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Tuesday Morning Uni Watch

Lots of people were wondering if Oregon would pull some sort of uni-related surprise in last night’s national championship game against Ohio State. Would the Ducks retreat to the dressing room after pregame warm-ups and come out in a completely new design? Would they change uniforms at halftime?

Turns out Oregon’s uniforms did have a new wrinkle last night, but it was the lamest, most mundane one imaginable: They wore G.I. Joe tights. Boy, that’s innovative, eh? Looks like someone’s bag of tricks has run dry.

Some other uni-related notes on last night’s game:

• Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott played the first half with his usual crop-top jersey style. But in the second half his jersey was full-length. Pretty sure it was the same jersey — it was tucked up under his pads and then came loose.

• The CFP logo was white on Oregon’s helmet but black on Ohio State’s. That represented a change for Oregon, who had worn the black version in the Rose Bowl. But the helmet decals matched the “2015” jersey patches: white with a black football for OSU, vice versa for Oregon.

• Speaking of the “2015” patch, the zebras wore it too.

• Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas had several “6” decals on his helmet, in addition to the familiar buckeye decals. I’m told that this refers to “Zone 6,” which is the OSU receiving corps’ term for the end zone. (For further details, scroll down to the fifth item on this list.)

• We had a lot of back-and-forth chatter last week regarding the end zones. Would they be black, or would an extra layer of team-color paint be applied? Turns out they were black. For further info on the thinking behind this, check out this excellent article by longtime Uni Watch comrade Cork Gaines.

• The “2015” logo (the same one that was worn as a jersey patch) was even printed on some of the confetti — all of which made it that much more surprising to see the that the championship T-shirt had “2014 National Champions” on the chest.

• The postgame celebration included a shot of LeBron James wearing a Cavs cap and an OSU jersey. Here’s a view from the front.

•  Looks like the championship trophy is particularly susceptible to fingerprints.

• Good to know the Eugene Police Dept. had its priorities straight yesterday.

(My thanks to Chris Flinn, Adam Stockinger, and Jordon Welle for their contributions.)

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This is one of the coolest things ever from back in the day — the Mattel Instant Replay. It looked like a handheld transistor radio, but you’d pop in special discs with play-by-play on ’em. Just like being there! This one includes 14 discs with players like Bart Starr, Lew Alcindor, and Willie Mays.

That’s a tough one to top, but here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• This seat cushion says “Super Bowl” on it, and the listing says it’s from the first game in January of 1967. But the term “Super Bowl” name wasn’t officially in use until SB III, so your guess is as good as mine as to the authenticity.

• Speaking of seat cushions, here’s one from the original Ice Bowl on New Year’s Eve of 1967, where the Packers hosted the Cowboys in arctic conditions. The Pack would go on to defend their Super Bowl I title against the Ray-Duhz.

• Here’s a set of 1970’s NHL thermal cups, with art by the incomparable Nick Volpe.

• Here’s a late-1960s KC Chiefs ceramic stein. Note the different-than-usual facemask treatment.

• A few vintage NFL posters here. All 26 then-current NFL teams are represented in this 1970 promo poster from Chase and Sanborn. Gotta be Otis Taylor in this KC Chiefs one, and here’s a Packers poster from 1968.

• Nice graphics on this (empty) can of Dolphin Beer, “Florida’s Premium Beer.”

• Take a look at Gale Sayers’s helmet on the cover of this 1967 Dell Sports NFL preview. Looks pretty low-tech compared to today, doesn’t it?

• Stay dry with this St. Louis football Cardinals rain poncho.

• Look at this 1960s L.A. Rams bobblehead in mint condition! He’s priced like it, too.

• Nice cover art on this “This Is NFL Football/49ers Edition” from 1967. Thirty-one pages, including game terminology and schedule. Don’t you wish they still put out stuff like this?

• The Central Bank is where the ABA’s Denver Rockets bank!

• Technigraph helmet plaque alert! This seller has the Pats, Jets, Chiefs, and Saints available for sale.

•  And we wrap up with one from reader Mark Stephen Delrossi: a great assortment of vintage Philadelphia sports pins.

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Patch update: It took a while, but the Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch is finally back in stock. You can order yours here.

While we’re at it, I still have a small supply of 15th-anniversary stickers available. Full details on how to order those are here.

Finally, thanks to the more than 200 of you who purchased the first offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt club. The February design will be available next week (after that we’ll settle into a regular monthly rhythm), and I hope to be able to show it to you later this week.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: The Brewers are letting fans vote for their favorite T-shirt designs to be given away on home Fridays during the 2015 season (from Patrick O’Neill). [As an aside, that’s an apostrophe catastrophe in the splash photo. Grrrrr. ”” PL]

College Football News: Good story about how Oregon’s “Puddles” mascot won out over a rough and tough superhero alternative mascot (from Gordon Blau). … Here’s more about those prototype Arizona State uniforms from Adidas that are circulating (thanks, Phil). … “I am late on this but Jalston Fowler, No. 45 for Alabama, was wearing an older Nike jersey template at the SEC championship game, instead of the Nike Mach speed template alabama has been wearing all season,” says Caleb King.

Soccer News: The Baltimore Blast and Syracuse Silver Knights of Major Arena Soccer League found themselves in a red-vs.-orange game on Saturday. Baltimore changed to white at the half (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Following threats of a fan boycott, Cardiff City wore blue kits at home for the first time since the owner changed the team color to red in 2012 (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Players on the Swedish club Halmstad the players don’t like the team’s new away shirt.

NBA News: The Spurs went for the ol’ champion’s visit to the White House and presented president Obama with an outdated jersey without the NBA logo on the back (thanks, Phil). … The Suns are making four-fingered foam hands in honor of Gerald Green (thanks, Paul).

College Hoops News: Louisville will honor the 1980 Championship Team at halftime Of Duke game in addition to wearing throwback unis (thanks, Phil). … “While attending the UAB basketball game vs FIU, I noticed that every UAB player wore two different colored shoes, one primarily white and one primarily green,” says Nick Salyers. “It is a conscious choice by UAB head coach Jerod Haase, in order to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer, in conjunction with Children’s Hospital of Alabama, after the team informally adopted cancer survivor Elijah Seritt.”

Grab Bag: Do you consider yourself a cheesehead? If so (or even if you don’t), then prove it by taking this Packers uniform quiz (thanks, Phil). … Penn State hockey will be unveiling a new alternate sweater on Saturday, when they’re slated to play Michigan State (thanks, Phil). … An artist has reimagined fashionable brands as they would exist in a grocery store (from Gordon Blau). … “Saw all of these striped stirrups at a Goodwill in Santa Rosa,” says Daniel Klempner. “An entire team’s worth!” … The MECCA floor in Milwaukee is being put up for sale (from Jeff Ash). … Trek Factory Racing unveiled its new cycling kit last week (from Sean Clancy). … “The Elite Mixed Climbing competition at the Ouray Ice Festival, one of the premier ice and mixed climbing competitions in the world, was this weekend in Colorado,” says Jake Snyder. “As I was reading about the results, I started noticing an interesting trend: Many of the competitors wear white FootJoy golf gloves on both hands!”

Comments (55)

    And just to make that Super Bowl cushion stranger – the stadium looks like the pre-Buccaneer Tampa Stadium, back when The Big Sombrero only had seats on the sidelines.

    Indeed. Especially considering that Tampa’s first time hosting the Super Bowl was January 1984, years after the stadium’s expansion.

    Good catch, Ray, I came here to point that out.

    That’s how Tampa Stadium looked from its inauguration in 1967 until 1975, when they started expanding it to accommodate the nascent Buccaneers.

    It’s entirely possible that cushion has nothing to do with the NFL’s Super Bowl. I played in the Tampa youth football league, which had championship games called the Super Bowl (I don’t know if any of them were ever played in Tampa Stadium pre-’75, but they might have been). Or it could just be a seat cushion with two football players and a generic stadium on it.

    But I doubt it had anything to do with the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game.

    Scratch that. I see now that one player has “NFL” on his helmet and sleeve and the other has “AFL.”

    So I’m left with….nothin’. Somebody knocked off a seat cushion sometime before 1970 and used Tampa Stadium as the setting for some reason.

    Even though the term Super Bowl was not officially used by the NFL until Super Bowl 3 the game was already commonly referred to as the Super Bowl by the media as early as the first game. The Sports Illustrated article about the Packers/ Chiefs game referred to the game as the Super Bowl numerous times in the article about the game. Everyone was calling it the Super Bowl so the NFL just officially went along with it for the Jets/Colts game.

    Last night. They didn’t go BIG enough and now their “bag of tricks has run dry”. I think everyone has gotten used to their outrageous style of uniforms and their ability to one-up themselves. Since they didn’t go crazy for the championship game, it seems they have disappointed their “fans”

    Last night, whoever runs the independent minor-league baseball Madison Mallards social media took to Facebook to do some cross-sport uni watching:


    The Mallards are a summer collegiate team made up of college players, not a minor league team made up of professional players.

    Good point. Thanks for the clarification! I sort of mentally group summer collegiate ball together with independent pro ball; the quality of play is about the same. Anyway, the Mallards were the most fun I had at a ballpark in 2014.

    I bet the professionals would dispute that the quality is about the same. :)

    I suppose it depends on which collegiate league one is talking about, as some have excellent players and potential future major leaguers (the Cape Cod League) and some do not (the Futures League).

    some have excellent players and potential future major leaguers (the Cape Cod League) and some do not (the Futures League)

    Which also exactly describes the level of talent in unaffiliated pro ball: Guys good enough to play or have played college ball at some level, but mostly not good enough to have any perceptible chance of even sniffing the big leagues, but one or two potential diamonds-in-the-rough who might just amount to something. And all of them playing more for love of the game than any realistic hope of a big-league payday. It’s just that in college summer leagues, none of them have had a chance at and washed out of affiliated pro ball yet, so those guys aren’t on the field, and so the collegiate leagues probably suffer a bit in terms of quality of play from the absence of those pro veterans.

    That Brewers t-shirt poll asks you to choose 7 favorites out of 12 options. Perhaps coincidentally, 5 of the options have the ball-in-glove logo, leaving 7 that don’t. My ballot pretty much cast itself!

    You might want to check that ballot again – I count six with the BiG, six without. One is very subtle, but it’s there.

    What’s interesting to me is that only four of the twelve reference the current logos and/or color scheme. Sounds like they really know their fanbase.

    Dagggit! The bastards tricked me into voting for something with BiG on it. Anyway, I used my #1 slot to vote for the Motre Bame-era logo. Other than the cap logos, which were never better than terrible, that uni set grows on me every time I see it. It’s rapidly approaching burgundy-era Phillies and racing-stripe Expos on my all-time favorites list.

    I’m skeptical of that Ice Bowl seat cushion as well. Sure, it’s a Packers seat cushion from that time, but from the Ice Bowl? Hm.

    I had my doubts as well. It has pennants for all the Packers championships – but the last one listed is for 1962. If it were really from the Ice Bowl, which was played on December 1, 1967, the cushion would have pennants for their 1965 and 1966 titles as well. It’s appears to be from some year between 1962 and 1965.

    Oh, the anger this morning when I realized I missed the order deadline for the January shirt. International travel and a health scare with a family member had my mind occupied, but the bottom line is that it’s my own fault for missing it. Congrats on the initial release and I hope the 206 of you smarter than I enjoy your new shirts!

    No, posting from back home while kicking myself for not completing the order after telling myself I wouldn’t forget to do it in the 12 hours I had to make it happen.

    How do you like your crow, Paul? With salt or without?

    From December 10th, and I quote:

    “The Ohio State jersey has some interesting elements (the sleeve stripes, the black TV numbers), but there’s no point in discussing them because there’s no way the Buckeyes will be wearing this design.”

    In the words of the (Jim Carey) Grinch, “Wrongo!”

    Yup, lots of us were wrong about that, because we mistakenly thought that the home/road designations would be based on the initial seedings, not on the bracket format. OSU was in the “top” bracket and maintained that position when they beat Alabama. That’s why they got to be the home team last night, why they were listed on the bottom of ESPN’s score bug, etc.

    I assume you knew all along that it would work that way. Congrats on being so much smarter than the rest of us!

    Well, “no way” seems a ballsy statement. Next time stick with “probably won’t” or “most likely won’t” Just a suggestion.

    Thank you for clearing up why OSU ended up in Red. I was surprised myself when I turned it on. Now we know I guess.

    Wow, I never even noticed the panderflauge socks on Oregon. Also, I initially read the “2015” on the Ducks jerseys as “2 15”, thanks to that white zero… and I wondered why they had a bible verse so prominently displayed on all their uniforms.

    My original comment from the BFBS end zone post last week:

    Joe Nguyen | January 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm |
    I actually think they’re keeping it BFBS because it’s actually for the CFP logo and in turn the CFP as a whole. The playoff system itself seems to be as much marketed (much like how the BCS was) as the teams that are playing in it. This is not a statement of approval on my part, but rather a (hopefully educated) guess.

    So it looks like my educated guess was actually correct (insert Tony Kornheiser, “I believe I had that!” here)…And now I am sad because of it.

    Totally off on a tangent, but when I first saw the acronym BFBS I thought it meant “Below Football Bowl Subdivision”, i.e. I-AA, or where the gimmicky uniform ideas, such as smearing everything with a coat of black fabric, come from.

    (And as a follower of Arena Football and the WNBA, I like to think I know gimmicky.)

    I really think it was more of a Nike design thing – all shirts/hats with a similar theme. CFP may have worked a little tighter with them – and I hope so. I don’t want to think that Nike forced the color of the endzones. The “semi-final” Rose and Sugar Bowl champion shirts/hats had black with silver writing/accents. Make sense the overall champions would get gold writing/accents.

    Maybe Nike gets a little crazy with their uniform design, but I’m incredibly underwhelmed with Adidas and their design choices of both ASU and Miami. The trend is fashion forward to get recruits now, and I think it will cost both schools in the end.

    Oregon is finding out just how difficult it is to win a national championship, and they’re winless in this key area since 1894. When you play a team from the SEC, Big Ten, etc., your Heisman Trophy winner must be great, and you can’t lose the physical battle.

    If Oregon ever does manage to win it all, that particular uniform will definitely have a special place in history for those fans.

    The Spurs went for the ol’ champion’s visit to the White House and presented President Obama with an outdated jersey without the NBA logo on the back

    Seeing as how they won the title last year, it makes sense to give him last year’s jersey, right?

    Oregon wore the camo tights in another game earlier this season. It’s interesting to note that they went undefeated in games where they wore at least one of the school colors and 0-2 when they didn’t wear either of them.

    Elliot from OSU was breaking the following rule.

    Rule 1 ARTICLE 5. a. Design
    1. The jersey must have sleeves that completely cover the shoulder pads. It must not be altered or designed to tear. The jersey must be full-length and tucked into the pants. Vests and/or a second jersey worn concurrently during the game are prohibited.

    Certain refs look the other way, but I’m sure word got to the refs to have him tuck it in.

    I don’t even follow college football, but even I know that lots and lots of players went bare-midriff this season. Rule has not been enforced.

    So the 2014 National Champions are determined at the 2015 National Championship Game complete with 2015 patches and stickers?

    Just witnessed on the DC Metro: A guy whose winter clothes consisted of a knit cap, wool scarf, heavy coat, and a pair of Louisville Slugger batting gloves.

    The KC Chiefs helmet design on the stein looks weird because it is supposed to represent a buckled chinstrap with no head in the helmet and using only red and white. It is the standard old 2-bar facemask used in the 1970s.
    And tOSU looks weird with black TV numbers. But they look awesome in the comically oversized Champion-font TV numbers. Just my 2¢.

    It’s funny that Miami (2002) is the only program to win the championship in a “futuristic” uniform (and that’s pretty tame considering the current state).
    I guess the 17 year olds that are attracted to the traditional schools are better than those that prefer flashiness. Maybe coaches should consider that.

    Or, powerhouse programs have more equity built into “traditional” uniforms and a more established base of boosters who prefer the way things were.

    Upstart programs, on the other hand, are less attached to their old uniforms because they’re not associated with history of winning and have to do more different things to attract attention in a crowded media landscape. People don’t worry about tradition if the tradition isn’t all that great.

    Teams aren’t good because they wear traditional uniforms. They wear traditional uniforms because they won more in the past.

    Your point is well taken and I’ll even agree with you in terms of teams like Alabama and LSU because they recruit with tradition than aesthetics, but Oregon isn’t the example you want to use when making this point; because frankly, they almost definitely wouldn’t have their 6 most recent conference titles and their ability to compete for a top spot in the polls year after year if they hadn’t become the juggernaut of flashiness they are today.

    This is not to say that if Phil Knight had pumped in the same amount of funding into the program and left the uniforms the way they were that they wouldn’t be as successful, but only to suggest that there are far better examples of teams trying to be LIKE Oregon and still having a mediocre program with little difference in talent after adding a zillion alternate jerseys and helmets. Making your point with Oregon as your main example, the day after they lost the National Championship by dismantling an historically-successful program in the Rose Bowl semifinal sends the wrong message.

    Interesting note about the buckeyes football uniforms for next year, they’ll be adding another buckeye leaf to the back of the because currently there were 7 for the 7 championships they had won going into this season

    At least the Eugene police department wasn’t using tear gas on unarmed civilians like at OSU. But it’s OK because football.

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