A Closer Look at Yesterday’s ’Skins Ruling

Looking for Uni Watch’s take on the Hornets’ new uniforms? Look here.

Meanwhile: As you’ve probably heard by now, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled against the ’Skins yesterday, canceling the team’s trademarks on the grounds that the team name is disparaging to Native Americans and is therefore ineligible for trademark protection.

Lots of issues to go over here, so let’s shift into FAQ mode, with the caveat that I’m not an attorney or legal expert and may be getting a few nuances wrong (in which case I trust that those who are attorneys and legal experts will set me straight):

What was the ruling based on?

At the risk of oversimplifying a complex situation, here’s a really good breakdown of seven things that led to the ruling. And here’s a list of eight ways that the team name was judged to be a slur.

Does this mean the team has to change its name?

No. It simply means that the current team name will no longer accrue the legal and financial benefits that come from trademark protection.

So can anyone now make or sell ’Skins merch, without fear of legal reprisal?

No. Yesterday’s ruling has been stayed pending an appeal by the team. The trademarks remain in effect until then.

How long will the appeal take?

I don’t know. If anyone from the legal community has any insights into what the time frame might be, feel free to enlighten us in today’s comments.

What are the team’s chances of winning an appeal?

I’m not equipped to answer that. Yesterday I heard various legal analysts weighing in on both sides. Some said the ruling would likely be upheld; others, including longtime Uni Watch reader Anthony Verna (who’s an intellectual property attorney) and Jim McCarthy (who guest-wrote a piece about the ’Skins trademark issues last year), said it would likely be overturned.

Regardless of what happens with the appeal, doesn’t the team still have common law trademark rights?

Reader Scott Jamison, who’s an attorney, addressed this point in yesterday’s comments:

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.

There’s more info on this in this article (scroll down to the “What happens next?” section).

If the team did lose all trademark protection, including common law, how big a financial hit would it take?

Excellent question. I have no idea of the answer. There’s no precedent, at least that I’m aware of, for a major-level sports team having an untrademarked name. And of course there are other brand-equity consequences of losing trademark protection that can’t necessarily be measured in term of lost merch sales.

Wouldn’t the NFL have serious problems with one of its teams having an untrademarked name?

Another excellent question. Again, I have no idea, but it does seem like something that would be a cause for major concern in the league office, and among the other team owners. According to this ESPN story, “The NFL splits revenue from team merchandise sales and licensing 31 ways (the Cowboys have their own deal). In the end, if the Redskins lose money from losing their trademarks, the entire league will lose money — and then it no longer just is about the Redskins and their name, but it’s about all of the other teams in the NFL (except the Cowboys) losing money. That issue could bring a lot more pressure on Snyder about the name of the team.”

Assuming the ruling stands, does it apply to the team’s logos, or only to the name?

Just the name. The logos still have copyright protection.

The team is a private corporation. Isn’t this a case of the government interfering with free enterprise, and maybe even free speech?

No. Federal trademark protection is not a right; it is a privilege that must be applied for and can then be granted or denied based on criteria and standards set forth in U.S. law. Scores of trademark applications are turned down for various reasons every day. The ’Skins may end up in that category, pending their appeal.

Wasn’t there another trademark case against the ’Skins back in the 1990s?

Yes. The team lost that one too, in 1999, but the decision was overturned in 2003 when courts ruled that the plaintiffs did not have proper legal standing to challenge the team’s trademarks. The plaintiffs in the current case supposedly do have proper legal standing.

Speaking of the plaintiffs, who is this Amanda Blackhorse I keep hearing about?

She’s a Navajo psychiatric social worker who’s the named plaintiff in the case. There’s a good article about her here.

What were the reactions to yesterday’s ruling?

About what you’d expect: The Oneida Nation was happy, the ’Skins expressed confidence that they’ll prevail on appeal, The Washington Post editorial board was feeling pretty chipper, Twitter had a field day, and The Jeff was really cranky.

Meanwhile, 450 American companies still have trademarks featuring Native American imagery (but not, presumably, racial slurs). You can see them here.

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Happy Hornets Day: The Bobcats-turned-Hornets will unveil their new uniforms today at 11:30am Eastern. Darren Rovell and I will have coverage of it over on ESPN (he’ll be writing a news story, I’ll be analyzing and assessing the designs). I’ll post links here once our coverage is up and running. have unveiled their new uniforms. Here’s my take.

Meanwhile, here’s a very interesting piece on how menswear designer Alexander Julian, who designed the Hornets’ inaugural uniforms back in the late 1980s, offered to create the new uni designs for free but was rebuffed. Recommended reading.

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ITEM! A new Uni Watch venture: Like most people, I barely read printed newspapers anymore, because I’ve gotten used to getting my news on the web. But I still subscribe to quite a few magazines — New York, The New Yorker, Saveur, Lucky Peach, Bookforum, Smithsonian, a few more. Part of it is that I like reading magazines in the bathroom and on the subway, part of it is that I like assessing and appreciating how pages are laid out and how everything “fits,” and part of it is that I just like getting glossy things in the mail.

Do you still read magazines? Do you want to read more of them? We’re about to find out, because Uni Watch has partnered with Blue Dolphin, the nation’s biggest magazine subscription-fulfillment operation, to create the Uni Watch magazine shop — a virtual newsstand where you can get the best available prices on your favorite mags.

Here’s a quick FAQ:

Which magazines are you offering?

We can offer 60 titles at a time. At the moment we have a mix that’s roughly 75% sports-related (including Volleyball magazine — that’s for you, Jeremy Brahm!) and 25% general-interest. But that’s just a starting point: Blue Dolphin has access to almost every major and not-so-major magazine out there, so if you want something we don’t currently offer, just ask — we can probably get it. Once we get a better feel for what you folks do and don’t want, we’ll curate the selection accordingly.

How good are the prices?

I’ve been promised that you won’t find lower subscription prices than these anywhere on the web — not on Amazon, not on Barnes & Noble, not anywhere.

How long will it take for the delivery of the first issue?

Six to 10 weeks.

Do the subscriptions auto-renew?

When your subscription is coming up for renewal, you’ll get an email, which will allow you to renew your subscription or terminate it.

What does this have to do with uniforms?

Not much.

So why are you doing it?

A friend of mine is working with Blue Dolphin and suggested that a virtual newsstand could be a good fit for the Uni Watch readership. I liked the idea, so I said sure.

What’s in it for you?

Uni Watch will get a cut of each subscription fee. Also, as a magazine fan and a working journalist, it’s important to me that ink-on-paper media continues to exist. This isn’t just a matter of nostalgia or personal preference or having something to read in the bathroom — magazines tend to pay their writers better than websites do, so I have a professional stake in the magazine world’s continued survival. I’m happy to be doing something to help encourage that. If you feel similarly, and you’d like to help Uni Watch’s bottom line while you’re at it, I hope you’ll consider ordering your magazines through our shop.

That’s it for now — thanks for listening.

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Mike’s Question of the Week

By Mike Chamernik

I’ve never caught a foul ball, but I have caught a batting practice ball. It was 2007, the Reds were at Miller Park, and I caught a Ken Griffey Jr. BP home run. I was in right field, and the ball bounced off the floor of the patio just over the fence. I kind of reached over a kid to get the ball.

If I were 23 at the time like I am now, I would have given the kid the ball. I still feel bad about it. But hey, Griffey’s a future Hall of Famer, and being a dumb-ass teenager allowed me to keep a nifty souvenir. It’s probably my top piece of sports memorabilia.

So here’s my question: What’s the coolest piece of sports memorabilia you own, in terms of either monetary or sentimental value?

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.

Baseball News: Lots of Tony Gwynn stuff: The Padres will wear Gwynn patches on their jerseys and batting practice caps the rest of the season, and they’ve also painted “19” behind home plate. They got permission from MLB to wear the BP caps for last night’s game against the Mariners, which was preceded by a memorial tribute (from Phil). ”¦ Meanwhile, a San Diego ship has a 50-foot Gwynn flag, and the city is pulling its four-story tall Gwynn jersey out of storage (both from Brady Phelps). ”¦ This is the Orioles’ 60th year in Baltimore, and the team’s shop is selling throwback jerseys and caps (from Wes Reichart). ”¦ The Bradenton Marauders will have a Star Wars Night in July and they’ll wear Boba Fett jerseys (from Phil). ”¦ NCAA Baseball’s Facebook page has their own version of uniform watch for the College World Series (from Mike Vamosi). ”¦ The Iowa Cubs wore Iowa Oaks throwbacks for the final time this season (from Phil). ”¦ Women’s Wear Daily interviewed Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts and Hiroki Kuroda about MLB uniforms. “Not surprisingly, they’re all older guys who all like traditional uniforms,” says Andrew Cosentino. “In an interesting side note, they have the Red Sox in softball tops in their slideshow; I have a feeling that’s not the jersey Jeter was talking about.” ”¦ Creighton, which is in Omaha, used the Toronto Blue Jays logo on their jerseys, circa 1991. They even included the maple leaf in the logo! “I know colleges have long borrowed from the pros to varying degrees, but that detail seems particularly ridiculous,” says Marcus Tonti. ”¦ Not only does Washington Township (Indiana) High School have excellent uniforms, they also have a really neat scoreboard in right center field (unfortunately, Rob Lowe says they don’t use the scoreboard anymore). … Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter last night. Because it’s so timely, I have to tell you guys one of my favorite ideas I’ve ever come up with: The Perfect Game League. It’s really simple — you and a few friends hold a draft of all MLB starting pitchers, each selecting 30 or so players. If a pitcher you drafted tosses a no-hitter, then everyone owes you $2 (or more if you’re not cheapskates like me and my friends). If a player tosses a perfect game, then whoever has that pitcher gets $10 from each person. It makes every ongoing no-hitter or perfect game that much more dramatic.

NFL News: A fan designed a really nice and simple Chuck Noll memorial patch. The Steelers already wear a jersey patch, of course, plus they’ll have that Super Bowl IX anniversary patch for one, so they may end up honoring Noll with a helmet decal, not a patch (from Phil). ”¦ Stevan Ridley wore Batman cleats in practice a few days ago. Also, Ryan Mathews wore Superman cleats last week and Hulk cleats two days ago (all from Phil). ”¦ Legendary Browns QB Otto Graham wore No. 60 until 1953, when the league made positions wear certain numbers. He switched to 14, but you can still see the “60” outline in one of his jerseys displayed at the Hall of Fame (from Eric Bangeman). … Looks like Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams keeps his mouthpiece in his sock (from Jeremy Baker).

College Football News: Bitcoin now sponsors a bowl game. What should we call it around here? Paul suggested the Fool’s Gold Bowl, which is pretty strong. ”¦ Here are some shots of Oklahoma State’s new turf logos.

Soccer News: “This store in Chicago that makes modern Dirndls (the Bavarian dress most worn around Octoberfest) has created four to represent the teams in the Group of Death,” says Sara Schieve. ”¦ Charles Aranguiz of Chile wears a No. 20 shirt but wore No. 19 shorts yesterday (from Carlos Ahmed Jalife Ruz). ”¦ Sporting KC changed jerseys at half last night because their shirts were too close in color to their opponent’s. ”¦ Here’s the most popular non-US, non-Mexico World Cup jersey in each state. Yet, an article says Brazil is the hottest-selling jersey here (from Phil). ”¦ A Manchester United player wore No. 0 the other night (from Phil). ”¦ Couldn’t find a photo but Michael Duffy sends in this note: “During [yesterday’s] WC match, a commentator noted that Dutch footballer Memphis Depay wears his first name on the back of his shirt as a tribute to his mother,” he says. “His Ghanian father left his Dutch mother when he was four-years-old.” ”¦ Derek Hummel found that while other World Cup captains either wear yellow or navy blue FIFA-issued armbands, Belgium captain Vincent Kompany wears a red, black and yellow striped armband. Anyone know the story behind that? ”¦ A deaf-blind Brazil fan followed the country’s match against Croatia in part by feeling a mini soccer field board. It’s just a little dusty in here, that’s all. ”¦ The rest of the soccer items are from Trevor Williams: Iran’s president dressed pretty casually to watch the Iran-Nigeria match. ”¦ Cristiano Ronaldo threw his training shirt into the crowd before Portugal’s game against Germany. ”¦ Here’s a profile of the Puma designer who came up with the mismatched shoes and gloves idea. ”¦ Uruguay’s kits are really form-fitting. ”¦ Here’s a breakdown of the number of World Cup goals by the different shoes manufacturers as of Wednesday morning. ”¦ Bordeaux has a new away kit and Maccabi Tel Aviv FC has a new home, away and third.

Grab Bag: Teams that wear blue and red are the winningest teams in sports. That article breaks down all the four major sports champions’ color schemes. ”¦ Coke in green cans is coming out in a few countries. Nope, it doesn’t mean the formula is now akin to Cel-Ray; it just means a different sweetener, called stevia, is used. ”¦ Gil Neumann sends in a site that celebrates graphic design in the beer world. ”¦ New court for Florida State (from Phil). ”¦ “I don’t think I have seen that many logos on any kind of uniform before,” says David Firestone. ”¦ Sports licensing generates nearly $700 million in royalty revenue (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ A guy on YouTube broke down Lego minifigs (Thanks, Joshua Skarf).

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Paul here. I’m going to be very busy today with the Hornets unveiling and a few other things, so apologies in advance if I don’t reply to queries and/or set a higher bar for Ticker submissions. Oh, and happy Juneteenth!

247 comments to A Closer Look at Yesterday’s ’Skins Ruling

  • DenverGregg | June 19, 2014 at 8:06 am |

    Wonky links for the 3d baseball item and the 2d football item.

  • scott | June 19, 2014 at 8:08 am |

    Any reason why the Padres put the Gwynn patch on the batting practice cap instead of the regular cap?

    Also, that seems like an odd collar on the Iowa Oaks throwbacks. Did the original pullover jerseys, presumably back in the ’70s and ’80s, really have that overlapping element?

    • arrScott | June 19, 2014 at 9:29 am |

      Gwynn patch: Presumably it’s not on the regular cap because it is already on the game jerseys. What I wonder is why it’s on the BP cap instead of the BP jersey.

      • scott | June 19, 2014 at 9:49 am |

        I hope it’s not just about selling some BP caps.

  • Bernd Wilms | June 19, 2014 at 8:10 am |

    I’m afraid that’s Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League, not Manchester United FC of the Barclays Premier League.

    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 10:01 am |

      Love those Loons uniforms, though.

    • superfly | June 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

      I was wondering about that, thought maybe a team from Manchester, NH or other US town was calling themselves United.

  • Noonan | June 19, 2014 at 8:14 am |

    Will Puma keep the same fabric for women’s uniforms?

  • Jim Haron | June 19, 2014 at 8:17 am |

    Re: Belgian Armband

    Colours of the Belgium Flag, the Dutch usually do this as well.

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 8:55 am |

      But you missed the context of the question. Per FIFA equipment regulations:
      20.1 A captain’s armband exclusively provided by FIFA must be used for all Matches of Final Competitions. FIFA may provide two captain’s armbands in contrasting Colours.

      Yes, the Dutch usually do this too, but not at FIFA tournaments.

      • Greg | June 19, 2014 at 8:58 am |

        Looks to me that the Kompany picture isn’t from the world cup, not no sleeve patches, and the fact it was taken at night when Belgium played at lunchtime

    • Greg | June 19, 2014 at 8:56 am |

      Germany too

  • jon | June 19, 2014 at 8:19 am |

    Mike’s Question:

    It may not be a lot in the grand scheme of the sports world, but I have a seat from Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm |

      What do you do with it? I’ve known people who had them in offices or living rooms. I had a pair of seats from County Stadium in my closer for about a decade, and then I put them up on my roof deck. They lasted about three years before falling apart.

      • Chris Cruz | June 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm |

        I have a pair of Dodger Stadium seats (from the 2005 renovation) at home. They were in my den (bolted into a wooden riser I made) for a couple years but have been outside on the patio for several years. They were in the LA sun for decades and I haven’t had any issues with them being outside.

  • Kirk | June 19, 2014 at 8:22 am |

    Lifelong Hornets fan here, quite surprised about the rebuffing of Julian for the Hornets uniforms. The trend is to make everything “fierce” and I fear that they will do that with the uniforms as they’ve already done with the logo.

  • suprfrog | June 19, 2014 at 8:23 am |

    Re: QOTD

    Mine favourite item is a “Canadiens Old-Timers” puck signed by Rocket Richard back in ’82.

    My high school was celebrating their 25th anniversary and as part of the festivities, had the Canadiens Old-Timers team come in and play a game vs. alumni from the high school hockey team.

    After the game, there was the usual mob of autograph seekers and I handed the puck to him, he signed it and since it was raining that day he told me, with a thick French-Canadian accent “Careful not to smudge it, OK?”

  • Will S | June 19, 2014 at 8:31 am |

    Mike’s QOTW:

    Probably the “coolest” to me is my fully completed 1974/75 NHL action players book. Salvaged what was left of one from my childhood books (crayon coated, missing pages, logos cut out, etc.) and got one in great condition from my wife’s grandma that had the majority of the stamps (loose ones and ones already glued in) and completed it with ones salvaged from my old book.

    Another cool item that is probably my item that is “coolest” to others would be my signed photo and bobblehead obtained at a Border Cats game. Bill “Goldie” Goldthorpe was there and also threw out the first pitch. Bobblehead is wearing the Syracuse Bulldogs jersey.

  • SJ-Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 8:31 am |

    In response to Mike’s question, I have a few pieces that would fit the bill. My family and I used to have season tickets to the Phillies games when they were at Veterans Stadium, and I being a young kid / teenager, was obsessed with the various objects they would give out and the opportunity to get players autographs. One of the players i remember vividly was from 1997, the first year of interleague play. The Blue Jays were making their regular season visit to the vet, and i went to the game with my 1993 National League Championship Hat. I waited for Joe Carter to come over and sign autographs. He came uo to my father and i and i handed him the hat and a sharpie. He just laughed and asked “are you sure you want me to sign this?” I think i have one if not the only 1993 NAtional League Champions hats signed by Joe Carter. Other Notiable pieces include a baseball signed by the 2002 Philadelphia Eagles, and a baseball and jersey signed by Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn.

  • Dane | June 19, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    QotW: August 24, 1983. My mother and I drove from Pittsburgh to Cleveland for a twi-night doubleheader between the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s. My favorite baseball player was & is Rickey Henderson. I didn’t get to see Rickey play that night (had the flu), but he did sign his 1980 Topps rookie card for me.

  • Rob S | June 19, 2014 at 8:37 am |

    The Hornets kept the design process “in-house” with Nike and the Jordan brand… so that Adidas can make the actual game uniforms.

    I can’t help but be amused by that. A uniform being designed by a direct competitor of the official outfitter of the league? Seems like that has to be a first.

  • Toddro | June 19, 2014 at 8:42 am |

    First, I just subscribed to Men’s Journal! I would have loved to have your deal 2 weeks ago!

    Second, I caught a puck at a Bruins-Flyers game during warmups; Danny Briere flipped it into the stands. I gave it to a kid sitting next to me to impress a cute girl sitting nearby. After warmups, the kid and his folks left the seats and went to their seats. The kid had 3 pucks in his hand…and I didn’t get the girl. Womp womp.

    Best piece of memorabilia I have is a Joe Dimaggio signed ball my grandfather left me.

  • Dane | June 19, 2014 at 8:43 am |

    My thought on the Washington football team case: Doesn’t this make things worse? Assuming the team loses the appeal, this now opens up the market so that ANYBODY can make a profit selling merchandise with the “Redskins” name, not just Snyder & Co.

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 8:57 am |

      But nobody with any sort of reach or influence would use the mark.

    • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 9:04 am |

      Actually… that’s probably what they’re hoping for. The average person probably doesn’t have a clue about the trademark case, but they’d still have a WTF reaction to a blatantly racist “Redskins” shirt, and that leads to more pressure on the team to change.

    • arrScott | June 19, 2014 at 9:09 am |

      No, it doesn’t do that at all. But even if the ruling had the effect of permitting anybody to make money off of Redskins merchandise, how would that “make things worse”? For it to make things worse, one would have to believe that there’s a vast market of demand for Redskins merchandise that’s gone unsatisfied because the Redskins too tightly limit the supply of team merchandise.

      Given that Redskins merchandise, from $2 Pez dispensers to $300 jerseys, is available in almost literally every retail establishment in the DC metro area, I don’t believe that the supply of Redskins merch is too tight. And I’m not exaggerating: In just the last couple of days, I’ve seen Redskins tchotchkes at the drug store, the liquor store, the grocery story, a stationery store, a sporting-goods store, a bookstore, and a winery.

      • Ben Fortney | June 19, 2014 at 11:43 am |

        My favorite is the massive WFC logo on the side of every 18-wheeler belonging to Harris Teeter – the team’s official supermarket.

    • just Joe | June 19, 2014 at 9:17 am |

      According to a segment I heard on NPR while driving home from work yesterday, losing the federal protection just means criminal charges can’t be brought against counterfeiters; however, civil charges (likely multi-million dollar cases) can still be introduced.

      • Dane | June 19, 2014 at 10:06 am |

        If you recall from that NPR segment, what would be grounds for a civil suit, if there is no recognized trademark?

        • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:17 am |

          From here:

          “Just because the Redskins have lost their main federal trademark protections doesn’t mean they can’t still sue over trademark confusion. Dan Snyder could say, for instance, that due to the Redskins’ consistent, longstanding commercial use of the name in connection with pro football dating back decades, anyone else who uses the name is likely to make consumers think that there’s an association with the Redskins football team.

          “This is the same argument you make if you have a federal registration,” said Rosenberg. “The only thing is now, you can’t say you have a federal registration.”

          Which, I think repeats what Scott says above for the most part.

        • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 10:20 am |

          In brief, common law trademark infringement.

  • Dave | June 19, 2014 at 8:43 am |

    My parents gave me a Mets history book that was published in 1986 to commemorate the anniversary. Every time I meet a Met — current or former — I ask them to sign it. By now, it has several hundred signatures. I started when I was living in Connecticut in the late 1980s and card shows with autograph guests were just starting and were affordable. Spring training is an awesome time to meet players. But I’ve got everyone from owners and announcers to big stars like Tom Seaver to guys who just played with them a year or two.

    One thing that’s sad is the number of guys who signed the book and have since passed away — Tommie Agee, Gary Carter, Richie Ashburn, Duke Snider, Marv Throneberry, Donn Clendennon, Ralph Kiner.

    The best signature — the dedication from my parents! The book is a family treasure.

    • Dave | June 19, 2014 at 8:58 am |

      –I forgot to mention, that was a response to the Question of the Week. Good question, too!

  • Adam | June 19, 2014 at 8:44 am |

    Holy shit, that seal for the Patent and Trademark office is hardcore. That eagle looks pissed!

  • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 9:00 am |

    Try as I might, I’m finding it super hard to dislike Mexico in this tournament, mostly because of Miguel Herrera’s sartorial splendor.

    The cuffs! The green tie! The shining federation badge on his jacket!

    • Connie DC | June 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm |


    • BvK1126 | June 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm |

      If only he had a better haircut!

  • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    FWIW, the Harjo litigation took four years before the district court overturned the USPTO decision.

    BTW, that TIME article/editorial really pisses me off in its dishonesty and disingenuousness. As Paul pointed out, the USPTO ruling affects only the name, not the logo, and certainly not American Indian imagery/themes/motifs generally. This passive-aggressive knee-jerk whining that this decision means all Indian images/themes/motifs (and for that matter any other human-caricature nicknames that anyone could potentially be offended by) are disparaging and must therefore be gotten rid of is just that: passive-aggressive knee-jerk whining.

    Now, one may agree that all Indian images/themes/motifs are disparaging and need to be gotten rid of. But that’s a separate argument. It is not the meaning of the USPTO’s ruling vis-à-vis the name “Redskins.”


    I noticed also that the TIME article does not include names and logos of summer camps, a great many of which (maybe even most, although I’ve never actually surveyed them) have Indian names, logos and motifs. I know I’ve broached this topic before, but my point is still that the appropriateness of American Indian names, images, themes and motifs generally, in product/service branding generally, is separate and distinct from the appropriateness of the name “Redskins” for a pro sports franchise.

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 9:07 am |

      But but but but slippery slope political correctness run amok men marrying sheep and whatnot.

      • arrScott | June 19, 2014 at 9:14 am |

        That right there is the single best internet comment ever. It’s the online equivalent of this classic bumper sticker. I’m gonna steal that line!

      • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 9:44 am |

        I’m not a fan of “political correctness,” in the sense that I’m not a fan of the phrase being used as a generic complaint not about the use of offensive or mean-spirited language, but about criticism of the use of offensive or mean-spirited language. To put it somewhat more simply, those who complain about “political correctness” in my experience and observation are really just seeking a license to be offensive and mean without anyone pointing out how offensive and mean they are.

        Yes, there are words and expressions we shouldn’t use. Yes, we shouldn’t be overly sensitive about words and expressions that other people use. Why do so many people find these two simple truths incompatible?

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 10:02 am |

          Amen, brother.

        • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:04 am |

          The main complaint from the “anti-PC” crowd, besides the pussification of America, is the use of euphemisms for fear of offending others, and the unwillingness to speak plainly.

          Which is funny, because “politically incorrect” is basically a euphemism for people whose feelings are hurt when they’re called out for being bigots and/or assholes.

        • jd | June 19, 2014 at 10:21 am |

          you don’t have a right to not be offended in this country.

        • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:27 am |

          And you don’t have a right to not to be called out for being offensive in this country.

        • jd | June 19, 2014 at 10:38 am |

          absolutely, and if someone is offended by something they can whine all they want but it is not on the offenders shoulders to stop being offensive. If you don’t like something don’t partake in it, then if that happens enough the offender will change to stay in business.

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm |

          The offenders should not, though, enjoy special protection from the government for being offensive. That’s what we’re talking about here.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm |

          Which is funny, because “politically incorrect” is basically a euphemism for people whose feelings are hurt when they’re called out for being bigots and/or assholes.

          I just did a longer comment on this below. “PC” is a complaint lodged against contrived victimization whose purpose is to contrive victimization.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm |

          …it is not on the offenders shoulders to stop being offensive.

          Right; it on the shoulders of the general public to use public forums, the marketplace of ideas, and democratic institutions to exert social, economic and political pressure on the offenders in order to convince or compel them to stop being offensive.

        • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm |

          “those who complain about “political correctness” in my experience and observation are really just seeking a license to be offensive and mean without anyone pointing out how offensive and mean they are.”

          How on God’s Green Earth could you possibly know this?

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm |

          Experience, observation, and deductive reasoning.

    • Tom Mulgrew | June 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm |

      The Seattle Times will no longer use the name of the Washington football team. http://blogs.seattletimes.com/take2/2014/06/18/why-were-banning-the-redskins-nickname-in-the-seattle-times/

    • jd | June 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm |

      actually special protection from government interference to be offensive is pretty much the point of the 1st amendment.

      • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm |

        That’s not we’re talking about here – there is no 1st Amendment right to have the government give offensive speech an official seal of approval.

      • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm |

        Nor is the government interfering with the speech in question – it’s bowing out of interfering by saying the speech isn’t entitled to certain legal protection but must compete in the free marketplace of ideas for acceptance.

        • jd | June 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm |

          Not saying the gov’t is interfering with the speech in question, that previous remark was specifically about the line “The offenders should not, though, enjoy special protection from the government for being offensive. That’s what we’re talking about here”
          Yes, the gov’t should protect the ability to show you are an offensive person. That’s how you figure out who to avoid. I don’t care either way on the TM. But there is no way the gov’t should be telling/pushing them to change the name.

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm |

          No, no, no. That’s not what it means.

          The government can’t stifle speech. It must protect speech against being shut down by the state.

          But that’s not what’s happening here. Snyder et al are asking the government to use its power to help them promote the name by granting them exclusive federal license. That’s a very different kettle of fish.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 5:44 pm |

          “The offenders should not, though, enjoy special protection from the government for being offensive. That’s what we’re talking about here”

          What this means is, however clumsily stated, those who use offensive names should not be given special protection by the government to ensure them the exclusive use of, and profit from, offensive names.

          The writer was referring to federa;l trademark protection, not freedom of speech.

          Without registration, trademarks are still protected by the common law as intellectual property. Registration provides additional protection in the form of statutory rem

          The government is not “telling/pushing them to change the name.” It is revoking that privilege of extra statutory protection that the Lanham Act provides for registered trademarks, against the unauthorized use thereof by third parties.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm |


          …in the form of statutory remedies that do not exist under the common law.

        • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm |

          “. . . those who use offensive names should not be given special protection by the government to ensure them the exclusive use of, and profit from, offensive names.”


          Do you think your opinion should extend to copyrighted material as well?

          “Last week I beat my bitch up in the street for lyin to me”

          “Can’t wait to see this bitch cause I’mma beat her ass in public”

          “Bitch why you lyin, bitch you’ve been cheatin
          Now I gotsa to give your motherfuckin ass a beatin”

          “I punched her in the ribcage and kicked her in the stomach”

          It gets worse. Much worse. I think you get the idea.

          Now, the government gives “special protection” (a copyright) which they will enforce, to Kool G Rap “to ensure him the exclusive use of, and PROFIT from, offensive names. I cannot go out and record my best rendition of “Hey Mister” and sell it Peoria, because of course, Mr. Rap, et al has rights to his beautiful intellectual property no matter how misogynistic it may be, without any regard to our tastes in music.

          So, I ask, should it extend to copyrights? And, if not, why not? And how is it any different (“profit” being the keyword)? Seriously, what if the woman featured in the song was Native American?

          Remember the board’s decision didn’t mention misappropriation of intellectual property. It said, among other things, that the “registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”

          I’m guessing it’s because the law concerning disparaging language applies to trademarks, and not copyrighted material. But applying your logic, because of the profit motive, Kool G(enius of) Rap should have some unwanted competition. No?

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm |

          First of all, I was trying to translate the quotation that confused jd. So all those references to “your logic” are misplaced.

          Second, trademark and copyright are two very different kinds of intellectual property. Copyright protects works of authorship; it gives authors of original works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression certain specific enumerated property rights in those works for a limited time.

          Trademark is really more of a consumer-protection and commercial-regulation scheme than a set of intellectual property rights. It’s designed to protect consumers from being duped into believing that a product or service comes from a source that it does not in fact come from, and also to protect sources of goods and services from being impersonated by unscrupulous competitors thus harming their business reputations.

          It’s important to note also that copyright protection is not contingent on filing or registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. There are certain statutory damage remedies that do require registration, but the Copyright Act applies to all works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression regardless of whether they are filed or registered.

          The Lanham Act, on the other hand, applies only to registered trademarks. That’s not to say that there are not common-law trademark rights and remedies, but a party suing for trademark infringement cannot sue under the Lanham Act, whereas one suing for copyright infringement need not register his work in order to invoke the Copyright Act.

          In short, copyright is about giving authors exclusive rights to publish (or not publish), use (or not use), adapt, disseminate, perform, &c., their own intellectual property, viz., the fruits of their creative labours. Trademark is not about property; it’s about protecting businesses and consumers from unfair competition.

          So, to answer your question, I think that authors and creators of offensive material should have ownership of that material, and have exclusive rights to use it and to control its use. I think that businesses that are identified or designated by offensive marks should not enjoy special protection from unfair competition in the marketplace.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 20, 2014 at 9:16 am |

          A couple of other points about copyright vs. trademark:

          * I should clarify that the word “use” (as both noun and verb) has a different meaning in the context of copyright than in that of trademark. The “exclusive use” of a copyrighted work refers to the exercise of any of the various property rights that an author has with respect to his copyrighted work, including publication, public performance, adaptation and reproduction. The “use” of a trademark is different; it means the branding of a particular product or service to identify its source.

          * Note that a single word, generally speaking, cannot be copyrighted, but it can be trademarked. The makers of Tide laundry soap cannot copyright (i.e., own) the word “tide” and enjoy exclusive rights to its use and publication. What they can do is prevent anyone else from making and selling a laundry soap called “Tide.”

    • jd | June 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

      No, he’s not asking them to, they already did, a long time ago. The TM role should be nothing more than a registry of TM’d things. If something is not TM yet, you can get a TM. If it is already TM’d then someone else can’t use it. It shouldn’t be an arbitrary decider (well after the issuance) that something is no longer “worthy” of TM status. The fact that someone is offended by something that is TM’d should not be a reason to remove TM status that is already afforded.

      • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm |

        There is no “arbitrary decider.” There is a process, and that process was followed.

        “The fact that someone is offended by something” is not a reason to revoke a trademark, and is not the reason given here for revoking this trademark. The reason is that the mark is, was demonstrated to be, and was determined to be, objectively disparaging.

  • DenverGregg | June 19, 2014 at 9:06 am |

    I have two unused tickets to Pedro Martinez’ perfect game that wasn’t. (Martinez pitched 9 perfect innings, but gave up a hit to the first batter in the 10th.) My wife had acquired four tickets, but the folks we were going to take bailed out last minute.

  • ChrisH | June 19, 2014 at 9:13 am |


    I’m wearing mine now (and do so each workday)…it’s a Philadelphia AHL team-branded lanyard which was part of a giveaway souvenir package from their final regular season game at the Spectrum.
    I have so many fond memories of the facility and that team.

    • Chris Cruz | June 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm |

      Do you have a work ID or passcard that you need to wear to work? Otherwise, it would seem a bit odd to wear a lanyard every workday.

  • Silver Creek Doug | June 19, 2014 at 9:19 am |

    Reading about the Perfect Game Pool reminds me of two unusual pools I am in every year (one baseball and one football).

    In baseball, we have a 13 inning pool. We have 32 participants and everybody ponies up $100 for the season. Everybody drafts a team and the pool is split evenly over the number of weeks in the season. If your team wins a game in 13 innings, you win the weekly pool. Sometimes it rolls over (no winners) and sometimes we have multiple winners in a week.

    The football pool is very similar, except its a 33 point pool. The main difference is that you can win the weekly pool even if your team loses the game. If a team scores exactly 33 points in a game, win or lose, you win the pool.

    • Ben Cox | June 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

      My friends and I have a pool like that with position players pitching. We each draft a bunch of position players who we think are potential pitchers in an extra inning/everyone’s been used situation, and if one of them pitches, whoever has them gets 5 bucks from each person.

      I like the 13 inning idea, it seems just far enough out of reach that it wouldn’t happen very often, but it still would happen fairly regularly.

  • Mainspark | June 19, 2014 at 9:23 am |

    “The Jeff was really cranky.” Probably because he was accused of “talking out of his ass.”

    • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 10:06 am |

      Nope — not accused. Go back and read it again.

      And he was already cranky before that.

      • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:13 am |

        To be fair, he’s always cranky.

        • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 10:16 am |

          Not always, I do sleep you know.

  • arrScott | June 19, 2014 at 9:26 am |

    QotW: My favorite piece of memorabilia is a 1994 World Series game ball. I’ve told the story before, but MLB had the fall game balls made, either before the strike or in hopes that the strike would end in time for the playoffs. When the postseason was cancelled, MLB gave away the ’94 Series game balls to its corporate partners by the truckload. My dad worked for the local Twins radio affiliate, and brought home one of the balls for me. A game ball from a game that was never played is pretty much the perfect souvenir for me, and it’s become more sentimentally valuable since the Expos, who were the best team in baseball when the strike started, moved to DC.

    Second favorite is a little jar of official Wrigley Field infield dirt. I have a much-younger kid brother who’s had a very troubled life. The summer he was 15, when I was fresh out of college, I was able to fly him out to Chicago to stay with me for a week, and I took him to a Cubs game. At some mid-inning break, they announced my seat as the winner of a Cubs prize package, so kid brother and I went to fan services and collected a haul of free Cubbies merch. When we got back to our seats, I offered kid brother first pick of the loot, then my wife picked a trinket for herself, then I grabbed the jar of infield dirt, and then told kid brother the rest was all for him. He was walking on air the rest of the day. Only lived in Chicago that one year, so the dirt carries a lot of bittersweet memories for me: That year in Chi-town, all the Cubs games we walked to that summer, the unexpected thrill of seeing Gary Gaetti’s 2500th game, and that one week with my brother when it seemed like maybe things were turning for the better for him.

    • teenchy | June 19, 2014 at 11:36 am |

      I have one of those 1994 World Series game balls as well. My then future father-in-law got it for me, but I think he got it through some connections to the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

      On the DC baseball front (sort of) I have a Christmas card from the Texas Rangers (hiss!) sent to me by the late Johnny Welaj. Welaj, who played for the first AL Nats and served in the front office of both AL Nats franchises, was the Rangers’ spring training director at the time he sent the card. I’d been working on a museum exhibit on minor league baseball in New Jersey and got to know the NJ native through that.

      From the world of motorsports I have the steering wheel from the car rally driver Tommi Makinen drove – and crashed – in the 2002 Rally Argentina, signed by him and his co-driver Kai Lindstrom. I won it in a contest sponsored by his rally team (Subaru) by providing the winning caption for a photo.

  • Matthew Hackethal | June 19, 2014 at 9:39 am |

    Question of the Week:

    My favorite piece of sports memorabilia I own is a small note card my dad received from one time NY Giants defensive end and general manager (and hall of famer), Andy Robustelli. Apparently my dad, a Giants fan until the day he died, wrote Robustelli a letter in 1976 while Robustelli was GM. At that time the Giants were in the midst of a streak of 17 straight seasons without making the playoffs. These were some bad Giants teams back in the mid-1970’s. In the letter my dad bemoaned the effort given by the players and that someone should go down to the locker room and “kick some ass.” Robustelli wrote back that the “‘ass’ kicking has to come from the coach!” My dad passed away 20 years ago and he had kept the note card. My mom had given it to me and I recently had it framed:


  • Will | June 19, 2014 at 9:58 am |

    At the moment all those trademarks are still registered I’m UK and probably elsewhere overseas. In fact here they are registered to the NFL not the team. And certainly in the UK I wouldn’t imagine they’d be removed without third party opposition. What is interesting is that over here most of the people I see wearing Redskins gear don’t even know what sport they play, they just like the look of the logo and the colour scheme. I’m almost certain they aren’t aware of or bothered by the negative connotations. I wonder whether in the face of change the marks might be maintained overseas or if they would just be quietly dropped?

  • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 9:58 am |

    This is the Orioles’ 60th year in Baltimore, and the team’s shop is selling throwback jerseys and caps

    Isn’t the real news that they’re holding a TBTC event to 1954, and the team will be wearing those on the field?

  • Dave Zalators | June 19, 2014 at 10:00 am |

    Question Of The Week:
    Growing up, Dave Parker was my favorite player even as a Cub fan. A few years ago, I met him at O’Hare airport and told him so, he was even the reason I had my ear pierced. He was a very cool guy. Mr. Parker reached in his carry on bag and pulled out a Brewers hat from the one year he played in Milwaukee. He said it was his last piece of game worn stuff, he signed it and gave it to me.

  • Mary | June 19, 2014 at 10:02 am |

    Just a note – The building and agency with the Gwynn jersey is the County of San Diego.

  • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 10:03 am |

    QOTW: Aside from maybe 150 old issues of Sports Illustrated (including every swimsuit issue from the mid-’70s through late-’90s, Frazier-Ali I, Namath Weeps!, etc.), I don’t have any sports memorabilia to speak of. Save for a 3″x6″ color photo of Brooks Robinson autographed personally to me that’s followed me around for ~40 years and sits on a shelf in my office.

    Posted this previously, but about 15 years ago I spent a few glorious hours deciphering the names on the baseball described in this article:
    Which despite what the article says, is from 1926 actually (Fred Merkle’s signature being the tell-tale factor).

  • Danya | June 19, 2014 at 10:08 am |

    I could very well be mistaken, but if you look at the text of the Redskins decision (http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92046185&pty=CAN&eno=199), it seems like it actually might concern the logo as well? As you can see, it specifically mentions six different registrations, one of which is a logo that looks like an older version of the team’s current helmet logo. I don’t know if that covers the newer version as well, although it seems weird to me that it wouldn’t.

    • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 10:29 am |

      The trademark being cancelled utilizes the logo in conjunction with the wordmark “Washington Redskins”. It’s that second element that makes the trademark disparaging, and thus disqualifies it from federal protection per the ruling (though the organization can still use the entire trademark all they want, and sue unauthorized users of it).

      I don’t know if the various helmet logos are separately copyrighted/trademarked, but assuming they are they still qualify for federal protection, except if used in conjunction with the offending word “Redskins.” Though again, the organization can still combine the two, and sue unauthorized parties who do likewise).

  • Mike Engle | June 19, 2014 at 10:09 am |

    In 2010, I was a student at McGill University, and Ken Dryden (my FAVORITE historical Habs player) was on tour, promoting his new book, Becoming Canada. For the occasion, I purchased a paperback copy of The Game. (Would have bought it in hardback, but they only had paperback at the store I visited.) Mr. Dryden could not have been nicer, and he was taller than I imagined. He signed a picture of himself inside my copy:

    • Jimbo | June 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

      Speaking of the Drydens, I have a Dave Dryden signed copy of “Playing the Shots at Both Ends”, written by Murray Dryden (1972). Dave was doing a promotional book signing, but i was too sick to go. My late great dad went and Dave signed it with a get well wish.

      But my all-time favorite sports memorabilia is a Roger Crozier goalie stick with a broken blade. It was broken in a practice and tossed into the penalty box. I was around 13 years old and I ran up and asked a maintenance worker if I could have it. He shrugged and said, “If you want that garbage, take it.” Garbage?! To me it was like finding the holy grail! Crozier was my hero, so to have his stick was an enormous thrill. I now have it in my office. As I type this I can look and see the ‘R CROZIER’ stamped on the shaft. It’s a great way to feel like a kid again!

      The stick is a Victoriaville, like this one: http://www.fanbase.com/Roger-Crozier/photo/757025?n=5

  • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 10:15 am |

    So… QotD. I suppose my most sentimental piece of sports memorabilia is my set of 28 NFL gumball helmets from 1981 that my father collected shortly after my birth and my late grandfather built the wooden display case for. I’ve had them for my entire life, and while I no longer see eye to eye with my family, I don’t think I’d ever be willing to get rid of those.

    My *favorite* item is an L.A. Raiders Superbowl 18 Championship pennant.

  • Gusto4044 | June 19, 2014 at 10:23 am |

    Amanda Blackhorse was interviewed yesterday by ESPN’s Andy Katz, who missed a golden opportunity to ask thoughtful questions about this issue.

    I’ve never heard a Native American address the situation regarding Red Mesa High School, located on a Navajo reservation, which has been called the Redskins for years. The defense for that high school using the slur has been the notion it’s within the same grouping of people which makes it ok. But where are the other schools associated with different races and which use those slurs as nicknames? If Native Americans are equating the term Redskins with the N-word, why the difference? And why is it considered a good idea in the Navajo community for teenagers to be called Redskins at all?

    Red Mesa also plays a sports schedule which involves playing public and private high schools outside the Native American community. Is it a smart idea to be promoting the Redskins name in that manner?

    Also, why is the Washington Redskins logo on the school sign for Red Mesa High School?

    • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 10:28 am |

      Also, why is the Washington Redskins logo on the school sign for Red Mesa High School?

      Because they poached the logo just like hundreds of other high schools have done with NFL logos.

      It certainly does make one wonder a bit just how “disparaging” the Redskins name actually is, doesn’t it?

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:36 am |

      Probably because Native Americans are a diverse group and they don’t all stick to a single set of agreed-upon talking points?

      And the board addressed this very point – just because some people don’t find the term disparaging, doesn’t mean some, many or most Native Americans do.

      • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 11:33 am |

        Exactly. In any group larger than one, you can find outliers.

        Red Mesa High School seems to me the rough equivalent of Doug Mainwaring; trotted out from time to time so conservative activists can say “See, not all gay men are in favor of gay rights! So it’s totally okay that we’re against it too!”

      • Le Cracquere | June 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm |

        Whether Indians find it so more than other groups isn’t relevant. Contra such jacklegs as the late, thoroughly unlamented Edward Said, nationalities & ethnic groups have no ownership or proprietary rights over their image, over discussions involving them, or over what terms may/may not be used to describe them. The opinion of “many or most Native Americans” over a given ethnonym, plus a few dollars, will get you a coffee at Starbucks.

        • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm |

          Legally speaking, you’re incorrect. When the meaning of a mark for which registration is sought/challenged “is found to refer to identifiable persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols,” the standard the US PTO applies in determining whether the mark merits registration specifically IS “whether that meaning may be disparaging to a substantial composite of the referenced group.”

          So yeah, their opinions DO count.

        • Le Cracquere | June 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm |

          In that case, the law is–as it so often can be–an ass. However, I’ll concede the legal point, even though I think the standard ought to change (a separate argument).

          Now, my argument might still apply to the moral suasion that many people have tried to bring to bear on this case. But, of course, that’s all moot now: turns out that the “moral suasion” was never a principled, good-faith attempt to change minds for its own sake, but a tactic to be blithely tossed aside as of yesterday–the very moment it became unnecessary.

        • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm |


        • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm |

          Oh, I don’t think the people who favor a name change have any intention of abandoning the “moral suasion” argument as you call it. It’s just that now they can claim the legal high ground as well (while admitting that particular race still has some distance to be run).

          There’s an old saying in the legal profession – “When the law’s on your side, pound on the law. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When neither are on your side, you pound on the table.” For some reason, these discussions bring that saying to mind.

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm |

          Does impugning the good will of people on the other side count as “pounding on the table”? Because if so, then I think we can take that as an admission. ;)

        • Le Cracquere | June 20, 2014 at 12:51 am |

          I hope you’ll pardon me, Scott, if I don’t hold my breath. Speaking of old sayings, there’s one that goes “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a stick.” Well, you’ve got your stick now. Congratulations.

          And Chance, I’m afraid that answering your question in the affirmative would imply that no side of any argument has ever really dealt from anything other than good will–would that this were so! It would also imply that back before it was even clear which side the law would take, one had any real faith in the now-ascendant side’s good will or honesty.

  • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | June 19, 2014 at 10:23 am |

    I scrapped together roughly $30 to buy an official MLB ball like the ones used when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak (with the orange laces and stamp) to get signed. I had to wait until the season after and I was 12 at the time. I went to a White Sox game and got in line like all the other kids to get Cal’s autograph. He passed me over twice and I kept going further down the line. Finally I jumped over some kids and received the autograph. It was the hardest I ever worked to get an autograph between getting the money for the ball and getting passed over which rarely happened when I got opposing team’s autographs at White Sox games of the time.

  • Anthony Verna | June 19, 2014 at 10:27 am |

    The other issue I’d point out is that both sets of plaintiffs (in the previous case and this one) do have standing to file this kind of suit.

    In the previous case, the plaintiffs were adults and, on appeal, the defense of laches applied. (Laches is leaglese for “Where have you been?”) The defendant was prejudiced because it had profited and used the mark for a long time.

    Here, the legal loophole (that I don’t think is going to stick) is that the new set of plaintiffs are all minors, so laches doesn’t apply to minors. (I think it’s weak.)

    As for a trademark being cancelled:
    1) That will not happen (as it is not yet cancelled) when the appeal is filed (it will be stayed);
    2) I still think that the defendant, Pro Football, Inc., is still going to be able to enforce state common-law trademark rights for a word mark that has been in use for about 90 years.

    But, ultimately, I think that a trademark in use for 90 years that has been registered for 40 or 50 years, that has a high value and recognition is going to stick around.

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 10:30 am |

      IANAL, so possibly dumb question – USPTO seems to be arguing that it shouldn’t have been registered in the first place (in 1967, I think), so wouldn’t that negate the argument that it has been registered for 40 or 50 years? Couldn’t one reasonably argue that it gained equity from the USPTO wrongly protecting the mark?

      • Le Cracquere | June 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

        If failure to defend one’s trademark means effectively losing it, then it does seem weird that the converse doesn’t apply.

        • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm |

          Not really, and not seeing the relevance.

        • Le Cracquere | June 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm |

          Thought I was agreeing with your argument above. I simply mean that if the Patent Office spends some decades upholding a claim, wrongly or not, that fact in itself amounts to a sort of precedent that maybe ought to carry a LITTLE weight when deciding whether or not to reverse the claim.

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm |

          I’m given to understand that most trademarks are approved automatically. It is incumbent upon others with a claim to then fight that approval.

          If that’s true, then there’s nothing wrong with a trademark being issued and protected before being later found improper.

          Your post also hints at the “80 years” canard, but that’s not exactly a robust defense of the name.

        • Le Cracquere | June 20, 2014 at 12:53 am |

          Actually, I wasn’t even aware of the “80 years” argument; I was referring simply to the last few decades or so when, one assumes, the patent office was at the Redskins’ disposal to defend its copyrights.

  • BvK1126 | June 19, 2014 at 10:27 am |

    “If the team did lose all trademark protection, including common law, how big a financial hit would it take?”

    The USPTO’s ruling yesterday has no effect on the Redskins’ common law trademark rights. Common law is law created by court rulings as opposed to statute or regulation. Common law exists almost exclusively at the state level rather than at the federal level, and usually only on subject matters where state legislatures haven’t passed statutes that effectively supersede it.

    The reason this distinction is important is that the USPTO’s ruling serves only to cancel the rights and privileges that the Redskins were entitled to under the registration provisions of the Lanham Act, a federal statute that sets nationwide standards for trademark protections.

    Although the Lanham Act is in effect across the country, it doesn’t prevent states from having their own laws covering trademark rights. Those laws can provide redundant rights to trademark holders (i.e., the same rights as the Lanham Act, but enforceable under state law) or additional rights, so long as they don’t conflict with the Lanham Act. Those state laws related to trademarks may be in the form of statute or common law, and can be enforced only within the confines of the state where they are effective.

    Even without federal trademark protection under the Lanham Act, the ‘Skins could still try to enforce state-level trademark protections against those who see to use the team’s name and imagery without permission. It becomes a bit more of a crap shoot because of the variations in state law versus the consistency of the Lanham Act (and the other privileges it provides, as Scott described, such as the burden of proof presumptions). So, the only way the ‘Skins lose common law and state law trademark protections is if courts in those states rule against them or the state legislatures take action.

  • Surly Duff | June 19, 2014 at 10:28 am |

    Minnesota United != Manchester United. Just hilarious. The people who run this blog really know nothing about sports.

  • Perry | June 19, 2014 at 10:28 am |

    The only piece of sports memorabilia I own is a scorecard from the first major league game I attended, Pirates vs. Reds at Crosley Field in July of 1965. I was 10.

    Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, and Roberto Clemente were in the Pirates lineup, while the Reds featured Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Tony Perez, and a young second baseman named Rose.

    Before the game Pete was chatting with someone at the railing, and my parents told me to go down and have him sign the scorecard. I was petrified but walked down and handed it to him, and he couldn’t have been nicer as he signed it. I barely knew who he was then, but as I got a little older and learned the game he became my favorite player. Which he remains, in spite of the off-field stuff.

    • Munch Suchland | June 19, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

      This is awesome! What a treasure.

  • David G Firestone | June 19, 2014 at 10:31 am |

    My favorite piece of memorabilia is a Ricky Craven 1996 driver suit made to replace the one that was cut up. By the hospital after his 1996 Winston 500 wreck.

    • ChrisH | June 19, 2014 at 10:53 am |

      I like how the Larry Hendrick Motorsports logo was formed to match the car number.

  • Bill | June 19, 2014 at 10:32 am |

    Any patch for Chuck Noll needs to have a needle and a pill bottle for the amount of drugs the team used in the 70’s.

    • just Joe | June 19, 2014 at 11:15 am |

      you misspelled League

  • jd | June 19, 2014 at 10:35 am |

    my favorite sports piece is a game puck I caught in the last year of Chicago stadium against the Minnesota North Stars… Dallas Stars. (had to do that, the in house announcer kept getting it wrong since they had just moved and it was a early season game, October 18th). I was sitting in the 8th row, end ice, just right of the left corner as seen from the ice. Shot taken by someone on Dallas from the top of circle and it deflected off Belfour and I caught it. Not something that can be done anymore since they put the “don’t bother to pay attention” nets behind the goals. Its in a case on my mantle at home to this day.

  • Perry | June 19, 2014 at 10:36 am |

    That’s not a Manchester United player wearing #0 — it’s Minnesota United. Same game as the one where Sporting KC changed jerseys at halftime.

  • Eric | June 19, 2014 at 10:39 am |

    What’s the coolest piece of sports memorabilia you own, in terms of either monetary or sentimental value?

    I own this Drew Hill Hula Bowl jersey from 1978:

    I spent 1973-77 in Hawaii as my Dad was stationed there at Hickam AFB. After Aloha Stadium was built, he’d take me to the Hula Bowl each year and it’s one of my happiest memories of spending time with my Dad in Hawaii. I bought the jersey because it’s the same style that was worn at the games I actually attended.

  • ChrisH | June 19, 2014 at 10:40 am |

    Great FAQ, Paul!
    Regarding the 2003 decision:
    Because the issue of standing/laches was the sole basis of the ruling by the D.C. District Court to allow the Redskins to continue to hold their trademark registrations in federal court, does that mean the there was no ruling by any court on the ‘greater’ issue of disparagement, of which there must be “substantial evidence” to prove the case?
    If such evidence finally get presented and argued before the court, does that also have to be from the time the trademarks were registered as well (i.e.: most the questionable actions of the Marshall pre-1967 would be considered irrelevant?)?

  • Matt B | June 19, 2014 at 10:45 am |

    Was interested in the aside about the Cowboys having their own licencing deal. Found some further reading here:

    But might be an interesting article in itself? The effects for Dallas, pros/cons for league, chances of other teams following it etc?

  • Rick H | June 19, 2014 at 10:51 am |

    Hulk cleats??? Anyone else see the irony of that? Unless they were made to look like feet.

    Also, in regards to the Bitcoin Bowl, while Fool’s Gold is good, I was thinking of Counterfeit Bowl (or Cup, even).

  • jacket18 | June 19, 2014 at 10:54 am |

    Mike’s QOTD:

    It’s not mine, but my dad has a baseball signed by the entire 1957 World Champion Milwaukee Braves team. Unfortunately, he being a kid at the time (and sports memorabilia not being then what it is now), he and his friends actually played baseball with it. It’s pretty beat up today, but you can still see some big names on there (Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn).

  • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 10:55 am |

    QOTD: An absolutely beautiful home 1965 Boston Red Sox flannel rookie jersey of my childhood favorite player – catcher Mike Ryan, complete with 1966 matching pants. That, and an Argonauts pocket schedule.

    • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm |

      Also, I hung the nose of some car that Jeff Gordon wrecked on my son’s bedroom wall when he was about nine or ten years old. He’ll turn 17 in October, 6’4″/240 lbs, and wants it out of his room pronto! They grow up too fast!

  • Mirliton | June 19, 2014 at 11:04 am |

    My favorite piece of memorabilia is a 1939 Army-Navy game program I found at a garage sale.

  • tommythecpa | June 19, 2014 at 11:11 am |

    My most loved game used jerseys are a tie between

    1972 Braves home feather Gary Niebauer
    1970 Colts home dureen Dan Sullivan
    2003 Redskins white Patrick Ramsey

  • Adam N. | June 19, 2014 at 11:34 am |

    Perhaps someone can shed some light on this part of the Redskins trademark issue: why can’t disparaging/offensive things be trademarked?

    If Andres Serrano wants to start a line of products and use piss christ as the brand name and create a logo depicting his vile “art”, shouldn’t he enjoy the same legal protections as other brands? If it is something he created, marketed, and profited for years, and can demonstrate the financial impact of others being able to use his brand name and logo, should he receive legal, exclusive rights to profit from that?

    What is the legal basis for not granting exclusive usage rights based on something being offensive?

    • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm |

      In actuality, the Lanham Act starts from the presumption that a given mark IS registrable. It’s only if they fail certain, specific tests that they will be denied. Here’s a link to the pertinent statutory provision:
      Here’s a link to the pertinent section of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure that fleshes out in greater detail how the US PTO interprets those statutory requirements:

      • Adam N. | June 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm |

        From the article: “Disparagement is essentially a violation of one’s right of privacy — the right to be “let alone” from contempt or ridicule. See, Carson v. Here’s Johnny Portable Toilets, Inc., 698 F.2d 831, 218 USPQ 1 (6th Cir. 1983). It has been defined as the publication of a statement which the publisher intends to be understood, or which the recipient reasonably should understand, as tending “to cast doubt upon the quality of another’s land, chattels, or intangible things.” Restatement (Second) of Torts §629 (1977).”

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

          Hmm. So something approaching libel. Makes sense.

        • scottrj | June 20, 2014 at 8:03 am |

          You can’t libel an ethnic group.

  • mike 2 | June 19, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    Favourite pieces of memorabilia:

    1. Wayne Gretzky rookie cards (I have 4 of them, not in this good condition)


    2. One ticket for the 1985 World Series, Toronto Blue Jays versus NL champions, Game 6. I bought 8 and returned 7 for a refund (I was a poor student at the time and kept one. Face value $25.

    The grandstand was normally general admission but they did reserved seating for the playoffs. I would have been over 300 feet behind the centrefield fence if the game had been played.

    • Iain | June 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

      I have a Gretzky rookie card as well. It is in very good condition except for the pinhole from having it stuck to my wall as a kid.

      • just Joe | June 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

        That’s the weird thing about cards (and everything collectible, I guess.) I mean, I have a Jordan #45 “He’s Back” card that would be in perfect condition if not for the crease down the middle from where my bony ass bent it when I carried it in my wallet in elementary school. Would I carry a card around with me today? Hell no, but that’s just the kind of dumb stuff kids do. As for that card, I still don’t really care about the damage. Sentimentally, it’s worth more to me than whatever the Beckett value is, anyway. I wouldn’t say that particular card is my answer for the QOTW, but my whole collection is as good of an answer as I can think of right now.

  • Mark in Shiga | June 19, 2014 at 11:39 am |

    Coolest thing I’ve got? A foul ball obtained at a Clearwater Phillies – Dunedin Blue Jays Florida State League game in 1993.

    Two days before I caught this ball, I was at the game with family and we were sitting in the very first row. There was a fight on the field and I leaned over the fence to grab a ball that had come loose. A few minutes later an usher comes over to my seat and tells me that you can’t reach onto the field like that. He says I can keep the ball if I let him sign it. But it’s the first ball I ever got, and I want a player to sign it, and after some back-and-forth he relents.

    So two days later we’re at the game again and I decide I want to earn a foul ball, legit. The crowd is only about 600 strong and there are acres of empty seats in the outfield. I go out to the very middle of an empty area and am there with my glove ready.

    Carlos Delgado (who would later reach the majors, as would many people on that Dunedin team) sends a foul ball towards my area. All I can think of is that with nobody near me, I’m definitely going to get it. And where does the ball go? Right to me — all I had to do was stand up, and I gloved it.

    After that, I really thought I should have let that usher sign the first ball!

  • Sweet Lou | June 19, 2014 at 11:39 am |

    Game worn AHL Boston Braves jersey from ~1973

    • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm |

      Nice. Do you know who wore it?

  • JohnK | June 19, 2014 at 11:40 am |

    Most meaningful-my father’s early 1950s track shoes–and they’re Chuck Taylors!
    Most valuable (I assume)-baseball signed by the World Champion 1966 Orioles.
    Runners up–1964 Orioles World Series tickets–printed but never issued, and large panoramic photo of the 1915 Federal League Opening Day at Terrapin Park. (Copied from one that hung behind the bar at Donahue’s Tavern, which was across the street from the ballpark for decades.)

  • Sean | June 19, 2014 at 11:41 am |


    Welp those new uni’s are bland as bland can be…Is the NBA just using a template to throw over any team that decides to “update” their uniforms? It looks more like an evolution of the Bobcats Uni’s more than it does the Hornets….IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE PINSTRIPES!!!

    • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 11:50 am |

      Yeah, those are rather lame, and the road uniform is purple? Really?

      I give them an F.

      • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm |

        Seriously. It’s teal and purple, not purple and teal.

        Between that and the pinstripes, I’m seriously disappointed.

        • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm |

          I like ’em.

          If they made the roads purple so the alt could be teal, meaning they could wear teal at home, then I can’t blame them for that. Teal at home will be very cool.

  • BrianC | June 19, 2014 at 11:42 am |

    “Not only does Washington Township (Indiana) High School have excellent uniforms, they also have a really neat scoreboard in right center field”

    Interesting that a team called the Senators would be wearing what appear to be Boston Braves pattern stirrups.

    • mild bill | June 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

      I was amazed that no one went pajama or Hunter Pence (above the knee). Everyone seems to have a uniform length.

      Is it possible that the coach makes them comply with a standard look?

  • ryan l | June 19, 2014 at 11:50 am |

    I caught a foul ball during Game 2 of the 2005 World Series in Chicago. We Chicagoans will probably never see another World Series again so its priceless. Also, my dad snuck me into the game because he worked security at the time…so it really was a freebie!

  • Adam N. | June 19, 2014 at 11:50 am |

    “Teams that wear blue and red are the winningest teams in sports.”

    Neon green must be hot on their heels though. . .

    • The Jeff | June 19, 2014 at 11:52 am |

      Well, since 70% of all sports teams wear those colors, of course they’re the winningest. They’re also probably the losingest.

      • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm |

        There’s research that suggests wearing red helps you compete better.

        But a consistent pattern emerged in all four sports: contestants who wore red were more likely to win. In 21 rounds, 16 had more red winners than blue. The same was true across the weight classes of all sports: 19 out of 29 had more red winners than blue.

        They reasoned that the colour only made a difference when the contestants were evenly matched.

        Then they looked at the Euro 2004 soccer tournament, in which teams wore shirts of different colours in different matches. Once again, it seemed that teams played better wearing red rather than white.

  • BvK1126 | June 19, 2014 at 11:50 am |

    “Assuming the ruling stands, does it apply to the team’s logos, or only to the name?

    Just the name. The logos still have copyright protection.”

    These two logos, which incorporate an older version of Washington’s Indian head graphic design mark, were part of the cancellation decision. Although I didn’t see anything in the USPTO’s decision that specifically addressed this point, it seems reasonable to presume this was due to the inclusion of the disparaging term “Redskins,” however, rather than the imagery itself.

    That said, the cancellation affects the entirety of trademark, not just part of it. So both of those logos, images and all would not be subject to federal trademark protection.

    It’s questionable how significant the loss of protection for these design marks would be to the Redskins, though, considering that neither mark appears to be in current use for team branding. But it is correct to say that the team’s most prominent design mark – the Indian head logo that appears on the helmets – was not affected by yesterday’s decision. In fact, it was not included among the marks that the petitioners challenged, and the USPTO’s decision makes no mention of it.

  • Anthony Nuccio | June 19, 2014 at 11:54 am |

    QoTW: my favorite piece of sports memorabilia is a tie between a signed ball from Andy Pafko that was signed on my 3rd birthday or a signed picture from Michael Jordan.

  • Ben Fortney | June 19, 2014 at 11:56 am |

    Question of the Day:

    First thing that popped into my head is a classic leather suitcase presented to Washington Senator’s great Mickey Vernon at a Mets oldtimers day in 1977. He was my aunt’s father and after he died a lot of his collection went to auction. She knew I was a Mets fan so held on to it. Has his initials, the Mets logo and a little engraving on the lock. Incidentally that oldtimers day produced this photo, which lead to the creation of the “Talking Baseball” song. (Yes, amazingly enough, Joe D got the shaft in the song.)

    Second thought was a 1988 Mets Strikeout Hanky from the NLCS. Went to the game with my now departed grandfather who was a lifelong baseball fan. No need to say more.

    • umplou | June 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm |

      Joe D did pretty well with Paul Simon I believe….

  • Toddro | June 19, 2014 at 11:58 am |

    New Hornets unis look pretty clean. I like them.


  • Tim Hand | June 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

    Many years ago my aunt saw Joe DiMaggio at the now close Tony Gugnoni’s San Marino Restaurant in NYC. She passed the auto along to me as a gift and it’s my favorite piece of memorabilia for a few reasons: it’s personalized which means my aunt actually met the man, it’s on a vintage post card from the restaurant which you don’t see very often anymore, and the restaurant is a classic old school NYC Italian place, which I believe no longer exists. It’s from the era before autographs became a big money enterprise and clearly DiMaggio, who was notoriously prickly at times, was obliging even during his dinner. Everything about this autograph is authentic and I’ve framed it along with an 8×10 color photo of DiMaggio.

  • Matthew Toy | June 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

    I remember seeing that Otto Graham jersey when I went to the Hall of Fame in 2010. And nearby they had Terry Bradshaw’s helmet and jersey. But it was actually Mark Malone’s helmet. They just switched the 6 and the 2 on it. I could tell because the helmet had one of those creepy mid 80s facemasks and Bradshaw never wore that. Plus the Steelers logo is crooked. And if you ever see the NFL Films highlights of the Steelers beating the Broncos in the 84 playoffs you’ll see the logo on Malone’s helmet is just as crooked.

  • Steve B. | June 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

    To answer this week’s question of the week, my favorite piece of sports memorabilia I own is a pair of ‘Skins game worn gold pants. One of my more unusual pieces, but still my fav.

  • DJ | June 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

    Interesting that on the new Hornets uniforms, the NBA logo is placed not on the front of the jersey, but on the back, just below the neck and above the player’s name

    • Thomas J | June 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm |

      I like the new Hornets. One minor change I would make would be to swap the color for the numbers and the script. If they’re going to make the numbers a solid color, make the white so it shows up clearly. Ideally I would do everything in the same outlined style but maybe they don’t want to do it that way.

    • Thomas J | June 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

      The position of that NBA logo leaves a suspicious void on the front of the jersey. Exactly the place you might see a jersey ad.

      • Chris Giorgio | June 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

        Thomas J – I was pessimistically thinking the same thing

  • Cort | June 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

    QOTD – My top 6, in ascending order:

    –A poster autographed by Jerry Butler, Bill Brooks, Charley Ferguson and James Lofton, all of whom wore #80 for the Buffalo Bills (I have no idea why I have this, or what it means, but it’s cool)

    — A chunk of limestone from the late, lamented Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium

    — A circa 1975 pennant from the late, not so lamented Buffalo Norsemen minor league hockey team

    — TIE A photo of my then-three year old son, dressed in the full Astros regalia, posing with outfielder Luis Gonzalez on the floor of the Astrodome, and a photo of my other son, talking with Manchester City goaltender Joe Hart

    –My dad’s high school letterman’s sweater

  • Mike Chamernik | June 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

    Good responses as usual, everyone!

  • David Murphy | June 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm |

    QOTD: Tops has to be the two torches I carried in the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay…one in Gary Indiana and again in Wake Forest NC.

    Also from the 96 Olympics – a small piece of the track, which had been disassembled and moved across downtown to the Atlanta University stadium not far from the Georgia Dome.

  • Justin H. | June 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm |

    New Hornets have no pinstripes, emphasis on way more purple than before. I can only assume they went for what would have been the “evolution” of the Charlotte Hornets look if they had stayed teal/purple and in NC. I think they failed.

    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm |

      I don’t think that’s a particularly good assumption.

      Pinstripes look horrible on anything except a business suit or baseball uniform, and it seems they chose purple roads so they could wear teal at home.

  • Ken | June 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm |

    wow… never really thought about it…but some of my favorites are

    1) baseball singed by Don Larsen, David Wells, David Cone and their respective catchers.
    2) 1983 NHL all-Star game program singed by Gordie Howe, Jean Béliveau, Wayne Gretzky & Bryan Trottier
    3) 1996 World Series Program signed by Spike Lee (and posed for photo with) 10/26/96 [Game 6] I also picked up some warning track dirt that day
    4) Arm rest and seat tag from US Airways Arena (Cap Center, Landover MD)

  • Judy | June 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm |

    Question of the Day:

    I have a couple of cool pieces:

    – a baseball that Cal Ripken Jr. signed during batting practice before a game at Anaheim Stadium

    – a tennis ball that Serena Williams signed during her ill-fated acting career, when she was working on a TV show with my sister. That was a cool one because before she signed it, I got to chat with her about other players. She was a Sampras fan; I always preferred Courier.

    – a football signed by Terry Bradshaw

    But the best piece I have: when I was in elementary school, I had a Redskins notebook (and lunch box with thermos, and hat, and who knows what else). I pulled the cardboard with the logo out of the plastic and sent it to the team in hopes that somebody might sign it. A couple weeks later I got it back with signatures from Billy Kilmer, Larry Brown, Len Hauss, Chris Hanburger, Jerry Smith and George Allen, along with a few other players I can’t remember off the top of my head.

    • Judy | June 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

      Can’t believe I forgot to mention Sonny Jurgensen. That’s what makes it my favorite piece.

    • Cort | June 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm |

      My dad was a drywall finisher, who worked on the condo where OJ Simpson lived during his rookie season with the Bills.

      Juice and another guy (it would be a better story if I could say the other guy was Al Cowlings, but I have no evidence of that) came by to check out the place, while it was under construction. My dad ripped a flap off a cardboard box, handed OJ a carpenter’s pencil, and asked for his autograph, which Dad gave to me.

      I decided it would be more official if it were signed in ink, so I traced over the pencil lines, over and over again, with a blue BiC pen.

      I was a stupid kid.

  • NickBob | June 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

    The Seattle Times is banning the use of the Washington NFL franchise from their pages.


    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm |

      There a list of the papers that have done that?

  • NickBob | June 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm |

    The NAME of the franchise. Editor! Spill on aisle three!

  • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm |


    Autographed photo of Michael Jordan playing baseball from one of his car dealerships.

  • Roger | June 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

    That has got to be the most underwhelming new uniform reveal since the Padres of 2012.

    Totally void of style … good or bad.

    One big meh.

    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm |

      Oh, I think they have plenty of style. The bold colors (including numbers not encumbered by outlines)? The asymmetrical striping? That’s style enough.

    • arrScott | June 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

      Goes to show the subjectivity of taste: To my eye, the new Hornets are easily top-5 in the NBA. Paul is dead on with the need for white outlines on the road and alt jerseys, but otherwise this checks all my boxes for basketball design. Then again, I think the vast majority of NBA teams are un-redeemably ugly, so what do I know about basketball uni design?

  • James Gregg | June 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm |

    One Native American’s take on the Redskins. Not what you might think either. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/05/29/retired-native-american-chief-would-be-offended-if-redskins-did-change-name/

    QOTW: Mine piece of sports memorabilia is my old basketball warmup jacket. Still have it to this day though my last game was in 1975

    • Jimmy | June 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm |

      Unfortunately, anything showing Native Americans in support of the Redskins is not looked at too fondly around here. The only Native American voices that matter are the ones that coincide with their ’cause’

      • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm |

        Even a casual perusal of the “Skins Watch” from months past will demonstrate how false that statement is.

  • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
  • Bob Dlotkowski | June 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

    I have a foot-long section of the goalpost torn down from Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA from August 1995 after Iowa St. beat Ohio U. At the time, both schools were tied for the longest losing streak in Division 1. Preceding the ‘indestructible’ goal post era, it was carried down a city major street and dumped in the university lake, a tradition at the time. Sections were recovered and hacksawed into pieces later. Possibly the most mundane souvenir ever, but it somehow still means very much to me sitting on my shelf.

    • Coleman | June 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

      They dumped a goalpost in the water (not sure if it’s the lake you referred to) after beating WVU this past season as well. It’s nice to be somebody’s Super Bowl. Haha

  • Gary-O | June 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm |

    Mike’s QotW:

    A baseball from the Oakland A’s spring training camp in 1970, I was 12. Three players were playing pepper when one fouled a ball into the stands. Back then very few attended spring training so I was able to quickly scarf it up. Actually, not that quick. I stared at it for a minute or two expecting someone official would retrieve such a valuable commodity.

    I still have it, on my dresser, all browned and hardened.

  • Mike Chamernik | June 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

    Whenever I see Tick-tock to introduce the Ticker, I think of MVP’s entrance song.


  • Douglas King | June 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm |

    The whole idea behind excluding Mexico and the US is that it allows a more varied result.

    Nevermind the fact that the 2 links have different sources (the Yahoo article is based off of Fanatics.com sales, the picture off of Soccer.com), and thus neither is a great judge of which country is selling best.

    Its also worth noting that the Fanatics sampling ends either the day of the US match or the day before (it says 4 days after the kickoff, which either means they counted none of the sales on the day of the first match or they worded it poorly in the article), so there wasn’t a whole lot of time for fans to react to the result, like they could for the header by Van Persie or the goal scored by Neymar.

    Regardless its not uncommon for 2 different conclusions to be made when you are basing them on 2 different sources of information.

  • Holly G. | June 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

    If things follow suit this coming NBA season on ring ceremony night as they did last season, are we really going to see the Spurs infuse gold into a uniform which already uses silver in its treatment? Combining two metallic hues doesn’t and wont work, even if only for a night. Has it ever been attempted? Anywhere? I can’t see an organization like San Antonio doing such a thing. They’re too “Barry Sanders” for that.

  • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

    Thoughtful, mature and nuanced point made to me on Facebook today, regarding the Redskins issue:

    Honestly…. anyone who finds a sports team’s name offensive is a jerk off.

    Personally, I think anyone who says, “anyone who [X] is [Y]” is a jerk off, but I digress.

    I was also having a discussion where someone said the University of North Dakota was “forced” to abandon its “Fighting Sioux” nickname; I took exception to the word “forced” and pointed out that while the NCAA did pressure the university to change its name — which it is perfectly within its rights and prerogative to do — the ultimate decision was the result of a lengthy deliberative process with full public and private participation. Yet my counterparts continued to insist, “They were FORCED! They were FORCED! FORCED!!!!

    The word “forced” implies arbitrary and unjustified coercion, but more than that, it implies that the so-called “force” victimized whoever was on the receiving end of it. It’s the ubiquitous victimization language that bothers me. Some people can’t talk about anything without casting themselves as victims, or victims-by-proxy; one political faction in particular can be counted on to use the word “forced” in every other sentence, referring either to themselves personally or some ideologically-aligned cohort.

    I could not help but notice, although I refrained from commenting upon, the irony of complaining about contrived victimization by contriving victimization. It’s as if we’re all competing for victim status; You’re not a victim of this offensive racial slur, I’m a victim of “political correctness”!

    As I noted above, I find the phrase “political correctness” to be a generic complaint lodged by people who have never been and probably will never be victimized by the sort of offensiveness and meanness they seek to blithely and blamelessly inflict on others. “Anyone who is offended by [X] is a jerk,” says the person for whom there can be no analogy to [X], who has never walked and will never walk in those shoes. The non-victim minimizes and dismisses the victimhood of actual victims by making himself the victim.

    Where does it end?

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | June 19, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

    As for this week’s question? As a Pirates, Panthers, and Penguins (in a former hockey watching life) fan I own and have purchased for myself and my father some items made from metal from the old Civic Arena (I still call the new arena the new Cvic Arena). I don’t have the space to be a big collector so my choices are pretty limited. My father is still a huge Pens fan though so just knowing he gets enjoyment out of the same items I also own make it my favorite.

    Now then. As for the Hornets new look? I also agree with those that have said this looks more like an update of the Bobcats to Hornets colors and logos and nothing else. I give them a D and not an F only because they have a white, a teal, and a purple look and didn’t just drop the teal permanently. No pinstripes on a Charlotte Hornets uniform? Really? And those huge numbers look terrible. They really should’ve let Alexander Julian design these. Here’s hoping in a few years when they are allowed to do a re-do he’s brought in to give the team proper looking uniforms instead of this bland Swoosh designed template looking crap!! Very disappointed!!! I’ve now changed my mind. This is an F design not a D design. Hornets have failed on this one. But what do you expect from this franchise with the track record they have

  • George Chilvers | June 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm |

    Never mind the “it’s dusty in here” crap, Paul

    Real tears from me on this one. Well done that man!!

    • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm |

      I had nothing to do with it — Mike did today’s Ticker.

    • George Chilvers | June 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm |

      Excuses excuses …….

      • Mike Chamernik | June 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm |

        Glad you liked it – oh man was that the sweetest thing ever.

  • Bob A | June 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

    re: Mike’s QOTD

    In 1969 I went with a buddy, also a Oriole fan, to see the O’s play at Yankee Stadium on a mid-week afternoon. We’d decided that we’d make a couple of banners to support our club. We set to work dividing an old bed sheet and, with orange paint and a marker, we each created a work of art. His was the number ‘5’ for Brooks Robinson. Mine was a ’20’ in orange with ‘RF’ added on.
    We missed the Orioles’ batting practice session but we hung out near the third base dugout in hopes the players would see our signs when they warmed up. Then a batboy approached me and asked if I would like him to take my banner to Frank in the clubhouse and show it to him. I said ‘Sure’ and handed it to him not knowing if I’d see it again. Moments later here comes my banner up the dugout steps being carried by Frank Robinson himself. He asked whose it was and brought it over to me and thanked me for bringing it. He asked for my pen and signed it right in the middle on the ‘0’. 42 years later I still have it. It’s discolored and been stained a bit along the way, the orange color had darkened to a pinkish red and the autograph has faded some. But that banner still means more to me than any piece of memorabilia I own.

    Here’s the banner

    And here is a close up of the signature

  • Coleman | June 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

    It never ceases to amaze me just how different the comment sections here at UW set themselves apart from the rest if the internet time and time again. With a few minuscule exceptions (trolls, ESPN riff-raff, The when he wakes up too early) this place is head and shoulders above the rest.

    • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

      Thanks, Coleman. I’ve tried hard (as have many of the readers) to cultivate a setting that encourages thoughtful discussion and doesn’t tolerate bullshit — and still has room for the occasional Big Cock Johnson!

    • Mike Chamernik | June 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm |


    • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm |

      Seconded. I was about to write something along those lines, and Coleman, you did it well.

      Thank you Paul, Phil, The Jeff, terrible, etc. etc. Sometimes “covering something to death” is a good thing. We don’t have to read “What about “Vikings”?” here.

      Thanks so much again

    • DenverGregg | June 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

      UniWatch has a very good comment section. There are other good comment sections too. However they all are on sites that tend to have a highly specific focus.

  • Minor League Guy | June 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

    Mike’s question response: back in the 80s when my dad worked for Busch Creative, he was able to just walk straight into the clubhouse at Busch Memorial, it’s kind of a random piece he has, but it’s a notebook signed by every player, coach, and manager, 1 signature per page. i forget the actual year. … another piece he has which usually makes me laugh when i think about it is a ball signed by both Lou Brock and Ernie Broglio. But, i think my most sentimental piece was signed for me the day Darryl Strawberry was in my home, in St Louis, totally blew my mind at the moment, he was working on a project for his foundation with my dad, and he signed a ball for me.

  • Munch Suchland | June 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm |

    My favorite Sports Memorabilia? Easy.
    2002, my senior year at Ohio State. We students storm the field after beating Michigan to go to the Fiesta Bowl to play for the National Championship. The field was getting destroyed, so I reached down and grabbed a chunk of it, including some “red” from the end zone. It’s now framed alongside my season ticket with a small plaque that denotes the score of the game, the date, and “National Championship Season”.
    Of course, my little brother has me beat. He was a student trainer with the team that year so he’s got a pair of gold pants with his initials, a National Championship ring with our last name on it as well as tons of other goodies and memories. So though it’s not my memorabilia, it’s still in my favorites list.

  • dae | June 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm |


    * More information: http://www.mlive.com/eagles/index.ssf/2014/06/interesting_tidbits_about_emu.html#incart_river

    Personally, I’m waiting for the “Fifty Shades of Gray” references to explain how bad Eastern’s football program has been.

  • Bud | June 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Mike Engle | June 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm |

      No…but I’m not surprised. Players’ swag was hardly standardized back in the day. Heck, Football Giants players had a 50/50 chance of getting a baseball Giants or a Yankees overcoat for the winter!

    • BrianC | June 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm |

      Could be just the folds on Gehrig’s jacket. Do we have any other pictures of it?

    • scottrj | June 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

      I dunno, but I would love to get my hands on that glorious A’s jacket Tris Speaker is wearing!

    • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm |

      I think Gehrig’s jacket has the dots; they’re just very faint in the photo.

  • Jimmy | June 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm |

    So the Redskins are just being bullied to this point. “We don’t like you, so we’ll use every dirty trick in the book to force you to do what we want”

    Should the team change their name? Sure. But the way this is happening is wrong. Paul and his merry little band of “I’m white but I want to tell Native Americans how to think” crew won’t stop there. What do the professionally offended do when they get their way? They go after new targets. The Blackhawks, Chiefs, Indians, and Braves will be next. Maybe if you try hard enough, you can stir up enough shit to get teams with Animal mascots changed as well.

    White people are doing this. What a big freakin’ surprise!

    • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm |

      Could you explain how the trademark ruling was a “dirty trick”? Please be specific. Thanks.

      • Jimmy | June 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm |

        Can you explain to me how as a white guy, you feel you have the right to not only tell Native Americans how they should think, but you completely ignore any evidence of Native Americans who think this attack on the Redskins name is silly? Please be specific. Thanks.

        • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 3:59 pm |

          1) You still haven’t explained how the trademark ruling is a “dirty trick.” We’re all eager to hear your explanation.

          2) You realize the plaintiff in the trademark case is a Native American, right?

          3) I’m not telling Natives how they should think. I realize some of them feel one way about the issue and others feel another way, just like the rest of us do. But as an American, I feel that the misappropriation of a marginalized group’s cultural iconography is wrong. My position on this, from the start, has been that Natives should be the ones to control their own imagery. If they want to give permission to Florida State, that’s fine. If they want to have *their own* team called the Redskins, that’s fine by me too. But I don’t think Daniel Snyder should be profiting off of Native Americans’ cultural heritage. The fact that I’m white isn’t particularly relevant to that point one way or the other. I’m not a black, but I know slavery was wrong; I’m not a woman, but I know rape is wrong. (And no, I’m not suggesting a moral equivalence between the ’Skins name and slavery/rape; I’m just making the point that you don’t have to belong to a certain group in order to have a position on issues affecting that group.)

          If you disagree, well, you’re certainly not alone. But it would be nice if you could (a) back up your assertions and (b) stop with the name-calling. That may work on other websites, but not this one.

        • BvK1126 | June 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

          “[Y]ou completely ignore any evidence of Native Americans who think this attack on the Redskins name is silly.”

          Paul regularly includes links to stories about Native Americans who support the Redskins’ name in ‘Skins Watch. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your rant…

      • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

        I think Jimmy’s asking you when you changed your name to Amanda Blackhorse.

    • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm |

      I must have missed the “tell[ing] Native Americans how to think” part. I’ve never read anything on this site that could reasonably be interpreted as telling anyone what to think, let alone American Indians.

      Also, what is it about “the way this is happening” that “is wrong”? Is it not reasonable and proper in a free society to use public forums, the marketplace of ideas, the democratic process and its institutions, to effect change by exerting social, economic and political pressure? What is “wrong” with advocacy?

      How else, besides advocacy, would you recommend people go about effecting change, or correcting what they perceive to be an historical wrong? What would be the “right” way for the plaintiffs in this case, American Indians as a whole, or the broad public, to accomplish this goal?

      • Jimmy | June 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm |

        You can start by actually listening to the vast majority of Native Americans who are not offended by the name. Oh, I forgot. They don’t count.

        • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm |

          Oh, I forgot. They don’t count.

          Spare us the passive-aggressive snark. Grow up. And answer the question that was asked:

          What is the “right” or proper way for people who want to effect change to go about doing so, if not through advocacy and democratic institutions?

      • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm |

        These days, “the way this is happening is wrong” is usually code-speak for “my preferred outcome isn’t winning”.

        • BvK1126 | June 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm |

          Sadly, most people care about outcome to the exclusion of process. And the only time they care about process is when they don’t like the outcome. Which is too bad, really, because ignoring the process usually results in bad outcomes.

          As a rare example that some do care about process still, I’ll cite to my comments yesterday about Rangers F.C.’s new third kit with the sublimated Union Jack design. I favor British unionism (not that my opinion as a Yank matters at all). But I find Rangers’ blatant political pandering against the Scottish independence referendum to be misplaced and indefensible.

  • BrianC | June 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

    Redskins is offensive, but I don’t think native names are by definition bad or disrespectful. This was in the Boston Herald today; the comments in parentheses are my take on it:

    “At last count, there are 43 high schools in Massachusetts with Native American Indian mascots, according to the New England Anti-Mascot Coalition. Here’s a sampling from the website’s list:”

    Algonquin Regional High School

    TOMAHAWKS (could be named after the missiles)

    Amesbury High School

    INDIANS (not offensive)

    Barnstable High School

    RED RAIDERS (offensive)

    Braintree High School

    WAMPS/LADY WAMPS (just plain stupid)

    Brookline High School

    WARRIORS (not offensive)

    Dartmouth High School

    INDIANS (not offensive)

    Foxboro High School

    WARRIORS (not offensive)

    Hanover High School

    INDIANS (not offensive)

    Lowell High School

    RED RAIDERS (offensive)

    Methuen High School

    RANGERS (what does that have to do with Indians?)

    Middleboro High School

    SACHEMS (not offensive)

    Millis High School

    MOHAWKS (not offensive)

    Pentucket Regional High School (West Newbury)

    SACHEMS (not offensive)

    Saugus High School

    SACHEMS (not offensive)

    Seekonk High School

    WARRIORS (not offensive)

    Ware High School

    INDIANS (not offensive)

    Watertown High School

    RED RAIDERS (offensive)

    Wayland High School

    WARRIORS (not offensive)

    Winchester High School

    SACHEMS (not offensive)

    By the way, Algonquin, Pentucket, Seekonk and Saugus are all names with Indian origins, as is Massachusetts

    • Chance Michaels | June 19, 2014 at 4:29 pm |


      I’ve mentioned this before, but that list reminds me of my own high school, which uses the nickname “Red Raiders”. It used to be an explicitly Native American reference. My class tried to get it changed in the late 1980s, to no avail. Following classes actually succeeded, and though the name remains they now pair it with a pirate theme.

      • Rob S | June 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm |

        … the Red Skull is a pirate now?

    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 8:09 pm |

      You’re right that a lot of those names aren’t offensive by definition, but with names like “Warriors” and “Braves”, there’s an obvious subtext of “noble savages”.

      I guess “Indians” is kinda okay to the extent that it’s kinda okay to lump diversely, loosely defined groups of aboriginal Americans into a single mascot. It would be like calling a team “Asians” and having a brown-skinned mascot charming a snake with a Tibetan monk suit and a samurai sword.

  • Tenz | June 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm |

    By complete coincidence I’m wearing today one of my more unusual sports souvenirs, a 2004 Indy 500 polo shirt that the Speedway had set aside for Jim Nabors (who played “Gomer Pyle”). He’d been coming to the Speedway most years since 1972 to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana”). When Jim didn’t collect his freebies from the gift shop and they were sold out of the shirt I was looking for, the woman behind the counter offered me the similarly designed shirt they’d set aside for Jim and I happily purchased it and it’s been one of my favorite shirts ever since.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | June 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm |

    As for this week’s question? As a Pirates, Panthers, and Penguins (in a former hockey watching life) fan I own and have purchased for myself and my father some items made from metal from the old Civic Arena (I still call the new arena the new Cvic Arena). I don’t have the space to be a big collector so my choices are pretty limited. My father is still a huge Pens fan though so just knowing he gets enjoyment out of the same items I also own make it my favorite.

    Now then. As for the Hornets new look? I also agree with those that have said this looks more like an update of the Bobcats to Hornets colors and logos and nothing else. I give them a D and not an F only because they have a white, a teal, and a purple look and didn’t just drop the teal permanently. No pinstripes on a Charlotte Hornets uniform? Really? And those huge numbers look terrible. They really should’ve let Alexander Julian design these. Here’s hoping in a few years when they are allowed to do a re-do he’s brought in to give the team proper looking uniforms instead of this bland Swoosh designed template looking crap!! Very disappointed!!! I’ve now changed my mind. This is an F design not a D design. Hornets have failed on this one. But what do you expect from this franchise with the track record they have.

  • Dan Pfeifer | June 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

    Any “Breaking Bad” fan knows Stevia. And that it sucks.

    Just watch out for ricin in your green can of Coke.

  • John H. | June 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm |

    QotD: Tough call because I collect sports stuff. I’ll have to go with the framed autographed photo of Bobby Orr scoring THE goal. It’s extra special because of the way my lovely wife gave it to me.

    We rented a room at a high end hotel for our 17th anniversary 10 years ago. We walked into the room and I took an admiring look around. I turned from the window back to the direction of the door and on the wall was the famous picture. I blurted out something to the effect of, “Holy cap! What a coincidence!”, as the Bruins are my team and Orr is god. I walked up for a closer look and when I saw the autograph I realized that this was her gift to me. I was and still am overwhelmed at the amount of thought and effort she put into purchasing this treasure for me and having the hotel staff mount the picture in our room before we arrived. I love that girl.

  • John H. | June 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm |

    “Holy crap!”…damn self correct

  • El Duderino | June 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

    England 1 Uruguay 2

    Game of the Tournament

  • Andrew Domingo | June 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm |

    Mike’s Question:
    I have a Padres hat signed by David Eckstein and I have a picture with Tony Gwynn taken a few years ago.

  • Clint Richardson | June 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm |

    I have two game worn Auburn jerseys from the 2010 National Championship year, another one from either the 70s or 80s, three worn baseball jerseys from the late 90s/early 2000s. I also have a pair of game gloves from this past season.

  • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • Graf Zeppelin | June 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm |


    • terriblehuman | June 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm |

      Ah yes, the intellectual dishonesty we’ve come to expect from the Daily Caller.

      Trademark registrations are generally accepted as long as they don’t conflict with existing registered marks. The reason the Redskins registration was cancelled was because somebody filed a petition. Folks affected by those offensive marks (and they are) can do the same thing the petitioners did against the Redskins mark.

      Unfortunately, that’s too hard for a lot of people in the pro-name crowd to wrap their heads around.

      • Richard | June 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm |

        That’s incorrect. The examiner may reject marks that he considers “Immoral or Scandalous Matter”.

        §1052. Trademarks registrable on the principal register; concurrent registration

        No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it–
        Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute; or a geographical indication which, when used on or in connection with wines or spirits, identifies a place other than the origin of the goods and is first used on or in connection with wines or spirits by the applicant on or after one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement (as defined in section 2(9) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act [19 USC §3501(9)]) enters into force with respect to the United States.

        • terriblehuman | June 20, 2014 at 12:42 am |

          Well, that’s the letter of the law. But in practice, USPTO is pretty liberal in accepting applications. You might have heard of an NFL franchise that, in 1967, was able to register a name that even contemporary dictionaries described as offensive, and it took some 7 years for a Native American group to have the trademark cancelled, only to have the decision overturned 4 years later because of the petitioner’s lack of standing.

          So you can see how (1) easy it is to get a seemingly disparaging trademark registered, and (2) difficult it is to cancel a trademark once it’s approved.

          Which is to say, the Daily Caller is incorrect when it complains that the USPTO thinks those awful trademarks are better than “Redskins”. They’re no more or less offensive – it’s just that with the football team name, someone put in the effort to petition against it.

    • scottrj | June 20, 2014 at 8:06 am |

      Now that’s some quality table-pounding. Good hustle!!

  • Paul Lukas | June 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

    NBA moving league logo to back of jersey as a prelude to jersey ads:

  • quiet seattle | June 19, 2014 at 7:55 pm |

    These new Hornets unis are no fun.

    There’s no sense of whimsy or play. And the first thing I see when I look at them is that big, miserable looking number font. It looks like a stain.

    These look like practice jerseys from the second-hand rack.

    And the new logo is more of this crunched up, indecipherable, blotchy anger.

    Loosen up, NBA.

  • umplou | June 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

    QOTW: An autographed (softcover) copy of Ball Four – complete with “Smoke ’em inside”….plus a handwritten note I received from Bouton after I had written a note of condolence to him after his daughter Laurie was killed in an automobile accident.

    Best one – My stepbrother was bumming around Florida around the time of the Senior League, and ended up working the grounds crew for Sarasota, so I got an authentic Senior League ball signed by Fergie Jenkins – wish I knew where that was now!

  • Gary Moore | June 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm |

    Question of the Week:

    1987 Atlanta Braves Tom Glavine road jersey. I purchased the jersey at a baseball card show in Chicago in the fall of 1987. A dealer had all the Braves jerseys, and this was the first year of the current style jersey. Glavine was a rookie, and his was one of the few jerseys I could afford. I picked Glavine because I had heard of him, not really thinking he would some day be a Hall of Famer.

  • Andrew Domingo | June 19, 2014 at 9:07 pm |

    I also went to Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter against the Padres. I still have the tickets to the game.

  • Scott | June 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm |

    RE: Mike’s question
    I actually don’t “own” my valued memorabilia as much as I “possess” it. You see, I am a huge Chicago Bears fan for one reason…my grandfather, Bill Senn from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, was a halfback for the Bears from 1926-1932. While he toiled for a couple of other teams, he was always a Bear at heart.
    By all accounts, he had a solid career. Problem was, there was some guy with a cool nickname playing beside him. Went to Illinois of the Big 10; galloped; some would say he was so fast he was a ghost. Yep, you have never heard of Bill Senn because of Red Grange.
    In 1967, Grange came to my grandfather’s hometown of Macomb, Illinois for a Lion’s Club banquet. The possession is a picture from the Macomb Journal of Mr. Grange…and my grandfather…sitting at the head table, both with huge smiles on their faces.
    Grandpa passed away in 1973 when I wasn’t yet 2, so I didn’t ever get to really talk to him about his playing days. But, according to my mother, he and Grange remained great friends until Grandpa’s death. She carried it in her wallet for many years before giving it to me as a part of a wall-mounted montage of Grandpa’s press clippings for Christmas several years ago. I will never NOT have that picture. It is my tie to history, the Chicago Bears, and ultimately, the Grandpa I really never knew.

  • Parrothead | June 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm |

    Two things….

    1. Has anyone else noticed that one of the stripes on the white & purple Hornets uniforms is Carolina Blue? I can’t tell if it’s on the teal one or not. The only thing I can come up with is that Jordan went to UNC.

    2. QOTD: Autographed used tire off of Dale Earnhardt’s car, raced at Darlington. Bought it for $25 at Richard Childress Racing, which was the team he drove for. Growing up in the Welcome, NC area, most people around here were Dale Earnhardt fans, or at least for RCR. Sort of like a hometown thing.