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Question Time, Vol. 6

Welcome to the latest installment of Question Time (and our first one in nearly a year), where you folks ask me about anything you want, uni-related or otherwise, and I pretend to give a shit engage in deep, thoughtful consideration before answering. It’s been nearly a year since the last time we did this. Ready? Here we go:

Which U.S. state flag is your favorite?

Ohio’s, because of the unusual shape.

Which sock/shoe do you put on first ”” left or right?

Usually right. I have no idea why.

What was the biggest uni-related news scoop that you had to keep secret (and that you can share now, of course)?

I knew about the Brooklyn Nets’ uniform designs for more than a year before they were unveiled, and I knew about the NBA’s sleeved Christmas 2013 jerseys for about six months before they eventually leaked via another channel. Keeping embargoed info to myself comes with the job — I have no problem with that. But it can occasionally be frustrating when I play by the rules and then someone less scrupulous goes ahead and leaks something and ends up scooping me. But whatever — I’ve had plenty of scoops of my own over the years, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more.

What is your favorite New York City bookstore, and why?

I like bookstores fine (if I had to pick one, I guess I’d go with the Strand, although that’s kinda predictable), but I’ve never spent major time hanging out in them. What I really love is a good newsstand or magazine shop, but of course those are now becoming an endangered species due to the decline of print media. Sigh.

What kind of compensation did you receive for letting Madden 25 use “your” tweets in the game?

As I said when I first wrote about that gig, “It’s not a lot of money, although it’s some nice pocket change.” I’ll stick with that.

What is your opinion of minor league baseball theme nights, especially those that involve teams dressing in unusual uniforms?

I love a good minor league theme night. What I find disappointing is when lots of teams trot out the same themes and use uniforms that are obviously stock designs — the Star Wars thing, the Jimmy Buffet thing, the ugly Christmas sweater thing, etc. So lazy! Come up with something original or don’t bother.

What is currently your favorite beer?

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, but that’s mostly for special occasions. My favorite everyday beer is Yuengling. In general, I favor malty, not hoppy.

Not considering any specific teams, just completely in general, how would you rank your liking of uniforms by sport?

Hockey uniforms are the most interesting — the untucked jerseys, the short pants, the full-body coverage. And basketball uniforms are definitely the least interesting, because there’s so little body coverage and socks have more or less become afterthoughts.

But MLB uniforms are in a pretty good phase right now. So if we’re talking about the current state of a given sport’s uniforms, I’d probably go with MLB. Yes, even with the pajama pants.

How does a guy in Brooklyn become a 49ers fan?

When I was seven years old, I reached into a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and pulled out this Ken Willard “3-D” football card. At that moment I became a Niners fan, and thus has it ever been. I’m also a big Giants fan — they were the team my father and brothers rooted for, so I picked that up from them. But if forced to choose between those two teams, I take the Niners.

As an aside, I have a similar rooting situation for the NHL: When I was seven, my brother bought me a copy of a magazine with Canadiens then-goalie Ken Dryden on the cover. At that moment, I became a Habs fan, and I still root for them today, with the Rangers a close second.

Have you ever been asked to be a consultant for a movie or TV show to make sure every detail of a uniform is accurate in every way?

No. And frankly, there are probably lots of people who are better qualified to do that than I am. I’m no slouch, but my uni knowledge is based primarily on photos, articles, etc. There are plenty of folks out there (collectors, curators, historians) who have lots of experience handling actual uniforms and are therefore better equipped to address issues regarding fabrics, stitching, etc. To see what I mean, check out my 2013 article about Ebbets Field Flannels’ role in creating the uniforms for the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.

What are the top three music shows you’ve attended?

I’ve seen a lot of live music over the past 30some years, kids, so it’s hard to narrow it down. But I can unequivocally say that he best live band I’ve ever seen was the Mekons during the period from 1987 through 1990. I saw them five or six times during this period, and there was zero doubt in my mind that they were the world’s greatest live band at that time.

Some other shows that I recall fondly: Soul Asylum in Binghamton, 1987; Pavement in Hoboken, 1989 (I believe this was the second show they ever did); the Lazy Cowgirls in Manhattan, 1993-ish; Guided by Voices in Manhattan, 1993; the Big Star tribute show in Central Park last summer; and probably lots of other stuff I’m forgetting at the moment.

Who are your favorite guitarists?

I’m always suspicious of this type of question, because most guitarists (and bassists, and drummers, etc.) don’t exist in a vacuum. They and their work are usually part of a larger whole, and isolating one element from that whole doesn’t always work.

That said, I’m particularly partial to the work of Chuck Berry (who invented rock and roll), Johnny Ramone (reinvented rock and roll), and Keith Richards (best rhythm guitarist ever). I hear echoes of all three of those guys in the work of Johnny Thunders, who’s another favorite. I generally have little interest in extended electric soloing but make exceptions for Richard Thompson and the Delta bluesman Robert Nighthawk.

What did you think about the Andre Dawson-era Montreal Expos jerseys?

Loved them. Miss them.

We all know that you are not a fan of “advertising where it is not supposed to be,” especially on most sports uniforms, but how do you feel about racing driver suits, helmets, and gloves, and the science behind designing them for maximum advertising exposure?

As I’ve often said, I think team sports are different than individual sports. I’m not crazy about a golfer or tennis player or boxer wearing advertising, but it doesn’t bother me the same way an ad-clad MLB player would. (And yes, I realize there are racing “teams,” but auto racing is ultimately still an individual sport.)

Also, I accept the fact that ad-plastered suits, gloves, and helmets are part of the culture of auto racing, although it’s probably easier for me to accept that fact because I don’t really care about auto racing. Still, when I hear about certain things being designed for maximum ad presence, I do tend to roll my eyes a bit.

Comic books: Marvel, DC, or other?

When I was a kid — roughly ages seven through 16 — I was very into Marvel, especially Thor, Dr. Strange, What If?, and Howard the Duck (which was a brilliant satirical comic book before it became one of the worst movies ever made).

As an adult, there are certain underground comix artists I’ve been into — Dame Darcy, Peter Bagge, Tony Millionaire, a few others — but I wouldn’t say I’m a comix guy. I’m just a guy who likes some comix.

I have never given a shit about DC. Ever.

When you are watching a sporting event, are you always/often focused on the uniforms, or can you watch the game without dwelling on the unis?

I wouldn’t say I’m focused on the uniforms while watching a game. It’s more like there’s a certain portion of my brain that’s always aware of any uni-related developments. It’s just something I’ve internalized. I was already doing this long before I started writing about uniforms.

This doesn’t inhibit my enjoyment of the game. On the contrary, I’d say it enhances my enjoyment of the game.

What does the “M. X.” stand for in Scott M. X. Turner’s name?

This question refers to membership card design Scott M. X. Turner. I forwarded the question to him, and he responded like so:

I worked at Human Rights Watch in the late ’80s and early ’90s. There was a lot of steam to blow off, given our work and the state of the world. One year there was a staff party, and musicians who worked at HRW were encouraged to form a band for the occasion. For unknown reasons, the flyer listed everyone with the nickname of a missile in the news at the time — “Exocet,” “Nike,” “M.X.” I got the latter. It turns out the MX missle was one of the worst designs ever for a missile. (Still, it’s better than getting “Nike,” a nickname I guarantee would not have stuck.) As nicknames organically do, this one stuck. While I’ve provided many different answers over the years, this is the one and true story.

So there you go.

I enjoy the “What Paul Did Last Night” section on the blog. My question: Has going out more been as beneficial for you as you hoped?

I didn’t suddenly start going out more — I just started documenting it, writing about it, etc. And yeah, I think it’s a good thing, especially for a work-at-home guy like me.

We all know that teams change uniforms so often nowadays in part as a way to generate new jersey sales. But some teams changed uniforms quite a bit in a pre-merch era. Why?

Excellent question. Some teams, like the White Sox and Cubs, clearly had management/ownership that liked to tinker, but I’m sure there are other explanations. A good subject for further research.

If you were forced into the witness protection program, what would you choose as your new name (assuming you get to choose and aren’t assigned one by the government)?

Hmmmmm. Can’t say I’ve ever given this much thought. The real question, it seems to me, is what I could possibly do that would land me in the witness protection program in the first place.

I recently compared an official Broncos jersey with an official Bears jersey and found the shades of orange and navy to be identical. Is there supposed to be a slight (but to my eyes imperceptible) difference between the Denver and Chicago colors, per the NFL or official team style manuals?

According to the NFL Style Guide, the Bears and Broncos have distinct shades of orange and navy. The official Pantone oranges are 1655 for the Broncos and 1665 for the Bears. The navys are 289 for the Broncos and 5395 for the Bears.

Whatever happened to Stirrup Fridays and Robert Marshall’s stirrup revolution?

Robert never made much coin on the stirrup biz (in fact, I think he often lost money), and I know he had some major headaches dealing with Twin City Knitting (the company that makes the stirrups), so he’s been transitioning out of that project.

Stirrup Fridays was a segment that Phil ran on the weekends, so I’ll let him address that:

I’m not sure Stirrup Fridays will return. It’s a lot of work to organize, and it lost a lot of momentum as Robert stopped selling new stirrups. I still have a bunch of photos saved up that were never published, so one day maybe I’ll just post them all. But as far as the recurring segment, that’s probably done.

How did you meet the New Girl?

My friend Freddie used to host 78-rpm record parties every few months at a local club. DJs would bring old jazz, blues, and R&B 78s — good stuff. The New Girl and I met at one of those parties, although we didn’t start dating until a year after that.

Why do you wear a goatee (or Van Dyke)?

For the same reason you probably wear your facial hair the way you do: because I think it suits me. Started wearing it in 1993 and decided I liked it. Every few years I’ll shave it off, just to remember what I look like without it, but I always decide I look better with it, so I let it grow back. This particular look has accumulated lots of cultural baggage over the years, of course, but I don’t care — I’m not making any cultural statement, and I’m not trying to look in or out of fashion for any particular era. I’m just going with a look that I think works for me.

When you recently turned 50 years old, you mentioned that you have “most of the same habits and routines” that you had when you were 35, “some of which are laughably analog for our current digital era.” What are those laughably analog habits and routines that you’ve kept for the past 15 years?

I don’t use any form of digital calendar or datebook. Instead, I create my own paper datebook by Xeroxing a template that I’ve been using for about 20 years and stapling/folding it myself. Just something I’m used to and happy with.

I also still have a land line. This is mainly because I work at home and need to be sure I have a dependable phone line for doing interviews.

I don’t own a DVD player but I still have a VCR and some old VHS tapes. They still work fine, so why not?

Obviously, when an MLB team travels, they have their own equipment manager and staff responsible for their uniforms and equipment. Who is responsible for the umpires? Do they bring their own, or is the home team responsible? Thank you very much!

The umps travel with their own gear, but MLB now makes sure that there are extra sets of uniforms available at every stadium, in case the umps’ luggage gets lost. This policy, which was adopted a few years ago, unfortunately means episodes like this are probably a thing of the past.

I’ve always been curious about what kind of system you use for the massive picture archive you must have. Do these files live on a Flickr account, or some cloud storage service like Dropbox? Are you able to tag photos with search terms so they can be found easily when a similar topic inevitably comes up in the future?

I probably should have a better organizational system for old uni photos. Everything’s on Flickr, and most of it is badly unorganized, untagged, etc. In a few instances I’ve kept track of certain things, like these photos of Dave Parker’s masks, which I’ve accumulated over the years. I really ought to have similar sets for FONBs, nickNOBs, color vs. color games, etc., but I don’t.

If you could watch one movie, and only one, for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Days of Heaven.

Have you ever considered doing a Uni Watch posting on fast food uniforms from the ’70s and ’80s? I particularly remember the Burger King and Baskin Robbins unis being some of the “best” from that era.

I actually wrote an article about fast food uniforms in 2005, for Chow magazine. I don’t think the article is anywhere on the web, unfortunately. But here’s a discussion thread I started in an attempt to crowd-source some of the research.

With over 1,500 Uni Watch membership cards produced so far, which ones qualify for your personal top 10?

I should start by saying that any design an enrollee wants is, by definition, a good design, even if I think it’s boring or ugly or whatever. If it makes you happy, that’s what’s important.

That said, I’ve long believed that the ugliest uniforms make for the best membership cards. So here are some of my faves:


murthy.jpg thompson.jpg frank.png vilk.png thomas.png stager.png

Every day I wonder if I’m going to hear that you’re going to stop writing about uniforms, which would be a very sad day. So my question is: How long do you plan to continue focusing on uniforms and Uni Watch, professionally?

As I’ve said in previous installments of Question Time, I tend to think of my work in terms of projects, and I think this particular project is almost certainly closer to its end than to its beginning. On the other hand, I just signed a new contract with ESPN, so don’t worry — the end isn’t going to arrive tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow.

MLB’s current uniform landscape is exceptionally navy-heavy, so do you think the Red Sox would still look good if they swapped in kelly green for the navy in their set? I feel it’d work well with Fenway Park, the cross-town Celtics, and the Irish population of greater Boston.

I wouldn’t be in favor of this. For starters, a red/green color scheme always runs the risk of looking too Christmas-y. And if you’re looking to cut down on navy in MLB, why tinker with the Sox, who’ve had navy as part of their classic look for generations? I’d say the Rays and Padres would be better targets for a de-navy-fication program.

You often mention that Hamilton Nolan is really good. What other writers would you say are really good?

First, just to reiterate: Hamilton Nolan, who writes for Gawker, is probably the greatest cultural observer and polemicist currently plying his trade in America today. Don’t miss. (If you want a taste, here’s one of his best pieces.)

I’m also fond of Ken Layne. He covers a lot of same ground as Nolan and is actually a better writer, at least in terms of chops, but he’s also a bit older and more jaundiced, which is why I prefer Nolan.

ESPNnewyork’s Mets beat blogger, Adam Rubin, has become state of the art when it comes to wall-to-wall coverage of a single team. I no longer bother to read most other Mets coverage, because Rubin outhustles the other writers and summarizes all the other guys’ work in his daily rundowns each morning — one-stop shopping! He’s a fucking machine. Hope he doesn’t burn out.

I used to love reading Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin, but I’ve fallen out of the habit. I did read and enjoy his novel, Pint Man, a few years back.

I’ll read just about anything by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, even if she’s discussing a movie I don’t care about or an aspect of film history that doesn’t matter to me. Just about everything she writes makes me think a bit harder, and that’s pretty much the definition of a good critic (or, for that matter, a good artist).

I like quite a few of The New Yorker’s staff writers, including Jeffrey Toobin (who covers legal issues and the Supreme Court), Susan Orlean (oddball reported stories), and Nick Paumgarten (quirky “Talk of the Town” short takes).

As you’ve probably noticed, all of these writers fall into the realm of journalism. For better or worse (probably the latter), I read very few books these days, and almost zero fiction. My loss.

You’ve just been offered the job at Nike to lead and manage the Oregon Ducks design team. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you accept the position. What’s your first act as the new boss?

After the pigs stopped flying out of my ass and hell thawed back out, I’d announce that we’re terminating our relationship with Oregon so the school can focus on its academic mission instead of having so much of its identity tied to sports and our company.

Once that was taken care of, I’d quit.

Don’t you think baseball without the occasional softball top would be boring (a white vs. gray match-up every game)?


How many people “hit” the Uni Watch site each day, and how has traffic trended since the site was introduced?

On a typical weekday we get about 13,000 visits and 18,000 pageviews from about 11,500 readers. Those numbers will spike considerably on a day when there’s major uni news (the Bucs unveiling was the most recent example of this), but then the numbers usually return to normal after a day or two. Like most websites, we do less traffic on the weekends.

The site’s traffic numbers have stayed fairly consistent for at least the past four years.

Is there a vista that you make a point of admiring every day?

Not as such. But I go for a bike ride every day in Prospect Park (Brooklyn’s version of Central Park), and there’s this one point where the bike lane descends down a hill and comes upon a lake. The moment when the lake comes into view is always gorgeous, and I still find myself thinking, “Damn, that’s nice” each time, even after more than 15 years of daily rides.

As a collector of many things and as a student of history, what do you think will be a collectible for this era that has not yet been deemed “collectible”?

Great question. As it happens, I recently brought two of my computers to the shop to have new hard drives installed. When I picked up the computers, the shop also gave back the old hard drives, and I was struck by how cool-looking they are. A future collectible, perhaps? Perhaps.

You have been critical of teams using custom fonts for their numbers (Tampa Bay Bucs, for example). I was wondering what you thought of the Premier League’s adoption of a standard font for numbers (and names). Would you prefer each league have a standard font, knowing it could be relatively uninspired or boring, or let each team develop their own font, even if it results in things like the Bucs?

I don’t have a problem with team-specific number fonts per se. There are plenty of good-looking teams out there whose looks are closely associated with a distinctive number font, like the Bears or the Red Sox. (Yes, lots of other teams have worn the Bosox’s font over the years, but they’re the only team to have worn it for the last several decades, so at this point it kinda “belongs” to them.)

The problem with Nike’s recent custom number fonts, including the one for the Bucs, is that they’re clearly aiming to look eccentric just for eccentricity’s sake, often at the expense of legibility and almost always at the expense of aesthetics. But the solution to bad design isn’t to impose uniformity on the process; the solution is to encourage good design.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of a single font being used throughout a given league, even if it’s a really good font, because then the league identity is superseding (or at least being raised to the same level as) the individual team identities. It’s basically a form of templating, and I don’t care for templating.

I’ve said for years that eventually all playing fields and sports will be electronically controlled. For example, in football there will be a chip in the ball and the end zone will change color when the ball crosses the plane, and in baseball all uniforms will have electronic chips that define their strike zone, when the ball (with chip inside) goes across the batters strike zone, the home plate turns a certain color. Do you foresee the same thing?

I think the football thing is plausible, maybe even likely (with something similar for first downs). Not so sure about the baseball thing. In general, I agree that an increasing electronic presence in sports is something we’re likely to see.

You often run a “Get Out More” blurb about what you did last night. That’s great, I’m glad you enjoy that kind of stuff, but I have no desire to go out and do the kind of things you do. But I would never run a “Stay In More” blurb because it’s kind of douchey to assume that my preference for going out or not going out is “better” than your preference. But isn’t that implicitly what you’re doing?

Anytime I give my opinion on anything, including a uniform design, I’m implying that my opinion is “better” or the “right” opinion — that’s part of the nature of being a cultural critic. Naturally, everyone is free to disagree. If you think that’s “kind of douchey,” well, you’re free to think that too.

As for the “What Paul Did Last Night” segment, it’s just a fun reminder (for me as well as for you) that there’s more to life than uniforms. I’m aware that my life — working at home, no kids to worry about, etc. — is different from that of many Uni Watch readers, and that many of you would rather relax at home after a hard day’s work than “get out more.” But “getting out more” can also mean getting out of your comfort zone, getting out of your own head, and generally engaging with the larger world of ideas, and I think that’s a worthwhile message no matter what your life circumstances are.

Is there a post from the past that you wish you could go back and rewrite? I don’t mean from an inaccuracy aspect but more from a how your views have changed or matured since.

This is a great question. And although I’m currently drawing a blank, I’m sure there are many, many things I’ve written that I’d probably revise, or write differently, or even not write at all, if I were offered the chance to do it again. One thing I love about blogging is its immediacy, but the flip side of that is that there’s very little time for thoughtful analysis, sober reflection, and so on. One thing that goes along with that is that a lot of what I write sort of becomes a blur afterward. Sometimes I’ll ask the readership about something and someone will quickly point out, “You already wrote about that yourself two years ago!” So while I’m sure there are things I wish I could go back and rewrite, I can’t think of any at the moment.

This answer is reminding me of the 2004 Presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry, when Bush was asked if there was anything from his first term that he regretted and he either couldn’t or wouldn’t come up with anything. I want to make it clear that I don’t view regret or acknowledgements of past mistakes as a sign of weakness — on the contrary, I devote a lot of thought to things I deeply regret and wish I could do differently. It’s just that none of those things — or least none of the ones I’m currently able to think of — have anything to do with Uni Watch.

Has anyone in one of the four major pro sports ever worn the number 69? Do you think the leagues would permit someone to wear it, or would it be considered too off-color?

It’s not all that rare. Sixty-nine has been worn by five MLB players, tons of NFL players (and that’s only since 1950, so there were probably more than that), and two NHL players. No NBA players, though.


That’s it for this round of Question Time. We’ll do this again soon-ish, yes? Yes.

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Let no incident go unmerchandized: In a somewhat predictable development, the NBA announced yesterday that it has put the solidarity catchphrase “We Are One,” which emerged in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, on a line of retail T-shirts, which will be priced at $20 (youth), $24 (men’s) and — get this — $30 (women’s). For a one-color design! All proceeds will reportedly go to anti-discrimination charities, which is good, but why not just price them at wholesale and let it go at that?

Meanwhile, can someone please explain why the Adidas logo needs to be on this shirt, especially in such a prominent location? Like, seriously, what is it doing there, and what does Adidas have to do with any of this? Just askin’.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

I remember getting mini-posters with Topps football cards back in the day, but they didn’t look like these. Check out that artwork! None of them have team logos, of course, and there are little quirks like Mick Tinglehoff snapping the ball to No. 87 and the Larry Wilson poster not showing Larry Wilson (just his back), but these are still fantastic. Get ’em all in one handy auction.

You say you want more than just posters? Okay, here’s the rest of this week’s haul:

• DeLong alert! If you’re a Bruins fan, you won’t do any better than this jacket with the classic varsity look. Looks like a chenille Bruins B, with an embroidered Wales Conference patch. Doesn’t say if the sleeves are leather, but my similarly styled Reds jacket had leather sleeves. These Starter varsity jackets were well made, too.

• One more from DeLong: a Bears jacket, with some kller artwork on the back!

• As you might know, I collect San Francisco Giants bobbleheads. Most of the time they look dead-on accurate — Alexander Global Promotions really does a good job. Across the bay, the A’s do bobbles as well, and the Rollie Fingers bobble might be the most realistic depiction I’ve seen.

This seller has three swell 1960s NFL Technigraph plaques, and the Falcons one is still in the shrinkwrap!

• I see the Atlanta Hawks have brought back the 1970s Pac-Man logo (which I never saw as Pac-Man). Did you know they used to have the blue/green logo shown on this old pennant?

• Got a few NFL posters for ya. This is a 1965 Jets vs. Broncos poster, which looks like a game program cover. Also got ’em for Big Blue and the Giants/Bears.

• If you’re a fan of the old AAFC, you’ll love this 1940s poster of the Chicago Rockets vs. the Miami Seahawks.

• Terrific-looking 1970s Vikings poster here.

• And from reader Will Schebler, a vintage red-striped hockey ref jersey that, in Will’s words, “reminds me of WHA referees, and the ones in the movie Slap Shot.”

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik, except for ’Skins Watch, which was handled by Paul.

’Skins Watch: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Sunday’s episode of Family Guy included a little sequence about Native American mascots (from Ben Fortney). … A bipartisan group of New York State legislators will be introducing a resolution today that calls on professional sports teams to ban the use of “racial slurs” as team mascots (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: The Giants are giving away a Buster Posey chest protector T-shirt on May 18. “Cool idea,” says Brice Wallace. “Really glad the maker’s logo was replaced with the ”˜SF.’” ”¦ Dan Conrad sends along a newspaper item on how the 1932 Boston Braves became the first National League team to wear uniform numbers. ”¦ Tigers players now have their own pairs of Zubaz pants (from Rob Siergiej). ”¦ The Reds had a Star Wars promotion on May the Fourth (from Austin Glover). ”¦ The El Paso Chihuahuas wore camo unis the other day.

Pro Football News: In this space we’ve talked about how ridiculous the LA Kiss jerseys are, but their field is equally outlandish (from Eric Wright). ”¦ From yesterday’s comments: An artist gave NFL helmet logos a Star Wars spin. ”¦ After all the chatter about Michael Vick wearing No. 8, it turns out he’s going to wear No. 1, which he acquired from Jets punter Ryan Quigley by donating $10,000 to charity. ”¦ Arian Foster was asked why he changed uni numbers before the 2010 season and he had a good response (from Chris Flinn).

College Football News: BYU will wear solid white, solid black, and solid blue uniforms for selected game this year (from Phil). ”¦ New helmets for Colgate, with a BFBS-ish gradation (from Ryan Dowgin).

Soccer News: Sporting Kansas City put hashtags inside their championship rings (from Justin Dilks). ”¦ AC Milan released its new home and third jerseys (from Phil). ”¦ England unveiled its World Cup suits (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Newcastle has new away jerseys. ”¦ The Portland Timbers posted a video about their equipment manager. The best part? The guy’s last name is Younie! A little on the nose, right? (Thanks, Joe Hollomon.) ”¦ Buncha soccer notes, all from Trevor Williams: A Norwich City player wore a blood jersey the other day. ”¦ The Bristol Rovers were relegated by Mansfield Town, who had to wear Bristol’s away kits from last season. ”¦ New kits for English clubs Millwall, Watford, Crawley Town and Ipswich Town. ”¦ New kits for European clubs St. Mirren, Udinese, PSV, FC Twente, Olympique Lyonnais, Panathinaikos and FC Köln.

NBA News: Here’s a cool time-lapse video of volunteers placing T-shirts on every seat of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse for last night’s Wizards-Pacers game (from Joel Dale).

Grab Bag: I don’t watch Mad Men but I wish I did solely for its references to Burger Chef, the Mets and, most importantly, the one-episode 1969 TV show Turn-On! Garrett sent that link in, but I’m 100 percent serious when I say this: Seeing the only episode of Turn-On is one of my life goals. ”¦ Not really uni-related, but how fantastic is this Wayne Gretzky cereal ad?” (From Jonathan Daniel.) … The Longfellow Bridge, which connects Boston and Cambridge, is undergoing an extensive renovation and officials are trying to find a historically accurate color to paint it (from Tom Mulgrew). ”¦ Superhero football gloves are now for sale. ”¦ “Oakleaf High (Florida) couldn’t make up their mind if they wanted to grift the Central Florida Knights or Oregon Nikes, so they did both,” says Ryan Bohannon. ”¦ A couple college lacrosse notes from Jared Buccola: Loyola Maryland has a new helmet, Villanova has double decal wraps with “V” on one side and script “Cats” on the other, and Denver has a Rocky Mountain shoulder design. … Netflix has a new logo. … Fashion brand Boy London’s logo has been likened to the Nazi eagle symbol.

Comments (117)

    Regarding Oakleaf High School…the “O” behind the knight’s head is different in the larger and smaller images at the top of their Twitter page. The one in the avatar is definitely the Oregon “O,”, but the one in the profile picture/header is definitely not.

    bad link

    A bipartisan group of New York State legislators will be introducing a resolution today that link on professional sports teams to ban the use of “racial slurs” as team mascots (thanks, Phil).

    I’ve read that the full episode of Turn-On can be seen at a TV museum on UCLA’s campus and a TV museum in NYC. Otherwise, I’m not sure it exists anywhere else.

    Broken link on Skins Watch.

    Incidentally, you probably noticed ESPN running a SportsNation poll about the name Redskins. Did you not include it because the results overwhelmingly favored keeping the name… oh wait, ESPN already scrubbed all evidence the poll existed.

    I wasn’t aware of that poll. If you can find it, I’ll happily link to it tomorrow, just as I’ve linked to previous polls on this issue.

    I doubt very much that anything was “scrubbed,” since that’s not the way we operate at ESPN, but I realize it’s fun to have a conspiracy theory.

    Ha, good one Paul. Rather that copy and paste them here, just Google “espn scrubbed” and you’ll get a little trip down memory lane.

    Maybe — just maybe — one of us knows a little more about how ESPN works than the other one does.

    And maybe — just maybe — the one of us who knows more is the one who’s actually worked for ESPN for nearly 10 years.

    Just maybe.

    Can we please stop with the Star Wars NFL helmets? Yeah, they’re kinda neat-ish, but I think they’ve shown up in the ticker like 4 or 5 times now.

    I’m with you (Even though I wrote the Ticker, ha). Star Wars- (or Disney, or minimalist, or whatever) themed NFL helmets are pretty played out by now.

    So what exactly was Family Guy trying to say? In typical Family Guy fashion, they failed to be funny and exaggerated their mascot so badly that it makes the Redskins and Chief Wahoo look perfectly acceptable by comparison. If they’re actually on the pro-change side, I don’t think that’s a very good way of convincing people.

    Jeff, you do realize that satire doesn’t have to be funny, right? ;o)

    There are about four stereotypes wrapped up in that one scene, so you can choose which is most offensive to you. LOL

    There’s reference in another episode where they refer to Tricia Takanawa (sp?) as Tricia Nockahoma.

    After seeing the Burger Chef reference, I thought maybe you would enjoy this site: link

    As far as I can tell, that is the most complete history you will ever find on Burger Chef. I found it oddly compelling, anyway.

    I’ll see your Burger Chef site and raise you with this one:

    Found that one through a site for restaurant that was near and dear to my heart – the Red Barn

    OK, maybe “raise” wasn’t the right term. They’re both pretty detailed.

    Thanks for the Red Barn site, Jim! There’s a former Red Barn near my office that is now a pawnshop and another a bit farther down the street that has fallen to a worse use.

    You’re more than welcome.

    I got a hamburger yesterday at a place that was directly across the street from a former Red Barn. It’s now a bar…used to be a consignment shop and one or two other things as well.

    Thinking of some Red Barn DIY projects now…

    No, it’s a pretentious yet ubiquitous vendor of overpriced coffee-flavored milk drinks.

    Any reference to Sam Smith’s gives me another chance to mention my favorite London pub, the Sam Smiths owned “The Champion” off of Oxford St.

    Spent many, many great nights in there – but by far my favorite feature (2 pound pints aside) were the link

    An absolutely gorgeous setting for suds.

    The fact that Paul and I (and you guys too!) share a common favorite beer means I’ll have to crack open a bottle of Sam’s tonight. Cheers!

    I agree that Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is really good, but I found Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout (by Anderson Valley) to be even better.

    A thought on the “We are one” shirts. I regularly wear All Blacks gear, all of which has an Adidas logo on it. Occasionally someone will say, “Is that some sort of racial statement?” I often will sarcastically say something like “Yeah, Adidas regularly makes shirts about racial politics.” Well, guess I’ll have to rework that line.

    Those would be the All Whites?

    Speaking of soccer, isn’t We Are One a slogan of the World Cup this year? At least there’s an official World Cup song that is We Are One (Ole Ola).

    Catchy, but it’s no Here Come the Socceroos.

    I don’t really have a problem with the Colgate helmet. The apostrophe is oriented correctly, and the script logo is impressive for an FCS school. Since Colgate really has only one color, black is the best choice for an accent because there’s black in the team’s logo.

    This move will undoubtably be compared to the similar addition of black done by a certain maroon/white team 200 miles to the east.

    What exactly falls under “racial slurs”? Indians or Braves aren’t considered “slurs” are they?

    I think the only name that qualifies as a racial slur is Redskins, and in reality it isn’t actually used that way by the vast majority of people. The dictionary may define it as such, but the English language is constantly changing and evolving and the dictionary doesn’t always manage to keep pace with actual common usage. Seriously, we live in a culture where “bad” can literally mean “good”. One man’s racial slur can easily become another man’s term of endearment.

    Yes, language isn’t constantly evolving, but we’re not talking about a new definition for the word – it’s still an informal, ethnocentric term for the aboriginal peoples of the continental United States. We’re not talking about using the word “bitch” as a synonym for “whine” or “female dog”.

    And you seem to think that good intentions, or at least an absence of ill will, reduces the slur. No matter what your intent is, a slur is a slur. Look, it doesn’t matter if I’m talking about the great impact Sheryl Sandburg has had on the cultural conversation, calling her a “broad” makes me kind of a dick, and likewise for saying, “Some of my favorite interior designers are queers.”

    This is true in terms of the evolution of the English language, at least in America. I think what I am asking is whether something is considered a slur just because it is politically incorrect? That is an ever changing list of what is ok and what isn’t ok to call someone of a certain definition. Calling a black guy a “colored” was once acceptable but now I guess it would be considered a slur?

    Redskin may not be common since I don’t know any Natives (is that what they are called now) and it doesn’t come up in pop culture ever, but it is still not something I would call someone with red skin. I wouldn’t call a dwarf (midget? little person? IDK) “shorty”. Would a Native American be offended by being called just “my Indian friend” or “that brave over there”?

    I think what I am asking is whether something is considered a slur just because it is politically incorrect? That is an ever changing list of what is ok and what isn’t ok to call someone of a certain definition. Calling a black guy a “colored” was once acceptable but now I guess it would be considered a slur?

    A slur is considered a slur if someone would be insulted if you said it to him. Not offended – nobody has a right not to be offended, so dispense with your concern about “politically incorrect” – but insulted. I can vouch from personal experience: For the most part, when white people call Native Americans “redskin,” they mean it as an insult, and the Native American so addressed will feel that he has been insulted. Thus, “Redskin” is a slur. If you call someone a name, and a jury might regard that person as justified in slugging you, that’s a slur.

    With regard to “colored,” to refer to any individual black person as “a colored” has always been an insult, and thus a slur, even when it was widely accepted that such people were “colored.” Just as today, it’s generally accepted to say that a person of African ancestry is “black,” but it will generally be treated as a slur to refer to someone as “a black” or to black people as “the blacks.” Adjectives often turn to slurs when they become nouns!

    “I think the only name that qualifies as a racial slur is Redskins, and in reality it isn’t actually used that way by the vast majority of people.”

    Generally speaking, I think the people to whom the term applies are in a better position to determine whether it is a slur or rather than the speaker and how her or she “intends” to use it.

    One more typo: in the paragraph about Premier League jerseys and their (detestable) insistence on a league-wide number font: it’s supersede, not *supercede. Etymologically “sit above”, not “yield above”.

    * Great questions, guys.

    * Can’t say I’m digging AC Milan’s apparently Brazil-inspired yellow/green number. Yellow’s overused in Italy and yellow/green is more Australia than Brazil.

    * I wish more teams (and sports!) wore team suits.

    * Timbers’ kit man feature: I like.

    “… England unveiled its World Cup suits (from Yusuke Toyoda). …”

    Oh, THAT kind of suit. Jacket and trousers, Marks & Spencer. I had no idea. Do other countries have official World Cup suits? This year’s England suit is OK, but that 2010 three-piece gray outfit was fabulous.

    I’m going to make sure that Ireland wears a nubby Donegal Tweed green-brown three-piecer the next time we qualify.

    You basically have two schools of thoughts with very little in between: Team suits like link, link and link, or in team tracksuits like link, link and link.

    I know which I prefer, but I’m not the one who has to get on a intercontinental flight dressed in team-issued apparel.

    Anyway, Paul, as the World Cup nears, can we devote a feature to the teams’ off-field uniforms?

    Italy, of course, has an off-field team suit. Lots of suppliers to choose from; I don’t recall if last time it was Gucci, Brioni, or someone else.

    Italy had Dolce & Gabbanna, I think.

    Australia wins on sheer ridiculousness, though – their suits are made with wool from link or something like that.

    “I know which I prefer, but I’m not the one who has to get on a intercontinental flight dressed in team-issued apparel.”

    I know which one Nike prefers, too, because merch sales.

    Paul, re your favorite beer, link last year on Narragansett turned me on to that brew (available at Whole Foods near the GWU campus in DC). Leagues better than Yuengling among adjunct lagers. For one thing, Gansett is up front about being an adjunct lager, as opposed to Yuengling, and the flavor profile embraces, rather than trying to mask, the corn’s sweetness and grassy notes. None of the slightly metallic or skunky chemical flavors that sometimes come through on Yuengling. Good beer – thanks for introducing me to it!

    Yeah, I still like Yuengling just fine too. Took me a long time to learn to appreciate adjunct lager like a real American should.

    Couple of things:

    * I should move to within DC lines just so I can buy beer at grocery stores. MoCo’s liquor laws makes it inconvenient for me to be a lush. I’m pretty sure it’s easier to get high than drunk.

    * Is hoppy vs malty the great divide now? I gotta say, I drank the more darker, maltier stuff in college, but I’m leaning towards the lighter, hoppier stuff in my relatively old age.

    Well, you can buy beer at grocery stores in Montgomery County, albeit just at a handful of ’em. But that inconvenience is a small trade-off for the privilege of buying top-shelf liquor at the best price you’ll find just about anywhere. I much prefer paying $60 for Ardbeg Corryvreckan than $90, $55 for Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or then $84, etc. etc. Like the proprietor of a now-closed DC liquor store told me once, “we can’t compete buying liquor by the case when MoCo buys it by the palette.”

    There’s a small grocery store that carries beer and wine I go to. Still, I want to be able to pick up, say, a bottle of Three Buck Chuck while I’m doing my weekly Trader Joe’s run. It’s particularly inconvenient if I’m planning a meal that involves alcohol, like beer stew.

    I suppose the county-run liquor stores have their benefits, though I’m not much of a hard spirits guy.

    I’d call it less of a divide and more of a pendulum thing. American craft brewing went heavy into hops after legalization, and lately there’s a pretty strong counterreaction, with even many hop-obsessed craft brewers chasing more subtle, malty brews lately.

    “Is hoppy vs malty the great divide now?”

    I think the hop vs. malt debate has mellowed out. Most of the really interesting developments in craft brewing the last couple of years have been in the area of link.

    Yep. When you’ve taken your ales up to near 100 IBUs, there’s literally nowhere else to take the “bolder hops” thing. At that point, it’s natural that brewers (and drinkers!) would start chasing malt flavors, new yeasts, barrel aging, and so forth.

    I don’t think I’d ever paid attention to the term “adjunct lager” before, but looking at link, some of my favorite regional beers are on there: Yuengling, Genessee, Lone Star, Tecate, Iron City.

    As a matter of fact, when I’m in a new city I seek out the “adjunct lagers” on tap to get that fresh regional taste going.

    Scott, if you’re looking to venture a little further from Foggy Bottom, there’s a small liquor store on K btwn 14th/15th “A-1,” that has a surprising variety of small brews. Picked up a 6 of DC Brau’s porter there last week, usually a few different Dogfish and Star hill varieties as well.

    Nice – thanks for the recommendation! While you’re in that neighborhood, check out S&R Liquor at 18th & K for a good selection of obscure rums and whiskies.

    Know the spot, never been in though. Maybe they’ll have my Bushmills Black, which seems to have been replaced in most stores by a honey blend.

    Interesting to hear Paul still using VHS machines, there’s actually tens of millions of those units still in use across the country. There are also types of programming, from movies to documentaries, which never made it to dvd, but were interesting material.

    For example, HBO had a great documentary, titled “Disposable Heroes” produced in the mid 80s, which was ahead of its time regarding the physical price some players have to pay for an NFL career.

    VHS still has an advantage in convenience over DVR when it comes to picking up a specific recorded program at any point. No need to grab a remote or scroll over to find something, takes only seconds to insert a tape and hit play to resume watching your program. If you have a multi hour program without the time to watch it straight through in one sitting, VHS still is useful.

    In the amount of time it takes to leave the couch and locate the VHS tape in the undoubtedly large assortment one might possess, you could just as easily access your recordings with a press of a single button on your DVR, and sort through your recordings by date, series, etc. You may even be able to type in a few letters to narrow down your options. And it will most definitely pick up where you left off. Unless some other jerk in your house finished watching it and didn’t bother to reset it. You could even start a campaign to stop this sort of asinine behavior: “Don’t be a curse, please reverse.”

    Paul, the only thing you’d do as head of Nike is to dissolve the relationship between the University of Oregon and Nike? Why not also end the child labor and sweatshop conditions of Nike factories abroad?

    He didn’t ask what I’d do if I got to run the company; he asked what I’d do if I got to run Nike’s Oregon design program.

    Great read on the Q&A today!

    I too don’t like the standard league wide font that leagues like the EPL make every club use. I don’t think any of the four major sport leagues would do that, however I could see them one day placing their league logo on the numbers of each team, even if only in a watermark form.

    RE: Netflix Logo

    I find that as I am growing older, I am liking the more simple logos I find in life. Not a huge fan of Nike, but the swoosh comes to mind. Simple. The Houston Astros come to mind as well (I think they are the best uni’s in ball right now).

    Netflix is another one now. Their red background, black shaded logo was fairly simple, but screamed at me. Now it is just a nice subdued “Netflix”, as if it is whispering to me. Like it grew up. Like it is no longer part of some fraternity. It has a wife and kids now. LOL.

    Maybe I am just aging beyond my years?

    That grey football field actually does a really nice job of showing off each team’s colours. Better than green, white (for hockey), and most certainly, blue.

    Paul, On the Redskins name thing, do you think some fans of the Indians, Braves etc. are in favor of the Redskins name because they fear if that name falls, their nicknames are next to take on heat. I guess I’m wondering if these folks may see this as a bit of a domino theory when it comes to nicknames. Just curious, and thanks.

    Do some fans feel that way? Yeah, I’m sure they do.

    But when I recently did an ESPN column link, I was surprised when several of them made a point of saying to me (without any prompting or inquiry on my part) that they think the ’Skins name should probably get the heave-ho. They seemed to be saying, in not so many words, “I can see how that OTHER THING is problematic, but that’s way different than OUR THING, which is fine.”

    the most frustrating thing about arguing with Redskins fans in MD is that they refuse to acknowledge that “redskins” is a derogatory term. You end up getting responses like “I have never heard someone be offended by it” or they throw the Liberal guilt argument out. It is entertaining until you realize you can’t get through their thick skulls.

    That said, Redskins fans seem to think the name will get the ax within the next 5 yrs.

    The “white guilt” line is important. People think you’re implicating yourself — and, by extension, them — in wrongdoing.

    A good response, I’ve found, is something like this: “I don’t feel guilty, because I’m *not* guilty. Guilt implies wrongdoing, and I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m sure you haven’t either. I do, however, feel a strong sense of *responsibility* to do the right thing.”

    People can disagree with what does and doesn’t fall under the category of “responsibility,” but most of them agree that responsibility is an important, worthy trait. Shifting the discussion onto that turf is a good start.

    The latest argument I had was where the Skins fan was pushing that the only people interested in this change are trying to make a name for themselves by attaching their name to a high profile issue like this. They apparently have no stock in the name change, they just want the power grab. There was no way it was because it is the decent thing to do.

    That they focus so much on the messenger tells me they have no rebuttal for the actual message.

    By that logic, we should never do anything the President proposes because his well-being isn’t affected by any policy. Poverty? Education? Jobs? Fuck all that, because Obama is rich enough to send his kids to private school so he clearly has no stake in any of the issues.

    If I recall correctly Dennis Rodman tried to wear #69 with the Lakers, but Stern shot it down. Unless the new Commish thinks otherwise, that number probably won’t be worn in the NBA.

    While watching the Arena game, spouse asked “what is that field made of”. She has accompanied me to a few Arena games, so that should give one an idea of how “out there” the grey turf is.

    Does Staples Center have the most severly curved Arena Football endzones?

    i try not to talk “business” in the comments because i find it rude when people do that, but since i am responding to the post…

    stirrups fridays never went away, those who believe in the revolution(like myself) still participate from time to time, and i am still outfitting weddings, so it’s still around, and was around for years before the segment. on my end i pulled back because i thought we were doing it too often, once a month would have been plenty.

    as far as semi-retirement, paul is right, i am gearing down a bit, and not buying too many odd-balls that i have had to sit on in the past for up to 2/3 years or more, or doing some of the other things that caused loses. that being said, i am still getting the standards like the orioles, cards, red sox, bravos, rays, giants, etc. at least through this summer. so the revolutionary stocks will never be what they used to be, but i will still have some options for those who need them, and will be happy to help people with team orders.

    from each according their stirrvp, to each according their strype

    So, the Pacers’ time-lapse video brings up an interesting point that hasn’t ever been discussed… the proliferation of “free” t-shirts for fans at, what seems like, every single NBA playoff game.

    A free Tee used to be given out in Game 1 and then was expected to be worn throughout the rest of the playoffs. Now, they appear every game. Thunder does it. Pacers do it. ATL did it (for one game, at least, maybe more?).

    What a trend! Keep in mind, these teams usually jack their ticket prices as each round continues. So, “free” is relative.

    Though, 18,650 shirts x $5/ea. = $93,250 x 4 games = $373,000!!

    To offset that cost (which may be somewhat lower at $4 or so)… Kroger or whoever is the sponsor. That’s still a huge investment for every game, for the sponsor or the team.

    Look at it this way, Paul. If all of the shirts are sold at wholesale cost, that’s probably what, $2-$3 max being donated to charity per shirt? only what Adidas is making as the wholsale cost. But, by charging $30 per shirt and donating all of the proceeds, that changes that $2-$3 per shirt to probably around $27-$28 per shirt, maybe even more. Multiply that by the amount of shirts being sold and you’re going from probably $10,000-$15,000 being donated to well over $100,000.

    What’s the point of a “playoff” shirt or whatever you want to call it when they are consistently in the colors of the opposing team. I was watching last night’s Clippers-Thunder game and it looks like the entire crowd is cheering for the Clippers because the Thunder’s stupid giveaway shirt is blue and the road Clippers are wearing basically the same shade.

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and decided it was time I comment. My family and I are heading to Las Vegas this summer. We haven’t been there as a family since 2004. So this would be a 10 year anniversery. I was thinking of making a cool 10 year Las Vegas logo but I don’t know how. So could someone please tell me how to make a logo. Or if anyone would make a quick one. I was just going to make a shirt for everyone going.

    How to make a quick logo:

    1. Go to the public library and find the graphic design section. Read up about design principles, pay close attention to Paul Rand’s iconic work. Not a logo designer, but Saul Bass’s film posters are a great inspiration given the economy of design required for logos.

    2. Look around. See what logos you like, which ones you don’t. You’ll see quickly that you have your own set of sensibilities, but it helps to develop an appreciation for logos that are outside your wheelhouse. Regularly read logo blogs like link so you can see how designers critique logos.

    3. Take a few design courses at the local learning annex/community college/art school. You could conceivably teach yourself how to design, the structure and the feedback loop of school are helpful for most people.

    4. Think about what you want to say with the logo. Consider the information hierarchy – what’s important to you? That it’s in Vegas, the 10 years or your family name?

    5. Come up with a few design options. You can consider different points of emphasis. Don’t worry about making mistakes here – you really won’t know what works until you actually put pen to paper. Bad designs are part of the exploration process. Show it around, make tweaks, keep at it. Sometimes, it’s the 100th design option that ends up being the one you love.

    Or find a designer, give clear directions on the parameters and your wishlist, and pay him/her a reasonable fee. Or go to a custom t-shirt printer like CustomInk. But remember that you can have design that’s good, cheap or fast, but link.

    “Or find a designer, give clear directions on the parameters and your wishlist, and pay him/her a reasonable fee.”

    Or hold a design contest where the winner gets a free t-shirt. But make sure the contestants understand that all submitted designs are the intellectual property of the contest organizer.

    I’m not sure when the most recent Catch of the Day was posted, but it is absolutely fantastic. Great find, Paul!

    I’m genuinely surprised by the amount of love you heap on Hamilton Nolan – I swear half the time the guy is trolling. This is how a typical Nolan article goes:

    OUTRAGEOUS, CLICK-BAITY [maybe at Gawker’s direction, I have no idea]

    Summary of article misrepresenting or misunderstanding the article
    Out of context quote
    Vague closing statement evidencing a weak understanding of the subject matter or espousing a viewpoint without any sort of supporting argument (often, “Tax the rich.” [which, might I add, I’m all for!])

    Comments section calmly explaining his mispresentations/misunderstandings, or contextualizing his out-of-context quote, with pithy non-responsive responses from Nolan.

    I find him so incredibly grating. Maybe he’s just really good at trolling, then?

    So you read Thor when you were younger, eh, Paul? I have to wonder how long you stuck with the series. The Walt Simonson era in the mid-80s (#337-382) is generally regarded as one of the greatest runs on a Marvel book. It was also one I missed out on, as I didn’t get into the Marvel Universe proper until around the end of that run, and at the time I started with Iron Man and Captain America.

    Not that anybody cares but I’m a DC guy. Never gave a shit about Marvel. Ever.


    If you are ever traveling through PA and pass through Lancaster, stop in the Lancaster Brewing Co. and try a Double Chocolate Stout. My favorite beer ever. It’s on tap in areas in Pittsburgh and Philly as well.

    In response to the “We Are One” shirts. I’ve never really understood why the maker’s mark bugs you guys so much. It’s just part of the NBA’s sponsorship with Adidas. To me it’s no different than the NASCAR banner that I look at everyday when I come here. Neither bother me. I just always figure it’s just how advertising works.

    I don’t pay to come to this website. I don’t wear this website. I’m fine with ads being here. I have no interest in paying to become a walking advertisement for a manufacturer, especially when their logo distracts from a message I am willing to pay to wear and promote.

    I just always figure it’s just how advertising works.

    So you think it’s OK that a T-shirt that encourages racial unity (or any other message) is also advertising for Adidas? Because “that’s just how advertising works”?

    That’s fascinating.

    And you compare it to advertising on this website?

    That’s even more fascinating.

    This website gives its content away for free. FOR FREE! In order to subsidize the costs and labor that go into the site, the site sells advertising space. Ad-subsidized journalism is a model that goes back, oh, a few centuries.

    That’s a little different than slapping a logo on a shirt that’s already selling for $30.

    Note that I didn’t have a problem with the NBA logo being on the shirt — after all, it’s an NBA shirt, delivering an NBA message.

    But what exactly does Adidas have to do with that message? And why should they be advertising on this shirt?

    Tell me, does the shirt you’re wearing right now have a visible maker’s mark? If not, why not? Isn’t that just the way advertising works?

    Seems like a good time to dust off this entry:

    Finally: I would like nothing more than to get rid of the advertising on this website. In order to that, I will have to stop giving away the content for free and you will have to start paying for it. I would much, much prefer that model. What do you say?

    The shirt I’m wearing right now doesn’t have a maker’s mark because I’m at work and I’m wearing a dress shirt. That wasn’t what I was trying to say by my “that’s how advertising works” comment. My apologies on that. I didn’t really word it the way I meant to. What I meant was that when the NBA signed a deal with Adidas I’m assuming that part of the deal was Adidas could advertise on every shirt that they made for the NBA. That is what I meant. The deal is we make shirts for you and sell them to you cheaper if you let us advise on them. I understand what you mean about this particular shirt because of the message it delivers and Adidas doesn’t really have anything to do with this message. Maybe these contracts need to have a clause that states if they make apparel that is going to be sold for charity that they manufacturer can’t advertise on it.

    What I meant was that when the NBA signed a deal with Adidas I’m assuming that part of the deal was Adidas could advertise on every shirt that they made for the NBA.

    And since that’s what the contract says, then it’s automatically, self-justifyingly OK, right? Because that’s what they agreed to. No need to assess, analyze, or think about it — after all, it’s just business, so that makes it all OK.

    That’s not how things work around here.

    Also, I’m not really sure why you think I’m complaining about the ads here. I never said that. I actually said that it didn’t bother me at all. I understand that you have to make money and I really appreciate this blog being free for me to enjoy. I come here everyday, and while I don’t agree with all of your opinions, I appreciate all of them. I’ve actually bought stuff from your ads.

    Thank you — I appreciate the kind words.

    I didn’t mean to imply that you were complaining about the ads. But you brought up the ads’ presence, and I was just saying that I wish we could get rid of them.

    “I would like nothing more than to get rid of the advertising on this website.”


    1) The ads make the site look ulgier.

    2) Dealing with all the advertisers, chasing down payments, futzing around with code and scripts, etc. is a pain in the ass and takes more time than you might think.

    3) I’d prefer not to add more to the amount of advertising in the world.

    4) A payment/subscription model would represent a more direct — and therefore honest — relationship between myself and the readers. You’d be paying for what you consume, which is both fair and responsible; I’d have a better sense of how big the audience really is (or at least the audience that’s willing to put its money where its mouse is) and would also be more accountable to the readership (at least theoretically).

    There are very, very few things in this world that are improved by the presence of advertising, and innumerable things that are improved by its absence.

    Your last sentence there is one of the best you’ve written. It’s true not only from the standpoint of the consumer, but also of the ad buyer.

    Thanks Paul, I realize that at this time of night, fewer regular readers read and add content, so I think it may be worthwhile to you to bring this up again soon, but at an earlier hour.

    I noticed you wrote something similar recently, and it sounds as though this is important to you. I wonder how you can effectively achieve your wish. I can’t speak for all of us readers who come to Uni Watch regularly every morning, I would guess that I would pay for the site, but that should not necessarily preclude removing advertising. I’m writing this as I plan to drop my WSJ subscription – which I love – just to save $30/month.

    I disagree that the ads make the site uglier-or perhaps they do but I just never noticed.

    When I asked “why ?” I kinda figured #2 would be the answer. I know nothing about internet advertising, but I sympathize.

    Regarding response #3, I’m guessing things are tough in the advertising world, and your ad footprint would only be adding to a declining market.

    #4 Understood.

    And with respect to your closing, I’m not so sure about your opinion. I think we both share a love for old advertising and signage. My work used to take me around the world and to Leningrad for 19 days in 1980, and for what it’s worth, to this then-23 year old, the USA and all its neon never looked so good. But advertising at Wrigley, here’s that word again: a desecration.

    Re: identical colors on Bears and Broncos jerseys…

    Wasn’t there a discussion a while back about NBA jerseys having a similar issue, where the official team colors did not necessarily match the jersey color? Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but I thought that all reds and blues (other than a navy or maroon) came from the same fabric lot, negating the slight differences in Pantone or HEX numbers in jerseys and shorts.

    Am I imagining that? Is there any way to compare if we haven’t covered it? It has seemed to me that the Bulls red jersey is lighter today than the Bulls jersey of the Jordan era, but I have nothing to back that up other than memory.

    Days of Heaven?!? Really? Why? I get the unique lighting, etc. and loves me some T. Malick, but DoH isn’t even close to his best film, IMO. Please to elaborate.

    1) Most beautiful movie ever made.

    2) I can never get enough of Linda’s voiceover narration (yes, I know it was added as an afterthought, but it totally works).

    3) Great soundtrack.

    4) The locust scene.

    And so on. Remember, the questioner didn’t ask what my favorite movie is, or what I think the best movie is; he asked what movie I’d choose to watch if I could only watch one. And I’ve found Days of Heaven to be eminently watchable, over and over again.

    What do you think is Malick’s best? I love Badlands (probably the only one that I think is “better” than Days of Heaven), like The New World quite a bit, fell asleep in the middle of Thin Red Line (more of a commentary on my insomniac state at the time than on the movie’s quality), and hated — I mean HATED — Tree of Life.

    Didn’t like what I read about To the Wonder, so I didn’t see it.

    Thanks for the reply. Now I understand the difference between me and my favorite uniform guru! Tree of Life is my fave. Honestly, it was my entry to Malick. Loved it. Mesmerized me and led me to watch more of his films. I don’t think it was just your insomnia with Thin Red Line – it’s kinda slow. re: DoH, I agree on the locust scene and the beauty of the film in general. Just not my favorite story. Have you seen Cafe de Flore? Worth a view on Netflix. Kinda Malick-esque.

    I know a lot of people loved Tree of Life. My feeling was this: Malick was a philosophy major in college, and ToL strikes me as the *first* movie a philosophy major would make right after college, not the fifth movie he’d make decades later. But that’s just me.

    Haven’t seen Cafe de Flore. Thanks for the tip!

    RE: the Adidas We are One shirt; maybe they could’ve put a off-black A on the sleeve or the hem. They get it on there, but in a subtle way.

    Love that Allen Iverson’s Under Armour sleeves were being hand sewn by a little old lady:


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