It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back to you folks, literally. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical, the time when I clear out all the uni-related stuff that’s accumulated over the past year. Either way, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.
As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent me over the past 12 months. I realize regifting may seem tacky, but sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.
Okay, here’s what’s available this year. It’s all pretty self-explanatory, except for this: For T-shirts, you’ll see a size followed by two measurements (like this, for example: L, 21″, 29″). In each case, that’s the tagged size followed by the the pit-to-pit measurement and the length from the back collar to the shirttail.
Ready? Here we go:
1. A complimentary Uni Watch membership card with your choice of design.
2. An authentic reproduction Army football helmet, autographed by 1958 Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins, from our friends at Gridiron Memories.
4. A pin celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Steelers’ first Super Bowl championship. This pin was given to fans attending the Steelers/Saints game on Nov. 30 and matches the patch that the Steelers wore that day.
5. A pillbox-style baseball cap. Maroon with black stitching. Very unconstructed, including the brim, which does not have cardboard or any other stiffener sewn into it. Black leather sweatband. Size 7-3/8. Worn a few times by a certain sports uniform journalist who finally decided it didn’t fit him.
6. A Mets 5950 cap. Purchased 10 years ago as research for a Uni Watch story and worn maybe twice since then (I don’t care for 5950s). Size 7-1/4.
7. and 8. Two Mets batting helmet logo decals in reflective orange. The Mets toyed with the idea of going with these reflective helmet logos last spring but ultimately abandoned the idea. Please note that this decal sheet will be cut in two, creating two separate prizes.
9. and 10. Two Mr. Met luggage decals. Image area is about 4″ by 4″. Orange tone is reflective. Please note that this decal sheet will be cut in two, creating two separate prizes.
11. A Mets equipment locker decal. 12″ long by 2″ high. Orange tone is reflective.
12. A Puppy Bowl XI press pass from one of the days that I covered the taping of the event back in October.
13. Another Puppy Bowl XI press pass, from the next day of taping.
15. A Bobby Cox Braves bobblehead, still in the box.
16. A Tom Glavine Braves bobblehead, still in the box.
17. An Evan Gattis Braves bobblehead, still in the box.
18. A St. Louis Cardinals towel. Measures 14.5″ x 18″. Blank on back.
19. A 2007 MLB All-Star Game sleeve patch. Worn by the Giants (and, of course, all of All-Star Game participants) in 2007.
20. A Bill King memorial patch. Worn by the A’s in 2006.
21. An MLB 2013 Postseason patch.
22. A Town of Newtown memorial patch, produced in the wake of the 2012 Newtown school shootings.
24. A Lou Gehrig “Luckiest Man” speech 75th-anniversary patch. Worn by MLBers on July 4, 2014.
26. A 2010 MLB All-Star Game patch. Worn by the Angels (and all the All-Star Game participants) in 2010.
28. A Lou Gehrig ALS-awareness helmet decal. Worn by MLBers on July 4, 2009.
29. A Nolan Ryan Mets bobblehead, still in the box.
30. An Atlanta Braves necktie.
32. A Mets-inspired Nets T-shirt from Shayski Shop. L, 21″, 28.5″.
33. A Mets-inspired Jets T-shirt from Shayski Shop. L, 21″, 29″.
34. An “nj” Giants T-shirt from Shayski Shop. L, 21″, 29″.
35. An Atlanta Braves staff softball T-shirt/jersey. “Beast” stands for “Braves employees annual softball tournament.” XXL, 26″, 31″.
37. A Curl USA T-shirt. “Distressed” print quality. M, 20″, 28″.
38. An Atlanta Braves 2014 media guide.
40. An Atlanta Braves dog leash. Five feet long.
41. A copy of the 1952 children’s book Little Leaguer’s First Uniform. Featured in this Uni Watch entry.
43. A Chicago pennant from Oxford Pennant. Measures 26″ long by 8.75″ high.
44. A baseball card-sized illustration of Mr. Met sliding, by longtime Uni Watch pal Rob Ullman.
45. Five Uni Watch 15th-anniversary stickers.
Not bad, right? To enter the raffle for these items, here’s whatcha do:
1) Send an email to the giveaway address.
2) In the body of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 10 prize choices, in order of preference, by number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, all the way to 44, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.
3) One email per person. Entry deadline is 7pm Eastern next Monday, Dec. 22. The winners will be announced on Christmas Day.
Again, my thanks to all of you who contribute in various ways to Uni Watch. I wish I could provide gifts for all of you ”” honest.
Uni Watch Hit Parade: Here’s some of the music I was listening to while putting together today’s raffle entry:
1. Billy Joe Shaver’s current album, Long in the Tooth, which was released in August, is uneven, at least to my ears. But it does have a few standout tunes, one of which, called “Checkers and Chess,” sounds like an instant classic:
2. The Philadelphia indie band Swearin’ (yes, it’s miserable band name) came out with a very good album about a year ago that I’m just now catching up with, called Surfing Strange (not a great album name either). Here are a few of its best tunes:
3. The great new album by the indie band Nude Beach is called 77. That tells you everything you need to know about its sound, which is rooted is first-wave punk, indie, and garage influences. I hear echoes of Big Star, the Replacements, early Cheap Trick, and so on. Here are some prime cuts:
4. I’ve been listening to former Kurt Vile guitarist Steve Gunn’s solo work lately. I don’t like all of it (he sometimes gets too trance/drone-y for me), but one album — 2013’s Time Off — stands out for its quiet, intricate arrangements that have just enough hooks to hold my interest. Here are some of its highlights:
Baseball News: RHP Brandon McCarthy, recently acquired by the Dodgers, Photoshopped himself into his new team’s uniform, but his image-manipulation skills could maybe use a bit of work (from Robert Brashear). … “A guy on Pawn Stars brought in a pair of 1972 Roberto Clemente sneakers the other night,” says Chris Flinn. “The expert said they’re worth $1,200 to $1,500.” … RHP Jason Motte has signed with the Cubs. But when he was with the Cards, he sometimes wore red stirrups over red sannies. Also, note the brutal rolling of his cuffs — someone teach that man how to blouse! (From JD Vercett.)
NFL News: Andrew Luck jerseys are particularly popular with women. … The judge at Aaron Hernandez’s trial has ordered courtroom spectators not to wear Patriots or other NFL gear (from John Pritchard). … A seven-year-old Texans fan autographed his own jersey and sent it to JJ Watt. Pretty bold move! (Thanks, Mike.) … Professional entertainer and former quarterback analyst Rush Limbaugh had this to say about Pinktober yesterday: “The NFL, what year was it they began October is pink, the month every season that they devote to consciousness raising for breast cancer. Ever since that began, the NFL has been plagued by one bad story after another. Despite all the consciousness raising, despite all of the attempts at doing good, look at instead what has happened. That month of October hadn’t bought ’em any credibility or good vibes or anything” (from Trevor Williams). ”¦ Jake Morrow has been spending a lot of time studying visor clips. Last year they were usually black but this year they tend to match the color of the facemask, as you can see in these before/after shots of the Patriots and ’Skins. One exception to this: the Bills, who have gray facemasks but have been using blue and red clips this season. Gray clips do exist, so this appears to be a conscious choice by the Bills to go against the NFL grain.
College Football News: There were rumblings about this last week and now it’s official: Arizona State is switching from Nike to Adidas. Snoop Dogg apparently approves. … And don’t look now, but Miami may be the next Nike school to jump ship. As you can imagine, I’m so upset about this that I can’t stop laughing. … ’Tis the season for that hallowed college football tradition: bowl game patches with chickens on them (thanks, Phil). … Marshall will wear “10” helmet decals in their bowl game for Chad Pennington’s father, who passed away earlier this week. “I understand Pennington is important to the Marshall program — he was a great player, he’s worked hard on fundraising for the school’s indoor sports facility, and the MU Hall of Fame inside it is named after him,” says a reader who prefers to remain anonymous. “But doesn’t it seem odd that his father’s death would warrant a helmet decal? I’m not sure what influence/connection Pennington’s father had on the MU program, and it’s a shame that he died, but has a former player’s father’s death ever prompted a helmet decal before?” … Nebraska RB Imani Cross wore an Under Armour shirt to practice yesterday.
Hockey News: Wow, the Kings’ Stadium Series uniform is really something — white pants and bizarre-o sleeve numbers. In addition to wearing this uni for the outdoor game against the Sharks on Feb. 21, the Kings will also wear it at home on April 11. … When you enter an arena or stadium, there’s often a sign saying, “Welcome to Wildcats Country” or “Welcome to Titans Country,” or whatever. But look what it says when you go to a Flyers game. Douchebags (from Matt Larsen). … No photo yet, but I’m told that the San Antonio Rampage (the Florida Panthers’ AHL affiliate) will be doing the ugly Xmas sweater thing on Dec. 27. ”¦ Lakeville North High School in Minnesota has jerseys inspired by the Wild, Kings, and Nordiques (from Jerry Peterson). ”¦ Saxon Brack notes that the Blackhawks black sleeve stripes are thicker for the goalies than for everyone else. “Obviously, goalie jerseys are bigger, especially in the arms, but I’m not sure why the black stripes would need to bigger.”
NBA News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: On Monday night the Suns became the latest team to wear “I Can’t Breathe” tees during pregame warm-ups (from Matthew G). … Here’s the NBA’s TV commercial for this year’s Xmas jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Warriors F Harrison Barnes, who took an elbow to the face on Sunday, was wearing a mask last night (thanks, Mike). … Good spot by Greg Riffenburgh, who writes: “While at the Blazers/Spurs game on Monday night, my buddies and I noticed (from the nosebleeds) that Wesley Matthews changed from red arm sleeves to white arm sleeves very early in the game.” … The Nets honored superfan Jeffrey Gamblero, who died after jumping out of a window over the weekend, by wearing his name on neon-toned shooting shirts prior to last night’s game. Further info here. … The Pelicans and Jazz went color-vs.-color last night. … As we’ve long expected, the Nets have another alternate uni in the works. Based on those photos, here’s a speculative but plausible mock-up.
College and High School Hoops News: Lots of 1970s and ’80s high school basketball photos here (from Jay Sullivan). ”¦ In the wake of the Notre Dame women’s team wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts a few days ago, a South Bend business has started selling pro-police shirts that say, “Breathe Easy — Don’t Break the Law.”
Soccer News: New crest for Paraguay. ”¦ Bolivian president Evo Morales and Argentine politician Sergio Urribarri wore their respective national jerseys at a friendly match. ”¦ “I am a keen fan of Australia’s domestic soccer league, the A-League, and noticed a couple of interesting uni-related happenings in the past few days,” says first-time Ticker contributor James Roberts. “First, over the weekend New Zealand-based A-League team the Wellington Phoenix wore promoting the latest Hobbit film, which was shot on location in New Zealand. Also, the inaugural FFA Cup, which is essentially an Australian FA Cup, held its final on Tuesday. The Perth Glory, whose usual colors are purple an orange, wore gold and black kits, which are the traditional sporting colors of Western Australia. Interstate sports competitions are common in Australia with Rugby League and cricket being the most common times one would see the state’s colors used.”
Grab Bag: Good story on AOL’s yellow running man icon. ”¦ Here are animated GIFs showing the evolution of the Batman and Superman logos. … “It’s that time of the year when pro cyclists head to camp with their new team but are still obligated (until Jan. 1) to wear the kit of their old team,” says Sean Clancy. “Here’s a pair of Cannondale riders training with their new Tinkoff-Saxo squad.” … Here’s a ranking of F1 driver helmets (from Matthew Walthert). … Love this 1952 photo of a Johns Hopkins vs. UVA lacrosse match. Note that the UVA player appears to have a collared shirt under his jersey (from Brian Wulff). … Sprint will end its NASCAR sponsorship after he 2016 season. … New kit for the Australian Super Rugby team Western Force. “Feels like an improvement over the last jersey,” says Eric Bangeman. ”¦ “Southern Miss was sued by Iowa a few years ago because their logos were too similar, and Iowa won,” says Joshua Hanna. “Here’s a website showing the process Southern Miss used to arrive at a new logo.”
What Paul did last night: Busy day yesterday, as I had to go to a doctor’s appointment, take delivery of a bunch of Meats shirts, do some interviews for my next ESPN column (more on that tomorrow), and run some errands. Then I scooted off to Proteus Gowanus to see an absolutely devastating movie. I wouldn’t mind talking about that, but I’m still kinda processing it, so instead I’ll show you this interesting gadget that was installed in the anteroom — a box of pennies with a crank on the side. You turn the crank a penny falls out at the bottom every few seconds. What’s it all about? The accompanying sign provides an explanation (click photos to enlarge):