Gold Diggers: NFL Marketing Scheme Officially Becomes Unbearable

Yesterday I wrote about how the NFL was going with gold 50-yard line markers, gold-trimmed Pro Bowl uniforms, and a gold NFL Draft logo, all to mark the season-culminating 50th Super Bowl. I also wrote that “if there’s anything we’ve learned about the NFL over the years, it’s that they think anything worth doing is worth overdoing, so I’m assuming we’ll be seeing a lot more facets of this ‘On the Fifty’ program.”

Sure enough, more details emerged yesterday, including the following:

• The league’s “Kickoff 2015” and “NFL Playoffs” logos will be gold-themed.

• The NFL logo on the back of caps worn at the upcoming NFL Draft will be gold.

• In addition to the gold 50-yard markers, each field will also have a gold NFL logo for each game next season.

• Beginning with Week 7, sideline apparel will feature gold-outlined team logos. (It’s worth noting that most Week 7 games will be taking place on Oct. 25, which means the gold gear will be mixing with Pinktober gear.)

• The NFL will be giving a gold football to the high school of everyone who’s ever played or coached in a Super Bowl — an estimated 3050-ish people.

Further details here, and in this video:

In other words, the whole gold thing is already completely annoying, and the season hasn’t even started yet.

Yesterday also brought our first look at the NFL Draft caps, and I’m rather astonished to report that they don’t feature gold-trimmed logos (maybe the league ran out of gold dye or something):

Rumors that the Super Bowl is going to be moved from the 49ers’ new stadium to Fort Knox are almost completely untrue.

•  •  •  •  •

New ESPN design contest: There’s an increasing amount of chatter about the NHL possibly adding an expansion team in Las Vegas, so my ESPN editors and I have decided to do one of our design contests, with the best submissions being featured in one of my upcoming columns. Here’s the skinny:

• Your entry must include a team name, a primary logo, and full home and road uniforms. If you like, you can also include secondary logos, one alternate uniform, and even goalie gear if you want, but those aren’t required.

• Your designs can be created in any digital or analog medium (Illustrator, Photoshop, crayon, whatever) and can be submitted in any standard digital format (JPG, PDF, tiff, etc.).

• The files you submit should be named after yourself (PaulLukas.jpg, for example). If you’re submitting multiple files, please either number them (PaulLukas1.jpg, PaulLukas2.jpg, etc.) or use some other designation (PaulLukas-homeuni.jpg, PaulLukas-logo.jpg, etc.). Files that don’t follow this format will not be considered.

• In keeping with longstanding Uni Watch chromatic policy, entries including even a hint of the color purple will not be accepted.

• Email your entry to Uni Watch HQ. If you have more than one concept, feel free to enter as many times as you like.

• Deadline: Thursday, April 2, 7pm Eastern.

This should be a fun one. Can’t wait to see how many people come up with the Las Vegas Craps as their team name.

And speaking of design contests, enough people expressed interest in a Uni Watch smart phone case yesterday that I think we’ll go ahead with that project, starting with a contest to create the design. But I’m currently swamped with ESPN work, some personal stuff, some work-related travel, etc., so this may have to wait a few weeks. Stay tuned (and feel free to remind me about it if I haven’t mentioned it again in, say, a month).

•  •  •  • •

T-Shirt Club update: My share of the profits from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s April design was $4,431.50. Once I receive my payment from Teespring, I’ll make a donation in that amount to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and begin the paperwork process for ESPN to match my donation. So when the dust settles, the JRF will wind up with $8,863. Not bad!

Big thanks to all you shirt-buyers for making this possible.

•  •  •  •  •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: Here is an article about Michael Panuccio, the 57-year-old manager of patterns and marketing at Majestic, which supplies the uniforms for all thirty MLB teams. Key quote: “Actually, I’m not a baseball fan” (thanks, Phil). … The Rays will retire uniform No. 66 Don Zimmer on Monday, April 6, when they open the season against the Orioles (thanks, Phil). … The Cleveland baseball team will honor Al Rosen this season by wearing his number 7 on the right sleeve of all their jerseys (thanks, Phil). … The Nationals are going to have a model railroad scoreboard in a premium seating area at their stadium this season (from William F. Yurasko). … As part of an August Back to the Future promotion, the Fresno Grizzlies will wear special jerseys, give away the 2017 Houston Astros World Series rings, and there will be an appearance by the DeLorean (from David Taub). … Mississippi State wore some beautiful throwbacks yesterday. ”¦ Here are some shots of the Mets’ Citi Field apples being constructed. … The Marlins have posted the uniform protocol for the upcoming season (from Jake Watterson).

Football News: The Browns’ new uniforms, due to be unveiled on April 14, will reportedly have nine different color combos. ”¦ The AFL Jacksonville Sharks will have new uniforms next season (thanks, Phil). … Syracuse will be wearing a mono-orange uniform this fall (thanks, Phil). … The uniform for the 1949 Conrad High School team in Delaware featured some serious striping on the sleeves and shoulders (from Graham Clayton).

Basketball News: “I came across an old episode of Cheers the other day with Kevin McHale,” says Stephen Hayes. “He was in two episodes, and in the first one he wore his actual warm-up jacket. For some reason, in the next episode he’s wearing a logo-less green jacket while presenting Norm with a Celtics jacket for his birthday. You can that he has the same jacket as Norm, only for some reason there’s no logo on the front or team name on the back. Lastly, also for reasons that I don’t understand, the leprechaun logo on Norm’s jacket has his face blurred out. Thought you’d find the inconsistencies interesting.” …. The Clippers will be giving away these argyle Chris Paul jerseys on March 31 to honor his alter ego Cliff Paul (from Brian Love). ”¦ Can’t make it up: The Medicine Hat Rattlers in Canada have a Brazilian-born forward named Guy Carbagiale Fuck — pronounced “foo-key” — who is now allowed to use his last name as an NOB (from Mike Styczen). … Here is a ranking of the University of Illinois basketball uniforms over the past 30 years (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: “The annual Canadian Police Curling Championships are being held this week here in Sudbury (ON), and I thought some of the pictures might interest you,” Sean Kautzman says. “This one of Chief Pedersen is definitely interesting from a uniperspective.” … Mitchell and Ness posted a map of which retro jerseys were most popular in each state in 2014. Interestingly, the top seller in seven different states was a 1996-97 Kobe Bryant jersey. … You don’t often see a uni number on the thumb of a lacrosse glove. That’s a Vermont player wearing the thumb number (from Tris Wykes).

129 comments to Gold Diggers: NFL Marketing Scheme Officially Becomes Unbearable

  • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 7:37 am |

    I wonder what they’ll do about the gold football gimmick for guys whose high schools are no longer in operation. There’s got to be several in that category.

    The gold-trimmed logo is a particularly bad innovation, not only because of how bad nearly all of them will look, but because of the precedent.

    • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 7:47 am |

      Well, that’s that many gold footballs they don’t need to create. No real issue there.

      The gold outlines on the the team logos is stupid, but I’m not sure what evil precedent it’s setting. We’ve had questionable sideline gear for years now. Does the word Zubaz mean anything to you? It’s just one more thing they’re trying sell to the fans, which is why the sideline gear gets a new design every year anyway.

      • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 8:47 am |

        GI Joevember and Pinktober gave normal logos on out-of-place backgrounds. This will set up the favored causes to monkey with the logos. It gives a stronger impression that the designated causes are unquestionable.

    • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 8:03 am |

      A lot of those school districts merged with another nearby school district, so I would imagine that the footballs would go to the succeeding school district. The school Jim Kelly went to, for instance, merged with another school district while he was in his prime in the NFL, so I would imagine that his school’s legal successor would get a gold football. With compulsory education in this country, there are few (if any) schools in the US that would’ve folded outright.

      • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 8:08 am |

        “…there are few (if any) schools in the US that would’ve folded outright.”

        It happens all the time, I’m afraid. Aging buildings, budget cuts, population shifts; any number of things can cause schools to simply shut down.

        Then they simply divide up the student body and assign everyone to other schools in the area.

      • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 8:11 am |

        Not all schools are government entities. In the past there were many more schools organized on a voluntary basis.

      • terriblehuman | March 25, 2015 at 11:26 am |

        You’re forgetting that a lot of football factories are Catholic (or otherwise parochial) schools, especially in California and the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. One notable such school is Victor Cruz’s alma mater, Paterson Catholic in New Jersey, which closed in 2012.

    • Jason M (DC) | March 25, 2015 at 8:55 am |

      And what about guys who might have played for more than one high school?

      • Ben D. | March 25, 2015 at 11:24 am |

        They’ll probably use the school they graduated from.

  • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 7:37 am |

    OK, so you’re now pulling the same stunt with the Indians as the Redskins (Cleveland baseball team) even though “Indians” is a little less ambiguous? Yes, the Indians have the more racist logo (which doesn’t bother me, and my step dad is half Blackfoot Indian), but you know what they HAVE done positively for minorities in general? A whole lot more than the Dodgers, who mainly broke the color line as a publicity stunt. The Tribe embrace the city’s Negro Leagues past and consistently honored Larry Doby while he was still alive.

    The Redskins name is clearly racist, and the team has a decades-known culture of racism. Even Bobby Mitchell, the team’s first African American player who worked for decades in the team’s front office after he retired, said that racism still occurs with the team today. They were forced to integrate by the Department of Defense–the last team in the NFL to do so–not by choice.

    Look, I get the whole thing with the Redskins, but teams like the Indians (who seem to be making a legitimate attempt to be phasing out Chief Wahoo) don’t deserve it. If anything, criticism should be more directed at teams like the Braves who use racial stereotypes at games like the Tomahawk Chop. I find that more offensive than nicknames and logos.

    At the end of the day, Native Americans have bigger things to be fighting for than sports teams. Poverty, alcoholism, and gambling are a LOT HIGHER on their priority list of problems than sports. Not surprisingly, with a few exceptions its non-Natives fighting a cause that they have little interest in due to those tribes having more important things to worry about.

    • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 7:46 am |

      It is not a “stunt,” and I am not “pulling” it. Garrett wrote today’s Ticker. But I’m fine with the way he wrote it. Just to be clear, I would also have been fine with it if he’d used the team name.

      • Laul Pukas | March 25, 2015 at 7:55 am |

        This is the beginning of the end for Uni Watch. I quit.

        • arrScott | March 25, 2015 at 11:40 am |

          Isn’t quitting more like the end of the end, not the beginning of the end?

      • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 8:05 am |

        OK, I do see now that you didn’t do the Ticker. I thought you still did it on Wednesdays–it is early, in my defense.

        Still, though, my point on “Cleveland baseball team” stands.

        • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 8:15 am |

          I normally do it on Wednesdays, but we shuffled the days this week. If it’s one of the interns, their byline is always listed.

    • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 9:16 am |

      It may not be racist, but let’s face it…”Indians” is a centuries-old misnomer that really doesn’t need to be perpetuated. Once people realized they were in some place other than India, they should have stopped referring to the people of this land as Indians.

      I have no problem if Cleveland calls themseselves the Tribe. That’s how I refer to them. I suppose you could call them West Indians, too. But Tribe will do just fine.

      • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 9:19 am |

        Or the Indigenouses. But I’d rather hear “Cleveland Baseball Team” than that.

        • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 9:26 am |

          Too close to “indigent” (which should be reserved for the Mets).

        • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 9:45 am |

          I prefer the term Aboriginal, which is used in just about every former British colony outside of Africa except the U.S. I don’t really like the term Indigenous (except when Gregg Easterbrook calls the Redskins the “Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons), since there were several Native American tribes that lived in a given area before colonization. And Native American gives it too much of a European jab. Aboriginal is more neutral. Oh, and if yinz haven’t figured it out yet, I’m referring to actual Native Americans, not a sports team.

          I just wonder how many people here have actually been to an Indians home game. I have a few times (I’m close enough to Cleveland I could probably go about as frequent as I do the Pirates.), and outside of Chief Wahoo, the Indians make no reference to Native Americans. Progressive Field has images of Indian greats like Bob Feller, who they probably dedicate a little too much. (A lot of teams are like this, but their dedication of Feller is almost the same level that the Bucs do with Roberto Clememte. Not taking anything away from Feller, but even neutral baseball fans would say that honoring a player on the same level as Clemente can be overkill.) Their mascot, Slider, probably came from the same planet as the Phillie Phanatic and has nothing to do with Native Americans. Their rally videos n’at have NOTHING to do with Native Americans. Compare that to the Pirates, who since moving in to PNC Park have only increased the pirates garb on such stuff. Even Chief Wahoo doesn’t appear as much as he used to.

          If you see anything relating to Native Americans from the Indians beyond their logo, it’s from the fans who choose on their own to dress up like Chief Wahoo, or hold a sign that says “Scalp the [insert opposing team here]”. The closest that the Indians do do relating to Native Americans is John Adams, who has been playing his drum at every Indians home game for the last 40+ years. But he’s not employed by the team, doesn’t wear Native American garb, and his drum is used in about the same way that many teams use pipe organs (or recordings of them) to rally a team. Although, the Indians did do a bobblehead giveaway of him a few years ago.

        • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 10:04 am |

          Grew up here, even sold programs at the home opener for Julio Franco’s Tribe debut. Been to plenty of games at both Municipal and the new park.

          That’s nice that they don’t do anything else. Means they don’t have far to go. John Adams can stay, though.

        • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 10:17 am |

          Jim, I do agree with you on John Adams. That is a nice touch that they do that at the stadium, even though its strictly a fan involvement. Makes me wonder when inevitably Adams can’t do it anymore if the Indians actually hire someone to be a drummer–basically “take it corporate” like the Browns did with the Dawg Pound.

      • walter | March 25, 2015 at 9:35 am |

        Cleveland Indians is a great name… but… and this is a big but… should they change it, I’d make it the “Cleveland Imperials”. Just because I like the sound. And it would have to be in the Greek coffee cup lettering.

      • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 10:59 am |

        Great points on the Jacobs Field atmosphere. Really, does a team with 115 years of history really need to depend on a mascot/nickname for it’s heritage/identity? It’s Cleveland baseball. Hell, if they could SOMEHOW finagle a new name that could colloquially be referred to as The Tribe (which is, like Jim, what I and most of the fans I know generally call them) the fanbase would be sacrificing almost nothing.

        • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 11:22 am |

          Exactly my point. The Indians do a pretty good job at that, as do the Pirates. Although the Bucs could tone down the gimmicky pirate stuff–keep the Pirate Parrot and the Jolly Roger flag for home victories, but eliminate everything else.

          Like I said above, more criticism should be directed at the Braves. Granted, I’ve only been to Atlanta once, and that was changing planes at the big Delta hub down there. But thanks to TBS, everyone knows what the Braves do for home games. Anyone remember their live mascot Chief Noc-a-Homa, who “lived” in a teepee at Fulton County Stadium? And don’t even get me started on the Tomahawk Chop.

          On top of that, the U.S. got the Great Lakes area relatively peacefully, as the tribes there were more scattered out and were able to negotiate treaties. Georgia is the historical home to the Cherokee tribe, and were forced to leave Georgia for modern-day Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears. Do the existing Native Americans living in Georgia need to be reminded of that right in their home state? Of course, this is the South we’re talking about.

        • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm |

          Well, with the Braves…they’ve been around longer, but they were in Boston (where they played second fiddle), they were in Milwaukee, now they’re in Atlanta…the only constant has been the name. Maybe it stands to reason why they lean more on the native imagery, which, yeah, is totally gross.

          It’s weird about the Pirates…for a long time, the nickname almost seemed irrelevant, without much Pirate imagery surrounding the team aside from the guy in the logo. They’ve latched onto it more with Greg Brown’s “Raise the Jolly Roger” schtick (which I admittedly love) but I’d hate to see them go…ahem…overboard.

        • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm |

          Yeah with the Buccos being relevant on-the-field again they’ve started to tone it down somewhat and place more emphasis on the city of Pittsburgh and the team’s history.

          What’s funny is that they didn’t adopt the nickname in “honor” of pirates. They adopted the nickname after the Philadelphia A’s of the American Association (unrelated to the current Oakland A’s) called what was then the Pittsburgh Alleghenies “piratical” after they signed one of their players away after the short-lived Players League folded. (The player was with the A’s before the PL.) Despite an independent arbitrator favoring the Alleghenies in court, Pittsburgh just made a good sport of it by calling themselves the Pirates. The name has stuck since.

    • CommenterFormerlyKnownAsEricB. | March 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm |

      “(which doesn’t bother me, and my step dad is half Blackfoot Indian)”

      What does this have to do with anything? Is having a Native American step father the new one black friend?

  • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 7:40 am |

    The Browns’ new uniforms, due to be unveiled on April 14, will reportedly have nine different color combos.

    Like I said yesterday, 9 combos isn’t actually very significant. That means 3 jerseys and 3 pants, most likely brown, orange and white. In fact, over the last decade, the Browns have actually worn 7 of those 9 possible combos already, having only not used mono-orange and orange over brown. For comparison, over the same time frame and ignoring uniform overhauls, the Carolina Panthers have worn just 4 of 9 combos and the Seahawks & Texans have each used 6 of 9 (Seattle hasn’t used navy/white, gray/white or gray/navy while Houston hasn’t used red/blue, blue/red or white/red), and the Tennessee Titans have actually worn all 9, plus an additional 2 throwback combos. If we assume that the Browns will continue to be somewhat “traditional” and thus closer in style to the new Dolphins or Vikings rather than the Jags or Bucs… it’s really not going to be much of a departure from the team’s standard look. Plus, NFL rules dictate that they can only wear a maximum of 8 combinations in one season, as they are only allowed to wear the 3rd jersey for 2 games.

    Aside from that, it looks like I need to dust off my NHL template.

    • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 9:21 am |

      Yeah, I got a little out of sorts about this last night (probably because Donte Whitner’s Twitter posts seemed particularly asinine), but your logic here is quite convincing. No team in the NFL can engage in Oregon Duck-like shenanigans.

      To be clear, I’m actually *not* opposed to teams with third jerseys and multiple pants that can be combined in different ways to create a variety of looks. I know that some uni-watchers despise the idea of “mix-and-match” on principle, but my own negativity on this issue stems largely from the *way* that most teams actually put this into practice.

      The combinations with pleasing contrasts and complements are rarely, if ever, used on the field. The Titans are a good example of a team that habitually avoids its best looks; remember these…?

      Most people probably don’t.

      If I’m pessimistic, it’s because poor judgment seems to prevail these days. Even if all of the Browns’ new uniform components are tasteful (unlikely, despite speculation that their re-design will be more conservative than other recent debacles), we’re much more likely to see orange-over-orange or brown-over-brown (they’ve already been doing this one) or orange-over-brown…and Wrong Sock Syndrome on nearly every combination employed.

      I really hope I’m wrong.

      Speaking of the Texans, though, white-over-red with navy socks would actually be a nice look, if they’d just give it a try. Check it out:

      [Title and narration are NOT safe for work…or any other polite setting. The video itself is just a Madden game.]

      • TIm | March 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm |

        The turd pants live on, unfortunately. Shit (literally)! More turd over turd uni situations. Such a crappy (sorry) look.

        • Chuck | March 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm |

          Bracing myself for a possible turd over turd or orange over orange next season. Ugh!

      • marc | March 26, 2015 at 8:57 am |

        Who with the team gets to choose the uni combination for any given week? Players? Coaches? Seems to me there should be a designated person with color coordination skills who sticks to a predetermined set of properly assembled uni elements so the team always puts it’s best foot forward so they avoid debacles like brown-over-brown and orange-over-orange.

        It seems too many people in team clubhouses are equating sports fashion (a term that gives me the heebie jeebies) with actual fashion. Monochrome looks (not including white-over-white) work on a dress suit, but in a sports context it looks amateurish at best and garish at worst.

    • Ted L. | March 26, 2015 at 1:13 am |

      I was gonna say what you said, but I’ll stick to just amending: they’ll have the ability to wear 8 uniform combinations per year, unless their redesign includes nine jerseys and just the one pants color, which would be terrible until you realize they’ll only be able to trot out three of the nine uniform combos per year (which by itself may make this the more appealing option).

      All things considered, I’m a fan of Cleveland having the multiple combinations, so long as the uniform itself sticks to a more traditional look. Brown is a unique color (and understandably so) within professional sports, and there’s no reason why Cleveland shouldn’t be able to use it as it sees fit.

  • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 7:49 am |

    “The NFL logo on the back of caps worn at the upcoming NFL Draft will logo.”

    …will be gold, I guess?

    • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 7:53 am |

      Yes. Fixed.

  • Hodges14 | March 25, 2015 at 8:09 am |

    As overblown as the gold is for next year’s football season, I find the golden football idea to be cool, mainly because we have a Super Bowl alum in Bob Skoronski. Fairfield Prep, baby!

    • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 8:16 am |

      Yeah my school has Babe Parilli among their ranks, although I’m not sure if he actually played in Super Bowl III. IDK, we won state tiles in football while I was at school there. We tend to find that more important than Babe Parilli’s accomplishments in the AFL.

      • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 9:33 am |

        Larry Czonka for old Stow High. Yeah, cool idea. That, and the fact that all this gold crap ties in pretty well with the 49ers hosting the game, is about the only stuff that isn’t insufferable.

        • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 9:41 am |

          If I were the Stow principal, as soon as the NFL rep finishes shaking my hand, I’m turning to my assistant and saying, “Here…go put this thing on eBay. We could use the money.”

        • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 9:54 am |

          Maybe *that’s* why they gave them 50, instead of 49.

        • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 10:18 am |

          What’re you, from Hudson?

        • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 10:20 am |

          Falls High, baby. Go Tigers.

        • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 10:29 am |

          I gots my eye on you, Vilk…

  • DJ | March 25, 2015 at 8:13 am |

    Very annoying to visit the site via smartphone and have the phone be hijacked by ads that take me to the App Store.

  • Mike Estoesta | March 25, 2015 at 8:19 am |
    • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 8:30 am |

      Sadly, that doesn’t tell us much of anything. Hopefully it means bringing back the Barry Sanders uniforms as throwbacks… but it could also mean silver jerseys, or blue pants or any number of things… or nothing at all.

    • Rob S | March 25, 2015 at 8:43 am |

      As long as they don’t go black again…

      • Tony C. | March 25, 2015 at 9:25 am |

        but since they once did?? can they truly go back??

    • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 9:46 am |

      They need to bring back THESE (with maybe some pants that match the numbers)…


      • MotorCityJeff | March 25, 2015 at 10:34 am |

        Yes! My favorite from when I first started watching the Lions. Billy Sims’s first few seasons.

      • Rob S | March 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm |


  • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 8:22 am |

    Yesterday, I talked about shame. But today, it could be *me* feeling some shame, as I kind of like that Cliff Paul jersey.

    Well…except for the little slogan under the number, of course.

  • arrScott | March 25, 2015 at 8:23 am |

    I hope Rob Ullman’s recent Las Vegas magazine cover is regarded as an entry in the design contest.

    • Rob Ullman | March 25, 2015 at 10:31 am |

      I’ll definitely be sending it in!

      • Phil Hecken | March 25, 2015 at 11:17 am |

        Game over.

        You can shut the contest down now ;-)

        • arrScott | March 25, 2015 at 11:23 am |

          I know, right? Every idea or sketch I’ve doodled on the subject, I look at it and ask, “Is it even close to Ullman’s design?” So far, nothing has passed that test.

          Still and all, I’m looking forward to the contest. And how about one for Quebec, which stands a decent shot at an expansion team of its own? Personally, I’d love to see the Nordiques name return, but I’d rather they left the igloo-N logo in the past. Along with the aborted puppy logo. Light blue and white, fleur-de-lis details, and a brand new crest.

        • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm |

          Love your ‘dique idea, arr. As to the new crest, a juxtaposition of a fleur-de-lis and a compass rose in forest green and bronze would play well with the base color for the team.

  • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 8:27 am |

    Couldn’t the Rays retire Zim’s #66 on June 6th?

    Just a thought.

    • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 8:34 am |

      They’re in Seattle June 6th.

      • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 8:50 am |

        Then I accept April 6th as being appropriate.


    • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 8:38 am |

      It’s interesting that they chose No. 66, because Zim changed his number each year, upping it by 1 to reflect his number of years in the game. 66 was the last number he wore, so I guess that makes sense. They could also have done 67, to indicate that he was still “with the team in spirit” this season.

      • Mark in Shiga | March 25, 2015 at 11:25 am |

        They should have left 67 unused this year, then 68 next year, then 69 in 2017, etc., so that he was with them in spirit each season.

        (Actually numbers like 67 should be left unused by every team, every year, because they’re an assault on aesthetic sensibility, but I liked seeing a great guy like Don Zimmer have this gimmick.)

  • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 8:38 am |

    Could it be that the face on Norm’s Celtic jacket is just overly fluffy chain stitching (or chenille or whatever you call that type of embroidery), and thus the face is a bit hard to see on TV?

  • Mr Brian williams | March 25, 2015 at 8:38 am |

    JRF will “wend” up or “wind” up with ~$8k?

    • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 8:39 am |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • Jeff Hunter | March 25, 2015 at 8:54 am |

    Does anyone know of a site with a hockey uniform template for the contest?

    • Rob S | March 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm |

      Several styles available here.

  • Jason M (DC) | March 25, 2015 at 8:56 am |

    I’m going to assume that the Draft Day caps were designed before the NFL got the whole gold trim idea.

  • Jason M (DC) | March 25, 2015 at 8:59 am |

    I’m assuming that the NFL is waiting until Week 7 to do the gold so that they can still squeeze in a bunch of pink stuff. I’d rather them just replace all the pink with gold.

  • Austin | March 25, 2015 at 9:12 am |

    Seeing the Brazilian basketball player with the surname Fuck, reminded me of a Brazilian footballer names Argel Fucks who played in Europe for a while and now manages Figueriense, a top-division side in Brazil

    • Allen | March 25, 2015 at 11:24 am |

      His name reminded me of former Italian basketball player Gregor Fucka. who played ~20 years in Europe and in the 2000 Olympics.

      • Tom | March 25, 2015 at 6:32 pm |

        The German word for “fox” is “fuchs”, pronounced “fewks”, which we’ve seen plenty of times. So it looks like someone was playing with the spelling while his family was in Brazil.

    • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 11:41 am |

      I would really love to know what logical reasoning allows Fuck to be pronounced as “foo-key”. It just doesn’t make any sense at all. If it was Fucke, sure, but it’s not. Favre = Farve makes more sense.

    • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 1:40 pm |

      Years ago the ‘Skins had a back up QB named Tom Flick

      FLICK, with the proper uniform wrinkle (as it appeared during one game on TV) gave the illusion of the “THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!”

      • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 2:32 pm |

        The sitcom Barney Miller has a similar issue in the (badly kerned all caps) closing credits with producer Theodore J. Flicker.

    • Thresh8 | March 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm |

      Not “SOUSE”. Egbert Soo-SAY, accent grave over the “E”.

      (Couldn’t help the W.C. Fields reference. Sorry!)

  • random reader | March 25, 2015 at 9:28 am |

    Thanks for posting that link about Michael Panuccio. Lots of interesting insight behind fitting players in jerseys.

    Seems interesting that he feels that players are slowly going back to wearing a fitted look; pajama pants still seem prevalent to me.

    Also interesting was the complaint of a few players about their road grey jerseys shrinking too much; made me remember that note on Uni Watch last year about Edwin Jackson’s road grey Cubs jersey shrinking too much.

  • Rich | March 25, 2015 at 9:38 am |

    “As part of an August Back to the Future promotion, the Fresno Grizzlies will wear special jerseys, give away the 2017 Houston Astros World Series rings, and there will be an appearance by the DeLorean”

    They have reversed field on the rings after pushback from the Astros.

  • SaveFarris | March 25, 2015 at 9:47 am |

    The Rams logo is already gold-trimmed. Are they just going to make it thicker?

  • ChrisH | March 25, 2015 at 9:50 am |

    A new ESPN Design Contest?

    Paging: Tom “2 for 1” Bierbaum.
    Mr. Tom Bierbaum, please please please pick up the nearest courtesy phone!

    • Vee63 | March 25, 2015 at 11:51 am |

      Hopefully he enters, and hopefully he includes a mascot.

  • Winter | March 25, 2015 at 10:26 am |

    I’m thinking you’re going to see a ton of submissions for the Vegas contests with the Ace of Spades as the crest or a casino chip. I’d be amused if they actually went with Las Vegas Rat Pack. Takes some PR moxie to have a rat as a mascot.

    I think I’m more interested in how many submissions you get that don’t have anything to do with gambling.

    • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 10:37 am |

      Vegas really only has a few options that work in a regional sense. You’ve got the gambling – Aces, Gamblers, whatever… the desert/westerns – Outlaws, Rattlesnakes, Scorpions… or Sci-Fi Area 51 stuff… Aliens, Grays, Invaders. Outside of those, you’re kinda stuck with generic things that’d work anywhere, I’d assume.

    • mike 2 | March 25, 2015 at 11:04 am |
      • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 11:14 am |

        While they didn’t have a bad logo, I think the name probably sounds just a little bit too much like another word that starts with P and ends in Y to be a viable name today.

        • Jim Vilk | March 25, 2015 at 11:22 am |


          I’d like to see someone do a G with a negative space Nevada inside of it for a Gamblers logo.

        • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 11:34 am |

          Nevada doesn’t lend itself to the G as well as Texas did. I’ve actually played around with that idea as a football team concept before, and it really didn’t work.

        • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2015 at 12:36 am |
      • Thresh8 | March 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm |

        I for one never forgot the strange foray of the CFL into the USA. My favorites were the Horses with No Names which convince the NFL that Baltimore still wanted football.

        BTW all I can think of for a name is “Las Vegas Quicksilvers”, so anyone who wants to take it…

  • Phil Hecken | March 25, 2015 at 10:44 am |

    Above, in the comments, My Scott Your Scott arr scott already expressed his thoughts on the UW LV design contest. I’m seconding Scotty and moving Rob Ullman’s design forward for consideration.

    Black. Jacks.

    • Winter | March 25, 2015 at 10:50 am |

      Those look great.

    • Munch Suchland | March 25, 2015 at 11:14 am |

      I immediately thought it had to be Black Jacks. And the colors had to be red and black to match the roulette tables. I forgot that it’s also the colors of a deck of cards. He nailed it!

      • Munch Suchland | March 25, 2015 at 11:14 am |

        And of course, the mascot would be named “Ace”.

        • arrScott | March 25, 2015 at 11:37 am |

          They could have their own card suits: Pucks, Sticks, Rinks, and Nets.

          Pucks: Black circle
          Sticks: Red crossed sticks
          Rinks: Red rounded rectangle with the five faceoff circles punched out
          Nets: Black double-humped shape of a goal see from above

      • Winter | March 25, 2015 at 11:51 am |

        If they have to have a third jersey, I’d be all for putting an actual playing card jack on there.

        And it would play well with headlines

        “BlackJacks shuffle the deck…”

        “BlackJacks draw a bad hand…”

        “BlackJacks double down on …”

        • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 11:54 am |

          And it would play well with headlines

          “BlackJacks shuffle the deck…”

          “BlackJacks draw a bad hand…”

          “BlackJacks double down on …”

          They’re not allowed to do that anymore, because it leads to things like “Redskins scalp the Cowboys” and that’s apparently wrong now.

        • Phil Hecken | March 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm |

          “They’re not allowed to do that anymore, because it leads to things like “Redskins scalp the Cowboys” and that’s apparently wrong now.”


          Dude where do you get this shit?

        • Uni Troll | March 25, 2015 at 9:06 pm |

          If I could troll like The Jeff, my life would be considerably more fulfilling.

  • mike 2 | March 25, 2015 at 11:04 am |

    I’m still surprised they aren’t making a one-off gold Lombardi trophy for this years game

    • Phil Hecken | March 25, 2015 at 11:15 am |
      • The Jeff | March 25, 2015 at 11:18 am |

        33lbs of gold? Holy freakin crap. Why would you actually do that instead of just putting some gold plating on some less valuable metal?

      • Ted L. | March 26, 2015 at 1:22 am |

        I sincerely hope that it’s just gold-plated and that they’re saying it’s fully gold solely as a marketing ploy.

    • arrScott | March 25, 2015 at 11:39 am |

      True fact: The NFL commissioned a special Lombardi trophy to be given to the winner of Super Bowl L. It’s solid gold, plated in silver.

      *Not a true fact.

  • Joseph Gerard | March 25, 2015 at 11:25 am |

    Riding on the heels of Brock Lesnar staying with WWE, they’re apparently sticking around with trying to appear more legitimate (despite being blatant about being entertainment), with something kinda uni-related.

    • M.S. Warner | March 25, 2015 at 11:42 am |

      WWE: Still more legitimate than the NBA.

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | March 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm |

    I loved Rob Ullman’s Vegas concept, but why not use kelly green as a base? Match most felt tables, and red and black accents to evoke the deck of cards. It would look a lot like the Quebec Aces (the Habs bought the league to make Jean Béliveau a pro and thus subject to assignment to the Habs), but they looked good too and the sports world needs more green.

    As for those draft day caps, yuck, it’s a vinyl patch instead of an embroidered logo. Cheaper to make, but merchandise never gets cheaper. So it will be junkier and more overpriced. Terrific. (Not.)

  • Dave K | March 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm |

    What, no jokes yet about Gregor “Uncle” Fucka?

  • David | March 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm |

    Anyone notice the draft cap is a Size 8 1/2? that’s a big freaking hat.

    There’s an old Bruce Bochy story, where, during his playing days, Bochy would wear a size 8 catcher’s helmet, and then after the game fill it up with ice and a six pack.

    It used to be 8’s were hard to find in retail shops, and you’d have to order them. Now, if I’m in my local “Lids” they carry them, and they tell me they’re primarily for people with cornrows, so their hair fits in the hat.

    I can only imagine how big an 8 1/2 would seem.

    • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 1:55 pm |

      Do they make hats bigger these days because people wear them with their ears INSIDE the cap?

      Seriously asking. I see that all the time “nowadays”.
      When I was a kid you ears were on the outside of the cap.


    • Dumb Guy | March 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm |
    • DenverGregg | March 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm |

      For caps it’s become relatively easy to find 7 7/8, but they’re still hard to find for fedoras and the like. But yes 8 1/2 would be a substantial piece of headwear.

  • Johnny O | March 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm |

    Green Bay Packers beat writer Jason Wilde just said on Twitter, “President/CEO Mark Murphy says #Packers will have a new alternate third jersey this season and it will be a throwback, not a futuristic one.”

    So no crazy throwback for the Pack the next few years. Wonder what era they will throwback to.

  • Johnny O | March 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm |

    Evidently… the draft caps will have the skylines of the city on the underbrim. (So what are the Packer caps going to look like?)

  • mike 2 | March 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm |

    If the NFL really wants to get into the gold digger theme, every member of the winning team should get a Hyundai.

  • Brian | March 25, 2015 at 8:38 pm |

    We really need to get past this purple prohibition. I mean seriously, it’s your personal preference and that’s it. I understand you think it’s tacky, but c’mon. Neon or metallic colors, sure. But purple? It’s just a regular everyday color. I could understand a certain aversion to pea soup green or dirt brown and they may have unpleasant associations, but purple? And why dis a color if it has a legitimate reason to be included? The Colorado Rockies use of purple makes sense from a visual standpoint, “purple mountains’ majesty” and all that. The Sacramento Kings’ use purple because it’s the royal color. You might be able to make a case against the Lakers or Vikings, but if we follow your mindset, we’re only going to end up with even more blue and red uniforms which don’t really need any more of. Open your heart Paul, embrace diversity.

    ~Love, Purple

    • Paul Lukas | March 25, 2015 at 9:45 pm |

      I mean seriously, it’s your personal preference and that’s it.

      Correct. Glad we cleared that up.

      • Brian | March 26, 2015 at 11:32 am |

        Haha :) I can see I’m barking up the wrong tree here.

  • quiet seattle | March 26, 2015 at 8:22 pm |

    From about 1968 until 1974 I collected every card imaginable. Including non-sports related sets. These cards helped fuel my imagination. 10 cards for 10 cents plus a stick of gum and usually some special insert (my favorite was the O=Pee-Chee hockey card comics from, I dunno, 1970 or so).

    The height of baseball card collecting is chronicled by this blogger…

  • T.J. | March 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm |

    I have to confess, as much as I agree that the NFL has gone completely overboard with the branding effort behind the 50th Super Bowl, the gold football is impressive looking.