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A Small Solution for a Big (East) Problem

Odd scene yesterday in Morgantown, as West Virginia hoops tweeted that they’d be wearing the gold jersey shown above for their afternoon game against Virginia Tech. But as many Uni Watch readers quickly noticed, the Big East logo was visible on the back of the jersey, above the NOB — which is a bit of a problem, because the Mountaineers haven’t belonged to the Big East since the 2011-12 season. As you can see from the patch on the front, they now belong to the Big 12.

If you look again at the photo, you can see that the Big East logo is surrounded by a rectangle. Turns out that was a gold cover-up patch:

It’s interesting to see a team using jerseys that are at least three seasons old. It’s not clear where the old jerseys came from — maybe WVU had some old stock lying around, or maybe Nike did. Either way, kudos to them for repurposing the existing gear instead of making new uniforms just because of a tiny conference logo. Seems like a rare case of the modern uni-verse rejecting the standard precepts of disposable culture.

Meanwhile, the cover-up patch prompted an awesome quip from our friend Chris Creamer:

(Big thanks to Phil for pointing me toward some of this stuff as it was happening.)

•  •  •  •  •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

When it comes to busy sports days, New Year’s Day is right up there with Opening Day for baseball and the first day of March Madness. This year, we have five big-time college football bowl games, the NHL Winter Classic, and even two NBA games.

What are some of your favorite memories when it comes to watching or attending sporting events on New Year’s Day, or even New Year’s Eve? Have you played any sports on either of those days? As for uniforms, what are some of your favorite college football bowl jerseys or traditions, and what are some Winter Classic looks you’ve enjoyed?

• • • • •

Baseball News: Here we have what’s reputed to be the oldest bib-front jersey known to exist. Nice! … A Twin Cities craft brewery has come up with a pretty cool Mets-inspired tee (from Jimmy Lonetti). ”¦ Some gorgeous old scoreboards featured here and here (from Charles Rogers).

NFL News: The Giants don’t have cheerleaders, but there’s a cheerleading team that performs in the stadium parking lot and wants the team to hire them. … Here’s a story on that guy whose beard Aaron Rodgers like to stroke on the sidelines. … The guy with the beard was also the subject of a very amusing tweet. ”¦ The Titans have two different helmet carts (thanks, Phil).

College Football News: Stanford went with a tree-themed helmet logo for last night’s bowl game against Maryland. ”¦ “Many Baylor players have been wearing shirts that look like their black uniforms,” says Drew Mastin. “They wear them before games as warm-up shirts, and also in public. The first thing I noticed when I first saw them was that KD Cannon who usually wears No. 9, was wearing a shirt with 09. I also later saw Antwaan Goodley wearing 05. But then I found this picture of number 2 Shawn Oakman wearing No. 2 — not 02. What’s the deal? ”¦ Yesterday’s Ticker included a shot of Nebraska players wearing mismatched patches in the 1995 Orange Bowl. That prompted the following from Kyle Kalkwarf: “I remember when this happened. It wasn’t different patches but rather that some players had white patches while others had the Orange Bowl logo sewn directly onto their red jersey, so there was no white background. The reason behind this is explained here: ‘When Nebraska opened up their uniform contract in 1994, it was a company by the name of Apex which won the bid and thus was awarded the Nebraska uniform contract to begin in 1995. Although the contract began in 1995 Apex sent Nebraska uniforms that they wanted the team to wear in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Russell Athletic also sent the team an entire Orange Bowl set of Jerseys as Russell claimed they had the contract from 1994 and that included the January 1995 Game. Thus, [equipment manager] Glen Abbott received two complete sets of Orange Bowl jerseys and gave two jerseys to each player and let the players decide which uniform they wanted to wear. Therefore, you see two styles of jersey in this game. And, some players wore one jersey in the first half and the other jersey in the second half.” … Here’s yet another article on Oregon’s uniform evolution (from MJ Kurs-Lasky). … No, I don’t think Nike is overplaying the superhero angle, do you? … Here’s Ohio State’s jersey with the bowl game patch — but without the cape (thanks, Phil). … Baylor’s bowl uni on Thursday will be chrome-green-green, and here’s how the bowl decal looks on their helmet. … Michigan is already selling Jim Harbaugh No. 4 jerseys. … Whoa, check out thi shot of the 1962 Mississippi football team posed in uni-numerical order (from Allen Silkin). ”¦ Coleman Mullins was in an antiques shop and spotted some very nice high school football game program cover art.

Hockey News: Longtime Uni Watch pal Jeff Barak has posted a really good review of NHL officiating sweaters through the years. ”¦ In a related item, former NHL ref Paul Stewart has some thoughts on players’ and officials’ uniforms. … Tuxedo jerseys tonight for the Kalamazoo Wings. … Good article on how presidential campaign-style design has been used for the Winter Classic (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: Hmmm, does Louisville have a throwback in the works? ”¦ I’ve lost track of all of Maryland’s uniforms, but MJ Kurs-Lasky says the red ones they wore yesterday were new, and different from the red set they wore last month against Iowa State.

Soccer News: Not sure I’ve ever seen this before: The MASL’s Milwaukee Wave are memorializing former player Brett Wiesner this year on a detachable arm sleeve. So odd to see a memorial on an optional piece of equipment, instead of on a true uniform element (good one from Marc Viquez).

Grab Bag: The latest development in the conflation of athletes with superheroes is a new on-demand film made by ESPN and Marvel, “exploring the concept that modern-day athletes are actually real-life superheroes.” Here’s the trailer (from Brett Stone). … Back at the Liverpool Speedway in Australia in the early 1980s, sedan driver Greg Bates had the left rear door of his No. 41 car damaged in an accident. So he borrowed a door panel from No. 85 Rex Sullivan, making the car look like it was No. 415 (from Graham Clayton). … Thanks to increasing rates of child obesity, school uniforms are now being made in larger and larger sizes. … “Instead of buying branded clothing to race in, supercross privateer Michael Leib has had all-white riding gear custom made so he can sell space to sponsors on a race-by-race basis,” reports Michael Clancy.

• • • • •

I normally spend New Year’s Eve Day having lunch with a group of old friends, followed by cocktails, followed by heading home by 5:30pm or so — a little ritual we call New Year’s Eve-ternoon. Unfortunately, a bunch of those friends are sick this year, so our Eve-ternoon has been cancelled, and I’ll instead be seeing an afternoon movie with another friend and then we’ll have a simple dinner together.

However you’re spending your day, enjoy, be safe, and thanks for another successful year here at Uni Watch. Peace. ”” Paul

Comments (54)

    “The Giants don’t have cheerleaders, but there’s a cheerleading team that performs in the stadium parking lot and wants the team to hire them.”

    So sad.

    One of those Titans helmets is really a bank’s helmet cart.


    I can’t make out what is plastered all over the real Titans cart. ???

    the other cart was a Jack Daniels cart with a big Titans helmet ( probably some more sponsory on the helmet). Both were found in the bellows of LP Field by the team locker rooms before the Music City Bowl yesterday.


    My favorite New Year’s Eve memory is from 2008. It was Vandy’s first bowl game in 30+ and it was the first in my lifetime. They stayed in Nashville for the Music City Bowl to face Boston College (the year after Matt Ryan was drafted). It was one of the last MCB to be played on NYE, and also the last before their current sponsor. Anyway, my boys pulled out the upset and won an exciting one, 16-14. After that, we had two 2-10 years before getting a new coach and going to three straight bowls (MCB being the second of the three).

    That would be my pick. The combination of the novelty and the snow made it especially memorable. Plus those blue Penguin sweaters with the white Sabres sweaters made it extra photogenic.

    Have to jump on that band wagon. The Penguin’s using slightly updated version of their original jersey, along with Buffalo going with the classic…flying Buffalo? jerseys.

    I have to say, much happier with the way the sweater design has worked for the Winter Classic, mostly throw backs with some minor changes, than I am with the Stadium Series where its the wild west of sweater design.

    Happy birthday, mike. I am a Jan 1 bday also. I too celebrated by doing the classic, (2011 in Pitts) & tomorrow I will be at Nats Park with my son celebrating my 50th. {GO CAPS} To mark the event I will be wearing the Caps Winter Classic Jersey with 50 on back (no name, just number).

    Watching the Fog Bowl on TV- 12/31/88. An amazing experience on what proved to be a frustrating day for Eagles fans–tons of red zone trips and 4 lousy field goals to show for it. that was supposed to be the start of something big for the Birds, but the next New Year’s Eve was more of the same – another loss, this time to a Rams team they should have beaten. The Rams game probably best represented the Buddy era — tons of potential but lacking in execution in key situations.

    I’ve been to several of Penn State’s bowl games on New Year’s day since my senior year of high school, and remember watching several more on TV growing up. The Rose Bowl in 2008-2009 was probably the most memorable New Year’s day because you could really feel the pageantry and tradition as soon as you parked on the golf course to head towards the stadium, and didn’t stop until we climbed back in our car to head back to the hotel. The game wasn’t all that fun for us unfortunately, but the Capital One Bowl the year after that was my final football game as a student, and had a happy ending.

    I tried to get into the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh in 2011 but was unsuccessful finding tickets I could afford walking around the tailgates looking for scalpers or folks with extras. Probably just as well, since it rained the whole time and the Pens lost.

    QOTW: My roommate and I played a New Years Day drinking game one year. Every time a football crossed over the end line on the right side of the TV screen (field goals, extra points, incomplete passes, balls that bounced or were carried past the end zone, etc.) he would drink, every time it crossed over the end line on the left I would drink. We passed out long before the Orange Bowl game started that evening!

    Seeing that pic of the 1962 Mississippi football team in uni-erical order reminded me of an NFL Films clip of Richie Kotite along the Eagles sideline barking at the players to be lined-up “low to the high, low to the high” before the National Anthem was sung. Richie The K, no details were too small.

    QOTW: My fav NYD memory was Millennium (1999/2000)NYD in New Orleans. I was down there with my brother who was on the video crew for VT preparing for the BCS game vs. FSU. After a crazy night on Bourbon St., I spent the day in the sports bar in the Hilton Riverside, sitting across the aisle from Brent Musburger at the table beside us.

    I’m really impressed with the aesthetics of Louisville’s uniforms. They used to look ugly with the gold mixed in on the wordmark/uni numbers. It looks really good now. The combo of black and red is pretty good. Not a UL fan at all I thought Id throw that out there

    If you’re talking patchwork race cars, nothing beats Thiago Mederios in the 2006 Indy 500. He was racing for a small team as a one off and crashed in practice. Other teams loaned them parts to fix their car so he could qualify in what was dubbed “The Frankenstein car.”


    Over the past several years I’ve noticed a a gradual shift in the type of facemasks masks that many linebackers and both offensive and defensive linemen have been wearing I remember when most if not all players in the trenches wore a longer facemask that would protect their face better. Now many of them wear a shorter facemask leaving their chin area exposed. They’re wearing what used to be considered either a RB or DB type of mask.

    My wonder is if the shift has a safety or technique purpose behind it or if it’s simply a culture shift not unlike the changes we’ve seen in styles of baseball pants.

    When I was a kid, my folks would have a small New Years’ party, hosting the family that we had visited on Christmas Eve. We’d fire up the Curtis Mathes to watch the Rose Parade and the three bowl games (Cotton, Rose, Orange – Sugar Bowl had been played the night before). Sneaking a Screwdriver was never again so much fun as it was then.

    1/1/1991 was terrific with Colorado beating Notre Dame and Georgia Tech beating the Bugeaters.

    1/1/2000 was fun at the Rose Bowl Parade.

    Somewhat similar: When I was a kid, my parents and I would always go to a neighbor’s house on New Year’s Day — they always had a party. The grown-ups yakked and drank, and the other kids and I would watch college football. But in 1978, New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, so the NFL conference championship games were that day, and I liked that a lot better (always preferred pro football to college football). I think the big bowl games were switched to Jan. 2 that year.

    My favorite New Year’s sports memory is the first one I can remember–the 1969 Orange Bowl, Kansas vs. Penn State. I was 8 at the time, and rooted for Kansas because my Dad had been born there. We watched the game at some friends’ house, and I believe they had color TV, which we didn’t get in our home until 1974…

    Speaking of movies, we saw Foxcatcher yesterday and all the various uniforms in the picture would make for an interesting article here.

    Back in the good ol’ days of the Canadiens-Nordiques rivalry, the NHL schedule usually had them playing a home-and-home series on the 30th and 31st. Imagine a family of passionate hockey fans with a few drinks in them gathered around the TV and watching the game. Most of us were Habs fans, but there were a couple who cheered for the Nordiques, more to p*ss off the rest of the family than anything else.

    As for NY’s Day, I watched the College Bowl games, even though I hadn’t watched a single NCAA game during the regular season. We only had two channels, CBC & CTV, and they never showed college football except on Jan. 1st.

    The most amazing thing I saw in that 1962 picture of Ole Miss football was only 47 players. How could they possibly have played football or even fielded a team without 80-some scholarships and an army of extra uniforms standing around all down the sidelines? Yeah, joking. But, maybe if Ohio St, Michigan St, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan could only take 250 players at a time instead of 450, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and others could have some of them. Transfer that to any conference and you get the drift.

    I guess the team being all-white in 1962 would not be amazing or even unexpected, but still jarring to see.

    QOTW: When I was 6 to 11 years old (late 1960s – early 1970s), my family would drive from Denver to McAllen, Texas every year to spend Christmas and new Year’s with my grandparents. My Dad was excited because, as he told me years later, he could watch Gunsmoke (and/or) Bonanza on a color television.

    I remember very clearly watching the Rose Bowl in those years, and how amazed I was at the bright colors of the USC, Ohio State, and Michigan uniforms. My passion for college football started on those long-ago New Year’s Days!

    QOTW: January 1, 1991. To make sure we could watch every bowl game airing on New Year’s Day, my dad and I rigged up five television sets in our living room, neatly arranged for simultaneous viewing. We barely moved from the couch for the better part of ten hours.

    As for bowl game uniform traditions, I’ve always enjoyed seeing teams incorporate roses into their helmet or jersey designs to commemorate a trip to the Rose Bowl. Among my favorites are the long-stemmed rose that link into their helmet logo for the 2001 game and the sublimated rose pattern Wisconsin used on their link and link in 2012.

    Another great memory that extends a little beyond simply New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day: Bowl Season 2001-02. My dad and I left Colorado on Christmas Day to start a road trip that took us to three bowl games in the span of a week.

    We started it off with the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 27th, continued on to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on the 29th, and capped it off with the Fiesta Bowl on January 1st. The teams we were rooting managed to win only one of the three games, but the experience itself was worth every minute (and dollar) of the trip.

    Great responses, everyone! I agree with the Pens-Sabres Winter Classic in 2008, that was a very visually-pleasing game.

    One New Year’s Day when I was little I went with my dad to Target to buy a Dallas Cowboys kids’ uniform kit – it came with a plastic helmet, a Cowboys jersey-shirt and pants, I think (I got the Cowboys because it was either them or the Bears). I still have that helmet, and a Packers one, too.

    Also, thanks to everyone for taking the time out to answer my QotW all year. I always enjoy reading them!

    New Year’s Eve, 2000: Mississippi State beats Texas A&M in a Shreveport snowstorm to win the Independence Bowl.

    Just odd, seeing that snow during a bowl game.

    QOTW: NHL Super Series
    January 1, 1990 – Soviet Wings at New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden
    December 31, 1990 – CSKA Moscow at New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden.

    1:30pm game times, 16 dollar tickets, future NHL stars on the visiting teams, and going to NYC with my older brother. Good times.

    I like back when tickets for anything were under $20. Now, I want to go to a roller derby in Chicago and tickets are $30 with Ticketmaster fees. Same thing for bad seats at things like monster truck rallies.

    ESPN had that terrible small corner score graphic for the Peach Bowl. I hope that’s not their new permanent thing. The old one was much better. I have good eyesight and I could barely tell the teams or the score with the one they used for the Peach Bowl. Forget about telling how time/down/distance.

    From the Blues’ Facebook page: Season ticket-holder Jim Nepute honoring team’s legendary #7s (Berenson, Unger, Mullen, & Tkachuk).


    Used to enjoy watching the Sun Bowl on New Years Day or Eve, depending on when they scheduled it. Same with the Astro BlueBonnet Bowl. Nowadays we usually go bowling on New Years Eve and to the movies on New Years Day, but my son and I make time to play our annual Candy Bowl paper football classic. We even have a trophy – a cookie tin filled with candy, with the name of each year’s winner and the score of the game.

    This will be the seventh game. The first three we played electric football, so on the trophy we drew a line after the third winner to separate the different formats.

    One of my earliest New Years memories is watching the Sun Bowl with the sound turned down, listening to a record of childrens Christmas songs and playing a board game. So now during the Candy Bowl I usually listen to the same album on my iPod while we play.

    Happy New Year to Ricko, if you’re still out there…sure do miss “Benchies,” sir, and hope all is well with you…

    Others have mentioned that great first Winter Classic, but on a more personal I-was-there note, when I was young my family went to a couple of Rangers New Year’s Eve games against the Flames. One year the Rangers went up 5-0 and the crowd started chanting “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! We want six!” One of the Flames players explained in the next day’s paper, “So we gave ’em six.” Yup, the Rangers blew the lead and lost. Definitely not my favorite New Year’s memory, but an indelible one nonetheless.

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