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If You're a Social Media Director Who's Looking for Work, I Have a Feeling There's a Job Opening in Foxboro Today

As I write this, the Uni Watch Twitter account has 78,434 followers. I’m fairly certain no uni-centric website has ever made it to 78,435 followers, so I was thinking I’d do something pretty special when we hit that very historic milestone.

Then again, maybe that’s not such a great idea.

If you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing there, look here, or in just about any other corner of the internet, because this story had some serious legs last night. As you can see, many of those media outlets chose to show the Pats’ ugly tweet. I thought about showing it as well but ultimately decided to just link to it.

The NOB on the jersey is particularly interesting in light the NFL’s famous list of words that you can’t have on a jersey, eh? I wonder how many “clever” DIY variations on that NOB we’re going to see people wearing at NFL games this weekend.

The offensive tweet stayed up for over an hour before the Pats finally took it down. Then they issued this apology:

That right there is a case study in how to evade responsibility. As the Pats see it, they didn’t send out the offending tweet — no, the tweet simply “went out” from their account, like magic! Much easier to blame the snafu on a “filtering system” failure than to say actual human beings employed by the New England Patriots fucked up, right? This is the brave new world of social media, where bots do all the work and major errors can be chalked up to software glitches.

Still, you have to think someone’s getting pink-slipped over this, right? The only remaining question is how long it will take for that person to be hired by the Mets.

•  •  •  •  •

Membership reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, there was an announcement regarding the future of the Uni Watch membership program. If you’ve been pondering signing up, or putting it off, or waiting for the right moment, you should read this. Thanks.

Patch reminder: I’m currently sold out of Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches. Should I order another batch of them, and how big should that batch be? If you’re interested in getting a patch, let me know now. Thanks.

• • • • •

Our favorite pin-up artist: It’s been a while since I’ve shown any of Rob Ullman’s cheesecake-style uniform illustrations here on the site, so here’s a small gallery of his recent work. These are all commissions that he did for people who hired him to do portraits of their partners or themselves (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

• • • • •

My favorite color: Remember last week’s entry about TV reporters wearing purple on Election Night? I’ve expanded on that idea in a new article that I’ve written for the design website re:Form — and I managed to do it without saying a single negative thing about purple.

I’ll have another piece up on re:Form next week, and I’m pretty excited about it — it’s an account of my recent visit to FAST Corp. in Wisconsin. I think you’ll really like it.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: “There was a big profile on DC in this month’s issue of Delta’s in-flight magazine, Sky,” says Ryan Goldstein. “In the sidebar, the mayor recommends that visitors check out DC’s professional teams but simply omits any mention of the ’Skins. Maybe it’s because the they, unlike DC’s other teams, are not ‘doing well.'” ”¦ A Native American group in Cincinnati has asked for the removal of a car dealer’s sign featuring a caricatured Indian (from David Sonny).

•  •  •  •  •

Uni Watch News Ticker

By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: MLB and New Era are betting that you cap collectors are stupid enough to buy yet another one of your favorite team’s cap just because it has a “Japan All-Star Series” side patch (from Shannon Shark). … Todd Radom shared a great post yesterday on the beautiful designs of tickets and programs of MLB teams in Japan, 1953-84. Not to be missed! … This is a fantastic Brooklyn Dodgers era die-cut ticket from Ebbets Field (from Jonathan Daniel). … An interesting article about a phantom MLB uniform from Washington (thanks, Phil).

NFL News: The Dolphins wore mono-aqua last night. Additional photos here. ”¦ A Bills lineman’s captaincy patch was coming loose last night (screen shot by John M). ”¦ Bills DB Aaron Williams wore a sock on his left arm last night (from Phil). ”¦ The Cardinals are going full-bloodclot in this Sunday’s game against the Lions (thanks, Phil). … How much would it cost to buy everything advertised in an NFL game? Find out in this great article on brand exposure during an average NFL broadcast (thanks, Brinke). … Did you know each NFL official carries a little card in his pocket? Here’s a great close-up photo of the side judge’s card from last Sunday’s Jets/Steelers game (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The 49ers will stop using paper tickets next season (from Brinke). ”¦ Anyone else think the NFL might be taking this military thing just a smidge too far? (From Phil.) ”¦ Nike is warning NFL players to stop customizing their cleats or else their endorsement contracts could be terminated (Phil again).

College and High School Football News: Here’s the patch that the teams will wear in the 2015 College Football Championship Game. … Miami will wear orange helmets and smoke uniforms against FSU. … The Fighting Illini are going to wear a special helmet decal to honor ten former players who died in combat (thanks, Phil). … The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will honor the late Orlando Thomas by bringing his no. 42 out of retirement (thanks, Phil). … North Carolina State will be wearing red-black-red at their game this weekend (from Nick Troutman). … “Wabash College and DePauw University play one of (if not the) most famous small college rivalry game over the Monon Bell, which is being played again this coming weekend,” says Aaron Parrish. “Here is the program from the 1954 game, which seems to be right up Uni Watch’s alley.” ”¦ Houston Scarborough, a high school team in Texas, has an odd helmet design that uses Michigan State’s Spartan logo on the front of the helmet. They also wore pink socks for a recent game (from Kris McInnis).

Hockey News: Blues goalie Jake Allen and the team are running a contest open to all fans to design his second goalie mask. If any Uni Watch readers participate, send us your designs and we’ll show them here on the site (from Mark Richter).

Basketball News: Tony Allen of the Grizzlies forgot to take off his shooting shirt before entering last night’s game against the Kings (from Eric Bangeman). ”¦ The University of New Mexico Lobos will open the 2014-15 basketball season with a pair of unique jerseys: camouflage-accented uniforms for Friday night’s season opener against Idaho State and turquoise-accented uniforms for Sunday night’s game versus Cal State Fullerton. ”¦ Bucknell will wear awesome 1976 throwbacks against Penn State on Nov. 28.

Soccer News: New York City FC, the new MLS franchise, posted unveiled its inaugural uniform yesterday. Many observers commented that it looks a lot like the home kits their owners, Manchester City, will wear across the pond, (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: The BYU “Sailor Coug” logo has received an update and will be used as a secondary logo across all BYU sports (from Drew Mastin). … “There’s a Lance Armstrong biopic in the works and a London shop is selling over 100 of the retrofitted bikes used in the production,” says Sean Clancy. … The Washington Post ran these really cool graphics about the comet landing on Tuesday (from Andrew Hoenig).

113 comments to If You’re a Social Media Director Who’s Looking for Work, I Have a Feeling There’s a Job Opening in Foxboro Today

  • Kek | November 14, 2014 at 8:16 am |

    I guess Tide used a better filtering system, because they did this before the regular season started (I had one done of my twitter name and a Steeler jersey) and I don’t recall something as atrocious as this happening!

  • David Raglin | November 14, 2014 at 8:23 am |

    The MLB web site has a Tigers has with the Japan Series patch. However, the Tigers have no players in the Series. So, you can get an “authentic” hat that will never be worn by a player.

  • Dumb Guy | November 14, 2014 at 8:29 am |

    I noticed last night that Kyle Orton has a curious hole on the back of his helmet I’ve not seen on anyone else.

    Thoughts??

    http://usatfantasy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/usp-nfl_-buffalo-bills-at-detroit-lions.jpg?w=1000&h=704

    • Chance Michaels | November 14, 2014 at 10:53 am |

      Here it is at full size.

      The perspective looks off, but that could be the hole in the stripe not lining up with the hole in the shell.

      • Dumb Guy | November 14, 2014 at 11:42 am |

        Do you know what it is?

        Is it an inflation location??
        Ponytail hole?
        Is it where the gumballs come out??

    • Bud | November 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

      It’s part of that particular helmet model. Tony Romo wears the same style.

      http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/files/2014/10/NS_12COWBOYSSEAHAWKS82_40297842.jpg

      The purpose it serves is to be figured out by someone smarter than I.

      • Dumb Guy | November 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm |

        Hey, where’s Romo’s Dymo???

  • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 8:37 am |

    The Cincinnati Bearcats game was last night, actually. And their opponent, East Carolina, went mono white against Cincy’s mono black.

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 8:39 am |

      Weird, the item got deleted just as I made that post…

  • Connie DC | November 14, 2014 at 8:38 am |

    “…Bucknell will wear awesome 1976 throwbacks against Penn State on Nov. 28…”

    Bucknell has boasted some very good looks over the years. Orange-and-Blue is a fine combo (right, New Yorkers?), and they’ve come up with some excellent unis. Plus Bisons is a terrific nickname. Their Pennsylvania rivals, Lehigh (brown & white) and Lafayette (maroon-ish and white) used to boast some fine outfits, but I’d say not lately.

    There’s no denying that features on Bowl Championship college teams will attract a wider audience than features on the unis of teams lower on the NCAA ladder, even on a website as erudite as this one. But I’m always glad to see mention of unis in the Patriot League, Ivy League, Div II, Div III, whatever. It’s a sad truth that these days many of the lower-category teams just mimic the big boys in BCS, but many still blaze their own trails… http://www.gocrimson.com/sports/fball/index

    • Toddro | November 14, 2014 at 9:19 am |

      I have been waiting to see Bucknell in the Ticker as they usually have some very good looking unis. I was hoping they would do some kind of throwback.

      ‘Ray Bucknell!

    • Toddro | November 14, 2014 at 9:23 am |

      also, Bucknell is the Bison, not Bisons. No “s” on the end, like the minor league Buffalo Bisons, which seems grammatically incorrect to me.

      • Toddro | November 14, 2014 at 9:25 am |

        nevermind, I see where it came from now.. Weird that they had “Bisons” on their jerseys in 1976 when nothing they wear now has the “s” on the end.

  • just Joe | November 14, 2014 at 8:46 am |

    Interesting article addressing a topic from the comments a few days ago:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/tennessee-womens-athletes-know-what-it-means-to-be-a-lady/2014/11/13/71cae4a8-6b53-11e4-b053-65cea7903f2e_story.html

    It reinforces my initial thoughts on the topic, that the term probably has different connotations in different areas of the country, and that far be it for me, a man, to try to tell a lady what should or shouldn’t be offensive to her.

    Interesting passages:
    “First of all, the idea that “Lady” is an anachronism or even a slur is too thoughtless to let stand. It’s a term of civility and respect, the natural counterpart to gentleman; it connotes someone who commands courtesy and extends it in return. Among other uses, it describes the partner of the leader of the country, the First Lady. In the case of the Tennessee Lady Vols, it’s a self-selected term that represents a history of hard-won greatness, the seizure of athletic power and identity for women via Title IX, led by Summitt and an all-female athletic department in the 1970s.”

    “They chose the name for themselves in a meeting in a basement in 1976.”…”Until then, women’s teams at Tennessee had been the Volettes, but Summitt hated it. It reminded her of a line of chorus girls. She hated anything, in fact, that made her athletes sound girly-girl. “Babies, sissies,” she would sneer. “Nice girls.” She thought they needed a new brand and a break from the dingy, underfunded, sexist past. What do you want to be?” she asked them. “Do you want to be just Volunteers, like the guys? There wasn’t much enthusiasm for that, so she said, “What about the Lady Volunteers?”

    But, perhaps, most relevant to the conversation: Tennessee taught a brand of “womanhood,” as Tamika Catchings puts it. Above all it taught the power of self-definition. “You don’t ever let someone else tell you who you are,” Summitt thundered.

    • Dumb Guy | November 14, 2014 at 8:51 am |

      “That’s no lady. That my wife!”

    • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 9:52 am |

      to try to tell a lady what should or shouldn’t be offensive to her.

      On so many topics (the ‘Skins controversy included), “offensive” is a red herring that detracts from the real topic of conversation. The problem with “lady” isn’t that it’s offensive or condescending (though it could be!), but that it essentially creates a linguistic caste that, consciously or not, affect behavior and perception..

    • Chance Michaels | November 14, 2014 at 10:36 am |

      “First of all, the idea that “Lady” is an anachronism or even a slur is too thoughtless to let stand. It’s a term of civility and respect, the natural counterpart to gentleman; it connotes someone who commands courtesy and extends it in return. Among other uses, it describes the partner of the leader of the country, the First Lady.

      That’s a significant red herring, since the male spouse of a female governor is already called the First Gentlemen, and when we have a female president with a husband, he’ll be called that as well. Until there are “Gentlemen Volunteers”, “Lady” will continue to connote second-class citizens to the “regular” or “real” Vols.

      • Chance Michaels | November 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |

        Actually, the male spouse of a female governor is called the First GentlemAn. Whoops.

        • Jim Y. | November 14, 2014 at 9:04 pm |

          Except in Utah.

      • just Joe | November 14, 2014 at 11:04 am |

        “Until there are “Gentlemen Volunteers”, “Lady” will continue to connote second-class citizens to the “regular” or “real” Vols.”

        So, you, as a man, are claiming to have a better understanding of what a female sports team should be called than the women directly in charge of the program? Women that chose to be called the Lady Vols? (“Do you want to be just Volunteers, like the guys? There wasn’t much enthusiasm for that, so she said, “What about the Lady Volunteers?”) I find that much more troubling than any outside perception of injustice…and I don’t mean that as a personal attack, but rather a judgement of our gender. We think it is perfectly alright, even feel compelled, to say our way is the best, or “trust us, this is for your own good” rather than letting free will run its course.

        “Tennessee taught a brand of “womanhood,” as Tamika Catchings puts it. Above all it taught the power of self-definition. “You don’t ever let someone else tell you who you are,” Summitt thundered.”

        • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 11:34 am |

          Why are you creating a false choice? The “Lady” qualifier could be empowering to a specific group of women and still unwittingly contribute to the gender classism on a larger level. Society is complicated and stuff.

        • just Joe | November 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm |

          I’m commenting specifically on the UT situation that sparked the original conversation and is the focus of the article.

        • Chance Michaels | November 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

          terriblehuman is right. I don’t see a conflict. They had (and still have) every right to determine what they want to be called. But they can’t always determine what their choices connote.

          It’s also worth exploring the choices people made in the past with how society has changed in the meantime.

    • Mainspark | November 14, 2014 at 11:12 am |

      I find it interesting that while the relative misogyny of the prefix “lady” is being debated, there is no corresponding discussion about the cheesecake, pin-up art in today’s story. Fort the record, neither bothers me much.

  • Alec | November 14, 2014 at 9:25 am |

    I’m sure the Pats had the announcement automated, just got caught in the stupidity trap that is Twitter, the Internet for morons.

    • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 9:33 am |

      Yes, duh, we all know it was done by an automated bot. That’s not an excuse; it’s part of the fucking problem.

      • J.D. | November 14, 2014 at 10:15 am |

        While it was obviously done by an automated bot, it’s funny to imagine that it wasn’t.

      • David | November 14, 2014 at 10:22 am |

        So, in an effort to do something nice for their fans, as a sign of appreciation the Patriots tried to create a cute “customized” badge for people’s twitter feeds. I think it’s a nice gesture.

        I don’t understand why you’re giving them a hard time about it. They can’t possibly visually inspect every one beforehand, so they apply a bot filter to minimize negative impact. OK, it doesn’t catch everything.

        This isn’t about the big bad Patriots. All the Patriots tried to do was something nice for their fans.

        This is about the freaking morons who have twitter handles like that in the first place. I think your anger is misplaced.

        • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 10:31 am |

          Oh, please. They weren’t “doing something nice” for anyone. They were engaged in an exercise of self-aggrandizement. “Look at us, we’re the first team with a completely meaningless status a million Twitter followers! And we’re too lazy to pat ourselves on the back by ourselves, so we’ll program a bot to do it!”

          Yes, the trolls who sabotaged this pointless stunt are assholes, but that doesn’t change that fact that it was a pointless stunt. They all deserve each other.

        • The Jeff | November 14, 2014 at 10:35 am |

          They were engaged in an exercise of self-aggrandizement.

          That is the entire point of twitter’s existence, isn’t it?

        • Phil Hecken | November 14, 2014 at 10:36 am |

          It wouldn’t have been so bad if they got to the tweet quickly (or at least somewhat quickly) — it was up for MORE THAN AN HOUR and pointed out by thousands of users. There’s no excuse for that.

          No one is faulting the Pats for the boorish behavior of trolls — but they are faulting them for allowing their automated system tweet (out) something offensive without proper oversight. It was up long enough not only for half of the twittersphere to see it, but to make screen grabs as well (including yours truly — and I made that easily 30 minutes after it first appeared in my feed — who knows how long it was out before that).

          And as Douggie pointed out earlier (first post, I believe), the Pats aren’t the first to do something like this (though they may be the last) — I got something similar with the World Cup twitter handle this past summer.

          Lesson is this: if you’re going to allow automated tweets based on something you don’t have total control over, you need to monitor them all, and respond if you’re trolled ASAP!

      • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 10:49 am |

        I think there’s also a large issue of the importance of Twitter as a communication tool (no, don’t make me say “audience engagement channel”), and the disproportionately small investments corporations make to manage them.

        “Social media manager” is too often just some kid out of school or someone who spent a weekend seminar learning about analytics and trends, even though for a lot of fans, it’s the de facto face of the franchise. If you take your fans seriously, you should take Twitter seriously.

        Pats clearly didn’t, and they got burned because they were trying to make a big deal out of an arbitrary, artificial milestone.

        • just Joe | November 14, 2014 at 11:09 am |

          ““Social media manager” is too often just some kid out of school or someone who spent a weekend seminar learning about analytics and trends”

          Or even worse, an unpaid intern…

        • Ben Fortney | November 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

          As someone with “Social Media Manager” on the resume, TH hit the nail on the head.

          The same idea illustrated earlier in the summer when the KC Royals sent out a Tweet about the Chi Sox (or some similar scenario with other teams.) In the end it seemed like there was one guy running both (or more) feeds.

          Businesses still don’t realize that it’s a very bad idea to half-ass social media – it’s the very public face of your entire operation, why gamble by going in on it cheap?

    • The Jeff | November 14, 2014 at 10:20 am |

      I just see one more reason to ignore twitter. Here’s my reaction to the whole thing: “Oh look, some troll took advantage of the automated reply system and it took an hour for the team to notice. Good for him. Pfft. Whatever. Who cares?”

    • Bernd Wilms | November 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm |

      “Lesson here:”

      Shouldn’t it be seen as just that, and not cause for firing someone?

      It strikes me as odd when the impulse to a fuck-up like this is that someone needs to be “canned”, “pink-slipped”, or what have you. What does that make better? That’s going to be an actual person that doesn’t make rent next month because they underestimated the degree to which people on the internet are horrible. And then in with the equally low-paid successor.

      The Patriots would be better served having those same people review their checks and balances system so stuff like this won’t happen again. Or they could use the embarassing publicity to spread a positive message, perhaps by speaking out against people who act abusively at their games.

      Or the Patriots could question why this happened in the first place. I like using Twitter. But I find it infuriating that the company’s business model is based on the volume of engagement that occurs on its platform, yet the company can’t be bothered to invest in supervising that engagement. Twitter has always been loud on its commitment to free speech because committing to free speech means not having to commit any resources or responsibility towards preventing abuse that occurs on the platform. Rape threats coming your way? Sorry, nothing we can do, that’s the “marketplace of ideas” at work!

      The worse Twitter gets – and it seems like the company has no intent to bring itself anywhere near a position of responsibility for curbing its excesses – the more I think individuals and brands will need to question whether “engagement” is worth having mountains of spam and abuse obscure whatever message they’re trying to send.

    • ScottyM | November 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

      Probably among the things I despise about “social” media more than anything else. The fact that’s it’s been mechanized. It’s supposed to be individualized, one-to-many communication. However, that’s hard to do consistently and in a compelling manner (to anybody who’s over 21 with a job).

      So, now it’s been relegated to interns, robots, and the like… because so many think you gotta Tweet a bazillion times a day to be relevant. Again, who has time for that silliness, other than media types whose career depends on it (or maybe it doesn’t)?

      So much for being social…

  • Kibab1979 | November 14, 2014 at 9:29 am |

    RE: the lack of mention of the Redskins in the in-flight magazine. I’m guessing that has more to do with the fact that they play in Landover, MD more than their nickname.

    • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 9:54 am |

      That’s what I’m thinking too – the D.C. mayor is trying to promote stuff in the District, so he’s not going to tell visitors to generate tax revenue outside the city.

      Plus, FedEx Field isn’t as easily accessible to visitors as Verizon Center and Nationals Park, and it’s generally a miserable experience.

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 10:42 am |

      It should be noted that Vincent Gray has been pro-name change for a while now. His successor, mayor-elect Muriel Bowser, was also on the District Council when they unanimously passed a resolution last year urging the team to change its name.

      Granted, as long as the team remains outside the boundaries of the District of Columbia, the mayor and council don’t really have any direct influence on the franchise. They would only come into play if the team would actually attempt to move back into DC.

      • arrScott | November 14, 2014 at 11:06 am |

        And remember, the First Amendment means that even if the Redskins relocated to the District, the city government would have no “direct influence” over what the team as a private business calls itself. The only way the District Council would have influence would be if the team grants influence to the city by asking the city to fund or finance a new stadium. That would give the city the leverage to demand a change to the name in return for public subsidy, which obviates any First Amendment concerns. (As long as it remains a transactional demand and not simply a law outlawing the name.)

        • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 11:19 am |

          Even if the next Skins stadium were built entirely with private funds (it won’t! Snyder unofficially opened the bidding war earlier this year), it would require a huge amount of public spending and accommodations. Roads and pipes don’t lay themselves.

          Plus, if Snyder wanted to build on the RFK site, the stadium would likely be owned by Events DC, a district agency, and leased the team. Building in DC would otherwise require displacement of existing homes or businesses, or some sort of land swap. I don’t see a scenario where the District Council can’t have an appreciable level of influence.

        • arrScott | November 14, 2014 at 11:55 am |

          Good points, but hypothetically, Snyder could both purchase the land himself and build the stadium from his own funds. If he were to do those things, then the necessary indirect public subsidies of road improvements and whatnot would not leave the city government with much realistic leverage over tertiary issues like the team name. What is the Council going to do, not improve roads or maintain sewers to accommodate an entirely private, highly lucrative-to-the-city asset? Nah.

          But it’s a hypothetical, because as long as Dan Snyder owns the team, no significant portion of any new stadium cost will be paid for out of his or the team’s pocket. Even if the DC Council doesn’t play his relocation extortion game, Maryland’s new governor (and its current State Senate) as well as important elements of Virginia’s state and county governments will.

  • Don | November 14, 2014 at 9:39 am |

    BTW, Houston Scarborough is in the news because they made the playoffs…with an 0-10 record. Participation ribbons, everybody!

    • Adam R. W. | November 14, 2014 at 10:23 am |

      This was always a foreign concept to me until I moved outside of Indiana. There, all teams in all sports participate in postseason tournaments. It’s in part because of mixed conferences. Schools are divided into classes by student population (1A being the smallest, all the way up to 6A being the largest), but conferences are not divided by class. So you have some 1A schools in a conference with 4A and 5A schools. There have been years where a school ends the regular season with a losing record because they are the smallest school in their conference, and have gone on to win state championships once they enter the postseason tournament and play only schools their own size.

      • Chris Holder | November 14, 2014 at 10:55 am |

        That’s an interesting way of doing things. From a geographic standpoint, I’m assuming it means that games are never played very far from home. On the other hand, I could see it being sort of demoralizing (for players and fans) if your 1A team constantly gets beat down by the larger schools. I’m sure the rare win against a large school is something to be celebrated.

        • Adam R. W. | November 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm |

          It is based a lot on geography. Almost 100% of games are local, with the post season divided into sectional and regional games for each of the respective classes.

          It wasn’t always this way. The movie “Hoosiers” is (loosely) based on the true story of 1954 Milan High School team, where Milan (enrollment 161) beat Muncie Central (enrollment 2,200) in the basketball state championship. The Single class system was sadly, eliminated in 1997.

    • arrScott | November 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

      I once coached in a youth baseball league where every team made the playoffs. Now, granted this was a league for six-year-olds, so there was supposed to be less of a focus on winning and losing. Still, it was a good experience for the kids. Nobody felt cheated of anything. Everyone got one more game! They got to at least play one game in the playoffs with the season on the line. My team’s terrible record had us seeded against the second-winningest team in the league in the first round. When we almost won the game but fell barely short, the kids on my team were crying because they knew they’d played their last game and they didn’t want their fun season to end. The kids on the other side of the diamond were crying, because their coach was yelling at them for only just barely beating us.

      This was 1999. We were the Devil Rays; they were the Yankees. Appropriately.

      So I resist the assumption that it’s a terrible thing for every team to make the playoffs, or that it’s always a great virtue to put the focus on winning and losing. Youth sports isn’t mainly about winning games. It’s about raising children. Heck, participation actually is a virtue – just take a look at last week’s embarrassment of an election, when less than one in three eligible Americans bothered to show up. (Not arguing the outcome! But the low turnout is a disgrace. I’d rather the candidates I support lose a high-turnout election than win a low-turnout election.) In the adult world we’re trying to raise kids to join, showing up often really is at least as important as winning.

    • patrick | November 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

      The Houston Scarborough team didn’t make the playoffs because every team makes it in automatically (“participation ribbons”). Texas districts have four teams in the playoffs. H-S play in a five-team district, and the fifth school was almost shut down, but ended up staying open without their athletic programs. Therefore, H-S is in by default.

      http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/12/6283755/texas-high-school-makes-playoffs.html?rh=1

      That article explains it and makes a few good points on the sportsmanship aspect of how badly these kids will probably get demolished in the first game. 57 losses in a row, ouch.

  • teenchy | November 14, 2014 at 9:43 am |

    Looking very much forward to your FAST Corp. article. I know you have a special affection for the area and an eye toward branding, so your take should be entertaining and informative. (I reread that twice and it still sounds like something out of a spambot; I apologize for that and assume you that I’m not one.)

    • teenchy | November 14, 2014 at 10:02 am |

      *assure you – see? A spambot wouldn’t have made that mistake.

  • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 10:04 am |

    Many observers commented that it looks a lot like the home kits their owners, Manchester City, will wear across the pond

    I’m surprised by the “Well, did you know that Manchester City owns NYFC” mansplaining responses. Using a white collar neck seems like a very specific choice that goes beyond using the same colors. It would’ve been expected if they used the same jersey manufacturers, but it’s weird that Adidas went with something that mimics a Nike look.

    • Chance Michaels | November 14, 2014 at 10:42 am |

      Except that, as Phil pointed out, that’s an old look for Man City. Their current shirt has dark blue accents, so white may actually be an attempt by Adidas to go in a different direction.

      • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 10:56 am |

        Yeah, but they could’ve gone a lot of different ways with their existing templates.

        They could’ve done a tab collar, like Real Madrid, a non-contrasting collar like Chelsea, or a v-neck like Germany.

        Or they could’ve gone with sky blue or navy socks so it doesn’t look the same from the distance. They ended up in a weird place where it’s not completely identical but similar enough to cause a double take.

    • El Duderino | November 14, 2014 at 11:27 am |

      I think this kit needed three more things:

      1. Colombia World Cup collar & cuffs
      2. Navy Blue Pinstripes
      3. Light Blue Socks w/ Navy Blue pinhoops.

      • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 11:45 am |

        Pinstripes would’ve been a nice nod to the team’s other owners, and pointier collars always look more flattering than crew necks.

        And definitely yes on light blue socks. I generally like the white shorts/white socks look, but against the light blue shirt, white gets a little lost. I’d even go with dark blue, like Everton this season.

    • Ryan M | November 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm |

      While I do like the shade of sky blue that can be found in many places around the EPL, perhaps the MLS should have stepped in to prevent a team from tying its identity to closely to that which owns it (i.e. Chivas USA). What I really wonder is, if you’re a Manchester United fan living in the New York area, if you were inclined to support a team in your neck of the woods owned by City in the first place, would you be less likely to do so given the similarity in the two clubs’ kits?

    • Cort | November 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm |

      There should be more orange.

      No pinstripes, but maybe some navy blue.

      I love Man City. They have long been my favorite club. But these NYFC uniforms are just disappointing.

  • James Gregg | November 14, 2014 at 10:44 am |

    Aren’t those cheesecake drawings sexist? One could think that could they not? What happens if some women see them and get offended?

    • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 10:56 am |

      If you go back and read what I wrote, instead of trying to play gotcha games that you’re ill-equipped to engage in, you’ll see that those illustrations were all commissioned either by the women themselves or by their partners.

      Think harder.

      • James Gregg | November 14, 2014 at 10:58 am |

        You have missed where feminist women have complained about women who choose to pose for such things or in men’s magazines. Point is, that people will find offense in anything if they want to feel offended.

        • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 11:08 am |

          People are also offended when I say “fuck” and “shit.” But as some of us have tried to point out a few jillion times here, “offensiveness” is a red herring in these discussions.

          If you have a larger point, please make it. Because so far you haven’t said jackshit.

      • DJ Doc | November 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm |

        That’s my wife in the Toronto St. Pats jersey…I commissioned that in celebration of our 4th Anniversary this year! Rob Ullman worked with a pic that had been taken of her earlier in the year , posing with the Stanley Cup (when the Cup visited her workplace)wearing my replica jersey.

    • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 11:59 am |

      I’ll take the bait! Something can be simultaneously offensive and demeaning AND empowering and worth recognizing.

      For example, I’m Asian and I’m more than a little bothered by Gedde Watanabe’s role as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles. It borders on modern day minstrelsy. But then again, I recognize that there was a time when there were *no* fleshed-out Asian characters in Hollywood. Watanabe is a pioneer of sorts, and it’s a role he took seriously.

      Things aren’t always cut-and-dried in real life.

      • ScottyM | November 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm |

        One of cinema’s greatest, most hysterical comedic roles. Love Gedde and the role he played. Apparently, he had a lot of leeway to improvise there.

      • Jim Y. | November 14, 2014 at 10:34 pm |

        Something can be simultaneously offensive and demeaning AND empowering and worth recognizing.

        Likewise a sports franchise’s name can be both an offensive racial slur inappropiate to be use in certain contexts AND a harmless sobriquet with tradition behind it that is worth retaining.

        • terriblehuman | November 15, 2014 at 12:52 am |

          Uh, no.

          An NFL team misappropriating Native American imagery is the exact opposite of what I’m talking about. But nice try.

        • Jim Y. | November 15, 2014 at 1:10 am |

          No, but what you’re saying is that something can both be this AND yet still be that (seemingly contradictory concepts) and all I’m doing is using that example to say likewise that something else can be one thing and yet still be another.

          You may disagree with what I stated and that’s fine, but I am using your construct to show my example and it makes my statement neither more or less right whether or not you happen to agree or disagree with my example.

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

      I’m offended because I didn’t see anything resembling cheesecake in those pictures!

      [/smartass] ;)

    • ScottyM | November 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

      Actually, the whole Pinup culture that’s re-emerged is kind of an example of this. Sort of a rockabilly, garage stylized resurgence of 40s-era pinup (now combined with tattoos, etc.). Both empowering and perhaps demeaning at the same time. Depends on worldview, I suppose. Lots of things could be considered the same… volleyball uniforms, swim suits, on down the line.

      • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

        Exactly – it’s noteworthy and empowering precisely because it’s sexist (and the recent rise of burlesque falls in here too). The women are taking ownership of something that’s traditionally driven by the male gaze.

        Or like Richard Pryor’s use of the N-word. It wouldn’t be meaningful if it wasn’t offensive.

    • Cort | November 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm |

      I want to call them sexist. I also want to call them the Greatest Works in the History of Art.

      I blame Susan St. James and that 49ers jersey on “McMillan and Wife”. And Mary Tyler Moore, washing her car in Fran Tarkenton’s number 10.

      You whippersnappers won’t get those references, but of us whose formative years were spent in the 1970s will understand the awesome wonder of a woman in an oversized athletic jersey.

  • JohnK | November 14, 2014 at 10:45 am |

    Great to see one of those Night Game die cut tickets from the Dodgers. Ebbets Field Flannels used a repro of one of those tickets as a merchandise tag a few years ago–not sure if they still do.

    JohnK

    • Ben Fortney | November 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm |

      No Mas used to have that “night game” design on a t-shirt. Unfortunately it’s no longer in the store… nor are any shirts from the “I’m Still Calling It…” series.

  • Jim Vilk | November 14, 2014 at 10:47 am |

    MLB and New Era is betting that you cap collectors are stupid enough to buy yet another one of your favorite team’s cap just because it has a “Japan All-Star Series” side patch

    Should be “are betting.”

    • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 11:38 am |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • GC | November 14, 2014 at 11:20 am |

    Thinking again about the green column from the other day and the Dolphins’ lighter aqua…makes me wonder if the old Dolphins’ color (and for that matter, Jacksonville) was in that Nike problem zone as well.

    (probably not, but hey – why not more Nike speculation?)

    • SWC Susan | November 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

      I agree totally – or that they just don’t want to bother with a special color and sell it as a “fresh” update…

  • LouisC | November 14, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    The MLB caps with Japan series patch reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons, where the makers of Malibu Stacy release a version of the doll sporting a new hat.

  • mike 2 | November 14, 2014 at 11:46 am |

    I’m no social media guru but I do blog and tweet on behalf of my employer.

    Rule #1: I’m personally responsible for everything that goes out under my employer’s name.

    Everything we do flows from rule #1

    How the fuck do the Patriots think in 2014 that turning their twitter feed over to the internet at large (which is what you do with automatic retweets) is a good idea?

    Incidentially – for everyone that thinks that twitter is stupid – I’d argue that a well-cultivated twitter feed is required. It’s easy – don’t follow stupid people and twitter isn’t stupid.

  • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm |

    Good news: NBA Christmas jerseys don’t have sleeves!

    Bad news: Remember how everyone LOVED it when the Heat played with NNOB?

    • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

      Also, I love that the second or third comment to any NBA jersey news is “More room for sponsor logo”.

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

      … when did the Heat play with no names on back? Because that’s what “NNOB” means around here.

      • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm |

        Sorry, NickNOBs.

        • terriblehuman | November 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

          And they’re actually using FiNOB, which I like a lot on second thought.

          Not bad over all!

        • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm |

          I wouldn’t care if they weren’t using contrasting nameplates… but they are, so I hate them fiercely.

    • Jim Vilk | November 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm |

      If the Kings were still playing in KC, would the first names be above the numbers?

  • SWC Susan | November 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

    Re: “It’s a shift in our planning and our long-term strategy to move to a mobile and digital ticketing experience,”

    Paperless tickets are not a fucking “experience”, damn it! Sigh, I am a dying breed…

    • Bernd Wilms | November 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm |

      It makes me sad. There are still teams that’ll print up a paper ticket at the box office if you have a valid electronic one. The Canadiens charged me $5 for one once which felt kinda strange at first, but was acceptable.

      Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand, laughed at me when I asked on their ticket hotline. I found that infuriating.

      • SWC Susan | November 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

        The guy in San Fransisco who distributes ticket holder lanyards is crying…

  • SWC Susan | November 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

    Re: BYU logo update

    See…. Ricko, it’s a SAILOR HAT!!!

    • arrScott | November 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm |

      Also, it’s a downgrade. I mean, I get the switch to the flat single color. But why get rid of the rakish, scruffy whiskers on the chin? Is BYU so strict in its grooming standards that even the mascot has to shave every day?

      • SWC Susan | November 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

        Clearly the reason!!!

      • Jim Vilk | November 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm |

        Actually, they do have a no-facial-hair policy.

        • Jim Vilk | November 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

          Or at least no beards.

      • Cort | November 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm |

        Do a Google Image Search on Brigham Young. In nearly every photo, he’s wearing a beard.

        There is but one stature of Brigham Young on the BYU campus. It’s based on a photo of Brigham, taken in 1840 or thereabouts. He’s clean-shaven. At BYU, even the founder’s statue can’t have a beard.

        (I was once hauled into the Honor Code office, because I’d been spotted wearing sweatpants on campus. They were verboten then. I think they’re OK now. I blame the liberals. As I left the office, having promised to never again appear anywhere other than a dorm or approved athletic area dressed in sporting togs, the Honor Code guy said, “On, and son? The Lord wants you to get a haircut.” They do not mess around at BYU.)

  • George N | November 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm |

    LIDS is running a promotion on authentic MLB caps this week; the front page has the Mets’ Curtis Granderson wearing pinstripes with the alternate blue/orange hat.

    As far as I know they didn’t wear that combination this year. Alternate hats and snow whites and alternate hats and road grays, but not with pinstripes:

    http://images.lids.com/homepage/Lids-bestOfHOTA-tb.jpg

    • Graf Zeppelin | November 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm |

      AFAIK that’s right; the alt caps have only been worn with the blues and whites thus far, not with the pins. But, it’s an ad.

  • TIm | November 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

    Re: the Bills/Fins game last night. I don’t think I’ve noticed before, but the Bills’ helmet stripe is red in the middle, blue striping on the sides. Given the fact that the unis are primarily blue (the away jersey stripes and numbers are blue with red outlines, the home jerseys are blue, etc.), wouldn’t the helmet stripe look better if it was blue with red outlines instead? Once I saw it I could not unsee it. It’s safe to say Uni Watch has ruined me!

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm |

      It was that way on the 1975-83 uniforms, on which the current ones are based.

      The helmet stripes match the white pants stripes as well, thus when they go all-white, their helmet and pants stripes are blue-red-blue, while their sleeve and sock stripes are red-blue-red.

      • TIm | November 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

        Gotcha. I’d simply prefer if they’d pick one arrangement (red-blue-red IMHO) and be consistent. I probably would not have even noticed, but with the helmet stripe getting wider front to back (thus the red on the helmet stripe is more pronounced) it was bugging me. I think I need uni-therapy. The kicker was when I said out loud, “you know what bugs me about those uniforms?” my wife, without more than few seconds of thought said, “sure, you think the helmet’s inner stripe should be blue instead of red to match the jersey!” Way too predictable.

  • TIm | November 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm |

    Also, did anyone else think the Fins’ Aqua over Aqua looked particularly shitty? I absolutely hate the way that looked.

    • Rob S | November 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm |

      Yep, definitely not a good look for them.

      • TIm | November 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm |

        I’m not pleased with the Fins’ lack of orange any longer, but I wonder how they would look with a navy blue jersey given the navy accents on the helmet and pants (or orange for that matter). I guess the navy jersey would lend itself too much to “Titans with aqua instead of light blue” uniform combos.

        • George N | November 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm |

          Wish they would go back to striped socks.

          I guess the idea was that the navy blue stripe would break up the aqua from the pants and socks, in a (weak) attempt to avoid the leotard look. A few of the Dolphins’ players wore blue tights and looked like they just looped navy blue tape around the sock haphazardly. Horrendous.

  • Neeko | November 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

    Re: anniversary patches
    Has there ever been thought of an official uniwatch jersey? Anyone? I know I have.

    • arrScott | November 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm |

      It would be a baseball jersey with a cartoon of a green and gold hockey jersey rendered in chenille stitching on the left chest, obviously. No number on front; a maroon number with no name on back. Pinstripes? Probably. Definitely not a headspoon.

    • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm |

      >Has there ever been thought of an
      >official uniwatch jersey?

      I can tell you one thing: It better not have the term “uniwatch” as one word.

      Seriously: It’s never interested me all that much. I like accessories better — stirrups, patches, etc. Seriously, I *love* that 15th-anniversary patch. Somehow it feels very “official,” while a jersey would feel like more of a novelty. I don’t have a rational explanation for why I feel that way. It’s just a gut feeling.

      Maybe one of those great Durene basketball warm-up tops that I like so much — that’d be cool.

      • Mainspark | November 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm |

        That seems like something that would be in Ebbets Field Flannels’ proverbial wheelhouse. I don’t believe they make/sell any vintage-looking basketball gear but I would buy a Uni Watch, Durene-style warm-up!

        • Paul Lukas | November 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm |

          The problem is that nobody makes Durene anymore!

  • Dan J | November 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm |

    Those all aqua Dolphins unis were absolutely fantastic! I’m guessing I’ll be the only one to think so but, hey, aqua is the best color ever invented.