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Closet Case, Vol. 8: My Favorite Kind of Garment, in My Favorite Colors


For all of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge

As most of you know by now, I love varsity jackets and I love the color scheme of green and gold. Oddly enough, though, I’ve never owned a green/gold varsity jacket — until now.

I got this beauty on eBay for $37.50 — including shipping! For some reason the green tone of the body looks a bit gray-ish in these photos (I tried various settings, lighting conditions, etc.), but trust me — it’s a really nice forest green. I love the leather UCLA-style shoulder stripes and the two-color pocket outlining. Might have preferred gold buttons instead of white, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

The chest patch is a nice, thick chenille. True, James Buchanan was a terrible, terrible president, but I decided not to let that be a dealbreaker either:


The tagging shows that the jacket was made by a Pennsylvania operation called the Standard Pennant Co., which is still in business today (although it looks like they no longer make varsity jackets). Pretty amazing that they’re still around, given that this is precisely the kind of manufacturing business that, for the most part, no longer exists in America:


Makes sense that the jacket was made in Pennsylvania. Why? Because James Buchanan was born and buried in the Keystone State, so the jacket was probably issued by a Pennsylvania high school. I’m thinking it was probably James Buchanan High School of Merersburg, which is located just three miles from Buchanan’s hometown of Cove Gap. And sure enough, their school colors are green and gold. That’s definitely where the jacket is from.

Lettering on the back of a jacket is always a crapshoot — sometimes it really enhances the jacket, sometimes it’s poorly executed or ruins the whole effect. No worries either way on this jacket, because it’s blank on the back:


And how does it fit? Like it was made for me, as you can see in this photo taken on the day after the Kentucky Derby in May (the pooches are Ross and Eulee, who belong to our Derby Day hostess, Penny):


About the only kind of sportswear I like better than varsity jackets are basketball warm-up tops, and I just got one of those too. Check out this 1960s Durene beauty, which I scored for a mere 14 bucks:

photo 1

Is that gorgeous or what? The blue and red tones are super-saturated, and the braid outlining the shoulder yoke and zipper are off-white. And what team was this for? A Knights of Columbus squad:

photo 4

The “K of C” lettering is in tackle twill (and, as you can see, the “O” is a little bigger than the “F” — an endearing glitch). Reminds me of when I was in college and my favorite bar was right next door to a Knights of Columbus, which in turn was across the street from a Kentucky Fried Chicken. One day I said to a buddy of mine, “Look, there’s the KFC, and there’s the K of C.” He looked at me like I was nuts. Little did either of us realize that I’d end up making a living from geeky observations like that one.

There’s no tagging on this one, unfortunately, so I don’t have any clues about where it was made or worn. Too bad.

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Photos by Leigh Greaney; click to enlarge

It took a bit longer than I expected, but I finally got some photos from last week’s Uni Watch 15th anniversary party. About two-thirds of the people who attended are shown in the photo you see above. Here’s a quick rundown on who they are and what they were wearing, starting with the people kneeling in the front row, from left to right:

Dan Bollerman had the guts to wear “normal people clothes” to a Uni Watch party. I always respect anyone who does that.

Marc Rivlin wore a Uni Watch charter member T-shirt — a very nice move. Here’s a better look at it, along with the nifty Brooklyn Americans cap he donned.

Brad Eckensberger wore a Left Field Cards knuckleball T-shirt.

Daniel Shank Cruz wore my favorite item of the entire gathering: a Harry M. Stevens vendor’s polo from Shea Stadium. Genius!

The New Girl wore that awesome Chester R&R Tavern jersey that I wrote about back in April.

Okay, now moving to the back row:

Jesse Buccafusco, who as you can see will soon be bringing a new uni-watcher into the world, wore what she described as “the only thing that still fits.”

Marty Buccafusco wore a completely bitchin’ 1934 U.S. Tour of Japan baseball throwback jersey, a 1927 Bustin’ Babes throwback cap, and Uni Watch stirrups, all of which you can see much better (along with some weird zombie-ish eyes) in this photo of him with Phil.

David Gratt wore a baby-blue 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair T-shirt.

Anya Aliferis dressed like a normal person.

Miles Seligman wore a Yankees cap (no surprise, as he has something like 200 of them) and an NPR T-shirt. I was really glad that he attended, because he was Uni Watch’s first editor back in 1999, when he ran the sports section of The Village Voice. I’ll always be grateful to him for saying, “Yes” when I proposed the then-bizarre idea of a sports column about uniforms. Here’s to you, Miles.

The guy who runs this site ”” eh, we’ll deal with him later.

Phil Hecken was the other person without whom this party wouldn’t have been complete. Phil was originally an enthusiastic reader, then then I let him babysit the blog on the weekends, and soon he had carved out his own little Saturday/Sunday scene. He’s now my essential right-hand man, and it’s hard to imagine Uni Watch without him. One of my favorite moments of the party was seeing him wearing his anniversary T-shirt under the anniversary banner.

Vincent Barone wore a vertically striped blue shirt (sort of like pinstripes!) and a Lincoln Giants Negro League throwback cap. You can see him more clearly in that last photo of Phil.

Jennifer Gallo wore a Yankees cap (“and red lipstick,” she made a point of adding).

Alec Pappas wore a Yaquis de Obregón jersey (that’s a Mexican baseball team) and a Sydney Blue Sox cap (that’s an Australian baseball team).

Mike Engle wore a very cool Canadiens jersey with an exclamation point as the uni number and “Youppi!” as the NOB, along with an Expos cap.

Morgan Doninger wore a Devils Neal Broten jersey.

Two people who didn’t stick around long enough for the group photo, but who I greatly enjoyed meeting at talking with, were Jorge Lopez (2012 Oregon Ducks De’Anthony Thomas jersey and 2003 Yankees World Series cap) and Krystel Guerrero (1995 Miami Hurricanes Ray Lewis jersey with college football 125th-anniversary patch):


As for me, I wore one of my favorite bowling shirts for the occasion, along with coordinating stirrups:


Sharp-eyed readers may recognize this shirt as the one I’m wearing on the site’s “About” page. I love that it’s for a barber shop team and has barber pole striping.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who came out (including Jay Braiman and Matt Geeta, who didn’t show up in any of these photos, and probably a few other folks I’m forgetting) — it was a really fun night. I hope to stage a few more anniversary events as the year progresses.

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’Skins Watch: BuzzFeed editor and lifelong ’Skins fan Joseph Bernstein is renouncing his support of the team until it changes its name (from Don Silsby). … Remember the Philly-area student newspaper editors who planned to boycott the word “Redskins” but were overruled by the local school board? The controversy prompted the editors to publish an “unauthorized” edition of their paper last week, which was confiscated by the principal and assistant principal. The following day — which was graduation day — the papers had been returned. … The ’Skins invited Senate majority leader Harry Reid to attend a game, but he says he will not attend a ’Skins game until the team changes its name (from Patrick O’Neill). ”¦ Esquire has published a piece by a Native American writer explaining why he finds the ’Skins name unaccepatable (from Kyle Kalkwarf). ”¦ What do Larry King and Terry Bradshaw have in common? They agree that the ’Skins should change their name (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Last Week Tonight host John Oliver took on the ’Skins naming controversy the other night:

Baseball News: All teams in the Nationals’ minor league system are wearing a memorial tribute to Vickie Harris, the wife of Harrisburg Senators hitting coach Mark Harris, who died of heart disease earlier this season (thanks, Phil). … Two Royals caps with two different “KC” logos. The thing is, the logo on the white cap is the one that matches the team’s official logo. The team’s official cap is wrong (from Jim Wagner). … Whoa-ho-ho, check out these amazing 1907 American and National League posters (great find by Josh Wilson). … Todd Krevanchi came across of thos great “Say No to Drugs” wristbands from the 1980s, including one featuring Tony Gwynn. … Pete Rose managed the independent Bridgeport Bluefish for one game on Monday, and they had him wear black slacks and an untucked, oversized jersey (from Bob Gassel). … Ebbets Field Flannels has produced a line of baseball-themed clothing in collaboration with the rapper Macklemore (from John Kimmerlein). ”¦ They don’t make ushers’ outfits like these anymore. Those two were working for the Expos, natch, in 1971 (awesome find by Michael Clary). ”¦ The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are having a fan contest to design an IronPigs soccer kit (from Garry Mattox). ”¦ Richard Paloma notes that A’s IF Alberto Callaspo was wearing No. 18 but then he went on the paternity list and came back on Monday wearing No. 7. I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich about it and he said, “He Hasn’t come clean why. Heard he prefers a single digit and 7 was the only one available (worn by Nate Freiman last year).” ”¦ Tony Gwynn played his entire career with one team, but he sure wore a lot of uniforms (from Andy Bartsch). ”¦ The Midwest League All-Star Game (single-A) took place in Comstock Park, Michigan, which apparently explains why both teams’ jerseys had the outline of Michigan on the back (big thanks to Alan Filipczak). ”¦ More Tony Gwynn tributes: Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig was wearing “19” armbands last night, and so was his teammate Adrian Gonzalez (from Andrew Domingo and Daniel DuBay, respectively). ”¦ Here’s Cleveland Brown, from Family Guy, dressed as Willie Stargell. “Great stirrups!” says Mikey Brethauer. ”¦ Casey Kasem, who died over the weekend, had a uni connection: Here he is wearing an Angels uniform in a 1967 commercial for tamales (from Johnny Garfield).

NFL News: This is awesome — a 1970 pamphlet explaining the then-imminent NFL/AFL merger. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions (great find by Duncan Wilson). … Longtime reader/designer Michael Princip has come up with a new helmet design. “The focus is on rotational dynamics within the padding system, and how it correlates to the shell and faceguard design,” he says. Mike has been working with a major helmet manufacturer, so this design may ultimately make the jump from the drawing board to the field. ”¦ Here’s a Texans logo I’ve never seen before (thanks, Brinke).

College Football News: Hmmm, is Michigan State planning on wearing white helmets for the game against Oregon on Sept. 6? Could be (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Not uni-related, but longtime reader and super-duper Rangers fan Alan Kreit was walking around midtown Manhattan on Monday afternoon and who should he bump into? None other than NHL commish Gary Bettman. “He was with Bill Daly, his deputy commish,” says Alan. “I was very respectful, didn’t give him any crap about the lockout. Just said, ‘Hello, Mr. Commissioner.’ Told him I was a big Rangers fan and they said it was the best season in a long time. They asked if I thought they should dump Richards and said they don’t know why Nash was so bad. Also, they agreed that the Rangers may lose some of their role players, but that’s what happens with success these days. I wish I’d thought to ask about the inconsistent officiating and how it cost the Rangers so badly.” … Did the Blues just leak a subtle change to their primary logo? Maybe (thanks, Phil).

NBA News: The Hornets will unveil their new uniforms tomorrow, I think in the 11:30am-ish ET range. … Here’s a look at all the three-peat gear that the NBA had planned for the Heat. … The new D-League team in Grand Rapids will be called the Drive.

Soccer News: Here’s a really fun interactive page: The New York Times removed the ball from some World Cup photos and you have to guess where the ball would be (from intern Mike Chamernik). ”¦ Did you know the Telstar ball — the icosahedron or “checkerboard” design — was named after a satellite? It’s true! “It think it remains popular because it is the ball that accompanied soccer into the television age,” says Cort McMurray. “For most fans between, say, 35 and 50, it’s the ball they grew up watching. (I personally think the NASL version, with the stars, is THE soccer ball.” ”¦ In a related item, 12 of the 32 World Cup teams use the icosahedron ball in their logos (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The Brazilian player Neymar has the top-selling World Cup jersey. … Soccer players can’t use their hands, so why does the World Cup logo feature hands? Here’s the explanation. … And speaking of the WC logo, check out life imitating art — or at least imitating a sleeve patch (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Here’s how Nike designs jerseys that can perform in varying temperature conditions (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Graham Clayton that Belgium’s shirt for the game against Algeria included the venue, date, and opposing team’s flag. ”¦ Bill Dadocy has updated his awesome document listing all the World Cup rosters. “I usually make changes after the first round of games to account for mistakes I’ve made, roster changes, club changes, better player pics, etc.,” he says. A major public service. ”¦ Speaking of public services, here’s a mountain of stuff from Trevor Williams: There’s news of a possible Mexican white kit. … New kits for Tunisia, Latvia, Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruña, Athletic Bilbao, Sunderland,
Watford (the away shirt is a “tribute” to the players who served in World War I, as their home kit was black and white stripes during that period), Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest (no sponsor!), AFC Bournemouth, Glasgow Rangers (the shirt is a nod to voting “No” on the upcoming Scottish Independence vote, as many Rangers fans are Unionists), Hearts (the away design is based on Argentina’s home shirt), Dundee United, Cowdenbeath (their nickname, beneath their crest, is Blue Brazil), Karlsruher SC, Fortuna Düsseldorf, FC Heidenheim , SC Paderborn 07, Porto, PSV, Panathinaikos, AC Ajaccio, Steaua Bucharest, Austria Wien, SK Sturm Graz (the goalkeeper looks like a walking advertisement), Club Atlético Independiente, and Toluca Home.

Grab Bag: APL Sneakers — a brand I’d never heard of before, although it apparently has a cult following — has released several new styles (from Tommy Turner). … There’s a new kind of helmet that can supposedly detect if you’ve had a stroke. ”¦ Check out these crazy Mexican wrestler bottle openers. ”¦ A guy who made this anti-Marlboro parody T-shirt got a cease-and-desist order from Philip Morris. To which the guy’s lawyer replied, “Bring it” (from Eric Bangeman). ”¦ Air plants are so fucking weird. ”¦ Best news of the week, or maybe the year: the return of the Powerpuff Girls! ”¦
Ever been to Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo? It’s one of America’s greatest works of public art. I’ve been there twice: in 1997, when my then-galpal and I were in the midst of a cross-country road trip, and then again a few years later when I was working on a travel story about restaurants that issue eating challenges to their customers and stopped in Amarillo to eat at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. (No, I was not able to finish the 72-ounce steak.) Anyway, the eccentric dude who commissioned Cadillac Ranch, Stanley Marsh 3, died yesterday. RIP.

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What Paul did last night: In a perfect world, the Mets would be good and I’d enjoy watching them as much as possible. Alas, the Mets are damn near unwatchable at the moment, but fortunately there’s been a ton of good live music to help pick up the slack. Last night I saw the Australian hotshot Courtney Barnett (quite good — she’s more of a rocker than I’d expected), and back on Friday I saw the great Cincinnati punk-pop band Tweens (completely awesome — I’d give my left nut to be able to play like their bassist). And if I hadn’t been so busy lazy, I would’ve gone out and seen Sugar Pie Desanto on Saturday and that very cool-sounding Ornette Coleman tribute on Thursday.

Live Music: It’s Better Than Watching Reuben Tejada Try to Hitâ„¢. Okay, maybe that’s not the catchiest slogan, but you get the idea.

Comments (200)

    RE: Cadillac Ranch…

    Between Orlando and Tampa, FL there is an “Airstream Ranch”. It’s next to an Airstream dealer. I’ve never stopped (or slowed) to take my own photos, so please enjoy these from the google.


    Hey, while we’re trying to design safer football helmets, can we also try to make them so the chinstraps don’t block the damn logos?

    Look at how silly the link.

    That’s right, the dark green socks don’t match the light green jersey and pants. Sure, the link, but on TV, it just looks like he’s wearing the wrong socks.

    He also fumbled a routine shot and allowed Korea to score.

    “He also fumbled a routine shot and allowed Korea to score.”

    That’s what really made him look silly.

    The Royals KC cap logo has been “wrong” for 40 years. From 1969-72 when they wore flannels, the cap logo was the official logo. In 1973 they switched to the double-knits and it seems the caps were still the same, looking at 1974 Topps cards. In 1974, the caps definitely changed to the current “wrong” logo.



    Wow, all kinds of goodness in today’s entry. Powerpuff Girls, The Big Texan, … but if you don’t mind I’ll just continue thinking the first instrumental to top the U.S. Billboard charts was what inspired the name of the Telstar ball, TYVM.

    Anyway, though James Buchanan unquestionably was “a terrible, terrible President,” perhaps you can take some small measure of pride in knowing he was the last U.S. President ACTUALLY born in a log cabin. The cabin itself is still standing even, albeit not in Cove Gap (where it’s location is marked instead by a stone pyramid); rather, it’s tucked away in a copse of trees on the campus of Mercersburg Academy (my alma mater!), just to the right of the football field & track (though not discernible) in this picture:
    In my day (late ’70s), due to the cover it provided the cabin was where students who’d snuck out of their dorms after curfew would meet – and spark – up. Here’s what it looks like:

    Has a cancelled show ever come back and actually been as good as it was originally? The resurrected versions of Futurama and Family Guy were/are certainly inferior. I’m struggling to recall any other shows that were actually completely brought back. Firefly had the Serenity movie, Farscape had the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series thing, and there was a pair of Stargate SG-1 “movies” which took place after the show ended, but I can’t think of anything else. I liked the Powerpuff Girls, but I really doubt that the new episodes are going to capture the magic of the original show.

    Fair points.

    The key, I think is to avoid making version 2.0 a wink-wink homage (or, even worse, a phoned-in, by-the-numbers homage) to the original. In other words, you have to keep it as a creative project and not let it devolve into mere product.

    Which is hard.

    Serenity was indeed all manner of awful (mostly because it was a betrayal of the show’s basic premise), but there were reports that Whedon was intending to jump-start a revised Firefly series, which would then ignore the film altogether and pick up where the first series left off. That would have been interesting to see.

    There are those who believe that Battlestar Galactica 2.0 was far superior to the original.

    I’m not one of those people, though.

    Dallas 2.0 was really good (though this scaled-back iteration would in no way have the cultural impact of the “Who Shot JR?” era); the passing of Larry Hagman has left a huge hole.

    “… Did you know the Telstar ball – the icosahedron or ‘checkerboard’ design – was named after a satellite? It’s true! ‘It think it remains popular because it is the ball that accompanied soccer into the television age,’ says Cort McMurray. ..”

    Telstar was a big deal. The idea of a communications satellite instantly linking everywhere captured the public imagination. And, yep, scottrj and I both instantly summon the 1962 “Telstar” instrumental by The Tornados, an English band. Hard to believe it was the first rock instrumental to make Billboard #1 (“Walk, Don’t Run”?; “Rebel Rouser”?), but it was certainly one of the first Brit pop song to crash the charts. Always thought the piece sounded like what you would imagine would come out of the loudspeakers of a forced-labor fascist gulag in some bleak future distopia.

    I stand corrected re Telstar. Not the first instrumental to go #1 in the U.S., but the first instrumental to top BOTH the U.K. and the U.S. charts. Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny was one of several #1 instrumentals that preceded Telstar in the U.S. (Neither Rebel Rouser nor Walk Don’t Run ever hit #1, though).

    And upon further investigation, thanks for dashing my hopes Jeff. History doesn’t bode well for restored shows. I daresay Buffy the Vampire Slayer did a decent job of it relative to its peer group, but its final two seasons could hardly qualify as “good.”

    Season 6 of Buffy certainly blew but season 7 was good. Both were better than season 4 but nowhere near as good as seasons 1, 2, 3 or 5.


    There’s a football (soccer) team in Holland called Telstar. They were formed in 1963 by the merger of two teams. They currently play in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier of football in Holland.

    Uni-wise however they are a bit boring – all white have always been their colours.

    The irony of Macklemore selling a $195 jersey and a $40 baseball cap is maddening.

    I’m sure you’ll be able to get them at a thrift shop for much, much, much cheaper in a few months.

    “Devils *Neal Broten jersey”. For obvious reasons, I am sensitive to the “ei” vs. “ea” spelling variations.

    I think that’s exactly what it is. Kinda uncreative, but I guess that’s expected when you’re the farm club…err… “developmental team” for a team that literally uses a wordmark on top of basketball as a logo. The 90’s teal Pistons had the only good logo in franchise history.

    Though I think the nickname ‘Drive’ seriously sucks, all four name finalists were terrible. ‘Drive’ is boring, but ‘Chairmen’ and ‘Horsepower’ were potential trainwrecks. Carwrecks?

    They ignored my ‘Crankshafts’ submission, but at least that would have been fun and memorable in a Lansing Lugnuts sort of way.

    That is a sweet varsity jacket. My favorite thing about it is that it’s for a high school named after America’s worst president. How do you instill school spirit at a place named after a guy who was the worst at his job? Do they have football cheers like, “Count it, fold it, put it in your purse! Some have argued Nixon was worse!”

    On road trips, I make a point to try to visit historical sites relating to our more obscure or infamous presidents. I’ve been to the Tippecanoe massacre site – er, I mean, “battlefield” – and the Herbert Hoover birthplace and several others. A highlight was a July 4 visit to Wheatland, President Buchanan’s home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A beautiful mansion kept open by the county because neither the federal nor the state governments want anything to do with Buchanan.

    Teapot Dome = not worth the effort (I’ve seen it). The spout & handle each fell off long ago.

    Teapot Dome is the most interesting thing to do in the Casper area now that the Casper Ghosts no longer play at Mike Lansing field.

    Hell’s Half Acre, Independence Rock, and Alcova Reservoir would like a word with you, mike2. As would the driving through the Wind River Indian Reservation to visit the Hot Springs & Buffalo Preserve in Thermopolis.

    Actually, one of the neatest things Casper did was about 10 years ago with the buffalo sculpture project. Driving around town trying to spot them was actually pretty enjoyable.

    Not a presidential site, but probably tops on my bucket list: Trinity Site, where the first atomic explosion turned the desert floor to glass. Of course, as a place where a nuclear bomb went off, visiting it probably hastens the arrival of one’s bucket.

    Wasn’t green and gold the primary school colors of James Buchanan High, the setting (in Brooklyn, no less) of “Welcome Back, Kotter”?

    “Count it, fold it, put it in your purse! Some have argued Nixon was worse!”

    arrScott, when you eventually get around to creating the “Great Cheers for Schools Named After Horrible Presidents” site, I will be charter member #1. This right here is gold.

    Seriously! Harding Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is definitely in need of arrScott’s services.

    But Warren Gamaliel Harding already has a kick-ass song by Al Stewart:


    Who needs cheers when you’ve got a song like that to work with?

    You mean “Year of the Cat” isn’t Al Stewart’s only song?! Everything the classic rock stations have taught me is wrong!

    Not sure if this was already known, but the bases in the Pete Rose picture look to be red with 14 on them for Rose.

    Looking at those World Cup team logos, what’s interesting is that a few teams are still using older ball designs.

    And I still prefer “buckyball” over “truncated icosahedron”. It just sounds better.

    Out of the 32, I think the link is the only one using the really, really old pre-Buckyball 18-panel design. Old school.

    I think the two cards of Gwynn in the Winfield/O.Smith era Padres uniforms are Photoshopped. One photo is a spitting-image of Gene Richards 1979 Topps card. Can’t find the card of the one taken in Candlestick Park. The other telltale (and more obvious) sign is Gwynn didn’t play in the 1970’s.

    “…travel story about restaurants that issue eating challenges…”

    And now Adam gets all the accolades.

    Tony Gwynn didnt wear the 2nd & 3rd uni’s in those photos…. I dont know who those pics are of, but it looks like they put his head in there

    Key quotes:

    “…they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered…”

    “We presented a wide variety of evidence — including… evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups — to demonstrate that the word ‘redskin’ is an ethnic slur.”

    That kinda gives a lie to several defenses for the nicknames:
    * “Why do we do we suddenly care about a nickname that’s been around for 80 years?”
    * “We’ve gotten overly PC in recent years – it used to be okay to say these words!”
    * “Only white liberals care about this.”
    * “The word isn’t a slur.”

    A very significant development, though. Many of us have speculated that the name would only ever be changed if there was a clear economic incentive to do so. Losing their trademarks would certainly qualify.

    Still reading the decision, but never seen link before.

    Never implied it was a done deal! Besides, you can definitely have multiple climaxes in one chain of events. (They would be relative climaxes in that case–there can only be one absolute climax.)
    //As Yogi Berra said, and as we’re seeing with Donald Sterling AND Daniel Snyder, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

    Aren’t you? ;)
    Efforts to force change by bureaucratic fiat are disturbing, and this particular decision may be precedent setting in ways we probably cannot even imagine (even though the courts will have ‘final’ say’ on the matter, the cycle will surely begin anew until what is sought is what is dispensed).

    Administrative rulings you don’t like: “Bureaucratic fiat.”

    Administrative rulings you like (I’m guessing): “The administrative process.”

    If you’re opposed to the whole concept of trademark law, that’s an intellectually defensible position, so come on out and defend it.

    Otherwise, deal.

    While I think the Redskins name needs to be changed, I don’t like this method by the Patent Office. Why? Well, what happens if say the Dallas Cowboys is deemed offensive to Native Americans? The Government can now effectively ban speech they don’t like if this holds up. The way to get the Redskins name changed is through the power of the people not the heavy hand of government. This puts us all on the path where the government can come down on anyone that doesn’t toe the line in terms of speech. Free speech is hard. Means you have to allow speech from those who make your blood boil. Giving essentially the executive branch agencies the power to determine what is or isn’t acceptable speech is a bad road to travel in the long run.

    You do realize you’ve just offered a spirited defense of the very agency decision that you decry, right? The US PTO’s decision means that now the term “Redskins” will have to compete for acceptance in the marketplace of ideas without the government protection it heretofore has enjoyed.

    What’s not to like about that?

    “Well, what happens if say the Dallas Cowboys is deemed offensive to Native Americans? The Government can now effectively ban speech they don’t like if this holds up.”

    Your assumptions are incorrect on every level. The Lanham Act (the law under which the USPTO’s decision is based) prohibits granting trademark registration for disparaging terms. To be disparaging, a term must describe or identify a person or group in a negative way.

    In your rather far-fetched hypothetical, it would never matter whether some Native Americans considered “Cowboys” and offensive term. It isn’t a term that disparages Native Americans (or any other group, for that matter), so the Lanham Act doesn’t apply.

    Secondly, this decision has nothing to do with the First Amendment and free speech. Dan Snyder and his team are free to say whatever they want and call the team whatever they want. They just don’t get to prevent other people from using the same term in a commercially profitable way.

    It can’t be emphasized enough that this is not a First Amendment issue. At all.

    1) Congress’ power to grant and regulate patents and trademarks is enumerated in the Constitution itself. It cannot be unconstitutional for the government to do something the Constitution commands it to do.

    2) Dan Snyder has a First Amendment right to call his business whatever he wants. He could be intellectually honest and change the name to the Washington Niggers tomorrow and no government agency could stop him. Trademark protection, though, is a privilege, not a right. It’s a special benefit awarded by the government to some individuals and businesses and not to others. It is a government-granted monopoly. If you want to get a special benefit from the government, then you have to play by the government’s rules.

    The Constitution grants Congress power to grant patents and copyrights, not trademarks. I haven’t looked into it, but I assume that federal trademark law is based on the interstate commerce power.

    Now everyone can profit off of the racist logo! Victory!

    Just kidding, I do realize what this means and that it could potentially be the end

    Obviously there’s going to be an appeal and the case will drag on for at least another 5 years. This doesn’t actually stop them from being the Redskins, it just stops them from going after counterfeiters. A few shady individuals might make some decent money from this, but the team isn’t going to actually suffer that badly as most fans will still want authentic products.

    Personally, I don’t think the government has any place in determining whether or not any given word is “disparaging”, as nearly every word can be used that way if it’s the intent of the speaker. English is rather versatile in that way. We have a language where “bad” can quite literally mean “good” in the right context. Trademark protection should either be given to anyone who requests it, or to no one at all, not based on ever-changing arbitrary standards of acceptableness.

    “Trademark protection should either be given to anyone who requests it”

    Well that’d be anarchy… Anyone could copyright literally any word and image in the realm of existence. You could own the word “the” and demand a licensing fee for everyone who uses the word to gain profit.

    Good point… add “within reason” to my previous post. If you want to call your business or product “thing” then you should be able to trademark “thing” even if some groups find it to be insulting or whatever.

    But the government must have some standards in exercising its authority to grant market-distorting monopolies. Which is what the patent and trademark power is: The government gives a private enterprise a commercial monopoly, which the private enterprise is empowered to enforce against the rest of the marketplace with much of the power of the state at its disposal. And this power is enumerated in the Constitution, so this isn’t a question of First Amendment free speech.

    In our very large language of something like 600,000 words, each word has a unique meaning and history. It simply is not true that every word is the equivalent of “nigger,” so therefore it is impossible to distinguish among words.

    This is the beginning of the end.

    Its quite rare for the USPTO to enter this kind of decision. They don’t do this for the asking or on a whim.

    For an industry worth billions, there’s no way Snyder will stick with a name he can’t protect. Counterfeiters will be all over this.

    Boycotts can be effective but this will cost the team gobs of money.

    arrScott: trademark protection isn’t a constitutional right, only patent & copyright protection are. But trademark protection preceded the Constitution’s ratification, so there’s that – it was only codified by passage of the Lanham Act in 1946.

    ever-changing arbitrary standards of acceptableness.

    But if you actually read the ruling, it clearly says that the word was disparaging at the time of the initial trademark application. “Redskin” didn’t suddenly become a slur – it’s been historically offensive.

    I have a stupid question…assuming this ruling is upheld and/or the team agrees to change it’s name, what does this do to the sale of throwback/historic gear? So let’s say they become the Washington RedHawks and they want to produce some Redskins throwback gear. Will the trademark be protected then? Is it possible for them to compremise with the US Patent Office on this sort of thing?

    The ruling doesn’t mean they have to stop using the name. The thinking is that losing trademark protection might compel the team to change the name (or get the league to encourage changing the name).

    They’re free to keep using the name. They just can’t stop other people from profiting off the name too.

    But what about when they do change the name? Will there be any compremise that allow for the old Redskins trademark to be enforced and keep others from producing Redskins throwback gear?

    Will there be any compremise that allow for the old Redskins trademark to be enforced and keep others from producing Redskins throwback gear?

    IANAL, but no. Not if this decision stands (I don’t know how the appeals process works, presuming there is one).

    Once the trademarks have been cancelled, that’s it. 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) “prohibits registration of marks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute”. There’s no “compromising” or striking deals to get those marks reinstated.

    I would guess this ruling only applies to trademarks that include the offending word, so the franchise would still have control of visual trademarks such as the helmet logo?

    there’s going to be an appeal and the case will drag on for at least another 5 years.

    Do you have a source for this time frame statement, or are you just talking out of your ass?

    In any case, let’s say you’re right and it takes five years. Or 10 years. Whatever — it’ll happen when it happens. Just like today’s ruling did.

    As for the rest of your comment, you really have zero concept of how trademark law works. And that’s fine, but you should probably stick to commenting about things you’re knowledgeable about, like uniforms.

    The fuck are you talking about you pinheaded liberal asswipe. He’s making a prediction that it will drag on in court. That’s your stock reply to anything that you find the least bit offensive (which seems to be mostly everything)

    You need a source that they’re going to appeal and that this will drag on for years? It seems pretty obvious. It’s happened before.

    You want a source that the sky is blue and the grass is green as well?

    He didn’t say years. He made a very specific prediction of at least five years, and I was wondering if he had a source for that.

    I don’t know how long USPTO appeals take. Do you? If so, please enlighten us. Thanks.

    Kind of strong words for a comment where the author of the quote you highlighted and responded against. I believe we all took him as no literal.

    I mean reading through it people are being respected and having maturity about a subject and lots of great back and forth and you choose to pick on a guy for saying “5 years” instead of “for years”.

    Then confront him as and state he is talking out of his ass?

    Calm down dude. It’s a comment section, not a New York Times article.

    I’m guessing what Rusty was trying to say, in not such a nice way, was that you sound like you are talking down to your commenters.

    I don’t know if it was intended as snark or not, but it certainly reads that way.

    Why the rudeness again? Don’t you want an intelligent discussion on this without resorting to insults and vulgarity? What has happened to you? Didn’t the process in the U.S. Federal Court (not the USPTO btw) take ten years the last time? I’ve read the decisions, and WaPost summarizes: “In addition, Native Americans have won at this stage before, in 1999. But the team and the NFL won an appeal to federal court in 2009.” Am I misunderstanding you that you think it may be *longer* than five years?

    Actually, Jeff, the Redskins theoretically could continue to pursue counterfeiters by invoking their common law trademark rights. The problem being, that having a USPTO-registered trademark per federal statute (1) results in a legal presumption of the holder’s exclusive right to control use of the trademark (i.e., puts the burden of proof on the alleged infringer), and (2) provides for specific damages. Not having a registered trademark therefore makes success in litigation less certain, likely more costly to achieve, and makes calculating damages more nebulous once liability is established. That said, given Daniel Snyder’s well-documented pugnacity it’s certainly possible he’d continue trying to bully counterfeiters by invoking his common law trademark rights – his use of the Redskins names certainly meets the necessary legal criteria for doing so. (Until he eventually concedes defeat by declaring victory and changing the team’s name).

    Even if people still want authentic gear, losing trademark protection would be a huge hit, as there is much more branded stuff out there than jerseys. The reason so many people wear other stuff from the jersey manufacturer is that the NFL’s licensing prevents other companies from using the logo. Given a choice between a $25 Nike T-shirt and a $12 Hanes T-shirt, I’m sure many would choose the latter.

    WARNING, UNINFORMED OPINION/GUESS: I’d think the real impact of an appeal would not be to delay losing the trademark but to buy time to backtrack and make the change on their own before losing the trademark, now that they’ve finally got a real economic impetus to do so.

    I am interested to see what kind of effects this ruling will have on the Redskins’ relationship with the NFL officially licensed merchandise providers. I assume Dan Snyder would continue to expect his share of the licensing fees from the league’s official partners, but will the Nikes and New Eras of the world be willing to pay those fees for the portion of the licensing package that includes Washington’s logos and marks?

    And since licensing fees are ostensibly incorporated into the price of officially licensed merchandise, does that mean Nike and New Era would sell Washington gear for slightly less money than the same products branded with other teams’ marks? My first reaction is to laugh and say “of course not,” but if they’re competing against unlicensed ‘Skins gear, it might be an economic necessity.

    “Trademark protection should either be given to anyone who requests it, or to no one at all, not based on ever-changing arbitrary standards of acceptableness.”

    And, once granted, should not be retro-actively rescinded by future officials absent of demonstrable evidence that is was erroneously granted in the first place?

    evidence that is was erroneously granted in the first place

    Which the plaintiffs provided.

    So the board, in an effort to reduce the alleged disparagement of American Indians through this singular use of the proper noun Redskins, lifted the restrictions they put in place back then so that the name can ‘now’ be used by everyone?
    That sounds reasonable.

    That would make sense if the restrictions were put in place back then “to reduce the alleged disparagement of American Indians”. They were not.

    The restrictions were put in place to grant an exclusive governmental license to make money off the name. Except that the government shouldn’t be in the business of stamping its approval on racial slurs, so they’re getting out now.

    in an effort to reduce the alleged disparagement

    Nope. The term could always be used by everyone. It just allowed the Washington football team to go after people who used the mark in trade.

    Intent or not, one could argue that it did work that way. If the trademark remains revoked, it does mean that anyone can find the most offensive depiction of a Native American they want and slap the Reskins mark on it, and thus be far more offensive than the football team ever was.

    /Unintended consequences are the best consequences.

    (and, as you can see, the “O” is a little bigger than the “F” – an endearing glitch

    You sure that’s a glitch? Could be intentional, so as to make it clear that it’s the word “of” and not an abbreviation of two less significant words (K. o. f. C. – Knights of fucking Columbus) or something.

    That’s one interesting possibility but if they put that much thought into it you would think they would have made the difference in sizes more pronounced and/or have had the F line up with the bottom of the O instead of the top of it, or just used a lowercase f instead of a capital F for that intention.

    I think it’s slightly more likely the shop doing the lettering was either just using whatever precut letters they already had on hand that they thought we close enough or possibly recycling letters (and up very close you would probably notice some holes from the previous stitching).

    FWIW, as a Knight of Columbus, I’ve noticed lots of inconsistencies in the way the “of” is rendered in abbreviations, particularly with older items. I’ve also noticed quite a consistent use of that shade of blue on all manner of items.

    Wow. Rangers fans STILL bitching about the refs. They didn’t cost the Rangers anything. The Rangers terrible power play and the greatness of the Kings cost the Rangers.

    Fine; I’ll go there. A blown offside call (for the tying goal) and a not-called slash (that directly led to the winning goal) are how the Kings got to the Finals in the first place.

    Let’s move on to the 2014-2015 season, please. Everyone has a theoretical chance, no calls have been blown.

    You want irony? Forget Macklemore. How about Darryl Strawberry’s anti-drug wristbands?!

    I know the focus here is uniforms which I alway enjoy. I also enjoy the “What Paul Did Last Night” feature; especially today when it turned me on to an amazing singer I never heard before, Courtney Barnett.

    Thank you for the new ear candy Paul!

    This just in from the Washington Post-U.S. Patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging

    But not surprising. The law and the facts are remarkably clear on this. There’s basically no way the USPTO could rule otherwise than it did. The only real question is whether federal courts will permit the decision to stand, which will mainly be a question of the standing of those who brought the complaint to challenge the earlier regulatory ruling. This will be a tough question for conservatives on the judiciary, because a ruling protecting the Redskins will tend to limit both individual and business rights to challenge regulatory decisions elsewhere – such as EPA or FEC or labor rulings. Judicially, this could get quite interesting!

    It’s worth noting that the USPTO made the exact same ruling in 1992, but was overturned on a technicality. And obviously, the same could happen again.

    And that’s the technicality that nixed the 1992 decision. It comes down to standing. But the way the current challenge is structured, a ruling overturning it on standing grounds would effectively put an immense amount of past regulatory actions beyond the ability of any person to challenge, ever.

    There are no legal “technicalities.” The law is the law, and the fine print is just as important as the boldface text. It all counts.

    I’m not sure I can agree with that, Paul. I don’t think “technicality” indcates bad law or less important. It just is.

    The Court of Appeals overturned the original decision on procedural grounds, without any regard to the merits of that decision. That left the essential legal questions in the case unresolved, a situation which is worthy of an appropriate designation.

    You say “procedural grounds” as if that doesn’t count. It counts! It’s part of the law! Standing is important.

    We often hear about illegally obtained evidence that’s tossed out “on a technicality.” But rules of evidence are not technicalities — they’re the law!

    We often hear the statute of limitations referred to as “a technicality.” But it’s not a technicality — it’s the law!

    Being guilty of something doesn’t mean you committed the act; it means you fit the legal criteria to be found guilty. Not the same thing, and the latter is not a technicality — it’s the law!


    Being guilty of something doesn’t mean you committed the act; it means you fit the legal criteria to be found guilty. Not the same thing, and the latter is not a technicality[.]

    I think a better example would be to say that being found not guilty of something doesn’t mean you did not commit the act. It means the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did commit the act.

    “Being guilty” of something — as distinct from “being found guilty” or “being adjudicated guilty” — means you did commit the act. The word “guilty” applies only in a criminal context, and in order to be guilty of a crime you must have committed a criminal act (the actus reus). Merely existing in a particular state of being cannot be a crime, and doing nothing cannot be a crime unless there is an affirmative legal duty to act, which there almost never is.

    Being found or adjudicated guilty does mean that you committed the act, in the sense that it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law to a jury of your peers that you committed the act, which is as certain as anyone can be. Of course, the verdict could be wrong, but to anyone other than the defendant that is ultimately unknowable. So in that sense being found guilty doesn’t necessarily mean that you did it, but to the extent it can reasonably be known whether you did it or not, you did it and it may be presumed that you did it.

    Being found “not guilty,” on the other hand, doesn’t mean that you didn’t do it, nor does it mean that you proved you didn’t do it or that there is necessarily any proof of any kind that you didn’t do it. It means that the state failed to prove that you did do it. You didn’t “fit the legal criteria to be found [not] guilty,” because there are none; the state did not meet the legal criteria for you to be found guilty.

    You’re certainly right about one thing: None of this is “technicality.” These are the essential elements of criminal justice.

    The word “technicality” is typically invoked to refer to procedural law, as distinct from substantive law. But as you pointed out, procedural law is still law. In many respects procedure is more important than substantive law, especially in the criminal context. Note that procedural law, including jurisdictional and evidentiary requirements, is largely derived directly from the Constitution, whereas substantive law for the most part is not.

    The word “technicality” is typically invoked to refer to procedural law, as distinct from substantive law. But as you pointed out, procedural law is still law.

    Absolutely. There’s a good reason to have a term separating the two. Doesn’t mean procedural law is somehow less valid or less legal.

    There’s a good reason to have a term separating the two. Doesn’t mean procedural law is somehow less valid or less legal.

    But that’s exactly what the term “technicality” has come to imply in our cultural parlance. To most people it signifies that the ruling is somehow bullshit or nitpicky or less legitimate or something along those lines. But it’s not — it’s the law!

    Paul, there is a real and important difference between what we might loosely call the law, the facts, and procedure. In this case, the law says the USPTO may not grant protection to a mark that disparages. The facts of the case are unambiguous that in granting the Redskins trademarks, the USPTO did grant protection to a mark that disparaged. The law and the facts are not in serious dispute. The Redskins have, again, lost on the merits.

    The procedural or “technical” question, though, is a matter of significant legal doubt: Do those who brought this complaint to the USPTO to review their prior, erroneous decision, have legal standing to bring the complaint? That’s an important and interesting question, but it is not at all related to the other questions of what trademark law says and how that law applies to the facts of the case. So it’s useful to distinguish between the substance of the case and the procedural or technical questions that accompany it.

    Fine — call it an issue of procedural law. I’m not disputing that such a category exists. But the term “technicality” has assumed a pejorative connotation in our culture. That’s wrong, and that’s why I will continue to argue against its casual use.

    So Paul, how confident are you the jacket belonged to link? He wrestled (at least once) at the link weight class, which would probably mean a jacket about your size. Right?

    The redesigned football helmet has one MAJOR flaw: the chin strap loops should not exist! Never ever should a chin strap be fed through a face mask. It creates an unnecessary obstacle when a face mask has to be removed on the field during a medical emergency.

    Good observation, Motown. Those concerns have been raised with this particular mask/shell integration. That and the fact that there is no quick release fastener setup shown on these early renders.

    Not that anyone is making this shell/mask combo anytime soon.

    Paul –
    Are you getting Replacements tickets this weekend – seems like your thing. Plus the gig is at Forest Hills Stadium – old site of the US Open.

    Eh, I doubt it. Reunion gigs usually suck, and only two of the four original members are currently in the band.

    I saw the Replacements twice back in the ’80s — once with Bob Stinson on lead guitar and once with Slim Dunlap (both are now . I prefer to stick with my memories.

    I am for the ‘Skins name being changed (and Chief Wahoo to be put to pasture), but sadly the only way I think it happens is if league sponsors and broadcast partners kick up a fuss. The name will stay the same unless companies like McDonald’s, Budweiser, Nike, and CBS declare that yes, the term “Redskins” is racist, and they’ll withhold sponsorship and broadcast $ until something is done.

    I don’t think it’s enough to boycott the ‘Skins. You need to go after the companies that support the League.

    But if the USPTO ruling stands, then the licensing deals become devalued. Like, there’s no point in Harris Teeter paying to be the “official grocery store of the Washington Redskins” if Safeway and Giant could freely use Redskins imagery in their flyers.

    Plus, the league stands to lose more potential revenue from this than the team because of the way licensing money is distributed.

    I’m thinking those economics would be more influential than any boycott.

    Agreed. Given the Dan Snyder is (A) a talentless hack with a consistently terrible record of performance in actual competitive business; and (B) a partisan political hack of the lowest sort, who aligns himself with the conservative-entertainment complex of Fox et al; it’s safe to say that nothing short of the spirits of Moses and Elijah coming to Snyder, commanding him to change the name, and handing him a cash bribe to do so, will persuade Snyder to change the team name. It’s a point of pride and principle for him now, sort of like how all the stupidity that wrecked several of his previous enterprises were about Dan Snyder’s pride and principle, not, you know, pleasing his customers or earning profits.

    If change comes, it will come because the NFL has tired of Snyder’s bullshit and the bad publicity he brings. Which is pretty much how Snyder has lost every previous business conflict he’s ever had: Eventually, his own board of directors tires of his bullshit and the negative press he brings, and they either promote him to a position from which he can do less harm or they cashier him outright.

    The only real questions are whether the NFL will actually tire of Snyder’s bullshit, and if so, will it settle for forcing a rebranding on the franchise, or will it also engineer the forced-voluntary sale of the team. Which would have a number of attractive advantages for the other owners, including (A) Pushing the heat for the rebranding onto the new owners, instead of the NFL; and (B) Setting a new, very high, post-Clippers benchmark price for a marquee franchise that would significantly raise the on-paper valuation of the 31 other teams.

    Redskins trademark has been cancelled.

    This is the most likely to result in a name change. Without federal protection against infringement, they stand to lose billions to counterfeiters.


    Exactly. How do you think the League offices feel when one of their top brands is open to competition? The NFL is now going to put pressure on Snyder. For an organization which does not like disruptions to its brand, a new name protected is more important than keeping an unprotected name alive.

    And they don’t stand to lose billions. Mostly, any surge of new, low-cost knockoff merch will be bought by people who wouldn’t otherwise have bought a full-price authentic item. That’s the problem with reporting (both government and journalism) on pirated goods. If someone sells a fake bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch for $25, Johnny Walker hasn’t just lost a $200 sale. Anybody who would pay $25 for a bottle of Blue Label would never have bought a bottle of the real stuff anyway. Knockoffs dilute brand equity, but every $40 unlicensed Redskins jersey does not represent $300 in lost revenue to the NFL.

    On this point we agree completely. Most people buying counterfeit jerseys are completely aware that it’s not authentic and simply don’t care. The same can probably be said for pirated movies, music, and games as well.

    I don’t think counterfeiting is a billion-dollar issue, either. A bigger issue is probably unlicensed products.

    Like, a Washington Redskins sex toy isn’t something the team or the league would license, but without trademark protection, what’s preventing the sale of a Redskins dildo?

    Or I could open a bar and call it the “Washington Redskins Bar” without infringing on a trademark.

    “a Washington Redskins sex toy isn’t something the team or the league would license, but without trademark protection, what’s preventing the sale of a Redskins dildo?”


    Might have to make this Saturday’s COTD…

    Jesus Fuck — Redskins Face Paint???

    To … “Stand out in the crowd with Washington Redskins Face Paint! Display your Redskins pride with unique designs for games and tailgating!” — $10 + shipping and handling

    I think a dildo would be more dignified…

    Worse than the face paint: The Redskins Tissue Box. I guess they don’t call it the Trail of Tears for nothing!

    But what if someone sells a fake bottle of Johnny Walker Blue for $200? Then you have created competition.

    What if knockoffs (very good knockoffs mind you) start selling for $300? or $200? You mean I can get a pretty good authentic jersey for $200 instead of $300 and the only difference is this one doesn’t have an NFL patch on it? Yes, the NFL has lost money.

    True, and in fact spirits counterfeiting works more like that than the cheap-knockoff model I described. But it’s kind of a different crime in the way the business model works for the perpetrators. The $200 bottle of fake Blue Label is about defrauding the customer. The $5 knockoff Nationals caps for sale at the Navy Yard Metro station are about chasing the consumer who isn’t willing to pay for authentic merchandise. I just don’t see any margin in chasing the $300 jersey market, especially given that the Redskins would still enjoy significant non-trademark legal protections. If the USPTO ruling stands, we’re much more likely to see the Redskins dildo, or DC bars using the word “Redskins” on their signs, or people selling merch that’s obviously not official, than to see anybody attempt to sell perfect recreations of on-field RG3 jerseys.

    Oh, my; this is huge news. Might we see the team, at least for now, call itself just “Washington” (like the Baltimore CFL club did after the Irsays stopped them from using “Colts”) until they come up with a new name?

    Might we also see a be-careful-what-you-wish-for result for Uni Watchers, where the team completely rebrands and replaces the current unis with some Nike-fied monstrosity?

    “Might we also see a be-careful-what-you-wish-for result for Uni Watchers, where the team completely rebrands and replaces the current unis with some Nike-fied monstrosity?”


    Why would the team need to dispense with their beautiful burgundy and gold color scheme?

    This is what I don’t get — those who hold fast to “keeping” the name and “tradition” seem to feel that if the name/logo goes, so too do the colors — as if one is forever and inextricably linked to the other.

    I think as the contest (waaaaaaaay back in early 2012) I held proves, most of the finalists kept burgundy & gold (and had decent uni concepts) all while simply removing the name & logo.

    Why, when the inevitable name change (and likely logo change) comes, must the team become some “Nike-fied monstrosity”?

    Of course they don’t “need to dispense with their beautiful burgundy and gold color scheme”, and there’s no reason why it “must … become [a] ‘Nike-fied monstrosity.'” That doesn’t mean that it can’t, or that it won’t. It also doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t use that beautiful burgundy and gold color scheme in some hideously ugly design.

    Look what the Buccaneers just did; they kept their beautiful crimson and pewter color scheme and still wrecked a perfectly good uniform. I’m just saying the Washingtons could, and might, do the same.

    Yeah, but that contest was among Uni-Watchers, not Nike Designers. While most of us would like to see Washington’s football team continue to wear burgundy & yellow/gold (regardless of them being the Redskins, Warriors, or Capitol Congressmen), Nike may not feel the same way. They could easily follow the path of the Washington Bullets/Wizards, changing their name and colors, then reverting back on the color scheme while maintaining the new name.

    Like The said. Create new team name with new colors. Fans will hate the new colors so team will go back to burgundy and yellow in a few years. Twice the jersey sales.

    ” they kept their beautiful crimson and pewter color scheme”


    You misspelled “putrid.”

    Something I’ve never thought about before, but when a team has a unique jersey designed and produced by a manufacturer, doesn’t the jersey, itself, qualify for a copyright? Obviously, it would hinge on whether or not the design is unique enough to distinguish itself from everything already out there, but if so, who holds that copyright, the designer, the team or the league? My guess is the team due to the manufacturer being essentially an employee, but I haven’t touched copyright law in years, and never dealt with any similar issues. Regardless, the headache will be the flood of Redskins-branded merch hitting the shelves, not counterfeiting.

    The ruling deals with trademark, not copyright. So the logo is still protected, but anyone is (theoretically) free to use the name as they see fit.

    “The ruling deals with trademark, not copyright. So the logo is still protected, but anyone is (theoretically) free to use the name as they see fit.”

    Graphical logos are generally protected by trademark, not copyright. Copyrights cover graphic works that are intended as creative expressions (such as paintings or drawings, for example). Trademarks cover graphic symbols (design marks) that are intended to communicate association and identity, even if it doesn’t have words. Apple’s logo, the Nike swoosh, and link of link link, are good examples of pure graphic images that are protected by trademark.

    Right – what I meant was that even without trademark protection, logos that are above the threshold of originality (i.e. not just type or simple vector shapes) are protected by copyright.

    Trademark deals with use of words or images for trade. Copyright is much broader.

    “Trademark deals with use of words or images for trade. Copyright is much broader.”

    Fair enough. Copyright protection does cover a broader range of forms of expression, although in some ways, trademark protections might be considered stronger. Trademarks typically don’t expire, whereas copyrights last only for a set amount of time (usually 95 years, depending on circumstances).

    So as to your point that Dan Snyder might sill have some ways to protect the familiar Indian head logo that Washington uses on its helmets, I would agree with that. Copyright law might provide some protection, as might state laws (both statute and common law) covering trademarks. Although in the case of the latter, the level of protection afforded would likely be a bit more touch-and-go because of differences in state law.

    Throughout the World Cup most teams will have the two flags and the date to “commemorate” the game like Belgium did. The only time teams do not usually do this is if they have a lack of funding from their national association and have to re-use jerseys.

    I don’t think link qualifies as an underfunded federation.

    On the other hand, Iran, who didn’t bring jerseys for individual matches, link.

    When Pete is eventually reinstated, they should make him sit out one more day just for wearing that “uniform” on a baseball field.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more blatantly political move than the new Rangers F.C. third kit. They might as well just write “Vote No on Independence” across the front of the jerseys. Compared to this, American sports teams’ proliferation of camouflage and flag desecration uniforms are swimming in the shallow end!

    Coming soon to a stadium near you. It won’t take much for the promotions of various causes at the ballpark (military, green, cancer of the day, etc.) to make that extra step over the line. It’s reprehensible. Political acrimony is too pervasive already and we need places to detox from it.

    Rangers have for some time had the Union Jack on their shirt tags or other less obvious places. This new kit, however, is about as brash as possible.

    Paul, I can tell you just by looking at it that the Michigan State uniform is a fan concept. That’s a PSD template released a few years ago.

    Curious Paul if you ever thought of trying to remove the name stitching on the jacket? What would be your stock response to some calling you Greg because of it?

    I would never want to remove the monogramming on a vintage item. That’s part of its history, part of the story it tells, which is a big part of its appeal to me.

    I have lots of vintage shirts and jackets with other people’s names monogrammed on them. Nobody ever calls me by those names (just like they don’t think I was in the varsity club in 1973 — I’m old, but not THAT old). If someone did, I’d just say, “That was the jacket’s original owner, not me.”

    In the last millennium I once spent a year working for the Big Mouse in the glorious position of “Sanitation Engineer”. Every night (graveyard shift) I would arrive, change into costume (Janitor Costume – no kidding, that’s what they called it!) including wellington boots and blue shirt with the classic oval shaped name tag – with someone else’s name in it.

    I was never called the name on the shirt, or rather I should say, none of my colleagues ever called me the name on the shirt.

    The only person ever to call me the name on the shirt was my supervisor, mostly because he was most outspoken about not caring about all the “Brownies, Spics and N*gg*rs” who worked for him. His horrid people skills were the cherry on top of one of the most foul managers I had ever worked with.

    On my last night working there, I took great pleasure in turning a fire hose on him and rolled him all the way out of Frontierland. I was told that he tried to turn me in, but couldn’t get my name or race right, and the staff was not exactly jumping to assist him.

    Netherlands wearing their blue aways again.

    On the other hand, only numbers 1-11 on the field, so that’s a win for the traditionalists.

    Given that in 1.5 games de Vrij (#3) has given up a penalty to Costa (manufactured though it was), been shredded by Silva (leaving Vlaar to clean up his mess with a desperation tackle), and turned inside out by Cahill, it wouldn’t be shocking if that were to change v. Chile.

    I just saw this picture of link
    It looks like he uses his old helmet from the Reds, that is painted blue on the outside. Otherwise, there would be no reason for a blue helmet to be red on the inside like this one appears.
    Strange that they couldn’t get him a new two earflap cool-flo helmet.

    It feels as though it has been a while since you have updated the Catch of the day, Paul. I know you have tons of stuff going on, but I like trying to click on it a couple of times a week to see if it has changed. In fact, after a search of the site, back on May 7, somebody brought up the colors book like it was new info, and you said, “Someone hasn’t clicked on the Catch of the Day lately.” I know you are busy, but that is one of the quirks that make your site great.

    @terriblehuman My mistake, I always assumed that brazil would wear the flags on their jerseys. Also it doesn’t seem like Spain or chile are wearing the flags either. I wonder who decides which teams will wear the patches.

    Epic ‘Skins Watch Twitter moment, courtesy of the link.

    You get plenty of the usual anti-change snark, and some support, but I was particularly amused that the Atlanta Hawks Twitter feed got in on the action.

    Also, Chris Creamer’s been snarking back at the anti-change commenters on link.

    What pisses me off about the anti-change side isn’t the die-hard fans, myopic though they may be. It’s the non-fans who jump in with the “Political correctness gone mad!” angle. (And we all know how Paul feels about that phrase – I’m with you there.) These people seem to think that the pro-change side is nothing but a bunch of “Stop Having Fun” Guys who shouldn’t have the right to be offended in the first place.

    Granted, I know some Washington fans are like that as well, but it seems like a lot of the more vocal anti-change people are strictly in it because they need something to be reactionary against.

    Sooooo much of this issue (like so much of American life right now) has become “These people who I don’t like [or who I at least perceive that I don’t like] say X. So I’m gonna say Y.”

    “Yeah, that must be it.”


    Pretty much. In fact I’d say, both from personal experience and professional experience (I work in politics), that’s about 90% of the attitude of the average American who expresses an opinion (whether he is actually of that opinion or not) now.

    Maybe it’s not that way in your world, and that’s fine. But basically everything of any import now is becoming an x versus y issue. Compromise and “gray” areas are ceasing to exist, because, god forbid, any form of compromise or getting something rather than nothing is now seen as weakness and “forsaking principles” whatever the hell that means.

    So, yeah. That is it.

    Also, as I mention often, just about everything is becoming increasingly politicized. Add to that the political class – in both major parties and in most of the “issue” organizations – having substantially more than its share of sleazy operators and folks get testy.

    Too often neither x nor y are good ideas, but the partisans aren’t willing to consider a, b or c because they’ve promised support of x or y exclusively.

    I just don’t get the practice of assigning your thoughts into other people’s minds. That’s twice this week for you. It is incredibly sanctimonious – and ignorant. Not only do you think you know better than someone else, you assume you know what people are thinking. I wish I had that kind of super power.

    I just don’t get where YOU get that from my statement. You disagreed with Paul. Paul stated his points very concisely, and I agree with them. I’m not assigning “(my) thoughts into other people’s minds.”

    You leave a statement “Yeah, that must be it” out there without any other supporting information, and I’ll be happy to challenge it, because I do think that’s “it.” But I’m far from assigning thoughts into others’ minds, least of all yours.

    Phil, I think we are talking about the Redskins’ name. Assume for a very brief moment that Paul absolutely loves the name and want it to remain with the team. Who in their right mind would say: “Yup, Paul Lukas (X) only wants the name to remain unchanged, because Paul perceives he doesn’t like Richard (Ys) – so Paul takes that pro-Redskin name position.” I struggling to think of something more illogical.

    The original thought read: “. . . seems like a lot of the more vocal anti-change people are strictly in it because they need something to be reactionary against.” That is patently ridiculous. Why not: “seems like a lot of the more vocal pro-change people are strictly in it because they need something to be reactionary against.”? Also, absurd.

    And of course, “These people seem to think that the pro-change side is nothing but a bunch of “Stop Having Fun” Guys who shouldn’t have the right to be offended in the first place.”

    If these aren’t three examples (in one thread!) of assigning motives to these shady anonymous people, when there is absolutely no evidence that those folks may reason that way at all, I don’t know what is. That’s all I’m saying.

    These statements are what lack supporting information – not mine. I challenge anyone to name a few of these people who “seem” or “seem to think”. I get around too Phil. I can’t find them.

    Thanks for the lively debate. Off to work, have a good night.

    “I think we are talking about the Redskins’ name”


    Well, that’s how this comment string started, and I don’t fault you for assuming that’s what I was talking about (although it wasn’t). I was talking in a very general sense (although the ‘skins debate certainly falls into this category) of America being (and becoming increasingly more) divided into two camps. And while I don’t want to assign blame for that, I believe we can trace the roots of this current either/or divide to sometime right after September 2001. Our Executive brought down the prime directive: “Either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists”. There was no middle ground. Society (and politics) seems to have followed suit.

    I’ll give you a great example in my own personal life: there is a very good (excellent) actually, 10-point women’s agenda in the New York State Legislature. Both the Assembly (controlled by Democrats) and Senate (GOP) favor 9 points. The 10th point, which seeks to codify Roe v. Wade into law, (opponents argue it will expand abortion) is the stickler. In 2013 and 2014, the Senate has broken the bill into 9 separate components and passed all 9. The Assembly keeps all 10 in a single passage. Rather than come to an agreement to pass the nine both sides agree upon, there is inertia, with the Assembly refusing to pass 9 separate bills and the Senate refusing to pass the package of 10.

    So…NOTHING happens. The nine excellent pieces of legislation are left without passage because neither side is willing to compromise.

    This mirrors the current state of America, IMHO. Rather than either side budging or compromising (even on good bills) — compromise is viewed as capitulation, failure.

    If you want to bring this back to the Washington football club, it appears a similar situation is shaping up. On the one side you have the intransigent owner who has already drawn his line in the sand (we will NEVER change the name, and you can use caps) versus those who’ll accept nothing less than an immediate name change. No amount of discussion, rational thought or compromise seeking will happen because to do so would be viewed as a failure, a capitulation, a caving by both sides.

    Now, you didn’t know this, but I wasn’t saying anything in support of any comments other than Paul’s; wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with anything said other than what Paul did. You were assuming I did (and this was not an unfair assumption, but it was an assumption nonetheless).

    What I was, and am saying is that this country is in (IMHO) a bad spot politically. It’s a take-no-prisoners world out there. As to how that mindset relates to the Washington football team — I feel that those who have (and continue) to oppose the name change will continue to find new excuses, since all of the previous ones (it’s historical, it’s honoring them, it was done because of a native coach — all now proven to be bullshit) — because to change now would be to show weakness, to “cave” to “political correctness,” to capitulate to the demands of the whiny white liberals. No where does there appear to be any movement on those who support the name as it is to even look into how the situation might be resolved. For they view themselves as in the right, and no facts can prove their arguments invalid.

    Anyway, sorry if you’re confused as to what I was speaking about. Hope this clears some of that up.

    I heard back from my friend at Reebok that yes, the Blues indeed are getting new Uni’s for next season. He has yet to see them . I used to work with him for the North Stars

    Anyone here graphics friendly? I have 10 desktop wallpapers in Dropbox that I need to resize to 1920 x 1080 and canNOT get my program to resize ’em.

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