By Phil Hecken
I hadn’t intended to be writing about the NCAA today, since today is Opening
Day Night in baseball — and tomorrow the greatest day in sports — but a very noticeable uniform snafu for Michigan State occurred last night. All started well for Sparty, who began the game with their Final Four patches all (seemingly) perfectly heat pressed onto their jerseys, when all of a sudden, everything became unglued.
That’s right. Those patches started … falling … off:
— TrÃ©s Lawless (@jerrylawless3) April 4, 2015
This was picked up by a number of readers who e-mailed and many more who tweeted in.
— Leland Privott (@DopeStallion) April 4, 2015
It turns out, it wasn’t just two or three players — it was almost the entire team who went from patched to depatched as the game wore on:
By the end of the game, it seemed like more than half the team had their shirts free of the Final Four patch.
I could show you many more photos, but you get the idea. However, this tweet perfectly captures the essence of the patch problems:
— TrÃ©s Lawless (@jerrylawless3) April 5, 2015
And if you look at the score there (and the final wasn’t much better — sorry Sparty fans), that’s pretty much how the entire night went for MSU.
Clearly this was not one of the biggest uniform screwups ever to befall a sporting event, but it’s kind of hard to believe it would happen on national TV (OK, cable) in the final four.
And the fun wasn’t quite over — one Wisconsin player (that I saw) also had patch problems, but for the most part it looked like the patches for the rest of the players on the other three teams fared just fine:
— Mark Clifford (@MarkClifford63) April 5, 2015
— Jeff Bethers (@jeffbethers) April 5, 2015
That got me to thinking — what are some of the biggest uniform snafus? You’ve got Joe Carter and Torotno (and other classic misspellings like the Natinals, which was great because it involved two players), you had the time a few Virginia Tech uniforms were swiped, and players had to wear Georgia Tech jerseys for part of the game (notice how they even drew a Nike Swoosh on that jersey), and you’ve had cases where players have worn the wrong jersey (thank you, multiple alternates). How would you rank the MSU patch-gate on a scale of blunders? What do you think are some of the worst uniform screwups throughout history? Let’s get a good list going.
The Greatest Day of the Year
Until the MSU patch snafu, I had intended to write about Opening Day (or Night) as the case may be, but for now it’s just a sub-lede. But the great Bruce Menard had sent me a few Opening Day pics from days of yore that I wanted to share with you, just because they’re so great. And then we’ll have one modern day pic from Megan Marshall in 2013.
First Bruce’s shots, with slight descriptions. Click on any photo to enlarge.
That beautiful panoramic is from Opening Day at Hilltop Park, April 14, 1908. The band, the caps and coats on the players — just exquisite. Two featured teams are the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Highlanders.
Moving forward in time, this is a photo of opening day between the same two franchises as in the first photo, but this time the game is being played between the Athletics and the Yankees, in Yankee Stadium. This photo dates to April 20, 1932. Another tremendous shot: check out the A’s in their beautiful jackets with their lucky white elephant, and the Yanks with their (side-by-side and not interlocking) N.Y. on their varsity jackets.
This one is pretty self-evident — The first Opening Day for the Eighth Wonder of the World. Great composition in that photo — and notice that the Astrodome had natural grass and clear panels in the roof when it opened.
One final one from Yankee Stadium, this time opening day on April 1, 2013, where the formidable Yanks fell to the mighty BoSox. Now the bands have been replaced by loud music and giant flags. But you still can’t beat being at the park on Opening Day.
I was going to then spend some time reminiscing about opening day traditions and what I’ve done in the past (I have been to about 10 home openers for the Mets over the years). Now though, I just watch the games on TV. I’ve frozen my ass off too many times to want to go through that again. If it were a guaranteed *warm* day or in a more southerly/westerly city, I am sure I could be tempted again.
But one tradition I’ve had through the years is to watch either The Natural or Field of Dreams the day before opening day. Been doing that for at least a decade now. I’m almost always in the office for Opening Day now, but I hope to steal a few minutes to watch the games during the day and as soon as I get home (where I’ll pop on the NCAA Final simultaneously). Opening Day should be a national holiday — and no one should play the Sunday before either — with the Reds getting the first pitch and then everyone else following. And every team should play Opening Day.
What about you guys — do you have any “traditions” for Opening Day (and do any of you go to games?). You watch any baseball movies, read any books, play hooky from work or school? Do you try to watch as much baseball as you can or do you just watch your team? Let us know below!
OK — all but the final game of the NCAA tournament has yet to be played, and we basically know what the teams are going to wear — so that has freed up Ol’ One Shining Vilkment to select his final set of uni matchups for Part II of his NCAA Tourney 5 & 1.
So, here’s Jimmer V. with the rest:
Final Four Final 5 & 1
By Jim Vilk
Come Final Four time, we’re not likely to see any uniform surprises. So I’m going to go out on a limb and say tomorrow’s game isn’t making either part of the list.
Now, as you gaze upon the last five shining moments of the season, you have a choice of music. You can go with classic Luther, or you can travel back 35 years to when NBC used classic Kenny. Either way, enjoy.
5. Utah/Georgetown — This ‘Nova fan loves those Hoya throwbacks…especially when they lose in them.
4. Michigan State/Oklahoma — It would be more than OK if OU’s unis made a deeper run next year.
3. Ohio State/Arizona — Not a Buckeye fan, but I am a big fan of those unis.
2. UCLA/Gonzaga — “West Coast represent, now put your hands up…oh oh oh ooooh oh!”
1. North Carolina/Wisconsin – I hope Coach Smith got to look down and see this beauty.
For our un-shining moment, the dreaded “&1” goes to San Diego State/Duke – Tiny numbers + ghost lettering = Uni Watch infamy.
Enjoy the last game and the offsesason. If I haven’t convinced the NCAA to make me their uniform number czar, I guess I’ll be back next year.
Thanks, Jim. We’ll agree to disagree on Wisconsin (and any schools outfitted with the adidas waist stripe templates). Good list tho!
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up today is Dallas O’Meara with a new logo for the Washington football team:
Not a uniform concept, but a logo for the Washington Redskins:
The logo is in the shape of a football made out of the letter W for Washington. There’s the Washington Monument made at the bottom of the W (got the idea from the Washington Capitals logo). The feather makes the laces of the football and there are five of them to represent the total number of league titles they have. The 3 in the white represent the Super Bowls and the 2 in the yellow represent the NFL Championships. This solves the logo problem, but obviously not the name.
Next up is Salomon Shabot with a concept for a new NFL team in London:
My name is Salomon Shabot I’m from Mexico and I have a concept for an NFL team based in London UK.
I’ve seen many concepts for a London team and most of them have a royalty inspired name, so I decided to try something different.
In this concept the team is named after the Spitfire the plane that defended London’s sky on WWII, this plane is widely credited as saving England from a Nazi invasion.
The colors of the team (minus the grey helmet) are borrowed from the Union Jack and the logo is modeled after an Israeli Spitfire, it is so because of the red markings on the fuselage, which I think give the plane and the logo a nice touch.
PS: This is my first concept.
And we close today with Matt Armstrong who has more ideas for the Atlanta Hawks:
I have a couple more Atlanta Hawks uni concepts. These two are more classic.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.
Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 30 & 31 (click to enlarge):
Don’t Forget The Latest Contest
In case you missed it or were distracted by Paul’s ESPN contest to design a uniform for the future Las Vegas hockey design, Jim Vilk & I are hosting another uniform re-design contest on UW.
You can read the full details here, but basically the idea is to “free up the great names, colors and logos of the USFL and reuse them” for other teams in current leagues — all teams/leagues are open (except football, since the USFL was a football league).
I’ve received a few submissions over the past week, but not the usual number I receive for a contest such as this. Fear not, however, because the deadline is April 15th, so you still have plenty of time.
Just wanted to make sure you guys didn’t miss this one.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: It’s a new season, so that means new shoes (and gloves) for Brandon Crawford (thanks, Brinke). … From Sports Illustrated’s online archives, check out the last item listed, about Secret Service agent Brian Piersall (from Matt Larsen). … Mississippi State went with digi-camo tops yesterday (via MSU Baseball). Here they are on the field (via Dustin Semore). … The Valencia High Vikings are another school with rainbow guts jerseys (h/t Joe Nocella. … Nice collection of old plastic MLB helmets spotted in a barbershop in Rob Neyer’s neighborhood. … Very cool set of 1979s MLB slush puppy plastic cups (via Super70sSports) — and an office garbage can of similar vintage (from Frank McGuigan). … Whoa — check out these blueprints for the Roosevelt Stadium scoreboard (from Will Scheibler): Layout and details of baseball scoreboard Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ; Football scoreboard from same; and other photos and black and white blueprints from the Historic Americans Building Survey for Roosevelt Stadium (blueprints start page 3). … Check out these UNLV stirrups (from Ken Turley). … There was a Great Gazoo sighting yesterday afternoon in St. Pete (nice grab by Mike Nessen). … Here’s what Matt den Dekker’s NOB looks like, now that he’s on the Nationals (via Andrew S.). … San Diego State changed their logo in 2013, but they are using their old logo behind home plate (good spot by Frank Mercogliano). … Interesting uniforms for Missouri State University yesterday (via Michael Baumann). … There was a full page spread of past Padres jerseys in the SD-UT the other day (from Matthew Slagle. #BringBackTheBrown. … Speaking of the Padres, there was lots of brown at their Pads fest yesterday. #BringBackTheBrown. … Here’s a look Paul absolutely LOVES: 9″ A’s stirrups (via Spencer Cooper), as modeled by Ryan Doolittle (Nick Schiavo). … Vandy was rocking their black, pinstriped uniforms yesterday (h/t Brandon Benson).
NFL News: Here’s another supposed leak of the Browns new uniforms (from Jonathan Dies. Like any & all “leaks” I’d take this with a grain of salt. Will the new unis eventually look like this? Maybe. But I doubt these are what will be unveiled on April 14th. … Will the Philadelphia Eagles ever return to kelly green? Here’s an article that makes a case for its return.
College Football News: Interesting bit on Cal Poly Football. Booted Newswomen write, “The picture I attached accompanied this article about the team’s 1960 plane crash, Remember the Mustangs: the story of the 1960 football team’. Why do some but not all players have gold sleeve stripes?” … Interesting set of cleats on some Michigan players yesterday for their spring game (thanks, Paul). … Syracuse once again screwed up a player NOB — something they’ve done recently.
NBA News: Pacers F Paul George has announced that he’ll return back to the court Sunday with a picture of his sneakers (via SportsCenter). … Here’s Conrad Burry‘s attempt at cleaning up the Bucks logos ahead of the official release.
Hockey News: Yesterday, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was sporting a very interesting Back To The Future mask. Guess that’s going to be the “thing” for 2015, eh? (thanks to @bturner12387 for the photo).
College Hoops News: We complain on here about the monotony of the NCAA courts during the playoffs, but this article argues the entire set up of the courts hurts the games because it’s an environment of which the players are unfamiliar (thanks to Matt Larsen). … My fourth (and final) article for The Sporting News on Duke’s uniform history went live yesterday. If you missed the other three, you can look here. … Here’s a look at all the Final Four logos since 2007 (h/t Chris Creamer).
Grab Bag: This is awesome, from Ron Ruelle: “Since Easter comes so close to the start of baseball season, I usually try to dye some eggs in the perfect shade of my local team’s colors. I’m sorry it happens to be purple. But as a University of Tennessee grad living in Colorado, I had to do these. As you may have guessed, Todd Helton is my favorite all time Rockies player.”
And that’s all for today folks. Enjoy your Sunday, your Easter (if you celebrate), your opening night. And have a great Monday and rest of the week — this may be the only Monday in the year we can’t wait for! Thanks to those who were on top of the MSU and Sconnie patch snafus, Bruce and Megan for the opening day photos, Alex for the EPL tracking, the concepters and all who submitted for the ticker. You’re all aces.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“If Hershey’s didn’t have high fructose corn syrup I’d still chug it from the can. So now I just put a spoon of Ovaltine or Nesquik in my mouth and let it melt. So…can we get our hopes up for a Tequila Sunrise edition of the UW T-shirt Club?”