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Uni Watch Column Leads to On-Field Change (probably)

Two weeks ago I had an ESPN column on MLB logo inconsistencies. One of those inconsistencies involved the Braves, whose helmet logo has always been fatter than their cap logo. When I was doing the reporting for that story, a Braves spokesperson acknowledged the discrepancy but said, “It’s been that way for as long as we can remember. It’s just the helmet logo that we use.”

Correction: It’s the helmet logo they used to use. As you can see above, the Braves have now updated their helmet logo to match the cap logo. The new helmet mark debuted during last night’s Braves/Bosox game at Fenway and was quickly spotted by quite a few fans. Personally, I think it’s a big improvement. Here’s a crisper view of it:

new logo

I assume the Braves will also be making the change to their home helmets, which still had the old logo for Tuesday night’s game in Atlanta. They don’t play at home again until next Tuesday, so we’ll have to wait until then to see for sure.

I’ve contacted the Braves to see if the change was directly related to my recent column (no response yet), but I think it’s safe to say that it was. Just to be clear, while I approve of the change, I didn’t lobby for it or suggest that they should do it — I just asked about the cap/helmet inconsistency. But I could tell that they were a bit concerned about it once I brought it up, so I’m not all that surprised by what’s happened. This isn’t the first time Uni Watch has led to an on-field uniform adjustment, but I still get a kick out of it when it happens.

Speaking of the Braves, infielder Tommy LaStella made his big league debut last night, and they gave him SCOB — that’s small cap on back:

That conveniently plays into my new ESPN column, which is about the use of lowercase letters and small caps on NOBs. Check it out here.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Mike Nessen, Andrew Wagner, and of course Phil. And super-duper thanks to Jim Santel, who first pointed out the Braves’ logo inconsistency to me a few weeks ago.)

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Anniversary reminders: Monday was the 15th anniversary of the very first Uni Watch column. If you missed the news on that, get the full scoop here.

Three quick reminders related to the anniversary:

• There’s going to be a 15th-anniversary party on Tuesday, June 10, 7:30pm, in the back room of Sheep Station in Brooklyn. Phil and I will both be there, and we hope you will be too.

• See that anniversary logo at right? If there’s enough demand, I’ll make it available as an embroidered patch. So if that interests you, please let me know.

• The anniversary logo is also available now on a T-shirt.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: “Oyo Sportstoys (those licensed Lego-compatible mini figures) just released a new generation of Baseball Hall of Fame figures, says Alan Filipczak. “The most uni-notable figure is probably Nolan Ryan’s Astros ‘rainbow’ uniform.” You can buy them here. … MLB and the Twins unveiled this year’s All-Star game statues and figurines, which feature Peanuts characters in various Twins unis. Additional information here (thanks, Paul). … The Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, will be wearing uniforms based Toronto’s classic 1980s look on June 21 and 22. … Here are some Lehigh Valley IronPigs prototype logo designs that never made it to the field. … The Yakima Valley Pippins, a new team in the West Coast League, showed off their new unis for the first time (from David Goltry).

Football News: President Obama will be hosting a “Concussion Summit” today at the White House. … Looks like Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. will be going with JrOB (from Chris Flinn). … The new Big 12 patch was posted on a West Virginia University uniform yesterday. … The Bellin Health ads on the Packers’ practice jerseys appear to be bigger than last year (from Nathan Gruber). … Looks like the Jaguars are going with new 3-D nose bumper wordmarks this year (from Alex Lawler).

Hockey News: Even though they are still the Phoenix Coyotes for another month, the team unveiled the Arizona Coyotes patch they will be wearing next season. … On Monday night, Rene Bourque’s hat trick was celebrated by hats falling down on the Bell Centre ice. It also turns out that Habs fans gave Bourque’s parents’ lawn a hat trick treatment in the town of Lac La Biche, Alberta. … Philadelphia-area men’s league hockey team the Rippers have Full House-inspired sweaters. Have Mercy! (From Mikey Brethauer.)

Soccer News: For the USA’s friendly against Azerbaijan last night, a Nike soccer ball was used instead of the heavily promoted Adidas model. I wonder if the USA will be using it for all =their pre-World Cup friendlies (from Derek Linn). … Versace has designed — to put it bluntly — a fucking crazy-looking shirt to commemorate the 2014 World Cup. A steal at $690 (from Tommy Turner).

NBA News: “Grantland did an accompanying piece to the 30 for 30 Short Posterized, which is about hoop posters,” says Luke McCarnan. “It includes some great stuff on uniforms specifically a SLAM cover photo of Allen Iverson.”

Grab Bag: Camo we can all support: A mother whose son was killed in action in Afghanistan has started a project making teddy bears out of fallen service members’ combat uniforms for military children, nieces, and nephews (from Brian Wulff). … John Schmitt saw yesterday’s post about tennis player David Ferrer’s black cover-up patch at the French Open and did a little research. He found that it was in the place of a patch from watchmaking company Bovet Fleurier SA. “A cancelled deal seems unlikely, as he is wearing the same logo on both sleeves. I was able to find out that the patches are supplied to Ferrer and he is responsible to sew them onto his shirt (in most photos they do look rather shoddy and poorly attached). My guess is that it is likely just a wardrobe malfunction of some nature.”

Comments (154)

    I can’t really believe that the Braves’ helmet A was only recently brought to the Braves’ attention. It had to at least have been discussed on UniWatch before, especially considering we all know about the inconsistencies with the Tigers and Yankees logos.

    After I read the ESPN column I realized that even though the Braves have long worn the thicker batting helmet A, the A on souvenir batting helmets has always been the thin version. I can send a photo tonight if needed.

    As a Braves fan for almost 50 years, I always kinda liked the different, thicker A on the helmets, but I won’t cry over the change.

    I remember winning a batting helmet from Six Flags in the early 90s, don’t have it anymore (childhood wear and tear combined with exposure to GA elements), but I’m almost positive it had the thicker A. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why I prefer the thicker A. I have to agree with Scott, the new one seems like a downgrade…almost looks cheap.

    “Oyo Sportstoys (those licensed Lego-compatible mini figures) just released a new generation of Baseball Hall of Fame figures”

    Complaints about the use of the pre-Wahoo Indian head in 5…4…

    Historic contexts like this are probably the only scenario where I think a logo like that is appropriate, since it’s reflective of the time period being depicted.

    No kidding. I was shocked to see that they went with that even more offensive defunct Wahoo. Not that it excuses it, but the company seems to be striving for authenticity wherever they can, and each HOF figure’s box features the primary logo of the team from that specific era. On the plus side, we get the Swingin’ A’s logo on the Reggie Jackson box.


    Could have just used the wishbone C logo.

    but the company seems to be striving for authenticity wherever they can

    Hmmm…check out their MLB home page…
    …and click on the Orioles, White Sox, Pirates and Rays in particular.

    Nitpicking commences in 5…4…3…

    They don’t even correctly portray Max Scherzer’s heterochromia iridum! His eyes are just black pupils!

    Well, they all have just black pupils, but they could’ve put more effort into it! They just didn’t care!


    They should have just used the wishbone C, but my guess is that it was scrapped due to looking too much like the Reds’ logo.

    My quote was referring specifically to the HOF collection–you pulled it out of context. Yes, Oyo makes heavy use of throwbacks, fauxbacks, and alts. They must sell better.

    Oyo makes heavy use of throwbacks, fauxbacks, and alts. They must sell better.

    More likely, they sell at all. I’m sure the regular uniform minifigs sell just fine, but you’re only going to buy one version of any particular player or team in the same uniform. But if last year’s Evan Longoria is in the home uniform and this year’s Evan Longoria is in the fauxback alt uniform, then you might just buy this year’s Evan Longoria even though you already have last year’s model. Throw in a throwback uni for some player on whatever team you rooted for before the Rays came to town, plus their team mascot minifigs, and hey how about the link and … well, you can see why Oyo pushes variety. The variant figures don’t have to sell better than the originals, they just have to sell at all to make business sense.

    The HOF collection isn’t without its mistakes. Stargell and Mazeroski should have black sleeves. Joe Morgan wore a pullover Reds jersey, not a button-down.

    I usually try to not be “that guy,” but for 13 bucks a pop, and for being officially licensed, I’d expect a little more atttention to detail. If it was a player-endorsed but not league-endorsed product I wouldn’t have said anything.

    I may still buy a Pirates or ’79 Rays figure and fix them with some paint someday, so I’m not totally against them. However, if sales aren’t what they expected and they’re wondering why, I’m giving them a reason.

    re Vilk’s comment above, gets me wondering. I feel like there is more awareness of and appreciation for uni aesthetics today than years ago. Now, of course it helps to have a serious journalist giving it full-time attention. But I also wonder if toys and merchandise (and even teams wearing throwback uniforms) have helped too. Does McFarlane still make sports “action figures” – in quotes because zero points of articulation really makes them statues – anymore? The first MLB and NFL figures I remember, in the 1980s, were dreadfully detailed. Faces looked nothing like players, uniforms were slapdash. But McFarlane raised the bar in the 1990s with insanely precise, detailed uniforms on its figures, along with variants representing different uniforms for many teams. Seems like that kind of detail must encourage consumer attention to, well, the details.

    The McFarlane figures are still being made, and some of them do have a limited amount of movement, actually. I own 4 of them – Rich Gannon, Bo Jackson and Tim Brown have movement, Howie Long doesn’t. They’re certainly more detailed than the Starting Lineup figures of the past, though. I think technology is part of it as well as consumer demand. It’s certainly become easier to produce an accurate figure today than it was in the past. The Starting Lineup characters basically followed a template. The heads were different and sorta mostly resembled the player they represented, but the bodies were basically interchangeable with multiple players sharing the same figure with a different paint job.

    GT actually wore those uniforms in the picture last season for one game. It was on a Thursday night, although I can’t recall their opponent. They looked good, but inconsistent with the sleeve striping.

    I sure hope Tech wears the throwback design this fall, even if the sleeve stripes are inconsistent. The last ten years (and longer) Tech has had the worst uni in college football. Still, I’ve decided that no Georgia Tech football uniform looks good.

    I just wish they’d change facemask color. Wearing a black mask on a lighter colored helmet just looks bad.

    This info update doesn’t seem to have been noticed yet, as the GT ticker item still has the inaccurate “previously unseen” bit in it. I wonder if it was because I didn’t get the chance to reply and make that post until after a significant number of comments had been made below? (Hence resorting to bold to grab someone’s attention – sorry about that.)

    Nice to see that Linus, my favorite Peanuts character, is wearing the road pins and M cap, in my mind the most under-appreciated Twins uniform elements in team history.

    I would think that link debate over the M cap once and for all. I mean, c’mon, the most iconic and heart-thumping moment in 115 seasons of franchise history, and it’s the M cap. Case closed! (Kidding: I get that I’m one of the few Twins fans who are now willing to admit ever liking the M cap,and I get why most prefer the TC logo.)

    What I liked about the road pins, aside from their nod to the team’s history as the franchise with the deepest roots in pinstripes, including road pins in 1912, is that they gave the team such a consistent look. If you saw pinstripes, red lettering, and navy cap, you knew it was the Twins. Alongside the Braves of the same era, made them the easiest team in baseball to identify at a glance in highlight clips and photos. Also, the new road script is absolute crap, pinstripes or no.

    A very under-rated uniform. A look that was exclusively the Twins, and dignified. One of my favorites.

    US Soccer will definitely be using that ball for all their home friendlies. They’re allowed to choose their equipment for home friendlies, so Nike will have it written in the contract that they use the Nike ball.

    Incidentally, this sort of thing is one additional reason why UEFA been so adamant about turning qualifiers and friendlies into formal branded competitions (European Qualifiers and Nations League). Formalizing the competition allows them not only to sell centralized media rights, but also centralized marketing rights. It allows UEFA to do things like this:


    Expect a “Nations League ball” soon enough, just as there is a Europa League ball. The point isn’t that anyone expects to sell massive amounts of these at retail. It’s rather that adidas and Nike are massively interested in making sure their model and only their model gets as much screen time as possible – or that, barring that, the competition’s model doesn’t get that screen time.

    Look at that photo again. The ball being played is yellow and orange. Those are colors usually used for Hi-Vis winter balls designed to be played in the snow. Instead, they’re out there for a friendly in May in California. That’s Nike building their #brand, and nothing else.

    You’d think that the players would want to play with the ball that they’ll soon use in the actual World Cup. Remember the Jabulani and US Speed Skating’s new suits? The new suits were untested. The Jabulani had a knuckle ball effect that you’d think players and goalies would want to be familiar with.

    However, of course Nike has the rights to US Soccer and it’s just unfortunate that they have to use the Nike ball instead of get some work in with the ball that they’ll use in the world’s biggest event.

    All the more reason for FIFA to step in and do something intelligent like standardizing the ball (like, you know, every other sport), rather than worrying about a blue uniform somehow not contrasting with a yellow one.

    You’d think that the players would want to play with the ball that they’ll soon use in the actual World Cup.

    Exactly. Yet another example of the tail wagging the dog.

    “Who cares that these games are supposed to prepare them for a major competition, get that swoosh some screen time!”

    Using the official World Cup ball in pre-World Cup friendlies used to be the SOP. I’m thinking this is new.

    In 2006 yes, they used the official Adidas World Cup balls for two of their home warm up friendlies against Morocco (link) and Venezuela. However, for some reason they used a Nike ball for their final home warm up against Latvia (link).
    For 2010 it seems they used only Nike balls for their home warm ups.
    U.S. vs. Turkey: link
    U.S. vs. Czech Republic: link

    the MLS has been using the World Cup ball in their games so some US players will be accustomed to it.
    Agree with the Jeff. Everything about the World Cup ball is annoying & unnecessary.

    La Liga, Serie A and Premier League all use Nike balls (Bundesliga and Ligue 1 use Adidas). Advantage USA?

    Some people thought one of the reasons Germany had a good WC in 2010 was the fact the Bundisliga used the Jabulani the season before the WC.

    Switching the helmet logos in the middle of a series on the road is just flat-out bizarre to me. Did they get them printed in Atlanta and have them shipped to Boston, and they weren’t on time for the first game(s)? Did the equipment guys have them with them when they started the road trip and couldn’t get around to changing all of them before leaving or before the start of the first two games? Did they get them printed in Boston and didn’t get approval to put them on until last night?

    Seems to me it would make more sense to get them printed in Atlanta and sent to the offices there, apply them to both the home and road helmets on a day off where the team is traveling home, and then debut them for the start of a homestand on the home helmets.

    Last night’s game was not “in the middle of a series on the road.” It was the first game of the road trip.

    The Braves’ previous two games were indeed against the Red Sox, but they were in Atlanta. It’s one of those home-and-home interleague things.

    I see that now after re-reading the column. Minor brain fart…however, I defend my brain fart on the reasoning that series ending on Tuesdays and new ones starting on Wednesdays is equally bizarre to me, so it didn’t occur to me right away that was the case.

    Boston and Atlanta are in the middle of a home and home series, so the logo change was with the first game in Boston. So it wasn’t changed in the middle of the series. All of the games played in Atlanta used the “old” logo on their home helmets.

    That logo looks like the same cut-vinyl logo sold by Rawlings in their helmet decal kits. To me, it’s over-sized, but its crisp. It doesn’t look like it was painted with a paint brush, which is what the “old” one looked like.

    Meh, you can’t even tell they’re 3d from more than 10 feet away. Besides, the helmet looks perfectly fine from the front, it’s the side that ruins it.

    “Besides, the helmet looks perfectly fine from the front…”

    Even better when viewed from the back:


    Re: the Packers item in the NFL ticker

    It’s “Bellin Health” rather than Berlin Health. Not that I have any wish to give Bellin Health more exposure. I truly despise those patches.

    I love the little “15” under the magnifying glass in the header instead of the usual “7” to celebrate. A very subtle, almost Google-like, celebratory change.

    “Has anyone else noticed it seems to be alternating between the 7 and the 15?”


    UW Easter Eggs!

    Except that getting the 7 feels more like a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking!

    For international friendlies (and qualifiers too I guess), the ball(s) is(are) provided by the home nation, USA are sponsored by Nike, ergo the ball they used was a Nike one, Adidas only had the contract for the tournaments

    “… … The Yakima Valley Pippins, a new team in the West Coast League, showed off their new unis for the first time (from David Goltry)…”

    Fine name, cool colors, and the traditionalist uni option is sweet. Go Pips!

    As much as I love affiliated minor league ball, it’s refreshing to see small cities letting their franchises leave town rather than subsidizing new stadiums in cities that can’t really support them anyway.

    The Pips will play in the same stadium that the Bears played in–no need to break the bank. My guess is that attendance will be roughly equal. The excellent branding effort may make the team even more popular than the former affiliated team.

    When they play the Walla Walla Sweets play the Pippins will it be called the Produce Bowl?

    Is the gentleman on the far left of the photo wearing link? I like the traditional styling of Yakima Valley’s uniforms, but I’m not sure how I feel about they possibility of a gray-over-white uni combo.

    Delightful silliness today. The Full House jerseys, the Versace t-shirt, hat tricking Bourque’s folk’s lawn. It is also always fun when Uni Watch notices things like the Braves logo that the team itself never noticed. Great stuff today.

    “… For the USA’s friendly against Azerbaijan last night…”

    … the Yanks wore their deeply unsuitable all-red-except-for-a-blue-yoke-on-the-front official World Cup unis. I hope that they’ll rely more on the all-whites when they get to Brazil, but I doubt they will. Yuck!

    I understand that at this stage it really is futile attempting to defend the look from an aesthetic point of view, but what exactly is “unsuitable” about it? Maybe if there was a giant, screen-printed wang on the front (an interesting holding device for the numbers perhaps?) I might understand but there isn’t anything of the sort. Please let me know what you mean, I feel it is important that I am made to understand the social graces I am currently ignorant to regarding a U.S. sports team wearing a red white and blue kit. Thank you.

    At least they picked colors that actually contrast, like that third-rate Spanish federation, or went with something that wasn’t neon unlike Japan.

    Really, I like the the Bomb Pops. It’s a nice change of pace from the staid navy change kits we’ve had in recent years. I think we’ve gotten to a point where we can all agree that USA’s color is white, and we can have fun with the change kit as long as it uses red and/or blue.

    link sums it up pretty well, but in short the shade of blue gives it more the look of the Russian flag than of the American and it’s got way too much red relative to the other colors. Perhaps one could reimagine the white stripe as the hypothetical (and remarkably hilarious) screen-printed wang.

    Dear Padday,

    What Gregg says, as illustrated by that cool link he provides.

    It doesn’t assert American identity. The crest is bad enough, but you compound that weak look with a shirt that is basically the flag of Yugoslavia.

    If were to take things a step further and change the socks as an reverse of the the shirt, you would have kit that looks appropriate for North Korea or worse CONCACAF rival Costa Rica.


    Unsuitable? To start with, the colors are not those of the U.S. flag. Russia, France, Holland, or North Korea would be more suited by the Bomb Pop kit. And if we step away from the flag, even though that’s clearly what the design is intended to evoke, there’s a much stronger and deeper tradition of American national sporting teams using blue, not red, as the dominant uniform color. Did the designers not attend elementary school? Redcoats: Not the good guys! Swap the colors of the Bomb Pop kit, and it would at least look like Team USA.

    The silver lining is that USA is unlikely to get more than three chances to wear it before the Bomb Pop is retired in favor of whatever crappy new uniform that doesn’t look anything like an American team Nike foists on us next. Unless they make the USA women wear the Bomb Pop in Canada next year.

    Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico and Brazil are all teams that will be wearing “unsuitable” jerseys then this World Cup, and in most cases far more “unsuitable” than the U.S. kit.

    The rhetoric is also very sketchy – associating it with Russia (who have never worn anything like it on a soccer pitch, ever) and North Korea reeks of “I can’t think of anything constructive to say so I’ll just compare it to something evil” (Godwin’s Lawesque). In the same vein – Redcoats? I think we’ve moved on from that just a little at this stage. Surely if you’re going to attack the very use of red at all it would fit this whole McCarthyesque crusade much better to just point out that the commies are red? Besides, red has actually been a more prominent aspect of US jerseys over the years than Russian, mostly on account of the fact that Russian kits generally only featured blue and white up until 2006. Maybe the Russians are copying the US?

    The thing is, if you don’t like it because it is aesthetically lacking for you, then by all means please go ahead. Just don’t go pretending that it breaks some bullshit standards of suitability or national identityness or any other codewords employed purely to conceal petty geopolitical prejudices.

    Absolutely granted, there are only so many colors in the universe, and it’s not like the USA is powerful enough in soccer to be known by colors, like the yellow-shirt Brazil team, the as-much-orange-as-possible Netherlands team, or the “El Tri” Mexico team (hey, lose the black!).
    But I think I’m with the plurality. These 2014 jerseys are very sterile. When I think of the USA, I think “stars and stripes.” So give me stripes! link was effing dynamite! link were OK, but they could have grown on me as the “American” consistent design element. link was a very classy look too. But this year? The all-whites are basically more of a Davis Cup at Wimbledon look than a World Cup look, and the “Bomb Pops” just don’t register as striped to my eyes. They’re…color-blocked, like the current Denver Broncos’ or Detroit Lions’ socks. USA needs stripes.
    Oh well, guess Nike won’t get any money from this World Cup-but-not-otherwise-really-a-soccer fan this time. And neither will TJ Maxx.

    Padday, I think you’re reading some things into this that aren’t intended. I, for one, have no ill will at all toward Russia in its current iteration – even though the regime’s Ukraine and Crimea adventures are a bit disappointing. I’ve got some Russian ancestry and would wear a Russia jersey if the occasion presented.

    In the past decade and a half in the US, the color red is counterintuitively used to signify the less left of the two major parties, so red-baiting in the traditional sense is pretty unlikely.

    So let’s all pour a nice tumbler of icy Stoli and toast to a good tournament.

    But it just doesn’t make sense to me that people would get so annoyed about a vague similarity in colour scheme between the Bomb Pop jerseys and the Russian flag (and a hundred others, but mostly the Russian one, and the North Korean one), while hardly anybody is talking about how the home kit is literally the same in almost every way to the England home kit (the collar, a stripe on the side of the shorts and a barely conceivable horizontal stripe pattern being the only differences). The irony of course is that when this World Cup is long in the rear view mirror nobody will remember that home kit, nor a dozen dull “tradition” and “heritage” jerseys from the past decade, but they’ll remember the Bomb Pops, just as everybody remembers the denim from 1994. That’s an American identity for you. That’s the real heritage.

    I’m with Padday. The beauty of the USMNT is that it’s unburdened by history and all the responsibility it entails. The identity isn’t about conforming with the Europeans and the South Americans, but about being an underdog that’s only 24 years removed from sending a bunch of mullet-wearing college kids to Italia 90.

    To put it into American sports terms, USA is Oregon, not Alabama, the Seahawks and not the Browns. We should embrace the hell out of that.

    And who cares if the color’s a little off. The Netherland’s been messing with the shade of orange for ages, and likewise with Italy’s blue and Brazil’s yellow.

    Plus, since we’re headed to Brazil, the colors should be more beach-worthy. That means royal blue, not navy, bright, not sedate.

    Padday, I’m aware that many countries wear soccer kit that’s not directly related to their national flags. But guess what: The United States is not one of those countries. Our flag is red, white, and blue. Our national sports team colors are red, white, and blue. More often than not USA national teams have emphasized the blue and white, with red as an accent color or not there at all. And red is the dominant color of several of our chief sentimental rivals, including England and Russia.

    So when Nike dumps a bucket of red dye onto its Team USA concepts, we have to ask why. The most plausible design reason for going the route Nike went seems to me to be an overt flag reference. Which, fine, but not only does Nike use a blue that doesn’t scan as the American flag – it’s brighter than the flag usually has, and also brighter than Team USA usually uses on athletic uniforms – Nike also arranges the color blocks in a way that much more closely echoes recognizable non-USA flags.

    From a design standpoint, there’s basically nothing defensible about the Bomb Pop uniforms. If they’re a “suitable” design product for Team USA, then really anything is a suitable design for everyone. I actually think they look perfectly fine in the abstract. For Russia or North Korea or, heck, Chivas USA. But these uniforms don’t speak the visual language of Team USA, nor of the United States as a nation more generally. As such, it’s a bad design – unsuitable – for USA World Cup kit.

    Frankly I feel bad about replying, because every time I do it just seems to draw out ever more ridiculous rationalizations from the anti-bomb popers. For instance, you would refer to the legacy of the Cold War as a “sentimental rivalry”? Millions dead, the world plunged on more than one occasion into the shadow of impending nuclear doom and a global division that to this day is still causing armed conflict but we sure have had some laughs, eh? Hey, pro-‘Skins and Wahoo guys, I’ve got a new line for you, the conflict between Europeans and Natives is a “sentimental rivalry”. Got that?

    Can we just remember that these jerseys are not meant in the slightest to be literal representations of the flag? International jerseys, even when based on the flag, are more about an abstract representation, an artistic rendering. If there were a star motif somewhere on the jersey would you call for there to be necessarily exactly fifty stars, no more and no less (other countries have stars on their flag, what if they put as many stars as Australia’s flag, quel désastre!). The whole point of design is not to slavishly copy, but to take inspiration and create something new out of it, and I think colour is as open to interpretation, tinkering and redefinition as any other aspect.

    France have a distinctly darker shade this year than say, in 1998. Portugal, not content with just one shade of red that doesn’t match their flag have gone with several. And those are all on home kits. For the US we’re talking about an alternate, the very definition of “here’s the design brief, but sure whatever, go nuts”. Alternates are going to be slightly odd, but then again, that’s kind of the point. You should be thankful as terrible has said, that you didn’t just get the neon treatment or the BFBS treatment and instead Nike tried to make something interesting and memorable – much more than can be said for the home kit.

    I vote that we just refer to them as the Rocket Pop unis (or whatever your name for that red, white, and blue rocket popsicle is).

    When I first saw the photos on the top of this post, I was expecting to read about the aesthetics of bubble gum.

    Color me disappointed (although intrigued by the helmet logos).

    Now if only Paul could persuade Atlanta to put the red brim back where it belongs on their road caps and helmets. As much as I hate the Braves, their old basic look of the home whites, road grays, and red-brimmed cap might be what I’d consider the best sports uniform of all time. But the all-navy road cap and the crappy alt shirts make the current Braves uniform set among my least favorite in baseball. The new helmet decal is an improvement, but the plain-navy cap remains the Jar Jar Binks of the Braves uniform.

    Agree. The plain navy helmet and cap are boring and doesn’t say “Braves” to me. If they want to have an all-blue cap, they should just resort back to the royal blue caps and unis from the 80s.

    The Braves have uni-drift. That set was unimpeachable when it first came out; the tinkering in the interim has only diluted the uniform.

    I don’t mind the navy road caps, which just joe shows date back to the 60’s, but like Walter I’d rather see the gray jerseys.

    The worst move was back in the late 70’s when Ted Turner took BRAVES off the road jerseys and added ATLANTA.

    I like having the city (or state) name on the road jerseys. Folks in Baltimore were ecstatic when the Orioles put Baltimore back on the road grays. But that’s just my opinion.

    “Not unprecedented” is not a synonym for “right thing to do” or “looks good”. The Braves belong in red-brim caps. I mean, look, the Giants have precedent for wearing purple plaid uniforms; that doesn’t mean they should swap their home cream unis for purple plaid.

    I like the look. It’s clean, a nod to the past and a lot better than 75% of the headgear in the league. If you want to start a war against a Braves cap, start here: link

    I mean, look, the Giants have precedent for wearing purple plaid uniforms; that doesn’t mean they should swap their home cream unis for purple plaid.

    Uh…… Yes, actually it does.

    Someone should be wearing purple plaid, because… reasons. So why not the Giants?

    “Someone should be wearing purple plaid, because… reasons.”

    I’m in full support of the Rockies giving it a try.

    Oh, hey, look, I’m all for someone wearing plaid, purple or not. I mean, once you admit pinstripes into the list of acceptable patterns for an athlete to wear, there’s no rational way to say no to plaid. It’s just that the Giants, even with their dreadful road uni situation, have excellent non-plaid uniforms and non-purple colors already, and so shouldn’t change.

    Even if it’s just windowpane instead of plaid, it’d be great to see. The Rockies lack any really distinctive uni tradition, so they could pull it off. But so could, say, the Rays or Toronto or the Mariners. Heck, the Padres are always screwing with their uniforms; why not try plaid?

    “Heck, the Padres are always screwing with their uniforms; why not try plaid?”

    Only if it’s brown plaid.

    I’m in full support of the Rockies giving it a try.

    Heartily seconded. Would hope for purple and green plaid, though, instead of purple, black and silver.

    A-freakin’-men. The hatred I have for the all-blue road look, along with the navy softball top, burns with the heat of a thousand suns.

    I don’t think the Braves’ all-navy caps look bad. But the gray road uniforms would greatly benefit from the punch of color that the red cap brims would add. Maybe the all-navy caps could be re-designated for home alt use.

    I think you’re right. The problem is that the navy and gray look is just drab. If they wanted to keep the navy softball top and the all-blue hat, they should use them both as home alternates. They would contrast better with the white pants. Of course, since we already have THREE other home jerseys, I guess that won’t happen.

    Or maybe it will.

    Multiduninous amens! This whole thing reeks of “having a second cap just for the sake of having a second cap to sell” … which, come to think of it, probably means the all-navy cap’s not going anywhere.

    But the second cap could just as easily be link on a navy cap with a red bill. Call it the road cap, with the tomahawk in the logo standing for the Braves nickname while the jersey reads “Atlanta.” The two A logos are different enough that if I were a Braves fan, I’d want both, even if the crown and brim are the same colors.

    “. . .the Braves, whose helmet logo has always been fatter than their cap logo.”

    “A Braves spokesperson acknowledged the discrepancy but said, “It’s been that way for as long as we can remember.” ”

    No, not “always”. I guess some of us remember longer than Braves spokespersons.


    The Red Sox are in their “fat” helmet logo phase. Seems they changed their helmets a few years ago to more closely match their higher body mass index cap logo.

    I thought I’ve seen thick Dodger batting helmet logos. My search for photographic evidence returned nothing. Actually it returned something: Every interesting photo on Google image search seems to emanate from

    I have to imagine this has been discussed in the past, but when I saw this posted on Twitter yesterday, it was, well, new to me. Anyone have any background on this apparently-proposed 1985 San Diego Padres logo?


    I’d say the design aesthetic is old enough that it could’ve been a contender for their inaugural logo when they joined the NL in 1969.

    That reminds me of the helmet logo used by The Hawaiians of the WFL; they also used brown, yellow and red-orange for their uniforms:


    I just looked through the OYO Hall of Fame toys. It’s kind of amazing that they went ahead and made separate figures for each of Nolan Ryan’s four uniforms. They also did an A’s and Yankees uniform for Reggie Jackson. But they didn’t include an Orioles or Angels uniform for him.

    Yeah, it’s a little perplexing. The designer must just be a huge Nolan Ryan fan.

    I was surprised that they didn’t include at least one HOFamer from each team that has had one. Not that I can really justify dropping 13 bucks on a tiny Robin Yount–but it would nice to know it existed.

    I watched that Posterized 30 for 30 short. It’s pretty good. Shawn Bradley seems like a great guy.

    I remember trying to find actual posters of the mega dunks on him for my man room. The closest I could find were a blown up picture of that Tracy McGrady dunk on ebay (this was about a year ago. Now I can’t find it)

    Penn State equipment manager, Spider Caldwell is retiring.

    He and his wife, Karen, have been mentioned a few times on Uni-Watch, particularly for having to sew the players names on the jerseys in 2012 when the heat pressed letters started to peel.

    He also was instrumental in preparing this helmets for this tribute to Michael Mauti at the end of the 2012 season:

    One of the nicest guys on the planet. Dealt with him a few times looking for advice on where to get certain things to make a couple of my projects, and he would sometimes even send over parts to me to help.

    I like long-running inconsistencies like the Braves’ helmet logo. I hope the home one doesn’t change. (That would be more fun, right? Home-helmet logo doesn’t match, but road-helmet logo does.)

    Awesome new unis for Georgia Tech, one of the few CFB teams that wears white at home (usually, anyway). Frankly, when I saw the link, I was worried they would come out with some kind of black over black ensemble.

    White is the usual home jersey color at LSU, also, although I have seen the Tigers occasionally wearing purple for a home game.

    Even the Oregon Ducks wore white at home last season for their opener. Of course, it was about 95 degrees that day, so who could blame them?

    Does anyone know of other schools who wear white at home, or are LSU and GaTech the only ones?

    I seem to remember some time ago that CFB had a rule that white could only be worn by the visitors and that SOMEBODY had to wear white every game. The old USC (cardinal) vs. UCLA (powder blue) color-on-color matchup went away for several years. But now, it seems, white is back as a home jersey at some schools.

    I also remember back in the 1960s and early ’70s that Tennessee wore orange all the time (home and away) and UCLA doing the same thing with its distinctive powder blue jerseys. Mainly, I suppose, because no one else wore those particular hues.

    What is the rule on CFB uniform colors? Obviously, as my Ducks have demonstrated time and again, you don’t need to have a standard color scheme. Do the uniform colors of the two teams just have to contrast? (And, as is my standard question, what’s with all the black-on-black?)

    Well, I’m glad you noticed, Phil… like I said in my partially bolded reply above, I’m a little surprised the ticker hadn’t been updated yet.

    In any case, if GT is going with these as their regular unis for 2014, good on them.

    Rob, no offense, but has it occurred to you that I occasionally have other things to do besides updating the Ticker?

    Will fix now.

    That… err, colorful… soccer shirt would look fine… pulled over Donatella’s overly processed face. Couldn’t hurt. Yeesh, what a wreck.

    You want inconsistencies, you got it… one of my all-time favorite looks, on one of my all-time favorite players, and a Hall of Fame person on top of it.


    I thought $690 for a freakin’ T-shirt was pretty ridiculous, but then I did a search…

    Sad to say that we live in a world were a recording artist can charge $120 for a plain white T-shirt and it will actually sell out. There are some other pretty egregious examples, but a plain white T-shirt? I could get a Majestic replica MLB jersey for less! I could probably buy two dozen blank white T-shirts from Hobby Lobby for that much, or less! I could just burn the $120!

    I have to ask… what recording artist are you referring to? I’ve never bought a band shirt for more than $30, and even that was a bit overpriced in retrospect.

    “Sad to say that we live in a world were a recording artist can charge $120 for a plain white T-shirt and it will actually sell out.”

    Compared to that, $199.99 for a bundle of four officially licensed John Fogerty “Fortunate Son” link is a bargain!

    Actually, $50 a shirt would not be unreasonable for higher-end flannel shirts, now that I think about it. If it’s quality fabric and construction, where it feels great to wear and it’s not going to rip or pop a seam when I stretch my arms or something, then I’m willing to go that high. But if it’s just a gimmick like this, then no.

    I’m don’t ever intend to cosplay as John Fogerty, so I see no reason to waste money trying to dress exactly like him. And if I were to do such a cosplay, it’d be time to get my head examined!

    The price for the flannels shirts isn’t outrageous (especially compared to $70 per shirt of you buy them individually). The issue is more that Fogerty has taken one of the key “everyman” symbols he used to convey his social views and corporatized it. There was quite the animated discussion about it in the Uni Watch comments section a little over a year ago.

    The NBA Eastern Conference series has had a different uni look for each of the five games so far. Does anyone know if we’ve ever had a series that long with no repeat unis?

    Game 1- Miami (red) @ Indiana (yellow)
    Game 2- Miami (black) @ Indiana (yellow)
    Game 3- Indiana (yellow) @ Miami (white)
    Game 4- Indiana (dark blue) @ Miami (white)
    Game 5- Miami (black) @ Indiana (white)

    Interesting that the Pacers wore yellow both at home and on the road. How many teams do that nowadays?

    Too bad Indiana had to go out and win Game 5 so they have to repeat a combination. Or maybe Miami will wear one of its throwbacks or alt unis and keep it going?

    Another article today about the Washington Football Club.

    It brings up a 1933 news article in which George Preston Marshall indicated that his decision to change the team name to Redskins was in order to keep the logo of the Boston Braves which avoiding confusion with the baseball team of the same name. link

    This is interesting on several levels:

    1. 1933 was the first year that Marshall was sole owner. Was avoiding conflict with the NL baseball club something he had wanted to do in 1932 and been unable to with his co-owners?

    2. 1933 also saw the team move to Fenway Park, something which would further distinguish them with respect to the NL club.

    3. Its a reminder of just how closely NFL team names were tied to baseball teams. If you look at the NFL lineup for 1933, 6 out of 10 teams were similarly or identically named for the city baseball team. The Boston Redskins (Braves), Chicago Bears (Cubs), Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Pirates. link

    2. 1933 also saw the team move to Fenway Park, something which would further distinguish them with respect to the NL club.

    I think this is the important detail. Marshall wouldn’t have wanted to emphasize a connection to the NL ballclub once they were no longer playing in that club’s park. And “Redskins” may have seemed reminiscent of “Red Sox” in that same little-brother way that so many football clubs used at the time.

    Don’t remember where/when I saw it, but I saw something that strongly implied that Marshall’s choice to change the name was made at the behest of Fenway’s more famous occupant. That should have some implications regarding who bears the cost of rebranding and, were it to go that far, reparations.

    The poster article from Grantland’s great. Half the kids I knew had the Michael Jordan “Flight” poster (the other half had Bob Marley “Legend”), and I remember ripping out the Larry Johnson “Grandmama” ad out of the magazine and pasting it up on my wall.

    “This isn’t the first time Uni Watch has led to an on-field uniform adjustment, but I still get a kick out of it when it happens.”

    Out of curiosity, Paul, what are some of the instances where Uni Watch has been the impetus for a uniform adjustment?

    The A’s had a more drastic cap/helmet logo inconsistency, which was pointed out here about five yrs ago after a reader noticed it. The helmet logo was quickly switched to match the cap logo.

    There’ve been a couple of others, but I honestly don’t recall anymore what they are.

    And of course the Braves decided not to go with a certain BP cap design after UW broke the news that it was in the works….

    I’ll credit Paul for helping to influence Nolan Ryan to pull the plug on those two-tone Texas batting helmets.


    Now can you start working your magic on my Brewers? Their style guide has a tiny error that drives me out of my skull; the “webbing” of their ball-in-glove logo is supposed to be link. But New Era’s the only company to get that right anymore. Somewhere along the way, the style guide seems to have been interpreted that tiny teardrop panel as “transparent”, meaning that it always picks up the background color. Usually that means link. Actually, that link link means link, although on rare link it’s link, and link even link than link.

    If it was just merchandising, I wouldn’t even mind so much. But now it’s link on to actual link, and that drives me batty.

    “And of course the Braves decided not to go with a certain BP cap design after UW broke the news that it was in the works….”

    Not according to John Schuerholz. ;-)

    Oddly enough, my beer league in Ann Arbor MI also has a team called ‘Jesse and the Rippers’. They have a hockey stick photoshopped over the guitar.

    If the Braves change anything, it should be to go with that throwback creme jersey all the time IMO

    I’m still partial to the feather pullovers. I like them better than any of their dark softball tops!

    Though, it’d be impossible to integrate them back into the rotation as regular alternates. The 1972-75 visual program doesn’t mesh with the 1987-present program, and I wouldn’t advocate going back to the 1972-75 unis full-time.

    Insert the classic Boston/Milwaukee tomahawk (with original colors and details), and you’ve got a deal!

    Two items from that column…The Pirates version of the upside-down capital P had the corner cut in the bottom right, which the Mets did not do last year.

    You also say “You can’t really tell the difference between last year’s ersatz “d” and this year’s real thing on d’Arnaud’s jersey — the two letterforms are essentially identical.” A closer look, which is what this website is about, shows that is not so…this year’s upside-down P has a link cut in the lower right corner in the blue layer to simulate the rounded bottom of a lowercase d. It looks like an improvement close-up, but from the stands or on TV, as you note, they would appear identical.

    Wow — you mean that little fleck of orange?

    I confess that I had not seen that. Even after you pointed it out, it took me a minute to see what you meant. But sure enough, it’s there on deGrom’s NOB too:

    Yes…that seems to be the extent of the new lowercase technology on the letter d.

    The new ACC logo is official. Here’s the conference brand book;


    Handy one-stop guide to the colors of the 15 member schools.

    This is great, I love brand guidelines.

    Couple of thoughts:
    * A lot of people are going to screw up and drop the underline, which honestly, seems superfluous. I think the wordmark works well on its own and the underline ends up shrinking the type.

    * If someone made me guess what the logo is for and I didn’t know any better, I’d say it’s for a high speed train in Europe or Asia.

    * It’s good to know *someone* is trying to standardize the Carolina blue. Because the school isn’t doing it.

    “It’s good to know *someone* is trying to standardize the Carolina blue. Because the school isn’t doing it.”

    I’m still trying to figure out the appropriate accent color for the Carolina blue. Navy blue? Black? Both? Neither?

    It should always be navy. Black wasn’t used until last season’s football duds.

    “Handy one-stop guide to the colors of the 15 member schools.”

    It would be if it properly identified the schools’ colors. For example, the guide correctly identifies Florida State’s shade of dark red as garnet on pages 61 and 62, but mislabels it as maroon on page 25. Likewise, the guide refers to Virginia Tech as using maroon on pages 61 and 62 and burgundy on page 35. (Interestingly enough, the guide consistently refers to Boston College’s shade of red as maroon throughout.)

    The Braves helmet logo change is an upgrade, but to me the biggest issue with their set is the bizarre extended connection between the ‘a’ and ‘v’ in ‘Braves’.


    To celebrate 100,000 Facebook fans, Mitchell and Ness is having a sale — all of their jerseys on their site are $100. You need to make an account or log in.


    Their site is getting slammed, but keep trying. It’s only going to be until 1 PM EDT tomorrow 5/30.

    The “fat” A on the Braves helmets goes all the way back to at least the early 1980s. As a kid, I was not happy that my plastic replica helmet had the standard A on it.

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