    Interesting that grey facemasks were a pet peeve for four people, while non-grey facemasks made the pet peeve list for one person. I assume that reveals a generational divide. It would have been fun if we’d had a really old-timer out there take it a step further and identify facemasks as a pet peeve.

    Wait, is the reflective UA logo “in” the visor? I feel like Zoolander…

    Also, with that logo, I see 7 (SEVEN!) UA logos in that picture. 2 visor tabs, 2 clips, visor itself, mouthpiece, jersey. Add the sides of the helmet and you have one giant clusterf of UA’s only from the chest up.

    I know we’re not supposed to list new uni pet peeves today, but is it wrong to identify a pet peeve with the pet peeve list? Under the “Category” column, the word should be “Judgment,” not “Judgement.” (Unless, that is, the compiler was British, in which case link.)

    “I believe ‘judgement’ is not an incorrect spelling in the US. It’s just not the preferred spelling.”

    It pains me to disagree with you, Chance, because I am invariably a much better-informed human being after reading your contributions to the Uni Watch comments section. Nevertheless, the reliable sources of which I am aware are in consensus that “judgment” (as quirky as it might be) is the link. It’s not just that “judgment” is preferred, it’s that link and frequently link.

    Don’t have access to Google Spreadsheets, and don’t have an administrator to contact to get access.

    Is there another way to get the spreadsheet?

    SUNY Albany’s two-tone shorts is reflected (or perhaps reflects) their link… Also, the wordmark looks like it should be pronounced “Y’all-bany”.

    Said it above, but I’ll say it here as well:

    THANKS everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes (and especially to Paul!!!). Much appreciated.

    As for McCall, JR on back, this has always bothered me. The “JR” refers to the person’s FIRST name, not last name. He is Mike Jr, not McCall Jr.

    On the SJ Earthquakes… mark my words. The next time a major earthquake occurs anywhere NEAR San Jose, there will be an uproar for the team to change their name out of respect for the victims.

    Are you implying that the same people who want the ’Skins name changed will also want the Earthquakes’ name changed?

    If so, could you please explain the logic by which you arrive at that conclusion?

    Absolutely not, Paul. Two separate things. Did not even enter my mind in making that statement on the Earthquakes.
    it’s just that I’ve seen those types of sensitivities to events, names of teams and places, etc. occur way too often these days. Types of things I would qualify as an “overreaction” to an unrelated event.

    Gotcha. So you’re saying this is (or would be, if it happened) more like the “cause of the month” thing, where every event has to get its own patch or helmet sticker, etc.?

    I don’t think it has anything to do with people wanting the Washingtons to change their name. If so, I fail to see the connection.

    Speaking of connections, I *do* recall some sort of similar stink years ago when the Colorado Avalanche went with their disaster-based nickname.


    I know its probably not “legal” since the Baseball team is called the Rockies but seem to remember that Rockies was the original Colorado entry in the NHL. (need to look that one up cause I think their away jersey was a dark blue with the Colorado flag in the mix).

    I did not imply the team would be “forced” to change their name.
    However, if something terrible would happen in the case of an earthquake, I can almost guarantee a vocal minority crying for a name change.

    Well, you did say “uproar,” which is usually not a term associated with “a vocal minority.” It usually implies a more widespread reaction.

    In any case: When you think about it, it *is* kind of odd that we have teams named after natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.). How about a team simply called the Disasters?

    Weather that has its own category, you know, “natural disasters”, vs. inanimate objects that can be used for a variety of good and bad purposes. The only people raging a tornado can be used for good are trailer park owners who want the land re-zoned.

    But we’re not talking about bullets or cyclonic storms; we’re talking about the decision to name teams after them, which seems pretty apples and apples.

    Must have missed the original pet peeve post.
    I was happy (or would it be thankful) that this kicked off with “NHL white at home” (the way it used to be).

    I and did like seeing the Camo for Camo sake, BFBS, the Flying Elvis replacing Pat the Patriot, and anything to do with Oregon’s football uniforms.

    I probably should go back and re-read some of the posts, but does Oregon ever wear the same uni during the season. It seems like there is a change every single week, including the Bowl Games.

    yessss. spot on regarding the Dallas Cowboy blue conflict. Also, wonder, on a separate note how the KC within the Chiefs’ arrowhead logo seems out of proportion. think if the font was a tad thinner,,,with the left stem of the letter K being more center in the square part of the arrowhead.
    an excellent survey and well done by the data cruncher.

    Wow, last night’s college game matched up two of the most traditional uniforms in all of college football, and not even a mention here.

    That makes me sad.

    Happy Birthday Phil!!

    What exactly was newsworthy about last night’s game?

    Yes, very traditional. And I guess on some level that *is* newsworthy nowadays, what with all the crazy uniforms. Still, two teams wearing their standard uniforms doesn’t strike me as a big deal from a Uni Watch perspective.

    The Buckeyes black accents look like s@&/!

    From the chinstraps to the nameplates to the forearm shimmels(sleeves) down to the socks, they are awful!!!

    Bonus…MANY of the Clemson players are wearing the new Nike Huarache 4 Lacrosse cleats…


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