By Phil Hecken
Waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy back in 2009, I wrote a piece (with Mike Engle) which asked, What Is Your Uni Secret?. That piece basically set out to explore “a uniform or jersey that is so bad, so crazy or so ludicrous, that one would almost be embarassed to say one liked it.” While the Arizona State University “Desert Fuel” uniform doesn’t quite fall into that category, it comes close. For some reason, I. LOVE. THIS. UNI. (and especially the helmet, seen in today’s splash).
Sparky will be wearing these unis this afternoon (3:30 ET) against Notre Dame (click to enlarge):
The helmet is white, with a copper facemask, copper stripe, and copper fork. The uniform is anthracite, with copper-accented gradient numbers.
It’s basically everything I should hate about a uniform: It’s one of many (unnecessary) alternates, neither the accent color (copper) nor the base color (anthracite) are in school colors, and it’s part of the larger anthracite-for-anthracite’s-sake trend that is permeating the college football uniform world. It’s got gradient numbers, too. Nothing about this should be appealing. But…it’s gorgeous (to my eyes, anyway).
Here’s one more look at the helmet:
All of the elements just go together well. What I especially like about this is the addition of copper. If you weren’t aware, copper mining is a big deal in Arizona. And I love the color — this is probably one of those childhood things, as my Aunt worked for Phelps Dodge when I was a youngun, and she (somewhat inexplicably, at least at the time) frequently wound up bringing home all sorts of copper wire and trinkets. When copper is “new”, as it is depicted on the ASU unis, it’s a reddish-brown color — but it has an interesting property — when it undergoes oxidation, it takes on a turqouise hue. A lot of those trinkets my Aunt brought home did this, and it always fascinated me.
Anyway — copper is (in my opinion) a sorely underrepresented color in the sports world. And it’s a perfect color for an Arizona team. In fact, the in-State rivals added a copper helmet recently. But elsewhere in the sports world? It’s a rarity. Maybe that’s why I like the “Desert Fuel” (yes, because Nike had to give it a name) uniform so much.
And if you can’t trust those “studio” shots to look good (which you can’t always do) — here’s a couple of pics of the uniform/helmet sans filter:
If you still haven’t seen enough, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at the new uni preparation:
Looks great — and it’ll look great under the (hopefully) bright Arizona sun today.
And getting back to the beginning — since we haven’t done this in like five years — go back and read that post from 2009 — and then tell us: What’s Your Uni-Secret? I told you mine…now it’s your turn.
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on images to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Tenth in a Series
by Gary Chanko
Home of: Milwaukee Braves, Chicago White Sox (20 games), Milwaukee Brewers
Last game played: September 28, 2000; Demolished: 2001
Last week we vacated Sicks’ Stadium headed to Milwaukee for the Pilot’s reincarnation as the Brewers. County Stadium was their new home with a much improved venue.
The Braves left Milwaukee after the 1965 season and County Stadium was vacant until the Brewers arrived for the 1970 season. (The White Sox played 20 games in County Stadium over the 1968-69 seasons).
Like most ballparks from this era the scoreboard experienced several changes throughout its lifetime to keep pace with advances in display technology. For some the original and largely manual scoreboard was a classic.
This scoreboard illustration recreates the Braves vs. Dodgers game played on May 13, 1955.
A Few Things to Know
• County Stadium was the first ballpark built with lighting as part of the original design. Another first was an appearance on the cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated.
• The scoreboard was considered state-of-the-art when first installed in 1953. It was, along with the ballpark, upgraded several times during its tenure but always remained in the original right field location.
• The original scoreboard was replaced or remodeled by 1966. Twelve years later the scoreboard became a safety hazard!
• The Packers played nearly half their home games in County Stadium over four decades. The original scoreboard proved it was adaptable to football.
• When the Brewers arrived in 1970 (from Seattle) the fans were a tad slow in ramping up attendance. So, the original “Bernie Brewer” decided to camp out atop the scoreboard until the home crowd reached 40,000. He apparently lived in a camper trailer installed on the scoreboard! Forty days later some 44,000 fans showed up and Bernie got to vacate his camper.
• In addition to the camper trailer, I’ve been informed an AMC Gremlin was also parked on top the scoreboard in this time frame. If pictures exist of the scoreboard mounted Gremlin, please forward a copy to me.
An Additional Note From Gary: “County Stadium will wrap up Series I of these Classic Ballpark Scoreboards. I do plan a Series II for sometime early next year. There’s been several inquiries about football scoreboards. So next week we’ll start a new series of Classic Football Scoreboards, both college and pro. The series begins with a venue that should be familiar to Dirty Harry fans, Kezar Stadium.”
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
U.W.F.F.L. News — Division II Games
By Andrew Seagraves
Week Eight of the UWFFL 2014 is here! This week also marks the league’s observance of Armistice Day/Remembrance Day. Just like with Cancer Awareness Week, teams from across the landscape are paying homage to those veterans, both living and dead, who have served us to protect our freedoms. The league races are shaping up to be humdingers with a few squads separating themselves from the pack while others are doing their best to stay within playoff contention. And some are doing their best to play spoiler for those atop their respective tables.
This is midseason drama! This is what we live for… Right? RIGHT!
What two better teams to feature in our DII game of the week than two squads which are at the apex of the Division II Central League ladder, the 5-0 Iowa Corn and the 4-0-1 Pontiac Prowlers. Iowa closed 2013 strong with a powerful rebrand by owner Curtis Peddle and topped things off with a win in the Peppermint Bowl over the Roanoke Giraffes. The Corn is proving you can go from spoiler to favorite with the right tweaks and changes to your design. Pontiac is a newcomer this season after their promotion from the D-League into DII and their livery is quite lively.
Both squads are choosing to observe this Remembrance Day with a Red Poppy patch over their hearts. Iowa will be doing their best North Dakota State impression by going with Green lids, Yellow/Gold tops and Green pants. The Home side, Prowlers, will stay with their Purple jerseys, Grey pantaloons and Black Helmets. This game MIGHT give Florida/Georgia a run for their money in a colour on colour matchup.
Other key games from across DII will see Toledo try to shake off last week’s loss to St. John’s as they travel to the Cleve to take on the Bearcats, Little Rock will venture east on I-40 to Raleigh as the Diamondbacks face the Aeronauts, and the Rockies will be-a-rumblin’ as the underachieving Colorado Rockies square off against the Salt Lake City Miners.
These games are just a taste of what will be one fine Armistice Day weekend in the UWFFL. Head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on which teams should be tops in this week’s action. Hey, if you find one, maybe two, or fifteen matchups to be quite keen you can share them with your friends on facebook, twitter, or even ICQ (if anyone even uses it anymore), and encourage them to vote, as well. You can also go to our Prospective UWFFL Teams Google+ page to share with us your concept for a team which you feel can compete next year. We’ll be back tomorrow with Premier League action!
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Ryan Atkinson, and, well, it’s just too good for the ticker (click on any photo to enlarge):
Just wanted to share a couple pics from our Sept. 13 wedding here in KC.
I’m a Kansas boy and she lived in the Bay Area until she was 12, We’re both huge baseball fans and found some ways to include that in our wedding.
Table assignments were based on MLB teams and tables were marked with mini pennants.
The crazy part of it all was being at Kauffman Stadium just a couple weeks later watching our respective teams in perhaps the wildest game of the entire postseason. Somehow our young marriage survived and she was a great sport about KC’s run to the World Series, even surprising me with tickets to Game 7.
Great stuff Ryan — thanks so much for sharing!
OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Yes Please! Mike Williams “Thought you’d enjoy seeing these early 1950’s ads for official team merchandise from the Phillies Yearbook.” Adds Mike, “I would have worn the hell out of that satin jacket if I was a young fan then!” … “Not uni-related but fun,” writes Brinke. “An hour and a half of ejections, and I have NEVER seen a catcher turn around on an ump like the Reds guy did at the beginning.” … MLB players in the Japan Series have patches on their caps and also ads on their sleeves (both grabs from Nick Schiavo). And here is a close-up of the cap patch (via James Gilbert). … Reader John Money writes, “I have found an interesting article from the Smithsonian that I thought you would enjoy. It is all about baseball bats. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.”
NFL News: You guys remember the interview I did with the geniuses behind the “Football as Football” project? Well, they’re back in the news, in a Rolling Stone interview. Great stuff! (Thanks, Brinke) … The Saints will be wearing black tops and pants versus San Francisco this Sunday (thanks to Wayne Muller). … The Cowboys, who are playing in London tomorrow, were welcomed at the Tower of London. … With all the NFL + (insert league/team/other) logos we’ve seen, I’m not sure if we’ve seen this mashup of NFL logos and Disney characters (apologies if we have). … To which Ryan Lindemann replies, “I think everyone has had enough with all these logo redesigns! This is great.” … The Buffalo Bills will be wearing these gloves and this New York National Guard helmet decal for their STS promotion. … As seen in yesterday’s comments: Howie Long said he was befuddled by the auction of what is described as a game-used jersey of his with “metal pebbles” sewn underneath the jersey numbers (in the comments by Daniel and also sent in by Mike the Intern). … Last night, the Calgary Stampeders wore helmet decals for John Forzani (who was John Forzani? Glad you asked). … Bit of a bummer in the CFL — I noticed last evening the Ottawa RedBlacks were wearing their alternate unis, and asked if they were going to wear their plaid helmets. (Remember this thing?). As you can see by the RedBlacks’ reply, they’re not going to wear them. Dang.
College Football News: Today, all Vanderbilt coaches will be wearing patches representing all branches of the Armed Forces. … Here’s a look at the play calling cards used by Wake Forest on Thursday night. … Army is playing UConn in Yankee Stadium today, and yesterday, the workers were putting the finishing touches on the field. … Some might say that college football fans take things too far. … Here’s a pretty neat article on “crop tops” in football, by UW reader B. David Zarley. Nice work! … Someone has taken the time to rank the Texas Tech 2014 uniforms (h/t to Josh SÃ¡nchez). … Marshall will be wearing all white today vs. Southern (thanks to Coleman Mullins). … Liberty University will be wearing flag desecration decals today (h/t Tyler Nohe). … The Houston Cougars will wear 1989 throwbacks today to honor Andre Ware. … Here’s the real reason Mississippi State wears so many unis (hint: The coach allows it and the recruits like it). … Austin Peay will be wearing camouflage jerseys against TSU today. — and it’s going to cost them a timeout per half. … Here’s the uni combo that Utah will be wearing today against Oregon. … Florida State will wear “Kidz1stFund” decals on their helmets today when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers. … Baylor will be going green/white/green at Oklahoma today (h/t David Johnson).
NBA News: Last night, the Toronto Raptors wore their throwback uniforms to celebrate their 20th Anniversary (20th Season?). They were excellent replicas, except for the NBA logo below the collar. (h/t to Ben Golliver, Josh Gold-Smith and Ryan Haidinger for the grabs). Lots more photos here. … The Memphis Grizzlies will be giving away this digital camo cap on Tuesday (h/t Don Gale). … Did you know the NBA has kicked off “Hoops for Troops” Week? Yeah, me neither (thanks, Paul). … Lost (possibly) in the reveal of the Celtics new alts yesterday was the fact that Marcus Smart has “33” tattooed on his arms. Which sucks if you get drafted by the Celtics (h/t Jon Sasser). … Speaking of sleeved NBA unis, they’re not entirely new — UW pal Todd Radom presents this collage of the St. Louis Bombers sleeved unis, circa late-1940s. … While possible ads on NHL jerseys are the hot topic now, D-League affiliates for Knicks and Mavs have unveiled new advertisement-bearing jerseys. The Westchester Knicks also have a new court (via Steve Dodell). … There are really no words for the hat worn by Carmelo Anthony last night. If you can find some, feel free to post them below.
Hockey News: Yesterday’s news of possible NHL ads on jerseys/uniforms (possibly beating the NBA to the punch) was met on Uni Watch with predictable chagrin. Meanwhile, mock-ups of what those ads might look like are already underway (thanks to Jeff Salomon). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: “Union college men’s hockey team is going to be wearing purple and/or teal the month of November for domestic violence awareness. Thankful it sounds from the press release its seems to be limited to skate laces and other minor accessories. Press release can be found in the link.” (posted by Brian Klejsmyt). … The Blackhawks honored the woman who chain stitched the jerseys for the last many years, as this video segment suggests (via Eric Lovejoy). … The Flyers are giving away something called “Colby’s Cap.” What’s that you ask? “Colby’s Cap” will be given to the Flyers’ player of the game after wins this season. The cap belonged to First Lieutenant Colby Umbrell, a Bucks County native who was killed in Iraq in 2007 (from Marc Matteo). … The now cancer-free Hockey HOF Broadcaster Rick Jeanneret had this great sweater on in Buffalo (via Leah Voit). That sweater is actually purple. … This is VERY cool – Trae Herring sent a wedding invitation to Cam Neely — and (even though he declined), he sent back the reply card with his best wishes.
Soccer News: This weekend, every team in the German soccer Bundesliga will wear a special sleeve badge commemorating the 40th anniversary of the founding of German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe). Here’s Eintracht Frankfurt’s. Says submitter Bernd Wilms, “The space is usually reserved for sponsor Hermes, a logistics company.” … Wigan Athletic’s Republic of Ireland international winger James McClean did not wear a poppy shirt last night alongside the rest of his Wigan Athletic team mates, as the club took part in football’s annual Remembrance Day commemoration (from George Chilvers). … More tracking? Callum Johnson writes, “Inspired by the Premier League kit tracker, I’ve been making my own Champions League kit trackers. So far I’ve detailed the kits for Matchday 1 & 2. Have a look at it, and give me your honest opinion. I’m also considering a Europa League and FA Cup kit tracker if you like what you see.” Whaddya say, UW? Should we add this as part of our tracking?
College Hoops News: Here is a look at the 2014-15 Marshall basketball uniforms and also a shot of their shooting shirts and warmup jackets (h/t Marshall Equipment & Alternate Uni). As Mike Engle notes, “Copping the Marshall amplifiers script!? Funny and cool!” Although, as Marshall Equipment notes, not quite the same.
Grab Bag: Aussie footy’s Adelaide Crows are honoring their 25th season with a logo honoring their time in AFL along with a new clash jumper for the upcoming 2015 season. The 25th logo can be seen below the collar on back of the new clash guernsey. Here’s a video with some good shots (including a better shot of the 25th logo on the jumper), via Leo Strawn, Jr., of course.
And there you have it. Thanks to Gary & Andrew, plus Ryan for those wedding photos, an all who submitted for the ticker. Don’t forget to list your own “uni-secret” confession too! Enjoy all the games today.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Rednecks bashing Redskins, wow. Just when you think we’ve reached the bottom in this wretched story of mascots gone bad, people out there find ways to keep on diggin’.”
–Eltee of D.C.