Skip to content

Leo’s DIY – Turning a Table into the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Aussie Footy

Melbourne Cricket Ground table

Click to Enlarge

Uni Watch stalwart Leo Strawn, Jr. has a very cool DIY project he shared with me (and which is described below), and which I want to share with you today (for any inline images, click to enlarge). I apologize for the lack of a more “uniform” related lede, but I’ve been extremely busy this week. But below there is plenty of good stuff, including the return of the uni concepts and a pretty full ticker, so enjoy! — PH

. . . . .

By Leo Strawn

I had an idea for a footy table and kept an eye out at yard sales to locate a good, yet cheap, table. Just had to be sturdy; looks, of course, didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t terribly banged up. Found the perfect table for a couple of bucks and proceeded to completely forget about it. It was an ugly wood, needed resurfaced, but actually a nice enough table just needing a bit of attention, and since I wasn’t doing anything with it, my significant other went ahead and painted it gloss black, one day.


I finally got motivated and started it a year later, just a few months ago. First, I sanded and primed the top; the rest of the table was in good enough shape as far as I was concerned. Then I had to get the dimensions of the footy ground I wanted to model the table after; the most hallowed of all footy ovals: Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Then came the boring math. Essentially I had to take the dimensions of 173.6 m long x 148.3 m wide, from fence to fence, and scale that down to fit on smaller than a 20″ x 24″ table top, because the top edges are beveled leaving a bit less than that in actual flat surface area. The boundary line at the MCG is located five m inside the fence.

I located the center of the table top, discovered that the width was the dimension that mattered on this particular top, and made the width equal to 19″. That 19″ width accounted for 7.8 m/in on scale, so I divided 173.6 by 7.8, giving me a length of 22 1/4″. There would be a little bit leftover on the long ends of the table. I then lightly drew my axis off the center and placed push pins in the ends of the long axis. Now I was ready to create the ellipse.

I took a compass stretched across half of the long axis, then placed the point on the ends of the short axis, drawing arcs through the longer axis. Next step was to stretch and tie a string taut between the push pins. Once the string was secured to the push pins, I moved the pins to those intersections I drew with the compass earlier. Pushing a pencil to the limit within the string and moving it around the outside of the pins created the dimensions from fence to fence.



The remainder was drawn in three ways. First, with a ruler, based on that 7.8 meters = 1 inch scale. I also drew a second ellipse, freehand, after measuring 5/8″ inside the original ellipse to designate the boundary line, which is 5 meters inside of the fence. The 50 meter arcs around the goals were drawn by compass.

Finally, the painting began! I started by painting black up to the edge of the “fence”. Then, I painted the red and blue lines of the 50 meter arcs and painted white areas…:



…with a few coats of paint, large enough to cover the lines that would be white, also. Then, the green for the grass…


…and finished with a few light coats of polyurethane for protection, and voila, a table-sized MCG!


. . . . .

Great stuff, Leo! That’s a neat-o project, and one that even the less DIY-inclined among us (like myself) could probably even come close to approximating. Thanks for sharing.

line - red, white & blue

classic scoreboards splash

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 image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Football Scoreboards – Second in a Series
by Gary Chanko

The early 1920s saw an explosion of new collegiate football stadiums in California. The Rose Bowl, Stanford Stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and California Memorial Stadium were built during this period.

This edition of Classic Football Scoreboards looks at California Memorial Stadium, still today one of the best venues for watching college football.

Cal Memorial Stadium Scoreboard UW

California Memorial Stadium

Home of: University of California Golden Bears, Berkeley, California
Opened:1923 Renovated: 2010-2012

Inspired by the Roman Coliseum, Cal’s 75,000 seat Memorial Stadium was built surrounded with controversy. The uproar was caused by the proposed location the scenic area known as Strawberry Canyon.

Memorial Stadium opened just in time for the Golden Bears last game of the 1923 season – The Big Game against cross bay rival Stanford.

The graphic captures the scoreboard at the end of that inaugural game.

A Few Things to Know

• The $1.4 million (about $20 million in todays dollars) stadium was funded entirely by seat subscriptions (and you thought that funding concept was a 21st century invention). The $100 subscriptions sold out in ten days. What you got was a $10 voucher for ten years to purchase game tickets.

• The original scoreboard architecture reflected the neoclassical style of the stadium. Besides the game score, the scoreboard layout provided ball field position and distance to go for first down – all manually operated. It must have been a frantic exercise to keep the game information current. The process used to rely information to the scoreboard operators, located in the end zone, would be interesting reading.

• Fortunately the recent stadium renovations keep the basic scoreboard size and classical architecture while adding a state-of-the-art electronic display, sound system, and yes, a corporate sponsor.

Next time the series heads about 375 miles south to visit another classic scoreboard from the 1920s, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

line - red, white & blue

all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

It’s been a while since I ran this, but I still have a bunch of concepts (and they do continue to trickle in — and concepters, please keep them coming)…

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Cole Hammers, who has a concept for the Houston Texans:

Cole Hammers - Texans concept

Hi Phil,

I never liked how Texans logo faced the wrong way on one side of the helmet, so I drew up an alternate with the horns on the side a-la-Vikings. The rest is just a slight tweak on the standard away uni.


. . .

And we close today with Kyle Geralds who has some Detroit Tigers concepts:

TigerConcepts1 - Kyle Geralds

TigerConcepts2 - Kyle Geralds

TigerConcepts3 - Kyle Geralds


Detroit Tiger Concepts ”“ No Sacred Cows

Tigers have maintained a lot of tradition limiting uniform concepts. The Tigers have only worn an alternate jersey once, they use two different Old English Ds and they only wear orange on the road.

I wanted to see what it’d be like using just the ball cap D on the uniform, using orange at home, creating an alternate, using a script Tigers instead of the home D and an orange only (no navy) road uniform. Here are 10 concepts (above). I am a traditionalist and never want the Tigers to change their home uniform or use an alternate, so killing these “sacred cows,” was morally challenging.

If you are interested in more, the 10 were chosen from these 22.

-Kyle G

PS: A Short Look at Tiger Uniform History:

• 1927-1931 was the 1st time the Tigers wore orange (home and away) then stopped for 16 years.
• 1947-1951 Tigers wore the orange D on their home cap but a white D on the road (opposite of today).
• 1952-57 they wore the orange D on their home and away caps.
• 1958-1971 the Tigers did not wear orange at all and in 1960 the Tigers script was used in place of the English D on the home uniform.
• Since 1972 the Tigers have only worn orange on the road. Interestingly, 1972-1982 the Tigers road cap featured an orange D with a white outline.
• 1994 the Tigers wore stripes down the sleeves of their road uniform and an orange bill on the cap that lasted 4 years and included the Tiger wiggling through the D for three.
• In 1995 the Tigers wore an official alternate for only one game. They were smoked by the Red Sox and the owner, John McHale, ended the alt saying, “That uniform just didn’t say Detroit Tigers to me. We’re open to trying new things, but those didn’t do it for me.”

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

line - red, white & blue

UWFFL banner

Unfortunately due to an unforeseen labor strike, fire, and theft of uniforms, due to the personal commitments of both Rob Holecko and Andrew Seagraves, the UWFFL will be taking a one-week hiatus this weekend from Uni Watch. There are still games to be played, however.

You can head over to to vote on this week’s UWFFL matchups.

Apologies to any/all who were expecting the usual UWFFL fare here.

line - red, white & blue

Uni Watch News Ticker:

NFL News: Interesting cover for The New Yorker next month. (This would usually be reserved for the ‘skins Watch section, but it’s getting too much pub to wait a week.) … Did you know that the old Browns mascot, Brownie the Elf, has a tail? Neither did I until I saw this picture (with enlargement by The Real Kub). Whoa. Who knew elves had tails? When I retweeted that image, Johnny Okray posted a different image of Brownie, and in that one it appears the “tail” is the shadow of his shirt. But if you go back to the first image the shirt/tunic (whatever Brownie is wearing) is different — almost a two-piece, so whatever it is, it’s not a shadow or outline of a shirt. I asked Todd Radom if he knew more and he thought it might be an outturned pocket. … “More Nike fun,” says Britton Thomas. The Falcons have apparently adopted a new motto for the season (something about trying to go 1-0 each week). “Can’t have a motto without a shirt.” … If you take a look at this video, you’ll see Freddie Mercury wearing a Cowboys t-shirt that Jeff Wilk has never seen before. He adds, “There’s the spot you get the first good look at the front, but let it roll on and you get other great views at 6:40. It’s the star logo in the D that makes me wonder what kind of yellow Cowboys shirt is this?”

College/High School Football News: USC and UCLA will play color-vs-color today (as God intended), so here’s a good look at the rivalry. Also, check out this beautiful ticket stub from the 1956 UCLA/USA game (from Jeremy Formo). … Pretty sure this isn’t unique, but on Thursday night, a K-State player was wearing a shirt with built-in pockets (from Steven). We’ve definitely seen it in the pros (h/t Noel Blaha). … The Illinois Illini will be wearing white/orange/white today, the only combination they’ve worn more than once (they’ve worn it five times) – thanks to J.P. Young. … The UM Terps have a new ‘vision’ for the Cole Field House, which includes a new locker room (thanks to Mark Johnson). … Here is a good slide show of the uniforms and also the evaluation of uniforms through the years of the Lehigh Lafayette rivalry. Says submitter Jason Ricles, “I, as a Lehigh alum, and uniform enthusiasts love looking through the slide show and see how they changed through the years. So upset I decided I didn’t want to freeze my butt off this weekend to see what they pull out this Saturday in person but will def see on tv.” … Special helmets this weekend for Montana against Montana State in the “Brawl of the Wild.” (thanks to @CubbyTheKraut). Also noticing this was Brett Clark, who believes the team will also be putting the names of Montana counties on the back of the helmet. (Jackson Wagner later confirmed that it’s the name of the County for the player wearing it – h/t for that last pic to Nick Mills). Not sure if any non-Montanans play for the team or how that will be handled. … This was in yesterday’s ticker, but here is a side by side comparison of the 2012 chrome helmet and the 2014 chrome helmet for UNC (which they wore Thursday night vs. Duke). Thanks to Todd Gaines. … Baylor will be going all black with their uniforms vs. Okie State (thanks to Andrew Lind). Also from Andrew, Mississippi State will be wearing their anniversary uniforms against Vanderbilt. … Florida State will wear a helmet decal to honor the victims of Wednesday’s library shooting (h/t B.J. Lanier). … Jim Vilk would approve of these “comically large” numbers for a high school football team in Salem, VA (thanks to David Jordan). … Jeremy Langford’s thigh pad has a Spartan helmet imprinted on it (grab by Cory Fisher). … Want to own one of those special blue chrome UNC helmets from the Duke game Thursday? You can, but it wall cost you $1,195 plus an extra $29.95 for shipping and handling. … If you scroll down to the bottom of this article, you will note that Clemson will wear the accursed color of death purple today (first time since 2013). … Fun article on how “MIT Engineered a Football Team Out of Scrap”, from the Wall Street Journal. … Ever wonder what the SEC would look like if someone did military/patriotic uniform concepts? Wonder no more (thanks to Andrew Daley).

NBA News: You won’t see a better NBA link today than the Sacramento Kings Christmas sweater photoshoot (via Todd Gaines). The full gallery can be seen here. Enjoy! … Here’s a neat look at the history and evolution of the Miami Heat uniforms throughout that franchise’s history. … Last night, the Cavs and Wizards went color-on-color (thanks, Paul).

Hockey News: The AHL’s Adirondack Flames will be wearing these camo…things as their alternate jerseys today (h/t to Brandson LaFerriere, I think). … St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen is letting fans choose his new mask (thanks to Mike T.). … GAH! The Pensacola Ice Flyers hockey team wore these … things last night (h/t Bob Marshall). … The Syracuse Crunch will wear Devon Still jerseys during pregame warmups against the Utica Comets today. … Wow! Check out Hall of Famer Ebbie Goodfellow with his son in oldest replica red wings jersey we will ever see, from 1938 (great find by Douglas Ford). … “While watching the New Jersey-Edmonton game Friday night the Oiler announcers referenced a Calgary-based group of Jagr fans, apparently called the ‘Traveling Jagrs’,” says Matt Larsen. “Apparently they first dressed up as Jagr for Halloween, then decided to follow Jaromir around. Jagr got to meet them before Friday’s game.”

Soccer News: Here’s a leak of Mexico’s Copa America 2015 away kit (thanks to Conrad Burry). Here are some additional looks at the new jersey (via conejo_ape). … Also from Conrad, here’s a leak of Colombia’s Copa America 2015 away kit and to Paraguay’s home kit as well. … Nike won’t sell Women’s National Team jerseys to men because…reasons. What are those reasons? “(T)he company does not offer jerseys with stars in men’s sizes. The converse is also true: Jerseys without stars do not come in women’s sizes. Nike, Wilkins says, fears that adding stars to the men’s replicas would be interpreted as a false claim that the men had won two World Cups.” … Batman sues? From across the pond, George Chilvers says, “Holy bats! Valencia have had this badge since 1919 – it is the emblem of the region.”

College Hoops News: “My beloved Rainbow Warriors have changed (what it looks like to me ONLY) their basketball shorts design (to a simpler/generic template) Last years shorts, while admittedly a little cluttered, were unique,” writes Aaron Wigg. “You see the new style in the very first image ”˜Men’s Basketball vs High Point 11-17-14’. You see the old style in the second row ”˜Men’s Basketball vs Long Beach State’.” … East Tennessee State University has updated their logo and fonts. Here are the 2013-14 home unis (here are the new 2014-15 home unis), and here are the 2013-14 road unis compared to the new 2014-15 road unis. Thanks to Jenny Wittenauer for the update. … Here’s a look at some of the Kansas Womens’ basketball uniforms thoughtout the years.

Grab Bag: In college lacrosse news, the Florida Gators wore these new helmets (with simulated gator skin logos in their matchup with Florida State last night (thanks to Dave Doop). … “Forget Kim Kardashian,” writes Douglas Ford, “this pic of (Bill) Cosby will break the internet.”


line - red, white & blue

OK, that will do it for today. Big thanks to Leo for helping me out in a pinch with his DIY, and also to Gary for another stellar installment of the Scoreboards series. I’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Sunday Morning Uni Watch fare.

Remember, if you see an NCAA game today you think would qualify for the “5 & 1” let Catherine know about it by e-mailing her at — if you don’t let her know what you think is a good (or bad) candidate for the Five and One, you shouldn’t be complaining about her choices tomorrow, right? Right! I mean, we all know the USC/UCLA game will be tomorrow’s #1 (as it should be), but there will be fierce competition for 2-5, and surely there will be some bad looking games out there. Catch you guys tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The argument I’ve always made is that fancy new uniforms are akin to corporate perks like happy hours and foosball tables and comfy chairs. At the end of the day, an engineer might choose his workplace based on the wages and the long-term prospects of the company and the type of projects they’d work on, but the small perks do make a difference because they signal how an employer views its employees.”

— “terriblehuman”

line - red, white & blue

Comments (47)

    I just cannot accept that Brownie the Elf would have a tail.

    Another possibility is that what appears to be a tail is Brownie’s middle finger. We can’t see where the finger attaches to the hand because the joint is hidden behind the tunic. Sure, it would be a grotesque, overly-long middle finger, but this is an elf we’re talking about. If a tail is within the realm of reason, why not a big gnarled digit?

    My observation is that the “tail” is a white piece which match with the other white piece on the other side of the elf. I think both of these white pieces represent the underside of the tunic/skirt thing he is wearing.

    Yes, I think that is the most likely answer. Looks like some have already taken the liberty of coloring the “tail” orange to match the rest of the tunic.


    Somewhere out there is an Orange shirt, it has Brownie on the front, and on the back its a view of Brownie from the back, and he has a big long, almost dog-like tail. I’ve seen it numerous times, but am struggling to find a picture of it now

    The link for ‘Columbia’s’ home kit leads to a picture of Paraguay’s… not sure if mis-linked or mis-labeled

    Re: US men’s and women’s jerseys

    Tl;dr version: they’re basically the same and most people won’t be able to tell the difference.

    Freddie’s Dallas shirt….. It could just be a generic Dallas (the city) shirt with a star on it and have nothing to do with the Cowboys.

    Kind of weird opening UW this morn and seeing that header, Phil!

    Happy to help whenever I can. :)


    You have to find a couple of jauntily-clad figures to be your goal refs, of course.
    By the way, when did they go from wearing that to wearing these?

    Great job, Leo!

    Thanks Joseph and Jim!

    Good question, Jim. Really not 100% sure. I know when it was VFL they still wore the “lab coats”. I am fairly certain it’s been within the last 10-12 years in AFL.

    That was one of the things I recalled most from the ESPN broadcasts of VFL matches in the late ’80s were those coats! They have brought them back out for heritage rounds in years past, but I don’t recall seeing them over the last season or two.

    Love love love the Table! I used to stay up late to watch footy games on my friend’s satellite and this brings back great memories!

    Jim Vilk would approve of these “comically large” numbers

    Where? I saw one team wearing comically small numbers, and another wearing right proper numbers that you can see from the upper deck. ;)

    Here’s some history on the evolution of the Brownie Elf (originally posted at Uni Watch); link

    No mention of a tail and I think its more a trick of the eye. Why would you draw a tail on an elf?

    You raised an entirely legitimate question, but the answer looks like it’s just the bottom of the shirt jutting out.

    I wouldn’t mess with the Tigers’ home uniforms, but the solid blue road uniform with pullover jerseys? Make that happen, Detroit! Fun set of concepts today.

    Regarding the Tigers concept, specifically the timeline posted below it: John McHale was the president of the organization in 1995, but he was never the owner.

    Re: Brownie’s “tail”

    The main problem with the Brownie design has always been that it’s simply not a very good drawing. It’s always bugged me that you could see the bottoms of his feet,for example. Is he floating in the air? Brownie needs an update.

    I like how you can see the bottoms of his feet. Perhaps he is floating in the air. He is an elf after all.

    I realize it’s a military appreciation concept, plus the fact it does fit them and their history, but does anyone else think that that Ole Miss uniform looks a little too uncomfortably close to the Confederate flag? Or is flag desecration okay in this case?

    Uni Concept idea.
    My idea is for a modern version of the original Miami Dolphins 1966 aqua jersey, it would be similar to what the Bills wear today, the sleeve stripes up higher with the TV numbers on the shoulders. With Miami’s 50th season next year, this would be very cool.
    Any takers? Thanks.

    Has Notre Dame had the shamrocks at the 35 all season? I don’t usually watch their games so this is the first time I’ve noticed it.

    Interesting. It’s a nice little touch. I like it although I’m sure most of the traditionalists hate it. They probably hate the nice addition of the ND at mid field as well.
    Now all ND needs to do is add blue facemasks, names to the back, & bring back the shiny gold pants.

    Isn’t that artificial turf Notre Dame now plays on? That alone is pretty awful, no matter how much shamrocks and other lipstick they put on the pig.

    Any other times when a apostrophe appears on a jersey like this? Reference here is to Jesus as the Master, but I can’t recall seeing apostrophe on a jersey like this.


    Any other times when a apostrophe appears on a jersey like this? Reference here is to Jesus as the Master and players belonging to Him, but I can’t recall seeing apostrophe on a jersey like this. Never seen St. John’s for instance.



    the Brownie Elf costume doesn’t have a tail

    I have the second linked item as my background, what i think happened in some cases they didn’t finish coloring in the bottom of the shirt

    I don’t care if Lafayette wore mono slate or anthracite or whatever that was…Lehigh looked as good as any team I’ve ever seen. That’s a top five matchup for sure.

    Pinstripes, big numbers, NNOB, lots of brown…what’s not to love?

    As a footy lover I must say that the DIY table is awesome! Definitely better than the paper based, Elmer’s glue ice surfaced St. Louis Arena replica I built as a teenager back in the 1970’s. Although, I must say that the Blues won every game I imagined on that little Ol’ Barn on Oakland Ave replica.

Comments are closed.