By Phil Hecken
The annual (115th edition, in fact) edition of the Army/Navy Game is today (3:00 pm ET, CBS), and it is traditionally the “end of season” game for the College football season. As in past years, neither team is particularly good, and Navy is better than Army. But none of that matters in this matchup.
Also, as in past years, Navy (but not Army, this time around) will be outfitted with a new uniform for the game — unlike past years, however, Navy’s uniforms are produced by UnderArmour (previously Nike made both teams’ unis). We’ll get to those in a second. Since winning the Navy clothing contract, UA has sought to remake Navy’s uniforms. Nothing drastic, mind you, as they still don the traditional blue and gold (albeit with some slight modifications, such as the six thin gold stripes on the jersey and undersleeves).
But they did introduce a special “Summer Whites” uniform for Navy’s opening game this year, modified Nike’s special helmet to look similar, and added blue pants and an anchor logo on the helmet for their annual game with Notre Dame (also outfitted in UA garb for this season).
I’ve been generally impressed with the restraint shown for Navy’s uniforms this year. Which brings us to today’s costume for the Army/Navy game. Here’s what the men from Annapolis will be wearing today (click on images to enlarge):
Not too bad, right? From a distance anyway — about the only thing that’s really bothersome is the red/white (it’s difficult to see) striping pattern going across the lower thigh. You’ll see the helmet is blue, with a stripe itself consisting of red and white stripes, outlined in gold, and the shoulder inserts replicate this pattern. Let’s take a closer look at the shoulder inserts:
You’ll notice there is a yellow snake on the red/white striping pattern. This is evocative of the First Navy Jack flag, which looks like this:
According to Navy Football’s official release, “The Under Armour uniforms are inspired by the First Navy Jack. In 2002 Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England ordered all United States Navy ships to fly the First Navy Jack with the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ motto and moving rattlesnake in place of the regular Navy Jack for the duration of the global war on terror. The First Navy Jack, with its red and white stripes, was first used by the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.”
Additionally, each of the shoulder inserts has 13 stripes.
What about the helmet?
Closer inspection reveals that the blue helmet sports a decal featuring the Navy “N” (with repeating red and white stripes), and a snake design similar to the one on the shoulders (and Navy Jack) coiled through the “N”.
If you look at the straight-on shots, you’ll see the front of the helmet features the repeating red/white striping pattern within the center stripe, which is bordered in gold. Somewhere along the way that pattern stops (probably after the 13th stripe) and becomes solid red. I’ve seen no shots (so far) — showing the top of the helmet to see where this takes place — but the back of the helmet shows the solid stripe, and the words “Don’t Tread On Me” affixed to the neck bumper:
It should also be noted (but I’ve yet to see a clear picture) that the “Don’t Tread On Me” motto is embroidered into side of the pants, which will probably be annoying if it’s actually readable from more than two feet away. It’s also on the right sleeve of the baselayer, and the gloves. In the photo of the baselayer below, you can probably read the “Don’t Tread On Me” on the pants a bit more clearly:
It’s certainly not a bad looking uniform — and considering that this game has been used as a showcase for new unis for the past six or so years, it shows nice restraint. In fact, one could argue that the 2008 Army/Navy Game was really the beginning of the current trend of one-off uniforms (although both squads would recycle those uniforms over the years). It wasn’t the first time special uniforms were designed for the game, but it certainly started a trend we see today where “special” or “themed” uniforms seem to be created for many college squads. It used to be Nike had sole providence over both teams and a national stage on which to show them off.
And so what will Army be wearing today? Just this:
The uniforms are similar to what the Black Knights wore in Yankee Stadium on Nov. 8, when they beat Connecticut 35-21, but will drop the camouflage-pattern numbers in favor of gold.
I LOVE the Army/Navy game, and even though Navy has won something like 15 straight, I still always pull for Army (my pop was an officer in the Army, serving in Korea in the Korean Conflict). There’s a great history which I’ve covered here over the years — if you’re looking for a great previous post, my favorite is probably this one from 2011, Army and Navy Through the Years, which features a look back at previous games, and features memories from Ricko and Larry Bodnovich, plus an all-time Army/Navy 5 & 1 from Jim Vilk, and much more. There’s also a pretty nice article from Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard on the most iconic moments in the Army/Navy rivalry. Definitely worth a read.
Enjoy the game today, folks — it’s the only game in town.
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 Scoreboards – The Hockey Edition
by Gary Chanko
Last week in the series I mentioned receiving several requests for the same scoreboard. That venue is the Chicago Stadium with very deep roots in.
I’m not much of a hockey fan and have been to only a handful of NHL and minor league games. So I’m just not that familiar with all the great NHL arenas of the past.
Home of: Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) (1929”“1994), Chicago Stags (NBA) (1946”“1950), Chicago Majors (ABL) (1961”“1963), Chicago Bulls (NBA) (1967”“1994), Chicago Sting (NASL indoor and MISL) (1980”“1988)
Opened: 1929; Closed: 1994; Demolished: 1995
When it opened in 1929 Chicago Stadium was the largest indoor stadium in the world with a seating capacity of 17,000 (approximate). It became the long time home for both the NHL Blackhawks and NBA Bulls. The Stadium was known as The Madhouse on Madison because of the raucous crowd induced into action by Al Megard and his world-famous Barton theater organ.
The scoreboard illustration depicts the Bulova Sports Timer, a unique four-sided analog timing clock. This 10.5 ft x 12 ft timer was installed in 1943 and lasted over three decades.
A Few Things to Know
• The Bulova Magical Sports Timer was actually a multi-function timing clock that could be used in hockey, basketball, and boxing events. It was operated from a console (see the photo in the link above) with a complex array of switches and buttons.
• If you’re not a long time hockey fan, like me, the operation of the Sports Timer may be slightly confusing. Fear not, the Chicago Stadium Wikipedia entry provides a complete tutorial on the function of all clocks and numerals.
• The identical Bulova Sports Timer was a feature at the Boston Garden, the Detroit Olympia, the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, the Rhode Island Auditorium and perhaps others.
• Chicago Stadium was the last NHL arena to use an analog dial-type large four-sided clock. It was replaced with a digital clock in 1976.
Next time the series returns to football and the Rose Bowl.
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
This weekend marks Week 13 of the UWFFL Season and the push for the playoffs is on. Sides are choosing their best kits, Owners are prepping for what is to come, and the League is excited for what is to come.
For our DII featured fray we are showcasing two teams which are just on the outside looking in. If the votes possibly bounce their way they could get into the top four and into the hunt for Central League hardware and promotion into the UWFFL Premier. One of our squads is a repeat contender in the CL while the other took over for a team which lost its way.
The San Antonio Black Knights came oh so close to getting into the playoffs last year. The River City Bannerets changed their look from last season and stuck with a minimalist template. They even changed their logo to a circle housing two crossed swords. The Black Knights had a close win over the Rapid City Badlanders and have played tough ball all year long. Fancy just ain’t in their vocabulary.
The Winnipeg WinterHawks were tough competitors in the Spring D-League causing all sorts of problems for their arch-Pool mates. After some fortuitous happenings, the Raptors from The Peg found their way into the Second Flight and have made life miserable for the Central League squads. Teams have had to make last minute pushes to overtake these upstarts. Even though they are not in the top four, they could play spoiler to any team trying to move forward. The WinterHawks will be coming into this squad with their Columbia blue lids, White jerseys with black and blue shoulder sections, and silver britches. The Black Knights are going mono-black with silver and white highlights, jersey numerals, stripes and TV Numerals on the helmets.
Other fantastic pairings for this weekend will see the fish from Staten Island square off against the Toledo marksmen, the Little Rock Diamondbacks will face the Birddogs from Greenville during their tilt, and Stampede City will be rumbling as the Calgary Alpines host the Woodsmen from British Columbia.
You can vote on these games and much more at uwfantasyfootballleague.com. Get your cousins, your old college roommates, and even your elected officials in on the action by encouraging them to participate in this weekend’s competition. You can see the behind the scenes action of the UWFFL by checking us out at our main Google+ page and you can submit your concepts for the Spring League at our Prospective UWFFL Teams community.
ALSO, this Sunday marks the final week of the regular season for the All American Indoor Football Association as teams vie for the playoffs. An affiliated league of the UWFFL, the AAIFA is a Pen and Paper style RPG league where teams are given advantages and disadvantages, and injuries are just a d6 away. Plus, how can you go wrong with team names such as the St. Joseph Couriers, Amarillo Armadillos, Idaho Falls Moose, Bay Area Bombardiers, Sarasota Spitfires and the LA Avengers?
Make sure to come back tomorrow for our featured fracas for the UWFFL Premier League.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Oh, baby! Check out this 1940’s Frank “Sinatra Swooners” Celebrity Softball Team photo (From Bruce Menard, naturally). Ol’ Blue Eyes’ birthday was yesterday. Bonus: one of those “Swooners” jerseys came up for auction a while back (also from Bruce). Great stuff! … Here’s a picture of the 2015 All-Star Game ball with soon-to-be Commissioner Manfred’s signature (thanks to Matt H.). … “This is a pretty interesting piece from a Cubs uniform maven who seems to Get It,” says Matt Schudel, describing an article about new Cubs players Jon Lester and Miguel Montero needing to find new uni numbers. … You know who looks good in pinstripes? Johnny Carson, that’s who (Bruce Menard again). There’s Johnny pictured with Roger Maris, Elston Howard & Mickey Mantle. For all you young’uns out there, Carson was the guy who succeeded Jack Paar and Steve Allen on the Tonight Show.
NFL News: Here’s an interesting article from the Seattle Times about Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, who has to search each offseason for his favorite shoes, a style Nike doesn’t make any more (from Dustin Jensen). This was also sent in separately by Markus Kamp. … “I guess we knew this was coming,” says Brady Phelps. I’ll just leave it at that. … Guess Paul needs to add another team to the “mono” list — The Bills. They will be going monochrome blue tomorrow — here’s some more information about that (h/t Rachel Licata). … According to Seahawks’ Head Coach Pete Carroll, 65,000 Tackle Ebola ribbons will be handed out at the game. Here’s a bit more on that. … Patrick O’Neill writes, “I didn’t see this on Uni Watch before but here is a mock-up of the yet-to-be created new NFL Franchise, the Werewolves of London.”
College Football News: Shipping snafu: No picture unfortunately, but an anonymous student reports, “Oh also Adidas fucked up the shipment of cleats to all the schools. We (Nebraska) got some Wisconsin cleats while they got some NC state cleats and NC state got some of our cleats.” … The Virginia Tech Hokies’ Military Bowl patches arrived and are going on the left shoulder (thanks to Clark Ruhland). … Did you ever want to know more about the guy who designs all those “wild” and crazy Under Armour football uniforms? Well, now is your chance. …Mississippi State quarterback Dakota “Dak” Prescott is suing a T-shirt company for using and profiting from his name without permission. Why is that a problem? Because no matter how he feels about it, he has to sue the T-shirt company if he wants to retain his eligibility. … Here’s what the Heart of Dallas Bowl patches look like (via LaTech Equipment).
NBA News: On Thursday night, Oklahoma City power/small forward Kevin Durant had “Black Lives Matter” (and something else — “EPH J:20”?) written on his sneakers. Anyone know what the additional writing is for? (thanks, Paul). … “What happens when a team is reborn? What should happen?” asks Jon Plummer. That’s the question that is asked is this article entitled, “Analyzing the Return of the Seattle SuperSonics From an Aesthetic Standpoint”.
Hockey News: The Saskatoon Blades will be wearing this (not so) ugly X-mas sweater today when they face the Regina Pats (h/t @The_Real_Kub). … The San Jose Sharks revealed their new Stadium Series uniforms yesterday, and our friend Chris Creamer had a nice writeup on them. … Yesterday there was a “Happy Birthday” to the Cooperalls game. Reader Mark Sencich was watching the anniversary footage, and had one word: “awesome.” He continues, “I actually posted in the comments and wanted to share a photo of me in the day wearing them back in Toronto. I’m sure there are a few more uni notable aspects to that jersey, enjoy.” Later on, he found this fantastic team photo. … Reader Harry Halloran writes, “One of the many things I’ve learned reading UW (besides what a Bannock device is) is that hockey jerseys are properly called ‘sweaters’. Even so, I was surprised to see this Blackhawks jersey rendered as an honest-to-goodness 80% cotton/20% acrylic knitted sweater — plus a collar drawstring! — at a Reebok outlet store.” Holy Crap is that beautiful (even with the logo).
Soccer News: This is pretty cool for those font/typography fans on UW (like myself), even if you don’t necessarily like the Beautiful Game: a website dedicated to the fonts of
soccer football. Great find by Joe Makowiec. … Have you ever wanted to own a soccer jersey once owned by the King of Pop? Me either, but now you can.
College Hoops News: On Thursday evening, the Iowa Women’s basketball team had a “blackout,” with the team wearing black at home against a cardinal-clad Iowa State team, making for an interesting color vs. color matchup (h/t @AaronBlau). And last night, the Mens squad did the same thing (via Ethan Ritz). … Reader Clifford Blake has been following the news on players rolling up their shorts and just wanted to add that Temple players have been doing that since the 2012-13 season. Note senior Scootie Randall (#33) and then sophomore Will Cummings (#2), he adds.
Grab Bag: Today’s meta moment: In an article which contains some famous jersey misspellings, entitled “The ”˜Westren Illinios’ University curse,” Paul is quoted. Of course, his name is misspelled. … There’s some interesting hand painted sports stuff to be found on this site. Says submitter Jon Solomonson, “Not sure if his stuff is cool or lame. But it’s interesting. The helmets caught my eye mostly.” … Reader Robert Turning was at the Baltimore Under Armour store yesterday, and noticed this shirt for sale. “I think they meant Memorial Stadium. Municipal Stadium was Cleveland,” he says. …”Former WWE performer and current UFC fighter CM Punk has new shirts available that might be of interest to Uni-Watch,” writes Drew Celestino. “Punk, a proud Chicago native, has one design based on the Blackhawks logo, and one that is a mashup of the Chicago flag and the logo of the band Black Flag.” … Belleville High School District No. 201 is unveiling two new combined football and soccer fields this year, thanks in part to a creative way of financing ”“ weaving advertising logos into the fields’ sidelines (thanks to Tyler Kulasza). … Reader Mira Katriina has been following the Women’s Handball European Championships this week, and Team Sweden has not only been successful on the court, but also ever so crafty with some uniform related shenanigans. “It appears they’ve cut holes on a training bib, both front and back (that’s left back Jamina Roberts). This allows any field player to put it on and basically become a fly goalie during an offensive. Sweden uses this (quite aggressive) tactic whenever they are shorthanded (penalties are 2 minutes long). Subs are allowed on the fly, so they always try to sub in a real keeper in time for the opponents attack. However, it’s not always possible and the bibbed player is stuck between the pipes (given that she gets there on time). Take Johanna Ahlm, who earlier this week scored, raced back and finally made the save – with her face. But no goal! Here’s the whole sequence.” … Our resident Rugby expert Graham Clayton writes, “The combined Brisbane team that played Cronulla-Sutherland in the final of the mid-week AMCO Cup rugby league competition in 1979 had a jersey which featured a number on the front. Apparently in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, all teams in the Brisbane rugby league competition had numbers on the front of their jerseys. BTW, the Cronulla-Sutherland combination of sky blue, black and white is one of my all-time favourite jerseys.” Graham adds, “the combined Brisbane team’s shorts feature “4IP” on either side at the front. I can only presume that due to the number on the front of the jersey, which would be the normal place for a sponsors logo, the 4IP logo had to be placed on the shorts instead. 4IP were a Brisbane radio station.” … Have you ever wanted to know the story behind AOL’s ‘iconic’ yellow running man? Well, here you go anyway (thanks, Brinke). … Southwest Covenant Schools in Yukon, Okla. appears to have added a cross to a Patriots logo (via Chance Plett). … Gather ’round children and you shall hear — the Ballad of a Starter Jacket (thanks, Brinke). … Finally, reader Tony Caliguiri found this on Facebook: an awesome article “on a shoe store that’s been sitting for 40 years untouched, good link in the article with a bunch of pics with some awesome old logos and such.”
And that’s going to do it for today, folks. Enjoy the Army/Navy game — it’s the only game in town. Thanks to Gary and Andrew for their sections today, and all who sent in submissions or tweeted at me with Ticker items.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Unfortunately, Syracuse dropped their ‘Orangemen’ nomenclature despite a lack of discrimination against the orange man. Technically, orange is an earth tone, and hence a touchy subject.”
— Walter Helfer